Category Archives: Consciousness

Courage is about Making Things Happen

Exploring your Mind
September 4th, 2020

Courage makes people act like they have no fear, and it’s about making things happen even in the worst circumstances. Thus, courageous people are those who promote changes in order to achieve well-being or freedom. 

What makes a person courageous? Courage is about fearlessness, determination, and making things happen.

Psychology has been analyzing this dimension for years. The consensus, as curious as it might sound, is that courage is as simple as making things happen. It’s about generating positive change even during difficult circumstances. That is, in situations in which others would give up.

Martin Seligman, a promoter of positive psychology, spoke about courage. He said it’s the dimension that acts as one of the most healing components during therapy. In addition, it has genetic, educational, and environmental roots.

Parents often instill a proactive attitude towards life to remind their offspring that they have to put fear aside in order to reach their goals. Unfortunately, people who lack such reinforcement during their childhood and grow up insecure or have suffered a traumatic experience often lack this courage.

For this reason, Seligman conceives it as an essential element during the therapeutic process. It must arise after the patient works with a professional and some effort on their part. Thus, when the person changes, it’ll be clear they’ve learned to treasure their own determination. In other words, they’ll have the motivation to transform their life.

This is when they decide to shape and achieve a new stage in which to feel more in control and safe. This is the best courage of all, the most enriching for a person’s well-being.

A backpacker on top of a mountain.

Courage is about making things happen

Some scientific literature says that courage arises as a result of a primary struggle against emotions such as fear. From a neurobiological standpoint, it involves regulating the influence of the amygdala. This is the brain region related to the most intense emotions. The same one that paralyzes and hijacks your thoughts when it takes over.

Similarly, it also implies enhancing areas such as the prefrontal cortex. In other words, those linked to decision-making, reflection, planning, and attention to environmental stimuli without the influence of fear or anguish. In fact, much of the research available on this type of behavior comes from the military sphere (Neria, Solomon, Ginzburg, and Dekel (2000)) and from stories in which certain soldiers performed heroic acts when they were in great danger.

“I just remained calm and did what I had to do,” say many of these young people trained to react quickly in risky situations. But what about civilians? Can anyone be a hero without military training?

Doctors Uhri Kugel and Catherine Haussman conducted a study at the University of Oxford. The date it reveals is interesting. Let’s analyze this!

Although courage is often romanticized, it’s actually a cognitive skill

Courage is about making things happen because you promote change. Furthermore, courage is about focusing on a goal in the midst of adverse circumstances. No, you don’t have to be the classic hero who battles dragons. Courage is a cognitive skill anyone can learn and apply, according to current science.

It basically consists of igniting your will to act in spite of your fear, in being able to look at uncertainty and doubt to then move forward and take action. You can attain something like this by working on the following:

  • Proper anxiety management, as you’ll reset your mentality in order to take action when you’re able to recognize the thought patterns that imprison you.
  • Be emotionally aware. This consists of knowing how to connect with your emotions in order to transform them and use them to your benefit.
  • Remember what your values, vital purposes, and personal goals are.
  • Courage is about making things happen. This is because you develop a very specific capacity to visualize the desired goals you’ll reach if you dare to.
A woman happy to be alive.

Courage is about making things happen in order to have a more satisfying reality

Franco, Blau, and Zimbardo (2011) defined courage as the ability to act prosocially despite personal risk. Now, there’s current criticism regarding this definition. This is because courage isn’t always geared toward saving others. Instead, courage is mainly necessary to save oneself.

Martin Seligman already pointed out that for therapy to be effective, you must awaken your courage. In other words, you must ignite your determination in order to overcome your fears, limitations, and insecurities. This way, you’ll be more empowered and be able to achieve anything you want. Thus, you’ll be able to promote changes that resonate with you and bring you satisfaction.

Some say that people live in faith and hope. However, taking action is the only thing that can truly transform your reality. This is because courage is a mixture of emotions, thoughts, and feelings oriented towards advancement in order to promote something positive, either for yourself or for others. Just keep this in mind.

The Human Soul, According to Science

Exploring your Mind
September 2nd, 2020

The human soul has been a mystery for a long time, and there are many hypotheses about it. In fact, the various academic disciplines continuously try to answer it. Today’s article will discuss what the scientific community has to say about it.

You’re about to take a tour of the scientific paradigm, tradition, and current challenges. In addition, you’ll learn about Robert Lanza’s fascinating theory of biocentrism.

Your path will go beyond the spiritual. As you know, most religions mention the existence of a soul. What’s the position of science in this regard? How does it currently deal with this paradigm? Continue reading to find out.

Is there such a thing as a human soul?

The idea of ​​the existence of a human soul is related to beliefs about life after death. This idea of ​​a soul is linked to the conviction of eternal life. In addition, many people also believe that the soul is a guide by which a person thinks and feels and that it operates independently from the body.

Certainly, the conception of the soul will vary depending on the context, religion, and discipline that addresses it. It’s been mainly religious throughout history as these institutions allegedly deal with the spiritual dimension. They’ve taken it upon themselves to explain its existence.

Religions argue about the idea of ​​a soul, independently of its connection to the spiritual, by inferring that evidence of its existence is among the mysteries associated with birth, death, different states of consciousness, memory, and imagination. Thus, they suggest that the soul is like a kind of vital force, an impulse.

