It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

There's more to tomorrow than robots, flying cars, and a faster internet.
22C+ is all about Deep Futures, futures that matter. Welcome to futures fantastic, unexpected, profound, but most of all deeply meaningful...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Radical Transparency or Conscious Transparency?


Only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding can lead to these laws, the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.
Albert Einstein


In my recent post about Julian Assange’s idea of “radical transparency”, I stated that the concept has some degree of power, but that it will not free us from many of the hegemonies which restrict so much free thinking in modern society. I said that this was because our essential problem is not merely about information access, but about the way we are able to perceive reality itself. This mirrors Einstein’s oft-quoted statement that problems cannot be effectively solved at the same level of consciousness at which they are created. I believe that to really achieve radical transparency there is a requirement to begin to transcend ego-based consciousness, and for the broader community to activate Integrated Intelligence, or INI. My perception is that Julian Assange is still working at the same level of consciousness that he is trying to overthrow, so his potential to transform that level, that system is self-limited. 
 
In this post I will explain in more detail what true radical transparency would look like, if it included an advancement in consciousness as well as access to more information. However, to distinguish what I mean clearly from Assange’s radical transparency, I shall use the term conscious transparency.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Optimising the World?

Here I am in Beijing again, having just returned from the city of Chaoyang, about 7 hours drive north-east of Beijing. I was in Chaoyang with my wife Ping’s family. As usual they were very kind to me, and even gave me several presents for Christmas. My ten-year old niece gave me a knife and fork set, no doubt inspired by stories that westerners don’t use chopsticks! Very cute. All the love and attention enabled me to endure the weather, which hovered at around -20 Celsius at night, and outside during the day it was often around -6 to -10. Now here in Beijing it is much “warmer”. Around freezing point as the daily maximum. Tonight I head off to Shanghai for a few days. Haven’t been there for seven years, so really looking forward to seeing one of China’s most dynamic cities again.

Once again today’s post is being put up by Dr Alick Lau in Hong Kong, as I am unable to access blogspot through the Great Forewall of China.



Optimising the World?
As I have read more about Julian Assange’s radical transparency, I have become m increasingly interested in the way he sees the world. Here is a man following his “Bliss” (at least in a certain sense), and motivated by a strong sense of justice. In this post I am going to pull together a few observations about Assange, especially in relation to the idea of ways of knowing. Ways of knowing are the particular intelligences which we prefer to use to make sense of the world.

The WikiLeaks Mythology #2: Will radical transparency liberate us?



In something of an irony, I am unable to personally upload this post today. I am in the far north of China for another week, visiting family, and there are many restrictions on the internet here. BlogSpot will not open here (only government approved blog services work). So I am forwarding this onto my friend Dr. Alick Lau in Hong Kong, who is kindly putting it up for me. I can still read all comments because they are forwarded to my yahoo email account. However I cannot respond to them on the blog till I get back to Hong Kong in the new year.

Happy new year!

Marcus

***

Radical transparency is the information revolution that will change the world, according to Julian Assange. The concept appears to be that as much of the information hidden by governments will be released to the public as possible. While WikiLeaks has removed some key names and details from documents to protect people who might become targets for governments or terrorists, it appears as close to a free for all as we are ever going to get. This year alone the organisation has spilled about half a million documents, and will probably eventually leak about 250 000 diplomatic cables. So far, most of the documents have not been of highly secretive classification, but the principle is clear. Get as much out there as possible, to make governments accountable. It is power to the people.

Yet just how transformative would the world be if we had radical transparency? Let’s begin with a fairly mainstream media analysis. But I am not going to end there, as you shall see. The way to appreciate the extent of radical transparency, and its limitations, is by understanding the limits of the rational mind.

A recent online article entitled “The Geek Who Shook the World”, by WikiLeaks dissident Julian Assange’s former colleague Suelette Dreyfus, reveals much about the way that Assange has gone about putting together the WikiLeaks project and building his career as a “dissident”. Dreyfus worked in Australia with Assange for about three years to produce Underground (1997; e-book 2001). The book details the story of hackers in Australia and around the world.

I pointed out in a previous post that the WikiLeaks founder’s has a certain propensity towards grandiosity. The positive side of this is Assange’s desire for reform on a grand scale, as well as to instill that same passion in others. One of his favourite quotes is from the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the seas."

Clearly there is a strong idealism in Assange, directed at making positive change in the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The WikiLeaks Mythology (part 1)

 Computer rationality: shaping the way we see the world

Julian Assange clearly fits the description of a dissident - a person who offers dissent, who questions deeply the way things are, or who rebels against the system. Interestingly, Australia futurist Richard Slaughter (just voted one of the top four futurists in the world by the Foresight Network says it is the duty of all critical futurists to offer dissent. It is not good enough to simply predict the future, but to question deeply what is happening, or what might likely or possibly happen. I am in essential agreement with Slaughter. And although Assange would not describe himself as a futurist, he is a person committed to not only critiquing the way things are run, but also changing the way the future unfolds. In this sense I am sympathetic to his attitude.

