Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
“We are not dealing here with purely material reality, but with the spiritual realm.” ~Richard Gallagher
Reported cases of demonic possession are on the rise worldwide. In 2016, ABC News reported a sharp increase in exorcism, while noting that even the Pope himself was called upon to perform exorcism on behalf of the Catholic Church.
Something seems askew with all of this in the age of scientific reductionism, but is there a psychological basis for such a mysterious return to archaic frames of mind?
According to board-certified psychiatrist and professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College Richard Gallagher there is. While most cases of demonic possession can be attributed to hoaxes and trickery, Gallagher has a unique range of experience in working with the real thing.
His journey into this bizarre and unsettling phenomenon began when he was approached by a Catholic priest who sought his advice on the case of a subject of his who was experiencing symptoms of demonic possession. The priest wanted to know if it was merely a mental disorder which was causing such bizarre and frightening behavior in his patient, and so, with an open mind, Gallagher took a closer look. What followed thereafter was an unexpected journey into the world of exorcism on the fringes of human behavior.
“Is it possible to be a sophisticated psychiatrist and believe that evil spirits are, however seldom, assailing humans? Most of my scientific colleagues and friends say no, because of their frequent contact with patients who are deluded about demons, their general skepticism of the supernatural, and their commitment to employ only standard, peer-reviewed treatments that do not potentially mislead (a definite risk) or harm vulnerable patients. But careful observation of the evidence presented to me in my career has led me to believe that certain extremely uncommon cases can be explained no other way.” ~Richard Gallagher
Regarding the peculiar case of a high priestess of the Church of Satan, Gallagher describes how he came to believe that not all cases of supposed demonic possession are fraudulent, but that some sort of genuine paranormal activity is actually taking place. This assessment is founded on his 25 years of experience in this area with several hundred consultations.
“I was inclined to skepticism. But my subject’s behavior exceeded what I could explain with my training. She could tell some people their secret weaknesses, such as undue pride. She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including my mother and her fatal case of ovarian cancer. Six people later vouched to me that, during her exorcisms, they heard her speaking multiple languages, including Latin, completely unfamiliar to her outside of her trances. This was not psychosis; it was what I can only describe as paranormal ability. I concluded that she was possessed.” ~Richard Gallagher
He describes the phenomenon here:
“A possessed individual may suddenly, in a type of trance, voice statements of astonishing venom and contempt for religion, while understanding and speaking various foreign languages previously unknown to them. The subject might also exhibit enormous strength or even the extraordinarily rare phenomenon of levitation. (I have not witnessed a levitation myself, but half a dozen people I work with vow that they’ve seen it in the course of their exorcisms.) He or she might demonstrate “hidden knowledge” of all sorts of things — like how a stranger’s loved ones died, what secret sins she has committed, even where people are at a given moment. These are skills that cannot be explained except by special psychic or preternatural ability.” ~Richard Gallagher
In short, after decades of direct experience while considering both the scientific approach and being open to a greater possibility, Gallagher believes that demonic possession is very real. And while this viewpoint is certainly likely to earn ridicule and stoke the skeptics, we do know that there is much more to the human spiritual experience than can be explained by science.
About the Author
Buck Rogers is the earth-bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness.
Dylan Charles, Editor
With the dawn of a new year, as we move beyond the winter solstice and the days again begin to grow, reflection on life and events past offers an opportunity for course correction and for re-plotting our purpose on this priceless journey of life.
We are all bound together on this beautiful planet; the good and the wicked, the peaceful and the violent, the rulers and the ruled, the rich and those who toil for their existence. We are one and the same, all of us actors in the ever-intensifying human story taking place in the Matrix. All of us reacting and responding to the illusions of Maya, all of us carried forward by the force and persistence of perceived reality.
2016 was a huge year, albeit a most bizarre mix of the good and the not-so-good. In rapid-fire, semi-automatic, non-stop succession, the events of this year launched the human story into new heights of drama. To the stratosphere of drama, it seems. And it all happened with such magnitude, gravity, force and weight. As though a tractor beam of sorts prohibited any deviance, refused any escape, and pulled so many of us into the irrefutable tidal pool of group-think and collective lunacy.
Never before have we been so connected with such total freedom of expression. Never before have we been so willingly drawn into the big, ongoing, force-fed narratives. Never before have we been so totally sucked into the cacophony of our own madness, with so many of us abandoning ourselves in the temptation and desire to make ourselves heard, to make ourselves feel unique among the herd. Never before has being loud and abandoning respect been so profitable. And never before has the collective story had such and all-encompassing pull over the individual.
So much so, that the events in our separate lives seem to have been pushed into the periphery, downgraded and devalued. Robbed of their significance in the shadows of false starts, colossal let-downs, miscarriages of justice and hope, launch failures, and mission aborts. Our personal ambitions, aspirations and intentions were back-burnered, giving way to the forceful monolith of collective drama.
Perhaps never before has there been such a pressing need for a return to self-cultivation in order to escape the seductive undertow of the reality-making machine. It demands that we march in lockstep toward self-destruction and self-dissolution, and for balance, I sense a terrible need to abandon the mainstream narratives and get busy creating sub-plots, substitute story lines, and diversionary voyages in the story.
In such a turbulent sea information and imperatives, we desperately need clarity, the kind of which can only be found when attention and intention is directed toward spiritual cultivation.
The only remaining truth today is the truth to be found within. And the only way to access it is to resume the path, re-commit to the method, and re-align ourselves with the masters and teachers who’ve already shown us the way. We must return to the sacred, to chant, to plant, and to pray.
There is no one to ask for a better vision of the future other than yourself.
Whoever wishes to know spiritual truth
first needs to purify the mind
until it is as clear and profound
as the sky.
Avoid all self-disturbance.
If you do not pick anything up
from the deep abyss
of conceptual entrapment,
Then where you go,
you are totally free
of all obstacles,
As one of pure spiritual nature.
~The Gentle Path of Spiritual Progress by Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni
My sincerest gratitude and appreciation goes out to all the readers of this small publication, and I wish the best for all of you in this coming new year.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phillip J. Watt, Contributor
The people at or near the top of the power pyramid are just as vulnerable to being sheep as we all are. In fact, they’re even more likely to fall to pressure from their peers because they have so much more at stake if they make the wrong choice.
That stake is money, power and other forms of capital. It’s their entire lifestyle at risk. If they rock the boat, there goes their business deals, their favors, their prioritization.
And these aspects of their life most likely define their identity, as sad as that might be.
That’s because all these consequences are of a nature which do not account for honor, integrity and morality. Connecting with the self to become an authentic man or woman is one of the real successes in life, so if they disregard this basic tenet to being human, then they’ve sold their soul for nothing less than a false path.
These sorts of people have a lot of influence that they’re failing to utilize for the benefit of humanity, as well as the environment. The core effect they could achieve is based in helping people to expand their understanding, and therefore their consciousness, to facilitate bringing about an era of truth, justice, peace and abundance for humankind.
Who exactly is being referenced here? They include celebrities, politicians, bureaucrats, military and police personnel, journalists, business moguls, so-called self-help gurus and pretty much anyone who is connected to the oligarchical families that are orchestrating the grand plan of global governance.
Now of course not all of them are alike. But let’s face it; how many of those with a massive social influence are speaking out against not just the peripheral problems, but the core ones such as the scams embedded into our system itself?
Fuck all; that how’s many.
Entering into their minds, it’s easy for them to be persuaded by the fear if they talk about some of the seriously uncomfortable truths of the world they’d be labeled as a conspiracy theorist. Yet the reality is that many conspiracy ‘facts’ are backed up with so much evidence they are simply ‘matter as fact’.
Like so many of us do, the truth needs to be shared. We all need to hear, understand and embody it into our thoughts and actions.
Simply, it stands to reason that we all need to play our part, especially those who have taken on a role with societal responsibility.
In any case, there are obviously many other reasons why these people don’t speak up. Examples include that they’re:
In the awakening community, we talk a lot about the people having the ultimate power, because we’ve got the numbers. So, if we want the sham of our system to cease, then all we have to do is organize to at least some degree to bring about the next steps of our societal evolution.
Well, what about all these people embedded in the parasitic culture that has hijacked humanity’s future? Can’t they be a beacon of light too?
Of course they can. To do so, they, like all of us, need to do their proper research and open their minds and hearts to both the madness and magic that permeates our existence of duality. If they do, they’ll deeply connect with their true role as a light shining into the darkness.
After all, no shadows exist when the light is shone from all angles.
About the Author
Richard Smoley, New Dawn
Not long ago I was walking through the aisles of a New Age fair in the suburbs of Chicago. All the usual suspects were there: booths for Baha’i and Eckankar; ladies selling essences and fragrances; bodyworkers offering ten minutes of chair massage; psychics inspecting the etheric fields of their subjects. Like most New Age events I have gone to over the past decade, the fair had a tired quality to it.
I could simply be jaded. I’ve been going to such gatherings for over thirty years now, and at this point they hardly impress me with their novelty. But I may not be alone. One has the sense that for many, the energy that gave rise to the New Age has ebbed.
Even the term “New Age” has come to sound stale, harking back to the ’80s and the Harmonic Convergence, and, still further, to the spirituality of the 1960s counterculture. Commercial interests have backed away from the name, preferring the term “mind-body-spirit” or “MBS.” In January 2012, New Age Retailer, the primary trade magazine for this field in the US, changed its name to Retailing Insight.
Was the New Age a fad? Was it a noble but misguided hope that the world was ready for an enlightenment to which it now seems indifferent or hostile? Probably neither. More likely this is the case: much of what the New Age pioneered, including yoga, meditation, and organic foods, has become mainstream. Thus you could say the New Age won out in many ways – but at the cost of seeming fresh.
What about its ideas? Many of them too entered the mainstream and have even become clichés. At this point it may be useful to step back and look at some of the clichés of the New Age and see how well they stand up.
The New Age
Let’s start with the phrase “New Age” itself. It goes back far beyond the ’60s, even beyond the turn of the twentieth century. It first started being used in 1864, when an American clergyman, Warren Felt Evans, published a book entitled The New Age and Its Messenger.
Evans was propounding the ideas of the great Swedish visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). In the 1740s Swedenborg underwent a series of spiritual awakenings that, he said, gave him access to the invisible realms and to the hidden meanings of Scripture. One of his most remarkable claims was that the Last Judgment of the Bible had no resemblance to the way it was seen by conventional Christianity. It was never meant to mean Christ’s second coming on earth. In fact it took place entirely in the world of spirits, a realm which, in Swedenborg’s theology, occupies a middle place between heaven and hell and serves as a clearinghouse for the newly deceased. This spirit realm had accumulated a great deal of debris, such as base and mean entities, and it needed a housecleaning. The Lord accomplished this in the year 1757.
This Last Judgment, according to Swedenborg, had no immediate consequences for life on earth. Its only effect would be to weaken the power of spiritual tyranny and oppression (notably on the part of the Catholic Church, but also among the Protestants). New horizons on the spiritual world would therefore open. This was the New Age that Evans proclaimed, and Swedenborg was its messenger.
In his way Swedenborg was right. Many of the religious shackles that seemed solid in the eighteenth century have been broken. There is still a great deal of nonsense, deception, and crime in religion, but there is also much more freedom of inquiry – even the freedom not to believe if you don’t want to.
Since the nineteenth century, Swedenborg has faded into comparative obscurity, and Evans, once a best-selling author, has been almost completely forgotten. But the term “New Age” was given new life in the twentieth century by figures such as the British esotericist Alice Bailey, and, as we have seen, the New Age as an ideal reached its own peak in the late twentieth century.
To go back to the initial question: how much truth is there in this idea of a New Age?
In a trivial sense, every age is a new age. Today we face unprecedented dangers and opportunities. So did our fathers; so did our grandfathers. So will our children and grandchildren. Thus it has been since the beginning of history.
But I don’t believe the human condition is going to change in any radical way in the future. Whatever wonders and disasters we may engender, we will still be born, love, experience pleasure and pain, and die as humans have since the beginning of time. As Anton Chekhov said in his play Three Sisters, written in 1900: “When we’re dead people will fly around in balloons, there will be a new style in men’s jackets and a sixth sense may be discovered and developed, but life itself won’t change, it will still be as difficult and full of mystery and happiness as it is now.”
This phrase is often connected to the idea of the New Age. “Paradigm” means a scientific model. The Ptolemaic view of the solar system, which put the earth at the centre, was one such paradigm. It was replaced by another: the Copernican paradigm, which puts the sun at the centre.
How did the new view replace the old one? The historian of science Thomas Kuhn asked this question in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. His answer goes something like this: A scientific model inevitably has some flaws. It explains the data, but not quite perfectly. There are anomalies. For a long time these are set aside and either explained away or simply ignored. But after a certain point too many anomalies accumulate and can no longer be set aside. Science must then find another model – another paradigm.
In the case of astronomy, the Ptolemaic view explained the movements of the planets quite well in light of the observations that could be made at the time (up to the sixteenth century). This even included the retrograde motion of the planets. If the planets moved around the earth, why did they sometimes move backwards in the sky? The Ptolemaic theory replied by positing epicycles – meaning that the planets not only revolved around the earth, but moved in small cyclical orbits as they did.
Eventually the epicycle theory, which still did not match the data entirely, began to break down. Astronomers responded by positing epicycles within epicycles, but there was a point when this model seemed implausible. Another one had to be found. The theory of Copernicus, modified by Kepler, accounted for the planets’ motion much better. This was a scientific revolution, also known as a paradigm shift.
The paradigm shift that the New Age speaks of is more vague. To some degree it has to do with another scientific revolution – from Newtonian to quantum physics. Newtonian physics is mechanistic and materialistic: it is a universe of ricocheting billiard balls. The quantum universe is much stranger, and some of its most brilliant theorists have stressed how bizarre and counterintuitive it is. But one idea from quantum theory has captured the public imagination: the observer affects the results of an experiment simply by the process of observation. This theory seems to place consciousness, rather than matter, at the centre of the universe.
This idea fascinates people who dislike the meaningless, materialistic Newtonian universe. Some physicists, such as Amit Goswami, author of The Visionary Window and other works, say quantum theory proves that consciousness is the ground of all being. This is a step many other scientists are not willing to take, largely because quantum theory talks about the behaviour of submolecular particles; they are very reluctant to say quantum effects occur on greater scales. Quantum physics is sometimes defined, in fact, as “the science of the very small.”
What does this all amount to? There is certainly a new scientific paradigm (although it is well to remember that much of quantum theory was in place by 1930, making it nearly a hundred years old). But this new paradigm, as understood and applied by physicists themselves, does not prove consciousness is the ground of all existence. Nor is it leading toward a more holistic and satisfying view of the universe. In fact the trend is going in the opposite direction.
A generation ago there was much excitement, at least in the popular mind, about the connections between quantum physics and mysticism. But the majority of scientists, rightly or wrongly, have never bought it. They remain firmly materialistic in their outlook.
Other disciplines have also moved backward. The psychology of the ’60s and ’70s embraced humanistic and transpersonal perspectives, but to all appearances this process has been turned around. Neuroscience has had so much luck modifying behaviour through pharmaceuticals that now scientists seem to assume more or less universally that consciousness is a mere side-effect of brain states. (Never mind that this claim has never been proved or even explained in any kind of coherent way.) Computer science, for its part, has made such progress in simulating brain processes that some people now believe it will soon be possible to download your consciousness into a computer, allowing cognition to go on through the operation of a machine rather than a brain. You will no longer need your body to be you. Minds are machines, whether they are made of carbon-based protein or silicon.
In short, the paradigm that was so fondly expected to bring about a new, satisfying, and holistic view of man’s place in the universe failed to arrive. Conventional science, for all its accomplishments, is as drearily materialistic as it was in the days of Queen Victoria.
That is not to say change will never come. Trends reverse themselves without warning, and fashions in science come and go almost as arbitrarily as the ones in couture. But that is how it looks now.
You Create Your Own Reality
In a trivial sense, this is certainly true. Your senses and nerves and brain filter the data from the outside world (whatever this “outside world” ultimately is) and create a picture of reality that enables you to function.
But some New Agers go further. They say that all you have to do is change your thinking and the world will change automatically.
To some degree this is true as well. Say you are having money trouble. Try this mental experiment. Believe, as fully as you can, that a cheque for a million dollars is coming to you next week. Suddenly your problems will seem to vanish. You will have no worries.
Your thinking certainly changes the way you feel. But the claim that you create your own reality is a little stronger than this. It is saying that if you believe hard enough that this cheque will be coming, it willcome: the universe will manifest it for you. And this idea is harder to swallow. At best, it can motivate you to strive to bring more money into your life; at worst, it is nothing more than daydreaming.
Some people practice creative visualisation. By this method you formulate a vivid mental picture, and you concentrate on it so that the energy you are directing will make it appear in the physical world. This can and sometimes does work. But it very often brings unwanted consequences in its wake. You can visualise a cheque for a million dollars, and the cheque may appear. But you didn’t count on the fact that you would get into a crippling accident, and the cheque is to compensate you for the fact that you will never walk again. Granted, this is an extreme example. Another more likely outcome is that you will find that you really didn’t want what you were asking for and were disappointed when you got it.
A few weeks ago, for no reason that I can discern, a file suddenly opened up on my computer. It said, “Please, God, protect me from everything I have been praying for.” I wrote it several years earlier and had completely forgotten about it. Evidently I needed to hear it again.
Another thing is often overlooked: You are not the only one creating your own reality. There are others like you. All of them have the same power over reality that you do. And you are part of their reality as well.
This fact raises a large but unexamined question: if we create our own reality, it must be a collective creation. And what is the effect of all these minds creating and cocreating together? How do the thoughts of your neighbours, your countrymen, your fellow humans as a whole, affect you? How do the minds of many engender a collective reality?
This is, I believe, one of the most important questions facing humanity today. There is a collective imagination – psychologist Charles Tart called it “consensus trance” – that shapes our reality as much as, and probably more than, our own private thoughts do.
As far as I can tell, psychology has not dealt with this question or even acknowledged it. It is true that the psychiatrist C.G. Jung spoke of the collective unconscious. He touched upon collective mentalities in some of his articles, such as “Wotan,” which discussed the resurgence of an old Germanic archetype in the Nazi ideology, and “The Complications of American Psychology,” which related the American psyche to the nature of the land in which it found itself. From another angle, the Russian psychologist V.M. Bekhterev explored mass and mob behaviour in his book Collective Reflexology. Bekhterev, who saw the Russian Revolution firsthand, had plenty of observations to work from. Even so, the science of collective psychology is embryonic.
Thus up to a point it is true you create your own reality. But so does everyone else, and you are part of that reality too. The question for the twenty-first century is how we create our reality.
Be Here Now
Let’s turn to one of the most famous artefacts of the New Age. A squarish, large-format paperback book, with a purple cover, its contents printed on rough brown paper that looks like wrapping material. Its title:Be Here Now. Its creator: the beloved American guru Richard Alpert, best known as Ram Dass. The words, pasted down clumsily with letterpress as if to simulate the visual distortions caused by LSD, urge you to awaken:
What are you doing?
Planning for the future?
IT’s ALL RIGHT NOW
But later?… Forget it baby
Are you going to
BE HERE or not?
IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT!…
If you get so efficient…
If you’ve got to turn off all the vibrations of the scene…
because you’re so busy
about the future
or the past
or time has caught you…
IT COSTS TOO MUCH!
No message from the New Age has burned itself into the collective mind as deeply as this command: Be here now. The past is an artificial construct. The future is an equally artificial construct. There is only the present moment. There is always only the present moment. This is the way to liberation.
The idea still reverberates. Just as its effect was starting to fade, Eckhart Tolle came out with a booster shot: the best-selling Power of Now, published in 2004.
No one could possibly refute this idea. It is always now, and, it would seem, the atomic moments felt through meditative awareness – an endless chain of nows, each one inexorably strung upon its predecessor – bring us as close to ultimate reality as we are likely to come in this world.
As a mental discipline, what has sometimes been called “the doctrine of the present” has no peer. Every moment – or, rather, every moment you are aware of it – you bring your attention to the present; you sense your feet on the floor and feel the breath go in and out. The welterings of your mind subside. You are centred and at peace.
How could anyone question this?
In essence, I could not hope to. But in practice, another view arises.
There is the sensation of my foot on the floor. This is direct, immediate, real. There are, on the other hand, the thoughts and fantasies and daydreams in my head, flowing before my mesmerised eyes like the scenes of a thriller. By contrast, they seem unreal.
But maybe this is not the whole picture. Am I not, after all, experiencing all these supposedly delusory thoughts in the present as well? Why should one experience be held up as real and genuine, while the other is despised as false?
Someone who goes to a few of the innumerable talks given by Tibetan lamas in the West will sometimes hear them denigrate the conceptual mind – the ‘monkey mind’ that must be suppressed, or even killed, if enlightenment is to occur. But I once heard the Dalai Lama speak, and he criticised this point of view. Although I don’t remember his exact words, I do remember that he said this contempt for the conceptual mind was unjustified, that this part of the mind too has its place, and one must not try to uproot or kill it.
And sometimes this conceptual mind will take you out of the present.
The present, then, that magic moment that discloses God, is only one of innumerable types of experience. It is well, of course, to be able to recognise and rest in it. But it may not be wise, and it certainly seems impossible, to stay there all the time.
R.H. Blyth, in his celebrated collection of essays Zen and Zen Classics, writes: “Where Buddhism makes its great mistake is in asking for eternity without time. As Blake said, ‘Eternity is in love with the productions of time’.”
Peace. If there is one word that encapsulates the New Age, it is this one. In its day, it was more than a word. It was a gesture (the fingers forming a V, the palm facing out in an exact reversal of Churchill’s ‘V for victory’ gesture). It was an ideograph, the circle bisected vertically, with two other lines extended down from the centre – a combination of two letters in semaphore code standing for ND or “nuclear disarmament.”
But peace – a cliché? That is a harsh verdict. And if it is, you will say, we need more of such clichés. And badly.
In the ’60s the peace movement was the result of a genuine collective impulse. It was not only the recent memory of the horrors of the Second World War. It was also an aftershock from the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the world came the closest it has ever come to nuclear war. In the US, the peace movement was also a response to the Vietnam conflict and to the real likelihood that, like the states in Orwell’s 1984, the superpowers would maintain a permanent state of war.
