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Consciousness

This African Man Brought Himself Back To Life After His Body Was Chopped To Pieces

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An obscure Nexus article from 2001 provides stunning details about 'Black Jesus' Simeon Toko, including surviving having his heart cut out, stopping a plane in mid-air, and recomposing his body after it had been chopped to pieces by a sower.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we suspend our disbelief for a moment and consider these miraculous stories possible? If so, how does this impact our perception of reality?

(This is a continuation of the article ‘Obscure Nexus Article Reveals Stunning Corroboration For The ‘Black Jesus’ Story,’ which I believe provides essential context for this story, and should be read first if you haven’t already.)

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As I had mentioned in the previous article above, a back issue of a Nexus article from 2001 provided excellent corroboration and stunning new details about the alleged ‘Black Jesus’ that I wrote about in an earlier article ‘The Incredible Story Of The “Black Jesus” From The 1960s,’ where I retold a ‘top-secret’ story that David Wilcock had received from one of his insiders. The story described an African man who was able to come back to life after having been killed in increasingly horrid ways. Here is an example of this that you will find in the excerpt below:

One of the Portuguese foremen showed up and hailed Simeon Toko: “Hey Simeon, you see that tractor over there? There are weeds clogging the sower. Go clean them out!” Submissively, the docile prisoner crawled under the engine to fix it. When he was under the engine, the foreman, sitting in the driver’s seat, started it up, which automatically activated the rotating blades of the seed sower. Simeon Toko’s body was instantly severed in several pieces.

Terrified, Canhandi stood frozen to the spot, watching. The foreman shifted into reverse to back up and check the damage. A second foreman, who was in service that day, flashed a victory sign, indicating that they had succeeded. Then the unbelievable happened. Before Canhandi and the two Portuguese accomplices, the body of Simeon Toko recomposed itself! Simeon Toko stood up! Canhandi could not believe his eyes. The Portuguese ran away in terror.

Following is an incredible testimony of but a few of the miracles of Simeon Toko, and perhaps more importantly, a better understanding of our human history, including the tremendous efforts of those in power to distort and suppress information such as this based on their agenda.

An African Messiah: The Third Secret Of Fatima? (Part 2 – The Avatar Simeon Toko)

[Tom Dark* notes: The following is an excerpt I have culled from chapter VII of the book, with permission (some of the writing has been edited so as not to confuse the reader who will be reading this out of its context)]

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Fragile Beginnings

Simeon Toko was born on 24 February 1918 in a village in northern Angola (the Tsafon of Psalm 48:3), portentously named Sadi Banza Zulu Mongo (“Village of the Celestial Mountain”). The newborn emerged from his mother’s womb into a very hostile environment. For almost 50 years, from 1872 to 1921, this region suffered natural disasters. There were long droughts between short lulls. Northern Angola and the southern regions of the French and Belgian Congos were devastated. The resultant famines killed thousands; so, too, there were thousands of deaths brought by smallpox, typhoid, sleeping sickness, malaria and other diseases. These different plagues represent the fulfilment of a biblical prediction. None but a few people inspired by the words of the Lord recognised this.

And the dragon stood before which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:4)

The baby Simeon Toko was born mere inches from sickness and famine and plague and death, and many leagues from safety. There was not much reason for a baby to want to live, and much against it. The infant Toko caught smallpox. He was so badly affected by it that villagers thought the hand of the Almighty Father alone saved his life. He was left with the unpleasant marring of smallpox scars on his face. Compare this prophecy:

As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. (Isaiah 52:14)

Not long after Simeon’s birth, a missionary at a Baptist Missionary Society, based in Angola, had a dream. He dreamed that a Great King had been born in the region under his ministry. He decided to go looking for this baby. Requesting guidance from the Holy Spirit, he came to the baby Simeon Toko. Staring at an infant so rachitic, like a “weak and tender plant”, and with so blemished a little face, he shook his head. Doubt had come to stay. He asked one or two questions and left, feeling victimised by his dream and the voice that had led him there.

A Powerful Mission

In 1949, Simeon attended an international conference of Protestants in Leopoldville (currently called Kinshasa). During this event, the ceremonial masters asked three Africans from Angola to pray. Those selected were Gaspar de Almeida, Jesse Chiulo Chipenda and Simeon Toko. Simeon Toko asked in his public prayer that the Holy Spirit manifest in Africa to put an end to the abuses of the colonial powers. Toko became a dedicated member of the Baptist Church in Itaga. He formed a singing choir of 12 people. Instantly this choir became famous, and from 12 members it grew into hundreds. At each of the choir performances, whether at their church or while visiting another church, the Holy Ghost manifested with such a power that white missionaries suspected young Toko of possessing black-magic powers. Jealously, the missionaries summoned him to abandon his “dark practices”. He responded to them by saying: “But if we are praying to the same God, how come when I pray, and there is a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, you accuse me of sorcery? Is it because I am an African that my prayers couldn’t possibly be answered? Does the Holy Spirit discriminate against Africans, too?” (See 1 Samuel 10:10.)

