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15 Life Altering Gems From The New Alan Watts’ Book: ‘Out of Your Mind’

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As one of the most celebrated orators of modern history, Alan Watts (1915-1973) had a knack for getting to the heart of life’s biggest questions. Released in March 2017, his newest book — Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek  — is no exception.

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Based on the best-selling Out of Your Mind audio series, this captivating book may be the most potent Watts publication in the last 45 years. (I truly mean that, as I’ve read them all.)

Having enjoyed the book twice, I selected 15 linguistic gems that reflect the depth, clarity, and power of Watts’ eloquent words on a range of topics. That was no easy feat because, like all of Watts’ works, insightful treasures abound — page, after page, after page.

Perhaps the quotes below will enliven you, like they have me and so many others, or inspire you to explore the incredible body of Watts’ written and recorded work.

While Watts is no longer with us today, his wisdom and legacy most certainly are. For example, Watts’ voice appeared in everything from the Academy Award-winning film Her (2013) and animations made by the creators of South Park to the mind-expanding video game “Everything,” and the award-winning film Zen Dog. Two extremely rich academic books about Watts’ lifetime of work have been recently published as well. With his alluring British accent, piercing wit, and joyous curiosity, it is no surprise that snippets from Watts’ riveting lectures have found their way online too, making him a bit of a YouTube celebrity in recent years.

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In short, Alan Watts’ legacy lives on in many ways, as Out of Your Mind well illustrates. Truly timeless, Watts’ wisdom fosters individual and collective evolution just as much today as it did during the 1950s “Zen boom” and at the height of the 1960s counterculture.

15 Gems from Out of Your Mind

1. “Everything is change. Nothing can be held on to. And if you go with the flux, you flow with it. However, if you resist the stream, it fights you. If you realize this, you swim with the flow — you go with it, and you’re at peace.”

2. “You and I are as continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. The ocean waves, the universe peoples. But we have been hypnotized — literally hypnotized — into feeling and sensing that we exist as separate entities inside our own skin.”

3. “…references to the hereafter are correctly understood as pointing to the herein — that is, a domain deeper than egocentric consciousness. When you get to the bottom of egocentric consciousness, you get to its limits, which is figuratively its death. Then you go inward to the self, deeper than conscious attention, and in that way you go inward to eternity. You don’t go onward to eternity. To go onward means time — more and more and more time in which things go round forever. But to go in is to go to eternity.”

4. “We and our environment and all of us together are interdependent systems. Any good scientist knows that what you call the external world is as much you as your own body. Your skin doesn’t actually separate you from the world — it’s a bridge through which the world flows into you, and you flow into the world. …The problem is we’re not taught to feel that way. The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe. And that’s why we feel alien to it, as if we were separate parts confronting the world. But we quite urgently need to feel that we are the eternal universe, each one of us.”

5. “Apples are symptomatic of apple trees; roses are symptomatic of rose bushes; and we are symptomatic of the universe. The earth is not some big rock infested with living organisms any more than your skeleton is a series of bones infested with cells.”

6. “Eventually, you will become aware that this happening isn’t happening to you, because you are the happening. The only you there is is what’s going on.”

7. “When you try to grab a fish, it slips right out of your grasp; so how do you get a hold of it? You use a net. In the same way, we use nets to hold on to the wiggly world. If you want to control a wiggle, you’ve got to throw some kind of net over it. That’s our foundation for measuring the world. …this is how we break up wiggles into bits. … But in nature, wiggles don’t come “pre-bitted.” That’s just our way of measuring and controlling patterns and processes. If you want to eat a chicken, you have to cut it up in order to take a bite — it doesn’t come already bitten. In the same way, the world doesn’t come thinged.”

