Surrendering to Wholeness in 2015

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Born to Belong-Born to Give-Born to Bond by Worship Associate Sally Mabelle.

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Sally shares highlights of the new science which is closely examining the substance of our interdependent web of life. Based on Lynne McTaggart‘s “The Bond.” We’ll look at some of the latest research which suggests that a will to connect rather than a drive to compete is the essential impulse of all life.

OPENING:
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with Life
And that Life
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear friends,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”
(adapted from) Hafiz I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

“Don’t despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You
don’t – surrender to events with hope.”
Alain de Botton

New scientific research is now challenging us to give up the illusion of individual control and surrender to a larger whole…to relinquish our attachment to the individual organism called ‘me, myself, and I’ and to surrender to the Super-organism of the Universe of which we are a part…the interdependent web of life.

Surrender is Complete acceptance of what is + Trust that the Universe is vastly intelligent and knows what itʼs doing… I am inviting us this year to expand into our larger self by surrendering – Surrender is saying a big open-armed, open-hearted ʻYES!ʼ to Life in each moment!

Eckart Tolle says, “What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose Life itself, which is now …and always… now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”…

OUTCOME:
Our mission in 2015, should we choose to accept it – is to Surrender into our WHOLENESS… and my hope this morning is that you walk away feeling inspired, empowered, and committed to living your life this year with more connection, more creativity, and more surrender…

“For centuries, Western science and many Western cultures have taught us to think of ourselves as individuals. But today, a revolutionary new understanding is emerging from the laboratories of the most cutting edge physicists, biologists, and psycholgists: What matters is not the isolated entity, but the space between things, the relationship of things.”
In her book ʻThe Bondʼ Lynne McTaggart cites numerous research studies pointing to the scientific reality of our interconnected web of life. For example, we now know we are affected by the solar magnetic field of the Sun…The sunʼs field strongly influences our biorhythms, changes our Blood Pressure, our heart rate our body temperature, circulation, and immune system…
A star 93 million miles away can affect mental illness and increase or decrease crime – the moon, we now know, is a giant magnet which modifies the solar geomagnetic influence…as our bodies are 75% water, the moon affects us as it affects the tides of the ocean…

My partner David, who was inspector of Auckland police, tells me – and statistics confirm, that crime and suicides increase on full or new moons.

The point is… we live in a cosmic bond of complex interrelationships in constant flux..we exist in a sphere of collective influence – resonating in unison…

We now have the technology of fMri (functional magnetic resonance imagery) which can measure our nerve activity in our brains…Research shows that People who fire together wire together – Whenever a group works together for a common goal, the brains of all parties begin to get on the same wavelength, (brain wave entrainment) strengthening the
bond within the group.

Scientific research has revealed that we all have what are known as ʻmirror neuronsʼ – the neurotransmitters which literally fire/ light up when we are observing others do or feel anything.

Humans have the automatic impulse to sychronise – weʼre natural mimics – yawning and laughing are literally contagious – negative emotions are also contagious – like viruses – Emotion is a complex interplay of influences between ourselves and all others with who weʼre in contact.

Highly empathic people have increased mirror-neuron activity – and empathy can be developed as you can strengthen your mirror neuron connections.

As we develop empathy, our mirror neuron circuitry develops…our instinctual reflex is to merge with others. Statements like ʻI feel your painʼ and ʻIʼm so happy for youʼ are literally true…our brains light up with activity as if we are the ones going through the same experience as the one weʼre witnessing.

Our challenge in 2015 and beyond will be to move from a consciousness of being separate individual organisms TO acknowledge ourselves as a super-organism – an interconnected web – Research shows that when we entrain our brainwaves together through shared activity or community bonding – our pleasure -increasing and stress decreasing neurotransmitters OR…ENDORPHINs release – We get the feeling ʻwe’re all in this together.

MIRROR ACTIVITY – to demonstrate our mimicking capacities…soften focus to include peripheral..while looking at the other person’s eyes…

FMri research reveals that meditation can increase activity in our left prefrontal cortex – the areas of compassion and positive emotion – it can also decrease activity in the parietal lobe of the brain – the region which registers ourselves as a separate form…meditation literally allows us to more easily surrender into oneness consciousness – it expands us – melts our false sense of boundary. We are always changing and being changed.

Have you heard of Epigenetics?..Itʼs a word that means ʻabove the gene. Itʼs a science which studies how genes get turned on and off or modified by our life circumstances – we are not victim to our genes…emotional climate, fulfillment, air, water, food, our thoughts, and people we surround ourselves with have more to do with whether or not our genes
activate. Our genes do not determine our destiny.

