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Can Ancient Plant Medicine & Modern Science Raise Your Emotional IQ?

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Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and each day new advances within the digital space expand the potential for human knowledge and development. However, despite all of the technological advances we are making, it seems that with this same speed of connection, there is simultaneously a disconnection, as we are struggling with maintaining our emotional wellness more than ever before.

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Over the last 15 years, from Facebook, to iPhones, to Genome editing, to robotics, we have experienced a momentum in development and discovery never seen before in history. Yet, in spite of all of this “evolution”, and according to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. And, more than 260 million people are living with anxiety disorders – and many live with both.

How can we be so far advanced in our technology and have access to endless amounts of knowledge but at the same time, are struggling to understand our innermost feelings? Why has it become so difficult to maintain a sense of peace and happiness? Why do so many people report feelings of loneliness and disconnection when social media allows us to constantly be in touch?

As science has proven that our day to day existence – including our physical and mental health – is absolutely impacted by the way we feel, the importance of our emotional wellness, and our ability to manage it, is more and more obvious. This lack of ‘emotional intelligence’ can have devastating consequences to our overall experience of life.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term ’emotional intelligence’ in 1990 describing it as “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”.

Emotional intelligence is a popular point of discussion in the corporate world. If you’ve ever taken a personality quiz when interviewing for a job, you would be very familiar with how many employers use tests like the Myers-Briggs or the DiSC to determine not only how a new employee will fit within the culture, but how best they can be managed to ensure maximum productivity and output.

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But how much can these tests really tell us when it comes to the feelings we experience, and the emotions we have to live with each day. Plus, if someone is suffering from depression, how much does their DiSC score really matter? Turns out that it does. According to an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, people with low emotional intelligence are twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression, substance abuse and even thoughts of suicide.

Since the 1800s when HP Blavatsky released The Secret Doctrine, and into the 1920s, when Paramahansa Yogananda brought meditation and the yogic to the states, Americans have been looking to ancient spiritual practices to improve their understanding of themselves and the world around them. According to a Pew Research study from 2017, 27% of adults in the United States say they think of themselves as spiritual but not religious, up 8 percentage points in five years. And many of these people are traveling outside of their country of birth to experience an awakening that they cannot find at home.

This awakening is more important than most of us realize; many people look for an awakening in response to a lack of fulfillment, a feeling of disconnection, and an experience of hopelessness – all hallmarks of depression. Depression has been linked to a 67% increased risk of death from heart disease and 50% increased risk of death from cancer. Depression, and other mental health disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year. But why aren’t people just taking antidepressants and calling it a day?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, antidepressants are only modestly effective when it comes to dealing with depression; they show strong positive result in the first two months of treatment but may not be effective for anything that falls short of a major depressive episode. And what this means is that those wanting to improve their well-being must look for other ways to improve their suffering. And this is where treatment for depression, emotional intelligence, and spiritual enlightenment meet.

According to Stephen Ilardi, the Author of “The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs”, depression is a ‘disease of civilization’. Thanks to lifestyle factors, including smoking, alcohol, and a lack of exercise, depression is epidemic in the industrialized, modern world while largely non-existent among modern day aboriginal groups.

We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived, socially-isolated, fast-food-laden, frenetic pace of modern life.
– Stephen Ilardi, PhD

So, what did our ancestors do to change the neurochemistry in their brains to prevent depression and anxiety? In ancient and indigenous cultures, plant medicine was practiced to help those struggling to remember their sense of oneness. When we think of plant medicine, many people automatically think of Ayahuasca, and while studies show that Ayahuasca has a positive effect on depression, grief, and anxiety – the world of plant medicine extends far beyond this particular medium. It’s not necessary to travel to the jungles of Peru and go through a deeply challenging shamanic-style journey. There are also other naturally occurring medicines that are easily and readily available, and can support emotional healing and wellness –  and have an extraordinary effect on emotional intelligence.

In the South Pacific, kava (Latin name Piper Methysticum) has been used for thousands of years as a ritual and celebratory beverage. When they arrived in the 1700’s, Christian missionaries worked tirelessly to stop the use of kava, likening it’s mind and heart-expanding properties to the abuse of alcohol. But they couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Kava was and is used by indigenous peoples to reach a higher state of consciousness – and it was this effect that most likely drew the criticism of the Christian missionaries. Kava played – and still plays – a significant role in social gatherings in the South Pacific. It is consumed at events such as weddings, funerals, naming, and healing ceremonies with the express purpose of bringing people together. Once a group of people drink kava, it is accepted that they are one.

Unlike alcohol, kava is non-addictive, non-inflammatory, and does not affect blood sugar levels. And, contrary to the experience of indigenous peoples who have used kava for centuries, there are modern-day claims that kava is harmful to the liver – but this has not been proven and is thought to be a myth perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry.

