The Trauma Factor

Healing: When Trauma is a Factor

Much of the information I put out is generalized so it can be applied to almost anyone’s life circumstances. The vital steps to health and wellness are pretty much the same for most people, and I try to keep it simple whenever I can. While that makes it easier to grasp, the generalized information does not account for the full spectrum of challenges that are faced when there is a presence or history of trauma.

When there is a presence of trauma, such as childhood abuse or neglect, violent attacks or accidents, or any long term exposure to being violated, there are additional locks and layers of perceptual distortion. There are additional steps in the healing process and these are to be handled with foreknowledge and preparation. It’s not that health is more elusive for traumatized people, it’s that the perception goggles through which they experience life have well-camouflaged distortions that are often deeply woven into their sense of security and survival; the emotional residue of trauma will undermine all therapy until it’s recognized as distortion and cleared from the perception. Clearing it is easy, but first being ready and willing to see it, that can be quite a challenge.

In some cases, the experience of trauma can render subconscious, self-protecting changes in the brain so that it permanently inhibits activity in the areas responsible for registering all forms of pain. This affects the person’s awareness of all emotional sensations and disconnects them from visceral sensation as well. Additionally, self-awareness is lowered and it becomes almost impossible to perceive life experience, or even one’s self, with reliable accuracy. This makes it quite difficult to recover using the typical holistic cues and guidelines, because in a sense they are experiencing life through a haze that diminishes their capacity to register the true resonance of people and events. Often they are disconnected from themselves; disconnected from their feelings, hopes, dreams and imagination. This disconnection can be restored when a person is ready to honestly investigate their inner life.

How does this affect the healing journey? It’s important to remember that every single individual takes a unique path to health and wellness, because the path is truly within, and it is the inner life of the individual which manifests the external choices and the path itself. When the inner life is polluted with unacknowledged distortions like self-loathing, denial, shame, victimization scripts, or fear that the truth about something simply cannot be faced – it’s as if the soul must continually fight off a self-replicating virus that seeks to undo any efforts to reconnect the mind-body-spirit interfacing. The virus must be eradicated, through a conscious process of acknowledging and releasing, so that natural healing has a supportive mental and emotional environment in which to work its magic.

Trauma experiences can also be ‘trapped’ in the physical body in the form of unexpressed emotional energy. There are great successes with therapies that involve movement, from yoga to dancing, to more personalized movements that allow someone to return to their fearful memories with physical empowerment and liberation, clearing out the emotional energy through free physical expression. There is something miraculous in staying fluid at all levels, fluidity of the mind, the emotions, and the body.

In any case of healing from trauma, the greatest recovery is observed when there is conscious, active participation in uncovering and re-discovering the Self, and in the breaking of one’s own chains. The journey out of trauma may have its own special pains and potholes, but the reward of the transcendence is that much greater. Some of our wisest and most emotionally-literate spiritual teachers and life coaches became who they are because of transcending their personal experience with trauma, abuse and neglect. The message is clear – it can be done, and it is worth it.


Suggested reading for recovering from trauma and/or an abusive/neglectful childhood:

-Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, by Pete Walker

-The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Consciousness is Only One Facet of Awareness

In 2017 we celebrate conscious communities, Christ consciousness, conscious living, conscious creation, etc. The allure of expanded consciousness and the supposed positive effects of it on society make it easy to lose sight of the fact that the conscious mind is but a fraction of our total awareness. The conscious mind is in fact the one facet of our awareness that is most limited, reductionist, and usually loaded with psychic distortions.

You might be thinking, Don’t we need consciousness, for like, everything? Isn’t consciousness how we learn, how we speak, how we make memories, how we make plans and make changes to things? Isn’t the conscious mind what makes humans human? Consider for a moment that consciousness is not the source of any of these human functions, as Julian Jaynes did.

Given the diminished awareness of many people in the world, it is easy to imagine that those who have developed the conscious mind are the ones operating on the highest awareness, holding the greatest insight, and possessing the most complete schematics of life itself. We are conditioned to think this way.

The conscious mind, as Jaynes discovered in his research, is not a necessary part of the learning process. This is true whether it be the learning of signals, skills, or solutions. “The very reason we need logic at all is because most reasoning is not conscious at all.” Also, consciousness does not make copies of everything like most people think, and even if it did, they would be a narrow version of reality: “Actually we are never conscious of things in their true nature, only of the excerpts we make of them.”

