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“Do You Know Who I Am?” – The Seductive Voice Of The Self-Important Ego

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Eckhart Tolle often quotes Jesus:

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“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26 (Parallel versions appear in Mark 10:24-27, and Luke 18:24-27.)

global_3633648The saying was a response to a young rich man who had asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied that he should keep the commandments, to which the man stated he had done. Jesus responded, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The young man became sad and was unwilling to do this. Jesus then spoke this response, leaving his disciples astonished.

The “eye of the needle” has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate

This quotation has always fascinated me and the above snippet from Wikipedia also illustrates the tendency to take such maxims literally –wondering if such a gate actually existed. Eckhart makes clear that the “kingdom of heaven” in this story is the peace to be found “beyond all understanding” when one’s ego is seen as a separate, fleeting and illusory entity –the eternal life sought by the young rich boy is always present in the “no thing” that life represents.

This concept has been immensely helpful to me as I’ve attempted to “make my way in the world” and have fallen victim to various levels of conditioning –not the least of which is a fear of how harsh life can be without personal resources. Such a fear can lead to debilitating anxiety, and below I want to dig further into how it can be consciously addressed.

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moneyWe have all had our struggles with money and perhaps more importantly, the desire for wealth.  For me, one of the great treatises on this topic is Jacob Needleman’s Money and the Meaning of Life. Needleman’s perspective is that money is the “key” to mastery of the external world –it literally represents the value of survival as it can be exchanged for food, clothing, water and all of the essentials but it cannot replace them –you cannot eat money.

Therefore its value is established anthropomorphically by the human mind and agreement among man and women as to its value. If you take a dollar to the Amazon the natives will not give you anything for it; gold would be another story because its “value” is more genetically programmed and perhaps even intrinsic —but all of these aspects relate to what is material and external.

Going back to the apocryphal story above, I have noticed in self-observation how much stronger my “sense of self” can become with more money or around issues of money.

For example, in an upscale restaurant where I am paying for a good meal, I will expect better service and a certain amount of deference –my own importance becomes somehow solidified in my mind. Referring to Eckhart’s story –of the person who is served cold soup and complains vociferously “how dare you serve me cold soup” –this is far more likely to occur in a fine restaurant than if one is a guest or is given a free bowl of soup in a soup kitchen.

Similarly in matters of finance, I have noticed that both the matters themselves and my requirement that my needs be treated as matters of grave importance even though a bank, for example, will have many customers aside from me.

And the world responds. The more money one has, the more one can demand better service, better medical care, better food, and so on.  My father used to say “whatever can be fixed with money is of no real significance.”

But this points in two directions.

First, for most people it is a clear indication that having sufficient money to meet the exigencies of life is important. For example, if you break down on the road you want enough to fix your car –if you need to stay overnight you may need a hotel.  Having insufficient means in such circumstances makes life more difficult. The other thing my father always alluded to however, was that the really important things cannot be “fixed” with money. Your relationships with loved ones and oneself –these take one inward to a far deeper level beyond the external material dimension into what Eckhart calls “presence.” And such a movement invariably requires an openness and space between ones’ “self” and the world and a diminution of the egoic voice of self importance –the same voice that money makes stronger if it is the main motivation in life. This is obviously the point of the parable.

Needleman puts this well in his work:

“What is most necessary for man and what is given to him in abundance are experiences, especially experiences of the forces within him.  This is his most essential food, his most essential wealth.  If man consciously receives all of this abundance, the universe will pour into him what is called life in Judaism, spirit in Christianity, light in Islam, power in Taoism.”

To me, the key word here is “consciously” — to “consciously receive” does not mean to hungrily seek and acquire (or to covet material wealth) — but rather to accept what IS with gratitude and awe. In Needleman’s terms this is the true meaning of conscience, to maintain attention in both the outer and inner worlds —in deference to the struggle between them.

What has helped me immensely in this area is the realization that sufficient means to live well is a worthy goal –part of human experience is to be able to deal effectively with the material world –that is indeed our “school” here on earth. And this is also a worthy goal in science –understanding the material to the greatest extent to help and safeguard others.

