for March, 2016

Consciousness Opening

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The 5 Stages of Awakening on the Path of Consciousness

By Nanice Ellis

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

What does it really mean to awaken? It is fair to say that awakening is a journey from limitation to freedom — from unconscious to conscious. Whether you intentionally choose to take this journey or an unexpected experience propels you onto the path, once you start, there is no turning back.

It is true that the journey might be quite arduous at times, but no matter how long or challenging, the extraordinary destination far exceeds any bumps and bruises along the way. The end result of full awakening is freedom from personal suffering, clarity of mind, boundless joy, inner peace and the ability to live an incredibly fulfilling life. The awakened state holds everything we have ever desired, and so much more.

Where Are You and What Comes Next?

There are 5 Stages of Awakening, and when you understand each stage, and where you are on the journey, you can recognize the sign posts along the way, and the possible pitfalls to avoid.

Please use the following guide as a way to navigate the stages of awakening, but keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. There is no right or wrong way to wake up. Like art, it is all beautiful and perfect.

Stage 1 of Awakening: The Stage of the False-Self

Subtle awareness of “something more” begins to grow.

In Stage 1 of Awakening, we are most asleep, and we do not even know that we are asleep. We are entrenched in mass consciousness and going through the motions of life, generally following the rules of culture and laws of the land.

We don’t usually question reality or seek answers beyond what is necessary for survival and maintenance of a lifestyle.

Our identities define us and we live within the construct of religion, culture and/or society.

We may even play the part of victim or perpetrator.

Unconscious programming runs us, and, as a result, we see the world in black and white – good and bad. We likely process a rigid model of the world according to our specific programming.

Because there is a great desire to fit in and be accepted, in this stage, it is common to sacrifice our needs and compromise our values in order to receive approval and be included in our desired community, be that family, culture, business, religion, etc…

Self-worth is likely conditional and attached to identity or the roles we play, or there may be other means of proving that we are worthy.

Because the ego generally runs the show, we likely believe we are the ego, with little or no awareness that there is a greater part of us.

In stage one, happiness is based on externals, therefore, in order to feel happy, we try to control reality; other people, places and experiences.

Although we attempt to control our lives, for both happiness and security, it is more than likely that our emotions rule, and our actions and reactions are based on our moment to moment feelings.

We make no connection between our thoughts/beliefs and our experiences in reality, and, therefore, we have no direct ability to consciously create our reality.

Despite our unconscious nature, the first signs of awakening happen during this stage; a “flash feeling” that there is something more, or an inkling of doubt that makes us uncertain about life or reality.

Stage 2 of Awakening – The Stage of Questioning

The doubts experienced in stage one begin to turn into meaningful questions. The first signs of movement from unconscious to conscious are experienced.

In Stage 2 of Awakening, we experience a growing discomfort in our lives. There is a feeling that something is wrong or missing. We begin to question mass consciousness and the validity of rules, beliefs and laws. Things that used to bring us comfort like religion or traditions are no longer satisfying and the places that we once found answers no longer provide relief.

We question our identity but we still hold on to it because we must continue to prove our worth, and we don’t yet know ourselves outside of our human identity. As we question the roles we play, we may feel lost, and even betrayed by others or life in general.

We may even blame religion, family, culture, government or the world for our problems, or maybe we blame specific people for our dysfunctions. As we shift responsibility onto others, we feel powerless over our lives; not yet realizing that in order to take back our power, we must take responsibility. In this stage, we might move from victim to survivor, but we are likely still blaming others and feeling powerless.

We begin to ask, “Who am I? Why am I here?”

Although we are searching for answers, we still hold on to certain limiting beliefs that keep us enslaved in the reality we have known. When we attempt to challenge these beliefs, fear brings us back, keeping us asleep a little longer.

In our discomfort with reality, and our search for answers, we may experience a great deal of confusion, overwhelm, anxiety and even depression. We “keep up” with our lives but we are secretly just “going through the motions.”

As we experience a variety of challenges designed to help us wake up, tolerable discomfort turns into pain and suffering. As our disempowering beliefs are demonstrated in real life situations and relationships, we get our first glimpse of the unconscious programs running our lives, but our desire to fit in and be accepted is likely stronger than any desires to free ourselves. Although this is the beginning of our internal programs breaking down, we are still trying to prove our worth by demonstrating our importance and seeking approval for our efforts.

We begin to understand that happiness cannot be found in the outside world, but we are still playing the game – seeking happiness in other people, places and experiences.

In this stage, there can be a great deal of emotional triggers. We may even experience trauma or remember past trauma. Emotions are generally very strong, and we may feel most fragile or vulnerable. What we do not yet realize is that our issues are coming to the surface to be healed and released.

Even though we are beginning to see the world in a whole new light, we may still possess black and white thinking – maybe more than ever. We are not ready to take responsibility for our lives and, therefore, we make little or no connection between our thoughts and our experiences in reality.

As the outside world no longer satisfies our hunger, the journey inward is about to begin.

Stage 3 of Awakening – The Stage of Introspection

Immense personal/spiritual growth and the start of conscious evolution through self-discovery.

In Stage 3 of Awakening, we begin a journey of introspection. In Stage 2, we rebelled against the external world with little or no success in relieving our pain, suffering or discomfort, so now we retreat as we begin to seek answers inside ourselves.

We start to disentangle from mass consciousness, releasing many limiting beliefs that were programmed into us by asleep parents, teachers, culture, society, religion and media. As we release these beliefs, we may experience both grief and relief. If we spent a life time imprisoned in beliefs that caused emotional suffering, physical hardship and lost happiness, we may grieve for the life we never had, and at the same time, we may feel great relief as we break free from limitation.

As we recognize how asleep we have been, we can clearly see that most people we know are still asleep. We try to wake them up, but our attempts are seen as judgmental and, therefore, met with deaf ears.

Not surprisingly, with our eyes wide open, it is common to experience greater judgment of other people (friends and strangers alike), society and the world. Others may feel our judgment and defensively respond with their own judgment of us. We are seen as different, weird and maybe even crazy. Sooner or later, we decide to keep our growing awareness to ourselves; maybe rationalizing that it’s better to be silent than be judged. At this point, we don’t have a lot of hope that others will wake up.

