In this ground-breaking original series, experts explore the history and use of psychedelic plants including political ambitions, the perceived shadow side and the proper environment to experience these substances. From the origins of Shamanism to the spiritual expression of modern awakenings, discover the role of sacred medicine as a gateway to expanded consciousness, and its continued influence on humanity.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” ~ Robert Browning
It turns out that life is a choose your own adventure. After you’ve answered Shakespeare’s critical question ‘to be, or not to be’, there is the vital question ‘with, or without purpose’.
‘Not to be’ is choosing suicide. ‘To be’ is choosing life. ‘Without purpose’ is choosing a life half-lived. ‘With purpose’ is choosing a life well-lived.
But do we want that life to be healthy and meaningful, or unhealthy and meaningless? That is the vital question.
Choose your own adventure, sure, but it’s incumbent upon you to choose wisely (with purpose). It just so happens that choosing wisely is synonymous with choosing to be healthy and choosing to inject meaning into an otherwise meaningless universe. It’s solely your responsibility to do so.
You’ll reap no Eudaimonia (human flourishing), if you don’t sow a little health and create a little meaning.
Without purpose (unhealthy and meaningless)
“The first principle is to not fool yourself. And you are the easiest person to fool.” ~ Richard Feynman
A purposeless life tends to be unhealthy because it usually comes with the heavy baggage of nihilism, boredom, and depression. These three can put you in a serious rut. Or worse, an angry abyss. From which some people never emerge.
Nihilism is unhealthy because your crippled with ennui and angst, unless you’re able to turn the tables and cultivate a good sense of humor about the inherent lack of meaning in the universe (see humorous nihilism).
Boredom is unhealthy because you become lazy and indifferent toward aesthetic and numinous experience. You become ignorant and stuck, laboring under the delusion that there’s nothing more. Having lost touch with both your Inner Child and Beginner’s Mind, you are no longer awake to novelty, astonishment and awe.
Depression is just plain unhealthy. A dark insidious cloud cast over all things. And for many of us, there is no choice in the matter. But to the extent that there is a choice, finding purpose despite depression can be deep, soul-feeding medicine that can, at the very least, soothe the ache.
When we have no purpose, we are floundering vessels cast aimlessly in a chaotic sea of meaninglessness, sail-less and precarious. When we have a purpose, on the other hand, the sea may still be chaotic and inherently meaningless, but we are robust vessels with a compass, with resolve, with passionate intent. Our sails are pitched full and heading True North. We are prepared for the worst, but there is fierce desire in our heart.
With purpose (healthy and meaningful)
“The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” ~ Walt Whitman
What will your verse be? Finding your purpose, and then being proactive about living it, is contributing a verse.
But then how do you find your purpose? As I explained in Three Steps to Self-purpose, finding your purpose is finding what you love to do, what you’re passionate about. It’s remaining open to discovery, which requires courage and vulnerability. But most of all it requires curiosity.
If, as Stephen Kotler said, “passion exists at the intersection of three or more things you’re really curious about,” then it stands to reason that whatever that curious intersection may be is your purpose.
Fear, anger, uncertainty, discomfort, shame, guilt and many other emotions we perceive as negative are often our compass towards growth. It is our resistance to our past and our interpretation of how our experiences should have manifested which define our expectations for the future. How people remember past behavior affects their choices in the present, according to a new study that suggests the relationship between recall and self-control is more complicated than previously believed.
Research on self-control often suggests recollecting past mistakes as a way to avoid making them again. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with food addictions reflect on past lapses to keep from overeating. But Vanderbilt University professor Kelly Haws thought there might be more to the story, so she and her team designed several studies to test the nuances of recall. Haws and colleagues found that focusing on past behaviors is not always a good idea.
Every mistake we make in life is an opportunity to grow and learn. Through our mistakes we learn what we value and what we require in our lives to allow us to grow stronger in our experiences.
“Be very careful when you ask anybody to dig up the past,” said Haws, an associate professor of marketing at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. “That can be a very ineffective way to change future behavior for the better.”
In one experiment, Haws and colleagues divided subjects into two groups: they asked one group to remember self-control “successes” –say, buying shoes from the sales rack rather than shelling out for new Jimmy Choos. The other group was asked to remember examples of poor choices, or “failures.”
Then the researchers added a twist –they wanted to see how the ease of recall affected self-control. To do this, they used a well-known method in cognitive psychology –they asked some subjects to remember more examples than others.
The method works because it’s generally easier to call up two past examples than ten. Therefore, the thinking goes, people asked to remember two instances of smart spending might think they make great choices, since the recall felt easy.
On the flip side, people asked to remember ten examples of good financial decisions might doubt their self-control.
“You start to use that difficulty you’re having as a cue for who you are and what you’re like,” Haws said.
Mistakes are only harmful if we keep repeating them, but if we look at specific situations and reflect what we have learned, we can take actions and the steps required to adjust our path.
Haws gave participants a budget, then asked them how much they would spend on an item they couldn’t afford –a pair of shoes, a handbag or a video game.
Study participants asked to remember few instances of success, on the whole, spent within their allotted budgets. But those asked to remember more good examples exhibited poorer self-control –they tended to splurge on items they couldn’t afford.
The results highlight several interesting elements of the relationship between recall and self-control. Perhaps the most surprising, Haws said, is that searching through the past can negatively affect behavior, depending on the ease of recall, even when past examples are positive.
Nature is perfection. That does not mean her materials cannot be arranged in a more artistic way, however. Armed with this belief, James Brunt of Yorkshire, England, creates stunning mandalas out of objects found in nature.
