Conspireality: Is It Time For A Serious Conversation?

One thing I’m noticing now more than ever before in my experience as a journalist and researcher, and as a human in general, is that people are hungry for information that is deeper than what they are getting through the mainstream media. It feels as though people are beginning to recognize that there is a degree of corruption involved in our world and that politicians and traditional media outlets have been compromised in the process. How can you weed through the confusion? What media can I trust? What is the truth? These are all big questions many are now having. Further, there is a lack of trust in many professional or societal experts due to a felt sense that they have been compromised as well. In an attempt to get answers to these questions, people have been looking for alternative information or perspectives about many current events in an attempt to make sense of the world.

I’ve worked 11 years in independent media now. I founded Collective Evolution in 2009 for the purposes of having conversations I felt were important but perhaps not widely available. Initially beginning as a platform for exploring consciousness awakening, CE ventured into current events, as I felt they often reflect the inner aspect of who we are as people – and as a collective. That said, for most of the time CE has been around, we’ve covered some sort of alternative perspective on current events as part of our job. Our commitment was to do this in a way that was as open, transparent, and unbiased as possible. Improving in our style and quality over the years, we often get feedback from a wide audience feeling that we do a pretty good job of staying neutral and open to various possibilities, while still covering what might be considered controversial subjects. Things people call ‘conspiracies.’

Calling these sometimes controversial subjects ‘conspiracy theories’ is a bit unfortunate as it’s a loaded term that brings about many connotations and a general lack of clarity. Does ‘conspiracy theory’ mean there is no evidence? It is not probable? It is not to be believed? Only crazy people who don’t think critically look at them? Was the fact that the NSA spied on US citizens illegally a conspiracy theory before Edward Snowden revealed the truth about that to the world? It was. The idea that ‘big brother’ is watching was considered a paranoid delusion by many, yet they were in fact watching and recording almost everything people in the US did.

Thus, the title of this piece includes the term ‘conspireality’ as it is my feeling that some things we often call conspiracy theories are in fact true, we just don’t know it yet or haven’t accepted it. In that same token, there is an observation I’m seeing within the space of ‘conspiracies’ that is truly important to discuss and reflect on.

Note: much of what I want to share will be written here, more will be in the video at the bottom.

The Rise of The Alternative

For decades people have felt that there is more to mainstream media narratives when it comes to current events. The JFK assassination, UFOs, MK Ultra, the real cause of wars, powerful people who control aspects of society, etc. Typically, much of these conversations remained on the fringe and were had on late night radio shows or unpopular books few knew about. But the advent of the internet and it’s subsequent popularity birthed an opportunity for these ideas and conversations to spread more easily. As time went on, people began to feel ‘alternative’ history or facts about events that happen in our world are increasingly important. While it might be common to chalk this up to some form of mental illness or misstep in thought, there is actually a large number of intelligent and well-read people who are actively exploring very credible information that tells a different, and credible, story about widely accepted mainstream narratives. A recent podcast on The Joe Rogan Experience with guest Tom O’Neil is a perfect example. Tom has spent the last 20 years of his life investigating and writing a book called Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties which was published by Little, Brown in the summer of 2019.

As the description of his book reads:

Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O’Neill was reporting a magazine piece about the murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up behind the “official” story, including police carelessness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance by intelligence agents. When a tense interview with Vincent Bugliosi — prosecutor of the Manson Family and author of Helter Skelter — turned a friendly source into a nemesis, O’Neill knew he was onto something. But every discovery brought more questions.

O’Neill’s quest for the truth led him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from San Francisco’s summer of love to the shadowy sites of the CIA’s mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with shady cover-ups and suspicious coincidences. The product of two decades of reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA, Chaos mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a book that overturns our understanding of a pivotal time in American history.

As I listened to the podcast episode, many of the subjects discussed, including the United State’s government mind control program MK Ultra, and the JFK Assassination were explored with undeniable evidence and important lines of questioning. Contrary to the belief that many of these subjects are mere conspiracy theories brought on by people who only deal in circumstantial evidence and who believe anything that sounds like an entertaining theory, we’re seeing some real truth here. Truth that would completely change the public’s perspective on government and the intelligence community. The implications are huge when you really start to look at it and what the evidence clearly indicates.

This is not the only event that evidently shows coverups. Recent admissions by the US Navy has clearly indicated that government and intelligence communities have been keeping the public in the dark about UFOs for a long time. Looking at government documents and whistleblowers that have been available for decades, you can find out very quickly that much more is going on behind the scenes than people realize, and the discussion of UFOs is really nothing to be gawked at as it often is. Before public admission of the reality of UFOs, the media and many academics made fun of people who believed in UFOs as if they were crazy. Now that same media is telling you they’re real. While they aren’t necessarily saying who is manning these UFOs, the conversation is quickly turning towards admitting to so many of the things ‘conspiracy theorists’ have discussed. One could say that UFOs as a conspiracy theory became reality when the NAVY admitted to the validity of the video evidence that emerged. Do we know exactly what is going on? No, but we know a lot more. Likewise with the NSA’s ‘big brother spying’ program – it’s no longer a conspiracy theory thanks to Edward Snowden. In that sense, you can see where I’m getting my ‘conspireality’ term from – conspiracies that have become reality. The question now is, how do we have conversations about remaining ‘conspiracies’ seriously? Where we look at the evidence with an open mind and truly see what it says.

Alternative media has been covering these topics for years prior to mainstream media even opening up to the idea. Alt media has been filling a void in media that aligns with a correct intuition people have that there is more to what we’re being told – and it involves some highly controversial topics. Hence the rise in alternative media. Popularity grew because it was feeding something deep within people that they felt but could not get from the mainstream. In return, the mainstream culture seems to have taken issue with the rise of alternative media as it represents a loss of having a monopoly on narratives.

Time For A Serious Conversation?

Before I continue I want to be clear that this is a complex and nuanced conversation, and the themes I’m going to discuss don’t apply to all people, but seem to be a big part of ‘alternative’ thinking culture.

