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Consciousness

The Mystery Of God & The Brain

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As science has steadily undermined the long-held beliefs of religion, almost all that remains for people of faith is to say that God is and will forever be a mystery. Insofar as Einstein was religious, he possessed a feeling of awe and wonder at the mystery of the universe. But science hasn’t stopped chipping away at mystery, promising to reduce spiritual experience to measurable brain activity. It’s doubtful that belief in God, the soul, heaven and hell, and other tenets of faith will be drastically affected – polls continue to show that these things remain articles of belief for around 80-90% of responders.

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Will neuroscience eventually be able to locate God in our neurons, and if so, should that tiny area of the brain be excised or boosted? No doubt there are arguments on both sides, depending on whether you hold that God has been good for the human race in the long run or bad. Setting aside such judgments, it turns out that the possibility of finding God in the brain creates a baffling mystery that neither religion nor science can tackle alone.

Now that advanced brain scanning can map the way our brains light up with each thought, word, or action, it’s clear that no experience escapes the brain. For a mystic to see God or feel his presence, for St. Paul to be suddenly converted on the road to Damascus, or for St. Teresa of Avila to have her heart pierced by an angelic arrow, such experiences would have to register in their brains. However, this indisputable fact (so far as present knowledge extends) doesn’t give science the advantage over religion. For it turns out that the brain has definite limitations on what it can experience.

The work of the late Polish-American mathematician Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950) is relevant here, because Korzybski worked out the layered processing that goes into the way we perceive everyday reality. Billions of bits of data bombard our sense organs, of which only a fraction enter the nervous system. Of that fraction, more of the raw input is filtered out by the brain, which uses built-in models of reality to discard what doesn’t fit. When people say “You’re not hearing me” or “You only see what you want to see,” they are expressing a truth that Korzybski tried to quantify mathematically.

Sometimes the things a person doesn’t see are simply outside the range of human experience, like our inability to see ultraviolet light. But a great deal more depends on expectations, memories, biases, fears, and simple close-mindedness. If you go to a party, and someone tells you that you are about to meet a Nobel Prize winner, you will see a different person than if you are told he is a reformed Mafia hit man. When all the filtering and processing is complete, there is no doubt that the brain doesn’t actually experience reality but only a confirmation of its model of reality.

Two interesting points follow:

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  1. All models are equal as viewed from the level of the brain.
  2. Reality transcends any model we can possibly make of it.

These two points allow God, the soul, and all other spiritual experiences back into the picture. The first point demolishes the notion that science is superior to religion because it gathers facts while religion deals in beliefs. In truth, science filters out and discards a huge portion of human experience – almost everything one would classify as subjective – so its model is just as selective, if not more so, than religion’s. As far as the brain is concerned, neural filtering is taking place in all models, whether they are scientific, spiritual, artistic, or psychotic. The brain is a processor of inputs, not a mirror to realty.

The second point is even more telling. If our brains are constantly filtering every experience, there is no way anyone can claim to know what is “really” real. You can’t step outside your brain to fathom what lies beyond it. Just as there is a horizon for the farthest objects that emit light in the cosmos, and a farthest horizon for how far back in time astronomy can probe, there is a farthest horizon for thinking. The brain operates in time and space, having linear thoughts that are the end point of a selective filtering process. So whatever is outside time and space is inconceivable, and unfiltered reality would probably blow the brain’s circuits, or simply be blanked out. Unfiltered reality would be like listening to every channel on the radio simultaneously, an impossibility.

Korzybski held that even mathematics was a model, subject to the limitations of all models that the brain constructs. Not everyone would agree – holding on to mathematics as a universal truth gives advanced physics its toehold on the quantum world. But in this post we are not using any of these ideas as bludgeons to bash science. All agendas aside, Korzybski simply pointed out, using the language of mathematics, that whatever reality is, it transcends the brain.

In a single word – transcendence – there’s a level playing field between science and religion. Reality transcends, or goes beyond, what the brain discerns. If something supernatural springs from the transcendent, such as a holy vision, materialists and skeptics may argue that it can’t be real. Actually, there’s no way to prove that even a natural experience is real. Seeing angels and seeing a tree, mountain, or cloud are equally inexplicable. As the noted physicist Freeman Dyson has asserted,

“To summarize the situation, we have three mysteries that we do not understand: the unpredictable movements of atoms, the existence of our own consciousness, and the friendliness of the universe to life and mind. I am only saying that the three mysteries are probably connected. I do not claim to understand any of them.”

