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The Principle of Resilience


“To restore stability to our planet we must restore its bio-diversity – the very thing we’ve removed.”

David Attenborough

This week we look at the Universal Principle of Resilience to see how we might help (or at least stop hindering) nature’s ability to return to a steady state of dynamic balance.

www.anders-asker.se

Professor Ann Masten (1) defines resilience as:

“The capacity of a dynamic system to adapt to challenges that threaten the function, survival or future development of the system.”

Heaven knows (and the earth even more so) that we have contributed more than our fair share of problems to the planet and its ecosystems. There is hope however. This is because nature knows more than a little about resilience. Let us look at the first part of the Principle of Resilience so we can be in the know too:

”Diversity + Redundancy = Resilience. Diversity is nature’s safety net and insurance policy.”

Let us focus for the moment on the first part of this equation: diversity. As we mentioned last week in the Principle of Cycles (click here if you missed it), one of the primary reasons for the long period of stability we have experienced on our planet was the huge bio-diversity it has developed.

It has also become abundantly clear during this series that we need each other. Many life forms performing different and complementary functions improves the quality of life for all. Therefore, it is in our own interest to see others flourish and succeed.

Our patriarchal, “dominator culture” over the last few thousand years has distorted this natural law however. In the last hundred years it has taken Darwin’s theories of adaptive genetic mutation and distorted it into a tooth and claw fantasy of kill or be killed competition. It has taken our shared resources and sold us an economic pyramid scheme that creates ”winners and losers”, “haves” and “have nots”. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted is the creation of a very small percentage of ”haves” and a majority of ”have nots”.

Section from U.S. one dollar bill

The short-sighted greed of such a distortion has seen the ravaging of planetary resources in a futile quest for infinite ”growth” from a finitely resourced planet. It is the mentality of the addict spiralling out of control while everything and everyone around them becomes collateral damage to that world view and the destructive practices coming from it.

Not really the attitude of a “team player” then. Diversity, on the other hand, wants and needs everyone to prosper.

One might think then that a return to diversity will fix everything, right? Well, kinda…

May Day, May Day! We need backup!”

While a healthy biodiversity is vital, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that fail-safe mechanisms are present in the system. This is where redundancy comes into the equation of Resilience:

“Functional redundancy exists in all known mature ecosystems. As environments change, certain species will boom and others will bust. As long as the ecosystem has a large variance of species which perform similar functions, the overall health of the system continues”

Everyone needs a backup plan now and then and nature is no exception. If a species that performs a certain function within an ecosystem dies out, the system can still remain resilient if another species performing a similar function can be found. Redundancy is the inclusion of these extra components. They may appear to serve little immediate purpose – that is, until they’re needed.

www.ufhd.ca

While it might seem that a healthy biodiversity would automatically create redundancy, nature can sometimes prove to be vulnerable despite it being present. Let’s look at a few examples from both human life and the natural world showing the threat to resilience when diversity exists without redundancy:

1. A small, isolated village: There may be a variety of people performing different functions. This helps village life to thrive as all the tasks needed for health, survival and tradition are performed. But what if only one of them is a doctor? If the doctor becomes ill, dies or just decides to move to another village the healthcare needs and the survival of its inhabitants are threatened.

2. A marine system surrounding a coral reef: While there is a dazzling and colourful biodiversity of species, there is only one “keystone species” – the coral itself. If it dies due to pollution, acidification or mining for example, the whole chain of diverse species connected to it is threatened.

Resilience in human health

Meanwhile, back in the complex, dynamic ecosystems of the body, we find the same Universal Principle of Resilience at play. The single biggest players in a healthy body, resilient to outward infection, are immunoglobulins. These guardians of our internal galaxy exist primarily in the gut and the blood and function as antibodies that recognize and neutralise threats to our health.

Like an anti-virus program on our computer, they need to be updated regularly with the latest skill sets to deal with new challenges. It is actually helpful for this system to be exposed to challenges on a regular basis. The first world’s obsession with hygiene – even more so in the “Year of Covid” – has, ironically perhaps, made our immune system less resilient killing off our redundancy backups through maintaing unnaturally sterile environments.

Brainstorming resilience

The Principle of Resilience also states:

”Every connection in a multi-dimensional web of life has countless links that tether it to the whole.”

Moving from the complexities of the gut and upwards to the brain (it should be noted they are surprising similar in structure and even some functions), we can witness diversity, redundancy and resilience at work through neuroplasticity. See the video below for a quick primer on how that works.

Mental and psychological resilience are dependent on diversity and redundancy too. If we do not remain open to points of view wider than our own, we become isolated, ’tribal’, insular and hypersensitive to any approach different to our own. As we saw in the Principle of Dynamics (click here if you missed it) a healthy, resilient system can accept feedback and opposition. Without that ability, when an opposing view to our own gains popular ascendancy we can feel devastated and defeated. Witness the divisions between political affiliations, racial discrimination or even fans of opposing sports teams for examples.

Anchorage News. All rights reserved.

Division and living only in the narrow reinforcement of our one-sided ”bubble” is the opposite of diversity. Is it any wonder so many people feel scared, threatened and react aggressively to these perceived threats? Outdated ideologies from bygone eras regularly need to be made redundant. Newer ones can gain ascendancy and the whole system evolves and progresses.

Bouncing checks – and balances: Resilience in economic systems

For the last 150 years or so we have become unwitting participants in economic boom and bust cycles. This is by no means an inevitability however. Of course, if we keep ignoring universal principles and ravage our resources trying to create a false, short term surplus, then we guarantee a future collapse.

There is no need for cycles of boom and bust of the total economy. As we have already seen, a resilient system has the inbuilt redundancy to handle a shortfall in one area by allowing others to thrive. This is, in turn, enabled through diversity. This is why we need to move away from a system based on debt, with the wealth in the hands of the few, and into one based on diversity, redundancy and resilience.

At the personal economic level, the more skills we learn (higher diversity) the higher our chances of re-employment and economic survival. Even if the industry we currently work in becomes redundant or suffers a downturn our personal diversity of skills helps us thrive elsewhere. We may even create new businesses of our own.

Circling away from triangle dramas

Patriarchal, pyramid schemes need to be consigned to the graveyard of dead ideas. These times call for a more feminine touch: A cyclic, dynamic, interdependent web of life at all levels – not just economics. Diversity and redundancy are its methods. Resilience is the result.

(For a more wide-reaching look at these Universal Principles, go to  www.ufhd.ca )

(1) University of  Minnesota College of Education and Human Development



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

The Principle of Cycles



“Fractal geometry is everywhere…It’s the cycle of life.”

Ron Eglash

This week we cycle around to our fourth instalment of the Universal Principles that sustain life, the Principle of Cycles. Let’s give it a spin:

”The health and survival of all sentient beings has a direct correlation with the ability to observe, understand, and adapt to the cycles of nature.”

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? We might even call such a statement self-evident. Evidently not.

 

The taming of the shrew

Patriarchal cultural dominance over many thousands of years has instilled an innate fear and suspicion of the feminine. This is most notably seen in our attitudes towards our mother, earth.

We have learned to fear nature and, perversely, have become proud of our ability to control or tame her wild and free spirit. Only now are we beginning to see that such control is both illusory and dangerous to our very survival.

Artwork by Mario Sanchez Nevado

Contrastingly, indigenous cultures have relied on their particular understanding of the feminine, cyclic nature to guide them. From the cycles of the seasons, the phases of the moon, the cycling of heavenly constellations, the ability interpret natures cycles has guided and sustained human life.

Spinning the wheel

 

“The cyclical nature of the universe informs its inhabitants of patterns that can be used to understand what has and will happen.”

Up until fairly recently in our history, the earth has undergone a sustained period of stability. This has been due to a combination of factors like a wide biodiversity of life (ensuring resilience – more on this in future editions of the Universal Principles) and consistent climatic conditions. This stability, predictability and an understanding of cycles has had a major effect on our civilisation:

•  The rise of agrarian societies between seven and ten thousand years ago meant we could depend upon reliable harvest cycles for consistent food supplies

•  Stable climate and food production enabled trade and the rise of predictive economic models to chart them

•  Global navigation via sea and air travel depended upon the predictive reliability of weather patterns and in the case of the early sailors, celestial navigation of the circling heavens

•  The arrival of the space age required an expanded view of cycles outside of our planet to calculate safe passage to the moon and beyond

•  Back in the human body, the cyclic patterns of the heart can be read (via ECG graphing) to predict or diagnose possible risks to health

Which brings us to an interesting correlation between cyclic frequencies and the patterns that are predictably linked to them.

”All energy has a vibration and a frequency which creates cycles.”

The very geometry of our life is expressed this way so it is useful to be aware of them. But let us move from the abstract to a little closer to home.

