Il modo in cui ognuno di noi vede il mondo è unico e, anche guardando lo stesso oggetto, probabilmente ognuno di noi lo descriverà in modo diverso. Questo è ancora più ovvio e rilevante quando si tratta di osservare le circostanze che stanno accadendo nel nostro universo condiviso oggi. Collettivamente stiamo affrontando molte crisi, dal riscaldamento globale, ai cambiamenti climatici, all’estinzione delle specie, alla nuova pandemia COVID 19. A questo elenco possiamo aggiungere l’uso prolungato di ansiolitici e antidepressivi da parte di tutte le porzioni della popolazione. Solo negli Stati Uniti, si stima che “40 milioni di persone assumano farmaci psichiatrici” [1]. Per me, questo indica che stiamo vivendo fuori sincronia con la natura e con il nostro Sé più profondo. In questo articolo, condivido cosa significa per me, in parte in base al mio viaggio interiore e in parte in base a intuizioni, anche scientifiche, che hanno origine dal viaggio nei miei reami più profondi.

Già da molti anni, diversi sogni mi hanno rivelato che stavo vivendo in un modo non adatto alla mia salute. Con questa intuizione, mi ci è voluto meno di un giorno per smettere di fumare e lentamente ho cambiato le mie abitudini alimentari includendo cibi molto nutrienti e sani. Ho anche ridotto l’alcol; molto più tardi, avrei dovuto rinunciarvi del tutto poiché ho scoperto che la mia lucidità mentale migliorava. Questi cambiamenti hanno portato a ulteriori cambiamenti. Mi sono resa conto che non sapevo chi fossi veramente o se c’era o non c’era un Dio. Se c’era, sapevo che LUI / LEI non poteva essere come quello/a che avevo creduto da bambina; un Dio che aveva creato l’Universo e poi l’aveva lasciato a se stesso. Essendo cresciuta in Africa, avevo un profondo amore e rispetto per la Natura e la straordinaria suggestione del cielo notturno mi aveva sempre affascinato, sia per il suo ordine che per la sua bellezza. Doveva esserci qualcosa di più, non importa come ci tenessimo a chiamarlo.

Per molti anni avevo cercato di meditare, ma con scarso successo. Il mio background come psicologa ricercatrice in diversi stati di coscienza in Sud Africa mi aveva portato a credere che la meditazione fosse una via segreta per la felicità. Ma se lo era, mi aveva illuso, anche dopo molti anni passati a cercare di mettere a tacere la mia mente. Quindi, ho lasciato i miei studi accademici perché ho deciso che se non avessi sperimentato personalmente certi stati interiori durante la meditazione, io, come scienziata, non avrei potuto proporlo ad un’altra persona – non avrei saputo nemmeno cosa chiedere. Questo probabilmente era l’inizio di una ricerca che avrebbe investito tutta la vita, ma all’epoca non ne ero consapevole.

Molti altri cambiamenti  fecero seguito alle esperienze suddette riguardo alla mia salute, ma fu solo molti anni dopo, in seguito ad una crisi esistenziale che coinvolse più aborti spontanei e un ampio uso di farmaci, che incontrai lo Yogi e filosofo Srinivas Arka. Dicono che quando l’allievo è pronto compare l’insegnante. Mi ci sono voluti molti vicoli ciechi per arrivare al punto in cui ero aperta a qualcosa di nuovo. Spiegava la meditazione in un modo che riempiva la mia anima (se ne avevo una; a quel punto, non ne ero sicura) di gioia. Prima che esistessero gli insegnanti, prima che le persone scrivessero libri e, naturalmente, prima che ci fosse Internet, le persone volevano conoscere la loro vera natura e la natura dell’Universo. Pertanto, si sono seduti, hanno ascoltato le loro domande nel profondo e hanno aspettato che Madre Natura fornisse loro intuizioni e risposte intuitive. Questo, per lui, era la vera meditazione; non per mettere a tacere la mente. Per me questo è stato illuminante: le domande, come ho detto, mi hanno sempre affascinato. Tuttavia, mi ero resa conto da tempo che il metodo scientifico poteva solo portarci lontano, esaminare il mondo esterno attraverso i nostri sensi o estensioni di essi, sebbene affascinante, per me non avrebbe risposto alle domande profonde che continuavo a pormi.

