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Monday November 14th’s “Extra Super Moon.” Here’s How It Could Affect Your Life

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Earlier this month, we experienced a Full Moon in Aries on October 15 and 16, depending on where you were at that time, that appeared slightly different than your average Full Moon. Many referred to it as a “Super Moon” because the Moon came closer to Earth than it usually does.

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Lucky for us, more of these Super Moons are on the horizon (literally). In fact, 2016 will end with two more Super Moons, each one differing from the other. The next Super Moon will take place on November 14, which many are calling an “Extra Super Moon,” and for good reason!

What Is a Super Moon?

The term “Super Moon” was coined in more recent years and was inspired by the astronomy term “Perigee Full Moon.” The word ‘perigee‘ is defined as the Moon’s closest point to the Earth. What was believed at the time to be the world’s closest and largest Full Moon occurred on March 19, 2011, which is when the term Super Moon gained popularity.

Although it was originally used to describe a New Moon or a Full Moon that fell within 90% of its closest proximity to Earth in a given orbit, Super Moon is now used more broadly to identify when a Full Moon is closer to Earth than normal.

The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, meaning its shape is more ovular than circular. As a result, the perigee side of it is approximately 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the opposite side. The scientific term “syzygy” refers to when the Earth, Sun, and Moon line up as the Moon orbits the Earth. If you can imagine, when perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system takes place and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, that is when a Super Moon occurs.

This miraculous event is set to happen three times this year. The first was on October 15/16 and the next two will be on November 14 and December 14. However, the November 14 Super Moon will be an Extra Super Moon.

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Related book: You can learn more about astrology and how it affects your life.

Why Is the Super Moon on November 14 “Extra Super”?

Not only will the November 14 Super Moon be the closest Full Moon this year, but it will be the closest Full Moon to date this century as well. In fact, it will mark the closest Full Moon since 1948. After November 14, the Moon won’t come that close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

It is estimated that a Super Moon could appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than the average Full Moon. Despite this significant difference, it’s not always easy to distinguish a Full Moon from a Super Moon. It depends largely on your location and the weather conditions that day or night, as the brightness could be hidden behind clouds or altered by city lights. And without the presence of a Full Moon to compare it to, you may not even notice the difference.

Nevertheless, this is an event you won’t want to miss. The Moon is expected to reach its full phase on November 14 at 1352 UTC. For any North Americans reading this: 1352 UTC is the equivalent to 9:52 A.M. AST, 8:52 A.M. EST, 7:52 A.M. CST, 6:52 A.M. MST, 5:52 A.M. PST.

Check out the following NASA video that explains the three Super Moons in 2016:

How Will the Super Moons Affect Your Life?

Full Moons generally provoke certain themes in our lives that have been gaining momentum during the weeks leading up to the Full Moon. These themes typically become more apparent during the three or four day period prior to the Full Moon as they approach a peak or release point. These themes could be so minor that you don’t notice them, or they could be significant life events that are easily recognizable, depending on other astrological variables.

These themes could present themselves through relationships or experiences or they could occur internally. Full Moons often represent a time of change, flux, and adjustment, which are often inspired by some sort of realization or an increase in consciousness. Full Moons are an excellent time to balance and integrate energies of the opposing signs or they could induce situations where they are at odds with one another.

The Extra Super Moon on November 14 will be a Super Full Moon in Taurus. Don’t forget about the December 14 Super Moon in Gemini as well. Even though the December Super Moon won’t come quite as close to Earth as the November 14 one, it will be miraculous for a different reason.

The Geminid meteor shower happens to fall on the same night as the December Super Moon. Even though the Geminid meteor shower usually dazzles viewers as it lights up the night sky, it may be overpowered by the bright moonlight. One thing’s for certain: These Super Moons will be two events you won’t want to miss, and even if you do, you may still notice the effects they have on your life!

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Consciousness

Scientists Find That Six In Ten Grieving People ‘See or Hear Dead Loved Ones’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    University of Milan found that there is a "very high prevalence" of people who have experience with receiving messages from their deceased loved ones, like seeing or hearing them.

  • Reflect On:

    Does consciousness exist outside of the body? Is biology necessary for for consciousness to thrive?

