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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

Are You A Spiritual Narcissist?

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Is this happening to many in spiritual trends?

  • Reflect On:

    There is authentic being, and then there is self-absorption which pretending to be authenticity, are we aware of the difference?

We humans often have a hard time finding middle ground. We may be drowning in lack of self-worth one moment, and trampling over other’s with our own self indulgence the next as we struggle to find balance. Narcissism is not simply about enjoying selfies in our social media-saturated world, it goes deeper than that.

It appears as liberation but is a trap that can ruin relationships, increase personal suffering, and keep a person from their true spiritual aspirations. Not surprisingly, increased mindfulness and compassion for this tricky human quirk is the best way to heal it.

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us, and it becomes increasingly dangerous when we confuse it with spirituality. In many ways it is easy to see that all of humanity is dealing with a certain degree of self-absorption while we desecrate forests and oceans, causing plants and animals to go extinct on our material quests. In his famous book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa gave a good foundation for westerners to navigate the pitfalls of our materialistic abundance.

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The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us, differentiating the two is important. Sadly, we have spiritual philosophies and religions that have been constructed to feed the ego, inflate self-righteousness, and create division while giving justification for all manner of activities including killing, exploitation, and oppression. Ethical conduct, regardless of spirituality, requires honoring the other and the self as one with each deserving to be respected, heard, and seen with compassion.

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

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There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us

Finding the Antidote to Self-absorption

Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Ego is an important aspect of our selves, it is part of self-preservation but when it becomes out of balance it actually has the ability to destroy us and harm relationships.

Many spiritual practices seek to increase our ability to witness and bring mindful awareness to ego drives which allow us to master, instead of being enslaved by our ego. When ego gets too big it can be hard to swallow, yet spiritual liberation invites us to expand our sense of self beyond the ego, beyond time and space.

The goal is to find a balance between the inner experience and the outer reality. How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac and hurting personal relationships? Meanwhile, self-loathing, and low self-esteem are also manifestations of ego out of balance. Selflessness can often be quite selfish, over-engagement can be as problematic as disengagement socially. Luckily we are here to find this balance through living fully, from making mistakes, and evolving our sense of self-awareness. Healthy self-awareness is the only antidote to self-absorption.

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How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac?

The Story of Narcissus and Echo

One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually recognized that his love could not be reciprocated and committed suicide. -Wikipedia

Since intention is subjective, a person is often understood within their community by their actions or image. This becomes extra tricky in our age of social media and the materialism that has found it’s way into yoga, meditation, and spirituality. It is possible to put on a good act, to fool those around us and ourselves (temporarily).

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Narcissus mesmerized by his own reflection

We can have the latest yoga clothes, read the right books and hang out with all the “cool” people, but if our actions are not grounded in a deeper spiritual practice, basic consideration for others, and respect, it is still hollow. A common analogy is the guy who everyone likes but then goes home kicks his dog, or is rude and unaccountable to his wife.

Deep spirituality makes us more sensitive to the feeling of others, encouraging an open stance of courage where we can drop our protective shields and accept the vulnerability to be seen as we are. Narcissistic sensitivity, however, is focused solely on the subtle nuances one’s own internality, and resists looking at hard, uncomfortable truths that may upset the self image. One who is narcissistically sensitive is easily offended by the “coarseness” of others, seeks to make his environment change to align with the contours of his needs, and gets angry or offended when this does not happen. -The Allure of Narcissistic Spirituality, Huffington Post

How to Identify Narcissistic Behavior

The ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it. It is not your job to diagnose others or tell them they are narcissistic if they are not interested in hearing it or healing it. However, if you draw appropriate boundaries for them you will protect yourself and encourage them to become more mindful. This is a loving and compassionate way to handle narcissism.

Alt text hereThe ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it

It is always healthy to make boundaries and speak your truth in a loving and compassionate way. Whether the narcissist hears it or not is out of your control. Common responses from narcissists will include belittling your feelings, a hollow apology without effort to modify behavior, or ignoring you altogether. Basically, they will use any excuse they can in order to not look at it, or to make the situation your fault. This is your cue to make appropriate boundaries for yourself.

Within yourself be open and receptive when others tell you that you have been inconsiderate of them. Accepting constructive feedback from loved ones is a great way to keep a balance between internal needs and external relationships. This is also how we grow as individuals.

Common traits of narcissism courtesy of BPD Central.

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Alt text hereLearning to stop keeping all the love for ourselves

Evolving Unhealthy Patterns

Hopefully, this will help you navigate tough interpersonal relationships and also better yourself. It is a beautiful thing that psychology is allowing us to have terms to identify and evolve unhealthy patterns emotionally. As we learn to live in community, we learn many aspects of love. This is how we help ourselves and those around us grow!

