Monday, November 30, 2020

Nothing Remains

Nothing remains of unrecorded ages
That lie in the silent cemetery of time;
Their wisdom may have shamed our wisest sages,
Their glory may have been indeed sublime.
How weak do seem our strivings after power,
How poor the grandest efforts of our brains,
If out of all we are, in one short hour
Nothing remains.

Nothing remains but the Eternal Spaces,
Time and decay uproot the forest trees.
Even the mighty mountains leave their places,
And sink their haughty heads beneath strange seas;
The great earth writhes in some convulsive spasm
And turns the proudest cities into plains.
The level sea becomes a yawning chasm –
Nothing remains.

Nothing remains but the Eternal Forces,
The sad seas cease complaining and grow dry;
Rivers are drained and altered in their courses,
Great stars pass out and vanish from the sky.
Ideas die and old religions perish,
Our rarest pleasures and our keenest pains
Are swept away with all we hate or cherish –
Nothing remains.

Nothing remains but the Eternal Nameless
And all-creative spirit of the Law,
Uncomprehended, comprehensive, blameless,
Invincible, resistless, with no flaw;
So full of love it must create forever,
Destroying that it may create again
Persistent and perfecting in endeavor,
It yet must bring forth angels, after men –
This, this remains.

A poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Rediscovering the Superhuman Within

Each human being is an utter mystery. Each of us possesses vast powers that go largely unrecognized. Most people, it seems, simply have no idea of their intrinsic magnificence nor of the full extent of their creative potentials. Many live their lives on the hard surfaces of ‘concrete-reality’ and often complain about boredom – or as Thoreau put it, they, “… lead lives of quiet desperation.”

What is the mostly unrecognized, untapped essence of the human being? For starters, and directly stated: Each human being is an inscrutable intersection of infinities. You, me – each of us! With our self-reflective consciousness, we are able to consider our presence within three vast arenas: Temporal - past times, and future times yet to be; Spatial - of inner and outer spaces; and Numerical - of the inconceivable numbers and relative sizes of things: atoms, microbes, cells, people, seas, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies.

Recognized or not, these realities contextualize and intersect within each of us. Such disturbing vastness, when deeply contemplated, can for some bring on a sense of nausea, and thus the scientist Teilhard de Chardin metaphorically referred to each of these immensities as a kind of ‘malady.’

Numbed and entranced by all the dizzying demands of modern living, few people ever scratch the surface of their basic high school science. We mostly miss the staggering circumstances in which we are embedded. Philosopher Abraham Heschel counsels us, “Under the running sea of our theories and scientific explanations lies the aboriginal abyss of radical amazement.”

Yogis and mystics throughout the ages have told us that what we consider the inner-universe is just as immense as the outer world. Each human being is situated between these truly ineffable immensities, wherein words are incapable of adding meaning to the sheer fact of it all. We exist between a deep past and a deep future – measured in billions of years … tottering precariously, briefly, just on the edge of now. Our modest life-spans seem to blur into what some have called time out of mind.

And then there are also the scales of reality – the relative sizes of things. Humans seem to be medium-sized – in the middle – between galactic clusters and quantum particles. Thus, in these three ways (temporal, spatial, numerical), we are truly, each one of us, an intersection of infinities. Miraculous! We traverse our days and nights, having our unique (and often undervalued) experiences as glowing self-aware mysteries, moving – hopefully evolving (perhaps inevitably) – toward greater Self-Awareness. Life is amazing, isn't it!

So, being actually poised between all these immensities, what then are our creative capacities? How much do we really know about our potential as human beings? Have we ever truly plumbed the depths of our intrinsic powers?

One of the supreme attainments of all our human potentials occurs when we re-cognize our way into an awareness of awareness. This explosive, iterative, sweet-spot of Self being consciously aware of (It)Self – Self-realization – happens outside of our concept of time. Our little-self gently evaporates. Linear time evaporates. Verbs evaporate... and then: the always-already-present Unified-Reality beyond all the conceptions of the thinking-mind … bliss, compassion, wisdom, love, infinity … we are left with just … THIS !

Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, in her prescient nudging, shines a light onto this dilemma of the small self, its fear, and its associated potentials when she says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” And sometimes the linguistic residue of this realized wisdom consists of moving poetic pointers: Again, from Heschel, “Each thing is a surprise, being is unbelievable. We are amazed at seeing anything at all.”

These are strange times we live in, surely. But times are always strange. A fresh perspective and allowing oneself to unfold into the greater mystery can really help us to live more happily in this strange world. Experiencing ourselves and all around us as simply pure relationship. Experiencing our unimaginable vastness. Experiencing physical reality as just our interpretation of vibration, an out-picturing from ourselves as vibrational beings. Experiencing our entire makeup, interactions and relationships as just the attraction, co-mingling and shifting of vibrational resonances. Experiencing thought as holographic rather than linear. Downloading totalities of information and codes. Experiencing our past, future and parallel selves as all existing now - totally intertwined and accessible. Experiencing outside and inside as the same; the entire Universe as being within us. Experiencing ourselves as simply an aspect of the entire Universe – Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. Accepting total freedom and total accountability.

Always remember that what lies without is paled by what lies within.

Adapted from an article by Richard Henry Whitehurst and comments at uplift.com on August 24, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

America's Two Economies

There are two economies in America, and there's very little commonality in the two economies. 70% of America's economy is generated in fewer that 500 counties; the other 2,500 counties are left with the remaining 30%. The nation's productive capital is even more concentrated in a few hands and regions, and since income and political power flow to capital, the financial disparity / inequality far exceed the 70/30 split.

Ownership of capital is concentrated in the hands of the top 10%, as the chart of equity ownership reveals, but the concentration is actually much more limited: the top 0.1% control so much wealth / capital that they "own" virtually all the power.

It's not a big surprise that America is now a rigidly two-tier society and economy. If you're an executive at a big Wall Street investment bank, you can rig markets and embezzle billions and you'll never face any personal legal consequences such as being indicted for fraud and being imprisoned. The current election crisis illustrates this quite clearly.

But try being an employee at a local credit union and embezzle $5,000 - a prison sentence is very predictable. If you're one of the over half million people busted for possessing cannabis in the U.S. every year, then you're not rich and powerful, because when the spoiled-rotten child of the rich and powerful gets busted, the charges are quietly dropped, or cut to a modest fine and a misdemeanor.

"Justice" is for sale in the U.S., along with rigged markets, political power, healthcare and everything else. Why should we be surprised that the economy is also two-tiered?

The lower tier of the U.S. economy has been decapitalized: debt has been substituted for capital. Capital only flows into the increasingly centralized top tier, which owns and profits from the rising tide of debt that's been keeping the second tier afloat for the past 20 years.

The saying “follow the money” is only half-right; it's more like “follow the capital” because income and power flow to capital. During the last half century over $50 trillion has been siphoned from labor and the lower tier of the economy to the top-tier elites who own the vast majority of the capital.

