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The Sublime Value Of ‘Ego Deaths’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    'Ego Deaths' are experiences all of us must go through in order to evolve along our journey towards the freedom and serenity of discovering and becoming our true selves.

  • Reflect On:

    While ego deaths are painful, can we come to learn that most of the pain comes from our resistance to the process? Can trusting the process and allowing changes to flow over the course of our lives be the most important thing we can learn?

Lessons of pain known as ‘ego deaths’ are among the most difficult things to accept about life in general. At one point or another everyone has tried (unsuccessfully) to evade the deepest aspect of this experience on their journey of personal development. But in the end, those who are able to go through the mock ‘death’ of a false part of their identity will inevitably testify to the fact that it always brings them to a place of greater peace, contentment, and personal freedom.

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Let’s discuss how we can recognize when we are on the brink of an ego death, and use some analogies to walk us through the process of letting go of beliefs about ourselves that no longer serve us and turning personal pain into enlightenment-level knowledge.

Understanding The Pain Of An Ego Death

An ego death is the mental and emotional equivalent of having stomach flu, food poisoning, or gastrointestinal difficulties, where your body suddenly goes into massive amounts of pain, usually followed by a lot of throwing up, your tummy working, heartburn, pain and cramps. There’s a reason this happens: some sort of toxin, poison, bug, virus or other irritant has been identified in the system, and the system goes into overdrive to flush that irritant out.

When we release on the physical level, by going to the loo, sweating, throwing up, we feel weak, tired, sweaty and shaky. We can’t focus on anything else but the physical pain and symptoms that are wracking our body. Similarly, when we have thoughts and emotion that are causing us extreme pain, we have to face and question the thoughts pass through our minds, and the emotions through our hearts that are causing the suffering. We feel weak, tired, sweaty and shaky. We can’t focus on anything else but the psychic pain and symptoms that are wracking us.

As with stomach flu, each time you throw up or your tummy works, it hurts. Your body cramps and tenses, using every tool it has to push that irritation out. But after an intense period, of say 24 to 72 hours, it stops, you’re better, you can start recovering, and go back to your normal life. Just like you have to accept the pain and symptoms of a stomach flu, you have to accept the pain and symptoms of this ‘mental and emotional flu’ you’re experiencing. In other words you have to feel the emotions that are releasing. If you are successful in expelling the belief about yourself that is causing the pain, then it’s like a piece of your identity has died, which is why we call it an ego death.

Examples

An example of this would be losing your job. The part of your identity that may die includes being a ‘provider’ or an ‘employee’. If you’re a parent, it can kills the identity of ‘able to provide for my children’. When you wake up the next day, your identification with ‘having somewhere to go’ and ‘having something to do’ may have also died. Likewise the notion that you are ‘secure for the future’. This is why it feels so bad–because so many aspects get affected at the same time.

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In the case of a break up or death, you would lose your relationship to the person; so the identities of lover, friend, family, confidant, and companion are at risk. You go from ‘married’ to single or separated or divorced. Or widowed. You also ‘lose’ the label of spouse. These big changes then cause further smaller changes in you, which further break down your identity.

So, if your partner dies, for example, you would ‘come home alone to an empty house’. The ‘silence’ would be a reminder of the change in your identity. You would now have to learn how to ‘occupy yourself alone in the house’, changing your behaviors. A silly example would be preparing two meals for dinner, or even taking out two plates. Now you’re ‘a person who only takes out one plate, and eats a convenience meal alone’. This could easily see you ‘change’ from ‘someone who eats meals slowly, at a table’, into ‘someone who eats on the run and doesn’t digest properly’.

A Buildup Of Toxins

Ego deaths occur at every stage, continually reinforcing the change and loss that you’ve experienced. Now, think about what happens when something dies. It starts to rot. All these ‘parts’ of you–these actions you took based on who and what you believe you are–are being left behind, and they’re dying inside you. Once they die, they start to fester, becoming a toxin or poison that runs the risk of infiltrating your whole system. So your body triggers a response that forces you to purge those thoughts and emotions. This is what you experience as an ego death.

There’s no way around it – you’ve got to sit with the pain for a few days, because the emotional, mental and psychic pain is the process of your body purging that emotion. And if it’s a huge emotional and mental load, then your body is going to use every single avenue at its disposal to purge that load, including physical manifestations like actual stomach flu, which will put your body into ‘expel’ mode.

You will feel sad, releasing by feeling the emotion. You will feel other emotions as the thoughts linked to that experience pass through your mind on their way out the door. Most notably you’ll experience shame, fear, doubt, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, resistance, as well as inferiority, inadequacy and lack of self worth. You will cry, allowing pain to fall out of your eyes. Your lymph system will work overtime, flushing out all the affected areas of your body. Your bowels, bladder, sweat, period, gas and belching will all be utilized to flush the toxic load out of your system, as quickly as possible. Just like when your body forces you to throw up a poison.

You will experience pain on all levels as the pain passes through your awareness and leaves the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual layers of your system. Ever noticed how you cry and groan when you are physically ill or in pain? Those actions help pain leave your system, whatever the original cause of the pain is. With most ego deaths, you have ride out about a week of intense symptoms. Anything longer than that is the cumulative knock on effect of the other identity changes that have been triggered by the main loss.

The Majority Of The Pain Is Your Resistance

Take both arms and put them straight out in front of you, with your palms facing forward, as if you were using your hands and arms to press something forward. Really put your energy and effort into it, pressing as if you are pressing against an immovable barrier, like a wall. Notice what you’re feeling in your body – the tension and pain that spans your arms, shoulders, neck, and possibly even head, ears and toes as you strain and press against that invisible barrier. Hold that for a just a little bit longer than is really comfortable, pressing hard so that you can feel the strain and pain.

Then drop your arms suddenly.

