In most modern conventional belief the notion of a “Soul,” if considered at all, is seen as a timeless nonmaterial property of a human being. New Age thinking generally talks about the soul expressing or manifesting throughout one’s life, and then one returning to an ethereal soul state upon death.
In this context no effort is required or sought and everything simply happens at it should—“everything happens for a reason.” This is often tied to Eastern concepts of great cycles and it is thought that simple acceptance of “what is” is sufficient for a life well lived.
Then the more motivationally minded of New Age philosophers tend to suggest that “alignment” with the needs of a soul will lead to greater achievement, but in modern material terms. Books like “The Secret” provide a roadmap for “success” in worldly terms based on a belief that there is a Soul (or sole?) purpose that leads to abundance – but this abundance is generally seen in terms of productivity or material success.
The ultimate emptiness of these notions often leads seekers to despair. Even when they discover the illusion of the ego and a sense of being “no one” this can seem like an absurd end to a random and meaningless existence.
As the only child of a man born in 1900 and a woman who endured torture and deprivation, these various questions have dogged me.
Jacob Needleman, a student of this Work and prolific philosopher and author, has provided me with many insights; one of the most significant is the real meaning of “freedom.” In his book “The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders,” he directly addresses the modern notion of freedom; that is, doing whatever you please or fancy, by dispelling the notion that this is the freedom our founding fathers intended.
Rather, Needleman points out, many of the framers of the Constitution were Deists – with a profound belief in an impersonal God or higher power – and freedom to them meant living in alignment with His natural laws.
Indeed if you read the writings of Whitman and Emerson you might think you were reading Alan Watts in terms of seeing through many conditioned beliefs and arriving at some sort of “nothingness.”
But these thinkers went further; they felt a connection to a generational imperative to “perfect the soul” according to their intuitive intentions. A great deal of this work was done in silence, as evidenced by Thoreau’s time at Walden.
Gurdjieff’s teaching talks about different kinds of “food” that are essential for the care and growth of a soul that can develop. Food in this case is not just nutrients but also the oxygen and other elements of what is breathed in and out as “air” and perhaps most significant, the “impressions” that we take in.
This of course is significant in terms of our susceptibility to suggestion – so that we can see the result of the “impressions” taken in by our current culture through the powerful mass media. Advertisers and corporations are obviously using the power of impressions to sexualize or otherwise empower their messages that seem benign, but are created for their own purposes and not, of course, for the masses.
Impressions in this sense are not purely mental; and so it is that even modern psychology and neuroscience have discovered different “brains” in the gut, the heart, and perhaps even the skin. Impressions are also intentional; with the beginnings of awareness, some deep intuitive sense may inform one which to seek out and which to avoid.
One of my own deepest impressions came when I visited the pyramids. The sheer FACT of their existence and SCALE impressed upon me the immense intelligence that was at the heart of their creation and construction, and which I could only dimly sense and appreciate.
My own search has been greatly influenced by both my parents, to whom I was and continue to feel deeply connected. My father attributed his survival during World War II to his faith in a Jewish God; my mother, due to her horrific experiences, lost her faith entirely. But even now when I sense myself not living up to their standards a deeply conditioned sense of shame and revulsion can overcome me.
But what is it that they or Life itself asks of me? At one time I embraced the cultural norms and sought fame and wealth, and creature comforts still have a great appeal.
But what I truly yearn for is a sense of truth and connection that resonates with more traditional notions of family, community, and transcendence (remember that Emerson et al. were known as “Transcendentalists”).
Such a connection, when felt, “transcends” time, space, and language.
A huge element of all of these teachings is a recognition of the poverty of purely intellectual or mental truth – which is of course the basis of our scientific age. Explanations and theories which are simply labels suffice to many for what might be a deeper understanding; calling some conceptual theory of a great cosmic beginning the “Big Bang” is enough.
But the Deists and other deeper thinkers suggest that a connection beyond the intellect – to sensation, emotion, and indeed “being,” is the source for real truth, and this truth is lived experience moment to moment – it is literally the tapestry which one weaves through one’s unique life.
So what we do – in terms of sacred obligations – matters.
So it was that I became interested and was privileged to view a pilgrimage by Gurdjieff’s biographer — whose book I reviewed some time ago (“Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – The Man, The Teaching, His Mission”) — William Patrick Patterson.
