The Nature of Truth and Reality
Bringing a New Paradigm to life
the future of our post-truth world: an interview with ken wilber
by jeff carreira
truth, goodness, and evolution:
an interview with
by jeff carreira
A Look Inside
the Nature of Truth and Reality Issue
truth, goodness, and evolution
“Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself.”
membership & calls
this issue'S featured artist: linda luttinger
The future of our post-truth world
the future of our post-truth world: An interview with ken wilber
By Jeff Carreira
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A poem by Adriana Colotti Comel
A poem by Ross Kempner
Drawings by Liesbeth De Jong
Spontaneous Writing Circle Entries
by Marilyn Roossinck, Kieth Ohlsen, Judy Voruz, and Lori Sandler
Featured artist: linda luttinger
truth, goodness, and evolution: An interview with time freke
By Jeff Carreira
'rÊVERIE' - art by linda luttinger
COver image by
Linda Luttinger, 'Road Tripping'
Emergence Education Press
Adriana Colotti Comel
Liesbeth de Jong
'Jump' - art by linda luttinger
The editors can be reached by email at:
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mystery school Instagram account
mystery school Facebook page
mystery school YouTube channel
A Note from the Editors
a note from the Editors
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the artist of possibility
In this issue of The Artist of Possibility, we explore the nature of truth and reality. And what better way to do this than to include interviews by two pioneering philosophers whose teachings and writings have affected thousands of people around the world?
In these pages, Ken Wilber will summarize for us the main content of his new book, Trump and a Post-Truth World. We will also be talking to Tim Freke who will offer his visionary new understanding of the nature of reality and the purpose of life.
Once again, we have also included several contributions from our members. These contributions also serve in inspiring us to open up to different possibilities when it comes to the way we see the world, and we are very appreciative of these added gems to our publications.
Finally, throughout this issue, we have included the works of a Montreal-based artist named Linda Luttinger. Linda's art seemed like a perfect fit for this issue, given the dream-like quality of her pieces and how they may inspire us to open up our minds and hearts to seeing beyond what we have been conditioned to assume is true or real. To learn more about Linda, you can find her information on page 9.
As always, you can contact the editors here.
Our minds can only help if we use them to dispel the assumptions that will clear the way to faith - faith in what we cannot see with our five senses.
— jeff Carreira
'Enchanted' - art by
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AN ONLINE JOURNAL:
Each issue of The Artist of Possibility
will include the voices of some of today’s most respected paradigm shifting luminaries, as well as contributions offered by our members.
The Mystery School for a New Paradigm publishes an online journal containing articles, interviews, art and poetry that express and explain the emerging possibilities of a new paradigm.
In our pages, you will find information about the ideas, people and perspectives that are catalyzing new ways of seeing, feeling and acting in the world.
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Don't miss our seventh issue, set to publish on July 15th 2021, where we will be exploring the topic of Health and Well-Being.
The Artist of Possibility is offered free of charge. Subscribe here to receive your quarterly copy:
This issue's featured artist is Linda Luttinger who has graced us with many of her dreamy pieces that we have spread out across this publication.
Visual artist, musician and art educator from Montreal, Linda Luttinger explores in her work a variety of techniques such as digital illustration, collage, image transfer, acrylic painting, oil and drawing. Inspired by the magical realism of Peter Doig and the work of abstraction by Gerhard Richter, her paintings lie at the border between the real and the illusory.
To know more about Linda, or to purchase her work, please visit her website at www.lindaluttinger.com
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'virtual hug' - art by
selected by the collage garden as part of an international collage contest called ''out of the box''
This issue's Featured artist:
As part of our exploration of Truth and Reality, we wanted to turn to Integral philosopher Ken Wilber for his vision of the future. Ken Wilber is the originator of Integral Theory and he has applied that theory in fields as diverse as ecology, sustainability, psychotherapy, psychiatry, education, business, medicine, politics, sports, and art.
In this interview, Ken shares his view on the divided and polarized state of our culture and what it will take for us to unify into a coherent whole again. He offers a sweeping vision of the culture wars that have emerged in our society, the value systems at work behind them, and hope for a better future.
I want to start by saying something about what we’ve learned from developmental psychology. The ideas and attitudes that shape our culture don’t just appear out of nowhere; they grow and develop through predictable stages according to recognizable patterns of evolution. And, if we look at the different developmental schools that characterize those stages, there's an enormous amount of agreement as to what those stages are.