We are still focused on everything that is wrong in our lives, and in the world, but, at the same time, we have resistance to letting go. The process of letting go is often “the work” in this stage, and, as we learn to let go, Stage 3 is where we may leave unsatisfying jobs, intimate relationships, families, friendships, religions, organizations and any disempowering ways of life. We may disentangle from roles we played, reject our past identity, and there may even be a total withdrawal from society.

Our former model of the world is failing and we no longer see the world in black and white or good and bad. There may be a growing sense that we are all connected, but at the same time we may feel completely disconnected from every other human being. In many ways, we are faced with the dichotomy of life and existence.

The most common attribute of stage three is loneliness. In a sea of billions of people, you may feel like you are the only one awake; no one understands you, and there is no one with whom to connect. At this point, you might begin to question “the questioning” – why did you ever begin this journey? What’s the point of waking up, if you must be alone and lonely? After all, you might have been unhappy when you were asleep but at least you had friends, family and people who cared about you. Now, there is no one. You consider “going back.” You wish you could forget about everything you now know just so you can be part of a family or community. You yearn for “normalcy” in order to fit in with others, but you also know that it is too late. You cannot forget what you have remembered, and despite your loneliness and your desire to fit in, you wouldn’t go back or undo your path even if you could.

Issues of worthiness often surface in this stage, because the ways, in which, we once proved worth no longer work or are no longer available because we left the job or situation that once made us feel worthy. We may still try to seek approval, acceptance or appreciation or get other emotional needs met by those still in our lives, but it doesn’t fulfill us, as it once did, and we are left feeling empty – forced to deal with feelings of unworthiness on our own.

Our desire to fit in and be accepted is slowly being drowned out by our desire to be free and awake.

In the quest for answers and relief from emotional pain, we may embark on some sort of spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga or mindfulness. If we are not using the practice to avoid something, its purpose is likely to get us somewhere, accomplish something or wake up.

In stage three, we may experience the first real sense of power, but, if the ego claims this power, we may have challenging and humbling experiences.

By now, we may be able to see the connection between our thoughts/beliefs and the creation of our reality, and, as a result, we try to control our thoughts, but it is a difficult process because old programs are still running.

We no longer look outside ourselves for happiness, but maybe we don’t yet know how to find it within. Peace and freedom may also take precedence over happiness.

Stage three is often the longest stage and almost always the most challenging, but it is also the most important in terms of awakening.

This stage is marked by the swing between resistance and letting go, with moments of clarity and enlightenment, but they don’t last. It is very common to have multiple experiences of awakening in this stage and even to believe that each one is the final awakening; only to find yourself back in “reality”, hours, days or weeks later. With each experience of awakening, the sense of your higher self grows stronger. You are unknowingly making room for this real self to emerge in your consciousness and integrate in your life.

In stage three, it is common to experience a fear of losing oneself, and you may struggle to maintain a sense of self, but ultimately, toward the end of this stage, an ego-death is inevitable. When the ego loses hold, there is often a realization that there is no point or purpose to life. This can be liberating, like a breath of fresh air, or it can be devastating, resulting in hopelessness and despair. Without point or purpose, we no longer know how to live our lives, and nothing is ever the same.

There is a foreboding sense that awakening will cost you everything, yet, at the same time, there is a greater sense that something inside you is waking up.

Stage 4 of Awakening – The Stage of Resolution

Spiritual awakening is effortlessly experienced in everyday life.

Stage 4 of Awakening is the stage of resolution where your true self has finally overshadowed your false self or ego self. The struggle that you experienced in the first three stages is over and you experience a deep peace and knowing of who you really are, and you are no longer seeking answers. This is fondly known as the Eckart Tolle Stage.

All your beliefs have been overhauled in the past two stages, and the beliefs that remain support harmony and balance. You have mastered the art of letting go, and surrendering to a higher power. You also experience and have access to the inner power you possess, without ego control.

Doubt has been replaced with faith and trust. You are able to see and understand your life in such a way that your past and present all makes sense. You have forgiven everyone for everything, including yourself.

Unconscious programming has been replaced with consciousness, and there are no emotional or mental prisons holding you captive.

You take responsibility for your entire life, no longer blaming anyone for anything. As you have freed yourself, you have freed all the people who have ever been effected by your judgment and expectations.

You are no longer trying to prove your worth. You now know and own your intrinsic worth, and, as a result, you experience unconditional self-love.

Although you might still be alone on your journey, you experience a deep and profound connection to all of life and the sense of loneliness has likely faded into all oneness. The need and desire for the old paradigm of relationships has shifted and you no longer yearn to fit in or be “normal.” You allow yourself to be exactly who you are, without needing approval or acceptance from anyone. You no longer have a need to change anyone or help those you love wake up, and you are pleasantly surprised that some people you know are actually awakening. All your relationships improve, and the new people who come into your life are better aligned with who you are.

In this stage, you integrate your insights and develop greater understanding for the journey you have been on. You may teach, mentor or share, but not because you feel you have to, or because you need to, but only because it brings you joy, and you are guided to do so. You may have a compelling desire to support others on their journey or you may have no inclination whatsoever. If you take the role of teacher, mentor, healer or coach, you do not take responsibility for others, but rather you empower them to empower themselves. You don’t take anything personally, and another’s behavior has little, or no, effect on you.

During stage four, it is common to have some sort of spiritual practice, such as meditation, yoga or mindfulness, but not because you are trying to get somewhere or accomplish something (as in the previous stage), but rather because it feels good to you, and it is a natural expression of your life.

You may also experience increased intuition and the ability to access infinite intelligence, as if, you have a direct line to unlimited information.

This stage is marked by living in the moment.

You have made peace with the realization that there is no purpose or point to life, and, as a result, it is effortless to live in the present moment. Your love for life and all living beings overflows unconditionally with gratitude and appreciation as a common state of being.

