Note to the reader: This is the Foreword to the Croatian translation of my book, The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. I’m sharing it here because the book is so relevant in its concepts to the present moment.
Into the Space Between
Foreword to the Croatian Edition of The More Beautiful World…
Since the original publication of this book in 2013, a more beautiful world seems further away than ever by any objective criterion. I need not recite the litany of ecological, political, and social horrors that have accelerated since then, even before Covid cast its shadow. And yet, somehow, the flame of hope has not died, but burns all the brighter.
That is no mere coincidence. We are witnessing the crumbling of the familiar world, a world in which many of us felt trapped. As it falls apart, light shines in from the outside, stirring within us the possibility of liberation.
For years, many of us have looked at the coming collapse with a mixture of dread and a secret longing. Prior to Y2K, some part of me was hoping that the dire predictions would come true. The same for 2021, for Peak Oil, for financial collapse, even for climate emergency—anything to free us from stuck patterns. It was a kind of Freudian death wish, a desire to be liberated from a collective self that we have outgrown.
Many of us have outgrown it as individuals too, leaving us feeling trapped in a society misaligned with who we wish to become.
And now the unraveling that we have so long wanted and feared is upon us. However we might hope that things will go back to normal, we know that they never will. The old normal is over. We are entering the realm that this book predicts and describes: the space between stories.
It is not only systems and institutions that are crumbling. It is not only political parties, social patterns, and economic organizations that are in a state of crisis. On a deeper level, we face a crisis of sense, meaning, and identity. More and more of us have lost trust in the authorities we once trusted. We have come to doubt old standards by which to discern true from false. We don’t know what to believe. We don’t know what is real. We aren’t so sure even who we are. Our notions of progress and our faith in the future have been shaken.
That is good. The old normal wasn’t heading toward a more beautiful world anyway. Now that it is broken, we have the opportunity to let in something genuinely new. It is ours for the choosing. There is no guarantee that we will choose a more beautiful world, but at least we are no longer stuck in our patterns.
The collective response to Covid so far has been to deepen our immersion in the old story of Separation, fear, and control. Part of that story is that progress means advancing the human capacity to manage and control everything outside of us. Better security means controlling terrorists and criminals. Better living means controlling bad habits and addictions. Better health means controlling germs and our own bodily processes. At the present writing, it has become obvious that the regime of intensifying control will not bring its promised paradise. Paradise remains ever at the horizon no matter how quickly we race toward it.
Furthermore, for many of us it is no paradise that looms on the horizon. We look with horror upon the totalization of the world of control, the technological totalitarian state where every movement, word, object, and action is labeled, tracked, and monitored. As society moves in that direction, those of us who have glimpsed a future built on a new-and-ancient story of interconnection, trust, synchronicity, and healing feel all the more alienated by the legacy systems that still dominate. We feel no longer at home in this society, we want nothing more of it; and increasingly, it wants nothing more of us.
The resolution of this state of affairs, however, need not be a bifurcation. We are not in the world in order to leave it. We are here to anchor a more beautiful world the present one. How do we do that? Not through force of will alone. We need other people who share our vision, who have seen the same possibility that we have seen. Those people remind us that choices and perceptions that seem crazy in the old story, that seem naive or impractical or irresponsible, are actually both sane and necessary. In other words, enlightenment is a group activity.
May this book be part of the group activity of anchoring this new and ancient story onto Earth. May it remind you that your heart has not been wrong. A more beautiful world is possible.
Be sure to watch this wonderful video by Charles Eisenstein about a more beautiful world, which was posted in February 2015:
Joe Rogan explains why you should be very suspicious of anything that inhibits your freedom in this powerful, 2-minute video.
As soon as you give politicians power, any kind of power that didn’t exist previously, if they can figure out a way to force you into carrying something that lets you enter businesses, or lets you do this, or lets businesses open – historically, they are not going to give that power up. They find new reasons to use it. “I’ll be back.” We have to protect those freedoms at all costs, whether you agree with people’s choices or not because it is the foundation that this country was founded on: FREEDOM!
This idea of freedom, there are so many people that think it’s frivolous. It’s not important. It’s not the main thing that we should be focused on. But it is the literal structure that allows this country to be so fucking amazing. Every single country that’s ever existed other than the United States up until 1776, every fucking country that has ever existed was run by dictators – all of them.
This is the first experiment in self-government that actually worked and it created the greatest superpower of the world’s ever known. It created the greatest cultural machine, the greatest machine of art, creativity, and innovation – right fucking here. And how did it do that? It did it through freedom. And as soon as you see something, anything, that comes along and inhibits your freedom, you should be very cautious about that. You should be very suspicious because anything that comes along that can inhibit your freedom is, by definition, anti-American.
MUST SEE: Martin Luther King, Jr. – “I Have A Dream” (full speech and transcript)
. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963
“I Have a Dream” is a 17-minute speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, on August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. King’s speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. According to U.S. Representative John Lewis, who also spoke that day as the President of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, “Dr. King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations.”
Below is the full transcript of Dr. King’s famous speech:
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Dr Robert Malone: “Our government is out of control and they are lawless… Wake up, folks!” | Video Plus Transcript
Dr. Robert Malone, co-inventor of the mRNA technology, says that our government is out of control, lawless, and they completely disregard bioethics. Furthermore, he explains how tens of thousands of physicians & scientists are being canceled simply for questioning the official narrative. He concludes by warning that we are on the verge of becoming just like China, with no free speech, the government tells them what to do and think, and their lives are controlled by a social credit system. Malone concludes with: “Wake up, folks!” Because otherwise, the U.S. will become another China!
This is a short excerpt from the recent interview with Dr. Robert Malone on the Joe Rogan Podcast. ▹ Special thanks to the Joe Rogan Experience: joerogan.com
TRANSCRIPT (Dr. Robert Malone)
Our government is out of control and they are lawless. They completely disregard bioethics. They completely disregard the federal common rule. They have broken all the rules that I know of that, I’ve been trained on for years and years and years. These mandates are explicitly inconsistent with the Nuremberg code. They are explicitly inconsistent with the Belmont report. They are flat-out illegal and they don’t care.
When you see this kind of decoupling of public policy from logic, then it causes thinking people to say what the hell’s going on here. And then we go down the rabbit hole: is at this that or the other thing. One of the things in that spectrum of what’s going on is that the emergency use authorizations are predicated on policy determinations that we’re in a state of emergency. Those are now two years old – they’re expiring.
I’m not saying this is what’s going on in their head, but there is another perverse incentive here to amplify the fear porn and to amplify… If you buy into the hypothesis that for some reason, there are incentives for the government to maintain the state of emergency, that is one explanation given that those declarations are expiring and will have to be re-implemented because if they’re not, then all of this emergency use authorization vanishes like dust.
It’s hard for me to reconcile the behavior of the government and its public health decisions with the data. Is it incompetence? Or is there some ulterior political motive? Or are they just dumb stupid? We’re in an environment in which truth and consequences are fungible. This is modern media management and warfare. The truth is what those that are managing The Trusted News Initiative say it is.
In my case, I’m the president of The International Alliance of Physicians and Scientists. We are over 16,000 people from all over the world – physicians and scientists. And you can find our website at GlobalCovidSummit.org. We are gobsmacked about what’s going on. And we are shut down, censored, demeaned, fill-in-the-blank – all over the world. And they’re taking our licenses because we are speaking about these matters.
And you can label me however you want to label me. I don’t care. I’ve done what I’ve done in my career. I’m at a stage at 62 years old. I’ve got a farm, it’s almost paid off. I raise horses. I love my wife. You know, I’ve been married a long time. My kids are both married. I got grandkids. Man, I don’t need this. This claim I’m doing all this because I seek attention. Trust me, this is not a fun thing to be doing at this stage.
