Thursday, August 21, 2014

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same!

Higher Journeys has a new home!

 The new home of Higher Journeys!
The new home of Best-Selling Author Alexis Brooks!

It's been a long time in the making (and contemplating) but now it's finally here!

The official online home of Higher Journeys is now up and LIVE and I am so thrilled to share it with you!

They say we are wired for change and yet often so tethered to our usual routine that we resist making that change!

Well, I decided - NOW is the time!  And so, although the Higher Journeys "brand" that you are all so familiar with by now will stay, the environment has changed, and I must say for the BETTER!

Please know that this original Blogspot will remain, with all of its archives and popular posts, so feel free to occasionally drop by to read all your favorites!

As of Thursday, August 21, 2014 - Higher Journeys can be found here!

But as of this date, Higher Journeys, its new articles, blogs, information, and all other breaking news from the alternative realm will be found at our new Higher Journeys site.

There you will find the latest in stories, news and views from a metaphysical, inspirational, transformational (a.k.a. -  Alternative) perspective!

At the new Higher Journeys site, you will find SO much more information, multimedia and freebies - a virtual potpourri of content to experience and share for your own Higher Journey.

Like this...

JUST for signing up for the Higher Journeys News-n-Muse monthly e-zine, you will get a FREE download of the brand new Transformation Through Spiritual Wellness guided meditation featuring Alexis Brooks along with Grammy nominated new age recording artist Steven Halpern!  This offer is exclusively for News-n-Muse subscribers!

That's just a taste of what's in store at the all-new Higher Journeys website!

I want to thank all of you who have faithfully followed this blog, or perhaps stumbled upon its existence by virtue of your own search.

As an "old hand" at this thing we call journalism, I still never cease to be amazed at how far we've come in spreading the news (outside of the proverbial media "box") and allowing it to be a ubiquitous force in enlightening all of the good people on this planet.

...So, Thank YOU!

And now - Drum role please...

Announcing the all new Higher Journeys!

C'mon over and we'll see ya there!

With much love and gratitude,

Alexis and the Higher Journeys Family

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams, Connection, and the Synchronicity of Experience

The pain, the joy, the sadness, the exuberance, the unfamiliar and familiar, are but a host of expressions of one continuum of consciousness and we are connected to it all!

It was only days ago that the world learned of the death of a beloved figure in the world of entertainment, Robin Williams.

Despite the personification of artistic genius, Williams apparently struggled with general acceptance, reportedly since childhood, gradually spiraling into a cumulative vortex of addiction and deep depression.  

Still, with his broad spectrum of persona; his convincing and infectious character, both on screen and off, millions upon millions of people came to know, love, admire, and marvel at this brilliant creator, leaving an indelible mark of emotion and connection in the hearts of the many who followed his work and his life.

It is this connection that is often intensified when it comes to those individuals well known to the masses.  Particularly those like Robin Williams who had the uncanny ability to virtually morph into any character whether comedic or dramatic, spanning the gamut of human experience, thus creating and/or fulfilling the universal archetypes that are said to be embedded in the collective unconscious of all living souls.  It is in this connection that a primordial link between individuals, whether personally known or not, can tether our collective psyche and unfold as synchronicity when notable events occur.

Keeping this premise in mind, I found the following play out of events worth noting here, which I would deem indicative of this very Jungian-esque idea.

The week prior to Williams’ death I had been on vacation with my husband on Martha’s Vineyard, a popular island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  While there, I had this clear and spontaneous urge of wanting to watch the movie What Dreams May Come starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Robin Williams.  One of my favorites, I’d seen the movie several times years ago and read the original novel by the late Richard Matheson at least as many times as I’d seen the film.  Why I had this urge to watch it again, and why now, I did not know - and since we were away from home, the likelihood of my finding it on the island was slim.  So I let it go.

A few days later (August 11), I’d been having a late meal with my husband and discussing the recent suicide of a young man several weeks ago whom I only knew of, through another close friend.  His suicide, which was carried out by asphyxiation stunned so many in his wide circle of friends, including my dear friend. The full spectrum of his story and all of the multi-dimensions of this short life touched both my husband and me so intensely that we’d spent hours talking about this young man, feeling as if we knew him.  Our conversation about him intensified on the evening of August 11th.  

Earlier in the day, I’d been visiting my friend who knew this young man quite well.  She felt the need to painstakingly describe his character to me: a young, vibrant, talented and extremely funny guy, though morbidly troubled since childhood.  She’d shown me several photos of him clowning around with friends, clearly captivating his audience at every turn.  A seemed dichotomy of character rolled up into one 21 year old individual.  

It was this theme that later dominated our dinner discussion on the evening of August 11th - the conflicting personalities that appeared equally present - that of the funny, warm, gentle kid vs. the dark, mischievous, restless soul.  Unfortunately as circumstances would have it, the latter won out!  He was found by a family member in his home, having hung himself.  An unspeakable tragedy to be sure!

Although both my husband and I had been aware of this awful incident for several weeks and had discussed it at some length, something about this day, August 11th, had cast an unusually sympathetic spell on our conversation.  First, it was the visit to my friend’s house, where she had felt intent on sharing an important slice of his life with me via the photos that depicted him as a “happy, go-lucky guy.”  Then we mused over how such an unfathomable act could be possible, given his oft experienced personality that was anything but dark.  I then carried the emotion of his story home with me, feeling the need to discuss it further, trying my best to understand “why?” 