What goes around, comes around

Modern societies have divorced themselves so much from nature and its cycles that we have become unaware of them. The transition from life on the land to urban dwelling has meant much of the population becoming separated from nature still further. 

Even the changes of the seasons can be largely mitigated into an outward distraction or inconvenience due to our climate-controlled buildings and transport between them. Outside of strong physical exertion, how many of us are even aware of our own breath? Many of my female clients are not particularly connected even with their own menstrual cycles (and often suffer for it) either through a general disconnection from their body’s cycles or having it masked from them through the use of hormone-based pregnancy prevention.

In traditional Chinese medicine it is, appropriately enough, the Earth element that rules over the cycles in the body: 

•  The diurnal cycle governing sleep patterns

•  Menstrual cycles and hormonal balance

•  The cycles of homeostasis balancing blood sugar, blood pressure, body temperature, appetite and alertness

© Jeremy Halpin
(Phase/Element categories not shown)

Of course we can choose to ignore these inward and outward cycles but when they come around again we probably won’t like the dis-eased harvest we reap.

 

Fortunately, what goes around can also come back around in better shape than it left. In the healing process there is often a cyclic, healing spiral at work. 

Touching the Invisible – Exploring the way of shiatsu: Chris McAllister, Jan Nevelius and Jeremy Halpin

This is where the first symptoms to resolve are those at the periphery. For example, a person may present with, say, lower back pain. The first things to improve may be related but peripheral issues such as sleep, energy and mood. As treatment progresses, the central issue can be confronted more clearly. 

Entropy, syntropy and energy management

In human law, ”Ignorance of the law is no excuse or defence in breaking it.” It is our duty to be aware of the law. Cosmic Law takes this one step further: ”Ignorance is the crime.” It is the disease whose only cure is enlightenment.

Drew Brophy: A life well lived

The peril of ignorance regarding cycles is that we treat the world as a linear pipeline of infinite resources that will run forever. The Principle of Cycles addresses this:

”Entropy/Syntropy:

Entropy is the amount of chaos, or the loss of energy in a system. Syntropy can be explained as the amount of order or, the ability to retain energy.”

So how might we retain energy then? Why, cycle it back into the system through energy management of course:

”The output of one part, section, or system is the input of another. The further this principle is repeated, the more energy is recycled and entropy is reduced.”

Entropy only occurs in a closed system with energy moving only in one direction: towards dissipation. It does not have to be that way. Here are a few trend reversing examples:

•  Poly-culture vs mono-culture farming. Where mono-culture farming depletes the soil and requires massive amounts of ”assistance” in the form of artificial fertilizers and toxic chemical pesticides that in turn, deplete and toxify the soil, poly-culture methods supports greater diversity, resilience, sequesters more carbon and often works as natural pest deterrents, reducing or eliminating the need for pesticides.

•  Re-wilding and the ”80-20 system”. This is worth a whole discussion in itself but for now we can say that the entropic trend can be largely reversed by allowing the vast majority of land to become, once again, wild reserves. Paradoxically perhaps, this actually increases effective agricultural yields while contributing to the biodiversity of plant and animal life.

•  Production cycles that have recycling in mind from the beginning of the process. This builds syntropy into the system from the beginning rather than as a token, poorly executed afterthought. 

The beauty of truth and the truth of beauty

Despite endless propaganda to the contrary, our world does not need to descend into an ugly, urban, apocalyptic landscape. Quite the contrary, we are ”hardwired” to understand the beautiful truth:

“The ability to observe and recognize order and functionality is encoded into DNA and decoded as beauty. When a pattern has resonant functionality, harmony emerges between the frequencies of the observer and the observed and beauty is experienced.”

As above, so below. As within, so without

The Principle of Cycles offers more than just, well, a cycle. It spans the recurring patterns of the fractal nature of our inward and outward universe:

 

Microscopic view of neural tissue versus a galaxy light years wide

”The universe is composed of fractals which are recurring patterns that are self-similar across scale. The information of the macro level cycles have a proportional relationship to the micro and vice versa.”

This is a cause for hope in our relationship with nature. Every successful formula we discover at one level will have a very good chance of succeeding at others. We won’t have to reinvent the wheel, then. We just need to understand its cycles.

For a more wide-reaching look at these Universal Principles, go to  www.ufhd.ca )

 




© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

The Principle of Dynamics

 

 

 

 

 


“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

As life slowly but surely emerges from its winter slumber in the Northern hemisphere and picks up the pace for new life in Springtime, we suitably embark upon another Universal Principle underpinning and sustaining life: The Principle of Dynamics. Let’s set this in motion then with it’s first aspect:

 

”The universe is in a constant state of flux. The only constant is change.”

 

In case one has been living under a rock on Mars this past year, we will certainly be aware of flux. It has also made us acutely focused on the need for change. Last Thursday, the 22nd of April, was Earth Day. One feature of it was the frustration and protests around the world about the stubborn denial and inaction on climate change by most governments.

 

©️New York Times

Of course, anger is really just the clothes that powerlessness wears. We saw in part one of the series, The Principle of Unity (click here if you missed it) that most of us have a split of cognitive dissonance when it comes to ”saving the planet”.

 

If we continue to destroy our own microbiome by supporting and consuming the products from the industrial farming of plants and animals; by filling the hole of disempowerment and low self esteem through consuming products we don’t need with money we don’t have; by simply ignoring the split inside ourselves that has allowed us to be numbed into distraction, inaction or indifference – then we have unwittingly become part of the problem we feel angry and powerless about.

 

We are, instinctively at least, aware of the Principle of Dynamics. We know deep inside ourselves that things need to change. If they do not, stagnation sets in – which leads us to to another aspect of the Principle of Dynamics:

 

”Stagnation leads to disease or dysfunction.”

 

To understand this at a more directly personal level, let us zoom in for a moment to the microcosm of the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, health is defined as ”the free flow of Chi”. Dis-ease then, is some hindering or stagnation of that energy flow.

 

We have all experienced some form of this at one time or another. Everything from and overly full stomach; to constipation; laboured breathing in colds and flu; numb legs from sitting in one position too long; all the way to blood clots, strokes, heart attacks and cancerous tumours. When flow slows or stops, even for a short time, we feel our very life force is threatened.

 

Ley Lady Ley: the dynamic meridians of Mother Earth

 

Our bodies are made in the likeness of where they come from – the earth. They are the material ”space suits” that enable us to experience life on this planet. As we saw in the Principle of Return (click here) they are really just borrowed and will eventualy be returned back to her.

 

The meridian flows through the body also flow through the body of the planet. These points and lines have variously been referred to as ”power grids”, ley lines, ”the crystaline network”, sacred sites or places emitting ”positive green” (1). Our collective practices have put enormous strain on this meridian system flow too.

 

 

Roll with the changes

 

So much for the diagnosis of the problem. What hints might the Principle of Dynamics give us regarding a solution?

 

”The easier it is for each part of a system (and the system as a whole) to adapt to change, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.”

 

 

It seems to be part of our ongoing cognitive dissonance that, despite knowing that everything is changing and will change again in the future, our first reaction is often fear and resistance.

 

 

The Principle of Dynamics encourages us to embrace change instead. Every individual’s ability to adapt to change also creates opportunities for everyone else. We have had an ”interesting” year in terms of change. Strangely though, as we overcome shock and fear and embrace our situation, new ways of seeing and doing things have emerged. Here are a few examples:

 

Being isolated at home has, paradoxically, caused us to become more globally connected – anyone who experienced their first Zoom meeting in the last year raise your hand; not working for a while has helped us reasess how we would really like to work in the future; for some urban dwellers, drasitically reduced traffic has meant the return of wildlife not seen for decades or, as the smog clears, views not seen from inside the city for years.

 

Playing nice

 

 

The Principle of Dynamics also shows how we can work together for mutual benifit. We don’t need the sand box tantrums and opposition. If we play nice, we benefit twice. We may even be overlooking the benefits of our seeming opposition to one another. Over to you again, Principle of Dynamics:

 

“Self-regulationg & self-organizing: Cooperation exists at every level, and even when it appears as competition or opposition, a greater harmony is at play. Conflict at one layer of the web is, in fact, a stabilizing factor towards harmony when viewed from another vantage point.”

 

Nature has always known this but for us newcomers it is this: We really need each other. “It takes all types to make a world.” as the saying goes and even if we could control everything to our personal taste, the system would stagnate. Again, nature already knows this. We are still (re)learning it.

 

Under the ground there is some serious networking going on at the mycelial level that would rival any stockmarket floor. Trees who’s branches and leaves stretch into the sunlight deliver sugars and carbohydrates to life at ground level and below. Water can be transported back to trees and plants out of reach. In the meantime, everything that dies on the surface is broken down by our fungi friends and others to sequester carbon once again for the next cycle of life.

