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How Quantum Mechanics, Mysticism & Vedanta-Yoga Are Affecting Western Culture

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“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.” – Albert Einstein

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“Those who aspire to the state of yoga should seek the self in inner solitude through meditation. With body and mind controlled they should constantly practice one-pointedness, free from expectations and attachment to material possessions.” — Bhagavad Gita

        Mystics are driven by a desire to grasp and attain the ultimate truth of existence. Mysticism can be defined as a belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience. A mystic trusts in these subjective experiences and cultivates awareness of dimensions beyond the physical and intelligible. These levels of consciousness bring light to the vast mysteries of the world around us, the world that we create with our thoughts. In the Western world today, a shift is occurring in consciousness. This shift is a product of a myriad of factors. These factors range from our scientific progress in neuroscience, physics and psychology all the way to how India influenced us with the practices and tangible spiritual and psychological benefits provided by Vedanta-Yoga. How exactly did this happen? First we must take a look at the root of it all, consciousness.string-theory-2

What is consciousness? What is the origin of consciousness? What are the limits of human potential? We are at a point today in the world where we can ask questions such as these and others like them. With the progress of science such as the superstring theory and quantum mechanics we now have some ideas about how to begin to find the answers to such questions. These forms of science posit that all life is fundamentally one. There exists a unity at the basis of all of the diversity within life. Mind, body, and spirit create a sacred trinity that allows us to fully experience life on earth. (Though there is quite a bit of knowledge about the mind and the body, understanding of the spirit is actually quite lacking.) This unity, at the basis of mind and matter, is consciousness, and often referred to as universal consciousness. Quantum Physicist Amit Goswami says that consciousness is the ground of all being. Consciousness is theorized to not be created from the brain, but rather it is fundamental; it is at the core of all nature.  (The Quantum Activist)8

The superstring theory, which talks of the unified field, identifies a single, universal field of intelligence. The superstring theory is known less formally as the string theory, and is often referred to as the Theory of Everything (TOE.) There exists much debate about whether this field is actually proven science or not, but despite this it is a very stimulating piece of physics. Within this unified field exists quarks, electromagnetism, gravity, consciousness etc. It is a mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter in existence. Everything has a unified source in this field, and this field’s properties are nonmaterial, dynamic, self-aware, and intelligent. It is considered to be pure abstract potential. Many will ask potential for what? That is a good question. We (our cosmic consciousness) are just waves of vibrations in this unified underlying field. The idea of universal or cosmic consciousness posits that the universe exists as an interconnected network of consciousness, with each conscious being linked to every other. This essentially means there is only one consciousness, it is you, it is me, and it is everyone. The individuality of consciousness experienced by most people is theorized to be produced by the universal consciousness being filtered through the nervous system. Understanding that consciousness, or the self, is universal is the first step to enlightenment. Experiencing this enlightenment first hand has been sought after in many cultures and religions across the ages. In William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, he gives the accounts of many different people from across time and some claim that in their moment of divine existence they felt a perfect unity and transcendence (of consciousness.) If people continue to believe that we live in a universe of dead, motionless matter, then it will of course make it difficult to grasp that our universe is conscious at its roots. The string theory attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.avirtualspacetime

Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, deals with physical phenomena as microscopic scales. It provides a mathematical description of much of the existing dualism between particles and waves and interactions of energy and matter. It tries to explain the relationship between how our intangible consciousness comes about from particles and energy, or if matter and energies are a product of consciousness. Quantum mechanics is the play and display of information, of potentiality. (Hagelin) It is considered the world of potential electrons, not just electrons. The deeper a person looks into what everything is composed of, the more alive and conscious the universe seems to become. In the unified field, there exists just pure being.  Many cultures and spiritual practices have discovered ways to transcend to a higher plane of consciousness, but why are these seemingly very important practices not used by everybody? The techniques to experience a pure consciousness and unbounded awareness are easily lost because they are so subtle. These are often characterized as being simple, universal, and most importantly natural. In order to transcend, consciousness has to calm and slow down. This is a goal of meditative practices. In efforts to reproduce such an experience, one will find difficulty in succeeding, because effort calls for too much conscious activity. The experience of pure consciousness really transcends any one religion or philosophy, even though it is the desired end result of mostly all religious and spiritual practices. This is discussed in my section on perennialism later on.  This pure consciousness is theorized to be the direct subjective experience of the unified laws of nature.  The unified field unites the observed with the observer and provides the experience of one’s true self, or the Atman.  In Sanskrit, Atman means to Buddhists the ‘essential self.’ The essential self is pure consciousness. Though consciousness, or the essential self, is intangible, it is the one aspect of experience that has been with us since childhood. Consciousness gives continuity to our experience, it is the atman, the self. (Hagelin) Within the unified field exists unbounded subjectivity, much like the observing self. Quantum Physicist John Hagelin believes that the world of diversity and the world of unity both exist, not just one or the other. They are simply different levels of description of the same reality. On the physical level, you and I are separate, but at deeper levels we have a common source. Where all of the particles come together as one, this is the unity of consciousness, the unified field of all the laws of nature. (Hagelin)

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Quantum physics has many seemingly metaphysical properties; it is also quite mystical in many ways. Most quantum physicists report highly mystical interpretations to their findings. Quantum mysticism grew out of quantum physics, and it was a topic of much debate a just a few years ago. It is essentially an umbrella term for all of the beliefs that try and relate consciousness, intelligence, or mystical world-views to quantum physics and its myriad of interpretations. Quantum mechanics is a quickly maturing science of consciousness, but still has a long way to go.  There is much more to consciousness than an objective science, subjective inner-experience is where the real truth may lay for many people.