My book,Integral Psychology, includes an analysis of over a hundred developmental models from all over the world. Many of the models have identified a different number of stages, some recognize more, some fewer, but despite the differences they all chart a remarkably similar progression. Generally, you find six to eight major stages of development, but I think the best model for most purposes includes just four: egocentric, ethnocentric, world-centric, and Integral.
The first stage of development is called egocentric, which is a very selfish and narcissistic stage of growth. It tends to be exhibited in very young children before they’ve learned to empathize with another person’s experience. As they continue to grow, they move into what we call the ethnocentric stage of development and now their sphere of concern has expanded to include caring for a group of people that they identify with; a family, or tribe. So, the ethnocentric stage represents an expansion of their identity to include the people immediately surrounding them.
Ethnocentricity has a negative connotation, because it often leads to an “us versus them” mentality. At this stage, we are drawn to our group and other groups tend to be looked upon negatively. This stage is an expansion in our ability to extend love, care and concern to now include our group, but at this stage it’s very difficult for our group to get along with other groups. In its negative forms, this stage can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and all kinds of other phobics.
The next expansion is from ethnocentric to world-centric. At this stage, we identify not just with our group, but with all groups. And so, we start to move away from the ethnocentric “us versus them” mentality. We now start to believe that all people should be treated fairly regardless of race, color, sex, creed or anything else. This world-centric stage of development is a fairly recent one in our overall evolution.
As an example, it was at the world-centric stage of development that the institution of slavery began to be unacceptable. At ethnocentric stages of development, slavery is acceptable, as long as the slaves are not “us”. It is interesting to note that throughout human history slavery was widely practiced, but then, over about a hundred-year period from around 1775 to 1875, every major developed nation on Earth abolished at least the legally recognized institution of slavery.
That's only about 250 years ago. Up until that point, slavery was alive and well and more or less accepted. Then suddenly, at least in an evolutionary time frame, people started to recognize that one person owning another person was wrong. It became morally repugnant and terrible, and people generally felt that the institution had to come to an end. In the United States, a million people died in a civil war in part to end slavery only 160 years ago.
The advent of the world-centric stage of development brought a new sense of morality, a new sense of what is right and wrong, and a new understanding of what is true. But that stage of development doesn’t just come all at once; it develops in substages, and understanding these world-centric substages will help us understand what is happening in our culture today.
The first substage of world-centric development is called modernity. It was born out of the Western Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. Once it emerged, the cultural attitudes and beliefs of modernity replaced those of the Middle Ages that had come before. Science and its preference for rational thinking replaced the previous magic and mythic beliefs of the medieval church.
There's an apocryphal image of Jefferson sitting in the White House, holding the Bible and a pair of silver scissors. He's fiercely cutting out all of the mythic stories from the Bible because he wants to boil it down to include just the pure, rational moral statements. It was actually published and called the Jefferson Bible.
But remember that evolution takes time. Even Thomas Jefferson, one of the architects of the modern era, still owned slaves. He could recognize that it was morally repugnant, but he still owned them.
The advent of modernism was a huge change that introduced rationality and formal operational cognition as a dominant force in culture. And, within just a few hundred years, all of the modern sciences were born. This was a big, big change. And it brought with it the first stage of the modern era. Soon, most people being born were not born into the egocentric or ethnocentric stage, they were born into the first stage of world-centric development and so almost nobody in the modern world thinks slavery as an institution is a good idea anymore.
Modernity became the leading edge of culture. There were still people at the ethnocentric level and even some at the egocentric level, but the culture as a whole was moving toward modernity, and those that were already there were leading the way. They were instituting their belief in universal truths and the value of freedom and dignity for all people. Again, we have to remember that this takes time, and in many ways, modernity is still spreading.
In a general sense, however, human beings have been moving beyond the “us versus them” attitudes of the past for a few hundred years, and the ideal of universal human rights has in many ways taken hold. That ideal ultimately means that everyone has rights and must have access to the fruits of society. Democracy arose because it believed that all men should have the right to govern themselves (while not forgetting originally it was just men, and then it was extended to all black men and finally to all women).
Over the past half century or so, a later stage of modernism emerged commonly known as postmodernism, and with it came a new set of values. In postmodernism, a new value for diversity emerges that is a bit at odds with the quest for universality that characterized early modernism. This is when multiculturalism becomes important to people, but you can see this as a further development of the modernist ideal for universal human rights. First, there is an effort to universalize everything and create global systems, and then there is a movement to want to preserve and honor the diversity on the planet. This step is a move from the ideal of universality to the ideal of inclusivity.
