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Indigenous Shaman Shares Warning About the Amazon and All Life on Earth

The Yanomami Shaman Davi Kopenawa is a messenger for our time.

“The forest is alive. It can only die if the whites continue destroying it. If they do, rivers will disappear under the earth, the soil will crumble, the trees will wither, and the stones will melt in the heat. A desiccated earth will become empty and silent. The Xapiri spirits who came down from the mountains to play on their mirrors will flee far away. Their fathers, the shamans, will no longer be able to call them and to make them dance to protect us. They will be unable to push back the smoke of the epidemics that are devouring us. They will no longer be able to contain the evil spirits that will turn the forest into chaos. We will die one after the other, the white as much as us. All the shamans will finish by dying out. If none of them survive to hold on to it, the sky will fall.”  — Davi Kopenawa

Davi Kopenawa

It is a most vital and perhaps the most urgent singular Indigenous voice Davi Kopenawa brings to the outside world in his book “The Falling Sky” published in 2010: it is the conscience of the rainforest itself unlike anything we have witnessed this century. It embodies the mind of the Amazon and narrates the journey into the rarefied, inner landscape of the shamanic world. Davi, called the Dalai Lama of the Rainforest, speaks words composed of myth, of thunder and lightning and spirit beings honored since time immemorial, whose chorus is dwindling in light of what remains of the largest rainforest on Earth. Narrated by a Yanomami shaman it is a revelation of an Indigenous people facing the onslaught of the dominant society felling and desecrating their forest home. Davi wants white people and foreigners of the world to know what is happening to the forest and his people the Yanomami of southern Venezuela and Northern Brazil, a tribe of about 35,000, and what will ultimately happen to us all if the life force of the Amazon is lost.

About 30 years ago, miners killed 16 of their tribe, including a baby in Haximu village. Five miners were guilty of genocide. More recently miners from northern Brazil were confronted by two Yanomami, who died in the encounter. 2019 finally launched the global campaign to expel 20,000 gold miners who are illegally prospecting on Yanomami land. The future of the Yanomami may very well rest on how this epic struggle is resolved.

Thomas Lovejoy, who has been teaching climate change biology for 30 years and introduced the term biological diversity, along with other ecologists have long warned that mining, palm plantations, and cattle could destroy the hydrological cycle of the Amazon. Some even believe the time is now to monetize the forest in a green economy, which includes aquaculture, medical and plant knowledge and a resources base that actually looks to make the Amazon invaluable for the future. The time is now to put a price on what can renewably be cultivated from biodiversity’s “greatest showroom” the “living library” of the Amazon according to Lovejoy.

The Swiss firm Re estimates that half of the global GDP of $42 trillion depends on resilient biodiversity. Robert Costanza, an ecological economist, says the ecosystem yearly yields a return of 100 to 1. Some like Timothy Weiskel, formerly at the Harvard Divinity School, are outraged by the notion of affixing a price tag or cost benefit analysis to ecosystems. But Costanza believes it is a way of seeing nature in a pragmatic way, by putting numbers on the overall destruction and loss that results in biospheric damage. Acting on this will be the hard part but perhaps a key way to persuade policymakers to see the actual cost of exploitation. Planetary accounting writ very large.

Costanza notes that the biosphere can yearly be valued at 33 trillion dollars not as mere commodity but in terms of renewable value. The value for humanity and life on Earth may seem counterintuitive, because it is ultimately priceless, but if one attaches a monetary value to the resource base of let’s say a forest, then it becomes more tangible. One of the challenges we face is to calculate the metrics of what ecosystems are worth in monetary terms. It would be mandated by government in everything from bond markets to investment banking so that nature, our life support system, is included in the decision-making financial system. So far nature has been left out of the economic balance sheet. If humanity wishes to survive, some say, we can no longer allow this separation.


Photo credit: Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson

As for the president of Brazil, for the crimes he has encouraged in burning the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro’s possible trial looms at the Hague. The world might finally take heed of punishing those who have allowed almost 17 percent of the Amazon to go up in smoke. Just 20-25 percent loss, experts say, would be the point of no return for the greatest rainforest on Earth. It would turn to savanna and one of the most irreplaceable carbon sinks on Earth will be no more. The Amazon may already have become a net emitter of carbon, at humanity’s immense peril. The vastest jungle on Earth may have already reached the tipping point. But Lovejoy also underscores that despite increasing droughts in the Amazon, it is still possible to reforest some of the destruction that has been imposed on the jungle and bring back some “margin of safety against dieback.” He encourages all the Amazon countries to come together and create an integrated management plan for the future of the Amazon. But they have to do it soon. The hydroelectric dams and the roads that have sliced through the jungle since the 1970s have fragmented the Amazon. It is very late in the game but some are finally coming to understand the immense importance of the hydrological cycle of the largest jungle on the planet. There is simply less moisture being created in the Amazon. As forests burn around the world, the implications for the world are beyond enormous.

Davi’s understanding of the rainforest, issues from an ancient and cellular order of being, the other worlds he has penetrated beyond the surface and outer reality of what we perceive. Beyond the digital surface of our super specialized technological society, is a wide web of inner vision, the larger fabric of life that spans the animate and the perceptual. Very few have access to this inner world. In this time of gold diggers and cattle rustlers it is time the world listened to the first peoples of the world, before their world and ours disappears.

