Newsletter 2015 #1 - Towards an Age of Light part 2

As highlighted in our last issue, 2015 is being celebrated by the United Nations and a network of over 100 scientific organisations in 85 countries as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. World Goodwill is lending its support, with a focus on the many ways in which humanity is heading Towards an Age of Light. To this end, seminars on the theme were held in London, New York and Geneva on October 25, 2014. World Goodwill asked a co-worker and attendee of the Seminar in London, who also watched the New York event on video and read the transcript for Geneva, to give an overall impression of the experience and what was achieved.

These events were inspiring as well as illuminating. Ideas were shared about the role of light and enlightenment across a variety of fields, including the development of our understanding of light through the ages and the vision of where we may be heading. In London, topics covered included the relationship between nature and technologies of light; the role of light in health and medicine; and the role the light of the intuition has to play in spiritual Leadership. Themes explored in New York included: the growing focus on the development of the illumined mind through meditation, visualisation, healing and psychology; light in spiritual cosmologies; and what we can expect to see in the field of light in the future. And in Geneva there were presentations on solar light projects and renewable energy, the use of light-based technologies in preventative and integral health, and global networks of mutual support as lighted fields fostering higher values.

Participants travelled from many different countries to share in the lively discussions and meditations and to hold the space for illumined thinking. In many cases questions raised were as illuminating as answers given. It was interesting that while a participant in London raised the obvious but important question ‘what is light?’, across the waters, another asked ‘can you tell us more about darkness?’

In this newsletter we offer a flavour of the discussions held and ideas shared, in the hope that this will open the door for further thoughts, reflection and insight. As regular readers are aware, ideas about light need to be made practical and actionable for positive change. As well as recognising opportunities there is the need to turn crisis points into enlightened turning points within this difficult transition period. In so doing, we can nurture the experimental and developmental stages of light working through into illumined thought and action. For further information on the year, please see the UN website www.light2015.org.


London

Introductory remarks noted Aristotle’s observation that “technology imitates nature”. In today’s world, we are seeing more and more evidence of this. The electric motor, for example, uses the same mechanism most bacteria use to swim: a means of creating rotation in either direction; a hook which acts as a universal joint to aid rotation; a long filament which acts as a propeller; and the fuel coming from the flow of ions across the outer cell membranes. As we come to learn from, work with and appreciate nature more, the way opens up for more enlightened technological advances.

Researchers have also discovered how the complex microstructures found in the eyes of moths have evolved to collect as much light as possible without reflection. By recognising and learning from this, a special plastic film has been developed for computer and mobile phones that reduces reflection, improves readability and reduces the amount of power needed to illuminate screens.

Deep sea creatures also shed light on the future of medical imaging. Bioluminescent organisms can help doctors design better ways to scan human organs and make better diagnoses. The Venus flower basket, for example, is a deep sea sponge that has spiny skeletal outgrowths similar in appearance and optical properties to the optical fibres on which the communication and information age is based.

Despite obstacles, the world is slowly integrating through the means of telecommunication systems and computer networking based on fibre optics – optical strands made of flexible transparent extruded glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than human hair, that transmit information through light. Optic cables can also deliver an electric current for low-power electric devices. Who would have thought just fifty years ago, that we would now be living in a world where communication is so fast and easy and we would have the Internet where the press of a few keys gives access to the vast pool of human knowledge – the world mind. So what might the next fifty to a hundred years bring, and beyond that? Where might light-based technologies lead us next?

There are thousands of technical innovations that illustrate the creative genius of imitating nature. One area that will surely prove an endless source of future inspiration is that of the human brain and consciousness itself. Even now we are seeing explorations and developments in this field. Professor Stuart Hameroff, of Arizona University and the Center for Consciousness Studies, has proposed that the brain and consciousness work through a fractal hierarchy of hexagonal patterns, much like the flower of life in sacred geometry. The flower of life, known to ancient religions and philosophies, is composed of evenly-spaced, overlapping circles arranged to form a flower-like pattern. From the centre of each flower emanates six petals representing the six building forces in nature – each extending to the perimeter of the circle that encloses them – the synthesising “all force”. The Flower of Life represents the fundamental generative forces in time and space working out as right relationships between all things.

