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Why Are People So Mean? Has The Internet Destroyed Empathy & Compassion?

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Two months ago I read a story that Huffington Post had put out about a bride that died while cliff jumping with her husband on their honeymoon. After reading the story I felt a deep sense of sadness for the people involved in the tragedy, even shedding an empathetic tear thinking about how truly horrible it would have been to go through something like that. I was curious what others had to say about the story, so I began reading the comments below. I was completely shocked by what some people had written. “Serves her right”, one woman wrote. “What an idiot,” another commenter responded.

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During the summer Olympics back in 2012, British diver Tom Daley reported a rather repulsive comment on Twitter following his gold medal loss. The bully wrote, “You let your dad down I hope you know that,” referring to the fact that Daley was hoping to win the gold in honor of his father, who died the prior year from brain cancer. These are but a few examples of the callous comments that are made online on a daily basis.

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Where is the empathy? Where is the compassion and humanity?

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Something I’ve come to notice within my experience at Collective Evolution (CE) and with the world of the internet as a whole is the large sense of disconnect there seems to be between the people and their words. I’ve seen people say some pretty nasty things to one another in the comment sections, even personally attacking different writers of the CE team for articles that challenge their belief systems. This is especially the case when sensitive subject matter is being discussed, such as religion, science, sexual orientation, health, politics, ETs, etc. But sometimes the harassment comes out of nowhere. One commenter began making insults towards a writer who published an article about the health concerns around non-organic tea, making fun of her display picture and proceeding to talk about her personal life as if they knew her.

Truth be told, the internet can be a treacherous world full of cynicism, harassment, and bullying, leaving many to feel hurt or offended by the unfiltered words of public.  Cyber bullying has become a major problem in today’s social-media based culture, affecting a reported 43% of teens aged 13 to 17.[1]

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But is it in our true nature to be horrible to one another? Is technology in part to blame for the desensitization of the masses and the loss of empathy?

You Can’t See Me So….

For the most part, people don’t speak to one another in public as they do online, instead there is usually a mutual respect for someone else’s opinion and equal reciprocation within a conversation or debate. I see these kinds of healthy conversations at my local coffee shop when I spend my afternoons there writing. People are open and genuinely nice to each other, not slamming someone for having a certain belief. So the question begs, are people being authentic when they are in public? Or is their online persona their true self without the worry of consequences because they most likely will never see the people they are speaking with?

In an article published on News.com titled, Troll Psychology: Why People Are So Mean on the Internet”, author Amanda Gardener alluded to a possible reason for the frankness,

“The majority of communication is non-verbal, composed of body language, eye contact, speech tone and language patterns. Without this information to help us process and categorize information, our minds are left to sort through the uncertain. And, thanks to a leftover prehistoric penchant for fight or flight, being unsure about another person’s intent often creates a negative reaction to a perceived threat [source: Gardner].

This lack of inhibition also may be connected to a physical distance from the people to whom comments are directed. Turns out, the closer physical proximity you have to someone, the less likely you are to be mean-spirited. For example, one recent study found game show contestants were less likely to vote off a contestant standing next to them than one standing further away [source: Dallas].”

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Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan from CNN.com propose that desensitization begins at an early age, when the developing mind is exposed to a plethora of shocking and sensational videos and images. In the article, “Is The Internet Killing Empathy?”, the authors discuss findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation which revealed that 8- to 18-year-olds on average spend 11½ hours a day using their technology.[2]

“Their brains have become “wired” to use their tech gadgets effectively in order to multi-task — staying connected with friends, texting and searching online endlessly, often exposing their brains to shocking and sensational images and videos. Many people are desensitizing their neural circuits to the horrors they see, while not getting much, if any, off-line training in empathic skills.”

This disconnection from emotion can be a deadly mechanism. When we lose sight of compassion and empathy, we are losing touch with what it means to be human, and essentially reality.

Take A Step Back

When someone attacks you online for something you believe, or makes a negative comment about something that you feel is inappropriate, it’s a good idea to step back before responding. Too often we get caught in defence mode after someone attacks something we’ve said. This is due to the attachment we have to our belief systems, a strong bond we share with information we’ve acquired throughout our life. Belief systems have caused wars throughout human history, they can be a powerful catalyst.

Here’s a good question to ask yourself before responding to a negative comment: Is it worth the mental energy to even dignify it with a response? Most of the time people don’t even want to hear your side of the debate anyways, but rather are only waiting to get their two cents in. It’s OKAY to agree to disagree, rather than trying to prove someone wrong or vice versa. Sometimes walking away from a hopeless conversation or debate can be the most liberating thing you can do, sitting at peace in your own mind with your understanding rather than having to justify it to someone who either isn’t understanding where you are coming from or just has no respect.

