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First Contact: What If We Find Alien Life?

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First Contact: What If We Find Alien Life?

If we’re going to spend time and resources searching for extraterrestrial life, we should know what happens when we make alien contact.

Over two decades ago, the first alien planet was detected orbiting another sun. We’ve since spotted more exoplanets, but no discovery has caused a stir quite like the star KIC 8462852 (also known as Tabby’s Star). The odd nature of this alien solar system came to light in September 2015 when astronomers were using Kepler to look for dips in the star’s brightness caused by any orbiting planets passing across its face.

Given that stars are enormous, and planets much smaller by comparison, these fluctuations are usually tiny. Even a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of a star like the Sun only results in a 1% change. And yet astronomers saw KIC 8462852’s brightness plummeting by up to 22%. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.

What rocketed the find into the news was the fact that some commentators suggested aliens might be responsible for the drop. Since it was too big to be caused by a single planet, some theorised huge mega structures created by an intelligent civilisation might be blotting out the star’s light. They imagined the dimming could be caused by vast banks of solar panels orbiting the star.

Of course there were other, far less fantastic explanations – some said it was likely that a huge swathe of comets was collectively blocking our view. Louisana State University’s Bradley Schaefer disagrees.

Are aliens building a structure around Tabby’s star? (© NASA/JPL-Caltech)

After poring over data, he found that the dimming has been going on for more than a century. His calculations show that nearly 650,000 giant comets would have had to pass by the planet during this time to create the recorded patterns, something he’s dubbed “completely implausible”.

The astronomers behind the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project pointed the radio dishes of the Allen Telescope Array at the star, just in case they could hear something. “We found no indication of an extraterrestrial civilisation at the other end of the telescope,” says SETI’s Douglas Vakoch.

If KIC 8462852 turns out to be a dead end, it’ll be the latest in a line of blanks. Ever since astronomer Frank Drake undertook the first SETI experiment in 1960, we’ve detected no signals that we can definitively say are alien in origin. But that may be about to change.

A Bigger, Better Search For Alien Life

In summer 2015, the late Stephen Hawking and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner launched Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year, $100m (£66.5m) project billed as the biggest scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life, which kicked off in February 2016.

Utilising two of the biggest radio telescopes on the planet – the 100m Green Bank Telescope in the US and the 64m Parkes Telescope in Australia – it’ll be more than 50 times as sensitive as previous searches and will cover 10 times more of the sky. It will also listen over a frequency range five times greater than before and will scan through them 100 times as fast. It will eavesdrop on the million closest stars and 100 nearest galaxies for any sniff of civilisation. The search will be sensitive enough to pick up the equivalent of aircraft radar on any of the 1,000 closest stars to Earth.

Along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, the pair also announced Project Starshot, which will send tiny rockets to search for habitable planets in Alpha Centauri, our nearest solar system.

The fact that Milner is prepared to spend such a vast sum on hunting for aliens shows just how far we’ve come. We now live in the era of exoplanet astronomy, with more than 4,000 confirmed alien worlds beyond the Galaxy. From what we’ve found so far, astronomers estimate there could be 60 billion potentially habitable planets in our Milky Way.

A famous equation formulated by Frank Drake – the Drake Equation – suggests some of them may host to intelligent life. That’s a rich seam to mine. “The search doesn’t appear as futile as in the past,” says the University of Portsmouth’s Bob Nichol, a member of the UK SETI Research Network.

As well as searching for radio signals, they will also look out for laser transmissions. But with all this excitement about detecting future alien signals, what will we do if we find something?

Confirming First Contact

Should we pick up an alien signal, the first hurdle to leap is being able to show definitively that it doesn’t come from anything else.

“To start with, you’d have to put a low probability on it being alien,” says the University of St Andrews’ Duncan Forgan. Once other possibilities have been ruled out, he believes there are important checks that must be carried out. “The first is whether it’s reproducible,” he says.

If a signal is just a one-off then it’s hard to tell anything about it. This is well illustrated by the Wow! signal heard in August 1977. The intense burst of radio waves lasted for 72 seconds and was very close to the frequency that SETI researchers believe an alien civilisation might choose to communicate at. When astronomer Jerry Ehman first saw the signal on a printout from the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio, he wrote ‘Wow!’ next to it in red ink.