Nayyar Dam, Kerala, India.

Many Americans who practice yoga or meditate are not aware that these primarily came from India. In the early 19th century, British scholars produced the first English translations of India’s sacred texts and Emerson, Whitman, and Thoreau all quickly got a hold of them. Gurus came and gave lectures that made the message of India increasingly alluring to Westerners. This was the case predominantly in the white, urban and educated folks who were seekers of truth, of God and of self-improvement. Walt Whitman once wrote, “India represents meditation, oriental rhapsody, passiveness, a curious schoolmaster-teaching of wise precepts.” The Influence of India spread slowly, then surged in the late 1960’s due to a myriad of forces coming together- “mass communication and ease of travel; social unrest; war and nuclear anxiety; psychedelic drugs; and alienated but idealistic youngsters with the time and money to explore new ways of being.” (American Veda, Goldenberg) The portion of India’s spiritual legacy that hold the most appeal to Westerners are the philosophical system of the Vedanta and the mental and physical practices of Yoga. Vedanta literally means “end of the Vedas” and refers to the culmination of the knowledge contained within the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Yoga usually refers to a collection of methodologies and practices aimed at achieving spiritual ascension and experiencing the union of the individual and the divine. Together, the Vedanta-Yoga practice constitutes an empirical science of the inner life.

Vedanta and Yoga are two of the six systems of Indian(Hindu) philosophy. The other four are a bit more outwardly religious and wouldn’t be taken to as kindly here in the West. Vedanta is similar to perrenialism, which was brought to public attention by Aldous Huxley in his Perennial Philosophy. Perrenialism essentially posits that the mystical components of religious traditions call forth remarkably similar descriptions of reality across many walks of culture. This is not to say in any way that all religions are the same, but “While religious customs, rituals, and dogmas vary, all traditions, if taken deep enough, can bring practitioners to essentially the same place- our silent origin, or essence, which transcends all notions of place, all words, all concepts, all theologies.” (Goldberg) Organized religions in the West seem to be lacking in transformation of becoming a more fulfilled and complete person and transcendence to satisfy the yearning to enlarge the perceived boundaries of the self. Millions of Americans have likely been influenced by Vedanta-Yoga without even being aware of it. As stated in the introduction, the initial draw to Vedanta-Yoga was the promise of tangible spiritual and psychological benefits. The changes are noted to be improved well-being: greater peace, self-awareness, happiness, wholeness, and a connection to something bigger than themselves. The Psychology of happiness and well-being says that people are far more resilient to negative emotions, which expands their thought-action repertoire, when they have some sort of supernatural order guiding them through life and feeling connected to something greater. A large part of the appeal of the Vedanta philosophy is that it is experience-oriented; it offers a way to understand the divine that does not go against pure reason or require blind-faith in the nonsensical. (The American Veda, Goldberg)

tantra

The goal of Vedanta-Yoga does not have to be union with God. In fact, the western view on the purpose of Vedanta-Yoga largely differs from the eastern view in many cases. Westerners often believe it is good for more active reasons such as lowering blood pressure, alleviating anxieties and depression, making physical changes to the brain, and just having a clearer mind. While all of these benefits are real and have been experienced countless times, Easterners often use meditation for more spiritual reasons. These can include union with god, self-realization and transcendence of the ego. Through this, comes the elimination of suffering, the realization of the oneness of all things, a shift in perspective, and the experience of universal consciousness. One begins turning their attention from the physical and mundane features of the world where problems seem significant to simply living mindfully in the present. Many people try to hold onto life, and prevent change from occurring, even though this is simply fighting the nature of life. Everything is changing, always, every second. Meditation allows one to experience life through a broader, more interconnected perspective. It can help change the amount importance placed upon seemingly prominent discomforts and troubles, whereas in a meditative state one may realize these problems are just trivial which can bring about a very peaceful state of consciousness. Meditation can serve for some as a sort of incubation period for aspirations or goals (both short-term and long-term.) People in the west often lead lives of pure “doing” and little to no being. “Being” should be understood as truly becoming in touch with the core self. “Being” can be noted as the observing self. “Doing” is referring to the thinking self. One of these two is always dominating the stream of awareness. In the East, many cultures are based around primarily “being” and living through the observing self to an extent. Living a life combining these two intermittently will prove to be quite fruitful according to many quantum physicists and spiritual leaders. When one meditates, one can truly connect with the core self and truly discover one’s core beliefs. These core beliefs are the foundation upon which all expectations are formed. In this state of “being” one’s decisions and thoughts are not clouded by the ego or desires, how one desires to be perceived by others, or poor intentionality. One breaks away from the ego that is ever so prominent and debilitating at times. It is theorized that as one shifts towards a goal, the universe will sometimes shift along in accordance. A new action equals a new creation.  This personal power of consciousness is most powerful when one wholly shifts their habitual centre of personal energy towards what it is that aligns to their new core beliefs. (William James) This ability of consciousness is especially effective when what one wants to happen is what one expects to happen. It is believed that the feeling of individuality, of disconnection arises when who we are does not align with our core beliefs. William James talks much of this and one’s habitual centre of personal energy in his book The Varieties of a Religious Experience.

