A New Media Approach For Improved Sense-Making Through Physiological Coherence

The simple exercise you were just introduced to is designed to help create a physiological heart brain connection that has been shown to improve memory, learning, problem-solving and discernment.

Since 2009, Collective Evolution has been committed to forging a radically new approach to media and the discussion of current events. Over the years scientific research has come to support the approach we have been taking to help improve the way people consume and synthesize information in order to make meaningful choices in their lives and in society.

Since part of our mission at CE is to observe what is happening in our world from a more neutral point of view, asking what about us and our current human story creates our world, society, ideas, day to day choices, and policies to be the way they are, it was important to us to develop a style that encourages people to be in a state of mind and being where they’re more open to exploring new ideas without bias, cognitive distortions, and immediate resistance.

This discussion is worthy of consideration as most platforms either focus on simple ‘feel good’ or ‘well being’ based content, or focus on news from a purely journalistic sense, often with a political bias. Since our content focus is on both personal transformation and news/current events from a new approach, we have chosen to actually measure whether or not people are having a more positive experience consuming current event information. A recent research survey that will be publicized in March 2021 will show the positive results of CEs approach on audiences well being, emotional state, and development of critical thinking over the 12 years CE has been doing this work.

Coherence & Optimal Function

Decades of research shows that our hearts send more information to our brains than our brains send to our hearts. When our body’s heart is beating in what is called an ‘incoherent rhythm’, it sends a message to our brains and nervous system that produces suboptimal function that leads to a reduction in our ability to learn, make effective decisions, problem-solve, critically think, and self regulate our emotions.

When our heart is beating in a coherent rhythm, it sends coherent signals to the brain and nervous system that then brings each of these systems into synchronization physiologically. The result is opposite of that of incoherent signals. Research shows an improvement in our ability to think clearly, navigate information, make decisions, remember things, and communicate. All of this can come from as little as 60 – 90 seconds of practices like the one we place at the top of each of our articles. Over time, these practices also helps to build self-awareness which helps us see our own bias’ more clearly.

Further research has shown that a connection between thoughtful breathing and the production of a compound in the cerebrum called noradrenaline. This compound goes about as a “mind compost” that is delivered when we are feeling tested, inquisitive, or centered.

Our Unique & Research Backed Style

At CE we have found that the pathway to meaningful and sustainable change in our lives and society comes from being able to self-regulate our emotions, understand and change our habits and patterns, and also from learning how to navigate information in our world in such a way that allows us to carry our personal transformation into the realm of societal change.

In other words, sometimes people can have a spiritual practice or work on personal transformation, but don’t often apply their transformation to questioning or re-imagining things like current events, society, or politics. We are at a critical time in humanity’s history where faith in existing institutions is deteriorating rapidly, typically based on a right intuition people have that these institutions don’t work in their favor. We must begin exploring why our world is in need of change, and at the same time be able to shift our consciousness and thinking enough that we can make societal changes from a new way of thinking and being.

In 2009, we chose to focus our journalistic, video and education content in alignment with these findings. Focusing on a sense of ease, curiosity, and playfulness in our style. We don’t intend on trying to convince people to believe what we are reporting on, instead we encourage them to openly explore and question. This has had a dramatic affect on how people feel when consuming our content, and how they understand what we’re producing.

Commonly reported feedback from our audience includes things like feeling more grounded, hopeful, inspired, clear, and empowered to take action in their personal lives and society. Our readers also report that they tend not to feel a notion of ‘us vs. them’ and division that often occurs when consuming media about current events. Interestingly, readers have also commonly reported that after repeated consumption of our articles, videos, podcasts or courses, they notice a stark difference in how they feel when they consume content from more traditional alternative or mainstream media. This was also a huge discovery for us as it suggests that people’s relationship with other forms of alternative media can bring them new information but does not necessarily help their well being and sense of inspiration to act.

