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5 Corporations Own The U.S. Media – We’ve Been Conditioned How To Think, What To Think, And What To Do

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From the day we are born into this world, we are being taught what our parents have been taught, and what their parents have taught them, without asking many questions such as who we are, why we are here, and why things are the way they are. Existential questions are simply perceived as irrelevant in a left-brained society; in which money and career performance seem to be the primary focus. For those who seek a reason, countless financed religious institutions claim to provide the ultimate answers and a securing spiritual identity.

From cradle to grave, we are following the guidelines of what authority defines as a state-of-the-art system, in which “success” seems to begin and end within the running wheel of education, career performance, debt management and retirement. A vibrant economy is the ultimate priority of our global hierarchy. However, a vibrant planet, the respect of all life forms, healthy foods, peaceful ways and conscious actions seem to remain a mere subject of conversation, often turned into a few fundraising campaigns with very little or no impact at all. After all, living consciously and in perfect harmony with nature certainly goes against the principles of industrialism.

Generations have passed, trends have changed, technologies have emerged and a better communication has opened doors for alternative information and ideas that are pushing the envelope on society’s boundaries. Yet they all seem to remain in the “fantasy” section of our industrialist system, for in the good old ways of a governing establishment we ought to trust. “Authority knows best” is the slogan of our conventional wisdom, and we meanwhile can mind our own business, go on with our lives, get our needs met and attempt to live happily ever after as long as we conform to the expected norms of society.

We then pass on this set of unquestioned beliefs and habits to our children, encouraging then to perpetuate the same cycle, because after all, it is all we’ve ever known.

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  • Is this all there is to life?
  • Is this way of life forever sustainable?·
  • Do we have to live this way?
  • What is the purpose of our existence?

Such questions are well worth asking, because to realize that there is more to us than what we’ve been led to believe is the first step towards uncovering answers.

“The search implies that there is something more to life than what is presently the case.” – Jeff Foster

Human Nature or Human Conditioning

We have been told that the state of our world is purely the result of our inherent human nature. Some even say we are born ill intended, and learn the “good values” through stringent parental, educational or religious discipline. Even though this version of the story has been adopted and repeated by many, we are going to take the road less travelled. Instead of qualifying our true nature as predetermined and unchangeable, could it be that the current state of humanity is the result of a second nature?

By definition, a “second nature” is an acquired behaviour that has been so long practiced to the point where it seems innate. It is a conditioning of consciousness, rather than a fundamental characteristic of consciousness. Considering the fact that humanity’s consciousness has been externally influenced for a very long time, shouldn’t this lead us to question how much of our behaviours and aspirations are actually ours?

Without a doubt, our society is programmed to sell us on competing belief systems, political views, brands and products, and the list could go on forever. After all, maintaining the trend of such mindsets is what is profitable to the system. Whether it is a cream that promises beauty, a substance that promises relief, a car that promises attention, a career that promises prestige, or a luxurious lifestyle that promises eternal happiness, this system is an expert at creating billions of needs only to sell us on ideas and products that promises to satisfy them.

The Mainstream media is the best example of a great influence on the human mind. TV shows, magazines, the news, politics, education, or organised religion all tend to either implement a sense of patriotism, materialism, idolism, conformism, or any compliant mindset that seem to fit the bill of an authority figure. We have been slowly yet surely trained to avoid critical questioning, and to allow what we call our “leaders” to decide of our individual and collective destiny. When it comes to the word “conspiracy” -or the simple thought that the ones in power may not have the benefit of the whole at heart -ridicule is a very popular reaction and is often the treatment that whistleblowers, experts or ex-government officials/employees receive when trying share such simple information. The word has even been paired with “theory”, because people in general have better things to do than to research information that is being labeled as theoretical. Yet the question that we should begin to ask ourselves is: Why would authority would give any credibility to those who challenge and question authority?

In this article, we are going to bypass the scrutiny of information and the need to prove opinions or facts, because after all, it is no one else’s job to think for ourselves but ourselves. All information emerging from both sides of the coin in regards to our economic system, our governments or even events such as 9/11 is already out there for us to evaluate. It is therefore up to the individual to switch off the tendency to filter information out of acquired preconceptions, to step aside from “chain reactions” and to research throughly and intuitively.

Then again, no matter how much data our brain may take in, it is not necessarily more information that shall make us more “enlightened”. As Einstein once said, “Information is not knowledge.” The point I am making is that constantly thinking in accord to the beliefs we cherish or the information we advocate is certainly not the extent of what knowledge and understanding is.

In order to move forward, we have to look beyond competing beliefs and conceptual answers. Whether we are speaking of individuals who proclaim themselves as awake and aware, teachers, religious people or intellectuals; segregation will always cause us to fail to see the bigger picture -as long as we let ourselves be run by our egoic mind*.

The Ego vs. The Observer Self

The truth is, aside from all of the concepts, belief systems, patterns and behaviours we may have acquired since birth, we all possess a profound awareness that does not relate with our egoic mind. It is a pure awareness that does not filter information with acquired beliefs, and therefore does not have a clouded perception. This consciousness is what some call the intuition, the inner-knowing, the heart, the gut feeling or the soul, yet the word that shall be employed for the moment is the observer self

While a teacher teaches what they have been taught, a priest preaches the bible’s teachings, and a politician reiterates the same system, the observer self is the awareness that is not manipulated by anyone or anything, for it does not depend on external factors to build up an identity. It only observes with a clear lens, and therefore see’s things as they truly are.

