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Why Personal Transformation Often Comes Before Our Spiritual Journey

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For many of us, childhood was a somewhat confusing experience. We found ourselves caught between unconditional love, rules, traditions, punishments, at times humiliation, and even abuse. So what conclusions did we draw from this potpourri of conflicting messages? Well, we came up with a very personal interpretation of how life functions — one that defines how we perceive ourselves, others, and what makes us lovable.

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An essential quality we learned to forgo in this process called ‘life’ was our intuition: that natural connection we have to what feels right and wrong, our personal barometer that holds the key to our well-being, both emotionally and physically. Instead, we learned that serving outside needs and expectations comes first, and that dishonesty about our true needs and feelings gets us further. So we learned to pretend and lost track of what we know to be right or wrong inside our heart.

Focusing on our personal transformation therefore becomes a priority, rather than aspiring to adopt philosophies or spiritual practices too soon that make us feel elevated. There is of course much to benefit from practices such as reading books, learning from great teachers who can provide guidance with their truth and wisdom. But what often happens instead is that spirituality becomes a new idealism, a way to feel superior, and certainly the best way for us to avoid facing our own shadows.

Nothing can really replace a direct experience, and it usually takes multiple experiences and deep understanding in order to change the way we perceive life. Such honest meeting with ourselves takes courage, but it also paves the way for spiritual practices that allow moments of awakening.

For this transformation to happen, a deep commitment is needed. One in which we promise to reclaim an understanding of who we truly are beyond all the masks and protections we’ve collected and fortified over decades. We must be ready to feel deeply into ourselves and face our belief systems. When working towards a deeper understanding, it is beneficial to give certain areas of our life and personality structure special attention. Below are some considerations and practices on the path of making this personal transformation happen:

How I practice authentic and honest self-expression

In most cases, both authenticity and honesty about what we felt was not a priority during our upbringing. It was rather compliance and fitting in that was encouraged. What needs a fresh look is how ‘I’ feel about expressing my truth — not for or against anything, but just as a reference point for how I feel at a given moment.

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The questions ‘am I allowed to be honest about what I feel?’ and ‘can I have my own experience?’ become essential inquiries when returning to our birthright of experiencing life ‘our’ way. Ask yourself what your life would look like and what would potentially happen if you allowed yourself to be honest about your experience.

How I derive my sense of worthiness

Our sense of worthiness is probably one of the most important drivers behind our actions. We may do things that don’t align with our core values, but the fear of not belonging or not being loved may be stronger than any cognitive understanding we may have.

What defines this important state of ‘self’ and how much is it related to what others think of me? Do I feel a sense of self-worth when I’m good, successful, caring, strong, resilient, or forceful?

What needs a fresh look is ‘how much effort is needed to feel a sense of worthiness in my life?’ How much of my own truth and integrity am I sacrificing, and what do I know for certain is real in me?

How I relate to my dark side

We are good at expressing and exposing the parts of our personality that we find to be good and welcomed by others. These can include our intelligence, successes, goodness, and many other positive traits. But those parts we judge and dislike, we place into our personal basement. We don’t want to see them and certainly don’t want others to get a glance at them. It feels too dangerous and unsettling, and may place us at risk of losing our status and belonging.

Facing our dark side and embracing it poses an essential step towards wholeness, marking an integral part of any true spiritual journey.

How I seek for meaning and deal with meaninglessness

Which one of the following questions resonate with you?

  • Do I need my life to be meaningful?
  • What is meaningful in what I do?
  • What does it take for me to create meaning?

We all seek to feel that what we do has meaning and yet may face the question if that is the case. We may have an inner and outer fight with what is important or feels mediocre. But at the end of the day, the question of meaning remains an open one for many.

So what creates a sense of meaning in my life and how do I go about manifesting it?

How I relate to self-love

Much is written and said about the importance of self-love, but do we really embrace this understanding in our own lives? Do I allow myself to express needs? Do I respect my body and feelings? Do I walk through life at my own pace?

What needs a fresh look is my relationship with myself! I must explore to what extent I come first — not out of selfishness, but rather out of respect for my own experience and boundaries.

How I face mistakes and failures

Whatever the reasons may be, we at times fail ourselves and others by taking on more than we can chew, manipulating situations or people, or hurting others due to our own unawareness.

Ask yourself, how do I treat myself when I mess up? What do I feel when I find myself not living up to my own expectations and those of others?

What needs a fresh look is what my relationship is with guilt and shame. Can I allow life to confront me with experiences that leave me excluded, judged, or paying for the consequences of my actions, and yet still return to a state of innocence? A point where I can start fresh, again and again. A point where I face my guilt and shame without taking them to a place where continuous self-punishment is the result.

