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Consciousness

Why I Believe The Spiritual Movement Can Be Counter-Productive

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I write this as I have decided to share some thoughts on things I’ve experienced, learned, observed and felt over the years of being involved in “spiritual” or self-help communities.

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My main intention here is not to call anyone out nor put anyone down, I simply feel there is a lot that can be learned from this and ultimately there is a lot of self empowerment that can come out of this. Try to check out this whole article and please don’t miss my final point. I believe we actually have a big challenge on our hands here and it needs to be clear.

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The Misconceptions

Creating an organization like CE can sometimes cause people to create misconceptions about you. At times people can put you in a box especially when a lot of the content produced is done online and people can’t actually meet you. We’ve been called “new age,” “woo’eys,” “hippies,” “super spiritual people,” and anything else that can be related to some identity.

To be honest and transparent, I sometimes cringe at the idea of being boxed or labelled as being in the spiritual community because of how it can be. It’s not so much what others would think, but more so the stigma that automatically gets put on myself or my work (CE).

Funny thing I’ve found is when people meet me, they are surprised. Why? Because they find out that the work I do here isn’t about an identity or fitting into a box, but instead just about a passion and living my truth as pure as I know how, as I continue to grow.

One of the most interesting things I’ve observed over the years is that regardless of how much information there is out there online, in books or at seminars, it seems we are able to read it, memorize it and spit it back out, but we have a very tough time truly living it. Even social media websites, can give us the ability to make it appear as though we are fully living these ideals but in actuality are not.

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Before we move on, I wish I didn’t have to use the word spiritual or spirituality as I believe there are so many misconceptions about it that the word is completely lost, but for lack of a better word, I’m going to use it. To me, it simply means having a relationship with your self and exploring yourself. I do believe there is a soul or energetic conscious side to ourselves and we can explore that.

Once more, I’m not being judgmental here, I’ve worked in the thick of the spiritual movement for 5+ years now and have seen A LOT. I’m merely sharing what I’ve seen and what I feel is really holding us back from connecting with the rest of the world and moving forward further.

Making It An Identity

As I have shared in the past, I feel one of these easy traps for our egos to fall back into when it comes to being spiritual is that we can begin to create an identity around the whole thing. For example, we might begin reading Eckhart Tolle books (which I love) or listening to various speakers online about this stuff and suddenly we feel like we have to dress totally different, talk differently, do new hobbies and ultimately change our lifestyle into something that resembles a “spiritual person.” The trouble with this is, just as we are learning to observe and go beyond ego, we turn around and begin fulfilling it on another end.

Now I’m not suggesting that by doing any of the above things as they happen naturally is wrong or anything, I’m merely pointing out the fact that it is quite common for us to give up who we are simply to create another identity that fits into what people would assume a spiritual person is like.

Going back to my example above, almost every time I have met someone in person who has read my stuff online, seen videos or documentaries I’ve been a part of, they are somewhat surprised with how, for lack of a better word, “normal” I am. Why is this? Am I supposed to fit some box? Sure I may dabble into things I’m led to or guided to out of interest but I don’t let things define me.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to do this, but to realize it for what it is, we go out of our way to look, sound and act spiritually but don’t actually apply anything we know.

Using Spiritual Clarity To Justify Behavior

Another big one is using some form of spiritual clarity or answer to create a reason or excuse for pretty much everything.

Similar to what can happen above, where the ego once again gets involved. It seems common that we might begin to use much of the clarity we are getting to cover up or pretend our challenges or “issues” aren’t real or are someone else’s fault.

For example, let’s say someone sits us down and has a talk with us about something that is being observed in our life. It could be say, a destructive habit. The person took the time to sit down and point something out to us so we can observe it and make an adjustment yet a common response instead is “what you see in me is just a reflection of you, therefore the issue is in you and not me.” Using this argument is often a way to deflect what is being brought forward simply because we don’t want to face it nor appear as though we have anything to work on.