One of the original studies on kava’s effect on the liver, done by Merck, conveniently overlooked that that the study’s participants were also consuming alcohol and prescription drugs that are metabolized by the liver, possibly – and actually – causing the damage. There was also evidence that the kava extracts used in the study had been made with leaves, stems, and bark peelings of the plant. These contain toxic alkaloids and would never have been used in traditional kava preparations because it was known they could result in poisoning.

In fact, a Duke University study – and it’s not the only one – shows that kava is an effective therapy for anxiety while causing little or no side effects. Both Ohio State University and the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy conducted animal studies and found that not only was kava non-toxic to the liver, but may even protect the liver. And, those who use kava don’t experience an effect on blood pressure, heart rate or sexual function – one of the major issues with the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) routinely prescribed for depression and anxiety.

A recent article in Rolling Stone reveals that kava bars are growing in popularity all over North America. Although kava is being ‘sold’ as an alternative to alcohol, it’s effects go much deeper than relaxation after work or getting a ‘buzz’.

Beyond a feeling of relaxation, kava users report experiencing enhanced visual acuity, seeing brighter colors, and more ease in conversation. Anecdotally, kava has a reputation of being able to open blocked ‘chakras’, supporting the healing of emotional wounding. Unlike prescription drugs that manipulate neurotransmitters, dulling out undesirable feelings (and can have devastating effects on said neurotransmitters with long-term use), kava’s kavalactones create a mild state of euphoria, relax the body, and act as a mild sedative without causing drowsiness. And, because kava isn’t technically a hallucinogen, the euphoric state doesn’t cause a feeling of separation from reality. This creates an ideal situation in which to see aspects of our lives – and the people around us – through a softer lens. Compassion and empathy for ourselves and others is fundamental to our ongoing development and evolution. Through compassion and empathy, we can increase our awareness, our openness, and our connection – and our emotional intelligence can’t help but be positively impacted.

Kava can be consumed in a tea or as a supplement – taking it in capsule form may be more desirable for those who wish to avoid its ‘earthy’ flavor. Your kava should be organic and pesticide free and must contain only the root. A company called Limitless Life makes the kava-based, emotional support supplement AVA, using only sustainably grown, organic kava. AVA’s plant-based formula naturally supports emotional wellness allowing you to safely, conveniently, and effectively experience all the benefits of plant medicine. AVA causes no harmful side effects, damage to neurotransmitters, or tolerance build up. And it can be combined with a movement practice, including yoga, to enhance physical and mental benefits.

The path to greater emotional intelligence and healing is a life-long journey. There are problems that can’t – and won’t – be solved by technology. But if we are willing to unplug so we can hear the wisdom of our ancestors, we can find nuggets of wisdom that will bring us back to the wellness inherent in all of us. If we are willing to slow down, be still, and listen, all that we need to live rich, fulfilling lives, is available to us from mother earth.

 

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Consciousness

Notable Scientist Publishes A Book About ‘Real Magic’ That Nobel Laureates Are Endorsing

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean Radin, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, has published a book called "Real Magic." It has received praise from multiple scientists, including Nobel Laureates.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that controlled scientific experiments have produced significant results, this type of study is still labelled as pseudoscience by many academics, simply because it challenges what they've been trained to believe.

Is magic real? That depends on how you define it, but yes, I believe ‘magic’ is definitely real, and I’m clearly not the only one. Cases of ‘supernormal’ powers and ‘magic’ of all kinds have been reported throughout history and across almost all cultures–at least until religion was invented and these topics were ushered into the realm of the ‘demonic.’

Proponents of what we now call ‘magic’  include nearly all ancient literature from all parts of the world, from the Vedic texts and the yoga sutras, all the way to Moses, Jesus, Milarepa and Mohammed. Donald Lopez Jr., a professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and the University of Michigan provides a great example in describing the Buddha:

With this enlightenment, he was believed to possess all manner of supernormal powers, including full knowledge of each of his own past lives and those of other beings, the ability to know others’ thoughts, the ability to create doubles of himself, the ability to rise into the air and simultaneously shoot fire and water from his body…Although he passed into nirvana at the age of eighty-one, he could have lived “for an aeon or until the end of the aeon” if only he had been asked to do so. (source)

The crazy thing is there are also modern day examples, but they mostly come from the black budget government programs. In 2016, I published a well-sourced article providing multiple examples from a CIA document that confirms the existence of humans with ‘special abilities’ who are able to do ‘impossible’ things. You can access that here.

‘Real Magic’

A book recently published by the Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dean Radin, entitled “Real Magic” has received some great reviews. The main premise is the idea that a hidden power resides within every single human being, a power tied to our consciousness, a power that makes phenomena like psychokinesis, remote viewing, and precognition not only possible but something that will perhaps one day be a normal part of all our lives. The book offers a vision of a scientifically informed magic and explains why magic will play a key role in the frontiers of science.

