Archive for the ‘Femke’ Category

‘What does God do all day long? God lays in a maternity bed, giving birth’

Monday, December 8th, 2014

An interview with author and theologian Matthew Fox on the radical medieval mystic Meister Eckhart and his encouraging message for us today.

by Femke Wijdekop

Why did you decide to write this book, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for Our Times?

It’s my third book on Meister Eckhart, but my first one in over 30 years, and in those 30 years, I have learned from teaching Meister Eckhart to thousands of adults how transformative he is, how profoundly he touches people’s hearts and minds. I wanted to explore more deeply why that is so, why he is so relevant to today. And as I put out in the book, I think part of it is that he is so interfaith, that is to say that Buddhists call him a Buddhist and Hindus call him a Hindu, and Sufis call him a Sufi. But in fact he was a Christian but he went so deeply into his experience, his own soul, his own lineage that he went to that place of commonality, of universality, between traditions, and I think we are recognizing that today. With our global village and our rubbing of elbows with Buddhists and Hindus and Christians and Jews and Muslims and more, we have to start thinking more universally and less in sectarian terms. I don’t know anyone that has that kind of voice like Eckhart, living or dead, it’s just uncanny how he is able to speak to people of many traditions over the years.

Yet many people in the mainstream Christian world are not familiar with his teachings, are they?

No they aren’t, because he was condemned a week after he died by the Pope. He died in 1329. And so his work kind of went underground and mainstream Christianity has not taken note of it. He speaks from the depth of experience which is, of course, what mysticism is about, it’s about tasting and experiencing, and he is unique in that regard, in that he is so articulate about the spiritual experience. But you’re right, he has not been hailed by the mainstream. But he has influenced so many people on the edges, who have been powerful, for example Carl Jung. Carl Jung quotes Eckhart over 30 times and says Eckhart gave him the key to the unconscious. Dag Hammerskjold, the Secretary General of the United Nations in the 1950s, who was a great mystic and was Scandanavian, drew heavily from Meister Eckhart. And Larry Dossey, the medical doctor, told me personally that in his library at home he has a whole section on Eckhart and that Eckhart is so important to him. Karl Marx was even influenced by Eckhart according to great Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch. And in my book I have two chapters on Eckhart and women: Eckhart and the divine feminine. Eckhart was very close to the Beguines, the medieval women’s movement of his time. He is both broad and deep, and that makes him very special and very needed today.


Exploring the Afterlife: An Interview with Julia Assante

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

“If anyone is going to teach us the value of life and how to live it, it’s going to be the dead”

Exploring the afterlife with dr. Julia Assante: an interview by Femke Wijdekop

Julia Assante is a social historian of the ancient Near East.  She is a well-established scholar with a PhD from Columbia University who lives in Germany and considers ABC Amsterdam one of her favourite places in the world (!). She is also a professional intuitive and medium with more than 30 years of experience in the field of remote viewing, healing arts, afterdeath communication, remembering the future and reincarnational recall.

Combining her scientific knowledge, spiritual insight and experiences as a medium she has written one of the most fascinating books I have read in years: The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death (ebook availablere here).

Julia, what made you decide to write a book about the afterlife?

Well, the immediate thing was the death of a very beloved friend of mine. I watched his death, I watched him leave his body, I watched the problems he was having getting out – because they kept trying to resuscitate him – and it was the frustration he had trying to get through to me afterwards. I had so many problems – electronic problems – in the house. For 11 days I had these problems: fax machines twittering and the phone ringing, and even the door of my New York City apartment was open in the mornings – that’s scary – lights blinking all that kind of thing. And I knew what it was but I kept avoiding it. I was so busy with his funeral and everything else. And finally I was in the kitchen and he stood there – huge, larger then life. There is a transparency to the dead when you see them that clearly – usually you don’t see them clearly at all. And the look of sorrow and panic that he couldn’t be heard. And finally I acknowledged him – and then the relief, the gratitude, the spread of love – little sparks came of his aetheric body. And we started conversing – I mean really conversing. He was so ‘newly dead’ that you could hear it word for word. It was amazing. It went on for one hour and it was passionate, there was laughter, there was argument, explanation – it was amazing. It was that moment when I vowed to write the book.

So there is a difference between ‘newly deads’ and those who’ve crossed over for a longer period of time?

