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Consciousness

An Answer Existential Questions: Science & Spirituality

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It seems that mankind has come up with a multitude of stories and rationalizations in order to explain the reason and purpose of our existence. The traditionally endorsed answers to existential questions tend to come from either religion or atheistic science. Religion generally dismisses a large number of scientific facts, while usually promoting a spiritual savior figure, guidelines, and an ultimate reward and punishment system. Science, on the other hand, studies no further than the material world, and “praises” coincidence, rather than acknowledging a consciousness or purpose behind the existence of life.

While humanity has largely divided itself into these two mindsets, the only alternative that seems to be left out of the loop is the merging of both science and spirituality. Could they be linked to one another, or are they bound to contradiction? Without referring to another dogmatic and deity-based theology, could an essence of consciousness possibly be involved in nature? Or is life nothing but a purposeless phenomenon in the midst of a universe of dead matter?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the galaxies, the solar system, the ecosystem, the fauna, the flora, the cells, DNA, or any other ingenious mechanisms that make up our reality. Ever wondered why snowflakes show flawlessly geometrical patterns, or why plants know when to bloom and birds when to migrate? Ever wondered why you even have the conscious ability to witness such phenomena?

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”  Albert Einstein

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It is obvious that science is simply a tool assisting us in understanding the already conscious mechanics of nature. We attempt to learn about it, yet it already existed in perfect harmony before we tried to. However, many scientists insist in describing such a rich, conscious and lively existence as a mere coincidence, with no intelligence involved in its inception. The only intelligence or consciousness that mainstream science seems to acknowledge is the intellect of our brain.

CONSCIOUSNESS BEFORE THE BRAIN, OR AFTER THE BRAIN?

To this day, we read in most science books that consciousness is merely an outcome of chemical processes in the brain, as if it emergedby coincidenceout of brain tissue. But does this claim make any sense?

If consciousness only exists in the brain, then how could “unconsciousness” create a brain that is not only conscious, but that has a capacity for complex subjective experience? Did superficial brain processes invent the brain itself, the body, the earth, and the entire universe? Why do conscious and experiencing beingssuch as useven exist in the first place? WHY is there consciousness?

Such questions are undoubtably a problem that the scientific community seems to ignoreperhaps to avoid a more metaphysical perspective.

 How is it that something as unconscious as the matter of the brain ever gives rise to something as immaterial as an experience? (…) Scientists find themselves in the strange position of being confronted daily by the indisputable fact of their own consciousness, yet with no means to account for it.Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

Physics, biology, chemistry or any other sciencedespite their success in analyzing the material worldsimply cannot explain the purpose of it all, or where it all really came from. They cannot account for the fundamental essence that makes us conscious individuals with a deep sense of self and of subjective experience. Our spark of beingthe one that makes us creators, thinkers and observers with such a rich and multifaceted inner worldis undeniably beyond the bounds of mainstream science.

In one way or another, they are trying to accommodate the anomaly of consciousness within an intrinsically materialist worldview. Like the mediaeval astronomers who kept on adding more and more epicycles, the underlying metaparadigm is seldom, if ever, questioned.” Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

Such observations are generally avoided in our society. After all, how relevant are “mysterious” existential questions in a system in which mindlessness,  material consumption and financial success are the primary focus? However, this book is not meant to abide with either preconceptions nor popular stances. We are not going to address the cause of a celebrity’s weight gain, recite bible verses, talk about politics and economics or inform you of sport statistics. We are going to delve into the realm of the unresolved.

In order to understand who we are and why we are here, we have to explore the deepest level of our reality. What are we made of? What is the very source of all that exists?

“My studies in mathematics and quantum physics explained how the entire material universe could have evolved from the simplest of the elements—hydrogen. Yet the most fascinating question for me had now become: How had hydrogen—a single electron orbiting a single proton—evolved into a system that could be aware of itself? How had the universe become conscious?”Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

REALITY BEYOND THE BRAIN

When basing our understanding on a three-dimensional experience, our automatic reasoning will surely be that reality is made up of matter. Not to mention that the word “real” is mostly tagged upon all that is perceivable through our 5 senses. However, quantum experiments and neurological studies have proven this impression to be inaccurate. Reality is actually quite different from the images filtered by the brain.

