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Consciousness

Choice And Will: New Teachings From Jesus

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In my work with Michael Jeffreys in Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Eckhart Tolle Meetup, one of the issues that frequently comes up is that of “free will.”

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What is so confusing to many is that writers like Eckhart Tolle will say things like -in every situation you have three choices – to accept it, change it or leave.

At the same time, many nondual teachers like Michael will assert categorically that all freewill is an illusion; for example, they will cite experiments that show that the brain “knows” what will happen (seen in an MRI) before a subject chooses which arm to raise. And of course they will always inquire deeply if there is choice, “who” is actually the chooser – and can one find the “self” in the body or anywhere else?

I have begun my own approach to this issue by ascribing the conflict to the innate paradoxes within Life, and the need to simply accept “not knowing.”  Further I believe that the key is actually to be found in the inadequacy of our linguistics –thought and words –and their inherently flawed subject-object programming to provide a real “answer.”

So I was very interested to read Choice and Will: New Teachings from Jesus by Gina Lake, to see how this ostensibly nondual teacher, whose writing is so clear, approaches this profound issue.  The title itself obviously suggests that some measure of choice–and indeed will–does exist.

Gina basically “gives away the ending” in the very first paragraph, in which with typical clarity she writes:

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“You have been given the gift of free will. This gift requires one thing: consciousness. By consciousness, I mean awareness of the possibility of choice. Without this awareness, human beings would not be very different from animals, who function and survive primarily through instinct and other conditioning. Similarly, if you are not aware that you have a choice and if you don’t exercise it, you also will function mostly according to your instincts and conditioning.”

Where she goes with this is really what makes the book so interesting. She calls the Ego the “small will” –not because “it is not powerful” but because “there exists a greater will within which the ego’s will operates, although the ego is not aware of this greater will, what I will call Thy will or divine will.”

Many scientific readers will stop right there and require proof. Is she talking about God?  After all, this book is supposedly being dictated to her by Jesus… But this is exactly the chief feature of the “small will” – the need for rational explanations within the world of thought.

What Gina points to as the “Greater Will” –or Consciousness –is the ability to question even this –even the stream of rational thoughts that are there to question everything else.

As Eckhart Tolle also powerfully says, beginning to question the thoughts in the head is the beginning of true freedom. In this context, “choice and free will” take on an entirely different flavor or quality.

They are no longer words, or concepts, but rather lived experiences –which is the “essence” of the concept of “will” anyway.  It is the act of getting out of the chair that is apparently the result of the thought, I should get up.  But in “actuality” the act itself is not the “result” of the thought, as the small mind would have you believe –it is of an entirely different scale.  It is simply the act itself or a function of “the Greater Will in which the ego’s will operates.”

As soon as the concept of proof arises, “we” are once again in the realm of thought. Gina refers to this belief in our thoughts as our ego’s “robotic programmed existence” or conditioning.

Our true choice comes from the Greater Will of Consciousness which allows us “space” from our thoughts and to actually question them, summoning a quality of attention in the moment that allows Life to unfold as it is – “Thy will be done.”

One can take a more holistic scientific view of this that goes beyond the well-known Christian interpretation, using the analogy that I find so fascinting–that of the conditioned mind as “software” –again robotic programming –and here Gina deftly describes how our blind belief in what passes for information can paralyze us:

“Another useful but often misapplied aspect of the software is the mind’s ability to come up with every possible thing that can go wrong. Being aware of negative possibilities can be helpful.

However, if you let the computer-mind make choices for you based solely on problems you might encounter, you may never get out of bed. The mind’s tendency to focus on potential problems leaves people scared, joyless and immobilized. Such cautionary warnings were never meant to overrun or hijack people’s decisions. The computer-mind may provide some useful information, but information is just information, and it was never meant to run people’s lives. For decisions that affect your life, you need wisdom.”

So again, where do “decisions” based on wisdom actually come from?  Gina sometimes refers to this as “The Choiceless Choice” which is the beginning of true liberation –when the Egoic mind has lost its call (power).  Going further with the parables of Jesus, which Eckhart Tolle also fondly interprets, this could well be the “Kingdom of Heaven.”

When the illusion of the ego is seen through, and many of the programmed motivations of the “real world” fall away, the “choiceless choice” remains only as the obvious and disciplined “choice” to be present and aware.  This discipline ask us to remain vigilant and aware of the extent to which we may continue to believe thoughts –and to question these beliefs, let the thoughts float away, and to act from silent presence instead.

In some ways this also alludes to an opening of what some may call “intuition” or higher awareness.  But again such faculties or experiences are not something to be explained or described but only to be experienced.

Gina discussed this recently in a wonderful interview with Grace Balik on Easter Sunday in an “online retreat.”

I am generally skeptical and put off by books that are supposedly “channeled,” but after exposure to a Course in Miracles and Bashar, I try to keep an open mind. Gina herself addressed this issue on the interview linked above, and basically says that any discussion of whether Jesus “really” dictated the work is an irrelevant distraction.

Along the same lines, in the interview Gina also addressed the conflict I raised at the outset, and suggested that the dogma of “no free will” espoused by nondual purists may be a bit difficult for people just beginning to awaken to comprehend; it can only become clear, in the context laid out so well in this short book, once the disciplined and exercise of true free will -seeing through the illusion of the ego and the trap of believing one’s thoughts -has consistently been experientially realized.

This is very subtle and not very easy material to grasp, although ultimately it is the “simplest” and most elegant solution to life itself –to let go of one’s egoic predilections and to simply trust life.

What made it a bit clearer to me was remembering a book I actually read a decade or so ago by another one of my favorite philosophers – in The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders, Jacob Needleman also explains what the “founding fathers” actually meant by the pursuit of happiness, and the concept of liberty.

