“The Hindus say that without Shakti, the personified feminine life force, Shiva, who encompasses the masculine ability to act, becomes a corpse. She is the life energy that animates the male principle, and the male principle in turn animates action in the world.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The personified feminine life force (Shakti) reminds the personified masculine life force (Shiva) that we are a force of interdependent nature first and independent humans second.
What does this mean, exactly? To put it into Darwinian terms, it means that we are, first and foremost, social creatures. We need each other to survive. As such, competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species.
If we wish to continue our survival as a species, it is vital that we allow cooperation to be superior to competition. This means cooperation with the environment as well (Shakti as Gaia). Shakti is here to remind Shiva of this fact. To restore the balance. To make sure he isn’t “pretending to be asleep.”
The problem is that many people, intellectuals and nonintellectuals alike, have confused Darwin’s discoveries by focusing primarily on competition, and concepts like “might makes right.” Similar to the way the Nazis hijacked (and falsely portrayed) Nietzsche’s Overman concept, the modern war machine has hijacked (and falsely portrayed) Darwin’s “might makes right” concept.
This has created a dangerously lopsided view of reality: a kind of conquer-control-destroy-repeat mindset that has permeated our culture to such an extent that it has falsely convinced people that war is necessary to keep the peace and that violence is the answer to the problems we face.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Might does not make right. War is not peace (as much as the warmongers and weapons manufacturers want you to believe it). Ignorance is not strength (as much as the uneducated egoists and xenophobic nationalists want you to believe it). Freedom is not slavery (as much as the brainwashed statists and fear-filled status-quo junkies want you to believe it).
Women (and men who are in touch with their anima) have a direct line to the kind of deep wisdom that’s necessary to turn the tide of the overreaching, violent war machine that outflanks us all. What Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls the “Deep Knowing.”
Shakti is Shiva’s wake-up call:
“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it’s finished; no matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons.” ~Cheyanne proverb
Shakti is here to deflate the weak and obese (yet violent) masculine ego and build a robust and flexible male principle to take its place. But the process is going to hurt like hell. Going from a culturally conditioned male growing up in a profoundly sick society to a fully awake Shiva in touch with his divine masculinity is no walk in the park.
Sometimes reaching true ground means being uprooted. Pain must be brought to the surface in order to be worked through effectively lest it turn into aggression, numbness and dissociation. Uprooting the pain of the past and digging it out of its shadowy repression opens everything up for authentic healing.
As it stands, armored masculinity is a bloody tangle of weaponry and bloated egos glued together by myopic one-upmanship. Our hypermasculine culture is overly aggressive, numb, and dissociated. It’s a shadow culture that feeds off its own repressed pain, violence, anger, guilt and grief. As R.D. Laing said, “We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.”
Unbalanced and dangerously lopsided with obese masculinity, our culture needs the healing powers of the sacred feminine, as well as the sacred masculine, to balance it out.
Shakti is Shiva’s red flag:
“It is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time promote or permit the global arms trade. Is this war or that war really a war to solve problems? Or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade and so that the merchants of death can get rich?” ~Pope Francis
Shakti is here to transform weaponry into livingry; to remind everyone that weaponry should always be secondary to livingry. And, even then, only in defense of it.
Shakti’s red flag is a symbol for righteous anger. It’s compassionate anger, seeking justice and a healthier system. It’s vulnerable anger: intimate, authentic, resilient and transformative. It’s moral anger, measuring injustice against the Golden Rule, the Nonaggression Principle and the Universal Laws that dictate healthy survival. It’s mindful anger, honoring the wounds of the past in the alchemical present so that they may become the wisdom of tomorrow.
This type of anger is turned, full-flame, toward violence, rape, misogyny, tyranny and war. Burning them in a courageous nonviolent fire.
Such anger breaks the heart open even as it turns outdated militarism into ash. As it should. Where we tend to go wrong is not allowing our heart to break all the way. As Rumi said, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
Instead, we have the tendency to repress the sadness. We swallow the grief. We resist the heartbreak. We smother the pain away without ever really feeling it. So it just lingers in the shadows, but it grows stronger. It festers. It magnifies and manifests into an aggrandized version of itself that we call the Shadow. In this case, it’s a cultural shadow.
But when we let our heart break fully, it opens-up. The Shadow becomes self-actualized. It is finally allowed to be a part of the whole. A glorious sadness gushes out so that self-improved meaning can pour in. It hurts, but it’s a joyful ache. Our sadness finally has a resting place, a sacred space where it can be transformative and healing instead of crippling and violent.
Shakti is Shiva’s medicine, and vice versa:
“When the Sacred Masculine is combined with the sacred feminine inside each of us, we create the ‘sacred marriage’ of compassion and passion in ourselves.” ~Matthew Fox
Shakti is here to transform the congealed rage of a profoundly sick society, clinging to safety and security, into the focused insurgence of a healthy society, defending love and freedom.
When our cultural mythology is one of dominance and control (overly masculine), we become violent and hard, and closed off to the underlying essence. We become offensive and overreaching with our power, clinging to security out of fear.
When our cultural mythology is one of passivity and stagnation (overly feminine), we become fragile and fragmented, and unable to contain the underlying essence. We become submissive and weak, clinging to safety out of fear.
But when our cultural mythology is one of equilibrium and balance between these polar energies (the union of Shakti and Shiva), then the underlying essence can be tapped into and the overarching theme becomes robust and flexible and connected to the heart of creation –what Nietzsche referred to as the “Primordial Unity,” which revives and balances both our feminine and masculine energies.
Such a sacred union creates courage in the face of fear. It creates a billion women rising despite the powers that be and despite the violence they’ve been subjugated to in the past. Women who have the courage to rise-up as a force to be reckoned with (a Unified Gaia Principle). Women who say, “F*** the war machine!” on behalf of men, women and children the world over. Women who no longer take the violence unleashed upon them lying down, but empower each other through education, the #MeToo Movement, Codepink, and the Women’s March on The Pentagon (taking place October 20th-21st, 2018).
It creates self-empowered women with the tender yet spirited wherewithal to empower men, to “animate the male principle so that it can in turn animate healthy action in the world.” To create a New Man, Shiva incarnate, who has the ability to tap into his inner Shakti, thereby awakening the divine energy from its unconscious state into a state of conscious awareness. The kind of man who creates rather than destroys, catalyzes rather than militarizes, heals rather than injures, and empowers rather than oppresses.
But first, there must be upheaval. First, there must be surfaced pain. There must be fierceness. There must be the strength and the courage to call out misogyny and rape, despite a culture numb to both. There must be audaciousness and the courage to speak truth to power, to call out the unnecessary violence of wars waged for profit. Bottom line: the pain caused by the bloated misbalance of hypermasculinity must first be addressed and worked through before the true Shiva can rise.
Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’
Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.
Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.
From Five to One
The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.
These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.
Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.
The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.
This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.
Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.
But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.
Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.
Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.
My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.
Flow and Fragments of Energy
Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.
Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.
Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.
There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.
The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.
We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.
Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.
Back to Einstein, Adding Universality
More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.
These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.
The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.
If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.
For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.
In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.
Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.
The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.
Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons
Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field
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.”
Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics
(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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