The scientific paradigm regarding the human soul

According to philosopher and science historian Thomas Kuhn, a scientific paradigm is the set of universally recognized achievements of this type. Paradigms are subject to criticism, in addition to generating models of problems and solutions in the scientific community.

The current scientific paradigm doesn’t usually recognize the spiritual dimension. Rather, it points out that there’s no need for a soul. In fact, it tends to explain life through equations about the activity of carbon and the activity of proteins, etc.

On one hand, religion gives the answer to the existence of the soul from a spiritual point of view. It associates it with the transcendent and incorporeal. On the other, science associates it with the material, if it conceives it at all. In other words, the latter understands it as the mind. Also, it reduces it to the concept of cognition and consciousness, at least from a poetic standpoint.

An enlightened person.

Challenging current scientific theories

Neuroscience has made great strides in explaining the functioning of the human nervous system and trying to explain the reason for subjective experiences. However, it’s still a mystery. Thus, the problem of whether the soul exists or not is related to the understanding of the nature of the self.

Currently, different theories have begun to challenge the scientific paradigm. The physicochemical, above all. Biocentrism is an example of this. It’s about emphasizing tough questions about human nature. For example, it asks if there’s such a thing as a soul or if there’s something beyond time.

This new perspective of being, of the cosmos and of reality, believes that life goes beyond mere atoms and particles. It would explain things such as quantum entanglement and the uncertainty principle. In fact, some authors point out that quantum weirdness occurs in the world on a human scale. At least according to Gerlich and his team, which co-authored the article “Quantum interference of large organic molecules”.

Robert Lanza, an American scientist, first suggested the theory of biocentrism. In this theory, he considers that life and biology are essential to being, reality, and the cosmos. In fact, he affirms that consciousness creates the universe and not the other way around. Thus, he didn’t ignore the physicochemical approach to the explanation of the affairs of being. Instead, he gives more importance to the biological one.

Conclusion

Therefore, space and time are mind tools directly connected to existence for other planes of scientific knowledge. This challenge takes humans away from classical intuition and suggests that a part of the mind or soul is immortal and exists outside these categories.

In short, certain parts of science do recognize the soul, either because they associate it with poetic vision or because they reduce it to cognition. Others continue with the traditional perspective of denying it, while some current theories begin to think about its existence. This is due to new discoveries that account for the nature of being associated with time and space.

This Japanese Buddhist Monk Creates Beatboxing Meditation Chants Using His Own Voice

John Vibes,
August 20th, 2020

A Japanese Zen Buddhist monk named Yogetsu Akasaka has recently gone viral with his beatboxing skills, but it is a skill that he has been developing for a long time. It came as a surprise to many people that a monk would be interested in something like beatboxing, but for the most part, monks are people with interests just like the rest of us.

Akasaka says that he has been beatboxing since long before he became a monk, and that he first became interested in learning how to do it because he was astonished that people could make music with their mouths.

“It’s not that I wanted to gain attention for my ‘uniqueness,’ I just wanted to continue my passion for music. In the same way someone plays the guitar or the drums, I myself am just a normal performer…My friend had given me a CD of a Japanese beatboxer named Afra and said that he was performing using his mouth. I was absolutely shocked that people could do such things, and so I was interested in trying it. And then I realised, I was pretty good at it,” he said in an interview with Vice.

Akasaka began beatboxing about 15 years ago, when he was in his early 20s. He has only been a monk for about 5 years, which was a path that he chose to follow in the footsteps of his father. Before he was a monk, he traveled the world beatboxing on the streets for crowds in Japan, Australia, and the United States

Usually in Japan, people become monks because their family lives in a temple. But for my father, he was just a normal person who decided to become a monk. I was inspired, and decided I wanted to succeed in my father’s current role as an abbot in a temple in the Iwate Prefecture,” he said.

Akasaka said that he wanted to create upbeat and inspiring music, especially because monks are often thought to be solemn.

“I think in Japan, people often associate Buddhism with funerals, and the sutra has a little bit of a negative and sad image,” Akasaka said.

“I have had fans tell me that they were able to sleep well and relax due to my beatboxing videos, which is absolutely amazing. I am honored to be able to combine my passion with my religious beliefs, and that this has impacted people around the world,” he added.

Neuroscientist: Orgasms Can Be Used To Reach An ‘Altered State of Consciousness’

Amanda Monteiro
August 25th,2020

A study revealed that a rhythmic stimulation during sex alters brain activity and can produce a trance-like state. One must actively engage in being present during sex to experience this result. Are your sexual connections simply primal? Or are they present and spiritual in nature? If achieving an altered state of consciousness is an experience you’d like to have, follow some of the advice below. Connection is key.

When it comes to sex and sexual pleasure, it seems like there is always something new to be learned. The realm of sex has perplexed humans for many decades, probably due to the growing evidence of a deeper connection being made with ourselves and our partner.

The desire for a deeper connection provides further proof to our obsession to know more about how the functions of sex affect our connectedness with self, and others.

What Happened: Neuroscientist Adam Safron of Northwestern University explains, “sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but beyond that, it’s actually an altered state of consciousness.

In an article published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, Victoria Klimaj and Adam Safron delve into unlocking the mystery of the orgasm. “The conditions shaping sexual climax may be particularly complex in humans, whose sexual behaviour is characterized by cultural shaping, abstract goals, and frequent non-reproductive motivations.”

They concluded their research with the help of a number of scientists who are experts in the study of the orgasm. These contributors are evolutionary psychologists, animal behaviour experts, fMRI researchers, and investigators specializing in the analysis of large-scale surveys.