Il metodo di Meditazione intuitivo

Il metodo di meditazione intuitiva, noto anche come Arka Dhyana (Arka significa sole o fonte di luce in sanscrito) aiuta le persone ad andare al di sotto delle loro menti logiche pensanti in modo che possano attingere alla loro mente intuitiva associata al cuore. È un metodo aperto a tutte/i  sviluppato dallo Yogi Srinivas Arka. Si tratta di toccare 19 punti energetici del corpo e accompagnare il nostro tocco con il nostro respiro e un suono vibratorio. Consiste anche in un gesto che invita il cursore della mente pensante a scendere nel cuore [2]. Ora pratico questo metodo da oltre 20 anni ed è diverso da tutti quelli che ho incontrato prima. Con il tempo, si inizia a sentire gli strati più sottili sia all’interno che all’esterno del corpo, il che cambia la nostra percezione dal pensiero al sentimento. Quando ho sentito Arka parlare per la prima volta dei diversi livelli di coscienza, non sapevo cosa intendesse per  “mente intuitiva associata al cuore ”, anche se su un altro livello le sue parole avevano un senso poiché avevo avuto molti sogni guida e io confidavo sulla mia intuizione. Come scienziato, volevo saperne di più sulla nostra mente con pensiero logico e sul legame scientifico tra intuizione e cuore. Questo documento affronta alcuni aspetti relativi a questi ambiti

Origins of the Western Educational system

I realized our formal educational system is dedicated to training young people to develop their logical thinking minds and their success in life is mainly measured by the academic levels and degrees they have achieved. Although I support academic learning, for me, it seems ludicrous that, for example, knowing when Columbus discovered America is given a higher priority than teaching children how to breathe fully so they can release old tensions and emotions and also improve their health. I began to question how did this come about? What was the origin or origins of our Western Educational system that is spreading all over the world?

I traced its beginnings back to ancient Greece, and it became apparent to me that our Western educational system is based on the male idea of excellence encapsulated in the Ancient Greek concept of Paideia [3] [4]. For Naugle, the term was linked with the shaping of the Greek character and was at the centre of the Greek educational genius which “is the secret of the undying influence of Greece upon all subsequent ages”[5, para 1].

To understand this concept, we need to be aware of the context in which it developed. The educational system in Classical Greece was not uniform as Greece was made up of various citystates or polis (pl poleis) that were autonomous and where each state had their own socio-political system, way of socializing their children, and educational systems [6]. The prevailing characteristic that united all the states was the competitive nature of the males, summed up in the word agon which “could mean ‘war‘, but also ‘dispute’philosophicalpolitical or juridical, or ‘contest”. Honour was achieved through doing ones best no matter what the context and there were not only contests in sports, but also in music and drama, between potters and even between doctors” [7, para 2]. There were continual skirmishes between Greek states, but, during the Greco-Persian Wars, they formed alliances to conquer the Persians. Later interstate fights were resumed which consumed many resources.  Paideia was a universal ideal to which each male strived and its goal was a political man ‘both beautiful and good’, the servant of the polis or state [6] [8]. However, the Athenian state elevated their system of education and training to include “gymnastics, grammar, rhetoric, poetry, music, mathematics, geography, natural history, astronomy and the physical sciences, history of society and ethics, and philosophy—the complete pedagogical course of study necessary to produce a well-rounded, fully educated citizen” [9, pp. 29-30]. Summing this up, Paideia involves the development of the mind in a superb body, the union of moral perfection, intellectual excellence, artistic harmony, and physical beauty [5].

Education in the Athenian polis was only open to males and non-slaves. According to Plutarch [10] it was a complex system where the love of beauty and military undertones existed side by side. Physical training was considered necessary for improving one’s appearance, preparation for war, and good health at an old age. As such, it had military, political, social, and economic undertones in that it helped prepare students for both peace and war. 