This falls into the realm of a field of study called non-material science. Nikola Tesla was a huge proponent of this, as he had said that the day humanity begins to study this subject matter is the day that humanity will advance at an exponential rate.

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Far From “Pseudoscience”

Dr. Carl Jung once stated, “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” This is something we should all hold in our minds as we examine this or other claims that are not part of our current perception.

The amount of statistically significant results when it comes to this reality, usually dubbed as “parapsychology,” is very significant. We are talking about hundreds, if not thousands of studies that have been conducted worldwide for decades.

There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing. Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

A lot of the statistical results for parapsychology are just as strong, if not in some cases more significant, than a lot of the results which emerge from hard sciences, like physics and mechanical engineering. The Department of Defense has stated that results in this area are a clear sign that these phenomena are real, despite the fact that they are still somewhat unexplainable. As far back as 1999, a statistics professor even published a paper showing the results dealing with parapsychology and mind-body connection are a lot stronger than the results used to approve some of our medications. That study was done by Dr. Jessica Utts, as statistics professor in California who had this to say about Radin’s book:

Real Magic illustrates the limitations of 20th century science and proposes a more comprehensive view that incorporates ideas that have been associated with magic throughout the ages. Blending history, humor, and plausible hypotheses, Dean Radin illustrates that there is a staggering amount of evidence for a broader view of science that offers hope for the future of humanity.” 

Another review:

“A thought-provoking book. The author makes a convincing case for the reality and significance of magic.” —Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

Today, hundreds of scientists are coming together to emphasize that matter is not the only reality. They’ve created a manifesto, and you can find links and access more information about this initiative, which started a few years ago, in an article we published here.

“Some scientists are confident that we already know what is and is not possible. But the truth is that science is very much in its infancy. To advance our understanding requires bold excursions into domains some might consider heretical, including esoteric legends about magic that have persisted for thousands of years. This is what Dean Radin sets out to do with Real Magic. In my judgment, it succeeds in blazing new trails. Well worth the read.”  Kary Mullis PhD, Nobel Laureate (Chemistry)

The Global Elite Use Magic

While talking about magic in this sense, it’s also important to mention the global elite, and the idea that they also use metaphysical/magical ‘knowing’ and concepts. Unfortunately, they do so not for the joy of discovery, or from a place of good intention, but from a selfish, egoic place, a place that is in service to self, and not in service to others. This is a big point to consider when discussing whether humanity needs to take down the global elite in order to evolve. You can read more about my thoughts regarding magic and the global elite in the article ‘How Some of The World’s Elite Use Black Magic Rituals To Conjure Up Entities For More Power.’

I believe that as human consciousness evolves and we become more aware of who we are, and our capabilities, we will also realize that love, compassion, and empathy are all needed for us to thrive. Once we completely grasp this, I believe, these ‘abilities’ that lay dormant within us will begin to show themselves more and more.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to keep in open mind, and to recognize that what we think we know is always subject to change. Sometimes these things take a while, even if a sufficient amount of evidence has been provided. This type of study opens up new understandings about the nature of our reality, and would change ‘science’ and the current laws that govern it forever. Non-material science truly represents the next scientific revolution.

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

Note To Selfie: Drop The Mask

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    On social media, it's common to see pictures that don't truly represent us or the situations we are capturing. In many cases, we photograph ourselves 10 - 15 times before selecting the 'accurate' photo we will use.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we spend so much time creating an image of ourselves, even if it is not accurate?

What if we all put down our masks? What if we agreed, that there would be no more disguises? What if we allowed each other to be our authentic self? Imagine the effect on Instagram. It boggles the mind.

Too many people believe the content uploaded on social media is actually showing us truth. Far from it. The material chosen to be uploaded to Facebook, or liked on Instagram, bears little resemblance to true life. Each photo has been carefully chosen after taking a mind-numbing series of retakes.

Each photo must be meticulously studied to ensure the subject looks nothing like the real thing. After all, the real thing isn’t going to garner followers. No one uploads pictures of themselves returning bottles to the beer store in their slippers, or cleaning out the kitty litter. Followers equate to love. More follower = more love.

We are terrified that people will see our true self and our mundane lives won’t be nearly glamorous enough. So we take 12 pictures before deciding one is good enough.

Note to selfie: Make sure you extend your arms and snap the picture from above. You must be looking up. You will look younger. Social media doesn’t like wrinkles … bad skin … or skinny lips.

“Before I started being body positive on Instagram I would’ve posted the photo on the left (sucking in my tummy as much as possible) and said something along the lines of ‘gained a bit of fat this week’ when in reality, what I look relaxed currently is like the photo on the right.”