But the missionaries were fed up with him and decided to exclude him from the church. Then what was meant to happen, happened. All those who had joined the church on the inspiration of Simeon’s magnificent choir left the church with him. The question was whether Simeon Toko would abandon these followers or keep them with him. He decided to keep them with him, realising all the same that a very harsh duty awaited him. He decided to pray again to his Father, repeating the same prayer he had made three years before at the Baptist conference.

On 25 July 1949, Simeon and 35 members of his choir met on a street called Mayenge, at the house of a man named Vanga Ambrosio. The choir began to sing, waiting for the time to pray. Shortly before midnight, Simeon Toko lifted his eyes to the sky and he addressed this prayer to his Father: “Father, I know you always answer my prayers. Now look; consider these sheep you have sent to me. This duty is so immense that without the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, we will never be able to achieve what you intended. The prayer I addressed to you three years ago, didn’t you hear it?”

At precisely midnight, a strong wind shook the house and the Holy Spirit possessed everyone at the prayer meeting, with the exception of a man called Sansão Alphonse, the choir leader. God let him remain in an ordinary frame of mind so that he could write down the testimonials and miracles taking place before his dumbfounded eyes. Many in the group were speaking in tongues.

Some saw heavenly light and heard celestial voices; others were able to communicate clearly with people several kilometres from where the prayer was taking place. The excitement about the miracles that happened at this new Pentecost led Simeon Toko’s followers to spread all over town and start preaching the building of God’s Kingdom. This attracted the attention of Belgian colonial authorities, who viewed the activity as a threatening commotion.

Within about three months, the police began jailing the preachers. They were jailed and prosecuted as promptly as were the Kimbanguists, the followers of Simeon Toko’s Messenger, Simon Kimbangu—who himself was imprisoned from 1921 until his death in 1951. Some were beheaded, burned alive in their homes, drowned in the river or shot without being prosecuted. Finally, the colonialists decided to deport them. The wives, husbands and children were separated from their families and homes by hundreds and even thousands of kilometres.

When miracles started taking place among the new followers of “Kimbangu”, the Belgian authorities tried to suffocate this new Messianic group at once. On 22 October 1949, Simeon Toko and 3,000 of his companions were put into two different jails, Ofiltra and Ndolo. After three months in the jails, a decree was passed to deport them out of the country. This is when Simeon Toko started revealing Himself.

The Belgian administrator of the jail in Ndolo was named Pirote. He abused the “Tokoist” prisoners, hurling racist insults. He always ended with: “Filthy nigger, you’re going back to nigger country in Angola!” Tired of this abuse, Simeon Toko replied sharply to Pirote: “Know that if there is a stranger here, it is you! To show you that I am home, the day you make the injustice of deporting me from Belgian Congo, I’ll have you carrying my bags alongside me!” Simeon Toko held up both hands, spread out his fingers, and told the abusive Belgian to count them. He said: “I give 10 years to the Belgians, not one more or less, to leave this country!”

No one at that time comprehended these sibylline words. However, the disciples of Simeon Toko understood later: the day they were deported, Pirote fell dead. He was gripped with an apparent heart attack while working in his office, and died as suddenly as though a bullet had struck him squarely.

As for the other mysterious statement made by Simeon Toko: 10 years later, in 1960, the Belgians were obliged to leave their rich colony of Congo. But to impel this event, Simeon Toko “unleashed his army”. This incredible story is very well known throughout central Africa, and will be reported in greater detail in another book. The event was witnessed by thousands of people on 4 January 1959. Some of the author’s own relatives were there, but so are there thousands of citizens of the city of Kinshasa, who witnessed it on that day, alive at this writing. January 4th is now a public holiday in Kinshasa and commemorates this event. Kinshasa was called Leopoldville. On that day, the “Cherubim and Seraphim” appeared and stood against the Belgian colonial army. The citizens of Leopoldville saw an army of about a thousand very small men, about the size of children or dwarfs, with very muscular, imposing bodies.

Each of these diminutive human-looking creatures showed great strength; for example, a witness saw one of them flip a five ton truck over with one arm! The Belgian soldiers fired at these little brown angels to no effect. Terrified, the colonial army was thrown into confusion. The little men disappeared as suddenly as they had appeared. One year after this amazing mass apparition, the Democratic Republic of Congo was a new and independent country.

More Persecutions and Miracles

After being deported and arriving in Angola, the real tribulations of the “man of sorrow acquainted with grief and sufferings” were to start. Never again would Simeon Toko rest. His life would be a string of nonstop attempts to kill him to prevent his Mission. Let us follow what he experienced, from Leopoldville, where he was unjustly incarcerated, to Angola. While incarcerated in Angola, the Portuguese authorities deported him:

  1. to the Colonato of Vale do Loge, in the municipality of Bembe, northern Angola;
  2. from Bembe to Waba Caconda;
  3. from Caconda to Hoque, 30 kilometres off San da Bandeira;
  4. from San da Bandeira to Waba Caconda again:
  5. from Caconda to Cassinga, Vila Artur de Paiva;
  6. from Cassinga to Jau, in Chibia’s canton;
  7. from Chibia, back to San da Bandeira;
  8. from San da Bandeira to Mocamedes, in the municipality of Porto Alexandre, or, more precisely, at Ponta Albina.
  9. from Ponta Albina to Luanda, the capital of Angola.

