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Consciousness

Stepping Outside The Box

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The Meeting of Science and Spirit

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We are all beings made of energy, we are all made of light. The atoms that make up our physicality are indistinguishable from the atoms of trees, rocks, the air and even the stars. Yet our body is animated by the same life force energy that connects us all, the one of Consciousness. The main principle that both science and spirituality manage to come to an agreement upon is the fact that ourselves and all that we touch, see, hear, think and feel, whether it is seen or unseen, is merely a form and a rate of vibration. To explain this a little further, each atom, when observed with a powerful microscope, consists of one proton that is continually being orbited by an electron, generating a vibratory pattern. We all are and emanate a rate of vibration, the planet is and emanates a rate of vibration, the whole Universe IS vibrational. This is where all of Humanity reaches a common ground. No matter how divided we have become due to this hierarchical type society -goaded by money, separated by religious, political structures and illusionary barriers that exist to polarize the masses -we are all the same in essence; beings of light, of energy, vibrating with consciousness.

“Do you remember how electrical currents and “unseen waves” were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.” – Albert Einstein

“The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.” – Physicist Heinz Pagels

As most people would tend to define it, Consciousness is not about a simple state of wakefulness driven by the ego, mind and intellect alone. It is the essence of what makes us experiencers, perceivers and dreamers with such a rich and multifaceted inner world that is undeniably beyond the bounds of mainstream science. Physics, biology, chemistry or any other science, when remaining in the box of their own rules, simply cannot account for having intuition, wisdom, and a deeper sense of Self beyond what can be studied of human cognition. As much as science has been successful in explaining the functioning and structure of the material world, when it comes to understanding the immaterial world and depth of human consciousness, scientific rationalization gets awkward and the hard questions are left unanswered. On the other hand, religion blindly leaves science out of the picture, divides humanity by perpetuating the misleading doctrine of “God’s separatist order” and in doing so fails to keep the fundamental message of Unconditional Love untampered.

As Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. He could easily see through dogmatic religions but also realized that there is more to life than what can be measured by science. Funnily enough, he’s been somewhat labeled as a “mad scientist” for how his multidimensional perspectives, clarity and undimmed perception of authority pushed the envelope on society’s boundaries. My point is not to elaborate on hundreds of self-righteous biblical doctrines or to study the superficial anatomy of brain processes, but to dissolve the need for confining boxes and raise awareness on how reality is not limited to what is accepted as “truth” through the fixed set of beliefs within our society.

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If mainstream science could come to terms with the fact that there is truth beyond logic, and if religions could rip off their labels and see that truth is beyond dogma, both would find common ground through an essence beyond the polarities of our world. Before going any further in the subject of our vibrational reality, let’s explore the root-cause of why metaphysical/spiritual perspectives remain a vision that is labeled as “outside the box”.

Metaphysics – The Primacy of Consciousness:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7799171063626430789#

Consciousness Drives the Universe:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7799171063626430789#docid=7670392709414846242

The Oddballs of Modern Society

Metaphysics and Spirituality are simply a reflection of science and religion moving beyond their self-imposed limits, and both uniting above confined logic and dogmatic beliefs, seeing all as One instead of perpetuating the cycle of division. They happen to be the oddballs within our modern society for the simple reason that they do not conform to the popular views and polarized belief systems endorsed by governments, religious, mediatic and educational institutions/corporations. People whose opinion is founded upon the system’s supported beliefs and suppressed alternatives will either point out how intangible and merely hypothetical Metaphysics and Spirituality are to science, or misperceive it as an attack to their religious faith -or whatever doctrine they identify themselves with. Either way, it all stems from their own defense mechanism of what “box” their minds cherish and feel comfortable with, because what questions a fixed belief and lifts its veils towards a wider perspective, threatens the belief. Religious institutions keep their “sinner” followers safe in heaven and from hell while casting out all non-believers, while mainstream science keeps their advocates safe in their intellectual sanity, which in essence are reasonings that stem from the fear of stepping out of comfort zones, of searching for a deeper answer than the one they identified their lives with.

“All fixed beliefs refusing to remain flexible and open to new perspectives, are fear-based and separatist. All fixed believers refusing to remain flexible and open to new perspectives are actually fearful of facing themselves not armed with a belief. A perspective that is free of doctrine, fear, judgment, exclusiveness, and unconditionally embracing the core essence of consciousness within all, just might be the one of our unconditionally loving God.”

Some individuals remain indifferent and uninterested to a higher meaning of life because of how “dinosaur” wisdom is to our materialistic society, and how irrelevant it is to ask ourselves such questions when the world revolves around career performance and money anyways.

Trained Humanity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VRsRFTq5fY

Why is it that Metaphysical perspectives and Spirituality are either ignored or satirized by the mainstream media and suppressed in our education? Why would common-sense and fundamental truths reminded by simple wisdom, such as indigenous values, are being disregarded and even ridiculed in our modern society? Is it because this “out of the box” or “too simple” perception is for lunatics, or is it because the system ruling our lives is orchestrated and designed to pull us away from our true nature and consciousness?