The mind may find it ridiculous to even consider that what it so clearly perceives is not exactly as it seems. But who is to say that the human brainwhich only serves as a decoder of abstract electrical signalsis the ultimate point of reference as to what is real and what is not?

Remember how electrical currents and ‘unseen waves’ were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.” – Albert Einstein.

As much as Cartesian minds may conquer, it is primordial to set aside the scientific ego and open ourselves up to a path of uncertainty. Because the first step to understanding the fundamental construct of reality is to accept that it is quite unlike our mind’s perception of what is “out there”. As the great physicist Erwin Schrödinger stated, Every mans world picture is and always remains a construct of his mind, and cannot be proved to have any other existence.”

There is indeed no evidence, which could prove that the reality we experience “out there” is not a mere reconstruction of information/codes received and filtered through our nervous system.

As a matter of fact, studies show that the world we perceive through our eyes is merely our brain’s interpretation ofelectrical signals derived from light.

Lightis scientifically referred to as electromagnetic radiation, or simply as energy. We often think of light as the brightness we can see with our eyes, yet visible light is but a very small portion within a vast range of light frequencies.

The light frequencies known to the scientific community have been categorized and labelled in what is called the electromagnetic spectrum.

Visible light is a range of frequencies that project our three-dimensional reality. As these light frequencies enter the eye, it triggers chemical reactions in the retina, which produce electro-chemical impulses. These travel along nerve fibers to the back of the brain, which is where vision is interpreted. The brain then analyses the data it receives, and recreates its own picture of what is “out there”. However, what is “out there” is quite unlike the coherent and conceivable world we experience through our senses.

Consider our experience of the colour green. In the physical, there is light of a certain frequency, but the light itself is not green. Nor are the electrical impulses that are transmitted from the eye to the brain. No colour exists there. The green we see is a quality appearing in the mind in response to this frequency of light. It exists only as a subjective experience in the mind.”  Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

Even though we have labelled certain light frequencies with names such as ultraviolet or gamma rays, they are all just light/energy. There are no definitive breaks or boundaries when it comes to light, but only a continuous range of energy, which can lower or raise its vibration speed. It is within this ocean of light, that our ingenious brain is able to translate a specific frequency range into what we call our visible “reality”.

THE SECRET OF THE QUANTUM WORLD

“What we have called matter is energy (light), whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” – Albert Einstein

Everything is inherently made of light in different frequencies, and this does not exclude solidity. Just as light can manifest itself in a frequency range that is visible to our senses, it can also manifest itself in a frequency range that is touchable to our senses. It doesn’t mean that the objects we experience are solid by nature; it only means that our brain interprets them as solid.

Of course, the thought of matter being “immaterial” will seem farfetched to the mind, because its only reference point is the human senses. But let’s not forget that all of our senses are the product of an ingenious computer called “the brain”, whichagainis only a decoder of electrical signals. Our 5 senses will never give us an accurate picture of what is truly “out there”, because they can only experience what they are designed to experience. Without a brain programmed to transform light into electrical signals, and electrical signals into visible shapes, colors, sounds and sensations, there is only light of different frequencies and vibrations. As the great inventor, electrical engineer, and scientist Nikola Tesla stated, If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”.

Are not millions and millions of blobs of energy and light, photons and electrons? They make up this imaginary three-dimensional solid world, which does not exist at all according to Relativity or Quantum Mechanics. (…) The only realities we know are the ones our brain manufactures. A brain receives millions of signals every minute. And we organize them into holograms which we project outside ourselves and call it Reality’” – Dr. Robert Anton Wilson

As the quote above states, “blobs of energy” or “light” are terms that would best describe the smallest, most elementary particles that make up the material world. Most linear minds would hope to find proof of their solidity, but the truth turns out to be more puzzling than the easy to grasp concept of size and mass.

We all know that matter is composed of atoms. Yet studies now reveal that each atom is composed of 99.9999999 % empty space. They are nothing like the “solid balls” that science has used to describe them for two thousand years. The remaining 0.0000001% of the atom represents the elementary particles that are hundreds of thousands times smaller. This means that if we enlarge an atom to the size of a football stadium, the nucleus of the atom would only be as large as a tiny grain of rice, and so are the electrons orbiting around it. As the early twentieth-century British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington stated, “Matter is mostly ghostly empty space.”.

