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 of 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.
Reurbanization. In its everyday intraphysical sense, reurbanization refers to the act of renovating a suburb, a city block, a public space, a disused industrial estate, or even an entire rural town. Reurbanization is usually aimed at creating a more harmonious, organised and pleasant environment. In the form of “gentrification”, it can lead to the displacement of one population of lower socio-economic status who are replaced by others of greater wealth, creating or exacerbating social tensions and inequalities. This is an unintentional yet frequent side-effect of reurbanization that highlights the challenge of creating win-win situations in the intraphysical dimension, or deficiencyland (Vieira 2003:175).
Reurbex. Extraphysical or para-reurbanization (reurbex) refers to the renovation and improvement of extraphysical communities, in particular those that are sick and populated by consciousnesses dominated by anti-cosmoethical, pathological and stagnant thosenes (units of THoughts + SENtiments + Energy). According to Vieira (2003), there are billions of parapsychotic post-desomas around planet Earth, i.e. consciexes in a disturbed mental and emotional state, unaware of their true extraphysical condition. They have spent centuries in extraphysical dimensions without experiencing the impact of a fresh biological rebirth, and are consequently living under the biological conditioning of their last intraphysical life.
Entrenched. The pathological communities of these parapsychotic consciexes have developed rigid, entrenched, fossilized, dense holothosenes (the collective of thosenes created by the community) that occupy the extraphysical "spaces" around planet earth. These holothosenic "spaces" are established and maintained by the accumulation of the individual holothosenes of their extraphysical inhabitants. Para-reurbanization focuses on the renovation of these thosenic “spaces” or energetic “bubbles”, which is essentially what these extraphysical communities represent.
Pressure. Such communities are found all over the planet in parallel with intraphysical life, over which their holothosenes exert subtle yet powerfully deleterious pressure and stagnating influences, because thosenic energy transcends dimensions. In other words, the presence of these dense energies surrounding planet earth impacts on the mental and emotional well-being of intraphysical consciousness and inhibits the flow of energies from more evolved, healthy, expansive dimensions to the physical. Para-reurbanization is aimed at alleviating this holothosenic pressure on intraphysical life and creating an extraphysical environment in proximity to the physical dimension that is more propitious for the presence of evolved consciousnesses.
Removals. Consequently, extraphysical reurbanization requires the compulsory removal of the pathological consciousnesses who have been occupying and maintaining the sick extraphysical communities through their thosenes, often for centuries or even millennia. Such removals will take them either:
Commitment. Vieira suggests that extraphysical reurbanizations have taken place throughout history, but for the most part on a small scale, sporadically and for localised purposes. They have never led to a definitive eradication of the deep-rooted parapathologies that have accumulated over the millennia. Today, by contrast, a multitude of highly evolved extra-terrestrial consciousnesses, who have never had an intraphysical life on this planet, are committed to the methodical disbandment of the morbid extraphysical communities weighing upon humanity and terrestrial extraphysical life.
Resoma. For a consreu, being reborn on intraphysical earth means being exposed to a variety of holothosenes that one has not experienced for centuries or millennia, because one has spent all that time embedded in an extraphysical dimension composed solely of those who shared the same close-minded, fixated or fundamentalist view-point and holothosene.
Challenges. Because the energetic patterns or holothosenes in the intraphysical dimension are so very different from the one in which the consreus were immersed for long periods of human history, resoma presents a true shock. The consreus are likely to experience many challenges and events that, from the physical perspective, may look like setbacks and mishaps, but are simply the result of thosenic incompatibility between the consciousness and its environment.