Message from an Elder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9piIziXU9RE&feature=related

The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0

Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight (Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist):

http://vimeo.com/3907053

When you take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture, the answer becomes quite obvious:

What would take away our need to identify ourselves with profit-making belief systems and popular mindsets/trends? What would bring us closer to our spirit instead of being constantly distracted, exhausted and dependant on external quick-fixes and materialistic consumption? What would bring unity and dissolve division, fear, anger, discrimination, close-mindedness, stress and pressure to obey, conform and perform within this system? What would deprogram our minds and open our eyes to the grand scheme of things?

The answer to all of these… has no economic value.

The moment you start digging to the roots of our monetary system, a bigger picture quickly starts to take form.

David Icke – Brilliant Speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBJKCz6Xhzs

Zeitgeist Addendum (Facts of our monetary system):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EewGMBOB4Gg

Money/Economic Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/money.html

It doesn’t take much to see that division, distraction, conformism, fear mongering and disinformation are the main factors preventing a population from questioning both authority and the fundamental construct of social structures ruling their lives. Through years of exposure to constant fear-based media reporting and an overemphasis on meaningless, mind-numbing entertainment, we have been fastidiously withheld in apathy and ignorance towards injustice. Furthermore we have manipulated into believing that wars, famine, greed, scarcity, domination of the rich over the poor and the disrespect of planet Earth are merely a product of human nature, as if this outcome was inevitable.

When you are able to look at our world situation from a wider perspective with the simple use of discernment and intuition -rather than conforming to standard mindsets -you begin to see how what has become of our society has absolutely nothing natural to it.

Environmental Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/environmental.html

War Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/war.html

Bill Hicks on War and Freedom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGPH4htkDWM

Pharmaceutical Industry – Not in business of Health, Healing, Cures, Wellness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AazObF_pHSU&feature=channel

Cancer – Step Outside the Box:

http://www.cancerstepoutsidethebox.com/intro.html/

Behind the Big News – Propaganda and the CFR:

http://www.sprword.com/videos/behindthebignews/

Valedictorian speech on education:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4tdMsg3ts&feature=player_embedded

Jordan Maxwell – Government & Religion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neLoq6IL3p8

The business of war, famine, domination of the rich over the poor and the disrespect for our planet earth isn’t about human nature anymore. The very system we live in is all about dehumanizing our true nature, molding us all it into a sheep-like behavior suited to maintain the functionality of this corrupted monetary system. It is all about business, greed and power. What better way for rulers to get away with it than to keep us divided, distracted, exhausted, enslaved by the system and oblivious of our true spiritual nature?

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroys information and religions destroy spirituality.” – Michael Ellner

The word conspiracy has now become an obscure thing. They have even paired the word with “theory”, because people in general have better things to do than to research information that is only theoretical, right? The ones pulling the strings on our government are the same ones behind those 5 massive integrated corporations that have control over the media. We are being bombarded with meaningless and mind numbing entertainment. We are having our thoughts controlled by constant fear-based reporting that is molding our perception of reality and perpetuating a fear towards ever stepping outside the box.

“If an Economist, Doctor, Lawyer, Media Personalities, Government Officials, etc. Makes a claim it is Automatically deemed credible, at time without any substantial evidence, though evidence is no obstacle to the necessary Consensus Reality. If anyone presents information that “contradicts” the Official Investigations… And/Or Current “Norms” of a present society, he’s labeled as crazy. Is condemned, Mis-represented, and ostracised. Often by those who only read the Headlines without reading information that further substantiates the particular point. Way of the world, I’m afraid. Though I feel compelled to ask Why is it the way of the world?” – David Icke

Question the world you live in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f0sDWcZ4IY

The power structure:

http://www.sprword.com/overwhelmed.html

The men behind the curtain:

http://www.sprword.com/globalelite.html

You have Awakened:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxwG8RxQ5Zc

A “War” of Vibrations

While the anger-driven conspiracy whistleblowers are serving in the sense that they shed light on government fraudulency and deceit within the political, religious and educational structures of our world, to perpetuate the vibration of hatred, anger or fear is to miss the point of it all. As Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it, therefore, we cannot free ourselves by emanating the same low vibration that enslaved us in the first place. We all know in our hearts that corruption is not in sync with the highest Truth. But haven’t we had enough experiences that demonstrated how fighting cannot transcend duality? Have we not realized that it instead keeps on manifesting more confusion, division, fear and anger through the vibration it carries?