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compassion

Lastly, the one tool that I believe will truly help anyone in their life is the use of empathy. Empathy means to really connect with and understand another person’s situation, feelings, or difficulties. Putting yourself in this space will fill you with a genuine compassion that will help you gain a true understanding of the matter at hand. It is a brave space to put yourself in, allowing yourself to identify and feel a feeling that may not always be good. But if we all practiced bringing more empathy into our lives, the world would be a much better place for it.

We all have struggles, we are all here on the same human journey, and ultimately we all want the same thing in the end, peace.  So let’s remember this in our daily life!

 

 

 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

New Moon In Capricorn: Power Struggles, Intensity & Renewal

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We are having a New Moon in Capricorn on January 13th throughout most of the world and on the night of the 12th in Central to Western North America. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Leo on January 28th/29th.

Capricorn season began on the December 21st solstice, just over three weeks prior to this lunation, and will end on January 19th/20th when Aquarius season begins. However, this New Moon will carry some of the Capricorn energies into the earlier part of Aquarius season.

This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. Capricorn is associated with structure, ambitions, achieving goals, mastery, business, career, social status, responsibilities, duty, authority, governance, and hard work. It is cautious, worldly, conservative, and pragmatic. As an Earth sign, it has the qualities of practicality, reliability, solidity and being grounded. This element is very much orientated around the physical and material world. Negatively, Capricorn energy can be too serious, cynical, cold, controlling, and unrelenting.

New Moon Conjunct Pluto

This New Moon is aligned with Pluto which is also in Capricorn. This energy can be strong willed, focused, calculated, strategic, secretive, transformational, probing, deep, regenerating, sexual, cleansing, purging, and evolutionary. It can also be destructive, heavy, controlling, intense, subversive, obsessive, compulsive, jealous, power seeking, authoritarian, abusive, violent, manipulative, and dark.

Pluto rules investments, taboos, transmutation, hidden matters, repressed feelings, shadows, psychoanalysis, and the underworld. It is associated with power struggles, conspiracies, viruses, death, fears as well as fearlessness. This Plutonian energy will be strongly felt during the New Moon and in the two days following it, but it will still affect the entire Lunar Cycle.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and will be there until 2024. Collectively, this is a period of major changes affecting government, financial structures, and business in a big way. This has been more obvious in recent years as Saturn, the Lunar South Node, and Jupiter have all joined Pluto in the same sign. This will continue to be a big theme over the remaining years of Pluto in Capricorn and beyond. We also recently had a Great Conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st which also reflects changes affecting society in a big way over a long period.

This Lunar Cycle can really trigger the collective impact of this energy especially considering the current landscape. To learn more about all of this, I recommend reading my Pluto in Capricorn article from 2017 here and my more recent Great Conjunction article here.

Mars Conjunct Uranus In Taurus Square Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius

The action oriented Mars recently changed signs into Taurus on January 6th/7th and has since been approaching Uranus, the planet of surprises and rebellion, in the same sign. They are both applying squares to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius which are still in close proximity with each other.

During this New Moon, from January 12th-14th, Mars is in a square with Saturn which is the first exact aspect made between these four planets. Our actions can be faced with obstacles, delays, resistance, or limitations. Conflicts around boundaries or restrictions can play out. Doing tasks may require extra patience and caution.

As this is finishing, Jupiter will be going into an exact square with Uranus from January 14th to the 19th. This energy can be freedom seeking, rebellious, scattered, idealistic, or even risk taking. It could be good for exploring, learning, education, or expansiveness around things that are new to us, unconventional, technological, scientific, progressive, or metaphysical.

Mars then makes its exact conjunction with Uranus from the 19th to the 21st while it is finishing its square Jupiter. It can really crank up the energies mentioned above and this energy can also be impulsive, erratic, experimental, disruptive, surprising, irritable, and quick tempered.

From the 21st until the 24th, Mars will then be in exact square with Jupiter. We may feel like doing things in a big way but it’s important to be cautious around what we do because we can more easily apply ourselves in a way that is overextending, overestimating, or overlooking of important things. Conflicts around beliefs, opinions, judgements, and principles can play out.

During the later part of this period, the Sun will be in a conjunction with Saturn from the 23rd to 24th. This can have a serious tone, and perhaps the need to be realistic, cautious, orderly, disciplined, committed, or responsible, may come up. Following this, the Sun will be making aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars in the last week of January and into the first few days of February which can trigger some of the energies mentioned earlier in this section.

The combination of all of these planets in close proximity to aspects with each other throughout January can be good for applying ourselves in new ways that are congruent with changes that are happening personally or collectively. However, it can also be a time of anger, impulsiveness, and rebelliousness towards obstacles, restrictions, opinions, beliefs, authority figures, as well as other recent or upcoming developments, circumstances, or changes.