Examples of this six-fold hexagonal building force can be seen in the snowflake, quartz, and now in the fourth state of water at hydrophilic surfaces, where sheets of hexagons form a semi-conducting crystal. This means that every strand of DNA in the body is surrounded by sheets of hexagonal water. Through further exploration into the significance of hexagonal hollow and crossover structures, we may gain insight into the connections between the inner and outer planes. This perspective, coupled with the discovery by researchers at the University of Leipzig of carbon’s ability to be magnetised, opens up the door for future studies that could one day mean we will be able to combine the ‘magnetic’ and the ‘carbon’ world.

Even symbolically, the discovery that matter of the physical plane may be constructed into patterns of hexagons to effectively transmit electricity, magnetism, and light is highly significant. Perhaps the most significant thing of all is that a hexagon is fundamentally comprised of triangles. As many are aware, in the Triangles service activity three people link together in thought daily. When this triangle is formed, its signal is transmitted around the global network of triangles. Humanity is starting to work with the subtle patterns of life in an intelligent manner. The ordered, patterned electrification of the physical plane will cause a reflex action in the ethers, enabling the two to resonate together, functioning in harmony, providing the regenerative forces of nature and consciousness in a manner that will open up the inner dimensions of life. In the etheric body of the human being you have a repetition of the same process. From the angle of higher planes of existence the force centres in a human being resemble a triangle with a point at the centre. Essentially the human being has three main aspects of consciousness that correlate with the threefold nature of spirit, soul and personality, and these reflect the energies of the divine trinity: will, love and intelligence. It is these energies that are destined to transform the planetary ethers into a network of triangles.

So it’s an interesting symbol that science is revealing patterns of lattices of hexagons in the natural world – patterns that are related to the network of triangles coming into being in the etheric body of the planet. A resonance will develop between these patterns as the electrification of the planet proceeds in a geometrical fashion. The physical plane and the etheric levels will resonate together in a manner that will open up the inner dimensions of life. And by working from the other side of things, from the consciousness side, all who are meditating, searching for the soul, and seeking to distribute its light and love to the world through the Triangles work are accelerating this process of forming a network of triangles – a network of light, love and power. [Triangles can be formed online at: www.triangles.org]

Light in health and medicine

In order to mimic the beneficial evolutionary adaptations of nature we have to be able to recognise these adaptations and work in harmony with them. Dr Shideh Pouria, a physician and Vice-President of the British Society for Ecological medicine, developed this idea, in her presentation about the role of light in health and medicine, and the journey from the outer realms of light and the natural environment to the inner landscape of cells and molecules in the body. We are light, surrounded by light and light informs our health. Or as physicist David Bohm so succinctly put it, “All matter is frozen light”. This is especially significant as scientists are now working towards turning light into matter and not just matter into light.

There is a finely tuned interplay between sunshine and the inherent light in our cells and molecules. Light reaches our cells directly and indirectly via the lower kingdoms, it impacts us biologically, disease may develop due to insufficient or excess light, and significantly, human activity can impact the light in the environment and therefore our health. Physically, light is the connecting thread and integrating factor in nature. Biologically speaking, humans are the embodiment of light. Sunlight is the major provider of light, warmth and energy on Earth sustaining life. While only 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum that reaches Earth is visible to the human eye, the rest of the spectrum impacts us, affects our health and well-being, and can be used for therapeutic purposes. It is also important to note that we have access to light via cycles of dark and light, through diurnal, seasonal and celestial variations.

Most of us have a rudimentary understanding of the essential photosynthesis process (conversion of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen) used by plants in the finely tuned food chain; but there may be less understanding of the equally essential role of the oceans’ plankton in photosynthesis, and the recycling function of bacteria and fungi.

It is a miracle of nature that not only within cell structures can energy be held and transmitted but that the cell is encased by an interacting intelligent conscious membrane. The human photocell is like a two way transmitter which is stimulated and regulated by light but also emits and absorbs light. As Bruce Lipton describes in The Biology of Belief we are designed to carry information in the form of light or chemical signals. Light can pass through and from the cell across the whole networks of cells in the body, similar to fibre optic cables. Light emissions by living plant cells have been shown to be in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, and as Fritz Popp et al (1982) demonstrated, give off a flash of light in death. This again opened up an interesting discussion question as to the potential for humans to generate light in death – difficult to prove scientifically but nonetheless interesting to consider.

