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What Is Wrong With The 1%?

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“There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.”

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Herman E. Daly

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According to the latest 2015 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report the top 1% of wealth holders now own half of all global household wealth, much of this wealth has been concentrated in the United States and Europe. A 2014 report by Oxfam warned that the richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population. (1a)

While most of us are aware of the inequality in modern western society it is much less known what impacts such wealth creation have throughout society and the environment. While there are many wealthy individuals whom contribute to various causes, charities and philanthropic pursuits there is no denying the growth and continued exploitation of the planet in an effort to increase wealth is having devastating consequences. Today much of this  wealth is now concentrated at the very elite and top percentage profile.

Don’t Understand the Concept of Uneconomic Growth

We are now experiencing what many call, uneconomic growth. Uneconomic growth is where there is a decline in the quality of life on Earth. With ever expanding focus on ever increasing profits, companies, executives, shareholders and owners continue to exploit resources and people in an attempt to maximize profits. This profit driven motive dominating the mainstream and the economic model is creating inequality not just in society, but throughout the natural world. For continued profits, which keep shareholders and owners happy there must be a corresponding increase in profits. These profits can only come about due to the use of more resources. It doesn’t matter which way you spin it, the concept and very premise economic growth is founded on  turning natural resources into goods and services.

Increased Wealth Doesn’t Equal Greater Levels of Happiness

We have all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” Recent psychological research has not only shown the truth of this maxim, but has begun to demonstrate that when people organize their lives around the pursuit of wealth, their happiness can actually decrease.

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Research on how happiness relates to material wealth by psychologists Edward Diener, Ph.D., and David Myers, Ph.D., clearly documents that people are happier if they live in wealthy, rather than poor nations. However, once individuals have enough money to pay for their basic needs of food, shelter, etc., money does relatively little to improve happiness. Further, increases in neither national economic growth nor personal income have much effect on changes in the personal happiness of citizens.

Psychological research goes further than this, however, by showing that people who “buy into” the messages of consumer culture report lower personal well-being. According to research by psychologist Tim Kasser, Ph.D., individuals who say that goals for money, image, and popularity are relatively important to them also report less satisfaction in life, fewer experiences of pleasant emotions, and more depression and anxiety. Similar results have been demonstrated for a variety of age groups and people around the world.  In addition to these problems with personal happiness, research suggests that strivings for affluence also hurt social relationships and promote ecologically-destructive behaviour. (1)

Generally Wealthy People Are Less Altruistic Than Most

To the uninformed, one might assume that poorer people are more likely to lie, cheat, steal and act unfairly toward others. The opposite is true. Studies by Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner conducted several studies to determine which socio-economic groups act in their self-interest and disregard the impact they have upon others. They found that the more wealth one has, the greater the propensity to participate in and behave in a uncompassionate manner. They found that as people climb the social ladder their feelings towards others decline. Piff and his colleagues suspect the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others.

The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behaviour. (2)

Wilfully Ignorance in Being Able to See the Greater Connection

The ecological principle formulated back in the 1860’s by Justus Von Liebig, ‘Liebig’s Law’, (also known as the Law of the minimum) originally applied to plant and crop growth illustrates this point. The law states that, ‘growth is controlled not by the total resources available, but by the scarcest resources, the limiting factor’. An example can be seen in the growth of plants. If one of the variables that goes into growing a plant, for example, sun, water, nutrients, soil Ph is out of balance or missing (the scarcest resource), then the plant will subsequently die. In essence, we only have to get one thing significantly wrong for us to face almost certain environmental and societal collapse. It seems many (not just wealthy) individuals, corporations and governments are hell bent on pursuing the status quo in spite of coming to the realisation that everything is connected. This failure to see the connection by continually exploiting resources and undermining the systems which support us is rooted in ignorance, arrogance and the inability to understand how everything is connected…

Article by Andrew Martin, author of  Rethink…Your world, Your future. and One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future… 

RethinkcoverCE2excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) http://www.apa.org/research/action/rich.aspx

(1a) http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

(2) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-wealth-reduces-compassion/

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Consciousness

Are You Sure You Want To Cancel 2020?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many people have been wanting to cancel 2020 given all of the challenges that have arisen this year, but are these challenges not what we need to wake up?

