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6 Ways To Go Beyond Programmed Conditioning & Change Your Life

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Okay, right off the bat: The choice of title was lofty. I can’t tell you how to go beyond your conditioning, because to completely do so is probably impossible. Whether we identify with or rebel against our roots, those roots are what influenced our earliest conception of reality and will forever be a part of us.

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thinkingFurthermore, to believe with conviction that one has transcended their conditioning—as if it’s some fixed point you can surpass with enough wisdom and vigilance—is to condemn oneself to introspective stagnation. If you ever think you’re a finished product and that you’ve got nothing more to learn about yourself, you’ll stop looking as closely for undiscovered backwoods [or back alleys, if that’s more your schtick] in your psyche, and stop questioning your beliefs and actions. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt; you’ll take your whole lifetime to figure out.

We are each composites of our subjective experiences, after all. There is no “neutral” upbringing; none of us were raised in a cultural vacuum. The opportunity cost is every other possible time, place, body and family we could’ve been born into and shaped by instead.

So complete objectivity and self-awareness may not be a possible limit for anyone to breach. Does that mean the attempt is useless? Absolutely not. It’s all about the journey. As poet Robert Browning wrote:

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

I’d always regarded myself as a pretty free-thinking individual—it wasn’t until I was completely removed from everything I knew that I realized how much my social identity had shaped me, and how my environment molded my incontrovertible [or so I thought at the time] convictions about the world. Learning for the first time that many of my beliefs about the world and myself were subjective—malleable and optional—opened me up both to a newfound spectrum of possibility, and a newfound humility, in navigating the world. Free-thinking isn’t a personality trait—it’s a never-ending process.

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So here it is: as non-partisan and universal a take on methodical introspection and prescribed self-experimentation as this little girl can muster, divided into six parts, none of which require you to spend money, share my views of the world, or reinvent your lifestyle.

The only testimony for these tips I can give is my own—in recent years I’ve developed a healthier relationship with myself—both forgiving and stern, have dispelled much of the formless anger I used to cling to when my life didn’t feel quite right, am prescribing myself a completely customized life rather than one shaped by the norms of my time, and am finally hopeful of managing the depression I’ve long denied being enslaved by.

1. DECONSTRUCT YOUR VALUES
First, some analysis. This may seem tedious or annoying, but it’s worth it. Consider:

  • Topical issues you feel strongly about one way or another, be it venture capitalism, religion, astrology, veganism, manners, psychiatry, social media, patriotism, parenting, push-up bras, censorship, party drugs, human nature, social responsibility…whatever gets you somehow
  • People and groups that you harbor strong feelings toward, from disgust to hopeless fascination
  • “Givens”—principles you think are self-evident, or universal to existence, reality, society, morality, rather than matters of opinion
  • Things that gross you out, annoy you, or make you uncomfortable on a basic, even irrational level: open-mouthed chewing, polyamory, spiders, girls with armpit hair, people who speak in Ebonics—anything that offends or embarrasses you

Dig down to the roots of your beliefs. Ask yourself why and why not—repeatedly. Ask where your attitudes first came from—you weren’t born with them. Take nothing for granted and explain yourself to a blank slate. Note any resistance or frustration on your part, and ask where it’s coming from.

devilsadvocatePlay devil’s advocate and antagonize your views with an equal and opposite force. Push yourself to flesh out perspectives you would normally find reprehensible. Remember that arguing a side in the privacy of your own mind doesn’t mean you have to agree with it at the end of the day—no matter how well you manage to argue it.

Consider which of your beliefs have changed over time, and what prompted the change. Even more so, consider which of your beliefs have stayed consistent—question those hardest. Wikipedia defines confirmation bias as the tendency of people to “favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses”—to the extent of blocking out opposing evidence. Try to catch yourself rationalizing your way out of confronting emotional or conditioned reactions, answering difficult questions, or admitting a gap in your knowledge or logic. Notice when your arguments sound shaky or extreme. Be ruthless and thorough. Deliberately search for cognitive dissonance, and keep asking why like a two-year-old until your head explodes.

2. REPROGRAM YOUR INFLUENCES

We all have a tendency to look at media and news sources that confirm our own attitudes—so make a conscious effort to diversify what information you’re exposed to, even if it frustrates you at first.

This doesn’t have to be dramatic—just small substitutions here and there.