In this system, the inherent competitive and warlike nature of the early Greeks was sublimated into organized games, which included different components of physical education such as athletics, sport, wrestling, throwing the javelin [3]. The state imparted this training in large open public areas known as Gymnasiums, At first young men performed physical activities there in the nude, but with time, these areas became places for men to meet and practice “punching the sack, anointing (with oils), bathing and dressing . . .Young men engaged vigorously in the athletic games and exercises while the older men were spectators or critics, or perhaps participants in the discussions and lectures that formed an important part of the activities of the place . . . As the instructors in the gymnasia had to be paid, the places were patronized principally by the well-to-do” [11].

Intellectual training accompanied physical education, but it was imparted privately at a price, first at the elementary level,

and then after 420BC, at a higher level [6]. Both levels were only open to males, and only the richest could afford to receive higher education which included rhetoric, grammar and philosophy, and more scientific subjects like arithmetic and medicine. The Athenian polis played only a small role in intellectual schooling, and anyone could open a school [12] [13], which was likely to be one room. They “were private enterprises established and run for profit by individual entrepreneurs who followed their own curricula and methods” [Golden in 6, p. 51].  Girls were not allowed to attend schools. However, some families provided education for them privately, but this was rare. 

Females were considered to be intellectually inferior, and social expectations limited them to the home [14]. In the Athenian system females were supposed to be silent and in politics and power, lacked any right to be heard [15, p. 37]. This bias has only been overcome in the West with women getting the vote in England in 1918. Although in most places women now participate fully in the Western educational system, formal education is nearly exclusively based on intellectual excellence and acquiring knowledge, although other aspects related to the term Paideia have, to a large extent, been stripped from it. 

The heavy accent on fomenting our intellectual ability associated with developing the rational thinking mind has, according to Spencer [16], led our society to the verge of an abyss. Built into the Western educational system is the idea that ‘man’ is competitive and warlike. He [16] casts an intriguing insight into the motivation of the men who created rhetoric and logic as being directed related to winning arguments, a non-violent expansion of the warrior values of competition, and winning. “Argument was simply a verbal analogue of a combat duel between two warriors but with less lethal results. These values have been maintained ever since in European societies, so the Clever Men have continued with their valuable role ‘educating’ the next male generation of their societies’ rulers” [16, abstract]

The reliance on the development of our rational thinking mind has given rise to a masculine way of seeing the Universe represented by science, and many new technologies, which at the same time, has created a way of living on this planet that is not sustainable [17] This is echoed by other female writers such as Qualls-Corbett [18] who points out that when the feminine is not revered, “social and psychic become over mechanized, over-politicized, over militarized. Thinking, judgment and rationality become the ruling factors.” [18, p. 16]. This creates an imbalance and a lack of harmony both inside and out, and relatedness, feeling, caring, and attending to nature go unattended. To understand what the female principle involves, we need to look at some of the inherent features of females, particularly mothers.

A. Socialization and the Family

Informal educational systems have always existed, and the family plays a prime role in socializing youngsters in a certain way. It imparts life skills, religion, and gender roles which

supports living in a manner that is traditional to each specific society. The role of affect and emotional skills are also mainly learned in the family, particularly through the mother. However, today this major social institution is beginning to break down in some Western countries. In the USA, 39 per cent of all marriages end up in divorce [19].

In South Africa, colonial history and the migrant worker policy of the old apartheid regime fractured family life. The continuing need for parents, including the mother, to migrate to find work away from their traditional place of residence has also resulted in many children growing up without coresident parents [20]. This complex situation has led to high rates of parental absence from some children’s lives in South Africa [20].

In industrialized countries, numerous women work away from home in the formal or informal sector resulting in many young children attending creches at an increasingly earlier age. “High-quality childcare has been associated with benefits for children’s development, with the strongest effects for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is also evidence that negative effects can sometimes occur” [21].

Reviewing the literature, it seems most studies measure learning and development where the play environment can promote, to varying degrees: children’s interests, identity and belonging, interactions, self-regulation, language and communication, and a range of thinking and problem-solving behaviours. However, there is more to life than learning and training the mind. Humans need affection, and we must consider what happens when children do not receive it at an early age. 

B. The Need for Affect

Harlow’s experiments with infant monkeys in the nineteen sixties showed that primates need more than food to be socialized properly. The socially isolated monkeys were unsure how to interact when reintroduced to the group. Many stayed separate from the others, and some even died after refusing to eat”. They demonstrated “disturbed behaviour, hyperactive behaviour, and even self-mutilation [22, para.2].

