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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 32: The Poet)

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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.

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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.”

32. The Poet

For days the poet had been diligent in getting the word out about his poetry reading. Yet when the time came, he stood on the stage in the village square looking at row upon row of empty seats. Only his friend the mason was in attendance, sitting patiently in the front row at the designated time.

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“Whenever you’re ready,” said the mason.

“Are you kidding? I’m not reading for just one person.”

“Why not?”

“And anyway, you don’t really appreciate my work. You’re just here as my friend.”

“Not at all, I think your poetry is great.”

“It’s brilliant, which is why people should be here to hear it!”

The poet looked out to the empty seats and then up to the sky. “Why have you made things happen this way? What did I do to deserve this?”

“Who are you talking to?” asked the mason.

“Whoever made nobody show up, the powers that be, the universe, whatever,” the poet said. “You’re the one who keeps talking about how the universe responds to our desires, how whatever happens is exactly what we ask for.”

“Yes.”

“So what about this?” the poet asked as he sat down brusquely on the front edge of the stage. “I create some great poetry and the universe responds by creating an empty audience.”

The mason approached him and said calmly, “Perhaps it’s the universe that created some great poetry and you responded by creating an empty audience.”

“Shut up!” said the annoyed poet. He banged his fist continuously on the hollow floorboards of the stage, reverberating out the sound of his frustration. The mason was unmoved, and maintained his calm demeanor.

The poet sat pensive for a few minutes, and slowly a change came over him. His face softened and his eyes welled up slightly. He leaned over and put his hand on the mason’s shoulder. “Could you go back to your seat?”

“Sure. Why?”

The poet took a deep breath and rose to his feet. “I’d like to read you some beautiful poetry.”

I first heard about the idea that ‘we create our own reality’ from Jane Roberts’ book Seth Speaks, which my father had passed on to me when I was still a teenager. While the concept of conscious creation aroused my curiosity, there were very few people in my social circles interested in talking with me about it at the time. Fortunately, this has changed in recent years. These days, this fabled secret of life seems to be coming up more and more in my conversations with friends as well as with strangers. Most people I talk to now have either read about it, seen a film about it, or at least have heard the buzz around it. It has been exciting to see the subject of conscious creation begin to get widespread attention.

At first blush the concept of conscious creation seems simple enough. We take a desire (i.e. ‘I want more money in my life’), put it in the form of an intention (‘I will have more money in my life’), and if we focus on this intention with every fiber of our being then it cannot help but come true. When I first caught on to the idea I became excited by the possibility of having money come flooding into my life from the comfort of my living room sofa. I sat by myself at a certain time in the morning on several consecutive days and followed a particular set of guidelines that were supposed to announce my intention to the universe that I was ready to receive abundance.

I believed what I had read to that point about the power of intention, and I thought my will-power and discipline would see me the rest of the way. I was quite enthusiastic the first day or two, but soon I could feel it waning. Try as I might to think positively while going through the exercise, some inner uncertainty slowly crept in. By the end of the week I was sitting there, arms crossed, waiting for the universe to prove itself. This was suddenly no fun at all. Amidst my growing doubts the task became more loathsome until thankfully I gave up.

But that was not the worst part. The worst part was that I was turned off of the whole process, and blamed myself for my lack of success. I must not have tried hard enough, I thought, or didn’t focus enough, or wasn’t patient enough. Whatever the case, the experience left me feeling more disempowered than when I started, and for a long time I was reluctant to revisit the process of conscious creation simply because I didn’t want to go through the self-recrimination again.

Although this experience was difficult, it was important for me to see it as a necessary part of the learning curve. As we collectively get swept up in the buzz of excitement around conscious creation, my concern is that many of us will get stuck in this type of disillusionment and self-blame and will give up. It’s a symptom of our modus operandi, to seek instant gratification, to want to be given a set of action steps that we can follow mechanically to our destination.

Certainly there are those out there willing to accommodate this habit, busy at work packaging the idea of conscious creation for mass consumption, tempting us with the promise of riches and fulfillment if we follow a particular recipe for success. However when the process of conscious creation is getting sold as an off-the-shelf, stand-alone product without being part of the larger human pursuit of self-awareness, I have only two words: buyer beware.

The ability to consistently manifest what we desire is inextricably linked to our personal growth. If we are to make any real progress bringing things that we truly want into our lives, it actually requires us to take an honest look inside and begin to heal and transform our darkness.

I have come to experience that an essential ingredient to conscious creation is being aware of where we are coming from. In my early attempt to manifest money I was coming from fear, from scarcity and lack, from the type of thinking about money that my parents had. If we are coming from fear rather than love, from our Ego Self rather than our Dao Self, then our desire is imprinted with a skepticism about the connectedness of all things, and housed in doubt about the possibility of conscious creation itself because Ego Self desires do not have roots in the source of creation.