Mismatch. There is a mismatch between the new intraphysical energetic fields into which the consreu-conscin has been reborn, and the holothosene of his or her long-standing extraphysical companions from the previous intermissive period, with whom he or she remains energetically entangled. This makes it very difficult to adapt to the new intraphysical reality, entailing a number of problems, including the following:
· Accident proneness
· Anti-social tendencies
· Environmental vandalism
· Escapism / Life avoidance
· Extreme emotional instability
· Irrational antagonism
· Melin (intraphysical melancholy)
· Premature desoma
· Social isolation
· Suicidal tendencies
Fundamentalism. Upon resoma, a conscreu is likely to fall victim to existential self-mimicry, i.e. the conscious or (more commonly) unconscious repetition of behaviours, tendencies and resultant experiences, often painful, from previous intraphysical life-times. These same behaviours and tendencies are also likely to have dominated and been repeated ad nauseum during their last intermissive period, on a kind of mental and emotional loop. Thus, the hypothesis that there is currently occurring a wholesale rebirth of consreus provides a logical explanation for the seeming increase in adherents of fundamentalist and aggressive religions, sects of all denominations and political movements.
Middle Ages. Some recent world events are quite literally reminiscent of the middle ages, complete with propaganda evoking the crusades and other “holy wars”. The para-reurbanization hypothesis similarly explains the hardening of narrow minded and sectarian thinking in the realms of politics (nationalism, totalitarianism), science (materialism), society (racism, anti-environmentalism) as well as the rapid population growth and dramatic demographic changes taking place on the planet.
Healing. According to the hypothesis of para-reurbanization, there will be no sudden ascension, no immediate global transformation and no Saviour as believed, prayed and hoped for by religious and spiritual movements for centuries. Yes, transformation is occurring. But it is a slow and often painful process, involving the healing, without escapism or by-passing, of the accumulated pathologies in our collective holothosene. It is a mega-assistential undertaking requiring the contribution of millions of us, both intra- and extraphysically.
Vieira, W. 2003. Homo Sapiens Reurbanisatus. Foz do Iguaçu: Editares
Where were the 45th American President and the people who think he was sent by God before they were born?Read Now
A Facebook friend recently wrote a thoughtful and optimistic post about the possibility of bringing human connection and empathy into politics. He was actually focused on the English election, but the subsequent discussion took a surprising turn when some participants started talking about the current American President’s spiritual mission to save the US from socialism. Among other things it was suggested he was a reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson, an early 19th century US President, and doing the work of God. I was not aware that his supporters have beliefs about the president’s prior reincarnations. I then googled the question and discovered others believe he is a reincarnation of George Washington and others again (I don’t think they are supporters) that he was a Mexican revolutionary who became disillusioned with politics. While I have no doubt that the consciousness currently expressing itself as the 45th President of the United States has had many previous lives, including others of power, I have no insight into and no real interest in his multi-existential biography.
By contrast, the discussion really made me think about the people who believe their current President has been sent by a god. That is a belief I have now seen expressed on numerous occasions, both in messages on social media and in media interviews with Republican voters. It appears there are many thousands of people who genuinely believe this. And to an extreme where one such believer (in the Facebook thread) spoke about following the President to hell and back if there were another civil war in the US. These are powerful beliefs and projections on an individual leader, and they may seem completely irrational until we look at the multidimensional picture.
From that perspective we know that prior to our most recent birth we were in an extraphysical dimension with like-minded folks, i.e. with people whose overall patterns of thoughts, emotions and resultant energy (what conscientiology calls the thosene i.e. THOught + SENtiment + Energy) are close enough to ours to allow us to coexists in a shared consensus reality or extraphysical dimension. In other words, non-physical dimensions are based on energetic frequencies created by the consciousnesses who inhabit them. Accounts by out-of-body explorers consistently describe communities, vast cities and entire “countries” occupied by people who share common systems of belief, religious or otherwise, about the nature of their particular world. People with strongly ingrained religious or cultural patterns tend to group together, as do people with broadly open and universalistic perspectives of life. People embroiled in inter-generational conflicts or patterns of subjugation and power continue to play them out beyond the physical dimension.
One of the beautiful and challenging aspects of physical life is that it brings us all together. Whether we were in extraphysical “hell” (energetically really dense dimensions in which we are caught in our own suffering and pathological cycles of relating with those around us) or “heaven” (expansive and ecstatic dimensions where we feel our connection to all of life and know our creative purpose) or somewhere in between, here in physical life we can be neighbours, class mates, work colleagues and sit next to each other in a movie or on the bus. Such coexistence does not happen extraphysically, where we are largely restricted to others “like us”. It is one of the things that makes physical life such a unique learning and growth opportunity. But of course, we also gravitate to like-minded consciousnesses when we are in the physical dimension and in fact many of our friends and people we resonate with here are people we know (but have temporarily forgotten we know) from our extraphysical homes.
