The Word Foundation, featuring the writings of Harold Percival. • thewordfoundation.org • Harold Percival (1868–1953) wrote about consciousness and its development through the human being. He describes what the human being was before being born into the body, how the human develops while he is in the body, and what the human may be after he leaves the body. He repeatedly emphasizes how important it is to recognize that we are not our body, but rather a developing intelligence.
Percival’s view of this developing intelligence is that it has a Triune Self, consisting of a Doer, a Thinker, and a Knower. The human body is occupied by the Doer, while the Thinker and Knower are usually just barely in contact with the body. A human can be confused about the right course of action because the Doer incorrectly identifies with the body instead of indentifying with his Thinker and Knower. The human can overcome this confusion by ceasing to identify with the body and learning to contact and identify with his or her Thinker and Knower.
Percival’s main work, Thinking and Destiny, was once recommended by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, for supplemental reading on one of his Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Courses. This and many other books and essays by the same author are available as free downloads, or in printed form.
A few quotes from Thinking and Destiny:
The real purpose of life … is this: that each one of us will be progressively conscious in every higher degrees in being conscious….
To understand what you are you must first see clearly the distinction between yourself and the body you live in… You should know that you are not your body … because … your body is very different today from what it was when, in childhood, you first became conscious of it… But … you have remained you, that is, you have been conscious of yourself as being the same self, the identical I, all the while.
Death is but a prolonged sleep, a temporary retirement from this human world. If at the moment of death you are conscious of your feeling of I-ness, of selfness, you will at the same time be conscious that the long sleep of death will not affect the continuity of your identity any more than your nightly sleep affects it.
“Flying” • thewordfoundation.org/PDF/Flying.pdf • An article by Harold Percival that describes the mechanics of flight by birds and humans.
“On Conciousness” • An introductory article by Harold Percival that was written as a letter to a student.
“Spiritual Beings” • A student asks a question about spirit, and Harold Percival answers it by describing the involution and evolution of an individual spirit.
Peter Deunov, also known as Master Beinsa Duono • beinsa-douno.com • Peter Deunov (1864–1944) was a religious leader in Bulgaria from 1914 to 1944. He based his beliefs on Christian teachings of universal love, along with more esoteric teachings, including astrology and phrenology. The future Pope John XXIII called him “the greatest philosopher living on the Earth.” Einstein said, “The whole world bows down before me. I bow down before the master Peter Deunov.” Master Deunov’s teachings are preserved in about 7000 lectures given in 1900–1944.
How one man saved Bulgaria”s Jews • neatorama.com/2011/08/19/peter-deunov-how-one-man-saved-bulgarias-jews • In 1941, during World War II, Bulgaria joined the Axis powers and came under the control of the Nazis. For the next two years, Hitler pressured the Bulgarians to organize the deportation of Jews under its control to Poland. The Bulgarian government quietly cooperated with this demand in foreign territories that Bulgaria had occupied during the war.
But within Bulgaria, there was widespread opposition to deporting Jews, from both the government and the population as a whole. The czar of Bulgaria, Boris III, at first balked, and then, in 1943, caved in to the Nazis’ demand. However, with strong support from Deunov, Boris reversed his decision, which enraged the Nazis. Boris was called to a meeting with Hitler in August 1943, came back exhausted, and died a few days later. But the deportation order was never carried out.
Deunov himself died in 1944, just a few days before Soviet forces entered Bulgaria and most likely would have arrested him.
Bill Anders, Apollo 8. Apollo 8 orbited the moon and was the first manned flight to leave earth orbit. It came at Christmas time of 1968 and was widely regarded as an uplifting event at the end of what was otherwise a depressing year.
From lunar orbit, the earth looked no bigger than the end of his thumb, and yet, on a cosmic distance scale a quarter of a million miles was nothing at all. If he were to go a hundred times farther out—so far into the lonely dark that the earth would shrink to a point of light—he would barely have left home. He couldn't help but think that the cosmos would continue to turn as it always had if suddenly there were no earth. But how little that mattered when it appeared, blue and radiant, rising beyond the lifeless moon. In that moment he saw a thing of inexplicable fragility; later he would liken it to a precious Christmas tree ornament. And if the earth was only a mote of dust in the galaxy, that blue planet was everything to him and the creatures living in. On his way into a fitful sleep, Anders began to realize: We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth. — Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon, p. 119.
Rusty Schweikart, Apollo 9.
[U]p there you go around every hour and a half, time after time after time. … [Y]ou do it again and again and again… And it all becomes friendly to you. And you identify with Houston and then you identify with Los Angeles and Phoenix and New Orleans. And the next thing you recognize in yourself is that you’re identifying with North Africa. … And that whole process of what it is you identify with begins to shift. …
And from where you see it, the thing is a whole, the earth is a whole, and it’s so beautiful. …
And a little later on, your friend goes out to the moon. And now he looks back and he sees the Earth not as something big, where he can see the beautiful details, but now he sees the Earth as a small thing out there. … It is so small and so fragile and such a precious little spot in the universe that you can block it out with your thumb. …
And you think about what you’re experiencing and why. … Are you separated out to be touched by God, to have some special experience that others cannot have? And you know the answer to that is no. … It’s not a special thing just for you. … [Y]ou are the sensing element for all of humanity, you as an individual are experiencing this for everyone. … That’s a humbling feeling. It’s a feeling that says you have a responsibility. …
And that’s a change. That’s something new. And when you come back there’s a difference in that world now. There’s a difference in that relationship between you and that planet, and you and all those other forms of life on that planet, because you’ve had that kind of experience. It’s a difference and it’s so precious.