“In fear, they’re in control. In Love, we’re in control” – Alex Collier

The truth becomes simple when you truly awaken to what lies beyond the surface of the material world. This global duality is, in essence, nothing but a war of vibrations. Therefore, it is not foolish to presume that we can become what we fight. The controlling elite of our world know of this, and will keep on controlling us through fear for this very reason: to perpetuate anger, fear and hate, because their low-vibrational frequencies allow them to remain in control. Doesn’t it make sense that if you maintain a population of interconnected beings of light and of limitless potential into the illusion of fear, division and dependency, a few men can rule in the name of their own greed?

This conspiracy is, in essence, but an attempt at maintaining Humanity oblivious to their interconnectedness to all of their fellow brothers and sisters, of Planet Earth and of the animal kingdom, and therefore oblivious to who we really are: Souls having a human experience, all connected through the Source of Unconditional Love, beyond all form of judgment. The more of us who become knowledgeable of who they really are, the more all control mechanisms will begin to crumble.

“So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are –I am– the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you.” -Jill Bolte Taylor, Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist

There is a higher purpose to duality, and it is to learn how to see the Truth past it. It is to understand that the state of the world is a reflection of our collective inner-state, of how we still let ourselves be overruled by attachment to our ego’s dualistic perspective that is perpetuating our own inner-battles. And as long as we keep on perceiving the world through the ego’s eyes of judgment, fear, anger and hatred, our unconsciousness will continue to be reflected outwards, creating a collective challenge ruled by separation and egotistical purposes, rather than unity and Love which is the core essence of who we are. This is the “divine plan”, the great lesson we have come here to learn, as eternal souls living the human experience.

“We are not called to fight the bad guy, harm it, or fear it. We are just called to dig within and find our sacred ground. To stand in full love by our bottom line. And as we do, the bad guy will very quickly scuttle away or drop its mask. Because it was never about the bad guy, but about us all along, about finding that essence inside, embracing all of who we are, when faced with any challenge. It is one of the ways in which we can honor the bad guy in his role of carrier of lessons, who is volunteering to wear a dark mask, so we may reach for more and find what was lost. It’s not a fight nor a struggle. It’s a quest for an affirmation of worth.” – Katie Gallanti

We are all interconnected, we are all One, and therefore by healing ourselves within and embodying peace, we uplift the whole. Doesn’t it make sense that in a state of Peace, free of limitative fears, judgments and conditions of the mind, we would reclaim our limitless creative potential? Isn’t our authenticity to the unconditionally loving essence of who we are the most beautiful gift we could give to ourselves and to the world?

“It’s just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.” – Bill Hicks

I am Another Yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNdlf5TavAU

Evolution is Now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D64iYXRpzak%EF%BB%BF

To follow our heart’s calling, to be the pure reflection of that which we truly are without any strings attached, without any expectations and need of approval, is really all that is required of us. It is how we raise our own vibrational frequency towards the one of pure Love. No spiritual dogma, religious doctrine, warrior mentality or fixed step-by-step procedure needed. It is this simple Truth that will change the face of our vibrational reality as more awaken to their higher purpose, which is to be anchors of light, of who they really are. And it all starts with dissolving our own veils of inner-battle.

The more I know the simpler it gets – all genius is simple at its core when the veil of complexity is removed.” – David Icke

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 13: The Marriage)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

13. The Marriage

On the patio of the village restaurant on the island of Allandon, the restaurant chef and the village florist sat uncomfortably on a hot afternoon waiting for their children to arrive. The daughter of the florist was to marry the son of the chef, and the two women, who had not met previously, both felt it was important to all get together to set the wedding arrangements in motion.

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“Where are those two?” asked the florist.

“No sense of responsibility, their generation,” said the chef.

After a few more minutes of uncomfortable silence, the chef said, “Well, let me be the first to welcome you into our family.”

“No, no, it is I who welcome you into our family,” replied the florist.

They gazed out towards the East Beach and still saw no signs of their children.

“Well, perhaps we might start,” said the florist.

“Yes, we should,” replied the chef.

“I will be happy to help you select an appropriate gift for your son to give me,” said the florist.

“Gift?” asked the chef.

“Yes, during the ceremony the groom is joined with the bride after his gift to her mother is accepted,” the florist said.

“You mean the groom is joined with the bride after her father walks her down the aisle and gives her away,” quipped the chef.   “There is no aisle,” said the florist. “It is more of an open space, so there is room for the drummers—and the chickens.”

“Chickens?” the chef responded. “Do you think this is a wedding or a circus?”

Just then the chef’s son plopped down on an empty chair beside them, surfboard in hand and wearing only a bathing suit. “The circus sounds fun,” he said.

“You’re wet!” said the chef.

“And you’re late,” said the florist.

“I know,” said the florist’s daughter, who leaned her surfboard against the wall. “The ocean was so perfect, it just kept pulling us back in.”

“Be serious,” said the chef. “We are having some problems with the wedding arrangements.”

“How can there be problems?” asked the boy laughing. “You cook the meal and she’ll arrange the flowers.”

“No, the ceremony,” the chef said. “She is saying it should be outside with loud noises and wild animals…”

“You are talking about our tradition!” replied the florist. “And it’s better than being cooped up inside watching a stiff procession.”