“Your original unconditioned consciousness exists only in you, so going elsewhere can never give you access to your essential nature, to who you really are.” – Byron Brown

For example, a young child would naturally perceive a hierarchical government creating wars and the destruction of our planet for economical purposes, as utter nonsense. Yet generations who have been conditioned to believe and teach that war ends war, or that pieces of paper and digits on a computer are the only thing that can make the world go round, are more likely to ignore the self-destruction it implies and “run with the money”.

“As things are interpreted or labeled by the mind they slowly cease to be what they are and start to become what is thought about them.” – John Greven

Let’s bring forth our observer self for a moment an answer these following questions:

  • Would an awake and aware population allow the damaging and destruction of our home -the Earth- for the sake of the economy?
  • Would it perpetuate the use of petrol -despite the alternatives- for the sake of the economy?
  • Would it allow war profiteering for the sake of the economy?
  • Would it in-debt the poor for the sake of the economy?
  • Would its thoughts be consumed by the obsession of material goods and superficial values?
  • And finally, would an awake and aware population believe in waiting for world leaders to make the world a more harmonious place, when the priorities above are specifically what empower them?

Simple observations are really all that is required to blatantly see and feel the imbalance of such a disconnected state of consciousness. However, this is exactly what we are collectively enabling while we keep ourselves busy and distracted over competing with each other’s social statuses, beliefs, race, identities, opinions, and so forth. All of which are often stances that we take on from the very system profiting from all of the priorities mentioned above.

A sense of separation from each other, the earth and all other life forms is an obvious characteristic of our system, which has consequently reinforced humanity’s own sense of separation from everyone and everything. We willingly go at war and kill each other, passively accept poverty and famine as being normal while others over consume, and continue to obsess over financial profit despite the consequences. This sense of separation has gotten to the point where parts of the western world knowingly dump their toxic waste in developing countries, as if sending pollution farther away will hide the fact that we all live on the same earth.

Yet despite our belief in being separated from the environment, from each other, and by imaginary borders, we all possess an inner knowing that remains unhampered by external indoctrination. This knowing -earlier referred to as the observer self -see’s all life as a whole. Instead of thinking in terms of what can serve or harm ME, it naturally thinks in terms of what can serve or harm US.

Take for example a child who did not yet take on a patriotic identity that gives importance to illusory borders, who does not yet comprehend the “ownership” and price tagging of nature, and who does not hold any form of cultural belief system or prejudice. Would this child go to war with another earthling, destroy the planet in the name of pieces of paper and digits on a computer, or be too greedy to desire a world in which we all share the planet’s resources equally? Just like this child, the observer self too perceives purely, with no concept that taints its vision.

Many of our ideas and beliefs about ourselves and the world are so deeply ingrained that we are unaware that they are beliefs, and take them, without question, for the absolute truth. – Rupert Spira

When we consciously choose to expand our awareness and to simply observe what our system stands for, we realize it does not have to be this way. It is simply erroneous to presume that it endorses a forever-sustainable way of living. It has no concern for respecting nature, or even human lives. It only profits through the promotion of unconsciousness. The simple act of turning on the TV or observing the magazines they sell us at the cashier’s waiting line should make the preceding statement very clear.

We may think that an intellectual society offering a stringent education system -which has brought many individuals to a state of esteemed expertise- would naturally lead us to the peak of our human evolution. Yet when we look at the wars we still engage in, the increasing rate of health deterioration, the repetitive oil leaks in our oceans, and the amount of corrupted government regulations that won’t budge, shouldn’t that lead us to ask ourselves: What exactly are we learning?

Will we need to experience the shutting down of the earth’s eco-system before we finally set aside our differences and awaken to our interconnectedness and equality with each other, the earth and all life forms?

A Shift In Consciousness: Awakening to Oneness

“To me, spirituality is about two things: The liberation of consciousness from all illusion, so that the true nature can shine, and an embodiment in life that is an alternative to the patterns of manipulation and greed that dominate our current culture.” –Christian Opitz

Oneness” simply means the awareness of our inherent interconnectedness with each other, the earth, the animal kingdom, and essentially the entire universe. It is the profound understanding -beyond opinionated beliefs- that we are all equal facets of the same underlying consciousness in which all life arises. Some physicists call this consciousness “The Unified Field”, some call it a Universal Consciousness, others name it “God”, yet the word that shall be employed in this article is Source. Source is not a separate, superior and judgmental entity as our society’s endorsed religious institutions want us to believe, but is in fact the core essence of who we truly are beyond the experience of separation.

Click here to watch the video ‘An Answer To Existential Questions’

For a long period of time, human consciousness has remained caught up within in a very limited archaic programming, which led us to perpetually seeing ourselves as separate from each other, from all lifeforms and from the earth. Hence why we have ended up passively enabling such ill-treatment between each other and the environment. The reality we have created for ourselves is the result of living our lives with our egoic minds in the driver’s seat. We are experiencing the projection of a strictly left-brained consciousness, where we believe there is nothing more to us than the individual physicality, mind, thoughts and emotions. Our society -which is a reflection of this state of consciousness- exclusively honors the ego-driven cleverness of the mind, instead of encouraging the reunification with our heart/soul consciousness.

In this state, we have allowed division, fear, and control to keep us from taking responsibility for ourselves and awaken to our true nature, all while waiting for “saviors” or political dictators to outline our individual and collective destiny. Such a disconnected state of consciousness is unsustainable and if not shifted, would lead humanity to its own demise.