Only minutes after wrapping up our meal and our exhaustive analysis of the loss of this young soul, along came the breaking news: ”Robin Williams 63, dead, apparently of suicide by asphyxiation…”  Needless to say, an absolute chill came over me - initially of the unexpected news of this massive tragedy but also of the preternatural details of what we had been speaking of only moments before!  

It was psychologist Carl Jung who postulated that each and every individual is somehow connected to what he called, the collective unconscious - a stream of experience encompassing past, present, future, and virtually every expression of the human experience.  Although often appearing as arbitrary in its surfacing, this field of awareness is always present, although buried deep in the psyche of man.

In Jung’s seminal volume, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, he recounts a story in which shortly after after delivering a lecture and then spending some time with friends, he retired to bed, although finding himself uneasy and unable to sleep.  Once he finally dosed off, he then awakened with a start, feeling as if someone had intruded into his room.  Perplexed as to the activity he thought he’d experienced, he then realized that what had awakened him was not an intruder but the sensation of a dull pain in the back of his head.  The next day, Jung received news that his patient had committed suicide, shooting himself in the head!

The collective unconscious is…the foundation of what the ancients called the ‘sympathy of all things.’

Jung later reasoned about the episode, “This experience was a genuine synchronistic phenomenon such as is quite often observed in connection with an archetypal situation - in this case, death.  By means of a relativization of time and space in the unconscious it could well be that I had perceived something which in reality was taking place elsewhere.  The collective unconscious is common to all; it is the foundation of what the ancients called the ‘sympathy of all things.’  In this case the unconscious had knowledge of my patient’s condition.  All that evening, in fact, I had felt curiously restive and nervous, very much in contrast to my usual mood.”

Might it have been our pre-occupation with the act of suicide and the loss of such a vibrant soul that linked past with present, unlocking a stream of experience from deep within the unconscious mind?

As I juxtapose Jung’s experience which happened many years ago with the unusually sympathetic and almost obsessive demeanor that both my husband and I exhibited, particularly since we did not know this young man personally, strikes a chord of curiosity.  Just like the unconscious had knowledge of Jung’s patient’s condition, the unconscious had knowledge of the death of Williams, which was happening at the same time or shortly before our deep discussion about a young (funny, bright, and conflicted) man who chose to end his life in the same manner that we learned would be Williams’ fate only moments later!

When we speak of archetypes and the collective unconscious, we are acknowledging that there are symbols depicted in people, places, things, and events, both fictional and non-fictional, that on some level carry a measure of familiarity to us all, whether experienced directly or not.  In both of the aforementioned cases, the archetype is suicide, but are the implications even greater?

This archetype, though focused on one individual expression (the young man), it would later be mirrored in another (Williams).  The sympathy of emotion became the synchronicity that would connect the two seemingly separate events, illuminating the idea that all things are indeed connected at some fundamentally deep level.  

Further adding credence to an all but explainable phenomenon of synchronicity, the movie What Dreams May Come, depicts a character played by Robin Williams who tragically dies and spends his post-mortal “time” trying to understand all of the subtle nuances of the afterlife and the ties of love that infinitely bind us all together to transcend the process we call “death.”

We are all inextricably linked and capable of glimpsing virtually any expression and at any moment.  When we fully realize this, we will understand that the separation of time and space as we know it is the real illusion and that the demarcation of life and death are equally illusory. 

Let us all carry on with this knowledge and evolve into the understanding of what connection really means!

If in doubt, synchronicity might just be our greatest clue!

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Acknowledging the Dream and the Art of Dream Recall

Learn how to improve dream recall with this one simple process...

The dreamscape has long been considered an elusive and precarious terrain, almost impossible to interpret, or so it would seem.  And yet there are many who rely faithfully on their dreams as a source of guidance - much like the many indigenous cultures who have for thousands of years sought out the wisdom of shamans to glean messages from the non-physical realm.

The non-physical it has been said, is a very real though subtle, mysterious dimension.  Some call it the imaginal realm, an actual reality, but without the density and perceived separation that we experience with our senses while in the waking state.

Despite its vague signature, many in modern culture find something very tantalizing about the prospect of dreams as an all-wise oracle - beholding profound knowledge and wisdom, about the past, present, and future - that which we experience as our linear time/space framework.  

We’ve heard many times, stories of individuals who actively utilized the dreamscape as a tool to solve problems, discover historical breakthroughs, or create complex artistic compositions.  In some cases, dreams were even used as a means by which to save lives.  I highlight one such story in my book Conscious Musings, about how African American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman obtained critical knowledge in the dream state in order to free hundreds of slaves, using methods and training herself to understand the metaphors that were encoded in her dreams!

Despite the impressive anecdotes that have persisted throughout history, many are still at a loss for how the utilization of dreams can be practically used for self improvement and overall well being.

First it starts with our ability to recall dreams  

Because of the elusive nature of dreams and its persistent non-conformity to a linear cause and effect process, dreams can be a difficult dragon to slay.  But before one can even attempt to distill the meaning of any given dream, one must be able to recall as much of the content of a dream scenario to begin this process.

How is this done?

Some people do have a predisposition for remembering their dreams, while others swear they don’t dream at all.  Despite this adamancy of being a non-dreamer, it has been well documented that most people over the age of ten dream an average of four to six times per night.  So the question becomes, “Why can’t I remember?”