Western schools build, emphasize, and strengthen the left brain, which is responsible for linear thinking. The right brain is not considered to hold an important place in corporate America. There are many studies done displaying how Western schools stifle and can even kill creativity. A neuroscientist named Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke and watched her mind deteriorate from the inside out. In her particular stroke, her left brain would shut off intermittently. When the left brain shut off, she explained she felt pure euphoria, pure transcendence. She felt one with everything in the entire cosmos and this sense of unity was a very beautiful experience. She even went so far as to say that when her arm was up against the wall, she could not tell where her arm began and where it ended, she could not differentiate between her arm and the wall as all of the particles looked the same. There is a TEDTalk on this woman and her story, and as she discussed the euphoria she felt she began to cry. Some forms of meditation and other forms of Eastern spirituality emphasize the right brain, living purely in this very moment, eliminating all anxieties about the past or future and attaining this oneness that Jill Taylor spoke of.

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“We are at a pinnacle time at which all of our senses are telling us that we are approaching a turning point. Humankind is (we are) in the middle of an all-encompassing process of change. In the external world we are experiencing an increase in the density of events, not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively in their intensity. We realize that a significant number of these events correlate with our own inner mental and emotional processes. The increasingly ineluctable confrontations with these processes inevitably lead to a change of consciousness. It appears as if each one of us is challenged to his limits. At the point of our limits, we are faced with a decision. The decision to either continue to engage with the existing structures, or to take a new approach. On this new path, we recognize our true and divine potential. It is the path from the illusion of separation to wholeness. On our journey, our consciousness is expanding rapidly. It extends to increasingly frequent moments of insight facilitating this big decision.” –Dieter Broers

In modern times, all of the previously described phenomena including spiritual and intellectual forces are shaping and rewriting personal philosophies on a global scale. There is a new mystical movement spreading; this movement is known by many names. Some call it lightseeking, others call it spirit science, while a large group call it the paradigm shift. More and more people/cultures are beginning to stand up for their human rights. Thanks to technology and the ease of the spread of information and the internet, one uprising leads to many and self-worth is sprouting up all around the globe. People are experiencing an awakening, where they are becoming more aware of their power to change their situations, their life, and not have to be oppressed any longer. Religion and spirituality were given to many of us by the church. The church passed down doctrine that restricted our beliefs and gave meaning to life. They were challenged during the Renaissance and Reformation, and this is when science truly began to take on these mysteries of the world. Doctrine, mythology and gods filled in the gaps of what we did not know about the world. As our progress in science furthered, these gaps were filled in by empirical evidence and logical science, rather than blind faith in a mythology. Over the course of the past one hundred years or so, people sought after accumulating material wealth to pass the time and provide a transient satisfaction. Now, people are truly waking up to what is going on in the world.  All of these movements place great emphasis on the Mayan Calendar and what it is predicting for 2012. There are so many interpretations these days by so many prominent scientists that it truly is impossible to know exactly what is going to happen.

The aforementioned movements (there are many more besides these) are predicting a shift of consciousness rather than end of the world. They believe it will be a transitional state of frequencies and higher energies. People within these high frequencies are experiencing a number of coincidences everyday, which are thought to be synchronistic events rather than coincidences. We are living at a landmark time in the history of this planet, at a crossroads. We may reach ascension and move into a higher frequency where more is possible. More would be possible because once one has transcended their consciousness, which many religions and cultures have striven for throughout the ages, a sort of enlightenment is reached. One must stay tuned to a higher frequency, exuding love and appreciation as the vibrations from these are infectious and will spread to those around you, eventually manifesting positive auras and phenomena in the external world.  This will build a sense of connection with the world around you. (2012: Time for a Change) Happiness is not a goal, but rather a state that can be attained at any given moment. The psychology of happiness and well-being states that circumstances do not determine happiness. As long as your basic needs are met such as food and water, the man who makes 30,000 dollars a year can be just as happy as the man who makes 4 million. Likewise, many Americans and now beginning to realize that material comforts and corporate success do not in any way produce lasting happiness. The happiness from these comforts is fleeting and unreliable.

consciousnessSHIFT

As for the shift in consciousness in 2012, it is my opinion that because so many believe something grand will happen, we are all essentially manifesting it, creating it. This ascension of consciousness in the modern day paradigm shift is all about emanating love, appreciation, and respect. Not identifying trees, animals and other forms of nature as separate entities, but feeling and truly knowing that we are all nature, connected through a constantly moving exchange of energies and vibrations. Once this ever-pervading sense of love for everything has been infused into our consciousness and we become enlightened, the potential of our consciousness is limitless. If the potential of our consciousness is limitless, and quantum mechanics is correct about consciousness being the ground of all being and the unified field being at the base of absolutely everything, then all of life has unlimited potential in the spiritual, mental, and physical realms.