Not a book but a feature length DVD/film project, Mr. Gurdjieff’s Father’s Grave by William Patrick Patterson is a profoundly evocative journey through the geography of Gurdjieff’s amazing life, but also into his inner landscape.
Gurdjieff was about finding and living a vow – one’s sacred obligation. His intended purpose was to merge the teachings of East and West and to bring them to modernity, and to account for the “sense and significance of organic life, and human life in particular.” He sought to use the scientific “methods” of the west to elucidate and crystallize the mysteries of the east. And he paid a heavy price.
In his own book, Meetings with Remarkable Men, Gurdjieff wrote:
“Owing to the circumstances of my life not dependent on me, I have not personally seen the grave where the body of my dear father lies. . . . I therefore, bid any of my sons, whether by blood or in spirit, to seek out, when he has the possibility, this solitary grave.”
So that William Patrick Patterson’s DVD follows his 21-day pilgrimage to visit Mr. Gurdjieff’s father’s grave in Gyumri, Armenia. Travelling backward in time, he revisited Gurdjieff’s life and, without “spoiling” the climax, he honors and restores the grave site of Gurdjieff’s father.
In this way Patterson demonstrates a deeply held conviction and dedication not only to his teacher, and fellow pupils, but he actually weaves a thread that modern seekers and students can follow to get a taste of traditions and ways of being that are threatened with extinction. The film covers:
– Gurdjieff’s grave and the Prieuré in Avon, France
– Kumbaraci and Yemenici streets in Istanbul, where Gurdjieff and his students lived
– Prinkipo Island on the Sea of Marmara, where Gurdjieff often visited P. D. Uspenskii (Ouspensky)
– Tiflis, where Gurdjieff opened his Institute at 22 Nikolas Street and first named it the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man
– Kars, Gurdjieff’s home in the medieval quarter and the Kars Military Cathedral where he sang in the choir
– Ani, the ancient city where the Sarmoung manuscript was discovered
– Sanahin Monastery, Armenia, where Gurdjieff served as an acolyte
– Gyumri, Armenia, where Gurdjieff was born in the Greek Quarter at 222 Matnishyan Street
– Gyumri’s Old Cemetery and Mr. Gurdjieff’s father’s grave
This DVD is not a light and “positive” story; rather it is a heartfelt and deeply passionate tribute to an entire career and teaching, undertaken as lived experience. Watching it provides a brief and tiny glimmer into a sense of tradition, honour, and sacred obligation that is difficult to find in modern times.
How Collective Consciousness Can Change The Entire Human Experience
- The Facts:
Science has demonstrated that there is an energy field that connects us all, and that at its core, all matter is consciousness. Collective Consciousness plays a huge role in how our world functions.
- Reflect On:
What do you believe is possible for yourself and for humanity? Do you feel we are capable of creating a world where we can thrive? Do you find yourself thinking humans are not capable of much? These beliefs affect the world around us deeply.
Want to see change in the world? We have to change collective consciousness. And in order to do that, we must change ourselves.
This has been the core message of Collective Evolution since our humble beginnings in 2009. Why? Because collective consciousness is something at the centre, or core, of what connects all of us. In post material science we are beginning to understand that we are not entirely just a brain inside a body, and that consciousness is who we truly are. Beyond that, consciousness is also at the crux of everything.
We sit at an interesting time in our history where the need and desire to change our world has become something almost all of us feel. Whether we witness the apparent chaos of daily life, the turmoil that happens in areas around the world, or whether we witness the challenges in our own life, we feel this need for change. Deep down, something about the human experience, as it is, seems outdated and almost stale.
We’ve grown tired of suffering, pain, war, poverty, doing the same thing over and over again. We want to experience something new, rich and deep. This is showing up in political activism, the search for who we are beyond our identities, the search for meaning in life and wanting to do careers that we love.
Ultimately, we are searching for peace and a deeper understanding of our reality. So how do we do this? How do we change our world, change the various daily structures we deal with like our economy, government, career paths, as well as the limited idea of what life is and should be. How do we end our suffering and war with one another to truly create a world where we can thrive and have abundance?
If you are gaining curiosity reading this, great. You are feeling something that has been growing within you, and all of us, for quite some time. If you think these ideas are laughable, and that none of this change is possible, then great, because the video below is for you too. Because your disbelief is playing a role in why our world is this way, and it’s time to explore what that truly means.
