How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

In the spiritual community, we talk a lot about oneness and unity, and you may occasionally hear the term “separation consciousness.”

Separation consciousness is a lower level of awareness wherein a person cannot perceive the interconnectedness of all beings or their connection to their own divinity and God/Source.

You’ll see a lot of New Agers refer to this as the reason why we aren’t able to recognize our spiritual oneness and they will attribute it to the human ego, but separation consciousness goes much deeper than just the energetic and personal level, it’s also manifested into the world around us as tribalism. We have different groups and factions that see themselves as being independent of one another, and in many instances, diametrically opposed, for example, Republicans vs. Democrats, capitalism vs. socialism, fascism vs. communism, etc.

Within the spiritual community, the concept of a diametric opposition in and of itself is often labeled as separation consciousness, but what many of these people don’t realize is that much of their own doctrine is also infiltrated by separation consciousness.

Individualism in the West

Individualism is a social theory that places heavy emphasis on self worth, self-reliance, individuality, personal freedom, and personal responsibility. It is extremely evident in Western culture, particularly in the United States. The very concept of the American Dream–that if one works hard enough, they will achieve prosperity–is rooted in individualistic thinking.

This in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s healthy for people to have a personal sense of independence rather than being codependent, being self-reliant is a valuable skill to cultivate, and we do all need to have a healthy sense of responsibility for ourselves.

That said, when the values of individualism are taken to an extreme, it becomes toxic just like anything else. Extreme individualism assumes that everyone in the collective is independently responsible for their own circumstances. One’s worth to the collective is often measured by their level of material success and that worth is largely expected to be earned and proven by hard work. In other words, this line of thinking correlates a person’s worth as a human being with their ability to produce goods and amass wealth.

Extreme individualism dehumanizes people by only valuing their economic output. It ignores or dismisses complex social factors and systemic oppression, and implies that anyone who has been systemically disadvantaged is simply lazy–i.e. unworthy. This is nowhere more apparent than in the prosperity gospel preached by many Christian Evangelicals that says god rewards good people with financial success, which automatically implies that poor people are unworthy of God’s love (even though Jesus himself said blessed are the poor…).

Extreme individualism also often leaves the individualist feeling as though they owe nothing to the collective other than to be a hard worker, which allows them to avoid social responsibility and accountability. This, of course, also allows the individualist to avoid having to feel responsible or be held accountable for the way their actions may affect the collective they live in.

Any time someone chooses “my rights” and “my freedoms” over and above what is good for the whole of society, they are acting from separation consciousness.

Westernized (Americanized) Spirituality

Extreme individualism is antithetical to unity consciousness, because it values one’s self above the collective. It doesn’t view the collective holistically as “one.”

This philosophy shows up in spirituality most often dressed as Law of Attraction, manifestation, and extreme personal empowerment rhetoric:

  • You are the absolute creator of your reality
  • Energy flows where attention goes / what you pay attention to becomes real
  • You are responsible for all of your negative experiences
  • Your scarcity mentality is responsible for your financial situation
  • No one will love you until you love yourself
  • Surround yourself with people who are living the lifestyle you want to have

These concepts reinforce unworthiness, ignore collective karma, disregard the effects of trauma and abuse, and dismiss the consequences of societal structures that oppress others by assuming that the oppressed have a victim mentality and are simply manifesting their own abuse. You are not responsible for your trauma, but you are responsible for healing your trauma, and in order for trauma to be healed and abusive karmic cycles to end, abusers must be held accountable along with the culture that enables them.

Learn why we don’t manifest abuse.

The idea that we are the absolute creators of our reality is an especially obvious example of separation consciousness because it completely ignores the existence of everyone else on the planet and is the polar opposite of the much touted concept in spirituality that “we are all connected.” You are the absolute creator of your thoughts and beliefs about reality only after you’ve deconditioned yourself from childhood and societal programming and healed your trauma. However, you are not the absolute creator of your physical reality and your actions have real repercussions and consequences that affect other people.

“Energy flows where attention goes” and “what you pay attention to becomes your reality” applies on an energetic level and within your belief systems, and only manifests in the real world through the actions (or inactions) that you take with regard to those belief systems. If one is not careful of how they apply this platitude, it can greatly contribute to spiritual and emotional bypassing. It is the core belief that results in spiritual people ignoring acts of violence, abuse, and systemic oppression.

In spirituality, we recognize that every human being is inherently worthy of being loved, even the ones we don’t necessarily like. That worthiness also extends to having their basic survival needs met. Love and survival isn’t something that human beings should have to earn.

