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Entrainment – Part 4 – Transformation is Always Now

“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.”

– Dean Jackson

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Transformation is inevitable. We’ve all been transforming since day one, through the seasons of our lives. And none of us will leave this dimension without a final transformation.

In our recent blogs exploring the principle of entrainment, we’ve acknowledged the grand cycles that humanity is traversing, the four Yugas or cycles in this day of God. We’ve considered what’s next, the ending of the last cycle and the beginning of the night of God. Who knows what that will bring; it’s unimaginable to our human minds.

What’s also impossible to conceive is how these human lives will end. The phenomenon of death remains shrouded in mystery and ever will be, until we have the experience for ourselves. As we age, that moment comes closer so we begin to consider it consciously. Fear may arise, understandably, because we fear the unknown. What helps is to reframe that inescapable event, not as an ending but as a transformation. The fact that we don’t know exactly what we will transform into only adds to the adventure, if we choose to see it that way.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” 1

Rilke artfully shifts judgment about the terrors and disappointments in our lives towards learning opportunities. His words open a door of understanding and can even guide our preparation for the moments of significant transit in our lives and the emotions that accompany loss and pain.
Butterfly and Lily

He continues: “So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.”

Indeed, we have no real idea of the “why” to what happens to us. There are jokes about good and bad, how judgment shifts with more information over time. We speak of “blessings in disguise” and the lessons in failure … all hinting at an entirely different attitude, what we might call a “trans-egoic posture.” That term could describe being poised for transformation, yielding up ego identification to the pervasive oneness of life that we forever swim in.




In this final blog on entrainment, we take this principle to a logical completion: the entrainment of transformation. Interestingly, a scientific definition of entrainment provides fascinating clues for our culminating observations. “Entrainment is a phenomenon of the atmosphere which occurs when a turbulent flow captures a non-turbulent flow … Entrainment is the mixing of environmental air into a preexisting air current or cloud so that the environmental air becomes part of the current or cloud.” 2

Applying this effect to our spiritual journey, we can consider the energy field of an authentic master as that “turbulent flow,” a higher amplitude of personal power, meeting our own more “non-turbulent flow.” We’ve had the experience, many of us, and know what it means to be “captured,” and the unification we experience within that comforting cloud of inspiration.

Our sense of self expands. Our personal ego surrenders. It happens in the presence of a powerful enough entrainment field … if we are willing. The trans-egoic state arises and we begin to know ourselves beyond linear time. With that foundational shift arises an evolution in how we view our lives and our death. Death will not be the end, we begin to feel that, not as a theory but as a sensed present and future reality.

I’ve designed, recorded, and distributed entrainment programs for decades, many in the form of audio meditation programs. I developed a term for these: High Tech Meditation. But the technology is both novel and ancient. According to BrainWorks, “Brainwave entrainment is nothing new. Ceremonial chambers acoustically tuned to specific brainwave frequencies have been found dating back to the Bronze Age, and the ancient Greeks used flickering sunlight shining through a spinning wheel to induce altered states.” 3

These blogs serve this same purpose. As you relax into the reading, moving with the rhythm that flows between the lines, you may feel a cloud of sorts enveloping you, the presence of source energy transmitting through me. BTW, you could not feel it if it wasn’t also transmitting through you!

Now Card and Butterfly

Transformation is always now and if you are reading these words we are resonating together in this entrainment field. And now, as the reading ends, you have the same opportunity that I do, to provide a welcoming, inspiring influence towards everyone and everything in your world, one moment at a time, and without needing to do or say anything. As I mentioned in the first blog of this series, authentic masters teach without words. Here’s our chance!



References:
1. Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
2. http://www.definitions.net/definition/entrainment
3. http://www.brainworksneurotherapy.com/what-brainwave-entrainment

Entrainment – Part 3 – Why Are We Here?

“To be a committed spiritual seeker, it is necessary to relinquish the desire
to be ‘right’ or of imaginary value to society. In fact, nobody’s ego or belief systems are of any value to society at all.”

– David R. Hawkins, author of Power vs Force

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Dr. Hawkins confirms what masters have always taught, that “The world is neither good nor bad nor defective, nor is it in need of help or modification because its appearance is only a projection of one’s own mind. No such world exists.”

We’ve been discussing the phenomena of entrainment in recent blogs, particularly the “guru effect,” that is, what happens when we enter the energy field of an authentic master. Masters, gurus, and sages are those who function in a trans-egoic state and they can teach without words. This is what defines an authentic master, one who is enlightened enough to assist others.