Venus Square Chiron &  Trine Uranus, Mercury Entering pre-Retrograde Shadow

Venus in Capricorn is in a square with Chiron in Aries at the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it.  This can bring up wounds, blockages, negative patterns, or can reflect themes around healing, holistic perception, or perhaps solutions when it comes to love, our social life, friends, pleasures, values, or monetary issues.

Venus is also in a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest in the day and half following this New Moon. It can bring a new, stimulating, unusual, exciting, inspiring, liberating, unexpected, or unique energy around our relations with others.  This can also reflect surprises, positive changes, or freeing type of developments around financial matters. In some cases it can be good for exploring new ways of making money that can be innovative, online, metaphysical, or technologically oriented.

On January 15th, Mercury in Aquarius will be entering the shadow period of its retrograde that will be beginning on January 30th/31st and last until February 20th/21st. It can increasingly start to feel like it’s retrograde during these weeks leading up to it as delays, technological/mechanical problems, mistakes, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or other complications can be more probable than in the previous six weeks.

Certain developments, interactions, connections, or issues that occur at this time can be connected to how this retrograde will affect us in February through its adjusting and perceptive changing qualities. There can be something we are not seeing clearly that needs to unfold throughout the upcoming retrograde and post-retrograde process. I will be writing a separate article on this, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What changes do you need to make when it comes to your ambitions, career, structures, or business matters? What can you do to make your profession more congruent with a changing world? What are you fighting for and what can you do to be more calculated, effective, and persuasive? What kind of strategies can you employ to help you achieve your goals? Do you need to be more innovative when it comes to making money? What area of your life is calling for some sort of purging, cleansing, empowerment, and/or transformation?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 5:00am Universal Time on January 13th. 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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I’m currently doing a DISCOUNT with 20-30% off personal readings.  Gain more astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual 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.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

Mermaids: Ancient Mythology or Actual Reality?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Mermaids have been written about by several cultures across multiple time periods, from Babylon till now. There have even been claims of recent sightings. With all of the lore that exists, it's not hard to imagine these beings could be real.

  • Reflect On:

    How many examples exist where ancient knowledge has turned into ancient fact? How much do we really know about our true suppressed history? Could there be a whole world we don't know about our there?

Photo credit: Ramakien Murals depicting the hero Hanuman meeting the mermaid Suvannamaccha, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand, 1831.

Ancient lore is fascinating to say the least, especially if you dive into mythology. What’s always attractive about mythology is that there are good reasons to believe that a lot of it isn’t actually mythological, but real in some cases.

We see this in many examples, Plato’s (among others before and after him) description of Atlantis could be one, especially when you tie in all of the evidence that’s emerged of its existence. Another example could be people with ‘superhuman’ abilities, like clairvoyance, telepathy, and psychokinesis that we find in a lot of Buddhist and other ancient Eastern texts.

Today, there are many documents and examples of people who demonstrate these types of  abilities. Another great example is Nikola Tesla, who derived his ideas of “free energy” and electrical generators from ancient Vedic concepts.  Let’s not forget about modern day quantum physics and neuroscience and their close correlation with ancient eastern philosophy and buddhism.

There are many topics to choose from, and it seems that we always place ideas and concepts that don’t fit within the frame of  accepted reality into the  ‘mythological’ category. This is obviously quite understandable, but remember that those who actually spoke about these creatures and studied the lore are certain some of these so-called mythological concepts were completely real. Why is that so?

Perhaps they were? I don’t think we should completely rule out the possibility. Mermaids are a great example, and one of many.

Mermaids

We see images everywhere today, Starbucks even uses the two-tailed mermaid as their logo. According to Greek mythology, mermaids, also known as sirens, were predatory in nature, masters in the art of seduction. They would seduce men at sea with songs and promises of sex, only to kill those who succumbed to their lure. But stories of their benevolence and malevolence differ.

One study in the Journal of Academic Study of Religion explains,

The mermaid blurs the boundary between woman and fish, femininity and carnality, land and sea, human and other. She is also held to be an astral entity in various metaphysical circles, in the mermaiding industry she is often marketed as an ambassador for marine preservation, and in the general pervasiveness of this character, competing with inhuman beings such as vampires, werewolves, and angels in the heavily mediated realm of contemporary culture, the mermaid represents an additional opportunity to invest in an other-than-human identity.

They are also depicted in ancient Vedic lore, the story of Suvannamaccha, for example, comes from the Asian versions of ancient Hindu mythology. They are not always depicted as luring, tricky beasts, some stories speak of them as protectors, falling in love, and more. They also tell of a history of capture, which isn’t surprising, reflecting a dark tendency of the human race in our current state of consciousness. It would be no surprise why these beings may not take to kindly to the race of men, and perhaps still don’t. After all, look what we’ve done to the oceans and continue to do. Look what we are doing to life on this planet…

Etheric Domain

According to one of the foremost authorities on the subject, Manly P. Hall (from his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages), the Undines, as they were also known, were water elementals, that function “in the invisible, spiritual essence called humid (or liquid) ether.

