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Finding The Science Of Consciousness: SAND 2015

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If the number of cars in the parking lot at the Dolce Hayes Mansion were any indication, the SAND community is exploding exponentially. With a warm welcome video from Zaya and Maurizio this year’s amazing conference got underway with a talk by Peter Russell on What is Nonduality?

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Peter “defined” nonduality as its name suggests – “not two” and went through both scientific and philosophical bases to make the case that consciousness must be primary.  Everything knowable is within consciousness–even science.

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What sets this conference apart, besides the incredible vibe, is the confluence of top scientists along with nondual and Eastern philosophers in a lively dialogue. And with this year’s title, the unstated aim of the conference was another attempt at coming to a “Science of Consciousness.”

A major contributor to this endeavor is Stuart Hameroff of the Center for Consciousness Study at the University of Arizona who has done extensive research into the very tiniest of organisms and their components in order to find “Where’s the Bing?”  The Bing being essentially BEING – the energetic and presumably intelligent first cause that leads to life.

Stuart makes the point eloquently that “computation and information storage is not consciousness.” His research has discovered the presence of Pyramidal neurons and Microtubules within cellular structures of even one celled organisms that seem to behave consciously albeit on a very basic level. From his famous Microtubules, Stuart has found that the universe wants to feel good – hence Life.

Just as bacteria in a petri dish will move toward nutrients and away from toxins even without a nervous system to guide them, Stuart’s discoveries have led him to conclude that the impetus behind Evolution is a move toward the experience of pleasure, on whatever level that unfolds.

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How Close Is Science To Understanding Consciousness?

He also participated in the essential panel of the first morning: How Close is Science to Understanding Consciousness? The panel included Hameroff, Julia Mossbridge, Chris FieldsHenry Stapp and Donald Hoffman, facilitated by A.H. Almaas.

This incredibly stellar panel of scientists from various fields including physics, mathematics and neuroscience were familiar with one another’s work and engaged in a lively dialogue over whether science is the right way to understand consciousness.

If they were attorneys several of them might have concluded with a “Demurrer” that for science the “hard problem of consciousness” is simply not the issue (so what?) but they gamely tackled this topic.

Chris Fields made the point that science needs to accept certain concepts as undefined – like “energy” and proceed from those assumptions because by its nature it cannot define more deeply.

The very language of Science leads to uncertainty (Heisenberg aside) because everything we know or can know is the phenomenal awareness of something or other.

In studying awareness, Chris suggests that science focus on the less known senses like raw touch and taste as opposed to vision and hearing to discern the working of consciousness.

Ultimately Chris said that “We have no theory as to why there is awareness.” All scientific theory is for predictions based on initial assumptions and postulates with no ontological implications (that is, why something is the way it is). Science, as practiced currently, has nothing to do with being beyond the fact that we understand conditions required for consciousness and its study, but no organization of material objects explain consciousness.

He went further to maintain that no concept of a “boundary” conforms to our best science – all such constructs are artificial overlays of our minds and that any science of consciousness would require us to change our perspective in what awareness is doing, presumably from our materialist predispositions.

Julia Mossbridge was perhaps the most skeptical of the entire endeavor to deal with consciousness in a scientific way because of her belief that there must be a “My” consciousness to be scientific.  What happens to this “me” in deep sleep?  And once there is a me, there is apparently a “not me.”  There is that sense of separation which leads to the apparent but elusive objectivity of scientific inquiry.

Julia also said that the manner of inquiry also depends completely on the specific field of science conducting the work. “Math people want math” and so on.  Her contention was that Science doesn’t (need or intend to) answer why questions, just how questions, echoing Chris Fields’ initial suggestion that science only “works” once certain assumptions or ground rules are set.

Julia said that any scientific inquiry into mind (she is a neuroscientist):

  • Must understand the idea of causality
  • Must understand time

Aspects of consciousness that suggest that A comes after B violate any such notion of causality.