8. “We have been educated to use our minds in a narrow way. We have been taught to ignore that every one of us is an aperture through which the whole cosmos experiences life. Every one of us is a hole from which the fundamental light — existence itself — looks out, but we’re playing the game of forgetting this fact, and we pretend to only be this little hole, this little thing we call me, or the ego, or Paul Jones, or whatever. But if we can maintain a sense of being Paul Jones while at the same time understanding we are the whole works, then that’s a very marvelous and agreeable arrangement. If you can carry these two perspectives at once, you will experience a most remarkable harmoniousness. It will bring your life a great sense of joy and exuberance, because you know that all the serious predicaments of life are a game.”

Recommended Book: Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek

9. “The whole world is energy at play — it’s a kaleidoscope of jazz.”

10. “Every one of us is a whirlpool in the tide of existence. Every cell in our body — every molecule, every atom — is in constant flux. Nothing can be pinned down.”

11. “Now, I want to be clear what I mean by ego. I don’t mean something synonymous with our particular living organism, but something rather abstract. The ego has the same function and kind of reality as an hour or an inch or a pound or a line of longitude. It’s for the purposes of discussion, for convenience. We have an ego due to social convention, but the fallacy we all make is that we treat this abstraction as if it were something real and physical. But the ego is merely a composition of ideas and images about ourselves. This image is obviously no more us than the idea of a tree is tree. Additionally, the image we carry about ourselves is extremely inaccurate and incomplete. …In other words, the image I have of myself — my ego — is a caricature. …For a lot of people, the quest for identity means searching for an acceptable image. What role am I supposed to play? What am I supposed to do in life? Those questions are important, but they are extraordinarily misleading unless they’re backed up by deeper matters.”

12. “When you look for your own mind — that is to say, your own particularized center of being that is separate from everything else — you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough to find out that it isn’t there. That’s why gurus of all types tell you to know yourself, to look within, to find out who you really are, because the harder you look, the less you will find…”

13. “So, to be frank and sum up my metaphysics: there’s the central self — you can call it God or whatever you like — and it’s all of us. And it’s playing all the parts of every single being throughout the universe, and it’s playing the game of hide-and-seek with itself. It gets involved in far-out adventures, it gets lost, but in the end, it always wakes up and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up.”

14. “Not too long ago, people believed the earth was flat. They knew it to be true with all their hearts. But then people started sailing all the way around the world and flying from here to there, and we gradually got used to thinking of the earth as globular. We just got used to it. Well, in the same way, it will one day be a matter of common sense to most people that we’re all one with the universe. It’ll be so simple. And maybe when that happens, we’ll handle our technology with better sense. Maybe we’ll act with love toward our environment, instead of hate.”

15. “Holiness doesn’t mean being good; good people aren’t necessarily holy. A holy person is someone who is whole…”

If you enjoyed these brief passages, check out the full-length book available on Amazon: Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

How Changes In Collective Consciousness Alter Our Everyday Reality

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Science has demonstrated that there is an energy field that connects us all, and that at its core, all matter is consciousness. Collective Consciousness plays a huge role in how we define our world functions, based on our collective beliefs.

  • Reflect On:

    What do you believe is possible for yourself and for humanity? Do you feel we are capable of creating a world where we can thrive? Do you find yourself thinking humans are not capable of much? These beliefs affect the world around us deeply.

Want to see change in the world? We have to change collective consciousness. And in order to do that, we must change ourselves.

This has been the core message of Collective Evolution since our humble beginnings in 2009. Why? Because collective consciousness is something at the centre, or core, of what connects all of us. In post material science we are beginning to understand that we are not entirely just a brain inside a body, and that consciousness is who we truly are. Beyond that, consciousness is also at the crux of everything.

We sit at an interesting time in our history where the need and desire to change our world has become something almost all of us feel. Whether we witness the apparent chaos of daily life, the turmoil that happens in areas around the world, or whether we witness the challenges in our own life, we feel this need for change. Deep down, something about the human experience, as it is, seems outdated and almost stale.

We’ve grown tired of suffering, pain, war, poverty, doing the same thing over and over again. We want to experience something new, rich and deep. This is showing up in political activism, the search for who we are beyond our identities, the search for meaning in life and wanting to do careers that we love.