To read Davi’s book is to listen to a cosmological missive to the world, as close to the heart of Earth’s mind as is possible. Years ago not far from the Yanomami territory we had just heard of Davi’s people but little else. We had occasion to see, before the great tumult in Venezuela, the majestic Angel Falls, the tallest on Earth at 970 meters, its sheer height, like the tresses of a goddess dissolving into mist from the impossible height of the Tepui formations made of Precambrian sandstone rocks. We only heard hints of a people on the far frontier of Venezuela and Brazil, people who as Davi describes, had dreams such as we the “civilized people” did not have.

In fact, Davi acknowledges that white people do not think very far ahead. The Yanomami’s world is directed by paths in the jungle rather than merchandise. We live on different planets. “White people think we are ignorant because we don’t possess paper on which to write our words. What lies. We will only really become ignorant only when we no longer have shamans. It is from the yakoana (plant) and the spirits of the forest that we learn. We can see lands very far away, we can enter the body of the sky or descend into the subterranean world,” he says. The visions of supervening forces and energies that tie life together as one web is not something most of us are privy to. Without entering or having the consciousness or the images of the beings of the first time, we cannot begin to understand what Davi has seen or alludes to. It is very reminiscent of what the Aboriginal elders referred to as the Dreamtime and the Creator Beings, wavelengths of formative primal energies we cannot really fathom because it is a psychodynamic and sensual reality we long ago lost touch with in the modern world and energies that all our technological prowess cannot see or feel.

Some of the “witches,” healers, wisdom keepers, the messengers of nature in Europe had a connection with the planet. And what did we did do to them? Many we burned at the stake because they represented another understanding entirely, another way of seeing born of the much older pagan world and not the world view of the Church. Today we are burning the world for trinkets, for the lackluster realm of the modern economic system, for vast soy bean plantations and cattle and mining operations. It is among the greatest follies of our civilization and literally costing humanity the lifeline to life itself. In Davi’s eyes, in his spiritual sight especially, the gambling machine of the business world is built on quicksand. Our civilization is burning itself to the ground. It is not just his peoples who are disappearing. It is also us.


Photo credit: Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson


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Omama, the primal energy, is still the stuff of science fiction even for most specialists and those frequencies of consciousness we attempt to see with instruments cannot penetrate the veil of the shaman’s inner vision. Perhaps the oldest essential way of communing with nature, shamanism is a “sight” we are on the verge of losing as a species. What we are experiencing worldwide is partially due to the loss of this larger vision that a few elders still encompass. They live in a manifold world of many colors, songs and dimensions while we inhabit the world of the economic sphere and its short term returns. The two live on different planets. And worldwide, the elders are dying of the virus. What indeed will remain of their vision?

Davi is worried that the younger generation will not only lose the forest, but also that they will be beholden to the machine and motor vehicles, having to trace words on paper because our spirits are forgetful and will no longer remember our original instructions, which is to take care of the world.

Even if these realities seem arcane and primal beyond the highly specialized and fragmented modern industrial reality, the Yanomami, whose men are warriors and who can be brutal have lived in the forests for thousands of years without overwhelming their habitat. The recent invasion of 20,000 gold miners in the Orinoco basin is an affront to their way of life and is extinguishing a society much older than civilization. In light of the microbes our species has to confront and the threat of future pandemics, which could arise from the tropics, Davi’s words speak of a covenant with the very fabric of cellular memory embedded in the plants and the radical light that suffuses Creation. The extraordinary death toll Brazilians have had to endure in such cities as Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon, gives enormous relevance to Davi’s words. If we are still arguing over what we must do at the end of this decade, it will be too late.

Davi exclaims, “With these words, I want to simply warn the white man that the bad things they extract from the earth will not make them rich very long! The value of our dead will be very high and they will certainly not be able to compensate us with their paper skins (their contracts). There is no money that can buy the forest, the hills and the rivers. Their money will be worth nothing…They must understand this. The ghosts of the old shamans and their evil spirits have already started to take vengeance on far way lands by provoking droughts and endless floods. It is why, if the whites do not make us all die, we will continue to call on the spirits to consolidate the forest and prevent the sky from falling.

“The forest is intelligent and has thought identical to ours. I listen to the words of my spirits who ask with anger, ‘Why are the whites so hostile? Why do they want us to die? What do they have against us that, we have done nothing to them. Is it only because we are other peoples, the peoples of the jungle? Do not worry, they will kill you, maybe, but they will not long stay unharmed by their destruction!’ It is so. We are saddened by the idea of disappearing. But our thoughts are quieted by the thought that the spirits are innumerable and will never die.

“If we disappear, the whites will not live long after us. Even if there are many of them, they are not made of strong, any more than us. Their life breath is as short as ours. They can suppress us today, but later, when they will want to move in places where we once lived, they will be devoured in their turn, by all sorts of bad spirits. We will see if they are as powerful as they think! We will plunge them in darkness and storms. We will break the sky and its fall will sweep them away. Be finally warned! Stop pillaging our earth, because the smoke of your epidemic will finish us all off and when you build your towns on our forgotten vestiges in the forest, you will destroy yourselves. The spirits of the shamans you have killed will avenge themselves.

