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Three Real-World Examples of Magical Power Far Beyond Anything Scientists Have Ever Seen

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has published a book titled "Real Magic." In it, he provides multiple examples of people who possessed these. They have existed throughout history, and have always been outlawed.

  • Reflect On:

    These abilities have been proven to be real in a scientific setting, as well as with real world examples, and many of them at that. Why is non-material science and parapsychology still shunned and ignored by academia when the data speaks for itself?

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

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

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

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

When I am referring to magic, the above examples are really what I am talking about. Parapsychology, the next leap that correlates with and goes beyond quantum physics. It’s one of many reasons why hundreds of scientists have told the world that “matter” is not our only reality, and it’s why Nikola Tesla once said that, “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

After decades of conducting psi experiments, publishing many journal articles describing the results, and reviewing thousands of other experiments in my popular books (The Conscious Universe, Entangled Minds, and Supernormal), I’ve come to accept that psi is a real phenomenon. I base my assessment on the fact that telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psycho-kinetic effects have all been independently repeated in laboratories around the world. Effects we see in the lab tend to be rather small because by design they must be demonstrated on demand and under strictly controlled conditions. But the magnitude of an effect is irrelevant if you’re interested in whether the effects exist.

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After all, a Gallup poll in 2005 showed that nearly 75 percent of Americans believe in at least one “paranormal” phenomenon, like psi, but a mere 0.001 percent of all academic scientists are actively engaged in studying the ontological reality of these experiences. What’s wrong with this picture? What’s the big deal about psi phenomena? The deal is that we all enjoy fictional tales about magic, but real magic is frightening.

The quote above comes from Dean Radin, Ph.D. and chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which was founded by the late Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell. He recently published a book titled Real Magicwhich was endorsed by multiple Nobel laureates. Again, when we are talking about ‘magic’ we are talking about psychokinesis, telepathy, distant healing, mind-body connection, remote viewing, etc.

I find it odd how, as Radin points out, approximately 0.001 percent of all academics seem to be involved with these studies. Material science dominates academia, yet non-material science seems to be at the heart of  black budget special access programs. What does this ‘black budget’ world know that we don’t? How much have they discovered? How much has been kept classified for ‘national security’ purposes? Why is this idea still ridiculed in the mainstream when it is a top priority for the most brilliant scientists in the world? What is going on here? And why can’t we have complete transparency on the topic? This is why people like Radin and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the HeartMath Institute, etc. are so important.

Another great quote:

“We knew that the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the centre of the universe, and we knew that a manmade heavier-than-air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (source)

When it comes to real world examples, there are plenty. I would say there are well over one hundred documented examples to choose from, and a couple are listed above, but I want to present some examples that Radin uses in his book.

St. Joseph of Copertino (pictured above)

Born in Copertino, Italy in 1603,  he grew up in a small town and fell ill from an infection which led to gangrene. He was bed ridden for five years, school never suited him, and as he grew he could not hold a job and was fired from many of them. He was a daydreamer in school and couldn’t pay attention. During his time in school, he became known as “Boccaperta” (Gaping Mouth) because he would often slip into a trance and seem to be lost, leaving him looking upward with a gaping mouth.

He found his way into the church, a peaceful contemplative life suited him and he was ordained after many failures at the age of 25, Radin explained.

Radin points out how “The Church suited Joseph, but his special talents soon became a problem. Early in his career, if a member of the town displeased him, there were consequences.” For example:

A certain Count don Cosimo Pinelli had an ongoing sexual liason with the daughter of Martha Rodia; Joseph said that if the count didn’t desist from his amours, he would go blind. This turned out to be what happened, and Joseph bragged about his prediction, but later restored the man’s sight, this time getting him to leave the girl alone and pay reparations to the family! Before long nobody in Copertino dared enter the company of the friar unless their conscience was squeaky clean; otherwise they shrank in terror from the gaze of the black-bearded friar. Fortunately, Joseph’s tendencies toward becoming Lord Voldermort were suppressed.

Radin goes on to mention how, as he grew older, his abilities became stronger and more difficult to hide. He gained a reputation as a miracle healer and showed characteristics of telepathy, precognition, and power over animals as well as natural forces. He was also known for spontaneously levitating while giving mass. This is one of many examples of such people levitating throughout human history. Copertino apparently did this hundreds of times.