The concepts of good and bad have dissolved, and, yet, you have the full knowing that inside everyone and everything is love.

You take stock of yourself, realizing that you are still you. You are free from ego-control, and no “authentic parts” have been lost in the journey to awakening. Your personality may be quite the same, but you are likely more easy-going and light-hearted.

Either you have found a livelihood that is aligned with who you are, or you have made peace with your present day livelihood.

There is really no thought of happiness because you no longer need anything to make you happy. You have realized that the secret to happiness is living in the moment and it is now easy to be present at all times.

You have learned how to master your thoughts and beliefs, but, surprisingly, you may have no desire to change anything in your life.

Although you likely experience a full range of emotions, emotions no longer rule you or control your choices or relationships.

Your higher self has integrated in your body, and you live your life as this real self.

You are finally conscious and awake, and grateful that your past “asleep-self” had the courage and tenacity to make this journey. It was worth it – a million times over.

Stage 5 of Awakening – The Stage of Conscious Creation

The ability to consciously create one’s life from the awake state.

Many people arrive at stage four and mistakenly believe it is the final stage of awakening, but it is actually a bridge to an even greater experience of awakening.

In Stage 5 of awakening, you experience, and deepen, all the attributes of stage four, but you also step into your power as conscious creator.

Although there is no pre-ordained point or purpose to life, you now understand that the point and purpose of life can be anything that you choose, and you integrate this understanding by consciously choosing the purpose of your life, because that is the point. Work and play merge into one, and you experience peace and fulfillment equally in both.

You no longer do anything out of obligation or need, but, instead, you are guided through inspiration and pure desire.

You experience a direct connection to all of life, and you are inspired to create in a whole new manner. Through intuitive connection with Infinite Intelligence, you might develop new paradigms of community building, teaching or leadership.

At this stage, you have the ability to attract relationships and form communities that support the betterment of humanity. Since you have mastered your thoughts and beliefs, you can now consciously create the life you desire; living in the moment, while also creating for the future.

In pure connection with Prime Creator, you are channel of expression in all you do.

Whatever stage you might now be experiencing, you cannot get it wrong and there are no tests to pass. Awakening is simply a natural process, just like the caterpillar that awakens as the butterfly.

A common question is, how long does each stage take? The time we spend in each stage is not predetermined, but we can move through a stage quicker and easier when we utilize a mindfulness practice of letting go. Letting go is truly the secret of awakening.

As more and more people awaken, a threshold of awakening will be experienced, and the masses will awaken in a much a different paradigm than those of us who have already awakened or who are awakening now. The stages of awakening will be less defined and maybe even disappear altogether.

No matter where you are on your journey to awakening, you are exactly where you need to be.

from:    http://www.zengardner.com/5-stages-awakening-path-consciousness/

Induced Earthquakes

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

(To check out the image, go to:  http://www.livescience.com/54212-oklahoma-is-now-earthquake-hotspot.html)

Man-Made Earthquake Hotspot Revealed: Oklahoma
by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer

The chances of a damaging earthquake occurring in parts of Oklahoma and some neighboring states are just as likely as they are in temblor-heavy California, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The culprit? Man-made activities related to oil and gas production are creating the shaky conditions in a region of the central and eastern U.S., the USGS seismologists say.

USGS scientists just released their first map that includes earthquake risks from both natural and human-induced causes for the coming year. Until now, the government agency included only temblor risks linked to natural causes.

The report, which is part of a 50-year forecast examining earthquake hazards, reveals that about 7 million people live and work in areas at risk of human-induced seismicity. Areas in the central and eastern U.S. (CEUS) are at risk of experiencing a quake of the same magnitude as those that occur naturally in California, the USGS said. [Image Gallery: This Millennium’s Destructive Earthquakes]

“By including human-induced events, our assessment of earthquake hazards has significantly increased in parts of the U.S.,” Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, said in a statement. “This research also shows that much more of the nation faces a significant chance of having damaging earthquakes over the next year, whether natural or human-induced.”

The CEUS’ induced earthquakes are often the product of wastewater disposal, the USGS said. This wastewater comes from oil and gas production, when it is pumped into underground wells deep in the Earth. This is different from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in which water, sand and chemicals get pumped into the Earth to break up rock and extract oil and gas. The actual fracking is probably a more infrequent cause of felt earthquakes, the USGS said. (Wastewater from fracking is generally pumped back into wastewater injection wells.)

Still, wastewater injection practices have put six states on the earthquake map. Oklahoma has the highest risk, followed by Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas, the USGS reported. Oklahoma and Texas have the largest populations living near induced-earthquake hotspots.

“In the past five years, the USGS has documented high shaking and damage in areas of these six states, mostly from induced earthquakes,” Petersen said. “Furthermore, the USGS Did You Feel It? website has archived tens of thousands of reports from the public who experienced shaking in those states, including about 1,500 reports of strong shaking or damage.”

For instance, from 1973 to 2008, an average of 24 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher shook the central United States in each of those years. But, from 2009 to 2015, that number increased to an average of 318 earthquakes of that magnitude per year. 2015 saw the greatest number, with 1,010 earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or greater. [Video: Watch 2,500+ Earthquakes in Oklahoma Linked to Humans]

And through mid-March of this year, 226 earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or higher have already hit the central United States, the USGS said. The largest earthquake to occur near a wastewater injection site was a magnitude-5.6 temblor near Prague, Oklahoma, in 2011.

Overall, USGS researchers found 21 areas with increased rates of human-induced seismicity. Some areas — such as regions within Alabama and Ohio — experienced human-induced earthquakes in the past, but have relatively little risk in the coming year because the activities that caused these quakes have decreased.

But other areas of Alabama and some parts of Mississippi have shown an increase in these activities. But researchers are still determining whether earthquakes in these areas happened naturally or were human-induced, the USGS said.