“If you destroy the forest, the sky will break and it will fall on the earth. The whites are not afraid, as we are, to be crushed by the falling sky. But one day, they will fear it as much as we do. The shamans know what bad things menace human beings. There is only one sky, and one has to worry because if it becomes sick, everything will be finished.”

Since a child, Davi has been warned of foreigners and missionaries who considered the Yanomani primitive heathens, and has been wary of the white man’s God. “Maybe God will punish me and will cause me to die. It doesn’t matter, I’m not white. I do not want to know anything about him. He has no friendship with the inhabitants of the forest. He doesn’t cure our children. He doesn’t defend our earth against gold miners and ranchers. It is not he who makes us happy. His words only know threats and fear. Even today, the people of God haven’t stopped terrifying me. When I have the occasion to meet them they tell me – Davi, your thinking is obscure. You are possessed by Satan. If you keep listening to his words you will burn in the fire pit. Stop answering the spirts so your thoughts can blossom anew with the words of God. It he who will really protect you.”


Photo credit: Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson

The God of foreigners have been setting the Amazon on fire for years. Everything the forest has taught the Yanomami and countless other tribes for generations is under threat ecologically and also spiritually due to the rampage of the pandemic, which is killing off elders all over the world. Their knowledge translates to perhaps 25,000 years of experiential wisdom that will never be brought back if lost. In this time of climate change their understanding of the planetary “mind” is among the most sophisticated on Earth. Davi has heard of original sin from those who preach the gospel and yet what has happened, is happening and could continue to ravage the forest, is the greatest scourge of our time. Davi defends himself against the foreign God by saying, “We are not bad. We are simply not Whites. We are such as our ancestors have always been. For us all the words of the White Man are in vain. God must be lazy because he makes no effort to cure us, even when we are in agony. We are dying without them caring in the least.”

With the word in upheaval it is time, it might seem, to listen to those who have not destroyed their world. We are beholden to “sad leaves” as Davi calls money. But Davi has known that whatever befalls his people will also befall modern civilization. This is the decade of reckoning. Either we pull back from the brink or the sky will crumble and so will the Earth. In listening to the shamans and the elders of the jungle, we might learn something about life on Earth, that might actually save us.

As Davi says, “If there are no longer any shamans in the forests, the white man will consume himself before becoming blind. He will end by suffocating, reduced to a state of a ghost, and will fall to pieces. Then we will all be carried into the darkness of the subterranean world, the Whites as well as us. There is only one sky and one has to take care of it, because if it becomes sick, everything will be finished.”

Watch the upcoming Trailer for ‘The Last Forest’, written by Davi Kopenawa

CIA releases ‘Black Vault’ of UFO documents early: Here’s How to See Them

Federal intelligence on extraterrestrial technology — at your fingertips.

By way of the Freedom of Information Act, thousands of the CIA documents on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) — or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), as the government calls them — are now accessible via download at the Black Vault, a website operated by author and podcaster John Greenwald Jr.

The CIA claims they have now provided all the information on UAP they have, though there is no way to know that’s true.

“Research by The Black Vault will continue to see if there are additional documents still uncovered within the CIA’s holdings,” Greenwald promised in a statement on his website.

The release comes months before the Pentagon was due to brief Congress on all they know about UAP — a date dictated in the most recent COVID-19 relief bill, of all places, which passed in late December.

The demands for alien intel became so many that the CIA eventually compiled it onto a CD-ROM, obtained by Greenwald and uploaded to the Black Vault, divvied into dozens of downloadable .PDFs.

In this CIA UFO document, the Assistant Deputy Director for Science & Technology (A/DDS&T) was shown an exhibit handcarried to his office related to a UFO

Greenwald told Vice’s Motherboard that he believes the documents are made difficult to parse for calculated reasons. “The CIA has made it INCREDIBLY difficult to use their records in a reasonable manner,” he said of the “outdated” file format. “In my opinion, this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to see the documents, and use them, for any research purpose.”


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Greenwald had levied multiple FOIA requests during the past two decades in pursuit of non-confidential findings on UAP collected by the US government since 1996, he said in a Jan. 7 blog post. In a 2020 interview, he told the Columbia Journalism Review that he began to inquire with the CIA as a teenager.

Among the cache’s most intriguing clues is a heavily redacted document that shows that a former CIA assistant deputy director for science and technology “exhibited interest” in one particular unnamed object.

“He decided he would personally look into it, and after, he gave advice on moving forward. That advice is classified,” Greenwald tweeted from the Black Vault Twitter account.

The dump comes at a moment in history when Americans are particularly interested in alien intelligence, indicated by a recent uptick in UFO sightings, and viral popularity of media relating to extraterrestrial life.

Last year, the Defense Department officially declassified shocking video taken by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015, which made international headlines when it was first leaked by To The Stars Academy, a UFO research group founded by former Blink-182 rocker Tom DeLonge in 2017 and 2018.

At the time, the department asserted that the footage “does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems” and “does not impinge on any subsequent investigations.”

via New York Post

Physicists Prove Anyons Exist, a Third Type of Particle in the Universe

For decades, scientists have merely guessed it exists. They finally found proof it does.

After decades of exploration in nature’s smallest domains, physicists have finally found evidence that anyons exist. First predicted by theorists in the early 1980s, these particle-like objects only arise in realms confined to two dimensions, and then only under certain circumstances — like at temperatures near absolute zero and in the presence of a strong magnetic field.