Remember the Ego Self is all about control, and if we try to control the process of conscious creation we will become even more disconnected from it. Control may work to a certain extent in the physical domain, where tactics such as intimidation and force have a certain amount of power over people and the environment. However in the realm of conscious creation the desire to control is useless. And so there is no real way to consider conscious creation until we are first able to move into, and come from, our Dao Self.

The process of moving into our Dao Self for the purposes of conscious creation is described in a powerful way in an important work on the teachings of Abraham, Ask and it is Given.[1] Abraham introduces the quantum-physical perspective that we are vibrational beings,[2] and we live along a scale or continuum between low and high vibrations. The higher our vibration, the more we are allowing our connection to source energy, or, in my language, the more we are coming from our Dao Self. The lower our vibration, the more we are inhibiting source energy, or the more we are coming from our Ego Self.

Abraham makes the distinction that our emotions are no more than indicators that reveal our current level of vibration. At the highest levels of vibration we find pure Love, and at the lowest levels of vibration we find pure Fear. Every other emotion in-between reflects its own relative level of vibration. The revelation is that when we want to feel better we can focus on raising our vibration rather than changing our emotion, for as we raise our level of vibration, our emotion—the way we feel—will naturally be raised. And as our feelings are raised, so then do we become more capable of conscious creation. Here is an example of this continuum of emotions relating to levels of vibration.[3]

Love [highest vibration]

|

joy

|

optimism

|

contentment

|

boredom

|

worry

|

anger

|

despair

|

Fear [Lowest vibration]

Abraham notes that we can change our level of vibration by changing our thoughts. Our thoughts are creative, whether we are aware of it or not. When we are not aware of our thinking, then whenever we are coming from a lower vibration, our Ego Self, we are creating things we don’t want—like when we’re afraid of something, it is often more likely to happen to us. The thing about conscious creation is that we can create the things that we want, that we would love to have in our lives, if we learn how to move up the vibrational scale. And we can use our feelings as indicators, successively choosing the thoughts that feel better than the ones we have been thinking, so that we can slowly but surely move up the scale.

So the key to this all is to think better thoughts. But this may not be as easy as it seems, for underneath the thoughts we are aware of there are deep unconscious core beliefs, the kind of long-standing, solid thoughts that seem imbedded into our very essence. My intention to bring money into my life was squelched by limiting core beliefs. While I had learned some important lessons from my parents around money, there were still remnants in me of their scarcity thinking, their belief that abundance was limited, that there wasn’t enough for everyone, and that we have to scrimp and save to have enough money to live well.

In a way, this is part of the reason that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Being brought up in an environment of abundance tends to reinforce the idea that there is abundance in the universe, while being brought up in an environment of poverty and lack will have the opposite effect. Even though I believed, intellectually, in the power to manifest through intention, there was a much deeper core belief at work, telling me that when it comes to abundance, I could not bring it into my life effortlessly.

For any intention to work, we need to be able to transcend the limiting beliefs that contradict it. These limiting beliefs are grounded in fear. They are the brick and mortar of our personal darkness. To a large extent, what shows up every day in our lives manifests directly from these beliefs.

I experienced something a few years ago that began to show me the power I had. I was mentioning to my life coach that I hadn’t been feeling at my best lately, which for me meant I wasn’t feeling inspired, alive, and motivated. She suggested that I wake up the next morning and act as if I felt inspired, alive, and motivated, so that eventually I will start to believe it’s actually true. It sounded like a novel idea—I am very much enamored with the craft of acting—so I took it on as a challenge. I started the next day, and made all attempts to have the external appearance to my wife and others that I felt inspired, alive, and motivated. It seemed very awkward at first, but by midday, I was starting to feel the way I had been pretending to feel. The next day was the same. The third day, it was even easier. The shift from acting to really feeling it was occurring faster. I was truly inspiring and motivating myself.

Now I must make a very sharp distinction between this kind of acting and actually being fake and inauthentic. Here is the key: If you are acting for the purpose of altering your limiting beliefs so that you can make the internal shift to become who you want to be, then it is an authentic act of creation. It is an act of courage and it will strengthen you inside. It is the stuff of heroes, sponsored by love. If you are acting for the purpose of fooling and convincing others that you really feel that way, with no conscious intention to shift your internal belief, then it is being inauthentic. It is the stuff of charlatans, sponsored by fear.

A life well lived is one in which we are consciously acting—as the person we want to become, as that highest vision of ourselves that we know we can be. If we let how we feel dictate how we will act, then we will always be at the whim of circumstances, we will be reactive. The greatest gift bestowed upon us as human beings is that we can always choose to be creative.

For me, I realized that bringing money into my life meant having fun with acting rich. This entailed being more generous, not worrying about what’s on sale where but just buying what I need and not putting off what I want to do on the basis of cost alone. Now remember that to be authentic, this all has to be done with the intention of changing my limiting beliefs around money. And it feels great. These days my wife and I have absolutely no worries about money. We are growing in confidence that when we need it, it will come into our lives. Now as I write this we are in debt, and by no means am I ignoring that fact. But from my practice of acting rich over the past few years the truth of the abundance of the universe is sinking in and evidencing itself. I now have what money cannot buy—an empowering belief about money.

