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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 18: The Dao)

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

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

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

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

18. The Dao

There had been a long-standing tradition on the island of Allandon for a secret society to meet once a year on the evening of the summer solstice. The meeting would take place just as the most generous sun of the year was setting, in a sheltered nook near the top of the mountain. In recent times the society had opened its doors to outsiders and now all the villagers were welcome to come up and partake in an open discussion into the mysteries of life around a hearty campfire.

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On this particular evening, however, darkness came more quickly under cloudy skies. The night was cold, the stars were not visible, and just as the group had gotten the fire started, a brief rainfall doused the flames and dampened all the logs. By the time the fire was restarted only the diehards remained. The masseur, the young philosopher and his mother the schoolteacher were joined by the farmer, who seemed more concerned about the height of the flames than the depth of the conversation.

“Isn’t it all just a cruel, cruel joke?” the farmer asked with a slight shiver as he stoked the fire.

“Do you have a joke?” mused the schoolteacher.

“I have. It is called existence. Life itself. Are we not always too cold, and if not cold then hot? Are we not always bored, and if not bored then anxious? Do we not always have too much of one thing or not enough of another? Constantly longing and never satisfied?”

“Perhaps, but we must laugh in the face of it,” the masseur said.

“Laugh?” the farmer mocked. “Why?”

“If we are the butt of a cosmic joke, what is there to do but laugh?” the masseur asked.

“If it is a joke, then who is the joker?” asked the schoolteacher.

“There is none,” said the farmer. “No being could be so cruel, so sadistic.”

“True, to be precise there is no such being,” weighed in the young philosopher, who had been listening quietly. “The culprit is being itself, the one that is the One, which has been called the Dao. And while there may be a joke, there is not an ounce of cruelty in it.”

“Yes, we should praise the Dao who brings us to laughter,” said the masseur.

“Rather brings itself to laughter—at our expense,” retorted the farmer.

“That is saying the same thing,” said the young philosopher, “for each one of us is in fact the Dao.”

“That’s nonsense,” said the farmer. “Explain to me how you can say that I am this Dao.”

The young philosopher hesitated for a moment. “I believe it is for each one of us to arrive at this truth in their own way. It is beyond all explanation.”

“Humph,” said the farmer.

After an awkward silence the schoolteacher looked around and then spoke cautiously to the young philosopher: “We can appreciate that it may be beyond explanation. But nonetheless you must try.”

“Yes, humor us,” said the masseur.

As the young philosopher considered the proposition there were sharp crackles and a sudden rise in the flames as the farmer continued to break twigs and push logs about. “That’s better,” said the farmer to himself. When he saw everyone’s attention on him he snapped, “Yes, yes, go ahead, I’m listening!”

The young philosopher cleared his throat. “Well how can I say it? I believe that some time ago—before there was time—there was only the Dao. It had nothing and nobody to laugh with—or at. The Dao could only be, which could not have been much fun. It must have longed to experience things.”

“Why could it not experience anything?” the schoolteacher asked.

“Because there was no contrast. There was no background from which discreet things could emerge. Imagine that the Dao is pure light. It could see all of itself all the time, and so in effect it could see nothing. To actually experience anything it needed to hide part of itself from itself. If the Dao is understood as light then it needed to somehow create darkness. And so one day it did the impossible. It somehow managed to fold itself over itself, so that half of itself was darkness.”

“Was that darkness then its shadow, or was it part of itself?” asked the schoolteacher.

“Not being light, it could not be the Dao itself,” said the masseur.

“It was not the Dao but at the same time it was the Dao. That is the most sublime paradox of existence. Out of pure light came darkness. And because of this, it was possible for the many to emerge from the one.”

“Creation,” said the masseur.

“Yes,” the young philosopher said. “Because now with light and darkness, with a pair of opposites, with duality, all the rest of creation was possible. Light and darkness could be combined into a multitude of patterns to give us a limitless number of separate things in our universe.”

“Like you and I,” said the farmer.

“Exactly, like you and I. We are two of the souls created by the Dao, each with a different pattern of light and darkness. Our light is the part of us that connects us to the Dao, founded in truth, our darkness is the part of us that separates us from the Dao, founded in illusion.”

The farmer poked the logs a final time. The fire was now full and bright, and its warmth was moving the damp chill out of their bodies.

“What if two things have the same pattern of light and darkness?” asked the schoolteacher.

The young philosopher laughed. “Then by definition they would be the same thing, which is not possible. To be a ‘thing’ in our universe is to be unique.”

“And if we were only light then we would be the same as the Dao: in fact we would be the Dao. It is really our darkness that makes us unique, the quality of the darkness which is different in each one of us,” said the schoolteacher.

“What do you mean?” asked the young philosopher.

“You have said that the truth of our existence is that we are all one and the illusion of who we are is that we are separate.”

“Yes,” said the young philosopher.

“Then the light part of us is our true self and the darkness part of us is our false self. The more we let go of our darkness and become a being of pure light, the closer we get to the truth of who we are.”

“That sounds like the search for enlightenment,” said the masseur.

“That is fine for those who are searching for that,” said the farmer, “but what about the rest of us?”

“I believe that this search is common to all of us,” said the masseur.

“How is it common? Have we not said we are all unique? Our lives must have a unique purpose,” said the farmer.

“Perhaps I can explain,” said the young philosopher. “When Creation occurred we became unique souls and were scattered off into all corners of the universe.”

“So there is the great cruelty of the Dao as I suspected!” said the farmer. “It has scattered us off and we are all lost.”

“We are not truly lost. We just don’t remember. We have voluntarily forgotten who we are. But this ‘amnesia’ is what is required for us to have this experience of being separate.”

“And why has this happened?” asked the farmer.

“So that we can have the authentic experience of evolving, of returning to the One which is the Dao.”

“And so the Dao revels in our fear and worry as we blindly search for the right path.”

“The right path?”

“The one that leads us back to the Dao,” the farmer said.

“There is no right path,” the young philosopher said. “And there is no need for worry. All paths lead back to the Dao.”

The farmer shook his head as the masseur rose and walked away from the fire to contemplate what had been said. The rest sat quietly until he emerged from the darkness several minutes later.

“It seems to me that we can never really be alone, because in truth we are always one with the Dao,” the masseur said. “Our path is simply one of having the experiences that will aid us in remembering this truth.”

“Yes, but again, we each have our unique way of doing it,” said the young philosopher. “There is no limit to the number of ways it can be done. This is one of the wonders of existence.”

“And so we cannot really teach another how to do it,” said the schoolteacher.

“Exactly, because for each of us it is different,” the young philosopher said. “The best we can do is share our own experience and let the listener decide if it has meaning for them.”

“This makes sense to me,” said the masseur. “In trying to heal people I have seen that letting go of darkness is a choice each person makes and only when they are ready. I have seen that true healing doesn’t occur when I try to force someone to let go if they are not ready.” After a pause, he added: “Yes—that’s it!”

“Some enlightenment?” smiled the young philosopher.

“Yes, because I see that the darkness is—our fear. And the light is our love.”

“What do you mean?” asked the schoolteacher.

“Well don’t you see? If our path consists of letting go of our darkness, of our fear, then we are all on a healing path, because we are all trying to become whole. And we become whole when we have let go of all of our darkness and have becomes beings of pure light. That is when we become self-identical with the Dao and we experience ourselves as pure love.”

“I see what you are saying,” said the schoolteacher. “Then it could be said that all of growth, of learning, of evolution, is about letting go of what actually separates us from each other—our darkness, which in the end amounts to our individuality.”

“That’s right, since our individuality is really the greatest of all illusions,” said the masseur.

“Slow down a moment,” said the young philosopher. “Are you suggesting that at the end of this healing path we eventually lose our individuality completely?”

“If there is really an end to this path, I believe we ultimately do,” said the masseur. “We have said that what makes us each unique is the quality of our darkness. In other words it is only the quality of our fear—”

“Or ignorance,” added the schoolteacher.

“Or the quality of our ignorance of ourselves as the Dao that determines our individuality,” continued the masseur. “And if our path back to the Dao consists in letting go of this darkness—our fear, our ignorance—then our path can also be seen as letting go of who we are as individuals, which is actually our false self.”