Another common deflection or defensive statement can be simply claiming “everything is perfect” all the time. While what plays out as a whole in our lives in various circumstances can be perfect in a big picture sense, simply using the statement to never look at nor make adjustments on your own self simply holds up and delays your own growth and journey. In a sense we are spiritually bypassing our own growth for the sake of upholding ego. Example, someones actions might constantly be selfish or put others out, but instead of realizing this we might simply say “Well it’s a role I need to play for them so it’s okay.” Meanwhile we are fully aware of what we are causing in other people’s lives and are just not willing to face it.

The bottom line is, it’s really easy to start using spirituality or things we learn to not face or take responsibility for ourselves.

Law of Attraction & Positivity

This is another topic that I’ve touched upon in the past based on observations and my own journey. What we think about and intend to create in our lives does can have an impact on what happens in life… sometimes. What we often forget is that there are billions of other people on the planet right now that also impact what you are looking to create.

If you are looking to bring something into your life, it often requires more than just saying it out loud, writing it out or creating a vision board. Yes, there are some smaller things that will come into being simply from a thought, intention or something of that nature, but when we are after bigger things, it requires us to actually act or move forward with creating what we are looking for. Example, you want a new job with specific details, write it out, intend for it but then go out looking for it! It will come as you take the steps.

Another thing I see a lot is almost a fear surrounding the whole concept. If we think of something, say something out loud or write something down that isn’t of pure positivity or pure thought towards our intention, it’s as if we just attracted the complete opposite of that automatically. Which isn’t true at all.

For example, If I call a friend and say “Hey I might be late because there is usually a lot of traffic on the highway at 5PM so just giving you a heads up.” This does not mean I am suddenly attracting or aligning with the experience of  traffic. There is simply a level of realism being recognized. Not to mention one of the most important things: more than your words or jokes you might tell, your intention behind what you are saying has a much greater impact on the energy that comes out.

If we are in a social setting playing a game and I jokingly say “ahh you fu*ker you just beat me!” The energy that might come from that and be felt by another is very different than if I said it with a serious tone and meant it. So remember, most of the time no one pollutes the room and suddenly created or emitted bad energy because they said a bad word, made a joke or was real about something. We don’t have ultimate power over what we create in all scenarios. We are part of a whole.

This also stems into the misunderstanding that we must go out of our way to be positive all of the time as well. From my experience, if you want to feel good, move forward and face your demons, focus on being open and neutral about things. See it for what it is and focus less on whether it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. It’s much less effortful, and my guess is you will feel a lot better trying not to obsess over polarities. Do not fear negativity or anything of that nature. Fearing it or needing to avoid it still creates a fearful energy.

To note: No, this does not mean I think rape is okay. Neutrality simply means being free of obsessing over judgement of something and instead using what you know and feel inside to know how to act in a situation. (i.e. we all know rape is not a great thing) For those that have done it, what is judging them going to do? Instead, help stop it from happening and attempt to assist the individual in not repeating but also finding out truly why they felt they did the act. Step in as true help, don’t stand on the side lines and call them every name under the sun, it does nothing. Throwing them in a small room will not rehabilitate them. We require better approaches, but that is a whole other story.

Free Spirited/Flow & Laziness

Being “free flowing” and “free spirited” in a sense has also been taken quite out of context I feel. There seems to be a demonization of any form of planning, setting dates, making commitments of any kind or having some level of structure. I feel this could be because the moment you do these things you suddenly have to take responsibility for yourself, but it’s tough to say entirely.

This may also relate to the point mentioned above about using spiritual lingo to avoid things about ourselves. When we can’t fit into even slight forms of structure or organization, or can’t ever commit to planning anything, it raises some form of anxiety or fear within ourselves that we don’t want to face. Easily being able to say “that’s against our nature to plan anything” or “only the ego cares about structure” shows our lack of understanding of what these concepts really mean and how we are meant to balance mind, body and soul in this world. Even most spiritual teachers address this issue but many don’t seem to pay attention to it.

The bottom line is, we live in a world of 7 billion people and it will inevitably take some structure, organization and planning to make any form of system work. We are given a mind and body to be able to balance all of it together. The mind is a great tool for us to utilize and when we demonize it or don’t get it clear, it’s easy to fall into the ideas we can create about simply being “beyond the need to please the mind” when really that’s not what it’s about at all.

