Waking Times » Spirituality http://www.wakingtimes.com Entering a Time of Natural Health, Elevated Consciousness, Sustainable Living and Total Freedom. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:46:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 4 Things You Should Know About Your ‘Third Eye’ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/13/4-things-know-third-eye/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/13/4-things-know-third-eye/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:35:16 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37823 Scott Thill, AlterNet
Waking Times

We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland — but that doesn’t stop us from speculating.

Located in nearly the direct center of the brain, the tiny pinecone-shaped pineal gland, which habitually secretes the wondrous neurohormone melatonin while we sleep at night, was … More

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Third-EyeScott Thill, AlterNet
Waking Times

We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland — but that doesn’t stop us from speculating.

Located in nearly the direct center of the brain, the tiny pinecone-shaped pineal gland, which habitually secretes the wondrous neurohormone melatonin while we sleep at night, was once thought to be a vestigial leftover from a lower evolutionary state.

Indeed, according to recent research, we could be increasing our chances of contracting chronic illnesses like cancer by unnecessarily bathing its evenings in artificial lightworking night shifts or staying up too late. By disrupting the pineal gland and melatonin’s chronobiological connection to Earth’s rotational 24-hour light and dark cycle, known as its circadian rhythm, we’re possibly opening the doors not to perception, but to disease and disorder. A recently published study from Vanderbilt University has found associations between circadian disruption and heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

By hacking what pinealophiles call our mind’s third eye with an always-on technoculture transmitting globally at light-speed, we may have disadvantaged our genetic ability to ward off all manner of complicated nightmares. No wonder the pineal gland is a pop-culture staple for sci-fi, fantasy and horror fandom, as well as a mass attractor of mystics and mentalists. Its powers to divide and merge our light and dark lives only seems to grow the more we take it seriously.

“We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland,” University of Michigan professor of physiology and neurology Jimo Borjigin, a pioneer in medical visualization of the pineal gland’s melatonin secretion, told me. “Numerous molecules are found in the pineal, many of which are uniquely found at night, and we do not have a good idea of what their functions are. The only function that is established beyond doubt is the melatonin synthesis and secretion at night, which is controlled by the central clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and modulated by light. All else is speculative.”

Discerning between the science and speculation of the pineal gland hasn’t been easy since long before Rene Descartes called it the “principal seat of the soul” after studying it at length nearly four centuries ago. (Although “no evidence exists to support this,” clarified Borjigin.) So here’s a handy shortlist of things you should know about the pineal gland.

1. Third Eyes and Theosophistry

The current scientific understanding is that the pineal gland probably started out as an eye, and it receives signals from light and our retinas. Whether it was our only eye which shrunk into the brain once its perceptive tasks were taken care of by our two newer eyes, or whether it was a third eye with a spiritual and physical connection to previous spiritual and evolutionary states, or both, has galvanized science and speculation for centuries.

Earth’s ancient cultural histories are filled with folklore featuring both one-eyed and three-eyed beings of great power, from Shiva and Cyclops to that amiable fellow in The Twilight Zone‘s classic episode, “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” and beyond. (From Beyond even: See below.) Associations can be found in Hinduism, whose seventh primary chakra Sahasara is a multilayered lotus that looks like the pineal gland’s pinecone, and whose primary function is to perceive universal oneness, scientifically and spiritually speaking. Theosophists, who have been studying what they perceive as hidden knowledge since the Greeks and Romans ruled philosophical and scientific inquiry, have more recently claimed that the pineal gland is the spiritual engine of our evolution into “embryo gods, beings of consciousness and matter.”

That description seems apt, given the astronomical power we have achieved in a few million yeas of evolution. While Homo sapiens‘ third eyes likely transformed into pineal glands along the way, today we can still find animals with photoreceptive third eyes, now called parietal eyes, like New Zealand’s endangered tuatara. Fossils from other ancient creatures feature similar sockets in their skulls, making our pineal gland a candidate for an ex-eye.

2. What Was Once Hidden Is Now Hi-Res

Michigan University professor Borjigin and his team are hard at work on how the pineal gland and melatonin regulate our lives.

“The central circadian clock controls timing of almost all aspects of our life, including physiology and behavior, and melatonin is the best marker to decode the fingerprints of circadian timing in both humans and animals,” he told me. “In the past, it was very difficult to study circadian properties of melatonin in animals due to technical limitations. My lab invented long-term pineal microdialysis, which permits automated, computer-controlled and high-resolution analysis of melatonin secretion from rodent pineal gland from four to 10 weeks in the same animal.”

These visualizations could go a long way toward understanding how to hack melatonin, which the pineal gland secretes when we sleep and helps the brain repair and sync our bodies to Earth’s rotation. Melatonin is a stunning compound, found naturally in plants, animals and microbes. A powerful antioxidant, its list of its medicinal uses only seems to grow each year, as we learn more about its ability to help with immune disorders, chronic illnesses, and neurodegeneration.

“Pineal microdialysis allows us to monitor melatonin secretion closely under various conditions to simulate jet lag, shiftwork, light pollution, diet manipulation and more to define the fingerprints of circadian response to environment, he added. “It also allows us to discover animals with extreme chronotypes, like early-birds or night-owls, to understand how individuals with different chronotype respond to circadian challenges differently. These are still ongoing studies, but hopefully some of the works will be published this year.”

3. Artificial Light = Dark Future

What has been recently published about melatonin is already pretty significant, especially for those looking to combat breast and prostate cancer. Harvard University School of Public Health researcher Itai Kloog and his group published a series of studies in the last few years explaining how our “modern urbanized sleeping habitat” (PDF) is a massive hormone-based cancer risk. “We have blotted out the night sky” with artificial light, wrote Earth Island Journal‘s Holly Hayworth,” citing Kloog’s research and noting that half that light is wasted anyway.

“We’ve proven beyond a doubt that it’s a risk factor,” Kloog told me. “Light at night has been proven on many levels, by our group and many others, to definitely contribute to higher risk of developing hormonal cancer.”

Kloog’s team published five studies altogether, including analyses at local and global levels, and all of them found firm correlations between circadian and melatonin disruption and higher risks of cancer. Analyzing NASA’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program archive (to illuminate Earth’s light-at-night coverage) and data from the World Health Organization, Kloog’s group “found clearly that as women were more exposed to light at nighttime, their rates of breast cancer went up. Our Israel study found that going from minimum exposure to average exposure to light at night resulted in a 36 percent higher standard rate of breast cancer, and going from average to maximum was another 26 percent increase.”

Using kernel smoothing to create density maps showing light exposure and cancer rates, Kloog’s team found that another of its studies, which sourced more than 20,000 light sources by height and intensity, showed a clear association. For their two worldwide studies, they developed an algorithm to assign population weight average light exposure for every person in every city across the world, using WHO data, and again they found a clear association between cancer and light at night.

“For average light exposure per person, if you take an underdeveloped country like Nepal, we’re talking about 0.02 nanowatts per centimeter squared,” Kloog explained. “Compare that to the United States, where the average light exposure of a person is 57.5. Up until around 120 years ago, humans were basically exposed to 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness on average, seasons and latitudes permitting of course. But since the invention of the lightbulb, we’ve artificially stretched the day. We go to sleep late at night, we have lights on while we sleep, we have a shorter sleep duration. We have a lot of factors stretching out our days, relative to the light period we experienced during millions of years of previous evolution.”

“It’s something that’s easy to take out of the equation,” Kloog told me. “Go to sleep in a dark room. Use less light. Close the shutters. Circadian disruption is carcinogenic to humans.”