Nonetheless, I have argued in previous posts that a vital requirement for a truly responsible action in the world - and that includes activism - is to become more conscious of our inner worlds and connections with the spiritual domains of mind. I argued that Assange, like all of us, is driven by soul issues which will inevitably affect the results of his actions. There is a certain drive for power and control within his psyche. My perception of this comes from my intuitive reading of him via Integrated Intelligence, not so much from observing his real world behavior.

The ways of knowing (WOK) Julian Assange employs in his everyday life and work greatly affect what he is able to perceive and understand about the world he is trying to change. His preferred and habitual ways of knowing also restrict his capacity to fully comprehend the cognitive “systems” in which his consciousness is embedded. In other words, the way he thinks affects his capacity to understand both himself and the world.

Make no mistake. Julian Assange is no different from you and I in this respect.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Cool Machine

 Soho at night
The Wan Chai district of Hong Kong is perhaps most famous as being the sleaze capital of the HK expat world, a hodgepodge of kabab shops, pubs and girly bars. There are also plenty of good, “clean” bars and restaurants there to make it a good night out with friends.  So it was that last night I made my way to a certain pub, walked in and sat down at the bar. On a small stage there was a talented Philippina band playing classics of western rock and pop, and I listed in appreciation as I waited for my friends. I was really enjoying the music, when a local Hong Kong man, perhaps my age, sat down beside me at the bar. He ordered a drink and then did what so many men do here in Hong Kong as soon as they sit anywhere. Those familiar with Hong Kong can probably work out what it was.

He pulled out a fancy i-phone-like device and became completely absorbed in it, ignoring everything around him. As far as I can recall, he did not look up once from the device in the 20 minutes or so I sat beside him. Then my friends arrived, and we moved away to a table nearby. We chatted over a drink for 30 minutes or so, then made a decision to move on. As I left I looked over and saw the same local chap at the bar. He was still there, completely absorbed in his device. I seriously doubt that he had listened to even one song the band had played, and he had certainly not talked to anyone.

One of my friends had been told about a certain groovy place across the way, and so it was that I found myself being whisked away by taxi to a quaint little jazz bar in the Soho area of Hong Kong. Soho is cool. Situated just a kilometer or so from the towering high-rises of Central, Soho is very hip and very, very hilly; its short, narrow streets are crammed together below old low-rise buildings. It’s a wonderful and workable mixture of the old Hong Kong and the new. The tiny streets are chock full of restaurants and bars. At night the clientele is mainly twenty and thirty-something expats and local Chinese Hong Kongers.

The street I was taken to was no place for cars – far too steep for that. Instead we climbed some very steep steps, and, after a little confusion, finally made our way down a dimly lit alley.

And there it was: the jazz bar.

Julian Assange: Saviour or Demon?

Julian Assange: looking to come in from the cold (others hope he stays there)

The question in the title is, of course, rhetorical. The tendency in many commentaries has been immediate deification or condemnation of Assange. Yet as I have argued, if we move beyond the immediate judgment of the man and his actions, there are much more fruitful questions to explore.

So Julian Assange is no saint. But who is? In my last post I used the WickiLeaks saga involving Julian Assange as a means to explore the way the male ego tends to project, namely through the Rebel and God-man archetypes. The idea of the Rebel requires little explanation, while the God-man is basically the part of us that likes to believe we can achieve masterful power and control over the world. The Superman character is the ultimate God-man. My intuitive reading of the situation leads me to sense that these archetypes are strongly represented in Julian Assange’s psyche – his subconscious, if you like.

Still, having soul issues which perpetuate drama does not make one’s cause or life a mere waste, or some kind of evil (although it may). It does, though, logically lead to a query. Is there a healthy expression of the Rebel archetype, or even the God-man archetype?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WikiLeaks & The Matrix: Neo Goes to Jail


 Marcus T Anthony's new web site and blog can be found at: www.mind-futures.com.

For more recent insight into WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and his feud with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, click here; where I have written an intuitive review on Domscheit-Berg's book, Inside WikiLeaks.

My last blog post was a relatively mundane comment on the implications of the WikiLeaks story for anyone who writes personal stuff on the internet, whether using their real identify or their pseudonym (which probably means several hundred million people!). This time I’m going to move into a rather ‘deeper’ level of the whole saga.

Most discussions in the mainstream media, including the blogosphere, examine issues at a fairly superficial level. They probe the surface level, the facts and arguments which define the appearance of a problem.  They will sometimes also explore the systems level of the problem, attempting to uncover hidden determinants which lie behind the scenes. Even the most radical of these, such as conspiracy theories, still tend to remain at a fairly superficial level of analysis. Someone is pulling the strings: the oil companies, the Chinese, the Illuminati, the aliens, whomever. The problem is that such examinations simply shift focus from one part of a system to another, regardless of how “hidden” that part may be.

I suppose you could say my “expertise” lies at another level beyond the systems - the consciousness domain. This is where mostly unconscious drivers and energies are influencing the problem.

