David S. Devor,
March 22, 1999
JEFFREY MISHLOVE: Welcome to Virtual U, on WisdomRadio. Our guest today is David S. Devor, Founder and Executive Director of the Project Mind Foundation.
DEVOR: Our mind is the tool with which we come into this world and we confront the world with an intelligence which, in principle, is unlimited. This is because we are made in the image of the Creator so in this way, presumably, we can intensify our confrontation with matter and reveal unlimited blessings that are inherent in the world. That's basically what Science has been trying to do from the beginning.
MISHLOVE: You have sort of articulated just now the heart of the vision of Project Mind which is to create a fusion between Science and Spirituality that will develop new technology for addressing problems that we face on this planet.
DEVOR: That's certainly one way to put it. Another way would be to say that it's about time that we recognized that Science itself is, primarily, a Spiritual Enterprise. Because if you just forget about the laboratory and the instrumentation for a moment, which at Project Mind we think of as the body of Science, the scientist begins his process with an act of contemplation that, actually, tends towards meditation. The scientist confronts the subject matter with which he's interested and concentrates on it. And the quality of that concentration, the quality of that confrontative contemplation, determines the level of insight that he's likely to have and, therefore, the manner of blessings that are likely to flow from his research.
I guess what we really want to talk about is whether Science can be transformed, can be made into something more holistic, whether breakthroughs can be accelerated and whether we can complete this process that began a very long time ago, in order to reveal unlimited blessings that are inherent in the physical world although that world seems to be, whenever we encounter it, very obscure and resistant to the penetration of our intelligence.
MISHLOVE: Well, we have two hours to pursue that subject, David, but I think it would be interesting, for our listeners, to create something of a project, and I think it's quite significant that you're talking to us live from Jerusalem, at this moment, one of the acknowledged sacred cities of the world, and the vision that began in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. Thousands of years ago, the Prophets said that there would be a Vision issuing forth from Jerusalem to the whole world, a Vision that would unify Mankind. It seems to me that the work you're doing today is in that spirit.
DEVOR: You can certainly say that that's what we're striving to do. The end game, if you like, as far as an individual is concerned, is the potential for the human body to become, in its totality, an instrument of vision - a mind. We tend to forget that our bodies are not slabs of inanimate meat, that we're alive inside and that the life within us is a matter of degree. I guess all spiritual striving is, in the final analysis, an effort to try to manifest the highest vibration or the greatest intensity of life that is possible to us. And since we're made in the image of the Creator, that intensity should be unlimited, should be infinite. The intelligence inherent in the mind that, potentially, we are should have no limit to it whatsoever. And that's a very exciting challenge. The question is "How do we meet it concretely?" The challenge is in the obscurity of matter, since it's a truism that the highest lights - the highest possibilities - are to be revealed from the lowest place. We think of that place as the physical matter of this world.
MISHLOVE: Your program is based on what you've called Ashlagian/Lurianic Kaballah. It's a particular School of Kaballah, of Jewish mysticism. As I understand it, that School talks about shards of Divine Light that become trapped or encased in matter. The role of the mystic is to free that. Am I correct?
DEVOR: Yes. That's correct. That's one of the ways of expressing the problem. But, generally, that's interpreted in terms of purification. When we purify ourselves, the fragmentation inherent in ourselves, as we most often are, is cured by releasing entrapped, fragmented sparks of Light and allowing them to re-unite with the Whole. But that's only part of the subject.
Purification is a bottom-up process where we look up to the Creator or to the transcendent in a sentiment of awe. But there's the other direction, which potentially is more powerful, and presumably the reason for which we were created. That would be to act as co-creators, partners in Creation looking downward to that, which is less animated than ourselves in an attitude of Love. In that way, we emulate the Creator because the Creator does not look up in awe -- there's nothing above Him -- so if we truly wish to be close to the Creator, we have to emulate the kind of functions that we attribute to Him and that is a top-down process of Love and, functionally, of Creativity. That means joining that which is highest to that which is lowest in tune with the classic idea that Man is supposed to have his head in the clouds or the heavens and his feet well rooted in the ground.
MISHLOVE: That's a beautiful analogy, David, and I think we ought to move forward now to talk about your particular Vision, Project Mind, as an organization that hopes to work with scientists in the spirit you just articulated.
DEVOR: That's correct. We look, really, to the scientist as potentially a hero, not even potentially, because the virtue of any scientist who finds, within himself, the spirit and the courage to confront the physical world, is evident to me. It's really a tremendous ambition when you think about it. It's a tremendous challenge. The question is, with what success we're going to meet that challenge. We believe that what still lacks is a higher intensity. Conventional life, if you like, does not encourage that kind of intensity. The world is a kind of "Divide-and-Rule" place and the kind of obsession and higher states of creative consciousness that we'd like to see generated are not accepted in the world as legitimate modes of being.
So we want to start by creating a place for that here in Jerusalem. We've already created the architectural plans and we're now looking for the site. We're also collecting the money that will be necessary in order to create a place that will, first of all, provide shelter for "maverick scientists" who have a very deep yearning for giving themselves totally to this kind of radical effort and, in addition to that, we also want to provide them with a protective mechanism so when they do, perhaps for the first time in their lives, go into a substantially elevated state of creative consciousness, they will be protected from the dangers that are inherent in that act. These dangers are hinted at in the Talmud in the story of the PaRDeS where four went into the PaRDeS and only one, Rabbi Akiva, came out intact. The others were harmed in one way or another. One went crazy, one became apostate and one died.
MISHLOVE: Now PaRDeS is the Hebrew word that is translated in English to be Paradise.