Since the three mysteries are woven into the very basis of our existence, the wisest course is to bring the scientific and spiritual models together in order to see if they can fill in the blanks that come with each model. Models are right about what they include and wrong about what they exclude. Conceding this fact would do a great deal to put spirituality on a plane where it can be taken seriously as an exploration that’s as serious and truthful as advanced science.

___________________________________________________

This article was co-written by Deepak Chopra and Jordan Flesher.

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 75 books and 21 New York Times bestsellers. Through his books and videos he has become one of the best known and most trusted figures in the holistic health movement. (Website) (Twitter) (Facebook) (YouTube)

Jordan Flesher offers sessions for those interested in exploring, developing and healing their own consciousness and psychology in a therapeutic setting. Jordan is in school to be a psychologist. The type of work that he does with clients is very in depth and is based in the view that therapy is an art. As a result, the work is very intuitive, artistic, and open to the mystery of consciousness, synchronicity, dreams and energy. His work is different than most psychological therapies, in that, most therapies try to get the individual to conform or “adjust” to society, whereas, Jordan’s work is to get the individual to be free within society, and to access a creative-rebellion within themselves that still allows them to function and integrate themselves within society, while not being a slave to society. This is based off of the saying of ancient Sages that to “be in the world, yet not of it” is the highest form of spiritual enlightenment. Jordan’s work is heavily influenced by some of the following rebel-hearts, and rebel-geniuses: Jiddu Krishnamurti, Osho, Alan Watts, Colin Wilson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Deepak Chopra, A.H. Almaas, Anais-Nin, R.D. Laing, Fredrich Nietzche, Micahel Foucault and many more. (Facebook) (Twitter) – Jordan can also be reached privately by phone (1-312-730-8322) or via e-mail (troyofis@gmail.com)

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Alternative News

What The ‘MAGA Hat Kid’ Story Really Teaches Us

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The mainstream media spread a story about a kid and his friends surrounding a native elder even though the story was taken out of context and was false. However, there is MUCH we can learn from this story.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we truly gaining from getting caught up in race-baiting and racial divide? Is the mainstream media purposefully misinforming people? Is it time to take a step back and look at life from a more nuanced position?

The story associated with the image featured above went viral a couple of days ago. There are many reasons for this, but likely not what you might think. And that is the discussion I wish to have in this article.

A very short video clip and image, both entirely out of context, were released to the internet showing a picture media has been painting for a very long time. We apparently saw a racist group of kids taunting and intimidating a native elder. In its limited length, it was tough to look at as what it was saying certainly wasn’t good. However, that wasn’t the truth.

When I first saw this image I decided to do research as my initial thought was that it was entirely out of context. I know this because the mainstream media and many famous influencers on Instagram have been making false stories viral for years now about subjects that incite divide and misplaced racism.

This happens at the media level because journalists have been aggressively following the political social engineering of our modern times and are very often concerned with being FIRST to the press about a story – even if that means having the story wrong. Influencers fall into the trap of wanting likes and to be first to get a story out as in many cases they are after growth and feeling righteous through their platform. Of course, this isn’t everyone, but it is certainly seen in our culture.

As I researched this story more I began to see a completely different truth. Thanks to citizen journalists who began digging for the truth and eventually found multiple FULL videos of the event in question, we saw what really happened. Instead of covering those fine details as I’d rather get into some deeper messages here, for those that don’t know what actually happened, please check out this video then come back and read. We have been lied to, and there is a very clear reason for it.

Social Engineering

I have been pointing out for over 2 years now, that slowly but surely fake news media and unconscious IG influencers are building racism and divide into people in a big way via one-sided or false stories. We’re seeing the fruit of years of that unconsciousness in today’s day and age.

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We have a very important rule here at Collective Evolution when it comes to reporting: when something hugely viral happens, wait a couple of days, the truth will begin to emerge. Report on it then.

This is because at CE we are concerned with truth. Not virality and drama. We are interested in how we can consciously and empathetically understand a story from a deeper level vs just making a ton of rash assumptions without thinking or seeing the full story. This is precisely what most people did when it comes to the story with the kid in the MAGA hat; we collectively made rash assumptions with no interest in seeking truth. Because we have been socially engineered to do so.