The concept that we should have to earn love, as well as the perception of good and evil comes from separation consciousness:

When we incarnate here, we forget who we really are (that we are love and that everything is love) and in that forgetfulness, we have the perception that there is a lack of love–that love is scarce.

 

Fear-based belief systems are rooted in duality–the concept that there is a polarization of good and evil. They have not yet recognized that the foundation of the Universe is love, and the only thing that makes it appear as fear is their own limited understanding of it. – Why Fear-Based Beliefs Are Distorted

Individualism is also largely behind the explosion of The Secret and Law of Attraction and why business coaches have now integrated manifestation techniques into their marketing rhetoric as business gimmicks. These people have no true commitment to inner work because they are primarily motivated by desire, success, and money.

This attitude is also extremely evident in hustle culture, which reinforces individualistic philosophy, consistently shames people for not being productive, and neglects the importance of self-care and balance. When you say “surround yourself with people who are living the lifestyle you want to have” as applied to material wealth, it eliminates the perspectives the majority of the (poor) people in the collective and “others” them as unworthy of your time and attention. Instead, I suggest you surround yourself with people who demonstrate the values you wish to embody: integrity, depth, accountability, authenticity, humility.

Learn about materialistic spirituality.

Finally, from a spiritual perspective, our sense of individuality is our ego and it is the literal mechanism that allows us to experience separateness. When one only recognizes themselves as the absolute god of their individual physical reality, and does not recognize that everyone else on the planet is co-creating a physical existence along with them because we are all, collectively, God, well that’s the ultimate level of narcissism and the epitome of separation consciousness.

Spiritual Hierarchies

The hierarchical view of spirituality that labels some beings as more advanced or more enlightened than others is another way separation consciousness can show up in spirituality.

When narcissism invades spirituality, labels like lightworker and ascended master, psychic, intuitive, empath, incarnate angel, etc. become avenues for people to set themselves apart from everyone else–mainly by presenting the illusion that they are “better than.”

Pay attention who uses these labels and how much humility they express. Anyone using them as an avenue to accrue power, authority, or attention are operating from separation consciousness.

Healthy Interdependence

When you lean too far in one direction, individualism becomes materialistic selfishness and narcissism, and can also lead people to become too independent and avoid meaningful connection. Human beings are social creatures. We need each other, and we require connection in order to be mentally healthy. But when you go too far in the other direction it manifests as codependent relationships, neediness, energetic vampirism, and entitlement. For this reason, individualism espouses some important concepts that can be valuable when they are recognized in their proper context and not taken to an extreme.

In order for us to have a healthy sense of individuality, we must find balance and recognize the importance of healthy interdependence. While we are all individuals, we are also incredibly interconnected and our actions affect one another. This is what spirituality is attempting to teach us. This is unity consciousness.

Many of the concepts I mentioned earlier that spiritual people attempt to shun or avoid in the name of oneness because they view them to be dualistic and diametrically opposed are, in reality, unity consciousness opposing separation consciousness.

By condemning or avoiding these things, the spiritual community is actually engaging in spiritual bypassing and preventing the very ascension they claim to be here to facilitate!

Learn about spiritual bypassing and ascension.

We have to observe the lesson in the energies of Aquarius where the individual is valued just as much as the individual’s contribution to the collective. Aquarius recognizes that our unique gifts and experiences are our very contribution to that collective.

Start asking yourself some important questions:

  • Where have I been embodying separation consciousness in my spirituality?
  • Where have I been embodying separation consciousness in other areas of my beliefs and attitudes?
  • Who are the people promoting separation consciousness in the form of extreme individualism?
  • How can I bring myself back into balance and support the liberation of the collective, not just myself?
Xo,

Ash

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Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Over the last four years, I moved away from talking about the mechanics of metaphysics and psychic development and focused solely on the more advanced aspects of spirituality, like emotional states, self-awareness, and trauma healing. I began learning astrology, too! But with my recent post about the intersection of those things–Law of Attraction and abuse–I realized that there’s still a lot of interest about those mechanics, so I thought I’d do a refresher post for anyone who is new here, and perhaps package it all up into one neat blog post.

What is spirituality, anyway?

Metaphysics: a branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality and deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. Metaphysics studies the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality.

Spirituality is the convergence point between science, philosophy, and psychology, also known as metaphysics. It is not a religion. You can’t be anti-science and truly be pro spirituality, as science is a fundamental and integral part of spirituality. A lot of so-called spiritual people are very anti-science, though, and that actually becomes a block to their spiritual development because they build a belief system around it and it places them in an unbalanced state. In other words, it keeps them out of alignment.

