How Sacred Words Can Rewire Our Brain

By Linda Summer

Take a break from cyberspace, head into nature, connect with the living soil and immerse yourself in Gregg Braden’s latest & possibly the greatest book, The Wisdom Codes. Weather permitting, of course.

“These timeless codes are designed to bring us the greatest strength and the deepest healing, in the quickest way possible.” Gregg Braden.

In his “easy-to-read, quick-access, modern-day manual”, Braden guides us on a timely, mystical pilgrimage to an ancient world of “trusted words”; intuitively encoded healing word patterns that can literally rewire our brain and heal our heart. He teaches us that we can become masters of our destiny by consciously applying sacred words of the past to our present challenges because we are no longer victims or defined by our circumstances.

Writes Braden: “For over 5000 years, our most ancient and cherished spiritual traditions have recognized the relationship between the words we use and the way our brains function. They relied on specific word patterns that they would recite — prayers, mantras, hymns and chants — to provide them with inspiration, safety, comfort and healing when they were faced with the inevitable challenges of everyday life. And although ancient indigenous people were not scientists by today’s standards, they understood the effect of the word codes full well.”

Braden’s intensive research resulted in a core group of deftly decoded wisdom codes and concise instructions about how to apply them to our lives, especially in times of need. Put simply, the words are wisdom codes:

“In their presence, we are changed. When we speak words either out loud or silently to ourselves, something shifts within us and that something is where the power of words, chemistry and neurons converge in a beautiful way.”

Sacred Word-Brain Relationship Origins

As a lifelong lover of fine language, but reasonably new to the captivating art of linguistics, Braden continued to spark my interest, especially his reference to the renowned American Linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf who discovered the Northern American Hopi people’s unique structure and “paradigm-altering use of language”. Having traveled to this ancient land in 2018, I appreciated the deeper insight into why ‘Hopi’ translates into ‘good; wise; knowing’.

Whorf discovered our word-brain relationship by a happy accident in 1937-38 when he unexpectedly instructed a graduate level Native American linguistics class. This enabled him to recognize “a previously overlooked nuance” whereby the Hopi people used words to describe the present moment, but not to directly describe the past or future.

For example, when the Hopi refer to lightning, they describe the experience as lightning-ing, indicating that lightning is a state of being; or the wave is waving. Whorf believed that these word structures were responsible for the harmonious way of the Hopi and their relationship with the cosmos.

Recent enlightening studies have confirmed Whorf’s theory that “Words of our everyday language directly influence the way our brain “wires” itself when it comes to how we think and even what we are capable of thinking about.”

This discovery naturally sent shock waves through the scientific community but also inspired ongoing biological and neuroscientific studies about the structure of language. Hence, the recent confirmation of his word-brain theory.

“A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” Andrew Newberg, M.D., Neuroscientist, and Mark Robert Waldman.

Empowering Prayer Through Words

Of equal interest was Braden’s recollection of a pilgrimage with 40 invited guests to an ancient Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas — one of the most remote, sacred places of knowledge remaining today. When they met with the abbot of the monastery, “on a cold stone floor in a windowless chapel,” Braden asked: “When we see your prayers, what are you doing in your body? When we see you tone and chant mantras for fourteen to sixteen hours a day on the outside, what is happening to you on the inside?”

The abbot’s (condensed) translated reply reflected the discoveries that had been reported in recent journals:

“You have never seen our prayers because a prayer cannot be seen. What you have seen is what we do to create the feeling in our bodies. The feeling is the prayer and the words create the feeling.”

Upon hearing the abbot’s response, Braden immediately recognized that the words of ancient chants were catalysts that elicit the feelings that change the body of the person that offers them. He refers to early translations of the biblical book of John (chapter 16, verse 24) where “we are instructed to empower our prayers through words that invite us to be surrounded by the feeling that our prayer is already answered. Ask without hidden motive and be surrounded by your answer. Be enveloped by what you desire so that your joy may be full.”

Braden then offers a succinct summary: “Here we see that it’s the words that ignite the emotion that empowers our prayers as the cascade of events that follow. When we allow ourselves to fully embrace what our spoken words mean on the deepest possible level of awareness, they trigger the neurological and biological responses that reflect the intent of the codes.”

To say that “the implications of the word-life relationship are profound” is almost an understatement. Note to self: Given that words we choose appear to form the framework for the unity or separation that we consequently experience, ensure that I refocus on practicing the art of living consciously and choosing my words with care. Always.

Wisdom Codes Reflect Common Life Issues

The main body of the Wisdom Codes book is divided into 7 sections, featuring 17 individual codes that reflect some of our most commonly faced issues in life: Protection, Fear, Loss, Strength and Love. Braden also includes two bonus Power Codes and two concluding parables.

Some origins of the carefully selected codes include the ancient Sanskrit Vedas, the Mahabharata, the teachings of the Buddha, “lost” texts of the Judeo-Christian Bible and sacred mysteries of indigenous traditions. Having had a liberated upbringing that bypassed all forms of religious indoctrination, and allowed me the freedom to find my own spiritual way and explore religion in my own time, I have found this book to be as beneficial as Braden intended it to be — if not more.

Wisdom Code 3 – The Lord’s Prayer

Without giving away too much away about the actual Wisdom Codes, I will finish with some intriguing passages about the widely debated origins of one of the Protection Codes: Wisdom Code 3 – The Lord’s Prayer. I found these revelations to be of particular interest because of my recent studies into the occult origins of church, religion, and government. (Note that Braden chose the English translation closest to the original words of Jesus’s time as possible, prepared by George in Lamsa in the early 20th century):

“The controversy about its origins stems from the fact that the Lord’s Prayer is not recorded in what’s considered to be one of the most reliable records of historic events that occurred in Jesus’s day: the Book of Mark. The question is why it would be noted in the books of Matthew and Luke, yet would be curiously absent in Mark? The answer has emerged with the discovery of a hidden, yet revered, biblical gospel discovered only recently, in the late 20th century: the Lost Gospel of Quelle. Quelle means “source” in German. Scholars typically shorten the name to the Gospel Q or simply Q.”

Braden further explains that the Gospel Q did not appear suddenly like the “lost” Gospel of Thomas or the Dead Sea Scrolls:

“In fact, it does not exist today as a stand-alone text. Rather, this “lost” gospel emerged slowly over a period, emerging from within the paragraphs and pages of already existing texts. It was only through the meticulous and scholarly work of text comparison among various translations of different gospels that Gospel Q was eventually recognized by 20th-century biblical scholars.

I’m describing Gospel Q here because it holds the key to the protective power of Wisdom Code 3.”

Wherever ‘Q’ goes, controversy follows, it seems. This revelation naturally reminded me of the alleged birth of the contentious ‘Q’ movement, thought to be a covert military alliance that was created following the ruthless assassination of President John F Kennedy.

In closing, The Wisdom Codes is a truly unique, compelling, and reassuring reference book that has earned a place in my highly competitive ‘beloved favorites stash’ which is always within arm’s reach. Just the tonic for these profoundly transformational times on earth and a vital addition to my spiritual resilience kit.

For anyone that has not yet discovered the exceptional work of Gregg Braden, he is a science-meets-spirit pioneer, scientist, lecturer, inspirational thought leader, and five-time New York Times bestselling author.

Learn about the power of The Wisdom Codes and much more in this awesome video by Gregg Braden:

#ProtectTheChildren by Sharing This FREE eBook: “A Mom’s Guide to the Covid Shot” by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Would you like to save the life of a child? You can by simply sharing this article and Dr. Christiane Northrup’s vitally important new book titled “A Mom’s Guide to the Covid Shot: What Every Mother Needs to Know” – with EVERY parent that YOU know (I sent the PDF to all three of my adult children last night.). You can purchase the paperback version online, or you can FREELY download the PDF version HERE. After you click the link, simply scroll down the page until you see this image (and then enter your info and click the “Download the eBook” button to receive the download link in your email):

Every parent needs to know that the Covid vaccines are incredibly harmful to children and potentially deadly. Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric specialist caring for children with the multisystem inflammatory syndrome, said the spike protein found in the vaccines is of special concern for young people, as it is a potentially lethal toxin that causes “microvascular injury to the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys in a way that does not currently appear to be assessed in safety trials of these potential drugs.”

See: Healthy 16-Year-Old Boy Dies During Online Class After Second Pfizer Jab: VAERS Database

Nonetheless, there is an insane, forthcoming agenda to mandate the jab for ALL school-aged children in order to attend school. On October 1, California Governor Gavin Newsome announced that: “Students will be required to be vaccinated for in-person learning starting the term following FDA full approval of the vaccine for their grade span (7-12 and K-6).”

If FDA approval does occur, some other states will likely also mandate the jab. And, even if the jab is NOT mandated, many parents will comply because they believe the mainstream media narrative that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! Dr. Northrop’s book provides eye-opening truth about the extreme dangers of covid shots in an incredibly easy-to-read format. Plus she provides reference links for everything so that you can dive deeper if you want. Every parent  MUST read “A Mom’s Guide to the Covid Shot.” So PLEASE take bold action and share it with every parent that you know because it will save the lives of children – the future of humanity!

The vitally important information in the book was originally a PowerPoint presentation that Dr. Northrup shared at a conference. She simply incorporated the slides into her book. So you can read the entire book in about an hour. In order for you to see the easy-reading format of the book, here’s one page of “A Mom’s Guide to the Covid Shot”:

Be sure to also watch this powerful presentation by Dr. Northrop in which she discusses many of the slides in her book:

Dr. Christiane Northrup Slams the Whole CV19 Scam and mRNA Vax Bio-Weapon

About Dr. Northrup

Christiane Northrup, M.D., a visionary pioneer in women’s health, is a board-certified OB/GYN with more than thirty years of clinical experience, former assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and three-time New York Times bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause and Goddesses Never Age. In 2013, Reader’s Digest named Dr. Northrup one of the “100 Most Trusted People in America.” In 2016, she was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, a group of leaders who are using their voices and talent to awaken humanity. And in 2020 & 2021, she was included in the Watkins Spiritual 100, a list of living people that make a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale.

Much love,

Ross Pittman, CLN Editor

U.S. Indifferent to Human Experimentation and Biological and Chemical Weapons — New Book Points to a Monstrous Agenda

By | Activist Post

At the Breaking Point of History: How Decades of U.S. Duplicity Enabled the Pandemic by Activist Post contributor Janet Phelan details the US government’s indifference to the welfare of individuals and to its legal obligations under national and international accords prohibiting human experimentation and biological and chemical weapons. (The book is available at TrineDay and elsewhere.)

From lead pipes in Flint, Michigan to a duplicitous water commission in Medford, Oregon to a secret psychiatric ward at UCLA to the elegant halls of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Breaking Point reveals deceitful machinations executed at the highest and lowest levels of power.

Ms. Phelan recently said,

“We are embroiled in a pandemic which has collapsed economies, caused death by starvation and has resulted in severe new restrictions on civil rights in the US and elsewhere. Yet many medical professionals and researchers are questioning the genesis of Covid-19. Was it bioengineered? Was it deliberately released? They’re also questioning the numbers alleged to have died from it, pointing to dictates from the CDC to list deaths not directly caused by the virus as virus-caused deaths.”

Many of the articles were written prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and point to a monstrous political agenda, implicating media, government, and foreign nations in the plan to launch this. Details as to other vectors which may be deployed in a pandemic scenario, details that have been suppressed by other media, are fully disclosed here.

Janet Phelan is an investigative reporter. Her articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Bernardino County Sentinel, Orange Coast Magazine, New Eastern Outlook, and elsewhere. She currently writes for Activist Post and has previously published an intelligence exposes, Exile, and two books of poetry.