As mainstream or traditional media continues to fail to ask the right questions about what is going on in our world (whether it was due to a lack of interest in the part of journalists, direction from media directors, or perhaps a gag order from someone ‘higher up’), it can be said that alternative media may not always carry the necessary standards in reporting and conversation to be taken seriously. Yet these emerging conversations are incredibly important and needed.

Lately, I’ve been grappling with this difficult topic, and I sometimes find it a bit tough to even put into words. It is something I’ve loosely discussed for years now, but am now really moving to open up a dialogue about it as I believe we’ve reached an absolutely critical juncture in time where we must begin to explore themes I’m about to present. Themes that involve anything from free speech to societal decline, division, and our potential to create a world where we can thrive. I believe much of what we’ll discuss here is critical to all that and more.

The topic I’ve struggled with lately is that I feel many people in the ‘alternative’ or ‘conspiracy’ community, defined contextually for this article as those who are often well-intended in seeking alternative narratives the mainstream does not offer, seem to have become very ideological, absolute, and extreme about their positions. The conversations being had often jump to conclusions even without evidence, and attack anyone who doesn’t agree with them as being ‘sheeple’ or brain dead. It’s creating huge divides, yet very few want to admit it. Most importantly, it’s making it very hard to have these important conversations about controversial topics that need to be had at this moment. Further, and as I foresaw years ago, it’s also inviting censorship.

Let’s get clear here. You might see a meme that shows a picture with Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein, and thus it automatically means we now have proof Gates is a pedophile. ‘The Deep State mass arrests are coming any day now.’ Just as they have been for the last 10 years. Yet still, if you don’t understand that these mass arrests are coming, you’re asleep. The key distinction here is the sense of certainty, the sense that it’s all so obvious, even when it’s not. The use of poor evidence, circumstantial evidence, or none at all, to ‘prove’ what’s going on has overtaken critical thinking. It almost seems like people have become more interested in the entertainment value of this controversial information as opposed to how true it actually might be or how much evidence there truly is.

Take the X22 report for example. He pulls together a ton of circumstantial evidence, matches it with Q posts and then offers an analysis. Many believe his work clearly shows facts in drawing conclusions, but in reality, it’s mere speculation. This is perfectly fine, but people are getting lost in seeing this as unequivocal fact, as opposed to mere speculation. X22 has suggested for example that Julian Assange is safe and sound and his arrest is nothing but ‘part of the plan’ by the Q patriots to save America from the Deep State. In his video, you can follow all of the evidence he proposes, why Assange had a book in his hand, what that book meant, and how it was a code for people to look deeper. This, while those close to Assange, including independent reporters and family, have been saying he is being tortured and suffering deeply in prison. So on one hand you have ‘truthers’ saying he’s fine, don’t worry, part of the plan. And then you have those who actually know him and have access to him saying the situation is bad and people need to help do something about it. Those same truthers have then said “don’t worry, those reporters and family are part of the plan too… it’s all optics.” You can see the issue here.

What I’m getting at is many popular voices in alternative media approach ‘conspiracy theories’ in a way that turns circumstantial evidence into unquestionable truth. Delivered with a sense of certainty or sweeping generalizations. They can often lack critical thinking because they match their circumstantial evidence with the overarching story they have chosen to believe as fact. In turn, many viewers of alternative media seem to have begun believing these ideas as pure truth, without applying the same critical thinking rigor to alt narratives as they would have to mainstream narratives.

This by no means is everyone who watches alternative media. In fact, I have often stated and observed that many who do view alternative media do so because they have developed great critical thinking skills and have realized that there is not much value these days out in watching mainstream or traditional media. That said, there is still a large group of presenters and viewers who make up a culture within the alternative space that does contribute to undermining these conversations. Take Jeffrey Epstein for example. A huge case that began to connect underage sex/pedophile rings to powerful people in the world. An idea that has been around for a long time thanks to survivors and whistleblowers who have told their story. The mainstream media has never done a good job of covering this, and traditional journalists have often shied away from it. Now though, this conversation is huge and ready to be had – people are listening. Then comes the part I’m trying to raise awareness about here: some people in the alternative community will undermine these conversations by aggressively positing that every politician pictured with Epstein is automatically a pedophile and involved. This among other assertions that are easy to debunk of course. This makes it easy for mainstream media or fact-checkers to begin easily debunking ‘conspiracy theories’ related to Jeffrey Epstein as bogus – and in a lot of cases, they are right. Yet, there is actually a meaningful conversation to be had here, there is truth to explore, but if people are not more careful, these conversations won’t be had because their lack of critical thinking and completely certain positions close the door for other onlookers and make it easy to bury this information as unfounded and delusional conspiracies. After all, a quick Google search will return plenty of mainstream media positions analyzing the psychological nature of ‘those who believe in conspiracy theories’ as if there is no real truth to any of them, and that people are just ‘out of their minds’ of sorts.

For myself personally in doing this work for the last 11 years, it is extremely common to have our work lumped in all other “baseless conspiracy theories” due to the fact that we’re often covering the same topics that are considered baseless conspiracy theories because they were covered poorly by others or simply because they sound similar. We become guilty by association and part of a culture of people who seem to simply believe everything without any real evidence, this, regardless of the fact that we approach these important conversations with evidence and rigor.

Perhaps you’ve had the experience where you suggest in conversation “I don’t feel Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.” And right away a friend says “oh, you sound like a conspiracy theorist.” One might assume it’s because that friend is not open-minded or was convinced by mainstream media it’s all a conspiracy, when in reality that friend may have witnessed a ton of laughable and paranoid content with weak evidence and harshly stated ‘facts’ that when researched, returned no real results. Thus the question becomes, is the ‘conspiracy’ community actually digging their own grave and just blaming mainstream media for why people don’t listen?

How Can We Adjust?

11 years ago I had a vision of creating media that approaches understanding our world in a different way. As our About Us page on CE states:

We live in a time where virtually every aspect of our society is changing or crumbling. Power is shifting and old ways of looking at and understanding our world are no longer working. New voices and ideas are emerging that encourage us to look more deeply at why our world is the way it is, and what about us creates it to be this way.

