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This Woman Was Raped & Forgave Him, So They Did A Ted Talk Together

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94% of all sexual assault cases go unreported and 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime (source). These statistics sadly aren’t much of a shock when you consider how much the media and society sexualize women. Given the enormity of the stigma surrounding rape culture, do you really blame survivors or their rapists for not wanting to come forward?

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Society often pities rape survivors, deeming them as damaged or even blaming them for what happened. Women are told their skirts were too high or that they must have somehow “been asking for it.” In some situations, survivors could even be killed for reporting their perpetrators. It’s rare for rapists to own up to their crimes as well because they’re ostracized and dehumanized, as society has so little compassion for them even though they arguably need it most.

Survivor Thordis Elva and her rapist Tom Stranger are challenging that stigma together by discussing both sides of the story: from the rapist’s and the survivor’s perspectives. Although they both took part in the same story, they had opposing experiences, which in turn affected their lives very differently. In hopes of inspiring other rape victims and rapists to face their inner struggles, they gave a Ted Talk together.

Why This Victim Chose to Forgive Her Rapist

If you’ve been raped, it can be easy (and completely understandable) to place the blame on yourself, be embarrassed, angry, or ashamed, suppress your emotions, or misplace your despair on others, or even worse, on yourself.

However, as Thordis so kindly points out, “the only thing that could’ve stopped me from being raped that night is the man who raped me.” At the end of the day, you cannot control another person’s actions. Yes, you have the power to manifest and create your own reality, but so does everyone else. There’s no point in over-analyzing or regretting your actions because the victim’s actions are ultimately never the cause of rape.

As Tom says, “Far too often the responsibility is attributed to female survivors of sexual violence and not the males who enact it. Far too often the denial and running leaves all parties at a great distance from the truth.”

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Part of the issue with rape culture is the victimization of sexual assault survivors and the immense amount of judgement placed on the perpetrators. This prevents both parties from feeling comfortable in expressing their emotions or sharing their experiences with others.

Yes, the rapist is responsible for his or her actions and the blame should never be placed on the victim, but just because the rapist committed a violent act doesn’t make him or her a bad person. Souls that succumb to violence are simply lost, so instead of judging them for their actions we need to help them see their actions for what they truly are.

Plus, by referring to survivors as victims, we further perpetuate the idea that rape survivors are somehow less than those who haven’t suffered similar traumas. This also encourages survivors to live in “victim consciousness,” the state whereby we continuously think “poor me” and ask ourselves, “Why me?”

As Thordis explains, “Labels are a way to organize concepts, but they can also be dehumanizing in their connotations. Once someone’s been deemed a victim, it’s that much easier to file them away as someone damaged, dishonoured, less than. Likewise, when someone’s been deemed a rapist it’s that much easier to call them a monster, inhuman.”

Since we encourage survivors to accept their role as the “victim” of sexual assault, this can cause survivors to place blame and anger on their attackers. It’s natural to want to blame someone, even hate someone, when they hurt you, and it’s important to feel these emotions rather than suppress them. However, when you spend a lot of your energy thinking negatively about someone else, you are hurting no one but yourself.

As Buddha said, “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” Forgiveness is one of the best ways to overcome anger, as it allows you to find the light within darkness. Even if you don’t think your rapist deserves your forgiveness, recognize that you deserve it.

Thordis found forgiveness through contacting her rapist, Tom. She wrote him a letter outlining her feelings and terrifying experiences that night, which proved to be very therapeutic for her. To her surprise, Tom responded explaining that he too had been trapped in a “silent prison,” just as she had. He hadn’t spoken to anyone about the events that occurred that night, and neither had she.

Thordis, from Iceland, and Tom, from Australia, decided to meet partway in Capetown, South Africa, to discuss what had happened in person. They found solace in talking through the horrific events that transpired that night, and ended up extending compassion to one another.