What happens when we ‘die?’ We can’t quite answer that question, but we can perhaps say that something indeed does happen. The evidence for reincarnation, for example, is quite unbelievable. There have been a number of cases of children who clearly remember their past lives, describing in detail their previous family members as well as how they died and other factors that have been confirmed by their supposed past families. This is precisely why Carl Sagan said that reincarnation is worthy of “serious scientific study.” Other near death studies have suggested that consciousness does not depend on our biology, as those who are close to death or pronounced dead and then come back to life have told tales and described details about their surroundings at the time that would have been impossible had they not been ‘outside’ of their bodies. This information was presented to the United Nations, and you can read more about that here and watch the full video presentation.  

There could be multiple things that happen when one passes away. Perhaps their soul can go multiple routes, as if it has a choice? Perhaps consciousness is something separate from the soul? Perhaps bits and pieces of our consciousness stick around while our soul goes off to a new experience? Who knows, but again, the evidence suggesting something does indeed happen is pretty interesting to say the least.

A study conducted a couple of years ago added to the mystery, as researchers from the University of Milan found that there is a “very high prevalence” of people who have experience with receiving messages from their deceased loves one, like seeing or hearing them. The study, however, labels these as “post-bereavement hallucinatory experiences,” and the researchers don’t seem to be open to the idea that these experiences could actually be real.

Through their work, they believe that 30 to 60 percent of people experience this type of thing, or at least widowed subjects.

They published their findings in the Journal of Affective Disorders. 

Jacqueline Hayes, an academic at the University of Roehampton, has studied the phenomenon for a long time. She’s been interviewing people from across the UK who have lost spouses, parents, children, siblings and friends. She told the Daily Mail: “People report visions, voices, tactile sensations, smells, and something that we call a sense of presence that is not necessarily related to any of the five senses. I found that these experiences could at times be healing and transformative, for example hearing your loved one apologise to you for something that happened – and at other times foreground the loss and grief in a painful way.”

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The report follows research from the University of Southampton, which suggested there might be such thing as life after death. That study, published in 2014, found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death, which was previously thought impossible.

Russel Targ, a renowned physicist and co-founder of the US government/Stanford remote viewing STARGATE project also shared an interesting experience he had with his deceased daughter. During a formal meeting with other people that he was not involved in, his daughter asked one of those people to give a message to her father, Russel. This is one experience he had that convinced him that consciousness does indeed survive after death. He expressed this in an interview with UFO researcher Richard Dolan. You can watch that here in its entirety.

The scientific investigation of mediumship actually started approximately 150 years ago. Members of the British and American Societies for Psychical Research studied it heavily, which involved many prominent physiologists, psychologists and scientists.

Over the past few years, scientific research on mediumship has gained more popularity too. This could be due to the fact that recent research has confirmed that mediumship is not associated with conventional dissociated experiences, psychosis, dysfunction, pathology or over-active imaginations. (source)  In fact, a large percentage of mediums have been found to be high functioning individuals. (source)

“Most prior research on this phenomenon has focused on whether mediums can genuinely report accurate information under blinded conditions, and whether their personalities deviate in significant ways from population norms. But little is known about their physiological and electrocortical processes. Scientists have long proposed and used electroencephalography to study mediums in trance (deeply dissociated) states (Prince, 1968Mesulan, 1981Hughes and Melville, 1990Oohashi et al., 2002Hageman et al., 2010), but to our knowledge mental mediums who do not experience trance states have not been studied using these techniques.”

A team of researchers, including scientists from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), published the very first paper on mediumship in the Journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2013. (source)

Paul Mills at the University of California, San Diego, Julie Beischel and Mark Boccuzzi at the Windbridge Institute, and Arnaud Delorme, Dean Radin and Leena Michel from IONS teamed up to design and conduct a study to collect psychometric and brain electrophysiology data from six individuals. They had all previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions, and did so again in this study. Correlations between the accuracy of mediums’ statements and their brain electrical activity were examined, and the differences in brain activity were studied when they intentionally evoked four subjective states: perception, recollection, fabrication, and communication.

Each participant performed two tasks with their eyes closed. In the first one, the participant was given only the first name of a deceased person, and was then asked 25 questions about them. After each question, the participant was asked to quietly perceive information that was relevant to the question for 20 seconds and then respond verbally. Each response was recorded and then scored for accuracy by individuals who knew the deceased people.

Out of the 4 mediums, the accuracy of 3 of them was significantly above chance, and the correlation between accuracy and brain activity during the 20 seconds of supposed communication with the dead was outstanding. Researchers discovered that brain activity during the 20 seconds of silent mediumship communication was significant in the frontal theta for one participant.

