The Paradigm Shift


by Dr Michael Ellis


Vlakev Havel, former president of Czechoslovakia has said "without a global revolution of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans and the catastrophe towards which this world is headed be it ecological, demographic, social or the general breakdown of civilisation will be unavoidable".

Science has built a picture of the universe which up until now has been considered as materialistic. When we look at the consciousness movements, we see that within Western society in particular, the aim is to fill the gap left by the vacuum caused by the separation between inner and outer experience. We need to create depth, resonance and meaning in our lives by focusing on bridging the gap between reason and belief, intellect and intuition in order to create a cosmology and spirituality more integral to the human frame of reference. We need to seek to reconnect ourselves with the essence of life.

There are almost as many belief systems as there are human beings. When I speak to professionals about the solutions to world peace, social disintegration, environmental problems, they are despondent. The solution to them depends upon their specialty and this could be psychological, economic, theological, environmental, bio-genetic manipulation or humanistic. The question is, what is the common denominator? Ten percent of the population suffer from genetic bi- polar depression according to the psychiatrists and yet I believe if we create a dysfunctional environment, we get dysfunctional responses.

What we do have in common is life and consciousness - and we need to understand life, as being an interconnected synergic matrix of reciprocal maintenance and connectedness. We have finite bodies but infinite minds which have the power to realize a new world of hope, creativity and sustainability. The system tries to deny that we human beings have a Soul. It entraps us in world models of economic rationalism, is centred in materialism, Darwinism, The Selfish gene, The Biomedical model and the rational ordering of Society. It forgets about our consciousness, (transpersonal experience) our hearts and our beliefs. As an African Spiritual teacher has said. "A civilisation without rites of passage has a sick Soul." In such a situation

1) There are no elders or mentors (they are all out making money),

2) The youth are violent or without hope,

3) The adults are bewildered. This is exactly our current status quo!

I think we need a global revolution which comes from the heart and soul of each individual. I hope this paper will show that consciousness is defined as the perception of the true nature of things or true reality and that consciousness is imminent in the Universe and is inseparably connected with all phenomena and matter, just as the mind is inseparably connected with the body and spirit.

Five per cent of the adult population of North America have had an NDE or near death experience. In his book Recollection of Death, Cardiologist Michael Sabom, details several independently confirmed autoscopic experiences. He concluded that none of the standard explanations is adequate to account for the accuracy brought back from out of body. In the information the subjects reported that they could see details of their surroundings that they could not have perceived by means of their physical senses. Psychologist, Kenneth Ring, after conducting a survey amongst twenty-six NDE's assessing changes in attitude, concluded that after these experiences individuals tended to express a greater appreciation for life and more concern and love for their fellow human beings.

It would seem from these illustrations that mind does have an integrating role beyond that of the matter in the brain although in normal circumstances matter and mind are inextricably interlinked.

Stanislav Grof in his talk in Beyond the Brain, 1990, stated that through transpersonal experience there is access to new information not through ordinary channels. There are two forms of learning - learning through observation, analysis and synthesis, and learning in state of being or direct experience. Grof talks about three kinds of experiences. Firstly, the ability to become objects or living entities encompassing the whole range of phenomena within the universe. Secondly, the ability to transcend linear time so that all past and future events can be experienced with all sensory modalities. These non-ordinary states of consciousness would include conception, birth, ancestors, collective racial memories and past life experiences. Thirdly, experiences which take you into realms that this culture does not consider to be objectively real, because they transcend space and time. They would include the collective unconscious and archetypes, for example: if a person experiences themselves as a God or Goddess. Also this will include such phenomena as channeling, spirit guides, universal mind and cosmic consciousness. Stanislav Grof uses these three categories as his form of cartography for psychic exploration.

An example of the first category is provided in the successful research of remote viewing at Stanford Research Institute, California. Remote Viewing is a term created by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, two laser and quantum physicists who have headed this research effort in PSI.

These subjects were sealed in rooms and asked to identify remote geographical locations selected randomly.

In certain cases, star performers such as Ingo and Swann were not only able to identify distant target sites but were also able to accurately pin point weather conditions at the site at the time. Mr Swann, an artist, also produced data on viewing Jupiter, Mars and Mercury, which were
subsequently confirmed by NASA satellite missions. This information is a challenge to the Newtonian-Cartesian thinking which is the current philosophy of Western science. Our scope reduces things to the extent that we view phenomena as if they were isolated events unconnected
with anything else. We seek for short term gain and do not realise that 1) everything is connected, 2) the loss of one item diminishes everything exponentially, (like the loss of the Brazilian rainforests effects the lungs of the planet creating destructive climate changes, 3) things work together synergically, (the sum is more than the individual parts) 4) nothing is really predetermined and foolproof - in the cloud chambers, the position of an electron is a probability - Nature is enigmatic!

