Achieving stillness of the mind has been at the core of most mystical traditions. Different methods of meditation have been created to help in this process and some of these practices have gained a wide acceptance and numerous adepts within western culture over the past decades. More recently successful documentaries such as The Secret or What the Bleep!, have popularized the concept that our thoughts have an affect on our reality and, thus, that we have the power to determine our destiny. Yet the connection between these two fundamental concepts of ancient and modern spiritual teachings has not been made readily accessible. Is it possible to still our minds and focus on a dream at the same time?
Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within is Amy Lansky’s brilliant attempt to bridge the connection between stilling the mind and influencing reality with our thoughts. Her most recent book can be considered an evolution from books such as The Field or The Intention Experiment, written by Lynne McTaggart. Lansky’s book is rich with evidence found during experimental research on consciousness and the paranormal, supported with the wisdom of different esoteric teachings. From her studies and personal experience, Lansky presents a model of reality that comprises the existence of higher dimensions that we can actively access and which would explain such phenomena as clairvoyance, remote-viewing or telekinesis. The book also contains some practical exercises to help people engage in their own experience of what is being presented there.
Sharing the motivation to help the world wake up and collectively change the course of human civilization, SuperConsciousness spoke with Amy about her personal journey to write Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within, and some of the key concepts presented in it.
Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a NASA researcher in artificial intelligence when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son's autism. In 2003, she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, now one of the best-selling introductory books on homeopathy worldwide. For more information about Amy Lansky and her work you may visit: http://www.activeconsciousness.com or www.impossiblecure.com
SuperConsciousness: Can you tell us about yourself and how your interest in consciousness and personal growth began?
Amy Lansky: I've always been interested in spirituality and esoteric subjects. I think even as a small child I had an intuitive inclination in that realm, but I diverged from it completely as I went off and became a mathematician and computer scientist. That began to change after I finished my doctorate. I remember when I was working at my first job at SRI International — formerly called the “Stanford Research Institute" — in the mid 1980s. They do a lot of military contract research work and it's not a very spiritual place. People would talk about the work of researchers Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff on remote-viewing, and everybody was teasing and laughing about it. But I actually thought there was something to it.
During my lunchtimes at SRI, I used to go and take walks, and I would often visit a nearby esoteric bookstore as well as a meditation center a block away. I always thought, "Hmm, this is more where I belong." My more recent entryway into spirituality was through alternative medicine. At first I was attracted to chi gong and I also did a therapy called, "network chiropractic", an esoteric form of chiropractic that is more energy-based.
One day I was watching an episode of "Star Trek" and they were talking about these creatures in the fourth dimension. It got me thinking about the fourth dimension from a mathematical point of view and what it would mean as far as paranormal abilities. A couple of years later, I began studying homeopathy because my son was cured of autism with it. That experience really changed my life. Then, in 1996, all of my ideas in this realm sort of converged in a paper I wrote called, "Consciousness As an Active Force." The idea behind it was that consciousness could affect our trajectory through three-dimensional space — that is, how our lives unfold — because it operates within the context of four-dimensional space. I guess that might sound very complicated, but I explain it very simply in my new book, Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within, which grew out of that initial paper.
SC: Your book is very broad and composed of many different elements. Why did you decide to make it so comprehensive? What value did you see in writing it this way?
AL: The first reason is that I do have an inclination to write that way. I did the same with my first book, an introductory book on homeopathy, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy; It is also very broad and comprehensive. Somehow, I have found that I'm able to explain really complicated information in a way that people can easily understand. The response to my homeopathy book has been incredible. It has become pretty much the best-selling book on homeopathy worldwide and has been translated into many languages.
Another reason for my writing a very broad and comprehensive book about consciousness is that, by weaving all of this information into one framework, I believe it creates a kind of coherence or credibility for the reader. If science and esoteric traditions and personal experience all point to the same concepts, I think it lends credibility to the argument that these things are truly real, that this is the way nature actually works.
What Active Consciousness is about, at a fundamental level, is that there is a much deeper and more complete way of viewing ourselves as human beings. There's much more to us than just our physical bodies. The book talks about how to access and operate from this deeper or more complete conception of ourselves, so that we can evolve as human beings and make use of everything that we actually are.
I wove into all of this various forms of evidence, both from a scientific point of view and from an esoteric point of view, because there are so many wisdom traditions saying the same thing. By putting it all together in one context, I hoped that people would say to themselves, "Wow, this really is true. We really are more than just our physical bodies. We really do have these abilities." Readers will see that it all makes sense and works in a single coherent way. I also give exercises and experiments that readers can try out to see if what I'm saying is really true for them.