So much of the divisiveness and polarization in our society is being caused because the inclusivity of late postmodernism is at war with the universality of early modernism. And if you look at the history of cultural development, it is common that as new stages emerge they tend to get into fights with the previous stages.
When science first emerged, it started to battle against the mythic ethnocentric structures of the religious world of the Middle Ages, and that's where we got the science-versus-religion battles. And so now, as this value system of inclusivity emerges out of the universality of modernism, it calls itself “postmodernism” because it is trying to go beyond what it sees as the limits of the strict and rigid universal systems that tend to only allow for one definition of truth.
The problem with universality is that it can’t accommodate the diversity of truths that exist. It only allows for one truth, and so if you don’t agree you can only be wrong or confused. Postmodernist thinkers like Foucault or Derrida started to argue that all cultures have partial truths and they all have to be included.
The postmodern stage that exists today at the progressive edge of culture is a champion for inclusivity and multiculturalism. It is good at differentiating and appreciating all of the diversity represented by various peoples and cultures, but it is not as good at integrating them into some kind of an inclusive whole that can work together. The ability to not only recognize diversity but actually harmonize it into a functional whole does not emerge until the next level of development beyond postmodernism.
Multiculturalism creates diversity, but it doesn’t create coherence. It doesn’t bind that diversity together again, and so it produces polarization. And this is also typical of the overarching pattern of evolution. If we look at how things evolve, whether they be cultures, or species or organisms, we find that the process of evolution first diversifies and then re-integrates. A single cell, a zygote, first starts to divide, and differentiate into two cells, then four cells, eight cells, and so on. Differentiation is occurring, but at the same time processes of integration are bringing those separate cells back together until a whole organism grows out of this process of differentiation and integration.
The great thing about rationality was that it integrated everything into universals. And the great thing about postmodernism is that it differentiates and recognizes diversity. But neither of these stages is capable of reintegrating that diversity. For that, we will need a stage of development called Integral.
The psychologist Clare Graves, who founded the emergent cyclical theory of human development, called the Integral stage of development a “cataclysmic leap forward” because at that stage we can integrate all of the diversity into a coherent whole again. The Integral stage of development reaches down and integrates all of the previous stages, and that is very, very important for where we are right now. At this moment only about 5% of the population worldwide is at the Integral stage. So It is starting to emerge, but just starting.
The postmodern stage of development emerged in the sixties with the inclusivity movements of the Boomer generation. The Integral stage only started to emerge about 20 years ago, and we're looking towards its emergence to unify and integrate all of the diversity of the previous stages and put an end to the divisive polarization that we are experiencing now. The Integral stage actually reaches down and embraces all of the previous stages, and right now that means unifying modernity and postmodernity.
This ties in with the theme of Truth and Reality of this issue ofThe Artist of Possibilityjournal because what distinguishes each new stage of development is that it sees a different truth and it has a different value structure. The egocentric stage values only its own perception of truth and “it’s all about me”; I'm the only one that really counts. It can’t empathize with the perspective of the other at all. A small child at this stage of development can’t imagine that someone else is seeing something different than they are. If you put a ball that is red on one side and green on the other between two children at this stage of development, they will each say that the other child is seeing the same color as them, even if they have been shown that the ball is two colors. A few years later, they will easily recognize that the other child is seeing the other color, and they have entered a new stage of development.
As the ability to see from another person’s perspective continues to grow, you eventually become able to see that everyone has a valid perspective. That capacity is what gives us the universal world-centric stages. But as we have moved into the postmodern stage of development, we still have the original universalist values of modernism now existing alongside the diversity values of postmodernism, and those two value systems don’t get along well at all.
At the postmodern stage, everybody has a partial truth and all truths must be valued as equally true. This view could also be called egalitarian. At this stage, you can't say that one culture is better than another, and this is what starts to cause trouble that results in culture wars. The modernist value system believes in free speech and individual rights. The postmodern value system believes in these things too, but it believes in social justice even more. It doesn’t fight for the rights of individuals as much as it does for the social justice of all groups of individuals. Postmodernists believe in free speech, but they don’t believe that the idea of free speech should include hate speech, even if the Supreme Court has ruled that it does. Unfortunately, the postmodern multiculturalists are often so committed to the value of multicultural diversity, and so certain they are right, that they don’t feel the need to even talk to the universalists of modernism.
