You may talk. And I may listen. And miracles might happen. ~ Ernest Hemingway
In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, the White Queen punishes Alice for insufficient imagination and tells her that expanding her imagination requires daily practice, “My dear, sometimes I think six impossible thoughts before breakfast.”
Imagination is like mysticism; it is negating the “known” to break the boundaries of our life and take us outside of the limitations of our conditioned mind, so that we expand beyond ourselves. It requires staying in openness and curiousity. When we approach life, ourselves and one another in such a way and have the willingness to learn and to listen with open hearts, we connect deeper and expand further, within and without.
Perhaps our imagination deteriorated somewhere post Cold War; somewhere along the way we got a little too comfortable, stable and assumed everything would be predictable underestimating the other’s imagination. We underestimated those who painted the roses red and told us to go play in the sandbox.
Global problems are moving faster than ever; their wicked interconnectivity and interdependency is more complex than ever. Our thoughts have not caught up with the impossible. And perhaps like Alice, we haven’t figured out how to think about the strange new world into which we have fallen. Do we even have the humility to see reality? Or have we fallen too deeply into the sparkling Wonderland? And if we do see it, will we have the audacity to imagine how it could otherwise be … and the courage to actually take the steps to change it?
Change isn’t logical nor easy – it demands imagination. It demands an open heart. But it starts by first accepting things for what they truly are; to see beyond the veil of roses painted red.
Salvador Dali's 1969 Rare Illustrations for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Truth is not found in the right or wrong. Truth is more subtle. To see truth, sometimes we need to get up, dust off, turn around and walk away from the sandbox. Towards the swings. Swing high. To see it all from a different perspective. And perhaps we can then hold it all, simultaneously, with an open heart. It may feel lonely there on the swings by ourselves because there is a certain kind of isolation in knowing. But who we are matters now. Our core values matter now.
Truth is subtle.
It takes integrity to stand up and walk away from the sandbox.
It takes integrity to walk tall within.
Humanity is currently in a cycle of purging, cleansing and exposing corruption. During such cycles we must be willing to question reality and discern truth from illusion. We must also be willing to question our own beliefs. Questioning is a part of being human, part of who we are and part of this cycle that we are in. We must approach it through curiosity, compassion, openness and support from one another, so that we can expand as a collective.
I recently came across a spiritual teacher who shared with me how someone had told her, “If you don’t speak out more about politics and go to protests, the bad side will win!” I felt sad for her and thought that’s absolute ignorance that someone would even say this to her, especially someone who was supposedly “spiritual” and especially since she was already sharing a lot anyway. How much we share and what we get involved in, is our personal choice and we have the freedom to choose as we please. It is not someone else’s responsibility if the “bad” side wins (whatever that means) – it is only our actions and behaviours that we are responsible for. And before we start judging someone, or changing the world, perhaps we should clean our own rooms first. As for protests – if protests and words is where it ends, then nothing will change.
As a humanity, we were clever enough to build our own prison but not wise enough to see it. We need to shift back our focus towards ourselves, and when new insights emerge that inform us, and we allow them to change our perceptions, then we must also start behaving in the way we desire to see manifest for us. Change of perception alone isn’t enough – it must be sustained by persistent action, consistent effort and devotion. By doing this consistent effort of action individually, we will change our life; and when we do it collectively, we will change the world. But going around and blaming others, will not serve anyone.
Too little, too much, too early, too late, too political, too spiritual – it is never enough for someone out there who just doesn’t understand that life is an inner road and no one can walk it for us; it demands time, effort, accountability, integrity, intimacy and attention.
No one will ever make us see a truth that we haven’t already recognized within ourselves; no spiritual teacher will ever open our eyes unless we’ve already opened them ourselves. All a teacher will ever do is reflect our own knowledge back to us. You already have your own wisdom within you; this is why all of us see different truths and receive different information from the same texts or books that we read – because it depends on our inner self. Of course, a good teacher, speaking from kindness, wisdom and empathy, will certainly make a big difference because they will help you to initiate your own awareness and wisdom, and help you to remember who you already are and what you already know within you. But regardless of how amazing and knowledgeable the teacher is, it wouldn’t matter unless you truly understand that it will be coming from you.
At its essence, spirituality is an expansion of perceptions. It isn’t a new age meme on Instagram, it isn’t a quick scroll, it isn’t a Youtube video – it is a way of walking through life, tall within with open eyes. The same is true for political issues; we can’t expect that all we need to know will be delivered to us on a mainstream media. Sometimes we need to dig in further and research things on our own, using our own discernment and inner wisdom.
