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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?

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“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

How To Have Your Own Personal Zen Master Around Anytime You Descend Into Stress

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

When you look at a true spiritual master, guru or yogi, one of the most remarkable things you might notice is that they don’t seem to experience stress. You might conclude that they arrive at this state through meditation, fasting, prayer, or other such disciplines. This is only partly true. Those spiritual practices can certainly contribute to stress reduction, but their ultimate effect is to support the maintenance of ONE KEY THOUGHT that spiritual masters hold in their minds (and bodies) with unfailing certainty.

Granted, this key thought is not easy to grasp, hold as truth, and then deeply embody within yourself. Throughout history spiritual masters have done their darndest to articulate it for those hoping for inner peace and harmony. The limitations of language, of all human languages, is woefully revealed in these attempts. But if you are ready, open, and genuinely seeking–an ‘aspirant’ as they say in yoga–then it becomes possible for a certain expression or turn of phrase to begin to activate your deeper inner knowledge of the state some call samadhi, enlightenment, Christ consciousness, or what I like to simply term presence. Are you ready?

Stress-Free Perception

In a true state of presence it is impossible to feel stress. Impossible. That is because stress is predicated on our seeing the world as dualistic. In a state of presence we embody a perception of singularity. The apperception of the world as whole, as unified, is truth unmasked.

From a perception of unity there is no past or future, there is only now. Note that human experience is only ever experienced through the now, past experiences were only ever experienced in the now, and the same will hold for our future experiences. Having the experience of presence helps us get a glimpse that time itself is a fabrication, a ‘program’ that helps our intentionally limited minds have a particularly lush and interesting kind of experience in the physical world.

How We Create Stress

But let’s get back to our everyday time-bound consciousness. For those of you who earnestly seek to dissolve your stress, and are open and willing to let go of anything your mind is clinging to in order to achieve it, I will try to explain the one key thought.

The experience of stress is the experience of the tension or dissonance between two things: how your world IS in any moment, and how you think it SHOULD BE. You create stress by carrying in your mind an image of how something in the NOW—yourself and others, the presence or absence of things, the weather—is NOT OK as it is. That puts you into a self-created adversarial relationship with the only point of contact you have with life.

Fortunately, your emotions alert you to this crazy confabulation, by making you aware of internal discomfort you label as STRESS. This STRESS is nothing more than an urgent signal from your higher intelligence to return to presence. But in a state of stress how can you possibly return to presence?

The One Key Thought Into Presence

You need to get into the habit of using your awareness of your own stress as a trigger to align yourself with this one key thought: everything is perfect as it is. It’s like having your own personal Zen master around any time you descend into stress asking you the well-worn koan, ‘What, in this moment, is lacking?’

It works. Trust me.

But it only works to the extent that you are willing to let go of the past (and future), along with all your judgments, grievances, ‘shoulds’, hopes, and fears that arise out of a dualistic perception. If you are truly willing and able to deeply hold this one key thought as ULTIMATE truth, above ALL other beliefs and opinions, you will start to feel it working.

Spiritual Context

If you have doubts about this one key thought representing ultimate truth, allow me to provide the spiritual context I work with in which the statement makes perfect sense.

A common thread at the heart of all great spiritual traditions is that we are all immortal souls who are currently having a ‘human’ experience. The circumstances of this life experience were chosen by us to facilitate our soul’s evolution. So any time you feel stress, you can see it as the universe prodding you to take an evolutionary step. That evolutionary step is to see the perfection in everything, if only for a moment at first. If you’re game, these brief moments of clarity add up quickly to a more permanent step up.

An Example

Let’s say for example you’re stuck in traffic, and realize you are going to be late for a meeting. Maybe it’s even your ‘fault’, because you left late or didn’t check your GPS. If you’re feeling stressed about it, realize it’s because things are not how your mind thinks they should be. Your mind thinks you ‘should’ be at the meeting on time–to get some important information, perhaps, or because your reputation as a reliable person is at stake, and you will be judged by others at the meeting in a way that may impact your future success.

Now, you can continue to be stressed in that moment (and subsequently for the entire drive to the office), or you can take ALL that very reasonable blather of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’, roll it up in a ball, and drop it into your faux-ashtray. You will be able to do this if you reach for presence, if you remind yourself that there is only the present moment, and in the present moment you can choose to experience stress, or choose to experience peace. If you choose to be fully present you accept the present moment exactly as it is, realize there is nothing you can DO in that moment to remedy the so-called problem, and take the evolutionary step of seeing everything as perfect in this so-called ‘stressful’ moment. There is no problem now–and you will deal with the ‘problem’ when the ‘problem’ arises. You are simply in a car driving. You will then start to feel relief, and gain confidence that if you maintain presence through your arrival to the office, your late entry into the meeting, and your conversations afterwards, the ‘problem’ will never arise and you will literally breeze through the whole experience. You will be ‘ok’ with whatever happens.