If you pay close enough attention, you’ll find that anti-science versions of spirituality mimic Christian ideologies. Flat Earth theory, for example, often circulates among groups in the spiritual community. It is incredibly anti-science and its foundational precept is that science is attempting to eliminate “God,” therefore anything related to science can’t be trusted.

This is a belief as old as science itself, when the church felt its dominant power being threatened during the Renaissance period and began persecuting budding scientists right alongside witches and pagans who were also being persecuted for gravitating to spiritual concepts. Several of the great early minds in science, including Isaac Newton, were occultists and the same goes for philosophy and psychology. You have to have a bit of a bent toward mysticism to want to study the nature of reality in all of its forms. And what are those forms?

Science is the physical arm of spirituality (body), while philosophy is the mental portion (logical mind), and psychology is the heart (spirit). The holy trinity. You can’t have a balanced, holistic view of our human experience without all three of them working in unison.

Hence what I said earlier about spiritual people who are anti-science being out of balance. They’ve cut themselves off from learning and integrating information about a fundamental piece of the human experience.

Why is religion considered a belief system and these things aren’t? In a sense, religion attempts to dictate reality through a socio-cultural system of designated behaviors, practices, and morals. On the other hand, science, philosophy, and psychology are the study of reality as it naturally occurs. They make and record objective observations (as objective as one can be). Naturally, as we are still growing and evolving, we are still learning and making observations about the nature of our reality.

Our study is not yet complete, and neither is our model of physics, our understanding of the human mind, or our understanding of the human experience, and it likely won’t be within our lifetime. In the meantime, there exists a gap in scientific knowledge about certain aspects of our experiences, such as those of a spiritual and paranormal nature. Some of the experiences that fall under that umbrella can be explained, if not fully then at least partially, but there’s a small few which have yet to be, including human consciousness, and that is what the majority of spiritualists concern themselves with.

Spiritual Laws of the Universe

A very large part of the foundational principles of spirituality are actually built on science, hence why I say you cannot dismiss science and still be spiritual–you would be denying the understandings of foundations of spirituality itself. There’s several fundamental spiritual laws which are based upon scientific laws, mainly as they apply to consciousness. One must understand several fundamental rules of consciousness as part of their studies of spirituality.

Consciousness

Consciousness is our ability to be self-aware: our thoughts, ideas, beliefs. The intangible aspects of ourselves. What is consciousness made of? Where does it come from? This is what we’re exploring when we talk about spirit.

A fundamental principle of spirituality is that consciousness and energy are one and the same. That means that because everything, even the physical matter in the universe, is made of energy, that everything is also consciousness, even if in a latent, non-aware form.

The general consensus among spiritual thinkers is that consciousness exists in quantum form outside of the body (rather than being produced by the brain itself) and that the brain acts as an antenna of sorts.

Science itself does not yet necessarily recognize this, though we are discovering aspects of quantum mechanics that may hint at it. Some scientists are currently exploring the notion that consciousness as science currently views it is produced at the quantum level inside the brain. Stuart Hameroff and 2020 Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Roger Penrose are two scientists examining this hypothesis.

The Law of Conservation of Energy

The Law of Conservation of Energy: energy in a closed system can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form to another.

We live in a physical universe where everything is made of energy in various forms. This is a scientific fact (facts are objective scientific observations). From this observation, spiritualists assume that consciousness itself must also be energy. As such, consciousness can neither be created nor destroyed. This is a common explanation for the existence of spirits and an afterlife.

The Law of Karma

The Law of Karma can also be encompassed under a couple of existing scientific principles: the Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Action and Reaction.

The law of cause and effect is the foundation of the scientific process as noted by the man I mentioned earlier, Sir Issac Newton. It states that there is a reason for everything that happens. For every effect, there is a cause, whether we know it or not. And likewise, for every cause, there is an effect, which leads us to Newton’s third law: the Law of Action and Reaction. This law states that when two bodies interact, they apply forces to one another that are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. In other words, this equal-yet-opposite force is a mechanism through which we experience duality.

You see these forces play out in the concept of karma. Every belief, attitude, and action we take on earth sends out a ripple of energy that effects the physical world around us, including other people: cause and effect. Karmic energy is the after-effects of our words and actions–the legacy we leave behind us. When the negative consequences of our words and actions outweigh the positive consequences of our words and actions, our karmic legacy is unbalanced. Those consequences hold a heavier energy, and that heavy energetic legacy is left behind on earth when we die, both in our culture and the people we had interpersonal relationships with, contributing to the overall energy signature of the collective.