Notice the relief that’s spreading through your muscles? Notice how the pain has stopped? Did you notice how much pain there was–even though you were actually pressing against nothing? The majority of the pain we feel in any shift experience is caused by our own resistance to what we are shifting–our resistance to accepting that truth about ourselves, facing that shame, or not getting what we want.

The pain of a shift or ego death really will only ever last 24 to 72 hours – all the other pain comes from you RESISTING feeling that pain. When you get good at shifting emotions, they pass in the space of a few seconds. You really just have to be truly consciously aware of the emotion and accept that it exists, and is the truth.

Shifting Your Belief System

Each of these ‘parts’ of you that is changing, and the lessons and realizations that you’re getting, tend to feel like they happen in isolation, because they happen one at a time, or immersively.  To understand the idea of immersive experience, think about a time when you were scared. If someone kept reassuring you, then you never really went into the fear; you kept getting the experience of hope. Now think of a time when you had no hope–how you were scared of everything, because the fear completely surrounded you.

In order to experience something–anything–you have to be immersed in it. You can’t be in boarding school and go home to sleep every night as well; it’s one or the other. In order to ‘have the experience’ of boarding school, you will give up the experience of ‘living at home’.

Emotion is the same. In order to experience doubt or pain or fear or any other negative emotion, you have to be immersed in it. It’s all you will experience for a period of time. The immersive nature of experience however, means that when we’re inside an emotion, it feels like we’ve always been there. As soon as we’re out, we forget the pain of that experience really quickly as well, because now we’re immersed in the positive experience or emotion.

It takes years before people start looking for how the ego deaths are connected, before they start seeing the links that connect a series of ego deaths into the shedding of a complete belief system.

Like Watching A TV Show

When you look an at entire belief system, it’s like watching a TV show. You can see how the setting, characters and story develop over time. You can see the twists and turns that happen, and in order to know or experience the whole story, you have to watch every episode, because one episode can contain crucial information that influences how you see every other episode, or how you view the characters.

In order to be able to discuss that show, you’d have to watch every single episode, so that you have all the details. This includes the episodes you hate, the cliffhangers, the ones where your favorite characters die, even the cringe-worthy parts. And to watch each episode takes time, roughly 42 minutes. This is the time that you have to commit to in order to be able to say that you have watched it.

Belief systems are no different – there are ego deaths that feel like cliffhangers, moments where you don’t know what will happen next, horrible losses that shake you to your very core. However you have to go through every single episode with some awareness in order to see the entire story.

When an emotion or thought passes through your mind, it stays there for a period of time, so that you can ‘view’ it with your awareness. That’s the episode. You have to just sit that time out and not run to distraction, tempting as it may be. If you skip an episode, you won’t know if it was crucial, and you will be missing part of the information. You will not have the entire story.

Each ego death and loss you experience is one episode of your story. You can’t jump ahead or generalize from your limited experience; each episode is unique and valuable and you can never tell from one episode what the entire storyline will be. You have to watch the entire series.

No Pain, No Gain

It’s really hard to see and understand how your personal pain becomes advanced level knowledge – and most people never see it. To understand it, you need to work your way backwards, and ask yourself why this level of teaching would be delivered in this format.

The answer is relevance. If I tell you that a homeless teenager died of a drug overdose last night, then you may be shocked, but you’ll go on with your life. If I walk in and say it was your son or daughter, the game changes completely. It will rip your world apart, and it may be a moment that you never recover from. There’s no difference in the stories. In both cases it’s a homeless teenager who died of an overdose. But now, it’s relevant to you personally.

We care, in an offhand way, about the environment or other people’s struggles. But we only take action when the toxic spill is on our doorstep, or the financial trouble hits us personally. People are inherently self-absorbed by nature, and if none of the lessons were relevant to their immediate happiness, they would never notice the issue.

Take, for example, the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of AIDS infection in the world. Doesn’t matter to you at all does it? But if I told you that you have contracted AIDS? Now it starts to matter, hey? Now the struggles of people who don’t have access to that medication become your own struggle. It’s relevant to you, and so now you start focusing on how to fix it.

It’s not hard to imagine that Martin Luther King’s personal experiences as a young black boy inspired him to go on to become a Social Justice Warrior. When trials impact you on a personal level, they become relevant enough for you to take up on a societal level. Now that you understand why lessons happen on the personal level, let’s take a look at how they evolve into enlightenment level knowledge. A series of relationships behind you is something that most people can relate to, so let’s start there.

The Relationship Experience

The first few times relationships end for you, all you really feel is the pain. ‘This person left me’, ‘I am all alone’, and ‘nobody wants me’ are generally the themes for this level of shift. There’s also a fear that this pain will last forever. But by the time you get to the third or fourth heartbreak experience, you’ve felt the pain a few times now, and you know it will end, so your question and direction of focus changes, and you start asking ‘WHY do I feel this pain?’ Answers at this stage can vary greatly, but a common theme here could be ‘I am jealous’ or ‘I am possessive’.

So in the next round of relationships, you happen to notice when you are getting jealous or possessive, and you curtail those behaviors where you can. For a while it works, but then suddenly the issue rears its head again, and you have a broken heart once more because of jealousy. But this time, instead of just feeling pain, you start to unpack the jealousy, and you realize that it really started that day back in your childhood when your mom took away stuff from you and gave it to your sister.

And as you have that thought, and it passes through your conscious mind on its way out of the door, or you ‘drop that mirror’, you suddenly realize that it’s usually when you see your sister, or your mom favors her in some way, that you get triggered into going off the rails in your relationship. This is an active memory that influenced the way you handle this particular aspect of jealousy. We call it ‘dropping a mirror’ because you can no longer see yourself in it. It is a mirror because it shows you a part of yourself.

