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Losing Your Mind To Find It

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Before the rain stops we can hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth.  – Shunryu Suzuki

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There & Back Again

When my wife and I were first married, we spent a summer on Madeira Island with her family. They lived three hours from the airport in a small, poor farming village, high up in the mountains. After a hair raising 3 hour taxi ride on winding, narrow mountain roads with drops of 1,000 feet or more, we arrived at the family home. I noticed quickly that there were no phones, no TVs or radios, no refrigeration, and only sporadic electricity. There was one road in and the same road out.

In my time there, I discovered many interesting things about the skills and attitudes of the villagers. One characteristic in particular has stayed with me all these years. The shortcut to the center of town was a narrow, single file path along the side of a ridge with a drop of about twenty feet to the ravine below. In pitch darkness, townspeople could travel barefoot along this path at high speed, with no flashlights and without hesitation. No one, including the older folk, seemed to fall or fear the trek. It was as if they could see in the dark. My attempts to do this myself were met with polite smiles and giggles as I stumbled and demanded a flashlight. They couldn’t quite grasp what my problem was.

Madeira 3Three weeks into our stay, we were visiting relatives higher up the mountain. We stayed longer than anticipated and had to start down the mountain in the pitch dark. There was no road, only a primitive path with crevices, holes and boulders jutting into the path. It was a steep descent. As we started down, I could feel the fear of falling and being injured growing. In spite of that, I was moving faster and faster down the mountain. And then it happened. It was as if one part of my mind turned off and another turned on. I began to run. Incredibly, it all seemed to be in slow motion. I could see every crevice, every stone along the path. I neither tripped nor stumbled during the entire descent. Some part of me knew where to step. I leaped over crevices, dodged boulders and all at top speed. I saw the world in a totally new way; somehow I was aware of everything around me despite the darkness. My mind was clear, focused and in command. But it was not my conscious, everyday mind. There were no words or concepts, only awareness. It was what I have come to call the Instinctual Mind. A mind in which the world appears seamless and our senses fully integrated. But more of that later.  Let me get back to the story.

Upon arriving at the relative’s home, we partook of the obligatory homemade Madeiran wine and crackers while sitting for hours talking about the farm, the children and past experiences. There was little food to share but the Portuguese hospitality was magnificent. My mind was placid and content in the here and now, primed for a new experience.

Years later, after a career at the university and in private psychotherapy practice marked with the stresses of incessant multitasking, sitting for hours at computers, and driving in massive traffic jams, I began to jealously reflect on the extraordinary skill of the Madeirans.  How could we be so different?  Was their ability to use the Instinctual Mind inherently human but lost to us through some social or mental atrophy? Could regaining this ability contribute a clarity and focus to life that seemed long lost in my fast paced, technology dominated world? I couldn’t help but wonder if the ability of the Madeirans to harness the Instinctual Mind could in some way rekindle a sense of place, a deeper awareness of my surroundings, of purpose and a greater sensuality. I began to look into ways, some common, some not so common that could contribute to awakening that other mind that seemed so hidden and elusive.

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Hiking the Mountain

It may be helpful to look at hiking the mountain as a way of awakening the Instinctual Mind. If you have ever gone hiking, you know that it takes some preparation. You need supplies and proper clothing and a sense of direction. For me the preparation for ascending the mountain was three weeks of being free of all technology or knowledge of the world. Only the simple facts of everyday life were real. Once on the path upward, you need water, food and proper shoes so the journey can be completed. For us the hike up was hot and demanding. We had to negotiate the crevices, holes and boulders. All of this to reach our goal.

Many believe once you reach your goal at the summit the journey is over. You see the sky and the vistas. But for me reaching the top was only the prelude to the descent. Sometimes what we think is the goal is only the gateway to something more.  It was the descent that shattered my mind and opened it to a new dimension. Each of us must find the path and journey that suits us. For some it may be the climb up or reaching the peak. For others it will be the journey down. The only way to know is to start preparing and taking the first steps along the way.

Awakening the Instinctual Mind is allowing what is already in you its full expression. You are not adding something new to yourself. This awakening can bring changes in your relationships, worldview and health. Instinctual Mind is a mind of compassion and healing. But those are stories for another day.