Likewise, our beliefs, attitudes, words, and actions often initiate equal and opposite reactions in the people around us: action and reaction. Opposing political ideologies is one clear example. The opposing force rises up in an effort to balance the karmic energy being left behind on the planet.

Just like the law of conservation of energy states, that heavy karmic energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. We are the ones who transform that energy when we focus on expanding our consciousness and healing the effects that karmic energy has had on ourselves, society, and the planet, thus changing the actions we take and the consequences of them.

Psychology and its various branches, like sociology, are in a way a study of karma, as well as an avenue through which to resolve it.

Time is an Illusion

When people think about karma, they almost always associate it with reincarnation. One of the fundamental beliefs behind the concept of reincarnation is that we must come back to earth in order to balance the karma we left behind in a past life, however, you’ll hear many spiritual teachers telling you that there past and no future, and that the “now” moment is all that exists. So how do we reconcile these two seemingly conflicting notions? Science has the answer!

Thanks to Einstein’s theory of special relativity, we know that our perception of time is intrinsically tied to space and the velocity at which we are moving through it. The faster we are moving, the slower time moves. Once we reach the speed of light, time stops.

Now remember that everything in the universe is made of energy, including consciousness. Light is also energy. In spirituality, we recognize these three things as being one and the same. This means that the energy of your consciousness, also known as your soul, is made up of light. This means that your soul exists at the speed of light. And if your soul exists at the speed of light…that means that it is not bound by time.

Read my previous blog post Time is an Illusion to learn more about this subject.

Therefore, from your soul’s perspective, there is no past or future. Only the present moment. That also means that all of your perceived past and present incarnations all exist concurrently in the present moment, and that the karmic energy of your other lives are being balanced in real-time with your actions in this one.

Now, if you really want to get trippy in terms of karma, you can also take into account the possibility that not only do we have a single reality that we exist in, but also multiple, alternate, parallel realities where some other version of our current and past selves play out additional scenarios of experience other than what we are experiencing from our current perspective, and those experiences are also attempting to balance the karmic energy of other concurrent lives.

As we evolve in this life, we also evolve and balance the karmic energies of all of our connected life experiences. This is why some spiritual teachers say we are here to work off karmic debts and others tell you that you only need to “breathe and be.” Their understanding is coming from two different levels of awareness.

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is another aspect of the Law of Karma which states that like energy attracts like energy. Let me be clear with that distinction: LOA is not like attracts like. That’s overly-simplistic and leads to a lot of misunderstanding. It is like energy attracts like energy.

How things appear on the surface may look similar, however, the underlying energy and intentions can be completely different. For example, you have two people doing psychic readings. The general assumption is that both people are “lightworkers.” However, one of those people is attracted to this position of authority as a means to gain power, control, and fame, and the other is attracted to this position of authority because they see it as a mission and genuinely want to help people heal. The underlying energies are complete opposites.

So if we want to truly understand the law of attraction, we have to understand it in energetic terms: heavy energy attracts heavy energy. Lighter energy attracts lighter energy. The vibrational frequencies of the energies are a match.

Duality comes from the illusion that there exists a lack of love. We call that illusion fear (not to be confused with danger). Fear-based energy is heavy and dense. Thus, fear-based energy manifests as spectrum of polarity (duality).

For example: total control and total submission exist on the same power spectrum and they are both symptoms of a heavier, “negative,” fear-based energy, one being a hunger for power, and the other being a state of feeling powerless. Thus, these two energies attract because they are the same fundamental energy, and give the illusion of opposites attracting.

When a person is embodying the heavy energy of control, they are attracted to people and situations who are embodying the heavy energy of powerlessness. This is how and why abusers seek out individuals with a lack of healthy boundaries. When an abuser meets someone with a healthy sense of boundaries, they will be repelled from being in relationship with that person because that person’s energy is not a match. Once they test those boundaries and recognize that they can’t consistently penetrate them without consequence, they will move on until they find someone who is easier to exploit.

Trauma energy is unprocessed fear that is lodged in our energy bodies. It manifests as fear-based beliefs, low self-esteem, and chronic anxiety, depression, hate, anger, etc. When that trauma has to do with a family or a social group, we call it generational or ancestral karma.

When we transmute that energy and convert it into a lighter form, that looks like healing trauma, dissolving and releasing energy blockages, having shifts in perspective and awareness, and increasing our self-esteem and capacity for empathy. One might describe this as resolving or releasing karma.

When one has healed that trauma and released the fear-based energy and programming, they will no longer attract those dualistic power dynamics, because they won’t tolerate them. Thus, a person with healthy boundaries is attracted to situations and partners who respect those boundaries.