  • Reflect On:

    Is humanity living in a way we are truly capable of? Are we really going to change and create a world where we can thrive if we all remain in 'normal' with our heads down just getting by? Perhaps we need a shake up!

A massive evolution in the way we think and live is long overdue, and now the environment is perfectly set for it to happen. Many call this process ‘raising collective consciousness.’ It’s no secret, 2020 has been a intense year, and you may have noticed that many are creating memes calling for the cancellation of 2020. This comes from the idea of ‘cancel culture’ which is an ideology whereby anything we don’t like, even if it’s only some of us, has to be shamed into cancellation as opposed to dealing with what it truly says about us and why we’re triggered by it. But more on this in a moment.

Deep down I imagine you feel it. What we are doing on a day-to-day basis in our lives feels limiting and it feels like we are capable of much more. This feeling comes from an innate desire within the deepest aspect of who we are, our soul, to continually evolve and expand as a being. It’s almost as if we begin to feel uncomfortable when we become stagnant and stop evolving or growing.

Right now, our current way of living societally and our current mass unconsciousness is causing us to push away that deep desire. We do this because we have become so identified with thought, that if a desire to shift or change comes up, and we cannot rationalize nor see how we can change, and in turn, we push that desire away to hold onto what we have grown comfortable with.

Thus, intensity and chaos have ensued in our world in an attempt to wake us up. Perhaps it’s time to embrace this desire for change. Do we really want our world to simply go back to normal? Was normal truly allowing us to thrive?

Ridding 2020?

A lot of people have been sharing the idea that we want to get rid of or cancel 2020 because it has been such a ‘bad year.’ I understand what train of thought can lead here, and I understand what way of being can lead here, but regardless, I feel it’s an important time to embrace what’s going on and ask big questions about what we’re doing as a collective – living life so disconnected from anything that deeply resonates with us. What we call ‘chaos’ has always been a potent tool for evolution, only, we often get in the way of that evolution by remaining asleep to what’s really going on around us, and continually pushing away that knowing that we can create meaningful change.

Most of what is rising to the surface right now, in terms of truths regarding current events, are all realities that people have been telling others about for years – and yet most of us just went on our merry way, heads down, living life as if none of it was happening. For example, elite child sex trafficking is one collective trauma being faced right now by many, and every day I hear of more and more people facing this reality, unsure of what to do about it as they feel despair. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to hide from this information. Life can be tough and very demanding simply to get by, so questioning our reality and why it is the way it is may not be at the top of our priority list. It may feel easier to just go on with our lives as if it’s not real, continually voting, putting these ‘corrupt’ individuals in power and accepting life as it is.

But if life is providing experiences that give us a chance to evolve beyond this old paradigm, is it perhaps time we listen? Can we truly just keep our heads down as we watch our collective uncomfort rise and mental health decline as our world no longer resonates with our being?

Just because the truth makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t mean we don’t need to address it, it just means we are avoiding it, and if we continue to choose not to look, it will ‘blow up in our face’ – just as it is right now.

May years ago people would ask me ‘Joe, do you think people will one day know about all that is going on behind the scenes?’ I said yes, there are collective truths and traumas people will HAVE to face, there is no avoiding it. This is why so many people are doing their inner work and becoming helpful members of the global community who will be able to help others through their emotional upheavals when more of this truth continues to come out, just like it is right now.

The human race has been oppressed for centuries. At the core, is the suppression of human consciousness. The less we know who we truly are and what we are truly capable of, the more we can be coddled and controlled into living lives that serve a few. The reality of this is coming to the surface.

So should we cancel 2020? Or embrace what it’s trying to bring up on a deeper level, and choose to focus on inner work, personal transformation ad collective transformation? This, as opposed to mentally and emotionally running around trying to say why everything is wrong and bad, will this truly bring about meaningful change?

