The World Is Not What We See, It Is the Way We See | Rupert Spira

Source: Rupert Spira

Do we see reality the way it really is? A man asks how to break down the illusion of duality— maya — that is taught to us in the materialist paradigm. Rupert replies that it is important to understand that the actual experience of seeing does not change — the Buddha would see the same appearance we see. Thus, it is not the illusion that disappears after awakening to the truth of the nature of reality, it is the ignorance — ignoring the one reality and imagining it is two: self and other, seer and seen.

Don’t try to break the illusion down, try to break the ignorance down. As long as we are alive, and embodied, we experience the world through the senses. It will always appear as a multiplicity and diversity of objects and selves at a distance from ourself. The appearance remains, but your interpretation of the appearance changes as the old model of subject-object, self and other, is replaced with this new model of unity and oneness — that all is the one shared being. Once you have that understanding, you look back at the world and see through the appearance. The appearance doesn’t change, but it becomes transparent. The world is not what we see, it is the way we see.


Q. Hi Rupert. I wanted to ask three things. And the first is about deepening the understanding through the tantric path. It seems in my experience that certain glimpses are stronger than others – that sometimes I understand the understanding much much deeper. And this happens when often I’m exploring the senses. And one thing I found difficulty in is that certain senses are harder to examine than others. So, for instance, sensations seem to be clearer, and then hearing slightly more difficult. But when it gets to sight and then thoughts, it seems much harder.

So I’m wondering why are these different senses seem to be more difficult to examine and how to approach deepening this examination of them?

Rupert Spira:  The reason that seeing is probably the most difficult of the senses to explore is because the illusion of otherness, the illusion of duality, is at its most persuasive in the experience of seeing.

It’s relatively easy to close your eyes, give your attention to the experience of hearing and realize, and understand experientially that all there is to hearing is knowing, is consciousness.

It’s more difficult with seeing because seeing seems to divide reality into two parts: a subject that sees, and a world at a distance from ourselves that is seen. So the illusion of separation, Maya, is at its most persuasive when it appears to us through the faculty of seeing. And one thing that’s important to understand is that the actual experience of seeing doesn’t change.

If the Buddha was sitting here with us now Meister Eckhart, or Ramana Maharshi – they would be seeing exactly the same appearance as we would. It’s not the illusion that disappears. It’s the ignorance that disappears. What do I mean by ignorance? I don’t mean stupidity. I mean ignorance in the sense of ignoring the one reality, imagining that it is two: self and other, seer and seen.

So it’s not important for the experience of seeing to change. What’s important is for the concepts that we superimpose onto the experience of seeing to dissolve through understanding.

What we experience as the world is a relationship between two aspects of the one whole, the one reality locates itself as a viewpoint that is each of us. And the interaction of this viewpoint in the one reality and the rest of the reality appears from the perspective of this viewpoint, this finite mind, as the universe.

So what we know of the world is an interaction between these two segments of reality. They’re not really two separate segments. The finite mind, this viewpoint, is just a localization of the one, made of the one, appearing in the one, from whose point of view it interacts with the unlocalized aspect of itself. And it’s the interaction between these two elements that create the appearance of the world.

It doesn’t create the reality of the world. The reality of the world is there before it is perceived. But it appears as the world when it is perceived: half created, half perceived.

Q. And how might one go about breaking this illusion down through sight or through = thoughts?

Rupert Spira: Don’t try to break the illusion down. Try to break the ignorance down. The illusion remains. As long as we are alive, and embodied, we experience the world through the senses. It will always appear as a multiplicity and diversity of objects and cells at a distance from ourselves. Don’t try to break down the illusion. The illusion remains. It’s the ignorance that goes. So the appearance remains, but your interpretation of the appearance changes.

From a conventional point of view, the way we interpret this appearance of the world is that I, this little package of consciousness, is temporary and finite. It was generated by my brain and lives just behind my eyes. And everything that it knows or perceives is separate from and other than myself. That’s the conventional interpretation of this appearance. What changes is the interpretation, not the appearance.

So I’ve just given you a new interpretation of this appearance. The appearance remains intact, but this new interpretation replaces the old model of subject, object, self and other. With this model of unity, of oneness, shared being. Then, once you have that understanding you look back at the world and you see through the appearance. The appearance doesn’t change, but it becomes transparent.

Previously you just saw the landscape in the movie, which was a multiplicity and diversity of objects. There seemed to be ten thousand things in the movie. Now you see through the landscape. You see the one screen. What enables you to do that? This new understanding.

So, it’s as if the appearance of the world is normally opaque. We think there are 10 000 things there. And with this understanding, the same appearance simply becomes transparent. We see, so to speak, through it. Remember the 16th century English poet George Herbert:

“Teach me my God and King in all things Thee to see. And what I do in anything to do it as for thee. A man may look on glass, on it stay his eye; Or, if he pleaseth, through it pass, and then may heaven espie.”

A man or person may look at the world and see ten thousand things. Or if they please, they can see through that appearance, and then may heaven espie. That is the ultimate reality of the universe. This life’s dim windows of the soul distorts the heavens from pole to pole and leads us to believe a lie when we see with, not through the eye. This life’s dim windows of the soul, perception, seeing – distorts the heavens from pole to pole. Distorts the reality of the universe and makes it appear as ten thousand things.

So you see: the world is not what we see, it is the way we see. What we see doesn’t change. The way we see changes. And when the way we see changes, even what we see changes. And what we see really confirms the way we see. If we believe in separation, the world will appear as a multiplicity and diversity of objects. If we understand and feel the unity of being, the world which once seemed to conceal its reality will now shine with it.

I can’t resist telling my favorite Blake story, which many of you know by heart. Blake was having a conversation with exactly the same conversation with one of his friends. No, not the same because this was a die-hard materialist, and you certainly aren’t. Anyway, he was trying to explain this to one of his friends.

His friend said to him: Do you mean to say that when you see the sunrise you do not see a round disc of fire – somewhat like a Guinea (a coin).

And Blake replied: Oh, no, no, no. I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying ‘Glory, glory, glory is the Lord God Almighty.”

The Meaning of Life in 700 Words | Story Waters

Source: Story Waters

In this amazing video, Story Waters powerfully describes the meaning of life in 700 words – including your role in creating the reality of your dreams. Partial transcript below including a link to the full transcript.

You are amazing. You are the creation of yourself. You are that which creates. You are the choice to experience existence – beingness. The only limit to what you can be is your self-belief and your imagination. To be born into this reality is to enter a wonderful, shared illusion that grants you complete free-will in the creation of your own personal reality; this is your creatorship. Within the illusion we believe that we are looking at a separate, objective world where we experience self and other; beneath this apparent separation we are unified; we are one.

Reality is a mirror of your being. You are creation exploring itself in a space-time mirror. Through what you choose to believe you create your reality. You change your reality by changing your beliefs about both it and yourself. The eyes with which you look actually shape what you see (this is now shown in quantum physics). Perception is not passive; it is an act of creation. Your choice of perception forms not only how you experience yourself, but your entire reality. Awakening to your creatorship leads your experience of reality to become more fluid and direct. This is to enter conscious creatorship where what you desire is quickly manifest.

The key to conscious creatorship is the allowance of change; the birthing of the unknown into the known. The basis of allowance is acceptance. To change your reality you must first accept it. As long as you reject what you do not like about your reality you are in denial of your creatorship, leaving you feeling stuck. To accept that you are choosing your reality, release attachment to any preconception of how life should be and instead love what is. This comes through the taking of complete responsibility for every element of your reality. This is to love your choice. It is to love yourself. You are the choice of yourself.


How to Shift Your Reality: the Top Ten Tips | Cynthia Sue Larson

Video Source: Cynthia Sue Larson

Hello, this is Cynthia Sue Larson with realityshifters.com. And today, I’d like to talk with you about 10 ways that you can use to shift reality. This has become a big, hot topic just recently. And I’ve been studying reality shifts, as a lot of you know, since the 1990s I’ve been writing about. I wrote the book, “Reality Shifts.” I have a free newsletter every month, still publishing that: Reality, Shifters. It contains lots of tips and ideas and pointers and videos and news and lots of good things.

Let’s get started. Here are 10 things you can do to help make sure that you’re experiencing reality shifts:

1. Pay attention.

My premise is that we’re all shifting reality, but most of us don’t notice it’s happening. It can go undiscerned. So the first step has to do with that. It’s pay attention. What am I talking about? Well anything you look for and pay attention to, you’re likely to see more of. So you want to look to pay attention to see if anything today has appeared, disappeared, transformed, transported or there’s been a change in time to indicate that you’re literally, perhaps some might say, in another world. It sure feels like that to me sometimes. And some of us experience things where it literally is obviously true. So that’s the first step. Start paying attention and be uncritical in the sense that any small change is good because truthfully there’s no difference between a teeny, tiny, little change and everything changing. So, that’s where you start.