To be transparent, I’ve always spoken out where necessary and appropriate. For example, I wrote about the potential genocide of the Rohingya and the government involvement long before it was covered on the news. I also wrote about how orphanages are used as a human trafficking channel, and about the constant abuse against Native Americans. I’ve also always stood up for those vulnerable without a voice and defended them, only to then become the target of aggression myself. So I have fought long and hard, perhaps for most of my life, for the truth, for awareness, and for integrity. I’ve never been afraid to not be part of the herd because I can’t stand looking at my face in the mirror knowing I wasn’t true to my heart. And yet truth is subtle and we don’t need to dig ourselves in sand or argue with every person on the street; perhaps a different kind of change can be made in our world through this understanding. We must remember to stand away from the sandbox because some truths can be seen only when we swing high.
The truth is already out there – all of it. The ancient sages once said that everything was already written in books and could be found anywhere as of the present moment. Yet we need to have the eyes to see it. This depends on our own perception. And this is why we pick up books that we’ve read many years ago, only to find something new, mind-opening, heart-opening, as if it’s the first time we’ve read it. We change. And the windows through which we see also changes. We can only understand things with which we are in resonance with or have integrated within our own selves.
Applying this to our modern day global issues, all information is already out there also. Often times, it stares us at our face but we just need to recognize it and sometimes put the effort to press a few more buttons to research it further on our own. But as a collective, making a change against the norm, and making a change in general, is something that is greatly resisted because it demands a challenge to our ideas, beliefs and known stories. Changing the status quo is also about questioning our own beliefs and thought patterns.
Our current global situation is not in a state of openness and expanding; many people are battling themselves through others, re-playing and re-living their old wounds and narratives through others, and are just more interested in arguing and resisting. We no longer listen to one another, we no longer respect one another. As Charles Eisenstein recently said, “You can’t reason with madmen.”
Many people are unstable in their inner world, disconnected from self, and so anytime someone speaks a truth that challenges their own narrative, they react in an aggressive way. Perhaps this is why healing should be a prerequisite to discussing complex topics. We need to have the ability to consider viewpoints that challenge us, in a calm manner. And we need to have the humility to change our own beliefs when new insights emerge and inform us. Because sometimes breaking the status quo is breaking the status quo of who we are; of our own boundaries. This requires deep listening, respect and connection to our heart. For as long as we are cancelling or negating the existence of anyone whose truth or opinion doesn’t fit our own narrative, belief or version of reality, we will not be able to have a resonable conversation. And we will never grow and expand if we continue to behave in such a way; and our world will never change.
In general, as human beings we tend to believe most in those who are directly impacting us; whether they serve us food on the table or provide us shelter. This is the “house” or the “matrix” that sustains us and it is deeply psychological; it is natural human behaviour. Whatever that “food and shelter” are – we naturally will believe in that thing that sustains us, even if it’s “bad” which is clearly proven through the Stockholm Syndrome. This is why abused women stay in abusive relationships too long. This is why an abused child will think an abusive relationship in their adulthood is “love” – because this is what “home” felt like, and our experience of “home” is our unconscious definition of “love”. And we can’t really reason, or argue, with someone whose beliefs are not their own. Their ideas and beliefs stem from childhood and unless they are in a space of being more conscious and aware, it wouldn’t do any good – as they will only hear the voice ingrained in their minds. Many people have felt betrayed especially in the past year and this is absolutely valid and with reason. When the realization comes that the “matrix” doesn’t actually care and have our best interest and health as a genuine concern – it can be quite shattering to say the least.
Once we start understanding what our beliefs are and why – by questioning – we start to come back into our own inner wisdom, heart’s truth and empowerment; we learn to be our own true expressions and wisdom guides. And we understand – we are the change makers.
But this kind of understanding and higher state of perception – is an inner work, an inner change and we can’t expect to have such grown-up conversations with everyone.
To understand something, we not only need to understand its essence but we also need to put it into context. The context is: humanity is currently in a cycle of purging and cleansing. Naturally, there will be more judging and drama from people who are not conscious and haven’t done their inner work. Their level of consciousness might seem as if it’s in a different world compared to those who are more conscious and have been doing their inner work for years. We need to remember that this is the cycle that we are in and many things will just not work out because the collective energy is about releasing rather than building. Don’t get discouraged – and if something comes up for you individually, acknowledge it and release it; release what no longer serves you and is limiting you from loving more, and stay in your heart space. Don’t get involved and swayed into other people’s stories and dramas, don’t argue with “madmen”, and just try to find people who support you and show up for you during these times with grace and tenderness.
Another side of truth is that it needs our discernment and responsibility. There are still many people who believe in the system with great hope, great faith, great trust and any threat to it will disturb them on a deep level; it’ll be a reality collapse for them. Unless they hold the capacity within themselves to receive the truth – the end result would be that we’ll be removing their version of faith and “instilling” fear instead.
