This is the transcript of a conversation with Tony Musskopf for my Multidimensional Evolution Podcast which was published on 28 May 2022
Kim McCaul: Most religious traditions have the notion of some kind of spiritually more advanced beings. These beings are usually surrounded by mystical and mythical ideas, putting them far beyond the reach of us mere mortals. Angels, avatars, Buddhas, Jesus, gods and demigods are all terms for such beings often tied up in oppressive religious dogmas. A more rational study of modern dimensionality allows us to understand that, as per usual, these different traditions contain partial truths hidden underneath their cultural distortions. There are different evolutionary stages to consciousness, and as some consciousnesses move forward in their growth, they do indeed start to seem godlike and totally unlike us. But once we appreciate that we are also on an evolutionary trajectory, we begin to see that these advance states of consciousness are our own future. The evolutionary stages of consciousness are a big research focus in Conscientology, which proposes a model of different steps that we move through on our way to the “top”. And I'm putting “top” here in air quotes because we have to assume that there are other states beyond what we can currently grasp. At the pinnacle of this model, the stages that we can currently grasp is a category of consciousnesses called Homo Sapiens Serenissimus in Conscientology. These consciousnesses are fully aware of the fact that they are in their last physical incarnations and are entirely committed to providing assistance to all of us.
My guest today to discuss this evolutionary stage is Tony Musskopf, a psychologist, a facilitator and writer. Tony has a master's degree in peace and conflict studies, and for over 30 years he has studied, run workshops and published his research findings in Conscientology. His main focus of study is Serenology, which is the study of the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus. Tony is currently a volunteer for the international project BIBLIOAFRICA. I first met Tony back in 1997 when I started studying Conscientology in Rio de Janeiro. And since then, our life journeys have taken us both to Australia, with Tony now living in Cairns. It was a real pleasure to speak about this important topic with my evolutionary colleague and I hope you get a lot from this conversation. Towards the end, Tony shares a technique he has developed to help them understand the workings of the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus. I definitely encourage you to stick around for that practical explanation.
Finally, I would like to put out an appeal to you. As you will hear, identifying and studying living Homo Sapiens Serenissimus is not easy, as one of their key attributes is anonymity. And yet, if you are a student, an explorer of multidimensionality, it is entirely possible that you've had some encounters with one, either in or outside the body. If you think you may have, I would love to hear from you on the email provided in the show notes. And before we dive in, the usual reminder, don't believe in anything, including what we talk about here. Experiment, research and come to your own conclusions.
Kim McCaul: Tony! Hey, thanks for joining me today and I'm really looking forward to talking with you about your research on the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus.
Tony Musskopf: Thank you very much, Kim. It's a pleasure for me to discuss this complex subject in Conscientology. And I'm more than happy to go ahead and perhaps we have more questions than answers regarding this subject, you know, because the Serenissimus is a very advanced and transcendent issue in Conscientology. So thank you for having me.
Kim McCaul: Yeah, I think you're right there. This is incredibly complex. And we will probably end up with more questions than answers, in a way. But those questions, I think, are really old in a way. Like, you know, we talked about, you just mentioned the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus is an advanced concept in Conscientology, which I think is true. And the Conscientology's approach is kind of unique, but the concept of some kind of consciousnesses, some kind of beings who are in some way more advanced than others, beings like a Buddha or an avatar or that kind of concept seems to have been around for a long time. And so I'm curious, maybe to start with, you could just explain for people who don't even know what we're talking about right now with Homo Sapiens Serenissimus, what that concept is, what that term refers to. And then I'd be curious about your thoughts about how to place that idea, how it's developing Conscientology in the kind of historic context of notions about some kind of advanced consciousnesses.
Tony Musskopf: Okay. Let's start with the theory. So the theory of the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus was created by Professor Waldo Vieira, who was the founder of the Conscientology. He was a Brazilian researcher, and this theory was created in 1970. Actually, he organized a few years later an event in a university in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he officially presented this theory for a body of researchers. And that was the first official launch of his theory. But the name Serenissimus, it's a bit curious to know the history behind this name, because first of all, he accumulated a lot of out of the body experiences over his life. And he found in some of these experiences the existence of high evolutionary level of consciousness, as you mentioned. So actually this is not a new concept, the idea of a highest level of or more mature consciousness or beings. We see these in the history from different perspectives, from religions, from philosophical, ideological perspectives, but actually from Vieira's point of view, this Serenissimus is a consciousness like you, like me, like everybody else. It's important to mention that this consciousness it's a human being, a man, women, so they are here in this intraphysical dimension. But the name, the nickname Serenissimus, which means a person who has a huge level of serenity. So that that's the reason behind of the name. So Professor Vieira get in contact with this name for the first time in an extraphysical dimension. He was out of his body. It was, if I am not wrong, around, 1976, the sixties actually, in Sao Paolo and where he was seeing a crowd of extraphysical consciousness running away. And they were shouting the name, “The Serenissimus is coming, the Serenissimus is coming”. So he saw a lot of extraphysical consciousness running like a crazy and trying to flee from some kind of big power or some kind of a strange presence of somebody. And suddenly he saw a personality approaching with an incredible power of energy. And this personality was communicating with telepathy, a strong message of fraternity and serenity. And this personality was like floating or flying. It was not, like she was not like walking. It was a woman. She wasn't walking like us. She was like flying. And she was passing through this dimension, this extraphysical dimension close to the city of San Paolo. And she was like cleaning and energizing everything around her presence. So that was the first time he, Professor Waldo, heard that name and he used this name to create and build the theory around the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus. So in other words, the Serenissimus is our future. We human beings are evolving. We are evolving for millennia, for millions of years.
Kim McCaul: Just before we go there, Tony, there's a couple things from that story that you shared that kind of really interest me. The first is just a short one just for listeners. But I think this story, that experience is that who’s in Professor Vieira Projections of consciousness book.
Tony Musskopf: No, this is another experience. He didn’t publish this experience he had, in a book. He told about his experience a couple of times during events and he mentioned just fragments of this experience in his books; actually the experience you mentioned in the Projections of the consciousness book is with Monja. She is the Serenissimus that now she's not no longer in the intraphysical dimension and we can talk later about her.
Kim McCaul: This was a different one. Yeah.
Tony Musskopf: Yes is a different one. It's a different experience and it is important to say that Professor Waldo is not the only person that have already approach an interview and saw this kind of consciousness. There are other researchers, but Serenology, which is the science that study the Serenissimus is almost brand new field in Conscientology. Despite of this theory being launched in 1970, we are just doing the baby steps. The first steps, in learning how to research these high evolved personalities.
Kim McCaul: Yes. And I'm really curious to get to that later, because I know that this is your research focus. That's why we're talking today. But the other thing, how you to do that, I think is really interesting because there's maybe there's a tool that we can all use if we want to understand our evolutionary future better. But the other thing that you mentioned that I found intriguing is: you said that the consciousnesses were scared or they were running away and they were calling out. They were kind of like panicking. And so maybe you could explain about why would consciousness, why would people be as scared of somebody coming with what you described as this fraternal, peaceful, loving energy?
Tony Musskopf: Yes, look, the Serenissimus is full of paradoxes. So, one of them is exactly what we can see in Professor Waldo’s experiences. The energy of the Serenissimus is something irresistible. Once you touch or you approach this level of this pattern of energy, it's a kind of a contagion, sense of feeling of fraternity. Your mind expands and you see at this point the reality of your own consciousness. So this leads us to a self-investigation and puts us in a kind of moment that you need to face our corruptions, our immaturity and it force us to change, it force us to make like a lot of revolutions in our own lives. So when this personality was approaching that tropospherical, which is like a non-evolved dimension extraphysically close to the city of San Paolo and those consciousness were running away, fleeing from the possibility to face these realities, face the challenge of research and change themselves because most of them are linked to negative traits, vicious, pathological behaviors. And look, the Serenissimus is not the personality that wants to change or force changes in terms of that. This is an option that relies on each one of us, you know, but at this point, those extraphysical consciousness saw this level of energy and they try simply to escape from their responsibility of changing themselves. So that's why they are running. They're escaping from the extraphysical presence of the Serenissimus.
Kim McCaul: So it was too confronting. So the energy, the difference of their own holothosene, their own level of thinking and feeling was too, there was too much dissonance between theirs and that carried by the Serenissimus.
Tony Musskopf: Yes, I can give you kind of example so you can think of the gap between of the evolutionary level from the Serenissimus and ourselves normal or vulgar human beings, let's say that. We can think about ourselves and the apes or mammals or other animals. For example, let's imagine that we are in Africa, in a savannah, and we want to help a lion or elephant that has a disease or any problem. So if we, as human beings try to approach this animal, he's going to be afraid of our presence because the animal won't be able to understand that we are there to actually help him in order to protect him or even save his life. You know what I mean? This confrontation is from the zoological, animal perspective and from the Serenissimus perspectives, we are animals. We are lower evolved, we have a lower level of understanding about the evolutionary system and we can react in that way. So this is a natural reaction when you see like a huge gap or a huge difference between evolutionary levels of consciousness.
Kim McCaul: Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. It's like somebody offering you help and you're like, No, I don't want that help. I want to do it my own way. Even though that would be very painful and take you much longer.
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. Another example is, for example, I work as a psychologist in Brazil and here in Australia for many years. We go to a lot of communities and we support a lot of families that are facing multiple problems from domestic violence, drugs, mental health issues. And even if you have like a lot of options, tools, resource, multiprofessional teams to help and try to change those realities, at the end of the day, this is a decision of each one, of each family, of each parent or each person to change their reality. And sometimes or in some cases you are not welcome even if you have the best intention ever. You know what I mean? So but this is just like a simple idea in terms of the Serenissimus. This is much, much more complex, you know, because the difference, the gap between those consciousnesses are much higher. And it's another paradox because they are among us, they are living among us, they are consciousnesses, they are like us human beings, they can be our neighbors. They can deliver your parcel at your door, you know, you can meet them in the supermarket and the streets. They are pretty close and living among us, but we cannot notice them. They are giants hidden among dwarves, so we are living alongside with these persons, with this consciousness, without noticing them. So this level of camouflage or anonymous condition, they sustain, it’s also another paradox of the Serenissimus essence.
Kim McCaul: So yes, a giant among dwarves. And you mentioned a few times that there is this huge gap between us and Serenissimus. Maybe you could explain a bit what is this gap constituted of? You know, what does it mean to have this gap and in what ways? Does it show up? What traits? I guess what elements of their personality or attributes are so different from that of us as a regular human?
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. Yeah, that's an interesting question because when we start studying the traits or - we use a word Conscientology that is the strong traits, the mega strong traits, which is the positive characteristics, the potential, the skills a person has. So the Serenissimus have multiple positive characteristics. For example, the first one is their evolutionary level. They, as a as we discussed before, they are in the final stages of their evolutionary journey on this planet. So in a few lives they will become something that we call free consciousness, so they won't need to be reborn anymore like us. So they are in the last stages or the last moments of the cycle of life and death of their reincarnation, if you prefer to use like a common word for that. So this is one of the main characteristics of this Serenissimi personalities. They are like reaching the highest level or the evolutionary level in the human, in the humanity and planet, so soon they won't be among us anymore because they will jump to another cycle of evolution. They will become free consciousness. They no longer need to have a body, a physical body, a physical life, and even an extraphysical life like us, normal human beings, because they are just going to live with a mental body, which is like a body more subtle and advanced. So this is one of the characteristics of the Serenissimus. Another one is the serenity itself, the emotional reaction. They don't have it anymore. They don't have toxicity or ups and downs in terms of emotional reactions. If you get in contact with the holothosene, which means the vibes of this personality, you can feel yourself like in a kind of a spring season, your own energy is start getting higher and very positive because they are unshakable. No one can annoy them. And even if they go to places like we said before, in Sao Paolo, a metropolis or capital city, or even if you go to a place like a war zone, for example, we are seeing like Ukraine now with all this conflicts going on in Europe, the Serenissimus is able to go to visit a war zone and help civilians, the military troops or whoever in places like that and Serenissimus is able to understand the suffering and all this madness of a war and being in that environment without suffering and without being affected by these pathological behaviors, being able to help these personalities that are in this kind of place. So they are not insensitive persons. Actually they are in the opposite situation, they are very empathetic. They can understand you, they can make connection and synchronize their own feelings with other living beings and help them with their serenity. So serenity is another characteristic of the Serenissimus. They have no self-conflicts anymore. They are at peace with themselves. They understand the humanity from a multidimensional perspective. And as I mentioned, with the example of the lion in the savanna, they understand our instinctive reactions, our animalised behaviors, and they simply don't suffer with that because they know that we are not as mature as them and they actually want to help and share their knowledge and their wisdom in terms of trying to catalyze or make our evolution better and quicker. You know what I mean? So that's the main reason of them.
Kim McCaul: And, you know, it's interesting when you are talking, it's kind of a bit like us and them, right? You're talking like they are like us and they understand us almost like we are kind of an animal or some other kind of species. But, you know, as you are talking, I guess my sense is that the reason, the reason they are able to, I mean somebody who is a Serenissimus is able to fully empathize with the people in the war zone, both the victims and the perpetrators, the people that are suffering and the people that are inflicting the suffering, is because they themselves have been through all of those stages as part of their evolution and I'm assuming are fully aware of, there's a memory, there's an active memory at that stage of their own multi existential history, I'm assuming. So I guess it goes back to what you were saying earlier, that that is our future. That is our future reality.
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. Look, everybody has a level of serenity nowadays, right now, you know, because we are kind of seeds of Serenissimus now, we are just doing the first steps and one day you or myself, everybody will reach and will get and leave this evolutionary level. This is a matter of time. So for example nowadays it's important to think about how we react in terms of crazy things that you see in the society. For example, this Ukranian war, the climate change challenges and things like that, you know. So the way we react from these situations, these circumstances show us how serene, how fraternal, how evolved we are in terms of the Serenissimus. It's a good way to compare and see how big is the gap we have nowadays. That's the main idea there, the comparison between human beings and animals. It's a good way to understand this gap. You know, you can think from the other way. We can think, for example, if you talk to your cat or to your dog at home or any pet you have at home and try to explain to these animals some complex ideas, some abstract ideas, you won't be able to do that. And the cat won't be able, the dog won't be able to express or talk or develop a logical thinking about their own lives at the moment. So this communication, this gap of communication can help us to understand this gap between both Serenissimus and ourselves.
Kim McCaul: Yeah, is a very good point. Yeah. So one thing that makes me wonder, when you have this gap, this big sort of evolutionary gap, is how do we avoid idealizing the Serenissimus, some sort of putting them on a pedestal, which I think is essentially what has been happening historically. Right? That you have these religions, you have the angels, you have the Buddhas, you have whatever the different traditions are, these beings that are described literally as otherworldly, as beyond our reach, you know, one has to bow down to them. How do we avoid doing the same thing now with the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus?
Tony Musskopf: I think this is a task for both of us, Pre-serenissimus which are us and the Serenissimus. So from the Serenissimus point of view, they have a right to decide to do something to avoid this gurulatry or to become myths, gurus or even gods, as you can see in the history. Because the beliefs, the religion dogmas are not something needed for us anymore If you want to live a rational, logical and more like evolved way of life. We don’t need this structure of thinking anymore. But from the Serenissimus point of view, they have already decided to camouflage, to hide themselves from us because they know that most of the population, the humanity is not ready to understand the Serenissimi or the theory of Serenissimus yet, because of all of these religions and beliefs we have on earth at the moment. So they are anonymous and this is one of the most complex traits of the Serenissimus. They use a kind of social camouflage and they look like a normal face in the crowd. So this is an intraphysical way they found to keep going to do their jobs, to work in terms of a huge level of assistance and at the same time live their lives. Because if they are man, woman, children, the elderly, young people here living here, and they have like huge responsibilities in terms of helping the humanity, they need to use this kind of social camouflage to keep going to live their lives. You know what I mean?