If not the conscious mind, then where in the brain is all our higher functioning taking place? We are conditioned to think (consciously) in terms of spatialization, giving an imaginary or assumed space in our heads as well as the heads of others. Jaynes explains that, “consciousness has no location except as we imagine it has.”

So, where does consciousness come from?

The conscious mind develops out of language, and language is largely developed out of metaphors that are condensed into labels. Metaphor uses a familiar thing to overlay its understood meaning onto a different, unfamiliar or hard to describe thing. “Using machines as metaphiers (the familiar thing) has been at the very center of discovery” Jaynes says, and in my opinion it is this mechanistic orientation of thinking that tends to lock off access to the greater portion of a human’s awareness, which tends to be rather undefinable and is obviously less appreciated by the physical scientist.

The conscious mind is quite busy, usually fluttered with a constant stream of private story-telling. Jaynes describes this narratization, “In consciousness we are always seeing our vicarial selves as the main figures in the stories of our lives. We are constantly narrating when we are conscious. Perceptions that do not fit into the ongoing story are unnoticed or at least unremembered. More important, situations are chosen which are congruent to this ongoing story, until the picture I have of myself in my life story determines how I am to act and choose in novel situations as they arise.”

This made a ton of sense to me. Even though I’ve been using the C word (consciousness) like it was the holy grail of healing, I realize now that my logic was based on assuming it was the lack of consciousness that was acting as a main obstacle between a helpful truth and a person’s awareness. In actuality, it is the conscious mind that is locked up with its story, with its distortions, with its baggage, that is the obstacle between truth and awareness. Consciousness may look like the answer next to a society of zombies without activated free will or any self-direction. And yet, there is more to realize, further to go, more to recognize, though perhaps not consciously.

What, if not consciousness, are we using to operate in this life? This is where it gets a bit more difficult to define things neatly. For me, my awareness is sourced from multiple “places” and I take my subtler sensitivities more seriously than I used to. Being sensitive once meant being vulnerable, but it turned out that vulnerability was a story I started telling myself as a nervous kid. Being sensitive now isn’t weakening, it’s empowering. This would not be the case if I had not cleaned out the distortions at the conscious level. When I am both sensitive and free from the conscious narration of the experience, I have a vastly broader perspective of the world around me and the people around me; I have access to my truth and compassion, my stillness and my neutrality; my free will to respond or not respond; this is sovereignty. I feel like we are meant to function on this level of exchange, relying less on language and physical definitions, and more on empathic/telepathic transmissions and receptions, and all of us from a multi-faceted awareness. This can include energetic resonance, intuition, somatic intelligence, memories, dreams, the subconscious, meditation experiences, visions and sometimes just knowing because you know, even if you can’t put it into words. One of the things I noticed along this journey is that the highest truth we encounter is also the toughest to verbalize and convey to others. It’s like we are meant to restore these subtle senses and awarenesses, and that consciousness has been the belle of the co-opted healing modalities ball.

Final thought: If we don’t need consciousness to learn, to speak, to organize, to love one another and to operate a human existence, and if it’s primarily being used as a way to lock up the access (and the credibility) of the other sources of awareness, then in my book, it’s a tool at best and a weapon every day of the week, Probably twice on Sunday.

Excerpts taken from the book “The Origin of Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind” by Julian Jaynes.

Learning to Be Human Again

From Original Wisdom: Stories of An Ancient Way of Knowing, by Robert Wolff

“Do not talk,” Ahmeed said — I knew he meant “Do not think.” “Water inside heart,” he said next, with a gesture of his hand on his heart. I knew he meant I should sense inside — not with my mind but from the inside.
It is sad to have to use so many words to say something so simple.
As soon as I stopped thinking, planning, deciding, analyzing — using my mind, in short — I felt as if I was pushed in a certain direction. I walked a few steps and immediately saw a big leaf with perhaps half a cup of water in it.
I must have stood there for a full minute, in awe. Not in awe of anything in particular, simply in awe.
When I leaned over to drink from the leaf, I saw water with feathery ripples, I saw the veins of the leaf through the water, some bubbles, a little piece of dirt. Reaching out, I put a finger in the water, then saw that one of the wriggling mosquito larvae had been trapped in a tiny bubble on my finger. How beautiful, how perfect. I did not put the finger with the water droplet in my mouth, but looked back at the leaf.
My perception opened further. I no longer saw water — what I felt with my whole being was a leaf-with-water-in-it, attached to a plant that grew in soil surrounded by uncounted other plants, all parts of the same blanket of living things covering the soil, which was also part of a larger living skin around the earth. And nothing was separate; all was one, the same thing: water – leaf – plant – trees – soil – animals – earth – air – sunlight and little wisps of wind. The all-ness was everywhere, and I was part of it.
I cannot explain what went on inside me, but I knew that I had learned something unbelievably wonderful. I felt more alive than I had ever felt before.
All of me was filled with being.