Entrainment also occurs with our external environment. Dr. Frank Lipman lists these examples of that kind of entrainment: 1

• When a musician has the audience spellbound, he or she has entrained them into the rhythm.
• A charismatic preacher can do the same with his congregation.
• When you meditate in a group, you feel the increased “strength” of the experience.
• Participating in an exercise class doing aerobics to up tempo music.
• When young women become roommates, they often start getting their periods at the same time.

This is illuminating but incomplete. We’re woefully ignorant of larger energetic waves in motion, particularly the constant orchestration of literally everything by consciousness, moment by moment. Even a cursory study of astrology reveals the pivotal influence that cosmic forces have in our lives. These forces don’t suddenly stop being significant after birth… the stars are always affecting us.

Dr. Lipman acknowledges this. He writes: “You use less energy when you’re in sync with the surrounding energy; you use more when you’re out of sync. It’s ok to speed up during the day if you have a fast-paced career, but you need to slow down when you return home. You need to teach the body to slow down, to relax, to recover, to stimulate the parasympathetic system (your natural relaxation response). You need to find external rhythms that are slow (nature, quiet surroundings, certain music) to entrain to.” 2

True enough, but let’s expand our understanding to include these larger, invisible forces and acknowledge how the ancient traditions present them, as the steady unfoldment of cosmic consciousness through four cycles called Yugas, also known as the procession of the equinoxes.




According to Vedic and Tantric systems, humanity has been progressing through what they term “the day of God.” In the first cycle, the truth of the trans-egoic level is dominant in consciousness; this is known as the age of truth (Satwa). The second cycle is denser, as is the third, taking us to the fourth cycle, known as the Kali Yuga, which is where we are now. In other words, humanity is currently experiencing the most contracted and dense part of this long cycle.

Some anticipate “spring” and describe what is happening right now as a rebirth for humanity. That’s accurate but could be misleading if we forget that the day of God is followed by the night of God. So, as we complete the Kali Yuga cycle, we won’t leap into brilliant light… we’ll then begin our journey through the corresponding cycles in the night of God. So, let’s relax, be patient, and put the fireworks back in the shed for a while.

There are always signs to indicate the changing of these cycles. According to the ancient traditions, 10 living avatars appear on earth, spread out over those cycles of day, one or two for each age. Christ was the last one. Before him, we had the Buddha and before him Krishna, Rama, etc. So far, we have experienced 9 of these avatars. The 10th will be the Kali avatar and he or she has not appeared yet.

It makes no sense to sit around waiting! The point of entrainment is to “get with the program.” This impending event includes us all, since consciousness is one. The arrival of this 10th avatar is a personal experience, not just the appearance of some other being.

Consider this as you meditate and during any of your mindfulness practices: you are preparing room in your consciousness for the arrival of something… something wonderful. I often write about “The Awakening Impulse…” this is what we are awakening to.

The personal signs are easy to detect: we become more loving towards each other. While we witness the very opposite of that in news reports every day, the question is: what are we entraining to? The assault of negativity we navigate through every day, or the cosmic cycles of steady awakening as we march through the day, and then the night of God?

Let’s share that journey ever more consciously together as we individually transition from egoic to trans-egoic experience. This is why we are here.



References:
1. https://www.bewell.com/blog/what-is-entrainment/
2. Ibid

Entrainment – Part 2 – The Influence of Masters

There’s a reason millions of spiritual seekers
gather around masters to advance their enlightenment…
and it’s not primarily to hear what they say.

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The ancient Vedic and Tantric spiritual traditions considered that the truly authentic masters can teach without words.

Teaching without words means that something else is producing an enlightening influence. Anyone who has sat with a true teacher has felt this, to some degree (depending on their own state). Just being in the presence can produce a transformative effect.

This is entrainment in action and it has everything to do with the amplitude of personal power that the teacher is emitting. This power is innate to consciousness so we all have some as long as we’re alive. The difference lies in amplitude. Everyone is at their own power level.

Every one of us experiences the contraction in consciousness that is necessary to sustain our human forms in this dimension. Those who are the most contracted, have the least amplitude to their power. When you are in their presence, you don’t feel much of an entrainment effect. Those who are more awake, pack more of a punch.

What changes the amplitude of our power? It’s fairly obvious. Any activity that focuses our awareness in a positive direction – like meditation or any of the mindfulness practices – increases our amplitude of power. Fragmenting activities like expressing random negative emotions, being stressed out and argumentative, engaging in unhealthy addictions… these diminish our power.

Some teachers talk about “making matter from matter” to describe the nature of dysfunctional creativity, necessary whenever invisible life force has ebbed to the point where next to no influence is available and only an imposed physical solution can produce change.