How I listen and talk to my intuition

Close your eyes and notice if you can feel something in your belly. Is there a subtle sensation of either well-being or discomfort? What does it feel like being next to a particular person or a given situation? We often override this subtle feeling in our bellies out of shame or conformity, and thereby place ourselves into situations that feel wrong.

So, am I allowed to have my own experience, listen to it, and act on it?

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Consciousness

An Animation That Beautifully Explores ‘The War On Consciousness’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many feel there is a great effort to suppress human consciousness. Not just our will, but the exploration of who we truly are. This shows up in many ways, originating top-down from corporations to governments etc.

  • Reflect On:

    There is no actual 'war.' This is a state of perception. If we see it as war, we create fighting. Instead, let's simply evolve and expand our consciousness knowing we're more powerful than those who suppress. Spreading knowledge and living it is key.

The animation below is great and Graham Hancock’s message in it is also powerful, but I want to address something important quickly before we start, as what I’m about to say is a crucial part of the message we have been working so hard to convey here at CE since inception.

I get that ‘the war on consciousness’ is a figure of speech in the case of this talk, but with 10 years working in this field of journalism and consciousness, I do see many of us getting caught up in the idea that we have to fight and that there is a war to be won.

I see this as a state of consciousness that will keep us locked in a state of disconnection and loss of power.

Moving Beyond A Key Myth

One of the biggest myths that gets spread around this movement is that we must get angry to change the world. The truth is, some of us might get angry at first, and that’s totally fine! But we have to shift beyond the consciousness of being angry about our world before we can change it in any way that will TRULY cause change.

When we change things out of anger, spite, judgement or anxiety, we don’t create systems from the heart, this we will need to break them down again in a very short time. Not because we have evolved beyond them again, but because they are systems created from a polarized state of being. THIS is what we’re moving beyond in this shift.

Change Starts Within.

This is neutrality in action. This is how we evolve beyond what we see in our world.

What does it mean to evolve beyond it? It’s to be in a state of being and emotion where these events can no longer happen. When you assume you must fight for something, you are saying that there needs to be a fight, thus you are met with a fight. That emotion and idea comes from a disconnected state of consciousness where we can still create that experience.

If we as individuals evolve beyond the need for the fight, it would mean to be in a state of being where we do not need to see the fight. That comes from changing our view and perception of something.

Being present, being here now, and not identifying so strongly with the body, our identity, culture, skin color, struggle etc is powerful. We instead see and live in a state of being where we practice the knowing of our pure potential, living through the heart, collaborative oneness and true heart guidance.

Thus, to evolve beyond it is to change your state of being so that this type of reality no longer exists as it can’t be created from that new state of being. When we achieve this collectively, it no longer exists in our world.

Now that I got that out of the way, one last note is, Graham Hancock will speak of psychedelics in his talk. They have become incredibly trendy today, and while they can help people, research is suggesting this happens when done in specific ways and with specific intentions. Many are starting to put all their power into these plants as if it will do the work for them. They don’t, and won’t.

You can also achieve these exact same insights without the use of these plants. It’s important we maintain a grounded and realistic approach to these plants so they can be used with respect and for their intended purpose. We explore the purpose of psychedelics deeply in an episode of The Collective Evolution Podcast here.

 The ‘War’ On Consciousness

This animation was created by the talented team over at After Skool. You can check out their channel here.

Transcript

What is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter, materialist science in the West says that we are just meat, we’re just our bodies. So when the brain is dead, that’s the end of consciousness, there is no life after death, there is no soul; we just rot and are gone. Actually, many honest scientists should admit that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don’t know exactly how it works.

The brain is involved in it some way but we’re not sure how. It could be that the brain generates consciousness the way a generator makes electricity, if you hold to that paradigm, then, of course, you can’t believe in life after death, when the generator’s broken, consciousness is gone. But it’s equally possible that the relationship — and nothing in neuroscience rules it out – that the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set, and in that case, when the TV set is broken, of course the TV signal continues. And this is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions, that we are immortal souls temporarily incarnated in these physical forms.

If we want to understand consciousness, the last people we should ask are materialist scientists. Instead, we should look at ancient cultures, like the Egyptians, who highly valued dream states. Many ancient cultures around the world used hallucinogenic plants to understand consciousness and expand their minds.

However, in today’s society, visionary plants are highly illegal because they promote a state of consciousness that does not agree with the agenda of profit. Substances, like coffee, alcohol, sugar and pharmaceuticals, are forced upon the population, but possession of even small quantities of cannabis, Ayahuasca or psilocybin will land you in jail. If we do not recognize the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness, then we can NOT claim to be free.

Look at what our moderns state of consciousness has done. We have destroyed the natural gifts of the earth in pursuit of short-term, selfish gain. We must reconnect with spirit immediately or else we will encounter disaster. Visionary plants could be the remedy for our current sickness.

