The true test of science is how it faces the unknown
Long before the discovery of bacteria, people were getting infections of many kinds and foods would still go rancid. Science didn’t invent bacteria, neither did it understand it for a long time . . . until it had the tools to measure it with.
Long before the Geiger counter, the uranium rock carried radiation, as do other minerals and foods. Science didn’t invent radiation, neither did it understand it for a long time . . . until it had the tools to measure it with.
Long before the discovery of the atom, atoms existed, as did the solar system that we inhabit, the possibility for ultra-violet radiation emitted by the sun to contribute to skin cancer, the possibility for X-ray imaging, and the movement of the tectonic plates of the earth as a cause of earthquakes and volcanic activity. It is fair to suggest there remains much in life that is unknown to science.
So how does science approach the unknown?
In all of the above cases, the default position was for Science to dismiss or even ridicule what was being proposed. Science is great at many things but it continues to fail when faced with aspects of life that it does not yet understand.
The reality is, things have always existed outside the current understanding of science. Yet somewhere the assumption is made that because science does not understand something that this thing doesn’t exist or that it is folly to suggest that it does.
It is a bit like a traveller who wants to understand a foreign country but dismisses the locals as stupid because they speak a different language . . . but on a brief tangent, isn’t this what most colonising countries did!!
To truly understand something (and someone), you need to learn the local dialect and customs. There is a whole world of nuance and understanding that is lost when someone is not willing to admit that the tools (in this case language) they have for understanding are limited.
There is so much that science can and does contribute to the world and there is no doubt we need science and the scientific approach. Indeed, science is not limited in what it offers humanity – its only limit is the tools used to understand life.
However, rather than embracing different dialects (tools) that can broaden understanding, science seems to take its limited understanding very, very personally. Science prefers to ‘own’ and even control the path to understanding. The result of this position is that alternative ways of understanding are dismissed, rejected or ridiculed as a threat to their ‘ownership’.
Surely what is important is not who owns the path to understanding but what might be learnt from it? Surely the true scientific response to the unknown is to find someone who can demonstrate a hypothesis and then back that hypothesis up with replicable results over a period of time, across a range of conditions: thus a scientific approach, just using a different dialect.
One such example is the cardio-centric approach to life presented by Universal Medicine since 1999. The Universal Medicine hypothesis is that the dominant way of understanding the world is currently through our mind and that understanding can also be achieved through our body, more specifically our heart, and more specifically again, our inner heart.
So, let’s break this down. The body receives information from all its senses that is transmitted to the mind for processing. From here there are a series of automated and decision-based actions. We automatically regulate our body temperature with things like sweating and shivering, and we choose various responses to the world based on our mind’s interpretation of what we see and feel. This is important; in the mind driven approach to understanding, we feel, we interpret, THEN we respond.
In the mental approach we develop beliefs about life through our experiences, then we start to filter our experiences through these beliefs to make choices about our response. It is the ultimate self-affirming cycle, of interpreting life to fit our internal picture of what we are seeing. Someone that sees the World Trade Centre crumble who holds a set of beliefs that says the people in those towers are evil will respond differently to people who see fathers, mothers, children etc. in the towers.
Society has tried and championed this mental approach for decades and the result is a more divided society than ever before. Through this approach we have created enclaves of ideology, fortified by the fact that we are able to filter what we see in world and thus interpret everything to fit what we believe.
Enter Universal Medicine, and their suggestion that more understanding can be achieved through the body than through mind. They are not the first outfit to suggest this, but nonetheless they are an organisation that has put a methodology behind this hypothesis and enabled people from across the world, across cultures and demographics, to test it for themselves.
Hypothesis: The cardio-centric approach offers a different way of understanding life.
Rationale: In both approaches we receive millions of messages and inputs from our senses all day, every day. The cardio-centric approach suggests that it is possible to learn to understand what is felt BEFORE the mental interpretations of our beliefs kick in.
Who hasn’t walked into a room where other people are gathered and felt that something was happening, even though there are no verbal or non-verbal cues to suggest it? Regardless of education, geography or religion, we all seem to have the capacity to feel what is going on around us. Not only feel, but accurately interpret as well.
It is also true that we have the capacity to override this feeling, misinterpret the feeling or be oblivious to what we feel around us, but there is a difference between overriding, misinterpreting and being oblivious to what is felt and to not feeling it in the first place. In fact, we can’t override or dismiss something without feeling it first on some level.
The cardio-centric approach suggests that any choice to override, misinterpret or choose to be oblivious is a choice to NOT feel what is truly happening – or put simply, we are reacting to what we feel.
- What if we could learn to not react to what was felt but stayed with that feeling?
- What if we can understand what is going on through the body rather than dropping into the mind and following the interpretations offered by preconceived ideas?
This ability is called conscious presence and it is developed through the Gentle Breath Meditation™. Of course, like all skills, it is a process of development over time and not an on-off switch.
Why is it called cardio-centric?
- Because to build this ability (conscious presence) requires the fostering of our connection to our body, and more specifically our inner-heart.
Why inner-heart and not heart? Because there are at least two layers of body awareness.
Layer 1 - Feeling based on the mind’s beliefs and imagery. Spend 2 minutes thinking about the most juicy, ripe lemon you can find and then biting into that lemon and your body will respond to that imagery like it was real.
This is the first layer of body awareness and many will swear what they feel is true and in many ways, it will be true because it is what they feel, BUT is it a feeling generated in response to the imagery of the mind?
Layer 2 - Feeling what is felt FIRST, before and beyond our body’s reaction based on the images of the mind. To highlight this differently, Universal Medicine uses the term inner-heart.
- Build conscious presence through the Gentle Breath Meditation™ to develop a greater awareness of feelings that are either driven from a mental construct or/and those that are simply felt from the world around us
- Over time, learning more about the images we project onto our lives and determining if they truly support us or not
- The more you live with conscious presence the more energy and vitality you have because you are not driving your physiology from your mind’s ideas of what is happening or what might happen, but rather responding to what is happening
- The more you live with conscious presence the more you notice the gap between what is felt and how our mind interprets these feelings
- The more you live with conscious presence, the less reactive you become to the world around you and the more connected you feel to yourself and others
- The reality is, there is far more to learn from the cardio-centric approach to life than can be written about in a single paper
These results are reported and replicated by people from around the world in various cultural, socio-economic and geographic backgrounds. Of course, in scientific terms these would all be considered subjective experiences.
However, for the people living these experiences, they are very real. They may look and sound strange to science because it is a different language. But it is a dialect that can and does explain life in a different way. As with all discoveries before it, the initial response to a new dialect may be scorn, mistrust or even ridicule.
The truly scientific response to this difference would be a willingness to explore any tools that would offer a deeper understanding of life.
What is there to lose?