These results (and researchers) don’t point to this as definitive proof of mental communication with the deceased, but the accuracy ratings in the tasks and the unique brain activity measured in the second activity certainly call for further scientific inquiry into this under-studied phenomenon.

The Takeaway

The idea that consciousness exists beyond the physical realm is still greeted with harsh skepticism, but with all of the interesting evidence out there, this shouldn’t be the case. It should actually be studied further with an open mind, but the fact remains that no matter how strong and plausible the evidence is for something, if it upsets and disrupts the current accepted framework of knowledge, it will often be greeted with harsh opposition and ridicule. Countless amounts of ‘sane’ people have had experiences that suggest to them that their loved ones aren’t really ‘gone,’ but are simply in another place, so why do we assume that these are only hallucinations? Why do we instantly jump to that conclusion instead of actually entertaining the idea that there is indeed some sort of life after death, regardless of the fact that we may not be able to fully understand it yet?

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Consciousness

Why Do So Many Humans Believe Animal Life Has No Value Or Is Of Lesser Worth?

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123RF

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Intercept, in partnership with Sentient Media, have introduced an eight-part video series about factory farms, animal agriculture and animal rights, entitled “Animal Matters.” Episode three has just been released.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we eat animals? Why have we been made to believe that the human body requires meat and dairy when all of the evidence points to the opposite? Why do we participate and vote with our dollar to continue subjecting innocent beings to torture?

The Intercept has partnered with Sentient Media to introduce an eight part video series about factory farms, animal rights, and animal agriculture called “Animal Matters.” Two episodes have already been released. The first one covered the aim and overall goals of the series and the second explored how the issue has impacted collective consciousness, as more people are realizing that using animal products as a means of “feeding the planet’s 8 billion people is ethically, morally, economically and environmentally unsustainable.” (source)

Why do we believe animals are here to serve us? To clothe us? To feed us? If you’re thinking that this is how it’s always been, think again.

Rita Laws, Ph.D., published an article explaining how among her own people, the Choctaw Indians of Mississippi and Oklahoma, vegetables were the traditional diet, and homes were constructed of wood, mud, bark, and cane — not skins. “The principal food, eaten daily from earthen pots, was a vegetarian stew containing corn, pumpkin and beans.” She explains how meat in “the form of small game was an infrequent repast” and how their clothing was even derived from plants. Perhaps one of the most interesting revelations shared by her experiences and research is the fact that “more than one tribe has creation legends which describe people as vegetarian, living in a kind of Garden of Eden. A Cherokee legend describes humans, plants, and animals as having lived in the beginning in ‘equality and mutual helpfulness.’ “ 

You can read about that and watch the lecture (which is the source for the quotes above) given by her here.

Furthermore, there was a very special relationship between animals, humans, and nature, especially if an animal was ever taken in a time of need.

How much do we really know about our history? Consuming animals the way we do is something, in my opinion, that was created by big food corporations. We became desensitized enough to consume milk, for example, where a cow is literally raped artificially so she can produce milk for her offspring, but then her offspring is carried away and marked for death and ends up receiving none of the milk. Plus, the milk of a cow is not meant for human consumption, it creates acidosis in the body which in turn leeches calcium from our bones. Casein, the protein in the milk of a cow, is also detrimental to human health because it accelerates the growth of cancer. There is evidence suggesting the milk of a cow is responsible for higher osteoporosis rates, and the mere fact that a high percentage of the human population cannot properly digest the milk from a cow is evidence enough. We’ve never had the gene to digest the sugar in cows milk, we had to evolve into developing it, and furthermore, we are the only animal to drink the milk of another animal. We’re also the only animals in the world to continue drinking milk after weaning. Something is extremely wrong here, and this is just on the subject of milk.

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It’s quite clear that a plant-based diet is far better for health than a meat-based one, although this still causes massive amounts of cognitive dissonance. The point is, when it comes to our health, eating meat makes absolutely no sense.