Common Fears About Presence

FEAR: If I go into presence I will lose my mind.

Maybe-but only in a good way. Lol. Seriously, presence is not losing one’s mind, it is aligning one’s mind properly, with the timeless ‘true mind’ playing the role of master and the time-bound ‘false mind’ (ego) playing the role of servant, allowing the true mind to interface as it pleases with the time-governed physical world.

FEAR: If I go into presence I will stop trying to make my life better.

Perhaps. After all, what is better than presence, where everything is perfect? But there is more to it. You may be surprised to hear that a state of presence does not thwart action, it only thwarts reaction, fear-based, ego-sponsored drives to alleviate doubt, fear, insecurity, stress. In a state of presence the true mind decides on action, the best action for the situation, which is then carried out in perfect flow with the environment.

FEAR: It’s too hard to do and I’ll ultimately fail.

Failure is impossible. Patience, though, is required. The evolution of consciousness might seem like waves rising and falling on the shore, but the high water marks accumulate and eventually produce a stable higher state of awareness. Remembering and forgetting presence is natural, but with persistence it is remembered more often, maintained for a longer period of time, and eventually becomes part of your normal, base perception. With this as your base perception, then, it is truly possible for you to experience a life free of stress.

 

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Consciousness

New Moon In Virgo: Breakthroughs & Innovation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Virgo on September 6th in the Americas and on September 7th elsewhere. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This Lunar Cycle peaks with a Full Moon in Pisces on September 20th/21st.

We have been in Virgo season since August 22nd/23rd,  however, this New Moon will activate its energies even more so. Virgo is associated with productivity, duties, health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, adaptable, conscientious, skillful, orderly, punctual, diligent, efficient, discerning, precise, and practical. It is also associated with pets.

Being an Earth sign that is ruled by Mercury, Virgo is analytical and detail oriented when it comes to handling aspects of the physical world. It is about problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. There is an emphasis around service and helping others. Negatively, this energy can be cynical, fussy, high strung, and perfectionistic. It can also be too mentally oriented and overly critical.

New Moon In A Tight Trine With Uranus

This New Moon is in a nearly exact trine with Uranus in Taurus.This is very strong in the sixteen hours leading up to the lunation and in the nine to ten hours afterwards, however, it will still have an influence over the following two weeks.

This can be good for changing things up and taking new approaches to things. We may experience positive surprises/shifts, make discoveries, receive beneficial insights, or be creatively inspired. This energy can be exciting, stimulating, liberating, innovative, inventive, revolutionary, and is supportive of originality.

Developments or approaches that involve technology, science, metaphysics, or astrology can also play out. Considering that this is a New Moon in Virgo, this is good for doing any sort of work or efforts that can have a freeing effect such as getting things done that have been weighing us down or obstructing us in some way. This can also be good for re-arranging, organizing, renovating, or getting rid of things to clear space and energy.

Mars Trine Pluto & Quincunx Jupiter, Venus Aligned With Spica & Trine Jupiter

At the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it, Mars in Virgo is in a trine with Pluto in Capricorn which are also in wide orb aspects with this lunation. This is great for asserting ourselves in a powerful, determined, and focused way. Our actions now can be empowering, purging, penetrating, or help to facilitate positive changes. This can also be a time of heightened sexual desire.

Also during this same period, Venus is aligned with the star Spica while in a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius. This can be a fortunate, expansive, optimistic, and/or meaningful time when it comes to friends, our social life, art, aesthetics, or matters of love. In some cases this can also play out as financial or material benefits.

Indulging, having fun, affection, and overall happiness is easier to be had under this influence. This can also play out as learning or sharing perspectives in a friendly and sociable way. This energy can also be good for efforts involving graphic design or marketing/media of nice things.

Venus was also in a square with Pluto in the days leading up to the New Moon which may have also brought some intense feelings/interactions, jealousy, or power struggles. However, this can be mitigated by the Jupiter influence, and is finished by the time this New Moon begins.

During this same period, Mars is also in a quincunx with Jupiter in Aquarius and in aversion with the Venus trine Jupiter aspect. Our assertiveness, drive, and actions may be alienated from, or harder to integrate with, the fun, social, indulging, and affectionate expressions of the Venus-Jupiter configuration.

Mercury Entering Pre-Retrograde Shadow, Aligned With Vindemiatrix & Opposite Chiron

In the hours leading up to this New Moon, Mercury (the ruler of Virgo) will enter its pre-retrograde shadow period for the retrograde that begins on September 26th/27th in Libra. Over the following three weeks, and somewhat since Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, certain things that occur or begin will go through (or contribute to) a process of adjustment, assessment, insights, or shifts from September 27th until late October.

The themes of this upcoming retrograde will involve relationships, social dynamics, diplomacy, partnerships, aesthetics, art, cooperation, creativity, or pertaining to seeking balance, fairness, peace, and harmony. However, other manifestations of this process also depend on how it is configured to your natal chart.

During these weeks leading up to September 27th, Mercury will be gradually slowing down and the complications that Mercury retrograde is known for can become more apparent before it actually begins. I will be putting out more content on this, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury is aligned with the fixed star Vindemiatrix which is where it will return to when the retrograde ends and transitions forward. Vindemiatrix is a malefic star traditionally known as the ‘Widow Maker’ and is also associated with nervous irritability when combined with Mercury.

According to astrologer Dr. Eric Morse, this star ‘figures strongly and regularly in deaths which are in some way dramatic, newsworthy or are resented much more than the usual degree’. In my own observation I have also found that this star is associated with malicious injections and is prominent in the natal astrology chart of William Gates III.

I would imagine that during this upcoming retrograde and potentially in the pre-retrograde shadow period, these themes can play out more so on a collective level and we may see stories pertaining to these things throughout different media outlets, whether it be mainstream or alternative.

Mercury is also opposing Chiron at the time of this New Moon and over the following few days. It will return to this opposition when the retrograde ends and therefore this configuration will be part of its themes. Communications, interactions, or thoughts may trigger wounds, pain, blockages, or be reflective of negative patterns. As a result, misunderstandings may also occur.

Self-doubt and perceived inadequacies may be on our mind and can obstruct our perception. However, what happens at this time can ultimately be a catalyst for healing, but this would be more likely to occur near the end of the retrograde.

New Moon & Sun Opposite Neptune, Trine Pluto

The second aspect that the Sun and Moon (New Moon) make after the trine to Uranus is an opposition to Neptune in Pisces which will be more prominent on September 13th/14th, but will build up from the 8th onward. For this period, we may feel/experience a lack of direction or confidence in how we apply our will, ego, or self-expression. We may have to contend with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, escapism, delusion, deception, or flaky behavior.

The third aspect of this New Moon is a trine to Pluto which will be strong from September 15th-17th by the Sun. This will be more welcoming after the Neptunian influence (mentioned in the above paragraph) as this can help us to be much more productive. We can be more focused, resourceful, strategic, realistic, or calculated to help us achieve what we set out to do.

This energy is good for digging into anything or getting to the bottom of things. It can also be beneficial for any sort of clearing or making positive changes. In some cases this can play out as financial benefits or related developments.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What areas of your life or spaces can be refreshed, organized, renovated, purged, or cleared? What new approaches can you take when it comes to your health, lifestyle, work, or for when it comes to managing your life and productivity? In what different ways can you be of service to others? Do you need to be more attentive to details? What resources can you capitalize on to help you achieve your goals? What can you do to feel more free and liberated? Is there anything that you’d like to experiment with?

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 12:52am Universal Time on September 7th and the night of September 6th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Expansion & Originality

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a second consecutive Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22nd. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 21st in the Americas and on the night of the 22nd in the time zones East of the UK. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Leo on August 8th. The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may 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 Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Leo and Aquarius, at the 29th degree, less than half a day before we begin Virgo season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have already been in Leo Season for about a month as the Sun will change signs shortly after this Full Moon. Leo is a passionate Fire sign. It is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration.  It is associated with the heart, love, creativity, performing, fun, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals and can be courageous and generous. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can also be egotistical, pompous, dramatic, and demanding of attention or respect.

Aquarius is an intellectual Air sign. It is associated with friends, groups, social networks, the team, and humanity. It views the unique and authentic qualities of an individual as an important and contributing factor to the collective. Aquarius is progressive, unconventional, innovative, technological, scientific, reforming, idealistic, and even revolutionary. Negatively, it can be aloof, overly objective, unrealistic, dispassionate, impersonal, and overly detached.

Full Moon Conjunct Jupiter & Going Into Pisces, Sun Conjunct Regulus & Going Into Virgo

This Full Moon is separating from a close conjunction with Jupiter. This brings an energy that is expansive, explorative, freedom seeking, and even idealistic when combined with the Aquarian energy. Themes around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, education, or media/marketing may come up. However, with it being a Full Moon (opposing the Sun), it can also be a time of conflicts around those things. Overextending and overestimating ourselves can also be prevalent.

The Sun is aligned with the royal star Regulus which is associated with power, authority, and influence. The opposition of this to the Aquarian Moon (with Jupiter) can play out as ideals of the ‘people/collective/groups vs. leaders/authority’ in some people’s experience of it.

The Moon will be entering Pisces forty minutes after the peak of the Full Moon while it is still full. At that time and in the days following, this can also bring an energy that is spiritual, empathic, compassionate, creative, mystical, imaginative, elusive, dreamy, or divinely inspired.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun will be entering Virgo less than a day after the Full Moon. Usually the shift from Leo to Virgo is one of the more obvious and noticeable transitions of signs as Leo is more fun and playful while Virgo is oriented around getting things done. In this case with it being so close to the Aquarian Full Moon, it will probably take three or more days to really notice the Virgo energy.

Mars Trine Uranus, Venus Trine Saturn

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is in a tight trine with Uranus in Taurus. This is a good energy for trying something new, experimental or asserting ourselves in a way that is unconventional, stimulating, innovative, technological, rebellious, progressive, original, exciting, or independent. This energy can also be inspiring to act on something and some people may feel a burst of energy.

Uranus had also went stationary retrograde in the days leading to this, so this energy in general will be very strong. Throughout the week following this Full Moon (and even in the 1-2 weeks prior) there is an increased possibility of surprises, disruptions, separations, sudden changes,  accidents, or things breaking. Experiences that are unusual, enlightening, or stimulating can also occur and/or we may have interactions with other people that have those qualities.

Venus in Libra is in a trine with Saturn during the Full Moon and over the following day and a half. This can have a stabilizing or committing effect on relationships. It can be constructive, solidifying, or maturing when it comes to our social life, love, financial matters, business relations, possessions, or things that are aesthetic related. In some cases this can play out as important connections and developments with others who are much older or younger than us.

Mercury Opposite Neptune, Venus Opposite Chiron, Mercury Trine Pluto

Mercury in Virgo is moving towards an opposition with Neptune in Pisces since August 20th/21st which will peak on August 24th/25th. In general, Mercury in this sign (from August 11th/12th until August 29th/30th) helps our thinking and communication to be more organized, detailed, practical, technical, efficient, and productive.

However, with it being opposite Neptune during this four day window, we may have to contend with some misunderstandings, confusion, lack of clarity, miscommunications, lack of focus, deception, carelessness, or disheartening developments during this period.  In some cases, issues or complications around vehicles, commuting, phones, or computers may come up and could involve water, oil, inconsistencies, or play out in other ways as well.

Venus will be moving towards an opposition to Chiron from August 23rd/24th until August 26th/27th when it peaks. Wounds, blockages, insecurities, weaknesses, and imbalances can come up strongly in our relations, finances, values, self worth, or physical appearance. If this applies to you, it’s best to look at the situation from a whole-istic perspective to help move beyond the issue. If this doesn’t come up, it can still be a good time for any kind of healing or growth in the areas mentioned above.

Mercury is in a trine with Pluto on August 25th/26th. This is great for mental focus or getting to the bottom of things. Thoughts and/or communications can be deep, powerful, empowering,  insightful, revealing, or psychologically oriented. In some cases this aspect can have beneficial financial implications.

Sun Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Neptune

The Sun is in a square with the Lunar Nodes on August 28th-30th. This can trigger some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse as we may experience developments connected to them. We may also feel like we are at a crossroads as considerations at this time may involve where we are coming from and where we are heading, or perhaps being stuck between things that can be holding us back and things that can facilitate growth. It can also involve incorporating beneficial aspects of the past and applying them in an evolved or forward moving way.

In the days following this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo will be moving towards its own opposition to Neptune (similarly to Mercury) which peaks from September 1st-4th. At best, this energy can be good for applying ourselves towards activities that are spiritual, creative, compassionate, selfless, or involve water.

However, this can be challenging overall as it may seem that our efforts are met with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, or flaky behavior as a result of others. Some people can also feel lazy, discouraged, or helpless. It’s best to go with the flow and do things that work best with this energy as mentioned in the above paragraph.

Things To Consider

In what ways can you expand? Is there anything that you want to learn? What are your ideals and do they truly align with your heart’s desires? What is coming up regarding your friends/social network? In what ways can you grow in your relations? Or What are the potentials for growth amongst your relations? How can you balance or collaborate your individual needs with the needs of the group? What does freedom mean for you and how can you achieve it? Is there anything that you need to shift, shake up, rebel against, or liberate yourself from? Is there anything new you want to try or experiment with?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak time for this Full Moon is at 12:02pm Universal Time on August 22nd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

NOTE: I will be on holiday over the following weeks and may not be able to do my next New Moon article depending on how things go. Stay tuned for my upcoming articles or join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive future content that I put out.

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

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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