Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

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What can someone expect from working with psychedelics? Which one is right for you? How can we get the most out of these experiences? In this episode, Jonathan de Potter and Angela Levesque discuss various plant-based medicines. We explore how we use it to sustain higher levels of consciousness and why this is the real value of this work. We also talk about the different types available, how to prepare for a retreat and why the mental and emotional work is a critical part of the transformation.

About the Guest

Jonathan de Potter is the Founder & CEO of Behold Retreats, a bespoke wellness service that facilitates journeys of self-discovery and transformation, supported by the scientifically proven benefits of plant medicine therapy.

Jonathan is passionate about raising awareness on the benefits of plant medicine therapy, and its potential to improve wellbeing and mental health outcomes. 

Originally from Hawaii, USA, Jonathan is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, traveling often to continue his research into the best plant medicine retreat centers around the world.

He enjoys yoga, meditation, surfing, and is energized by big, bold ideas.

 

Links

Behold Retreat https://www.behold-retreats.com/

www.chaosandlight.com

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Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

Udo Erasmus on the Thirst of the Heart

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Where does wholeness live? What is the foundation of our being? In all cultures, there is some version of the ‘Thirst of the Heart’. Some might call it unsettled, lonely, empty, but this ache is a calling for us to move inward. In this episode, Angela Levesque and world-renowned spiritual teacher, Udo Erasmus discuss how to move beyond restlessness and into fulfillment, creativity, and inspiration. We also explore habits, the language of awareness, and why getting invested in our external world sets us up for disappointment and loss.

About the Guest

Udo Erasmus is a pioneer of the health and wellness industry having created FLAX OIL and the Healthy Fats Movement. He is also the co-founder of the UDO’S CHOICE supplement brand, a global leader in cutting-edge health products having sold tens of millions of bottles of healthy oils, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Udo is an accomplished author including Fats that Heal Fats that Kill that has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. Udo has extensive education in Biochemistry and Biology, a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Adler University and has impacted over 5,000,000+ lives by passionately conducting 5,000+ live presentations, 3,000+ media interviews, 1,500 staff trainings and traveled to 40+ countries with his message on how to achieve perfect health.

Links

https://udoschoice.com
https://udoerasmus.com
https://www.chaosandlight.com/

 

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Time as Space

Time as Space

Being idle can do crazy things to a person. I don’t think humans are meant to be inactive for too long. We have a certain level of potential energy that’s begging to be transformed. Being in Japan and not working, I was expecting to be alone when we took this gig, but what was unexpected was a deeper understanding of time and my relationship to it. Most days here, I can fill with anything or with nothing, but idleness has shown me it isn’t time that moves, or expands and contracts, it is us.

We talk about time as passing, flying, or being spent. Time can permit; it can be killed or saved or freed. We have many idioms that we use, but common in most, is that it moves or flows, and we are inevitably swept up in its movement. When we talk about having free time, we are really talking about moments that aren’t bound by our expectation or obligation. So, I’m starting to think of time more as a container or a womb of empty space that is waiting to be filled than something that passes.

Time that is unbound is a tricky thing. And more often than not, it is never really unbound. Even when we are idle, it is being burdened by expectation, broken thoughts, and emotions that we bind with our identity. We focus on future concerns or past indiscretions. We say yes to things when we want to say no. We spend our time doing the dishes when we really want to be playing with our kids. We make small things into big things and ignore the big things in pursuit of the mundane.

For me initially, there was a certain paralysis that set in with an ample amount of unbound time. The same way that you get the worst service in a restaurant on a slow day. There is a sort of inertia that needs overcoming as you wait in anticipation for something to start. After all, if time flows, something is bound to be swept up in its current and make its way to you. Once you are moving though, it is easy to keep moving, but if there is no external push, that inertia can be insurmountable. Especially if you are waiting for it to happen to you instead of you leaving your imprint on it.

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment”.
~ Deepak Chopra

In my old understanding, there were days that I lived ‘better’ than others. I’ve run daily for weeks only to be followed by a day of day drinking and three days of watching Netflix. I’d spent hours in meditation, written a book I’ve yet to publish, started a screenplay, two blogs, and a fledgling podcast. Some of which I still work on, and some I quit as the novelty wore off. I’ve played guitar, made lotion, joined a book club, and dabbled in Japanese. And I’ve spent more time on Twitter than I care to admit. Some of these things made me feel productive while others made me feel guilty because there was nothing tangible to show for it. So I was left with the question – What makes a moment worth living?