Ultimately, we are searching for peace and a deeper understanding of our reality. So how do we do this? How do we change our world, change the various daily structures we deal with like our economy, government, career paths, as well as the limited idea of what life is and should be. How do we end our suffering and war with one another to truly create a world where we can thrive and have abundance?

Collective Consciousness

If you are gaining curiosity reading this, great. You are feeling something that has been growing within you, and all of us, for quite some time. If you think these ideas are laughable, and that none of this change is possible, then great, because the video below is for you too. Because your disbelief is playing a role in why our world is this way, and it’s time to explore what that truly means.

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Collective consciousness is an energy field, if you will, by which groups of people or all humans connect to and share ideas, beliefs and understandings about our world. This is not a physical space, but one that is energetic or conscious.

Below is a video I created to help explain how something called collective consciousness functions, so we can begin to understand why we must change ourselves to change our world, and how our limited belief of what our world is and can be, plays a role in keeping it that way.

Post Material Science & Consciousness

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory has been trying to wrap their heads around the subject and have concluded that the human mind does, in fact, have a capacity to influence the output of devices known as Random Event Generators (REGs), on a collective scale, or via collective consciousness.

A project that initially started when a student was curious to study the effects of the human mind and intention on the surrounding environment, turned into a rigorous testing lab where Dr. Robert Jahn and his lab assistant spent many hours experimenting to determine whether or not the mind has an effect on our physical world. Jahn and his assistant were able to determine that the human minds interactions with the machines demonstrated a relationship that was not physical in nature. The mind was able to affect and change outcomes of the machine in ways that were beyond standard deviations. In essence, consciousness was having an effect over the physical world.

To determine the effects of the mind’s intention on the physical world, they built several machines called a random number generator. The machine would essentially mimic a coin flip and record the results over time. The machine performed 200 flips per second and produced an average mean of 100 as one would expect. Left unattended, the machine would continue to produce results that suggested a 50/50 chance of producing either heads or tails. The interesting results came when human intention started to interact with the machine. What was once a random 50/50 chance of producing heads or tails began to deviate from expectation as the observer began to intend for the numbers to be higher or lower. While the effects of the mind over the machines was not large, it was enough that contemporary physics is unable to explain what exactly is happening. Perhaps this is where the quantum world can shed light?

The implications of this research on humanity is quite fascinating given it could reach into the realms of creating a world of peace, a thriving world and abundance. If intentions and thoughts can impact something the way it has been demonstrated above, why not explore the boundaries of how far this can go? It is my feeling and understanding that we create our realities with our intentions and state of consciousness and I feel science is starting to confirm this. In time we will realize the true power of our minds and intentions.

The video below is a very brief synopsis of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory of Princeton University, whose research into mind-matter interaction forms the foundation of Psyleron Technology.

If we wish to understand collective consciousness more deeply, and how we are all truly connected, a great place to start is to begin exploring what we are discovering in the field of post material science as we study consciousness.

We have a great deal of content to explore on that by clicking here. 

To explore deeply who you truly are, you can listen to this CE Podcast episode.

Sources:
Princeton PEAR Lab

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Consciousness

Who Lucifer Actually Is & Why They Are Here (Part 4: Selling Your Soul)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to Hidden-Hand, there is a big distinction between the extraterrestrial bloodlines (Lucifer's group soul) and human bloodlines (the 'Illuminati'). Members of Illuminati families have a soul contract with Lucifer to maintain negativity here.

  • Reflect On:

    What does it mean to 'sell your soul to Lucifer'? Does it make a difference if one has a pre-existing soul contract with Lucifer?

(Note: If you have not read the first three instalments of this article, I would highly recommend that you first read  Who Lucifer Actually Is & Why They Are Here (Part 1)(Part 2: Bloodline Families) and (Part 3: The Harvest), because they provide an essential context for the discussion here.)