Work with your struggles, develop the skills and habits of organizing your life to some degree. It’s only going to help ourselves and the world as a whole. We’re incredible beings, you think a little structure is impossible for us to learn?

Final Thoughts & Awesome Video

By taking on and trying to be something or by not facing ourselves, we actually just create a whole other form of dogma and separation that we are trying to grow beyond to begin with. If we experienced this at all in our past or still do, IT’S OKAY! I believe it’s part of a journey of growing. We are constantly learning more about ourselves and it’s always another step forward.

Of course, this type of identity and separation exists any time we create ideas of ourselves whether it be religious, atheist, vegan or meat eater etc etc.

The key here is to just look at what is being done almost on purpose in order to fit into an idea. Observe and see how things might transform.

My philosophy is just be yourself. Don’t try to prove yourself as anything. Live your life, enjoy it and when you meet challenges, you work through them and gain more clarity, then ACT from that clarity. We can change the world without having to create new identities for ourselves. Remember, the empty can rattles the loudest.

I thought this video would be great to share cause it takes a funny approach to the whole topic. It’s not about making fun or that we can’t talk about things like energy, yoga or intuition, but more so just drawing attention to some key points and how it’s generally approached.

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Consciousness

A Spiritual Perspective On Smoking Cannabis: An Important Viewpoint To Consider

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Sadhguru shares his perspective on smoking marijuana and why it's not truly needed to achieve the feeling one may receive to do it.

  • Reflect On:

    I'm not saying there isn't medicinal value and that we should outlaw this plant, I'm saying we have a very large societal challenge, just like with alcohol, where we are not facing our inner challenges and are using substances to cover them up.

I was having a conversation yesterday about something that has always been a reflection point for me. Since I was a kid, I was never drawn to substances, even alcohol. I always felt great, high even, when just being.

As I got older and I finally tried cannabis for the first time, and then a few more times after that as years went on, I started to realize it actually brought my state of being and clarity down. The tough part was trying to explain that to others when having conversations about how these substances don’t produce a true experience of higher consciousness, but more so give you a glimpse in a sense.

Before we go on, I want to bring something up. The challenge with this topic is that we tend to get very emotional and rigid about it. Not only that, but we aggressively try to lump people into FOR or AGAINST cannabis. I’m not here to do that. I’m simply creating a reflection point as my desire is to help shift consciousness and empower us within to create a world where we can truly thrive. So for a moment, set aside your own hard coded beliefs and just be open to what this article is shining light on.

Societal Cannabis Culture

For the most part society either breaks down into people who judge cannabis as a drug that is for ‘stoners’ and are very against it. These people tend to believe there are no positives to cannabis. On the flip side are the people who feel cannabis is an amazing wonder plant that can do no wrong, and that the “highs” it provides expand the mind and we experience peace.

The truth is, cannabis has good aspects and not so good aspects to it. And while the positives can be really helpful for a very small subset of people on this planet, smoking it is one of the worst ways to use cannabis health wise. Not only that, society is using its medical benefits to turn attention away from the addiction many users have to it. This is a tough pill to swallow and makes many people aggressive and angry when I bring it up, but it’s true. In a big way, but not all the time, we are using cannabis as a society to help cope with feelings deep down that we want to shut off or hide from. As a note, we are also using food, TV and other things in the same way, but right now I want to focus on this reflection.

Cannabis can assist people with autism, people who have seizures, and in some cases it may have helped people cure cancer. There are benefits that can come from this plant being used in a proper medicinal way, but we must remember to look at the downsides that come from regular cannabis use that many simply don’t want to acknowledge.

A Note On Legalization

First off, I do not believe the plant ever needed to be illegal to begin with. In fact I’ve done much research on how it became illegal and it really had more to do with protecting an industry more than anything else.

That said, there is something to consider here that many of us aren’t looking at too clearly when it comes to what legalization really means. It means that powerful people are going to be the ones who profit most from it, that’s why it’s becoming legal. Not only that, but the reason it is taking so long is so they can get in place the many aspects required to make sure they achieve what they want: stripping medicinal aspects out of the plant profiles, controlling the seeds, and ultimately feeding society cannabis focused solely on creating a THC based ‘high’. This is no different than controlling alcohol and feeding it to society in the ways we currently do.