Collective Evolution is a news-media and education company that creates content to explore how humanity can shift our consciousness and way of being to evolve beyond the personal and global challenges we face. We help encourage the development of inner faculties to explore more about how we can arrive at truth as opposed to just saying what truth is. Our work encourages a greater connection to self, an increase of self-awareness and being aware of what’s around us. We encourage others to let information be as opposed to it defining who we are and developing ideology. 

What do our current events say about how we operate as people? What do our societal structures and common issues say about our level of thinking (consciousness) and what type of ideas we’re bringing to the table? What if the solution to the many challenges we feel we face today is actually in changing how we think, relate to one another, and even relate to our world?

We feel this is one of the key missing factors in mainstream media, alternative media and traditional societal discussions today, and therefore we create our content to inspire personal transformation and the expansion of collective consciousness through two key avenues: news media and personal transformation content.”

We’ve always felt that bringing the inner work, inner transformation aspect into making sense of our world was key as it is empowering and actually allows each person to take responsibility for what they are creating in their life and in the world. By developing inner faculties like critical thinking, presence, self-awareness, and intuition, we can better understand our world and why it is the way it is. We can also begin to become aware of an expanded state of who we are, which may choose to create society from a completely different mindset than simply believing we are a cog in the wheel with beliefs and ideologies that are outdated and don’t resonate with us.

Thus I’m putting forth a call here, firstly, perhaps it’s time we move on from this whole idea of calling things a “conspiracy theory.” We have learned by now that if we apply critical thinking and proper journalism to many of these controversial ideas, what’s worth exploring further becomes clear quickly. I discuss these ideas much more deeply in a video I produced on this subject in relation to a few early statements made by David Icke during a London Real interview about COVID-19. David assertively states that “COVID-19 does not exist” and then proceeds to make a strong link between COVID-19 and 5G. I’m not saying David is a bad researcher or anything of that fashion, on the contrary, I believe some of his work is solid, and asks some great questions. But what I’m saying is, if you look at the aftermath of that conversation, whereby assertions are made that are certainly nothing more than speculation but not presented as such, we can clearly see what shifts need to be made in how these conversations are approached so we can do a better job of having them seriously and uniting people.

5G as a conversation was deeply undermined as mainstream media had an easy time stating there is no evidence linking 5G to COVID, and now those who look into 5G safety might be highly skeptical because the ‘crazy conspiracy’ was that 5G created COVID. Further, there are serious discussions to be had around the origins of COVID-19 and whether or not the authoritarian measures are truly necessary, yet how can we easily have those conversations when such a large portion of the community is simply saying COVID is a hoax and that it doesn’t exist? This isn’t to say that these ideas should not be explored, this is the piece many seem to miss. They want it to be a black and white conversation – who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Should I do this, or that? When in reality, this is a conversation about making sense of a situation that is extremely complex, and if we try and put forth one all-encompassing theory that is certain about what’s going on right now, we can’t possibly be accurate in that as we simply don’t know everything. So why assert it as such?  It is virtually impossible. Yet those who don’t agree with this all-encompassing and obvious agenda…. asleep. This is the issue I want to talk about more in the video below. I also offer what I feel are some solutions and realizations people could reflect on to see how they feel for them.

A Spiritual Perspective On Smoking Cannabis: An Important Viewpoint To Consider

I was having a conversation yesterday about something that has always been a reflection point for me. Since I was a kid, I was never drawn to substances, even alcohol. I always felt great, high even, when just being.

As I got older and I finally tried cannabis for the first time, and then a few more times after that as years went on, I started to realize it actually brought my state of being and clarity down. The tough part was trying to explain that to others when having conversations about how these substances don’t produce a true experience of higher consciousness, but more so give you a glimpse in a sense.

Before we go on, I want to bring something up. The challenge with this topic is that we tend to get very emotional and rigid about it. Not only that, but we aggressively try to lump people into FOR or AGAINST cannabis. I’m not here to do that. I’m simply creating a reflection point as my desire is to help shift consciousness and empower us within to create a world where we can truly thrive. So for a moment, set aside your own hard coded beliefs and just be open to what this article is shining light on.

Societal Cannabis Culture

For the most part society either breaks down into people who judge cannabis as a drug that is for ‘stoners’ and are very against it. These people tend to believe there are no positives to cannabis. On the flip side are the people who feel cannabis is an amazing wonder plant that can do no wrong, and that the “highs” it provides expand the mind and we experience peace.

The truth is, cannabis has good aspects and not so good aspects to it. And while the positives can be really helpful for a very small subset of people on this planet, smoking it is one of the worst ways to use cannabis health wise. Not only that, society is using its medical benefits to turn attention away from the addiction many users have to it. This is a tough pill to swallow and makes many people aggressive and angry when I bring it up, but it’s true. In a big way, but not all the time, we are using cannabis as a society to help cope with feelings deep down that we want to shut off or hide from. As a note, we are also using food, TV and other things in the same way, but right now I want to focus on this reflection.

Cannabis can assist people with autism, people who have seizures, and in some cases it may have helped people cure cancer. There are benefits that can come from this plant being used in a proper medicinal way, but we must remember to look at the downsides that come from regular cannabis use that many simply don’t want to acknowledge.

A Note On Legalization

First off, I do not believe the plant ever needed to be illegal to begin with. In fact I’ve done much research on how it became illegal and it really had more to do with protecting an industry more than anything else.

That said, there is something to consider here that many of us aren’t looking at too clearly when it comes to what legalization really means. It means that powerful people are going to be the ones who profit most from it, that’s why it’s becoming legal. Not only that, but the reason it is taking so long is so they can get in place the many aspects required to make sure they achieve what they want: stripping medicinal aspects out of the plant profiles, controlling the seeds, and ultimately feeding society cannabis focused solely on creating a THC based ‘high’. This is no different than controlling alcohol and feeding it to society in the ways we currently do.

The cannabis industry is worth over $40 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crop in the U.S. after corn. As stated in a powerful article by GQ, “And even though weed is still federally forbidden, it sounded like whoever was behind BioTech Institute had spent the past several years surreptitiously maneuvering to grab every marijuana farmer, vendor, and scientist in the country by the balls, so that once the drug became legal, all they’d have to do to collect payment is squeeze.”