This is particularly interesting because that’s another thing that’s been spoken of in ancient “mythology” for so long, but now physics is showing it to be true. Here’s a great quote that illustrates that:

“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)

According to Nikola Tesla,

“All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.”– Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907

Other-Dimensional Visitation

This is why, in my opinion, it’s not hard at all believing that forms of life, invisible to our senses, also dwell in the ether and in realms we cannot perceive with our senses. Other beings would be nature spirits like fairies or gnomes who, according to the lore, can also appear in our ‘dimensional’ reality as well, on our frequency, if they choose to do so.

According to Hall, from The Secret Teachings of All Ages,

The Undines are able to control, to a great degree, the course and function of this fluid in Nature. Beauty seems to be the keynote of the water spirits. Wherever we find them pictured in art or sculpture, they abound in symmetry and grace. Controlling the water element–which has always been a feminine symbol–it is natural that the water spirits should most often be symbolized as female.

Hall writes about how there are many different groups of Undines; some live in waterfalls, others in fast-moving rivers or remote marshes, some in mountain lakes as well as in the ocean.

In describing them, the ancients agreed on certain salient features. In general, nearly all the Undines closely resemble human beings in appearance and size, though the ones inhabiting small streams and fountains were of correspondingly of lesser proportions. It was believed that these water spirits were occasionally capable of assuming the appearance of normal human beings and actually associating with men and women.

 He goes on to describe stories of these water spirits and their adoption by families. As far as the males, Hall does not dismiss their existence but writes that practically nothing is known about them. We do know of one, however, called Neptune. We also know of another.

The Babylonians worshipped a fish-tailed god named Oannes. John Ashton, author of Curious Creatures in Zoologyproposes that this is the first depiction of a merman. Also in ancient lore, the goddess Atargatis, chief goddess of northern Syria, was depicted as a fish-bodied human, supposedly constituting the first known representation of a mermaid.

He describes a group of Undines interestingly, and different from other mythology we see. Perhaps these ‘elementals’ differ from other creatures that are closer to our own frequency? Hall goes on to explain,

Their temperament is said to be vital, and to them has been given as their throne the western corner of creation. They are rather emotional beings, friendly to human life and fond of serving mankind. They are sometimes pictured riding on dolphins or other great fish and seem to have a special love of flowers and plants, which they serve almost as devotedly and intelligently as the gnomes. Ancient poets have said that the songs of the Undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that multiple apparent sightings have been recorded and spoken about in modern history as well, according to numerous eyewitnesses a few years ago, from a seaside shore town in Israel. They said it looked like a cross between a little girl and a dolphin, and only comes out at sunset. “People are telling us they are sure they have seen the mermaid and they are all independent of each other,” said Natti Zilberman, a local council spokesman, as she spoke to ABC News. It sparked so much controversy that the Mayor offered a million dollar reward for a photograph.

Perhaps there are many concepts of our reality that remain unknown to us? Always interesting to explore 🙂 There are many truths waiting to be discovered that would completely change our perception of not only our planet but also the nature of reality itself.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Who Are You Really? The Impactful Video That Could Change Your Life

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This short and sweet film reminds us of who we are at the core: the person we were before being made to believe that growing up meant giving up your creativity and your authenticity; the person we were before losing touch with nature and our true Self. We can get so caught up with the business of life that we forget the joy of it, and go about our days unconsciously, with no idea how much self-awareness we have lost. For some of us living in the corporate world, or doing any job we are unsatisfied with, we might not even realize we are living out our days on auto-pilot. Choices are presented to us and we make decisions automatically, robotically even, without putting much thought into the act — without putting much of ourselves into the choosing.

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.”

– unknown

So how do you find out who you really are and what you really want out of life? The answer is simple: Give yourself a day to be completely present.

Evaluate how you feel when you wake up, when you go to work, when you are at work, how you communicate with others, etc. What are you really feeling? If you feel complacent or disengaged, it might be time to reexamine your current position at work (or in life) so that you are sure you are getting the most out of what you are given, which sometimes might just go right over your head.

The beautiful thing about life is that it is ever-changing; it moves with or without us and we have a choice about whether to live actively or passively — to engage in everything life has to offer or to fall into the background of someone else’s life.

So what do you choose?

As a side note, we have a powerful course inside our membership area called CETV that helps to bring presence and self awareness to your everyday life through a simple set of tools. It’s called Profound Realization and you can check it out here.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” 

– Jim Rohn

So here it is: “I am Nature” by Alex Eslam, written by Die Rabauken.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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