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8 ‘Paranormal’ Scientific Studies That Will Make You Question The True Nature Of Reality

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If you google “parapsychology,” the first thing that will probably pop up is a Wikipedia entry loosely (and, in my opinion, rather offensively) defining it as a “pseudoscience.” This is unfortunate, because it distracts the reader from realizing that psychical research, also known as ‘psi’ (or parapsychology), is practiced by various scientists and reputable institutions all over the world. This includes the study of paranormal activity and extended human human capacities like precognition and telepathy, among other things. As the University of Calgary points out, parapsychology is an interdisciplinary field which has attracted physicists, engineers, biologists, psychologists, and researchers in other sciences as well.

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The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) project is a great example of this comprehensive approach to the subject — a project that ran from 1979 until 2007, it aimed to examine if there was factual basis for theories in mind/matter interaction, or extrasensory perception (ESP). Highly significant statistical deviation, far beyond what one could expect from chance, was seen there. Another example would be the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies, in which they explore such phenomena as reincarnation, near death experiences (NDEs), and out of body experiences (OBEs).

“Studies of the so-called ‘psi phenomena’ indicate that we can sometimes receive meaningful information without the use of ordinary senses, and in ways that transcend the habitual space and time constraints. Furthermore, psi research demonstrates that we can mentally influence—at a distance—physical devices and living organisms (including other human beings). Psi research also shows that distant minds may behave in ways that are nonlocally correlated, i.e. the correlations between distant minds are hypothesized to be unmediated (they are not linked to any known energetic signal), unmitigated (they do not degrade with increasing distance), and immediate (they appear to be simultaneous). These events are so common that they cannot be viewed as anomalous nor as exceptions to natural laws, but as indications of the need for a broader explanatory framework that cannot be predicated exclusively on materialism.” (source) – Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

Why are we presenting this information? Because the examination of these types of phenomena is vital to increasing our understanding about the nature of our reality. A lot of new science is revealing how many, and how diverse, are the factors are which influence the so-called ‘physical material world that we see around us. So what can we learn from this information? To keep an open mind, to know that not everything we believe to be true, is, and that maybe there are components of our reality that we have yet to understand. We can learn that it’s okay to take topics like this seriously, because there is a wealth of very compelling statistical data and observation that has many scientists interested in it… and perplexed.

1. Reincarnation

“There are claims in the parapsychology field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study, [with one being] that young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation.” – Carl Sagan

This topic has been studied by numerous scientists who belong to various academic institutions from all over the world.

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One great example comes from University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker, who in 2008 published a review of cases suggestive of reincarnation in the journal Explore. (source)

In the article, he describes a typical reincarnation case, where subjects start reporting a past life experience. One common denominator of these cases is that they all involve children, with the average age being 35 months when subjects begin to report their experiences. The experiences described are often detailed and extensive, and Tucker points out that many of these children show strong emotional involvement when speaking about their claims; some cry and beg to be taken to what they say is their previous family. Others show intense anger.

The subjects usually stop making their past-life statements by the age of six to seven, and most seem to lose the purported memories. That is the age when children start school and begin having more experiences in the current life, as well as when they tend to lose their early childhood memories. (source)

One example Tucker describes, an American case, is of a child named Sam Taylor, who was a year and a half old when he started revealing some remarkable information:

He looked up as his father was changing his diaper and said, “When I was your age, I used to change your diapers.” He began talking more about having been his grandfather. He eventually told details of his grandfather’s life that his parents felt certain he could not have learned through normal means, such as the fact that his grandfather’s sister had been murdered and that his grandmother had used a food processor to make milkshakes for his grandfather every day at the end of his life. (source

Again, this is one of hundreds of cases. Children have also been taken to their previous families, describing the qualities and characteristics of the families, and their own past lives, about which there is no possible way the child could know. Here is another specific case that was examined by Dr. Tucker, which we wrote about a couple of months ago. And there are plenty more to choose from.