  • If you read Richard Dawkins, follow up with some of C.S. Lewis’ short theological writings [he was regarded as a “skeptical Christian”]
  • Browse news articles and podcasts with a different political slant than your own, or ones from networks in other countries
  • Explore philosophical schools of thought—even if it’s just on Wikipedia
  • Explore history and anthropology to see how value systems have changed over time and place—even if it just means watching the odd documentary or TV show on science or culture when you’re stuck home with a cold [my most recent sick-in-bed favorite was Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown]

In America, we’re often plagued with an assumption that we already know enough about what the rest of the world is like and won’t benefit from further investigation, caricaturizing other cultures with what little we do know, or think we know, about them. Assume ignorance on your part; be a sponge.

Look at how others conceptualize or value things like success, sexuality, philanthropy, natural laws and science, and how the citizens of other developed countries feel about their social and political systems—not just at how you feel about them. Remember that you can be receptive to things, and even accept them, without liking them. If you previously had no interest in such things, this may be a forced effort at first—but over time you may develop more curiosity about history, anthropology, political theory, science, pop culture, mysticism, or philosophy.

3. CONNECT WITH THE ALIENS

It’s natural to put certain walls up against people we don’t relate to, to stereotype and dismiss them as dumb or crazy rather than investing our candor: in an era where we come in contact with tens or even hundreds of thousands of people in a lifetime, compartmentalizing people is valuable, and helps us make educated guesses in new situations to avoid wasting time or starting conflicts.

However, with exposure to so many people, and with the increasingly flexible and isolated lifestyles afforded by modern life [frequent career changes, working from home, urban living, and—of course—escaping to the Internet], it’s become much easier to avoid anyone who irritates or confuses us, and to seek out only those who will validate our opinions with their agreement, at the risk of potentially harmful stubbornness.

Wordspy.com defines cyberbalkanization as “the division of the Internet into narrowly focused groups of like-minded individuals who dislike or have little patience for outsiders.”

We do this in person, too—tuning out or even dehumanizing those we perceive as belonging to a stereotype we find alienating: rednecks, bros, New Agers…again, this sort of filter can keep our interactions efficient, even safe.

But look, if all you do is preach to the choir, you’re condemning yourself to intellectual atrophication. How lazy is it to discuss one’s beliefs only with those predisposed to agree? It’s a cushion.

speech

In every camp, there are extremists—and they’re often the loudest members. Just because someone is an extremist or bad at defending their beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean the belief itself is invalid— just as the ability to logically and persuasively present a case doesn’t mean it’s right [ask any Speech and Debate kid]. Ability to argue is a reflection of an individual.

Keep in mind that, within that same camp, there are probably also reasonable people who are probably not that different from you.

Try and find some of them. If you can find people with radically different backgrounds, lifestyles and values whom you can respect, or even relate to, they can challenge you to think and grow in ways your more like-minded friends might never be able to. Having an open discourse with someone completely unlike ourselves—or holding radically different viewpoints—can expose us to our shadow aspects [a la Jungian psychology: the parts of ourselves that we, ourselves, find hardest to see, instead projecting them onto others] and prejudices we didn’t realize we had.

And in general, make a conscious effort to consider what is being said, separately from who’s saying it. Discipline yourself to judge ideas on their own merit—regardless of whether they came from a friend, your mother, an co-worker you can’t stand, someone you look up to, a guy in a Hugo Boss suit, or a bum with “Stupid” tattooed on his forehead [hey, I’ve met him].

4. UNPLUG YOURSELF

You don’t have to meditate or become a hermit, but cultivate periods of passive observation and silence.

  • If you commute, turn off your phone or radio and leave your book at home next time. Even better, do this on your next long stint in a car, bus, or airplane—sit with yourself for a couple hours of more
  • Ditch the GPS and try to find new places the old-fashioned way, paying closer attention to your surroundings
  • Sans-headphones and cell phone, make time to wander aimlessly around familiar neighborhoods, or a part of town you’ve never bothered to walk through. It doesn’t need to be anywhere exciting—the key here isn’t excitement, but observational solitude. Make no plans or expectations, but oblige any whims and see where they take you

Instead of creating your own reality, which we are all doing constantly, give yourself time to be receptive—to observe the world around you, as well as your thoughts and reactions to it. Adapt to what’s around you, instead of forcing what’s around you to adapt to you.

5. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

newGo somewhere that freaks you out—even if it’s just the other side of town, or some local establishment you never would’ve dreamed of visiting. Do something that freaks you out—even if it’s just dressing differently or not wearing makeup. Casually reach out to that old friend you’ve thought about lately, even if it feels socially awkward or you’re not sure what to say.

Try a few things, by yourself, that are completely alien and somewhat uncomfortable to you, whether that means exploring soap-making, ecstatic dance, ghost towns, churches, ecovillages, bookstores or hiking trails. If something makes you cringe—but doesn’t completely go against your principles or put your life at risk—and you can sample it in a day, do it.

When you can, plan to go on a trip somewhere new—not necessarily far, or for long, just somewhere unfamiliar—and don’t cushion yourself with plans or money. Allot a small budget—just enough to keep you safe and get you home—but won’t allow you to default to the same old hotel rooms, local friends or relatives, restaurants, or shopping. Be a participant, rather than a tourist. Open yourself up to impulse and coincidence—with no plans in the way, you won’t have any reason to decline good opportunities as they come up.

6. INTERROGATIVE INTROSPECTION

This might be the hardest part—once we become too comfortable seeing ourselves in a certain light, as being this-or-that sort of person, we’re more prone to overlooking evidence to the contrary, which in turn makes us prone to blind spots in our self-perception [circling back once again to confirmation bias and the shadow aspect of Jungian psychology]. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “to define is to limit.”

guesswhoThe 1967 movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a great example of this: a couple, believing themselves to be very progressive San Franciscans, learn their daughter’s fiancé is black [but otherwise completely perfect by their standards]—and are confronted with racial prejudices they didn’t even realize they were harboring [and so on].

Think of what kind of person you are—according to yourself. How do you define yourself—by your social identity, interests, or personality traits? Do you live up to your own standards? How do you think you come across to others? If you met yourself, what would you think? Is there anything about yourself that you don’t like—and, if so, why not? Can you change it? Should you? If there are traits you can’t stand about other people—see if you can find them in yourself, if you look hard. Are there lies you tell yourself, things you gloss over?

What do you want most in life? Do you have those things? If so, are you happy? If not, can you do anything about it? Whatever you seek in your own life—the pursuit of knowledge, discipline, pleasure, wealth, love, enlightenment, influence, or service, ask yourself why you seek it. What do you stand to gain by attaining it—and what would come next, if you did? If you believe in seeking truth over happiness [or vice versa]—ask why that is, and whether it makes you a better, happier person by your own definition.

While I’m not encouraging self-deception, it can be argued that Virtue and Meaning are subjective and, therefore, personal choices. If your life doesn’t feel quite right, maybe you’re holding onto a paradigm or value system that isn’t helping you. Maybe you don’t need or want what you think you do—maybe you once did, but don’t anymore. Maybe disenfranchisement, even depression, are partially symptoms to a larger core issue.

The point of all this isn’t necessarily to change you in some particular way—or even at all. The trick is to leave no stone unturned, to push your imagination and critical thinking as far as they’ll go, to make no unexamined assumptions about who we are, or take for granted our beliefs of life’s workings. Our minds, our worlds, are inherently subjective. After all, how many times have you looked back on something you’d done in the past and thought, “Damn, I didn’t know anything back then”?

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ABOUT THE WRITER
A committed bonne vivante bearing scatological proclivities, Bumpkin Wolfgang quit a cushy office job in favor of running off to the mountains, where she spent six months building trails and digging cat holes at 13,000 feet. The experience irretrievably addled her brains, and she’s since been on an unstructured pilgrimage to nowhere in particular, which has led her to work as a ski instructor, massage therapist, freelance model, golf cart mechanic, and so on. She believes in candor, experimentation, and catharsis, and generally enjoys this whole Being Alive Thing. Her table manners border on obscene. You can reach Bumpkin via email [debonairdirtbag@gmail.com] or peruse her blog [http://debonairdirtbag.blogspot.com].

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Consciousness

Is Marijuana Unhealthy? An In-Depth Look at the Research

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are large bodies of research that show the ups and downs of cannabis. Yes, much of it contradicts itself in many ways, but science is never all that cut and dry. Simply, cannabis does have negative side effects, but do they outweigh the pros?

  • Reflect On:

    Do you have an extreme pro or anti stance on cannabis? If so, why? Are we able to recognize the pros and the cons of cannabis and truly be open to them without getting triggered? Are we open to exploring spirituality without substances?