I’ve done some interesting things, but I’ve also been envious when I look at some people around me who have accomplished careers and material success. I thought about how they decided to fill their containers.  They have been consistently (consciously or unconsciously) filling the space with the same things over and over without getting distracted or bored. Maybe they were both and decided to push through anyway, deciding to bind their time in specific ways to meet specific ends.

I started this blog a few weeks back, and at that moment, it was clear that discipline and consistency were precisely what I needed. I thought that commitment to consistency was the antithesis of grandeur and novelty. It was undoubtedly the way to keep any feelings of guilt at bay for not being productive. I needed a container for my chaos, and that container was intentionally bound time.

Then, after reading Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan, who critiques and questions our outward drive for material things and success in the name of perpetual progress. Instead, contending that what really makes a life worth living is meaning and connection, I was reminded of my usual thinking. Historically, I’ve tended to apply a more Epicurean philosophy, “Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” So with his reminder, my pendulum started to swing back the other way.

“Of all the means to ensure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”
~ Epicurus

I’ve always struggled between a life of ticking all the expected boxes and a general fuck-itness of the status quo. Usually acknowledging that a both/and rather than an either/or approach to things is the most meaningful. So, I like conceptualizing time in this way because it reminds me that how I fill the space is a choice. We can get so caught up in the idea that time happens to us, that we forget it is ultimately the individual that fills the container. And even when we have external obligations, it is our framing that drives the nature of the experience.

So lately, I’ve become more mindful of the quality of content that I add to the container. As it is the quality that matters, not merely the outcome. Admittedly, quality is a subjective measure where I am the arbiter, not society. That is why all the great sages and spiritual teachers talk about being in the present. It’s an awareness of the space that is and the contents held within it. The Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, says, “Time goes from present to past.” Meaning we can talk about doing something after dinner, but that moment only occurs when it’s occurring, and then it is past. There is no other. 

Maybe that is where the word fulfillment comes from. The idea that we fill our space with something meaningful or meaningless. And this can either add or detract from our sense of connection and purpose which is derived from both the experiential and the tangible. Leaving space for consistent, goal-oriented pursuits and the occasional day drinking with friends. For what matters is our presence and the quality of the expansion or contraction of self in the container of time.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Suljo

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Freeing Our Personal Power

Freeing Our Personal Power

The path of the warrior is an approach to life that aims to maximize our potential and deepen our relationship with the Universe. Warriorship focuses on inner transformation and views the world through the lens of energy and power. A warrior is someone who seeks freedom through choice, takes radical responsibility for their actions, and is a master of their intent. There is much to be gained by walking this path and increasing and freeing our personal power, even for the most novice warrior. Understanding that the path is not a place you reach, rather a process of continued self-mastery. As Robert Spencer describes it in The Craft of the Warrior, “….it provides a strategic blueprint for self-organization.”

What is a Warrior?

In her book, Warrior Goddess Training, HeatherAsh Amara explains warriors in this way, “Warrior energy is a combination of focus, dedication, purpose, and determination. Consciously bringing these things together gives us power.” This quest for power is really about our pursuit of growth and personal evolution. It is about wanting to dive deep into the mystery and magnificence of the Universe and living with the knowledge that we are part of that magnificence. A warrior is humbled by this truth and lives accordingly.

What is Personal Power?

We are all born with a certain amount of personal power. Some describe it as a form of life force energy that allows for our existence. However, a warrior is interested in more than just existing. To do this, she must deepen her relationship with the Unknown. Our personal power expands as our knowledge of one’s self, and the Universe deepens. The more personal power we have, the more able we are to traverse the unknown realms. It is the fuel of the warrior, and through our awareness and heightened perception, we engage in an energetic relationship with everything around us. Personal power allows us to transcend, transmute and transform ourselves in powerful ways. 

Our use and acquiring of this power in efficient and effective ways is what the Toltecs call impeccability. As a spiritual guide, don Juan Matus said, “Impeccability is nothing else but the proper use of energy.” Some call this our ability to do or take action in the world in alignment with our intent. So, as we take conscious effort and use our energy efficiently and effectively, we build our personal power.