These are cases involving very young children and they offer little reason to suspect a hoax. From a scientific standpoint, however, even though these cases are intriguing, they still leave us with a problem that plagues most parapsychological research today. As Tucker points out, “the processes that would be involved in such a transfer of consciousness are completely unknown, and they await further elucidation.” (source)

2. Precognition

For a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century, you can click HERE. At this link, you will find a select group of articles under the “precognition & presentiment” tab and more than enough scientific analyses to see why this topic is taken very seriously by some scientists.

A recently published study (meta analysis) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments, conducted by several different laboratories, regarding this phenomenon.

These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems able to know of an event and react to it before it actually occurs. This reaction takes the form of physiological changes in the skin and in the cardiopulmonary and nervous systems. (source)

Quite fascinating, isn’t it?

3. Telepathy

Again, HERE you will find some more research on telepathy.

HERE is an article outlining 5 classic experiments that showed extremely significant results for human telepathy.

Some of the most interesting results come from something called “dream telepathy,” where human beings have the ability to communicate telepathically with another person while they are dreaming.

According to Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. and professor of psychology at Saybrook University in California:

A wealth of anecdotal and clinical material exist which supports the possibility of telepathic effects occurring in dreams (Krippner, 1974). However, an experimental approach to the topic did not become possible until psycho physiological laboratory technology became available. It was discovered that sleeping research participants awakened from periods of rapid eye movement (REM) activity were frequently able to recall dream episodes. As a result, it was possible to request a “telepathic receiver” to attempt dreaming about a target stimulus that was being focused on in a distant location from a “telepathic sender.” (source)

You can view a discussion and examination of these experiments in an article we published earlier on this subject here.

4. The “Star Gate” Project

The “Star Gate” project was a Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) program that examined parapsychological phenomena for more than twenty years before it was unexpectedly shut down.

One of the most interesting revelations (imo) when it comes to science and the paranormal comes from its remote viewing program.

Remote viewing is the ability of a person to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometers from their actual physical location. It’s not just one person who can do this — many people have been shown to have this ability, and this is a verified fact. The CIA and NSA, in conjunction with Stanford University, were involved in the scientific study of parapsychological phenomena that lasted more than two decades; they delved into remote viewing as part of this project.

In these experiments, multiple individuals were able to describe distinct objects that were located in a separate room and at other remote physical locations.(source)(source)(source)

As reported by a publication in the journal Scientific Exploration, one of the study’s participants, Ingo Swann, was able to successfully describe and view a ring around Jupiter that scientists had no idea existed at the time. (source 1)

5. Quantum Double Slit Experiment

In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern. (source)

“Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it….We compel [the electron] to assume a definite position…. We ourselves produce the results of measurement.” (source)

“It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” – Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician who received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: ‘The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.’ ”  – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe”; Nature 436:29,2005) (source) This is a great experiment to show the connection between consciousness and our physical material world.

You can read a more detailed description of this experiment and see a video demonstration of it in these articles:

“Consciousness Creates Reality” – Physicists Admit The Universe Is Immaterial, Mental & Spiritual

“How Is This Possible?” Scientists Observe One Particle Exist In Multiple States

6. Delayed Choice/Quantum Eraser

Like the quantum double slit experiment, the delayed choice/quantum eraser has been demonstrated and repeated time and time again. For example, physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment. The findings were recently published in the journal Nature Physics. (source)

The delayed choice experiment illustrates how what happens in the present can change what happens(ed) in the past. It also shows how time can go backwards, how cause and effect can be reversed, and how the future caused the past.

“If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance, but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.” – Asher Peres, pioneer in quantum information theory (source)(source)(source)

You can read more about this experiment on this article:

Quantum Experiment Shows How “Time” Doesn’t Exist As We Think It Does (Mind-Altering)

7. Out Of Body Experiences & Near Death Experiences

Below is a video of Dr. Bruce Greyson speaking at a conference that was held by the United Nations. He is considered to be one of the fathers of near death studies. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at the University of Virginia.