Animal agriculture is destroying our planet. It’s the leading cause of deforestation and wreaks havoc on our environment in many other ways.  It currently account for approximately 80 percent of deforestation rates. (source)

But what about morality? What about empathy? How can we so easily subject so many sentient, intelligent animals, who are even smarter than our own dogs, to such torture, depression, and horror? This represents the largest genocide on planet Earth. Why do people think that it’s completely natural and OK to eat meat, and why do people think that we’ve been eating meat for thousands of years? Even multiple neanderthal groups and others related to us might have been completely vegan. Here is a write up from the Guardian about one example. Here is an article I published about that a couple of years ago going into more detail there.

The point is, today we don’t have to eat meat. Refraining from eating meat is better for our planet and our health, and it can help restore love, compassion, understanding and equality on our planet.

But again, how can we just sit back and accept this? How can we keep buying animal products for consumption knowing where they’ve come from? Is it because we haven’t seen it for ourselves? Is it because we are not the ones doing the slaughtering? Does this have some sort of effect? The way we treat animals, grow animals, and raise them for slaughter and mass consumption is one of the most heart-breaking systems on our planet. To treat an innocent, empathetic, intelligent and helpless being in this manner does not really represent what being human is all about, does it?

What is going on here? Why do we look at bacon or steak as pieces of food on our plate, but not as something that wants to snuggle in your arms, play with their brothers and sisters, and be with their family? What gives us the right to spark the mass extinction of animals, or the mass production and murder of them? This is not necessary.

These are the questions that were explored in episode 3 of the series. They bring up various points like the fact that because we feel like we’re more intelligent, perhaps that makes people believe we have the right to do whatever we want. That being said, I’d like to emphasize that we are not more intelligent than all animals. Look at our planet and what we do to others, you call that intelligence? Intelligence goes beyond how we define it, real intelligence is the ability to feel empathy, to love, to care, to have compassion and to act in service of others. The intelligence of many animals is much higher than that of human beings, and we have so much to learn from them.

The Takeaway

Could it be possible that corporate desires for money have driven the meat industry as well as meat consumption to these heights? Processed meats were once on the food guide, but we now know that they are carcinogenic. Why do so many people believe meat is necessary, and that eating it is a good thing? Do our beliefs about our food and where it comes from really originate from us or have they been beamed into us using marketing tactics? Why don’t we learn where our food comes from and see the process when we are growing up? Are our minds really this susceptible to programming and brainwashing? Why do we fight to hang onto something that is no longer serving the collective? Have we become so engulfed in our senses, our desires, and our wants that we are willing to forsake what’s really important? What’s actually good for us? Have we lost touch with our souls?

“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising  relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them.” – Dr. Ellsworth Wareham (source)

It’s great to see a huge consciousness shift around this issue because 10 years ago this type of discussion was not even on the global consciousness radar. We have come a long way, and it’s going to be quite interesting to see if in 10 years from now big meat and diary are even still in business.

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Consciousness

Embodied Spirituality: The Truth Shall Set You Free

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are truths, despite what our president would want us to believe. Subjective and objective domains for truth are largely distinct, and discerning the difference informs a spirituality that honors more than just our convenient worldviews.

  • Reflect On:

    The key is learning how to appropriately identify subjective versus objective truths. When we mix up these domains, we end up not living in alignment with the truth, which is not only anti-spiritual but leads to the demise of the Earth as well.

For myself, spirituality means aligning with what is true, or most likely true. This means looking at what is true through the lens of my unique experience and self-reflection (subjectively) and what is true in the world (objectively).

Living in accord with what’s true means I have to confront lots of things that are tough to stomach and that I’d prefer weren’t true. I practice resiliency by enduring this discovery process. It takes courage, humility, sensitivity, insight, intellectual rigor, emotional intelligence, and flexibility—in essence, all of me.

Why does it require all of me to be honest?

Because we humans have evolved to stick to our beliefs, even though many of them are false. We, in fact, experience a dopamine rush (a feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains) when we affirm our beliefs, even if they are wrong. So, confronting false beliefs about myself and the world means I have to endure some degree of feeling badly, some emotional turmoil, cognitive dissonance, and reorientation of my world. When I challenge many of my false beliefs, I encounter nothing short of transformation on all levels. Sounds like a bona fide spiritual path to me.

The Power of (False) Belief

This being human is a guesthouse,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

—Rumi

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When we don’t align with what’s true about ourselves, interpersonally, and in the world, we develop false beliefs. And we like to assert these false beliefs. Using evidence and acknowledging reality can help us let go of our false beliefs. We receive this information subjectively through self-reflection and what others share with us (which we also need to sort through for false projections). We receive true information about objective reality by direct observation and through evidence.