Here in Canada, Cannabis was recently legalized, essentially making it so that getting your hands on Cannabis and recreationally using it is now much easier and accepted. Let me be the first to say I feel this is a good thing, as I do not think the plant should have ever been illegal to begin with.

However, I do feel that this is quite a bit of a bait and switch by the government. We could go on for days about how this is simply a huge government control/profit tactic, huge tax opportunity and ultimately they will control the medical side even more etc. But we’ll leave this for another discussion. In fact, in just a few weeks I’m interviewing an incredibly knowledgeable figure in this space on the subject and much more on The Collective Evolution Podcast. So stay tuned.

Today, I simply want to explore some of the health effects of cannabis as I have found that anytime you have such extreme polarity around something, you get extreme beliefs, misinformation and falsehoods on either side. For example, someone reached out to us via email the other day simply because in one of our articles we stated that it was a good idea to not simply medicate ourselves with cannabis all the time when you are feeling down, but instead to also seek other forms of help. The person emailing was quite angry as they felt we were saying cannabis was bad. Meanwhile, all we were saying was, ‘medicine’ isn’t supposed to be taken every day.

The point is, some will have you think it’s the devil, while others think there is not a single negative side effect. Both are false. As the video below will summarize, “it’s totally wrong to say there are no negative health effects.” But are these health effects as bad as other common substances? No. So let’s ground this conversation and look at both sides objectively as that’s important.

One Quick Note On The Spiritual Aspects of Cannabis

Before we get into the health effects a bit more in the video below, I want to mention two quick things that come up a lot.

Often times people will assume my spiritual knowledge, calm way of being or state of consciousness must have come from either smoking weed or doing some other psychedelics. This is fair, as this is the CULTURE being aggressively pushed. Insight comes from psychedelics. If that were the case on a large scale, we’d see a massively spiritual world, but we don’t because it’s not that simple. This is, unfortunately, a ‘cure all’ culture that has gotten a bit out of control and makes it so that those new to the use of psychedelics can get lost or confused about them. If we remain grounded, in ANY subject, we can help many more people.

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For my journey, I did not grow up trying cannabis or using psychedelics. Cannabis experimentation came a bit later. All of what I currently know, in a spiritual sense, came from simply reflecting and practicing meditation and inner work. I have achieved ‘highs’ from meditation that you learn to bring into daily life in an incredible way. It’s not complicated, it just takes some practice.

Often times people claim that smoking cannabis connects them to god or their higherself. This is a fair thing to feel as I do know, from experience, that cannabis can help quiet the mind to some extent. If you are someone with a very active mind, smoking cannabis can show you what it’s like to have a less active mind. This can certainly be a good thing, but there’s more to this picture.

For me, I’ve experimented on multiple occasions with different strains, and have also ventured into edibles (which I knew wasn’t going to produce that result lol) and all I can say is, for me, this is not connecting to self or higherself. Nor was this the same type of ‘quiet mind’ that comes from meditation. Again, does it quiet your mind in a way? Yes. But something.. is missing.. so to speak, when we’re talking about truly connecting. It was not the same connection as in my normal waking state or my meditation states.

This led me to want to explore more about why people felt this way. Sure, in my direct experience, and I’m truly not meaning to offend here or anything as I feel this is an important conversation to have, but most of the people that were claiming they felt this ‘deep connection’ were not meditators nor practiced things of that nature. Intuitively I felt it was simply coming from the lack of knowledge and experience of what connecting to your true self or higherself actually is. Again, what I feel, and know from experience, is that what we feel when smoking cannabis is a quieter mind. To note, I can’t say that no one can connect to self on cannabis, as I imagine some may.

But I’ve been around people when they smoked, and their overall energy was not resonating in a place that was all that ‘high’, but more so sedated and relaxed. This did not remind me of the energy of being around a group of meditators for example. And this is what I mean by ‘something is missing.’ The energy, the state of being, is simply not the same.

So why do I say this? Why bring this up? Simply because I want to encourage those who are looking to go deeper, and find true inner peace in their waking life, to develop the necessary practices that will truly help them get there.

It feels as though, now, in this moment, and moving into 2019, the ‘trend,’ if you will, is going to evolve towards inner work. Less will we be pacifying and medicating (with things like food, sex, cannabis, alcohol etc.) in a sense, and more will we be truly looking to solve our challenges and turmoil from within. The substances we use may still be consumed for periods as we continue to explore this inner work, it’s not about having anything against them, for some of us, this helps us get through more difficult experience at the moment, but we also must look to do the true inner work that helps us evolve past these challenges, or else we will be pacifying our entire lives.