As expected, this became a problem for the church, “because living miracle makers threatened to deflect the public’s attention away from Church authority. And that was strictly forbidden.”

Church officials kept moving him from town to town and tried to keep him away from from people by prohibiting him from doing priestly duties. The strategy didn’t work. Besides, hordes of ordinary people wanting to witness his feats, stories about him began to attract nobles, clergy, and royalty. And that in turn led to unwanted attention from the inquisition. While on trial by the Inquisition of Rome, Joseph was ordered to say Mass in public to see if the rumors about him were true. They were. He lifted off the ground in the presence of the inquisitors.

After this, there was another Inquisition and the church put him on house arrest for the rest of his life.

This is classic, and it’s the type of thinking from Church authority that’s been present throughout history.  Catholic Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan has said he is establishing a “delivery ministry” that will attempt to rid people of the devil and warned that using reiki or other new-age healing methods could make people vulnerable to demonic influence. At the same time, these people seem to be the same group involved in ritualistic abuse, Satanic worship and pedophilia.

Daniel Dunglas Home

Two centuries after St. Joseph, Daniel Dunglas Home was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1883. He was one of eight children of Elizabeth McNeill, a descendant of a Scottish Highland family said to have the gift of “Second sight.” Today we’d call that gift clairvoyance, or remote viewing.

Radin mentions how Home’s case is interesting because he was actually subjected to scientific testing. Peter Lamont, a University of Edinburgh historian, wrote the biography of Home in 2005.  Here’s what he had to say about him:

What are we to make of Daniel Dunglas Home? It is true that there were many accusations of fraud, but most of them were entirely without base, and actual evidence for fraud was both rare and inconclusive. He might have been a cheat, but if he was, then he cheated successfully for two decades, before hundreds of witnesses in thousands of seances. Many of the witnesses were hostile to spiritualism, and many remained unconvinced by what they had seen, yet time and time again they admitted that they were unable to explain what had happened.

Sir William Crookes, one of the most prominent chemists and physicists today reported evidence in support of Home’s abilities. What’s really interesting is that there was a popular group of highly skeptical Dutch rationalists who were openly hostile to this kind of thing. They were part of the Dutch radical School of Modern Protestantism, which renounced all miracles and spiritual concepts. They dismissed Home’s claims without even seeing them, as many others did and still do today in regards to other people.

Home made his was to the Netherlands, performing for Queen Sophie in 1858, and a few days later held a seance for the Dutch rationalists. The group included a doctor of philosophy, a physician, a lawyer, an optician, and Dr. Gunst, who described the setup as follows:

(The skeptics) sat round a large mahogany table, which they examined sufficiently to note that the top, column and base were “directly and immovably” fixed together… On top of the table were four (bronze) candelabras, with two more below, which made it possible to obtain an undisturbed view of what was happening under the table.

They placed their fingertips on the table, in view of Home, and he told them that if they wished to remove their hands they could do so. They tested themselves to make sure they weren’t being coerced by suggestion, and they were allowed to talk freely among themselves and laugh the whole time, even mockingly. Nobody really expected much to happen, but then:

These expressions stopped soon enough. For as they mocked, “the table started to make a sliding movement,” and those towards whom it was moving “were requested to try and stop this movement; this, however, they could not do.” When the table stopped, raps began, and when raps were requested “in a certain manner, and as many times as we should indicate, this wish was carried out to the full.” As Daniels’ skeptical witnesses watched in disbelief, the table “started to rise up on one side… so high that all of us were very much afraid that the candelabras would fall off.”

This sparked two more events between the Skeptics group and Home.

According to Dr. Gunst, “nothing could be observed that could give rise to even the slightest suspicion that Mr. Home was acting in a fraudulent manner.”

Ted Owens

Ted Owens was born in 1920 and died in 1987. He grew up in Indiana, his grandmother was known for finding lost objects and predicting deaths, and his grandfather was a dowser. His alleged special abilities were affecting the weather and “calling in” UFOs. Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D. and clinical psychologist, gave many examples  of him in his book called The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter. Here are some of the statements Owens made:

In the interest of science, I am going to give a demonstration of my psi force abilities to the people who live in the San Francisco area 100 miles in circumference, using San Francisco as the bull’s eye of my target. As of today, and daily for the following ninety days, I will telepath to living entities in another dimension for them to appear in the above target area, so that they may be seen by police, scientists or other responsible observers who are qualified to report the sightings, and also for them to cause electromagnetic and magnetic anomalies within the above described area. It is my intent to produce not one, but at least three major UFO sightings, as described above, within the above-named time period… To be reported in the newspapers in order for the experiment to be a valid one.