Over the past number of years, I have slowly cultivated a core belief in the overall beneficence of the universe, not just around money but all things. As a result, my life has seen more and more moments of freedom, joy and peace. Today I am not even trying to manifest money—I have the confidence that it will come as I need it for the fulfillment of my deeper dreams. There is a certain flow to my life, founded in an ever-growing trust in the source of creation and my ability to tap into it.

In a provocative movie that explores the basis for conscious creation in quantum physics entitled What the Bleep Do We Know, I was moved by a profound description of this process by Dr. Joseph Dispenza:

I wake up in the morning, and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen. Now sometimes, because my mind is examining all the things that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit to settle down, and get to the point of where I’m actually intentionally creating my day. But here’s the thing. When I create my day, and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net in my brain, that I accept that that’s possible. Gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day.

So, if we’re consciously designing our destiny, if we’re consciously, from a spiritual standpoint, throwing in the idea that our thoughts can affect our reality or affect our life—because reality equals life—then I have this little pact that I have when I create my day. I say, “I’m taking this time to create my day, and I’m infecting the Quantum Field.” Now, if it is in fact the observer watching me the whole time that I’m doing this, and there is a spiritual aspect to myself, then “show me a sign today that you paid attention to any one of these things that I created, and bring them in a way that I won’t expect, so I’m as surprised as the [dickens] at my ability to be able to experience these things, and make it so that I have no doubt that it’s come from you.”

There is a very fine line that we need to walk if we want to be conscious creators. We need to have utter confidence that we can create experiences that seem to manifest from outside of us, where the causal link tends to be hidden. We need to feel that we are somehow in control of what happens in our life and yet we have surrendered control to our higher self. This is only possible in a complex consciousness, where the Ego Self and the Dao Self are aligned, where the Ego Self serves as the vehicle of the experience and the Dao Self is the source of the experience. As dual beings, we experience a balance of active participation and patient observation of the process. We need to have a deep sense of trust and connectedness to what Dispenza calls the observer, the Dao, the One from which all of creation springs. Another way of saying this is that we have to be coming from our Dao Self, from Love, from an authentic sense of unity and connectedness.

And this is what is often missed: if we need to be coming from our Dao Self in order to manifest our desires, then those desires themselves will be coming from Love. The desires that come from our Ego Self are counterfeit desires, founded in ignorance and Fear, leading us to greater alienation and opposition to others.

This is not a moral imperative concerning which desires we should try to manifest. It is just the way the whole thing works. The only thing we are likely to manifest coming from Fear is more of what we fear: scarcity, lack, isolation. But this doesn’t mean we need to abandon our individual goals and focus only on communal goals. Not at all. As we increase our self-awareness we will recognize that our authentic individual goals are aligned with our universal goals because they are the same goals. Our individual purpose is aligned with our universal purpose because they are part of the same purpose. What gives us the greatest joy and bliss and rapture in our lives is ipso facto what the universe ‘wants’ us to pursue as well.

If our darkness is the sum of our limiting beliefs, then healing moves us towards experiencing ourselves as unlimited. This is the flow into our most worthwhile experiences, our move from ignorance to enlightenment, the evolution of our consciousness. It is the careful and constant refining and refitting of the mask that is our Ego Self, so that we can see ever more clearly through the eyeholes that we are the creator of everything we see.

Conscious creation, while not yet a major part of my life, is no longer the source of self-judgment it was the first time I tried it. Rather than focusing on the heaviness of control and predictability, I am noticing my desires being fulfilled in ways that restore my sense of surprise, wonder and enchantment with life. It has been a slow trial-and-error process of gaining the confidence that we can relate to the source of creation in a deliberate but still mysterious way. I have done much reading, experimenting, reflecting, and, perhaps most beneficially, I have gotten together with like-minded people to discuss successes and failures, insights and questions around conscious creation. In recent years, I have witnessed the spontaneous emergence of intention work groups and energy discussion groups all around me. I have felt the enthusiasm grow as the possibilities for our lives become better articulated. Enhancing our ability to create our lives and our world in the image of our highest visions is our reason for coming here, and one of the most important frontiers of the new conversation going forward.

[1] The material in this book actually comes from a non-physical entity named Abraham channeled through Esther Hicks and complied by her husband Jerry Hicks. In the time remaining in our conversation I will only be able to give the most cursory of references to this book, and would highly recommend it to those interested in a profound elaboration on conscious creation.
[2] As vibrational beings we are governed by the Law of Attraction, which states ‘that which is like unto itself is drawn.’ The idea is that we are always attracting into our lives, manifesting, those objects and events to which we have a vibrational match.
[3] There is no definitive list, as different words describing emotions mean different things to different people. Still, this small sample reflects the idea of being able to step up a continuum from negative to positive emotions.