All of these deportations took place in a 12-year period. Simeon Toko’s captivity in these prisons and agricultural compounds lasted from three months, as at San da Bandeira, to as long as five years, as at Ponta Albina. The objectives of these deportations were to reduce Simeon Toko’s influence and to dismantle his church. Contrarily, everywhere he and his followers were sent, they indoctrinated even more and more members into the belief of (what the Portuguese called) “Tokoism”. In the end, the Portuguese authorities decided to use their last measure: “Simeon Toko d e l e n d a [must be destroyed].”

Thus, when he was sent to slavery in an agricultural field in Caconda in southern Angola, his head was offered for a price. Two Portuguese foremen, excited by the reward, decided to take their chance. They put a plan into action to murder Simeon Toko. During a stay in Angola in 1994, we collected the testimony of Pastor Adelino Canhandi, who was a cook at the Caconda agricultural compound. He saw what happened.

Busy with cooking, he heard a voice calling him: “Canhandi, Canhandi, come here.” It was Simeon Toko. Once outside, surprised and curious, Toko told him “to stand there and be watchful. Once again, the Son of Man will be tested.” Strange words in particular for Canhandi, who was not then a Christian and didn’t understand the term or what Simeon Toko wanted of him. Curious, he watched.

One of the Portuguese foremen showed up and hailed Simeon Toko: “Hey Simeon, you see that tractor over there? There are weeds clogging the sower. Go clean them out!” Submissively, the docile prisoner crawled under the engine to fix it. When he was under the engine, the foreman, sitting in the driver’s seat, started it up, which automatically activated the rotating blades of the seed sower. Simeon Toko’s body was instantly severed in several pieces.

Terrified, Canhandi stood frozen to the spot, watching. The foreman shifted into reverse to back up and check the damage. A second foreman, who was in service that day, flashed a victory sign, indicating that they had succeeded. Then the unbelievable happened. Before Canhandi and the two Portuguese accomplices, the body of Simeon Toko recomposed itself! Simeon Toko stood up! Canhandi could not believe his eyes. The Portuguese ran away in terror.

From that day on, Canhandi believed in the Lord, and his entire family converted to the church of Simeon Toko. It was also that day that Simeon Toko made it known who he was behind that smallpox-marred face, purposefully behaving in accord with the following scripture:

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)

During Simeon Toko’s stay in Luanda, the capital of Angola, while he was in the process of being deported for the ninth time, another event happened to show his hidden and true identity. We should say that when he came on Earth in Palestine, Christ referred to Himself in the third person, using the term “the Son of Man”. This time, Canhandi was one of the rare persons to hear the Christ refer to Himself differently. Simeon most usually spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ, which meant to his followers that he, too, was a servant of Christ, like everybody else. Despite the miracles happening around him, he was just like a shadow; no one knew who he really was.

The Vatican and the Avatar

His followers were once again bewildered when they found out that two top-level emissaries had been dispatched by Pope John XXIII to Angola to meet Simeon Toko and deliver a personal message to him. One of the emissaries was unfortunate to fall ill with dysentery when he arrived in Luanda and wound up in a hospital. The other was received by Simeon Toko, and he said to him: “I am an emissary of Pope John XXIII, who personally mandated me and my colleague to come and ask you a single question: ‘Who are you?'”

Let us bear in mind that the year was 1962, two years after the fateful date when the Vatican had instructions to make public the Third Secret of Fatima. John XXIII had read the message, kept it a secret, and very likely had sent his emissaries to Simeon Toko with a sinking feeling in his heart. Simeon Toko responded: “I am amazed that a high-ranking person like the Pope is interested enough about my being to make you travel 8,000 kilometres just to meet me. The answer that you should give your master for me is in the biblical scripture, Matthew 11:2-6.” Let’s now put ourselves in Pope John XXIII’s shoes as he read the text suggested by Toko:

And now, when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him: Are thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them: Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Matthew 11:2-6)

Using a brief biblical quotation, Simeon Toko gave Pope John XXIII to understand that what the Pope had found in the note written by Lucia dos Santos was true. Indeed, the former Cardinal Roncalli could have picked any name as Pope, but he chose “John”, so that now the scripture in Matthew that Simeon Toko sent him to read addressed him directly by name. Fearing who it was who was now living among the most disdained people on Earth, the Pope contacted the Portuguese dictator, Antonio de Salazar. On 18 July 1962, Simeon Toko was again arrested and deported; this time, not to some isolated corner in his native Angola but to Portugal—where his anticipated birth had been announced in 1917 in Fatima. [Tom Dark* notes: Tokoists contend that the true Third Secret of Fatima was in fact an announcement that Christ had returned to Earth, in the form of Simeon Toko.]

