The Revival of Purpose

I’m writing this to the part of me that cringes when I use the word ‘purpose’, and to the part of you that does the same thing. I find myself using this word naturally, without thinking about it. But then I’m also like, ‘but do we reeeeaaaaalllly have a purpose?’. So I thought about it and came back with a satisfying conclusion. 

 

Here it goes.

 

When we’re young, we get fed this idea of a ‘purpose’. We learn about the concept through heroic tales in the form of Disney movies, bedtime stories and successful grownups. The ‘purpose’ shown to us is very linear and is usually ‘achieved’ by the completion of a certain action. Basically, the hero gets powers and saves the world. 

 

So that gets buried in our subconscious as a part of what ‘purpose’ entails. We then get a bit older and adopt the idea that we need to find our one true ‘passion’. The one career we were born to do. Whether it be a firefighter, an astronaut or a rockstar, it’s waiting for you. And you’d better find it!

 

And so when we use the word ‘purpose’ now, it’s a combination these two things. Either a specific action or a particular career. 

 

So then we reach a certain age where we become more realistic. We’re probably not going to save the world. Becoming an astronaut is really fucking hard. God is a silly and anti-intellectual idea. But most of all, we have no idea what the hell we want to do with our lives. So we throw this whole ‘purpose’ thing in the bin and take a shit on it while we’re at it because it’s fucking annoying. 

 

I don’t want to mock this stage, because I actually do believe it to be a type of awakening. One becomes aware of the enormous and complex nature of reality and oversimple concepts such as ‘life purpose’, fall by the wayside. We can’t understand our purpose intellectually. What could the universe possibly need from me? Why would anything I do matter in the greater scheme of things? Haven’t you heard how insignificantly tiny you are in the universe?

 

Some of us come up with less controversial answers such as: ‘well, we create our own meaning’ or ‘the purpose of life is to experience it’, Thinking that just because we have answered the question, we have escaped the problem. But from my own experience, such answers leave me feeling just as meaningless as before. 

 

We mature out of the idea of ‘having a purpose’. We subconsciously come to believe that life is meaningless and that nothing that we do truly matters. 

 This happens alongside our development up and through academia. Our childish wonder is slowly exchanged for a razor-sharp scalpel we call the intellect. A powerful tool indeed. 

 

But then we get caught in the realm of the intellect, the thinking mind. And forget that it is merely a realm. A tool. Some get stuck there for the rest of their lives. Lucky for me, I had some psychedelic experiences which temporarily cleared the fog of this overthinking mind and put me in direct contact with reality. 

 

When your direct experience of reality is louder than your thinking mind, you are able to more clearly feel the pushes and pulls that come from within. Meaning starts to find you. You start to get in touch with your wayfinding system. And If you follow this system, it rewards you. You feel more at one with yourself. And through synchronicities, nature pats you on the back and guides you by ‘removing impossible obstacles’. It doesn’t operate on the level of the intellect. It can seem irrational to the thinking mind. In fact, overthinking is the surest way to lose it. Your desire to understand and rationalize everything can drive a wedge between you and your actual experience. 

 

I don’t fully understand my purpose. I FEEL Purpose. I move with it and ask questions later. 

 

Ever considered that maybe the human mind is simply unable of comprehending some things? Look at what your mind does when you try to understand the concept of infinite. Chances are it gives you a picture of the symbol, or an image of the stars. Ask for any more than that and you basically get a system malfunction. 

 
 

Same thing happens when we think about Consciousness and/or God. We simply can’t grasp them. And if we’re trying to work out how the universe might need us on the grandest cosmic scale, why would it not be the same thing here? 

 

Trying to force your ‘purpose’ into an intellectual, fathomable box, can get in the way of you aligning with your actual Purpose. You can spend so much time and energy trying to work out if you have a purpose and what it might be, that you don’t hear the call. 

 

The call that can only be heard underneath the thinking mind. It requires embodied presence to be heard. It speaks in yearnings, full body reactions and intuitive inklings.

 

We all experience these. Yearnings with invisible end points. We don’t know where they lead, so we don’t follow them.

 

Maybe you love dogs. Maybe you also get along with dogs really well. Maybe you want to travel. Maybe you fantasize about living in a forest for a bit. Maybe a month. Why would I go live in a forest for a month? What could come of that? That would be random as fuck. And your life gets more and more dull and confusing. And you wish you had a fucking calling! And you dream of the forest. And when you go for walks in it, you feel like you’re finally able to breathe again. Your confusion falls away for moments. And when you play with doggies your heart lights up, and so does theirs. But you’re waiting for a calling which actually pays so you leave that shit behind. Understandable. But maybe if you tugged at one of those threads a little, you would soon find yourself unraveling the the very fabric of your being. You might start to feel it sucking you in like a cosmic vacuum cleaner. You might notice doors ‘open where before there were only walls’. Maybe money flows where passion goes. I can’t tell you. All I’m saying is that maybe if you don’t hear the call, you need to let go of your expectations and open your ears.

 

Because it’s there.

 

Now forget the map. You’ve got a Compass and it works perfectly well.

 

So for God’s sake, stop fucking overthinking it.

 
Contributor: Nick Stubbs
Nick Stubbs is a mushroom enthusiast finding his way and sharing the insights learned along the way. He studied English and Psychology at UCT, co founded the Psychedelic Society SA and is the founder and creative director of Internet Dreams.

Conversations with Jordan Bates: New Earth Entrepreneurship

Jordan Bates, Founder of Ouroboros and co-owner of High Existence took some time to sit down and answer some questions regarding one of his latest passion projects ‘Shamanic Entrepreneurship’, now renamed ‘New Earth Entrepreneurship’.

Dayna: What inspired you to start the Shamanic Entrepreneurship group? / Could you possibly describe this project in a few sentences?

Jordan: One day a thought appeared: “Shamanic Entrepreneurship is needed now.”The name has now changed to New Earth Entrepreneurship, though to me the two phrases point in very similar directions.

I am deeply fascinated by the intersection between awakening and entrepreneurship. 