This is a loaded question to say the least.  And there are probably as many answers as there are people who ask the question.  One clue may lie in our habit of being tethered to a fixed reality with little wiggle room for any type of departure from our normal waking life.  But that’s another story entirely…

In an attempt to reconcile this persistent quest to reveal a dream’s significance, there have been a multitude of approaches to help people recall their dreams.  Among them is the process of dream journaling.  But if you can’t recall the dream to begin with, how would this process be of help?

I recently interviewed well known dream researcher Henry Reed to discuss this and other advice having to do with the dreamscape and how to interpret its messages.  During our conversation, he shared a very insightful and yet very easy process that can be used to help trigger recall.

“Honor the process of dreaming and the dream will serve you well.”
-Alexis Brooks

Dream Play-Out

Regardless of what little fragment you remember from your dream, you can incubate your dreams by honoring its legitimacy whereby acknowledging just one tiny piece of recalled information.  For instance, if you were to dream something and all you remember is a color that was prominent in the dream, say red - you could wear the color red the following day.  Or if your dream included a scene where you were eating chicken, you would honor the dream by preparing chicken for dinner the following evening.

You can take literally any little fragment of the dream that you do remember, no matter how mundane,  and commit to acknowledging its reality by playing it out in waking life.  Why is this so important?  Reed says that by doing this process, you not only trigger a potential stream of recall of the bigger message coming from that particular dream in which you remembered, but you can also prime yourself for a habit of future dream recall.

Imagine, you could take any one tiny fragment of dream memory and acknowledge its presence by playing it out in the waking state and in effect unlock a virtual stream of consciousness!

Several years ago, I recall having a conversation with someone who was having persistent dreams of sea life, particularly of dolphins and whales.  In one peculiar interaction, she’d been talking to a whale while swimming in the sea.  She recalled that it was a vivid and important conversation, and yet she could not remember the essence of the message that was conveyed to her from her whale companion.  I then recommended that she take the time and go out on a whale watch day trip (here in New England whale watches are readily available to the public).  I then told her to find a private place on the boat where she could re-connect with this image of the whale, and when she spotted a whale (any whale), simply state out loud, “I see you and I hear you.  Now, what is it that you want to tell me?”   This simple process of acknowledging and honoring the dream image by taking an action of any kind can indeed trigger greater recall and ultimately lead one down the path of knowledge and resolution.  A powerful yet simple concept!

But one need not go out on a day excursion at sea to get the bigger message.

Here are some additional suggestions:

In the case of dreaming of a conversation with a whale or dolphin.  If you cannot get yourself to the nearest commercial whale watch, you can simply find an image of a whale or dolphin, either in a magazine or on your computer and communicate the same message: “I see you and I hear you.  Now, what is it that you want to tell me?”

Let’s say you dream of a prominent color or simply recall a series of colors in your dream, you can write down the colors by name on a piece of paper or even speak them out loud.  This, by the way, you can do with any image that remains in your  mind from a dream.  As intuitive expert Sonia Choquette has said, “When you name it you claim it!”  And by acknowledging this process by playing it out in the 3D realm, you are bringing the non-physical closer to the physical where the message can be gleaned and understood!

So what’s happening here?

We must consider that when you commit to acknowledging your dreams, you are making a decision to mirror a very real, though malleable dimension.  Although this dimension is less tangible than what you are typically accustomed to in waking life,  it still carries consciousness. 

By validating that reality, you are inviting its reality from the dreamscape into your life in a more concrete way.  By honoring this process you set up the likelihood of a stream of recall about the particular dream of which you committed to acknowledging, and then you open up a gateway and a means by which to understand the language of the Universe.  Despite how foreign this language may seem, you become innately connected to it and can then recall how to speak in its “tongue.”  And that’s what a little process called dream play out can elicit!  Powerful!

By committing to take every little piece of the remembered dream seriously, no matter how mundane it may seem, and mimicking the scene, whether it’s wearing red, or eating chicken,  just the simple act of playing it out, tells the dreamscape (aka, The Universe, God, All That Is, et al) that you see it and thus it will see you and now - that message that you’ve been longing for is primed to manifest!

Keep these ideas in mind

It is important and essential to engage your dreams.

Dreams are a gateway into intuition.

Edgar Cayce said, “Everyone can benefit from working with their dreams.”

Dreaming is a normal and necessary human ability.

Dreams have a purpose - align yourself with the purpose of dreaming and it will align with your purpose!

Happy Dreaming!

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Out of Crisis and Into Joy!

How I made the decision to tap the Universe to navigate my way out of crisis 

In my book Conscious Musings I talk about all of the external influences that routinely threaten our power and our ability to tap our own consciousness and that of Universal consciousness.  Have our traditional belief systems quarantined us from our ultimate potential?  Do the circumstances of our lives dictate our reality, or can we consciously and positively use our emotions and the power of our internal antenna to consciously create the reality of our lives and become the limitless and creative beings that we truly are? Although I'd aways sensed that the answer to this question was undoubtedly yes,  I had to live the answer for myself!