Well first of all, Michael, the man I’m speaking of, is what I call a ‘loud mind’: he is a good communicator and a terrific telepath. And he was still very orientated towards our side. He was still thinking in sentences, in a way. He was delivering information in sentences. When people are over for a longer period of time, they are delivering telepathic packages, but they are not word packages. Sometimes you can pick out certain words, but in general it’s just that you know what they are saying. It’s a sort of hearing, but not quite.


Ecocide is the Missing 5th Crime against Peace: An Interview with Polly Higgins

Friday, July 12th, 2013

“Ecocide is the missing 5th Crime against Peace”

- an interview with author and Earth’s Lawyer Polly Higgins by Femke Wijdekop, ABC’s former Consciousness buyer.  She interviewed Polly for AmsterdamFM, and we are very happy to be allowed to share it here with you.

Polly Higgins is an environmental activist, an international lawyer and the award-winning author of Eradicating Ecocide (eBook available here) and Earth is Our Business. In April 2010 she proposed to the United Nations to make Ecocide – the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems in a given territory – the 5th Crime Against Peace. Since that moment, she has been traveling around the world non-stop as “Earth’s Lawyer”, speaking at the International Criminal Court, the European Parliament, World Climate Summits and many other venues. On June 30th she visited Amsterdam to give an Earth Guardian Training organized by Rishis. Polly has also inspired the launch of the European Citizen’s Initiative to End Ecocide, which proposes to make Ecocide a crime in Europe and which needs 1 million signatures before 2014 in order to be tabled by the European Commission.

Polly and I talked on Skype and had a most inspiring conversation about the biggest challenge of our time, Ecocide, her own journey to become a spokeswoman for the rights of the Earth, and how each and everyone of us can be a ‘trim-tab’: a catalyst in the creation of a better world.

You can listen to the entire interview on our SoundCloud account, or via the player at the bottom of the interview.

Seven years ago something happened when you were representing a case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London that completely changed your life. What happened there?

Yes. Well occasionally in our lives we end up at a moment where we come to a junction. I didn’t actually realize that at the time, but I see now looking back, that I had reached one of those junctions in my life. And the challenge was, “which direction was I going to go”. What happened was I found myself at the very end of a three-year long case. And we were literally waiting for judgement – it was judgement day, we were waiting for the judges to return. This was at the Royal Courts of Justice in the center of London at the Court of Appeal, and there was a delay. I found myself looking out of the window, waiting for the judges to come in, thinking about how I had been, for the last three years, the voice on behalf of my client, who had been very badly injured and harmed in the workplace. And I looked out of the window and I thought “you know it’s not just my client that has been badly injured and harmed, so is the Earth. Something needs to be done about that.” And I found myself thinking after that, “The Earth is in need of a good lawyer” (laughs).

It was one of those thoughts that just wouldn’t leave me alone, it stayed with me. And as a barrister, as a court advocate, I was looking for the tools that I could use, the laws, quite literally, that could be used to stop this mass damage and destruction. And it really bothered me, that actually they didn’t exist. The existing environmental laws, as far as I could see, were not fit for purpose. You just have to look at the Amazon, and what’s happening there, to know that. And so I looked around to see what lawyers were creating, the international laws, to stop damage and destruction. I couldn’t find them. It actually came back to me and I realized then that maybe I need to put my head to this. Which is precisely what I did (laughs).

The most important thing that came out of your research into ways to defend the rights of the Earth, was the concept of Ecocide. What is Ecocide?

Ecocide is a word that has been around since the 1970s. I didn’t actually know that at that time – I subsequently found that out. What I have done is, I’ve given a legal definition to it. So I basically created a legislative framework in which we can prosecute those who have caused mass damage and destruction to a lot of ecosystems. But there’s more than that. It’s about creating a legal duty of care, and that’s very important here. Because it’s not just human-caused ecocide, largely corporate ecocide, but it’s also about creating a legal duty of care on those who are in positions of what is known in international criminal law as a position of superior responsibility. So those who made the decisions at the very top end, that can have an adverse impact on many millions of people – and not just people, but other inhabitants of ecosystems, too. We are widening our ambit of concern here. It’s not just human engagement, but also non-human engagement. We are imposing a legal duty of care on those who must make decisions that do not cause mass damage and destruction. We have to draw a line somewhere, and say ‘no longer can we do this’, because the often unintended consequences of such business decisions have huge adverse impacts, way into the future.