The discovery that matter is mostly immaterial seemed too uncomfortable for the minds of physicists to grasp. Therefore, in an attempt to at least ascribe solid properties and measurements to the elementary particles of matter, physicists have encountered another so-called “anomaly” within the quantum world. Experiments show that elementary particles can behave and look like particles, but are not solid in essence. They are truly and inherently waves of potential existence.

With the advent of quantum theory, it was found that even these minute subatomic particles were themselves far from solid. In fact, they are not much like matter at allat least nothing like matter as we know it. They can’t be pinned down and measured precisely. They are more like fuzzy clouds of potential existence, with no definite location. Much of the time they seem more like waves than particles. Whatever matter is, it has little, if any, substance to it.”  Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

The reason for this abstract description is precisely because what appears to be elementary “particles” behave in a most abstract manner. They are inherently spread out as waves of lightwithout a defined and measurable substance or location like we would expect “solid” particles to have. However, this light carries all potentialities for manifestation. In other words, light has the potential to manifest itself in many ways, which would explain whydespite there being only lightwe experience a world of many particles, textures, colors, sounds, and so forth.

This isnt the world of electrons. Its the world of potential electrons. John Hagelin, Particle Physicist, Ph. D.

According to quantum studies such as the double slit experiment, that which defines what potentiality the wave will “choose”, is the presence of a conscious and observing mind. Physicists can now say for a fact that the very presence of a conscious mind observing and intending to define or measure a particle, consequently determines the aspect and location in which it takes form. The only question our science cannot answer is WHY light defines itself as a particle the moment we observe and define it. This quantum anomaly is scientifically known as the measurement problem.

The measurement problem is this: an atom only appears in a particular place if you measure it. In other words, an atom is spread out all over the place until a conscious observer decides to look at it.” – Prof. Jim Al-Khalili

And anytime we attempt to look at particles beyond a certain level, the very act of observation changes (their) lanes.” – Dr. Dean Radin

To put it simply, the fundamental nature of reality 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.”

MYSTERIOUS LIGHT

Any exchange of energy between any two atoms in the universe involves the exchange of photons. Every interaction in the material world is mediated by light. In this way, light penetrates and interconnects the entire cosmos. (…) Although all we ever see is light, paradoxically, we never know light directly. The light that strikes the eye is known only through the energy it releases. This energy is translated into a visual image in the mind, and that image seems to be composed of lightbut that light is a quality of mind. We never know the light itself.  Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

For the rest of my life I want to reflect on what light is. Albert Einstein

Days could be spent studying the behavior of the quantum world, and more problems and anomalies could be discussed. Yet these so-called quantum anomalies all involve the dimensions and behaviors of light.

Modern science is not in the business of asking what this light, this energy, this empty space or this wave of potentiality isall terms aimed at describing the fundamental construct of our reality. It aims at describing the way things work, but barely ever questions what or why it is this way.

Some claim that answering these questions is a job for philosophers, not physicists. However, everyone agrees that quantum theory works, but most of those who study it are not quite sure what it means.

If you are seeking the Infinite, what instruments do you have to seek the Infinite? Only sense organs, isn’t it? So through your sense organs, if you are seeking the Infinite, it is like wanting to go to moon with a bullock cart. Isn’t it so? That is the plight of humanity, right now: with a limited perception, they are trying to grasp that is which is beyond.” – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

SUMMARY

We have learned that

1.   The universe was already conscious and intelligent before humanity’s attempt to study it.

2.   The reality we perceive through our senses is the result of the brain acting as a decoder of light frequencies.

3.   Light is the all-encompassing source of this intelligent reality–permeating and interconnecting everything in existence.

4.   Light acts as a wave of many potentialities, while the mind defines the potential.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It is simple really. The universe is conscious and intelligent, because its essence is CONSCIOUSNESS–not matter. Light is consciousness, and consciousness is the singular force that projects this entire reality in many levels of frequency. Below is a flowchart that demonstrates how quantum physicists have been led to this truth.

“The tighter physics have tried to grasp on to physical reality, to understand what it’s really made of, what are the core building blocks of life at the basis of it all… life, the universe, slips through your fingers. And you come up with something that’s increasingly abstract, to come to the realm of pure abstraction. And that’s what the unified field is; pure abstract potential. Pure abstract being. Pure abstract self-aware consciousness, which rises in waves of vibration to give rise to the particles, the people, everything we see in the vast universe.” – John Hagelin, Particle Physicist, Ph. D.