Dr. Safron has learned that a rhythmic stimulation alters brain activity. When we are sexually stimulated, our neurons focus in a particular way that it’s hypnotizing, and we block out everything we are usually conscious of like noises, feelings and smells, and concentrate intensely on sensation alone.

This level of concentration cannot be achieved through any other natural stimulation. Our self-awareness is essentially gone in that moment.

“Sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but beyond that, it’s actually an altered state of consciousness,” Dr. Safron explains.

Dr. Safron investigated this trance by creating a europhenomenological model that displayed which rhythmic sexual activity likely influences brain rhythms. The model showed that our neurons can be focused by stimulating particular nerves in a particular way at a particular speed.

When they begin to synchronize their activity, neural entrainment is achieved and if stimulation proceeds for a longer length of time, the synchronization spreads throughout the brain enabling us to become more focused than ever.

“Before this paper, we knew what lit up in the brain when people had orgasms, and we knew a lot about the hormonal and neurochemical factors in non-human animals, but we didn’t really know why sex and orgasm feel the way they do,” Dr. Safron said.

Why Rhythm Plays A Crucial Role: The study revealed a common theme: sexual climax, seizures, music, and dance all flood the brain’s sensory channels with rhythmic inputs. Dr. Safron believes that because sexual activity is so similar to music and dance, the rhythm-keeping ability may serve as a test of fitness for potential mates.

“Synchronization is important for signal propagation in the brain, because neurons are more likely to fire if they are stimulated multiple times within a narrow window of time,” says Dr. Safron.

This led Dr. Safron to hypothesize that “rhythmic entrainment is the primary mechanism by which orgasmic thresholds are surpassed.”

“The idea that sexual experiences can be like trance states is in some ways ancient. Turns out this idea is supported by modern understandings of neuroscience,” says Dr. Safron.

This constant rhythmic stimulation is very similar to the practices preached by 46-year-old Nicole Daedone of OM or Orgasmic Meditation. The technique is a sequenced practice in which one partner gently strokes the other partner’s clitoris for 15 minutes. The result is said to be therapeutic, rather than sexual. The “stroking” allegedly activates the limbic system and releases a flood of oxytocin.

This whole practice reiterates the idea that in order to fully achieve orgasm (or anything else of substance in life) you must actively engage in being present and release the pressure we allow society to instil within us. When we surrender to the universe and in this instance, our feeling, we enter into a world of bountiful possibility.

Three Meditation Exercises to Practice at Home

Exploring Your Mind
August 24th, 2020

These meditation exercises derive from an ancient technique used for training your mind to reduce stress, anxiety, and, also, to connect deeper with yourself. In fact, just 30 minutes a day can considerably change these states of mind. Furthermore, not only does it lessen any discomfort you might have but it also helps you feel much better.

Although you may not know it, there are many advantages to meditating at home. However, you must find a place away from distractions to do so. It’ll help you feel much better and more protected. The best part is you can do it at any time of the day.

It can be a bit difficult to attain an optimal state of concentration and relaxation if you’ve never meditated before. However, just follow a few simple steps and practice it frequently, and you’ll see how soon you get it.

A woman meditating.

Firstly, create an appropriate atmosphere where to practice meditation exercises

Before preparing your meditation environment, you must decide whether you’ll do these exercises on your own accord or if you’ll follow the guidelines of an app or a video.

Apps are very useful. In fact, you can program the time you want to dedicate and the level from which you’d like to start. Also, they make this practice easier for beginners.

Once you’ve decided how to do it, you’ll have to take into account the following to make the most out of it:

  • Find a quiet place. It’s essential to find a corner that’s as silent as possible, where the possibility of interruption is either null or minimal. You won’t get good results in a spot where there are frequent interruptions.
  • Comfortable posture. The lotus position is the classic choice for meditation, but you can start with other postures. You can even meditate while lying down. The most important thing here is to be in a relaxed position in which your body isn’t a distraction.
  • Avoid distractions. As we indicated above, it’s essential to avoid all sources of distractions: turn off your phone, the television, close the door of the room, close the windows, etc. You must be relaxed enough to be able to focus on your bodily sensations.
  • Finally, find the right moment. Yes, meditation is good for reaching a state of relaxation. However, if you do it in a hurry or under pressure, you won’t be able to do it correctly and the practice will be pointless. As you can see, you must choose a time in which you feel well enough and you can put your mind into it.

Basic meditation exercises to practice at home

Although there are many techniques for meditation exercises, some of them are easier for beginners to meditate at home.

1. Breathing exercises

This is the most basic exercise for relaxation and meditation. All you have to do is concentrate on your breathing. Controlling this physiological mechanism is essential for you to be able to relax. Note that it requires practice and concentration in spite of how easy it seems to be.

Forgetting about external stimuli, begin to take deep and slow breaths. Pay attention to them and notice how your body relaxes. Try to ignore any thoughts you might have at the moment and give your body your full attention.

In addition to being very useful in itself, you’ll also use it during the other two. Thus, it’ll be your basis for meditation.

2. Objective observation

In the previous exercise, you were encouraged to avoid thoughts. Contrary to it, the goal of this exercise consists of relaxing your body and allowing your thoughts to flow.

Thus, it’ll be necessary to focus on “watching” your thoughts without trying to change them or intervene in any way. Simply pay attention to them and let them be.