Sources:

What the Bleep Do We Know- Documentary

The Quantum Activist- Documentary

2012:Time For A Change- Documentary

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight- TEDTalk-

Varieties of a Religious Experience by William James

John Hagelin’s talks on consciousness-

http://thespiritscience.net/spirit/

http://www.solar-revolution-movie.com/

The American Veda by Phillip Goldberg

The Bhagavad Gita

Zen Buddhist Meditation instructor in North Shore, Chattanooga

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Farmer Gives His Cows To A Sanctuary After Seeing Them “Terrified”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Cattle farmer turned vegan and gave his whole £50,000 herd to an animal sanctuary because he could no longer bear seeing them 'terrified' on the way to the abattoir.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we subject other living beings to torture, pain, hurt and a terrible life? Why do we not value the life of an animal as much as we do a human?

Billions of animals are raised and killed for slaughter every single year, and that’s in America alone. There is nothing humane about our food industry. It’s quite clear that the majority of animals are tortured, live in extreme fear, anxiety and depression, and constantly have their kids and other family members ripped away from them. Take cows, for example. These majestic, compassionate, empathetic and brilliant beings are basically raped so we can drink their milk.

They are forcefully inseminated, which is odd given the fact that casein, the protein found within the milk of a cow, has been found to increase our risk of cancer and even accelerate the growth rate of cancer . Furthermore, the milk from a cow creates a condition within the body called metabolic acidosis, and as a result the body compensates by leeching calcium from the bones. How ironic is that?

When the cow gives birth, the babies do not get the milk because that’s reserved for humans and big profit. The babies are separated from their mothers and then are either immediately killed or raised for slaughter. This is extremely inhumane, and it represents one of the most heartbreaking genocides in human history. It makes no sense to drink the milk of a cow because it’s meant for cows.

In fact, humans are the only animal that drink the milk of another animal, and we are the only animal to drink milk after weaning. Furthermore, we previously didn’t have the ability to digest the milk of a cow, that’s an ability our bodies eventually developed, given the fact that the milk of a cow is so unnatural to the human body. It makes sense that 65 percent of the planet has some form of lactose intolerance. In some regions of the world it’s an astonishing 90 percent. It makes no sense at all, and it’s quite clear that the big food companies are behind this and have marketed milk as ‘healthy’ simply for the purposes of profit.

The main purpose of this article is to emphasize that all of this is happening because of us. Granted, things have drastically changed over the past decade, and are continuing to change. The profits of the dairy and meat industries are steadily declining, and this is as a result of people waking up to what’s really going on with regards to how these animals are treated as well as the health consequences of human beings over-consuming animal products.

One other thing that seems to be happening is an increase in global compassion. It’s always strange to ask how any human being can be involved in this process. We are talking about living, sentient, emotional, intelligent beings being subjected to extreme pain. How can anybody on the planet be okay with someone else going through such things? The reality is that there are individuals who oppose these industries, and there are those who deem the lives of other animals as insignificant.

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As I said, people are changing, but some people just don’t realize this. Jay and Katja Wilde are the latest examples of how change is spreading.

Pictured above, the 61-year-old farmers just couldn’t take the guilt anymore after spending many years as beef farmers. They recently decided to give their entire herd to an animal sanctuary. It’s interesting because he’s been a vegetarian for thirty years, yet at the same time this was his occupation, and through it he discovered that each individual cow had their own unique personality. They are loving, caring, intelligent and affectionate animals.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said:

“I’ve long felt there was a very strong conflict of interest between not eating meat and producing cattle for meat,” he says. “The problem is that when you inherit a farm, it feels like a duty to keep its life continuing into the future. That also means looking after animals, really getting to know them. But then I felt that sending them off was betraying them. I needed to do something differently. Whether they are stubborn, shy, friendly, they’re all different. These traits can pass down generations, too. You can match sons and daughters to their mothers.”

He emphasized how his profession made him much more “acutely aware of taking them to their place of death.” A death that Jay felt sure the cows were fully aware of. “It’s hard to know exactly what they know, but logic suggests everything about that final journey must be terrifying,” he said.

Jay and his wife Katja have now converted their beef farm into an organic vegan one, becoming the first farmers in the UK who are believed to have taken such action.

“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as now they look upon the murder of humans.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Below is great, heart-warming video.

The Takeaway

Eating meat isn’t healthy. It’s well-established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. Plant-based eating is not only nutritionally sufficient, but helps you avoid chronic illness as well. You can read more information regarding that in the articles linked below.

