Updated: Jun 6, 2019
For quite some time we have been obsessed with the outside world, we have come a long way in terms of scientific and technological advancements, we have hacked a way to expand our life spans, and yet we are in the worst season of chronic illnesses, we are at the most disconnected times with ourselves.
We are lost at a sea of dynamic and extremely high amount of information which is taking us each day more away from the physical contact with others, more indifferent to the voices of our body, and in a deep ocean of the marketing of survival. We want everything immediately, we are getting used to taking shortcuts almost to everything; that means the laziness and apathy is growing inside of everyone, to take long roads or to obtain more real satisfaction from things that don’t come from the outside
Although the future seems promising and we still have hope on many more advancements, shortcuts and any kind of person that makes us believe there is a way to make things easier. We are losing hope on ourselves, on our own inner knowledge, on our way back to human contact, on our way to listening to our body signals, on our way to doing something physical to feel peace and satisfaction inside of us, on our way of feeding ourselves with healthier foods, less processed, less full of sugar and more filled with nutrients.
Since the Greek philosophers Leucippus (c. 460-? BC) and Democritus (c. 460-370 BC). Both argued that everything in existence is composed of atoms. In Greek, the word atom is an adjective for the word indivisible, so in a literal sense what we see when we look around is the complete story; there are no inner hidden parts to reality, and there are not hidden causes either. Not surprisingly, these two philosophers believed in an absolute material causality as well (1).
A more liberal approach to understanding the physical world was promoted by Aristotle (384-322 BC), who was arguably the first scientist in history. Though his work on logic places him in the tradition of rationalism as well, he also was an empiricist, for instance observing and categorizing plants by their appearance. He valued the physicality of the world we live in, and did not withdraw from it into realms of pure speculation. He believed, for example, that the rational soul, which he thought unique to human beings, is so completely fused with the physical body that we see the uniqueness of each individual in the way they walk, talk, and generally comport themselves. He did not subscribe to the notion, espoused by his teacher Plato, that the material world is a mere reflection of a more essential realm of pure forms (1).
Moving through history we can recite many scientists, inventors, philosophers, leaders and so on that have dedicated their lives to prove certain theories about how we are formed, how the world has been evolving, combining all the sciences into the discovery of our own essence in terms of the physical components.
We have arrived to the era of knowing our entire blueprint that has all the instructions to “make us” (DNA), however once we arrived there …another dilemma starts revealing and that is the interaction we have with the environment, the interaction we have with our own perception of reality, what influences our thoughts?, why people still need to believe in something?, why some things can’t still be explained and will there ever be explained?.
That “New Realm”, that new Reality of the 21st century is being shaped and it has brought together the scientific world and the spiritual world, meaning in my own perspective the material/external world and the internal/soul world.
Many of the concepts that ancient philosophers had about an inner existence and inner soul without diving into any particular beliefs of religion but of course accepting the existence of a higher presence called God, Buddha, Jehovah, Jesus, Universe..etc., is giving us a destination to release the “fight” created by humans also of spirituality and science. This destination is giving us hope, curiosity and is taking us back to the awe feeling we all have when we are children and start discovering a new world.
Some of the most intriguing scientific advances of the 20th century were made in the realms of quantum mechanics and chaos theory, both of which rely heavily on sophisticated mathematics. The former opened up an expanse of microworld complexity lying just behind the macroworld of ordinary experience. Cutting below the atoms of Leucippus and Democritus, quantum mechanics points to a fluid unity at the deepest levels of reality, levels entirely invisible to the common sense of Logical Positivism. Chaos theory, at the same time, has shown that many types of complex real world events, ones that emerge through the interaction of multiple underlying causes, cannot be predicted with precision, though, ironically, mathematics can be used to obtain qualitative descriptions of them. The latter is in part due to the emergence of new properties of whole systems that simply do not exist at lower scales of complexity. A common example is the weather, which is an emergent product of a large number of constantly changing geothermal and atmospheric factors. Human moods, and perhaps other aspects of human experience, are also the emergent outcomes of myriad undergirding conditions. Thus, while complex emergent phenomena do not arise out of an invisible realm, they do emerge, as it were, out of nowhere (1).
Now let us return one more time to Plato and note that he was, in fact, no stranger to the mythic and perhaps even magical consciousness. Like virtually all Greeks of his time, he was aware of the mystery schools common in those days, and which in one form or another continued through most of antiquity until they were finally all but eradicated by the early Christian church. In Greek culture these schools dated back at least to the time of Parmenides (c. 515 BC), and even earlier in the Middle East, as suggested by certain fragments of the story of Gilgamesh which indicate that he and Inkidu traveled into the underworld guided by esoteric knowledge (2).
Virtually all mystery schools spoke in one form or another of a reality behind or below the ordinary world of appearances, a reality from which important truths about life in this material world could be sought and sometimes found. Parmenides seems to have traveled in sleep into the underworld, past the gates of the pathways of Night and Day, in search of wisdom.