I’m republishing,  for the CE audience, this piece I wrote for Uplift Connect.

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Consciousness

The Secret To Feeling Loved In a Relationship – It Might Surprise You

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The secret to feeling loved is to explore what is blocking the love you already hold within yourself. It's about getting to your authentic self and recognizing it. No one can fulfill any of us, we must find it within.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you feel your authentic self? How often do you connect with the love and peace within yourself? What are the main things you say or do to yourself that is blocking you from seeing you are love?

Everyone wants to feel loved don’t they? The feeling of having someone else sustain you and your feelings because they love you, tell you all the time and show it to you in every way imaginable? Well here’s the secret to live that fantasy life: Love Yourself!

Or better yet, work to see the love that you truly are. When you connect with the love within you, you won’t need any of the above as you realize you are already whole. Instead, the above will just show up naturally as part of a relationship and will be a joy to play with.

That’s right, feeling loved is not about what others can provide you, that’s only temporary feelings that will always need reassurance. It’s about what you are able to realize about yourself. We can always jump from person to person who gives us attention, makes us feel special and loved all the time, but this isn’t sustainable. If we always look outside of ourselves to have something fulfilled then we will always be searching.

It’s Within!

The truth is, like most things in life that we strive for, the answers are usually within. If we take a look at the reason we look for love in the first place we begin to notice things within ourselves that tell us we are not already love or loved. We might think we are not good enough, not attractive enough, don’t have a big enough sense of adventure or aren’t funny enough. It doesn’t matter what story we make up about ourselves, it’s these stories that make us look outside of ourselves for love.

Think of it this way. Imagine there is a box and it represents you. At the bottom of that box is an infinite amount of love. Now take a whole bunch of dirty clothes that you don’t want or need anymore and put it in that box under the assumption that these clothes represent you and you need to hold on to them. Think for a moment about what that looks like and how it feels.

Now realize something. Beneath all of the old, dirty and smelly clothes that you don’t need anymore and that you think represents you, there is love. So how do you get to it? You remove all of that which is hiding or covering up the love. The stories of things you believe represent you or are you but are not because you are, at the core, love.

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The Ego’s Idea of Love

“But in the movies it’s never like this! What about the fairy tales?” Who defines what love should look like between two people? How many times have you heard a mother say “I worry because I love.” Worrying means you love someone? Interesting definitions we have don’t we? The truth is we have through our own minds, ego’s and through external influences, created an idea of what is, what it looks like and how things should be in a loving relationship. But the reality is, most of this is all to appease the mind and ego and is rarely sustainable.

True love is felt within both people, as complete and whole people on their own. They come together and share lives, experiences, periods of time together and exchange that feeling of love with one another. It doesn’t matter whether someone is constantly doing something to show you or making sacrifices all the time, love IS. It’s unconditional and by this definition it means without condition. We don’t need A + B to = love. It’s simple love = love.

Does this mean we can’t do nice things for others and exchange cute experiences with those we care for because suddenly this is showing our love in the wrong way? Absolutely not. It means now when you do these things they are simply out of the inspiration to do it and it isn’t going to fulfill lack that both people in the relationship are experiencing.

How Do We Love Ourselves?

There are many ways to learn to love your authentic self, but mainly it comes back to the box analogy I used earlier. The more we can observe the reasons we put ourselves down, think negatively about ourselves or think there is something not loveable about ourselves, the more we can see what is blocking or stopping us from loving our true authentic self.

Write it down if you have to. Take the time to sit quietly on your own and think of the reasons why you don’t love yourself, feel self conscious or think something isn’t perfect about you.

After you write down what you think these things are. Write down how you think each one got there. Did you see it in a movie? Learn it from friends or family? Does society look at things this way?

After you have gone through each one, go back and choose to first accept that you once thought of yourself that way. It’s okay, at some point we have all been through these things and it’s often a normal part of personal development.

Now realize how there is no real truth to the things you have mentioned about yourself as they are just perceptions created based on some false idea of who you think you are and what those things mean in terms of love. The more you realize that you are not your appearance, career, hobbies and so forth, the more you begin to not rely on those things to love yourself.

Try looking at yourself in the mirror, look in your eyes and tell yourself you love yourself multiple times. See how this makes you feel. Is it easy? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Ask yourself why and reflect again on the answers that come up. The trick is the more you become aware of why you think these things about yourself, the more you realize they are stories and you begin to disempower them. From here it just takes continuing to disempower them as they creep back up as when you give them no truth and power, they dissipate because they are not true to begin with. They are just thought forms and ideas.

