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Consume, Consume, Consume With The False Promise Of Happiness!

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Victor Lebow an economist, retail analyst and author, wrote a very pertinent account of modern consumerism in his 1955 paper, “Price Competition in 1955,” which was published in the Spring issue of the “Journal of Retailing.”

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“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms. The greater the pressures upon the individual to conform to safe and accepted social standards, the more does he tend to express his aspirations and his individuality in terms of what he wears, drives, eats, his home, his car, his pattern of food serving, his hobbies.

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These commodities and services must be offered to the consumer with a special urgency. We require not only “forced draft” consumption, but “expensive” consumption as well. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption. The home power tools and the whole “do-it-yourself” movement are excellent examples of “expensive” consumption.”

Consumerism Is Not Sustainable

We have let ourselves to be led down the path of consumption, we have been manipulated into a society of ‘battery hen humans’ where governments, marketers, corporations and interest groups have been feeding us a steady diet of consumerism, laced with deceit, false hopes and non-sustainability. It all started after the Second World War when economies and much of the Western population were in a state of stability and there were abundant energy resources in the form of coal and oil. What better way to control the masses to promote growth and prosperity than to condition consumers, voters and citizens to consume, consume, consume, everything else is irrelevant.

People talk about ‘the economy’ as if it were a living being. Interest groups such as the financial services sector, government, corporations and politicians discuss confidence, growth, investment, demand, spending, stimulus and consumption as a means to satisfying and appeasing the manic depressive economy. Slowly we are starting to see fragments of change. We have let ourselves become attached to something that offers little real evidence of being able to truly make us happy in the long term. In Buddhism, attachment is one of the key hindrances that causes suffering among humans. The Buddha taught that attachment generates craving, wanting and insecurity. Attachment is the wanting to hold onto and keep a permanent state and not be separated from a thing or person. The general principle behind non-attachment is to cultivate a mind of detachment. Once we do this we can then move towards a mind of oneness which involves compassion, an understanding of impermanence and seeing experiences for what they are.

We’re Attached To Physical Objects

Not only have humans become attached to physical objects or things, but also to relationships, ideas and opinions. We anchor or associate happiness, success and fulfillment with these external objects in the hope that we will find lasting happiness. So what do we do? Like the mouse on the treadmill we hope we will eventually get to where we want to be. We are always trying to achieve, in a never ending cycle of wanting and having, thinking this will lead us to lasting happiness. The current Western economic system with the mantra of growth and prosperity has let us be seduced into a pattern of wanting and external gratification. Most of us have been herded onto the plains of consumerism with the promise this will bring us closer to fulfillment. While on the forest fringes, we see a small group of enlightened beings that realize happiness and contentment comes only from within and cannot be bought, sold, acquired or accumulated.

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Non-attachment gives us the freedom, space and time to contemplate the true meaning of life. Attachment distracts us from reality. It influences how we perceive and react to our immediate world. A world of excess leads to a roller coaster of highs and lows. This in turn motivates us to seek out more of those high moments of pleasure. We enter into a hedonistic world of want-fulfillment which creates further wanting in an attempt to bring lasting happiness.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

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World Doctors Alliance: “We Do Not Have A Medical Pandemic.” Fake News?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Formed under the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee,” an alliance of hundreds of doctors and scientists, the "World Doctors Alliance recently held a press conference sharing their views about the coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are tens of thousands of doctors and scientists all over the world being ridiculed and in many cases censored for sharing their research and opinions?

What Happened: Once again, doctors and scientists are and have been sharing the opinion that COVID-19 should not be classified as a pandemic virus due to the fact that it’s, in their opinion, nowhere near as dangerous as big media is making it out to be.

An organization made up of well over 500 German doctors and scientists called “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” who share the same perception discussed in this article have also created the “World Doctors Alliance.” Not long ago they held a press  sharing their perspective.

Below is a clip of one of the members, Dr. Elke De Klerk, founder of Doctors for Truth from the Netherlands sharing her thoughts. Below that you will find the press conference recently held by the alliance.

