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See Why The Coming August Eclipses May Trigger Your Life to Shift And Hopefully for the Better



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Next month, there will be two eclipses: a full moon eclipse on August 7th in Leo and Aquarius, and a New Moon eclipse on August 21st in Leo. The August 21st eclipse will be a total solar eclipse visible in the US.

This article is an astrological interpretation of what these eclipses mean.

To begin with, anyone reading this can research the following planetary placements and figure out for themselves what people say they mean: you can research “Sun in Leo, Mars in Leo, Moon in Aquarius, Venus in Cancer, Sun conjunct Mars, Sun sextile Jupiter, Sun quincunx Neptune, ect.” and find a basic foundation of info for what these things mean. Interpreting the eclipse is putting all these pieces together: and truly feeling for oneself what is accurate and inaccurate.

As I mentioned in my last astrology article about August as a whole, I think this month is finally the turning point after a long, hard year and a half or so of depressed, difficult energy for everyone.

Studying astrology for the past several years, I’ve been slowly learning about what an eclipse really means. Astrologers theorize that an eclipse kind of solidifies an energy in the air for an extended period of time: that wherever an eclipse occurs, however it aspects the other planets and stars, that energy of the eclipse’s peak is solidified in the air on Earth for some unknown period of time afterward.

I have tested this theory (as with testing the accuracy of other components of astrology), and it seems to be like this: the more exact an eclipse is, and the more exact the planetary aspects made to the Sun and Moon during the eclipse (for example, Sun and Moon square Saturn during the March 2016 eclipse, or Sun and Moon trine Uranus during the 2017 eclipse), the longer the eclipse’s energy is solidified in the air on Earth.

And by solidified in the air, I literally mean the feeling at the peak of the eclipse continues, on and on, in the atmosphere, in people’s energy and feelings, for several months after the eclipse.

I wasn’t sure that the energy of the eclipse would stay stuck in the air that long after an eclipse, before 2016.

Then, after the Total Eclipse of March 8, 2016, and the eclipse in September 2016 that locked into ultra malefic aspects, I realized the effect of an eclipse absolutely can solidify in the air for an extended period of time.

This was the eclipse of March 2016. It squared Saturn: a Saturn square is one of the most harsh, depression causing, inspiration crushing aspects in all of astrology. It also locked into the once every 10 year Jupiter square Saturn, an absolutely brutal aspect.


Guess where the next solar eclipse occurred, in September 2016? Also square Saturn: locked into the extremely brutal, once every 18 year aspect Saturn square Neptune. This eclipse was so powerfully malefic, I truly believe it made the several months following it brutal for people.

Not only that, but if an eclipse occurs on a certain spot in your personal astrology chart, such as an eclipse on your Mars, it can bring out that aspect of you for a few months: for example, if an eclipse happened on your Mars, you might feel your fire and energy rise to the surface in you for a few months. If an eclipse happened on a generation’s Neptune placement, their spirituality might all rise up at once for a few months, and they may all feel a wave of energy at once.

I will get the ultimate test of what an eclipse does in a week and a half: at that time, an eclipse will occur exactly on my Sun and Moon in Aquarius and Leo: but the peak of the eclipse is so precisely aligned with my Sun, that it is only 0.08 degrees off: the eclipse is at 15.25 degrees Aquarius and my Sun is 15.33 degrees.

So what might happen to me? I might get a blast of my own core energy, the thinking, learning energy of Aquarius, and I might feel my own core identity become dominant in my personality for a few months.

As for everyone else, this is my interpretation of what the eclipse will do. The best way to look at it is in pieces, aspects, and then the full picture of the eclipse is all of these aspects combined.

The eclipse actually makes an astrological configuration called a “Yod,” or a “Golden Finger of God.” That’s where two planets are opposing, and one of the opposing planets makes quincunx aspects to two other planets, forming a shape like the green dotted lines in the chart above.

A quincunx is a neutral, slightly positive aspect that simply fuses together two energies and mixes them. In this case, the equation is Sun and Mars in Leo mixing with Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn. It translates to a warm, energized, human Leo energy that is filled with heart, spirituality, concern for humanity, and deep watery Piscean things. The Leo- Pisces quincunx is a particularly nice one, because when you fuse warm Leo energy with selfless, heart filled Pisces energy, you essentially get a warm (Leo) heart (Pisces).