The Path With Heart

Carlos Castaneda writes, “It is the consistent choice of the path with heart which makes a warrior different from the average man.” The path with heart looks different for everyone, but it aligns with your essence, enjoyment, and development. It is a path that strengthens you, challenges you, and is chosen with purpose and meaning at its core. A warrior knows that death is their eternal companion, and no matter what path we choose, they all lead to the same place. Because the warrior faces the inevitability of death, they decide to live life in its fullest expression. If a path no longer fits or brings joy, the warrior is free to choose differently. 

Many of the choices a warrior makes along their path may go unnoticed to the uninitiated. But a warrior seeks the mystery and moves between the known and unknown worlds. As soon as certainty sets in, the warrior is no longer walking the path with heart. A warrior views the Universe as an unfathomable mystery that can never be known yet is always seeking to unravel her mysteries. This keeps a warrior flexible and engaged with life from a place of joy and curiosity rather than a rigid certainty. 

This does not mean the path is without struggle. Struggle is an inherent part of expansion and development. In Journey to Ixtlan, many things need to be overcome on a warrior’s path. don Juan Matus talks about erasing personal history, disrupting routines, losing self-importance, and dropping habits. All of these things bind our power and keep us within the confines of the ordinary world. 

Losing Personal Power

There are many ways in which we lose or bind our power. Habits are considered a power sink because they bind our power rather than drain it. In The Craft of the Warrior, Robert Spencer writes, “A power sink is much like a pond or a lake in the desert with no outlet to the sea. Power collects there, but being unable to flow, it just evaporates.” So, one of the best ways to free up personal power is to give something up. Habits are performed without conscious thought, so we might think that since they require little thought that they use little power. But, anyone who has released a habit knows how much energy is involved in supporting it. Remember that habits aren’t just actions; we can have emotional and mental habits as well. 

For example, pretend you are giving up your morning danish. You may have omitted the action of eating the danish, but you spent most of the day thinking about how much you missed it. Those repetitive thoughts are also habits. It is not just about giving something up but doing so with impeccability or employing the proper use of your energy. Spending a good portion of the day lamenting the danish is not an efficient use. 

Power Leaks

Power leaks are another way to lose personal power. In the Warrior literature, one of the most significant ways we lose power is through identification. Or, to put it another way, the way we define ourselves by our roles, history, and various group identities is often defined by someone external to the self. Spencer writes, “First, identification produces a static quality in which permanence is both assumed and desired. Thus we can not adapt easily to the changing flux that life presents, and a great deal of power are used trying to minimize any changes that might threaten the stability of our identification or the way in which we define ourselves.”

Negative emotions are also described as a power leak. This doesn’t mean that she suppresses or represses healthy emotion, but a warrior would not act on it. In the literature, most authors view negative emotions stemming from over-identification and habitual patterns. Once someone can recognize the emotion without the mental overlay/construct, the emotion is just seen as energy moving through the body. Appropriate expressions of emotion, that is to say, emotions in proportion to the event, are using one’s energy impeccably. Dan Millman writes, “You don’t have to bring a thought or corresponding tension to life; you don’t have to dramatize it….as emotional obstructions are left undramatized, they’ll grow weaker until finally, they become obsolete.” 

Hunting Power

In addition to plugging leaks and unbinding power, there are things a warrior can do to acquire power. This power can be found in playing in the mystery and unknown realms. Engaging in activities that expand our relationship to the Universe. Crossing this threshold requires one to accept uncertainty and be able to sit with fear or confusion without trying to impose order. It also requires a heightened sense of perception that opens up to experiences rather than categorizing them. This means that a warrior leans more on their internal reference points than looking for external ones to explain their experience. 

It is not easy to put into words what it means to cross the threshold into the unknown. don Juan, called this non-ordinary reality the nagual. Or David Bohms’ description of the Implicate Order. A living awareness consisting of limitless potentialities, an unmanifest consciousness where all things are possible. For some, it is the use of rituals and techniques that alter states of consciousness. It could be engaging in active dreaming. Or it can be playing in the unknown even in the ordinary world by heightening our perceptions and awareness to notice the subtle shifts of energy, the negative space, or the webs of illusion that feed the consensus-based reality. 

These techniques that bring a warrior across the threshold into the unknown require being in the now moment. A warrior opens up to the world, listening with her inner ears and seeing with her inner sight. It is about feeling the world with your whole being and acting as both a receiver and transmitter of energy and power. 