But when the mind takes over –and there is never enough and no sense of reverence and awe for all that IS  –that is when the “kingdom of heaven” or peace on earth can no longer be attained; when acquisition and mastery are ends in themselves, then the ego has subverted the reality that Eckhart has brought out so eloquently when he says:

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” ― Eckhart TolleA New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

This is also Needleman’s point when he writes that “one needs money to live and survive in the outer world, to fulfill one’s obligations to the community and to nature, but that above and beyond this, the role of money is to serve as the instrument for getting understanding.”

Notice again that within this context, there is nothing wrong with acquiring and using money consciously –in the outer world it can be wondrously helpful and provide even inner riches.  However it is always the inner understanding that provides real wealth in the most significant dimension –the often overlooked inner world of consciousness.

In our time the entire notion of wealth is distorted and completely separated from the inner dimension.  We can see this with money — which began as a means of exchange of material goods of real value — grain, animals, clothing, and even, unfortunately, people and women — and represented the product of actual labor — now it is merely blips or pixels on the screen. It is created and exchanged electronically and can be created by mere  thought.

Money and wealth has become an illusion with no actual connection to the outer or inner world.

And like the sirens to draw sailors to the rocks, the pursuit of money or wealth for its own sake can doom the inner journey by strengthening the part of man that seeks to master the outer world at the expense of the inner –his chattering mind that wants MORE –the Ego. So that the next time your distorted view of “wealth” leads you to puff yourself up and ask someone, “do you know who I am?” You stop and deeply ask yourself the same question.

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.

Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.

Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.

Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars

This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.

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Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.

However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.

Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct

This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.

Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.

Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.

This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.

After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon,  it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.

As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?

What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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

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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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Consciousness

Marie Palmer Recounts Her Escape From The ‘Children Of God’ Sex Cult In New Book

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marie Palmer recounts her escape from the 'Children of God' cult and the long journey of healing she went through afterwards in her book 'The Gift of Will.'

  • Reflect On:

    Can we see that one of the keys to our own liberation from the past is forgiveness?

Marie Palmer did not choose to be part of the ‘Children of God’ cult that was founded in California in 1968 by a former Christian pastor named David Brant Berg. She was born into it. And as such, her entire worldview was founded on the inexorable indoctrination and brainwashing that was used. In itself this is even more tragic than the plight of those hippies like her father that had joined the movement as adults, and who believed, ironically, that they had found a path of greater liberation and truth.

Marie was brought up as a child in an environment that on the one hand promoted an unhealthy lack of boundaries, but in other ways was dangerously restrictive. The toxic and twisted principles that emerged from the mind of founder David Berg were laced with enough pseudo-validation from Christian scripture to convince many lost and downtrodden souls that they were actually on the right path to God and salvation–in fact the ONLY true path, for many of its devotees.

What has emerged over time, marked by the testimony of ex-members like actress Rose McGowan and the tragic murder-suicide of Ricky Rodriguez, whom Berg dubbed ‘Davidito’ and was grooming as the heir-apparent to his throne, is that the psychological and emotional disorientation and trauma brought upon children born into this cult was so extreme that it was difficult or impossible for many of them to survive in the world, let alone establish a normal life.

Marie Palmer has written a book entitled ‘The Gift of Will,’ which explores the impact of the brainwashing of the ‘Children of God’ cult on her personally, her escape from the cult, and the long and difficult journey she has been on to overcome the trauma and confusion she had been beset with. It was after reading this book that I felt it would be worthwhile for CE to go down to Oregon to talk to Marie in person so that we could provide a full 4-part interview of her story for our members on CETV. You can watch it when you sign up for a free 7-day trial HERE.

The ‘Children Of God’ Cult

Marie was able to escape from the cult as a teen, out of an intense and very real fear of getting pregnant, and an inner rebelliousness that she didn’t really understand or get a handle on until much later. Having now been out of the cult for decades, Marie has been able to see in retrospect how the emergence and rapid popularity of the cult was likely a product of the times founded on some positive intentions, at least initially:

“Maybe it started as a sincere desire to help the lost hippie generation. Maybe it was his obsession with the Bible and his evangelical background that gave him a platform from which to easily build upon. Maybe it was timing. He believed he could create a new type of hippie culture that still held itself true to the ideals of freedom and free love but in the context of following the representation of Jesus in the Bible. He wanted the security of knowing his ideas were based on something real and true. Free love for the sake of free love was fun but flighty. Free love in the name of Jesus Christ–there was everlasting power in that.”

