The event will take place in a gorgeous mini village offered to us by dear friends who want to support our journey.
Your next steps
Reminder: this boot camp works as a DIY. This means I don’t organize it myself, YOU organize it with the rest of the team. My friends offered a place, I will provide the content and offer all my experience, you do the rest. This will contribute to building the group coherence and check everyone’s autonomy. You shouldn’t see it as a ‘yet another personal development’ workshop.
First read and follow the steps explained in “Evolutionary Boot Camps“. It will tell you how to apply and qualify. This includes a one-to-one conversation and official agreement on my end.
Then, and only then, you can officially confirm your participation in this boot camp. Just send me an email or call me.
The boot camp will happen if we have a minimum of 12 confirmed attendees by Feb. 15, 2016. In case we haven’t reached this number, then we will cancel. So, don’t take your plane tickets before, unless you absolutely want to visit Bali no matter what 🙂
The boot camp will not accept more than 25 participants, by order of confirmation.
I gave this keynote conference October 24th, 2013 in Marseille for the opening of a big convention with 3000 CEOs and senior managers. Twelve minutes (actually, a little more, fourteen), to talk about our inner evolution in a world where everyone talks mostly about technology and external change.
Does this title look like a failure assessment? Not at all, at least not for me. Some years ago, I made the conscious decision I would become useless.
By this, I mean unusable. No one, not even myself, can use me as a tool, an instrument, a servant or a master, a groupie or a guru, an employee or a boss. Roles and functions do not apply for a useless person.
As a useless person, I have no world to save, no cause to fight for, no enemy to fight against, no moral obligations, no responsibilities, no duty.
People say we need to “earn a living”. My mom and dad told me that (and they keep telling me). My grand-parents too, a long time ago. So did my school teachers, my barber, the guy at the gas pump and the politician on TV. As far as I know, I earned my life at birth. Why should I earn it again and again? Why should I do specific actions like doing a paid job to buy for myself the right to live? Today, I have no job, no position, no title, no social status. My resumé went to the trash. It feels really really good.
Do you find all this shocking? So why do we have cats and dogs? Why do we feel so touched by kids? Don’t we unconsciously enjoy and project ourselves into their delicious untroubled uselessness?
Uselessness has also freed me from the pervasive unconscious ideologies in which we have to justify our worthiness of living. Don’t we want to make our actions fit into some coherent “reason of living” or “meaning of life”? Don’t we like to claim the serving of a “greater purpose”? Don’t we navigate on these mental oceans where we see ourselves as small parts of a greater whole? We love to see ourselves as parts of greater wholes. It doesn’t matter whether we call them God, the Kosmos, Humanity, the Divine, Mother Earth or the Nation… They all point to a big thing that has its own agenda, its own laws. We don’t have much to say there. No debates, no democracy, big dictatorship. We just have to accept, to surrender (the correct wisdom word). This apparent conflict of interest between the I and the Whole will eventually provoke pain.
As Aurobindo pointed it, the mental always sees the part in the whole, but it can hardly grasp the whole in the part. When the experience of wholeness, of existing as the entire universe, became my predominant state of consciousness, when both the part and the whole melted together, I became useless. I turned into a human and a God, an entity and an essence, an immanence and a transcendence, a one and a many, temporal and eternal, small and immense, here and everywhere. The last sparks of utilitarianism did not survive that.
As a useless person, I can now live the life of an artist, of a God creator and destroyer of worlds, for the only ecstasy of the play. I can unleash creative actions that have no utilitarian purpose, by the grace of joyful expression. By an act of blissipline, I become my greatest masterpiece by means of scientific research, writing, music, martial arts, goofiness, sleep, making love, playing Ingress, hugging a tree or enjoying a self-indulgent, delicious indolence.
During my trip to Auroville, India, December 2014, I gave a conference about collective intelligence and my research work in exploring new ways to exist and evolve consciousness. This conference has different parts, from external objective science to empirical exploration I do at the personal level.
In this first part you will hear the great story about collective intelligence. How did it evolve through the ages, where does it go today? This part focuses on the external objective aspects of my scientific research: facts, data, words.