Events turned out differently from the expectations, as events always do. The threats to world peace that seemed so menacing during the Cold War are gone, but they have been replaced by others, and when these are gone, there will be others still.
Do we need a peace movement to turn ourselves around? I think we do, but I also think we have never had a genuine peace movement. What we have had are antiwar movements. And to be against war is not the same thing as to be for peace.
Earlier in this article I talked about the possibility that thoughts play a part – a major part – in shaping reality. And I think this is the case. In this light what are we to make of today’s mentality, which projects so much hatred toward its leaders? Do they deserve it? Maybe – but you are not making them any better or their work any easier by directing hatred and vituperation at them. Not if there is the dimmest bit of truth to the idea that your thoughts create reality. And of course this goes double for any collective feelings of hatred.
In this light I find myself thinking about the possibility of a peace march – a genuine peace march. Such an event would be aimed not at stopping the latest war but at offering peace and blessings to the leadership of the nation, of any and all ideologies, without any agenda whatsoever. This would be a real peace march, because it would be offering peace rather than opposition, blessings rather than grievances. I wonder what effect it would have.
A cliché, of course, could never become a cliché unless it is widely disseminated. And it would never become widely disseminated if it did not have much truth, and even wisdom, in it. So it is with the clichés of the New Age. Many of them are rooted in ancient and indeed perennial truths. That these truths need to be recast and restated in the language of a particular time and place is hardly a flaw; it is a way of adapting them to the needs of a generation. They will be restated and recast in many ways in the generations to come.
About the Author
RICHARD SMOLEY has over thirty-five years of experience studying esoteric spirituality. His recent work, Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History, is composed largely of articles written for New Dawn. Smoley is the former editor of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. Currently he is editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America and of Quest Books. His new book isThe Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness.
V.M. Bekhterev, Collective Reflexology: The Complete Edition, translated by Eugenia & Alissa Lockwood, Transaction, 2001
R.H. Blyth, Zen and Zen Classics, vol. 5, Hokuseido, 1962
Amit Goswami, The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment, Quest, 2006
Ram Dass, Be Here Now, Lama Foundation, 1971
C.G. Jung, Civilizations in Transition: Collected Works, vol. 10, 2d ed., translated by Gerhard Adler & R.F.C. Hull, Princeton/Bollingen, 1970
Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity, translated by Jonathan S. Rose, 2 vols, Swedenborg Foundation 2006-2012
The above article appeared in New Dawn 153 (Nov-Dec 2015)
Valerie Tarico, Guest
“I’ve never been happier since I quit my 30-year addiction to Jesus.” – Blogger and Christian Heretic, Sandra Kee
To a medical researcher, the word addiction has a specific biological meaning. But in common vernacular, it means approximately this: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Based on this definition some religious experiences seem a lot like addictions—at least that’s what former believers say.
Blogger Sandra Kee, a self-described “Christian Heretic,” looks back at her family history and sees religion and addiction as a messy tangle: “My family for several generations was in a dysfunctional and addictive religious life, using God (or what we believed about God) as a drug. Many of the family who leftreligion simply traded for another addiction. The generations that entered into religion did so to escape alcoholism and other addictions (though it wasn’t called addiction back then). Many who remained in religion developed additional addictions as well.”
Former Mormon Brandon Olson is even more emphatic:
“Karl Marx said it right, ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses.’ I’m still recovering from it. Part of my recovery is helping others get free,” says Olson. “I quit believing in a god when I was a teenager, but I was afraid of hell / damnation until I was about 35. It took me until I was 40 to speak up and revoke my LDS cult membership. I am now 50, and I consider religion to be an imposed addiction – no different than holding a baby and shooting it up with small doses of heroin, increasing the doses as the baby grows.”
In recent decades, the idea of recovery from religion has taken root. Recovery websites provide platforms for sharing stories, like exChristian.net, or offer support and help, like RecoveringfromReligion.org. Many draw on the language and strategies of other recovery programs.
Even within Christianity, some people use 12-Step language to talk about religious addiction or what a newly-released book calls Sober Spirituality. Author Elizabeth Esther describes how church experiences produce a “high”:
“There’s the ubiquitous mood lighting so that you can only see what’s meant to be seen… Loud music ensures you hear only what is meant to be heard… Several high-energy warm-up acts make you feel only what you’re supposed to feel… By the time the featured attraction steps on stage… you’re so amped up you’ll hand over your body, soul, and wallet. It doesn’t even occur to you that this might be destructive, because feeling elated is the desired outcome.”
The result, says Esther, can be a destructive quest for righteous euphoria. Father Leo Booth similarly uses the language of Alcoholics Anonymous in his book, When God Becomes a Drug, which promises readers “practical ways to overcome excessive devotion and attain healthy spirituality.”
When does spirituality start looking like addiction? On the internet, checklists abound (for example, here,here, and here) and include symptoms that would sound familiar to any addict or Al Anon member. Here are some highlights:
Broader Mental Health Questions
But religious addiction checklists and other self-help materials often also include symptoms that, while psychologically unhealthy, may have little to do with diagnosing addiction.
Looking back on his years as a Christian, non-theist Tony Debono says,“While I have no desire to return to religion, I definitely miss the highs of religious worship, as well as the friendship and support of the community. Is that more like missing a substance of addiction, or like missing the delirium and strange dreams of a high fever? I’m not sure.”
To make matters even more complex, a set of beliefs can be false without being either toxic or addictive, and in some situation false beliefs may even be adaptive. Also, research suggests that participation in some forms of religious community or spiritual practices like meditation may have benefits independent of any truth-value in the community’s distinctive claims.
Recognizing this, humanist and atheist groups have begun experimenting with how to create secular churches and humanist assemblies—communities that lack supernatural beliefs but that nonetheless meet regularly to channel wonder, provide mutual support, talk about deep values, and inspire service. These experimental communities are exploring how to keep some of the best of religion without supernaturalism and without the other parts that can lead religion to feel harmful. In the future, secular spiritual communities of this type may ease the transition for people leaving a religion that feels unhealthy or addictive, or that no longer fits for other reasons.
Your Results May Vary
The risk of any activity or substance becoming a compulsion depends in part on characteristics of the substance and in part on characteristics of the situation and user. We know, for example, that nicotine is more addictive than marijuana. But for even the most intense pleasures—those that create the highest rates of compulsion—some users retain their capacity for autonomy and balance.
Some people can ingest a pleasurable neurotoxin like alcohol or even cocaine in moderation, while others find themselves drawn inexorably toward self-destruction. The same can be said about pleasurable activities like running or gambling. And the same is likely to be true of powerful religious pleasures—intense feelings of euphoria, transcendence, hope, joy, absolution, security, immortality, certitude, purity, purpose, belonging, or superiority.
In the end, the question of whether religion is addictive for you or someone you care about comes back to the definition of addiction itself, which includes words like enslaved, habit, and trauma: Has your religion consumed your life? Is it freely chosen? (Try on the thought of what might happen if you let it go.) What price are you or others around you paying for the good stuff you get?
Addiction aside, the bigger question may be whether a specific set of religious beliefs or practices contributes to wellbeing or harm. Human development consultant Marlene Winell describes a pattern she calls religious trauma syndrome, which can be triggered either by experiences within religious communities—especially those that are authoritarian, isolationist and fear based—or as a consequence of leaving. Winell’s diagnosis is unofficial, but when she writes on the topic, former believers by thehundreds respond, saying that they see themselves in her words and stories.
A Growing Array of Options
Fortunately, for those who find their former religion to be harmful, addictive or otherwise a bad fit, options in most of the world are growing. It has been said that there are as many gods as there are believers, and some people who shake free from one form of religion find themselves at home in another. But a growing number of former believers, say they are one or another kind of post-religious, and that’s ok. There’s plenty of downside to all of these differences. As Jon Stewart put it sardonically, “Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by . . . religion.”
But the upside is this: Anyone able to open their door finds a whole world of possibilities just outside.
About the Author
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org. Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel. Subscribe at ValerieTarico.com.
NOTE: These beliefs do not necessarily reflect my own or any of the authors on this site.
Yah created the heavens and the earth and everything in existence;His flesh and Holy spirit are one.
To his will all that exist shall submit.
The trans-Atlantic slave trade was predicted in Deut 28:68
The torah is the sole superior authority for all Israelites, all other scriptures
are or can be beneficial and benevolent.
The kingdom of Yah will be established and all of the saints of the Most High,who are the Israelites
shall take the kingdom and possess it forever and ever.
all those who accept the Torah as the highest and unfailing law of Yah and faithfully strive to obey it
is an Israelite.
An Israelite who predicted something that come to pass is a prophet of Yah.
Beliefs of the Hebrew Israelites
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the creator of the universe is “The Most High”(El Elyon). He can be called Ahayah Asher Ahayah(I AM THAT I AM) or Ahayah(I AM(Exodus 3:14)). He is the Elohim(God) of Israel. He and only him is Elohim.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the Torah(Law), or the first five books of a Christian bible, Genesis, Exodus,Leviticus, Numbers,Deuteronomy must be observed. This include the feasts (Leviticus 23), circumcision,weekly shabbat, tithes, offerings(burnt or not), consecration(Nazarites),eating clean foods, fasting,and the celebration of new moons.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that Yahshua, Yeshua, or Yahwahshi,Yahshayah,known as Jesus in Christianity, is the prophet prophesied by Moses (Deut 18:18). He was a teacher, he observed and never taught against the torah, he was a Jew(offspring of Judah),he was a man of color and the father(Ahayah) called him his son as he also called himself the son of the father. He came for the lost sheep Israel(Matt 15:25). He was crucified and rose out of the dead in three days.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the descendants of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade slaves are the true and authentic children of Israel from the House of Judah(Levi,Judah,Benjamin) who went to Africa in 70 A.D fleeing Roman Persecution. They use as reference “From Babylon To Timbukto” which states that 100,000 Israelites fled to Africa during the Roman Persecution and a prophecy found in Deut 28:68, which states that the Hebrew Israelites would return to Egypt(House of Bondage), in ships and no one would redeem them.
Most Hebrew Israelites also believe that the Native Americans and their descendants, known as Hispanics are descendants of the 10 Lost tribes of the House of Israel. According to several Hebrew Israelites' websites, the Native Americans, known as Native Indians, were exiled by the Assyrian King Salmanasar 722 B.C in ships. It took them one year to have gotten to the place, which is known today as America(North, South and Central). No one lived on the place before their arrival.(2nd Esdras 13:45-49, Apocrypha). They also use the pyramid build by the aztecs to support their assertion.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that baptism with water can and should be done.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe in marriage between a man and a woman.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the term Black Hebrew Israelites is not appropriate but is simply a pleonasm as the Hebrew Israelites were originally black.
Most Hebrew Israelites refuse to accept the Talmud because it was written by The Babylonian Brotherhood during the the first century.
Most Hebrew Israelites refuse to be called Jewish because the term Jew-ish is more definable as someone who is “sort of a Jew” or someone who follow Judaism, a religion they do not follow.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the term Negroe can be used to define the descendents of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade slaves and can be use to distinguish them from the Africans(Hamites).
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that Israel (not the State of Israel) will be a nation again.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that being an Israelite is not a religion but a nationality and a lifestyle.
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the fall of United States and the European rule is eminent.
Most Hebrew Israelites practice separatism instead of racism. In order words, Hebrew Israelites don't judge based on color but whether you're part of the Twelve Tribes of Israel by blood or conversion.
Most Hebrew Israelites reject the Khabbalah
Most Hebrew Israelites reject the Quran
Most Hebrew Israelites reject Christmas, Halloween, and Easter.
Most Hebrew Israelites reject Homosexuality
Most Hebrew Israelites reject Transgenderism
Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the Twelve Tribe of Israel should be able to find their tribes by their father's blood.
Why Do Hebrew Israelites Maintain Political Neutrality?
Most Hebrew Israelites remain politically neutral for religious reasons, based on what the Bible teaches. We do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments. Many Hebrew Israelites believe that the Bible gives solid reasons for following this course.
We also respect the rights of others to make their own decisions in political matters. For example, we do not disrupt elections or interfere with those who choose to vote.
Is our neutrality a modern innovation?
No. The apostles and other first-century Christians took an identical stand toward governmental authority. The book Beyond Good Intentions states: “Though they believed they were obligated to honor the governing authorities, the early Christians did not believe in participating in political affairs.” Similarly, the book On the Road to Civilization says that early Christians “would not hold political office.”
Is our political neutrality a threat to national security?
No. scripturally aware Hebrew Israelites are peace-loving citizens from whom governmental authorities have nothing to fear.
Deuteronomy 28 Curses
Soren Dreier, Guest
It is fair to state that the awakening of the soul, known as Jesus led him into creating the Field of the Christ by transcending the ego, both symbolically and in reality, by the powerful symbolism of the Cross. As I have written previously in this series, the Cross seen as the final vortex point of agony along this path which I refer to as The Via Dolorosa in general.
In our lives many crosses will appear before we get to the final one. That is why that realm isn’t exactly overcrowded, since we seem to avoid the Crosses (unpleasant, painful, doubts, self examination, a tormenting inner dialogue and such) and only go for the smooth cafe latte spirituality, which is a projected entity of the Ego, telling you that: all is blue and dandy and there’s no trouble ahead. Every soul that has set out for the genuine journey to stop the inner suffering/agony will know what I am addressing.
The pendulum swings between positions of joy and agony, and the first thing on this journey is to make that pendulum halt and go into stillness by neutralizing emotions and the intellect, and ‘just’ being the observer of both the inner world and the so called external world.
As stated by Jesus: ‘I am in this world, but not of it’ – which is a pointer to the state of mind that mystically, via the spiritual dynamics it will kick start, also grants you a very clear insight into what we refer to as the Control System or the Matrix. Jesus the Spiritual Warrior fought those entities to both the transcendence of his ego and to his physical death.
We all have our trials, sufferings, victories and joy, mostly played out on the inside (that’s why we try to blame others for our own agony), by a tormenting or joyous inner dialog of our very private systems of thought. A classical trial, absurd as it may seem, is disengaging from the ‘System of Belief’ that comes with organized religion: Systems rife with abuse and sadism towards the mystical spiritual dynamics which are in the very core of every scripture and in the lives of saints, whether they be ‘Christian’, ‘Buddhist’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Suffist’ and what have you.
The argument being: The God Force doesn’t really care about religion.
It is the path through the field of ending suffering that will lead to what we refer to as enlightenment, once it is out of Ego. Which also indicates why so many have this merging, which I would rather call it, than the ‘Death of the Ego’ as many do. It is a transcendence of the Ego into Soul that finally makes us enlightened and able to reach for that field of pure bliss, which we may briefly encounter via Meditation, the use of DMT (Ayahuasca), Cannabis and such. I must advocate meditation, since it is purely soul driven, as a deep, deep often melancholic longing for the peace that rests in the soft gentleness of the God Force, whatever you perceive that to be in your own spiritual framework.
One of the real obstacles preventing this merger is the need for spiritual control. As an example we have the very contradicting term, New Age leaders, contradicting since there are no leaders in the free-flowing spirituality which is perfectly stated in the Tao: Be the water, not the container.
It’s a karmic stupid man’s trap to take responsibility and control over good people seeking the way to enlightenment, which basically is: Looking for the soul. If you are in that club, where you think your Master or self-appointed new age Guru has all the answers, you are not on the path to your soul, you are not on the path to enlightenment, you’re simply on the path of following somebody else’s Ego. It is very hard to detach once the that trap has both your legs. Freeing yourself from that will not only fuel agony but excruciating pain.
Way too often I hear people say: No, I can’t go there – my ‘teacher’ says it’s not good. Well, it might be bad for your teacher, but what do you think? If you need to go, GO! If one has very strong urges, sexually, romantically, a need to try something mundane out – many seem to forget that the path toward experience goes through ‘learning by doing’ not through blindly obeying somebody’s do’s and don’ts.
So the best thing would be… listen, learn and try it, meaning: Take inspiration from souls who travelled a bit further on the path and see if it holds. The self-appointed spiritual teacher will expose him or herself through the number of: Do’s and Dont’s. Curiosity never killed anybody, indecisiveness and blind obedience did.
Have you ever considered that this need to ‘follow’ is a trap of the ego?
When someone follows, just follows without questioning, it is actually the Ego saying: Nope I wont die, and I will put you in a position of servitude and in order to do that, I will make sure to find you a teacher with some light in him, but you know: It is not so that you will get blinded by it, since if you do, I will have to die.
So it is Big Ego pulling in egos that still think they need external control in order to be free. Can you see the contradiction? If you can, and you got sucked into this, Run. Have the courage to stare back at the Void that will appear after such a liberating act and call upon the inner warrior to help you through that: Since that will be agony, a cross on the road, The Loner dynamics.
The right teacher will respond like this:
– Teacher, what is the nature of water?
– Go drink it, feel it, swim in it, dive into it and when you’re done would you be so kind as to tell me about it?
The wrong teacher will respond:
– Water is sneaky. It is life-giving and life taking. Don’t go there – I do not endorse swimming in it. (And here comes the final control argument): It is full of sharks and they will eat you. Accumulating fear. The teacher knows about sharks, he should – he is one.
Entering the Field of the Christ, as previously written, is very private and pristine, but the Spiritual dynamics that take us there are cross cultural, they thrive and are hidden in numerous systems of beliefs, hence: The Hidden Awakening Inside Religion.
We have focused very much on the Ego transcending into Soul and a gateway to the field of Christ.
We have focused very little on the other vehicles we have inside, being in the flesh and thereby descending into this world in a physical body, since it is only by being in the flesh we can transcend and enter the path. We also have to transcend our intellect, senses and emotions.
The most solid deception this world has to offer is that it is solid. This world is absolutely not solid. It is: A Field, built on quantum physics, frequencies and the stealth presence of the God Force.
As I wrote previously: The Rishis have known, felt, and embedded that FACT, thousands of years before cutting edge science could understand it or even knew about it. ‘Rishis’ also refers to the words and deeds of Jesus. There are many references to the Field, in the words of Jesus as we know them and certainly even more in Eastern teachings. Probably because of the organized religion washed out version of what Jesus spoke about, it was altered into a version of: What he didn’t speak about.
The most obvious:
God isn’t in a temple (Church) he is everywhere (The Field).
God doesn’t belong to Specialness; he is Everybody’s God.
The contradiction between organized religion and the true bare-naked words of Jesus is very, very obvious, and if it weren’t for people’s fear of dying and the afterlife, the churches of this world would suffocate. They are insurance agencies, run by a greedy need for profit.
In order to stand naked before the God Force and merge with the field of Christ our intellect comes first. Lay it down, slay it down and enter: Innocence – ‘All I know is that I know nothing’. Since the intellect’s only function is to accumulate the Willpower that is the engine in: Keeping on searching.
The apparent predicament is:
That we have to satisfy the intellect before we can liberate ourselves from it. So study, deduct, and 2 and 2 and at some point you will find that 2 and 2 makes 5, and that’s where the Agony of casting out the torment of the intellect kicks in. Many people say to me: I can’t read anymore. I don’t understand why. I used to swallow a couple of books a week, now I just can’t read anymore. Well, you fed your ego with knowledge: Time to live it.
And that is a very crucial vortex point on the path, no matter what path: Do you have the courage to do so? Leave what you know – and enter: The Feel and thereby the Feel of the Path that you are on.
Which brings me to the well-known saying:
Step out of emotion.
Easy to state but what is it? How to?
The first step would be to contemplate the illusion of emotions. As stated by Rishis: Emotions aren’t real. Emotions can’t be trusted. They come and go and are often controlled by others. Somebody raises anger inside us, well, that might not be our anger but the person’s who raises it. As mentioned in: The Buddha and The Gift.
We don’t have to plug in.
Then we realize that a new void will appear, since there suddenly is space for it, when we learn to master our emotions. Hence: The picture of Krishna going on a Chariot holding a band of fierce horses in one hand. The war Krishna is embarking into is the battle of emotions in order to transcend them into a ‘Feel’ and from there transcending that Feel of divinity into a state of mind of bliss, tranquility and joy.
People say, Feel your body. They do not say, Emotion your body. So deep down in the deep, deep waters of knowledge, and knowledge is not the same as gathered information, pure knowledge is a feel and we call it wisdom.
Again, dear fellow traveler, don’t beat yourself up that you are not there yet. In order to enter these dynamics, you have to have a clear vision of: Naa, I have had enough emotional turmoil in my life, I’m done with it and I am ready to proceed.
We have to reach that agony inside of being fed up with being manipulated emotionally and thereby controlled by others. That certainly goes into our private lives and those in it seeking to control us emotionally but, and not least important: It also makes us very aware of what the Matrix and the Control System is doing every second of the day. Trying to control us through fear.
Walking the Via Dolorosa, as in Christ: The Loner, and having the spiritual courage to do so, facing the ‘death’ of something in us is entering the Agony with eyes wide open and the spiritual dynamics and the protection of the Field itself, will soon transcend the Agony into: Agony/Joy. Same thing – no contradiction – Agony transcended.
It’s no more mystical than going trekking in the Mountains. Sore legs and a lot of Agony, but the trekker knows why and he sure knows what joy awaits him, once he reaches the top.
But the first time he does it, he actually doesn’t know. Others have told him, he read about it, has seen a movie about it. His teachers, gurus, saints maybe gave him the idea of what to expect, but the experience. No.
Only, when he stands up or kneels at his destination, he knows and he will know that he knows.
Trekkers often go: I can’t describe it. I do not have the words for it (intellect). They say:
I can’t explain, it’s a feel, I feel close to God. Tears are swooping down my checks. It’s so joyous. It is pure bliss. I don’t feel my pain anymore. I feel like One with all. I feel something bigger than me and I feel I should surrender to it. It is beyond Ego. The feel I have is not: You did it, oh, you’re such a skilled trekker.
No it is very humbling and very empowering and the highest point of their emotions. In that blink of a divine second their emotions, the emotional software, transcended into a Feel of many colors, fragrances and frequencies all collected in the: Awe of God, the awe of their struggling coming to an end and a mystical feel of: Explanations that are beyond the intellect.
That explanation being:
You’re there. Finally, home in yourself again. The Self that is suddenly not so important anymore, since we, in that moment whatever that moment might be, will know with our celestial intuition is only the mere start of even greater mountains to climb.
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff
From heartbreak to soulbreak.