These experiments reveal the importance of contact with the mother figure that is beyond the need for food, and where contact with something soft is preferred to nothing. It seems that for overall health, timely attention, affect, feeling, warmth, and contact are necessary for the socialization process.

Research into childcare is generally positive when they are above 3 years. However, Melhuish et al. [21] found discrepant results regarding the effect on infants 0 – 3 years with some negative, some null, and some positive results. They suggest the quality of childcare in important and is also modified “by the relative balance of quality of care at home and in childcare” [21, p. 4]. What is being measured and assessed in the studies included in this review is also important as factors other than those to do with our cognition development are needed for the socialization process, a factor which is often ignored when we only emphasize developing mental abilities

instead of human welfare. As I point out in the next section, the heart seems to play a big role in our wellbeing as a centre of feeling, even if this is not yet fully recognized by most scientists.

III Energetic Communication and the Heart

The heart is more than a piston pump and these days we know it produces the largest electromagnet field in the body that extends beyond the body and also permeates every cell in the body. It may “act as a synchronizing signal for the body in a manner analogous to information carried by radio waves” [23, p.1]. Others within the range of its field are affected by it as are cells in vitro [23] (McCraty, 2003).

Emotions also affect the strength of our heart field. In the living matrix model of Oschman (2009), body sensations to do with emotions are initiated in direct response to the environment in the case of danger, activating the flight fight response. He calls this ‘authentic action’ opposed to ‘thoughtful action’, which involves our thoughts and neural pathways. Pribram (1996) suggests that higher frequency oscillations produced by the brain are probably a reflection of the conscious perception and labelling of feelings and emotions of the low-frequency oscillations produced by the heart in the form of afferent neural, hormonal and electrical changing patterns [in 23]. But it is possible this works in both directions, and our thoughts, especially those of an emotional nature, may affect our electromagnetic field via changes in cardiac rhythms and through this, the whole body which the electromagnet field permeates. As humans have developed a thinking mind, the thoughts making up the stories that we tell ourselves or those we listen to also activate our inner environment in the form of body sensations [24]. (Lindhard, 2015). The findings of Nummenmaa et al [25] support this. They suggest that each emotion affects our body in a specific topographical way depending on the emotional word pronounced. It appears that our bodily reactions are the same or similar no matter whether the source is a genuine outside emergency or virtual, based on mental stories we tell ourselves or stories we listen to on the TV or in the cinema. The mental stories that we keep repeating can, therefore, keep us in a high state of arousal involving the flight fight response. 

We can utilize this same insight to our advantage. The HeartMath Institute [26]. has shown that creating positive thoughts brings the heart and the mind into coherence reflected in the emission of a coherent pattern in the HRV derived by ECG and the emission of brain waves in the alfa range. When subjects generated a feeling of self-appreciation, their heart rhythm coherence increased scientifically, as did their alpha rhythms [23, p. 4]. There is also a link between positive emotions and enhanced physiological functioning involving improved cognitive ability, mental clarity and emotional stability (p.5).

The heart has been shown to have an intrinsic nervous system of its own, containing around 40,000 neurons called sensory neurites. This extensive and complex neural network

has been characterized as a brain on the heart or heart-brain [27] [28] [29]. This allows the heart to act independently of the brain, sending and receiving meaningful messages of its own. Largely what goes on in the area of our feeling heart is below our conscious awareness. Nevertheless, the heart has been found to send more signals to the brain than vice versa [23]. The way the heart communicates with the brain is through neurological, chemical, biophysical, and energetic pathways [30, para 1].

Interactions between human beings go far beyond the overt signals such as facial expressions, tone of voice and bodily gestures. Evidence “now supports the perspective that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system operates just below our conscious awareness” [23, p. 7]. It also seems that empathic people can tune in, sense, and respond to the electromagnetic fields of others which takes communication to another level. In some experimental cases, the ECG signal of a subject was recorded in another who was sitting close by. The amplitude of the signal increased tenfold if the pair held hands [23, p. 10].

