In the Era of Noise, Listen to the Silence

Thoughts enter my mind. A series of thoughts from unrelated events that happened today, some unresolved anger towards a man with an enormous ego, thoughts about the future, concerns about the world, nostalgia and a cacophony of desires that cannot exactly be pinned down, yet are still there, like a longing for something missing inside my soul.

I become aware. I become aware of my body, of the area surrounding me, the bathroom, my room, my computer. I let go. I listen. First the inner noises occupy my attention, then the outer, then the place where one noise fades and the other arises. Nothing. Emptiness. Silence. Peace.

Our society is preoccupied by noise. It is everywhere. We see advertisements on our buses, on massive billboards. Cities awash with enormous digital screens designed to convey information or inform of a new product. The digital world we have created is itself based on information, a place that many of us use as an escape from the meat-space reality that encloses us. A physical realm which, based on the amount of stimulation present, cannot compare to the ever-more encompassing realms of virtual reality.

We have encased ourselves in information and it has swallowed us whole. Now, the bombardment is almost inescapable to most. Even if our technological devices are switched off and we retreat from the spectacle to the silent allure of nature, an endless barrage of thoughts ceaselessly reminds us how much we are lacking in inner space.

But do we even need inner-space? For most such an idea is folly. The common adage of our society screams at us that it is only through more information, greater complexity of thought, more detailed analysis of ourselves and reality, that we can ever find meaning, purpose, harmony, that elusive contentment and peace of mind

Is this life? Living from thought to thought, from past to future, from the embarrassment, regret or nostalgia of yesterday to the anxiety or pleasant anticipation of tomorrow? Is what we are living in really reality, or rather an unconscious stream of our own projections onto it?

Yet what is reality? What is the bedrock of our experience? This is what needs to be discovered. In the era of noise, when information flows incessantly, where mental and emotional noise is considered nothing out of the ordinary, there is still something there that gives all experience its foundation. The noise appearing in the silence, the items in perception appearing in space, the very world appearing in our consciousness, existence resting in Being.

There is information, yet there is that which allows the information to appear. The blank screen allows these black letters to appear, the silence in your mind allows for thoughts to arise, and ultimately all appearances that you will experience rest on one primary aspect of existence – you.

So who are you?

I would encourage you to take time out of your day to simply listen to the silence, to observe the space, to pay attention to the aspects of reality that seem trivially unimportant, yet without which nothing would exist. Pay attention to them especially if you deem them completely unimportant to your world.

It is wholly impossible for me to describe the importance of these aspects of reality through words alone, so I would like to direct you to experiencing them first hand. The most simple and basic elements of our reality almost serve like doorways to the peace and silence within us. Paying attention to silence will help silence internal chatter, while observing space “externally” will give rise to inner spaciousness.

These are the aspects of reality that do not change, for they are that which allows forms to appear in the first place. They are changeless – and through paying attention to that which is changeless without, you will find that which is changeless within. By doing so greater perspective arises, an expansion of thought and creativity, as well as an understanding that the bubble of information and thought we seem to be encased in is far from everything that is real – as well as not deserving the ultimate importance we ascribe to it.

In the current era of noise and accompanied anxiety, society is in dire need of space, of silence, of peace. In the era where minor issues are exacerbated endlessly, where gratitude is rare, where entitlement flourishes – perspective matters. That perspective can be gained by focusing on that which is outside the boundaries of the mental boxes we are living in. Outside the boxes of conditioned form and outside the box of form itself.

Society and most of us have found ourselves in what can almost be likened to a mind-based jail cell. Allow yourself to let go the hold you have on it, drop your attachment to its structure, the thoughts, emotions and beliefs that make it real – and check what lies beyond. As you focus on the silence, the space… you will find that, if you allow them to, the bars holding you in evaporate as the stillness transforms everything into the ever-present peace that is the bedrock of reality itself, as well as the bedrock of who you are.


 

“The Now is not what happens, it is the space in which it happens”
– Eckhart Tolle

 


Image attribution:
-Image 2 by Cindy Lever from Pixabay

COVID-19: A Pandemic of Fear

Humanity has found itself in quite a situation. Because of an invisible threat, almost the entirety of our society has been shut down. People have been told to stay at home, travel has been suspended, the economy has ground to a halt. Despite all this, the information about this virus has been and remains very vague – from varying reports of its lethality and effect in regard to different age groups, to its ability to mutate, its possible avenues of spread and now it seems (according to the WHO), even about its conferred immunity.