But despite various efforts since, no repeat signal has ever been heard coming from that part of the sky. If a repeat is found, you can confirm it is coming from another planet by the way that planet’s motion affects the signal. “There should be a measurable shift in its spectrum due to the velocity of the planet around the star compared to us,” says Forgan.

The Wow! signal was picked up by the Big Ear telescope in Ohio in August 1977, but no similar signal has been detected since (© Getty Images)

If the discoverer(s) of the signal cannot find anything to rule out aliens, they’ll then throw it open to others teams of astronomers who will do their best to prove it isn’t from ET. “Any suspected signal would become the subject of extreme scrutiny,” says Forgan.

If extraterrestrial technology remains the most plausible explanation then, according to the official ETI Signal Detection protocol, that information should be passed to the UN Secretary General as well as a host of other international organisations. The frequency at which the signal was heard will be protected to keep that channel free from any other radio clutter, and no reply is to be sent until an international consensus on the matter has been reached.

Details of the discovery will be spread rapidly to the general population through the usual media channels, and the person or persons who discovered the signal will tell the world themselves.

It is all well and good confirming an artificial signal from an alien race elsewhere in the cosmos, but if it is a deliberate message rather some eavesdropped technological hum, how will we know what it says? After all, they are unlikely to be fluent in any Earth language. But civilisations within a few tens of light-years of Earth would have received a few decades’ worth of radio signals from Earth, so perhaps they could package up their message in a way they know we’d understand.

Alternatively, it’s been suggested that mathematics might be the language of choice for interstellar chit-chat. Initial contact could be made by beaming out a radio message encoding the list of prime numbers or the Fibonacci sequence. Once both sides know they both speak the same language – maths – you could use binary numbers to send more detailed messages such as pictures. So we’d search any potential message for mathematical structure.

Should We Call Back?

If we do find alien life and start up a conversation, what impact would that have on the wider population? One insight comes from a 1999 survey by The Roper Organization on behalf of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). When asked how they would cope psychologically with confirmed news of an advanced extraterrestrial civilisation, 32% of respondents said they were “fully prepared to handle it” and 17% said they would “rethink their place in the Universe”.

However, when asked how they thought others would respond, 25% said “most people would totally freak out and panic” and 10% said most others would “act irrationally and become dangerous to others”.

“Much would depend on the contents of the message,” says Forgan. Clearly, detecting the existence of advanced alien technology on a far distant planet is different from an aggressive message threatening imminent invasion. A 1997 survey found that 84% of respondents believed aliens would turn out to be friendly rather than hostile.

Perhaps we can learn something about our reaction to extraterrestrial aggression from Orson Welles’ famous War Of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. The radio version of the HG Wells story was said to be so realistic that many people mistook it as factual and believed aliens were really invading. While reports of mass hysteria were overblown, the same cannot be said when a Spanish version was broadcast in Ecuador in 1949. Crazed crowds took to the streets and at least six people ended up dead.

Should the message not threaten imminent invasion, the thorniest question we’d have to confront is whether or not to send a return message. It’s a topic that currently divides astronomers.

“I was recently at a meeting of UK SETI scientists and there was a quick straw poll. The room was split exactly in half,” says Forgan. He doesn’t believe we should be sending out any kind of deliberate message into space. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to speak to someone when you have no idea who they are,” he says. “I’m not convinced we should be advertising the human race at this point in our existence.”

This is a particular issue if we’ve just eavesdropped on another civilisation without them explicitly sending us a message. They might have no idea of our existence. This hasn’t stopped astronomers before, however. The Arecibo message, for example, was beamed towards the star cluster M13 in 1974. It contained fairly intimate details of who we are and where we can be found.

Now that our search for extraterrestrial intelligence is about to move up a level thanks to Breakthrough Listen, these are questions we are going to have to grapple with properly. There may be rules for how scientists should deal with any suspected signal; what the rest of us should do and how we’re going to feel if that day ever comes is anyone’s guess. But it’s certainly an exciting time to be a citizen of the cosmos.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

Featured Image: Collective Evolution

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Extraterrestrial Beings Visiting Earth Is Something For Us To Discover – Not Government To Announce

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Extraterrestrial Beings Visiting Earth Is Something For Us To Discover – Not Government To Announce

UFOs and the idea that some of them are piloted by extraterrestrial beings are no longer taboo subjects. UFOs have officially left the sphere of ‘conspiracy theory.’ That term is used today mostly when people’s beliefs are challenged, no matter how clear the evidence may be. But can we really blame them? For years, we’ve been bombarded with the idea that it’s silly to believe such things; in fact, the very first director of the CIA, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, told the world that there was actually an “official campaign of ridicule and secrecy.”

