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New Expedition Tours Sustainable Projects in Costa Rica

Your customized Expedition can include Natural Building, Permaculture, Renewable Energy Systems, Organic Food Production, Food Forestry, Community Living, Regenerative Business, and Regenerative Community Development in action.

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Article by: Zander Hathaway

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Amidst the majestic coastal mountains, epic waterfalls, and warm beaches of Costa Rica, the first Sustainable Living Expedition was, for me, the educational adventure of a lifetime, and there are many more on the horizon.

-->Listened to our latest podcast episode yet? Joe speaks with Franco DeNicola to explore how we can overcome fears and uncertainty during this time. This episode includes some helpful exercises as well. Click here to listen!

As a member of the team, my role was to provide hospitality, accompany guests on excursions, and write about our collective experience. Fortunately, the entire eight-day event, from February 27th to March 6th, was very well organized, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.

Alexander Hill, a nutritionist from New York City, described the event as “an incredible week of valuable information and wisdom for a new paradigm.”

Designed by social benefit organization Upward Spirals, the program helps guests create action plans for transitioning to a more sustainable way of living. Field trips to nearby projects showcase both innovative and low-tech systems of renewable energy generation, natural building, food forestry, organic farming, holistic education, regenerative business, and community development. Local experts provide valuable knowledge and practical experience with demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

At the end of the experience, participants are equipped with a flash drive containing an extensive sustainability learning library with thousands of guides, plans, tools, and other digital resources to assist them in creating a regenerative future. By empowering visitors with systemic solutions while supporting local projects, the Expedition strengthens the local economy and ecosystems worldwide.

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What Is Upward Spirals?

Upward Spirals is a nonprofit regenerative think tank and consulting company making it easier to live in balance with nature. We do this by building tools, templates, how-to guides, business plans, and social benefit programs that accelerate the co-creation of a sustainable society.

The Diamante Solution Center was established by Upward Spirals to accelerate the creation of an ecologically harmonious world by hosting wellness and educational events, developing local sharing economies, supporting organic food systems, and systematically empowering all organizations engaged in building a regenerative society. All profits are reinvested into social benefit programs to support regenerative economic development.

Other projects by Upward Spirals include the Costa Rica Learning Calendar, Organic Directory, Community Days, Social Enterprise Development and Regenerative Business Optimization.

The Diamante Valley is located between San Isidro and Dominical in Southern Pacific Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places in the world and home to an incredible number of ecotourism, reforestation, conservation, and permaculture projects. The valley extends southward from the epic Tinamaste ridge to the confluence of two pristine watersheds, featuring the spectacular 200-meter Diamante Waterfall and the massive double-cascading Baru Waterfalls.

The Center encompasses 55 acres of lush rainforest, organic gardens, hundreds of fruit trees, and comfortable accommodations, with direct access to the top of Baru Falls, a peaceful river upstream, natural swimming pools, and stunning views of the wildlife corridor below and sunset over the coastal mountains.

The Adventure Begins

As the guests arrived, Murray Dodds, a DJ from Edmonton, Alberta, described his first impression as, “like stepping into a tropical paradise with an astounding river, waterfalls, and fruit trees.”

Murray and several others had just attended the nearby Envision Festival and were exhausted upon arrival. We welcomed everyone with open arms and a nourishing lunch. After a brief orientation, some guests rested in hammocks, others recharged in the the river, and Asja Music, head chef and yoga instructor at Diamante Center, prepared a delicious dinner with local, organic ingredients. Later in the evening, we gathered around the campfire for an opening circle to get to know each other better.

In the mornings, Asja taught yoga on the rainforest deck while I prepared breakfast. We enjoyed most lunches off-site during excursions and returned in the evenings to a delightful array of dinners by Asja that participants raved about.

Jennie-Rose Saunders, an environmental scientist from Ventura California, joyfully exclaimed, “This is some of the best food I’ve ever had!”

Beyond the phenomenal cuisine, guests were also impressed by the beautiful setting and amenities, professional service, hands-on learning, and valuable lifelong connections.