Whether you believe the novel coronavirus is a man-made illness created in a lab, or nature’s way of reminding humanity who’s boss, the result is quite similar. The illness is here and though finding its root cause will be important in the years ahead, it is now crucial to remain present and deal with the situation as it arises in our external world, as well as the internal world of every individual. And the internal world is precisely where the greatest battle is being fought.

Fear, Fear Is the Mind Killer

This virus has seemingly poisoned our society, but the real poison it has inflicted is far more subtle, though expressed very visibly in our actions – it has poisoned our individual minds and through it our collective consciousness. A very large portion of humanity has responded in fear, ranging from a background anxiety, all the way to full blown panic.

The reasons for this are multilayered. Though it is easy to point fingers and blame the gigantic media apparatus that uses misleading headlines and sensationalized articles both to increase its revenues, as well as to serve the purpose of its billionaire owners, it is also crucial to note that humans themselves hold a responsibility both for what they consume and for allowing this toxic environment to arise.

The majority of people do not know how to deal with fear, anger, inner pain, loneliness, sadness… or indeed their inner worlds in general. They are mostly cut off from their emotions (and their body as well), which are usually repressed until they manifest as an illness, or they boil over in a fit of panic, rage, or destructive actions towards oneself or others.

Crucial practices like meditation, contemplative and introspective practices…as well as other methods of emotional integration and the knowledge of navigating our inner worlds in general (that could all serve as pathways of bringing back clarity, peace and insight), are not taught in the vast majority of schools or educational institutions (something that can be seen as the result of ignorance or almost likened to a conspiracy to keep people pacified and easily controllable).

The responsibility for the emotions people experience is not taken by those that experience them, but is instead thrown onto others and the world around them. Though it is true that the world, the people and situations around us and our upbringing do much to shape our inner world, it is our reactions to that which is external that shape our inner state, as well as who we are and how we live life. Without taking responsibility for our inner state it is wholly impossible to change it or indeed to change our lives in general.

Thus, except by those that seek their own ways to inner peace, our inner worlds remain largely neglected and misunderstood – and the mirror image of that is so clearly visible in the society we live in.

It is clear that the effects of this is are far more impactful than the rapid spread of mental health issues. In the case of significant external disturbances, disasters or difficult situations such as the one we face now, it is far more visible than ever and has consequences so far reaching it is hard to fathom.

The core of this neglect shows itself in fear – and the consequences of keeping oneself in fear and not facing and resolving it can be dire, especially in a situation like this. In the current pandemic, fear is not only a major and crucial cause of a highly weakened immune system, but can also become a precursor to social unrest, acts of selfishness, a promotion of separation (distancing far beyond the now recommended physical) and the ignorant welcoming of a truly Orwellian society. When one is in fear, the ability to either make sensible decisions or to see through lies and deceit is greatly reduced.

Panic, Snitching and Welcoming Big Brother With Open Arms

We are living in a world situation that has brought out great fear in us all. Not only fear for our health, but perhaps even more widespread fear of what economic impact this may bring. This fear is much like a virus itself – fueled by the media apparatus and spread by those it infects and cannot immunize themselves against it through awareness.

The situation this fear has already created is readily apparent and can be seen quite quickly when one ventures online, or even outside (depending on your location). Often completely unproven scenarios of the worst possible outcomes, as well as exaggerated and apocalyptic information, both health and society-wise are spreading like wildfire through social media. The wearing of safety gear and masks often becomes nonsensical and done without thought, such as when people wear protective masks in areas with nobody in sight. Even in terms of the restrictions imposed by governments, many make little sense and could not have been made by a sound mind, but are merely done to appease a sense of inner unease the public may feel (an example would be a restriction that was first made and then rescinded in my home country, where gloves were first a requirement in all shops and stores, while later the medical establishment agreed that the infected gloves could spread the virus even further and were replaced by necessary hand disinfection). Not to mention that because of the virus people’s anxiety has increased greatly and already present mental health issues have become exacerbated.

This panic also causes people to overestimate the virus, almost likening it to a plague, even though the estimated infection to fatality ratio (IFR) is lower than most people even realize. According to recent studies, the IFR and thus the actual death rate is around 0,5% (as per a study in France) or perhaps even lower.

But perhaps the greatest issue that can be brought about through our collective fear is that of being gradually eased into a society quite unlike what we’ve known so far. In the name of this unknown invisible threat, rights and freedoms previously taken for granted can be easily stripped away. The surveillance state can be ramped up without anyone blinking an eye, while privacy breaches could be welcomed with open arms and even hailed as necessary by some (the article I linked is sadly not satire). Not only that, such fear can even create a truly unbelievable situation where people snitch on one another to the authorities. All of this in the name of eliminating an ever-changing, unknown and invisible threat.

It has gone so far that the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki has responded to the virus by outright censoring anything on their platform that goes against the guidelines of the WHO (who, if we recall, categorically denied the possibility of human-to-human transmission of this virus in the beginning of this year), including videos that promote alternative viewpoints (or conspiracy theories) and indeed alternative healing modalities for this virus (according to her, that includes ingesting Vitamin C and Turmeric – here is the video).

Does any of this sound familiar? A similar event, though felt mainly in the US, happened on the 11th of September 2001. After the WTC collapsed and American (and to a degree international) society was injected with an appropriate amount of fear through the media, the following wars and the dissolution of freedom and privacy brought about with such legislation as the Patriot Act, were left unquestioned by the majority of the populace. It was needed to “fight and win” the “war on terror”. A war that has only created more of that which it was supposedly fighting against.

It is not hard to see that event as a major turning point in international history, from the rise of the surveillance state, to the following wars and destabilization of the Middle East, to all the economic and social consequences stemming from that (millions dead and displaced, a major rise in terrorism, the refugee crisis…).

Will we see a repeat of events of a similar basic nature on a grander scale, or will awareness and clarity prevail?

In both cases the situation was labeled as a “war” – before it was one against terrorism, now the enemy is a virus. Terrorism and the virus may be real threats, but how far will we go to protect ourselves from them and what is their true danger relative to the measures that are taken against them? Could the “cure” in fact be more damaging than the disease? And who are those that could benefit from this global panic and the resulting measures the most?

I do not claim to have definitive answers to any of these questions, but it is asking the questions themselves that is crucial – in the current situation, they need to be asked fearlessly and the answers examined critically. For only in a society engulfed in fear are such questions thrown to the wayside, those that ask them remain ridiculed and shamed, while every drop of the narrative is gulped down into one’s subconscious without a second thought.

The Way Forward Is Inward

It is crucial to understand that none of this means you should reject or deny your fear. It is completely normal to be afraid and to feel fear. But the key difference is that of awareness – of feeling fear or being in fear, possessed by it fully. When you allow yourself to be aware of the fear, as well as all the corresponding emotions and thoughts in relation to it, including the fear based ego identity, the suffering self you have created, you have already started to break free from its grasp.

When you allow yourself to be aware and feel what you feel, to observe your self, your thoughts and question your beliefs… clarity returns, your decisions become better, more productive and others’ ability to deceive you and use your panic to their advantage is significantly weakened. If the fear is made aware of, integrated and understood, appropriate and truly positive action can be taken.

The key is in every one of us. It is now more crucial than ever to not only spread quality information and awareness, but to help people understand how to navigate their inner worlds and deal with the emotions, including fear, they are experiencing.

I cannot tell you exactly what information about this virus (or indeed in general) is true and what is false, for in the digital age we are literally living in a sea of conflicting information, misinformation and disinformation – and in the current situation, this is more apparent than ever (there are so many contradicting accounts, from doctors and scientists praising the quarantine and current measures, to epidemiologists taking a very different position).

This is why it is even more crucial to have one’s critical thinking faculties, sense of discernment and intuition primed, as well as find that inner foundation from which you cannot be so easily shaken – and this can only be done through the integration and dissolution of fear and the rest of one’s inner fog.

Whether you believe thoughts and emotions have a subtle effect on our reality beyond the physical or not (as many esoteric and spiritual teachings confer, a slew of studies on psychic phenomena suggest and a variety of modern interpretations of quantum mechanics point to), it is absolutely doubtless that all action in our reality is preceded by thought and created from a certain inner state and level of consciousness.

And even if you do not believe that humanity shares a collective consciousness on a level beyond the immediate physical and your thoughts, emotions and behaviors impact that of others beyond your physical reach (discussed in various esoteric teachings and in modern science especially well researched and described by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake through his theory of Morphic Resonance), it is doubtless that your inner state affects the state of others through your actions, words and itself spreads like a virus, especially to those you are close to. Though in a world as interconnected as this one, that spread is far wider and more rapid.

If that inner state is healthy and infused with awareness, then actions can be productive, relationships can flourish, creativity booms, people can govern themselves with clarity and responsibility, while the body and immune system remain strong.

Without awareness the body remains weak, the mind fatigued, novel ideas become scarce, power and control is given away readily to those with often unsavory intentions, selfishness and separation between people becomes common, love and compassion die, while actions become confused as clarity becomes lackluster.

Which of these worlds do you wish to be in? Which of these worlds are you helping to create through the inner states you are residing in the majority of the time? What state are you residing in now? Through awareness, a new world can be born, one based on peace, love and wisdom, not on fear, separation and ignorance.

You may think this is only a disaster – but it is also a major opportunity for positive change. Every personal and global calamity can be a road to hell, or a catalyst to a genuine and massive awakening.

It is in the hands of each and every one of us, our individual responsibility for the response to this calamity to lead in a conscious direction.

Will you be a part of the solution?


More discussion about this article can be found on Reddit, here:
-on r/C_S_T


Image attribution:
-Image 1 by rottonara from Pixabay
-Image 2 by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay
-Image 3 by Miloslav Hamřík from Pixabay

Our Distracted Society and the Deeper Nature of Distraction Itself

The world as it is right now serves as one of the best environments for distracting oneself in the history of mankind.

We live in the information age, a time where entertainment, mental and visual representations of ideas (aka. memes) and thoughts in general can be distributed freely and to an enormous audience, no matter how pointless or superficial they may be.

We live in an age where the transportation of ideas and thoughts has become nearly instantaneous, where the ability to jump into a virtual reality with environments seemingly far more palpable than our actual meat-space has become easier than ever.

We live in an era where jumping from one thought train to the next, never reaching any deep conclusions about anything has become the norm, not the exception.

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The Collective Human Consciousness, Our Uncertain Future and Twitch Plays Pokemon

Humanity together works like an enormous multi-cellular organism, where each and every one of us represents a cell. Unlike cells we are far more unique, or perhaps our uniqueness is simply more visible to the naked eye. But still, together we create a field of awareness that, step by step, moves the organism of humanity forward. For us it’s a stumbling road and despite the fact that we all form one organism, we fight each other over the direction of where it’s going, while some cells wish to overtake the organism completely and lead it to wherever their own selfish needs see fit.

Our collective intention shapes where we will stumble to next. Because that is what seems to be happening, besides the wars between the cells, the greed of some and the desire for peace of the minority, the human organism has been stumbling forward, stumbling towards a future that to us, collectively, seems unknown.

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Waking Up to Reality

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A store in a broken down suburb. A man walks in and points his gun towards the clerk.

He needs the money for drugs. As he looks at the terrified clerk he feels no compassion whatsoever. Why should he? He owes the money to his dealer. The clerk is simply a mental image to him, not even real in his mind. He doesn’t see a being there, just an idea, a thought really – a store clerk, like one you can see in a movie.

As he waves the gun in his face he feels numb. There is a sense of power in him, of false power, dominance over others. The store clerk decides to be brave and reaches under the counter. Too late. Screams are heard from customers lying on the floor as the clerk falls down with blood dripping down his face. The thief feels different. He has never killed someone yet. But now is not the time to think of it.

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A Society Run by Psychopaths

It is not difficult to see that the society we live in is not exactly on par with the best and highest good of us all. We are quite literally living in an inversion – a society where genuine values, virtue, compassion and depth have been replaced by greed, decadence, depravity, immorality, selfishness and superficiality.

For this madness we are ultimately all to blame, for our common consciousness, the expression of all our thoughts, emotions and action have led us into such a world.

But to truly see the culmination of the world we have created and to find some answers on how we can make it better, it can be wise to simply check who governs it (though I use the term “govern”, I am not merely talking about governments, for we cannot forget massive international corporations, banks and organizations that often have far more power and influence than governmental authority).