When we are unaware of or avoiding our trauma, those repeated dualistic experiences trigger us into to recognizing our trauma energy. These repeated experiences are like re-breaking a bone in order for it to be set and healed correctly. When we aren’t paying attention or aren’t aware of the opportunity for healing, the universe and our subconscious mind, via the Law of Attraciton, keeps leading us back into situations and relationships that repeating the patterns to get our attention. Once you start to pay attention, you’re able to engage in the process consciously and end the pattern.

Triggering is a psychological term related to trauma and should not be confused with casual use in spirituality. Learn more.

In this way, you can look at the Law of Attraction as the mechanism through which we experience karma, and psychology as the avenue we use to heal karma and harness the Law of Attraction.

The Law of Attraction is not how we create karma and it is not a punishment for our actions. It’s just a force of nature, like gravity. It exists independently from the human (dualistic) concepts of “good” and “bad.”

So how do we come to create karma and hold trauma energy in the first place?

Read my post on Abuse and the Law of Attraction to learn more about this and the fundamentals behind LOA.

Karma is once again the culprit–the cause and effect of other people’s beliefs and actions, and the societal structures and cultures built around those beliefs throughout history. Unhealed trauma energy begets more trauma energy. It gets handed down from generation to generation. Karma was here before you and it will be here after you, and your actions while you are here contribute to the collective karmic energy on earth and within our own societies and familial lineages.

Therefore, the way for us to end this cycle is for all of us to focus on healing our personal trauma and changing the societal systems and cultures that perpetuate that trauma.

That, my friends, is the mechanics of spirituality in a nutshell.

I hope you learned a lot from this post about how science, psychology, and various aspects of spirituality are interrelated. I highly recommend reading the additional posts I recommended, as they will expand your understanding of these concepts.

Xo,

Ash

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A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

The ultimate goal of meditation is to reach a different state of consciousness.

States of Consciousness

An altered state of consciousness (ASC), also called altered state of mind or mind alteration, is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state.

There are 5 levels of brain frequencies, each representing a different state of consciousness:

Gamma – When you are highly alert and actively taking in information, learning, etc. and your brain is most active.
Beta – The fully awake, alert state that you experience most of the day.
Alpha – Alpha state occurs when you are awake, but your mind is on autopilot. Daydreaming, fantasizing, relaxed or detached.
Theta – Theta state is an even deeper state of consciousness – this is where you are when you are dreaming or during hypnosis.
Delta – Delta is the deepest level of sleep where there is minimal brain activity.

Meditation allows us to reach alpha state most often, and theta state in the most practiced meditators. Each of these states produce a different kind of intuitive experience and allow us to access different levels of our multidimensional self.

Types of Meditation
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the thing with meditation is – it can be whatever you want it to be. Walking in the woods is a form of meditation. Being creative can be meditative. Cleaning your house can be meditative. I listened to an entire podcast that discussed masturbation as a form of meditation. So don’t get caught up the traditional notion of meditation – any activity that allows you to put your brain into an altered state is what you’re after.

I find that most novices don’t realize that there are different types of meditation and each type lends itself to an entirely different purpose.

Non-Thinking Meditation
The most commonly thought of type of meditation is the traditional “non-thinking” meditation where you sit and attempt to have as few thoughts as possible. This type of meditation lends itself easily to alpha state, theta state, and is imperative for delta state which can be reached through transcendental meditation. This is the type of meditation that seems to be most intimidating to people, as a frequently asked question or suggestion for blog topics from my readers seems to be, “How can I stop the chatter in my mind?”

The key with this type of meditation is not to block out all thought, but rather ignore it and give your thoughts no attention, and therein lies the most common misunderstanding about meditation. The purpose is not to stop thinking, but rather distract yourself from it.

This style of meditation is best used for reaching higher states of consciousness and getting in touch with intuition. It can also be used as a form of relaxation.

Chanting or Mantra Meditation
This kind of meditation incorporates repetition as a way to ignore your thoughts and help you achieve alpha, theta, or delta state. You’ll notice that when you are doing a repetitive, monotonous activity, your mind tends to wander into a more detached (alpha) state. This is the goal of mantras and chants during meditation. These are also optimal types of meditation if you are attempting to undo negative thought patterns or solidify an intention for manifestation. Often times mantras and chants are incorporated into the non-thinking meditation as a way to deflect incoming thoughts.

This “repetition” can also be achieved through physical actions, not just sitting still, and I gave several examples of that above – cleaning the house. Creative projects. Walking.

This style of meditation is best used for reaching higher states of consciousness and getting in touch with intuition. It can also be used as a form of relaxation.

Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation uses a form of heightened awareness as a way to ignore your thoughts by bringing all of your awareness down into the physical body. This type of meditation is exceptionally grounding and fantastic for anxiety. If you find yourself feeling “out of body” more often than not, constantly thinking about the future or the past, I would highly recommend this style of meditation to bring you back into the now.

Visualization Meditation
Meditations that use visualizations also use a strategy that focuses your thoughts instead of ignoring them. Most meditations that are specifically used to access intuition use a visualization technique. This style of meditation is also great for setting intentions for manifestation.

Guided Meditation
Guided meditations are when you listen to another person’s voice instead of your own. A guided meditation can be one geared toward visualization, a mantra or chant, or mindfulness. The upside to this type of meditation is that someone else is doing the “thinking” for you, you’re just following along, which makes it somewhat easier to reach a meditative state. Hypnosis, at the most basic level, is a form of guided meditation.

You’ll probably want to explore these various styles of meditation to discover which is right for you – or you may even use different styles of meditation for different purposes.

There’s so much more to be said about states of consciousness and the type of information that can be reached through them, the level of self that can be accessed, etc. but I’ll save that for another day!

Xo,

Ash

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What’s in a Self? Soul, Personality & Ego

What’s in a Self? Soul, Personality & Ego

What’s in a Self? Soul, Personality & Ego

Question from a reader:

“I am a bit confused about personality and soul. I understand about being in alignment and think I can feel when I am in it. However I am not sure if this is because I am in alignment with my personality or soul. If I live not in balance with my personality, I am soon aware that I don’t feel in alignment, but I thought that our personalities are just cloaks for our souls? Rarely do I feel urge to do something which I wouldn’t ordinarily do and wondered if this is soul overriding personality? I guess we have to respect both?”

It sounds like you are using “personality” here as another word for the ego, so let me define a few things before I attempt to answer your question so that we’re all on the same page.

The Ego
I define the ego as a personality construct of sorts, a persona or an identity that we develop for ourselves. The ego is complex and it’s made up of a series of beliefs that we hold about ourselves and who we are, many of which are shaped by outside forces as we develop as children. The ego is the totality of our conscious self. It is how we see ourselves. This is the Jungian view of the Ego, wherein it is only a small part of the total self–in essence, the part of yourself that is fully known to you. The part that is NOT fully known to you, Jung calls the shadow self.

Personality
The way I define personality isn’t necessarily that it is a set of beliefs about ourselves, but rather the result of that set of beliefs: a way of thinking and acting. It’s more of a mechanism through which the self is expressed. You might also think of it as a unique expression of the soul in this singular incarnation.

The Self, The Soul, and The Spirit
In Jungian terms, all of the things we previously discussed, both conscious and unconscious, universal and singular, roll up together into the “Self,” including the universal archetypes, the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves, and the collective unconscious. You might say that Jung’s notion of an actualized “Self” was a fully enlightened, integrated human being.

I’m reading a great book right now called Eastern Body, Western Mind which marries the subjects of Jungian psychology with the concept of the chakra system. In this book, the author makes an excellent point about the concept of soul and spirit.

Some people use those words interchangeably, while others make a distinction between soul as being an “incarnate” spirit, and a spirit being a soul when it is not incarnate.

The author of the book explained this in a much more fluid fashion, and since I find that so many other spiritual concepts are also extremely fluid, this really resonated with me. We hear about how the soul enters and leaves the body through the crown chakra and typically we think of that as something that happens once per lifetime. So, as most people see it, a soul enters the body where it dwells until the body dies.

Instead of going with the notion that soul and spirit are two “different” things, imagine the “spirit” as simply being the universal energy of all that is. “God,” if you will, or “spirit” as some people refer to it. Spirit is the energy flowing down through the body, entering through the crown and flowing down through each of the chakras to the root, which is the most material that the spirit can be–a body. This, we would call “soul.”

Basically, the concept of soul and spirit are fluid. Soul is what is closer to the earth (root chakra) and spirit is what is closer to “Heaven” (crown chakra).  Both are a part of one another, but express themselves in varying degrees depending on where they find themselves.

Alignment is simply when you are fully embodying here on earth, that universal energy, or as I said in my previous post on alignment, when you are acting, living, and being in a loving vibration.

When one is not in alignment, we are living from our unexamined ego self and ignoring the unconscious part of ourselves. We behave and react out of conditioned responses rather than truly acting from a “free” will, which is unencumbered by negative belief patterns.

Neale Donald Walsh explained it in another way in Conversations with God, where God said, “Your will is my will, but my will is not your will.” This is when a person is not in alignment, when they are not acting, living and being in a loving vibration. When they are living and acting from fear.

