Business, Science and Ancient Philosophies are on a collision course—here’s how
Most in society have at least recently been made aware of the transformation aspects of intentional breathing. If not in the post-sixties’ recent revival of Yoga breathing techniques such as Nidra and Kriya, then through reinventors of Tummo breathing such as Wim Hof and other leading empowerment coaches.
As global society, we’ve entered the evolutionary gate of returning our focus to “Self”—ourselves in context of this great universe. Self-knowing, self-nurturing, self-empowerment, and self-sustainability—even self-enlightenment are terms that have made the big New Age crossing, over the divide between “mainstream” and “alternative” or fringe society. We may safely say that social media trends are driving the big interest and rapid growth of the international personal development industry—predicted to reach 56.6 billion US dollars by 2027. But we can also say digital social networks are not the only driver for personal growth and wellness to incite this massive impact upon our global economy.
We’re experiencing a renaissance towards alternative practices because science and technology have made a reflexive turn back onto the way society evaluates and meets the needs of humanity. A reaction in the face of Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence automation and the economic trends shaping our talent culture. AI is predicted to steadily replace jobs over the next fifty years. The greatest need remaining for human skill will be where creativity is deployed. Creative economies are already rapidly rising to meet this trend alongside our societal recognition of creative industries within sustainability performance frameworks. With extra time on our hands, experts predict the push will be for global humanity to become more self-empowered and adaptive to rapid changes brought by technology and Climate Change. In response, we increasingly seek creativity, managerial change capability, and cultural resilience in our organizations and leadership governance.
Personal and cultural resilience is the adaptive trait derived from transformation—an outcome of personal and social empowerment, wellness, and developmental learning. But with advances in scientific knowledge and AI we are also ready to embrace transformation of personal development and learning engagement—to meet the mass demand and patterns of social media. Our traditional education and even vocational training systems are undergoing their own adaptive metamorphosis. Traditional formats of academic intellectual expertise are expected to change, with the advent of AI and decreased demand for professionally qualified employment. New values are being sought and education systems are embracing AI to revolutionise the shape and delivery of education. Despite forthcoming changes to employment, scientists are aware how linked values of creativity, learning and experiential interactive inquiry are to human growth and wellbeing. It is no longer purely a maxim to say that a life of learning incites youthful, intelligent wellbeing and personal success. Scientists are now able to prove this fact, and here the collision with ancient metaphysics occurs.
With the rise of Neurosciences and other fields that advance our knowledge of human function and capability, society is rapidly learning the connected neural networks and inter-relationships of “mind-body-brain state”. Wellness has taken on a whole new level of “Self” understanding, backed up by the cognisance of scientific intellectual advancement. Interestingly, the reflexive turn again sees science legitimising knowledge from the origins of “lost” or alternative metaphysical knowledge, often labelled previously as pseudoscience. And again, AI is assisting the process of its scientific discovery and advancement.
As new doors open to knowledge of “Self” scientists who formerly examined in narrow, deep bands of research are broadening with multi-disciplinary inquiry, to reveal the interconnected relationships of “all that is”. Humans internally, within a social ecosystem and societal-global interrelationships, are now examined as visible entities within a weblike matrix that connects existence. Our metaphysicians of the past called this matrix “consciousness” or even cosmos. Contemporary scientists are still debating on the use of the term “consciousness”, – but remain consensual that we are a universe of parts that make up a “whole” existing in a unified field at sub-atomic level. Using the analogy of parts, Scientists have made exciting new discoveries surrounding the interactions of the brain-body-mind state connected as the autonomic system—not coincidentally similar with Nidra, Kriya and Tummo breathing.
Many thousands of years ago ancient sages developed certain techniques of self-mastery that were passed down in various sacred lineages—surviving in practices today. Tummo breathing is also contemporarily adapted by Wim Hof as a technique for activating the immune system and for rejuvenation—carrying oxygen through invigorating the blood cells and flow to brain, heart, and organs throughout the body. In Eastern traditions this breath of life is also connected to our emotional field and we may impact and liberate ourselves from trauma through adopting certain techniques. Tummo is an ancient Tibetan method that refers to the Goddess as “fire in the belly” and is a tantric practice that raises kundalini through our chakras (internal energy channels)—within the subtle energy body. Kriya and Yoga Nidra are Indian Yoga breathing techniques with similar purpose for detoxification and healthy balance. These and other alternative health or metaphysical practices have captured the attention and research of scientists who bring new medical knowledge and explanations for their effectiveness.
The neuroscientific approach to breathing has brought understanding of how certain breathing techniques not only reset our immune system, but also work in a process towards neuroplasticity—the ability of our brain to reorganize itself and bring about transformation. Intentional breathing activities may stimulate and inhibit certain electrochemical signals that ensure neural patterns that are no longer useful are deleted and current patterns in use are strengthened.
Unlocking these intricate and complex processes has revealed to us that the ancients of our past have left a far more enlightened and evolved legacy than we have yet realized in our daily societal governance. During the coming fifty years we may benefit greatly from the revivalist approaches to retrieve our arcane heritage and adopt it into a growing work-life balance culture. Certainly, we will grow with the power of AI to become a culture that finds esteem and value in creative pursuits, stimulation, wellness, and longevity.
Through interactive and developmental learning approaches in life—we will gain an enrichment of experiences that bring cultural rewards, strengthen new adaptive values, and build resilience for future growth.