The eyes are often cited as the gateway to the soul via their connection to the Pineal Gland – the body’s ‘light meter’. Via the hypothalamus, the Pineal gland receives light activated information from the eyes. It is a small pea shaped structure deep in the centre of the brain whose size varies depending on geographical location and proximity to the equator and its activity is modulated by changes in light and the Earth’s electromagnetic field. It is especially important for our nervous and endocrine system and regulates many of our functions and melatonin levels which are essential for good health and well-being. Modern lifestyles, with exposure to toxins, shift patterns and excess light at night may impact negatively on its function, and therefore it is important that we maintain a balance of light and dark. For example, excessive light (i.e. at night) can be as unbalancing and problematic as underexposure. The increased toxic load on the environment has had a direct and indirect impact on animal and plant species and alterations in various ecosystems. There is also a huge issue around the health of the atmosphere in the 21st century, with global warming and weather change.

Through advances in technology, light is being used more and more diagnostically (i.e. endoscopy, microscopy, ophthalmoscopy) and therapeutically (i.e. SAD lamps for mood disorders, lasers, UV lamps) to reveal and heal certain health conditions. Pioneering work in light therapies (i.e. laserpuncture, virtual scanning, and energy healing), and an increasing awareness of the psychophysiological effects of colour, are opening up our understanding further of the energetic bodies. As a result, the way is becoming clearer for the gradual integration of energy healing with modern medical practices. Combining this with the science of meditation becomes a very powerful tool in restoring the body by bringing the light of consciousness and energetic light into the body.

The light of intelligence and true leadership

Dr Josie Gregory, a consultant and facilitator in Spirited Leadership and transformational change, moved the discussion on light towards a focus on the intuition, spiritual intelligence and consciousness in action via new leadership thinking. Leadership starts with self-leadership, taking responsibility for our own evolution as a human person – moving through self-awareness, self-actualisation to No-Self and Objective Consciousness. Various models of vertical and horizontal learning and development were outlined. In the West, the intellect / intelligence is given pride of place and we are told we are human because we acquire knowledge. The intellectual centre takes charge of the machine.

Many wisdom and spiritual traditions agree that we are two entities, so to speak, we are essence and we grow our personality from our experiences and learning in this life. How these two centres of gravity work together (or don’t) is the focus of both spiritual development and the new leadership. A lot of people are on the horizontal path of knowledge seekers, gaining degrees and qualifications. For the majority as well as the majority of time, we tend to evaluate the Present moment with comparisons and memories from the intellectual centre which are constructs from another point in time. We are not changing our constructs only confirming them. We bring things from the past to make sense of the present. Leaders of this kind are the most difficult to work with because they think they know it all, and they often do, from a horizontal, knowledge-based perspective. Yet there is also a vertical path of wisdom seeking that can be taken if leaders open themselves up to the light of the intuition, revelation and true co-creation. They can only do this if they raise the vibration of their consciousness and compassion (vertically), not because they deserve it, but because they are part of what is being created, and through co-creation can bring higher patterns into manifestation. Leaders at this level work for the greater good and higher purpose of humanity, and engage with it (not just for profit and shareholders).

As the consciousness of a leader develops and expands into objective consciousness he or she increasingly becomes more capable of seeing the higher reality with clarity, of seeing through dogmas and prejudices. They are open to meeting others where they are at because they have developed an impartiality which is not indifference. Rather, it means that the centre of gravity of their consciousness no longer resides in their own personality, but is instead in their Essence or Being. Thus, all of us need to unfold our capacity for enlightened leadership, and exercise it in our own environment. Only thus will we be able to move forward into an Age of Light, an age of lighted wisdom and compassion.

A vision of right relationships

In concluding remarks, it was noted that balance and discernment are essential not only in managing progress along the horizontal path of knowledge but also for moving into the higher realms and the vertical path of wisdom. Advances in science and technology alone are expanding so swiftly, it is now doubtful any single mind could claim to have a good grasp of the whole. Indeed, most people can identify with the struggle to keep up with the implications of modern living: nanotechnology, genetic engineering, climate change, biodiversity loss, and so on. This avalanche of information and knowledge has the potential to drown out reflection on values and principles, just as the light from our cities is making it more and more difficult to see the stars.

We have to be mindful that our pursuit of horizontal knowledge doesn’t come at the expense of distancing ourselves from each other, from the natural world, and from the sacred dimensions of existence. Of course, let's use the light of knowledge to bring the standard of living of the majority of Earth's people up to an acceptable level. But let's not allow that light to blind us to the deeper needs of the heart. We need the vertical inspiration that can let us weave together a cohesive vision of right relationships, a vision that gives us a truer sense of priorities and values, a vision that resonates with a sense of higher purpose.