Evolving the We in the I
The second part of the conference offers a more complex –and deeper– understanding of collective intelligence by addressing how the collective operates in the self, how the “we” plays in the “I”. Hence the fact that we see many collectives that evolve lot’s of external aspects such as technology or governance, but people still carry, like holograms, the social dna of the old society: same social codes, same wealth technology (money), same language, same food, same relationship with the body, same beliefs (doxa), same relationship to time, etc. My research has lead me to explore and deconstruct this social dna and explore new possibilities. I share some examples in the videos below.
Language carries lot’s of archaic forms of consciousness in the way it builds reality in our individual and collective psyche. Unveiling these archaic forms and deciding whether we get rid of them of evolves them helps make important evolutionary steps, individually and collectively. Here I share the example of speaking in e-prime (not using the verb “to be”).
No social code exist randomly. No matter how unconsciously we perpetuate social codes, they all have a function: perpetuate and maintain a given social order. Evolution means we also question the function of each social code, and decide what we want to keep, get rid of, or evolve. In this part of the conference I share how I changed a few social codes, like breathing before speaking, and the consequences it had on me and around me.
Pyramidal collective intelligence has made market economy its core economic engine. Why? Because gift economy didn’t have the capacity to reach large scales due to the exponential complexity it generates. However now holomidal collective intelligence allows the rise of gift economies at large scale, offering amazing competitive advantages compared to market economy. But it takes a quantum leap to understand and trust the process, a question that I share in this part of the conference.
Food, Technology, Body
Food carries lot’s of social beliefs and binding in it. Food and consciousness walk hand in hand. If one asks this double question: “what does good for me and for the world at the same time?”, then no conventional cuisine today offers a satisfying answer. Evolving the self means evolving the way we eat.
Technology also shapes individual and collective consciousness. We have a different world and reality before and after the invention of fire, of the writing, of the printing press, of flight, of computers, of internet. What consciousness do we cultivate in order to have technology serve us rather than the opposite?
Last but not least, the body plays a key role in invisible architectures. Culture determines in a large manner the relationship we have with or body, how we experience it, how we manifest it. Conventional lifestyle in the pyramidal collective intelligence world places the body in a social and cultural mold. How can we free ourselves and get to live fully our bodily experience? Why should we do that? What consequences?
If we had 3 core ideas to keep in mind, I would pick these ones:
transmute old social dna
reclaim your body
Questions & Answers
People in the public asked a series of fascinating questions, as shared on the time line below.
0:00 – What about languages that don’t use the verb “to be”?
2:10 – In the gift economy, don’t people usually give back to you rather than giving back to someone else?
5:15 – Can we consider an intermediary stage between market economy and gift economy that we could call social entrepreneurship?
9:30 – Question from a sports coach: “I follow my heart by teaching what I love and do the best, however it keeps me binded to a city, a place where I don’t want to live. If I follow and listen to my heart, how should I deal with this?”
15:10 – How does friendship play in linking the I and the We? What role of social environment in this transformation?
20:00 – Do you know good examples of holomidal collective intelligence?
24:40 – Auroville began with very innovative ideas about education. Unexperienced people applied them, and later more and more of the pyramidal world came in, with money, taxes, etc. So, what do you think about education?
29:10 – 2 questions:
1. What sense do you have about our organization in Auroville ? Does it contribute to holomidal collective intelligence?
2. When you work with companies, what agreements do you propose for groups to change in a soft way?
35:20 – You have yourself evolved towards live (raw) food, but before enough people make such a conscious step, they will end up depleting our current natural resources. What do you think about that?
37:15 – You’ve spoken about collective intelligence and shared about things you do at the personal level. How do you do the two things combined together, the personal and the collective?
A big thank you to Bruno and Damien for capturing this conference, and to Joel for the sound engineering.
Auroville Radio interviewed me, December 22nd 2014, during my trip to Auroville near Pondicherry, India. Roland Katz, a wonderful man who knows how to hold space for the expression of the authentic self, and who know how to connect souls, did this interview.
Explored topics: evolution, collective intelligence, language, ontology, spiritual tradition, Auroville, integral wealth, gift economy, martial arts, truth, courage…
Physics and mysticism work like oil and vinegar, you have to shake them hard together to make a decent vinaigrette. Do we need vinaigrette to season our life? Does quantum physics explain consciousness?
“I wave therefore I am”
Today’s post-modern Western spiritual language uses a lot of verbiage taken from science, mostly quantum physics: frequencies, vibrations, energy, vacuum, waves, fields, quantum this, quantum that… Since the rise of rationalism, contemporary spirituality, especially in New Age movements, has made many attempts to bridge and reconcile the outer objective reality with the inner subjective world. As quantum physics lays down a non-linear and non-deterministic approach to reality, it didn’t take long for people to decide that the unmanifest and manifest meet at the quantum level by an act of consciousness, particularly as interpretations of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Schrödinger’s cat. The infinite potential of consciousness and creativity operate at the level of waves and particles. Movies like “What the bleep do we know?” (2004) made quite a spicy vinaigrette of this notion.
When I find myself in the middle of a QWBC’s (read “quantic wanna be conversations”), I stand aside and observe quietly (turning myself into a discreet wave rather than a punchy particle). In general participants prove they have no idea about what energy, a wave, a frequency, a probability or differential calculus really mean. Many even confuse a sound wave with an electromagnetic wave. They of speak quantum physics with a Newtonian mind. How could they not? Our common language has built itself on describing separated objects and causal relationships between them. Hence the fact one can access the deep understanding of quantum physics only through mathematical equations, not through everyday language.
Every time new scientific paradigms have appeared in the past, people have twisted them in order to legitimate their current understanding of reality, from politics to spirituality to economics. When Newtonian physics appeared, many thought we could explain the whole universe through deterministic equations. If we could predict where a planet would appear next year, and at what speed an apple would hit the floor depending on which branch it falls from, didn’t it prove our capacity to forecast everything in a deterministic universe? Yet, people didn’t have access to the infinitely small (inert and living) that has quite different behaviors. They didn’t know Newtonian physics only applies to big, dead, inert objects. Determinism became a model for industrial society. When Darwin’s theories entered the main stream, natural selection turned into a motto in economics, claiming the natural domination of the fittest and that markets follow natural laws.
A few years ago I came across an ad from a 1917 newspaper. It promoted “pills of radioactivity” that could heal almost every forms of disease, from diarrhea to gout to malaria to whitlow. The article described radioactivity not as a physical phenomenon but as a thing you can eat, just like mashed potatoes or broccoli. Matter, time and energy had just unveiled some of their most intimate secrets. Well, not for everyone yet… 🙂
As you can see, history has shown how ideologies tried to legitimate themselves with the current scientific models, since the Renaissance. This same pattern applied to spirituality.
I don’t claim that science cannot ground or correlate our spiritual experience. Actually it does, and this should even remain one of its main objectives. However correlating and proving mean two different things. We lose science, rationality and spiritual insight each time we select some external objective phenomenology to prove the meaning of our inner subjective experience. We start with the conclusion –our experience– then we pick the relevant scientific material and discard the irrelevant one, to make our point. This cartoon on the right says more than a thousand words. Many contemporary spiritual movements do exactly the same as creationists (yet another spiritual movement), in their own way.
“Does Quantum Physics Prove God?”
So let’s go deeper now. Here comes an interview of Ken Wilber from Corey deVos: Does Quantum Physics Prove God?
I really enjoy this interview. Ken nails down the flaws of today’s spirituality pseudo-scientific verbiage. He brings up 3 core arguments:
None of the original founders of quantum physics –all pure mystics!– claimed that individual consciousness has control over the duality wave/particle. They just talked about probabilities, waves, collapse… Actually their mysticism came from the abyssal untouchable nature of the reality they could sense under the veil of their equations. Science describes the manifest and tries to predict it, it leaves us in awe of that which produces the manifested reality (the field of meta-physics). Mystical experience infuses us not because of a solved mystery, but because of an unsolved one. We face the Great Mystery not because of the finite maps that science provides, but because of the uncharted territories and dimensions that our mind can sense without the capacity to embrace them. Only a wider consciousness can, beyond the mental. We then have to enter in meditative techniques.
2. Claiming that quantum vacuum equals spirit and gives rise to the manifest world through intention creates a duality. We fall back into phenomenology, with objects and causal relationships between them. Spirit becomes a “doer” doing something, in a dual world. It contradicts the very essence, suchness, is-ness of spirit. I like Wilber’s metaphor when he says wetness of the ocean has nothing to do with waves. Wetness exists everywhere, indifferent to the manifest, to waves, to storms, to streams. Spirit remains neutral with matter, energy, waves, states, collapses and so on.