To me awakening is what brings internal freedom, the Truest Freedom we can experience: the recognition that Freedom is actually all there is; that All is Well and cannot be otherwise. 

And entrepreneurship, by contrast, brings external freedom in the relative domain of human affairs: The freedom to do what you want, when you want — the freedom to live your Joy, your Truth, to do what truly makes you come Alive.

Furthermore, as Bucky Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

When I look at the world, I see most people complaining or protesting or fighting against the existing reality, from an energy of antagonism, usually without offering viable alternatives. And “what you resist, persists.” 

The people actually digging in to BUILD new models and paradigms, to ground the New in real-world creations, tend by and large to be entrepreneurs. 

New Earth Entrepreneurship, to me, is what happens when entrepreneurs start to awaken, when they start to BUILD from a different paradigm of consciousness, from Unity Consciousness. 

The New Earth is first and foremost already here. It is that internal realization of Freedom. It is always available and you can live there Now. 

I am deeply fascinated, though, by the question of what sort of businesses, art-works, networks, technologies, organizations, communities, centers, and civilizations could be birthed by those who have begun to find the New Earth within themselves. 

Civilization is simply a faithful mirror of our internal paradigm of collective consciousness. It cannot be otherwise. If you want to fundamentally shift civilization, focus on liberating consciousness. 

Yet as certain thresholds of collective consciousness liberation are crossed, at a certain point the ‘rubber meets the road’ and it becomes time to start building and transfiguring the existing civilizational paradigms.

It feels like many of us are now being summoned to start building from Unity Consciousness. And it feels like good timing, since humanity seems to be facing an ultimatum: Increase collective wisdom, or self-destruct. 

Will humanity flourish into the far future? Are we on the precipice of a Golden Age or the Age of Aquarius? Is our highest timeline locked in? 

I have no idea, but it’s quite an archetypal cinematic setup and a rather epic game to participate in. : ) 

From the vantage point of All That Is, of Reality, of Consciousness, any outcome is completely Okay. 

Our True Nature is forever unblemished, unharmed, unborn, deathless. 

And this is great news! We can heave a Sacred Sigh of Relief and play the game without taking it so seriously. 

Dayna: If someone is interested in Shamanic Entrepreneurship, where should they start? What are the basic values and tools?

Jordan: Start by joining my FB group / community, New Earth Entrepreneurship. : )  Follow Juliet Tang, Jiro Taylor, Dane Tomas, Nikhil Kale online.  Read The Conscious Hustle by Dane Tomas and How to Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven by John Demartini.  Join the School I’m currently creating for New Earth Entrepreneurs; simply DM me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more information about this.

Dayna: As someone who refers to themselves tentatively as a ‘still-learning’ and ‘wary’ anarchist, the words ‘conscious entrepreneurship’ or ‘shamanic entrepreneurship’ do strike a certain suspect chord within me. It seems to me that the spiritual community has been widely capitalised and commodified over the past few years. Do you personally find it difficult or sometimes slightly disingenuous to combine spirituality with entrepreneurship or how do you go about justifying the combination of these two paradigms?

Jordan: I used to have more hang-ups about it but I don’t anymore. 

This is partially because I now clearly see that everything is spiritual; or, in another sense, nothing is spiritual. There is simply always only Reality doing its thing, Being As It Is, and All is Well.  Reality doesn’t make mistakes. 

If Reality is animating me to create a conscious-entrepreneurial Hogwarts for a planet shifting at light speed, far be it from me to argue with Reality. 

If the “commodification” and “capitalization” of the spiritual community means that spiritual people are actually beginning to learn how to ask for what they’re worth and receive compensation for the value they create through goods and services… that sounds great!

If we look at the world right now, the fact is that money and business are so deeply woven into the DNA of our civilization that it seems highly unlikely they’re going to go away anytime soon.

So we can bemoan this fact and complain about it and stomp our feet and pound our fists and… this accomplishes nothing. 

Or we can pull an aikido-esque maneuver and harness the energy and momentum of the existing civilizational infrastructure to start carving out a new direction. 

Business can be done with integrity, and high-integrity businesses create omni-win-win situations and a lot of value. 

On the deepest level everything in existence is neutral. Money and business are neutral tools. They’re amplifiers of what is already present in a person’s system. So if a person is deeply rooted in wisdom and integrity, money and business are simply going to amplify that. 

It is high time for a larger segment of the wise beings on this planet to manifest a larger share of wealth, so as to begin applying it toward the purpose of transfiguring this civilization in a more permacultural, regenerative, decentralized, omni-win-win direction. 

How else are we going to buy the land and resources to build regenerative farms and conscious-entrepreneurial incubators and ayahuasca centers and New Earth testing grounds and all the rest? 

We need capital. 

Capital, money, business, is what actually gets shit done in this world at this time. 

Reality is always workable, yet one might overlook this if one refuses to use the tools that are sitting right in front of one’s eyes.

Dayna: The spiritual community, in my opinion has perhaps become too apolitical, say in comparison to the counterculture of the 1960’s which was much more politically radical. I think this leaves it open to capitalistic co-option, creating inaccessible paradigms and a spiritual community that does not have its eyes open to a system that may use this political unawareness for its own capitalistic gains or ends, also creating a narcissistic spirituality where those who wear namaste t-shirts, travel the world, and attend ayahuasca ceremonies on a regular basis seem to pride themselves on being on a higher level of consciousness or enlightenment, whilst not taking into consideration that many simply do not have access to these tools due to their socioeconomic status. Do you have any thoughts or comments on this?

Jordan: Every single person, at all times, is simply doing the best they can at the present paradigm of awareness. Every single person, all the time.  This goes for “spiritual” people and all people. 

And again, Reality does not make mistakes.  So any question about things being “too much” this way or “too much” that way doesn’t quite make sense in my context, as things simply Are As They Are at all times, and Reality cannot be ‘wrong.’

There are no tools or practices that are essential for waking up. 

This Moment Now Just As It is will always be the only essential thing—which is fortunate, since that’s all there is. : D 

All people have equal access to This Moment Now Just As It Is. 

