When you were little, were you afraid of the dark? Most of us were. And I doubt we ever thought to question this fear. We were almost naturally taught to be afraid of the dark, because the dark is full of unknown things that might hurt us.
But what usually happened when you turned the light on? You learned the unknown things were not so scary. And they were not so unknown. They were just part of the environment.
We learned to associate darkness with scary and unknown, and we learned it’s better not to speak with our dark thoughts and emotions. Turning the light on our emotional shadow is a lot more challenging than flicking a physical light switch on. So we avoid it. Superficiality is easier. But this darkness of our soul has a life of its own which thrives, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. It’s there, and it’s powerful.
This fear of our emotional complexity grew as we grew, and with time became our shadow. It’s a hidden part in us that influences our choices more often than we are aware.
In truth, much effort goes into repressing and hiding it from ourselves and others. It’s our dark side. The parts we are ashamed and afraid to show. But through denial, we fail to see that in the obscurity of darkness also lay our strengths.
For reasons originating in the past, we have decided to negate and hide this dark side without exploring it further. And so in return it keeps us distant from truly expressing ourselves.
In many ways, hiding our shadow can be considered the highest form of betrayal. By concealing this part of us, we are saying we don’t deserve to show our complete selves, thereby betraying ourselves. In return, secrecy, manipulation, and pretending take over large parts of our lives from fear of being ‘exposed’ and rejected for the part of ourself we are hiding.
As mentioned, our shadow can show itself as weakness or strength. Becoming aware of our complete self allows us an opportunity for expressing strength. Ignoring these qualities, however, will always produce a damaging result.
The more we repress these dark corners of our being, the more we face disorder in our personality. This can manifest as addiction, anxiety, intentionally failed relationships or jobs, or other behaviors that cause destruction to ourselves and others.
To become aware of our shadow is to shed light on our earliest wounds and to give ourselves a chance for healing and transformation. But as long as we choose to close our eyes to this, the wounds will continue to decay while emitting poison into our lives.
To Deepen Our Spirituality, We Must Pass Through the Shadow
Any spiritual work must entail exposure and understanding of our shadow. Solely focusing on finding our light keeps us away from places of shame, guilt, jealousy, greed, competition, lust and aggression. But it is these very emotions that must be worked through first before coming near our lighter sides.
Even certain spiritual practices like meditation can become difficult when we try to ignore our shadow self. Its repression shows up when we shut our eyes, and we’re left with only our thoughts.
As with all strong emotions, what we don’t want to look at always keeps us contracted and in rejection. Deep down we know these qualities and feelings reside in us, and hiding them leads us to a life of inauthenticity and sometimes incomprehensible self-destructive behavior.
If our shadow is not acknowledged and embraced, the depth of our spiritual and personal growth is limited. Denying to look at the darkness is rejecting ourselves the need to be received in totality by others.
We start to overidentify with the side of ourself acquired through our own perception of reality. This in turn shapes our personality, the superficial side of us, which the world meets.
Our roles and personality try their best to help us feel worthy and lovable. For some, it is by being intelligent, successful, and powerful while for others it is the opposite. In whichever way our personality tries to control life, it remains just another attempt to be loved for something we know we’re not.
As long as this partial picture of ourselves is kept intact, we create separation. The message is “I don’t want to look and feel certain parts inside me and I prefer to judge others for showing and living what I choose to reject”, hence choosing separation, inside and out. It is a painful cage of continuous isolation.
Embracing The Complete You
The way to our light is through darkness. Whether we want it or not, the dark side in us is very active even though it is concealed and not evident to the outside. But we know it’s there, continuously asking for recognition.
The shadow should be met in a safe and loving environment. Otherwise, it is too afraid that its face will cause devastation and result in further isolation. When it’s safe we can start looking, seeing, and expressing what has been hidden from our awareness.
There are many unpolished diamonds of strength, creativity, and beauty, which we’ve kept limited so that others close don’t feel small, intimidated or scared. Speaking to our shadow is an immense step towards healing and self-love.
Initially, when we embark on this exciting and necessary journey, we may not be sure who we really are. But this is only because we are so used to our masks that expressing our true self is like meeting a familiar stranger. Soon new possibilities, choices and, perceptions appear.
Suddenly we can face the many question marks in our life from a place of strength and authenticity. We strengthen our capacity to be in this world more fully and completely. So, are you ready?
