DNA Monthly (Vol. 15, No. 3)

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May-June 2019 (Vol. 15, No. 3)

SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING—Enjoy This Multi-award-winning Visionary Novel Free Online

Could it be there’s no such thing as the paranormal … only infinite varieties of normal we’ve yet to understand?

[url=http://www.crowrising.com/reviews]Read Reviews[/url]Read Reviews

This is an important and timely question I explore in my acclaimed spiritual novel, Snooze: A Story of Awakening, which won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.

Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, Snooze further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.

Now for the first time ever free online, I invite you to join Max Diver, aka “Snooze,” along the razor’s edge of a quest to rescue his astronaut father from a fate stranger than death in the exotic, perilous Otherworld of sleep. Since this offer is for a limited time, be sure to start reading ASAP.

Just scroll down to start reading this inspiring tale that interweaves a plethora of paranormal and metaphysical subjects, from Bigfoot and enlightenment to the Loch Ness Monster and time travel via the Bermuda Triangle.

In her review of Snooze published in Indie Shaman Magazine, June Kent had this to say about she described as “superlative fiction”: “Engrossing, entertaining and occasionally humorous, Snooze also takes a look at a wide range of subjects including levitation, telepathy, lucid dreaming, spirit animals, parallel universes and shamanic-like journeying, giving a wide range of information effortlessly absorbed as you enjoy the story as well as much food for thought.”

If you’d like your own downloadable review copy to share your thoughts on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere, click here for details and to contact me with your request.

Of course, I’d really appreciate your generous review even if you simply enjoy the full text online. And keep in mind that paperback and ebook versions are available for sale here.


Sweet dreams!

Sol Luckman
Crow Rising Transformational Media
www.CrowRising.com


FEATURED IN THE MAY-JUNE 2019 ISSUE OF DNA MONTHLY

1. People with a Sense of Unity Experience Greater Life Satisfaction” by Josh Richardson

2.
Japan Leads the Way: No Vaccine Mandates & No MMR Vaccine = Healthier Children” by Kristina Kristen

3. Smiling Really Does Make People Feel Happier” by April McCarthy


4.
The Lure of a Stimulus-response World” by Jon Rappoport

5.
The Path to Liberating Humanity Is the Same as the Path to Liberating the Individual by Caitlin Johnstone

Featured Videos ... RFK, Jr. on the Gardasil Vaccine & The Physics of Spirituality with Nassim Haramein


1. People with a Sense of Unity Experience Greater Life Satisfaction

Josh Richardson, PreventDisease.com


People who embrace a sense of unity and oneness—the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent—appear to have greater life satisfaction than those who don’t, regardless of whether they belong to a religion, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“The feeling of being at one with a divine principle, life, the world, other people or even activities has been discussed in various religious traditions but also in a wide variety of scientific research from different disciplines,” said Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, PhD, of the University of Mannheim, author of the study. “The results of this study reveal a significant positive effect of oneness beliefs on life satisfaction, even controlling for religious beliefs.”

The research was published in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Transcendentally or spiritually, millions around the world have reported a sense of oneness through psychedelics where many experience an increase in sense of purpose and unity with a something perceived as more unifying than humanity, but few studies have followed thousands of people reporting the same experience.

Edinger-Schons conducted two surveys involving nearly 75,000 people in Germany. In the first survey, more than 7,000 participants, recruited as part of a cooperation project between the university and a company, were asked to respond to a series of statements designed to measure their belief in oneness (e.g., “I believe that everything in the world is based on a common principle” or “Everything in the world is interdependent and influenced by each other”). They were also asked to respond to items measuring other concepts associated with oneness, such as social connectedness, connectedness to nature and empathy as well as life satisfaction.

Edinger-Schons found a significant correlation between scores on her oneness scale and the concepts associated with oneness, suggesting that it was a valid measure of the concept. More important, she also found that people with higher oneness scores reported significantly greater life satisfaction.