What this other sense is, I do not know. For me it is very real. I think of it as a sense of knowing. It probably is a quality we all have to a greater or lesser degree. For me it works when I can get out of my mind, when I can experience without having to understand, or name, or position, or judge, or categorize.
It is a quality that has to be used or it fades away; just as one has to exercise muscles, so too knowing must be exercised.
I am saying this after the fact, trying to describe something that does not fit into our Western concepts, and therefore there are no words. At the time I did not think anything. I was learning how to put my mind aside and use some other sense to know.
Standing over a leaf with a little water in it, somewhere in the jungles of Malaysia, I did not think in words. I did not think. I bathed in that overwhelming sense of oneness. I felt as if a light was lit deep inside me. I knew I was radiating something — love, perhaps — for this incredible world, this rich, varied, and totally interconnected world of creations that, at the same time, gave love to me. And with the love, I also felt a very deep sense of belonging.

After a while, I slowly woke up. I came to, so to speak, and was in my body again. I looked around. Ahmeed was not where I thought he was. In fact, he was not anywhere in sight. He must have walked on, I thought.
As soon as I thought, I panicked. I realized that I was alone, that Ahmeed had left me in a strange place. I had no idea where I was, or how to get back to Three or to find Ahmeed. My first reaction was to shout, to yell, to call him. But the sense of being part of this wonderful whole was so strong that I could not raise my voice. I opened my mouth and tried to make a sound, but no sound would pass my throat. I could not possibly disturb this oneness by yelling, by feeling panicked. I could not be afraid — after all, I was part of this all-ness.

My life changed in that moment.


(Original Wisdom: Stories of An Ancient Way of Knowing, by Robert Wolff)

All Things Are Connected, We Must Teach Our Children

All Things Are Connected, We Must Teach Our Children

From Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Garrett


In 1855, upon surrendering tribal lands to the government of the Washington Territory, Chief Seattle of the Suquamish and Duwamish people delivered his famous speech with great eloquence and sadness. Following are adapted excerpts from words spoken by Chief Seattle:

“Every part of this Earth is sacred to our people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of our people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the people.
The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the Deer, the Horse, the great Eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony and people – all belong to the same family.
The ashes of our father and mothers are sacred. Their graves are holy ground, and so these hills, these trees, this portion of Earth is consecrated by us. The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. You must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of our people. The water’s murmur is the voice of our father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. You must teach your children that the rivers are our brothers, and you must give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
The air is precious to us, and it shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather and grandmother their first breath also receives their last sigh. And the wind must also give our children the spirit of life. When we taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers, we must remember that it is sacred.
The animals are our brothers and sisters. What are we without the animals? If all the animals were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit. Whatever happens to the animals, soon happens to the people. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers and grandmothers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the Earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that Earth is our Mother. Whatever befalls Earth, befalls the sons and daughters of Earth.
This we know. Earth does not belong to people; people belong to Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Love the land as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, and with all your heart, preserve it for your children and love it… as the Great One loves us all.”



Everything around us is alive with spiritual energy and importance. This includes all animals, plants, people, rocks and minerals; Earth, sky, Sun, Moon, and stars; and the elements, such as wind, water, fire, thunder, clouds, lightning, and rain all combined in an intricate system of interdependence and interrelationship.

A fundamental belief in the Medicine Way is this: All things are connected. This universe is made up of a balance among all of these things and a continuous flow or cycling of this energy. We have a sacred relationship with the universe that is to be honored every moment of every day, through our thoughts, intentions, and actions. All things are connected, all things have life, and all things are worthy of respect and reverence.