Collective consciousness is an energy field, if you will, by which groups of people or all humans connect to and share ideas, beliefs and understandings about our world. This is not a physical space, but one that is energetic or conscious.
Below is a video I created to help explain how something called collective consciousness functions, so we can begin to understand why we must change ourselves to change our world, and how our limited belief of what our world is and can be, plays a role in keeping it that way.
Post Material Science & Consciousness
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory has been trying to wrap their heads around the subject and have concluded that the human mind does, in fact, have a capacity to influence the output of devices known as Random Event Generators (REGs), on a collective scale, or via collective consciousness.
A project that initially started when a student was curious to study the effects of the human mind and intention on the surrounding environment, turned into a rigorous testing lab where Dr. Robert Jahn and his lab assistant spent many hours experimenting to determine whether or not the mind has an effect on our physical world. Jahn and his assistant were able to determine that the human minds interactions with the machines demonstrated a relationship that was not physical in nature. The mind was able to affect and change outcomes of the machine in ways that were beyond standard deviations. In essence, consciousness was having an effect over the physical world.
To determine the effects of the mind’s intention on the physical world, they built several machines called a random number generator. The machine would essentially mimic a coin flip and record the results over time. The machine performed 200 flips per second and produced an average mean of 100 as one would expect. Left unattended, the machine would continue to produce results that suggested a 50/50 chance of producing either heads or tails. The interesting results came when human intention started to interact with the machine. What was once a random 50/50 chance of producing heads or tails began to deviate from expectation as the observer began to intend for the numbers to be higher or lower. While the effects of the mind over the machines was not large, it was enough that contemporary physics is unable to explain what exactly is happening. Perhaps this is where the quantum world can shed light?
The implications of this research on humanity is quite fascinating given it could reach into the realms of creating a world of peace, a thriving world and abundance. If intentions and thoughts can impact something the way it has been demonstrated above, why not explore the boundaries of how far this can go? It is my feeling and understanding that we create our realities with our intentions and state of consciousness and I feel science is starting to confirm this. In time we will realize the true power of our minds and intentions.
The video below is a very brief synopsis of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory of Princeton University, whose research into mind-matter interaction forms the foundation of Psyleron Technology.
If we wish to understand collective consciousness more deeply, and how we are all truly connected, a great place to start is to begin exploring what we are discovering in the field of post material science as we study consciousness.
We have a great deal of content to explore on that by clicking here.
To explore deeply who you truly are, you can listen to this CE Podcast episode.
Princeton PEAR Lab
The Health Benefits Of Reading Books Compared To Reading From Screens
- The Facts:
Numerous studies show the scientific benefits of reading. These benefits tend to increase when reading from actual books rather than screens.
- Reflect On:
Do screens consume the majority of your time? When was the last time you read a book? Reading is akin to exercise for your brain.
In the age of information we are being bombarded left, right and center with quick facts, fake news, censored information, video images and so much more. This is greatly affecting the span of our attention. To many the idea of picking up a book, when we could just as easily listen to it, or read segments on our phones is completely absurd. However, there are many benefits that come along with reading books that just might make it worth it to you.
Consider just the very act of reading a book in itself, holding it, turning the pages, seeing your progress in the development of the story, it’s almost as if you are a part of it.
Benefits Of Reading Books
Reading requires patience and diligence, which is not something required from a glance and a click on a quick headline. Reading a book is almost a kin to running a marathon for your brain, I mean if you can finish a whole book!
Reading stimulates imagination and creativity.
Research has shown that reading helps with comprehension and emotional intelligence as well as fluid intelligence — meaning the ability to reason and have flexible thinking. This leads to smarter decision-making regarding yourself and others.
As we age, our memory will decline, but regular reading can help keep minds sharper longer according to research published in Neurology. Frequently exercising your mind was also proven in that same study to lower mental decline by 32 percent.
“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” study author Robert. S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said in a statement. “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.”
Reading can help make you more empathetic — researchers from the Netherlands designed two experiments showing that people who were “emotionally transported” by a work of fiction experienced boosts in empathy,
“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle and José Saramago,” they wrote in their findings. “More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”
Even More Reasons Read Books
Aside from these deeper reasons to read books, here are some more basic ones:
Books are a lot easier on the eyes than screens, which will provide a nice break for many of us as we are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens at work, at home, on our smartphones while watching Netflix — your eyes could use the break.