The most popular version of the WikiLeaks story sees defenders and attackers lining up on two sides of a divide, ready to save or condemn Julian Assange. He is either a defender of free speech and accountability (the majority), or a criminal threat to social and political stability (governments and minority of the general public).  Defenders say we have the right to know what the government is saying and thinking. Attackers say he is dangerously destabilising the system.

Let’s move to the next level.

Behind all life stories there are deeper narratives which exist at a psychic level. Here I am going to examine some of the psycho-spiritual issues which underpin the actions of Julian Assange, in particular the soul issues which he is facing in this lifetime, including the karmic situations behind them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiLeaks in Love

Journalists, bloggers and media commentators have been having a field day with the Julian Assange/WikiLeaks case. So much is being written and discussed that it is difficult to keep up with it all. For futurists like me, and those passionate about the development of society and planet, the saga is of enormous importance. In fact there are so many issues, and the information is changing so rapidly, that it is difficult to articulate thoughts on it into any definite narrative. Given, this, I have decided to write shorter posts on the topic, taking one seminal idea at a time.

Julian Assange's OK Cupid photo

Let's begin with another recent development in the case, a somewhat ironic  one. Reporters and researchers (and undoubtedly government operatives) have been trawling the net and information systems in a bid to scrape together any information on Julian Assange. Yesterday, a story circulated through the media about Assange’s profile on the OK Cupid, web site where he (presumably) hoped to connect with women. Calling himself Harry Harrison, he wrote:

# I like women from countries that have sustained political turmoil. Western culture seems to forge women that are valueless and inane. OK. Not only women!
# I am DANGER, ACHTUNG, and ??????????????!
# Directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project which is, as you might expect, male dominated
# I have asian teengirl stalkers. Hello.
# Do not write to me if you are timid. I am too busy. Write to me if you are brave.
But wait, there's more!
What I’m doing with my life. Directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project which is, as you might expect, male dominated. Variously professionally involved in international journalism/books, documentaries, cryptography, intelligence agencies, civil rights, political activism, white collar crime and the internet. Formal background in neuroscience, mathematics, physics and philosophy.

Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say. One can only imagine how many women would have actually believed any of this to be true, given that it sounds like the ravings of a James Bond wannbe! 

On a more serious note, this does bring to the fore questions about information that we put on the web, even if it is anonymously posted under a pseudonym. This posting from OK Cupid was last updated 4 years ago. Right now the intrepid WikiLeaks founder is probably ruminating over every internet posting he ever made since the web began.

While today’s net trawling technologies are in their infancy, who is to say what will be available in ten, twenty, 100 years time? Perhaps all an amateur will have to do is know an IP address, type it in, then everything ever entered from that address might appear. And that’s just one top-of-my-head speculation. If such technologies become widely available, any person who assumes a position of power or fame might have their entire web browsing history made available to the general public. And this is not to even consider the possibilities of manufacturing fake web histories and postings.

It’s scary, and no doubt the Assange case will show just what is possible in this domain as of the present day. He has plenty of enemies in high places, and any information which even slightly defames him will almost certainly make the rounds.

The other irony here is that whatever does surface about the private life of Julian Assange, it will further suggest that there are limits of freedom of information.  Many in western countries, especially from "freedom-loving"  United States, have been deeply conditioned to think of freedom of information as being a given in a developed society. But just where do we draw the line? Perhaps you (like me) felt a little queasy about viewing Harry Harrison's photo here. 

Marcus

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The WikiLeaks Rebellion

Julian Assagne: Saviour or anti-Christ?

As I write this, I am sitting in Starbucks in Shekou, a satellite city of Shenzhen in southern China, near Hong Kong. Shenzhen is one of the biggest cities in the world. This is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you are not in China, nor a China watcher, you may have never have of Shenzhen. Shenzhen is actually the richest city in China, which is now effectively the centre of the world’s economy. Think about that: a city as big as London and New York combined, yet few westerners have ever heard of it. The world is changing, and fast.

Yet I am sitting in an American outpost, am I not? Starbucks is the epitome of American economic and cultural influence (some might say hegemony). The d├ęcor is that same laid back style as Starbucks everywhere, and there is some unidentifiable old-style jazz playing through the sound system. The Chinese staff can speak English, albeit rather basic. You can even get that great leveler of worlds and arguably worldviews here - the Internet. With a click I am online and am able to surf the net. But there is something slightly discomforting. My own blog (this blog) will not open. The Chinese government doesn’t like blogs. They don’t like free thought, it must be said. For example, I can’t access much information about the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony (yesterday) awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo  – although some stuff does show up. For those not in the know, the Chinese government has also generously granted Liu 11 years of free higher education – state funded re-education, that is – for suggesting that accountability might make a nice change around here.

I have no problem though, accessing information on the WikiLeaks saga, and there are certain eerie parallels between the way China has handled Liu Xiaobo, and the way Julian Assagne is being treated in the west. Both dissidents are currently detained by the authorities. Just how free are we really?

What are we to make of the Wikileaks saga? What does it mean for the future? What does it mean for those of us who have a commitment to a more conscious or spiritual path in life? (and many of you reading my blog have such a worldview).