The way we think of things is determined by our belief systems and in our society we were brought up with the predominant belief system which is materialistic, positivistic and scientific. This means that we live in a world in which the objective reality can be defined by experimentation and where our subjective experience does not impinge on the reality defined by science outside us. Cartesian dualism defined originally by Descartes makes a distinction between the mind and the body. A thinker observes but is not involved directly, just as God has become Deus Ex Machina.

Is the notion of uncertainty in science here the premonition of the dawning of a new age or the annihilation of our selves as a species? How does the living, growing body read the language of atoms in the DNA? Is there not memory and intelligence even at this level - and do not our brains but further manifest this consciousness in a self-reflective way?

The dawning of a paradigm shift is upon us. Can we make the jump to the realisation that a new era and a new millennium implies the evolution of consciousness above everything else?

Fyodor Doestoevsky, commented "The Golden Age is the most improbable of all dreams that ever existed, but the one for which men gave their lives and all their strengths, for which prophets died and were slain, without which peoples do not wish to live and cannot even die".

Perhaps it is that the Paradise Myth10, as an aspect of inner being and inner wealth, truly expresses our union with divinity, because this expresses coming home to ourselves and partakes of acknowledgment of our connectedness with our neighbour, our planet and our universe. However, our normal waking consciousness, our emotions and thoughts cloud us from this reality because of the destructive and competitive nature of our social and physical environment and the nature of the crisis which this planet is currently undergoing. The overt, global, environmental crisis is expressed as a severe degree of loss of Global Biodiversity - to the extent that the continued survival of the Human species is threatened. Biodiversity is the total variety of all life forms and in the living matrix it is the function of the integration of a diversity of species which provide us with clean air and water, fertile soils, food, shelter, medicines and industrial technology. We are losing 100 species a day and more than a quarter of all species may vanish in 50 years. Most severe losses are occurring among invertebrates which play critical ecological roles. Loss of species lead to loss of new medicines and the disturbance of the eco-system is leading to the emergence, re-emergence and spread of infectious diseases like TB and malaria, and apthogenic microorganisms switching hosts, e.g. HIV and horse virus.

The major threats to Biodiversity are -
Land clearance
Alien species
Genetically manipulated species
Indiscriminate harvesting of species
Climate change

Currently, our population which has a doubling time of 50 years, is being pruned by mal-nourishment, poverty, (2,000,000) and disease, e.g. Aids and TB in Afica and population control in China and Indonesia. The links between human health and biodiversity are obvious. Most of these global problems have been brought on by human irresponsibility, where our ravaged planet is due to a fundamental error in the perception of the nature of humanity, in that undue emphasis has been placed on material at the expense of mind and consciousness. Journal of Australian Medical Association 1998.

In The Fear of Freedom, Eric Fromm, states, "modern selfishness is the greed that is rooted in the frustration of the real self and whose object is the social self".

Robert Heilbroner, Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research, in the 1970s, was hopeful that in the end the survivalist ethic would come to the fore, and that humanity with personal responsibility would take action that would defy the homicidal promptings of reasonable calculation.

This statement was made in the 1970s. A psychoanalyst at the same time said that every illness is also the vehicle of plea for love and attention. Michael Balint who founded Balint Seminars to enable doctors to understand themselves and their patients more clearly, and who coined the term "the doctor as a therapeutic agent or drug" was concerned when and how the doctor should get the patient out of his fantasies.

In the sense that the fantasy maybe covering such questions as, What is the essence of the illness ? How did it start ? What caused it ? and Whether it will heal ? Surely we have a similar process of reflection when we look at our global crisis and the increasing social disintegration
around us.

The basic construct that Michael Balint used for healing his patients was for the doctor to be like a priest, who could create continuity of care and create a working hypothesis of the biographic processes within the patient, which contributed to the illness which could be mental or physical. It is the ability of the Therapist to provide sufficient space for the patient in which the patient can feel free to explore the self and find his/her way through the impasse.

What would happen if each one of us realised that our lives were about to terminate and the planet was about to end in the next hour ? The realisation, understanding and experience would be very different. We would be faced with the reality far different from what we had been accustomed to at that stage. Our minds would make a jump.

Stanislav Grof states, "in working with patients in non-ordinary states of consciousness, spontaneous healing of the body and the psyche becomes available". He says, "there is effort of the organism to simplify itself, to throw off things and get rid of traumatic imprints. Even if the
patient becomes extremely wild there would always be a way through and the extremely pathological process is found to have tremendous therapeutic value".

This is a very positive statement for our planet in crisis and for the suffering humanity is going through at the moment. The statement highlights the importance of the energetic and vibrational components of spirit and consciousness. The crisis that we are in can be thought of as a healing crisis on a human conscious level. The Buddha in the Lotus Sutra talks of the bereaved children, desperately calling for their deceased father and in their grief taking the medicine - the elixer of life perfect in order, taste and smell and then the compassionate father, the Buddha appears.

Willis Harman talks of the need for individual and organisational transformation leading to whole system transformation for the reassessment and rebuilding of society around a new paradigm.