DEVOR: It's not actually translated that way but it's really the same word and sounds almost identical. If you translate it, it means "grove of fruit trees." That's what PaRDeS actually means. But it's an acronym and the letters, P, R, D, S, stand for the four levels of comprehension that are possible to us, or the four levels of consciousness to which, in principle, we can gain access. But the last level, the highest and most important one, that contains the Secrets of Creation, involves the ultimate danger and risk to the individual, which I suppose, is, first and foremost, the risk to our sanity. Presumably, assuming that risk is the mission of Man in the world. You could define a man as, "someone who's going to risk his sanity to bring a new, cogent, transformatory idea into the world."
MISHLOVE: The legend of Rabbi Akiva is quite a crucial one, and I hope that when we come back after break we can go into it in some detail. But for now, I think it's useful to say that, in the Jewish tradition, Kabbalah has often been associated with that sort of a risk. So part of the Tradition is that one did not study Kabbalah until one is already married and at least turned the age of forty.
DEVOR: That's correct. However, that taboo has been, for quite some time, considered to be defunct because we're living in a world where Tikkun or Emendation is becoming truly, truly urgent. So we're taking out all the stops and using every method possible to us in order to achieve what it is that we were created to achieve.
MISHLOVE: Yes. We'll be back with David Devor in Jerusalem after these words.
MISHLOVE: This is Jeffrey Mishlove on WisdomRadio. We're back with David S. Devor, who is phoning us live from Jerusalem. David is the President of Project Mind Foundation, and author of the book, PROJECT MIND. At the end of the hour, we will give out his website address so you can really dig deeply into this fountain of wisdom that he has to offer.
David, right before the break, you mentioned the legend of Rabbi Akiva. As I recall, there were four Rabbis who with him entered into PaRDeS. And the outcome of that early experiment is what I suppose you might think of as a precursor to what you're attempting with Project Mind,
DEVOR: Very much so, Jeffrey. Basically, each one of the four represented one of the four letters of the word PaRDeS, representing one level of consciousness or understanding. And Rabbi Akiva is supposed to have represented the aspect of secret, of "Sod," and that is what enabled him to get out intact. So the implication is that it is our job to reveal the secrets that are hidden in this world, if we are to survive as a species. While that survival is thought to be guaranteed in advance since the Creator is all-merciful, that guarantee, that predestination, does not relieve us of our Covenant, our partnership or our obligation towards existence.
MISHLOVE: The other three Rabbis who entered into this mystical state were not able to come back and really communicate what had occurred, is that right?
DEVOR: That's right. And that's, to a great extent, why we're concerned about what we call the "Pioneers of Accelerated Thought" or the "Candidates of Accelerated Thought." These maverick scientists that we're looking for will give themselves over to a total effort of Contemplation. They will totally saturate themselves, totally "obsess" with the material of their research so that they can manifest a radical, higher state of conscious creativity, hence our concern for them. Therefore, a big part of our strategy is to provide them with a support team of people who can supplement or support them or compensate for whatever lacks they may display or any impurities they may have in themselves. After all, a great deal of what characterizes ourselves in this world is the corruption that is inherent in what's known in most traditions as the "Fall of Man."
So, while we all still retain that cosmic DNA which is called the "Image of the Creator" within ourselves, and that "DNA" remains largely intact from the beginning of Creation, there is a process, a Fall if you like, a process of degeneration, that is part and parcel of our falling from a state of purity into this world of matter. Like it or not, we now find ourselves confronted and threatened by the world of matter. As a matter of fact, we're having our nose rubbed in it through all kinds of forms of pollution, threats of economic collapse and technological dangers inherent in research that have to do with war and armament. All these types of things are characteristic of this age in which we are truly confronted by the physical world, something that we managed for millennia to, more or less, ignore, except on a very basic level, with agriculture, where we scratched a living out of the Earth to enhance what Nature was already giving us.
MISHLOVE: I'm very intrigued, still, by the legend of Rabbi Akiva and since it seems fundamental to what you're doing, can you give us a little historical background? As I recall, he was in the First Century.
DEVOR: That's correct. But you have to recall that the story was never meant to be -- not even in the Talmud -- a literal story. The PaRDeS isnít a physical place. It's a parable. And to me, the lesson is very clear. But if you wish to look at the historical aspect of it, Rabbi Akiva was imprisoned by the Romans for teaching the Torah. There was a total ban on the teaching of Torah at the time which has been part of the Jewish predicament throughout history. He was jailed and eventually killed by having the skin flayed from him with iron combs. He is reputed to have smiled to his students in the moment just prior to his death saying that he was overjoyed to have finally discovered how to serve the Lord with "all his Being," because the prime prayer, the famous "Shma" prayer, involves this idea of loving the Lord "with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might." And so he said, "Now I understand what it means to serve the Lord with all my Being."
So what Rabbi Akiva learned in death is really what we want to use as the initial impetus for our Project. The scientists who are going to "break the cosmic bank," so to speak, and who are going to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and reveal all the blessings that are waiting to be revealed, are going to have to give themselves with this totality that, until now, has been really unheard of. It's a great Prayer and a great Vision but, from our point of view, it really has never been manifested completely, and that's a tremendous challenge, the challenge to use every bit of this unlimited potential that we've been given.
MISHLOVE: Your idea is to apply that level of intensity, commitment, and passion to find the great Spiritual Heroes able apply that to the challenge of scientific and technological discovery.
DEVOR: That's correct. We can hardly think of revealing the highest lights or using the highest part of our potential if we're not confronting the greatest challenge that existence presents to us, and that's the obscurity of physical matter. There's nothing harder than making a scientific breakthrough and nothing that exerts more influences. You can dodge all kinds of influences whether they be spiritual or aesthetic or whatever but there's one thing that you can't dodge and that is the physical reality, defined by the current technological level, that makes up the world around us. And that's the world that we really must influence if we want to all share the same Reality, which is, ultimately, the Reality of Unlimited Bounty.