 

Like us, nature needs to know what is needed. A healthy diversity and (seeming) opposition always keep things dynamic and updated. This is why the Principle of Dynamics also reminds us to:

 

“Accept Feedback

The ability to accept feedback is essential for a dynamic system to maintain equilibrium. To remain dynamic, a constant interplay between the tension of opposites allows the system as a whole to maintain stability.”

 

We need to listen to a wider range of ideas than just the economic one percent that has disproportionately driven our decision making for too long. It is not just “…the economy, stupid!”. We need to look at all the dynamics at play.

 

©Tom Toro

How ‘rich’ are we in?…:

 

  • Fresh drinking water
  • Food availability and distribution for everyone. Forget Covid for a moment – more than 7 million people needlessly die of stavation every year and we already have the ‘vaccine’ for that
  • Clean soil and organically grown foods with plural culture farming that remove the need for toxic and expensive chemical additives
  • Education – particularly when it comes to understanding the natural systems of the world in which we live and how to work in harmony with them 
  • Energy production that does not pollute or drain existing resources

None of the above are far-away ‘pipe dreams’. They do however take a certain level of conscious will and choice to act. Like the dynamic systems of nature, we do not need to see all possible outcomes in order to begin. We just need to work together. With that in mind, we leave you this week with a final word from the Principle of Dynamics:

 

“Even if it is unclear of the immediate purpose of something, the process of evolution remains clear…evolution is co-creation.”

 

(For a more wide reaching look at these Universal Principles, go to www.ufhd.ca)

 


[1] This term references the “Biogeometry” work of Ibrahim Karim discussed in his book “Back to the Future for Mankind”. www.biogeometry.com


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Principle of Return

 



” Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

 – Joni Mitchell

 

Last week, we began a series based on 7 Universal Principles that sustain life. (click here if you missed it ) Of course this applies as much to the microcosm of the human body as it does to the macrocosm of nature. As we saw last week, these are really two sides of the same unity. This week, we look at the Principle of Return.

 

” Nothing should come at a debt. For a system to grow and accrue wealth, it must create value, not loss; this is a prerequisite for growth and ultimately, regeneration.”

 

 

It may seem obvious that if we take more than we create we fall into debt. In times of surplus however, that may not seem so obvious. Much like going on a spending spree with a debit card while our bank account is healthy it can seem – for a while – that the party can last forever.

 

The rise of globalism has meant that the hidden cost of our wild and wicked ways is often kept out of sight. The bank account in this metaphor is the ravaging of ecosystems in countries far away – not to mention the toll of human and animal misery involved as well.

 

Hey, big spender!

 

We also saw last week how one consequence of the bottomless pit of low self-esteem was an addictive consumerism to fill that emptiness. The itch for a dopamine fix to relieve our over stressed survival response meant we kept returning to the temporary anticipation, excitement and relief of the next big thing.

 

 

For every up there is down however. The post-purchase dip that inevitably follows the thrill of the chase has a name: morphic dissonance. This is well known to sellers of big-ticket items so they endeavour to let you down easy by follow up contacts, small gifts or incentives and encouragements to assure you that you have done the right thing with the money you have just parted with.

 

Unlike morphic resonance, which demonstrates connection,   morphic dissonance creates separation and isolation. It is a kind of grief process for the lost high. So while we can buy a thrill, we just can’t sustain it. It is only a matter of time before the negative spiral of addiction pulls us back in and we do it again.

 

 

The debt-driven road of no return

 

That is the problem with our addictions. Sooner or later, we will find ourselves in debt. One of the central problems with our society and our current economic model in particular, is that it is really based upon debt. The so called ‘returns’ on investments in this leaky, linear model are really based on economic and resource losses for someone and somewhere else.

 

The Economist.com. All rights reserved

Economic figures are somewhat abstract however. Far closer to home is the ecocide happening to the planet. The race for infinite economic growth in a finitely resourced world means that these addicted, aggressive drivers are running out of road. Even worse, they are driving everyone else off a cliff. (for more onthe 3-part series, The Myth of Growth, click here, here and here ).

 

The primary system failure is that this model returns very little back into the system from which it takes so much. This is the poverty mentality of the thief, the confidence trickster and the pirate. It is never enough. Nothing is given back.

 

 

Return to sender

 

It is at this point that we need to grab the wheel and change direction. Which brings us to the next part of the Principle of Return:

 

” All matter and energy is borrowed.

TAKING vs RECEIVING – it is our right as a member of the natural universe to receive from the abundance of nature. Taking what is not given creates a debt that affects the whole system.”

 

Nature is, well, naturally abundant because it knows how to balance the books. It knows that if it does not constantly return and reinvest energy back into the system right down to the lowest levels, it will dissipate into entropy.

 

 

Our current Pyramid scheme of an economic model only gives significant reward to the smallest part of the pyramid. In nature, it most resembles a volcano with the deep resources of the earth constantly dissipating as heat out the top.

 

Adam and Eve and the right to receive

 

Of course, like the biblical tale of Adam and Eve this woeful state of affairs only happens when we take what is not given. The abundance of the garden of nature was theirs to enjoy – just like it is for us. We, as part of nature ourselves, have a right to participate and benefit from its abundance. We also have a responsibility to give back because we know that all that we receive is really borrowed.

 

When we understand that who we are stealing from is ourselves, we can relax our poverty mindset, stop taking and start receiving and returning.

 

 

It took a long time for us to realize we would not just sail over the edge of a flat earth[i]that it was really a sphere returning upon itself. It is taking us a long time too to realize that unless we return what we borrow we cannot sustain life.

 

Returning to the body

 

Zooming this perspective down to the microcosmic level of the body and health, how does this all apply to us as individuals? We also have deep resources that need to be managed wisely. In traditional Chinese medicine, this comes under the control of the Water element. (for a more detailed view of the Water element click here )

 

The Water element rules over the deep reserves of the body: the bones, the bone marrow (and indirectly, the blood) and the central nervous system, as well as the reproductive system. It shows itself in the lustre of our hair and the gleam in our eyes. In some ways it can be seen as the battery pack of the body.

 

Like all shiny, new batteries we are freshly charged in our youth. We have a spring in our step, a curiosity and lust for life and an ability to quickly recover from illness and injury as our energy returns quickly. Depending upon how we manage this energy throughout our life will determine its quality and possibly even its length.

 

Universal International, 1958

The primary reason old age is linked with reduced capacity and disease is simply because we have had longer to accumulate the harvest of our poor health habits. Our “Live fast and die young” culture – you may remember from part one of this series that culture is not really your friend – mirrors the way we have treated our planet at the macro level: “Take everything now. Don’t worry about tomorrow.”

 

The Water element is not just a one-way street of a battery running out however. By returning energy to it via the Earth element (controlling our intake of food and drink); proper rest; low stress levels due to prioritizing a life of meaning and purpose rather than a fool’s gold of economic ‘security’; a connection to something greater than ourselves that, in turn, connects us with others.  Our connection to others, in return, makes both us and them stronger.

 

That is it for this for this week but the Universal Principles will, err, return next week as we continue   our investigations into all that sustains life.

 

 

(For a more wide reaching look at these Universal Principles, go to www.ufhd.ca)

 


[i] Well, OK, some of us still haven’t realized that…


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

 

The Principle of Unity in Health

 


 

 

“Upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.”

       Alexander the Great

 

What we are going to look at in this series are a sequence of universal, holistic principles as they apply to the microcosm of human health and wellbeing. Of course, we would not be truly holistic without also looking at their relationship to the macrocosm of our world.

 

We do not exist in isolation of course – even if it has felt that way sometimes. In fact, if the isolation and interruption of ‘business as usual’ during last year has shown us anything, it is how much we affect the world and how the world affects us.

 

 

 

Let us begin by breaking down this first principle, the principle of Unity.

 

 

” Everything is interconnected and interdependent, and as such has purpose, functionality, and a reason to be…To exist is to have value in and of itself.”

 

 

Ponder that for a second. You are here. You exist. The very fact of your existence means you have a purpose, functionality, and a reason to be. Your being has value in and of itself. So why hard is that to feel sometimes?

 

 

Self-esteem -”The thing behind the thing”

 

Probably the biggest (and best hidden) cause of physical and psychological disease is the ’enemy’ within: low self-esteem. It is the software driver behind the self-attack of auto-immune disease and the deadly inflammatory responses they create.

 

 

While inflammatory-based diseases are rightly targeted in medicine as the cause behind the biggest killers (cardio-vascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, among others), what causes them? The plethora of gut bacteria destroying chemicals, sugar, gluten and poor quality, overly processed components in food? The food itself coming from exhausted, chemically toxic soils – or, for that matter, exhausted, chemically toxic animals? Pollutants from the air? Mercury, plastics and deadly radiation in food from the sea?

 

The easy answer is” Yes” to all of the above. Then again, no one is holding a gun to our head to make us consume those products or support those industries that hurt both us and the planet. There must be a driver behind this – the “thing behind the thing”.