“Well I don’t have any desire to let go of my individuality,” said the farmer, “I happen to think it’s special.”

The young philosopher looked up and smiled to the others. “It is special,” he said to the farmer. “Indeed I think our individuality is the most special aspect of our world. While each of us may be on a path of enlightenment or self-realization, our paths are different, and we need to know about each other’s experiences. Sharing our stories with each other is what eventually will give each of us the whole picture of this wondrous universe—the totality of the Dao. Without this I believe it would be impossible for any of us to become whole.”

“But if we are actually whole to begin with, what is the point of going through this whole charade?” the farmer asked.

“Yes, yes, that is the question, isn’t it?” said the young philosopher.

There was a long pause of silence. The masseur looked over to the young philosopher, who sat serenely and did not appear to be in any rush to speak. He then looked over to the schoolteacher, who shrugged and whispered to him: “I have an idea about it, but—”

“Speak up!” said the farmer.

The schoolteacher inhaled and then exhaled deeply. “I said I have an idea about it, but it’s not fully developed. I don’t know if it will make any sense.”

“Share it,” said the young philosopher. “We will help you try to make sense of it.”

The schoolteacher stood up and picked up a long, thin twig from the pile of kindling. She started to draw something in the dirt, scratched it out, and drew it again. It was a simple circle. She looked at it for a long while.

“If this represents the Dao…” she said, and then paused again.

“Yes…?” said the masseur.

“If this represents the Dao, is it possible…” and she paused again, drawing a larger circle around the first one, “is it possible for the Dao to expand?”

“Expand?” asked the masseur.

“Yes, expand, grow, evolve. Can the Dao evolve?”

“The Dao is the all-in-all, everything, what could it possibly expand into?” asked the masseur.

“I don’t know, but, wouldn’t it give our lives a greater sense of purpose if we thought that our individual growth was actually contributing to the growth of the Dao? I mean maybe the darkness is something that the Dao doesn’t know. We could be the miners of the darkness, bringing light to unexplored parts of the universe. Our experiences could be adding to the Dao’s—”

“If we can add something to the Dao then it really isn’t the Dao,” said the masseur.

“Well, maybe there is something beyond the Dao. Maybe the Dao isn’t exactly the Dao.” The schoolteacher pointed to the circles with her twig, adding more concentric circles. “Maybe it’s a small Dao that itself has a larger Dao, which has a larger Dao, and so on…”

“And so on, ad nauseum,” said the farmer. “Let’s get back to planet Earth, if you don’t mind.”

“Well, I was just trying to see if our lives could have a greater sense of purpose than just this idea that we are remembering something we’ve intentionally forgotten.”

“But that’s all our lives can be,” the masseur said. “At the level of the Dao there can be nothing new. But for us many things can be new. I think our lives have an abundance of purpose by the very fact that we are searching for our purpose.”

“I like it,” intervened the young philosopher.

“You like what—my idea or hers?” asked the masseur.

“I like the fact that we are talking about things that may be beyond our ability to think! But perhaps we should get back to the planet Earth, as our esteemed colleague has suggested, if we hope to make sense of our purpose in this life.”

“I can’t believe it,” said the farmer, “I think somebody just agreed with me.”

“And I encourage you to continue,” the young philosopher said to the farmer. “What do you make of our purpose in this life?”

“Our purpose? Well, I don’t know about the rest of you. I believe my purpose in this life is to be happy. And be happy now, not in the future, not in some afterlife, but now. Becoming one with the Dao? Losing our individuality? What’s the rush?”

“Well, maybe because being one with the Dao is happiness beyond measure, beyond anything we can hope to experience in this lifetime,” said the masseur.

“And how long would that last?” asked the farmer. “If we actually were one with the Dao, as you say, then we wouldn’t be able to experience anything. So we would probably want to get exploded back out into the universe.” The farmer stopped for a minute. “I can’t even believe I’m talking about this,” he said, shaking his head.

The fire had become mostly embers with small flames flickering from the ends of a few twigs. Still, it generated some warmth for the four, who were now huddled more closely to the fire than ever.

“Why all this talk about purpose? All I want to know is how to be happy in my life,” the farmer said.

“When are you most happy?” asked the young philosopher.

“When my work is done,” the farmer replied.

“Why is that?” asked the young philosopher.

“Then I can do what I want. Eat. Sleep. Play around.”

“Play around?”

“You know. Pick up a tool and fix it. Make it work. Or better yet, turn it into something new.”

“Something that no one has ever thought of?” asked the young philosopher.

“Ha! I suppose that is the ideal,” smiled the farmer. “Yes, I have many ideas, good ideas, that have come to me over the years while I was working. But they have remained just ideas. Time…responsibilities…” the farmer’s voice trailed off.

“These ideas have come from your experiences?” the young philosopher interjected.

“Often, yes, through my struggles and toils. I could see how I could make my work more enjoyable, and make my life better. I could see how I could make other people’s lives better.”

“Something that would be your unique contribution to the world?”

“Yes. Yes!” said the farmer emphatically.

“How would that make you feel?” asked the young philosopher.

“Very…happy,” said the farmer, with soft emotion in his voice.

The masseur was about to speak, but the young philosopher put his hand up gently to keep the silence. They waited as the farmer looked down thoughtfully.

“That’s my purpose, isn’t it?” asked the farmer quietly. “My purpose is what gives me the greatest joy. Everything else is a waste of time. My whole life…” the farmer stopped as his throat tightened.

“Your whole life has brought you to this moment, to this realization,” said the young philosopher.

“So I guess the joke is on me then,” the farmer lamented. “I mean, here I am talking about wanting happiness now, but I’ve been getting in my own way the whole time.”

“We are all getting in our own way,” said the schoolteacher. “The lessons we learn actually teach us how to get out of our own way.”

“That is really what it is to heal, and what gets us moving forward along our path,” added the masseur. For a few moments they were all quiet, allowing silence to speak.

“Well, my friends, the fire is nearly out,” said the farmer as he wiped his eyes and gathered himself. As he extinguished the remaining embers, the others stood up and prepared to leave.

“Thank you for keeping it burning,” said the schoolteacher.

“I didn’t really need to near the end,” said the farmer, taking a tall stretch. “It has not turned out to be such a bad evening after all.”

“Amen to that,” said the young philosopher.

The group rose and began their slow trek down the mountain, untroubled by the darkness as they made their way back to their homes.

Almost a year after graduating from university, without money or job prospects, I was quite fortunate to qualify from a long waitlist for a government-sponsored computer programmer’s course. At that time the PC had just come into the spotlight, but while floppy disks were coming in and punch-cards were on their way out, it was still essential for a student of programming to thoroughly understand machine-level code and its binary system, a simple system made up of only two parts that continues to be the hidden driver of all computer operations.

The binary system governs the electrical flow of computer memory, where the basic memory cell, or ‘bit’, can be in one of only two states: it is either charged or not, on or off, lit up or dark. When the computer was first used only for complex numerical calculations, the orchestration of the binary system was fairly straightforward. But with the implementation of a keyboard and terminal, it became necessary to organize these on/off cells into units of eight, called a ‘byte’, so that a standard binary code set could be made with enough possible combinations of the 8 on/off cells (28 or 256) to represent all letters, numbers, and punctuation marks on the keyboard, as well as a few hidden characters. As an example, a capital ‘A’ is represented by the 8-bit pattern on/off/off/off/off/off/off/on, more commonly seen as ‘10000001’ where ‘on’ is represented as ‘1’ and ‘off’ is represented as ‘0’.

As the refinement of lower-level programs came to support more complex higher-level programs, the computer’s character-based drone terminal gave way to an interactive window onto the world of colorful complexity and ever-growing possibilities for creativity and communication. Computer pioneers could never have imagined in their wildest dreams what would become of their room-sized calculators. And while we ourselves can scarcely imagine what new innovations will arise in future computers, there is one thing that is certain: they will all continue to be grounded in the simple shifting around of 1 and 0, on and off, light and darkness.