The truth is obvious. However, dogmawhether spiritual or scientificseem to have clouded a truth that does not require adversity, with the desire to prove ourselves “right” and others “wrong”. But once we set aside our egos and allow our consciousness to expand beyond the beliefs we cling to, we will begin to wonder how we could have missed the obvious.

The parallels between the light of physics and the light of consciousness do not contradict each other, for they are each other. Both are immaterial. Both cannot be pinned down through senses or technological devices. And both are the fundamental construct of our reality, permeating everything in existence. From a scientific perspective, light is the source of everything we experience. And from a spiritual perspective, consciousness is the source of everything we experience. Both perspectives lead to the same truth: Light is consciousness. Light is all there is. Light is “God”.

“I am the light. And so are you. And so is every sentient being in the universe.” – Peter Russell (M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.)

“Matter is Energy. Energy is Light. We are all Light Beings.” – Albert Einstein

This singular consciousness has divided itself into many fragments of light, which are what we call souls. The soul is who we truly are. It simply embodies a projected physicality designed to decipher this “light show” into an experiential playground. Why? Simply so that our consciousness could experience its creation in many ways, shapes and forms, allowing itself to play, become experientially rich, and evolve towards the complete remembrance of itself.

“The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. (…) The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one Love.” – Meister Eckhart

“We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively.” – Bill Hicks

And why do our minds define the potentialities in which life takes it course? Because as consciousnessthe creatorwe are collectively co-creating our reality, moment by moment.

‎”You are never who you were in the last moment. You are continually creating yourself from the field of infinite possibilities. You are, in every moment, born again. And so is everyone else. (…) The time has come for  you to look at things in a new way. This is the moment of your rebirth, as an individual and a society. We are all One. Everything we are doing, we are doing in concert with each other.” – Neale Donald Walsch

This is an excerpt from a book that I have been working on for quite some time and hope to release in the near future. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Consciousness

Supermoon Total Eclipse In Leo: Making Changes To Support Our Self-Expression

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We are having a Total Lunar Eclipse, commonly referred to as a ‘Blood Moon’, which will appear in its totality on the night of January 20th leading into morning of the 21st in the western world. It was also be a Supermoon which is when it appears larger due to its closer proximity to the Earth. The entire eclipse process from beginning to end will be visible from the Americas as well as parts of Northern Europe and parts of the European West Coast, including the UK.

It will also appear in totality throughout Western Europe, most of Central Europe, Western Africa, and parts of Russia. It will appear partially in the Middle East, Africa, parts of Russia, and the Northern half of Japan. It will peak at 5:16am Universal Time (12:16 EST), and will begin just over 2 hours prior. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

This Lunar Eclipse follows a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn that occurred on January 5th/6th and initiated this lunar cycle. The energies of each Eclipse generally plays out over the following 6 months and can begin up to 6 weeks prior. However, they are also part of a 2 year process in which the Lunar Nodes and other Eclipses are in the same signs.

This eclipse season has the energies of the Eclipse/Lunar Node process that began two years ago in the Leo/Aquarius axis and also the new process in the Cancer/Capricorn axis in which we have been transitioning into. This Blood Moon in Leo marks the final Eclipse of the Leo/Aquarius re-orientation, and it’s possible that the themes that play out in your life can be connected to something that has already been playing out.

Total Lunar Eclipse In Leo Opposite Sun in Aquarius & Mercury, Square Uranus

A Lunar Eclipse is a supercharged Full Moon which is when the Earth gets in the way of the Sun’s light and dims it during its climax. This reflects a furthering shift in our lives in relation to the Leo-Aquarius polarity.

Leo is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration from the heart. It is also associated with creativity, performing, passion, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals.  This sign is also associated with the ego and the eclipses that have been occurring here can help to facilitate changes in how we express our ego.

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Although Aquarius has individualistic qualities that it shares with Leo, it is also the sign of friends, groups, social networks, the team, and humanity. It views the unique and authentic qualities of an individual as an important and contributing factor to the collective. Aquarius is also intellectual, progressive, and innovative. It can be aloof, overly objective, too scientific, dispassionate, impersonal, and detached.