New York

Opening remarks invited the audience to consider the search for light and the revelations it brings as a primal urge in the human being. Light has always been associated with spirituality. Ideas have always been associated with light too, as epitomized in the familiar cartoon of a light bulb lighting up in the head of someone who is having a bright idea or moment of genius. Psychological light is a very real thing that occurs through the pineal gland. As light plays on this gland from the soul it stimulates the insight and imagination, inspiring the personality to be creative in some way – for it is when we are creative that we are pushing the boundaries of consciousness and discovering more of who we are. True creativity is a mark of the consciousness reaching out to, and being impressed by, the soul, through the imagination.

The imaginative use of light is increasingly and ingeniously being developed in many fields with beneficial results: for example photovoltaics converting sunlight into electricity; photonics enabling cancer detection and analysis of cells and bacteria; restorative laser surgery; lasers combined with cameras can shoot down mosquitos around hospitals reducing the menace of malaria; tractors with camera sensors can analyse crops to respond to inter and intra-field variability resulting in precision agriculture; and carpets woven with direction indicators to exits which illuminate if a fire starts. These are just some of the ways that the science and technology of light is serving humanity.

It’s clear light is currently pouring into the planet through many minds, for the world is full of ideas of various qualities and in various shapes and forms. New paradigms of thought come and go in politics, economics, the social sciences and education, as experimentation takes place and societies slowly take a tentative step forward towards further integration. There’s no denying that it’s a case of two steps forward and one step back as all of this light and all of this thinking is also exposing and stimulating the darker side of human nature. We are in a time of planetary transition and much chaos and confusion is being caused as the light reveals the dualistic nature of the human condition, and good and bad clash in every human being, every society, and every nation. No-one is exempt.

But through the chaos and confusion, humanity is beginning to touch the vision of oneness and unity and a new world based on love, sharing and “seeing whole” emerges. The trend towards meditation practices of various kinds is an indication of this. The vision of the future will come about through the holding of the mind steady in the light of the soul. Light then comes as insight, inspiration and intuition, and there is a shift from intellect, to the higher mind. As more people turn towards meditation, mindfulness, and concentrated thinking and study in areas of importance to human development, the world is becoming steadily filled with light – both physically and psychologically. The two are directly related – the increase in quality and abundance of physical light on the planet being an outer symbol of the increase in quality and abundance of light in the world mind, as it pours forth from the collective soul of humanity. So, while World Goodwill places a great emphasis on tackling the many challenges that humanity faces in this chaotic and troubled transition period, it also seeks to build and hold a positive vision of the future to work towards.

The illumined mind

On the subject of vision, Dr Michelle Pearce, former Director of Mindfulness at the Vanderbilt University Center for Integrative Health, noted that working with and holding to a vision requires a certain level of development. For so long, the focus of science was on the study of the pathology of the brain, but an entire generation of young researchers and neuroscientists, who are also avid meditators, are now shifting the focus to exploring the healthy functioning of the brain and the notion that the brain is simply the receptive vehicle that provides the interface between the mind and the body. Psychology is moving into investigations of superconscious realms, higher values, and strengthening the awareness of mind and consciousness through the development of various techniques such as meditation and positive psychology, all of which increasingly reveal an illumined mental awareness.

There are many great contributors to our current ideas about consciousness, each building and developing ideas that point to a greater understanding of mind, soul and the light within. Freud, Jung, and Frankl produced some of the most important contributions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is notable that, at that time, due to the wide split between science and religious thinking, any exploration into consciousness was relegated to the realms of eastern philosophy. Perhaps it could be hypothesised that in that period, humanity had not yet achieved sufficient conscious awareness to explore its own consciousness.

Because of Freud’s work in psychoanalysis, the unconscious mind, previously unknown, was brought to light and found to have significance for medicine and healing. As Freud delved deeper into the unconscious, revealing and exploring its more base animal instincts and impulses, his disciple Jung, a true spiritual seeker and a keen student of eastern philosophies and religions split from Freud to study the higher regions of the psyche. The impact on the human mind when the light of the east dawned within the Western mind and intellect should not be underestimated. For Jung it led to an avid exploration of the inner subjective realms of consciousness with its previously unknown forces and archetypes, psychological complexes, synchronous events, individuation and the importance of the integration of the human psyche. A new field of study of the psyche opened up, paving the way for ‘positive psychology’ focusing on psychological growth, expansion, and the nurturing of higher values and functioning and how to bring this gift of increased lighted awareness and flexibility of behavior and functioning to everyone.