It’s interesting to track the downward calibration of personal power relative to personal health. Someone who rarely leaves the sofa, eats junk food, and watches TV all day will tend to have more problems. A person who exercises regularly, eats a healthy diet, meditates, etc. will tend to be healthier, even faced with genetic insufficiencies.

Let’s say an accident happens and suddenly both of them need emergency surgery, then an extensive protocol of drugs. The healthier person might not need the same drug regime. And their regular meditation habit would strengthen their immune system to accelerate healing. The unhealthy person might struggle to recover and develop other problems… because their system is vulnerable.






In both cases, the person’s personal amplitude of power would be assisting in the healing process, significantly for the healthy person, almost imperceptibly for the unhealthy one.

This is where the principle of entrainment begins, through entraining ourselves.
As you evolve and continue waking up, spiritually, you begin to experience your own presence as self-entrainment. That’s the starting point for us all. Then others near us begin to notice something, as the amplitude of our personal power continues increasing.

We must first experience self-entrainment, then we can influence others. BTW, the easiest, simplest, and more impactful way to increase our power is through meditation. But the real advance comes from extending your meditation beyond the “sit.”

Yes, it helps to close your eyes and perform some kind of traditional meditation regularly. But what happens when you open your eyes? Was this just a technique, something to squeeze into a busy day, perhaps as a stress reduction strategy? No, the real goal of meditation is to become consistent in that state, to be in a meditative posture during more and more of the moments of your day. Finally – and this is the state of any true master who entrains with his presence and without words – you are in meditation all the time.

This might sound daunting. Could you even function at work in that state? And how could you possibly find the time to practice enough to ever get there? Well, as the Zen proverb says, “If you’re too busy to sit still for 10 minutes, you need to sit still for an hour.”


If you’re serious about your spiritual grown, make the conscious choice to actively increase your personal amplitude of power. You might even ask this question before engaging with an activity: “Will this increase or decrease my amplitude of power?”

What a question! Just imagine how this might change your habits, like ordering lunch, picking up a movie to watch, engaging in a political conversion. If you used the question as a compass, you could navigate your way through the challenges and opportunities of every day towards a constantly increasing ability to entrain and inspire with your mere presence, to teach without words.



References:

Synchronized Swimming

Entrainment – Part 1 – The Entrainment Principle

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances,
but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

~ Victor Frankl

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All of us carry the potential to bring meaning and purpose into every circumstance, to uplift those we encounter and shine light into darkness.

It’s been said that if you truly want to help others along the path of personal growth and transformation, then shine your light on the path, not in their eyes.

That makes sense!

Big ego teachers blind you with their brilliance. This may impress upon you how great they are but it doesn’t really help you navigate your life. What we really want and need is to see the road ahead more clearly. For that, we’re better served by the guide who takes a more trans-egoic approach. They have no need for personal recognition, they are servant leaders.

Luminaries like Gandhi and Mother Theresa come to mind. Humility was a central ingredient in these sainted individuals. They lived simple lives and did what was required, one moment at a time, to help others.

We are not so different from them, at least potentially. Yes, we live small lives, most of us. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t offer the same kind of inspiration. In fact, whether we know it or not, all of us are constantly entraining others into the quality of our presence.

Flock Birds

They say that birds of a feather flock together. We might explain this on a superficial level by pointing to shared interests. But there’s also something deeper going on for us humans. We are invariably attracted to and repelled by others, depending on the similarities or differences in our energy fields.

This is explained as a powerful phenomenon known as entrainment. The simplest example is what happens when you put two or more analog clocks on the same wall, those big clocks with pendulums that swing back and forth. Before long, the clocks become synchronized, swinging together.






What happened? They entrained each other. Similarly, people do the same thing. A happy person tends to hang around others like them and they grow happier together. Conversely, when you’re grumpy, it’s easy to find allies to share and grow your discontent. In fact, they say that misery loves company!

Unfortunately, it’s become easier these days (and some might say inevitable) to be entrained by mass media into victimhood and fear. After all, we’re assailed by disturbing news 24/7. Consider for a moment: what’s the ratio of positive to negative news? Almost all of it is bad. That exerts a powerful influence, especially if we are in the habit of watching the news on television before we go to sleep.

That’s a dangerous habit, but it should be an easy one to break. Just quit doing it! But well established habits are never easy to change and just getting rid of something is an ineffective strategy because something else will rush in to fill the void.

Imagine using meditation to replace the late-night news. This is just one example of how you can choose differently and change your field of entrainment. Anyone who soaks in the quantum field regularly, trading frantic mind storms for extended moments of calm and inner peace, develops an energy field that entrains others into a similar state.