TrineDay is a small publishing house that arose as a response to the consistent refusal of the corporate press to publish many interesting, well-researched, and well-written books with but one key “defect”: a challenge to official history that would tend to rock the boat of America’s corporate “culture.” TrineDay believes in our Constitution and our common right of Free Speech.

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

By | The Mind Unleashed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Ways to Manage the Emotional Distress of Cancer

By Jill Suttie | Greater Good Magazine

The National Cancer Institute states that nearly 40% of men and women in the United States will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Even during the pandemic, cancer was the leading cause of death around the world.

That means many people are dealing with treatment for this worrisome disease—including many of my friends and family members. While new treatments are giving people hope for greater longevity and even full recovery, the social and emotional toll of cancer is still severe. Right when cancer patients need calm clarity and social support for getting through treatment, they can have trouble finding either, compounding their suffering.

While no person’s cancer experience is exactly the same as another’s, there are common reactions to many, write Elizabeth Cohn Stuntz and Marsha Linehan in the new book Coping with Cancer. These include difficult feelings like fear, sadness, anger, and guilt; concerns about how the disease will change one’s life, job, or family relationships; and physical symptoms like fatigue, pain, and loss of sleep. A patient’s constantly changing experience can breed uncertainty, too, exacerbating many of these reactions.

Drawing upon decades of research, practice with helping patients, and stories from patients (including the authors themselves), the book gives wise guidance on how to reduce stress, make better decisions, protect important relationships, and increase overall well-being while fighting off the disease—all of which can support a better prognosis, too. Based largely on Linehan’s model of dialectical behavior therapy, the authors offer several keys to coping with the physical, emotional, and social strains that cancer patients face. Here are a few of their recommendations.

Be mindful and accepting of your experience

Though some people believe there’s an ideal way to feel or behave when faced with cancer—upbeat, stoic, or defiant, maybe—trying to fit someone’s idea of how you should react or denying your own feelings is likely to backfire, write the authors. Instead, you should try practicing being mindful—paying attention to your experience without judgment. This is a more effective way to understand your experience and your needs at any given moment.

“Your emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations offer valuable information. They can tell you what’s wrong and needs to be addressed as well as what’s going right that should be pursued,” write Stuntz and Linehan.

At the same time, being mindful can keep you from wallowing in negative emotions or ruminating about catastrophic possibilities. When you increase awareness of the fleeting nature of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, it can create a little distance from them, opening the door to noticing positive experiences (or less bad experiences) when they occur. Savoring happy moments and small victories can provide a good counterpoint to the hard times, helping you to ride the waves of experience without being overwhelmed.

Finding some distance also allows you to notice patterns, including habits that might not be serving you.

“When you pay careful attention to the interplay between your emotions, your thoughts, and your body, you have the chance to understand your response and see where effective coping may be short-circuited and bring yourself back into balance,” write the authors.

Try self-compassion

If you accept that all feelings are valid, you can start to recognize where they come from and how to soothe them without repressing them. One method for helping with emotional upset is the practice of self-compassion. Showing yourself kindness and understanding for what you are going through, while recognizing that you are not alone in your suffering, can be a boon to your recovery.

According to the authors, “The goal is to try to coach yourself with the same warm, patient, and sensitive understanding you would give to a cherished loved one who is in a distressing situation.” That means acknowledging whatever experience you are having (for example, I feel pain in my chest right now and it’s worrying me), sending yourself soothing messages (even though this pain is hard, I’ve been through it before, and I know it will pass), and reminding yourself that you are not alone in your suffering (others have been through this too and survived).

People who are more self-compassionate tend to have less depression, anxiety, fatigue, and better quality of life when facing cancer and generally tend to cope better under stressful conditions. Self-compassion may be particularly beneficial for keeping us as well as possible in trying circumstances.

Check the facts and question distorted thinking

When we are worried, it can often cause rumination—repetitive thoughts disturbing us and keeping us up at night. This can lead to depression and other problems that can interfere with recovery.

As the authors note, people with cancer can succumb to distorted thinking patterns, such as “black and white” thinking or thinking in absolutes—for example, only focusing on bad news and ignoring progress, or telling yourself that you’ll never be able to work again and you’ll always be sick. To find a more balanced approach, the authors recommend that you question these types of thoughts by stepping back and examining them and, perhaps, challenging or reframing them. Recognizing the difference between facts and fear-based assumptions can help you interrupt distorted thinking and keep your mind from spinning out of control.

Questioning assumptions can be helpful when talking to doctors, too. For example, some people with cancer are afraid to confront their doctors with fears or doubts about the treatment, worried they will offend their doctor, and, possibly, lose an important ally in their care. But most doctors are trained to listen and educate patients about their options and expect questions. It’s important to express uncertainty while staying open to emerging information—even difficult facts about your care—to maintain a realistic view of your situation.

Ask for what you want from others…in a kind way

Support from others is key to healing from cancer. But sometimes cancer patients may feel reluctant to ask for help, especially if they tend to be “go it alone” types. Or they may fear that medical doctors or caretakers will not listen to them, making them feel angry for having reached out.

It’s important to find a balance between requesting help and demanding it from someone—especially from a caregiver who is already burdened. Asking for what you want clearly and confidently, explaining why you need the help, and appreciating the help you receive are all useful strategies for getting what you need from others to heal, the authors write.

Given that protecting a relationship with a health provider is paramount to many cancer patients, the authors give special attention to communicating with doctors, including this advice (using the acronym FAST):

  • Be Fair: Validate your feelings and wishes as well as the other person’s.
  • Assert: Don’t apologize for making a request, having an opinion, or disagreeing.
  • Stick to your values: Make sure you are acting in a morally sound way.
  • Be Truthful: Don’t make excuses, lie, or act helpless when you’re not.

Keeping interactions with others kind, honest, and assertive is the best way to preserve relationships through a long treatment.

Connect to meaning

While no one wants to suffer from cancer, it can be an opportunity to remember what is most important in life. Whether it’s your relationships with others, your work or creative endeavors, the beauty of the world around you, or your religious faith, you can take moments to appreciate the things of value to you and embrace opportunities to connect to them.

“Being clear about what sustains and matters to you can help you assess whether you’re living the way you want to or decide what if any changes you want to make to promote the more meaningful parts of life,” write Stuntz and Linehan.

Meaning in life is central to happiness, and finding meaning in the midst of suffering can help people stay more resilient as they go through trauma. Nurturing meaning in life could involve writing a gratitude letter to someone who made a difference to you, volunteering to help others suffering from cancer, or writing a song or poem. Whatever you do to find meaning, though, remember not to do it because you “should” or to fulfill someone else’s agenda, but because it truly helps sustain you.

While none of these strategies are foolproof, they can help people who are going through cancer manage, and that’s good to know. On the other hand, I would argue that this advice is useful for anyone going through difficult times, health-related or not. We could all be more mindful, offer ourselves more self-compassion, be better fact-checkers, treat our support networks kindly, and search for meaning in life. The book, though geared to cancer survivors, really speaks to us all.

About the Author

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good.

Cannabis: “A Medicinal Treasure Trove”

Cannabis has been part of the pharmacopeia, or branch of medical science that studies drugs and medicinal preparations, of many cultures throughout history.

Like many other plants, cannabis plants secrete a sticky tar-like residue called resin. On cannabis plants, the resin is contained within the heads of tiny, mushroom-shaped trichomes, found mainly on the plant’s flower buds and to a lesser extent on the leaves. In the resin is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for—and CBD, along with hundreds of other cannabinoids and terpenes (which we’ll talk about later). Traditionally, these flowers, which we commonly call marijuana, are hand-harvested, dried, trimmed, and cured. The flowers are then consumed for their medicinal and/or intoxicating effects. To learn more, check out homegrowncannabisco.com.

Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, one of the world’s leading authorities on CBD, has described the cannabis plant as a “treasure trove” of medicinal value with the potential to treat a wide variety of different ailments. CBD and THC can be considered the crown jewels of this treasure trove, but they are just two of more than a hundred related plant compounds called phytocannabinoids, lipid (fat)-based molecules that are unique to the cannabis plant and give it its therapeutic potential. The plant is also rich in compounds called terpenes and flavonoids, which work together with CBD and THC to create an “entourage effect” that is greater than the effect of any one of the molecules alone.

CBD is getting the lion’s share of public attention right now because, unlike THC, it doesn’t get you high or put you at risk for failing a drug test; nor is it likely to pose legal challenges like THC. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that CBD is not the only part of the cannabis plant that can serve a medicinal purpose.

CBD and Its Entourage

CBD and THC have a bit of a yin-yang relationship. Both CBD and THC can provide significant health and wellness benefits; but unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned.” That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.

THC, marijuana’s principal psychoactive component, makes a person feel high by binding to specific receptors in your brain and central nervous system. (Chapter 2 will dive into these mechanisms in detail). CBD, by contrast, can lessen or neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. That’s why people who use medical marijuana will some-times choose products that are relatively low in THC and rich in CBD. They want the health benefits of cannabis without the high—or with less of the high. That’s possible, thanks to CBD.

There is compelling evidence that CBD works best in combination with THC and the full spectrum of other cannabis components. Just like eating a whole carrot is better for you than taking a beta-carotene supplement, whole cannabis remedies may be more effective than low-THC or no-THC products.

That’s important as we consider the medicinal benefits of CBD (and when you’re choosing CBD products) because, when scientists perform research on CBD, they generally use isolated, single-molecule CBD produced in biochemical laboratories. By contrast, when CBD is part of oil extracted from the whole plant, it includes not just CBD and THC but also more than 400 trace compounds, many of which may also have medicinal benefits.

In fact, as this book is being written, scientists are turning their attention to other CBD-related molecules that have exciting therapeutic potential—for example, CBDA and CBG. CBDA is the acidic, raw form of CBD that exists in the growing CBD-rich plant before it has been harvested, dried, and heated and may be even more effective against nausea than CBD or THC. Cannabigerol (CBG) is another cannabinoid that has medicinal value as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, bone stimulant, and cancer-fighting molecule.

Researchers have found that many of these compounds interact synergistically to create an “entourage effect” or “ensemble effect.” In the same way that a star opera singer sounds great on her own but creates a greater impact as part of a cast of supporting singers, these myriad compounds magnify the benefits of the plant’s individual components so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

Some of the key “backup singers” in that entourage are terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic molecules that evaporate easily and create a strong fragrance. You may not know their names, but you already know these compounds because they’re ingrained in your life. The fresh scent of lemon zest is from the terpene limonene. The refreshing aroma wafting through a pine forest comes from the terpene aptly named pinene.

Terpenes are the most common type of compound in the botanical world; there are hundreds of terpenes among all the cannabis strains, and there can be 20 to 40 types of terpenes in a single cannabis plant. The fragrance and flavor of any given cannabis product is determined by its predominant terpenes. Nature designed these pungent oils to protect plants by attracting beneficial insects, or by repelling harmful ones and animal grazers, as well as preventing damaging fungus. It turns out terpenes are healthy for people as well as plants. Pinene, which is found not only in the oils of pine and other coniferous trees but also in rosemary, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Beta-caryophyllene, a terpene found in black pepper, oregano, leafy green vegetables, and various cannabis strains may be good for treating certain ulcers and auto-immune disorders. Linalool, the dominant terpene from lavender, alters brain wave activity and pro-motes relaxation.

Some terpene compounds (called terpenoids) increase blood flow. Others enhance brain activity and kill germs, including MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. An article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology reports the findings from multiple studies showing that cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions—that entourage effect—could work well for more effective treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, and infections.