“Our species is far too clever to survive without wisdom.” – E.F.Schumacker

Planet earth is currently undergoing a shift in consciousness. This awakening is leading an increasing amount of individuals to reconnect with their observer self, which is enabling them to perceive the world from a wider, more unified perspective. More are beginning to not only question the ego-driven structures controlling humanity, but to question the very purpose of their existence and of life itself. Such an existential crisis has purposefully guided many towards remembering to who they truly are beyond the mind and the physicality: Souls (the observer self) having a human experience.
Because of a past collective soul agreement, we initially incarnated on earth into what is called the “experiential realm”. The purpose was of experiencing and evolving as souls, lifetime after lifetime, while being overruled by a thicker sense of individual identity, mind and ego, and having no direct remembrance of our essence of Oneness/Source. Our souls basically agreed for the experience of feeling what it is like to have a sense of total separation from each other and from Source, to the extent where even the concept of a separation from “God” was later believed as factual. This altogether created a rich and highly polarized sensorial experience.
With the intention of certain beings, our experience was later altered with an additional challenge, which was to experience the limitation of a hierarchical structure ruled by separation and egoistical purposes. The elitist group of individuals at the very top of this hierarchy is often referred to as the “Illuminati”, and are pushing forward their agenda for global control with an intellectual “New World Order” (Totalitarian world government and one world currency) -all while being aware of this threatening shift in consciousness.

Humanity has experienced and remained caught up in this dormant state for a long while. This undergoing shift in consciousness stems from the fact that we have collectively agreed -at the soul level- to move beyond this collective amnesia to create a new, more conscious, harmonious and expansive experience, all while uncovering our natural state of creative limitlessnesslove and peace.
This is not a matter of blaming an elitist group for where we are at. We have agreed to overcome such a challenge as souls having a human experience, for us to learn and “grow up” from it. It is simply about finally taking responsibility for what we have created, and move on.

“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.” – Katie Gallanti

Letting Go of the Old, Making Room for the New: A Shift of Vibration

In the midst of these unique times of social upheaval and spiritual awakening, many individuals find themselves at a crossroad in their personal lives. Challenging situations are arising, and a discomfort in old routines is intensifying. Why is this happening? New energies of a higher consciousness are entering the earth plane, while our world is purging its energetic densities of a lower consciousness. This process is being sensed in our personal lives as well, bringing forth old emotional baggages or situations that challenge our traditional ways of thinking. Such emotions and discomforts will build up as long as we keep on missing the point of our soul’s call, which is to let go of the prevailing thoughts and beliefs that keep us from expanding towards the wholenesslove and infinite potential of who we truly are. As much as collective and personal challenges may feel like turmoil at first, it is merely a sign of old and unsustainable structures/comfort zones breaking down to make room for the new.

If it is not about blaming and fighting this insanity and corruption, then where do we go from here?

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

When we shift our awareness towards the quantum construct of reality, we understand that everything we can possibly feel and think of is essentially a form and rate of vibration. Quantum physicists accurately describe the fundamental particles of reality as “wave functions”. The reason for this abstract description is precisely because fundamental particles behave in a most abstract manner. Their existence emerge in waves in which lies only the potentiality for measurable outcomes. The word potentiality is key, because we now know through a number of scientific experiments (such as the double-slit experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7YBmOk1nQw) that the very presence of a conscious mind observing and/or intending to measure a particle, consequently determines the aspect and location in which it takes form.
This quantum decoherence is scientifically known as “the measurement problem”. In other words, the fundamental nature of reality -the “Unified field”, consciousness, “God” or Source- is originally “open” to all potential outcomes. Yet our very consciousness is intimately hooked to the one that shall be experienced.
As the physicist Dr. York Dobyns stated, Without us, (conscious beings) there would just be this expanding superposition of possibilities with nothing definite ever actually happening.”
“Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

That being said, everything in the universe and on earth vibrates at certain frequencies, including our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. We are literally molding our experienced reality via the power of our personal and collective perceptions, and our inner-state is reflected outwards. As Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it. This shift in consciousness is but a leap beyond the old dualistic consciousness we chose to experience as souls, towards the consciousness of Oneness, which is of a higher vibrational frequency -one of unconditional Love and understanding of who we really are beyond this physical realm. The angry, judgmental and reactive “egoic mind” actually attracts and emanates through it the same lower frequencies that keep humanity boxed in this low vibrational “matrix” of control.

“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

Resuming It All In One Simple Analogy


It is as if each and everyone of us are projectors responsible for the projections on our own blank walls. Most of us are unconsciously choosing to project a tape of violence, of hate, of segregation, of being powerless, and even of blame of the other 3 projectors for playing their hostile tape. Here lies the silliness, the ironicalness of justifying our own projection through blame. And this is where humanity is at: playing the same tape, over and over again, while most individuals are still blaming the projection instead of changing their own tape that is too playing a role in this projection.

As much as we end up pointing fingers at the powers that be, they are no more or less powerful than we are. The only power they grant themselves, is through influencing our choice of the tapes we shall fill our projectors with. Yet we’ve always had the choice, despite us not being aware of it and taking responsibility for ourselves.

This is the reason why Humanity is so slow in igniting true change. No one decides to look at their own tape. We seem to rather enjoy the comfort of holding on to the same stories and put them in “repeat” instead of transcending them; instead of BEING the change. The ego doesn’t want to know that it begins with ourselves, it doesn’t want us to dig into our own personal belief systems and let go of certain self-limitative mindsets or emotional baggages we carry. The ego is afraid of what can liberate us, and what can liberate us is ultimately ourselves.