Another great contributor to the modern understanding of consciousness is Victor Frankl. Frankl wrote from his experience as a Jew and prisoner in several of the Nazi concentration camps. He believed that man’s spirit is capable of overcoming the limitations and hardships of his surroundings and circumstance through a will to meaning or purpose and he proved this for himself while in Auschwitz. He assisted many individuals in the prison camp to find meaning and worth in terrible circumstances, and observed that those without meaning were the first to become discouraged and succumb to death. Frankl was an inspiration and as such brought an important spiritual note to the work of psychology. One of Frankl’s many inspiring quotes reads: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

He believed in the importance of personal freedom and choice, and saw happiness as a by-product of a meaningful life well lived. This idea of self-determination and choice is one that seems to be very important in studying the mind and revealing the light of the soul. What we witness in psychology is that people heal as they become aware that they themselves can be responsible for the choices they make, and how they face the psychological complexes that they may be struggling with. There is almost a palpable increase in the lighted awareness of such individuals when this occurs, and the happiness that Frankl talks about becomes a living reality through a feeling of empowerment over suffering. This moves beyond having a belief or statement of affirmation, it is a profound recognition of how to use the mind and will to face life and entails a significant amount of lighted awareness and personal will.

This theme was further developed by a colleague of Alice Bailey’s, Roberto Assagioli, another trained physician/psychiatrist and contemporary of Frankl, who also suffered because he was Jewish. Assagioli drew on insights from the ageless wisdom teachings found in the books by Alice Bailey and specifically applied them to psychology. Assagioli’s work is still in evidence today. He used applied visualizations and imagination to help open the mind to its higher and more expansive possibilities. Moving forward in time, one of our modern-day thinkers Ken Wilber, using his own meditative experiences and studies of eastern and western knowledge on the subject of consciousness, developed his “theory of everything”, which opens the door to research on contemplative and meditative practices.

Others who have contributed to the expansion of lighted consciousness in psychology include Aaron Beck with his work in cognitive therapy; Francine Shapiro with work treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, helping the patient to learn to modulate and become aware of their memories in a way that will bring healing rather than be re-traumatizing; and Jon Kabat-Zinn, who explored the effects of meditation on psychology and physiology and developed an eight week course he called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. He defines mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally, cultivating awareness of all that is occurring, and revealing interconnectivity. The effects of mindfulness have been extensively studied - not only are distressing symptoms relieved and stress hormones reduced, but telomeres, the cellular indicators of the length of a person’s life span that can be damaged by illness and stress, are actually regenerated.

The research studies on the effects of mindfulness have started a virtual revolution in our understanding of the power of awareness and thought over physiology and psychology, pain control and suffering. Researcher Richie Davidson and others have found enhanced integrative brain functioning to be positively correlated with greater ability to be consistently aware in the present moment and to have the freedom to choose positive emotions over negative emotions and reactions. They have also found that this greater awareness correlates with the number of hours spent meditating, with ‘Intention’ playing a pivotal role. Thus it seems that awareness, the illumined mind, is the key to conscious growth, healing, and relationship, and that psychology is exploring how to bring more intentionality and intelligence into working with awareness itself.

Some of the important areas that the last forty years have contributed to human awareness include: the importance of the mind and thinking for health and optimal human functioning and relating; the profound interconnectivity of the body, brain, and emotions and how emotions are regulated or not through the body, brain, and thought; the part that conscious attention, intention and focus play in the capacity to expand mental awareness into the farther reaches of consciousness; and the relationship of thinking and the perception of past, present, and future to the happiness of the individual.

The revolution in consciousness research is creating an illumined group mind of humanity that is essentially redefining who we are, what we are capable of, and how we think and relate to ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Right relationship with self, others, and the world around us is only possible when the mind is illumined—seeing clearly, capable of being keenly aware in the present moment and able to relate rightly to the body and emotions. We are finally discovering how to see through a clear and illumined mind. The achievements of enlightened individuals with illumined minds have become recognized as a source of inspiration and aspiration. Once the illumined mind is achieved, the possibilities for the future become wonderfully brilliant and infinite.

It is important to note that the path to achieving an illumined mind is a process, just as our physical understanding of light and light-based technologies is an incremental process of ideas developed through and over time. Prior to Ibn al Haytham’s scientific investigations of light (circa 1015 AD), vision was considered to be caused by a fire, essential light, residing within the eye, which as it shone out illumined the world. Eight hundred years later, Augustin Fresnel suggested that light is a vibration in the ether, a wave phenomenon, just like sound waves. Fifty years after Fresnel, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light is an electro-magnetic wave whose vibrations ripple through space. Fifty years later again, we have Einstein’s theory of relativity, with its understanding of light in space and time; and a further fifty years later, in 1965, Charles Kao’s discoveries led to the development of optical fibre technology. Another half-century onwards brings us to 2015, the International Year of Light, a celebration to mark a series of anniversaries in the history and development of our scientific understanding of light.