 

We know how we feel when we abuse ourselves with food and drink that we know is not good for us. There is now more than enough evidence to link these habits with inflammatory states and all the misery and disease that brings in both the short and long term. As the saying goes, “Most suicides are committed with a knife and fork.” So why do we do it?

 

 

“Killing me softly” – the human misery of low self esteem

 

(c) Church of Misery

 

Self-esteem is most commonly linked with self-worth. While that is true as far as it goes, it is really only the tip of the iceberg. What everyone has in common is the need to give and receive love. What makes us weird, wild, wonderful and different are two things:   

 

1. The form or ‘template’ of love we are taught

2. The way we go about giving and receiving love based on that template

 

In an ideal world, we are loved for simply being. That is, our very existence is worthy of love. It is this acceptance and love for just being that builds self-esteem. Happy and care free in our world we are only concerned with being, well, ourselves. We exist. We are enough.

 

But what if something comes along and interrupts this download? What if, for example, we are taught that life is a competition with others? What if we learn that we are only worthy of receiving love if we do what others expect of us but not if we don’t? 

 

If we repeat these patterns often enough there will come a time when we are asked (or ask our self) what we want. To our disturbing surprise, we may simply find we no longer know. So, we look outward into the world to fill our emptiness.

 

From this state of psychological poverty and malnutrition we become ripe targets for diversion and addiction: Addiction to success and “winning”; addiction to “buying stuff to feel enough”; addiction to the endless “weapons of mass distraction” (social media, television, entertainment ) that disconnects us from Self and nature. Speaking of nature, these enculturated programs have ramifications for our planet as well. More on that a little later.

 

 

Culture is not your friend and you are not your “character”

 

Culture – or more accurately put, our enculturation – is the collective programming that divides and conquers the unity with Self and the natural (and supernatural) world. Cultural values by definition are not universal. They are purely relative to a socio-economic, political, moral and religious time and place. As such they change with time and place. Their ‘truths’ can only ever be relative ones.

 

 

The enculturation process is the creation and reinforcement of our character role and story – as scripted by the culture we are in. It does not allow for much deviation from that story. If we stray too far from a culture’s values we are forced back into line through criticism, shame or punishment.

 

 

The separation from unity and the longing for lost connection

 

Now we come to the deeper meaning of low self-esteem and its effect on micro and macro-cosmic health. Unlike many insects, birds, animals and sea creatures, a human baby cannot survive unattended for long. Abandonment means death.

 

If we have learned familial, social and cultural programs we can be easily controlled by the threat of abandonment. They are all forms of conditional love. Unless we have had enlightened parents and grown up in an enlightened society, we have learned the existential terror of love withdrawn.

 

 

We usually go on to act out these patterns in our own relationships as well. We learn from the roots of our beginnings that we cannot depend upon love being there all the time. It is at this point that we shut our Self down and act out through our culturally reinforced characters in an endless outward search for love’s existential confirmation.

 

Looking for love in all the wrong places

 

 

“The next thing/relationship/purchase…is going to give me what I need to feel whole.” When we suffer from barely repressed existential terror, we generate a lot of stress. The hormones and neuro-transmitters of stress paralyse our rational thought, age us before our time, lower our immunity and provide the kindling for inflammatory states in the body.

 

When we do not feel enough, we create, reinforce and promote an image of ourselves to others – as if we are a product or ‘brand’ to be sold for the best price. One that is more highly valued by our cultural tribe and can therefore keep us safe from rejection, abandonment and ‘death’.  

 

 

A desperate person will grab at any promise of saviour. This desperation splits us from ourselves. It is the very opposite of the Universal principle of Unity.

 

 

Me/We

 

This is why the Principle of Unity also states:

 

“Every connection in the web that is disconnected, removes a set of possibilities. This often directly translates into a loss of health, on the macro and micro levels.”

 

When we separate from our Self and retreat into our enculturated character we become dis-eased. That in turn removes a set of possibilities for us to work in harmony with the natural systems, which harms their health as well. We cannot help but harm the planet in the same way we have harmed ourselves.

 

This is how we find ourselves split into cognitive dissonance about our planet today: On the one hand we see the ecocide going on and wish we could help. On the other we have split ourselves both within and from nature making us part of the problem.

 

The saying: “If you want to change the world, change yourself” applies to healing too.

 

If we want to heal the planet, we need to heal ourselves. They are mirror images of the same unity.

 

 

Until we unify  ourselves from within. Until we can let go of our encultured character’s image and its endless, consumptive neediness. Until we reunite with our Self, we cannot heal or heal the planet. This is the personal message given to us by the Principle of Unity.

 

 

(For a more wide reaching look at these Universal Principles, go to www.ufhd.ca)


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

 

Fearful Times: the Shadow and Love

”We are kings of bliss, begging for misery.”

-Nick Mulvey

In the Chinese philosophical sense, we are indeed experiencing ’interesting times’. From a Conscious Health perspective, it gets even more interesting. 

Death 

Walters Art Museum

Normally a politely sanitized subject, death has literally been pushed to the front page of every news media. Even opening a seemingly unrelated weather app presents us with the current infection statistics – even when we were not asking the app for that information. 

All this pushes us to confront a subject that has been repressed. What we repress – that is, refuse to look at – finds inventive ways of attracting our attention. More on this shortly.

Fear and Control

”Fear is the mind-killer.” This quote from the science fiction story, Dune, illustrates the paralyzing effects of fear. Fear also closes the heart – both intuitively and emotionally as well as physically.

Firstly, we lose our connection to our inner voice. This means we stop using our common sense. At a deeper level we stop listening to our innate wisdom, our capability to look behind the outward appearance of things and feel what resonates with our heart’s truth.

Secondly, at a physical level, fear causes a ramping up of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases the heart rate while cortisol contracts the heart muscle. Imagine trying to accelerate in your car while steadily engaging the handbrake.

While in acute, fight/flight situations, this increase in blood pressure and alertness creates so-called ’peak arousal’ states for intense action, it is detrimental when sustained over longer periods of time. We most commonly know it as ’stress’. More serious eventualities can be conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, burnout syndrome and serious physical diseases.

© theawesomer.com

At a mental level, fear reduces our ability to focus and concentrate, diminishing our trust in our capacity to cope.  At this point we may become very vulnerable to looking to anyone but ourselves for guidance and leadership. Of course this is why fear has so often been used as a tool of tyranny. In fear and chaos the collective looks to a ’strong’ leader. Ironically it is usually those same leaders causing the fear and chaos. At this point we have given away our control while giving others permission to control us. 

This is where our repressed, fear-based relationship to death comes in. News media has long known that ”If it bleeds it leads.” The promotion of fear will get the greatest reaction and engagement and makes us ever more dependent on each new bulletin.

Addiction to Fear

When it comes to the hormones of fear in our body, we are both the dealer and the addict. We can quickly become dependent on the exciting ’kick’ of fear and unconsciously become attracted to it. After all, there is no chemical difference between fear and excitement. 

This is why bad news and titilating gossip spread so fast. It is the same reason people slow down to gawk at a grizzly car crash or watch violent or frightening movies.

Once we understand that fear states are potentially addictive and we are unwittingly participating in spreading it and infecting others we can begin to make the choice to change.

Fear and Projection

We need to look at fear in a new way. If we can begin to see fear as merely parts of us not yet recognised, remembered and re-integrated back into ourselves we can work with it in a conscious way. 

The liberation of Saint Peter from prison by Giovanni Lanfranco

Our personal evolution progresses as we bring the unconscious parts of ourselves back into the light of consciousness. You may have heard of this unconscious, alienated part of us under another name: the shadow.

Let us take a moment to look at things from the shadow’s perspective. We may have several ’no-go’ areas of our consciousness that we have shut out. Maybe this was due to childhood trauma, violence (either physical or emotional) or other causes that have frozen our heart to that aspect of ourselves. We have judged ourselves and it has become too traumatic, scary or difficult to look at or confront – let alone love and re-member it back into consciousness like the lost soul fragment of us that it is.

Alternatively, our ever alert ego, in its role of protecting us from threats (after all, that is how it keeps itself in a job) may create a compensating fantasy and tell us that we are fine but it is other people’s shadows that are a threat to us. 

From the insert point till 31.29 is more than enough unless you feel like watching the whole video

In its projected form, our shadow is seen as an ’entity’ in someone else that presents a threat to our own, unconscious, unresolved shadow. Many old religions, practices and medicines along with modern day projections have this world view. Such a view distorts this unresolved shadow and gives it many other names like the devil, demons, entities, satanic forces, the dark side and so on.

When we project these fantasies outside of us they become apocalyptic-themed movies, video games, secret societies and conspiracies out to do us harm. What they really represent is our collective, undigested cellular density we call the shadow.