We’ve all had moments in life when we’ve been in our own sandboxes and that’s perfectly understandable – we all have our own pathways and timelines and we must try to hold compassion and patience.
There is no doubt: The abuse of the system is huge. And by “system” I mean not just on a pharmaceutical or corporate level, but also regarding new age, spiritual, religious, friend groups, communities, networks and whatever else “system” that abuses human beings in any shape or form. And I see these people fighting with fear every day, not just on a macro level, but on an inner level, also. Their hopes are smashed. Their dreams are smashed. Their anger, fears and worries – which they often deny and try to spiritually and emotionally bypass – continue to hold their hands tightly while they keep playing happily in the sandbox.
It is precisely these people that continue to play the duality game: “I’m right and you’re wrong. This is right and that is wrong.” Perhaps we can try to hold “right and wrong” simultaneously.
As Rumi said, “Beyond the ideas of right or wrong, there lies a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”
There are endless metaphors that we can use, as poetic or as metaphysical as we’d like, but the centre doesn’t change.
From this singular consciousness is the portal of our heart.
Our heart is the initiatory pathway for higher consciousness.
There, all is created, first in oneness. This is my view and where I try to stay as much as I can.
But when the portal between this oneness consciousness and the “material” world closes, then we start creating only from the rigidity of the mind, of duality. And then there are worries, fears, doubts, judgments, dogmas, extremist viewpoints, entitlement and pointing fingers. And yes, we live in a world of duality and we should fight for what we believe in – but without the ability to swing high, we wouldn’t even know our truth and what we are truly fighting for or supporting.
To know our truth – we go within, through the portal of our heart, away from the matrix, away from the sandbox. Then, change can be more significant.
A note on conspiracy theories.
A dear reader recently asked: How can we approach conspiracy theories so that we can learn more while not feeling powerless or terrified? This is a great question and thank you for asking it because I feel it could be helpful for many people and it is definitely a topic much discussed nowadays.
When we start digging in for truth, or anything outside of mainstream media, we will inevitably come across something that is labeled as a conspiracy theory. Many people will automatically identify it as “crazy” but such labels essentially limit us in learning something outside of our current realm of perception and understanding. So I would pose another question:
How can we approach anything outside of the mainstream narration, and navigate through false and true, so that we don’t feel disempowered and fearful by what we find?
The sense of stability in our society is being shaken to its core; we all feel this instability, in various degrees, individually and collectively. And because of the level of corruption that people are realizing that exists in the system, many of whom are now realizing it for the first time, conspiracy theories have become more popular. If we avoid them completely – we might be falling behind on some information that we could extract for our benefit of learning and possibly deepen our knowledge about the hidden dynamics that might have shaped the world.
We might even find hidden truths that, if properly understood, will allow us to create a lasting change.
On the other hand – if we obsess over conspiracy theories, we will live in a constant state of paranoia, fear and survival mode, which will actually prevent us from integrating the information we are absorbing.
Conspiracy theories are automatically labeled as bad or crazy but just like all else in life, we must first understand the neutral form of a subject and only then we’ll be able to discern its darker manifestation.
The word “conspiracy” was created to describe those people who questioned mainstream information, authority, the government, the establishment and the reality of life. These people’s intention was to expose truth, injustice and corruption. They wanted to see through the illusions because something in the narrative wasn’t making sense anymore. This is something we must remember in our discussion because questioning is part of being human, a part of who we are and a part of our current collective consciousness cycle of releasing and purging. Questioning allows us to discern truth from illusion. Questioning is intellectual because this is how we expand. The fact that we are even approaching the topic of conspiracy theories implies a level of openness on our part because of the fact that we are even listening to, or considering, something outside of our realm of current knowledge and understanding.
At their core, conspiracy theories are studying illusions in our world: “what is the illusion and what is the real?”
They are lessons in discernment.
There is a sadness in knowing, there is isolation in knowing – and this is why often times we don’t want to find out the truth; and we discart it completely, even calling it crazy. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that all conspiracy theories are true, nor does it mean that all are crazy neither. But it doesn’t serve the world to shame people who think differently. Furthermore, when we label entire subjects as “crazy”, we miss to help those that actually do really need mental help in our society.
The right way to consume conspiracy theories, or any kind of information actually, so that we don’t get stuck in the rabbit hole feeling powerless and terrified, is basically through developing discernment. The only way to navigate through false and true information is to develop the third eye – which means to be able to see illusions, and then to see beyond the veil.