The harm that has been done to our psyche is profound. Apparently, the psyche is quite gullible. It does believe the stories shown on social media are true. So our psyche starts putting on some pretty outlandish masks to keep up with the Jones’ psyche. It is a constant challenge to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses can’t even keep up with Joneses. No one can. It’s a sucker’s game.

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What is the result of wearing a mask? – depression, anxiety, frustration, shame. The “Mask-Wearer” knows it’s not true. And they are terrified of being found out. Imagine the fear of being outed as a fraud. And more unsettling is this; if someone falls for that mask you’ve been wearing, don’t believe they’ve fallen for you. They are enamoured with the mask: the image. And the image isn’t real.

Let’s bring a Revolution of Real. Put down the mask. And promise yourself that you will never be anything other than your most authentic self. Masks wear very thin, very fast. Authentic beauty lasts forever.

recommended Read: Instagram User Reveals The Truth Behind Those Fitness Photos

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

7 Thought-Provoking Short Films You Can Watch Now For Free Online

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Film has the ability to capture our emotions and move us in what are sometimes very productive ways. We'll show you 7 thought-provoking short films you might love watching.

  • Reflect On:

    How do these films make you feel from watching them? How do they relate to your own life? What action can you take after watching these?

The world of film has always captivated me. Whether it be its ability to present a supernatural reality I’ll never get to experience, or its ability to accurately depict an emotion I can relate to, there really is something surreal about going to or staying in to watch a movie.

And while the subscription numbers to popular film and television streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime certainly suggest that I likely don’t need to sell you on choosing to watch them, I do believe that a pitch needs to be made for the particular variety of them that I’m suggesting within this article.

That variety of course, is short films. The unofficial younger sibling to feature-length films that aside from those that happen to play before a popular Pixar film, or those that are nominated for an Academy Award, often go largely unnoticed by the masses. So I’d like to present a list of 7 thought-provoking independently made short films that you can watch for free online now as part of the Spirit Film Festival until the end of October.

1. Uncaptured

How often do you consciously choose to sit in silence? And better yet, is it even readily available to you? The short film Uncaptured explores the emotional and physical impact that setting aside conscious time to be in silence can have on the thoughts, programs and belief systems we have stored within us.

Through a series of interviews we are given insight in alignment with the famous Thomas Carlyle quote the film presents just after its title card: “Silence is as deep as eternity; Speech is as shallow as time.” WATCH UNCAPTURED

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2. The Nine Billion Names of God

Based on the book by Arthur C. Clarke -most infamously known as to co-writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick –The Nine Billion Names of God tells the story of a Tibetan monk who seeks to list all of the names of God with the help an automatic sequence computer.

Based in 1957, the short film is beautifully shot and is carried from start to finish by a beautiful score, perfectly setting the stage for a thought-provoking adventure. WATCH THE NINE BILLIONS NAMES OF GOD

3. Leave Of Presence

If you were asked to list what would make you happy in life, a well-paying job and vibrant social life would likely make the list. Yet the presence of both of those elements didn’t stop Sudha Suthanthiram from dropping everything to head to India in search of her true calling.

This short narrative film runs less than 5 minutes in length yet it offers great food for thought for all of us questioning our purpose in life. WATCH LEAVE OF PRESENCE

4. Nectar of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion shares the fascinating transition made by the one-time frontman for an acid rock band into GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa. While his former life offered much of the surface-level pleasures that so many of us fantasize about, GuruGanesha delves into how his new life has created a happiness unlike ever before.

The short film runs under 7 minutes in length and goes into detail on the difficulties associated with making the transition and how his new kirtan rock band is making the type of impact he always desired having on others. WATCH NECTAR OF DEVOTION

5. Graham: A Dog’s Story

Whether or not you consider yourself a dog lover, Graham: A Dog’s Story is a funny and touching short film told from the perspective of a dog. From being introduced into the family, to “letting go” we’re led through so many of the stages that owners and their favorite pets often go through in life without much attention.

While the short film is carried by a comedic voiceover, it delves into many unexpected stages of a dog’s life including the impact that they have on us even long after they are gone. WATCH GRAHAM: A DOG’S STORY

6. Bekia

In just 6 minutes, Bekia powerfully shares the story of Hamdy, a seller of used goods doing everything he can to make a living on the streets of Cairo. Director Alia Adel effectively takes us into a world that most of us would never have otherwise known about.

The short is beautifully shot and well worth 6 minutes of your life. WATCH BEKIA

7. I Am Here

I Am Here is a unique short put together by the National Film Board of Canada that follows a mysterious animated travellers journey to discover the origin of life. Carried by a riveting score by composer duo Menalon, the film delves into themes and subject matter we would all benefit from pondering on.

Running just over 5 minutes in length, I Am Here manages to take a look at a lot of the questions so many of us have buried within us. WATCH I AM HERE

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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