Kim McCaul: So how does how does a person who is anonymous.. Because when we think about people with huge responsibilities and with, you know, making doing big assistance, we tend to think of prominent people, people who run big charities or people who, you know, have multi-billion-dollar businesses and can make giant donations or something. So how does an anonymous person who might be your Amazon delivery driver or whatever, you know, your colleague in the office, how do they make a big contribution to assistance and helping millions of people?
Tony Musskopf: Well, this works in terms of multidimensional assistance. This is not only physical assistance. For example, let's imagine that a cleaner that works in the Pentagon corridors, this person can be a Serenissimus. He can work there among multiple military leaders in Washington, in the Pentagon. And by using the energy and by using their multidimensional assistance, this person can work behind the scenes to try to de-escalate decisions that can lead to more complex crises in terms of military crisis worldwide. You know what I mean? So they use the energy, the basis or the source of the assistance provided by the Serenissimus is energy. So they are located in places, institutions or even in in places linked to hot spots of bio-energies. And they are able to collect, accumulate and concentrate these energies and spread this fraternity and this positiveness to the people that actually are the leaders in the intraphysical dimension. And they can inspire people. They can help scientists. They can help the physical or intraphysical leaders. They are like doing the job here, intraphysically. So this is just one side of the assistance the Serenissimus can provide.
Kim McCaul: In a sense, people's thoughts would change, right? That what you're saying, like people making critical decisions and then because of the presence of the Serenissimus they might access more fraternal thoughts, more positive thoughts, more rational thinking.
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. Imagine if you are in a meeting, to try decide a peace agreement between two countries in war. And one of the persons that are on that table in that discussions receive a huge positive fraternal energy. This is going to change the nature of the discussion of this meeting, and this can affect positively the outcomes of that meeting. This person can be the person who delivers the water, the catering. Is not necessarily to be the leader, the president or someone in a political position. So the energy is a kind of way to communicate ideas. But let's clarify one important thing. The Serenissimus is not able to change minds, but they can create opportunities and provide ideas. And if you are able to absorb or understand this kind of frequency, or ideas or new ideas, you can use them and it’s all about how open we are to understand and use them. So you can ask me Kim: “Well, the world is chaotic nowadays. We see a lot of problems. What the Serenissimus have done because we are not living in a organized world and.. what's going on?” So that's the point. The Serenissimus respect our level of evolution. Going back to example of the savannah. We cannot prevent the lion from attack, hunt and kill the zebra. You know, this is this is lions nature.
Kim McCaul: So I guess what you're saying, Tony, is that Serenissimus is not stopping us making bad decisions. Is that also why they're not giving us all the answers, you know, helping us cure diseases and all the wars, giving us the solutions on how to live better on this planet? Is that all kind of part of the same deal, that they don't interfere in that way?
Tony Musskopf: Yeah, that's true. They don't interfere because they understand and they respect our level of evolution, our evolutionary level now. So, for example, we now have already evolved in terms of civilization, in terms of society. And perhaps some of these evolutionary steps, there are perhaps the Serenissimus touch behind these evolutionary steps in terms of civilization. For example, we now live, most of the countries, in new democracies. We have human rights. We have diplomatic ways of dealing with conflict instead of just making wars. And we live longer, we have the longevity, the science. The medicine has evolved and now we are able to live without being affected by a simple disease. You know, we can talk about Serenissimus and Conscientology and multiple subjects without being persecuted by dictatorships or authoritarian regimes in most of the countries, not all countries, but we have a freedom of speech. We have libraries, we have Internet. We are studying the universe and exploring other planets and even our own consciousness. So I ask you Kim where these new ideas came from? From Conscientology’s perspective, most or some of these ideas are not original. They have already existed in other dimensions, in more evolved communities, extraphysically speaking, and even in other planets, more evolved planets. So the Serenissimus they are able to inspire leaders and people, researchers, philosophers to try to spread these new and fraternal ideas and ways of life for us. But this is something that happens little by little, and they respect this level of maturity we have nowadays instead of force change. Because that's not why or how the evolution works. Everybody has their own responsibility towards their own evolution. So we cannot change or force anybody to evolve. This is your own homework. It is something that you're going to do by yourself, you know?
Kim McCaul: It goes really to the nature of our reality then, you know, because I know people ask in online forums and stuff, people ask things like: “Why do I have to go through all this pain? And I have so much suffering in my life. I just don't I don't want to come back next life. I just want to leave.” Or people will say, well, if there are.. whatever, people don't talk about Serenisimus normally, but if there are angels or if there's a God or whatever, why do they allow all the suffering? And what you're saying is in a sense that the suffering, the struggle, the pain, the growth is the purpose of us being here.
Tony Musskopf: No, No at all. I'm saying that now we have tools in our hands. We have information, we have technology, and we have options to choose for better ways instead of suffering.
Kim McCaul: Yes, and I understand. Sorry. Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing. I understand you're saying that we now have much better tools, right? We have much better information. But in terms of generally, the process of life, you know, you might say, well, why do we have to evolve? Why can't the Serenissimus just say “Here are all the answers”. Or you know, whatever people think is the most evolved beings, why can't they just say “Here are all the answers? Live happy lives.” And clearly that is not the point. So there must be some purpose for this hard work that is life for most of us.
Tony Musskopf: Yeah, and I think the answer for this question is also related to the meaning or the purpose of the life itself. Why we are here? What is the purpose of being really born in a body? Live with a family, living into a society, you know. Why do we need to go back here? Why do I need to be born? Why do I need to live this cycle of lives and deaths for millions of years? You know, so that's a good question. And I believe that we don't have a clear answer for that, but I believe that Serenissimus reached a level of experience that covered basically all human knowledge. Imagine, for example, a person who is able to study all subjects, learn and be fluent in all languages, get all awards in terms of Nobel Prizes, art prizes, political games, have all intelligence, everything, all experiences you have in life. So that's the Serenissimus. But not only that, because you can add to that or you must add into that the experience in terms of paraphenomenon, the multidimensionality, the cosmoethics, the sense of fraternity. So this is something you won't find at the universities or the books or even in the conventional science or the materialistic science, is something that you need to learn from interacting with other people and help them. So the assistenciality is also another lesson to we learn from the Serenissimus because all they do is based on helping other people. They don't think about themselves anymore. Their ego, their personal interests are aside, because they are 100% focused on helping the planet and their humanity and let's say they are in the last steps at this point. And I believe they reached a level of experience when they they know almost everything on the earth and they are just in the last chapters of this journey, in going to another level of evolution, a more complex and something that we are not able to understand. The Serenissimus is the limit of the Conscientology, something that happens after that it's very hard for us to understand. Even the Serenissimus it's very hard because they probably have cognitive skills or other kind of intelligences and features that we are not able to understand and comprehend in terms of our logics nowadays. So I'm not sure if I answered your question, but they respect our freedom of choice and the ability we have to make choices in our lives. But they also give us or help us, give us new ideas, new opportunities, new technologies, inspiring people to move forward. So that's the point. They speed up our evolution. So, for example, if you live again with a pet at home, you cannot change the instinct of this animal. But the interaction between human and animal can, we can teach other. You can be more empathetic in terms of the animal behavior and the animals, perhaps they can learn something from us. They can even develop new language, you can see online, for example. So animals, they can talk, they can use devices to develop some wording and language to interact with humans. So this is a kind of example you can give to understand a bit of interaction between us and the Serenissimus.
Kim McCaul: There is one thing you mentioned I just want to quickly touch on because it's a topic that I feel quite strongly about. You talked about how the Serenissimus no longer have an ego. They don't think about themselves and all their focus is on assistance to others. And I think it's important to differentiate, because I know in many spiritual traditions, including in some very negative and manipulative traditions, that tendency in people that drive to help, that drive to be of assistance can be kind of exploited and people become kind of martyrs where, you know, it's essentially said that if you have any or if you want to set any personal boundaries or you want to create anything for yourself that can be shamed and that you were kind of ego driven and that it's spiritually, pure to only give it to give it, right? So I feel this feel is important to differentiate. I'm sure what you were saying about the Serenissimus is that in that case, that assistance, that continuous flow of assistance comes from an incredibly solid basis of self-grounding somehow. So it's not it's no martyrdom. There's no suffering in the kind of, you know, the Christian theme, like Jesus died for our sins. He went through all the suffering and all that stuff. Yeah. What do you think about that?
Tony Musskopf: Yeah, like, look, you mentioned Jesus. Jesus was not a Serenissimus. We can say that considering the circumstances, we know about his life. One reason, he was not anonymous. He was like a public personality, you know? Yeah, of course, there are a lot of histories and myths around him, around his personality, the old dogma around that. But he was not an anonymous person, so it makes us to think he was not a Serenissimus. And he also showed emotional overreactions in some kinds of circumstances of his life. So this is not like a serene personality or way in terms of control there own emotions.
Kim McCaul: I would say about the Jesus thing with the emotions. I heard people say this before. We know and I guess I don't know that we really know. For example, his storming of whatever it is when he throws the tables over or something like it's a story we don't really know. And the other thing I'm curious is whether to say someone is.. I’m not saying Jesus was a Serenissimus. I totally agree with that. But I'm just thinking when we analyze these kinds of historic characters, we really work with very limited data. And when we are talking about consciousnesses that are quite evolved, even if they're not necessarily Serenissimus, maybe sometimes there is a disconnect between, like their actions are more like performative rather than really, you know, representing. The actual emotional life. Going on. You know what I mean?
Tony Musskopf: Yeah, but look, I got your point. But what I would like to say is to understand the Serenissimus. Let's think about the circumstances. One circumstance. Imagine that you are able to help a person. And create a positive impact on this person's life. Without this person notice your assistance. So if you understand that, you start understanding how the Serenissimus work because they don't want to show their faces. They just want to make things to help people and help not only the humanity, but the ecosystem, the other species as well, and the whole harmony and stability of the whole planet. You know what I mean? So when you do that and you don't expect nothing, that's go back to you in terms of reward.
Kim McCaul: No gratitude, no adoration, no appreciation.
Tony Musskopf: No. And look, you are like pretty happy and this is something meaningful for you. So that's the idea of the Serenissimus. If you think, look, you can we can go to another extreme point of this spectrum. If you think about the serial killer, the serial killer is a person, is a psychopath, is somebody that make a lot of brutal things without showing his face. So the Serenissimus is exactly the opposite side of a serial killer because he's not showing his face, but he's doing a positive action, not only for one, but sometimes they are responsible for a country or continents. Their level, their jurisdiction, or in terms of existence is pretty high and wide, you know. So when you understand that we can help the people without asking for nothing, for no rewards or gratitude, that's the point. Extraphysically speaking, their job is much more complex because they are behind the scenes of another subject in Serenology, which is the extraphysical reurbanisation. You know, this is another big thing, in terms of the points you are raising. Our planets now is living or experiencing a kind of global or worldwide cleaning that a team of Serenissimis, a group of Serenissimus and thousands of extraphysical helpers have done on the pathological extraphysical dimensions we are living in this planet or we have on this planet. So there are billions of extraphysical consciousness in need of assistance in those dimensions. And these dimensions are around Earth. These extraphysical consciousness are stuck in very old trauma and dramas. They are intruders, psychotics, animalized consciousness, very primitive consciousness. They are trapped in their own emotional drama and let’s say, their old fashioned way of living. Imagine Neanderthals, people from in the dark ages, victims of medieval wars. They are all consciousnesses. They are there, they are living there. And these communities are like kind of battlegrounds, favelas, extraphysical lands or hells. You can use the mythological idea of hell. So there are a lot of hells polluting our planets nowadays and creating or reinforcing this madness in these pathological things. So the Serenissimus, they work behind the scenes, in a intraphysical life as a human being, but extraphisically they are doing a kind of reurbanization. They are demolishing these negative communities and rebuilding new extraphysical and more evolved communities. So this is a kind of huge social extraphysical work. Imagine the Serenissimus as a mastermind of social work in terms of Earth. They visit the extraphysical communities and they approach these personalities one by one. And then this leads us to the beginning of our discussion when professor Waldo saw a Serenissimus visiting Sao Paolo, when he saw a lot of consciousness running away from him, you know, and this is a kind of extraphysical task done by this consciousness. So they go there, they visit, and they approach one by one, and they try to rescue this pathological consciousness and send them to hospitals or extraphysical shelters, rehabilitation, extraphysical organizations in term of rehabilitations, in schools. And most of these consciousnesses, they are in the process of returning to life here, with us. And these consciousness, they are living now with us. And they are seeing for the very first time in centuries, things like medication, schools, computers, electricity, democracy, human rights, you know, all the things we mentioned before. So this creates, from their point of view, a positive catalyst impact on their evolution. So the Serenissimus, they don’t only help us to create new ideas, for example the human rights, but they also rescue consciousness that are suffering for extraphysical lack of human rights and put them here to experience a new life. So when you see from this perspective, you understand that the reason of us to be here in this life, with this body, with these animalised body, with this instincts, it has a meaning. It has a meaning for us to see new things as well and to interact with different levels of evolutionary consciousness, you know what I mean?
Kim McCaul: Yes. Because we can’t do that extraphysically. Extrahysically we're kind of largely surrounded by people of the same, more or less the same level, right? The same frequency.
Tony Musskopf: Yes. Yes, exactly. And here the evolutionary biodiversity creates the possibility for us to speed up the process. So this personality, they can choose to repeat the same things they have done in the past, for centuries or go ahead and try to experience a new life. You know, it is like putting Neanderthal populations in our contemporary world. So imagine that. So this is very positive. And you see the consequences and the implications of this reurbanization nowadays. When you see, for example, all the social problems we have now, the supra population, the mega cities, unemployment, the pollution, the climate change, all social chaos you have nowadays in the modern and contemporary area, these are, at the end of the day, some impacts, an after effects or side effects of these extraphysical reurbanisation. So from our point of view, these can be negative. Most of people can think: “Oh, our world is going crazy. Where..”.
Kim McCaul: Because there is a lot of crazy seeming consciousness, right? There are. I mean, you were talking before about all the advances that we've made, which is true. But it also looks.., if you look at some of the things that are happening in the US and in many parts of the world, in fact, with the way there are anti-democratic forces, really retrograde kind of medieval seeming belief systems that are coming back to the fore, that all kind of make sense from this reurbanisation perspective.
Tony Musskopf: Yes, it seems that we are walking or you're going back to the past, but is exactly the opposite. We are going ahead. We are moving forward and we are creating the intraphysical scenario for this extraphysical pathologial consciousness coming here and experiencing a new kind of world, you know. And this will he an age an era of extremes.You see, for example, we have people like Taliban people living in the same world that we have now, with astronauts exploring Mars, you know, other planets. Astronomers are studying black holes in the universe. And we see people living in caves our day in Africa.
Kim McCaul: Arguing the world is flat.
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. So these extremes, these huge gaps we have in humanity, this is a side effect of the reurbanization. And look, this is the big task that the Serenissimus have done for centuries. For example, the unification of continents. You see now, for example, one of the hypotheses of the Conscientology is that there was a Serenissimus living in Germany just before, just after, sorry, near the Second World War. And after that, we saw the reunification or the consolidation of the European Union. Look, the Europe lived for centuries in war. And now at the end of this last century, we saw the unification of that country. Now we are seeing another war in Europe and intention of doing some kind of fragmentation again, the neo-Nazi movement in Europe. So this is all about reurbanisation. So this process, it's happening now on Earth. And the Serenissimus are behind of this assistance. We are like, not aware about that. But you can be part of this huge assistencial task by start studying this and starting developing our parapsychism and understanding a bit more. How can you be useful and work alongside with this consciousness, this evolved consciousness?
Kim McCaul: Well, that really leads me to the final set of questions, which is how do we study somebody or, you know, a set of people, human, intraphysical and extraphysical, who very deliberately want to stay anonymous and to work at such an extensive scale and the how do we go about exploring and studying. And then you mentioned the Serenissimus from Germany. Like, how was that person identified? How are they identified and maybe, maybe get to that later. What other ones do we know of?