Poets, philosophers and esotericists often think of the light in terms of consciousness: knowledge, wisdom, understanding, joy and beauty are all characterized by different tinctures of light. In a future age of light, we can expect wisdom and the more refined lights of the soul, to be reflected in an outer world of light-based technologies and arts. Culturally this inner light will be expressed by a deeper and richer understanding of wholeness and interdependence. It is not the eye that changes but the mind that interprets what comes through the eye to see wholeness and interdependence in a way that we can’t even imagine seeing it now. This will increasingly inform every profession and every aspect of life, from economics to psychology, art to politics.

Light in spiritual cosmologies

Our understanding of light depends upon our vehicles of perception. Kathy Newburn from World Goodwill shared Leonardo da Vinci’s thought “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of”, adding that perhaps this ability to see more deeply is also descriptive of people following a spiritual path – those who by their application to meditation as a way of life have become able to penetrate behind outer appearances and to consequently see that which is not so apparent to others.

Our ability to see and perceive has changed over time to the extent we now see colours that were veiled to people in past centuries. From this, we can take it that our present perceptions are unlikely to be the end of the road, as in time we will unfold more refined vehicles of perception with which to see more deeply into the nature of reality and subtle realms of colour. This will loosen the gripping hold of the materialistic forces. It is said that within the realm of spirit, all things are one, and within the realm of soul there is differentiation. Light is understood as the interplay between spirit and matter, the result of the process of differentiation, as the pureness of spirit begins to take on and become qualified by colour, hue, note and vibration. Helena Blavatsky wrote “Darkness is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light. Without darkness light could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is matter and darkness pure spirit”.

Throughout history, humanity has always had its Light Bearers, those who came forth to reveal the transcendent nature of reality and to lead humanity forward to take its next step. Such individuals taught through their very being the means whereby light could be contacted, known and expressed as a way of dissipating the dogmas and delusions of the material world. One of the greatest teachers was Patanjali who was said to have lived 12,000 years ago and who was the first person to set down the oral teachings of ancient India. Patanjali’s teachings on the Raja Yoga sutras, the “kingly science of the mind”, constitute a scientific technique for bringing in the light.

Another important teacher in world history was Plato. Plato’s allegory of the cave (in The Republic) highlights the deluded condition of darkness in which the bulk of humanity lives. Those who through their own efforts face the light, begin to emerge from the cave and must go through trials as they learn to see and take the light. Socrates insisted the enlightened ones are obliged to return to the cave in order to help free the prisoners.

Building in light substance

In concluding remarks, attention was once more given to advances in modern science and their spiritual implications. Earlier this year, physicists from Imperial College London stated they have worked out how to make matter from pure light and expect to do so within a year. This amazing claim is based on the formula e=mc2 which shows that mass and energy are intimately related. Atom bombs and nuclear reactors are examples of the formula working in one direction, turning matter into energy, but until now there has been no way to do the reverse, turn energy into matter. The difficulty is c2- the speed of light squared. It accounts for the huge amounts of energy released in nuclear reactions, and the huge amount you’d need to inject to turn energy into matter.

In the US, a team led by Professor Mikhail Lukin managed to coax photons of light together to form molecules, which is different from the work of the researchers in London in that it is actually a new form of matter. Most of the known properties of light originate from the fact that photons of light are massless, and that they do not interact with each other. As one physicist said "What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules”. The physics of what is happening in these molecules is similar to the light sabres we see in movies like Star Wars. The research may lead to progress in building a quantum computer.

Professor Lukin also said that while he and his team don’t know what it will be useful for yet, it’s a new state of matter, so they are hopeful that new applications may emerge as they and others continue to investigate these photonic molecules. He suggested that the system might one day even be used to create complex three-dimensional structures such as crystals wholly out of light. This exploration into high energy physics is a wonderful symbol of humanity’s point in evolution when it can control the relationship between light and matter. The scientific and esoteric understandings of light are bridging and no longer seem so far apart. The growth in human understanding of light has truly been a group experience combining practical observation and experimentation with the intuitive insights of psychologists, philosophers and practitioners of meditation.