For Toko’s deportation to Portugal, a Portuguese Air Force plane was waiting for him. The plane had state-of-the-art telecommunication and navigation systems. In the plane sat a Catholic priest and members of Salazar’s secret police, the PIDEDGS, including the pilot and copilot. Their mission was to fly out over the Atlantic Ocean and, after about an hour’s distance, push Simeon Toko out of the plane into the deep sea. This was the same inhuman treatment that the Argentinian military used years later against their political opponents. Supposedly the Catholic priest was brought along on the plane to counteract the magic powers of the African through praying. But this skilfully planned project was about to backfire.

The moment the PIDE agents rose to subdue him and carry out their murder, Simeon Toko stood up and ordered the plane to stop. The aircraft stopped in mid-air! It stood still, not advancing an inch nor rising or falling backwards. The crew was stricken by panic. The priest could hardly breathe, and hoarsely huffed out desperate prayers. They all started imploring the p r e t o [Portuguese denigratory term denoting “nigger”] for mercy.

Simeon lifted his eyes and hands towards the heavens and after a short prayer he ordered the plane to move again. At once, the plane started moving. Simeon Toko related this story himself. For those who are skeptical, we would remind you that the authority of our sciences does not determine all that is possible on Earth or in Heaven. This same Personality stopped a storm on a sea for a group of terrified fishermen 2,000 years ago. He also walked across the surface of the water and inspired the Sun to weave and dance gaily at Fatima.

Simeon Survives a Morbid Experiment

As an “exiled political prisoner”, Simeon Toko was deprived of all human rights. We describe here one of the many murder attempts upon his body during his forced stay in Ponta Delgada, in the Archipelago of the Azores. He was assigned the chore of maintaining a lighthouse there. At a future date, we will publish a record of miracles performed by Simeon Toko, which were seen by eyewitnesses. Doña Laurinda Zaza is a v a t e [pronounced “vah-tay”]—a sort of prophetic trance medium—for present-day Toko followers. She experienced the following event as she saw it happen to Tio Simão (a nickname meaning “Uncle Simon”) while he was in exile in Portugal. Simeon Toko confirmed the fact of this event later, and revealed the physical damage that the doctors had done. Over the years, thousands of people saw this scarring on his chest.

“You could almost see Toko’s heart pounding in his chest through the scar; an almost unbearable sight,” Doña Laurinda said. This referred to a most remarkable attempt by these astonishingly misguided men to kill Simeon Toko under dictator Antonio de Salazar’s orders. This attempt, which would have been “first degree murder” if the victim were anyone else, took place shortly before his return to freedom in July 1974. [Tom Dark notes: Simeon Toko was not released by Salazar; the dictator was unseated by a revolution and Simeon was released in a general amnesty of political prisoners.]

A Portuguese doctor had been reading records about Toko’s alleged “invincibility” and invited several doctors from around Europe to perform an operation on him—an autopsy, under the pretext of removing a tumour from his chest. The doctors had him taken to a local civilian hospital. They put him on an operating table, cut a jagged, mortal wound in the left side of the centre of his chest, reached into his chest cavity and pulled out his still-beating heart. The aorta and other arteries were severed by scalpel and his heart was removed. Simeon lay dead, his body covered with the warm blood that splashed out of his heart and chest.

The doctors dumped Simeon Toko’s heart in a metal pan and took it to a laboratory in another room. They ran various tests on it—expecting to find what, they did not know. The gadgets and microscopes and probing showed there was nothing physically extraordinary or abnormal about Simeon Toko’s heart. The doctors concluded that this purloined organ would not have been the source of his invulnerability—if it can be said that men can make conclusions about any such thing.

The doctors had unquestionably killed this man in this macabre experiment, but to their horror and bewilderment, Simeon Toko came to on the operating table! His heartless corpse was moving of its own volition. He opened his eyes, sat up and looked at them, the chest wound by which they had casually murdered him gaping open. “Why are you persecuting me this way?” he said to them. “Give me back my heart!”

[Tom Dark notes: If there are medical records available to confirm this event independently, I do not have them now but would like to see them. All of us involved in this project here in the US consider ourselves “doubting Thomases”, to say the least, yet the stories of witnesses and followers have kept up our fascination.]

For now we will refrain from reporting many other significant events that happened that same day. We can let you know, however, that the exact time his heart was taken from him, Simeon Toko decided to give a finishing blow to Portuguese colonial power and rule over Angola. He returned to his native country of Angola on 31 August 1974, with the confidence his words would be fulfilled. A year later, on 11 November 1975, Angola gained its independence from Portugal.

A Departure by Choice

During the night of 31 December 1983 to 1 January 1984, when the death of Simeon Toko was announced by the media, thunderclaps of virtually seismic force and torrential rain burst the skies of Luanda. It had not rained in this area for several years. Meteorologists were mystified. For three days the rain fell continuously. The occurrence of this event was attributed to all the rumours surrounding the death of this great prophet. A certain politician was recognised as one of the toughest men surrounding Neto, President of the Republic of Angola. He was often called upon for delicate and confidential missions. The Portuguese, whom he fought during a 14-year war for the liberation of his country, had a good deal to say about him. His name aroused dread and awe. He led a resistance group specialising in chopping heads with c a t a n a s (machetes). This man was one of President Neto’s army officers. His name was Comandante Paiva. After hearing the news that Simeon Toko had died, Paiva rushed to where the body lay exposed for public viewing. He fought his way through the crowd of tens of thousands of people. He was astonished at the sight of it. He stood looking at Simeon’s body, and he asked to speak. He declared:

“It is not true that Simeon Toko is dead, because he is invulnerable!” To make such a public confession was blatantly incriminating. Seven years before, Comandante Paiva had orders to kill Simeon Toko once and for all. He told the public that this is what he and his men had done. He had Simeon Toko kidnapped and taken to a secret location; once there, he butchered him methodically, like a meatpacker with an animal carcass; he severed Simeon’s head, then his arms and legs, then split his chest and abdomen apart. He stuffed the butchered corpse into a large bag, tied the top with a string and hid it in a certain location. After three days, he brought helpers back to get the bag and take it to the ocean to throw to the sharks.

By now the bag had disappeared. The men began to argue about its whereabouts. Suddenly, in the midst of their bickering about who may have moved it, a voice they described as sounding like “the sounds of many waters” (Revelation 1:15) overshadowed their own voices: “Who are you looking for? I am here!” It was Simeon Toko, in flesh and bone, alive, standing majestically. The men dashed away shouting “E o Deus, e o Deus!“, which means “He is God, He is God!”

Paiva’s butchering had been the last time that anybody dared to touch a single hair on the head of Simeon Toko. And now that Simeon’s body lay discarded by its owner, by choice, Paiva refused to believe it.

<End Part 2 of Nexus Article>

The Takeaway

With stories like this, many people say that if it was ‘true’ then it would be common knowledge: ‘we would have heard about it.’ Yet this story itself is testimony of how systematically and ruthlessly the powerful group we have called the ‘cabal’ or the ‘Illuminati’ have worked throughout history to suppress the truth in order to control the perception people have about our history, about the nature of civilization, and about ourselves. The article tells us that there were countless many eyewitnesses to some of the miracles of Simeon Toko, but we have been conditioned to believe that these are just the superstitious imaginings of an uncivilized race of people.

Part of our coming to a greater understanding of the truth of our origins, our history, and our nature involves our discernment about things which we have previously understood to be myth, folklore, or religious fervor. Everything must be considered in the context of the belief system/paradigm of the writer and of the times, and, as in this case, the Christian perspective must be embraced fully in order to plumb to the depths of the story and evaluate whether things actually happened the way they are being told. We will probably be surprised one day to find that many stories of the past we have relegated to the domain of insubstantial myth or superstitious religious fervor turn out to have actually happened.

*(Editor’s notes within the text are from Tom Dark, who was the editor of the book entitled ‘The True Third Secret of Fatima Revealed and the Return of Christ by Pastor Melo Nzeyitu Josias that is the source of Tom Dark’s Nexus article referred to here.)

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Consciousness

Remember This When You Forget How ‘Powerful’ You Are

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We all feel down at some point in our lives. Sometimes just a simple reminder of our true essence can bring everything into perspective, like the 28 quotes below.

  • Reflect On:

    Sometimes we simply need to change our perspective. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Easier said than done, but what action steps are you taking to feel better?

We all feel down at some point in our lives, and some of us more than others. Sometimes we feel defeated, depressed, and unworthy. If you are anything like me, you may have spent a lot of time feeling broken, ashamed, and guilty, too. These are some of the most difficult emotions to feel about yourself.

This was at a time in my life, where, although I had woken up to a conscious understanding, and had learned about many spiritual concepts — how to overcome challenging experiences, the idea that everything happens for a reason, etc. — for the life of me, I could not implement this knowledge and understanding into my life. I felt as though there was actually something wrong with me, that maybe my mind worked differently, or maybe something in me was blocking me from progressing. I was trapped, and I felt truly broken. I compared myself to others around me and just thought they had it easier. I was stuck in this victim mentality.

There were, however, a few pieces of writing and wisdom that I had collected over the years that truly helped me through these hard times. A simple reminder of how powerful we truly are really touched me because, deep down, despite these low feelings, I knew that like everyone else, I was a part of source — everything that is, God, whatever you want to call it. Yes, I realized that I just I said am God, but it’s okay because so are you!

Sometimes just a simple reminder of our true essence can bring everything into perspective. I hope that you can find some solace in the following quotes when you are going through tough times, and don’t forget, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