This eclipse process over the last few years can reflect changes in how we apply both Leo and Aquarius aspects of our lives, and also how they correlate with each other. The focus is more about stepping into Leo energies in new ways and changes on the Aquarian side to help support that. Both beginnings and endings around themes connected to both signs can occur.

Similarly to the Last Lunar Eclipse in the Summer, this one (along with Mercury) is in a square with Uranus on the Aries/Taurus cusp. Uranus here emphasizes change as well as the individualistic qualities of both of these signs, while also sharing other Aquarian themes as well.

Being in a square, it can also manifest in a challenging or strong way. It can be separative, rebellious, or disruptive. Perhaps sudden and unexpected things can play out, or bring instability to an area of our life. It can also be liberating and revolutionary for us. With Mercury here on the South Node, this could also indicate changing or releasing something connected to the way we think or communicate.

Venus Conjunct Jupiter, Square Neptune

Venus in Sagittarius is moving towards a conjunction with Jupiter, while they are both in a square with Neptune in Pisces and a trine with Mars in Aries. This energy can be expansive and fortunate socially, romantically, and for some people financially. Fun and pleasure can be connected to things like travel, education, or even spiritual and creative pursuits.

However, their can also be some confusion around these area as well. Being excessive around indulgences, pleasures, spending money, escapism, intoxication, or anything fantasy based can also be a theme. This energy is strongest from January 21st-22nd.

Mars Square Saturn & Trine Jupiter, Saturn Sextile Neptune

Mars is in a square with Saturn while moving towards a trine with Jupiter. Saturn is also in a sextile with Neptune. This can be a great energy for taking disciplined or structured action towards goals, aspirations, ideals, or anything that broadens our horizons.

Saturn pushes us to be realistic and cautious in how we take action while Jupiter reflects acting in an expansive way. Saturn can also bring some restrictions or obstacles which can help us change our course towards something more ideal. Much of these energies mentioned in this section are strong from January 20th-26th.

Mercury Approaching Superior Conjunction With Sun

Mercury joins the Sun on January 29th/30th in its ‘Superior Conjunction’ with the Sun. From our perspective on Earth, this is when Mercury is aligned with the Sun however it is on the other side of it. From this period onward, it is initiating its next phase in which it travels ahead of the Sun. We can have greater clarity regarding what has been building up or seeded since late November.

Our minds can be more aligned with our true needs and self-expression. Over the coming months, we can better implement our ideas and whatever we have been thinking about with greater confidence/direction in comparison to the previous two months.

To Consider During This Period

How can you better tap into your authentic self-expression? What inspires you and brings you joy? How can you bring more love into your life? What do need to change to make that happen? What do you want to create? Do you need to separate or liberate from something that is holding you back? How can you expand socially in way that is supportive of your authentic self? How can you make your ideals and dreams a reality?

These are just some examples of what could be coming up, but not limited to them either. If you decide to use this energy to intentionally release something from your life, it is best to start that after the Moon begins to wane after the peak of the Full Moon, or even over the following two weeks.

The exact moment of the peak will be at 5:16am Universal Time on January 21st. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone. If the eclipse is visible in your location, remember that it begins approximately two hours before the peak and two hours following, and also depends on what time the Moon rises and sets in your location.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order.

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Some Tips To Help You Unwind Your Busy Monkey Mind

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many of us are unable to relax entirely, as we rush through our days with constant mental chatter and to-do lists on our minds. However, there are relaxing techniques that are easy to implement throughout the day to help us calm our “monkey minds."

  • Reflect On:

    Taking more time to be still, step away from the busyness of life, and learning to unwind helps us feel more grounded and less scattered — thus positively impacting all areas of our lives.

Most people believe relaxing activities are only done in the evenings, and should be grouped in categories, scheduled, or put in an evening “routine,” as if it’s simply another item to check off your “to-do” list.

The good news? You don’t have to wait until the evening to unwind and relax. In fact, you shouldn’t. You deserve to feel grounded in your center and a sense of peace all day, not for just a few hours at the end of your day. You shouldn’t have to, and you absolutely do not have to and mustn’t do so. It is time to do away with the philosophy that it is only safe to entertain the idea of relaxation at the very end of your day, after spending the large majority of your waking hours walking through the day scattered, stressed, anxious, drained, ungrounded and thrown about. You deserve more, and there’s a way to get there. There is a way to unwind that busy, chaotic monkey mind which owns most of your waking hours and is not aligned with your true nature, or the place deep within where stillness and serenity reside. 