You will know when you’re in alignment, because you will feel loved and you will feel happy and fulfilled, and that will be expressed through your personality.

Xo,

Ash

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Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

11 Consciousness-Raising Documentaries For Spiritual Awakening

11 Consciousness-Raising Documentaries For Spiritual Awakening

Most of us, at some point during our awakening stage, find a wealth of information that helps us expand our view of the world around us through a good old fashioned Netflix or Hulu binge. I know I did.

If you’re like me, you’re taking a few days off around the holidays and you’re probably going to be looking forward to doing a little Netflix and chill after the fam heads out of town. If that be the case, here’s 11 consciousness-raising documentaries for spiritual awakening that you might want to check out, personally viewed, approved, and highly recommended by me.

Consciousness-Raising Documentaries for the Mind

Prepare to stretch everything you thought you knew about the nature of reality.

1. Out of the Blue

If you’re toying with the notion of Extra Terrestrials but just aren’t really sure if there’s any truth to it, this documentary, above all, will leave you a believer. A slew credible witnesses and high ranking government officials go on record with their personal testimony that aliens are out there, and they are visiting earth. Skeptical?

“OUT OF THE BLUE emerges as one of the very best films ever produces on this, one of the most interesting in the history of science.” – Skeptic Magazine

There. Take that.

2. The Illusion of Time (PBS)

My (second) favorite theoretical physicist, Dr. Brian Greene (also a string theorist) takes you on a very visual trip through space time and shows you just how malleable time really is – if it even exists at all.

3. Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take? 

The thrive movement is the brainchild of Proctor & Gamble heir Foster Gamble, who seems to have taken a slightly different route from his predecessors. What’s wrong with the world? Follow the money. Foster shows you how.

4. Apologies of an Economic Hitman

I admit, I haven’t seen this one yet, but I’m dying to watch. I’ve seen several snippets of interviews with John Perkins about his book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, and they are quite fascinating.

From the New York Times: “Perkins was a prominent member of a team of economists employed by the U. S. government that allegedly used murder, military coups, rigged elections, doctored financial reports, extortion, and even sex to expand American influence following World War II.

Perkins had previously been reluctant to speak out about his career for fear he’d be permanently silenced by the powers that be. Years later, after meeting the daughter of an assassinated president and getting a cold reception from an angry Latin-American audience, Perkins’ lingering guilt overpowered his fears of governmental reprisal, and he finally decided to come clean about his experiences. The resulting film reveals the roots of Islamic terrorism and the truth behind rising poverty levels while highlighting the reasons why so many other countries resent the United States.”

5. Ethos: A Time for Change

Hosted by the two-time Academy Award® nominated actor and activist Woody Harrelson, ETHOS: A TIME FOR CHANGE lifts the lid on a Pandora’s box of systemic issues that has proven to have a negative impact in every aspect of our lives. From the environment, our democracy and our personal liberty to conflicts of interest in politics and unregulated corporate power, we cannot change our system until we know how it works.

6. 13th

13th explores the history of cultural attitudes and public policy that have contributed to the U.S. having the world’s largest prison population– 25% of the total, or 2.3 million, which is nearly double that of the country with the second largest prison population (China)–in spite of having less than 5% of the world’s total population. The U.S. has experienced a 500% increase of incarcerations over the last 40 years despite overall crime rates actually decreasing in that same timeframe.

What’s driving the U.S. to become a prison state? Are American simply more prone to become criminals or are there other factors at play? Fear is a powerful motivator, as the experts interviewed in 13th will show you.

Consciousness-Raising Documentaries for the Body

You are what you eat… and you really don’t want to know what you’re eating. But you should. These documentaries completely changed the way I eat. I lost two pants sizes as a result, and have kept it off for several years now.

7. Food Inc. 

Food Inc. examines the repercussions of factory farming on the health and livelihood of Americans, exposing how corporations have overtaken the food chain.

8. Forks Over Knives
Researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Consciousness-Raising Documentaries for the Soul

These documentaries focus specifically on the philosophical and soul-level experiences of human beings and spiritual awakening.

9. DMT: The Spirit Molecule

This documentary takes a look at DMT, a psychoactive, naturally occurring chemical in the brain that is also the active ingredient in LSD and some Ayahuasca brews, and it’s connection to spirituality.

10. With One Voice

With one voice talks with mystics from nearly every religion around the world, and shows how each of them are based on the exact same principles – love.

11. I Am

Tom Shadyac, director of the infamous Dumb and Dumber, documents a life-altering accident that brought him to a spiritual awakening and talks with others about how everyone can improve the way they live. One of them is Desmond Tutu. I freakin’ love Desmond Tutu!