The scientists found the greatest risk of a human-induced earthquake in north central Oklahoma and the southernmost part of Kansas. They calculated that there is a 10 to 12 percent risk that an earthquake with strong shaking will occur in those areas this year. Such an earthquake, they estimated, would register a 6 or greater on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale, meaning it would easily be felt but would likely cause just slight damage. This translates into about a 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Though scientists disagree about whether wastewater injection leads to larger or smaller earthquakes compared with natural ones, in the CEUS region, when a large temblor does strike, thousands of faults could rupture, according to the USGS. What’s more, human-induced quakes tend to come in swarms of smaller events at shallower depths, whereas shaking is more likely to be felt and cause damage.

The new earthquake report will help architects determine how to safely design buildings within areas of high risk. People who live in earthquake territory can read about safety measures at FEMA’s Ready Campaign.

 

from:    http://www.livescience.com/54212-oklahoma-is-now-earthquake-hotspot.html

No More Anonymous Browsing

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

5 Ways Stores Track Your Every Move

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Advertisements that pop up on your computer screen are not random. Every time you go online, marketers monitor and track the websites you search, the links you click on and the things you buy. Companies then tailor content and ads specifically correlated to your expressed interests and spending habits. While online, you are being watched, whether you know it or not.

Yet there is a marketing phenomenon afoot that is even more invasive, and it’s happening generally without your knowledge. Here are five ways you’re being surveilled when you shop in the real world, often without even knowing it.

Video monitoring

Think being accosted by salespeople as you enter a store is annoying? Well, some retailers now use video cameras to track customers walking the aisles of their stores. By using video analytics, companies can determine the age and gender of each customer while monitoring exactly what each person touches, looks at and picks up as they peruse the shelves. 

RetailNext, the software that enables these tracking analytics, allows companies to pinpoint high traffic zones in their stores. Heat sensors are used to determine the most highly visited areas of each shop. This gives retailers valuable information as to where to place specific merchandise in order to maximize sales.

Smartphones

Yes, your phone may be “smart,” but when it comes to privacy your mobile device may not be doing you any favors. When you connect to a store’s free Wi-Fi, you are unknowingly allowing them access to track your movements as you shop. You are also giving them free rein to directly market to you.

By using GPS-type coding, companies can tell where you go and where you spend the most time in their stores. This “predictive modeling” information gives retailers important marketing information, like what merchandise you’re interested and in which department you spend the most time.

Store loyalty cards 

Signing up for a store card might sound like a good idea at the checkout counter, but you’re getting more than store discounts by doing so. Grocery store discount cards are an important marketing tool, tracking and storing your spending habits each time you shop. In fact, store cards are one of the first ways retailers began specifically tracking consumers as individuals.

When you use your loyalty card, companies record each transaction you make under your specific customer profile and use your spending trends to predict future transactions. Retailers take your spending habits and use the information for marketing campaigns. While it is nice to get coupons for items you are actually interested in buying, it comes at a cost — your anonymity.

Smart lights 

“Big Brother is watching” is taking on a whole new meaning with the advent of this new technology. Philips, the electronic company, recently released an LED lighting system that can be used in stores to track and communicate directly with your cell phone.

By connecting to your phone’s camera, these lights can tell marketers exactly where you are in a given store. There’s even an app that can be connected to this technology, allowing retailers to send real-time coupons for products located exactly where you’re standing in their shop. It may be nice to get some discounts while you’re shopping, but remember that rebates are not without cost. For one, your ability to withstand impulse buying is diminished.

Apps

When you download a store app in order to get discounts and promotions, you are also giving marketers direct access to your spending habits. Opening an app in its specific store allows the company to track your movements and send you promotions to “close the deal” on a purchase.

If you have used the app to make a shopping list, retailers can tell whether you’ve forgotten or decided not to buy a certain item on your list. The company can then send you additional promos or coupons to lure you back into buying that product.

Opt-out law

With the pervasiveness of online data collection, retail stores are given the ultimatum of either using ethically debatable tracking methods or be overrun by savvy Internet retailers. By shopping online, customers constantly give cyberspace marketers invaluable consumer information that allows them to specifically target their market audience. In order to compete with the ever-growing online market, physical stores are being forced to act like Internet sellers to keep up.

Luckily, there have been campaigns to limit consumer tracking, both on and offline. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pushing for a “Do Not Track” bill to be passed by Congress. This law would make it easy for online consumers to curtail being personally monitored by cyber marketers. Likewise, the FTC is also working to make a consumer disclosure law for the use of retail video surveillance in stores. This would also enable customers to opt out of being monitored in certain situations.

Do you think it’s creepy to have your shopping tracked or monitored in stores? Or do you enjoy the benefits of receiving discounts specific to your tastes and interests? 

from:    http://www.thealternativedaily.com/stores-track-your-every-move/

Fashion & Conscience

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

ECOfashion: Work Driven by Love

By Marci Zaroff

The art of design is like the art of life, both fueled by inspiration and consciousness. Applying a love mantra to one’s design, results in the manifestation of revolutionary ideas. Kahlil Gibran eloquently articulated my favorite quote, “Work is love made visible,” which sums up the notion that when we follow our hearts, our work becomes an expression of love.

In today’s interconnected world, and in the spirit of Jonathan Swift’s “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible,” design must be approached from a holistic vantage, appreciating its myriad of influences and its ability to affect positive change in the world. The foundation of creative vision is infused with a collaborative force, fueled by love, and ultimately translated into co-creation.

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Like the evolution of art, and the embodiment of love energy — crossing all boundaries, nations, languages, ages, races and religions, so too does our planet and global community exemplify the brilliance of design on every level. From the Fibonacci sequence ubiquitous in nature, to the perfect symmetry and symbiosis of all living creatures in our universal ecosystem, to the rebirth of organic methodologies as the heart of agriculture, we can take note of our environment’s vibrational influence.

As humanity is again re-learning to live in harmony with our natural environment and each other, the dawn of an ECOrenaissance is being born. This lifestyle movement represents the intersection of reinvention, a reconnection to our true nature, and social innovation — a shift in old paradigms, with every thought, idea and action having a reason for being. Like life itself.