That was decades ago, and since then one thing has become abundantly clear, and that’s the fact that the UFO problem has involved military personnel and more from around the world for more than 70 years now. The subject is wrapped in secrecy.

A great quote comes to mind here from European filmmaker Terje Toftenes, who put out a documentary about the extraterrestrial presence many years ago. In it, he shares a thought that really makes one think.

“Lord Kelvin’s statement bears with it the voice of paradigms past… We knew that we were the centre of the universe, and we knew that a man-made heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (source)

UFO Flying over a corn field at sunset. Image source: Collective Evolution

It’s been nearly ten years since his film was made, and having worked in this field for quite some time, it’s truly mind altering just how much the collective mind has opened up to the possibility that we’ve been visited by extraterrestrial beings.

We are in a process, and there is a reason why “are we alone” is one of the biggest questions ever pondered by humanity. We are naturally inclined to discover, wonder, and ponder, at least most of us are. No doubt our way of life has shifted from discovery, one quality out of many that represents the natural state of a human being, into a robotic life focusing on our jobs, career, family, and providing. The systems we have in place here on our planet are not conducive to our natural state, and human beings no doubt have the potential to create something much greater that is both in harmony with us and our planet.

The process of disclosing the reality that we are not alone–that we have and are being visited–is simply a reflection of human consciousness. It’s occurring because there are people all over the world who are contemplating and searching for the answers to this phenomena, and it’s the result of more people doing their own research instead of allowing an untrustworthy entity to provide the answers for them.

The process of disclosure, especially within the past 10 years, has been greatly assisted by evidence. There are peer-reviewed scientific studies examining this phenomenon, there are photographs, videos, witnesses, high ranking military testimonies, and aerospace executives, academics, astronauts and many more all sharing their proof, evidence, and knowledge showing that not only are UFOs real, but many of them are piloted by ‘people’ that do not originate from planet Earth as well. There are also millions of pages of documents on the subject that’ve been released by dozens of governments.

Dr. Brian O’Leary once said, “There is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time.” Apollo 14 Astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell told the world, “yes, there have been crashed crafts and bodies recovered” and that “there is no doubt that we are being visited.”

Many of these objects are tracked on radars, and again, have been photographed and video taped for years. For example, here is a photo taken by two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots on August 27th, 1956, in McCleod, Alberta, Canada. (“Physical Evidence Related To UFO Reports” – The Sturrock Panel Report – Electromagnetic Effects) (source) (source)

The evidence is truly overwhelming, and undeniable.

Of course this begs the question, why don’t ‘they’ just show up en masse? Well, perhaps there are still many things we don’t understand. Perhaps ‘they’ have trouble communicating with us, as we do with other species. Perhaps they are afraid and prefer their presence not to be known. Perhaps there are multiple groups out there with multiple motives and agendas, some malevolent, some benevolent, and perhaps there are many who are simply exploring and minding their own business.

Why has this subject been shrouded in secrecy? The answer to that is simple: We are a controlled race, and we don’t have our sh*t together here on Earth. If we did, we’d probably already be a space faring race. UFO technology threatens that in a number of ways, from ‘free energy’ to the destruction of current belief systems about the true nature of reality. The extraterrestrial phenomena could perhaps reveal to humanity something about ourselves that would completely change worldview paradigms–there are a number of implications.

The point is that we are asking questions, our minds are opening, and we are going through a process. Our civilization is very young, and no doubt other civilizations out there had to go through what we are going through before they themselves became a space faring race.

There are still many questions to ask, and a lot of discoveries to be made. We are currently in the beginning of this long yet rapid process that will change our world forever. Perhaps the biggest lesson of ‘looking out there’ is to encourage us to look within, at our own planet, and ask ourselves: What exactly are we doing here, and what is going on?