Here’s What We Learned

1. The media has no interest in telling you the truth.

They knowingly lied to the public, virally, without taking the time to perform some proper journalism. How is it that a publication (Us) with very limited resources knows to hold off and wait for more information on a story when the rich and powerful mainstream media runs with it, effectively lying and dividing the public? You can figure that one out yourself I’m sure.

2. We as a society can spread fake news FAST.

When we don’t take responsibility for our lives and our actions, which is the ONLY way to create a better world, we rely on the government and media to tell us what to do. Thus, we don’t research what they say enough, so we spread fake news as they are the main perpetrators of it.

3. We are not a nuanced culture that is concerned with empathetically understanding a situation.

Even if the story were true, and those kids approached and surrounded the elders, how does it makes sense to destroy the lives of those 15 and 16-year-old kids via public shaming? Why do we not ask these questions? Why do we not try to understand what really happened from both sides?

4. We have been socially engineered to hate and divide one another by race. The Elite’s divide and conquer plan is working.

The best way to win a war is to divide the enemy. Further, the best way to control a society and convince them they need to be governed by parents is to keep them lost and divided, so they cannot unite. this is precisely what is happening to us, and we’re playing into it.

5. We as a whole are not emotionally intelligent.

We talk about this constantly hear on CE. We MUST develop emotional intelligence if we want to get to the truth. When events like this occur and people move into outrage, they are not only showing a lack of emotional intelligence but they are blinding themselves from the truth. The elite thrives off of an emotionally engaged and emotionally uncontrolled population, it’s why they excite so much emotion at all times. Through emotionally intelligence comes empathy.

6. Many cultures and races are hateful and racist.

I personally don’t think racism is anywhere near as big a problem as many are making it out to be, again, divide and conquer. However, growing up in the multicultural city of Toronto and seeing what I see online today from all cultures, every culture has a small percentage of racism within it, not just white people as the narrative seems to want to promote. The question is, are we unknowingly growing that percentage?

7. Our outside world is giving us a chance to see if we like where extremism, race pride, race baiting and unconsciousness is taking us. Does it feel good? Is it helping?

As I pointed out in the red highlighted #7. These events serve as an opportunity for us to wake up. Wake up to the fact that we are purposefully being misled. We are being engineered to divide and hate each other by race via political agendas because when we are divided we can be controlled. We are also being deeply misled into forms of race pride that I believe are VERY destructive to the fabric of our society & world.

So I ask, do we want to play this game? Do we want to hate? Be on edge? Does it feel good? Is life getting better? It’s a time to step back and choose what game you want to play. Live from the heart? Or the mind?

Remember, this is less about seeking right and wrong, and more about asking the bigger question… are we headed down a helpful path here? Truly observe what our unconsciousness and fundamentalism in identities is creating. All you have to reflect on within yourself is if it feels good to you and if you wish to choose the continuation of this game. If we all make our choice, it either stops or continues. Don’t worry about others’ choice… Feel your own.

The Takeaway

This event reflects our current state of consciousness as a collective. Within it, we have so much opportunity to learn. See the emotions that come up, truly understand what you are feeling then let them go. From that state, have a look at this story again, the full story, what do you see now?

If we truly wish to solve the challenges at hand, we must become more emotionally intelligent, grounded, present and less identified with our physical world. take a step back, expand your consciousness, and have the courage to view our world from a neutral lens to understand truth.

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Consciousness

Supermoon Total Eclipse In Leo: Making Changes To Support Our Self-Expression

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We are having a Total Lunar Eclipse, commonly referred to as a ‘Blood Moon’, which will appear in its totality on the night of January 20th leading into morning of the 21st in the western world. It was also be a Supermoon which is when it appears larger due to its closer proximity to the Earth. The entire eclipse process from beginning to end will be visible from the Americas as well as parts of Northern Europe and parts of the European West Coast, including the UK.

It will also appear in totality throughout Western Europe, most of Central Europe, Western Africa, and parts of Russia. It will appear partially in the Middle East, Africa, parts of Russia, and the Northern half of Japan. It will peak at 5:16am Universal Time (12:16 EST), and will begin just over 2 hours prior. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

This Lunar Eclipse follows a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn that occurred on January 5th/6th and initiated this lunar cycle. The energies of each Eclipse generally plays out over the following 6 months and can begin up to 6 weeks prior. However, they are also part of a 2 year process in which the Lunar Nodes and other Eclipses are in the same signs.