I think it’s easier for many people to relate to Thordis’ pain, as she was the one who was raped. We often hear the story from the survivor’s perspective, so it’s easier, in a sense, to paint that type of image in our heads. However, the fact of the matter is, 1 in 16 men are rapists, so odds are that you’ve met someone or are even friends or related to someone who’s a rapist.

If you found out your father or your lover was a rapist, would you still consider them the same person? Does one single act have the potential to define our entire self? If someone commits an act of violence, I don’t think this reflects their inner Self, but rather is a product of societal or behavioural issues. This is why I think Tom’s message is so crucial for us to reflect upon.

Tom was always too ashamed of what he’d done to face it. He justified his actions by suppressing his true feelings, which in turn forced him to continuously feel like he needed to convince himself that he was a good person.

When he was finally ready to face his actions and take responsibility for what he’d done, he referred to it as a “paradox of ownership,” saying: “I thought I’d buckle under the weight of responsibility and I thought my certificate of humanity would be burned. Instead, I was offered to really own what I did and found that it didn’t possess the entirety of who I am. Put simply, something you’ve done doesn’t have to constitute the sum of who you are.”

Have you ever made a mistake that forced you to really question your humanity? We want to believe that everything we should do is “right,” which is why labelling our actions as “right” or “wrong” can lead to suffering. However, our humanity isn’t defined only by that which we perceive as being “right.” Everything we do is human; our mistakes don’t dehumanize us, they’re part of what makes us human in the first place.

I’m not suggesting that every “immoral” act can be justified by simply stating, “I’m only human.” To be honest, I think that statement is used far too often to bypass our emotions and avoid dealing with our problems. However, if you do something that you consider “wrong,” I don’t think that makes you any less human.

As Thordis explains, “But how will we understand what it is in human societies that produces violence if we refuse to recognize the humanity of those who commit it?”

You can watch the full Ted Talk below:

Final Thoughts

Thordis’ and Tom’s story serves as a beautiful reminder that we are all capable of forgiveness. Even in our darkest moments where our sorrows feel as though they will define us forever, we can still find hope.

As souls, we come here to gain experience. However, the human experience is one that exists within a dualistic world, so we are bound to experience some darkness. Some of our darker experiences our souls actually want to go through (which may seem unimaginable now) so we can develop insight and learn more about ourselves.

In theory, prior to this lifetime, your soul could have asked another soul to commit a “wrongdoing” to you here on Earth so you could learn from it. Every experience is ultimately a learning opportunity, and some may have been predetermined by your soul contracts. Many of your perceivably darker moments in life aren’t being done “to you,” but rather “for you.” Everything serves you.

Even though these violent acts are indeed a part of humanity, it’s important to note that they don’t reflect our true selvesWe are not only the outer human shells that are governed by emotions; we are the souls that inhabit them as well.

 

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Spring Has Sprung In Sweden With No Coronavirus Quarantine Or Police Enforced Lockdown

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sweden has not enforced a mandatory quarantine or police enforced lock-down, they are still experiencing deaths as well as infections, but have not enforced policies in place.

  • Reflect On:

    Just because many governments have taken an extreme approach to "flattening the curve" does not mean that this is the best approach. Sweden trusts it's citizens to make appropriate decisions for themselves and their families, why don't ours?

While the majority of rest of the world is under a state of quarantine and some places with a police enforced lockdown, the country of Sweden takes an entirely different approach. The Western approach has triggered mass panic, fear and confusion about what is going on and when and if they will ever get to go back to how things were. The Swedish government, on the other hand has a close bond with their citizens and they have developed a sense of trust over the years by treating the adults, as adults who are capable of making informed decisions and taking appropriate measures to keep themselves and their families safe.

Sweden Takes A More Relaxed Approach

Unlike most of their European neighbours, Sweden has not closed non-essential businesses, borders or schools. They also have not banned gatherings containing two or more people. Sweden’s response to the global pandemic is being overseen mostly by the country’s Public Health Agency, which by the way, is a separate entity from their government. Sweden puts the power in the hands of the people, trusting that they will voluntarily adopt the recommended measures to delay the spread of the virus. They are still encouraging those who are vulnerable to stay at home and practice social distancing, and those who are ill to do the same, but they are not using force, hysteria, fear and panic to do so.