“First realize that your world is only a reflection of Yourself and then stop finding fault with the reflection.” – Nisargadatta.

This is the illusion so many are still buying into. It is the belief that we have no influence over others and the world. We even think we have no influence over our own lives, no influence as the very projector of our own “blank wall”. This belief stems from the fact that we do not see ourselves at one with the world, at one with the people, and at one with ourselves. We see ourselves as a tiny little separated specs of dust with no power whatsoever through the emanation of our own state of being.

Yet we are indeed all interconnected, we are all one. Our own consciousness directly impacts the collective consciousness, which is literally the motor of our experienced reality, it is the “projector” of it.

Just as we can change our tape and project harmony on our own blank wall, we can choose to be who we truly are -our unconditioned self- and therefore reflect Peace, Love, Awareness, and all that which uplifts and unveils a more conscious understanding. Or… we can play the tape of blame, anger, hatred, victimization, pointing fingers, and never, ever looking at our own projections. We ultimately have the choice, right here, and right now.

“Remember, you are constantly in the act of creating yourself. You are in every moment deciding who and what you are.” – Neale Donald Walsch

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Awareness

Epigenetic Memories Are Passed Down 14 Successive Generations, Game-Changing Research Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It's amazing how much information can be passed on to our offspring. Scientist have discovered that our DNA has memories, and these can also be passed down. We are talking about thoughts, feelings, emotions and perceptions.

  • Reflect On:

    Biological changes are shaped by our environment, as well as our thoughts, feelings, emotions and reaction to that environment. Our DNA can be changed with belief, the placebo is a great example. Thoughts feelings and emotions are huge in biology.

This article was written by the Greenmedinfo research group, from Greenmedinfo.com. Posted here with permission.

Until recently, it was believed that our genes dictate our destiny. That we are slated for the diseases that will ultimately beset us based upon the pre-wired indecipherable code written in stone in our genetic material. The burgeoning field of epigenetics, however, is overturning these tenets, and ushering in a school of thought where nurture, not nature, is seen to be the predominant influence when it comes to genetic expression and our freedom from or affliction by chronic disease.

Epigenetics: The Demise of Biological Determinism

Epigenetics, or the study of the physiological mechanisms that silence or activate genes, encompasses processes which alter gene function without changing the sequence of nucleotide base pairs in our DNA. Translated literally to mean “in addition to changes in genetic sequence,” epigenetics includes processes such as methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, sumolyation, and ubiquitylation which can be transmitted to daughter cells upon cell division (1). Methylation, for example, is the attachment of simple methyl group tags to DNA molecules, which can repress transcription of a gene when it occurs in the region of a gene promoter. This simple methyl group, or a carbon bound to three hydrogen molecules, effectively turns the gene off.

Post-translational modifications of histone proteins is another epigenetic process. Histones help to package and condense the DNA double helix into the cell nucleus in a complex called chromatin, which can be modified by enzymes, acetyl groups, and forms of RNA called small interfering RNAs and microRNAs (1). These chemical modifications of chromatin influence its three-dimensional structure, which in turn governs its accessibility for DNA transcription and dictates whether genes are expressed or not.

We inherit one allele, or variant, of each gene from our mother and the other from our father. If the result of epigenetic processes is imprinting, a phenomenon where one of the two alleles of a gene pair is turned off, this can generate a deleterious health outcome if the expressed allele is defective or increases our susceptibility to infections or toxicants (1). Studies link cancers of nearly all types, neurobehavioral and cognitive dysfunction, respiratory illnessesautoimmune disorders, reproductive anomalies, and cardiovascular disease to epigenetic mechanisms (1). For example, the cardiac antiarrhythmic drug procainamide and the antihypertensive agent hydralazine can cause lupus in some people by causing aberrant patterns of DNA methylation and disrupting signalling pathways (1).

Genes Load the Gun, Environment Pulls the Trigger

Pharmaceuticals, however, are not the only agents that can induce epigenetic disturbances. Whether you were born via vaginal birth or Cesarean section, breastfed or bottle-fed, raised with a pet in the house, or infected with certain childhood illnesses all influence your epigenetic expression. Whether you are sedentary, pray, smoke, mediate, do yoga, have an extensive network of social support or are alienated from your community—all of your lifestyle choices play into your risk for disease operating through mechanisms of epigenetics.

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In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that genetics account for only 10% of disease, with the remaining 90% owing to environmental variables (2). An article published in the Public Library of Science One (PLoS One) entitled “Genetic factors are not the major causes of chronic diseases” echoes these claims, citing that chronic disease is only 16.4% genetic, and 84.6% environmental (3). These concepts make sense in light of research on the exposome, the cumulative measure of all the environmental insults an individual incurs during their life course that determines susceptibility to disease (4)

In delineating the totality of exposures to which an individual is subjected over their lifetime, the exposome can be subdivided into three overlapping and intertwined domains. One segment of the exposome called the internal environment is comprised of processes innate to the body which impinge on the cellular milieu. This encompasses hormones and other cellular messengers, oxidative stress, inflammation, lipid peroxidation, bodily morphology, the gut microbiotaaging and biochemical stress (5).

Another portion of the exposome, the specific external environment, consists of exposures including pathogens, radiation, chemical contaminants and pollutants, and medical interventions, as well as dietary, lifestyle, and occupational elements (5). At an even broader sociocultural and ecological level is the segment of the exposome called the general external environment, which may circumscribe factors such as psychological stress, socioeconomic status, geopolitical variables, educational attainment, urban or rural residence, and climate (5).