What we are doing today, raising and slaughtering billions of animals, is not only destroying our health, it’s destroying our environment as well. More importantly, compassion, care, empathy and love must return to our planet, and the food industry is where we need to start showing these qualities that have somehow been made to lay dormant within us. If one suffers, we all suffer.

Related Articles:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

Studies Show What Happens To Your Heart When You Go Vegan or Vegetarian

Disturbing Aerial Photos Show What Killing Billions of Animals for Meat is Doing To The Environment

Warning: Graphic Images That The Egg Industry Does Not Want You To See

New Study Shows What Vegan Diets Do For Heart Health, Endurance Athletes & Sports Performance

Scientist: Milk From Cows Has “The Most Relevant Carcinogen Ever Identified” & “Turns on Cancer”

Scientist Explains How Cow’s Milk Leeches Calcium From Your Bones & Makes Them Weaker

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Libra: Approaching Changes

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We are having a 2nd Full Moon in Libra on April 19th; however, it will appear fullest on the night of the 18th in the American continents. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began on April 5th with a New Moon in Aries.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Aries and Libra, at the 29th degree, less than a day before we begin Taurus season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

During this Full Moon, we can experience either a push-pull or collaboration between the Sun in Aries and Moon in Libra. The energies of it gradually build up and become more noticeable on the day of and days surrounding the Full Moon. It is also part of the backdrop of the other astrological influences/reflections over the following two weeks.

Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars. It is about action, moving forward, pioneering, independence, self-identity, self-orientation, and leadership. It is bold, courageous, and instinctual, yet it can also be aggressive, impulsive, impatient, selfish, and hot-tempered.

Libra is an Air sign ruled by Venus. It is about relating, relationships, partnerships, codependency, consideration, harmony, balance, fairness, art, creativity, and beauty. It is sociable, diplomatic, and intellectual, yet it can also be indecisive, passive aggressive, vain, and even judgemental.

Full Moon Quincunx Venus, Opposing Sun/Uranus Conjunction

Venus is the ruler of Libra and is in a quincunx aspect with this Full Moon. This could indicate frustrations, challenges between emotional needs, relationship considerations, balance, fairness, or equality with values, finances, or other aspects of our relationships. The solution to this may require adjustments, which may seem complicated.

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Venus is about to change signs just like the Sun and Moon. It is currently near the end of Pisces, which is also the end of the entire zodiac. All of this combined with Uranus being tied into this Full Moon could indicate some sort of change or transition regarding some of the themes mentioned in this article.

The Sun is moving close to Uranus in Taurus with the Moon in opposition to it. This could reflect surprises, instability, and disruptive or separative circumstances. Individual needs connected to freedom, liberation, new experiences, excitement, independence, authenticity, innovation, or rebellion may be at odds with other considerations or relationships.

Jupiter is also in a separating aspect with the Sun and Moon. This could emphasize some of what is mentioned above, but could also bring in themes connected to beliefs, opinions, travel, education, media, and marketing. Considering that Jupiter recently began its retrograde, many people may experience a shift or revisitation around these things as well.

Mars Square Neptune, Mercury and Venus in Aries Conjunct Chiron

Mars, the ruler of Aries, is in Gemini moving towards a square with Neptune in Pisces, which is strongest from April 25th-28th. At best, this energy can be good for asserting ourselves in a spiritual, inspired, imaginative, or creative way. This can also be good for activities that involve water.

However, it can feel harder to take on mundane duties and we can lack direction or even have less energy for physical assertion. We can also feel lazy, scattered, or overwhelmed. Certain efforts might end up not working out due to insufficient execution, lack of attention, or by other means.

Mercury entered Aries a few days before this Full Moon, where it will stay until May 6th. This follows an extended stay in Pisces due to the previous retrograde. We can be more mentally sharp, quick, bold, and courageous in comparison to the last few months, which were a time of heightened absent mindedness, confusion, and less focus.

During the day of this Full Moon and the days surrounding it, Mercury is in a conjunction Chiron. Thoughts and communications could be connected to Chiron themes of healing, wounds, blockages, inadequacies, innovation, bridging, or perhaps some sort of holistic orientation. Venus will also enter Aries and join Chiron from April 21st-24th. Similar themes could play out in our relationships or regarding values, finances, or beauty.

Saturn and Pluto Going Retrograde Near The South Node

Around the time of the previous New Moon, Pluto was aligned with the South Node, and it has been slowing down to go retrograde on April 24th. This could be bringing themes of purging, transforming, and perhaps endings into this Moon cycle. It is also possible that past issues or behaviours could have resurfaced. Themes connected to fears, power, control, manipulation, shadows, sex, or perhaps even death could also come up.

Saturn is also now getting closer to the South Node as it slows down to go retrograde on April 29th. This could extend and accentuate some of the same themes mentioned above such as endings, changes, or obstacles associated with the past.

It can also bring up themes connected to responsibilities, commitments, boundaries, structures, career obligations, barriers, and limitations. This energy will be strong over the coming 2-3 weeks, especially during the days surrounding April 29th. It will also be strong in the early Summer and then early Fall when it concludes.