2. Be grateful

Step number two. You want to really start appreciating, and what do I mean by that? You want to be grateful for all those little shifts that you are noticing. You want to be grateful for anything good at all that that you’re able to have something to do with what’s going well in your life, even if all you’re doing is just watching an educational video. That’s great! So appreciate that in yourself and be appreciative of others as well. It’s a way to bring more reverence into the world, which is always a good thing

3. Review scientific studies pertaining to the nature of reality

Number three. You want to be able to review scientific studies. What’s that about? Why do you need it? You don’t need it if you’re already there. What I mean by already, there is if you don’t need to calm down that analytical, rational mind that most of us have been trained within the western world and if you already feel like I’m good, I don’t need that. Fine – proceed no further. But if you do need that, that’s when you want to check out things that I’ve written, such as lots of articles that are free on my website, realityshifters.com, there’s a whole article section. And there’s the newsletter. Feel free to partake of that as much as possible, because that’s going to help. What you can start learning with the scientific studies recently, just in the last couple of years.

For example, we’re noticing there may be no such thing as objective reality, because, as I frequently talked about in recent videos, that classic experiment that took place just a few years ago, the results were published in 2019. It had to do with the work at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and also Vienna, Austria. The lead researcher on the team was Caslav Brukner. And basically, they found that two observational devices watching what’s known as that double slit experiment, were able to observe two different things at the same place, same time. Is one of them wrong? No! They’re both accurate; they’re, both correct.

How can this be? Well, it means that we can experience other realities – that “many worlds” is quite literally true. This affects all of our underlying assumptions about classical reality, obviously.

4. Review your assumptions

Step four. You want to start reviewing your assumptions. When you look at what i just mentioned about the assumptions about classical reality, what are those? Things like, it matters all that matters. We know that’s not true. We know that at the quantum scale, the wave function is equally important and in fact, can often contain all the information you need about a given system. If you look at psychology, then it’s not just observables that matter. The things that we tend to live and die for, that we care the most about, are passions, love, and feelings that can never be measured in any way that would satisfy an analytical, classical observer.

Even the identity of who is the observer is totally not as pinned down as a lot of western analytical, classical scientists would have us believe. So, revising the assumptions is excellent. And I get into that in my book, “Reality Shifts,” a lot. And I talk about it all the time on these videos

5. Energize yourself

Step five, you want to energize yourself. How do you do that? This is the important part about taking care of yourself. It’s your mind. It’s your body! It’s your spirit! You need to make sure you eat good food, and good supplements if you’re not eating the right food or you can’t for some reason. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep. Make sure you exercise in a way that works for you. All of these things are very individual to you. So hardly ever is there a one-size-fits-all about these things. And then, of course, energizing yourself includes meditation, Qigong. If you do a martial art that has an internal component, make sure you do the breathing and the movements that go with them.

6. Reverse negative self-talk

Step six, you want to reverse negative self-talk, and i get into this in my book, “Reality Shifts,” where I talk about how often we collapse the wave function, if you will. We basically select realities based on what we’re obsessed with. Sometimes, unfortunately, what we’re obsessed with is what we’re afraid of. So that’s how you can often see people bring exactly what they most fear into their lives, usually quite inadvertently. And it’s most unfortunate when it happens. But we don’t want to be doing that. How do you just stop yourself from doing that? Like I said, you can’t actually reverse that negative self-talk.

There’s an idea in mathematics, you may have seen it: constructive interference. It’s like building a mountain. So you’re, building, building, building something up. You feel it when you’re surrounded by friends who are all in favor of whatever it is you’d like to reality shift and experience. That’s your inner circle of supportive friends that are totally behind you no matter what.

You can also feel the absence of that or the collapse of that – where you’ve got destructive interference. That’s like the mountain is caving in right in the center. That would be where somebody has popped your bubble. They’re basically saying wet blanket, negative things about your dreams, putting it down, putting you down somehow. Or just saying that sort of thing is impossible. So that’s what I mean.

What can you do about it? You can create very targeted, specific affirmations by reversing the exact sort of negative ideas as if it’s some sort of a virus. You’re creating antibodies that then fight that virus because these are thought constructs they have a life of their own sometimes. So you want to actively target the ones that need help. If you can’t think of what they are go, ahead and just keep asking: how good can I get? How good can my life get? That’s going to be very positive and eventually, you’ll get to the same place.

7. Feel non-locally connected

Number seven. This is where you want to feel non-locally connected. How do you do that? Well, connecting with me through this video is fantastic. You’re doing it right here because I can feel that you’re there. I know, maybe you feel like you’re alone. Maybe you feel like people don’t believe in this, but I do. I’ve been studying it for over 20 years now.

I look into physics, current physics experiments, to see what kind of evidence we have to support what I’m already experiencing pretty much every day to show what is going on here. So that non-locally interconnected feeling is very powerful. You can also feel it if you believe in angels and you feel like I’ve got support. I can feel it. Yes, you do, absolutely you do. We’re all born with that support, and you have it right now. So feeling that community, finding community – the internet is wonderful for that possibility. It can give you that.

8. Visualize what you desire

And number eight, visualize what you desire. If you’re going to visualize what you’re desiring, hopefully, at this point, you’ve cleaned out the negative interference. And you’re focusing totally on what you most wish to have happen. I like to leave it open for nature to participate, for you to participate. I might not have thought of everything you’re thinking of. So, why do I ask how good can it get instead of being very specific all the time, because I know that I’m not alone. I know that you’re working with me and that’s something. That’s amazing when we notice a Mandela effect and we see changes to huge amounts of people, like eight billion people around the world, noticing physiological changes that in some ways are improvements to our physical body that have never been there before. So, it’s very powerful.

9. Let go

Number nine. So now we’re getting in the home stretch. There is going to be ten of these, so number nine is really: letting go. You might think, but you just told me to focus. Yes, I did. You do that for just a moment. You hold it with a beautiful love, maybe seven seconds, 20 seconds, maybe a couple of minutes. But you don’t want to grab onto it and hang on to it because you want to allow. It’s like planting a seed. You want it to grow. You want it to come to you, you want yourself to come to it. You want to leave that degree of freedom open. So you can drift into a meditative state, get into that drifty state of mind where you can suddenly realize that reality was right next to me, and now I’m in it. I’m here and it happens very quickly. But in order for it to happen quickly, you’ve got to let go. It’s just like when sometimes people say make a wish and then blow the candles. It’s you just let it go. You don’t hang on to that wish. That exhalation is very much a key to that whole process.

10. Choose your attitude

And number ten, choose your attitude. I recommend going for the highest level of vibrational attitude you can access.

So if today it’s just feeling like things are okay.k Good. That’s a good start. If you can feel like things are okay, but I have got this feeling like they’re getting better, I feel like I’ve got connections, I feel a sense of love, that’s fantastic! And if you feel grateful for things that are going well for you or people that you love, let people know, let the world know – really share that joy, that gratitude. And if you can get to, for me, the highest state is reverence and awe, where I’m just feeling like there’s so much love, so much amazing possibility here, just in nature, and we’re all part of it And I’m so excited to be able to share that – in my work with you, in my life, then that’s phenomenal.

So wherever you are, just own it. So kind of go to where you naturally are, whatever that level is, you can have an eye looking up like okay, I’d love to get to joy. Wouldn’t that be great? Yes, it is great. So I just kind of recognize, I’m asking for it every day, I’m asking how good can it get? And even if it seems like it’s just an okay day or even worse than that, just ask it anyway? How good can it get?

So until next time, this is Cynthia Sue Larson with realityshifters.com asking you to join me every day in asking: How good can it get?

Take care and much love!


Gregg Braden on the Resilience from the Heart – The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes

Source: Gregg Braden Official

In this revealing interview, Gregg Braden explains that you can tune your heart to work together in harmony with your brain. When you do, he adds, some 1,400 biochemical reactions occur, with, for example, powerful effects on your immune response, along with a great many other benefits.

How to Solve the Gordian Knot and Save Our Country

By Christine Hoeflich

I am very happy to share what I believe will fix the Gordian knot our country is in and save our country. I have transcribed a recent Tore Maras video (August 2, 2022, from 2hr:43 min on) and am sharing it below. Please read this as if your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren are on the line, as they are.

This also confirms what I’ve been sharing here on my blog. After you read Tore Maras’ message below, you may go here, to read a blog post that confirms what I’ve been saying here all along. (That you have a role in this awakening, and that it begins with you, at the individual and local level.)