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Consciousness

Dark Jewels: Mining The Gifts Of 8 Difficult Emotions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Our difficult emotions are not just unpleasant experiences. They have hidden gifts, including the capacity to transform our lives into more joy and wholeness. They impart wisdom and compassion we can't find living on, or fearfully clinging to, the su

  • Reflect On:

    Which emotions do you have trouble feeling or accepting in yourself and others? These might be the frontiers you need to embrace and enter to more fully embody your life.

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.

—Pema Chodron

Unless we look into and skillfully navigate our dark sides, we can’t become our fullest selves. Consequently, we can’t truly love ourselves and the world as much as we are capable. Following Pema Chodron’s reasoning: if we cannot bear our own pain, how can we bear the pain of others? If we are afraid of our own suffering, how can we genuinely stand with another in theirs and thereby be the friend possible?

Below I list eight natural, universal emotions that at first blush we might feel like avoiding. This list is a kind of treasure hunt, revealing what we get to discover when we welcome and allow these at first uncomfortable feelings to be, and eventually change us from our depths on up through our heart and mind. For this growth to happen, we first have to be honest with ourselves—to be aware of what we are feeling and able to name it. Then we can embrace the feelings and go from there.

Notice how each “negative” emotion mentioned below informs us of our care. To welcome and work with our shadow emotions enables us to care more. Caring also requires sensitivity. So, if we have a sensitive heart, we will likely feel all these difficult emotions in good measure. And, when we learn how to intimately, courageously and patiently dance with them, they give us more heart and more inner power. Each emotion is therefore a portal to fulfill our capacity for greater love—love for ourselves, for those we love, and the Earth itself.

Difficult Emotion #1: Guilt

Guilt is usually a signal that we have acted, or might act, inappropriately. Guilt brings us back to our values, morality, and care for one another. Guilt shows us where we have acted poorly and can do better. Guilt keeps us accountable to one another. Guilt (that we have done wrong) need not become shame (that we are wrong or bad). We can harvest the lesson in our guilt (oftentimes along with our remorse), make amends, and forgive ourselves. For example, if I feel guilty that I wasn’t fully honest with you and this cost you, I might make an amend and confess my shortcoming.

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Sitting with guilt allows the sting of wrongdoing to impress a lesson upon us, or to change our hearts for the long term. Guilt need not be self-hatred, self-condemnation, or endless regret. It can be a mature reckoning and opportunity for more integrity. Note, guilt can also be a symptom of depression and OCD, in which case it’s best to notice it and not ruminate on it or try to mine it for wisdom.

Difficult Emotion #2: Anger or Rage

Almost every instance of anger arises because something we treasure has been threatened or taken away. It shows us what we care about and how we feel violated. Anger is the smoke alerting us to the fire of where we have been hurt. Anger shows us where our boundaries are, and welcoming the energy of anger helps us set boundaries. Anger protects what we love and shows us how much we care and value what is rightfully ours, or what is another’s. In the face of abuse, for example, anger or even rage, is an appropriate response. It protects our vulnerability.

Sitting with anger, without acting it out violently (unless appropriate in the moment to set a strong boundary) empowers our functional ego, or sense of self. It’s good, however, to make sure we get the facts straight before we let our anger take over, so we are not acting out on false assumption. With all this said, I find anger one of the less remunerative emotions to perpetuate. I try to get the lesson, hear the message from anger, then try to skillfully express, discharge, or let it go (not suppress or perpetuate it in thought and heart) as soon as possible. In excess, anger ages, wears us down, and burns bridges of support. At the same time, not embracing and discharging anger in healthy ways can sabotage and age us even more quickly.

Difficult Emotion #3: Fear

There is helpful and unhelpful fear. Helpful fear shows us our limits and where our limits for self-protection are, and therefore, what we care about. Fear of heights, or walking at the edge of a cliff, help us be careful so we don’t hurt ourselves. This is helpful fear. We all have limits, and healthy fear tells us when to stop and what to avoid, or to be careful in proceeding. Sitting with helpful fear shows us how to take care of ourselves and others, how to avoid harm. Unhelpful fear should be confronted, skillfully, and in good timing, so it doesn’t prevent us from achieving our goals. Asking that someone special out on a date or taking the steps to follow through on a dream, despite the fear, is confronting unhelpful fear and not letting it hold us back. We can’t help feeling unhelpful fear, and sometimes rather than try not to feel fear, the way to conquer it is simply to “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Difficult Emotion #4: Remorse

Remorse is related to guilt. It signals us that we have made a mistake, caused harm, or could have done better. Remorse arises because we care; otherwise we wouldn’t care how our actions affect others. Sitting with remorse allows it to teach us a heartfelt lesson. The remorse we feel because we didn’t take the time to review the pesticide-impact report accurately, or because we didn’t make the call that would have prevented a disaster, can all be good medicine. It’s important to allow remorse and not excessively beat ourselves up about it, which also gives us the opportunity to practice forgiveness. Remorse is tinged with sadness, which arises from caring, which is why it’s a good sign to feel remorse; it means we have a heart, care about life, and have a moral compass.