Freedom & Discipline

It might seem counterintuitive in a perspective that values fluidity that discipline would be so highly valued. But in Warriorship, freedom is a product of discipline. Spencer describes, “To take the path with heart, then we must find a way of loosening our bonds with what has limited us. In doing so, we challenge our self-concepts, refocus our awareness, cut tethers to our beliefs, rechannel our emotions, open our senses to new perceptions, and find new filters through which to process information.” None of this happens by chance. It requires a conscious, concerted effort to move through these self-limiting behaviors to reach a place of freedom. It is the perfect alignment of intention and action. 

But the warrior understands that discipline must be in harmony with our ability to let go. After the preparations are made, skills learned and mastered; the warrior must be prepared to take action with the full force of her being. A warrior has control until they don’t, and then we must be able to release with abandon and detach from the outcome. A warrior’s freedom is found in this delicate dance of discipline and release. 

Detachment

Remaining detached is another critical attribute of the warrior’s path and to maintaining personal power. A warrior does not look through the lens of success and failure. She makes choices from the perspective of impeccability and not outcome. The warrior’s fluid nature allows her to take quick action and drop something if it is no longer aligned with her intent. When a person is attached, it creates a web of energy, linking our thoughts and emotions through story. Therefore investing and binding our personal power, making it less available and fluid. It is the intent, discipline, and detachment that allows for fluidity.

A warrior’s path is not always easy. And it will not be perfect. But, by following this path, we can transcend ordinary human awareness into a place of unlimited perception. As more of the unknowns become known and we understand there are many separate realities, we can manifest our full potential. A warrior can take leaps without needing explanation and is okay living outside the boundaries of what is considered normal. The real question is, how alive do you want to be? As don Juan Matus said, “We choose to be warriors or to be ordinary men. A second choice does not exist.”

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Transcending Symbolic Consciousness

Transcending Symbolic Consciousness

Symbolic consciousness has seized control of the evolutionary dynamics of life on Earth and deeply impoverished the planetary ecology. – Peter Reason

Imagine a world without language, images or the written word. Imagine an organism with awareness of self, a sense of community and yet no way to share their world with another. An intense inner world fueled by instinct and survival and yet a consciousness that understands our connection. It was out of this that the world as we know it evolved today.

We have always been connected. The same ingredients that gave birth to the cosmos are the same things that we are made of; we are of the stars. If we were to look at the history of the universe in an hour time frame, humans have only existed in the last minute on earth. Yet we have changed the earth in amazing ways. Recently, I watched an eye-opening documentary that helped me to understand how our earth evolved into this increasingly complex world that we now live in. In Journey of the Universe, they answer the question, how did this happen? What was the catalyst that propelled civilization into exponential growth and where do we go from here?

Evolution of the Cosmos

Fourteen billion years ago the universe exploded with life in what some scientists call “Goldilocks Conditions”, any hotter or cooler, and the expansion would have quickly imploded or collapsed back into nothing. In these perfect conditions, a universe was born. Around 4 and a half billion years ago the earth and our sun were formed. Again, our planet seemingly divinely guided in its creation, as the perfect conditions conspired that resulted in our creation. The earth at this point was governed by what Dr. Frank Heile would describe as a primary consciousness. This is the consciousness that permeates the natural world. If we think of it like a computer, it would be a parallel processor giving rise to the self-organizing dynamic that scientist now believe is the natural order of things. This primary consciousness has a present moment awareness, that created patterns and intelligence that coded all of life. Yet, it wasn’t until the time of man that things began to grow in ever more complex ways as we burst beyond this primary consciousness into symbolic consciousness. While there is much debate about what triggered this, there is one very interesting theory posited by Brian Thomas Swimme in Journey of the Universe

The Birth of the Inner Child

Something happened within the mammals, the divine feminine energies arose and mammals began to nurture and nourish their young. We gave rise to the inner child. As humans, we let our children be creative and playful for many years beyond all other creatures. Some believe that this prolongation of childhood is what led to our exponential complexity. Maybe it was the nurturing of our ‘right brains’ that brought our species to new heights and eventually led to the development of what neuroscientist call our intuitive brain. But there is more to this story. While the prolongation of childhood may have allowed for increased complexity, it was also our development of language and writing that changed the game for our species and what we were able to accomplish.

The Rise of Symbolic Consciousness

Symbolic consciousness is a world created from symbols that evolved into language and writing that allowed humans to express their inner world with the outer world. Just as today, all words are symbols for something much deeper. Our self-awareness allowed us to create a symbolic world in order to pass on information, ideas, and mythology. As we began to create the world around us to symbolize what has existed within, we began our journey of symbolic consciousness.