Dayna: On risk taking: There seems to be a general advice within this circle of conscious entrepreneurship, not only within your circle but spiritual business circles in general, that risk taking is the way to go if someone is to live a fulfilled life. Would you not agree that giving out such black and white advice may be a bit dangerous without taking into consideration someone’s social, class and economic status? Would you not agree that there is some form of spiritual bypassing?

Jordan: “What’s a life if you never take a risk?” — Mac Miller

Risk-taking is truly exciting once you dive into it. If you’re not ready for a major Leap, you can begin by simply making a habit of stepping outside your comfort zone — little by little this will recondition your system to understand that everything will be okay, and then eventually you’ll feel ready for a larger Leap.)

Life is inherently risky from the perspective of a human being. The next moment is literally never promised. Many people spend their lives hiding from this fact. 

To notice the inherent groundlessness, freefall, impermanence, and nothing-to-hold-onto-ness of all phenomena is simply to be honest with oneself.

When you are honest on that level, you’re likely going to realize that it is foolish not to dance the dance you actually want to dance in this world.

You’re rapidly dying; you may die tomorrow.

So why wait?

You have nothing at all to lose, since nothing, in Truth, can be lost. 

What You Truly Are is that which is Eternal. It is the One Thing that doesn’t change or fall away. It is the I AM Presence.  

As for advice-giving: People will always take from your advice exactly what they need to take from it, nothing more, nothing less. 

I recommend never blindly believing someone else’s words, including mine.  Take what is useful and resonant; let go of what is not; add what is uniquely your own.

And above all: Find out for yourself. Investigate for yourself. The answers you seek are all hidden in plain sight. You already know them; you’ve only forgotten. 

Dayna: How does one perhaps keep their ego in check whilst going on the course of conscious or shamanic entrepreneurship? Surely, in a business space, no matter how spiritual the community is, there will be spaces to take advantage, play the ‘know it all’, and certain temptations and tendencies that can take over ones ego if not careful. The dark aspects of the Ayahuasca community I think are a great example of this.

Jordan: One’s ego will always be precisely as inflated or deflated as it needs to be at any given time.  Life does not make mistakes. Every single aspect of Creation serves its function perfectly in all situations. 

That being said, the path of awakening is a path of learning to watch the ego very closely. The ego is a wondrously subtle and crafty bio-survival program. It is incredible how it can take anything and repurpose it for its own uses.

“Today’s transformation is tomorrow’s ego trip.”

So for the sincere spiritual aspirant, it is essential to watch the ego closely.

And beyond that, I recommend always remaining open to feedback and finding loved ones who are not afraid to shine a light on your blindspots. 

Dayna: What would you say to someone who perhaps would accuse you of ‘cultural appropriation’ in your use of the term ‘Shamanic’ in combination with entrepreneurship?

Jordan: I might chuckle in surprise.

From the human perspective, we have far bigger “fish to fry” on Earth right now than resolving the question of whether two mouth noises can be uttered in succession. 

Dayna: Is there a long-term vision for these types of teachings? Would you be willing to expand on that?

Jordan: No, nothing fixed.  I feel the Vision as a living, ever-shifting, multi-dimensional organism that is symbiotically partnering with me to birth things into this realm. 

I like to remain in an Infinite Possibility Space to allow the Vision to shift and reformat continuously, however it likes. 

As I’ve said, I am very fascinated by what awakened entrepreneurs build—and I like helping them actualize their Visions.  And it seems like this is needed on Earth at this time, else it wouldn’t be happening. 

Dayna: You seem to be quite passionate about mentorship and learning from others within this space. Could you explain why and expand on that? How should someone go about choosing, finding and convincing someone to mentor them?

Jordan: Yes, investing in mentorship has been one of the best decisions of my life. 

It is simply extremely powerful to immerse yourself in the energy field of someone who has walked the path you’re wanting to walk and has done the things you’re wanting to do.  It collapses time, allowing you to quantum leap into your desired reality more rapidly. 

It is also highly activating to make a significant financial investment in yourself. This acts as a powerful signal to your unconscious mind that a new chapter is beginning and it is time to go all in and make things happen. 

There are many incredible mentors out there; one doesn’t have to look too far. Use your discernment and find someone you deeply resonate with on all levels. 

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” 

Dayna: Does/how does shadow work play a role in conscious entrepreneurship?\

Jordan: Shadow work is essential on the path of awakening.  It is the exploration of all blind spots.As I mentioned, having people around who can illuminate your blind spots is highly useful. 

Shadow work is also the gradual reintegration of all pieces of ourselves we had dis-owned. 

It is the gradual realization that we are All That Is—that nothing is separate from us, including the ‘darkest’ and most ‘evil’ aspects of Life. 

Once you realize this, you can finally “see no enemies” in the world, withdrawing all projections of ‘wrongness.’ 

This allows for the transcendence of the ‘Us VS Them’ paradigm that has led to countless wars and immeasurable bloodshed. 

Dayna: What is your general opinion on money?

Jordan: As Dane Tomas cheekily put it, “Money is the root of all awesome.” 

Hahahah.

There’s a lot I could say about money; too much to say here.

Money is a clever technology humans devised to render exchange much more efficient. 

Money is a way of symbolically tracking the reciprocal flow of Life Force Energy in the form of goods and services. 

As I said earlier, on the deepest level all things are neutral.  Money is a neutral energy that amplifies what is already there. 

I trust myself with money so I honor it, love it, and welcome it into my field.  I don’t make an identity out of it or hold onto it too tightly. I let it flow in easily in aligned ways

Money enables all sorts of wonderful, fun, and beautiful things to occur. 

Is there some sickness and dysfunction in our current monetary system? 

From the human perspective, yes, though again, our systems are simply faithful mirrors of our species’ level of consciousness. 

We may be gradually transcending money in its current form, moving toward whatever comes next.

I don’t know what comes next.

For now, money is ubiquitously and inextricably embedded in social life on this planet.

Thus, it is far easier to work with this ubiquitous energy in a conscious and skillful way than to loathe it or boycott it. 

