"Deep Truth," Gregg Braden's new book on the intersection of Science and Spirituality, asks us to examine our world at large and focus on the survival of the human race.
Braden says we cannot solve the world's problems with outmoded ways of thinking.
He also says many of the global crises we are facing today are based on false scientific assumptions, and we must learn to re-think those assumptions in the years ahead.
Braden, whose career path led him from geology and computer science to his current emphasis on global spirituality, thinks we are now at a pivotal moment in the history of the planet.
Your newest book is titled "Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny and Fate." What do you mean by "Deep Truth"?
Well that is a perfect place to begin. The title of the book actually comes from a statement that was made by one of the pre-eminent physicists of the 20 th century, Niels Bohr. In a conversation with Albert Einstein, they were talking about the nature of truth and, in this case, scientific truth. And what Bohr said, and this is the quote, "It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth."
So what he was saying was the Deep Truth of science that our lives and much of our civilization is based upon --when new discoveries overturn those deep truths-- the new discoveries themselves becomes the new deep truths.
And the reason I chose that as the title for the book is because that is precisely where we find ourselves today.
The best minds of our time are telling us very clearly
And we must think differently than we have ever thought about ourselves and our relationship to one another in the world to successfully solve these crises.
The good news is that new discoveries have overturned many of the false scientific assumptions that led to the crisis that we are living today such as the way we are dealing with climate change and how we think about climate change, the economic crisis that is on every ones mind right now.
The crisis of the diminishing resources of fresh water and food, the way we are thinking about healing, the way we are think about
Global war that is on the horizon right now, these are among the crisis that the experts are talking to us about.
The new discoveries are telling us that the thinking of the past that led to those crisis was based upon false assumptions.
That is the good news, the flip side of this is that there is a reluctance and in some cases a resistance in main stream media, main stream classroom, mainstream documentaries and main stream text books, and main stream teachings to reflect the new discoveries in the broad general public so that many of these discoveries people simply don't hear about them.
It means we are trying to solve our problems, we are teaching our young people principles of our relationship to the world and one another based on false assumptions and those are the assumptions we are trying to solve the problems with the very assumptions that led to the crisis to begin with.
This is what the book Deep Truth is all about. I have identified five of those false assumptions and we can talk about them here and what they mean to us in our lives today and what the new discoveries are that tell us those are false.
LA.COM: Would you like to go over them here?
We can identify five false assumptions and zero in on one that is really reeking havoc in our lives today.
The book is basedupon period science, these are not my opinions, it's not speculation, and these are scientific facts.
In our classrooms and text books today, and when I was in school and when many of our readers were in school we where taught a series of what were called scientific truth or scientific assumptions, that much of our life's and our world is based upon today including the economic system that is collapsing as we have this conversation right now.
The first false assumption is based on the work of Charles Darwin, it is the assumption that says that the theory of evolution explains life in general, and explains human life.
The second false assumption is that advanced civilization as we know it today is only about five thousand maybe fifty-five hundred years old.
That civilization has happened once in a linear fashion from primitive to the advanced civilization that we live today.
The third false assumption is that consciousness is somehow separate from our physical world and is not being factored into the attempt to find a unified field theory.
And without consciousness in that theory the theories have been unsuccessful.
The fourth false assumption is that the space between physical things is empty, that space between the nucleus of an atom and the first electron, for example or between me and the desk in my office on the other side of the room that the space is empty.
And the fifth false assumption is that nature is based upon what Charles Darwin called ,"Survival of the strongest". That has been interpreted and shared as survival of the fittest.
So these are five assumptions that I was taught in school, our listeners were taught when they were in school. We are still teaching this in mainstream texts.
The problem is the new discoveries and the data of period science clearly show that every one of these is a false assumption.
In the interest of time I think I'd like to zero in on the one that probably is most apparent and reeking the most havoc in our world today.
And it's the Darwinian assumption that nature based on survival of the strongest.
Up until 1859 many of the deepest questions of our existence were answered through spiritual and religious traditions and the Catholic Church.