Where the rubber hits the road in this discussion about Lucifer is what his true impact is on us as human beings. Is he the bringer of knowledge and enlightenment to us in our quest to evolve? Or is he the cunning enticer who would drag much of humanity down into a well of iniquity? Let’s continue to examine the testimony of Hidden-Hand to see what it reveals.

Distinguishing The Bloodlines

As discussed previously, Lucifer was mandated to introduce evil to the human population by providing a ‘choice’ in the garden of Eden between obedience and disobedience. It was only after this initial choice had been made, however, that it became mandated that Lucifer would incarnate as individual souls to rule the planet:

Now that Free Will had been granted, Yahweh could not retract it, and we have to stay here as contracted to continue to provide the planet with the Polarity choice. Since then, Yahweh has confined us (as a Group Soul) here within the Earth’s Astral Planes (which is very constricting and uncomfortable for a Being of our Wisdom and experience). The Council of Elders gave us the choice to be released (against Yahweh’s will), but at the cancellation of our contract to Serve the planet earth; or to remain and fulfill our assignment, and endure Yahweh’s self proclaimed “Wrath”. We stayed, but as a karmic result of our Group Soul’s confinement by Yahweh, our own individuated Souls were given the mandate (by The Council) to “Rule” over Yahweh’s people during our physical incarnations here on your planet.

Those ‘individuated Souls’ of the group soul Lucifer, which incarnate through ‘extraterrestrial’ bloodlines, need to be distinguished from the human bloodlines. This is in order to clarify what it means to ‘sell your soul’ to Lucifer.

Extraterrestrial Bloodlines

The ‘Extraterrestrial Bloodlines’ consists, quite simply, of the individuated souls of the group soul Lucifer, which as a whole is known as the ‘Family’. Hidden-Hand introduces himself as a ‘generational member,’ which he explains as follows:

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It means that one is born into the Family. The Order and its agenda is handed down, from generation to generation. Only in extremely rare occasions, have outsiders been invested into the Family, and then, even these were of other ‘esoterically’ integrable lines.

I presume, though I am not certain, that he means that there are on rare occasions souls who incarnate into the Family who are not part of the group soul Lucifer, but who nonetheless have enough compatibility with that group soul to participate in the agenda. For the purposes of clarity, though, the core power of the ‘Family’ is the group soul Lucifer. And, as Hidden-Hand points out in the following answer to a question, it’s a pretty ‘tight’ family:

Questioner: To what extent has selective breeding been used to preserve the purity of the line?

Hidden-Hand: The breeding is generally case specific, dependent upon the role that the Family members in question are due to grow into. There are no unapproved unions. Our Family will always intermarry between lines, or, what we would term ‘Houses’. Marriages are arranged. In all my years alive, I have never seen or heard of a Family member breaking this code, as far as marriage goes. You do as you are told. One cannot ‘join’ the Family. One is ‘born’, or incarnated into it.

The whole idea that ruling bloodlines have been running our planet since antiquity is hard to fathom for many. The very feasibility that something like this could be happening without it being common knowledge is the source of this next questioner’s skepticism:

Questioner: If this really existed there would be countless thousands of people involved, and any one person could leak.

Hidden-Hand: Thousands? Try Millions. And you have no possible comprehension of the rigorous training and the harshness of the conditioning we undergo from an early age. No one dares to go against the Family. We know what would happen if we did. But that is not the prime motivator. The motivator is unbridled Loyalty to the Family, and our Creator. We understand the importance of what we are doing here, even though most of humanity does not.