The division and polarization between modernism and postmodernism is the main battleline right now, but of course there is still some ethnocentricity around. These ethnocentric structures include racism, sexism, misogyny, white supremacy, the KKK, Neo Nazis, etc. These things still exist, and they are very real problems that need to be addressed, but they don’t have that much institutional power. The biggest problem we face right now is the divide between the universalist ideals of modernism and the multicultural ideals of postmodernism. And I don't see anything on the horizon that is going to heal that divide except the emergence of the Integral stage of development.
The Integral stage can unite and integrate the previous two. It can bring the modern and the postmodern together, and historically when 10% of the population reaches a new stage there is a kind of tipping point. For instance, when the rational modern stage first emerged out of the medieval mythic stages, the tipping point happened at about 10% of the population. When the constitution of the United States was written, only about 10% of the population was actually in a position to fully understand the deeper implications and significance of what it represented.
The same thing happened with the emergence of postmodernism. In America, around 1959, the percentage of the population at the postmodern stage was about 3%, but by 1972 it had reached 10%, and suddenly the French postmodern philosopher Jacques Derrida became the most frequently quoted academic writer in America.
Right now, we're seeing 5, 6 or maybe 7% of the population at that Integral stage of development, and as soon as it hits 10% we can expect to see the same kind of tipping point. Until then, the battle between modernism and postmodernism will continue to create polarization and division, but after that we will start to see a new coming together.
'Day and night' - art by linda luttinger
The Future of Our Post-Truth World
An interview with ken wilber
by Jeff Carreira
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'Dreamweaving' - art by linda luttinger
w. tim freke
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'fishy dream' - art by linda luttinger
Tim Freke is the author of 35 books that include a number of bestselling and award-winning titles. Through his books and live events, Tim has touched the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In his work, Tim combines evolutionary science and deep spirituality to offer a visionary new understanding of the nature of reality and the purpose of life.
Tim is also someone whom I have had the pleasure of speaking with on a number of occasions. I feel a deep resonance with Tim as a mystical philosopher and spiritual realizer, even though we don’t always see things the same way. When we decided to create this issue on the nature of truth and reality, Tim was someone I knew I would want to talk to.
Jeff Carreira: Hello Tim, our theme for this issue is The Nature of Truth and Reality and, with you, I was hoping to speak about this topic from a spiritual and philosophical point of view. You and I both have a background in the philosophical tradition of Advaita Vedanta, and that tradition is rooted in an Idealistic philosophy that sees reality as essentially created from consciousness. I know that you have recently said that you were wrong about the “everything is consciousness” point of view of idealism, and I thought that would be a great jumping-off point for our conversation today. So, tell me, why do you think you were wrong?
Tim Freke: The thing I want to say first is that Idealism itself has evolved. I think the idea that reality isall the dream of Brahmanis a kind of mythic idea about God. All of the traditions have stories where something even more mysterious than the universe was there first and gave birth to the universe. That something is God in one form or another, but with the rise of science, it became unacceptable to just say, "God did it."
But the belief in a mythic God is only one form of Idealism. Another form says that there is a fundamental ground to everything that is an abstract thing called consciousness. And that's the view which I had. And now, by recognizing the failure of one of my own arguments for this, I realize I was mistaken.
Jeff Carreira: I liked what you said in one of your YouTube videos, “That is one interpretation of your experience.”And I would add that it’s not necessarily an invalid interpretation, but it's also not self-evidently valid.
Tim Freke: Yes, that's it, and the mistake that I see being made, and the one I made myself, is to prove the Idealist view by asking people if they have ever had an experience that was not a perception or a sensation in consciousness? But the answer already exists in the question. The question itself assumes that a thing called consciousness exists, but is there actually a thing called consciousness? Maybe we are not just experiencing perceptions and sensations in consciousness. Maybe we are actually experiencing the world. I think, as I've gotten older, I've headed more in the direction of common sense and believe that I am actually experiencing the world.
Jeff Carreira: Wouldn't you say that this is also part of the general problem with assuming that what I think about reality somehow represents what is really real.
Tim Freke: It seems obvious to me that concepts and systems of concepts are like maps which can never be the terrain. The menu is not the meal. They're different things, but you still want the best map you can get your hands on.