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Consciousness

How I Obtained A Conscientious Exemption From Mask-Wearing At School For My Child

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    I was able to obtain a conscientious exemption from mask-wearing in public school for my 6-year old son.

  • Reflect On:

    Will these Covid measures and the incoming promise of mandatory vaccines serve to push a critical mass of humanity to learn about, and ultimately stand up for, their natural and innate freedom of choice?

I have studied the principles of natural law, and I am clear that the inherent freedom of choice of every individual is the ultimate foundation of life on Earth. How these principles became the basis for real-world action occurred when I heard that my school board had decided, quite of their own accord, while professing to be ‘following the direction’ of the public health office of a neighboring district, that children in grades 1-3 in their schools would also be required to wear masks in school.

I will give you the whole story of my quest for a conscientious exemption from mask-wearing for my son as I am not entirely sure which of my actions actually turned the result in my favor. I do this to empower everyone with a full understanding of what we are dealing with in terms of school mask mandates and the manner in which school boards are trying to implement them. I am in Ontario, Canada so things might be different in different countries, but I believe that the ultimate application of natural law and our natural freedom of choice can and should be pursued anywhere in the world.

My journey began with an internet search of my school board, a phone number of the communications office which undersigned the announcement of the mandate, and my phone call to that office asking how I would apply for a conscientious exemption. Through voice mail the officer said I should be in touch with the principal, who said I should be in touch with the superintendent, who said I should speak to the trustee, who said I should go back to the superintendent. This is a process that went on for two weeks and ultimately gets us to the first day of school and this letter I sent to all the trustees who, it seemed to me, made up the school board and hence collectively made the ultimate decision that was affecting me.

My Letter to the Trustees

Dear Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board Trustees,

Here it is, Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, the day that DPCDSB schools open, and I have not received the information I need to make an informed decision on whether or not I should send my son to school. He is slated to begin the Grade 1 French Immersion program at St. Pio de Pietrelcina.

After initially voicing my concerns about mandatory masking and applying for an exemption on conscientious grounds to a school board representative I was directed to the principal of St. Pio de Pietrelcina. She was polite and took my concerns seriously, but said that she had no latitude to make any decisions on exemptions on conscientious grounds. She suggested I speak to the superintendant.

I spoke first to the superintendant’s assistant, who was polite and took my concerns seriously, and said I would have to speak to the superintendant.

I spoke to the superintendant, who was polite and took my concerns seriously, but said that they had not received any ‘direction’ from health officials about qualification for medical exemptions. When I reiterated the point that I am seeking a conscientious, and not a medical exemption, she said that I should talk to the trustee for my school’s area.

I spoke to the trustee, who was polite and took my concerns seriously, but didn’t feel he was in any position to advance my cause. He referred me back to the superintendant, who, according to him, would contact me to let me know how I can make my request for an exemption to the school board.

I understand that these are trying times and things are changing rapidly, but I still believe you would agree that I’m getting the runaround. And the school year has already started.

So I will simply make my case in this letter, and I hope this letter will be able to cut through the bureaucracy and be read by all DPCDSB trustees, to whom it is addressed. I am requesting an official response undersigned by at least a majority of the school board members, who are directly responsible for the fact that, at present, my son is being forced to wear a mask at school in order to receive a public education.

Request for a Conscientious Exemption for my son from wearing a mask in school  

My fervent belief is that all directives related to ‘mandatory’ mask wearing in Canada are illegal and infringe on the rights of individual Canadians, based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

However, in this letter I will speak specifically to my son’s case. At present, the DPCDSB has decided to unilaterally mandate mask-wearing for Grade 1 students (this particular decision was not imposed upon them by Peel Public Health). And so my son, who is supposed to begin the Grade 1 French Immersion program at St. Pio de Pietrelcina in a few days, is being forced to wear a mask in order to get a public education.

I will cite a small portion of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and explain how it applies in this case:

1.      The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

2.       Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

I believe that forcing my 6-year old son to wear a mask may cause psychological and physical harm to him. Therefore, as his legal guardian, I cannot in good conscience allow this to happen. In mandating mask-wearing for my son, you violate my freedom of conscience as well as my son’s freedom of conscience, as he does not want to wear a mask.

Two more points, while not essential to my argument, serve to highlight my belief that the decision by the DPCDSB to mandate masks for young children in school shows an egregious lack of responsibility and concern for the health and well-being of the children who have been entrusted under their care:

1.       There is NO science, meaning no randomized control trials, which suggest that wearing a mask might have any impact in reducing the spread of a virus. In fact, any studies investigating the ability of masks to stop the spread of a virus have concluded that masks are not effective at all in this regard. (source) Mask mandates are based on the ‘opinions’ of Public Health Officers (political appointees) that ‘mask-wearing may have benefits’, opinions which are not grounded in the science.