Demurring on “the hard problem” she asked scientists like Stuart Hameroff whether the issue of how consciousness functions scientifically is soluble and more important, and if it is necessarily even an interesting or significant question?  [From a scientific rather than philosophical or metaphysical perspective.]

From her perspective she concentrates on discerning the relationship between the “my experience” and everything else (and presumably is not concerned with who or what this “my” fundamentally is).  For Julia, consciousness is all we got, and not all that there is.  She insists on focusing on what is empirically and objectively knowable.

Quantum physicist Henry Stapp also challenged Hameroff saying that there is simply “no history of ‘Bing” (as something definable). The quantum state is a state of universe and the role of observer is choice without prior rules or definitions. According to Stapp all math explains dualistically. His conclusion: “Matter behaves like an idea. We have an idea-like universe and the one fundamental fact is that consciousness exists.” Science properly focuses on not why consciousness exists but why is it needed scientifically to understand reality.

Stuart Hameroff reiterated and defended his work with Roger Penrose that suggests that it is a pleasurable feedback function that suggests how life originated.

When pressed on the ultimate origin of this function, Stuart more or less went ethereal in a very interesting way – he said that “Space/Time is based on fundamental [immaterial] Platonic values” (or forms?) This resonates with other theories that say that mathematical constants like Pi and Phi are universal values (perhaps forming the basis for the assumptions grounding science that are necessary for thinkers like Chris Fields?)

But ultimately Stuart says that the nature of understanding is non-computable and presumably impersonal.  “Hitler happened, evil exists.”

The Brain As An Orchestra Rather Than Computer

In a wonderful analogy he went beyond the hard problem of “qualia” (the qualities of experience which we all know) to describe reality or consciousness not in computational but orchestral terms so that “like the painter orchestrates dabs of color into a Mona Lisa via the “agency” of consciousness as it were, the orchestral warmup emerges as “music”.

“The brain is more like an orchestra than a computer.”

Don Hoffman took almost a nondual position by zeroing in on the key aspect Qualia or Agency – experience and activity – and asked the core question “take action by whom?”

Don challenges the critical assumption that consciousness has structure that can be objectively known or defined and maintains that “space and time is a format for human experience” and not fundamental.

No scientific theory explains everything according to Hoffman, who said that everybody assumes something and “Consciousness is my given.” Start with consciousness, and physics is not a mystery. If you start with a math model you can make new predictions that turn out valid.

When asked whether consciousness is algorithmic, Hoffman replied simply, “No. Models are not reality. [One can construct an] abstract math model that best models consciousness but the model IS not consciousness.”  The mathematical model still requires a “ground” to work.

Moderator Almaas had his hands full trying to establish a definition of consciousness among the scientists who mainly demurred. His contention was that consciousness is not a thing but an activity or agency (verb) — a point that was reiterated later by Rupert Spira and Deepak Chopra who referred to it as an “activity.”

In terms of qualia, Almaas contends that Consciousness makes feelings possible and is fundamental.  Scientists we can rightly only talk about what it does. When he challenged Stuart Hameroff if he had worked out the math of every experience, Stuart remarked, “You’re being hard on me.”

What makes this conference so unique is the presence of the nondualists like Joan Tollifson who eschew a need for scientific validation entirely with the recognition that [All] “Thought leads to a sense of separation.” Separation cannot be sustained through a deeper inquiry.

According to Joan, life is simple – “When we bring attention to the present moment, everything shifts.”  It is our inner talk that makes it seem that we are separate things; through direct inquiry we can find we’re inseparable from other “objects”.

She inquires as follows:

Is there any place in the sensation where chair and body meet? – Can we find the “me”.  Is it really there? – We can find stories, thought, mental images but where is me? – Consciousness is dividing Wholeness into fragments (sound bites) – Deeply in any sensation there is nothing. – Me in the body is a thought – Reality is undivided – Awakening is just Noticing and being interested in what is happening. – What is going on is simply what’s happening.