Whether he’s moseying on a beach or wandering through a forest, Brunt is never short of inspiration. The Yorkshire, England, resident makes the mandalas with natural objects, such as rocks, twigs, leaves, and even berries. As Bored Panda reports, he’ll spend hours arranging the materials into spirals, concentric circles, and other detailed patterns.
He has a knack for taking flattering photographs of the arrangements, which he later uploads to social media. Reportedly, fans are always welcome to join him as he works.
By now, you may have come across some information on the health benefits associated with grounding. If you haven’t and you are unsure of what grounding is, it’s the process of connecting your body to the Earth. This can be done either by sitting or walking on the ground without shoes on.
We all spend most of our time walking on the earth wearing shoes with rubber or plastic soles. These materials are insulators, and accordingly we use them to insulate electrical wires. They also disconnect you from the Earth’s electron flow, which we are supposed to be connected to. However, if you wear leather soled shoes (or vegan leather!) or walk barefoot on sand, grass, soil, concrete, or ceramic tile, you will be grounded. If you walk on asphalt, wood, rubber, plastic, vinyl, tar, or tarmac, you will not be grounded.
So the next time you are outside, take off your shoes! You can also use conductive systems while sleeping, working, or spending time indoors for a more convenient and lifestyle-friendly approach.
If you’re thinking that is just too simple and there is no way something so simple could provide so many health benefits, then consider this…
We are bio-electrical beings and our bodies are made up of trillions (maybe more) of atoms that all hold an electrical charge, not to mention all of the other things we come into contact with on a daily basis that also hold an electrical charge. Electricians ground wires when they wire up a house, and we are taught about the importance of grounding electricity in science class, but when it comes to our own body, this is rarely – if ever – even thought about. Luckily, with the help of the internet, the importance of literally grounding ourselves is becoming more common. When you consider how little time we actually spend with our feet on the Earth, with no shoes on or even just sitting on the ground, this may start to make sense. When we are out in nature or going for a walk we have shoes with rubber soles on them – this directly interferes with the grounding process and inhibits our bodies from being able to do so.
Although I knew of the importance and had heard some of the benefits of grounding I was completely blown away as to just how beneficial it actually was, and how many of the diseases and ailments that we are suffering from today could potentially be cured simply from grounding alone – after seeing the following video.
Benefits Of Grounding
People who ground themselves regularly have reported feeling more centered, solid, strong, balanced, less tense and less stressed. Simply, grounding makes you feel good and I can certainly attest to that after making an effort for the past week to do this as much as possible. I’m not sure if it matters but I get the feeling that because my job involves being on a computer and in front of a screen virtually all day, myself and people with similar jobs can especially benefit from grounding. I’ve been feeling a lot more chill and less stressed since starting my own little experiment. Just think of the last time you were on a beach or sitting under a tree at a park, how did you feel? I’d be willing to bet you felt pretty calm, relaxed and happy.
“What limits people is that they don’t have the f*cking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it.” ~ Tom Robbins
This article will introduce a new way of playing the game of life inspired by James P. Carse and his book Finite and Infinite Games, which demonstrates a way of looking at the world that is truly unique.
Kevin Kelly praised the book for “altering my thinking about life, the universe, and everything.” In the book, Carse breaks human reality down two different games: finite and infinite.
As I explained in Finite and Infinite Lovers and followed up with Six Signs You May Be an Infinite Player, A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, even at the expense of play itself. An infinite game is played for the purpose of continuing play, for the sake of play itself. While there are endless finite games (chess, football, war, marriage, politics, religion) there is only one infinite game: the game of life. Your life. My life. All of life.
Finite players play to win and are often superficially rewarded for their play. Infinite players play to continue playing and are often cosmically rewarded for their play. But, as Carse said, “It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.” Indeed. Whoever must play, is a slave.
The difference between Players and Heroes
“He who lives horizonally is never somewhere, but always in passage” ~ James P. Carse
By using the finite and infinite players as archetypes applied to the concept of heroism, we come up with two different types of heroism: finite and infinite heroism, which changes the paradigm in interesting ways.
A finite player can become a finite hero, but it is rare. Likewise, a finite hero can become an infinite hero, but it is also rare. Whereas an infinite player is more likely to become an infinite hero if given enough time.
The critical difference between Players and Heroes is action. Both finite and infinite players are merely players. Both Finite and infinite heroes are built for courageous action.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the four types.
Finite Player (typical person): possesses average abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is limited by their cultural paradigm. Not courageous. Tiny comfort zone. Inactively playing.
Finite Hero (typical hero): possesses advanced abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is limited by their cultural paradigm. Courageous within their tiny comfort zone. Built for specific courageous action.
Infinite Player (atypical person): possesses above average abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is not limited by their cultural paradigm. Not courageous. Expansive comfort zone. Proactively playing.
Infinite Hero (cosmic hero): possesses advanced abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is not limited by their cultural paradigm. Courageous inside and outside an expansive comfort zone. Built for universal courageous action.
Finite versus Infinite Heroism:
“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” ~ James P. Carse
Where finite heroism is prepared against surprise, infinite heroism is prepared for surprise. Finite heroism is conventional; infinite heroism is cosmic. Finite heroism is contained within a cultural paradigm; infinite heroism transcends the cultural paradigm.
Where finite heroes act only within boundaries, infinite heroes play with boundaries and act outside them. A finite hero perceives a boundary as a “phenomenon of opposition,” whereas an infinite hero perceives a boundary as a “phenomenon of vision,” thus transforming it into a horizon that can be evolved into.