Letting Go

by Steve Taylor Ph,D

A few months ago, I completed a research project at my university about purpose.  We began with the hypothesis that there are different types of purpose. We identified seven different types, beginning with no purpose, survival purpose (in other words, just getting by from day to day) and religious purpose. We also identified ‘self-accumulative’ purpose, (which means accumulating money, status or power), altruistic/idealistic purpose, and ‘self-expansive’ purpose, which means developing yourself creatively or spiritually. Finally, we identified ‘transpersonal’ purpose, which is the ‘spiritual‘ feeling of serving a purpose that is bigger than you, without much conscious effort or intention. It’s when your purpose seems to flow through you, and carry you along, rather than you pushing it along.

We had some interesting findings, especially in relation to age. There was a negative correlation between self-accumulative purpose and age. That is, the older a person was, the less important money, possessions, status, and power were to them. Meanwhile, there was a positive correlation between ‘transpersonal purpose’ and age. The oldest age group (65-plus) were most likely to feel this kind of ‘spiritual’ purpose, while the youngest age group (18 to 30) were the least likely. (Interestingly, we found that women were more likely to be more oriented around transpersonal purpose too.)

Our research investigated the relationship between different types of purpose and self-reported happiness too. We found that ‘no purpose’ and ‘survival purpose’ were most strongly related to unhappiness, while altruistic, self-expansive and transpersonal purpose was associated with happiness. And transpersonal purpose was most strongly associated with well-being.

Gerontranscendence

Why should older people be more oriented around a ‘transpersonal purpose’? Does this imply that people become more ‘spiritual’ as they get older?

Some evidence for this comes from the theory of ‘gerotranscendence,’ developed by the Swedish psychologist Lars Tornstam. Tornstam suggests that aging can be a process of spiritual development. His research has shown that about 20 percent of people (more women than men) over the age of 65 attain ‘cosmic transcendence’ in which they feel connected to the universe and that they are part of everything alive. They also feel a strong sense of the presence of people who are physically elsewhere.

My own view is that this is because getting older entails letting go of some of our psychological attachments. It means that we are no longer able to depend on external things as much for our sense of identity and well-being. We have to let of our attachments to the future, to our appearance, to our possessions, our success, and so on. This is partly because we move towards the end of (or retire from) our careers, and also because we move closer to death.

This ‘letting go’ is one of the primary characteristics of spiritual development. All spiritual traditions, from Buddhism to Sufism to Taoism, emphasize the importance of not being dependent on external things for our well-being. They tell us that we should not care too much possessions, about ambitions and worldly success, and so on. Rather, we should find a natural source of well-being inside ourselves; a natural contentment that isn’t disturbed by the events and circumstances of our lives. So, for some people, getting older seems to mean becoming more rooted in this inner well-being, as opposed to chasing after sources of external happiness.

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Former Facebook Executives Warn Social Media is Destroying Society

By Carolanne Wright | Contributing writer for Wake Up World

For those of us who use social media, we’ve all experienced the familiar “I’ll pop onto [insert platform of choice] for a minute, just to see what’s going on” and then realize, hours later, we’re still scrolling through our news feed, clicking the like icon or having our blood pressure rise by a troll’s diatribe or some other unpleasant post.

Regardless that a Harvard study has established social media platforms are highly addictive – and as pleasurable to the brain’s reward center as food, money and sex – I still often curse my lack of self-control and wasted hours where these sites are concerned.

Although I’m well-aware of the dark underbelly of social media, it’s surprising to see two former Facebook executives — former President Sean Parker, and former Vice President for User Growth, Chamath Palihapitiya — very publicly announce that Facebook is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” and that it’s specifically designed to exploit human vulnerability and psychology.

Cultivating a Culture of Impatience and ‘Fake Brittle Popularity’

During an Axios event in Philadelphia last year, Parker warns that Facebook was intentionally designed to consume as much of our time and attention possible. Using manipulative psychology, the platform is structured in such a way to give you a little dopamine hit for each like and share, which in turn encourages you to contribute more content and interaction.

“It’s a social validation feedback loop… the creators [of Facebook] understood this consciously, and we did it anyway.”