In the video he describes documented cases of individuals who were clinically dead (showing no brain activity) but observing everything that was happening to them on the medical table below at the same time. He describes how there have been many instances of this – where individuals are able to describe things that should have been impossible for them to have knowledge of. Another significant statement by Dr. Greyson posits that this type of study has been discouraged due to our tendency to view science as completely materialistic. Seeing is believing, so to speak, in the scientific community. It’s unfortunate that just because we cannot explain something through materialistic means, it must be instantly discredited. The simple fact that “consciousness” itself is a non-physical “thing” is troubling for some scientists; as a result of it being non material, they believe it cannot be studied by science.

In 2001, international medical journal The Lancet published a 13 year study on Near Death Experiences (NDEs).(source)(source) Their findings were remarkable, to say the least:

Our results show that medical factors cannot account for the occurrence of NDE. All patients had a cardiac arrest, and were clinically dead with unconsciousness resulting from insufficient blood supply to the brain. In those circumstances, the EEG (a measure of brain electrical activity) becomes flat, and if CPR is not started within 5-10 minutes, irreparable damage is done to the brain and the patient will die. (source)

Another study comes out of the University of Southampton, where scientists found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after death. In the scientific world this was thought to be impossible. The study, published in the journal Resuscitation, is the world’s largest of its kind. (source)

Out of body experiences, a similar phenomenon, have also been examined in depth by science.

8. Healing At A Distance

“Over the past thirty years, significant scientific research has been conducted on the potential effectiveness and value of distant healing practices. The practice of distant healing is drawing increased attention as an important component of integral medicine models that blend a range of approaches to health and healing. Many leading health professionals and spiritual leaders believe distant healing practices may significantly expand the capacity to facilitate healing.” (source) Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, President of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS)

You can view some of this research HERE.

Another great example of this is the placebo effect, which you can read more about here.

Another study (which I have written about previously), published in the journal Explore in 2008, examined the effects of human intention on the autonomic nervous system of a human “sender” and the distant “receiver” of those intentions.

The design of the study went as follows:

Skin conductance level was measured in each member of a couple, both of whom were asked to feel the presence of the other. While the receiving person relaxed in a distant shielded room for 30 minutes, the sending person directed intention toward the receiver during repeated 10-second epochs separated by random interepoch periods. Thirty-six couples participated in 38 test sessions. In 22 couples, one of the pair was a cancer patient. In 12 of those couples, the healthy person was trained to direct intention toward the patient and asked to practice that intention daily for three months prior to the experiment (trained group). In the other 10 couples, the pair was tested before the partner was trained (wait group). Fourteen healthy couples re- ceived no training (control group). (source)

The study concluded that a strong motivation to heal another, and for one to be healed themselves, may enhance this phenomenon. It concluded that directing intention toward a distant person is associated with the activation of that person’s autonomic nervous system — in this case, using measurements of skin conductance.

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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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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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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

Gillette’s New Ad On “Toxic Masculinity” Is Great – And Necessary, But…

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new commercial from Gillette tackles the issue of 'toxic masculinity.' The commercial asks us questions about male culture and challenges us to step up and change what we're doing. But did they tackle this well?

  • Reflect On:

    What else can we take from the commentary of this commercial? Where else can we find these same behaviours in our society? Further, what is the purpose of the extreme, identity-based politics we see today? Is it causing more harm than good?

In an age of extremes, the nuance of this article is going to be what helps us understand what we are truly seeing in terms of the challenges we face and how we can solve them without generating a strong opinion on these issues. I encourage you all to carefully read this article as if we want to help move away from things like “toxic masculinity,” “toxic femininity,” racism and so forth, but we must do so wisely by truly understanding the depth of what is being said.

Before I continue on, I want to say that in many cases, when talking about issues regarding men, women, or any particular race as politics and media often do today, we must remember that what is talked about does not represent the whole of any group. In fact, in many cases, it only represents a very small percentage of the group being discussed.

As a result of aspects of our consciousness, which we will discuss further in this article, there is no shortage of extremism in society right now when it comes to the discussion of gender. The #MeToo movement helped the greater population recognize that sexism is a huge problem within prominent industries, like music and film, where women are being harassed or abused sexually by men. This then extended to a greater discussion about sexual abuse in society in general, which I feel anyone can agree is an important topic to bring awareness to. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever come across anyone who actually opposes putting a stop to something like this, yet due to extreme positions, many are being wrongfully accused of such opposition. This is where we need to have a deeper discussion.