Cherokee Harmony

The path of holistic harmony is virtually the same as the ancient wisdom of the aboriginal, indigenous, and native Peoples. Their knowledge is sacred and to be revered, not commercialized or turned into a social media meme. It is the higher wisdom that all seekers seek, but it protects itself behind a locked door. The key is silence and reverence, patience, and connection to your spirit. The words we use to verbalize and convey their sentiments automatically degrade the truth which they carry… these sentiments are meant to be experienced, not just read, so they can be known to each individual as their living truth.

Many people ask, “What now? What do I do? How do we go about raising kids in this degraded society?”

The following excerpt is to help answer that question.

From “Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship,” by J.T. Garrett and Michael Garrett:

The Medicine Way is based on an unwritten “code of ethics” that honors the natural laws of Creation to guide our way of life toward harmony and balance with all our relations – personal, social, and environmental. The “Way of the Circle” is passed down from generation to generation, from Native American Elders to the children in the form of stories, traditions, customs and teachings. What follows is a general collection of these teachings, which can be embraced by anyone seeking the way of harmony and balance:

1.When you first arise in the morning, give thanks to the Creator (Great Spirit), to the Four Directions, to Mother Earth, the Father Sky, and to all of our relations, for the life within you, and for all life around you.
2.Remember that all things are connected. -All things have purpose, everything has its place. -Honor others by treating them with kindness and consideration; always assume that a guest is tired, cold and hungry, making sure to provide him or her with the best of what you have to offer.
3.If you have more than you need for yourself and your family, consider performing a “giveaway” by distributing your possessions to others who are in need.
4.You are bound by your words, which cannot be broken except by permission of the other party.
5.Seek harmony and balance in all things. -It is always important to remember where you are in relation to everything else, and to contribute to the Circle in whatever way you can by being a “helper” and a protector of life. -Sharing is the best part of receiving. -Practice silence and patience in all things as a reflection of self-control, endurance, dignity, reverence, and inner calm. -Practice modesty in all things; avoid boasting and loud behavior that attracts attention to yourself. -Know the things that contribute to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.
6.Always ask permission, and give something for everything that is received, including giving thanks for, and honoring, all living things.
7.Be aware of what is around you, what is inside of you, and always show respect. -Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest Elder with respect. -Do not stare at others; drop your eyes as a sign of respect, especially in the presence of Elders, teachers or other honored persons. – Always give a sign of greeting when passing a friend or stranger. -Never criticize or talk about someone in a harmful, negative way. -Never touch something that belongs to someone else without permission. -Respect the privacy of every person, making sure to never intrude upon someone’s quiet moments or personal space. -Never interfere in the affairs of another by asking questions or offering advice. -Never interrupt others. -In another person’s home, follow his or her customs rather than your own. -Treat with respect all things held sacred to others whether you understand these things or not. -Treat Earth s your mother; give to her, protect her, honor her, show deep respect for those in the animal world, plant world, and mineral world.
8.Listen to guidance offered by all of your surroundings, expect this guidance to come in the form of prayer, dreams, quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of the wise Elders and friends.
9.Listen with your heart.
10.Learn from your experiences, and always be open to new ones.
11.Always remember that a sole is something sacred, to be shared.
12.Live each day as it comes.

It Starts With The Inner Revolution

It begins on the inside, with thoughts and choices. It begins with reclaiming mental focus.

It starts with recognizing the unnamed oppression – seeing the trauma-culture for what it is, seeing the hustle for what it is, seeing the separation put upon us in order to keep us blaming each other, the limiting belief systems, the media message of fear, terror and scarcity. It starts with putting your blame finger away and detaching from those narratives.

It starts with your plate, with the conscious choices to be made every day, with how you choose to define compassion… with how you choose to educate yourself about nutrition, with how you prioritize convenience and wellbeing.

It starts with unplugging from the normalized numbing-out addictions, resisting the urge to escape the perceived banality of life by diving into a virtual society and spending the attention on countless stories about other people.

It starts with leaving the TV off, and instead feeding the mind with books that expand awareness, with videos and lectures that raise consciousness by teaching other cultural perspectives and histories. It starts and stays with exposure to nourishment for the soul, rather than exposure to mind-programming and degradation.

It starts with recognizing what is always present – the awareness within. What a precious thing, to stop and experience this peaceful stillness that exists. It’s about knowing this as the truth of the self, rather than being stuck in the perspective of the ego, stuck in the “story”.