Understandably, this may seem quite impossible once you’ve trained your body and mind to operate in a “go, go, go” mode without any sense of stillness.

The thing is though, you don’t have to take time off or become a monk … you can rest in stillness while doing the same things you’re currently doing — and an added bonus to the already amazing benefit of not living a frantic life is that everything you do will be of higher quality. I think you’ll find that all other aspects of life outside of work (relationships, health, etc.) will dramatically improve as a result.

So, here are some tips for unwinding that busy “monkey mind” not only in the evenings, but throughout the day too:

  • Start your day with a “mental dump.” Write out all the things you need to do in a notebook. This relieves a lot of stress, and by getting it all down on paper, you typically realize most of it is just mind made and you really only need to make one or two things your priorities. There is zero reason to even stress about the rest.
  • Every so often, ideally once an hour if you can, set aside as little as 3-5 minute blocks of times for stillness and silence throughout your day. Meditate or go outside and sit in nature or take a walk (which, of course, are also forms of meditation). This will help you return to your core and stay more rooted throughout the day. 
  • Engage in creative activity or “play”: Do something purely for the pleasure of doing it, do it just for fun, with no end goal in mind. An aside: unstructured time for “play” (an activity done purely for fun rather than to gain something from it), is said to be crucial to your creative process. So, if you’re an artist of any type and you’re feeling “blocked,” just keep this in mind. You might just need some unstructured time to enjoy whatever you feel like enjoying at any given moment without having to justify it.
  • Almost all articles on anxiety and insomnia suggest putting away all electronic devices or turning them off completely for the night. Though many of us may find this difficult given our heavy reliance on technology, it is crucial to shut your devices off before bed as they can reduce melatonin production.

If you have difficulty shutting your phone off entirely, you could try a few other remedies including using blue light filters on your devices, avoiding news outlets or anything that will get a rise out of you, and avoiding violent movies and shows before bed. 

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And if you read at night, there is one thing that has helped me immensely —only read fiction, or less stimulating material. Avoid books and magazines that make you want to be more productive, stimulate new ideas prompting your mind to do anything but unwind, and instead just enjoy some good old fiction. Although it’s important to read and educate ourselves, I’ve found that stimulating my brain with this content before bed can reduce my sleep quality. 

Meditation is, of course, the number one most suggested method for taming the monkey mind. However, sitting still for someone with a scattered brain can be difficult. One method to troubleshoot this and not feel like you have to discipline yourself to ‘meditate for 20 minutes straight in the lotus position’ is to just sit down, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. After all, you can do anything for 10 breaths, right?

The Takeaway

Whatever you do during your free time, savor the pleasure of the process rather than thinking of the end goal. In fact, who cares if you even reach the end goal? Who cares if you even have one? Let’s just go ahead and throw the whole idea of a goal in regards to this topic away … lest we wish to possibly defeat our purpose. 

What are your tips and life hacks for unwinding your monkey mind when it gets the best of you? 

Help Support Collective Evolution

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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

Gillette’s New Ad On “Toxic Masculinity” Is Great – And Necessary, But…

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new commercial from Gillette tackles the issue of 'toxic masculinity.' The commercial asks us questions about male culture and challenges us to step up and change what we're doing. But did they tackle this well?

  • Reflect On:

    What else can we take from the commentary of this commercial? Where else can we find these same behaviours in our society? Further, what is the purpose of the extreme, identity-based politics we see today? Is it causing more harm than good?

In an age of extremes, the nuance of this article is going to be what helps us understand what we are truly seeing in terms of the challenges we face and how we can solve them without generating a strong opinion on these issues. I encourage you all to carefully read this article as if we want to help move away from things like “toxic masculinity,” “toxic femininity,” racism and so forth, but we must do so wisely by truly understanding the depth of what is being said.

Before I continue on, I want to say that in many cases, when talking about issues regarding men, women, or any particular race as politics and media often do today, we must remember that what is talked about does not represent the whole of any group. In fact, in many cases, it only represents a very small percentage of the group being discussed.