Many expert have been emphasizing that we are dealing with something no more dangerous than the flu. For example, approximately 40,000 scientists, doctors and more than half a million concerned citizens have now signed The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration explains that “Covid-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.”

The CDC also released new infection/fatality estimates that show numbers on par with seasonal flu. This recent release also has many people and experts calling into question the severity of the virus, this was well after John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University  said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old.

The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled  “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%. You can read more about that and access their resources and reasoning here.

Then there is the controversy surrounding the PCR tests and the idea that a large majority of cases may actually be false positives. You can read more about that here and here. This as been coupled with the fact that many COVID deaths may not have actually been the result of COVID. You can read more about that here and here.

These groups are made up of veteran experts in the field, Nobel Laureates, Professors of Medicine, Doctors and more, yet all it takes is for an Anthony Fauci like figure to oppose their opinion, and this is the perspective that gets beamed across mainstream media outlets, radio and television while the opposing view is nothing but ridiculed and “debunked.” This is very bizarre to say the least, mainstream media alone has the power to make the majority seem like the minority, and the minority seem like the majority. They have a huge reach when it comes to regulating the perception of the masses.

The exampels listed above are a few of many.

Right now, the Great Barrington Declaration mentioned above and the idea of “heard immunity” is being heavily ridiculed in the mainstream, without any of the renowned scientists who support the declaration having an opportunity to share their opinion via mainstream media.

Below is a recent full press conference held by the alliance.

Is This Fake News? Nothing in this article is fake, these opinions are actually being shared by doctors and scientists around the world, and a lot of them. As far as what they are saying and the opinions expressed above, this is what’s come under the scrutiny of Facebook Fact-Checkers. It’s been emphasized during this pandemic that any type of information that does not come straight from federal health regulatory agencies and the World Health Organization is not to be trusted.

Here’s an article from Health Feedback, for example, explaining why low infection fatality numbers do not mean that the virus is not dangerous.

The organizations above have been speaking up regarding the censorship they’ve experienced from social media giants, and this has also been a common theme throughout this pandemic. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus. According to him, “the level of stupidity” going on here is amazing.

The Takeaway: It’s been quite intriguing to see so many scientists and doctors completely oppose the recommendations and claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO) since the beginning of this pandemic. What’s even more shocking for lots of people is the fact that many scientists and doctors have been completely censored for sharing their research and opinion regarding anything to do with COVID if it opposes the information and recommendations set out by the WHO.

It’s not hard to see why so many people are confused and so many of us have beliefs that completely differ from one another.

Should people not have the right to examine information and opinions and decide for themselves what is and what isn’t Should there be a digital fact checker patrolling the internet limiting peoples ability to see certain information? Do organizations like the WHO and our governments really make decisions that are in and for our best interests, or are there other interests being served here?

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Consciousness

My Thoughts On “Spiritual Narcissism”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Is this happening to many in spiritual trends?

  • Reflect On:

    There is authentic being, and then there is self-absorption which pretending to be authenticity, are we aware of the difference?

We humans often have a hard time finding middle ground. We may be drowning in lack of self-worth one moment, and trampling over other’s with our own self indulgence the next as we struggle to find balance. Narcissism is not simply about enjoying selfies in our social media-saturated world, it goes deeper than that.

It appears as liberation but is a trap that can ruin relationships, increase personal suffering, and keep a person from their true spiritual aspirations. Not surprisingly, increased mindfulness and compassion for this tricky human quirk is the best way to heal it.

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us, and it becomes increasingly dangerous when we confuse it with spirituality. In many ways it is easy to see that all of humanity is dealing with a certain degree of self-absorption while we desecrate forests and oceans, causing plants and animals to go extinct on our material quests. In his famous book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa gave a good foundation for westerners to navigate the pitfalls of our materialistic abundance.

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The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us, differentiating the two is important. Sadly, we have spiritual philosophies and religions that have been constructed to feed the ego, inflate self-righteousness, and create division while giving justification for all manner of activities including killing, exploitation, and oppression. Ethical conduct, regardless of spirituality, requires honoring the other and the self as one with each deserving to be respected, heard, and seen with compassion.