Ascertaining inconvenient truths means we have to let go of our self-administered dopamine addiction (by lying to ourselves and others when wrong) and experience feeling badly temporarily. We have to accept new visitors to the guesthouse of our psyche if we want to be more honest. If we can’t do this, we cut ourselves short of our potential.

We can’t be as loving and kind when we’re deluded about what’s true, subjectively and objectively. If I can’t accept that I am more self-serving than I think I am, I will continue to unconsciously put myself first at the expense of others. If I can’t acknowledge that smoking cigarettes, synthetic chemicals in perfumes, or spraying RoundUp is harmful, I am more likely to condone their use, which causes harm.

To change belief structures includes a collapse of our sense of self, trust, safety, belonging, and our perceived survival. This is also why many cling so dearly to their beliefs; even war can seem like a better option than to adjust ourselves to reality. Reality seems pretty powerful this way! If we adopt reality as our guru, we have a powerful teacher on our side to wake us up. So, a willingness to embody our humanness can be a path to greater compassion and peace. Embodied spirituality means being fully human—accepting and working skillfully with all our thoughts, emotions, physical issues, and relationships.

When we don’t embody our spirituality, we don’t take as good care of the Earth, which is the extension of our own bodies. In the age of environmental collapse, an earthy and embodied relationship to life that apprehends what is true helps us heal what’s ill. Like missing a medical diagnosis, how can we treat what what we can’t bear to admit and accurately diagnose? Honesty is therefore the first step to healing and embodying our lives.

Being Human is Very Spiritual

We, in fact, need nothing more than everyday honest living for spirituality to put us on a path of massive transformation.The more we can let go of spiritual loftiness and encounter our ordinary humanness, the more resilient and honest we become. Ironically, it is precisely this difficult growth that has given rise to many spiritual and religious paths that abandon the ordinary, grounded world of embodied living, as complex as it is. These spiritual paths thrive on what is highly likely untrue. They try to escape the pain of everyday living by denying what’s painful, which is called spiritual bypassing. With skillfulness, wisdom, and support we can navigate what’s honestly human while not bypassing.

Learning to welcome and tolerate all manner of emotions and inconvenient truths to our guesthouse allows us to align with reality, especially welcoming what makes us feel badly. It’s important to align both with the good and the ugly because when we ignore the ugly and painful, it goes unhealed and untended. Our precious biosphere suffering under the weight of our pollution is a prime example. What we don’t want to look at, we can’t address. Turning our heads and hearts away from it creates more pain and ugliness.

The New Age dictum, “What you put your attention on grows,” fails to acknowledge the importance of embracing what’s ugly and painful. A wiser, more embodied version might go: “The negative things you put your attention on allow you to see reality and address it before it takes over beyond the point of repair.” Look at the plastic pollution issue or climate change as examples. Acknowledging both sides of the coin is more important than choosing only the bright side of life in order to remain happy, which is short-lived when we’re in denial of the dark side. Wanting to remain happy at the expense of not seeing reality (except when we need a recharge break from honestly facing it) is fear in disguise that ultimately comes back to bite us. It also bites us in the moment because this denial cuts us off from our deeper hearts—our compassion and empathy—which are stirred by painful realities.

We can’t know everything, of course. Nor can we be right all the time. But we can be aligned enough with everyday reality (what matters at the end of the day) to make a difference and eliminate unnecessary suffering. We just have to be willing to be selfless enough to stop avoiding necessary pain to the degree we do.

Science & Critical Thinking

Scientific consensus is the primary arbiter of what’s objectively true in the world; what we subjectively experience is not as good a measure of what’s objectively true. “I like apples” is a subjective truth. No one can disprove this; it’s a personal truth. It is not the purview of science to disprove a subjective experience. Yet, if I claim that everyone likes apples just because I experience their yumminess, this is imposing a personal truth onto external reality. And, it’s not true—we know not everyone likes apples, and nothing is wrong with them for not liking them. It is the purview of science to demonstrate that not everyone likes apples, and simple common sense will do in a pinch.