The cannabis industry is worth over $40 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crop in the U.S. after corn. As stated in a powerful article by GQ, “And even though weed is still federally forbidden, it sounded like whoever was behind BioTech Institute had spent the past several years surreptitiously maneuvering to grab every marijuana farmer, vendor, and scientist in the country by the balls, so that once the drug became legal, all they’d have to do to collect payment is squeeze.”

Humans should be able to make choices as to what they want to do to themselves and their bodies i.e. smoke cannabis or consume alcohol, but I believe greater education needs to be placed behind both and ultimately: we must start looking at the real reasons as to why we use both of these substances so often.

Looking At Cannabis Differently

I see that in many ways the use of cannabis is making the average user numb, in the same way alcohol does. I’ve used cannabis before, in a number of ways -smoking, edibles etc. I’m not saying the feeling is the same for every single user, but I’ve also been around thousands of cannabis users in my lifetime while they were high and you notice the same ‘vibe’ virtually every time. Perhaps there are varying degrees, but for the most part it numbs us out and sometimes quiets the thoughts to create a calmness. Is this like meditation? No, but it can be confused as that. I know, I’ve been there too.

Below is a video of a perspective on cannabis I feel is very important for us to consider. Let me be clear, I’m not saying there isn’t medicinal value and that we should outlaw this plant, I’m saying we have a very large societal challenge, just like with alcohol, where we are not facing our inner challenges and are using substances to cover them up. I am inspired to help create a world where we can truly empower ourselves form within, move beyond our mind and egoic challenges that help us grow and do just that – grow. But if we continually bury our challenges in substance, we won’t.

I believe it’s time we come to the uncomfortable truth and face the fact that as a society we have not done the greatest job in encouraging one another to truly explore, express and move beyond many of the emotional challenges life’s experiences have provided us, that are there for our growth. Think about it, do we want to just cope through life? Or do we want to truly move beyond our stuff? There is SO much suffering we can prevent by making it a societal norm to work through our challenges on a deep level. This is where I believe we must go.

Note: You can try meditation to help calm the mind and move more clearly through challenges. Here are more tools as well.

Lost relationships, divorces, losing jobs, feeling unloved, lack of confidence, depression etc. All of these things are not here so that we can use bandaids everyday to cover them up and get through them, they are here for us to learn more about ourselves, grow and evolve as people and as a society. To create a world where we can truly thrive. To get there, we must begin to face our challenges.

I made this choice 10 years ago when I started to discover meditation and inner reflection, and although I wasn’t a user of substances like alcohol or cannabis, I would use food to cover up my emotions or I would distract myself with TV, whatever worked. But I can share from experience, the incredible changes that come from shifting those stories within and gaining true empowerment will change everything in your life, and everyone can do it.

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Consciousness

New Moon In Virgo: Efficiency & Practicality

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We are having a New Moon in Virgo on September 17th. 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 Aries on October 1st/2nd.

Virgo season began on August 22nd/23rd, nearly a month prior to this Lunation, and will end on September 22nd/23rd when Libra season begins. However, his New Moon will still carry some of its Virgo themes into the first eight days of Libra season prior to the Full Moon.

This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. Virgo is associated with productivity, duties, service, health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, adaptable, conscientious, skillful, orderly, punctual, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, discerning, precise, and practical.

Virgo is about problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. Negatively, this energy can be cynical, fussy, high strung, and perfectionistic. It can also be exorbitantly mentally oriented as well as overly critical and discriminating.

Mars began its retrograde a week prior to this New Moon which will last until mid-November. This energy is a significant part of the current astrological backdrop. Generally it is a time that can ultimately help to facilitate a change in how we apply ourselves in certain areas of life, however, the retrograde period itself can bring frustrations and challenges that help with that process. You can read more about this Mars Retrograde here.

New Moon Trine Saturn & Quincunx Mars Retrograde

This New Moon is in a tight trine with Saturn in Capricorn which is transitioning out of its retrograde at the end of the month. This can be a good period for operating in a responsible, cautious, orderly, productive, realistic and practical way. However, considering that Saturn is finishing up its backwards motion, these next couple of weeks are generally better for getting things sorted out and prepared as well as perhaps focusing on tasks that you have already been working on.

