Some inspiring reflections on the origins and archetypes of Christmas and the winter solstice.
This was a great conversation with Dr Christine Shaffner at Sophia Health Institute for the Beyond Biological Medicine Speaker Series. The complete series is filled with insightful talks all of which you can get here: https://beyondbiologicalmedicine.com/
Here’s an introduction to one of the most important healing skills we need to learn as practitioners, partners and parents that I call Sequencing. ~ It’s followed by a Part Two in which I explain why not Sequencing, otherwise known as “Sequencing Interruption & Redirection” leads to eternal dissatisfaction, addiction & hyper consumerism. […]
After so many years of encountering and supporting individuals through psycho-spiritual transformations and the often inevitable complications that arise as a result of those transformations within family and community, here’s a somewhat involved video explaining why this takes place at all, and a few tips that can help if you’re going through the experience yourself.
A talk I gave at the beginning of the pandemic with Dr Christine Schaffner, co founder of Sophia Health Institute, during which I discuss the Military Industrial Distraction Machine and the Archetypal symbols of Plague, Washing Hands, Home and Crown.
It’s an over-simplification to see the Internet as a global communications network combined with a storehouse of information containing all of human knowledge. The Internet is more than just the library and telephone of the world; it’s the mirror.
When we browse the Internet we’re not just cruising down a cyber highway across crowded city streets and small deserted towns. We’re not just seeing the facades and masks that we wear; we’re seeing what’s hidden underneath as well. The Internet is more than just a virtual reflection of the world outside. It’s a mirror of our world inside, an objectification, rendering and projection of the global psyche in all of its kaleidoscopic horror and beauty. One that points to perhaps the most paradoxical element of the net itself – its simultaneous transparency and opacity, its visibility and anonymity, the fact that it is the only place on Earth where we can expose ourselves so completely without ever truly being seen. This is what has driven the Internet to evolve into what it is today – a global confessional, a worldwide vomitorium where humanity can indulge in all that has been previously repressed. And by god are we indulging. We’re indulging to such an extent that we’re gagging. And on what? Ourselves.
As a species we are still psychologically and emotionally illiterate. We are still woefully uninformed in the inner workings of our psyche. More importantly than that, the vast majority have no idea that this is even a problem, let alone that we can do something about it. On the contrary, the general consensus is simply that the world is broken and that we need to fix it, as opposed to the deeper truth, which is that we are broken, and that our world is simply a reflection of that.
The time is ripe for us to collectively establish a standard model of consciousness that we can offer our children in school and at home. A simple, yet comprehensive training able to lay the foundation for a lifetime of greater internal peace, external clarity, and civic responsibility that is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic.
It’s a strange thing.
Sigmund Freud is the famous one, but do you know which master of the unconscious mind has effected your life more?
His lesser known nephew Edward Bernaise.
Eddie, as he was known, was a devious, manipulative little shit.
He realized that by using his uncles theories he could devise masterful ways of selling people crap they didn’t need, that damaged their health, wasted their money, and took control of them like puppets.
Remind you of anyone?
I’m taking about you and me.
Take the following example:
In 1929 the American Tobacco Company hired Bernaise because they had a problem. Only men smoked cigarettes. Women didn’t.
They were losing 50% of their entire potential market.
And they wanted it.
So they asked Bernaise to devise a marketing strategy that appealed to the unconscious mind of women in America by creating a campaign that went to the heart of what they were truly passionate about.
The campaign that resulted from this re-branded cigarettes as, wait for it …
Torches of Freedom.
There is no “Definitive Guide to Optimum Health.”
No “Key to Finding Your Soul Mate.”
No “3 Simple Things That You Can Do To Go From Living In a Porta-Potty On Top Of a Garbage Dump To Millionaire in Under 6 Months.”
And there is certainly no “Secret To Success.”
Because if ANY OF THIS were true …
EVEN SLIGHTLY TRUE …
Then a tsunami of HEALING, and SUCCESS and WEALTH and SOUL-PARTNERSHIPS would have already been generated by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in verifiably repeatable ways.
And most of all, we would have heard about it by now.
But we haven’t.
Because it’s not true.
And deep down we know it.
But most of us still don’t want to hear this.
We still want it to sound easy, and simple, and that all our dreams are always and forever attainable.
And they are.
But they’re also not.
And admitting that … literally taking a deep breath and surrendering into that painful truth of life, is actually … liberating.
Because when we accept the truth of how much luck, and genetics, and environment and culture, and timing and a whole host of others factors that we have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER play into every success and failure that we’ve ever had – it stops us from feeling like losers when our goals don’t work out, or for feeling like total ego-maniacs when they do.
I was co-facilitating a group a few years ago when a woman came in who was stuck in a job that she hated and wanted desperately to leave. Within several minutes I knew that she was fighting an unconscious trauma from her past.
But I could also tell that she was not ready to go there.
Over the course of several weeks I watched other members of the group all attempt to coach her out of her fear so that she could transition into the life she really wanted. As people spoke, she nodded her head, said she understood, went back and forth, gained hope, lost it, and then fell back into offering excuses for why she couldn’t quit.
From the outside, it didn’t make sense. People were exasperated. Eyes rolled. Some participants, I could tell, just thought she was plain stupid. But I knew this wasn’t true and that something much deeper was at play. From the very beginning I could see that this transition point in her life was triggering a significant trauma from her past that was creating a powerful, undeniable emotional signal within her that screamed: “Stay put, and suffer in silence!
Because if you don’t, the consequences will be worse!”
What to do?
We don’t cry here.
Crying is taboo.
Because if we cry, we’re weak. And if we’re weak, then we’re likely to die. And if we’re likely to die then no one will ever want to be associated with us because even being in proximity to us will threaten their survival too.
And so if we cry we will be ostracized, isolated, and left for dead.
And so we don’t cry.
Instead we repress, we anesthetize, we push down the emotions like an ostrich with its head in the sand hoping that because we ignore the pain and grief and sadness within us it will never have any effect over us. Like an oncoming train we magically assume that ignoring it will prevent it from ever hurting us.
Do not be fooled. Your unprocessed emotions do not disappear when you ignore them. On the contrary they will continue to act out in spite of you in an on-going attempt to heal the part of you that has been wounded. Ignore your emotions and you will only have two options. Either to continue repressing them in increasingly damaging ways with alcohol, drugs, food, work, sex, or any other emotionally distracting activity, or to simply allow them to be triggered like a volcano erupting over and over again when you least expect it. Either way make no mistake, your emotions are stronger than you. While they can be occasionally stifled, they can never be silenced.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Welcome to being human. Evolution’s most recent creation. You have been designed to exert maximum devastation. Your thoughts, emotions, words and actions are the most advanced delivery systems that have ever been seen in cosmic production. But they have been installed with a single significant safety precaution. Your every shot fired travels equally in the opposite direction.
That’s right, you are a carpet bomb that cannot escape your own napalm, America and the VietCong, Hiroshima and the Atom Bomb. Black, white, rich, poor, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism and Islam. Now look at the violence in the world and tell me if you see haters, hatred or simply a pain within … your self.
What is it?
You are a weapon of mass destruction. Your will is all that stands between you and a hair trigger. How often do you pull back the hammer and think that when it cracks you will not be its benefactor? Every day your lovers, friends, family members, and fellow travelers have shots fired at them at random. How many hit their mark? How much damage is collateral?
Yet when the time comes to disarm ourselves the pattern is always the same …
I wake up and meditate. All is well. Life is good.
Then I turn on the news and everything’s a complete disaster. Religious zealots are killing people en masse, peaceful protesters are being trampled by riot police, America is facing off with the Orange Clown, North Korea is being run by a B-movie Bond villain, and Israel is seeking unconscious revenge on the Nazis by persecuting the Palestinians.
So I turn it off and make breakfast with my wife. The morning sun shines through the kitchen window onto our toes. We admire the color of fresh chard. I marvel at the fact that I can make an organic hemp milk, matcha latte and chase it with wild Alaskan fish oils, bee pollen and adaptogenic herbs, even though I wonder about the DHA containing mercury, the water carrying aluminum, and the adaptogens being contaminated with Round Up. We sit down, and lovingly stare into each others eyes for a long, long time. It doesn’t feel cheesy at all.
There’s a new kind of story that film makers are telling in greater numbers than ever before. It’s a more explicit version of the hero’s journey upgraded for the complexity of a 21st century psyche. Batman Versus Superman (BVS) is one of those movies. It shouldn’t simply be judged by the fact that there are too many opening scenes, or that the film ends three or four times, or that Aqua-Man looks like a Food Cart Vendor stepping out of the shower with a fork in his hand ready to flip another burger. None of that really matters.
Because while our collective Neo Cortex might struggles to make sense of the plot holes our unconscious minds are being fed with a bounty of incredibly potent archetypal coding that most other stories say almost nothing about.
This is why BVS is a powerful movie. Not because of what it does, but for what it represents as part of a entirely new tradition of films that speak more explicitly than ever about our journey of healing as humans.
There is not a galaxy in the universe that is spiritual. Not a solar system that is Christian or Hindu, no shooting star that is Buddhist or planet that is Sufi or Jewish. Never in the history of the world has an apple ever fallen from a tree … an atheist. The death of spirituality is the death of the finger pointing at the moon and the birth of the moon. Because we no longer need to point to it. We have landed on it.
The death of spirituality is the moment that the territory becomes the map, the moment that magic becomes merely undiscovered science, or bullshit. When faith becomes the patience required for successful practice and karma: blow back; its operationalization, merely an individual’s most developed self-preservation instinct. It is the moment that enlightenment becomes your Free Will Index, and ‘God’ is re-born as the global collective conscience.
Inhale, bring your palms together, and begin by dedicating this practice to all the great yogis and yoginis who are turning in their graves or laughing into their loin-cloths because of the Diet-Pepsi-maxification that Western culture has unleashed all over their sacred path of transcendence.
Take a moment to honor the great Patanjali who an entirely new wave of young mat-slingers often confuse with a sweet dessert that follows your dhal and rice course. Give reverence to the Rig Veda that is absolutely not the great-grandfather of the Lord Vader. Exhale and release any judgment around the effectiveness of hip-hop yoga, wine and yoga, or products like Water Mat Yoga to accelerate your union with “the god head.” If Western yoga culture is going through its adolescence, then it needs our support, wisdom, and compassion as it navigates through the madness of the modern-day mass media marketplace.
Sun salutation, raise your arms to the sky, and primal scream for every time that a teenybopper’s cellphone with a Taylor Swift ring tone has started playing “Shake It Off ” during your Corpse Pose, causing your subtle body to crash into your physical like the meteor that ended the dinosaurs.
In an age where authoritarian power is being questioned from the classroom to the boardroom, the emerging research is conclusive — humility is a dramatically more powerful and effective way of leading.
Scientific inquiry into the power and effectiveness of humility in the workplace has shown that it offers a significant “competitive advantage” to leaders.
According to a study from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, humble people tend to make the most effective leaders (that’s right, the most) and are more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings, according to associate professor Michael Johnson.
Unsurprisingly, researchers found that employees who rated their managers as humble reported feeling more engaged and less likely to quit. They also reported being more committed to a leader’s vision, and more trusting and receptive to their ideas.
Dying to life is easy.
It just requires you to bleed yourself dry of everything you’ve ever wanted.
The first cut is the hardest.
You won’t want to.
Your mind will tell you not to.
But only because it’s designed to protect you from the deepest part of you that wants nothing more than to free you.
Revolution is coming. Can you hear its whisper? Like thunder approaching in the distance. Like an orgasm rising up your legs and overcoming your senses, calling for your surrender, and if not in this life time then in the next one.
Conscious women today are like the 300 Spartans, and unconscious men are a bit like the Persian army. On the one hand you have one of the most elite forces to have ever existed in all of history – and on the other – an overwhelming tyranny of millions hell bent on controlling and exploiting them.