“Man must face the perils of worldly passion if he is to secure the precious pearl of Enlightenment. He must first be lost among the mountainous crags of egoism and selfishness, before there will awaken in him the desire to find a path that will lead him to Enlightenment.” ~Buddha
Individuation? Self-actualization? Satori? Nirvana? Zazen? Enlightenment?
It all seems so serene and peaceful, so smooth and effortless, so tranquil and full of light. But it’s not gentle and sweet. It’s jagged and elusive. It’s not artificially blissful; it’s authentically painful. It’s not pretend-forgiving; it’s ruthlessly absolving. Indeed. Some brutally hard shit must hit some unpleasantly fast fans before you can even think about placing a single toe on the Path toward Providence. Too heavy of a colloquialism for you? Okay, try this: before you can experience the stillness on the tip of the iceberg of illumination, you must first have reconciled the hidden iceberg of annihilation. Too cryptic for you? Fair enough…
Here it is, plain and simple: It has to hurt first. In a word – heartbreak. First your ego’s heart has to break, then your soul’s heart has to break. You need to go through a meta-ton of pain: mental, physical and spiritual –soul-caliber pain, tantamount to existential proportions, far exceeding the trivial pain of the hyperreal plane. Then, and only then, may you proceed along the path.
But remember, the pain doesn’t end there. Many a Buddha will pop up along the way trying to convince you that you’ve made it –that you’ve achieved the spiritual Mecca, that you’ve earned the elusive Philosopher’s Stone, that you’ve secured the sharp-as-god Golden Ratio, that you’ve merited the Sacred Phi of enlightenment. But you haven’t. And you should do as Linji Yixuan suggested, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” Indeed. The journey must remain the thing.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ~Mark Twain
Heartbreak is the end of innocence; the realization that this world does not belong to you, but that you belong to it. It’s when the independent blood in your veins recalibrates into interdependent lifeblood, and the earth in your bones rectifies its posture as a force of nature first and a human second, that you understand yourself as the world and the world as yourself. It hurts because it’s the end of unreasonable expectation. It’s an embracing of the cosmic joke, and the irrefutable fact that you’re the butt-end of it. But like the Dread Pirate Roberts tells the princess in The Princess Bride,“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
This is authentic heartbreak, precise heartbreak. Not pretend sorrow or fairytale anguish, nor whiney, all-the-world-please-pity-me, unrequited romantic love. But the genuine death of your innocence, the warm-blooded murder of your naïveté. It’s discovering within you that which is the closest thing to immortality that a mortal can achieve. As Pema Chodron said, “Only to the extent that we can expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”
True heartbreak is annihilation. It’s ego-death. It’s the birth-death-rebirth cycle spiraling out inside you. It’s your caterpillar-self dissolving into vital butterfly-self components within the cocoon of your spirit. What comes out the other side is your budding soul, nascent and ready to flourish, but still reeking of ego residue. Everything is turned upside down. The basket you once held all your eggs in has been shredded into tatters, sprinkled over the sticky white and yellow yoke of your beliefs. Your worldview lies shattered and broken at your feet, like as if your higher-self dropped the glass globe of your ego onto the unforgiving concrete of Truth. Your heart is broken, wide open, a crack so big the only thing that can fit into it is the entire universe. And so it does.
“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular.” ~Joseph Campbell
When the soul is awake, the ego takes a backseat. But the ego is on the edge of that backseat, because it is now finally able to experience astonishment and awe. It’s existentially taken aback. It is so transfixed by the inscrutable mystery of being an interconnected thing that it wonders in absolute befuddlement how it could not have noticed the poignant beauty of the interdependent cosmos in the time before. How could it not have foreseen that the soul was more powerful than the self? Then again, how can a caterpillar fathom the butterfly still to come?
With the soul awake comes a new flavor of pain. Your ego needs to figure out how to switch from being in charge to being a tool for the soul. This can be a painful process. The ego wants to be the one calling the shots, not playing second fiddle to the upstart soul, no matter how much healthier things are when its faculties are focused into soulcraft. Ego transformed into a tool for soulcraft is the ultimate art form. But this requires a lot of trial and error, much admittance to being wrong about a great many things, and truckloads of pride must be swallowed.
This is painful for the ego because it means that the past must be abandoned, that the Great Mystery can no longer be avoided, that the self-as-it-was cannot continue, and that nothing is ultimately permanent. When you know this in your bones, you live for the first time in your life. The cocoon of your rebirth is a broken shell lying at the edge of where the Matrix (self-deception) meets the Desert of the Real (self-awakening). And you know you must leave it behind, because now you are no longer limited by boundaries, you are liberated by horizons. You stand at the forefront of that liberation, declaring to the universe, “In order to awaken all things, I must attempt to awaken all of myself. The way of awakening may be unattainable, but I vow to attain it.”
“I overcame myself, the sufferer; I carried my own ashes to the mountains; I invented a brighter flame for myself. And behold, then this ghost fled from me.” ~Nietzsche
Just when your confidence is bolstered and your soul is flourishing into a state of Eudaimonia, the hard truth of the path sets in: true enlightenment is unattainable. Infinity is unreachable. Self-perfection is an illusion. The Fibonacci sequence can never achieve the sacred state of Phi. The Tao that can be named is never the true Tao. But there is sacred beauty in such painful truths: curiosity can never be quenched, there will always be questions, and the fact that everything changes means that nothing can ever be fixed. There is deep freedom in such musings. There is soulbreath in the soulbreak.
As I wrote in Shadow of the Shaman:
“Soulbreak, like heartbreak, opens us up to the vast knowledge hidden within the nature of pain, but it also teaches us detachment. Soulbreak is detachment in the moment. If you are truly detached, your mental-spirit-body becomes a mighty tool for clear seeing. Authentic detachment becomes existential seeing.”
Existential seeing and present detachment are the cornerstones of having the wherewithal to walk the path. Without agenda, free of conceit, and liberated from the boundaries of having a goal, present detachment is the wonderful side effect of having survived soulbreak. With it comes existential seeing, the ability to see the big picture, to feel the interconnectedness of all things weaving in and out of life and entropy. You see with over-eyes, like a cosmic owl with galaxies in its giant pupils, perched on the branch of the universe, taking it all in.
Your heart, having broken, is a beautiful wound made all the more fecund by the painful process of initiation. Your soul, having cracked in half, is stronger than ever, breaking apart and coming back together again. Each time more robust. Each time more open to receiving the truth of impermanence. The path to enlightenment is still a razor’s edge, but your feet are sharpening stones. You sharpen the universe and the universe sharpens you right back. You’ve cut through God so many times that infinity lost count. Vital cocoons behind you. Vast horizons ahead of you. The heart with which you perceive Love is the same heart with which Love perceives you, and the soul with which you envision Infinity is the same soul with which Infinity envisions you. You’ve carried your hard-earned ashes to the mountain. Somewhere in the brighter flame of that summit is a Phoenix laughing at its own rebirth.
About the Author
Vida Norris, Guest
The self-help and “mind-body-spirit” scenes are billion dollar industries, but how has the commodification of spirituality affected our ability to practice it? As sacred principles are co-opted and watered down to sell feel-good mass-market products, those unwilling to sellout spiritual principles are pushed further to the margins – where they are increasingly maligned as “cultist” for putting spirituality ahead of materialism.
Alternative spiritual teachings and groups that encourage a way of life outside of mainstream values are being marginalized and suppressed from all sides.
On one side, what is deceptively being presented to the general public as a viable and appealing alternative to mainstream religious institutions is largely owned by corporations and individuals looking to profit from people’s natural interest in spirituality, making it nothing more than a cleverly disguised offshoot of the mainstream itself.
Corporations and individuals who sell spirituality select fragments of ancient spiritual concepts or teachings and then repackage them to be more appealing as a product to sell. In the process, however, they violate the integrity of the original source and distort the original meaning and purpose.
Additionally, by charging money to access the majority of their products, these merchants of spirituality break the timeless cycle of freely giving and receiving spiritual knowledge (which is a fundamental spiritual principle found within the origins of many spiritual traditions).
This has created a confusing landscape that is difficult to navigate for spiritual seekers looking for truth beyond the mainstream and has begun to change the very definition of what “spirituality” is, as it turns more into an alluring commodity to be bought and sold instead of a way of life.
With corporations having massive funds to market and advertise, along with the power of the media and the charm of spiritual “celebrities,” alternative spiritual groups who don’t conform to this new form of commercialized “spirituality” often can’t “compete” and are drowned out by those selling products designed to have mass appeal. This makes genuine alternative voices increasingly difficult for spiritual seekers to even find.
As corporations push new religious movements to the margins they become more obscure and are seen as outsiders of society. This then makes them more susceptible to vilification by the anti-cult movement with the assistance of the media, which often portray these groups in a sensational way, employing stereotypes that are derived from intolerance and play upon fear of difference and the unknown.
These forces have been successful in cultivating a taboo towards groups of people who seek a spiritual life that does not conform to mainstream values. In many cases the anti-cult movement unjustly describes members of alternative groups with the derogatory label “cult member” because of a commitment and dedication to spiritual ideals over materialistic ones, and for pursuing this commitment outside of a mainstream religious institution.
This taboo has created a hostile (and in some cases dangerous) environment for those seeking to commit their lives to a spiritual lifestyle that doesn’t conform to the parameters of either mainstream religions or the new commercialized spirituality promoted heavily through various large corporations and major media icons.
The end result of this two-fronted assault is that all “socially acceptable” spiritual options are establishment-controlled via either religious institutions or corporations. This creates an illusion of free choice and alternatives, but genuine alternative choices are actually vilified and pushed to the margins.
Alternative Spirituality Throughout History
By “alternative” in this context, I am referring to a spiritual doctrine or practice that differs substantially from the dominant values of the society in which it exists. It is not simply a matter of relative popularity (as these alternatives can in fact become quite popular at times) but rather that these alternatives promote values that are different from those of the mainstream. In academia, these groups are commonly called “new religious movements”. Throughout history there are many examples of spiritual seekers who found alternative groups of people with a spiritual teacher and dedicated their lives to those teachings – for example, the disciples of Jesus or Buddha. Communities like the Christian Gnostics, Essenes, Cathars, Rosicrucians, and Sufis all taught outside of the mainstream, and were forms of alternative spirituality in their time.
Alternative spirituality was also very popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s with the rise of occult groups and esoteric schools like the Theosophical Society and teachers like Gurdjieff. This period also saw a wave of new Christian denominations, such as the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Science.
In the western world during the 1960s and 70s, a surge of alternative spiritual groups appeared on the scene, many of them influenced by an infusion of teachings and spiritual practices from the east. It became very popular to join these new religious movements. The counter-culture at the time was already very open-minded, with many young people leaving their homes and prospective careers to take up an alternative lifestyle that rejected the values of mainstream society.
Today, alternative spirituality still exists much in the same way as it did in the past. While beliefs and practices vary from group to group, many consist of a spiritual lifestyle that requires discipline, commitment, and an aim to transcend the materialistic world and desires, in order to reach salvation or enlightenment.
In the past, it was understood that a life dedicated to those aims would be full of difficulties and contain many challenges to overcome in order to gain spiritual rewards, and this understanding is still prevalent in many alternative spiritual groups practicing today.
Alternative spirituality has always had waves of popularity and suppression, as people have long sought after alternatives to the mainstream, and mainstream institutions have long sought to suppress anything that threatens their dominance.
In more recent times, the burgeoning popularity of new religious movements in the 60s and 70s coincided with birth of two powerful forces that has profoundly changed the way we view alternative spirituality: the self-help industry and the anti-cult movement.
Corporatization of Spirituality via the Self-Help Industry
While self improvement is a concept that has always been around, the self-help industry itself began in the 1900’s1 with a few books and essays promoting personal development as a means of success in life, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
Though these authors became quite popular, and are still heavily quoted even today, the industry itself didn’t completely take off until the last part of the 20th century, right around the time that new age and new religious movements were becoming widely popular.
As more people rejected the mainstream and became interested in various alternative spiritual groups, the self-help industry expanded rapidly, ready to capitalize on the emerging “market,” and quickly developed a niche within which products could be marketed and sold by large corporations.
Before long, new age and self-help products of various description began to stock shelves, co-opting, repackaging, and selling various spiritual ideas, terminology, and practices, often distorting them in the process. People looking to make money off of spirituality set up shop in the western world, much to the dismay of many new age practitioners and alternative groups.2
The self-help movement is now a multi-billion dollar industry that has steadily been increasing as people move away from mainstream religious institutions and consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious.” So much so, that even during the American recession when many industries saw revenues plummet, the self-help industry still remained strong, with Americans alone spending 11 billion dollars in 2008 on self-help books, seminars, CDs, and coaching.
Many people naturally have an interest in alternative forms of spirituality and search out a spiritual practice that is more mystical, personal, or experiential than what traditional religious institutions provide. Unfortunately, this natural interest in alternative spirituality along with the rise in feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness has made it relatively easy for the self-help industry to capitalize on the “market,” using both our insecurities and spiritual yearnings against us.
The notion that you can purchase your spiritual progress, in a sense, has become common place incommercialized spirituality, putting a monetary value on spirituality which limits those who can access it to those who can pay, contradicting what is found in original spiritual teachings found throughout history.3
This is having a major impact on spirituality today, even distorting the very perception of what “spirituality” is held to be.
How Corporatized Spirituality and the Self Help Industry Go Against Spiritual Principles
In this day and age, it may seem normal to have to pay for something we value, especially if we feel it will change our lives in a positive way. But when you look at the origins of spirituality, particularly at spiritual teachers like Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Krishna, they all gave their teachings freely to anyone who was interested, without expectation of financial reward.
Jesus told his disciples “freely ye have received, freely give” 4 and that they should help others spiritually without charge since he too had given his teachings to them for “nothing.”5
Buddha encouraged others to find peace and “share the way.”6 Lao Tzu spoke about how the wise “take care of everyone” and “abandon no one.”7 Lao Tzu also comments on those who attempt to help others spiritually while seeking a superficial reward and its lack of real value:
“Some help others in order to receive blessings and admiration. This is simply meaningless. Some cultivate themselves in part to serve others, in part to serve their own pride. They will understand, at best, half of the truth. But those who improve themselves for the sake of the world—to these, the whole truth of the universe will be revealed. So seek this whole truth, practice it in your daily life, and humbly share it with others. You will enter the realm of the divine.” Lao-Tzu – Hua Hu Ching,
Chapter 16. Translated by Brian Walker
This fundamental principle found within the origins of spirituality has for the most part been utterly lost within commercialized spirituality found today.
Another aspect that you’ll find mixed in with commercialized spirituality is the importance placed on materialistic gain. Many spiritual “entrepreneurs” and celebrities promise to hold the keys to a better life where you can become better looking, own a better house, become more successful and incredibly rich. This is something that also differs greatly from many of the world’s greatest spiritual teachings from ancient history, which in most cases taught about the importance of detachment or denial of temporary and superficial “worldly pleasures” when in pursuit of self-knowledge and enlightenment.
Today, modern day spiritual entrepreneurs are selling spiritual concepts which in many cases they themselves do not even practice. What then gives them the authority to teach these spiritual concepts, if they lack direct experience themselves? By packaging their product in an appealing way, and with all the marketing, branding, and publicity support that large corporations can provide, many of these individuals have gained celebrity, fame, and significant fortune.
According to the Watkin’s Top 100 Spiritual People List of 2015, for example, (a list put together by Watkin’s magazine, which pulls together data based on what spiritual people or topics the majority of people are googling or reading about online) within the top ten you’ll find spiritual “celebrities” whose combined income is in the billions.
Can we really trust a spiritual teaching that is “packaged” for the sake of profit and fame, instead of spiritual value and the sake of others, and is only available to those who can pay?
Selling Salvation: The Fast Track to Enlightenment
The materialistic approach found in various commercial spiritual options today is at odds with the principles found in spiritual teachings and sacred writings of the past. Looking at the greatest spiritual teachings and teachers in ancient history, you can see many striking similarities. Many taught of a personal struggle to change within, and emphasized that reaching “enlightenment,” “liberation,” or “salvation” was the primary goal of life. They taught that this was done with a specific process and that much of it was full of hardship and struggle, but with an ultimate reward spiritually.In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains that those who “bravely restrain themselves,” renouncing “attachment and hatred,” and also abandoning, “selfishness, power, anger, arrogance, and desire” within themselves are those that “reach perfection” and “find the eternal spirit.”8
Jesus also speaks of the many sacrifices that are needed in order to reach the Heavens, and Buddha mentions that to gain enlightenment requires a great deal of perseverance and struggle. You’ll also find it shown allegorically through tales of the struggle between darkness and light, in the literature, myths, and legends of many cultures throughout history, like the Odyssey, the Churning of the Milky Ocean, the battle between Horus and Seth, or the Quest for the Holy Grail.
In this aspect, much of what passes for spirituality today is almost unrecognizable compared with the spiritual teachings of the past. Today, commercialized spirituality has extracted all of the pleasant or positive aspects from ancient spirituality, and have left out the hardship, self-sacrifice, struggle, and standards required to gain spiritual knowledge. The original spiritual concepts become distorted and taken out of context all for the sake of profit, which goes against the fundamental principles taught within the original teachings themselves.
As Krishna points out in the Bhagavad Gita:
“Only the ignorant speak in figurative language. It is they who extol the letter of the scriptures, saying, `There is nothing deeper than this.’ Consulting only their own desires, they construct their own heaven, devising arduous and complex rites to secure their own pleasure and their own power; and the only result is rebirth. While their minds are absorbed with ideas of power and personal enjoyment, they cannot concentrate their discrimination on one point.”
You can trace this kind of co-opting of spirituality throughout history. Many of the original teachers venerated today in mainstream religious institutions were initially rejected, and then later had their teachings taken, changed or interpreted in ways to fit the agenda of mainstream political and religious organizations. This resulted in the formation of powerful religious institutions that strove to stamp their authority over those teachings and control how they could be used.
An editorial by Laurence Kirmayer of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, comments on the potential downsides to taking spiritual concepts and practices out of context and using them in isolation, instead of as a whole spiritual process as was taught in many of the original spiritual teachings. He points out:
“Often, happiness, well-being, or following one’s bliss is framed in terms that reﬂect the political economy of consumer capitalism and neo-liberal eﬃciency in which feeling good itself becomes both commodity and goal. While reducing or eliminating suﬀering may be a worth-while goal, certain forms of suﬀering may be essential for empathy, solidarity, and depth of fellow feeling. Moreover, there is a sort of “tyranny of happiness” that in its zeal for feeling good threatens to drain life of any meaning beyond hedonic pursuit and (temporary) fulﬁllment.
In many ways, the moral orientation of Buddhism as seen explicitly in the Four Noble Truths and the teaching stories surrounding the Buddha’s own life directly challenge this shallow notion of well-being by insisting that even when one is well oﬀ, life will inevitably bring illness, suﬀering, aging, and death. In the face of this stark existential reality, happiness must be understood as something other than the successful pursuit of ﬂeeting satisfaction. For Buddhism, the end lies in seeing through the delusions of the self that is so deeply attached to seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Articulating this ethics of well-being is an essential feature of Buddhism that may disappear when mindfulness is turned to purely instrumental ends (Huntington, 2015).” – Laurence Kirmayer
After taking out the struggle, hardship, and serious commitment, what is left is a feel-good, watered-down version of spirituality that misleads the spiritual seeker from the original meaning and purpose of the spiritual teachings of the past, while simultaneously deceiving them into feeling like they are partaking in something that will bring them closer to the Divine and self-realization.
This reduces the seeker to become nothing more than a repeat customer going from one spiritual “best seller” to the next, as the teachings are so fragmented from their original source (and in some cases, even plagiarized) that real spiritual “enlightenment” or “liberation” never comes.
Persecution of Alternative Spiritual Groups Throughout History
Looking back throughout history, it is noticeable that the vilification of spiritual groups that deviate from mainstream values has long been part of an agenda to control and stifle those interested in pursuing a lifestyle dedicated to alternative spirituality. In the past, political and religious leaders made decisions on what spiritual texts and teachings would be accessible and acceptable within society. Those trying to practice spirituality outside of their structure could then be labelled as heretics, witches, or blasphemers.
At various periods in time, many alternative spiritual groups were violently persecuted and driven underground by authorities supporting and promoting mainstream religious or political ideals. The Gnostics were condemned as heretics and the Cathars suffered a bloody persecution for teaching a doctrine that challenged the status quo, and for providing a spiritual avenue for people independent of dominant institutions.
The teachings and efforts by those alternative groups directly clashed with mainstream religious institutions that sought to monopolize spirituality and insisted only they had the means and right to offer people salvation.
During the inquisition, people who practiced spirituality contrary to the church were targeted as heretics, and some were tortured or killed. Many groups and mystery schools who wanted to continue existing were driven underground to practice in secret to avoid persecution. This early suppression of alternative spirituality served to strengthen the power of mainstream religious institutions.
Now, a similar formula is repeating, only instead of heretic, the new label for alternative spiritual groups is “dangerous cult.” Instead of being burnt at the stake, you can be accused of being a member of a cult and have your reputation destroyed, lose friendships, relationships, or even careers – not to mention, the loss of personal freedom that comes with having your religious choice questioned, ridiculed and effectively suppressed.
This modern form of persecution is in part a backlash against those alternative spiritual groups that became popular in the 1960s and 70s for providing a tangible way for people to live a spirituality-oriented life that is independent of consumerism and less controlled by the established systems in society. This would obviously run counter to the interests of those who profit from this consumerism and those seeking control and power over society.
Interest in alternative spirituality also upset the parents whose adult children turned their backs on conventional life, often giving up their possessions, education, and the chance of a successful career to join a new religious movement. Many parents began networking to try and “rescue” their grown children whose religious choices they could not control, in order to force them back into mainstream society and a more normal life.
Out of this developed what’s known by academics as the “anti-cult movement,” where secular groups and individuals began working together to label alternative spiritual groups as “cults” and to provide a way for people to remove and “deprogram” individuals who had joined them. Many of these professional “deprogrammers” carried out horrific abuse on the people they were “deprogramming,” and many were kidnapped, and physically, emotionally and even sexually abused.
The anti-cult organizations and prominent figures began to lobby the government and the media, gradually turning coverage on new religious movements from what was initially portrayed as “exotic” and “interesting,” into something “dangerous” and “threatening.”