Jeff Carreira: I think this is why I've never been completely comfortable labeling myself as an Idealist even though I do see the world as fundamentally mental. At one time I distinctly considered myself a Materialist, but I suppose philosophically I am more of a Pragmatist than anything else. And that makes me deeply aligned with what you were just saying. I think it's best to think of our ideas about truth as models that are useful or not useful, rather than thinking of them as images of what's real and true.
Tim Freke: I would go with that, but I would also want to avoid Relativism, which sees the value of everything as relative to our purposes. In that way, we treat ideas like tools in a toolbox, we use this one like a wrench and that one like a screwdriver. That’s why there are so many people who are scientists in their day job and go to church on Sunday, they just see them as two different things. But the two things don't really fit together, and that kind of discrepancy bothers me. I'm not just looking for something that will get the job done. I'm looking for something to help me understand life in the deepest way and experience life in the deepest way. So, fitting it all together into some kind of picture seems really important as well.
Jeff Carreira: Yes, and one of the reasons Pragmatism as a philosophy died out for decades is because of the inherent problem of figuring out what it means for something to work better. Work better for who?
Of course, it is also true that often we believe those things that suit our purposes. I know we have talked about this before, but there is a way that you and I are both Pragmatic in the way we think. My background was initially in science as an engineer, and I was very devoted to a materialist perspective. So now I feel that our culture is too materialistic, and I want to shake up our unconscious materialistic assumptions. And you started in the spiritual world and I see you recognizing the 'stuckness' there and wanting to infuse it with a different worldview.
Tim Freke: I think that's right, but it is also not enough for me because I am actually looking for the truth. I'm not expecting to find the truth or nail it down definitely or absolutely, but I'm very interested in the evolution of how we conceive of this strange, mysterious, bittersweet thing we're in. And I want us to be able to integrate all the various aspects that we've learned about into a powerful narrative.
That feels like a noble pursuit to me. So, it isn't just that I want to shake things up. You spoke about shaking things up, but I’m saying that there's more to it. I think there's a chance to find something beyond just shaking it up.
Jeff Carreira: I would agree with that. And although I don’t think in terms of knowing what's true in an absolute sense, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an optimal narrative about reality that will help the most people. I believe that, in your case, part of what you are finding is that an evolutionary view of spirituality offers that possibility. In my own spiritual history, I was steeped in evolutionary forms of spirituality, maybe even more than Advaita Vedanta, so I am curious to hear you speak about this aspect of what you are discovering because, at this point, I’ve stopped talking so much about that part of my past.
Tim Freke: Jeff, I'm fascinated by that. Why did you drop evolutionary spirituality?
Jeff Carreira: I guess there are two main reasons. One, because I find that our modern notions of evolution are very wedded to Darwinian ideas of natural selection. And they're ripe with adverse hierarchical assumptions about progress and the inevitability of progress, and these assumptions prove to be unhelpful in many ways.
Tim Freke: You really are a Pragmatist aren't you? You select ideas based on their helpfulness, not on their truthfulness.
Jeff Carreira: Yes, but I do see those two things as very intimately connected. So, the other problem I have with our Darwinian model of evolution is that it takes place on the stage of three-dimensional space in linear time. So, there's always an assumed background of time and space. And I want to be clear, I wouldn't say that I don't believe in evolution, but I'm reluctant to use evolutionary ideas because I think there are other dimensions of reality that we are unaware of and our general view of evolution tends to be limited to the world we see.
Tim Freke: I would agree with that. My interest in evolution or emergence is about how it explains our experience. So, if I look at what I see right now, there's this process of change in which one thing emerges from the other. The world emerges; it's moving and it's changing.
And it contains within it the past, which is implicit in the present. And I don't know what it's going to become. It’s open-ended. And what I love about the scientific story is that, over 14 billion years ago, the universe started with the simplest qualities and eventually those led to life and then to the psyche.
One of the reasons a lot of people want to challenge science is because of Scientism, and the Reductionism, Determinism and Materialism behind it. They think it's going to rule out all of our spiritual experiences. It rules out the idea of the soul. It rules out life after death. Spirituality wants to defend its experience of the magic of life and the fact that life can be so dreamlike.
I want to say that science stopped too soon. It’s followed the evolutionary process up to life, but the process didn't end there. Evolution continued into a transmaterial realm. And that is the psyche or the soul. And that's what spirituality has been always exploring. Evolution is happening now from that realm. So, you've got to extend the story. There's a whole realm, the most interesting realm, waiting to be explored.
