Amy Lansky was a NASA researcher in artificial intelligence when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In 2003, she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, now one of the best-selling introductory books on homeopathy worldwide (www.impossiblecure.com). Since then, Lansky has broadened her investigations to include ancient and modern teachings about consciousness, psychic phenomena, synchronicity, meditation, and our collective power to evolve and transform our world. The result is her second book, Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within, published in 2011 (www.activeconsciousness.com). Her blog can be found at www.amylansky.com.
Amy was the very first person who agreed to be in the film. After we filmed our first webisode and the opening scene of Time is Art, we kicked back and enjoyed staying the night at her lovely home in California. Her book, Active Consciousness, was a huge inspiration for the film.
As part of an on-going series of blog posts on the co-creators in the forthcoming film, Time is Art, we put together some compelling questions so you can learn more about them.
What’s a song that has special meaning for you?
This may be surprising so some people, but it’s Downtown by Petula Clark. This was a hit in 1964, when I was about nine years old. I remember being in a large art classroom in a community center – I had arrived early for an art class before anyone else, and then suddenly Downtown started playing loudly on the speakers there. The room had a high vaulted ceiling – probably two stories high – and it created an amazing echo-ey acoustic for the song. There I was, alone, nine years old, and the lyrics of Downtown seemed to promise to me an amazing life ahead – all grown up, having fun in the city on my own. It was incredibly exciting – I felt free and powerful. Here are some of the lyrics:
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk, where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go Downtown, things will be great when you’re
Downtown, no finer place for sure
Downtown, every thing’s waiting for you.
What’s your most memorable synchronicity?
I have several memorable ones. One happened when I was writing my book Active Consciousness. I was busy editing the chapter that discussed the work of Rupert Sheldrake on morphic fields when my husband Steve came home to tell me that the two of us were taking Rupert Sheldrake to lunch the next day! I live in Silicon Valley, far from the UK where Rupert lives. We had read and admired his books, but had never met him. By “coincidence” my husband discovered that Sheldrake was giving a talk at his research lab the next day. When he asked if we could attend the talk, the organizers asked us if we could take him to lunch, since no one at the lab was interested in or even knew about Sheldrake’s work; someone at the lab had met him at a party in the UK and had invited him to visit, but his work was not appreciated by the computer scientists there. So here I was, thinking about Rupert Sheldrake’s work for several days, and suddenly I was having lunch with him!
The second synchronicity was almost more incredible. My husband and I took a cross-country driving trip across the US and Canada in 2013, listening to an iPod with over 10,000 songs on it in random mode. We were returning to the USA after two months in Canada, and just as we were approaching the bridge to the USA, Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful” came on – something we hadn’t heard all summer! And we heard the climax of the song (“From sea to shining sea!”) just at the precise moment in the middle of the bridge when we crossed into the USA!
You can read about a few more synchronicities that occurred during the two-day period in which I met my husband in 1981, in this book excerpt from Active Consciousness via the film blog.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
Definitely. In the past few years I have taken an interest in mediumship and spiritualism, which has a long history in the United States – it all began in the 1800s. I have attended a few spiritualist services and even visited Lilydale for a day in 2013 (a spiritualist retreat town in western New York, just south of Buffalo, my hometown). Several interesting readings have led me to believe that the mediums performing them were truly providing information from a dead relative. For example, one medium insisted that an older man (presumably my father, who passed at age 72 in 1971) was showing him the image of a baby falling out of a baby carriage. I told him that this didn’t strike a bell at all, but the medium insisted that my father was repeatedly giving him that image.
Only later did my husband tell me that this had actually occurred. He had taken our toddler son out in a stroller and had forgotten to put the seat belt on. When the stroller hit a bump in the sidewalk, our son fell straight onto his face. My husband was sure that there would be a major injury, but my son didn’t even cry nor have any bruise or injury of any kind. By the way, my son was a delicate child – normally he would definitely have reacted badly to this event. When we later discussed this with the medium, he said that sometimes when the deceased presents an event like this, they are trying to indicate that they intervened in some way – in this case, that my father prevented injury to my son. And one more interesting thing — my son was named after my father!
If you could time travel, who would you like to meet?
Three people: Moses, Jesus, and Samuel Hahnemann (the founder of homeopathy).
If you could change one aspect of your society what would it be?
The “dog eat dog” mentality of modern society – especially in the United States. We spend time every summer in Canada and when we return to the USA, we always have the sense that we have to “prepare for battle” once we reenter the States. Rather than society taking care of each other, everything in the USA is ultimately about “survival of the fittest.” This mentality extends into every facet of life: making money is the ultimate goal to assure survival; ultimately, we have no responsibility or care for others besides immediate family members; we instinctively distrust strangers who we assume will only “be out for themselves”; and we rely upon and are obsessed with firearms. This state of mind also underlies the lawsuit-happy tendencies of our society (and the resulting fear of lawsuits), which contributes to the rising costs of business, health care, and education – really everything. On a global level, this mentality leads to nationalism and warfare.
The “survival of the fittest” state of mind is not only accepted as normal in our society, it is even viewed as strength. The truth is, however, that the strength of humanity actually comes from our caring for and helping each other.
What is one influential film that you feel has affected the collective unconscious, positively or negatively?
An Inconvenient Truth finally brought the reality of climate change to the forefront. Although it didn’t convince everyone right away and of course is flawed in some ways, it started the ball rolling.