It never was meant to suggest that freedom meant just “doing everything you want,” or what your mind suggests, and that that would make you happy.  Happiness is not the accumulation of external “things” but rather, what it meant for many of these intellectual giants (who were actually Deists and not fundamentalist Christians) was the freedom to explore and grow in the sacred inner world.

“Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature. For Deists, human beings can only know God via reason and the observation of nature.”

This is merely another way of suggesting that a deep alignment with What Is (Nature) is the path to God — so that the freedom sought by our founding fathers was partly scientific – to explore nature – and partly sacred – to appreciate inwardly what we know and sense to be Life.

When fundamentalists maintain that this is a “Christian nation,” they are partly right -it was founded “under God” but the Deist conception of God that was practiced by many signatories to the Constitution is actually very similar to eastern mysticism of pantheism.  Just read Thoreau, Emerson or the other transcendentalists to understand what many deists believed.

Alignment with this “sort of God” results in profound joy (as opposed to the modern notion of happiness dependent on results or goals) – it is almost an Eastern concept of Chi or Tao – going with the flow based on a higher reason – or what Gina Lake describes in this book at seeing through illusions of the small mind (belief in thought) to grasp the experiential truth of “what Is.”

This wonderfully addresses one of the key issues raised by seekers of truth who wonder at the apparent “passivity” of awakening or enlightenment – the result, again, of the apparently uncompromising assertion of nondual teachers that free will doesn’t exist.

Another common misperception is that this implies passivity and laxziness.  That within this system of “non-belief” we “won’t” do anything.

But as Michael Jeffreys has said in our classes, then try it.  The reality is that you “will” still function, and if it is in your nature to write, for example, you will still do so.  Like this review of Gina Lake’s book on CE.

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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.

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!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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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

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!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

7 Thought-Provoking Short Films You Can Watch Now For Free Online

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Film has the ability to capture our emotions and move us in what are sometimes very productive ways. We'll show you 7 thought-provoking short films you might love watching.

  • Reflect On:

    How do these films make you feel from watching them? How do they relate to your own life? What action can you take after watching these?

The world of film has always captivated me. Whether it be its ability to present a supernatural reality I’ll never get to experience, or its ability to accurately depict an emotion I can relate to, there really is something surreal about going to or staying in to watch a movie.

And while the subscription numbers to popular film and television streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime certainly suggest that I likely don’t need to sell you on choosing to watch them, I do believe that a pitch needs to be made for the particular variety of them that I’m suggesting within this article.

That variety of course, is short films. The unofficial younger sibling to feature-length films that aside from those that happen to play before a popular Pixar film, or those that are nominated for an Academy Award, often go largely unnoticed by the masses. So I’d like to present a list of 7 thought-provoking independently made short films that you can watch for free online now as part of the Spirit Film Festival until the end of October.

1. Uncaptured

How often do you consciously choose to sit in silence? And better yet, is it even readily available to you? The short film Uncaptured explores the emotional and physical impact that setting aside conscious time to be in silence can have on the thoughts, programs and belief systems we have stored within us.

Through a series of interviews we are given insight in alignment with the famous Thomas Carlyle quote the film presents just after its title card: “Silence is as deep as eternity; Speech is as shallow as time.” WATCH UNCAPTURED

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2. The Nine Billion Names of God

Based on the book by Arthur C. Clarke -most infamously known as to co-writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick –The Nine Billion Names of God tells the story of a Tibetan monk who seeks to list all of the names of God with the help an automatic sequence computer.

Based in 1957, the short film is beautifully shot and is carried from start to finish by a beautiful score, perfectly setting the stage for a thought-provoking adventure. WATCH THE NINE BILLIONS NAMES OF GOD

3. Leave Of Presence

If you were asked to list what would make you happy in life, a well-paying job and vibrant social life would likely make the list. Yet the presence of both of those elements didn’t stop Sudha Suthanthiram from dropping everything to head to India in search of her true calling.

This short narrative film runs less than 5 minutes in length yet it offers great food for thought for all of us questioning our purpose in life. WATCH LEAVE OF PRESENCE

4. Nectar of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion shares the fascinating transition made by the one-time frontman for an acid rock band into GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa. While his former life offered much of the surface-level pleasures that so many of us fantasize about, GuruGanesha delves into how his new life has created a happiness unlike ever before.

The short film runs under 7 minutes in length and goes into detail on the difficulties associated with making the transition and how his new kirtan rock band is making the type of impact he always desired having on others. WATCH NECTAR OF DEVOTION

5. Graham: A Dog’s Story

Whether or not you consider yourself a dog lover, Graham: A Dog’s Story is a funny and touching short film told from the perspective of a dog. From being introduced into the family, to “letting go” we’re led through so many of the stages that owners and their favorite pets often go through in life without much attention.

While the short film is carried by a comedic voiceover, it delves into many unexpected stages of a dog’s life including the impact that they have on us even long after they are gone. WATCH GRAHAM: A DOG’S STORY

6. Bekia

In just 6 minutes, Bekia powerfully shares the story of Hamdy, a seller of used goods doing everything he can to make a living on the streets of Cairo. Director Alia Adel effectively takes us into a world that most of us would never have otherwise known about.

The short is beautifully shot and well worth 6 minutes of your life. WATCH BEKIA

7. I Am Here

I Am Here is a unique short put together by the National Film Board of Canada that follows a mysterious animated travellers journey to discover the origin of life. Carried by a riveting score by composer duo Menalon, the film delves into themes and subject matter we would all benefit from pondering on.

Running just over 5 minutes in length, I Am Here manages to take a look at a lot of the questions so many of us have buried within us. WATCH I AM HERE

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!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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