Humans should be able to make choices as to what they want to do to themselves and their bodies i.e. smoke cannabis or consume alcohol, but I believe greater education needs to be placed behind both and ultimately: we must start looking at the real reasons as to why we use both of these substances so often.

Looking At Cannabis Differently

I see that in many ways the use of cannabis is making the average user numb, in the same way alcohol does. I’ve used cannabis before, in a number of ways -smoking, edibles etc. I’m not saying the feeling is the same for every single user, but I’ve also been around thousands of cannabis users in my lifetime while they were high and you notice the same ‘vibe’ virtually every time. Perhaps there are varying degrees, but for the most part it numbs us out and sometimes quiets the thoughts to create a calmness. Is this like meditation? No, but it can be confused as that. I know, I’ve been there too.

Below is a video of a perspective on cannabis I feel is very important for us to consider. Let me be clear, I’m not saying there isn’t medicinal value and that we should outlaw this plant, I’m saying we have a very large societal challenge, just like with alcohol, where we are not facing our inner challenges and are using substances to cover them up. I am inspired to help create a world where we can truly empower ourselves form within, move beyond our mind and egoic challenges that help us grow and do just that – grow. But if we continually bury our challenges in substance, we won’t.

I believe it’s time we come to the uncomfortable truth and face the fact that as a society we have not done the greatest job in encouraging one another to truly explore, express and move beyond many of the emotional challenges life’s experiences have provided us, that are there for our growth. Think about it, do we want to just cope through life? Or do we want to truly move beyond our stuff? There is SO much suffering we can prevent by making it a societal norm to work through our challenges on a deep level. This is where I believe we must go.

Note: You can try meditation to help calm the mind and move more clearly through challenges. Here are more tools as well.

Lost relationships, divorces, losing jobs, feeling unloved, lack of confidence, depression etc. All of these things are not here so that we can use bandaids everyday to cover them up and get through them, they are here for us to learn more about ourselves, grow and evolve as people and as a society. To create a world where we can truly thrive. To get there, we must begin to face our challenges.

I made this choice 10 years ago when I started to discover meditation and inner reflection, and although I wasn’t a user of substances like alcohol or cannabis, I would use food to cover up my emotions or I would distract myself with TV, whatever worked. But I can share from experience, the incredible changes that come from shifting those stories within and gaining true empowerment will change everything in your life, and everyone can do it.

Why We Get Into Fights When Sharing Information

We’re in a time when mainstream media and traditional conversations are failing to address a number of important topics within society, anything from current events to politics and so on, and this is birthing a great deal of ‘alternative conversation’ that often stems from alternative media.

But with this, comes to the common ‘fight’ between various ideas and ideologies that is much more avoidable than we often realize. I wanted to share a quick tid bit from a recent episode discussing how we can reflect to develop better communication and connection faculties that can make a big difference in how we communicate important ideas that are emerging without creating such huge divides ad tension.

Neuroscience Learns What Buddhism Has Known For Ages: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is defined as an attention training which can benefit health and general well-being. There is a lot scientific research confirming it. In this article we will present the other type of attention training called Open Focus. We believe, combining these two approaches may help to understand attention training better and to experience its benefits faster.

What Is Mindfulness?

In its most basic form, Mindfulness means to pay attention to what’s happening, on purpose, in the present moment, and to do so without judgement. Originally from Buddhist roots, it was introduced into the West by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin and the University of Massachusetts. Since its appearance in the West around twenty years ago, many people have participated in the Mindfulness based stress reduction course and similar programs. Research shows that participants may experience profound benefits such as reduced stress, a greater sense of well-being, increased clarity and focus, and improved sleeping patterns.

According to Dr. Kabat-Zin, by paying attention in a certain way, we can switch off our so-called autopilot mode, in which we often go through life unaware of what’s happening within and around us. Living on autopilot not only means that we miss out on a lot of the richness of life, but we are also more likely to be stressed. Stress and autopilot are linked because when we are on autopilot, we are much more likely to act out unhelpful or even damaging patterns of behaviour. In other words, we react instead of respond to challenging experiences in our life. Mindfulness helps us to become aware of these habitual patterns and gives us a choice to change how we relate to challenging experiences. It’s not about taking stress away or hoping to live a life without any stress, but rather fundamentally changing how we relate to the things we experience.

On the other hand, many of us spend much of our time living in our heads. We live in a kind of virtual reality consisting of thoughts and inner dialogue, and thoughts tend to relate either to the past or to the future. Mindfulness helps us to learn how to return to the present and to what’s actually happening rather than our perceptions of what’s happening, which are often inaccurate. We practice it by cultivating greater somatic awareness — that is, awareness of the body, because the body is always in the present moment.

Ultimately, the more we practice Mindfulness and observe the changing nature of experience, the more we may begin to sense that what we previously thought of as being tangible and solid, such as our sense of self, is actually quite transitory and ephemeral. We may begin to understand what lies beyond objects arising in awareness such as sensations, thoughts, and emotions. We may begin to experience awareness itself. This is an extremely significant moment in practice and in life, when we start to experience ourselves as something greater than what we observe and our sense of being the observer.

In Mindfulness, attention generaly focuses on one object (such as the breath, sensations in the body, thoughts, or emotions), exploring it with a sense of curiosity and interest. Another way Mindfulness can be practiced is through Open Monitoring or Open Awareness, where no particular object of experience is selected and there is an openness to all that is unfolding within awareness. Here too, however, as various objects pass through awareness, attention is often paid to each object in a narrowly focused wa

What Is Open Focus?

Open Focus is the name of an attention training program created by Dr. Lester Fehmi, a neuroscientist and psychologist from Princeton University. Dr. Fehmi found that once our whole brain activity becomes more synchronous in alpha frequency, our mental and physical health improves. He created a series of mind exercises that help to cultivate this brainwave pattern, and he designed a neurofeedback EEG machine that can detect it.

On the basis of his findings, Dr. Fehmi developed The Four Attention Styles theory, which describes four different ways we can pay attention, and relates these styles to brain physiology.