Just as poets know that the deepest meaning in their verses are embedded between the lines, our greatest contribution is not so much in what we do but in who we are, because who we are transmits through all that we do.

Floating in Pool

The journey to becoming an effective positive entrainment expert, begins with adopting a very different attitude about what’s going on in the world and Lao Tzu gave us excellent direction hundreds of years ago:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

We are not passive spectators when we live these words. Acceptance of the way things are enables us to flow more perfectly, to course correct as required, and help others do the same, not to fight or strive but to flow and to let reality be reality.

Was there ever a time when this kind of leadership was more desperately needed in human affairs? Surely now is the time to be inspired not discouraged and to provide what’s been missing – the entraining wisdom, kindness, and strength, of any of us on the journey of discovering a sense of deep meaning and purpose in the experience of authentic living moment by moment.



References:

The Emperor is Naked – Part 4 – The Awakening Impulse

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.
From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again
let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment.
The eternal makes you urgent.”

~ John O’Donohue

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The urgency of bad news easily rivets our attention. But something else is happening beneath the surface, beyond all those distractions. Human beings are awakening.

Something is coming that will get the attention of the whole world. It is inevitable. Consciousness is evolving. The measure of that is self-awareness, which is always catalyzed by some form of crisis, personal or collective. This is the real story of 21st century life, the prospect of a mass awakening of humanity.

What draws our attention is the surface play, disasters and catastrophes. Increasingly, millions of us are encountering life or death scenarios. But these are symptoms of something else, almost completely unreported and unknown to the vast majority of the population.

Humanity is awakening from the illusory state of egoic separation.

Confronted with global problems that are becoming increasingly local, many of us ask, “What can I do to help?” The highest level of contribution is to make choices that grow our experience of the spiritual trans-egoic level. Why? Because our contribution from that level is more powerful than anything we can do.

It begins with getting your own house in order.

In other words, become as wakeful and balanced as you can possibly be in relationship to the challenges you face, so that your choices are always coming from love. You can choose to be kind and compassionate and peaceful, no matter what. This means that you are prioritizing the quality of your vibration and the contribution that it makes to the world around you. When anyone rises to that level it makes a significant difference. If a hundred, a thousand, a million of us do that, it becomes the energetic contribution that just might serve to awaken our entire species.

So, how would you describe your personal transmission? If what I’ve termed “the awakening impulse” is the dominant force in your experience, then you are constantly taking personal responsibility for your transmission. It’s invisible by nature but becomes visible through what you say and do. Your real contribution emerges from the inside out.

Life on planet earth for human beings unfolds in the growing field of consciousness. Why did you come here? To grow through experience. Why can the journey be so hard? If everything was truth and love and light and delight, there would be little motivation to grow or change.






The awakening impulse thrives in a crisis. That’s when we rally together and help each other, when the differences that separated us evaporate in the heat of a shared challenge. None of us would wish suffering on others or ourselves but it seems that urgent crises are required to get our attention!

But note what John O’Donohue said in the opening quote: “The eternal makes you urgent.” He’s poetically describing the impact of this awakening impulse. When we feel it, we do know it as urgent, and more urgent than any catastrophe.

What could be more impactful than a life or death challenge? One thing only: The compelling invitation to deepen personal experience of the true nature of life itself. And that’s precisely what is available right now in every crisis, if we have the eyes to see it.

This confronts us with constant opportunities to choose and prioritize. Will we leverage the challenges we face – increasingly extreme as they are – to accommodate this awakening impulse and advance our personal transformation, thereby refining and strengthening our personal transmission? If we do, we are contributing to the awakening of others, because we are all connected in consciousness.

“Others” refers to more than just humans. We are all connected, beyond species type and even beyond time.

In truth, every room is crowded. If you are sufficiently attuned, you can sense the presence of other beings near you. Would you describe them as human beings who have died and gone on? Or, are you perceiving subtler levels of life in this multidimensional world that you are not as familiar with?

Our transmission persists beyond time as well. That’s part of what you are sensing, the eternal echo of lives past. When we awaken from the illusion of separation, when we perceive and acknowledge that ‘the emperor has no clothes,” we also awaken from the tyranny of linear time and emerge into a domain of eternal, joyful community without borders.

This describes the mass awakening of humanity. Our souls are coming alive together in the fire of planetary transformation.



References:

The Emperor is Naked – Part 3 – Beyond the Ego

“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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In this series of blogs we are exploring delusion and acknowledging the value of crises to provoke awakening. Now, let’s consider the greatest impediment to our awakening: the control of the isolated ego.