  1. “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” — Hafiz
  2. “Within you is the light of a thousand suns.” – Robert Adams
  3. “A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to realize what a privilege it is to be alive and be healthy. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start feeling like one. Time spent appreciating is time worth living.” — Anonymous
  4. “You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment, sit back, marvel at your life;
    At the grief that softened you
    At the heartache that wizened you,
    At the suffering that strengthened you.
    Despite everything,
    You still grow.
    Be proud of this.” — Unknown
  5. “There is no reason to doubt yourself. If you know what your intentions are you will always give yourself guidance, and if you momentarily seem to get off track, which isn’t really even possible –then you will always allow yourself to know that there is something you will learn from it in a positive way and know that you haven’t really left the track at all. You have simply expanded the track wider.” – Bashar
  6. “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life. Because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey
  7. “Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving and progressing.” – Mandy Hale
  8. “We are travellers on a cosmic journey, stardust swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share this is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paulo Coelho
  9. “Tear off the mask. Your face is glorious.” – Rumi
  10. “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
  11. “We are all made of stars.”– Moby
  12. “Don’t worry, don’t be afraid ever, because this is just a ride.” – Bill Hicks
  13. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
  14. “But without the darkness, we’d never see the stars.” —Anonymous
  15. “Do not feel lonely, the entire Universe is inside you.” – Rumi
  16. “A lot of the pain that we are dealing with are really only thoughts.” — Anonymous
  17. “Never compare your journey with anyone else’s. Your journey is YOUR journey, it’s not a competition.” — Anonymous
  18. “You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.” — Anonymous
  19. “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
  20. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle
  21. “The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love, and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you, the world is transformed.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
  22. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
  23. “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” –Louise Hay
  24. “Until you feel broken you don’t know what you’re made of. It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.” – Melissa Molomo
  25. “The pain that you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” – Romans 8:18
  26. “Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.” – Pravinee Hurbungs
  27. “When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase and strengthen you.” – Joel Osteen
  28. “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or having everything happen at once.” – Paulo Coelho

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Consciousness

Retired American Bishop Believes The Church Invented Hell & Is In The “Control Business”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a video of Jon Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church explaining that religion is a business and it is used as a control mechanism.

  • Reflect On:

    Is religion an invention of man used for sinister purposes? A form of brainwashing? Is there some truth within religion? Is that way it resonates with so many? Is religion different today from what it was many years ago?

Religion is a controversial topic, and I’d like to preface this article by saying that it is not my aim to belittle or diminish anyone’s beliefs. My problem is not with faith but with religion as an organization, which has been used as a means of control, to pit people against each other, and to incite terror and war. Religion in this context serves the purposes of many various global elitist agendas.

Religion is also confusing, to say the least; within several different religions exist different ‘sects,’ each with their own teachings and version of the ‘truth’ and how to live one’s life. Within Christianity alone, there are multiple versions of the Bible, and teachings that contradict one another. What one religion says in one part of the world may directly oppose what another says in a different part of the world. This alone is a recipe for feelings of confusion and isolation for anybody who is seeking ‘the truth.’ If various religions preach different ways of life and truths, they all can’t be correct, can they? I guess that’s why they call it faith.

Below is a video of Jon Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church, discussing these problems. He argues that religion is a business and it is used as a control mechanism (and he’s not the first insider to do so). We can see this happening most clearly in the rise of Islamophobia. Islam has been turned into a scapegoat, a target at which we can direct all our fears and anger, and an excuse to invade other countries and create a more intense global national security state. But the truth is, Islam has nothing to do with violence or terrorism. These manufactured fears are all part and parcel of ‘false flag’ terrorism, which you can read more about here if you are unfamiliar with the concept.

In the video, Spong affirms that “religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in the guilt producing control business.”

Every church I know claims that we are the true church, and they have some ultimate authority. . . . The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system by any human creed by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me. God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu a Buddhist; all of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God.

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He is describing the difference between faith and religion. I myself have explored multiple religions, and have discovered teachings within all of them that deeply resonate with me. I’ve also found teachings that don’t resonate at all. I don’t believe one religion has all the answers.

Using fear to coax people into a certain way of life or belief system, just like the Bishop mentions above, seems to be common practice in nearly every religion, and that certainly doesn’t resonate with me.

The history of the church itself is problematic. Whether it be the church’s role in the First Nations Genocide here in Canada, or the European crusades, the church has a history of forcing their views upon others and of condemning science and new discoveries.

Furthermore, as the Bishop says above, people need to accept responsibility for the world. If we simply leave global change in the hands of God, we remove our own responsibility and agency in this world. If we want to change the world, WE have to do it. After the Paris terrorist attacks, the Dalai Lamai expressed this as well, arguing that it’s not enough to just pray. We must take responsibility for our planet.

We are also dealing with texts that are very old, and considering there are multiple versions of various texts, all of which have likely been manipulated, changed, and distorted over the years, I find it difficult to accept any one without question.

Another point that turns me away from religion is hypocrisy. Many people claim ties to their faith yet know very little about its tenets, and fail to follow what they claim to believe in. This is commonly seen within the ‘spiritual’ movement as well, which can be seen as another form of religion in itself.

When it comes to religion, I believe you have to do your own research; you have to read the books and examine the teachings for yourself. Use your own head and find what resonates with you instead of allowing yourself to be indoctrinated and letting someone else do your thinking for you. These texts are open to interpretation; it’s up to you to find meaning in them and apply it to your life. You can still believe in God and not be religious. Religion is a manmade construct, and I think if God were to suddenly appear somewhere, he or she would have no idea what religion even was.

Religions as organizations are going to have to change. New discoveries are constantly being made that are challenging long-held belief systems. We cannot grow if we refuse to have an open mind and accept new possibilities about the nature of reality, and it’s childish to hold on to old belief systems just because they are familiar.

I personally believe in the soul and other non-material phenomena, as well the idea that life does not end here on Earth, and I believe there is enough evidence in various forms, aside from my own intuition and gut feeling, to support this stance.