By now we know it happens, we don’t need another article exposing it, we need one talking about solutions, so that is what I’m going to focus on.

We exist in very polarized states of consciousness, and because we are a society who has not put a large focus on emotional intelligence, many issues that come to the forefront go through a long period of extremism before/if we become grounded again in order to truly understand what’s going on.

Of course, what I am talking about doesn’t relate only to what occurred after the #MeToo movement began, but with anything, including people’s views on government conspiracies, race, politics and other societal issues. In short, we attempt to apply blanket statements to issues instead of viewing things on a case by case basis or through the properly grounded facts that we do have about an issue.

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As Stefan Molyneux puts it,

“The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.”

Ultimately he goes on to say that if you choose not to look at the larger reasons as to why certain things are happening in our world, you will always be stuck blaming racism, sexism, the patriarchy, men, women, or any particular race. We must preface our discussion with this gnosis before discussing what’s next because it is only in the grounded understandings of our world that we actually can tell where we are at.

 Gillette Aims To Help Raise Awareness About “Toxic Masculinity”

I’ve put the terms toxic masculinity and toxic femininity in quotations both times thus far because many people have very different ideas of what those things look like and mean. In fact, some people don’t even think “toxic femininity” exists, similar to the way they feel only white people are capable of being racist.

For the purposes of this article, I refer to the term toxic masculinity as partaking in a destructive form of male culture that does not operate on the basis of respect, equality and self-responsibility, and that will often exude overly strong behaviours of sexualizing women and competing with others to maintain egoic power. In short, much of what we have seen as male culture through pop culture, movies, music, and so forth can tinker on promoting this form of masculinity. It’s seen in situations where a female is marginalized down to simply being a sex object or situations where male dominance is valued and strived for.

Let’s have a look at this Gillette ad before we continue the conversation.

As Gillette accurately illustrates in its new ad, justifying certain behaviours that are not self-responsible and that do not create a harmonious world with statements like “boys will be boys,” is not something we can continue to do if we want to create a better world. Furthermore, leading by example and being able to speak up about behaviours you observe in others is important. It’s important not to do so in a condescending and judgemental tone, but rather by using a compassionate tone instead that truly questions the behaviour and allows you to empathize with how the other may feel in a situation. Further to that, we must recognize what this ad fails to point out, these behaviours don’t and haven’t come from all males, likely not even the majority.

As Gillette brand director Pankaj Bhalla told the Wall Street Journal,

“This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own, … “We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘boys will be boys’ is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our ‘best’ together.”

I have been in a number of situations where I’m in an all-male setting and one or two males are talking disrespectfully about females and I will observe other males join in simply so they feel included in the conversation or so that the other men don’t judge them. I personally know the men who joined in on the conversation don’t actually agree with the others, but do so because they feel they have to. Or better put, they do not know themselves or are comfortable enough with themselves to take the potential backlash that can sometimes come from not joining in.

This is why I say the way through these challenges is not by creating an enemy, judging their behaviour, and casting them out like many are doing, but instead by helping people question what they are doing and encouraging a culture of self-responsibility, empathy, and a deeper relationship with self. These sorts of conversations can be openly had, but it’s challenging because of our societal norms. Instead, our culture is often either that of the ‘toxic masculinity’ in question or that of extreme judgement towards unfavorable behaviours. Both are extremes, and neither help change the individual in a deep manner.

To be clear, any gender, any race and any person from a socio-economic class can take part in the disconnected behaviours mentioned above. It is not just men.

This is also where the nuance comes in. It’s important to recognize that not all men represent characteristics of “toxic masculinity.” Male pop culture might, and male pop culture does affect a certain subset of people, but it is not representative of the whole. This leads to my one small issue with the Gillette commercial. It, like many people today seem to be doing, is throwing the baby out with the bath water, i.e. not paying attention to nuance. In the case of #MeToo and this commercial, this behaviour does not apply to all men, perhaps not even to most men. We must remember that societal issues don’t apply to everyone within any particular subset of people, yet that is what people often focus on. This is also why so many enemies are being created. It’s like how some will view all Muslims as terrorists, for example.