This reminded me of Michael Jeffreys’ wonderful description of being moved by watching a video of a boy singing “Amazing Grace” on television and suddenly realizing that all of the emotion was overlaid by his own being – what was “really” happening was simply pixels moving on the screen.

Ultimately for the nondualists it’s not personal. Just a thought or the movement of conditioned patterns.

“This ‘awaring’ presence is our true nature. We cannot doubt being here now. We can doubt an interpretation but not the experience,” Joan said.

Comparing Eastern & Western Wisdom

I have written extensively about philosopher Bernardo Kastrup, and we were fortunate to interview him for Collective Evolution (interview to be featured in an article soon). One thing I found fascinating was his description of the wisdom of East and West. Science or the quest to understand has three components according to Bernardo:

  1. Introspection
  2. Empiricism
  3. Intellect

But the West only uses the last two, while the East focuses on the first two. According to Bernardo the truth must encapsulate all three.

Nondualist Rupert Spira was typically uncompromising in his understated but methodical presentation, maintaining that the ultimate science is the science of mind and the deconstruction of the subject/object nature of language that results in our conditioned perception of separation.

His questions (without answers):

  • What is the irreducible aspect of mind?
  • What is the nature of knowing and who or what could know the nature of consciousness?
  • How can the sun shine on itself?

This type of inquiry leaves no room for a method.  It results in a deep knowing that what one “is” is “without dimension”.  Not in time or space.

The finite mind is the activity of consciousness vibrating itself to know objective experience. The finite mind is an activity; an agency thru which consciousness is able to know itself as one.

Rupert provided an amazing analogy in which he said first, let’s call consciousness a woman named “Mary” who lives in Los Angeles. Mary goes to sleep and begins to dream that she is Jane in New York. To do this she needs to overlook “her own mind” and assumes she is Jane.   Jane’s experience is now that she is “mind inside and all else is matter outside.” She is separate. Jane believes her knowing is located behind her eyes.

Suffering is the price of her separation and she tries to ease her suffering through more matter – things.  Finally a friend she meets invites her mind inward. Her mind sinks into its source divested of its own limitations. Jane falls asleep.  Mary wakes up. Jane was never an entity but an activity (“Mary” = Consciousness = One = Everything).

“Like a spider who spins her world from herself and loses herself in the web.”

Your Body Is A Metaphor For Experiencing Reality

The formal presentations climaxed with who else – Deepak Chopra.  I have watched Deepak with appreciation since his days as the “weird guy on Larry King” I am always enchanted by his style and clarity. He began his presentation with a story of an encounter with a young boy who asked where the ocean came from and similar questions and Deepak turned these around and finally he asked the boy where did the Universe come from?

The reply:  another dimension  The audience laughed and Deepak said he asked the boy where he had gained this wisdom. The reply: Pokemon.

Deepak then outlined the two fundamental mysteries:

  1. What’s universe made of? (We don’t know)
  2. What is the biological basis of consciousness?  (We have no answer).

According to Deepak there is simply no explanation for perceptional or mental experience or “Qualia” without somehow addressing the question of precisely “Who is having experience?” — which is precisely the question he poses to conventional scientists that inevitably bring them to what Deepak said was simply a “dead end.”

He asks, “Where is the I?”  The reality is that the I center of experience cannot be found. Deepak said, echoing Rupert Spira with whom he shared the stage later that evening, that consciousness has “no dimension” – as his colleague Eckhart Tolle says, it is “no thing.”

Deepak continued with an amazing Prezi presentation of the history of scientific theories about reality culminating in the fact that Wikipedia has at least 15-20 current “explanations” of quantum mechanics. ‘’Nobody knows what’s going on.  The math works but no one knows.”

He smirked as he summarized some theories like an “infinite casino infinity of universes,” which made me happy I moved to Las Vegas. For Deepak, Science has become a “math guessing game leading nowhere.”  He went on to describe his own and his colleagues’ work in Qualia which now includes 40 scientific principles of this mysterious phenomenon.