Are you new to spirituality? Here’s a list of informative resources.

If you’re having trouble finding these spiritual awakening documentaries on Netflix or Hulu, you’ll most likely be able to find them in full on YouTube.

Got other consciousness raising documentaries you’d add to the list? Post them in the comments!

Xo,

Ash

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Group Consciousness

Group Consciousness

Group Consciousness

Question from a reader:

“Group Consciousness: If the birds in the sky and the fishes in the sea can all move and turn at the same time, why can’t we?”

Group consciousness, for those who are not familiar, is the idea that certain types of living beings share a consciousness (they have a group mind, so to speak). Typically they are smaller animals and insects who live communally or have the tendency to flock, swarm, or herd.

How many of you begrudgingly admit you read the Twilight series-or at least saw the movie? If so, you may recall the werewolf pack communicated with each other telepathically, however, they couldn’t defy the command of the pack leader. That would be one possible interpretation of how group consciousness works.

My question to you is, what makes you think we don’t have group consciousness? 

I would argue that we do. We are, after all, each a tiny aspect of consciousness which makes up a larger consciousness (and even those animals and their subgroup consciousness is a part of that). And whether or not you are aware of it, you are constantly picking up on and interpreting telepathic and energetic signals in your environment.

You are communicating with other people, energetically, all the time.

When you think of the birds and the fish all turning in unison, you see them working together toward a common purpose – in this case, to head in the same direction.

We know that our spiritual evolution is also us working on an individual level toward a purpose, in a specific direction, and we know that we have spiritual contracts with other members of our soul group who contribute to that purpose and have the same goal, themselves, so as a group, you are all working toward a common purpose and moving in the same direction.

When you weave together every soul connection that exists on the planet, all of them are working together toward a common goal and moving in the same direction: the evolution of consciousness through the spectrum of experience.

Chaos is an Illusion

We have a tendency to believe that our world is chaotic and that the state it is in is resultant from our mistakes. We believe we are imperfect beings who are attempting to perfect ourselves. I don’t believe that for one second. And I would venture to say that most people, if asked this same question, would answer, “Because we have free will.”

The universe is a perfect system, and you are a product of that system. God/source is perfect love and everything in the universe, collectively, is a manifestation of that perfect love. How can you possibly make a “mistake” when no matter what choice you make, its opposite plays out in an alternate reality?

We think of our spiritual contracts with other souls as being extremely specific in nature, but I’ve discussed before how our life purposes and interactions with others exist around themes and relationships and emotions more so than specific actions and outcomes.

We’re not here, haphazardly attempting to act out some script that we can’t remember. You are here to experience these concepts. You set yourself up to experience those concepts in (almost) any way you choose to manifest them.

I think the most common reason people fail to grasp the notion that what we are doing here is infallible is because they think they have free will, and if they have free will, it means they can do whatever they want. Well, that’s what your ego thinks. It also thinks it’s somehow separate from every other person on this planet, and it thinks that it is separate from your higher self, but we know that those things are an illusion, yes?

So, if your ego, too, is a manifestation of your higher self… what makes “you” think that you could possibly ever even want to or think about doing something that your higher self does not also allow you to think or want?

I saw this page titled, “The 12 Dimensions Explained,” floating around the net a few weeks ago. If you read it closely, you will notice that it refers to the third dimension and “the illusion of free will.”

I realize that it’s a controversial position to suggest that we don’t really have free will. but as I alluded above, does your ego-self really even know what free will is?

I’ve written about free will before and how it comes into play with your destiny and life planning.

What I suggest is–like I mentioned earlier–that your life plan is not as specific as you believe it is, and you have more options than you think you do, which gives you the feeling of having choices (because you do). But those choices exist on a limited spectrum.

Just like when you take your kids bowling and you put them on the kiddie lane that has the water bumpers to keep them from going in the gutter, their bowling ball can go anywhere on the lane, as long as it’s between the bumpers.

I’ve likened life planning to a choose your own adventure book. Yes, you have options, but you can’t choose something that isn’t already written into the book.

It’s all of those chapters and the characters within them playing out their parts in an intricate storyline, one that feels very real, for the explicit purpose of experiencing the chosen themes.

The real question here is, do the birds and the fish know they are connected? Or do they just act and we see the end result from our own vantage point? They may be just as unaware of their connection with one another as you are unaware of your connection with everyone else. And just because you can’t see it from your current perspective, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

We do have a group consciousness. It just doesn’t look like what you were expecting it to, from down here in your earthly perspective.

Xo,

Ash

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