If this is staggering, and indeed I think it is, it pales in comparison to a proposition I would now humbly ask you to consider: that the entire range of human experience, emotion, thought, perception, and beyond that the existence of the universe itself, is founded on such a binary code.

In the binary code of the universe the ‘1’ is the truth that we are all One, the ‘0’ is the illusion that we are all separate. The truth is that the universe is One and is always ‘on’, but the only way to create separate and distinct things in the universe is to pretend part of itself is ‘off’. Like the Dao folding itself in half, the light, which is the truth of the universe, first fabricated the darkness, which is the illusion of the universe.

And so from only two, light and darkness, it became possible for the universe to explode into an unlimited collection of different and unique things, forms that have become ever more complex over time, just like we have seen with the computer. Each one of us is therefore an ever-changing string of ‘1’ and ‘0’, an ever-shifting pattern of light and darkness, an ever-evolving hybrid of truth and illusion. As humans incarnate we all have a foot on each side of this duality and cannot escape it. That is the nature of our reality. It is impossible to be a distinct ‘being’ without always having some light and some darkness.

What makes us special as human beings is that we consciously experience this duality in how we see ourselves—as an Ego Self associated with darkness and illusion and as a Dao Self associated with light and truth. We perceive ourselves as individuals and yet, because we are self-aware, we know ourselves as ‘perceiver’ to be something more. That something more is our Dao Self, our connection to all-that-is. When we identify with our Dao Self we get closer to the truth of who we are and when we identify with our Ego Self we get closer to the illusion of who we are.

The complexity of the human experience is grounded in this primal duality, because, like an expertly cut gemstone, it gives rise to a multitude of facets than never cease to dazzle us. These facets of duality are ever-present in our lives and their poles are inextricable from each other, much as we might often want to identify with only one side. The following table is but a small sample of some of the dichotomies that give meaning to our lives and fodder for our ongoing conversation.

 

Ego Self                                           Dao Self

 

Illusion                                                Truth

Darkness                                             Light

Separateness                                      Unity

Individuality                                       Community

Doing                                                   Being

Rationality                                          Intuition

Control                                                Flow

Matter                                                  Spirit

Atomism                                             Holism

War                                                      Peace

Reactivity                                           Creativity

Judgment                                           Acceptance

Resistance                                          Openness

Debate                                                 Dialogue

Pessimism                                          Optimism

Competition                                       Cooperation

One special pair of opposites not mentioned above is worth exploring here, as I believe it can serve as a kind of umbrella under which many of these dualities are brought together. I think if we were to choose one word that most closely encompasses the spirit of the Dao Self the word would be love. Now while this word may mean many things to many people, let us call this Love with a capital ‘L’, and try to imagine it to be an absolute, pure, fully unconditional love. Our own understanding of what love is, no matter how imperfect, points us to experience a great force that binds us together, a state of being that unites, an energy that flows, and a ‘rightness’, a feeling that we have uncovering truth behind the illusion.

If the Dao is the essence of this Love, then in its full state of oneness it would lack the objects of its Love, and so the Love could not express itself. Our personal experiences of love are the experiences of oneness with the objects of our love. The universe may very well have been created to allow the Love that is the single truth of the One to express itself through separate beings such as ourselves. The only way this could happen would be through the creation of something that was not Love, and so it came to be that a darkness was created out of light, the opposite of Love, which I would like to call Fear. This Love/Fear duality is not an unfamiliar one in the language of the new conversation. While the word fear also has several connotations for us, let us define this pure Fear with a capital ‘F’ as beyond what we are capable of experiencing, and yet having a hand in everything we experience. This original division of light and darkness, of Love and Fear, is the prerequisite for existence itself. In Christian mythology, it is symbolized by the banishment of the Devil from the kingdom of Heaven.

Consider Love as the single fundamental truth of existence, the All, the One, the Dao. Love is rooted in the ground of being, permanent and everlasting, while Fear floats around, coming and going, rising and falling. Our own experience shows us that when we look towards and embrace love it reveals ever more of itself, and when we look towards and embrace fear it recoils and disappears. Fear disappears because it was never really there to begin with. It is illusion itself, and it only grows when we look away from it and do not face it.

Our Ego Self is driven by Fear. There are no exceptions to this. This Fear amplifies our feelings of separateness, making us attach ourselves to things. It fuels our insecurities, causing us to judge others in order to feel good about ourselves. It always leaves us wanting more, as though we literally need an ocean of abundance to drown our fears in. But when we are willing to actually face our fears we see that they don’t drown, they simply float on the surface that is our ego. In those moments that we penetrate the surface and see ourselves as coming from the Love of the Dao Self, we are able to leave our fears behind.

Living from our Dao Self is like living from a spacious place of peace and abundance. Most of us only get glimpses of this paradise from time to time. Mostly we are living from our Ego Self, and our lives are all about limitation and being cut off by our self-built walls. Our task is to question if these dark walls, these limitations we have put on who we are, are real. The process of moving into the Dao Self is the process of shining a light from inside ourselves, pushing out and seeing that these walls are not really there. As we do this, the space around us expands, and with it is the expansion of our joy. Moving into our Dao Self is our desire of desires. It is what it means to gain self-realization, the message common to all spiritual traditions. It is the enlightenment, the samadhi, the Christ Consciousness.

But we should not be fooled into thinking this is a simple one-step process. It is a gradual unfolding that the entire universe participates in. Even when we do experience the light and spaciousness of our Dao Self, life makes it difficult for us to remain there. As soon as we activate our senses, or refer back to ourselves purely as individuals—by thinking that ‘I’ am having this experience—the gravity of the physical world starts to pull us back slowly into the darkness of the Ego Self we tried to leave behind.

We all face a choice day by day. There is not a single morning we wake up where it is guaranteed that we will live from the expansive space of our Dao Self, nor are we condemned to suffer from the limited and fearful vision of the Ego Self. When it comes down to it, that is the only real choice that we face in life: to go with the flow or to go against it; to see a unity in all things, or a separateness; to be a part of nature or apart from nature; to promote harmony or survival of the fittest. We have a choice in how we experience the world, as a celebration of unity or a battleground of duality, as communion or confrontation, as collaboration or competition.

But in this back-and-forth movement there is some growth. On occasion we will make a big leap, but our growth tends to be slow but sure. What is required to make a lasting step in the expansion of our consciousness is letting go or releasing some of our darkness—which can be difficult to do, since we may be quite attached to it. Seeking expansion, the Dao Self is constantly challenging us to let go and step into what is the unknown for the Ego Self. The process of shedding darkness is the process of becoming more whole, more who we really are. Some have described this as resolving our karma, learning our life lessons or going through our healing. But it is never easy, for the unique quality of our darkness is what makes each of us distinct individuals, and represents who we think we are. There is a natural resistance on the part of our Ego Self to let go of darkness because in doing so it must let go of a part of itself. The more we believe that our Ego Self is our true self, and the more powerful a role our Ego Self plays in guiding our lives, the more difficult it is to expand. This is the great quandary of the growth of our individual consciousness—in a way it is a constant threat to our cherished individuality itself.

Having said that, there should be no concerns that our individuality is going to evaporate away any time soon, during our time on Earth or even beyond. While we are all on a path that moves towards a union with the Dao, that does not mean our real purpose in this life is to see beyond the illusion and move away from it as quickly as possible. Our personal path back to the Dao is as unique as our inimitable configuration of light and darkness. Each one of us walks a path that has never been traveled before.

Herein lies our important contribution to our collective consciousness and to each other. Our lives are tales that have never been told, and when we share ourselves and our unique perspectives we help each other to refine our understanding of who we are. Nietzsche once said that “to have circled the whole periphery of the modern soul, to have sat in every one of its nooks, that is my torment and my delight.” In a way he describes the agony and ecstasy of our interrelationship with each other, providing pieces of the larger puzzle of who we are to one another to help make us all whole. Our lives are intertwined so much more than we know, and as our consciousness expands we come to an ever finer appreciation of the supreme gift brought on by the original creation of duality—the capacity to express ourselves to each other, and to love one another.