This fear of alternative groups escalated intensely with the events of Jonestown, and a few other tragedies, which changed how we view alternative spiritual groups, as the word ‘cult’ became negatively associated with these events. Negative perceptions of almost all alternative spiritual groups then became naturalized and repeatedly reinforced in the public consciousness, from decades of biased, negative and sensationalized media representations.
The anti-cult movement has used a set of cult criteria in order to define new religious movements as cults and to “protect” unsuspecting individuals from falling into the wrong hands, so to speak. These questionable criteria are designed to put any group that deviates from mainstream values under the “cult” umbrella, meaning that basically any group of people practicing spirituality outside of the mainstream and whose members display dedication and commitment to its doctrine could be labelled a “cult,” even if their doctrine or way of life is completely benign. In fact, because this cult criteria is so sweeping, you could essentially apply the same “cult leader” label to historical spiritual figures like Jesus or Buddha, and the label of “cult members” to their followers.
While there have definitely been groups whose values and practices have been dangerous or harmful, this is not reflective of the vast majority of alternative spiritual groups. The all encompassing assumption that all new religious movements are likely to be “dangerous cults” has now created an environment where people who display serious interest in spirituality and want to dedicate their lives to it unjustly face hostility, ridicule, and persecution, effectively marginalizing them from society.
Implications for Spiritual Seekers
Unfortunately, the opportunity for people to practice spirituality freely has become extremely limited. The socially acceptable choices seem to be between mainstream religions or watered-down, corporate-backed, commercialized spirituality. Anyone exploring anything outside of that runs the risk of being accused of or perceived as being a member of a “dangerous cult”. That is an outcome that results in terrible associations that have the ability to destroy lives, as well as greatly limiting the potential for development of human consciousness in a serious way.
Genuine alternative spirituality is essentially being drowned out by spiritual businessmen selling appealing but shallow options for salvation and inner peace. Meanwhile, those who practice or pursue alternative spirituality seriously are being demonized by anti-cult proponents, and innocent and benign spiritual groups are made to seem like dangerous, criminal operations.
Commercialized spirituality and the efforts of anti-cult activists to persecute new religious movements have two important things in common: they both effectively limit people’s ability to explore spirituality outside of the mainstream, and they both masquerade as something positive and helpful. While commercialized spirituality can appear like a wonderful influence – advocating peace, and happiness – it can also serve as a justification for hedonism and materialism while parasitically using and distorting the messages of spirituality while obscuring the source. Similarly, the anti-cult movement can appear as a helpful and noble protector of society from dangerous forces, but beneath the surface it effectively functions as a modern day witch hunt or inquisition.
Put together, these forces serve to drown out truly alternative spirituality with a wave of more socially acceptable and better marketed products while simultaneously vilifying it as something dangerous. This amounts to a subtle yet major suppression of spiritual freedom, which takes away the chance for people to find and dedicate themselves to the spirituality of their choice without interference.
The decision to live out a spiritual life, (or not to) has always been a part of the human experience, and it is still considered a fundamental human right; however, that right is at risk of being further eroded if those who are interested in pursuing it do not speak out.
About the Author
Vida Norris has always felt there is more to life than what is considered public knowledge. She is dedicated to helping re-establish spirituality in the world by uncovering and exposing the hidden agendas that are suffocating it.
Acknowledgments: Matthew Butler and Justin Norris contributed to this article.
Frank Huguenard, Contributor
A new documentary film series is being produced by filmmaker Frank Huguenard that focuses on healing and consciousness. The first film in the series, The Physics of The Soul has just been released and makes a clear, logical and convincing argument for how the conventional worldview for any biological organism is inherently incomplete without accounting for a conscious, innately intelligent, vital force governing homeostasis and regulating health.
The film features such notables as Dr.Bill Bengston, Dr. Larry Dossey, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD., Dr. Norm Shealy, Adam Curry, Bruce Lipton PhD, Garrett Moddel PhD, William Tiller PhD, Dr. Stuart Hameroff and author Gary Zukav. Upon watching the film Zukav had this to say:
“The Physics of the Soul is the most cogent and intelligently presented vista I have encountered of the evolution of science that is underway. It points directly toward the species-wide transformation of human consciousness that is in motion.”
The film, which is intended for a main stream audience, takes a look at placebos, studies in consciousness and some of the history of modern science but it’s real strength comes in the form of questioning the legitimacy of experimental design. Said Frank Huguenard about his approach to the film “I didn’t want to do yet another film on random number generators and double slit experiments, that’s been done over and over again”. Rather than attempt to prove scientifically things that can’t possibly ever be proven, such as reincarnation, out of body experiences, near death experiences and so forth, the film instead argues that materialism itself has been falsified.
Out of the three possible alternatives for understanding the relationship between human consciousness and the physical world (Materialism, Panpsychism and Idealism), materialism is the only theory from which we can make testable predictions. If consciousness is indeed an emergent property of chemical and electrical activity in the brain, as the conventional view holds, then we can make certain falsifiable predictions. For example, people should not be able to effect others with their minds alone and should not be able to effect random number generators or experience pre-sentience.
Based on the fact that all of these predictions (and more) have all been falsified, not only has Materialism been proven incorrect, but Carl Popper himself has been falsified. In fact, one could even argue that after examining the data in consciousness studies and concluding materialism must be wrong, we may say that any researcher who engages in materialistic based scientific endeavors could be considered a pseudo-scientist.
“The film is elegant, beautiful, and powerful. The segues
are eloquent and tie the whole thing together. The film’s
“architecture” is seamless. I’m honored to have had a part in
it.” ~Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D.
The series of films is currently slated to be a six part series on healing and will present a new model on biology that is consciousness-centric and from which we can gain new insights and understanding into the nature of life. Part II in the series, Bioenergetic Anatomy, which will focus on the relationship between the human subtle field and our gross physical bodies, should be released in late 2016.
About the Author
Frank Huguenard holds a degree in science from Purdue University and has spent decades in product development in Silicon Valley prior to embarking on a career in documentary film production. He draws on his research in the fields of combination of psychology, physics, wisdom traditions, sociology and history. You can see his films at www.beyondmefilms.com.
– Reprinted with permission from The Society for Scientific Exploration.
– See Also: Article from The Journal Of Science & Healing.
V. Susan Ferguson, Contributor
We are now in the closing years of this Kali Yuga. The question is:
“If this is just a yuga and it is all destiny why bother with anything at all and just kick up our heels until the party is over? Am I supposed to try with those who are awake to all of this and save earth, or is all of this inevitable?”
As always it is completely up to every individual what you choose to do with the time remaining. You can choose to do nothing. All that matters is your own consciousness, meaning the conscious state you are in when you do anything. You are the One veiled as the temporal identity-self you currently inhabit, which is like a ‘data-collecting vehicle,’ as we are all amassing our own experiences throughthe illusion of perceived Time & Space. The ultimate goal is Enlightenment, meaning to remember that we are and have always been God-Consciousness — no matter who we have been, or what we have done. Yes, even the demonic is the One. How could there be a grand cosmic drama in a polarity universe without the Dark side?
Therefore the choice is yours as to whether or not you “try with those who are awake to all of this and save earth.” The Earth will always be saved. She is eternal, the Goddess, Prakriti’s Matrix, Gaia, that portion of the One God-Consciousness that provides the Shakti power to weave the temporal illusory holographic matrix and manifest multiplicity throughout eternity.
So why do we fight?
Some of us will choose to fight the demonic because we are warriors, Spiritual Warriors — not warriors with ray guns & nukes like the demons, those unfortunate humans who have been assimilated into believing they are the master race entitled to rape & pillage the earth of her resources and all mankind of its life and hope. We fight to create a frequency of God-Consiousness, a waveform that can cover the planet and infuse every consciousness with integrity and the Remembrance of Truth, Satya, the eternal Dharma, the metaphysical Law that is the substratum of this apparent Woven Universe.
I went through this choice thing. For seven years I was ‘safe’ in New Zealand with my Kiwi husband and permanent residency status. But, I was lonely for my own people, for freedom loving Americans. I was weary of being an ex-patriot and all the isolation that comes with it. As the years passed, I watched the Global Corporatist Regime and their insane with greed 1% destroy the middle class, corrupt the Bill of Rights and the Constitution beyond recognition — and I found myself longing to return home.
By the time I reached the Olympic Peninsula WA, I was not in good health and I had lost most of my muscle. Yet, even then I did not quite connect the source of my un-diagnosable multiple illnesses with the intense chemtrails I had been exposed to in Charlottesville VA, in 2005 before I left for New Zealand. I carried with me, down to the Southern Hemisphere, the aluminum, barium, strontium, andMorgellons inside my frail body. My symptoms grew worse.
Little did I realize that the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State was being turned into an electronic warfare training zone for the US Navy — where chemtrails were being sprayed dumped daily and radio frequency microwave portable emitter towers were being used to enhance the military’s exercises, some of which they term ‘jamming’.
I began to take photographs of the aerosol spraying and the electrified skies. I even succeeded in capturing the toxic filament fibers in the lens of my flashlight — perhaps ‘spoofer spray’ used to make the planes invisible. I have seen chemtrails being laid across the sky where there are no planes. The EMFs make me sick and weak, but I’m taking the natural antidotes for all this massive assault on my now 70 year old bones. And I’m determined.
On the Battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita
This moment in time is exactly the same moment that generated the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna is on the battlefield facing vast armies and yet he has doubts. Krishna clears his doubts in the dialogue that is the Bhagavad Gita. This sacred book is perhaps the most important and valuable ever written. A real user’s manual. It describes the eternal human dilemma. When faced with the decision to fight or turn the other cheek, what do we do?
Krishna tells Arjuna that no one ever dies. The forms on the battlefield, the men are all temporal appearances. We are all the One eternal, imperishable, immutable. Arjuna is a warrior. It is his Dharma, his duty to fight the demons, meaning those unfortunate beings that have allowed the demonic to capture their consciousness — even if they are his family, teachers and friends. At the end of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna tells Krishna that his doubts have been cleared and he is ready.
Wisemen Do Not Grieve!
The Bhagavad Gita II.2
Krishna speaks to Arjuna in the middle of the battlefield before the battle:
Why has this mood come over you at this bad time, Arjuna, this cowardice unseemly to the noble, not leading to heaven, dishonorable? Do not act like a coward. It does not become you! Rid yourself of this vulgar weakness of heart, stand up, enemy burner!
You sorrow over men you should not be sorry for, and yet you speak to sage issues. The wise are not sorry for either the living or the dead. Never was there a time when I did not exist, or you, or these kings, not shall any of us cease to exist hereafter.
There is no becoming of what did not already exist, there is no unbecoming of what does exist…
It is never born nor does it die;
Nor once that it is will it ever not be;
Unborn, unending, eternal, and ancient
It is not killed when the body is killed.
After Arjuna has listened to Krishna’s eternal wisdom that is the dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:
XVIII.71 & 72
…he who, filled with faith [shraddhavan] and trust, listens to this, will be released and attain to the blessed worlds of those who have acted right.
My delusion is gone, and by your Grace I have recovered my wits. Here I stand with no more doubts.
**Translation from J.A.B. van Buitenen, The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata; The University of Chicago Press, 1981.
We are All God
The war we face is a War of Consciousness. We have been lied to on such a monumental scale that it is difficult for even the most astute of us the clear away the miasma of amnesia keeping us from liberating Truth. The Truth does set you free. This is the main reason I chose to leave New Zealand and to come home to the USA and fight to reveal the Truth that we are all God, that God dwells within every man, woman & child. Every layer of mendacity that is lifted, brings each of us closer to knowing that we are part of this substratum that weaves the Universe, that we are THAT ONE now and always have been.
That is my choice. I cannot choose for anyone but me. But I do know that I love God with all my Heart; and I know that poisoning your own people from the sky is WRONG. Not a God thing. Dropping aluminum known to be linked to dementia, and barium a poison, and the other toxic metals including the very weird Morgellons on unsuspecting citizens, the elderly and children, who are now considered as little more than collateral damage, is indeed very wrong — deliberately evil. So I will go on with the others in my own small, perhaps insignificant way hoping to increase the awareness of what is now occurring all over the planet as these monsters poison the land, oceans, the sky, and their own people.
I have some heroes, some brave ones who give me courage, who have for many years tirelessly continued to endeavor to get through to us that our beloved countries — not just America — have been taken over by the globalist corporate regime that no longer serves the people, but only serves the 1% who seem to have gone totally mad in their obsession to conquer the entire planet and her resources. They want to dominate the world with what they call full spectrum dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum. That’s insane. My heroes are Dane Wigington, Craig B. Hulet, and Paul Craig Roberts, just to name three. Thank God, there are so many more.
So it’s up to you. You decide. You can choose to do nothing or you can join the War and become a Spiritual Warrior. Can we keep our Enlightened God-Consciousness no matter what? Can we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, which in this era is the warping EM spectrum being generated by radio frequency & microwave emitters, breathing the toxic particulates in chemtrails, and yet all the while still remain in God-Consciousness — even forgiving the others who hold us of no value as the great Master Jesus and others forgave?
Those of you who have children and grandchildren, don’t you owe it to them to live in the highest integrity that you can in this time? I don’t have children, but I feel we owe the Truth to them. Many will survive the transition, and they will carry the Truth in their Hearts into the next era, the next cycle of time. Surely this is our legacy to these innocents.
The Power of the One that created this Universe is so totally immensely far beyond and far greater than any chemtrail, radiation emitter or active-denial weapon. God is greater than the radiation coming from Fukushima, the methane now spewing in California and the methane hydrates poised to be released in the Arctic. God is greater than any nuke.
We are THAT One. We are not our bodies. Death is inevitable for all of us. Wisemen do not grieve. Consciousness is our choice, our free will. God-Consciousness is our inevitable destination, because God-Consciousness is our Home, our Source. Ask your self every day, every moment what consciousness are you in? — as this Kali Yuga comes to a close and the memory of who we really are Returns. World without End. We meet in the Heart.
Wes Annac, Contributor
I’d like to introduce a new writing series entitled The Teachers Speak. Here, we’ll explore what various well-known spiritual figures have said about an array of subjects, including God, enlightenment, the spiritual path and the different ways we all travel it.
I’ve written reports like this before, but the intention is to share them more regularly with more diverse material. In doing so, we can discuss the similarities and dissimilarities between what various spiritual figures say while exploring the philosophical and spiritual meaning of their words.
It seems appropriate for this first article to share guidance from Jiddu Krishnamurti, a respected spiritual teacher who encouraged liberation from the distractions, desires and habits of the mind.
As we’ll learn here, the mind will go to any extent to reinforce its existence (thus reinforcing our existence as humans who are separate from the All), but passive awareness of everything we think, feel and experience can keep us from being susceptible to the mind’s conditioning.
First, Krishnamurti tells us that the mind depends on sensations for survival.
“Sensations are of the mind, as sexual appetites are. The mind breeds the appetite, the passion, through remembrance, from which it derives gratifying sensations.
“The mind is composed of differing and conflicting interests or desires, with their exclusive sensations; and they clash when one or the other begins to predominate, thus creating a problem.
“Sensations are both pleasant and unpleasant, and the mind holds to the pleasant, thus becoming a slave to them. … The mind is the maker of problems and so we cannot resolve them.” (1)
When it’s allowed to, the surface mind constantly indulges in obsessions.
“It is not good my rebelling against what is, the actual. The recognition of what is does not lead to smug contentment and ease. When I yield to what is, there is not only the understanding of it, but there also comes a certain quietness to the surface mind.
“If the surface mind is not quiet, it indulges in obsessions, actual or imaginary; it gets caught up in some social reform or religious conclusion: the Master, the saviour, the ritual, and so on. It is only when the surface mind is quiet that the hidden can reveal itself. The hidden must be exposed; but this is not possible if the surface mind is burdened with obsessions, worries.” (2)
If we don’t resolve the conflict between our conscious and subconscious, we’ll be more susceptible to obsessions and further distraction.
“Since the surface mind is constantly in some kind of agitation, conflict is inevitable between the upper and the deeper levels of mind; and as long as this conflict is not resolved, obsessions increase.
“After all, obsessions are a means of escape from conflict. All escapes are similar, though it is obvious that some are socially more harmful.
“When one is aware of the total process of obsession or of any other problem, only then is there freedom from the problem. To be extensively aware, there must be no condemnation or justification of the problem; awareness must be choiceless.
“To be so aware demands wide patience and sensitivity; it requires eagerness and sustained attention so that the whole process of thinking can be observed and understood.” (3)
The ‘upper’ and ‘deeper’ minds are similar in that they’re both outcomes of the past.
“The upper and the deeper mind are not dissimilar; they are both made up of conclusions, memories, they are both the outcome of the past. They can supply an answer, a conclusion, but they are incapable of dissolving the problem.
“The problem is dissolved only when both the upper and the deeper mind are silent, when they are not projecting positive or negative conclusions. There is freedom from the problem only when the whole mind is utterly still, choicelessly aware of the problem; for only then the maker of the problem is not.” (4)
It seems from what Krishnamurti has said that only when the mind is still and we passively observe life can we bring an end to the conflicts on which the mind thrives.
It’ll be locked in patterns of craving and gratification if we don’t slow it down and become aware of the hold it has on most of us.
With this judgment-free observation and resulting inner change, we can free ourselves from habits and addictions; the biggest of which is our addiction to the pleasures of the external world.
A lot of spiritual seekers aren’t there yet, including me, but this is why we have teachers like Krishnamurti; to help show the way for those who are often lost but try their best.
In the quotes to come, you’ll see that Krishnamurti was certain that the only way to liberate ourselves is to calmly observe and subsequently depart the mind’s limitation.
In this passage, he tells us that thought usually clouds the experience of what is.
“The understanding of what is does not depend upon thought, for thought itself is an escape. To think about the problem is not to understand it. It is only when the mind is silent that the truth of what is unfolds.” (5)
Thought binds us to time, which binds us to the external world and all of its seemingly important qualities.
“Thought is binding; thought can only lead to the vast expanse of time, the field in which knowledge, action, virtue, have importance.” (6)
We discover the ‘new’ when thought is silent.
“Thought can only deny or assert, it cannot discover or search out the new. Thought cannot come upon the new; but when thought is silent, then there may be the new.” (7)
Since thought is a product of memory, it keeps us from bliss when we let it intervene.
“There cannot be the experiencing of the unknown until the mind ceases to experience. Thought is the expression of experience; thought is a response of memory; and as long as thinking intervenes, there can be no experiencing.” (8)
The mind can’t grasp or connect with the silence that induces bliss, and words can’t properly explain how it feels.
“If this silence were an illusion the mind would have had some relationship to it, it would either reject it or cling to it, reason it away or with subtle satisfaction identify itself with it; but since it has no relationship to this silence, the mind cannot accept or deny it.
“The mind can operate only with its own projections, with the things which are of itself; but it has no relationship with the things that are not of its own origin. The silence is not of the mind, and so the mind cannot cultivate or become identified with it. The content of this silence is not to be measured by words.” (9)
The mind is only passively aware, he tells us, during a true meditative experience. The mind can’t really be called an observer by then, because it has no point of reference with which to identify the label (or anything else).
“The mind was not functioning; it was alert and passive, and though cognizant of the breeze playing among the leaves, there was no movement of any kind within itself. There was no observer who measured and observed. There was only THAT, and THAT was aware of itself without measure. It had no beginning and no word.” (10)
In our final quote, he tells us that the mind, when controlled by others or given too much control over us, destroys love.
“It is the mind with its demands and fears, its attachments and denials, its determinations and urges, that destroys love.” (11)
As you can see, Krishnamurti’s solution to the spiritual crisis plaguing the world is to stop being ruled by the mind.
It isn’t that the mind is bad; it’s an incredibly sophisticated, complex instrument that helps us survive in this world through the power of instinct, but our personal problems and our general lack of enlightenment stem from succumbing to its every desire and giving it all of our power.
However awkward or boring meditation might seem to some, it gives us the opportunity to calm the mind and get into a space where it’s too subdued to condition us. With time and practice, we can exist in this state constantly and help others see that their susceptibility to the mind is one main cause of their unhappiness.
Beyond the mind exists true love, which is a power unlike any we have yet to witness, and this gives us more of a reason to transcend the mind’s conditioning and invite this power to express itself.
It awaits anyone who’s willing to calm the mind, and if we open up to it, we’ll quickly realize that the higher consciousness with which we replaced our habits and misguided desires is infinitely more rewarding.
(1) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 1972; c1974, 102.
(2) Ibid., 115-6.
(3) Loc. Cit.
(4) Ibid., 137.
(5) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. Second Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1967; c1958, 41.
(6) Ibid., 167.
(7) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Ibid., 44.
(8) Ibid., 32.
(9) Ibid., 58.
(10) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. Second Series. Ibid., 242.
(11) Ibid., 223
About the Author
Wes Annac is the author of The Culture of Awareness. The Culture of Awareness features daily spiritual and alternative news, as well as original articles and more. Its purpose is to awaken and uplift by providing material that’s spiritually inspired and/or related to the fall of the planetary elite and our entrance into a positive future.
Wes can also be found on Facebook (Wes Annac and The Culture of Awareness) and Twitter.
Tim Boucher, New Dawn
Blessed is he who has a soul, blessed is he who has none, but woe and grief to him who has it in embryo.1
– G.I. Gurdjieff
The United States Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims the mystical truth that “all men are created equal.” What happens after that, though, is anybody’s guess. Once we’ve been created equally, does that mean all our lives are the same? Do the essential differences between us come from genetics, environment, free will, the soul? Do we all end up in the same place again when we die? These questions have excited the myth-making faculties of humankind from antiquity down through to the present day.
Working for a Soul
The esoteric teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, in many ways, fly in the face of traditional Western religious thought. Whereas it is accepted as a given within Judeo-Christian tradition that each human is born with a soul, Gurdjieff does not let us off so easy. Active in the early part of the 20th century, this Greek-Armenian mystic travelled the world, synthesising spiritual disciplines into a unique path calledThe Fourth Way. He taught that human existence is a kind of waking sleep, in which we live more or less automatically, unconscious and unaware of ourselves. He even went to the extreme of suggesting that humans are not born with souls at all, and that we can only create one while alive through intense personal suffering and what he called “work.” If we are not successful in this venture, he taught that our identities would not survive the shock of death, that we would “die like dogs” and that the ever-hungry Moon would gobble up our energy as part of its own evolution of consciousness.