Palihapitiya agrees. In a recent talk he gave to students of the graduate business school at Stanford University, he states:

“The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, [and] mistruth. And this is not an American problem; this is not about Russian ads; this is a global problem.”

He says he feels tremendous guilt for the role he played in developing these tools that are ripping society apart.

“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by, and between, each other.” Palihapitiya said. “You know, my solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years. It’s created huge tension with my friends. Huge tensions in my social circles.”

In short, he didn’t want to become programmed — and his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit” either. He strongly recommends that everyone take a “hard break” from these platforms.

“You don’t realize it, but you are being programmed … but now you got to decide how much you’re willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.”

Moreover, Palihapitiya believes social media platforms have encouraged our society to be extremely impatient, fostering the expectation of instant gratification. They also strengthen our “perceived sense of perfection” with short-term signals: hearts, likes, thumbs up, which we confuse with true value.

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World’s First Vertical Forest for Low-Income Housing to be Built in The Netherlands

Credit: Stefano Boeri Architects

Architect Stefano Boeri has designed and built vertical forests around the globe. In Milan, for instance, he created the world’s first vertical forest. And in France, he built a vertical forest which freshens up the Parisian skyline. This time, Boeri is on a mission to create the world’s first vertical forest for low-income residents.

The Trudo Vertical Forest will be funded by a social housing project and will clean the air while offering affordable accommodation. Arch Daily reports that the tower will have a total of 19 stories with 125 units. Each abode will overflow with luscious flora, composed of a variety of plants and trees.

Said Boeri,

“The high-rise building of Eindhoven confirms that it is possible to combine the great challenges of climate change with those of housing shortages. Urban forestry is not only necessary to improve the environment of the world’s cities but also an opportunity to improve the living conditions of less fortunate city dwellers.”

The 246-foot tower will be home to 125 trees and 5,200 types of plants. Its rich, biodiverse environment will not only curb pollution, it will provide homes to a number of animals and insects in the city.

Credit: Stefano Boeri Architects

According to Arch Daily, the firm will use prefabrication with a rationalization of technical solutions for the exterior. This will optimize the building’s resources and produce the possibility of using the vertical forest as social housing.

“The Trudo Vertical Forest sets new living standards. Each apartment will have a surface area of under 50 square meters and the exclusive benefit of 1 tree, 20 shrubs and over 4 square meters of terrace. Thanks to the use of prefabrication, the rationalization of technical solutions for the facade, and the consequent optimization of resources, this will be the first Vertical Forest prototype destined for social housing,” said the firm’s Project Director, Francesca Cesa Bianchi.

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Another 40 Million People In The U.S. Now Have Access To The Medicinal Wonders of Marijuana

by Marco Torres

On January 1st, the most populous state in the U.S. became the sixth to make marijuana legally available for recreational use. The move could now accelerate the legalization of cannabis as accessibility to the medicinal herb becomes widespread.

California banned cannabis in 1913, but penalties for using the drug have eased since the 1970s. t was the first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996, and became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to an ounce of marijuana without a prescription.

There was no place to legally buy bud, however, on January 1, 2018, the state began issuing licenses to marijuana dispensaries that allow them to sell nonmedical weed.

Since 2016, it has been legal to grow, possess and use small amounts of the drug. The state already has a booming marijuana industry, producing as much as seven times more cannabis than is consumed there. Much of this is sold illegally in other states.

Buy Weed, No Card Required

As of January 1, you no longer need a medical marijuana card to get yourself some pot. As long as you’re 21 and over, you’re able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana, or eight grams of concentrated cannabis. If you are a medical marijuana patient, you’ll be exempt from the retail sales tax on medical cannabis if you possess a Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued by the California Department of Public Health.

More than a dozen U.S. states have now completely decriminalized the act of possessing marijuana and both Colorado and Washington have made it legal to possess, sell, transport and cultivate the plant.

In a historic and significant moment in American history, in November 2012, Colorado became the first US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

According to Alex Traverso of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, around 100 dispensaries in the state were licensed to sell cannabis for recreational use on Monday. The bureau had worked over the holiday period to try to process 1,400 licence applications for marijuana-related firms.