The Mother-Child Relationship

Although McCraty [23] talks about the energetic communication between subjects as possibly promoting the healing process in the therapist-client relationship, it has direct relevance to the parent-child relationship and more specifically to the mother-infant relationship.

It is interesting to contemplate whether, in Harlow’s experiment, it was the lack of training in energetic communication between infants and their mothers that resulted in the infant monkeys being “unsure of how to react” when reintroduced into the group. Confirming McCraty’s results, Russek and Schwartz [31] have found that subjects who rated themselves as receiving care and love by their parents are better able to receive cardiac signals than those who assessed their parents as less loving. Receiving and maybe interpreting cardiac signals might be relevant when we are interacting with others. Maybe energetic communication does not only have a favourable effect on the physical and emotional level of the child but possibly early synchronization between the mother helps infants socialize and relate to the environment in an adequate way. Maybe the ‘more’ that mothers add to a relationship revolves around empathy, loving touch, and the ability to feel, ‘read’ and react to fields in a specific manner.

The heart can be seen as a sensory organ [32] [33] and the question arises what does this sensory organ do? Can we learn to tap into it to become more consciously aware of the type of information it is picking up?

Mothers and the 6th Sense

Females, especially mothers, are said to have a 6th sense. Almost all mothers have a faculty “naturally available and readily accessible to help them understand the intense needs of their children and people they care about” [2, p. 37]. This suggests that at least mothers have developed a way of

obtaining information which is not available through the secondary perception system related to our senses.

According to the Theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness Arka 2013), identifies the first level as Mind Consciousness. It is to do with our thinking mind associated with the prefrontal cortex. The second is called Subliminal-Mind – Consciousness, which governs many of our daily activities. Although he identifies more levels which involve increasing degrees of feeling, what is of is of relevance here is the third level, which Arka calls Feeling-Mind Consciousness. “This feeling-consciousness generally prevails in the heart area and can thus be called the Heart of Heart-Consciousness. It includes an emotional faculty called intuition” [2, p. 37]. As it involves caring, empathy and sensitivity, Lindhard (2019) associates this level of consciousness with the “female principle”. However, this ability is not exclusive to females, and both genders can tap into this level of consciousness. 

Using meditation methods like Prayer of the Heart or the Intuitive Meditation Method, we can train our surface mind to return to the Mother Mind [2]. associated with the heart. These methods go far beyond training people to think positively and expanding silence leading to insights is one of the factors the practitioner progressively experiences on their journey to the heart [34] [35]. Other factors include increased intuition, peace, unity, feeling centred, and a feeling of being connected with the deeper Self [36] [37]. Prayer of the Heart is a very ancient esoteric method, which different cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, Jews, Persians, early Christians, the Sufis and certain traditions in India (Atma-vichara) used to discover their true Self [38]. This method gives rise to gnostic knowing or intuitive knowing, in much the same way as the Intuitive Meditation method. 

These methods suggest that by bringing one’s attention associated with the brain down to the level of heart, the practitioner can begin consciously to tap into subtle changes in their heart field and receive information in this way. It is also probable that by identifying with another through empathy and union, one can also tap into their heart field and obtain information about their wellbeing. With the practice of the methods mentioned, it appears that increasing levels of experiencing silence accompanied by the ability to deeply relax permits one to tap into knowledge which goes beyond that of what one has learnt using one’s intellectual capacity. Although he did not talk about the link with the heart, Einstein was one of the great scientists who readily acknowledged intuition as a way of acquiring fresh knowledge [39]. It seems that dreams sometimes reveal information arising from these deep layers; some of which have played a role in the development of scientific ideas. In 1869, based on the image and insights that came to him in a dream, Dmitri Mendeleev developed the periodic table [40]. Niels Bohr is another who openly admitted the inspirational role of a dream that led him to discover the structure of the atom [41].

Heart-Transplant Patients

Mothers are not the only people who can tap into what is happening to others through their fields. Books and also research involving transplanted hearts indicate between 5 and 10 per cent of the people who receive a transplanted heart can tap into memories of their donors and even adopt some of their habits [42] [43]. The fact that some heart-transplant recipients undergo changes in food and lifestyle preferences and experience fears and memories of their donors has made scientists contemplate the role and function of the heart in more detail. The changes seem to be more robust in heart transplants compared to other organ transplants [42, Discussion Section, par. 6]. Communication involving the transfer of information between the transplanted heart and its recipient seems to be energetic or feeling based as information about the donor is not disclosed to the recipient.

