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Alison Rose Levy

Alison Rose Levy

The Lost Symbol: Intention Goes Mainstream, Part One

Why are millions now interested in the perennial wisdom?

As it tops bestsellers' lists, Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, catapulted into the mainstream the frontier science he calls "Noetics," an area of active research for over twenty-five years, which he characterizes as humanity's best hope. Leading Noetic scientists report a concurrent boost in book sales and website inquiries. In this and succeeding blogs, I'll explore this frontier science with its leading proponents, mentioned in the book.

The Lost Symbol portrays a thrilling search through a rapidly changing landscape of ancient symbols, prompted by the urgent need to save the life of a close friend of Brown's Da Vinci Code hero, symbologist Robert Langdon. In this search, Langdon and the book's heroine, Noetics' scientist Katherine Solomon, delve deep into the subterranean layers of arcane symbolism which underlie the historical architecture of our nation's capital and its most famous government buildings.

Ancient symbols, mysteries--why are millions of people so interested in this perennial wisdom--particularly right now?

Well, while I've thumbed through the pages of mystical texts, and gazed awestruck at the Pyramids, personally, I'm not so interested in the symbols themselves any more-- but in what's long lurked mysteriously behind them.

While the infinite will always inspire awe, at this historic moment, I feel that we can no longer afford to remain mystified by the nature of reality or the role of human awareness within it. Although societies ancient and current may have suppressed some of these deeper truths, the time has come to pull away the curtain and face them squarely.

"Modern frontier science is just catching up to what ancient spiritual traditions have long espoused: God is not outside of us, God is within us," says Lynne McTaggart, author of The Intention Experiment. "We have the power to create our world, through our awareness and intentions."

McTaggart regularly conducts intention experiments on line at -- and lead a workshop last weekend at New York's Omega Institute ( In her books and experiments, McTaggart probes the power of focused, collective intention to produce measurable changes.

In her view, the renewed interest in once arcane topics comes from peoples' sense that "a central life force interconnects everything, as many Eastern, ancient, and native traditions hold. As many disciplines of science converge to prove this, it resonates very deeply with what people intuitively recognize."

"There are different ways of knowing and engaging the world," says Marilyn Schlitz, the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, (, an international membership research, educational, and programmatic organization, which has researched these phenomena for over thirty years. "We have this discursive intellect, which we need for rational decision-making," Schlitz, a scientist, affirms. "But we also have this intuitive gut level way of knowing."

Schlitz reports that when Noetics co-founder MIT trained astronaut Edgar Mitchell returned from walking the moon in 1971, he recognized that "the great frontier is not an explanation of outer space, but the exploration of the science of inner experience." The word Noetics, derived from the Greek, means that direct, inner knowing.

The converging new scientific view includes rather than excludes inner awareness. Now, says McTaggart, "Experiments in quantum physics, biology, chemistry are ripping up the book of conventional science and scattering it to the four winds," replacing the previous depictions of reality.

"Instead of this static image of separate things all jostling around in empty space, with a bunch of lonely people on a lonely planet in a lonely universe, the frontier science reveals that everything, including consciousness itself, is made up of vibrating and shape shifting energy, constantly trading information back and forth. This changes our view of life, of us, of everything." McTaggart says.

Knowing this helps "us take back our power, makes us co-creators, and offers a sense of optimism about our ability to change the world."

This changing view is key to addressing major global challenges, Schlitz maintains, because "Most of the problems we have today are not inherent in planet earth, but come from our own world view. The greatest leverage point for positive change is to dive into who we are and in the spirit of creativity to look for new solutions to age old problems."

McTaggart believes that the greatest potential and need lie far beyond the use of intention for individual abundance or betterment, as championed in books, such as The Secret.

"As we begin to move in tandem, a multitude of people sharing the same focused intention can have a greater effect than any single individual," Schlitz agrees.

To experience this, I went to McTaggart's intention workshop. For my followup post and an upcoming online radio conversation with Lynne McTaggart, sign up for my free ezine at