What is the difference between living and existing?
Living is making every day count in some way. For me, it is trying to do something creative. If I create something new, or learn something new (an act of creativity within my mind), I feel I have really “lived” that day. Creativity can be in any realm, from big to small. I can write an article, work on a painting, try out a new dish in the kitchen (especially one I concoct on my own!), or present a lecture. It’s all about growth, changing reality in a meaningful and positive way.
Existing is just going through the motions, feeding the machine of existence. Even breaking the smallest of routines can help to enliven you – for example, experimenting with a new driving route, visiting a new restaurant, or striking up a conversation with a stranger.
What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I don’t tend to accept other people’s ideas blindly. I have always thought for myself – I evaluate what people say and I decide for myself. This has extended to many areas of my life. When I was a kid, I would never dream of accepting an answer to a test or problem unless I had worked it out and believed it to be correct myself. To this day, I continue to develop my own spiritual ideas and practices, based on what I have learned and on what calls to me. I tend to have different views on many political issues than most people with my background. I’m extremely open to any kind of alternative or supposedly outlandish idea or belief, but I feel free to pick and choose what I accept as true or possible, rather than believe everything someone says (even if I agree with some of what they say). Even in my PhD research, I came up with a wholly new way of doing things rather than extending the work of my advisor. The same was true of my computer science research work afterwards – I always developed my own way of doing things, even if what I came up with wasn’t trendy or the norm. I guess that’s why I feel completely comfortable espousing and promoting homeopathy – because I know it works, it is fundamentally sound from a “scientific” point of view (even if it is lambasted by “conventional” scientists), and it just makes sense!
Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?
Always learning and sharing my discoveries.
Would you like to know about all your previous lifetimes so you can learn from your mistakes?
I believe we are always informed by our past lifetimes, whether we realize it or not. We’re here, experiencing this lifetime, to continue the learning process. We’re already the product of those past lifetimes, and with some meditative effort and trust, we can tap into them if we want to. Doing so can actually be very helpful in understanding what’s going on in this life – for example, explaining why we have certain fears, cravings, patterns, or beliefs that just don’t seem to make sense or be in context for this lifetime. For example, as a young girl, I had a fear of childbirth. I didn’t know anyone in this life who died in childbirth, so my fear was somewhat irrational. At some point, however, I realized that I had died in childbirth in a previous life. After that, my fear of childbirth left me (and I went on to have two sons!).
What music do you listen to to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?
Music is very important to me. I sing and I play piano, I used to be in a rock band, and I have done some composing as well. I find that I often don’t really feel productive or get as much done unless there’s music going on in the background. I’m listening to music right now! I’m also a big fan of Pandora, since it introduces me to lots of new artists in genres I enjoy, and it keeps the musical variety going all day long. To lift my spirits, I really enjoy bluegrass, Klezmer music, Hawaiian music, Irish music – I guess folk music in general – and some oldies but goodies from the 60s and 70s, such as (believe it or not!) the Monkees.
What artistic medium do you use to express yourself?
I enjoy many forms of art – art enlivens my day. I play piano (mostly classical, but I like standards too), I sing (I was in rock bands and love to sing standards and show tunes), I paint (acrylic and water color), and I love arts and crafts of all kinds (knitting, crocheting, quilting, and I just learned how to spin wool). I have recently gotten into clothing design as an art form, but I’m still learning the basics. I also view cooking as an art form, but I’m not terribly skilled. I like to dance as well, but as I get older, my joints can’t take as much as they used to!
What does God mean to you?
Wow, a deep question. Here’s a quick and inadequate answer. I believe that God is not something outside ourselves. God is immanent in everything that was, is, and ever will be, in every dimension and in every universe. As a result, when we “pray to God,” we really do affect the unfolding of our reality – prayer works! I also believe that God isn’t some mindless energy that we participate in. There is greater intelligence and meaning and love in “the one” or “the all” than we can comprehend as beings incarnate in this limited three-dimensional existence.
How do you know when it’s time to let go of something or someone?
When all you feel is dread and sadness, not joy or life or potential for change.
What are some of your favorite books?
I’m not a big reader of fiction, but here are some of my favorite novels:
He, She, and It (Marge Pierce), Woman on the Edge of Time (Marge Piercy), The Fifth Sacred Thing (Starhawk), The Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of the Horses (Jean Auel)
As far as non-fiction, there are many books that have had an influence on me. They include: The Power of Now (Eckhardt Tolle), The Organon (Samuel Hahnemann), In Search of the Miraculous (P.D. Ouspensky). I also enjoy reading the literary magazine, The Sun.
Do you think people can control their own destiny?
Yes. I guess the root of this question is – do I believe there is free will? I believe there is. I think one of the reasons we are here, incarnated in this world, is to experience the often slow and arduous effects of free will in this three-dimensional existence.
We control our destinies on both the outer and inner levels. Obviously, our destinies are affected by our outer actions. But a key point behind my book Active Consciousness is that we affect how our destinies unfold in much more subtle ways too – through the impact of our consciousness. We can also use various forms of trained awareness, meditation, and efforts at self development to hone these abilities so that we can guide our destiny (and even the destiny of our collective reality) so that it aligns with the guidance of our higher or inner selves, thereby creating a life of greater joy and fulfillment for everyone on the planet.