2.       The statistics, which clearly show that low infectivity rates and a virtually zero mortality rate among children, would suggest that what would really be in the best interest of children’s health and well-being would be a normal return to school, without masks, distancing, cohorting, sanitizing, and any other measures. This has been the belief of many researchers and scientists in that very field of study whose views have been suppressed or marginalized in the media.

In other words, going back to section 1 of the Charter, I do not believe these measures have been ‘demonstrably justified.’

That being said, the main point of this letter is to get an answer to my request that my son be permitted to attend school without a mask, based on my conscientious objection. If denied, my son will not be going to school and I will begin to consider notices of liability to those on the DPCDSB responsible for implementing policy, who in my opinion have far overstepped their authority in attempting to enforce mandatory masking in their schools, especially for students in Grades 1-3 which was not imposed upon them by Peel Public Health and was a unilateral decision.

Thank you,

Richard Enos

The Response

Now it becomes interesting, when you are going about the business of standing up for your inherent rights, to wonder what drives otherwise busy and difficult-to-reach people into responding and suddenly having answers.

It was either the same day or the next morning that the vice-principal of the school contacted me and told me he was going to send the exemption form to me and that I should fill it out. I made it clear to him that I was requesting a conscientious and not a medical exemption, and he told me that I should fill it out nonetheless so that the school authority would have on record exactly what kind of exemption I am seeking, and I agreed I would do so.

Meanwhile, one of the trustees forwarded my email to the school board’s director of education, saying that this would end the ‘runaround’ I had been experiencing. And sure enough, the director of education sent me an email the same day, saying the following:

I am aware that the school has recently reached out to you to provide you with the documentation required to request an exemption. Given that you have identified the adverse negative psychological impact of wearing a mask on your child, I would encourage you to request an exemption.

Now I was intrigued by the phrasing ‘you have identified the adverse negative psychological impact…’ given that all I said was that I believed wearing a mask ‘may cause psychological and physical harm to him.’ So in essence, she reframes my conscientious exemption as a medical exemption.

I nonetheless filled out my exemption form, being as explicit as I possibly could that I was filing a conscientious objection. In fact, reading it, I don’t think that anyone can confuse this with a ‘medical’ exemption (the part I wrote is in bold and italics).

My Exemption Request

MASK ACCOMMODATION/EXEMPTION REQUEST FORM

I am requesting an exemption for my child from wearing a non-medical face mask while at school, (which includes indoor during the school day, transportation and in any before and after school program for the following reason(s):

REASON

I believe wearing a mask is potentially harmful to my son’s psychological and physical health. I cannot in good conscience allow my son to be required to wear a mask while in school. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms indicates the following:

  1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
  2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: a) freedom of conscience and religion;

Based on the current science and current statistics I have researched (I do not include them here but would be willing to provide them if requested), I contend that mandating mask-wearing for children in school has not been ‘demonstrably justified,’ thereby liberating me to act in good conscience and demand that my son be exempt from having to wear a mask while in school.

ⅅ I have attached supporting documentation (please note that medical documentation is not required)

The Response

I sent the document and reminded the vice-principal in my email that my son would not be attending school until this exemption had been confirmed.

Lo and behold, this message from the school was in my inbox the next morning:

Hello

Kellen’s mask exemption has been approved.

His first day back at school will be Monday September 14th 2020

But this is not the end of the story. I found this email to be oddly informal for a matter of such obvious importance to me. It was not undersigned by anyone, only the school signature was underneath, and there was no signed copy of the exemption form attached, which on the second page had checkboxes indicating who had been informed of my son’s exemption (teacher, bus driver, librarian, etc.)

This was Wednesday, September 9th, and because of staggered entry my son was only to start the following Monday, having already missed his orientation day. I immediately sent a reply stating that I wanted to know who actually sent me the email, and who had approved the exemption. By Monday I had not heard back from the school, and consequently I kept my son home. The school called and left a message inquiring about my son’s absence. In response, I wrote a rather sharply-worded email explaining that I will not be sending my son to school until my questions were answered.

I received a phone call a few hours later from a very agitated principal. I got her to say that the email was ‘from the school,’ and therefore, yes, ‘from her’. As to who approved the exemption, she said she didn’t know. She said she sent the exemption form to the superintendent and was later sent a curt email that the exemption had been ‘approved’. That’s all she knew. She was not at all happy with the general lack of information she was receiving from the school board. I did my best to help bring a conciliatory tone to the conversation and noted that it seemed like the principal was more a victim than a cause of this confusion.

And so I was left to assume that the Director of Education must have approved the exemption, since the Superintendent told me that she herself didn’t have the power to approve an exemption based on conscience. I sent an email to the Director of Education, demanding to know who had approved my son’s exemption. You wouldn’t believe what her answer was:

I regret the experience you are having regarding your request for a mask exemption.  The principal is the individual who has the authority to approve a mask exemption.  That said, it is ultimately my responsibility to ensure principals have all the necessary information to carry out the responsibilities we task them with.  I will continue to work to ensure that our principals have a fulsome understanding of the process and support them in implementation.