For billions of years, the earth was guided by the principals of self-organization or this primary consciousness. Now instead of just passing along our genetic coding and patterns to subsequent generations, we were now able to pass along our experience. Allowing us to teach each other complex instructions on how to make things by stringing together long-chain symbols. As Dr. Frank Heile and some explained, we created a hierarchal structure and/or chains of these symbols, which allowed us to live and thrive in groups. Giving us the opportunity to make tools and pass on information about hunting and the world we lived in without that information being lost from one generation to the next. We began creating energetic exchanges as we moved more and more of our experience in the external world. We identified with ourselves as “I” and “Me”, and in order to understand ourselves, we became something relative to something else. Creating an identity that was a measure of another’s perception, again a reflection of the outer world and less of an understanding of our essence.

Symbolic Consciousness in the Modern Age

In addition to increasing complexity in ideas and thought, this created a positive feedback loop or an amplifying loop. We would see something, identify and integrate it into our culture and then create more of it. With this, our minds focused on rehashing the past and the inventing of the future. And so began our love affair with linear and logical thinking, building one idea on the foundation of the last. As Brian Thomas Swimme would explain it, our collective consciousness was giving birth to more symbols and those would, in turn, magnify our collective consciousness.

How this developed over time is we began to value the external, ‘objective reality’ over our inner knowing. Science then began to dictate our truth; everything we could quantify, and rationalize became our dogma. The qualities of the divine feminine and inner child were diminished. Marketing and commercialization preyed on this externalized reality, creating attachments and suffering. It also created another glaring problem; we used these measures to dominate nature instead of move with it. No longer were we part of the natural world, our aim was to control it for our own benefit.

Coming Full Circle

Since we understand now how symbolic consciousness has propelled us forward exponentially in every way, what is it going to take to come full circle? If symbolic consciousness is the amplification of the external world, it is time to bring it back to our center. What is going on within each one of us when we cultivate an inner awareness? There are so many things that take us out of this space, especially the technology of our smartphones and advent of social media; we need to make a concerted effort to move back within. Dr. Jeffery Martin would call this non-symbolic consciousness.   It is a non-dual awareness, where one consciously embraces solitude, stillness, and quiet contemplation. It is a state that is ripe for mystical experiences birthed from the cultivation of mindfulness.

We have been living life looking through a keyhole, piecing the puzzle together, asking the how questions. It is now time to embrace the why? It is time to rise to a new level of self-awareness. One that can expand large enough to see where we have been, what we have created, and reflect on our need to control and dominate. As Brian Thomas Swimme expressed about the self-organizing nature of the universe. “Life learns”. It is time for us to live again in harmony with our world, as sustainability is harmony in action.

5 Suggestions to Cultivate Non-Symbolic Consciousness

  1. Set boundaries around your use of technology
  2. Meditate
  3. Ecstatic Dance
  4. Be in nature
  5. Spend part of your day in silence

If you enjoyed this post, check out the Chaos & Light Podcast on Why We Aren’t Here to Learn: Challenging the Earth School Perspective.


(c) Can Stock Photo / thefinalmiracle

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Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

Stephen Hawley Martin on The Nature of Consciousness

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In This Episode:

What is the true nature of consciousness? How would our world change if our brain was a receiver of consciousness rather than the originator of it? What do near-death experiences and the remembering of past lives tell us about our oneness? Stephen Hawley Martin has spent many decades exploring these questions and has written over two dozen books. In this episode, we explore the nature of reality and consciousness, the movement of humanity from the 3rd density into the fourth density, and the key to magic and manifestation.

About the Guest

As the talk show host of a popular weekly internet podcast, “The Truth About Life,” it became clear to bestselling author Stephen Hawley Martin as he interviewed dozens of near-death survivors, psychics, paranormal,  researchers, quantum physicists, and medical doctors, that humankind is on the cusp of a transition to a new understanding of the true nature of reality. To share what he has learned and to help speed the transition, which he believes will result in a rebirth of optimism and the world becoming a better place to live and work, he has written well over a dozen books, many of which have achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Links

Stephen’s Website 

Consciousness, The Hard Problem Solved 

Your Guide to Achieve Fourth Density: The Law of One, RA, and the End of Suffering 

www.www.chaosandlight.com

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