In 2011 the federal government decreed that marijuana had no accepted medical use use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin. Accepting and promoting the powerful health benefits of marijuana would instantly cut huge profits geared towards cancer treatment and the U.S. would have to admit it imprisons the population for no cause. Nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.

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Balian: A Candid Glimpse into Balinese Culture and a Transcendental Reality

Activating the healing powers of the earth’s medicine combined with holistic practices, nomadic filmmaker and photojournalist, Marko Randelovic, has revolutionized his relationship with society which has led to the creation of a cinematic universe of healing and compassion throughout his film, ‘Balian’. Exploring dimensions of the sacred existence of seasoned Traditional Healer, I Gusti Mangku Sumantra, and telling the tale of his dedication to healing human lives ever since the 1970’s, ‘Balian’ serves as a candid glimpse into Balinese culture and a transcendental reality that is mending physical and mental illnesses. The insatiable longing within Marko to incorporate visual elements and philosophical energy that both strikes a nerve and evokes emotion within viewers serves as a testament to the breadth of curative wealth that is within the Balineses supernatural practices. Beyond a distinctively unique eyeball explosion of aesthetics that don’t miss a beat, ‘Balian’ awakens viewers of the modern-age to the traditional healing practices that I Gusti Mangku Sumantra is alive to aid in maintaining in respect to Balinese culture and the healing power of plants.

Observing and learning his Father’s ancient wisdom through both sharing life and the ancient book of Usada, I Gusti Mangku Sumantra has long incorporated elements of familial traditions with monk-like focus which led toward his inclination to carry on the tradition and make the decision to carry on his Father’s responsibility once he passed in 1973.  Written with a carving knife and made with a palm leaf from a lontar tree, the Bali Usada has aided in gifting I Gusti Mangku Sumantra with the intuition and skills that were formed by his ancestors through a study of classic texts (uosadas) of healing. Leading through the heart with a benevolence that is rooted in purity, I Gusti Mangku Sumantra heals and creates organically altered states of consciousness within those who enter his space with zero expectations of fiscal compensation. The techniques that I Gusti Mangku Sumantra incorporates both into his daily practices and the healing of others aids in the navigation of the invisible world of spirit, and allows human beings to lead themselves toward embodying and actively partaking in a new and liberated way of living.

Our bodies are in constant communication addressing the concerns that must be corrected to design and rediscover our clearest channel within, and clearing our energy fields of interferences that leads us to discover our highest soul level. We are human energetic portals that are rich in dimensionality beyond the skin and unleashing our numinous essence through the therapeutic forces of nature subconsciously showers us with joy and laughter in the hollows of life. There is a wholesomeness laced within the quantum unfoldment of humility, gratitude, community and peaceful awe throughout ‘Balian’ that pours forth a radical dynamic that invigorates viewers to take the necessary action toward getting in tune with the rhythms of nature. Although the process of taking responsibility for ones energy is an individual process and experience, traditional healing reveals the subtle layers that emblazon the choices that can be made toward leading a life of ecstatic awareness. Are you ready to emerge from the ashes and take action toward expansion?

‘Balian’ Links: WebsiteDocumentary Music – Kody Ryan

Marko Randelovic Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

[Source: evolveandascend.com]

 

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A Personal Perspective Of 4 Different Psychedelic Substances

by Luke Miller | Truth Theory

Over the last 13 months I have been experimenting with many different psychoactive substances (You Can Read More Here), for the main part it has been 4 different psychedelics that I have had the biggest breakthroughs and insights with, so for this article I wanted to share a breakdown of my experience with Ayahuasca, DMT, Wachuma and Mushrooms.

Ayahuasca

Out of all the substances ayahuasca (especially the Peruvian jungle medicine) is without a doubt the strongest. In my experience, you do not just hallucinate, but travel to other dimensions easily, hang out with non-human entities and get the chance to ask big questions. However, and this is a big however, it also has the ability to mess you up in the biggest way. I know many people who have drank ayahuasca- many have had great experiences, but more than not are lost. I think a lot can be said for seeing too much, too soon and you really need to prep for this kind of experience. There is a diet which varies from place to place, but the basic idea is no sex, no drugs/alcohol, no salt, no sugar and healthy clean living. This is usually recommended 7 days prior, during your time with the medicine and 7 days after. However, doing the diet is just one component. My personal preparation was 2 years of communication through dreams and meditation with the medicine. Researching the places to go and what ayahuasca actually is, and around 8 years meditation and grounding prior to drinking. With this, I still had psychotic breaks and came close to the edge of my sanity.