When you add Pluto in Capricorn to the mix, it serves to add an intensity to it (as does Mars), and a serious Capricornian feel. So this configuration suggests a warm, fiery, masculine and determined (Sun conjunct Mars in Leo), solidification (Eclipse) of the desire to feel heart, feel empathy for people, and have concern for the future (Pisces), which may shed previously held ideas and change people with a serious tone of energy (Pluto in Capricorn).

Now here’s another huge sign that this eclipse is a positive, and not negative omen: it makes positive aspects (sextiles and trines) to the “positive planet,” Jupiter. If that isn’t a good omen, I don’t know what is.

So with Sun/Mars sextile Jupiter in Libra and the Moon trine Jupiter during the eclipse, a massive, positive, just generally good feeling energy will guide people through the experience and give people a foundation to pursue what the purpose of the eclipse seems to be, which is found in Leo-Pisces.

I think this eclipse is an omen of increased empathy, increased concern for other people, increased interest in the nature of life and spirituality, ect.

Leo has a unique obsession with understanding the nature of life and this existence, and so do Aquarius and Pisces. However, Leo is focused on the self when it comes to this pursuit of truth, whereas it’s opposite Aquarius is focused on humanity as a whole and not the self.

Pisces is very selfless like Aquarius, so the Leo/Aquarius/Pisces mix is a perfect one, that adds warmth and common sense to the humanitarian, nature-of-this-reality-pursuing energy of Aquarius and Pisces. Aquarius and Pisces lack the warmth and common sense that Leo has, so when you mix it all together, you get a really strong equation for growing empathy and growing a desire to learn about the nature of this life and reality.

Mercury conjunct Orcus for the entire 2 week span between the eclipses is a hugely unlikely event: Mercury only stays in one position like this at the beginning and end of it’s tri-annual retrogrades. The fact that Mercury would be conjunct Orcus suggests more importance in Pisces, learning the nature of this reality, spirituality, empathy, and an extremely strong willpower toward that goal. This is why:

Astrologers don’t know much about the dwarf planet Orcus, but knowing it’s astronomical qualities can help determine what it might mean.

Orcus’ Perihelion is in Pisces, which astrologer Nick Anthony Fiorenza believes associates its energy with Pisces. Sidereally, this is called Aquarius, which is how he refers to the constellation. According to his interpretation of Orcus:

“The location of Orcus’s Perihelion reveals the area in our lives that Orcus is most influential. Due to Orcus’ 20.574° orbital inclination, Orcus’ perihelion lies north of the ecliptic in the constellation Pegasus; entering the ecliptic at 15° 04′ sidereal Aquarius, the mid-point of this sidereal sign—marking the Angel Point of the Zodiak. This is one of the purest areas of resonance in the ecliptic; a fortuitous and beneficent area of the zodiak. Humanitarianism, altruism, and an evolved humanitarian-based society beyond conflicts based upon cultural, gender or religious differences are the hallmark of this zodiakal band. The word ‘social’ is derived from the Old French or the Latin ‘socialis’, meaning ‘allied’, or from ‘socius’ meaning ‘friend’— good words to describe the essence of sidereal Aquarius. Here all are recognized as allied friends, as one human family.”

Another thing that suggests the eclipses are about heart and empathy, is the fact that Venus is in Cancer, the sign of emotions and family, for the duration of the eclipses.

This is the second eclipse: August 21.

Now here is my interpretation of the second eclipse on August 21: a New Moon eclipse at the end of Leo. It’s a Solar Eclipse that will actually block the Sun in the United States, an astronomical phenomena that many have been looking forward to.

First of all, this eclipse occurs at a “hotspot” of Leo energy: a particularly strong flavor of Leo, because the end of Leo is where the bright blue star Regulus resides.

Regulus has been revered for millennia, a star that can actually be touched by the planets because it’s the closest bright star to the ecliptic plane, the belt of all planets. Sometimes, the Moon actually “occults” the star Regulus, fully aligning with it.

Regulus has a revolutionary, bold, fiery quality to it. It’s a warrior star, an energy that is very headstrong and potentially righteous.

Another energy that is extremely headstrong and (potentially) righteous is Uranus, especially in fiery Aries: and the most exact aspect this eclipse makes is a strong, positive trine to Uranus in Aries.