Dayna: What is your general opinion on capitalism?

Jordan: It Is As It Is, like everything else. 

It is Reality, and Reality does not make mistakes. 

The current manifestation of capitalism on Earth is, again, simply a perfect mirror of humanity’s collective level of consciousness. 

If our exact economic system were suddenly implemented in a civilization at a higher paradigm of consciousness, they would use it in a totally different way. 

We’re probably gradually moving toward something beyond capitalism in its current form.

But again, for now, things are as they are, and this is the context we have to work with. 

It is possible to transfigure capitalism, money, and business by harnessing these tools integrously—with sincere intention to create value and engage in fair exchange, from a place of seeing that: Anything you do to others, you do to yourself.

Dayna: I see you state ‘urgency’ as a tool for mindful entrepreneurship. How can urgency be used in a conscious and integral way to expand one’s business?

Jordan: Urgency, “time-sensitivity,” is an age-old marketing tactic. It’s simply a recognition of the way human psychology works.  If something has a time limit, people are more likely to act decisively. 

If you’re running a high-integrity business and you know your service is highly valuable… it makes sense to tap into time-tested marketing wisdom to create a thriving business. 

Thus, whatever ways you can find to integrously create urgency—e.g. by letting people know you only have 3 spaces left for your retreat or that enrollment for your course closes at midnight—are likely to bring new clients into your business, new mutually beneficial relationships.

Dayna: Urgency, decisiveness and scarcity – three tools you name – seem to fall heavily into your metaphysics of conscious entrepreneurship? Do you agree/disagree that these terms are quite masculine in their approach? Is there room for a more feminine approach to conscious business?

Jordan: Yeah, I guess you could call these terms masculine.  Money is a masculine energy. It likes action, it likes decisiveness, it likes movement.  Entrepreneurship demands decisiveness and massive action; there’s really no way around it.  You have to show up as a leader, put yourself out there, enact your vision, make offers, start having a lot of conversations, and build real relationships to get things moving.  There’s definitely also a huge feminine element: The entire energetic side of things could be called feminine. 

All the action and strategy in the world won’t get you far if you’re not energetically aligned, embodied, empowered, connected to Being in a profound way. 

And all the alignment and embodiment in the world won’t get you far if you don’t take massive strategic action. 

Ultimately I wouldn’t get too hung up on Masculine VS Feminine approaches to conscious entrepreneurship. As with all of life, both energies are present, and both are needed. And both are in all of us. 

On an even deeper level, What You Are is actually beyond any (gender) categorization. And when you tune in on that level and see that you are actually the One Life that is simply living itself through you…

That’s when things get really fun. 

Because then you surrender on a whole new level and taking massive action becomes increasingly effortless and joyful.  The action is simply moving through you; you’re allowing it to flow through. 

Dayna: Why do you think using scarcity and urgency to sell are not manipulative marketing tools when it comes to selling programmes or products to potential clients? Does this not ignite a sense of fear within your potential clients – are you not manipulating your client’s fear in order to get them to buy something?

Jordan: Urgency and scarcity can be created in an artificial way or an honest way. If I want 20 people in my mastermind, that means there are 20 spaces available.

Thus, there are a finite number of spaces that will be filled in a finite amount of time.

“Time-sensitivity” and “finitude” are less-charged terms one might use to re-frame “urgency” and “scarcity.” 

Time-sensitivity and finitude can be highlighted or built into offerings in honest, integrous ways. 

By building these in, you are encouraging people to act decisively. 

People spend millions on superfluous consumer objects promoted by marketers and advertisers who are using every trick in the book. 

In such a context, it is wise for conscious entrepreneurs to also understand persuasion and human psychology and to look for integrous ways to leverage this understanding to find the clients they are meant to serve. 

If transformational entrepreneurs were better at selling, perhaps more people would invest in products and services that can actually help them fill the internal void they fruitlessly attempt to fill by buying consumer objects.

Dayna: Why is it important to be selective with your clients or who you choose to serve or work with?

Jordan: Simply put: Boundaries = Love.

Especially in 1:1 work or any work that is directly with people, we are quite limited in the number of people we can go deep with. 

When we take on a bunch of misaligned clients who don’t truly feel like the best fit for us, we do them a disservice because the Resonance is not truly there.

And we also block ourselves from finding our more aligned clients who we will really feel excited to work with. 

No transformational entrepreneur is here to serve everyone; that would be a physical impossibility. 

Transformational entrepreneurs are here to serve soulmate clients on a similar path and frequency. 

Once you deeply realize this and start to get very clear on who your archetypal soulmate client is, it gets a lot easier to start calling in those you are meant to serve.

Dayna: Self love and value seem to play a core role in shamanic entrepreneurship. Would you mind explaining why?

True self-love is realizing that Love is What You Are.

Love is All That Is.

To begin to Remember this is the Greatest Gift a person can receive. 

This Remembrance redeems all of Life.

The greatest thing a shamanic entrepreneur can do for another human being is help them begin to Remember.

Dayna: What effect do you think the current pandemic is having on business as well as spiritual/conscious evolution in general?

Jordan: Humanity’s reaction to the pandemic—all the lockdowns and regulations and such—seems to have dealt quite a crushing blow to huge numbers of businesses worldwide, gutting entire economies in many cases. 

The online economy, on the other hand, seems to have grown due to the lockdowns, highlighting the anti-fragility of online businesses. 

I can’t really say what the effect of the pandemic has been on spiritual evolution. 

I feel it has been a powerful Mirror revealing us to ourselves. 

Reality is always just that: A Sacred Mirror, a Rorschach Test, in which you simply see your own beliefs and state of being mirrored back to you. 

In every moment, Reality is presenting us with invitations to awaken. The pandemic is no different. 

Whether or not humanity actually does awaken is another story. 

Yet, in any case, All is Well, and It Is As It Is. You can trust Life completely. 

Dayna: There seems to be this sort of justifying of charging high value for products based on self worth and belief in the value of your product within the spiritual business community in general. Could this possibly not be a way in which we are ignoring the shadow side of money – Where it does truly create inequality and inaccessibility?