Miles Radin, Interpretive Naturalist for Yosemite National Park, shared, “Words cannot describe how much I learned in eight days with the Upward Spirals team. Their organization brought me to places I otherwise never would have found, and introduced me to pioneers of sustainability I otherwise never would have met.”

The Schedule

Our daily flow of activities was generally as follows:

  • 5:30 am — yoga and meditation
  • 7:00 am — breakfast
  • 8:30 am — depart for first destination
  • 9:00 am — workshop or presentation
  • 1:00 pm — lunch
  • 2:00 pm — second destination or follow-up discussion
  • 5:00 pm — return to the Center
  • 6:00 pm — dinner
  • 7:30 pm — campfire

The Destinations

  • Vida Auténtica: After visiting the local farmers market, Feria Tinamaste Agricultura, Melissa Sweet explained how her non-profit organization has evolved from educating farmers about organic agriculture, to building greenhouses for their graduates, to establishing the farmers market. In just three years, it has grown to include an astounding variety of fresh food, artisan products, and professional services. Vida Autentica has since started an annual Seed Exchange and led a grassroots movement that successfully banned the use of toxic agrochemicals in public spaces countywide.
  • Veganissimo: Paulo Paris shared how he prepares his nut/seed-based vegan foods to sell at the market and local stores, and how he grew his small business to support the wellbeing of his family, community, and environment.
  • M & B Organico: Master organic farmers Bolivar and Marjorie brought us on a tour of their organic food production and distribution business. On a relatively small quarter acre, they grow enough food to feed their family and friends, sell at market, and deliver to nearby organic restaurants. The robust health and diversity of plants in their greenhouse was a testament to the efficacy of organic agriculture.
  • Diamante Center: The tour of our home base was led by local guide Tim Johnson, along with Travis Britzke, permaculture adviser for the center and founder of Regenesis2020. We learned how the land was regenerated from clear-cut cattle pasture to a thriving food forest, and how sustainable structures were built from repurposed and renewable materials on site. We also considered the practical factors guiding the ongoing development of infrastructure.
  • Estrella Azul: Founders Roguer Kehler and Chantelle Mironuck told the captivating story of how their young family transitioned from Canada to Costa Rica and converted a deforested property into a thriving homestead with microhydro electricity, food production, and site-appropriate structures. They also shared how they became stewards for the local holistic school and are now connecting with more families in this developing community.
  • La Joya del Sol: Renowned raw food chef, health coach, and expert arborist Eric Rivkin offered an amazing in-depth tour of his 167-acre off-grid homestead, featuring food production, reforestation areas, and renewable energy systems. After a delightful lunch demo, he taught the group about the personal, societal, and environmental benefits of a raw vegan diet.
  • Association Community Carbon Trees (ACCT): Jennifer Smith, the inspiring founder of this innovative nonprofit reforestation project, shared how her business model benefits the community, landowners, workers, volunteers, donors, and most importantly, the interconnected ecosystems around the world. While on site, we planted seeds and saplings to join over half a million diverse rainforest trees that Jenny’s team has planted near the equator.
  • Rusty Café: Nikki Rademacher and Alonso Jimenez welcomed us with delicious local organic food and shared their vision for a conscious restaurant serving and connecting the community.
  • Upward Spirals: Co-founder and sustainability strategist Eric Baudry, who co-developed the Expedition with HappE Roberts, led an eye-opening discussion on how the declining economy systematically converts nature and communities into financial commodities, and how we can use regenerative economics to create an ecologically balanced and socially just society.
  • Fuente Verde Organic Farm Community: Travis Britzke, who is also the farm manager at Fuente Verde, led a tour focused on turning degraded lands into a thriving community. We visited their restaurant at the SomerTime Inn for an outstanding lunch, followed by a panel discussion on ecovillage living at Upward Spirals headquarters.

Bringing Sustainable Living Back Home

On the last full day, we stayed at the Diamante Center for our closing session and final workshop on practical transition planning. After distributing the flash drives containing one of the world’s largest libraries of sustainability resources, tools, and guides, Eric and HappE met with guests individually to provide guidance for their personal projects. With their new wealth of knowledge, experience, and connections, participants were inspired and empowered to take action.