Let’s recall the quote from Stefan Molyneux above, “The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.” He is absolutely right in pointing out that the reasons for these things are not as simple as people want them to be, and thus we run in circles of extremes. I bring this point up not to turn the focus away from men, but because I actually care about seeing our culture change. I’ve spent enough time coming to understand that people have become outright extreme and misinformed about issues because we are too focused on an enemy and choosing sides. Thus, we have no clue where we actually stand. This is about changing how we live and operate as humans, not just of any particular race or gender.

If there are feelings of wanting to say or utilize some of the classic deflections of today including “easy for you to say from a white male privileged standpoint,” please save it. Let’s have the courage to have mature, grounded conversations, ones that can help us solve the challenges we face together.

If Not Careful, Our Unchecked Behaviour Divides Us

Like with any movement that begins, it often starts on a positive and helpful note. In this case, bringing awareness to sexual abuse of women is important to address. But the movement has come under fire to some extent as it appears to be going too far. The reasons for this include sweeping judgments, assumptions, and a lack of understanding of things that are said or what’s happening.

This has caused great divides amongst people whereby gender happens to be the card played when any issue is brought forth, even when gender truly has nothing to do with it. We are similarly seeing this with race.

This has given rise to grounded voices like Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Cassie Jaye, to name a few, who are discussing gender inequality in a way that is helping us to diagnose the problem more clearly and ultimately understand how to move forward. This is, of course, in contrast to the extremism out there where you begin to see women hating men or men hating women simply because we are always attempting to blame people for problems.

Cassie Jaye talks a lot about humanizing your ‘enemy.’ In her case, her enemy was males. As she discusses in her TEDx talk, when she released her movie The Red Pill, she received a great deal of backlash from feminists as her film explored The Men’s Right’s movement from her perspective as a feminist. As you might imagine, in her film, Cassie decided to go and speak to people directly. She learned about the people she was fighting against, and in some cases hated, only to realize that in most cases the issues and people involved were not quite who she thought they were.

She goes onto discuss that the greatest issue and challenge she faced was “having to peel back the layers of my own bias.” She goes deeper saying “it turned out I did meet my enemy while filming. It was my ego saying that I was right, and they were subhuman.”

Near the close of her talk she states “It’s no secret now that I no longer call myself a feminist, but I must clarify, I am not anti-feminist, and I am not a men’s rights activist. I still support women’s rights, and I now care about men’s rights as well. However, I believe if we want to honestly discuss gender equality, we need to invite all voices to the table. Yet this is not what is happening. Men’s groups are continually vilified, falsely referred to as hate groups and their voices are systematically silenced.”

The point here is not to pit men’s groups against women’s groups and see who is right, the point is that we have to stop creating sides and enemies. We instead must create a culture where we truly see one another beyond the physical realm. We also must see that in our own ways, we experience challenges from a system that truly does not support our growth.

When her film was released, the media entered into the popular groupthink of our modern times when it comes to gender politics, causing her to become one of the most hated filmmakers at the time. All she did in her film was explore the truth, beyond the fight of side vs side. She instead chose to see things for that they truly are, and this led to what I like to call an upheaval of emotions in viewers that struggle with neutral viewpoints, and instead are addicted to the fight and having an enemy.

This is where I believe many of us exist today. We live in a world where we’re encouraged to choose a side, accept limiting beliefs about what is going on, and ultimately become addicted to the drama of having an enemy to fight… even when they are not doing what you think they are doing.

The Takeaway

What benefit truly comes from identifying as a certain form of activist? I’m not talking about simply saying “I’m an environmentalist” so people understand you care about the environment, I’m talking about when we identify so deeply as an environmentalist that we now filter everything we hear and learn through that lens, thus blocking us from not only hearing the truth but understanding where we stand as a collective. What benefit does that serve other than to show us what disconnection looks like?

I feel it’s time we pay attention to the nuance, the facts and the feelings within our hearts and stop working so hard to find or even create an enemy.

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