So here is Tore, talking about how to save yourself, your family, your community and your country …

What will save you? Be the change you want to be and take hold of your damn counties because as they come down from the top, remember the top is the pyramid. The base is what holds it up. At the base, you’re the one there. And the minute you step out of line, that whole fvcking pyramid collapses. So when they come for you and your base is strong, your county is strong and you have taken back your county’s sovereignty, your city’s sovereignty, your state sovereignty, they can’t do anything. It’s bottom up, not top down.

And this is the problem, and this is why I have a problem with influence operations among influence operations giving you a leader when you don’t need one. All you need is each other. On a micro scale, you are the base of the pyramid. And if your base is strong and you own your base and you all say, look, I don’t give a shit. Okay. You identify as whatever the fvck you want. You have that right to identify as whatever the fvck you want, just like I do. So let’s all get together and remove these clowns and see, why are they spending so much money on this? Why are they getting federal dollars for this? Why are they doing this? Why are we supposed to be subscribing to some kind of idea when that’s not helping our community? Uh, we have potholes. Where’d that money go? Oh ya, oh ya, you know, it’s expensive …

Okay, you’re out. So let’s get into this… Why do we have potholes? Okay. Where was this money allocated? Where was it done? You know what? Fvck this. Federal government, you say I have debt. Fvck you. Come get it. I’m not giving you shit. Hey, people, we’re gonna be doing this tax. We’re gonna be doing it like that. Wait a minute, are we getting funds from the federal government for education? Are you guys okay with it? Are they forcing us? Are there any stipulations to get this money? Do we have to force CRT? Do we have to hire specific teachers? You know what, that’s not gonna work in our county. Bye! We’re gonna work amongst ourselves. This is how you make change!

When you realize that the words be the change you want to be are at the core of it. And so, as we sit here in a world of a Gordian knot, not being able to find the beginning or the end of the string to pull it, to get it loose, what do we do? We just say, fvck it. Fvck your knot; we don’t wanna play with your knot. We’re just gonna cut it up, and it’s over. And the way we can do it is two ways, a two-pronged approach. One, in your counties, you could get all these clowns removed in a heartbeat. And I am so jealous of people that live in counties that actually have people that are collectively together.

And how do you do that? Well, you need elections. So what do you do? Do what Texas did. Texas has literally done this. In five counties, I believe, and counting. Every single county, they filed contestation, do not use the machines. We are not using the machines. We are not using the machines. Huh? Oh, so that county’s not using them. So, they’re having fair elections; that county’s not using them. Wait a minute, how many counties do you have in your state? I have 88 in mine. If 88 of my counties refused on a county level to take those machines, Frank Larose can go blue in his face and he’s not gonna get shit done. He can’t force those machines … unless he can pull a federal law that says they’re actually federalized and they have to, uh-huh, but then he would have to declassify documents and then you have to question, why do we have classified documents when it comes to elections when it should be transparent? Go figure.

See, this is how you fix things. You don’t say, oh, we need to do this. No, you need to focus on what cuts the knot. Focus on the sword. That sword is saying, you know what? This knot is really fvcked up and nobody can solve it because you can’t untie it. So just get rid of it. How do you get rid of it? Cut it up. Say, fvck your knot. That’s how you do it. That’s how you move. That’s how you make change. Not what these influencers are telling you: Come vote, give us money, do this, do that, buy my shit, do this. No! It’s hey, get together, have some potlucks, work together. Let’s do this. I mean, I am actually very jealous because there are so many people astray that prescribe to all these ideologies; rather than see that they are the fvcking change they look to someone else to give them the change, or to take something completely broken.

It’s like one of those, you know, what is it? Those house shows where they flip houses and they take something completely fvcked up and they wanna rebuild it and they buy it for cheap. And then they see the foundation’s all shot. So then they gotta take it all down and redo it again. Why are you taking something that has corrupt foundations thinking that you can change that and make it better? Fvcking get rid of the Gordian knot! Cut it! That’s how you do it. That’s how you do it. Ah, that’s how you do it!

You stand up for yourself, with your neighbor that you may not like, that maybe is a “Joanna.” Didn’t they say that “Anna people,” people that end with Anne, like Dan, Anna, Joanne, I know all of them, have like a certain facial feature? Get with the people that you may not like. Look, you don’t have to like everybody, but you guys all have to agree that you have rights. And that is it…

What you need to be focusing on is getting to your counties. Some of you have charters within your counties that give you the right to remove people within like 10 days. And yet you’re sitting there with your thumbs up your ass; what do we do?

We should save the children. Sure. So you hang Epstein, you hang Weinstein. You hang, what? Hillary? Bill? Which one will satisfy you? Cause you know they’ve got people in the back doing the same-ass shit. I would just take ’em all out. Will you though, really? You’re gonna take out the thought of evil from people’s minds? No. You control how to do it. And I don’t know how many times I have to say it. You guys need each other, in person, to look at what you can do on your local level. (Big breath.) That’s all.

Because if you look at today, any climate, that’s it. I guess I wasn’t supposed to say that, I’m being choked up. I’ll keep my mouth shut now. So on that note, while you are dabbling in the land of confusion, embrace it. Say, all right, I’m in this knot. I’m this knot right now. I’m the knot. So how do I do it? Do I fail for so many years to untie this damn knot? Or do I just take my sword and say, fvck the knot. That’s where you need to sit on. Yes, this is a land of confusion, but in order to not be confused, I just cut the knot, and I focus on things that I can control. And I embrace those that I cannot. You can’t control what’s going on in the federal government. You can’t control what’s going on in Taiwan. You can’t control what’s going on in China. Once you control what you can, well, there you go. That’s your answer. That’s ALL you have to focus on. — End of Tore Maras excerpt

So yeah, local action and local responsibility, beginning with your own self.

That’s the attitude I had when this plandemic came about: Fvck your masks! Fvck your social distancing! Fvck your vakseens! Liars! I actually had a guy blast his megaphone at me at Costco, reminding me to social distance, to which I turned around and promptly showed him the finger. Perhaps, if only a few percentage of people had my point-of-view, my attitude, we would have never had to go through with this nonsense. (I usually am a polite person, and diplomatic. It’s just that I could not go along with the BS.)

But, as I’ve been saying for many years now, we need to learn certain things firsthand, so it is etched in our brains, so it is etched in our experiences. So it never, ever happens again. So your understanding will be deep. So your compassion and appreciation and joy will be deep, and real. There’s a good reason they call this the Great Awakening.

I encourage you all to get on Telegram and follow ToreSays+, and watch her videos on Rumble. There are ToreSays+ local and state groups working on projects (locally driven), such as what Texas has accomplished. Here is the link for her Rumble channel: Tore Says Show. Tore is also running for Ohio Secretary of State on the independent ticket. Please check her out.

I’m here to help people strengthen their connection with God, with their higher self, and develop their inner guidance. I blog about the spiritual awakening process and reduce people’s fear around that. But Tore has extraordinary, high-level understanding about our government, our past, and where we are headed. Because of her, our world is blessed.

You’ve got the key, the shortcut and the clarity now. Please share this post with your family, friends, wherever you can. Share your insights below, and get to work doing your part!

Zach Bush MD: Wellness, The Matrix, Rebirth, Infinite Life, Aging, New Earth, Eternal Life

Source: Danica Patrick

In this fabulous, eye-opening interview hosted by Danica Patrick, Dr. Zach Bush shares some of his incredible wisdom on a multitude of topics.

Ohe shared he shared is that he is walking away from his Dr. title and 30-year practice. It is the ultimate surrender to his beliefs that you can teach yourself how to heal. It is under your power. He talked about how the body works, how reality works, and everything from the power of breath, the role of aging, plus our relationship with the Universe and our planet Earth. If you want to be part of what Zach shared, take a listen.

Improve Intuitive Discernment with Sensitivity and Specificity

At this evolutionary time featuring ever-increasing challenges, we can best survive and thrive through improving intuitive discernment.
One of the key fundamental organizing concepts learned by Medical school students is balancing sensitivity versus specificity.  Sensitivity represents the likelihood that a test can and will detect what is looking to find, while specificity represents the likelihood that “false positives” will not occur while seeking to detect something.  There is a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity, with best results occurring when setting acceptable threshold levels to ensure optimal results.
The topic of sensitivity versus specificity recently came to my attention in the article, Spiritual Considerations in Medical Ethics by A Midwestern Doctor from The Forgotten Side of Medicine.
Within medicine, many medical decisions are made based on sensitivity and specificity (although they are rarely described by this terminology). For example, the reason why a doctor checks your cholesterol and your blood pressure is because if either of those is too high, it may increase your risk of dying over time. However, the risk dramatically varies as different human beings have different ideal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. For example in older adults, their arteries tend to calcify and thus require more pressure to move blood through their system. For these patients, higher blood pressure is thus a necessary physiologic compensation of the body, and commonly when their blood pressure is lowered with medications to bring it into the “ideal range,“ the reduced blood flow to the brain will cause those patients to pass out and seriously injure themselves (this is a very common pharmaceutical injury in the elderly). 
A Midwestern Doctor continues to explore how and where to choose whether to maximize sensitivity–or specificity.
In modern medicine, there has been a consistent bias to continually lower the cut-off points for sensitivity and specificity, and over the years using blood pressure as an example, the acceptable threshold has been repeatedly lowered. As a result, many individuals who are told they absolutely must take blood pressure medicines or have an immediate risk of dying, fifty years ago would not have even been considered candidates for blood pressure medications.  
As you might have guessed, this bias is a result of pharmaceutical corruption within medicine, because as thresholds are lowered, this makes more individuals eligible for drugs and thereby causes more and more to be sold. One of the best examples is statins being recommended for everyone to lower healthy cholesterol levels on the basis of non-existent evidence voted through by committees composed of scientists taking money from statin companies. The continually increasing sensitivity for requiring “preventive” medicines leads to the curious tradition we have now where the majority of the population is on multiple medications, many of which do not benefit the patients and in combination significantly increase the likelihood of death or disability for the patient. 


