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Consciousness

F*** Security! Take the Hero’s Journey

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“There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!” ~Nietzsche

Do you ever feel frustrated with who you are? Do you ever feel restless? Like you’re not living your best life? Like you’re severed from it? I’m not talking about hating your job, or wishing you had more money, or why you can’t leave the dead weight of your significant other behind. I mean do you ever feel frustrated with yourself, with who you are at the core of yourself?

Do you ever feel manufactured? Like the culture has molded you into a thing that you can’t quite shake? Like your mind has been hijacked by a billion status quo anxieties? Like your soul has been put on layaway for some other life?

If so, it’s time to take your own hero’s journey. It’s time to take a leap of courage. It’s time for self-inflicted adventure. It’s time to be less egocentric and more soul-centric. It’s time to settle the score between the one you feel burning deep inside you and the one society has conditioned you to be.

These feelings are the whispers of a wake-up call. They are the premonitions of a call to adventure. They are your intuition attempting to ignite a fire under your a**. They are the foreshadowing of your shadow’s attempt to reconcile itself with the whole of you. As Rumi said: “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”

Somewhere within the silence, between the clunking clatter of society and the cheeky chatter in your head, is a voice full of the wisdom of what you love, of what makes you tick, of what draws you upward, of what makes you uniquely “you.” Heed that voice. Feel it in your bones. Let its thunder rise from root to crown. Then get out there and do something about it.

Stop making things easy for yourself:

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” ~Rumi

Security is overrated. So are reputations and comfort, for that matter. There’s a wealth of wisdom in insecurity. Alan Watts wrote an entire book about it (The Wisdom of Insecurity). Amazing read!

When I say F*** security, I don’t mean jump off a cliff or pet scorpions. I don’t mean haphazard fuckery. I mean get out from under the security blanket of the mollycoddling culture, of your pampered domesticity, of your spoiled-rotten creature comforts, of the overprotective and oppressive society that breathes down your neck and kisses you with lies when all you want is to be slapped by the truth. I mean go have an adventure. As Nietzsche profoundly stated, “Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself.”

Embracing difficulty is essential for living a fulfilling life. Taking the hero’s journey is the epitome of embracing difficulty. And it will be different for everyone. No two people are alike. Similarly, no two hero’s journeys are alike. You are a devastatingly unique individual. There has never been another like you and there never will. Why give in to the homogenization of your soul? Why kowtow to a killjoy culture? Choose to “know thyself” instead. Choose a life well-lived. Choose to be the hero of your life’s story. Choose adventure.

Choosing adventure over comfort is grabbing the bull by the horns and daring to guide it in the direction you want, even at the risk of being dragged or tossed or even trampled. The “bull” represents what you love. It’s your deepest connection to this life. It’s the thing that moves your soul, that stirs your spirit, that grabs you by the heart even as you attempt to grab it by the horns. So what if it tosses you? So what if you get trampled? So what if you get lost in the labyrinth? You are in love!

Abandon the chains of opinion and fear:

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” ~Camus

Don the compass of self-expression and courage instead. Dare to challenge the gatekeepers. Whoever or whatever they are. Ride up to the edge of your comfort zone, with your courage in full flutter, and challenge the gods. Stretch yourself —mind, body, and soul. Transform your secure boundaries into an adventurous horizon. Only you can.

Forget about the haters. Forget about the fearful many who quibble and shudder at the immensity of life, their teeth chattering as they urge you to stay. They may love you, but their fear blinds them, and it will blind you too if you let it. Don’t let it. Absorb their love. Hug them and honor them. But deflect their fear with the shield of your courage and go about discovering and becoming the best version of yourself deep in the throes of your own hero’s journey.

Don’t worry if you can or cannot handle the blinding light outside the Cave. Don’t worry if you can or cannot withstand the Desert of the Real outside the Matrix. Don’t worry if you might die. The only way you know for sure is to give it a shot. Choose the red pill. Take a leap of courage into the unknown. Throw off the weight of society. Throw off the too-heavy comfort. Stop clinging to the safety of the shore. There’s adventure to be had. As Leonard Cohen said, “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.”

The hero’s journey beckons. There’s the experience of getting to know your most authentic self. It won’t be easy. It will hurt like hell. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Many trials and tribulations await you on the crooked path of the hero’s journey. There’s the annihilation of your former self inside the cocoon. There’s ego death. There’s the bleeding out of your sacred wounds. There’s crossroads that will tear you in half. There’s buckling thresholds and sinister abysses. There’s the dark night of the soul just waiting to destroy what’s left of your innocence. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

You’ll have discovered a “secret elixir” that you can re-gift to the “tribe.” Sure, you probably had to count coup on the gods and steal it from them while they slept, but you earned that s***. You’ll have your integrated shadow to pal around with. You’ll have all the demons-turned-diamonds filling up your satchel, which is worth more than money can buy. You’ll have wisdom radiating from the scars left behind by your sacred wounds. You’ll have discovered that the journey is the thing. More importantly, you’ll have the polished pearl of your most authentic self to marvel over.

Sharpness does not just come to a knife. The knife must be tested. It must be sharpened. So too is it with the Self. Taking the hero’s journey is daring to take the grit of your current self and test it against the rub of the universe. It’s daring to take the coal of your current self and test it against the pressure of a challenging cosmos. If you survive, then you’ll have become a pearl because of the rub. You’ll have become a diamond because of the pressure. You’ll have become sharp from the sharpening. But without the rub, the pressure and the sharpening, you’d only have grit, coal and dullness.

If you don’t survive? Well, that’s that. Death is always a possibility. But as the stoic Seneca said, “It matters how well you lived, not how long. And often the “well” lies in not living long.” So be it.

In closing, I’ll end with a quote by Mark Twain: “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” I dare you to live fully.


Featured image: Samurai art.

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Consciousness

Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field

Justin MacLachlan

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A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.

The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.

McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.

Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.

McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.

McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.

Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:

“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”

It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.

“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

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Consciousness

Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.

On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.

The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.

At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.

Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.

Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.

The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.

In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.

Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.

Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.

Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.

The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.

The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.

“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”

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Activism

The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix

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esoteric meaning neo interrogation matrix

More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.

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One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.

Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.

What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?

Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.

What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?

Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.

The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening

With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.

You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.

Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies

Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.

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The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.

The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.

This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.

Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.

Imaginary Rights

Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”

To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.

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This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.

We Must Start With the Imagination

There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.

Wake Up Neo — You Are the One

Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.

Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”

This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.

By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.

If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

Written by Gavin Nascimento, Founder of aNewKindOfHuman.com

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