It’s a teaching which sounds strange to most people today, but which was perhaps more common to the ancient world. Consider the words of the Gospel of Philip, an ancient Gnostic codex recovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945:
Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing.2
Like the other Gnostic texts recovered at Nag Hammadi, this type of information was declared heretical, banned and except for in a few lucky cases, completely destroyed by the early Catholic Church in an effort to consolidate both its teachings and its power structure. The Catholic story-system pivots around the idea that we will be resurrected at the end of time, not transmuted to higher levels of understanding and awareness here in our lifetimes. The Gnostic texts, on the other hand, seem to teach that humans are born with a spark of divinity which can either be left undeveloped or guarded and fanned into a full-on blaze.
With the popularity of books like the Da Vinci Code, and a renewed interest in Gnosticism, many people today are left wondering why these alternative esoteric Christian teachings were so viciously eradicated. Who benefits by suppressing this ancient gnosis, and what happens to those of us left in the dark as a result?
If Gurdjieff and the Gospel of Philip are at all correct in their teachings, then it may be that by waiting for our reward in the afterlife, by not working feverishly on our souls like a life raft onGilligan’s Island, then we are lost. We miss our chance. We remain soulless automatons, vanishing at death or being consumed by insidious forces (if not well before then).
The Inauthentic Human
Science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick saw something very similar to this scenario happening in today’s world. Through the lens of trashy sci-fi novels, he explored questions of what is ultimately real, and what constitutes the authentic human. He used outlandish and bizarre plot devices to fling his characters through inverted realities and distorted mindscapes. And from his explorations, he came to believe that:
… [T]he bombardment of pseudo-realities begins to produce inauthentic humans very quickly, spurious humans – as fake as the data pressing at them from all sides.… Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans.3
Similar themes appear in popular and fringe culture. In the movie The Matrix, we see a false reality maintained by mysterious agents who can slip in and out of the bodies of ordinary people as though they were clothing. The paranormal investigations of people like John Keel, Jacques Vallee and others also posit the existence of ultraterrestrials, a race of entities who evolved right alongside us on the planet Earth. They are thought to camouflage themselves, adapting imagery pulled from the human minds and cultures they interact with. In other words, they appeared to the ancients as angels and demons, to medieval people as fairies and goblins, and to us today as alien visitors.
Others threaten that the soulless human can play host to these and other types of entities and energies, acting as a sort of empty vessel, or organic portal.4 Carlos Castaneda’s don Juan echoes this sentiment in The Active Side of Infinity, suggesting that malicious beings or “predators” seek to control us by “giving us their mind” which is filled with “covetousness, greed, and cowardice,” and which keeps us “complacent, routinary and egomaniacal.”5
Unfortunately for us though, it is not just science fiction authors and occultists who have explored ideas like this. In “real life,” similar notions of humans as fundamentally without soul took root among psychologists who espoused the philosophies of Behaviourism and Eliminative Materialism in the middle part of the 20th century. In short, these thinkers (perhaps paradoxically) believed that internal human states were nothing but a fiction, a primitive “folk psychology,” and that only externally observable behaviour had any real significance. They saw concepts such as belief, desire, fear, love – even the mind and soul – as untenable, unscientific and therefore ultimately unreal and useless. Noted Behaviourist B.F. Skinner encapsulated the quest to abolish “inner man” in his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, with this chilling passage:
What is being abolished is autonomous man – the inner man, the homunculus, the possessing demon, the man defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity.
His abolition has long been overdue. Autonomous man is a device used to explain what we cannot explain in any other way. He has been constructed from our ignorance, and as our understanding increases, the very stuff of which he is composed vanishes. Science does not dehumanise man, it de-homunculises him, and it must do so if it is to prevent the abolition of the human species. To manqua man we readily say good riddance. Only by dispossessing him can we turn to real causes of human behaviour. Only then can we turn from the inferred to the observed, from the miraculous to the natural, from the inaccessible to the manipulable.6
At first glance, strong thematic similarities tie together the cores of Skinner’s and esoteric philosophies such as that of Gurdjieff. Both strip humans of any kind of inherent soul. Skinner, however, seems to revel in the thought, because it means that human behaviour may be controlled by those with the power and drive to do so. It is, in essence, the Holy Grail of scientifically-driven totalitarian systems of governance. Applied to world events, it may help explain the inhuman atrocities we see played out on the global scale every day. On the other hand though, we have folks like Gurdjieff who follow in the footsteps of the ancient Gnostics, and after introducing us to our fundamental dilemma rather than celebrating it, chart for us a way out of the shackles of an empty, automatic and manipulable existence.
Is God Insane?
In his ground-breaking 1967 book, The Politics of Experience, psychiatrist R.D. Laing put forward the still-revolutionary idea that mental illness is not illness at all. Instead, it is (or can be) a healing process whereby an individual overcomes the impossibility of their own situation, and the insanity of the culture at large. In his vision, it was not individual humans who were fundamentally disturbed, but the culture which was dangerous and insane, warping and distorting the natural human into the artificial confines of local cultural existence.
Ancient Gnostics took this idea several steps further. Certain sects taught that this material world was created by the Demiurge, an insane creator god who was conceived in error, and who egotistically took himself to be the only true god. Tradition identifies him either as the angry Yahweh of the Old Testament (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”), as Satan in his role as Prince of this world, or with more overtly Gnostic variants such as Yaldabaoth, Samael or Saklas.
Philip K. Dick mythologised this hierarchy of institutional insanity into what he called the Black Iron Prison, which is ruled over by a never-ending, infinitely destructive Empire. In his Tractates Cryptica Scriptura,7 an esoteric addendum to his novel VALIS, he wrote, “The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.” Thus it would seem that the only rational course for an individual to become and stay sane is to overcome his culture, his society, and maybe even God himself (or at least the deranged being which the Gnostics believed masquerades as God).
“Against the Empire,” Dick continued, “is posed the living information, the plasmate or physician…” Dick identified this cosmic force with the Holy Spirit, the Christian concept of the Logos, or the divine Word (hence, living information) which was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. Like the ancient Gnostics, Dick believed that this divine entity – the plasmate – could fuse with, not just Jesus, but with potentially anyone who was worthy. There is no indication that Dick believed humans fundamentally lacked souls, but he seems to have believed that the plasmate healed and restored people to sanity, and to their natural whole state.
The Secret Gray-Robed Christians
Dick himself underwent a series of transformative spiritual experiences which formed the basis of his understanding of the human situation. In his novelsVALIS and Radio Free Albemuth, he fictionalised these experiences, describing numerous encounters in dreams, hallucinations and waking life with a benevolent higher order entity which he variously described as a cosmic artificial intelligence, ancient alien beings, the living information of the plasmate, and of divinity itself. Both his fictional characters and he himself underwent extreme pain, personal turmoil and intense soul-searching, which perhaps could be correlated to what Gurdjieff meant as the “work” required to fashion oneself a soul or subtle body with which to escape the obliteration of death.
The exact nature of that work seems to deal with cultivating an intense awareness and a sustained “presence” within oneself at all times – as opposed to absent-mindedness, or living on auto-pilot, which seems to be the natural state of affairs. Here we may once again turn to the ancient Gnostics for inspiration and amplification. From The Apocryphon of John, another text recovered at Nag Hammadi, we find:
When the life-spirit increases and the illuminating power of the body strengthens the soul, no one can lead you astray into the lessening of your humanity. But those on whom the counterfeit spirit preys are alienated from humanity and deviated…8
In Dick’s worlds, once you have crossed that threshold and reconnected to the universal soul (or created a soul, as Gurdjieff’s teachings might indicate), others who have done the same will be revealed to you, so that you may strengthen one another and work toward a common goal. In VALIS, Dick referred to these kindred spirits as Secret Gray Robed Christians (or homoplasmates – those who had “cross-bonded” with the living information of Christ or the Holy Spirit, thereby attaining eternal life). Upon their shoulders lay the immense task of nothing less than the overthrow of the Black Iron Prison itself:
Who had built the prison – and why – he could not say. But he could discern one good thing: the prison lay under attack. An organisation of Christians, not regular Christians such as those who attended church every Sunday and prayed, but secret early Christians wearing light gray-coloured robes, had started an assault on the prison, and with success. The secret, early Christians were filled with joy.
Fat, in his madness, understood the reason for their joy. This time the early, secret, gray-robed Christians would get the prison, rather than the other way around.9
The idea that not all humans have souls is a fascinating line of thought which invariably leads to dangerous and even violent territory when employed by the agents of Empire. One need look no further than Nazi Germany’s wholesale execution of what they claimed were the “sub-human” Jews as vivid examples of the extravagant danger of these ideas. It is one thing to explore mystical truth for the purposes of personal development; it is quite another altogether to use it as an excuse and explanation for violent, thoughtless, and inhuman action.
The choice, ultimately, seems to rest in the hands of the individual as to whether or not we develop our divine spark into a full-fledged soul, or if we let it languish in darkness. We may all be created equal, but what do we do after that? The 12th century Sufi, Farid ud-Din Attar, in his “Conference of the Birds,” offered the following:
A Sufi woke one night and said to himself “It seems to me that the world is like a chest in which we are all put and the lid is shut down, and we give ourselves up to foolishness. When death lifts the lid, he who has acquired wings, soars away to eternity, but he who has not, stays in the chest a prey to a thousand tribulations. Make sure then that the bird of ambition acquires wings of aspiration, and give to your heart and reason the ecstasy of the soul. Before the lid of the chest is opened become a bird of the spirit, ready to spread your wings.10
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About the Author
TIM BOUCHER is a freelance author living in Seattle, WA, USA. He ran the popular website, Pop Occulture, known for its compelling analysis and community-driven conversation on the fringes of pop culture and its intersection with religion, spirituality, conspiracy theory, psychology, psychedelics and the paranormal.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 100 (Jan-Feb 2007).
© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.
© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.
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Cortland Pfeffer & Irwin Ozborne, Contributors
Christmas has become symbolic of all that is wrong with our society. Much like the Grinch, whose heart was three sizes too small; our hearts have diminished in size due to the culture of fear, conformity, and consumerism in which we reside. As a result, we have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas, and celebrate it in ways that are in direct opposition to its original intent.
This year, on Black Friday, I was reminded about the true meaning of Christmas. I choose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but rather honor the Day of Mourning for our Native American brothers and sisters. I surrounded myself in nature and spent time at a cabin in small-town Western Wisconsin. The sights and sounds were serene. It was a true “silent” and “holy” night with no one around, yet I was far from being alone as I was immersed in the thriving and picturesque landscape provided by mother earth. And it was there, at the local gas station, that I re-discovered what the meaning of Christmas is really about.
Black Friday has become as much a part of the holiday season in the United States as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Families anxiously await the moment the retail stores open for those extraordinary deals, and quickly abandon their feelings of gratitude and “thanks” by indulging in competition and materialism, literally rioting, fighting with strangers for bargains as though we were fighting for our survival. Any sense of gratitude we may have tapped into are quickly banished, and consumerism takes hold once again.
I find it ironic that we published an article about the foundations of Thanksgiving last month --Celebrating Genocide: The Real Story of Thanksgiving — and were slammed by many readers for “ruining Thanksgiving”. We were told that it’s not a celebration of the dispossession of the American Indians, but that “the meaning has changed and it is about being thankful and having gratitude.” But, while this sounds good in theory, it is not practiced. And how could it be? As a nation, we have not collectively acknowledged our nation’s bloody past, much less healed the trauma it inflicted. Instead, we celebrate all that we have but ignore the genocide it took to get it. And so, the day before Thanksgiving is the second biggest drunken night of the year in America – behind only New Year’s Eve. We have a meal together and give thanks, but cannot even last a full 24 hours of gratitude before reverting to type, as Black Friday deals now start at 7:00 p.m. or earlier on Thursday, the “Day of Thanksgiving.”
It’s hard for me to buy into the concept of a day of gratitude when it starts with a hangover and, before it even ends, we ditch our families to wrestle with over others for materialistic ends. It leads to fights, people being trampled, arrests, and even a few deaths, all in an effort to purchase “things” to provide for our families for Christmas.
This is what Christmas has become; a season of shopping, not the season of giving. It is about money, consumerism, and materialism.
The Season of Giving
The United States retail industry generated over three trillion dollars during the holidays in 2013, with the average person spending about $750 on the holiday. Additionally, 33 million evergreen conifers are purchased each year, at around $35 each, for a market of $1.16 billion in Christmas tree sales.
It is estimated by a United Nations world hunger project that it would cost approximately $30 billion per year to end world hunger. Think about that. It would take only $30 billion per year to end world hunger, and yet, through the season of giving, Americans will spend$465 billion on our own material gratification, most of which is disposable and dispensable. This is not suggesting to abolish Christmas altogether, but if every U.S. household reduced their Christmas budget by only thirty-percent and contributed that money to impoverished communities, we would meet the forecast amount to end world hunger.
Wouldn’t that make a better gift? Wouldn’t that make for a better Christmas story, if all the resources in the world were utilized to making a better life for everyone rather than benefiting the few? Isn’t that what Christmas is about?
In fact, this is how the original story of Santa Claus arose. St. Nicholas was a monk born in the third century. He lived near modern-day Turkey and was admired for his kindness, compassion and generosity. Legends suggest that St. Nicholas gave away all of his wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over the years, we have created a mythical creature to symbolize this monk — Santa Claus. But, instead of going around and donating his wealth to the poor, our modern-day Santa Claus runs a foreign sweatshop that works around the clock to deliver material items to the world’s richest nations.
Living in a Material World
As a child, I remember this holiday used to be about sharing love, giving, and caring for one another. I have seen this idea evaporate as the years have passed, and I refuse to further participate in this distortion. So, this Black Friday, while millions were out searching for bargains, I found my own bargain – peace and tranquility, for free.
I find the word “bargain” quite ironic when talking about retail prices. One must realize that these really are not the great deals that are advertised; the standard retail markup is astronomical, and much of the goods sold on Black Friday are produced and priced specifically for these “sales”. Many United States corporations employ workers in sweatshops in countries like Bangladesh, India, China, Haiti, etc., paying far below minimum wages to people working in deplorable working conditions – typically 14-16 hours per day for seven days per week. It costs pennies to make these products, which attract massive markups that provide enormous profits for these corporations and their CEOs.
Here are the top ten annual salaries paid to the CEOs of retail corporations in the United States (as of 2013):
The total? Over $180 million paid to just 10 retail executives.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking retailers are taking a loss on Black Friday sales — it is their most profitable day of the year.
The Symbolism of Modern Christmas
Christmas is not a complete lie, we just need to understand that it has to do with symbolism. Santa Claus no longer has anything to do with St. Nicholas or helping the sick and needy. Santa Claus now represents the fat and jolly CEOs distributing merchandise around the world. The elves symbolize submissive sweatshop workers that get paid next to nothing, to provide your annual haul of material possessions. (Perhaps the reason they are so small in stature is because they represent the 10 year olds working 16 hours per day to provide wealth for their respective Santa Claus.)
Then, we tell children Santa delivers only to the “good” girls and boys, creating further separation. Again, it is symbolic — in actuality, only those children who have money and wealth receive gifts. How do you explain to a child in poverty that he did not get gift this year? By this mythical logic, poor children learn that they are “bad” children because Santa did not bring him gifts.
This tale of Christmas we share is a stark contrast to the true story of St. Nicholas. The real St. Nicholas was a kind, charitable bishop who made sacrifices to help those in need. Today, Christmas is a celebration that revolves around fulfilling greed, not need, at the expense of the poor.
The problem of sweatshop labor sporadically pops up in the news, but it has never gone away; we just selectively decide when we want to pay attention. It was all over the news in the 1990s with Nike and Gap found to have 10-13 year old kids working as slave in their sweatshops, earning those companies record profits. Every few years, there is a story on the slave labor that produces the clothes we wear. Then the corporation tells us they have looked into things and have made changes. Yet, just a few years ago a factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing thousands of people and we come to find that Walmart, Gap, Target, etc. were all having clothing made at these factories. If that had happened in the West, what kind of furor would have followed? But the public outrage over the torturous conditions it takes to make our consumer goods is quickly forgotten once we see the “great deals” on Black Friday and begin preparing for another Christmas consumer-fest. We forget what is real and important, and revert instead to societal patterns, consuming faster than any nation on earth, just because “Christmas time is here again.”
How did we get here? Through mass marketing schemes and the manipulation of human nature. We are collectively a group of people watching television, listening to the radio or surfing the internet, and the marketers simply pay money for air time — time in our minds — to tell people (particularly children) what they “need”. In true marketing fashion, the message they convey is: You’re not okay, but once you have these items, then you will be okay. It is based on fear, simultaneously creating a sense of lack in consumers and providing a way to temporarily ‘fill’ it.
A quote from Marilyn Manson says it all:
[T]he media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you’re watching television, you’re watching the news, you’re being pumped full of fear, there’s floods, there’s AIDS, there’s murder, cut to commercial, “buy the Acura”, “buy the Colgate”, if you have bad breath they’re not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl’s not going to f**k you… It’s just this campaign of fear, and consumption, and that’s what I think it’s all based on, the whole idea of ‘keep everyone afraid, and they’ll consume’.
The Christian Connection
The real genius-work behind this big façade is the connection between Christmas and Christianity. This too, stems from fear. We remind our children all year that if you are good then you will spend eternity in the clouds with a God, a nice old man who knows all, sees all and judges all… Or, if you are bad, you will burn in a pit of fire with a horrid man with horns. This patriarchal symbolism is then extended at Christmas time, when children are told that if they are good, a magical man from the North Pole who, just like God already knows if you’ve been “naughty or nice”, will deliver presents to them, rewarding their conformity to increasingly out-of-touch religious standards.
We instill this relationship between God, kindness and consumption into our children’s minds when they are impressionable — at a time in their development in which they believe it is true --with lasting impacts on their perception of the world.
Then, we plop our kids on Santa’s lap to place an order, listing out all of the things they want, then send them to school where they learn that those who do not participate in this ritual will not receive presents — and they become the social outcasts each December. After all, only “bad” kids don’t receive a visit from Santa Claus! When all is said and done, unspoken pressure to adapt to the model of goodness=gifts is put on children by television and media, by their parents and their society, and is subsequently reinforced by their peers — a cycle that now continues from generation to generation in an increasingly materialistic society.
I’m all for bringing joy and wonder to the lives of children, but is this really the only way we know to do it?
And all this in a so called “Christian nation.” Speak to any Christian at Christmas time and they will say, “What? You don’t believe in Jesus? You don’t want to celebrate this man who preached love and acceptance?”
My answer is No.
The bastardized Christian interpretation of “God” and the son “He” sacrificed due to our inherently “sinful” nature, has manipulated generations of humanity — and it is the foundation of this day’s celebrations. Love and acceptance are not what Christmas is about today, nor is it the function of organized religion in our modern world.
The father-figure God is dead. He has to be, in order for us to move forward. This interpretation of God has done more harm than good. It is a fairy tale that causes fear in children, has caused countless wars to be fought, and has caused many folks to keep secrets in shame rather than live their lives openly, as they are (religious intolerance of divorce and homosexuality are prime examples).
As George Carline once eloquently stated:
“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man… living in the sky… who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten special things that he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time… but he loves you… He loves you and he needs money. He always needs money! He is all powerful, all perfect, all knowing, and all wise. Somehow he just can’t handle money! Religions take in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.”
Many of the patrons inside the church that stand so faithfully behind their doctrines of unconditional love and kindness, are the same ones who walk out the church and instantly abandon these teachings; the same people who use religious scripture as leverage to judge, condemning others in the name of “the Lord”; the same people who complain about the poor receiving “handouts” while building million dollar churches that don’t pay a dime in taxes, while the poor go on without food or shelter. Several religious pastors have proven this hypocrisy among their own congregations…
In June of 2013, newly appointed pastor of Sango United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, reverend Willie Lyle spent four days disguised as a homeless man living on the streets. He wanted to see what it was like to truly live without anything and see who would offer food and assistance. Then, he transformed back into the role as pastor to address his the congregation:
“Too many of us want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”
Similarly, in November of 2013, Mormon bishop David Musselman posed as a homeless man outside a Taylorsville, Utah church one Sunday morning. At least five people asked him to leave the church property, some offered money but engaged him only as a charity case (not a fellow human being), and many were completely indifferent to his presence. He addressed the congregation, reminding them not to be so quick to judge one another.
“Many actually went out of their way to purposely ignore me, and they wouldn’t even make eye contact,” he said, “I’d approach them and say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving.’ Many of them I wouldn’t ask for any food or any kind of money, and their inability to even acknowledge me was very surprising.”
Spending my Black Friday in this small town, it occurred to me how I am forced to conform. Regardless of my beliefs, it is impossible for me to neglect Christmas; for if I were to not purchase my children presents then they would feel that I do not love them. I was really conflicted with this scenario as I pulled up to the gas station and noticed a woman struggling to carry a few turkeys and other groceries in a pull cart. It allowed me to reflect on some of my religious upbringings from the past. While people literally would put on their “Sunday Best” before walking into church to bow, chant, hug, and love each other, we were really just putting on an show for each other. We all put on our masks and went through the routines of Christianity, dressed up to the nines and all on our best behavior. But, once we walk out of the church, if we were to see a woman such as this, would we help her? Generally not. We would be encouraged not to do anything, because they were likely to scam us out of money, or harm us, and her struggle is her problem, not mine.
This is how extreme our society has become. We don’t consider the problems (or successes) of others to be our problem, and are afraid to actually stop and help a stranger, in fact the very word “stranger” has become loaded with assumptions of “danger” — something we teach our children from the youngest of ages. As a result, we are guided by fear rather than love, living in separation instead of our natural instinctual reaction — to connect.
This is where spirituality differs from religion. Spirituality is about finding a connection to the world both inside and outside of ourselves, finding a sense of purpose and meaning, and living in harmony with the present moment and our surroundings. Spirituality teaches us that we are all one, interconnected expression of life, and that at our true core, there is only unconditional love.
Religion was initially based on human spirituality, but it has steered it toward rules, judgement and separation. It is meant to offer all of the above. In fact, if you look into the basic teachings at the foundation of all religions, you will find this exact same message. However, as these messages have been misinterpreted and misappropriated throughout the years, we have slowly come to accept the opposite message of religious institutions. They create separation and judgment, of each other and of our own fundamental nature, which is the opposite of its intent – much like Christmas.