The individual ego lives in separation. Consider a primary tenet of capitalism: competition. Money is the god of capitalism and we fight for it. If you have enough of it, you should be free to do with it whatever you want, right? Consequences be damned, if we want luxury and we can pay for it, why not?

And, we should be in control, if we’ve earned it. As one absurdly wealthy power player once commented (apparently in all seriousness), “The world should be run by those of us who own it.”

Our politicians love capitalism, because they are well financed by individuals and companies who can afford to buy their support. Leadership today is more about money in the pocket than honorable values and principles. Candidates will say whatever needs to be said to stay in power and keep filling their pockets, all the while mooing about public service.

If they really were public servants they wouldn’t need payment and they would actually serve the public, not just their financial backers.

From a trans-egoic perspective, this doesn’t make any sense at all. But it does represent the dominant majority of the collective consciousness on this planet. We can judge that as wrong and lament about why things have turned out this way or we can re-frame what’s going on: We exist in a learning field of consciousness.

What happens – regardless of how catastrophic it may be – has a purpose: to inform, inspire, and motivate us. To wake us up! And the evolutionary force that does that, the one force that pervades the universe, intensifies when resisted.

Egoic awareness can be described as an “unconscious herd mentality.” Whatever is offered to the herd, the herd buys. These transactions are unconscious, dictated by egoic values. Those doing the selling are not interested in health and wellbeing, they are interested in profit.






We can follow the money. Our systems are all corrupted, because those running them are mired in the egoic level, interested in power over and profit from.

We can expect it to continue that way because most people don’t have enough awakened awareness to even question what’s happening. They are unconscious. They buy and consume what’s on the shelf without question. They enjoy an illusory freedom carefully designed to sustain slavery.

Many of us are familiar with the metaphor of a frog in hot water that will languish there as the temperature gradually rises, finally boiling to death. It could have jumped out at any time but doesn’t, because the heat increases slowly.

How hot does it need to get before we jump?

What will it take to personally evolve beyond our egos into a trans-egoic state where we take responsibility for ourselves and provide leadership based on the genuine desire to help others?

A big enough catastrophe, probably.

Could we avoid that? Those who study life on earth in the 21st century agree that, one way or another, we must face the music. The unintended consequences of our greed based, egoic choices and behavior over centuries are becoming increasingly impossible to deny.

It’s likely that the majority of us will encounter extreme societal, environmental disruption in our lifetime. How will we deal with it? We could leverage it to evolve our consciousness, to shift from an egoic to a trans-egoic experience by dissolving the barriers of separation between us, simply by helping each other. Or, we could choose to dig in and fortify our personal safety, walling ourselves off, just trying to save ourselves with egos intact.

In The Fourth Turning, William Strauss wrote, “When we deem our social destiny entirely self-directed and our personal lives self-made, we lose any sense of participating in a collective myth larger than ourselves.” 1

Here is the invitation of this 21st century, to participate together in a vast awakening beyond ego identification. I am one with you, you are one with me. We can, as Rilke advised, make our egos porous. We could welcome an experience of community based in love… for others and for ourselves.

Here is the great hope of our times, the individual choice to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.



References:
1. The Fourth Turning by William Strauss

The Emperor is Naked – Part 2 – Awakening is Slow

“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.”
~ Anthon St. Maarten

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In the last blog, we discussed The Emperor’s New Clothes, Danish story teller Hans Christian Andersen’s well known tale of denial. Now, let’s find out what we’re most afraid of seeing.

The evolution of individuated consciousness, a progressive process into wholeness, is slow. The measure is self-awareness, wakefulness, and the challenge to “making progress” is to mutely go along with the consensus in the collective consciousness, because we can’t see anything different.

It’s something of Catch 22: we can’t see what we can’t see.

Why don’t we easily gain a level of awareness where we are able to see and perceive things from a truthful perspective? Because we are mired in egoic levels of consciousness, lost in illusory separation. Of course, this creates conflict between us because we all inhabit our own customized delusional states.

The primary illusion, one that we all share, is separation. I am the subject … you and everyone else, everything else, is an object. We perceive ourselves and others that way. We are separate. This is not in fact true but we believe it is true. As long as I/we maintain separate identification, there is conflict between me as the subject and all the objects I encounter.

So, how do we change this?

Regardless of our optimism, awakening to the truth beyond separation is a very slow process. In fact, now faced with evidence on every hand that we may be de-evolving as a species, the most important question becomes: who am I choosing to be in relationship to the happenings of life?

In other words, the process of awakening itself has changed from a solitary affair in a meditative cave, perhaps, to something that happens collectively, simply because of the massive changes in our modern world.