Tony Musskopf: Well, look, the conventional science is not or is still not able to prove a theory of the Homo Sapiens Serenissimus. We cannot prove it by using traditional methods and we cannot see the Serenissimus by using traditional tools or scientific tools. The only tool we have now to access and see this reality is by applying out of the body techniques. So everybody is able to apply, to study, for example, the Projectiology science and apply techniques to leave the body, to leave to the physical body, to see other realities, to travel to other dimensions, and to see the universe that exists beyond our intraphysical life. And when we start seeing other dimensions or extraphysical dimensions, sooner or later we are going to see and face the Serenissimus reality. This is a matter of time. So I would say that the main tool, the main method to his study and getting in contact and see and interview and understand more the Serenissimus is via or using Projectiology, using the out of the body experiences. So that's that's the main reality.
Kim McCaul: I would. I mean, I can understand it in theory. It makes sense, right. The Serenissimus is most visible I guess extraphysically or at the energies the evolutionary processes perhaps. But, you know, I read quite a lot of OBE literature by different authors. And I don't know that I've come across very many, even extensive projectors that necessarily describe, you know, consciousnesses that we would think on that that might be Serenissimus. So even then, it seems to be not that straightforward.
Tony Musskopf: Look, I guess there are some narratives in history that projectors left on, some chapters of the history in terms of contact with more evolved consciousness. We can see, for example, Emanuel Swedenborg narratives. He had contacts with this kind of realities. But he also developed the Swedenborg syndrome. He also overreacted and became like a person who start developing beliefs and dogma and religions thoughts about that. So then that's why it's very hard and I understand your point in term that's not straightforward. We are not ready. Most of us are not ready for that yet.
Kim McCaul: I mean, I think, many of us would find it like, for example, the very common experience that people have with near-death experiences is some all loving seeming being of light. You know, people give a different descriptions, often depending on their cultural background. But I suppose the natural human assumption would be when we experience that kind of love and we experience that kind of fraternity and just peace that is often described. Well, that must be a Serenissimus. But I would say that probably there are all kinds of levels, of all kinds of beings before that, that when they're extraphysical can emanate that kind of, you know, that kind of energy just at different scales.
Tony Musskopf: Yes. And look, and even people that experienced near-death experiences, like people being the survivors of the death, which is a kind of out of the body experience, are traumatized sometimes by the experience, but sometimes is pretty positive because this people, they need to rethink about their lives, leading to a revolution and recycle their own lives. And some people that experienced near-death experience, they saw these beings, these helpers. Most or some […?] narratives from this experience, they are pre-related or linked to the Serenissimus characteristics. You know. So we are kind of detectives. The Serenology is a kind of CSI of Conscientology. We are doing a kind of investigation and we also use a kind of criminology techniques to try to find them, to try to do to follow the finger prints of the Serenissimus. So it's a tricky science, it's a tricky field, and it is not easy. I would say that one of the first steps for, if somebody who is listening to us would like to understand a bit more about Serenissimus theory, is start studying, start getting in contact with these ideas. There is a book, the 700 Conscientology Experiments, a book from Professor Waldo Vieira, in English. The final chapters of this book explains the basis of this theory. Is interesting to read and study and reflect about that and the simple fact you do that, help the researcher to get in contact with this level of understanding or more complex idea. And a technique we can try as well is to study the Serenissimus theory by reviewing the literature about that and visit a national park. That's a technique I create a couple of months ago. You go to a national park and think about the Serenissimus and imagine that you are the ranger of this national park. Imagine that you a Serenissimus in that environment and start looking at the wildlife, the pace of the nature, the details. For example, the ants on the ground, the fish in the lake, the clouds, the natural way energy. And what would be your responsibility towards this environment. So if you start thinking from this perspective, this can give you some insights about how the Serenissimus works and operates in terms of this evolutionary level.
Kim McCaul: It's a beautiful technique. I can see how that would feel, would be such a nice experience. And I'm curious at the same time why would pick a national park and not let's say, sit in a town square where there is the human life taking place around you. You know, why would you choose a national park rather than that?
Tony Musskopf: Because it's easy for you to sustain a serene state of mind in a national park, which is pretty similar to the Serenissimus state of mind, instead of a metropolis or a urban area. The next level of this technique is, you can try this in a very busy city, you know. But from us, to start doing that, it's interesting to combine the multiple characteristics of the Serenissimus by going to a place like that. Because from the animals’ perspective of the park, you are an anonymous person and from your experience you can develop more evolved and serene and calm fraternal feelings and even expand your energies easily in a national park. A suggestion in doing that is going super early in the morning because it's calmer, the temperature is better, it's so calmer. So it reproduce what's happening inside of the Serenissimus mind and it can be a good technique. And after that, at night you can go back to your place or the place you are there, you know, rest and try to work with your energies and try to connect with the Serenissimus. So this is a simple technique, you know, and after that you can try in different or do or experiment variations of this technique. But this is the simple idea, to try to reproduce, try to simulate the life of the Serenissimus in 24 hours in one day, and try to think from the Serenissimus perspective in 24 hours. But if you do not study firstly about the theory, it's very hard to get insights about how big and how wide and complex they are.
Kim McCaul: So that that kind of what you just outlined really helps us to get into hothosene of the Serenissimus, to try and get a like an embodied feeling so we can better understand what it would be like to operate at that kind of a level. But I'm curious in terms of a .., you know, when we spoke before this interview, the conversation that even triggered the idea. You mentioned that you're researching Serenissimus and also trying to locate Serenissimus. So how do you go about that? What kind of research do you think I can use to find out, you know, is there Serenissimus in my area, in my neighborhood, in my state, in my country, whatever the scale, I don't know, how many? Actually, that's a good question. How many are we looking for? You know, is that one in 100, one in a thousand, one in a million?
Tony Musskopf: These are very good questions and we don't have all answers so far. According to Professor Waldo Vieira, there are around 100 Serenissimus living on Earth nowadays. So this demography give us an idea about how rare and how difficult it is to spot them. And don’t worry if you are living far or close to a Serenissimus, because their jurisdiction is wide, they are able to reach every corner on earth. They are everywhere in terms of energy. It doesn't matter. You can be in International Space Station and even there you can connect to the holothosene of a Serenissimus. It doesn't matter if you are in the middle of a desert, it doesn't matter if you are in the big city. So the point is, the most important is the mental and the parapshychic connection we are able to do with this consciousness. So that's the main point. But look, in terms of geography or if you want to map exactly where they are on Earth, or if you could put points on Google Maps to find them, I would say that first they are or they tend to live close to geochakras, which means they try to or they tend to live or they tend to be based at places on Earth that are hotspots of natural sources of energy. So imagine, for example, a place with a huge forest or a huge volcanic activity or with a cyclon area or country or on a combination of all this kind of energies, geo-energies, which means the energies from the ground, hydro-energies, oceans, rivers. If you go to some places, especially touristic places, you can see and can feel in the atmosphere something different. And I’m not saying about the touristic or cultural aspect, I’m saying about the energy of that place, though some places are more energized, more like they are stronger in terms of energy then anothers. And the Serenissimus, they use, they collect these energies to do their job. It's a kind of material or ingredient for them to do this reurbanisation. We can see from Vieira’s research, he mapped some kind of personalities, some Serenissimus around the world. For example, we mentioned the Reurbanisator, which is one of them who lived in Germany, close to the Switzerland border. Another close to Montauk Bay in the United States. This one we call the Eskimo, which is the Inuit in English, a fishermen. He's a fisherman and he has connection to cyclones and the aero energy. And he works to sustain diplomatic and peaceful works related to the Washington and United States and Mexico area, you know. In Latin America, we have Australinus, which is another one. He lives in the province of Cordoba, close to the Andes mountains, and he has connections to the Spanish culture. And he also works in terms of the politics and diplomatics in the Latin America region. The Antarctica as well. He has connection to the Antarctica, In China we have a Serenissimus there related to the Chinese culture. So they are everywhere. They are in multiple places. There are some researchers suggesting the existence of certain Serenissimus in Africa and either here in Australia close to the Great Barrier Reef, because of the connections to the ocean and the culture related to the old populations that live in the islands in the Pacific, you know. So it's all about your own experiences. We don't want to suggests this theory in terms of a dogma. We don't want to prove that. We are not concerned about or worry about having proof or physical proof of that. We are just suggesting this as a possibility. And the think, Kim, you have the anthropology as the background. You study the evolution of human being. And the theory of Homo Sapiens Serenissimus is a big challenge for researchers from anthropology, paleontology, biology, even psychology. This is going to change everything everywhere, if you consider the existence of more evolved human beings, which is our future, you know, but our future nowadays, right now. So that's the big point of the theory, you know.
Kim McCaul: And also, when you bring in what you bring in those studies of the past as well, would you say, does the theory suggest that there was always Homo Sapiens Serenissimus on this planet, or are they a result of millennia of evolution, of consciousness in human form, or did they already come from other planets or something already in this state.
Tony Musskopf: According to Professor Vieirra, they come from other planets because our planet is a brand new planet for Serenissimus. To become a Serenissimus takes like millennia or millions, billions of years. So it's something that is not possible to do in the short existence of Earth. So most of the Serenissimus we have here are from other planets, as an hypothesis. But look, perhaps for the first time, this planet will have its own human Serenissimus, so we can label them the Serenissimus made by Earth, so they are from here. So that's why the reurbanisation is taking place here, to speed up the process. But look, the positive side of this history is we are at the last chapters of this journey, we are not like birds, apes, insects, bacteria anymore. We are human beings. We have a brain and we have in our brain potentials and skills that are not being utilized, we do not operate at this potential. So we have a brain. We have a Serenissimus brain. It is just about to use it. You know, is just about to make the choice of start speeding up our evolution, to leave instincts, to leave primitive emotions, to leave immature behaviors, to put all these aside, you know, and prioritize what is most important for us, which is learn about ourselves, understand about our consciousness, and try to domain and control our own emotions instead of being victim of our instincts. You know? So this is the challenge of this theory. This is not a theoretical theory. This is a practical challenge. Conscientology is a science that invites you to study yourself and make a change in your self by applying techniques, as I mentioned before. So it's all about how to put theory in practical actions, to make our lives better, healthier and more meaningful. So that's the message of the Serenissimus theory at the end of the day.
Kim McCaul: Yeah, I like that. And I think, you know, as you if you want to grow and if you want to overcome, you know, all traits, weak traits and turn them into strong traits, it's very helpful to know, to have a model, to have a goal, to have working tools. And that's also the vision I'm getting, you know, which is why it's good, why it could be helpful for us to study about Serenissimus, to understand what it is like to be in that state, because it gives us something to work towards, even if it's not going to happen in this lifetime or the next lifetime. But there is a big picture vision, right? It’s like a focusing our consciousness in that in that direction of north, the Serenissimus.
Tony Musskopf: Exactly. That's an excellent point, Kim. The Serenissimus is a goal, it’s a model for us because we will be Serenissimus in the future, believing or not, agreeing or disagreeing. It doesn't matter. This is our future. It's the nature of our evolution. We cannot change that. We have done this for billions of years and now we have the chance for the first time to understand the next steps of our evolution. And as we said the Serenissimus is the model, is the most like advanced and understandable in some ways, model of our human evolution.
Kim McCaul: Well, I think that's a good place to leave it. I think, as you said at the beginning, it might have left people with more questions than answers. But that's a good place because that sets you up for some research and for exploration and for making your own discoveries. And I'd like to just remind people that the technique that you mentioned of going to the national park or some other beautiful sort of nature area, I can really see, even if people might struggle to connect actually with the Serenissimus, but just those practices that you mentioned about really becoming present to the big picture of the complexity of the system that we are a part of, the system of nature helps us uplift our thosenity, our thoughts and our emotions. And I would like to ask Tony at the end, is there anything that you'd like to say as a final words or any websites, anything that you would like to let people know about, to look at?
Tony Musskopf: Yeah. I just would like to recommend the book of Professor Vieira, The 700 experiments of Conscientology.
Kim McCaul: I'll put a link to that actually in the show notes because I know there is a PDF version available online, so there will be a link to that. You can access that.
Tony Musskopf: That's true, and I think this is a good start point for those who want to understand a bit more about the theory. There are a lot of Conscientology resources online. We can study it, not only about the Serenissimus, but evolutionary steps that are closer to us, because the Serenissimus it’s far from us in relation to wider evolutionary levels. So we can see a kind of degrees or milestones in terms of evolution, and Conscientology has a lot of resources. So yeah, it's all there. We can put this online and people can access that for free. Even in English. Most of the literature is unfortunately in Portuguese. There are people that are working on translating these into English. But yeah, in regards to the Serenissimus, the book of the 700 Experiments is the biggest source in English we can find. Okay. And well, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to share these ideas. And yeah, I'm more than happy to try to answer any questions. But as we said, at the end of the day, we have more doubts and questions than proper answers. But I think that's the spirit of science and that is the spirit of Serenology.
La versión original en inglés de este artículo puede consultarse aquí.
Cualquiera que sea nuestra filosofía de crecimiento espiritual o personal, es probable que incluya un esfuerzo para profundizar nuestra estabilidad emocional y ecuanimidad. La meditación puede ser una herramienta poderosa para que encontremos fuentes de paz interior mientras estamos solos. Puede ser bastante tentador asumir que los estados de felicidad que experimentamos en la meditación reflejan nuestro verdadero avance y estado de ecuanimidad.
Pero uno de los grandes beneficios de esta escuela multidimensional que llamamos vida, es que viene con una diversidad de personas para ayudarnos realmente en nuestro crecimiento. Y parece que hay al menos dos tipos de personas con las que uno puede contar fácilmente para ayudarnos a medir nuestro verdadero equilibrio emocional. Familiares cercanos y personal de un centro de llamadas "call center". Ok, el segundo es algo irónico, pero hay algo en la relación impersonal pero dependiente que a menudo tenemos con el personal del centro de llamadas, y las experiencias de estar en espera durante largos períodos de tiempo y pasar de una persona a otra, puede ser especialmente un detonante.
Este artículo se inspiró en una experiencia tan reciente en el centro de llamadas, que me dio la oportunidad de recurrir a dos conceptos que valoro enormemente: la comunicación no violenta y la comprensión de la intrusión energética.
Comunicación no violenta
Mientras estemos sujetos a procesos de pensamiento involuntarios y trastornos emocionales, estamos limitados en nuestra capacidad de servir a los demás y es probable que tengamos impactos en nosotros mismos y en aquellos a nuestro alrededor que preferiríamos no tener. La mayoría de nosotros conoceremos los sentimientos de profundo arrepentimiento después de agredir o ser rencorosos porque estábamos en un lugar de ira o dolor (los dos suelen estar entrelazados).
Establecer la estabilidad emocional es un negocio complicado, porque no podemos hacerlo simplemente deseando que nuestras emociones cambien. Las emociones necesitan ser experimentadas y entendidas. Esa parece ser la única manera en que podemos transformarlos y llegar a un lugar donde podamos estar a la vez con lucidez a ellos y mantener un sentido de paz.
Hay diferentes maneras de hacernos amigos y familiarizarnos con nuestras emociones. Para mí, una herramienta muy efectiva para lograr esto ha sido el marco de Comunicación No Violenta (CNV) desarrollado por Marshal Rosenberg. Puede acceder a varios recursos y capacitación en CNV de forma gratuita en línea (por ejemplo, un curso completo en YouTube y numerosos textos y hojas de referencia al final de este artículo).