In 1859 as a scientist Charles Darwin made the first attempt to answer some of the questions. His ideas because they were scientific, they were embraced quickly, they were deeply entrenched. And they continue to play a role in our lives today.
With Darwin, and I want to be very clear about my sense of Darwin. Darwin was a scientist; I think he was probably a good scientist.
In my opinion the mistake Darwin made was he took the observations that he made in one place in the world for some forms of life and he tried to apply them generally to all life every where including human life.
The problem is that the facts don't support that assumption. One of the assumptions that Darwin made was that nature is based on survival of the strongest.
He looked at examples in the animal and the insect kingdom, what he saw was certain species of birds or ants doing for example.
He took what he saw there and he tried to apply those specific examples as a general law to all life. For example he looked at species of birds and what he saw two birds in a nest. An a third one that appeared that was different from the other two, that the first two would kick that bird out of the nest and then leave it to die. Just because it
Or there were a species of ants that were stronger than other ants they enslaved, they made slave of other species of ants.
Darwin saw these as small examples of a general rule, and the rule that he stated was for us to multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
Let the strongest live and the weakest die. And this is a very dangerous way of thinking.
And if we want to see how dangerous, and if we want to see the implication of this way thinking then we need to look no further than the systems that are collapsing around us.
The global economic system is a perfect example. Corporations are perfect examples, they are not based upon what is good for people they are based on what's good for the corporation. What's good for the money, this is all about survival of the fittest.
The way we share resources in times of need, the way we think of security, the way we think of defense. The way we think of our jobs, of our careers, all of these things are based upon the idea of survival of the strongest. So consciously or unconsciously this single Darwinian idea is deeply entrenched into our world and has led us upon a path that many of the crisis we are facing today.
How do we know it's a false assumption? New discoveries, scientific discoveries in peered reviewed journals are telling us this is a false assumption.
In the late 1990's there were over 400 peered reviewed studies asking a question, the same question.
What is the optimum amount of competition in any environment in the classroom, in the workplace in the community.
In all 400 studies plus, all came back with the same answer and the answer is zero. And when I talk about competition is not about a friendly game of checkers, but this is a violent competition.
When the studies came back and showed and this is a quote, "That the ideal amount of completion in any environment in classroom, in the workplace, in family, in the playing field, is none, competition always, always, always is destructive".
And this is summary of those studies published by a gentleman by the name of Alfie Kohn, the title of the book was,"No Contest", the case against competition.
What went on in a very prestigious journal, 'New Scientist', April 2008 the scientific community went to further support those ideas.
And this is another quote from 'New Scientist' and the quote says,"What we see in the wild is not every animal for itself, the cooperation is incredible successful survival strategy , when cooperation breaks down, the results can be disastrous."I think we are seeing the evidence of that in our lives today, so this would be important at anytime.
I think it's vital right now because we are being asked to solve the greatest crisis of our existance with limited amounts of information based on false assumptions. And if we use those to solve the crisis, including the economic crisis, we know where it's going to lead because we are already living the consequences.
And this is only one example, one deep truth. The twentieth century saw some of the greatest extremes of where this kind of thinking can lead in terms of the atrocities and the suffering perpetrated one human to another.
When leaders of nations justified genocide and ethnic cleansing based in Darwin's' scientific principles and we know it's happening today as well. There are many false assumptions and this is one that I think is really key for us to grasp and embrace as we solve the crisis of our time and the experts are telling us when it comes to the war that is breeding in the middle east,. when it comes to the economic crisis of the world we have got maybe twelve to eighteen months to figure this out. So it's important for us to embrace the new discoveries and this is one example where false assumptions of science have very disastrous effects upon our lives and the new discoveries are showing us were our thinking was false.
LA.COM : Is that why you released it now, in 2011?
No, I have written a number of books over the years, my first book was released in 1986. Each one is very different, from the other but the common theme throughout all the books is that they all help us to understand ourselves and our relationship to the world in ways that meet the needs of that moment.