From fear into love – a new way of being

From a spiritual point of view, the world we see around us is a three-dimensional one. In this context that means its main feature is the play (and sometimes war) of opposites (light vs. dark; good vs. evil; right vs. wrong) mediated through emotion. In this plane, there appears to be many contradictions and life can seem unfair as we ride the rollercoaster of emotion between the polarities.

The symbol of Yin/Yang, sometimes called ’post Heaven’ is a  model of the laws of three-dimensional existence our body inhabits. It does not describe us however.

There are other dimensions of consciousness however. These might be seen as different playgrounds where other rules apply. Fifth dimensional consciousness for example has, as its dominant feature, unconditional love. It is a frequency of consciousness that is very healing for us. It teaches us love, acceptance and forgiveness – even (or perhaps, especially) when we cannot forgive ourselves.

When it comes to fear the only way out or through is love. Where love exists, fear cannot. Even if we cannot love or accept something we can at least love the part of us that cannot yet love or accept it. This is how we heal ourselves.

Love is the real cure for the fear of death as well. The Latin word for love, ‘amor’ would read as ‘amort’. Literally translated, this means love is the negation of death (‘mort’) and therefore the fear of it as well.

Making peace with fear

I remember an interpretation by a teacher (thanks Keith) for someone who had experienced a nightmare of sorts only to awake with a dark being lying on her body. In some spiritual schools these may have been interpreted as ’entities’ – that is dark energies that may have bonded with us or even been sent by others.

His answer was impressively different and compassionate. He described such creatures as parts of ourselves that have been so traumatised and pushed away from recognition, love and acceptance that they can sometimes appear to us in such a form. 

Imagine for a moment, the perspective of our greater consciousness. It sees how we have been traumatised and split by fear and suffering. What can it do to remedy this sad state of affairs? It can send out an ’actor’ to play the role of this wounded part of ourselves. We however, keep getting lost in fear and reject it time and time again, sending it back out into the desert of our unconscious – at least until it can find another trigger to try again.

This actor just wants to complete its role and return home to us to be accepted, forgiven, loved and reintegrated back into our consciousness. Then it can release its hideous costume and merge with us once again for a well-earned rest in the arms of love. 

Now that’s not so scary, is it?

The choice to love and be happy

Situations do not determine happiness. Happiness is a choice we make moment to moment. That means our choice to be in fear is too.

But here’s the thing. It is not a fair fight. As crippling as fear seems to be, it is defenseless against the choice to love. Fear only has a good marketing department. It can only try to convince us that something is hopeless. While it can sometimes be quite convincing, it lacks the substance to deliver without us saying yes to it.

In the same way that we cannot ’turn on the dark’ only the light, the only true thing we can experience in this confusing three-dimensional playground is the love and light that we are. Accept no substitutes, calmly refuse all threats and bribes.

Choose love.

Choose love.

Choose love.

There is nothing to fear.


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

Perspectives: The Programmed Mind Pt.2 – The Vessel of Light



“What if I’m in charge of my own damn light switch?”

– Jandy Nelson

Some time ago I was in the beautiful country of Zimbabwe. I  was there to study and work with plant medicines. It is a country that respects the ceremony and serious work with plant medicines and the healing they can bring about. (More on these later). 

While I was not on the medicine that day, I was called into the ceremony of a medicine woman who was. She had – or rather, the medicine working through her – had a message for me. Paraphrased it went something like this:

”We are nothing. We have to be a vessel. Nothing of us, not our personality, our sympathy or compassion, our opinions or judgement can remain. Only light. When we are light, nothing can stick to us, nothing can gain a foothold in us.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone in this clear state of consciousness has a message for us, it is highly advisable we listen, even if we do not yet understand all the ramifications of such a gift.

The tangled web we weave

At War with Self. All rights reserved.

In part one (click here if you missed it), we looked at some of the myriad of ways we can be led on a merry dance by the mental programs that feed on our light and energy. 

Since that blog I have received interesting feedback about how this phenomenon is known to many spiritual traditions (thanks Keith). It goes by other names such as ”’e’epa” by the Hawaian kahuna shamen; ”wetiko” by author Paul Levy (taken from North American Indian traditions) and ”Archons” in the Gnostic tradition. They may sometimes even be referred to as ”entities” and, in their extreme form of enslavement, ”demons” of the mind that can completely overtake our psyche and physical actions. They are  undoubtedly known by other names in other traditions.

In any case, we do not live in a bubble and are constantly interacting with others who are entangled in mental programs of their own. Let us first look at some more of those.

Families: Dr. Hellinger, a psychologist is the founder of ’Hellinger work’, better known as Family Constellations. It examines the phenomenon of how we inherit more than our ancenstors DNA. At an energy/consciousness level we also inherit the wounds and traumas, negative programs and unresolved issues of our family line. This is then played out in his workshops, using members of the group to represent members of our family – living or dead. 

It is truly astounding how messages can be delivered via this process through people who know nothing of our history but nevertheless ’channel’ highly relevant information about how the knots in a family web were created. A skilled facilitator can work with these symbolic representations of our family to reprogram some of these dysfunctional behaviors to break the chain of suffering and victimhood.

Jacopo da Empoli 16th century National museum of Warsaw

So let us now look at a few of those family programs:

 Parents: 

Our parents are usually our first programmers as well. We might spare them a compassionate thought though. After all, they just didn’t read the parenting manual they never received.*

”Wait till your father gets home!” ”Don’t do that, it would break your mother’s heart.” ”Be a good girl/boy.” ”Do as your told!” ”Never show weakness.” ”Stop crying.” ”Don’t be a burden.” ”Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?” And of course there are many more.

Probably the most damaging program our early care-givers can give us is to abuse us in some way and then tell us it is because they love us. In an odd way they are telling the truth because everything begins as love. It just gets screwed up along the way.

It is the responsibility of each generation to resolve these patterns in themselves lest they pass them on to the next generation and it becomes their problems

We must break the cycle of misery, mistakes and the suffering these inherited programs cause.

Friends and lovers: There is a Greek saying: ”Friends are the gifts we give ourselves.” In part one, caution was advised in choosing the company we keep. What attracts us to certain people may not be the attraction of love or true friendship at all however.

It may merely be the pattern-recognition of our programs that see a chance to amplify a certain negative pattern through another person (for my blog focusing upon on this particular subject click here)

Here are some methods to check whether we are with true friends or partners.

•  Does being with them make us feel good about ourselves?

•  Do we feel energized or drained after being in their company?

•  Do we inspire each other to our greatest good or do we reinforce each others negativity and cyncicism about the world through complaining, criticism and indulging problems but not solutions?

•  Do we feel we must limit or edit ourselves to avoid conflict?

•  Are we made to feel inadequate or not quite good enough for them?

•  Do we indulge in emotional blackmail to stop them from disengaging from us – or do we allow them to do that to us?

If any of the above feels familiar to us then we are enmeshed in the program-recognition of parasitic ‘software ‘ posing as love or attraction. Such relationships are not our true friends or partners. How could they be when they have not managed to even recognize that they themselves are lost in the tricky program-ridden labyrinth of their mind?

The merchants of misery

Some time ago, I witnessed two middle-aged women greet each other. One came limping with a walking stick while the other could only raise herself with difficulty up from her chair to greet her. 

The conversation almost immediately turned to their many and varied health issues, each complaining or making the appropriate sympathetic noises when the other was listing their litany of misery. Over the course of this short encounter I noticed their already weakened state became visibly weaker as their bodies reacted in turn to the mutual reinforcement of their misery programs. 

© Doug Savage

Surprisingly, there was also a gleeful pride behind their stories in how they could elicit these shocked or sympathetic responses in the other. They were unashamedly revelling in their tales of woe as if they were mythic figures enduring the world’s hardships in some vainglorious quest. Their strange sense of satisfaction came from having their identification as sufferers confirmed by each other.

The same patterns can be seen in those that are under the grip of addiction (and the self pity/indulgence cycles that accompany that) but never change their ways. If we stay around them we risk being dragged into their destructive patterns.

We would do well to avoid people that actively reinforce these programs and try to spread them to others. Such individuals have no interest in real change. Their mental programs are merely looking to feed. Politely decline to be another energy source for them and disengage as soon as possible.

The beauty trap

The obsession with youth and the hopeless quest to ”Stay young and beautiful” is another program that feeds on and amplifies our neurosis and anxiety. It is often part of the greater cultural programs we discussed in part one.

Billions of dollars are extracted every year from anxious people brainwashed by the beauty illusion and willing to pay for a chance to fool noone that they are aging.

This impossible task was memorably summed up by model Cindy Crawford. When told by an interviewer: ”Millions of women around the world wish they looked like Cindy Crawford.” she replied: ”Yes, so do I.”

The beauty illusion is merely a symptom of the ”I am not enough.” program. It is only when we become more accepting of ourselves and more comfortable in our own skin that true attractiveness shines for everyone to see. 

