It’s chilly, partly cloudy, and thought-stoppingly beautiful in the parkland. The creek roars by like a wild green animal. Though the mind falls silent without much difficulty on such a day, one wonders, is me-consciousness just too deeply entrenched generally?
All around, tiny buds are erupting from the branches of large and small trees, and newly green banks and groundcover pierce to the heart. The chilly air contrasts with the spring-like scenes, adding to the uniqueness of the day.
The past can find nothing to attach itself to on an afternoon like this.
It’s one of only a few matchlessly pristine days per year. Even in northern California smog is the rule, and most days now “wear man’s smudge and share man’s smell,” as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins put it.
The existence of intentionality in the collective darkness of human consciousness is now beyond reasonable doubt. As the saying goes, the greatest achievement of the devil in the modern age is convincing people it doesn’t exist.
But the actuality of evil doesn’t necessarily mean there is a movement of intelligence and goodness in consciousness, much less that there is a cosmic mind that cares about the fate of humankind.
My question is not so much about the origins and nature of evil however, but whether intelligence beyond darkness is operating at present. Is negation in meditation within the individual, which brings an awareness of infinite wholeness and goodness, all there is? Or does another movement exist, an inseparable intelligence working within human consciousness as a whole?
It’s clear that evil is man-made, a by-product of thought-consciousness, rather than some preexistent force in the universe. That means the living generations are doing something, and neglecting to do something, that allows darkness/evil to grow. And since neglected darkness is a growing force, now overwhelming all but the strongest individuals, the question of whether there is a movement of intelligence is crucial.
For if there’s nothing but darkness, and only its potential negation within the individual, how can ordinary people not succumb to it and become ‘walking dead’ and ‘zombies,’ as so many have in North America and Europe? (Revealingly, the pitch line in recent commercial promoting beaches in various places is “Feel Again.”)
What began in America 25 years ago—the extinguishment of the spirit of an entire people—has spread around the world. That’s the true threat of globalization.
Because humans are generally such adaptive and un-self-aware creatures, people adapt to the deadness by becoming dead themselves. So even as it becomes increasingly intolerable to ‘go with the flow,’ it’s increasingly difficult to swim against the current.
The belief in individualism is an excellent conductor of darkness because the powerful illusion of ‘my uniqueness’ blinds individualists to how inwardly identical they are to millions of others. Advertising caters to the illusion of uniqueness in a hyper-personalized culture of consumerism, and conditions people further to think of themselves as separate, independent agents.
Yet human consciousness is a single thing, analogous to the Internet. The more unaware one is of oneself in the sea of sameness, the less unique one is, and the more easily one is manipulated by physical and metaphysical forces. So when you hear someone say, ‘I’m an individual,’ they’re really saying that they’re like everyone else.
The movie “Fallen” with Denzel Washington accurately and chillingly captures the principle of conduction of evil through spiritually indistinguishable conduits. But it also wrongly maintains that a person can’t do anything to prevent it.
In the central role played by Washington, the character is powerless to prevent evil from overtaking him. The truth however, is that evil can only consistently flow through and use a person who remains willfully ignorant of the darkness within them.
In the global society, culture in the old sense of the word (distinct traditions, patterns and practices shared by geographically isolated peoples) no longer exists. And though not all the old cultures are dead, all are quickly becoming engulfed by globalization.
That, more than the glib clichés about the West’s “freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, freedom of blasphemy and sexual freedom” is what the real-life Hollywood-scripted horror of fanatical Islamists’ are warring against.
Therefore it’s also “dark ideology” for Western commentators to repeat ad nauseum, “Only Arabs can find the answer to this crisis.” There is no ‘them,’ even decapitating jihadists. Evil cannot be defeated by bombs, nor by violence of any kind.
Ironically, only the individual (as opposed to the individualist) can save humankind from spiritual extinction. Because when you are aware of the darkness (fear, hate, anger, hurt, sorrow, etc.) within you, and remain with it, one no longer acts out of it and contributes to the collective darkness of humanity, and evil cannot flow through you. That’s what truly stops its spread.
Of course this means one has to want to see and feel, rather than run away and escape from seeing and feeling, as countless conduits are presently doing.
But short of death or dementia, even conduits can stop, turn around, look within and begin inwardly learning, in which there is no accumulation of knowledge and experience.
So is there a movement of intelligence at work in human consciousness beyond the movement of darkness/evil? Perhaps, but it isn’t discernable at present.