In One Mind, New York Times best-selling author Larry Dossey, M.D., proposes an inspiring view of consciousness that may reshape our destiny.
Encountering the One Mind
We may experience the One Mind in a variety of ways. Think of the One Mind as a desert spring where we go to drink. We may arrive at the spring alone and have a solitary experience. Or we may meet another individual there, a group of individuals, or perhaps a throng. Just so, when we “drink” of the One Mind, the experience may affect us singly and individually, manifesting as a transcendent moment, an epiphany, or a creative breakthrough. Or we may acquire information inexplicably, as if by revelation, or experience a premonition that proves valid. Alternatively, One-Mind experiences may involve two or more people, such as when spouses, siblings, twins, lovers, or groups of individuals share emotions, thoughts, or feelings at a distance. As we’ll see, they can also occur across species.
Although One-Mind events are endlessly varied, they have this in common: they involve unbounded, extended awareness.
But how can we be confident that the One Mind exists?
There are no meters or gadgets that can calibrate it. This problem applies to many things we believe are real but cannot be measured directly—love, caring, compassion, patriotism, or a preference for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, to name just a few. In situations like this, we informally set up criteria for proving to ourselves that something exists.
For instance, we calculate that if a person is loving, he or she will behave in such-and-such a way. Then if the person behaves in these ways, we presume that he or she is indeed capable of love. In the absence of measurements, we can take the same approach to the One Mind.
What criteria should we set up to show that the One Mind exists? How would interconnected, overlapping minds manifest in daily life? If individual minds are linked with all other minds via the One Mind, what sort of experiences would individuals have? How would they know they are part of a greater mind?
If the One Mind existed we would expect to see the following: A person could share thoughts and emotions—and even physical sensations—with a distant individual with whom she has no sensory contact. An individual could demonstrate detailed knowledge possessed by a person who has died, which that individual could not have acquired by normal means. Distant communication could take place between humans and sentient nonhumans, such as pets. Large groups of animals—herds, flocks, schools—could behave in such highly coordinated ways that shared, overlapping minds are suggested. A dying or even healthy individual could experience direct contact with a transcendent domain in which it is revealed to her that she is in fact part of a greater mind that is infinite in space and time. An individual could find hidden or lost objects through mental means alone, or perceive in detail, without sensory contact, distant scenes that are known to someone else. As it turns out, none of these possibilities is hypothetical; they are all real, as we shall see. And because they exist we can infer, with solid justification, that the One Mind is also real. We can also take some assurance from the number of creative geniuses in fields of endeavor as varied as theoretical physics, philosophy, and music, who over the centuries have expressed their belief in the One Mind.
Individual minds turn out to be not just individual. They are not confined or localized to specific points in space, such as brains or bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the present. Minds, rather, are nonlocal with respect to space and time. This means that the separateness of minds is an illusion, because individual minds cannot be put in a box (or brain) and walled off from one another. In some sense, all minds come together to form a single mind.
Throughout history, many individuals, including eminent scientists, have glimpsed this fact. This includes Nobel physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who proclaimed, “There is only one mind,” and the distinguished physicist David Bohm, who asserted, “Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one.”