MISHLOVE: This is Jeffrey Mishlove of WisdomRadio's Virtual U with guest David S. Devor of the Project Mind Foundation. We'll be back after these messages.
MISHLOVE: I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual U with David Devor, who is on the line with us from Jerusalem. Incidentally, if you'd like to pose a question to David or to myself, you can do so by phoning (800) 655-2112 or you can post your question by email, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
David, the Vision of Project Mind, as I understand it, is not so different from some of the things that are seen in science fiction. For example, in Star Trek we have the "Replicator" which is capable of producing food and other items and objects just by synthesizing the molecules. As I understand your work, you seem to suggest that we could build Replicators. Everybody could have one. We could literally solve the problem of material want and material wellbeing.
DEVOR: Well, when you think about it, everything is made out of the same fundamental elements, the same sub-atomic particles, if you like. The only thing that's separating us from the reality of the Replicator (in other words, the ability to synthesize anything that we want in three dimensions) is the knowledge that we are lacking. We really don't know very much about matter. Science has barely scratched the surface of what it is that we have yet to find.
Yes, if you had a Replicator in your home, what it means is that, whatever you wanted, you'd ask from the Replicator and it would simply create it for you out of sub-atomic particles, out of thin air, if necessary. And if you did have that reality, it would mean that you wouldn't need cupboards or drawers or even pockets any more because anything that you wanted you would call up and, once you were finished with it, you would dissolve it, recycle it back into its sub-atomic particles. So the clutter that we now have in life would disappear! Most of what we have, roads, everything else, would basically melt back into Nature and we'd have the Vision of a natural, healthy world that many people are striving for but are seeking in ways that Iím afraid are just too conventional. We've been given a "Mind" to discover these secrets and I think that realizing its full potential is really what we're called upon to do.
There's another aspect that I'd like to raise. It is in the nature of our world that it's a thousand times easier to destroy than it is to create. People don't think too much about that but think of the challenge that it implies. It kind of makes it a Tortoise-and-Hare race where the Hare is dashing to oblivion. We know that it's so easy to destroy and that people are tempted to become destructive for all kinds of reasons. I don't think we have to go into that. And yet the poor, creative Tortoise has barely left the Starting Line. I think we have to find the way -- I think Project Mind is the way (but that remains to be seen) -- we have to find a way to turn this Tortoise, to transform him into some kind of supersonic Tortoise to beat the Hare at the Finish Line. We have to enhance Creativity to a tremendous degree!
MISHLOVE: Let's talk a little bit about some more of the concrete steps that you have in mind. I know, for example, that many people, certainly many of our listeners, are creative people who embark upon different projects, but often find that they never complete the creative project, because it's so easy to get distracted.
DEVOR: That's right. Everything about life deflects us and that's a big part of the challenge. The world, and physical matter in particular, resists the penetration of our mind and spirit. Creativity is the faculty of mind and spirit that best penetrates this obscurity and reveals some light, some new possibility that brings blessings into our life.
So it's a question of persistence. And the persistence for mobilizing that kind of radical effort that inherently is possible to us is a question of Faith. If you don't believe the light bulb is going to go on, you're not going to be able to summon the energy to flick the switch! And there are a lot of people who have, unfortunately, fallen into depression and the like because they lost faith in life's possibilities or in their own ability to engage those possibilities. So I guess the question is, "What kind of people have this faith and are capable of mobilizing this kind of total, obsessed effort that we're talking about, so that the deepest secrets of matter will be revealed? And how can the rest of us support their effort?"
We are creating (we hope to start building very soon) the facility that we've planned, in Jerusalem, that has 36 chambers or suites where these people, who have this creative potential, who have this unlimited faith in their creative prowess and in the benign aspect of Reality (in other words, that it is potentially all blessing, that there are no loose ends), will be given an opportunity to be sheltered and nurtured. Their needs and those of their families will be taken care of to enable them to devote themselves, totally, to this act of Contemplation that will become a very deep, all encompassing Meditation. Most important, as I mentioned before, they will be given the opportunity to bond with a team of experts -- medical, spiritual, psychological, psychiatric, technical -- all the specialists that theyíll need as a Support Team, to compensate for whatever lacks and vulnerabilities they may have.
The only thing they really must have, as a prerequisite, is "competency in their field," and "obsession with a question to which they wish to give themselves totally." They must have this "unlimited faith" in possibilities that is really characteristic of small children who believe that the Prince and the Princess live happily ever after and that Good always prevails over Evil. We are introduced to this fairy-tale world as children and I guess we have to realize that those fairy tales aren't the lies that we later come to believe that they were. They're the very Reality that we're here in this world to reveal.
MISHLOVE: Thank you, David Devor, speaking to us live from Jerusalem sharing with us solving the problems of the world. And we'll be back after these messages.
MISHLOVE: I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual U. My guest, David Devor, is the author of a fascinating book called, Project Mind, and President of the Project Mind Foundation. He's with us on the phone from Jerusalem.
David, you've been presenting me with a Scientific Vision of bringing together a Collective of 36, in effect, scientific geniuses, with a whole Support Network around them, to engage in a sort of scientific-Spiritual discipline of solving the natural problems that face the world, economic, medical, and many other areas, I would imagine. It sounds like a, really, a multi-million dollar thinktank, that you have in mind.
DEVOR: That's correct, Jeffrey, but we like to make the distinction of calling it a "MindTank" rather than a ThinkTank. This is not a place where people will get together and bounce ideas off one another and titillate themselves and whatever, to try to spark some new ideas. These are people who will be isolated from the world except in certain moments when, in the deepest state of creative meditation imaginable, they will be working with their Support Team. They will be going into an unprecedentedly deep level of Meditation, in order to reach a state of higher Conscious Creativity that will allow them to bond totally with the subject matter that they're at. The only way to know something completely is to become that thing, at least in a virtual sense, for a period of time. It's the idea of Biblical Knowledge. You become the thing that you're studying. And that thing, expanded in the cyberspace of our inner being, allows us to gain this Knowledge, knowledge that can be gained in no other way.