Ultimately, this exercise is about being a witness to your thoughts without getting carried away by them. It’s about thinking about them without judgment and watching them go by without concentrating on any of them in particular.

3. Body scan

Another simple exercise to meditate at home is the body scan technique. For this exercise, you must be in a comfortable position while controlling your breathing. Also, you must focus on the various areas of your body and the sensations you’re experiencing at that particular moment.

To do this, you first have to try to clear your mind and leave it blank while you focus on your various muscle groups.

For example, start by connecting with your feet; feel them, without judging them, and notice the sensations you have in them. Then, move on to your legs and notice the weight, the heat, the shape, and so on until you go through your entire body.

A woman practicing meditation.

Progress after practicing meditation exercises

As with every form of exercise, you must be constant and patient. You probably won’t notice much difference and will be a little disappointed at the beginning. This is normal.

However, it’s hard to get short-term benefits with this practice. To do it, you must give yourself time and continue to try it even though it doesn’t go as you thought it would.

Some people think you have to do something for about 21 days in order for it to become a habit. However, you must go beyond and try to build a new lifestyle. In other words, integrate this new activity into your routine and try to find the right time and environment for it. Especially when it comes to working on your emotions. Progression is slow when it comes to meditation but the benefits are well worth it.

The Collective Shadow: 5 Ways to Deepen Your Shadow Work

Aletheia Luna,
July 6th, 2020

It’s essential to face our shadows, to explore our childhood wounds, and to unravel the intergenerational trauma that we’ve inherited.

But shadow work is a layered process. It starts with you, but it doesn’t end with you.Most crucially, it is alsofamilial, societal, cultural, and global. And to truly dive deep, we have to keep going and peel back the layers of junk we’ve unconsciously absorbed.In a nutshell, if we are interested in authentically embodying our true nature – our Heart and Soul – we need to also examine how we have internalized the racism, sexism, homophobia, and other Collective Shadows that permeate all of society.

And to do that, we need to courageously and relentlessly dismantle the toxic spiritual ideologies that we are conditioned to believe (more on that soon).

But first …

What is the Collective Shadow? 

The Collective Shadow is humanity’s dark side.It is the sum total of past and present atrocities, cruelties, tragedies, and horrors perpetrated by humankind and stored at a deep, unconscious, cellular level. This darkness is not always glaringly apparent as it is so ancient and so ingrained into the fibers of our societies. Examples of the Collective Shadow include religious discrimination, racism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and anything that “others” or condemns, rejects, or diminishescertain individuals/groups.

Collective Shadow Work: Our Biggest Blindspot 

At some point during our spiritual paths, we will be exposed to the idea of shadow work. There are so many teachers, mentors, and other spiritual-type folk out there who will encourage you to take a good, firm look at yourself and what’s lurking in the unconscious depths.

That’s great …

But there is a silence filling the spiritual community, and it is deafening. And that silence is towards the importance of Collective Shadow Work.

Up until a year ago, this was my blindspot too – I totally overlooked the importance and essential need to examine Collective Shadows such as ingrained racism and ableism. I didn’t connect the dots between what was going on in my internal world and in society around me. So I’ll stand up, own this ignorance, and take self-responsibility. I’m striving to include these vital issues in my shadow work exploration now, although I’m not an expert on anything I’m diving into and I’ve definitely got a lot to learn.

And then, I looked around me and saw that this collective silence wasn’t just endemic to me, but a pandemic infiltrating most of the spiritual, wellness, and self-transformation circles.

No onewas talking about it. (Or at least, apart from a very few rare and exceptional individuals.)

No one was talking about how our spiritual practice helps or hinders racial equality or justice. No one was talking about ageism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, and other ways of rejecting and diminishing our brothers, sisters, and fellow souls.

Yes, I could see a lot of feminist and goddess-type focus, but it was usually centered around rich, white women with enough cash and time to invest in expensive mala beads, yoga classes, and smoothie cleanses.

Not only that, but I discovered not just a total neglect of exploring the Collective Shadow (again, apart from a rare few exceptions), but also a flat out denial of it.

How Modern Spirituality Denies and Contributes to the Collective Shadow

Let’s take a moment to breathe deeply, ground ourselves, and connect with our hearts.

My goal in this article is to come from a place of care, concern, and humility, acknowledging my ignorance, knowing that I have a lot to learn, unpack, and process – and always will.

I know it can be hard to read articles like this as they challenge us in a deep, visceral way.But please know that this is done with compassion. It’s normal to feel ashamed, guilty, angry at ourselves, disgusted at others, reactive, and defensive when being challenged. So just be aware of that and keep going. Let the layers be stripped back.

Here are some ways that modern spirituality denies and also contributes to the Collective Shadow:

  1. “Focus only on the positive” (this denies reality and shames those who have legitimate issues that need space and compassion)
  2. Good vibes only (this denies the importance of anything going on around us that is “low vibe” and encourages us to escape into a spiritual dreamworld)
  3. “You attracted that situation” (aka. those who get discriminated against due to the color of their skin, sexuality, age, mental/physical ability, etc. “brought it on themselves” – imagine how sociopathic that sounds when you say it to someone who is suffering)
  4. “That’s your karma” (this is used as another way of brushing over and dismissing someone’s pain by attributing it to some kind of retributive cosmic force)
  5. “You manifest your reality” (this is another way of saying that basically “it’s too bad you’re suffering, but it’s your fault” which is essentially a form of victim-blaming)
  6. “Everything is an illusion” (on an absolute level that may be true, but we’re also operating from a human level and that needs to be respected, acknowledged, and lived – to say that everything is an illusion is bypassing the importance of facing issues that are happening within ourselves and society)
  7. “Everything is love” (again, on an absolute level this may be true, but from a human level we need to be careful not to discount the reality of our/other people’s pain – that itself is not love but avoidance)
  8. “Society is evil/unconscious” (this is a common philosophy held by many spiritual folks who use it as an unconscious excuse, ironically, to close their hearts and ignore the suffering of the world in order to make their lives easier to live)
  9. “I’m a lightworker, I don’t ____” (this excuse and belief is used by modern spiritual seekers who believe that Shadow Work in no way fits into their mission – that it’s all about spreading light and love – however, by denying the Shadow either personally and/or Collectively, they are paradoxically living in and perpetuating darkness)
  10. “Spirituality and whatever is going on in society don’t mix” (this definition focuses on compartmentalizing and elevating spirituality above daily life – however, what use is spirituality if it doesn’t help us to deal with the realities of the world we live in? That is flat out spiritual bypassing and spiritual escapism)

I’m sure there are many other beliefs, philosophies, and sayings out there – so if I’ve missed any, feel free to share them below in the comments. Let’s educate each other!

5 Ways to Deepen Your Shadow Work

As Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who first popularized the concept of the Shadow Self, once wrote:

None of us stands outside of humanity’s black collective shadow.

You heard it. None of us.

We all carry the Collective Shadow inside of us and it’s our responsibility to unravel it.

In fact, the more lost in self-righteous spiritual labels, philosophies, and delusions we are, the more likely we are to spread and reinforce not just the personal but also the Collective Shadow.

We see examples of this in spiritual and self-growth spheres that culturally appropriateindigenous practices, exclude BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) from their groups, unknowingly perpetuate heteronormative standards, encourage sexism, price their services at unreasonable rates that exclude the financially disadvantaged, and more.

So how can we tackle the huge beast that is the Collective Shadow? 

Firstly, we need to realize that whatever has been internalized inside of us is ancient. We are never going to fully undo or purge all of it. The Collective Shadow is literally the sum total of all the darkness, all the atrocities that have ever been experienced and committed by humanity. However, what we can do is start this work and keep at it. The benefits are many:It keeps us humble. It keeps us open. It keeps us willing to learn and grow. When we believe we are somehow “perfect” or beyond this work, that’s where the stagnancy and egotism sets in. That’s where the darkness multiplies.

With that being said, here are five ways to begin incorporating Collective Shadow Work into your spiritual practice:

1. Listen to those who lead different lives and have a different context from you

Expand the bubble of your awareness. Put down the mic, move your attention to how others feel (and away from centering everything around yourself), and be receptive. Listen to the stories of black and indigenous folk and what they undergo each and every day. Listen to those whose lives have suffered as a result of their sexual preference or identity. Listen to those who are neurodiverse. Listen to people with disabilities. Listen, listen, listen.There are many ways of doing this – youtube is the first place that comes to mind. You can also listen to podcasts or if you’re a book lover, expand your book repertoire. If you have the chance and opportunity, strike up a conversation with someone who leads a different experience from you in your life. Doing so will enrich your mind, your perspective, and open your heart.

2. Observe your ingrained prejudice and negative conditioning

In what ways are you perpetuating old and unhealthy ideas and beliefs? Look at the people you listen to and follow, the products you buy, the people you financially support, the friends you have, the feelings you have toward certain groups, and any other area of life that feels contracted. It’s extremely helpful to keep a journal when doing any kind of Shadow Work – and especially Collective Shadow Work. By keeping a journal, you’ll be able to refer back to moments in time where you observed the Collective Shadow emerge in your thinking or behavior. This will help you to learn and grow.

3. Ask yourself, “In what way am I othering that person or group of people?”

‘Othering’ is a term used in sociology that means treating another person or group as essentially alien and reducing them to a socially inferior stance to us.Essentially, othering is about creating an “in-group” (of which we are part of) and an “out-group” (of which they are part of).

Often, othering involves projecting negative and ugly qualities onto “the other group” of people. For example, one country may project qualities of savagery, deceptiveness, and evil onto another country – and so these two countries eventually go to war. The same goes for many societies that value and elevate whiteness, for example, and devalue and debase blackness.

The problem with othering is that it comes from a place of pure ego. It is a way of separating the world that elevates us and diminishes other people. It causes us to disconnect from our hearts and mistreat/alienate others because, on some level, we believe that they essentially “deserve it.”

4. Take responsibility and practice humility

When doing any form of Collective Shadow Work – that is, exploring how we have unconsciously internalizedparts of the Collective Shadow – we need to be aware that we’re going to mess up. We’re going to make mistakes. We might offend someone or be unpopular. That’s okay. It’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to say the wrong thing. What matters is what you do after you learn that you’ve made a mistake. Do you totally shut off and stop doing this vital work? Do you react and get aggressive? Or do you practice humility, apologize, and take sincere steps to open your heart and mind even more? Taking personal responsibility is crucial. It’s easy to point the finger at others. But it’s much harder to put the mirror up to ourselves. Remember that all changes, whether personal or collective, start from inside.