So this book was slated to be released. I have a schedule when I had chosen to release it. I didn't know the economic system was going to be collapsing as I was releasing this book.
LA.COM : What do you mean that we're at the 'tipping point' of our existence?
Well I just described what that 'tipping point' means, the best minds of our time, it's not our imagination.
The best minds of our time are telling us clearly that we are at this tipping point, in the year of September 2005, if we think back to 2005 and were the world was it was adifferentt world actually.
Leading scientist, economists, philosophers, spiritual leaders, religious leaders, social architects, all came together and contributed to a special edition of scientific America.
The title tells the whole story, the title is, "Crossroads from planet earth". And these were some of the best minds of our times giving us a heads up , the general public that we are at this tipping point from many different perspectives they were talking about the growing population placing demands on the resources, or the disappearance of the resources, or the disparity.
The growing disparity between the very wealthy and the tremendous amounts of poverty, or the very educated and the tremendous amounts of illiteracy.
The new diseases with no medical cure that are suddenly appearing throughout the world. And we thought we had mastered these things. All of these very different from on another, but all these are crisis that are converging in this little window of time.
And it's these crisis we are being asked to address, we are being forced to address now.
And thats why this is the 'tipping point', scientist look at it from one perspective and on the other hand our most cherished and ancient and indigenous traditions have told us for five thousand years that we can expect tremendous change precisely at this time in our lives bases on science.
It was based on there experience of cycles and what they knew in there time what we are only beginning to understand in ours. And that is that many of the changes on the earth are driven by natural cycles, natural rhythms.
The earths location in space changes over long periods of time. It changes our relationship to the Sun, that changes our climate that changes the weather, it changes were it rains ,what the temperatures are like.
Our ability to grow foods, same populations, our ability to share resources. And we now know from ascetic perspective, and the ice cores from Antarctica are telling us factually that the climatic changes that we are living now are part of a natural rhythm that goes back four - hundred and twenty thousand years.
So our ancestors understood this, science is only beginning to embrace, the rhythmic or the cycling nature.
The bottom line is that when earth changes, we are changed. And we are living a rare, pivotal time of change when the system and ways of thinking that are no longer sustainable are collapsed we must new solutions that we must think differently then we have ever thought before in five thousand years of history.
And the new discoveries, the 'Deep Truths' of science give us good reasons, responsible reasons to think differently. It's not just hypothesis, it's not wishful thinking. These are very good reasons for us to change the way we think about our relationship to one another in the world as we address these crisis.
LA.COM: How do we prepare for 2012 both physically and spiritually?
2012 is less than a year away, and the phenomena of 2012, my perspective may be a little different than the popular media. Certainly from a lot of the very fearful projections that have been offered.
What we know is this, 2012, these are the facts, and December 21 st of the year 2012 marks a rare astronomical event that also marks the end of a cycle of time that begin five thousand-one hundred and twenty five years ago. In August of 3114 B.C. we began a cycle that is called the great world age, our indigenous ancestors have told us about the world ages and they marked them on their calendar.
They understood the cycles; each cycle is one million and eight hundred an seventy -two thousand days long. That's five thousand-one hundred and -twenty-five years, and the cycle that we begin in 3114 was the beginning of our present cycle was the end of the one before that.
And we know that there were at least four of these cycles before the one that we live now. Each is called a great world age. So that the great world age cycles are based on earth's location in space.
And that the cycle doesn't end in a day, it ends in a zone of time. Between 1980 and the year 2016 is the 2012 zone, or the 2012 window.
So the frightening prophecies and predictions that the media has portrayed in many of the documentaries, very authoritative looking in television and cable specials.
Those prophecies that are all looking for something bad to happen on a single day, at the end of this cycle on the solstice of 2012.
When we realize we are already living those things now in this 36 year window of time between 1980 and 2016 were already living the melting of the ice, we are already living the rise of the sea level, the super storms that are wiping entire communities from the sea shore areas.