It is possible that in late September and in early October, we can experience some sort of shift, or change in gears, that can take things into a different direction. Saturn will be in a square with Mars Retrograde at that time, and we may have to contend with limitations and obstacles that can affect how certain things move forward.

This New Moon is also in a quincunx with Mars retrograde which can reflect annoyances, tension, or conflicts that may require adjustments and adaptability. Issues that come up may be at odds with our needs or the way we want to express ourselves. This energy is the strongest on the 19th/20th but can also be more noticeable on the day of the New Moon.

New Moon Square Lunar Nodes, Mercury Square Jupiter

This New Moon is also in a close square to the North Node in Gemini opposing the South Node in Sagittarius. We may be at odds between the past (South Node) and the future (North Node), beliefs (Sagittarius) and facts (Gemini), our immediate aspects of life (Gemini) and the world at large (Sagittarius).

However, the focal point should be the North Node in Gemini and expressions of the South Node in Sagittarius energy should be serving that focal point and not be the emphasis. The rulers of the Nodes, Mercury (Gemini) and Jupiter (Sagittarius) are also in a tight square with each other at the time of this New Moon. This can reflect tension between these two sides and potentially conflicts between ideas, viewpoints, and opinions.

Jupiter is in the limiting Saturnian sign of Capricorn while Mercury is better placed in Libra, the sign of diplomacy, seeking common ground, considering different needs/perspectives, and fairness. Mercury square Jupiter can be good for learning but it can also be excessive when it comes to information and we can more easily be mentally scattered.

Mercury Quincunx Neptune, Then Square Pluto, Saturn & Opposing Mars

Mercury is in a quincunx with Neptune which is strongest on the 18th/19th. This energy makes it harder to integrate or juggle our intuitive, creative, imaginative, compassionate or spiritual expression with our mind, communication, tasks, and thought process. Issues pertaining to lack of boundaries, flakiness, delusion, escapism, intoxication, may come up.

Mercury moves towards a square with Pluto which is strongest on the 20th/21st. Our thoughts and communications can be deep, powerful, penetrating, investigative, raw, real, and potentially intense. This can also reflect obsessive or compulsive behavior, suspicion, fears, anxiety, or conflicts pertaining to power or authority.

Mercury then moves to a square with Saturn (22nd/23rd) followed by an opposition to Mars retrograde (23rd/24th), creating a t-square formation in that time period with the separating Pluto energy (20th/21st, mentioned above) tied into it a bit. This can be a time of obstacles, delays, communication issues, pessimism, and conflicts while we can get more easily irritated or angered. Circumstances may come up that can be pushing us to be more cautious, realistic, or responsible.

This period is the beginning of Mercury’s pre-shadow period in which it will be returning to another square with Saturn. Some of the issues or developments that occur at this time may be connected to things that will play out during the retrograde (October 13th/14th until November 3rd/4th) and weeks surrounding that period. It will also be the Equinox and therefore this energy is imprinted into the following three months in which it can manifest in other ways/areas separate from this initial period.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What can you do to be more practical, productive, and efficient? Is there anything you can or should implement to improve your health and functionality? What have the circumstances, developments, or challenges over the last week (leading up to this New Moon) shown you in how you should be applying yourself? Do you need to implement stronger boundaries? Do you need to be more adaptable? Are you clinging to the past or are you willing to take steps to help you grow? What aspects or details of your immediate life, surroundings, or relationships do you need to focus on more and what excesses or broad aspects of your life are getting in the way of that?

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 11:00am Universal Time on September 17th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

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Consciousness

Why We Get Into Fights When Sharing Information

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We’re in a time when mainstream media and traditional conversations are failing to address a number of important topics within society, anything from current events to politics and so on, and this is birthing a great deal of ‘alternative conversation’ that often stems from alternative media.

But with this, comes to the common ‘fight’ between various ideas and ideologies that is much more avoidable than we often realize. I wanted to share a quick tid bit from a recent episode discussing how we can reflect to develop better communication and connection faculties that can make a big difference in how we communicate important ideas that are emerging without creating such huge divides ad tension.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

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