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Consciousness

Smiling At Cashiers & Other Sparks Of Divinity

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It is possible to have profound experiences in some of the most mundane encounters with others.

  • Reflect On:

    How would your life change if every interaction you had with other people was infused with the conviction that we are all one?

It’s one of the things I like to do, as the receipt is being put in my hand: offer a grateful ‘thank-you,’ and look in the cashier’s eyes for an extra split-second and smile, and see if they are ready to share a spark of divinity that crosses between our souls.

Sometimes they are, as happened to me recently at a ‘No Frills’ express lane. I looked at the girl as she handed me the bill, she looked at me, and then came the recognition in her eyes, in her smile, whether conscious or not, that we are connected, that we see each other, that we are grateful to be alive to have this kind of experience. Magic.

Sometimes the cashier is not ready, and my smile is met with a furtive glance, back to the next matter at hand, the next customer in line. No matter. No effort to connect is wasted. Some of the energy still gets through and gives the person a lift.

Sometimes it is me who is not ready, and the smile from the cashier awakens me into appreciation. Imagine, they are the ones working a long, tiring, repetitive job and they take a moment to wake ME up!

When the cashier is efficient, friendly, light, then my appreciation for what they are doing pours out into that moment. When the cashier is slow, tired, fed-up, it is not so easy for me. But at times, I am prepared to take the opportunity to help reconnect that person to the vitality of life. Have you ever eased a busy, ragged, overwhelmed cashier into a moment of divinity with a warm smile of empathy? Have you ever made a frowning, wrinkled face light up? Try it! This may be the best experience of them all.

Learned Practice

I’m just grateful to have found this practice. It did not come naturally to me. I was always shy, cautious, pensive, ‘in my head’. It was through years of watching a few trusted friends, seeing how they interacted easily and openly with strangers, that I started to try to adopt a new approach.

I had long been a student of philosophy and spirituality. But if the study of esoteric matters remains on the pages, in the words, in the concepts, simply a tool of the intellect to make one feel smart, evolved, superior, then the whole point is missed, not only about spiritual knowledge but about life itself.

At first, the practice for me was about trying to feel connected myself; it served to make me feel more comfortable in the world, especially around other people. As I continued to practice, and expand that practice into other situations, not just with strangers but with friends, loved ones, enemies, it really broadened and deepened my understanding of spiritual principles which I had previously fancied myself an expert in. Perhaps one of the most important realizations I’ve had through all this is that true knowledge is humbling. If one’s knowledge base serves to inflate one’s sense of self-importance in the world in comparison to other people, then it is not true knowledge.

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

Our lives on this planet are fraught with difficult emotions: fear, sadness, anxiety, and many others. One of the great healing salves is to endeavor to demonstrate to others the knowledge that we are all one. Most likely, you have had this kind of experience in some situations in your life, like smiling at a cashier or hugging a loved one. The key to a great life is to work to expand this experience into all our interactions with people, to overcome the barriers of separation, not only in others but especially the ones within ourselves.

This is the task of the bringers of light. And whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all here to bring our light upon the darkness, and collectively transform our world into our shared vision of harmony.

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Consciousness

Expanding Reality Through Consciousness: A Fascinating Interview With A Neurosurgeon

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Joe recently sat down with Dr. Mario Beauregard for an in-depth discussion into consciousness, current events and how we can begin responding to the emerging desire for change.

  • Reflect On:

    What direction is our global society moving towards with regards to understanding the true nature of consciousness? Is a new consciousness emerging within us that no longer resonates with the 'old world?'

Mario Beauregard, PhD., is a neuroscientist currently affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Arizona. He has received a bachelor degree in psychology and a doctorate degree in neuroscience from the University of Montreal. He has also underwent postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Texas Medical School (Houston) and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University.

Dr. Beauregard is the author of more than 100 publications (articles, essays, book chapters) in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry. He was the first neuroscientist to use neuroimaging to investigate the neural underpinnings of voluntary control in relation to emotion. Because of his research into the neuroscience of consciousness, he was selected (2000) by the World Media Net to be one of the “One Hundred Pioneers of the 21st Century.”

In the episode below, Collective Evolution founder Joe Martino and Dr. Beauregard sit down to discuss what transhumanism, AI, near death experiences and our current events have in common, which is consciousness. They all stem from what level of consciousness we are creating these things out of. Joe explores this topic with Dr. Beauregard in a recent episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV.

CETV is a platform we created to combat the tremendous amount of censorship and demonetization we have experienced and are currently experiencing. It’s our own platform, away from social media platforms like Facebook and it’s how we are able to continue doing what we do and keep Collective Evolution alive. If you’d like to become a member, start a free trial to check it out or simply support the work that we do, you can sign up HERE.

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