The mysteries of cosmos do not end, they expand –Deepak provided the mind blowing fact that the visible universe is 0.1% of everything that our math tells us exists.  There is also dark matter which is 40% (and we don’t really understand it) and then there is the rest, which is (?) space?

Deepak said,  “Your body is a metaphor for experiencing reality.”

Deepak’s new book which goes into more detail about the latest scientific advances is  Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi.  Rudolph Tanzi is a renowned neuroscientist specializing in Alzheimer’s (Deepak also was kind enough to sit for an interview with CE which will be posted shortly).

Everything Offered Something Of Great Value

Much of the conference goes to the community that exists from Wednesday until Sunday and the exchange of ideas. Here are some other participants of note:

Scott Kiloby, a renowned nondual teacher has an addiction recovery program in Palm Desert and spoke on the topic. On a personal level I discussed my own challenges in this area as a result of moving to Las Vegas with its many temptations. Scott confirmed my own experience that many people “on the path” become enamoured of “allowing everything” which results in the surfacing of many unresolved traumas that are stored in the body.

Exacerbated by a new self identification with “being enlightened” the subject cannot understand his or her sudden weaknesses and lapses into depression and self hate. Scott was kind enough to spend a few minutes discussing this issue with me and I suspect that his program is helping many many people.

Om Orgasmic Meditation from OneTaste had a nearby table. “Orgasmic Meditation (OM) is a wellness practice (like yoga and pilates) that is designed for singles and couples to experience more connection, vitality, pleasure, and meaning in every aspect of their lives.”

CE has covered virtual reality and CoreReboot has a new VR app from Dorote Lucci that provides experiences of deep rest and relaxation.

Those who feel the urge to follow their breath inward will be fascinated by the Spire app.  As beautiful as it is functional the Spire is no ordinary stone –it provides information on your breath and stress levels to lead to a harmonious and fulfilling experience.

Another app from  Kathleen of Lockwood United Divine Intentions is intended to promote healing vibrational energy to world and local leaders for transformation (a la Lynn McTaggart).  The app and website “present evidence that Subtle Activism can create positive social and environmental change. As spiritual beings we enact change through our thoughts – our prayers and intentions. The human experience – the physical world – responds to this energy.”

Ex-model and yoga teacher Kristen Eykel presented her Attunement Chakra Meditation. Kristen has founded Sacred Circle Teachings- a physical & spiritual Yoga, Hypnosis & Reiki training academy devoted to empowering the teachers of tomorrow with the sacred knowledge of all time. And Kristen just published her 6-week planner incorporating her teaching.

I’d like to close my review of this wonderful event by sharing an exclusive interview that we at Collective Evolution had with one of the event’s co-founders Maurizio Benazzo. Maurizio’s passion is an inspiration to many and an integral part to why the SAND Conference continues to be as successful as it is. Check it out:

Stay tuned for our interviews with Deepak Chopra, Bernardo Kastrup, Peter Russell and More.

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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

Full Moon In Aquarius: Erratic Progression

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We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on August 3rd/4th, it will appear the fullest on night of the 2nd in Western North America. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Cancer on July 20th/21st, as some of the themes mentioned in that article are still in effect.

The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its effects slowly build up after the New Moon prior to it.

Full Moons are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may 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 Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have been in Leo season since July 22nd and will continue until August 22nd/23rd. This is the sign of self-expression, creativity, love, affection, children, courage, vitality, passion, leadership, generosity, and playfulness. Ruled by the Sun, it is also about shining in our power and being in alignment with what really lights us up and gets us excited.

The negative expressions of Leo can be egotistical, self-absorbed, authoritarian, dramatic, stubborn, jealous, and hot-tempered.  As it is associated with seeking praise and attention, it can be demanding of respect and be boisterous without considering or caring about how others respond to that.

The Full Moon highlights and brings the energies of the opposing sign of Aquarius into this Leo backdrop. This is the sign of friends, networks, social dynamics, the group, the team, humanity, and being in the best interest of the collective. Associated with Uranus, it can be unconventional, idealistic, innovative, progressive, original, inventive, technological, reforming, and even revolutionary.