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

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There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us

Finding the Antidote to Self-absorption

Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Ego is an important aspect of our selves, it is part of self-preservation but when it becomes out of balance it actually has the ability to destroy us and harm relationships.

Many spiritual practices seek to increase our ability to witness and bring mindful awareness to ego drives which allow us to master, instead of being enslaved by our ego. When ego gets too big it can be hard to swallow, yet spiritual liberation invites us to expand our sense of self beyond the ego, beyond time and space.

The goal is to find a balance between the inner experience and the outer reality. How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac and hurting personal relationships? Meanwhile, self-loathing, and low self-esteem are also manifestations of ego out of balance. Selflessness can often be quite selfish, over-engagement can be as problematic as disengagement socially. Luckily we are here to find this balance through living fully, from making mistakes, and evolving our sense of self-awareness. Healthy self-awareness is the only antidote to self-absorption.

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How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac?

The Story of Narcissus and Echo

One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually recognized that his love could not be reciprocated and committed suicide. -Wikipedia

Since intention is subjective, a person is often understood within their community by their actions or image. This becomes extra tricky in our age of social media and the materialism that has found it’s way into yoga, meditation, and spirituality. It is possible to put on a good act, to fool those around us and ourselves (temporarily).

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Narcissus mesmerized by his own reflection

We can have the latest yoga clothes, read the right books and hang out with all the “cool” people, but if our actions are not grounded in a deeper spiritual practice, basic consideration for others, and respect, it is still hollow. A common analogy is the guy who everyone likes but then goes home kicks his dog, or is rude and unaccountable to his wife.

Deep spirituality makes us more sensitive to the feeling of others, encouraging an open stance of courage where we can drop our protective shields and accept the vulnerability to be seen as we are. Narcissistic sensitivity, however, is focused solely on the subtle nuances one’s own internality, and resists looking at hard, uncomfortable truths that may upset the self image. One who is narcissistically sensitive is easily offended by the “coarseness” of others, seeks to make his environment change to align with the contours of his needs, and gets angry or offended when this does not happen. -The Allure of Narcissistic Spirituality, Huffington Post

How to Identify Narcissistic Behavior

The ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it. It is not your job to diagnose others or tell them they are narcissistic if they are not interested in hearing it or healing it. However, if you draw appropriate boundaries for them you will protect yourself and encourage them to become more mindful. This is a loving and compassionate way to handle narcissism.

Alt text hereThe ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it

It is always healthy to make boundaries and speak your truth in a loving and compassionate way. Whether the narcissist hears it or not is out of your control. Common responses from narcissists will include belittling your feelings, a hollow apology without effort to modify behavior, or ignoring you altogether. Basically, they will use any excuse they can in order to not look at it, or to make the situation your fault. This is your cue to make appropriate boundaries for yourself.

Within yourself be open and receptive when others tell you that you have been inconsiderate of them. Accepting constructive feedback from loved ones is a great way to keep a balance between internal needs and external relationships. This is also how we grow as individuals.

Common traits of narcissism courtesy of BPD Central.

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Alt text hereLearning to stop keeping all the love for ourselves

Evolving Unhealthy Patterns

Hopefully, this will help you navigate tough interpersonal relationships and also better yourself. It is a beautiful thing that psychology is allowing us to have terms to identify and evolve unhealthy patterns emotionally. As we learn to live in community, we learn many aspects of love. This is how we help ourselves and those around us grow!

I’m republishing,  for the CE audience, this piece I wrote for Uplift Connect.

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Alternative News

Trump Says COVID-19 Vaccine Won’t Be Mandatory, Biden Says It Should Be

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It doesn't seem likely that a COVID vaccine will be mandatory under the Trump administration, but Joe Biden recently shared that he believes it should be.

  • Reflect On:

    If the vaccine did become mandatory, would you take it? Will there be too much of a backlash if the vaccine is made mandatory, or mandatory to travel for example?

What Happened: US President Donald Trump told Stuart Varney on Fox Business Network’s ‘Varney &Co’ that he doesn’t plan to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for American citizens, because “there are some people who feel strongly about the whole situation,’ alluding to the idea that people should still have freedom of choice when it comes to what they choose to do with their own body.