Physicians at FLCCC in senior positions: Peter McCullough, people at the culmination of exceptional careers. Paul Marik, an exceptional physician by any standards – run out of his hospital, demeaned, destroyed, actively attacked, trying to take his license. People are losing faith in the whole system. They’re losing faith in the scientific enterprise. They’re losing faith in our government.
I like to say when I give rallies: do you remember back a couple of years ago when you felt sorry for the people in the People’s Republic of China because their internet was filtered. They weren’t allowed free speech. Their government told them what to do and think. Now, here we are. And the next thing that we all feel sorry about: their social credit system.
Wake up, folks!
How to Bring Order to Life’s Chaos
In the last month alone I’ve had to find a new place to live 5 states away, finish a book proposal, pack up my entire apartment, and complete about a million other tasks that typically go along with long-distance relocating.
Moving is hard and so is trying to get a book published at the same time! 🙂 And when life throws a million tasks at us all at once, it’s easy to feel like we’re going to lose it, or that we should give up on certain things and focus more on others due to “lack of time”. The thing is… we have time for the things we make time for; that’s how it works!
I often felt on certain days that there was no way I would ever get my book proposal completed on time. I wasn’t happy with some things and kept doing some last-minute revisions, but ultimately what helped me was walking away from it altogether for a couple of days. Oftentimes we can become so immersed in one thing, in one project or hobby that we can’t see that we are blocking our own creative flow.
On days I started feeling doubt creep in and other low-vibrational energies where my ego wanted to beat up on me, I just stepped away from it for a bit. I remembered why I was doing it (because I freaking LOVE to write and have a message to share with the world!) and suddenly I could feel my heart reopen wide again. Being in your heart-space is vital to being able to not only function in but also proactively navigate through chaotic situations in your life.
I also suggest avoiding worry! I know, easier said than done, right? But think for a moment what the act of worrying actually is doing. You are putting energy into imagining horrible, negative scenarios in your mind of what COULD possibly happen. You are putting creative, intentional energy into it whether you mean to or not simply because you are giving it so much attention and have so emotion behind it. If you are familiar with manifesting, you know these two elements are keys to successfully manifesting.
Instead, shift your focus and energy to what you DO want to happen. Or if your thoughts are on another person, perhaps a loved one you cannot stop thinking about, envision what you DO want for them. Don’t keep yourself up at night creating all of these horrible nightmare stories in your mind of realities that NEVER even existed until YOU created them in your mind! Realize that right away, stop putting energy into it and shift your perception onto what you DO wish to happen instead. THINK POSITIVE!
If you can, try and be around more uplifted people as well during times of chaos and change. These types of people will tend to be more understanding and supportive to what you are going through and will more than likely be there for you if you need anything. If you tend to hang out with people who never call you but only to complain about things they never even attempt to try changing, then these types of people will obviously only add to the chaos you are already experiencing.
Remember to not stress over that which you cannot control and to do the best you can to manage those things that you can. When we get caught up in “running the show”, we often feel like we are failing ourselves or our families if we cannot get every little thing done all by ourselves. And oftentimes we may be too proud to ask for help. In these situations, it’s best to remember that families are also teams and work best together when all people are actively contributing their gifts in the ways they can that best supports the group as a whole.
In the words of Bruce Lee “Be water, my friend.” Never forget that when life gets stressful and things get a little crazy, to just go with the flow. There is a quaint peace in surrendering and trusting in the Universe. I’m one of the most stubborn people on the planet, and when I finally took a leap of faith and let go, it was the most rewarding experience of my entire life. Everything you could ever want truly is on the other side of fear. We just need to remember that there is nothing to fear and then it’s funny, but life never quite seems as chaotic anymore after that.
Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com
I want to share with you a powerful 37-minute film that Ben Stewart made from an interview we recorded last summer. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen such an effective treatment of what would otherwise be another talking head monologue. Just wow. Thank you Ben!
Watching it, I had the odd experience of learning from my own words. That’s because what I’m speaking to in the collective exists in me too. They are the issues I’ve been wrestling with my whole life. So, I’m not some expert or guru who’s got it all figured out; on the contrary, sometimes it seems to me that the reason I’m so insistent on speaking is that I, more than anyone, need to hear what I say. The danger for me is that I say it and say it, keeping it on the outside, directing it toward others, but never letting it in. The music and images of this film opened a gateway for the words to come into me. I know they will do the same for many of you.
We decided to release it without ads or paywalls or digital rights management of any sort. That’s a big leap of faith for an aspiring filmmaker like Ben. If you’d like to support our work and future collaboration, you may do so here.
Charles Eisenstein: Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do: when I’m speaking to Ben Stewart as an avatar of humanity, I will look at Ben Stewart. And when I’m feeling like a direct connection with some other presence, I’m going to look at the camera. Yeah.
Ben Stewart: It’s not too often in a lifetime that we find somebody who speaks so well to the heart of the matter, that we feel like there may just be a simple answer to the complex problem of human existence. What you are about to hear is an early morning moment in time with Charles Eisenstein on the gift of life and the artist within us all. So, sit back, relax, still the mind, open the heart, and listen carefully.
Charles Eisenstein: Yeah, I can say a little bit about how I got here. And it’s not really a path that makes me special because probably you’ll recognize, you’ll feel like a familiarity to that. But it started with an intuition that normal, s I’ve been offered it, and life, as I had been offered it, and reality, as I had been offered it – wasn’t quite right – a sense of a wrongness in the world. And therefore a hesitancy or a reluctance to fully participate in life.
Different people express that reluctance in different ways; some by lashing out and acting up, some through depression and withdrawal, some through self-sabotage, or it could be laziness, procrastination, getting drunk, getting fucked up – like different ways of diverting, some of your life energy away from the program.
So my journey really was a quest, a quest, which is something that’s based on a question. What is the wrongness in the world? What is going on here? Why do I feel alien to this place? Because life is such a gift. Why am I reluctant to fully step into the gift of life?
And that led me to unearth the underpinnings, I mean, what I understood as the underpinnings of our civilization – like the answer to that question goes that deep. It goes to the depth of everything. On one level, and I don’t want to be like, you know, a downer here, but on the level of everything is wrong. The way our society does it from birth – literally, you know, hospital birthing, etc – to death. Our attitudes towards death and the way that we die in this society, like everything is wrong: education, medicine, money, economics politics technology. Everything about the way we live.
Then, the next step of that in my journey was okay, well, it’s not that it’s wrong, but it is a state of being, a collective and individual state of being that is ready to transition to something else. What is this something else? Who are we and what is the world? What new stories can we tell ourselves about who we are, and what is, and how to live, and where we came from, and where we’re going, and what the purpose of a human being is, and what a self is, and what’s a man, and what’s a woman? And how do you do this thing called life? What’s a new story that can make sense of a world that is disintegrating into senselessness as we speak. That’s the container of my thought.
I like to use the term, the old story, the story of separation – the story that says that who you are is a separate individual, a skin encapsulated ego, a soul encased in flesh in a world of other. In that story, your purpose here is to make a place in the world to survive, reproduce, maximize your self-interest, contend with all of the other separate selves out there who are trying to do the same. Out-compete them, establish dominance, insulate yourself from hostile or at least indifferent natural forces, and take what you need and what you want from the world. Because why not?
The story that I have been integrating into my being, and I can’t say that I’m like, you know and especially impressive example of it, but this is my my path. And I’m sure many people will write will resonate with. It is understanding that my purpose here actually is not to maximize my safety, security, wealth, or self-interest. My purpose here, and the reason that I am on Earth and in this cosmos is that I carry gifts that I yearn to express, to give to the world, just like every species, just like, every being. Like there’s no species in an ecosystem that only takes and degrades the ecosystem. Every species actually contributes to the aliveness of the collective. They contribute to life and beauty – the unfolding of life and beauty.