This eclipse season has the energies of the Eclipse/Lunar Node process that began two years ago in the Leo/Aquarius axis and also the new process in the Cancer/Capricorn axis in which we have been transitioning into. This Blood Moon in Leo marks the final Eclipse of the Leo/Aquarius re-orientation, and it’s possible that the themes that play out in your life can be connected to something that has already been playing out.

Total Lunar Eclipse In Leo Opposite Sun in Aquarius & Mercury, Square Uranus

A Lunar Eclipse is a supercharged Full Moon which is when the Earth gets in the way of the Sun’s light and dims it during its climax. This reflects a furthering shift in our lives in relation to the Leo-Aquarius polarity.

Leo is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration from the heart. It is also associated with creativity, performing, passion, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals.  This sign is also associated with the ego and the eclipses that have been occurring here can help to facilitate changes in how we express our ego.

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Although Aquarius has individualistic qualities that it shares with Leo, it is also the sign of 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 also intellectual, progressive, and innovative. It can be aloof, overly objective, too scientific, dispassionate, impersonal, and detached.

This eclipse process over the last few years can reflect changes in how we apply both Leo and Aquarius qualities, and also how they correlate with each other. The focus is more about stepping into Leo energies in new ways, and changes on the Aquarian side to help support that. Both beginnings and endings around themes connected to both signs can occur.

Similarly to the Last Lunar Eclipse in the Summer, this one (along with Mercury) is in a square with Uranus on the Aries/Taurus cusp. Uranus here emphasizes change as well as the individualistic qualities of both of these signs, while also sharing other Aquarian themes as well.

Being in a square, it can also manifest in a challenging or strong way. It can be separative, rebellious, or disruptive. Perhaps sudden and unexpected things can play out, or bring instability to an area of our life. It can also be liberating and revolutionary for us. With Mercury here on the South Node, this could also indicate changing or releasing something connected to the way we think or communicate.

Venus Conjunct Jupiter, Square Neptune

Venus in Sagittarius is moving towards a conjunction with Jupiter, while they are both in a square with Neptune in Pisces and a trine with Mars in Aries. This energy can be expansive and fortunate socially, romantically, and for some people financially. Fun and pleasure can be connected to things like travel, education, or even spiritual and creative pursuits.

However, their can also be some confusion around these area as well. Being excessive around indulgences, pleasures, spending money, escapism, intoxication, or anything fantasy based can also be a theme. This energy is strongest from January 21st-22nd.

Mars Square Saturn & Trine Jupiter, Saturn Sextile Neptune

Mars is in a square with Saturn while moving towards a trine with Jupiter. Saturn is also in a sextile with Neptune. This can be a great energy for taking disciplined or structured action towards goals, aspirations, ideals, or anything that broadens our horizons.

Saturn pushes us to be realistic and cautious in how we take action while Jupiter reflects acting in an expansive way. Saturn can also bring some restrictions or obstacles which can help us change our course towards something more ideal. Much of these energies mentioned in this section are strong from January 20th-26th.

Mercury Approaching Superior Conjunction With Sun

Mercury joins the Sun on January 29th/30th in its ‘Superior Conjunction’ with the Sun. From our perspective on Earth, this is when Mercury is aligned with the Sun however it is on the other side of it. From this period onward, it is initiating its next phase in which it travels ahead of the Sun. We can have greater clarity regarding what has been building up or seeded since late November.

Our minds can be more aligned with our true needs and self-expression. Over the coming months, we can better implement our ideas and whatever we have been thinking about with greater confidence/direction in comparison to the previous two months.

To Consider During This Period

How can you better tap into your authentic self-expression? What inspires you and brings you joy? How can you bring more love into your life? What do need to change to make that happen? What do you want to create? Do you need to separate or liberate from something that is holding you back? How can you expand socially in way that is supportive of your authentic self? How can you make your ideals and dreams a reality? How do you feel during this eclipse period and what has been coming up for you?

These are just some examples of things to consider but not limited to them either. If you decide to use this energy to intentionally release something from your life, it is best to start that after the Moon begins to wane after the peak of the Full Moon, or even over the following two weeks.