“Our ceremony is sacred, and it respects the seriousness of the event.”

“We feel a marriage should be a celebration.”

“I agree—a celebration, not a farce,” said the chef.

The florist took a deep breath, not wanting to cause a scene. She turned to her daughter. “See then, you need to make a decision now. Arrangements have to be made.”

“Yes.”

“So are you going to do it our way or her way?”

“Yes,” the girl said with a smile.

“What?” asked the florist.

“Yes,” the boy repeated. “Our answer is ‘yes’.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked the chef.

“We trust you can figure it out,” said the boy. And with that, they took up their surfboards and trotted back towards the beach.

In our world of duality, opposition would seem unavoidable. We have noted that it is the perpetual opposition of yin and yang that keeps our world and our lives in motion. However as we become more aware that we are beings that can choose to come from a place of unity, our Dao Self, rather than a place of duality, our Ego Self, we create the possibility for dealing with opposition as an occasion for fostering harmony rather than as a reason for conflict.

In the new conversation there is a subtle shift away from the need to stand firmly on one particular side of an issue. While converse can mean opposite, conversing does not have to imply opposing. When presented with a choice between opposing ideas it becomes possible to say yes—not to one or the other choice, but to choice itself. In celebrating together the very fact that we have choice, we honor our differences. The prospects of this awareness are exciting. Once it is grasped by a critical mass of people, it will suddenly become unthinkable to engage in a serious fight about anything on the planet.

But first, we have to work through some long-standing habits of thought that our ancestors left us with. We are still in a place where having differences continues to have negative connotations, because we continue to believe who we are is grounded in those differences. For example, if our identity is mainly tied to the particular culture, nation, race or creed we belong to, we are already setting up barriers to the possibility of dissimilar people and groups coming together as one.

Historically, tribal groups brought people together into a view of the world that established rules and values for all the individuals of their group to follow. These tribes tended to be very protective of the values that distinguished them from others because it was thought to ensure their survival. Nietzsche said it this way:

No people could live without evaluating; but if it wishes to maintain itself it must not evaluate as its neighbor evaluates. Much that seemed good to one people seemed shame and disgrace to another: thus I found. I found much that was called evil in one place was in another decked with purple honors. One neighbor never understood another: his soul was always amazed at his neighbor’s madness and wickedness.

Now there is much to be said about the beauty and magnificence of human collectives such as cultures, races, or religions that are bound together by common values and a shared way of thinking. They represent a form of fulfillment of our most basic desire as human beings—the desire for unity, the desire to be part of something larger than our individual selves. But while cultures may have become strong and able to maintain themselves based on the values they adopted, there was often an inbred tendency to hold all other ways of experiencing the world as wrong. To actually give credence to the value system of an adversary was a most dangerous and self-defeating strategy. It demonstrated weakness, and was a threat to a people’s survival and proliferation. To some, protecting their collective identity even meant promoting their views and traditions beyond their boundaries. In the process, instead of exchanging divergent ideas and practices with others in the pursuit of higher knowledge and mutual understanding, people exchange swords on the bloody battlegrounds of war, with the objective of establishing one set of beliefs as ‘right’ and the other as ‘wrong’.

In recent times there has been a shift in the manner in which cultures interact. Modern transportation has facilitated travel and immigration as never before. Living in modern cosmopolitan cities exposes us to many of the world’s cultures in everyday life. If nothing else, this exposure forces us to acknowledge that there are many habits, customs, and lifestyles that are different from our own. As well, technological advances such as the Internet and an increasingly mutually-dependant world economy has amplified cross-cultural communications exponentially. The man-made walls around cultures and nations have never been more porous. And as the nations of our world are compelled to pull open their curtains and face each other, tolerance for diverse ideas and perspectives on how to live is the rule of the day. In other words, tolerance has become an economic necessity.

The allure of a tolerant world is that it provides the perception that all ways of life are respected, and that matters of difference will be resolved peacefully and without blame or judgment. In reality this is not the case. A show of tolerance is often done more for convenience and prudence rather than as a true recognition of the potential value of another culture’s ideas and values.

During my time in Korea I discovered some of the limits of the mind-set of tolerance. Now first, understand that I had always considered myself wonderfully tolerant of other cultures. While I had not adopted all the ways of Korean culture during my three plus years living there, I never considered them to be wrong or inferior to my own ways. I enjoyed Korean food and learned to be quite proficient with chopsticks. I had picked up enough of the Korean language to live and get around. I even started to realize that certain behaviors, ones that would have been considered ‘rude’ in my own culture, were perfectly natural in the context of Korean life, and I could adjust my reactions accordingly. And so when I happened to fall in love with a Korean girl and eventually asked her to marry me, I was doing so with no fear of experiencing the proverbial ‘culture shock’ often associated with such unions since I felt I had already embraced her culture. In fact I was the one who pushed for a traditional Korean wedding ceremony.