As a result of aspects of our consciousness, which we will discuss further in this article, there is no shortage of extremism in society right now when it comes to the discussion of gender. The #MeToo movement helped the greater population recognize that sexism is a huge problem within prominent industries, like music and film, where women are being harassed or abused sexually by men. This then extended to a greater discussion about sexual abuse in society in general, which I feel anyone can agree is an important topic to bring awareness to. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever come across anyone who actually opposes putting a stop to something like this, yet due to extreme positions, many are being wrongfully accused of such opposition. This is where we need to have a deeper discussion.

By now we know it happens, we don’t need another article exposing it, we need one talking about solutions, so that is what I’m going to focus on.

We exist in very polarized states of consciousness, and because we are a society who has not put a large focus on emotional intelligence, many issues that come to the forefront go through a long period of extremism before/if we become grounded again in order to truly understand what’s going on.

Of course, what I am talking about doesn’t relate only to what occurred after the #MeToo movement began, but with anything, including people’s views on government conspiracies, race, politics and other societal issues. In short, we attempt to apply blanket statements to issues instead of viewing things on a case by case basis or through the properly grounded facts that we do have about an issue.

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As Stefan Molyneux puts it,

“The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.”

Ultimately he goes on to say that if you choose not to look at the larger reasons as to why certain things are happening in our world, you will always be stuck blaming racism, sexism, the patriarchy, men, women, or any particular race. We must preface our discussion with this gnosis before discussing what’s next because it is only in the grounded understandings of our world that we actually can tell where we are at.

 Gillette Aims To Help Raise Awareness About “Toxic Masculinity”

I’ve put the terms toxic masculinity and toxic femininity in quotations both times thus far because many people have very different ideas of what those things look like and mean. In fact, some people don’t even think “toxic femininity” exists, similar to the way they feel only white people are capable of being racist.

For the purposes of this article, I refer to the term toxic masculinity as partaking in a destructive form of male culture that does not operate on the basis of respect, equality and self-responsibility, and that will often exude overly strong behaviours of sexualizing women and competing with others to maintain egoic power. In short, much of what we have seen as male culture through pop culture, movies, music, and so forth can tinker on promoting this form of masculinity. It’s seen in situations where a female is marginalized down to simply being a sex object or situations where male dominance is valued and strived for.

Let’s have a look at this Gillette ad before we continue the conversation.

As Gillette accurately illustrates in its new ad, justifying certain behaviours that are not self-responsible and that do not create a harmonious world with statements like “boys will be boys,” is not something we can continue to do if we want to create a better world. Furthermore, leading by example and being able to speak up about behaviours you observe in others is important. It’s important not to do so in a condescending and judgemental tone, but rather by using a compassionate tone instead that truly questions the behaviour and allows you to empathize with how the other may feel in a situation. Further to that, we must recognize what this ad fails to point out, these behaviours don’t and haven’t come from all males, likely not even the majority.

As Gillette brand director Pankaj Bhalla told the Wall Street Journal,

“This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own, … “We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘boys will be boys’ is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our ‘best’ together.”

I have been in a number of situations where I’m in an all-male setting and one or two males are talking disrespectfully about females and I will observe other males join in simply so they feel included in the conversation or so that the other men don’t judge them. I personally know the men who joined in on the conversation don’t actually agree with the others, but do so because they feel they have to. Or better put, they do not know themselves or are comfortable enough with themselves to take the potential backlash that can sometimes come from not joining in.

This is why I say the way through these challenges is not by creating an enemy, judging their behaviour, and casting them out like many are doing, but instead by helping people question what they are doing and encouraging a culture of self-responsibility, empathy, and a deeper relationship with self. These sorts of conversations can be openly had, but it’s challenging because of our societal norms. Instead, our culture is often either that of the ‘toxic masculinity’ in question or that of extreme judgement towards unfavorable behaviours. Both are extremes, and neither help change the individual in a deep manner.

To be clear, any gender, any race and any person from a socio-economic class can take part in the disconnected behaviours mentioned above. It is not just men.