Transgenerational Inheritance of Epigenetic Change: Endocrine Disruptors Trigger Infertility in Future Generations

Scientists formerly speculated that epigenetic changes disappear with each new generation during gametogenesis, the formation of sperm and ovum, and after fertilization. However, this theory was first challenged by research published in the journal Science which demonstrated that transient exposure of pregnant rats to the insecticide methoxychlor, an estrogenic compound, or the fungicide vinclozolin, an antiandrogenic compound, resulted in increased incidence of male infertility and decreased sperm production and viability in 90% of the males of four subsequent generations that were tracked (1).

Most notably, these reproductive effects were associated with derangements in DNA methylation patterns in the germ line, suggesting that epigenetic changes are passed on to future generations. The authors concluded, “The ability of an environmental factor (for example, endocrine disruptor) to reprogram the germ line and to promote a transgenerational disease state has significant implications for evolutionary biology and disease etiology” (6, p. 1466). This may suggest that the endocrine-disrupting, fragrance-laden personal care products and commercial cleaning supplies to which we are all exposed may trigger fertility problems in multiple future generations.

Transgenerational Inheritance of Traumatic Episodes: Parental Experience Shapes Traits of Offspring

In addition, traumatic experiences may be transmitted to future generations via epigenetics as a way to inform progeny about salient information needed for their survival (7). In one study, researchers wafted the cherry-like chemical acetophenone into the chambers of mice while administering electric shocks, conditioning the mice to fear the scent (7). This reaction was passed onto two successive generations, which shuddered significantly more in the presence of acetophenone despite never having encountered it compared to descendants of mice that had not received this conditioning (7).

The study suggests that certain characteristics of the parental sensory environment experienced before conception can remodel the sensory nervous system and neuroanatomy in subsequently conceived generations (7). Alterations in brain structures that process olfactory stimuli were observed, as well as enhanced representation of the receptor that perceives the odor compared to control mice and their progeny (7). These changes were conveyed by epigenetic mechanisms, as illustrated by evidence that the acetophenone-sensing genes in fearful mice were hypomethylated, which may have enhanced expression of odorant-receptor genes during development leading to acetophenone sensitivity (7).

The Human Experience of Famine and Tragedy Spans Generations

The mouse study, which illustrates how germ cells (egg and sperm) exhibit dynamic plasticity and adaptability in response to environmental signals, is mirrored by human studies. For instance, exposures to certain stressors such as starvation during the gestational period are associated with poor health outcomes for offspring. Women who undergo famine before conception of her offspring have been demonstrated to give birth to children with lower self-reported mental health and quality of life, for example (8).

Studies similarly highlight that, “Maternal famine exposure around the time of conception has been related to prevalence of major affective disorders, antisocial personality disorders, schizophrenia, decreased intracranial volume, and congenital abnormalities of the central nervous system” (8). Gestational exposure to the Dutch Famine of the mid-twentieth century is also associated with lower perceived health (9), as well as enhanced incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and obesity in offspring (8). Maternal undernourishment during pregnancy leads to neonatal adiposity, which is a predictor of future obesity (10), in the grandchildren (11).

The impact of epigenetics is also exemplified by research on the intergenerational effects of trauma, which illuminates that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust exhibit abnormal stresshormone profiles, and low cortisol production in particular (12). Because of their impaired cortisol response and altered stress reactivity, children of Holocaust survivors are often at enhanced risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression (13).

Intrauterine exposure to maternal stress in the form of intimate partner violence during pregnancy can also lead to changes in the methylation status of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) of their adolescent offspring (14). These studies suggest that an individual’s experience of trauma can predispose their descendants to mental illness, behavioral problems, and psychological abnormalities due to “transgenerational epigenetic programming of genes operating in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis,” a complex set of interactions among endocrine glands which determine stress response and resilience (14).

Body Cells Pass Genetic Information Directly Into Sperm Cells

Not only that, but studies are illuminating that genetic information can be transferred through the germ line cells of a species in real time. These paradigm-shifting findings overturn conventional logic which postulates that genetic change occurs over the protracted time scale of hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. In a relatively recent study, exosomes were found to be the medium through which information was transferred from somatic cells to gametes.

This experiment entailed xenotransplantation, a process where living cells from one species are grafted into a recipient of another species. Specifically, human melanoma tumor cells genetically engineered to express genes for a fluorescent tracer enzyme called EGFP-encoding plasmid were transplanted into mice. The experimenters found that information-containing molecules containing the EGFP tracer were released into the animals’ blood (15). Exosomes, or “specialized membranous nano-sized vesicles derived from endocytic compartments that are released by many cell types” were found among the EGFP trackable molecules (16, p. 447).

Exosomes, which are synthesized by all plant and animal cells, contain distinct protein repertoires and are created when inward budding occurs from the membrane of multivesicular bodies (MVBs), a type of organelle that serves as a membrane-bound sorting compartment within eukaryotic cells (16). Exosomes contain microRNA (miRNA) and small RNA, types of non-coding RNA involved in regulating gene expression (16). In this study, exosomes delivered RNAs to mature sperm cells (spermatozoa) and remained stored there (15).

The researchers highlight that this kind of RNA can behave as a “transgenerational determinant of inheritable epigenetic variations and that spermatozoal RNA can carry and deliver information that cause phenotypic variations in the progeny” (15). In other words, the RNA carried to sperm cells by exosomes can preside over gene expression in a way that changes the observable traits and disease risk of the offspring as well as its morphology, development, and physiology.