4. Occult Classic

This is not to say that late-night viewing itself isn’t good for the mind, especially when it comes to pineal glands and third eyes. Because pineal glands and third eyes remain singular components of an otherwise binary brain with an extraordinary past, they have stimulated some stranger explorations of their spiritual and supernatural possibility. The pineal gland’s circadian dualism has achieved particular resonance with influential occultists like horror influential H.P. Lovecraft. Who, in turn, have spawned new generations of speculative talents that have used it as a quite flexible receptacle for expansive meaning.

“My first exposure to the pineal gland came from Stuart Gordon’s movie adaptation of Lovecraft’s From Beyond,” Javier Grillo-Marxuach, creator of the cult sci-fi television classic The Middleman, told AlterNet. “In truth, everything I know about that particular endocrine body probably derives from that seminal experience, which explains why I am a television writer and not a brain surgeon.”

In From Beyond, a supernaturally activated pineal gland turns mad scientists into brain-eating zombies. The recently reissued 1957 exploitation film She Devil features a “female monster” whose hyperstimulated pineal gland turns her into ”a demon, a devil, a creature with a warped soul!” In both films, and many other third-eye head-trips, functions as a sexualized organ, rather than a circadian regulator. Today, some use melatonin supplements, available since the ’90s, to aid with sexual dysfunction. But the pineal gland’s expansive mythic and scientific history has much broader applications when it comes to folklore and entertainment.

“In The Middleman, we quickly discovered that because this most mysterious of glands is so misunderstood, even though its very name connotes a certain frisson of scientific accuracy and technical understanding, it was a fantastic shorthand for whatever otherworldly qualities we needed to justify,” Grillo-Marxuach added. “Over the course of 12 episodes, the pineal gland became the source of psychic ability, communication between parallel dimensions, the magical influence of succubi and incubi over the libidos of ordinary mortals and, finally, the power source for our main supervillain’s armageddon device. Since Stuart Gordon and H.P. Lovecraft gave me such a gift in my teenage years by providing me with so fanciful an understanding of cerebral anatomy, I figured I’d pay the favor forward as many times as possible.”

About the Author

Scott Thill runs the online mag Morphizm.com. His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.

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Higher Knowledge: Enriching & Enabling Factor http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/13/higher-knowledge-enriching-enabling-factor/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/13/higher-knowledge-enriching-enabling-factor/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:02:30 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37898 Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor
Waking Times 

Most people would agree we all want to live in a kinder, more humane world. A world where there is respect for human life, economic resources are shared, and the old and infirm are treated with dignity.  In each of these areas there is … More

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Flickr-morsels of knowledgeDr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor
Waking Times 

Most people would agree we all want to live in a kinder, more humane world. A world where there is respect for human life, economic resources are shared, and the old and infirm are treated with dignity.  In each of these areas there is room for improvement. Economically many are still without the basic necessities of life and go hungry. Even in the richest country on earth, often the sick go untreated.

Further most would agree, somehow, as a planet we need to work together to share our natural resources and improve our collective circumstance. It is at this point, when we try to identify and prioritize what areas need improving and how we are to accomplish this all, we start to disagree and things break down.

Rationale or linear thought is able to tackle some of these problems, offering possible solutions; however this form of thought is not able to solve all problems. It has limitations and, in some areas, is like the cart and horse that is without a driver and going around in circles. Generally, for problems which involve the needs of divergent groups, there is no balancing factor and the needs of one group bounce unsuccessfully against the needs of others. In situations like this, self-interest repeatedly rears its head and there appears to be no corrective. Many are slow to accept that the needs of the individual are bound to the needs of the many.

What is the corrective to this harmful self-interest? What factor reconciles the needs of different nations while sharing the earth’s resources in an ecologically sound manner?

The balancing factor is higher knowledge or knowledge that is spiritual in nature and tied to our collective higher destiny. It must be added to the mix and used with our other capacities to find solutions. Higher knowledge will not replace common sense, experience, hard work or economic imperative. That is not its function. It is an added capacity which integrates and works alongside others.

The spiritual traveler maintains humanity is evolving to a higher condition. This evolutionary process is according to Design and is purposeful and directed. The outcome of this process is better individuals who are more complete, balanced and better able to serve others. This higher state of being can only be reached when the integrating factor is added. This is holistic thought or increased spiritual capacity. It is attained one traveler at a time and only by entering upon a path to spiritual completion. Better people make a better world. More complete travelers make sounder decisions and are equally concerned about their neighbor and themselves.

Many paths are sacred and all travelers have the potential to reach higher. The higher consciousness teaches we are connected and have within a Divine spark of energy. As we come to understand this and be one with this energy, we experience our connectedness to others and are better able to serve. Spiritually this oneness links us and we take positive, holistic, action. Better people select honest, hardworking representatives. These representatives combine to form a useful government that participates in a richer, more humane world.

If we are truly committed to making a better world, we start with ourselves. We seek to create the best version of our self and use all our talents. This includes added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge.

Yes this planet can be a wonderful place to live. Yet we must work together and solve our mutual problems. This willingness to work together comes naturally to some and for others only after a personal catastrophe or natural disaster of some kind. For many problems facing us, this coming together of people is essential. We are one family and must remember our common heritage or in time our planet will be lost.

Added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge is the missing ingredient and enabling factor. Each of us must take personal steps to add this element to our lives and fully embrace the higher potential in all the great religions. Then the needs of the many will more easily reconcile with the needs of the few.

*            *

Once there was a traveler who walked the highway in search of Truth. He stopped at every town and inquired. Sometimes the answers he received appeared to be useful and at other times, they did not. Always the advice he received was targeted at his worldly life: get a job, marry and have children. Or don’t work, live in a monastery and become a recluse.

Somehow these pieces of advice did not satisfy him, so, he kept searching. One day as luck would have it, he encountered a wise man who said, “The answer lies within.” So for many years, this traveler with the help of the wise one examined the inner world and came to see these experiences as part of the answer. 

Slowly, he realized, what good is spiritual knowledge if it is not incorporated into the world? So he settled down, found a job, married and raised a family. As he worked, celebrated and worried, he came to see a truly spiritual life is a life that serves others and is guided by the unseen forces. And according to Design, he found real knowledge, used this knowledge in the way it was intended and the world about him benefited.

About the Author

Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, spiritual traveler, poet, is a student of Sufi Mysticism and the perennial philosophy. Professionally specializing in the healing applications of therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health treatment; he holds a doctorate in education and served on the faculties of multiple colleges and universities.

Stewart is also the author of Sufism for the Western Seekerpublished in 2011, was nominated by ‘Foreword Magazine’ for Adult Non Fiction Religious Book of Year Book of the Year Award, placing 4th (honorable mention) and is a must read, as well as The Ferryman’s Dream. Both books are also in Kindle format and available on Amazon.com or local bookstore.

Register for an upcoming retreat weekend with  Dr. Steward Bitkoff atop Bangor Mountain, in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Kirkridge Retreat Center on Sufism & Enlightenment, May 30- June I, 2014. For information is available here: http://kirkridge.org/programs/upcoming-programs/ - click on Detailed Information for full program highlights.

For more information about the author, please visit www.stewartbitkoff.com, and if you are interested in learning more about universal mysticism and Sufism contact: drbitkoff@yahoo.com.