As that thought of release, or mirror, moves through your conscious awareness, or you view that episode, the pattern no longer has a hold over you, and you find yourself less jealous and possessive in general in life. And you plateau on that good feeling for a while. And then the next relationship comes along. And really this relationship finally seems to be going great for you. What you didn’t bank on was that it was a test from the universe. And so when it explodes again a few months later, and you find yourself feeling jealous and possessive, you begin to look at your feelings of jealousy once more.

Letting Go Of Resistance

What’s worth noting here is that the moment you’ve owned the aspect of yourself once (i.e. jealousy), it’s easy for you to reference that in future shifts. The resistance we feel in admitting to that aspect is taken away completely once we admit to it the first time. It’s the shame that stops us from admitting to it in the first place.

By this token, you can really shortcut your development journey by owning every single characteristic you think of as ‘bad’, by just saying it out loud: I am selfish, I am inferior, Nobody likes me. To boost the strength of this exercise, give an example from your own experience that proves each comment true. Then when you need to access that knowledge in future, you don’t have to waste days and weeks trying to overcome the ‘shame’ of acknowledging that part of you that is present in all the rest of us as well.

So, for example, nobody likes me because I never get invited to social events. Or, I doubt my abilities because I messed up at work. By finding the example you align to the energy more quickly, and it takes away the shame for when you need to see those parts of yourself later on.

Generational Patterns

Back to our analogy: you’re looking at a relationship mess (once again), and you’re confused, because you cleared the stuff about your sister, but the word ‘sister’ triggers an idea for you, and you realize the same pattern plays out between your mom and her sister. Basically you and your sister are treating each other the way your mom and aunt treat one another. We call this a ‘generational pattern’.

You are repeating the same patterns of behavior across the generations, because it has passed down in the bloodline and DNA of the family. So you find a great healer, and you clear this. It could be several generations back on your mom’s side, which is where it originally started, or where the original active memory event happened in the life of the ancestor that burned it into your family heritage.

For a while after that release, things are great; your mom and aunt are getting along, you and your sister are doing great, and you even manage to find a new relationship. But you get involved with the wrong person, someone whose behaviors and words leave you feeling on edge and suspicious. After a few months of feeling constantly tense, you find yourself once again displaying old patterns of jealousy and possessiveness. But this time you know it isn’t something from your past. You’ve cleared that. Also past experience has taught you that going into the pain and drama, and creating a scene, will not help.

So you start to take a careful look at your partner, and over time, maybe you come to discover that your partner is cheating on you. So where before you had lessons showing you how jealousy destroys bonds, now you are discovering how your jealousy actually serves to protect you. Had you not felt suspicious, and noticed the change in your behavior, you would not have found out that you were being played.

Positive Aspects

Again a lesson of jealousy, but this time a lesson of jealousy positively aspected. Now that you have put the negative reasons you show jealousy behind you, this lesson (or mirror) shows you the positive ways that jealousy can actually serve us and keep us safe. The relationship is not worth keeping, and so you end it, and once again you are facing heartbreak because of jealousy. However this time your identity (remember ego deaths?), has changed in much bigger ways. You are no longer a person who just openly trusts. You have become more cautious about the people you choose to go out with.

So it takes you longer to dive back into the world of dating this time, and when you do, you find that you have attracted someone who has also experienced infidelity in the past. The ‘mirror’ or energy that has attracted you towards each other in this case, is your mutual fear of being cheated on again. In the beginning this is great, because you both know that you can trust each other completely, and you feel secure and confident in your life. And this pays off in a big way when you get offered a fantastic new job that you are so excited about.

Turns out though, that this new job is a test too, and as you start working the extra hours required by your new role, you discover jealousy and possessiveness from yet another angle, as your partner now becomes jealous and suspicious of you. In the beginning, you spend time reassuring your partner, because you have massive empathy for his or her situation–it’s what drew you together in the first place after all. But after a while, you start getting tired of the constant demands, made worse by how tired you are keeping pace with your new job and responsibilities.

And so, once again, the inevitable tension caused by jealousy sets into your relationship, and slowly begins to tear it apart. It probably finally ends on a day when you have a thought like, ‘Wow, I can see how my behaviors in the past drove my ex away!’

In the moment of that thought, two things happen: first, you acknowledge that you are being driven away by similar actions and the current relationship is ending, and secondly, you find yourself responsible for ending the past relationship. When that happens, blame shifts from your ex to you, making you wholly or partly to blame. And an additional mirror here is the fact that you have chosen to end both relationships.

Bigger Picture Comes Into View

In the moment that you accept that blame, you ‘understand’ the actions that your ex took, and probably reach a degree of forgiveness and compassion for their choices as well. This is an interesting stage, because it’s the first time you really see that this applies to others beyond just you. So it starts becoming a societal level issue. Now, in future, when you notice jealousy and possessiveness, you no longer only see it in relation to yourself, but you see it in others as well. You see it playing out in their lives, and impacting and evolving their relationships, changing how they deal with people.

Because there are so many more people than you on the planet, you actually now have a hundredfold more examples of this energy, or ‘mirror’, playing out around you, and so you begin to learn about the energy more quickly. Since you have been on many sides of the coin, you find yourself able to easily understand others’ points of view in the situation, being able to step into their shoes because you were there once yourself.

So where, at the beginning of your journey, you may have counseled someone to ‘be jealous if they want to, because you can’t love someone and not be jealous,’ you now find yourself advising a jealous person to curtail their behavior, because their actions of jealousy will do damage to the relationship bond. What often slips your notice at this point is the fact that you now understand that jealousy is the same for all of us; we take similar actions when we’re jealous, and those actions lead to similar types of results. In other words, by this stage of development, you start realizing that this wasn’t just happening to you alone – it’s a common experience.

So, the next time you experience jealousy, in yourself, or in others, your mind starts wandering to questions like ‘what creates jealousy in all of us?’ This leads you down many rabbit holes of information. For a while, for example, you may notice the similarities in events that trigger jealousy. Or you may stumble onto a piece of information like ‘karma’, the idea that actions that you took in past lives are playing out now in order to redress the imbalance. Once you stumble onto something like karma, you are required to understand that experience moves in energies.