Who runs our society? Who stands on top of this inverted pyramid of societal control and power?

As people point fingers and blame, trying to find the evil that has hidden itself behind a smokescreen, we forget one crucial thing – it is not who exactly stands on top that is relevant, it is the type of people that stand there and the properties they have in common.

It is important to note again that whoever stands there is there, because humanity is allowing them to be there. They are quite literally, the culmination of the entirety of human consciousness, the extension of our collective shadow. Even if you do not believe that humanity may share a collective consciousness or a collective unconscious (as per Jung) on a subtle level, it is obvious that our combined thoughts create our combined actions (for every action is preceded by a thought) which ultimately result in our present reality on this planet.

Through these actions and our shared consciousness we have arrived at a society that is administered by – psychopaths.

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Freeing Earth – Solutions for a Better World

The people of this planet are waking up more and more to the vast darkness and unsavory elements of our society and humanity at large. The psychopathy, the complete lack of empathy and regard for the life of other living beings, combined with the endless thirst for wealth, power and control over others, rests at the heart of our problems.

The more the world goes crazy, the more the people are plunged into darkness and the more the psychopaths are allowed to not only to wield their power, but expand it endlessly, the more people awaken to the collective darkness plaguing our planet and human society at large. But with that usually comes a feeling of apathy, of dejection, a feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness. “What can any single one of us do?” is the mindset that likely best encapsulates the psyches of most people falling down the various rabbit holes available to them, one darker than the other.

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Choosing Freedom Over The World

“To be free, you must want freedom more than you want the world.”
– Lester Levenson

There are many desires in one’s life and the accomplishment or dissolution of any one of them will usually bring about a temporary state of peace, joy and happiness. As a desire is fulfilled, we automatically let go and embrace the freedom and peace beyond it. But is this peace, this joy, this freedom, not available to us at all times?

If we simply drop our desires and allow them to dissolve, we can find that beyond them, freedom is always available to us. From that place we can continue to create and pursue what we desire, but we are no longer attached to the outcome, we no longer attach our sense of self or sense of well-being and happiness to any external event or outcome, outside the ever-present moment we reside in, in which all fulfillment is available.

To do this, we must make a choice. We must choose between our limited desires, our want to control the world and freedom itself, within which the highest good of all beings is fulfilled.
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Dealing with Your Inner World, Pain, Turmoil and Confusion – Giving Yourself the Gift of Space

Whenever an emotion, a thought, or a sensation pops up in our consciousness, the usual response of most of us is to resist it. Our consciousness contracts, we identify with the feeling and hold on to it for dear life.

Psychologically we feel like we are stuck in a shell of resistance, like a part of us wants to hold on, while another (if we are conscious enough), wishes to let go and desires the torment to pass.

But not only our psyche, our entire body contracts. Often this can lead to pain in the form of headaches, stomach pain, gastrointestinal issues… and a variety of physical ailments.

The more we are in this state of inner contraction, the more we cut ourselves off not only from good physical and mental health, but also from a sense of peace, joy and even love that is always present here and now. Like an invisible feast that we can only take part of once we take the blinders off our consciousness.

But this sense of contraction can be counteracted.

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The Time to Awaken Is Now

We live in precarious times.

Though the quality of life seems better than at any point in recorded history and humanity seemingly more free than ever before, the vast majority of the world remains in suffering and neglect.

Due to the amount of humans living on the planet today and the rapid advancements in technology, we have come to the point where our entire society can be destroyed on a whim (nuclear Armageddon being only one such possible threat) and the very freedom to express ourselves taken away.

The very technology that has freed us and has the potential to truly revolutionize society also has the potential to enslave us in a truly Orwellian fashion the moment it enters the wrong hands, ultimately even destroying everything we’ve worked so hard to create.

But is it not in the wrong hands already? The ability to wage war with semi-autonomous drones and the incredible boost in surveillance and potential censorship is already an ominous reality happening right before our very eyes.

However that is far from the entirety of problems we face. Our disregard for the environment, for the animals and plant-life on this wonderful planet and our disregard for each-other, as well as ignorance and passivity, is moving us towards a very uncertain future.

It is at this point that humanity is at a turning point. We will either move towards further chaos, or harmony and peace.

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