The way Science is working now, it means that we only get glimpses through "spark" Eureka creativity. And yes, this is a multi-million-dollar challenge. We're looking for $30 million to enable us to build this facility and run it for three years which we believe will be more than ample in order to create a new standard of Creativity in Science. This, we believe, will be totally transformatory and defuse the increasing dangers that we see, day by day, emerging from science which is fundamentally fragmented because, from our point of view, it is simply being done the wrong way. The spiritual, creative contemplative component is being performed in too superficial a way, without the kind of total involvement required for deep, encompassing creative vision that amounts to holistic knowledge. The direct, knowledge that we're speaking of is the essence of creative achievement.
MISHLOVE: Your Vision is very different from many Spiritual Paths that suggest that spirituality requires a withdrawal from the physical world. You're suggesting just the opposite.
DEVOR: We're saying that it requires a withdrawal from conventional relationship with the physical world. Yes, a lot of people think of Spirituality as becoming dis-identified and they are right but that Dis-Identification consists of a withdrawal from a thousand different Identifications produced by our fragmented minds. In contrast, Project Mind aims at one, total Identification pointing towards Unity. To know any one thing, in its entirety, is what Spirituality is striving for. The business of dis-identifying is consistent with the religious or spiritual orientation called "Awe." It's the "Bottom-Up," "looking up to heaven" business of self-purification and self-effacement. It really amounts to recovery, coming out of a dead end so we can start our strivings, again, renewed and spiritually refreshed.
The other direction is the creative "Top-Down" one where we emulate the Creator in an act of Love that creatively embraces the world and, more particularly, all that is less animated than ourselves. The inanimate world is the lowest and most difficult to penetrate. If you can do that, then you've embraced all levels.
MISHLOVE: Do I understand you correctly, David, is there an element of Biblical prophecy that fits into the work that you're doing?
DEVOR: That's correct. At least in Jewish cosmology, existence is thought of as a span of 7,000 years starting with Genesis and ending in total unity, eternal communion with the Creator. These seven millennia parallel the seven days of the week. The Messiah whose job it is to prepare for that perfect communion is supposed to come at the very end of the 6th Millennium, which is coming up soon. The Hebrew date right now is 5,759 so we're not very far away.
The idea is that, by then, that is before the Sabbath begins, all Creative Work must be complete. Therefore, it means we have to have gained a complete mastery of physical matter. This is expressed in the idea that the Messiah is supposed to come on a white donkey. The word "donkey," in Hebrew, "Hamor," is virtually identical to the word "matter" (Chomer) and "white" indicates that this matter will be transformed to such a degree, purified to such a degree, that it will be no longer be restricting in any way, meaning we will have revealed the unlimited Abundance that's waiting to be revealed there. But it's not virtual abundance that we want to reveal, it's actual abundance, an abundance that we can all share and thus share the same Reality and be relieved of our metaphysical blindness or, if you like, our existential, waking sleep.
MISHLOVE: David, if I understand you correctly, you're suggesting that the Biblical Prophecies, the part that you're relying on would say that in about four years from now, we will have achieved complete mastery over this physical realm.
DEVOR: You're thinkingÖ Iím not sure why you say "four years".
DEVOR: Oh, forty years. Well, it's more like 240. We're now in the year 5759. But still, we're really very, very close to the Eve of Sabbath. If you know a little about the Sabbath and I know you do, we're supposed to do our best to try to bring the Sabbath in early. So, if you like, this prophecy is open to be realized at any moment from now on. No one can know the exact moment. That requires prophecy. I don't know anyone who has that level of prophecy but I think the time has come to fully embrace the physical world and reveal its infinite possibilities. If knowledge of the future is denied us, vision concerning its possibilities is not.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back after these messages from WisdomRadio, and another hour with David Devor.
MISHLOVE: If you are interested in learning more about David Devor's work with the Project Mind Foundation, I invite you now to log onto their website. Get your pencil out, for a long web address. I'm going to repeat it twice. http://www.webscope.com/project_mind
If you're interested in contacting the website for Virtual U Radio Program, we have a lot of information there, including the Online Special List supporting this program, and that website is a simple one, it's my name: http://www.mishlove.com.
We're going to be back with David Devor at 6 and a half minutes after the hour and we'll have a whole hour with him exploring in greater depth both the spiritual and scientific implications of what he's doing with Project Mind. David, do you have any final thoughts you'd like to leave with our listeners before we wind up the hour?
DEVOR: First of all, perhaps it might simplify things, because it really is a long website address if listeners will just write to my E-mail address, I'll be happy to send everything that they need. And that 's email@example.com or, if you like, firstname.lastname@example.org
MISHLOVE: We'll be back with another hour of discussion.
MISHLOVE: Welcome back to our interview with David Devor who is phoning in to us live from Jerusalem. David is the President of the Project Mind Foundation, an organization that has a unique Vision to solve the problems of lack of abundance on this planet, the problems of mortality and illness, by bringing together a MindTank, a group of 36 scientific geniuses to enter into a meditative state, to be provided with a complete network of support so that they can concentrate totally on solving the deepest yearnings of humanity.
David, I've managed to log onto your website now and we see here that the vision of Project Mind is: "to free the human spirit from the crushing illusion of materialism by using the transformative genius latent in all humans to eliminate real and addictive lack." Maybe we can amplify that for this segment. Could you start by talking about what you mean by "the crushing illusion of materialism"?