As the first eclipse was in Leo and Aquarius, the second one is trine Aquarius’ planet, Uranus: thinker, revolutionary, unique energy of Uranus and Aquarius are the dominant theme in these eclipses. Fiery thinker energy.

Now, it must also be noted that people in the world who are lost or confused will feel the headstrong, electric, inspired energy as well: so people will all feel energized at once, and those who are misguided will feel the energy for perhaps a misguided purpose, while others may feel the inspiration for a better purpose. It’s everyone on Earth feeling the energy at once in their unique ways.

This is an extremely clear sign of revolutionary, warrior energy: this eclipse will solidify an inspiration in people, a revolutionary conviction, a headstrong energy, an electric, thinking, learning energy in people that is lit on fire. Surely certain powers in the world will try to utilize the energy to create chaos and frustration as well.

Similar to 2014, when the eclipses in Libra and Aries occurred in conjunction to Uranus, a very inspired, electric, thinking fiery energy will be stuck in the air for an unknown period of time after the August 21st eclipse.

So to sum it up again, this is what I think the eclipses will do:

The first eclipse will, in a fiery and strong way, open people up to their feelings more, and promote empathy, emotion, thinking about the nature of reality and existence.

The second eclipse will instill fire and electricity in people: a bold willpower, rejuvenated inspiration and energy, a warrior-thinker energy that will inspire everyone from good people, to bad people, to clear minded people, to confused people.

What you learn when studying astrology for years is this: the way the planets move, the locations of eclipses, these things occur in extremely fateful, precise, unlikely and synchronistic aspects.

It’s not likely that the March 2016 total eclipse would exactly lock into the most important outerplanetary aspect occurring at that time, Jupiter square Saturn. It’s not likely that the eclipse of September 2016 exactly lock into the same aspect, and lock into the next most important (malefic) aspect of 2016, Saturn square Neptune.

So knowing that, it isn’t every eclipse that locks into the most important, once every 20 year aspects in the sky, so that gives us a feel for how important the eclipse is. If an eclipse doesn’t really do interesting things, doesn’t happen in some synchronistic or unusual way, that’s a sign that it isn’t as significant as other eclipses.

But even if an eclipse isn’t unusual, it still seems to solidify some kind of energy in the air for months at a time: I believe an eclipse truly sets the tone for the next period of time, until the next eclipse.

To learn more about astrology or book a reading like this, follow Tryptamine Astrology here.

(Images credit: brookmarobservatory, IB Times, Space Telescope) Featured image: Photograph by Colleen Pinski, National Geographic Your Shot

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]


9-Year-Old Mexican Girl With Higher IQ Than Albert Einstein Already Studying to be Astronaut



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Adhara Pérez may only be nine years old, but she already has big dreams – which is only fitting, considering the Mexico City native has an IQ of 162, a score even higher than quantum scientists Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Adhara has been taking IQ tests since she was only four years old, and has been applying her considerable brain power to studying advanced subjects that some of us could only dream of grasping.

At the age of seven, she was already ranked by Forbes magazine in 2019 as one of the most powerful women in Mexico.

The young prodigy is already studying for two degrees: one is systems engineering at the Universidad CNCI, and the other is industrial engineering at UNITEC.

She’s also been invited to pursue a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Miami; as well as an offer to study physics at the University of Israel.

To top it off, she’s been invited to join the Aeronautics Program in Alabama and to study Space Science at NASA, reports Telemundo. She hopes to eventually become an astronaut.

However, the youngster is aiming to continue her studies at the University of Arizona and is quickly learning English in hopes of preparing to pursue her dreams.

“I have to stay there for three months to learn and get accustomed to hearing and speaking English,” Adhara explained to NBC San Diego.

At the age of three, Adhara was diagnosed with autism and bullied by neighborhood kids in the Mexican capital for being different. The youngster eventually fell into a deep depression, but this also began her journey toward a brighter future.

Upon being placed in therapy by her mother, she underwent various IQ tests and got a score of 162 – two points higher than Einstein and Hawking, who each scored 160.

Upon finishing high school at the age of eight, she began working on her degrees online. She’s also already written a book about her experience being bullied and the need for perserverence.

Her advice?

“Do not give up, and if you don’t like where you are, start planning where you want to be!”