In my world of fashion, sustainable design is the DNA. Fibers, fabrics, dyes and finishes are carefully and mindfully selected, incorporating the principles of people, planet, prosperity, passion and purpose. Just as universal love serves as the soul of our physical and spiritual beings–the common thread of our existence — understanding how to minimize negative human and environmental impacts to create balance and unity, while reflecting on how to protect and build, or renew and restore, is the fundamental tapestry of ECOfashion.

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Thinking systemically, a successful harvest begins with the healthy cultivation of seeds. And with authenticity, transparency and intention at the root of ethical design, a more awakened fashion movement can transform an industry that has historically neglected to look beyond the curtain.

It’s time we find the love and beauty at our collective source to adDRESS change and design a new reality. Somewhere along the path to fast fashion — and faster, busier lives — we’ve lost our way. Per Lao Tzu, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step,” and it is up to us now to drive love, life and fashion forward in the right direction. It’s a new day, where we can be conscious without compromise; we can look good, feel good, and do good in the world — embracing the ultimate fashion statement: “love is the new black.”

Marci Zaroff coined the term “ECOfashion” and is an internationally recognized ECOlifestyle entrepreneur, educator, innovator and expert. She is founder of both Under the Canopy and Metawear, executive producer of “THREAD Documentary” and “Driving Fashion Forward, and co-founder of BeyondBrands, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I AM Enlightened Creations. Marci has received countless recognitions including Fashion Group International’s “Rising Star Award”, the Natural Product Industry’s “Socially Responsible Business Award” and New York Moves “Power Women Award”. www.marcizaroff.com

from:    http://dreamchange.org/articles/blog/ecofashion-work-driven-by-love/

Economic Hit Man Redux

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

More Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: This Time, They’re Coming for Your Democracy

Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” Today, he says “things have just gotten so much worse.”
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Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.

I couldn’t help but think about Flint, Michigan, under emergency management as I read The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Perkins was recruited, he says, by the National Security Agency (NSA), but he worked for a private consulting company. His job as an undertrained, overpaid economist was to generate reports that justified lucrative contracts for U.S. corporations, while plunging vulnerable nations into debt. Countries that didn’t cooperate saw the screws tightened on their economies. In Chile, for example, President Richard Nixon famously called on the CIA to “make the economy scream” to undermine the prospects of the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende.

If economic pressure and threats didn’t work, Perkins says, the jackals were called to either overthrow or assassinate the noncompliant heads of state. That is, indeed, what happened to Allende, with the backing of the CIA.

Perkins’ book has been controversial, and some have disputed some of his claims, including, for example, that the NSA was involved in activities beyond code making and breaking.

Perkins has just reissued his book with major updates. The basic premise of the book remains the same, but the update shows how the economic hit man approach has evolved in the last 12 years. Among other things, U.S. cities are now on the target list. The combination of debt, enforced austerity, underinvestment, privatization, and the undermining of democratically elected governments is now happening here.

I couldn’t help but think about Flint, Michigan, under emergency management as I read The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

I interviewed Perkins at his home in the Seattle area. In addition to being a recovering economic hit man, he is a grandfather and a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, organizations that work for “a world that future generations will want to inherit.”


FROM:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/more-confessions-of-an-economic-hit-man-this-time-theyre-coming-for-your-democracy-20160318

Something to Consider

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

As always:    DO YOUR RESEARCH!

10 Reasons You Should Prepare For An Economic Collapse

Global-Money

It was not that long ago that the country of Greece suffered a devastating collapse of their economy.  At the time, there was a lot of blame game going on but, at the end of the day, it was years of irresponsible and unrestrained spending that took them down.  That, coupled with questionable accounting practices and misstated economic indicators left the Greek citizens befuddled and angry when the reality of a depression hit.

Could the same thing happen here?  Not to be depressing but in going through my own thoughts as I answer the question “What am I least prepared for?”, I realized that it was time for a wake-up call and time to re-evaluate my own preps within the context of an economic collapse.

Looking back at what happened during or our own Great Depression, I have come to realize that an economic collapse, if it were to happen, would have the compound effect of combining all woes we so diligently prepare for into one huge mess – a mess that may take decades to resolve.

I worry about this, because, as prepared as I may be, I find it difficult to wrap my head around a mega collapse that will result in food and water shortages, power outages, civil disobedience, medical anarchy, and worse.

A global economic collapse, unlike a natural disaster which, as tragic as it may be, is a short term event, will change our lives forever.

Time for a Wake-Up Call

Back in 2012, Michael Snyder wrote about the lessons we can learn from the financial melt-down in Greece.

At the time, being a prepper in the United States typically branded you as an nut job.  Now that preparedness has become more mainstream, I feel that we should review those lessons and take another look at the ramifications of an economic collapse.

Here are the 10 lessons along with my own thoughts as they might apply to an economic collapse in 2015 and beyond.

10 Reasons Why We Need to Prepare for an Economic Collapse

1.  Food Shortages Can Actually Happen

Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or warehouse club.  Those of us that prepare, know better. It is those folks that do not prepare that we need to worry about.

2. Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse

When credit systems and distribution channels are compromised, medical supplies will not make their way to the local pharmacy.  Any medicines and supplies that are available will likely be diverted for use by the power elite.  Sorry to be such a cynic but we all know that there are privileged classes that have the power and the means to get whatever they want, even if it means denying the rest of the population with their fair share.

3.  When An Economy Collapses, So Might The Power Grid

No money to pay workers and no fuel to fire the grid translates into no grid at all.  Going without power for a week or two is one thing but going off grid for months or even years?  We are a soft society accustomed to our comforts.  Without the grid, our lives will be quite different than the life we live today.

4.  During An Economic Collapse You Cannot Even Take Water For Granted

When the grid goes down, so goes the water treatment facilities that ensure that clean water flows from our faucets.  I survived 12 days without running water.  Do-able yes.  Fun? Hardly, but I knew the water would come back on eventually. What if the water never came back on?

5. During An Economic Crisis Your Credit Cards And Debit Cards May Stop Working

Same thing.  If the grid is down, our banking system will basically be down too.  This means that credit cards and debit cards will be useless to transact business and make purchases.