  To determine whether oneness scores were variable over time or a more fixed construct, the same survey was administered to the same group of people six weeks later. While a little more than 3,000 of them responded, Edinger-Schons still found that oneness beliefs had not changed significantly and therefore might be stable over time.

“Obviously, oneness beliefs are more than a situation-specific feeling or mood,” she said. “They rather seem to represent a general attitude toward life.”

Once again, she also found a significant correlation between oneness beliefs and life satisfaction. While being satisfied with life as a whole should be rewarding in itself, research does suggest that people with higher life satisfaction experience some additional benefits, such as increased academic performance in younger people and better health in old age, according to Edinger-Schons.

In a second survey, involving more than 67,000 people, Edinger-Schons looked at whether oneness beliefs could explain individuals’ life satisfaction over and above the effect of religion. Much research has been done on the association between religion and life satisfaction, but she wondered if there might not be something else at work. Specifically, her hypothesis was that oneness beliefs might explain peoples’ satisfaction with life even better than religion.

“I recognized that in various philosophical and religious texts, a central idea is the idea of oneness,” said Edinger-Schons. “In my free time, I enjoy surfing, Capoeira, meditation and yoga, and all of these have been said to lead to experiences that can be described as being at one with life or nature or just experiencing a state of flow through being immersed in the activity. I was wondering whether the larger belief in oneness is something that is independent of religious beliefs and how it affects satisfaction with life.”

Participants came from a variety of religious backgrounds, including Protestant denominations, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. More than a quarter of those who identified their beliefs said they were atheist.

While oneness scores did vary by religion (Muslims had the highest median score while atheists had the lowest), they were much better predictors of life satisfaction than religious beliefs.

“I did not find it surprising that atheists have the lowest levels of oneness beliefs in the sample, but what surprised me was that oneness beliefs were actually very different across various religious affiliations, with Muslims having the highest levels,” she said. “Also, when oneness beliefs were taken into account, many of the positive effects of religious affiliation on life satisfaction disappeared.”

Many people today practice yoga, meditation, action sports and other activities that aim at achieving a state of oneness or flow. Strengthening the more general belief in the oneness of everything has the potential to enhance peoples’ lives and might even be more effective than traditional religious beliefs and practices at improving life satisfaction, Edinger-Schons said.

As all the participants were from Germany, she noted that it is unclear if this effect would translate to residents of other countries and suggested more research would need to be done.

Copyright © PreventDisease.com. All Rights Reserved.

This article, republished with permission, originally appeared here.

Josh Richardson is a writer for PreventDisease.com.

Featured Video ... RFK, Jr. on the Gardasil Vaccine

2. Japan Leads the Way: No Vaccine Mandates & No MMR Vaccine = Healthier Children

Kristina Kristen, Children’s Health Defense


In the United States, many legislators and public health officials are busy trying to make vaccines de facto compulsory—either by removing parental/personal choice given by existing vaccine exemptions or by imposing undue quarantines and fines on those who do not comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) vaccine edicts. Officials in California are seeking to override medical opinion about fitness for vaccination, while those in New York are mandating the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for 6-12-month-old infants for whom its safety and effectiveness “have not been established.”

American children would be better served if these officials—before imposing questionable and draconian measures—studied child health outcomes in Japan. With a population of 127 million, Japan has the healthiest children and the very highest “healthy life expectancy” in the world—and the least vaccinated children of any developed country. The US, in contrast, has the developed world’s most aggressive vaccination schedule in number and timing, starting at pregnancy, at birth and in the first two years of life. Does this make US children healthier? The clear answer is no. The US has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation—and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness. Analysis of real-world infant mortality and health results shows that US vaccine policy does not add up to a win for American children.