In Eradicating Ecocide you say that Law has caused the problem of the massive environmental damage and destruction we’re seeing. How has Law caused the problem, and how can a Law of Ecocide now be the solution to the problem?

The irony is that we have created laws over time without looking to the consequences. It is the law for a CEO and directors to put the interest of their shareholders first. Which means maximizing profits for big transnational corporations. This has become a real problem. It is fine when you start out small, but when your operations become so large that they have huge unintended consequences, and those companies are hidebound by those laws that insist that profits are put first, then we have really a huge problem on our hands, where you externalize or actually just ignore the consequences. When profit is the number one driver, it means that communities aren’t actually looked after.

So the Law of Ecocide is legislation that will actually assist corporations – this is really about making the problem into the solution! Corporations actually work very well with international legislative frameworks because they have very sure indicators of what you can and cannot do, and it also means that they can finance their change in policy and gain subsidies from government to create the innovation in the other direction. So this is very much about creating the green economy, but also about creating resilient long term economies as well. And creating jobs, and preventing resource-wars. So you could say it’s just a win-win all round. The environment benefits, humanity benefits and business benefits.

You say that Laws can be “Consciousness Shaping Tools” because Laws can trigger a change in mindset and change the ruling paradigm. Can you give a historical example of a Law that has done just that?


Femke interviews Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

This spring, our former colleague Femke Wijdekop had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She got the opportunity to interview bestselling author, frequent Oprah-guest and Course in Miracles-teacher Marianne Williamson!

Marianne Williamson is the author of A Return To Love and The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles. Her famous lines “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us” have inspired Femke ever since she first read them as a 19 year-old working on the Second Floor in the good old Kalverstraat store!

Click here (or the on the player at the bottom of this post) to hear Marianne and Femke talk about love, money, miracles and a visionary woman called Polly Higgins who is letting her light shine to save Planet Earth.

May this interview inspire you to work miracles as well!

ABC Talks To: Author Dr. Bruce Lipton

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

“Ninety percent of sickness is connected to stress, and not the result of genes.”

An interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton by Femke Wijdekop.

Bruce Lipton is a cell biologist and the author of The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution. Described as a ‘scientist on caffeine’, Dr. Lipton is spreading the good news of Epigenetics all around the world. Why are the scientific findings of Epigenetics (also known as the ‘New Biology’) such good news? Read on and find out…

How did you get from being a University Professor, teaching mainstream science (maybe we can say “genetic determinism” to medical students), to being one of the spokesman of the New Biology?

Well, it’s a very interesting story, Femke, because I have to let people know first of all that when I was teaching medical school students and I was working at the university, I was not into the belief of spirituality at all. I was teaching life as genes and biochemistry and physical mechanisms. I had no grounding in spirituality.

And then my research, which was on stem cells (and I just want people to understand that I started my cloning of stem cells back in 1967 – that’s like 45 years ago. Most people think that stem cells are relatively new in the science community, but almost half a century ago, I was cloning them)  – the research was so profound, it blew my mind, and then ultimately caused me to leave the university when I was introduced to a new understanding of science. And the fun part was, that science was introduced to me by the cells I was studying!

Basically it was a very simple experiment. What I did was, I isolated one stem cell. A stem cell is the same as an embryonic cell. It has multi-potential. It can become anything. We call it a stem cell, not an embryotic cell, for a very simple reason: before you’re born, I would look at this cell and say “this is an embryotic cell”. And then the moment you are born, I look at the same cell and now I call it a stem cell. It’s just because after you are born, you are no longer an embryo so we change the name of the cell, but is still an embryonic cell.

So I put one cell in a petri dish all by itself and it divides every 10 to 12 hours, so I have one cell, two, four, eight, and it keeps doubling. And after a week I have maybe about 50.000 cells in the culture dish. But all of them came from the same parent-cell. So I have 50.000 genetically identical cells. Now here’s where the experiment actually blew my mind.

I take those 50.000 cells and split them into three different petri dishes. So I have three dishes with genetically identical cells in each dish. But I change the content of the culture medium – that is the fluid the cells live in. Cells are like fish: they have to live in an aquarium. And I make a culture medium with all the things they need to live. So that’s their environment.