What about you? What do you believe? What it all boils down to, for me, is respect. We must learn to respect each other’s viewpoints about ‘what is.’ We need to work with each other and accept our differences so we can focus on helping the planet, our shared home.

“It’s a mark of an educated person to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.”

What do you think about religion and what Spong is saying in this video?

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 23: The Competition)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

23. The Competition

One morning a young boy and his older sister were fishing on a small stream that ran through the forest on the Western side of the island of Allandon when the branchless trunk of a fallen tree floated slowly by.

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“Look, a tree!” said the boy.

“So what?” replied the girl.

“So we can play ‘tip-over’!” he said.

“Ha! You’ve never beaten me at that. Why do you keep asking me?”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” started the boy in a tone mimicking the village crier, “we are now ready for the finals of the main event, the tip-over! Will the contestants please take their positions on the tree!”

“All right,” she said, “get ready to lose again.”

They waded into the shallow stream and got onto the tree trunk. As they slowly and stutteringly rose to a standing position, he continued his announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants are set. When one contestant falls in the water, the other will be declared the winner. Ready, steady, and go!”

The girl stood nonchalantly, trying to make it look as effortless as possible. But minutes started to go by, and he was also staying steady. She knew if she could get the tree spinning he would fall. He had always fallen. After a bit of effort she got it started, but this time he was spinning it right with her.

“Why aren’t you falling?” she asked.

“I’ve been practicing!” he replied.

She tried to reverse course and stop the tree trunk from spinning in the hopes it would put him off balance. Instead, she slipped and fell backwards into the stream while he remained on the tree trunk. “It’s over!” he said, and jumped into the water with an exuberant splash. He followed his sister out of the stream with arms raised, exclaiming, “He’s done it! He’s done it! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new world champion!”

“All right, enough,” she said, looking back at him with annoyance.

“What?” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever won!”

“Relax,” she said, “it’s just a game.”

Just a game?” asked the bemused young boy. “Do you mean there’s something else?”

My search for a more spiritual life after university, inspired by a growing interest in Eastern philosophy and practices, brought with it an unexpected byproduct: it compelled me to become more acutely aware of my highly competitive nature. Competitive soccer, for example, was a major part of my life. Doing activities that did not lead to ‘winning’ were still somewhat foreign to me. I remember the difficulty I had during my first ever yoga classes around that time. I’m not simply talking about the fact that I was preoccupied with holding my postures longer and stretching further than the middle-aged women around me; I’m referring to the internal clash of emotions I was feeling just as the postures and the rhythms of the yoga began to relax me. My mind kept conjuring up vivid images of battling on the soccer field and passionately celebrating victory with my teammates. Although I was convinced that yoga could bring me some much-needed peace of mind, I left those first few sessions feeling restless and even somewhat ill. I had a vague sense that doing yoga was a threat to my competitive instinct and lifestyle. And since I didn’t feel ready to give that up, I did not practice yoga again for over a decade.

In the back of my mind I imagined that being competitive was a phase that I would eventually grow out of as I matured. Some of my own experiences and the literature I had been reading seemed to support that. And yet today, even as I have returned to yoga, meditation and other holistic practices, I still have not been able to pull myself away from the lure of competing. Not only that, but I continue to follow some professional sports competitions with pointed interest. I realize there are more than enough things going on that should have turned me off of that whole scene, with the outrageous salaries and image-related endorsement contracts, performance-enhancing drug use, gambling, match-fixing, and other distractions. Yet I still sometimes find myself in front of the TV, captivated by the unfolding drama of my home team’s game or an important golf tournament. Sometimes when I am watching an event and my wife comes in, I will enjoy making a big production about the importance of the moment. “There’s only a minute left,” I will say, “he has to make this free throw,” or “this putt is so important.” She will often sit with me through the moment of truth to humor me, even though the drama usually has little impact on her. Of course I understand her perfectly. I would agree that in the grand scheme of things it really makes no difference for my life whether my team wins or not. In quiet moments after the final buzzer has sounded and the teams have left the floor, the thought will occasionally occur to me: Do I just need to grow up and get over all this?

For me this question has been more complicated than it might seem. At first blush, the desire to pit individuals against one another to see who is stronger, faster, and better appears to be the epitome of Ego-Self-motivated fulfillment. Indeed, it was during the emergence of the Ego Self at the dawn of Western Civilization that formalized competition first came into prominence with the inaugural Olympic Games in Ancient Greece in 774 B. C. However the Greeks had some noble reasons for initiating their Games, not the least of which was to facilitate the pursuit of areté, which was perhaps the most esteemed value of ancient Greek culture. Areté can be translated as ‘virtue,’ but actually means something closer to ‘being the best you can be,’ or ‘reaching your highest human potential.’

Looked at from this point of view, competition may in some cases hold value for our lives. Being the best we can be, striving to reach our potential, is who we actually are. And so the pursuit of areté is an exercise in being our true selves. Our true self is not the self that we outwardly identify with, the self of a name and job and habits and addictions. Our true self is the high water mark of self-actualization that we have achieved to date, and it is only when we consistently attempt to reach and surpass our high water mark do we gain the real sensation of being fully alive.