Japan & the US—Two Different Vaccine Policies

In 1994, Japan transitioned away from mandated vaccination in public health centers to voluntary vaccination in doctors’ offices, guided by “the concept that it is better that vaccinations are performed by children’s family doctors who are familiar with their health conditions.” The country created two categories of non-compulsory vaccines: “routine” vaccines that the government covers and “strongly recommends” but does not mandate, and additional “voluntary” vaccines, generally paid for out-of-pocket. Unlike in the US, Japan has no vaccine requirements for children entering preschool or elementary school.

Japan also banned the MMR vaccine in the same time frame, due to thousands of serious injuries over a four-year period—producing an injury rate of one in 900 children that was “over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate.” It initially offered separate measles and rubella vaccines following its abandonment of the MMR vaccine; Japan now recommends a combined measles-rubella (MR) vaccine for routine use but still shuns the MMR. The mumps vaccine is in the “voluntary” category.

Here are key differences between the Japanese and US vaccine programs:

  • Japan has no vaccine mandates, instead recommending vaccines that (as discussed above) are either “routine” (covered by insurance) or “voluntary” (self-pay).
  • Japan does not vaccinate newborns with the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, unless the mother is hepatitis B positive.
  • Japan does not vaccinate pregnant mothers with the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
  • Japan does not give flu shots to pregnant mothers or to six-month-old infants.
  • Japan does not give the MMR vaccine, instead recommending an MR vaccine.
  • Japan does not require the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.


In contrast, the US vaccine schedule (see Table 1) prescribes routine vaccination during pregnancy, calls for the first HepB vaccine dose within 24 hours of birth—even though 99.9% of pregnant women, upon testing, are hepatitis B negative, and follows up with 20 to 22 vaccine doses in the first year alone. No other developed country administers as many vaccine doses in the first two years of life.

The HepB vaccine injects a newborn with a 250-microgram load of aluminum, a neurotoxic and immune-toxic adjuvant used to provoke an immune response. There are no studies to back up the safety of exposing infants to such high levels of the injected metal. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) upper limit for aluminum in intravenous (IV) fluids for newborns is far lower at five micrograms per kilogram per day (mcg/kg/day)—and even at these levels, researchers have documented the potential for impaired neurologic development. For an average newborn weighing 7.5 pounds, the HepB vaccine has over 15 times more aluminum than the FDA’s upper limit for IV solutions.

Unlike Japan, the US administers flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women (during any trimester) and babies receive flu shots at six months of age, continuing every single year thereafter. Manufacturers have never tested the safety of flu shots administered during pregnancy, and the FDA has never formally licensed any vaccines “specifically for use during pregnancy to protect the infant.”

US vaccine proponents claim the US vaccine schedule is similar to schedules in other developed countries, but this claim is inaccurate upon scrutiny. Most other countries do not recommend vaccination during pregnancy, and very few vaccinate on the first day of life. This is important because the number, type and timing of exposure to vaccines can greatly influence their adverse impact on developing fetuses and newborns, who are particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures and early immune activation. Studies show that activation of pregnant women’s immune systems can cause developmental problems in their offspring. Why are pregnant women in the US advised to protect their developing fetuses by avoiding alcohol and mercury-containing tuna fish, but actively prompted to receive immune-activating Tdap and flu vaccines, which still contain mercury (in multi-dose vials) and other untested substances?

Japan initially recommended the HPV vaccine but stopped doing so in 2013 after serious health problems prompted numerous lawsuits. Japanese researchers have since confirmed a temporal relationship between HPV vaccination and recipients’ development of symptoms. US regulators have ignored these and similar reports and not only continue to aggressively promote and even mandate the formerly optional HPV vaccine beginning in preadolescence but are now pushing it in adulthood. The Merck-manufactured HPV vaccine received fast-tracked approval from the FDA despite half of all clinical trial subjects reporting serious medical conditions within seven months.