DEVOR: Sure, Jeffrey. "Materialism," generally speaking, is defined as the belief that existence is substantially physical or as a non-belief in the metaphysical. According to tradition, the physical, as infinite as it is, is just a thin crust around an almost completely metaphysical reality. The thing that creates the illusion, the thing that makes us metaphysically blind, is that we are attached or identified to this thin physical crust of existence because of our vulnerability.
If we were to gain a command of matter, if we were to eliminate our ignorance of matter, presumably we would not only reveal unlimited abundance and have the reality of the "Replicator" but we would also be able to eliminate all illness and aging and, of course, death. This has been the vision of most religions although, very often, immortality is interpreted as life in a higher world. But you have to remember that, in the end, everything is supposed to be united into one single existence and therefore there shouldn't be a separate, higher world. This world of ours is the Paradise to come and will embrace all realities, all levels, all worlds.
MISHLOVE: Many of the spiritual traditions in the world, the Christian, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and I think it's also found in Judaism, and Islam suggest that the way you free yourself of the attachment to material reality is by letting go of the attachment. You seem to suggest that the way we free ourselves from the attachment is by creating abundance, so we don't have to be attached.
DEVOR: That's right, and there seems to be a contradiction there until you realize that Spirituality has two primary directions that we talked about before: the bottom-up business of self-effacement, dis-identification in an act of "awe," of becoming one with the amniotic fluid of the Cosmos, and the other one of looking downward in "love" and creative engagement.
Yes, it's very important for us to have some grasp of Reality. We have to have some notion that there is a metaphysical reality out there, that there is something that transcends the physical. And that's why we do have such spiritual practices and once we start to grasp the spiritual potential that we have, weíll see it is infinite. You said that I'm looking for scientists who are geniuses. Basically, we're all geniuses. We're all made in the image of the Creator. The problem is how to express that genius and that calls for a very basic and powerful faith. And while it does take a little bit of faith to jump into the void, to let go of the ordinary and open up into a finer vibration, something higher, it takes a great deal more faith to embrace the difficulties of the world and more specifically, the difficulty inherent in the obscurity of physical matter.
Physical matter is very resistant. It's there and has been there from time immemorial as a challenge to our spirit. So, yes, we have to mobilize our spirit. We have to reveal faith. We have to have Conscience and concern for Creation if we're going to do anything. But that "anything," in the final analysis, means embracing the world and bringing it to some kind of unity. We're meant to fulfil this Covenant of ours that we've called, from the very beginning, "Tikkun Olam," the Emendation or Correction of the World, to make this world truly a Paradise which is just what its potential is.
MISHLOVE: I recall from our earlier discussions, and I think it's fair to tell our listeners that you and I have been in touch for years through the Intuition Network, in fact I'm a member of your Board of Advisors of the Project Mind Foundation. As I recall, what you're proposing is that humanity as a whole will be able to finally focus in on real spiritual issues only when we've solved the material problems.
DEVOR: That's correct. Remember when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? We weren't jealous or resentful. Even our enemies felt part of the process. They didnít feel that this was done by an American enemy, this was done by Humanity. For a moment we all shared in the glory because on some level we all realized, that whatever we had lived up until then, whatever we had suffered in the whole history of Humanity, had led us to this moment. In one sense, one person accomplished it. But it really wasn't an elitist accomplishment. It was an accomplishment of Humanity. We're saying the same thing here. There are a few people who survive from childhood, intact, with a level of faith in unlimited possibilities both in existence and also within themselves, in the sense of creative capacity. They have this faith that something can be done. And the reason they're there and they can have this possibility is precisely because of everything that's going on around them. While we're all trying to lighten the load in some respect and do our spiritual work, which is a being obligation -- because we have to do whatever we can to be kind and to be as refined and available and attentive as we can in this world, in the final analysis, there has to be those who will walk on the moon for us.
The analogy that I use is that we're all spiritually high-jumping. We jump as high as we can, in the sense of dis-identification and touching the transcendent in our meditative practice. But we're not making it into orbit. The only thing that's going to bring us all into orbit, and we are all part of one great soul, is if somebody turns the gravity off. In this analogy, the purpose of Project Mind is to break the cosmic bank, reveal the secrets inherent in physical matter and, spiritually speaking, turn off the gravity of materialism, the illusion of materialism, so we will stop attaching ourselves to the thin crust of existence, the physical crust of existence and allow ourselves to awaken, all together, to the same metaphysical Reality.
MISHLOVE: And you are now engaged in a worldwide search for Candidates to enter into this process that you call "Accelerated Thought".
DEVOR: That's right. We even have a contest to that end. In fact, we have a number of contests at our website. We have one which invites people to scout for Accelerated Thought candidates. You know that, in life, you meet people who are "marching to a different drummer," so to speak, people who are "in the world, but not of it". They really have some deep, abiding faith in their ability to make some great discovery. The candidates we're looking for are those individuals who have become competent in their respective fields, who really do believe in these possibilities and who are able to obsess with the whole of themselves. Obsession usually carries pejorative connotations but, in this case, it really shouldn't because the purpose is for these people to bring themselves to an act of contemplation which is total, "with all your heart and with all your being and with all your might," as the Prayer says.
MISHLOVE: As I look on your website I see that as an example of such a person, you refer to Nikola Tesla.
DEVOR: It is well known, especially as regards his motor -- the electric motor that he invented -- that he invented it in one shot. It came to him in a vision, complete. That is a result, first of all, of being well steeped in the material of his research but it also means that he was necessarily in some very deep meditative state. He didn't have to invent his motor piecemeal! And Coleridge with his famous poem, Kublai Khan, is another example. The poem came to him in its entirety. So it is possible, under certain circumstances, sometimes almost by accident but very rarely, to gain access to a higher Reality, to have a higher Creative Vision. This has to be systemized. There has to be a way where people who have this capacity are given the actual opportunity to manifest that capacity for all of the rest of us.