"The only source of knowledge is experience." - Albert Einstein

At the end of the book I tell the story of my own crisis and the emotional state that threatened to push me off of the path of joy and happiness and into a bottomless pit of depression.  I tell of how I made the conscious decision to use that “internal antenna” to glean messages from the Universe.  How I used synchronicities as my compass to navigate out of the crisis and most importantly that it worked!
Watch as I discuss how synchronicity "saved me" from a state of anxiety and depression and guided me toward a joyful existence.

Most of us are habituated into a worldview that dictates that our circumstances are largely in the hands of our external reality - the people, places, and things that surround our physical day-to-day lives and the act of routine - doing the same thing, the same way - day in and day out, certainly makes it seem that what you see is what you get.  That is until you have the gumption to switch it up, shift your focus and tune in to the true undercurrent of reality, complete with its vast and endless possibilities.  This epiphany is powerful and it is in the conscious linking into this field of awareness, knowledge, and wisdom that can free you from the grip of a marginalized reality.  Challenge is often the hand that pushes us toward this realization.  When you get to that very point - that bottom point and you make the conscious decision to tap that which we are all connected to - a CONSCIOUS Universe, we can then unchain ourselves from an expected reality and begin to live a truly empowering life! 
When you realize that you have EVERYTHING you need to guide you out of challenge and into the life you truly desire, the Universe will see YOU and support you; will work with you, dance with you and take your hand!  And how refreshing it is to know that you have a partner and an ally that is infinitely more powerful and wise than any outside “authority” telling you what your life is; what you can or cannot do, and most importantly who you really are!

In my own case, I was driven to make the conscious decision to trust the Universe – I made it my friend, and it took my hand and literally guided me out of crisis and back into joy!

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Imagination, Dreams and the Roadmap to Personal Transformation

It was Christmas of 2013.   My husband and I had family over to celebrate the occasion – exchange presents, “break bread” and enjoy each other’s company.

Among several gifts my aunt brought to me, was a small potted Cyclamen, a lovely little plant with delicate off white and pink flowers.  Although I was most grateful for this nice gesture from my aunt, my first thought was “I’m going to kill it!”  I’d tried keeping one of these little gems in the house before but it would invariably die!

For about two weeks, I’d been faithfully nurturing my little potted plant, kept it in a sunny spot of the home, etc, but just like I’d prophesized, the plant was beginning to wither and die – despite my efforts to keep it alive – it had other plans.

A night or two later, I had the strangest dream.  I was walking along a street near my neighborhood (at least it looked somewhat like a familiar street) when all of a sudden I noticed a gardener in what appeared to be a Mobil gas station, landscaping the perimeter of the property.  There he was, meticulously feeding and watering none other than Cyclamen.  I took notice at how absolutely prolific and healthy these flowers were.  This particular variety was a rich pink or fuchsia color with gorgeous waxy leaves.  They were lined around the entire border of the gas station.  I’d not noticed them before. In fact, the lush landscape that surrounded this otherwise ordinary property seemed totally out of context for a gas station, so it clearly got my attention.  

As I am keenly observing the beauty of this sight, I thought to myself, “I wonder if he would be willing to plant my dying Cyclamen plant?”  After all, maybe it needed to be planted in the ground rather than kept in its tiny pot.

With that I woke up!  I didn’t give it much thought, though I was curious as to what significance, if any, this might have for me.

“These are the flowers I saw in the dream!”

Fast forward to February – My husband and I had traveled from the east coast out to Los Angeles so I could cover the annual Conscious Life Expo and do interviews for my radio program, Conscious Inquiry.  During our stay, we managed to steal away and do a little early Valentine’s Day celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.  We had planned a spa day there, but prior to our spa treatments we decided to have a glass of wine by the pool.  While relishing in the beauty of the hotel and the warmth of the day (a far cry from the snow storm we gladly left behind on the east coast), I had the most profound epiphany – while letting out a gasp so pronounced it startled my husband, I said, “These are the flowers I saw in the dream!”  In fact, as the details of the dream began to descend back into memory, I looked around me and noticed that this was the place I’d been dreaming of – poolside at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  As I scanned the entire perimeter of the outside garden pool area, lined with bountiful fuchsia Cyclamen – that variety which I’d seen exactly in my dream, I felt a shiver of recognition run through my body.  “This is the place,” I said to my husband.  I hadn’t shared the dream with him prior to this, as I never felt the need to do so since at the time I felt it had no significance – until now!

It was only months before, roughly in September that my husband and I suffered greatly due to an abrupt downturn with our business that brought extreme financial strain – a journey that nearly brought me to a state of depression.  Lasting for quite some time, we’d both turned to some unconventional measures to help us through this turbulent period – utilizing “unique” meditation methods, and other modalities including dream sharing and visualization to assist us during this crisis.

Among one of the practices I’d insisted we try was for both of us to commit a few minutes each day, to visualizing a scenario that we’d find pleasurable.  But it wouldn’t be enough to just visualize the scene, we’d have to manage to put ourselves in it – really animate and illuminate it, so that it would become as real as we could possibly imagine.  We both agreed to concentrate on a scene in which we were sitting at an airport gate, awaiting our flight off to somewhere warm and beautiful!  We maintained our commitment to this little “feeling-visualization,” despite the dire circumstances we were in, somehow feeling that if we could imaginarily catapult ourselves out of this crisis, we could pull it’s reality closer to us.  In fact, I write at great length about this excursion to the “Imaginal Realm” – and how we used our dreams, visualizations and synchronicities to shift our reality out of a state of crisis in my new book, Conscious Musings.