Best & Worst: Two Different Infant Mortality Results

The CDC views infant mortality as one of the most important indicators of a society’s overall health. The agency should take note of Japan’s rate, which, at 2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, is the second lowest in the world, second only to the Principality of Monaco. In comparison, almost three times as many American infants die (5.8 per 1,000 live births), despite massive per capita spending on health care for children (see Table 2). US infant mortality ranks behind 55 other countries and is worse than the rate in Latvia, Slovakia or Cuba.

To reiterate, the US has the most aggressive vaccine schedule of developed countries (administering the most vaccines the earliest). If vaccines save lives, why are American children “dying at a faster rate, and … dying younger” compared to children in 19 other wealthy countries—translating into a “57 percent greater risk of death before reaching adulthood”? Japanese children, who receive the fewest vaccines—with no government mandates for vaccination—grow up to enjoy “long and vigorous” lives. International infant mortality and health statistics and their correlation to vaccination protocols show results that government and health officials are ignoring at our children’s great peril.

Among the 20 countries with the world’s best infant mortality outcomes, only three countries (Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore) automatically administer the HepB vaccine to all newborns—governed by the rationale that hepatitis B infection is highly endemic in these countries. Most of the other 17 top-ranking countries—including Japan—give the HepB vaccine at birth only if the mother is hepatitis B positive (Table 1). The US, with its disgraceful #56 infant mortality ranking, gives the HepB vaccine to all four million babies born annually despite a low incidence of hepatitis B.

Is the US Sacrificing Children’s Health for Profits?

Merck, the MMR vaccine’s manufacturer, is in court over MMR-related fraud. Whistleblowers allege the pharmaceutical giant rigged its efficacy data for the vaccine’s mumps component to ensure its continued market monopoly. The whistleblower evidence has given rise to two separate court cases. In addition, a CDC whistleblower has alleged the MMR vaccine increases autism risks in some children. Others have reported that the potential risk of permanent injury from the MMR vaccine dwarfs the risks of getting measles.

Why do the FDA and CDC continue to endorse the problematic MMR vaccine despite Merck’s implication in fraud over the vaccine’s safety and efficacy? Why do US legislators and government officials not demand a better alternative, as Japan did over two decades ago? Why are US cities and states forcing Merck’s MMR vaccine on American children? Is the US government protecting children, or Merck? Why are U.S. officials ignoring Japan’s exemplary model, which proves that the most measured vaccination program in the industrialized world and “first-class sanitation and levels of nutrition” can produce optimal child health outcomes that are leading the world?

A central tenet of a free and democratic society is the freedom to make informed decisions about medical interventions that carry serious potential risks. This includes the right to be apprised of benefits and risks—and the ability to say no. The Nuremberg Code of ethics established the necessity of informed consent without “any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.” Forcing the MMR vaccine, or any other vaccine, on those who are uninformed or who do not consent represents nothing less than medical tyranny.

Copyright © Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.


3. Smiling Really Does Make People Feel Happier

April McCarthy, PreventDisease.com


Smiling really can make people feel happier, according to a paper examining thousands of participants in the Psychological Bulletin.

Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live—that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being?

Most of us are not born eternal optimists, but being positive and grateful is something that can be imbibed; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humor, or the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant. Embrace gratitude and above all else the secret to being happy may just be to smile more.

Imagine we are in a pleasant situation, like bumping into an old friend on the metro. When our brains feel happy, endorphins are produced and neuronal signals are transmitted to your facial muscles to trigger a smile. This is the start of the positive feedback loop of happiness. When our smiling muscles contract, they fire a signal back to the brain, stimulating our reward system, and further increasing our level of happy hormones, or endorphins. In short, when our brain feels happy, we smile; when we smile, our brain feels happier.

The paper, coauthored by researcher Heather Lench at Texas A&M University and researchers Nicholas Coles and Jeff Larsen at University of Tennessee, looked at nearly 50 years of data testing whether posing facial expressions can lead people to feel the emotions related to those expressions.

“These findings address a critical question about the links between our internal experience and our bodies—whether changing our facial expression can alter the emotions we feel and our emotional response to the world,” Lench said.

“Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we simply smile. Or that we can get ourselves in a more serious mood if we scowl. But psychologists have actually disagreed about this idea for over 100 years,” said Coles, the lead author of the paper.

These disagreements became more pronounced in 2016 when 17 teams of researchers failed to replicate a well-known experiment demonstrating that the physical act of smiling can make people feel happier.

Using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, the team combined data from 138 studies testing over 11,000 participants from all around the world. According to the meta-analysis, posing facial expressions has a small impact on our feelings. For example, smiling makes people feel happier, scowling makes them feel angrier, and frowning makes them feel more sad.

“We don’t think that people can ‘smile their way to happiness.’ But these findings are exciting because they provide a clue about how the mind and the body interact to shape our conscious experience of emotion,” said Coles. “We still have a lot to learn about these facial feedback effects, but this meta-analysis put us a little closer to understanding how emotions work.”

Copyright © PreventDisease.com. All Rights Reserved.

This article, republished with permission, originally appeared here.


April McCarthy is a writer for PreventDisease.com.


4. The Lure of a Stimulus-response World

Jon Rappoport


Most people never even think about the individual spirit. That’s strange, because a person IS an individual spirit.

He’s not a brain or a physical form or a machine.

The individual spirit wants freedom. His energy is directed toward using that freedom to create in an open future.

An open present-and-future equals freedom.

There is internal freedom, and external freedom (open unrestricted space) in the world.

The individual spirit can be trained to expect and even favor less freedom. It happens. Often, the rationale given is: we need more rules to protect everyone. Protection, protection, protection—vastly overcooked.

Major powers behind the scenes will covertly finance and organize conflict, crime, violence, war, and violation of basic freedoms, in order to “prove” that everyone needs to be protected.

When an individual has freedom and feels it, his view of life and the world CHANGES IMMEDIATELY. He looks around, astonished. His muzzle has fallen away. He feels his voice, his body, and he feels open space. He suddenly has tons of energy, and he’s ready to use that energy.

Therefore, “operators” decide they must turn down the flame and pour water on it. “Can’t have lots of free people walking around. It spells trouble.”

Or you’ll get something like this. Sitting with his fellow planners in a secure boardroom, a heavy hitter says, “You know, in XXX Country, there is a remote lake in the mountains. Thirty families have been living there in a community for perhaps a thousand years. They still use the same large dugout canoes. They fish. They embroider and sew. They make colorful pots. They have freedom, and they know what to do with it. We leave them alone. They’re quiet. They have no interest in exporting their way of life. They’re rather quaint. All over the world, there are small groups like this. We don’t care about them. We’re focused on nations and their populations. These are the people we want to control. We want to ‘prove’ they need less freedom in order to be protected. They need more rules and intrusive laws and mandates. And many, many bureaucrats …”

Part of the control covert op involves convincing people they’re stimulus-response organisms and nothing else. SPIRIT doesn’t exist. It’s just a fiction. Instead, fit yourself into a slot where you’re obeying more and more rules—ALL the rules. Spend your life adapting to the rules. THE RULES ARE THE STIMULUS. OBEYING THE RULES IS THE RESPONSE.

As part and parcel of that process, DON’T FIND YOUR VOICE. DON’T CREATE A FREE AND STRONG VOICE. Because, if you do, you become aware of many new things. You become aware of the fact that you have a lot more power than you assumed. You have energy in that voice. You can express all sorts of ideas; you can affect others—through contagion, they begin to tap into their own voices.

On top of that, using your own voice brings you to a better state of health.

You’re inventing your own freedom.

What do you think AI is all about? Stimulus-response. AI is engineered to provide widespread and varied stimuli—in order to extract desired responses. The future would be a locked down world, disguised as “helpful machine companions.”