5. Connect with your heart and be proactive

When we connect with our hearts and do this work from a heart-centered place, that’s when it’s the most impactful. That’s when we can be the most proactive. Do you need to go to every protest rally out there? No, not necessarily. Your Collective Shadow Work could mean a hundred different things.You might choose to amplify the voices of BIPOC creators on your social media platform. You might speak up against homophobia in your social circle. You might make your business more accessible to people with disabilities. You might journal or create art about the Collective Shadow. You might donate to and support movements such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQIA+ rights. You might read books, buy workshops, or listen to songs about these issues. You might honor the land you’re on and pay respect to the original indigenous landowners. There are so many avenues. The important thing is to do something – because if your Shadow Work doesn’t also extend to the down-to-earth realities of everyday life, what the f*ck is it for anyway? (I say this with love.)

***

I’m not an authority on any of the issues I speak about in this article, just an observer. I’m a traveler, a flawed human being, just as you are, just as we all are. While I am indeed a spiritual being having a human experience, I recognize that I am also a white, able-bodied, cisgender, middle-class woman living on the stolen land of the Whadjuk Noongar people. The fact that I’m even able to write these words and get them out to an audience that is willing to listen is due to my privilege – and due to the Collective Shadow that I unknowingly contribute to, participate in, suffer as a result of, and benefit from.

I hope this article has inspired you to dive deeper with your Shadow Work. It’s not easy, but it is so crucial, so powerful, and so important. I cannot stress that enough.

If you have anything to share or add to this article, I’d love to hear it below in the comments. What are your thoughts, feelings, and opinions? Do you have any resources you’d like to recommend?

About The Author

Aletheia Luna

Aletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a psychospiritual counselor, tarot reader, and professional writer, Luna’s mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. See more of her work at lonerwolf.com.

Testing the Most Effective Method to Manipulate Minds

Dr. Mercola,
August 13th, 2020

By the looks of it, we are about to face one of the most aggressive vaccine campaigns ever created. According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November, provided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives one or more vaccine candidates the green light.

Considering former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb2 is now on Pfizer’s board of directors,3 and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is one of the lead candidates, jaded minds might assume the FDA isn’t going to put up any significant roadblocks.

According to Reuters, the COVID-19 vaccine campaign “will likely be compressed into a short period of time, around four to six weeks, to eliminate any lag between when Americans are alerted to the vaccine and then they can get vaccinated.” An unnamed “senior White House administration official” is quoted saying:4

“The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it. You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you’ll be overwhelmed by it come November.”

It’s still unclear exactly when a vaccine will be available, but it could be as early as October, or as late as January 2021. According to the administration official, the advertising campaign for the vaccine will be tailored to specific subsets of the population, depending on the people the vaccine is likely to benefit the most. Such details are expected to be teased out during ongoing clinical trials.

Study Underway to Identify Most Effective Messaging

The idea that the vaccine promotion might be more “overwhelming” than what we’re used to is further supported by a clinical study5 on ClinicalTrials.gov, the aim of which is to identify the most “persuasive messages for COVID-19 vaccine uptake.”

The study, conducted by Yale University, will test “different messages about vaccinating against COVID-19 once the vaccine becomes available.”

A total of 4,000 participants will be randomized to receive one of 12 different messages (10 messaging variations, one control message and one baseline message), after which they will “compare the reported willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine at three and six months of it becoming available.” The messaging slants under investigation include:6

Personal freedom message — A message about how COVID-19 is limiting people’s personal freedom, and how society, by working together to get enough people vaccinated, can preserve its personal freedom.
Economic freedom message — A message about how COVID-19 is limiting people’s economic freedom, and how society, by working together to get enough people vaccinated, can preserve its economic freedom.
Self-interest message — A message that COVID-19 presents a real danger to one’s health, even if one is young and healthy, and how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent oneself from getting sick.
Community interest message — A message about the dangers of COVID-19 to the health of loved ones: The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the lower the risk that one’s loved ones will get sick. Society must work together and all get vaccinated.
Economic benefit message — A message about how COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the economy and the only way to strengthen the economy is to work together to get enough people vaccinated.
Guilt message — A message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community. Therefore, the best way to protect them is not only by getting vaccinated, but to get society to work together to get enough people vaccinated. Then a test question asks the participant to imagine the guilt they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and then spread the disease.
Embarrassment message — A message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community: The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. Then it asks the participant to imagine the embarrassment they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Anger message — The message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community. The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. It then asks the participant to imagine the anger they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Trust in science message — A message about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective way of protecting one’s community, that vaccination is backed by science: If one doesn’t get vaccinated that means that one doesn’t understand how infections are spread or you are one who ignores science.
Not brave message — A message which describes how firefighters, doctors and front line medical workers are brave: Those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are not brave.

While the study was completed July 8, 2020, results have yet to be publicly posted. Clearly, this is not the first time researchers have investigated the most effective propaganda angles, but the types of messages listed above really demonstrate just how insidious these types of campaigns can be.

It’s really all about manipulation — pushing the right mental and emotional hot-buttons to fire up a desired response, all while overriding more logical thought processes.

The propaganda push has already started, it seems, with USA Today publishing an article7 titled “Defeat COVID-19 by Requiring Vaccination for All. It’s Not Un-American, It’s Patriotic.” This is precisely the kind of PR we can expect more of in the months to come.

