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Consciousness

Existential Questions… Answered!

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This is an excerpt from the free eBook ‘How To Change The World

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An Answer to Existential Questions (Chapter 3)

Let’s take a moment to reflect on galaxies, star systems, plants, trees, animals, particles, cells and all of the ingenious mechanisms that make up our reality. Ever wondered why snowflakes show flawlessly geometrical patterns, or why plants know when to bloom and birds when to migrate? Ever wondered why you even have the ability to consciously witness such phenomena?

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” – Albert Einstein

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This is not an attempt to preach about a religious dogma and give all credit to some deity. It is simply an observation inviting us to reflect further than the idea that this existence is all a coincidence with no consciousness involved in its inception. Some believe that it is unscientific to think this way, but after all, what is science? It is simply a tool assisting us in understanding the already intelligent mechanics of nature. We attempt to learn about it, yet it already existed in perfect harmony before we tried to. However, many scientists insist in describing such a rich, intelligent and lively existence as an unconscious and coincidental phenomena. The only intelligence or consciousness that mainstream science seems to acknowledge is the intellect of our brain.

Does Consciousness Only Exist In Brain Matter?

To this day, we read in most science books that consciousness is merely an outcome of chemical processes in the brain, as if it emerged by coincidence out of brain tissue. It is said to be found nowhere else but in the brain. If we are going to accept that logic, then how could unconscious natural forces create a brain that is not only conscious, but that has a capacity for complex subjective experience? How could “non-consciousness” evolve into a mental system capable of asking why it exists? Why do conscious and experiencing beings—such as us—even exist in the first place? Why is there consciousness?

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Consciousness is undoubtably a problem that the scientific community continues to ignore due to its inability to provide a clear answer.

“How is it that something as unconscious as the matter of the brain ever gives rise to something as immaterial as an experience? (…) Scientists find themselves in the strange position of being confronted daily by the indisputable fact of their own consciousness, yet with no means to account for it.” – Peter Russell

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 1.13.59 PMPhysics, biology, chemistry or any other science—despite their success in analyzing the material world—simply cannot explain the purpose and origin of existence. They cannot account for the essence within each and everyone of us that makes us conscious individuals with a deep sense of self and of subjective experience. Our spark of being—the one that makes us creators, thinkers and observers with such a rich and multifaceted inner world—is undeniably beyond the bounds of mainstream science.

So what is the force behind ingenious biological mechanisms such as our brains and bodies? What is the intelligence behind this ingenious existence? In order to know the answer as well as our role within the universe, we have to explore the deepest level of our reality. What is it made of? What are we made of?

“My studies in mathematics and quantum physics explained how the entire material universe could have evolved from the simplest of the elements—hydrogen. Yet the most fascinating question for me had now become: How had hydrogen—a single electron orbiting a single proton—evolved into a system that could be aware of itself? How had the universe become conscious?” – Peter Russell

Reality Beyond The Brain

When basing our understanding on a three-dimensional experience, our automatic reasoning will surely be that reality is made up of matter. Not to mention that the word “real” is mostly tagged upon all that is perceivable through our 5 senses. However, quantum experiments and neurological studies have proven this impression to be inaccurate. Reality is actually quite different from the images filtered by the brain.

The mind may find it ridiculous to even consider that what it so clearly perceives is not exactly as it seems. But who is to say that the human brain—which only serves as a decoder of abstract electrical signals—is the ultimate point of reference as to what is real and what is not?

“Do you remember how electrical currents and “unseen waves” were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.” – Albert Einstein

As much as Cartesian minds may conquer, it is primordial to set aside the scientific ego and open ourselves up to a path of uncertainty. Because the first step to understanding the fundamental construct of reality is to accept that it is quite unlike our mind’s perception of what is “out there.” As the reknowned physicist Erwin Schrödinger stated, “Every man’s world picture is and always remains a construct of his mind, and cannot be proved to have any other existence.”

There is indeed no evidence, which could prove that the reality we experience “out there” is not a mere reconstruction of information received and filtered through our nervous system. As a matter of fact, studies show that the world we perceive through our eyes is merely our brain’s interpretation of electrical signals derived from light.

Light is scientifically referred to as electromagnetic radiation, or simply as energy. We often think of light as the brightness we can see with our eyes, yet visible light is but a very small portion within a vast range of light frequencies. The light frequencies known to the scientific community have been categorized and labelled in what is called the electromagnetic spectrum.

Visible light is a range of frequencies that project our three-dimensional reality. As these light frequencies enter the eye, it triggers chemical reactions in the retina, which produce electro-chemical impulses. These travel along nerve fibers to the back of the brain, which is where vision is interpreted. The brain then analyses the data it receives, and recreates its own picture of what is “out there.” However, what is “out there” is quite unlike the coherent and conceivable world we experience through our senses.