But in view of the evident worsening of the situation, Lena Hallengren, Minister of Social Affairs and Health and Johan Carlson, Director General of the National Institute of Public Health, presented new guidelines and regulations to try to limit the damage caused by the Covid-19 virus.

The most important of these guidelines concerns the number of customers in shops and stores, public transport and the activities of the country’s sports clubs.

Johan Carlson said, “Everyone should avoid participating in large social events, such as baptisms, weddings and big parties.” (source)

Controversial Measures

Of course, considering the state of the rest of the world, Sweden has attracted a lot of criticism from within the country and outside of it. The leading epidemiologist for the Public Health Agency, Anders Tegnell told CNBC in an interview that although his country was attempting a different strategy to defeat the spread of the virus, their aim was the same, “My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much as possible to keep healthcare and society working … and we have shown some different methods to slow down the spread. Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working, and we have a long tradition that it works rather well.”

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Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven has announced that times will be tough and has put the responsibility on the individual Swedes rather than having governments enforce strict measures, saying, “We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can’t legislate and ban everything.”

Is Sweden In Danger?

It is interesting to note that as of today (April 3rd) there have been only 6,131 cases of Covid19 reported in Sweden, this ranks Sweden as 19th on the worldmeters.info list. So, in comparison to 18 other countries Sweden is actually doing alright with the measures they have put in to place.

Only time will tell if the measures taken by Sweden were appropriate or not. If they are able to manage the problem and still effectively “flatten the curve” it may be upsetting to the all the countries that are currently being asked to stay inside at all costs. A positive aspect to Sweden’s approach is that they are not using fear tactics as a means to control their citizens, less fear/stress means stronger immune systems.

Imagine if your government trusted you as a citizen enough to make the best decisions for you and your family based off recommendations instead of enforcing measures to control its citizens. I mean, can we get a little credit here to make appropriate decisions on our own during times like these? Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history shared his thoughts on the measures that are being taken to combat the new coronavirus, he referred to them as “draconian.” You can see his statement and read more about that here.

According to 21stcenturywire.com,

Only time will tell what the best response to this year’s outbreak turns out to be, but for the moment Sweden’s more laissez-faire approach should be heartening to its population. The government entrusting its citizens to observe advice and adjust their behaviours accordingly without the threat of police intervention is something that should be applauded in a free society. It also maintains a higher level of trust going in the other direction, from the public to the government. On a practical level, not employing draconian measures immediately prevents hysteria from taking hold amongst the public and allows for a slower escalation of measures should they be needed.

Trust is an important factor in a democracy where a government rules by consent of the people. Public trust in Sweden is exceptionally high, with citizens having faith that their politicians are acting in the public interest. Their propensity to treat adults like adults is key to that trust remaining.”

Final Thoughts

Just because many governments worldwide have enforced these strict measures doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the only option we have and they are the only way to effectively stop the spread. There are a lot of points worth pondering when it comes to the approach taken by most of the western world and it’s important to always keep asking questions. Absolutely stay home if you’re sick or have a compromised immune system, but for those who aren’t don’t forget to get out in the sunshine, get some fresh air, go for walks in nature and try to mitigate some of the fear and stress you may be feeling.

We are all in this together.

Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.

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What Is Humanity Capable Of? This Man Got 152 Million Mangrove Trees Planted In 10 Years

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal's Minister of Environment, has led one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen. The program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta, Senegal.

  • Reflect On:

    If one person can do this, why can't the 'global elite' who have access to tremendous resources do more of this type of thing? What's really on?

Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal’s Minister of Environment, led a program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta of souther Senegal over the past decade. This represents one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen.  He’s been planting since 2009, and the success of the project truly goes to show what the human race is capable of, let alone one person.