I think that beyond the commercialism and corruption, our competitive sports heroes can still inspire us towards this. They demonstrate that peak mental and physical performances result from commitment and dedication, courage and focus. If our heroes are to be of benefit to our lives, it is through the way they model grace under pressure, and a willingness to face and challenge their own fears to rise above and perform. Athletes can still exude a simple, almost childlike love for the game, and demonstrate unabashed joy when they individually or collectively overcome the greatest challenges of their sport.

There is a danger for us, however, if we always remain spectators, living vicariously through the achievements of professional athletes. We must recognize that the victory of our home team or sports idol is not really our own. Our joy is short-lived, a pale imitation of the feeling the victorious athlete says “cannot be put into words.” Our own euphoria is reserved for the times when we face the challenges that have our name on them, and lead ourselves to victory by our efforts. The more we focus our emotions on the exploits of others, the more we will shrink in fear when we get the opportunity to step onto the playing field ourselves. We will not be prepared and we will look for the comfort of the sidelines. The only thing is that, in life, there are no sidelines. We are always on the field of play, even when we’re just curled up in a ball trying to avoid all the action.

It is important for each one of us to determine whether or not competition is serving us in our lives. If winning has become everything, and we are willing to cheat to earn victory, then competition is no longer a context for reaching our highest potential. It only echoes the dog-eat-dog mentality rampant in our society where one person’s gain is always another’s loss. However, while the design of competition puts one of us against the other, I believe it can still give us the feeling that we are in this together. When we do it with an awareness that winning is not the only thing, competition can bind us to an unspoken understanding that we really play together in order to celebrate life. The famous saying that ‘It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’ rings true—because in life it’s possible to play the game in a way that everybody wins.

While we may be in danger of taking the game of life too seriously, there is also a danger of not taking the game seriously enough, of playing it too safe and not really engaging in life. Remember Helen Keller’s words that ‘life is either a daring adventure or nothing.’ There is a fine line that we need to observe, because it is in the balance that life is fun. A common misconception is that a spiritual life demands we withdraw from the game. I believe a spiritual life urges us to walk that fine line, and play the game as though everything was at stake while being wholly detached from the outcome of our efforts.

We all cross both sides of that fine line throughout our lives, but in some magical moments we can get it just right. In one of his lectures, Wayne Dyer recounts a true story told by the father of a young boy with motor and learning disabilities when his son wanted to join a baseball game in progress.

 The boy’s father thought it was unlikely that the players, who were his son’s age, would let his son play. So he was pleasantly surprised when one of the players he asked actually consented, albeit hesitantly and a bit out of embarrassment, to let his son onto his team. The young player rationalized that that it was already the 8th inning and his team was losing badly, so the boy was given a glove to play outfield and was promised an at-bat in the 9th inning.

 His son’s team made a courageous comeback, however, and by the 9th inning they actually gave themselves a chance to win. They were only down by three runs and had the bases loaded. The only problem was that there were two outs and it was his son’s turn to bat. The father, who could appreciate the drama of the moment, highly doubted that the team would let his son go up to bat at this critical moment. After all, his son could not even hold the bat properly, let alone swing it. But to his surprise, he saw his son making his way timidly to the batter’s box.

The players could see right away that his son would not be able to get a hit, especially after he missed the first pitch clumsily. So one of his teammates came up behind him to help him hold the bat while the pitcher moved closer in order to lob the ball in softly. On the next pitch the two boys swung together and hit a weak ground ball to the pitcher. The father thought that the pitcher would easily throw his son out, and that would be the game.

That is when something remarkable started to happen. The pitcher instead hesitated for a moment, and then threw the ball high over the first baseman’s head and down the right field line. The young boy’s teammates started yelling to him, “Run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had he run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball. The father knew that the outfielder could have thrown the ball to an infielder who would tag his son out, as he was running along the base path aimlessly. But the outfielder suddenly understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so instead he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head, as everyone yelled, “Run to second! Run to second!”

The father saw his son run towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. When his son reached second base, the opposing shortstop actually ran to him, gently turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third!” As his son rounded third, the players from both teams gathered behind him screaming, “Run home! Run home!” Together they guided him home, and as soon as he stepped on home plate all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a grand slam and won the game for his team.

There is perhaps no greater feeling than when, focused as we get on a game that pits one against the other, we transcend our Ego Self to touch the world of unity beyond. But to have this experience, we need to chalk the foul lines, fasten the bases in place, and have a sturdy umpire behind the plate telling us to “Play ball!” The rules of the game provide the context for some of the most magical experiences in life.

In those moments when we feel the rules of the game are brutal and unfair, whether it be from having a loved one die, or losing our fortune, or being born with a disability, it is a good time to stop and reflect for a moment. When the totality of life is taken as a game, all of its difficulties can be seen as the challenges that make the game worth playing, where the emphasis falls on the experience of life rather than its outcome. The struggle towards self-actualization, the pursuit of areté, is no easy ride for any of us. But if we were really looking for an easy ride, we likely would not have come onto this field of play in the first place.

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