Move on to Chapter 19…

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Consciousness

10 TV Series With Conscious Themes – If You’re Looking For Something Good

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    With a seemingly endless number of streaming platforms there have never been more options when it comes to finding a new series to watch. Thankfully there are quite a few options with some surprisingly conscious themes and messaging.

  • Reflect On:

    What are some of your favorite TV series with a conscious facet to them? How many of these 10 have you seen?

As the Founding Director of the Tribeca Film Festival, former Head of Content for GAIAMTV (Gaia), and now Founder and CEO of Conscious Good, I’ve always been on the pulse of consciousness elevating entertainment.

Within each of these positions there has been one constant: the privilege of getting to watch thousands of hours of the best conscious content the world has to offer annually. In hopes of saving you the time of having to put in those same hours, in December of 2019 I put together a list of 10 of the best conscious films from 2019 that I personally believe you need to watch in 2020. I’d now like to present 10 of the best TV Series with conscious themes that my colleagues (Mark Allan Kaplan, Betsy Chasse and John O’Callahan) and I believe you should make the time to watch over the course of this year.

While some of these titles may seem surprising, I encourage you to both read in full detail the conscious themes I found and, in some cases, to push through the initial episodes to get to what I truly believe to be binge-worthy.

1. Game of Thrones

WHERE TO WATCH IT: HBO

Undoubtedly one of the most infamous and celebrated series of all-time, Game of Thrones is also quite groundbreaking in terms of the valuable conscious lessons it offers its viewers. Including how the series represents the largest scale attempt to capture a specific stage of human development with the intent of taking us not only deep inside it, but ultimately through it.

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While the dark, violent and overtly sexual nature to a great deal of the series may seem counterproductive to some, it can also be seen, at some level, as necessary to connect with the masses and ultimately wake us up. Honestly, I struggled to watch the first four seasons, but thereafter, the storylines and characters slowly begin to ascend. With the series now officially concluded after 8 very successful seasons, it is fully available for us all to view from start to finish through the lens of conscious messaging.

2. Messiah

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

Freshly released on January 1st, 2020 the new Netflix original series Messiah is an integral informed exploration of the messiah archetype. Starring Mehdi Dehbi (Tyrant, London Has Fallen) and Michelle Monaghan (The Path, True Detective), the entire first season of the show is filled with clear and profound examples of how to capture deep shifts in our consciousness as well as our paradigms of the self, others, and the world.

While the series is still likely in its infancy, it is a complex and layered work that unpacks the interrelationship of religion, consciousness, culture and society. It is also deeply reflective of what is seemingly happening in the world right now by elegantly journeying into and through multiple dimensions of the culture war and civilization-wide paradigm shift we’re facing.

3. The Good Place

WHERE TO WATCH IT: NBC, Hulu, Netflix

Having recently wrapped up airing its fourth successful season, The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and the infamous Ted Danson (Cheers, Becker), is an easy to watch dramatic comedy with deeper messaging than one would anticipate. The show regularly explores the existential questions that many humans face, including but not limited to: why are we the way that we are, is change/growth possible, and can we heal/forgive past trauma? Best of all, it does it in a very accessible, and often hilarious, way through relatable and down to earth characters.

4. Undone

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Amazon

With its eight episode first season coming to a close in September of 2019, the relatively new animated fantasy series Undone starring Rosa Salazar (Alita, Bird Box) and Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces) is must-see TV. The series explores what many millennials are facing: struggles with life, their family relationships, a desire for a deeper connection to themselves, and their belief that there is something more to life.

With the show officially being renewed for a second season, now is your perfect chance to begin immersing yourself in what should be a long and unique ride.

5. Cheer

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

I have never liked cheerleading. Like beauty pageants, it seemed like a weird, unnecessary and sexist vestige of a bygone era. So, Cheer, a Netflix documentary that chronicles the 2019 season of Navarro College’s competitive cheer team, is not a show I’d normally add to my queue.

In the end, though, like any good story it’s the characters that make Cheer great television. The backstories of the featured cheerleaders and their coaches are heartbreaking, elevating, illuminating and inspiring. What seemed a pointless exercise to me, cheerleading, becomes a vehicle for self-redemption, reflection and fulfillment. Cheer is almost a metaphor for life itself. Yes, we are all going to die. But don’t you want to make it “on mat” before you (pun intended) graduate?

6. The Kindness Diaries

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

What do you do when you’ve hit the pinnacle of your career, but realize that financial success isn’t everything? If you are Leon Logothetis, you pack a bag, buy a motorcycle and travel across the world surviving on the kindness of strangers. And you make a TV series out of it, of course.

Everywhere Leon travels, he connects with kind and generous people, renewing both his and our faith as the viewer that, at our core, human beings are inherently good and eager to make a positive contribution. The cherry on top of each episode is that Leon repays people’s kindness in unexpected and inspiring ways.

7. Green Frontier

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

Green Frontier is a beautifully shot, sexy and supernatural thriller (from Columbia) that celebrates indigenous cultures and spiritual beliefs. Yes, believe it or not, all of these elements are successfully rolled into one series.

From the opening scene of the series we are immersed into a world that we rarely see portrayed authentically in American television. The underlying theme is that we have lost our connection –our interconnection –with nature, and for that we are suffering greatly.

8. Running Wild

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Hulu

For the past decade I’ve been a huge Bear Grylls fan. I admire how he is in love with the natural world and how he honors and respects nature and our planet to the highest degree.

In Running Wild, he shares that love with well-known public figures such as President Barack Obama while he was in office. In every episode, Bear celebrates how we are all interconnected, including every plant, animal and mineral, and always manages to offer at least one surprise that often makes me crack up, be in disbelief, or be filled with gratitude for his offering.

9. Little America

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Apple TV+

Little America is a beautiful collection of true stories of immigrants coming to the United States from all different parts of the globe and walks of life. In each episode, the main character overcomes a challenging situation – most often a lack of belief in themselves – in order to realize their own version of the American dream.

The show has an innate ability to make me laugh and cry in under thirty minutes, all while providing a realization of what I’ve personally taken for granted as being born Caucasian in the United States – the privilege of never knowing life without freedom or liberty or a belief that I can make my dreams come true.

10. The Politician

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

The first season of the Netflix series The Politician is an acerbic study of emptiness, ambition and the search for validation. In this initial season, the main character, played by Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect), has assembled a trusted team of friends to win his high school student body election for president, presumably the first step on their road to the White House.

The Politician is acidly funny and, at times, quite touching. The show exists in a kind of hyper reality; the stakes are absurdly high, the characters broadly drawn, the plot lines wildly over the top. In this surreal landscape, the characters thrash about and try to “win” and, in the process, hold up a funhouse mirror to our own travails.


If you love conscious cinema as much as I do, but are always struggling to find something to watch, be sure to sign up to receive our Conscious Media Monthly. It’s a FREE mailer that fills you in on what to watch both in theaters and from the comfort of your own home. SIGN UP NOW!

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Consciousness

A Powerful Video On Double Standards In Our Society Exposing What It Takes To “Be A Lady”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Our society has held up impossible expectations of women for decades. Actress Cynthia Nixon recites an eye-opening poem about what it really takes to "Be A Lady"

  • Reflect On:

    The less we buy into these expectations the less they will exist. "In a society that profits off your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act."

Let’s face it; being a woman in the western world comes with a special set of challenges laid upon us by the society that we were born into. Of course, these exist for men as well, but for the purpose of this article I will be addressing this topic and how it relates to women only.

What does it really mean to be a lady? Many of us have likely heard this from authoritative figures in our lives at some point or another, “act like a lady,” perhaps while doing things that all humans do and that are and always have been more accepted by men. Belching, rough housing, getting excited or even just being silly are sometimes frowned upon and considered unladylike. What we wear, what we don’t wear, how much skin we show, or don’t, how we do our hair, how perky our breasts are, how skinny or how curvy are all examples of the image we are expected to uphold. But what exactly does it take to actually be a lady, and why is it so important that we strive to reach this seemingly impossible goal?