Jeff Carreira: There is a double-edged sword. On one side, the spiritual ends up demonizing the physical and material world, and that leads to all kinds of problems. On the other side, science demonizes the nonmaterial and there are other problems associated with that. So yes. How does one navigate to get the best of both worlds?
And something that just came up when you were speaking, that gave me chills, is the fact that what's going to be best is also going to be the truest. I can't imagine a truth that isn't also best. That is exactly the conclusion that my spiritual awakening has left me with. Truth and best are one. If something doesn’t work, it can’t be true because the truth is that reality works.
Tim Freke: That opens up another motivation for what I do that sounds like it might be similar. Every awakening experience that I’ve had has one thing in common, it feels more real, not less real. And I think it's more real because it's more emergent, more immediate. In these experiences, we're stepping into the next evolutionary level in some way. And so, it feels even more real.
One thing that has always been obvious to me is that whatever is truly good is also redemptive. In an evolutionary view, that means we see that all of this is moving towards something which redeems it. And always, at the heart of my realizations, has been this sense that although life is full of the most awful things, it's moving towards something which redeems it.
Jeff Carreira: And isn't that beautiful. Our spiritual experiences reveal something so true, good and beautiful, and so miraculous that the rest of our lives is spent in service of just trying to share that. How can we come up with a philosophy that will communicate it? What practice will ignite it in the hearts of others?Can I paint something, write something, or sing something that will make it clear? The secret is so wonderful that it wants to be shared.
Tim Freke: Yes. And I think my early books, up until a book calledThe Mystery Experience,were all about that. No matter what name I gave it, every book was about this oneness, this enormous love, this benevolence towards everything. It was all about the beautiful state of recognizing wholeness. And then, over the last period, which might have to do with the fact that both of my parents died and I sat with them through every day of that process, I started having other questions to answer. There was not just the deep mystical truth of spirituality, there were also questions about being a soul that survives death, for instance. You can't ignore death. If death is the end, how is the suffering of a two-year-old kid who's got cancer redeemable? How is death itself redeemable?
Unless death isn't actually the end, in which case redemption is possible. S,o it's important to think about death because this has a huge effect on how we live. Through that experience with my parents, I saw how the reductionism of science was seeping into our culture in the UK. I saw that it was touching me. It was touching my friends who'd all had mystical experiences, and yet, still had an underlying feeling that all this stuff was really wishful thinking. It's 'woowoo'. It's got no ground. And yet, I was having experiences which were not 'woowoo', they were more real than anything else.
Even though science is spectacular in its pragmatic success, many of its attitudes are very problematic. The old mythical spiritual ideas are not enough, Scientism and Reductionism don’t help. I believe that we need to think about all this in a new way. And my question became, how can I articulate this in a way that has intellectual respectability? And I have come to think there is an articulation of how everything emerges that can do that for us. I want to create that narrative, or at least help it along.
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'refuge'- art by linda luttinger
The Artist of Possibility is a publication of
The Mystery School for a New Paradigm, an online global community of inspired and awakening individuals whose members are invited to create contributions. Submissions are open to all enrolled members of the Mystery School.
If you'd like to become a member, please visit:
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'home away from home' - art by linda luttinger
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Just Falling...Just Arising
I fall from the edge of the Earth
Into an ocean of expanded consciousness
where stillness and silence abide.
I stand in the horizon where sky and ocean meet
In the middle of crystalline waters
I hold the sun in one hand and the moon in the other
Directing the symphony of cosmos.
I am guided to the cliff of awareness
Falling into the energy of love that has a pinkish hue
I float and feel cosy cradled in the arms of the dharma
I rest wrapped with grace and bliss.
Every morning I engage in a dance with you
Where I feel you feeling me feeling you
As an infinity loop of giving and receiving
No beginning … no end …
Melting and knowing God through the breath that bubbles in me
Just arising … just falling …
I am awake, I am electrical, I am alive!
by Adriana Colotti Comel
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Because it is in the imagination
Because it is in the imagination
The eyes whose expanse fills the universe
And contains all the galaxies,
It is not far and it is not separate
The imagination shows that the projections of desired contact,
Of which ignorant habits form to grasp,
Is nowhere but here with us now,
As the heart’s expansive vision imagines realities,
The realities point to possibilities which are here,
Seemingly illusory, the realm of possibilities
Is wholeness itself
by Ross Kempner
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Opening to Reality
by Liesbeth De Jong
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The Spontaneous Writing Circle
Words without thought
Three circles of this peer-led group have been meeting since January 2020 and the members experience the process as both a surrender and applied intention.