“Consider our experience of the color green. In the physical world there is light of a certain frequency, but the light itself is not green. Nor are the electrical impulses that are transmitted from the eye to the brain. No color exists there. The green we see is a quality appearing in the mind in response to this frequency of light. It exists only as a subjective experience in the mind.” – Peter Russell

Even though we have labelled certain light frequencies with names such as ultraviolet or gamma rays, they are all just light. There are no definitive breaks or boundaries when it comes to light, but only a continuous range of energy, which can lower or raise its vibration speed. It is within this ocean of light, that our ingenious brain is able to translate a small percentage of light frequencies into what we call our visible “reality.” Makes you wonder about everything else we are not seeing…

The Secret Of the Quantum World

Everything is inherently made of light in different frequencies and this does not exclude solidity. Just as light can manifest itself in a frequency range that is perceivable through sight, it can also manifest itself in a frequency range that is perceivable through touch. It doesn’t mean that the objects we experience are solid by nature; it only means that our brain interprets them as solid.

“What we have called matter is energy (light), whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” – Albert Einstein

Of course, the thought of matter being “immaterial” will seem farfetched to the mind, because its only reference point is the human senses. But let’s not forget that all of our senses are the product of an ingenious computer called “the brain” which, again, is only a decoder of electrical signals. Our 5 senses will never give us an accurate picture of what is truly “out there,” because they can only experience what they are designed to experience. Without a brain programmed to transform light into electrical signals, and electrical signals into visible shapes, colors, sounds and sensations, there is only light of different frequencies and vibrations. As the great inventor, electrical engineer, and scientist Nikola Tesla stated, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

“Are not millions and millions of blobs of energy and light, photons and electrons? They make up this imaginary three-dimensional solid world, which does not exist at all according to Relativity or Quantum Mechanics. The only realities we know are the ones our brain manufactures. A brain receives millions of signals every minute. And we organize them into holograms which we project outside ourselves and call it ‘Reality'” – Dr. Robert Anton Wilson

As the quote above states, “blobs of energy” and “light” are terms that would best describe the smallest, most elementary particles that make up the material world. Most linear minds would hope to find proof of their solidity, but the truth turns out to be more puzzling than the easy-to-grasp concept of size and mass.

We all know that matter is composed of atoms. Yet studies now reveal that each atom is composed of 99.9999999% empty space. They are nothing like the “solid balls” science once described them as for two thousand years. The remaining 0.0000001% of the atom represents the elementary particles that are hundreds of thousands times smaller. This means that if we enlarge an atom to the size of a football stadium, the nucleus of the atom would only be as large as a tiny grain of rice, and so are the electrons orbiting around it. As the early twentieth-century British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington stated, “Matter is mostly ghostly empty space.”

The discovery that matter is mostly immaterial seemed too uncomfortable for the minds of physicists to grasp. Therefore, in an attempt to at least ascribe solid properties and measurements to the elementary particles of matter, physicists have encountered another so-called “anomaly” within the quantum world. Experiments show that elementary particles can behave and look like particles, but are not solid in essence. They are truly and inherently “waves” of potential existence.

“With the advent of quantum theory, it was found that even these minute subatomic particles were themselves far from solid. In fact, they are not much like matter at all—at least nothing like matter as we know it. They can’t be pinned down and measured precisely. They are more like fuzzy clouds of potential existence, with no definite location. Much of the time they seem more like waves than particles. Whatever matter is, it has little, if any, substance to it.” – Peter Russell

The reason for this abstract description is precisely because what appears to be elementary “particles” behave in a most abstract manner. They are inherently spread out as waves of light—without a defined and measurable substance or location like we would expect “solid” particles to have. However, this light carries all potentialities in terms of how it can manifest itself. In other words, light has the potential to project itself in many ways, which would explain why—despite there being only light—we experience a world of many particles, textures, colors, sounds and so on.

“This isn’t the world of electrons. It’s the world of potential electrons.” – John Hagelin, Particle Physicist, Ph. D.

According to quantum studies such as the double slit experiment, that which defines what potentiality the wave will “choose” is the presence of a conscious and observing entity. Physicists can now say for a fact that the very presence of a conscious mind observing and intending to define or measure a particle, consequently determines the aspect and location in which it takes form. This strange phenomena has made the attempt of objective measurement impossible. The question modern science cannot answer is the reason why light defines itself as a particle the moment we observe and define it. This quantum anomaly is scientifically known as “the measurement problem.”