It starts with an inner revolution, a revolt against the old ways, the lies, the corruption, the broken parts that seem to stay broken. It starts with privately facing the truth – and you do have to be ready to tell yourself the truth.

It all starts with the honest self-inquiry. What questions do you have? What are you afraid of? Who told you to be afraid of it? What is your heart telling you to do?

It starts with wanting change, and knowing there has to be a better way to achieve it than what we saw on the news growing up. It’s noticing the absence of choices, choices that would enable us to effect change and improve conditions for everyone without exclusion. It’s noticing, when you do learn a few things outside the uni box, that the best stuff isn’t on the consensus menu.

The best stuff empowers you authentically. It is always free, it is 100% natural, and it’s the best kept secret. It grows inside of us when we make room for it. We make room for it by unplugging from the toxic exposures, and pointing our precious attention toward the direction of truth, liberation, expression, compassion, creativity, love and life.

If you feel a deep call to help the world in some way, like I do, and if you feel guilty if you look away from the world’s atrocities when they’re paraded on the news/internet… let me share with you my perspective on this. If you truly want to make changes and help the world, the environment, the animals, the abused – you do so by being a sovereign being, by owning your mental clarity and your emotional balance. You do so through knowledge, through courage, and wisdom. This state of effectiveness is achieved with health and wellness and applying oneself with maturity and reverence. This is what’s called the causal plane, and it’s where we want to be in moments of decision making. If we let our minds stay lost in confusion and sadness, in anger and without grieving, without honest self-inquiry – we are not effective, we are just adding to the chaotic mess of emotional reactions, and it’s just another drama playing out. Give your precious attention over to fortifying yourself before showing up to add volume to the protest. Let your entire life be your demonstration and your call to action. It’s a beautiful, contagious thing, humanity in its wholeness.

American Compulsory Schooling: An Essential Disillusion

American Compulsory Schooling: An Essential Disillusion

For many people it takes a major wake-up call, some deep disturbance in their personal world schematic, to begin to awaken them to the truth of this existence. To sense and see that the story they were provided from their parents, their culture, and their clergy doesn’t quite align with their personal experience nor with what they observe in the world.

In Western society, from a very young age we are conditioned to invest our thoughts, our time and our energy into pursuing things, experiences and situations that we are told will satisfy us with security or pleasure or peace. We are materialistic. We are sold and entrained with many lies before we reach an age of reason, before we can even identify the various sources of these data inputs as truthful and healthy or as false and destructive. We see our parents buying the story, most of them without any serious questioning, so we buy it too. Our parents use the story to construct the parameters and even the precious milestones of our childhoods. We grow up chasing things, acquiring, collecting, competing. Consuming, owning, achieving, opposing. We become adults who are trained to externalize every last ounce of our power, to be disconnected from intuition, and to later apply onto our own offspring the same ignorant method of quantifying one’s value, forcing their worth to be tied up in their grades and their ranking, their status, and in how well they can jump through arbitrary hoops without complaint. We don’t ask who is putting the hoops there, or why children are becoming less literate, and less humane. We don’t investigate anything for ourselves as we’ve been trained to await instruction from the teacher, the boss, or the media, like helpless children. One of the lies we absorb is that grown-ups are developed people and that we automatically become grown-ups just by getting older.

So much is left unspoken, unacknowledged, and left to disintegrate in the silence of inattention and darkness. From the parenting models to the school curriculum to the television programming, so much of what enables a human being to function with honesty and integrity is either distorted or simply left out. So much of what it takes to fortify a healthy society has been alarmingly forgotten or shamed into the shadows. From confident communication to regulating emotions, the so-called authority class gets a big F for not showing up. There is no one faction to blame for this failure of education; we failed collectively when we went along with making school compulsory and handing off to the State the responsibility of raising the next round of adults. And then we handed the reigns to groups with interests not remotely based on fortifying maturity and critical thinking, but on diminishing the ability to think for oneself.

The solution is for each individual to recognize and outgrow each defunct system that they awaken to.

It is the collapse in the illusion that allows room in the mind for other possibilities, and hopefully truth, to enter.

Many people will live to the end of their days and never question anything, their thickened skin keeping out the sensations of being violated or misused as a human being, their willpower depleted from atrophy, and their mind content with the escapist amusements of pop culture. Others who sense a disturbance may be conditioned to suppress it and/or internalize it, while some blame only external causes for their experience, unaware of the vastness within, the choices that are within, unaware of the false beliefs and the attached meanings that are thoughts and ideas, and not truths. It is all a distortion of real feelings and real needs which mostly go unseen and unmet.