What can help us explore ourselves? I truly recommend committing to a 10-day meditation practice of just 10 minutes a day can provide enough insight into what this can look like that it can fuel a greater practice and understanding of what it is. For those wanting a bit more food for thought, check this out.

OK, enough about that, let’s jump into the research side of things.

Is Cannabis Healthy?

All of the research Mic refers to and links to support his work are in the video description on YouTube.

The Takeaway

As you probably noted in the video. Yes cannabis smoke, like other smoke, is harmful. It appears cannabis is mildly addictive or that people can make it habitually addictive, but it’s significantly less addictive than other substances like smoking or alcohol. Is it a gateway drug? Maybe slightly, but why do we ignoring alcohol as a gateway drug?

On a spiritual end, let’s truly attempt to develop that practice all the research and time-tested wisdom has always shown is the way to inner peace. Meditation! Start small and simple if you are intimidated. The point is, start!.

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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

Notable Scientist Publishes A Book About ‘Real Magic’ That Nobel Laureates Are Endorsing

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean Radin, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, has published a book called "Real Magic." It has received praise from multiple scientists, including Nobel Laureates.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that controlled scientific experiments have produced significant results, this type of study is still labelled as pseudoscience by many academics, simply because it challenges what they've been trained to believe.

Is magic real? That depends on how you define it, but yes, I believe ‘magic’ is definitely real, and I’m clearly not the only one. Cases of ‘supernormal’ powers and ‘magic’ of all kinds have been reported throughout history and across almost all cultures–at least until religion was invented and these topics were ushered into the realm of the ‘demonic.’

Proponents of what we now call ‘magic’  include nearly all ancient literature from all parts of the world, from the Vedic texts and the yoga sutras, all the way to Moses, Jesus, Milarepa and Mohammed. Donald Lopez Jr., a professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and the University of Michigan provides a great example in describing the Buddha:

With this enlightenment, he was believed to possess all manner of supernormal powers, including full knowledge of each of his own past lives and those of other beings, the ability to know others’ thoughts, the ability to create doubles of himself, the ability to rise into the air and simultaneously shoot fire and water from his body…Although he passed into nirvana at the age of eighty-one, he could have lived “for an aeon or until the end of the aeon” if only he had been asked to do so. (source)

The crazy thing is there are also modern day examples, but they mostly come from the black budget government programs. In 2016, I published a well-sourced article providing multiple examples from a CIA document that confirms the existence of humans with ‘special abilities’ who are able to do ‘impossible’ things. You can access that here.

‘Real Magic’

A book recently published by the Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dean Radin, entitled “Real Magic” has received some great reviews. The main premise is the idea that a hidden power resides within every single human being, a power tied to our consciousness, a power that makes phenomena like psychokinesis, remote viewing, and precognition not only possible but something that will perhaps one day be a normal part of all our lives. The book offers a vision of a scientifically informed magic and explains why magic will play a key role in the frontiers of science.

This falls into the realm of a field of study called non-material science. Nikola Tesla was a huge proponent of this, as he had said that the day humanity begins to study this subject matter is the day that humanity will advance at an exponential rate.

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Far From “Pseudoscience”

Dr. Carl Jung once stated, “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” This is something we should all hold in our minds as we examine this or other claims that are not part of our current perception.

The amount of statistically significant results when it comes to this reality, usually dubbed as “parapsychology,” is very significant. We are talking about hundreds, if not thousands of studies that have been conducted worldwide for decades.

There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing. Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

A lot of the statistical results for parapsychology are just as strong, if not in some cases more significant, than a lot of the results which emerge from hard sciences, like physics and mechanical engineering. The Department of Defense has stated that results in this area are a clear sign that these phenomena are real, despite the fact that they are still somewhat unexplainable. As far back as 1999, a statistics professor even published a paper showing the results dealing with parapsychology and mind-body connection are a lot stronger than the results used to approve some of our medications. That study was done by Dr. Jessica Utts, as statistics professor in California who had this to say about Radin’s book:

Real Magic illustrates the limitations of 20th century science and proposes a more comprehensive view that incorporates ideas that have been associated with magic throughout the ages. Blending history, humor, and plausible hypotheses, Dean Radin illustrates that there is a staggering amount of evidence for a broader view of science that offers hope for the future of humanity.” 