Read my new bookBeyond The River’s Gate. Book is available on Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle format or local bookstore.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Vedanta – The Science of Self Discovery http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/11/vedanta-science-self-discovery/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/11/vedanta-science-self-discovery/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 02:20:31 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37846 Frank Huguenard, Staff Writer
Waking Times

At the heart of Hinduism is a spiritual and philosophical framework known as Vedanta. To understand the distinction between the two, it’s important to understand the origin of the word Hindu. When the first explorers from Persia traveled to India (then known as … More

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Flickr - Vedanta - epSos.deFrank Huguenard, Staff Writer
Waking Times

At the heart of Hinduism is a spiritual and philosophical framework known as Vedanta. To understand the distinction between the two, it’s important to understand the origin of the word Hindu. When the first explorers from Persia traveled to India (then known as Bharat), they came across the Indus valley region of the country and called the indigenous people there Hindus. The meaning of Hinduism then went on to connote the entire set of traditions, rituals, practices, cultures, rites and so forth for an extraordinarily complex society and lifestyle.

The root set of Hindu values, ethics, knowledge, spirituality, astronomy, mathematics, agriculture and health care practices came from ancient Sanskrit texts known as the four Vedas (Rig, Yamur, Atharva & Sama). While no one knows for sure how old the Vedas are, some estimates put the age at 10,000 years or even much older. The word Veda is very similar to the word science in that in means the methods and techniques for acquiring knowledge as well as the accumulative body of knowledge amassed.

The Sanskrit word “anta” literally means the end of, or the culmination of, and so appending this suffix to the word Veda, we get Vedanta which means the end of knowledge or the culmination of knowledge. Vendanta represents the highest spiritual knowledge within all the Vedas. Generally speaking, Vedanta refers to ancient texts known as The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita and certain commentaries on both by Shankaracharya.

In many traditions, God is said to be Omniscient, or All Knowing, with the prefix omni meaning ‘all’ and the word ‘scient,’ being the present participle of the Latin scīre which means “to know.” Over the past several thousand years, mankind wouldn’t have been able to move out of caves, begin to build structures, roads and cities, develop agriculture and understand the seasons and astronomy without some form of science. The spirit of science has always been about a quest for knowledge, a yearning for the truth and over the millennia, there have been many different forms of science, culminating in what has become to be known as the Modern Scientific Method around 400 years ago.

For better or for worse, the word science now generally refers to the Modern Scientific Method but the answers to mankind’s greatest questions lay outside the purview of anything the Modern Scientific Method can ever hope to resolve. Is there an immortal soul? Is there a supreme intelligence governing the cosmos? Is there life after death? What is the purpose/meaning of life? These questions fall outside of anything that modern science can possibly provide an answer for and yet these questions represent the highest knowledge attainable by man. More importantly, there is a science that provides the same necessary framework defined within the Modern Scientific Method of assumptions and definitions, postulates and hypotheses, theories, methods and techniques that can answer these profound questions and that science is Vedanta.

Vedanta has slowly been integrated into Western Society’s thinking for a very long time and once we begin to look under the hood and learn a little bit about what is and is not Vedanta, we realize that the basic concepts and practices are already quite familiar to us. Here are some of the principles and tenets of Vedanta that most of us easily recognize:

  • Underneath this apparent reality is an indivisible substratum of existence that all matter, anti-matter, thoughts, emotions and memories rise up and dissolve back in to. In other words, “We are All ONE” and this theme has been scientifically proven with Quantum Mechanics.
  • While this non-dual, Supreme Being is singular and beyond comprehension, it has been given many names (Brahmin, God, Atman, Allah, etc.), characteristics and properties. From the Rig Veda, “the truth is one, the wise call it by many names.”
  • “I am That” is the basis for Self Realization. That the nature of the Self is, in fact, divine and you are the Self.
  • Our mind’s identification with our ego is what keeps us from realizing this Truth, therefore keeping us in ignorance.
  • Once we fully realize the Truth of who we really are, we attain liberation from the bondages of mind-body identification and move beyond suffering.
  • The journey of liberation is a process of passing through several levels of stages and the individual becoming more wise, compassionate, joyful and peaceful along the way.
  • There is any number of different avenues to Self Realization. No single path is the correct one.

Vedanta in the West

From Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau to The Beatles, Eddie Vedder and Russell Brand, westerners have a long history of turning to ancient Indian philosophies and practices to enhance their lives, bring peace of mind and provide practical wisdom. Films such as The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, Star Wars (Joseph Campbell, the renowned expert on Vedanta consulted George Lucas on the first three films), Inception and even Kung Fu Panda all have obvious Vedantic references and themes.

When Carl Jung first visited India 100 years ago, he was quoted as saying that Western Psychoanalytic Theory was in its mere infancy compared with Easter Philosophy. Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson also was influenced by Eastern Philosophies, meaning that the 12-Step program has its origins in Vedantic  Science as well. One of the most popular and effective contemporary mental health treatment programs, Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), is comprised of four primary modules (Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, Distress Tolerance and Interpersonal Relations Skills) which are pure Vedanta, whether the creator of DBT understood  them to be or not. That’s just how much Vedanta has permeated our way of collective thought processes.

The New Thought  Movement

Successive waves of Vedantic influence have sailed across the oceans to America’s shores, from the Romantics in the early 1800s (including President Adams and William Emerson, Ralph Waldo’s father) to the India Invasion of the 1890’s when both Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda emigrated to the U.S., but one of the largest waves of Vedanta to impact America was the New Thought Movement.

Long before Rhonda Byrnes wrote the book “The Secret and produced the film of the same name, books like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles and The Master Key System by Charles Haanel promoted the idea that things are thoughts and our thoughts determine what gets manifested as our reality, and in order to attract wealth into our lives, we need to reprogram the way we think. The Law of Attraction, as it is commonly known today was a significant component in The New Thought Movement started over 100 years ago by Thomas Troward.

Troward, who is considered to be by many to be the Father of the New Thought Movement, was a divisional judge in India during British Imperial rule, and when he returned to England in the early 1900s, he brought back with him the ancient knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of Vedanta.

The Religious Science Organization, another branch of the New Thought Movement, was spearheaded by Earnest Holmes who’s book The Science of Mind is still studied throughout North America by secular spiritualists who seek something more meaningful and life changing than what they feel they get from orthodox religions.

The New Thought Movement is considered to be an amalgamation of several different disciplines and philosophies including Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism but in reality The New Thought Movement is pure Vedanta. If you take into account that Jesus trained in India during the so called lost years of the bible, that Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism all have their roots in Vedanta, and that Vedanta is the spiritual core of Hinduism, then you can understand that the movement is basically a watered down, westernized version of Vedanta.

Organizations in the West Offering Vedantic Knowledge

The reasons that Vedanta appeals on so many different levels to westerners is that it doesn’t ask that we defer to an authority and are expected to have faith in miraculous events but rather, Vedanta says “here is what we accept as truths, and here are a set of parameters, methods and techniques to test and verify for yourself.” Vedanta rationally speaks about divinity without offending a person’s sense of reason and never asks you to believe anything without having your own personal experience of it.

In North America, there are many, many Vedantic based organizations easily accessible for people interested in their own search for truth and a few of the larger ones are widely available. All of Buddhism is based on Vedanta and one of the most popular retreats is Vipassana taught by S.N. Goenka. The Self Realization Fellowship and Vedanta Society, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda respectively are still very popular and the TM (Transcendental Meditation) organization that was started by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s is very well known, primarily for meditation but also has Vedanta as its basis as well. And most recently, there is the Art of Living, which was founded in 1982 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and is currently the world’s fastest growing Vedanta based movement.

What sets the Art of Living apart from all of the other organizations focused on providing Vedantic based retreats and practices is that after 4000 years of tradition, a new technique has been added to the repertoire of tools encompassed within Vedanta, a rhythmic breathing technique known as the Sudarshan Kriya which has been scientifically proven to bring significant decreases in cortisol (the stress hormone), cholesterol, sleeplessness, restlessness and anxieties.