”Without you, I’m nothing”

This was the title of a stage show and subsequent film by performer Sandra Bernhard that covered a range of topics about the difficulties of relationships and the human condition in general. It is really a phrase that comes from low self-esteem – that base energy-sucking program responsible for so many dramas, tradgedies and comedies.

In relationships, it takes the form of co-dependency (for more on that topic click here: Codependency sometimes looks like love in some respects but it lacks something love does not: self respect and self love.

If we cannot love and respect ourselves (because we have allowed mental programs to tell us otherwise while they feed on our light) it will be impossible for us to truly receive love from others. Why? Because we cannot see what is not yet conscious in us. 

On the contrary, we may very well reject or sabotage real love because we either do not recognize it or cannot accept it. Instead we will find ourselves ”looking for love in all the wrong places” while being constantly disappointed by the poor substitutes that they are. 

So how can we break the chain of these meddlesome programs that prey on our light?

Become the love and light of truth we are looking for

This is the only cure for this kind of parasitic infestation. We literally have to en-lighten ourselves. That is, consciously reclaim our light as our own. Accept no substitutes. Make no deals. Do not entertain any gray zones or exceptions.

Strategies for a program-free life

Make a conscious effort to be aware when we are being taken out of our heart and back into the mind that is always jumping between sentimentality about the past and anxiety about the future.

Establish a daily ritual of gratitude. By practicing gratitude we become more aware of and reinforce the light we already have in our life. Gradually, we find more and more things to be grateful for and attract and create what we truly need.

Develop quiet periods away from electronic and work stimulations by practicing meditation

Do an inventory of all our relationships to others –  friends, family, partners, work colleagues. It may be painful or difficult but we need to weed out those dysfunctional relationships. They may have served a purpose in the past but they will not take us (or them) further by indulging them.

”A sound mind in a sound body”: Clean up dietary indulgences, avoid stimulants and chemicals in food. Develop a gentle system of regular exercise that appeals to you. This will help guarantee you make it part of your life.

Prevention is better than cure. Get regular treatments like bodywork, healing, acupuncture, sound baths, water and spa cures and the like before we develop health issues.

Get in contact with nature as often as possible. It can be as simple as a barefoot walk on the grass to hiking, spending time with the tress in the forest, swimming, surfing and mountain climbing.

If you feel called, investigate plant medicines with experienced guides in a ceremonial setting. Here is a (very) quick primer about some of the main ones used for inner work and healing:

Cacao: The bitter, pure chocolate drink with a sweet aftertaste that softens and opens the heart to be more receptive to our inner voice. 

Hapé: A mix of organic tobacco, medicinal and sacred plants that is used to alleviate discomfort in the body, focusing our intention and receiving messages from within.

San Pedro: A cactus preparation that amplifies truth, empathy and compassion. It is also a healer of the body.

Ayahuasca: A combination of sacred plants that can put us in contact with pure consciousness to reveal truth about ourselves.

Iboga: The bark from the roots of a West African tree. It’s  message is the truth that resides in the body itself independant of the deceptive mind. 

The vessel of light

© Alex Grey 2006

The reality is:

The very idea of ’self’ has to die

It is not real. It is just a story we have told ourselves to create a false and ineffective protection against our endless anxiety created by programs that are not us.

We have to get out of the way of this created self image and its endless justifications to become our true self. Our true Self is nothing less than light, love and peace. It is beyond being happy or unhappy. 

It is a state of self-less equilibrium

In this state we are the calm eye in the storm of programmed ’reality’ that roars around us yet we are not touched by it. It can no longer stick to us because we don’t indulge it and give it a foothold back into our life.

That doesn’t mean it won’t try. After all, the mind is trying to mess with us 24/7. To put it bluntly, we just have to have to remember ”It’s not my shit.” and leave it at that.

To be a vessel does not mean we become an unfeeling robot. It is the realization and practice of non-attachment. Non-attachment to drama and suffering. 

Only then are we free to truly love as we no longer have any imposed conditions on that love. We also no longer need to fantasise about love. We are love. We are enlightened because our vessel is open to the light that is always there. 

We are at peace.


*To prospective parents, this is something you may want to consider and investigate before having children.



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

Perspectives: The Programmed Mind


“We are kings of bliss, begging for misery.”

-Nick Mulvey

We come into this world from light, love and the peace that they contain, nothing else. That is also all we exit with, nothing else. It is our responsibility to be vigilant in making sure nothing is allowed to come between that and us.


Along the duration of our life any disturbance to that peace is what we allow to enter.

This suffering and misery is not us however – although we can make it seem so by nurturing it and weaving it into the story of ourselves.

Once inside us and left unchecked, such disturbances can become so ingrained that we can no longer tell what is us from what is this viral, replicating ’program’ that thinks in our voice most of the time. We nurture it to the point it becomes part of our identity. ”Well, that’s just who I am. That’s just the way it is.” Ahh, but don’t you believe them…

What is a program? 

Programs are mental parasites – often leading to physical health consequences as well. Their purpose is to feed on our light. They disempower us, make us forget who we truly are and may even convince us that everything is futile and inevitable. They depress our joy and make us cynical, fearful and depressed. At the physical level they can age us before our time, making us weak and sick.

It may seem very much like we have been under some kind of sinister spell. Once we become aware of them however it is the beginning of a true life change.


The tricky thing about programs is that they have no immediately tangible substance. We cannot see, touch, taste or feel them in the tactile sense. We can however, experience the results of their directives. Like wind in a wheat field, we may not be able to see the wind itself but we can see how the wheat reacts to it.

If we do not pay attention and dis-identify from them they can drain the life force from us. And that is the real damage – what we do to ourselves while trying to avoid, ignore or repress them.

We will drain ourselves in endless compensatory activities, compulsions, addictions and neurotic behavior, all to avoid the anxiety these programs generate in us.

It is their ability to convince us to harm ourselves in subtle and not so subtle ways that makes them so destructive.

Let us now take a look at some of these programs to understand them a little better.

Cultural programs and the super-ego.

Culture is not our friend. What we call culture is really only an arbitrary set of vaguely shared values and assumptions about what is important in life. Culture and its values are conditioned by time and place and certain socio-cultural economic groups that can include factors like race and nationhood. It is in fact, a super-ego.

NBC News

The personal ego (sometimes confusingly called our self – in lower case) may be defined as the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. It is a program that is constantly striving to bring attention to itself to justify its existence.

It is the babble of the mind, the constant commentary, the anxiety, the problem causer and, conveniently, the offerer of a labyrinth of false solutions to those problems. As long as it is front and centre to the energy of our attention, that’s all that matters to it.

The super-ego is merely the collective version of this. It winds stories around itself in the search for identity, solidity and certainty: ”Ours is the one, true God!” ”My country, right or wrong!” ”The American dream!” ”White supremacy!” ”Black power!” – there are endless examples.

It desparately wants to convince us it is real but it is not. It is a (collective) program. It is also highly subjective. None of these ’values’ are universal.

Perhaps most importantly, cultural programs serve to control individuals and groups with rules based upon these arbitrary values. Feelings like pride, predjudice, guilt, shame, envy and feelings of unworthiness are natural consequences.


A few examples

  • A while ago I read an article in a major newspaper reflecting a typically materialistic approach to life based upon the culture is was in and written for. It outlined the ’problem’ with each decade of adult life. One’s 20’s were supposed to be filled with anxiety about finding direction in life and not ’missing out’ climbing the ladder of acheivement. Apparently, one’s 30’s were overly concerned with the accumulation of debt and responsibility with the expansion of family and material possessions and so on. Finally, it only reached as far as the 70’s, whose major obstacle, in this article’s view, was feelings of morbidity about death(!). It read like a training manual in how to be weighed down and eventually crushed by life, ending by instructing the reader when death was expected of them.
  • A client, 51 years, came to see me in clinic. He was quite overweight, lost most of his hair while the rest was white/grey and even the smallest adjustment to posture elicited puffing and grunting noises due to the apparent effort. He self consciously caught my eye and said: ”Well, of course you have to expect these things after fifty.” My reply was: ”Do you?”

Note how both these examples contain those deceptive, unconscious assumptions that so easily lead us into negative outcomes.

Anxiety programs

pinterest.com

Actually, there are many programs in this category, each contributing to the same result: the entropy of the human spirit and eventually the body along with it. 

Let’s start with an obviouis one. After all, it hides its intent in plain sight: It proudly advertises its ’programs’ right out of the box…

Television

Ahh yes, that tried and true anxiety generator. One never really watches TV to relax – even if we tell ourselves that. When we are not receiving carefully filtered news that almost exclusively features negative stories then we are being ’entertained’ by morbid levels of violence, the sexualisation of everything or merely having precious hours of our life wasted in triviality and banality.