If we take Hidden Hand at his word, then we accept that MILLIONS of individuals on our planet work together in a coordinated effort to control and govern the rest of us. By coordinated, I would refer to what we hear from Hidden-Hand that there are local cell groups of families all over the world that are governed by a hierarchy of councils that range from local to regional, national, and global. As with most hierarchies, knowledge of the entire operation and its true purpose increases as one rises up. Hidden-Hand makes the distinction here about where the human bloodlines end in the hierarchy and where the extraterrestrial bloodlines begin:

Then you have the Supreme World Council above them all, with the National Leaders representing their Countries. Above this, is another group I cannot mention, who liaise with the “Hidden Hands”. Then above this, there are many other levels of Leadership, purely from the Power Lines (the ones that are not of this planet). The Supreme World Council only know as much as is “Handed” down to them from us. In our Power Lines, we have a similar structure, with Local and Regional groups etc, though most of us are living in entirely ‘different’ types of communities than you would understand. All I shall say is that we are not “surface dwellers”.

That last point certainly is enticing. It implies that the entire group soul of Lucifer does not live amongst humans on the surface of the planet. Do they live in hidden bases underground? Cloaked in the air? Do they transport to a different planet? A different dimension? Interesting questions, but not fundamental to our conversation here. What is important is to note that the extraterrestrial bloodlines are only really in contact with the highest levels of the human bloodlines, calling the shots, delivering information as needed to those below, being true ‘hidden hands’ of influence, as it were.

Human Bloodlines

There is much that Hidden-Hand disclosed that distinguished the Extraterrestrial Bloodlines from the Human Bloodlines, which would be populated by individuated souls that are part of Yahweh’s group soul.

Questioner: Are these bloodlines the wealthy, as most assume, or seemingly ordinary people (including celebrities and politicians, etc), blending in with society, going relatively unnoticed, but yet contributing to your cause in the grander scheme of things?

Hidden-Hand: The names you know, have no real power. Sure, they “appear” to have lots of power, in the way earthbound souls perceive power. Our wealth makes the million and billionaire “celebs” and corporate bigwigs look like a child’s pocket money. Our wealth is Family wealth, which has passed down through the generations over thousands of years. True wealth however, is knowing deep in your heart, that you and your Infinite Creator, are One. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of ‘God’ (Infinite Creator), and all these things shall be added unto you”.

Questioner: So part of this question could also be, are all of them aware they are part of this bloodline, or are some members oblivious to this connection they have? Are they informed of this at a particular age? For example, how and at what age were you told you belonged?

Hidden-Hand: Yes. If you are Bloodline (Family), you are born into it, and you are raised this way, from birth. There is no other way. I want to be clear on this Bloodline issue. The ones you know, they are of earthly lineage. Yes, they have their place in the Family, but the Real Power lines, do not originate from this planet.

The human bloodlines, then, also seem to have a rigorous upbringing that fosters absolute loyalty to the family. The training and structure for the human bloodlines lead in the discussion about the history of the Illuminati, the Knight’s Templar, the Freemasons, and other such secret societies. Perhaps these societies were founded by the Lucifer group soul or perhaps they were co-opted by them. There seems to be a very substantial structure in place, which uses both fear and an inbred sense of purpose and loyalty, that prevents many of the secrets of these societies from coming out into the open. One exception to that rule is with a person named ‘Svali,’ who broke away from the group she identifies as ‘the Illuminati’ and became a whistleblower of a significant amount of information. Hidden-Hand’s direct comments on her case demonstrate how the human bloodlines do not actually have the same ‘motivation’ for their actions as the extraterrestrial bloodlines.

Questioner: Do people ever try to leave the family? I asked you to comment on the case of one “Svali” in an earlier post. I am still curious if she was one of you or your extended family, or is she just a mis/disinfo agent.

Hidden-Hand: I am aware of her, yes. I’ve not looked at her supposed “revelations” personally, though heard enough from others in my Family. Yes, she was a part of the Family, at the lower levels, from the German Lines I believe. As I understand, she did reveal a lot of truth about the lower levels, but she was only Regional Level in the Earth Lines, so not that high.

She certainly would not have had anything like the “bigger picture”. I understand that she went into detail about some of the training techniques in the lower levels, which to be fair, can be extremely harsh, though as I’ve said, it’s all about reaching the 95% negativity, and when all is said and done, no matter how much one may have suffered in this life-experience, we can never lose sight of the fact that this is a game we are all playing here together, and each incarnating soul has already chosen and agreed in advance the parts they will play in the game. No one really suffers, except in the game, and ultimately, they have chosen these experiences before hand, at a Soul level. No one is ‘forced’ to incarnate into a storyline they do not want to play and learn from.