According to Eric, “We need to make it easier to live in balance with nature. People are ready to live closer to each other and in harmony with their environment. By showing them successful, thriving examples, we’re facilitating individual and societal transitions, creating local and global impacts. By simplifying complex sustainability challenges and solutions, including realistic paths to implementation, we’re making it easier to build a more beautiful future.”

Aychele Szot, a natural skin care artisan from Montreal, Quebec, expressed, “This experience helped me to understand and have a taste of what it is to live in harmony with nature.”

Brian Claypool, a health coach from San Diego, California, shared, “What an epic expedition! I feel so blessed to be with such beautiful souls, uniting in common purpose to create a regenerative culture. Inspired by the energy, wealth of information, resources, and connections we made, I’m ready to implement what I have learned in all areas of my life.”

It is a joy and an honour to be of service to such an impactful program with such integral values, innovative projects, and amazing people. Thank you so much to HUGS (hugs.world) for producing this incredible video and for helping to get the word out about these important projects! I am most grateful for the guests who made this first Expedition so much fun, especially with the impromptu dance parties that broke out as our caravan arrived at certain destinations. By the end of the week, our group felt like one big family, and the Diamante Center, our home away from home.Returning to his farm in Denver, Colorado, Derrick Mulcahy reflected, “I came to learn more about organic farming and sustainable building practices; to see how a community could be laid out and designed. I left with more love for myself, my fellow humans, the Earth, and all its creatures.”

To get a glimpse into the Sustainable Living Expedition experience, watch the video here or below. To create a custom expedition for your group, please see the info page here. For more information about the venue, visit DiamanteCenter.com.

Article by: Zander Hathaway

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

A Sad Day For Truth & Journalism As Donald Trump Fails To Pardon Julian Assange

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Donald Trump did not pardon Wikileaks' Julian Assange in the final hours of his presidency.

  • Reflect On:

    What does it say about our world of those who expose immoral and unethical actions by powerful people and institutions are locked up, censored, silenced, tortured and ridiculed?

What Happened: In a slew of pardons and commutations issued during the final hours of his presidency, Donald Trump did not pardon Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently posted a tweet from former Maine State senator, Eric Brakey, that reads as follows: “The Failure to pardon Assange, Snowden and Ulbricht is a great final act of cowardice and submission to the Deep State.” Deep state refers to the influence and sway that various powerful people, corporations, financial institutions and more have on political policy and decision making around the world. These days many people believe that America, for example, no longer represents a democracy but rather a ‘corporatocracy’ so to speak.

Snowden also reacted to the development by tweeting that he was “not at all disappointed to go unpardoned by a man who has never known a love he had not paid for. But what supporters of his remain must never forgive that this simpering creature failed to pardon truth-tellers in far more desperate circumstances.”

When it comes to Julian Assange, we are talking about a man who exposed a number of immoral and unethical actions by several governments. Wikileaks exposed, in great detail, the corruption that plagues these ‘institutions’ as well as the corruption that lives amongst dozens of powerful corporations that control almost every aspect of our lives, from food, to health, to energy resources and more.

In response to the leaks made by Assange, and other people like Snowden for example, the US government’s classic response was and still is that by leaking the information they did, they put America in harm’s way. They often say this citing the fact that they leaked classified information.

Today classified information doesn’t seem to be classified for national security purposes. Instead, “national security” seems to be commonly cited in order to justify the concealment of information that threatens various corporate, financial and political Agendas.

JFK warned the citizenry about “an announced need for increased security” that would be “seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.” This is what’s happening today.

When it comes to Julian Assange I like to share a hard-hitting quote that always comes to mind every time I write about him. It comes from Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Prof of Int Law at the University of Glasgow, UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.