Beginning The Climb

Here are a few ways to begin preparing for the climb:

  • Make a decision to free yourself, temporarily, from your cell phone and IPad or all technology for that matter. You might choose one hour a day so you can sit without the devices. Wean yourself from the constant clatter. Start to become accustomed to sitting, speaking to family, friends and colleagues without technical interruptions. You can expand this time as you grow stronger.
  • Limit your time listening to the news. All the calamities of the world will still be there when you get back. Cut the ties to 24 hour cable network news. Re-traumatizing yourself all day long is unhealthy and destroys composure.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Relaxing is a good preparation to stilling your everyday mind that chatters on and on.
  • Go hiking, take up Tai Chi. These practices allow you to put aside the ordinary mind. Being in nature can be very helpful in the journey.
  • Start a meditation practice. There are many forms of meditation. Choose one that suits your temperament. Sitting is a path to awakening. Meditation is a way of scratching away at all the obstacles to knowing and giving expression to our true mind.
  • Find a teacher, group or someone you trust who can help you along the way.

Tools for the Hike

Ram Das: https://www.ramdass.org/

Original Mind: http://www.originalmindbrilliance.com/

Centering Prayer: http://www.centeringprayer.com/

Beginner’s Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOVusLqXmk

Go Wild: http://www.johnratey.com/Books.php

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Consciousness

Stanislav Grof On The Healing Potential Of Non-Ordinary States Of Consciousness

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many believe that Non-Ordinary states of consciousness have the capacity to heal those who are suffering. These states of consciousness can be accessed in a number of ways.

  • Reflect On:

    In most culture, except in western industrial society, these states are revered with high regard. How often do you practice exploring different states of consciousness through meditation or breathwork?

Stanislav Grof is a psychiatrist with over 60 years of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Non-ordinary meaning something that is different from your typical waking consciousness and according to Grof, these states can be reached with the use of psychedelic substances, trance-inducing states or Holotropic Breathwork.

All of which can trigger an experience that has the potential to unlock a new level of insight and awareness into one’s own consciousness.

Grof’s early research in the clinical uses of psychedelic substances was conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, this research focused on the healing potential of LSD and other psychedelic substances. In 1969, Grof became Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the John Hopkins University and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Catonsville, MD.

As Grof says in the video below, “The Western industrial civilization is the only group in the entire human history that doesn’t hold non-ordinary states in great esteem and doesn’t have any use for them, actually has pathologized them. Every other culture has spent a lot of time and a lot of energy trying to develop ways of inducing non-ordinary states.”

Why Are We Disconnected From These States Of Consciousness?

One might wonder why this westernized society seems to be so disconnected from understanding the potential that unlocking these non-ordinary states can hold, but regardless of how this system is designed, many are finding ways to experience these states. We explore them by taking plant medicines such as ayahuasca, listening to trance-inducing music, participating in drum circles, going into sweat lodges, holotropic breathwork and many other modalities that we indeed have access to.

It would seem that regardless of what the status quo is in this westernized version of the world there is something that resides deep within us that seeks out these non-ordinary states in order to get outside of ourselves and have a new experience, that which can bring new levels of insight and awareness to anyone who is willing to try one or more of these states out for themselves.

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But what is it about these states of consciousness that can cause such great healing for so many people? There are many theories about this, but we have seen a ton of research from the John Hopkins University and organizations such as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) that proves that this healing capacity is real. From treating anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, and deep-rooted trauma, it is clear to see that these substances do have the capacity to heal a variety of different ailments.

Grof is an expert in this realm, and in the following video interview, he shares exactly why he feels that there is great healing potential in the Non-Ordinary States of consciousness, check it out.

Much Love

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So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

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Alternative News

Elon Musk And Over 2400 AI Scientists Sign Pledge Against Killer Robots

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    More than 2,400 AI scientists and researchers have signed a pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).

  • Reflect On:

    Are we as individuals, working together on shared concerns for all humans on the planet, starting to see the power we have to effect positive change?

It is not an uncommon story in the history of science and technology: the most brilliant and innovative minds of their time discover, create, and invent technologies that can have hugely positive benefits for mankind as a whole. Inevitably, the largest and wealthiest ‘consumer’ of such technologies is the Military-Industrial Complex, and the main ways these technologies are produced in our world are as tools of control, warfare, and human suffering.

In earlier times scientists and inventors didn’t have much say in how their work was used, and could often be persuaded that their use in military applications was actually for the benefit of humankind. Today, those naive days are gone, and the landscape is different. Some of the most prominent minds that are creating advanced technologies are starting to speak out more and more about how their work is being used in the world.

More Than 2400 Signatories

Elon Musk of SpaceX and Demis Hassabis at Google DeepMind are among more than 2,400 signatories to the pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems, also known as LAWS. The signatories are scientists who specialize in artificial intelligence, (AI) and have declared that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of robots that can identify and attack people without human oversight. The pledge was created by the Future of Life Institute:

LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS PLEDGE

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems. There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.

In this light, we the undersigned agree that the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine. There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others – or nobody – will be culpable. There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual. Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability, and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems. Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons have characteristics quite different from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unilateral actions of a single group could too easily spark an arms race that the international community lacks the technical tools and global governance systems to manage. Stigmatizing and preventing such an arms race should be a high priority for national and global security.

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We, the undersigned, call upon governments and government leaders to create a future with strong international norms, regulations and laws against lethal autonomous weapons. These currently being absent, we opt to hold ourselves to a high standard: we will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons. We ask that technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers, and other individuals, join us in this pledge.

The Power Of Public Shaming

The pledge hopes to amount to more than just words. In calling on countries to legislate laws, technology companies to not accept contracts, and individuals to voice their support against lethal autonomous weapons, they hope to sway public opinion overwhelmingly against LAWS, and in doing so shame any person or group who would go ahead with its development. There is some precedent for this approach working, according to Yoshua Bengio, an AI pioneer at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms:

This approach actually worked for land mines, thanks to international treaties and public shaming, even though major countries like the US did not sign the treaty banning landmines. American companies have stopped building landmines.

The timing of this pledge is crucial. The military is one of the largest funders and adopters of AI technology. With advanced computer systems, robots can fly missions over hostile terrain, navigate on the ground, and patrol under seas. More sophisticated weapon systems are in the pipeline. Toby Walsh, a professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who signed the pledge, had this to say about it:

We need to make it the international norm that autonomous weapons are not acceptable. A human must always be in the loop.

We cannot stop a determined person from building autonomous weapons, just as we cannot stop a determined person from building a chemical weapon. But if we don’t want rogue states or terrorists to have easy access to autonomous weapons, we must ensure they are not sold openly by arms companies.

Collective Consciousness Rising

This pledge is but one example of how people are implicating themselves in the future of the planet. No longer are we waiting on the sidelines and leaving decisions up to corporations, the military, or our political leaders. When we identify ourselves not as a race, culture or nation but as a planet, where all of humankind is considered part of the family, then we get to have greater access to the power of our collective consciousness. Once we harness that power, no initiative that is for the benefit of humanity is beyond our abilities.

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So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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Alternative News

The Flying Humanoid Phenomena Of Mexico

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There have been multiple reports over the years of bizarre activity in the skies of Mexico. People have claimed to be seeing flying humanoids in the sky. Though not fully verified as to what onlookers have seen, it is clear what they believe.

  • Reflect On:

    Experiences & stories such as this bring us to the question most of us have heard before, 'Are we alone?' What is the true nature of our reality? More importantly, what could this mean for us as a collective, as humanity?

Throughout time in mainstream media and the entertainment industry we have been programmed to see beings outside of human as dangerous, and for the most part there is a good chunk of fear-based propaganda to remind us of the potential danger if we were to encounter a visit.

Though new films and shows have been coming forth with a different perspective & narrative and new space forces are being declared, it is interesting to question the why. Stories of otherworldly visitors have been spread for centuries, and it is time we closely examine them with an open mind.

In this specific instance, an officer driving his patrol car in Mexico has seen a dark shape that he verified was, in fact, a “flying humanoid entity” which he described looked like a floating old woman, dressed in all black with dark skin and eyes that were “just black sockets, without eyelids.”

This startling apparition then apparently flew over to hover right in front of the vehicle and the stunned occupant within. He could see it better at this time, and noted that it was a hideous old woman that “resembled a witch.” Apparently annoyed by the car’s high beams, the witch then reportedly covered her face with some sort of cloak and then flew right into the vehicle’s windshield, causing the dumbfounded officer to go speeding back in reverse. He would explain the terrifying events like this:

As soon as I realized it was a kind of woman being, or a witch, very strange standing there trying to cover her face, she threw herself against my car very fast, falling on the car and hitting the windshield. She was flying very fast and it took only a second to hit the windshield glass. I was so shocked by this action that I put the car in reverse and pushed the accelerator trying to get away while requesting backup assistance by radio.

It was a woman with big black eyes, everything was black, no eyelids. Her skin was dark brown and her expression was horrible. She was furiously trying to get me with her claws while I was running away in reverse calling desperately for backup assistance to any units around.

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If you would like to read more about why humanity is seemingly ‘obsessed’ with the ET phenomena at this time, please read more here and watch our latest video to dive deeper into the subject matter.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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