IV Primary and Secondary Perception Systems

It seems we have two identifiable perception systems; one that involves our five major senses, and another that possible involves our vestigial senses. The first is linked to the neural system. Even though these senses develop early on during our embryological development, we only begin to use them actively after we are born and begin to explore the world making up our outside environment. They give us information about people, other living beings, and objects in our outside environment and involve both sensation and perception. Freud [44] considered our superficial perception consciousness system consists of these senses.

This suggests that we might also have another deeper or primary perception system which many of us are unconscious. This system probably involves bodily awareness linked to feeling [45]. Touch is considered as the first sense to develop in the embryo. According to Fulkerson [46] [47], it involves more than perceptions constituted by signals made available through the receptors in our skin but is multisensorial in that bodily awareness is also coupled with it.

The superficial part, known as cutaneous touch, is entirely mediated through the skin (ectoderm) and depends on our subjective awareness as a secondary quality. Feelings such as hot, cold, and pain, are connected with it. These sensations develop during the third trimester of pregnancy when the receptors in the skin join with their neural connections in the cortex [48, Fetal development, para 1].

The other aspect of touch is known as ‘haptic’ touch. It is connected with movement and “involves many essential receptors that are located in the muscles, joints, and tendons, and not in the skin at all” [46, 2, Is Touch Multisensory? para. 5]. As the heart system is the first to develop in the embryo, changes in its field are probably picked up by the developing embryo through bodily feeling. As many body components are developing before the third trimester, it is probable that through bodily awareness, the embryo is aware long before most scientists believe they are. This also suggests we are first feeling beings; I touch on some of the many implications in the next section.

Discussion

The proposal that we are first and foremost feeling beings suggests that we might share this characteristic with other animals, plants and even the planet earth. Possibly all these entities may respond to what is happening in their immediate environment based on their capacity to feel connected with changes in their electromagnet fields (or even other fields science is not yet aware of). The feeling capacity might be rudimentary or highly developed like in migratory birds who “orient themselves on migration paths using internal compasses guided by Earth’s magnetic field” [49, para. 2]. Recent research has shown that plants respond to the way we touch them [50] [51], indicating they can feel.

Although the earth does not have a heart, it has a ferrous magnetic core which is responsible for its electromagnetic field, which extends beyond the earth and also permeates everything on the planet. It may even adjust to changes in the fields of other planets and entities through changes in its own field. Changes in the earth’s field also affect all living beings in a certain way, just like the cells in our body are affected by changes in the field produced by the heart, but maybe we too are affecting the earth’s field through our activities and thoughts. This perspective supports the idea of a dynamic interconnected Universe.

The probability that we are first and foremost feeling beings also has implications regarding what we do to little embryos who are in reality living beings. Legally, abortions are permitted in many countries up to the third trimester on the grounds embryos do not feel pain as the receptors in the skin are not connected to the brain. However, the proposal presented here suggests that our capacity to feel is not linked to the neural system and might predate the development of these connections.

The suggestion we are feeling beings who also have a thinking mind implies consciousness is not only limited to the brain. It seems we, as human beings, can develop our thinking minds and also explore and enhance our feeling ability. To do this, we have to go below or above our thinking mind1. We can also choose to develop our intuitive ability linked to our heart and learn how to we relate to others in a more empathic way. Empathy is probably related to telepathic communication between humans and between species.  Some scientists classify research into intuition and psych phenomenon as pseudoscience despite there being quite strong statistical evidence which would be “be widely accepted if … (this data) pertained to something more mundane. Many scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at the data” [52], possibly because this research involves feeling,

empathy, and the ability to tune into the fields of others and not our thinking ability which most scientists are more comfortable. This is also what probably makes it difficult to replicate studies in parapsychology as a researcher will not get the same results if he or she is working with subjects who are sceptical as opposed to those accustomed to tune into fields. Radin [53] [54] has undertaken much research in the field of parapsychology and, although he supports the idea that we live in a conscious interconnected universe, his `perspective is not yet readily accepted by other scientists.