In various ways, terpenes can augment the beneficial effects of CBD and THC. Research shows that terpenes can help cannabinoids like CBD and THC cross the blood-brain barrier and get into your system more easily. Some terpenes may facilitate transdermal absorption to allow topical treatments to pass through the skin.

It’s important to keep this entourage effect in mind when reading the results of scientific studies. When a study reports that a certain dosage of CBD did not have an effect, that doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD doesn’t work. Any given dose of single-molecule CBD is not medicinally the same as the same dose of a CBD-rich whole plant cannabis extract. Often, you actually need considerably higher doses of an isolated CBD product to get the same benefits you’d find from a smaller amount of whole plant CBD extract because of the entourage effect.

Excerpted from “THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CBD: Everything You Need to Know about What It Helps, Where to Buy, and How to Take It.” A Reader’s Digest Book, copyright © 2021 by Trusted Media Brands, Inc., and Project CBD.  Used by permission of Trusted Media Brands, Inc., New York.  Available wherever books are sold.

How Anxiety Hides in Your Habits

By Kira M. Newman | Greater Good Magazine

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of reading the same tips over and over about how to calm down and destress. I’m tired of trying to slow down my breathing when my chest feels heavy and question the worst-case scenarios running around my head.

That’s why psychiatrist Judson Brewer’s new book Unwinding Anxiety is so refreshing. Yes, it has some tips—but they don’t come until much later in the book. In fact, his whole point is that tips alone won’t help those of us who struggle with anxiety.

Brewer shows how anxiety exists inside the habits that make up our everyday lives, and habits are sticky. They won’t go away just because we tell ourselves to breathe— because, as crazy as it sounds when talking about anxiety, our brain is attracted to these habits because they create some sense of reward.

Implementing tips and tools skips an important step, Brewer argues. Before we can try to change anything, we have to spend some time observing our anxiety-related habits. Only then—by showing our brain viscerally how unrewarding these habits are—can we move to actually create new ones.

Unwinding Anxiety offers a three-step process to help you do exactly that, backed up by Brewer’s extensive habit research. While many well-being books can feel overwhelming, his approach is reassuring in its simplicity but different enough to feel like it just might work.

Step one: Map out anxiety habits

If you struggle with anxiety, it’s likely that anxiety has become a habit for you, writes Brewer. Many of our habits have developed to help us reduce stress or satisfy emotional needs, he explains, even if they don’t always benefit us long-term. Our habits exist in loops that consist of a trigger, a behavior, and a result. For example:

Trigger: Feel anxious
Behavior: Eat something sweet
Result: Be distracted from anxiety

Sometimes anxiety can trigger a habit loop, but it can also be the result in a habit loop:

Trigger: Feel unmotivated at work
Behavior: Read news
Result: Feel anxious about the state of the world

But the most pernicious anxiety-related habit is this basic pattern, which many of us fall into, where anxiety reinforces itself:

Trigger: Feel anxious
Behavior: Worry (ruminate on what’s wrong, what could go wrong, etc.)
Result: Feel more anxious

What reward could we possibly get out of a self-perpetuating anxiety cycle? Well, Brewer explains, the act of worrying can sometimes feel good—or at least better than just sitting with our anxiety. Worrying sometimes (rarely) allows us to come up with solutions, which makes it seem productive; we think we’re solving problems. Some of us are afraid we’ll be unprepared for the future if we don’t worry, and worry can give us a sense of control over the situation, even when all we do is go over and over the same fears.

In one of Brewer’s studies (currently under peer review), becoming aware of worry habit loops made people less anxious—and, for doctors, reduced their burnout and cynicism. But mapping out your habits is just the first step.

Step two: Work with your brain’s reward system

As Brewer explains, our brain stores a “reward value” for different people, places, and things we encounter. The more rewarding our brain thinks a behavior is, the stronger the habit around it will be.

But reward values can become skewed or outdated. For example, we might have developed a passion for cake as an anxious teen—but in adulthood, we now find ourselves in a queasy sugar coma after three slices.

“The only sustainable way to change a habit is to update its reward value,” writes Brewer. That means taking a fresh look at how a habit is affecting us now. And we need to do this over and over, each time we repeat the habit in our daily life until our brain updates its reward value and stops being drawn to the habit.

What does this mean in practice?

Once you’ve identified your habits that support anxiety, you need to be mindful when they occur. If you’re anxious and you start worrying about the future, make a mental note; observe the tightness in your chest, the lump in your throat, how little you get done at work that afternoon.

The good thing about this approach is that moments of anxiety become an opportunity to learn about yourself, not something to be afraid of, and not a failure in your quest for Zen. (Self-judgment, apparently, seems to go hand in hand with anxiety.)

If you have trouble being aware of habits in real-time, you can also look back on your day or your week to see the effects of a particular behavior. If your anxiety made you snap at your partner, how did that feel? Rather than analyzing it, just try to re-experience it in your body.

Over time, Brewer suggests, our brain will naturally become disenchanted with our anxiety habits without us having to use so much willpower, allowing more space for new habits to form.

Step three: Create new habits

This step is where most other advice begins: the healthy habits and behaviors that we want to engage in. But it makes sense that there isn’t much room for these new behaviors until our brains detach from the old ones.

Brewer suggests a variety of mindfulness-related behaviors that you could insert into your habit loops when a trigger arises, many of which may be familiar to you already:

  • Curiosity and mindfulness: Rather than judging yourself for being anxious, or getting obsessed about where your anxiety is coming from, just get curious. What does it feel like, and where? How does it change? Brewer even recommends saying “Hmmm!” out loud to yourself, to encourage that sense of curiosity.
  • Breathing: Tune in to the breathing sensations in your body. Breathe into places where anxiety shows up, and breathe out anxiety. See how things change.
  • RAIN: This is a mindfulness practice where you Recognize and relax into the present moment; Accept and allow it to be there; Investigate your bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts; and Note what is happening.
  • Noting: This is a practice of labeling what experiences are predominant in your mind from moment to moment, including any of your senses (hearing, touch, sight), thinking, or feeling.
  • Loving-kindness: The practice of sending kind, caring thoughts to people, including yourself, and feeling that sense of warmth in your body.

To reinforce these habits, Brewer explains, you can apply techniques from step two—but this time, instead of observing the detrimental effects, you observe how good it feels in your body to be curious or generate loving feelings.

Brewer is a habit expert—much of his research has focused on smoking and eating disorders—and although his book is about anxiety, the overall framework could apply to many habits in our lives. His insights reveal why so many of our good intentions to exercise, meditate, and otherwise, self-improve don’t translate into action. Brewer’s book gives us the tools to work with our brains, rather than constantly feeling like we’re fighting against ourselves.

About the Author

Kira M. Newman

Kira M. Newman is the managing editor of Greater Good. Her work has been published in outlets including the Washington PostMindful magazine, Social Media Monthly, and Tech.co, and she is the co-editor of The Gratitude ProjectFollow her on Twitter!

Lessons from George Orwell’s ‘1984’

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell

Some fictional literature is so profound as to be relevant for decades. George Orwell’s timeless 1984 is one such literary work. One of the most influential books of our time, its message resonates today as much as it did when it was first published over 65 years ago — as shown by its recent surge to the #1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list.

So what can 1984 teach us about the modern-day?

At its core, 1984 is a post-WWII interpretation of the relationship between individuals and institutions. It changed the course of social history by spawning new language relating to the structure and mechanisms of our society, expanding the scope of human language and thought, and therefore, humanity’s understanding of itself. And that legacy seems perfectly fitting, for, in the story of 1984, the world is controlled by so many restrictions that even the expressiveness of the official language, “Newspeak”, is deliberately narrowed by the ruling institutions in a way that limits the ability of individuals to express “thoughtcrime” — that which is deemed illegal by the “Inner Party”, the State.

As a work of fiction, 1984 provides a stark view of a burgeoning culture of totalitarianism. As a work of symbolism, however, it stands as a reflection of modern fact in The U.S.A. and the world today. Within its narrative, the five freedoms of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution were infringed and removed; in particular, the freedom of speech was so restricted that there was only one source of news operated by the official governing body and an entire branch of government was dedicated to steadily eliminating language deemed detrimental to the State.

Orwell created new phrases like “Newspeak” (the official, limited language) and its antonym “Oldspeak”, “Goodthink” (thoughts that are approved by the Party) and its antonym “Crimethink”, and “Doublethink” (the normalized act of simultaneously accepting two contradictory beliefs). The new language allowed his narrative to portray and expose age-old structures of thought and language manipulation – structures that have exponentially escalated in the modern-day.

In 1984 all opposition is controlled and absorbed into the background. ‘Big Brother’ is the human image that represents The Inner Party (and the Party line) via the Telescreen providing an ‘official’ narrative while appropriating and misrepresenting the notion of brotherhood and unity into a ‘brand name’ — one that actually instills psychology of collectivism, not brotherhood, just as the controllers in our own world instill nationalism and war-mindedness in the name of “freedom” and “liberty”. Indeed, the Telescreen is the primary means through which norms were forced on the society and false imagery and narratives embedded in its collective consciousness. Totally transfixed on the Party line, as told by the Telescreen, the fictional society of 1984 has lost the ability to think such that it will believe two plus two is five, as the saying goes, as long as it is presented as such on the Telescreen. They have been captive to this set up their entire lives, and, with language and thought restricted and outlawed, they are blind to their own captivity, unable to discern for themselves. Thus, lies are made to be “truths” using logic so distorted that it not only convinces the masses that two plus two equal five, but that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

In reality, individual ignorance is a strength to institutions. Such distortions of language and thought (and, incidentally, history) are the perfect means by which to disempower and co-opt an entire society — means that are not limited to the works of fiction. Orwell knew that ideas do not exist separately from language. Language, in both spoken and written forms, is essential to our ability to form and communicate thoughts and ideas. That is why today the United States government, the shadow powerbrokers that control it, and the mainstream media that support it (the entirety of which is owned by only 6 corporations) continue their war on “fake news” — i.e. ideas that are skeptical of government pronouncements, and information that proves them to be false — taking aim not just at independent journalism but independent thought itself. While government surveillance of its own people continues to increase, government secrecy is at an all-time high, the sharing of ideas that challenge the status quo is becoming more heavily censored, releasing information on institutional and State activity is now punishable by law, and whistleblowers from inside the State are systematically destroyed. If that wasn’t Orwellian enough, Donald Trump’s advisors have begun coining phrases like “alternative facts”, and we have even seen the creation of an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”, an “international fact-checking network” charged with deciding what is “truth” and what is “fake news”.

If the events of 1984 continue to hold true, and the ruling Party of today gets its way, words and ideas will soon become not only censored, but illegal and eliminated altogether, controlled by increasingly totalitarian governments steering our society down a dystopian path of censorship, blind belief, and misinformation — all in the name of the State. However, as our minds are freed, one at a time, we are ultimately finding that our society is heavily embedded with such norms and structures that perpetuate false imagery, preserving the status quo of the State from the ‘threat’ of individual thinking — hence the modern war on “fake news”. We are beginning, as a society, to question such falsehood, and exercise our inherent freedom to expose it.

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”. ~ George Orwell

The Last Man in Europe

The original working title to 1984 was ‘The Last Man in Europe.’ This descriptive and evocative title idea provides a clear glimpse into George Orwell’s intent, and encapsulates the main point of 1984, a title perhaps too revealing to be anything but a working title. Certainly, that is the way many of us feel when we first become aware of lies and partial truths that are presented as reality by those in control of our society today and accepted in totality by seemingly everyone else – it is as if we are the last lone person. Indeed, the road of the freethinker can be a lonely one, and the story’s protagonist, patriot Winston Smith, is made to believe he is the last person who questions, looks, listens, and speaks.