MISHLOVE: Tesla's a good example. Not only did he invent the electric motor, but he also invented alternating current "A.C." literally the power grid we all experience in our homes right now, is due to the genius of that one man.
DEVOR: That's right. And he had many, many inventions that people are still trying to figure out, what they were and how they worked. He had tremendous vision and the main blessing that he gives us, besides these physical blessings, is the knowledge that it is possible to have a higher Creative Vision because, if you don't believe in that possibility, you're not going to mobilize yourself to realize it.
MISHLOVE: Your role would be, in effect, to create a MindTank, with 36 people who would be able to produce results of the caliber of a Nikola Tesla.
DEVOR: Exactly. The 36 is symbolic. This facility that we have planned will take a maximum of 36 people at any given time. But I imagine it will take more than 36 people given a shot at this until we get to where we're going. And you have to remember that there are perils involved in going into what we call the PaRDeS, that is, going into a very high state of Creative Consciousness and, therefore, we're going to be providing the kind of protection these people need so that we don't blow any fuses.
MISHLOVE: I believe the number "36" is very significant in Jewish mysticism.
DEVOR: That's correct. It is said that, at any given time, there are 36 hidden Righteous Men who maintain the world, or if you like, prevent it from being destroyed by the forces of Evil.
MISHLOVE: The 36 Tzaddiks.
DEVOR: Theyíre called "Tzadikim," the "Righteous Ones". In Hebrew, Lamed Vav, are the letters that express "thirty-six." Why 36? It's conjecture. Eighteen numerically symbolizes Life so perhaps it refers to two forms of life, a Higher Life and a Lower Life that have to be reunited.
MISHLOVE: So, fundamentally, you're taking a Vision that is based on Jewish mysticism, on Biblical prophecy, and you're reaching out beyond the conventional boundaries of religion and saying, we have to include within the scope of our Vision, all of the scientific and technological accomplishments of Humankind.
DEVOR: That's right. That's our interpretation of it. We think that Project Mind offers the vision to culminate just about any religion because, if you believe in the Good and if you believe in existence, then it's natural to want to use the highest capacities that we've been blessed with in order to realize those hidden blessings. Now there are some people who believe that the Messiah will come at the End of Days, wave a magic wand and do it all for us. But this would preempt our mission and covenant with the Creator. It would preempt our mission as humanity. And I think it would also make a mockery of all the millennia of human suffering behind us. I think that the virtue inherent in what we are demands that we do the job for which we were created, that we complete it as partners with the Creator in Creation, Co-Creators, as the term goes.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back with David Devor after these messages from WisdomRadio.
MISHLOVE: I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual U with WisdomRadio. Now if you'd like to pose a question to my guest David Devor, you can phone, 800-525-2112, or you can send E-mail to email@example.com
David, as I recall from our discussion, one of the interesting ways that you have of looking at the world as a whole as "Cosmology," as we call it, is in terms of three fundamental human paradigms that you describe as "working to eat," "eating to work," and "eating is working." Could you elaborate on that?
DEVOR: Sure. If you have to work in order to eat, and that is the Reality for most of us, we really could be -- it's not nice to say -- but we really could be called "wage-slaves". It's the demands of our body, our health, the needs of our children, everything of a physical nature that requires us to do work, and not always work that we find rewarding or work that's creative. So working-to-eat is obviously not why we're here. We're not here to eat, we're not here to consume, it's just not our purpose. Food, on all the levels that it can nourish us, is meant as a means to help us towards our destination. The other way around, "eating-to-work," is more like the Creative Paradigm. You come into this world to accomplish a mission, to accomplish work, and eating is only the fuel for that process.
Now the "eating is work" paradigm is a little more difficult to understand and that paradigm will come after we have unlimited Abundance. Instead of being creative, after we enter the Sabbath, we'll start learning that the real work of existence is the work of Unity. And therefore this duality of working in order to eat (or even eating in order to work) has to be replaced by a synthesis which makes no distinction between the Creator and Created. It really is a total Communion which is what is predicted for the End of Days. Also, in the very act of receiving infinite blessings from the Creator, weíll be fulfilling His plan and, in a sense, be giving to Him although we mustnít fall into the trap of imagining that the Creator has any lacks whatsoever. So Giving and Receiving become one indistinguishable whole.
In the meanwhile, we have a choice between a duality which is wage-slavery or one that involves Creativity and the work of transforming the world. And how to realize that choice is what a lot of people are contending with all the time. Many are seeking to get out of this business of wage-slavery and into some kind of activity, perhaps an independent business, so that theyíll be doing what they've always wanted to do. If they are really blessed, they'll be doing it for the love of the work and not for the love of the result and certainly not for the mere fulfillment of their physical needs.
MISHLOVE: I gather from this Cosmology, you're suggesting that part of human history has to do with what's referred to in the Bible as being in the Garden of Eden, then we have this period that we've been in since the Fall, then you refer to the "Sabbath," which is yet to come, by which I think you mean not just a day of Sabbath, but a whole era.
DEVOR: We said that each day represents a thousand years of Creation and that all of Creation comes to 7,000 years, at which time everything will be totally united and we'll have eternal, infinite ecstasy. If you think about it, there is nothing less than this that you can expect from an infinite Creator who is infinitely merciful.
MISHLOVE: So the seven days of the week really represent seven stages of human progress.
DEVOR: That's right. Normally, those stages are divided up into three main periods, four, if you like. The first two are called the "Period of Chaos." The second 2,000 years are considered the "Period of the Bible." The next, the third 2,000 years, is considered to be the "run-up to the Age of Messiah." The last 1,000 years constitute the "Sabbath" which is a process of uniting everything that exists and, then, at the end of the seventh Millennium, you get into the Eighth Millennium. The 8 on its side, of course, is the symbol for Infinity.