The awareness of the extraterrestrial presence is also coinciding with many other transitions and awakenings the human race is becoming privy to. We are waking up to deception on all fronts–we are opposing a heightened national security state where the goal seems to be total population control, we are becoming more aware and in tune with our planet and the fact that there are much better ways to operate here on Earth that are more harmonious to all life, and we are becoming aware that we have been deceived on so many levels and on so many topics.

We are waking up.

Sure, official extraterrestrial ‘disclosure’ may never happen, and that’s because it’s a process. We are the discoverers of something that was perhaps already known by our great ancient ancestors. After all, they wrote about it and told many stories about travellers from other places.

Do you really think we are alone? What does your intuition tell you? Have you looked into it? Have you gone through the evidence and seen how strong it is?

The only things holding us back from knowing are our long held beliefs, which are always hard to let go of in light of new information and evidence. As I said, it’s a process.

The Takeaway

The realization that we are not alone is not one that will come in the form of an announcement from a government authority. In fact, it’s a lesson in how we do not need to wait for authoritative figures to tell us what is and what isn’t correct. Too often, we see deception from authoritative figures, and more people are starting to realize that it’s time to rely on their own thinking instead of letting someone else do it for them.

This realization also leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. It has spiritual implications, all the way to technological and scientific implications, and much more. It really opens up pandora’s box, and we haven’t even begun to scrape the tip of the iceberg.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

This article was written by Arjun Walia for Collective Evolution where it was originally published and has been republished under Creative Commons.

Featured Image: Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

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Thought To Be Extinct Taiwanese Leopard Spotted Recently After Having Disappeared In 1983

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Thought To Be Extinct Taiwanese Leopard Spotted Recently After Having Disappeared In 1983

Hopeful news for animal lovers is coming out of Taiwan, where rangers say they’ve spotted a leopard thought to be extinct. The Formosan clouded leopard was declared extinct in 2013, though the last official sighting occurred in 1983. Locally known as Li’uljaw, these elusive creatures are not easy to trap, but a group of rangers in Taitung County’s Daren Township have been patrolling since last summer hoping to spot the cat that locals claim to have seen.

Village chief of the Paiwan Tribe, Kao Cheng-chi, confirmed that rangers have been on alert since last June and that they’d held tribal meetings to discuss the sightings and ensure that hunters were kept at bay. Now, rangers have reported seeing Formosan clouded leopards hunting goats on a cliff, while a separate group spotted one run up a tree after roaming near some scooters.

Image source: Yahoo

The Formosan clouded leopard is a subspecies of the clouded leopard, a Himalayan cat that has been on the IUCN’s vulnerable list since 2008. Known for its beautiful dusky-grey markings, the Formosan clouded leopard was endemic to Taiwan and, at one time, it was the island’s second largest carnivore. Extensive logging ate away at its habitat, forcing it to retreat into the mountains.

Image source: Yahoo

This rare animal is considered sacred by the Paiwan tribe and is still listed as protected wildlife by Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau. The Paiwan have implored the government to stop logging in order to allow the Formosan clouded leopards to come out of hiding and there have been reports of encounters past 1983, even if they weren’t official sightings. Liu Chiung-hsi, a professor at the National Taitung University of Department of Life Sciences, said that a group of indigenous hunters told him that they had killed several cats in the 1990s, but burned their pelts for fear of repercussion from the government.

Now that these new sightings have been reported, the Taitung Forest District Office is hoping to confirm the sightings and start scientific research regarding them. For his part, Professor Chiung-hsi believes the reports. He told local reporters, “I believe this animal still does exist,” stating that it’s not surprising that they haven’t been seen regularly due to their vigilance and natural elusive behaviour.

It wouldn’t be the first time a seemingly extinct species popped back up. Just recently the Fernandina giant tortoise, thought to be extinct after a last official sighting in 1906, was spotted by rangers at the Galápagos National Park. Fingers crossed that the same is true for the Formosan clouded leopard.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

Featred Image: Inhabitat

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The Four Stages Of Spiritual Growth

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The Four Stages Of Spiritual Growth

Einstein has a well-shared quote in our modern day which says, “we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” This is a powerful realization for humanity to embrace as we explore pathways to regenerate the vitality of our living planet and build systems for living that will sustain us harmoniously into the future. But if a shift in consciousness is what is required… how do we actually do (or be) that? How do we create a shift in who we are being such that it positively impacts our visions and our actions in the world? And how do we gauge our progress on the path?

In recent times, our path of personal and planetary development has been influenced by a myriad of different perspectives in science, spirituality, indigenous wisdom and multiple schools of self-awareness, self-development, movement and thought. Ancient and modern practices have merged with the intent of helping us shed limiting patterns and past experience in order to more powerfully align with the infinite possibilities of life.

In the mid 1980’s, author and founder of Agape International Spiritual Centre Michael Beckwith introduced a simple model for understanding the Four Stages of Spiritual Growth and Development. While this is not the only guide to understand the stages of human consciousness, the context of Beckwith’s model is a practical and empowering perspective on our journey from victim-hood to empowerment, connection and oneness with the greater forces of life. Let’s take a look.

Ancient and modern practices have merged to help us align more powerfully with the infinite possibilities of life.
Stage One: ‘To Me’

The first stage of spiritual development is what Beckwith calls the ‘To Me’ stage. It’s also referred to as the victim stage as it is an early level of awareness where our primary perception is that life is happening ‘to us’. Like a child new to the world, or someone who has not yet claimed full responsibility for his/her life, in the ‘To Me’ stage we experience ourselves at the effect of the people and circumstances of our life. There are times in each of our lives when we feel like we are on the receiving end of challenges, opportunities, relationships, job assignments, etc. and while we may have desires for a different circumstance, at the time it really feels as though ‘life is happening to us’.

As with each of the four stages, in order to move from one stage to the next, Beckwith tells us we must be willing to let go of something en route to claiming a new aspect of who we really are. In order to move from the ‘To Me’ stage of our development into stage two, what we must be willing to let go of… is blame. After reacting, resisting and blaming others (or life itself) for our circumstance, eventually we come to a place where we are ready to claim more of a sense of personal responsibility and become more of a generative force in our life. Through choice or necessity we make a shift and begin to experience ourselves taking matters of our life into our own hands.

Like a child new to the world, Stage 1 feels like life is happening “To Me.”
Stage Two: ‘By Me’

Even if we are fully justified to blame others for our current situation, there comes a time when we must realize that as long as we are making others responsible for our circumstance, we are giving away our power and limiting our ability to make the necessary changes. As we let go of the need to blame anyone (including ourselves!) for where we are, we open ourselves to shift into our next stage of development, becoming active manifestors of the path we truly want/need to be on.

During stage two, the ‘By Me’ phase of our journey, we may initially feel stretched or challenged by our circumstance, but this challenge is often what is needed for us to dig deeper and become a causative agent in our experience. This is the stage of the journey where we get to discover that we are far more capable than we realized. We are not victims of circumstance but rather creators of it.

The ‘By Me’ stage of development is often a building (or rebuilding) phase, where our actions must be grounded, real, focused and self-driven. Breakthroughs in this arena often require focused determination (and sometimes sweat!) and they leave us with the sense of personal accomplishment, “I did it! I can do it!”. In the stage of ‘By Me’, we move past victim-hood and begin to emerge with a sense of personal ownership of the life we create, earn, cause and achieve. This is a powerful step on the path.

In the “By Me” Stage, we take responsibility as active creators of our reality.
Stage Three: ‘Through Me’

When we have worked hard at developing skills in any activity or endeavor (from music to sports to mathematics), there is a moment when we cross over from pure focused effort to a feeling of grace and flow with what we are doing. We may have been building skills and trying the same thing over and over for quite some time, when suddenly, we go from playing the music to feeling as though the music is actually playing through us. We go from being the surfer using our skills to surf the wave, to feeling the energy of the ocean guiding our flow upon it. From being the writer of the story, to feeling as though the creative essence of the story itself is expressing through our pen onto the page.

When we enter ‘Through Me’ consciousness we go from a sense of personal significance grounded in our own achievements, to feeling a sense of humility about being part of something greater than ourselves. In order to move from the ‘By Me’ stage into stage three, what we must be willing to let go of is our need for control. As we let go of having to be the soul generator and controller of each outcome, we open ourselves up to discover a new sense of trust and connectedness to the bigger story/currents/song ready to flow through us.

Sometimes the experience of ‘Through Me’ comes as a graceful extension of personal exertion, and sometimes it arrives more abruptly as we reach the limit of our own personal skills or abilities and have no choice but to surrender, opening ourselves up to be conduits or instruments of the higher energetic forces within.

We feel a sense of humility about being part of something greater than ourselves.
Stage Four: ‘As Me’

When we let go of blame and move from our perception of life as something that happens ‘To Me’, we begin to discover our true power in life happens ‘By Me’. When we let go of the need to control, we move from our experience of life happening ‘By Me’, to discovering our connection to the greater powers of life moving ‘Through Me’. As we allow our individual expression to merge completely with the energy we are experiencing or creating in the world, we realize we are actually part of the infinite creative force of the universe, which is expressing and experiencing itself individualized ‘As Me’. I am God/spirit/universe/nature/consciousness.

As we travel through the third stage of our development and experience a sense of the greater flow moving ‘Through Me’ consistently in life or endeavour, we begin to reach this fourth leaping-off point and the simple but profound realization that whatever is moving ‘Through Me’ is also inside of me. That this greater energetic force and I are actually made of the same source material. Like a ray of the sun or a wave in the ocean, I am actually an individualized expression of this greater force, which is now moving, breathing and acting in the world ‘As Me’.

A picture must possess a real power to generate light, and for a long time now I’ve been conscious of expressing myself through light, or rather in light. – Henri Matisse

To move beyond the experience of life occurring ‘Through Me’ and into the ‘As Me’ stage of spiritual development, what we must be willing to let go of is our sense of separation. As we do this (or rather ‘be’ this), we open ourselves to discover the experience of genuine unity or oneness in life and endeavour. We release our perception of the infinite nature of the universe as a causative energy that exists outside of us, and we open ourselves to experience this infinite nature in and ‘as’ our very being. The music, the ocean, the story are not only moving ‘Through Me’… they are the living expression of who I am. This is flow in its greatest sense and many would say it is our ultimate reason for being here. Through our actions, experiences, relationships and being, to remember and experience ourselves as unique expressions of the absolute.

The music, the ocean, the story are not only moving ‘Through Me’… they are the living expression of who I am.
Takeaways & Reflection

We each have experiences of these stages of development at different times in different areas of our life. Whether or not we arrive at a permanent state of ‘As Me’ in every aspect of our existence, it is powerful to consider what shifts we can make within ourselves to support our steps along the path.

Stage one: ‘To Me’

Life is a series of events, relationships and circumstances that happen to me.

In order to move to beyond stage one, I must be willing to let go of: blame.

In doing so, I claim/discover: responsibility and personal empowerment.

Stage two: ‘By Me’

I move into my role as a manifestor, claiming my ability to create and influence my circumstance in life.

In order to move beyond stage two, I must be willing to let go of: control.

In doing so, I discover: trust and connection with energetic forces beyond my individual self.

Stage Three: ‘Through Me’

I am an instrument and conduit for Life to move and express through me.

In order to move beyond stage three, I must be willing to let go of: separation.

In doing so, I discover: oneness.

Stage Four: ‘As Me’

I and the infinite forces of the universe are ONE. I am God/spirit/life, being me. At once unique and intrinsically part of the greater whole. I am one with all of life.

We each have experiences of these stages of development at different times in different areas of our life.

Is there an area of your life that you are currently seeking to create a shift in your experience?

If so, what stage of development would you currently place yourself in this area?

What might you need to let go of or claim in order to cause a shift in your own consciousness and open the path for your next stage of experience?

Each one of us is Life personalized. We are each Life as a person; therefore, each one of us contains within himself all the intelligence, the power, the faculties and the instruments for the expression of Life… To know that Life became you for a purpose and that you occupy a place no one else in all the world occupies. – Dan Custer (The Miracle of Mind Power)

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

About The Author

Chip Richards is an author, story teller, holistic coach and creative artist across multiple mediums.

This article was written by Chip Richards for Upliftconnect where it was originally published and has been republished under Creative Commons.

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The 3 Most Pressing Dilemmas Of The Awakened Mind

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The 3 Most Pressing Dilemmas Of The Awakened Mind

It used to be easy to hold hostage the consciousness of humankind. The information which wove together societies was monolithic, disseminated by church and state. Understanding the world beyond one’s personal sphere of experience was limited to the assimilation of those perspectives. While evolutionary progress was slow in that paradigm, over time, small advances grew into sweeping changes, and the future is now upon us.