I took the cues of the Universe – They came in dreams, in peculiar, beautiful, powerful, and sometimes humorous synchronicities – just enough to keep sane while riding out this storm.”
-From Conscious Musings

In the book, I discuss how synchronicities, if committed to noticing, will show up in the most unlikely of ways and at the most unlikely times, even if they are not noticed until weeks, months or even years later!  But if we can learn to hone our gaze and take notice of the little (and sometimes not so little) winks and nods that the Universe gives, we are sure to be supported in our own transformation, including the transformation out of crisis!

While sitting at the Beverly Wilshire poolside, cocooned by a bounty of gorgeous fuchsia Cyclamen lining the space, I recalled how merely months ago, this scenario would seem nearly impossible.  How would we manage an escape to a warm and sunny place when at the time, making ends meet was top of mind?  And then, I realized – it was our sense of imagination – kicked into high gear that provided our own wink and nod back to the Universe – the vision, the dream that would set the template of manifestation into motion.

Upon remembrance of the dream, the picture that I recalled, the beautifully landscaped garden surrounding a Mobil Gas Station, still puzzled me.  How was it that what I was seeing in the dream was this hotel – identical to what my eyes were scanning around me?  Why was it that this scene included a gas station?  And then it dawned on me – I recalled the familiar “Mobil” sign high above the station.  I suddenly knew the significance.  It’s as if the Universe was re-assuring me: “Despite what you think your fate to be – you will soon be Mobile again – free to travel and see these beautiful places!”

It all made sense! 

As I state in Conscious Musings, as much as we would like to know the significance of a sign (whether in a dream, waking state, or high atop a gas station) at the time that it happens, if we can manage to trust in the brilliance of the Universe, I’ve no doubt that it will meet us half way! 

In this case, not only did it meet us half way, it carried us 3,000 miles away for a little excursion that all started with a dying Cyclamen plant!

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Shadow vs. Light of Media and the Act of Free Will

"Most people live life on the path we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along who knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift that you'll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that's the chairman's real plan. That maybe one day, we won't write the plan, you will." 
– Character, Harry Mitchell from the movie, The Adjustment Bureau.

This is a powerful statement – perhaps the single most enlightening piece of narrative from the 2011 film, The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Mackie (Harry Mitchell).

One might question the “we” Mitchell is speaking of, or you might ask, “Just who is the chairman?”

As much as we may desire to know who or what may be pulling the strings of life, sending us on a predictable path away from free will, perhaps this matters less than how we ascertain the meaning of free will and moreover, how we ignite it.

Media and particularly the art and science of film-making: telling stories, conveying messages, and shaping culture, has arguably been the single most influential catalyst in creating our worldview – our reality, whether positively or negatively.  With this influence in mind, free will is often forfeited for the trap of projected images. 

Many have pointed out that the lure of Hollywood film and its spell-binding ability to draw the viewer in, has culminated in the forza primaria of social engineering.

Alternative researcher Alan Watt had this to say about the “spell of film” and its massive implications:

“Hollywood is the magician's wand which has been used to cast a spell on the unsuspecting public. Things or ideas which would otherwise be seen as bizarre, vulgar, undesirable or impossible are inserted into films in the realm of fantasy. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins. These same movies which are designed to program the average person, can give the discerning viewer a better understanding of the workings and the plan of the world agenda. Be aware.”

In a recent interview with producer, film historian, and new media expert Randall Libero, we explored the idea of both shadow and light in film and how depending on the level of conscious awareness of the viewer, the impact of what has been watched will be determined.  Libero reminds us that it is each individual’s decision as to whether they will use film as an escape from their own reality or to view it objectively with a discerning but detached observation.  Either way, the message must be seen for what it is – a story – not yours, but someone else’s.  And from his perspective, we would do well to understand the importance of this demarcation.

In my interview with Randall, I posed the question of the continuum of consciousness – the idea that whatever we are experiencing, including the movie we are watching is in some way a continuum of our own consciousness.  “Wouldn’t this philosophy of detachment fly in the face of a connected Universe?” I asked.  Libero points out that although this may be true – that all things are fundamentally connected, it is absolutely important to learn the art of being present, to be aware of your surroundings and not allow the outside world, whether in art, media or the person you are speaking with, fully draw you in.  This is where we can get lost in a maze of messages and essentially stumble off the path of free will.  He says, “When you go to a museum and you look at a piece of art, you don’t get sucked into the art.  You’re still aware that you’re in a room and that you’re walking around.  Your feet are on the floor or you’re sitting on a bench.  You can experience the art and feel what the artist was saying emotionally, but at the same time you’re not losing yourself.  Why can’t it be the same way when you’re watching a movie?”

This begs a much larger question – the act of viewing art in a gallery let’s say, which is represented as a static image.  It may be far easier to not get “sucked in” to the visual image than it is when you’re experiencing a motion picture.  The lure of characters playing out a story, the emotional pull that is so often skillfully invoked and in many cases the relate-ability of the viewer with the character(s) on some level, even if subconsciously, makes for a much stronger draw into the film and away from the act of being present.

Motion pictures are notoriously skillful at imploring an emotional resonance with the viewer.  Feelings of sadness, anger, passion, and fear are depicted by the characters.   These fundamental emotions can all be related to on some level by the viewer.  When you put emotions into a context that includes powerful sound effects, dramatic music or even hell-raising violence, the emotional pull is magnified multifold and potentially more effective!