My wife-to-be Hyun and I planned to pay for the wedding ourselves. She suggested that her parents were not in a financial position to pay for the wedding, and to her delight I was in full agreement. As we were discussing the guest list, she informed me that all the friends of her parents whose children’s weddings they had gone to had to be invited. Although I didn’t really like the idea, I went along with it when I heard that they would all be giving substantial amounts of money as gifts. Later on, as I was adding up the costs for the wedding, I asked her how much money we could expect to get from these friends of her parents. She looked at me a bit strange. “None,” she said, “all that money is going to my mother.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, incredulous. I figured I must have misunderstood something. She repeated what she had said. I must have asked her five times to make sure I got the story right before finally exploding into a rage.

“How could that money be going to your mother? It’s our wedding! It’s our gifts! It’s for us! We’re even paying for the wedding! That’s ridiculous! That’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard of!”

Hyun was fully taken aback by my outburst, and was in tears for over an hour. When she finally mustered the strength to respond, she came out angrily: “She had to pay out money at all their weddings! It’s normal. It’s the only way she can get that money back. It’s her money!”

In Korea, money is traditionally distributed up through the family, usually the mother, and redistributed down to the children. It’s a complex system that ties in with family real estate, in a way that protects its members and helps them make prudent decisions. I had heard about this, but never gave it much attention. The idea never bothered me because I was never affected by it. But now that it was affecting me, I was angry about it. All I could think of was that I was paying for a stranger’s meal so he could put some money in my mother-in-law’s pocket. My anger was an indictment not only against Hyun’s mother, but also against the whole culture in general for having what I suddenly felt was a ludicrous system.

But it really wasn’t. It was just different, and totally self-consistent. Hyun’s parents had always been honest and very generous with me. The last thing they would want to do is take money that they didn’t think belonged to them. Hyun’s parents worked hard and scraped by to help Hyun and her brother and sister get through university. In contrast, my brother, sister and I all paid our own way through university. This was not because our parents loved us any less. Our culture tends to put a high value on independence and fosters autonomous separate family units, while Koreans put more emphasis on interdependence and keeping family ties strong. If I was to be married to someone of a different culture, I suddenly realized more was needed from me than mere tolerance.

Tolerance still maintains the notion that ours is the ‘right’ way and theirs is the ‘wrong’ way. This polarity lays in wait, potentially manifesting as violent opposition when triggered by circumstance. Without a real desire to actively delve into the way others see the world, and be challenged by these different views in ways that matter to us, it might be difficult to fully come to grips with our own ethnocentricity. Today I feel very fortunate to be married to someone of a different culture. I am reminded in the daily events of our relationship that simple tolerance is not enough to heal the conflicts and misunderstandings that arise in a way that generates true harmony.

It is striving for what I call true acceptance, not simple tolerance that opens the door to overcoming the opposition that leads to conflict. Through acceptance we entertain the possibility that our own way of thinking may need to come under scrutiny from time to time, and that perhaps the other person’s way of thinking is right. And in its purest form acceptance even goes beyond that, to the most subtle and uplifting precept of them all: that all ideas have value, that it is not a question of right and wrong, but simply a matter of perspective. Here, the ideas that make us different are no longer obstacles but opportunities, to learn, to grow, to come to a greater awareness of what our lives are really about. In my marriage, striving for this kind of acceptance for my wife and her culture has not only meant greater harmony but also a fuller, richer appreciation for the diversity that exists around me.

Humanity as a whole suffers when groups of people remain too attached to their own collective identity and world-view. It seems a not-so-divine comedy that the history of humanity has been marked by an inability to embrace our cultural and racial differences, one of our greatest gifts to one another. This inability is at the core of the racism and discrimination that is still active in the world.

In his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King spoke of emancipation from the slavery of outmoded ideas. He spoke of a day that would see the Negro, as he called his own, liberated from oppression and racial injustice. But even beyond a vision for his own people, his dream had universal significance. He sought to advance the truths that the Declaration of Independence, written almost two hundred years earlier, had deemed self-evident: that all men (and women) are created equal. He dared to speak of a day in the future where different races and creeds would walk side by side, beyond the clutches of discrimination, and “all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ “

His speech remains one of the most dramatic appeals for all of us to liberate ourselves from our deeply rooted habit of judging one another. And this appeal has been taken up by the new conversation. The new conversation is not about changing the words we use while leaving the beliefs intact. Certainly words are powerful, and to some extent they are transformative, but simply being proficient in politically correct terminology is not enough. While some of us pride ourselves on our ability to suppress judgment from our world and hide it from ourselves, this does not bring about healing. It only puts off confrontation until another day. If judgment and discrimination are still our inner guiding principles, the damage will eventually manifest.