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“I can see how that era created opportunity for its youth to find peace and solace in the form of spirituality. I can see how being considered an outcast could be enticing, especially one that had purpose, was following the creator. They could be dropouts and still feel a sense of comradery, family, have a place to call home. Mo provided a way for these lonely youth to be crazy, wild and revolutionary, to burn their old ideas along with their bras, to be free from drugs and street life but hold true to their inner rebel against what they called “the system” and he created this utopia in the name of Jesus.”–The Gift of Will, pp 56–57

However, it seems clear that the basic principles that the ‘Children of God’ cult was founded on morphed over time to accommodate greater control and the sexual predispositions of founder David Berg and his inner circle. One particularly effective vehicle for indoctrination was the famed ‘Mo letters,’ (‘Mo’ being short for Berg’s moniker ‘Moses David’) which often used vivid cartoon graphics portraying sexuality to draw one’s attention and drive the message home.

The way in which sexuality was portrayed certainly had a lot of appeal to adult members of the hippie movement who were convinced that their freedom in relation to sexuality was bringing them closer to God and to their community. In the early years, the technique of ‘Flirty Fishing,’ where women would go out and recruit men into the organization through openly inviting them to have sex, was highly successful, bringing hundreds of thousands of men into them movement. The justification for this, as seen in the Mo Letter illustration below, was that the ends justified the means, and the end was supposedly to bring more people in to experience the ‘Love of God.’

Fear And Wrath

Ultimately, though, power is the name of the game, and David Berg’s personal motivations were far from ‘unselfish, pure sacrificial love.’ As the cult grew, more and more emphasis was put on the need for people to stay in the cult, and that meant using fear and the wrath of God to dissuade people from considering leaving the organization, with quotations cherry-picked from the Bible to garner legitimacy.

One method of control was the systematic suppression of worldly knowledge. In fact, a general tenet of the cult was that anything ‘worldly’ was evil. In this clip from our interview, Marie Palmer explains how as a child she really got no formal education, and had no idea about how the outer world worked. She was only ‘schooled’ in the cult’s indoctrination, which preached that children should trust and obey their elders and not ask questions:

Watch the full 4-part interview of Marie’s story on CETV by starting a free 7 day trial HERE.

As she mentions, young girls in the cult were expected to share themselves with older men who pursued them, as well as providing for those ‘in need’ of intimacy and comfort, under the guise that the whole community was ‘in this together’ and sex should have no boundaries. It wasn’t as though they were violently forced to have sex within the cult, but the psychological pressures, amid efforts to normalize sex between children and adults, led to countless sexual encounters that were undoubtedly traumatic and a source of complete disorientation for the young members:

I know that kids experiment with their sexuality when they are young, usually it’s with kids their own age. There are no words to explain how confusing it is when you are a child that’s expected to experiment sexually with adults. They are your role models. They have all the power. The power to shame you. To discipline you. To give you grace. To provide for you. To give you direction. Every child has the innate desire to please those who rule over them. Disappointing our parents and guardians is a hard thing to face. This makes children ideal victims for abusers.” —The Gift of Will, (p. 65)

Perhaps David Berg did not initially set out to create an organization that actively and openly practiced pedophilia. But the reactions of young members such as Davidito stand as a sobering testament to the volatile and damaging impact of such practices. Davidito had a burning rage against the nannies who were both his guardians and his sexual partners, a rage that was immortalized in this confessional video he made just before his murder/suicide that lays bare his deep resentment and hopelessness.

If there is any debate remaining as to whether it is healthy for children to have any kind of sexual relationships with adults, which some powerful forces have slowly tried to normalize in society, it is laid to rest with the testimony of brave survivors who were brought up in the ‘Children of God’ cult like Marie Palmer.