MISHLOVE: Your work with Project Mind is heavily grounded in Jewish mysticism and I wonder if I could ask you, David, there you are in Jerusalem, which is one of the most ancient cities in the world, a city that has been characterized by great struggle, and your representing a sort of fusion between ancient and modern traditions, and as I understand it, you live within an orthodox Jewish community, in Jerusalem. How is your work received there?
DEVOR: Well, people are individuals. And some people are able to grasp it, other people are not. An important part of our problem is communicating this Vision. And because it has a number of esoteric aspects to it, not everybody can gain access, immediately. We're hoping to give expression to this vision by unfolding it in a drama, in the form of a novel or in the form of a movie. At our website, we offer a prize to anyone who would like to undertake the writing of a novel or a screenplay based on an outline of a plot that we can send them.
Really, if you think about it, it's a spiritual or science-fiction drama that we're talking about. Presumably, by having the reader or the viewer watch this drama, this incredible drama, unfold before their eyes, they will be much better able to grasp the principles and subtleties by seeing them embodied in such a story.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back with David Devor.
MISHLOVE: Welcome back to Virtual U. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove and I'm discussing Project Mind with the Founder and President of Project Mind Foundation, David Devor who is with us on the phone from Jerusalem.
We've been talking quite a lot about Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah but I don't know that it's at all well understood. What is the relationship of Kabbalah to Judaism as a whole? In Asian religions, in Hinduism, in Buddhism, it's understood mysticism is more or less the core of those religions, but it's less obvious when it comes to Judaism.
DEVOR: I think that's a good observation that you make here. Judaism does not (or has not until now) tried to emphasize the esoteric and I think that there's a lot of wisdom in that because Judaism is a very bottom line religion. You'll notice that there is a very strong creative current in the Jewish people. There's an engagement with the physical, while if you look to Tibetan Buddhism as another polarity, there's a kind of disengagement when it comes to the world. It's more oriented toward self-healing, toward self-effacement, towards refinement.
This synthesis, in Judaism, still remains to be realized. That's why you will find, in Judaism, this great array of different practices and different directions that are going on because, basically, it's a work in progress. It's something that's searching for unity and everybody's creatively doing his own thing to try to get a vision that will make that possible. Interestingly, Judaism is very tolerant of these different possibilities. For instance, even if you declare yourself an atheist, it doesn't mean you are excommunicated from Judaism. Once you're a Jew, you're always a Jew even if you convert to another religion.
So there's this flexibility built in that allows us to access the transcendent or the mystical should we bring ourselves to the point where we feel that this access is required. But it isn't something that's imposed or represented as the core. It's just a key for getting a handle on reality. But getting access to the transcendent for a human being or for a spiritual entity that's having a human experience is not the ultimate. The ultimate is uniting the highest and the lowest and thereby revealing the possibilities of our unlimited potential. That's the way I understand the challenge that Judaism represents. It's a creative challenge.
MISHLOVE: Your work with Project Mind, to work with scientists to master the mysteries of the material world in order to solve the problems of death, illness and lack of abundance, is in effect a spiritual process that leads to a kind of higher spiritual realization.
DEVOR: That is correct. An inner realization and an outer one. And I think that really is the point. We say Science is the highest spiritual challenge that we've ever undertaken simply because the scientist is addressing himself to the most difficult task there is -- overcoming the obscurity of matter. And by definition, in order to penetrate that obscurity, he's going to have to access the transcendent. That brings us to the core concept of Project Mind, which is Accelerated Thought, the ability to access Higher Mind or, if you like, the Higher Creativity that we call "Accelerated Thought."
I think that's where the bone is buried. If the scientist, in general, doesn't want to recognize that his discipline is a spiritual discipline, in parallel, you have religion, in general, not wanting to recognize that the confrontation with physical matter is its ultimate challenge. In both fields, you find these people appropriating for themselves all kinds of spiritual kudos and prerogatives. They take themselves as being, in many ways, the elite of society. On the other hand, it's a kind of Ivory Tower elitism, ignoring the real challenge of the world, the real work of spirituality. And that work is to rid this world of ignorance and illusion, which is precisely what is necessary when you engage the physical.
MISHLOVE: You use the phrase "Accelerated Thought" as a kind of enlightened state that encompasses the mastery of the physical world. It strikes me, though, that in many spiritual traditions, and perhaps most, that state is considered something of an act of Grace. You can engage in various disciplines, prayer, meditation, self-discipline, etc. But, ultimately, states like that are said to be bestowed upon you. You can't force them.
DEVOR: Well, like most things, the answer's Yes and No. If you think about it, every moment of our life is an act of Grace. But because it's routine for us, we rarely recognize it. When someone has a creative breakthrough, that's a moment when it's hard not to recognize the moment of Grace. But if you become accustomed to that moment of grace or breakthrough and it becomes habitual, then it can become your new level of consciousness.
So I think the bottom line, whether you're doing the spiritual hygiene of self-purification or the creative work of encountering the physical world on some level, is to remember thatís what we're here for is work, effort. We have a potential and the realization of that effort means a mobilization of our inner creative capacities. The prime resource for that is the faith needed to get access to the core of our essence where the greatest desires reside. Those desires will allow us to mobilize our capacities.
MISHLOVE: David, you're talking about our values that seem to me to have great meaning to all of us, not just the 36 chosen people who would be the heart of the Project Mind Tank.
DEVOR: Maybe we can speak about that a little bit in the next Segment -- how people can get involved, what any person can do to pursue this Vision.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back in just a few minutes with David Devor.