In the powerful video that follows, actress Cynthia Nixon narrates an eye-opening poem written by Camille Rainville that addresses many of the outrageous double standards that our society has created around how women are supposed to behave and how they are not supposed to behave. Some of the lines really put into perspective how tough it can really be to live up to so many conflicting standards, and to what end? It showcases that seemingly everything a woman does to validate herself will be frowned upon in some way, and never enough in the eyes of our current society. I feel it’s important to note here that it is not only men that hold us to these impossible standards, but other women as well as this is a societal issue as a whole.

Be A Lady, They Said

Be a Lady They Said from Paul McLean on Vimeo.

Be a Lady They Said from Paul McLean on Vimeo.

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This video gave me chills. I feel it’s very important for all women to realize that they are worth so much more than their appearance. Of course, in our totally screwed up society, so much emphasis is put on our looks leading us to believe that this is the only value we have. If we don’t fit the ideal mold then we should do whatever it takes to get there, but as stated in the video, once we do, we’ve done too much and are still not enough. This is an impossible race that we will never win and there is so much power in simply stepping back from it all and living life for yourself and not for what everyone else expects you to be.

Aside from just our appearance, as outlined in the video being a lady is also about how we act and how we behave, there are so many rules that we often feel conflict with how we are supposed to act. At times we do not speak our truth or stand up for ourselves out of fear of backlash from our peers. Really, these are qualities that we should be embracing because everyone’s needs and everyone’s boundaries are equally important.

But Wait… Who Said?

More women are beginning to feel freer to speak their minds, dress how they want and live their lives for them, according to their terms instead of how other people expect them too. This is a powerful time to be alive and to be a woman on this earth as more and more light is being shined on these double standards and all people. Men are also starting to see through this façade of what a “lady” really is, or even, what a “man” is.

I am a woman. I choose to embrace all aspects of myself and love myself with all of my imperfections and all of my perceived flaws. After all, who is it that’s doing the perceiving to begin with? A backwards, fear-based, superficial society — we can choose to take what we want from the society we were born into and leave what we don’t. It was created in this way, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue to uphold all aspects of it. We do not have to adopt all of the expectations of our current society; we can make up our own expectations, and hold ourselves to our own standards. It is here that we will truly shine as the unique, individual, powerful women who we really are, beneath the overwhelming expectation to “be a lady.”

Full Transcript Of The Poem

Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.

Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs. Skip dessert. You need to lose weight. Fit into that dress. Go on a diet. Watch what you eat. Eat celery. Chew gum. Drink lots of water. You have to fit into those jeans. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look emaciated. You look sick. Eat a burger. Men like women with some meat on their bones. Be small. Be light. Be little. Be petite. Be feminine. Be a size zero. Be a double zero. Be nothing. Be less than nothing.

Be a lady they said. Remove your body hair. Shave your legs. Shave your armpits. Shave your bikini line. Wax your face. Wax your arms. Wax your eyebrows. Get rid of your mustache. Bleach this. Bleach that. Lighten your skin. Tan your skin. Eradicate your scars. Cover your stretch marks. Tighten your abs. Plump your lips. Botox your wrinkles. Lift your face. Tuck your tummy. Thin your thighs. Tone your calves. Perk up your boobs. Look natural. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be confident. You’re trying too hard. You look overdone. Men don’t like girls who try too hard.

Be a lady they said. Wear makeup. Prime your face. Conceal your blemishes. Contour your nose. Highlight your cheekbones. Line your lids. Fill in your brows. Lengthen your lashes. Colour your lips. Powder, blush, bronze, highlight. Your hair is too short. Your hair is too long. Your ends are split. Highlight your hair. Your roots are showing. Dye your hair. Not blue, that looks unnatural. You’re going grey. You look so old. Look young. Look youthful. Look ageless. Don’t get old. Women don’t get old. Old is ugly. Men don’t like ugly.

Be a lady they said. Save yourself. Be pure. Be virginal. Don’t talk about sex. Don’t flirt. Don’t be a skank. Don’t be a whore. Don’t sleep around. Don’t lose your dignity. Don’t have sex with too many men. Don’t give yourself away. Men don’t like sluts. Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so uptight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls.

Be a lady they said. Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife someday. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will someday. You’ll change your mind.

Be a lady they said. Don’t get raped. Protect yourself. Don’t drink too much. Don’t walk alone. Don’t go out too late. Don’t dress like that. Don’t show too much. Don’t get drunk. Don’t leave your drink. Have a buddy. Walk where it is well lit. Stay in the safe neighborhoods. Tell someone where you’re going. Bring pepper spray. Buy a rape whistle. Hold your keys like a weapon. Take a self-defense course. Check your trunk. Lock your doors. Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes. Don’t look easy. Don’t attract attention. Don’t work late. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no.

Just “be a lady” they said.

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Consciousness

Healing the Self, Healing The World – Ruminations About Humanity & Awakening

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Life is becoming increasingly more complex. With the rise of the internet, we have access to more information than at any other time in recorded history. The information keeps increasing in a world that has become more and more unstable through economic meltdown, climate change, loss of privacy, and the inevitable corruption of government and authoritarian institutions. Despite these incredible technological advancements, most people in our world still live in poverty – and even in ‘developed’ countries, life has become a struggle, with many individuals facing great uncertainties regarding their future. The evolution of consciousness has not yet caught up with our technological progress.

Most people are living on autopilot, just trying to get by and ‘survive’. Technological progress has provided many solutions, but created even more problems. Collectively, we seem to be at a breaking point. These are challenging times, but every challenge and struggle provides an opportunity to help awaken us from the collective slumber.

The resulting struggle and friction is pushing many of us into questioning our world and our habitual ways of living. We seek answers and solutions for the world’s problems on both a collective and individual level.

Some people are more focused on externalized social activism, protesting and fighting injustice, asking for (or suggesting) new social systems designed for the “common good of all” and striving towards the creation of sustainable conscious communities. Others suggest that the answers lie within us, and that an internal transformation – on an individual level – is necessary before the “outer” can change.

However, before we can provide solutions, we need to ask ourselves what the “problem” actually is, and what we are dealing with when it comes to fundamental realities. What I’ve noticed over the years is that many well-meaning people ask for (or provide solutions to) the world’s issues without actually understanding what the deeper “problem” is, and hence most often wind up focusing on cutting the branches of a tree, instead of tackling the issues at their roots. Like the characters in Plato’s allegory of the cave, who are transfixed with the shadows cast on the wall, those well-meaning individuals who offer solutions that are generated from the same level of conscious awareness that consented to the creation of the problems in the first place aren’t offering any viable alternative at all. Put succinctly: providing premature solutions are part of the problem.

To counteract this fundamental misapprehension, I’ll be briefly outlining three big topics which, in a nutshell, I feel are realities that need to be addressed and brought to  awareness in order to help us collectively understand what we are dealing with on both a macro (global/collective) and micro (individual) level, as well as from the perspective of the evolution of consciousness. These points are based on my work, which is, in turn, derived from over twenty years of research and personal experiences. As a disclaimer, I do not claim to “know it all”, nor have I “figured it all out”. Obviously, there is also more to the “story” than what I’m going to address here. Ultimately, it’s about Truth, but seeking truth is a process which eventually goes beyond intellectual understanding (and the limitations of the mind and thought processes). Under each summation point, I provide links to my articles and essays, which explore these subjects in more depth.

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Some of what I’ll be sharing delves deeply into psychology, esotericism, the occult (which simply means “hidden”), and what some people may call “conspiracy”. On that note, oftentimes the term “conspiracy theorist” is used in mainstream/official culture as an ad hominem attack (a logical fallacy). When somebody says “this is just conspiracy theory” with a negative, condescending tone, it usually indicates an attempt to dismiss topics that may challenge those peoples’ beliefs. The socially-constructed “fact” that they are taboo and off-limits solidifies into people’s minds, subconsciously cutting off comprehension and further inquiry. Nobody wants to be called a “conspiracy theorist.” It’s like calling somebody a “wacko.”

This dismissive programming reflex is due to the fact that many people simply don’t understand the true meaning of the word “conspiracy”, which represents “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.” As historian Richard Dolan wrote:

“The very label [conspiracy] serves as an automatic dismissal, as though no one ever acts in secret. Let us bring some perspective and common sense to this issue. The United States comprises large organizations – corporations, bureaucracies, “interest groups,” and the like – which are conspiratorial by nature. That is, they are hierarchical, their important decisions are made in secret by a few key decision-makers, and they are not above lying about their activities. Such is the nature of organizational behavior.