The mythic Orpheus is said to have traveled into the underworld as well, in hopes of retrieving his beloved Eurydice, and became the central figure of the Orphic Mysteries in which Socrates himself may have participated. These mystery schools appear to owe a great deal to the even older tradition of shamanism, in which the shaman, in an altered state of consciousness that is essentially magical, actively moves into the world below or world above, there going about his healing, or leading a soul into the afterlife, or whatever his business is. In such traditions it is not so much that these alternative realms of reality are more real than the world of appearances, as is the case in Plato’s allegory of the cave, but that they are of at least equal importance, and often are the location where mythical or magical realities reside which directly influence the world of day to day life.
Plato was well aware of these, and similar ideas about different realities. Sometimes he embedded these ideas in mythical texts. Near the end of the Republic, for instance, is found the myth of Er, in which we are told that prior to birth each soul receives its fate (Moira), and is given a daimon, or soul-companion, to guide it through life. When the soul enters the material world at birth it passes through a realm of forgetfulness, however, and arrives without memory, so that it is the job of the daimon to guide it in its assigned fate. The Romans had a similar idea in the notion of a personal genius that knew everything about a person’s future and controlled his fate.This genius was an agent of personal luck and fortune (3). In both instances we have the idea that there is a pre-destined pattern assigned to each individual's life that constitutes their fate. And even though the individual may initially, or even permanently, be ignorant of this fate, it sets the proper pattern for his life.
Humans are distinct from other animals in their motivation to comprehend, manage, and share inner states, including beliefs, feelings, attitudes, goals, and standards. Humans are strongly motivated to share their understanding of the world in general and their social world in particular. Other animals will pay attention to what conspecifics are looking at, but only humans, including young children, actively collaborate to share their inner states about the world with one another (4).
We all have experienced this kind of phenomena with the people we surround with even when we are not near of each other or we have just met them, “something” inside of some persons attract us to have a conversation, to follow them, to interact now with them in other platforms such as social media, messaging or in the best case scenario now, through a phone call, we are social beings that want common ground and that in the end we look for the wellbeing of others too.
We are just being distracted with all the external noise which doesn’t want us to reconnect our deepest abundance feelings which lead to have a sense of satisfaction with our lives, a sense of common purpose as well, a sense of community.
I bet you mostly every day crave one or two things that we want to share with someone else, a friend, a partner, a parent, a coworker, even your pet, why is that craving so hard? Well It’s in your inner nature, is your inner will to share what has happened to you either good or bad, we relief the pain, we relief the joy or excitement through sharing.
Even in the darkest times such as the ones that Viktor Frankl lived in the Holocaust and concentration camps we look for an outlet to share what is happening to us, even if it means to write about it and then been able to share it, we all notice also a healing force when we let our feelings and thoughts come into life by writing them, by talking them or by creating something that is expressing them.
How does shared reality relate to the phenomena of embodied social synchrony that have recently commanded much attention and inspired debates about the nature of interpersonal and social processes. In embodied synchrony or mirroring, an observer is assumed to replicate or simulate the observed person’s inner state. In other words, the observation of another person’s expression of an inner state creates a matching inner state in the observer— typically patterns of neural or mental activation that underlie the performance of an action or the expression of an emotion (4).
Our sharing starts to construct an entanglement, a divine force, a divine field that will attract people, situations, emotions similar to what you are feeling and that is called synchronicity. This concept nowadays has become more popular but it has a whole scientific basis as well as a spiritual component which merge into a very high satisfying experience which produces a state of gratitude, joy, compassion, empathy and connection with people, events and allows both realities to come together into one experience.
This is the purpose of all this reflection with a scientific and spiritual background, that we all share with each other, and which is the common ground we all should look for, we ought to understand that the more we come far from our inner reality, our inner knowledge, we are pushing away also a kind, healthy and abundant reality in our external circumstances and we attract the negative, the chaos, the destructive forces of the external reality that are also waiting to be embraced by people lacking awareness, lacking moral values, lacking empathy.
We all have the same house, we all share the same ground, we all share the same values ..but WE ALL NEED TO SHARE THE SAME VOICE AND THE SAME THOUGHTS TO HEAL OUR PLANET, TO HEAL OUR SOCIETY, TO HEAL OURSELVES.
I Invite you to question yourself your values everyday, I invite you to reflect in what kind and positive things can you do in your small social circle, even if it means to share a smile, to share a positive thought, to share an encouraging destination.
Combs, Allan (2018) "Inner and Outer Realities: Jean Gebser in a Cultural/Historical Perspective," Journal of Conscious Evolution: Vol. 1 : Iss. 1 , Article 12.
Thompson, W. I., The time falling bodies take to light: Mythology, sexuality, and the origins of culture. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981.
Hillman, J., The Soul's Code : In Search of Character and Calling. Warner Books, 1997.
Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., & Levine, J. M. (2009). Shared Reality: Experiencing Commonality with others’ Inner States about the World. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(5), 496–521.