The German House is renowned for being particularly harsh and severe in it’s training, so much of what she shares may have happened, though my Family have also said that unless her “trainers” were acting “out of protocol” (abusing their power) much of what she ‘revealed’ would not have happened, or has been embellished to some degree, for whatever reason. I cannot comment myself, as I’ve had neither the time or inclination to examine her story.

The world of my own Family is very different from that of the lower Earth based bloodlines. Whilst our (my own) training growing up was very strict and disciplined, we were never abused in any way. We grew up with the bigger picture, and didn’t need any other motivation.

The Earth lines are not aware of the entire picture. They themselves are not of our Lucifer Group Soul, and as far as they are aware, they are out to ‘rule the world’, to Control and Enslave, and create as much suffering and negativity as is humanly possible. That’s what they ‘get out of the deal’. World domination.

You’d have to say with that in mind, they’re doing a great job. But one of the things they don’t know or understand, is that our (Venusian Power Lines) agenda, is ultimately for the Highest Good of all concerned, in providing you with the Catalyst. If they were aware of this Truth, there is a slight risk that they would not have done their jobs properly, and they would miss out on joining us in our 95% Negative Harvest.

They are aware of the Harvest, and the need for them to attain the 95%, to get out of 3rd density, and that is all the motivation they need to help us achieve our ultimate aims.
How they go about it, is not really of too great a concern to us, as long as they are getting the job done. Sometimes we have to step in, where something they may do or plan goes against our desires, but such instances are few and far between.

The actual testimony of Svali is fascinating and worth examining in greater detail, and perhaps we will do so in a later article. For now, Hidden-Hand continues to put things in the context that at a soul level all of us agreed to the parts that we play in the Game. In essence, this means that the human bloodlines are constructed of millions of people who, at a soul level, wanted to participate in the negative polarity of the ascension process, but as human beings, are not consciously aware that they are doing this for the benefit of humanity in the way that the Luciferian group soul is.

Selling Their Souls To Lucifer?

If it is the case that the human (let’s call them ‘Illuminati’) bloodlines are set up to be motivated by power, wealth, and world domination, can it be said that they have ‘sold their souls to Lucifer’? These people have been indoctrinated since birth, and if the testimony of Svali is any indication, it is extremely difficult and rare for someone in the human bloodlines to make the ‘choice’ of leaving their family. Yes, at a soul level they chose to join Lucifer to support negativity; but having been subjected to severe indoctrination in this life, it’s a matter of debate as to whether or not they have ‘sold their souls.’

But what about the case of humans who did not go through this indoctrination? I’m talking about people whose purpose here was to ascend positively, but got completely lured into the web of negativity on the strength of their desires for power, wealth, and pleasure. This is perhaps where a human being can truly be said to have ‘sold their soul to the Lucifer,’ as they have actually chosen ego desires and a service-to-self orientation in contradiction to their soul’s purpose.

As I discuss in the article ‘Why Do The Elites Participate In Child Sacrifice At Bohemian Grove?‘, it would seem that ‘selling one’s soul to Lucifer’ involves a willingness to be slowly lured in rituals like the ‘Cremation of Care’ and other acts of depravity that sever all emotional connection to other human beings, and remove all empathy, care, conscience and sense of morality. This, it seems, not only garners the worldly ‘support’ of the entire cult, it prepares a person mentally and emotionally for their unbridled pursuit of worldly power, fame and wealth.

Lucifer Does Not ‘Own’ Souls

In the context of Hidden-Hand’s testimony, selling one’s soul does not imply that one’s soul becomes the permanent property of Lucifer; it means that that one is bound to the ‘Negative Ascension,’ which involves going to a 4th Density ‘Negative’ planet to work out one’s karma.