“The measurement problem is this: an atom only appears in a particular place if you measure it. In other words, an atom is spread out all over the place until a conscious observer decides to look at it.” – Prof. Jim Al-Khalili

“And anytime we attempt to look at particles beyond a certain level, the very act of observation changes (their) lanes.” – Dr. Dean Radin

To put it simply, the fundamental nature of reality is originally “open” to all potential outcomes, yet our very consciousness is intimately hooked to the one that shall be experienced. We literally are the creators of reality. As the physicist Dr. York Dobyns stated, “without us, there would just be this expanding superposition of possibilities with nothing definite ever actually happening.”

Mysterious Light

“Any exchange of energy between any two atoms in the universe involves the exchange of photons. Every interaction in the material world is mediated by light. In this way, light penetrates and interconnects the entire cosmos. (…) Although all we ever see is light, paradoxically, we never know light directly. The light that strikes the eye is known only through the energy it releases. This energy is translated into a visual image in the mind, and that image seems to be composed of light—but that light is a quality of mind. We never know the light itself.” – Peter Russell

“For the rest of my life I want to reflect on what light is.” – Albert Einstein

Modern science is not in the business of asking what this light, this energy, this empty space or this wave of potentiality is—all terms aimed at describing the fundamental construct of our reality. It aims at describing the way things work, but barely ever questions what or why it is this way. Some claim that answering these questions is a job for philosophers, not physicists. However, everyone agrees that quantum theory works, but most of those who study it are not quite sure what it means.

So what does it mean?

  • The universe is conscious and intelligent, because its source is consciousness. Light is consciousness.
  • Consciousness is the singular force that projects this entire reality. (Below is a flowchart demonstrating how quantum physicists have came to this realization.)

  • Who are we? All of us are a part of this consciousness, similar to how cells altogether make up a whole body. We are the lifeforce of the universe embodied. We are all one.
  • As conscious observers, we define how light manifests itself. In other words, we define reality through our minds. 

“The tighter physics have tried to grasp on to physical reality, to understand what it’s really made of, what are the core building blocks of life at the basis of it all – life, the universe, slips through your fingers. And you come up with something that’s increasingly abstract. And that’s what the unified field is; pure abstract potential. Pure abstract being. Pure abstract self-aware consciousness, which rises in waves of vibration to give rise to the particles, the people, everything we see in the vast universe.” – John Hagelin, Particle Physicist, Ph. D.

Uniting Science & Spirituality

To this day, modern science avoids asking what light or consciousness even are. From an atheist’s point of view, we should only acknowledge whatever measuring devices or material evidence can quantify. Meanwhile, the religious community maintains the illusion of separation between man and spirit while refusing to acknowledge any piece of information that challenges religious doctrines.

Why remain in segregation when the world is full of dots waiting to be connected? Why cling to our beliefs when we could instead seek to understand the nature of reality with an open mind? Dogma—whether spiritual or scientific—seems to have clouded a truth that does not require adversity with the desire to prove ourselves “right” and others “wrong.” But once we set aside our egos and allow our consciousness to expand beyond the beliefs we cling to, we will begin to wonder how we could have missed the obvious:

The parallels between the light of physics and the light of consciousness do not contradict each other, because they are each other.

  1. Both are immaterial.
  2. Both cannot be pinned down through senses or technological devices.
  3. Both are the fundamental construct of our reality, permeating everything in existence.

From a scientific perspective, light is the source of everything we experience. And from a spiritual perspective, consciousness is the source of everything we experience. If only more scientific minds would acknowledge the conscious nature of light when observing the conscious ways in which it manifests both in nature and ourselves. And if only more religious minds would rise beyond the belief in separation and acknowledge the oneness of all life.

In the end, uniting both science and spirituality lead to the same realization: Light is consciousness and consciousness is light. We are Light. We are consciousness. We are one. There is no separate “God,” nor is there an absence of divinity. Every human, animal, plant, rock and blade of grass is an expression of the same spirit, of the same light, of the same consciousness.

 The Collective Consciousness

“The world we are experiencing today is the result of our collective consciousness, and if we want a new world, each of us must start taking responsibility for helping create it.” – Rosemary Fillmore Rhea

It is in understanding our oneness, that we become aware of our true power to create change. Our energies altogether create a collective consciousness which is what projects our reality. If we are collectively caught up in separation, hate, judgment, fear, competition and survival, it is no wonder our world reflects that energy. Our beliefs and perceptions literally shape the world we experience. As more of us raise our consciousness beyond this illusion, not only will our actions reflect greater wisdom and potential, but our higher vibration will elevate the collective consciousness and stimulate change.

The Purpose of Life (Chapter 4)

Consciousness, light, spirit, the universe or God are all terms often used to describe the source of life. But to avoid confusion and dogmatic connotations, Source is the word that we will used from now on.