To us, all these suggest that our style not only informs but helps to create a noticeable shift in our audiences state of being. We don’t feel that it is us doing this for our reader, we feel the style and platform invites the reader to, by nature, build their self-awareness, practice emotional regulation, and think more clearly. Imagine how this will ripple out into the world as a result. Imagine how different conversations would be about current events if more had access to this approach.

Controversial Topics & Meaningful Change

At CE, we sometimes cover ‘controversial’ topics that as a society we are often resistant to explore, whether we have a spiritual practice or not. Many of our colleagues and friends in the personal transformation space have chosen not to explore some of these subjects much as they don’t quite align with their brand messaging or line of work, we respect and agree with their choices. However, we saw this as an important challenge to take on in our work as these ‘tough’ conversations need to be had, and we believe they can be done in a way that inspires change and well being.

Culture today is often uncomfortable with uncertainty and thus open inquiry and examination of new evidence has shut off around certain subjects. In our minds, this is causing a very societally impactful sense-making crisis in which we have become divided, distressed, emotional, and unclear as to what is actually going on around us. With this, we are quick to react and are often living on edge. As research shows, when we make decisions within our lives and society based on this state of being, they are often ineffective, suboptimal, and create further disharmony.

Our research has shown that 63% of our audience feels that CE helps them explore tough or controversial subjects while feeling less emotionally charged when compared to when others report on it, whether it’s a mainstream or alternative media source. This was a very inspiring statistic for us as we feel this makes a meaningful contribution towards shifting the way media is told to bring about a better society, without being limited to only focusing on ‘good news’ which has many limitations and, we feel, does not lead to deep societal change.

In our work we have found that combining personal transformation and emotional regulation with the openness to re-imagine society and explore new ideas, even when they are controversial, has created the greater sense of empowerment, clarity and well-being amongst our readers.

In short, our work has helped to provide a path to self-awareness, practice, and the skills to tackle information openly and coherently, thus readers are not triggered by disagreements and different perspectives, and are able to synthesize information into meaningful practice, solutions, and actions steps.

We’re at a critical time for developing a greater sense of self awareness, openness, and increased critical thinking so that we can better explore information without our emotions, biases, and pre-conceived notions getting in the way and shutting down our inquiry.

At Collective Evolution we feel that the journey to creating collective change is one founded upon personal transformation, what might be called a shift in consciousness, which is to say: we must generate a greater conscious awareness of ourselves, how we function, how to regulate our emotions, and think more clearly about what is going on around us. When we make this shift, our perception about life, society and what is possible dramatically shifts, and we begin to tap into a new story about humanity and what we want to create.

With this new story, coherence, and connection to self, we have found that people are inspired to work towards creating a greater sense of harmony and coherence in their lives and society as well. Effectively being able to see how new and emerging ideas can build a new foundation for society, instead of making small adjustments to our current society that’s built on an old and outdated story.

To more fully explore our work, participate in practical courses and engage with a like minded community, consider becoming a member of CETV. Your participation not only helps to empower change in your personal life and society, but also helps support the continuation of our unique and impactful work.

OpEd-The Hundredth Monkey: Hope for Mankind

(Barbara Harris Whitfield) Having voted for Donald Trump twice, I read and listen to everything I can find from “citizen journalists” on the Internet. Network television has become boring and full of lies. Stories on the TV have become (or are) shallow and with hidden messages that seem to be trying to brainwash us. Recently, as my mood and energy level have plummeted, I became aware of the people around me doing a deep dive too. 

The post OpEd-The Hundredth Monkey: Hope for Mankind appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

The Astonishing Evidence That Made Carl Sagan Believe “Reincarnation Deserves Serious Study”

Today more than ever, parapsychology, which is the scientific study of telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, reincarnation and much more, is receiving extreme amounts of credibility. Numerous studies and repeatable experiments have shown statistically significant results, and various findings within quantum mechanics have also demonstrated that mind/matter interaction, also known as telekinesis, may very well be real.

On top of this we also have declassified literature from multiple countries that show parapsychological phenomena has been documented and demonstrated within human beings that poses “special abilities.” For example, this CIA document shows how “gifted children” in China were able to “teleport” small objects from one location to another, here’s another that documents the “paranormal writing” ability of a child. It’s quite fascinating, and understandable why so many people just don’t believe in this type of thing. It’s truly paradigm shifting and has the potential to change what we think we know about the nature of reality, forever.

Such discoveries and evidence have always been ridiculed and ignored by “intellectual” authorities simply because they don’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Furthermore, when it comes to this type of study, which is also known as non-material science, we must go beyond the parameters of science. A lot of the phenomena documented and observed within these realms is simply not explained by science and our our perception of what science is and has become. In a lot of ways, science limits us today and there are many examples where dogma has become labelled as “science.”

Did you know that Carl Sagan, the late astronomer was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)? He once wrote that “there are three claims in the (parapsychology) field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study with the third being “that young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation.” He wrote this in 1996, it’s now more than two decades later and the number of examples and evidence accumulated suggesting that reincarnation, or at least some form of it, is real is quite astonishing.

Serious scientific study of reincarnation has spanned the last several decades. There are many interesting cases of children remembering details they could not have obtained from anywhere else.

For example, a report published in 2016 in the journal Explore titled “The Case of James Leininger: An American Case of the Reincarnation Type” published by Jim B. Tucker, MD from the University of Virginia, explains,

Numerous cases of young children who report memories of previous lives have been studied over the last 50 years. Though such cases are more easily found in cultures that have a general belief in reincarnation, they occur in the West as well. This article describes the case of James Leininger, an American child who at age two began having intense nightmares of a plane crash. He then described being an American pilot who was killed when his plane was shot down by the Japanese. He gave details that included the name of an American aircraft carrier, the first and last name of a friend who was on the ship with him, and a location and other specifics about the fatal crash. His parents eventually discovered close correspondence between James’s statements and the death of a World War II pilot named James Huston. Documentation of James’s statements that was made before Huston was identified includes a television interview with his parents that never aired but which the author has been able to review.

At the age of two, James’s father was looking through a book called  The Battle for Iwo Jima 1945. His father reports that James pointed to a picture showing an aerial view of the base of the island, where Mt. Suribachi, a dormant volcano, sits, and said, “That’s where my plane was shot down.” His father said, “What?” and James responded, “My airplane got shot down there, Daddy.” That’s when it all started.  This is one of many cases that are similar. In this case James demonstrated knowledge of events from 50 years before he was born. Many of his accurate statements  were documented before the previous personality was identified.

On August 27, 2000, when James was 28 months old, he told his parents he had flown his plane off a boat. When his parents asked him the name of the boat, he said, “Natoma.” After that conversation, his father searched online for the word and eventually discovered a description of the USS Natoma Bay, an escort carrier stationed in the Pacific during World War II. He printed out the information he found, and the footer of the printout includes the date he did.

You can read about this specific case more thoroughly, here.

If you want to read about more examples, here’s an excellent paper published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration you can refer to. Here’s another from 2005. You can access many more research studies on the topic here, all from the Perceptual Studies department at the University of Virginia. It’s a great place to start if you want to dive deeper into the topic.

I’ve written about a reincarnation case in which a three-year old boy claimed to have remembered a past life. In this life, he remembered being struck by a big blow to the head with an axe, and having a long, red birthmark on his head.

The present-day boy, whose name remained confidential throughout the entire study, also had a birthmark in the exact same spot, which is interesting because multiple studies, like the one published in Explorepoint out how shared birthmarks are common to children who remember their past lives.

The boy’s father and a number of other relatives in the village decided to visit neighbouring communities to see if his past life identity could be established and Dr. Lasch was invited to join. On this journey, they visited multiple villages until the boy remembered the right one. He remembered his own first and last name, as well as the first and last name of his murderer.

You can read more about this specific story here.

Can “Consciousness” or “the mind” Survive “death” ? Is reincarnation one of many paths?

Reincarnation may not be “the” answer as to what occurs when someone dies. Perhaps it’s one out of many paths. I’ve come across a lot of interesting information suggesting that we are more than just our body, and when we leave this physical plane our “soul” can take multiple routes, and reincarnation might be one of them if we have to come back and complete/learn the lessons we were/are supposed to while experiencing life on this planet. I’ve also come across some interesting information that this is a choice before we are born, that we choose to incarnate here, that we “exist” before we are born, but such claims lack definitive proof despite the fact that they seem to resonate with many people. But then again, perhaps our definition and view of “proof” needs to change. There are anomalies in this word, like some mentioned at the beginning of this article that have enormous amounts of proof, yet they are simply “too much” for the average human being to believe.

These questions have been contemplated for thousands of years. In the Socratic dialogue, Meno by Plato, the character Socrates attempts to prove that life exists before birth. Instead of innate knowledge that we are simply born with, knowledge that simply comes naturally to us, Plato relies on prenatal knowledge to explain our ability to solve problems in mathematics and philosophy, and suggests that we must have known the answers to these problems all along.

Perhaps reincarnation isn’t really reincarnation? Perhaps these memories are simply proof that all consciousness, in some way, is connected and these children are simply picking up on aspects that’s simply another part of themselves? Perhaps they are simply retaining memories of the past life, and that specific consciousness or “soul” did not actually reincarnate into another body, because if it did would more memories not be present? Perhaps there is another explanation as to why these children can remember such things that don’t include the idea of reincarnation?

There are so many unanswerable questions.

Perhaps reincarnation is one path out of many, what about those who have learned what they came here to learn? Perhaps they came here for another reason and do not need to reincarnate? I’m not sure what the other paths may be, perhaps an experience as another being on another planet? Perhaps as a life form that doesn’t dwell within the physical realm? I don’t know, but I could think of several possibilities. Perhaps a trip back to where we all originated from? Perhaps consciousness is separate from a “soul” and one remains and lingers while the other moves on? Perhaps a “soul” can experience multiple “consciousnesses”?

The question of whether or not consciousness survives after death is at the forefront of many scientific circles. For example, Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander says that science shows that the brain does not control consciousness, that it’s more of a receiver of it, a channel for consciousness to come in from somewhere else. He believes there is reason to believe our consciousness continues after death, and that a physical body is not required for consciousness to exist.

Here is a great video from Dr. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona discussing whether or not consciousness is the product of the brain or a receiver of it.

There is also the topic of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) that are quite astonishing. People who have “died” and come back on the operating table were able to describe being outside of their body and provide details they would not otherwise have been able to provide had they been “inside” their body. To read and learn more about NDEs, you can access the research here.

The idea that consciousness is a separate “thing” from our biology is supported by a wealth of evidence in the fields of quantum physics, parapsychology and neuroscience. Despite this evidence, the topic is still shunned within many mainstream academic circles, and perhaps it’s because the idea simply challenges our long held belief systems of what we think we know and have already discovered.

Cassandra Vieten, PhD and president/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences offers a possible explanation.

There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important that encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.’ (source)

Consider the prominent physicist Lord Kelvin who stated in the year 1900 that, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now…All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” It wasn’t long after this statement that Einstein published his paper on special relativity. Einstein’s theories challenged the accepted framework of knowledge at the time and forced the scientific community to open up to a broader/alternative view of reality. This type of thing will continue to happen throughout humanity history, the only thing constant is change and discovery that expands upon and changes what we once thought we knew.

Photo credit: Illustration by Jody Hewgill

Scientists Successfully Communicate With Lucid Dreamers While They Are Dreaming

What Happened: A recent study published in Current Biology titled “Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep” has discovered that individuals who are asleep and experiencing a lucid dream, which is a dream where the individual knows that they are in the midst of a dream, can “perceive questions from an experimenter and provide answers using electrophysiological signals.” These answers are provided while they are dreaming.

The study points out:

We implemented our procedures for two-way communication during polysomnographically verified rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep in 36 individuals. Some had minimal prior experience with lucid dreaming, others were frequent lucid dreamers, and one was a patient with narcolepsy who had frequent lucid dreams. During REM sleep, these individuals exhibited various capabilities, including performing veridical perceptual analysis of novel information, maintaining information in working memory, computing simple answers, and expressing volitional replies. Their responses included distinctive eye movements and selective facial muscle contractions, constituting correctly answered questions on 29 occasions across 6 of the individuals tested. These repeated observations of interactive dreaming, documented by four independent laboratory groups, demonstrate that phenomenological and cognitive characteristics of dreaming can be interrogated in real time.

Lucid dreamers were able to follow instructions to compute mathematical operations, answer yes-or-no questions, or discriminate stimuli in the visual, tactile, and auditory modalities. They were able to respond using volitional control of gaze direction or of different facial muscles. There were three different participant categories.

Pretty remarkable isn’t it? The fact that lucid dreamers were able to communicate with the researchers, who weren’t dreaming, is quite mind altering.

Researchers used spoken words, beeping tones, flashing lights and other tactical stimuli like touching the dreamers hand and “tapping” to communicate with the dreamers. The “messages” and questions that the dreamers were “receiving” were answered and acknowledged by the dreamers in the form of eye movements, facial contractions etc.

The dreamers used in the study provide some descriptions after they woke up of what they experienced in real time when the researchers began the stimuli process

I was at a party with friends. Your voice was coming from the outside, just like a narrator of a movie…I decided to answer ‘no’ (with facial muscle contractions).

When the lights started flickering. I recognized this as a (Morse-coded) signal from the outside and counted **** *** ***** and reported the answer ‘4’ with eye signals.

During the finger tapping, I was fighting against goblins. I remember being surprised that I was able to do many things at the same time as the task.

After reading this it reminded me of the movie Inception, when the dreamers were “triggered” by outside stimuli to begin the “waking up” process, which would manifest as some sort of experience in their dream that would trigger their awakening. The only difference this time is that the stimuli wasn’t done for the purposes of waking the dreamers, but to simply communicate with them while they were dreaming.

As mentioned in the study, one of the examples came from a 35-year-old German participant. This one was an experienced lucid dreamer, and while he was dreaming and presented with a visual stimuli by the researchers of alternating colors and a Morse-coded math problem which was 4 minus 0, the participant produced the correct answer using eye movements. The participant described giving his answer after awakening from the dream. “In his description of the dream, he maintained that he heard the message “4 plus 0″ and answered accordingly.” This example comes from the second quote above.

A 20-year-old French participant with narcolepsy and remarkable lucid-dreaming abilities was also used. Because of his narcolepsy, he reached REM sleep quickly, about 1 min after the beginning of a 20-min daytime nap, and he signaled lucidity 5 min later. The researchers  verbally asked him yes/no questions and he answered correctly using facial muscle contractions (zygomatic muscle for yes, corrugator muscle for no). In a separate analysis of facial contractions during lucid dreaming, the researchers never observed a response in the absence of stimulation. This example comes from the first quote above, where he experienced this in his dream as an actual voice asking him a yes or a no question.

“There are studies of lucid dreamers communicating out of dreams, and also remembering to do tasks. But there’s a fairly limited amount of research on the stimuli going into lucid dreams….One thing that surprised us is that you could just say a sentence to somebody, and they could understand it just as it actually is….It’s amazing to sit in the lab and ask a bunch of questions, and then somebody might actually answer one. It’s such an immediately rewarding type of experiment to do. You don’t have to wait to analyze your data or anything like that. You can see it right there while they’re still sleeping.”  – Karen Konkoly, a PhD student at Northwestern University and first author of the paper. (source)

It’s very interesting because it shows a level of “alertness” to the “real world” that is still present in the dream world. Participants are able to experience both worlds.

A 2009 study showed that lucid dreaming constitutes a “hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.”  This study showed that lucid dreamers operate with gamma brainwaves, which are of the the highest frequency. They range from 40 to 100 Hz, the fastest documented brainwave frequencies known to man, and suggest that some lucid dreamers are using more of their brain, and that the brain is functioning at a higher level as compared to when in the normal “waking” state.

When it comes to brain waves, lucid dreamers brainwaves can be compared to the brain waves of meditating monks.

Not long ago, researchers led by Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at The W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior teamed up with a number of monks and volunteers. The Dalai Lama even dispatched eight of his most accomplished practitioners to Davidson’s lab to have them hooked up for EEG testing and brain scanning. These monks come from traditions of meditation for an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 hours, over time periods of 15 to 40 years.

The monks were fitted with a net of 256 electrical sensors and asked to meditate for short periods, and Davidson was particularly interested in measuring gamma waves, the highest frequency and most important known electrical brain impulses. The results showed that the electrodes picked up much greater activation of fast moving and usually powerful gamma waves in the monks (3). The movement of the waves through the brain were far better organized and coordinated. (source)

Dream Telepathy? 

In the mid 1960s, Montague Ullman, MD, began a number of experiments at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, to test the hypothesis that people could be primed to dream about randomly selected material. In other words, they could choose what they wanted to dream about before going to sleep, and this could include anything, from artwork to movies to photographs and more. Shortly after these experiments began, Ullman was joined by Stanley Krippner (quoted above), a scientist with an impressive background in psychology, parapsychology, and dreams.

The experiments they conducted lasted a span of more than 10 years, and “yielded statistically significant results.” You can read more about that here.

During the experiments, there was usually a “telepathic sender” and a “telepathic receiver.” They met in the laboratory for a short period of time before being placed in completely separate rooms just prior to sleep. The telepathic sender had an envelope waiting for them in the room in which they’d sleep. It would contain something like a picture or a drawing. The receivers were then purposely awakened shortly after Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM) began so the researchers could take a dream report.

According to Dr. Stanley Krippner, professor of psychology at Saybrook University in California:

A wealth of anecdotal and clinical material exist which supports the possibility of telepathic effects occurring in dreams (Krippner, 1974). However, an experimental approach to the topic did not become possible until psycho physiological laboratory technology became available. It was discovered that sleeping research participants awakened from periods of rapid eye movement (REM) activity were frequently able to recall dream episodes. As a result, it was possible to request a “telepathic receiver” to attempt dreaming about a target stimulus that was being focused on in a distant location from a “telepathic sender.” (source)

Here is an interesting video from Dale E. Graff, a physicist and former director of the US government/Stanford remote viewing program where he  shares his knowledge about dreaming, and how we can all experience what he calls ‘Psi’ dreaming, or psychic/precognitive dreaming. Also a very interesting phenomenon.

Here is another article regarding precognitive dreaming we published a few years ago with some astonishing experiments as well.

Final Thoughts 

It’s truly remarkable to look into the fascinating world of dreams, especially lucid dreaming. Dreams are a big mystery, but they can perhaps provide some insight and be used as tools for personal development. Perhaps they can be used to help one get clear on life decisions, gain clarity on a situation, or move past a trauma – anything that pertains ones own life and beyond.

When we contemplate and interpret dreams, one can go down a deep philosophical and scientific rabbit hole that will touch on many other topics and aspects of life. Despite the fact that such topics are quite fascinating to a large number of people, our world and current human experience often fails to explore such topics. They are not on the forefront of the collective mind when it comes to the human experience, which seems to be quite defined. We are taught to focus on going to school, getting a job, etc. We are often not invited to explore such profound topics because we often view them as irrelevant and not in alignment with our current worldview. Yet research is showing that it might be time to rethink the worldviews that form what we believe is important in our world.

I believe that if humanity collectively was able to create a human experience that provides abundance to all, where we re-thought our current ideas and beliefs around “work” and “earning a living,” we would be able to move forward with what we naturally are, curious explorers who are looking to discover more about the true nature of reality. I believe we have the potential to create this type of human experience, and the solutions are already there. But the solutions aren’t as important as the consciousness behind these solutions and developments. What are we using our technological developments for?

It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting our high technology from Weaponry to Livingry. (Buckminster Fuller)

The ‘Power’ Of The Quartz Crystal From An Indigenous Point of View

Crystals have been used by several ancient cultures from around the world for a very long time. You can find literature on them in the Vedas, Buddhist traditions, ancient Egypt, and ancient Greek lore. They are also described in the Shamanistic practices of several indigenous cultures as well as within ancient lost civilizations like Atlantis. Even Nikola Tesla was fascinated by Crystals, saying that “in a crystal, we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being.”

These gemstones have been central to various cultures throughout human history. So why does mainstream anthropological literature seem to ignore crystals? Today, the meaning and significance of crystals are virtually unknown, which is a shame. The significant power of crystals could be used to help planet Earth and improve the overall health of the entire population.

Relegated To ‘New Age’ Practice

Today, crystals are placed within the “New Age” category, and because of that, they are given somewhat of a negative connotation. It’s not as if only modern groups all of a sudden started having an interest in crystals out of nothing; interest in crystals do indeed have an interesting and ancient origin.

This article is going to focus on the Shamanistic perspective of crystals, as outlined by Michael Harner, in his book The Way of The Shaman. Harner is the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. He actually pioneered the introduction of shamanism and the shamanic drum journey to contemporary life and is recognized as the world leader in this movement.

Harner received his anthropology Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at a number of institutions, including Columbia and Yale University, He served as co-chair of the anthropology section of the New York Academy of Sciences, but left academia in 1987 in order to devote himself full time to shamanism. In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his achievements in shamanic studies.

As a website dedicated to his legacy points out,

Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman, observes the distinguished transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof. Dr. Harner began learning about shamanism in 1956-57 while studying with the Shuar (Jívaro) tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and started practicing shamanism during his 1960-61 stay with the Conibo people of the Peruvian Amazon. He subsequently returned to the Shuar for additional practical training in shamanism. He became recognized as a shaman by the indigenous shamans with whom he worked, including ones belonging to the following peoples: the Conibo and Shuar (formerly Jívaro) in South America; the Coast Salish, Pomo, and Northern Paiute in western North America; the Inland Inuit and the Sami (formerly Lapps) in the Arctic; and the Tuvans of central Asia. In Russia, assembled Siberian shamans of the Buriat people publicly declared Michael Harner a great shaman, upon witnessing his shamanic healings in 1998 (the word, shaman, comes from Siberia). They also said he proved that one could do both science and shamanism.

Clearly, if you’re looking for a source to dive deep into the realms of Shamanism, it’s hard to think of a source as solid as this which can provide reliable information.

The Quartz Crystal: According To The Way of The Shaman

While there is potentially an almost infinite variety of power objects, there is one kind in particular that is regularly found in the keeping of shamans. This is the quartz crystal. In North and South America, Australia, southeast Asia, and elsewhere, shamans ascribe a singular importance to these pointed, six-sided stones that are usually transparent to milky-white. Shamans use a wide variety of sizes, ranging from the length of a little-giner joint to rarer ones a foot or more in length…The quartz crystal is considered the strongest power object among such widely separate peoples as the Jivaro in South America and the tribes of Australia. People as distant from one another as the aborigines of easter Australia and the Yuman speakers of southern California and adjacent Baja California consider the quartz crystal “living,” or a “live rock.” The widespread employment of quartz crystals in shamanism spans thousands of years. In California, for example, quartz crystals have been found in archeological sites and prehistoric burials dating as far back as 8000 years.

In his book, Harner goes on to describe how throughout all these cultures, this crystal is viewed as a healing tool and a spirit helper. He goes on to say that “the western Yuman shamans enter into a special partnership with their quartz crystals and must “feed” them; this is reminiscent of Jivaro shamans feeding their spirit helpers with tobacco water in order to keep them.”

Harner explains how some shamans in training had a piece of quartz “sung” into their foreheads so that they would “be able to see right into things.” This concept is not much different from the concept of the “third eye.”

Seeing Into Other Worlds

Quartz crystals were used from everything to seeing into other worlds to assisting in the extraction from patients of harmful disease or “intrusions,” as Harner called them. He gives an example of the Warao shaman of South America, who believed that, at death, their soul would merge with the quartz crystal inside of his rattle and ascends to the sky in the form of light. The Australian Kabi shaman with “many crystals in his body” could journey down into the deepest waterholes, where the rainbow spirit lived, and receive more quartz crystals. Such a shaman would arise “full of life, and be a medicine-man of the highest degree.”

A lot of power is associated with the quartz crystal according to shamanism, and Harner points out:

“In modern physics, the quartz crystal is also involved in the manipulation of power. Its remarkable electronic properties early made it a basic component in radio transmitters and receivers. Thin wafers sliced from quartz crystals later became basic components for modern electronic hardware such as computers and timepieces. Western science has obviously advanced to the point that it recognized the quartz crystal as a power object, something that shamans have known for thousands of years.”

While this all may be coincidental, it is one of the many synchronicities that make the accumulated knowledge of shamanism exciting and even awesome.

Not only did shamans used their quartz crystals to heal, they used it to peer into the future, for seeing as well as divination. An interesting point in the book Harner brings up is the crystal ball, “with which people in our culture are familiar, at least by name, is simply a polished descendant of the old shamanic crystal.” He explains how some indigenous cultures used crystal gazing to see visions of the past, what’s happening in the present as well as to see in the future.

One thing I came across that really interested me, was distant healing. It’s something I’ve written about for years and something that’s been exemplified by countless peer-reviewed studies that have been published in multiple journals.  Distant healing is using one person’s intention and directing it towards another for the purposes of healing. If you want to learn more about that, you can check out the Institute of Noetic Sciences, or refer to this article that goes a little bit deeper into the mind-body connection and the power it has to heal.

“The shaman sent out the crystal at night to bring back the image of the sick person. When the image arrived, the shaman danced around the crystal, shaking his rattle, and then ordered the crystal, as his spirit helper, to extract a harmful power intrustion from the image. The distant person, whose image it was, was therby healed.”

Harner’s book goes into much greater detail regarding the uses of crystals in shamanism, among other places. The above is just a tidbit, nothing but a quick snapshot of what you can learn from reading his book.

How to Cleanse & Choose Your Crystal

You can simply visit a rock shop or a mineral store, and pick out one that you feel attracted to. As Harner explains,

Do not immediately put the crystal you choose into your bundle or with your other power objects. First you must cleanse it, since its history is unkown to you. Cleanse the cyrstal by washing it in the water of a natural spring or the ocean. Then keep it seperate from your medicine bundle until the arrival of a winter or summer solstice. Take it to an isolated high place, such as a mountain top. There split a tick at one end, push the unsplit end into the ground, and place the quartz crystal, point upward, in the cleft of the stick. Leave it there eight days in the sun to “re-charge” before putting it in the medicine bundle. Periodically between solstices, you should remove the cyrstal from the bundle and “wake up” its power. This is done by hitting its nonpointed end lightly on a rock protruding from a spring or an ocean.

Interesting, to say the least, isn’t it? These sacred and special objects should be treated with care, and our special connection to them, as well as well all of nature, is something that needs to return to our planet if we are to move forward into abundance and create a new human experience. “The Way of the Shaman” must return to planet Earth, in perhaps a more modern form. Who knows, perhaps this is something in our future as humanity is being called to walk a more spiritual path, one in which we truly realize how everything is interconnected, and how nature provides us with everything we need. Combine this wisdom with human ingenuity, and we have a future that most of us cannot even comprehend.

Source:

The Way of The Shaman, By Michael Harner