It is interesting to note that very few people think about the future of the total planet or fate of future generations, the rise and fall of civilisations or the paradigmatic shifts in the evolutionary process. This is true as we rarely view the totality of our lives or look to planning our futures and our family's future. We are all so shortsighted and live in a limited time frame.

How many paradigmatic shifts in consciousness has humanity gone through since on this planet ? It has been postulated that ancient civilisations were simultaneously overthrown by vast natural upheavals which marked the ends of the old, middle and late Bronze Age period.

Immanuel Velikovsky produced his evidence from a scholarly dissertation on a vast array of legends. Castrophism Theory by geologists suggests that global disasters of cosmic proportions have a hand in our destiny.

Neocatastrophism as used by the latest generation of geologists explains such phenomena as the extinction of the dinosaurs and the onset of the Ice Ages. Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel and John Anthony West all give extremely convincing evidence that the Egyptian Sphynx and the Egyptian pyramids of Khafu, Khufu and Menkaure are in fact remnants of a flourishing advanced civilisation occurring before the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

Life is an enigmatic phenomenon. It flashes by in a blink of an eye. Human beings rarely plan and look to the future of themselves, never mind their planet. And as for the enigma of death. In Western Society it is flung under the carpet.

The quest for enlightenment

However, these paradigmatic shifts in the consciousness in humanity as civilisations rise and fall, create whole new structures or archetypes and patterns in the depths and stratas of consciousness of the human psyche and on an individual basis we can attain changes in the structure of our own psyche through appreciating and experiencing this new patterning
or transformation that is occurring now. We need to reach into the energetic nature of our consciousness and our beingness, and the soul or monadic essence of our consciousness which is part of eternity, - rather than deny death and simultaneously deny eternity.

I believe that the very nature of our current healing crisis is to create the New Patterning or a more holistic universal awareness or consciousness of the sacredness of life and our interconnectedness with Universal Life. This is indeed a quest toward enlightenment.

If scientific materialism is but the external tip of the iceberg, I believe in the next century we will be exploring the vast reaches of the inner space of the psyche and dwelling on the nature of life and consciousness. This giant step for humanity will be more significant than man's first walk on the moon or the genome project to map the whole human chromosome.

"The past thousand years has been a male dominated society with the assertiveness and aggressiveness of male energy being paramount. A lot of advances have been made (exploration of the physical world, and the development of technology in which everything is measurable and objective). It has been the age of the self and the ego.

A new era and a new millennium can bring us exploration of our inner world. It can be a more harmonious era of peace, cooperation and sensitivity - with emphasis leaning towards feminine energy. Although scientific and technological advances will continue, emphasis will be more on the exploration of the relationship between peoples, surroundings and the cosmos ("relationship" being the key word). During the 2000s Arts will be emphasised and people will become much more intuitive and creative and operate on this level. It will be a time of beauty and goodness. It has the potential to be another Golden Age.

Rupert Sheldrake's theory of Morphogenic fields suggests that it is consciousness that moulds the DNA. Conceivably we can mould and change our own DNA within our life time. Stuart Litvak and A Wayne Senzee in Towards a New Brain quote evidence of holonomic systemic influence from brain to body to gonadal cells - inheritance of acquired characteristics.

I mention these concepts as examples of possible deep changes occurring in the morphogenesis of Humanity which represent healing and transformation.

DNA has the ability to turn on and off large areas of itself but what turns these keys is not understood. John Davidson feels that a living entity and its environment is an inextricable patterning and this patterning supersedes genetic considerations where the outer world of the entity is an aspect of the formative mind, and where DNA is the reflection of patterns within the subtle blueprint.

Perhaps now in the depth of our cells huge areas of DNA are being turned on, influenced by the huge changes in global society, technology and environment. Irreversible destruction of living and non-living resources go hand in hand with a greater disparity between the wealthy and the poor of the world, the developed and developing countries. Artificial intelligence, the info web, bio-cybernetics, genetic manipulation are developing at an inordinate pace. Global society is losing the basic core of the nuclear family and extended family. People are taken in by the cult of consumerism and material wealth, giving rise to greed and satiation for some and loss and suffering for others. The overall picture is one of individual alienation. There has surely to be some compensation and healing coming from within the collective human psyche.

The changes affecting our planet currently are so enormous that unless we can evolve and creatively enhance positive change and positive vision within our community we are doomed. We have, however, the memory, the neurological ability and the DNA sustainability to access consciousness and creativity through illumination in order to change our world and our reality to a more sustainable utopian creation.


Dr Michael Ellis is a medical doctor, futurist, and peace worker, living in Melbourne, Australia. He has a special interest in mind-body medicine and in optimizing the physical, mental and emotional health of the individual. He is a Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine,
Swinburne University, where he is particularly interested in brain longevity and the prevention of dementia. Dr Ellis also founded The Centre for Change in the Third Millennium in 1998. The aim of The Centre for Change is to create an openness of dialogue for men and women of goodwill, in order that we can find a way out of the current global crisis. It also aims to contribute to the creation of a planetary peace culture, which affirms our deepest respect for all life which makes up the biosphere.

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