Of course in many ways this experience can be considered a ‘hell’, especially for those souls who have less understanding of the process than the individuated Lucifer souls, and likely will face a tremendous amount of suffering and hard work.

There is much more to examine surrounding the esoteric body of knowledge that informs these bloodlines to ‘create as much suffering and Negativity as is humanly possible,’ and has the potency to lure outsiders into the cult. Is this body of knowledge what is known as Luciferianism, which there is so much contentious debate about these days? Let’s build on what we’ve found out here to try to address this in the next installment.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Consciousness

Red Team vs. Blue Team | Toxic Tribalism We Must Transcend

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Public discourse is dominated by a dual-based system of categorization and rigid identity. The end-goal of interaction is not to broaden perspective and work together – but to argue and “win” a debate. It is time to transcend this paradigm.

  • Reflect On:

    How can we institute a more open-minded framework whereby public discourse can be influenced by a multi-directional approach to sharing information and viewpoints? The need for a new narrative is upon us – we are all a part of it.

We’ve all experienced it.  You log on to Facebook and scroll through your timeline – and there it is: a fiery argument where insults are flying freely on a subject that charges you.  Though you may aim to steer clear of the sludge and toxicity of social media comment sections – perhaps you decided to lunge into a particular topic that you care deeply about.

Almost inevitably – an argument takes place where emotions reach a crescendo and the “debate” devolves into sophomoric insults where both sides are trying to tear each other’s character down instead of engaging in discourse on the merits of respective viewpoints.

Often, we find ourselves scrambling to score points by reflexively reacting to current events based on agenda and cultural identifiers, (nationality, orientation, race, creed, religion etc..) arguing over semantics, using trigger terms, stereotypes, and gross generalizations to stir the pot of frantic frenzy.  There is a primordial root to this way of interacting with each other.  From the very beginning of our history on this planet, we were thrust into a world where “the others” were viewed as an imminent danger that must be defeated, lest we be invaded and taken over.  In modern times, this tribal notion of “the others” often manifests as an idea, viewpoint, or perspective outside of our own, and it is often perceived as a threat that must be beaten down.

This has come to typify our state of discourse – whether it’s in corporate media, in Congress, on social media, or elsewhere – it has become abundantly clear that we are feeding into endless argumentation that features polarized “sides” of an argument – and there are often only two viewpoints presented as acceptable to latch onto. We anger quickly, posit ourselves in a reflexive defensive posture, and prepare to debate with one another in a way that perpetuates conflict instead of fostering education and cooperation.

The quest to be “right” or to “win” the argument takes precedence over actually listening with an open mind to an alternative viewpoint, robbing us of the opportunity to learn something new, expand our perspective, and integrate new data into our thought process to assist in evolving our consciousness.  Scientists call this motivative reasoning: a phenomenon where our unconscious motivations (beliefs/desires/fears) shape the way we interpret information.  Some ideas resonate with what we identify with – and we want them to win.  Other ideas sound like the “other” side – and we want to denigrate, defeat and banish those ideas out of the discourse.  When we apply this to our world we see how the polarizing power of partisanship and deeply held belief-systems influences our perceptions of the world around us.

“Motivated reasoning theory suggests that reasoning processes (information selection and evaluation, memory encoding, attitude formation, judgment, and decision-making) are influenced by motivations or goals. Motivations are desired end-states that individuals want to achieve. The number of these goals that have been theorized is numerous, but political scientists have focused principally on two broad categories of motivations: accuracy motivations (the desire to be “right” or “correct”) and directional or defensive motivations (the desire to protect or bolster a predetermined attitude or identity).” ~Thomas J. Leeper

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Even when we think we’re being objective/fair-minded – we still can wind up unconsciously arguing for something with mechanical repetition – even when the empirical evidence shows that there is no sound basis for our argument.  We’ve become more adept at crafting and presenting an argument than conducting an actual investigation and critical thinking into the truth of the matter at hand.