As explained by Don Migeul Ruiz:
There is an old story from India about the God, Brahma, who was alone. Nothing existed but Brahma, and he was completely bored. Brahma decided to play a game, but there was no one to play the game with. So he created a beautiful goddess, Maya, just for the purpose of having fun. Once Maya existed and Brahma told her the purpose of her existence, she said, “Okay, let’s play the most wonderful game, but you do what I tell you to do.” Brahma agreed and following Maya’s instructions, he created the whole universe, the sun and the stars, the moon and the planets. He created life on earth: the animals, the oceans, the atmosphere, everything.
Maya said, “How beautiful is this world of illusion you created. Now I want you to create an animal that is so intelligent and aware that it can appreciate your own creation.” Finally Brahma created humans, and after he finished the creation, he asked Maya when the game was going to start.
“We will start right now,” she said. She took Brahma and cut him into thousands of teeny, tiny pieces. She put a piece inside every human and said, “Now the game begins! I am going to make you forget what you are, and you are going to try and find yourself!” Maya created the Dream and still, even today, Brahma is trying to remember who he is. When you awake from the Dream, you become Brahma again and reclaim your divinity. You now know the trick of Maya and can share the truth with others who are going to wake up too.
This story explains how we are to find ourselves, and find God, in every person we encounter. We don’t do this buy purchasing items at a store, or showing our goodwill for a few designated days of the year, but by helping those in need and showing unconditional love to each soul we encounter, every day of the year. Especially those who need our love — not our judgment — the most.
As all these thoughts were going through my mind, my friend came out of the store and started speaking with the elderly woman. As they continued to chat, I got out of the car to see what was going on. As I approached them, I noticed the woman’s wheel on her pull cart was missing. “We are giving her a ride home,” my friend told me without asking. She never hesitated, she saw an opportunity and did the right thing without thinking or judging. We packed her bags into the car and drove her about another mile to her house. It was a very cold day and her bags were awfully heavy. There is no way she would have been able to make it that far on her own. Many people saw her, but no one did anything — all because of fear and the sense of separation it creates.
I was overcome with emotion, and was told by my friend not to talk about it. She said “that is just what we should do, so I do it.” I thought that is so true and so simple. We should do what we should do. Yet, no one seems to do this — and I am not excluding myself! It is a social conditioning I am working to deconstruct even to this day. But it reminded me of the difference between being guided by fear, not love. As John Lennon said:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
This is the real meaning of life. This is the real meaning of Christmas. To help, to give, to be with others and to love unconditionally. It doesn’t have to be some big act.
“People who move mountains begin by carrying away small stones.”
Christmas — and life — is about helping the lady struggling with her groceries. It is about loving each other on a daily basis. It is about calling your parents, family, and friends and just being there for anyone and everyone. If we treated everyone like they were a piece of God, not just there to bejudged by God, then maybe then we would behave differently.
It doesn’t matter what we call our God, it is all the same. It is similar to the story of nine blind men that were all reaching out and touching an elephant. Each of the men were touching a different part of the elephant and describing what they felt. One is touching the elephant’s leg and says “it is a tree”; another is touching its tail and says “it is a rope”; another is touching its trunk and says “it is a snake”; another it touching a tusk and says “It is a spear”; another is touching its body and says “it is a wall”. However, they are all touching the same elephant. Imagine if they all fought and killed each other over this argument. How ridiculous that would be? They are all blind, and they are all correct. They are merely fighting over their perspective — the same way humanity fights wars over who is right about religion. Is it possible we are all right? And we are all wrong? The foundational stories and principles of religions can all be boiled down to a mutual essence that reveals their common origins. And although people frequently get caught up with the literal differences, their central tenets are proof that – despite varying ‘faiths’ – we are more alike than we are different.
And yet, we are told we need “this” God or “that” God in our lives to survive. In reality, the opposite is true. For it is these perceptions of God, and our attempts to define God, that are leading us to kill each other, to undervalue our divinity and that of others, to destroy the world that supports us for short-term comforts, and to celebrate the holidays with a festival of gross over-consumption. In order to survive, we need to remove the mask of God and remove the mask of Christmas, and return to its natural foundation. As author Jack Adam Weber succinctly described:
Christmas marks the return of the sun after the winter solstice — the resurrection of light and the perseverance of unconditional love (symbolized by birth of Jesus) which nature manifests each year in the new life and returning warmth of springtime, from the desolate depths of winter.
In order to save Christmas, let us celebrate the unconditional love of the cycle of life itself, which renews itself at this time each year.
How the Grinch Saved Christmas
While the children’s story claims the Grinch stole Christmas, it is clear he did the opposite. He saw the true meaning of Christmas and put an end to the charade. While his means were extreme, by stealing all the presents he learned that the real meaning of Christmas had nothing to do with exchanging gifts, but exchanging love.
In this story, the Grinch was not the bad guy, he was a catalyst. He was a revolutionary but was misguided with fear, which led to his extreme actions. But the mindset he confronted was actually the problem. Once all the gifts were gone, the masks were removed, the focus on consumption and acquisition shifted, everyone lived together in harmony.
In the real world, Wall Street, organized religions, media, corporations, and the governments that serve them, have “stolen” Christmas by hijacking the holiday and changing its meaning. Originally a celebration of St. Nicholas who gave up all material wealth to help those in need, the title was co-opted and its meaning slowly turned into a festival of greed, consumerism and patriarchal judgement. Today, only the name remains.
While the story of the Grinch is fictional, its lesson is real. In order to heal, and make Christmas a sustainable part of our culture, we must change the way we celebrate it. Let’s each of us be that Grinch, and take consumerism out of the Christmas mythology. Let’s steal back this holiday and remember its true meaning — a celebration of life.
About the Authors
Cortland Pfeffer founded Taking The Mask Off in 2014 to help shine a light on the mental health industry (as well as other areas of our society that are shrouded in deceit and misinformation). Sharing insider perspectives and real life stories that have been gathered over 20 years in the field, Cortland (a pen-name) is a psychiatric Registered Nurse who was himself once a patient in psychiatric hospitals, jails, and treatment centers. He now wishes to share his experiences with others, and has recently made several public speaking appearances. Cortland can be contacted for speaking engagements through Facebook.com/takingthemaskoff.
An avid historian, Irwin Ozborne (a pen-name) is a survivor of childhood abuse and torture over a period of 13 years, and a recovered alcoholic. As a mental health practitioner, today Irwin practices holistic care and incorporates eastern philosophy into his work with clients. He is available for speaking engagements as well, and can be contacted via email: email@example.com. Please visit www.takingthemaskoff.com.
Makia Freeman, Contributor
Is Christmas really magic mushroom, sun and Saturn worship in disguise?
Christmas has come around again, and as we all scurry about hanging lights and stars everywhere, and adorning our trees with red and white ornaments, how many of us reflect on the occult origins of Christmas? How many of us realize that this merry festival has roots, in fact, in ancient traditions of magic mushrooms, Saturn worship and sun worship? Today’s Christmas is truly a hodgepodge of ancient rituals and celebrations, with roots as far back as 4000 years to the Mesopotamians. This is not surprising, for Christianity itself is a borrowed religion, built on top of previous Coptic (Egyptian), Mesopotamian and Babylonian religions. Christmas really has nothing to do with the alleged historical birthday of a human called Jesus. Let’s take a look at some of the traditions which have formed Christmas, so we can gain a deeper understanding of its symbolism.
The Christmas-Magic Mushroom Connection
John Allegro was a free-thinking Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and archeologist. In 1970 he wrote a fascinating and highly controversial book entitled The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, whose subtitle was A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East. In it he put forth the unique idea that Christianity was an expression of an ancient cult which worshipped sex and mushrooms. To straight-laced scholars and prim-and-proper Christian apologists, this idea was simply too much for them to contemplate, but Allegro provided an impressive amount of evidence to back his claims.
He showed how the mushroom – specifically the red-and-white magic mushroom Amanita muscaria– came up again and again in Christian art. He explained how the Eucharist – where Christians believe the bread wafer is transformed into the body of Christ – is a re-enactment of the sacred ceremony of ingesting the flesh of the Amanita magic mushroom. Allegro argued that the entire story of the Jesus in the Gospels was a code for the ancient journey of conscious self-exploration, the hallucinogenic “trip”. You can imagine how the majority of people reacted to his “sex-and-mushroom cult” theory in 1970 in England!
Yet his ideas have merit. James Arthur and others after Allegro further developed the idea of the Christmas-magic mushroom connection. Amanitas are also linked to fertility and sex; they have a sexual appearance, representing both the male and female. At different stages of their growth life cycle, they resemble a phallus, breast and yoni.
It is interesting to note that Jesus pictured in religious artwork with amanita mushrooms around him. Is the red-and-white Santa Claus or St. Nicholas a modern representation of the village shaman who had the knowledge of pharmacopeia? Is the holy grail actually the mature Amanita with its edges curled up? Were Amanitas the source of power and insight for the old ruling class of priests? And perhaps most importantly, what part does the Amanita play in humanity’s origins and the extraterrestrial Annunaki who were mining for “gold”? These are interesting questions to ponder as you decorate your tree in red-and-white with mushroom ornaments this year.
The Christmas-Sun Worship Connection
Thanks to groundbreaking research of investigators like Jordan Maxwell (whose work was the basis of one major segment of the hit movie Zeitgeist), people have begun to become aware of the link between Christmas and sun worship. At its core, the Illuminati and secret societies that run the world are deeply intoblack magic, which, defined, is the use of mostly unseen and unknown forces to gain power and control over others. The Illuminati are black magicians. They utilize certain powers and then, through their control of the media and academia, put out disinformation and lies to prevent people from believing in and accessing those very powers, lest their power base be eroded.
Christmas is all about the birth of the “son”. But what if it is actually the birth or rebirth of the “sun”? A sun that goes through a “spring”, ascends to a height (summer solstice), then goes through a “fall” (autumn)? Christianity tells us that Jesus the son is our savior. Yet literally speaking the “sun” is our savior; without the sun there would be little or no life on Earth. So it is only natural that sun worship was practiced by early cultures all over the world, especially in the keys days following the winter solstice, when the sun disappears over the horizon in northern latitudes for 3 days. Jesus was dead for the 3 days. Is this the symbolic “death” of the sun? December 25th is the first day when the son or sun makes his triumphant return. Many people make fun of early religions and brand them as primitive, without actually realizing that Christianity itself has either stolen or built upon (depending on your viewpoint) these exact traditions.
Is it purely a coincidence that the date of Christmas is always December 25th every year, exactly 3 days after the 22nd (or night of the 21st), the date of winter solstice? Is it another coincidence that Jesus is pictured everywhere throughout Christian art on top of a sun cross, showing the sun’s journey through the 4 seasons every year? Is Christmas an elaborate ritual to lure back the “prodigal sun” from death?
The Christmas-Saturn Worship Connection
Finally, we come to the Saturn connection. The Christmas-Saturn connection is far from the only connection Saturn has with many modern (dark) activities. Saturn is the ancient roman god of time, harvest, law, tyranny and death. In the ancient Greek pantheon he was Chronos, meaning time, and from which we get words like chronological. For those investigating the global conspiracy, Saturn has particular significance. Why? Because Saturn – and what it represents – is the object of worship of some of the secret societies that are running the planet today. Indeed, the worship of Saturn is a theme running through the priest, the lawyer and the academic classes, as can be seen by the use of gowns and square mortarboards in the color of black – Saturn’s color.
To quote Jordan Maxwell:
“When you graduate from high school you come out processionally with a black robe … and wear the square mortarboard on top of your head. The square mortarboards are, of course, used by the Freemasons for their plaster, so that is why you wear a square mortarboard when you graduate, ultimately becoming an Alumni. It all has to do with Freemasonry; it all has to do with the control of education in this country.”
In the early first centuries A.D., Saturn had a very strong presence in the most powerful city in the world: Rome. Every year from December 17th to 25th, there was a wild, licentious festival in his honor, named Saturnalia. For these 8 days of the year, people would cut loose in a period of utter lawlessness; Roman courts were closed and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the festival. There was widespread intoxication, people running around naked, rape and orgies. There was even human sacrifice – a theme that continues to underly some of the strange, dark rituals practiced by today’s ruling elite at places like Bohemian Grove.
According to some sources, Christmas was invented to compete with the pagan celebrations like Saturnalia, because it was just so popular. It was a successful strategy. Over time, the Church adopted many pagan rituals in their attempt to make Christianity more attractive to converts.
What Does Christmas Mean to You?
Ultimately, we all imbue our lives and activities with our own sense of meaning. You can decide what Christmas means to you. However, it is always good to be aware of the occult origins andhidden symbolism of traditions and events, for as Confucius said, the world is ruled by signs and symbols, not words or law. Symbols communicate directly with our subconscious and guide our lives from behind the scenes, so choose consciously to which things you give your attention and energy.
About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the global conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” –Possibly misattributed to Albert Camus
How fitting. How apropos. To begin an article about leadership with a quote on leadership that may or may not be misattributed to Albert Camus (was that a double negative or an inverted positive?). Alas, misattribution happens. I doubt Mr. Camus is rolling in his grave. But if he is, he’s more than likely leading by rebellious example. After all, he did write my favorite quote of all time: “I rebel; therefore we exist.” Which is also apropos, and not a misattribution. But don’t take my word for it. I’m no authority. I’m just some dude on the internet with the audacity to put things in perspective. Question all authority, to include the authority who told you to question authority (Was that a double entendre or a non-authoritative Mobius strip?). Which leads us to reason number one for why we need more empowering leaders and less disempowered followers…
1.) Leading by example trumps leading by authority:
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” – George Bernard Shaw
We don’t need more self-serious bossy-types waiving their authority around like a bludgeon nicknamed Ultimatum. We need more self-deprecating guides tossing up doorways leaving it up to us to decide if we walk through or not. We don’t need leaders who want followers. We need leaders who want a sense of comradery on their journey through the unknown. We don’t need preachers up on high talking down to the flock. We need trailblazers blazing up their own trails and showing by moral/amoral example how others can do the same.
On the flip side: We don’t need more whiney followers unquestioningly going along with the status quo. We need more self-questioning, world-questioning, open-minded autodidacts. We don’t need followers who think they need leaders. We need self-educated individuals seeking guidance and the shoulders of giants. We don’t need the bleating heart of sheep who are mesmerized and compromised by the shepherd’s spell. We need the courageous heart of lambs-turned-lions who have the audacity to break the spell. In short: we need more self-empowered individuals willing to take on the fates. As Seneca said, “The fates guide those who will; those who won’t they drag.”
2.) Learning for guidance trumps following out of laziness:
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” – George R.R. Martin
There are giants in those hills! I beseech you: seek them out. By “giants” I mean geniuses from human history. By “hills” I mean books. Climb aboard. The Giant’s shoulder can often be a bumpy ride, but it’s usually worth it; because you’re either learning what works or you’re learning what doesn’t. Or, even better, both.
We don’t need more crutch-leaning hangers-on who put all their eggs into one basket or all their thoughts into one book; we need more people who are willing to learn from the wisdom of geniuses past, and then have the audacity to question that wisdom if need be. We don’t need more unthinking sycophants clinging to blind faith; we need more open-minded free-thinkers questioning everything to the nth degree. We don’t need more people taking the easy route and following the lemming-like herd just because “that’s the way it’s always been done,” we need more people willing to question the way it’s always been done and then have the courage to create a path of their own.
More questions, less answers. Instead of one book, many books. Hell, with enough books you can build a goddamn giant of your own!
3.) Courageous self-liberation leads to the lib
3.) Courageous self-liberation leads to the liberation of others:
“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.” – Ezra Pound
The follower who clings to one basket, one book, or one hand-me-down way of being, becomes a fear-ridden, soul-crippled slave to the parochial past who never discovers authentic leadership, only base bossiness and corruptible authoritarianism. They lead by one-right-way weak example.
On the other hand, the follower who can seek out guidance from the intellectual giants of the past, connect the dots between them, question them, and then use it all as brain-food that feeds their own soul-craft, becomes a self-liberated leader par excellence. They lead by flexible and robust example.
The self-liberated leader who can lead by flexible and robust example, in turn liberates others. They are beacons of hope in the hopeless dark. They are beacons of dark in the holier-than-thou light. Their needle-in-haystack hearts nevertheless manage to pierce the entire haystack. They shine like diamonds in dark times. They are not afraid of becoming the Hero with a Thousand Faces, no matter how often they have to painfully recondition their conditioned face (Nietzschean self-overcoming).
4.) Empowering others trumps disempowering others:
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” –Shakespeare
All-too-often the powerless are kept that way because those in power are fearful, one-right-way leaders who lead by weak example. The so-called “powers that be” are afraid because on some level they realize that their power is false, lacking in any authentic prestige. And so they disempower the powerless so as to maintain their inauthentic, non-prestigious, authoritarian power. In short: they are incapable of empowering others because they themselves have never truly been empowered. Greg Prescott said it best: “We need leaders, not politicians. But in this world of followers, we have forgotten to lead ourselves. Stop waiting for change and be the change you want to see. We didn’t get to this point by sitting on our asses. The human race survived not because we are fastest or the strongest, but because we worked together.”
True power empowers. Authentic power does not need to cling to power, it releases it instead. It spreads it out. It expiates it. Think Harry Potter breaking the Elder Wand. Think Maximus (Gladiator) informing Senator Gracchus that after taking over Rome he would just leave. Empowering others through expiation trumps disempowering others to maintain power. Why? Because true power is prestigious and built upon respect, not rigid and built upon fear.
5.) Learn-liberate-empower-repeat is far superior to follow-limit-disempower-stagnate:
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” – Nietzsche
As it stands, we live in a follow-limit-disempower-stagnate type of world filled with inauthentic leaders flexing authoritarian pseudo-powers. They would rather lead by weak example and maintain their grip on inauthentic power than lead by robust example and empower others and thereby discover prestige and authentic power. Since they gained their power through fear and hand-me-down authority, they don’t realize that there is far more power in prestige than there ever could be in authoritarian fear-mongering.
False leaders create tyranny through invulnerable power-grabbing. True leaders create freedom through vulnerable power-expiation. Power-expiation directly and indirectly empowers others. We don’t need more so-called leaders creating more followers; we need more authentic leaders empowering more would-be-leaders.
Just as cooperation is primary and competition secondary, in order for the human condition to thrive; so too is empowering others primary and competition with others secondary, in order for leadership to be authentic. This is vitally important to understand. It strikes at the heart of the human enigma. It plucks at the deepest chord of our propensity, or lack thereof, toward achieving a healthy human evolution that moves in harmony with the cosmos. It beats upon the primal drum of the human leitmotif. If we cannot resolve the way we follow and, in turn, the way we lead, then the human race will not be equipped to adapt and overcome to an ever-changing world and a never-permanent, unforgiving universe.
About the Author
Makia Freeman, Contributor
The propaganda of Islamophobia and the agenda of painting all Muslims as crazy and evil is in full swing. In the face of the latest mass shooting in San Bernardino, California (another blatant false flag attack) we need to be careful to avoid the knee-jerk reactions you can see among mainstream politicians and media. All Muslims are not evil. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Anglo-American-Israeli controllers of the New World Order have been looking for another bogeyman to give the Western public. Communism has expired and outlived its usefulness. Terrorism became the next substitution – especially Islamic terrorism. Thus, ever since Bin Laden and the 19 Muslim hijackers were framed and falsely accused of committing the9/11 attacks (when it was really an inside job with the help of the Israeli military agency Mossad), we have been bombarded with endless propaganda by the Zionist MSM (mainstream media) to hate and fear Muslims as the great new enemy.
Even Segments of the Alternative Media Falling For the Islamophobia Propaganda Trap
Knee-jerk reactions come from the reptilian, emotional part of the brain (the amygdala). It’s time to use the mammalian, rational part of the brain (the neo-cortex) to think this issue through. If the thoughtless reaction of the alternative media to this latest false flag mass shooting is merely to cry out that all Muslims are evil, that the entire religion of Islam is evil, that we need to eradicate all mosques, that Western nations like the US are about to get invaded by ISIS and that Obama himself is a sleeper agent for an Islamic terror cell, then how is the alternative media any different to the mainstream media? Judging by these kind of reactions, the NWO plan of divide-and-conquer via Islamophobia is working very well.
Before I go on, let me point a few things out here. I am not Muslim, Christian or part of any organized religion (in fact I consider all religion to be a form of hijacked spirituality and mind control); I understand why people are becoming afraid of Islam when they are bombarded with Islamic terrorism propaganda; and I understand people’s grave concerns when they see videos like this andthis showing the appalling behavior of Muslim “refugees” (who are not all genuine refugees) rioting, destroying, acting with self-entitlement and refusing to show respect for the country’s culture and law to where they have been migrating.
However, despite the above, here are some basic facts that it’s very important to remember with the issue of Islamophobia, amidst all the racism, rhetoric and fear:
1. Terrorism is the new faceless enemy the NWO manipulators have created to advance their aims; the war on terror is a complete and utter fraud; Islamic terrorism is terrorism with an Islamic flavor because it’s working so well to divide and rule, and as predicted by former 33° Mason Albert Pike, will be used to foment a WW3 between Zionism and Islam;
2. Islamic terrorism in general does not represent Islam or the majority of Muslims;
3. ISIS in particular does not represent Islam or the majority of Muslims;
4. ISIS is a CIA-Mossad creation; in other words, the group has only come into prominence with the help of US-Israeli backers (and fake beheadings) who are using it for a very specific purpose;
5. The Mass Migration to Europe is being orchestrated by forces using Muslims as pawns in a grander geopolitical game;
6. The specter of ISIS (whether real or not) will continue to be used in false flag mass shootings in the US (and other Western nations too as we saw with theParis attacks) to terrorize the average American who is incapable of seeing through the propaganda of Islamophobia;
7. ISIS is the toy slave of the New World Order, and will be continue be used both for domestic purposes (frightening and terrorizing people, gun control, justification to impose draconian regulations) and foreign purposes (igniting WW3 [UN just declared a war against ISIS, despite the fact they are not an official country]).
Some such as researcher Jim Stone have suggested that Israel pays off the crisis actors to the tune $600,000 each for participating in false flag gigs like San Bernardino (which demonize Islam and generate massive Islamophobia), then flies them out of America to a comfortable life in Tel Aviv. This may not be far from the truth, given the Mossad’s motto “by way of deception, thou shalt do war” …
It’s also worth checking out this article on Counterpunch: “Five Truths You Should Know About Terrorism And Islam”.