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” 

When someone is truly ready to heal or awaken, nothing in the Universe can stop that from happening. 

In fact, everything will conspire to allow it to happen. 

When someone is truly ready to heal or awaken, the necessary catalysts and mirrors will appear. 

For myself, I can say that I have published hundreds of thousands of words and dozens of hours or audio and video publicly on the Internet. Anyone can access this massive body of work for free and receive much guidance across most all areas of life. 

For many other conscious entrepreneurs it’s the same story: One of freely giving away massive value. 

Most conscious entrepreneurs really struggle to actually start “pricing the priceless” and asking for what they are worth.

Yet when they learn to do this, that is what enables them to then devote 100% of their time and energy to their mission of assisting in planetary healing, or whatever it may be. 

Many conscious entrepreneurs have higher-ticket offerings and also find ways to work with sincere people who cannot afford a larger investment. It makes sense to have different tiers of offerings that can meet people where they are. 

Dayna: What has the current crises taught you, if anything? How are you dealing with it personally right now?

Jordan: It has shown me many things—too many to list here.

It has shown me humanity is still largely ruled by the fear of death. 

I am dealing with it very well. Life is a Miracle and a Beautiful Gift, as always. Dayna: What would you say is the most important advice you could give anyone right now who wants to start a conscious business under the current crises?

Jordan: Begin.

There is great power in starting. 

Get in the game.

Get in the habit of taking action.

Build real relationships.

Listen deeply to find out what your tribe needs from you.

Make offers at the intersection of your Soul-Joy-Gifts and what your tribe needs.

Find the joy of the rhythm of endless experimenting, refining, iterating. 

Find someone at least 10 steps ahead of where you’re at and invest in mentorship with them. This will accelerate your path more than anything else and greatly increase your chances of creating a thriving soul-aligned business. 

Enjoy.

Trust. 

Take nothing too seriously. 

I love you. 

Capitalism: A Mental Illness Generating System

In a country afflicted by endemic violence and social inequality, South Africa is a country in which evolving structural violence continues to perpetuate deep-rooted inequality, poverty and social injustice. The mental health sector is not immune to this and often struggles with the same issues faced on a societal level. Mental health in South Africa is increasingly becoming a social crisis; According to the South African government, around 400 million people worldwide suffer from mental health illness. This also include disorders related to alcohol and drug abuse. Also, there are about 23 suicides a day recorded and 230 serious attempts, with approximately eight hundred thousand people committing suicide each year. 

One in six South Africans suffer from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems (and this does not include more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia). Furthermore, research reveals that over 40% of people living with HIV in South Africa have a diagnosable mental disorder. A study done by UCT’s Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health indicates that, in low-income and informal settlements surrounding Cape Town, one in three women suffer from postnatal depression, while research from rural KwaZulu-Natal shows that 41% of pregnant women are depressed more than three times higher than the prevalence in developed countries. 

Only 27% of South Africans reporting severe mental illness ever receive treatment. This means that nearly three-quarters of these sufferers are not accessing any form of mental health care at all. In addition to a lack of resources, stigmas surrounding mental health pose a major stumbling block when it comes to treating these issues in South Africa. As a result many suffer in silence and are afraid of being discriminated against. Mental health illness is now known as one of the great causes of individual distress and misery in the world similar to poverty and unemployment. 

Mental health illnesses are of great social, economic, and policy concern. Substance use disorders are common among low-income individuals. The relationship between income and mental health is not just found at the very bottom of the income distribution but it’s also found in those living below the federal poverty line. This clearly shows that at the heart of many mental health problems there is a lack of one’s social economic conditions. 

Mental health, illness, the working class and Capitalism. 

There is an inseparable relationship between mental health and social conditions. The social, political, and economic association of society must be recognized as a significant contributor to people’s mental health. Capitalism is a major determinant of poor mental health. 

In capitalist society poverty, unemployment and exploitation are an essential part of the system. Ever heard of this saying? The rich continue to get richer while the poor get poorer. The system is meant to produce profit at any cost regardless of the misery extended to the health of the poor. According to the latest figures from the World Inequality Database, the top 1% of South African earners take home almost 20% of all income, while the top 10% take home 65%. This goes to show how Capitalism goes to great lengths to exploit workers and the Poor. The harder the working class works for less money, the bigger the profits for the owners and the more powerful they become. The more powerful they become, the more they’re able to impose their will on the working class, the more exploitable the working class become. 

The working class in South Africa has been experiencing extreme hardship under the Covid-19 pandemic. Some workers have been forced to endure the lockdown with no money as ‘no work, no pay’ policies were implemented. Others have forcibly had their leave days deducted from them, while others must prepare for mass retrenchments after the lockdown is lifted. Under these conditions, workers are faced with are a direct attack on the working class’s mental health. This is due to the significant correlation that social factors are at least as significant and, for many, the main cause of suffering. Poverty, relative inequality, being subject to racism, sexism, displacement and a competitive culture all increase the likelihood of mental suffering. 

Employers’ main focus is to make a profit by underpaying their workers for the value they deliver. This unpaid value becomes profits. The more exploitation, the more profit. The relationship between mental health and capitalism is often not spoken about, but because of capitalism’s pursuit of profit, we find ourselves living under social factors that are the main cause of suffering. . Poverty, relative inequality, being subject to racism, sexism, displacement and a competitive culture all increase the likelihood of mental suffering. 

Employers’ main focus is to make a profit by underpaying their workers for the value they deliver. This unpaid value becomes profits. The more exploitation, the more profit. The relationship between mental health and capitalism is often not spoken about, but because of capitalism’s pursuit of profit, we find ourselves living under social factors that are the main cause of suffering. Capitalism’s ruthless pursuit for profit violently undermined mental-health problems. 

Employment under capitalism depends largely on capitalists’ decisions to undertake production, and those decisions depend on profits. If capitalists expect profits high enough to satisfy them, they hire. If capitalists don’t, we get unemployment. Therefore, capitalism requires unemployment. 

The working class is always under threat of being unemployed,  The constant fear for most workers is a loss of income.The fear can have major influence on a person’s mental health.This threat places the majority of workers in a more precarious position. Working under such strained conditions can make workers sickly. 

Studies have found that workplace stress can negatively impact a person’s well-being, productivity, mood, and behavior. Being unhappy with, or unfulfilled by work has a significant toll on health, relationships, and even an individual’s lifespan. Mental Health America claims that “stress from work can impact their family life, mental health, and even increase risks for chronic illnesses and heart attacks. 

The whole capitalist system is ineluctably rigged against workers. 

In fact, you might say that capitalism is in many respects a mental illness generating system and if we are serious about tackling mental distress and illness, we also need to look into dismantling capitalism. 

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr

Contributor: Orthalia Kunene

Orthalia Kunene is a mother, activist, feminist and writer based in Soweto.

OrthaliaHer journey started as a activist fighting for service delivery issues in Soweto, with an Organisation called Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee/Operation Khanyisa Movement. Her writing  gave her strength to not shy away from the truth, it gave her strength to hold local government accountable and to advocate for access to information and  transparency through addressing socio-economic issues; inequalities around gender-based violence and climate change.

She is currently volunteering for an Organisation called keep left, as a working group member, keep left is a revolutionary socialist organisation that believes in workers control of society and the means of production. She is also a volunteer at an Organization called Extinction Rebellion, a climate change Organisation that seeks to fight the climate crisis. Her main focus is on Climate change issues, gender inequality and addressing issues of capitalism and how it feeds on inequality – particularly in South Africa.

Psychedelics, Conspiracies and the Neoliberal Milieu

Lately, we’ve seen a spurt of spiritual individuals, many of them linked to the psychedelic community, almost surprisingly invest themselves into conspiratorial thinking that lends itself to right wing tendencies.

I say surprisingly, but should it come as such a shock considering the context and approach within which most psychedelic circles take their ‘medicine’?

This term, ‘medicine’ in and of itself, although I do not want to discredit it completely as it does hold some value in that psychedelics can bring up unconscious material to be properly integrated, lends itself mainly to this underlying assumption that psychedelics represent almost platonic truths when one is on them, rather than revealing unconscious psychological constructs one already has, to be scrutinized and integrated with great care.

You see, without any reference to deeper critical thought, many psychonauts enter into the realm of psychedelics expecting to be offered some absolute truths. They enter into the realm as a neoliberal subject, stringing along the remnants of enlightenment values that serve to predispose as an upholding assumption that many, such as Jordan Peterson, use to legitimise the current socio political paradigm.

Let me just say, before all you Foucaultians (Foucaultans, Focaulteens?) begin losing your minds, I am only fairly familiar with the work of Foucault and so I use the term ‘neoliberal subject’ very loosely to describe a subject that is defined by the current neoliberal framework. An individual that does not see themselves or is ignorant to the part of themselves that is part of a milieu of knowledge-power structures, but rather embodies the very essence of neoliberal assumptions which lead to high levels of narcissism and a view of the world encumbered with the unconscious or underlying ideas of ultimate enlightenment truths.

For example, the assumption that has leaked into neoliberal enlightenment related thinking is that we are gods in some sense,  that our freedom is solely based in the mind and body of the separate individual.  The ‘I’ or the ego then becomes inflated and this is perhaps why we see much spiritual arrogance from those leaving Ayahuasca spaces, rather than what would be the presumed dissolution of ego.

On top of that it emboldens ideas that sit at the tails of these separate ‘I’s such as the faux conception of freedom that we have seen and continue to see many trumping (yes I used that word on purpose) out in the streets, demanding that wearing a mask is a vexing violation to their intensified egos.

When a neoliberal subject enters into a psychedelic space, void of deep criticisms beyond the current milieu besides shallow rat race analyses, instead of leaving the psychedelic space with more knowledge of themselves, of an understanding that the material they just encountered is connected to the cultural and political context, to be analysed and integrated or dismissed accordingly, they simply solidify these neoliberal constructs, coming out of their trance-like states with capitalist egos stronger than before.

These types of un-deconstructed egos lead to magical thinking and the idea of higher platonic truths, which if one looks deeper, conspiratorial thinking matches up with. The idea that life could be as simple as good and bad, the upholding of the neoliberal subject with its faux freedoms and deep enlightenment assumptions mixed with magical thinking all hold up the space for what we now deem to be conspiracy theories.

Perhaps the current psychedelic community needs to take some lessons from the first psychedelic counterculture in the 1960’s, which although imperfect and fraught with it’s own areas of magical thinking, approached the use of psychedelics with a more critical, rigorously thinking mindspace.

Psychedelics unlikely to be beholden to platonic ideals where one enters into another state to discover the ultimate truths of reality. Rather, in my opinion, they reveal to us the cultural constructs and baggage we have been carrying.

This is not an opinion that I hold in vain. In an article, namely “A Response to ‘Early Reflections on Interviews with Palestinians and Israelis Drinking Ayahuasca Together‘”  author and Doctor Sawsun Nur Eddin discussed the complexities of serving Ayahuasca to Palestinians within a western-influenced ‘shamanic’ new age context, thereby, in a sense performing, in his own words. “an exercise in psychedelic lobotomy” and as I understood it effectively pacifying the activism of participating Palestinians to fit within a Western-centric spiritual conception of love and light.

This lobotomy exercise is only possible because the author tends to agree with my views on how psychedelics function in relation to the psyche.

He states in the article that, “When ‘shamanistic’ Amazonian practices are extracted and transposed into a different context, the experience becomes clothed in familiar garb taken from one’s own language, social practices, and cultural and political discourses,” and even goes onto quote another who shares the same view: “The reality of this situation was spelled out by Dr. Brian Pace, ‘There have long been vague implications that wider psychedelic use will somehow inspire progressive values, universal siblinghood, and an ecotopia of overlong, platonic hugs. Psychedelics are chemicals carrying a lot of cultural baggage…In any case, evidence mounts indicating that the full spectrum of right-wing ideology, from outright Nazism to conservative-leaning centrism, is demonstrably hospitable to psychedelics–not uniquely endangered by them.’

A more anecdotal example is when my friend took some psychedelics at AfrikaBurn in the midst of studying his philosophy degree, and became convinced under the influence of the substance, that he was actually Hegel’s conception of the Geist.

Therefore, If we do not contend with this wider socio-political ‘set and setting’,  the societal baggage we bring with us into the psychedelic space or ‘ceremony’ we risk emboldening ourselves as neoliberal subjects, imprisoned by our current milieu, rather than seeing through the facade of our current culture or what Terence Mckenna famously (or infamously) referred to as, ” a linguistically reinforced hallucination.”

 

 

Contributor and Founder:  Dayna Joan Remus

 Previous long-time fence sitter, Dayna now refers to herself as a “wary anarchist” and “part-time vegan” – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. When she isn’t working her full-time job as a publisher and obsessing over it’Sunny you will probably find her pacing around and reading or singing Disney songs in – and out – the shower.

 

 

 

 

The Limits and Possibilities of Morality for Finite Humans Living in a Finite World

“Nihilism represents the ultimate logical conclusion of our great values and ideals – because we must experience nihilism before we can find out what these ‘values’ really had. – We require, sometime, new values.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Preface, §4.

How do we – human, all too human beings – reform our thinking anew so as to conceive of new values? How do we get beyond the threat of existential meaninglessness – or nihilism – in the wake of the demise of our old values and worldviews? These were some of the more pressing questions that beset the mind of one of the most polemical thinkers of western philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900). Indeed, Nietzsche was a perspicacious thinker, but first and foremost he was a troubled (and for some, a troublesome) thinker. What troubles Nietzsche’s thought is the possibility of thinking otherwise, in what might be termed a wisdom of otherness. Nietzsche (in)famously wrote that “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him” (The Gay Science, §125). It would be folly to interpret these words literally (such as can be seen in that fool’s errand of a film entitled “God’s Not Dead”). What Nietzsche has in mind in proclaiming the death of god is not any kind of monstrous deicide, but rather a particular form of intellectual-existential homicide, or what I prefer to call “sapiocide” – the deliberate dismantling and induced demise of former forms of human wisdom. This is by no means a physical death, but a death of the metaphysical and the spiritual as we have thought (about) it until now. Nietzsche’s thought speaks to the fact that something has changed in and of our world, such that it is now incumbent upon human beings to start thinking otherwise.

We, as a human collective, now find ourselves situated in a world that is decidedly otherwise than it has been historically, and whose vast complexity and plurality of meaning(s) stretches further than our former fictions and philosophies could have fathomed. Yet, as human beings, it is too often the case that we attempt to confront our contemporary concerns by means of a return or reversion to meaning(s) offered to our thinking from the repository of our past. On the face of it, this form of thought might initially appear to be our only recourse in navigating an uncertain world. Such conservative thinking is aptly expressed in the Confucian proverb: “study the past if you would define the future”. While there is a measure of merit and even wisdom resonating in these words, the emphasis should be placed on our directedness towards the future rather than the past. This is because there can be no “return” to meaning(s) made in and of our human past for the simple fact that meaning(s) are necessarily contextually contingent. Every human meaning or value has a socio-historical context that circumscribes its formation(s). History invariably demonstrates to us that every such “return” to past meaning(s) or values is tantamount to an anachronistic atavism of thought.

It is precisely on this point that right-wing conservatism falters in the face of the here and now. Conservatism finds its way forward by first finding its way back. But the conservative narrative of a “return” conceives of meaning as if meaning has somehow been lost to the past through its sacrifice on the altar of the present. But such a sacrifice cannot be made, for meaning is only manifest(ed) on the temporal horizon of contemporary concerns. This is why the past cannot be reclaimed, but can only be remembered in the name of a present already directed towards its possible future(s). Without recourse to (obsolete) conservative values, the Nietzschean question becomes: how do we revaluate our moral values to coincide with contemporary existential concerns and thus speak (in)directly to the future?

This is obviously not an easy question to answer. However, we can and must start to (re)think the meaning(s) and values of our time by asking ourselves: what are the moral imperatives that are being demanded of human beings by our increasingly interconnected world? This is firstly to acknowledge that our moral imperatives should not be derived from a transcendent source beyond this world. Our moral meaning(s) must be rooted in this world that calls them forth into existence. The very nature of, and need for, morality can be found in its etymological meaning: mores (Latin), socio-cultural customs. We have morals because we need values in order to advance society and make it work in a peaceable fashion. Yet, this does not suggest in any necessary way that morality need be derived from a higher ontological principle, such as a Judeo-Christian “God”, or a Platonic “Form”. Surely the world itself, in all its blazing finitude, must be our first and highest ontological principle in and of itself. Why? Because we are responsible for the world in which we exist. We are responsible for each other owing to our collective species-being (to use a term from Marx). Morality is merely responsibility writ large.

More and more, our contemporary world, with all its interconnected complexities and environmental degradation, is demanding of us to respond more responsibly to its finitude, its limits and its possibilities. To be sure, this does not preclude the possibilities of metaphysical meaning(s) beyond this world. God(s) or Platonic Form(s) may or may not exist – but this is not what is at issue or at stake in our immediate worldly reality and its sense of morality. Our first responsibility can no longer be to the gods, to the metaphysical, to the past, and certainly not to tradition for its own sake. Our responsibilities reside in confronting the difficult existential complexities of the finite (rather than infinite) realities that beset us on all sides, today and tomorrow. This thinking allows us to begin (and we’re very much only at the beginning, here and now) to conceive of what new moral principles for our world and our time might look like.