Negatively, Aquarius can be overly detached, aloof, unemotional, and very invested in the mind at the expense of the heart. Traditionally ruled by Saturn, it can also be unyielding when it comes to the ideas and perspectives that it has already decided on.

Both Leo and Aquarius have some similarities. They are ‘Fixed’ signs and therefore can both be determined yet stubborn. They are also both associated with originality and authenticity. In Aquarius, this comes from its unconventional and innovative Uranian attributes while in Leo it comes from being inspired by its Solar heart centred self-expression.

Full Moon Square Uranus, Sextile Chiron

The Sun and Moon are in a T-square aspect with Uranus bringing its energy strongly into the equation. This planet is associated with Aquarius and viewed as a modern ruler of this sign, therefore it emphasizes some of the Aquarian themes mentioned above.

This can also reflect an energy that is disruptive, unpredictable, erratic, nonconforming, and rebellious. It can be hard to focus and more prone to sudden changes, accidents, loss, or separations. However, it can also reflect liberation, breakthroughs, excitement, and is a good time to shake things up and try new approaches to things.

This Full Moon is in a supportive sextile with Chiron which shares unorthodox and innovative qualities with Uranus. Chiron is also about bringing healing and wholeness to a situation and is associated with personal growth. It brings a potential for integration, learning, problem solving, finding solutions, purpose, and the elevation of consciousness.

Full Moon Sextile Mars, Squaring Jupiter & Pluto During Pre-Retrograde Shadow

The Sun-Moon opposition is in a harmonious aspect with Mars which can bring an active, asserting, energetic, sexual, or even a competitive or fighting energy. Mars is also in its own sign of Aries as it slows down to go retrograde on September 9th/10th. We will be experiencing a period of adjustments over the coming months in how we apply Mars in certain areas of our lives depending on our personal birth charts. Some of the things that are happening this month, leading up to it, will contribute to that process.

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars is also in a tight square with Jupiter which has been building up in the days prior. It also moves towards a square with Pluto over the following two weeks. We may overextend ourselves during this time or do things in an excessive, overconfident, compulsive or obsessive way.

Conflicts around beliefs, perspectives, hidden matters, or abuse can also arise. As we get closer to mid-August the energy becomes more intense with an increased potential of power struggles. This aspect can trigger passion and is good for strategic actions. All of these factors mentioned in this section are cranking up Mars energy overall. I will be writing a separate article on the upcoming retrograde as we get closer to it, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury & Venus In Hard Aspects With Saturn, Venus Conjunct North Node

Mercury is in a tight opposition with Saturn. This can reflect thoughts or conversations that are cautious, hesitant, pessimistic, or limiting. We may experience delays or obstacles around commuting or communications with others.  The need to be realistic around certain issues may also come up.

Like Mercury, Venus has social qualities and is also in a hard aspect with Saturn, this one being a frustrating quincunx. It can be hard to integrate or juggle Saturnian areas of responsibilities, commitments, boundaries, discipline, and structures with Venus areas of friendships, love, pleasures, sensuality, values, money, attraction, or other things that are aesthetic related. We may need to be extra adaptable or make adjustments.

Venus is also moving towards a conjunction with the Lunar North Node in Gemini in the days following this Full Moon. New relations, or developments around past relations, could have a fated quality that can bring growth and help us to move forward in a better or constructive way.  Our perception or approach to Venus ruled areas (mentioned in above paragraph) may evolve in a helpful manner.

Things To Consider

In what areas of your life should you try new approaches? What can you do to shake things up? What are some potential solutions for issues you are facing? How can you use your creativity in an innovative way? What are your relations with others pushing you towards? How can you be more of a team player? How can you better balance needs of self with the needs of the group?   What parts of your life are calling for originality and authenticity?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime over the two weeks following when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on August 3rd at 3:59pm Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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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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