Growing a New life

I’m not trying to be a promoter of all-products-Alberto V. My intention here is simply to share possible impacting information with anyone feeling sparked by further interest over a subject mentioned. albertvillo893.jpg

I’ve read most of Alberto’s books, but not all—not the one he mentions here. I like his explanations of energy-related subjects and what some call “neo-shamanism” or modern shamanism, which simply means looking at ancient, indigenous philosophies/life practice perspectives and applying that applicable knowledge to our present society/living environment.  It represents a particular view of life and how we live it that appeals to me in many ways, especially since it recognizes how interconnected we are to all of life, including the earth as a living being herself. That appeals to me.

So to me this so-called ‘modern shamanism’ is a philosophy, not a religion. It pertains to how I view my place in this world, so it reflects more a perspective that I share, than a belief system. I choose to view my life a certain way because of that perspective; and my chosen perception on all those affecting factors in life is how I make sense of what I experience.

That being said, I like to read Alberto V. because he says interesting, thought provoking things. He is a trained psychologist (PhD) and cultural-anthropologist, not to mention all the actual life experiences with indigenous cultures that he has logged over the years. Likewise over the years, his writing skills have helped to shift my perspective on life.

logofourwinds456.pngI do receive his weekly newsletters from Four Winds Society (as can you), and occasionally there are some pretty interesting ones that I mention here. This one appeared this morning, so I’ll share it with you. To me the point of the entire newsletter message is this “…find tools to help them identify and transcend the guiding myths that keep them tied to a disempowering world view, and find a new, more empowering personal mythology that supports their ability to dream a new body and a new world into being.”

“New Mythology for a New World

The right side of the neocortex, the higher brain, operates on stories and myths, not facts. The success of TV series like Game of Thrones, and the Harry Potter books attest to our fascination with fantasy and myth. These affect us at a far deeper level than we realize. From a very young age, we fall under the spell of powerful fables that influence the way we perceive the world and, consequently, the choices we make every day.

The myths of the ancient Greeks centered on the antics of the gods on Mount Olympus and the exploits of heroes like Hercules and Achilles. A classic American myth is the rags-to-riches tale of the self-made man who rises to fame and fortune through determination and hard work. Along with that is the story of the plucky orphan who overcomes a challenging and loveless childhood thanks to her courage, dignity, and winsome charm. Like all good myths, these end in triumph, with virtue rewarded.

The Judeo-Christian traditions have left us with powerful myths that operate in the psyche like computer programs running continually in the background. We’re not even aware of them, but they drive our basic sense of self-worth and our vision of the world, coloring the way we live from day to day.

One of the first Bible stories we learn as children is that of Adam and Eve who disobeyed God, were banished forever from the Garden of Eden, and can no longer commune directly with the Almighty─or with the rivers, rocks, trees, and animals. But indigenous people, whether sub-Saharan Africans or Australian Aborigines or Native Americans, hold no such belief. In their mythologies, they were not kicked out of the Garden. In fact, they were given the Garden and entrusted with maintaining it, as the caretakers of earth.

Another persistent myth we labor under is a belief in evil as an independent principle in the universe. But far more compelling to me is the view that we live in a benevolent universe that will go out its way to conspire on our behalf─when we are in right relationship with it and when the hardware in our brain is able to sustain the experience of Oneness.

The values and beliefs contained in myths are so strong that once you find your personal guiding myth, you feel compelled to change your life to conform to it. Transform the myth and your values and beliefs are transformed─and the facts of your life change accordingly.

Just as the invention of the printing press altered our worldview in the centuries that followed, the world wide web and AI are a transforming narrative of our age. We do not know the new myths that will emerge in the coming decades, but we do know that the old myths have exhausted themselves.

At this point in our history, it’s clear that the human species needs to be more collaborative, creative, and cooperative─qualities that are aspects of the archetypal Mother figure. To bring balance back into our relationship with Mother Earth and with one another, we need to improve on the masculine mythology of domination, conquest, and hierarchical power. And on a personal level, we need to overcome the self-focused, power-hungry, battle-fixated, dominator mindset.

Changing your personal myths requires interacting with familiar stories in new ways so that you can use those energies more wisely. You could revise how you engage with your inner warrior, for example, by giving up judgement toward yourself and others─and reserving your adversarial energy for only the most essential battles and the athletic field.