Whether your motivation is stress relief, clarity of thought and better sense of well being or your motivation is expansion of consciousness, Self inquiry and ultimately Moksha (liberation), Vedanta’s universal approach is applicable as well as beneficial to everyone. And whether your preference is to set off on your own on an adventure of self discovery or you’d rather get involved with a specific organization or group, the promise and value of Vedanta is equally the same. Thou art That.

About the Author

Frank Huguenard is an author, teacher and documentary film producer, specializing in films on Science and Spirituality. You can see all three of his films, Beyond MeBeyond Belief and Beyond Reason at his website www.beyondmefilm.com.

Read more articles by Frank Huguenard, here

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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10 Questions About the Pineal Gland That Add to the Mystery of Spirituality http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/11/10-questions-pineal-gland-mystery-spirituality/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/11/10-questions-pineal-gland-mystery-spirituality/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 23:49:07 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37811 Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The  pine cone shaped, pea-sized pineal gland, located in the center of the human brain, is an organ of tremendous interest these days. To many spiritual seekers it is the ‘seat of the soul‘ and the ‘third eye,’ the … More

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Pineal Gland -1Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The  pine cone shaped, pea-sized pineal gland, located in the center of the human brain, is an organ of tremendous interest these days. To many spiritual seekers it is the ‘seat of the soul‘ and the ‘third eye,’ the anatomical part of the human body that acts as our spiritual antennae, connecting us to the non-physical, spiritual planes of existence. However, to many scientists and rigid materialist thinkers, it is strictly an endocrine gland responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin, a substance which, among other things, aids in the regulation of our circadian rhythms.

Far from cased closed, this small, but intriguing piece of the human organism is the source of endless discussion and consideration, as many people believe that by cleansing, detoxifying or decalcifying the pineal gland, one can more readily achieve spiritual states of consciousness and can experience with greater depth and clarity.

Of course naysayers who disregard the possibility of the existence of any spiritual dimension to life and to the pineal gland are quick to point out that no scientific evidence has proven that the pineal gland is in fact the organ responsible for spiritual experience. Yet, many people who’ve developed the subtle awareness and inward reflection required to connect to the spiritual qualities of humanity can clearly sense that something profound takes place within the area of the brain where the pineal gland sits, including visions, intuitive thoughts, vibrations, harmonic resonance with certain sounds, and other mystical phenomenon.

As the debate between science and spirituality carries on, the pineal gland sits at the center of the brain enticing both spiritual adepts and naysayers alike to take a closer look into the mysteries that make human beings spiritual creatures capable having psychological experiences that evade validation by modern scientific research methods and modes of thought.

Here are 10 questions about the pineal gland that add to the mystery of spirituality:

1. Is the pineal gland the evolutionary remnant of a literal third mammalian eye that moved into the center of the brain and changed functions from gathering light to entraining rhythms in accordance with information gathered by the retina?

2. Why do the visionary states of consciousness induced by psychedelics and meditative practices seem to be centered around the very part of the brain where the pineal gland sits?

3. If there is no connection between spirituality and the pineal gland, how is it that the 6th chakra (Ajna chakra), according to ancient Hindu tradition, is located precisely where the pineal gland sits, and has for centuries been associated with the ‘mind’s eye,’ the eye of intellect and intuition?

4. Is there a connection between the spiritual promise of the pineal gland, which is shaped like a pine cone, and the Pigna, the colossal bronze pine cone statue of ancient Rome which now sits in a courtyard in the Vatican?

5. Does the pineal gland produce the body’s natural supply of DMT, dimethyltriptamine, a chemical compound that produces incredible visionary effects when consumed in concentrated form or in the Amazonian medicine Ayahuasca?

6. Does the pineal gland release massive doses of DMT when a person dies, or when a person nearly dies, which causes the mind to have near-death experiences, or causes the soul to return to source?

7. What is the significance of the fact that the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Eye of Horus, strongly resembles the anatomy of the middle section of the brain and upper cortex, centering on the thalamus and the pineal gland?

pineal thalamus

8. Why is the pineal gland the only organ in the human body that calcifies and solidifies with age?

9. If the pineal gland has little effect on consciousness, why is it that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, diseases which cause them to be severely psychologically disconnected from the ‘real world,’ have pineal glands that are much more calcified than those of ordinary people?

10. Why is it that following the methods of pineal gland decalcification and cleansing often bring genuine results to people who are seeking heightened spiritual experience, and why do these practices often result in people being able to more easily remember dreams and lead them to feel more connected to ‘source?’

Conclusion

There certainly is more to the human spiritual experience than just having a decalcified pineal gland, however, in our modern culture, which has grown spiritually bereft, the pineal gland holds special significance as people look for any possible technique or enhancement to the human body and mind that can assist them in re-connecting to divinity.

Some of these questions are better suited for serious scientists and laboratory research, however, simply pondering the role that human anatomy plays in spiritual experience can expand our awareness of the connection between the health of the body and the health of the spirit.

Please add your comments and thoughtful answers to these questions in the comments section below.

About the Author

Buck Rogers is the earth bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com.

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Changing The Planet Through Sexual Healing http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/07/changing-planet-sexual-healing/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/07/changing-planet-sexual-healing/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:15:09 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37344 Ben and Jen Rode, Contributors
Waking Times

We live in a world that sells through sex and then shames us for it. Women are taught at a young age not to be sexual, and men are taught that women don’t want sex as bad as they do. we are taught … More

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Deep Red Rose Ben and Jen Rode, Contributors
Waking Times

We live in a world that sells through sex and then shames us for it. Women are taught at a young age not to be sexual, and men are taught that women don’t want sex as bad as they do. we are taught that if a man wants to have sex, he needs to work for it, fight for it, or even kill for it. Women are taught not to be sexual, but at the same time, we place absurd standards on ourselves about how sexy we need to look

This is what Sex Shame does to people! We need sex like we need food, water or sleep. It’s in our DNA to ensure reproduction! What will our world look like when everyone is comfortable with their sexuality? What will our world look like when everyone has confidence in the way they look, the words they speak and the beliefs they stand for?

The Neuroscience of the Orgasm

FMRI scans of a woman’s brain in orgasm show that over 80 areas of her brain light up (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/237976.php), and PET scans show that key areas shut down. What this shows us is that orgasm is the most profound state of natural trance available without the use of drugs or plant medicine. The state of orgasm is an extremely powerful creative force and it’s the highest vibration that we can reach. Humans can manifest through the vibration of orgasm, and for a woman, clearing everything in the way of a full orgasm also clears anything in the way of a woman stepping fully into her true self, and rising to live her purpose.

Orgasm is 90% in the head, and with all the misinformation society teaches us that leaves us anxious in the bedroom, it’s easy to see why there are so many women who are not easily and regularly having satisfying orgasms. The majority of the work that needs to be done to allow a woman to release this way is creating a safe container where she can let go enough to be able to trust you and trust herself to allow her orgasm to come with ease. The female brain during orgasm completely shuts down areas that deal with self-reflection, fear and anxiety, and anything else that isn’t complete ecstasy. The human brain obsesses about what we think of ourselves, what other people think about us, and what we have to do later in the day. Judgment and vigilance centers of the brain keep us alert for survival. These centers need to be relaxed in order for her to orgasm and be 100% focused on her pleasure. When these centers are shut down, it’s like hacking a computer program, and reality as we know it can be completely re-wired and re-invented.

Re-wiring the brain

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), they have something called an Anchor, which simply put, is a unique stimulus that creates a physiological response. Everyone has had the experience of being out in public and smelling the same cologne or perfume an old lover used to wear. It brings you right back into the feeling state of being with them. Whether they were a good experience or a bad one, you’re right there all over again.