The lure is: “It’s easy. AI devices will help you navigate an increasing complex society. You’ll be much happier fitting into an AI civilization. You’ll bypass the need to figure out things for yourself. AI will give you simple answers and instructions. You’ll respond by following those instructions …”

How long will it take to put freedom on the back burner? Not very.

But someone who knows he has freedom and feels it—he’s different. He doesn’t care about responding to stimuli. His experience of life tells him his freedom is beyond these lunacies.

He needs to invent his future as he wants it to be.

That process is high, wide, and deep.

Copyright © Jon Rappoport. All Rights Reserved.

The author of three explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed, Exit from the Matrix and Power Outside the Matrix, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for thirty years, writing articles on politics, medicine and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com. To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit from the Matrix, click here.

Featured Video ... The Physics of Spirituality with Nassim Haramein

5. The Path to Liberating Humanity Is the Same as the Path to Liberating the Individual

Caitlin Johnstone


The path to enlightenment is the process of becoming clearly aware of all the different aspects of the way you operate inside, which enables you to relate to life as it’s actually appearing instead of through the filters of old conditioned mental habits. The path to the liberation of our species is the process of collectively becoming clearly aware of the reality of our situation as opposed to the false narratives about it, so that we can begin solving our problems as they actually are instead of the way the establishment media describes them. These two processes are recursive mirrors of each other; one describes the process on the micro scale, the other on the macro, but they occur in the exact same way.

People sometimes complain that I talk about the problems that humanity faces without ever offering any solutions. I disagree with this criticism; I talk about the solution to our problem all the time, using plain language that anyone can understand. It just often goes in one ear and out the other, because it’s not the sort of answer that people have been conditioned to listen for.

When people ask for solutions to our problems, they’re conditioned by the standard rhetoric of our time to get an essay about labor organization, political activism, consumer activism, cryptocurrencies or technological innovations, depending on where they’re at on the political spectrum. What they are not conditioned to listen for is the most direct and honest answer that I am able to give them: that we’ve got to move from an unhealthy relationship with mental narrative into a healthy one.

This is not some lofty or impractical suggestion, it’s just the thing that we need to do in order to pull up and away from our ecocidal, omnicidal trajectory and move into a healthy collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem. As long as our minds are susceptible to the manipulations of the powerful people who rule us by controlling the dominant narratives in our world, we’ll be bent to the will of sociopathic plutocrats and opaque government agencies until we plunge forever into the darkness of extinction or dehumanizing dystopia. Individuals are capable of transcending the unwholesome relationship with mental narrative which dominates conventional human consciousness, so that’s a potentiality which exists within our species as a collective as well.

This is the only off-ramp that I can see from the armageddon superhighway. It’s impossible to get the people to use the power of their numbers to unseat their oppressors as long as their oppressors are able to control the thoughts that they think in their heads. Political organization and activism can be thwarted by mass media campaigns which manipulate the majority into continuing to support the status quo. Cryptocurrencies and technological innovations are impotent as long as those in power can control the stories that the majority tells itself about how they work and what should be done with them. You won’t engage in revolutionary behavior if you’re being manipulated into not wanting to. So we’ve got to become impossible to manipulate.

This is the solution, and it’s very achievable. For millennia humanity has been writing about the capacity within all of us to transcend our old conditioning patterns and perceive the world free from the filters of mental narrative. They wrote about it within the limitations that existed on their expression at the time, coloring their descriptions with their respective religious beliefs, linguistic and cultural conventions, and what understanding of the mind they had access to in a pre-science world, and their ideas were generally cloistered within small esoteric circles due to the limited nature of communication, but the underlying message was always the same: reality is not what our thoughts describe, and we are all capable of perceiving beyond that mental veil.

Up until now, the phenomenon of what many refer to as enlightenment has been a fairly rare occurrence within our species (though I suspect not quite as rare as some claim). According to some teachers who’ve been coaching people through the process for decades, it seems to be happening more and more frequently today. The teacher Adyashanti writes the following:

There’s a phenomenon happening in the world today. More and more people are waking up—having real, authentic glimpses of reality. By this I mean that people seem to be having moments where they awaken out of their familiar senses of self, and out of their familiar senses of what the world is, into a much greater reality—into something far beyond anything they knew existed.