Here’s the new acid test: Confronted by mass shootings, climate disasters, political chaos, can I remain a detached witness, maintaining peace and equilibrium and – in that way – demonstrate an alternative to illusory stories about what’s transpiring? Can I connect with my fellow human beings beyond conflict and not add to the suffering?

Here’s a turning point realization: I am the creator of my experience in relationship to what’s happening. I can choose to be loving and forgiving, or I can pile on with blame… pointing a finger at others without realizing that three more fingers are pointing back at me!

Shamans contemplate the current world situation and acknowledge that it takes a crisis, a series of them, big enough to get our attention and catalyze awakening. We can now easily acknowledge the truth of their perspective.

What happens when hurricanes strike, when wild fires rage, when earthquakes shatter our reality? People come together. We leave our isolated caves of individuated separation and fear to recognize that we’re all in this together. Catastrophes force us to help each other and, through that experience, we explode the myth of separation.

It’s the same with guns and mass shooting. The latest horrifying newscast prompts an immediate expansion of awareness. Wait a minute, what are we doing? How can we stop this and deal with our crises? This kind of concern lasts a little while. Some change may actually result, but if it is not a big enough crisis, then everyone quickly returns to complacency. We go back to sleep, content again with status quo.

Until the next disaster strikes.

Awakening is a very personal matter. Some of us simply open our eyes and get out of bed. Most of us linger awhile, perhaps day dreaming about what’s waiting for us. Some of us are difficult to rouse. Teenage boys, especially, might require vigorous shaking to complete the shift from deep sleep into functional wakefulness.

Overall, humanity seems to be a teenager. And, we’re being shaken. Every day brings more news stories of disasters near and far. Of course, it’s academic until they touch us personally but these days that’s happening with increasing frequency.

Fire may not force us to evacuate, but we have relatives and friends who lose everything. We may not be shot in a domestic terrorist attack but we know someone who was. We may not lose our home when the mortgage interest rate skyrockets but our neighbor does. And, sometimes the crisis does land squarely on our own lap. What then?

Plato said that necessity is the mother of invention. Author John Ashcroft expanded on this. He ventured that “if necessity is the mother of invention, it’s the father of cooperation. And we’re cooperating like never before.”

Evolution in consciousness from separation to connection may indeed be slow but it’s accelerated by crises. It’s safe to say that today’s crises aren’t likely to recede. So, it follows that the process of awakening within our human species may accelerate.

Apparently, this is what it takes to awaken us from the self hypnosis that blinds us to the awareness and experience that we are one with God!



References:

Unicorn

The Emperor is Naked – Delusion: It’s a Hard Habit to Break

“Delusion detests focus and romance provides the veil.”
~ Suzanne Finnamore

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The Emperor’s New Clothes, Danish story teller Hans Christian Andersen’s best known story, has become a catch phrase for delusion and the difficulty of speaking truth to power.

In the story, two weavers promise an emperor “a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” 1

Delusion is a hard habit to break. Delusion defies logic and persists, even when confronted by the most revealing facts. After all, in Andersen’s tale the emperor was stark naked. But onlookers enthusiastically denied that, and it took an innocent child to break the spell.

One convincing proof I’ve encountered that confirms our obstinate refusal to acknowledge and state the obvious is the story about how ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger. On his website, Mark Wenning, reports on the origins of this belief.

“This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.” 2

The longevity of this myth confirms our willingness to accept authoritative accounts at face value and to perpetuate them for years by failing to examine even the most obvious facts. In this case, what’s obvious is that if ostriches did indeed bury their heads in the sand they would now be extinct… because they would have all asphyxiated.

Duh…

In Andersen’s story, a child finally blurted out the truth. And, he was censured for his honesty. He spoke truth to power and that wasn’t popular. Of course, that remains true today. But what that child demonstrated is instructive. As Jack Zipes, an author who writes about Andersen, explained: “Sight becomes insight, which, in turn, prompts action.”

A further comment from Wikepedia states, “Scholars have noted that the phrase, “Emperor’s new clothes”, has become a standard metaphor for anything that smacks of pretentiousness, pomposity, social hypocrisy, collective denial, or hollow ostentatiousness.” 3





Do we see any of that today?

We can take our pick from a long list of denials. Here are just three:

– Medical doctors receive less than 25 hours of instruction on nutrition during their many years of rigorous training. We now face epidemics of obesity, cancer, depression, etc. But there’s no official, acknowledged connection between what we eat and our health.
– NOAA confirms that 16 of the last 17 years have been the hottest on record, yet our American president pronounces that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
– The financial crash of 2008 occurred because of deceitful lending practices that continue today with increased fervor, and the same financial experts who didn’t see that crash coming assure us there could never be another one.