This study was the first to elucidate RNA-mediated transfer of information from somatic to germ cells, which fundamentally overturns what is known as the Weisman barrier, a principle which states that the movement of hereditary information from genes to body cells is unidirectional, and that the information transmitted by egg and sperm to future generations remains independent of somatic cells and parental experience (15).

Further, this may bear implications for cancer risk, as exosomes contain vast amounts of genetic information which can be source of lateral gene transfer (17) and are abundantly liberated from tumor cells (18). This can be reconciled with the fact that exosome-resembling vesicles have been observed in various mammals (15), including humans, in close proximity to sperm in anatomical structures such as the epididymis as well as in seminal fluid (19). These exosomes may thereafter be propagated to future generations with fertilization and augment cancer risk in the offspring (20).

The researchers concluded that sperm cells can act as the final repositories of somatic cell-derived information, which suggests that epigenetic insults to our body cells can be relayed to future generations. This notion is confirmatory of the evolutionary theory of “soft inheritance” proposed by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, whereby characteristics acquired over the life of an organism are transmitted to offspring, a concept which modern genetics previously rejected before the epigenetics arrived on the scene. In this way, the sperm are able to spontaneously assimilate exogenous DNA and RNA molecules, behaving both as vector of their native genome and of extrachromosomal foreign genetic material which is “then delivered to oocytes at fertilization with the ensuing generation of phenotypically modified animals” (15).

Epigenetic Changes Endure Longer Than Ever Predicted

In a recent study, nematode worms were manipulated to harbor a transgene for a fluorescent protein, which made the worms glow under ultraviolet light when the gene was activated (21). When the worms were incubated under the ambient temperature of 20° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit), negligible glowing was observed, indicating low activity of the transgene (21). However, transferring the worms to a warmer climate of 25°C (77° F) stimulated expression of the gene, as the worms glowed brightly (21).

In addition, this temperature-induced alteration in gene expression was found to persist for at least 14 generations, representing the preservation of epigenetic memories of environmental change across an unprecedented number of generations (21). In other words, the worms transmitted memories of past environmental conditions to their descendants, through the vehicle of epigenetic change, as a way to prepare their offspring for prevailing environmental conditions and ensure their survivability.

Future Directions: Where Do We Go From Here?

Taken cumulatively, the aforementioned research challenges traditional Mendelian laws of genetics, which postulate that genetic inheritance occurs exclusively through sexual reproduction and that traits are passed to offspring through the chromosomes contained in germ line cells, and never through somatic (bodily) cells. Effectively, this proves the existence of non-Mendelian transgenerational inheritance, where traits separate from chromosomal genes are transmitted to progeny, resulting in persistent phenotypes that endure across generations (22).

This research imparts new meaning to the principle of seven generation stewardship taught by Native Americans, which mandates that we consider the welfare of seven generations to come in each of our decisions. Not only should we embody this approach in practices of environmental sustainability, but we would be wise to consider how the conditions to which we subject our bodies—the pollution and toxicants which permeate the landscape and pervade our bodies, the nutrient-devoid soil that engenders micronutrient-poor food, the disruptions to our circadian rhythm due to the ubiquity of electronic devices, our divorce from nature and the demise of our tribal affiliations—may translate into ill health effects and diminished quality of life for a previously unfathomed number of subsequent generations.

Hazards of modern agriculture, the industrial revolution, and contemporary living are the “known or suspected drivers behind epigenetic processes…including heavy metals, pesticides, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hormones, radioactivity, viruses, bacteria, and basic nutrients” (1, p. A160). Serendipitously, however, many inputs such as exercise, mindfulness, and bioactive components in fruits and vegetables such as sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, resveratrol from red grapes, genistein from soy, diallyl sulphide from garlic, curcumin from turmeric, betaine from beets, and green tea catechin can favorably modify epigenetic phenomena “either by directly inhibiting enzymes that catalyze DNA methylation or histone modifications, or by altering the availability of substrates necessary for those enzymatic reactions” (23, p. 8).

This quintessentially underscores that the air we breathe, the food we eat, the thoughts we allow, the toxins to which we are exposed, and the experiences we undergo may persevere in our descendants and remain in our progeny long after we are gone. We must be cognizant of the effects of our actions, as they elicit a ripple effect through the proverbial sands of time.

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References

1. Weinhold, B. (2006). Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(3), A160-A167.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Exposome and Exposomics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/exposome/

3. Rappaport, S.M. (2016). Genetic factors are not the major causes of chronic diseases. PLoS One, 11(4), e0154387.

4. Vrijheid, M. (2014). The exposome: a new paradigm to study the impact of environment on health. Thorax, 69(9), 876-878. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-204949.

5. Wild, C.P. (2012). The exposome: from concept to utility. International Journal of Epidemiology, 41, 24–32. doi:10.1093/ije/dyr236

6. Anway, M.D. et al. (2005). Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors and male fertility. Science, 308(5727), 1466-1469.

7. Dias, B.G., & Ressler, K.J. (2014). Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations. Nature Neuroscience, 17(1), 89-98.

8. Stein, A.D. et al. (2009). Maternal exposure to the Dutch Famine before conception and during pregnancy: quality of life and depressive symptoms in adult offspring. Epidemiology, 20(6), doi:  10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181b5f227.

9. Roseboom, T.J. et al. (2003). Perceived health of adults after prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine. Paediatrics Perinatal Epidemiology, 17, 391–397.