As most of you reading this know, forests are one of the most exploited habitats on our planet, and a number of industries are responsible for their rapid destruction. Animal agriculture, alone, for example, makes up the large majority of amazon deforestation. It’s linked to 75 percent of historic deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nearly a third of biodiversity loss to date has been linked to animal agriculture. According to some estimates,  27 per cent – more than a quarter – of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. (source)

To truly begin exploring how new ideas can be implemented practically, watch the following video we recently put out: Regenerate: beyond The CO2 Narrative

Deforestation is a tragedy that plagues our world, and it’s something that can be solved as we have the potential as one human race to initiate large scale tree planting and reforestation, and this example from Senegal is a great example of that.

In a video interview with BBC, Haidar described how the original mangrove forest in Southern Senegal was disrupted in the 80s and 90s as the nation began to build roads which diverted or ended the flow of rivers. “At the time there were no environmental impact studies, of course.” After this he described lumbermen who clear-cut the mangroves, and then goes on to explain that the salt from sea water ended up coming in as a result and poisoning nearby rice fields. This really got peoples attention to the point where they began thinking about replacing what had been lost.

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The truth is, the human race has a tremendous amount of potential. All we hear from politicians and mainstream media seems to be nothing but talk, without the implementation of actual solutions. They’ve been doing this for years, yet you have people like Ali out there who are actually getting things done without access to the resources that the world’s elite have access to. If one man can do something as tremendous as this, imagine if the most wealthiest people in the world came together, pooled their resources and started something similar? It seems that ideas are always given, and conferences are always held and initiatives are always started, but nothing ever seems to get done when it comes to the political sphere. Countries agree to enter into certain accords that really do nothing for the planet, and crisis’ like climate change and pandemics, for example, always seem to be used for the elite to somehow profit off of them.

It’s time to ask the question, do our ‘leaders’ really have the intention to change our world for the better? Are our global organizations and politicians put in place to tackle these issues really making planet Earth a priority?

It’s hard to imagine that we couldn’t change this planet and clean it up in the blink of an eye if it actually were a priority.

If we can shut down the planet for months due to an outbreak, why can’t we do the same to make sure everybody is fed? Why can’t we do the same to spark a massive global reforestation campaign? Why are there so many barriers and obstacles to implementing solutions that can help change our world? The solutions are abundant and available, so one should ask themselves, if the solutions to our problems aren’t the issue, what is? Something to think about…

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White House: Out of 327 Million Americans – Coronavirus May Kill Up To 200,000

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the latest White House press conference regarding the novel coronavirus, President Trump and his team predicted that, with the current data available, between 100,000 and 200,000 may die from Coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we doing the right thing here? How accurate is the date, do we have enough data? Why haven't we taken these measures before for previous outbreaks and already existing coronaviruses that infect millions of people every single year?

In one of Donald Trump’s latest press conferences, it was suggested that up to 200,000 American citizens will die from the new coronavirus. The briefing included projections between 100,000 and 200,000, as a possible best-case scenario, and indicated that they are working hard and that they can end up with a number below one hundred thousand if everything goes well. You may be thinking that one hundred thousand and two hundred thousand deaths out of three hundred and twenty seven million Americans is nothing, and in a sense, compared to other viruses and diseases that are circulating out there, you’re right. The difference with the coronavirus, however, is that the deaths are accumulating in such a short period of time.

That being said, the world, as well as America, has been through major pandemics before, with the last one receiving major media attention being the swine flu. This particular strain of the flu virus infected 1.4 billion people around the world, and in one year took approximately 60,000 American lives. The flu alone is responsible for up to 70,000 deaths every single year in America alone. In fact, a large portion of this with a flu virus, prior to the new coronavirus, already have some sort of coronavirus infection within them. (source)

Some doctors and scientists around the world are raising red flags and calling into question the measures that are being taken as a result of the new coronavirus. Claiming that there is unnecessary panic and hysteria going on. For example, Dr. Martin Dubravec, an allergist-immunologist, wrote an article for the  Association of American Physicians and Surgeons published on March 29th, in it he states the following in an attempt to provide people with perspective.