Of course, there is bad science, like the junk (dishonest) science produced by many corporations such as Big Pharma and Bayer-Monsanto with regard to GMOs. So, when I say science, I mean good, peer-reviewed (and not conflict-of-interest and corporate-funded), consensus science. And yes, many scientific truths are always in flux, but many scientific discoveries do not change because they have stood the test of many challenges. Think about the law of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics. Many who want to protect their sense of self and ego deem all science to be manipulative, dishonest, and just another belief system. This is just not true. If it were, the device on which you are reading this article would not function because it’s constructed as a result of the collaboration of many scientific laws that have not been debunked and instead stood the test of time.

Consider another example: If I experience a vision during a medicine journey or receive a message in a dream one night that has personal meaning to me, I might conclude it’s true for everyone, or true in the world. Let’s say a blue dragon with white polka-dots tells me that aliens are communicating to humanity by way of trees. Well, before I know if this is true or not, I’d have to investigate its veracity. I don’t deem it true simply because I had a subjective experience that conveyed it was. This way, I can tentatively receive this bit of intuitive knowledge and seek to determine if it’s true. Intuition tips me off to what is possible, not necessarily what is true.

Confounding subjective and objective truth is one of the biggest faux pas we make, especially in spiritual circles.

Science shows us what’s most likely true beyond our own intuition, beliefs, and biases. Even with science’s errors and its dishonest publishing politics, good scientific consensus is still the best tool we have for determining what’s true about the natural world, not our subjective experiences. We have to be skillful and aware not to automatically deem our subjective experiences as objective truths. This helps us align with reality, keep an appropriately open mind, and helps everyone get along better because we’re not feuding over what’s objectively true.

“What’s True for Me”

When everyone feels entitled to their opinion—”what’s true for me”—we end up with lots of personal beliefs and memes that aren’t true. “Personal truth” or “what’s true for me” is a subjective truth. Your like of apples doesn’t mean anything about the external world, such as my opinion of apples. If I don’t trust politicians or my landlord, this doesn’t mean they are untrustworthy. I need objective evidence to prove or verify my distrust. Or I can just own this hunch and honestly call it so, while knowing it might not be true. This discernment between subjective and objective truth helps prevent assumptions and dogmas. This also sounds pretty spiritual to me.

If someone sheds distressing light on a politicianI like or my best friend, I’m likely to become defensive because my sense of self and orientation in the world, as well as my emotional security, are invested in these beliefs. If my belief structures are challenged, all of what that belief system keeps in place becomes shaky. And this is just too scary for most of us, so much so that we defend against it or attack and assault others because of it. We often make the mistake of imposing “what’s true for me” onto what’s true for everyone or what’s true in the world.

“What’s true for me”  beliefs can’t automatically be extended to external reality unless we have evidence beyond our own subjective perception to deem them so. If I believe the world is flat and this is “what’s true for me,” that doesn’t fly. This is to make a subjective truth objectively factual. This is what leads to conflict and living in fantasy. Just look at religious and many New Age beliefs as examples. They are not different from our personal beliefs about the nature of reality that are also false and cause us to act in egoic, violent ways.

What’s True “Out There”

Good science to determine the mostly likely and factual objective knowledge offers us the opportunity to dismantle our egos and illusions. Science and critical thinking show us that many of our “what’s true for me” opinions about the world are wrong. Notice I am not talking about personal feelings and preferences, but rather our statements of fact about the world.

Objective truths implicitly challenge us to change, to transform ourselves. It takes spiritual-emotional courage to accept these facts, which builds resiliency the more we practice aligning with what is both subjectively and objectively true. The sun appears to go down over the horizon; the Earth appears flat. Via science, we know these subjective observations are not true. Using my intuition to make such conclusions is a wrong use of this faculty. If my intuition tells me there is more to the story, then I can investigate it for other evidence. This, in fact, is how many scientific discoveries occur. Intuition and science are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are allies as long as we don’t assume what’s subjectively true to be objectively true, and vice versa.

Many people dismiss science precisely because its conclusions fly in the face of what they’d prefer to believe. This results in intellectual dishonesty and spiritual delusion. Our emotional bents and grudges—especially those resulting from our hurt and wounds that have generated anger, fear, pain and thus, bias—prevent us from being intellectually honest, unless we recognize the dynamic by which we deceive ourselves and we set about to be more honest. This requires enduring the discomfort of being humbled and sacrificing a temporary dopamine rush for the truth.

To be able to accept truth therefore requires that we deal with our emotional baggage and triggers, because this is the primary driver for our intellectual dishonesty and spiritual laziness. Many of us would fall apart if we discovered that parts of our worldview are untrue. That could result in a spiritual emergency, akin to a healing crisis, which ultimately improves us and makes us more effective in the world.

