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What is Life?

what is life

What is life? Well, this is a rather vague question, which could be viewed either objectively or subjectively. First, let’s take an objective look. Life is when matter becomes animate. Wikipedia defines life as “a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not…”

By this definition, life is merely that which gives entities awareness and autonomy. But that does not answer what life is, that answers what life does. Life is the experience. Therefore, the question must become, what does life experience? But that crosses over into the subjective. We’ll get to that.

For now, let’s examine further what life does. Life gives a biological system the energy to exist. Where does that energy go when the system dies? Scientists have claimed to prove that this energy, or consciousness, moves into another dimension when its host dies. If that is the case, life is merely a virus temporarily inhabiting a physical entity. Here, that is. Who knows what it is when it moves on to someplace else?

How else might the question be seen? Perhaps philosophy is the only appropriate field to answer. In a philosophical sense, life is to exist. So, what does it mean to exist? Materialism states that all that exists are matter and energy, therefore, seeing as everything in the physical dimension is either matter or energy, life must be everything. No, that’s too broad an answer.

What is Alive?

what is alive

Let’s broaden the question a bit, shall we? What can be said to be alive? In 1785 James Hutton proposed what led to the Gaia hypothesis, positing that the Earth was a superorganism. According to James Lovelock, “life on Earth functions as a single organism that defines and maintains environmental conditions necessary for its survival.”

The human body is no different. Is your body not a collection of cells? Think about it, are you your body or are you your cells? If you are not your cells, then how would your body function as a whole system? Where does their awareness end and yours begin?

In this sense the entire Universe could be seen as alive, being that all elements maintain conditions for its survival. Without the energy from the stars, no planets would exist. Every element other than hydrogen was forged in the center of a star, plus without the thermonuclear energy, the planets wouldn’t continue to exist as they are. And so on.

So, that is one hypothesis. What else could be said to be alive? That which grows? Crystals grow. Are they alive? Many people believe that they are. Some define life by the ability of choice, in which case subatomic particles could be said to be alive, according to the Double-Slit Experiment.

But that is neither here nor there. Or is it everywhere? Anyway, after we’ve answered what could be said to be alive, we must ask, what does it mean to be alive? Well, according to Victor Frankl, as the experiencers, we are the ones that give our lives meaning by the choices we make and the responses we give to our experiences.

So, what does life experience? This brings us into the subjective, meaning you must turn your attention inward to find the answer. What is your life? Is it a random event swimming through a sea of random events? Only you can say. I can tell you what my life is, but that defeats the purpose of asking the question.

What is Your Life?

what is your life

The point of this article is to get you to question your reality and seek the meaning of your own life. I just watched The Truman Show with my father, which is one of the movies that really gets me thinking about the big questions.

I hadn’t seen it in probably a decade, but I still remember the way it made me feel the very first time I watched it. The thing is, I couldn’t really identify what I was feeling at such a young age. I can only identify it as a feeling that “there is something else out there” or “there has to be more to life than this.”

Since I can remember, I have always wondered things like what my life would be like years from now, what it would be like to die, or what it would be like if I didn’t even exist at all. My father, brother, and I have discussed such things many times, each of us contemplating abstract concepts our entire lives.

Recently, I have discovered meaning in movies, music, and books, many things from my youth that I didn’t quite grasp when I was younger, yet I knew there was something more to them, something so real yet so intangible. But how can something be real and intangible? You tell me. Are your thoughts real? They’re real to you, aren’t they?

You see, I am a huge subscriber of the concept of taking the red pill, as Tom Bilyeu would say. Take a plunge down the rabbit hole and take a look at your own life, won’t you? Yes, we’ve been talking in mostly philosophical terms so far, but I would be wasting my time on this website if I didn’t give you something useful to do with it, some kind of tool or tactic.

Here is a process which can help you discover the purpose of your life:

Get out a pen and a piece of paper. Close your eyes and picture your highest self, whatever that means to you. Maybe it’s your most successful, perfect form. Or, perhaps it’s an image of your spirit, a white light perchance. However you show up in your mind’s eye, ask yourself this question: What is the purpose of my life?

Once you’ve done that, open your eyes and write it down. Now, close your eyes and ask again. Do this over and over until you come up with the answer that really moves you, maybe even makes you cry. You will know when you have come up with the final answer.

Mine is to sing. I love singing. Does this mean I will become a professional singer? Maybe. Or maybe it means that my purpose is to sing, and the fact that I love doing it proves to me that whatever happens with my singing is irrelevant, as long as I do it, which I do just about every single day of my life.

What are you doing with your life? I truly hope that you can answer that with more than “earning a living and paying bills.”

The First Act of Self-Love

Do you love yourself? Ask yourself honestly. Why is this important? Because if you don’t you will never be truly happy. You can only feel loved to the capacity that you are able to love yourself. We are all One, so loving yourself means loving all of creation.

How do you know whether you love yourself or not? Well, are you constantly angry or fearful, or are you predominantly happy and joyful? Do you treat others how you want to be treated? Do you do things that you love to do or are you constantly making decisions you wish you didn’t?

This brings us to the first act of self-love: Ask yourself “What would someone who loved themselves do?” If you don’t currently love yourself—which only you can know whether you do or not—the first act of self-love is to ask yourself that question anytime you have a decision to make.

This process was proposed by Teal Swan in her amazing book, Shadows Before Dawn. It is the first of 100 processes that will undoubtedly change anyone’s life. Having gone through many of them, I can attest to their efficacy. This one, in particular, is most effective.

Whenever you are faced with a decision, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant or large and important, ask yourself “What would someone who loved themselves do?” Clearly, you will be using your own discretion, such as when faced with the decision to brush your teeth the answer should be pretty common sense, but things like deciding between eating ice cream or going to the gym, for example, while seeming insignificant, can allow you to make decisions based on self-love.

selflove

Someone who loved themselves would not abuse their body with junk food and laziness. They would take care of their body by eating healthy food and exercising daily, perhaps indulging every now and then, but certainly not all day every day. Loving yourself is taking care of yourself.

Trust your intuition to provide you with the proper answer. If you have been eating healthy all week, exercising regularly, and your intuition tells you to eat the ice cream, clearly you earned it. But don’t use this as an excuse to abuse yourself daily. To love yourself is to treat yourself well, which could look like reading a book or it could look like watching television for an hour.

Self-Love, Act Two: Stop Judging Yourself

Stop judging yourself for the choices you make. This is the second act of self-love. If you decide to watch television for an hour instead of reading a book, perhaps it’s because your mind needed a rest, not more stimulation. If you’ve asked yourself what someone who loved themselves would do then trust that the answer is for your highest good. Doing whatever you need at that moment is loving yourself.

If you falter, forget to ask yourself, or simply decide not to for a while, don’t judge yourself! You are going to make mistakes along the way, so try not to beat yourself up and get back up and try again once you realize what you have done or come to your senses and decide you actually want to change instead of remaining stuck in the same old pattern of habit.

Change can be scary. In fact, for me, it has been downright terrifying. But you can’t let that stop you from making decisions that lead to a happier and healthier life. At times it will, but it is in those moments that you are learning the most about yourself and what makes you tick. Learn to ride the wave and get back up when you fall. Emotional resilience is one the greatest skills you can develop.

Learning to love yourself can be a daunting process. Often, it requires looking back at all the things you did against yourself and others that either made you hate yourself or were a result of hating yourself or both. Hurt people hurt people. Try not to judge yourself for the decisions you made, but it is important to make amends with yourself as well as anyone else you have hurt. 12 step programs are very effective for healing and making amends with your past.

Act Three: Leave the Past Behind

The third act of self-love is to leave the past behind you. Once you have remedied the pain you have inflicted on yourself and others, let the past go. Stop judging yourself, beating yourself up, and dwelling on the things you did and the things others did to you. Once you have addressed them and allowed yourself and anyone else involved to heal, just let it go.

Forgiveness is what leads to salvation. No, not the atonement of your sins, but salvation from the hell that you have created in your own mind.

When you release the resentment, you make room for love where there was only hate. The heart cannot simultaneously contain both. That is a spiritual impossibility. And yet you still think you can hold onto both. If you hate anyone for any reason it is impossible to love yourself or anyone else. You must let go of the hate, for the more you do the more room you clear for love.

Perhaps what you need is a spiritual detox, releasing yourself from negative energy. Part of Soul Hacking is deprogramming your mind from negative beliefs and reprogramming positive, empowering ones. In order for new and improved things to enter your reality, you must get rid of the old and stagnant energy that is blocking it from manifesting.

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.”

The Meaning of Sickness

Why do we get sick? Because we encountered a virus, bacteria, or something else compromising to our immune system? Perhaps. But maybe we get sick because we are out of alignment with our higher selves. From a philosophical perspective, sickness can be seen as an error in thinking or behaving.

Some people think we get sick because God is testing or punishing us. Personally, I believe that sickness is a result of not living in integrity or authenticity. Many of us believe that we are inherently flawed; natural born sinners we call ourselves. But what if that was the deception? What if we are naturally pure and the idea that it is in our nature to sin is the lie?

People say we are born sinners because children innately do the wrong things, but they don’t realize that children’s minds are very malleable. People believe what they believe based on where they live. Luckily, thanks to the internet, we have all been exposed to beliefs from all around the globe, which is why there is a rise in people who are “spiritual but not religious.”

Before the internet, however, people generally believed exactly what their cultures and families believed. Why? Because it was the truth? No. People tend to believe what they are told is the truth, whether it actually is true or not.

Not anymore, though. As a species, we are waking up and coming to the realization that just because someone says it does not make it true. Our government is teaching us this lesson to the extreme these days. I don’t know about you, but most people I talk to are very aware that the government is not the most honest organization on Earth.

So, what does all this have to do with the meaning of sickness? Well, what we believe about health and sickness must be challenged before we can accept that our medical and pharmaceutical industries are not exactly any more honest than the government.

The medical community believes that sickness comes from viruses, bacteria, genetic defects, and so on. Essentially, they believe that sickness comes from the material, but thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Bruce Lipton, we now know this is not the case.

meaning of sickness

His studies have shown that our BELIEFS control our wellbeing, not our genes or anything else. Among one of his studies, medical patients were monitored closely and found to show signs of recovering from a sickness on the way to the doctor.

We believe that we need doctors to heal us, therefore, when we go to the doctor our own healing abilities kick in, much like the placebo effect, which has long since proven that we can heal ourselves based on our belief that we will get better.

In another of his studies, patients with arthritis of the knee were given “fake” surgery in which the doctor simulated an operation, cut open their knees, but didn’t actually perform the operation. The patients were not told they received fake surgery, and yet they still recovered the same as the control group who actually got the surgery.

These and many more studies have shown us how it is our minds that heal us and make us sick, not some external or genetic factors. There are tons of emotional healing techniques out there, many of which allow people to recover from all types of diseases, not just mental.

Now that we know how our thoughts can affect our health, let’s talk about how emotions do. Many of us have had experiences in our lives that largely shaped our personalities. Often times these experiences were painful and traumatic, causing us to create certain barriers in our minds in an attempt to protect us from the pain.

These experiences could be things like abuse and abandonment, or they could be smaller, seemingly insignificant experiences like being told we couldn’t do something or having something taken away. The point is, when the experiences occurred we were unable to process our emotions at the time and repressed the memory or feeling or both.

This creates what’s called a trapped emotion, which essentially is an aspect of your mind that blocks off the memory or emotion, preventing you from facing it, and until you are actually able to face it the emotion remains inside you, waiting to be felt.

You see, emotions are there to communicate with us. They are there to tell us things like “I don’t like this” or “That was pleasurable. Do it again.” However, when we repress the emotion it still tries to communicate its message, yet when it is unable to do so it keeps trying until it bursts out, likely in violence, or is released using an emotional healing technique.

There are many techniques available, the most effective I know of being what is called the RES technique by Noah Hammond Tyrrell, a former life coach of mine who is now the owner of Om Marketing Group. Here is a description of the technique given by Noah himself:

So, what is the meaning of sickness? It is to tell us when we’re off track, when there’s something we aren’t facing, or when our beliefs are out of alignment with reality. I am currently getting over a cold that has hit me three times in the last month. I haven’t been sick in about two years, so whatever is causing it is something big because my immune system has been in peak condition for quite some time.

A year or so ago my girlfriend had pink eye, strep throat, and some other infection. She and I slept in the same bed the whole time she was sick and I never caught any of it. The reason I am telling you this is because I am living proof that the techniques for health and healing work. I have used all of the techniques listed above and more, and it has kept me completely healthy for two years.

What went wrong? I stopped using the techniques. I thought I was “cured” and didn’t need to use them anymore. Well, until we are in some mystical enlightened state, we are going to have problems and we have been given many tools to address them. The question is: are you willing to use the tools you’re given?

Holistic Health and Healing

When we address health in a holistic way healing takes place. Modern medicine has made many strides over the last few decades, but they have also taken many steps backward. Our current disease model has doubled the human lifespan, yet the way doctors treat their patients has gone very awry due to corruption in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

The disease model says that an organ is affected by a defect that produces symptoms. Simple enough. However, many of the treatments doctors use only address symptoms of diseases they deem “incurable” while causing more side-effects, often worse than the conditions they are meant to treat.

This should not be news to anyone. We have all seen the rise of cancer and the failure of our current system to treat such diseases. Did you know that chemotherapy is only effective three percent of the time? Not only does it radiate cancer cells, but healthy ones as well, destroying the immune system of anyone treated with it, effectively killing nearly anyone who does actually go into remission.

While the disease model has helped us immensely, it is based on a false premise that matter is the basis of reality when we now know that all matter is energy; therefore, energy is the basis of reality. Natural, organic treatments are far more healing than manmade ones and they have little to no side-effects. We know this, and yet we still use unnatural medicines. Enter the corruption.

Modern medicine is lobbied by the “health care” system and the pharmaceutical companies because if people were healed there would be no need for health insurance or drugs. You have all seen the meme:

pharmaceutical industry

How to Achieve Health

So, with all that being said, how to we achieve health and healing? First, by eating what nature intended. I will not get too much into this other than saying that anything that does not grow organically in nature should not be eaten. We all know processed foods are bad for us, but many of us still eat them. I am guilty of it all the time, but I do my best.

The point is your diet should consist of as natural products as possible, as should anything that goes into your body or comes into contact with it, i.e. toothpaste, healthcare products, clothes, cookware, air, etc. For more on how to detox the body and mind and cleanse the soul, I recommend reading Angel Detox, written by Doreen Virtue.

We must detox ourselves from anything of negative energy or low vibration. As far as food goes, the longer the time between when it was picked from nature to the time it goes into our mouth the less healthy it is for you to eat, losing vital nutrients and high vibrational energy the body needs to thrive.

How to Achieve Healing

Once we detox the old we must make way for the new. Spontaneous healing can take place when one’s mind shifts from fear to love. To do this, cultivate yourself on every level: body, mind, heart, and soul. Love is the highest vibration there is because it is the only ultimate truth that exists. Everything else is an illusion of separation. When you unify yourself with God reality reveals itself to and through you.

Life begins to take on new meaning when you shift from fear to love. The ego dissipates, contribution drives you instead of hunger, and clarity shows up in the form of passion and purpose. You become clear on why you want what because you see that service to others is what brings true fulfillment. This is not just a cliché. Personally, I am writing this blog post for one reason: to help others find the self-love that they deserve.

Do I hope that it inspires some of you to purchase coaching from me? Yes, but I would write it anyway even if none of you bought anything from me because that is my dedication to serving my higher purpose of helping the world heal. I want to see a better world. I am tired of corrupt politicians and corporations controlling the world and destroying our environment, and I hope that my existence has such a positive impact as to contribute to the restoration of a more harmonious way of life.

Technology is a beautiful thing—you wouldn’t be reading this without it—but it also detaches us from our true selves and separates us from one another. In a group counseling session, I once heard someone say that they could isolate themselves in a room full of people. As someone who could relate, I believe we have an epidemic of loneliness. Everyone feels alone even though many of us rarely actually are.

Our egos are crying out for help. A common misconception of the ego is that it is your enemy, almost as if it is a separate entity, but the truth is “ego” is simply a label for a certain aspect of thinking. We believe we are separate from one another, which is when the ego was born, often during our physical birth, and when the ego “dies” we are “born again” into the awareness that life is eternal and we are one.

Many people believe that you are your body, but what you are is eternal, which means you can never die; therefore, you cannot be your body. The body is a lens of consciousness through which we perceive the Universe. Personally, I find it difficult to describe. All I can do is share my perspective. In my opinion, there are many things that are ineffable. Lao Tzu would agree with me:

tao that can be named

Taking Healthy Actions

Upon shifting from fear to love and from a getting mindset to a giving one, we must follow our intuition or actually take the actions that we believe we are being called to. Don’t be a donkey! Let me explain. Derek Sivers uses a parable to illustrate how you can do many things in life and accomplish a lot, but you have to stay focused on one thing at a time.

Imagine there is a donkey that is equally hungry and thirsty and equidistant between a bale of hay and a trough of water. The donkey, being unable to choose whether to eat or drink, dies of thirst. So, “don’t be a donkey” means that you can accomplish all of your dreams if you focus on one of them at a time. If your attention and energy are stretched too thin then you will accomplish none of them.