I can't be Charlie. I can't blatantly disrespect and mock any religious or ethnic group even for satire.
I can't find humour in depictions of religious figures of any stripe as animals or any other degrading manner when I know that those figures mean something to others even if they don't to me.
I find it offensive to continually attack another's beliefs and faith for entertainment. As Benito Juarez, who was a lawyer and former President of Mexico famously said: "Respect for the rights others means Peace."
Are you aware that genetically modified mosquitoes are being set for release worldwide? Right after GM mosquitoes were let loose in Brazil, dengue fever cases spiked. Now, the Florida Keys are in danger of facing a similar fate. The mosquitoes haven’t even been officially approved, but Oxitec, the British company who created the mosquitoes, has already shipped them to Florida. The only hope is a very vocal grassroots effort to tell the Governor of Florida that these mosquitoes will ruin tourism and possibly turn the natural ecosystem there on its head.
The GM mosquitoes could be released in the Keys as early January or February of next year. Though the approval process is still underway, Oxitec is so sure they will have its way that it shipped the mosquitoes in anticipation.
So far, there are no reported cases of dengue fever in Florida this year, so why do they need GM mosquitoes meant to prevent the spread of such diseases? When they were used in Brazil, they increased dengue fever while upsetting the ecological balance of the area. They did not ‘pave the way for dengue fever protection’ as Oxitec propagandized. A state of emergency actually had to be declared in the town where the GM mosquitoes were released.
Fracking, Tar Sands, & OPEC Meet Decades of Mismanagement
OPEC member Venezuela has one of the largest oil and natural gas proven reserves in the world. It’s the 12th largest producer in the world. It’s still one of the top suppliers of crude oil to the US. Oil produces 95% of Venezuela’s export earnings. Oil and gas account for 25% of GDP. Oil is Venezuela’s single most important product. Oil is its critical source of foreign currency with which to pay for all manner of imported consumer and industrial products. But the price of oil has plunged 35% since June.
Venezuela was already in trouble before the price of oil plunged. The fracking boom in the US and the tar-sands boom in Canada have been replacing Venezuelan imports of crude to the US for years. The Keystone pipeline, if Congress approves it, will replace costly oil trains to move Canadian tar-sands crude to US refineries, making it even more competitive with Venezuelan crude. Shipments of crude from Venezuela to the US will continue to dwindle.
Venezuela’s budget deficit is 16% of GDP, the worst in the world. Inflation is running at a white-hot 63%, also the worst in the world. The economy is heavily subsidized, but now the money for the subsidies is running out.
Minority report was released in 2002, but it's striking ad scene is coming to fruition today. Only, instead of scanning eyes to mark individuals and serve content accordingly, we willingly carry what silently identifies us to anyone sniffing for a packet.
Today's equivalent to the above scene in Minority Report would be beacon tech and the big data opportunities that go along with it. Beacons already come from a variety of vendors and are sprouting at retail locations, integrated into digital signage and are present at events.
The Bank of Canada says it's weighing the possible benefits of issuing electronic money.
Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins says the central bank is evaluating the merits of digital currencies like Bitcoin -- even as it monitors e-money's potential pitfalls. In prepared remarks for her speech Thursday in Waterloo, Ont., Wilkins says people who use e-money need to be aware of the risks of putting their trust in a lightly regulated currency with limited or no user protection.
How do you start a cold conversation with a gatekeeper? This is a challenge that haunts salespeople the world over. If you struggle with cold calling, you might find this technique helpful and one to build upon over time.
This is not a stand-alone opening line. It's not to be rattled off by a mediocre sales rep intending to waltz by the gatekeeper on the way to the executive lounge. Nope, this one requires homework. When done properly, it can and will make a significant improvement in your cold calling efforts.
Here are the steps to prepare you for using the opening line:
Step 1: Leverage your verticals
In order for the opening line to work, divide up your customers into verticals (industries, subsets, groupings, and so). In other words, group them by kind, however you may define it--demographic, size of company, industry, location, etc. The more connections these groups have, the better. They will serve two primary purposes: building vertical call lists and creating customer one-sheets.
The number of Russian military planes flying through European airspace has reached an “unusual” amount this week, according to NATO.
