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Psychedelics vs Meditation, Which Is More Transformational?

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Continuing from a previous article I wrote on Collective Evolution about karma, I thought I’d point out the way in which psychedelics and meditation differ from each other when helping people deal with their karma. As mentioned in the previous article, karma in this case is used to describe the things within ourselves that hold us back; not just the actions we gamble with that we know have consequences, but also our underlying malfunctions that we are not even consciously aware of. Meditation and psychedelics affect the mind in different ways, however both in my opinion bring about transformation that enables one to better navigate the condition of being human, which pretty much all boils down to just mastering your ego…. not an easy task.

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Psychedelics

Psychedelics allow people to be mindful by over-exposing themselves to all the aspects of themselves that hold them back. There are moments when you trip and it’s all beautiful and happy, but when your mind goes into some dark places, it is usually a place that is coming from your own insecurity. From trauma to emotions and thoughts that hold you back, these experiences are usually amped up in ways that can be frightening to endure. When your mind revisits painful memories of things that happened to you or things you did to others, they are often experienced very intensely throughout the trip. Coming down from the trip, you can sometimes become so overwhelmed by it that you have no choice but to become aware of those personality traits within you that are making your life less than ideal. Those type of trips can be a tough pill to swallow as they serve as an unapologetic wake up call, a call to action to get your shit together, and deal with your issues. This message doesn’t always resonate with everyone, but to those who can handle looking at themselves in the mirror with all their vulnerabilities, it can be one of many pivotal shifts in consciousness that will navigate the trajectory of your destiny.

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It’s not always shock and awe with psychedelics. Sometimes you can experience your malfunctions from another perspective outside of yourself, looking at your behaviors from the sideline, leaving you to become indifferent to the trauma. Watching it unfold from an objective point of view allows you to connect the dots between all the events and circumstances leading up to what caused the type of behavior within you that is holding you back. Forgiveness does not mean approval, but forgiving the situation allows you to make peace and move on. When you connect the dots, it makes sense to you how you allowed the effect of XYZ situation to create the X element of your character. It allows you to observe how that element of your character has helped or held you back. It’s a mirror, a window into yourself.

The old Native American proverb about the tale of 2 wolves translates to the psychedelic experience. There are so many wolves you can be conscious of until you take a psychedelic and realize all the bad wolves you were unconsciously feeding.

Terrence McKenna mentioned that as you explore the world of psychedelics, the amount of time between each trip will lengthen. In fact, many psychonauts trip occasionally because the lessons learned from the trip are applied to one’s life successfully. The need and desire to find alternate perspectives on how to master themselves subsides the more one implements their ego conquering lessons.

The transformation process with meditation is more gradual than with psychedelics. With meditation, the goal is to cease the Ego mind from chattering. All thoughts are meant to slowly fade away with patience, which can be frustrating at first, especially if you have a busy mind, but the more you simply ignore the thoughts that occupy your reality, the more the thoughts will ignore you. Eventually they fade away and all that remains is a state of balance and feeling centered, without stress, and without desire to fix something that you see as a problem in your life. All worries, however small or big in magnitude, for that moment in time of being present with your natural self, cease to exist.

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Meditation

In meditation, as thoughts begin to subside, layers of the ego unravel, allowing this intangible thing that is called YOU to exist without restraint. When you stop meditating, those layers come back, piling on top of one and other, making the mind feel heavy and caged once again. For one who commits themselves to meditation, a gradual desire to free the mind begins. Life becomes more meaningful by letting go of the things that keep you from being present, happy, and productive.

The more you meditate, the more you will begin to notice the difference between how you feel when you meditate and how you feel when you live your daily life. As worries and stresses make their way back into your reality, you’ll gradually begin to become more mindful of your thoughts. The responsible meditator will come to realize that their negative thoughts and feelings are what’s hindering the enjoyment of their reality. The choice of being mindful of those thoughts and feelings or indulging in them will be up to you, but your awareness of becoming more perceptive to how your thoughts keep you from feeling centered will be heightened. This is part of what it means to become more in tune with yourself, as many people who carry themselves unhappily through this existence are not in tune with the traits within them that are keeping them from happiness.

In meditation, the more you practice, the more mindful you will become of your thoughts. The point of meditation is to relax the mind, allowing it to be free of thoughts. Through this process you become more aware of how you feel when you are free of thoughts. You will notice how calm and stress free you feel when in a meditative state of mind. This may induce an altered state of consciousness that is different from your regular conscious mind. As you practice meditation more and more, you will notice how your thoughts creep in and chip away at your ideal state of being present. You’ll notice the difference in how you feel between meditating and how you feel when you aren’t meditating. As you become aware of how you feel and how your thoughts distance you from how you feel when you meditate, you will gradually make changes in how you think and you’ll begin to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts that distract you from being present.

You evolve through meditation by maintaining presence and centering yourself throughout all situations in life. It’s not easy to do all the time, but just being mindful of your ability to do it is a powerful step in the right direction. Our busy modern lives do not allow us to meditate all day long, nor would we want to when there is much to see and experience in this world, so the best we can do is to try to be as aware and mindful as possible when within our regular states of consciousness. This can only be done if we take care to prevent all the thoughts and emotions that keep us from being centered.

Meditation allows one to understand that our mind, without all the conditioning of the ego, is already balanced and centered. Who we are at the center of all the chaos in our life is all we need to feel complete and navigate through this world. On the other hand, psychedelics can be a heavy dose of the malfunctions of your reality delivered to you in the most abstract way. It breaks your ego so rapidly and abruptly that the loss of what is familiar and comfortable can make for a bad trip. Whether through passive observation or embracing the fear, one can master letting go of the filters that make their perspectives darker than they really are.

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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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