SC: Like you just mentioned there are some scientists that have been doing research on the paranormal for years now, and there are certainly many ancient traditions that talk about our innate and extraordinary abilities, but when it comes to the use of some terms, there is still room for confusion and lack of clarity. Based on your experience and research, how do you define consciousness, mind, and what role does our brain play in all of this?
AL: I think that we can understand all of this by realizing that there are many layers to ourselves. We have a brain, we have a physical body, and the brain is part of our physical mechanism. From my viewpoint, the brain is just a machine that's working for us, and it probably does a lot of operations that a computer could do. But there’s a lot more to us as well. There are many layers, energy levels or whatever you want to call them, many higher energy bodies that also comprise us. So, in fact, some aspects of our mind aren’t just in the brain. Some parts are operating outside the brain in these higher levels of our being.
What Active Consciousness is about, at a fundamental level, is that there is a much deeper and more complete way of viewing ourselves as human beings. There's much more to us than just our physical bodies.
One piece of evidence for this is that the mind can have remote effects. For example, scientific studies show that the mind can affect physical objects like random event generators through telekinetic effects and can also successfully perform remote-viewing. So there must be some aspect of ourselves that is connected to our physical bodies and brains, but is also beyond our physical bodies and able to do these things.
What is consciousness? Is consciousness just what our brain is doing? I call that "shallow consciousness." Are we awake, are our ears hearing, are our eyes seeing, are all our faculties registering information? From this standpoint, a robot is conscious, because robots have sensors and they can be “aware” of the information that's going into them. And then there's also the things we consciously do — a shallow but active form of consciousness — like the actions we consciously perform or things we consciously say.
But I believe that there's also a deeper form of consciousness that is operating at the higher levels of our energy bodies. This deeper form of consciousness can also be passive or active. A deep form of passive consciousness enables us to receive information from these other realms. For example, we can perceive information about the future or at a distant location by using this deeper form of awareness. We might also receive various forms of information from our higher or deeper selves during meditation.
Finally, there is a deeper form of active consciousness or what I simply call, “active consciousness” in my book. Active consciousness is the ability to act using our higher or deeper selves, to affect the world from this deeper level of awareness.
SC: When you talk about active consciousness you make a distinction between manifesting and creating. Can you explain why are they different?
AL: At a fundamental level they may actually be the same thing, but they may differ from each other based on likelihood or probability. To me, they somehow seem intuitively different. What I call manifesting is when we use active consciousness to set into motion an ordinary sequence of things that could happen easily in our daily reality, but are unlikely to happen in that particular way. A typical example might be when you get a good parking spot or when you somehow choose a route to work where you have the best traffic flow. Nobody's going to say a miracle occurred in order for those things to happen, even if they are unlikely for some reason. You just somehow perform, or perhaps the environment works with you, to create the perfect sequence of events.
So there must be some aspect of ourselves that is connected to our physical bodies and brains, but is also beyond our physical bodies and able to do these things.
What I call creation is when a much more unlikely thing happens. A typical example is when you have a spontaneous healing. In essence, your body chooses a future in which something is healed that normally wouldn’t be healed. So the difference between manifestation and creation is actually a matter of probability. In my view, when you create, you're enabling a very low probability path to emerge that wouldn’t have emerged unless you had used active consciousness. For example, you create a possible reality in which your body heals instead of recreating itself as diseased.
SC: An important part of the book has to do with exercises that lead people into active consciousness. What are the four steps that you describe?
AL: From a pop culture point of view, these four steps of active consciousness are similar to ideas in the “The Secret,” or to the many other methods for manifesting or creating that have been proposed. But in my book I do try to explain, from a deeper level, why these four steps are essential. There is a reason why people are using these steps.
The first step is to be in the most optimal frame of mind so that you can be effective. Basically, this involves using meditation to be in the Now, because that's the point from which the future emanates. The future branches from the Now. So if you are in the Now, you're going to be able to affect that branching better, and you’re also going to be able to perceive information from your inner self better, too.
Actually, I call the first step “Now Plus” (Now+). I think it is even more effective than just being in the Now. Now+ is being in the Now, but also in a state of love and compassion, and I give exercises to help people do this. In fact, a lot of the exercises in my book are based on the teachings of my own teacher, Gary Sherman. Most people don’t know of him, but he’s a teacher here in Northern California. He's not of any particular lineage, but has been studying and teaching for decades.