On Wednesday, eight Russian aircraft were detected over the North Sea. Those included four bombers and four tanker aircraft flying in formation, according to a NATO statement. Fighter jets from Norway, the United Kingdom, and Portugal were scrambled in response and tracked the planes.
“The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic,” the statement says. “This poses a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.”
Several other Russian planes were intercepted over the Black Sea and Baltic Sea over the past two days.
Every startup founder, eventually, wants to go head to head with the big dogs in his or her industry--and win. But in the beginning, it's crucial not to compare yourself to the biggest competitors in your field, says best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. Instead, think of yourself as a big fish in a small pond.
"Our sense of our own self-worth and our own self-confidence is derived from judgments about our peer group," says Gladwell, whose most recent book, "David and Goliath," tackles the subject of why some underdogs succeed and some don't. "So if you put someone in a very highly competitive pond, they are going to reach very different conclusions about who they are and what they’re capable of than if you put them in a less selective, smaller pond."
His public persona shattered, Jian Ghomeshi’s overweening narcissism has become the subject of public scorn. His reported violence against women, whether inside or outside sexual interplay, has been rightly denounced. Yet making this scandal all about Ghomeshi, we risk ignoring the broader sources of male narcissistic rage towards females. We are dealing here with far more than the pathological quirks of an apparently disturbed and charismatic individual.
We live in a society steeped in male narcissism, one in which aggression towards women is deeply entrenched in the collective male psyche. Nor is male sexual predation confined to a few “sick” individuals: that we see it portrayed, relentlessly and voyeuristically, in movies, TV shows, and advertising is beyond obvious, except for those mired in denial.
Acknowledging such realities is not “a tremendous slur against men,” as one denial-mired national columnist suggested recently; it is not to label men as “pigs.” It is simply to recognize that Ghomeshi’s reported behaviours arise from a misogynistic culture that degrades and confuses people of all genders. Few men enact extreme hostility, but few are those who do not harbour anti-feminine aggression somewhere in their psyche.
A new paradigm is organically evolving: new economic systems, sustainable communities, solar energy, organic farming, liquid democracy, worker co-ops and new media. For all the problems we are confronted by, there are existing viable solutions. There is much to feel positive about. A decentralized global uprising is undermining systems of centralized and consolidated power. A new world is being born.
However, as exciting as the evolution presently occurring is, after extensive research I am forced to confront the fact that I do not see how emerging solutions will reach a critical mass and create the needed change before the effects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society will lead to widespread chaos and violence. As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, as much as I want to just disengage from the status quo and focus on the implementation of local solutions, we cannot ignore the urgent need for significant systemic change on a mass scale now.
In a previous article, I wrote, I provided several reasons why I believed something fishy was going on about this whole Ebola thing. First hand testimony coming from someone I have been in contact with living in Ghana confirms that the US government has ulterior motives in mind here. Profit, depopulation, oil military establishment, the flow of diamonds out of countries on strike, etc. They apparently have also been spreading this virus via Ebola testing and experimental vaccines, and a plant pathologist from Liberia claims that this virus was manufactured in a hospital in Sierra Leone and was spread by the workers there. I got challenged by some people that the evidence in the article wasn’t good enough to prove that Ebola was a conspiracy. So I dug a little bit deeper, and found some pretty disturbing things:
Not many people realize that the US actually has a bioweapons research facility in the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone (one of the main centers of the Ebola outbreak). Researchers from Tulane University in the US work within this hospital which has been running since the 1970s, and biomedical research involving hemorrhagic fevers testing (such as Ebola) has been going on for literally decades. In 2007, the National Institute of Health gave Tulane University a $3.8 million dollar grant to develop Ebola detection kits, and in 2009 they received another $7 million dollars and began to develop a new emergency ward at the Kenema Government Hospital. Quite the coincidence that a major outbreak occurred right after over $10 million dollars in tax payers money was pumped into Ebola research in a matter of just 2 years.
Ebola biomedical research has been funded by the US government for the purpose of creating “detection kits”, and testing has been done with live strains since at least 2007. Now do we actually think this is because the US government cares about the health of sub-Saharan West African people? Is it possible they were developing it there as a bioweapon? Even the president of Corgenix says at the end of the first grant that the purpose of the grant is to prepare against bioweapons attacks by deadly viruses like Ebola. Hardly anybody talks about the fact that this kind of bioterrorism research has been funded by the US government in Sierra Leone. This brings us to the next point.