Physicists are excited about anyons not only because their discovery confirms decades of theoretical work, but also for practical reasons. For example: Anyons are at the heart of an effort by Microsoft to build a working quantum computer.

These particle-like objects only arise in realms confined to two dimensions, and then only under certain circumstances—like at temperatures near absolute zero and in the presence of a strong magnetic field,

This year brought two solid confirmations of the quasiparticles. The first arrived in April, in a paper featured on the cover of Science, from a group of researchers at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Using an approach proposed four years ago, physicists sent an electron gas through a teeny-tiny particle collider to tease out weird behaviors — especially fractional electric charges — that only arise if anyons are around. The second confirmation came in July, when a group at Purdue University in Indiana used an experimental setup on an etched chip that screened out interactions that might obscure the anyon behavior.

MIT physicist Frank Wilczek, who predicted and named anyons in the early 1980s, credits the first paper as the discovery but says the second lets the quasiparticles shine. “It’s gorgeous work that makes the field blossom,” he says. Anyons aren’t like ordinary elementary particles; scientists will never be able to isolate one from the system where it forms. They’re quasiparticles, which means they have measurable properties like a particle — such as a location, maybe even a mass — but they’re only observable as a result of the collective behavior of other, conventional particles. (Think of the intricate geometric shapes made by group behavior in nature, such as flocks of birds flying in formation or schools of fish swimming as one.)

The known universe contains only two varieties of elementary particles. One is the family of fermions, which includes electrons, as well as protons, neutrons, and the quarks that form them. Fermions keep to themselves: No two can exist in the same quantum state at the same time. If these particles didn’t have this property, all matter could simply collapse to a single point. It’s because of fermions that solid matter exists.

The rest of the particles in the universe are bosons, a group that includes particles like photons (the messengers of light and radiation) and gluons (which “glue” quarks together). Unlike fermions, two or more bosons can exist in the same state as the same time.


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They tend to clump together. It’s because of this clumping that we have lasers, which are streams of photons all occupying the same quantum state.

Anyons don’t fit into either group. What makes anyons especially exciting for physicists is they exhibit something analogous to particle memory. If a fermion orbits another fermion, its quantum state remains unchanged. Same goes for a boson.

Anyons are different. If one moves around another, their collective quantum state shifts. It might require three or even five or more revolutions before the anyons return to their original state. This slight shift in the wave acts like a kind of memory of the trip. This property makes them appealing objects for quantum computers, which depend on quantum states that are notoriously fragile and prone to errors. Anyons suggest a more robust way to store data.

Wilczek points out that anyons represent a whole “kingdom” containing many varieties with exotic behaviors that can be explored and harnessed in the future. He began thinking about them about 40 years ago in graduate school, when he became frustrated with proofs that only established the existence of two kinds of particles.

He envisioned something else, and when asked about their other properties or where to find these strange in-betweeners, half-jokingly said, “anything goes” — giving rise to the name.

Now, he says, the new studies are just the beginning. Looking forward, he sees anyons as a tool for finding exotic states of matter that, for now, remain wild ideas in physicists’ theories.

Source – Discover Magazine

What is Cosmic Consciousness? The 5 Main Signals of Awakened Beings

Summary
In 1901 Canadian psychiatrist Richard M. Bucke gathered 36 examples of people he believed had attained “cosmic consciousness,” including historical figures, such as the Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Dante. Bucke identified the 5 main characteristics of cosmic consciousness which we outline in this excerpt from Steve Taylor’s new book The Leap: The Psychology of Awakening.

To my knowledge, the first ever psychological study of what I call “wakefulness”—a higher-functioning expansive state of being—was conducted by Canadian psychiatrist Richard M. Bucke and published as Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind in 1901. Bucke gathered 36 examples of people he believed had attained “cosmic consciousness,” including historical figures, such as the Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Dante, and 18th-century Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, and a number of contemporaries, some of whom he knew personally.

Characteristics of Cosmic Consciousness

The main characteristics of cosmic consciousness as identified by Bucke are:

  • An intellectual revelation of the meaning, purpose, and aliveness of the universe
  • The subjective experience of an ‘inner light’
  • A moral elevation
  • A sense of immortality
  • Loss of the fear of death
  • An absence of the concept of sin

Bucke also highlights the importance of light. Cosmic consciousness may feature an experience of being “immersed in a flame or rose-colored cloud, or perhaps rather a sense that the mind is itself filled with such a cloud or haze.”

Bucke’s interest in cosmic consciousness was partly inspired by the poet Walt Whitman—initially by his poetry and then by his personal encounters with Whitman. Bucke not only included Whitman in his book as an example of cosmic consciousness but also regarded him as the “highest instance of Cosmic Consciousness” (above the Buddha and Jesus!). In Bucke’s view, Whitman was able to integrate his mystical consciousness into his ordinary personality without allowing it to take over and “tyrannize over the rest.” This meant that he could live in a completely ordinary way, interacting with ordinary people in everyday life, rather than become otherworldly and detached, and live as a monk or hermit.