“Conspiracy,” in this key sense, is a way of life around the globeWithin the world’s military and intelligence apparatuses, this tendency is magnified to the greatest extreme. Anyone who has lived in a repressive society knows that official manipulation of the truth occurs daily. But societies have their many and their few. In all times and all places, it is the few who rule, and the few who exert dominant influence over what we may call official culture. All elites take care to manipulate public information to maintain existing structures of power. It’s an old game.”

Most of what we see on the word stage, the records of our official history, and what we have been taught (via ‘approved’ education channels) – as well as the information we get through government and the mainstream media about various topics and issues, present and past – is disinformation and a distortion of what is really going on, and that is by design. Whether it involves acts of terrorism (which are most often false flag attacks based on the Hegelian Dialect – ‘problem-reaction-solution’ – that’s designed to create a calculated reaction from the public), political subterfuge, and countless other atrocities, the ‘official narrative’ is a carefully constructed illusion.

We have been fed lies for thousands of years, conditioned and programmed with beliefs about history, religion, science, and humanity itself (including our origins), which many of us don’t question. We have been conditioned to accept social and political systems of “order” and “control” which we gladly consent to without any hesitation, hypnotized and mind controlled like victims in a global Stockholm Syndrome set-up.

As an ironic example of this situation, the very term “conspiracy theory” was itself designed and unleashed onto the general public of the United States by the CIA in the late 1960s as a Psychological Operation initiative to malign, minimize, and discredit those researchers who were examining the many questions surrounding the Kennedy assassination (amongst other crimes and manipulations).

Before we can truly “heal” or “transform” the world, ourselves, or even just help others in their everyday lives, we need to take a deep look within ourselves and confront our own social/cultural (as well all religious/scientific) conditioning and de-program ourselves from those “official culture” beliefs which have been ingrained into many of us since birth. This process requires both inner and outer discipline, sincere self-work, and external study. This process can bring up a lot of unpleasant reactivity, especially when we realize that truth is oftentimes stranger than fiction, and the direct opposite of what we have been told and taught.

Hence, we need to watch out for the trap of “cognitive dissonance”, and act with humility and radical self-honesty when confronting the lies we have been telling ourselves…lies that we’ve been living with for most of our lives. Oftentimes, issues like self-importance, social status, career, public image concerns, and what others think of us (should we dare to acknowledge information that goes literally against the status quo and what the masses believe) can inhibit the process of questioning the world as we know it. Truth is usually not good for business. It can also isolate us from friends and family, and create all kinds of strident opposition and personal attacks, which I have experienced myself.

Having said all that, there is definitely an “awakening” happening. I witness more and more people starting to see through the illusion of “appearances”, engaging in sincere self-work, and questioning official culture/history and consensus reality. I’ve seen an exponential rise in awareness – especially within the past few years – of the topics I’m going to address.

1. Are “We” All The Same?

There is often this talk about “we” and the “human family”. But who are “we”, really, and are we truly all the same inside? Externally, we all share the same human body (regardless of gender, ethnicity, or color). However, internally, an individual’s “inner wiring” – with regards to experiencing emotions, compassion, empathy, love, having a conscience – is vastly different, and is dependent upon that individual’s expression of Being (soul embodiment).

While most humans have access (in varying degrees) to these qualities, they all require engagement in order to be developed consciously, which includes the working through of false beliefs, wounds, trauma and shadow aspects…facets of personality that we all have. Without true love, compassion, and empathy on an embodied level (defined as feeling, experiencing and living it) – and not just as an intellectual acknowledgment – any head-centric “solution” we try to impose on the world will fail, no matter how well-meaning the intention (and lofty the ideal) may be.

To assume that we are all the same and that everyone has access to this higher love (or any form of love) is self-deceiving at best, and we can see those kinds of assumptions being expressed in the oversimplified idea that “we are all one!”. This assumption is one of the big reasons why virtually any external revolution in human history has failed to bring about any fundamentally-positive benefit to the human species as a whole…the changes have, in fact, been merely superficial and fleeting.

We are all one, but we are not all the same. There seems to be some major blind spots and oversimplifications around the metaphysical idea of “we”. This has nothing to do with an “us vs. them” binary position, but rather, it involves understanding how complex humanity actually is – what we choose to believe in and wish for, and what we avoid looking at and confronting, both within and without.

The biggest illusion many people seem to have is the assumption that we all have the potential to awaken in this lifetime and have access to love, empathy, conscience and higher values. It is assumed that because we’re collectively connected and look like “humans”, we are all are “equal” and the same. Another assumption is that everyone who is not “aware” is just misguided and can be “fixed” or “healed”. While this is true for the majority of humans, it can also result in projecting one’s own higher qualities (conscience, emotional intelligence) onto others who don’t possess these “humane” qualities, especially people who hold positions of power.

There exists a type of human who has no connection to the higher centers of universal love/awareness by nature of a birth ‘defect’. He/she is simply not genetically wired to embody empathic kindness; while not being able to access these qualities in this lifetime, he/she still possesses the ability to emulate and mimic these higher characteristics quite well, and can even distract us from our personal evolution by sapping our energy and feeding off them.

This type of “human” is the psychopath (comprising about 6 % of humanity, most often found in positions of power), who is hiding behind a mask of sanity, creating misery and chaos which he/she “feeds of off”. It goes way beyond mere greed and the pursuit of power. Psychopaths have no neuro-biological capability to experience anything close to love, compassion and empathy.

It’s not a psychological disposition but a genetic one. This is a very misunderstood and ignored topic, especially since most psychopaths can appear as “normal” through their “mask of sanity“ deception. They are not necessarily criminals housed in prisons (nor the Hollywood version of the “crazy serial killer”), but can be CEO’s, politicians, spiritual leaders, husbands, wives, or the child or the neighbor next door. They can tell you exactly what you want to hear, and appear compassionate, empathetic and understanding…without meaning or feeling one bit of it. They’re also pathological liars who never feel any guilt or remorse.

Becoming aware of the topic of psychopathy and educating oneself and others about it is one of the most crucial and important actions we can undertake to make this world a better place. It’s one of the underlying reasons why our world is in the state it’s in: our governing systems are being designed by – and run by – psychopaths. It affects everyone, since our society has become “ponerized” (meaning that normal people – and society as a whole – have taken on pathological traits that are then seen as normal)…in other words, it is pathology normalized.

It ties in with the general atrophy of critical thinking skills, and thus the failure to recognize pathological individuals as they are. I’m not just talking about average mainstream public awareness, but especially with regards to spiritually-inclined people and “social justice warriors” who deny/ignore this topic (usually without having done any sincere research into it). It’s of no use to envision solutions and create new social systems that focus on environmental issues if this topic is not acknowledged and addressed, for the virus of psychopathy will destroy any conscious communities and utopian visions eventually. I’m not saying to avoid focusing on such solutions, but the illusion that ‘all humans are equal and the same’ needs to be shattered in order for true change to happen.

“One phenomenon all ponerogenic groups and associations have in common is the fact that their members lose (or have already lost) the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such, interpreting their behavior in fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic ways. When the habits of subconscious selection and substitution of thought-data spread to the macrosocial level, a society tends to develop contempt for factual criticism and to humiliate anyone sounding an alarm.”– Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology

“Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. The general public hasn’t been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison….Psychopaths have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: They are fast-talking, charming, self-assured, at ease in social situations, cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. The psychopath can actually put themselves inside your skin intellectually, not emotionally. They can tell what you’re thinking, in a sense, they can look at your body language, they listen to what you’re saying, but what they don’t really do is feel what you feel. What this allows them to do is to use the words to manipulate and con and interact with you, without the baggage of this ‘I really feel your pain.’ ”– Dr. Robert Hare, Without Conscience

More on that topic here: Psychopaths in Power – The Elephant in the Living RoomOrganic Portals – Soulless Humans

2. Government & Authoritarianism

Government is the most basic set up of what I call the Matrix Control System. It is entirely based on belief, no different than a religious belief. Government grants a few people rights and powers that the average person doesn’t have, and we gladly give our power away to authority in a blind show of faith that the powers that be will take care of us and make the best decisions for their citizens. For an overview of the dangers and illogical/illusory beliefs surrounding government/statism, I recommend watching this short video by Larken Rose: Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion .

The first step to truly heal the world (and the self) is to step into our own embodied sovereignty and stop giving our power away to authoritarian institutions, be they political, scientific, religious or spiritual in nature.

On the most basic level, you can only attain a personal expression of sovereign identity and true freedom if you don’t follow any external authority, nor let any external authority tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. By that definition, as long as we believe in government, we cannot be fully sovereign. In the final analysis, we are “citizens” of the earth, not of nations based on imaginary borders and illusory systems of government/national identification. No matter who is in charge or what system is being implemented, there has never been (nor will there ever be) a government that can bring true freedom to the individual/communities of individuals. Political systems and governments are not broken and don’t need “fixing” (as many people proclaim) – they are designed explicitly to be a means of social control/social engineering, and always have been.

It doesn’t matter what candidate or party or ‘system’ people support (left, right, middle, independent, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Progressive, Liberal, Conservative…whatever). These are all labels of identification based on an illusory idea, creating more division and separation between us.

However, we’ve been living under these political systems and governments for so long that we don’t even question them anymore, but accept them like a franchised international Stockholm Syndrome network, idealizing them whilst not seeing reality for what it is. We are so conditioned and programmed that we don’t even question the need of having “government” to begin with. Most people are afraid of the “chaos” that they believe would ensue if there were no government or authority to ‘lead’ them/“maintain control”, which is ultimately rooted in the fear of true freedom, taking responsibility and claiming our individual power, creativity and sovereignty.

It also shows how removed people are from nature, the Divine and the feminine aspect of consciousness. The belief in government is based on the isolated male aspect of consciousness that needs to control through rules, regulations, and punishment (if you don’t obey); it is disconnected from – and (unconsciously) afraid of – the Feminine frequency. For example, when you vote, you are literally giving permission to be ruled/governed. From a metaphysical perspective, it also keeps you enslaved via a choice made of your own free will (trap of agreement), regardless of your good-hearted intentions. Voting is like changing the tapestry in a prison cell, without ever breaking out of the prison…or (for most voters) not even realizing that one is in a prison at all.

More on that topic here: Politics, Sovereignty, and Embodiment

3. Hyperdimensional Realities

In my work, I write and talk extensively about the Hyperdimensional Matrix Control System (HMCS), i.e. the non-physical occult (hidden) hostile forces and their mechanisms which aim to keep us spiritually asleep. To recap this phenomenon in a nutshell: humanity is not on the top of the “food chain”, and humanity is not in control of its sovereign decisions on a ‘macro’ scale. The idea of “free will” is, in many aspects, an illusion. Most of what we see on the world stage is manipulated and designed to create this “food” frequency of scarcity-fueled fear and reactivity (suffering, drama, fear, chaos, externally projected negative emotions (hate, anger, anxiety), worship, idolizing, superstition, wars, conflict on a global scale and via interpersonal fighting)…to keep humanity in a frequency prison, governed by forces who operate outside of our five-sensory perception.

We’ve been cut off from our full DNA potential (original genetic blueprint before “the Fall”), locked into limited five-sensory perception, ego-consciousness, physical survival mode and habitual indulgences, keeping us on a lower fear-based frequency and disconnected from the deeper wisdom of our bodies (our inner “technology”) and our divinity within, our own inner authority and emancipated selves.

These forces work through us/others (including through the elite/controllers on a 3-D level, whom they use as portals/puppets to carry out their agenda) and distract us by projecting the shadows of separation consciousness onto the wall/world stage (divide & conquer) and official culture. “Government” (or any belief in external authority) is also an “archonic” creation; the perfect foundation to keep people stuck in an endless loop of conflict with each other, ensuring that we remain disempowered so as to produce all the “loosh” they require to keep well-fed.

“There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear emanating from human beings offer welcome food. When humans have no anxiety and fear, then these creatures starve. People not yet sufficiently convinced of this statement could understand it to be meant comparatively only. But for those who are familiar with this phenomenon, it is a reality. If fear and anxiety radiates from people and they break out in panic, then these creatures find welcome nutrition and they become more and more powerful. These beings are hostile towards humanity.

Everything that feeds on negative feelings, on anxiety, fear and superstition, despair or doubt, are in reality hostile forces in supersensible worlds, launching cruel attacks on human beings, while they are being fed. Therefore, it is above all necessary to begin with that the person who enters the spiritual world overcomes fear, feelings of helplessness, despair and anxiety. But these are exactly the feelings that belong to contemporary culture and materialism; because it estranges people from the spiritual world, it is especially suited to evoke hopelessness and fear of the unknown in people, thereby calling up the above mentioned hostile forces against them.”– Rudolf Steiner [Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, 1907]

However, this is a “concept” that is really hard for most people to grasp and accept, and is most often ridiculed and laughed off as “sci-fi”, “conspiracy nonsense” or “mental/psychological delusion” because it’s so far out their conditioned beliefs and view of life (a perspective that is inserted into our minds by the same “force”).  And yet, despite the cynical skepticism, all of the ancient mystery schools, true shamanic insights, and esoteric teachings (much of which have been suppressed and/or distorted over thousands of years for obvious reasons) have conveyed this truth for ‘the ones with eyes to see and ears to hear’, using their own language and symbolism, be it “The General Law” (Esoteric Christianity), Archons (Gnostics), “Lords of Destiny” (Hermeticism), Predator/Fliers – “The topic of all topics” (Shamanism, Castaneda), “The Evil Magician” (Gurdjieff), The Shaitans (Sufism), The Jinn (Arabian mythology), Wetiko (Native American Spirituality), Occult Hostile Forces (Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, The Integral Yoga), etc.

It is not a “fairy tale” nor “superstition”. Our entire (modern) civilization is heavily influenced by this “force” – an “alien” construct, so to speak- which we have been led to accept as arising from “human nature”… a condition wherein pathology has become normalized.

This Knowledge won’t be brought to us via TED, Oprah, The NY Bestseller list, mainstream “science” – let alone any politician – anytime soon. This is a deep and complex topic that challenges virtually everything we’ve ever believed in with regards to our history and human origin. From personal experience, many people tend to ridicule/judge – or have an “opinion” about – this topic without ever having sincerely researched it …and have also avoided delving into the sincere esoteric self-work required in order to perceive these forces directly, to “see the unseen” beyond appearances.

“[Look] at what happened in 1914 – or for that matter at all that is and has been happening in human history – the eye of the Yogin sees not only the outward events and persons and causes, but the enormous forces which precipitate them into action. If the men who fought were instruments in the hands of rulers and financiers, these in turn were mere puppets in the clutch of those hidden [hyperdimensional] forces.

When one is habituated to see the things behind, one is no longer prone to be touched by the outward aspects – or to expect any remedy from political, institutional or social changes; the only way out is through the descent of an [embodied] consciousness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater than they are.”– Sri Aurobindo, The Hidden Forces of Life – The Integral Yoga

More on that topic here: Timeline-Reality Split, Frequency Vibration and the Hidden Forces of LifeThe Matrix of Control – Beyond its 3D ManifestationHyperdimensional Manipulation and Anchoring a Higher FrequencyOccult Forces of Hyper-Dimensions: Entity Attachments and Interferences 

Embodiment, Individuality & Conscious Evolution 

As we wake up to the “horror of the situation” (as Gurdjieff described it) and realize the madness of the world – with sleeping people “dreaming to be awake”, as well as our own sleep state and conditioning – it can feel like we’re caught in a prison, and that analogy is correct in many ways. As a result of this “shock”, it can be natural at first to feel like a victim and blame the powers-that-be (the global elite on a 3D level, or their hyperdimensional puppeteers) for our situation. However, getting caught up in blame and victimhood is essentially a dis-empowering state that feeds the matrix. While the whole set-up feels like being in a prison, from a higher perspective, life on earth is a “school” for the evolution of consciousness, and all there is are essentially soul lessons.