If we are all Source incarnate, then why are we not born aware of this? And for what purpose would Source manifest itself as galaxies, stars, planets and living organisms? Why would Source manifest itself as humanity? These are very good questions that can be best answered by putting ourselves “in the shoes” of Source, before it has projected into numerous forms, before the “big bang.” What would you do as pure formless consciousness, with nothing outside of yourself to interact with but with the limitless potential to create and experience life within yourself? You would probably use that potential and go for it!

1. You would create worlds in which you could experience yourself (planets).

There are zillions of planets in the universe—many of which are likely to be hosting different species and experiences. But let us focus on the one we know best: planet Earth. Like all other planets; it is spherical; enabling us to explore it through and through without ever reaching an edge. It has gravity, which enables us to stick to it without floating all over the place. It has this amazing eco-system that nurtures the needs of every creature living on it. It is beautiful and full of textures, smells, tastes and colors. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect experiential playground?

2. You would split yourself into several fragments of your own light (souls).

Similar to how the trunk of a tree splits itself into several branches, you would individualize your consciousness so that you could experience and interact with yourself as seemingly separate beings. Sounds more fun than to play alone, doesn’t it? Much like it is more enjoyable to watch a movie with many characters than it is to stare at a black TV screen, it is a more enriching experience for Source to project itself into many forms rather than remaining formless.

 

3. You would want to experience and interact with yourself inside of vehicles (bodies) you carefully designed to experience the worlds you have created.

As we have learned in the previous chapter, there is no doubt our bodies are incredible mechanisms designed to decipher this “light show” into an intricate experiential playground. That is what our bodies are after all; vehicles in which consciousness experiences.

“Knowing that I am different from the body, I need not neglect the body. It is a vehicle that I use to transact with the world. It is the temple which houses the Pure Self within.” – Adi Sankaracharya

4. You would choose to forget who you truly are when entering your physical journey.

This is why we are we not born aware of it all. To understand why, we need to put ourselves once again “in the shoes” of Source. Wouldn’t you find it a tad too predictable if you entered an experience knowing you are the creator and recalled every detail about your creation beforehand? Imagine being the creator of an amazing video game and you were given the opportunity to take a pill that would wipe out your memory about every quest and mission, enabling you to experience them anew. Sounds like a more exciting way to play, right?

“I wish I could replay it, but have it all be new again, like it was when I first played it. Being able to discover everything again and have the feeling of not knowing what was around the next corner.” – Excerpt from a Video Game Forum Thread

The same intention applies to Source. Souls purposely take on temporary veils covering the memory of their origin. That way, Source can experience life with a fresh pair of eyes and rediscover itself anew.

5. You would want to experience yourself through many different journeys and perspectives.

Pure formless consciousness is not identified as one particular thing, it is in fact nothing in particular! As we have come to understand in the previous chapter, Source is a field of infinite potentiality, ready to get creative. Being nothing in particular, would you not want to experience yourself as many distinct beings and through unique journeys? That is why despite Source’s inherent oneness, every manifestation and experience of it is different. Each and everyone of us represents a unique potentiality of Source and will experience the world differently. To stick with the video game analogy, wouldn’t it become stagnant to play the same game over and over again and always with the same character? Diversity allows the Source to be enriched from many different experiences and view points.

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.” – Alan Watts

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

What is Source doing all of this for? Our minds may have hoped for a more complicated purpose but to put it simply; Source is an artist. It could be compared to a painter, however it does more than simply paint the scenery and characters. It enters the painting, embodies the characters, experiences the scenery and becomes so engaged with its creation—forgetting it is in fact the source of it. A beautiful aspect of this cosmic game is that while we allow ourselves to forget our true nature, we simultaneously give ourselves the opportunity to rediscover it throughout our journey. In other words, our purpose is to play, learn and rediscover who we are in the process. The state in which we fully recall our true essence of Source is commonly referred to as “enlightenment.”

“Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.” – Adyashanti

It may sound aimless to “go through so much trouble” when you end up returning where you came from. But the goal isn’t so much to enter a physical experience only to rush our way back to enlightenment. It is to take with us all of the beautiful lessons and expansions that have resulted from experiencing life. Much like a painter expands his talent the more he paints, Source expands in knowledge and creativity the more it experiences.

The Enlightenment Process

Enlightenment is a gradual process, similar to peeling layers off of an onion. The center of the onion represents the core essence of Source within us all. The layers represent the beliefs and perceptions we take on that have shaped our identity thus far, all while enabling us to “forget” our core. And it is through our journey that we gradually “peel off” our illusions, layer by layer, until we uncover the core of our being—the Source of infinite potential that we are.