Where I am at Now

This email was the final nail in the coffin for me. I spoke with my wife and we both agreed that we didn’t feel comfortable having my son in an institution that demonstrated such a lack of accountability from top to bottom. We have pulled our son out of public school and have begun homeschooling him. However, I know this is not an option for many, especially for those whose children indicate that they want to go to school and see their friends. So this article is more for those parents, to come to an understanding of what they are dealing with and what their rights are.

The way I see it, these bureaucrats are all part of a top-down control structure, from the Ministry of Education through the public health offices, and down through the school boards’ director of education, trustees, superintendents, and principals. One of the necessary qualifications for these jobs is a willingness to take and implement orders from above, rather than asserting critical and independent thought. At all levels people know that opposing directives from above based on their independent thought would likely mean termination.

Consequently, I see these people are acting (and reacting) from the state of fear that they have been subjected to. I’m not really interested in continuing to investigate these people to try to figure out who is lying and who might be liable for damages. My experience confirms for me the reality that this whole interlocked, top-down system of education, as with other systems under government control, has a clear and specific agenda to augment their control and to willingly deceive people about their rights and freedoms protected by the charter.

The way they are doing it is by forcing those lower down the ladder to actually assume the legal responsibility for enacting and enforcing these measures, without giving those people any choice as to whether or not they actually believe it is good to implement them. Speaking to all levels of the school board was an exercise in a perpetual ‘passing of the buck’ where I could not find a single person willing to stand behind or take ownership of any of these mandates or the justification for them.

The good news here is that this is a situation ripe for all individuals, and particularly parents of young children, to exercise their rights of conscience and request (read: demand) a conscientious exemption from mask-wearing for their child. Of course it requires courage and persistence, and perhaps even a willingness to keep their child out of school as I did until the matter is resolved. But if you feel within you a burning desire to stand up for your rights under these circumstances, I hope my story has helped to equip you to do just that.

This article was originally published on my own website daocoaching.com.

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Consciousness

It’s Time Children & Teachers Learn About The Power of Emotional Intelligence

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Human emotions effect our physiology, state of mind as well as others around us. Modern day education does not teach children about the importance of emotion and how to regulate and deal with it.

  • Reflect On:

    How are children supposed to be mentally 'fit' as adults if they are not taught how to deal with the various emotions they experience throughout childhood?

What exactly is education? Today, many view it as an opportunity to learn, thrive, and excel in the world. Others see it as a necessary step toward obtaining a piece of paper that ensures one’s entrance into the professional world. Regardless of your take on it, however, one thing is certain: From a very early age we are forced into a system that demands our presence and attention for hours a day and for years of our life. Each child is required to learn an accepted version of reality in order to fit into the specific mould desired by the elite. Just like television, a large part of school is simply programming, and we don’t really learn much about the world — or ourselves.

Perhaps this is why Mark Twain said, “I have never let me education interfere with my intelligence,” or why Einstein told the world to “never confuse education with intelligence,” and that “education is what remains after one has forgotten one has learned in school.” 

School these days seems less about learning and more about rote memorization. Are we critically thinking enough, or questioning enough? Or are we simply being bred to become robots, all of us entering into the same human experience, “educating” ourselves in order to further perpetuate a broken system? We learn concepts and ideas that fit within the current paradigm and structure of society, but not about how to care for ourselves and become well-adjusted adults. Are we really being educated? Or simply groomed to become ‘good’ consumers?

“I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Another problem with the current education model, as pointed out by world renowned education and creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, is that it was designed and conceived for a different age. Today, new information and discoveries are constantly emerging in all fields, questioning what we once thought we knew, and that includes how people learn. Unfortunately, unless you have an amazing teacher who is passionate about our world and new information, children suffer in this system.

In fact, prior to the late 1800s, education was a private practice that took place in private institutions or through home schooling. That all changed in 1902 when John D. Rockefeller created the General Education Board in conjunction with Frederick T. Gates, a close friend and business and personal advisor. The General Education Board was responsible for funding the American public school system, and provided over 100 million dollars in 1902 while continuing their support beyond 1902. If we follow the money, it becomes clear the general education board was responsible for the creation of the American public school system. Does education not play a large role in manipulating the consciousness of human beings?

“Knowledge has to come from somewhere, and that can’t be a classroom.”

Edward Snowden

Emotions in School

School is an experience primarily comprised of learning information — rarely questioning it, but rather taking it in as fact. While we learn about many subjects, very few of them have any real impact on our lives. There are absolutely no classes dealing with human emotions, for instance.