In a totalitarian society — be it Orwell’s fictional world or the increasingly authoritarian political regimes of today — the official narratives portrayed by the “official” media portray that a society is in consensus with the State and that those engaged in Thoughtcrime (whether or not it is legally a crime) are isolated social outcasts and lunatics, and demeaned as “rebels” and “conspiracy theorists” (despite the existence of an actual conspiracy, against which the truly conscious mind must inevitably rebel.) Yet in reality, Crimethink is what differentiates we freethinkers from those who are lost in the spell of societal illusion and, therefore, pose a threat to the status quo of the State. But this is part of the trap of Goodthink — it creates the illusion of consensus, and therefore, engenders isolation in those who do not concede.

As a master of his craft, nothing Orwell wrote was off the cuff. Now it is not overtly spoken in the book, but there are four types of people in the fictional realm of 1984. There are three described classes and a suggested fourth, only later is it implied that the Brotherhood, anti-establishment rebels — has been eliminated from the narrative just as those in power sought to eliminate them from the society.

The Secret to 1984 is ‘4’

1984 is in part an expose to the four basic types of people in a society, the four types of institutions, and the four types of institutional lies that enable them.

Characterized by how they respond to information, modern societies are made up of four archetypes of people — idiots, zealots, elitists, and patriots. Idiots refuse information, zealots blindly refute information, elitists misuse information, and patriots seek and distribute information. Despite dramatic alterations in the world’s geopolitical landscape, and some fluctuation of individuals from one group/role to another over time, the dynamic between these groups has historically remained the same, and are inevitably intertwined: Idiots avoid all new pertinent information in order to maintain their perspective, never questioning the status quo. Zealots ask certain questions of certain information, ignoring unaligned information in order to maintain their perspective, supporting the status quo at all costs. Elitists question information in order to manipulate and reap gains from those who don’t know, benefiting from the status quo. Patriots question information to educate themselves and share it with others, in order that we might enhance our lives and progress beyond the status quo.

It is no wonder, then, that the patriot has been all but deleted from today’s socio-political landscape, with those acting as true patriots being demonized by the State, and the meaning of the word “patriot” distorted and confused (by the likes of George W. Bush Jr.) to mean an unquestioning, flag-waving, with-us-or-against-us brand of nationalistic idiocy. (Check out my article, The First Amendment – The REAL Patriot Act for a deeper discussion of this.) Using a practice so well-defined by Orwell that it is known today as Orwellian speak, institutions transfer and confuse words and ideas by mixing up themselves, their policies, and their products with patriotic ideas and words. They take the meaning of words and archetypes, and flip them on their heads: War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and true patriotism (such as that shown by government whistleblowers) is traitorous.

In reality, the true patriots, the rebels who see through the lies of institutions and act accordingly, are removed from public consciousness in exactly the same way. In “Orwellian” fashion, the fourth deleted class of people in 1984, the Brotherhood, who are working to bring down the fascist Inner Party, are deleted through the admission of language. The other three types, which are specifically mentioned in the-book-within-the-book, the fictional The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, are the High, the Middle, and the Low castes. Similarly, the other three types of people depicted in the society of Oceania are the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles. The social classes interact very little.

The Inner Party and Outer Party makeup 2% of the population, and are the institutionalized controllers of Oceania. They are akin to modern politicians and the financial elite, working with and against one another, and clamoring to gain and maintain power. They have privileges the other castes do not, including being able to (temporarily) turn off the propaganda-spewing Telescreens.

However, there is a pecking order within the Party. The Outer Party is given state administrative jobs and is composed of the more educated members of society. They are responsible for the direct implementation of the Party’s policies but have no say in decision making. They are the “artificial middle class” and as such, have strict rules applied to them. They are allowed “no vices other than cigarettes and Victory Gin”, are spied on via their Telescreens, and are encouraged to spy on each other and to report suspicious activities to Big Brother.

The lower class of workers that perform the majority of menial tasks and labor are known as the Proles. They live in the poorest of conditions, are not educated, and instead are kept entertained with alcohol, gambling, sports, fiction, and pornography (called “prolefeed”) — the 1984 equivalent of “bread and circus”.

According to the Inner Party and the Telescreen, it controls, those who might challenge the system – the important fourth type of person – simply do not exist. The Brotherhood, the organization of patriots, is portrayed by the controlling ‘Inner Party’ as only a rumor, and the notion of their existence is belittled by the Inner Party, via the Telescreen. In Oceania, if the Telescreen is t be believed, there are no patriots, nor is such action allowed — and any who think that way are isolated by the divide-and-conquer tactic used by empires past and present. Thus, like so many in our failing society, Smith believes himself to be ‘The Last Man in Europe’…

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

And yet, as the character of Winston Smith accurately observes in his diary, “If there is any hope, it lies with the Proles” — just as our hope for today lies with the so-called “99%”. The “proles” in our society must begin to look beyond the bread and circus, beyond the prolefeed, and become a true brotherhood, and sisterhood, by questioning information, educating themselves, and sharing what they learn with others in order that we might overcome institutional oppression and finally create the ‘golden age’ that is our combined potential.

God and Gold is Within

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” — George Orwell, 1984

Nothing Orwell wrote was by accident. The name of the character who leads the Brotherhood rebellion is named Emmanuel Goldstein, a name that translates roughly to mean God (Emmanuel) and gold is within (Goldstein). The use of this character name by Orwell asserts a developed, even transmuted human being, who has transcended the imposed limitations of the system he is opposed to and grown from dull to refined, disempowered to empowered. It also reveals Orwell’s knowledge of how such patriotism and rebellion can become a revolution.

The word “prole” is short for prolétariat, a French word derived from the Latin proletarius, meaning “a man whose only wealth is his offspring, or whose sole service to the state is as a father”. A word evoking pure institutionalized collectivism, suggests that the individual has no value other than the labor and progeny he provides to the State. (If you’re only valued to the state is as a breeder and consumer, well what kind of world does, sorry, would that result in??) Now compare that definition to the name Emmanuel Goldstein, Golden Godliness is Within. In complete contrast, it is a statement of inner development, of individual enlightenment and empowerment — which, as Orwell knew, are the only forces that can successfully lead a rebellion against the institutional oppression of both fiction and reality.

So, you see, the secret to 1984 is ‘4’. Its most powerful message is in its omissions: in the omission of information, which is the only way the Party/State can maintain authoritarian control, and in the deliberately-omitted fourth human archetype, the righteous rebel, the marginalized voice of descent who is led to believe he is the “last man in Europe”. But in fact, the last man in Europe is you and I. We are everywhere. And, as we open our minds and our mouths, and embrace the gold within, we re-tell the lost narrative of the Brotherhood and turn our Proles into our Brothers.

By Ethan Indigo Smith | Waking Times 

Activist, author, and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity, humanity, and justice, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation, and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

George Orwell’s 1984 Eerily Predicted What Our Society Would Be Like Today, 72 Years Ago

In June this year, George Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984, was published. It garnered massive critical acclaim from critics and several other contemporary writers of the day. This includes E. M. Forster. A dystopian novel at its core, the book surges past the themes of mass governmental surveillance, totalitarianism, among others.

1984 has become a key text in understanding not just people’s behavior, but if the society as one. It explores what facts and truths are when it comes to politics. And how they are manipulated. And several of these ideas in the book were developed out of reality around the author.

Many things written in the novel have been too accurate to be true. The societal and governmental issues addressed are far from not coming true. In today’s time, people are fighting social media firms for their privacy. And speech has become more censored. Let’s explore George Orwell’s novel 1984 and find traces of today in the novel of the past.

Speech & Surveillance In 1984 By George Orwell

The state in this legendary novel is what determines the speech appropriated. This was done to keep an orderly society. If anything, 2021 is also a slight mirror into the realm. A handful of Silicon Valley firms have the power over our online presence. What we say today, what we see, all culminates into violence. Movements. And even speech-wars.

All the people in the world occupied a very handful of countries in George Orwell’s book. That could also be said about 2021 standards of Social Media. Most of the netizens occupy very few big names in social networking.

Let’s not forget about surveillance. In the novel, George Orwell portrays a world where the state conducts surveillance. Privacy is a long shot. And this is something closer to the day in 2021. Social media giants have been trying to pry into their users’ lives and information. Especially since the beginning of this year, privacy breach has dominated headlines.

Banishment In George Orwell’s 1984

In the novel, George Orwell writes banishment as not limited to the country. It is much, much worse. Like being banished from existence. And it wasn’t just a simple punishment. They would delete the entire existence of their trace through time.

But it occurred to the people who were committing thoughtcrime. Particularly commuting the crimes that were egregious. Or even people who had a history of committing such crimes.

Doesn’t it sound familiar with the 2021 social media scene? Or simple reality? Hate crimes drive our current political world. And the digital world is run by big tycoons who can afford the deletion of people. They could ban one for expressing how one feels. And people talking about their banishment can also get them out.

Deleting History

Inconvenient parts of history are simply pulled back from existence in George Orwell’s 1984. The worst is not merely removing such history. Rewriting history itself is even worse. And the novel has a deep resemblance to modern times.

Since the beginning of 2021, or 2020, for that matter, media censorship has been tarnished.

Several firms rewrite their releases in the press to cover up a statement. False statements make headlines. It is not just social media here. The denial of education to the marginalized also has a mirror-esque resemblance.

Today, the news is full of political and social agendas. It has become harder to trust a news outlet. To be accurate. To not lie and spread falsehood.

George Orwell’s world also had an ever-present television. Or one could call it omnipresent. It was not just used for channeling news. The state also used them for surveilling their people. And today, smartphones, personal computers, and several other devices take on that role.

Hence, in the end, it all feels like the world is stepping back. Not merely in a time. But in an Orwellian world. Where George Orwell takes us in 1984– to be crushed under surveillance and anti-freedom. The book remains a warning.

By Mayukh Saha | Truth Theory

Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: mayukh.presi@gmail.com

Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

The Rebel and the Firestarter | Extract From the Upcoming Book “Power And Presence: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self in a Weaponized World.”

James Dean in the film “Rebel Without a Cause.” (WARNER HOME VIDEO)

The following is an extract from my upcoming book “Power and Presence: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self in a Weaponized World.” In the discussion to follow, I am going to use the masculine pronoun “he” when referring to The Rebel, but the discussion applies equally to both men and women. – Marcus T. Anthony

Around about now, with the US election situation having become so volatile, many people are experiencing a lot of anger. Many are active online or even on the streets, seeking what they perceive to be justice – or maybe even revenge.

Perhaps you have one eye upon the world (the object of your anger), and one eye turned back upon yourself, concerned about the strong or even destructive ideas that are moving through your mind. If you are one of these, this article is for you. It’s about noticing how angry you have become. And it’s about being The Rebel, and how that can be either a positive development, or a destructive one.

Let me leave the US election for a moment (I will return to it at the end of the article).

There is an essential idea I wish to share early on. Being a Rebel is both necessary and healthy for all humans. At some point we all need to say “No!” to someone: to our parents, to our siblings and friends, to the boss, to the priest, to our institution or to our culture.

Yet rebellion is only truly healthy if there is a sufficient level of cognitive responsibility behind the actions that The Rebel embodies. When the Rebel’s propensity for cognitive responsibility drops below a certain threshold, The Rebel can become the Firestarter. If all hope fades, he may become the Nihilist, who in turn may express violent and destructive tendencies.