We’re the same, whether as a species, I mean, it doesn’t look like that right now and that we are a gift to life and beauty on Earth. Does it? But that is what a mature species becomes. And part of the transition that we are in right now is simply the maturation of the human species. And it’s true on the individual level as well, which is why you could make, you know, a hundred million dollars, but if you’re not using that to make the world more alive and more beautiful, you’re going to feel I wasn’t put here on Earth for this. You’re going to feel when do I get to live my life and not the life I’m being bribed to live? So, this is the orientation – the orientation of understanding yourself as gift.
And then that orientation, it inspires you and this is what I’m working on, right? It’s like in every situation to ask: What is mine to do? What is mine to give? And that doesn’t mean self-sacrifice, because it’s also a recognition of the giftingness or the generosity of the world too – like to receive fully all of the gifts that then enable me to give forward. But it’s the orientation of gift, understanding myself as an agent of the of the continued coming alive and coming into beauty of the world.
If you look at Natural History, it’s a history of the world coming more and more alive. Four billion years ago, the world was not alive yet. And then there were bacteria and they became more and more complex and more and more interconnected and then they were multicellular organisms. And then the plants came and colonized the land because the land was dead up until, you know, half a billion years ago. But then the plants came and colonized the land and the insects and the land came alive too. And then the flowering plants came and it made it even more alive, and more beautiful. And now we’ve been created as a species, same reason. As long as we’re tapped into that – tapped into that story of what is humanity for? Because the old story says we’re here to transcend nature. We’re here to conquer nature.
That’s not actually why we’re here. So the more that we’re tapped into the story of we’re here to contribute to the aliveness of the cosmos, then life has meaning, Then you know why you’re here. You know how to orient, how to navigate life. There’s a North star to follow. So, that’s one way that story tells us how to live. It tells us who we are and why we’re here.
And I’ll also say that it’s not just a narration – that the story is part of a larger state of being. There’s a like separation, competition, conquest, domination. That’s not just an intellectual concept. It’s a state of being. And when you’re in that state of being, the ideology of that, state of being is seems natural. Yeah, of course the world is like this. Of course, it’s us versus them. Of course, it’s me versus you. Son, you got to get out there and you know, don’t let anyone take advantage of you and make sure that you’re right like that. It just seems natural from a certain state of being that civilization has occupied for centuries now. And that Is becoming obsolete. Our Consciousness and our being is moving past that but we’re still stuck in the systems that grew up around separation.
Anyone who’s ever been in a situation that didn’t call on their gifts or didn’t value their gifts, you feel confined. You know, you feel maybe resigned, maybe cynical. A lot of people are feeling cynical today. Cynicism is a withdrawal from the world. So we can feel the truth of this. Teenagers especially know it. They are possessed with idealism. They’ll never sell out. You know? They want to do something magnificent in the world. They have a great expectation of who they are supposed to be. So what happens? Powerful forces coordinate to crush that native understanding, powerful programming starting in childhood.
So what’s necessary is healing on every level, deprogramming from self-conquest, from the insult to our divine nature that we are taught. That we are anything less than that – than a gift to the world. That misbelief often accompanies trauma. In fact, maybe always accompanies trauma. Sometimes it’s the explicit, obvious visible, trauma of abuse and neglect, violation. But it could also be the normalized trauma of, you know, being cast into a classroom where you don’t know anybody, and where you’re confined indoors when it’s a beautiful day and you’re supposed to be exploring the kingdom of childhood.
It could be the normalized trauma of having your relationships cut off repeatedly when you’re trying to bond. And you’re moved from one daycare to another to another, and then first grade, and then second grade. And then your friends move away and you move away. And like the ties that are supposed to contribute to a full self never form. They’re broken again and again until you get used to it and you decide well, I’m not going to really make those ties. And I’m alone.
You can see how every aspect of the way that modern humans live contributes to this destruction of our innate knowing of who we are and why we’re here. So it’s a matter of of healing, and I would say in this moment, your willingness to heal. Because the healing is available. And if you find the part in yourself that is ready and has been asking in a quiet voice for a very long time for healing, and you just give that little part of yourself full attention and full welcome – as if you were holding a child, a baby. That alone will set a process in motion because you’re validating it. You’re saying yes, this is sacred. I hold you, sacred. Miracles will unfold from that.
Let’s affirm that everybody is an artist, serving life and beauty on Earth. That’s what an artist does. And if you’re in those moments when you are a true artist, that means that you hold that sacred above all else. It’s state of devotion. Whereas, if you hold making money or pleasing the client, or pleasing the art critics or something like that, above all else, then you’re no longer an artist. It’s called a sellout. An artist does things more beautifully than they need to be done for any external reason because you are in service to that which wants to be born. So that state of devotion, it says, whenever I am given as my raw materials, not just like physical materials, but the entire situation of my life, I will make as much good and Beauty out of that as I can.
And like you were saying like you face a rock climbing wall. You’re not like, oh, man, I’m not going to climb very fast because of all these difficulties, you know, like art actually requires limitation. Just because like say you’re writing a sonnet, you know, like you’re not going to say, well, I can’t really do very good job because this line has to rhyme with that line and so forth. Like no, like you take that structure and you fulfill the potential within it. You’re bringing beauty to every corner of the world. And we have to trust that we are perfectly placed in the precise corner of world that demands the unique set of gifts that we have…
That’s one way that you could say that we’re a gift. We ourselves are artistic implements by, you know, a divine artist. And to participate in that process of creation then, we simply orient toward what is mine to do in this situation. How can I express my devotion to love, to beauty in this particular situation? Knowing that every situation is practice for every other situation. It’s part of of inducing a state of being. So it might be something as simple as how you wash your dishes, how you make your bed, how you speak to your child.
Even in those moments that seem like a distraction from your mission. It’s like, oh man, you know, here, I am, you know, cooped up all day with my two-year-old. And I could be out there doing big things in the world. No! Actually the way that you are with your two-year-old sets a template for the way you will do everything else. In other words, it says, it declares here is who I am, here is how I will do it. Every act is a prayer.
Our function as an artist is like how do I make good of this? How do I make beauty of this? It is a fulfillment of who we are that expands to fill up every corner of our lives.
What I’ve been saying could be interpreted as, oh my God, here’s this like impossible standard to be in a state of devotion 24 hours a day, in every single aspect of my life. I can’t measure up to that. It’s more like as I say these things, something will come to you that is available as some part of your life where you’re ready to step more deeply into devotion and you haven’t been doing it. But you’re ready to do it and there it is, and it’s right in your face. It’s the next step. It’s the step that you’ve just come ready to do. And as you do that, as you step into devotion in that one aspect of your life, and it might be something close to home, but it might be something out in the world. You know, it might be that you’re going to, you have some role to play in public discourse, you know, in politics, and something like that, but it could also be something very, very private. Whatever. It is, you recognize that.
So it’s the same orientation that solidifies our home and relational life, that also makes us into courageous actors in the social realm. It’s the same thing. So, I don’t know what that is for you, or you, or you. All I know is that you can recognize it. It may not be comfortable, but you’ll recognize it. The patterns are largely unconscious and that they are so deep, so subtle that they will not be revealed in their totality, and you’ll be able to cast them aside. It’s more like each step that you take, that natural next step into devotion, into service, it’ll do two things.
One, it will give you a level of joy, and solidity, and satisfaction that you had not experienced before except in temporary glimpses. Like you can get transported to that state through many kinds of experiences. But you can’t stay in that state without practice. You will know that you are on the right path because you will receive benefits. You will have more ease and joy, connection, fulfillment, satisfaction in your life. And maybe you’ve seen it before but now it’s real.
The second thing that will happen is that it will reveal even more – things that you hadn’t even imagined before. So this insidious programming, the subtle programming, it’s revealed like peeling, an onion. You know, you peel one layer, then the next layer is revealed, and the next and the next And there maybe even, like the general trend will be toward more and more joy and fulfillment,
But there can also and will also be dark nights of the soul that are exceptions to that to that trend, because it can be really painful to see the new thing come up and to see the magnitude of your folly, the magnitude of your delusion that you thought that you were helping the world. You thought that you were in service, but actually, the whole time you were just trying to get Dad’s approval, you were just trying to look good. And that can be really painful and, and totalizing. And really hard to see that that pain is the process of extracting these programs.