To put this information into context, notice how in our personal lives we often go through experiences that challenge certain beliefs and mental limitations we have adopted and held on to. Even our relationships seem to bring to our awareness all of our emotional baggage, fears and sensitivities. It is as if the universe conspires to make us transcend whatever is weighing us down. This is exactly the case. We, as souls, set ourselves up by orchestrating the perfect experiences that will enable us to learn and further uncover our true nature.

For example, someone who has taken on the fear of what other people think and has finally “peeled it off” will probably tell you that they now feel lighter, more peaceful, less limited and closer to who they truly are. They have uncovered more of who their true essence, which is of greater freedom and potential. Having released this veil, they now radiate more light, more soul, more consciousness. In other words, they have “de-programmed” certain beliefs and perceptions out of their psyche, and now have one less veil clouding the truth.

“In every moment of our lives, there seems to be two different versions of reality taking place. One, is the surface reality and it is where who you think yourself to be exists as the main character in the movie of your life. It is in this surface reality where you interact with the other characters, make choices, and advance your storyline. Deeper than this surface reality, yet always existing within it, remains a spiritual reality. This reality remains peaceful and unmoved by the actions and reactions of the surface reality. It views the characters in the surface reality as various messengers delivering the wisdom of the spiritual reality, so the characters can learn exactly what each has been brought to learn in every scene of life’s vivid movie.

It is from this spiritual reality where one might imagine the soul resides, with one’s lifetime serving as an interactive way for the soul to impart its wisdom to a world of characters. The characters we think we are, deliver soul wisdom to one another and reap the rewards by becoming more conscious.” – Matt Kahn

Many spiritual or religious beliefs hint at enlightenment, but then turn it into a means to an end, a rare accomplishment or an act of repentance to compensate for the belief in our separation and inferiority to “God.” It is not that such beliefs are wrong to have, but it is only a matter of neutral observation to find their root in the illusion of separation. Those who seek enlightenment often believe they must become “something else” than who they truly are when it is in fact the opposite. Those who follow a religious dogma often feel unworthy of “God,” as if it is this separate entity with enough of an ego that he is ready to burn any of his children who will not praise him or read a book he wrote. Does this truly resonate as wisdom? We are not separate from Source. Enlightenment is not about becoming better or more worthy, it is simply about “unlearning” every illusory perception we have taken on until we are left only with the truth of our being. We are already “it.”

“The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form.”  Eckhart Tolle

 The Experience of Separation

Many of us are probably scratching our heads thinking “then why would Source choose to experience all the war, pollution, poverty and corruption of planet earth?” Maybe it is not that we—as Source—precisely chose to experience such things, but wanted to see how far the illusion of separation could go. What if we wanted to feel what it is like to believe ourselves to be totally separate from one another and our environment to see what would come of it. Sure, we could say that hell came of it. We could say that it was all a big mistake. But as was suggested before, we are here to create experiences, learn from experiences and enlighten. Let us remember that the intent of Source is to expand in awareness and creativity through all potentials; all routes of experience. From this higher perspective, there is no “right” or “wrong” routes, but only the opportunity to grow and rediscover ourselves through unique paths. The question we should ask ourselves is: what can we learn from this one?

The separated state we are in may have brought about a world of disharmony and chaos, but this reality offers the opportunity to learn powerful lessons. We would not have the opportunity to learn how to reclaim our true power if it was not for this challenge. We would not have the chance to grasp just how bright and powerful our light can be if it was not for experiencing our light as dim and as divided as possible. It is the illusion of separation that enables Source to undergo an awakening of its true potential and oneness—a knowing of itself via experience. Imagine how much more powerful the realization of our true nature would be coming from an experience of such disconnect.

“We have created the illusion of separation in order that we may experience the reality of Oneness. Only when we are outside the reality can we experience it. It is our wish to know ourselves as who we really are. Thus, we must first create the experience of who we are not.” – Neale Donald Walsch

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aries: Change & Renewal

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We are having a Full Moon in Aries which will be exact on October 13th at 9:08pm Universal Time. It will appear the fullest that night for the majority of the world, and on the night of the 12th for those in Hawaii.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Libra. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aries and Sun in Libra. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs.

We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Libra side and others expressing the Aries side. In some cases, Full Moon’s can also reflect/trigger some sort of release or change.

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

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

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Full Moon Square Pluto and Trine Jupiter

The Full Moon is in a tight square with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node in Capricorn. This can trigger the energy of the previous Lunar Eclipse which had strong themes of purging, letting go, as well as the potential for rebirth and transformation. It may reflect things from the past that need to be resolved or concluded.