These experiences of awakening differ from  person to person. For some, the awakening is sustained over time, while for others the glimpse is momentary—it may last just a split second. But in that instant, the whole sense of “self ” disappears. The way they perceive the world suddenly changes, and they find themselves without any sense of separation between themselves and the rest of the world. It can be likened to the experience of waking up from a dream—a dream you didn’t even know you were in until you were jolted out of it.

In the beginning of my teaching work, most of the people who came to me were seeking these deeper realizations of spirituality. They were seeking to wake up from the limiting and isolated senses of self they had imagined themselves to be. It’s this yearning that underpins all spiritual seeking: to discover for ourselves what we already intuit to be true— that there is more to life than we are currently perceiving.

But as time  has passed, more  and  more  people are coming to me who have already had glimpses of this greater reality.

Renowned author and teacher Eckhart Tolle agrees:

I see signs that it is already happening. For the first time there is a large scale awakening on our planet. Why now? Because if there is no change in human consciousness now, we will destroy ourselves and perhaps the planet. The insanity of the collective egoic mind, amplified by science and technology, is rapidly taking our species to the brink of disaster. Evolve or die: that is our only choice now. Without considering the Eastern world, my estimate is that at this time about ten percent of people in North America are already awakening. That makes thirty million Americans alone, and in addition to those people in other North American countries, about ten percent of the population of Western European countries are also awakening. This is probably enough of a critical mass to bring about a new earth. So the transformation of consciousness is truly happening even though they won’t be reporting it on tonight’s news. Is it happening fast enough? I am hopeful about humanity’s future, much more so now than when I wrote The Power of Now. In fact that is why I wrote that book. I really wasn’t sure that humanity was going to survive. Now I feel differently. I see many reasons to be hopeful.

You are of course free to believe these guys or not, but I personally don’t see any incentive for them to be disingenuous about what they’re seeing in their field of work. The best way to make a fortune as a spiritual teacher is to gather a large cult-like following around yourself under the presentation of having attained something exceedingly special and rare, not to say essentially, “Yeah this is happening all over the place now; it’s no big deal. What happened to me is becoming as common as grass.”

So why the change? Why after millennia of enlightenment remaining a rare phenomenon are we suddenly seeing it becoming more common?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that we’re at evolve-or-die time as a species, and something primal deep within us is leaping to clear that hurdle in the same way all organisms fight to survive with everything they’ve got. Maybe it’s got something to do with our exponentially improved ability to network and share information, making useful pointers and teachings which guide the way to enlightenment vastly more accessible. Maybe our unprecedented access to information itself is the cause; billions of human brains suddenly connected to mankind’s entire collective archive of knowledge is in and of itself a drastic change in human consciousness. Maybe it’s all three. Maybe it’s something else we can’t see yet. But it does appear to be happening.

So what is enlightenment? There are as many answers to this question as there are people interested in it. Many will tell you that it’s a “merging with the divine” or some other unhelpful word salad of metaphysical specialness. Others will tell you that it’s a recognition of your own true nature as pure awareness which witnesses the play of forms. Others will say it’s the awakening of an energy in the spine known as kundalini, whose rise up through the crown of the head transforms your way of functioning. Others will say it’s simply seeing life as it is, unfiltered by mental conditioning. Go to online spiritual discussion forums and you’ll find people arguing about this question with the same vitriolic fervor as you see between different political ideologies in the forums you’re probably more familiar with.