I’ve been aware of the value of sensitivity and specificity to science, where sensitivity contributes to brilliant field observations by Biologists capable of documenting events that could not have been witnessed without the presence of someone willing to transcend pre-existing assumptions and beliefs.  Some of the world’s best naturalists, such as America’s John Muir, wrote:
“Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”
Mankind has become master of specificity, sometimes to such a degree that we lose touch with our inner spiritual core and sense of meaning, purpose, and connection to others.  In our quest for certainty, we have risked losing our ability to trust our own hearts, minds, souls, and spirits.
For those of us who have been in need of support from others when in incredibly complex, unique, complicated situations, we hopefully had the benefit of witnessing the kindness, compassion, and discernment of those capable of perceiving our specific needs–through the broader lens of sensitivity.

Two Step Process

We can hone our intuitive discernment by alternating between optimal Sensitivity and Specificity.   Sensitivity provides us with the ability to sense things we didn’t even know we were looking for, and we can develop this deep listening capability by regularly practicing mind-clearing meditation exercises.  Mind clearing practice can just take a few minutes, during which time any thoughts or feelings that arrive are immediately cleared away.  This kind of mental clearing practice can take the form of imagining a clear blue sky with no intrusive thoughts–or clouds.  The moment thoughts–or clouds–arrive, one simply clears the sky back to blue sky again.
One of my favorite Specificity training exercises is simply a matter of asking High Self / Divine Guidance, “What message do you have for me right now?” or “What can I best be doing right now?”  The goal of this exercise is to receive very specific information that is timely, useful, and inspirational.  It may be primarily practical, and that can be excellent!  Such information might feel like you are receiving a kind of download, which is also just fine.  You can trust that you have what you need, and that you will continue to have what you need each step of the way.
Putting these two steps together of Sensitivity followed by Specificity can feel a lot like taking one step, and then another.  By going back and forth between the two, tremendously improved intuitive discernment is possible that is fully capable of addressing whatever situations arise.
And of course I also recommend asking at every opportunity, “How good can it get?”
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


A Midwestern Doctor.  Spiritual Considerations in Medical Ethics.  30 Jun 2022. https://amidwesterndoctor.substack.com/p/spiritual-considerations-in-medical

Muir, John.  John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1979.

You can watch the companion video to this blog here:


QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps.  Cynthia has a degree in physics from UC Berkeley, an MBA degree, a Doctor of Divinity, and a second degree black belt in Kuk Sool Won. Cynthia is the founder of RealityShifters, and first President of the International Mandela Effect Conference. Cynthia hosts “Living the Quantum Dream” on the DreamVisions7 radio network, and has been featured in numerous shows including Gaia, the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, One World with Deepak Chopra, and BBC. Cynthia reminds us to ask in every situation, “How good can it get?” Subscribe to her free monthly ezine at:


Declare Your Independence from Tyranny, America | By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

Source: The Rutherford Institute| John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials.

Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all the time and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull you over to search you on the off chance you’re doing something illegal.

Keep in mind that if you have a firearm of any kind (or anything that resembled a firearm) while in this country, it may get you arrested and, in some circumstances, shot by police.

If you’re thinking this sounds like America today, you wouldn’t be far wrong.

However, the scenario described above took place more than 200 years ago, when American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters.

No document better states their grievances than the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

A document seething with outrage over a government which had betrayed its citizens, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, by 56 men who laid everything on the line, pledged it all—“our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”—because they believed in a radical idea: that all people are created to be free.

Labeled traitors, these men were charged with treason, a crime punishable by death. For some, their acts of rebellion would cost them their homes and their fortunes. For others, it would be the ultimate price—their lives.

Yet even knowing the heavy price they might have to pay, these men dared to speak up when silence could not be tolerated. Even after they had won their independence from Great Britain, these new Americans worked to ensure that the rights they had risked their lives to secure would remain secure for future generations.

The result: our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Imagine the shock and outrage these 56 men would feel were they to discover that 246 years later, the government they had risked their lives to create has been transformed into a militaristic police state in which exercising one’s freedoms—at a minimum, merely questioning a government agent—is often viewed as a flagrant act of defiance.

In fact, had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants.

Read the Declaration of Independence again, and ask yourself if the list of complaints tallied by Jefferson don’t bear a startling resemblance to the abuses “we the people” are suffering at the hands of the American police state.

Here’s what the Declaration of Independence might look and sound like if it were written in the modern vernacular:

There comes a time when a populace must stand united and say “enough is enough” to the government’s abuses, even if it means getting rid of the political parties in power.

Believing that “we the people” have a natural and divine right to direct our own lives, here are truths about the power of the people and how we arrived at the decision to sever our ties to the government:

All people are created equal.

All people possess certain innate rights that no government or agency or individual can take away from them. Among these are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The government’s job is to protect the people’s innate rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The government’s power comes from the will of the people.

Whenever any government abuses its power, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish that government and replace it with a new government that will respect and protect the rights of the people.

It is not wise to get rid of a government for minor transgressions. In fact, as history has shown, people resist change and are inclined to suffer all manner of abuses to which they have become accustomed.

However, when the people have been subjected to repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the purpose of establishing a tyrannical government, people have a right and duty to do away with that tyrannical government and to replace it with a new government that will protect and preserve their innate rights for their future wellbeing.

This is exactly the state of affairs we are under suffering under right now, which is why it is necessary that we change this imperial system of government.

The history of the present Imperial Government is a history of repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the intention of establishing absolute tyranny over the country.

To prove this, consider the following:

The government has, through its own negligence and arrogance, refused to adopt urgent and necessary laws for the good of the people.

The government has threatened to hold up critical laws unless the people agree to relinquish their right to be fully represented in the Legislature.

In order to expand its power and bring about compliance with its dictates, the government has made it nearly impossible for the people to make their views and needs heard by their representatives.

The government has repeatedly suppressed protests arising in response to its actions.

The government has obstructed justice by refusing to appoint judges who respect the Constitution and has instead made the courts march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

The government has allowed its agents to harass the people, steal from them, jail them and even execute them.

The government has directed militarized government agents—a.k.a., a standing army—to police domestic affairs in peacetime.

The government has turned the country into a militarized police state.

The government has conspired to undermine the rule of law and the constitution in order to expand its own powers.

The government has allowed its militarized police to invade our homes and inflict violence on homeowners.

The government has failed to hold its agents accountable for wrongdoing and murder under the guise of “qualified immunity.”

The government has jeopardized our international trade agreements.

The government has overtaxed us without our permission.

The government has denied us due process and the right to a fair trial.

The government has engaged in extraordinary rendition.

The government has continued to expand its military empire in collusion with its corporate partners-in-crime and occupy foreign nations.

The government has eroded fundamental legal protections and destabilized the structure of government.

The government has not only declared its federal powers superior to those of the states but has also asserted its sovereign power over the rights of “we the people.”

The government has ceased to protect the people and instead waged domestic war against the people.

The government has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, and destroyed the lives of the people.

The government has employed private contractors and mercenaries to carry out acts of death, desolation and tyranny, totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

The government through its political propaganda has pitted its citizens against each other.

The government has stirred up civil unrest and laid the groundwork for martial law.

Repeatedly, we have asked the government to cease its abuses. Each time, the government has responded with more abuse.

An Imperial Ruler who acts like a tyrant is not fit to govern a free people.

We have repeatedly sounded the alarm to our fellow citizens about the government’s abuses. We have warned them about the government’s power grabs. We have appealed to their sense of justice. We have reminded them of our common bonds.

They have rejected our plea for justice and brotherhood. They are equally at fault for the injustices being carried out by the government.

