In 1956, an interesting article was published in the prestigious journal "Science" of all places, having to do with why scientists hate progress. The most fascinating part of this was, the writer found that scientists were a lot like priests. They are like leaders of a religion. And they hate progress in the same way that priests as a whole, fight tooth and nail against any change in religious belief.
DiCarlo: How would you respond to the scientists who explain away the concept of realms of existence that go beyond the physical?
Green: That's no different than any other kind of religious belief is it? That's just lack of experience. If somebody is color blind and you start talking about red and green, they don't know what you are talking about. It's lack of experience.
It's interesting that if anyone would go through the processes of mindfulness meditation, they will develop some experiences that will convince them reality isn't the way they thought it was. But most people, when they start to find out about that, get slightly frightened because they start to realize their world view may have to change. But it's interesting isn't it, that the people who really want to meditate are dis-satisfied with their world view? They think there is something more and they want to find out what it is.
DiCarlo: As a scientist, what do you suspect happens during meditation....?
Green: According to the Oriental traditions-and it's beginning to be talked about even in the west-as you turn your attention inwards, you become aware of the energy structure of your own nature. Normally, you know, our sensory systems are turned outward. We are only aware of what is going on from our skin out. When you turn your attention inwards, you become aware of this "energy structure" of what the yogis would call "etheric" body. Another way of thinking of that is, there is a body of energy, which is called the subtle body. In other words, the physical body is the representation to our physical senses of the energy structure which we really are, which is a subtle energy structure.
So as you meditate you become aware of this inner structure that you really are-your basic energy nature. But according to the yogic theory, what you are really becoming aware of, are these different levels of energy of your own nature. These different levels are called chakras. Chakras theoretically are energy centers located in your etheric energy body. They are not to be found in your physical body. But each one of these places is associated with a different level of consciousness. For example they would talk about the heart chakra. As you become aware of this energy center in your nature, you become aware of the interconnectedness of yourself with other people. If you were becoming aware of other people through the solar plexus chakra which lies below the heart chakra in the area of above your navel, then you become aware of people's emotions. What happens when people meditate, is that they become aware of the fact that they have all kinds of inner domains that they didn't even know they had. Normally people are stuck looking at the outside world. They don't look at the inside world. They don't even know that domain is there. When they meditate, there is the tendency to become aware of the fact that there is a lot of internal terrain. When you become aware of this inner domain, you become aware of your connections with other people also.
That's the way I think of it.
DiCarlo: So would you say that most of the people in the world are operating out of this third chakra that deals with our emotional nature?
Green: That's it exactly. In fact, the yogis would say that this is a third chakra planet.
DiCarlo: So if development goes from one level to the next higher, I would assume that, the next stage in our collective development have to do with learning to become more focused in the heart?
Green: Yes. And that's called the transformation. Energies are transformed from the emotional domain, which are always self-centered-they always involve selfishness-to the next domain, which is called the heart chakra, which has to do with ecology. It's like, "Instead of just taking care of myself, I am going to take care of Gaia," and that's the movement from the third chakra to the fourth chakra. That's the movement from disposing of your rubbish by throwing it out the window, to being a recycler. That's the movement from being destructive in the environment to being recreative in the environment. That's why the environmentalists are important. They may not think of it that way, but they are part of the paradigm shift because they are essentially helping the planet move from third to fourth chakra in the yogic terminology.
And that's the movement from the emotional planet to the heart planet.
DiCarlo: Fascinating...In my conversations with people on the cutting-edge, I have found that most have strongly relied upon their intuition. Has intuition played a significant role in your work as a scientist?
Green: I would guess that it has. I wouldn't have thought of it as intuition, because it was more planned. Back when I was a student of a meditation teacher in Minneapolis I learned one meditation approach called Vispassana, or mindfulness. It means to be totally aware and conscious of everything that you are doing and to become the observer of yourself-to be objective and to see everything that is going on. Everything that you think, everything that you feel, everything that you do. You become the witness of yourself at all levels. That's the goal of Vispassana or mindfulness meditation.
For example, as you become aware of yourself as a physical entity, you become aware of yourself as an emotional being. And you begin to realize that your emotions are objective, and you start thinking of them as objective things. So if you think of anger, "Oh, there's that thing again." Most people think of anger as, "I am angry", instead of "there is anger." If you have a thought about something, people don't normally say, "Oh, there is that thought again." They normally say, "I am thinking..." They are not objective in regards to all these subjective internal processes. What happens in mindfulness meditation is, you become objective about your own subjectivity. And that's a great step forward, because that's how you escape from subjectivity. Well, that was one of the things I was taught to do.