The manipulation aspect is equally if not more evident in the listed secondary outcome measures, which include:

  • Participants’ confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine
  • Participants’ willingness to persuade others to get vaccinated
  • Their fear of those who have not been vaccinated
  • The social judgment of those who choose not to vaccinate

Effective Totalitarianism Relies on You Enjoying Servitude

A quote from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian 1932 book, “Brave New World,” reads:

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

Huxley’s quote starts off a thought-provoking article8 on The Burning Platform that reviews the rise of totalitarianism and parallels presented in popular works of fiction. The author notes Huxley’s book came on the heels of Edward Bernays’ 1928 book, “Propaganda” — a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the historical foundations of modern public relations. The article points out that, in his book, Bernays:9

“… revealed the existence of an invisible government who used propaganda to manipulate the minds of the public to insure those controlling the levers of power were able to engineer their desired outcomes.”

A contemporary to Huxley and Bernays was George Orwell, who wrote the cult classic “1984.” In 1949, Huxley reportedly wrote to Orwell, stating he believed the world’s rulers would soon “discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient as instruments of government than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”10

At its heart, technocracy is an economic system, not a political one. The system also hinges on the skillful implementation of social engineering.

Huxley believed the nightmarish existence presented in “1984” was “destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in ‘Brave New World’” and that this transition would be the result of “a felt need for increased efficiency.” While Huxley did not use the word “technocracy,” that’s essentially what he was talking about.

Technocracy 101

Technocracy is an economic and social engineering system that got started in the 1930s during the height of the Great Depression, when scientists and engineers got together to solve the nation’s economic problems.

The Trilateral Commission’s co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Columbia University professor, brought the concept of technocracy into the Commission in 1973, with the financial support of David Rockefeller. Technocrats have silently and relentlessly pushed forward ever since, and their agenda is now becoming increasingly visible.

At its heart, technocracy is an economic system, not a political one. It actually calls for, indeed demands, the total dismantling of the political system, which includes the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the Constitution is the only thing that has kept technocracy at bay this long in the U.S.

The system also hinges on the skillful implementation of social engineering. Once fully implemented, people won’t have the ability to effectively fight it, but until then, through peaceful civil disobedience, the sharing of information and the exercise of political power, we still have a chance to prevent it.

Time is running short, however. As noted by The Burning Platform,11 “Since 9/11, the United States has unequivocally moved in the direction of Orwell’s 1984 vision,” and “We are now experiencing a dystopian amalgamation of the worst of both novels,” referring to “1984” and “Brave New World.”

Unfortunately, many still cannot see the full picture, nor understand the ultimate real-world danger of unquestioning compliance with ever-more illogical and freedom-quenching recommendations and mandates.

Technocracy Demands the Abolishment of Political Systems

Under technocratic rule, nations are to be led by unelected leaders who decide which resources companies can use to make certain products, and which products consumers are ultimately allowed to buy. Technocracy is essentially a resource-based economic system in which energy and social engineering run the economy rather than pricing mechanisms such as supply and demand.

Patrick Wood — an economist, financial analyst and American constitutionalist — has devoted a lifetime to uncovering the mystery of what is controlling most of the craziness we’re currently seeing, and which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I go into more details on technocracy in my interview with Patrick Wood.

His two books, “Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation” and “Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order” delve into this new world order in greater depth. You can listen to our interview below.

Science Has Been Misused for Decades

Importantly, science is a primary tool used to manipulate society and keep the economic engine running under the technocratic system. As explained by Wood, technocracy uses science to issue suggestions, to start. But those suggestions rapidly turn into mandates, which is precisely what we’ve been seeing during this pandemic. We’ve also seen this with vaccines in general.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed there’s a much larger plan that includes implantable digital identifications, medical records and vaccine passports, digital currency and banking — all of which will ultimately be tied together so that algorithms and automation will be able to keep everyone in line, everywhere, all the time.

Rule by Algorithm

An important tool used to drive the technocratic agenda forward is what Huxley pointed out, namely efficiency. In the name of efficiency and convenience, we are being inundated with an ever-increasing amount of “smart” technology that tracks everything everyone says and does, and artificial intelligence that sorts, interprets and spits out recommendations based on all that data.

This technological infrastructure is crucial for the technocracy, as the ultimate goal is to essentially automate slavery. The idea is that society will be ruled by automated algorithms, thus rendering a political structure irrelevant. Everyone will be automatically kept in line by technology.

For example, you might be told via text message that it’s time to get your annual vaccination. You go there, get the shot, and receive a digital vaccine certificate. Should you get the bright idea to refuse, your bank accounts get automatically frozen, the electronic door pass to your office won’t work, and you won’t be allowed to pass through the electronic check point at the grocery store.

No human authority is required in that system. There won’t be anyone to complain to or debate with. You’re herded into compliance by the fact that you have to do certain things in order to be allowed to participate in society. It sounds crazy, but if you look around, you’ll see clear evidence that this system has been slowly implemented all around us, for decades.

And, when you look at the statements from people like Bill Gates, in conjunction with the technologies he and others are implementing in various parts of the world (such as digital identification, currency, vaccine certificates and medical records, along with implantable chips to track employee attendance, smart appliances and entire smart cities, just to name a few), you can begin to see how the control loop is closing in around us.

In her book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” professor Shoshana Zuboff exposes the stunning capacities currently available to surveil, analyze and manipulate our behavior. It’s crucial to realize that as bad as it is today, the predictive power of technology is advancing at an exponential rate, which means their ability to manipulate behavior is increasing at a pace we cannot fully comprehend.