Why This Is Important/Final Thoughts: The silencing and straight ridicule of truth and/or information that again, threatens various political, corporate, financial and elite agendas is commonplace today. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, today we have a digital authoritarian Orwellian “fact-checker” patrolling the internet telling people what is and what isn’t, deciding for the user what they are allowed to see and what they aren’t allowed to see. Censorship of people like Assange and organizations like Wikileaks has really ramped up. Independent media outlets, (like Collective Evolution), and what seems to be thousands of scientists, doctors, journalists, academics and people who simply present information, evidence and opinions that go against the grain are having their social media accounts removed. This is why we here at Collective Evolution are encouraging all of our followers to join our Telegram account. It’s a censorship free platform.

Assange has been subjected to extremely inhumane conditions and torture. What’s happening with him is not only sad, but it’s truly alarming and what’s even more concerning is that many people don’t have any idea about it. He is being completely ignored by the mainstream media and whenever they do cover it, they do so with the perception that he actually did something wrong. Did he?  They’ve run an absolute smear campaign on him.

I came across an interesting post by activist Greg Bean. In it, he brings up Johannes Gutenberg, the man who first introduced the printing press to the world.

He writes about how that single act created a free press, which gave birth to the concept of freedom of speech, and how the two are “inextricably linked; printing is a form of speech.”

Gutenberg’s invention started the Printing Revolution, a milestone of the 2nd millennium that initiated the modern period of human history including the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution, and began the knowledge-based economy that spread learning to the masses. Such mass communication permanently altered the structure of society. Removing control of information from the hands of the powerful and delivering it into the hands of the disempowered.

The broad circulation of information, including revolutionary ideas, in many languages, undermined Latin’s dominant status and the authority previously held by those trained in Latin, it transcended borders, threatened the power of political and religious authorities, increased literacy breaking the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning, and bolstered the emerging middle class. It increased cultural self-awareness and cultural cohesion and undermined the authority of distant rulers and high priests.

WikiLeaks’ threat to the powerful was recognised and every effort was, and is, being made to criminalise anonymous leaking, which would be akin to criminalizing Gutenberg’s printing press, but there is not much chance this criminalisation will succeed.

I suggest you read the full piece as it makes some very interesting points.

For the latest updates on Julian Assange, we strongly recommend following them on Instagram. You can also check out their website as well. 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Intuition Is A “Superpower” Representing One of The Highest Forms of Intelligence

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of experiments have shown that human intuition is quite real and in some cases can be measurable.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you use your intuition when it comes to decision making in your life? How often do you trust your gut instinct and follow your heart?

Mainstream science has been catching on to the fact that non-physical aspects of the human being are not only real, but they can be grown and developed into powerful tools for personal development and use. Non physical phenomena, like intuition, remote viewing, telepathy, and precognition (to name a few) for example, have been studied at the highest levels of government for decades. Various nations have poured millions if not billions of dollars into these programs for with demonstrated repeated success, but despite this fact these findings remain heavily unacknowledged, ridiculed, “classified” and in many cases chucked in the “pseudoscience” bucket.

It’s understandable, new information and discoveries have always been heavily opposed and “scoffed” at by intellectual authorities, especially if these discoveries don’t fit within the accepted framework of knowledge. There’s a general tendency to dismiss ideas that go against the grain and conflict what we’ve previously convinced ourselves is truth.

So, what exactly is intuition? A good way to describe it is a gut feeling, a sense, or a feeling about something. It’s arriving to some sort of truth about something, an event or experience without using any type of analytic reasoning. Intuition has been measured, which is why the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) admitted to developing methods to develop and measure this phenomenon for their soldiers.

We have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense,’ says Peter Squire, a program officer in ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism department. Today’s Navy scientists place less emphasis on trying to understand the phenomena theoretically and more on using technology to examine the mysterious process, which Navy scientists assure the public is not based on superstition. “If the researchers understand the process, there may be ways to accelerate it — and possibly spread the powers of intuition throughout military units,” says Dr. Squire. The Pentagon’s focus is to maximize the power of the sixth sense for operational use. 