Step two is what I call, “Pure Goal”. Assuming that you’re trying to achieve something with active consciousness, Pure Goal is essentially being in the state of vibration of your goal — without any doubts. Because if you have doubts, you're mixing up your state of vibration with more fearful or doubtful information. Of course, Pure Goal is easier to achieve when you're in a state of meditation because you're less affected by the chatter of the mind and all of the ego stories and fears you might have.
Actually, a big part of my book is explaining why similarity in vibration is important and how it has turned up in lots of different contexts that have been studied scientifically. For example, Sheldrake’s morphic field is based on it. Homeopathic medicine is essentially the medical system that is based on similar vibrations, the power of similar vibrations to heal. A person is given a remedy derived from a substance that can create symptoms similar to their own disease symptoms. In other words, a curative remedy substance has a vibratory state similar to the state of the patient. I think resonance or similar vibration is a key universal mechanism of the unified field, which I believe is, likely, the same as the field of consciousness. There's definitely something fundamental going on with similar vibrations. I believe it is how synchronicities work as well.
The future branches from the Now. So if you are in the Now, you're going to be able to affect that branching better, and you’re also going to be able to perceive information from your inner self better, too.
Getting back to the steps of active consciousness. In step three, you return to your everyday reality, and you have to “Let Go”. In the Abraham teachings, channeled by Esther Hicks, they call it “leaving it up to the universal manager.” You just have to trust that you've done your job and things are going to start happening. If you focus on doubts, you’re muddying things up again.
But then you also have to help; you actually have to participate in this process. Your goal will not be achieved by some miracle. The question is: how are you going to get from here to the goal? The answer is that you have to navigate your world in a particular way, you need to pay attention to information that’s coming to you. That’s where step four comes in. The way you do it is by tuning in more closely.
I advocate using a method that I call, “Choose Joy”. Let’s say that you need to make some kind of choice. The idea behind Choose Joy is that your deeper self has access to useful information and it’s going to provide it to you in some way. What you need to do is get into the Now as much as possible, or at least into a settled state in which you're less prone to be affected by fears and other kinds of ego information or rational thought. Then, you bring your choice into your Now state of awareness and see which one feels better, which one creates more joy. That’s the one you choose.
Actually, you also have to learn discernment, whether it’s your ego making the choice, perhaps based on fear, whether it is your rational mind making the choice or is really coming from your inner self. That’s why being in a meditative state helps. Many times a choice based on Choose Joy doesn’t make sense at all. You'll logically think you should choose something else. But if you just pay attention to this information coming from your inner self and your internal sensation of joy, it will lead you in the right direction.
SC: From the four steps for active consciousness, in some way they all require that you reach that place of Now. When we engage in any practice or discipline and we try to reach that place, that's when we really start to learn who we are.
AL: That's right.
SC: We begin to notice all the different voices that are in our head, our fears, limitations, judgments and emotional reactions that accompany them, and they're the ones who are creating our reality. As the analogy you use in your book from Gurdjieff, they're the ones who are leading the carriage. What I would like for you to talk about is how these exercises are not only about creating something for you but they also lead you in a process of knowing one's self, and tell us why is that important?
AL: A whole section of my book is about this process of internal self-examination. A good place to start is with the metaphor that Gurdjieff used for the self. They didn’t have cars in his time, so he used the analogy of the horse and carriage. Imagine a carriage is being driven by a driver on the outside — there's a horse, the carriage, the driver, and a person inside.
The carriage is like the physical body and the horse is the emotions. Really, your emotions are part of the physical mechanism of your being, just like the horse is part of the propelling force of the carriage. The carriage driver is like the ego or the lower brain mind that has all the stories and ideas going round and round. It also thinks it's in complete control of the whole carriage, the horse and everything — that's what most people think, that their ego is themselves, their identity. Part of developing deeper awareness is realizing that there's somebody inside the carriage, your inner self. Or I might call it “your more complete self”, because it's both inner and it's also expansive, all around you, in a way.
This inner self, I believe, is the part of you that accompanies you from life to life, and it is more aware of things because it has access to higher dimensions that allow it to see the bigger picture. Your inner self also has your best interest in mind. It's working to help you develop. If you can access this inner self, then you will have access to a lot more information and a lot more wisdom. That's much of what meditation is about. Getting in the Now is like telling the carriage driver to shut up, stop, and let the person inside the carriage lead the way.