Our society anchors sex to guilt and shame and this can cause a person to completely disassociate from their body. This is doubly the case when there has been sexual abuse in a person’s childhood. Now, physical touch that should feel loving and stimulating and recharging, can make an adult want to check out, shut down or run away. You can see how this would be detrimental in our interpersonal relationships! So, how do we let people in on an entirely new level? We need to collapse those anchors.

In NLP, they collapse the negative anchor by bringing up the negative emotion or feeling and then collapsing it with a positive emotion or feeling. Orgasm can also be used to collapse all the negative anchors (guilt, shame, resentment, rage, apathy etc).

How to set the intention for sexual healing:

Intention is crucial for the entirety of a sexual healing experience. During the state of Gspot orgasm, the receiver will act as a super-charged antenna to download information and broadcast her desires to the universe. If you’re the receiver, write down what you want out of life. The next step is your life purpose. Write down what’s keeping you from having this – the story, beliefs, and actual physical actions that are not being taken or ones that shouldn’t be taken. Then, write down affirmations that you would need to believe on a deep unconscious body level of being that would shift Everything. There is often a fear present that is causing people to take actions that aren’t useful instead of taking actions that are.

The most powerful affirmations that people need to embody across the board are – I love myself, I am powerful, I trust myself, I forgive myself, my soul mate is here now – state each affirmation as if it had already happened. “I am” statements, or other identity level statements, are the most powerful statements you can make. Speak to your inner child. She is your manifestor.

Avoid deserving statements such as “I am enough,” and “I deserve to be loved,” because although the brain wants to go there, it places your deservingness on a scale, and this scale is created by ego. We want to get off the scale of ego. When you question whether you deserve something, a part of you still doubts you even if you think “yes.” When your identity is no longer on that scale of deserving, you just are.

Beginning the process and creating the container of love:

In order to reach orgasm, a woman needs to be in the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and relaxation) rather than the sympathetic system (fight or flight) which creates stress and releases a chemical called Cortisol. A deep tissue massage can cause the body to snap into the sympathetic nervous system, so instead, a gentle stroke, a relaxing massage, and candle light are all helpful to get her to relax.

Spiritual and Manifestation Benefits of Sexual Healing

If a woman has been looking for her man, the universe can’t give it to her because whenever you want to find something, it’s only because you don’t have it. In other words, when you desire something in the future, you don’t have it in the NOW. The NOW is the only place we can truly manifest from. When a woman uses this practice, she can recalibrate her vibrational compass, and often she brings him in instantly. If she already has the love of her life, she goes deeper. If she is manifesting abundance, it happens just like that. The giver and receiver create a morphogenic field, acting as antennas, to help her manifest love and abundance. Her field before was “I can’t find my man and I don’t know where my man is and I want him to be here now” and we create “This perfect divine pure love is here right now” and she leaves with an entirely different feeling. We anchor body sensation to love and to her man and she magnetizes love externally because she has found it internally.

The population must clear the negative connotations and judgments that have colored their sexual experience for hundreds or thousands of years. We must make peace with sex in order to integrate the frequencies within our identity. Things have been manipulated and given a boundary of limitation so that the truth of sexuality has been kept from you. You have been told that you can procreate with it and have orgasms, but you have not been told that you can open frequencies with it. Sexual healing is re-emerging as a way to dance with the divine and it ushers much-needed hope for the collective healing of our planet.

About the Authors

Ben and Jen Rode are the Twin Flame couple who co-founded Explosive Sexual Healing. Ben has been studying sexuality and relationships for 13 years. He is a certified Sexological Bodyworker, Sex Educator, Hypnotherapist, and NLP practitioner. Jen is a certified Reiki Master, Angel Card Reader, and Clairvoyant Channel. Having experienced sexual abuse as a child, her mission is to help the world release sexual shame & trauma, and to harmonize the divine feminine and masculine energies. Ben and Jen live at their retreat center in Rancho Santa Fe, California with their daughter, where they take sessions, hold workshops, lead retreats and transform the planet’s sexuality.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Four Ways Nietzsche Made God His Bitch http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/30/four-ways-nietzsche-made-god-bitch/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/30/four-ways-nietzsche-made-god-bitch/#comments Sun, 30 Mar 2014 14:13:22 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=37132 Gary ‘Z’ McGeeStaff Writer
Waking Times

“We stumble on; the Übermensch plants a foot where there is no certain hold; and in the struggle that follows, the whole of us get dragged up.”William James

Friedrich Nietzsche is a fascinating philosopher that must be taken with a … More

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Flickr-Nietzsche-PascalGary ‘Z’ McGeeStaff Writer
Waking Times

“We stumble on; the Übermensch plants a foot where there is no certain hold; and in the struggle that follows, the whole of us get dragged up.”William James

Friedrich Nietzsche is a fascinating philosopher that must be taken with a grain of salt, and possibly the entire salt shaker. But he is an absolute joy to read, for his audacity alone. And his ruthlessness was no joke. Knocking gods off pedestals was second nature to him. With merciless glee, he stormed in where other philosophers feared to tread. Through poetic prose, brutal honesty, and venomous wit, he brought us a way of thinking that still has people’s brains doing backflips in their heads and their hearts doing somersaults in their chest. A God-fearing man probably couldn’t get through a single paragraph of Nietzsche without collapsing into a fit of: “Blasphemy!” this and “Satan incarnate!” that. Not realizing that there is gold gleaming in the darkness of his words and unaware that his surfaced soul is a brilliant diamond shining in the rough texture of his prose. So in honor of that God-fearing man pitifully writhing on the floor, and with a healthy dose of mockery, here are four fascinating ways that Master Nietzsche made God his bitch.

1.) Anti-Christ Superstar

“One must not let oneself be misled: they say ‘Judge not!’ but they send to Hell everything that stands in their way.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche was the original Antichrist. He wrote the book on it, literally. The Anti-Christ was a smash-mouth, no-holds-barred grudge match between Nietzsche and Christianity. And Nietzsche came out of it with nary a scratch, while all of Christianity lay bleeding and bruised at his blasphemous feet. For decades fundamentalist Christians reeled from the merciless body-blows dealt by the tiny book that made the bible look like the Goliath to its David. Of course the Christians were eventually able to incorporate it all into their religion while conveniently ignoring this and expediently hiding that, and so the blind-faith machine rolled on, but they inadvertently spread Nietzsche’s gospel rather than squashed it, and so it is still very much alive today.

Some of the more delicious morsels in Nietzsche discourse were as follows: he spoke of the Christian God as a “… declaration of war against life, against nature, against the will to live.” Proclaiming that the Christian God was “… the sanctification of the will to nothingness!” and “…this entire fictional world has its roots in the hatred of the natural (—actuality!—).” Nietzsche opposed the Christian concept of God because it “…degenerated into the contradiction of life, instead of being life’s transfiguration and eternal ‘Yes’!” He declared that the Christian God was “… the sanctification of the will to nothingness!” Wow! Put that in your invisible pipe and smoke it, God.

2.) God is dead!

“Whither is God? … I will tell you. We killed him –you and I. All of us are his murderers… What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festival of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us – for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.” –Nietzsche, Parable of the Madman

With this bold declaration Nietzsche reached skyward, pulled God from his celestial throne, and in one fell swoop declared the now earth-laden body a corpse, bringing down with it the entire apparatus of institutional Christianity. Talk about audacious. It’s especially daring when you consider the religious atmosphere during the time when he lived. The man’s insouciance knew no bounds. He called it like he saw it, peer pressure be damned.