He also once predicted that the San Fran area would experience power blackouts and multiple UFO sightings over large cities.

His experiment began on November 7, 1976. Two and a half weeks later, things got interesting. There was a massive blackout, as described in a November 27th San Fransisco Examiner story. 100,000 homes lost power due to a big storm and massive winds. It was also thanksgiving weekend, so workers were out of town and it wasn’t possible to repair anything.

“Within the ninety-day period: check. In the San Francisco Bay Area: check. Massive blackout: check.” – Radin

Mishlove then continues:

On December 3, Owens told me over the phone that one of his predicted UFO sightings was about to occur within the next few days. He made a point of reminding me that the sighting would be seen by many reputable witnesses and even be reported on the front page. The fulfillment of this specific prediction came on December 8, when the best documented UFO sighting ever reported from the Bay Area startled hundreds of onlookers.

The sighting Mishlove is referring to made headlines in the Berkeley Gazette on December 10th of that year. The event was also captured on Channel 9 TV cameras.

“A UFO reported on the front page of a newspaper: check. Many witnesses and a bonus video: check. But what about the prediction of other UFOs and alien life-forms?” -Radin

Mishlove then provides an examination of an apparent abduction report by a local residence. This is not hard to believe given what we now know about abductions. This was reported in the Concord Transcript.

“Aliens: check.” -Radin

This is just one example of several bizarre occurrences surrounding Owens, as outlined in Radin’s book and documented by Mishlove.

The Takeaway

Parapsychology has gained a lot of popularity, and although the scientific credibility has always been there, more scientists are starting to put their belief systems aside and simply look at the data. 

“For many years I have worked with researchers doing very careful work [in parapsychology], including a year that I spent full-time working on a classified project for the United States government, to see if we could use these abilities for intelligence gathering during the Cold War… At the end of that project I wrote a report for Congress, stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane. Yet, most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at data! And on the other extreme, there are true believers who base their beliefs solely on anecdotes and personal experience. I have asked debunkers if there is any amount of data that would convince them, and they generally have responded by saying, “probably not.” I ask them what original research they have read, and they mostly admit that they haven’t read any. Now there is a definition of pseudo-science-basing conclusions on belief rather than data!” – Professor Jessica Utts, Chair of the Statistics Department, UC Irvine (Radin, Real Magic)

These types of abilities are real, and people with them can be found all throughout human history. There are so many stories documented from all around the world, whether they’re from centuries ago or present day. The above examples are a few of many, and regardless of how we react to them, the truth remains the same. The only question here is whether or not we are willing to accept it.

Source: Real Magic, By Dean Radin

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Alternative News

Our Biology Responds To Events Before They Even Happen

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple experiments have shown strong evidence for precognition in several different ways. One of them comes in the form of activity within the heart and the brain responding to events before they even happen.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have extra human capacities we are unaware of? Perhaps we can learn them, develop them, and use them for good. Perhaps when the human race is ready, we will start learning more.

Is precognition real? There are many examples suggesting that yes, it is. The remote viewing program conducted by the CIA in conjunction with Stanford University was a good example of that.  After its declassification in 1995, or at least partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate:

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise… The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions. (source)

The kicker? Part of remote viewing involves peering into future events as well as events that happened in the past.

It’s not only within the Department of Defense that we find this stuff, but a lot of science is emerging on this subject as well.

For example, a study (meta analysis) published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to the event before it has occurred. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

A few years ago, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dr. Dean Radin, visited the scientists over at HearthMath Institute and shared the results of one of his studies. Radin is also one of multiple scientists who authored the paper above. These studies, as mentioned above, tracked the autonomic nervous system, physiological changes, etc.

Scientists at HeartMath Institute (HMI) added more protocols, which included measuring participants’ brain waves (EEG), their hearts’ electrical activity (ECG), and their heart rate variability (HRV).

As HMI explains:

Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.

Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.

The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.

The Results

The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.

How mind-altering is that?

Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”

Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in Journal of Parapsychology by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989 examined a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved individuals’ attempts to predict “the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses.” These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (source)

It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments “confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance.” (source)

The Takeaway

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

We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn and grow from these studies, they can help us better ourselves and others.