6.  Crime, Rioting And Looting Become Commonplace During An Economic Collapse

This is not a maybe.  The haves will need to defend their property from the have-not’s.  I also suspect that the “haves” (aka preppers) may have to defend themselves from government looters.  It will be every man or woman on their own; defending what is theirs.

The young and healthy might be able to handle this but what about the elderly, the sick, and the disabled?  Even if they prep, how will they defend themselves?

7. During A Financial Meltdown Many Average Citizens Will Start Bartering

Without credit cards, debit cards, and quite possibly currency, a barter economy will emerge.  By the way, the best description I have read relative to how such an economy will work was is James Wesley Rawles book, Patriots.

Things will definitely fall apart during an economic collapse. Having supplies and especially skills to barter with not be an option.

8. Suicides Spike During An Economic Collapse

This happened in the 30s and it will happen again. When people no longer have hope, they feel that life is not worth living.  My guess is people will start jumping out of buildings and may take family members with them in a suicide pact.

9.  Your Currency May Rapidly Lose Value During An Economic Crisis

Let me take this one step further.  Your currency WILL lose value during an economic collapse.  It happened in Germany during the Weimar Republic and it has happened more recently elsewhere around the globe.  We are not immune to runaway inflation coupled with devaluation of our currency.

10. When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You

If you think that the government will come to the rescue of those that are suffering think again.  Remember the aftermath of Katrina?  Remember Super Storm Sandy?

It is foolhardy to believe that government assistance of any type will become available following a collapse. History has demonstrated over and over again that governments cannot be counted on when things hit the fan. You will be on your own so you better be ready mentally to accept that reality and the tough times that will ensue.

The Final Word

If you have made it this far you might be thinking “Gaye, we know all of that.  That is why we prep.”.

Agreed; I am preaching the choir.  But, that being said, the overwhelming ramification of having all of these things happen at once will be a blow to the psyche that is of greater magnitude than anything you can imagine.

Think about it.  To prevail following a collapse you will still need to get up in the morning, go about your chores, and go about the business of living.  This is going to take a level of fortitude that I can not fathom.  Heck, there are some days, during these modern, comfortable times, that I can barely face the day and all of its challenges.

So where do we go from here?  What solutions are there to get you through to that mental place you know you will need to go to?

Three things you need to remember are:

1.  Only you can be counted on to take care of yourself and your family.
2.  Leaning coping skills during times of calm will give you a heads up on coping during times of crisis.
3.  Give yourself permission to worry, to be concerned, and to be a bit afraid.  This will keep you alert and on your toes at all time.

At the end of the day, those that prepare will be in it for the ride.  The real question is whether we have the mental fortitude to get there without losing are path along the way.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

from:    http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/10-reasons-to-prepare-for-an-economic-collapse/

Belief Systems, Illusion, & Awakening

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Crossroads, Off-Ramps and the Time of Transition

by Zen Gardner

It’s human nature to look for resting places. Naturally there’s a time to rest in many aspects of life, but when it comes to the pursuit of truth and increased awareness and conscious activation there really is no stopping place.

Awakening has its own form of peace and rest by its very nature as we’re tapping into other wondrous realms of empowerment and inspiration. Nevertheless, like swimming, our challenges to learn and grow are ever present and cannot be ignored without serious consequences.

While there’s a mistaken idea that once awakened, always awakened, and everything is clear sailing from then on, the truth is that awakening is a continual process, one which we’re only just embarking upon.

Choosing a relevant path-1

Crossroads and Off Ramps

It’s interesting watching the alternative research community evolve. Many are talking about the increased infighting and the apparent new belief system adherence that’s distracting so many. These things are bound to arise I suppose, especially with those that want to see the community implode, but it’s also endemic to the very nature of truth pursuit.

The closer one gets to the summit of any climb, the more intense the external conditions. Even the air is thinner up high, and the temptation to find an off-ramp to a road side place of comfort is strong.

However not all are simple side tracks. Some are cleverly devised and very appealing distractions. Some appear as very plausible alternatives that we think might be worth exploring, even just out of curiosity, but sometimes become a lifelong diversion. Look at any belief or religion, including materialism and scientism. The soul is aspiring to find answers and solutions and here are ready-made closed systems with seemingly all the answers.

“Ah, peace at last. Now we can lay down and camp out with no more serious worries or climbing to do, especially in that increasingly harsh weather further up the mountain. Besides, here are all these other people who feel the same as I do.

“What a comfort – this must be right. After all, we’re endorsed and accepted by the system. Peace at last.”

To Go On, or Not Go On

Most of life’s serious choices aren’t easy. That’s why so many avoid the conditions that may bring them on. However, life has a habit of getting in the way of our gravitating towards safety and security. Things go “wrong”, or so it seems. Our plans get thwarted for one reason or another, or our stability is rocked by some event or life change.

While we’re programmed to think of these as bad turns of events, they invariably lead to greater opportunities to develop what really matters in life regarding our true purpose here and our soul’s progress. However, most fight these changes or spend countless years in unnecessary anger, denial, remorse and bitterness, never getting the point life was trying to hand them.

It’s not easy in a world engineered to halter human spiritual development. But this too brings out the fighter within us and checks our determination to really progress, not just for ourselves but for the good of those around us.

It’s a sifting process. We can go on and keep learning and growing and letting go of the old, or hang on to what we find comfortable and convenient. This usually takes the form of a nice, easily justified place of compromise, with just enough truth wound in our new found chosen life fabric to keep our conscience at bay.

Or so we think. Again, life has a way of reaching into every corner of existence and testing us regardless.

being-born-a-warrior

Take the Challenge

Wherever we find ourselves, and in this rapidly shifting world that will be a lot of “places” and circumstances, whether brought on by our own actions or resulting from external factors, that will continue to evolve. As I’ve often said, not only is this a continually shifting landscape we’re living in, our very perspective is continually shifting as well.

All of this is ours to interpret and integrate into our lives. If we so choose. We can take the bunker mentality and try to close it all off but in the long run that won’t work, just as the death of our physical bodies is inevitable.