Difficult Emotion #5: Despair

Despair is tough and humbling. Sometimes we can’t help but despair. Despair has an element of giving up, and this total or partial surrender can bolster our capacity for letting go of unnecessary control. When we do, we can find inner strength we didn’t know we had, as well as outside support in those who come to our aid. Inside despair is the kernel of faith. Despair can be a path to what we might call God or Spirit, which is often our own resiliency and trust that things will somehow work out when we have given up, or feel like we have nothing left.

It’s important to have support and to self-motivate when appropriate so that despair does not unnecessarily turn to depression and self-harm. Falling apart in the arms of despair can be a powerful way to contact our depths and find that invisible inner fortitude. This is best done with people who can stand by us, hold us, and keep our heads above water, if indeed we are afraid of figuratively drowning. When we have support and can weather its storm, despair also reveals what we care about and who unconditionally cares for us.

Difficult Emotion #6: Worry or Anxiety

Worry can be unrealistic or realistic, and shades of both, just like fear. Noticing what we worry about can show us what we care about; otherwise, why would we bother to worry? Some are worrywarts, in which case it’s helpful to try not to worry as much, while preserving the kernel of care in worry. Sometimes it’s appropriate to act in order to reduce worry. If I’m worrying about having left the gate open, getting up and closing it abets my worry. Other times, when our worry is more unrealistic, we don’t need to act as much as we need to bring our minds back into balance. Sitting with realistic worry shows us what we need to do to protect ourselves and others, even if it’s as simple as closing the gate or moving a glass from the edge of the table. Worry brings out the care in our hearts or our fear of harm. Controlling negative and anxious thinking, getting the facts straight, and breathing deeply all help keep worry from becoming exaggerated, unrealistic, and getting the best of us. Worry is our hearts thinking out loud about what we care for.

Difficult Emotion #7: Grief

Grief is the price we pay for the privilege of love. Yet, it’s only a temporary cost, for I consider grief the most soul-making of the emotions. Grief takes us down into ourselves;  it is the polisher of our souls. Grief dissolves our pain, which making it invaluable for living as a sustainable person. For if we don’t clear our hearts of pain, the tendency is to poison the world and others with the hurt we didn’t allow it to dissolve. Within grief is the blossom of rebirth from suffering and loss. The more we grieve, the more we can love; and the more we love, the more we feel the sting of loss. To deny grief is to deny love. While most of us don’t want to feel the drag, dullness, and despair of grief, it is a natural and healthy reaction to loss. Grief is a symbol of our love and when we can welcome it, we give our hearts the opportunity to break and grow as wide as the world. Grief work is an aspect of grief that I describe as  intentionally entering our past pain, especially that from childhood, that has not been resolved. This work frees our lives from the inside out as nothing else can. Grief is merely the other side of feel-good love and is always in fluid communication with it.

Difficult Emotion #8: Envy or Jealousy

Envy, as the desire for what someone else has, points to our fulfillment. It brings out our longing and desire and shows us what we want and what we can work for to make our lives better or more enjoyable. Of course, it’s important to make sure that what we are envious of is something we truly want and value, and not just an excuse to hate on someone. Sometimes we feel a heavy dose of envy because we don’t want to work for the success another has. Yet, once we admit our admiration for someone else’s success or freedom, we can use that inspiration to work to acquire what we envy, and admire our own progress and achievements.

Jealousy, which is feeling threatened that what we cherish will be taken away or injured, is often accompanied by anger. In wanting to possess, jealousy shows us what we value, what we want to protect, what we would feel pain in losing. The element of anger, or even worry, in jealousy helps us set boundaries and limits to protect what we want and care about. Marriage, or committing to monogamy, are examples.

The Takeaway

I hope this deeper glimpse into difficult emotions allows you to lean into and appreciate them for their uncommon gifts and not throw out their wisdom with the bathwater of knee-jerk reaction of temporary discomfort. Yes, they can be difficult and bring us down, but when we wisely work with them, and for long enough, they release their nectar, transform us into better and kinder people, and initiate us to our shared humanity. Their benevolent darkness gifts us depth and beauty we can’t otherwise find in the sunny side of life alone.

****

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is Chinese medicine physician, having graduated valedictorian of his class in 2000. He has authored hundreds of articles, thousands of poems, and several books. Weber is an activist for embodied spirituality and writes extensively on the subjects of holistic medicine, emotional depth work, and mind-body integration, all the while challenging his readers to think and act outside the box. His latest creation is the Nourish Practice, a deeply restorative, embodied meditation practice as well as an educational guide for healing the wounds of childhood. His work can be found at jackadamweber.com, on Facebook, or Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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