Delusion, it’s a hard habit to break. But it helps to explore the ramifications of Zipes’s comment further: “Sight becomes insight which, in turn, prompts action.”

All of us have had the experience of seeing something we missed before. Those moments of revelation have the potential to inspire insights which can lead to new action. But the key is that moment between sight and insight. That’s where change can be initiated.
Lightbulb in hand
This story plays out in the climactic scene in the war film Bridge Over the River Kwai. Alec Guinness’s character has an epiphany. He “sees” through his delusion. This leads him to a powerful insight. He says, “Oh my God, what have I done?” Almost immediately, he takes action. He falls on a plunger, blows up the bridge he’s been so proud of, and the train carrying ammunition intended to kill allied soldiers, plunges into the river below.

It took extreme pressure to provoke his awakening. What will it take for you and me? We live in a crisis ridden world yet, so far, the official strategy remains “business as usual.”

Railing against “them” is an avoidance strategy. Awakening to the truth is a very personal matter. We can choose to be vigilant about our own delusions and turn what we see into insights that lead us into new behaviors.

That may or may not inspire others, but it’s the example all true leaders provide.



References:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes
2. http://markwenning.co.za/origins-of-bury-your-head-in-the-sand/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes

The Awakening Moment – Do We Really Get the Leadership We Deserve?

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us
to be what we know we could be.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.

 

AAlexis de Toqueville, a French diplomat, political scientist, and historian, wrote that “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.” Was he right?

According to Toqueville’s premise, the results of the latest U.S. election – which has thrown American into something of a political free fall – is exactly what we deserve. Whether that is entirely true or not, over 60 million Americans voted for President Trump.

Let’s be realistic about something: our current system of democracy is not truly democratic.

As one astute blogger observed, “The public doesn’t get to choose who the nominees are. The powers that be (the two major parties’ leadership and the corporate media) decide who the “legitimate” nominees are going to be. They weed out of serious consideration any other candidates…” 1

But this doesn’t negate the fact that 60 million voters chose to support the values that the successful candidate and his cohorts represented. They agreed with those values. We can complain about this, rail against a rigged system, etc., but that’s just a smokescreen, effectively distracting us from acknowledging what’s really going on.

What’s really going on is that we humans are less evolved than we’ve thought! We still embrace extreme selfishness, we crave attention, we are intoxicated with personal power over others, and we attack those who disagree with us.

We might protest, “Oh no, not me!” but remember, whenever we point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves! Have you ever witnessed such finger pointing, since this election? Forget about “Him” and “Them” for a moment. What about us? What about me?

Here’s more from that post. “The candidates who are left… are then “democratically” elected by the people. This process is like a child who is told by his/her parents that they can either have the peas or the carrots, but they must eat one of them. If the child chooses the carrots does that mean that the child is in charge of what s/he eats?” 2

I wanted to include this statement before offering an alternative, just to ensure that we do understand how impossible our political choices are. Given that, and the realistic assumption that nothing much will change any time soon, what’s left for us, for any of us who feel urged to make a difference? Because, clearly, voting doesn’t accomplish much.





There’s always a third candidate.

You.

You can vote for yourself. Not in a voting booth, but in your assumption of personal responsibility to live your values. In the opening quote, Emerson wrote, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” What if we saw that person when we looked in the mirror?

That would be an awakening moment.

Imagine giving up on the hope that someone else, anyone else, could represent that for us and becoming 100% responsible, totally self-empowered to provide what was needed in the reality of the moment, and to be fully accountable for the results. Yes, we can still vote and choose the best candidate in our eyes. But we can also stop hoping they will save us. No, they will represent the values of the voters… until they get into office. Then we get to find out what values they really represent, based on who funded their victory! If those values are radically at odds with our own, we can relapse into judgment… or, we can produce our own “third party alternative.”

You know I’m not talking about an alternative political party.

Here’s the catch: that alternative would need to be inspiring and no-one gets inspired by complaint. What inspires is kindness and the kind of strength that lifts others up rather than putting them down. Confidence, teamwork, compassion. And, as I wrote about in the last blog, Love with a capital “L.”

At this moment in our human history we are confronted by a crisis of leadership, because we have projected what’s truly needed onto others. Yes, we will always elevate men and women to positions of power where they can help (hopefully) mediate the affairs of a town, state, nation, and the world. We do need those who are skilled at management.

Meanwhile, here we are, with the opportunity to fulfil Gandhi’s injunction, to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” What might this accomplish? Who knows? But we’ll never find out unless we try. And that begins by separating inspiration from management.