In essence, you're stripping away all of this outer stuff and getting to the real heart of the matter, which is the inner self that has a lot more information for you. You just need to listen to it, and this information is always coming at you all the time. It's amazing. One of the exercises that I’m personally doing right now is just trying to pay attention to the ideas that spontaneously come to me during the day and recording them in a notebook. Inspirations come to each of us all day — we just usually ignore them. You have to pay attention. You have to realize that if you use something like active consciousness, the universe and your inner self will respond. It’s an interactive process.
There's somebody inside the carriage, your inner self. Or I might call it “your more complete self”, because it's both inner and it's also expansive, all around you, in a way.
SC: One of the things that you talk about in the book and it seems very original to me is to have the mindset of a scientist, recording all your observations, setting goals and keeping track of your achievements. Why is that so important?
AL: I think it's an exercise in paying attention to what's really happening. It's just like keeping a dream journal. People who do dream-work know that if you keep a journal, write in it every day and intend to have a dream or lucid dreaming, you actually increase your memory of dreams. So it's the same principle. By keeping track of what you're doing, recording your observations, you're getting feedback and you're paying more attention, and it will also increase your confidence in the whole endeavor.
For myself as a scientist, as a scientifically minded person, keeping a journal is also like engaging in a test or experiment. I can't say that I’m a superhuman being who achieves everything I want using active consciousness, because I'm flawed and have my doubts and stories, too, just like everyone else. But I have found that over time, my state of mind has dramatically improved through this process of self-examination and meditation. I have also found that if you start recording things about your active consciousness experiments, you will notice that other amazing things like synchronicities begin to happen more and more, too. Increased synchronicities are a sign that you are on the right track. It's like the universe is creating opportunities for you.
I had one amazing synchronicity occur while I was writing this book. I was editing the chapter about Rupert Sheldrake and morphic fields. I had never met him, I had just read his books. He lives in England and as far as I was concerned, he was a distant illustrious scientist who I admired. I was editing the very chapter of my book that talked about his work, and my husband comes home and says, "You won’t believe this, but we're having lunch with Rupert Sheldrake tomorrow." I just couldn’t believe it! Through an amazing series of “coincidences”, Sheldrake was visiting my husband’s computer research lab and we did indeed have lunch together the following day.
SC: And the greater your confidence is, then the easier it becomes to engage in this process.
AL: I think by having confidence and by trusting, it's like you're telling the universe, "Yeah, I'm listening. I believe it. It's happening." It is like showing gratitude or thanking the universe for this, and I think the universe responds by saying, "Okay. Here's some more."
SC: You recommend to start small, to start with things that are not way out of your acceptance level in order to build confidence.
AL: Again, it's about probability as well. If your first goal is to levitate a spoon, it may not be possible at all; it's highly improbable, anyway. Start with things that are specific and things that are not highly improbable, but improbable enough so that you'll be convinced that something's going on, and it will build your confidence. As you start trying it more, listening to information that's coming to you, you may also learn to discern better what’s information coming from the inner self and what’s coming from the ego.
SC: Why do you think this is a crucial moment in our lives, and engaging in a process like this is perhaps very important?
AL: I think that an inherent part of this work is sensing and understanding the interconnectivity between all of humanity, in fact between everything in our universe. The way that all of this is operating is in the field of consciousness, which I believe is the unified field. We're interacting with it and we're all interconnected to it.
I believe that the only way the human species is going to survive on this planet is by acknowledging how interconnected we all are, and the effects that we have on each other. We need to get out of the ego and its stories of greed, fear, and suffering. We really need to operate more from the perspective of our higher selves. This is not just for our own personal benefit and growth, but for the greater good of humanity and of the planet. I don’t see how we're going to make the sacrifices that we will need to make — dealing with scarce resources and everything else — if each of us is operating from the perspective of our ego and our personal needs and not seeing the bigger picture.
Luckily, I do think that a shift is happening. People are beginning to learn more about meditation and about concepts like active consciousness. Superconsciousness.com is a perfect example of this. Hopefully this shift will trigger a kind of positive feedback-loop and changes will happen more and more quickly. The people who are shifting now are creating what Gurdjieff called a “conscious nucleus.” I think expanding this nucleus is the only way humanity is going to survive. Even scientific studies show that collective forms of meditation and intention are more powerful than individual efforts. I believe that if we work together, we can collectively change the course of human civilization and create a future that is even better and brighter than the one we are experiencing now. We just need to wake up, use active consciousness, and Choose Joy!
I believe that the only way the human species is going to survive on this planet is by acknowledging how interconnected we all are, and the effects that we have on each other.
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