3. Understanding quantum physics doesn’t make you an enlightened person. Physics offers an “it” – 3rd person – dual approach to reality whereas mystical experience flows in the “I”, the subjective non-dual self. Indeed, the “I” and the “it” can mutually inspire each other: I can have a mystical experience contemplating Schrödinger’s equations, and I can have a mathematical illumination during meditation. However science in general, and quantum mechanics in particular, because of their very duality, cannot offer the proof of consciousness, no more than a wave can explain wetness.
Last but not least, if spiritual experience needed physics as an explanation, then we would have to trash our spiritual practices each time a new scientific paradigm emerges. Spiritual experience does not, and cannot depend on our temporary maps of external reality. Spiritual experience needs its own ontology, its own phenomenology for the “I” inner world. Indeed spirituality takes most of its words from the manifested world in a metaphorical way. It involves the use of scientific words. Things start to get bad, really bad, when people confuse the metaphor with an explanation.
Let me offer an example here. Does saying “I have pins and needles in my legs” mean that I literally have pins and needles in my legs? Do I provide a scientific explanation? Of course not. I just expressed an experience with a metaphor that speaks to all of us. But when we use expressions such as superposed states of consciousness, waves, vibrational level, energies… which make sense metaphorically, many people don’t hear them or speak them metaphorically. In their own way, they literally mean we have pins and needles in our legs 🙂
So, anything special about quantum physics?
First, quantum physics releases us both from our familiar 4-dimensional universe of time and space, and from the trap of viewing the world as a collection of objects. It reveals a whole pluridimensional non-causal universe that quivers beyond the veil of reality built by our senses and mind. Every spiritual tradition has acknowledged the deeper infinite reality that pulses behind the veil. I don’t know any serious meditation practitioner that has not had this direct experience himself/herself. The Allegory of the Cave says it precisely.
Second, quantum physics reveals the connectedness, the unity, the non-local property of the universe (quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality). This means that every single object, wave, phenomenon, has a connection with every other object, wave, and phenomenon. Everything has an influence on everything, regardless the distance. Nothing happens in isolation and separate from all else. However this doesn’t imply that phenomena happen exclusively through causal relationships, which leads to the third point.
Third, quantum physics transcends (and includes) causality. Its phenomenology does not describe a deterministic, linear reality that appears to us as its surface. Causality still happens in the material world, but something more complex, multidimensional, non-causal, happens behind the scene. A big challenge arises here: human language has built its structure on depicting a dual world composed of objects and causal interactions between them. Yet it doesn’t have the capacity to describe and put in the social field a non-linear, non-causal, multi-leveled, ever transforming flow of reality. Words freeze objects, just like a picture. Today, only complex equations can describe the deepest levels of reality, it takes quite some metaphors to give a taste of this via conventional language. Most of the time, conventional language describes quantum physics in a causal way. Back to the veil.
These three points about quantum physics depict an objective reality that meditation naturally reaches subjectively, beyond the mental and its language limitations.
Let’s just not forget something: consciousness does not exist as a product of quantum physics. Quantum physics exists as a product of consciousness, both in the form of mathematical equations and in the form of conventional language. Our expressions (written, spoken, symbolic, artistic…) come from our experiences, just like the map comes from the territory it represents. As far as I know we have never seen a map create the field.
The Power of Mind over Matter
Do we need quantum physics to prove that mind can control matter? Up to you to say…
In this video, I will show you how, by using the power of my mind, I can move a squash from one place to another (I love playing squash). Yes, I can move and influence matter, and you can too! It involves Newtonian physics, relativity, quantum physics, biology, chemistry, Darwinian evolution, genetics, thermodynamics, information and complexity theories, pataphysics, and many other “things” that will exist in the future. I swear that I used no tricks and that you see an unedited raw image. I can repeat this experience in any lab in the world, under full scientific scrutiny.
Yes, we kind of forget this very simple fact that our mind and will (or whatever you want to call it) move and influence matter all the time. Every single moment, I can enter in this ecstatic state feeling the aliveness of my body, I can enjoy my “matter in motion” device, I can play my musical instrument, I can move and assemble my Legos with the creative impulse of my soul.
Why not just enjoy this very radical power every single moment of our existence? Do you remember how amazing it felt when you landed in this plane of reality? Did you need quantum vinaigrette?