According to sociologist Thomas Scheff, a big supporter of emotional education from the University of California, many Western societies simply view emotions as an indulgence or a distraction, and less important than other things. And he’s right — we are often taught to bury our emotions so we can be more productive, and we are made to feel as though our emotions are not as relevant or important; they always seem to come secondary, if at all, especially within an educational setting. Scheff, among many others, believes that emotions provide valuable information, and yet we are taught not to listen to them. “Just as dangerous,” Scheff said, “is the practice of hiding one emotion behind another.” He has found that “men, in particular, tend to hide feelings of shame under anger, aggression and, far too often, violence.”

Many of the issues and problems that arise in our lives stem from the fact that we really have no idea how to process or address our emotions. As a result of this lack in our education, a child who has not paid any attention to their emotional body develops bad habits and behaviours to compensate, until they learn how to properly process their emotions, if they ever do.

How Do We Go About Doing This?

The good thing about teaching emotions is, they can be implemented into any class and any grade. For example, if you were trying to teach emotions in a class with a number of kids who are about to graduate high school, a great starting point might be to illustrate just how much of an effect emotions can have, not just on a mental level, where unresolved emotions lead to negative action, but on a physical level as well.  The Institute of Noetic Sciences is doing some great work in this area, creating more awareness about non-material science and how our thoughts/emotions have an observable effect on physical material reality. The mind-body connection is truly powerful, and we should be teaching people how to harness that power.

An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology, and training teach people to rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with that of their minds at home, school, work, and play. They’ve discovered that emotional information is “actually coded and modulated” into the magnetic field that surrounds all living things.

As HeartMath Director of Research Dr. Rolin McCratey tells us, “By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.”

All of these facts, published researched papers, and more can be accessed at heartmath.org.

Related CE Article: What Science is Telling us About The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence

One the most popular programs to begin teaching emotions was developed in 2005 by Marc Brackett, David Caruso, and Robin Stern of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

It’s called RULER.

“The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. The Center conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence.” 

It’s currently being used in more than 1,000 schools in the U.S., implemented for grades k-8.

The name, RULER, is an acronym for its five goals: recognizing emotions in oneself and others; understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; labelling emotional experiences with an accurate and diverse vocabulary; and expressing and regulating emotions in ways that promote growth.

What Exactly Are the Kids Taught? 

RULER teachers kids to to focus on the underlying theme of an emotion they are experiencing rather than wasting energy trying to define it precisely. Grace Rubenstein from Ted.Ideas reports:

When an emotion grips you, explains Stern, understanding its thematic contours can help “name it to tame it.” Even though anger is experienced differently by different people, she explains, “the theme underlying anger is the same. It’s injustice or unfairness. The theme that underlies disappointment is an unmet expectation. The theme that underlies frustration is feeling blocked on your way to a goal. Pinning down the theme can “help a person be seen and understood and met where she is,” says Stern.

Just taking the time to contemplate an emotion when you feel it, and think about why it might be arising, is critical for emotional health. Typing these words here and now, I still find it unbelievable that we have chosen not to deal with such an important aspect of what it means to be a human being. Emotions are something all of us experience, yet we have no guidelines or advice on what we’re supposed to do with them.

Rubenstein offers an example of how RULER functions in the classroom:

RULER’s lessons are woven into all classes and subjects. So, for example, if “elated’ is the emotional vocabulary word under discussion, a teacher would ask students in an American history class to link “elated” to the voyage of Lewis and Clark. Instruction reaches beyond the classroom, too; kids are prompted to talk with their parents or caregivers about when they last felt elated. Researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has found RULER schools tend to see less-frequent bullying, lower anxiety and depression, more student leadership and higher grades. So why isn’t emotional education the norm rather than the exception?

Emotions are something all of us experience, all the time, every single day. They can be confusing, and hard to navigate, especially when they’re negative. By including emotional education into the school system, I believe future generations would be far less depressed, angry, and confused. They would be better equipped to handle difficult situations in their lives, and find it much easier to express their feelings in a healthy, productive way.

There’s still a long way to go when it comes to understanding human emotions, and how to teach/discuss them in the classroom at different grade levels, but RULER is an amazing step in the right direction and I hope we see more programs like this being developed in the future.

 

 

 

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Consciousness

A Spiritual Perspective On Smoking Cannabis: An Important Viewpoint To Consider

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Sadhguru shares his perspective on smoking marijuana and why it's not truly needed to achieve the feeling one may receive to do it.

  • Reflect On:

    I'm not saying there isn't medicinal value and that we should outlaw this plant, I'm saying we have a very large societal challenge, just like with alcohol, where we are not facing our inner challenges and are using substances to cover them up.

I was having a conversation yesterday about something that has always been a reflection point for me. Since I was a kid, I was never drawn to substances, even alcohol. I always felt great, high even, when just being.

As I got older and I finally tried cannabis for the first time, and then a few more times after that as years went on, I started to realize it actually brought my state of being and clarity down. The tough part was trying to explain that to others when having conversations about how these substances don’t produce a true experience of higher consciousness, but more so give you a glimpse in a sense.