Buddha-consciousness-mediation-spiritual

Although the details of his early life are sketchy, there are no signs that Whitman attained his wakefulness at a specific point in time. Sudden awakening is often triggered by a period of intense psychological turmoil (as I show in my book Out of the Darkness), but there’s no evidence that Whitman went through such turmoil in his early life. Whitman’s wakefulness was also not generated by prolonged and regular spiritual practice or by following a particular spiritual tradition. Eastern spiritual traditions and practices were little known in the United States during Whitman’s early years—he was born in 1819. In his later years, Whitman developed some familiarity with Indian philosophy but not any deep or detailed knowledge. (For example, when his contemporary Henry David Thoreau first read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, he was deeply impressed and said it was “wonderfully like the orientals.” Thoreau asked Whitman if he had read oriental works, and he replied, “No, tell me about them.”) Rather, Whitman’s wakefulness seems to have been completely organic and spontaneous, a state that was wholly natural to him.

Whitman lived in a state of heightened awareness. To him, the world was a fantastically real, beautiful, and fascinating place. As Bucke writes of him:

“His favourite occupation seemed to be strolling or sauntering about outdoors by himself, looking at the grass, the trees, the flowers, the vistas of light, the varying aspects of the sky, and listening to the birds, the crickets, the tree frogs, and all the hundreds of natural sounds. It was evident that these things gave him a pleasure far beyond what they give to ordinary people.”

With this heightened awareness, Whitman sensed the sacred aliveness of the world and the radiance and harmony of a spirit-force pervading every object and creature. The whole world was divine, including his own being and body. As he writes in the poem “Song of Myself”:

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch…
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and
each moment then,
In the faces of the men and women I see God, and I my own
                    face in the glass.

As well as bringing an intense sense of the is-ness of things, the heightened awareness of the wakeful state brings an intense sense of now-ness. Our present-tense experience—our awareness of our surroundings, perceptions, and sensations—becomes so powerful that we give complete attention to it. The past and future become completely unimportant as we realize that there’s only now, that life can only ever take place in the present moment. As a result, the whole concept of time becomes meaningless. Life is no longer a road with directions forward and backward; instead, it becomes a spacious panorama without movement or sequence. In Whitman’s words, “The past and present wilt—I have filled them, emptied them.” And here he describes his intense experience of nowness:


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I do not talk of beginning or end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now;
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Whitman’s awareness of a spirit-force pervading everything meant that to him there were no separate or independent phenomena. To him, all things were part of a greater unity. In his poem “On the Beach at Night, Alone,” for example, he describes his awareness that all things are part of a “vast similitude.” All suns, planets, human beings, animals, plants, all of the future and the past, and all of space are essentially one and the same:

This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
and shall forever span them, and compactly hold them, and enclose them.

Art by Oejerum

Whitman sensed himself as a part of this “vast similitude,” too. He felt such a strong connection between himself and other people that he shared his being with them; he felt that he actually was them. He writes, “I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,” and “all the men ever born are my brothers … and the women my sisters and lovers.”

Interestingly, as well as being recognized by Bucke as an example of cosmic consciousness, Whitman is highlighted by the psychologist Abraham Maslow as an example of what he calls the “self-actualized person.” One of their most pronounced characteristics, according to Maslow, is a powerful sense of appreciation and gratitude.

As Maslow writes, self-actualized people “have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.”

This was certainly true of Walt Whitman. When we hear the word miracle we usually think in terms of extraordinary feats such as healing incurable diseases or turning water into wine. But in the wakeful state, we don’t need to look outside the normal realm of things for miracles. Miracles are everywhere around us. The everyday world becomes strange and miraculous. As Whitman writes, “Who makes much of a miracle? As for me I know nothing but miracles.” It’s wonderful that he should be immortal, he writes, but “my eyesight is equally wonderful, and how I was conceived in my mother’s womb is equally wonderful.” But as far as he’s concerned, nothing is more miraculous than he himself: “Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.”

Whitman’s joyous celebration of life by no means meant ignoring death. On the contrary, the subject of death crops up again and again throughout his poems, right from the first pages of “Song of Myself” (where he says that it is “just as lucky to die” as it is to be born). Whitman sensed very powerfully that rather than be the end of our existence, death is actually a kind of liberation, a transition to a fuller and more blissful state. Like his fellow poet William Wordsworth sensing “intimations of immortality,” Whitman heard “whispers of heavenly death” everywhere around him. In a moving short poem, “To One Shortly to Die,” Whitman describes visiting a friend on his deathbed. The bed is surrounded by weeping relatives, but as Whitman rests his hand on his friend he senses that he is preparing to leave his body and beginning to transcend his pain. It’s not a time for sadness but for joy:

Strong thoughts fill you and confidence, you smile,
You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick.
You do not see the medicines, you do not mind the weeping friends, I am with you,
I exclude others from you, there is nothing to be commiserated,
I do not commiserate, I congratulate you.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. This article is an excerpt from his new book The Leap: The Psychology of Awakening.

UNGRIP — A Documentary on Common Law & Human Sovereignty

“All law forms today are based upon our consent, should the people of today discover the important truth that we can say no at anytime, we may find a revolution within the current system to be inevitable.”

— Ben Stewart,UNGRIP

Have you heard of a ‘natural person’ before?