The insights revealed imply everything we say, think or do for they have a repercussion on our own cardiac rhythms, which affect our electromagnetic fields which in turn also permeates all the cells in our body and thus affect our wellbeing. However, these fields also affect others in our environment, through fields everything is interconnected. If we are continually listening to stories or our thoughts are continuously centred around happenings or beliefs that are negative and frightening, we will probably be activating the flight fight response in ourselves. This may cause an overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol that is not reduced through an activity. The production of cortisol is a natural response if the cause of stressor is physical, like a dangerous animal entering the room. In this case, cortisol is needed to arouse us to fight or flee. Levine [53] the person who developed the Somatic Experiencing Therapeutic Method, outlines the importance of this in the book Awakening the Tiger.

This insight has direct relevance to the high state of arousal the news media are keeping people during the COVID 19 pandemic as it probably is activating the flight fight response in their bodies, which may harm their immediate and long term health.

Our educational system rests on the male idea of excellence. Many Greek philosophers considered the goal of education is the service of the ideal for the common good of the State. However, for Plato the primary directive of education was in the service of the soul and divine, where philosophy focused on “inner perfection realized through disciplined education involving the development of the intellect, will, and the body motivated by a ceaseless desire to regain the lost union with the eternal” [56, 42-43]. Today education seems to involve training our intellectual capacity and be a mixture of preparing people for leadership roles and supplying people for the job market. But this does not necessarily produce a happy, healthy and caring society.

The Greek system rests on the idea that men were competitive and warlike. However, the Seville Statement on Violence points out that “it is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature” [57,para.6]. (para. 6). In 1986 in Seville, the statement was signed by top scientists from different disciplines, continents, and countries, and was

adopted by Unesco in 19891. It prepared the basis of UNESCO Education for Peace Programs and points out “there is nothing in our biology which is an insurmountable obstacle to the abolition of war and other institutional violence” [58, para. 2]. Unfortunately, war and other institutional violence are still with us today. We need a new approach and here I suggest we need to incorporate the female principle into our educational system to co-create a more intuitive, caring, empathetic society that is based on relatedness and interconnectedness, not on separation. 

Rousseau claimed that ‘man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains’ [59]. This has led to people wanting to change the social order and to change the society in which they live, a populist idea that is becoming more prevalent today. Although noble, it is proposed here that our real chains are our own mental stories and habits, and if we want to change the outside world, we need to start with ourselves. As we have seen, whatever we do, say or think, affects everything else including ourselves.

VI Summing up

My journey has taken me down many avenues, the last one has involved me returning to science to complete my PhD and start publishing articles from the perspective of a women scientist. Being a woman, however, does not mean that one embodies the female principle. Many women use the male principle to operate in the world, often without being aware of it. Modern society and our school system have programmed out the inherent female caring and intuitive nature2. This happened to me, and it was only when I learnt to change the focus of my attention from outside to inside, I found I could connect with a deeper Intelligence that is in me and all of us. I refer to this as the Self with a capital S or Essence. It is the capacity to connect that I refer to as the female principle [4][17]. For me, God, Spirit or however we want to name the Supreme Being, is not separate from His/Her creation but is present in every one of us including all living beings as a supreme Intelligence. In our search for Truth, science can only get us so far as the idea of probability is built into it. Science will forever change paradigms as we look at nature through a new and different lens. Jointly both men and women are responsible for the way we are living on Earth today, and jointly we need to work together to create a new way of living on this planet. Recognizing, and cultivating the ability to contact with this immeasurable Intelligence via our hearts, is a necessary next step.

Acknowledgment

I am very grateful to the philosopher Srinivas Arka who helped me understand the nature of heart-based consciousness and refine my intuition through his Intuitive Meditation Method. I also wish to acknowledge the work of Dr. McCraty

1 For more information, see https://cicainternational.org/ssv-the-seville-statement-on-violence/.

2 Ensign, B. private communication, 12 Sept. 2020.

1 We can go below or above our thinking mind but going below it is slightly easier [2].

whose insights regarding the link between heart field and changes in cardiac rhythms has given me a basis from which to extend my understandings.

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