We begin by quieting our thinking mind, listening deeply to a reading by one of the members and respond by writing what immediately appears. Emotions by the reading may induce a memory or creative story, or other words may have a stronger need to be expressed.
It is an ongoing process that yields trust between us with profound insights into ourselves and each other - our inner worlds fare ree to be fully expressed and cared for. We are revealing what we are experiencing, and the questions that are invoked and insinuated direct our growth and development as individuals in a shared humanity.
The circles are collective Sanghas dedicated to allowing creativity to seduce truth from us and honoring all the layers and dimensions without exception. These, as yet, unshared written and spoken words commit us to dignifying our lives and we witness this truth through each circle member. This creative form of emptying ourselves - by bringing all the stories of our reality into the light - allows raw and wondrous truths to remake views of our inner and outer world with profound clarity, and committing to bring our highest intention to each other each week stretches our ability to reach it.
The openings and resistances are our stories. Beautiful and rare air.
the artist of possibility Issue#6 • 32
WHAT IS LIFE?
Life as we generally know it is birth and death with a middle of experiences. I don’t know anything about before birth and after death. There are stories but what do we really know?
We even lose sight of who we truly are. We have thoughts, emotions, and feelings and where do these come from. We have experiences and develop relationships with others, with nature, with ourselves. How positive or negative these experiences are depends on our perspective. And we still experience all the emotions of a human being.
Do we come with a purpose? Are we born into some life that is expected of us? We don’t know what has happened before birth that may affect this current life. Our guidance is one of being for me or for you. Listen for that voice of your higher self, your oversoul. This could be the arrow that falls into place where we discover who we are.
The most I've gotten out of this course is learning to not compare results and not be so critical of my own writings along with being more spontaneous in the moment.I am also doing more journaling in other areas of my life.
by Kieth Ohlsen
33 • Issue#6 the artist of possibility
the artist of possibility Issue#6 • 34
I joined the second Monday writer's circle in November; we meet by zoom every other Monday for a spontaneous writing session. One person reads a piece of prose or a poem, and then we all write for a short time on whatever comes to us. We share our writing, but there is no critique, just listening. In the five months that I have been part of this group I gotten to know my fellow writers in a deep way as they each reveal themselves by their writing. I also have learned much about myself, and I often find myself surprised as I read my writing back to the group. The following short piece was written in early March, I don't recall what the reading was that prompted this, and it probably isn't important. Sometimes I find a single word or phrase in the reading triggers something that pours out of me. It is an amazing exercise in getting out of the way.
Self-knowledge was important to me in my younger days, you know all the cliches, know thyself, to thine own self be true, I strove for that self-knowledge without fully understanding what it could possibly even be. It seemed important, but how to get to know myself? The self I saw was what was reflected back to me through the eyes and expressions of others. It was what people told me. "She is the easiest of my children" my mother once told her sister, "she just takes care of herself, never seems to be at a loss about what to do." So that is who I am, I thought, someone who can take care of herself. This seemed true, but was it really self-knowledge? Wasn't there something deeper? I searched, in books, in lectures, in music, to see more of myself reflected. Because I loved emotional music (blues, opera) did that make me an emotional person? It didn't seem so. Because I loved science fiction, did that mean that I was from another world? This seemed more plausible; and yet, in all the years of schooling and working, I never felt that I was true to myself. I was pretty sure I had pulled one over on everybody. The University of Colorado gave me a bachelor's degree, but only because I fooled them. I felt the same way about my PhD, my job at Cornell University, and later at a private research institute, then at Penn State. I was very good at fooling people, but who was I really? A few years ago I went to a talk by a woman who was an astronaut and a microbiologist. A young woman in the audience asked her if she had struggled with imposter syndrome, and how she had learned to deal with it. I had never heard the term before, but finally after all the years of my successful career I found my self-knowledge: I was an imposter!
These days I seek a different kind of self-knowledge, or perhaps it is anti-self-knowledge, a letting go of self-knowledge entirely, a returning to the innocent place, to the eternal place, to place of knowing nothing.
by Marilyn Roossinck
The thing I find the most fascinating about writing as a member of the Spontaneous writing circle is the beauty and wisdom that appears on the page as we set our pens to paper. It creates a direct relationship to the divine muse in all of us.