It’s unfair to demand that every superstar athlete or celebrity be a paragon of personal virtue and it’s the same insanity to demand that every elected “manager” will provide enlightened inspiration. BTW, those truly inspiring leaders that have come along periodically always pointed their finger at us and said, as Gandhi did: “be the change.”

If the power of Love can, as I like to say, “beat our hearts and steer the stars,” imagine what else it could accomplish, if it was more widely expressed. That’s what we are here for in these wild days on planet earth. Despite our insanity, we humans are uniquely designed to express Love. I wonder what might happen if we took that responsibility seriously?


References:
1. http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php/organizers-mainmenu-223/85-organizers/dennis-loo/5837-do-we-get-the-leaders-we-deserve
2. Ibid

The Awakening Moment – Learning How to Love

“The most important thing in this world is to
learn to give out love,and let it come in.”

~ Morrie Schwartz

 
Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.

 

The Beatles sang, “All You Need is Love.” Were they right?

Khalil Gibran wrote that “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”

That’s a poetic reminder of how important love is. But, realistically, we need more than a fruiting tree and loving sentiments to survive and thrive. Don’t we?

Perhaps what we really need is an expanded understanding of what love is. For any of us who’ve enjoyed pop music over the years, it’s difficult to hear or read the words “the power of love” without recalling that song by Huey Lewis and the News. Surprisingly, his lyrics actually illuminate our topic.

Lewis sang, “Change a hawk to a little white dove… more than a feeling, that’s the power of love.”

In other words, love is transformative. Love is alchemical. Love changes us.

If you google “love,” 99% of what shows up relates to romantic love. Some acknowledge there is more to love than that… but they don’t elaborate. So let’s do that here.

First, here’s a comment that confirms my point about traditional definitions of love. This comes from a blog credited to South University.

“According to the triangular theory of love developed by psychologist Robert Sternberg, the three components of love are intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy encompasses feelings of attachment, closeness, connectedness, and bondedness. Passion encompasses drives connected to both limerance and sexual attraction. Commitment encompasses, in the short term, the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, the shared achievements and plans made with that other person.” 1

This seems to be a clear and thorough articulation of key components in romantic love. It’s interesting to apply Sternberg’s triangular theory to an expanded definition that I propose, namely, that love is the power that runs creation. That’s just a bit of an upgrade in our understanding!

Love is the power that beats our hearts and steers the stars, as I like to say. You can use a different word if you prefer, like God or spirit or life force. I like love. By whatever name, “it” connects us all and when I say “all” I mean everyone and everything. So, if we embrace this expanded definition, then Sternberg’s “intimacy, passion, and commitment” model also seems to apply to our relationship with Love, capital L.

I wrote a book last year about learning how to love. I believe this is our “major” here in the University of Earth. So, how would we grade ourselves in this subject?

Here’s a 21st century reality check:
– There’s no intimacy to hiding within gated communities, separated and afraid of the village around us – full of people different than us.
– There’s no passion when religion replaces spirituality with rules instead of authentic worship.
– Where’s commitment when our allegiance swings from one addictive intoxicant to another?

Love, the expanded love we’re describing, gets so easily forgotten. So, how can we develop that relationship?

Think of a romantic relationship you’ve enjoyed or are enjoying right now. That feeling of love, flowing back and forth, it’s wonderful! In fact, we can reference another song to remind us again of our expanded definition: “Love makes the world go round.”

Here’s some practical guidance from the same post I quoted from above, a comment attributed to “Elizabeth Kane, a South University adjunct faculty member who teaches clinical psychology and behavioral science. ‘To be romantic is to make a choice to wake up each day and ask yourself what you can do today to let your lover know they are adored,’ Kane says.

“’Have fun in your romance and remember that the more effort you put into your romantic relationship, the more love you will receive in return. Be the partner that you seek and live a life filled with passion and romance.’” 2

Imagine applying that same strategy to our connection with Big Love. “… what you can do today to let your lover know they are adored?” Prayer comes to mind, meditation, and mindfulness, living in this relationship with Love as our primary one.

This doesn’t require us to downgrade our human relationships. In fact, personal connections infused with Big Love are stronger. There’s a stability inherent in them that helps us navigate the inevitable personality wars.

What if we lived in adoration then, with intimacy, passion, and commitment as the key components of our operating system? Imagine a world where we loved each other from that high place, loving not just personal qualities but also the innate presence of Love, the universal power of love, translated so uniquely within each individual human being.

If we were able to learn to love that way, then the Beatles would be right. Love is all you need … when we’ve awakened to the real thing.



References:
1. https://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/the-psychology-behind-love-and-romance-70700