We are already living fires raging out of control on multiple continents. We are already living the appearance of new disease with no medical cure, and multiple wars on multiple fronts.
With seemingly no end in sight. This is the essence of what the most frightening prophecies of our past.
So I think it's useful to acknowledge that rather than waiting, fearing and anticipating all of these bad things happening on a single day at the end of 2012 in December, if we recognize that we are already living them now, we are already dealing with them I think we are doing a pretty good job.
And it's less about a day and more about a window of time, and that the only things that are breaking it;s less about physical changes.
The cycles of civilization tells us that we have been through the changes before and that humans survived the physical changes.
My concern is about how we treat one another as we go through the changes.
How do we share the resources and how do we deal with the crisis and this is where the Darwinian ideas, the false assumptions are so powerful.
If we honestly believe that competition is the law of nature, every individual for themselves or every nation for themselves, then that's one way of dealing with these crises.
And if we embrace the cooperation and mutual aid or the model that nature is based upon, then we are better people , we have better communities and a better world if we implement that then thats a very different way of dealing with this.
It means that we must think differently and change our thinking in a very short period of time.
So I think the 2012 window it's less about the end of the world. It's the end of a great world age, and the beginning of the next.
The hallmark of the next world age is a world that is based upon something very, very different than the world of the past.
Upon cooperation, mutual aid, and working together in ways in that we haven't done in five -thousand years.
LA.COM: The majority of the population do not realize this and they get caught up in the fear, so is it really about which energy we choose to align with?
It is our choice in the way that we deal with the crisis, for many people they are not even aware that they have a choice.
My feeling is that when the facts are clear the choices become obvious; we don't need to be told what to do if we understand how things work.
And when we begin to understand the false assumptions of science, the role they have played in our lives of civilization. If we want to see the consequences of what those false assumptions bring we need look no further than the world around us.
We are witnessing the collapse of unsustainable ways of living based upon those false assumptions.
And once we begin to embrace that, I think it opens the door to new levels of cooperation and I think we are seeing it happen right now. It's interesting you ask about 2012 and you go to the prophecies, and I spent much of my adult life with indigenous peoples.
From throughout the world from the Andes, Bolivia, Peru, the monasteries of the highlands of central China and Tibet, Nepal, and India.
All through the desert Southwest and the aboriginal's in Australia, as different as they are from one another all of them have prophecies about our time in history.
And not one of those prophecies tells us definitively that bad things will happen, or that the world will end. Although this is what the media has played up.
What they do say is that the world as we have known it in the past is ending and that we must make choices.
And they all also describe a really beautiful world on the other end of the crisis.
There we have got to go through the loss of unsustainable ways of living, and embracing new ways to provide our own needs.
Economic needs, energy needs, medicine, technology, so this generation, and I think this is what you hit upon is key.
There has to be a single generation that bridges those two worlds where everything that we learned and came to rely upon in the past is disappearing.
That world is gone, no one has really told us that definitively, and the new world is not completely here yet.
And the generation that bridges that must learn to live in the presence of that uncertainty without getting lost in the fear.
And I think that's precisely what we are experiencing right now. There are things that we can not know about our future.
And things of the past that we will never be able to go back to.
So is the world changing- it is.
Can we stop the change - probably not.
Can we soften the impact of where that change leaves us and minimize the suffering?
I believe that we can if we embrace the deepest truths of these new discoveries and what science is telling us about our world.
LA.COM : The general population with different views, beliefs and different religions may still hold on to a lot of fear due to ignorance based on these beliefs,etc.
Absolutely thats why its so important to share this kind of information, I think a lot of this intuitively we sense.
We sense that we are not really the violent species that we are told that we are. But you look at the six o'clock news and you say well it looks pretty violent to me.
But this is where it helps to look at the big picture, and where we look this is the second of the deep truths.
Civilization, it's only five thousand years old and it happened one time from primitive to advanced.
And we are at the top of that advancement right now. The problem is the new discoveries show us clearly thats not true. There was advanced civilization that was here ten-thousand years ago, right after the last ice age.