The Rebel Gone Wrong has many common expressions, including:

  • The Firestarter
  • The Nihilist
  • The Tyrant or Fascist
  • The Bully
  • The Bad Boy or Bad Girl
  • The Bad Mother or Bad Father
  • The Bastard, the Arsehole or the Bitch (we can’t discuss rebellion without a few cusswords!)
  • The Trickster
  • The Crusader

Even though these expressions vary somewhat (and debatably), I will use several of them interchangeably, below.

When The Rebel is unable or unwilling to assume responsibility for what arises in his mind and emotional body, an inevitable result is a descent into drama. Drama emerges within any given life situation because we fail to develop the right relationship with our judgments and anger, and they become projected onto the other: onto the parent, the spouse, boss, the leader, the institution, the system and so on. The Firestarter typically hits out in scorn and rage, and tries to damage or even annihilate that which is around him. Fights, arguments, backstabbing, gossip, formation of angry tribes, gangs and work cliques are common behaviours for Firestarters.

If The Rebel sees no avenue for outward projection of his pain and anger, he may alternatively turn that inward. Instead of trying to destroy the other or destroy the system, he becomes self-loathing and self-destructive. Instead of, “It’s not fair! It’s all their fault!” the crestfallen cry becomes: “I deserve this. It’s all my fault.” His behaviour becomes passive, and the anger and shame is internalised. Depression is highly probable, because the anger and sadness has nowhere to express itself.

When we talk about cognitive responsibility, we have to talk about developing the right relationship with anger, because it is anger that drives The Rebel. The Rebel energy, when activated, gives a long, loud raspberry to The Man. To the system. To the Establishment. The (potential) power of the Rebel is his decision to say “No!” It is the decision to set a boundary, or at least an attempt to set a boundary against someone or some system which is seen to be undesirable or perhaps oppressive.

Russell Crowe in the movie “Gladiator” (JAAP BUITENDIJK/DREAMWORKS/UNIVERSAL)

When The Rebel expresses his defiance while exhibiting high levels of spiritual or psychological maturity (cognitive responsibility) combined with personal and moral courage, we get an empowered expression of The Rebel archetype. We get Gandhi. We get MLK. We even get Mother Teresa.

With enhanced cognitive responsibility there is then a strong potential for the healing of the pain body, and thus the integration of the consciousness that is seeking resolution. When drama arises, the healthy Rebel is able to identify his part in the chaos, assume responsibility for that and pull out of the drama. Where judgment and blame arise in his mind, he is able to witness it, work with it, and allow it a healthy expression.

There are not so many clear names or expressions for the idea of the healthy Rebel, but we can see the character in various other archetypes.

  • The Freedom Fighter
  • The Hero or Heroine
  • The Noble Leader
  • The Good Mother and the Good Father
  • The Spiritual Master
  • The Healer

As is often noted, one man’s Freedom Fighter is another man’s Terrorist. That may be because the frame is being controlled by opposing outside parties, or simply because not everyone’s values and goals are the same.

It may also be because of the inconsistent behaviour of the individual. No Rebel ever stepped forth into the world without being a Firestarter on some occasions. Indeed, it may be necessary to witness oneself as The Asshole or The Bitch, and to acknowledge that, before we can move beyond that expression, before we can pull out of any given drama and integrate the consciousness of it. To heal. To find empowerment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Image source:  Flickr by nrkbeta at https://flickr.com/photos/95021520@N00/32400835237)

Is it me or is it them?

The Rebel’s healthy expression of judgment and pain often requires little or no participation from the perceived opposing force. This is something that is very important to understand. It lies at the root of personal empowerment. Quite often the oppressive narrative that we are reading onto our experience – onto “The Man,” onto society, onto the world – is self-generated. Such narratives can spawn endless cycles of drama. In this situation, we merely own our part in the story and pull out of the drama.

The situation is complicated by the fact that quite often the drama we are participating in is driven by our unresolved issues or pain. Our suffering is the hook. If that is the case, we may need to develop the right relationship with our emotional body, to find some safe space where we can express our anger, hurt and sadness (more about that in my next article).

Further, we all live in societies where our psyches are embedded culturally, ideologically and politically within narratives (and perhaps even consciousness fields) that are seeking to exploit us in order to enhance an agenda. That agenda will usually involve some push for power and control over us.

Thus it is the task of The Rebel to determine as honestly as he can how much of what is unfolding in his experience is due to his own behaviors and attitudes; how much is due to the irresponsible and disrespectful behaviors and manipulations of others; and how much is due to genuinely undesirable or oppressive systems. The distinctions are rarely black and white. No group, no system, no leader, no parent is a perfectly evolved entity. Nor are we.

Mahatma Gandhi

The 2020 US Election (again)

I write this just days after the 2020 US presidential election, where The Rebel energy – and in particular anger and blame – has emerged at levels that are historically high. The potential for an unhealthy expression of that archetype is great. Individual and tribal responsibility levels are extremely low, and both drama and the need for drama is gravely elevated.

Many – probably most – people will take sides in the battle, and this is to be expected. Human beings are tribal by nature. We identify with our group, our team, our heroes and our stories. We love to project against our villains, to blame them for the evil we see in the world. Or in ourselves.

Thus, right now we have a very high potential for a destructive expression of The Rebel archetype to (further) emerge. In particular, we can pay attention to the following scenarios.

  • Leaders and political parties may fail to assume a sufficiently high level of responsibility for their own issues and their own shadow energy, choosing instead to manipulate people and ferment conflict and chaos.
  • Your institution, profession, or tribe is probably exploiting (deliberately or unconsciously) the widespread high need for drama. Projection, judgment and blame are commonly being fermented.
  • Many of your friends and colleagues, both in real life and especially in virtual space, will currently have low levels of cognitive responsibility, coupled with a high potential for drama. Indeed, many are probably smack bang in the middle of several dramas at this moment.
  • Right now, you too probably have a high need for drama, and your cognitive responsibility level is probably much lower than usual. Therefore, you are likely more vulnerable than usual to being drafted into someone else’s frame, narrative or drama, including destructive and violent ones.

Although it may be difficult to see it, all this means that there is an incredible opportunity to further develop in your own level psychological and spiritual maturity. To become more wise. Opportunities like this do not come along all that often in any given lifetime.

The check list

So, what can you do right now in response to the current time of elevated tensions?

First, check to see if you have given your power away to a leader or group, and in particular whether you are projecting some kind of saviour – or demon –  narrative onto power figures.

Reflect carefully also upon the narratives and dramas that are now circulating through your mind, and through your information sources. Are these ideas and thoughts really yours, or has your mind become colonised? Are you possessed? How did that narrative get in there? When?

Is your consciousness expanding or contracting along with your chosen focus? You will know the answer to this last question intuitively.

Is it possible to reconfigure the story you have adopted; or better still, to pull out of the narrative and drama altogether?

If you are involved in some kind of political activism or even just some online commentary, how much of that is representative on a healthy Rebel consciousness? Or have you become the Firestarter?

In the end, we need a strong motivation for choosing to do the kind of inner work I am sharing here. For me, it is knowing that my own healing and intentionality is helping humanity evolve. The light that we shine within ourselves helps light the world, if only just a little. That light, I believe, transcends time and space, helping heal past and future; for us as individuals, and for all those whom we are connected to across time, space and mind. And for that to unfold we need to develop a high level of awareness of how our minds work, and in this case how The Rebel energy can be expressed healthily – or destructively.

You will also require a suitable set of tools to do the work. That will be the subject of my next article.

Marcus T Anthony

3 Exercises For Humility (Excerpt from “Unreasonable Joy: Awakening Through Trikya Buddhism”)

Humility is seeing oneself clearly – without humility, spiritual growth stops. It is only when you can see your current self as it truly is that you can take the appropriate action to move forward. Without humility, you tend to run face first into a lot of brick walls.

If you’re tired of banging your head, or if you simply feel stuck, here’s a short series of exercises you can do to help yourself develop humility. Through honest self-assessment, you will discover both who you are now and who you have the potential to be.

Step One

On separate pieces of paper, make three lists of current:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • What Is Not Important To Me that I Spend Time Doing

Keep in mind some things may belong on both your strength and weakness lists. For example, I am stubborn. Sometimes my stubbornness is a weakness which makes me slow to ask for help when I need it. Other times my stubbornness is a strength which manifests as persistence and allows me to complete challenging projects.

Step Two

Take your list of weaknesses and separate it into two sections:

  • Weaknesses I Cannot Change
  • Weaknesses I Can Change

Weaknesses I Cannot Change

We all have weaknesses we cannot change. In my case, I am nearsighted. While I can accommodate this weakness by wearing contact lenses or glasses, I cannot change it. (I’ve been told I’m not a good candidate for Lasik eye surgery.)

Review your list carefully. Examine the weaknesses you cannot change at this time. Accept them fully as part of your current being. You may begin to realize other people have the same weaknesses. Look for role models of people who have learned how to embrace those weaknesses to create a happier life. Let these people inspire you to find ways of turning your weaknesses into strengths that make you more compassionate. I have accepted my eyes need help to see, and I feel gratitude every time I put on my contacts. I appreciate how it is easy for me to relax at night because when I remove my glasses, the world is fuzzy and soft. I also have deep compassion for those who do not have access to appropriate corrective lenses because I know what it’s like to not be able to see clearly.

For the weaknesses you simply cannot accept, see the block to acceptance for what it is: an attachment. Acknowledge the weight of each of these attachments, and carry it consciously as long as you need to. Create space within yourself to wrestle with these attachments and allow yourself to grieve as you become ready to embrace the weaknesses you cannot change.

Weaknesses I Can Change

With the list of weakness that you can change, chip away at the list day by day, hour by hour, or year by year – the speed is up to you. Look for ways to turn these weaknesses into strengths. Another weakness I have is the tendency to create piles of clutter. I’m visually oriented in my projects; if I don’t see something to remind me of it, the project no longer exists in my world. So I am learning to create smaller visual clues and to give my most important current projects a place to pile up on my desk, while not letting this tendency spill over into things that can be put away. I’m turning my clutter weakness into a strength by using the visual reminder of my projects as motivation to finish them. Of course, this is an ongoing learning process for me.

These patterns have become ingrained in your being, and it will take practice to overcome them. Don’t expect to conquer it once and be done with it. Recognize you’ll need to continue working at shifting your old patterns. Each time you put energy into strengthening a weakness, you are empowering yourself.

Step Three

Now take your list of What Is Not Important To Me that I Spend Time Doing and separate it into two sections:

  • Things I Can Stop Doing
  • Things I Have To Do

Things I Can Stop Doing

Review your list of Things I Can Stop Doing. It seems odd, but people often spend a great deal of time doing things they don’t need to do that are not important to them. Whether it’s out of habit, or because they want to spend time with someone else, or because they invested a great deal of time in a project and they want the satisfaction of finishing it, it’s easy to get lost. Ask yourself if, for a week or a month, what would happen if I stopped doing this thing? Experiment and see. Consciously use the time you gain to do something that is important to you.

Things I Have To Do

We all have things we have to do, and sometimes they appear as not important to us. Examine this list of Things I Have To Do from the Not Important To Me list very, very closely. This is the place where we often hide the Truth from ourselves. We claim something is not important, yet we feel we have to do it, and this attitude allows us to wallow in self-righteous misery. We may even get together with others to complain about these horrible things we must do. The ego loves this stuff, because it can exert its full power of control.

Look at this list again, slowly and deliberately.  Perhaps you view exercise or eating or doing laundry as something not important that you have to do. I assure you, your body views exercise and eating as important. If you have any sense of smell or sensitive skin, then you’ll find clean laundry is also important!

With this list of Things I Have To Do, we have the opportunity for deep examination and attitude adjustment. If we look closely enough, we discover everything on this list is either important to us or belongs in the Things I Can Stop Doing list.

Give yourself the time to work through all of your lists. Review your Strengths often to remind yourself of the power you have already claimed. When you have extra time, accomplish one thing important to you that you may have been neglecting. Moment by moment, release yourself from items on the Not Important To Me list and transform your Weaknesses into Strengths.

As you continue to look at yourself with humility – seeing who you are currently – you’ll grow into the next brighter, happier version of you.

Practice Pointer

When exploring humility, if it feels too overwhelming to create an entire list, tackle this exercise in small bites:

  • What is One strength?
  • What is One weakness?
  • What is One thing you do that you feel is not important to you?

Allow yourself to contemplate one or more of these and watch what appears in your mind.

About “Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism “

Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism (Electric Bliss Publishing, October 27, 2020, $25.99) describes a brand-new school of Buddhism for the modern world and present-day seeker. Author Turīya writes from the premise that Enlightenment is real and exists right now, within us all. She shows how this innovative form of Buddhism, which she has been developing in the United States for over 25-years, can point the reader toward Enlightenment and liberation from suffering.

Unreasonable Joy captures Buddha’s advanced Tantric teachings and puts them into a form of Buddhism that is compatible with 21st Century life. In the book, the reader will learn:

  • Simple meditation techniques that can be used anywhere, at any time, to calm, strengthen, and refocus the mind.
  • How to gain control of time, life, and mind by releasing the mental and physical habits that create suffering.
  • Build self-trust and discover how to use everything as fuel for spiritual growth.
  • How to release limiting beliefs that blind the reader to their true nature
  • How to focus on the inner work of changing the self, not the external world

Unreasonable Joy contains proven techniques that the author, Turīya, has taught thousands of people. The nine lessons explore the power of meditation, mindfulness, karma, emotions, and humility. Turīya provides essays, poems, and stories that ground the esoteric teachings in the world, and Practice Pointers show how to incorporate them into daily life. Unreasonable Joy gently encourages the reader to do the work needed to directly experience the ecstasy of existence and recognize who they truly are in this moment.

About the Author

Turīya is a Buddhist monk, teacher, and author who, despite living with chronic pain, founded the Dharma Center of Trikaya Buddhism in San Diego in 1998 to share her path. For over 25 years, she has taught thousands of students how to meditate, trained teachers, and helped people discover the unreasonable joy of our true nature.

Collective Mystical Journey

By Brian C. Watts

If someone had asked me, when I was young what it means to have a spiritual experience, I probably would have suggested something along the lines of experiencing winged angels and a man sitting on a throne in the clouds judging us for our moral or immoral behavior.  But even as a child I knew there was something wrong with this description.  It never really resonated with me and I intuitively knew there was much more to the story.  

The real story of spiritual experience is a story of humanity, our history, and our future.  Throughout history mystics, saints and seers would describe for humanity contact with something much greater than ourselves, with the characteristics of love, peace, bliss, and compassion.  Once they contacted this plane of existence, everything in their life would change.  They would become more selfless, empathetic, and compassionate towards all beings.  They would describe being guided by otherworldly entities, having mystical visions, seeing our future, and our past.

Each of these mystics stumbled upon what I believe to be an ancient technology for expanding consciousness beyond the normal limits.  The techniques of course have differences, but they also have similarities, and all originate from a common lineage and ancient culture.  The earliest civilizations that were known to have understood this technology were the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, and Mayans to name a few.  They all can be traced back to an advanced culture that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago.  Plato the famous Greek wrote about an advanced island civilization that sank beneath the sea called Atlantis.  There is much speculation about Atlantis and who these people were, but one thing I know for certain is that they have passed down a spiritual technology for expanding consciousness, to all the civilizations they touched.

Much of the writings on the walls of the pyramids are instructions on how to achieve enlightenment.  It is thought that the pyramids themselves are designed in such a way to harvest an undetectable type of energy and channel it into the initiative to allow them to open a gate within their minds.  It is the same gate that we pass through at birth, death, and during states of enlightenment.  The energy they describe is what Hindus call Prana, and what the Chinese called Chi.  It is a sort of bio-spiritual energy.  The entire practice of Yoga is in fact a method of freeing this energy up in the body, allowing it to flow freely uninhibited and using it in meditation to open the same gateway in the mind achieving enlightenment or in yogic terms “union with the divine”. 

Being of a scientific mind, you would never have convinced me of these things prior to 2017, when everything in my life was about to change.  I had inadvertently performed all the techniques necessary to release the extra stored spiritual energy, (prana or chi).  The extra energy is stored in your lower back near your Sacrum, which is a bone whose name shares the same origin as the word Sacred.  In yogic science, they describe this energy as the sacred kundalini, described as a serpent coiled three and a half times laying dormant at the base of the spine until aroused.  The kundalini, it is said, is a spiritual energy that prepares your body to handle even more energy, helps you identify and remove blockages to your spiritual path, such as past traumas, dogmatic thinking, unhelpful beliefs and mindset, grief, shame, etc.;  and allows you to progress on the path to enlightenment.

For me, I had never heard of the kundalini and was not expecting it to occur.  One evening I was seated in meditation when I noticed a strange sensation in my lower back.  When I put my attention on it, two balls of energy were released and traveled up either side of my spine to the center of my forehead and there was a flash of light.  The light had a sort of jagged shape on the top resembling an old fashion crown.  In fact, this is also where the idea of a coronation ceremony came from representing the connection between the King and God.  The word crown and coronation come from the word corona meaning “light”.  It is also where Raja or “King Yoga” gets its name.  Raja Yoga is a type of seated meditation.  I also believe that they used the serpent to represent the energy because of the sensation of the energy moving up the back, it is not meant to have any sort of evil connotations.  In the immediate moments after the kundalini was released, I did not feel any different, but in the weeks and months to follow, I would experience the world differently and be progressed on the path toward enlightenment more rapidly.  My story was so amazing that I became an author and wrote my first book titled “Northern Awakening: The Evolution of Consciousness”.  The book describes my experiences and how we are all on the same path of spiritual evolution moving collectively towards enlightened consciousness, that is currently being accelerated world-wide. 

If you are interested in reading more about our spiritual journey please check out my book Northern Awakening: The Evolution of Consciousness, it is available as an eBook and paperback on Amazon/Kindle.  Check out the link below.

What the World Has Been Missing from Manly P. Hall (“Last Minute Material that Arrived Late to the Printer”)

By Steven A. Ross

In the late 1970s, I was encouraged by my colleagues to look more deeply into the writings of Manly P. Hall, Founder and President of the Philosophical Research Society located in Los Feliz, California. Mr. Hall was a highly regarded philosopher, and I had often recognized his name and words featured in various prominent publications.

Since the 1930’s, Mr. Hall was known to speak every Sunday morning at the Research Society on a philosophical topic. On Fridays, folks would get together to discuss his points from the previous Sunday’s lecture. I decided to visit this group on a Friday afternoon where approximately 60 people had gathered. It was called a Lyceum Meeting. There was a blackboard at the front of the room with approximately seven points listed on the board.

On this special Friday, folks from the Midwest who had listened to Mr. Hall speak since the 1940s were present, all talking together in the front of the room. Most distinctively, there was a woman named Pearl Thomas who was one of the moderators of the meeting. Feeling rather reserved, I nestled my way to the back of the room. In fact, you couldn’t get any further than the last row, where I was able to anonymously position myself to listen and observe what was taking place.

Within a few minutes, someone in the audience asked the moderators about one of the points on the blackboard. After a moment of silence, Pearl Thomas called out, “How about you there?” I glanced up, only to see her pointing in my direction. I thought, she couldn’t be pointing to me! Yet, as people in the rows before me shifted their positions to the right and the left to clear a space, her gaze was clearly locked on me.

While I can’t recall exactly what I said, I responded to her question. Amazingly, heads turned toward me and nodded with smiling faces. When the session was over and I was about to leave, Pearl approached me, asking how long I had been reading the materials of Mr. Hall. I told her I had never read anything he had written. She then asked how many lectures I had attended. I told her I had never before heard Mr. Hall speak. She then informed me she was the head librarian of the Philosophical Research Society Library, and that she would like me to visit her next day. I agreed to do so.

The following day I entered the most magnificent library I had ever seen. It was a two-story chamber, flush with floor to ceiling books, all behind glass. There were paintings, scrolls, busts and numerous, exquisite exhibits. The stately wood bookcases and desks were magnificent beyond words.

A visitor would approach the librarian with a request of a book that they wanted to view, and the librarian would open up the glass case and allow the person to study it on a reading table. Materials dating back to BC were among this rare collection! Incredible parchments and scrolls, paintings and figures were all held in trust here. Undoubtedly, I was viewing one of the greatest collections on earth. I also was told of an inner vault of extremely rare materials that were not made available to the public.

I spoke with Pearl Thomas most of that day as I perused many of the library’s holdings.

When I returned the following week, Pearl informed me that whenever I desired to look at one of the books behind the glass cases, I could take the key and open the case myself. What an honor this was for me. I was truly overwhelmed.

Mr. Hall had one of the most outstanding reputations in his field with more books in print than any living author of his time.   His greatest work and the book that he was known for was, “The Secret Teachings of All Ages and Times.”  One of the greatest compendiums of spiritual knowledge ever compiled.

Although in his 70’s, Mr. Hall still gave riveting, two-hour lectures for $1. He could speak without notes on any subject. When his lecture materials were eventually typed out, they would generally be 12-15 pages single-spaced. His time was in great demand with so many folks eager to meet with him which made it difficult to arrange a time to meet with him personally.

After three more visits to the Philosophical Research Society (PRS), I had a dream one evening. I perceived that the dream had significance, so I wrote it out and gave it to Pearl Thomas on the following Saturday. Pearl, also in her 70s had listened to Hall speak since she was in her teens, so she knew him very well. She felt that the recounting of my dream should be given to Mr. Hall directly. A week later, I received a call from Mr. Hall himself. He asked me to come visit him in his office.

When I met Mr. Hall, his first words to me were, “Who are you?” I replied that I was a student. He asked me what I wanted from him.  At that moment, my spiritual guidance directed me to say, that I wanted to go into his private vault, review and copy some materials.

He then brought up my dream. I told him that it had just come to me without any contemplation on my part.  Mr. Hall explained that he had a vision about the physical structure of the PRS, nearly six years before he had built it, in the 1930s. Yet, he did not build it in the manner he had originally envisioned due to a lack of funds. Even though his earliest vision for the PRS came to him in the 1920s well before I was born in 1949, my dream ironically outlined the details of his original vision.

He gave me permission to go into his inner vault and copy whatever I wished with the agreement that I would not set any of these rare materials into print and sell them as long as he was alive. You see, the reprinting of these old books was the manner by which the PRS was funded. Up until that time, I was the only person who had been allowed to enter Hall’s inner vault, remove the holdings and make copies of old manuscripts and books. It was a unique privilege that I hold sacred to this day. With great care, I copied rare writings of the alchemists from the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s along with other, one-of-a-kind manuscripts.

I was led by my spiritual guidance on precisely what to choose, and then spent approximately six months copying those materials from the vault.  One intriguing notebook within the inner vault of Manly P. Hall had the following words on its spine, “Last Minute Material Arrived Late to the Printer to be Included in the Secret Teachings Book -1928.”  This material and has never previously been published

Mr. Hall passed away at 89 years old in 1990.  The PRS never referred or printed the material from this notebook.  Now after 42 years I decided to self-publish the materials I found in Manly P. Hall’s personal vault.  Mr. Hall explained in a conversation we had together that he had decided to share the abovementioned content in a series of lectures. Only some of the words he shared in his lectures would have appeared within the ‘Secret Teachings of All Ages’ book, yet this lecture series contained in my book, allowed Mr. Hall to expand on the content he wished to include.

Within the series of lectures included in my book, Manly Hall stated, regarding the Secret Teachings of All Ages and Times, “This book is like unto a door— a gate, in some old sanctuary, containing within it a wealth of imagery; a wealth of mysteries, designs and figures. When you have wandered therein you might say to yourself; ‘I wish I had a guide to tell me what these things mean.’ And you will find your guide to be your own rational soul.” 

I am presenting this material exactly as it was typed out in 1928.  My book, “Manly P. Hall’s Unpublished Pages of The Secret Teachings of All Ages,” is available HERE and at www.lesscomplicated.net.   Steven A. Ross, Ph.D.

Can America Make a Course Correction? We’ve Done It Before

By Jill Suttie | Greater Good Magazine 

The United States is facing a pandemic, civil unrest, climate devastation, and a damaged economy, all in the midst of rising social divisions and political polarization. How can we possibly turn things around and work toward a better future together?

In their new book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett argue that, though the U.S. suffered a similar litany of political, economic, cultural, and social upheaval in the past, Americans were able to come together and form coalitions, creating the right ingredients for change. And, they believe, we can do it again.

Garrett is a social entrepreneur and writer. Her coauthor, the political scientist Robert Putnam, is best known as the author of the 2000 book Bowling Alone, which influentially argued that “social capital”—our network of connections in family and community—was declining in America. I spoke to them about the book, the lessons they extracted from the data, and their thoughts about our future course.

Jill Suttie: In Upswing, you compare what was happening politically, culturally, and economically in the U.S. about 125 years ago to what’s happening today. How are these two eras similar, and how did we get to where we are now?

Robert Putnam

Robert Putnam 

Robert Putnam: During the Gilded Age, which ran roughly speaking from 1880 to about 1900, there were very high levels of economic inequality, political polarization, social breakdowns (social isolation, social disconnection), and cultural self-centeredness—I would even say narcissism.

But it was succeeded by a period that historians call the Progressive Era, where America began moving in another direction. That change did not happen overnight. On the contrary, it took a long time for that new trend to play itself out. But, over the next roughly 70 years, things got better in every way. We became less unequal, less polarized, more connected with one another, and less socially isolated. Culturally, more and more Americans became convinced that we really are all in this together.

Then, beginning about the late 1960s, all of those upward curves turned exactly the opposite direction. And, for the last 50 years since then, America has been getting more and more polarized, unequal, socially isolated, more and more focused on “I” [on individual well-being]. We call that the “I, We, I” curve. We moved from a period in which we were extremely “I” up to a peak in which we became pretty “we” as a country until it turned on a dime and we became much less connected or “I” again.

The second half of that story is familiar. Everybody paying attention in America knows that we’re now very polarized, unequal, and so on. I wrote a book called Bowling Alone that was focused on the loss-of-social-capital part over the last 50 years, and that’s true enough. But, if you widen your lens and look back at the last 125 years, you get a very different picture. America right now, in 2020, is uncannily like the America of 1900. For people who care about America, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from that time when our country went through the same kind of crisis and came out of it in the right direction.

JS: What was happening after the Gilded Age to make things start trending upward, and how might that be relevant today?

Shaylyn Romney Garrett

Shaylyn Romney Garrett 

Shaylyn Romney Garrett: It’s important to keep in mind that the Progressive Era was progressive in a different sense than we use that word today. Today, that word is used to describe the left end of the political spectrum. But back then, “progressive” was a banner under which a really diverse, bipartisan coalition of Americans came together. And even though they were so diverse as to be barely coherent, they became unified over a couple of things.

One was a real, compelling desire to reverse this downward trend of our nation and a real galvanizing belief in the power of ordinary citizens to do it. These progressives were unified by this belief that we needed to right the ship, that something had gone fundamentally wrong in America.

So, the Progressive Era was characterized by a moral awakening. It was a time when people were questioning social Darwinism, which was the reigning mindset of the Gilded Age—that the dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest” applied not just to the biological world, but to the social-political world. You saw a movement of people coming along to say, you know, there’s something really wrong with this way of viewing the world.

The social Darwinism movement quickly became replaced by the social gospel movement, which was a movement to help us see we’re all in this together and to focus more on our duties to one another. To a large extent, that moral awakening was really directed inward. It wasn’t just pointing at other people and saying, “You’ve caused this problem.” It was reformers asking themselves how they had been complicit in creating the America they were seeing and how they could participate in turning that around.

One of the things we also like to highlight about the Progressive Era is that it was an incredibly youth-driven movement. Some of the most famous people from that era, like Jane Addams or [Theodore] Roosevelt, we tend to think of them in their later years. But when they were doing their most invigorated and innovative work, they were under the age of 30. That mindset, that energy of youth to really reclaim the future of America, was a huge component of what was going on then. And that translated into a vast amount of citizen innovation that created all sorts of new ideas for how we solve our problems.

JS: You write about how different subgroups in American society (like African Americans) experienced upswings, too, but with a different pattern. How is that relevant for making a course correction now?

SRG: As the 19th century ended, the outlook for African Americans was incredibly bleak. Then you saw this upswing in America, in general, where income inequality was decreasing and people were coming together more. But it’s definitely important to say that these progressives were largely racist. They did not include Black Americans within their circle of moral concern. So, the “we” that was created over the course of the first two-thirds of the 20th century in many ways was a white “we.”

When we looked closely at the century-long data, asking how it reflects, or not, the experience of Black Americans, we saw some interesting things. Black Americans were actually moving somewhat steadily toward parity on material well-being with white Americans—things like educational access, health, income distribution, wealth, and both voter registration and voter participation. These are real measures of people’s actual lived experience.

Over this “we” period, things were getting surprisingly better for black Americans—surprisingly, because the reality against which this was happening was Jim Crow, the exclusionary system that was violently enforced. This is a story of Black Americans persisting and, against all odds, standing up to claim their place within the American “we” by, first and foremost, migrating by the millions out of the violent South and into the more hospitable North, then creating their own civic institutions and organizations that created vast stores of social capital in their communities.

Then, America makes this broader turn toward civil rights in the mid-1960s. This watershed change would not have been possible without the building of a wider “we” over the course of the previous six or seven decades—what historians refer to as the long civil rights movement. Sometimes, we think of the civil rights movement as only the decade between Brown v. Board of Education and the passage of civil rights legislation. But actually, this was going on throughout the entire century, the culmination of which was the passage of the legislation.

But, at that moment, America slipped, and there was a massive white backlash against widening the “we” and the implementation of desegregation. White Americans were happy with the civil rights movement in principle—but when it came to actually share the pie, there were a lot of backlashes and stagnation of progress for African Americans.

I think a lot of white Americans don’t really see this reversal of progress for Black Americans. It’s against that backdrop that you see the anger, the frustration, and the sense of being set up that we see in the Black Lives Matter movement today. Taking that history seriously is something that creates a broader coalition of Americans ready to finally make good on this promise of equality that America has not yet figured out how to do.

JS: How do you think experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic right now might be affecting our sense of social solidarity going forward and our ability to turn things around?

RP: That’s an interesting question, but I want to ask the reverse question: What’s the effect of all the things we’ve been talking about on the pandemic? There, the research findings are quite striking. The places that have a lot of social capital and social trust now, and have had them for many years, are the places that are now resisting the epidemic more effectively—and that’s after controlling for lots of other things, like how old the population is, how densely they live together, or how racially diverse they are.

It’s interesting to ask what’s the effect of the pandemic on those factors. But I think it’s even more surprising to say that traditions of social trust and social capital have powerful, real effects right now—even on things like the number of people who are dying.

JS: If we need to form coalitions and increase trust to make a change, do you see any way of doing that when we’re so polarized? 

RP: If you look back at the earlier period, as we do for our inspiration, it’s quite striking how the actual issues being addressed then are similar to now. For example, the regulation was a big deal then, and it’s a big deal now—although back then, it was about the oil and railroad barons, and now it’s about the internet or other monopolies. Still, you could look back to that period for actual policy suggestions, like Senator Elizabeth Warren has been explicitly doing.

But our major point is not that we can just borrow the very policy proposals from that period, because, obviously, the world is quite different in some respects. The larger point is that there are some of the strategic lessons from that period that apply very much now.

For example, if you’re trying to make a change in America today, you want to focus your attention on getting the active involvement of young people. Now, they have a lot to be cynical about, and many of them are cynical. But the lesson in our book is not to be cynical. You can make changes, just like people did 125 years ago.

Another lesson is that some people, looking back, think Roosevelt was really important and that maybe we need another charismatic leader like that. But, as we discuss in the book, Teddy Roosevelt was a “lagging indicator”—meaning, he came to the party late. He was important, but most of the really good ideas had come from other people earlier, from the grassroots movements.

I’m trying not to be political here, but it would be a mistake to think that our solution is going to come from some new charismatic leader. It wasn’t true then; it isn’t true now. Instead, the agency is what’s important. The reformers back then did not think of themselves as prisoners of intellectual history; they rejected that idea explicitly and, instead, told themselves that they could make a difference. They avoided pessimism and cynicism, and they really did make a difference.

SRG: I agree with everything that Bob said, but I would also add that the progressives really viewed relationships—getting people physically and socially together—as both an end and a means to what they were trying to do. It was important to combat the loneliness, isolation, and social dislocation that people were experiencing in the Industrial Revolution and still experience today.

We have a lot of young people today who think that the best way to build a movement is through the internet and social media. And, of course, that is a powerful way to bring awareness to issues. But some research shows that those movements built around social media organizing are pretty fragile when it comes to not just tearing down broken systems but building new systems. It’s easy to use Twitter to tear things down that we want to change; it’s not as easy to use Twitter to build something new.

We are going to need to reinvest in face-to-face connections. Bob and I really advocate for using online and social media ties in conjunction with face-to-face, boots-on-the-ground organizing, where people are inactive relationships with one another. This needs to be an important component. Anybody that wants to get involved in building an upswing today needs to get out and get to know their neighbors, to reach across lines of difference, to build relationships. That will be the fuel that pushes this forward.

About the Author

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good.

Oneness Versus the 1%

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com


  • In “Oneness Vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom,” Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., argues that the ultra-wealthy elite are responsible for a majority of the environmental, financial, and health crises currently facing us
  • Bill Gates’ wealth and “philanthropic” efforts, for example, have allowed him to gain unprecedented influence over agriculture and global health policies that threaten food security and human health
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed a massive transfer of wealth to the rich
  • While global lockdowns have decimated small businesses and left many to struggle financially, wealthy globalists have amassed immense profits, and lockdowns have prevented public mobilization against tech and retail giants
  • To facilitate the transfer of wealth, the elite lobby for the elimination of labor and environmental laws, as well as human and farmer’s rights

In this interview, social justice and anti-GMO advocate Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., discusses her book, “Oneness Vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom,” which she co-wrote with her son, in which she argues that the ultra-wealthy elite is responsible for a majority of the environmental, financial and health crises currently facing us.

In reality, it’s really about the 0.001% — the small number of billionaires and centibillionaires who have become ultra-rich over the past 30 years or so. Most of them didn’t exist before globalization. The 1% is just a useful metaphor for the ruling elite that the publisher thought would be easier to communicate.

One of the key players is, no surprise, Bill Gates, whose wealth and “philanthropic” efforts have garnered him unprecedented influence over agriculture and global health policies that threaten food security and human health.

“I was in Paris for the climate summit, and I’ve been doing this UN Summit since the Earth summit in ’92. I’ve been doing the Biodiversity Convention, drafting of clauses, including Article 19.1, which basically required biosafety and assessment of GMOs. So, I was very surprised that, for the first time, the billionaires were on the stage with the heads of state,” she says.

The Ongoing Transfer of Wealth

One of the “solutions” to climate change offered by this billionaire club was geoengineering, which in reality is no solution at all. As noted by Shiva, if the climate is already changing for the worse, engineering temperatures, deflecting sunlight, dumping iron fillings on the ocean and chemicals in the sky, and creating artificial volcanoes, you’re simply creating additional problems without solving the original one.

At the end of the August 2020 update of the book, she also discusses COVID-19, and how this engineered pandemic has catalyzed the transfer of wealth to the rich. While global lockdowns have decimated small businesses and left many to struggle financially, the rich have amassed fantastic profits.

“The 2008 crisis was very clearly about deregulation of the financial economy,” she says. “It was about collateral, it was about taking securities, bundling up risk, and then the system totally collapsed because it was really trading in fictions. But I’ve been working on the economy, because I started to work on the seed in 1987.

Companies wanted to own and patent life. That’s how my journey on GMO started. But they also wanted to change the trade laws. They wanted to own seed as their creation. They wanted an intellectual property treaty in the GATT. I first heard this in a 1987 [United Nations] meeting.

That’s when I decided: a) I would save seeds, b) I would keep track of the GATT and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The antiglobalization movement grew out of that, and the International Forum on Globalization. We shut down WTO in Seattle, which shows the power of the people. We will not allow this lie of seed being Monsanto’s invention.

I worked with our [Indian] parliament, I worked with our government to write laws. Article 3G [says] seeds are not inventions. This is what has prevented Monsanto from ripping off Indian farmers even more than they did. They’ve been taken to court now for the illegal collection of technology fees …

Basically, what we have today is this transfer of wealth. Monsanto’s behavior is also the big tech’s behavior. Do they produce anything? No. They only collect rents on digital platforms. They’re rent collectors …

I saw the seed issue with Monsanto. I said, ‘Here they are collecting rents from seed, which they didn’t make. Then we won’t let them own it.’ In effect, whether it’s Amazon or Gates, they’re basically rent collectors. What they’ve done with this pandemic is literally create a closed economy, which depends on them and their rent collection.”

The eight-minute video below provides a sobering summary of the massive wealth transfer that has occurred in 2020 thanks to pandemic lockdowns, during which small businesses were forced to close while giant multinational companies were allowed to stay open and thereby monopolize the market. The end result is the largest transfer of wealth in modern history.

The End of Democracy

Shiva goes on to review how India mobilized against Walmart’s encroachment, which threatened to destroy local businesses. The COVID-19 lockdowns, however, have prevented the same kind of mobilization against the tech and retail giants.

As local businesses around the world have had to close their doors for months on end, Amazon.com’s power has exploded. Amazon is even encroaching on grocery suppliers.

“I was just reading a paper, that the super wealthy in the U.S. have transferred $50 trillion to themselves [over the past 30 years; the globalization period] … While they rob you of your job, they’re still extracting [money from] you for that forced software program on digital payments, for software programs on … digital education.

Poor Indian children, who could afford a universal education, now cannot afford education because their parents have no smartphones. So, we are seeing an engineered imposition of an economy. A healthy economy grows as an evolution with choices, with justice, with equity …

True economies would say, ‘Here is what I bring. If my digital [currency is] better than your cash, choose it. Is my forced vaccination better than your immunity? Make your choice.’ The minute choice is removed from people’s life, democracies stop. When the choice is removed from our conditions of being, our conditions of living, then life is threatened …

What is globalization but deregulation of commerce? It is knocking down every law that was put in place by democratic societies for the protection of the environment, the protection of health, the right to education, the rights of workers. Now that’s what’s being targeted.”

In India, they recently eliminated all labor laws, and they’re trying to remove the Farmers’ Rights Act, as well as environmental laws. This is what allows for the transfer of wealth to happen, Shiva says.

The End Game

As explained by Shiva, all of these companies are essentially rent collectors. Facebook turns our minds into a raw material that is then capitalized upon. “Gates is particularly vicious because, through the Gates Foundation, he pretends to be doing philanthropy,” she says.

But with every philanthropic endeavor, he carves out new colonies from which he can collect new rents and make new investments. “That’s why no matter how much he gives, he gets richer and richer,” Shiva says. “A genuine giver would get poorer.”

In her book, she explains how, without Gates, there would be no commercial gene-editing, for example, which is the new GMO. He created a company called Editas Medicine Inc. to facilitate the patenting of these new climate-resilient plants, with which they aim to create new medicines. “He will do biofortification to solve the nutrition problem. He is particularly vicious,” she says. As for what the ultimate goal might be, Shiva says:

“The first thing is, of course, they want to use their money-making tools to make more money. So, it is a dictatorship of the technology balance. That’s why people should be paying a lot more attention to the violent imposition of digitalization.

A lot of my friends, who never studied the roots of these violence systems, who never understood that agrichemicals came from Hitler’s concentration camps and that the agrichemical industry is the poison cartel responsible for the genocide, they’re continuing that genocide.

Technologies as tools of domination and exploitation are not neutral. A lot of progressive think, ‘More digitalization, more democracy.’ How can a surveillance economy be an enlargement of your freedom? You have to have the systems in place, the regulations in place, the choices in place to be able to make these technologies a servant and not your master.”

The Global Merger

They also want to merge all of these various industries together — agriculture, technology, and finance. Shiva recounts how, in 2016, India banned all cash and made digital transactions compulsory. In short order, “90% of poor people lost their savings, their incomes,” she says, as small, local economies evaporated. Meanwhile, the wealthy elites also control the world’s economy via their asset funds.

“Corporations don’t own themselves anymore. Even the corporations are owned by the billionaires, the same BlackRocks, the same Vanguards control every big company, Coca-Cola to McDonald’s to Boeing. Look at anything in the world, it’s the billionaire money and their asset management funds.

Last year, BlackRock increased its wealth from $1 trillion to $7 trillion, which means the billionaires increased their wealth. During the lockdown, they invaded even more deeply into the Amazon and became richer.

So, these investment asset management funds are the billionaires’ wealth, and it is increasing. That is merging with IT and information technology and the tech barons, and it’s merging with biotechnology and the chemical industry.

That’s why they’re talking about digitalization of agriculture — farming without farmers and, worse, food without food. One of the big pushes of Gates and Silicon Valley is into fake food.”

As noted by Shiva, while Big Biotech claims GMOs will save your health and protect the planet, these pesticide-laden plants are in fact doing the complete opposite.

We Are the Throwaways

There’s also the issue of social justice. She cites Gandhi, who said that if you’re in doubt about what the right thing to do is, “bring the face of the most vulnerable person to your mind’s eye and do what is good for them.” If you think it will harm them more, don’t do it.

“They deliberately want to get rid of large parts of humanity,” Shiva says. “First through hunger, then through sickness. They want a digital economy, they want a sick economy. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be spending all your time on Big Pharma; you’d spend your time making sure that the smaller farmer doesn’t get destroyed …

On a planetary scale, we are seeing these irresponsible, greedy, indifferent, callous men bring the world, and humanity, to a brink. That’s why we have to act and find creative ways …

All of these tech barons who have taken over the economy, hiding behind the virus, are all jumping into life sciences. Google has a new life sciences division. This will be the final defeat of Mother Nature, At a time [when] the world is waking up to the rules of nature and healthy bodies, healthy ecosystems, an eco-healthy planet, they’re still carrying on the Colonial franchise of defeating Mother Nature.”

The Great Economic Reset

None of these things is coming out of the left field. They’ve been carefully planned for many decades. We now see clear evidence that a “great economic reset” is in the works, which will transition everything over to digital currencies.

As noted by Shiva, the industrial revolution shifted our mindset to one where we thought of nature as dead. The result was ecological destruction and the fragmentation of society. The coming economic reset is basically part of an effort to further manipulate and shift our mental framework toward something wholly unnatural. Shiva says:

“In India, they attacked and are still attacking organic and created something called the Zero-Budget Natural Farming … What they’re basically doing is giving big loans to the state, which then gives fat loans to the farmer. In the meantime, Gates is mining farm data.

He’s getting people placed in the homes of farmers to mine data. Then they’ll create algorithms to sell that data back. But all of this is now being reduced to carbon in the soil. You’ll get zero % for what you grow. You can get no needs of yours met through food and fodder, but we will allow you to trade in the global market on the carbon in your soil, and that’s what would keep you alive. This whole financialization of nature is one aspect.

The second aspect in the great reset is to redo the economy to make it look like those who are now disposable throwaway people deserved it. They created the language of competition.

[When I was writing] my epilogue, I had just received Microsoft’s patent, [which] basically reduces human beings to users. Our brain activity is tapped into in various ways. Everyone wants to have smart wear these days. I should call it spyware. That data goes through algorithms. Those algorithms will decide what [we are worthy of and] Bitcoins will be allocated to us.

But every child born is born worthy. Every member of society has equal human rights. So, they’re undoing everything we’ve put in place on humanity, on human rights, on democracy. This is where we need to be alert.

I think the whole issue of the pandemic and the lockdown was useful for them for two reasons. One, they could get everyone afraid. Second, they could get everyone distracted while they took over the economy, they took over our minds. They basically transferred all the remaining wealth to themselves.”

More Information

To learn more, please listen to the interview in its entirety, and be sure to pick up a copy of “Oneness Vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom.” You can also find more details about Shiva’s work on Navdanya.org.

“I personally feel that this assault is coming at a time when, in India and the world, there’s a new rising of consciousness of the planet and its living systems, of our health and our living systems, and the connection between our health and the health of the planet. At this point … it needs a lot of brutal violence to impose. So, to the extent they can keep the virus as their shield to hide behind, they will.”

I agree with Shiva when she says that rather than allowing COVID-19 fear-mongering take over our lives, we need to look at the infrastructures of life, humanity, democracy, economy, and taxation, “and start thinking about who’s taking them away from us.”

“You have to protect that which you treasure,” she says. “Freedom and life are what are being taken right now … We have to resist fear and we have to resist hate. We are thinking beings; let us use the minds we’ve been given and let us rebuild community.

Again, I don’t think the 6-foot distancing is by accident. Why do they use the words ‘social distancing’ rather than ‘physical distancing’? Six feet is a physical measure. They … want us to forget that being a human being means being in community. They want us to be users of gadgets.

We must be community. We must remember that we are interrelated to the rest of life on Earth and to society. That’s why we have to be talking [about how to] rebuild regenerative economies … I think we lost a lot of time thinking the only issue was energy, how energy is produced. We lost two decades of how food is produced.

I really believe that if people start becoming aware that eating good food is the single most important [strategy for health], and growing food in the right way is the single most important part to regeneration of the planet, this will rebuild community …

I think we need to start doing homework to say, ‘Where’s the wealth going? How should the tax flow look? How is our money going to make the billionaires richer? How can they keep extracting more money out of us?

How is our public money the new subsidy to create the infrastructure for greed, rather than be the public resources to create the infrastructure of life, of care and of solidarity? … What in our current legal framework can stop this hemorrhaging of public money to move upwards to the billionaires?

These are foundational issues. Who are we as human beings? How will we live in the future? What is the future we will create long after the robber barons are gone, because they were there in the 1930s and we learned how to get rid of them. If there’s one project we should have, it’s strategies to get rid of the robber barons, whatever it takes …

I don’t think we have the luxury to be hopeless. Hope is something you must cultivate on a daily basis. Cultivating hope is cultivating resistance. Cultivating hope is cultivating the strategy.”