Seeing It As Energy

So now, when you stumble across jealousy again, you think of it as an energy, and you begin to study the energy of the experience. What moves through us, how does it move us, what are the pros and cons, how can it be utilized? The moment you reach this juncture, it’s a short hop to understanding that all these life elements we face are just energies, and so you retrospectively begin to apply that knowledge to the rest of your life, looking at other energies and how they have impacted you.

At each layer of growth, you take your personal experience and apply the compassion and understanding gained from that previous experience, onto understanding the similar situation that now presents itself. This ability to take an idea and apply it to understanding another idea, is known as extrapolation.

Over the years, you’ve gained knowledge about jealousy as you’ve been looking at all these different angles and views of it, and as you’ve played different roles in the circumstances jealousy creates: you’ve been the good guy, the bad guy, and even gone from the good guy to the bad guy with a single thought as you understood your ex’s point of view and how you drove them away. And this has given you a very well-rounded view of the aspect of jealousy.

You’ve noticed it in others, how it impacts their lives, and you’ve shown both compassion and irritation for it. You’ve seen jealousy itself as being both good and bad. Importantly, though, you understand that it is inherent in all of us, and we all have similar experiences with it. This always leads to the question of ‘where do these inherent traits we have stem from?’ ’What is it that connects us all?’ ‘Why do we have such similar experiences?’

Seeking The Source

Once you start heading down that road, it always leads to answers about what connects us all, what we share and have in common. And when you’re speaking about a big, all-knowing, all-pervasive energy that unites us all, you are in the realms of Source, Higher Powers and God. Even here, you will find answers from your personal pain, asking questions of yourself like ‘is God jealous?’ Or perhaps finding where in cosmic history jealousy stems from. The energy only reared its head in your life to make it relevant to you so that you discover the next layer or angle of information.

It doesn’t matter where you start, or how personal your info is, eventually the knowledge that you draw from those personal experiences will be higher, because you will looking at different parts of the aspect. There will only be a certain number of aspects you really look at in depth across your life, because once you see the pattern that they are all aspects, you will extrapolate the knowledge of how to deal with any kind of aspect in the same way.

And the areas that you get repeated exposure to become your areas of specialty. So if you had a narcissistic parent, it’s because you wanted to understand narcissism in all its forms. And you will have understood it when you can see the narcissism in yourself and own it. These areas of specialty are how our journeys are unique even though we all learn the same stuff. You will get a comprehensive look at a few areas that will become your focus later on in your journey The fact that these energies have been so present in your life, means that you will have viewed so many other aspects through a lens of that energy.

Different Paths

For example, someone who started an aspect of faith at a young age, would see most of their journey as happening with God. They would view each experience they approached through a filter of the primary faith aspect. So someone on a journey of faith would experience an ego death of jealousy as growing or decreasing their faith. An atheist on the other hand may come via the karmic or ego journey path of experiencing the emotions, only coming to acknowledge a Higher Power much later on. So they would see how these aspects can be experienced without the lens of faith. Their experience of jealousy would be on a very personal level and human in nature.

Someone who came via a path of healing, conversely, would always be asking the question ‘how do I heal this?’ This turns challenges into opportunities to develop the ability to heal the self and others, creating a nature that sees everything as having the potential to heal or be healed. Someone who is very focused on celebrity will always be wondering how this brings them to the world’s attention, while a money-focused person will always be asking how they can turn this experience into a business venture. This is the serial entrepreneur who is ‘inspired by their life’.

Someone who experienced a lot of loss early on, would view every experience wondering how this could detract from what they have, and how they would and could lose; someone who is used to winning will look at how they can emerge on top. The person who sees the losses is a fantastic risk analyst, while the winner makes for an inspiring leader. The leader can only be great with the help of specialist advisors like the risk analyst, who can see things that leader may not even think to look for.

Same Lessons, Different Contexts

The order in which you learn information, and the lens thorough which you view those lessons, will determine the unique nature of your journey and experience. But the idea that the lessons and the journey are different for everyone is silly. That would be like creating a different degree for every single engineer who entered university. The point of a degree is that there is commonality, and shared knowledge, where people are able to help each other and collaborate by having a shared understanding of certain concepts. The lessons are the same for us all, otherwise we would never be able to help each other or progress forward.

We all feel the pain first, and then start looking into our pasts to discover active memories, generational patterns, karma and more. We then find compassion and forgiveness by being in the other person’s role, and then we start looking at a wider view, taking into account the social and societal impacts of aspects on all of humanity. Through that we come to know what connects us all. The key is to not judge your lessons, and to just experience them.

If you are stuck at a place, it’s because you’re meant to be. In essence you chose to be. You chose these circumstances in order to learn the ‘all’ of that particular aspect. And it keeps reappearing in your life because there is something there that fascinates you, something you want to learn. It’s telling you to get curious and find out what all those somethings are!

In order to know everything about something, you will have to immersively experience it from all the different angles. You will have to unpack all the layers, seeing it from every viewpoint, and living in each experience for a period of time. This is how you will come to know everything about something. It doesn’t matter what your lessons are, or how personal they seem, or how silly the answers and statements seem. Trust the process and you will find your way. It’s guaranteed.

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Alternative News

Farmer Gives His Cows To A Sanctuary After Seeing Them “Terrified”

Published

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Cattle farmer turned vegan and gave his whole £50,000 herd to an animal sanctuary because he could no longer bear seeing them 'terrified' on the way to the abattoir.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we subject other living beings to torture, pain, hurt and a terrible life? Why do we not value the life of an animal as much as we do a human?