Readers of my new book, Grow a New Body, will find tools to help them identify and transcend the guiding myths that keep them tied to a disempowering world view, and find a new, more empowering personal mythology that supports their ability to dream a new body and a new world into being.

You can pre-order Grow a New Body at https://growanewbody.com

 Warmest blessings,   Alberto Villoldo, PhD

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Dreams of Strangeness

When I saw this image on Facebook, I thought, “Wow, this is beautiful, but it also looks so familiar. Where have I seen…oh yes, it was in the vampire dream.” (a few posts earlier)dreamchapelvamps.jpg

Now how weird is that?  This looks exactly like the large chapel-type setting in that dream, just before the space ships began flying around outside and the vampires landed doing their vampire thing.

But also along with the image on Facebook, this was the caption—a quote: “Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are. We are what we reach for—the idealized image that drives our wandering.”

~ James Hillman ❤

Considering my previous post on identity and this image so closely matching the vampire dream, I’d say the coincidences are a little too amazing. So then according to the quote, I have to ask myself:

Do I yearn to be a vampire slayer?

Hmmm.  Well not in the most literal/physical sense, but perhaps in the metaphorical one.

If vampires represented ignorance and that cruel darkness lurking within each of us that tries to destroy our life force, I could easily yearn for defeating that in myself and for helping others to do so.

Guess I’ll need that ‘nut-cracker holster’ on my belt after all.

 

2019 – Year of Beginnings

For this third day of January 2019, my post will be a mix of influences I’ve witnessed since January first.

Lee-Harrispicimage.jpgIt started with an energy update from Lee Harris on “2019 – Year of Beginnings” which I think is worth hearing, so I’ll list it here if anyone is interested:  https://www.leeharrisenergy.com/p/january-2019-energy-update

The gist of it from my notes was that this is the year of elevation (out of the mire of contentiousness and social dishevel).  2012 – 2019 was a 7-year cycle of clearing us energetically.  2019 – 2026 is a cycle of elevation – a brand new beginning bringing with it a lot of momentum and forward movement.  He says to create your personal change powerfully and purposefully. Live life more passionately.  Expect January to be more of the bubbling to the surface of major issues, but February is the beginning of the change—a vocal ‘stand up and speak your truth’ month. This is the time right now to be very clear on exactly what you DO want in your life, as that is what you will call to you now.  Speak your truth and stand up for what is right for all.

So then shortly after seeing the Lee Harris video, someone put through this gorgeous 49301924_2441835785844099_6951581753156829184_n.jpgsnowflake on Facebook that I found mesmerizing along with a quote from Einstein, one of my personal heroes.

“The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune..”   Albert Einstein
snowflake photo by Kenneth Libbrecht

Quote source: How Einstein Saw the World
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-einstein-saw-the-world/

 

Then the next day “Tao and Zen” on Facebook added another D. T. Suzuki quote that I thought really explains how you incorporate that Zen  perspective into everything you do:

49511253_2446887465338931_7342677059904208896_n.jpg“The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of the desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighboring wood — in all these I am practicing Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussion is necessary, nor any explanation… When the sun rises the whole world dances with joy and everybody’s heart is filled with bliss. If Zen is at all conceivable, it must be taken hold of here.”   D.T. Suzuki

Zen & the Art of Living Deeply
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/zen-the-art-of-living-deeply/

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In summary, to me as we start this new year together, I choose to view it as Lee Harris does—that it is a year of beginnings, so let’s stand up and speak our truth and choose our way forward with clear intentions and a strong sense of purpose.

Then as Einstein said, let’s recognize our interconnectedness and the Divine Plan behind our social, cultural, and even personal interactions occurring on this one living planet that we all share.

And lastly, as D.T. Suzuki said, “Be grateful for everything. Observe without judgment. Consume less, create more. Let go of fears and desires. Listen to understand not to respond. Be patient and generous. Love deeply.  Live simply.”

Here on this third day of January 2019, I think those are good personal goals to adopt.

Works for me.

Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind

Sounds a bit paradoxical, but I can easily say that despite lessIknow45.pnghow much I’ve often thought that I knew throughout my life, or how hard-won that advanced knowledge came into being for me, the older I get the better I appreciate how little I actually DO know.