Simply, I have three petri dishes, all the cells are genetically identical in all of the three dishes, and I change their environment by changing some of the chemicals in the culture medium. And in one dish, the cells formed muscle. Another dish, the cells formed bone. And in the third dish the cell formed fat cells. Well, it’s a very simple experiment, but it has a very profound meaning because the question I asked was “What controls the fate of the cells?” And the answer is the environment, for a very simple reason. All the cells were genetically identical. The only thing that was different was the environment.

So what it really showed is: the cells adjust their biology to the environment they are living in. So the control is not in the genes. And I was doing these experiments, and when I was doing these experiments I was also going to the classroom and teaching medical students that genes control life. That was the conventional story then. But my cells kept showing me that the genes had no control. And so basically, I started to try to find out: how did the environmental signals control the genes?

And it led to a new understanding, which is today a new science, a whole new field of science called Epigenetics. Now most everybody has learned the science of genetics in school. Genetics is the science of the DNA that represents the genes and the genes control our physical and our behavioral and our emotional life; that is the belief system, so we talk about genes controlling us. When you teach that to a person, what you are teaching them is that they are victims. For this reason: as far as we know, we do not pick the genes, and if we don’t like our traits, we can’t change the genes, so we are stuck with genes that control our lives and that means that since we didn’t pick these genes and the genes control us, we are victims of our heredity. That’s the belief. Let’s say there is cancer in your family or diabetes, or Alzheimers, and the belief is: “Oh, I am a genetic sibling, and therefore I have the genetics for these diseases and now I am going to be a victim of these diseases.” Well the new science, which I saw 47 years ago in the tissue culture dish, shows that the genes don’t control things, it’s the response to the environment. And all of a sudden I said ‘Oh my gosh, there is a whole new science’. Now the science is called Epigenetics – which is not the same as genetics. And Epi, the little “epi”, that means “above”. So if I say “genetic control”, the old story, that’s control by genes. But the new science is called Epigenetic Control and that simply means “control above the genes”. Now we realize genes don’t turn themselves on and off; genes don’t control anything: it’s the cell’s ability to read the environment and then the intelligence of the cell, the brain of the cell, controls the genes.

And when you ask “What’s so important about that?”, then I answer “Well if the environment controls your genetics, then that means that if you change your environment, or change your response to the environment, then you control your genes.” And all of a sudden I thought “Wait! I have been telling people in the Medical School all those years that genes control them… but the new science is WE control the genes.” And that becomes very important. Because we are not victims – we are masters, because we can change our environment, and we can change our response to the environment, and therefore we are not victims to the genes because we control it. Now of course there is a problem: if you don’t know that you control your genes by the way you live and the world that you live in, then you don’t realize that every action that you do in the world, is influencing your genetics. And this is where the problems come from: we always blame the genes, and it turns out only about five percent of the population in this whole world was born with genes that do not support their health and their happiness. Meaning, 95% of the people on this planet were born with genes that should allow them to be healthy, and have a happy, wonderful, loving experience on this planet. And when we look at all the sickness around the planet, you say “Look at all the sick people!” and then I say “It’s not the genes, it’s the environment and the way we are living that causes that sickness, and if we understand that then we can personally take actions to control our lives and to control our genes.”

I know that was a long answer, Femke. (laughs)

Beautiful. So much information. But this is a true revolution in our thinking: the fact that we are not controlled by our genes but that our beliefs influence and control our genes. And that we are the masters of our lives to a big extent. So what was the reaction of your academic environment to your discoveries back in the ‘60s?

I have to tell you they really didn’t support it because back in the 60’s, that’s when the move to genes and the future Human Genome Project and all that focusing on genes, and all my colleagues were working on genetic research and I am the one guy in the room that says “I don’t think genes are that important!” And so at some point, they didn’t really support my work and they were not being, what I thought, good scientists because my research was repeatable. You could repeat the experiment over and over again and get the same results every time, but it just didn’t fit their belief system. And I left the university, and then I did my own research and tried to find out how the environment controls the cells. And the fun part about that was, that research led me to the connection between the mind and the body.

Right, because what you first discovered was that the environment controlling the cells in the dishes, but than there’s the other step of the environment not only being the physical environment, but also our thoughts and our level of consciousness, right?