But shouldn’t our motivation to find truth be more prominent than our motivation to be “right” or to cherry-pick arguments and articles that reinforce our own views? How can we cut through our prejudices/biases and motivation – and look at data and information as objectively as possible?

Making A Change

Perhaps it begins with shedding overly rigid identities and boxes that have been created for us in order to herd us into predictable boxes.  How often do you find yourself parroting a viewpoint or argument that you feel is aligned with your primary identity?  Perhaps you identify primarily as a Democrat.  If so – should your entire viewpoint be defined by this identifier to where you only agree with policies and/or ideas presented by those on your team (Team Democrat)?  If you identify as a woman – is that all you are?  If you consider yourself a Christian – must your perspective only be aligned with a narrow prescription of popularized Christian “values”?  If you consider yourself part of the “conscious community” – must everything be understood and reasoned through that filter?

This isn’t to say that identity isn’t important.  Expressing a sense of who we are is paramount – but that expression is unnecessarily limited when we aren’t open-minded and don’t allow for a full-spectrum experience. Identity politics is always an ever-evolving realm, and many of us attach more value to certain identifiers than others, be it race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.. It’s respectful to be supportive of an individual’s universal right to self-identify (or even their right not to identify at all), but it is also helpful to exercise a level of suspicion about the ability of rigid identifiers and social constructs (like race and gender) to accurately portray the multi-dimensional beings that we are.

“There’s a dangerous corrosive side to identity politics, ie: making one’s gender/skin color/religion/sect/sexuality one’s *defining* trait. Between groups this can divide people rather than unite them, promoting rather than reducing group stereotypes, and therefore increasing discrimination.

Within groups this can lend itself to reinforcing a hegemony for those individual members who refuse to conform to what being a member of that group is *meant* to mean, as defined by that community’s internal power structures. This is like the old trope “You can’t be a true Muslim/black man, and be gay”.  ~Maajid Nawaz

Breaking down these constructs and constrictive identifiers will usher in a new framework for discourse.  Currently, major media and news outlets rarely put forth effort in facilitating an open-range discourse, and are capitalizing (and in many instances feeding) the toxic tribalism where only two-view points are presented without any real effort to find intersectionality or genuine exchange. We see the phenomena of “both sides of the same coin” playing itself out again and again as it pertains to a polarized duality of public opinion.   Thus, the vast percentage of the populace are unconsciously bombarded with polarized view-points that unseat their own ability to find the neutral and to explore new thought-forms outside of the limits of dual categorization.

An unknown ‘something’ has taken possession of a smaller or greater portion of the psyche and asserts its hateful and harmful existence undeterred by all our insight, reason, and energy, thereby proclaiming the power of the unconscious over the conscious mind, the sovereign power of possession.”  ~Carl Jung

It would be prudent for all of us to examine whether our own psyches and intellects have been unseated by an unknown, unconscious force. We are now tasked to get back in the driver’s seat of our own consciousness, turn off cruise-control, and navigate our own vehicles.  Just as the fleshly body must be cleansed of parasites and toxins such that they don’t become hosts for worms that weaken the body’s vitality, the mind must go through its own filtration process to clear out intrusions and predictive programming that wane our original core vibrational thought patterns.  Otherwise, we are often just passive receivers of whatever the TV is downloading into our minds.

The Need for Innovative Narrative

So who are the new story-tellers who can create a more progressive narrative of universality?  A narrative where we seek to understand each other by coalescing in multi-sensory empathy and cosmic commonality?  A narrative which rejects that humanity is a simple, basic species that can easily be divided into boxes of artificially devised social constructs.  A narrative which recognizes that we are coming out of an age of spiritual amnesia – and many of our societal problems are related to our universal yearning for meaning, truth, and a desire to be connected, balanced, and whole in our relationship with each other and our selves. The need for a new narrative is upon us – and we each bring a unique gift that is required to comprise the tapestry of our immediate position in this time/space.

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