Here are a few questions for some in the independent media to ponder: how well have you researched Islamic terrorism and ISIS? Do you realize the entire thing is a NWO concoction to fool you? Do you realize ISIS is a CIA-Mossad creation? Just checking, but is your deepest analysis of this entire issue to reduce it to terms of a Muslim invasion against a “superior White Christian culture”?
What Some Muslims Have to Say About Islam, Islamic Terrorism and Islamophobia
Here what Muslim Dr. Zakiah Sayeed Ali has to say:
“Out of the 1.6 billion or more Muslims, some misguided people, who do not represent Islam, take it upon themselves to create their own cells of hate. These so-called Muslims do not know a word of the Quran it seems. Nowhere in the book does it say to kill an innocent person. In fact, killing of an innocent, unarmed person, is the same as killing all of mankind. Even in a war, it is decreed that a Muslim cannot kill a woman, a child or destroy trees or crops. These murderers call their “Cry of Faith” as Islamic States. Really and truly, there is nothing Islamic about their behavior.”
The overwhelming majority of Muslims condemn terrorism. Islamic law itself explicitly classifieshirabah (terrorism and highway robbery) as a major sin. The Koran states:
“If anyone kills a person without justification, it is as if they have killed the whole of humanity.”
Bible Found to Contain the Same Kind of Violent, Sexist and Absurd Teachings as Koran
Speaking of the Koran and other religious texts, it is interesting to see the amount of prejudice people have surrounding them. This video (embedded above) shows some Dutch-speaking guys disguising a Bible as a Koran, then quoting from it and watching people’s reactions. Most people are very quick to condemn it – and are equally as shocked when they realize the lines come from the Bible not the Koran! The truth is that all organized religion contains a massive amount of dogma and distortion of the original spiritual message of love. There is no one right religion because all of them have become bogged down in meaningless rules, ritual and doctrine. Christianity is no better than Islam.
Yes, the Koran does contain a lot of passages advocating war against infidels (non-believers) (109 verses according to this source), as well as verses promoting peace. It’s a mixed bag of contradictions, just like the Bible. If you’re didn’t know, the Bible has plenty of verses promotinggenocide, sexism,homophobia, slavery, racism and anti-semitism – plenty of ammunition for any misguided “holy crusader” to seize upon to justify whatever harebrained scheme he or she might have to steal, kill and destroy.
Ultimately, Islamophobia is getting in the way of a deeper understanding of the issues at stake here. Let’s hope people can see through it and rise above it …
About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the global conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Irwin Ozborne, Contributor
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needed without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” -Steven Colbert
In a small Middle-Eastern town, the community had been under the rule of a harsh dictator for nearly four decades. He would use force to execute his own citizens, family, children, and wives, if they were to threaten his regime. The dictator was part of a puppet government installed by a larger empire which looked to control and manipulate all of the land.
One day, in fear of a takeover, he ordered his secret militia police to carry out mass executions of every infant boy under the age of two years old. It was not uncommon under his rule to carry out such atrocious acts to spread fear of his people.
As his secret police were “just following orders,” one of the families was able to flee the country and seek refuge in a foreign land.
This is the story of Jesus and the Christmas Holiday – it is a story about a Middle-Eastern refugee family trying to escape persecution and terror in their homeland.
The story continues with the dictator dying and handing over his kingdom to one of his son’s who would create even more terrorism and persecution. This left the refugee family to return to their hometown of Nazareth, which was under different rulers at the time.
Jesus began preaching at age 32 and spoke of love, compassion, and helping those in need. Whether or not you believe in the story of Jesus, are an atheist, believe it is all symbolism, or have no opinion on the matter – you cannot deny that the teachings stood for togetherness, connection, and love for humanity.
He spoke about helping the poor, was against material possessions, and spent most his time with the lepers, prostitutes, and those shunned by society. He told us to forgive each other, to return hatred with love, anti-violence, and was anti-imperialism. Simply, it was about love, forgiveness, acceptance, and social justice.
This is the foundation of Christianity – the teachings of Christ.
But, it doesn’t take too long to discover that a large portion of modern “Christians” seem to have this backwards. They hide behind the Bible, recite scripture, and then are openly racist, discriminatory, judgmental, and self-serving.
Most of these extremists belong to the Republican Party. Now, most Christians are very good people and do follow the teachings of Christ for the most part. Also, most Republicans are good people who believe what they feel is right for “their” country. However, their beliefs do not align with the teachings of Christ. The Republican beliefs are actually anti-Christian – could that be referred to as anti-Christ?
In the same way that Radical Islam does not in any way resemble Islam; neither does Radical Christianity resemble the teachings of Christ.
Let’s be honest. If Jesus was born thirty years ago, Fox News and the Republican Party would label him a dangerous Middle Eastern man who wants to impose socialism on the world and enable the poor.
The Story of Republican Jesus
While they love Jesus, they seem to have made their own interpretation along the way. The Republican Party of the United States of America has created a new figure, Republican Jesus.
Republican Jesus, despite being born in the Middle-East, is a white man. Republican Jesus also openly hates homosexuals, believes that helping the poor encourages them to be lazy, handouts should be reserved for Churches and Corporations, and gave his sermons from million-dollar megachurches which were sponsored by oil companies and arms manufacturers – because Republican Jesus loves guns.
He also completely opposes abortion, because killing is wrong.
However, once the baby is born he opposes any government programs such as welfare, food stamps, free lunch, and public housing assistance. Because, you see, killing is wrong but once they are born they are on their own. Then, allowing a slow, miserable existence is perfectly acceptable for those born in poverty. And if we cannot profit off them, we will simply arrest them and put them in our concentration camps (err..private prisons) and get free slave labor for our corporations – which get tax benefits for all the good they provide.
The distinction between Biblical Jesus and Republican Jesus must have came around the 1960s during Jesus’ hippy days of believing that loving the poor and those in need was a good idea. Until he realized that big money, profits, and using violence was the way to heaven.
During his days of preaching, while leaving Jericho, two blind men approached Republican Jesus and shouted, “Lord have mercy on us!”
“What do you want me to do for you,” he asked.
“Lord,” they asked, “we want our sight.”
“What is thy insurance coverage plan?” asked Republican Jesus.
“Insurance?” they asked, “What is that?”
“You have no health insurance?” Republican Jesus laughed, “Well we cannot issue free health insurance to everyone or that would hurt the market. I cannot help you without coverage.”
“How do we get insurance Lord?” they asked.
“Well, you have a pre-existing condition,” Republican Jesus responded, “So you will not likely find any coverage. Perhaps you should get a job and earn some money like the rest of us.”
Republican Jesus and his disciples soon created a commercial fishing empire in which they held a monopoly over the industry. They came before a hungry crown with their trucks of fish and bread. As the people came up to him, he realized that if he were to feed them all it would only create dependency.
Later, Republican Jesus explained that when the Son of Man comes in his glory he will separate the people from one another as the shepherd separates the sheep from goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. He will look to those on his right and say:
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. You were hungry and thirsty, so I eliminated free meals and food banks. You were a stranger, so I vilified you and demanded that you were deported. You were naked, so I assumed you were an evil liberal who hates conservative values. You were sick, so I repealed your only hope for healthcare. You were in prison, so I tortured you.”
Biblical Jesus was a dangerous foreign-born socialist who had a way of speaking with the masses and cause social reform among the lower class. You know, the same thing that happened in places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iran, Philippines, Congo, Cuba, etc. This is a huge threat to Republican Jesus and his love for corporations that profit off stealing resources from the poor. Republican Jesus loves money, war, and social inequality.
As John Fugelsang puts it:
“Jesus was a radical nonviolent revolutionary who hung out with lepers, hookers, and crooks. Wasn’t American and never spoke English; was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, and anti-public prayer. But he was never ant-gay, never mentioned abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for a copay. He was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, community-organizing, anti-slut shaming, Middle Eastern Jew.”
All Lives Matter
All Lives Matter! Right!?
Great! Because there are a large number of innocent Syrian men, women, and children that are currently hiding in a living hell in their homeland. They are facing persecution, daily terror, and never know which breath will be their last.
With all the resources available in our country, why don’t we open the doors and help these poor souls? Because All Lives Matter, right?
If you are not willing to open the doors, then it would be fair to say that all lives do not matter equally.
While we truly understand that “All Lives Matter”; we are deciding to focus on the ones that are being discriminated against and killed. The premise behind “Black Lives Matter” is that there is an implied “too” at the end. We are not saying white lives do not matter, but that has never been the subject of a human rights violation, genocide, of social injustice. It would be as if a firefighter showed up to a burning house, but decided to put water on the home next door because “All Homes Matter.”
These incidents in Paris have shown again that we seem to imply that only White Lives Matter. We have rushed in to send prayers, change our profile pictures, and share our support against Terrorism. Which is great! We should do so to fight the good fight.
But, where was this on the same day when 41 civilians were killed and another 200 injured on the same day in Beirut? Do Lebanese Lives matter? Or what about the 19 Iraqi citizens that were leaving a mosque when a bomb went off and ended their lives? I did not even see it mentioned in the news, which would indicate that their lives are not as important as those of the French people. A week before the Paris attacks, there was a car bomb and a shooting at a hotel in Somalia but no one blinked an eye. In October there was a bomb that claimed the lives of 224 civilians on a passenger jet, a suicide bomber blew up 22 Pakistani civilians, a bomb at a mosque in Nigeria killed 42 other innocent people, and there was a suicide bomber that killed 102 people in Turkey that were attending a peace rally.
You see, if these things did get media coverage, I do believe that there would be public response asking for action to take place. This is what ended the Vietnam War. We put cameras out there and the public saw the atrocities being carried out, including the iconic photo of the young girl running scared for her life after napalm had just been scattered on her village.
And the story continues after the Paris attacks. Within the last week, there was a bombing at a farmers market in Nigeria that killed 34 people. The next day, at a different town in Nigeria, a suicide attack took another 15 lives. The other day, a hostage taking and shooting at a hotel in Mali took 27 more lives, then a suicide bombing outside a mosque in Iraq ended another nine lives and injuring forty-seven.
Without one report of any of these on any major network news, it would be fair to say that All Lives Do Not Matter.
This is why there are movements such as “Black Lives Matter” because clearly we do not see that this is happening every day and the only time we offer prayers and support is when white lives are at risk. Therefore, public relations campaigns need to be put in place to remind us that “Black Lives Matter” because clearly it is not very well understood.
Yet, somehow this gets turned into reverse racism by suggesting that white lives do not matter. It is the same as people crying for White History Month. Do you not see that you are the oppressor? It was only fifty years ago that African-Americans were demanding equal rights in a country in which you abducted their ancestors and enslaved them to build your country on stolen Native American land. Spend a day in the shoes of a minority, those being oppressed, a Syrian family, and then remind us how this is a racist movement and that we need to embrace that “White Lives Matter.”
What makes us so different? Because we were born here? You did nothing to become an American. You were born here, so why should you benefit from freedom as opposed to someone who happens to be born in an area in which they are fighting for their lives the day they are born?
If you are going to pray for France, maybe you should also be praying for Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Nigeria, Chad, Turkey, Pakistan, Kenya, Israel, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Cameroon, Syria, Libya, Niger, Mali, Tunisia, Macedonia, India, Tunisia, Thailand, Philippines, Ukraine, China, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh as well.
Because if “All Lives” truly matter to you, start showing with actions rather than words.
I already know many responses – “See, if there are so many suicide bombers, we cannot trust any of them.” Or one of the most ignorant comments I have seen in quite some time, “If I gave you 10 skittles and you knew that two were poisonous and would kill you, would you take any of them?”
This skittles comment is insinuating that twenty percent of Muslims, or more specifically Syrian refugees, are going to be terrorists. This is media manipulation. In fact, the entire thing is media manipulation.
I do believe that most people are good people and that they want to live safely for themselves and in harmony with others. The media controls the minds of the masses. They show us the evil terrorists killed people in Paris and now we are jumping on board to support our French brothers and sisters. We have public support to drop bombs over Syria or “kill all the Muslims.”
Islam has more than 1.57 billion adherents, or 23-percent of the world’s population. CNN put together an article which lists all the Islamic terrorist organizations and estimates that 106,000 individuals are members of those organizations. Using this math, it would mean that 0.00006625 percent of Muslims are extremists – yet the Western Media would leave you to believe (and some conservative politicians) that number is closer to twenty percent.
But, what about our own domestic terrorism in the past ten years? Who is carrying out all the domestic acts of terror here? In October it was a white person killing 10 college students in Oregon; In June a white teenager killed nine African-Americans in a church; in 2012 there were attacks at a movie theatre and elementary school – both by white men in their early 20s; or the Oklahoma City Bombing and Waco, Texas incidents in the 1990s by older white men. Using the same logic, we could conclude that all white people are domestic terrorists.
But, who is the biggest winner off the bombings in France? The war-profiteers! Those who have investments in the arms manufacturers like Raytheon (3.93% increase since attacks), Lockheed Martin (4.24% increase), Northrop Grumman (3.9% increase), AVAV (4.49% increase), BAE Systems (4.52% increase) and Thales (7.75% increase), have already seen stocks rise since the Paris attacks.
The people with stock in these companies are the same members of Congress who decide if/when we go to war. The more the public says “We hate Muslims, let’s go to War, let’s kill them all.” Then the more these manufacturers make weapons and the elite profit.
Religion and Politics
When I was younger, I was always told not to talk about religion and politics because it stirs up too many emotions and causes too much conflict. But, there is nothing in the world that causes more problems of separation than religion and politics. Every war is a result of one of these two and if we don’t talk about it, it will never end.
To label one person and good and the other as bad is ludicrous. Look at two infants or toddlers, they know nothing but love. Nobody is born evil, or with hate. They only are victims of misguided love and fear. As we grow, we give ourselves these labels of white/black/Asian/Mexican, or Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Buddhist. Then we go further and create these imaginary lines to further separate us and give ourselves a flag and call ourselves Americans / Egyptians / Germans / Russians / Chinese, etc.
After we create this separation, we attach to these labels and cling to them and soon believe that we are these labels. We fight, defend, die, and kill to protect these labels that are meaningless.
It gets so far away from the original message that we forget that the teachings of Christ, Mohammad, Abraham, Buddha, or Confucius are all the same. They require unconditional love for our fellow human and interconnection with all things.
Unconditional love means without condition. To say that “All Lives Matter” that is implying everyone, without condition. Yet, our fellow brothers and sisters from Syria are struggling and fighting for their lives and we decide that we are going to close our artificial border.
About the Author
An avid historian, Irwin Ozborne (a pen-name) is a survivor of childhood abuse and torture over a period of 13 years, and a recovered alcoholic. As a mental health practitioner, today Irwin practices holistic care and incorporates eastern philosophy into his work with clients. He is available for speaking engagements as well, and can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.takingthemaskoff.com.
Alex Pietrowski, Staff
In a study to find out if kids who grow up with a strong religious background are nicer, more compassionate and more kind than secular children, it was revealed that religious kids are simply more mean, less-tolerant, more-punitive, and less-forgiving than kids who don’t grow up in a religious household.
Looking at mostly Christian, Muslim and secular children, researchers from a number of different universities around the world coordinated to compare the behavior and attitudes a group of around 1200 children from many backggorounds. The study conducted social experiments to determine how the children reacted in differing scenarios involving concepts like sharing, as well as their reactions to scenarios where bullying occurred. Included were four key tests:
According to the report the conclusions,“robustly demonstrate that children from households identifying as either of the two major world religions (Christianity and Islam) were less altruistic than children from non-religious households.”
The 3 key conclusions of the study are:
Over half of the world’s population self-identifies with either Islam or Christianity:
“As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth… Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent of the global population.” [Source]
The interesting question that this study raises is, ‘does religion help people to become more moral and virtuous? The answer appears to be no, it does not. However, in 2014 a worldwide Pew research suvey found that most people around the world believe that religion is essential to morality. The recent study contradicts this commonly held belief.
“While it is generally accepted that religion contours people’s moral judgments and pro-social behaviour, the relation between religion and morality is a contentious one.’ [Source]
At at time when the world is looking down the barrel of a global holy war between Islam and Christianity, many people are asking if religion is vital for moral development, and it appears that it may in fact not be.
About the Author
Wes Annac, Contributor
Rastafari is a way of life that’s rooted in a few key concepts. One is that Haile Selassie, former emperor of Ethiopia, was and is an avatar of God or ‘Jah’. An avatar is basically God incarnate or a messenger of God, and Jesus is a popular example. Another common theme in Rastafari is rebellion against the persecution of lower class citizens by a corrupt ruling elite, commonly known by Rastas as Babylon.
Rastas praise Selassie and rebel against Babylon’s oppression (or ‘downpression’, as many of them call it), and they hope to one day witness Jah’s judgment, which they believe will bring about justice and signal the beginning of a new world.
Reggae pioneer Peter Tosh famously sang, “downpresser man, where you gonna run to? All along that day…” He was referencing judgement day, a day where Jah’s judgment of man finally brings justice.
But Rastas aren’t just waiting around for justice. They’re socially active, and many of them fight for the rights of suffering people all over the world. Rastas in the sixties and seventies were decidedly more active than the hippies in the west, and they weren’t as distracted by the ‘sex, drugs and rock n roll’ culture in which a lot of hippies were immersed.
A lot of Rastas do embrace music and herb (cannabis), both of which we’ll discuss later, but they never fell for the culturally engineered subversions that some hippies did in the seventies. They’re focused more on reclaiming their rights and being one with Jah, and they aren’t interested in the creature comforts that distract people from living a life of purpose.
Here, I’d like to share five things we can appreciate about Rastafari. It’s one of the most interesting and liberating religious movements out there, and it’s partially responsible for the widespread awakening taking place. Rasta music has definitely awakened and inspired me, and music will be our first topic.
1. Rastafari inspires conscious, uplifting music
Most Rastas musicians don’t take music lightly, and to them, it isn’t just something fun that can make people feel good. It is and it can, which is one reason they play it, but it has a more meaningful purpose. It’s a tool to raise awareness and fight corruption while uplifting people, and while Rastas aren’t the only activists who use music to achieve their goals, the majority of Rasta musicians use their art to wake people up.
Beyond the fact that they can use wealth and fame for humanitarian purposes, they aren’t concerned with anything vain or ego-centric. They can help those who are suffering if they have extra money to give, and they can raise the world’s awareness of issues that matter with a higher level of fame. It isn’t about feeding the ego, but about waking up a world of sleepy people.
They see music, writing and other forms of creativity as the perfect way to do this, and the moving, uplifting melodies that come with the socially and spiritually conscious lyrics inspire not only them, but people of various faiths and cultures.
2. Rastas are passionate about healthful eating
Most people probably don’t know that Rastas only eat healthy, natural foods that come organically from the earth. In their eyes, artificial food and food that’s grown with pesticides have been tainted by Babylon to create disease (from which our corrupt medical system profits), so they stay away from tainted food while letting the earth, and thus Jah, feed them.
Most Rastas also abstain from meat for obvious reasons, though some consume fish. Reggae legend and pioneer Bob Marley apparently drank fish tea, and his son Ziggy has mentioned in interviews that he eats fish. Beyond fish, Rastas abstain from meat, salt and other things most westerners probably couldn’t live without, and in their place is a variety of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains (among other healthy things).
3. Rastafari and herb smoking
Arguably the most recognized aspect of Rastafari is the spiritual and ceremonial use of marijuana, which is often called ‘ganja’ or ‘herb’. Like music, Rasta’s don’t take ganja smoking lightly. It isn’t just an intoxicant to them – it’s something that connects them with Jah and gives them divine visions. The consume the herb for meditative purposes – sometimes by smoking it and sometimes by drinking it in tea – and it gives them strength, expands their consciousness and enhances their creativity.
People like Bob Marley might only be known for using cannabis, but they’ve also raised awareness, strived for social justice and genuinely tried to make the world a better place. They’ve been inspired by the herb to share their truth with the world, and their herb smoking is about a lot more than getting high. It has a purpose, and maybe it’s a coincidence that some of the most inspirational, innovative world changers frequently use(d) marijuana.
The Rastas seem to be doing something right, because they have all of the ingredients for a worldwide spiritual revolution. Society might change its stance on cannabis in time, but for now, its users who’ve discovered its true purpose will continue to be stereotyped and persecuted.
4. Rastas believe heaven is on earth
Unlike other spiritual communities, Rastas aren’t waiting to be taken to ‘heaven’ or a higher state of consciousness. They meditate so they can enhance their connection with Jah, but their version of the ‘end times’ doesn’t have as much to do with ascending into a heavenly higher dimension as other belief systems.
Their savior has already returned and passed on, and their salvation will come in the form of a repatriation to Africa. Africa is an important place for most Rastas, and they strive to see the day when Babylon can no longer stop them from returning there and living in harmony with each other, the land and their creator.
I appreciate this about Rastas, because it goes to show that we don’t have to renounce the material world to enjoy a higher state of consciousness. Heaven can be found right here on earth, and we just have to open our eyes to see that it’s been here all along. This world can be just as heavenly as a higher dimension, and it’s humbling to see that the earth has just as much to give.
5. Rastas live consciously and fight corruption
I’ve already detailed some of the ways Rastas live consciously and fight corruption, but the fact that their religion inspires them to do it at all is noteworthy. Sure, every spiritual movement or belief system comes with a certain lifestyle, but Rastafari encourages a progressive lifestyle that’s rooted in love and conscious living.
Rastafari and a conscious lifestyle go hand-in-hand, which is why most Rastas carry themselves with at least a small sense of righteousness. They know they’re living in a way that keeps them healthy and helps them grow, and they feel that it’s their responsibility (and everyone else’s) to expose and bring down the corruption in the world.
I’d imagine there aren’t too many Rastas who deviate from a conscious lifestyle, because it’s become their life. They’re dedicated (or rather, livicated) to treating their bodies right, fighting corruption and raising the world’s awareness, and they have their spirituality to thank for it. They don’t stray from the path, because they’re fully focused on their mission to bring the world into the light.
I also want to mention that Rastas like to change words around to make them more truthful and empowering. You probably noticed the couple examples I gave here, like ‘downpression’ (oppression) and ‘livicate’ (dedicate), and there are plenty more. They’ve also created some of their own phrases, such as the popular “I&I” (which could’ve been around in Jamaica before Rastas gained prominence).