Absolutely. You know a lot of people talk about the mystery of the mind and the body and I can tell you in about two minutes that there is no mystery, and I can explain how the mind and the body are connected. And it is so simple. Remember, I have a petri dish with cells in it and the environment of that petri dish controls the fate of the cells. So for a very simple understanding: if I take my plastic dish with cells and put it into a bad environment, the cells get sick. You can see that; you can watch them get sick. And now I have a plastic dish with sick cells in it, and the conventional belief would be: “oh your cells are sick, we should give them some medicine.” And I go ‘absolutely not’.. all you do to make the cells healthy again, is take them out of the bad environment, move them back into the good environment, and they instantly become healthy again. So the point about it is this: the fate of a cell, its health or disease for example, is not in the gene program. The health and the disease of a cell is a response of the cell to the environment.  Your health is a reflection of how you respond to your environment.

So then you say “How does that connect?” And so here is the simple, quick understanding of the relation between mind and body, and it goes somethings like this: Basically I say that the fate of the cell is dependent on the culture medium. And then I say when you look at yourself, Femke, in the mirror, and you see yourself, you see a single human being looking back named Femke. And I go “yeah, but that’s not really a true perception,” for the reason that you are not a single, living entity… your body is made of about 50 trillion cells. The cells are the living entity! When you say “Femke”, and I say “Bruce”, you are speaking and I am speaking for 50 trillion cells in a community! Your body is not a “one thing”… it’s a community of 50 trillion cells. So here’s the simple truth: your body is the same as a petri dish with 50 trillion cells in it, but it is a skin-covered petri dish, not a plastic petri dish. Inside your body, you have a culture medium. The culture medium is called the blood. And so the chemistry of the blood controls the fate of the cells, just exactly the same as the chemistry of the culture medium controls the fate of the cells in the plastic dish; the chemistry of your blood controls the fate of your skin-covered dish. So now basically, it says, your health or your sickness is not really based on genetics, but is based on the culture medium called ‘blood’.

And then I say “OK, what controls the chemistry of the blood?” And here comes the connection: the chemistry of the blood in your body is controlled by the brain. The brain releases hormones and specials factors and signals that release into the body. These chemicals from the brain go into the blood (the culture medium) and then these chemicals control the genetics of the cell. So all of a sudden it says: “Your body is a skin covered petri dish. Your cells have a culture medium called blood. And the chemistry of the culture medium is controlled by your brain.” Now I have to ask the next most important question: “But what chemicals does the brain put into the blood?” And then I answer “It’s based on your belief and your mind, and your perceptions.” A very simple point: if you open your eyes and see someone you love in front of you, your brains releases beautiful chemicals like dopamine and oxytocine and growth hormones. These chemicals, released by the brain when you are in love, when they are in the blood they cause the cells to be very healthy.

If I take the same chemicals from your brain, and put them in a plastic petri dish with cells in it, the cells grow beautifully. That’s why, when you experience love in your life, the chemistry of your brain is controlled by your mind and the mind is perceiving love, but the brain in response to the mind releases those chemicals. And that’s why you feel so healthy and happy and energized when you feel in love. Because the culture medium contains those wonderful chemicals. But then I say “Wait! What if you open your eyes and you see something that scares you?” “Oh,” I say “then you release totally different chemicals into the blood.” When you are scared, you release stress hormones and you release immune system-controlling chemicals and all these different chemicals that make you ready for fight of flight. Well the point is, if I take those chemicals released by the brain when you are in fear, and put them into the petri dish, guess what? It causes the cells to stop growing.. and if you keep those chemicals in the petri dish, the cells will actually start to get sick and die.

This is relevant because most people in this world are living in fear. Most people are afraid of their future and their life and not being loved or whatever. And that means that during the day, the chemicals they release from their brain are chemicals that shut down their growth and shut down their immune system. The more stress you are under, the more sickness the cells express. Because the culture medium, the blood of a stressed person, has chemicals that actually shut down the growth of the cells. So all of a sudden it says ‘we have been looking at sickness as a result of genes or bad chemistry in the body, and now we find that 90 % of sickness is really connected to stress’. And the reason why is because the mind in stress releases chemicals into the blood, the culture medium for your body cells, that cause the cells to stop growing and strike down the immune system. And that’s why when we are stressed, we get sick, and the world is very stressed right now…

To listen to the entire interview, click on the links below or visit ABC’s Soundcloud page.