When you are referred to by your name in capital letters, this is addressing you not as a human being, but as a Corporation. It’s a manufactured entity created by a governing structure through various legal documents (birth certificate, licenses, identification..etc) which are enforced only via our consent.


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This documentary unravels the unfathomably large veil that has been drawn over our eyes and has in turn manufactured and unnatural human civilisation and duped the masses into consensual slavery.

This film takes some time to digest and is worth repeat viewings as the information is so deeply counter to what has been fed to us for decades.

Pfizer Exposed: These Facts Reveal Morally Bankrupt History to COVID Pharmaceutical Supplier

COVID is a colossal financial opportunity. Especially for pharmaceutical companies. One of the most controversial companies, Pfizer, just secured a $2 billion deal with the US Government to supply over 600 million doses of the new experimental mRNA vax. This calls for some due diligence and a look into the morals and ethics that surround this companies background.

The US deal itself makes up for the $2.3bn criminal fine Pfizer received from the US government back in 2009 — the biggest criminal fine in US history.

In recent times, it was just last week that Pfizer CEO Dumped 62% Of His Stock On COVID announcement, a legal insider trading move that again brought into question Pfizer’s integrity, a case Oxfam has consistently pointed out since it accused Pfizer of moral bankruptcy in 2001.

Watch the Video


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This video exposes the disturbing facts and malpractice behind Pfizer’s countless international court cases. And with hundreds of million’s of people’s health on the line, it’s standard due diligence to investigate the company supplying a global COVID solution.

What’s your thoughts?

Should we unquestionably trust in these companies to fast-track and rapidly supply a safe global solution to the virus? Or should we be publicly questioning their integrity and ask for transparency along the way.

Awakening, Intuition and What Nature Teaches Us with Samuel Austin

Episode #31 with Samuel Austin

“In this episode, Shaun and I are joined by the powerfully wise Samuel Austin, founder of Live Learn Evolve

Samuel is a digital wizard who, through his platform – samaustindesign.com, utilises his creativity and technological expertise for the betterment of humanity and nature.

He is also the founder of Live Learn Evolve – a digital platform publishing some of the most profound and thought provoking content around self realisation, spirituality, philosophy, art and science, with the aim to drive the emergence of a more conscious humanity.

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Sam is also the creator of the documentary, Awakening the Soul – a deep-dive into the emerging psychedelic plant medicine scene, exploring how and why Ayahuasca is so profoundly effective at revolutionising people’s lives and catalysing miraculous healing.


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Sam is a powerful conduit for the plants and is currently doing some amazing work in Costa Rica with Rythmia – one of the leading plant medicine dispensary centres in the world.”

Episode Timestamps

  • 4:00 – The moment of awakening into presence
  • 10:02 – The dance between seeking and finding
  • 11:30 – The necessity of experiencing trauma
  • 13:26 – Tuning into intuition and universal law
  • 17:13 – Seeing from the heart, not from the mind
  • 22:35 – Blind hedonism and human naiveté
  • 29:36 – The catalytic effects of plant medicine
  • 32:41 – True healing can only occur from within
  • 35:01 – The war on addiction and labelling drugs
  • 40:45 – The only task is to do The Work and express your truth
  • 42:25 – The polarities of alignment and misalignment
  • 44:10 – There are no beginnings or ends
  • 46:12 – Anchoring in the felt dimension and remembrance
  • 48:25 – Remembrance found in presence
  • 50:29 – The only constant is change
  • 53:00 – Truly listen and you will always be guided
  • 54:51 – What questions are you asking?
  • 55:35 – The prescribed path may not be your path

Listen to the episode below!

5 Ways Meditation Will Transform Your Life by Pema Chödrön

Yes, it’s a strange thing to do — just sit there and do basically nothing. Yet the simple act of stopping, says Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. It’s a long one, but quite honestly the most convincing perspective I’ve come across. Here are five ways meditation can transform your life:

There are numerous ways to work with the mind. One of the most effective is through the tool of sitting meditation. Sitting meditation opens us to each and every moment of our life. Each moment is totally unique and unknown. Our mental world is seemingly predictable and graspable. We believe that thinking through all the events and to-dos of our life will provide us with ground and security. But it’s all a fantasy, and this very moment, free of conceptual overlay, is completely unique. It is absolutely unknown. We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now. Meditation teaches us how to relate to life directly, so we can truly experience the present moment, free from conceptual overlay.

“Meditation gives us the opportunity to have an open, compassionate attentiveness to whatever is going on. The meditative space is like the big sky— spacious, vast enough to accommodate anything that arises.”

As we meditate, we are nurturing five qualities that begin to come forth over the months and years that we practice. You might find it helpful to reconnect with these qualities whenever you ask yourself, “Why am I meditating?”

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1. DEVELOP LOYALTY TO YOURSELF

The first quality—namely, the first thing that we’re doing when we meditate—is cultivating and nurturing steadfastness with ourselves. I was talking to someone about this once, and she asked, “Is this steadfastness sort of like loyalty? What are we being loyal to?” Through meditation, we are developing a loyalty to ourselves. This steadfastness that we cultivate in meditation translates immediately into loyalty to one’s experience of life.

“which could be your mind going a hundred miles an hour, your body twitching, your head pounding, your heart full of fear, whatever comes up—you stay with the experience.”