DMT

DMT is a different species when smoked, it is like an alien language which blasts you off into another dimension, leaving you not quite knowing what you just experienced. I think a lot of its effectiveness comes from the fact that it shatters your perception of reality and dissolves the barriers put up through conditioning. For me (and this whole article is just my personal account), DMT is non-verbal and something different from what we know. I have a theory that it is- plant consciousness experiencing itself through a human channel and believe that it could be learning just as much from us as we are from it, but it is something (if you allow it) that completely removes the human mind and ego, and blast you off into another world that is incomprehensible to our day to day human experience.

Wachuma 

Wachuma (San Pedro) is a cactus which grows in the Peruvian mountains, unlike most other substances, it is more earthly and can also be incredibly grounding. Personally, wachuma allowed me to understand my humanness and earth as a whole. Its visions are more animated, and you can literally see the Peruvian culture when you take wachuma.

Wachuma is a grandfather medicine and you feel the gentle subtleness of a grandfather when you take it. I have not felt much of a darkness when taking wachuma in comparison to other medicines and would say that while it is still a very strong medicine, it is also a lot more gentle and loving.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms were my introduction to the world of psychedelics and started off quite subtly with a small dosage and for me increases in intensity the higher you go in dose. This may seem obvious, however, for me personally, it doesn’t seem to matter how much ayahuasca I drink, I always go deeper each time.

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Consciousness is an Art

by Meg Blackburn Losey, Ph.D

What is consciousness anyway? It has been studied, supposed, written about, experimented with ad nauseum. There haven’t ever been any definitive answers to the question, but yet, there have been fleeting glimpses of possibilities to the human race that have the potential to change our entire earthly experience.

Consciousness is super luminal. It is faster than the speed of light. It is unlimited in scope, not tied to the boundaries of our brains, or even time or space. Our consciousness can travel outside of our bodies unfettered, reaching into endless realities to learn, to experience, to heal, to� well� the possibilities are endless.
The greatest misconception about consciousness is that it has anything to do with our brains. Our brains are electrical in nature, with neurons firing, exciting specific pathways that are developed in our cognitive and learning processes. These pathways are predictable and can be expanded (or not!) with our life experiences.

Our brains strive to create logic in our perceptions, even filling in gaps in incoming information in order to create an entire story for us. Our brains act as our survival mechanism, letting us know when we are safe and when we are not.

In addition to the pure logic that our brains demand and create, our egos influence our thinking dramatically. Unfortunately the ego is the greatest liar on the planet. It bases all of its deductions on past experience and never considers the possibilities that are available in the present. Our egos in conjunction with our brains keep us afraid so that we don’t step outside of our understood and predictable comfort zones.

Consciousness on the other hand, is not limited by any earthly experience except our perceptions. As we deduce our experiences in our everyday lives, we form story lines that become our reality. That reality is often based upon self-deception and or misinformation.

The more we live these illusions, the more tangled out lives become and we move farther and farther away from the truth that remains deep within us.
Fortunately our consciousness remembers those truths. Our access to higher awareness is often inhibited by the very firing of our brains. The more mental we are, the more linear our thinking, the greater firing of the nerves within our brains. As the electrical activity escalates, our access to the finer perceptions of our consciousness diminishes and our perceptions become hammered down into finite beliefs. Worse, we lose our intuitive nature.

Consciousness is electromagnetic. It is a living field of energy that both animates our corporeal bodies and acts as a continual flow of information both to us and from creation. Consciousness has the ability to visit past present and future individually or simultaneously. It can bring information to us as whole knowings rather than singular linear thoughts. In fact, our consciousness is our lifeline to creation.

Consciousness isn’t logical. It doesn’t know how to lie. It just is. It never sleeps, in fact when we do, our consciousness works very hard to assist us in processing our daily life experience in the form of dreams. Often when we are sleeping and are no longer defended as we are in our waking moments, our consciousness takes us to very real places where we learn on multiple levels of awareness, remember past experiences and even get glimpses of coming experiences. While we are sleeping our consciousness also helps us process our powerful emotions.