10. Badon, S.E. et al. (2014). Gestational Weight Gain and Neonatal Adiposity in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Study-North American Region. Obesity (Silver Spring), 22(7), 1731–1738.

11. Veenendaal, M.V. et al. (2013). Transgenerational effects of prenatal exposure to the 1944-45 Dutch famine. BJOG, 120(5), 548-53. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.

12. Yehuda, R., & Bierer, L.M. (2008). Transgenerational transmission of cortisol and PTSD risk. Progress in Brain Research, 167, 121-135.

13. Aviad-Wilcheck, Y. et al. (2013). The effects of the survival characteristics of parent Holocaust survivors on offsprings’ anxiety and depression symptoms. The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 50(3), 210-216.

14. Radke, K.M. et al. (2011). Transgenerational impact of intimate partner violence on methylation in the promoter of the glucocorticoid receptor. Translational Psychiatry, 1, e21. doi: 10.1038/tp.2011.21.

15. Cossetti, C. et al. (2014). Soma-to-Germline Transmission of RNA in Mice Xenografted with Human Tumour Cells: Possible Transport by Exosomes. PLoS One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101629.

16. Zomer, A. et al. (2010). Exosomes: Fit to deliver small RNA. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 3(5), 447–450.

17. Balaj, L. et al. (2011) Tumour microvesicles contain retrotransposon elements and amplified oncogene sequences. Natural Communications, 2, 180.

18. Azmi, A.S., Bao, B., & Sarkar, F.H. (2013). Exosomes in cancer development, metastasis, and drug resistance: a comprehensive review. Cancer Metastasis Review, 32, 623-643

19. Poliakov, A. et al. (2009). Structural heterogeneity and protein composition of exosomes-like vesicles (prostasomes) in human semen. Prostate, 69, 159-167.

20. Cheng, R.Y. et al. (2004) Epigenetic and gene expression changes related to transgenerational carcinogenesis. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 40, 1–11.

21. Klosin, A. et al. (2017). Transgenerational transmission of environmental information in C. elegans. Science, 356(6335).

22. Lim, J.P., & Brunet, A. (2013). Bridging the transgenerational gap with epigenetic memory. Trends in Genetics, 29(3), 176-186. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2012.12.008

23. Choi, S.-W., & Friso, S. (2010). Epigenetics: A New Bridge between Nutrition and Health Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 1(1), 8-16. doi:10.3945/an.110.1004.

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Alternative News

Catholic Church Ignores Pedophilia, But Bishop Warns Reiki & Energy Healing Are Satanic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Catholic Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan has said he is establishing a "delivery ministry" that will attempt to rid people of the devil and warned that using reiki or other new-age healing methods could open one up to demonic influence.

  • Reflect On:

    Can these types of fear-based attempts to retain power over people serve the greater awakening to our innate power and sovereignty?

It is wisely said that, ‘you should clean up your own backyard first before you come running over to fix mine.’ Obviously, this wisdom continues to be lost on the clergy of the Catholic Church.

According to this Irish News article, Catholic Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan has said he is establishing a “delivery ministry” of people who will attempt to rid others of the devil and warned that using reiki or other new-age healing methods could open one up to the possibility of encountering malevolent spirits. He said he had received “several requests” from people to help deal with evil forces.

On the strength of what spellbinding evidence and research does the bishop rest his indictment against reiki healing treatments on? He said he was told by the brother of a reiki master that the man was “working on somebody one day when he actually says he saw a vision of Satan” and was “scared out of his wits, dropped the reiki and went back to the Church”.

Gosh. Did Bishop Cullinan even go so far as to interview the reiki master himself, to verify the authenticity of the report, and perhaps inform himself just a touch more about the philosophy and practice of reiki, before giving it such firm identification with the dark side?

Heavens, no.

 

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“This is something that has to be done in secret because you don’t let these people’s names out, and they are going to houses where people maybe have been involved in some kind of new-age thing or some kind of séance or that kind of thing, and unfortunately, they’ve opened up a door to an evil force, Satan.” Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan

Absolving Personal Responsibility

Let’s be clear on what the good bishop is saying here: he is worried about people getting influenced by Satan while engaging in ‘new-age’ healing practices.  (In fact, he misidentifies reiki as a ‘new age’ practice when in fact it was developed in the early 1900’s in Japan by Mikao Usui, who realized that healing energy can be transmitted between human beings via the hands and directed intention and visualization.) Does he say what the consequences might be if people fall deeply enough under Satan’s spell under these conditions? Will they suddenly be tempted to steal an apple from the grocery store? Say a crossword to a neighbor? He doesn’t know. And doesn’t say. And probably hasn’t even thought that far.

No, what it really looks like is that the good bishop would like to stop people who are taking personal responsibility for their own healing, and play the devil card to encourage such people to run back to the Catholic Church where members don’t actually have to take responsibility for their own actions–they can simply believe the devil made them do it. This is a scenario in which the good bishop can feel useful in an advisory capacity because he has the God-given power to absolve participants of their sins with the recitation of a few ‘Hail Mary’s.

Why Not Address In-House Pedophilia?

You would think, if indeed you believe Cullinan is being sincere, that he would not be sticking his nose into something he knows little about, and instead bring his Satan-fighting attention to the actions of his Catholic brethren who are already known to be raping and torturing children. You would think it would be of the highest order to turn his exorcising powers to work on these contemporaries of his, if for nothing else than to try to resurrect the reputation of the Catholic Church which has fallen to unprecedented depths.