Before we go on, I want to bring something up. The challenge with this topic is that we tend to get very emotional and rigid about it. Not only that, but we aggressively try to lump people into FOR or AGAINST cannabis. I’m not here to do that. I’m simply creating a reflection point as my desire is to help shift consciousness and empower us within to create a world where we can truly thrive. So for a moment, set aside your own hard coded beliefs and just be open to what this article is shining light on.

Societal Cannabis Culture

For the most part society either breaks down into people who judge cannabis as a drug that is for ‘stoners’ and are very against it. These people tend to believe there are no positives to cannabis. On the flip side are the people who feel cannabis is an amazing wonder plant that can do no wrong, and that the “highs” it provides expand the mind and we experience peace.

The truth is, cannabis has good aspects and not so good aspects to it. And while the positives can be really helpful for a very small subset of people on this planet, smoking it is one of the worst ways to use cannabis health wise. Not only that, society is using its medical benefits to turn attention away from the addiction many users have to it. This is a tough pill to swallow and makes many people aggressive and angry when I bring it up, but it’s true. In a big way, but not all the time, we are using cannabis as a society to help cope with feelings deep down that we want to shut off or hide from. As a note, we are also using food, TV and other things in the same way, but right now I want to focus on this reflection.

Cannabis can assist people with autism, people who have seizures, and in some cases it may have helped people cure cancer. There are benefits that can come from this plant being used in a proper medicinal way, but we must remember to look at the downsides that come from regular cannabis use that many simply don’t want to acknowledge.

A Note On Legalization

First off, I do not believe the plant ever needed to be illegal to begin with. In fact I’ve done much research on how it became illegal and it really had more to do with protecting an industry more than anything else.

That said, there is something to consider here that many of us aren’t looking at too clearly when it comes to what legalization really means. It means that powerful people are going to be the ones who profit most from it, that’s why it’s becoming legal. Not only that, but the reason it is taking so long is so they can get in place the many aspects required to make sure they achieve what they want: stripping medicinal aspects out of the plant profiles, controlling the seeds, and ultimately feeding society cannabis focused solely on creating a THC based ‘high’. This is no different than controlling alcohol and feeding it to society in the ways we currently do.

The cannabis industry is worth over $40 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crop in the U.S. after corn. As stated in a powerful article by GQ, “And even though weed is still federally forbidden, it sounded like whoever was behind BioTech Institute had spent the past several years surreptitiously maneuvering to grab every marijuana farmer, vendor, and scientist in the country by the balls, so that once the drug became legal, all they’d have to do to collect payment is squeeze.”

Humans should be able to make choices as to what they want to do to themselves and their bodies i.e. smoke cannabis or consume alcohol, but I believe greater education needs to be placed behind both and ultimately: we must start looking at the real reasons as to why we use both of these substances so often.

Looking At Cannabis Differently

I see that in many ways the use of cannabis is making the average user numb, in the same way alcohol does. I’ve used cannabis before, in a number of ways -smoking, edibles etc. I’m not saying the feeling is the same for every single user, but I’ve also been around thousands of cannabis users in my lifetime while they were high and you notice the same ‘vibe’ virtually every time. Perhaps there are varying degrees, but for the most part it numbs us out and sometimes quiets the thoughts to create a calmness. Is this like meditation? No, but it can be confused as that. I know, I’ve been there too.

Below is a video of a perspective on cannabis I feel is very important for us to consider. Let me be clear, I’m not saying there isn’t medicinal value and that we should outlaw this plant, I’m saying we have a very large societal challenge, just like with alcohol, where we are not facing our inner challenges and are using substances to cover them up. I am inspired to help create a world where we can truly empower ourselves form within, move beyond our mind and egoic challenges that help us grow and do just that – grow. But if we continually bury our challenges in substance, we won’t.

I believe it’s time we come to the uncomfortable truth and face the fact that as a society we have not done the greatest job in encouraging one another to truly explore, express and move beyond many of the emotional challenges life’s experiences have provided us, that are there for our growth. Think about it, do we want to just cope through life? Or do we want to truly move beyond our stuff? There is SO much suffering we can prevent by making it a societal norm to work through our challenges on a deep level. This is where I believe we must go.

Note: You can try meditation to help calm the mind and move more clearly through challenges. Here are more tools as well.

Lost relationships, divorces, losing jobs, feeling unloved, lack of confidence, depression etc. All of these things are not here so that we can use bandaids everyday to cover them up and get through them, they are here for us to learn more about ourselves, grow and evolve as people and as a society. To create a world where we can truly thrive. To get there, we must begin to face our challenges.

I made this choice 10 years ago when I started to discover meditation and inner reflection, and although I wasn’t a user of substances like alcohol or cannabis, I would use food to cover up my emotions or I would distract myself with TV, whatever worked. But I can share from experience, the incredible changes that come from shifting those stories within and gaining true empowerment will change everything in your life, and everyone can do it.

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