According to Dr Fehmi, pain, stress, anxiety, and other challenges make our attention narrow and objective. It is natural to narrow our attention (focus) on pain or a problem in order to deal with it efficiently, but most people overuse this style in everyday life. They are unaware that it keeps them in continuous ‘fight or flight’ mode (see this post). Moreover, habitual focusing creates an impression that the reality consists of separated objects, since we can focus on only one thing at a time, leaving the rest outside of our focus. It can make us feel distant, alienated, and lonely.

Dr. Fehmi says we can begin relating to what’s difficult in a more balanced, accepting way by diffusing our attention. Diffusing allows us to see the big picture and connect (immerse) with its elements. It helps to realign with the world and to create healthy relationships. This style is linked to the ‘rest and digest’ part of our physiology and makes the whole brain activity more synchronous in alpha frequency, which can be confirmed by Dr. Fehmi’s machine (see graph below).

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Dr. Fehmi suggests everyone’s attention should be flexible, meaning that you can alternate between ‘narrow and objective’ and ‘diffused and immersed’ styles of attention or balance all at the same time. Dr. Fehmi says that the way we pay attention is directly linked to our well-being. Once you are able to balance your attention, you can positively influence your mind and body.

During Open Focus training, we practice diffusing by becoming simultaneously aware of many objects. The object can be everything you can focus on, like a physical object, a sound, a taste, a thought, a feeling, a sensation from the body, etc. Then you can progress to awareness of the space between objects, like the space between physical objects, the silence between sounds, or the breaks between thoughts, etc. Finally, you become aware of space between and inside objects which, according to Dr. Fehmi, helps us achieve diffused and immersed style. In this style of attending, all objects (including yourself) dissolve in space and you immerse with reality, becoming fully connected.

Are Mindfulness and Open Focus Complementary?

Open Focus and Mindfulness are not distinct and competing practices but rather highly complementary.

Mindfulness helps us to learn to pay attention to our experience and to notice how we are relating to it. Open Focus then builds upon the benefits and skills of Mindfulness by training us not just to pay attention, but to be more aware of how we are paying attention and to be more flexible in our attention styles.

We then have the benefits of two complementary practices available to us: learning to pay attention and being flexible in how we pay attention. We could say that Mindfulness is an excellent foundation for Open Focus training and that Open Focus helps us to get the most from Mindfulness training.

What Can Open Focus Offer Mindfulness?

As mentioned, much Mindfulness practice is based on a narrow way of paying attention (that is, we are focused on one object). Although it is useful in helping us to be more aware of what is happening in the moment, overusing this style may lead to tightness and overexertion in unexperienced practitioners, since many people think they have a choice of staying watchful (mindful) of what is happening, or they slip into daydreaming. They keep trying harder and it makes them exhausted and it sometimes leads to frustration and disappointment.

We therefore propose that Open Focus can bring to Mindfulness the idea of paying attention in the diffused style and the concept of attention flexibility.

Mindfulness practitioners who learn how to diffuse their attention may find that it helps them to progress. There are several reason for this.

The diffused attention style tends to quickly quiet internal chatter. For example, it is sometimes enough to become aware of sensations coming from both hands and at the same time to sense peace and calmness of the mind. It is because synchronous alpha brain waves play a top-down inhibitory role in the brain network. The quiet mind makes observing without judgment much easier.

In diffused attention style, you do not redirect your attention from one object to another, but  rather redistribute it between many objects, which are attended at the same time. The only way to do it is to attend objects in a very soft (less rigid, relaxed) way. This skill can then be used in everyday life. For example, you can stay continuously aware of breathing while listening to someone talking to you and there is no struggle between competing objects in your awareness. It helps to continuously sense the present moment and it has very practical applications (see this post).

It is important to note that in this style, one of the objects you pay attention to could be your daydreaming. Including daydreaming into the diffused attention helps to reduce struggle with it during practice. It is possible (and quite easy) to accept daydreaming as one of many objects you pay attention to (see this post). It can be easily extended to everyday life and it helps to stay present.

In order to become fully aware of the world, it can be helpful to cultivate a more diffused than focused attention style. Focused attention requires one to cut off a lot of what is really happening around us and it restricts experience to a narrow stream of sensations. In the diffused attention style, you are aware of the object and its background (see this post). This may broaden the perspective, helping to put things into context. It may also help to disable an autopilot and develop one’s ability to respond as opposite to reacting.

 As mentioned previously, Open Focus exercises cultivate an awareness of space around and inside objects. Once a practitioner is aware of space inside the object, it may become softer, lighter, and easier to be with and observe (for example when we attend an unwanted emotion). By switching to a diffused attention style, the difficulty may be diluted by a broader spectrum of attention. This could be likened to putting a teaspoon of salt in an egg cup filled with water and tasting it — the water would taste very salty. If the same teaspoon of salt were put in a swimming pool, it would be difficult to taste the salt. Mindfulness enables us to be aware that there is salt in the water, but Open Focus allows us to experience the salt in the context of the swimming pool rather than the egg cup!

The diffused and immersed attention style helps to dissolve objects like pain or unwanted feelings. Mindfulness practitioners are sometimes encouraged to bring attention to an ache in the back and to observe how this ache feels, exploring how it would be to allow the ache to be there. In Open Focus, they might feel the ache but at the same time feel the space around and in the ache together with the space in the room. In addition, they might imagine that we are part of the ache itself, allowing themselves to become immersed in the ache. This sometimes makes the pain or feeling softer, blurred with its background, and then it may naturally and effortlessly dissolve. The dissolving pain and unwanted feelings process is well documented in Dr Fehmi’s book.

Conclusion

Mindfulness teaches us to pay attention to our experiences so that we can interrupt habitual patterns of relating to ourselves and the world that may not be helpful for us. Open Focus enhances Mindfulness practice by teaching us not just to pay attention, but to bring more awareness to how we are paying attention.

As this article has demonstrated, these are two highly complementary and mutually reinforcing practices. Ultimately, with both we can learn to be present and be flexible in how we are present, after which we may uncover an unlimited sense of peace and love that lies beneath the ‘noise’ that we are usually confronted with and try to suppress.

In scientific terms, this may be regarded as homeostasis; in more spiritual language, this may be regarded as revealing our true nature or higher self. These practices may lead us to fulfil our personal and evolutionary potential and to live lives with grace and ease.

How You Can Try Mindfulness and Open Focus

We could write a lot but more about Mindfulness and Open Focus, but the best way to know them is to feel them!

You can try some good Mindfulness exercises here: Breathing Into Being, Taking In The Good, Self Compassion.

There is a choice of Open Focus exercises on Dr Fehmi’s and Tomasz’s website (the main difference is that most of Tomasz’s exercises are shorter and they are designed to introduce diffusing and to bring a quick and noticeable experience).

 MOF

This article was written with Mrs. Sarah Gulland a Mindfulness teacher who works from London, Guildford and Sussex.

Chinese Virologist Claims She Will Be Publishing Evidence Proving COVID-19 Is Manmade

Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist and whistleblower, claims she will soon be publishing proof that COVID-19 was manmade. She believes her evidence will be so clear that even non-scientists will be able to verify the data. Previously, Dr. Yan has said that the Chinese government and the World Health Organization knew about person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 much earlier than reported. She fled China to the US to continue exploring her research.

Dr. Yan told The Daily Mail in an interview:

“The genome sequence is like a human finger print’, and based on this you can identify these things. I will [use this] evidence to tell people why this has come from the lab in China, why they are the ones who made it.

Anyone, even if you have no biology knowledge, will be able to read it, and check and identify and verify it yourself.”

Dr. Yan was initially asked by a supervisor at the university she worked at in China to begin exploring a pocket of SARS cases that had popped up in Mainland China. At the time, it was looking like a new type of pneumonia.

“I was a medical doctor and PHD, I work with a bunch of the top experts in the world and because I had my two degrees from mainland China, I was the one assigned to do the secret investigation about new pneumonia in Wuhan.

During my investigation, what I found I reported to my supervisor, there was no response, because everyone was worried. So I kept silent, I knew I had to tell people because it’s urgent and on the account of a famous Chinese YouTuber in the US it was told to the world [that] China had discovered the Covid situation and [that] human to human transmission already exists.

I never thought this would happen when I did the secret investigation, I [thought] I would speak to my supervisor and they would do the right thing on behalf of the government.

But what I saw was nobody responding to that. People are scared of the government but this was something urgent, and Chinese New Year time, [I knew] this was a dangerous virus and all these things meant I could not keep silent, there are human beings and global health [at risk].”

Following her experience with the virus, and her desire to blow the whistle about what she claimed to be a coverup, she began to share what was going on. She claims that this was when her information was wiped from government databases and that her peers were ‘told to spread rumours about her’.

‘They deleted all my information and also they told people to spread rumours about me, that I’m a liar, I don’t know anything, I just killed a hamster in the lab. They will try to control my family and friends and then suddenly I don’t exist.”

Dr. Yan received her MD degree from XiangYa Medical College of Central South University (China), and PhD from Southern Medical University (China). Dr. Yan was based at a prestigious Hong Kong University, it was a key part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global epidemiology network.

The Chinese national health commission still denies the COVID-19 outbreak started in the lab in Wuhan, saying there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory. She also claims the co-director of a WHO-affiliated lab, Professor Malik Peiris, knew but didn’t do anything about it. However, if Dr. Yan indeed publishes her findings and it tells a different story, this could be a breakthrough in the COVID narrative many have suspected was eventually going to surface.

The Importance of Journalism

This is one of the challenges with traditional or mainstream media; it is complacent with narratives from government, and often does not seek to explore other or more controversial ideas that can have a big impact on the world. In many ways, true journalism is no longer done at the mainstream media or traditional media level, it’s simply reporting on what facts have been handed down from government or major world organizations.

To the traditional narrative, it’s nothing but baseless conspiracy theories that COVID-19 started in a lab. Multiple fact-checkers have stated that because various labs and governments have said there is no evidence it’s manmade, then it’s a done deal. But what about stories like this from Dr. Yan? Are they to be not considered?

Because of this, it becomes complicated when alternative media decides to follow up on leads, whistleblowers, or claims that there is more to a particular story, and publishes something about it. Without even making sweeping claims, fact-checkers are deployed to determine whether or not the information alternative media shares is indeed factual, using mainstream media or traditional media sources to debunk the alternative media claims. This of course leads to calling alternative media false and untrustworthy.

This is why the idea that COVID-19 could have been manmade has not been thoroughly discussed, because traditional media and fact-checkers already have claimed it’s not true, even without evidence other than major institutions claiming it wasn’t. It’s important to note no one is holding these major institutions accountable nor fact-checking them.

What Are The Implications?

Why does it matter? If COVID-19 was manmade, what would change about our current situation? Motive aside, it would show us that our desire to tinker with and create viruses that could harm people, perhaps for biological warfare or other reasons, can have undesired effects. Perhaps we do begin to question whether there is a greater motive. Was it released by accident? On purpose? Who would gain from this? If they created it, have they created others? Is there already a vaccine? Why hasn’t the public been told the truth?

Conversation.

This would be one of the biggest implications to me, the fact that people would now know that government lied, public health lied, and the media was complacent in holding no one accountable. This would lead us to question many other aspects of our society, who has humanity’s best interest at hand, and what we collectively wish to change as a result of knowing more about what we were purposefully not told.

The Takeaway

It has become imperative to watch multiple sources of media if you wish to explore what is going on in our world. The mainstream institutions of media lack both real journalism and contextual understanding of corruption that exists within government and major world organizations, leaving them out of touch when it comes to answering the world’s important questions.

As people, it is also important we become self-aware of how ideological we can become about our mainstream or alternative beliefs about the world. Truly staying open, dynamic and flexible in our thinking and making sense of the world is a crucial part of digesting media. These stories change how we operate on a day to day level in life. Greater responsibility is being called upon within people to engage with what is happening in our world so we don’t continue down a path of more authoritarian control and division.

We have a deep discussion about remaining self-aware and steering clear of ideological positions in a recent interview I did with Dr. Madhava Setty about 9/11, consciousness and more. Check it out here. 

9/11: A Catalyst For Consciousness Evolution

It’s no secret that people are realizing traditional media, also sometimes called mainstream media, has not been asking deep enough questions about world events. In some cases, questions aren’t asked at all – journalism is not happening. This fact alone is one of the biggest factors that birthed the success of alternative media, or independent media, over the last decade. I know, because I’ve been in alternative media now for almost 12 years.

The very fact that alternative media has been asking important questions the ‘mainstream’ or traditional media, hasn’t asked has aligned with people’s growing intuitive inclinations that things are happening in our world that we’re not being told the full story or the truth about.

When it comes to the story of 9/11 and what really happened that day, people have been asking questions and seeking answers for years. While many theorists will tell you they know for sure who did it and why, there really is no way of knowing with the information that is publicly available. What we do know, however, is that what we have been told about what happened on 9/11, 2001 almost surely did not happen. What I mean by that is, the official narratives put out by the 9/11 Commission Report and by NIST, simply do not make sense, defy scientific reasoning and even common sense in some cases.

For that reason, people have been right to question the official story, seeking answers from non-traditional yet credentialed sources. Organizations like Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is one source where people can explore various facts about 9/11 from a scientific standpoint and begin to understand what likely did not happen on that day. As one’s paradigm around what happened on 9/11 begins to shift and people open up to other possibilities, it can often result in a shift in consciousness of sorts.

As our mind expands, we begin to admit we may have been believing in an illusion, we begin to ask what else may not be true that we believe, and of course, we ask why we might have been told a fictitious story of what happened on 9/11.

Many of these questions will be tough to answer, but it’s in asking and exploring the information that we see a shift in consciousness, and this, from my observation, has spread to questioning many other aspects of society.

Over the course of my almost 12 years in independent media, one event seems to have had a greater impact on getting people to think outside their current paradigm, and that event is 9/11.

I wanted to have a conversation about 9/11 this year that would be on the ideological. Personally, in the 12 years I have been doing this work, I haven’t often got stuck in beliefs or positions about things in the world. I am often clear on how I feel about something or what I feel is likely, given the evidence, but I have remained self-aware enough not to become ideological or get stuck in conspiratorial ideas that don’t hold weight. What I have found though, is it can be tough to come across others who wish to remain open as well. People are certainly out there, but in my experience, it’s simply not that common at the moment. I share this detail only because lately I have been feeling very ‘outcasted’ within a community of people who often question what is really going on in our world – outside traditional narratives.

I have been noticing more and more, especially as COVID has arisen, just how much many people in this space are extremely ideological in their beliefs about how to world works and who runs it. Claiming things are fact when we simply don’t have the information to make such claims, and also claiming that every little thing that happens is somehow an agenda or completely controlled by someone else. It has become hard to relate to people, and it’s inspired me to really focus on sharing a deeper message that I share more sparingly than my day to day work.

This is what got me excited to speak with my friend Dr. Madhava Setty about his research and work exploring the topic of 9/11 over the last 3 years. I knew I was going to speak with someone wise, intelligent, and self-aware, a combination that truly helps us to explore these topics with depth and openness but not necessarily jump to conclusions when we don’t truly know what is true. This is something I feel is incredibly important at this moment as many truths are coming to the surface, and now more than ever we need to have the wisdom, dexterity, and responsibility to share information in a way to truly moves us forward and not deeper into delusion and division.

In the conversation below, Dr. Setty and I discuss what he has found in his 9/11 research, why it matters, the impact 9/11 has had on collective consciousness, and we’ll share a few details about an important shift that needs to take place in the ‘truth-seeking community.’

For those that are members of CETV, you can watch the extended version of this interview here.

Groundbreaking Documentary Showcases Solutions To Make The World Truly Thrive

We’ve all heard of sustainability, but is this really what we want? To simply sustain? What about the idea of thriving? That is to say, live in a world that works harmoniously for everything and everyone, and that has the ability to always access our full potentiality. These systems can fluidly expand as our thinking, consciousness, and innovations expand. This, as opposed to today, where rigidity, scientism, ideologies, and economies hold the world back from getting even basic needs.

Sure, sustainability would be a step, a step in at least saying ‘let’s not create systems and ways of being that are so destructive.’ But as someone who likes to go straight to the core, and who likes to let humanity in on the truth: that our potential has been massively hindered by limited ideas, I’d rather just talk about how we can thrive instead of pretending we don’t already have ALL the solutions necessary to live in this world.

You see, most people don’t realize how easy it would be for everyone on this planet to thrive, and this is primarily because the government, education, and mainstream media are not letting people know what technology is out there to solve virtually every problem we face. But the truth is, even if we were told, something may still hold us back: our consciousness. Or in other terms, the way we think, what we believe about ourselves, who we are, and what our relationship is to one another and earth.

A new documentary coming out Sept 26th, 2020, will reveal many of the solutions available today that can completely transform our world. The film is called Thrive II: This Is What It Takes, and it will help provide the mind and intellect and understanding that we do have what it takes to change our world, we simply need to get our ideologies and belief systems out of the way to make it happen, and get back to our natural state of knowing we can truly create an incredible world.

As the filmmakers Kimberly and Foster Gamble state about the film:

THRIVE II: This Is What It Takes brings viewers behind the scenes with the people and inventions that have the power to transform life for everyone. Unpacking the strategies, the science, and the principles that underlie the most potent solutions in energy, health, consciousness, and non-coercive self-organizing, THRIVE II brings compelling evidence that illustrates a new paradigm of science that Einstein was seeking, unveiling for the lay person an emerging coherent theory of the “Unified Field” and all that it implies.

Inspiring trans-political, grass roots, decentralized solutions, THRIVE II offers practical tools for reclaiming authority over our lives. From new sources of energy to breakthrough health cures, THRIVE II provides the insights and resources needed for viewers to take next steps in accessing and supporting the solutions that can truly create a world that works for everyone.

I’m very excited about this film as the work Foster and Kimberly have done with Thrive has always deeply resonated with us here at CE as their mission and wisdom aligns so deeply with our own.

You can pre-order the film at 30% off now, and be one of the first to see it. On the 26th of September, you will receive the link to watch the film.

Check out the trailer below and be sure to secure your digital copy here.

Facebook’s New Terms Of Service Update Sounds A Lot Like Censorship

Many Facebook users have been receiving notifications from Facebook stating that on Oct. 1, 2020, they will be updating their Terms of Service. The new changes will allow Facebook to remove content or restrict access if the company feels it is necessary to avoid legal or regulatory impact.

Desktop and mobile users were receiving notifications that looked like this:

Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: “We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”

Users of social media have been rather critical of the recent updates, feeling that it may lead to more censorship or election meddling from big tech companies. Other users feel this could be a great move to get rid of more fake news.

As a journalist and publisher for the last 11 years who has not been quiet about political corruption, and who has inspired many to transform themselves to transform the world, I can say that here at Collective Evolution we’ve experienced a great deal of Facebook censorship. Since Facebook began censoring Collective Evolution’s content shortly after the 2016 US presidential election, we’ve lost millions in revenue and have had to completely restructure our business as a result. This is not something I’m complaining about per se, it’s more so making you aware of what has happened all while Facebook simply touted that they were trying to stop ‘fake news’ and keep ‘quality content’ on their platform. So why were we affected under those terms?

Facebook’s ‘independent fact-checkers’ have come after our content at least 30+ times. The vast majority of the time perhaps, 95%, fact-checkers are flat out wrong about their classification of our content being “false.” We’ve chronicled our stories about this many times over, you can see an example here.  It takes weeks to speak with them and get the ‘false news’ strikes removed, costing us reach, revenue and reputation. We would argue that this is the primary motivator behind why fact-checkers classify content as false, by the time a strike gets removed, the damage is already done. People believe the story isn’t true, and the company that wrote it loses trust amongst people.

Facebook’s terms have always been misleading and vague, one could argue that in some ways these new ones feel more direct: “We’re going to delete content.” Although that is clear, what’s still vague is what they will delete. This makes it very tough for any user or company to know what to do in order to be ‘safe’ in the eyes of Facebook.

Really looking at it, in plain language, Facebook’s updated terms coming into effect Oct. 1, 2020 essentially read ‘We don’t care if the content is true, false, legal or illegal, we will remove anything that may help us not get caught allowing it on our platform.”

A human rights commenter on Twitter noted:

Disturbing new addition to #Facebook terms of service that could be used to justify online censorship, particularly with govts using restrictive national laws to order social media platforms to censor information critical of the govt or monarchy in violation of #OnlineFreedom

It’s certainly reasonable to think Facebook is giving themselves permission to remove content that governments could come after them for, is this in essence government-driven censorship? It’s hard to say, but I’m sure time will tell.

Are these new changes coming in just in time for the 2020 presidential election in the US? So that any dissenting voices can be removed ‘fairly’ and without reason? Who knows. We don’t write these stories to predict or even make anyone fearful of where we are headed. We write them so people are aware of what is at play so we can make different choices in our lives. Without being aware of something, and choosing to question, how are we supposed to change the world around us?

This would not be the first time efforts have gone into shaping public perception via censoring or hiding information from people. The CIA’s Project Mockingbird was very clear on that, and it’s more than likely that the project was never shut down. The key question is, is what we believe about our world really true? And if it isn’t, how do we find truth when independent media is being shut out on social media platforms? Can we truly trust mainstream media with their long-held reputation of poor journalism and deception?

The Deeper Side of Universal Basic Income That’s Not Often Discussed

When most people think of universal basic income we go through the standard path of questioning: how would it work? How would it be paid for? Are we really losing jobs that fast that we need this? What happens if people don’t contribute to society? Does it create more government dependency? What ‘ism’ does this fall under?

All good questions, but perhaps ones that don’t truly look at some deeper thoughts behind UBI as a result of our current way of living. What do I mean by this? I go back to a statement Andrew Yang made in relation to why he was presenting UBI as part of his US presidential campaign:

“We could get the boot off of everyone’s throats just like that. And we have to do it, because we’re in the midst of this historic transformation of our economy that is pushing more and more of us to the sideline.”

Before we get more into Yang, we did a segment of The Takeaway where we spoke about the deeper side of UBI. You can watch it below. I’ll continue exploring the subject in writing below the video as well.

Essentially, Yang is saying that he feels too many people are struggling to do even the basics, even when they have multiple jobs, and thus they can’t even think about exploring taking a breath, doing something they love or are interested in simply because they are always just trying to survive. Of course, some people will say, “go get educated and get a better job” as if education is the path to money. This is merely an illusion as our current economic system not only MUST create economic classes by design, but there must always be those who struggle. Constant growth is a must, and so companies are driven to do things more inexpensively year after year, replacing human jobs with automated jobs. Innovation is driven by the need to make things cheaper so companies can survive, thus pushing people out of work.

This seems like a ‘bad’ thing as people won’t have money to survive, but when you think about it in another way, we’ve found ways to have innovation take over having to spend our lives working. The only thing holding us back at this point is an outdated economic system that does not align with the technological advancement our minds have created.

UBI brings up a deep question: in people’s hearts, why is this idea attractive to them? What is the potential deeper inspiration?

Sure, you can choose to gawk at and judge people, saying they are ‘lazy’ or ‘commies’, but I challenge you to open your mind and go deeper. Is it possible that what we’re really asking for behind UBI is not so much getting free money, but that we’re tired of our current ways of living? We’re ready to live a life we know is possible, where we can thrive as a society without having to slave 40 hours a week to make ends meet? Perhaps people are feeling that a radical shift in the way we live is possible, but is being held back by our ideologies and systems built out of them. Maybe the discussion of UBI is really pushing us to re-imagine our entire system?

Like I mentioned above, we had this discussion openly in a segment of The Takeaway. The intention is not to go over all the existing studies and literature on the topic, but more so to appeal to a greater sense of engagement asking how YOU feel.

Watch the segment here.