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

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7 Powerful Books That Will Unleash The Hidden Potential Of Your Mind



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“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ~George R.R. Martin

There it is: your mind –all leashed-up, bored, bookless and chasing its own tail in the corner. It’s time to unleash it. It’s time to toss it back into the shocking waters of wonder and awe. It’s time to distract it from the all too familiar tail (or tale, to wit), and give it a juicy carrot to chase around instead. Seven juicy carrots, to be exact.

So, store that leash, open up your mind, curl up with your best friend, and dive right on in to the following mind-unleashing books. But keep the light on. As Groucho Marx wittily opined, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

1.) “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsche

“We never know any data before interpreting it through theories. All observations are, as Popper put it, theory-laden, and hence fallible, as all our theories are.” ~David Deutsche

From epistemology and quantum fungibility to environmental ethics and societal evolution, David Deutsche takes us on a thought-provoking journey into answering a single question: Is there a limit to what can be understood? He comes at a mind-expending answer of “no” by diving deep into the expanding waters of epistemology and ontology. He profoundly claims that our understanding of anything is always at the “beginning of infinity” and there will always be an infinite amount more left for us to understand. Basically surmising that, with accurate and adaptable knowledge, anything is possible unless it is prohibited by the laws of physics.

Highly rational and integrating, The beginning of Infinity launches us into higher thinking on the path toward better and better explanations. He takes us from parochial, outdated ways of thinking to the concept of universality and updated ways of thinking about the universe as a thing to be progressively evolved into using ever-expanding technologies. Thus bridging the gap from man to overman. As he made clear, “There is only one way of thinking that is capable of making progress, or of surviving in the long run, and that is the way of seeking good explanations through creativity and criticism.”

2.) “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.” ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Thanks to Csikszentmihalyi, the idea of the “flow state” has become a vital aspect of our cultural awakening. The optimal experience is gained through deep discipline in a particular field/art/sport that provides intrinsic reward, challenge, and feedback, thus integrating confidence, concentration, control, adaptability, and connectivity. Time stops or slows down. Insecurities disappear. We stop caring about what others think of us. A creative unfolding of something larger manifests. Everything flows effortlessly in interconnected unison with us as its interdependent spearhead. In short: we stop thinking and just do.

By simply asking the question, “When are people most happy?” Csikszentmihalyi, through time tested research, pinpoints flow states as the answer. Athletes call it “being in the zone,” mystics have described it as “ecstasy,” and artists term it “rapture.” Unleashing optimal experience is about doing what we love as a pathway toward greater meaning, happiness, and a self of higher complexity. By doing what we love in challenging ways, we leverage optimal experience into our lives. This book powerfully explains the psychology of this vital process.

3.) “Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul” by Giulio Tononi

“Murky thoughts, like murky waters, can serve two purposes only: to hide what lies beneath, which is our ignorance, or to make the shallow seem deep” ~Giulio Tononi

Phi takes the reader on a mind-altering journey through the nature of consciousness. It interweaves science, art, and the imagination with golden ratios, Fibonacci sequences, and fractal cosmology. The reader has the joy of perceiving the world through such masters as Galileo, Alan Turing, Darwin and Francis Crick, among others. From neuroscience to pseudoscience, from deep introspection to mindful meditation, Tononi elucidates on how consciousness is an evolving, ever-deepening awareness of ourselves as finite, spiritual beings in an infinite universe.

We learn how consciousness is integrated information and how the power of that integration requires the utmost responsibility and credulity. It teaches how the brain is the seat of our perceptions, and is a creative force par excellence, and can even create new shapes and new qualia. It teaches how, by growing consciousness, the universe comes more and more into being, and synthesizes the one and the many, the ego and the eco, the individual and the interdependence of all things into a unified force of Nature.

4.) “The Art of Fear” by Kristen Ulmer

““Everything is fine” is actually a copout, a stuck place, an obstruction to the exploration of who and what you are expanding into higher and further, not to mention the evolution of humanity.” ~Kristen Ulmer

The Art of fear is about curiously embracing fear rather than conquering or repressing it. It’s about rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up. It’s about realizing that Fear is only one of 10,000 employees at You Incorporated, and how they all need a voice. But Fear most of all, lest all voices become repressed shadows. The key to fear, she explains, is being curious about it, thereby harnessing its power rather than conquering it. Between courage and curiosity is everything we need to be fearless.