Nonetheless, when one can master the act of desensitizing from that which they are viewing, whereby still getting a full experience of the film, much more can be gleaned from its message.  For instance, shadow and light can be experienced from an entirely different perspective – an objective vision.  Then one can choose which portions of the message, if any, can serve as a catalyst for greater consciousness and the rest can be willfully left behind.

Randall contends that this is a far more preferable way to go – staying present and conscious throughout.  And it is in this light that we can recognize and even distill the purpose of shadow and light as represented in many Hollywood films while not becoming a part of its psychological landscape.

David Norris played by Matt Damon is interrogated by the
Adjustment Bureau and ordered to stay on their plan.
In the Adjustment Bureau, shadow and light both play a starring role.  We watch as orders are carried out from the chairman to cause accidents, change routes and even mind-wipe unsuspecting individuals.  What are clearly seen as nefarious and dastardly acts – feats of wizardry not known to the general populace, are instead invoked to ensure that the individuals being intercepted stay on a planned life path – a path not determined by the individuals but by the chairman himself.

The idea of free will and what it truly means has been debated by philosophers, theologians and lay people alike.  For it has been said that “freedom is not free.”  Freedom carries a cost, if nothing more than the responsibility and courage needed to turn your back on what has been offered to you (including the film that you’re watching).   Rather it is more important to glean the messages for yourself that can be used to enrich, evolve and empower you.  This is also an expression of what it means to be consciously sovereign.

Now let’s revisit the Alan Watt quote in which he said, “Hollywood is the magician's wand which has been used to cast a spell on the unsuspecting public…. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins.”  What is key here is that there is an assumption that the average movie go-er is not conscious and not aware of his/her surroundings but has allowed the movie and its plot to take over their consciousness, thus “casting the spell.”  This is a choice that one makes each and every time they decide to view a film, whether at home or in a movie theatre.

Sadly, unconscious viewing is so prevalent today that it isn’t even recognized by the percipient as such.   It may be with this understanding that the average person is pre-disposed to getting lost in the film, and for a variety of reasons, that has been so effective in programming the mind to follow a given path, rather than creating their own (free will).

Ironically, it is within the Hollywood film, The Adjustment Bureau that seems to spell out an identical significance – that despite the intentions of “others” to set the course for you, essentially telling you what is or isn’t possible in life, it is those who dare to challenge the template and create their own path, despite the odds, who will finally know what it means to be free.  This takes the conscious and aware individual – one who stays alert to the messages and can determine their own meaning.  This is the subjective journey!

Paradoxically, it may be plausible that the aim of the Universe is to put stumbling blocks along ones path –  disguised as the architects of some Hollywood films, media and other systematic culture (i.e. the chairman), to push us toward walking the path of free will and thus write our own plan! 

Either way, free will is our choice, and once realized, what an exhilarating choice it will be!

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

11:11 and the Multiplicity of Meaning

Spiritual Prompt, Reality Encoder, Personal Oracle. The meanings are as diverse as YOU!

As the quest to resolve the mystery of the 11:11 phenomenon continues, so do the interpretations.  Why are many seeing this number so frequently but many others are not?  Why does this master number seem to attach itself to a range of synchronistic experiences?  Is there one universal meaning or many, depending on who is experiencing this phenomenon?

I checked in with some of my fellow colleagues – extraordinary researchers in the areas of metaphysics and consciousness to get their weigh in on what this ever-present number may signify.

Diane Brandon is an Integrative Intuitive Counselor & Intuition Teacher and says that she has been getting clients curious about the 11:11 phenomenon since the 90’s.  11:11 and variations thereof may be a subtle, unconscious reminder of things that are coming and to attend, pay attention, and prepare in some way, while being on one’s spiritual path.”  She goes on to say, “In general, I feel that it’s a message from the Universe to pay attention – whether to be on the lookout for an upcoming event, to listen for messages, or to strengthen one’s spiritual connection.  Sometimes it may be a confirmation of one’s spirituality or spiritual orientation or that one is on the right path – or a confirmation that these are momentous times spiritually and to pay attention to events for spiritual import.

To me, the beauty of the messages behind the phenomena being individual messages underscores the need to pay attention to one’s inner voice and how one is guided, as opposed to looking for a one-size-fits-all meaning.”

As Diane so clearly articulates, 11:11 may just be a spiritual wake-up call of sorts.  We have definitely heard different variations of the spiritual significance of this master number in the past, but then the question arises, if we are all spiritual (at our core), then why are some recognizing this number as an integral quotient in their lives and not others?

Here’s what she had to say from this perspective: “Perhaps back in the 90’s some of this phenomenon had to do with confirming to people that they were on a good spiritual path or had a role to play.  With the increase in occurrence in the past few years, my sense is that it has to do with these times.  I started to feel a couple of years ago that it was even more important for people who would be facilitators to get on the path.  It feels as if this is a time of clearing, opening of awareness even more, and some sort of preparation for shifts and changes that may be in the offing.  Some people were saying back in the early 90’s that in the future everyone (meaning spiritual facilitators) would be needed.  There seems to be a consensus among some people that we’re on the cusp of that time.”