Things To Consider During This Period

What do you need to do to balance your relationship needs with your individual ones? Are there any adjustments that you need to make? What do you need to do to feel more liberated? What considerations do you need to make before making any changes?

What areas of your life are calling for endings and what aspects of your past do you need to let go of? Do you need to shift your commitments and responsibilities? Are there any unusual solutions coming up that could help you overcome obstacles or facilitate some sort of healing?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  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 over the two weeks following, when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on the night of April 19th at 11:12am 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

Embodied Spirituality: The Truth Shall Set You Free

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are truths, despite what our president would want us to believe. Subjective and objective domains for truth are largely distinct, and discerning the difference informs a spirituality that honors more than just our convenient worldviews.

  • Reflect On:

    The key is learning how to appropriately identify subjective versus objective truths. When we mix up these domains, we end up not living in alignment with the truth, which is not only anti-spiritual but leads to the demise of the Earth as well.

For myself, spirituality means aligning with what is true, or most likely true. This means looking at what is true through the lens of my unique experience and self-reflection (subjectively) and what is true in the world (objectively).

Living in accord with what’s true means I have to confront lots of things that are tough to stomach and that I’d prefer weren’t true. I practice resiliency by enduring this discovery process. It takes courage, humility, sensitivity, insight, intellectual rigor, emotional intelligence, and flexibility—in essence, all of me.

Why does it require all of me to be honest?

Because we humans have evolved to stick to our beliefs, even though many of them are false. We, in fact, experience a dopamine rush (a feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains) when we affirm our beliefs, even if they are wrong. So, confronting false beliefs about myself and the world means I have to endure some degree of feeling badly, some emotional turmoil, cognitive dissonance, and reorientation of my world. When I challenge many of my false beliefs, I encounter nothing short of transformation on all levels. Sounds like a bona fide spiritual path to me.

The Power of (False) Belief

This being human is a guesthouse,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

—Rumi

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When we don’t align with what’s true about ourselves, interpersonally, and in the world, we develop false beliefs. And we like to assert these false beliefs. Using evidence and acknowledging reality can help us let go of our false beliefs. We receive this information subjectively through self-reflection and what others share with us (which we also need to sort through for false projections). We receive true information about objective reality by direct observation and through evidence.

Ascertaining inconvenient truths means we have to let go of our self-administered dopamine addiction (by lying to ourselves and others when wrong) and experience feeling badly temporarily. We have to accept new visitors to the guesthouse of our psyche if we want to be more honest. If we can’t do this, we cut ourselves short of our potential.

We can’t be as loving and kind when we’re deluded about what’s true, subjectively and objectively. If I can’t accept that I am more self-serving than I think I am, I will continue to unconsciously put myself first at the expense of others. If I can’t acknowledge that smoking cigarettes, synthetic chemicals in perfumes, or spraying RoundUp is harmful, I am more likely to condone their use, which causes harm.

To change belief structures includes a collapse of our sense of self, trust, safety, belonging, and our perceived survival. This is also why many cling so dearly to their beliefs; even war can seem like a better option than to adjust ourselves to reality. Reality seems pretty powerful this way! If we adopt reality as our guru, we have a powerful teacher on our side to wake us up. So, a willingness to embody our humanness can be a path to greater compassion and peace. Embodied spirituality means being fully human—accepting and working skillfully with all our thoughts, emotions, physical issues, and relationships.

When we don’t embody our spirituality, we don’t take as good care of the Earth, which is the extension of our own bodies. In the age of environmental collapse, an earthy and embodied relationship to life that apprehends what is true helps us heal what’s ill. Like missing a medical diagnosis, how can we treat what what we can’t bear to admit and accurately diagnose? Honesty is therefore the first step to healing and embodying our lives.

Being Human is Very Spiritual

We, in fact, need nothing more than everyday honest living for spirituality to put us on a path of massive transformation.The more we can let go of spiritual loftiness and encounter our ordinary humanness, the more resilient and honest we become. Ironically, it is precisely this difficult growth that has given rise to many spiritual and religious paths that abandon the ordinary, grounded world of embodied living, as complex as it is. These spiritual paths thrive on what is highly likely untrue. They try to escape the pain of everyday living by denying what’s painful, which is called spiritual bypassing. With skillfulness, wisdom, and support we can navigate what’s honestly human while not bypassing.

Learning to welcome and tolerate all manner of emotions and inconvenient truths to our guesthouse allows us to align with reality, especially welcoming what makes us feel badly. It’s important to align both with the good and the ugly because when we ignore the ugly and painful, it goes unhealed and untended. Our precious biosphere suffering under the weight of our pollution is a prime example. What we don’t want to look at, we can’t address. Turning our heads and hearts away from it creates more pain and ugliness.

The New Age dictum, “What you put your attention on grows,” fails to acknowledge the importance of embracing what’s ugly and painful. A wiser, more embodied version might go: “The negative things you put your attention on allow you to see reality and address it before it takes over beyond the point of repair.” Look at the plastic pollution issue or climate change as examples. Acknowledging both sides of the coin is more important than choosing only the bright side of life in order to remain happy, which is short-lived when we’re in denial of the dark side. Wanting to remain happy at the expense of not seeing reality (except when we need a recharge break from honestly facing it) is fear in disguise that ultimately comes back to bite us. It also bites us in the moment because this denial cuts us off from our deeper hearts—our compassion and empathy—which are stirred by painful realities.