The exact moment of the peak will be at 5:16am Universal Time on January 21st. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone. If the eclipse is visible in your location, remember that it begins approximately two hours before the peak and two hours following, and also depends on what time the Moon rises and sets in your location.

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

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

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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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

Some Tips To Help You Unwind Your Busy Monkey Mind

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many of us are unable to relax entirely, as we rush through our days with constant mental chatter and to-do lists on our minds. However, there are relaxing techniques that are easy to implement throughout the day to help us calm our “monkey minds."

  • Reflect On:

    Taking more time to be still, step away from the busyness of life, and learning to unwind helps us feel more grounded and less scattered — thus positively impacting all areas of our lives.

Most people believe relaxing activities are only done in the evenings, and should be grouped in categories, scheduled, or put in an evening “routine,” as if it’s simply another item to check off your “to-do” list.

The good news? You don’t have to wait until the evening to unwind and relax. In fact, you shouldn’t. You deserve to feel grounded in your center and a sense of peace all day, not for just a few hours at the end of your day. You shouldn’t have to, and you absolutely do not have to and mustn’t do so. It is time to do away with the philosophy that it is only safe to entertain the idea of relaxation at the very end of your day, after spending the large majority of your waking hours walking through the day scattered, stressed, anxious, drained, ungrounded and thrown about. You deserve more, and there’s a way to get there. There is a way to unwind that busy, chaotic monkey mind which owns most of your waking hours and is not aligned with your true nature, or the place deep within where stillness and serenity reside. 

Understandably, this may seem quite impossible once you’ve trained your body and mind to operate in a “go, go, go” mode without any sense of stillness.

The thing is though, you don’t have to take time off or become a monk … you can rest in stillness while doing the same things you’re currently doing — and an added bonus to the already amazing benefit of not living a frantic life is that everything you do will be of higher quality. I think you’ll find that all other aspects of life outside of work (relationships, health, etc.) will dramatically improve as a result.

So, here are some tips for unwinding that busy “monkey mind” not only in the evenings, but throughout the day too:

  • Start your day with a “mental dump.” Write out all the things you need to do in a notebook. This relieves a lot of stress, and by getting it all down on paper, you typically realize most of it is just mind made and you really only need to make one or two things your priorities. There is zero reason to even stress about the rest.
  • Every so often, ideally once an hour if you can, set aside as little as 3-5 minute blocks of times for stillness and silence throughout your day. Meditate or go outside and sit in nature or take a walk (which, of course, are also forms of meditation). This will help you return to your core and stay more rooted throughout the day. 
  • Engage in creative activity or “play”: Do something purely for the pleasure of doing it, do it just for fun, with no end goal in mind. An aside: unstructured time for “play” (an activity done purely for fun rather than to gain something from it), is said to be crucial to your creative process. So, if you’re an artist of any type and you’re feeling “blocked,” just keep this in mind. You might just need some unstructured time to enjoy whatever you feel like enjoying at any given moment without having to justify it.
  • Almost all articles on anxiety and insomnia suggest putting away all electronic devices or turning them off completely for the night. Though many of us may find this difficult given our heavy reliance on technology, it is crucial to shut your devices off before bed as they can reduce melatonin production.

If you have difficulty shutting your phone off entirely, you could try a few other remedies including using blue light filters on your devices, avoiding news outlets or anything that will get a rise out of you, and avoiding violent movies and shows before bed. 

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And if you read at night, there is one thing that has helped me immensely —only read fiction, or less stimulating material. Avoid books and magazines that make you want to be more productive, stimulate new ideas prompting your mind to do anything but unwind, and instead just enjoy some good old fiction. Although it’s important to read and educate ourselves, I’ve found that stimulating my brain with this content before bed can reduce my sleep quality. 

Meditation is, of course, the number one most suggested method for taming the monkey mind. However, sitting still for someone with a scattered brain can be difficult. One method to troubleshoot this and not feel like you have to discipline yourself to ‘meditate for 20 minutes straight in the lotus position’ is to just sit down, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. After all, you can do anything for 10 breaths, right?

The Takeaway

Whatever you do during your free time, savor the pleasure of the process rather than thinking of the end goal. In fact, who cares if you even reach the end goal? Who cares if you even have one? Let’s just go ahead and throw the whole idea of a goal in regards to this topic away … lest we wish to possibly defeat our purpose. 

What are your tips and life hacks for unwinding your monkey mind when it gets the best of you? 

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