Those who have experienced at least one essential disillusionment – be it through awakening to the “education” of our school system, to history, to medicine, or to the newest religion of science –  they have opened their mind to a journey that leads within, and those who follow it shift their perspective onto an additional, expanded plane of awareness, one that releases them from the old lies, labels and cages, and allows for the creation of a new schematic of reality, one built on honest truth and powered by intuition. They are free to build a schematic that points their life path in the direction of creativity, expression, love, compassion, warmth and truth. They are free to exist outside the constructs of competition, duality, scarcity, fear and terror. They are liberated from the lie that they are a mindless unit of society, that they are born in sin, or that they owe some sort of sacrifice, pain or guilt to some entity. Those who have awakened to their truth can experience a deep knowing, a state of trust and peacefulness, stillness and awe and gratitude at experiencing this amazing life. It is not some blissful detachment, some emotionless existence, not at all. It is facing all of it, facing the pain, the upsets, the shadow and the lie, it is facing it, with honesty and vulnerability, and transcending it, not by resisting but by surrendering, with a calm and fearless knowing of what awaits on the other side. It is not a stagnant happiness, immunity to sadness, or even continual peacefulness; it is, fluidly, many moments of joy, of love and connection, of truth and contentment, and of horror and pain and anger, it is all of it, fearlessly. It is understanding fully that while pain and loss are unavoidable, suffering is a choice. This is living an awakened life.

I feel like I’m channeling my inner Gangaji today. What a blessing and a treasure, this moment.

It is a fairly new luxury on this planet for most of us to not be utterly, physically enslaved and to have the time and mental space to look around and notice that there is more to the story, there is more to the history, there is more to you, to me, to us. It is an enormous privilege to be able to awaken. In the most essential way, it is a choice to look at the truth.

What will we do with this privilege of truth-knowing? Compete to be the best at it? Give ourselves a ranking system so we know who is more important, or who is “qualified” to speak about it? Attempt to measure it and standardize its features, fit it into words inside a textbook and then test the children on their memorization of it? This would be a naive mistake, and the opposite of progress, to take our little box of reality, of physics and logic, and try to fit it onto this vastness that is truth.

When disillusionment is experienced, it is a moment of choice – a chance to open up to a new perspective that is inclusive and expansive, and to a life path that takes time for stillness and self-reflection, for fearless self-inquiry. And although the messenger, the vehicle of the teaching, might be some violent event or extreme loss causing immense grief, the lesson hidden in the message, if honestly explored, contains total liberation from the fearful ideas we attach to the event. There is typically a long-running story we tell ourselves about our victimization, our pain, and our helplessness. It is a learned perception of the world and our place in it. It is who we think we are, but it is not who we truly are.

If there is one common denominator to my own experiences of disillusionment, it is the presence of a silent thievery of self-knowledge, and thus an unspoken denial of access to authentic empowerment, progress or sovereignty. Thievery isn’t the right word, even though it does feel like I’ve been burgled. The truth is that it is always a choice to give away our power, to believe what we are told, to do as we are instructed, and to stay so busy and swept up in our day-to-day lives that we devolve away from our inherent ability to investigate, to imagine, to sense our own truth. Were we taught to “choose” this mindless hustle-mode by our parents and by society, by our teachers? Yes! Isn’t that messed up? Yes!!!

Some people simply don’t want to know what’s beyond the illusion. They are fearful because they imagine that by facing the truth there will be an impossible reality waiting for them, a reality of worthlessness, or enslavement and victimization, or some intolerable emptiness, an ocean of despair waiting to devour them. This is conditioning, to fear the inquiry. But on the other side of the fear is knowledge of the Self. There is stillness and awareness that is always present, and it is this awareness that best represents who you truly are. It is not to be feared but to be explored, expressed and lived. The trust in oneself to be capable of facing the truth is authentic empowerment. The awareness and ability to observe thoughts and emotions as they come, and to consciously choose to experience or release them, to be the driver of your existence is authentic sovereignty.

In summary, it is honest self-inquiry and the subsequent knowledge of the Self that unfolds the development of intuition and integrity, courage and capability.



If you’re interested in learning more about the history of compulsory schooling in America, you’ll enjoy the book Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto.