The world needs an answer.. A New Human Story.
What if there was only one problem? What if stress, anxiety, depression, bipolarity, OCD, trauma, addiction, and all “dis-ease” where actually symptoms of a deeper cause? What if this same underlying problem was the reason we have all the problems we see throughout society, such as oppression, abuse of power, controlling governments, excessive ownership, social inequality, environmental degradation, along with the dysfunctional nature of technology, the internet, healthcare, politics, education, and so on?
What if, by solving this one problem we would be solving almost all the challenges we face as a species?
This is a far stretched idea that will be challenged and questioned by many, as it should. But let’s consider, for example, something one of our greatest minds ever once said.
Let’s trust Einstein for a minute (cause why wouldn’t we) and ask ourselves, “are we solving the problems of humanity from a higher level of thinking that created the problem?” Each day more species go extinct at the hand of man while each day new social cultural and mental problems emerge. This isn’t right. Since we really aren’t solving any of our problems, lets start by looking at things from a different perspective. Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture. Let’s take every problem that is unique to our species and put them into one single category and call it “the human disease.”
Now lets ask ourselves, “what if our human nature created all these problems?”
It is time for A New Human Story.
In order to create a new human story we need to look at what makes us human in the first place, from a broader and deeper perspective. First, we are going to look at what it means to be human compared to everything else and the natural world. What makes us unique from everything else? If we can put all these pieces together, the nature of the self, society and culture, in relation to the nature of everything else, this presents a bigger picture of who we are from a perspective that is outside of ourselves.
This is how A New Human Story begins. And this story always has a happy ending. Why? Because once we realize the fundamental nature of who we are, aka “the human condition,” we can then figure out a solution to all the symptoms this crazy condition causes.
At the core of what makes us human is self-reflective consciousness which leads to subjective-objective awareness and the ability to see ourselves as separate from everything else. This is a unique human trait, which at a really young age, allows us to look in the mirror and say “that is me,” and look around our room and say “these are my things, ” and respond to our parents “you are not the boss of me!” It also allows us to write our own book, compose our own music, or create our own business that sends people into space. This unique human trait gives us the gift of freewill and self-expression, but it also has a tradeoff, the curse of the ego, the illusion of self-separation and the dysfunctional nature of civilization—which if you haven’t noticed, is kind of plaguing everything.
While this human condition is a unique trait of civilized man, we do not see this in tribal human beings. This is because tribal cultures (who still live in natural balance) act from an awareness associated with the natural world. In tribes, thinking, being and doing are all for the betterment of the whole. In civilization, thinking, being and doing are for the betterment of the self or the centralized organization. This is a massive distinction to make, and there is enough evidence to clearly see that our proprietary, ego driven way of doing things is what separates us out from the natural world.
In tribes there really is no ego and there is no ownership, power or control like we see throughout civilization. This is to ensure the safety and survival of the tribe first and foremost, and if any one member of the tribe decides to do their own thing, like create their own style of music, or dress a completely different way, then they will be removed from the tribe.
While tribes live in natural balance, this all changes when the leaders or shaman’s of the tribe start to abuse their power for their own gain. For example, there are historic records of shamans using human sacrifice to control weather patterns to prevent drought. Even though this was a brutal offering, sacrifice was done for the betterment of the whole tribe. But when the shamans began to abuse their power and use human sacrifice for their own gain, or the leaders or elders began to own people as slaves or control the land for themselves, something shifted. These tribal leaders started doing things for the betterment of the self. They started acting from an ego for power and control.
This shift from acting for the betterment of the whole tribe into acting for the betterment of the self signifies the emergence of the ego and civilization. It is the initial sign of man’s proprietary mindset and the beginning of our removal from natural balance, order and cohesion.(It’s interesting to note that the crown, a symbol of power and wealth in civilized cultures, came from the headdresses of shamans and tribal leaders, which depicted a symbol of connection to higher consciousness, or the crown chakra.)
This phenomenon is no different than when the ego first emerges and the child begins to identify with their self, their toys, their room, and whatever else, as their own. Ownership, power and control are unique traits of human consciousness we see in civilized man, but not tribal man or in nature, and they reflect the nature of the ego. Therefore, we can say that the emergence of civilization and the ego are the same phenomenon only seen through the different lenses of the self and society. This also gives us a clear definition of what truly defines civilized man and what separates us from the natural world.
Everything that is unique to our species is derived from this underlying condition. And this isn’t all the bad either, cause it is also the cause of all the positive things about being human as well. Progress, creativity, self expression, the ability to conceptualize and construct whatever our minds imagine, these are all the gifts of the ego and the human condition. Seeing both sides is essential, it gives us an understanding which tells us our overall challenges and our overall strengths as a species. It tells us who we truly are… and this is something that is missing from our current story.
Reverse Engineering the Human Condition
From the birth of the ego on, we as individuals create a story about ourselves and our reality. The self-reflective capacity to see ourselves in the mirror coincides with the development of the pre-frontal cortex, a part of our brain which recognizes distances in time and in space, along with self and other.
This allows us to imagine what our futures might look like. But moreso, studies show that 95% of who we think are and the meaning of the world around us is derived through our past experiences. This creates our story, one that is based in the ego and the illusion of separation. Separation leads to an inherent lack in ones own identity, in how we see our selves in relationship to everything else. Even reality and existence lack some degree of meaning and purpose if our worldview is limited by separation. The deeper we live in this state, the more it becomes who we are and the repercussions can be nasty. Think of the entire spectrum of mental illness, from anxiety or minor depression to full blown narcissism or psychopath. These are symptoms of a self-limiting phenomenon that our minds impose on us from a very early age.
Let’s create an analogy of how a typical human story is made.
From the time the ego emerges we ride our bike on the same path to life every day. Every experience we have creates this path and eventually this path becomes a rut that digs us deeper and deeper into a belief of who we think we are and what we think life is all about. This path is created by the belief that we are separate beings living in separation from everything else. This creates and enforces a lack mentality: I don’t belong, I am not enough, I need more, there is always someone or something better, I am not good enough, pretty enough, successful enough, etc… These stories are all derived from the ego, the illusion of separation and every experience we have living in this illusion.
Because of this self-limiting pattern we… take things personally; become obsessive and compulsive; build expectations and judgments; live with excessive fear, uncertainty and doubt; try and manipulate and control our reality or others; chose one side or another; etc… This lack of cohesion between self and reality leads to unnecessary levels of stress, anxiety, fear, depression, lack of self-love, bipolarity, etc., and eventually leads to every single mental disorder you can think of. Yes, all the different labels we are seeing for so many different diagnoses are linked to one single phenomenon, the human disease, which is rooted in self-separation. The longer we believe in and live in this fragmented state, the worse our condition gets.
Now, for someone who is productive, found their craft and love what they do and in flow in it, they will fell good about life and not question it. But this only exists till a certain point. Something either wakes them up, they are significantly challenged or then they get older, aren’t as sharp, are looked at differently by their peers and eventually need to retire. This is when a different reality sets in. One that is no longer protected by the ego and the story of their past. Their path leads them off a cliff. This can be one of the most dreadful points in ones life. I know because I saw my father go through this. He was a highly successful neurosurgeon who was totally fulfilled in his work. But once he had to retire, life came crashing down on him. He had no meaning and his final 10 years were the darkest time in his life.
The more we live our life in the illusion the more we believe in the illusion. Some day the illusion is going to fail us. It is no longer going to make us feel important, successful, or that we are just getting by. There is going to be the need for something more, because as long as we are in the illusion of separation, we aren’t truly living in our fullest human potential.
This is why we need A New Human Story. We need to reverse engineer the conditioning we’ve built day after day living in the illusion of separation. We need to create a new story that frees us from self-separation and redefines us for who we truly are.
The answer is actually very simple once this all makes sense. We must choose a path that brings us out of separation and into wholeness.
But what exactly is wholeness?
Remember the path we ride to life each day? Say we are in that rut, totally aware that we need change, so we go on a retreat, start doing yoga or we choose a vacation. We have a profound experience that takes us out of the rut and puts us in a higher place. We feel enriched, fulfilled, awakened, liberated, etc… This experience is life changing, transformative, inspiring. and it gives life a new hope and meaning. Then we go back to our day to day life, and within a week or two, we fall back into the rut of our old story.
This is the typical pattern most people go through. They believe the solution to getting out of the rut is going on as many retreats or vacations as possible, because that is where we feel complete, free and fulfilled.
What these experiences provide us with is a temporary relief from the pain, stress and anxiety of our lives. This is the same as surfing, skiing, going on long bike rides, going to a movie, a concert, church, etc. All these experiences are providing us with something that is removing us from the human disease. Problem is, it is always temporary and it does not take long to get back in our rut.
What is happening during these experiences is that we are achieving wholeness and this brings us out of self-separation. Any time we experience a sense of awe, bliss, fuck yes, stoked, ecstatic, blessed by God, etc. we are in wholeness. We can also call this the flow state, or the zone, and what is always occurring in these states are shifts in brainwaves, balancing of the nervous system, along with the release of various neurochemicals that make us feel really good! In this state the pre-frontal cortex, the part of our brain that distinguishes differences between time, space, self and others, becomes far less active. We live in the moment, become selfless, our actions are effortless, our experiences are rich and we are full of radiant energy. This same phenomenon is the experience of Oneness, the mystical experience that there is no separation and everything is connected. The scientific terminology for this divine state is Transient Hypofrontality.
So, wholeness is as much a spiritual thing as it is a physical thing. It also relates to the power of now and being in a meditative state. This is why meditation and traditional yoga practices have so many benefits. They are practices for bringing us out of separation and into wholeness, and the more we experience these states, the more we are reverse engineering the human dis-ease.
Any time our life is in flow we feel fulfilled. This is really what it is all about. However, we cannot force flow and we aren’t always in it either. Some people find flow more naturally than others, so it isn’t like we can just say, “go find your flow bro,” and you’ll be saved. It is much more difficult than that.
This is why A New Human Story is essential to understand. The same internal processes that are occurring during a peak-state experience such as surfing, snowboarding, long distance running, playing music, singing gospel, plant medicine, etc. are the same internal processes we can create through proper mindset and mindful practice. We can choose to create wholeness on our own!
Breathwork and sound therapy are perfect examples of practices that provide similar effects, and there is a reason why both are exploding as a tools that provide so many benefits. Just by focusing on our breath our brainwaves and nervous system are changing into more relaxed and cohesive states. Some breathwork practices allows us to literally breathe ourselves into deep states of consciousness similar to plant medicine or psychedelics (such as this one.) Sound provides an immediate feeling of connection because there is no separation in sound. Just think of any time you’ve every felt bliss, energy, or radiance through music!
The key is to practice something that brings us into wholeness on a regular basis. This is why daily practice is essential if we truly want to redefine ourselves and overcome the human dis-ease. And it doesn’t just happen, it takes time and dedication. Through daily practice we are developing new neuropathways that establish wholeness (happiness, fulfillment, well-being, etc.) into our psyche and rebuilding our belief about our self and reality. This is how we build our own new human story based in wholeness.
Peak-state experiences are also shown to have significant impact on our lives. They bring us a renewed sense of meaning and purpose and it is proven that they accelerate our personal development. Therefore, a daily practice that brings us into wholeness (such as breathwork, yoga, gardening, music, etc.) along with occasional peak-state experiences are the keys to reverse engineering the human dis-ease. The key here is to find the things that get you out of your head and into your heart. Everything else is just a distraction.
There is also a caveat to this process. The ego is all about control, and if we aren’t careful the ego will hijack this process and build an identity around it. For example, someone has a profound experience on a yoga retreat, they decide to become a yoga teacher and eventually build an image (and an instagram account) around being a yoga teacher. The yoga, which was once a vessel for wholeness and liberation, becomes a platform for the ego, narcissism and spiritual bypassing.
Likewise, without belief in this process our minds will override the benefits, and it goes deeper than that. We also have to understand that the wholeness isn’t coming from surfing, skiing, plant medicine, yoga, church, etc. It is coming from within ourselves. Therefore, we cannot associate our experiences of wholeness with the things that lead us to wholeness. Rather, we must build a belief in wholeness as intrinsic to who we truly are so that we can experience it in practically anything we do. Driving, bar tending, riding a bike, listening to music, entertaining our children, changing a tire, etc… can all be part of our reverse engineering of the human disease… as long as we find wholeness in them.
Living A New Human Story is living in the power of now and the meditative mind in everything we do. Focusing on our breath, being fully present with others, focusing on new surroundings when you’ve been detoured… Everything in life can be a means to liberation from the human disease once we fully understand the nature of this disease and the human condition.
Breathe, believe, and be free.
This is just a teaser for a book I'll be writing. Please leave any feedback: [email protected]
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