Randy Jirtle – prof. of oncology at Duke University and Rob Waterland PHD in nutrition at Cornell experimented with mice with a ʻdefective geneʼ which produced obese blonde-haired offspring…however, when they fed mice B Vitamins – the vitamins appear to have transformed the genetic codeʼ as the mice produced healthier offspring…weʼre discovering that the BRAIN of the cell is in its membrane (where it interacts with environment) – not its nucleus. We’re more malleable and changeable than we imagined.

Bottom line = you CAN deprogram your life – genes are not your destiny.

Dr. Dean Ornish, the famous ʻheart doctorʼ has done (30?) years of research which strongly points to the premise that smoking, obesity, high fat diet, sedentary lifestyle all have less to do with heart disease than our isolation from others, our feelings, and our higher power or interconnected web.

In Okinawa,Japan, for instance, where they have strong social ties, there are 40,000 centenarians. Some studies claim that being socially isolated and/or emotionally-alientated from yourself and others is like smoking 15 cigarettes a day on your health or being an alcoholic…

Our individualistic culture is literally killing us off early!

The quality of our social bonds are fundamental to our survival – numerous research studies reveal that the root of our stress is a sense of isolation and loneliness – and the most toxic of all the tendencies is to pit ourselves against each other…ie our current competition-obsessed culture is killing us. We have a culture which holds SPORTS and trophies and winning on a pedestal….a culture in which a man who passes around a ball can be glorified and paraded around as our model hero as NZer of the year…Our current culture is one which pays millions to sportspeople and yet only $14.83 per hour to those taking care of the elderly. We value competition over caring.

In the famous Framingham Study begun in Boston in 1948 and running for 60 years over 3 generations, there was an attempt to discover a common cause of cardiovascular disease. It was found that the quality of one’s social network had a huge determining influence in one’s heart health. It is as if the collective personalities literally spill over into us and infect us – what we regard as our individual personality is actually a relationship web of our social network.

Speaking of relationships, we are natural givers yet our culture conditions us to be selfish – yet excessive focus on self is a sign of pathology and also what fuels much of our consumer culture.

Giving has been shown to produce ʻoxytocinʼ – the love hormone – our heart rates slows, and our autonomic nervous system relaxes when we are giving.

I have five more pages of notes which I wonʼt be able to go into this morning…yet Iʼd like to leave you with some practical ideas for how you can begin to surrender the grip of individuality and to expand into your larger self this year… to surrender.

The old world story of self-interest is collapsing – the game is up for the evangelists of global competition….
Our ʻevery man for himselfʼ philosophy is deadly to our health and happiness. The NEW heroes are FIERCELY PROTECTIVE of the principle that no one gets left out and that no one else pays the price of another’s success – instead of trophies for a few – collaborators seek the bigger prize where EVERYONE WINS

1. begin to practice peripheral vision (like we did in the mirror exercise) – taking in the context – expanding beyond ‘object identification’. (eastern vs. western studies)

2. Stop taking your own side in discussions – deliberately entertain different points of view and practice stepping into other’s shoes whenever you may be tempted to argue.

3. Seek out diversity – stretch beyond your homophilial tendencies – seek to associate with people different than you.

4. Decide to claim your true self as a SUPER-Organism by practicing focus on the space in between organisms..focus on your relationships more than your separate ego…in ZULU, the greeting is Sawubona or WE see you…including a larger whole – and the answer is yabo sawubona…yes, ‘we see you’

5. Surrender to your natural impulse to holism – to live as your larger self.

6. Meditate

7. Make acts of service social action public – as people will tend to imitate them naturally…and we can each make a larger difference by keeping the awareness of mirror neurons in mind.

8. Surrender Performance Anxiety and Perfectionism – Model trust – ‘ease’ with spontaneous performance.

Mnemonic
1.Please (peripheral vision)
2.Decide to (to claim your Super-organism)
3.Dialogue (entertain different points of view than your own)
4.Diversity (actively seek to connect with others different than you)
5.S urrender to your natural impulse to holism
6.S pontaneously & (Give up perfectionism)
7.M editate
8.In P ublic (keep your acts of social action public to make them contagious)

Iʼll leave you with two quotes from notable thinkers with spiritual awareness on SURRENDER…

Eckart Tolle says, “What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose Life itself, which is now …and always… now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”…

Albert Einstein said ‘we experience ourselves, our thoughts, and our feelings as separated from the whole, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”…

May it be so! Amen, Namaste, Blessed Be!