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Seeing Your Own Behaviour – Paul Lowe

 

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Graham Hancock Explains Why His Viral TED Talk “The War On Consciousness” Was Banned

by Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Who is Graham Hancock?  He is the author of multiple international bestsellers, like The Magicians of the Gods, and Fingerprints of the Gods, among others. His books have sold multiple millions of copies worldwide, and are available in more than 25 languages. Obviously, with so many people, including many scholars who are into his work, when you go against the grain of conventional wisdom you’re going to receive harsh criticism from the mainstream. This is especially true if you’ve accumulated and presented evidence in a credible way which challenges the current framework of knowledge.

Graham’s specialty, apart from being a tremendous critical thinker and researcher (which is evident if you’ve read his work), is more so focused on ancient civilizations. Not just standard ancient civilizations, but lost ancient civilizations that are not commonly recognized in mainstream history. His works show that many of these civilizations were extremely advanced in multiple ways, and, in some cases, more intellectually, and possibly, technologically advanced.

It’s truly fascinating to say the least. Graham has written for us in the past and the article linked below is authored by him if you want to get a taste of his work and his sources of information:

Gobekli Tepe, Noahs Art & Lost Atlantis

A couple of years ago Graham gave a TED talk that went viral titled The War on ConsciousnessIt’s an interesting title, and the first thing that comes to my mind when reading the title alone is the idea that yes, there is a war on our consciousness, in several different ways.

One would be through mass media, and the manipulation of information. Our external world is constantly beaming us with how we should think, what we should do, how we should live our lives and what is considered real or not.

Another would be through the mass censorship of information.

His TED talk (linked below) simply went against the grain. It’s not that his information and ideas were invalid, it’s simply exploring a topic that is feared by the mainstream. When new information is presented in a credible way that challenges old frameworks of information, harsh responses and actions are always seen.

What we think we know is always changing.

These are the change-makers, the ones who receive so much criticism, yet so much praise at the same time. Clearly, they’re doing something right, and upsetting many authority figures along the way.

Graham, in his banned talk, makes the argument that modern society does not allow us to truly explore our consciousness by making various psychedelic drugs illegal. How this is offensive in the mainstream is understandable, given the fact that psychedelic substances have been banned from research for years. Now, the ban has lifted, and their ability to treat multiple medical disorders, among other things, is starting to come to light.

He makes the point that the fact that society is not openly allowed to explore our own consciousness with complete freedom is wrong.

I can understand his viewpoint, although I do not take psychedelic substances myself, I do believe, just as the scientific research has shown, that they can be very beneficial and that individuals should have the right to explore them if they choose to do so. Who is “the man” to tell us what we can and can’t do with ourselves? Especially in light of evidence showing that they can be used in a non-harmful way, and that they’re really harmful at all

It’s quite odd how the substances which are legal today are much more life threatening and harmful than most illegal ones.

“There was a concerted effort to discredit me and that is a bit of a conspiracy…When you have academics that write to the BBC and they say, “you must bring this man down”…When they actually say that and the BBC makes a program which is designed to damage my reputation, and that program is then later found to have been unfair by the broadcasting standards commission, something odd is going on here, something a little bit to do with reality control is happening there.” (source)

Graham explained TED and their decision to ban his talk was the result of their belief that he was speaking about “pseudoscientific ideas.” Like most who label information as pseudoscientific, no support was provided to justify that.

Another great example would be non-material science. Despite the fact that it is clearly a scientific undertaking by the most prominent scientists, with a tremendous amount of statistically significant results, non-material science is still shunned, for the most part, in mainstream academic circles. You can read more about that in detail, with specific points, here.

To view Grahams FULL talk that was banned, you can click here.

Below, we interview Graham. We also discussed ancient civilizations, psychedelics and more in the full interview.

View the full interview in our Explorers Lounge here.  

[Source: Collective Evolution]

 

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How to Receive Revelations From Nature

A simple practice from Ecologist, Stephan Harding, to transform your relationship with the natural world.

 

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