Later in the text of the Parable of the Madman, Nietzsche’s protagonist visits various churches saying nothing but: “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?”

3.) The Übermensch

“Behold, I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?.. What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…” –Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The Übermensch, or overman, is Nietzsche’s cosmopolitan vision of human excellence, his epistemological elite. In many ways he is the replacement for God, the courageously moral substitute for the pitiful decadence of the Christian deity. A self-actualized, fully individuated, enlightened master prepared to take on all comers.

More importantly, the overman has the power to pull the head of man out of the clouds and bring it down to earth. Nietzsche goes on to say, “The Übermensch is the meaning of the earth… I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes,” and, “Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing…”

It’s almost as if Nietzsche foresaw the environmental calamity of our time, heralding the call of the overman for a future time when he would be needed to get us back in touch with Mother Nature, and to reconnect the severed umbilicus before it’s too late.

4.) Perspectivism

“In so far as the word “knowledge” has any meaning, the world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings.—Perspectivism.” –Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Perspectivism implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as absolutely true. But it does NOT necessarily entail that all perspectives are equally valid (and so should not be confused with relativism). With this idea Nietzsche didn’t necessarily make God his bitch, but he did create a good tripwire to trip him up with. For if everybody has a different perception of the concept of God, however minute that difference, then God can never just be one almighty being we can all agree on, it can only ever be a smeared-out energy, at best; an idea or a conceptualization, never a definitive truth.

Nietzsche wants us to be honest with ourselves, and then with each other, about the fact that we are all interconnected, while at the same time we all have our own personal experiences. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and every single one of us has a different psycho-physiological reaction to any given stimuli. Our “reactions” to things are as unique as our own fingerprints. If I say the word “fork” it creates a different psycho-physiological reaction (however minute) in you than it does in me, than it does in her, than it does in him. We all have different experiences, different memories, different ideas, regarding the concept of “fork,” even though we can all agree that we’re looking at a fork. The same thing applies to everything: a spoon, a tree, the concept of love, even the concept of God. In the end, we just need to be brutally honest with each other: we’re our own gods. But, as Nietzsche warned, “Against boredom even gods struggle in vain.”

About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Your Aura And How It Affects Others http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/28/aura-affects-others/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/28/aura-affects-others/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:24:08 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=36603 Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

Have you ever noticed people who simply make you feel good by just looking at them? Have you ever observed someone for the first time and knew that there was something off with this person, even though that particular person never said a … More

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Flickr-aura-Bhumika BhatiaGregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

Have you ever noticed people who simply make you feel good by just looking at them? Have you ever observed someone for the first time and knew that there was something off with this person, even though that particular person never said a word to you?

As more experiments are conducted within this field, we are finding more and more astonishing results. For example, Russian professor Konstantin Korotkov found that upon death, the human aura will continue to change for approximately 72 hours after the person is pronounced clinically dead.

Korotkov stated, “We are developing the idea that our consciousness is part of the material world and that with our consciousness we can directly influence our world.”

You can’t hide your aura

Everything you know and see can boil down to energy. Plants, trees and even inanimate objects such as gemstones, can exhibit an aura. Your aura is a body of energy generated around you. It is basically the world’s best detector of human emotion and can show the “real you” no matter how hard you try to hide it.

For example, I was at a conference a few years ago and noticed the aura of the woman who was taking publicity photos. Her aura was a dark red. I asked the woman whom I was with if she could see this photographer’s aura as well, and she confirmed the same color. I then said to the photographer, “Hi, how are you doing?” to which she responded how she was out late the previous night and was really tired today. Her aura, however, said that she really didn’t want to be there that particular day.

Even without seeing her aura, one could sense her energy, which may be more apparent to empaths than to others. Perhaps empaths are more sensitive to the auric field?

Empaths and the auric field

Your aura reflects the energy that you are currently experiencing, as well as your overall psyche and emotional state of being.

Empaths are affected by other people’s energies and have the innate ability to intuitively perceive and feel other people.  While we all have this ability, some people are more in tune to it than others.

This, in turn, may help to explain how auras and energies can affect other people for what seems to be no apparent reason. For example, an empath will take on the energies of everyone, including the good, the bad and the ugly energies. A skilled empath will acknowledge them and will know how to discharge or deflect these energies while most people unknowingly absorb them.

Kirlian photography of the aura

Through Kirlian photography, the human aura can be photographed. The colors of your aura reflect the colors in the chakra system. The lower three chakras are red (base chakra), orange (sacral chakra) and yellow (solar plexus chakra) while the higher four are green (heart chakra), blue (throat chakra), indigo (third eye chakra) and violet (crown chakra).

Kirlian photography is a collection of photographic techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges. It is named after Semyon Kirlian, who, in 1939 accidentally discovered that if an object on a photographic plate is connected to a high-voltage source, an image is produced on the photographic plate. The technique has been variously known as “electrography”, “electrophotography”, “corona discharge photography”(CDP), “bioelectrography”, “gas discharge visualization (GDV)”, “electrophotonic imaging (EPI)”, and, in Russian literature, “Kirlianography”.

How the color of your aura can help you

As mentioned, the aura follows the colors of your chakras and will give you an idea of where you are at and what you can do. Keep in mind that there are no “bad” aura colors because we can learn something from each color. If your aura is in the lower three chakras (red, orange or yellow), then chances are that you are undergoing physical plane experiences that relate to survival, sexual or emotional issues.

If you would like to learn how to see your aura, then watch the following video (learning how to see your aura starts at the 1:22 marker):

see-aura

How fear affects your aura

Your auric energy field has been challenged and conditioned to view society from a fear perspective because, when we live in fear, we are easily controlled by those in power. When we are constantly thinking about bills, societal expectations, ego, materialism or sexual issues, then our auras will reflect either red, orange or yellow.

If there was no such thing as money, then chances are, most of us would have green, blue, indigo or violet auras, with the exception of those who have bad intentions whether there is money or not.

By removing the fear and addressing any lower physical plane issues, you will see a change in your aura’s colors to those on the astral plane (green, heart chakra) and spiritual plane (blue, throat chakra; indigo, 3rd eye chakra and violet, crown chakra).

You may notice that your aura varies from one color to another. For example, my aura is either green or blue. Chances are, your aura may fluctuate from one chakra to the next, but it will be an adjacent chakra. In other words, if your aura is orange one day, it might be either red or yellow on another day. It takes a lot of inner work to reach the higher auric planes, but it’s something that anyone can accomplish.

It all begins within.

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What Are Spirits Part 2 http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/27/spirits-part-2/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/27/spirits-part-2/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:26:09 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=34152 Bob Makransky, Shamanic Journey
Waking Times

If you are serious about becoming a magician, then this is where you should start. It’s actually quite easy to learn to channel (easiest during lunar planetary hours). The chief function of spirit guides is to act like cornermen in a boxing match.

When … More

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Flickr-stream-Andreas KolleggerBob Makransky, Shamanic Journey
Waking Times

If you are serious about becoming a magician, then this is where you should start. It’s actually quite easy to learn to channel (easiest during lunar planetary hours). The chief function of spirit guides is to act like cornermen in a boxing match.

When you’re completely exhausted and life has really knocked you for a loop, they’re there to say: “You can do it! You’re doing great! Just get back in there and go another round!”

How spirit guides teach depends on the person they are teaching. Sometimes they hand out information for free, particularly when they spot an opportunity that must be grasped at once. Because they see things with such clarity, guides can give detailed explanations of everything you might want to know about your life and relationships.