The challenge we’re each presented with is a beautiful one. It’s fear that freezes people into a defensive stance rather than taking life on as the challenge that it is. And as we know, that is why fear is incessantly pumped into the body politic in any and every form possible, to paralyze humanity and keep it from waking up to its true nature.

Follow the Questions

A simple remedy to stagnation is asking questions – continually. Don’t take anything at face value. Why are you feeling the way you are? What caused you to make that last decision or set some goal? Why do you value this over that, or have the attitude you do that makes you take the course of action you’ve chosen in your life, immediately or overall?

Then there’s the external world. Why is all this happening? Who or what is causing it? What information is reliable and how do I find it and discern right from wrong? And most of all, what’s my real place in all of this? Why am I here and who or what am I? What is my true purpose for being here?

It’s in the question – and our determination to pursue meaningful answers.

With courage. Then act on it. Make the sacrifices needed to do the right thing. Screw the consequences to your former paradigm.

As more do so, we’ll continue to see a major shift here and now, not just later. Don’t judge by all the zombies running around – look for the awakening. It’s alive and growing. We may not see the ultimate fulfillment of our heart’s desires for humanity and our planet in this lifetime, but this is all part of the process. Ours is simply to fulfill our rightful role.

Yes, it’s few compared to the many, but how much light does it take to light the darkness? Because the task seems so great at times, is that reason to not keep advancing? To hell with the naysayers and downers who can’t see this. They’re clearly not looking in the right places, never mind being in the right frame of mind.

Light your torch and that of as many others as you can. I’ll be there with you.

Bonfire or bust! Let that be our motto – but it happens one lit candle at a time, starting with ours. The numbers don’t really matter. It’s the intention and commitment – all else follows.

from:    http://www.zengardner.com/crossroads-off-ramps-transition/

The Universe & Vibration

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Sacred Geometry and the Unified Field of Consciousness

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Unified Field of Consciousness

Einstein believed that there was an equation for a Unified Field that could explain the reason for everything in existence.  With this knowledge, time, space and even humanity’s origin could be deeply understood.

5a69ef_91538f3019dd446ba7418401cfa401bcToday, in the world of quantum physics, there are so many mysteries that our current understanding of reality seems unequipped to grasp phenomena such as the double slit experiment, the observer effect, phantom DNA and quantum entanglement.  At the same time, there are many scholars beginning to think outside the box.

Quantum Physicist Ph.D. John Hagelin explains the foundation of the Universe is a single Universal field of intelligence.  Particles of nature are understood to be One, a Universal ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness in motion. We are just different ripples on a single ocean of existence at the basis of everything.

“Just as the waves are continuous with the ocean. Your body is continuous with the total energy system of the cosmos, and it’s all you.” — Alan Watts

New evidence is beginning to show us that everything is Energy and the result of an indiscernible sound wave or frequency. Vibrational frequency creates the energy that becomes solid matter. Galaxies, planets, plants, animals and humans are all just waves of vibration of this Unified Field. In essence, we are literally united and One at the core!

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Connected Universe

“The Universe is connected and alive and we are a part of the metric of space.” — Nassim Haramein

Nassim Haramein, the Director of Research at the Resonance Foundation, was deeply inspired by Einstein and continued to pursue Einstein’s idea that geometry held the key to creating a unified equation for the Universe. He proposes that space is not empty, but rather full of untapped energy.  This action, reaction, and connection between the energy present in space is creating a dynamic flow in the Universe.  Simply put, it could be thought of as “the Universe is dancing with energy”.

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In the Resonance Foundations various media productions, Nassim explains the idea of a Holofractographic Universe. His findings explore the fractal (infinitely repeating pattern), holographic (illusion) and geometric nature of space from the macrocosm to the microcosm, and thus how the potential of the Whole is within each piece of the Universe on every scale.

“Geometry will draw the soul toward truth and create the spirit of philosophy.” — Plato

Sacred Geometry

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything is connected to everything else.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Everything in the universe is geometrically connected.  Sacred Geometry is the source code of the Unified Field. It’s the language of nature, a fundamental blueprint of the universal creation process.

It’s not a coincidence that human hands & tree branches have the same fractal growth patterns or that our hearts & the Earth have the same toroidal-shaped electromagnetic field.  Even our embryos contain the fundamental geometries of star clusters and galaxies.

Patterns are always present when our eyes are open. Every single system in nature uses fundamental mathematical languages as a template for growth. We can find all kinds of mathematical formulas and sequences in nature, such as the Golden spiral/ratio or Fibonacci sequence/numbers in pineapples, sunflowers, tornado formations and even galaxy arms.

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When we start to see universal patterns everywhere we look, a realization of interconnection occurs deep within us. We start to see that all is intimately unified. When this occurs, we begin to simply choose Love in every aspect of our lives.

“True love is born from understanding.” — Buddha

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Ascension & Healing HeArt

5a69ef_0da913c19fae4e0ea167bc500f41086eAs our understanding of Sacred Geometry develops, we begin to see deeper connections between Science & Spirituality.  As a reminder of our interconnected & united nature with all life, interacting with Sacred Geometry on a daily basis invites harmony & balance into our experience. This idea inspired and changed my life profoundly and I found myself at the center of my passions by exploring Sacred Geometry as a communication tool with consciousness in everyday life.  I found my purpose by participating in nature’s harmony.

“Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.”  — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’ve learned that visualization & attention are key in 5a69ef_6fc9a828e0f64ee6bc88f7e017520a34spiritual growth.  They are fundamental in many energy practices such as Qigong, Tai-chi and Reiki. Creating designs based on Sacred Geometry help us to visualize, touch and play with Universal Energy formations, giving us direct communication with the divine.

This is a meditative art that can help us find resonance with our inner and outer lives. Eventually this intention brought me to develop my dream project, Healing HeArt, where I am able to develop and share this deep and meaningful experience with everyone by creating personal communication tools and crafts for seekers.

For the first time in human history we have technology to create precise patterns without any error or mistake. Thankfully there are laser machines available for everyone to produce any possible design from a collective digital platform to the physical world.