Today, we are wide awake in the age of atomization. A time when knowledge, wisdom, truth, trust, hope and faith have splintered into an infinite sea of preferences, all instantly available to all. An awakening has already happened, but now we’re confronted with the great challenge of deciding what to do with it.

Because of this, the awakened mind is not necessarily a mind at ease, nor at peace. This quandary is more unsettling than that of the sleepwalker. Shallow forms of bliss just won’t do, but now free of the bondage of ignorance, we are lost in opportunity, drowning in unrealized potential.

In the journey from asleep to awake we were possessed by a need for information, for light shone on darkness, but this phase must come to an end, lest our evolution stalls. We have to somehow go from awakened to actualized, along the way facing a new set of emergent challenges.

These puzzles are the pitfalls in our search for meaning in an ever more intensifying environment. Each of the three dilemmas noted below hinge upon the other two; they are not independent of one another. There exists a natural synergy and symbiosis between them, which must be honoured. The decisions we make in each of these arenas will determine which paths become open to us in the other arenas.

For your consideration, what follows are the three most pressing dilemmas of the awakened mind.

1. What Do We Choose To Include In Our Awareness?

In very practical terms, when immersed in such total information awareness, as we are today, we must consciously or unconsciously choose what information and which ideas to consume. The choices span the entire spectrum of human possibility, from the darkest blackness of the human soul to the most shimmering golden light of infinite consciousness. We are exposed to all ranges of vibration. Choose we must.

There is a paradox at play here, though. In large part, the information which jolted us out of contemporary consciousness is fundamentally of lower vibration. It had to be that way. Total seriousness and gravity were required to brutally force our eyes open, to wake us up.

But continuing to feed on the darkness only draws us into a different trap. We can be wide awake while helplessly drowning in the abyss of base-level consciousness. As tantalizing and sensational as it is, this level of consciousness is heavy, always working to pull us under.

How much violence, brutality, murder, inhumanity and psychopathy can we look at? How much spiritual pornography can we safely consume? How long can we simmer in the mainline narratives before all progress is lost and we find ourselves stuck in yet another cage?

2. How Will We Choose To Communicate Our Awareness?

Just a short time ago, loneliness was the dilemma of the awakening mind. Yet now, so many are awake to some degree. With technology has come such tremendous freedom of communication, but it’s too much to process. To survive we take shelter on islands of comprehension, stranding ourselves with others of identical perspective. We are splintering into tribes rather than uniting as a cohesive human family.

In such a cacophony of competing voices, opinions and perspectives, all of which lay claim to the high ground of the awakened, we are confronted with the dilemma of how we share our perspectives and how we translate those of others. Do we insist that our understanding is final, and demand assimilation? Do we assume certainty and put on a confidence game of defending the information we like best? Do we get dogmatic, insisting that our truth is the only acceptable truth? Do we bludgeon others with self-righteousness?

Now that we know what we know, we have the choice of becoming repeaters of information, or craftsmen of a new story.

3. What Action Will We Take To Honour This Awareness?

Choosing to remain stuck in an endless spiral of negative information paralyses is a form of self-imposed psychosis. Nothing is gained if the awakened mind maroons itself on the island of perpetual study and looping examination.

This is resistance to the act of doing what is needed to experience the ideals which have motivated and inspired the awakening. At some point it becomes imperative to declare ourselves aware enough already, then find ways to take action toward the fulfilment of a purpose grander than the task of waking up.

There is infinite possibility in what actions an individual can take to accelerate the drive towards actualization, in both personal and communal terms. Any push toward action, though, great or meager, is honourable, for the body just needs to be set in motion, so it can stay in motion and then gain momentum.

To honour the progress we’ve made in exposing our condition it’s now necessary to accept the call to action. It’s time to actually create the world we wish to see manifest.

Final Thoughts

We find ourselves at the outer limits of the awakening. Can we exploit the momentum we’ve created which has gotten us this far, or will we return to the cave of delusion we came from? Choices.

About the Author

Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. He may be contacted at wakingtimes@gmail.com.

This article (The 3 Most Pressing Dilemmas of the Awakened Mind) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and WakingTimes.com.

Featured Image: Awakened Mind Training

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