In this Living In Oneness
call, Casandra Vieten has an exceptional discussion with Steve Farrell about IONS and how this relates to Oneness.Download the Cassandra Vieten Transcript here
. (Right click the link to Save the pdf file to your computer.)
Or you can just read the interview with Steve Farrell below.
Cassandra Vieten on
A Radically New Way of Being in the World
Steve: Good morning, everyone, and good afternoon to people in other time zones. I'm Steve Farrell, the Worldwide Executive Director for Humanity's Team and welcome to this Living in Oneness Summit global conference call. It's great to be with you. I'm doing our program today with a very special guest, Cassandra Vieten.
Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., is the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten, a licensed clinical psychologist, has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private donors and foundations, her researched is focused on spirituality and health, development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based approaches to cultivating emotional balance and factors, experiences and practices involved in psychospiritual transformation to a more meaningful compassionate and service-oriented way of life. Her primary interests lies in how psychology, biology, and spirituality interact to affect experience and behavior.
I'll be welcoming Cassi shortly. I know you're going to enjoy this program. We have about 19,000 registered for today's call. Some cannot listen in live, so we send out a recorded link so these people can listen in later. Thank you so much, everyone, for prioritizing time to be here for this important conversation.
As it is true each week, this call is interactive with each of you, our listeners. So I want to invite you to go ahead and put your questions and comments in the question window on Instant Teleseminar. I promise we'll get to at least a few of your questions during the hour and you might go ahead and get started now or shortly because sometimes people bring in a lot of questions near the end of the hour and we can't get to them.
Okay, a little about Humanity's Team as we get started. In Humanity's Team we see there is only one presence, the Divine, and see we are all offspring and expressions of the Divine. This means God's love, like grace and peace, are ours because there is no separation and we share the same essence. This is true regardless of how far our lives may be from reflecting this truth. We don't share this as just something academic or intellectual. We believe everyone and everything is a beautiful and sacred face of the Divine.
Since our founding in 2003, we've done our best to live one with the Divine, each other and our Earth home. We don't need to be perfect. It doesn't have to feel heavy. We must only be our best. This is important and urgent work. We are advocating personal development that crosses over into all of our roles, including that of a partner, parent, and public service, but also institutional change so we live as one collectively and creative a fulfilling, compassionate and sustainable world. If you resonate with our work, we invite you to go to humanitysteam.org, our website, and reach out to us about projects you'd like to become involved in. One more time, that's humanitysteam.org.
Okay, please get comfortable as we begin our program. I'm now going to welcome our special guest. Welcome to this global conference call, Cassi Vieten. It's great to have you with us.
Cassandra: Thank you. I'm really happy to be here.
Steve: Okay, awesome. Well, this hour is going to go fast. I'm going to jump right in with questions because there are so many things that I want to ask you here, Cassi, and I'm guessing listeners are going to have questions for us too. So how do people, both individuals and group, make foundational shifts in their worldviews that give rise to radically new ways of being in the world?
Cassandra: Wow, gosh, that's a big question. At the Institute of Noetic Sciences where I'm the President and I'm a scientist, we've been studying transformations and consciousness for over a decade. And in fact, the institute was founded by the Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell who is the sixth person to walk on the moon who, when he was viewing the Earth from the space capsule on his way back from his moonwalk, had one of these foundational shifts in consciousness where he recognized, number one, that he was one with everything he saw. He had that sense of oneness that you were talking about in the introduction to the show. He sensed a sense of divinity or intelligence or order shining through everything. He also recognized that when you view the Earth from space, there are no boundaries between countries. That's something that we humans have constructed, and many of the problems that face us now on our planet are really a result of limitations in human consciousness. So what we've been really interested in doing is looking at how do people transform their consciousness from one that is focused on ego needs, achievement, accolades, acquisition, feeling like they're sort of the defending agent in their own personal story and that they need to make sure that they're safe from threats, and our society sort of reinforces this with all of the negative news on the media and the kind of constant reminders of threat everywhere.
Some people have experiences and practices that change them radically to people who are much more interested in the wellbeing of the collective and themselves in wellness for all. They orient their lives around service and meaning and joy and creating beauty, and they recognize that we're all one human family and that we're even a family of being. Interestingly, the joy that they were looking for in contentment may be through the earlier ways of acquiring things and trying to ascend the ladder, they start to actually manifest through this new way of being.
Steve: Well, yeah. Thank you for starting with the Edgar Mitchell story. I was familiar with that. I'm not sure all of our listeners are, but it's such an amazing story because, as you mentioned, the sixth person to walk on the moon. He was of course considered a hero. This experience that he had was so major that he came back and just changed his whole life because he found the Institute for Noetic Sciences then he led it for many years and helped just gets it feet on the ground and get funding and to do all the incredible work that's being done today, all because of looking down at the Earth from space. Just truly an extraordinary story.
Cassandra: Yeah. I think one of the ways that we say it sometimes is he realized that the first half of his life had been about exploring outer space and then he recognized the importance of needing to explore inner space.
Steve: Yeah, exactly. Well, so that's a great segue for exploring inner space, which is a lot of what the work is that you do at IONS. Can you talk a little bit about that? As we're exploring inner space from the Institute of Noetic Sciences, what are some of the key projects and priorities that you have?
Cassandra: Well, we really are looking at consciousness. When we say that, what do we mean? We're talking about what is the role of intention, attention, beliefs, imagination, dreams and worldviews, the way that we perceive things and look at things? That whole inner world is when we hear the term noetic sciences, that's what we mean by noetic is our inner realm of knowledge. So what we're interested in is how does that inner realm affect our own bodies and our own experience? How does it affect our relationships with other people and how does it affect the physical world?
We have three primary program areas that we focus on. One is what we've talked about so far, worldview transformation. How is it that people have these major shifts in their awareness? So when you're thinking about a problem like climate change, for example, we can come up with a hundred different solutions to climate change that are based on technology and science and social innovation, but part of it is that we've got a shift people's perspective about climate change and, number one may be a recognition that it's happening and that there is human influence on it; and number two, that there are possibilities to do something about it and that we may initially feel those possibilities as a sacrifice, but eventually we may feel them as an addition to our culture. So that kind of worldview shift, I would argue that you've got to spend at least as much time and energy and resources discovering how that kind of a worldview shift happens as you're spending on all the technological solutions. So that's one area.
The second area is consciousness and healing. In other words, how do our beliefs and intentions and thoughts, and even if you have heard through the spiritual traditions and some of the other healing traditions sort of the energy body, how does that affect our healing? How does the invisible world affect our health and healing and the health and healing of people that we're working with? So we have a strong program looking at how mental practices affect the body and how they affect healing.
And then the third area is called extended human capacities, and this is really focused on the hypothesis that there's an aspect of consciousness that is nonlocal. And when I say that I just mean there's an aspect of our awareness and our being that doesn't stop at our individual brains and bodies but extends out in space and in time and it may not be limited to the sort of Newtonian rules of physics. What we mean by that is if you have ever had the experience of knowing that someone is in trouble at a distance and finding out that it was true or having someone call on the phone and knowing who it was before they call, the multitudes of synchronicities that we have that are very, very hard to explain away just by coincidence or precognition, presentiment about something, feeling like you've contacted someone who is deceased or that you're receiving some information from beings that are multidimensional and not visible, all of those experiences are number one, extremely common; number two, really important in people's lives and how they live; and number three, almost completely untouched by science in relative terms. So we have one of the largest and most high expertise and multidisciplinary teams in the world that are studying these non-local aspects of consciousness.
Steve: Awesome. Wow. Well, I guess the other question is I want to keep going down further into this whole area of new ways of being in the world and worldviews the gift rise to that. But I want to right now just to jump over to the election, because as you're talking here, Cassi, about consciousness and healing and extended human capacities and even climate change is a major issue, you all must have your wheels turning here just in this last week from this new election. What are some of your thoughts and are there any calls to action that you are extending down to at your members?
Cassandra: Yeah. I mean, I think I would say first of all that -- well, a couple of things. One is that part of the reason that the work we're doing and others like Humanity's Team have been doing for a long time now, part of why it's so important is that the way that we view the world, the way that we view ourselves and our relationships to others and the world influences how we behave and how we treat one another and how treat the planet. So, again, I think we really need to spend as much time and energy in resources investigating why and how people view the world in certain ways and how we can help transform that as we do with all the time and energy and resources that we put into politics and advertising and media and defense and all those things because if we don't, it's going to be hard for us to understand why such a degree of divisiveness and hatred and fear of different cultures and feeling separate from feeling not a part of a larger whole, that kind of motivation for people is something that we really need to look into and understand how to help transform it. And I think there's just an enormous amount of work now that everybody is kind of over the shock. An enormous amount of work is happening now around action, and I think that's going to be a very interesting process to watch.
The other thing I think is that dying paradigms have death throes, and when a dying paradigm is threatened not just a little bit but a lot, when there's really a massive threat to a belief system or individually and collectively a way of being, there's almost a redoubled backlash that happened and that might be something that we're witnessing now. This happens in individuals too. So for those listening, it's really important to understand that when you have a very strong perspective on something or a very strong belief system that's becoming outdated, and you start to have experiences that challenge that belief system, the first thing that we do is number one, ignore or deny that; and number two, if it starts to threaten, we actually build our walls higher and we defend more against it.
And it is only when we have a deeply profound inner experience that shatters those walls that something new happens. And I think that's something that might be happening for society right now that both the death throes of a dying paradigm and that breaking down of the wall, the shock that we're experiencing is something that could be shattering enough to feel disoriented for a while, but it gives the opportunity to reorient ourselves in a new way, and that happens individually and collectively.
Steve: Wow, I love the way you articulate that because I believe that's so true. Many people are sharing something similar at a high level that we're now at this moment of truth that if Hillary had been elected the win would be at our back and we could have just kind of sat in the backseat and been comfortable, not become involved. But now we're truly at choice. As you mentioned, it's actually more than that. There's the shock and shattering of reality as we know it that can create this newfound inner experience that you talk about. That's what's needed, isn't it, to move forward?
In Humanity's Team, as you probably know, the key thing we focus on is the spiritual literacy because what has been true over the millennia and shared by so many wisdom traditions and scientists including Dean Radin who does wonderful work there at Noetic Sciences, is that we are all one. We're all interconnected, interrelated and interdependent. You talk about that we're this nonlocal source, and of course, we use spiritual terms, the Divine, and also secular terms, the universe, but that there is one presence, that we're all connected to that one presence.
So in a sense, the problem here is the spiritual problem at its basis, or you could call it a scientific problem if you were Dean Radin, but that if we can really come to see that we are actually all one, that our eyes in some ways deceive us, that we're not separate, that we're interconnected, interrelated, interdependent with source, that's the game-changing thing because everything now is sacred. And of course, if everything is sacred, then we'd behave collectively and individually in a very different way.
Cassandra: Yeah, I think that there are three premises that IONS works with moving forward, and one of them is that the mind matters, that what we think and what we believe and what we intend actually makes a difference not only in our own bodies and behavior but in the world around us. So cultivating those intentions and beliefs and worldviews are just as important as cultivating the other aspects of our life.
The second is that science and spirituality are not incompatible, but they are complementary ways of knowing about who we are and the nature of reality and that they can inform one another without damaging one another. The third is this understanding that we're interconnected and interdependent and that the more people have the personal direct experience of that with scientific evidence to back it up, and then tools to apply it in their lives and in their work, and a community of support, that's kind of the change model.
I think it's important to say too, there was a Zen master named Suzuki Roshi who had a very pithy saying which was "Not two, not one." And I think it's important to say that it's almost like one of the diagrams we've been using recently is like two mountain peaks right next to each other. And when you look at the top of the peaks, they seem very separate and that's kind of how we often experience ourselves in life. And then as you go to the bottom of the peaks where they share the ground, it's that ground that potentially holds this source of, number one, interconnectedness, and maybe provides the reason why we can sense when someone else is in trouble or we have these connections to other people at a distance because there is this shared ground, but it also contains sort of a limitless source of information and energy that when we tap into it more and more often in our own lives, it feeds our ability to make the unique contribution that each one of us can make.
Because even though we're interconnected and interdependent, every one of us has a unique blend of background experience, resources, talents, that no one else on the planet has, and in that sense, we can make a contribution that no one else on the planet can make and it's up to us to figure out what is that contribution and then how do we stay connected to that ground of being that contains the limitless energy and information that keep ourselves healthy and well while we do it.
Steve: Wonderful. I'm going to come back to that, that unique blend of talent and resources that we can all make because I want to go deeper on that, but first, let me just go to something here that could be a challenge for a lot of people right now, just given the November 8th election. How can people get stuck or lost and how can they shake free especially the latter part, how can they shake free from periods of inertia or patterns that prevent us in today's world following an election from really just kind of getting back and getting strong?
Cassandra: Yeah. Well, one of the parts of our research when we look at all these people, we collected thousands of stories of people who had had transformations in their life, positive transformations, like the ones we've been talking about. We also did a longitudinal research following people who were engaged in transformative practices, interviews with 60 masters and teachers of various transformative paths including religions and spirituality and even secular transformative paths. And we kind of have boiled all that down into a model that we think is a nice map. One of the aspects of the model is that when people have a potentially transformative experience, sometimes it's really positive like awe, or wonder or beauty or a child being born, and that really transforms people. But much more often, it's a very deconstructive experience. It's an experience of a serious illness, a near-death experience, a divorce, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, something shattering. And what we tried to look at is why is it that some people are transformed by that experienced and other people experience being more closed down, more fearful, more exclusive, more bitter and rigid? In other words, what makes an experience like that transformative rather than traumatic?
And I think that what people are feeling now is a little bit more of that sense of trauma. I've talked to a lot of people who are actually even connecting with childhood traumas and intergenerational traumas at this moment because of what's happening, and I think we have to really pay attention to that as the reality. But how do we make it transformative? There are a few things that really help and they're going to sound very obvious, but it might not be so obvious when you're in the midst of it. First of all, it's very important to have a community around you of support, and it doesn't necessarily mean that everybody has to think the exact same way. You don't have to enter into a bubble, but you do need to be around people who support your wellbeing and health and happiness and your highest self.
So being in community, instead of being alone is one thing. Engaging in daily mind-body practices is another thing. It may seem like I can't just go do yoga and meditate or do something like that everyday right now. The world is collapsing. But in fact, it's a really important time to do this daily mind-body practices because if you imagine that you are -- let's just say the metaphor of you being a channel of something positive coming through you, you've got to keep that channel nice and clean. And if you don't look at it that way, you can look at it as training for a marathon. It's possible that the next 4, 8, 12 years are going to be a marathon, so good to keep yourself trained for the marathon.
Number three is to spend time in nature and to spend time in beauty, to really intentionally connect with the things that are good in this world, and that sometimes takes a lot of intention and attention to purposefully spend time with things that bring you joy, that bring you happiness, that open your heart. Because what's happening for a lot of people right now as your parasympathetic nervous system is in that state of arousal, fight or flight, and it's really important to also activate the sympathetic nervous system and move from the stress hormones in your body to balancing those with some of the oxytocin hormones. That's another thing.
So those are some things that you can do. And then in terms of what you actually do about the situation, that goes back to that unique application of time and resources and energy. That's what keeps us out of inertia.
Another scientific finding I would say about this that's really close to probably this topic is there was an interesting body of research on empathy and compassion, and what they did is had people sit in front of a movie screen and showed them a video that is very reliable in terms of getting people into a state of empathy or distress or compassion. It's a girl who's stuck in a home that's burning down and she's crying and yelling for her mother and it's very distressing. So what they found was the people who had more of that personal distress that was overwhelming, those people have a much harder time actually taking action to help. If you're confronted with the situation where it's so personally distressing that you're immobilized and overwhelmed, you actually have harder time helping than if you feel a sense of compassion and concern. So empathic distress is the first and empathic concern is the second. And when you have empathic concern or compassion, which is the ability to feel something and take action, that unlocks the door for you to take wise action.
So when we talk about this, what we mean is that to the extent that you can manage your personal distress in whatever way works for you around that, whether it's exercise or spiritual practice, it's not selfish, it's not self-centered, it's not superficial. It's actually something you're doing to make yourself more capable of taking wise action.
Steve: Yeah, wow, this is awesome. It's just such a great list here talking about these things that people can do, and I imagine there are some in this category if feeling compassionate concern that can move forward as you mentioned, Cassi, and others that would say they're still feeling immobilized. So these things where we talk about community of support, engaging in a daily mind-body practice and spending time in nature and beauty can just be invaluable right now.
Cassandra: I mean I know when you read it back to me I think that just sounds so silly and new age and cliché. I can imagine people listening kind of feeling that way too. But I think I would say to that voice, these are actually things that connect us with the sacred, with what is right and good and pure and true in this world, and that is the place we're going to want to come from in the movement to the future. I remember interviewing Ram Dass who was talking to us about transformation, and he said when I was doing this work in the '60s we didn't get as far as we wanted to because we hated the people that we were fighting against. We hated them. And he said that was a mistake. Coming from a place of hatred doesn't win over hatred. Coming from a place of strength and resolve and love is a different way of being. So when he's done activist work later in his life, that's the stance that he comes from. Fierce love does not mean approval or condoning or giving in. You think about Martin Luther King and Gandhi, fierce love is staying with your values, whether nonviolent values perhaps, and still standing very strong for what you believe in and not giving, not bending, but standing strong and also doing it from a place of what we want to move toward rather than what we're moving away from.
Steve: Awesome. Wow, that's a perfect segue into a question that's come in. You've kind of addressed this, Cassi, but let me read the question here because, again, I'm guessing more than one listener is sitting with this. This is coming in from Fiona in Boulder, which is where I'm located, Boulder, Colorado. She says, "How do we help people in the world make the most of the awakening opportunity that has occurred with the election to stay awake in their lives and helping others to stay awake?"
Cassandra: Well, one thing, one analogy that I like to use for people who are working with other people is that of a garden. When we are gardening and we plant seeds, our job is to give the soil and the nutrients and the stakes in the ground and the sunlight all the conditions that are optimal for growth. So as a gardener we don't crack open the seed and pull out the sapling. That's a natural process that takes place on its own. Our job is to create the ideal conditions. So depending on what kind of people you're working with and what groups you're working with, you can ask yourself what are the ideal conditions for these people to grow, to come into their higher self? You can also think about if you were working with a child, a toddler, what would be the ideal condition to teach a toddler?
So when we're thinking about that, that can sometimes change how we might approach things. Let's say we're going into holiday conversations with family members who may have different viewpoints from us and you want to kind of help that person or help people not feel immobilized. Are people more likely align with their unique talents and vision in moving forward when they're harassed or yelled at or shamed? Or are they more likely to do so when they are encountered with true, genuine, authentic curiosity? And I would say it's probably the second. So you can ask yourself what are the ideal conditions under which the people I'm working with can move into their highest self and come out of immobilization.
Steve: Yeah, wonderful. It's certainly not to shame ourselves or others, is it? Instead just to ask that authentic question of what can work for me, where am I here, what can work for me, and just follow that and this nonlocal or spiritual connection will guide you. There's this saying that if we don't go within, we go without. It's true. It makes sense, which just brings in this spiritual practice and the daily mind-body work that you were talking about. It's so important that we find that time. The media right now is probably not where we want to be. Our mainstream media is spending a lot of our time because it can just create more confusion and trauma. So just kind of turning off that media, finding ways to stay connected to what's going on, but really giving ourselves and our family that personal attention now.
Yeah, wonderful. Well, there are lots of great comments coming in. Somebody is saying they want to have this call transcribed. Cassi, we don't usually transcribe these weekly calls. We do transcribe the Global Oneness Day programs, but it looks like we're going to go ahead and transcribe this call. There's a sense that a lot of wisdom that you're sharing here. So thank you. I certainly agree with that, by the way.
Steve: Yeah, awesome.
Cassandra: Thank you.
Steve: Let me go to something you said earlier. I said I wanted to come back to it where you were talking about -- you were saying we all have this unique blend of talent and resources. We are all unique. We can all contribute in a unique way. I know one of the things that you talk about related to this is how we find our own particular zone of genius. So now, kind of leaving trauma and going to the proactive where we're exploring our own talents and resources, our own what is unique about us, our own contribution, can you talk a little bit about that? What are the things that you recommend?
Cassandra: Yeah. Well, in the model of transformation that we've come up with out of all of this research, we focused a lot on the I to we, which is what basically Humanity's Team is about and what we're about. But then we also have this how do you move then from the we to me again? So it's kind of a dance between the collective and the individual. And in terms of the individual, one of the words that comes to mind when I think about the people who I've been very inspired by is affinity and resonance. So what do you have an affinity for in terms of things that you think would be useful to do in the world? This is one way to move out of despair and immobilization and really take the time to reflect. It may take going out into nature for a whole day and doing a personal mini vision quests and saying, "How am I meant to serve and how can I serve? What is my particular role in the awakening of humanity?" Because whatever your particular role in the awakening of humanity was before November 8th, it might be different now. So it's a really, really great opportunity for you to go spend some time do some writing, do some drawing, but mostly sitting in silence or walking in silence and giving yourself a lot of time to ask the question, "How am I meant to serve?" And whether you believe it's going to come to you from God or from the universe or just from your own higher self or higher wisdom, listen for the answer and it may surprise you.
So you or someone who has no one else on this planet has your particular blend of experiences; and just to be clear, that includes your negative experiences in your life. No one else has the benefit of the negative experiences that you have encountered and made it through and all the positive experiences. No one else has the exact network of people. No one else has the exact talent as you have, whether they're artistic or organizational or administrative. So how are you being called to serve? I truly believe that it doesn't matter if your answer is to start a new NGO that's international that's going to bring together millions of people. I remember hearing about a man who worked on the Golden Gate Bridge for decades. He was a Sikh person and he sat in the toll booth and every single bit of change he gave to people. He gave them a prayer and a blessing with it, whether they knew it or not. That was his form of service to the world. Everything in between. Whether it's your child's school and PTA, whether it's your workplace or organizing gatherings, there's literally infinite ways that you can be of service. And finding that way of being of service that is truly in your affinity, that you enjoy, that you feel is meaningful and that you have the ability to do can be the way through not only for you to find meaning and purpose and contentment, but also if everyone does that then this movement will be unstoppable.
Steve: Yes, it will. Amen and amen to that. This is why I really believe, back with George W. in 2000 when he ended up being our president that was one on a mini scale kind of what we're experiencing or many of us are experiencing now, but it was one of these three steps backwards to go ten steps forward things. Likewise, we have the same opportunity now. As you mentioned, we all have these unique talents, networks of friends, negative and positive experiences, so really getting in touch with what is our calling here, how can we be of service because it certainly is time for us all to come down on the field. We don't want anybody up on the stands now. We're at this moment of choice.