MISHLOVE: We're wrapping up now, our second hour of conversations with David Devor, who is on the phone with us from Jerusalem where it is early morning, whereas here in California, it's late at night. A wonder at what technology already allows us to accomplish.
David, your Vision is extraordinary in terms of its potential for transforming Humanity. And I think there's something in it that speaks not only to the select scientists you'd like to work with, and the team of support people, but also for people in general. I wonder if we can address the relevance of the Project Mind Foundation for the population at large.
DEVOR: For those who have web access, they might want to look at our site, and try what we call the Project Mind Compatibility Quiz. It's a self-scoring, self-compiling Quiz which will enable them to get some measure of their alignment with this particular approach that we have. Based on that alignment, they might decide, for instance, that they could get involved with us on some level.
We have three Circles, an Exoteric, a Mesoteric, and an Esoteric Circle. The Esoteric Circle is composed of those maverick scientists that are going to manifest what we call "Accelerated Thought," their higher creative potential. We're looking for those people and we're looking for help in finding those people. Anyone who can bring us someone of that nature, who ends up to be part of our Project, will get a complimentary trip, an all-expenses-paid trip, to Israel to accompany that person to our Project when we're ready to go. There are other people who will want to get involved on a writing level, and we have a competition for writing essays, novels and screenplays that we mentioned before and, really, there are all kinds of levels. There are fund-raising activities for those people who want to be part of that effort.
So the website does give a selection of modalities and volunteer opportunities. As an organization, we have all kinds of volunteer opportunities to offer people. People who don't have Internet access might want to procure the Project Mind Book. It's called, PROJECT MIND - The Conscious Conquest of Man and Matter Through Accelerated Thought. It's available at our website and also through Amazon on the web or -- can I give a telephone number?
DEVOR: OK, fine. That number is: 1 (800) 842-8338. Or, if you need any kind of information, you can just E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MISHLOVE: It's interesting. You're there in Israel and you have a web address of "usa.net".
DEVOR: Well, you know, the net's really a precursor of what we're talking about. It's bringing everything together. You know it's geography independent and, even on the telephone, it's kind of funny that you and I are talking while you've got to be 7 or 8,000 miles away, and this radio station we're both connected to is in the Eastern part of the United States, thousands of miles from you as well. So when you think about it, it's mind-blowing but, like everything else, it becomes routine. We take things for granted, but when you look at the fabulous things that have become possible and at the same time you realize that Science hasn't -- or our spiritual acuity through Science -- has not yet scratched the surface of the possibilities available to us and when you realize that each day becomes more dangerous than its predecessors, it underlines the urgency to get involved if you can.
A lot of people are busy with healing, spiritual hygiene, on that level we were talking about, that Bottom-Up level, of awe and self-effacement and self-refinement and self-purification -- it's all very legitimate. But sooner or later, people realize they want to get engaged with the world, they want to use whatever gifts they've been given, to do something concrete and something that will make a significant difference.
There are some of us who want to go all the way, a little bit like in the "Star Wars" epic, they want to go all the way and really break the cosmic bank, reveal all the bounty that there is. To believe that the world is benign, that the cosmos is benign, that within us we have higher creative possibilities, requires a level of faith that not everybody has right now. So those who do have it have an obligation to themselves and, by implication, to the rest of us, to manifest it. None of us have anything without having to thank everybody else for being part of the whole and making it possible.
MISHLOVE: Mm-hmm. I think there's a larger message in all of this, David, and many people I hope will feel motivated to log onto your website, to participate, support your work, but you're also offering a message to people like me, even if you choose not to become involved directly with Project Mind, and that is to pursue a life that seeks to develop a fusion between the worlds of Science and Technology and the worlds of Inner Mastery, of the Spiritual and Mystical Disciplines.
DEVOR: That's right. And the message is that the key is Effort. That notion tends to get lost along the way. An engagement, a spiritual effort, means mobilizing yourself, to think about something, to care about something so insistently that you will see something new in it. And that's not anything but a spiritual discipline. It's a spiritual discipline that implies responsibility not only to yourself, not only to your spiritual health and welfare, but something that engages the world that we all share, the physical world and the world to which we're really vulnerable. We have physical bodies and therefore we are vulnerable and we're given a Spirit with the capacity for removing that vulnerability. Every time we discover something new, we have new possibilities we never had before.
MISHLOVE: Well, as I listen to the spots on WisdomRadio that appeared between our segments, I had the sense that there is sort of an awakening of Consciousness with more and more people. It's symbolized or expressed by what WisdomRadio is doing coming to that view that you're expressing, of Effort to unite the Inner and the Outer Worlds.
DEVOR: The world is getting to be a scary place. The Fall of Man has brought us right down to having our nose rubbed in the physical world and the dangers inherent in the environment, politics, economics and all the rest of it is creating an upsurge of concern and a willingness to look at things in a little different way than we have before.
MISHLOVE: David Devor, weíll be back after these messages from WisdomRadio.
MISHLOVE: David Devor is on the phone with us live from Jerusalem, Israel, and for those of you who'd like to log onto the website I'll give the URL again: http://www.projectmind.org
Well, David, I want to thank you very, very much for participating in this two-hour interview.
DEVOR: I really do appreciate the opportunity, Jeffrey, and if I could close with just a few words.
I wish we could all remember that there is no limit to what can be accomplished by beings made in the image of the Creator. If we can get some part of that realization, we may feel the obligation to do what it takes to eliminate suffering and illusion from the world. It is possible.
MISHLOVE: That's a very, very powerful message and I hope it got to the people. David Devor, President of Project Mind Foundation. Thanks so much for being with me. I hope to have you back again at Virtual U.
DEVOR: Thank you Jeffrey. And blessings to everybody - from Jerusalem!
Transcribed by Joyce Rosenfield
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