The most tangible experiences of this in my own life was through my relationship with the conscientiology community. The first conscientiology book I picked up was the Existential Programme Manual by Waldo Vieira about living your life purpose. The book is full of neologisms and Waldo’s writing style is very unusual. For a lot of people his books are hard work, but to me all the concepts in the book seemed incredibly familiar. Reading it felt like I was simply remembering things I already knew, rather than learning something new. Subsequently I spent time with various conscientiological organisations and I had frequent experiences of already knowing many of the people I was working with. Of course the same applies to all other significant relationships, but the sense is heightened when it involves a community doing energy work and focused on multidimensionality. And there is something powerful about a sense that we are engaged with a group of people around a common purpose and know, or at least have occasional insights about the fact, that we arranged aspects of this purpose before we were born into this particular physical existence. In the case of conscientiology, the overarching drive of the individuals drawn to it was around the exploration of consciousness and the creation of educational tools to help us all live with greater awareness of our multidimensional nature.
From out-of-body exploration we know that any group task focused around assistance, whether it is providing food to people in need or clarifying people about multidimensional life, has a large extraphysical support team and involves intraphysical and extraphysical people, who have known each other across dimensions and life-times, working in cooperation (with the intraphysical team usually being largely unconscious of this). Whether we think about Jesus and his disciples, Ghandi or Martin Luther King and those closest to them, or any other spiritual leader and their entourage, they did not meet in the intraphysical dimension for the first time, nor by coincidence. Groups of people who make significant impacts in this dimension have prepared for this before they were born. By his own account, one of the reasons Waldo Vieira assumed his rather striking persona (big white beard and always dressed in white) was to evoke memories in people who had met him in the extraphysical dimension before they were born, because there he had had the same persona.
But such prior connections are not confined to so-called spiritual figures in history. They are equally true for leaders of large social, political and economic movements and their collaborators, followers and supporters, even if completely unconscious. And not just those who make positive impacts on this planet, but also consciousnesses like the leaders of Nazi Germany or any other group of people who come together to wield power over others, manipulate or divide. They too knew each other before their birth.
Thinking about the people who consider the American President to have been sent by God, it struck me that of course it is not just those who work closest together who have links across dimensions, but also the adoring masses, drawn into a kind of hypnotic trance by a charismatic leader. They may not have ever gotten close to the consciousness manifesting as the current leader, but there is a very high chance that they were already under the trance of such an autocratic leader before they were reborn. Because there are many extraphysical dimensions that are literally run like kingdoms and dictatorships, in which millions of consciousnesses play out some of the most ancient power dynamics on this planet where one or a few rule the many. So this is a familiar and appealing dynamic for those of us in the physical dimension whose most recent intermissive period (period between lives) was in such a dimension.
The very concept of a divinely appointed ruler is a clear give-away that we are dealing with a cohort whose last residence was an extraphysical dimension still stuck in ancient and fossilized thoughts and emotions that see nation state based divine rulership as a reality. In that dimension, these thoughts and emotions may have been directed at the current American President in his then extraphysical form, or to someone else who exuded the same kind of autocratic energy and appealingly divisive rhetoric. The precise details are not as important as the underlying mindset. What we are witnessing in the US and a number of other countries, is the rising to power of consciousnesses who have come to this dimension from extraphysical homes that resemble dictatorships and absolute monarchies, with versions of beliefs in the divine supremacy of their rulers and extremely antagonistic thoughts and emotions towards any kind of “other”; be it another religion, nationality, race or way of thinking.
If we have come from dimensions that emphasise universal fraternity and the ultimate equality of all consciousness, then reading about or communicating with people who firmly hold beliefs that make them look for divine rulers to guide world affairs is likely to make us feel very confused. It can seem like we are encountering a parallel universe that we can’t quite fathom, and in a way that is exactly what is happening. Extraphysically we would never meet people with such views, other than briefly for assistantial purposes, because we would be in different dimensions. But here we coexist and the question is how to do so in the most beneficial way. How to resist antagonistic and autocratic beliefs and actions while staying true to the principles of fraternity, universality and peace-building and not being overwhelmed by the hostile holothosenes of these reurbanized consciousnesses (a concept I discuss in a dedicated blog post)? The answer lies in meticulous self-care, energetic, mental and emotional, and a dedicated focus on multidimensional assistance so we stay connected with the uplifting energies of the extraphysical helpers who are working tirelessly to assist our collective processes of evolution across all dimensions. We are not here to argue with or try to convince the believers in divine rulership of the irrationality of their views; for the most part this would be utterly counter-productive. We are here to provide an energetic counterbalance and, to paraphrase Buckminster Fuller, rather than fight the socio-economic political system we see destroying the planet, create the universalistic and ethically advanced system we want to see, thereby gradually making the existing one obsolete. This does not mean there is no place for resistance or calling out destructive behaviours. That too is important. But in doing so we need to be mindful of our energy and maintain our focus on compassion and deep connection to ourselves, because ultimately what we are dealing with is a gradual transformation of consciousness and that requires as many of us as possible to hold that space for all of us.
The planet and with it human life are in crisis. We are living at a time of intense environmental changes that appear to be happening much faster than our ability to adapt. Many of us are still in denial, others are fatalistic, while others still think the current crisis is the precursor to a profound transformation of humanity. Whatever the future may hold, this is a time that is calling us to take real responsibility for our actions in the present, and challenges us all to grow as human beings. There need to be changes to the way we show up in the world, in particular the level of consciousness we bring to our interaction with the planet and all its life forms. Our CO2 emissions are just a small part of the picture. The changes to our footprint in the world actually need to be much more systemic and profound than that, because the balance of the ecosystem is much finer and more tender than simply a question of carbon in the atmosphere.
Indigenous people have warned of an environmental crisis ever since they first saw how the European colonisers interacted with the natural world. The indigenous perspective is highly localised, identifying complex minutia in the local environmental system rather than at a global level. But this network of localised expertise traverses (or at least once traversed) the entire planet. On innumerable localised occasions indigenous people have pleaded that certain trees not be chopped down, certain rocks not be moved, a certain mountain not be mined, or certain swamps or waterholes not be disturbed. Each time they warned that if those things happen, the system would be out of balance and negative consequences such as sickness, drought or catastrophe would follow. And each time Europeans dismissed these concerns as superstitions, and proceeded as they wished. In my work with Australian Aboriginal People I have lost count of the times I have been taken to places and told things like: “there used to be an important waterhole here, but it’s all dried up now”, “there used to be a sacred tree here but they chopped it down to build a house”, “there used to be an ancestral rock but they used it as road base”, and so on. And this is just one person working with a few groups of indigenous people in Australia.
Across the world these kind of events have happened literally thousands of times. Again and again the pleas for protection have been ignored. For hundreds of years. And much longer if we count the same kinds of actions occurring in Europe since the Roman Empire imposed Christianity on the tribal groups of that continent. And it continues to this day, either without any attention paid at all to the indigenous voice, or more recently in some countries after a scientific study establishes that the “environmental impact” feared by the indigenous people could be mitigated. But such environmental impact assessments are always looking at a very narrow picture, not the bigger system with which waterhole X, tree Y or rock Z are connected. And in any event, the indigenous people aren’t simply talking about “environmental impacts”. They are talking about impacts on the delicate multidimensional (ie energetic and spiritual) ecosystem of the planet.
So indigenous people have been telling us for a long time that our actions will have major repercussions, and yet today, despite clear evidence that we are living amidst such repercussions, we refuse to examine the connection to our actions. As such we can’t even start to consider whether what we are dealing with in terms of climate change could in fact be one of these repercussions.
So what can the vast majority of us, who have become disconnected from the intimate relationship with our immediate environment and its fine energetic subtleties and interrelationships do to restore the balance? There are many ways in which we can reconnect, re-learn and become more at home in our environment. This includes learning about our local ecosystem. Do we even know the trees and animals that surround us, those that are ancestral and those that are introduced? Do we know where our rain water goes, what creeks and brooks surround us and how they are related? Do we know how the lay of the land was before roads and houses were put on top of it? These are all questions that can improve our awareness and thus relationship with our environment. But they are still far from the depth of connection indigenous people have with the land.
One way to get closer to that, even if we are living in fully urban environments, is to re-learn how to tune into the energetic nature of the world. Indigenous people have long known that all of life is energetic. All plants, animals and different locations in our environment have their own energies that connect them with each other and with us. This is an ancient understanding, that we have lost and now need re-acquire and incorporate into our new, modern perspective. To develop our awareness of these subtle energetic connections we need to start by becoming familiar with our own energy body. There are many ways to do this, be it Tai Chi, Qui Gong or a range of mindfulness practices focused on connecting with our own energy meridians and points (“chakras”). Once we can feel our own energy, we can extend our awareness to the energies of the plants and animals around us. Then we can take it to the next level by connecting with the non-physical consciousnesses that surround us, including in the natural world.
When we do this we will discover that it is not only the physical world that is in trouble, but that in fact there is a lot of suffering and illness among the extraphysical inhabitants of our planet. Healing this is intimately linked to us healing the planet. So learning about how we can use our energies to support and heal sick extraphysical consciousnesses has never been more important. It is one of many small but incredibly significant contributions every one of us can make to healing our planet and ensuring a viable future for humanity. Relating to non-physical consciousness used to be common practice among indigenous communities, but has been marginalised and ridiculed, first by Christianity and then by science. Yet it is an important aspect of our humanity and a crucial piece in our collective and planetary healing. And this is great news, because it is something we can all learn, which means every one of us can make an empowered contribution to this healing and to addressing the environmental crisis we are facing.
I had some hesitation publishing this account because I feel ambiguously about the use of drugs to explore our consciousness. On the one hand I do not want to advocate the use of drugs as tools for the exploration, let alone the evolution of consciousness. On the other, I do not want to be too critical of substances that do have the potential to greatly enhance a person’s connection with themselves and with the world around them, including especially the natural world. I firmly believe that the world crisis we are currently living in requires a dramatic shift of consciousness to be addressed, and if projectiogenic drugs can accelerate such a shift then their conscious and responsible use should not be discouraged.
Although I consider the experience I describe below, facilitated by psilocybin mushrooms, to have been paradigm expanding in a fundamentally healing way, I am wary of the use of such drugs as a core tool for spiritual development as advocated for example by Timothy Leary or envisaged by Aldous Huxley. I know that many people have had deeply and positively life altering experiences with psilocybin and similar projectiogenic drugs, i.e. drugs that induce projections of consciousness. But I also know of people who have been traumatised by the use of these substances and lived for years with intense psychological and energetic struggles as a result. In other cases, the impact is less dramatic but occurs over time. This is when initially positive experiences encourage ongoing, repeated use of these drugs. There may never be a “bad trip” or traumatic experience, but there occurs a gradual numbing of the senses, as something that had the potential to awaken us to a deeper understanding of life ends up cutting us off from the very reality it had originally opened up to us.
From a multidimensional perspective of life, substances like psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, iboga and so on, do indeed “open the doors of perception” as Aldous Huxley put it. They all have the potential to give us glimpses of the multi-layered, interconnected dimensions of life, teeming with intelligence and purpose. Such glimpses can fill us with extasy, a certainty of our creative potential, an inner knowing of our connection with all of life, and from that a sense of meaning and purpose for our existence. These are fundamental needs and it can be profoundly uplifting to experience them as being met. We can be filled with compassion and deep empathy for the life we now truly appreciate and feel connected to. After all, disconnection from life is one of the primary dis-eases of our era and the source of so much personal, societal and planetary suffering.
But we all have the potential to access those very same states through other means. Through the use of breathing techniques, energy work and different forms of meditation. And from an energetic perspective, accessing them that way is much less likely to cause long term difficulties. Because rather than deplete and overextend our energetic system, which ultimately is the foundation for altered states of consciousness, long term energy work builds up our energetic system so that we can gradually contact expansive states of consciousness more and more consistently and in a way that allows their integration with our everyday life, rather than being limited to occasional peak experiences.
In the end, I decided to share the experience, because it contained a number of elements that gave me experiential insights about the nature of our multidimensional reality that I think are relevant to our understanding of the nature of consciousness.
The account is based on notes I made in 1996, the day after ingesting psychedelic mushrooms with a friend in Germany. We had picked the mushrooms in a field, briefly boiled them in water and then drunk a cup each. We had no understanding of measures and I have no idea of the dose that we consumed that day, but it did not seem like an excessive amount. After consuming the tea we left the house and went into a near-by field
At the time I was already deeply immersed in meditation practices and through them regularly experienced altered states of consciousness without any use of drugs. I believe that predisposed me to the profound experience induced by the mushrooms.
Ten minutes after drinking the mushroom tea the physical effects are undeniable. My stomach is feeling slightly upset and I can feel intense tingling around my pituitary gland, as if it is being stimulated. The air seems to become active as I begin to perceive "energies".
My friend and I sit down in a field with the intention of looking at the moon. There is a lunar eclipse tonight that we want to watch, but that event was quickly overtaken in significance by the unfolding experience induced by the mushrooms. I feel detached from my body, which seems to me like an external attachment. Then I stop perceiving either of us as physical beings. We are simply two floating voices in space, very wise ancient beings. Suddenly I am back in the body awareness and am surprised to see how small my friend’s body is compared to the eternity which is all around us and of which we are a part.
The sky appears like a domed screen in one of the old style 3D cinemas. The actual sky is invisible to me. It simply provides the screen for the show of dimensions that is unfolding before my eyes. I am in complete awe as I look into infinity!
I take my body away to do a pee and need to check repeatedly that everything is working as it should and that I am not peeing my pants, as I am highly disassociated from the body. I feel like I am walking my body around like a puppet. A walking guest house, moving through the grass, through other beings and other dimensions that are all present at different frequencies in the same space where I am walking. A light sometimes red sometimes white seems to shine from behind me, alternating from either side, and I feel as if I am part of an experiment. I feel an "alien" presence, black, mechanic, beyond time, beyond good or bad, ultimately powerful. I am briefly scared.
We walk around and I experience that my friend and I are very old, walking in a mystical country where all the creatures ever mentioned in myth live.
After a while we decide to go inside. As we approach the house I wonder how the magnitude that I am part of can possibly fit inside, but I still enter. Once inside I lie down on my bed with my eyes closed giving myself over to the experience. I see myself as if cut down the middle, observe the functioning of every cell, the breath descending down the windpipe. I die and experience the body decomposing underground and being re-absorbed by the plants. It feels beautiful, my body as part of this cycle of life. Again I am surprised that "everything" we had outside fits into the room, all that infinity. But it is all here and it is all energy. The body and my thoughts are all energy and fully interwoven. I look at my friend and her face is covered in flowers.
I, Kim, die, disappear, dissolve, but I am still here and freer than ever. I recall spending much of this time grinning from ear to ear. My friend described it as a mad grin. At some point there was some sadness at the thought that all this will end with the drugs - so many dimensions, infinity, I will no longer see them. Eventually I fall asleep.
The following day I am ravenous. I interpret this as indicating that a lot of energy was burned during that experience and so my body craves food to replenish it. It may also reflect a desire by the physical body to reassert its importance after being so completely relegated during the experience, where it had become this weird apparatus that I needed to manage. In that state life was unfolding at another level, well removed from the body.
As stated in the introduction, I interpret the perceptions I had during the experience as relating to an objective reality. The experience itself was of course subjective, in the sense that another person taking the same drugs (my friend in this case) did not perceive the world in the same way as I did during our “trip”. The psychological filters and state of the energetic system of the experimenter will have a significant impact on the way the experience unfolds. But as I interpret what occurred, both of us were perceiving different slices of a complex, multidimensional reality. So from a multidimensional, i.e. multi-frequency or multi-vibratory perspective, the fact that our perceptions were subjective does not mean that the objects of my perception were created by my mind. Rather it means that the psilocybin affected my energetic system in such a way, that my perceptions were temporarily tuned to a multitude of frequencies we do not normally register. The drug had shifted my consciousness from the physical body, its usual point of focus during the waking state, to my more subtle extraphysical bodies, which meant my perceptions included and on brief occasions were confined to, the energetic frequencies of those bodies. The effect of these drugs to shift consciousness in this way, is why they are appropriately called projectiogens, i.e. substances that induce projections of consciousness from the physical to other dimensions of existence.
Such projections or shifts of consciousness require energy; the kind of energy referred to as chi / qui in Asian cultures and as bioenergy in conscientiology. Expansions of consciousness in the mentalsoma often involve the intense energetic rush described as a kundalini experience. The less dramatic shift of awareness to our psychosoma are often accompanied by vibrational sensations referred to as the vibrational state. In ways we do not yet understand, projectiogenic drugs like psilocybin seem to alter our energetic system and thereby shift our consciousness very rapidly from its usual focus on the physical dimension, to our more subtle bodies of manifestation.
The activation of the pineal gland early on after consuming the mushrooms is indicative of the so-called kundalini energy. I have elsewhere written about a mentalsomatic projection and cosmic consciousness experience I enjoyed without the use of drugs. That also involved intense activation of the pineal gland. Parts of this mushroom induced experience also took place in the mentalsoma. This included the experience of being a disembodied ancient being and the perception of an indescribable infinity to existence with which I and my friend (and all living beings) were intrinsically connected. These are classic mentalsomatic experiences.
At other times the awareness seemed to shift back to the psychosoma, such as when I was moving my body about and probably also the visionary experience of seeing and feeling my body die, disintegrate and being reabsorbed by a tree. A vision that brought with it a deep sense of peace regarding my mortality as I felt myself truly a part of the cycle of life.
At all times, though, my perception was firmly resting outside of the physical body, which seemed like a mere appendage. As such the materialist suggestion that the body creates consciousness seems completely implausible.
The intensity with which these drugs can propel us beyond our body to me is both the beauty and the danger of such experience. It was beautiful and uplifting to know myself so clearly as a timeless being beyond the confines of this life. This has not been my only experience of this nature, and paradoxically each time this sense further motivates and inspire me to make the most out of the very life it seems to be transcending. With the transcendence of the ego-identity comes the inner knowing that there is a deep purpose to everybody’s existence and that my and everybody else’s ego-identity are precious expressions of life. This means, this kind of expansion has filled me with a feeling of responsibility towards myself and this life. And from that perspective I can understand why some people are advocating the conscious use of these projectiogens – to help us reconnect with ourselves and the world and inspire us to express our purpose.
On the other hand, for some time after the experience I was very tempted to repeat it. I longed to recreate the dissolution of the ego and return to that state of transcendent bliss. I have seen this urge in other experimenters. I feel lucky that part of me knew that such an attempt would have been unsuccessful and that the desire was motivated by a wish to escape the more challenging aspects of my life, my inner pains and unresolved psychological issues. Whether achieved through meditation or the use of drugs, transcendent experience always carry the risk of alienating us from our current life and leading us down the spiritual by-pass route. In other words, they can simply end up as yet another form of escapism, albeit disguised as a meritorious spiritual endeavour and truth seeking. Transcendence is only one side to the evolutionary coin. The other is to address our unresolved psychological material. By doing both we will truly grow as multidimensional beings, with our feet firmly planted on the ground while keeping the mentalsoma connected to the cosmos.
The key to both is energy. It is through bringing energy into our body and our emotional body that we start integrating our traumas and hidden emotional content and it is through energy that we access the cosmic consciousness expansions of the mentalsoma. Projectiogenic drugs, used respectfully and in the right frame of mind and energy, may play a role in our healing and in giving us a glimpse of our wider reality. But to integrate ourselves, psychologically and holosomatically, we need to bring energy gradually and consistently under our own steam, using tools such as breath-work, movement-based practices, deep psychological inquiry and developing a conscious relationship with our energy body.
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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