Stop dipping your toes in many pools at once. Instead, plunge into the deep end on one project at a time, master it, and then, when you have accomplished what you set out to, move on to something else. This could take years, or perhaps even decades, but this kind of laser focus is what creates world-class talent. As mentioned in another article, The Mindset of Success, true talent is cultivated.

The easiest way to find what you are passionate about is to think about what makes you angry. Do the corruption of the government and social injustice being allowed by it make you angry? How about war? What about the way we humans are destroying the very planet we live on? How can whatever makes you angry inspire you to take action that will fulfill your desire to have something meaningful to contribute to the world?

The Mindset of Success

I supposed that since the title of this site is Holistic Alchemy, the first subject I should write about in the spiritual aspect is alchemy. To begin, the concept of alchemy comes from what is known as Hermetic Philosophy, the ancient esoteric teachings of Egypt and Greece. This is where the law of attraction came from, along with many other spiritual traditions and principles.

The most commonly known practice of alchemy is the transmutation of lead into gold. True alchemy, known simply as the transmutation from one state to another, is a trick of the mind, the ability to transmute a negative state or circumstance into a positive one.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

mindset

How is this done? First, by seeing your struggles as challenges and your obstacles as opportunities to grow. Embrace the challenge. Carol Dweck, in her groundbreaking book, Mindset, discusses the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset says “my intelligence, my skills, everything about me is fixed. It cannot be improved and I cannot change it.” A growth mindset says “I can learn to develop any skill, expand my intelligence, and improve or change anything I want about myself.”

Some of you could be saying, where’s the science? I want proof! Well, the proof is in the pudding. Dweck studied thousands of elementary kids and what she found was that those who believed intelligence was static or unchangeable performed worse when faced with challenges on tests and assignments, whereas those who saw intelligence as malleable or changeable were able to embrace the challenge and work through the problems.

The reason for this is that when one has a fixed mindset they believe that their intelligence is determined by how well they perform and if they are unable to perform well without effort then they must be stupid, so they give up in times of difficulty. Those with growth mindsets, however, are able to see that hard work and effort are what allow them to learn, and as a result, they give more effort.

As it turns out, kids who are told about how the brain grows and intelligence increases based on their effort perform better, empirically showing that mindset makes all the difference and that it can be changed merely by a shift in awareness.

Cultivating the Growth Mindset

cultivating the growth mindset

So, how can we actively change from being in a fixed mindset to a growth mindset? How can we transmute our limiting beliefs into expanding ones? Well, as stated above, learning about it makes all the difference so I would suggest reading Mindset, which can be found on Amazon. Or, if you can’t afford it at the moment, I’m sure you can check it out at your local library.

Another way to change your mindset is to get a streak going or make small goals that you know you can accomplish easily and work your way up to larger ones. If you want to improve your overall skillset and grow in many facets, as most of us do, start with the basics: begin an exercise regimen, read for at least 30 minutes a day, or meditate for twenty minutes in the morning. Work on whatever your life is lacking.

If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, just get back up and try again. Part of the growth mindset is emotional resilience. People with a fixed mindset become identified and obsessed with their image, how others perceived them, but people with a growth mindset know that making mistakes is part of the process. The fixed mindset says that perfection shows skill, but the growth mindset says errors are what allow us to learn.

Some people believe that natural talent is what makes for high achievement, but the truth is mindset is what leads to talent. For example, Tom Brady, one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, was originally a sixth-round draft pick. According to most scouts, physical prowess is what brooks true talent, but not according to Bill Belichick, head coach for the New England Patriots.

Bellichik, when interviewing a prospective player, will take them into a hotel room, play one of their biggest mistakes from their previous season on a television screen, and then ask them “What happened here?” According to an article written by Daniel Coyle, called Stop Judging Talent; Start Judging Character, “One player started ripping into his coach, and Belichick flicked on the lights and ended the interview right there.” Why? Because he knows that character is better than performance, in the long run, meaning that character will lead to better performance when cultivated with practice.

According to Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, “The idea is not just to weed out players with the wrong mindset, but also to identify those who have the right one. Players like this skinny, incredibly slow, unathletic quarterback (Tom Brady), who developed into one of the all-time greats.”

Alchemy is the ability to transmute something from one state to another. Turning lead to gold might seem like a neat trick, but the ability to transmute a negative (fixed) mindset into a positive (growth) one makes all the difference.