Healing

What is remarkable and also most important about Marie Palmer’s story is that she has found a way to heal herself from her past. Going through a long stretch after escaping from the cult in which she had absolutely no sense of self or understanding about how to deal with the rage, confusion, depression or sorrow that followed her around constantly, she eventually developed a great hunger for knowledge and for learning. What was especially exciting for her was to learn about spirituality and the Divine in ways that were liberating rather than restrictive. In this way, she could come to grips with the flaws in the Berg philosophy and let go of its influence. Further, she learned forgiveness as the only true way to reconcile the past:

Many religions, especially patriarchal ones, teach that we are either good or evil. And, they teach us further that if we aren’t submissive to this strand of teaching – the cross, the blood, and outside source bringing redemption – we are fatally flawed, crippled from the cradle to the grave.

By understanding and practicing Buddhism, I’ve been able to detach myself from the concept of good versus evil. I’ve been able to study the mechanisms that make my soul tick. I’ve been able to accept that as a human being, I experience light and shadow and it’s all OK.

Sometimes the light may blind me. Sometimes the shadow may darken my horizon. Regardless I am comprised of both; we all are. So, for me, there is no redemption by blood. There is no sense of retaliation or shame projected onto us by any God. Just as there is no need for retaliation for my experiences as a child. I was a victim of the shadows. But, I was graced with the ability to find and choose the light. —The Gift of Will, (p. 142)

The Takeaway

Marie’s journey reminds all of us that only through forgiveness is there liberation from the past. What she has accomplished is inspiring, because she has so much more to forgive than most of us. And she sees that once we are willing to forgive those who had the most power over us, those who caused us the most suffering, something opens up that can change our overall perception forever.

Once I decided to forgive my parents, I could see clearly to forgive just about everyone in the world. I began to see the world through the eyes of compassion, mercy, and Grace. I was also able to forgive myself for not being a better sister to my brother, and all the other naïve and ignorant things I have done to others and myself. I was able to begin the journey of loving myself. To have the upmost compassion for myself and respect for my own identity.” —The Gift of Will, (pp. 155-156)

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Alternative News

Marianne Williamson Realizes The DNC Is Not What She Thought

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marianne Williamson appears to be seeing the truth about politics and political parties very clearly at the moment. It's not just the DNC, it's the GOP too that operates in these ways.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it really going to be a candidate that changes our systems and structures deeply? Or is it a new state of being and consciousness that the collective must step into?

Right off the top, do not make this about the DNC vs the GOP, that is not the point of this article. It is quite obvious that the DNC and the GOP are both corrupted and controlled by powerful interests, this article’s discussion is meant to provide interesting commentary for those that don’t yet see the truth of political parties in the US.

Much like Tulsi Gabbard, Williamson seems to be seeing very clearly, first hand, exactly who the DNC is. Tulsi has been very outspoken about this which is amazing. You could say she is directly seeing the effects of the DNC rigging techniques via being knocked out of the next debate.

Recently, Dem. candidate Marianne Williamson replied to a journalist in an interview by the New Yorker stating “I’m Jewish,”  “I go to the doctor.” [She does not, she says, even have a crystal in her home.] “I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.”

In context, Marianne is responding to criticism about her lifestyle, spirituality and statements made around vaccines. What Marianne has been bringing forth is important, and she has been brave in doing so, but in my view, she is realizing something about the way people in politics work that is important for the general public to understand too. It does not matter what side you are on, political parties are a facade.

The sooner we see this and understand how our political system is really functioning, the sooner we can break the illusion and create change. None of what we are seeing here in these revelations is a bad thing, it’s a step in the direction of waking up to the truth.

Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.

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I go into this analysis in deeper detail in a segment of The Collective Evolution Show below. The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.

The Takeaway

We are in a time where truth is coming forward and events are playing out that, if analyzed from a deeper point of view, reveal deep truths about the nature of our world and programming. The more we see, the more we shift our perception and consciousness and thus the more our external world changes.

We cannot change our external world effectively with a vote, we must see how our systems function and what levels of consciousness, thinking, and beliefs support the continual cycle of suffering we are in right now. Events like this help us see the truth more clearly.

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