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Consciousness

Studies Show That Writing In A Journal Can Benefit Your Emotional & Physical Well-Being

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If you have read any of my previous articles, you may already know that I am a huge advocate of keeping a journal, or diary or notebook – whichever term you like best to describe the act of writing out your thoughts on paper, or if you prefer, typing them out on a screen.

Personally, journaling is something that has helped me get through some really tough times in my life and is also a great tool for just allowing some new perspective and a space to vent without judgment or advice. But for all of those skeptics out there who don’t understand how something like this could actually help, well, there’s science to prove it.

Scientific Evidence To Prove How Journaling Helps

Psychologists from the University of California were able to investigate the effect of journaling by inviting 20 volunteers to visit the lab for a brain scan before asking them to write for 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days. Half of the participants wrote about a fairly recent emotional experience, while the other half of the participants wrote about something neutral.

Those who chose to write about an emotional experience showed more activity in the part of the brain called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In turn, this relaxed neural activity that is linked to strong emotional feelings.

According to Lieberman, men seemed to benefit from writing about their feelings more so than women, and writing by hand seemed to have a bigger effect than typing on a keyboard. That’s an interesting note: could men benefit from journaling more because in general they tend to keep their feelings to themselves? A journal can certainly act as a safe space for emotionally deprived men to vent.

“Men tend to show greater benefits and that is a bit counterintuitive. But the reason might be that women more freely put their feelings into words, so this is less of a novel experience for them. For men it’s more of a novelty,” Lieberman said.

Aside from drastic improvements to your mood and emotional well-being, writing out your thoughts and feelings regularly can actually benefit your physical health as well. Journaling can increase your chance of fighting specific diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, it can even help physical wounds heal faster.

A study conducted in 2013 found that 76% of adults who spent 20 minutes a day journaling for three days in a row before a scheduled medical biopsy were fully healed 11 days later. On the other hand, 58% of the control group had not yet recovered. The study concluded that just one hour of writing about a distressing event helped the participants to better understand the events and reduce stress levels.

Lead researcher on expressive writing at the University of Texas and author of Writing To Heal, James W. Pennebaker, has found that by translating our experiences into our own language by writing it out, we are able to make the experience more comprehendible.

Pennebaker says: “Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are — our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.”

The Most Efficient Way To Cope With A Big Life Change Is To Journal

Journaling will help you to get over a break-up or cope with other up and down relationships in your life. While it may seem to be overanalyzing, studies have shown that venting about a past relationship actually helps to speed up emotional recovery and can help build a stronger sense of self-identity following a break-up. I don’t know about you, but this is something that I wish I would have done after break-ups that leave you feeling lost and like you don’t know who you are anymore.

By venting I don’t mean to your friends. While this certainly can help, the act of writing, with a pen or pencil, will provide you with the most health benefits.

“Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert, told Fast Company. “While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit, and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Journaling Can Provide Long-Term Benefits

Journaling helps you to cope with the experience at hand but it can also help to prepare you to face similar experiences in the future.

“Journal therapy is all about using personal material as a way of documenting an experience, and learning more about yourself in the process,” Kathleen Adams, a psychotherapist and author of Journal to the Self, told the Huffington Post. “It lets us say what’s on our minds and helps us get — and stay — healthy through listening to our inner desires and needs.”

The process of journaling allows you to get to know yourself through your feelings and experiences. It’s just plain and simply writing out your feelings. This is different than just thinking because it is more streamline; you aren’t going back and forth or writing the same thing down over and over again.

You can start right now, or the next time you’re feeling particularly stressed about something. It’s so simple you might as well give it a shot! What do you have to lose? It just might help you more than you might have imagined! Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to look back at the big events that happened in your life in 20 years or longer and see how you were able to deal with the situations? It could even provide you with some insight on how to handle situations you are faced with in the future.

We are constantly being faced with challenges. This is what life is all about, but our reactions to those challenges is what defines who we are. Are we strong and capable or are we weak and playing a victim? The choice is ours!

Much Love

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Consciousness

Loneliness: A Health Problem That Could Be Deadlier Than Obesity, Study Says

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Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”

Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:

Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”

Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?

From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.

The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.

The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.

The Rise of Social Media

I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.

If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.

On Being Alone  

One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.

Our Next Step

Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.

Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.

We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.

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