Billions of animals are raised and killed for slaughter every single year, and that’s in America alone. There is nothing humane about our food industry. It’s quite clear that the majority of animals are tortured, live in extreme fear, anxiety and depression, and constantly have their kids and other family members ripped away from them. Take cows, for example. These majestic, compassionate, empathetic and brilliant beings are basically raped so we can drink their milk.

They are forcefully inseminated, which is odd given the fact that casein, the protein found within the milk of a cow, has been found to increase our risk of cancer and even accelerate the growth rate of cancer . Furthermore, the milk from a cow creates a condition within the body called metabolic acidosis, and as a result the body compensates by leeching calcium from the bones. How ironic is that?

When the cow gives birth, the babies do not get the milk because that’s reserved for humans and big profit. The babies are separated from their mothers and then are either immediately killed or raised for slaughter. This is extremely inhumane, and it represents one of the most heartbreaking genocides in human history. It makes no sense to drink the milk of a cow because it’s meant for cows.

In fact, humans are the only animal that drink the milk of another animal, and we are the only animal to drink milk after weaning. Furthermore, we previously didn’t have the ability to digest the milk of a cow, that’s an ability our bodies eventually developed, given the fact that the milk of a cow is so unnatural to the human body. It makes sense that 65 percent of the planet has some form of lactose intolerance. In some regions of the world it’s an astonishing 90 percent. It makes no sense at all, and it’s quite clear that the big food companies are behind this and have marketed milk as ‘healthy’ simply for the purposes of profit.

The main purpose of this article is to emphasize that all of this is happening because of us. Granted, things have drastically changed over the past decade, and are continuing to change. The profits of the dairy and meat industries are steadily declining, and this is as a result of people waking up to what’s really going on with regards to how these animals are treated as well as the health consequences of human beings over-consuming animal products.

One other thing that seems to be happening is an increase in global compassion. It’s always strange to ask how any human being can be involved in this process. We are talking about living, sentient, emotional, intelligent beings being subjected to extreme pain. How can anybody on the planet be okay with someone else going through such things? The reality is that there are individuals who oppose these industries, and there are those who deem the lives of other animals as insignificant.

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As I said, people are changing, but some people just don’t realize this. Jay and Katja Wilde are the latest examples of how change is spreading.

Pictured above, the 61-year-old farmers just couldn’t take the guilt anymore after spending many years as beef farmers. They recently decided to give their entire herd to an animal sanctuary. It’s interesting because he’s been a vegetarian for thirty years, yet at the same time this was his occupation, and through it he discovered that each individual cow had their own unique personality. They are loving, caring, intelligent and affectionate animals.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said:

“I’ve long felt there was a very strong conflict of interest between not eating meat and producing cattle for meat,” he says. “The problem is that when you inherit a farm, it feels like a duty to keep its life continuing into the future. That also means looking after animals, really getting to know them. But then I felt that sending them off was betraying them. I needed to do something differently. Whether they are stubborn, shy, friendly, they’re all different. These traits can pass down generations, too. You can match sons and daughters to their mothers.”

He emphasized how his profession made him much more “acutely aware of taking them to their place of death.” A death that Jay felt sure the cows were fully aware of. “It’s hard to know exactly what they know, but logic suggests everything about that final journey must be terrifying,” he said.

Jay and his wife Katja have now converted their beef farm into an organic vegan one, becoming the first farmers in the UK who are believed to have taken such action.

“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as now they look upon the murder of humans.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Below is great, heart-warming video.

The Takeaway

Eating meat isn’t healthy. It’s well-established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. Plant-based eating is not only nutritionally sufficient, but helps you avoid chronic illness as well. You can read more information regarding that in the articles linked below.

What we are doing today, raising and slaughtering billions of animals, is not only destroying our health, it’s destroying our environment as well. More importantly, compassion, care, empathy and love must return to our planet, and the food industry is where we need to start showing these qualities that have somehow been made to lay dormant within us. If one suffers, we all suffer.

Related Articles:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

Studies Show What Happens To Your Heart When You Go Vegan or Vegetarian

Disturbing Aerial Photos Show What Killing Billions of Animals for Meat is Doing To The Environment

Warning: Graphic Images That The Egg Industry Does Not Want You To See

New Study Shows What Vegan Diets Do For Heart Health, Endurance Athletes & Sports Performance

Scientist: Milk From Cows Has “The Most Relevant Carcinogen Ever Identified” & “Turns on Cancer”

Scientist Explains How Cow’s Milk Leeches Calcium From Your Bones & Makes Them Weaker

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Libra: Approaching Changes

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We are having a 2nd Full Moon in Libra on April 19th; however, it will appear fullest on the night of the 18th in the American continents. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began on April 5th with a New Moon in Aries.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Aries and Libra, at the 29th degree, less than a day before we begin Taurus season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

During this Full Moon, we can experience either a push-pull or collaboration between the Sun in Aries and Moon in Libra. The energies of it gradually build up and become more noticeable on the day of and days surrounding the Full Moon. It is also part of the backdrop of the other astrological influences/reflections over the following two weeks.

Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars. It is about action, moving forward, pioneering, independence, self-identity, self-orientation, and leadership. It is bold, courageous, and instinctual, yet it can also be aggressive, impulsive, impatient, selfish, and hot-tempered.

Libra is an Air sign ruled by Venus. It is about relating, relationships, partnerships, codependency, consideration, harmony, balance, fairness, art, creativity, and beauty. It is sociable, diplomatic, and intellectual, yet it can also be indecisive, passive aggressive, vain, and even judgemental.

Full Moon Quincunx Venus, Opposing Sun/Uranus Conjunction

Venus is the ruler of Libra and is in a quincunx aspect with this Full Moon. This could indicate frustrations, challenges between emotional needs, relationship considerations, balance, fairness, or equality with values, finances, or other aspects of our relationships. The solution to this may require adjustments, which may seem complicated.