What is not evident from the chart above is the staggering percentage of residents in the wealthiest 500 counties who are living paycheck to paycheck - the ALICE Americans: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the elites' interests. These elites and their capital are concentrated in urban counties, and the feedback loops are self-reinforcing: the capital in the urban counties attracts more capital and talent (skilled labor), bleeding the other 2,500 counties of skilled labor and capital.

America has no plan to reverse this destructive tide. Our leadership's "plan" is benign neglect: just send a monthly stipend of bread and circuses to all the disempowered, decapitalized households, urban and rural, so they can stay out of trouble and not bother the elites' continued pillaging of America and the planet. Keep the poor entertained and they won't notice.

There's a lot of big talk about rebuilding infrastructure, but our first question must always be: cui bono, to whose benefit? How much of the spending will actually be devoted to changing the rising imbalances between the haves and the have-nots, the increasingly richer who profit from rising debt and the ever more decapitalized debt-serfs who are further impoverished by rising debt?

People don't want to just get by, they want an opportunity to acquire capital in all its forms, an opportunity to contribute to their communities, to make a difference, to earn respect and pride. That our "leadership" reckons bread and circuses is what the stripmined bottom 90% want is beyond pathetic. Sadly, this chart dictates our future, which is the pendulum of wealth and power being concentrated in the hands of the greediest, most rapacious few reaching an extreme and then reversing to the other extreme. How that plays out is anyone's guess, but the pendulum swing to an extreme at the other end of the spectrum is already baked in: the way of the Tao is reversal.

Adapted from the blog of Charles Hugh Smith, November 20, 2020

Friday, November 27, 2020

A Return to Goodness

Some decades after the United States of America had been born as a nation, Alexis De Tocqueville, a French aristocrat, came to our country to gain a better understanding of the American people. In 1831, he began traveling our countryside to meet and talk with average folks from all facets of society, including business owners, politicians, school teachers and officials, clergy, moms, dads, farmers, and anyone else who would have a conversation with him, staying with people in their homes as he traveled.

After coming all the way from France and then spending a long period intimately examining early America, what was Tocqueville’s conclusion? He said that what made America great was an innate goodness at its grassroots level. In a later book about his travels among us, On Democracy in America, he said this: “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great”.

That is a discussion which must occur in our nation at this moment: Are we, as individuals, and as a people, seeking to be good? Are we actually investing our life energies for intelligent, honorable, and fruitful purposes? Are we doing good things?

Or, are our lives and resources being sucked away from us and diverted to be used for evil; by that, I mean really horrible, unspeakable evils? We absolutely must revolt against our forced contributions that support the twisted ambitions of those with less than noble ambitions.

If we seek the road to greatness, Tocqueville’s study of early America tells us we must get back to being good. If we are good again in a basic and generic sense, we’ll ultimately be ‘Great Again’ and, thus, fulfill our God-given mission - for the good of not only our own country but for that of people all across this planet. That’s my wish for us; that we would cleanse away the evil that surrounds us and simply strive to be good.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Remembering Lars Larson

In each of our lives, there are people we meet and get to know who forever thereafter alter the course of our lives. At the time we knew them, we most often don't appreciate the degree of their influence; not until years later, when all that remains are memories of good times together, do we suddenly have an epiphany of just what a lasting impact they had upon us. What we find is that for however long we knew them, their friendship and influence has lasted a lifetime. I have had occasion to have encountered many such remarkable people who I am eternally grateful to for dramatically influencing me along the course I have followed. One among them was a Norwegian cross-country skier by the name of Lars Larson.

I met Lars forty years ago while we were each living in Vail, Colorado. At the time I was rooming with a Brit named Bryan Lodge, a mutual friend pictured below with Lars. The three of us would climb high peaks in the summer and cross-country ski when the snow covered the high country, living la dolce vita chasing youthful dreams of wild adventures. Lars was one of a kind, unlike anyone else I had met before, or since.

  

The story of Lars that I hold in my memory, sometimes even I wonder about. His mythos, in retrospect, absolutely seems larger than life. Had I not known the man, I might wonder about it even more. Lars was selected to represent his native Norway in Olympic nordic skiing, I am guessing for the winter Games of 1968. Before he was able to toe the line and compete in the Games he was injured in an automobile accident – with a spinal injury so egregious that he was rendered a paraplegic, confined to a hospital bed and unable to move any part of his body below his neck. As a highly accomplished athlete, I can only imagine what must have gone through his mind once he realized his condition and prognosis.

Lars was probably 15 years older than me, which would have made him 45 or so during the wild times we shared. Even then, before I knew his story, it stunned me that such an “old guy” had such physical prowess. I was in my prime and was quite accomplished at both running trails and climbing at altitude, so it more than caught my notice when this guy could walk away from me on climbs, despite my best effort to keep up, and could out-dance me on the talus and scree slopes to run faster and more efficiently back down from the tops of mountains. I was a reasonably good athlete, but this "old guy" was remarkably superior.

As he conveyed his story, his transition from helpless paraplegic back to superior athleticism began with a visit to his hospital bed by his brother, who first challenged Lars to attempt to wiggle his big toe while lying helplessly paralyzed. It wasn't magical and it didn't happen right away, but Lars focused and was finally able to twitch his big toe after devoted attention to the challenge. Lars was disciplined and very goal oriented so one can project out without too much imagination that once he overcame this first obstacle and gained a foothold of confidence, the rest would only be a matter of time.

Long story shortened, Lars worked diligently to regain full use and control of his entire body and ultimately reconditioned himself to once again be an active athlete. One can only imagine the unsung heroics he must have celebrated with minor accomplishments at every stage. I only knew the final result the man had achieved, so I can only wonder in awe about the path he must have followed to get there.

I remember small campfires we would build on top of the snow with pine boughs and twigs while cross-country skiing. We'd warm ourselves at the fire while taking a break for snacks. Bryan and I always had to be mindful of the fact that Lars had no sensitivity to external stimuli in his hands and feet. He could have picked up an ember or hot frying pan and never recognized it was melting his flesh until he could smell it. Lars could feel nothing. Same thing with his feet. We had to be mindful to keep moving so that none of us, especially Lars, suffered frostbite of our toes.

It was Lars who taught me the fundamentals of cross-country ski skating at Tennessee Pass on the Continental Divide south of Leadville. At the time, Lars was participating on a commission to map a proposed route for what would become known as the Colorado Trail, from Waterton Canyon to Durango. I remember Lars wanting to show Bryan and I some of the trails on the proposed route while skiing on the Divide. It still brings me pleasure to relive those times whenever I return to Tennessee Pass to run those same trails from time to time.

All of this makes for a heroic story, certainly, but it is not my time with him that left such a lasting impression. Lars was an independent contractor who worked in the construction trades. He drove a truck that carried all the tools he needed to work with lumber, electrical, or plumbing; he could do it all, and since Vail was experiencing explosive growth around 1980, there was no lack of construction work.

Lars would go from one job site to the next, often sleeping wherever he finished for the day, especially during inclement weather since he did not rent an apartment and there was certainly not enough room in the back of his truck to stretch out after a long day hammering nails. Most days, summer or winter – it didn't matter - Lars would head to the mountains after a day of work to find a place to sleep for the night. I had a similar lifestyle myself in those days in the warmer months, but I took refuge indoors, by contrast, during the long winter months in the mountains.

The National Forest surrounded us on all sides, so one could park nearly anywhere and set up camp without hassle on public lands. The difference between my lifestyle and that of Lars was that I would most often pull into an isolated location in the National Forest and sleep in my comfortable hippy van, only occasionally setting up a tent or venturing back into the woods to camp. Lars characteristically would park his truck someplace along some forest road, take pack and sleeping bag to shoulder, and hike in to some remote location to sleep under the stars most every night – summer and winter.

One of the things that impressed me most about Lars is that he picked a different venue for a different adventure every evening. He didn't need a trail; Lars would make his own path wherever he stopped for the day. Every evening was a fresh adventure with unforeseen surprises and wild delights for new stories. There were very few places on or off the beaten path in and around Vail that Lars did not have some intimate knowledge of. Lars discovered far more about the Colorado mountains than me or anyone else in my acquaintance.

Lars experienced more freedom than perhaps anyone I have ever met; he could turn his back and walk away from the world at any moment. Certainly not a hermit by any reckoning, Lars was delightfully gregarious with beaucoup stories and genuinely liked the company of other people. But he had this far off calling and when he heard the voice within, he could easily get lost from the rest of the world, without a care or concern for accountability. A part of me has always been envious of his lifestyle, I suppose.

The greatest lesson he left me was his lack of attachment – to anything – to work, to relationships, to patterns of any kind, and probably even to life and death. Having had a Near Death Experience myself, a part of me can relate to what he must have learned from his accident and recovery experience. To be given a second chance in life stirs one to appreciate living and dying from an entirely different perspective than that of the everyday person. Lars truly lived life well, on his own terms, and shared it with gusto with those of us lucky enough to have had the privilege to know him. He had the kind of spirit that continues to this day to remind me: “DON'T WASTE A MOMENT”.

Lars taught me to live fully, to always have a dream to chase, to keep life fresh, and to live every moment with profound joy and gratitude. Bryan told me Lars eventually moved to the West Coast with a girl friend and eventually slept indoors some of the time, but I'm guessing his compromise was only because it was too long of a daily drive up to the high desert from the LA basin. I don't know anything more about the years before or after we shared a bit of this life together; wherever he is – here or there – I know that I can always find the vigor and smile of my friend Lars Larson in the deep recesses of my own soul.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Overcoming the Four Enemies

One of the most influential writers to stir me in examining life more closely may, in fact, have been a complete fraud. Who knows? Were the stories of Carlos Castaneda completely made up, in whole or in part, or were they based upon genuine experiences with a group of sorcerers in Mexico more than a half a century ago? I like to think they are based upon real events, but am not really sure they are even of this reality... but then again, it doesn't matter to me, as his works have been so impactive as to have altered the course of my thinking and life in general these many long years.

Castaneda’s philosophy offers a powerful perspective for those seeking an engaged, meaningful and happy life. While Castaneda held an esteemed doctorate in anthropology from UCLA, his unbelievable experiences with a Yaqui Indian shaman teacher Don Juan Matus may have stretched his credibility, but his stories have continued to grip the imagination and awaken the souls of millions of readers for more than a generation.

While chastised by his academic peers for attempting to pass off a fictional account as a remarkable anthropological narrative of real-life events, one must stop short of discounting his work because, even if it is a fraud, Castaneda has synthesized something quite profound from esoteric occult traditions and created a rich and complex philosophy worthy of consideration, nonetheless.

One has to, at the least, admire the audacity of his madness - legitimizing his own invented new age philosophy by submitting a fictionalized account that formed the basis of his Ph.D. thesis. When confronted with holes in his stories by his wife and others, he would calmly explain his magical double body was involved in the mix-up.

Mad? I think not. The mythos he created, even if it was completely imaginary, offers readers a very practical set of guidelines for living an examined and full life. Castaneda introduced the concept of a “man of knowledge” - a person who lives an examined life and progresses through stages of awareness, connection, and ego dissolution. His teacher, Don Juan, explains that a man of knowledge must overcome four sequential challenges.

The first obstacle that a man of knowledge must overcome is fear, which Don Juan described as a natural response to real learning. Significant learning challenges our existing beliefs and understanding. Meaningful learning changes our knowledge of our self and our objectives. Imagine realizing you are not who you thought you are and you don’t want what you thought you wanted! So what then?

When you define it that way, learning something important is existentially terrifying, by which we mean to say: It threatens the very existence of “you” as you conceive yourself. Conquering your first enemy is a simple, one-step process. Don’t be afraid to learn and grow. That’s good advice whether or not you get it from a strange Indian shaman who gives you mushrooms and turns into a crow.

Once you are no longer afraid, you achieve clarity. Sounds like a good thing, but Don Juan said clarity holds you back from becoming a man of knowledge. Clarity can make you rash and overconfident. You may feel like your fearlessness has guided you to full self-development and you may be sure you are learning the right thing, but perhaps you are on a dead-end path when you should be exploring. To avoid this pitfall, Castaneda explained “He must.. wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake.” So, don’t get cocky. How many of us could have used this advice around the middle of our careers?

Once you overcome fear and see through the irony of clarity, you can achieve power. A person who learns the secrets of power knows when to take risks and knows how to make rules. Their invincibility can make them cruel and capricious, a slave to their own power which insists it must grow. Castaneda reports that Don Juan told him how to surmount this obstacle to complete the journey of a man of knowledge. “He has to defy it, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power, without his control over himself, are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy.”

In the end, we must all face old age, the final and cruelest enemy, the one over whom we can never ultimately triumph, said Castaneda. Our one hope for glory, our chance to manifest completeness in the journey of a man of knowledge, is to push on through old age and resist the temptation to rest. Having fought through fear, seen through clarity, and learned how to wield power, we may feel we have achieved everything and choose merely to rest and retreat. Here it is most important when we are most self-actualized to continue to remain passionately engaged with life.

As Buddhists say, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” This, for Carlos Castaneda, is the crowning achievement and the moment of peace and fulfillment in the life of a man of knowledge. And it’s also pretty much what we know about happiness and longevity from studying places where lots of people live to be over 100 years old.

As an old warrior, I look back (but not for very long), knowing that I conquered fear early on and achieved a satisfying degree of clarity and direction while still a young man chasing his dreams. For awhile I was king of the world, and everything around me turned around. It was very satisfying to wield power, with care not to abuse it, all the while knowing that it was only mine for awhile before I needed to pass the baton to the next champion. So, now I am old, but not down for the count. As a fulfilled man of knowledge, I continue to do what got me to this point. There is no time for rest. So much to do. So many dreams yet to chase, but I do so now with a used up old man's body... but forever with a young man's heart, forever grateful for the lessons and guidance of a mysterious writer named Carlos and the counsel of his Indian shaman sorcerer, Don Juan.

Adapted from an article by Rascal Voyages on May 16, 2018, on medium.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Greatest Hoax Ever Perpetrated

Top pathologist Dr. Roger Hodkinson told government officials in Alberta, Canada, during a zoom conference call that the current coronavirus crisis is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.” Hodkinson’s comments were made during a discussion involving the Community and Public Services Committee and the clip was subsequently uploaded to YouTube.

Noting that he was also an expert in virology, Hodkinson pointed out that his role as CEO of a biotech company that manufactures COVID tests means, “I might know a little bit about all this.” “There is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians, it’s outrageous, this is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public,” said Hodkinson.

The doctor said that nothing could be done to stop the spread of the virus besides protecting older more vulnerable people and that the whole situation represented “politics playing medicine, and that’s a very dangerous game.”

Hodkinson remarked that “social distancing is useless because COVID is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing,” as he called for society to be re-opened immediately to prevent the debilitating damage being caused by lockdowns.

Hodkinson also slammed mandatory mask mandates as completely pointless. “Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence base for their effectiveness whatsoever,” he said. “Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue signalling. They’re not even worn effectively most of the time. It’s utterly ridiculous. Seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people – I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense – seeing these people walking around like lemmings obeying without any knowledge base to put the mask on their face.”

The doctor also slammed the unreliability of PCR tests, noting that “positive test results do not, underlined in neon, mean a clinical infection,” and that all testing should stop because the false numbers are “driving public hysteria.”

Hodkinson said that the risk of death in the province of Alberta for people under the age of 65 was “one in three hundred thousand,” and that it was simply “outrageous” to shut down society for what the doctor said “was just another bad flu.” “I’m absolutely outraged that this has reached this level, it should all stop tomorrow,” concluded Dr. Hodkinson.

Hodkinson’s credentials are beyond question, with the MedMalDoctors website affirming his credibility: “He received his general medical degrees from Cambridge University in the UK (M.A., M.B., B. Chir.) where he was a scholar at Corpus Christi College. Following a residency at the University of British Columbia he became a Royal College certified general pathologist (FRCPC) and also a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists (FCAP).”

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News, November 19, 2020

Second Wave Faked On False-Positive Tests

Michael Yeadon, a former Chief Science Officer for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says "there is no science to suggest a second COVID wave should happen." The "Big Pharma" insider asserts that false positive results from inherently unreliable COVID tests are being used to manufacture a "second wave" based on "new cases." Yeadon warns that half or even "almost all" of tests for COVID are false positives and argues that the threshold for herd immunity may be much lower than previously thought, reached in many countries already.

In an interview last week Dr. Yeadon was asked: "Are we basing a government policy, an economic policy, a civil liberties policy, in terms of limiting people to six people in a meeting...all based on, what may well be, completely fake data on this coronavirus?" Dr. Yeadon answered with a simple "yes." Even more significantly, even if all positives were to be correct, Dr. Yeadon said that given the "shape" of all important indicators in a worldwide pandemic, such as hospitalizations, ICU utilization, and deaths, "the pandemic is fundamentally over."

Yeadon said in the interview: "Were it not for the test data that you get from the TV all the time, you would rightly conclude that the pandemic was over, as nothing much has happened. Of course people go to the hospital, moving into the autumn flu season...but there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen."

In a paper published this month, which was co-authored by Yeadon and two of his colleagues, "How Likely is a Second Wave?", the scientists write: "It has widely been observed that in all heavily infected countries in Europe and several of the U.S. states likewise, that the shape of the daily deaths vs. time curves is similar to ours in the UK. Many of these curves are not just similar, but almost super imposable."

In the data for UK, Sweden, the US, and the world, it can be seen that in all cases, deaths were on the rise in March through mid or late April, then began tapering off in a smooth slope which flattened around the end of June and continues to today. The case rates however, based on testing, rise and swing upwards and downwards wildly.

Media messaging in the U.S. is already ramping up expectations of a "second wave." The survival rate of COVID-19 has been upgraded since May to 99.8% of infections. This comes close to ordinary flu, the survival rate of which is 99.9%. Although COVID can have serious after-effects, so can flu or any respiratory illness. The present survival rate is far higher than initial grim guesses in March and April, cited by Dr. Anthony Fauci, of 94%, or 20 to 30 times deadlier. The Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) value accepted by Yeadon et al in the paper is .26%. The survival rate of a disease is 100% minus the IFR.

Dr. Yeadon pointed out that the "novel" COVID-19 contagion is novel only in the sense that it is a new type of coronavirus. But, he said, there are presently four strains which circulate freely throughout the population, most often linked to the common cold. In the scientific paper, Yeadon et al write: "There are at least four well characterised family members (229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1) which are endemic and cause some of the common colds we experience, especially in winter. They all have striking sequence similarity to the new coronavirus." The scientists argue that much of the population already has, if not antibodies to COVID, some level of "T-cell" immunity from exposure to other related coronaviruses, which have been circulating long before COVID-19.

The scientists write: "A major component of our immune systems is the group of white blood cells called T-cells whose job it is to memorize a short piece of whatever virus we were infected with so the right cell types can multiply rapidly and protect us if we get a related infection. Responses to COVID-19 have been shown in dozens of blood samples taken from donors before the new virus arrived." Introducing the idea that some prior immunity to COVID-19 already existed, the authors of "How Likely is a Second Wave?" write: “It is now established that at least 30% of our population already had immunological recognition of this new virus, before it even arrived...COVID-19 is new, but coronaviruses are not."

They go on to say that, because of this prior resistance, only 15-25% of a population being infected may be sufficient to reach herd immunity: "...epidemiological studies show that, with the extent of prior immunity that we can now reasonably assume to be the case, only 15-25% of the population being infected is sufficient to bring the spread of the virus to a halt..." In the U.S., accepting a death toll of 200,000, and a survival rate of 99.8%, this would mean for every person who has died, there would be about 400 people who had been infected, and lived. This would translate to around 80 million Americans, or 27% of the population. This touches Yeadon's and his colleagues' threshold for herd immunity.

Yeadon's warnings are confirmed by a new study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Anyone still presuming that a Positive PCR test is showing a COVID case needs to read this very carefully:

  • even 25 cycles of amplification, 70% of "positives" are not "cases." virus cannot be cultured. it's dead.

  • by 35: 97% non-clinical.

  • the US runs at 40, 32X the amplification of 35.

A lot of people who should understand still seem to not understand what this means, so let's lay it out for a minute.

PCR tests look for RNA. There is too little in your swab for an effective test, so they amplify it using a primer based heating and annealing process. Each cycle of this process doubles the material. the US (and much of the world) is using a 40 Ct (cycle threshold) - so, 40 doublings, 1 trillion X amplification.

This is absurdly high. The way that we know this is by running this test, seeing the Ct to find the RNA, and then using the same sample to try to culture the virus. If you cannot culture the virus, then the virus is "dead." it's inert. if it cannot replicate, it cannot infect you or others. it's just innocuous traces of virus, remnants, fragments, etc.

PCR is not testing for disease, it's testing for a specific RNA pattern and this is the key pivot. When you crank it up to 25, 70% of the positive results are not really "positives" in any clinical sense. i hesitate to call it a "false positive" because it's really not. it did find RNA, afterall, but that RNA is not clinically relevant. It cannot make you or anyone else sick, so let's call this a non-clinical positive (NCP).

  • if 70% of positives are NCP's at 25, imagine what 40 looks like. 35 is 1000X as sensitive.

  • this study found only 3% live at 35

  • 40 Ct is 32X 35, 32,000X 25

No one can culture live virus past about 34 and we have known this since March. That's the Science, yet no one has adjusted these tests.

Presuming it bears out, this is a key finding: It shows that many patients that are PCR+ for COV-19 are not shedding infectious virus. This would imply shorter quarantine needed and provide a testable basis for discharge of isolated patients.

This is more very strong data refuting the idea that you can trust a PCR+ as a clinical indicator. That is NOT what it's meant for at all. Using them to do real time epidemiology is absurd.

The FDA would never do it, the drug companies doing vaccine trials would never do it... because it's nonsense. And this same test is used for "hospitalizations" and "death with covid".

PCR testing is not the answer, it's the problem. It's not how to get control of an epidemic, it's how to completely lose control of your data picture and wind up with gibberish and we have done this to ourselves before. The last major false positive pseudo-epidemic was Swine Flu in 2009. Everyone said we would never let it happen again.

In conclusion, saying "a sample requiring 35 Ct to test + has a 3% real clinical positive rate" does not mean "97% of + tests run at 35 Ct are NCP's". People seem to get confused on this, so lets explain: Most tests are just amplified and run; they don't test every cycle as these academics do; that would make the test slow and expensive, so you just run 40 cycles, then test.

Obviously, a real clinical positive (RCP) that would have been + at 20 is still + at 40. But when you run the tests each cycle as the academics do, that test would already have dropped out. So saying that only 3% at 35 are RCP really means that 3% of those samples not PCR + at 34 were PCR and RCP + at 35. This lets us infer little about overall NCP/RCP rate, so we cannot say "at 25 Ct, we have a 70 NCP rate." In fact, it's hard to say much of anything. It depends entirely on what the source material coming in looks like.

You cannot even compare like to like. This is what i mean by "the data is gibberish". Today, at 40 Ct, 7% PCR positive rate could be 1% RCP prevalence when that same thing meant 6% RCP previously in April. If there is lots more trace virus around, more people who have recovered and have fragments left over, this test could be finding a virus you killed 4 months ago.

So if we consider RCP rate/PCR+ rate, we would expect that number to drop sharply late in an epidemic because there is more dead virus around for PCR to find, but we have no idea what that ratio is or how it changes. This spills over in to deaths, reported hospitalization etc. Testing is being made out to be like the high beams on a car, but when it's snowing like hell at night, that is the last thing you want. It is not illuminating our way, it's blinding us.

The situation we find ourselves in is that we're basing policy that is affecting billions of humans on data that is uninterpretable gibberish. It's a deranged technocrat's wet dream, but for those of us along for the ride, it's a nightmare.

Testing is not the solution, it's the problem. Any technocrat or scientist that does not know this by now is either unfit for their job or has decided that they just don't care and prefer power to morality. This is, of course, precisely the kind of person who winds up running a government agency. The head of the NIH is not the best scientist, but the best politician for the job. All this wild and reckless government policy has never been about the science. It's purely politics and purposeful panic.

Extracted from Tyler Durden article in ZeroHedge.com, November 22, 2020

Monday, November 23, 2020

Lockdowns Are Serial Killers: End Them Now

We are constantly told by our political leaders and the compliant media that a pandemic lockdown is absolutely necessary if we are ever to defeat the COVID virus. Mask mandates, quarantine camps, self-isolating, limited sociability, the stoking of public fear and panic, the shuttering of businesses and the attendant cratering of the economy have become, once again, the false solution to a politically ginned-up crisis -- déjà vu all over again. The trouble is: none of this works, none of this is necessary. Texas Tech professor Gilbert Berdine sums up: “After taking the unprecedented economic depression into account, history will likely judge these lockdowns to be the greatest policy error of this generation.”

Psychiatrist Mark McDonald writes: “Not only have Americans become afraid, they have become infected by … a pandemic of hysteria … a delusional psychosis. A delusion is a fixed false belief contrary to reality. Americans today believe that we must keep our businesses closed, that we must keep our children at home, that we must wear masks over our faces and isolate ourselves from human beings in order to keep us alive. That is false. That is a lie. And it is killing us. It is killing us physically, mentally, socially, psychologically, it is killing our country, and it must stop.”

There is no doubt that the lockdown is “killing” every country and destroying the urban hub of cultural life and economic activity wherever it has been imposed. Consider London, for example, a great and historic metropolis which has become a virtual ghost town, communally dead, everywhere shops and businesses closed that will never re-open again, a harbinger of massive financial collapse. London has fallen. And many cities and nations in the West will follow suit. Take a look at New York, Chicago and L.A.

Powerful confirmation of the absurdity and harmfulness of the lockdowns comes from the recently circulated Great Barrington Declaration, prepared and signed by eminent physicians and epidemiologists, which arrives at the following conclusion:

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

Adding to the growing dissent from official policy, 25 scientists from seven countries, who participated in the Truth Over Fear Summit in October 2020, “agreed that the lockdowns are causing far more harm than COVID-19 itself, and many believe the pandemic is tied to the plans of global elites to implement a worldwide socialist surveillance state through the “Great Reset.”

Irish biomedicine scientist Dr. Dolores Cahill argues: “There was no known moral, ethical, legal, scientific or medical basis” for the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic on March 11, 2020, at which point the number of COVID-19 deaths was one percent of the annual influenza deaths. No matter. Editorial director of the Heartland Institute Justin Haskins writes,

For those of us who support free markets, the Great Reset is nothing short of terrifying…Making matters worse, the left has already proven throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that it can radically transform political realities in the midst of a crisis, so it’s not hard to see how …[t]he present pandemic is a ‘golden opportunity’ for radical change…dramatically pushing humanity toward greater government control. [R]adical – and catastrophic – change is exactly what we’re going to get.”

Similarly, as John Zmirak presciently writes in The Stream, we are being schooled to acquire a condition of learned helplessness, “characterized by three main features: a passive response to trauma, not believing that trauma can be controlled, and stress. Our political masters on the left are using “the virus as the pretext for a Great Reset, stripping citizens throughout the West of their traditional liberties, especially private property rights. Why else impose on us useless lockdowns, despite the plummeting number of virus deaths?”

Haskins’ and Zmirak’s suspicions are corroborated by the founder of the World Economic Forum and chief proponent of the Great Reset himself, Klaus Schwab. In his new book COVID-19: The Great Reset, Schwab actually downplays the significance of the virus while regarding it as a providential pretext to remake the world and unleash a “fourth industrial revolution” that will eliminate private property, restrict travel and establish a surveillance state in which everyone is chipped and monitored. The lockdowns are a way of softening up the population to accept a technocratic revolution presided over by a club of billionaires, their political adjutants and chosen “experts.” Schwab’s books make this clear.

The lockdown people -- local politicians, governors and government-employed medical officials, many of whom, deeply unread and narrowly educated, may never have heard of Schwab -- have not looked at the statistics -- or rather, have apparently not wanted to, since the data would categorically refute their contentions. Retired Manitoba judge Brian Giesbrecht recently showed that “the death toll in New York as of September was approximately 1,700 per million population, in New Jersey 1,800 per million, and in Haiti fewer than 19 per million.” The discrepancy is staggering. Why is this? Haiti was too poor a country to install lockdown measures and sailed through the pandemic with little damage. The same is true of Belarus.

Mortality rates in the two American states mentioned here are more than five times higher than in Sweden and 20 times higher than in Belarus. Affluent countries that did not lockdown, like Sweden and Japan, are doing immeasurably better than their industrialized counterparts who have fallen for the drastic provisions of dubious “experts” like Neil Ferguson, who is perpetually wrong, and Anthony Fauci, who says one thing and then another as the winds of political calculus blow. (Fauci, who now insists on the necessity for wearing masks, was spotted maskless in public.) 

What about, we may ask, the ostensible spike in positive test cases, which has justified renewed draconian measures to combat the virus, fueled the mask mania -- masks may cause hypoxia, gingivitis and bacterial pneumonias -- and led to a second round of government-imposed lockdowns?  This is a false statistic, easily debunked. The authentic statistic is the morbidity rate and the number of COVID patients in ICU, figures which do not track the cases. The real reason, then, for the discrepancy between cases and fatalities is not hard to ascertain. As The Conversation reports, “The number of cases has not been rising because the number of people carrying the disease has been increasing, but instead because more tests are being carried out.” Additionally, “It is likely that among the steadily rising number of people who have tested positive for the disease since June, an increasing proportion are young…so that having the disease is dramatically less lethal for each person with it.”

The report concludes that the recent fall in the actual number of deaths “is so fast and so great that a log scale is required to encompass it in one graph.” But you wouldn’t know it by listening to the News, reading the papers or scanning the daily health bulletins. It is worth noting that The Conversation is a diehard academic and rabidly feminist site that regularly distorts the truth to promote a leftist agenda. It must have been asleep at the wheel to finally get something right.

The MDI Institute has similarly adopted a rational assessment of the situation. “[W]hen we look at yearly figures over the past decade, we see that…the daily repetition… of data about ‘new cases,’ ‘cumulative active cases,’ and ‘cumulative deaths’ have maintained a sense of fear and urgency completely out of proportion with the reality.” Ophthalmologist Dr Richard Urso points to the fact that viruses act in a consistent way, entailing “a large peak early on”, a smaller peak “about 110 days later,” after which the curve plummets despite the high number of reported cases. What we now have, says Urso, is a “casedemic,” which tells us nothing about the incidence of lethality. But there is a proviso. The morbidity rate will be artificially maintained or inflated in lockdown jurisdictions owing to the continued deferral or prevention of herd immunity. Lockdowns do not stop or reduce the impact of the pandemic, they work hand in hand with it.

Another reason for the spike in cases has to do with the testing method. RT-PCR testing (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) is too sensitive to generate reliable results. As CEBM has found, “This detection might correspond to a virus that is now incapable of infecting cells and reproduce…The meaning is that the PCR positive is a non-infectious positive.” Or as the BBC puts it, “Tests could be picking up dead virus.” Virology Down Under is enthusiastic about RT-PCR testing, but admits that “a positive result doesn’t mean virus is present,” only that it was. This accounts for the fact that “false positives” flowing from such tests are distressingly large and that the test is used only as a “surrogate indicator.”

In the idiolect of the CDC, “Recovered persons can continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory specimens for up to 3 months after illness onset, albeit at concentrations considerably lower than during illness, in ranges where replication-competent virus has not been reliably recovered and infectiousness is unlikely.” The CDC concludes that it is misleading to rely on test-based strategies and recommends that “persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities.” In other words, tests picking up inert viral RNA are unreliable. East European doctors are equally convinced. The Bulgarian Pathology Association, for example, has no doubt that “these PCR tests are meaningless as a diagnostic tool to determine an alleged infection by a supposedly new virus called SARS-CoV-2.”

Of course, there are a great number of sites and studies insisting on the efficacy of testing, but the clincher comes from the inventor of the PCR diagnostic test, the late  Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis, who said, “It doesn’t tell you that you are sick or the thing you ended up with is going to hurt you.” (Cf. COVID-19 Unmasked, at 58:20).  Naturally, the usual disinformation can be expected from leftist “fact checkers” like Reuters, FullFact, et al, who hold Mullis in contempt. The reality is that COVID morbidity is on the wane except in countries that have re-established a COVID-breeding lockdown, in effect a viral dictatorship. 

An additional factor in inflating the mortality rate is the misleading practice of conflating the number of those who died from COVID with the number of those who died with COVID. As co-ordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx explains, “All deaths of patients with a linkage to COVID-19 are now classified as COVID-19 deaths regardless of cause or underlying health issues that could have contributed to loss of life.” The issue is further complicated by clustering the “Case fatality rate” with thecrude mortality rate,” which “measures the probability that any individual in the population will die from the disease; not just those who are infected, or are confirmed as being infected” -- aside from the glaringly obvious fact that not everyone in the population has been infected.

There is yet one more issue to consider. An American study conducted by the medical research journal JAMA for March-April 2020 points out that “The number of publicly reported deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may underestimate the pandemic’s death toll,” not by under-counting, as one might think, but insofar as “restrictions imposed by the pandemic (e.g., stay-at-home orders) could claim lives indirectly through delayed care for acute emergencies, exacerbations of chronic diseases, and psychological distress (e.g., drug overdoses).” This is known as “excess deaths,” which may account for as many as 87,000 additional victims of supernumerary conditions. A later study extending to August gives the toll as even greater, culminating in 225,530 excess deaths. To put it succinctly, the COVID figures have not only been manipulated to inflate the morbidity number, they make no mention of the vast number of “excess deaths” caused by the lockdown measures.

Lockdowns are serial killers. On the one hand they defer the development of herd immunity, causing prolonged suffering and needless deaths. Thus, one lockdown will continually lead to another lockdown. On the other hand, as we have just noted, they are the cause of “excess deaths” owing to a number of immiserating factors: stress, depression, addiction, suicide and the indefinite postponement of treatment for acute medical conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease, among others. Yet people are growing accustomed to being locked down and many are even insisting on it, replacing realism with delusion. This does not bode well for the only prudent response to the crisis in which we find ourselves. Coronavirus restrictions must be lifted if the dying is to stop.

The crowning irony, as director of the American Institute for Economic Research Jeffrey Tucker writes in his new book Liberty or Lockdown, is that there is no relation between the virus and the lockdowns, that is, the lockdowns do not ameliorate the incidence or ferocity of the disease: “The two operate as seemingly independent variables.” The lockdowns have done absolutely nothing -- his word -- except to worsen the situation, as we see in those European countries that have sacrificed hope, health and prosperity to a medical figment. A half year of killing businesses has not killed the virus; nonetheless we are enjoined to do more of what has not been working. What will work (and has worked) is herd immunity, which dramatically reduces viral incidence.

As Orwell wrote in his Introduction to Animal Farm, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” What many people do not want to hear is that the lockdown strategy is an epidemiological cul de sac and a universal failure. Dr. Roger Hodkinson is the former Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ottawa, CEO of a large private medical laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta, and Chairman of a Medical Biotechnology company selling the COVID-19 test. In a radio interview, he had this to say about the official response to the “pandemic”:

This is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspected [sic] public… This is nothing more than a bad flu season. It's politics playing medicine…Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence whatsoever they are even effective. It is utterly ridiculous seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people walking around like lemmings obeying without any evidence. Social distancing is also useless...Positive testing results do NOT indicate clinical infection. [U]sing the province's own statistics the risk of death under 65 is 1 in 300,000. The scale of the response is utterly ridiculous...all kinds of business closures, suicides .... you're being led down the garden path."

The mature mode of action is to take reasonable precautions, practice good hygiene, take a daily doses of Vitamin D3 and zinc capsules, recognize that casual outdoor social distancing is nonsense, and if you are not among the elderly susceptibles and have no critical pre-existing conditions, and are not especially overweight, you should go about your (unmasked) everyday life as usual and run your businesses without interference -- assuming, of course, the authorities do not arrest you. You are statistically assured of survival with, at worst, only minor and temporary discomfort.

The conclusion? Recognize the onset of learned helplessness and learn instead to confront and defy it, practicing what Medical News Today calls an “optimistic explanatory style,” that is, the courage to resist coercion and the planned deselecting of productivity. It is not only one’s health that is at risk but, potentially, one’s freedom as well, if the political and plutocratic elites have their way. We should not succumb to the persuasive force of the lockdown propaganda but realize that the lockdown is a perfect metaphor for paralyzing thought. 

We should support the growing number of marches for democratic rights and political freedom and lobby our governments to reverse and mitigate the “greatest policy error of this generation” -- if policy error it is -- before it is too late. We need to end the lockdown before the economy collapses, mortality rates climb exponentially, and all normal life becomes a thing of the past.

By David Solway in AmericanThinker.com, November 22, 2020 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Living an Authentic Life

 

There’s nothing wrong with having ambitions,

external goals, or desires for material wealth.

But they must be YOUR ambitions, goals and desires.

Understanding this is just the beginning 

of breaking free of the matrix

and discovering true self-empowerment.


Authenticity. What does this word mean to you?

Is it even something our modern culture puts any importance in? How can we recognize authenticity and live an authentic life in a world where we cannot even identify what is the truth and what is not?

The truth is, we live in an age where we are getting more and more disconnected from ourselves. Consider that virtually everything we believe may be a lie. With the internet, social media and so many technologies for communication, we are being bombarded with so much information to the point of getting not only distracted but lost.

We are told every day, in many objective and subjective ways, that we must do more, achieve more in life and even be better than we are. The marketing tools of our capitalist system make us believe that the solution for our anxiety and unhappiness is to do more than we have done, achieve more than we have achieved, be better than we are. It makes sure to keep us loyal servants of the system, always working, consuming and keeping the wheels moving. We buy everything, from clothes to self-improvement workshops, looking for a kind of fulfillment which can only be found when we stop pursuing it and embrace the person we are and the life we have. But we are too occupied pursuing things in the future.

It results in being obsessed with the mythological models of success, happiness, and perfection which are being sold to us by the media. It seems abnormal these days to be a human who is susceptible to failures, with feelings of insecurity and sadness deep inside. Parts of our most basic nature have been transformed into a problem and we are spending our whole lives trying to run away, to fix or to get rid of the “problem”.

In the face of it, we are experiencing a big crisis of identity. While we became so obsessed about being different than we are, we have lost the connection with our deepest nature. When our authentic core is not fed, we start losing the energy, the spark of our eyes, drying slowly till we reach depression.

But blaming the “System” is not a solution, right? This is the world where we live. It has its challenges but also brings opportunities.

In fact, information has never been so available! While our ancestors had no option but buying the model of reality imposed by their societies, we have every sort of knowledge, ideas, and perspectives at our disposal. It means at once a challenge and an opportunity.

Here's the challenge: With so much information available, it’s easy to manipulate the facts and find a way to corroborate whatever you believe. It’s a dangerous phenomenon! If we look with attention, we’ll find many different groups, many ideologies, displaying the same information in different ways, to manipulate us for different purposes and agendas. We are in the middle of an information world war!

You can see people being manipulated by all kinds of fake news, believing the most absurd lies. It’s easy to identify this phenomenon outside of our own bubble. Although, they are probably looking at you with the same perplexed eyes! Take a look at the election we just lived through. Is it really possible to know who is right and who is wrong? Actually, no! Because everything we know about reality is no more than a fragile construction made from fragments of life, interpreted according to our personal and collective perspectives. Your reality is just a construct, a very limited and fragile interpretation of the infinite.

But therein lies an opportunity: While everything changes so fast, we cannot trust anything for truth anymore. It makes us realize how relative and fragile our concepts of reality are, how easy it is to configure a certain kind of reality and then sell that — and how easily we buy it.

Once you are aware of what’s happening, you can use it to your advantage. Since the fraud of our reality is more exposed than ever, it’s easier to challenge it! This moment opens an opportunity. It opens a gap for us to start really exploring ourselves.

Every time you find someone hypnotized inside of a personal bubble, remember that you are in the same situation! There is a huge difference between our concepts and reality. You have concepts about yourself and about life. Although the real nature of life and the true extension of your being cannot be conceptualized.

When you stop trying to understand life, you start living it. When you move beyond your concepts and stop trying to define or catalog yourself, you find your true being.

You don’t need to look for authenticity. It’s already in you.

What is authenticity? In truth, it’s one of those things that we shouldn’t try to define. We lose the grasp with our authentic core once we start trying to define ourselves. Like life itself, we are in constant movement and transformation. Our dynamic nature cannot be put into words. We are a mystery which cannot be explained. The definition, the explanation, the image we have of ourselves is what hypnotizes us and disconnects us from our authentic core.

If you really want to find authenticity, you need to go outside of your thoughts. You need to go outside of that little box, that small and limiting hologram of yourself which you have created. You must feel yourself and taste your soul.

You are not only thoughts. You are emotions. You are instinct. You are a body. Thinking about your emotions, instinct and body only disconnects you from such an essential dimension of your being. Feel your emotions without resistance, trust your instinct and value your body. Then you can ground yourself in your basic nature and flow with the life which exists within yourself.

We are much more than our mind. Our mind is an essential component of our being. Our thinking abilities have led us to great accomplishments. Yet we are much more than our minds. The voice in our minds is a mix of our own ideas and all the information we have been absorbing since the day we were born. But there is a silent intelligence in our bodies, which is the purest source of our being.

This intelligence inside of you coordinates your body, emotions, and psyche. Imagine that every minute in your body, around 300 million cells die while millions of new ones are born. In a single day, this number peaks at around 432 trillion cells dying and being born inside of you. These same cells create tissues, organs, body fluids and every element of your organized, synchronized and effective body. Per second, your body processes around 37 thousand billion chemical reactions. And it’s not only your own cells that are doing the work of keeping you alive. There are more than 40 trillion bacteria participating in the miracle. Can you organize and command any of this with your thinking mind? There is a much more powerful, profound and wise systemic intelligence coordinating your vital processes.

While you are distracted, expending so much energy trying to understand the world and yourself through your mind, life is happening inside of you, and you are missing it. And the more you disconnect from the primal intelligence of life which resides in your body, the more unhappy, empty and lost you feel. Unfortunately, we don’t even know how to listen, how to get in tune with this instinctive intelligence.

There is a huge difference between consciousness and reason. In case you want to experience your most authentic self, you must detach a little bit from your mind and its constructions to let your consciousness explore different dimensions of yourself.

So how do you get there?

1. Detach from everything you’ve learned about yourself.

We have been programmed since the beginning of our lives.

First, you were given a name, which became a first definition and limitation for your infinite self. Then you were identified as a boy or a girl, and with your gender, you inherited many different concepts about how you are supposed to be and behave. Then you were educated by your family, school, religion, and society, inheriting countless concepts and assumptions about life and about yourself. Most of these elements have nothing to do with your real self. They are only social constructions.

Our visions about ourselves are completely shaped by so many elements. And everything we have learned about ourselves can get close to what we are — but will never be more than a sketch of our truest self.

Ultimately, every definition we can create about ourselves will not be real and won’t be solid. It will just be a definition. Because we cannot be conceptualized. We are so much more than we can understand. When you give up trying to understand, trying to make sense of yourself, you take the first step to finding authenticity. Because then you can relax, feel yourself and let your nature be.

2. We can find authenticity in action, in the dynamism of life.

How many times have you caught yourself in the mirror, or staring somewhere, thinking about yourself, about your life?

The fact is, we spend so much energy doing that — thinking about ourselves too much. “Oh, I’m doing this, I’m going this way in life, I must be this way. This is how I should behave.”

Instead of trying to be in a certain way, just respect yourself and unleash your nature. Let yourself be and act from a more spontaneous place. The most authentic expression of yourself is maybe not so perfect as would like to be, but this the real you who must be honored and respected.

3. Authenticity is the natural expression of your being.

Here’s the truth: authenticity is not something we must go anywhere for. It’s not something we must do in order to find. You just have to stop doing things so much. Stop being so artificial. Drop your concepts and expectations about yourself. You don’t need to be anything else than you already are.

Just listen to what your body, your emotions, your instincts are telling you. Not that they will have a voice to tell you directly, but it will give you the urge and the energy that will push you into action.

4. To find your true self you cannot exclude any part of your being.

This is where a lot of people struggle. If you really want to live an authentic life, you must equally come from an authentic place of being. What have you been fighting within yourself? Which aspects of yourself you accept and which you don’t?

Let’s start with your emotions. What do you think of your fear, sorrow, anger, and anxiety? Do you think they are natural aspects of your being, or do you treat them as diseases that you must heal? There is no way to live an authentic life unless you remain impartial and respect the full spectrum of your emotions. Don’t judge them as positive and negative. Some emotions are pleasurable while some are painful, but they are all are sacred and must be respected.

While you fight your emotions, you fragment yourself and create violence within. We have been programmed this way. We’ve been told that some of our most natural emotions are negative, forbidden and must be treated, fixed or defeated. But what you end up doing is fragmenting yourself and polluting an important part of your nature with your judgments and your violence.

Authenticity, after all, comes with the wholeness of your being and the acceptance of it all.

5. Pay attention to how you behave in your Instagram

Instagram is the perfect portrait of our bizarre tendency to fake ourselves. Everybody is happy there, posting the most beautiful shots of their lives. Why are we so desperate for admiration? Why do we need to look so cool and to pretend we have such an amazing life?

The fact is that we’ve been doing it much before Instagram came along. Some smart guys just identified one of our weak spots and developed an app to make money from it. But we compulsively try to hide our insecurity, our sadness and our failures from the world and show a very fake version ourselves and our lives. We get to the point of trying to play this hypocritical game even with ourselves! We want to believe that we are absolutely pure and good in our core, while the heavier aspects of our nature are just an accident, only shadows which we are going to transcend at some point. But we are all only human beings, naturally messed in our cores, vulnerable and subjected to failures.

Our world is full of fake perfection and happiness, but craving for authenticity. Maybe you don’t need to participate in this game anymore. You can start with yourself. Assume the commitment of making peace with your true self the way you are. Learn to admire the whole picture of your being and the beauty of its contrasts. Then you can take a second step and stop spending your energy trying to look confident and brilliant. Your true self, even being contradictory, insecure and vulnerable, has much more substance than the character you play.

6. You must be brave enough to open doors.

Authenticity requires you to be brave enough to open the door, face all the forbidden and forgotten aspects of yourself and embrace it.

We have been programmed to believe that if we stop controlling ourselves and surrender to our emotions and instincts, something terrible happens. We are made to believe that our instincts are animalistic, barbaric, that it will make us mess it up and destroy our futures.

But actually, this is far from the truth. Our instinct is a really intelligent power. It’s the thing that pushes you to do what feels right, even when other options are easier or may yield better results. It is the one thing that is always on your side.

The only cause for our imbalances is the bad relationship we have with our emotions, body, and instinct because the part of us that we judge and repress ends up turning against ourselves.

In order to achieve our goals in life, we have to make sacrifices. Yet we must choose very well what we are going to sacrifice. If we have to sacrifice our own nature and everything that makes us so unique in order to be successful, our success is already a defeat and, once achieved, will be no more than a prison.

So, if you want to live an authentic life, be brave enough to embrace and protect your true being, and be ready to pay the price for it. You’ll be tempted on a daily basis to take the easy path and play the role the world expects from you. It requires quite a temper to be yourself, instead of a social walking dead.

There is a feeling which is much more important than happiness, success, or any other sense of achievement in life. It is the feeling of being at home with yourself. The feeling that you are somewhere true to who you are. It comes from from the depths of your guts and fills you completely. That’s authenticity. It’s what drives us to live our lives the way we want to live it. Not in the way our society or someone else has planned for us. But on our own terms and according to our own rules.

Adapted from an article by Rudá Iandé at Ideapod.com

To My Friends Who Voted For Biden

It is four weeks to the day since the election. This wasn’t really an election, however; it was a military intelligence sting operation agai...