At the same time the new conversation is not designed to censor judgment and discrimination. If a racial slur is someone’s deepest truth, we are better to allow its expression than to suppress it. If we really want to be helpful, we will do best not to judge the person for saying it. In this way we are helping the person get an unimpeded look at themselves. When they are ready to learn from it they will.

I have personally found this to be one of the most challenging aspects of the new conversation. I don’t want to condone discrimination, but at the same time I don’t want to be judgmental. I’m not always sure if simply being silent is enough, but I do know that it would be inauthentic for me to go along with the joke (i.e., smiling or nodding when asked, “You know how those people are, eh?”) Certainly if I am directly asked what I think, it is incumbent upon me to take the risk and speak out from my heart. But if I am not asked then I realize I need to muster some compassion for where the other person is coming from. It’s a bit of a high wire act, and I have needed lots of practice to learn to balance myself.

In the new conversation we are asked to walk this thin line because we have seen that discrimination cannot be healed by confrontation, and have learned that judgment can only melt away in a larger space of acceptance. If we are going to come together in any profound way, we all need a space to expose our whole selves. That means our light and our darkness. Let’s face it: none of us are completely free of judgment. And if we accept this, it helps us to be easier on each other, and more importantly on ourselves. After all, the ability to listen and speak with acceptance comes from self-acceptance which, paradoxically, is cultivated when we feel accepted by others. At stake in this is our shared longing to fully express our unique selves, and the hope that our diversity can lead us to experience our most sublime sense of unity.

Today, there are signs that we have gotten closer to Dr. King’s lofty vision. True, the world as a whole does not yet value acceptance as the highest attribute of discourse. In some parts it remains forbidden to access or speak about ideas different from the accepted norms of the nation or culture. Wars based on ideology continue to be fought because we continue to fear that accepting those whose ideas are different from ours will threaten our survival. But despite all appearances, I believe our world is evolving from a scattered collection of bordered nations into a harmonious global village. One day we will all be free. The nature of our consciousness, like the universe, is to expand. And while we are going through some growing pains today, no longer certain about what is right and wrong, about how our differences can all fit in together, there will be no turning back. We have become alienated from the identities we were born into, and we are getting too smart to label ourselves by the founding ideas of our cultures. The Pandora’s box has opened and the conversation has begun. And the more we talk, the more we will enjoy the fact that each of us seems to see things a little differently, no longer satisfied with being pushed back into a box that has become too restrictive to contain us.

As we endeavor to become fully human, to actualize ourselves, we get a glimpse of the importance of being informed by the distinct character and nature of all human beings, not just those who think the way we do. We are gaining the courage to question our deep-seated beliefs that there is only one view of the world, and only one meaning to life. The slowly emerging consensus is that the seemingly disparate ways of seeing the world and giving meaning to life are all dazzling colors that together form the mosaic that encompasses the human experience.

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Consciousness

The Power of Human Emotions & How Schools Are Failing To Teach Children How To Deal With Them

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Human emotions effect our physiology, state of mind as well as others around us. Modern day education does not teach children about the importance of emotion and how to regulate and deal with it.

  • Reflect On:

    How are children supposed to be mentally 'fit' as adults if they are not taught how to deal with the various emotions they experience throughout childhood?

What exactly is education? Today, many view it as an opportunity to learn, thrive, and excel in the world. Others see it as a necessary step toward obtaining a piece of paper that ensures one’s entrance into the professional world. Regardless of your take on it, however, one thing is certain: From a very early age we are forced into a system that demands our presence and attention for hours a day and for years of our life. Each child is required to learn an accepted version of reality in order to fit into the specific mould desired by the elite. Just like television, a large part of school is simply programming, and we don’t really learn much about the world — or ourselves.

Perhaps this is why Mark Twain said, “I have never let me education interfere with my intelligence,” or why Einstein told the world to “never confuse education with intelligence,” and that “education is what remains after one has forgotten one has learned in school.” 

School these days seems less about learning and more about rote memorization. Are we critically thinking enough, or questioning enough? Or are we simply being bred to become robots, all of us entering into the same human experience, “educating” ourselves in order to further perpetuate a broken system? We learn concepts and ideas that fit within the current paradigm and structure of society, but not about how to care for ourselves and become well-adjusted adults. Are we really being educated? Or simply groomed to become ‘good’ consumers?

“I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Another problem with the current education model, as pointed out by world renowned education and creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, is that it was designed and conceived for a different age. Today, new information and discoveries are constantly emerging in all fields, questioning what we once thought we knew, and that includes how people learn. Unfortunately, unless you have an amazing teacher who is passionate about our world and new information, children suffer in this system.

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In fact, prior to the late 1800s, education was a private practice that took place in private institutions or through home schooling. That all changed in 1902 when John D. Rockefeller created the General Education Board in conjunction with Frederick T. Gates, a close friend and business and personal advisor. The General Education Board was responsible for funding the American public school system, and provided over 100 million dollars in 1902 while continuing their support beyond 1902. If we follow the money, it becomes clear the general education board was responsible for the creation of the American public school system. Does education not play a large role in manipulating the consciousness of human beings?