This is also where the nuance comes in. It’s important to recognize that not all men represent characteristics of “toxic masculinity.” Male pop culture might, and male pop culture does affect a certain subset of people, but it is not representative of the whole. This leads to my one small issue with the Gillette commercial. It, like many people today seem to be doing, is throwing the baby out with the bath water, i.e. not paying attention to nuance. In the case of #MeToo and this commercial, this behaviour does not apply to all men, perhaps not even to most men. We must remember that societal issues don’t apply to everyone within any particular subset of people, yet that is what people often focus on. This is also why so many enemies are being created. It’s like how some will view all Muslims as terrorists, for example.

Let’s recall the quote from Stefan Molyneux above, “The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.” He is absolutely right in pointing out that the reasons for these things are not as simple as people want them to be, and thus we run in circles of extremes. I bring this point up not to turn the focus away from men, but because I actually care about seeing our culture change. I’ve spent enough time coming to understand that people have become outright extreme and misinformed about issues because we are too focused on an enemy and choosing sides. Thus, we have no clue where we actually stand. This is about changing how we live and operate as humans, not just of any particular race or gender.

If there are feelings of wanting to say or utilize some of the classic deflections of today including “easy for you to say from a white male privileged standpoint,” please save it. Let’s have the courage to have mature, grounded conversations, ones that can help us solve the challenges we face together.

If Not Careful, Our Unchecked Behaviour Divides Us

Like with any movement that begins, it often starts on a positive and helpful note. In this case, bringing awareness to sexual abuse of women is important to address. But the movement has come under fire to some extent as it appears to be going too far. The reasons for this include sweeping judgments, assumptions, and a lack of understanding of things that are said or what’s happening.

This has caused great divides amongst people whereby gender happens to be the card played when any issue is brought forth, even when gender truly has nothing to do with it. We are similarly seeing this with race.

This has given rise to grounded voices like Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Cassie Jaye, to name a few, who are discussing gender inequality in a way that is helping us to diagnose the problem more clearly and ultimately understand how to move forward. This is, of course, in contrast to the extremism out there where you begin to see women hating men or men hating women simply because we are always attempting to blame people for problems.

Cassie Jaye talks a lot about humanizing your ‘enemy.’ In her case, her enemy was males. As she discusses in her TEDx talk, when she released her movie The Red Pill, she received a great deal of backlash from feminists as her film explored The Men’s Right’s movement from her perspective as a feminist. As you might imagine, in her film, Cassie decided to go and speak to people directly. She learned about the people she was fighting against, and in some cases hated, only to realize that in most cases the issues and people involved were not quite who she thought they were.

She goes onto discuss that the greatest issue and challenge she faced was “having to peel back the layers of my own bias.” She goes deeper saying “it turned out I did meet my enemy while filming. It was my ego saying that I was right, and they were subhuman.”

Near the close of her talk she states “It’s no secret now that I no longer call myself a feminist, but I must clarify, I am not anti-feminist, and I am not a men’s rights activist. I still support women’s rights, and I now care about men’s rights as well. However, I believe if we want to honestly discuss gender equality, we need to invite all voices to the table. Yet this is not what is happening. Men’s groups are continually vilified, falsely referred to as hate groups and their voices are systematically silenced.”

The point here is not to pit men’s groups against women’s groups and see who is right, the point is that we have to stop creating sides and enemies. We instead must create a culture where we truly see one another beyond the physical realm. We also must see that in our own ways, we experience challenges from a system that truly does not support our growth.

When her film was released, the media entered into the popular groupthink of our modern times when it comes to gender politics, causing her to become one of the most hated filmmakers at the time. All she did in her film was explore the truth, beyond the fight of side vs side. She instead chose to see things for that they truly are, and this led to what I like to call an upheaval of emotions in viewers that struggle with neutral viewpoints, and instead are addicted to the fight and having an enemy.

This is where I believe many of us exist today. We live in a world where we’re encouraged to choose a side, accept limiting beliefs about what is going on, and ultimately become addicted to the drama of having an enemy to fight… even when they are not doing what you think they are doing.

The Takeaway

What benefit truly comes from identifying as a certain form of activist? I’m not talking about simply saying “I’m an environmentalist” so people understand you care about the environment, I’m talking about when we identify so deeply as an environmentalist that we now filter everything we hear and learn through that lens, thus blocking us from not only hearing the truth but understanding where we stand as a collective. What benefit does that serve other than to show us what disconnection looks like?

I feel it’s time we pay attention to the nuance, the facts and the feelings within our hearts and stop working so hard to find or even create an enemy.

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