If that wasn’t enough, our viewing habits are being targeted with equally anxiety-generating advertising posing as helpful or caring solutions – to the problems they insist we have! What we are left with are feelings of anxiety about these problems – which is precisely the point.

Media

This includes the many ways we consume it. Mostly it revolves around our connections to the internet – mobile phones, tablets, computers and so called ’smart’ TV’s. Unlike television which is passive, the internet offers the illusion of enpowerment through interaction.

Illustration by Cali Rossi. All rights reserved.

While we think we are making a contribution through watching/reacting/commenting/liking or supporting certain causes, interests or sites we are actually being even more monitored and controlled than with television. The advertising too is even more craftfully tailored to our perceived profile.

It has become all too clear in recent times that we can be manipulated collectively via this medium to serve the interests of others.

So why do we mysteriously spend so much time online then? Two main reasons:

  1. Because it is designed and ever more refined to be addictive.
  2. Because we are trying to distract ourselves from this nameless underlying anxiety that, ironically, we are only fuelling through our internet habit.

That last statement can apply to any of the anxiety/misery programs. Here are a few more of them


  • The promise of comfort and security. Pension and insurance schemes. The effect is to increase our insecurity and focus on ageing and death
  • Consumerism and the lure of the next new thing to complete us. What it really does is reinforce a feeling that we are not enough
  • Pornography – the itch that can never be scratched, guaranteeing return business while numbing our capacity to make intimate connections with others
  • Gaming and gambling – a self destructive, anxiety distraction pattern posing as the escape to the excitement of another reality than our own
  • Alchohol and drugs – the need to be ’comfortably numb’ in the futile and health sabotaging search to be free of our anxiety programs
  • A constant need for affirmation outside of ourselves that can never be quenched. From this root flowers endless self destructive behavior
  • Food obsessions (for more detail about this one click here) – nothing will ever be enough to dampen or satisfy the parasitic program of anxiety
  • Constant economic struggles with spending and debt and a feeling of poverty and fear that we can never overcome

Of course many of the above programs work in tandem by reinforcing and feeding off each other. We can even feed off other’s negative programs. After all, misery loves company and we can bind each other in it. So be mindful of the company you keep.



Illustration by Andrea Wan

Don’t get with the program


The truth is, our original state is happiness, joy, love and peace. Irrespective of changing outward circumstances, our light inside is our right and we must stand up for it and not let anything or anyone distract, corrupt, seduce or bully us into thinking and feeling otherwise.


We do not need to fall for these programs. They are not normal at all. They are not even truly ours unless we agree to them and make them so. So, refuse to put up with them! Grow beyond the search for happiness and the fear of unhappiness and into who you truly are.

When we understand this true state of ourselves then there is no other option. It is neither hard nor easy, it is the recognition of truth and the choice we make from that understanding.

Beyond the matrix

So where do we go when we leave the program? Well, I’m so glad you asked because next time we will be looking at some of the ways we can wake up from this uneasy, hypnotic dream and integrate back into ourselves.

——END PROGRAM—–


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

Working with Intention – a change of heart

 

 

 


“Your intentions are your nonphysical causes that set energy into motion.”

 

Gary Zukav

 


 

 

We are now well into the New Year and perhaps already some of our best intentions, under the guise of New Year resolutions, have already been compromised. Perhaps some of those were regarding our health: to finally ’get into shape’; eat a healthier diet; put aside time for meditation or yoga practice; attend those workshops that had piqued our interest last year but we never quite got around to and so on.

 

 

 

 

Does our failure to follow through on some of these mean that the whole concept of intention as an aid to self development is flawed? How do we gently direct our yearning heart and restless mind towards what we desire to experience? The Conscious Health blog investigates…

 

 

 

”It’s a bum rap I tell ya!”

 

The concept of intention has received an undeserved negative reputation. This is largely thanks to the oft-used quote: ”The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”1 It argues that intention is not enough and must be followed through with consistent action. It also suggests that stated intentions only gives a head start to those who would undermine them. One of those people may even be ourself – but more on that shortly.

 

While it may indeed be a good idea to ”not let the devil know your plans” it does not automatically follow that intentions are useless or even counter-productive. On the contrary…

 

 

”Yi, Chi, Li”

 

This simple, three word statement from Taoism shows the importance of intention. ’Yi’ is our intention, the direction of our mind and heart. ’Chi’ is the energy, effort and gathering of resources to make things happen. ’Li’ is the result.

 

There is therefore a causal connection between our intention and the results we experience. So why don’t we always realize our intentions?

 

 

Conscious vs Unconscious creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several things differentiate the conscious and unconscious (sometimes used interchangeably with ’subconscious’) parts of our mind.

 

  1. Both the conscious and unconscious are creative.
  2. The unconscious is continually trying to become conscious within us. Like the tide continuously rolling in, it wants our consciousness to expand.
  3. Many will experience their unconscious creations as suffering, discomfort or ”Why does this always happen to me?!” moments.

 

This last one is obvious but profound in light of the first two: We are not (yet) conscious of our unconscious side.

 

For example, if we desire to create or attract something in our life with our conscious mind but our unconscious mind has, programmed within it, convictions that we are unworthy or unable to achieve our goal we will (unconsciously) sabotage it.

 

This is because each creation – one from the conscious mind, the other from the unconscious – will cancel each other out. Unless we make this unconscious programming conscious to ourselves it will appear as ’bad luck’, ’poor discipline’ or simply ’not meant to be’.

 

To use a modern metaphor, view the unconscious as our hard disk. In order to change anything on this hard disk we need to transfer it to our desktop which resides in editable, RAM memory – ie, our conscious mind. Once there we can do something about these sabotaging programs because now at least we can see them for what they are: old lines of code that are no longer serving any useful purpose.

 

Illustration by Cali Rossi. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how did they get there in the first place? The usual suspects: Withheld or withdrawn love; conditional love where we only receive attention when we do what others want of us, not for who we are; negative reinforcement where we are punished or humiliated for daring to honor our own integrity and so on.

 

With such a hidden army of saboteurs buried in our creative unconscious is it any wonder we are bamboozled time and again even with the best of conscious intentions.

 

 

The heart of the matter

 

So, we cannot depend only on our tricksy mind to midwife our intentions into reality. We need assistance from the heart. There is a beautiful saying, attributed to the Buddha, that supports us in this: ”The mind has no answers. The heart has no questions.”

 

While the Latin root of intention, ’intentio’ means ”to stretch out with effort and attention”, the Middle English meaning speaks more to the heart: ”Emotions, feeling, heart, mind, understanding”. Effective intention need emotional content, not just mental will.

 

 

 

 

 

Set and setting

 

Both our mindset and the setting we create are vital to potentising our intention and bringing it into conscious creation.

 

Mindset refers to our attitude, centeredness and self knowledge about why we are doing what we are doing, free of interfering, counterproductive thoughts or practices.

 

Setting refers to creating an environment that helps focus and support our heart and mind on our intention. The setting guides and informs our behaviour.

 

For example, for the religiously inclined, temples or cathedrals provide a setting that engenders respect and humility before God. For others, the pulsing beauty and shimmering mystery of nature provides the setting to delve deeper into the Self and connected oneness with all life.

 

The set and setting needs to engage our heart.. While the mind stretches out with earnest intent, it is the heart that receives the message. It is this gentle tension or interplay between a clear mind and a receptive heart that is the stuff of effective intention.

 

 

Make that change

 

Change is decided, not by focusing upon what we do not have and want to possess or experience but rather by letting go of something we already possess and need to let go.

 

In traditional Chinese medicine titles are given to each of the organ systems. The rather grandiose title of ’The Minister of Change and Evolution’ is given to the humble colon. The colon removes waste that has become potentially toxic to our system. Even the nourishing food that was at one time vital for our survival and wellbeing needs to be eventually released so we can move on.

 

The lesson of this is that hanging onto something – a relationship; an idea or ideal; a job; a practice or habit; a belief – just because it was at one time beneficial to us (or at least we thought so at the time) does not mean that we need to keep hanging onto it.

 

On the contrary, letting go of something no longer useful creates the space for something new to arrive. ”Nature hates a vacuum” so those who can transform their lives effectively are those who have become skilled in identifying and letting go of things that no longer serve them.

 

Change never begins ’out there’. It always begins with the Self. To be effective with intention we have to look into the mirror of our Self and be honest.

 

 

 

 

Change within the Self becomes a ripple of change all around us. Mysteriously, by helping ourselves, everything that flows from that transformation positively benefits others.

 

 

What we want vs what we need

 

Sometimes we are disappointed when the fruit of our intentions do not deliver exactly what we wanted. This is where our receptive heart comes in. We need time to digest and feel what exactly has come back to us from our intention – what we really asked for. What we need.

 

It as at these moments we can glimpse our higher Self and how it gently nudges us towards self-realization. We need to expect the unexpected.