5a69ef_df3c0fc24bc2404aa652401179959a0fThe possibilities are infinite when it comes to creating art pieces, tools, crafts, toys or even small size constructions wherein we can meditate or experience the harmonious presence around us.

As Sacred Geometry reflects the potential of the collective, we can also create amazing innovations together and support various artists with our collaboration.

You are not here reading this by accident, you are here for a greater purpose than you could ever imagine. We are here to restore the balance and uplift humanity into the next stage of evolution; from separated duality consciousness to interconnected unity consciousness, in which all life is in equilibrium and harmony.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”– Buddha

from:    http://themindunleashed.org/2016/03/sacred-geometry-and-the-unified-field-of-consciousness.html

Human & Not!

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

19 Pieces Of Non-Human DNA Found In Human Genome

March 23, 2016 | by Robin Andrews

Photo credit: Peekaboo, we see you. Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Eight percent of your DNA is alien, in that it’s made up of non-human, viral fragments. In fact, viral fragments are often hiding within the genome of anything on Earth that has a jaw and a spinal cord, which is a remarkable reminder of how they’ve shaped evolution for hundreds of millions of years.

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that we are even less “human” than previously thought: Nineteen new pieces of ancient viral DNA have been uncovered within our own genome. Perhaps most strikingly, the full genetic “recipe” for an entire virus was found within 2 percent of the people examined.

Retroviruses of all kinds have their genetic code in the form of RNA, often seen as the primitive precursor to DNA. These viruses infect their host cells by inserting a DNA-based replica of their own RNA into the genome of their host, which can include humans. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an example of a contemporary retrovirus that infects humans in this way.

Ancient retroviruses have been infecting our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years. Fragments of this virus-manufactured DNA remained within our ancestors’ genomes, which has been copied and passed down from generation to generation. These fragments are known as human endogenous retroviruses, or HERVs.

Previous estimates put our own DNA as being at least eight percent HERV, and the authors of this study were searching for signs of new HERVs within humans. They looked carefully at the genome of 2,500 people from all around the world, and compared their genomes to a “reference” type, a digitized genetic sequence assembled by scientists that acts as a representative sample of our own species’ genome.

The newly discovered provirus could potentially behave like a fully working retrovirus. nobeastsofierce/Shutterstock

The researchers found 19 new HERVs, adding to the 17 previously identified by other studies. One of these new HERVs (found within 50 of the study subjects) was not a mere fragment of a viral genome, but the entire genome itself. This makes it a “provirus,” and is only the second known to exist within humans. Although it has yet to be proven, this provirus could potentially replicate and behave like a working virus, unlike the fragmented HERVs.

“This one looks like it is capable of making infectious virus, which would be very exciting if true, as it would allow us to study a viral epidemic that took place long ago,” said the study’s coordinating author John Coffin, a virologist at the Tufts University School of Medicine, in a statement.

Some HERVs have been adopted by our own bodies to serve useful purposes, including one that aids pregnancy. This particular HERV helps in constructing a protective cell layer around a fetus in order to stop toxins from the mother’s blood infiltrating it.

As they are often an integral part of our biology, hunting down these HERVs is essential for medical research. This study has added another bunch to the pack – as well as revealing how “alien” we truly are.

from:    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/ancient-viruses-are-hiding-within-your-dna

Comet Linear Flyby Soon to End

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

See a green comet come close to Earth next week: Stargazers in northern hemisphere could be treated to a stunning show

Comet Linear is 100 times brighter than astronomers had expected
Due to moon-filled skies, you may need binoculars to get a good view
Sky watchers will need to be outside at least 1.5 hours before sunrise
It will be roughly in line with Mars and Saturn on morning of March 29th

By Ellie Zolfagharifard For Dailymail.com

A bright green comet is about to come into view for sky watchers in the northern hemisphere.

The icy space rock, dubbed Comet Linear, will emerge from next week and be around 100 times brighter than astronomers had expected.

Sky gazers in the southern hemisphere, were treated to view of the comet earlier this week, after it passed Earth at 3.3 million miles away.

HOW TO SEE IT

Go to an area with low light pollution away from any cities or towns.

You will need to be out at least 1.5 hours before sunrise,

The comet is moving between the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius. This is in the southern part of the sky.

The planets Saturn and Mars are in this part of the sky as well.

They and the bright star Antares will be the first things you notice, forming a distinctive triangle a little smaller.

The comet is climbing to the left of this trio.

You may need the help of binoculars, as the moon light will could obscure your view.

Currently, Comet Linear is moving rapidly into view from the northern hemisphere. But due to moon-filled skies, you may need binoculars to get a good view.

Sky watchers will need to be out at least 1.5 hours before sunrise, in a location as free from light pollution as possible.

The comet is moving between the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius, which is in the southern part of the sky before dawn.

Each morning the comet will be higher up with respect to the surrounding stars.

The planets Saturn and Mars are in this part of the sky as well.

They and the bright star Antares will be the first things you notice, forming a distinctive triangle a little smaller than your clenched fist held at arm’s length, according to Sky & Telescope.

The comet is climbing to the left of this trio. It will be roughly in line with Mars and Saturn on the morning of March 29th and along a line connecting Saturn and Antares on March 31st.

‘Don’t expect Comet Linear to be obvious with a long tail,’ explains Sky & Telescope Senior Editor Kelly Beatty.

‘Its light isn’t concentrated in a single point but instead is spread out in a soft round glow, larger than the Moon but many thousands of times dimmer.’

Comet Linear has a greenish colour caused by molecules of diatomic carbon that are fluorescing in sunlight.

However, the green tint likely won’t be evident unless you view the comet through a telescope.

Given the comet’s unexpected surge, astronomers aren’t sure how long it will remain.

READ MORE:   Comet 252P/LINEAR Soars Into Predawn View This Week – Sky & Telescope
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3509840/See-green-comet-come-close-Earth-week-Star-gazers-northern-hemisphere-treated-stunning-show.html#ixzz448UTOQuS
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Check out also:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThbuvhwWuFA