An essay by Ian Trousdell
This article introduces the notion of a world-mind, a more extensive world than the one we presently think we live in and describes its dimensions, how we can live consciously in it and why that is important. It is the result of long-term studies, particularly, but not only, of Rudolf Steiner’s concepts, combined with personal explorations of the intuitive worlds within myself and later within the world-mind, a reality we are all members of.
Discussing abstract ideas and being immersed in the worlds they talk of are very different experiences. This article can only act as an introduction as much more writing is needed to provide a navigational map. This topic is no longer just the interest of a few but an evolutionary necessity for human kind.
To start with here are some leading questions: What is reality? How do human beings presently gain access to the portion of reality we know about? Are there further facets of reality beyond the known four dimensions of space and time, ones we can enter directly? What is the mind, and what is the process of knowing? Can a self-directed process of thinking evolve when selectively combined with feelings and use of our will? Our bodies are part of the physical world of nature, which we are surrounded by, but what of our minds? Are they only insubstantial and purely personal or are they also an objective part of some larger fabric of reality and made of the same substance as that reality? Is it possible to move beyond conjecture to real objective experience within this larger world-mind, made up of both physical and intuitive elements? To what extent do our powerful physical senses block out emergent intuitive senses, which could lead us into a new world of promise and creative cooperation?
To introduce the world-mind, and the ‘living thinking’ needed to enter it, in a short article means that some of the usual careful steps of logic and background must be leapt over. This, therefore, can only be an introduction in the form of a basic report, both conceptual and experiential.
The breakthrough in thought that is quantum physics presents us with a four dimensional reality, where space is the three dimensions of height, width and depth, with time as the non-physical 4th dimension. By living into the experience of time, we can sense an all-encompassing flow that is absolutely necessary for the physical world to exist. It is like being in a vast yet flowing ocean that carries everything on our earth within it, but through which we can travel in our memory. If time was somehow removed from the world, timelessness would immobilise life into an unmoving eternal moment. Nothing could change, no life could exist yet there would be no death either. If time had never been a part of the material world of nature, then no form would ever have existed. Time is life itself; it is the formative, creative element throughout the material world that allows growth and change to happen, for the seasons to flow from one to the other. The three dimensional physical world is what is often referred to as the ‘real world’, but time as a non-physical 4th dimension has to be added to this palpably real world.
With a strengthened, enlivened thinking, an intuitive sense of ‘seeing imaging’ can perceive this time-life 4th dimension, seeing the various states-of-life as composed of forms and lines of ‘condensed light’ manifesting around and within every object, revealing vitally important information about the physical world. How does ‘seeing imaging’ happen? When you look into that part of your mind where memories arise, elicited by a specific conscious question, you are looking into your own part of that same ocean of time-life as a dimension of the world-mind. With memory, the thoughts that arise, usually as momentary pictures, are like fish flashing by in that oceanic energy, but within our personal mind portion of it. Once thinking slows down and becomes still as a result of imaging exercises permeated by inner will activity then stillness reigns in the mind space where memories appear. This stillness becomes effortless, just as resting is effortless! The Self, described below, however, remains awake and aware, while the normal thinking rests. By asking questions and seeking answers in the forms of non-representational energy images, the world-mind itself can relay insights into the questioner’s still mind space at the level of the 4th dimension, that of time-life itself.
Naturally the question is begged; how does one know these insights are objective? We all know 5 x 7 = 35, and therefore that the mind can be objective. With training, a mind can also know for sure that E = mc2 (Einstein’s Theory of Relativity). By clarifying the scientific validity and testing the reliability of ‘seeing imaging’ with colleagues also applying this ‘living thinking’, it is possible to develop a method that can gain valuable information regarding reality. Many scientific and technical insights arise as an intuition, which can be defined as ‘understanding arising without conscious reasoning’ and are only then tested for their value. ‘Seeing imaging’, which invites non-representational images of form, lines and movement into the same mind space which stilled memories have left open , can be verified the same way.
Human minds are also a part of reality. We all know we have a mind, made up of consciousness which of itself is non-material. Even materialist thinkers, who consider that only matter exists and that minds are a product or function of ‘biochemical brain machines’, use their own consciousness to know what they know. This consciousness, which I put forward as a 5th dimension of reality, exists throughout the world beyond human minds, all of which move within varied levels of consciousness as complex shades of inner light with a range of soul experiences from destructive ignorance to sublime understanding, coloured by varied feelings and attitudes and resulting in very different actions. We tend to think this mind we have is ours personally, but consciousness itself is a wider field that individual minds are a part of, just as our bodies are part of physical nature. This 5th dimension of reality is a part of the world-mind, which is rendered ‘invisible’ to those with insufficient intuitive senses. Even so, the existing intuitive sense of ‘hearing meaning’, or ‘feeling meaning’, can be developed much further to freely enter the world-mind’s vast atmosphere of consciousness which exists spread out beyond the personal mind.
‘Hearing meaning’, which simultaneously is a feeling understanding – somewhat akin to the experience of a deepened listening to music – happens when the consciousness space in the personal mind has become still, while experiencing an empathy for the ‘other’, whatever the other happens to be at that moment. Thinking always results from asking questions, and the use of warm-hearted inner questioning enables more meaning to arise as direct experience. In this consciousness dimension, these intuitive experiences can be words, sounds, colours – including insights beyond immediate understanding – which in themselves require further questions and loving interest. ‘Hearing meaning’ as an intuitive sense can be added to ‘seeing imaging’ to create a formative deepening of consciousness, especially when the personal mind has become still and strong and respectful enough to move spatially into the surrounding physically-based world-mind and experience what it is to be the other.
Once a mind becomes quiet yet enlivened, no longer creating personal ‘noise’, (which blots out elements of the world-mind), it is able to experience an objective reality first within and then beyond itself. That is, experiencing the energetic forces and consciousness fields within the wider world. Just as a physical body with its strong senses can move consciously in the physical world, so is it possible for the inner essence of a person, aware of itself and using intuitive senses, to move as living mind substance within the objective higher dimensions of reality. The arenas for this movement can be within the inner planes of world-mind beyond the boundaries of personal mind or amongst the world-mind that is within the physical world beyond the limitations of our physical senses. Such a ‘living thinking’ is able to choose what it perceives through the process of question-led thinking; receiving and perceiving living images and insightful meanings, as well as meeting beings in appropriate and safe ways, just as we do in the physical worlds, when we know how to. To achieve this the thinker has to evolve, clarify and strengthen their thinking apparatus, that is their mind and its varied components, using specific exercises to do so.
There is also a 6th dimension of the world-mind, which can be perceived with the intuitive sense we can call ‘meeting being’. This can be encountered to start with when someone learns how to perceive their own self in meditation; the witness who is beyond thinking. The ancient Sanskrit text, Kaushitaki Upanishad, says that such a knowing comes through the quest of seeking the seeker, seeing the seer and knowing the knower. On closer examination, with a mind that has therefore become Self-aware, this experience moves outside the realm of consciousness and related thought processes. Thinking, feeling and impulses of will cease and in their place – in the same order – awareness, peace and being appear. This can be experienced as a single state beyond concepts (as thinking has stopped) which is a state of ‘awareness of peaceful being’, or, ‘being peacefully aware’, or ‘peacefully being aware’. This awareness is the deeply peaceful, loving substance of the 6th dimension, which is also the substance of our own essential Self as the core of the human being, as well as the substance of other beings. The universal 6th dimension beyond the microcosm of our own minds is the expansive being of macrocosmic love, permeating all things. This is ‘the peace that passes understanding’, meaning it is beyond consciousness, at a level where words and concepts cease.
Different organs of perception exist for each of these three higher 4th, 5th and 6th dimensions operating within any human mind that has evolved thinking beyond its brain into its own personal energetic, consciousness and awareness aspects and from there merging into the edges of the vast world-mind that is all around and within us.
We exist in a cosmos that is made from both physical and non-physical (mind) ‘substances’, which can be perceived by both physical and intuitive senses. The physical world is created out of the internal interaction of world-mind reality within the physical elements of reality. But imagine the level of understanding that exists within the non-physical dimensions of the world-mind that is capable of achieving this ongoing miracle of natural creation! There is so much to learn from this part of our reality, something that humanity desperately needs with the existential crisis that our planet now faces. Nature operates continuously out of all six dimensions and we are incapable of understanding her wise complexities while only participating consciously in the three lower dimensions. Imagine the wise, non-pollutant technologies and social forms waiting to be developed through such a direct relationship!
Intuitive senses and living thinking need developing. Our intellectual thinking, which can be termed ‘knowing logic’, is brilliantly capable of understanding our inorganic physical world via advanced physics and mathematics as well as with everyday common-sense, but has some limitations when engaging with the living world, which operates out of additional levels of reality. Through self-directed inner work we can evolve our present intellectual thinking into other thinking methods better able to directly know the other dimensions of our wider reality, while retaining a capacity to use our valuable intellectual thinking when needed. This can lead us into a living cooperation with the reality that the rest of the planet, and cosmos, already lives in.
The physical, intellectual human being can already experience these three higher dimensions at a personal level, and with appropriate practice and conceptual navigational hints this can be further developed. Intuitive senses already exist at an embryonic stage in all human beings. Already, we can see images especially in memories, hear meaning in our understanding of conversations or reading, and meet being with a sense for each other’s inner character. It takes no more work, determination and regular practice to develop a perceptive living thinking that is consciously able to enter the world-mind, than that needed to learn to play a classical musical instrument well!
Why do we need to become citizens of the full world-mind, beyond and within the physical dimensions? Because humanity, at this stage operating out of its intellect only, is clearly not up to the task of living effectively on the Earth. While the method of intellectual thinking has great value it also has created our present technical culture and its unsustainable, polluting and aggressive technologies, which are out of tune with nature’s way of working. The primary cause of humanity’s and now the planet’s problems is an inadequate thinking, a thinking which unfortunately results in death and disharmony as an operational by-product, even as it also bestows many benefits to civilisation. The best way forward as an evolutionary imperative for the human race is for a living thinking to be developed in as many individuals as possible, as soon as possible, and for people to share insights gained from higher dimensions of existence.
What is available in the life, consciousness and awareness dimensions? These are not vague, dim regions but vibrant worlds of wisdom, the creative source of the physical world, populated by real beings made of life, light and love, who have access to the very source of creation within what can be called the 7th dimension, an entirely creative source of continual upwelling life, light and love, manifesting the forms and substances of the lower dimensions. By working within these worlds, while also being aware of our ‘normal’ experience of living in the physical part of the world-mind, human beings can uniquely action many new useful and effective processes in every aspect of human culture.
It sounds utopian certainly, but it’s better than the present dystopian future we are creating for ourselves environmentally and socially. Four hundred years ago I would estimate less than one hundred people on the whole planet thought in a truly technical, scientific and logical manner, and even then at a basic level, and look now at what extraordinary achievements have come from it as it has spread around the world. Imagine how much can be achieved in a human lifetime with an evolution of clear thinking into new realms of understanding and cooperation. To go into more detail, with examples, would necessitate much more writing, but I hope the reader can sense the potential of a living thinking that could develop non-pollutant technologies, harmonic social forms, nature-supporting food production and free information sharing that are presently as unknown as our present achievements were 100 years ago.
So what is the ‘real world’ we so often hear talked about? This is usually meant to be the hard realities of what can be sensed physically, a sort of denigration of anything that is intangible to the physical senses’ grasp. But, by developing our already existing, early-stage intuitive senses, we can enter a wider real world and have experiences that can be every bit as true as those enabled by the physical senses, especially as the methods for making use of these intuitive senses are developed more widely into the future. One barrier is the notion that the intuitive world’s higher dimensions are somehow abstract and insubstantial, like vague memories floating on the edge of consciousness. Yet quite the opposite is the experience, as these dimensions are creatively made of life and wise expressiveness and unconditional love, with beings to respect and know, with much to learn for all. It is an exciting opening for humanity, such as was faced by those who have gone exploring into new regions of the world and the mind in the past.
A real and tangible intuitive world when compared to a physical world may seem unreal, but this is simply because present day humanity does not generally have the developed senses to apprehend and live within it. However, let us for a moment do a radical mind inversion, and imagine a world where real substance is pure energy; where levels of consciousness are that world’s light and where beings are states of warmth whose fabric is love. If we now get used to this as completely normal, and then considered the notion of a world containing matter-filled forms, with gravity weighing us down and a thinking unable to encompass the subtle forces in the cosmos, we might, from our new perspective consider it strange and unreal, especially if we had very limited physical sense organs to perceive that unusual world as a reality.
The development of living thinking and its intuitive senses is key to entering the full reality of our world, a world that has creative universal mind qualities to it, as well as created physical forms. If we have the picture of present day personal thinking operating like busy semi-chaotic traffic at an unregulated intersection, we can think of living thinking starting with a manager standing at the centre of the intersection, sending traffic where she or he chooses, or stopping it completely when needed. And that is just the start of the change, for personal thinking transformed into supra-personal thinking can gain wings and enter into much wider realms of relationships and learning.
We are now at a critical time in evolution when ever more human beings need to engage with this ‘new world’, in which resides the creative wisdom of the reality we live in. With it we can learn to adjust our present inadequate way of working to create a planet in harmony with itself, both environmentally and socially. This is the next step in humanity’s journey towards a state of creative inner freedom whereby we can become a mature, wise and responsible species.
Ian Trousdell was born in England but spent much of his life in New Zealand, working as a Steiner/Waldorf teacher and also designing and marketing Flowform® water-improving technology. He currently lives in Forest Row, Sussex, UK and works within the Flowform International Corporation and is a trustee and director for Foundation for Water.
While this article puts forward some research summaries, his ebook, Some Poems For You, shares more about these realities of being from direct experience. They will be published on the 4th of October this year and will be available at www.amazon.com by typing in the title to that website search bar.