Every day, all over the world, these forces face off in a modern day Battle of Thermopylae where a small, courageous few attempt to hold back the tide of millions in a narrow mountain pass of the present moment. Think about it.
As a woman, when a man says or does something that disrespects you, when he subtly treats you in a way that is beneath you, or is not fully present to you, when he fails, even momentarily, to see you, you are in precisely the same kind of confined, emotionally charged space in which the Battle of Thermopilae took place. You are literally in the “Hot Gates” that a brave few held their ground in the face of oppression and enslavement.
Fifteen years ago I called a friend at the Endeavor talent agency in Los Angeles and pitched him an evolution of Bond that I thought was inevitable. “The Bond we need to see,” I said “isn’t just cool calm and collected, he’s sweaty, he had poor digestion and experiences regular diarrhea. He’s a pale faced, raging alcoholic whose character requires him to face the very demons that made him 007. As Bond he has to take us past the one liners and casual killings in a true exploration of his psyche, his soul. Because as one of the most important, mainstream cultural explorations of the Warrior Psyche that lives inside all men, he must take the lead in acknowledging what hides underneath that hard, emotionless shell …
a traumatized, troubled child desperately seeking revenge on the trauma inflicted upon him by his father as well as the desperate desire to reclaim the love his mother AKA “M”.
My friend paused.
1. Love your body.
You let your legs walk you, your lungs breathe you, your heart beat you without ever saying thank you. The result is that you do not love you, hear you, are completely out of touch with you. So when illness comes it will surprise you. Not because your body hides it to spite you, but because you have trained yourself to be deaf when it cries out to you.
2. Honor and respect women.
You think you respect women but you don’t. Because you have not yet been broken by one yet. And you think you honor women but you don’t. Because you have yet to see one break more courageously than you ever could. And you will.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Hello everyone, and welcome to our Tuesday night Non-Dualists Anonymous meeting. For those of you here for the first time – refreshments are at the back of the room. Bathrooms are on the left.
As many of you know this year-long program is for individuals chronically at one with everything, and as a result, feel as if they may have lost touch with the creative friction that comes from buying into the dualistic illusion. Many of you here tonight will have already spent months, perhaps even years attempting to find a way to “have dinner with someone else” to no avail. We here at NDA want you to know that there is still hope.
Here’s to the fathers who were not enough, to the ones who were never there, to the ones who got it “wrong.” Here’s to the fathers that no one talks about, to the ones that we wished we’d never had to the ones that hurt us. You were the perfect fathers. Not because you did […]
I know that you are going to bring me pain, I know that you are going to bring me suffering, I know that you may even take my life, or the lives of those who are close to me, but I want you to know that I am ready, as much as I am able to be, and that I too will be bringing you something …
For all the tears that you bring I will cry every last one and then some. For all the grief that you bring I will mourn, and wail, and howl harder and deeper than I have ever done, out of gratitude for yet another love that has come, and pierced my heart and gone.
Food gives us life, and then one day we realize that it also offers us an escape. When we suffer we eat, and when we eat, we fall asleep awake. The result is that fine dining in the modern world isn’t simply a competition to create the most delectable dish, but to design the most […]
Congratulations, you’ve had a spiritual experience. After years of training you’ve finally touched the absolute nature of reality resulting in an ability to heal and guide others there too.
In a word: whatever.
Seriously, were you expecting a medal?
A band of followers to hang on your every word?
A book deal?
I mean did you really think that all the flowers were going to bloom and the birds would break into song?
Sorry to disappoint but that didn’t even happen with the Buddha.
Because it was a metaphor, silly.
But seriously, nice work. While all your friends were building their careers you were sitting on your ass in the middle of the jungle next to some old man able to warp time and space solely with the power of his BO. Now all your friends have houses, 401(k)s, and passive income streams that support their vacations in the Mediterranean while all you’ve got is access to “cosmic consciousness” and a ton of student debt.
What the hell is going on?