CNV es un marco muy completo, y aquí solo doy una idea de algunos conceptos claves que me ayudan a entender, distinguir y cuidar mis emociones. En pocas palabras, CNV se centra en ayudarnos a establecer la conexión entre nuestras necesidades y nuestras emociones. La CNV se basa en el supuesto de que todos los seres humanos, independientemente de nuestros antecedentes culturales, económicos o de género, tienen ciertas necesidades universales. Esto incluye necesidades primarias como alimentos, agua y refugio. Pero también incluye necesidades que tal vez no se nos ocurran de inmediato, porque muchos de nosotros nos hemos adaptado a una vida en la que esas necesidades no se satisfacen plenamente. Sin embargo, son necesidades fundamentales como la conexión, el aprecio, el reconocimiento, el afecto, la creatividad, ser reconocido por lo que uno es, el amor y el propósito.
Existe una conexión directa entre nuestras emociones y nuestras necesidades, porque cuando nuestras necesidades se satisfacen, es probable que sintamos emociones positivas y agradables. Podemos sentirnos vivos, contentos, abiertos, relajados, pacíficos o incluso extáticos. Pero cuando nuestras necesidades no son satisfechas, experimentaremos diferentes emociones. Las necesidades insatisfechas pueden hacernos sentir furiosos, exasperados, heridos, ansiosos, apáticos, etc.
Reconocer la conexión entre las necesidades y los sentimientos es muy empoderador. Nos permite asumir toda la responsabilidad de nuestros sentimientos. En lugar de culpar a alguien más por "hacernos enojar", podemos asumir la responsabilidad de nuestra ira y entender que nos sentimos enojados porque no se ha satisfecho una necesidad particular nuestra. De esa manera, en lugar de encontrarnos sujetos a nuestras emociones, podemos comenzar a entenderlas como un sistema de guía para nuestras necesidades.
Debido a la forma en que hemos sido criados, lo que para la mayoría de nosotros implicaba encajar en un sistema que nos impone expectativas externas desde una edad muy temprana, muchos de nosotros estamos aislados de nuestras necesidades, ciertamente las más profundas. De diferentes maneras, tanto hombres como mujeres en el mundo occidental son socializados para no tener o expresar necesidades. En el caso de los niños, la atención se centra a menudo en ser autosuficientes y fuertes, es decir, no expresar ninguna necesidad. Con las niñas, el enfoque tiende a poner las necesidades de los demás antes que las suyas. El efecto es en gran medida el mismo: perdemos de vista nuestras propias necesidades fundamentales e incluso podemos desarrollar sentimientos de vergüenza, culpa e ira interiorizada por tenerlas.
Una vez que empezamos a escuchar nuestras emociones, pueden recordarnos. Por ejemplo, podría sentirme frustrado y solo porque realmente necesito apoyo. Estoy enojado y resentido porque necesito respeto. Me siento herido y triste, porque mis necesidades de conexión y crianza no se están satisfaciendo y así sucesivamente.
Hacer este enlace puede tener un profundo impacto en nuestra relación con nuestras emociones. Puede ayudarnos a entenderlos y aceptarlos, y también empoderarnos para cuidar de nuestras necesidades de manera más consciente. Una vez que nos damos cuenta de que somos capaces de cuidar de nuestras necesidades, comenzamos a entender que también estamos a cargo de las emociones que experimentamos. Al reconocer nuestras necesidades, naturalmente experimentaremos muchas más emociones edificantes que las pesadas y difíciles.
Y al darnos cuenta que cualquier comportamiento de los demás que nos llamó la atención, tambien refleja de que están tratando de satisfacer sus propias necesidades y podemos desarrollar una mayor empatía. No necesitamos necesariamente expresar nada. El simple hecho de que sintamos empatía genuina por la otra persona puede cambiar la forma en que se manifiesta y ciertamente cambiará la forma en que respondemos a la vida. Las necesidades y las emociones son una característica universal de la experiencia humana, ¡así que también podemos tomar el control consciente de ellas!
A medida que desarrollamos nuestra conciencia emocional, podemos encontrar que nos sentimos en paz la mayor parte del tiempo. Los problemas de trabajo ya no son un detonante como solían hacerlo, ni estar atrapados en el tráfico, ni las personas cortando la línea en las tiendas, o extraviar las gafas o espejuelos. En cada uno de esos casos podemos notar sentimientos de frustración, ira, impaciencia y así sucesivamente. Pero una vez que nos convertimos en expertos en desempacar las necesidades que no están siendo satisfechas en ese momento, ese proceso de auto-cuidado y auto- reconocimiento por sí solo puede ayudarnos a retomar los sentimientos de ecuanimidad y equilibrio. Por supuesto, si los sentimientos de frustración, aburrimiento y demás persisten y son recurrentes, por ejemplo en un trabajo o relación insatisfactoria, entonces llega un momento en que no sólo queremos reconocer nuestras necesidades insatisfechas, sino tomar medidas deliberadas para satisfacerlas y hacer el cambio.
A continuación, comparto la aplicación práctica de este modelo a través de una experiencia reciente en el centro de llamadas, donde pasé una hora al teléfono con un representante de servicio al cliente de mi compañía telefónica. La experiencia generó fuertes sentimientos de frustración, porque aparentemente no podíamos entendernos el uno al otro. Usando el marco de CNV: mis necesidades eran de comunicación mutua, comprensión y facilidad y esto no siendo satisfecho condujo a sentimientos de frustración y finalmente, exasperación. Al hacerlo, esta interacción proporcionó una hermosa oportunidad de aprendizaje sobre la relación entre la autorresponsabilidad y la intrusión de las energías externas.
Atender a las energías que nos llegan de otras personas
Hasta ahora, he hablado sobre el autocuidado emocional y esto es muy importante, porque tener tal cuidado es lo que nos pone en el asiento del conductor de nuestra experiencia interna. Pero a pesar de toda su riqueza, la CNV no tiene en cuenta la naturaleza multidimensional de la vida y la forma en que podemos impactarnos energéticamente a través del tiempo y el espacio.
En la concienciología, el concepto de las energías negativas de una persona (pensamientos y emociones) impactado a otra se llama intrusión. En otras palabras, la intrusión ocurre cuando estamos sujetos a energías patológicas de otro, o cuando nuestras energías patológicas impactan en otros. Estas interacciones pueden ocurrir entre nosotros y otras personas físicas o extrafísicas. Frecuentemente hay una combinación multidimensional. Por ejemplo: si una persona emite pensamientos y emociones resentidas o incluso odiosas hacia otra, es muy probable que tenga compañía extrafísica que se haga eco de sus sentimientos y se sume a ello, posiblemente incluso se adhiera al objetivo de estas energías emocionales y lo asedie a través de sus propios pensamientos hostiles y energía emocional. Cuando tales conciencias extrafísicas están involucradas, por lo general, somos completamente inconscientes de la causa de nuestro repentino cambio de humor o de sentimientos persistentes e inquebrantables, pero bastante irracionales, por ejemplo, ira, odio a sí mismo o depresión.
Todos habremos experimentado la intrusión en algún momento, tanto de otras personas físicas como extrafísicas. Un ejemplo muy tangible que he visto con demasiada frecuencia es lo que yo llamo una reacción encadenada de ira. Por ejemplo, pierdo los estribos con mi hijo mayor (porque no atendí mis necesidades adecuadamente), luego se desquita con su hermana menor reflejando cualquier ira que acaba de experimentar, y luego ella hace lo mismo con la más joven.
Cuando un padre está enojado con su hijo, puede inducir sentimientos de culpa y vergüenza en el niño. Estos son sentimientos muy desagradables de sostener y es natural tratar de encontrar una manera de "transmitirlos", ya sea a los hermanos menores, en la escuela o en la comunidad. Llevar esas emociones a otra persona, por supuesto, no es una forma saludable de manejar nuestros sentimientos desagradables, pero parece bastante instintivo y podemos verlo a nuestro alrededor. Este es un ejemplo muy directo y común de intrusión donde cualquier observador podría ver la energía emocional que impacta a la otra persona.
Desde un punto de vista multidimensional, se vuelve más complicado, porque los sentimientos de vergüenza, ira o frustración de una persona también pueden afectar a otra, incluso si no hay una expresión física directa de ellos. Por el simple hecho de que dos personas se conecten, aunque su conversación superficial sea amistosa, energéticamente podemos seguir siendo influenciados por los sentimientos subconscientes o reprimidos de resentimiento, frustración, etc. Somos especialmente susceptibles si llevamos las semillas para esos mismos sentimientos, y la mayoría de nosotros lo hacemos. En tal caso, podemos salir de la interacción con una extraña sensación de resentimiento que no existía antes. Podemos dirigirlo a algún otro tema en nuestra vida que no esté relacionado con la persona que acabamos de conocer y completamente inconscientes de que nuestros propios sentimientos internos fueron simplemente agitados por la energía de la otra persona. Ahora imaginen que sucede lo mismo cuando el detonante es una persona extrafísica que no podemos ver y que ni siquiera sabemos que existe. La intrusión es un tema grande y complicado, pero con suerte obtendrá la idea general de este breve esquema.
Mi conversación con la persona del centro de llamadas fue cortés, pero ambos claramente nos estábamos frustrando, y mientras expresaba mi frustración (es decir, le dije con claridad y calma que me estaba frustrando y que me gustaría hablar con otra persona) profesionalmente enmascaró sus sentimientos con "cortesía" de servicio al cliente y una determinación cada vez mayor de "ayudarme". Después de que dejé la conversación, sin que ella pudiera resolver el problema, sentí que todavía podía sentir su resentimiento e ira hacia mí. Pero, por supuesto, tuve que ser cauteloso porque tal vez estaba sintiendo mis propios sentimientos y proyectándolos sobre ella.
Uno de los riesgos de introducir el concepto de intrusión en nuestro universo es que podemos terminar culpando a los demás de cualquier emoción y experiencia desagradables. Sí, la intrusión es una realidad, pero el punto de entrada clave es siempre nuestro propio mundo interior. La causa inicial de nuestra ira, frustración o dolor se encuentra dentro de nosotros mismos. La intrusión luego entra y explota ese rasgo para amplificar y posiblemente prolongar nuestra experiencia de dolor. Pero para saber que está presente y que no solo estamos proyectando en el mundo, primero necesitamos ser realmente claros sobre nuestra propia experiencia interna.
Ensemblar las piezas
En este caso, esto implicó primero tener muy claro qué necesidades no se estaban satisfaciendo en mi interacción con la dama del centro de llamadas y qué emociones desencadenaron en mí. Había una serie de cosas que me frustraban y exasperaban. Ella no entendió mi petición, a pesar de los repetidos intentos de explicar mi situación. A veces parecía entender mi petición, repitiendo textualmente lo que le acababa de decir, pero luego añadió otros elementos que no tenían nada que ver con lo que yo había dicho, lo cual era confuso.
Cuando eventualmente le pedí que me comunicara con otra persona, ella no respondió a esa solicitud al principio, tratando de simplemente seguir adelante como si yo no hubiera dicho nada. Después de insistir repetidamente, me dijo que tendría que esperar al menos una hora en la línea, lo que me hizo sentir tanto desanimado ante esa perspectiva como resentido por no haber sido ayudado. Me pareció que en su mente tenía algo en juego para completar esta transacción, lo que la hizo invertir una gran cantidad de energía tenaz para seguir adelante, a pesar de que tampoco puede haber sido fácil para ella, ya que expresé mi insatisfacción cada vez con más claridad.
Después de la llamada me sentí tenso e irritado. Para no permitirme quejarme o tener pensamientos negativos sobre la persona con la que acababa de tratar, necesitaba cuidarme primero. Reconocí mis necesidades insatisfechas, que incluían facilidad, comprensión y apoyo. Hacerlo me permitió empatizar con mis sentimientos y una vez que lo hice, se calmaron rápidamente.
En ese momento fui consciente de otros pensamientos y emociones que estaban presentes en mi psicoesfera, pero que no los sentía como míos. Nuestra psicosfera es el campo energético más amplio que emitimos y con el que interactuamos con quienes nos rodean de manera sutil todo el tiempo. Si nos volvemos sensibles a ella, podemos sentir conciencias no físicas en nuestro entorno, así como los pensamientos y emociones de otros a través de esa parte de nuestra fisiología energética.
Es difícil describir lo que es sentir algo en la psicosfera, pero era como si hubiera un conjunto de pensamientos y emociones repetitivas que se alejaban 10 o 20 centímetros de mi cabeza, como si pudiera escuchar y sentir vagamente a otra persona justo a mi lado. Había una cualidad de “tono agudo” en ellos que no les parecía familiar y un sentimiento muy fuerte de resentimiento e incluso de rabia. Habiendo cuidado de mis propios sentimientos, ahora sentía que podía confiar en mis percepciones y sabía que estos pensamientos y emociones no eran realmente míos, sino que de alguna manera provenían de la persona con la que acababa de tratar.
Si no me hubiera cuidado, esta energía emocional podría haberme mezclado y amplificado mi propia frustración, y posiblemente incluso haberme encaminado a pensar pensamientos muy negativos sobre una persona que realmente nunca había conocido, o posiblemente haberme llevado a tomar esta frustración amplificada, y una ira que no era mía para empezar, hacia otra persona. Pero debido a que me había vuelto claro, ahora podía empatizar con sus necesidades, que supuse que incluían competencia, reconocimiento y control.
En lugar de pensar en pensamientos resentidos y negativos sobre ella, podría enviarle su agradecimiento por ayudarme, no con la tarea comparativamente menor de organizar mi plan telefónico, sino con el paso mucho más profundo de obtener una mayor claridad sobre las muchas formas sutiles en que interactuamos y sobre mis propios rasgos que proporcionan posibles vías de intrusión. Una vez que nos abrimos al concepto de intrusión, corremos el riesgo de demonizar a cualquiera que nos "moleste" con sus energías negativas, cuando en realidad son grandes oportunidades de aprendizaje para nosotros sobre el establecimiento de límites y el autocuidado.
Esta experiencia inspiró el megapensene trivocabular: Otros aportan claridad
Videos de referencia Comunicación No Violenta -CNV
A case study of the consciousness “culture wars”: Examining a polemical review of Netflix’s Surviving Death documentaryRead Now
In this article I want to look at one especially egregious example of public communication on the topic of consciousness, in the form of a critical “review” of the 2021 Netflix documentary series “Surviving Death”. If you haven’t read my brief introduction on how the concept of “culture wars” applies to consciousness I suggest you check it out as well.
The Surviving Death series is an attempt to popularise some of the complex data that supports the hypothesis that consciousness is fundamentally immaterial and persists without a physical body.
Over 6 episodes, Surviving Death investigates near-death-experiences, different forms of purported mediumistic communication (i.e. communications with deceased people) and studies of past life memories in children. The title of the review flags the polemical stance of the author: ‘Surviving Death’: Netflix’s New Series on the Afterlife Is Crackpot Nonsense (Schager 2021). After my own brief summary of the series I will analyse different statements from the reviewer to highlight how detrimental they are to proper understanding and communication.
The evidentiary value of the data presented in Surviving Death can be described as a mixed bag. Of the different data sets presented by far the most compelling, in my view, is that of the past life memories of children. The documentary describes three cases that have been studied by Dr Jim Tucker of the University of Virginia psychology department. Dr Tucker has been doing this kind of work for over 20 years. He picked up the mantle from his predecessor at the department, Dr Ian Stevenson who had initiated such research in 1960. Together with research associates they have analyzed and coded more than 2,000 cases of children who exhibited what seem to be spontaneous memories of past lives (Tucker 2013:136).
The three cases described in the final episode of the documentary series are merely examples of the other 2000 cases recorded by Tucker and associates. They are in my view impossible to explain from a materialistic perspective, unless we assume there to be fraud. In each case the child in question provides many remarkable details about their past life, such as the way they died, information about their parents and friends including names, and obscure idiosyncratic facts about their supposed past-life identity that they would have had no way of knowing. Tucker’s methodology to establish the accuracy of the claims includes a range of checks to ensure the kids had not been subjected to suggestion or been exposed to the information in other ways. Whatever you may ultimately think of these cases, I would argue that the only good faith conclusion is that at the very least they are highly suggestive of some kind of “paranormal” or as yet not understood data transfer. They certainly raise fascinating questions about consciousness and warrant careful interrogation.