Steadfastness means that when you sit down to meditate and you allow yourself to experience what’s happening in that moment—which could be your mind going a hundred miles an hour, your body twitching, your head pounding, your heart full of fear, whatever comes up—you stay with the experience. That’s it. Sometimes you can sit there for an hour and it doesn’t get any better. Then you might say, “Bad meditation session. I just had a bad meditation session.” But the willingness to sit there for ten minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, a half hour, an hour, however long you sat there—this is a compassionate gesture of developing loyalty or steadfastness to yourself.

We have such a tendency to lay a lot of labels, opinions, and judgments on top of what’s happening. Steadfastness—loyalty to yourself—means that you let those judgments go. So, in a way, part of the steadfastness is that when you notice your mind is going a million miles an hour and you’re thinking about all kinds of things, there is this uncontrived moment that just happens without any effort: you stay with your experience. In meditation, you develop this nurturing quality of loyalty and steadfastness and perseverance toward yourself. And as we learn to do this in meditation, we become more able to persevere through all kinds of situations outside of our meditation, or what we call postmeditation.

2. SEE CLEARLY THE HABITS THAT LIMIT YOUR LIFE

“We start to catch the beginnings of a neurotic chain reaction that limits our ability to experience joy or connect with others.”

The second quality that we generate in meditation is clear seeing, which is similar to steadfastness. Sometimes this is called clear awareness. Through meditation, we develop the ability to catch ourselves when we are spinning off, or hardening to circumstances and people, or somehow closing down to life. We start to catch the beginnings of a neurotic chain reaction that limits our ability to experience joy or connect with others. You would think that because we are sitting in meditation, so quiet and still, focusing on the breath, that we wouldn’t notice very much. But it is actually quite the opposite. Through this development of steadfastness, this learning to stay in meditation, we begin to form a nonjudgmental, unbiased clarity of just seeing. Thoughts come, emotions come, and we can see them ever so clearly.

In meditation, you are moving closer and closer to yourself, and you begin to understand yourself so much more clearly. You begin to see clearly without a conceptual analysis, because with regular practice, you see what you do over and over and over and over again. You see that you replay the same tapes over and over and over in your mind. The name of the partner might be different, the employer might be different, but the themes are somewhat repetitious. Meditation helps us clearly see ourselves and the habitual patterns that limit our life. You begin to see your opinions clearly. You see your judgments. You see your defense mechanisms. Meditation deepens your understanding of yourself.

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3. TRUE COURAGE

The third quality we cultivate in meditation is one that I’ve actually been alluding to when I bring up both steadfastness and clear seeing—and it happens when we allow ourselves to sit in meditation with our emotional distress. I think it’s really important to state this as a separate quality that we develop in practice, because when we experience emotional distress in meditation (and we will), we often feel like “we’re doing it wrong.” So the third quality that seems to organically develop within us is the cultivation of courage, the gradual arising of courage. I think the word “gradual” here is very important, because it can be a slow process. But over time, you will find yourself developing the courage to experience your emotional discomfort and the trials and tribulations of life.

Meditation is a transformative process, rather than a magic makeover in which we doggedly aim to change something about ourselves. The more we practice, the more we open and the more we develop courage in our life. In meditation you never really feel that you “did it” or that you’ve “arrived.” You feel that you just relaxed enough to experience what’s always been within you. I sometimes call this transformative process “grace.” Because when we’re developing this courage, in which we allow the range of our emotions to occur, we can be struck with moments of insight. These insights could never have come from trying to figure out conceptually what’s wrong with us or what’s wrong with the world. These moments of insight come from the act of sitting in meditation, which takes courage—a courage that grows with time.


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Through this developing courage, we are often graced with a change in our worldview, if ever so slight. Meditation allows you to see something fresh that you’ve never seen before or to understand something new that you’ve never understood before. Sometimes we call these boons of meditation “blessings.” In meditation, you learn how to get out of your own way long enough for there to be room for your own wisdom to manifest, and this happens because you’re not repressing this wisdom any longer.

When you develop the courage to experience your emotional distress at its most difficult level, and you’re just sitting there with it in meditation, you realize how much comfort and how much security you get from your mental world. Because at that point, when there’s a lot of emotion, you begin to really get in touch with the feeling, the underlying energy, of your emotions. You begin to let go of the words, the stories, as best you can, and then you’re just sitting there. Then you realize, even if it seems unpleasant, that you feel compelled to keep reliving the memory, the story of your emotions—or that you want to dissociate. You may find that you often drift into fantasy about something pleasant. And the secret is that, actually, we don’t want to do any of this.

“Part of us wants so earnestly to wake up and open. The human species wants to feel more alive and awake to life.”

But also, the human species is not comfortable with the transient, shifting quality of the energy of reality. Simply put, a large part of us actually prefers the comfort of our mental fantasies and planning, and that’s actually why this practice is so difficult to do. Experiencing our emotional distress and nurturing all of these qualities—steadfastness, clear seeing, courage— really shakes up our habitual patterns. Meditation loosens up our conditioning; it’s loosening up the way we hold ourselves together, the way we perpetuate our suffering.