As it turns out, when you get into that state of mindfulness, you can ask your unconscious questions, and it will start giving you answers. But the answers that the unconscious will provide you, are answers connected with what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, and all of the knowledge contained in the collective unconscious is available to you. Normally, people call that intuition. Intuition is actually becoming aware of the collective unconscious and all of the knowledge and wisdom therein. That's my way of thinking about it. So after I was taught how to do this, when I needed to solve problems I went into this state of mindfulness, turned attention towards those problems, and answers would come up that I had never would have thought of. Now people would say that's creativity, or they would say that's intuition. But I would say that's simply tapping into the knowledge that exists.
But it can be done intentionally. You don't have to wait for intuition to strike like a bolt of lightening. You can learn how to turn it on the same as you turn on any other skill.
DiCarlo: You've mentioned the idea of the collective unconscious. In his work, Jung describes phenomenon related to the unconscious which he refers to as "archetypes." What is an archetype, and how might they influence us in our lives?
Green: An archetype is one of the characteristics, entities or objects which reside in the collective unconscious. In other words, the things that humans think about in general start taking on a form of some kind. The way the Tibetans call it a thought form. Let's say that collectively, people develop some religious idea about the nature of God, such as "God is the great judge." Those ideas of God becomes a thought form in the collective unconscious. That thought form then exists. It's like a piece of furniture in the collective unconscious, only it's alive. But it has been created to a certain extent by humans. I am not saying that God was created by humans, but the religious idea of God was created by humans.
You know God has many characteristics, and some gods in some religions are vengeful, sometimes they are playful. All those characteristics of God are archetypal ideas that have been constructed by humans and are embedded in the collective unconscious. And when Carl Jung discovered the collective unconscious and started studying it, he found out there were a lot of things in it that were like permanent fixtures-they are there all of the time-which had been reported by many people in many different cultures. Those things that were there all of the time he called the archetypes.
In his wonderful book Dreams, Memories and Reflections, Carl Jung explains how he found out about all this stuff and where he got his ideas. That's one of the most important books that I know of. He knew a lot about the things that we are now discussing. Jung was not only a scholar, but he was aware of these archetypes from personal experience. In his presence, all kinds of psychic phenomenon happened. Sometimes the walls would start knocking. He didn't talk a lot about that, but that's what caused the split between he and Freud, who was his Jung's mentor. Freud was frightened to death that all this stuff was going on. Jung just took it as a manifestation of the way nature is. Freud couldn't tolerate it, and that caused the split.
DiCarlo: Didn't Freud talked about psychic energy..
Green: Well that was the part that really bugged him. As a matter of fact, Freud said, "We have to prevent the black mud of occultism from sweeping over us." Whereas Jung's attitude was entirely the opposite-"We have to find out what's going on in the cosmos."
DiCarlo: Jung was influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which you make mention of it in your work. According to this text, what happens after we die?
Green: Well, we go through various energy levels until we rise to a certain place-and this sounds funny-according to the density of our non-physical nature, which is still an energy structure. There are all these energy fields, within fields. And when a person dies, then they move completely into the next field of energy. And we just continue on with experience. The place where you exist after separating from your physical body is called the Bardo, which is a realm so different it's like going to another planet. I am not saying you go to another planet. But it's like going away from the earth. But that doesn't mean you have vanished.
DiCarlo: In your view, if you had to boil things down, what would be the essence of the emerging paradigm?
Green: From my point of view, the essence of the emerging paradigm is the development of human potential, and finding the relation of humans to the planetary collective unconscious that we call Gaia. We are connected. Humans like to think of themselves as individual entities, but I think it was John Dunn who said, "No man is an island." I think that's what human potential is moving towards. We are finding our group relationships.
Naturally we know from long experience and folklore that healing actually works. If people pray, the effects are felt. What that really means is that there is no such thing as a person being an island. That's all nonsense. There are no people separate from humanity. They are part of humanity by merely being a member of the species and by being part of the energy flux in which everything exists. They may not be conscious of it, because most of it can only be experienced in a kind of superconscious state. But the Tibetan Buddhists, the advanced Hindu Yogis, the advanced Christian mystics, the American Indian medicine man, and the shamans all over the planet, agree that we're all connected together. But scientists have never paid any attention to that. They think that's just baloney. Turns out not to be baloney. And we think the copper wall project and its continuation into the effects at a distance are just part of human potential.