Ulmer’s personal journey with fear eventually led her to study with Zen masters, from which she learned a mindfulness tool called “Shift” which shifts our perspective of fear from ignorant repression to proactive curiosity, thus aligning it authentically with our true nature. The basic tenet being this: Instead of repressing fear, empower it, by being curious and questioning rather than judgmental and accusing. Honor it with deep respect so it doesn’t operate covertly in twisted ways beneath the surface.

5.) “Endgame: The Problem of Civilization” by Derrick Jensen

“Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.” ~Derrick Jensen

Endgame will take everything you think you know about being a social being in a seemingly functional society and turn it on its head. Definitely not for the typical statist, nor the faithful law-abiding citizen. Endgame is about the imperative need to immediately dismantle the unhealthy civilization that surrounds us. Endgame is a scathing, raging critique against the unhealthy, unsustainable, and ecologically unsound man-machine that is our modern culture.

Breaking the book down into a series of simple but increasingly provocative premises, Jensen takes us on a mind-bending and convincing ride into the unhealthy belly of the violent, ecocidal beast that is modern day civilization. His basic premise is simple: Industrial civilization is unsustainable. It’s not a question of “if” but a question of “when” it’s going to fail.

He argues that the longer it takes civilization to fall, the worse the tragedy will be. In that light, there are two things we should be doing: Bringing about the fall sooner rather than later; and preparing to survive it. His attitude is caustic and cavalier, but all the better for the shock value it provides. This book really flattens the box we’re all so desperately trying to think outside of. A complimentary (and perhaps less aggressive) read is Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn.

6.) Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth, and Art by Lewis Hyde

“Better to operate with detachment, then; better to have a way but infuse it with a little humor; best, to have no way at all but to have instead the wit constantly to make one’s way anew from the materials at hand.” ~Lewis Hyde

Trickster Makes This World is a mythological cornerstone for Sacred Clowns and practicing trickster-gods the world over, digging into the guts of the primordial importance of sacred play and rowdy behavior. Hyde explores how trickster figures represent the “disruptive imagination” that inverts, rearranges, and overturns conventional wisdom. From Raven to Coyote, Monkey to Crow, Hermes to Loki, Eshu to Legba, Hyde reveals connections between mythological tricksters that form a hidden network that connects cultural divides.

The best part about this book is its ability to show how mythology becomes reality. “Trickster consciousness’” is a vital component of human imagination. It reveals that we are the gods of renewal and rebirth, if we choose to be. We are the creators of mischief and mayhem. We are the trickster gods in training. Trickster is us, and we are Trickster. We are the ultimate boundary-crossers. No manmade rules or laws can contain us, unless we let them. Even cosmic rules and laws can hardly contain us. Trickster makes this world by tearing the old world down through high humor, moral ambiguity, foolishness, and strategic transgression and then dances in the ashes of its destruction. But it is precisely from the dancing, the kicking up of dust and ash, where brave new worlds emerge.

7.) “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them” by Joshua Greene

“We need a kind of thinking that enables groups with conflicting moralities to live together and prosper. In other words, we need a metamorality. We need a moral system that resolves disagreements among groups with different moral ideals, just as ordinary first-order morality resolves disagreements among individuals with different selfish interests.” ~Joshua Greene

Moral Tribes is hands-on moral psychology and a refreshing new take on utilitarianism. Greene wraps game theory, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience into a nice digestible package to bolster his theory of cognition, which builds elegantly into a theory of moral psychology. A sweeping synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, Moral Tribes opens a can of psychosocial worms that takes the concept of morality to the next level, revealing how we are exceptionally well-adept at solving the dilemma between “Me” and “Us,” through the concept of the “tribe,” but how we are ridiculously less-adept at solving the meta-dilemma between “Us” and “Them.”

Greene’s concept of metamorlity squares this psychosocial circle by counterintuitively applying utilitarianism to our base, knee-jerk reaction to morality (evolved morality) by becoming aware of our apathy in order to become more empathetic. By reinforcing humanity instead of nationalism, and worldly patriotism instead of patriotic nationalism, we turn the tables on both xenophobia and apathy and we become more compassionate and empathetic toward others. When we celebrate diversity instead of trying to cram the square peg of colonialism into the round hole of cultural affiliation, we turn the tables on the monkey-mind’s one-dimensional moral tribalism and we usher in Joshua Greene’s multi-dimensional metamorality.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

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10 Things You Don’t Wan’t To Know About Yourself



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“Freedom is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” ~George Orwell

Sick of all those self-affirmation articles? Tired of all the self-help gurus blowing sunshine up your skirt? Need something a little more grounding? More down-to-earth? More humbling? Here’s a fresh batch of wake-up calls and kicks-in-the-shin straight from the oven. Get it while its hot…

1.) You are an animal:

“What a chimera then is humankind. What a novelty; what a monster, what a chaos.” ~Blaise Pascal
This one is painfully obvious, but you probably need a reminder.