“Knowledge has to come from somewhere, and that can’t be a classroom.”

Edward Snowden

Emotions in School

School is an experience primarily comprised of learning information — rarely questioning it, but rather taking it in as fact. While we learn about many subjects, very few of them have any real impact on our lives. There are absolutely no classes dealing with human emotions, for instance.

According to sociologist Thomas Scheff, a big supporter of emotional education from the University of California, many Western societies simply view emotions as an indulgence or a distraction, and less important than other things. And he’s right — we are often taught to bury our emotions so we can be more productive, and we are made to feel as though our emotions are not as relevant or important; they always seem to come secondary, if at all, especially within an educational setting. Scheff, among many others, believes that emotions provide valuable information, and yet we are taught not to listen to them. “Just as dangerous,” Scheff said, “is the practice of hiding one emotion behind another.” He has found that “men, in particular, tend to hide feelings of shame under anger, aggression and, far too often, violence.”

Many of the issues and problems that arise in our lives stem from the fact that we really have no idea how to process or address our emotions. As a result of this lack in our education, a child who has not paid any attention to their emotional body develops bad habits and behaviours to compensate, until they learn how to properly process their emotions, if they ever do.

How Do We Go About Doing This?

The good thing about teaching emotions is, they can be implemented into any class and any grade. For example, if you were trying to teach emotions in a class with a number of kids who are about to graduate high school, a great starting point might be to illustrate just how much of an effect emotions can have, not just on a mental level, where unresolved emotions lead to negative action, but on a physical level as well.  The Institute of Noetic Sciences is doing some great work in this area, creating more awareness about non-material science and how our thoughts/emotions have an observable effect on physical material reality. The mind-body connection is truly powerful, and we should be teaching people how to harness that power.

An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology, and training teach people to rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with that of their minds at home, school, work, and play. They’ve discovered that emotional information is “actually coded and modulated” into the magnetic field that surrounds all living things.

As HeartMath Director of Research Dr. Rolin McCratey tells us, “By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.”

All of these facts, published researched papers, and more can be accessed at heartmath.org.

Related CE Article: What Science is Telling us About The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence

One the most popular programs to begin teaching emotions was developed in 2005 by Marc Brackett, David Caruso, and Robin Stern of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

It’s called RULER.

“The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. The Center conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence.” 

It’s currently being used in more than 1,000 schools in the U.S., implemented for grades k-8.

The name, RULER, is an acronym for its five goals: recognizing emotions in oneself and others; understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; labelling emotional experiences with an accurate and diverse vocabulary; and expressing and regulating emotions in ways that promote growth.

What Exactly Are the Kids Taught? 

RULER teachers kids to to focus on the underlying theme of an emotion they are experiencing rather than wasting energy trying to define it precisely. Grace Rubenstein from Ted.Ideas reports:

When an emotion grips you, explains Stern, understanding its thematic contours can help “name it to tame it.” Even though anger is experienced differently by different people, she explains, “the theme underlying anger is the same. It’s injustice or unfairness. The theme that underlies disappointment is an unmet expectation. The theme that underlies frustration is feeling blocked on your way to a goal. Pinning down the theme can “help a person be seen and understood and met where she is,” says Stern.

Just taking the time to contemplate an emotion when you feel it, and think about why it might be arising, is critical for emotional health. Typing these words here and now, I still find it unbelievable that we have chosen not to deal with such an important aspect of what it means to be a human being. Emotions are something all of us experience, yet we have no guidelines or advice on what we’re supposed to do with them.

Rubenstein offers an example of how RULER functions in the classroom:

RULER’s lessons are woven into all classes and subjects. So, for example, if “elated’ is the emotional vocabulary word under discussion, a teacher would ask students in an American history class to link “elated” to the voyage of Lewis and Clark. Instruction reaches beyond the classroom, too; kids are prompted to talk with their parents or caregivers about when they last felt elated. Researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has found RULER schools tend to see less-frequent bullying, lower anxiety and depression, more student leadership and higher grades. So why isn’t emotional education the norm rather than the exception?

Emotions are something all of us experience, all the time, every single day. They can be confusing, and hard to navigate, especially when they’re negative. By including emotional education into the school system, I believe future generations would be far less depressed, angry, and confused. They would be better equipped to handle difficult situations in their lives, and find it much easier to express their feelings in a healthy, productive way.

There’s still a long way to go when it comes to understanding human emotions, and how to teach/discuss them in the classroom at different grade levels, but RULER is an amazing step in the right direction and I hope we see more programs like this being developed in the future.

 

 

 

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Consciousness

Mercury Retrograde Is Sick Of Being Blamed For Your Problems

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Poor Mercury retrograde, it gets blamed for so many of the problems that people feel come up during the cycle. But the truth is, what gets triggered in us is no one's 'fault' but our own.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it better to look outward for why we feel a specific way? Or to perhaps look inwards and explore what may be triggering us within?