Thus, for the reasons mentioned above, we the people of the united States of America declare ourselves free from the chains of an abusive government. Relying on God’s protection, we pledge to stand by this Declaration of Independence with our lives, our fortunes and our honor.

In the 246 years since early Americans first declared and eventually won their independence from Great Britain, “we the people” have managed to work ourselves right back under the tyrant’s thumb.

Only this time, the tyrant is one of our own making: the American Police State.

The abuses meted out by an imperial government and endured by the American people have not ended. They have merely evolved.

“We the people” are still being robbed blind by a government of thieves.

We are still being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and monsters.

We are still being locked up by a government of greedy jailers.

We are still being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms.

We are still being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers.

We are still being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers and corporate pirates.

And we are still being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers: a standing army in the form of a militarized police.

Given the fact that we are a relatively young nation, it hasn’t taken very long for an authoritarian regime to creep into power.

Unfortunately, the bipartisan coup that laid siege to our nation did not happen overnight.

It snuck in under our radar, hiding behind the guise of national security, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on immigration, political correctness, hate crimes and a host of other official-sounding programs aimed at expanding the government’s power at the expense of individual freedoms.

The building blocks for the bleak future we’re just now getting a foretaste of—police shootings of unarmed citizens, profit-driven prisons, weapons of compliance, a wall-to-wall surveillance state, pre-crime programs, a suspect society, school-to-prison pipelines, militarized police, overcriminalization, SWAT team raids, endless wars, etc.—were put in place by government officials we trusted to look out for our best interests.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the problems we are facing will not be fixed overnight: that is the grim reality with which we must contend.

Yet that does not mean we should give up or give in or tune out. What we need to do is declare our independence from the tyranny of the American police state.

WC: 1772


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His most recent books are the best-selling Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the award-winning A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and a debut dystopian fiction novel, The Erik Blair Diaries. Whitehead can be contacted at staff@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

Publication Guidelines / Reprint Permission

John W. Whitehead’s weekly commentaries are available for publication to newspapers and web publications at no charge.

This Manifestation Process Works So Fast (Don’t Skip This) – Joe Dispenza


Source: Science of MIND

Dr. Joe Dispenza explains his process for manifestation by connecting to the emotions of your future already manifested.

Imagine being so whole that you no longer want anything. We’ve measured this. Imagine feeling so connected to the emotions of your future. You’ve conditioned your brain and body into that state.

If you feel like your future, has already happened, you wouldn’t be separate from it. In fact, you wouldn’t even be looking for it. Why would you look for it if it felt like it already happened? That’s when the magic happens. That’s when you move closer and closer into the present moment.

And if that singularity point, that source energy, that the all-in-all, the universal mind, whatever you want to call it: pure love. As you move closer to it, then the process of creation, the process of healing, the process of having a mystical moment would be an arousal also, but the arousal wouldn’t be fear. The arousal wouldn’t be pain, the arousal wouldn’t be aggression or anger.

The arousal is actually ecstasy and we’ve actually caught this on so many brain scans that if you’re in that state, why would you want to leave the moment? That’s you moving closer to the source. And when that happens, you experience oneness. And oneness is when your consciousness actually merges with the consciousness of the all-in-all, and that should be an arousal, and that should be an awakening.

And the amount of energy that we capture in the brain when this occurs, the amount of information being exchanged between the brain and the heart is way, way, way outside of normal.

So getting to the sweet spot of the generous present moment takes quite a bit of awareness and energy because most people wake up in the morning and their brain is a record of the past. They start thinking of their problems. Those problems are associated to people that they know, things that they have to do, and places they have to go at certain times.

And if you believe that your thoughts have something to do with your destiny and if you’re waking up in the morning and you’re recalling your past, then you’re thinking in the past. Those are memories that are etched in the brain.

Now, every one of those problems has an emotion associated with them. So the moment the person feels unhappy or feels desperate or feels fear, now their body’s in the past, because thoughts of the vocabulary of the brain and feelings of the vocabulary of our bodies. And how we think and how we feel creates our state of being. So, a thought and a feeling, an image and an emotion, a stimulus and response and you’re conditioning the body subconsciously to being in the past.

And when we live by familiar emotions, the body’s so objective that it’s it’s believing that it’s living in that same past experience that created that problem. It doesn’t know the difference.

And if the environment signals the gene, and the end product of an experience in the environment is an emotion, we’re signaling the gene without the environment. And if those stress hormones dysregulate or downregulate genes and create disease, now you’re headed for a genetic future, right?

But then people get up after they get caught up in the way they feel and reaffirm their identity, then they get up and do a series of routine automatic behaviors that they’ve done the day before. And we could take their yesterday, 90 percent of their day looks a lot like their tomorrow. And they become habituated into a predictable future. And if the familiar past is the known, and the predictable future is the known, and that person’s lost their free will to a set of programs.

But there’s no unseen hand doing it to them. There’s no room for anything new to happen in their life. Then, if the familiar past is the known, and the predictable future is known, then there’s only one place where the unknown exists. And that’s the sweet spot of that generous present moment.

And people do meditations, Kelly, and they say, Oh, I can’t meditate. You know they go, Oh my mind’s all over the place. Oh, I got to get up. I got to check my emails, I’ve got things to do. I got a baby. I got kids. I got a job. And, they buy into the thought that they can’t meditate, or it’s too hard, or something’s wrong with them. I need a brain scan. Whatever. And really that’s just the thought that’s causing them to stay in the known.

On the other side of that thought is freedom. And when a person is saying – oh, my god, it’s eight o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting meditating. This is normally when I get in traffic and I throw a tantrum. The body’s used to that. Don’t you think that at eight o’clock in the morning the body’s going to be looking for that arousal, and if you’re not getting it from your outer environment, it’ll call up a memory so that you can feel that emotion.

And if you catch yourself doing that and you settle the body back down into the present moment, that’s the moment, you’re telling the body it’s no longer the mind – that you’re the mind. And that’s a victory, and there’s a liberation of energy that happens where we’re settling the body down from its animal nature. And then it says I gotta get up. I gotta check my phone, I gotta do this, I gotta go there. And you catch yourself doing that, and you settle your body back into the present moment. Now, you’re executing a will that’s greater than the program, and that’s a victory as well.

And it turns out, if you just give people enough time to sit with themselves. We’ve done this in 30 week-long retreats: a person that has to disentangle from the hard-wired thoughts, from you know the habituated actions and the emotional conditioning that keeps him in the past. And, if you can pay attention to those thoughts, if you can notice how you’re feeling and acting, you’re no longer unconscious. Now you’re, conscious, and you’re outside the program.

And it’s the act of doing this that causes us to disentangle. And it takes energy and it takes constant awareness. And you could be a vegetarian, you could be young, you could be old, you could be gluten-free, you could be wealthy, you could be poor, you could be white, you could be black, you could be yellow, you could be anybody you want, you could be whoever you want.

Everybody, once they learn how to do this, when they can settle into the present moment, the unknown – and nothing dangerous or bad happens – it provokes adventure, it provokes novelty, it provokes the craving for a new experience, a new possibility. And that’s where all possibilities exist in that in that eternal now.

And that’s when you go from the realm of space-time (you know space-time the three-dimensional reality where there’s an infinite amount of space and we experience time moving through it) to this realm called time-space where there’s an infinite amount of time. If time is eternal, you get a lot of things done. There are not a lot of possibilities equal to your imagination.

Now, when people finally can settle into the unknown – without a name, without a face, without a social security number, without a budget, without a profession, without kids – and just be aware of themselves, aware of nothing that has anything to do with the known physical material world. And they create from nothing that’s when something begins to appear because nothing is the fundamental ground for everything physical and three-dimensional.

So teaching people how to do that, to get to that present moment, is the art. And once people actually can get there, they actually no longer really want anything. All the things they thought they want, they no longer want because i feel like they have them. And i would say that’s a really good place to be.

So a person does a great meditation. This is all of us. You get locked in your heart. Your brain is opened up. Your mind’s expanded. You’re seeing that future, you’re embracing it emotionally. And then you got to now practice with your eyes open. Now you got to be able to maintain that modified state of mind and body your entire day. And if you can, get ready: weird things are going to happen in your life.

But if you say: God, I’m so upset. And you disconnect from the energy of your future and your response is producing emotions and energy of the past, and thoughts related to past memories, don’t expect anything in your life to change.

And if you said to me: well, it’s that person or that circumstance, I’d, say: Uh oh, we’re back to the unconscious program of being a victim -that the outer world is controlling the way we think and feel. Maybe it’s how we think and feel. Change the way we think and feel, we produce an outcome in our outer life. So, the responses in the stress, hormones, causing us to feel more like matter and less like energy, we’re going to feel more separation. And so then the desperation of separation means now it’s got to happen out there to make this go away.


