Lifeweb site, Personal website
Elisabet is an evolution biologist, furturist, and author and is involved with a number of national and international efforts aimed at bringing about the changes needed for our more balanced existence within Earth's ecosystems. You can find a brief bio here.
"The Globalization of humanity is a natural, biological, evolutionary process. Yet we face an enormous crisis because the most central and important aspect of globalization-its economy-is currently being organized in a manner that so gravely violates the fundamental principles by which healthy living systems are organized that it threatens the demise of our whole civilization" --Elisabet Sahtouris, 'The Biology of Globalization'What's been helpful: Though I haven't spent much time in her area of expertise, I very much enjoy Elisabet's presentations every time I catch them, usually as part of SAND events. Her deep evolutionary knowledge is also informed by her non-dual spiritual approach and the way she intertwines the philosophies is intriguing. She's incredibly smart and well-spoken and always animated and clear when presenting even the most complex biological models. What makes her so effective is how she is able to frame the events she discusses in the grand sweep of earth's history and animal evolution. And you can also find in her work some engaging ideas about what a successful human culture should look like.
(I'm also diggin' the short video METAPHORmosis I found on her homepage.)
Rupert Spira began his spiritual journey early in life, reading Rumi's poetry at the age of 15. His studies went on to include teachings from Dr. Francis Roles, Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspensky, Krishnamurti and a number of others (I'd never heard of); his website has a nice bio. Rupert's teachings are also heavily influenced by Francis Lucille (SAND videos).
“Only that which is always with you can be said to be your self and if you look closely and simply at experience, only awareness is always ‘with you’.” --Rupert SpiraWhat's been helpful: I may always have a 'complicated' relationship with Rupert's teachings. My ego thinks of them as 'relentless' because they are very clear, very inescapable and very persuasive rationales on the illusion of ego. It was while meditating in a hypnogogic state to Rupert's series The Light of Pure Knowing, (track #6, if you must know) that the message suddenly sank all the way into my awareness: I needed to experience the 'death' of my ego identity, Laura. Needless to say, it was a challenging next few days.
Rupert's new book, The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter, felt to me like a similar exercise in ego disassembly. Reading the book felt like a practice in accepting that I am not this egoic identity ... whether I wanted to hear it or not! Fortunately, being 'no self' also means I can be 'any self', which brings a wonderful freedom and yet still, the egoic self is hard to let go of. If I feel myself sinking back into old conditioning, this will be a wonderfully effective book for scrubbing away the illusion of the egoic self.
Which brings me to what I will always hold dear about Rupert's teachings; it was while practicing his 'fill-the-body-with-awareness' meditation instruction that I experienced a second profound shift in consciousness, which I wrote about in the post: Re-awakening To The Grateful Dead. Rupert's teachings helped open the door to that experience and for that I am eternally grateful.
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Graham Hancock's teachings seem to center around two broad topics: exploration of consciousness and the interpretation of spiritual wisdoms left behind by ancient cultures. The two areas overlap in Graham's books, lectures and films in which he presents his entertaining and well-reasoned case that early civilizations in Egypt, South America and other areas routinely used psychotropic plants to explore consciousness and these practices played a significant role in the development of their arts, culture and sciences.
"Ancient Egypt, like that of the Olmecs (Bolivia), emerged all at once and fully formed. Indeed, the period of transition from primitive to advanced society appears to have been so short that it makes no kind of historical sense. Technological skills that should have taken hundreds or even thousands of years to evolve were brought into use almost overnight-- and with no apparent antecedents whatever." --Graham Hancock, 'Fingerprint of the Gods'What's been helpful: The first video from Graham I encountered was The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK ... You can see why it caught my attention. What hooked me in his presentation was learning that the use of psychotropic plants to explore the nature of consciousness has a long and rich history. I was immediately intrigued and ended up side-tracking into the wisdoms of ancient Egypt at his behest, largely because I thought I might have to go back that far to get clear of the influences organized religion has had on current spiritual teachings.
In the last several years, Graham's included in his lectures theories about a meteor strike that ended the last ice age and generated the massive floods spoken of in many spiritual texts, including the Bible. For several years, Graham's been working with geologists, archeologists and others to coalesce the physical evidence behind this theory, which he writes about it in this post: Why Science Should Cherish Its Rebels. That I've driven many times through the eastern Washington scab lands that bear some of the scars of this massive flood brought the discussion interestingly close to home.
This summer, Graham suffered a severe acute illness but has fortunately bounced back and is writing a new book. From his 8/22/17 blog post, it sounds like he's ready to dive back into the fray: ..."My journey to the gates of death in the past week appears, however, to have cleared the energetic miasma by which I was briefly entrapped and has renewed my strength for the struggle ahead. We have been grievously misled about our past as a species and plunged into a state of sleepy amnesia. It is desperately important that we awaken if the human family is to survive on this beautiful garden of a planet, and if we are to honour as we should the gifts of life, consciousness, joy and the opportunity to learn and to love, to grow and to develop, that the universe so generously and unhesitatingly bestows upon us."