By contrast, the four episodes dedicated to mediumistic experiences are much less evidential. Clearly, many of the people whose medium consultations are documented have received personally highly significant information. In some cases, this includes the sitter (the person visiting the medium) having previously mentally requested of the deceased they are wishing to contact, that the medium provide specific information that only the deceased could know. Sometimes they are given such information, and sometimes not. The documentary also includes sequences where the sitters realise after their initial excitement that all the information provided could have been googled. I actually appreciate the fact that such “unfavourable” cases are depicted as it adds transparency to the series and speaks to the complexity of a process involving expectations, loss and grief and possibly inter-dimensional interactions. But I also consider the evidentiary value of the cases presented to be limited and often explicable by suggestion.
The very first episode deals with near-death experiences (NDEs). The NDE at the centre of the episode was impressive, because the woman who had it drowned at a remote location far from medical help. She reportedly did not breath for approximately 30 minutes. Her survival thus seems miraculous, and it is tempting to attribute it to the transcendental experience she had while unconscious and possibly clinically dead. But in terms of evidential value the experience was limited, because the experiencer did not observe anything material that was subsequently verifiable. She did receive some information about a future tragedy in her life, but while no doubt significant to her personally there was enough variation between her vision and the way life played out to leave doubt in people’s minds about mere coincidences. There has been significant research into NDEs that do have substantial verifiable information (Rivas, Dirven & Smit 2016). And when one has a grounding in that research the account in Surviving Death is certainly highly plausible and emotionally compelling.
The point I am making is this. The documentary does not demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that we survive death. It is entirely legitimate to approach the cases it presents with caution. If Surviving Death was the only data we had at hand, I think we could well be left just as unsure about our post-mortem fate as we were before, albeit enriched by some interesting questions we could pursue.
But based on Schager’s review you would think the documentary is a complete waste of time and everybody in it utterly deluded. It is the kind of review that causes me second-hand embarrassment for its lack of consideration and critical thought. But it is sadly reflective of the tone adopted by some critics of the consciousness-centric perspective, perhaps as a way to emphasise the unshakable certainty of their materialistic conviction.
I will go through a series of quotes from the review and highlight where most of them fail in terms of genuine intellectual engagement with the subject matter.
The review opens with the statement that the evidence in Surviving Death “is of a pseudo-scientific, anecdotal, and/or outright fanciful sort”.
The term “pseudo-scientific” is thrown around a lot by critics of studies exploring non-material consciousness. It is powerfully dismissive without having to identify what it is that makes the research being targeted “pseudo”. In this case, the only episode that is arguably making a claim to science is the past life research of Dr Jim Tucker and some of the medical doctors speaking in the NDE episode. Dismissing them as “pseudo-science” without actually engaging with the research underlying them is disingenuous and simply false. They are clearly using the scientific method.
The mediumship episodes on the other hand do not purport to be based on scientific evidence or even represent objective evidence at all. Using the term “anecdotal” to describe this data is appropriate. The implication, however, seems to be that anecdotal data has no evidentiary value. In fact, a body of “anecdotal data” of sufficient size can carry significant evidentiary value. This is not the case in this documentary, and as stated there are contradictions and inconsistencies even in the limited anecdotes provided. But this actually reflects very well the variety of experiences and beliefs people have in mediumship and as such is still valuable data.
Finally to describe any data as “outright fanciful” reflects clear prejudice and a generally unscientific mindset. Maybe the data is poor. Maybe it does not really qualify as evidence, because it is just a person’s interpretation of a subjective experience. But “fanciful” is a purely subjective evaluation. There were times when suggesting that the earth was round or what humans would some day take to the sky were deemed “fanciful” by some.
The review goes on:
“… if you believe that verifiable proof of ghosts, the spirit world, and reincarnation is found in a random episode of a Netflix docuseries, then do I have some prime Florida swampland to discuss with you.”
Like any other large media company, Netflix hosts both high quality and questionable documentaries. The worn out “joke” about Florida swampland comes across as an arrogant dismissal of the large amount of people who use documentaries for their personal education, and obviates the need for the writer to actually engage with the data.
That the writer may not actually have a good handle on the data is clear from the next quote.
“That individuals testify to having analogous NDEs is similar to the fact that elderly hospice patients often state that they see, and speak to, their deceased relatives. Alas, Surviving Death ignores any non-supernatural explanation for these phenomena—say, that cultural programming inspires like-minded deathbed visions, or that aged men and women whose minds are deteriorating, and who’ve lost everyone they cherish, might naturally retreat into comforting family-reunion fantasies.”
There are at least two key problems with this “counter-argument” against the anecdotal evidence for NDEs. Firstly, the analogy between NDEs and deathbed visions is poor, because the kind of theoretically possible explanation for deathbed visions that the author advances – old people retreating into fantasies as they die – does not apply to NDEs. In NDEs people universally report similar experiences regardless of age, gender or cultural background. And the author’s take on deathbed visions itself is flawed. The suggestion that deathbed visions are somehow caused by “cultural programming” is problematic in societies where the cultural programming is largely materialistic. The suggestion that they are the result of the deteriorating mind of the aged is disproven by the fact that children have them too. Then there are many deathbed visions that, just like some NDEs, include important veridical elements such as the dying person seeing spirits of people they did not know had died. Finally, it is also significant that experiencers generally only see people who are already dead, not their spouse or other living loved ones who one might expect would come to them in a fantasy.
“To the series, anyone who doesn’t accept these spiritual concepts and experiences is a “skeptic” driven by “hubris and arrogance.” It assumes a perspective in which the veracity of its claims is the norm, and those who view them with suspicion are close-minded cynics.”
This is a misrepresentation of the series, which in fact includes plenty of instances where people ask questions and doubt the veracity of certain experiences. It is of course also ironic, but not uncommon for these kind of polemical commentaries, that the author is doing precisely what he is accusing the series of, i.e. assuming his perspective is the norm and viewing anyone who takes non-physical consciousness seriously as fanciful and gullible.
Now I would like to acknowledge that the author’s following questions are actually very pertinent:
“Where are the bitter, angry ghosts who want to vent to those they left behind? More pressing still, where are the spirits who, rather than telling their relatives pat sentiments about love and forgiveness, are eager to report back about what life after death is really like?”
These are actually important questions that also occupy some researchers who take non-physical consciousness seriously. Most cultures that accept the survival of consciousness are generally cautious about their interaction with non-physical consciousness, because they know that sometimes people on the other side are indeed bitter, angry, vengeful or mischievous. Addressing that issue would certainly have added more depth to the documentary. It is a key issue in understanding the relationship between our attitudes and mental state while we are physically alive, and our state once we have transitioned.
The preponderance of “pat sentiments about love and forgiveness” provided by non-physical consciousnesses is again something practicing mediums and researchers in the field comment on and explore. Probably the most straightforward explanation for this is that it is the kind of information people often want and ask for. I discuss this issue in a podcast interview with a medium who explained how she quit that role because she got bored with the repetitive questions most of her clients asked her. You can find that episode on Apple Podcast or Spotify. This is a question that would warrant research, but such research is only meaningful if we allow for the possibility that non-physical consciousness can communicate with us at all.
Finally, here is the critique of the episode in which childhood cases of past life memories are described.
“… in late passages about children who claim to be reincarnated souls, the show doesn’t cast a single sideways glance at the adults and kids making these assertions. Director Stern embellishes her action with spooky old photographs and expressionistic interludes—smeary faces behind glass, radiant sequences of blooming light and color—that visualize her interviewees’ accounts about the other side. Such cheesy aesthetics are in tune with the tone of this material, which is all-believing, all-the-time, but they do little to persuade one of this affair’s numerous outlandish contentions.”
By focusing on the director’s aesthetic choices the author simply side-steps the carefully data driven approach of the University of Virginia team who analyse claims of past life memories in children. They do in fact take careful sideways glances at the people making the claims and have a clearly described methodology, which makes fraud very unlikely. The children’s parents also feature prominently, and it is clear that past lives were not something they had an interest in before their kids started developing scary and confusing behaviours at a young age and they began looking for answers.
In summary, the sample commentary I have discussed is analytically poor and more polemic than review. It is perhaps at the more extreme end of hostile materialistic communication about the possibility of non-physical consciousness in the way it explicitly calls all those who believe or are open to non-materialist consciousness “crackpots”. But unfortunately the same underlying attitudes are also expressed by much more high-profile commentators such as Richard Dawkins or Susan Blackmore.
Obviously I strongly disagree with much of this review, but what I have sought to do in this article is to be really clear about why, and also acknowledge points that are actually valid. Such valid points would be much more valuable if they weren’t buried by hostility and ridicule against what is actually a very large group of fellow humans. If we really want to have a dialogue about fundamental issues of human existence, we have to start by recognising each other’s common humanity and try to understand why we have such different views. I am sure there are reasons for Schager’s hostility to this documentary and a consciousness-centric world view, just as there are good reasons why the majority of people in fact consider consciousness to be immaterial. Let’s start with understanding those so we can move on to the deeper questions about the nature of our being.
Rivas, Titus, Dirven, Anny & Smit, Rudolf. 2016. The self does not die: verified paranormal phenomena from near-death experiences. Durham, NC: IANDS Publishing
Schager, Nick. 2021. ‘Surviving Death’: Netflix’s New Series on the Afterlife Is Crackpot Nonsense. The Daily Beast 5 Jan 2021.
Tucker, Jim. 2013. Return to life: Extraordinary cases of children who remember past lives. Sydney: Macmillan Australia
Can we change the way we debate the nature of consciousness or any existentially significant topic? I believe this is a crucial question for the future of civil discourse and the maintenance of peaceful societies.
The term “culture war” is most often used with regard to issues that highlight deep cultural rifts, usually with their roots in our ancestral past. Issues such as our colonial history, racism, homosexuality, abortion, gun ownership (in the US) and climate change have all become battlegrounds for culture wars; invariably at the cost of meaningful and productive dialogue.
Positions seem largely divided into a binary of “conservative” and “progressive” and adherents of one view speak almost exclusively to those who share their perspective. Interactions across the divide tend to take the form of dismissive and even abusive and ad hominem online exchanges. Nuanced discussion and expressing subtle variations in opinions is very difficult in such a context.
All these culture war issues are of fundamental existential importance to our societies. Consequently it is perhaps not surprising that the most fundamental question of all, the nature of consciousness and its relationship to the physical body, is the site of yet another culture war. And to be clear, when I use the term consciousness I am not just talking about “being conscious”, but about our deepest nature or essence. This dispute pits those who locate consciousness in the body against those who consider it to emerge from some non-material realm. The former are often labelled materialists. The latter do not really have a single label and include a large variety of views ranging from religious, New Age and all kind of eclectic spiritualities, to science-based researchers. On the face of it, both interpretations can be justified.
There are conditions of the human body that point to a correlation between consciousness and the health of the brain as well as the overall health of the body. For example, if certain parts of the brain are damaged aspects of human functioning become impaired, or there can be profound personality changes. We can also clearly link the presence or absence of certain hormones and neurotransmitters to different states of consciousness. For some, this is strong evidence for the emergent nature of consciousness, i.e. that consciousness originates in or emerges from the brain.
Those who see consciousness as immaterial and independent of the body have a different take. They often look at near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences or mediumship communications with supposed spirits as evidence for the immaterial nature of consciousness. Others find evidence for this in quantum physics. For these people, correlation between brain health and states of consciousness merely shows that the condition of the human body impacts the way consciousness can express itself through that body.
To illustrate the differences between the emergent and immaterial consciousness perspectives, consider the following analogy. Imagine consciousness as the world’s best racing driver and the body as the car they drive. You can put this driver in a Formula 1 car, and they will set track records. If you put the same driver in a 1980s VW Combi with one flat tyre and no coolant, all they can do is limp around the track. The driver is the same, it is just the vehicle that is impaired. When the car finally breaks down, the driver can leave and find a new car. We can call this the “consciential” or “conscientiocentric” model, i.e. it views consciousness as foundational to manifestation. By contrast, in the emergent model the body (aka matter or energy) is foundational. Consciousness and the car are one. There is no separate driver. The car and thus consciousness are either well-functioning or not. And when the car dies consciousness ceases.
The question of which of these two models provides the more accurate account of human experience lies at the heart of life. This is why it is unfortunate that dialogue between respective proponents is rare and reference to each other often framed in the language of ridicule and shame, just as in all the other culture wars. Naturally, this stops meaningful dialogue before it can even start.
When we consider the deep history of the question, the polarization surrounding it is not that surprising. For millennia, religion dominated this topic and prescribed what one could and could not think about it. Not only that, but many religions have used their version of the consciential model of consciousness, i.e. spirit or soul as it would be called in that context, as a way of justifying terrible violence and harm. Such history lives on in all of us today and impacts both strident materialists and convinced conscientiotrists in different ways.
I personally see consciousness as distinct from matter and am keen to understand its nature beyond the physical body (if you want to understand how I came to that view you can check out my book Multidimensional Evolution). But I am also a strong advocate for respectful and meaningful dialogue. For the kind of dialogue where people at least acknowledge the arguments and logic of each other and can respect each other’s thinking, even if they end up disagreeing. There are many arguments against religion by materialists such as Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins that I whole-heartedly agree with for example, while at the same time disagreeing with their view on other things, including the nature of consciousness.
As someone who sees a lot of serious data in support of the consciential perspective of reality, I get especially frustrated when proponents of materialism simply seek to dismiss the consciential perspective out of hand without engaging with this data. The data I am referring to is not simply confined to anecdotal accounts of near-death-experiences (NDEs), information from mediums, or past life memories. Those are all crucial experiential domains for the exploration of consciousness. But the data about them now greatly exceeds anecdotes. Instead, serious clinical researchers from medicine, psychology and neuroscience have identified patterns across thousands of cases and highlighted verifiable elements where possible (see for example: Greyson 2010, Rivas, Dirven & Smit 2016, Tucker 2013, Van Lommel 2010). Rarely do proponents of the materialist paradigm seriously engage with this data set.
Of course the issue is much more nuanced. There is not just one consciential perspective. This means there is plenty of disagreement among people who see consciousness as immaterial, about what exactly that means. And most likely there will be a similar variation in the ways people rationalise the materialist perspective. But to get to those nuances, we first need to find ways to communicate despite differences of opinion and data analysis. Realising that the way we generally communicate fits the mould of the culture wars and owning our own contribution is the first step towards creating a healthier communicative environment that allows for human connection and mutual understanding. To the extent that we resist creating such an environment or revel in our assumed intellectual superiority and ability to “cleverly” mock those of other views we will only entrench division and slow down the progress of the evolution of our collective self-understanding.
In a separate article I will look at an especially egregious example of public communication on the topic of consciousness, in the form of a critical “review” of the 2021 Netflix documentary series “Surviving Death” . I will address some of the flaws in the criticism levelled against the documentary and suggest more constructive ways in which to have these important conversations.
Greyson, Bruce. 2010. Seeing Dead People Not Known to Have Died: “Peak in Darien” Experiences. Anthropology and Humanism. Vol. 35(2):159–171
Rivas, Titus, Dirven, Anny & Smit, Rudolf. 2016. The self does not die: verified paranormal phenomena from near-death experiences. Durham, NC: IANDS Publishing
Tucker, Jim. 2013. Return to life: Extraordinary cases of children who remember past lives. Sydney: Macmillan Australia
Van Lommel, Pim. 2010. Consciousness beyond life: The science of the near-death-experience. New York: Harper One
In this video I look at some of the conspiracy beliefs surrounding the coronavirus and how we can understand their appeal. It is based on an article I wrote, which I read with some added commentary and brief discussion of some comments I received.