Dr Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 33 countries on six continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

“Dr. Joe Dispenza is a doctor, a scientist, and a modern-day mystic. . . . In a style that is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand, [he] has woven into a single volume the paradigm-altering discoveries of quantum science and the deep teachings that adepts of the past dedicated their entire lifetimes to master.”

Frequency: Understanding the Power of Your Personal Vibration & How It Can Shape Your Reality | Penney Peirce

Source: Gregg Braden Official

Penney Peirce discusses feeling your personal vibration and intentionally working with energy to transform your life. She tells us that finding our home frequency — our highest, most natural personal vibration — can enable us to maximize clarity, minimize struggle and discover new talents and capacities.

Science has long taught reliance on what can be seen and touched, and is just beginning to discover that everything is vibrating energy. Our personal vibration communicates who we are to the world and helps shape our reality.

In her book “Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration,” Peirce, explores the dynamics of energy, personal resonance, and our accelerating ultra sensitivity.

A Story of a Better World | A Touch of Gentleness [Beautiful, 3-Min Video]

Source: A Touch of Gentleness


Can you imagine a world where strangers stop to smile at each other, take time to sit and talk, to rest, and reach out and comfort one another? Where there is a sense of safety, you, and plenty for all? A world where there is no concept of loneliness? Where fear between people has no meaning. Where you can travel and learn from each other’s cultures? Where all people live with gentleness in peace. I can too. Because it’s happening.

As you know though, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the world was fractured and hurting. Filled with much anxiety, loneliness, depression, and greed. Stress was the number one ailment and fear a constant companion. Countries were at war. Strangers were dangerous. And your home was a place with four walls. Not a family or community or place inside yourself of peace and love.

That is until one day, little by little the change began with a group of people who came together to form a small community. Learning to embrace, embody and live in the wise spirit of gentleness they began to make contact, connect and deeply listen to one another.

Over time this once small community of people grew and spread, like lanterns of gentleness across the land their soft, bright, light rippled out and touched the world.

And as this gentleness spread so fear dissolved. Resistance softened, and people’s hearts were opened. Feelings of safety, acceptance, belonging, and love filled us up – until eventually gentle respect and tender love for all people, all species, and our earth itself became a part of our biology, our DNA and our evolution.

And it is true to say that some of this medicine did begin with ‘A Touch of Gentleness.’

5 Things You Can Do Now to Feel Better

Does anyone else feel like a pioneer in this brave new world?  It can be rather daunting at times.  We may find ourself at odds with family or friends. But, there is help.  It is called, taking care of yourself.  This is the task of the day.  When one makes self-care a priority, then feeling better is not too far away.  Take a deep breath and let’s walk through some tasks that you can choose to do now to feel better now and for the rest of your life.  Healthy habits heal and empower us. Even just one thing can make a difference.

1. Breathe Better

I learned a practice years ago that is with me to this day.  An exercise that relaxes and oxygenates every cell in the body.   “Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

Dr. Weil teaches three breathing exercises and techniques to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath) and Breath Counting. Try each of these breathing exercises and techniques and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.  

2. Ramp up Your Diet

Think whole foods. Put this in your brain as super important.  Grab a single item instead of a box of ingredients. Think about what you can eat, not what you can’t eat.  Reduce toxins. Learn the best choices to buy organically or are clean. Choose healthier snacks and leave the empty calories alone. When we eat better, we feel better.  It is a choice of course, but yours to make. 

Get started by upgrading snacks. Scroll down for some great ideas. If you have food allergies or intolerances use the list accordingly.

3.  Laugh More!

Learn the why, here. 

Remind yourself, just why you need to laugh more. 

Practice:  Observe young children and follow their lead

Watch comedies…or read funny books

Remember to play and have more fun

Avoid sources of distress, be it difficult relationships, horror movies or the daily news

4.  Read about someone that inspires you.  What’s on my bookshelf?  Katherine Dunham

Go within everyday and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out. Katherine Dunham, anthropologist and dancer. 

Katherine’s varied life experiences taught her the value of all life, especially her own.  “Katherine Dunham first went to Haiti in 1936, when she was granted a Rosenwald Fellowship to study primitive dance and ritual in the West Indies and Brazil. A graduate student in anthropology, and already a successful dancer and choreographer, she found in Haiti endless variations of her two interests. For more than thirty years, she has returned again and again, and as one reads Island Possessed, understanding grows as to why and how Haiti is indeed her spiritual home.” 

How did I learn about Katherine?  I was intrigued by her quote (above) as I prayed through Gregg Braden’s latest book:  Wisdom Codes.

5.  Love Who, Love How? 

Rumi gives great advice about love.

Your task is not to seek love,

But merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 

This is a big one and can take a life time, yet it also doesn’t have to take a life time. Acknowledge there is a great part of you that desires to teach you, love you and allow you to let go of all the trappings that keep you stuck and frustrated.  Embrace yourself with a big hug and get to know that valuable Self.  

A Blessing and Prayer, just for you

My friends, may we give grace to one another.  May we feel love and be set free, no longer trapped by the right and wrong of what we see. May we feel the ‘ripeness’ and have a deep knowing that it will be ok.  Choose to be the difference. Choose to be kind. Choose to be brave in love.  Look beyond the argument and see the person. Don’t we all want life to be good? Let us be united by love, not separated by ideologies. 

My friend, may the Sun warm you. May the Earth nourish you. May you feel love and be set free.  Healthy, safe, protected, strong.  Amen. 

Now, on to some great snacks!  Happy munching!  Julia

Healthy Snack List 

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn: use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan
  • one or two hard pretzels, the large Bavarian variety
  • carrots: particularly the super-sweet, organic baby carrots
  • crunchy crudités of veggies and dip (hummus, tabouli, vinaigrette, favorite dressing)
  • celery and peanut butter (use peanut butter without added ingredients, i.e. sugar) 
  • hummus with whole grain toast, baby carrots, rice crackers
  • nuts
  • wheatgrass
  • fresh, whole fruit
  • organic yogurt and ripe fruit
  • apples and almond butter
  • sprouted date bread with jam
  • frozen yogurt: freeze yogurt and make your own!
  • dried fruit 
  • use leftover grains to make sweet porridge: drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon, add nutmilk and bananas, heat with fruit juice, etc.
  • smoothies: mix whatever you have in the kitchen – fruit, ice, nutmilk, yogurt, carob powder, etc.
  • fruit “ice cream”: peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or raisins and serve; can be put through the screen of a juicer for a creamier consistency.
  • freshly squeezed fruit juices: make your own and try different combos.
  • sweet vegetables: yams, sweet potatoes, squashes (acorn, butternut, kabocha) cut into chunks or fries; sprinkle with cinnamon and bake. 
  • dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
  • organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
  • olives
  • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets and lotus root
  • tabouli, hummus
  • oysters and sardines
  • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
  • tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole: try whole grain chips such as “Garden of Eatin” brand and freshly made salsa or guacamole.
  • sauerkraut: it will also knock your sweet craving right out!
  • fresh lime or lemon juice as seasonings or in beverage
  • salted edamame
  • small amount of organic cheese
  • smoothies
  • yogurt
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
  • puréed soups
  • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado or mashed banana
  • mashed sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk

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:  wife, daughter, 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 is happily married in Western North Carolina.   

How You Can Achieve Focus on a Task |  | Andrew Huberman and Lex Fridman

Lex Fridman: Is there advice you have for how to achieve focus on a task?

Andrew Huberman: Yes, first of all, we have to distinguish between modulators and mediators, and i’ll do this very briefly. There are a lot of things that will modulate your state of focus, but they don’t directly mediate your sense of focus. So, for instance, if right now a fire alarm went off in this building, it would modulate our attention. We would get up and leave. It’d be very hard to do what we’re doing with that banging in the background, at least at first. So it’s modulating focus, but it’s not really involved in the mechanisms of focus right?

In the same way, being well-rested when you sleep, your autonomic nervous system that adjusts states of alertness and focus and calm works better than when you’re sleep-deprived. So if you’re sleeping better you’re going to focus better. So I always answer this way to a question like this, because the best thing that anyone can do for their mental health, physical health and performance in athletic or cognitive, endeavors or creative endeavors is to make sure that you’re getting enough quality sleep, enough of the time for you. And that’s going to differ. We could talk about what that means.

Now in terms of things that mediate focus, without getting in the description of mechanisms, because we have podcasts about that. It’s very clear that mental focus follows visual focus – provided that you’re a sighted person. Much of the training that’s being done now in China to teach kids to focus better, literally has them stare at a target blinking every so often, but really training themselves to breathe calmly and maintain a tight visual aperture?

When you read, you have to maintain a tight visual aperture. You’re literally scrolling like a highlighter in your mind’s eye. Right? It’s kind of obvious once you hear it. So for people that have problems focusing: sleep well, learn to dilate and contract your visual field consciously. This can be done if you practice it a little bit.

And then be, as i said before, it is very hard to get into a state of focus like a step function immediately like snapping your fingers. What you can do is you can pick any object, but ideally an object at roughly the same distance placed it roughly the same distance to which you’re going to do that work and stare at it. You’re allowed to blink and, as your mind starts to drift every once in a while (understand, that’s normal), but try and narrow your visual aperture and bring that into your visual field. So that that’s the most prominent thing – kind of like portrait mode in your phone.

This would look very different in portrait mode than it would in just a standard photograph mode. And then, after doing that for 30 to 60 seconds, moving into the work that you’re about to do and really encourage yourself to do that. If you’re somebody who’s low vision or no vision, you’re going to use your ears to do this.

Braille readers have trouble focusing sometimes because they feel other stuff and they hear other stuff. So you learn to adjust that aperture consciously. And then, of course, the pharmacologic tools; just enough caffeine, but not too much. Right?

We’ve talked about white noise, brown noise, music or no music. It really varies, but it’s very clear that binaural beats of 40 hertz can shift the brain into a heightened state of focus and cognition.

So if you’re going to use binaural beats, which should definitely be used with headphones. And there are a number of free apps out there and sources. 40 hertz seems to be the frequency that best supports the brain shifting into a particular focus.

Lex Fridman: Can you give us some binaural beats?

Andrew Huberman: Yeah, so you’re going to want to find a an app that offers 40 hertz. I think Brainwave allows you to slide bar up to the particular frequency that you want. And i should say that there are other frequencies that are interesting, but 40 hertz binaural beats seems to be the one that there’s the most quality research on.

Lex Fridman: So you’re saying there’s a lot of mixed science on the on white noise,,,.

Andrew Huberman: Yeah. You really should be doing this with headphones, because binaural beats are best accomplished by feeding two different frequencies to the two ears. And then you have what’s called the this brainstem area that reads out what are called interaural time differences and then it extracts the the delta, essentially.

Lex Fridman: Turn it on.

Andrew Huberman: And then in other things that can enhance focus. So you know the pharmacology around this is pretty interesting, Things that tickle the dopamine pathway and the acetylcholine pathway – they work.

There’s your ritalin, your adderalls, your modafinils, which are prescription. And there’s a lot of non-prescription use of those prescription drugs – not so much in my generation, but in people 35 and younger. You know, I hear all the time from day traders and programmers and stuff and kids that play video games a lot of ritalin / adderall use. I think that unless it’s prescribed by a doctor for its specific purpose of ADHD, I don’t think people should go that route, frankly It hits the dopamine system way too hard, and also has a number of negative effects on sexual side effects. All sorts of things that you just wouldn’t want

Andrew Huberman: There are a few compounds like Alpha GPC um, 300 milligrams to 600 milligrams of Alpha GPC with a cup of espresso. If you’re well rested, you’re like a laser for 90 minutes, maybe two hours, but then it’s going to taper off. And you have to just recognize that.

And then there’s this whole world of nootropics now and people trying to figure out that racetams, paracetams, and phenolethylamine combined with this. And you know, it’s not quite in the place where you’d like it to be. There are a few companies that are doing this better than others. We talk about some of these on the podcast, but I would always start with behavioral tools. And then consider pharmacology.

And then I suppose the other thing for focus is they’re these – this is a little more esoteric but we cover this in an episode on workplace optimization: where you place your screen is important. Staring down at a screen is not going to be as effective as placing it at eye level or above you. When the eyes are up literally, your eyes are directed forward or up, the brain stem centers for alertness are activated. When your eyes are down, it’s like being pulled underwater a little bit in the autonomic arousal sense. You’re closing your eyes… it reflects the brain stem centers that for alertness are becoming less active.

But there’s a really cool effect that’s active in this room right now, which is that there’s been some really interesting studies that when people work in small compact spaces or wear a hoodie or a hat, that can also improve focus – like blinders on a horse, for obvious reasons now based on what I said before.

But also, analytic work or the kind of work where there’s a correct answer that you’re seeking is best supported by these kind of low ceiling environments. Whereas there’s something called the cathedral effect, which is when you work in an outdoor environment or a high ceiling environment, it lends itself to kind of, pun intended, kind of loftier ideas and more creativity. And that probably has to do with the fact that there’s a natural tendency, a reflex, to expand your visual field in these high ceiling environments.

Expansion of the visual field changes the way the brain works in the time domain. Your engineering and biology oriented listeners will understand this and music. For those that don’t, the best way to think about it is when you have a narrow focus (portrait mode on your phone) or you’re very alert, you are fine slicing life in time.

Think of it as a high frame rate like you’re shooting in slow motion. When you dilate your view you’re taking bigger time bins. And the one way to just let this hopefully land home, is that if you’ve ever had a really exciting day or podcast interview or experience of any kind, your system is flooded with dopamine and norepinephrine, alertness, and motivation, all this excitement. It seems like it goes by very, very fast. And yet, when you think back to that, it seems like a lot happened. This happened, and that happened.

Now think about waiting in the doctor’s office in a blank waiting room with no interesting art on the walls. It feels like it goes by very, very slow – dopamine and norepinephrine are all-time low. And yet, when you think back on that experience, it’s as if nothing happened because you were parsing time differently.

So those are roughly the tools and the neurochemicals around time perception and the time domain.

There’s a wonderful book, I’m forgetting the title (so wonderful, I forget the title) by Dean Buonomano from UCLA. I think it’s called “Your Brain is a Time Machine.” It talks about this expansion and contraction of the time domain and what you can do to leverage it for work and creativity, focus, and so on.

Lex Fridman: Yeah, it’s fascinating that I think one way to define focus for me is the experience, the feeling of focus is losing track of time. It’s getting to a place where you’re no longer up operating in time.

Andrew Huberman: Well, and you mentioned being, you know, kind of cramming for something. Well, you’ll release a lot of adrenaline. And, it is true you can get a lot done under pressure because of the way that you’re slicing time. You don’t actually have more time. It’s that you’re finally in a brain state that lends itself well to parsing information really quickly. Now, if we ramp up your level of stress enough, it’s definitely a more or less normal distribution.

We get you stressed enough, it’s hard to remember anything, you’re not parsing time well. But in that middle range, almost every study shows that the higher levels of autonomic arousal, meaning adrenaline in your system, the more effective you are at things. And you know we always hear stress and adrenaline it’s just bad, bad, bad.

But my colleague Ali Crum, at Stanford, has done these beautiful studies where if you just educate people on how adrenaline makes them sharper thinkers, they become sharper thinkers. If you educate them on the fact that stress makes your cognition worse, their cognition gets worse.

This is why I don’t wear a sleep tracker. If you tell people they slept poorly, your recovery score sucks, they naturally perform less well the next day than if you tell them your recovery score is high. And so i don’t have anything against those companies, in fact, their technology can be very useful in certain contexts. But you want to determine your mindset around these things and, if you tell yourself hey deadlines make me sharp, pressure makes me sharp, you will perform better.

Stanford Neuroscientist: “This is THE MOST POWERFUL PRACTICE You Can Do…” Andrew Huberman


Source: Be Inspired

“Performing a gratitude practice twice or three times or even just once a week can lead to a pervasive, long-lasting impact on subjective well-being. The key thing is it has to be the right gratitude practice. And we’re going to talk about what the right gratitude practice looks like.” ~ Andrew Huberman, Stanford Neuroscientist

Stanford Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman explains how this very specific type of gratitude practice can positively change your whole life – both mentally and physically.

Watch the full episode here:

HAPPY EARTH DAY! How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative

backpack mountains nature-compressed

By Jill Suttie | Greater Good Magazine

We are spending more time indoors and online. But recent studies suggest that nature can help our brains and bodies to stay healthy.

I’ve been an avid hiker my whole life. From the time I first strapped on a backpack and headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I was hooked on the experience, loving the way being in nature cleared my mind and helped me to feel more grounded and peaceful.

But, even though I’ve always believed that hiking in nature had many psychological benefits, I’ve never had much science to back me up…until now, that is. Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people.

Related Article: The Frequency of Life: Getting Back to Nature For Good Health

“People have been discussing their profound experiences in nature for the last several 100 years—from Thoreau to John Muir to many other writers,” says researcher David Strayer, of the University of Utah. “Now we are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.”

While he and other scientists may believe nature benefits our well-being, we live in a society where people spend more and more time indoors and online—especially children. Findings on how nature improves our brains bring added legitimacy to the call for preserving natural spaces—both urban and wild—and for spending more time in nature in order to lead healthier, happier, and more creative lives.

Here are some of the ways that science is showing how being in nature affects our brains and bodies.

mountain walk

1. Being in nature decreases stress

It’s clear that hiking—and any physical activity—can reduce stress and anxiety. But, there’s something about being in nature that may augment those impacts.