Love rests somewhere well below the language that tries to express it and far beyond the mind that tries to understand it.
I could imagine that every gesture springs forth from its Source, even the most vulgar and disparaging.
Our hate belies the fount of love it protects.
Our sorrow expresses the exquisite pain of its knowledge.
The jolts of its presence are so often felt as having missed the mark.
The sheer act of communication reveals the force of its will to connect.
What a miracle are our attempts at creating new means of bridging the apparent divides so to make love more manifest.
Every struggle is a testament to its unending desire to illuminate our essence as grounded in the very stuff of its nature.
To name it too quickly, to narrowly define it is to shorten our journey of it.
by Judy Voruz
There’s soft music playing quietly in the background, belying the silence of my home. I sit at my kitchen counter writing, as David does loops around the island. We call this his bathroom dance. He never goes directly to the bathroom, but makes these loops for a while until he either sits back down on the couch or stops in front of the bathroom door, waiting for assistance. As I watch him now, with his head bowed as he walks slowly and silently by, he reminds me of a Zen monk engrossed in walking meditation. Perhaps David was a monk in a prior life. I used to call him my silent Buddha. I even gave a talk about him once with that title. Living with David has brought me to my knees. He has challenged aspects of myself that cry out for things to be different, aspects of myself that fight against what is. For years I allowed these aspects to have their voice, to rage against the past, the present and the future. But as I have matured and faced these aspects, I have fallen to my knees, opened my heart and bowed my head before the vast silence of what is.
The Writing Circle
The Writing Circle has taught me to listen before I write. When I saw the title, “Spontaneous Writing Group” I presumed we’d learn to get into a meditative state and write from there, allowing words to flow through our hands like water running down stream. But this isn’t exactly what happens. A different kind of magic occurs. We don’t meditate. We simply listen to a writing prompt and then write whatever wants to be written in response. Maybe it’s kind of a call and response as opposed to something arising from nothing. In the listening I have become attuned to noticing what arises within me. And I write from there. The reading prompt is like a tuning fork causing a resonant vibration somewhere within me. These prompts can poke at memories long past or ones freshly hovering in my awareness. They might evoke new curiosities, contemplations or questions that have been lingering on my tongue for ages. Sometimes they stir up emotions that have been longing for expression. Whatever gets written isn’t my greatest takeaway from participating in this group. It’s the practice of listening that’s been the greatest gift.
the artist of possibility Issue#6 • 36
There’s soft music playing quietly in the background, belying the silence of my home. I sit at my kitchen counter writing, as David does loops around the island. We call this his bathroom dance. He never goes directly to the bathroom, but makes these loops for a while until he either sits back down on the couch or stops in front of the bathroom door, waiting for assistance. As I watch him now, with his head bowed as he walks slowly and silently by, he reminds me of a Zen monk engrossed in walking meditation.
Perhaps David was a monk in a prior life. I used to call him my silent Buddha. I even gave a talk about him once with that title. Living with David has brought me to my knees. He has challenged aspects of myself that cry out for things to be different, aspects of myself that fight against what is. For years I allowed these aspects to have their voice, to rage against the past, the present and the future. But as I have matured and faced these aspects, I have fallen to my knees, opened my heart and bowed my head before the vast silence of what is.
THE WRITING CIRCLE
The Writing Circle has taught me to listen before I write. When I saw the title, “Spontaneous Writing Group” I presumed we’d learn to get into a meditative state and write from there, allowing words to flow through our hands like water running down stream. But this isn’t exactly what happens. A different kind of magic occurs. We don’t meditate. We simply listen to a writing prompt and then write whatever wants to be written in response. Maybe it’s kind of a call and response as opposed to something arising from nothing.
In the listening I have become attuned to noticing what arises within me. And I write from there. The reading prompt is like a tuning fork causing a resonant vibration somewhere within me. These prompts can poke at memories long past or ones freshly hovering in my awareness. They might evoke new curiosities, contemplations or questions that have been lingering on my tongue for ages. Sometimes they stir up emotions that have been longing for expression. Whatever gets written isn’t my greatest takeaway from participating in this group. It’s the practice of listening that’s been the greatest gift.
by Lori Sandle
35 • Issue#6 the artist of possibility
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37 • Issue#6 the artist of possibility
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