Of all the deaths reported in the United States as of today, only 2 have been in patients under 18 years of age.  Currently, our death rate (deaths/confirmed cases) has been as high as 2.3% and as low as 1.1% over the past 2 weeks.  The President’s COVID-19 Taskforce estimated that as many at 1/1000 New Yorkers may have the virus.  If this were projected to the entire United States (population 328,239,523), then the total number of COVID-19 would be approximately 328, 239 and deaths from COVID-19 (1.8% death rate) at 5,909.  Even if this ends up being wrong by 1,000 percent, the death rate would still be 59,000, i.e., within range of the estimates for influenza deaths.  You can look at it in another way.  98% of people who get COVID-19 fully recover!

As of today (March 29, 2020) there are 123,828 confirmed cases and 2229 deaths (1.8% death rate) from COVID-19 in the United States.  Compare that with the influenza estimates so far this year:  29,000 deaths!  And the flu season is not yet over, with the CDC estimating as many as 59,000 will die of influenza by May of this year.

The CDC estimates a death rate of 7.4% for influenza like illnesses and pneumonia this year.  This death rate is similar to previous years.  Who in the media is discussing this? (source)

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Coronaviruses have been in existence for a number of years, they infect tens of millions of people every single year worldwide and also contribute to their deaths. It appears that the novel coronavirus will be no different, but I don’t have a crystal ball.

 paper recently published in The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents titled “SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data” claims that the problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably being overestimated. (source)

Contradictory Reporting?

In the recent White House briefing where the president provided the White House’s estimates, Dr. Deborah Leah Birx, an American physician and diplomat who specializes in HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health who is currently serving as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, stated that there is not a shortage of ventilators in New York City, as claimed by multiple mainstream media outlets, like CNN. This is also confusing, to see these comments in a White House Press conference directly contradict what mainstream media outlets are reporting.  Not to say hospitals are not overwhelmed right now, but mainstream media also using hospital footage from Italy and claiming it’s from New York further contributed to the distrust people have of mainstream media.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history recently shared his thoughts on the measures that are being taken to combat the new coronavirus. Bhakdi created a YouTube channel on March 18th, and has since posted four videos that have received more than one million views, total, in a very short span of time. Based on his reasoning, the current measures being put in by global governments are unnecessary and “draconian.” You can watch his last video, which was in the form of a letter written to the German Chancellor, here.  If you can’t understand German, be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

Implementation of the current draconian measures that are so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no.

Dr. Wolfgang Wodargm, a well known pulmonologist sharing his thoughts on the new coronavirus. In it, he questions the current lockdown measures being taken by governments worldwide. You can watch that video and read more about it here.  Again, if you can’t understand German, be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

These sentiments also echo those of three Stanford professors of medicine who recently shared their expert opinion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary data. You can read more about that specifically, here.

Will Donald Trump and his staff be correct? Will the death toll in the United States be no higher than 200,000. We have yet to see. It should be noted that models are always very inaccurate, and new data is constantly coming in that are changing the projections.

For the most part, it seems that the measures we are taken and have may not be warranted, but is it better to be safe than sorry, or is something else going on here? Just simply suggesting that something else could be taking place will have ‘fact-checkers’ all over one’s platform, censoring it and also flagging it as ‘false news.’

According to Dr. Ron Paul. people should ask themselves whether the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic. He was flagged by fact-checkers for simply sharing his opinion.

Beyond Fear

Nonetheless, we have provided many tools to not only move beyond fear, but to increase your immune system with food, breathwork and quality supplements. We have also put out some of our latest content o help people shift conversations away from a far narrative and into one where we can question our reality and how we can effectively change it. See the links below for details.

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

How We Can Regenerate Our Environment & Planet (Documentary)

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

Foods That Weaken Your Immune System

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