As mentioned before, many interesting abilities that go beyond the conscious mind and utilize what some would call metaphysical aspects have long been used by governments and intelligence agencies. Perhaps one day the human race will use these abilities for progress and to better the human experience. It’s like technology, do we use it for the good of humanity or do we use it to build more powerful and destructive bombs and weaponry? This is why we here at Collective Evolution always emphasize that humanity needs a shift in consciousness. Our discoveries and developments don’t really matter, it’s more so the consciousness behind those discoveries that do. This is why we believe that the greatest and most potent form of change comes from within.

Dr. Judith Orloff, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA told Forbes that, “In my my private practice, I work with women executives who come to me to develop their intuition. They see it as a ‘superpower’ to use in all decisions at work as well as a guide for how to be good leaders and organizers” According to Dr. Orloff, scientists believe intuition operates through the entire right side of our brain, the brain’s hippocampus and through our gut (digestive system has neurons as well).

Alexandra Mysoor, the writer of the Forbes article goes on to explain:

When the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in your gut fire up, you may be feeling either “butterflies” or queasy sensations. Pay attention to those. It’s no accident we use the term intuition and gut feeling interchangeably because science has now shown us that our gut has a brain of its own, a second brain so to speak. In fact, our gut has an entire network of neurotransmitters called the enteric nervous system.

The body is truly an amazing puzzle, and we probably haven’t moved beyond the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discovering what we are actually capable of.  For example, a study (meta analysis) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding precognition. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to an event that has yet to occur. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured in the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? Another article written for Forbes written by Bruce Kasanoff by explains,

Intuition, argues Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is less about suddenly “knowing” the right answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded.

Gigerenzer, author of the book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, says that he is both intuitive and rational. “In my scientific work, I have hunches. I can’t explain always why I think a certain path is the right way, but I need to trust it and go ahead. I also have the ability to check these hunches and find out what they are about. That’s the science part. Now, in private life, I rely on instinct. For instance, when I first met my wife, I didn’t do computations. Nor did she.”

A paper published in 2008 by Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) explains,

Intuition is widely regarded as a key source of inspiration in medical diagnosis, technological innovation,business decisions, artistic achievement, and scientific discovery. Based upon an analysis of the lives of numerous scientific icons, Root-Bernstein concluded that “Virtually without exception, the greatest mathematicians and scientists assert that the development of this pictorial, visual, kinesthetic, or generally sensual algorithm (associated with intuition) is the basis for scientific thinking. But what is intuition? Given its central role in advancing science and civilization, one might expect that this topic has been a keen subject of inquiry, especially within academic psychology, for many decades. Surprisingly, until recently it has been studiously ignored. This may be because the quasi-magical, non-rational nature of intuition presents an embarrassing challenge to science, which prides itself on the power of rational knowing. Intuitive knowledge does not appear to function like the methodical interferences associated with rational thought.It arises “in a flash,” or “out of the blue,” sometimes with correct answers to thorny scientific and technical problems, elegant solutions to complex mathematical theorems, and complete scores for intricate musical compositions.

The Institute of HeartMath alongside Radin conducted an interesting experiment a few years ago. They explain,

Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.

Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.

The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.

The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.

How mind-altering is that?

Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”

This study showed that the heart, alongside the brain, has some sort of intuitive intelligence.

The Takeaway: We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn from this information it can help us better ourselves and others.

We live our lives constantly thinking and analyzing, we grow up in school memorizing and we are not really taught anything about our feelings, emotions and intuition. Imagine the difference it would make in our individual and collective lives if we grew up learning how to trust our intuition, how to follow it and what it is? It begs the question, how many of us truly follow our heart? We seem to be thrust into a system that encourages us to find the best job and really think about our future. There’s nothing wrong with that but we have to ask ourselves, what impact does it have on us mentally if we do not follow our heart, our intuition? Are we seeing a big rise in drug use, depression and other mental issues because society forces us to in a direction we really don’t desire to go? Are we unhappy because we are not engaging in things that our heart desires to engage in? Are we not doing enough of what we love? Something to think about. Never ignore the voice of your gut, your heart, your intuition. It’s always telling us something and it’s time we ‘listen.’ This applies to all experiences, from deciphering information and truth to determining what path it is you want to take in life.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Alternative News

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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