The most important aspect to healing the world and the self is essentially about consciously engaging in the process of awakening and embodiment, establishing a conscious relationship to the Divine and our spiritual selves. The question of “God” and the Divine is a topic on its own, however, I’m not referring to any kind of religious “god” outside ourselves. I’m not a religious person and don’t follow any organized religion, nor am I an atheist, since I also don’t follow the church of scientism (which, in turn, doesn’t mean I dismiss science as a whole). The corruption of science – and how it has itself transformed into a dogmatic belief system – is also a topic unto itself.

When we talk about healing the world and healing the self, we are ultimately talking about awakening to our true nature (beyond the constructs of personality we identify ourselves with) and accessing the many layers of our conscious evolutionary design. This cannot be undertaken (or even understood) by the intellect alone. It is also a highly unique process that is different for each person, based upon his/her level of Being (soul embodiment) and the inherent lessons they are here to process on an individual level. There are over seven billion people on this planet, all of whom embody vast differences in terms (and levels) of consciousness, with wildly-dissimilar lessons to take on-board.

Hence, rather than trying to look for external solutions as a starting point, the work to be done starts first and foremost within ourselves.

In our disembodied society (where most people live in their heads, disconnected from their bodies, their Being, nature, and their own wholeness), people are fragmented inside. They approach the world (and their personal lives) in a “rationalized”, analytical, head-centric way, trying to “fix” the world while essentially projecting their own fragmentation onto their unbalanced surroundings, which is a mirror of their head-body split.

Hence, peoples’ “solutions” usually perpetuate this disconnection, as we fight “shadows on the wall” and create even more problems and fragmentations with our head-centric approach, despite our well-meaning intentions (whether they involve the world or our personal lives). This is the most basic set of the Matrix Control System, with occult forces (working through their human puppets in power) keeping us caught up in head-centric/fear-based ego-consciousness, disconnected from the intelligence and “technology” of our body as a conscious transducer/vessel for Divine Force.

This also ties into the compulsory need to “do” and “act”. Whether it be in our own daily lives, or whether it involves the role of “activists”, we have all been caught up at one time or another with this phenomenon. It usually involves a pressing need to “fight the system” / promote new “social solutions” / identify with a political party, movement/vote for someone who has the “answers” and can “fix the system”, all of which ties into the need for “authority” to save us which is a mirror of our own “supervisor/authority” in the head, telling us what we should/shouldn’t do.

We will not have any significant “positive” effect on the world as long as we approach the “problems” in the world from a disembodied fragmented place (a place which we are most often not even aware of because the head-body split has become so normalized within both ourselves and our society…a normalization that is heavily re-enforced with the rise of technology and all its distractions).

Having been disconnected from our body and the feminine aspect of Being (and essentially, from our own intuitive guidance system), we are being tricked into looking outside of ourselves for guidance, thus becoming followers rather than embodied sovereign individuals who remain connected to our guidance from within.

For example, a TRULY embodied politician would cease to be a politician, and would not attempt to run for office (the term “head of the state” says it all) or engage in this silly game of poly-tics. He/she would realize the madness of it all – the need to control with power, authority, rules, laws and regulations, borders, national identifications – all of which result in more and more fragmentation. All political “by-products” of the isolated head-centric male aspect (the “tyrant” within) are fundamentally disconnected from (and afraid of) the Feminine aspect of Being… they are divorced from the essential-ness of Nature and the Divine. There is no such thing as “conscious politics” or a “conscious politician”. It’s an oxymoron.

As long as we are not embodied (soul growth, connected to the Divine) – as long as we remain disconnected from Being (our own wholeness and divine nature) – our “solutions” and “doing” will come from the internal tyrant (which we project outwardly). This tyrant is the rampant male consciousness that is disconnected from the female within us all, regardless of gender. It is a fragment of the Self that needs to have fixed answers, needs to control, tries to predict the future (caught in linear time and 3-D thinking); it cannot surrender to “the flow”, nor even perceive the mystery, wholeness and perplexity of life and reality as it unfolds.

There is also spiritual sovereignty: this involves not giving away our power to a religious/spiritual “authority” – be it the church or any of the world religions, along with any priests, gurus or deities. Yes, there are benevolent spiritual forces (expressions of the One/Divine) “out there” that help and guide us, and we are not alone – but true positive higher forces know that we have to do the work ourselves in order for us to ignite our own spiritual evolutionary journey. We need to learn our lessons and become truly sovereign – to actualize our own unique expression of embodied soul potential in inter-relationship with all that is.

Spiritual sovereignty should not be mistaken for “independence” (which is the illusion of the male aspect of consciousness), but relates to being an individualized embodied soul who exists as a unique expression of the Divine (not identified with the personality of who we “think” we are), surrendering to the flow of Life (Tao) and letting go of the illusion of control.

In order to have a true shift in consciousness, we need to transcend (not to be mistaken with denial/avoidance) these old systems of control, rather than attempting to fix them; to achieve this goal, we are called to do the inner work involved in becoming truly embodied sovereign human beings. On a metaphysical level, this self-work has powerful effects on reality, as our gradual process of embodied being (not just through thoughts and emotions, as is proclaimed in the many distorted/superficial versions of New Age-y “You Create Your Own Reality” concepts) “co-creates a new existence” through the complimentary/parallel shift in arising frequency.

The old needs to “die” before the “new” can emerge. This outer process is no different from our own inner process when it comes to spiritual evolution, and it is not an easy process! It entails disillusionment, facing our shadows, and working through our wounds (which are most often unconscious, and which we have buffered up with addictions and modern-life distractions). It also entails embracing discomforting realizations; hence, most people avoid this effort and look outside for someone to “lead the way”, “fix it” or “save us”.

In other words, Being first, then Doing. The more we heal ourselves and work on ourselves, the more we are becoming aligned with Divine Will and a much bigger process from the viewpoint of the evolution of consciousness (which we have no control over, but need to surrender to). Then, out of this state of holistic Being, the “right” action, doing and “solutions” emerge – ones that are uniquely tuned to who we truly are as embodied Individuals. We stop fighting shadows on the wall, and cease projecting our own inner fragmentation on to the world.

This is not a call to embrace ignorance, nor to resort to becoming a “passive couch potato” (that would be ‘black or white’ fallacious thinking, another product of the head-centric tyrant within); it isn’t about escaping the world and retreating into a “cave”. On the contrary, this process will result in fully embracing and engaging with life on all levels. This process does not involve a denunciation of the intellect; rather, it’s about understanding its limitations, using it as a “tool” but not making it the “master”.

Essentially, this is about the sacred alchemical marriage of the male and female within, grounded in Being; a place from which both “answers” and “actions” arise that are not a product of pure analytical thought, but are in fact aligned with “Divine Will” and our INDIVIDUAL role and purpose. In this sacred marriage, doing and being become one, as there is no separation.

More on that topic here: The Perilous Path Towards Awakening

We are in the midst of a very powerful “Time of Transition”, as both the dark and the light are becoming more readily apprehended so as to allow us to transmute and integrate their energies. It holds tremendous potential for the collective to truly rise to a higher level of consciousness, and to heal ourselves and the world. It’s like a re-birth into a new world. But any birth (as any mother can attest) is challenging, painful, and beautiful, all at the same time.

Article republished here with permission from author Bernhard Guenther of veilofreaity.com.



Note: This is an essay I was asked to write for the Berlin Future Forum (BFF) which I had been invited to participate and speak at, October 25th – 29th, 2017. That year’s conference theme was “Healing the Self, Healing the World”.

The Berlin Future Forum (BFF) provides a generative field of creative dialogue for new thoughts and ideas to emerge. BFF is an effective innovation platform for transdisciplinary dialogues and discussions concerning the profound transformations that humanity is experiencing in the beginning of the 21st century and the newly emerging possibilities for creating a new kind of civilization. Actualization of a new possibility requires a new approach and a new method that is not of the past or the present but of and from the future. BFF is an exploratory experiment in the development and execution of such a new approach and method in the actualization of the emerging new possibilities.

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