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Venus is about to change signs just like the Sun and Moon. It is currently near the end of Pisces, which is also the end of the entire zodiac. All of this combined with Uranus being tied into this Full Moon could indicate some sort of change or transition regarding some of the themes mentioned in this article.

The Sun is moving close to Uranus in Taurus with the Moon in opposition to it. This could reflect surprises, instability, and disruptive or separative circumstances. Individual needs connected to freedom, liberation, new experiences, excitement, independence, authenticity, innovation, or rebellion may be at odds with other considerations or relationships.

Jupiter is also in a separating aspect with the Sun and Moon. This could emphasize some of what is mentioned above, but could also bring in themes connected to beliefs, opinions, travel, education, media, and marketing. Considering that Jupiter recently began its retrograde, many people may experience a shift or revisitation around these things as well.

Mars Square Neptune, Mercury and Venus in Aries Conjunct Chiron

Mars, the ruler of Aries, is in Gemini moving towards a square with Neptune in Pisces, which is strongest from April 25th-28th. At best, this energy can be good for asserting ourselves in a spiritual, inspired, imaginative, or creative way. This can also be good for activities that involve water.

However, it can feel harder to take on mundane duties and we can lack direction or even have less energy for physical assertion. We can also feel lazy, scattered, or overwhelmed. Certain efforts might end up not working out due to insufficient execution, lack of attention, or by other means.

Mercury entered Aries a few days before this Full Moon, where it will stay until May 6th. This follows an extended stay in Pisces due to the previous retrograde. We can be more mentally sharp, quick, bold, and courageous in comparison to the last few months, which were a time of heightened absent mindedness, confusion, and less focus.

During the day of this Full Moon and the days surrounding it, Mercury is in a conjunction Chiron. Thoughts and communications could be connected to Chiron themes of healing, wounds, blockages, inadequacies, innovation, bridging, or perhaps some sort of holistic orientation. Venus will also enter Aries and join Chiron from April 21st-24th. Similar themes could play out in our relationships or regarding values, finances, or beauty.

Saturn and Pluto Going Retrograde Near The South Node

Around the time of the previous New Moon, Pluto was aligned with the South Node, and it has been slowing down to go retrograde on April 24th. This could be bringing themes of purging, transforming, and perhaps endings into this Moon cycle. It is also possible that past issues or behaviours could have resurfaced. Themes connected to fears, power, control, manipulation, shadows, sex, or perhaps even death could also come up.

Saturn is also now getting closer to the South Node as it slows down to go retrograde on April 29th. This could extend and accentuate some of the same themes mentioned above such as endings, changes, or obstacles associated with the past.

It can also bring up themes connected to responsibilities, commitments, boundaries, structures, career obligations, barriers, and limitations. This energy will be strong over the coming 2-3 weeks, especially during the days surrounding April 29th. It will also be strong in the early Summer and then early Fall when it concludes.

Things To Consider During This Period

What do you need to do to balance your relationship needs with your individual ones? Are there any adjustments that you need to make? What do you need to do to feel more liberated? What considerations do you need to make before making any changes?

What areas of your life are calling for endings and what aspects of your past do you need to let go of? Do you need to shift your commitments and responsibilities? Are there any unusual solutions coming up that could help you overcome obstacles or facilitate some sort of healing?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime over the two weeks following, when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on the night of April 19th at 11:12am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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Consciousness

Embodied Spirituality: The Truth Shall Set You Free

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are truths, despite what our president would want us to believe. Subjective and objective domains for truth are largely distinct, and discerning the difference informs a spirituality that honors more than just our convenient worldviews.

  • Reflect On:

    The key is learning how to appropriately identify subjective versus objective truths. When we mix up these domains, we end up not living in alignment with the truth, which is not only anti-spiritual but leads to the demise of the Earth as well.

For myself, spirituality means aligning with what is true, or most likely true. This means looking at what is true through the lens of my unique experience and self-reflection (subjectively) and what is true in the world (objectively).

Living in accord with what’s true means I have to confront lots of things that are tough to stomach and that I’d prefer weren’t true. I practice resiliency by enduring this discovery process. It takes courage, humility, sensitivity, insight, intellectual rigor, emotional intelligence, and flexibility—in essence, all of me.

Why does it require all of me to be honest?

Because we humans have evolved to stick to our beliefs, even though many of them are false. We, in fact, experience a dopamine rush (a feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains) when we affirm our beliefs, even if they are wrong. So, confronting false beliefs about myself and the world means I have to endure some degree of feeling badly, some emotional turmoil, cognitive dissonance, and reorientation of my world. When I challenge many of my false beliefs, I encounter nothing short of transformation on all levels. Sounds like a bona fide spiritual path to me.

The Power of (False) Belief

This being human is a guesthouse,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

—Rumi

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When we don’t align with what’s true about ourselves, interpersonally, and in the world, we develop false beliefs. And we like to assert these false beliefs. Using evidence and acknowledging reality can help us let go of our false beliefs. We receive this information subjectively through self-reflection and what others share with us (which we also need to sort through for false projections). We receive true information about objective reality by direct observation and through evidence.

Ascertaining inconvenient truths means we have to let go of our self-administered dopamine addiction (by lying to ourselves and others when wrong) and experience feeling badly temporarily. We have to accept new visitors to the guesthouse of our psyche if we want to be more honest. If we can’t do this, we cut ourselves short of our potential.

We can’t be as loving and kind when we’re deluded about what’s true, subjectively and objectively. If I can’t accept that I am more self-serving than I think I am, I will continue to unconsciously put myself first at the expense of others. If I can’t acknowledge that smoking cigarettes, synthetic chemicals in perfumes, or spraying RoundUp is harmful, I am more likely to condone their use, which causes harm.