On the other hand, presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would urge all state representatives, governors, mayors and council members to make the vaccine mandatory, just like some have done with masks. He acknowledged that such a mandate would be difficult to enforce, but stated that “we should be thinking about making it mandatory.”

Trump has long been promoting alternative therapies for COVID, many have come under scrutiny by mainstream media. The scientific and medical community have both promoted these therapies as well as criticized them, the only difference seems to be that those who support them don’t seem to receive much media attention, while simultaneously become subjected to a censorship campaign by media and social media outlets.

Scientists who share opinions that contradict the World Health Organization (WHO) have also been heavily censored. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University is one of many who have criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus.

The Great Barrington Declaration is experiencing the same thing for questioning lockdown measures, it’s now been signed by nearly 40,000 doctors and scientists.

A paper recently published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine titled Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions points out:

A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.

The paper also promotes the use of alternate therapies like intravenous vitamin C and provides evidence showing its success in COVID patients. It’s one of multiple studies to do so, but vitamin C has been heavily ridiculed and censored by mainstream media and social media for being able to provide any help when it comes to healing from COVID, or to help prevent it.

We are being made to believe that a vaccine is the only answer. No other suggestions seem to be acceptable. Why?

Why This Is Important

Why is there an authoritarian ‘fact-checker’ patrolling the internet and censoring information? Sure, a lot of stories may be completely false and irresponsibly written, especially ones that don’t provide any sources for their claims, but a lot of legitimate information is also being censored. Should people not have the right to examine information and opinions that go against the grain and decide for themselves what is, and what isn’t? Are we not capable of this? Can the mainstream media make the minority feel like the majority and the majority feel like the minority?

I’ve emphasized in many of my articles how vaccine hesitancy continues to grow. That’s no big secret. This is occurring not only with much of the general population, but doctors and scientists as well.

Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…

Many people are asking why doesn’t mainstream media or Bill Gates actually addresses the concerns that are being raised by scientists and doctors? Why is ridicule and terms like “conspiracy theory” always used instead?

What are the concerns? Vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

There are several concers.

If you’d like to access more of articles that are properly sourced regarding vaccine concerns, there is a link to a few at the bottom of this article I recently published.

Big Politics: Every single year big politics, in my opinion, continues to be exposed as a system that’s no longer capable of dealing with and appropriately handling big issues our planet faces today. I often ask myself, does voting simply uphold a system that’s no longer capable of creating any meaningful change? Big politics is filled with an enormous amount of corruption, and many would say that corporations now dictate policy, not government.

When it comes to health policy, there are many conflicts of interests to be concerned about, scientists from within federal health regulatory agencies have been bringing awareness to this fact for many years. For example, few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out public statement detailing the influence corporations have within the CDC, how corrupt things are, how it happens in all departments  how many high ranking people within the CDC condone this behaviour. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

Award winning medical investigator Jeanne Lenzer also made this quite clear in a 2015 paper published in the British Medical Journal.

The CDC’s image as an independent watchdog over the public health has given it enormous prestige, and its recommendations are occasionally enforced by law. Despite the agency’s disclaimer, the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.

This is a huge problem, and it’s one that seems to plague all industries, not just the medical industry.

The Takeaway

We are pitted against each other like never before these days, and it doesn’t seem that politics helps us find common ground. It’s about belittling and ridiculing every move an opponent makes, and does not in any way shape or for represent a system of people who are willing to pool their resources and work together for meaningful change. So why do we continue to be captured by it? Why do we even pay attention? How can we change things and take matters into our own hands? Why do we live the way we do?

Power has corrupted our political process, and decisions today are made for politicians, corporations and those who seem to control these entities in order to gain more power from and profit off of.

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today – Theodore Roosevelt

Honesty, morality, empathy, and an overall unawareness regarding the interconnectedness of life is severely lacking, and I do believe human beings are capable of creating a human experience where all life can thrive. We have the solutions, but many of them never see the light of day or receive any attention, so ask yourself, if we have the solutions, what’s preventing them from being implemented?

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