 

After all, how else could we ever experience anything new? Our intentions must lead us into from what we know into new areas of expansion. If we think we already know what the result should be then we are only engaging our mind, not our heart. By allowing for the mysterious and unexpected we can truly receive what we need more than merely what we want.

 

 

 

 

Till next time, when you need it but least expect it…

 

Often attributed to Samuel Johnson in 1775 but probably dating further back to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) who wrote: ”Hell is full of good wishes or desires.”

 


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

Dark Times: Light and Health

 

 

 


 

 

 

“…we can now say emphatically, that the function of our entire metabolism is dependent on light.”

– Dr. Fritz Albert Popp

 

 

The shadow rises

 

Here in the Northern hemisphere, we have reached the nadir of our light cycle. The earth has turned its back about as far as it can from the sun before turning back again. The Scandinavian countries in particular are all too familiar with this time of year.

 

For all but the most northerly areas, the snow has yet to fall consistently enough to remain and perform the service of reflecting and magnifying the available light – both from the sun by day and electrical sources at night. The daylight hours themselves are very short.

 

 

The deep North

 

In December at Stockholm’s latitude, the sun doesn’t bother to lift its head above the horizon much before 9am and has already sunk beneath it well before 3pm. The further North one travels, the more extreme that balance becomes.

 

 

 

I remember a conversation with a small hotel owner in the far North of Sweden where he was explaining how, in the winter months, the sun never breached the horizon at all.  Of course, on fine evenings the Northern Lights put on a beautiful show of light and colour but I asked him how one coped without the direct sunlight in the daytime.  Using the typically economical and dry humour of the North, he merely pointed to a large satellite TV dish on the roof of his hotel.

 
Light adjustments

 

Obviously, getting out of bed on a December morning in these conditions is a very different prospect to doing the same in say, July. After all, our body’s internal biorhythms are driven by light cycles so when that alarm rings to get up on a morning when every cell of our body is screaming at us for waking it so early (relative to the light) it makes for considerable physical and emotional discomfort.

 

At these relatively extreme latitudes (compared to the rest of the populated world) one would think adjustments in time schedules would vary accordingly. Surely work times would start later – synchronised with other institutions like day care centres and schools. Actually, no. The cookie cutter, one size fits no-one work/play template remains the same, year round.

 

It will come as no surprise then that illness and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – aka: depression and related disorders from lack of light) rise significantly at these latitudes during autumn and winter.

 
The mechanism of light and the body in health

 

Here’s the thing: we are literally beings of light. Up until a relatively short time ago the theory that our body generated light (photons) was discredited and scientists proposing such theories like Fritz Albert Pop 1 were bullied out of their academic tenures as a result.

 

Now, the idea that we both receive and generate light has gained popularity. Books by researchers like Dr. Jacob Liberman have popularised this concept.

 

The most recent research coming out of Germany is even more compelling. It’s a little dense so let’s take a deep breath: recent Phd, Alexander Wunsch, continuing on the work of Prof. G. Albrecht-Buehler 3 has demonstrated that cells navigate towards light sources: two centro-zones att right angles to the nine tubules at the nucleus of the cells. It seems probable that the centrozones mediate the microtubulli in this movement. Internal light then, facilitates the very centre of life-sustaining metabolic processes.

 

So, we are light generators. We can also absorb and leak light too. This has profound implications for our health.

 

 

 

 

Leaking light

 

In 2015, I participated in the International Light Association’s annual conferance in Tallinn, Estonia. I attended a lecture confirming the work of Fritz Albert Popp that demonstrated healthy cells stored photonic energy (light) while diseased cells (due to trauma, inflammation or cellular change like cancer) leaked photons much like a damaged fishing net let the fish escape.

 

It seems our light-generating body can absorb or leak light in health and disease. Another lecture by Prof. Tina Karu 4 from the Russian Academy of Sciences demonstrated that our body is finely attuned to biolight sources – in particular the sun and monochromatic frequencies of light.

 

 

Turning off the dark…

 

So what does all this mean to the souls suffering in the Northern dark at this time of year? In the most basic sense, we become ’light-starved’. Our metabolic processes at a cellular level slow down. Now, what does that sound like? Ahh, yes: hibernation.

 

 

The trouble is we don’t hibernate… If anything, winter is a time when people work more. This comes from the misguided and relatively new notion that one must work in winter to free up time for a long summer holiday. The very notion of a ’summer holiday’ is a flagrant distortion of Scandinavian history however.

 
The history of Scandinavian ’holidays’

 

If one goes back in time around 150 years or beyond, most of Scandinavia was an agrarian (farming) society. In the summer, children were sent home from school – not to holiday, but to help their family with the busy work of farming life at that time of year.

 

Winter, by contrast, was a relatively quiet time. The harvest was over. The vegetables were stored in the root cellular or conserved and pickled. The wood was chopped. The fish was salted or pickled. The ’moonshine’ home brew was distilled. Apart from the occasional hunting expedition for fresh meat and some basic maintainence and mending winter was spent in quiet contemplation and rest.

 

People arose from sleep later, went to bed earlier and indulged in the odd nap or two in between. Apart from gazing meaningfully into an evening fire with a glass of something with suspiciously high alcohol content, eventually followed by an equally meaningful glance at one’s partner before retiring to bed, the pace of life was much slower than the busy, work-filled daylight seasons. (For more on the energy of this time of year and how it affects the body click here.)
The Christmas season filled this darker time with warm-toned lighting and decorations, celebration during advent and plenty of warm food and drink. This is what helped give Christmas the classic winter appearance we know today.

 

 

 

So what happened? The industrial revolution and the migration to city life meant we lost touch with the natural cycle of the seasons and began to navigate by mechanistic, man-made schedules instead. We no longer listened to our inner clock and our body began to ring the alarm through becoming depressed and sick. Literally, the light began to leave us light beings.

 

Now we suffer through overwork and light starvation in the hope that summer will cure our self abuse. And if the summer disappoints, this leads into an even more negative spiral the following Autumn/Winter.

 

 

 

 

Symptoms of light starvation
Here are few symptoms telling us we are low on light:

 

  • Chronic tiredness and difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Sweet and carbohydrate cravings/addiction
  • Chronic, high consumption of caffeine and stimulants
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Chronic low immunity leading to low grade inflammation and related, recurring illnesses like colds/flu, joint pain and the like.
  • Mental negativity and depressive states making us anti-social and needing to withdraw from outer life.

 

Addiction to negative light sources like mobile devices, computers and television is another hidden symptom. The screens from these devices generate an overdose of blue light (masquerading as white light with the aid of phospherous but don’t be fooled – the brain still registers it as blue light).

 

While blue light in itself is stimulating – which is one reason it attracts us –  too much of it is over-stimulating and we become tired and burnt out as a result. Think of it as the ’junk food’ of our light diet.

 

 

 

A light in a dark place

 

So what can we do about this dark state of affairs? Here are a few suggestions for healthy light habits:

 

 

 

 

  • Where possible, adjust our schedule so we work less (or at least begin later) in the winter. Even if this means working a little more in the summer we will still have more than enough daylight then to enjoy after work.
  • Get regular treatments with monochromatic light during the dark time of the year. (Quick plug: If you are in Stockholm you can book a time for this here.)
  • Avoid fluorescent light where possible. In the evening, avoid overhead lighting and use ground level illumination, preferably incadescant light in the warmer yellow/orange spectrum. Even better, light a fire if you have a fireplace and candles (if the room ventilation is effective).
  • Take a walk outside in the daylight hours. Even weak, winter light is many times stronger than inside lighting
  • Cultivate the art of the afternoon power nap. Our cortisol (stress hormone) levels will be reset, we will be much more alert in the early evenings and sleep better at night.
  • Where possible, plan time away in a sunny environment/country to reload our solar batteries
  • Use the ’Yin’ phase of winter and use the nighttime hours to be effective and creative while resting more in the day. The energy of winter is with the night and lunar cycles.

 

 

Light and shade
We need to make a conscious effort to listen to both the cycles of nature and our body. While this is always good advice, it is particularly important for those living in extreme latitudes.

 

We cannot reasonably expect to shoehorn ourselves into year-round templates and continue to feel good. This is tantamount to self-abuse. Life has its light and shade. We contain light and shade too. If we don’t nourish our light the dark side will only be too happy to take over.

 

 


Till another Monday that finds the balance between the ’day’ and the moon of every Mo(o)nday.

 

 

1. Popp.F. et al: Biophotons. Kluwer, Dordrecht. 1998

2. ’Light Medicine of the Future’, Jacob Liberman OD. PhD.

3. Albrech- Buehler, G.: Rudimentary forms of “cellular vision”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 8288-8292, 89, 1992

4. Action Spectra: Their Importance for Low Level Light Therapy. Tiina Karu, Laboratory of Laser Biomedicine, Institute of Laser and Information Technologies, Russian Academy of Sciences

 

 


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com