In truth it seems that with every passing day I feel this almost humorous certainty growing stronger within me: a certainty-of-my-own-ignorance—that jolting realization that what you once believed to be truth, actually wasn’t, and you may never know the REAL truth no matter how old or knowledgeable you become because that TRUTH exists in a realm that is incomprehensible to your present existence.

This body shock of awakening to our own innate ignorance can be scathingly honest and quite humbling.

It certainly was to my ego.

But to those who study Zen, this isn’t some new concept—some might simply call it ‘cultivating the Beginner’s Mind.’

What is Beginner’s Mind?  Here’s a good explanation first from Wikipedia, then from a Zen master himself.

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind.’ It refers to having shozinbeginnersmind.pngan attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

Master Shunryu Suzuki can explain it far better than I can:

“People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross‑legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means ‘beginner’s mind.’ The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind.

This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

The most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind.

You should not say, ‘I know what Zen is,’ or ‘I have attained enlightenment.’ This is shoshinmaster.jpgalso the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

Be very, very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner’s mind. It is the secret of Zen practice.”

Shunryu Suzuki
from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

So I acknowledge that here I sit in my own ignorance while trying to make sense of our life existence.

These are the very things I often write about: What is reality?—What is consciousness?—What are we doing here? Why are we here? Who benefits and how do they benefit from our incarnating here during this time period or ANY time period?

All those unanswerable questions come down to the battle in our minds over the relevance between our DOING and our BEING.

Here is a basic truth as I presently know it:  I AM.  I EXIST.  I EXPERIENCE.  I OBSERVE.

And I try like the dickens NOT to judge the value of what I am observing because to do so implies a comparative knowledgebase that I do not have—at least not from my humble human perspective.

the-older-i-get-the-less-i-know-by-that-i-mean-the-less-i-am-sure-of-i-view-p-403x403-nkb3nfSo each day I open my eyes and wonder what this day will bring to me. I wonder what new realization will occur to my sensing abilities. I wonder what type of sense I can make of whatever is happening to me and around me, but knowing full well that ‘making sense’ is a judgment in itself.

However, I also know that only through shoshinbeginner’s mind—can I simply observe all and note those observances without judgment or expectation—knowing I must simply allow all occurrences (and not labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) to flow along with the river of life into the great sea of consciousness that connects us all and patiently awaits our return.

This I also know:  Beginner’s Mind is not easily achieved nor sustained for long unless you willingly intend it.

Just Watching It All Play Out

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I would have commented on the midterm election results sooner, but I, like the rest of the country, am still awaiting the final tallies.

Clearly changes were made across the nation, with other changes still in the making.

And one thing remains the same for the time being: the insanity presently occupying the White House. The only difference is in how amped up it has lately become. Someone is definitely not happy there.

For the country and democracy in general, I think major progress was pushed forward, or let me rephrase that, major progress was retrieved from the garbage heap where it had been so flagrantly tossed 2 years ago when Obama left.

While we are nowhere near being out of the constitutional danger zone as a nation yet, I do think that some folks who were banking on voter apathy and inciting racial fears, were a bit disappointed in the election results. I also think those same folks will be even more disappointed when Mueller indictments start falling in the near future.furorpres18.jpg

You don’t have to like the guy in charge. You don’t even have to tolerate his tantrums and embarrassing displays of juvenile behavior around the globe. You only have to expect him to do his job in a conscientious and lawful manner. He is the President, after all.

And that is an expectation that is backed by the laws of the United States Constitution.

This isn’t a personality/popularity issue.  It isn’t a political hit job. It is simply a question of legalities that were violated and obliterated in some instances.

It isn’t even a morality issue because if that had ever been in play, he’d have been gone before he even started.

This is about violating laws. This is about trading influence for future rewards. This is about greed and corruption in the highest offices of the land.

meachumbooksoul.jpgThis is about taking back the soul of America—what we stand for—who we are.

This is about you and your family, and the kind of world you want your children to inherit.

This is about looking in the mirror across the entirety of the nation and liking what you see again—a diverse populace.

This is about getting real and serious on social change and helping others to make the best of their own lives. They don’t need handouts–they need hand ups. They need respect and acknowledgement of their basic right to personal dignity as human beings. This is who we are–this is what we do. We respect each other as human beings with shared goals for a better life for ourselves and for those we love.

This is the NEW America, we hope.

And this is our new agenda for moving forward with our lives.

For Christmas, get your new ballcap with the letters on it for “MAAA!”

Make America “AMERICA” again!capwithamericabeing.jpg

That’s what this midterm election just tried to do.

 

 

 

The Morality of Consciousness

“Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception…” ~ Helena Blavatsky

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Morality is one of those words that mean different things to different people. As Helena Blavatsky (of the Theosophical Society fame) stated above: We, as do all other things, have our own kind of consciousness, and that consciousness is based on our personal plane of perception.

So to some people, morality may mean nothing at all because it would be counter to that person’s self-interest. You needn’t look farther than the news shows to see that demonstrated daily.

But for mutual understanding, what exactly is MORALITY?

I’ll list Wikipedia’s more expansive version of what morality means:

“Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with “goodness” or “rightness”.”

Talk about subjective interpretations of morality in those personal planes of perception.

Perhaps my concepts of ‘goodness’ and ‘rightness’ are quite different than others. I know as I listen to Evangelical preachers on television harping on Christian morals and righteousness that I often wonder how their own stated hypocrisy over supporting such corrupt and vile government leadership can so easily skew their personal sense of righteousness and godliness.

To me, that seems very strange indeed.  Morality clarkquotemorality67.jpgfor them must be more transitive and dependent on their personal desires that coincide with standing before large groups of gullible people willing to be led in the preacher’s desired direction.  Isn’t that called manipulation rather than salvation?

I personally like Einstein’s concept of religious morality: “My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God.”

Morality?  Universal standards of rightness and goodness?  How does this compare to our present state of national affairs?

Seems a little off to me but then, who am I to judge?

I’m just an American voter.

 

On the “Nature of Reality” Per Alberto V.

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Saw an interesting blog post from Alberto Villoldo this morning with his take on Peruvian lessons in humanity and how we often view each other:  https://thefourwinds.com/blog/shamanism/the-nature-of-reality/

… “An Earthkeeper realizes that while you have to change everything within, you still have a responsibility to others and to the planet. The way to modify the dream is to own everything that you perceive is amiss with the world: the ugly, the violent, the beautiful, and the powerful. Perceive every hungry child, violent criminal, rich celebrity, polluted river, and tropical island just as if they were a dream and you were seeing every character, setting, and plot twist.

The mythologist Joseph Campbell once said that what we call reality comprises only those myths and stories we haven’t quite seen through yet. Once we do so, we understand that they’re just fairy tales. We come to this realization by seeing through the eyes of hummingbird. This is why I found it so easy to be an anthropologist—I could arrive at a village in the upper reaches of the Amazon and be the only one who saw that the emperor has no clothes (in some of the villages I visited, that was literally the case).

We’re able to see the dream or nightmare that others are trapped in so much more easily than our own. We quickly perceive that our friend is creating his own misery, but we still facepaintwall98.jpgthink that our own grief is the result of some tragedy that befell us. But when we discover that reality is really a dream, we can wake up from the collective nightmare, and what was hidden before becomes ridiculously apparent…”

On November 6th I do hope that we wake up from this collective nightmare by going to the voting booths and intentionally changing the direction that this country is presently headed.

I hope we finally wake up to the deceptions and distractions so carefully created to fool the masses—but also knowing full well that those masses are fooled only if they wish to be so.

Our life’s direction is an intentional creation by each of us. We choose to believe what we do.

We choose to agree and to support those who spew rhetorical hatred and bigotry used against our neighbors and against those who might differ from us in some way, even though we all simply want a safe and promising life for ourselves and for our families.

democracy voting people.jpgOn November 6th I truly hope that we create a better reality that finally clears away the crumbling façade from “the myths and stories we haven’t quite seen through yet.”

I also hope that November 7th is the start of a new day and a new direction for our nation.

Please vote November 6th to save our democracy while we still can save it; and please vote to save ourselves from this constant, flagrant hatred and bigotry demonstrated daily by those in the highest positions of government who are shirking their duties to all of us as American citizens by remaining silent and allowing the racism and hate speech to continue.

Please see through the lies and distractions, and stand strongly for fairness and equality again. Stand up again for the nation that we once were, where citizens believed that everyone should have the right to liberty and to basic human dignity.

Grab your family and friends and VOTE November 6th—and please help to save us from our lesser natures.voteisvoice5.jpg