— Russell Schweikart, “No Frames, No Boundaries,” in Earth’s Answer, ed. Michael Katz, William P. Marsh, and Gail Gordon Thompson.
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, sixth man to walk on the moon. The following passages describe an experience of Edgar Mitchell as he returned to Earth from a stay of several days on the Moon.
Beyond the [spacecraft’s] windows, a cloud-covered, crescent earth cast its light in the blackness. By now it was a familiar sight, but every once in a while Mitchell stopped to look at it. Gradually, as he worked and glanced at the bright crescent, he was filled with a quiet euphoria, a great tranquillity, and an overpowering sense of understanding. It was as if he had suddenly begun to hear a new language, one being spoken by the universe itself. No longer did the earth or anything in the universe seem to be random. There was a sense of order, of worlds and stars and galaxies moving in harmony. In one moment he was a detached observer; in the next he could see that he was definitely a part of it all.
As he worked within the command module he had a sense of being outsite himself, as if someone else's hands—way down there—were turning knobs, flipping switches. He found himself glancing over at Shepard and Roosa [his fellow crew members], looking for some glimmer in their eyes, some sign that they were sharing any part of this awakening, but they seemed the same as they had always been. He said nothing.
Several times during the trip home, the feeling returned, triggered each time by the sight of his home planet. Mitchell knew he had been enlightened, but in a way he did not understand, and with an impact that even now, he did not fully sense. In time, it would overshadow even walking on the moon. In it, Mitchell would try to find the seeds of resolution he had longed for all his life.
— Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon, p. 376–7
And suddenly it settled in, a visceral moment of knowing that the molecules in my body, the molecules in the spacecraft, and the molecules in my partners had been prototyped and manufactured in an ancient generation of stars. It was not an intellectual realization, but a deep knowing that was accompanied by a feeling of ecstasy and oneness that I had never experienced in that way before.
In that instant, I knew for certain that what I was seeing was no accident. That it did not occur randomly and without order. That life did not, by accident, arise from the primordial earthly sea. It was as though my awareness reached out to touch the furthest star and I was aware of being an integral part of the entire universe, for one brief instance.
Any questions that my curious mind might have had about our progress, about our destiny, about the nature of the universe, suddenly melted away as I experienced that oneness. I could reach out and touch the furthest parts and experience the vast reaches of the universe.
I could reach out and touch the furthest parts and experience the vast reaches of the universe. It was clear that those tiny pinpoints of light in such brilliant profusion were a unity. They were linked together as part of the whole as they framed and formed a backdrop for this view of planet Earth.
I knew we are not alone in this universe, that Earth was one of millions, perhaps billions, of planets like our own with intelligent life, all playing a role in the great creative plan for the evolution of life.
— Edgar Mitchell in an interview with Stephan Martin
The Great Space Center, featuring the writings of Franklin Merrell-Wolff • integralscience.org/gsc • Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887–1985) studied mathematics at Stanford and philosophy at Harvard. He then went to teach mathematics at Stanford. But a few months later, he left Stanford to search for enlightenment. He went to the desert with his wife and studied various spiritual writings, especially the Vedanta Sutras with the commentary of Shankara. After 20 years, he found what he was looking for: a “spiritual awakening.” Below are a few excerpts from his writings about this experience.
I found myself in sight of the limits to which our present egoistic consciousness has reached, and also had found adumbrations of another kind of consciousness where alone, it seemed, solutions of the antinomies of the subject-object consciousness could be found.
Some years now have passed since the precipitation of the inner events that led to the writing of this book [Pathways Through to Space]. It may be said now that the value of this unfoldment remains as high as it ever was. It is true that I would place this treaure far above anything which may be obtained in the ordinary world field, in whatever domain, such an achievement in government, in business, in science, philosophy, mathematics, or the arts. All these stand as values far inferior to these greater values which come from Fundamental Realization.
Ed Leedskalnin (1887–1951) singlehandedly built a most unusual structure, Coral Castle, in Homestead, Florida, as a monument to his lost love Agnes Scuffs, who cancelled their wedding the day before the ceremony. Coral Castle is a set of structures made from huge blocks of coral. It is known that Leedskalnin built these with only hand tools, without any heavy machinery, but no one ever saw him at work. Some say he had supernatural powers. He only said that he knew the secrets of the ancient pyramids, and if he could learn them, anyone else could too.
Every period of material life goes through two periods, construction and destruction period, but the life itself is indestructible, life has no beginning and no end. The sun is living in a destruction period and the earth in a construction period. In the sun only mineral life exists but on earth mineral, vegetable and animal life exist. When one form of life goes through the destruction period the life leaves the matter and goes somewhere else.
— Edward Leedskalnin, “Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Life”
“Is Consciousness a Number?” • PDF 100K • How Maharishi Vedic Mathematics resolves problems in the foundations and philosophy of mathematics. Based on my Masters thesis for a degree in Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management. • Revised 8 January 2005.
Summaries of Published Sources by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Mathematics, including modern mathematics and Vedic mathematics • PDF 200K • Summaries of sections of publications and press conferences in which Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has addressed any subject in modern or Vedic mathematics. • Revised 9 November 2014.