This phrase is meant to communicate unity between peoples of every nation and culture, and it’s one more reason to appreciate Rasta culture.
Rastas are more interested in bringing people together than separating us based on our external differences, and their invention of unique phrases reflects this. You only need to listen to music that comes from Rastas to hear more examples, and again, the idea is to make the words more empowering and reflective of the truth.
The Rasta way of life has been persecuted and stereotyped since its inception, but Rastas have a lot of positive things to offer the world and I think we should hear them out instead of denouncing or rejecting them. We don’t have to believe their philosophy 100% to get something out of what they’re doing, and a Bob Marley record can seriously enlighten you if you have ears to hear what he’s saying.
The same can be said about almost any Rasta musician, and the Rasta community is one of the most active and aware out there. The world benefits greatly from the truth they put out there, and thanks to all the great pioneers who introduced Rastafari to the world, we don’t have to go very far to find this truth. It’s all around, being preached by millions of dedicated world-changers (some of whom are Rasta), and we can all take part in the fun.
About the Author
Wes Annac is the author of The Culture of Awareness. The Culture of Awareness features daily spiritual and alternative news, as well as original articles and more. Its purpose is to awaken and uplift by providing material that’s spiritually inspired and/or related to the fall of the planetary elite and our entrance into a positive future.
Wes can also be found on Facebook (Wes Annac and The Culture of Awareness) and Twitter.
Makia Freeman, Guest
Activism is what the Earth needs right now especially from conscious individuals, conscious groups and conscious communities. Those who’ve started their awakening process most likely can see that we are living in maya(as the ancient Buddhist teachings tell us), afake world of deception or a giant Matrix. Many have already begun to see that close to everything is fake, from MSM (Mainstream Media) news, to food, to scientific research, to Government itself.
While it is true that to be effective we must address the cause of the problem – the dysfunction of the mind/ego complex inside all of us – it is also true that merely trying to be more spiritual or become enlightened in your own isolated and separate bubble is not going to help the state of the world and alleviate others’ suffering very much. Sure, by focusing on your own enlightenment you can avoid adding to the collective misery and pain, but what is the point of all that enlightenment if you’re not going to do anything with it?
The Enlightened State Recognizes that We Are All One Being
A characteristic of the truly enlightened state is the deep recognition that we are all connected, and that in fact we are literally all one being. Therefore, a natural corollary of becoming more enlightened that you would intuitively feel the urge to help those around you, with whom you are connected by love. How can you truly have inner peace when you look into your brother’s or sister’s eye and see pain and suffering? That is also your pain and suffering, because I am you and you are me.
We are all in this together. Didn’t a great spiritual master of 2000 years ago say that we must forgive our brothers and sisters, and make things right with them, before attempting to enter the temple of God (i.e. go within to feel inner peace)?
Becoming More Conscious = Ending Denial
Becoming more conscious means becoming more integrated and whole. It means accepting things as they are and giving up the constant need to judge and complain. It also means ending denial, for whatever you deny, you push away and refuse to look at. This may be the parts of your personality that you don’t like. It may also be parts of what is happening in the world that are too “heavy”, “intense” or “negative” for you to handle. Yet, it is an energetic truth that whatever you deny or repress only grows stronger. It festers and ferments in the shadows and returns, often in an even worse form, when you least want or expect it. One way or another, you’re going to have to deal with it. Why not do it right now?
Can Truly Conscious People Ignore the Worldwide Conspiracy Around Us?
There is a common belief prevalent among those in spiritual or conscious communities – namely that we should leave activism to others, and that we should not worry about the bad state of the world or focus on it too much, because whatever we focus on we create, and obviously we do not wish to create more pain. While this is true, it is also used as an excuse by many to hide behind denial. Part of the enlightenment process is to confront the dark and transmute it – not to ignore it and hope with wishful thinking that it will just magically go away.
Remember what the most beloved US President of all, JFK, had to say in 1961:
“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”
It is an open secret that JFK was killed not by Lee Harvey Oswald by rather by this close-knit group of powerful individuals who felt very threatened by his desire to end secrecy and expose the conspiracy to light. JFK was assassinated 52 years ago. Have we gotten past our denial and apathy, and gotten any closer to integrating this dark side of our world? Have we confronted the truth that wealthy bankers, businessmen and military-intelligence heads run the Government, not politicians? Have we educated ourselves enough to see through the web of lies being spun by the MSM? Or have we pushed it all to the recesses of our consciousness and thought “someone else can deal with it”? Are you conscious enough to deal with the reality of what is happening on planet Earth?
Activism: Enlightened Action is the Complementary Outflow of the Enlightened State
Yes, we must take care of our inner state before we can hope to change the outer state (our society) for the better. However, what the world really needs right now is activism – enlightened action from an enlightened state. We need people to stand for peace and, with activism, challenge the war-loving governments of the world. We need people to stand for justice and, with activism, speak up against ongoing 21st century genocide (as the Zionist regime of Israel is doing to the Palestinians). We need people to stand for clean food by educating themselves about the dangers of GMOs and, with activism, demanding chemical-free food. We need people to stand for sovereignty and human rights in the face of corrupt courts that are happy to take away your freedom to make it easier for corporations and politicians to rule over you.
And so, I put out a call to all people on the conscious road: make activism part of your spiritual path. The joy you will feel from making the world a better place, of making a real difference, will be profound. Remember the vow of the Bodhisattva: to attain complete enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. We need to translate the divine inner peace of our inner states to the concrete action of activism in the outer world to end suffering.
About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the global conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
**This article was originally featured at The Freedom Articles.**
Zen Gardner, Guest
There couldn’t be a more pertinent backdrop to this article than the soci0-religious marriage taking place on the world stage right now. The Jesuit Pope endorsing these global social engineering programs disguised as caring for an ailing planet is a perfect example of mass manipulation using religious mindsets and attachments is a clear demonstration of what is being perpetrated on mind-numbed humanity.
If only people woke up from this and similar programming we would have a different world overnight.
Sadly, most operate from preconceived, purposely placed paradigms and can’t see the forest through the trees, to put it lightly. Taking what they’re handed at face value is perhaps humanity’s biggest weakness, much like hungry, penned in animals heading to the feed trough for whatever is being offered.
There are very powerful dynamics behind religious belief systems. And they’re not nice. As is the case with all controlling influences, they’re designed to subserviate, subjugate and control, with the appearance of being oh so benign. All with very serious consequences; socially, psychologically and spiritually, cleverly designed to fulfill a hidden agenda.
So let’s look at some of these devious disempowering dynamics and where they’re taking us.
The New Dark Age – Retreat to an Archaic Revival
Dark ages have repeated themselves throughout history. We’re in just such a potential collapse, as disturbing at it may seem, albeit an altogether avoidable one. The Greek dark age is little known but one such example.
On a so-called modern geopolitical scale this excerpt aptly summarizes the current sociopolitical condition:
Fear, exploited and unchecked, triggers a deep, “rational” insanity. We’re driving ourselves into a new Dark Age.
The driving force is institutional: government, the mainstream media, the military-industrial economy. These entities are converging in a lockstep, armed obsession over various enemies of the status quo in which they hold enormous power; and this obsession is devolving public consciousness into a permanent fight-or-flight mentality. Instead of dealing with real, complex social issues with compassion and intelligence, our major institutions seem to be fortifying themselves – with ever-increasing futility – against their imagined demons. (Source)
On a parallel plane of understanding, there is this perspective as stated by Terrence McKenna who often spoke about an archaic revival of a coming dark age:
These things are all part of the New Age, but I have abandoned that term in favor of what I call the Archaic Revival—which places it all in a better historical perspective. When a culture loses its bearing, the traditional response is to go back in history to find the previous “anchoring model.” An example of this would be the breakup of the medieval world at the time of the Renaissance. They had lost their compass, so they went back to Greek and Roman models and created classicism—Roman law, Greek aesthetics, and so on. [emphasis added] ~ Terence McKenna (Source)
Both of the source links cited above are worth serious perusal.
The Willing Subjects of the Penitent Mass Mind
So let’s look at some of these devious disempowering dynamics that are attempting to take us to a new age of directed, reduced enlightenment.
When the religious aspect is interjected or amplified upon the human mindscape we see very powerful dynamics at play. These very tools are used to manipulate humanity into the willing accomplice in such a retreat to this “archaic revival”. These are some of the mechanisms at play.
“I am not worthy” cries the subservient religious practitioner, no matter what carefully contrived religion it is. The abdication of self, sovereignty and rationale, all for a pittance of acceptance and justification for even living at all is the basis for all abusive religions.
How humanity has been decimated by looking outside for help via forms of external authority. A very “captivating” concept and great way to excuse oneself from responsibility in the bargain.
“Please accept me, oh great Being from beyond” cries the abdicating pawn. I know, I’ve been there, as have so many in one form or another if they’re honest. Religious affinity befalls sadly abused, programmed and misdirected souls who are longing for meaning and acceptance. It’s the most susceptible of emotions, being very cleverly locked into the natural human hunger for spirituality, but so very cleverly manipulated by “smarter” entities of all sorts.
This is an amazing topic as religion and belief systems are the most powerful of all control devices. Even the Gnostic teachings say that of all the Archontic devices leveled against humanity, religion is by far the most powerful. I heartily concur from all I’ve learned up to this point.
The Guilt Trap – Just Another Form of Fear Subservience
The guilt aspect is surreal, but basically the religiously blind-folded human wants to earn their way to forgiveness since that’s the playing field they’ve been presented with. It’s a “pull your self up by the bootstraps” kind of completely mindless, unsolvable conundrum that ensnares more than any other control device. And all according to whom? And what?
Just think about the idea that we were “born into sin”. What greater defenseless, innate bondage can you have?
This is very easy to use on less conscious humans. If you know anything about historical trends and the background of religion this is as obvious as rain. Sadly we put this type of dynamic and its many ramifications bringing dis-enlightenment into a carefully distanced “historical context”. As a result epochs like the dark ages are “way back when”, safely tucked away in the musty annals of times gone by, with people not realizing they themselves may indeed now be in the midst of a clever “darkening of the truth” while what they’re being directed into appearing to be the light of a brighter day.
In fact we’ve been entering quickly into a new dark age for decades, and all by design. Despite any kind of information explosion or not, people just don’t see it for what it is in the socially engineered world closing in around them.
Judging what you’re going through by what’s going on around you is akin to abject lunacy.
It’s the mindset of dependency that’s killing the inhabitants of this planet. Looking to others, “powers that be”, “authorities”, “saviors”, “great forces from beyond”, “celebrity icons”, “politicians” and profoundly including “technology”, or better said “technocracy”, one of the very real driving forces of the new age of darkness.
But even more so is the overarching religious aspect of the would be new order of world control, much as in ages past. We just lack the true historical perspective, which again has been blacked out by design. It seems unthinkable that another inquisition could ever happen on planet earth, yet we are in the throes of just such a draconian mind, soul and spirit crackdown and on a scale never before seen.
The Sad State of Affairs
People tend to succumb to the latest trend du jour. Whatever it may be, historically as well as in the current social context, we can see that the majority of humanity is going along with whatever is thrown at them. Why? Because it’s sold to them without apparent recourse. It’s done very cleverly but with distinct determination, waging this campaign to accomplish a desired result. Not difficult in such a massively media controlled whirled, yet cleverly masked from the unawakened.
This is why true information and being well informed and independently researching anything and everything is so, so important.
Our current situation is uniquely unique. We’re at a very profound crossroads in history yet the majority of our world’s populace isn’t fully understanding it and are clearly on the defensive. Not a good place to be for anyone. My point here is that the underLIEing influence is largely religious, as well as occultly spiritual programming, and something to be astutely aware of and to be broken free from.
The Globalist Mindset – Subdue At Any Cost
We’re being maneuvered into a new religious paradigm. Ever so slowly, and ever so slyly. The spiritual aspirations of mankind must be harnessed and channeled to support their intended agenda. This is why the rope a dope Pope is integral to all of this. Without spiritual endorsement they cannot nearly have the sway they intend to have. And there will be other such spiritual “voices”, guaranteed.
It’s all by design, and anyone could have seen this coming even without binoculars.
We’re being taken back to another dark age, one of massive totalitarian control with subservient masses, but they know they have to sell it as well as enforce it to get to that stage. We’re seeing the obvious dumbing down of humanity and its weakening and subjugation, but the final stage is so draconian it needs a massive marketing ploy, such as this hyperactive Jesuit Pope and all the media hype and concurrent entertainment and UN propaganda support, while they press ever harder on the unwitting masses’ minds and hearts.
While espousing Luciferian “light” they bring darkness. While proclaiming unity and prosperity they bring subjugation. It’s about time people woke up to their agenda.
In a chilling document well worth reading about the social engineering of the 60’s and the long term agenda to bring humanity into a stupefied state of darkness there is this ominous excerpt:
The purpose [of the psychedelic movement] was to establish a neo-feudalism by the debasing of the intellectual abilities of young people to make them as easy to control as the serfs of the Dark Ages. One accurate term used for the individuals who were victims of this debasing was “Deadhead,” which is an equivocation for a “dead mind” or “a drugged, thoughtless person”.
Aldous Huxley predicted that drugs would one day become a humane alternative to “flogging” for rulers wishing to control “recalcitrant subjects.” He wrote in a letter to his former student George Orwell in 1949:
But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.
Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will 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.
~ Aldous Huxley
Despite all we’re up against I’ll wrap this up with one final point. That any thinking being on this planet can put up with all of this and not be screaming from the rooftops about what is truly going on escapes me.
I honestly wonder, who stole humanity’s guts? Where’s the courage to speak out and do everything they can to fight this insanity? Why don’t people make their lives a statement to the truth they’ve learned?
It befuddles me. But I’m not giving up, nor are many others.
Be it slickly sold religious claptrap, media insanity, geopolitical maneuvers or whatever, amongst the awakened our sails are set.
I hope yours is too. Meet you at the sunset. Or is it sunrise? Or both!
Fight on in love and truth… and beware the darkness disguised as light.
by Estee Taschereau
What does intuitive mean? It used to be seen as the fortune reader in a tent at the carnival, set in a mystical atmosphere. Many tools were used to used to bring those intuitive insights into awareness, ranging from tarot and crystal balls to clairvoyant or psychic readings.
Thirty years ago we experienced a shift in our use of the word intuition. Greater emphasis was placed on our own abilities, though limitations still existed. Women were thought to have the intuitive or gut level feelings, but little credibility was placed on their insights. Men were not given such an illogical outlet, but those same abilities could be woven in to business savvy or the ability to create ingenious inventions.
Still the question remains. What is intuition? How can we describe with any exact meaning such an esoteric concept? The dictionary tells us that intuition is beyond our conscious thought. This answer doesn’t tell us much at all. A better way to describe intuition might be awareness without evidence, or the ability to see or feel without actually being a part of an event.
Intuition by itself has little value. In order to gain from our intuitive insights we have to assign some meaning to those perceptions. The challenge begins at this point. How do we interpret our visions? How do we give meaning to what we see? This question has carried forward since the beginning of time.
Philosophers have invested entire lifetimes to interpret the meaning of everything in life since the beginning of time. This seems to be the most noble of professions, for we are seekers, finding great satisfaction in finding understanding.
Intuition is still not always accepted, and it is difficult to measure. We have signs, seeing something hidden within our visual perceptions. Our advancements in science has shown us that what we see is only a sliver of what exists. There is a world contained in something as simple as a drop of water, yet our perception of water is usually confined to that quenching drink or the waves crashing onto the shore.
The intuitive meaning of any of our life experiences is a combination of both event and interpretation. Much of our intuitive awareness is internal, and often overlooked in our awareness. There are times when intuitive perceptions are taken global, shared with the world around us. Those insights give more credibility to intuitive meaning. Regardless of its form or scope, there is one common result, and that is the expansion of our thought and awareness.
About the author:
Of the many philosophies in the world today, how do you find what is the right direction? Many tools exist to help us gather and weave our own personal knowledge and wisdom, ranging from individual intuitive sessions to classes and books. There are many directions we can take, and every step can contain intuitive meaning. For more articles on spirituality and direction visitintuitivemeaning.com.
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff
“A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions. When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born.”
What is a spiritual activist? A proactive force of awakened cosmos; the personification of a walking meditation. A spiritual activist is a fusion of intelligent courageous action meets wise radical love. Spiritual activism is being all-in, and giving oneself totally, as a force of nature first and an individual second, in order to serve the enlightened evolution of humanity. Most importantly, it’s not being afraid. It’s putting a spiritual charge to the following words by Zlavoj Zizek, “The true task of radical emancipatory movements is not just to shake things out of their commonplace inertia, but to change the very coordinates of social reality.”
Here are seven signs you might be a spiritual activist:
1. Your spiritual activism is not about religion or dogma.
“Courage is knowing what not to fear.” –Plato
The most effective activism comes from the heart and works its way out through existential thresholds, societal platitudes, and political obstacles. Similarly the most effective spirituality comes from the soul and works its way out through spiritual gauntlets, cultural clichés, and religious hurdles.
As a spiritual activist, you understand this. You have achieved authentic spiritual power over religious pseudo-power. Your spirituality is no longer weighed down by the parochial burden of religious baggage. Nor is your activism weighed down by the outdated heaviness of political propaganda. They have both been fused in a third fire called Providence. Having been burnt to ashes, and thus cleansed of all hand-me-down cultural conditionings, the Phoenix of your spiritual activism rises through providence and you gain initiation into cosmic heroism.
2. You are spiritually activated and actively spiritual.
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” –Pericles
You are tapped into the source. You have heard the “call to adventure” loud and clear, and you’ve heeded that call. No fear. Fear is kindling for the fire of your own “Hero’s Journey.” You have a clear and penetrating vision about your place in the world. You are able to translate a “language older than words” into a language others can understand.
Aware of the interpenetration of spiritual and material energy interlaced between worlds, you are able to use that energy as medicine in this world. Hence are you actively spiritual, transforming the pseudo-power of religion into the real power of spirituality and teaching others how to do the same.
3. Your compassion flows from an interconnection with all things.
“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” –Thomas Merton
Solitude and meditation are your bedrock. Out away from the things of man. You immerse yourself fully and deeply into the inner-workings of Mother Nature so you can hear what others cannot. You mindfully meditate in order to achieve no-mind, to the extent that your entire life becomes a walking meditation. You are compassionately able to “walk” the wisdom found through such meditation back to the people like Prometheus stealing fire from the gods.
You actively practice the art of social alchemy using the highest frequencies of love. You are the walking, talking, protesting, insurgent personification of compassion-in-action. Having stolen fire from the gods, you are proactive about spreading that fire through a passion of the most high, born of a fusion of courage and insouciance mixed with disobedience and tough love.
4. You proactively epitomize the change you wish to see in the world.
“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” –Khalil Gibran
You are the epitome of a trailblazer. You are willing to lead by good example. Or even bad (amoral) example, if need be. For you understand that change isn’t easy, and being the spearhead of change is even more difficult. Especially in a world run roughshod with inflexible societal-political infrastructures and rigid cultural-religious paradigms.
Thus are you an amoral agent par excellence. Having surfed the amoral wave through any and all moral and immoral obstacles, after penetrating the lies spouted from both sides, you lead the way, realizing that the only thing better than being a beacon of light in the pitch dark is being a beacon of dark in the blinding light. Like Leslie Fieger said “Any fool can run toward the light. It takes a master with courage to turn and face the darkness and shine his own light there.”
5. Your activism is synergistic and holistic.
“I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. Most Western poverty is psychological. Real independence is interdependence.” –Mark Boyle
You come from an interdependent stance. Having overcome the clinginess of codependency and the selfishness of independence, your interdependent view oversees all. Because of this you have cultivated a courage-based lifestyle despite the rampant fear-based lifestyle of others. From this courageous interdependent birds-eye view of the world your activism has become spiritually charged.
You understand that activism need not be a take-no-prisoners, cutthroat insurgency. You realize that in one circumstance patience may be needed; in another, conviction; in another, discernment; in another, forgiveness. Your mercy and compassion can come on just as passionately as your ruthlessness and determination, but just as compassion does not imply passivity, “love does not imply pacifism (Derrick Jensen).”
6. Your spirituality is radical and rebellious.
“Sacred activism is the fusion of the mystic’s passion for God with the activist’s passion for justice –creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing.” –Andrew Harvey
Spirituality does not imply serenity. Spirituality can just as easily come from the shadow as hate can come from the light. One becomes more spiritually robust by rebelling against the blind entrenchment of either. As a spiritual activist, you are the epitome of this rebellion. From this ever-fluid, ever-flexible, non-dogmatic, Middle Way stance, your spirituality can never be pigeonholed. You’re consistently able to use a radical approach in order to shatter spiritual paradigms and stretch sacred comfort zones, so as to never become just another member of the status quo.
You understand you were born into a cultural paradigm not of your making within which you must find your own way, have your own adventures, and write your own story. But, as a catalyzing agent of spiritual transformation, you’re taking it a step further and daring to rewrite the cultural paradigm itself.
7. The journey is the thing, not the destination.
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” –Alan Watts
You don’t focus too much on “answers,” because you know that answers are meant to be questioned. Similarly, you don’t focus too much on destinations, because destinations are, at least in part, up to destiny. Just as the journey is the thing, not the destination; the question is the thing, not the answers. And so you go with the flow, consistently taking Alan Watts’ advice, “For what one needs in this universe is not certainty but the courage and nerve of the gambler; not fixed conviction but adaptability; not firm ground whereupon to stand but skill in swimming.”
At the end of the day, your most potent defense is your profound sense of humor. You carry it like an invisible shield of absolute vulnerability against an invulnerable world. You’re the radical stance against the Tiananmen tank of aggrandized humanity. Your sense of humor keeps the journey in perspective.
If, as Epictetus said “life is a wisp of soul carrying a corpse” then your corpse is your cape, and adventure follows with it. Life is short, and you plan on living it to the nth degree, questioning all things and living in the moment with a humor of the most high.
From the glowing horizon of your spiritual activism you can hear the wise words of Friedrich Nietzsche resonating through the static, “Only now are you going your way to greatness. Peak and abyss, they are now joined together, for all things are baptized in a well of eternity, and lie beyond good and evil.”
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (7 Signs You Might be a Spiritual Activist) was originally created and published byWaking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary ‘Z’ McGee and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.
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