Regaining Control of Local Government Is Key

Importantly, technocrats are currently making an end run around national sovereignty. Rather than a frontal assault on the system, which has never been successful, they’ve simply eroded national sovereignty piece by piece. What can we can do to thwart the steady march of technocracy?

As explained by Wood, the most effective way is through local activism. The technocratic system was built from the bottom up, so we cannot tear it down from the top down. They’re already far too powerful for that. So, to begin the dismantling process, we must regain control of our local governments, and work our way up from there.

One of the most important elected local officials that you should concern yourself with is your sheriff. Sheriffs are responsible for enforcing tyrannical edicts from local, state and federal government, and if they choose not to, government has no power. City councils also have a lot of power. They can pass binding resolutions to protect citizens against the technocratic agenda.

1 Person in 40 Is Injured by Vaccines

Getting back to the issue of the COVID-19 vaccine, I urge you to keep a cool head once the PR machine gains speed. Read through the propaganda messages again (above) and familiarize yourself with them so you can identify the buttons they’re trying to push.

Remember, the COVID-19 vaccines currently leading in development have never before been licensed for human use, and there’s no possible way to ascertain what the long-term ramifications might be when you turn your body into a viral protein factory. I’ve discussed the theory behind mRNA vaccines in several previous articles, including “Gates Tries to Justify Side Effects of Fast-Tracked Vaccine.”

Coronavirus vaccine efforts gained speed in early 2002, following three SARS epidemics. However, such efforts have proven highly problematic as coronavirus vaccines have a stubborn tendency to trigger paradoxical immune responses.

In my interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who chairs the board of directors of the Children’s Health Defense,12 he reviewed some of the failed efforts to produce a viable coronavirus vaccine and highlighted the dangers of vaccine exaggeration of the immune response:

“The Chinese, the Americans, the Europeans all got together and said, ‘We need to develop a vaccine against coronavirus.’ Around 2012, they had about 30 vaccines that looked promising. They took the four best of those and … gave those vaccines to ferrets, which are the closest analogy when you’re looking at lung infections in human beings.

The ferrets had an extraordinarily good antibody response, and that is the metric by which FDA licenses vaccines … The ferrets developed very strong antibodies, so they thought, ‘We hit the jackpot.’ All four of these vaccines … worked like a charm.

Then something terrible happened. Those ferrets were then exposed to the wild virus, and they all died. [They developed] inflammation in all their organs, their lungs stopped functioning and they died.”

So please, review ALL the vaccine studies BEFORE you get the COVID vaccine because as far as I have read, this essential part of the study — ensuring that no paradoxical immune enhancement will occur — has not yet been done.

Even with conventionally manufactured vaccines, data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research Quality suggests vaccine damage occurs in 2.6% of all vaccinations. This means 1 in 40 people — not 1 in 1 million, which is what we’ve been repeatedly told — is injured by vaccines. Kennedy Jr. reviewed this data in a recent online vaccine debate13 with attorney and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz.

The U.S. Vaccine Court has also paid out $4 billion to patients permanently damaged or killed by vaccines, and that’s just a small portion of all the cases filed. According to Kennedy, less than 1% of people who are injured ever get to court, due to the high bar set for proving causation.

Will the novel mRNA COVID-19 vaccines be more dangerous than conventional vaccines, or will they be safer? Considering these vaccines are being fast-tracked and are forgoing all traditional animal testing and long-term evaluation, I suspect they may end up having far more unanticipated complications.

So, as the vaccine campaign rolls out, remember to weigh whatever potential risks and benefits that might apply in your particular situation, and avoid falling for emotional triggers.

Regardless of what you decide, also try to accept the personal decisions of others. The PR campaign will clearly try to manipulate you into fearing those who chose not to vaccinate, and trigger you into condemning them. Hopefully, knowing that you are being manipulated will help ease these tendencies.

The Metaphysics of Politics & The Manipulation of Human Consciousness

 Arjun Walia
August 16th, 2020

CE founder Joe MartinoDulce Ruby and I have decided to sit down once a week and have a conversation about various topics, sharing our thoughts and how each of us are feeling. In our latest episode we decided to talk about the metaphysics of politics and how it effects our psyche.

All three of us have gone down the rabbit hole when it comes to big politics. For me, I was first introduced to deception within politics through examining various topics, one of the first being ‘false flag terrorism’ as well as the strong connections that governments have with mainstream media outlets. When I came across a declassified document that states that the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success” stories,’” I really started looking into it more and realized this is still happening.

The information I was coming across even corroborated with multiple award winning journalists.

I eventually came to the conclusion that the prime purpose of big politics and big media (which go hand in hand) is simply to manipulate human consciousness and shape our perception of major events which allows these powerful people to justify actions they like to take, usually to gain even more control over the human race. I found out that the ones who propose the solution to global issues are usually the ones creating these problems as well, intentionally in order to justify the actions they like to take under the guise of good will. Julian Assange exposed much of this, along with other war crimes and immoral/unethical actions of governments and big corporations. Why is he in jail facing 175 years?

In the second half of the episode we talk about genetically modified mosquitoes, because the US Environmental Protection Agency just approved the release of nearly one billion GM mosquitoes in Florida and Texas. To access the second part, you can sign up for your free trial at CETV. It’s a platform we created to allow us to continue doing our work. As a result of a massive amount of censorship and demonetization from social media platforms and Google, its the only way we can try to stay alive and do what we do. Thank you for your support!

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

Jane Kyle
August 1, 2020

Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.