To change belief structures includes a collapse of our sense of self, trust, safety, belonging, and our perceived survival. This is also why many cling so dearly to their beliefs; even war can seem like a better option than to adjust ourselves to reality. Reality seems pretty powerful this way! If we adopt reality as our guru, we have a powerful teacher on our side to wake us up. So, a willingness to embody our humanness can be a path to greater compassion and peace. Embodied spirituality means being fully human—accepting and working skillfully with all our thoughts, emotions, physical issues, and relationships.

When we don’t embody our spirituality, we don’t take as good care of the Earth, which is the extension of our own bodies. In the age of environmental collapse, an earthy and embodied relationship to life that apprehends what is true helps us heal what’s ill. Like missing a medical diagnosis, how can we treat what what we can’t bear to admit and accurately diagnose? Honesty is therefore the first step to healing and embodying our lives.

Being Human is Very Spiritual

We, in fact, need nothing more than everyday honest living for spirituality to put us on a path of massive transformation.The more we can let go of spiritual loftiness and encounter our ordinary humanness, the more resilient and honest we become. Ironically, it is precisely this difficult growth that has given rise to many spiritual and religious paths that abandon the ordinary, grounded world of embodied living, as complex as it is. These spiritual paths thrive on what is highly likely untrue. They try to escape the pain of everyday living by denying what’s painful, which is called spiritual bypassing. With skillfulness, wisdom, and support we can navigate what’s honestly human while not bypassing.

Learning to welcome and tolerate all manner of emotions and inconvenient truths to our guesthouse allows us to align with reality, especially welcoming what makes us feel badly. It’s important to align both with the good and the ugly because when we ignore the ugly and painful, it goes unhealed and untended. Our precious biosphere suffering under the weight of our pollution is a prime example. What we don’t want to look at, we can’t address. Turning our heads and hearts away from it creates more pain and ugliness.

The New Age dictum, “What you put your attention on grows,” fails to acknowledge the importance of embracing what’s ugly and painful. A wiser, more embodied version might go: “The negative things you put your attention on allow you to see reality and address it before it takes over beyond the point of repair.” Look at the plastic pollution issue or climate change as examples. Acknowledging both sides of the coin is more important than choosing only the bright side of life in order to remain happy, which is short-lived when we’re in denial of the dark side. Wanting to remain happy at the expense of not seeing reality (except when we need a recharge break from honestly facing it) is fear in disguise that ultimately comes back to bite us. It also bites us in the moment because this denial cuts us off from our deeper hearts—our compassion and empathy—which are stirred by painful realities.

We can’t know everything, of course. Nor can we be right all the time. But we can be aligned enough with everyday reality (what matters at the end of the day) to make a difference and eliminate unnecessary suffering. We just have to be willing to be selfless enough to stop avoiding necessary pain to the degree we do.

Science & Critical Thinking

Scientific consensus is the primary arbiter of what’s objectively true in the world; what we subjectively experience is not as good a measure of what’s objectively true. “I like apples” is a subjective truth. No one can disprove this; it’s a personal truth. It is not the purview of science to disprove a subjective experience. Yet, if I claim that everyone likes apples just because I experience their yumminess, this is imposing a personal truth onto external reality. And, it’s not true—we know not everyone likes apples, and nothing is wrong with them for not liking them. It is the purview of science to demonstrate that not everyone likes apples, and simple common sense will do in a pinch.

Of course, there is bad science, like the junk (dishonest) science produced by many corporations such as Big Pharma and Bayer-Monsanto with regard to GMOs. So, when I say science, I mean good, peer-reviewed (and not conflict-of-interest and corporate-funded), consensus science. And yes, many scientific truths are always in flux, but many scientific discoveries do not change because they have stood the test of many challenges. Think about the law of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics. Many who want to protect their sense of self and ego deem all science to be manipulative, dishonest, and just another belief system. This is just not true. If it were, the device on which you are reading this article would not function because it’s constructed as a result of the collaboration of many scientific laws that have not been debunked and instead stood the test of time.

Consider another example: If I experience a vision during a medicine journey or receive a message in a dream one night that has personal meaning to me, I might conclude it’s true for everyone, or true in the world. Let’s say a blue dragon with white polka-dots tells me that aliens are communicating to humanity by way of trees. Well, before I know if this is true or not, I’d have to investigate its veracity. I don’t deem it true simply because I had a subjective experience that conveyed it was. This way, I can tentatively receive this bit of intuitive knowledge and seek to determine if it’s true. Intuition tips me off to what is possible, not necessarily what is true.

Confounding subjective and objective truth is one of the biggest faux pas we make, especially in spiritual circles.

Science shows us what’s most likely true beyond our own intuition, beliefs, and biases. Even with science’s errors and its dishonest publishing politics, good scientific consensus is still the best tool we have for determining what’s true about the natural world, not our subjective experiences. We have to be skillful and aware not to automatically deem our subjective experiences as objective truths. This helps us align with reality, keep an appropriately open mind, and helps everyone get along better because we’re not feuding over what’s objectively true.

“What’s True for Me”

When everyone feels entitled to their opinion—”what’s true for me”—we end up with lots of personal beliefs and memes that aren’t true. “Personal truth” or “what’s true for me” is a subjective truth. Your like of apples doesn’t mean anything about the external world, such as my opinion of apples. If I don’t trust politicians or my landlord, this doesn’t mean they are untrustworthy. I need objective evidence to prove or verify my distrust. Or I can just own this hunch and honestly call it so, while knowing it might not be true. This discernment between subjective and objective truth helps prevent assumptions and dogmas. This also sounds pretty spiritual to me.

If someone sheds distressing light on a politicianI like or my best friend, I’m likely to become defensive because my sense of self and orientation in the world, as well as my emotional security, are invested in these beliefs. If my belief structures are challenged, all of what that belief system keeps in place becomes shaky. And this is just too scary for most of us, so much so that we defend against it or attack and assault others because of it. We often make the mistake of imposing “what’s true for me” onto what’s true for everyone or what’s true in the world.