There’s also the responsibility that comes with truth – which is that once we find new insights that inform us, we must also change our own behaviours. Only knowing something wouldn’t lead us anywhere and we’ll get stuck in just digging deeper and deeper without ever incorporating what we have already learned. We need to find ways on how to adjust our patterns and beliefs to incorporate truth.
As human beings, we often want to avoid the uncomfortable process of discerning truth from a lie because we lean on convenient truths and comfortable truths; it is earth shattering to have our stability shaken. Furthermore, facing the shadows and corruptions in society automatically brings us to the unhealed shadows within our own selves and we begin to strongly resist it.
We must shift this mindset and use this time as an initiation to discern and create a healthier world, within and without.
Discerning a truth from a lie is an initiation process. It is almost a ritual of the mind and our spirit in which we initiate finding out.
To do this, we need to have a very strong spiritual core because as we dig in deeper, we will eventually find out, among other things, that the external world doesn’t define us. And then, we’ll be left in a space of reality collapse of “who am I, why am I here, what does it all mean, so what matters anyway?” This is a scary place indeed and can sway us in many directions, uprooting us completely.
The initiation process, and what we must be asking ourselves as we navigate through information, is: What part of this is true? Is the person sharing this balanced mentally? How can I apply this in my own world and perception?
To have a strong spiritual core means that we are grounded within ourselves; we know who we are on an inner level, on a soul level, and we have a strong sense of our unique self-expression, authenticity and our purpose. Only then – we can navigate through the illusions of the world without losing ourselves completely.
Part of knowing ourselves is also knowing our own energy level; if we are low on energy, if we are feeling depleted, anxious, depressed, fearful or sad, then we shouldn’t dive into conspiracy theories or any information all night long because we’ll just be going down the rabbit hole. This is why developing ourselves holistically, taking care of our body, mind, emotions and spirit fully, is so important; so that we are in the right frame of mind and more capable of taking on new information without being overwhelmed. And also – try to find out people who speak of the truth in an empowering way and a balanced way – offering ways of how we can actually make a change rather than just sharing dark negative “truths” that leave you feeling helpless and terrified. At the same time – we must recognize that often times, we are being triggered because of our own unhealed shadows and we need to spend more time in self-care and self-development. Running away from the truth just because it makes us feel sad or uncomfortable will not be a long-term solution.
To approach conspiracy theories from a more intuitive space, we can try to engage our higher self and our inner wisdom to discern what’s true and what isn’t. If we are approaching them from a space of survival and fear – then we’ll just live in our basements and assume the worst all the time. That’s not a way to live and that shouldn’t be the initiation.
Develop your cognitive edge. Find the uncomfortable edge like a yoga pose – where you are uncomfortable enough to stretch further than before and yet you are not giving yourself to it, not completely lost in it, not hitting the ground, not abandoning yourself. Once you develop this cognitive edge and you are also standing strong in your core – you will be better at discerning, sensing truths right away and then moving forward.
Free thinking makes society fertile and creative; this is the key to expansion.
And one last thought: to deal with the negativity that is very prevalent in our world today, just walk away, don’t engage and don’t co-operate. There is an old saying that evil destroys itself, so the best thing we can do is, if we pass it on the street, we should just greet it quietly and walk away. Do not fight with it – it will drag you down. The only thing that evil can’t resist is unconditional love – but if we can’t respond to it in such a way, which let’s be honest we’re human and probably we can’t, then we should just stay away. Evil has its own role to play in the collective consciousness – so it is not up to us to change it; we can only change ourselves as we gain new insights. Take care of your body, mind, heart and soul, surround yourself with people who support you and nourish you, and develop the inner self.
Deep in Wonderland, Alice meets many characters; some are neurotic and even delusional, while others hold wisdoms and truths despite them looking seemingly nonsensical. The story is essentially a story about initiation; she descends to awaken her own higher abilities and integrate a higher consciousness, so that she is able to traverse the realities, accessing and understanding deeper truths. The thing about descend is: it requires caution, strong self and discernment because not everyone who took that road came back to the surface. Towards the end of the story, as she had walked a path of the hidden corners of her own psyche integrating aspects of herself with her inner light, Alice realizes the truth within her own heart and is aligned to the core of her values. She stands against the “off with the head” and decides to come back to the surface of reality.
Truths are available for our access; we discern them with our inner wisdom and purity of heart – because our heart is the initiatory pathway for higher consciousness.
And so … we stand up, we dust off, we turn around. We open up. Away from the sandbox, we remember ourselves.
May we swing high – and be inspired to remember our inner truth, which perhaps will be shaped differently for each of us, and yet its essence will be the same.
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Cover Art by Maxime Simoncelli.
In-text Rare 1969 Salvador Dali's Illustrations for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".