New Book Available March 1 – Ecology of Consciousness – The Alchemy of Personal, Collective and Planetary Transformation

ecology-of-consciousness-smNew Book Available on March 1, 2017:
Ecology of Consciousness – The Alchemy of Personal, Collective and Planetary Transformation

In this book, I offer a distillation of fifty years of exploration and discovery of the many realms of consciousness – from the recesses of the human unconscious, through the shared realities of family and culture, to the cosmic visions in expanded states of consciousness.

In my fifty years of learning, guiding and teaching in the contexts of psychotherapy and exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness, I have been privileged to learn from hundreds of students, clients and fellow explorers. In the work described in this book, we’ve drawn on the methods and principles of the shamanism, alchemy and yoga, as well as the groundbreaking discoveries of depth psychology, modern neuroscience and the sciences of the macrocosmos and microcosmos.

The objective descriptions of realms described by our material sciences can again by integrated with the internal observations from shared visions and dreams. From pre-birth to after death realms we can learn from and participate in the discoveries of the mystics and visionary explorers. We can learn how to use our innate spiritual intelligence and navigate our states of consciousness for healing and guidance.

This book will be used in my new online course starting on February 22:
Understanding and Navigating Your States of Consciousness
 

New Online Video Course – Understanding and Navigating Your States of Consciousness

New course starting February 22, 2017:

Understanding and Navigating Your States of Consciousness

Ralph’s new six-week live interactive video seminar, presented by Evolver Learning Lab. Each class is a 60 minute online video, slide-illustrated talk, followed by 30+ minutes Q and A discussion. Seminars start at 8:00 pm EST and each talk and discussion will be downloaded for later viewing and reviewing, especially useful for those in other time zones. Here’s a complete description and sign-up information.

In this course, we will be discussing:

One: The Janus Model of the Life-World and Self System;

Two: The stages of the Life Cycle, from the pre-natal to the elder phase;

Three: How to recognize and distinguish stages, states and levels of Consciousness;

Four: The four familiar states of waking, sleeping, dreaming and meditating;

Five: High and low energy, pleasant and painful states and how to work with and through them;

Six: Expanded, contracted and dissociated states – how to recognize them, use the positive ones for creativity and well-being and navigate through the negative states.

We will also be using diagrams and other material from Ralph’s latest book, Ecology of Consciousness – The Alchemy of Personal, Collective and Planetary Transformation – due out March 1, 2017.

Here is the link to sign up for the course and get more detailed description of each session.

A Benefit for Botanical Dimensions and Green Earth Foundation

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Kathleen Harrison and Ralph Metzner

The Renewal of Nature Awareness and Psychedelics:

A conversation between old friends Ralph Metzner and Kathleen Harrison 

A BENEFIT FOR BOTANICAL DIMENSIONS AND GREEN EARTH FOUNDATION

Tickets

The realms of plants and fungi provide us with life-sustaining nourishment, medicines for healing sickness, relief of pain, and delight for our senses with their color and fragrance. Mysteriously, they function as door-openers to the spirit world. They help us cleanse the lenses of perception and to know our place in the great web of life. Nature awareness deepens our experience of being alive, and the need to care of the world in which we live. How has our culture’s discovery of psychedelic experience enhanced our sense of being nature and the responsibility that gift entails? What can we learn from the amazing plant teachers, the vines of visions, the mushrooms of magic? Where do we go from here? 

Kathleen Harrison is an ethnobotanist, who is dedicated to studying and teaching the ways that people relate to plants, fungi, and the wisdom they can offer. She is the president and co-founder of Botanical Dimensions, a non-profit organization that has worked for 30 years to collect knowledge of medicinal and shamanic species. She teaches at BD’s Ethnobotany Library in Occidental, which she curates.

Ralph Metzner, founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation,  is a psychotherapist and former professor at California Institute of Integral Studies  with a life-long interest in visionary plants and medicines.  He is the author of Green Psychologyand editor of The Ayahuasca Experience and Sacred Mushroom of Visions

Friday, June 17, 2016 – 7pm-9pm

Occidental Center for the Arts, 3250 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental CA 95465 (at the intersection of Graton Rd. and Bohemian Hwy.)

$35/person for this benefit event

Tickets from brownpapertickets.com: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2552152

Perspectives On The Current Global Crisis – A conversation with Ralph Metzner

Ralph latestIn this conversation with journalist Will Shonbrun, we first discuss at some length the current global crisis, in light of my writing in the revised edition of The Expansion of Consciousness.

We then discuss the most promising current research and application projects involving psychedelic drugs. The interview has been published on the website of Project Censored, founded by Peter Phillips.

Thich Nhat Hanh On the Liberating Effect of Accepting the Possible Destruction of Civilization

In this Youtube interview, Canadian environmentalists David Suzuki and Jim Hoggan lay out the dire situation with public apathy, in both Canada and the United States, over the state of the environment and apparent ignorance of the seriousness of our situation.