In his book, Light Years Brian Clegg, a consultant who has worked for British Airways on new and innovative technology, describes how two exciting new frontiers - one which is slowing light down, and one which is speeding it up - both have the power to dramatically alter our concept of reality. The method used to slow light down is called “Slow glass”, an idea arising from science fiction but now beginning to become a technological reality. This bears out the esoteric truth that anything that can be imagined can be made possible and manifested when the time and conditions are right. Based on the combined theoretical work of Bose, an Indian physicist, and Albert Einstein, a new state of matter was produced by applying intense cold to a gas until it took on the characteristics of light. Using this Bose-Einstein condensate, scientists managed to drag back the speed of light from 300,000 kilometres per second to a metre per second.

Brian Clegg proposes that if light could be slowed down to the degree that it took a year to pass through such a substance, it could then be placed in a chosen location to capture a view. Then, a year later, everything that has happened in front of the “slow glass” would be seen behind it. Shift the “glass” into a building and it would carry a year's worth of light with it. You could have a window onto an exotic location, such as an erupting volcano, a tropical rain forest or a lunar landscape, instead of looking onto a busy street, which would be displayed for as long as it takes the remaining light to travel through the glass. For now, the difficulty is in capturing the whole scene as light enters the glass at different angles and travels at differing speeds. This has interesting correlations with our own attempts spiritually to “see whole” as the soul which sees from beginning to end, in contrast to the fragmented vision of the personality.

It has long been thought that the speed of light is a fixed, immutable, universal constant, but evidence is now accumulating that not only can it be slowed down, it can also be speeded up. Controlling the speed of light in this way will not only alter our understanding and experience of time, it will also help to liberate the concrete mind onto abstract levels of thought, and herald a new era in which humanity’s intelligence expresses life through its outstanding quality - light. As humanity moves towards this, so must it also move on and further express love and wisdom: creative force must be infused with love. The idea of “slow glass” is beautifully symbolic for a meditating group who work to absorb the light of the Divine Plan and release it into the world. In meditation the vibratory rate of the mind is stepped up and we contact light of a higher nature. By precipitating it and distributing it through mantrams, such as the Great Invocation, it is as if we are slowing down the light contacted in order to hold a vision before humanity. As we meditate we are creating a thoughtform of light substance that serves as a channel through which higher spiritual potencies can enter, ready to play their part if the opportunity is offered to them by mankind, and everything now depends upon the right action of people of goodwill. The New Group of World Servers are bringing to humanity “illumination and the attainment of the vision.”


Geneva

The seminar opened with the observation that light has fascinated us for centuries, if not thousands of years. Yet, do we really know what Light is? Even on the strictly physical plane we are not that sure. We know light as a wave phenomenon, but since the introduction of quantum physics we also know it as a quantum phenomenon, with photons which nowadays we can almost study individually. Thus from one point of view light is an energy of waves, from another it is a stream of particles.

For global sustainable development it is important we grasp the importance of light and the various technologies based on light.

According to Alice Bailey, “The three words: electricity, light and life express divinity and their synthesis is God. When we know the three as one in our own experience, then we know God.” We are now using and increasingly aware of the lowest aspect of light. The second aspect of light is on the point of revelation, through the right understanding of electrical phenomena. There lies the clue to the new age, the age of light, of illumination and of revelation.

Bringing light into dark places falls naturally into three stages:

1)The stage in which the beginner endeavours to eradicate delusion out of their own life by the use of the light of the mind – the light of knowledge.

2)The stage in which the disciple works with the light of the soul - this is the light of wisdom which streams forth, blending with the light of knowledge.

3)The stage in which the enlightened disciple works with the light of the intuition. It is through the blended medium of the light of knowledge (personality light) and the light of wisdom (soul light) that the Light is seen, known and appropriated. This light puts out the lesser lights through the pure radiance of its power.