And it's not just one place, we find evidence of the excavation in Peru, in Egypt, in Turkey, in India, in China in Northern Europe, if it was in one place it could be anomaly, but there are so many anomalies they are telling a new story.
The reason this is important is because one of the things archaeologist have is before our present cycle that begin five thousand years ago there is no evidence in any of these civilizations that there were any large scale war.
There is no evidence of weapons, there is no evidence of walls to protect the cities, no evidence of moats, mass graves, no mutilated bodies, now it could be the simply have not been found yet. That is a possibility, but so many of these sites now have been discovered that archaeologist and some historians are beginning to actually write about their belief, that war is not human nature.
That war is a bad habit that we learned at the beginning of our cycle five thousand years ago. And that before our time, we had other ways of dealing with our problems. And that war was not the problem.
This ties in with the fifth false assumption with Darwin's idea that the competition is not our truest nature. Violent competition is not the law of nature, we are actually seeing that false assumption playing out and the opposite of that playing out in these archaeological sites.
It means that if war is a habit we learned five thousand years ago, then we can unlearn that habit.
And it also means that the history, when our children, right now when they open their textbooks and they are showing that their history books that the whole world is five thousand years old. And begin with ancient Sumaria , it's not the history of the whole worked forever.
It's the history of the most recent cycle and it doesn't take into account what happened before that and what happened before that, when we see the continuity of the human experience it opens the doors to new ways of us dealing with the crisis that we have now.
We can learn from the past and the things that worked on the past can probably work now by cooperation.
The things that didn't work in the past that we are doing now we can stop doing right now.
So we are looking at global economic based on competition that has reached an extreme and a limit.
It's not going to work any longer, and we are trying to solve that problem and if we try to prop up the system based on these false assumptions we know where that is going to lead us and its going to cause a lot of suffering for a lot of people.
So this is the value of embracing these new discoveries the new deep truths of science.
What do you think of the current interest in string theory and multiple universes? How does this manifest itself in our lives in THIS universe?
This actually ties in with the false assumptions, one of the false assumptions is that consciousness is somehow separate from our physical universe.
For over a hundred years the best minds of our planet, the best minds, the most beautiful hearts, the most money, the most sophisticated equipment have been searching in physics for whats called the most unified field theory, string theory is believed to be a part of that.
My sense is if we were on the right track after a hundred years of the most money, the most sophisticated machines, we would be closer to finding that answer.
The fact that unified field theory is soelusivee is that string field theory is probably going to go away in our life timebecausee it has reached a dead end.
The string theory is not explaining what it is that the experiments are showing. So were the false assumptions come in, is that science has tried to separate consciousness from the laws of physics. But it was professor John Wheeler from Princeton University, who just died in 2008.
He was a colleaguee of Albert Einstein clearly said that you can not do that, you cannot separate consciousnes from the theories of this unified field theory.
Because consciousness is the stuff that ties everything together. What Wheeler said is that there is no such thing as an observer.
We can't be observers, if we are here, living breathing in the universe.
We are not observers, are he coined the term "Participators", he said we need to cross observer off all the text books and replace it with the word, "Participators",
He said that consciousness is part of the act of creation, and when we write consciousness into the equations then the unified field theories began to work.
So what happened is that human consciousness has been written out of the equation , the unified field equations were people like John Wheeler say that human consciousness is an essential part of the equations.
And unless we write and allow for that in string theory or any other theory its probably not going to work.
For example we are looking for the smallest and particle in the cern super conducting, super collider.
One of the things that science has found is that every time they think they have found the ultimate smallest particle, when they look deeper something else appears.
And John Wheeler says that is precisely what you would expect to see in a universe were consciousness is part of the theory. He said that consciousness will put something there for us to see.
Every place we look we will never find the edge of the universe, and we will never find the smallest particle of matter.
Because every place we look the act of looking is an act of creation that will put something there for us to see. And unless we allow for that in the unified string theory or any other theory is not going to work.