The area of life in which this may occur depends on how it was interacting with your natal chart. It could be connected to Capricorn themes such as ambitions, career, control, management, social status, financial areas or potential structures in our lives.

This can also reflect issues pertaining to fears, obsessions, compulsive behavior, shadows, dark drives, manipulation, desires, deeply repressed feelings, jealousy, the underworld, and destruction. Conflicts around power and power struggles may also play out which may be connected to Aries-Libra themes mentioned above. Pluto may increase the potential of intensity and Saturn can reflect obstacles.

Although this configuration can be challenging, this Full Moon is also in a trine with Jupiter in Sagittarius which brings some positive and hopeful energy to it as well. This aspect can be good for expansiveness, exploration, and learning. Themes around morals, faith, beliefs, and perspectives may be a part of the equation. It can be good for addressing issues by looking at the big picture and incorporating a higher understanding.

Mercury In Pre-Retrograde Shadow Period, Sextile Saturn, Pluto and Trine Neptune

Mercury in Scorpio will be going retrograde on October 31st and has begun its pre-retrograde shadow period on October 11th/12th. Some of the developments or thoughts that are occurring now and over the coming weeks will go through a process in November in which there could be adjustments, new realizations, and overall some sort of re-calibration to set things up for the following months or even beyond that. I will be writing a separate article on this retrograde, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury is in a sextile with Saturn in Capricorn which is strongest during the Full Moon and the following day. This is good for any type of mental effort and using our mind in a realistic, practical, tangible, or essential way. Communications with others can feel solidifying, productive, or have themes around responsibility and commitment.

Mercury is also in a trine with Neptune in Pisces which peaks on October 15th/16th. Our thoughts, communications, or activities can be idealistic, imaginative, inspired, spiritual, creative, compassionate, or sensitive. This can heighten intuition and we can be more tuned in to symbolism. It can also be good for doing anything involving visual media.

Mercury is in a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn which is strongest October 19th/20th. This can reflect wanting to understand or communicate things on a deeper level. We can be more focused, penetrating, strategic, persuasive, and compulsive. In some cases it can also be good for getting a point across to facilitate some sort of change,

Venus and Mars In Each Other’s Signs

Mars (the ruler of the Aries Full Moon) is in Libra which is ruled by Venus while Venus is in Scorpio which is traditionally ruled Mars. Generally these planets are considered to be challenged when in these signs on their own, however, in this case they are assisting each other in what is referred to as a ‘mutual reception’.

The midpoint of both Venus and Mars are aligned with the Sun/Moon opposition, as well as in aspect with Pluto. Considering all of this, it helps to alleviate any of the potential conflict between the Aries-Libra opposition and can also help to unify both sides of the polarity.

In the day prior to this Full Moon, Venus was in an opposition to Uranus which could have reflected some changes, insights, disruptions, or surprises around Venus ruled areas such as relationships, money, pleasures, or values. Following this, it is than moving towards a sextile to Saturn which peaks from October 19th-20th. This can bring a more stabilizing, mature, realistic, and supportive energy around relations or finances.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you approach individual needs while also being considerate of others? What changes do you need to make to help you grow and expand? What is going on beneath the surface? Are any of the potential challenges happening in your life connected to something that you need to release or transform? How do you feel about everything when you take a step back and look at it from a higher perspective? What is the big picture and how can you incorporate your understandings to help you proceed or resolve any difficulties?

These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak when as wanes over the following two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on October 13th at 9:08pm Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

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Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 8: The Apple Tree)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

8. The Apple Tree

Every autumn the same argument between the two orchard owners rang through the valley on the island of Allandon. Both claimed rights to the fruits of an apple tree whose roots laid on one’s land but whose trunk leaned drastically into the other’s property. They made their case to a seed planter who worked for both of them.

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“It is on my property that the tree is rooted in the ground,” said the one. “Clearly the fruits belong to me. Is it not so?”

“He is free to pick all the apples he wants,” replied the other, “as long as he keeps his two feet on his land.”

“You know that is not possible. The tree leans over your property.”

“And so the tree, by its growth, has decided that I should have its fruit. What do you say, planter?”

“Come with me,” the seed planter said. He led them up the great mountain in the center of the island, keeping quiet as they continued to bicker. When they reached a lookout point near the top of the mountain, the seed planter spoke to them.

“Now look out onto your vast properties,” he said. “Where is the apple tree?”

“I can’t make out the tree from here,” said the one.

“It’s too small,” echoed the other.

“Exactly,” the seed planter said. “Now perhaps we can talk about this dispute.”

