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Man Awakens From Severe Vegetative State After 12 Years – “I Was Aware Of Everything”

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My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control, and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I’d become aware again. I was invisible – the ghost boy.”

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– Martin Pistorious

Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70s. His parents, Joan and Rodney Pistorius, explained how Martin insisted that he would one day be an “electric man,” as he was infatuated by any type of electronic equipment he could get his hands on.

But everything would change for the worse when Martin turned 12. Coming home from school one day, he told his parents that he was feeling sick. This wasn’t any normal flu, however, as Joan and Rodney watched their son begin to sleep for endless hours of the day, almost like a baby. Even worse, he wouldn’t eat, refusing anything they put in front of him.

Martin was tested for everything in the book, including Parkinson’s, TB, mineral deficiency, and more, yet everything came back negative.

As the months went on, Martin’s parents watched as their son slowly began to shut down — first his ability to move, then his ability to make eye contact, and finally his speech.

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“He progressively got worse, probably in the second year of his illness. He was sleeping whenever we didn’t wake him up. He was permanently lying down in the fetal position,” said Rodney in an interview with NPR.

Finally, a test came back positive. It was cryptococcal meningitis, something the doctors said meant there was no hope for Martin.

They were told that he was a vegetable, with no more intelligence. They were advised to take Martin home, to provide him with love until his death.

Trapped inside of his own body for a decade and thought to be severely brain-damaged, Martin Pistorius was actually fully aware the entire time. His story is one marked by abuse, neglect, love, and despair. An expert on what people do when they think no one is looking, Martin has become well versed in human nature and self-determination.

A Boy Who Wouldn’t Let Go

s1920x1080_martin-dad-19xx_custom-e7603bb3ae2a6545a67e4f02dc51548eadfa39cb-s400-c85Something in Martin held on for much longer than his prognosis had estimated.

Martin just kept going, just kept going,” said Joan.

The years continued to pass as Rodney and Joan cared for their helpless son. They dressed him, fed him, bathed him, and dropped him off each day at the special care facility he was enrolled at.

My alarm was set for every two hours so that I could wake up to turn him, so that he wouldn’t get bed sores,” said Joan.

This exhausting cycle continued for another 10 years, literally taking everything from Joan and Rodney. Joan told NPR that she eventually came to a point where she said to Martin, “I hope you die.

“I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of relief. . . . In my mind he’d already died.”

 A Nurse Who Believed in the Soul Inside Martin

By the time Martin was in his mid-20s, something slowly began to shift. Martin was now able to squeeze someone’s hand, a remarkable advancement considering his history. Furthermore, he was getting better at holding himself upright in his wheelchair.

However, the doctors insisted that Martin still had the mind of a 3-year-old. But one nurse, named Verna, was convinced something more was there.

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This 1987 photo is the last one to show the family before Martin fell ill. He is at the right. Courtesy of Martin Pistorius

She eventually convinced Joan and Rodney to get another evaluation done elsewhere. Martin was given a test where he had to identify different objects by pointing at them with his eyes. Surprisingly to many, he passed; not with flying colours, but he passed nevertheless.

I then gave up my job,” said Joan.

Joan dedicated the next year to teaching Martin how to use a special joystick for the computer, for four hours every morning, until he finally got it.

Once he did, everything would change. Martin was now able to select words using his stick.

“I am cold. I am hungry. I want toast.” These were his first bits of communication. Soon after, other things began to return to him.

He started moving his eyes and moving his head and almost nodding, asking for coffee by stirring his hands around and things like that.”

A Horrifying Realization — Martin’s Perspective

For 8 of the 12 years he was diagnosed, Martin was invisible. From the outside, he s1920x1080_martin-199x-4_custom-772c052f23f1615f33cc52799f0c2bc2f2cbb1f3-s800-c85was unresponsive, a vegetable. But deep inside, Martin said he was aware of everything.

I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up.”

Martin described the initial process:

“I suppose a good way to describe it is like an out-of-focus image. At first you have no idea what it is, but slowly it comes into focus until you can see it in crystal clarity.”

Somewhere along this process, Martin soon realized his immobility.

I stared at my arm, willing it to move. Every bit of me condensed into that moment.”

Martin recalled a moment when his father was helping him undress, and how badly Martin was trying to communicate, but nothing in his body would obey.

Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present againThe stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that – totally alone.”