One survey of 429 university students revealed that nearly half had complained of strained eyes after reading digitally. Electronic books can cause screen fatigue, which may lead to blurred vision, redness, dryness, and irritation. With print books, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
If you are reading an actual book, there is less of a chance that you will be distracted compared to reading on your phone. A book has no notification pings, buzzes or pop-ups, and you can ensure this distraction free time by leaving your phone in another room or putting it on silent or on airplane mode while reading.
Another great thing about books and the wonderful byproduct of less screen time is less exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, if you don’t have your phone on you, and perhaps you even have your Wi-Fi turned off while not in use you are giving your body a bit of a break from the constant bombardment of these frequencies.
Reading books before bed can help you sleep better, the main reason being — they do not emit blue light, or any kind of light at all actually, which has been shown to interfere with a good night’s rest. Not only that, but personally I find in general, reading a book tends to make me sleepy, so I enjoy reading a few chapters before putting my head down for the night.
Who doesn’t love the smell of a good book? You know that lovely, kind of musty smell old books give off? Or the fresh, crisp paper smell of a brand new book?
Final Thoughts To Consider?
Will reading books become an outdated thing of the past? Or will we be able to stand by the benefits of books and keep collecting them for generations to come? Only time will tell! To finish off, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from the late, great, Dr. Seuss,
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
Full Moon In Gemini: Learning, Healing, & Inspired Action
We are having a Full Moon in Gemini on December 11th-12th, depending on your location. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Sagittarius on November 26th. The energies of the Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations still play a part over the following two weeks. You may also start to see its themes build up following the New Moon prior to it.
Interestingly this Full Moon occurs on 12/12 for most of the world and at 12:12am in the EST time zone. The year 2019 adds to 12 as well (2+0+1+9= 12). This can be interpreted in different ways, however, the thing that I would like to point out is that 12 is associated with completion and astrologically with Pisces which is the final and 12th sign.
This is not only the last Full Moon (and complete lunar cycle) of the year but the last one of the decade. In the Universal time zone it will be occurring at 5:12am, with the number being associated with change. This Full Moon will be followed by eclipses that are ushering in the new decade which also fits with this 5-12 energy.
Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Gemini and Sun in Sagittarius. It can play out as either a conflict, integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs.
We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Sagittarius side and others expressing the Gemini side. In some cases, Full Moon’s can also reflect/trigger some sort of change which may apply more in this case when considering some of the other factors mentioned in this article.
Gemini is a Mercury ruled Air sign with a strong mental orientation. It is communicative, articulate, informative, social, inquisitive, clever, multifaceted, versatile, witty, agile, and dualistic. This sign is also associated with the immediate environment, the neighbourhood, siblings, commuting, reading, audiobooks/podcasts, mail, and writing. Negatively, Gemini energy can be scattered, superficial, gossipy, inconsistent, two faced, and lack emotion.
Sagittarius is a Jupiter ruled Fire sign motivated by passion, exploration, and beliefs. It is broadminded, freedom loving, philosophical, optimistic, visionary, expansive, aspiring, risk taking, and big picture oriented. This sign is also associated with higher education, media, sales/marketing, religion, morals, travel, foreign lands, and other international matters or pursuits. Negatively, Sagittarius energy can be unrealistic, pretentious, judgemental, excessive, blunt, preachy, and have a hard time comprehending limitations.
Both of these signs within this polarity are about learning and communicating what they know. The difference between them is that Gemini leans more towards sharing/learning knowledge from a variety of sources while Sagittarius leans more towards developing its own perspective based on the synthesis of what has been learned and experienced. Gemini can also be more factual in comparison to the idealistic Sagittarian energy.
Full Moon Square Neptune & Quincunx Venus-Saturn-Pluto Conjunction
This Full Moon is separating from a square with Neptune which is strongest in the day leading up to it. This can be good for creative, spiritual, compassionate activities especially if they are linked to the Gemini-Sagittarius themes mentioned above. However, this can also reflect confusion, impracticality, delusion, escapism, and unreliability.
Venus is separating from a tight conjunction with Saturn and moving towards Pluto at the time of this Full Moon. In the days leading up to this, there could have been more serious or restrictive energy around Venus ruled areas of love, friendship, money, values, or pleasures.
Perhaps a need to be more disciplined, responsible, committed, restraining, or realistic could be a theme. Obstacles, limitations, cautiousness, or endings may have also come up. This can be good for stabilizing, solidifying, building, or taking a mature approach towards things pertaining to Venus.