We can’t know everything, of course. Nor can we be right all the time. But we can be aligned enough with everyday reality (what matters at the end of the day) to make a difference and eliminate unnecessary suffering. We just have to be willing to be selfless enough to stop avoiding necessary pain to the degree we do.

Science & Critical Thinking

Scientific consensus is the primary arbiter of what’s objectively true in the world; what we subjectively experience is not as good a measure of what’s objectively true. “I like apples” is a subjective truth. No one can disprove this; it’s a personal truth. It is not the purview of science to disprove a subjective experience. Yet, if I claim that everyone likes apples just because I experience their yumminess, this is imposing a personal truth onto external reality. And, it’s not true—we know not everyone likes apples, and nothing is wrong with them for not liking them. It is the purview of science to demonstrate that not everyone likes apples, and simple common sense will do in a pinch.

Of course, there is bad science, like the junk (dishonest) science produced by many corporations such as Big Pharma and Bayer-Monsanto with regard to GMOs. So, when I say science, I mean good, peer-reviewed (and not conflict-of-interest and corporate-funded), consensus science. And yes, many scientific truths are always in flux, but many scientific discoveries do not change because they have stood the test of many challenges. Think about the law of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics. Many who want to protect their sense of self and ego deem all science to be manipulative, dishonest, and just another belief system. This is just not true. If it were, the device on which you are reading this article would not function because it’s constructed as a result of the collaboration of many scientific laws that have not been debunked and instead stood the test of time.

Consider another example: If I experience a vision during a medicine journey or receive a message in a dream one night that has personal meaning to me, I might conclude it’s true for everyone, or true in the world. Let’s say a blue dragon with white polka-dots tells me that aliens are communicating to humanity by way of trees. Well, before I know if this is true or not, I’d have to investigate its veracity. I don’t deem it true simply because I had a subjective experience that conveyed it was. This way, I can tentatively receive this bit of intuitive knowledge and seek to determine if it’s true. Intuition tips me off to what is possible, not necessarily what is true.

Confounding subjective and objective truth is one of the biggest faux pas we make, especially in spiritual circles.

Science shows us what’s most likely true beyond our own intuition, beliefs, and biases. Even with science’s errors and its dishonest publishing politics, good scientific consensus is still the best tool we have for determining what’s true about the natural world, not our subjective experiences. We have to be skillful and aware not to automatically deem our subjective experiences as objective truths. This helps us align with reality, keep an appropriately open mind, and helps everyone get along better because we’re not feuding over what’s objectively true.

“What’s True for Me”

When everyone feels entitled to their opinion—”what’s true for me”—we end up with lots of personal beliefs and memes that aren’t true. “Personal truth” or “what’s true for me” is a subjective truth. Your like of apples doesn’t mean anything about the external world, such as my opinion of apples. If I don’t trust politicians or my landlord, this doesn’t mean they are untrustworthy. I need objective evidence to prove or verify my distrust. Or I can just own this hunch and honestly call it so, while knowing it might not be true. This discernment between subjective and objective truth helps prevent assumptions and dogmas. This also sounds pretty spiritual to me.

If someone sheds distressing light on a politicianI like or my best friend, I’m likely to become defensive because my sense of self and orientation in the world, as well as my emotional security, are invested in these beliefs. If my belief structures are challenged, all of what that belief system keeps in place becomes shaky. And this is just too scary for most of us, so much so that we defend against it or attack and assault others because of it. We often make the mistake of imposing “what’s true for me” onto what’s true for everyone or what’s true in the world.

“What’s true for me”  beliefs can’t automatically be extended to external reality unless we have evidence beyond our own subjective perception to deem them so. If I believe the world is flat and this is “what’s true for me,” that doesn’t fly. This is to make a subjective truth objectively factual. This is what leads to conflict and living in fantasy. Just look at religious and many New Age beliefs as examples. They are not different from our personal beliefs about the nature of reality that are also false and cause us to act in egoic, violent ways.

What’s True “Out There”

Good science to determine the mostly likely and factual objective knowledge offers us the opportunity to dismantle our egos and illusions. Science and critical thinking show us that many of our “what’s true for me” opinions about the world are wrong. Notice I am not talking about personal feelings and preferences, but rather our statements of fact about the world.

Objective truths implicitly challenge us to change, to transform ourselves. It takes spiritual-emotional courage to accept these facts, which builds resiliency the more we practice aligning with what is both subjectively and objectively true. The sun appears to go down over the horizon; the Earth appears flat. Via science, we know these subjective observations are not true. Using my intuition to make such conclusions is a wrong use of this faculty. If my intuition tells me there is more to the story, then I can investigate it for other evidence. This, in fact, is how many scientific discoveries occur. Intuition and science are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are allies as long as we don’t assume what’s subjectively true to be objectively true, and vice versa.