Electrification and solar power

Alhousseini Issa Maiga, a researcher and teacher with the National Centre for Solar Energy and Renewables in Mali, noted that in the last five years, the installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity has increased eightfold globally. The development of a world-wide photovoltaic industry has led to a sharp drop in the price of PV systems. Thus, renewable energies are becoming increasingly important in global electricity production. Yet in West Africa, their potential has not yet been fully realised, due to various challenges, including lack of funding, inadequate regulation, and insufficient support from local authorities. Nevertheless, if these challenges can be addressed appropriately, they can be overcome, and local communities will benefit from the advantages of electricity, while attracting more investments from the private sector. Renewable energy appears nowadays as one of the solutions to the energy problems of developing countries with grid–connected applications by far the fastest growing segment of the market. PV is able to meet the demand for electricity while reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels, and ensuring economic and social development through multipurpose systems, tailored to local needs. Knowing the photovoltaic potential of the Sun Belt (roughly between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn), within an ambitious context benefiting from adequate political support and development measures, PV could become a sustainable and competitive technology, capable of delivering up to 12% of the electricity demand in these countries by 2030. Traditional biomass remains the main source of energy used by the majority of the poor and constitutes 80% of the total energy consumed for domestic purposes. These sources could be developed to reduce the burden of the poorest in their efforts to meet their energy needs. Nearly a billion people worldwide live in slums and have no access to any convenience. Poverty is increasing and inequalities are growing, although the wealth multiplies. As globalisation increases interdependence between countries, and political and economic choices continue to put the planet in peril, international solidarity is needed more than ever. The promotion of renewable energies will help to achieve this.

Subtle elements of light and health

Dr Albert van der Velde, an Integral General Practitioner specializing in orthomolecular and ayurvedic medicine, noted that the emergence of industrially processed food has led to more changes in our nutrition in fifty years than in the past 20,000 years. It raises the question, is our biological system able to adapt to this change? And are there any consequences for the more subtle bodies?

Science today is mainly focused on the purely physical plane, basically coming from intellectual knowledge and not from the higher or intuitive Mind. In the medical field, light is therapeutically mostly used in a destructive way: coagulation of vessels, cutting tissues, destroying skin problems etc..

It is likely that a large percentage of our diseases are caused by the environment and that our genetic material has a secondary role at most. The idea that our DNA is responsible for many diseases is diminishing. We acknowledge now more and more that the great majority of diseases are caused by environmental influences – food, climate change, pollution, electromagnetic change.

Two devices using light to measure health are the Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE) reader and the Electro Photonic Imaging (EPI) camera. The identification of AGE and the AGE reader is very useful given our over-consumption of sugars, growing obesity and problems with type 2 diabetes. There may also be a causative relation between AGE and Alzheimer's disease – the contracting and dysfunction of brain cells. Is there a possibility that our receptivity of higher frequency thought forms is also decreasing? By placing one's fingers on a treated glass plate, the EPI camera transfers images of the human body based on three principles of meridians, chakras and physiological systems. The EPI camera can see changes in patterns before symptoms appear. Therefore it might be possible to look for adjustments before symptoms arise in the form of diseases.

The light of higher values

Damien Barberà of the International Women, Broken Walls movement (FIMB) discussed FIMB’s focus on linking all those working for the revival of higher values and creating a better world for our children. In 2014, the movement’s global support network involved more than 300 million people in 80 countries. As a truly global matrix it lays the foundation for a new society. FIMB projects include:

1) the development of a solar cooker, constructed out of materials anybody could find in an African community, in particular Mali. Because deforestation is a problem, the cookers are made from basic recoverable materials - aluminium and paperboard – in place of wood. Various configurations and forms of mirrors made of aluminium and assembled by paperboard were tested to achieve a maximum concentration of light rays, allowing cooking temperatures close to traditional temperatures.

2) The Chromassonic System developed by Alexandre Homé. Chroma therapy uses specially selected colour radiations and sounds for specific ailments and treatments. To heal the human body effectively and subtly, it is necessary to restore balance. Each colour used in the treatment corresponds to a specific wavelength, which causes a reaction within the organism.

The advancement of light

In concluding remarks, it was proposed that vision requires a certain altitude of consciousness, but most assuredly our feet must also remain firmly on the ground. Vital issues need to be addressed if humanity is to bring some kind of harmony and order out of the current world turmoil and bring into being a new lighted era. World Goodwill’s work is to help bring vision into practical propositions. From a consciousness perspective, world history could be seen as the unfoldment of the Ages of Light. Evolution is the story of the advancement of light and its grounding on earth. We are now heading towards a future society that will be based increasingly on light and in the process bringing mankind to a collective self-realization that a human being's true identity lies hidden in the essence of Light.

The new age of light we are headed to will be characterized by an alignment between mind and cosmos – and this will be reflected in an alignment between the light of intuition in thought and culture and the immense potencies released by the light of the sun in energy, transportation, communication, lighting and heating. It is the responsibility of every person who envisions a future of right relations and who values the simple quality of goodwill in relationships to ensure that advances in the light of technology are equally matched by advances in the light of wisdom. May the light shine within each one of us so that we see, with increasing clarity and joy, that this is our work and it is what gives meaning to our lives.

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