Predictably, governments have been deeply disturbed by the breaches in security. Obama has called Assagne’s actions “deplorable.” Sarah Palin has called them “un-American” – which is one of her more factually accurate statements, given that Assagne is actually Australian.

Others see Assagne as a disciple of free speech, a neo-Neo (pardon the pun), a super-cool geek refusing to swallow the blue pill and be inserted back into the Matrix...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Synchro Summit at Yale

Yale University

For those of you interested in synchronicity, here's a link kindly provided by 22C+ member Rob MacGreggor (http://www.ofscarabs.blogspot.com). The link will take you to Dr. Christiane Northrup's web site, and is a rundown the first annual Synchro Summit held at Yale University’s Divinity School. The conference was attended by philosophers, scholars, and authors, and was held on October 15-17, 2010.


I almost made it there myself, but a little thing called work held me up - not to mention that I would have had to fly all the way from Hong Kong to east coast USA and back, all within 4 days! Maybe I will get there next year.

Marcus

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dumb to Smarter


As an undergraduate student at the University of Newcastle in Australia, way back in the age of mullet haircuts (when Duran Duran was cool and Madonna was hot) I wasn't such a great student.  I found study to be a real struggle. Much of the time I just couldn't get into it. I hadn’t found what I was passionate about.

The other problem was that I believed that I was stupid. Well, that’s not entirely true. Part of me believed that I was smart. There were conflicting belief structures held within different parts of the mind. It was a bit like having your car in 4th gear and reverse at the same time. The beliefs canceled each other out. How did this happen?

As a kid growing up I was convinced that I was stupid, which was probably due to the fact that people said so. Quite literally. In fact my older brother Jeffery used to call me "Dope", and there was always a vicious sneer when he used the term (in his defense, he was just passing the "shit" down one level of the system - he had been dumped on by others further up the line). 

In fact I was quite literally developmentally delayed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And another thing...

I'm back! 

After a rather long lay off due to other commitments, it's time for a post or two. In the last month I was very busy helping to organise the Shifting Hong Kong retreat with Ervin Laszlo, and also presented several workshops and talks at the Hong Kong Consciousness Festival. All of them went really well. The retreat went as well as could possibly be expected. We met at the  lovely Kadoorie Institute, Shek Kong in the New Territories, a remote rural area of Hong Kong. We spent two days talking about the shift in the consciousness of HK and the world.

At the end of it all, we formed the Shifting Hong Kong Wisdom Council, whose job it will be to organise the 2011 festival, as well as to promote activities associated with the development of mind body and spirit in Hong Kong. You might hear a thing or two about that here in the near future.

Another notable development is that I have started The Power of Integrated Intelligence page on Facebook.

Feel free to pop on over and join us!

Finally, here's a pic of me from the Wisdom of Wonder day, part of the festival. I was doing some private consultation sessions, promoting my books (as you can see), and I also gave a workshop on using Integrated Intelligence. This was taken at the end of the lunch break, which is why the other presenters are absent.



More soon!

Marcus




Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Bliss of Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro
I've often talked about people who intuitively follow their Bliss. A perfect embodiment of the principle is young ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro. His passion and enthusiasm are infectious. 

The ukulele is not generally considered a serious musical instrument, but Jake has changed that perception permanently! So don't let anyone tell your your preferred instrument of Bliss isn't legitimate! 

Jake does some incredible interpretations of the most unlikely songs including classics like Over the Rainbow, and even Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Below you can see him playing the Beatles' song While my Guitar Gently Weeps.
The best thing is that Jake will be playing at the Shifting Hong Kong retreat here in Hong Kong on the 22/23 November. 
So, without further ado, here's Jake...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I Don't Dislike Stuart Wilde

Stuart Wilde

 Marcus T Anthony's new web site and blog can be found at: www.mind-futures.com.

Thought I might just share a little something I wrote on another website today. The thread is called "Why I don't like Stuart Wilde." Stuart Wilde is a long-time spiritual teacher and mystics, and he wrote such classics as The Force and Miracles. Some people think Stuart is a spiritual genius, others think he's a scammer extraordinaire. The discussion is quite enlightening, because many of the posters writing on the thread fall into the trap that they accuse Stuart Wilde of. It's worth perusing, not so much for facts about Stuart Wilde, but for the enlightening nature of the comments there. But don't buy the judgments - or you'll be playing the game too!
Here's the link, to page 8 of the 'discussion', where I wrote under the name Nowbeing. I also cut and paste my contribution below.


http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message475830/pg8


Yes, there are 'issues' with Stuart Wilde. But you don't need spirit guides or masters to tell you that. It's important that you develop the capacity to 'see' this for yourself. In the end the psychic world is a spiritual trap. It can be a bit of assistance, but it has to be left behind for the real world - what is here and now. Just as no teacher can enlighten you, no spirit guides or visions can either. If you rely on spirit guides to tell you what's going down, you are giving your power away, and you are probably addicted to the psychic.
Having said this, there is much truth to what Stuart says about the darkness, ghouls, mobile phones, computers etc. All electrical devices can affect the human consciousness field negatively, and expose you to dark energy. You need to minimise exposure to electro-magnetic fields. I’m just writing this for the benefit of the person who said they’d decided to ‘leave’ all talk of negative entities behind. They do exist, but generally speaking if you ground your energy in the present, develop the right relationship with your ego (including judgments), and deal with the wounds of the inner child, they have little power over you.

By allowing the shadow to speak (going to 'hell') you can lessen the power of the darkness over you. Ultimately all such low density consciousness fields are connected to the ego's lust for control and power, so the key is to channel the ego and its connection to the darkness. Although I can’t explain that here, this really isn't that difficult. It will teach you more than a million visions from the aluna, the morph or whatever you want to call it.
I'm very psychic myself, but have learned to tone it down and live in presence. As soon as you go into the psychic, it is all too easy get lost in the mind and ego.
My final take on all this. What ultimately drags us into the darkness and ego - whether it be Stuart Wilde's darkness, my darkness, or anyone else's - is judgment. So, the chap who said Stuart Wild's darkness is our darkness is correct, in a sense. As soon as we try to elevate ourselves above him via moralisation and ego judgment (rather than neutral discernment which has no emotional attachment), we are in ego.
Ultimately all judgment is an attempt to annihilate and destroy the object of judgment.
There’s an easy way to know if your ‘negative’ perception of Stuart Wild is a judgment or a discernment. As you bring your perception or image of Stuart to mind, how to you feel? If you feel a kind of anger, contempt, or derision, its judgment. If the perception feels neutral, as if the negative perceptions have no intrinsic emotionality, then it is discernment.

Given this, almost all of what is written on this thread is ego-based.

Of course I have no judgment about that. ;-)





Marcus

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Practice of Spiritual Business


In my last blog post I argued that using spiritual perception – what I call Integrated Intelligence – in business and professional situations is perfectly acceptable. The development of Integrated Intelligence will tend to shift a person’s worldview to a more spiritual and ethical one, and shift the way they look at doing business in the world. After all, there is nothing intrinsically “unspiritual” about doing business or making money. They are neutral pursuits in themselves. An adventurous, creative and self-reflective approach to business can have benefits all-round. Indeed, both success and failure can lead to self-growth and wisdom. Business can be a spiritual exercise!

But what about the practical applications?

As you will recall from my previous post, there are seven practical core mental skills that Integrated Intelligence provides. These are: 
   
·        Integrated Location. The capacity to sense where things are, without having prior information.
·        Integrated Diagnosis. The ability to intuitively find the cause of problems.
·        Integrated Recognition is being able to immediately know some­body or something without ever being told about them or it.
·        Foresense. When you sense what is going to happen in the future.
·        Integrated Evaluation. Intuitively determining the wisdom or value of different options and choices.
·        Integrated Inspiration. Creative knowledge and ideas that come to you from spiritual sources, not your conscious mind.
·        Integrated Perception. The ability to sense the connections between and amongst things.

What I am talking about here is classical sixth sense. I am merely being specific about what you can do with it. Yet at a practical level, even if you are adept at employing Integrated Intelligence, it does not make you infallible. Intuition is imperfect, and has to be employed with some degree of respect for human fallibility. Just one small issue is the potential to confuse intuition with other inner voices and feelings, such as conditioning, expectation, wishful thinking, greed and the ego in general. In a connected universe, even the thoughts and intentions of others can affect your subconscious, as I outlined in Sage of Synchronicity and Extraordinary Mind.

Recently I received a call from Gino Yu at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He invited me to help organise the Shifting Hong Kong retreat/conference with well-renowned systems theorist Ervin Laszlo. Gino is extremely busy, so needed someone to take responsibility for the two-day event. I will outline the creative process that unfolded, because it demonstrates the practical application of INI and some of its core mental skills.

When we sat down to dinner, Gino told me that he was unsure how to focus the event, or how to decide its central theme. I told him how I would approach such a problem, and to his credit, Gino listened.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Robots Rising (still)

The Kowloon District of Hong Kong
 
 Marcus T Anthony's new web site and blog can be found at: www.mind-futures.com.

This just in from the robot brigade here in Hong Kong. Regular readers of 22C+ will recall that I submitted a programme to the Love Idea Love Hong Kong campaign. Called Urban Enlightenment, it is designed to help people slow down, connect with the present moment and with other people in the community. It is a direct attempt to help the problem of personal and social alienation in a city dominated by a bureaucratic and financial mindset that extracts much of the joy from human experience. Here is the response to my application, which I received this morning:

Dear Marcus Anthony,

Thank you for supporting the “Love Ideas ♥ HK” project, regretfully your application (application no. 900894 ) cannot proceed for listing due to one or more than one of the following reasons:

1.Execution is outside the territory of Hong Kong or its beneficiaries are not within Hong Kong’s local community.
2. Adequate and verifiable information has not been provided.
3. Project involves commercial content or promotion of products.
4. Execution period exceeds the 12 months period requirement.
5. Qualifications issues- e.g. organizations must be registered under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance for three years or more.
6. Project does not comply with the Terms and Conditions of the programme.

Please continue to vote or submit other projects to Love Ideas ♥ HK .

Any further inquiries, please email us at info@loveideas.hk and remember to quote your application number in the mail.

“Love Ideas Love HK”

And that was the email in its entirety. There was no name or signature attached to it. The precise reason for the rejection is not stated.
I can’t help but see the irony in this result, when a person takes a great deal of his personal time to try to help this pressing problem in Hong Kong, only to get a robotic, bureaucratic, impersonal response from a machine.

Looks like Hong Kong won’t be changing anytime too soon.

Later...

I just sent off a letter to the email address provided (see below). Let's see what happens.


Re: application no. 900894

Dear Sir or Madam,

I received a generic email this morning saying that my application for Love Ideas, Love Hong Kong had been rejected. There was no reason given. May I please know that reason? I suspect it was because I listed the finishing date as 2012. I did that only because that was an option provided by the software on your system (end 2012 was the latest finishing date listed), not because my application idea requires that much time. It does not. In fact this simple programme can easily be done over short periods of time, and a year is no problem.

If this is indeed the reason for the rejection, then I am disappointed that I took so much time to develop the programme. Why put the option of two years on your website if that renders the application invalid? Not meaning to be blunt, but this is an unnecessary problem caused by the system you have implemented, and would be easily avoided with a slight adjustment to your software.

I also find it ironic that my Urban Enlightenment programme, which is designed to help people overcome alienation and connect with others in society, is rejected by an impersonal, electronic, generic message with no name or signature attached to it. This is precisely the kind of thing that so many people in Hong Kong find distressing, and helps create that sense of impersonal alienation. I think applicants deserve better treatment.

If the goal of Love Ideas Love Hong Kong is really to show love and concern for Hong Kong and its people, then the least we should expect is to have a personal interaction with a human being at the end of it all, even if it is by email.

Sincerely,

Marcus T. Anthony

Friday, October 29, 2010

Should We Use Spiritual Perception to Do Business?


For a long time I have grappled with the dilemma of whether to teach business people how to use what I call Integrated Intelligence. Integrated Intelligence (INI) is a naturally occurring intuitive way of knowing. It can assist us greatly in understanding ourselves deeply, in comprehending life and the world we live. INI can be used in making decisions of all kinds, from such mundane choices as whether or not to watch a particular movie, or for life-changing choices such as who to marry or which career to choose.

There is also no practical reason why you cannot use INI at the office, for your business, or for making financial decisions. I have done this for a long time, and I know many others who do it to (in my next blog post I will detail practical real-world examples).

Make no mistake. Integrated Intelligence is powerful. It grants us an intuitive and mental capacity that brings with it great responsibilities. Take a look at the following list. As a person who uses INI every day, I have taken the time to map out precisely what these mental processes are:

Small Things and the Big Picture


Marcus T Anthony's new web site and blog can be found at: www.mind-futures.com.

Today, a little bit of philosophy of mind...

One day neuroscientist D. James Austen had a rather unusual experience as he waited for a train in London.
..he glanced away from the tracks towards the river Thames. …suddenly (he) felt a sense of enlightenment unlike anything he had ever experienced. His sense of individual existence, of separateness from the physical world around him, evaporated like morning mist on a bright dawn. He saw things “as they really are,” he recalls. The sense of “I, me, mine” disappeared. “Time was not present,” he says. “I had a sense of eternity. My old yearnings, fear of death and insinuations of self-hood vanished. I had been graced by a comprehension of the ultimate nature of things (Begley 2001 p 41).
One might expect that this profound experience would have led Austin to question some of the standard assumptions of mainstream science. Some might have interpreted the experience as evidence of a human perception that transcends ordinary awareness. Austen did no such thing. He concluded that it was merely “proof of the existence of the brain” (Begley 2001 p 41). Austen based this interpretation on the belief that “all we see, hear, and think is mediated or created by the brain” (Begley 2001 p 41). The experience was therefore ‘reasoned’ in reductionist and mechanistic terms.

It can be seen that Austen interpreted the experience in the language of neurophysiology. The event was an illusion created by the cessation of “certain brain circuits” – the amygdale, the “parietal lobe circuits”, and the “frontal and temporal lobe circuits” (Begley 2001 p 41). There is an implicit championing of reductionist knowledge, where analysis is the key way of knowing. With this comes a complete rejection of the actual insight (direct experience) provided by the mystical experience, and that insight was that there is a wholeness which pervades the cosmos. Here, the microscale neural activity has become more real than the experience itself.

This little incident in the life of one man epitomizes the entire discourse of modern mind science, which consciousness is defined in terms of the data gleaned from microprocesses within the brain, with the data at the first person level effectively ignored. What the neuroscientist sees is not the whole, but the parts, and those parts are mediated by technology. The image below shows what a neuroscientist might typically see of the ‘mind.’ The inner world of the mind, and the data of the mystical insight disappears with this methodology, while the reductionist and ‘scientific’ achieve privileged status within the system.


The excessive and unbalanced reductionism of much of modern science emerges from its materialism. The key issue is science’s often unexamined assumption that the microscale is primary, while the macroscale (whole) is secondary, built up from mechanistic micro-processes, in a one-way system. This is significant because reductionist science underpins neo-Darwinism, and neo-Darwinism underpins neuroscience, cognitive psychology and ultimately consciousness theory.

Mechanistic Western science, including the vast majority of mainstream evolutionary theorists, approaches the understanding of nature and cosmos in markedly different ways from thinkers holding a mystical/spiritual worldview. For Western science the focus is upon the bits and pieces of systems, the microscale. For those with a mystical bent, the whole – often in the form of ‘spirit’ - is seen as important, and often as the very basis of the entire system. The predominance of reductionism in western science illegitimates the very knowledge base of mystical spirituality and integrated intelligence, and conceals the knowledge it might potentially contribute to our understanding of the world and the cosmos.

This has been disastrous for the representation and understanding of inner and intuitive worlds. First person experience and all the data within the mind, has been reduced to neuro-chemistry and micro-processes. This has resulted in the rejection of thousands of years of


Magnetic Resonance Imaging; (MRI) brain scan. The modern neuroscientist does not see into the mind. What she sees is the ‘surface’, the externalities of the brain. This methodology and this culture emerge from the mechanistic paradigm.

data garnered from mystical spirituality. Current cognitive psychology continues in this vein, and its reductionism is typically uncritically represented in both academic and popular science. Charles Tart writes that a repeated theme is the attempt to explain consciousness via simpler, non-conscious sub-components, reducing the mind to information processing within physical systems. The digital computer has inevitably become the key metaphor.

A passage from neuroscientist and sceptic Michael Persinger (2001) sheds further light here. Persinger consistently argues for a reductionist and brain-based explanation for paranormal phenomena. His verbs of knowing (in bold) reveal an interpretation that is typical of the critical/rational worldview and modern science.
From the perspective of modern neuroscience, all experiences are generated by brain activity, or at the very least strongly correlated with brain activity. As the complexity of this brain activity is mapped and described mathematically, the nuances of thought and the idiosyncratic noise that define us as individuals will be quantified. To date there has not been a single type of paranormal experience that is not understandable in terms of known brain functions. The consideration of these experiences as predictable (control) components of brain activity will allow the differentiation between the illusions of intrinsic stimulation and the validity of information obtained through mechanisms yet to be explained (Persinger 2001 p 524. Italics added).


Here Persinger presents a hyper-materialistic conception of mind, mirroring neo-Darwinian assumptions. His view epitomises mainstream discourse in psychiatry and cognitive psychology, where the brain and consciousness are depicted as essentially synonymous. Internal choice/free will (which is difficult to reduce to micro-components) is often depicted as an illusion, and all unknowns are explained in terms of “mechanisms” that – even if unknown at present – will be identified in due course. More than a hundred years ago, William James referred to this kind of thinking as ‘promissory materialism’. Thus Persinger effectively eliminates first person data from the discussion, reflecting deeper paradigmatic asumptions – most notably the mechanistic paradigm’s reductionist privileging of micro-processes over macro-level processes.

The verbs of knowing tell us much. Microscale neuronal activity is “described” and “defined” – where visual and verbal/linguistic intelligences are key. The verb “mapped” represents the materialisation of subtle phenomena, ascribed to the hard page, and in abstract form. It can be seen that five key ‘rational’ ways of knowing are given privileged status: experimentation, analysis, classification, mathematical/logical and verbal/linguistic intelligences. Mathematical description is the ultimate validation process, and consciousness is depicted as “quantified… idiosyncratic noise”.

With this kind of representation of psi experience, the material substrate becomes the entire focus of the examination, while the mystical experience itself becomes forgotten, almost invisible.

There is another notable weakness in Persinger’s account. There is no deep questioning at the systems or worldview levels. This is consistent with empirical science’s typical reluctance to submit its own worldview to scrutiny, or to consider the possibility that its knowledge structures have a socio-cultural basis.

Persinger is an actor in a mythological play, playing the role of detached and impartial scientist. His part is to act as if he is untouched by the uncomfortably affective world of the human psyche and its nebulous, intuitive feelings.

Personally, I doubt that any human being exists in such a floating fortress of perfect objectivity.

Marcus

References

Begley, S. (2001, May 7). Religion and the brain. Newsweek, 52–57.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Power, Spirituality and the Modern Mind


The modern mind and the way that we employ it is not "natural". The way we think and feel is not purely genetically determined. We use our brains far differently from the way our ancestors used them. The advent of writing, mass reading (the printing press) and computers and the internet have all heralded massive shifts in the way we operate mentally. In recent decades research has clearly shown that the brain is far more plastic than once thought. Repeated habits of thought and action imprint themselves upon the brain and its neuro-chemical pathways.