But you get the feeling that his attitude falls in line with the Church on the matter of pedophilia in the church. Their inaction seems to indicate that they feel not much can be done about it. It is not a question of personal responsibility, it is a question of demonic possession. In the article, Cullinan said he “absolutely” agreed with Pope Francis’s view that child abuse is caused by Satan. Which means offenders themselves are not to ‘blame’ for their actions. The church’s propensity to take offenders of these violent crimes and simply move them away from one outraged community to continue their criminal activity in another one is a clear sign of this.

The Takeaway

This bishop certainly has gall to act concerned about potential demonic influence coming from modern energy healing practices he knows nothing about. The good news is, the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church continues to reveal itself in these feeble attempts to retain power over people, and they could serve as a catalyst for more people who still give themselves over to these institutions to take their power back.

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Consciousness

The Remarkable Brainwaves Of High-Level Meditators

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Expert meditators are constantly producing high range brainwave frequencies, even when they're not meditating. A normal human being rarely hits these brainwave frequencies.

  • Reflect On:

    Meditation could help people of all ages, create more peace in their lives. As it becomes a global collective practice, it will make a big impact on world peace and overall quality of life.

Listen To This Article

Measuring brainwaves while in altered states of consciousness is a fascinating way to see what happens to the brain during these states. It makes me feel that factors associated with consciousness exist separate from the brain, and that the brain is simply a receiver of this non-material input from some unidentified part of ourselves.

When it comes to meditation, scientists have been able to measure the brainwaves of high-level meditators. They found that some meditators are consistently operating in the gamma brainwave range, approximately at 40Hz. I’ve written about the brainwaves of lucid dreamers before, and those studies also show that when someone is lucid dreaming, they are also operating within the gamma brainwave range. This brainwave range is associated with a conscious state of heightened self-awareness, an even more conscious state than when one is awake.

Human beings don’t operate anywhere near these frequencies when we are in our normal wakeful state, and we operate at an even lower frequency during sleep states.

There are delta brainwaves, which are most pronounced in premature babies, then there are theta brainwaves which are characterized by light sleep, REM sleep, dreams and hallucinations.  Alpha brainwaves are an even higher frequency, which are most prominent during relaxation, contemplation and a lack of visual stimuli. These occur when you are not distracted or focused on the external world too much, and their frequency is approximately 8-12 Hz, so you can see why the jump to Gamma brainwaves for meditators is quite significant, which range from 40 – 100 Hz.

These are the fastest brainwave frequencies known to man.

It’s been more than a decade since researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that Zen Buddhist monks show “an extraordinary synchronization of brainwaves known as gamma synchrony – a pattern increasingly associated with robust brain function and the synthesis of activity that we call the mind.”  (Scientific American)

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 Meditation has always been intertwined with “superhuman” abilities. During a visit to remote monasteries in the 1980s, Harvard Professor of Medicine Herbert Benson and his team of researchers studied monks living in the Himalayan Mountains who could, by g Tum-mo (a yoga technique), raise the temperatures of their fingers and toes by as much as 17 degrees. It is still unknown how the monks are able to generate such heat. (source). The researchers also studied advanced meditators in Sikkim, India, where they were astonished to find that these monks could lower their metabolism by 64%. (source)

It’s important to mention that meditation has also shown significant changes in the brain, with an increase in brain matter and in other ways. It’s also shown to be successful for the treatment of multiple ailments, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You can read more about the scientific benefits of meditation in a recent article we published, here.

In the video below, psychologist and science writer Daniel Goleman discusses his work along with his colleague and research colleague, neuroscientist, Richard Davidson. Fascinating stuff.

Expert meditators, as described below in this case, were flown in from all over the world and put in a lab.

Their brainwave, shows gamma very strong all the time as a lasting trait, no matter what they’re doing…it’s not during meditation alone, it’s just their every-day state of mind. We actually have no idea what that means experientially, science has never seen it before. We also find that in these olympic level meditators, when we asked them to do a meditation on compassion, their level of gamma jumps 700/800 percent in seconds. This has also never been seen by science. There is a state of being which is not like ordinary states, sometimes it’s called liberation, or enlightenment. There’s really no vocabulary that captures what that might be.

How To Meditate, What is Meditation?

I’ve always thought that meditation can be multiple things, but at its core involves the non-judgement of the thoughts that arise during the practice. Just let them come, and let them go as is. It also involves multiple states of meditation, as mentioned above, these experts are constantly in that “state of mind.” Many high-level meditators express how this is exactly what meditation is. That being said, sitting down, and meditating with intention and a goal in mind could also be very beneficial.

There could be multiple depths to meditation, and you don’t always have to sit cross-legged and do it a specific way. You can meditate in the shower, while you are on a walk, one person doing laundry could perhaps be in the same state of mind as another who is in a deep meditation, therefore both accomplishing the same experience, at least from a brainwave perspective that is. Just like the video explains above, they’re always in gamma range.

You want to begin by getting in a comfortable position. Take deep breaths, slow them down, and allow whatever comes into your head, to simply exit. That’s the general way start out if you’re just beginning your journey into meditation. The intention behind the meditation can be anything, including to simply experience this other state of consciousness and get closer to “source.”

The Takeaway

Imagine what would happen if 7 billion people on the planet all meditated together for world peace, would it manifest? It’s amazing what we now know about mediation, and what it can do to our biological realty. Perhaps it can do a lot to physical reality as well. These types of findings go to show that our most natural inner state is one of peace. Why else would it be the state that’s most beneficial for our body, and that allows us to operate at a higher capacity?

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