Personally I haven’t found it very useful to talk about enlightenment as one specific thing that happens in one specific instance, like a lightbulb flicking on once and then you’re done. There are many different aspects to the human condition, and you can be very conscious of the way some of them are happening and deeply unconscious of others. The fiery shopkeeper guru Nisargadatta Maharaj, for example, was profoundly lucid on the nature of awareness and the field of consciousness which appears within it, able to speak with earth-shaking clarity that radically changed people’s lives despite having little education. But he was also a chain smoker and died of lung cancer, unable to bring clear seeing to that particular unwholesome aspect of his functioning. Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke in a specific part of the linguistic center of her brain, permanently changing her relationship with mental narrative and bringing her a tremendous amount of inner peace, but she can’t teach people how to get there for themselves because she didn’t consciously walk through any path to get there.

Enlightenment is more like the process of turning on the lights in a very large house, room by room. For some people the kitchen light is on, but the entire upstairs floor is dark. Others have the lights on in the master bedroom and the basement, but everything in between is endarkened.

Some people have a very clear understanding of the nature of awareness and thought, which tends to get the most play in the discussion of spiritual enlightenment. But others have flicked the lights on in the way their bodily energy systems operate, able to experience and use those energies in a way that other people just aren’t conscious of. Others have enlightened their previously repressed childhood traumas, and are able to clearly understand how their experiences in life have shaped the way they’re conditioned to think and behave. Others have enlightened their emotionality, and have a deep, emotionally rich relationship with life while others sedate and ignore their emotions. Others have enlightened their inner guidance system and are able to perceive a tug toward wise decisions which lead them to take beneficial actions. None of these are any more special or important than the other, they’re just different rooms in the house that either have the lights on or off.

Whenever you hear about a spiritual teacher conducting themselves in a way that could be described as unenlightened, sleeping with students or having childish temper tantrums, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not enlightened in some sense. It could just mean that they’re enlightened in one way but not in another. In one way they’re able to relate to life with great clarity, and in another they’re just as confused and clumsy as anyone else. The lights are on in the attic but not the living room.

And, to bring this home to the opening paragraph of this essay, the same is true of the process of enlightening the world. There are a great many ways in which humanity is asleep at the wheel, and we’re going to have to bring the light of truth to all of them.

We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to the ways we’ve all been lied to by our teachers, by our politicians and by our media. We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to the horrors of war and the sinister motives behind it. We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to what we’re doing to our ecosystem and the forces which incentivize us to play along with ecocide. We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to the ways we enslave and are enslaved by each other in our interpersonal relationships, and how we enslave and are enslaved by our current social systems. We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry and the ways that they prevent us from having wholesome relationships with each other. We’re going to have to bring the light of truth to the manipulations of the financial sector, money in politics, the evils of factory farming, the prison system, the war on drugs, and the structures which keep economic injustice in place. We can’t fight problems if we can’t see them clearly, so we’ve got to help each other turn the lights on in all of those areas. We’ve got to enlighten them.

None of the steps taken on this path toward the enlightenment of humanity are any more or less important than any other. One rebel may spend their energy exposing the false narratives of the news media. One rebel may bring attention to the plight of the Palestinians. One rebel may spend years making a documentary exposing the senseless butchery of dolphins in Taiji. One rebel may help film the unseen cruelty of factory farming. One rebel might share her story and expose the reality of rape culture. One rebel might help show everyone all the genocide and exploitation that went into creating their country as it currently exists, and help them come to a mature relationship with and response to that reality. One rebel might make art encouraging people to open their eyes to what’s really going on. Each of these small rebellions help flick on the lights of the house that is our world, and we need all of it.

With intense, sincere inner work, we can flick on the lights of our inner world room-by-room so that we can relate to life as it actually is in more and more ways. With intense, sincere outer work, we can flick on the lights of our outer world room by room and begin solving the problems that had previously been obscured by blackouts and propaganda disinfo. These movements are fundamentally the same. They both complement each other, and they’re both indispensable.

This article, republished under a creative commons license, originally appeared here.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, bogan socialist, anarcho-psychonaut and guerrilla poet.

~

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