For example, long hours using the internernet tends to activate the the left-frontal area of the brain. This enhances visual spatial intelligence and the capacity to efficiently sort data into categories (schemata). However, as Nicholas Carr points out in his brilliant book The Shallows, recent research indicates that this enhancement comes at the cost of mathematical and linguistic intelligences and critical reasoning; and arguably retards the capacity to feel at depth, moralise and to assimilate wisdom. I'll be saying more about this in upcoming weeks.

For those interested in the historical interplay between scientific rationality, religion and mysticism, I have uploaded Chapter 3 of my book Integrated Intelligence to scribd.com. (it is in academic form, however). For those not inclined to read the whole chapter, you may be interested in the "map" at the end of the chapter which outlines the interplay of the history. You can read it here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/40289936/Power-Spirituality-and-the-Intuitive-Mind

Go well,

Marcus

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wild Things of the Spirit



Here’s a slightly immoral morality tale, which appears in simplified form in my book Sage of Synchronicity. In that book I edited out some of the more spicy parts of the story, just in case the book got banned in Iran or somewhere like that. However, after a year or so of deep reflection, I have decided to reveal it in its full glory here. Any resemblance to people living or deceased is purely coincidental. Unfortunately the part about me is true. The story covers a time in my late twenties when I was enrolled as a postgraduate student at the University of Newcastle, Australia.


This stint in Newcastle was a more positive one for me. I also started having some fun. I played rugby for the university club, went out to dinners, even to dance clubs. In many ways I miss those days in Newcastle, when I waited for the wisdom of Spirit to manifest through visions and songs, worked sporadically as a relief teacher, and absent-mindedly planned for the future. I was twenty-nine years old single, free, and very much a New Age space cadet.
My best friend at this time was Gary, another PhD candidate who lived on campus at the university. Gary was ecstatically single. Unlike me, Gary had little self-doubt and was a womaniser of notorious and uncompromising skill. We regularly went to clubs and discos. Gary needed a side-kick to kick-start his act (it’s harder to meet women when you are alone, as Gary often pointed out). He was very intelligent, funny, and spiritual in his own way. A typical night out would see Gary and I hit the dance floor. I would dance head down with typical shyness, while Gary would jiggle around smiling and having a good time, flirting with every girl within eye shot. As often as not Gary got the girl. I never did.
The truth is that the prospect of shacking up with a strange woman terrified me, and even when some came close, I would push them away. Not so for Gary.
From my work as a relief teacher, I earned just enough money to live week to week, but I had no specific career ambitions. I retained my deep passion for the spiritual realms. It was just that I was just becoming a little more worldly.
One week I got some song guidance which picked up my hopes regarding women. I woke one night hearing She’s an Easy Lover. I went back to sleep. Then Wild Thing by the Trogs kept coming through.
The next night this repeated. Was I was being told something? Was I about to get lucky?  Miracles had been known to happen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Urban Enlightenment

The following is linked to the Love Ideas, Love Hong Kong campaign. I have submitted my Urban Enlightenment programme to them for consideration. The winners are chosen by public vote, so I will make the odd reference to the programme here on 22C+ from time to time.



There was a time when people retreated to quiet caves in far-distant mountains or to simple huts beside the ocean to sooth their soul, rediscover their spirits, and to find enlightenment. The Buddha rejected earthly materialism and meditated under a banyan tree, while Chinese mystic lived a secluded life in rural, rustic China. The serene lives of mystics seems as far removed from the modern hustle and bustle of Hong Kong as you could possibly get. 
Given that most of us do not have the luxury of escaping to a secluded spiritual retreat for a year or two, the key question for you and I is whether there is a way to reconnect with the spirit and remain at peace, while being a part of the energy and vitality of Hong Kong? 
When I came to Hong Kong six years ago I had already spent more than a decade exploring the mind through meditation, spiritual practice and direct academic research. Initially, I found the fast paced urban environment of Hong Kong to be very challenging. So I set about developing ways to help myself stay connected to my soul, even as I went about commuting, working and socialising. 
Urban Enlightenment is the result of that quest. It is a 30 day programme to help you restore the soul, find peace of mind, and just relax more and enjoy life in the present moment. The great thing is that it helps people slow down and connect with others, and enjoy all the great things about Hong Kong. The truth is that there are literally thousands of opportunities every day to centre the mind and allow inner peace. 
Urban Enlightenment teaches people how to do this. The project will consist of the creation of a single web site which will feature the 30 daily activities. The activities will have written text of no more than 500 words, plus a short YouTube video explaining how to do it.  It will also have a list of all the great places to visit, and things to do in Hong Kong which can help people restore their spiritual vitality.
All activities have been created for people with a busy Hong Hong lifestyle, so they do not require much time. Many require only a minute or two. There is an option for doing a short 10 minute meditation each morning, if the person chooses.

Here are a few of the activities which will appear in the programme. Note that the actual text will be less than 500 words on the web site, and in the booklet.


Finally, here is The Introduction to the Urban Enlightenment Booklet and web site. 
Feel free to email me, mindfutures@yahoo.com, if you have any questions.

Peace (and enlightenment!),


Marcus T. Anthony (PhD)