You are a naked ape. You are blood and bones and improbable apposable thumbs. You were born from the womb and you will one day be food for worms. In the womb, you went through all the phases of evolution: from a single-celled amoeba to a multicellular tadpole to a brain-wielding infant.

In your short life, you will piss and shit and bleed. You will rage and cry and sleep. You will go through all the profane motions of being a mortal mammal within an amoral universe. And here’s the real kick in the teeth: it’s going to hurt like hell. Hope you have a good sense of humor, because you’re going to need it.

2.) You are fallible:

“Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.” ~W.B. Yeats

You are terribly imperfect. You will make mistakes. More so, you are mistaken about a great many things. Most of which you will probably never admit to yourself, because admitting you are wrong is one of the most difficult things a human being can do.

But it goes deeper than that. There are fallibilities within fallibilities. It’s a veritable fractal forest of fallibility. A fractal wrongness, if you will.

You are more wrong about things than you can possibly imagine, and yet you insist. You force your wrongness. You are fierce with it, ruthlessly certain with it. You are so hungry for rightness that you bludgeon the Truth with your wrongness. All the while imagining that you are right.

As it turns out, you are more likely to be right by admitting that you are probably wrong than by declaring that you are probably right.

3.) You are a hypocrite:

“You have not learned to play and mock the way a man ought to play and mock. Are we not always seated at a great table for play and mockery? Learn to laugh at yourselves as a man ought to laugh. Learn to laugh beyond yourselves, and learn to laugh well.” ~Nietzsche

You are a hypocrite by nature. By the fact that you perceive an unfathomable reality with fallible faculties. It’s not even your fault. Just the fact that you are a “you” precludes hypocrisy. The self is smoke and mirrors, masks and mayhem. More akin to a chaotic theater of actors than a single personality.

Indeed, the self is masks all the way down perceiving delusions all the way up. Hypocrisy was always inevitable. Merely the biproduct of a fallible self.

Amidst this mayhem of fallible selfhood, you will experience dissimulation and self-deception, dishonesty and deep pretension, inauthenticity and artificiality. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The rest is hidden beneath layer upon layer of subconscious/unconscious double-dealings, feigned sincerity, two-faced unctuousness, and the mealymouthed choruses of canting contradictions.

Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, so you might as well own up to it.

4.) You will fail:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~Samuel Beckett

Failure is a given when you are merely a fallible, hypocritical animal going through the motions of living life in an uncertain universe.

But there is wisdom hidden in failure if you are keen to it. Setbacks can be transformed into steppingstones. Tragedy can be hardwired into comedy. Catastrophe can be whittled into accomplishment. You can build a ladder out of the shattered pieces of your life and climb out of the abyss.

But guess what? You will probably fail again. The higher you climb the farther you may fall. When it comes to failure, there is always a deeper abyss. Defeat, hard luck, and utter collapse are right around the corner. Disappointment is Accomplishment’s kissing cousin. Tragedy is Triumph’s red-headed stepchild. Today’s achievement could very well be tomorrow’s tripwire. So be it. Use it all as a sharpening stone for your all-too-mortal soul.

5.) You are never not broken:

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.” ~M.C. Escher

Wholeness does not imply perfection. It infers embracing brokenness as an essential part of being human. There is never a state in which you are not broken.
You are a walking, talking broken heart going through the motions of breaking apart and coming back together again. This also applies to the mind, the body, and the soul. You are constantly in a state of repair.

Your suffering is sufferable. What’s insufferable is your ideal of perfection. There will always be pain. There will always be heartache. There will always be existential angst. We wreck ourselves against these. Then we knock out the dents, mend the cracks, and heal the wounds. We do this in the hope that it will make us stronger. But perhaps it won’t.
The wound may or may not become a sacred wound. All you can do is hurt, heal, and hope. Hurt, heal, and hope. From fragility to robustness to antifragility, you will always be in a state of falling apart and coming back together again. Embrace it.

6.) You have a dark side:

“There are no shortcuts to wholeness. The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we know ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say, ‘I am all of the above.’” ~Parker J. Palmer

You have a shadow. Even your shadow has a shadow called the golden shadow. Your shadow is your repressed or unconscious self, struggling to be liberated and more conscious. Awareness is key. Becoming aware of our shadow side is shining a light into the darkness and giving our dark side permission to shine its blacklight back into the blinding light, which creates a unity of opposites.
An empowered dark side balances out the equation of the complicated human condition. Without this balance, you risk fragile one-dimensionality and a brittle ego terrified of taking responsibility for its shadow and thus fearful of the shadow of others.

You cannot fully know yourself without knowing your dark side and embracing your shadow. Such wholeness breeds wisdom and the ability to experience the full range of what it means to be human.

7.) Your beliefs limit you:

“If you adopt an idea or perception as the absolute truth, you close the door of your mind. Attachment to views, attachment to ideas, attachment to perceptions are the biggest obstacle to truth.” ~The Buddha

Your beliefs are incredibly restricting. You’ve been indoctrinated to think that you need to believe. Even worse, you’ve been brainwashed to believe more than you think.

In the battle against bewitchment, all beliefs, no matter how powerful or well-intended, are a hinderance to clear thought and self-improvement.

tter to think rather than believe. Thinking that something might be true allows for error, fallibility, and wrongness. Believing that something is certainly true cuts us off from all other possibilities. Belief is all or nothing, predicated upon faith despite facts or evidence. Thought is open-ended, taking beliefs, facts, and evidence into deep consideration and then using probability and validity to discover the truth.

More importantly, thinking rather than believing allows for skepticism and questioning. It is considered blasphemous to question a belief. Whereas questioning a thought is considered appropriate. Might as well just skip belief altogether and simply take things into thoughtful consideration.

8.) You are culturally conditioned:

“When war turns whole populations into sleepwalkers, outlaws don’t join forces with alarm clocks. Outlaws, like poets, rearrange the nightmare.” ~Tom Robbins

You are programmed to think a certain way. This programming has propped-up your identity into perceiving a particular worldview that may or may not be based in reality. It might not even be healthy. This identity tied up in your worldview is an abstraction of an abstraction, a story within a story that you’ve convinced yourself is true.

But you have the power to reprogram your programming.

We are all conditioned by culture. The key is to become aware of it and to weigh our conditioning against the truth of reality. Then recondition the conditioning. We each have our own Plato’s Cave to navigate.

The extent to which you can become aware of your own “cave” will be the extent of your flexibility, open-mindedness, and personal freedom.

9.) You know less than you think:

“Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything.” ~Robert Rubin

You think you know more than you actually do. Your certainty about a great many things limits your imagination, creative thinking, and ability to question. It leads to dogmatic reasoning and close-mindedness.

ou are just so certain, aren’t you? Your certitude is so powerful that you cannot see past your beliefs. Hung up on what you’ve found, you have given up the search. Your journey has come to an end. Your certainty has led you to a dead-end. You are stuck. And the only way out is to question what you think you know.

The more you question, the more you realize that the only answer that makes any sense is to keep questioning. When you stop questioning the journey for truth comes to an end and stagnation, sloth, and dogmatism begin to rule your world. Keep things in perspective by accepting that you know less than you think you do and keep questioning.

10.) Your life is terribly inconsequential:

“Don’t slip on the banana peel of nihilism, even while listening to the roar of Nothingness.” ~Lawrence Ferlinghetti

When it comes down to it, your life is a flash in the pan. It’s dust in the cosmic wind. It’s an infinitesimally insignificant spark in an unfathomably dark, unforgiving, and meaningless universe. But it is a spark.

What you do won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But it’s very important that you do it anyway. Why? Because you are the universe attempting to become aware of itself. You are an awareness machine in an otherwise unaware cosmos. You are a meaning-generator in a reality void of meaning. You might be nothing more than a speck in the universe, but you are also the entire universe in a speck.

Either way, you will one day be dust. Your tiny insignificant life will end. Face that fleetingness with a fierceness. Laugh into the abyss. Face fear with fearlessness. Climb the highest mountain and kick God in the nuts. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Or not. None of it will matter in the end. You will still be the butt-end of the cosmic joke. It’s all laughable. So you might as well have a laugh.

Gary Z McGee, Self-inflicted Philosophy, republished here with permission.

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