Warriorship

This is why spiritual warriorship—aligning myself with what is most likely objectively and subjectively true—requires I be emotionally and intellectually rigorous and courageous. It means that I listen to scientific consensus and not discard it because I’d like to believe something else. It means that I listen to the opinions of others and gain perspective on myself (while also honestly and humbly sorting out projections and displacements of other people’s biases). It means that I genuinely and honestly consider interpersonal facts about which I might have an incorrect opinion. And it means that I notice the whispers inside me that tell me when I am being dishonest or hiding from the truth, with white lies tolerated now and again.

Many spiritual paths involve giving over one’s will and beliefs to a guru. Yet, that guru can be corrupt and deluded and conflate subjective and objective truths. For example, feeling “one with all” in meditation doesn’t mean that we are all one in a black or white way—without appropriate boundaries, individual needs, and different tolerances and sensibilities. In this sense, aligning ourselves with what is most likely true, subjectively and objectively, is a robust spiritual path—because, much like a guru, it forces us to align with truth and withstand the breakdown of some part of our existing paradigm. This is death and rebirth work, for sure. Again, this sounds pretty spiritual to me.

Detachment from reality by remaining stuck in one’s self-centered and deluded beliefs doesn’t help the planet or help us show up for one another. Consider our government’s failure to acknowledge the widespread harm of key pesticides, or the neurotoxic chemicals in perfumes and scented products, despite the scientific evidence and the fact that many of these products are banned in the EU and other, more sensible places than America. This creates crimes of global proportion because of the actions (and inactions) and resulting injury that a denial of the facts causes. Or consider a smaller-scale example. If someone doesn’t appreciate you, despite evidence to the contrary they choose not to see, they will treat you poorly and create unnecessary suffering for you and themselves.

Embodied Spirituality

To live an embodied spirituality—where we are in alignment with reality and what’s as true as we can glean— means we have to give up many of our fantasies and wishful thinking. It means we have to tend intimately to our emotional lives and the hidden aches and wounds that hide us from the truth. We find these hidden places when we descend into and become more conscious of our bodies (this is a key aspect of the “body” part of “embodied spirituality”). We have to practice critical thinking to align with external reality, what’s known as “intellectual honesty.” Emotional and intellectual honesty are the pillars that produce spiritual honesty.

When we practice emotional healing, good thinking, and care for the greater good, we inhabit our bodies more fully. Belonging to ourselves this way connects us to the body of the Earth, so we can treat it with the same integrity with which we treat ourselves . This way, spirituality begins with our (extra)ordinary humanness and self-healing and extends to the ordinary, extraordinary world around us in the same vein of integrity.

It’s easy to live in a fantasy world, believing what’s convenient, what feeds our biases, puffs up our superiority, denies what makes us uncomfortable, and propels our hate. These convenient, false beliefs also protect our core wounds and our need to belong in the world at any cost. The problem is that believing in what’s untrue damages the world because it guides our actions and inaction.

Science and everyday evidence are beautiful because they bypass our bias and opinion; they don’t care what we believe or what injures our ego. They’re impartial. Sounds like the work of a good guru to me. When we get humility, courage, honesty, good thinking, and passion all working in harmony and assuming their appropriate roles for truth-discerning, we get integration, which begets integrity. These psycho-spiritual capacities are the cornerstone of an embodied spirituality, which is simply to be an exquisitely integrated and aware human being who genuinely cares about oneself and the world . . . enough to be willing to suffer disillusionment to align with and serve it.

When we align our subjective and objective truths, we live in more harmony, not only with ourselves but with every other precious, living thing. What better path could we take than to strive for an embodied, earthy life in the age of environmental collapse? For, the collapse of the natural world may indeed be due to our collective, personal collapse of integrity—the abandonment of our own embodiment.

****

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is a Chinese medicine physician, having graduated valedictorian of his class in 2000. He has authored hundreds of articles, thousands of poems, and several books. Weber is an activist for embodied spirituality and writes extensively on the subjects of holistic medicine, emotional depth work, and mind-body integration, all the while challenging his readers to think and act outside the box. His latest creation is the Nourish Practice, a deeply restorative, embodied meditation practice as well as an educational guide for healing the wounds of childhood. His work can be found at jackadamweber.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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