Einstein once said that problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them. And yet in our lives we continue to try to do just that: whenever we see something showing up in the world that doesn’t suit us, we immediately try to change the world until it conforms to how we think it should be. But the problem itself does not originate in the outer world—it originates in our inner world where we first interpreted a thing or event as a ‘problem’. Even if we are successful in changing the external world to our liking at a given moment, it will not be long before the same ‘problem’ arises in a different form. This is like the arcade game where you hammer a mole back into its hole and another mole immediately pops up from a different hole ad infinitum. Instead of rushing to change the outer world, lasting solutions to our problems come from our ability to change our inner world by shifting to a higher level of consciousness.

This is not to say that we should never act in the world. It means that it is helpful to step back to take a better look at these ‘problems’ rather than reacting to them. In a society that still puts a premium on doing, the shift we are looking for brings into balance our propensity to act with our ability to reflect. For in reflection our problems can be re-viewed as opportunities, and the actions we take can become the product of choice rather than compulsion, if in fact we conclude that we need to act at all.

All so-called problems are rooted in the limited vision of our Ego Self. Since the Ego Self makes us feel alone, vulnerable, and separate from the abundance of the universe, we tend to be more focused on what we lack than what we have. So we continue to experience not having enough, even if we have more than enough to live happily. It is said that the richest people are not those with the most money, but rather those who most keenly appreciate what they have. So when wealthy corporate executives ruin their lives by breaking laws and going to jail for stealing money from their companies and employees, it naturally begs the question: What would it take to satisfy these millionaires? Certainly no particular ‘thing’ in this world. There is never enough wealth in the world to satisfy those who are solely following the voice of their Ego Self, since it only sees what is missing and cannot stop asking for “more, more, more!”

For a long time I lived my life from this place of scarcity and lack, where an unexpected expense like a parking ticket or a tax reassessment would send me into a fury. I felt that every penny leaving my hand was lost forever, and I really had to stay ready to fight for what I believed was mine. But now I see this is where all the trouble starts. When we are so singularly focused on what is ‘mine’ and what is ‘yours’, there is no wonder that disputes, arguments, wars occur.

Cultivating gratitude for all that we have can go a long way towards easing this kind of conflict. It becomes easier to defuse our self-centeredness when we consider how lucky we actually are, and acknowledge how other people are not as fortunate as us. Over the past few years I have received several reminders of this in my email inbox, like this one that exhorts us to appreciate the things we often take for granted:

We forget how fortunate we really are.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

This kind of message is powerful, and can certainly get us thinking about what we can be thankful for in our lives. I know when I read it I was quite moved by it. When I am willing to take a look at those less fortunate, to really consider what life would be like in their shoes, I cannot help but see my own life in a more positive light. This is the duality of life at play, how we can be touched more keenly by something when we contrast it with its opposite. Do we not most appreciate food when we are most hungry? Do we not revel in the spring after a long winter? Are we not most grateful for our health after a prolonged sickness? Just ask someone who has recently survived cancer if they are happier to be alive than they used to be.

Fine. But we don’t have to be dependent on deprivation or illness to jolt us into gratitude and the feeling of being fully alive. Besides that, I know from my own experience of these phenomena that once things return to normal I start to take things for granted again. And even if I tried to recapture the feeling, the effect would diminish. I learned about this when I was young. The more my mother would tell us to think of the starving children in Africa whenever we would complain that she didn’t make a cheese sauce for our broccoli, the less it really moved us. It may have kept us quiet, but if anything we felt more guilt than gratitude, and it didn’t really help us enjoy our cheese-less broccoli.

Authentic gratitude brings with it a joy that makes us feel connected to each other and to the world. Gratitude based on contrast and comparison rarely has staying power because at a deep level it actually strengthens the Ego Self mindset of division and inequality. It is no wonder that in the face of our disproportionate wealth and opportunity in the world, the message contends that ‘the majority can [truly give thanks], but most do not.’ It is not that we don’t want to hold up our heads with a smile and truly be thankful, it is that our Ego Self cannot see beyond itself. We become restless and start searching for more of what it thinks is missing.

It is only in challenging our Western Ego-Self perspective that we can awaken to a more permanent appreciation of our lives. Chief Seattle gives us a clue as to the character of such gratitude, one that does not focus on the disparities between us but rather what all humans share: life itself and the bounties that it freely offers. When he gives thanks for ‘every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect,’ his gratitude is founded not on have and have-not but on the wholeness of human experience and a celebration of who we are, in the highest and most abundant image that we could have of ourselves.

The holistic wisdom of the East has already begun to penetrate into the fabric of our society. But for many of us who have tasted from its cup, those precious moments of connectedness it brings are hard to maintain, because of our own heritage. We remain hesitant to fully surrender control to a collective sense of self because we take pride in who we are as individuals, and how we have defined our lives. We do not avoid the urge to compare, inherent in a material life, but we seek to no longer be controlled by it. And so we move to and fro, sometimes in fits and starts, between where we have come from and where we think we are going. The ebb and flow of our emerging consciousness is the challenge of our times. And it is the mandate of the new conversation.