Another review:

“A thought-provoking book. The author makes a convincing case for the reality and significance of magic.” —Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

Today, hundreds of scientists are coming together to emphasize that matter is not the only reality. They’ve created a manifesto, and you can find links and access more information about this initiative, which started a few years ago, in an article we published here.

“Some scientists are confident that we already know what is and is not possible. But the truth is that science is very much in its infancy. To advance our understanding requires bold excursions into domains some might consider heretical, including esoteric legends about magic that have persisted for thousands of years. This is what Dean Radin sets out to do with Real Magic. In my judgment, it succeeds in blazing new trails. Well worth the read.”  Kary Mullis PhD, Nobel Laureate (Chemistry)

The Global Elite Use Magic

While talking about magic in this sense, it’s also important to mention the global elite, and the idea that they also use metaphysical/magical ‘knowing’ and concepts. Unfortunately, they do so not for the joy of discovery, or from a place of good intention, but from a selfish, egoic place, a place that is in service to self, and not in service to others. This is a big point to consider when discussing whether humanity needs to take down the global elite in order to evolve. You can read more about my thoughts regarding magic and the global elite in the article ‘How Some of The World’s Elite Use Black Magic Rituals To Conjure Up Entities For More Power.’

I believe that as human consciousness evolves and we become more aware of who we are, and our capabilities, we will also realize that love, compassion, and empathy are all needed for us to thrive. Once we completely grasp this, I believe, these ‘abilities’ that lay dormant within us will begin to show themselves more and more.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to keep in open mind, and to recognize that what we think we know is always subject to change. Sometimes these things take a while, even if a sufficient amount of evidence has been provided. This type of study opens up new understandings about the nature of our reality, and would change ‘science’ and the current laws that govern it forever. Non-material science truly represents the next scientific revolution.

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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

Note To Selfie: Drop The Mask

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    On social media, it's common to see pictures that don't truly represent us or the situations we are capturing. In many cases, we photograph ourselves 10 - 15 times before selecting the 'accurate' photo we will use.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we spend so much time creating an image of ourselves, even if it is not accurate?

What if we all put down our masks? What if we agreed, that there would be no more disguises? What if we allowed each other to be our authentic self? Imagine the effect on Instagram. It boggles the mind.

Too many people believe the content uploaded on social media is actually showing us truth. Far from it. The material chosen to be uploaded to Facebook, or liked on Instagram, bears little resemblance to true life. Each photo has been carefully chosen after taking a mind-numbing series of retakes.

Each photo must be meticulously studied to ensure the subject looks nothing like the real thing. After all, the real thing isn’t going to garner followers. No one uploads pictures of themselves returning bottles to the beer store in their slippers, or cleaning out the kitty litter. Followers equate to love. More follower = more love.

We are terrified that people will see our true self and our mundane lives won’t be nearly glamorous enough. So we take 12 pictures before deciding one is good enough.

Note to selfie: Make sure you extend your arms and snap the picture from above. You must be looking up. You will look younger. Social media doesn’t like wrinkles … bad skin … or skinny lips.

“Before I started being body positive on Instagram I would’ve posted the photo on the left (sucking in my tummy as much as possible) and said something along the lines of ‘gained a bit of fat this week’ when in reality, what I look relaxed currently is like the photo on the right.”

The harm that has been done to our psyche is profound. Apparently, the psyche is quite gullible. It does believe the stories shown on social media are true. So our psyche starts putting on some pretty outlandish masks to keep up with the Jones’ psyche. It is a constant challenge to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses can’t even keep up with Joneses. No one can. It’s a sucker’s game.

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What is the result of wearing a mask? – depression, anxiety, frustration, shame. The “Mask-Wearer” knows it’s not true. And they are terrified of being found out. Imagine the fear of being outed as a fraud. And more unsettling is this; if someone falls for that mask you’ve been wearing, don’t believe they’ve fallen for you. They are enamoured with the mask: the image. And the image isn’t real.

Let’s bring a Revolution of Real. Put down the mask. And promise yourself that you will never be anything other than your most authentic self. Masks wear very thin, very fast. Authentic beauty lasts forever.

recommended Read: Instagram User Reveals The Truth Behind Those Fitness Photos

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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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