The idea that some – maybe even millions have been called to be spiritual facilitators on this planet is intriguing.  It seems evident that we are indeed on the precipice of a global, or even universal paradigm shift.  Perhaps these spiritual catalysts, though previously unaware of their purpose in life and during these times have been given the signal to come into conscious awareness of that purpose through the 11:11 signal.

Throughout the course of my research on the subject of 11:11, I’ve surveyed a variety of individuals about their own 11 experiences, and then measured this against some of their individual characteristics.  Clearly those who’ve acknowledged the 11 phenomenon in their own lives fell into *several different personality categories:
  1. Tend to be spiritually inclined (not necessarily religious).
  2. Have a pre-disposition or sensitivity to psychic (psi) phenomena in their lives.
  3. Fall into a “youth” (12-18) category, both male and female; could be described as crystal, indigo, or “new” children.

(*Note that this does not preclude those witnessing 11:11 who do not fall into any of the aforementioned categories).

The latter category is an intriguing subject on its own – the idea of new humans coming to this planet, often able to demonstrate feats of intellectual, psychic and even physical prowess well beyond their years or that of their adult counterparts.  The idea that some, if not many of these “new children,” a term I prefer to use, are also aligned with the 11:11 phenomenon may give us a clue as to the evolutionary significance of this number. 

Interestingly, those youth that I’ve surveyed who see 11:11 (or variations of 11 like 1:11, 5:11, 9:11 and so on), seem to have a level of ease or a natural affinity to its presence whereby they are not necessarily questioning the frequency of the number, but rather accept it as a natural phenomenon or even a sort of celestial language.  On the other hand, some of the older individuals (including myself) who synchronistically began seeing the number in their later years have found themselves a bit more perplexed as to the how and why these numbers are appearing, although many sense that the presence of 11 carries some aspect of spiritual or psychic import.

Does 1111 lie beneath “The Matrix?”

In the original Matrix movie, it is suggested that reality experienced physically is but a construct and that everything that is lived out within the matrix (or physical 3D reality) is actually a code comprised of numbers arranged in a particular sequence.  Although couched within a “fictional” framework, the suggestion from this film is that our brains are sophisticated decoders, able to take complex strings of numbers and decode them into the experience of five sense reality.   Interestingly when we look at binary code, a numbers system composed of 0’s and 1’s  that are used to form images, words, and other strings of information, you will notice a strong representation of 11 in various forms: 11,111,1111 with 0’s separating out these sequences.  Even more curious is a recent finding by Professor Randall O'Reilly of the University of Colorado at Boulder who made a discovery that could bring mind-blowing significance to the 11:11 code.  Based on his research, he found very unusual correlations between the binary code of a computer and how our brains function.  According to his findings, he now contends that the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia part of the brain operate much like a digital computer system, which is based on this binary system.

The following is excerpted from an October 2006 news release from the University of Colorado at Boulder: Part Of Human Brain Functions Like A Digital Computer, According To CU-Boulder Professor 
"Many researchers who create these models shun the computer metaphor," O'Reilly said. "My work comes out of a tradition that says people's brains are nothing like computers, and now all of a sudden as we look at them, in fact, in a certain respect they are like computers."Digital computers operate by turning electrical signals into binary "on and off states" and flexibly manipulating these states by using switches. O'Reilly found the same operating principles in the brain.
Could it be that those who are witnessing a steady string of 11’s are getting a peak through the veil of what has been termed the matrix – a constructed reality based on a binary system?  The mere idea that there is a direct correlation in how the brain processes information with that of a computer, makes for an inquisitive postulate that could lead one down the proverbial rabbit hole of reality, returning with a whole new perspective on what our physical reality truly is!

This scenario brings about a much larger question of course.  Similar theories have been proposed in books like The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.  The idea that our physical reality is but a construct based on a holographic model and that our brains are holographic in nature, able to decode a mathematical system into experiential reality has been discussed widely in new science circles.  Of course this can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially if one is loathed to admit that everything in this physical world at the subatomic level is not solid but is based on energy vibrating at a very slow rate – only appearing as if it is solid.  If everything is energy, numbers are certainly an integral part of the reality equation!

Another somewhat scientific approach to understanding 11:11 in our experiential system has to do with something called orbital resonance.

Here’s what quantum researcher and author Cynthia Sue Larson had to say about the correlation of 11:11 with such a model:

There's a concept known to astronomers and cosmologists of something called orbital resonance, such that when larger celestial bodies such as Jupiter and Saturn are in orbit around our Sun, their orbital resonance is 1:1.   This is the same ratio as 11:11, and one could say 1:1 is a more simplified version of resonance... yet a version with information.”

So what, exactly, is orbital resonance? Here's a great summary from Wikipedia.

Cynthia goes on to ask, “And how, exactly, does an orbital resonance of 11:11 have meaning for us today?  You can think of this as a time of ‘great clearing’ in which many of us literally need more ‘space’ because our consciousness is greatly expanding. This in turn, impacts the nature of our relationships, and how we ensure we stay in healthy, balanced relationships that accommodate each of our individual needs to expand and grow, while at the same time respecting the needs for the growth and expansion of everyone else we are connected with. 

The significance of this time as being critical for human awakening at a time when we are learning more about the super-fast expansion at the time of the Big Bang is not lost, and indeed we can now begin to realize that each and every one of us were all together As One at the time of the Big Bang.  As this big, beautiful multiverse expands, so does each and every one of us, at a level exponentially greater than at any other previous time of transition on Earth.”

Whether it is the binary system undergirding our physical reality that has been exposed through a thinning of the veil or the integration of orbital resonance like movements invading our consciousness that is causing this oft seen master digit, it is clear that the pervasiveness of 11 on this planet cannot be ignored.  For its presence could have massive universal implications in the trajectory of mankind!

11:11 and Synchronicity

For many who tend toward using a spiritual compass to steer them in life, the recognition of synchronicity can play a key role in life changes and new inspirations, serving as guideposts along the journey of one’s path.

Award winning author of the book Lavender and dream expert Judy Gardiner is one who recognized the 11’s as central to several discoveries that were featured in her book. 

On 11/11/94 a dream message that the optic nerve would be a breakthrough for mankind led to years of scientific dream warnings focused on the Earth. I had no science in my background.”

Judy then acknowledges a very personal though cosmological connection - "My mother passed away on 1/11/02.  I reconnected with the Earth.  I am the child from my mother - the Great Mother Earth.  The convergence of the material and the spiritual is what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called the ultimate reunion at the Omega Point - the maximum level of consciousness - giving direction to the whole evolutionary process.  This exemplifies 11/11.  On 11/11/09 I discovered convergent vision through a dream; the ability to merge the invisible with the visible - the past with the future - to integrate what we feel and what we sense with what we see."

Taken together, the optic nerve breakthrough, convergent vision and the interrelationship of micro (mother) with the macro (Mother Earth) as well as other synchronistic puzzle pieces, make for a most extraordinary journey that Judy lays out in her book Lavender - An Entwined Adventure in Science and Spirit.  Blending the practical and the imaginal, Judy allowed the 11 symbolism to help her navigate through a maze of metaphors that lead her to some amazing realizations for humanity through what she calls "The Cosmic Dream." 

Similarly, Suzie Daggett, an inspirational speaker and intuitive counselor chose to use the presence of 11’s in her life as an intuitive mapping approach to discovering her entrepreneurial sweet spot culminating in an organization called, Dear Source.

“On 11-11-11 at 11:11, I was sitting on a bench overlooking a peaceful pond when I heard the words: Seekers Central – where did they come from?  I was not asking.   I was not seeking.  Yet when I heard the words (from some angelic being no doubt), I came home and grabbed the domain. 

At the time, I was in the process of selling one business and perhaps Source had this idea for a new business.  It felt like I was to create a website to introduce seekers to spiritual information all in one place.  As I started the creative process, Seekers Central looked way too big for me to create on my own.  After some intensive business strategy meetings I was overwhelmed. Friends suggested I start small, so I reworked the process and started tiny.  Seekers felt solid, real, and like something that might grow and help people.  However, after a year of hard work it did not take off and the business was not to be.

What came out of this 11-11 moment?  I believe it was a sounding board for me to take the next jump and instead of focusing on helping others get their word out (which I had been doing for over 10 years), it was time for me to start producing and marketing my words, my voice, my ideas.  Thus, Dear Source was created. I now have a website offering words of wisdom from Source interpreted by me in my voice and teach and speak about Intuition. I have published a book, PEARLS – 52 Contemplative Insights and have many projects ready to go.

It is a journey, no matter where you start or how you start. As long as you start, be comfortable changing directions when the energy dissipates and follow the dots to your idea of Source energy and All That Is.”

Suzie used a process that I have called “mapping manifestation.”  It can be done through the dreamscape, much like Judy’s cosmic dreaming, or through the recognition of 11’s and how they relate to our ideas, inspirations or even voices from the angelic realm!  The key is to know how to stay open and not settle on one course of action, even if it seems right at the time, but rather use the signals as signposts to guide you – unpeeling the layers, until you’ve reached your desired destination.  This is what Suzie did and I applaud her practical wisdom while going through this process!

I too have used 11’s as a sort of guide or signpost to navigate out of what I called, “A season of crisis.”  The details of this synchronistic journey are featured in my new book, Conscious Musings – Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential, and ironically it was in large part the synchronistic promptings that stalled the release of my book, now a best-seller, until just the right time!

Whether we will ever unravel the meaning for the omnipresence of 11’s in our lives remains uncertain, but what seems to be ever increasing in our collective awareness is that meanings, like synchronicities are subjective – brilliant spectacles of the universal process that knows each and every one of us so intimately that it will design scenarios that only we will recognize, and the 11 may just be one number to show us that spectrum of purpose, just like the spectrum of humanity that exists on this planet today.

Although the 11 is considered a master number, perhaps its message is to remind us that we are the masters of our own life and its mission is to simply help us along the path of a life creatively, joyfully and fully lived!

Learn more about the work of the incredible contributors featured in this article:

Diane Brandon
Integrative intuitive counselor & intuition teacher, author, and speaker -- Specializing in personal path/growth & dream interpretation

Cynthia Sue Larson
Quantum researcher and best-selling author of the books, Quantum Jumps and Reality Shifts

Judy B. Gardiner
Dream researcher and author of the award winning book, Lavender

Suzie Daggett
Intuitive counselor, author, presenter and speaker

Alexis Brooks is the best-selling author of Conscious Musings - Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular  Conscious Inquiry Radio program, exclusively presented by Conscious Life News.  Visit Alexis on FacebookTwitter and YouTube!