4. ATTENTION

The fourth quality we develop in meditation is something I’ve been touching on all along, and that is the ability to become awake to our lives, to each and every moment, just as it is. This is the absolute essence of meditation. We develop attention to this very moment; we learn to just be here. And we have a lot of resistance to just being here! When I first started practicing, I thought I wasn’t good at it. It took me a while to realize that I had a lot of resistance to just being here now. Just being here—attention to this very moment—does not provide us with any kind of certainty or predictability. But when we learn how to relax into the present moment, we learn how to relax with the unknown.

“the ability to become awake to our lives, to each and every moment, just as it is. This is the absolute essence of meditation”

Life is never predictable. You can say, “Oh, I like the unpredictability,” but that’s usually true only up to a certain point, as long as the unpredictability is somewhat fun and adventurous. I have a lot of relatives who are into things like bungee jumping and all kinds of terrifying things—all of my nephews, particularly, and nieces. Sometimes, thinking of their activities, I experience extreme terror. But everybody, even my wild relatives, meets their edge. And sometimes the most adventurous of us meet our edge in the strangest places, like when we can’t get a good cup of coffee. We’re willing to jump off a bridge upside down, but we throw a tantrum when we can’t get a good cup of coffee. Strange that not being able to get a good cup of coffee could be the unknown, but somehow for some, maybe for you, it is that edge of stepping into that uncomfortable, uncertain space.

So this place of meeting our edge, of accepting the present moment and the unknown, is a very powerful place for those who wish to awaken and open their heart and mind. The present moment is the generative fire of our meditation. It is what propels us toward transformation. In other words, the present moment is the fuel for your personal journey. Meditation helps you meet your edge; it’s where you actually come up against it and you start to lose it. Meeting the unknown of the moment allows you to live your life and to enter your relationships and commitments ever more fully. This is living wholeheartedly.

Meditation is revolutionary, because it’s not a final resting place: you can always be more settled. This is why I continue to do this year after year. If I looked back and had no sense that any transformation had happened, if I didn’t recognize that I feel more settled and more flexible, it would be pretty discouraging. But there is that feeling. And there’s always another challenge, and that keeps us humble. Life knocks you off your pedestal. We can always work on meeting the unknown from a more settled and openhearted space. It happens for all of us. I too have moments where I am challenged in meeting the present moment, even after decades of meditation.

The point is that when your cover is blown, it’s embarrassing. When you practice meditation, getting your cover blown is just as embarrassing as it ever was, but you’re glad to see where you’re still stuck because you would like to die with no more big surprises. On your deathbed, when you thought you were Saint Whoever, you don’t want to find out that the nurse completely pushes you over the wall with frustration and anger. Not only do you die angry at the nurse, but you die disillusioned with your whole being. So if you ask why we meditate, I would say it’s so we can become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment. You could be irritated with the nurse when you’re dying and say, “You know, that’s the way life is.” You let it move through you. You can feel settled with that, and hopefully you even die laughing—it was just your luck to get this nurse! You can say, “This is absurd!” These people who blow our cover like this, we call them “gurus.”

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5. NO BIG DEAL

The fifth and last quality regarding why we meditate is what I call “no big deal.” It’s what I am getting at when I say we become flexible to the present moment. Yes, with meditation you may experience profound insight, or the magnificent feeling of grace or blessing, or the feeling of transformation and newfound courage, but then: no big deal. You’re on your deathbed, and you have this nurse who’s driving you nuts, and it’s funny: no big deal.

So meditation helps us cultivate this feeling of no big deal, not as a cynical statement, but as a statement of humor and flexibility. You’ve seen it all, and seeing it all allows you to love it all.

This was one of the biggest teachings from my teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche: no big deal. I remember one time going to him with what I thought was a very powerful experience from my practice. I was all excited, and as I was telling him about this experience, he had a look. It was a kind of indescribable look, a very open look. You couldn’t call it compassionate or judgmental or anything. And as I was telling him about this, he touched my hand and said, “No . . . big . . . deal.” He wasn’t saying “bad,” and he wasn’t saying “good.” He was saying that these things happen and they can transform your life, but at the same time don’t make too big a deal of them, because that leads to arrogance and pride, or a sense of specialness. On the other hand, making too big a deal about your difficulties takes you in the other direction; it takes you into poverty, self-denigration, and a low opinion of yourself. So meditation helps us cultivate this feeling of no big deal, not as a cynical statement, but as a statement of humor and flexibility. You’ve seen it all, and seeing it all allows you to love it all.

This teaching is from Pema Chödrön’s new book, “How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind,” published by Sounds True.

The Rights of Nature Documentary —  A Global Movement

Is Nature entitled to legal rights?

The new documentary THE RIGHTS OF NATURE: A GLOBAL MOVEMENT focuses on a growing environmental initiative where natural areas are given legal rights that can be enforced by people, governments and communities.

It’s a beautifully shot deep dive into earth jurisprudence, philosophy, permaculture, spirituality and a neo-indigenous future for humanity.


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Watch The Rights of Nature Documentary

As pressures on ecosystems mount and as conventional laws seem increasingly inadequate to address environmental degradation, communities, cities, regions and countries around the world are turning to a new legal strategy known as The Rights of Nature.

“Nature often has legal rights as codified in environmental laws, but granting nature legal personhood is a different story,” co-director Crimmel said in a statement, “The main difference is that a Rights of Nature framework typically grants legal personhood status to nature, meaning that a river, for instance, would have the same rights as a person.”