Above all, our contemporary moral imperative should be to acknowledge the complex plurality and interconnectedness of our shared world. Each one of us must self-reflexively pause and take stock of our thinking, values, and beliefs in such a way that we acknowledge that the world is a complex matrix of interconnected and inter-determined variables. What this means is that it would be patently irresponsible, and dare I even say immoral, of any human being to conduct their lives in such a way as to defer or denounce their cognisance of difference, of otherness, of change and variability, of nuance and subtlety, and of the interconnected nature of things, ideas, peoples, places, and times. We must not negate complexity in the name of some idealised simplicity. Our ideals must not be posited at the expense of our reality – ideals must serve reality, and never allow us to eschew our primary responsibility to the world and its inhabitants. If our morals are not rooted in a finite existence in a finite world, then our sense of morality would be rooted in sheer nihilistic nothingness, floating listlessly in some arbitrary abstract realm posited somewhere beyond this world.

This is to say that anyone who flees in the face of our finite world and its finite inhabitants does a disservice to existence itself. We need, therefore, to cultivate a faith in this world, concomitant with a faith in its future, which is, ipso facto, our future. We need to believe in the infinite possibilities of a finite existence, thus recovering infinitude from its otherworldly abode in the heavens and returning it to the finite world itself, where it rightly belongs. We need to believe in a meaningful human freedom without the need for metaphysical transcendence to be its guarantor. We need information and knowledge to be open, respected, uplifted, and shared; not restricted, ignored, squandered, nor hoarded in the name of “intellectual property”. Moreover, we need more than the vacuous rhetorical repetition of liberal democratic values like freedom, equality, and dignity. We need existential values and principles that speak not only to a particular group but to our collective species-being: human exuberance, sorrow and suffering, fear-of-death, community, and our desperate need for meaning.

And yet, the temptation of non-finite thinking always remains: placing our finitude, and that of our planet, at the mercy of an unattainable infinitude. Even contemporary global neo-liberal capitalism suffers from its own surplus of non-finite thinking in that its operations contribute to the effacement of the finitude of our planet. Surely we cannot afford to abide such non-finite thinking going forward, for we are necessarily finite beings living in a finite world. This is our human, all too human condition, together, and that is why nobody can legitimately lay claim to infinitude at the expense of finitude. This is why we need to understand our world and ourselves otherwise, and this alternative wisdom necessarily begins with a positive affirmation of our finitude in abiding conjunction with the finitude of our world.

Nietzsche was therefore astute in asserting that we need new values and ways of valuing the world. To be sure, these are perhaps not the kind of values that Nietzsche envisioned when he summoned our thought to revaluation. However, Nietzsche shuffled off his mortal coil over a century ago, and this is our time, here and now. We need to be responding to a future that is always already dawning on us. This is why our time, in our world, demands thinking otherwise – an alternative wisdom for an-other world. But feel free to label me a leftist liberal liar. At least one thing I say must taste of truth: as time advances its march forwards we should not be found to be marching in the opposite direction.

 

Contributor: Darryl Wardle

Darryl - Academic Profile

 

Darryl Wardle is a postgraduate student in Philosophy, currently completing his PhD through the University of Stellenbosch. His academic research is predominantly concerned with the question of existential meaning; conceptualising new ways of thinking about a meaningful human life in our contemporary world. His fields of interest and specialisation include Existentialism and Ontology, Post-structuralism, and Phenomenology. Other academic interests of his include English, History, Science, and most, if not all, forms of human knowledge.

He is currently working as an online teacher of Cambridge IGCSE History. Foremost among his passions in life is a profound love for meaningful conversations between fellow human beings. He spends his free time searching for intellectual and emotional stimulation, which he often finds in friends and loved ones, intense music, and emphatic films.

Story-time

St. Augustine and Heidegger were two thinkers obsessed with time. Not time in the sense that physicists might understand it, but time as a phenomenon: how humans experience time. St. Augustine was fascinated with the mystery of time: in what sense do the past and future exist? They are in an obvious sense unreal – all we really have with us is the present after all. But even the present is a mystery: if it has any duration (e.g. a second long) it means that we can journey through it from its beginning to its end. But how can something which has a past (beginning) and future (end) be the present. If it has no duration, on the other hand, then how can it be a part of time? 

Heidegger, on the other hand, spoke about the three ecstasies of time: basically the past, the present and the future. And what I would briefly like to reflect upon in this piece is how we relate to these three different ‘times’, and in particular how, I believe, many of our problems arise from the fact that we often fail to give each of these three ecstasies their due. In short, we often fail to find a balance between living in the past, the present and the future. 

Beginning with the past, there is often a tendency, especially as people get older, to live in the past: to spend (waste) one’s present time obsessing about the past, either in the negative sense of mulling about past hurts or lost opportunities or, in the positive sense, of reminiscing about one’s ‘golden’ days of youth. In such cases both the present and the future get sidelined and one effectively gets trapped in the past. Without a present and, in particular, without the goals and dreams that come with the future one cannot move forward in any true sense. 

Moving on to the present, there has been much made about this particular ecstasy in some of the New Age influences on our culture that arose particularly during the 60s. As an example, think of Eckhart Tolle’s well-known book called The Power of Now. While living in the present has its place, without a clear future and a clear past, the present simply lapses into a miasma of meaninglessness. The present is too chaotic and complex to provide any meaning of its own: we need the two other times in order to orientate us in the present: to guide us in terms of what to choose to notice in the present and to provide the present with some sense of meaning. 

And then lastly we have the future. Just as in the case of the other two ecstasies we can easily get lost in the future and spend all our time planning and scheduling and chasing dreams and goals. If taken too far this means both not learning from the lessons of the past and, in addition, not being open to the unexpected opportunities and threats that arise in the present. We become blind to the need for occasionally changing our projected path through life. 

In conclusion, we need to give each time its due and find a way to balance the three ecstasies. We need to find the time for each of the three times. In short, we need to realize that human time is story time: a journey that has a past, a present and a future. We are, in a strange way, our own stories and one cannot tell a story (and be fully human) by neglecting the past, present or future. 

Contributor: Ian Bekker
Ian Bekker
By day, Ian Bekker works at the English Department at the North-West University of Potchefstroom, specializing in the phonetics of South African English. At night, he enjoys indulging in reading about a range of other (mostly philosophical) topics. He is also an ardent Liverpool FC supporter.