The forces that are arrayed against change to lock in the status quo, there’s no rational way to overthrow those forces. As long as we buy into the old story account of how change happens, which is force versus force and the bigger force winds. You know, whoever pulls harder on the tug-of-war pulls, the prize to their side. Whoever has the most power, the most military force, the most money. They’re the winners, and you’re the losers. As long as you buy into force versus force, the situation on Earth is utterly hopeless and resignation actually is a good step. Paralysis is a good step, because it says I’m not going to try the impossible anymore the way that I’ve been doing it. I’m not going to try to, to outbox, Mike Tyson. You know, I’m not going to try to, Im dating myself here, I’m not going to try to outwrestle Andre the Giant, right?
There’s another way. And to reach that other way requires what’s called burnout, what’s called paralysis, maybe even depression, despondency, resignation as you put it. And there’s something on the other side of that. There is a matrix of causality that does not operate by force that you can tap into when you are in a state of devotion and surrender. That’s when miracles happen. That’s when like, in order to live in that reality where, you know, exactly where to be and when to be there where you are riding waves of synchronicity. In order to be in that reality, you’ve got to stop controlling things. Because when you try to control reality, you are actually putting yourself in a reality that works by control. And you have no access to the power of synchronicity, the power of being at the right place at the right time with the right person, the power of, you know, these spontaneous miracles.
This bardo, this in-between state of the resignation of the paralysis, you and I don’t know how long it needs to last for any given person. When that state has ripened, they will be receptive to the ingredient that you’re speaking of. Their receptivity will magnetize that ingredient to them. That ingredient might be you coming with the right message and the right example at the right time. It might not be any words you say to them. But it might be that they witness your devotion. And that your devotion is so obvious that they can’t explain it away through their cynicism. Maybe they witness your generosity or the generosity of somebody that that doesn’t fit into what they thought was real, doesn’t fit into their resignation that yeah, this world is just shitty people, etc., etc. And there’s no hope.
The intervention, that other ingredient could take the form of a psychedelic medicine that shows them directly that their worldview of despair is missing some important information. So yes, there is another ingredient. But if I’m speaking to somebody in this state of despair, cynicism, paralysis, and resignation, this extra ingredient is not something that you have to accomplish. The extra ingredient is not an accomplishment. And the only thing that you can do in that state, at this moment, is to recognize that you still secretly have hope. And to feel the truth of what I say right now, which is that that other ingredient will come to you. And simply being in that truth also sets a process in motion. And you can feel it right now.
You’re not alone here. This territory exists for a reason. There’s nothing that’s not love.
So the state that we’ve been talking about of resignation, despair, and so forth, that’s an intense, distilled version of the state that most people are in most of the time. There’s a tinge of resignation. There’s a tinge of despair, even when it might be temporarily overridden by excitement or addictive energy. You know, like something’s going well. You know, the future is so bright I gotta wear shades. Like things are going great, you know, temporarily. I’m on a high. I’m on a roll, but underneath that there’s a despair that we take for granted as normal in this society. And there’s a philosophical foundation of that despair. It’s inherent in believing that you are a separate self in a world of other, because you’re alien.
This confinement into a small ghetto of reality is a pervasive, almost universal state in modern society. And certain people who are sensitive and in a certain stage of their evolution are going to experience it in intense form – not as misfits and exceptions to the rule, but as exemplars of the rule. They are almost channeling a generalized state of being. So therefore what I’m saying is not specific just to those who are in an intense depression.
So this intervention, this other ingredient we were talking about, it could be a psychedelic or something that’s called in from the outside, in response to our readiness and to our need, that is one of the ingredients. It shows you that there’s a there there. It confirms the secret hope that I was talking about. And it sets you on a path.
However, there’s another ingredient beyond that, which I was talking about earlier. And many people have had this experience, you have this epiphany. Finally, you get the epiphany. And you like this changes, everything. And I’ve got to live by this. I got to remember. I can’t forget it. I can’t forget it. I’ve got to hold on to this. And you eventually find out that you can’t hold on to it. What was once an obvious direct experience becomes a practice, a principle. Then it becomes a memory and then it fades. And you’re like, was I imagining things? Maybe I was just high, You know, maybe I was just whatever – like that wasn’t real.
How do you hold onto a reality that contradicts the reality that everybody is holding for you and holding you in? And not just people, but, but like the economic system. I mean you might have an epiphany about abundance, but our money system, our economic system, shouts scarcity at us every minute of the day. You will not have enough, better take care of yourself, better protect yourself, better watch out. And not just money, the police system, the prison system, all these rules, and walls, and no trespassing. I mean the whole society is built around separation, competition, distrust.
So, how do you hold that epiphany? If you have gone through this cycle, it’s not because you’re too weak and you didn’t try hard enough. That’s not to say not to try. Yes, try. Hold that as precious, everything that comes from your accurate knowledge that that is precious is a good thing.
But the third ingredient is that we need help. We need other people to hold it with us, to hold it for us, and with us. And for us to hold it for them also. That is the community that we’re seeking. There’s a lot of research about how community alleviates depression, how people are happier when they have robust social ties. And are unhappier and sicker, actually, when they’re cut off from human connection, which is the irony of current health policy: seeking health by cutting us off from each other. Social distancing, lockdown, quarantine, stay away from me. That’s not actually where health, mental or physical, comes from in the long run.
So the intense need for community has intensified in the last year as we speak. But it’s not only like this animal, biological, social community that we need. It’s also a spiritual community. If we were trying to move into another story, another reality, another self, the self is not a separate. We are relationship. You need to be in relationship to others who also understand this.
Really the essence of community is communication. So sharing material like this is a filament of community. It’s no substitute for hugs and eye-to-eye conversations with somebody who loves you. But it’s something, it’s part of the mix. It’s part of the larger community. It’s part of the ways that we’re holding each other. That we know that we’re here for each other, that we’re not alone.
So, it is okay to trust your attraction to information and to people who validate what you secretly know. Like when you say that rings true, is it that it confirms what you already believe? Or does it make your spine tingle? Is it sometimes even arresting, humbling.
Ben Stewart: It reminds me of when I was in the band and there needn’t be any, like, explanation as to why something felt right when we were all in harmony, feeling the same thing. It felt bigger than us, and it felt effortless.
Charles Eisenstein: The Grateful Dead said it: And the music played the band. That pretty much says it all.
Ben Stewart: Thank you, Charles.
Charles Eisenstein: Yeah, thank you, Ben.
Be Bold, Raise Your Frequency and Change the World!
How do we get there from here? Boldness, frequency upgrades and world changes? Follow me in my process.
A habit I have developed over the years, especially when I feel kinda “blank” as desire to write or where to place my thoughts, is to ask, “what do I need to know”. ‘Knowing’ in this manner is not necessarily intellectual, it is heart knowledge.
It’s so interesting because without a doubt thoughts arise that weren’t there in my ‘then’ conscious state. So it is this morning. I go about my morning ritual: start the coffee, light candles, start meditative music, sit/stand and appreciate….whatever, wherever my eyes light upon. Usually, it will be outside or when really cold, out the window. Nature always assures me with her constancy.
As I open my journal, reach for my pen and press to the current page of one book I’m journaling through, A Course in Miracles handbook (just began my second year in this gem and still going), I wrote: L 153, “In my defenselessness my safety lies”. Safety is not an issue for me, I feel safe, however, the word defenselessness speaks volumes to me. It’s my shadow self emerging, the egoic me that wants to rise up. I will admit it has tamed over the years and I most always dismissed it with a myriad of reasons for, “why it’s ok for me to feel or be defensive”. As a sensitive soul, I always felt I needed to justify something, often not at home with my sensitivities. However, I now can see a distinction. Possibly sensitivities are a quality and defensiveness an action? Yes, both born from the egoic self and rendering themselves apparent when contrast and conflict ensue. I also recognize they appear when judgments are present.
So this mornings lesson lights me up. It is a reminder that even though I haven’t experienced defensiveness in a while, it has been a part of my life’s journey; experiences that have served as teachers and friends helping me to know myself more. To me that has been an eternal quest, to understand, to know; beyond words or explanations.
In this new year, 2022, I proclaim it My Year for Boldness!
I also affirm that in all things,I will remain in balance while continuing to reach for truth. When you do the right thing, you never have to look over your shoulder. I desire to…..
Do more of this……
V. Consider, think over, reflect, examine, study……
V. Give thought to, think about something carefully
V. Generate, bring about, establish,
V. To enjoy something jointly with others
It’s not that I am not bold, I am. It’s not that I don’t muse, ponder, create or share; I do. Yet, my desire is to do so in different ways, reaching a bit beyond the comfortable.Isn’t that what boldness entails?
I also acknowledge each of us has a choice in the frequency we hold or experience. This is the “why” in viewing a seemingly chaotic world. I have a quote by Barbara Marciniak written in the back of my current journal:
“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the Universe rather than an imprint from existence.”
So boldly will I go forth as a co-creator, along with you my friend, “dialing” into a frequency that helps take us all to a golden era that we long to experience. No one has to be left behind, we will all rise together.
I will leave you with one final passage that encourages me. Some teachings from ascended masters regarding ‘planes’ of existence and our ability to use conscious creative power! I believe the planes mentioned here could also be termed frequency.
“According to the Ascended Master Teachings, gaining “mastery over matter planes” means learning to consciously use 100% of one’s Creative Power of thought, feeling, and spoken word to create greater perfection, joy, and love in the world, as opposed to using thoughts, feelings, and words to create greater limitations, bondage, and chaos one’s own experience and in the world at large through carelessness and lack of awareness of the extent of one’s influence in the world.
‘Matter planes’ refer to the differentiations of atomic and molecular structure in which evolution takes place, the lower planes (dimensions / wavelength frequency resonance) sometimes correlated with physical solids, liquids, and gases; the higher subplanes of the Physical Octave are sometimes referred to as “etheric” and are not normally perceivable by the physical senses. The emotional and mental octaves are also made up of electrons and atoms of feeling and thought substance and differentiated into levels of density and vibratory rate.”
This takes me right back to grade school. I was so enamored with the thought that NOTHING is solid or fixed!! Remember it is in the dynamic that life happens and change takes place. Here’s to the best of us all. Much love to you my friends, Julia
Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred. She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community. Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully. Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She loves her life in Western North Carolina.
I wanted to take a moment to recognize Novak Djokovic and his heroic defiance of the COVID regime, lending his enormous platform and status to the millions of people around the world who have been denied their unalienable rights in the name of a virus.
You would never know it by his disposition, but “Djoker” has an amazing rag to riches story, and he’s well aware of how governments can cause great human suffering. Growing up in war-torn Belgrade, Djokovic had to learn to play tennis in between bombing raids. Far from a silver-spooned prodigy, he had to defy incredible odds to just achieve a modicum of success, and yet he has become one of the greatest athletes of all time.
What separates Djokovic from other pro athletes on the COVID Mania issue is both his status as the world’s greatest and his consistency in speaking out against the COVID regime. Since day one, this man has been fighting a good fight, but the news hasn’t reached consistent international attention until now.
Djokovic has remained defiant in his public opposition to government forces in the form of draconian COVID restrictions and injection mandates. He has done so in the face of incredible scrutiny on all levels.
As early as April 2020, several months before the mass distribution of COVID shots, Djokovic was already speaking out about the future prospect of vaccine mandates.
Now, with the Australian Open just days away, the 9-time grand slam champion (and 9 time Australian Open champion) has turned up the heat. He continues his fight Down Under, squaring off against the forces of a society that has transformed into something akin to a Police State.
On Tuesday, the most Australian Open champ ever made it a point to show that he wasn’t going to bow down to Australia’s COVID regime, which discriminates against the “unvaccinated,” in creating a two-tiered Safety Society.
Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.
I’ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022! pic.twitter.com/e688iSO2d4
Djokovic is facing ridicule from the media, from powerful governments, and even from his own pro colleagues.
Though he is not without defenders. The man’s family has raised incredible awareness about the punitive conditions through which he is being exposed by the Australian government.
He reminds us of one particular legendary sportsman of the past, a man who shares his status as one of the greatest professional athletes of all time. Of course, there are no perfect parallels, but there was one man who not so long ago took a hugely important — but deeply unpopular in his time — public stance in the fight for humanity.
That man is the late Muhammad Ali, “The People’s Champ,” who, in his time exiled from the sport of boxing, faced tremendous hostility from all levels of society. Ali’s refusal to enter the armed services and outright protest of the draft drew immense scrutiny and outright insanity. His outspoken rejection of the war in Vietnam, and his explicit challenging of the American civil rights status quo, further infuriated these forces.
The media turned him into a monster. The U.S. government persecuted him. He was labeled as ethically depraved. He was robbed of his ability to make a living during a large portion of the prime of his athletic career. In the face of endless cruelty and hate, Ali never wavered.
It wasn’t until years, or really, decades later that Ali’s struggle against the system was universally recognized as a noble endeavor.
Props to Novak Djokovic for fighting the good fight and carrying the torch. For using his platform to fight for the rights of every individual against the forces of government tyranny, he’s the new People’s Champ.
David Icke gives a super inspirational speech about us all realizing who we are and why we are the ones in power – not the so-called elites.
You know, when you look at a pyramid, we’ve been manipulated to believe the power in a pyramid is at the top. In ain’t. The top of the pyramid is there because the rest of the pyramids holding it up. We’re holding this whole thing together. There’s a story I told many years ago of a British comedian called, Larry Grayson, who died. And I went to his memorial service in Covent Garden and this other comedian did this tribute to his life, in which he read out this story. That Larry Grayson had told him.
When they were going around the variety halls in the theaters in the 60s, they had this all-male show. And Larry Grayson was the only woman in it because he’s dressed up as a woman. And he said that at the end of the show, the last scene, all the sailors, all the men came on dressed as sailors and they were singing “Rule Britannia.” You know, Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves. Oh, I’m very pleased for you. OK… And as it built up Larry Grayson would come on dressed as Britannia with a helmet and a shield. And he would be manhandled up the side of this pyramid to the top for the big finish.
And he said one night, he said things seem to be going rather well. He said and then I noticed that a sailor in the bottom left-hand corner had got rather a cough. And this cough got worse and worse and worse to the point where the sailor couldn’t stay in a pyramid anymore and stepped out of it.
Larry, Grayson, symbolic of this elite at the peak of the pyramid, ended up in the second row. And the elites, the power center, had done nothing to bring about this. One sailor at the bottom of the pyramid had got a cough. And the whole thing collapsed. That’s it.
We the “powerless people” are holding the powerful people up there and they know that. They’re terrified of us realizing that. And that’s why this network of manipulation works so hard to keep us in these states. No longer will we just do it because we’re told to do it. Is it just? Is it right? Okay, I’ll do it. Is it unjust? Is it not right? I ain’t doing it.
WE start to make the decisions on what we will and will not do based on our values, and not some imposition from the dark suits. These people are gonna give me, grant me, or grant me not my freedom?
I’m all that is. You can’t grant me freedom. No one can grant me freedom. I AM freedom. It’s what I am.
The big question: What would Consciousness do? What would Consciousness do in this situation?
And when we ask that question, it really just changes the way we see the world. Not, what would I do – mind – oh I’m frightened. What would Consciousness do?
You know this is a great line: If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it.
And what would transform this World overnight is if we started doing what we knew to be right in the situations we face, instead of what we think is right for us in the moment. What is right? What is just in this situation? If we started making decisions, based on that, the world would be transformed overnight.
These are very simple things. If we want a world of peace, then we need to be peaceful. We don’t need to fight for it. We just need to be peaceful and will bring that about. If we want a world of kindness, we need to be kind and then it will naturally unfold. We don’t fight for kindness.
As Martin Luther, King said, it’s a wonderful saying: “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience, consciousness ask the question, IS IT RIGHT?”
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right. And when enough of us do that, what is right will manifest by definition. And we’re in this position now where this vibrational change, this energetic change, is taking place when we can start becoming the full magnitude of who we are, where we can be Consciousness in the now, using the mind to experience this reality instead of being governed by it, turning the key to let Consciousness in.
We’re being offered this opportunity now. No longer can we say we didn’t realize who we are. We didn’t know we could do that. And that’s what we’re being offered the chance to do now, to turn the master key, called becoming conscious, that will bring an end to this. It’s being given to us. We just need to take it. And to take it, we need to say: ENOUGH! Enough of being enslaved by these people. Enough of being enslaved by our manipulated ignorance. Enough of being enslaved by the fear of being who we are.
It is time to fly. It is time to fly.
Two Reasons Why Older People Fared Better During the Pandemic
COVID-19 is more dangerous for older people—and so, many assumed, the pandemic would be more dangerous for their mental health, too. In the spring of 2020, we heard about younger people volunteering to visit outdoors with elderly people living alone or taking care of shopping for them.
But as researchers began studying how the pandemic was affecting our mental health, a surprising finding emerged: Older people were doing much better than their younger counterparts. In surveys of over 63 countries, it was younger people who were more stressed, depressed, and anxious during the first pandemic spring.
Why might that be the case? A new study surveyed nearly 1,400 older adults in the U.S. to see what traits and practices were protecting them in a time of crisis. Here’s what they found.
1. More meaning in life. In spring 2020, people over 65 reported a greater sense of meaning in life than those under 65. And the greater their sense of meaning, the more optimistic and the less distressed and hopeless they felt.
On the flip side, they were less likely to be searching for meaning in their lives—but that’s actually a good thing. Older people who are searching for meaning tend to have worse well-being, presumably because we expect ourselves to have figured out the meaning and purpose of our lives by some age.
2. More forgiveness of the situation. While we typically think of forgiveness as something you offer to a person, we can also adopt a forgiving attitude toward hardships that we encounter, like natural disasters or illnesses. This attitude involves letting go of and making peace with difficult situations in life.
In this study, the more forgiving of the situation older people were, the better their mental health: less distress and hopelessness, more optimism. In the study, the older adults were more forgiving as a group, and so they reaped the benefits.
“Our most salient examples for healthy mental health adjustment in the midst of a global pandemic may indeed be our resilient elders,” says the study’s lead author, Loren Toussaint, a professor of psychology at Luther College.
What makes older adults adopt this forgiving attitude and see the meaning in their lives? This might sound backward, but according to the researchers’ analyses, it was their lower stress, to begin with, that made this possible. People over 65 simply saw COVID-19 as less stressful—they were less concerned about the virus, their financial situation, and being able to secure basic necessities—and in turn, they were more forgiving and more attuned to meaning.
This kind of resilience to stress is actually not surprising to researchers who study well-being across the lifespan. In a sort of paradox, older people show less stress, less depression, and more positive emotions compared to the middle-aged.
There are various theories about why this might be the case. For one, says Toussaint, there is the experience that comes with age: “Older adults often have been through many trials and struggles in their lives and have learned how to effectively manage them.”
It also seems that our brains find ways to protect us at a time of life that could be filled with physical challenges and loss. For example, older adults seem to narrow their social networks to focus on the connections that give them the most pleasure and focus more on the present than on the future. And it may simply be the case that older people are free from some of the stressors of middle age around careers, raising kids, and taking care of elderly parents.
Many of these factors may be at work now, even during a pandemic that is more threatening to older people.
Not all older adults have fared so well during COVID, of course, and the mostly white, middle-class respondents in this survey were likely better off than average. But the things that protected them during these difficult times—finding a way to make sense of their new lives and make peace with the hardships—are habits we can all aspire to, even if we don’t have the wisdom and perspective of old age to help us along.
Kira M. Newman is the managing editor of Greater Good. Her work has been published in outlets including the Washington Post, Mindful magazine, Social Media Monthly, and Tech.co, and she is the co-editor of The Gratitude Project. Follow her on Twitter!
For those of us who value liberty, these past two years have been a bad dream. It seems like we fell asleep in early 2020 and woke up in 1984! They said that if we just put on a mask and stayed home for two weeks, we’d be able to return to normal. The two weeks came and went and instead of going back to normal, they added more restrictions. These past two years have been a story of moving goalposts and “experts” like Anthony Fauci constantly contradicting themselves.
Early on, in April 2020, I warned in an article titled “Next in Coronavirus Tyranny: Forced Vaccinations and ‘Digital Certificates,’” that the ultimate goal of the “two weeks” crowd was to force vaccines and a “vaccine passport” on Americans.
My concerns were at the time written off as just another conspiracy theory. But less than a year later that “conspiracy theory” became a conspiracy fact. I am not happy about being right on this. The introduction of vaccine passports was from the beginning my worst nightmare. The idea that you must “show your papers” to participate in society is a concept that is totally opposed to a free society. It is inhuman.
The history of these past two years is that the worst ideas have been adopted by force and anyone questioning those ideas has been suppressed by force. We learned recently that Dr. Fauci and the director of the National Institutes of Health conspired to deliver a “quick and devastating take-down” of the esteemed scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration. Were the Great Barrington scientists horribly wrong? Fauci and his boss could not have cared less. They were not interested in a debate. Their only goal was to shut down any opposing views. That’s not science. It’s ideology, politics, and probably self-interest.
As my son Rand said on a recent Liberty Report, thousands of people died because Fauci refused to consider the proven effectiveness of natural immunity against Covid. He and his colleagues were determined to deny any outpatient treatments and insisted on vaccines as the only way out. Now, as we see the vaccines performing so poorly versus natural immunity, their whole strategy lies in tatters. Will anyone apologize to the relatives of all those who died?
When we look back at these two years, hopefully, one thing that will be remembered is how the institutions of state power have all lost their credibility. They have been exposed as frauds and worse.
In a recent massively popular Joe Rogan interview with Dr. Robert Malone – inventor of the mRNA technology that is the backbone of the “vaccines” – Malone discusses the disturbing concept of mass formation psychosis, where fear and manipulation are used to drive a society mad in the service of a group of elites with an agenda. We saw it in Germany in the 1930s.
As Charles Mackay wrote in the 19th century about the madness of crowds, humans go insane in groups but recover one at a time.
What is to be done to defeat tyranny in 2022? We must continue to tell the truth. The truth is winning and the liars are losing. One by one their lies are being exposed. But it is not an easy task. Each of us in 2022 can do a little something to promote truth. Do what you can. The rewards are great!
Ever feel a thrill when you see someone act with courage or compassion? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls that feeling “elevation,” and his studies of it may provide a key to understanding what inspires people to do good.
Here’s a puzzle: why do we care when a stranger does a good deed for another stranger? Most theories in the social sciences say that people’s actions and feelings are motivated by self-interest. So why are we sometimes moved to tears by the good deeds or heroic actions of others?
I believe we cannot have a full understanding of human morality until we can explain why and how human beings are so powerfully affected by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. For the past several years I have studied this feeling, which I call “elevation.” I have deﬁned elevation as a warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human goodness, kindness, courage, or compassion. It makes a person want to help others and to become a better person himself or herself.
Elevation is widely known across cultures and historical eras. You probably recognize it yourself. But for some reason no psychologist has studied it empirically. Instead, psychologists have focused most of their energies on the negative moral emotions, especially guilt and anger. Psychologists have thought about morality primarily as a system of rules that prevents people from hurting each other and taking their possessions.
But I believe that morality is much richer and more balanced. Most people don’t want to rape, steal, and kill. What they really want is to live in a moral community where people treat each other well, and in which they can satisfy their needs for love, productive work, and a sense of belonging to groups of which they are proud. We get a visceral sense that we do not live in such a moral world when we see people behave in petty, cruel, or selﬁsh ways. But when we see a stranger perform a simple act of kindness for another stranger, it gives us a thrilling sense that maybe we do live in such a world. The fact that we can be so responsive to the good deeds of others—even when we do not beneﬁt directly—is a very important facet of human nature. Yes, people can be terribly cruel, and we must continue our study of racism, violence, and other social ills. But there is a brighter side to human nature, too, and psychology ought to look more closely at it.
I started examining elevation only after years of studying its opposite: disgust. It makes good evolutionary sense that human beings should have an emotion that makes us feel repulsion toward rotten food, excrement, dead bodies, and other physical objects that are full of dangerous bacteria and parasites. It also makes sense that disgust should make us hypersensitive to contagion—that is, we feel disgust toward anything that touched something that we ﬁnd disgusting.
But when my colleagues and I actually asked people in several countries to list the things they thought were disgusting, we repeatedly found that most people mentioned social offenses, such as hypocrisy, racism, cruelty, and betrayal. How on earth did a food-based and very corporeal emotion become a social and moral emotion? The short version of our attempt at an answer is that while disgust may motivate people to distance themselves from physical threats, it is well-suited for dealing with social threats as well. When we ﬁnd social actions disgusting, they indicate to us that the person who committed them is in some way morally defective. In this light, we seem to place human actions on a vertical dimension that runs from our conception of absolute good (God) above, to absolute evil (the Devil) below. This vertical dimension is found in many cultures—for example, in Hindu and Buddhist ideas that people are reincarnated at higher or lower levels depending on their moral behavior in this life.
Social disgust can then be understood as the emotional reaction people have to witnessing others moving “down,” or exhibiting their lower, baser, less God-like nature. Human beings feel revolted by moral depravity, and this revulsion is akin to the revulsion they feel toward rotten food and cockroaches. In this way, disgust helps us form groups, reject deviants, and build a moral community.
I thought about the social nature of disgust in this way for years, and about what exactly it means when someone moves “down” on the vertical dimension from good to evil. But then, one day in 1997, I looked up. I had never thought about what emotion we feel when we see someone move higher on the vertical dimension, acting in an honorable or saintly way. But once I began to investigate, I saw a whole new emotional response triggered by virtuous, pure, or super-human behavior. I called this emotion “elevation” because seeing other people rise on the vertical dimension toward goodness seems to make people feel higher on it themselves. Once I began looking for elevation, I found it easily. I saw that most people recognize descriptions of it, and the popular press and Oprah Winfrey talk about it (as being touched, moved, or inspired). Yet research psychologists had almost nothing to say about it.
I have now done several experiments on elevation, and here is what I have learned.
First, my students and I asked people to write in detail about ﬁve kinds of situations that we thought seemed likely to produce different kinds of positive emotions, including happiness and elevation. We then asked speciﬁc questions about their bodily changes, thoughts, actions, and motivations in these different situations. In the question that was supposed to prompt people to share their experiences of elevation, we asked participants to write about “a speciﬁc time when you saw a manifestation of humanity’s ‘higher’ or ‘better’ nature.” The stories told in response were often moving and beautiful.
The most commonly cited circumstances that caused elevation involved seeing someone else give help or aid to a person who was poor or sick or stranded in a difﬁcult situation. A particularly powerful and detailed case captures the ﬂavor of these situations:
Myself and three guys from my church were going home from volunteering our services at the Salvation Army that morning. It had been snowing since the night before, and the snow was a thick blanket on the ground. As we were driving through a neighborhood near where I lived, I saw an elderly woman with a shovel in her driveway. I did not think much of it when one of the guys in the back asked the driver to let him off here. The driver had not been paying much attention so he ended up circling back around towards the lady’s home. I had assumed that this guy just wanted to save the driver some effort and walk the short distance to his home (although I was clueless as to where he lived). But when I saw him jump out of the back seat and approach the lady, my mouth dropped in shock as I realized that he was offering to shovel her walk for her.
When participants saw unexpected acts of goodness like this one, they commonly described themselves as being surprised, stunned, and emotionally moved. Their descriptions imply that under the surface, they were changing their views about humanity in a more optimistic way and triggering higher goals for themselves. When asked, “Did the feeling give you any inclination toward doing something?” the most common response was to describe general desires to help others and to become a better person. Several participants described the kind of openness and urge to be playful that psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has ascribed to joy. The woman who wrote about the snow-shoveling episode above also wrote,
I felt like jumping out of the car and hugging this guy. I felt like singing and running, or skipping and laughing. Just being active. I felt like saying nice things about people. Writing a beautiful poem or love song. Playing in the snow like a child. Telling everybody about his deed.
A common theme in most of the narratives is a social focus—a desire to be with, love, and help other people. The effects of these feelings appear to have potentially life-altering effects. One participant described how moved he was when so many people came to visit and support his family while his grandfather was dying. He said he still had those feelings seven years later, and that those feelings helped inspire his decision to become a doctor. Feelings of elevation seem particularly capable of fostering love, admiration, and a desire for closer afﬁliation with the doer of the good deed. The woman in the snow-shoveling incident wrote,
My spirit was lifted even higher than it already was. I was joyous, happy, smiling, energized. I went home and gushed about it to my suite-mates, who clutched at their hearts. And, although I have never seen this guy as more than just a friend, I felt a hint of romantic feeling for him at this moment.
Love and a desire for afﬁliation appear to be a common human response to witnessing saints and saintly deeds, or even to hearing about them second hand. If disgust is a negative emotion that strengthens ego boundaries and defenses against a morally reprehensible other, then elevation is its opposite—a desire to associate with those who are morally admirable.
A second study conﬁrmed this general portrait of elevation. This second study induced elevation in a laboratory by showing one group of participants video clips from a documentary about Mother Teresa. Control groups saw other videos, including an emotionally neutral but interesting documentary, and a comedy sequence from the television show America’s Funniest Home Videos. Compared to participants who watched the control videos, participants who watched the elevating video clip reported feeling more loving and inspired, they more strongly wanted to help and afﬁliate with others, and they were more likely to actually volunteer to work at a humanitarian charity organization afterwards.
In both studies, we found that participants in the elevation conditions reported different patterns of physical feelings and motivations when compared to participants in the control conditions. Elevated participants were more likely to report physical feelings in their chests—especially warm, pleasant, or “tingling” feelings—and they were more likely to report wanting to help others, become better people themselves, and afﬁliate with others. In both studies, reported feelings of happiness energized people to engage in private or self-interested pursuits, while feelings of elevation seemed to open people up and turn their attention outwards, toward other people.
Based on this research, I believe elevation carries many beneﬁts, including individual beneﬁts like the energy and playfulness of the woman in the above example. However, elevation is particularly interesting because of its social beneﬁts—its power to spread, which could improve entire communities. If frequent bad deeds trigger social disgust, cynicism, and hostility toward one’s peers, then frequent good deeds may have a type of social undoing effect, raising the level of compassion, love, and harmony in an entire society. Efforts to promote and publicize altruism may therefore have widespread and cost-effective results. I am now looking into the possibility that elevation can be used in moral education programs, inspiring young people in ways that more traditional teaching techniques cannot.
It is a surprising and very beautiful fact about our species that each of us can be moved to tears by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. It is an even more beautiful fact that these feelings sometimes inspire us to change our own behavior, values, and goals. Narratives of the lives of Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, and other inspiring ﬁgures are full of stories of people who, upon meeting the saintly ﬁgure, dropped their former materialistic pursuits and devoted themselves to advancing the mission of the one who elevated them.
Indeed, a hallmark of elevation is that, like disgust, it is contagious. When an elevation story is told well, it elevates those who hear it. Powerful moments of elevation, whether experienced ﬁrst or second hand, sometimes seem to push a mental “reset” button, wiping out feelings of cynicism and replacing them with feelings of hope, love, optimism, and a sense of moral inspiration. This thought is for the moment an unsubstantiated speculation, but a clear description of such a case was recently sent to me by a man named David Whitford.
Several years ago, David’s Unitarian church asked each of its members to write his own “spiritual autobiography,” an account of how he became a more spiritual person. While reﬂecting on his spiritual experiences, David grew puzzled over why he is so often moved to tears during the course of church services. He concluded that there are two kinds of tears. The ﬁrst he called “tears of compassion,” such as those he shed during a sermon on Mother’s Day about children who were growing up abandoned or neglected. He wrote that these cases felt to him like “being pricked in the soul,” after which “love pours out” for those who are suffering.
But the second kind of tears was very different. He called them “tears of celebration,” but he could just as well have called them “tears of elevation.” I will end this article with his words, which give a more eloquent description of elevation than anything I could write.
A few weeks after Mother’s Day, we met here in the sanctuary after the service and considered whether to become a Welcoming Congregation [a congregation that welcomes gay people]. When John stood in support of the resolution, and spoke of how, as far as he knew, he was the ﬁrst gay man to come out at First Parish, in the early 1970s, I cried for his courage. Later, when all hands went up and the resolution passed unanimously, I cried for the love expressed by our congregation in that act. That was a tear of celebration, a tear of receptiveness to what is good in the world, a tear that says it’s okay, relax, let down your guard, there are good people in the world, there is good in people, love is real, it’s in our nature. That kind of tear is also like being pricked, only now the love pours in.
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. e. e. cummings
Make These Two Words Your Mantra
Live in the present moment, love all the time and realize that everyone has a unique offering and experience.It’s all ok and we never arrive.Let go of yesterday,don’t be anxious for tomorrow. Live fully today. I embody this and thus have great peace.
5 Practices to Carry Daily
Shake hands with yourself in peace.
Lose the judgment of yourself and others.
Ask forgiveness and grant it when asked.
Be willing to be vulnerable and ok with being misunderstood.
Make love happen every day.
How to do These Things
Choose! Intend it to be so and then follow through.
Remove obstacles and put nourishing habits in their place. (To nourish: To educate; to instruct; to bring up; to nurture; to promote the growth of in attainments.)
Obstacles take you away or block your goal. Nourishment aids by making your choices for improvement, habits. Habits change your life.
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of your goal, begin again.
Ask for help, we all need each other.
Know Your Truth and Live It
When all truth is manifest within oneself, there is a profound serenity that no one else can reach. Only the one who tastes it knows it.Hua Hu Ching, 40
Much love to you, friends and choose to have a Happy New Year! ❤️ Julia
Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred. She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community. Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully. Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She lives happily in Western North Carolina.
Phase Change: Moving Into a New Space of Existence
‘The Abyss has been looking into us for long enough. It is time for us, after becoming as spiritually grounded and metaphysically well-informed as possible, to begin looking back into it, and so come to a deeper understanding of exactly what is being done to us – and maybe even who is doing it.” ~ Charles Upton
I recently spoke about leaving an obsolete system behind and moving into the energetic space where a new system can emerge. Grand systemic shifts occur as one cycle draws to a close, allowing for a new phase to come into existence. As this happens, the older environment (reality structure) stagnates – the result, in this case, is a deeper fall into materialism, which continues, eventually comes to a point of fracture. A deepening material reality appears to create a cut-off from subtler planes of being and connection. Yet no matter how this feels, it is metaphysically impossible. It is a time, however, for people to become as ‘spiritually grounded and metaphysically well-informed as possible,’ as stated by Charles Upton. Why? Because the illusion of ordinary life is fast breaking down.
In these times when there is a ‘phase change’ – from one phase to another – there is a greater vulnerability for fragmentation to appear in the dominant reality structure. Some traditions have referred to these as ‘cracks in the veil.’ I have used the term consensus reality meltdown.[i] It appears that at this juncture in our civilizational path, there is a deliberate attempt to diminish our sense of reality – to make people more suggestible and open for programming. Also, to create a psychic numbness and fear. I sense that there is a parallel ‘reality system’ being put into place that presents a false ‘solidification of the world’ through a deliberate push for greater materialistic beliefs and faith in technological solutions. Again, this ‘solidification’ is a façade that hides the ‘fissures’ that are opening up in our societies and through which psychic forces are pushing their way through. It is critical now that we each maintain a mental balance as we move forward. Also, it is important in these times that we neither stagnate nor fall too much into the uncertainties of chaos: it is now the fine line we seek between these extremes of solidification and stagnation, and chaos and fear. As always, we are called upon to find the straight path between the maelstrom of distraction and dissonance.
The Mother (the spiritual companion of the Indian sage Sri Aurobindo) once drew an image for a student who asked her to describe the best path to take in their developmental work. The Mother drew a squiggle, and then a straight line through it. We should aim to be on the straight path, she replied. This is a photo of her image:
(Photo taken at Auroville, India, by the author)
The power that others have over us depends on how far we stray from our own inner dependency – our own ‘straight path’ that lies within. This is the path of our frequency – is it a squiggle or a straight line? We must answer for ourselves.
We are each more than we have been conditioned to think and believe. It is true that we have been held back by our own imposed limitations. Those limitations were part of a previous time. We are in the midst of a new historical moment (and I don’t wish to sound dramatic!)
The human transformation, including our social and cultural systems, will only come about from having a realization of the situation we are in. And this includes a realization and perception of ourselves. If we continue to act and behave from the same patterns, then how can we expect to break this continual chain of conditioned limitations? This is how the status quo maintains itself, from perpetuating the same patterns that keep it in place. Any awakening to the perceptual programming we have been under will activate the ‘guardians of falsehood’ – or, rather, the modern-hooded Inquisition against Truth. This modern Inquisition – similar to the religious Inquisition of the Middle Ages – will seek out to suppress any voices of contention against the dominant narrative. Yet, I suggest, we must now have faith in ourselves to speak our own truths. And speaking one’s truth usually fuels our own transformation. Upon this shifting ground, change (one way or another) is inevitable.
Change may be uncomfortable at first. This is the energy felt when old patterns are broken in order to be replaced by the new. There are always those people who prefer to deny these changes, and there is a great shame in this:
it is much easier to sit back down and numb-out again because people are so afraid to feel, to love, and to live. What a shame! If only they knew that – wow – this is what I can do. I feel hurt but in this I am alive, I am here, I am participating. Such beauty in this realization.[ii]
There is much to be said about this form of participation in life – participation in the changes. The genuine human community is wishing for us to form new connections and to come together through this. This is what the social body is for: it is a body that needs for its limbs to work together, harmoniously, and in unity. The human being is a vibrational part of this communication flow: ‘the heart is the connector vibrationally and the head is the receiver – just like a phone line. If these are both open to receiving then it will be that way.’[iii]
The energy of unity amongst us is powerful; so powerful that it could successfully energize a new form of human civilization to emerge. First, however, change is coming. People are already feeling the discomfort of this. And for many people, this ‘change’ is bringing great challenges and forcing them to make life-changing decisions. In whatever way, something huge is coming that will compel people to make their choices – and to stand by those choices. For my part, I would want nothing more than to be on the right and noble side of human history. Let each person make their decisions with conscious awareness, comprehension, and perceptual understanding. Let us go forth and make 2022 a year for humanity.