This isn’t meant to offend anyone, it’s simply here to spark a meaningful reflection. I have long said this, as we do have astrology content posted on CE a couple times per month–astrology can help you with reflections, but it is not meant to be a crutch or meant to explain away your challenges as something you don’t have to take any responsibility for or action on.

Think about it. You wake up late, you speak poorly to someone, someone speaks poorly to you, you have a bad day, something doesn’t go right… in these moments people will become wonky, triggered or upset. Then, they may blame Mercury retrograde, or maybe the full moon, or maybe something else for why they are feeling this way. And while there can be truth to cosmic cycles having an impact on humanity’s consciousness, this doesn’t explain how we react. It’s also true that as we deal with that which triggers us, these energies don’t affect us in the same way any longer. I covered this in significant detail in my favorite documentary I’ve made called CE3: The Shift, which you can watch on CETV here.

Things happen in our lives, someone says something, we see something, or something occurs in our day, if we have a trigger within us that gets struck by these events, that external event is merely acting as a mirror for you to reflect on that particular trigger you have. We often feel that “someone else’s” or “something else’s” stuff or energy is always imposing on us and making us feel bad and thus there is nothing we can do, except of course just wait for the Mercury retrograde cycle to end or block the person that is triggering us.

But let’s think for a moment, is blaming how we feel on Mercury Retrograde, any other astrological cycle, or someone else really going to get us to a point where we are empowered and have moved past the habits, patterns, beliefs and limiting blocks we have in our lives? Or might we be better off seeing what might be coming up in our lives in a given moment, writing it out, taking some time to reflect on how we truly feel about it and seeing what changes we can make? After all, don’t we sometimes use beliefs about something to explain why we feel a certain way? Is it really true that we never have ‘problems’ outside of these cycles or triggers?

Image of a cute animal, appearing sad, with text over top to help prove my point.

The truth is, social media is rife with posts about “no bad vibes allowed,” “cut out anyone who is not right for you,” or posts blaming astrological cycles for everything we feel. There is this ‘pop spirituality’ culture of seeming spiritual in our lifestyle as a trend, but perhaps not truly living authentically to the teachings or reflections we’re trying to represent. This often keeps people remaining as a victim and in blame mode when it comes to what gets triggered within us. In many ways, we’d rather run away from or block the things that bother us than face them head on and ask, “why does this bother me to begin with?”

A great summation of the pop culture I’m referring to.

Sure, that’s not always a comfortable question, and no I’m not saying simply let an ‘abuser’ continue to abuse without getting out of the way, I’m simply saying there is a difference between an abuser and someone who has a different opinion than us that we can’t seem to handle and triggers our emotional state. What better definition of slavery is there than to be allowing other people to control our emotional state and send us off into rollercoasters because we don’t want to focus on asking why we are so bothered by something?

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The truth is, if we block that person or run from that person, we will be met with someone else who will once again trigger that same pattern in us because on a deeper level, don’t we want to be free? Doesn’t it make sense for that trigger to be struck once again so we can deal with it this time?

The point here is in self responsibility and taking action on being different. Perhaps many of the challenges we experience during something like Mercury retrograde are actually always there, we just pay closer attention to them during this time because we’re clearer on who to blame for it.

Accidents happen.
Computers break.
People forget things.
We feel emotional.
And people can be mean or inappropriate.

… regardless of Mercury retrograde or any other cycle.

The only questions we really have to ask ourselves are: what life do we wish to live, and what state of being do we wish to be in? One where we are empowered and working through patterns that hold us back or create unnecessary suffering? Or one where we sit back, point to external cycles as a reason for why we feel the way we do, only to repeat that cycle once again shortly thereafter?

The Takeaway

Personally, things can sometimes come up in my life as a challenge, whether it’s Mercury retrograde or not. Do I have more during Mercury retrograde? I can’t honestly say that’s true. What I can say is that if I’m struggling with something in particular and not making the time to address it, I can come up with all sorts of reasons as to why I feel the way I do and why things happen, most of which all point outwards.

But I know deep down that it’s me that can do the work to free myself, and so I’ve always been one to swiftly do the inner work instead of waiting around and making excuses or blaming outside forces.

If something triggers how you feel during the next Mercury retrograde, or anytime for that matter, set 30 undistracted minutes aside for yourself and write out how you are feeling and why. Push yourself to go deep and ask yourself the tough questions. What is truly bothering me about this? What belief system is being triggered? Did someone really do something wrong to me? Who says it’s wrong? Can I put myself in their shoes and understand their position? Am I repeating a pattern of negative self talk or self-imposed limitations? What stories am I telling myself?

Do this, and the next thing you know the worst thing that may happen during a Mercury retrograde is you may have to restart your computer–if you even notice Mercury retrograde at all.

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