If you want to read the article you can find it here
This article originally appeared in Paranthropology Vol.1 No.2
Many indigenous peoples and religious groups place great value on what we might call “extraordinary experiences of consciousness” and actively pursue them through rituals, ceremonies, drug use and other techniques. Anthropology’s key research tool of participant observation can open us to this experiential dimension, and there are now a good number of accounts where anthropologists don’t just observe the behaviour of their informants, but weave their own experiences of consciousness into the account (Young & Goulet 1994). This raises fundamental questions about the paradigm through which we view such data.
I here argue for the possibility of developing an experientially based, etic model of consciousness with which to make sense of the varied extraordinary experiences of consciousness that anthropologists collect in the field.
For the purposes of this paper, “extraordinary experience” encompasses altered states of consciousness such as dreams, trance and out-of body experiences, as well as such variety of experiences as telepathy, premonition, perceptions of non-physical beings, poltergeist effects and even uncanny physical sensation.
My own extraordinary experiences started during my first undergraduate summer holidays. On the recommendation of a fellow student I spent time at a meditation center in Solo, Indonesia. The elderly Indonesian teacher taught a fairly simple meditation technique that I started to practice on a daily basis. As a result, my world started to shift. It would be a very long story to describe all that occurred at the center or subsequently and I want to focus on the experiences that related to my later interpretation of ethnographic texts. Some key experiences were:
One of the things that helped me was my anthropological reading. I developed a particular fascination with the literature on shamanism and the various spirit cults that exist around the world. I felt I could relate to a lot of the experiences that were being described, including the seemingly neurotic behavior of some shamans (some of my own behaviour probably seemed quite neurotic at times) and people’s relationships with spirits, both good and bad.
I could relate less well to the anthropological modeling of those experiences. Based on my own experiences I considered informants to be describing, through cultural filters, real experiences, which the anthropologists were reducing to metaphor and symbol (Turner 1992). Depending on the analytical model, researchers would argue spirits are actually about power relations between genders, or about the social management of neurosis or used to create social obedience. Only one thing is certain, they can’t be real! As anthropologists we should be the first to realize that this attitude itself is a social construct, a point made by De Martino (2001) many years ago.
Of course not all anthropologists are reductionist. Numerous have exposed their own experiences of, for example, spirit encounter (Turner 1992), guardian spirits (Schwartz 1994) or OBE (Zurfluh 1981). Such accounts, however, usually avoid modeling of the experience, or confine themselves to the emic model of the informants.
Because of the background of the culture for which they are writing, researchers who have extraordinary experiences that they are not prepared to deny find their capacity to discuss them highly circumscribed. Adopting the discourse of the society where the experiences emerged is the most straightforward way of circumventing this social censorship.
But even authors who experietially accept spirits still maintain a resistance to etic modeling. In a significant paper in which she clearly expresses her opinion that there are such things as spirits, Turner asks a series of questions:
“What are spirits?” And I continue with the thorny question, “What of the great diversity of ideas about them throughout the world? How is a student of the anthropology of consciousness, who participates during fieldwork, expected to regard all the conflicting spirit systems in different cultures? Is there not a fatal lack of logic inherent in this diversity?” And the reply: “Is this kind of subject matter logical anyway?” We also need to ask, “Have we the right to force it into logical frameworks?” (Turner 1992:30)
I would suggest that spirit systems across cultures are not as divergent as Turner suggests, that the subject matter is logical, and that we not only have the right but the obligation to create a logical framework if we want to present our research as anything other than interesting, culture specific anecdotes. If we truly want to make a contribution to a wider cross-cultural understanding of consciousness, I would argue our research must be grounded in a paradigm that allows for mutual comprehension of diverse data.
Vieira, a Brazilian consciousness researcher, emphasizes the importance of combining personal experimentation with theoretical research. He argues that we must accept ourselves, the human consciousness, as scientific research instrument through which to obtain data (e.g. Vieira, 1994, 1997, 1999). Anthropologists know only too well, that our tool of participant observation is both our strength and our weakness in the eye of the harder sciences. In Vieira’s approach we engage in participant observation not only of the world around us, but crucially also of our own microuniverse.
Based primarily on a “projection interpretation” of the OBE (Alvarado 2000), Vieira proposes that any understanding of consciousness should be built on what he calls the consciential paradigm, which includes the following premises:
Here I can only touch very briefly on each of these highly complex, and no doubt controversial, premises. I argue that they can allow us to discuss a host of spirit experiences and altered states of consciousness without undermining the cultural interpretation of the experience.
For example if we approach consciousness as multidimensional and holosomatic we can make sense of spirit possessions logically and systematically, not as psychological fantasy or a ruse to obtain social standing, but as the interaction between two individuals: one with a body and one without. We could also engage with our informants about their dreams from an understanding that includes the possibility of OBEs as real, shared, experiences beyond the physical body. The concept of bioenergies, finally, has particular relevance to Australian Aboriginal religious experiences, for example the touching and rubbing of sacred objects or natural features during ceremony. More broadly it can provide an analytical anchor to understand a variety of healing and sorcery practices. I have explored these analytic benefits in the context of Aboriginal Australia elsewhere (McCaul 2008).
One advantage of this approach is that it increases our ability to communicate with our informants from a basis of mutual understanding. Of course we can have conversations about spirit beliefs or soul journeys without accepting the accounts as reality, but in my experience if we bring experiential and theoretical understanding to such discussions our empathetic connection to our informants is greatly enhanced and our conversations may take directions not otherwise available to us.
Another benefit would be that we could actually feed some of the understanding we may get from working with cultures with a strong value of extraordinary experiences of consciousness into our own culture. That way we not only improve our understanding of other cultures but enrich our own.
Finally we would open up whole new fields of investigation. For example, consider the following quote by a Western Desert ngangkari, or traditional healer:
“Ananagu doctors work with the spirit of the sick person, both when he or she is awake and when he or she is asleep. Ngangkari work at night when all is quiet, gliding among people’s sleeping spirits similar to the way an eagle soars. Ngangkari have special tools called ‘mapanpa’. Ngangkari travel in their spirit bodies at night, meeting up and conferring with each other. Ngangkari do not travel like this in ones and twos; they gather in large groups from extensive areas.” (Wanatjura, 2003, 15)
This comment suggests a potential field of nocturnal investigation, fieldwork during our sleep so to speak, but only if we are prepared to participate in this particular manifestation of consciousness, the OBE.
Participative anthropology of consciousness
This points to a fundamental element of what I am proposing, namely that to work with the consciential paradigm we need to go beyond theory and participate in the experiences of consciousness we are discussing, including OBEs and contact with extraphysical consciousnesses (i.e. spirits).
This produces a certain limitation, because this is not everybody’s thing. In fact I would suggest that, at least for the time being, this sort of research would be limited to a small number of researchers who are that way inclined and prepared to undergo the requisite training. Charles Tart’s work on state-specific sciences has relevance here.
In discussing the difficulty of consensual validation of states of consciousness Tart argues that such research and its validation will need to be undertaken by highly trained individuals - like in any other scientific investigation …
Public observation, …, almost always refers to a limited, specially trained public. It is only by basic agreement among those specially trained people that data become accepted as a foundation for the development of science. That laymen cannot replicate the observations is of little relevance. (Tart, 1998)
Just as the advanced mathematician will struggle to find a receptive audience among laypeople, so the advanced projector might struggle; but in neither case does it mean that what they have to say may not be useful. In the case of anthropology, the science that studies the human being, I would argue a full exploration of extraordinary experiences of consciousness really goes to the core of the discipline.
Alvarado, Carlos. 2000. Out-Of-Body Experiences. Varieties of Anomalous Experience:
Examining the Scientific Evidence. Etzel Cardeña, Steven Jay Lynn and Stanley Krippner, eds. Pp. 183-218 Washington: American Psychological Association
De Martino, Ernesto 2001 . Sciamanismo e fenomenologia paranormale. Metapsichica
McCaul, Kim. 2008. The persistence of traditional Aboriginal healers in the 21st century and of anthropology’s struggle to understand them. Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia. 33: 129-166.
Schwartz, Lisa. 1994. Being changed by cross cultural encounters. Pp. 209-236 in Young, David E. & Goulet, Jean-Guy (eds.). Being Changed by Cross-Cultural Encounters: the anthropology of extraordinary experience; Broadview Press: Peterborough
Tart, Charles 1998. Investigating altered states of consciousness on their own terms: A proposal for the creation of state-specific sciences. Journal of the Brazilian Association for the advancement of science 50, 2/3 March/June: 103-116 (accessed on internet at http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=42)
Turner, Edith 1992. The reality of spirits. ReVision 15 (1): 28-32
Vieira, Waldo 1994. 700 Experimentos da Conscientiologia. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Internacional de Projeciologia e Conscienciologia
Vieira, Waldo 1997. Projections of the consciousness. (2nd English edition) Alvaro Salgado, Kevin de La Tour, Simone de La Tour, trans. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Internacional de Projeciologia e Conscienciologia
Vieira, Waldo 1999. Projeciologia: Panorama das Experiências da Consciência Fora do Corpo Humano. 4th edition (revised and expanded). Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Internacional de Projeciologia e Conscienciologia (also available in English translation)
Wanatjura, Elsie. 2003. Preface. in Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (ed.) Ngankari Work - Anangu Way. NPY Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation: Alice Springs
Young, David E. & Goulet, Jean-Guy (Eds.). 1994. Being Changed by Cross-Cultural Encounters: the anthropology of extraordinary experience; Broadview Press: Peterborough
Zurfluh, Werner. 1981. Ausserkörperlich durch die Löcher des Netzes fliegen. Pp. 473-504 in Duerr, Hans Peter (ed.). Der Wissenschaftler und das Irrationale: Band 1, Beitrage aus Ethnologie und Anthropologie. Syndikat: Frankfurt am Main
This article originally appeared in the journal Paranthropology Vol.2 No.1
The variety of cross-cultural mediumistic phenomena is substantial. On the surface there seems only a limited relationship between phenomena such as: mass possessions observed during various religious festivals; a spirit medium who takes on the characteristics and mannerisms of a particular divinity while advising people of their fortune; and the contemporary platform medium who, with apparent ease, converses with the deceased relatives of their audience. Structurally, however, they all share common traits. Ardent skeptics, or in my view cynics, claim that they share the trait that the person experiencing the possession or mediumistic phenomena is either delusional, suffering a mental illness, or deliberately exploiting the gullibility of others (Devereux 1939, Lewis 1971).
Because these authors are utterly certain that consciousness cannot exist beyond physical matter, they are comfortable in stating categorically that mediumship, wherever it may occur in the world, is merely a social and psychological phenomena and cannot be what it purports to be. In the previous issue of this journal I have argued for an alternative paradigm that is based on an acceptance of the existence of consciousness beyond the physical body (McCaul 2010).
The adoption of this “consciential paradigm”, i.e. a paradigm that centers on consciousness rather than on physical matter (Vieira 1994), does not imply that we accept all reports of mediumship uncritically. For example, within cultures which embrace non-physical realities, social power and prestige can be conferred to those who demonstrate mediumistic abilities. Where status and privilege arises on the basis of perceptions that others cannot verify, there is significant room and incentive for deceit and manipulation.
While we as anthropologists must maintain our critical thinking, this does not mean we must confine our thinking to the parameters imposed by our society. Instead of being limited to looking at the social manifestation of mediumship, we can embrace its experiential dimension. This does not mean we must necessarily be practicing mediums, but some degree of personal experience with mediumistic phenomena is essential for a full understanding of the phenomenon. On the basis of such direct understanding, we can treat the experience as what it purports to be and embark on a serious study of the cross-cultural differences of inter-dimensional communication. In other words, by widening our focus we will be able to pursue research into the different ways extraphysical consciousnesses (i.e. spirits) engage and interact with intraphysical consciousnesses (i.e. humans and other animals) across cultures.
In doing so we can increase our understanding, not only of the variety of social structures that surround mediumship, but of the variety of inter-dimensional dynamics of consciousness around the world. Such an inquiry would be groundbreaking, as multidimensional experiences have historically largely been ignored by a science that has considered them a priori unscientific. Bringing genuine open-minded scientific rigour to them, however, is arguably essential to developing a real understanding of a multiplicity of experiences that is all too easily dismissed as illogical (Turner 1992).
Like the conventional paradigm, the consciential paradigm also highlights a certain commonality between the different possession and mediumistic phenomena found across the world. Instead of this commonality being delusion or deceit, however, it is that mediums are potentially intermediaries between dimensions; they are channels allowing non-physical consciousness a “voice” in this physical dimension. In some cases, this voice is confined to physical action, such as when the entranced person dances and expresses the physical features of the possessing extraphysical consciousness. In others there is speech and personal communication, but in a way uncontrolled by the medium. Finally, the medium maintains independent control, basically engaging in a three-way dialogue with the extraphysical consciousness and the physical recipient of the messages it conveys. No doubt there are numerous other varieties and hybrid forms of mediumship. But before we can engage in a serious exercise of classification and analysis we will need to decide on our paradigm.
In my view, once we accept the challenge to approach mediumistic and possession phenomena through the consciential paradigm we will open up entirely new avenues of exploration that have the potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the life of consciousness across cultures and dimensions.
Devereux, George. 1939. Maladjustment and social neurosis. American Sociological Review 4: 844-851.
Lewis, I. M. 1971. Ecstatic Religion: An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism. Middlesex: Penguin.
McCaul, Kim 2010. An experiential paradigm for the anthropology of consciousness. Paranthropology 1(2):7-9
Turner, Edith. 1992 The reality of spirits. ReVision 15 (1): 28-32
Vieira, Waldo 1994. 700 Experimentos da Conscientiologia. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Internacional de Projeciologia e Conscienciologia
There are many gains in becoming conscious of our dreams. The psychological benefits of exploring and interpreting our dreams were recognised long before Freud, in many ancient cultures. More recently, research into lucid dreaming has shown that we can use the sleep state to train our mind, heal our body and overcome fears and phobias.
And bringing awareness to our sleep may not only give us access to our dreams, but even allow us to experience an altered state of consciousness known as the out-of-body experience, a state where we experience ourselves fully consciously aware with the sense of being separate from our physical body.
Although it is generally agreed among researchers of the out-of-body experience that we can all potentially have such experiences consciously, in practice there is significant variation in people’s success rate. That said, it may be largely a matter of persistence. There are certainly plenty of accounts of people who applied themselves for some months and eventually succeeded to experience the freedom of out-of-body travel.
We can definitely all become conscious of our dreams, and that is itself enriching and a great first step towards expanding our consciousness further. Recalling and reflecting on our dreams can give us access to our subconscious processes, and especially at times of crisis which 2020 is for most of us, our dreams may give us access to anxieties, concerns or hopes we have not allowed to surface in our waking consciousness. Dreams, and the more elusive out-of-body experience, can also be a source of deep joy, and memories of some dreams can bring smiles to our face even days after the event. Especially when we are cooped up at home, experiencing freedom of “movement” in our sleep state can offer great psychological relief.
The following 4 steps will help you to bring more awareness to your night life:
Developing an Intention Throughout the Day
One of the things we discover when we start paying more attention to our dreams is that all stages of our life are connected. What happens during our day colours our dreams, and how we wake up in the morning can influence how we show up for the rest of the day. If we are not naturally aware of our dreams, such awareness won’t arise just by us wishing it to before we fall asleep. Instead we want to start conditioning our mind during the waking stage to notice its circumstances and check whether it is in a waking or sleeping body. This conditioning will eventually carry over to the sleep state and help us become aware in our dreams. The following are some simple techniques you can use to condition your mind. Throughout the day, from time to time:
Finally, another good way to prime your mind is to read over your own dream journal or to read descriptions by others who have had lucid out-of-body experiences or lucid dreams. There are also numerous Facebook groups where people share their dreams and other nightly altered states of consciousness. Saturating your mind with this reality will prime you to also enjoy such experiences.
Falling Asleep With Awareness
Intention is key when working with the subtle dimensions of life. Holding the intention of maintaining awareness and possibly leave the body when we lie in bed and are falling asleep is simple and powerful. We can also combine this with deliberate techniques to fall asleep with intention, such as the following breathing technique:
Generating Opportunities for Recollection
There is a proven method to increase dream recall and nocturnal awareness, but it requires altering your regular sleeping routine. It is totally worth it though! Set your alarm for 5 hours after going to bed. For me this is usually around 4am. When you wake up, get up briefly to make sure you are properly awake. I like to go to the bathroom and do a little stretch. Then spend between 15–30 minutes either meditating or reading something related to lucid dreaming or out-of-body travel. Of course if you already remember anything from your previous sleep phase this is a good time to make some notes. Then lie back down with the intention of staying lucid in your sleep and recalling your experiences. If you have any trouble settling down you can apply the breathing technique again.
Recording your Experiences
When you wake from your next sleep, take your time recalling your experiences. Ideally don’t move until you’ve gone over them in your mind, then roll over and write them down on a notepad (or tablet) you have handy at the side of the bed for that purpose. As already suggested, you can use your own notes to prime your mind for dream recall by reading them again later in the day. This can also help you understand meanings in your dreams you did not see at first.
For most of us it takes making some practical adjustments to bring greater awareness to our sleep, but the benefits to psychological integration, creativity and an overall sense of richness in our life are great pay offs.
Prolonged uncertainty is painful. Among the many hardships suffered by those stuck in refugee detention centres, one of the most tortuous is the indefinite nature of their situation. They have no control over their lives and no idea when their situation may change. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a wave of that kind of uncertainty crashing down among those of us who previously lived in what seemed like a well-ordered world. Because somehow, miraculously, despite unprecedented wild-fires, climate change and a low-key world-war-by-proxy, for most of us life has been continuing with a predictable rhythm. Suddenly, out of nowhere, emerges a virus and billions of us are affected in areas as diverse as our health and well-being, job security and working arrangements, family relationships and connections with loved ones, social life and entertainment, and in many cases our ability to simply move about. Anxiety and stress are natural human responses to such upheaval, as is a desire to find meaning and understanding.
It is this desire for meaning and understanding that I believe is behind the growth of conspiracy theories that has accompanied the pandemic. My social media feed has become host to a sudden flurry of such ideas, as well as rampant misinformation often shared by friends who I know as holding holistic, metaphysically informed and generally deeply caring views. In what seems like a complete transformation of their usual posts, these same people are now sharing videos of strident individuals who spread ideas and opinions that range from the outrageous to the outright sinister. These videos are shared and re-shared, leading to threads that become echo-chambers of self-verification. Posts are often accompanied by emotive appeals to share this important “information” so we can break free from the tyranny that is befalling us under the guise of the pandemic. Few posters completely dismiss the existence of a disease associated with the coronavirus, though some do. But many seem of the view that the social distancing measures are excessive and represent a covert power grab by the authorities under the guise of an exaggerated and even fabricated crisis, rather than a genuine public health response. I do not think it is helpful to simply dismiss the people in the videos and those who share them as “conspiracy nuts”, and in fact am deeply troubled by the trend. At a time where political polarisation already seemed at an all-time high, I worry that the scars of this coronavirus will be social rather than immunological, leading to ever deeper rifts between people and heightened potential for violence.
So this concern prompted me to try and understand why there are such fertile soils for these ideas and it turns out, their appeal is actually quite easy to understand. But before I explore that, here are some of the key points I have seen circulating. My summary is by necessity only a snapshot. The conspiracy theory rabbit holes are deep. For every theory that is met by a reasonable explanation, a new twist emerges to add a more conspiratorial plot, making these burrows almost interminable. A further complication is that no individual source necessarily provides all the pieces, nor are different pundits sharing exactly the same information or viewpoint. Rather, different commentators provide partially overlapping narratives, with variations that can always be interpreted as reflecting the deviousness of the conspiring forces. A coherent narrative becomes unnecessary when the “enemy” is an all-powerful, nebulous entity that can seemingly take control of any government, business or media entity.
What conspiracy theorists say
There are many conspiracy narratives. Here I will focus primarily on the English proponent of these ideas David Icke. By way of contrast I will briefly start with the American scientist, engineer, entrepreneur and budding politician Dr Shiva Ayyadurai (Dr Shiva). In the two interviews I watched he seemed a vocal supporter of President Trump, which of course immediately raises the question of whether his commentary is politically motivated. Some of the highlights from his videos include the following claims:
David Icke is without a doubt the most long-standing voice among the current proponents of conspiracy theories, having been a professional conspiracy theorist for almost three decades. David Icke’s two interviews on the coronavirus on the online London Real show have been viewed millions of times. Some commentators like to write David Icke off, because he sometimes refers to an alien lizard race as the ultimate guiding force behind global conspiracies. For many that is enough to label him crazy.
But he is actually very sophisticated at constructing emotionally charged narratives that appeal to the “common man” as well as to spiritually inclined people. He draws heavily on factoids familiar from conservative and right-wing media that consequently appear truthful to consumers of such media, and on anti-science and anti-establishment rhetoric that appeals to those who already question formal scientific, political and media institutions. As such he appeals to a remarkably broad demographic.
For example, in one of his interviews he spoken passionately about how little the authorities care about the elderly, as evidenced by poor pension schemes, thus raising questions about how an economic shut down could possibly be motivated by care for that demographic (emotional appeal), suggested in the same breath that the WHO is headed by a Marxist and was set up by the Rockefellers and is thus not a trustworthy organisation (fitting in with factoids used by right wing media to discredit that organisation), and suggested that the pandemic is an elaborate scheme to have everybody vaccinated (fitting in with the fears of vaccination by many of the so-called spiritual left). As a professional conspiracy theorist he makes a living from combining valid social criticisms with unsubstantiated ideas that have an emotional appeal to an ever-growing audience.
In his London Real interviews, David Icke applies what I’d call a scatter gun approach to ideas, covering so many angles that many people would be able to relate to at least some of them. The presence of internal inconsistencies becomes irrelevant at that stage. Key points included:
Even though some of his assertions seem to rest on the hypothesis that independent doctors and nurses are manipulating test results and statistics, David Icke absolves frontline workers with the explanation that they are forced to do things by cronies of the cult who hold positions of authority and impose systems that further the cult’s agenda. The overarching message from Icke in his interviews, and also his extensive writing, is that all global events are manipulated by this cult who want to enslave and control all of humanity and are moving in that direction in small but deliberate steps (he calls this “the totalitarian tip-toe”).
All events involving global action, whether it is regarding climate change, environmental protection more generally, alleviation of poverty, economic cooperation, or in this case tackling a global infectious disease, lend themselves to inclusion in this narrative. Because any global action can be interpreted as a step towards a one world government led by sinister forces. Consequently international bodies such as the UN, the WTO or the WHO, as well as major multinational corporations, especially the tech giants, all become essential players in David Icke’s conspiracy narratives.
In the midst of identifying fearful threats and plots against our well-being, both Icke and Dr Shiva intersperse their accounts with more positive suggestions about boosting the immune system through healthy eating habits, exercise and exposure to sunlight. And in David Icke’s case he briefly digresses into spiritual views about the immortal and powerful nature of our consciousness. But even these more uplifting observations lead to further evidence for the sinister intentions of the “cult”. Because in many places people’s movement is limited so they have less access to fresh air and sunlight, which “proves” that the authorities do not have people’s best interests at heart and are in fact trying to make us sick to then further justify the lockdown.
There are many obvious logical flaws and internal inconsistencies in these ideas. So why do they seem to have such a wide appeal, seemingly across the full political, social, religious and educational spectrum?
The appeal of conspiracy theories
There are good reasons for the appeal of these ideas, but I think one fundamental driver is the deep, deep uncertainty of our current situation. None of us have lived through something quite like this before, and those of us who usually enjoy privileged status in affluent, democratic countries have not experienced having our freedom of movement and association curbed and policed (for people of colour in many parts of the world that is not quite so unfamiliar). And right now, very few leaders across the global community have provided a roadmap by which we can imagine our way out of the current situation. That these uncharted waters should have been caused by a whim of nature can be a hard pill to swallow. Surely there must be a better reason.
This is where conspiracy theories step in. They provide clear explanations for what is happening, identify an enemy and give us the sense that there is structure and order. Whether it is a bio-weapon or a hoax, these explanations seem more appealing to many than the fact that it is a virus caused by certain forms of human-animal interactions. We may not like it, in fact what is happening is something to be resisted, but at least it is clear and unambiguous.
Conspiracy theories reaffirm that there is order in the world, things are not happening at random, life is not creating suffering capriciously and if we only look deeply enough we too can know the truth. As such, they offer a similar certainty to religion, but instead of divine order (whether loving or wrathful), the order for the conspiracy believers is created by power hungry individuals with multi-generational master plans for the control of humanity.
Beyond the certainty and emotional comfort they offer, conspiracy theories (which could be more aptly called “conspiracy beliefs”) are also appealing because they identify and highlight very genuine social issues that run through every aspect of most nation states, regardless whether autocracy or democracy. These include corruption and deceit at every level of the political system, biased or downright deceitful media reporting, inequality in the application of the law depending on social standing, according greater value to corporate profit than human well-being, and ever increasing automation and sophistication of levels of control (CCTV, facial recognition, biometric recognition, voice recognition and so on). Anybody who has seen the social credit system being deployed in China would rightly fear similar systems creeping into their country. So as well as a desire for certainty, the following seem to be some of the big hooks that draw people into the web of conspiracy narratives.
There is widespread mistrust of government, to the point that jokes about the self-interest and corruption of politicians are normalised. This is unsurprising as lies and deceit from politicians are common. One of the most egregious global examples were the lies of the senior leaders of the US and UK about the existence of weapons of mass destruction, used to justify the invasion of Iraq. We now know that everybody knew that such weapons did not exist, but even though that has been established nobody ever apologised for, formally admitted or made amends for taking large parts of the world to war over lies.
Bill Clinton’s infamous “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” is a more mundane example that made global headlines. In Australian politics we had the so-called “children over-board” affair, where the Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, portrayed asylum seekers fleeing a sinking ship as heartless monsters throwing their kids over-board to save their own lives. This was used to stoke up community fear of refugees and helped the Conservative party win the next election on a “tough on boat arrivals” policy. The following election a similar tactic was deployed, unsuccessfully, when a senior government bureaucrat assumed the false identity of a remote community worker and made false and exaggerated claims about child sexual abuse in remote indigenous communities. This led to a military style intervention in many such communities and took up significant air-time, again just prior to an election.
Only a little further back in history, British and US governments used their own soldiers as guinea pigs during nuclear tests in Australia and the Pacific. There could be endless more examples. From mundane and petty lies about inappropriate use of travel allowances, to decisions made in favour of companies that belong to the mates or family members of politicians, to lies that have taken entire countries to war or led to the exploitation of poorer countries in ways voters would not approve of if they knew the truth.
Politicians have a major truth and trust deficit, which was amplified by contradictory and erratic communications by many world leaders when the pandemic first emerged. They were of course just as taken aback by the situation as anybody else, but because of the existing deficit, genuine mistakes are also met with mistrust. There is a reason why New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has such a big global following: there is something almost miraculous about a warm, genuine, compassionate politician.
The media lies
Long before Donald Trump popularised the term “fake news” many of us already knew that one has to consume the “news” with careful discernment. Often the lies told by politicians are simply amplified by the media. And many media outlets have their own political motivations and biases.
In the mid ’90s, I attended a large demonstration in London. Police actively incited violence by arbitrarily cutting through the peaceful march and hemming in part of the protesters. The following day the press reported the event as a violent riot. A mundane, everyday example of collaboration between the media and authorities to manipulate the public narrative of events. Members of minority and politically active groups are very familiar with this dynamic. Many middle-class white people are experiencing police overreach and a lack of media reporting about this during this pandemic for the first time.
There is good investigative journalism, and journalists can hold governments and corporations to account. But there is also a significant amount of partisan media coverage pushing particular agendas, and we all know it. So the media also have a major truth and trust deficit, and since running for office Donald Trump has managed to amplify that to such a degree that a significant proportion of people across the globe no longer feel they can trust any information.
Corporations value profit over well-being
When I was growing up in the 1970s it was quite common to see people who had been damaged in uterus by a drug known as Thalidomide. This left a lasting impression on me and a deep-seated although largely subconscious mistrust of prescription drugs. I am not aware of other cases of that severity, but there are countless anecdotal accounts of people having adverse reactions to medication. Most controversial among those are accounts of children dying or developing chronic health issues after vaccination. It only takes a handful such accounts among the hundreds of millions of children vaccinated across the globe, to instil fear and mistrust among an ever-growing number of people, and as a parent I can very much relate to that fear.
Pharmaceutical companies also highlight some of the tensions within the capitalist system. Profit drive and competition may spur innovation and creativity, but what are the ramifications of commodifying human health? In a system that values profit as the highest accomplishment, why would one promote a life-style that reduces people’s dependence on drugs for their health? If companies are designed to make money by selling drugs, is it not in their best interest to ensure people take as many of their products as possible?
Being able to produce a vaccine that is mandatory and applied to every citizen on this planet would surely be the business jackpot for any drug company. This is simple business logic but raises complex ethical issues that are largely unresolved and thus function as a kind of slow release fertiliser to the growth of conspiracy theories surrounding the pharmaceutical industry.
These ethical issues of pharmaceutical companies are embedded in the deeper ethical shortcoming of the capitalist economy. It is not difficult to interpret this economy as a manipulative system that first indoctrinates the young into diets of fast food, sugar and alcohol (and until quite recently cigarettes) and then the old into the consumption of pharmaceuticals that would have been unnecessary if they had eaten healthy food to begin with. It is a system that in its most rampant form makes just about anything a commodity, including essentials such as water and our health.
We all know, yet have become comfortably numb to the fact, that we are lied to on a daily basis via advertising about the benefits of products. We have seen again and again that even harmful deceit goes unpenalized. Whether it is tobacco companies denying the harm of smoking, large banks manipulating accounts, overcharging customers and lending money to those who cannot afford repayments, big businesses underpaying staff, mining companies disregarding their environmental and social obligations, or Facebook selling user data, companies appear to get away with profit driven schemes that harm people. In fact they often continue to thrive while the lives of individuals are ruined.
When these social, economic and political realities are seen as part of a large system, is it surprising that there is an openness among millions to see conspiracy theories? When faced with a global crisis at a scale none of us have ever experienced, and governments suddenly take drastic actions that (temporarily) inhibit our freedom in unprecedented ways, is it surprising that many have a need for a more sophisticated reason than simply a desire by the government to keep the population safe? After all, those same governments already have a trust deficit and there is overwhelming evidence that keeping the population safe is not always their priority. Add to this poor implementation of and over-policing of lockdown restrictions, a sudden push for tracing apps and surveillance technology “in case we become sick”, and talk of compulsory vaccination and many people’s worst dystopian fantasies are activated.
We do not need conspiracy theories
So clearly, conspiracy beliefs are not as outlandish as they may seem if we do not consider the bigger social context in which they arise. As long as corruption, self-interest, public manipulation and unbridled ambitions for power are part of our political and economic reality, we will have conspiracy beliefs.
Because people are indeed scheming to gain more power, politicians do support their mates or funders in big business, and businesses try to convince people to buy things they do not need and that are no good for them. But to attribute all of this to a grand conspiracy not only seems to vastly overestimate the human potential for global project management. It also ignores that we do not need a unifying conspiracy theory to explain all this scheming and manipulation.
Such a theory, in which the machinations of an elite few drive everything, is understandably appealing. It gives us comforting clarity, absolves us from responsibility and shelters us from human incompetence. Because if it is not the Rockefellers, or other masterminds manipulating the system, but simply many competing, power hungry, manipulative, unethical, self-centred and greedy individuals hustling for control, it paints a much murkier picture of humanity. It forces us to confront that we too have those traits within us.
All the pathological behaviours that one may want to attribute to conspiratorial manipulation, seem much more readily explained as representing the shadow sides of the industrial capitalist economic system and our own psychology, especially our psychological and spiritual disconnection from each other and from nature. Our core social systems of capitalism and materialism pretty much explain everything. Structural inequality and manipulation of people (“consumers”) are part of the business model by which most countries are run. The two-party political system has long favoured the status quo in which big business calls the shots, especially in the English-speaking world. The medical approach is largely responsive rather than preventative and holistic.
The main medical responses to the pandemic, as exemplified by Bill Gates’s push for a vaccine, are a case in point. Aiming for a vaccine for everyone is fully in accordance with the dominant medical model. Similarly, science does not identify any dangers of EMF or 5G. So why should that technology not be rolled out? None of these things are conspiracies, other than the one that has been burdening humanity for as long as recorded history, i.e. the conspiracy of forgetfulness of our connection to the planet and each other.
From a model of “power over” the planet and each other, we will naturally arrive at the kind of scenarios David Icke is lamenting. Scenarios where we undervalue human life, freedom and creativity and overvalue centralised control and power as the more effective system. The fact that China is at the leading edge of societies built on such social control, completely undermines the Rockefellers-Gates-Israel conspiracy narrative. Instead, what it reminds us of is that this drive for power and control has been part of the human psyche since the beginning of nation states. Roman emperors had it, as did medieval kings and religious authorities, 18th century lords and today the owners of giant tech companies, and banks as well as party leaders and senior bureaucrats of all political persuasions.
I actually have some admiration for David Icke’s dogged persistence to call out corruption and for staying true to his beliefs despite years of public ridicule. But many of his statements are damaging falsehoods pushing a deeply anti-scientific and nationalistic agenda so that in the end he acts almost like a counter-intelligence operative. He identifies serious issues but then obfuscates them again by packaging them with misinformation. He purports to be aiming for human liberation while spreading fear and distrust.
Conspiracy beliefs do not help us create just societies and claim our freedom. While they may alert us to systemic corruption, they are disempowering by placing causality in the hands of an unidentified elite (a kind of human anti-God) instead of the inherent flaws of the human psyche.
There is every reason to assume that corruption and the push for more power by those with immense wealth will continue. But the struggle against that push is not so much a fight against an external “cult” as a struggle with aspects of our own nature. It is by building our relationships, our businesses and even our political engagements on principles of authenticity, compassion, kindness, mutuality and respect for nature that we create a bedrock for a solid society. A society where conspiracy beliefs become obsolete and people can breathe out and relax into mutual trust, respect and deep inner knowledge of their creative contribution to life on this planet.
Inner Work During Lockdown: 3 practical ways to deepen your connection with yourself and the world during this period of physical isolationRead Now
Right now many millions of us are experiencing loss, grief, fear and anxiety because of the dramatic changes being brought about through the appearance of the Covid-19 causing coronavirus. Many of us are afraid that we or those we love will get sick, and there is widespread upheaval and suffering due to the loss of income, separation from family and loved ones and sudden limits on our freedom of movement. Even if you are relatively secure right now, chances are you are impacted by the collective anxiety surrounding you and in some way conscious of the uncertainty about how this whole scenario may unfold. After all none of us have ever seen or been part of a global economic shut down like this before.
At the same time, the unprecedented conditions of reduction in trade and travel, the shutting of borders and even confining people to their cities, their suburbs and their homes have brought a kind of slowing down. Ex-pats from around the world are returning to their countries of origin, parents are staying home from work with their children whose schools have closed, families spread out across different countries and cities are heightening their connections through increased calls and video chats. Friends and neighbours are reaching out to each other and developing innovative ways to support each other despite physical distancing measures.
Many workplaces are realising that productivity can continue with workers at their homes. Families and teachers are discovering the children may not have to go to an institution every day to receive an education and experience social connection. With workplaces and educational institutions being forced to rapidly invest in remote productivity, maybe some of these investments will lead to lasting change. Is it possible that this situation will give rise to a new social consciousness and new ways of being in the world? After all, this pandemic has shown us that we can press pause on the global capitalist system and drastically alter what we do. An action we could not fathom even when wildfires across the world highlighted an ever-growing environmental crisis only two months earlier has suddenly become a reality. Almost overnight we shut down the economy and review the ways we move across the planet.
Whether the current situation will lead to deep systemic, existential and social changes remains to be seen. Despite many optimistic visions circulating on the internet, it seems unlikely to me that the materialistic consciousness that has been underpinning our society for centuries, expressing itself through colonialism, rampant industrialisation and consumerism, hierarchical power structures and myriad forms of social and psychological control, will fade overnight.
But whatever happens in the wider society, at the individual level this current period of enforced isolation (and thus time for introspection) could offer a beautiful opportunity to take some extra time to connect with ourselves and the subtler dimensions of life, so that perhaps we will emerge from this period inwardly enriched and more ready to change course in our life regardless of what happens in the world around us. In saying this I want to acknowledge that I say this from a place of privilege. My living conditions are conducive to such an inward focus and I am free from immediate concerns for my survival, circumstances that I know are not the case right now for many millions of people in the world who may be locked down in crowded conditions, poverty or other circumstances that can make it very difficult to devote time to our inner life.
If you can use this time to change gears, or perhaps deepen your existing practice, I offer three suggestions of how to take practical advantage of the current situation for your personal psycho-spiritual development.
Deepen your connection with yourself
I was talking with a close relative who shared with me that he had woken from an anxiety attack a couple of nights ago. He was in the middle of an obligatory 2 weeks home quarantine after returning to his home country from overseas. He said he had not realised that he was feeling anxious up to that moment, when he found himself waking in deep panic with a racing heart and intense agitation in his body.
It is very easy for us not to know how we are feeling. Especially when it comes to feelings of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, so many of us have had those running subtly in the background to various degrees long before the current crisis. We have learned to soldier on. To shut ourselves off from these challenging emotions and give control to those parts of us that can get on with things, that are achievers and that manage life despite our underlying feelings.
And of course we can continue to allow those parts to run the show, managing our emotions with alcohol, Netflix or other distractions. But this does come with the risk of those emotions bursting through when we least expect it: through a sudden anxiety attack, a gradual slip into depression, or sudden uncontrolled temper outbursts. This risk exists always, but it is greatly amplified in a context where our usual coping mechanisms are interrupted, or we are perhaps even experiencing complete loss of our identities derived from work or our social life.
Anxiety, grief, insecurity, frustration, and anger are all very natural responses to a situation where we have lost control over much of our life and are experiencing so much uncertainty. Instead of denying those feelings, we can connect with and really allow ourselves to feel and honour them as appropriate responses. If we are proactive in contacting our emotions we can do so safely on our own terms instead of having them burst out in ways that may shock and upset us or those we love.
Deeply feeling our painful emotions may be scary if we have never done this before. Many of us (especially men, but many women too) are afraid of connecting with such emotions in case they overwhelm us. We have learned as young children that these emotions are shameful or that we may lose the affection of those around us if we express them. For the nervous system of a young child, the withdrawal of parental affection can be perceived almost like a life-threatening event. This conditioning of our nervous system explains why even when we are mature adults we may experience expressing upset, fear and hurt as “life-threatening” and as no-go zones. But to navigate unprecedented situations may require us to extend ourselves into hitherto little explored waters.
As someone who only learned later in life how to move from his head to his body, I would like to offer a technique with which to build a connection with our emotions. By using breath and our observation we feel into our body and notice what we find there. Instead of thinking about or working out our feelings, we allow ourselves to experience them where they live, in the very tissue and nerves of our body.
The term meditation tends to conjure up the image of sitting still and letting go of thoughts, feelings and so on, usually by focusing on the breath. This kind of meditation is widely taught, either with a goal of quieting the mind or even connecting with some kind of transcendent reality (God consciousness, Emptiness, the Buddha mind etc.). While there is a place for such practice, it can actually be something that takes us away from ourselves. When it comes to looking after our buried emotions, what we want is an active form of meditation that deepens our connection with our body and the feelings we have buried within it.
There are a range of techniques that can help us go into the body rather than away from it. I encourage you to have a look for exercises taught by the psych-spiritual teacher Jeff Brown in his book Grounded Spirituality. Intense breathing work as taught by Wim Hof or holotropic breathing as developed by Stanislav Grof are also powerful tools to help us connect with the body and you can find guided processes for those on YouTube and the Wim Hof app. The technique I am suggesting here is an adaptation of a tantric practice that I developed with my partner.
Please note: If you suffer from trauma deep breathing may not be appropriate as it may be aggravating. Please consider your personal circumstances in deciding to apply this technique.
Sit comfortably with your eyes slightly open so you don’t lose yourself in the sensations or your mind. You want to stay firmly present with the body.
Take a number of breaths like that. With each breath feel into your body, especially your abdomen and chest and notice any sensations or impressions that may be present there. Maybe a tightness or a tenderness, some pressure or a nervy tingling sensation. Maybe you even come up with a label such as anger or grief. Whenever you connect with a sensation, a feeling, or a label bring your presence to it and breathe “into” it, amplifying it and inviting understanding. Do this steadily but without force. Maybe the feeling will increase. Allow yourself to express any feelings through your voice or through physical movements or both. You may want to moan, groan or whimper, shout or cry, sway your body or rock back and forth. You are creating this space and you can allow yourself this freedom. Without forcing anything and without suppressing anything. This is a practice of deep self-care, giving yourself permission to feel, and holding space for yourself as a loving act of self-compassion.
Of course it may be that at first you do not feel much. This is very natural if we have been keeping our painful feelings at bay for a long time. In that case do not force anything, but deepen your breath and just stay with your body for the duration of the exercise and then have another go the next day.
I would suggest setting a timer for 10 minutes. If at that stage you are in the midst of deep emotional experiences, of course you can just keep going. This is your process and you are in control.
If you do connect with deep emotions I encourage you to be patient. Such emotions often come from the early beginnings of our life, and our current circumstances of uncertainty and change are likely to amplify and reactivate any sense of anxiety or grief we may already carry. This is long and patient work, but the rewards are immense making us more resilient and able to truly take care of ourselves, and deepening our connection with others, even if those connections are at a distance.
Deepen your connection with your dreams and explore out of body travel
Not having to commute to work or get the kids ready in the morning can give you some extra time and mental space in bed. Instead of simply “sleeping in”, we can use this time to “sleep in with conscious awareness”. Bringing awareness to our sleep gives us access to our dreams and may even allow us to experience an altered state of consciousness known as the out-of-body experience, a state where we experience ourselves fully consciously aware with the sense of being separate from our physical body.
Although it is generally agreed among researchers of the out-of-body experience that we can all potentially have such experiences consciously, in practice there is significant variation in people’s success rate. That said, it may be largely a matter of persistence. There are certainly plenty of accounts of people who applied themselves for some months and eventually succeeded to experience the freedom of out-of-body travel.
We can definitely all become conscious of our dreams, and that is itself enriching and a great first step towards expanding our consciousness further. Recalling and reflecting on our dreams can give us access to our subconscious processes, and especially at times like this may give us access to anxieties, concerns or hopes we have not allowed to surface in our waking consciousness. In that sense, bringing awareness to our dreams is complementary to the first practice of connecting to our emotions. Much like out-of-body travel, dreams can also be a source of deep joy, and memories of some dreams can bring smiles to our face even days after the event. Especially when we are cooped up at home, experiencing freedom of “movement” in our sleep state can offer great psychological relief.
The steps you can take to bring more awareness to your night life can be summarised as follows:
Developing an intention throughout the day
One of the things we discover when we start paying more attention to our dreams is that all stages of our life are connected. What happens during our day colours our dreams, and how we wake up in the morning can influence how we show up for the rest of the day. If we are not naturally aware of our dreams, such awareness won’t arise just by us wishing it to before we fall asleep. Instead we want to start conditioning our mind during the waking stage to notice its circumstances and check whether it is in a waking or sleeping body. This conditioning will eventually carry over to the sleep state and help us become aware in our dreams. The following are some simple techniques you can use to condition your mind:
While these exercises may seem absurd to the waking mind, they are really designed to help the mind of the sleeping body snap into awareness. The more earnestly you can engage with them, the more likely you are to carry this awareness into your sleep.
Finally, another good way to prime your mind is to read over your own dream journal or to read descriptions by others who have had lucid out-of-body experiences or lucid dreams. I will reference a selection of books on the topic at the end, and there are also numerous Facebook groups where people share their dreams and other nightly altered states of consciousness. Saturating your mind with this reality will prime you to also enjoy such experiences.
Falling asleep with awareness
Intention is key when working with the subtle dimensions of life. Holding the intention of maintaining awareness and possibly leave the body when we lie in bed and are falling asleep is simple and powerful. We can also combine this with deliberate techniques to fall asleep with intention, such as the following breathing technique:
The counting calms and focuses the mind and the breathing relaxes the body by reducing the oxygen levels. Eventually you will fall asleep or experience a sense of separation from the physical body.
Generating opportunities for recollection
If you have more time in the morning, this is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a scientifically tested method (link to Denholm’s study) to increase dream recall and nocturnal awareness. Set your alarm for 5 hours after going to bed. For me this usually around 4am. When you wake up, get up briefly to make sure you are properly awake. I like to go to the bathroom and do a little stretch. Then spend between 15-30 minutes either meditating (recently I have been doing the practice to connect with my emotions I described above) or reading something related to lucid dreaming or out-of-body travel. Of course if you already remember anything from your previous sleep phase this is a good time to make some notes. Then lie back down with the intention of staying lucid in your sleep and recalling your experiences. If you have any trouble settling down you can apply the breathing technique again.
Recording your experiences
When you wake from your next sleep, take your time recalling your experiences. Ideally don’t move until you’ve gone over them in your mind, then roll over and write them down on a notepad (or tablet) you have handy at the side of the bed for that purpose. As already suggested, you can use your own notes to prime your mind for dream recall by reading them again later in the day.
Connect with nature
At a time of social uncertainty, nature can offer a reassuring presence. I say this despite the fact that nature has been changing throughout our lifetime, at least in part as a result of human behaviours. But spending time with trees, insects, the sky, the ocean and other natural spaces can be a soothing balm for our emotions. I am in the very privileged position of living in a house with a garden surrounded by many old trees, and easy access to walkable bushland. If you find yourself limited to an apartment in a big city or a small unit on a busy street it may be harder to connect with nature. But I would suggest in that case making a conscious effort is even more relevant.
This is a time to allow yourself to simply be – be present to yourself and what is around you. If you can, just sitting in your garden and tuning in to detail can be uplifting. What insects do you notice, what different plants? Do you have a spot where you can feel the earth under your bare feet and sit on the ground? If so, just sit and really feel the earth, feel her holding you. Really take in the trees and any birds. Look at things with new eyes, noticing details you have never seen before. If you are in an apartment and have pot plants, spend time with them. Touching them, feeling their energy and paying detailed attention.
If you have no access to natural ground and no trees or plants to speak of there is always the sky. Explore the sky, the clouds or lack of clouds, its vastness, its changeability, the various hues of color.
Again 10 minutes of this is a good start, but if you get into it, give yourself permission to go longer. Despite our conditioning to the contrary, we are part of nature and if we open up to her, she can nourish us energetically and emotionally.
Finally, nobody is an island. I have found myself reaching out to friends and family I have not spoken with for a long time. I have noticed that sometimes I only really experience how I am feeling when I am connecting with others. Over the last couple of weeks, I have found beautiful loving support, from some through lightness, from others through deep sharing, via social media, messaging and video calls. If there was ever a time to own and appreciate our interconnectedness it is now. May you be safe, happy and connected with yourself and the world around you.
Kim McCaul is an anthropologist with a long term interest in understanding consciousness and personal transformation.
About this blog
This blog is about my interests in consciousness, energy, evolution and personal growth. My understanding of consciousness is strongly influenced by the discipline of conscientiology and I have a deep interest in exploring the relationship between culture and consciousness.
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