In one recent experiment conducted in Japan, participants were assigned to walk either in a forest or in an urban center (taking walks of equal length and difficulty) while having their heart rate variability, heart rate, and blood pressure measured. The participants also filled out questionnaires about their moods, stress levels, and other psychological measures.

Results showed that those who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress), and reported better moods and less anxiety, than those who walked in urban settings. The researchers concluded that there’s something about being in nature that had a beneficial effect on stress reduction, above and beyond what exercise alone might have produced.

In another study, researchers in Finland found that urban dwellers who strolled for as little as 20 minutes through an urban park or woodland reported significantly more stress relief than those who strolled in a city center.

The reasons for this effect are unclear, but scientists believe that we evolved to be more relaxed in natural spaces. In a now-classic laboratory experiment by Roger Ulrich of Texas A&M University and colleagues, participants who first viewed a stress-inducing movie, and were then exposed to color/sound videotapes depicting natural scenes, showed much quicker, more complete recovery from stress than those who’d been exposed to videos of urban settings.

These studies and others provide evidence that being in natural spaces— or even just looking out of a window onto a natural scene—somehow soothes us and relieves stress.

2. Nature makes you happier and less brooding

I’ve always found that hiking in nature makes me feel happier, and of course, decreased stress may be a big part of the reason why. But, Gregory Bratman, of Stanford University, has found evidence that nature may impact our mood in other ways, too.

In one 2015 study, he and his colleagues randomly assigned 60 participants to a 50-minute walk in either a natural setting (oak woodlands) or an urban setting (along a four-lane road). Before and after the walk, the participants were assessed on their emotional state and on cognitive measures, such as how well they could perform tasks requiring short-term memory. Results showed that those who walked in nature experienced less anxiety, rumination (focused attention on negative aspects of oneself), and negative affect, as well as more positive emotions, in comparison to the urban walkers. They also improved their performance on memory tasks.

In another study, he and his colleagues extended these findings by zeroing in on how walking in nature affects rumination—which has been associated with the onset of depression and anxiety—while also using fMRI technology to look at brain activity. Participants who took a 90-minute walk in either a natural setting or an urban setting had their brains scanned before and after their walks and were surveyed on self-reported rumination levels (as well as other psychological markers). The researchers controlled for many potential factors that might influence rumination or brain activity—for example, physical exertion levels as measured by heart rates and pulmonary functions.

Even so, participants who walked in a natural setting versus an urban setting reported decreased rumination after the walk, and they showed increased activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain whose deactivation is affiliated with depression and anxiety—a finding that suggests nature may have important impacts on mood.

Bratman believes results like these need to reach city planners and others whose policies impact our natural spaces. “Ecosystem services are being incorporated into decision making at all levels of public policy, land use planning, and urban design, and it’s very important to be sure to incorporate empirical findings from psychology into these decisions,” he says.


3. Nature relieves attention fatigue and increases creativity.

Today, we live with ubiquitous technology designed to constantly pull for our attention. But many scientists believe our brains were not made for this kind of information bombardment, and that it can lead to mental fatigue, overwhelm, and burnout, requiring “attention restoration” to get back to a normal, healthy state.

Strayer is one of those researchers. He believes that being in nature restores depleted attention circuits, which can then help us be more open to creativity and problem-solving.

“When you use your cell phone to talk, text, shoot photos, or whatever else you can do with your cell phone, you’re tapping the prefrontal cortex and causing reductions in cognitive resources,” he says.

In a 2012 study, he and his colleagues showed that hikers on a four-day backpacking trip could solve significantly more puzzles requiring creativity when compared to a control group of people waiting to take the same hike—in fact, 47 percent more. Although other factors may account for his results—for example, the exercise or the camaraderie of being out together—prior studies have suggested that nature itself may play an important role. One in Psychological Science found that the impact of nature on attention restoration is what accounted for improved scores on cognitive tests for the study participants.

This phenomenon may be due to differences in brain activation when viewing natural scenes versus more built-up scenes—even for those who normally live in an urban environment. In a recent study conducted by Peter Aspinall at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and colleagues, participants who had their brains monitored continuously using mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) while they walked through an urban green space had brain EEG readings indicating lower frustration, engagement, and arousal, and higher meditation levels while in the green area, and higher engagement levels when moving out of the green area. This lower engagement and arousal may be what allows for attention restoration, encouraging a more open, meditative mindset.

It’s this kind of brain activity—sometimes referred to as “the brain default network”—that is tied to creative thinking, says Strayer. He is currently repeating his earlier 2012 study with a new group of hikers and recording their EEG activity and salivary cortisol levels before, during, and after a three-day hike. Early analyses of EEG readings support the theory that hiking in nature seems to rest people’s attention networks and to engage their default networks.

Strayer and colleagues are also specifically looking at the effects of technology by monitoring people’s EEG readings while they walk in an arboretum, either while talking on their cell phone or not. So far, they’ve found that participants with cell phones appear to have EEG readings consistent with attention overload, and can recall only half as many details of the arboretum they just passed through, compared to those who were not on a cell phone.

Though Strayer’s findings are preliminary, they are consistent with other people’s findings on the importance of nature to attention restoration and creativity.

“If you’ve been using your brain to multitask—as most of us do most of the day—and then you set that aside and go on a walk, without all of the gadgets, you’ve let the prefrontal cortex recover,” says Strayer. “And that’s when we see these bursts in creativity, problem-solving, and feelings of well-being.”

family hike

4. Nature may help you to be kind and generous

Whenever I go to places like Yosemite or the Big Sur Coast of California, I seem to return to my home life ready to be more kind and generous to those around me—just ask my husband and kids! Now some new studies may shed light on why that is.

In a series of experiments published in 2014, Juyoung Lee, GGSC director Dacher Keltner, and other researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, studied the potential impact of nature on the willingness to be generous, trusting, and helpful toward others, while considering what factors might influence that relationship.

As part of their study, the researchers exposed participants to more or less subjectively beautiful nature scenes (whose beauty levels were rated independently) and then observed how participants behaved playing two economics games—the Dictator Game and the Trust Game—that measure generosity and trust, respectively. After being exposed to the more beautiful nature scenes, participants acted more generously and more trusting in the games than those who saw less beautiful scenes, and the effects appeared to be due to corresponding increases in positive emotion.

In another part of the study, the researchers asked people to fill out a survey about their emotions while sitting at a table where more or less beautiful plants were placed. Afterward, the participants were told that the experiment was over and they could leave, but that if they wanted to they could volunteer to make paper cranes for a relief effort program in Japan. The number of cranes they made (or didn’t make) was used as a measure of their “prosociality” or willingness to help.

Related Article: Creating Connection: Finding Balance Between Nature and Man.

Results showed that the presence of more beautiful plants significantly increased the number of cranes made by participants and that this increase was, again, mediated by positive emotion elicited by natural beauty. The researchers concluded that experiencing the beauty of nature increases positive emotion—perhaps by inspiring awe, a feeling akin to wonder, with the sense of being part of something bigger than oneself—which then leads to prosocial behaviors.

Support for this theory comes from an experiment conducted by Paul Piff of the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues, in which participants staring up a grove of very tall trees for as little as one minute experienced measurable increases in awe, and demonstrated more helpful behavior and approached moral dilemmas more ethically, than participants who spent the same amount of time looking up at a high building.


5. Nature makes you “feel more alive”

With all of these benefits to being out in nature, it’s probably no surprise that something about nature makes us feel more alive and vital. Being outdoors gives us energy, makes us happier, helps us to relieve the everyday stresses of our overscheduled lives, opens the door to creativity, and helps us to be kind to others.

No one knows if there is an ideal amount of nature exposure, though Strayer says that longtime backpackers suggest a minimum of three days to really unplug from our everyday lives. Nor can anyone say for sure how nature compares to other forms of stress relief or attention restoration, such as sleep or meditation. Both Strayer and Bratman say we need a lot more careful research to tease out these effects before we come to any definitive conclusions.

Still, the research does suggest there’s something about nature that keeps us psychologically healthy, and that’s good to know…especially since nature is a resource that’s free and that many of us can access by just walking outside our door. Results like these should encourage us as a society to consider more carefully how we preserve our wilderness spaces and our urban parks.

And while the research may not be conclusive, Strayer is optimistic that science will eventually catch up to what people like me have intuited all along—that there’s something about nature that renews us, allowing us to feel better, to think better, and to deepen our understanding of ourselves and others.

“You can’t have centuries of people writing about this and not have something going on,” says Strayer. “If you are constantly on a device or in front of a screen, you’re missing out on something that’s pretty spectacular: the real world.”

mountains of awe
About The Author

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good‘s book review editor and a frequent contributor to the magazine.