We’re All Playing Roles

With that said, instead of looking at who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, I challenge others to think of it in terms of roles. What role are people playing for one another that allows us to question what’s going on, learn a lesson, and change? Do you want the world as it is today to continue in this manner? Do you feel we are capable of harmony and thrivability? What do you want the world to look like?

Viewing it in this manner will bring us to solutions as opposed to arguing about what the problems are from our political point of view. Staying within the paradigm of our current world, where we create sides, argue, and remain in a political landscape, will always create more separation and will limit our potential, won’t it? It’s time for a new perspective, a new way of looking at things, and in order for that to happen we must come to terms with what not paying attention has created in our reality.

When we live in this manner, are we living life fully? Or are we just getting by? Are we caught up in the future or the past, trying to live in those states? Or are we fully living now? Are we ready to move from a state of being where we are identified with our thoughts and ego constantly, and move to a state where we are truly who we are, our awareness, living fully?

This is what this transition is about. This is what 2020 is helping to bring forth: the necessary events and revelations that push us deeply to question our lives and society. Start dreaming again, start thinking outside the box. Whatever world you choose to plug into is the one we will actively create. If you feel humanity is capable of something different, or better, beyond just the changing of a president, then now is the time to truly put your intention and action into that.

It’s a potent time for change. Perhaps we don’t want to wish normal back into existence?

Explore this process more deeply here.

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Consciousness

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

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Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.

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Consciousness

Taking Pictures Of What You Are Doing Changes Your Experience Of It

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You see it pretty well everywhere you go: whether you are at concert, sports game, touristdestination, or even on something as ordinary as a subway train, there always seems to be at least one person taking a picture.

While this is largely because the majority of us are now walking around with a small and powerful camera in our pocket, there seems to be something else to it. Somewhere along the way it started to become more popular for people to capture and re-watch rather than simply observe or participate.

But does this decision to capture what we are seeing improve or worsen our experience?

Logic would probably lead you to assume the latter, since the act of recording steals at least a portion or our attention, but a recent study seems to suggest otherwise… at least in particular cases.

A  study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that most individuals felt more engaged in the activity when photography was included.

Spearheaded by Kristin Diehl, PhD (University of Southern California), Gal Zauberman, PhD (Yale University), and Alixandra Barasch, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), the study involved over 2,000 participants. They conducted nine different experiments, all of which involved the subjects participating in an activity and either being asked to take photos throughout or not.

The activities included, but were not limited to: taking a bus tour, eating at a food court, going on a virtual safari, and going through a museum exhibit. Once completed, participants were then asked to complete a survey designed to measure both their enjoyment and engagement in the activity.

Overall, the researchers concluded that in many cases the inclusion of photography helped with engagement, which played a key role in their overall level of enjoyment. This was particularly true in the experiment where participants were asked to take a self-guided tour of a museum exhibit while wearing glasses that tracked their eye movements. Being equipped with the camera led most to spend more time examining the artifacts on display, ultimately making it more enjoyable to them.

However, there were some exemptions to this general conclusion:

  • Including photography did not increase enjoyment levels in activities involving active participation, such as arts and crafts.
  • Photography made the experience worse for those who were asked to capture moments from the virtual safari that some would be averse to watching.

The experiment adds nuance to a seemingly cut-and-dry example of our increasing disengagement with our own lives and experiences.

A Hypothesized Root Cause

Wanting to take this a little deeper, I’ve come up with a possible explanation for why photography seems to have become such an integral part of most of our lives. Aside from those for whom photography is a passion, I think many of us take photos of everything because we are insecure.

We are not comfortable enough with simply being who we are to let the things we do go unnoticed; it’s as if, unless someone acknowledges something we’ve done, it didn’t happen. Our social media feeds are highly curated, littered with photos of us doing exciting things and looking great but rarely ever featuring the ordinary elements of life.

Could we possibly be taking and posting these pictures in hopes of boosting our self-confidence? Or am I taking this theory too far? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please share them with me via the comment section below.

SOURCE

http://neurosciencenews.com/photograph-experience-emotion-4443/

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