The Vietnamese Buddhist meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh listens carefully to their analysis of the situation and then says calmly and forcefully – “You have to accept that this civilization can be destroyed. Not by something outside, but by ourselves. Many civilizations have been destroyed in the past, and it may take a million years to re-create another one on this planet.”

Thich Nhat Hanh then goes on to explain that if you allow despair to take over, you have no strength to do anything at all. But if you practice meditation so that you have peace in yourselves, becoming free of despair and anger, recognizing that even if civilization is destroyed, you can accomplish something.

The Salt of the Earth – An Astonishing New Film About the Tragedy and Beauty of Our Planet – and A Mysterious Saying of Jesus


This amazing film, playing in theaters now, is a documentary about the life and work of the great Brazilian photographer and photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado, who is now in his 70s.

The film was made by German avant-garde filmmaker Wim Wenders together with Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The trio visit many of the places in the world Sebastiao had photographed (all in black and white only) and accompany him on his photo shoots, asking him questions, eliciting his reflections.

Salgado had originally studied to be an economist – he earned a Ph.D. in economics – and has a deep understanding of the conditions that result in the environmental disasters and accompanying social disruptions of war, violence, starvation, exploitation and genocide. In the film, the authors intercut Salgado’s images, many of which are emotionally devastating to see, with his reflections on what he sees and documents. These reveal him to be a deeply compassionate witness of the “heart of darkness” in the human presence on this Earth. Not only disasters of war and destruction attract his attention but as an inveterate traveler the inhabitants of the remotest regions of the Earth – the Sahel, the Arctic, the deep rain-forest – where he would often spend many months, documenting not only the place but the people of the place, especially the children.

In the middle of his life Salgado seemed to have reached a turning point, where he could no longer tolerate witnessing and documenting the awesome and brutal destructiveness of human beings towards life. He stopped being a disaster photographer and became a nature photographer – accompanied by his son, one of the two film-makers of this documentary.  Here he revels in the magnificent color and beauty of plants and animals of all kinds, and the ordinary people in their mode of being living close to nature, as the “Salt of the Earth”.

He and his wife had inherited a piece of land in his native Brazil that had been completely denuded of plant life and deteriorated soil in his absence of many years as a global traveler (also because he was fleeing political repression in Brazil). They decided to restore the land with irrigation and ecological restoration practices, thereby in a dozen years or so generating a luxurious farm with greenhouses, producing food and produce in abundance and beauty.

The Sermon on the MountCarl Bloch, 1890

Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch

“Salt of the Earth” is a mysterious phrase that scholars have puzzled over. It occurs in one of the sayings of Jesus – in the Sermon of the Mount, (Matthew 5, 13) where Jesus is addressing his disciples, calling them “salt of the Earth”, but warning them, in the next line, “if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of man.”

In the immediately following verse, Jesus gives a second metaphor to describe his disciples: “Ye are the light of the Earth. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hid.”

In ancient times, before the advent of refrigeration, salt was of course the main means of preserving food like meat and fish, and bringing out the flavor of food.  Salt was also a necessity in lands far from the sea, where the salt essential to human health and diet needed to be carried from afar. Salt or saltiness is that quality that preserves and brings out the life-force and zest in a situation or event.  “Salt” is also symbolically a  quality of skeptical realism, as in the expression to take an idea or information “with a grain of salt.”  Perhaps the Master Jesus is saying to his disciples that unless you can convey the new teaching of salvation with  excitement  and zest, but also with down to earth realism, you might as well forget it – you won’t convey its real value.

The Next System Project – Comprehensive Thinking About the State of the World

thenextsystemThis multi-year initiative brings together leading activists, scholars and policy systems thinkers to review long-term threats and concerns around economic inequality, ecological threats and political dysfunction.

More than 350 key institutional, academic and community leaders have joined Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speeth to launch this project and endorse its aims.

See thenextsystem.org to watch the launch video and add your name.

“Signaling the need for a serious national conversation about the deep long-term challenges facing the United States, including urgent needs to address compounding wealth inequality, avert looming environmental disaster, rebuild democratic governance and undo persistent racism and discrimination…”

In a paper on New Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century that can be found on this website the authors describe a number of the most innovative and creative alternative systemic approaches that they have identified. These include: worker-ownership and self-management, localism in food production, social democratic governance systems, participatory economic planning, “beyond growth” ecological economics, socialist-style reclaimed public ownership of public lands and assets, bioregionalism (my own favorite life-supporting systems approach to food and farming) and several others, with many variations.

Overall, this is a worthy set of initiatives into which to invest our creative and productive energy – a set of antidotes to the loss of hope and initiative that afflicts so many of our fellow citizens in all countries in view of the escalating planetary disasters looming before us.