Cassandra: Yeah, yeah, no one is on the bench right now.
Steve: That's right. So definitely a strong call to action. Also, I love when you brought in earlier this whole standing in fierce love and talking about of course Martin Luther King and Gandhi, that standing in fierce love is anything but weal, it's strong and it's powerful. So really calling that in. I love that.
This other element of just the personal, I'll call it spiritual practice. You could call it mind-body connection, you could call it a lot of things, but it's so important you talked about this. Just taking this time to go within ourselves to, using my own terms and my own process, just to connect with the divine within and to wash myself in that energy, that energy of love and light and where there's just anything, any wisdom that I need to be connected with, any program or priority or policy, anything. It's just all right there within reach, but it's what gets me strong and puts me in a position to just powerfully move forward. So staying in that energy all day long.
On that topic, Cassi, I'm just curious, what is your own mind-body practice or spiritual practice? What is the practice that you use that keeps you centered and effective?
Cassandra: Well, mindfulness is probably the most grounded practice that I have. A lot of people misunderstand meditation as a form of relaxation or a way to be calm or to chill out. And mindfulness is actually best translated as something along the lines of seeing clearly. So one of the things with respect to the current situation that we've been talking about is meeting things as they are, and that's the first step really to wise action. If you're familiar with 12-step programs where the very first step is admitting the powerlessness and the unmanageability of the current situation and that from the outside I think people can see that as disempowering when the wisdom of the 12-step program is that that's actually incredibly empowering to start with what is.
So in this current situation, and this is true when you're doing mindfulness, when you're practicing mindfulness around any situation in your life, you meet your thoughts exactly as they are, you meet your emotions exactly as they are, you meet your body sensation exactly as they are and you cease the resistance to what is and then you rest in the awareness of what is. And it's in that awareness that we start to come from a place of wise action. So in this situation, it's really accepting that this is what is. For a long time, staying in, I can't believe it, it's not okay, this is impossible, this is awful, that's okay to go through for a little while, but at some point practicing mindfulness is saying this is what actually is. And given what is, what is the wisest course of action? That's the practice that I use in my daily life.
And then also the practices that we have talked about, which is intentionally engaging in activities that I call them portals to the sacred. So if you look at your whole life, we do this in our Living Deeply workshops that are based on research. You can even draw a map of your whole life and put all the various aspects of your life down on a piece of paper and then find the places in your life that are portals to the sacred. It's where the veil between the worlds has been. Sometimes people say is it playing music? Is it working in nature? What are the things that bring me closest to that source? And between the mindfulness and that, there's just really a lot of energy moving forward for positive action in the world.
Steve: Yeah, wonderful. Love that. Start with just what is true and just get yourself in this place of we call it seeing clearly, which is how you define mindfulness, and then just resting in that place.
Cassandra: Yeah. One way to look at is when you're resisting things, you spend a lot of energy actually resisting what actually is. And when you stop that resistance to what is, you have a whole lot of energy remaining now to take action, which might end up being conscious resistance, but at least it's not unconscious resistance to what is.
Steve: Right, yeah. No, it is true. I mean these things might sound just sound too simple. What you resist persists. But it is so true. What we resist does persist.
Let me come to a listener's question here. This is from Melody in Grass Valley, and Melody says, "Cassandra, I appreciate your participation in the Global Oneness panel that was with Stephen Dinan. In the aftermath of this election, so many friends have shared the same emotional experience. I understand the three points you've made. I understand the wisdom in acting locally. Can you suggest any social activism, collectives or websites that can focus our collective energy so our voices can be heard and we could participate in protecting the great strides we've made and transform into a sustainable society?" .
Cassandra: Yeah, I mean there are so many and I don't feel comfortable recommending any single one or list. This is where community comes in. So I would say reach out to your community, whether it's on social media or through email or through phone calls to people and say what are the ways that you're collectively organizing, what organizations are you supporting and bring all those together in your own list, and know that you can't support all of them, so you're going to have to choose one or two or three or four that you can really focus on. I certainly have a list of five or six that I'm going to be contributing to and in the remainder of the year I have phone calling that I'm going to do. I've chosen the ones that it's almost like -- and this is on a personal, not a scientific level -- once I gather together all the possible actions I can take and I hold them one at a time, some of them have that little ring of it's like a clear bell that says, "Yes, do that." And others don't have that for me and others probably have that for somebody else. So that's not a very scientific way of talking about it, but that clear bell that rings that I say, "Yes, this is true, this needs help, this is where I'm supposed to act," that's where I follow with the collective. So I would go to your community and find out what ere people doing collectively, pull that all together and find out what has that ring for you and follow those.
Steve: Yeah, sounds like good advice. And Melody, at the end of the program I'm going to share a couple of programs, something called Community Circle and Conscious Business Program, some of the communities that we have with Humanity's Team that re addressing some of these things that we can do as well, some more on the side of this journey in oneness where we're sharing of the challenges and opportunities in our life, and others more on the side of collective action where we're really taking a stand as in business to create conscious business so that businesses become generators of good things as we're making profit. So stay tuned for that.
Here's another listener's comment that came in. It says, "Everything Cassandra is sharing, I have lived and found to be true. I had a transformative experience on 9/11 with the loss of my husband. This time we are in now feels reminiscent of that time. That moment has become the greatest opportunity wakeup call of my life. Thank you for answering my questions."
So wow, that is powerful. Thank you. I think that's from Fiona in Boulder. Thanks for sharing that.
Cassandra: Yeah, thank you so much.
Steve: We've just about six minutes because I have some programs I want to share before we close the program. Some of the things that you talk about, Cassi, are moving forward with both strength and with heart. You've created programs that address that. So now kind of coming into this part of the process as we've kind of talked about how we get ourselves together, how we create direction, vision, but now the process of moving forward with strength and with heart. Are there things that you'd recommend here?
Cassandra: Well, yeah. I mean that part of what Noetic Sciences is based on is bringing together the internal and the external, bringing together the head and the heart, and so really mobilizing the power of your analytical, intelligent, intellectual mind, and what does logic tell you, what does science tell you, what does your observation tell you, and then combining that with the deep wisdom of the heart, which is intuitive, which is based on gut feeling and hunches, and it's connected to this more collective consciousness. Usually the messages that come from that are not always verbal. They are often symbolic or pictorial or poetry or in music. They're a way of knowing something, kind of like the way that you know you love your children or you love someone in your life. That's not tangible. That's something that is absolutely real and yet intangible. So you take the tangible explicit external world and you infuse it with this invisible internal world, and to do that, it requires paying equal attention to both.
Part of what we've been working on in society right now is that healthcare and business and education have overemphasized at this point the tangible over the intangible. So when you go to a healthcare encounter you're going to have a drug or an intervention, a surgical. And very frequently, if you were to ask your doctor in addition to this intervention, the surgery or the drug, maybe diet and exercise, is there anything else I can do, he would say no. That's just not the case. Of course you can do a hundred things around bringing love and beauty into your life and acting in ways that reduce your internal fear and distress and having a community, having a practice.
That's just one example of a way that you can be in your everyday life where you dance between the inner and physical intangible world and the outer tangible intellectual and logic world. The more you can have those things be together and work at the nexus point of those two, the more impact you'll have. That's even in personal relationships. I found myself sometimes in my leadership of IONS, this beautiful organization, where I get so locked into the action and the logic and the tasks and the to-do list that I lose my heart, end every time that happens I become less effective. And then when I bring my heart back into it without losing these other things, that's the key. We don't want to lose that. We want to have the power of those things combined with the heart. So I would advise people to look in their lives, are you bringing both the highest level of your intellect and discernment and logic and scientific evidence into your life and the vulnerability of your being and being authentic and connected with other people? A co-teacher of mine, Michael Sapiro, talks about presence, awareness and vulnerability, and those three together are so powerful in influencing your own life and influencing other people.
And then I'd also just like to invite people to check out the Noetic Sciences website. It's at noetic.org. We have regional community groups where people get together. We have a conference next July in Oakland, California, July 2017. That is a real union of the intellect and the heart and soul and spirit with like-minded folks and wonderful online programs and educational programs and lots of really mind-blowing science. So I hope you'll check it out.
Steve: Awesome. Wow! What an incredible call this has been, Cassi. Thank you. Wow, it's so perfect to have this conversation following the election because we've been able to bring in a lot of practical examples of things that I wanted to talk about. But now many of these things are so real, aren't they?
Cassandra: Well, thank you. Yeah, it kind of helped me too talking about it, honestly.
Steve: Yeah, well you're incredible. Boy, we'll have you back. And you were great as well on the Global Oneness Day. I hope people caught your panel. One of the people that wrote in shared they did catch your panel. That was that Restore the Earth panel that Stephen Dinan hosted. Cassandra Vieten was one of the people on that panel. It was great.
Your website, was that noetic.org?
Cassandra: Noetic.org, yeah.
Steve: Okay, so invite people to go there, Institute of Noetic Sciences. They're awesome. I'm guessing many or most of our listeners are familiar with your work, but I do invite you to go check out their site. They're doing so much good work in the world. And as you mentioned, there's this program -- was it June or May, June, July next year that people can join in the Bay Area?
Cassandra: Next July. Yeah, next July in the Bay Area. July 20-24 will be the 17th International Conference and we'll have a lot of people there talking about collective consciousness, Rupert Sheldrake and Lynne McTaggart, Dean Radin and just a whole bunch of amazing speakers. It's kind of like a family reunion. It's a wonderful time to get together and sort of have a wonderful meeting of intellect and spirit.
Steve: Yeah, I attended those before. I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved out here with my family in May 2007. But I did attend one of these, and as she mentioned, they're awesome. Just great people where you've got both the spiritual and the science and more -- philosophy and more. So thank you so much, Cassandra Vieten, who leads the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). What an incredible hour it's been. Thank you so much. I'm going to come back and thank you again here before I close the call, but let me just get to a few things that I want to share before we do. One of the listeners was asking about things that they might get involved in, and I'll cover a few things here.
One is in the last year we created a Conscious Business Alliance working with three other NGOs or four NGOs altogether: Humanity's Team, the Club of Budapest based out of Europe, the Goi Peace Foundation based out of Japan, and the Fowler Center for Business out of the Case Western Reserve University. It was created to create a whole new standard for business in the 21st century. It shares that we must increase economic prosperity while contributing to a healthy environment and improving human wellbeing. So we're moving beyond just an exclusive focus on financial profit. I'm a business person by background, by the way, and this whole alliance really has its feet on the ground. We're not just reaching for the stars. Our feet are on the ground.
You can read the whole declaration at conciousbusinessdeclaration.org. I invite you to go there and check it out. Cassi Vieten is one of the founding signatories of the declaration. As well, when you go to the site, you will see the seven principles, but you'll also see a Conscious Business Day, which is one of our focuses, and another focus is to create a Conscious Businesses Designation for business, so businesses that feel they have met attainment can carry that Conscious Businesses Designation on their business card, virtual real estate and physical real estate. So I invite you to check that out.
We have some upcoming programs that you won't want to miss. Be sure to join us on Thursday, December 1st. By the way, next Thursday we're off because or course it's Thanksgiving. So I hope everybody enjoys their Thanks giving. And then a week from next Thursday we have a program with Pierre Pradervand who created The Gentle Art of Blessing. He wrote this book called The Gentle Art of Blessing. There's an incredible YouTube video you can check out as well. That program will begin at 9:00 Pacific Time.
And then a week later on Thursday, December 8th, I'll be interviewing Neale Donald Walsch who is coming out shortly with a tenth Conversations with God book. We all thought the Conversations with God book series ended with book number nine but not true. There's a tenth book coming out. It's called Species Awakening. So you'll want to make sure you catch that call. That's also at 9:00 Pacific Time on Thursday, December 8th.
To see all of our upcoming programs, please go to livinginone.com. You'll see all of our upcoming speakers. The programs are free. And if you miss the programs, we do send out a link, a recorded link, for free listening for 48 hours.
I also mentioned Community Circle. This program is focused on living in oneness, so I want to invite you to this. It's only $10 a month and it's for those who wish to be part of an intentional community committed to living and embodying oneness, those who want to collaborate and connect with leaders engaged in spiritual activism. It's a community that gives and receives support. and it's a program that gives you access to all of our audio links to the Living in Oneness Summit, Global Oneness Day over the years and more. There are over 350 programs that you can listen to. You're also invited to join a private Facebook community. And twice a month now Community Circle is using Zoom so people can share kind of intimately about their lives. You can learn more about that by going to humanitysteam.org, our website. Scroll down, you'll see a rectangle that talks about Community Circle, and you can click on that. Again, it's only $10 a month.
Okay. Thank you again, Cassie Vieten, for being here with us for the hour. It's just an incredible program. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed being with you. I also want to thank my colleagues Nanette Kennedy and Dee Meyer. They are running this program, bringing in the questions and the help just to get the promotions out and send out the thank you notes, et cetera. Last and not least, I want to thank all of you, the listeners who make it a priority to be part of this program each week. Thank you so much. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.
In closing, I want to invite everyone on the call to really live as one with the divine in each other. This is ultimate reality. This is one of the best ways to spread the invitation of oneness, and it's how we'll create the world that we've all dreamed about and envisioned as we know we already are all one. So let's embody it, enjoy the rest of your day. Next week is the Thanksgiving week and then we'll see you when we're back on the air on Thursday, December 1st, with Pierre Pradervand.
Okay, have a great day, everybody. Take care. Lots of love. Bye-bye.
[1:01:10] End of Audio