Martin revealed how he spent countless hours wallowing in self-defeat: “You will never get out. You are pathetic, powerless, totally alone.”

Was this really how he was to spend the rest of his days alive?

An Unlikely Inspiration Changes Martin’s Thoughts

Martin had fully let go of hope, but as he explains, occasionally there were unlikely sparks of inspiration.

‘You can always count on having a fun day when you spend it with the people you love,‘ said Barney, the fictitious children’s show icon. Martin was constantly forced to watch Barney, a show he now admits he thoroughly despised. He used the show, along with the movement of the sun, to figure out the time of day.

This was his first semblance of control. Simply knowing where he was in the day gave him the sense of being able to climb through it. He realized his thoughts could help him.

I’d have conversations with myself and other people in my head.”

Reengaging with his thoughts transformed his world, and slowly, life began to have purpose.

This also sometimes meant pain for Martin, such as when he heard his mother say to him, “I hope you die.”

But as time passed, he gradually learned to understand his mother’s desperation. He realized that it came from profound love for him.

She could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” Martin said.

Amazingly, this made him feel even closer to his mother.

It wasn’t long after this when Martin’s nurse, Verna, saw the soul trapped inside Martin, and insisted on getting him more help. This, as previously explained, was the beginning of an inspiring new chapter for Martin.

College Graduate, Business Man, and Husband: Martin Today

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Martin Pistorius today with his wife Joanna. Picture credit: The Daily Mail UK

By leaning into those dark thoughts, Martin gained a self-understanding and humour about the human condition that allowed him to attain so much more than he had ever imagined for himself.

Progressing through various levels of improvement, he eventually scored himself a job filing papers at a local office, then moved on to fixing computers, creating a web design business, and earning a computer science degree. He even met a beautiful and loving wife named Joanna (pictured above), whom he met through his sister.

I turned around, and it was just this guy with this big smile. And it’s such a warm personality. . . . OK, well, he’s in a wheelchair, and he doesn’t speak. But I love this guy. He’s amazing. It just so quickly turned into love,” said Joanna.

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Although his success may seem simplified by this article, we cannot forget the amount of dedication and hard work it took for both Martin and his loved ones to get him to where he is today.

Martin’s story is indeed one filled with many mixed emotions — sadness, empathy, fear, agony, inspiration — yet it stands as an incredible testament to human willpower.

For more on Martin’s story, be sure to check out his incredible personal account of his journey in his new book, Ghost Boy.

What are your thoughts on Martin’s story? Share with us in the comment section below!

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‘Google Brain’ Implants Will Allow Access To All Information Instantaneously

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    AI technology is advancing at an extremely rapid rate. It will surpass human intelligence.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be wary of this technology and what it could potentially mean to the human species as we know it? Should we have a say in laws regarding the responsible use of AI?

As the lines between the use of technology and doing anything manually become increasingly blurred, the general public and policy makers don’t have time to consider the potential implications of too much technology, or more alarmingly, the merging of humans with AI. It’s like all of those great sci-fi movies are coming to life, right before our eyes. Some, especially those who are developing AI, are more optimistic, like Nikolas Kairinos, founder and CEO of Fountech.ai, who believes that this technology could improve our lives and completely change how we learn.

Who Needs School If Our Brains Are Computers Anyways?

During an interview with the Daily Star, Kairinos explained that he has been working on a game-changing AI to “personalize education” claiming “anyone can learn almost anything using AI.”

He believes that within the next 20 years our brainpower will be boosted with AI implants so you “won’t have to memorize anything.” Apparently, according to Kairinos, people won’t even have to bother typing any questions, as the moment the question comes to mind it will be answered via an AI implant. He believes this will result in the end of what he calls “parrot fashion” learning at schools.

While the current educational system could definitely use some work, should we be eliminating the process of learning altogether just because a chip can do it for us?

According to Fountech’s website: “For someone who doesn’t have an in-depth understanding of technology, AI may seem like an alien concept.”

“Yet, the basic crux of the term is simple – namely the ability of a computer or machine to think, learn and imitate intelligent human behavior.”

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“When it comes to AI in learning, we are only just scratching the surface… we shouldn’t think that tailored learning through AI is something that we won’t see for decades.”

Instant Artificial Learning, Should We Be Wary?

You know that famous movie that captivated the world, The Matrix? Well, just in case you’re not familiar with it, here is the synopsis:

Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix.

Many of today’s popular researchers have claimed that The Matrix is actually more like a documentary than a movie as there is so much symbolism and so many metaphors embedded within the film that pertain to our current reality as we know it.

So, when we look at AI and how it is able to self-learn, shouldn’t we all at least be wary of it? There should be regulations on such technology before it’s too late… If it isn’t already. Sure, we can’t just assume that AI is innately evil or has bad intentions or plans to takeover humanity, but if it does surpasses natural human intelligence, how can we know what it will be capable of or what it could potentially try to do?

Even Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed his concerns over the rapid advancement of AI technology in a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

To Those Who Want The Latest & Greatest

I am aware that many people will brush off these concerns and say, you are ridiculous this will never happen, or have you been watching too many sci-fi movies? Or this is just the natural advancement of the human race, get with the times. Many consumers are always after the latest and greatest gadget, people marvel at the incredibly rapid development of new technology. And, yes! It absolutely has and will continue to benefit our lives in many ways. But what happens when it advances us?

I was working for a tech company a few years ago and was having a conversation with one of the founders who was telling me about the concept of this very thing–an implantable chip that will give instant access to all of the information in the world.

I said, “I will never get that.”

He replied, “So, what will you do when we are all sitting here having a super intelligent, advanced conversation and you have nothing to add?”

And this, my friends, is how they will get you!

Implementation of tech into our lives has evolved extremely rapidly–just look at our reliance on computers, then the Internet, and now smartphones. Next up is wearable tech including smart watches and fitbits, and then it will be implants. The merging of (wo)man with AI. These things happen so swiftly and are marketed to be huge advancements to us. We should at the very least be asking these important questions.

Much Love

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Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Leaders from Iceland, Scotland and New Zealand join forces to prioritize a new agenda for the well-being of the citizens of these nations.

  • Reflect On:

    For decades, most developed nations of the world have been focused solely on GDP and economic growth, but what about the well-being of the citizens?

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir is now urging governments to prioritize sustainability and family time over obsessing about economic growth — as most developed nations seem to do.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeion and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have teamed up with Iceland’s PM to promote an agenda focused on “well-being.” Jakobsdottir has called for “an alternative future based on well-being and inclusive growth.”

She feels that new social indicators are needed outside of the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

It’s About Time

You’d think that the overall well-being of a nation, extreme regard to protecting the environment, and working towards global sustainability would be the top priorities for all nations of the Earth. However, for the most part, it is all about the economy: how can we support the economy, how can we grow the economy, how can we protect the economy? I love the following Cree Indian proverb, it fits nicely here:

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

It’s about time someone started standing up for the people and the planet, and this stance is sure to turn some heads.

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 Prioritizing Mental Health

Back In August, Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland made a plea during a TED Talk for modern economies to consider mental health, childcare, parental leave and green energy.

  

“Iceland uses more antidepressants than neighboring countries,” she said. “We need to strengthen prevention [of depression], through sports and the arts.”

This is an amazing initiative put forth by leaders of these nations to do whatever it takes to support the citizens who are struggling with mental health disorders, particularly depression. They are able to see that the most important thing is not economic growth, because what difference does that make if so many people are unhappy?

She said the “well-being” initiative promoted by herself, Ms. Sturgeon and Ms. Ardern should not be seen as a gender-based backlash against populism.

“It’s very important to have all genders at the table – it affects the way you think, and then different decisions are made,” she told BBC.

Female Force?

It is interesting that the three members of this initiative are all women, and of course that fact alone will certainly turn some heads. However, this doesn’t take away from the legitimacy of their purposed agenda.

Perhaps the more nurturing side of women is what is bringing this all to the table, or just the knowledge that what we have been doing for so long is simply not working anymore. It’s time to prioritize what’s really important for each nation — the well-being of the citizens. Perhaps, if people are happier and feel more supported, they will be able to contribute more to their society, which in turn could very well increase GDP. Might as well give it a shot as we’ve got nothing left to lose at this point!

Now, let’s see if other nations’ leaders (Trump, Trudeau, ahem..) will follow suit and prioritize what’s really important.

Much Love

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‘Julian Assange Could Die in Prison Without Urgent Medical Care’ – More Than 60 Doctors Warn

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    More than 60 doctors have expressed their concern that Julian Assange may die in prison, and that he is in need of urgent care.

  • Reflect On:

    Never before have we seen the massive censorship of information, combine with the massive awakening of humanity. Our collective perception of the what's happening on our world

‘National Security’ has become an umbrella term to keep information ‘classified’ not truly for national security purposes, but rather to conceal information that threatens elitist agenda’s, be it corporate, political, or financial. Usually, they’re all intertwined. President Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex” and the dangers it poses, after him John F. Kennedy warned us that “there is a very grave danger than an announced need for an increased need for security, will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment.” Today, secrecy is out of hand, and it’s the backbone of un-just, immoral, and inhumane actions taken by not only the American empire and the Deep State, but by powerful global elitists as well.

This is exactly why Julian Assange is where he is now, because he was publishing secrets that had no justification for concealment, secrets that show how war, terrorism, and other actions by powerful people were undertaken for other reasons, and not those (reasons) that are commonly given in the form of mainstream media. One example would be the funding and arming and in some cases, creation of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda by agencies like the CIA in order to help destabilize countries in the Middle East so the United Stats could justify an intervention, supposedly to bring ‘democracy’ and ‘restore peace’ to those countries. This type of thing is well known, which is why current democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced the ‘Stop Arming Terrorist Act,’  a proposed act that would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government.

Julian Assange exposed nothing but lies and deception, and it’s truly a crime that he is not a free man, but this is the type of world we live in. A world where activists and journalists like Assange are silenced, a world where alternative independent media out lets like Collective Evolution are extremely censored and demonetized.

We are living in an ‘Orwellian’ type of time, where there is a ‘ministry of truth’ that claims to be ‘fact checking’ information when really, these organizations seem to simply be ridiculing credible information that is full of evidence and legitimate sources, simply for the purposes of, again, threatening powerful people.

Assange is a hero in this field, and those who make big leaps with regards to exposing such corruption are often vilified. Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski writes in an article posted at Lew Rockwell’s website that Julian Assange is receiving the same treatment as suspected terrorists while in captivity at “Her Majesty’s Prison Service” at Belmarsh, stating that he’s probably being tortured with psychotropic drugs.

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The FBI, Pentagon, and CIA are “interviewing” Assange. Kwiatkowski writes:

Interviewing is the wrong word.  I’d like to say doctoring him, because it would be more accurate, except that word implies some care for a positive outcome.  Chemical Gina has her hands in this one, and we are being told that Assange is being “treated” with 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, known as BZ. 

Not long ago, John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, gave an interview to the Strategic Culture Foundation sharing the latest on Julian Assange and how he’s being treated, claiming that “they are murdering my son.” You can read that interview interview here.

Assange is a man who clearly knows a lot, and has information that probably goes well beyond what’s already been divulged by Wikileaks. The treatment of him and everything he is going through is horrific and heart-breaking, but not surprising. It’s truly jaw dropping and un-fathomable how such treatment and even such an arrest can in anyway be justified within the minds of anybody. And it goes to show how powerful people are capable of doing anything they want, no matter how immoral and illegal.

An article recently published in The Independent  written by Henry Vaughan states:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could die in prison without urgent medical care, according to an open letter signed by more than 60 doctors. The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka express “serious concerns” about 48-year-old Assange’s fitness to stand trial in the letter addressed to Priti Patel, the home secretary.He is being held in Belmarsh prison, in south-east London, ahead of a hearing in February to fight extradition to the US, where he faces 18 charges, including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Assange is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.The doctors are calling for Assange to be transferred to a university teaching hospital, where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team.

The letter, which has also been copied to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, says: “From a medical point of view, on the evidence currently available, we have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020. Most importantly, it is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health. Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care). Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”

Doctors are warning if action isn’t taken that Julian Assange may actually die.

Below is a tweet from Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker John Pilger, who made comments last month that shed some light on how Assange is being treated.

The Takeaway

What you read here is no surprise, for a long time Julian Assange was allowed no visitors, and now, it’s quite clear why. Those who have had access to visits have made it quite clear that he is in very poor health. It’s unbelievable how the powers that be can simply do as they please, illegally, with no consequence, and their power lies within the human population and in those who have been subjected to perception manipulation, believing that Julian Assange should actually be locked up and done away with.

A great quote by Edward Bernays, who was known as the father of public relations, comes to mind here:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. (source)

The ability for this powerful group to manipulate our minds is clearly fading, and Julian Assange has been a big part of that, but we still have a lot of work to do.

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