The space of the new conversation emulates our connectedness with one another. And so it is not a conversation grounded in debate and comparison, evaluation and judgment. Rather it focuses on building trust, fostering openness and deepening awareness. Our journey of consciousness is not seen as a race or a competition, but rather a shared adventure. It does not measure success or failure, nor concern itself with who is more or less evolved than another. It recognizes that in the circle of life we have all been at times up and down, ahead and behind, and where we are in the moment is precisely where we need to be.

To truly participate in the new conversation is to honor that we are each moving at our own pace and in our own way. It is to recognize that consciousness grows in rhythms, like waves rising and receding on the beach. It is to pledge not only to cheer each other on when we rush forward, but also to break each other’s fall when we tumble backwards.

The rewards of such a venture are not to be understated. Fueled by our shared strength and courage we can make our way up the slope of consciousness, to reach a place where the solution to every problem that exists in our world is in plain view. From this place we can see the forest for the trees, and gain a panoramic sense that we are all one. For it is only in the truth of our unity that we will finally rest in the awareness that we truly have no quarrel with each other. As an old Native American saying goes, ‘No tree is so foolish as to have its branches fight amongst themselves’.

Our work together in the new conversation, like that of climbers whose fates and lives are strung together by ropes and pulleys, will bring us closer to the source of a sustainable gratitude: the incomparable view from the mountaintop of our vast abundance and magnificence.

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Consciousness

California’s First Surgeon General: Screen Every Student For Childhood Trauma

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    California's first surgeon general Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has a dream to screen children for childhood trauma before entering schools in an attempt to help them process these experiences to avoid developmental issues.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time we take an entirely new societal and cultural approach to the emotional challenges we collectively face? Is it time we take personal responsibility for the communities we live within?

California’s first surgeon general, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, has an ambitious goal to screen every student for childhood trauma before entering school. Dr. Harris has dedicated her career to changing the way society views and responds to childhood trauma. This is a worthwhile effort as research shows childhood trauma affects brain development and it will build a society that is more empathetic to all and unique situations.

Why it matters: While some feel this is not the job of state to determine this, and in the wrong hands this could appear to be a pharmaceutical nightmare, it appears Dr. Harris’ specifics are going in the right direction. Reframing ‘disorders’ doctors simply don’t seem to understand is an important step in helping kids.

“One thing that tipped me off was the number of kids being sent to me by schools — principals, teachers and administrators — with ADHD […] “What I found was that many of the kids were experiencing signs of adversity, and there seemed to be a strong association between adversity and the trauma they experienced and school functioning.”

Already, Dr. Harris’ research team has found that kids who had experienced severe trauma were 32 times more likely to be diagnosed with learning and behavioural problems than kids who had not. Further pointing to the fact that many of the challenges we face in society come from challenging times and emotions that never get processed.

We live in a time where emotional intelligence and self-awareness are extremely undeveloped across the globe, and this is not being taught to enough people, especially at a young age.

The conscious takeaway: There is no doubting the fact that we need more community in our world. And while people doubt the creation of community in the wrong hands, it doesn’t mean all have nefarious intentions. Raising awareness about topics such as this whereby a leader truly feels that blanket statements like ADHD don’t really tell us anything about a child and we must look deeper, is a great thing!

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Imagine a world where education and societal culture did focus on things like emotional intelligence and helping people process their challenging experiences? We all know telling someone to just ‘buck up and let it go’ hasn’t brought us to a good space, perhaps it’s time for an entire cultural shift? This, after all, has been what we have been creating here at Collective Evolution for the last 10 years.

This story very much plays into steps 2, 3 and 4 of the CE Protocol. Awakening neutrality within people, deprogramming our limitations and then living aligned with our true and authentic self.

“When you have a whole community making real change, you can have a big and lasting change.” – Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Looking deeper: Currently, the approach to children who are ‘problems’ in school is to get rid of them or medicate them. In fact, there are over 20 million schoolchildren who are being prescribed stimulants and psychotropic drugs according to Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Most of the public is not even aware of this. While big pharma profits huge with an unconscious approach to these challenges, society suffers greatly.

It’s truly time for something different, and all you have to ask yourself is are we capable of creating more peace within our youth and society? If yes, a new approach is needed.

20 Million Schoolchildren Have Been Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs Known to Cause Suicidal Thoughts

More Public Schools Choosing Meditation Over Detention & Teaching Mindfulness Practices

 

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