Pluto in the mix can add more heaviness to this energy. However, Venus makes its conjunction to Pluto in the following two days, after its interaction with Saturn. The themes mentioned above may be followed by or combined with intensity, passion, obsession, secrets, empowerment, evolution, transformation, or even some sort of purging and release. This can also be a period of revealing or getting clear around Venus issues.
This Full Moon is in a quincunx aspect to this Saturn-Venus-Pluto conjunction. This can create a disconnect between these issues (mentioned in the last two paragraphs) and our feelings or other things going on in our lives. This can also reflect challenges and irritations which may require adjustments.
Jupiter Newly in Capricorn Trine Uranus in Taurus
On December 2nd, Jupiter entered Capricorn and will stay there for the next year. It joins Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node in which it will be making conjunctions within 2020. Overall, Jupiter in this sign connecting to these planets can be good for different types of growth around worldly goals, ambitions, structures, and towards building anything with the long term in mind. It can also bring some endings around these things as well.
Jupiter forms a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest from this Full Moon until the following week with it peaking on December 15th. This can be good for learning or expansiveness towards something new, unusual, unconventional, technological, metaphysical, scientific, or perhaps even revolutionary.
It can also be connected to beliefs, travel, and other types of exploration. For some people it can manifest as sudden luck or bring some sort of freedom. Considering that this aspect is occurring in Earth signs, it can play out around material, physical, financial, or practical matters.
Mars Trine Neptune, Sextile Saturn, Pluto
Mars in Scorpio is in a trine with Neptune in Pisces in the day leading up to, and few days following, this Full Moon. This can reflect actions that are inspired, creative, spiritual, imaginative, or compassionate. Activities or efforts involving art or water may also be a theme. For some people it can be magical on a sexual level, however this also depends on how the Venus-Saturn-Pluto aspect (mentioned earlier) is playing out which can bring some heaviness to relationships in some cases.
Mars then moves towards a sextile to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn which peaks from December 17th to 23rd. This is good for applying ourselves in a way that is practical, realistic, responsible, thorough, stable, focused, tangible, or purposeful. Efforts towards bringing more structure or building towards something may be a theme. This can help us to be more focused, overcome obstacles, making productive changes, and uncovering things to assist us in making progress.
Eclipse Season is Approaching with Neptune, Chiron, and Uranus in Transition
In the two weeks after this Full Moon we will have a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 25th/26th followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10th/11th. Neptune recently ended its retrograde, Uranus finishes its retrograde in a month, while Chiron is transitioning out of retrograde at the time of this Full Moon.
All of this combined shows that the period from mid-November until mid-January is a time of transitions, changes, and new developments. Eclipses can reflect beginnings, endings, and even evolutionary developments in specific areas of our lives that can begin to play out in the six weeks prior up until the six months following. (I will be writing separate articles on these eclipse, join my mailing list here to ensure that you are notified when they are published)
Planets, and other celestial bodies like Chiron, going from retrograde to direct can help us progress forward in new ways in areas connected to what they represent and how they are interacting with our personal astrology charts. I covered Neptune going direct in my previous article and will be covering Uranus going direct in an upcoming eclipse article. However, the most significant one at this point is Chiron as it is transitioning during this Full Moon phase. Its themes will be coming up more strongly.
Chiron is associated with old wounds, trauma, blockages, negative patterns, and other issues getting in the way of our potential, self-expression, and the embodiment of our highest selves. It is also associated with the solutions to our healing, awareness, and achieving wholeness.
It is about developing a different relationship with our wounds by turning them into strengths or working with them in a more positive way. Chiron is the maverick, it is unorthodox, holistic, and can bridge things together that are normally separate and are not thought to be compatible with each other.
Things To Consider During This Period
Is there anything new or different that you’d like to learn at this time? What have you been inspired to do in the last few weeks? Do you need to take into consideration certain facts, instructions, or details in order to fulfill your aspirations?
What has been coming up for you in regards to Venus issues of love, friendships, values, creativity, aesthetics, money, and pleasures? Do you need to address anything pertaining to these things? Have any issues or themes connected to your wounds or negative patterns come up? What do you need to do to heal/address this and move forward in a more empowered way?
These are just some examples of what you may be experiencing during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon or as it is waning over the following two weeks. The exact moment of it will be on December 12th at 5:12am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.
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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