“What’s true for me”  beliefs can’t automatically be extended to external reality unless we have evidence beyond our own subjective perception to deem them so. If I believe the world is flat and this is “what’s true for me,” that doesn’t fly. This is to make a subjective truth objectively factual. This is what leads to conflict and living in fantasy. Just look at religious and many New Age beliefs as examples. They are not different from our personal beliefs about the nature of reality that are also false and cause us to act in egoic, violent ways.

What’s True “Out There”

Good science to determine the mostly likely and factual objective knowledge offers us the opportunity to dismantle our egos and illusions. Science and critical thinking show us that many of our “what’s true for me” opinions about the world are wrong. Notice I am not talking about personal feelings and preferences, but rather our statements of fact about the world.

Objective truths implicitly challenge us to change, to transform ourselves. It takes spiritual-emotional courage to accept these facts, which builds resiliency the more we practice aligning with what is both subjectively and objectively true. The sun appears to go down over the horizon; the Earth appears flat. Via science, we know these subjective observations are not true. Using my intuition to make such conclusions is a wrong use of this faculty. If my intuition tells me there is more to the story, then I can investigate it for other evidence. This, in fact, is how many scientific discoveries occur. Intuition and science are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are allies as long as we don’t assume what’s subjectively true to be objectively true, and vice versa.

Many people dismiss science precisely because its conclusions fly in the face of what they’d prefer to believe. This results in intellectual dishonesty and spiritual delusion. Our emotional bents and grudges—especially those resulting from our hurt and wounds that have generated anger, fear, pain and thus, bias—prevent us from being intellectually honest, unless we recognize the dynamic by which we deceive ourselves and we set about to be more honest. This requires enduring the discomfort of being humbled and sacrificing a temporary dopamine rush for the truth.

To be able to accept truth therefore requires that we deal with our emotional baggage and triggers, because this is the primary driver for our intellectual dishonesty and spiritual laziness. Many of us would fall apart if we discovered that parts of our worldview are untrue. That could result in a spiritual emergency, akin to a healing crisis, which ultimately improves us and makes us more effective in the world.

Warriorship

This is why spiritual warriorship—aligning myself with what is most likely objectively and subjectively true—requires I be emotionally and intellectually rigorous and courageous. It means that I listen to scientific consensus and not discard it because I’d like to believe something else. It means that I listen to the opinions of others and gain perspective on myself (while also honestly and humbly sorting out projections and displacements of other people’s biases). It means that I genuinely and honestly consider interpersonal facts about which I might have an incorrect opinion. And it means that I notice the whispers inside me that tell me when I am being dishonest or hiding from the truth, with white lies tolerated now and again.

Many spiritual paths involve giving over one’s will and beliefs to a guru. Yet, that guru can be corrupt and deluded and conflate subjective and objective truths. For example, feeling “one with all” in meditation doesn’t mean that we are all one in a black or white way—without appropriate boundaries, individual needs, and different tolerances and sensibilities. In this sense, aligning ourselves with what is most likely true, subjectively and objectively, is a robust spiritual path—because, much like a guru, it forces us to align with truth and withstand the breakdown of some part of our existing paradigm. This is death and rebirth work, for sure. Again, this sounds pretty spiritual to me.

Detachment from reality by remaining stuck in one’s self-centered and deluded beliefs doesn’t help the planet or help us show up for one another. Consider our government’s failure to acknowledge the widespread harm of key pesticides, or the neurotoxic chemicals in perfumes and scented products, despite the scientific evidence and the fact that many of these products are banned in the EU and other, more sensible places than America. This creates crimes of global proportion because of the actions (and inactions) and resulting injury that a denial of the facts causes. Or consider a smaller-scale example. If someone doesn’t appreciate you, despite evidence to the contrary they choose not to see, they will treat you poorly and create unnecessary suffering for you and themselves.

Embodied Spirituality

To live an embodied spirituality—where we are in alignment with reality and what’s as true as we can glean— means we have to give up many of our fantasies and wishful thinking. It means we have to tend intimately to our emotional lives and the hidden aches and wounds that hide us from the truth. We find these hidden places when we descend into and become more conscious of our bodies (this is a key aspect of the “body” part of “embodied spirituality”). We have to practice critical thinking to align with external reality, what’s known as “intellectual honesty.” Emotional and intellectual honesty are the pillars that produce spiritual honesty.

When we practice emotional healing, good thinking, and care for the greater good, we inhabit our bodies more fully. Belonging to ourselves this way connects us to the body of the Earth, so we can treat it with the same integrity with which we treat ourselves . This way, spirituality begins with our (extra)ordinary humanness and self-healing and extends to the ordinary, extraordinary world around us in the same vein of integrity.

It’s easy to live in a fantasy world, believing what’s convenient, what feeds our biases, puffs up our superiority, denies what makes us uncomfortable, and propels our hate. These convenient, false beliefs also protect our core wounds and our need to belong in the world at any cost. The problem is that believing in what’s untrue damages the world because it guides our actions and inaction.

Science and everyday evidence are beautiful because they bypass our bias and opinion; they don’t care what we believe or what injures our ego. They’re impartial. Sounds like the work of a good guru to me. When we get humility, courage, honesty, good thinking, and passion all working in harmony and assuming their appropriate roles for truth-discerning, we get integration, which begets integrity. These psycho-spiritual capacities are the cornerstone of an embodied spirituality, which is simply to be an exquisitely integrated and aware human being who genuinely cares about oneself and the world . . . enough to be willing to suffer disillusionment to align with and serve it.

When we align our subjective and objective truths, we live in more harmony, not only with ourselves but with every other precious, living thing. What better path could we take than to strive for an embodied, earthy life in the age of environmental collapse? For, the collapse of the natural world may indeed be due to our collective, personal collapse of integrity—the abandonment of our own embodiment.

****

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is a 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 on Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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