Many people dismiss science precisely because its conclusions fly in the face of what they’d prefer to believe. This results in intellectual dishonesty and spiritual delusion. Our emotional bents and grudges—especially those resulting from our hurt and wounds that have generated anger, fear, pain and thus, bias—prevent us from being intellectually honest, unless we recognize the dynamic by which we deceive ourselves and we set about to be more honest. This requires enduring the discomfort of being humbled and sacrificing a temporary dopamine rush for the truth.

To be able to accept truth therefore requires that we deal with our emotional baggage and triggers, because this is the primary driver for our intellectual dishonesty and spiritual laziness. Many of us would fall apart if we discovered that parts of our worldview are untrue. That could result in a spiritual emergency, akin to a healing crisis, which ultimately improves us and makes us more effective in the world.

Warriorship

This is why spiritual warriorship—aligning myself with what is most likely objectively and subjectively true—requires I be emotionally and intellectually rigorous and courageous. It means that I listen to scientific consensus and not discard it because I’d like to believe something else. It means that I listen to the opinions of others and gain perspective on myself (while also honestly and humbly sorting out projections and displacements of other people’s biases). It means that I genuinely and honestly consider interpersonal facts about which I might have an incorrect opinion. And it means that I notice the whispers inside me that tell me when I am being dishonest or hiding from the truth, with white lies tolerated now and again.

Many spiritual paths involve giving over one’s will and beliefs to a guru. Yet, that guru can be corrupt and deluded and conflate subjective and objective truths. For example, feeling “one with all” in meditation doesn’t mean that we are all one in a black or white way—without appropriate boundaries, individual needs, and different tolerances and sensibilities. In this sense, aligning ourselves with what is most likely true, subjectively and objectively, is a robust spiritual path—because, much like a guru, it forces us to align with truth and withstand the breakdown of some part of our existing paradigm. This is death and rebirth work, for sure. Again, this sounds pretty spiritual to me.

Detachment from reality by remaining stuck in one’s self-centered and deluded beliefs doesn’t help the planet or help us show up for one another. Consider our government’s failure to acknowledge the widespread harm of key pesticides, or the neurotoxic chemicals in perfumes and scented products, despite the scientific evidence and the fact that many of these products are banned in the EU and other, more sensible places than America. This creates crimes of global proportion because of the actions (and inactions) and resulting injury that a denial of the facts causes. Or consider a smaller-scale example. If someone doesn’t appreciate you, despite evidence to the contrary they choose not to see, they will treat you poorly and create unnecessary suffering for you and themselves.

Embodied Spirituality

To live an embodied spirituality—where we are in alignment with reality and what’s as true as we can glean— means we have to give up many of our fantasies and wishful thinking. It means we have to tend intimately to our emotional lives and the hidden aches and wounds that hide us from the truth. We find these hidden places when we descend into and become more conscious of our bodies (this is a key aspect of the “body” part of “embodied spirituality”). We have to practice critical thinking to align with external reality, what’s known as “intellectual honesty.” Emotional and intellectual honesty are the pillars that produce spiritual honesty.

When we practice emotional healing, good thinking, and care for the greater good, we inhabit our bodies more fully. Belonging to ourselves this way connects us to the body of the Earth, so we can treat it with the same integrity with which we treat ourselves . This way, spirituality begins with our (extra)ordinary humanness and self-healing and extends to the ordinary, extraordinary world around us in the same vein of integrity.

It’s easy to live in a fantasy world, believing what’s convenient, what feeds our biases, puffs up our superiority, denies what makes us uncomfortable, and propels our hate. These convenient, false beliefs also protect our core wounds and our need to belong in the world at any cost. The problem is that believing in what’s untrue damages the world because it guides our actions and inaction.

Science and everyday evidence are beautiful because they bypass our bias and opinion; they don’t care what we believe or what injures our ego. They’re impartial. Sounds like the work of a good guru to me. When we get humility, courage, honesty, good thinking, and passion all working in harmony and assuming their appropriate roles for truth-discerning, we get integration, which begets integrity. These psycho-spiritual capacities are the cornerstone of an embodied spirituality, which is simply to be an exquisitely integrated and aware human being who genuinely cares about oneself and the world . . . enough to be willing to suffer disillusionment to align with and serve it.

When we align our subjective and objective truths, we live in more harmony, not only with ourselves but with every other precious, living thing. What better path could we take than to strive for an embodied, earthy life in the age of environmental collapse? For, the collapse of the natural world may indeed be due to our collective, personal collapse of integrity—the abandonment of our own embodiment.

****

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is a Chinese medicine physician, having graduated valedictorian of his class in 2000. He has authored hundreds of articles, thousands of poems, and several books. Weber is an activist for embodied spirituality and writes extensively on the subjects of holistic medicine, emotional depth work, and mind-body integration, all the while challenging his readers to think and act outside the box. His latest creation is the Nourish Practice, a deeply restorative, embodied meditation practice as well as an educational guide for healing the wounds of childhood. His work can be found at jackadamweber.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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