Generally, spirit guides are there to encourage people to figure things out and take responsibility for themselves. In my own case my guides use a lot of trickery, encouraging me to make an ass of myself, since this seems to be the only way I really learn anything (lose expectations).

Different spirits communicate in different ways. For example, my own spirit guides talk to me via automatic writing, in words in my head. It’s just like having a conversation with another person, except that it’s written rather than spoken. I can only hear my spirit guides talking to me directly when they’re yelling at me for having screwed up somehow.

My wife, who is much more psychic than I am, is able to hear them talking to her directly when she channels them. Another friend of mine, who is even more psychic than my wife, is able to hear them conversing amongst themselves.

I am a priest of the nine Mayan gods. When they have a message for me, they normally communicate with me in words in my mind, as my spirit guides do. But sometimes not; sometimes I just “know” what I’m to do; other times I just feel their mood (especially when they’re happy).

However, when the message is for someone else – for me to give to another person, or for me about another person – then they usually show it to me indirectly, by means of omens.

Omens are odd, unusual occurrences that have a symbolic meaning. My benefactress, the person who gave me the Mayan priesthood, has dreams in which the nine Mayan gods appear. She has told me that they appear to her as longhaired hippies. The only time one of the Mayan gods ever came to me in a dream he was wearing a three-piece suit.

However, Mescalito, the spirit of the peyote cactus, interacts with me on a much deeper level than my spirit guides or the Mayan gods do. I just know what Mescalito is communicating to me, even though there’s nothing verbal about it. Somehow or other it comes from what I take to be a very, very deep level.

The one time the Virgin Mary appeared to me, I only felt her presence. I didn’t get a visual, nor did she speak. I had been looking for land to buy in a remote Mayan village, and, as I walked around the village, I was getting a lot of suspicion and bad vibes from the locals.

My spirit guides suggested that I go to the marketplace and buy a candle, and light it in the village church before the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I was to ask her to make a place for myself amongst these people.

When I did so I suddenly felt myself transported into the presence of a young woman – perhaps 20 years old at the most. This being was totally loving and compassionate, and she filled me with a sense of complete acceptance, nurturance, and joy.

Ever since that day I’ve prayed to her every morning to help me open my heart, even though I’m nominally Jewish. I was taught to reject Jesus, that that would be the ultimate betrayal of my roots, but nothing was ever said about the Virgin Mary.

On various occasions religious statues in churches and temples have come to life momentarily before my eyes. Indeed, that is precisely what religious images are designed to do. If you are interested in communicating with spirits, praying to statues or images representative of the spirits of your religion can be a fruitful place to begin.

There are also nature spirits, such as mountain spirits, cave spirits, water spirits, tree spirits, and so forth. These spirits can be the most helpful of all to budding magicians. Where spirit guides guide, nature spirits can actually transform us. This is the crux of the spiritual path, the difference between momentary inspiration and real, permanent change.

It has been said – for example by Buddhists and by Castaneda’s teacher Don Juan – that real transformation, true spiritual growth, is impossible without the help of a living, enlightened guru. This is true, but it’s not true.

Near-death experiences can do this for us in sudden fashion; and nature spirits can also do it for us in a slower, more relaxed manner. Nature spirits can actually get in there and work on us on our deepest, light fiber level, gently dissolving our lower selves and liberating our true feelings.

Nature spirits, particularly cave and mountain spirits, often have powerful personalities. They should be approached with the greatest respect. Although every cave and mountain has a spirit, not all of these spirits are useful to humans. Sometimes such nature spirits are indifferent. At other times they are inimical to humans.

For example, the San Pedro volcano on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan has happy, loving vibes. The town of San Pedro just beneath it is a light, happy place. But the next volcano over, Atitlan, is cold and hard and forbidding. The town of Santiago, which lies beneath it, is kind of an uptight place – famous for its black magicians and sorcery, and the scene of several massacres during and after the recent guerrilla war.

In order to make use of water spirits, it is first necessary to find them. This is not that hard to do. In an arid or semi-arid area, any water hole or spring will house a water spirit. Ponds, lakes, and oceans in their entirety can be considered to house one large spirit.

Along rivers and streams you frequently find water spirits residing at spots where there are deep pools, waterfalls, rapids, or at bends in the river where there is a change in the vegetation or rock formations.

Water spirits also reside at spots that are particularly lovely, different, attention-getting in some way or other. You find them by feel. Water spirits are used for washing off our self-importance: bad moods, self-pity, and negative vibes that other people lay on us.

Rock spirits are found in a similar way: by the feel of the way they look. The vortices around Sedona, AZ are a good example. Rock spirits can stabilize you and give you strength. This is good for athletes training for a contest or soldiers going to battle. Rock spirits also give fortitude – good for women who are weak in pregnancy. They also buttress your discipline, staying power, tenacity, and self-confidence. It’s good to go to rock spirits when you need to be bolstered somehow; whereas water spirits are most useful when there’s something you need to wash off.

You should feel an attraction to the place where a nature spirit resides. If you don’t feel an attraction for the place, don’t use it, no matter how extraordinary it may look. It’s not that going to the wrong spirit will hurt you, although there are evil spirits out there. It’s just that if you don’t have an affinity with the spirit – feel a definite attraction or good feeling about the place – then it wouldn’t be able to help you much. A doctor may be an excellent practitioner, but if he doesn’t have an affinity with the patient then there’s not much he can do for him. The same is true of spirits.

The physical appearance of the spot where a nature spirit abides is a useful check, but it shouldn’t be allowed to be the only criteria. Just because a place looks gloomy or frightens us a little doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it. Powerful spirits are always a bit frightening. They command respect, and will righteously punish disrespect. They can actually knock us around if we approach them in a casual or offhand way.

A good friend of mine, a magician, was once climbing a spirit mountain with his baby daughter in his arms. Evidently the mountain spirit felt that his mood was disrespectful, since near the top there was a sudden clap of thunder out of a blue sky.

My friend understood at once that he had blown it. He lost his footing and tumbled down. Since he was trying to protect the baby he couldn’t protect himself, and he broke his collarbone in three places. Since then he hasn’t been able to windsurf; and formerly he was the windsurfing champion of Central America.

The point isn’t that we must be in dour, super-serious moods to visit power places and nature spirits. Rather, we must approach them with respect. That’s all.

When you have found a likely nature spirit, i.e. when you feel that you’re in the right place, approach the spirit by making an obeisance. Approach it as you would a wise old person whom you are asking to help you. You can take it a little present, such as flowers or some object meaningful to you.

Try to feel the personality of that spirit, sense its energy. Is it an active, dominating male presence or a receptive, soothing female presence? Does it seem to be young and vigorous or old and placid?

Some of the feeling is usually reflected in the physical appearance of the place. The spirit will tell you what to do there. Whatever it is that you feel you should do, go for it.

Pay close attention to all your thoughts and feelings when you are in the presence of a spirit. In the beginning it’s difficult to tell which are our thoughts and feelings, and which are the spirit talking to us.

After a bit of practice it’s not hard to tell which is which. If you are in a relaxed, open state of mind in the presence of a nature spirit, then probably any thoughts or feelings you have are communications from the spirit. You would probably have regarded them as your own thoughts and feelings unless this fact was to be pointed out to you at the moment.

However, it doesn’t really matter if you can consciously channel the spirit talking to you or not. This is actually a sidetrack, since the real healing work that nature spirits do has nothing to do with thoughts or feelings. They deal with us on a much deeper level than thoughts or feelings.

So if you go to a nature spirit in good faith, with an open heart, the spirit’s power will heal you with every visit.

(excerpted from Magical Almanac free monthly ezine: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MagicalAlmanac)

Click here to read: What are Spirits? Part 1

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The Brain Does NOT Create Consciousness http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/22/brain-create-consciousness/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/22/brain-create-consciousness/#comments Sat, 22 Mar 2014 23:23:28 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=36962 Debbie West, Contributor
Waking Times

In a recent interview on Waking Times aired on The People’s Voice Network, Dr. Eben Alexander, Harvard Neurosurgeon presents compelling scientific research in the field of consciousness that examines the unfolding reality that the brain does NOT create consciousness. Misleading concepts that focus … More

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Flickr-space and time-NASADebbie West, Contributor
Waking Times

In a recent interview on Waking Times aired on The People’s Voice Network, Dr. Eben Alexander, Harvard Neurosurgeon presents compelling scientific research in the field of consciousness that examines the unfolding reality that the brain does NOT create consciousness. Misleading concepts that focus on reductive materialism have kept us in the dark about the true nature of the human soul and its integral part in our evolution as spiritual beings.

“The old paradigm of birth to death represents an outdated concept that is woefully inadequate in defining the unfolding reality of expanded awareness,” he stated in the interview with Waking Times. “Materialist science is at the end of its days as most scientists are changing their views. The old concepts are soon to be relegated to the same dust bin as ‘the earth is flat’ as we develop a more mature understanding and transcend old beliefs.”

Supported by worldwide research that is now delving into the concepts of string theory that involves a complete reworking of our outdated and limited views of space/time means that we are now entering a phase where science will greatly expand its boundaries. The foundation of the research begins with the clear understanding of the “Soul”, or conscious spirit, that exists outside of the body and is eternal.

“Consciousness is at the core to unfolding all of reality”, states Alexander.

The brain operates the body based on input from the personality, but the higher intelligence, or subconscious, is the mechanism that controls the body, and that is the soul that we have yet to acknowledge or even begin to understand. That is the free will component that exists long after the body stops. Near-death, paranormal, mysticism, past life memories, and akashic records are now a common thread that drives home the conclusion that there exists a soul within the human body that transcends the human experience. As we acknowledge the essence of our soul, we let go of the limitations of the illusional earth-based mentality and reach out to the greater cosmos of life. Many additional realms exist beyond the earth and in other dimensions of time/space. As spiritual beings, we can easily access these places.

Edgar Cayce, the father of holistic medicine, pioneered the concept in modern times that we are indeed “spiritual beings having a human experience”, but this is only a reemergence of what our ancestors already knew.

This time on earth will be one where we all transcend the false boundaries that convince us that we are separate entities and develop the understanding of the oneness that we all share, meaning that we don’t have to be either scientific or spiritual. Merging science and spirituality creates a new foundation for our peaceful coexistence in the greater cosmos.

Read Deborah West’s columns at The New Era Times for her personal views.

References:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/biocentrism/201112/does-the-soul-exist-evidence-says-yes

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/10/29/science-now-proves-reincarnation-a-look-at-the-souls-journey-after-death/

http://www.sott.net/article/271933-Scientists-claim-that-Quantum-Theory-proves-consciousness-moves-to-another-universe-at-death

For more about Dr. Eben Alexander: http://www.eternea.org/

For more about Sacred Acoustics: http://www.sacredacoustics.com/

About the Author

Deborah West worked in corporate public relations and media for over 20 years and is currently a freelancer, reporting on a wide variety of topics including disclosure, ancient and multidimensional civilizations, the the shift in humanity’s consciousness and brings truthful reporting to topics ranging from healthcare to energy. She writes a column called Lost Knowledge at The New Era Times and has a weekly radio show called Lost Knowledge on Tuesdays 3-5pm CST. To see her articles go to:  http://www.tnetimes.com/contributor/deborah_west/92/

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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We’re All Complete Little Bits of God http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/22/complete-little-bits-of-god/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/22/complete-little-bits-of-god/#comments Sat, 22 Mar 2014 21:14:22 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=36967 Ida Lawrence, Contributor
Waking Times

I don’t ever want to see another person hurt in love… in fact, I don’t ever want to see another person or animal or piece of the earth hurt at all, in any way. The energy of injustice and betrayal, conflict and injury, entrapment, deception, … More

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Flickr-spark-GrossalberIda Lawrence, Contributor
Waking Times

I don’t ever want to see another person hurt in love… in fact, I don’t ever want to see another person or animal or piece of the earth hurt at all, in any way. The energy of injustice and betrayal, conflict and injury, entrapment, deception, terror and fear of death, is food for the emotion suckers… and they are well fed nowadays. It is through the emotions that an individual can be drained of inner power, so the emotional system is a really vital one to look at.

We don’t want to be ‘emotion-less’, we don’t want to be ‘emotion-controlled’, and we don’t want to be food for the energy vampires, so what do we do?

It seems we have been trying a lot of options: avoidance, affirmations, positive thinking, distractions, justification, creative imagining, forgiveness, understanding… and there it still is. We’re in a hurtin’ world, and sometimes in a hurtin’ place in our relationships too.

I’ve been thinking about how we can deal with the emotional from an ‘overstand’ position. I like the feel of the word ‘overstand’ more than the word detach, because ‘detach’ seems so uninvolved and even cold – kind of a ‘what happens is God’s will’ feeling. We’re all complete little bits of God… what is our will?

From the personal to the global, we find our hearts confronted. We might say well, that’s life in 3-D. It is, but actually, life in 3-D is pretty full-on intense right now. If the scope of this is a divine war, which I believe it is, then we have a role to play in easing suffering. In a very real sense, we Are the will of God. Everyone is. So whatever the battlefront, we are called upon to be soldiers.

As consciousness expands, the heart opens, and we begin to feel. I know many of us feel the suffering of family and friends, and of the collective… the earth, the animals, the people. It comes into our hearts not as emotion, but more as an awareness that contains pain. I imagine we all have a process through which we deal with it. My personal process is to acknowledge that it is there, and then give thanks… yes, I can feel. I’m so grateful to be connected to the heart of the ‘other’. That’s a first step.

Since we’re connected to the people and animals and life, our awareness, warm heart, and gratitude for consciousness may possibly mitigate the suffering of others just a little. That is a hope that we can harbor. Overstanding offers protection for our own emotional system as well, as gratitude and love can form a barrier, or if not a barrier, at least have a transformative effect on the incoming emotional assault.

Concurrently with the process, it helps to keep in mind, in a Knowing sense, that the higher beings, and perhaps our own transdimensional higher self, overstand us as well. This is not fantasy. Evolved energies do exist, as do devolved ones.

There are as many battlefronts as there are soldiers, but the point of all of our battles is that the light comes in. Whether we are being kind to someone, or uncovering a deception, or bringing the earth back to life, or helping someone to heal, or doing the all-important work of self-knowing and self-healing… we are bringing the light in.

People talk about gratitude a lot, and the word can be diminished, but yes, it’s the word for the feeling. We are grateful for the light in our heart/mind; reverent in fact, as it is our divinity. We protect it, adhere to it, and shine it into spaces that are a little denser or darker than we are. This is not the bleeding heart, or the angry heart at work, it is simply the chalice… the container of that incredible, fecundate mix of sorrow and joy that is able to hold its position in battle and give birth to new possibilities.

Are we overestimating the power of the heartless? I’ve often thought that we are, even as we watch them face exposure and the crumbling of their ‘best laid plans’. People say that the only thing that is real in this illusory world, is love. But soldiers don’t fight with love… they Are love… and they fight with truth. Love and truth are one and the same, and truth wins over the illusion every single time.

About the Author

Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from http://talk2momz.com/.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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