I’ve had occasion to speak with a number spiritual guides and life coaches lately. Though I haven’t sought them out as such, I keep encountering them, and they all seem to be humming from the same self-satisfied hymnbook. What is going on?
Over and over again I’ve heard the same refrain: “I’m no longer questioning and seeking, but am content with the answers I’ve found.” One of the self-styled gurus, a ‘professional philosopher’ nonetheless, uttered that egregious statement word for word.
Most latter-day spiritual practitioners aren’t in it for the money, beyond making a living from selling Higher Self snake oil. They’re in it for ego—to be seen as wise elders and youngers, enlightened or well advanced arhats on the path.
Man-made chaos is growing exponentially, putting the planet and the human prospect and spiritual potential in real and present danger. Most people peripherally acknowledge it, without facing the fact.
That generates personal fear, which creates a big market for spiritual guides and life coaches. Something has to fill the vacuum, and if true learning can’t, false teachers will.
Personal reaction rather than individual response is still the order of the day. Individual response is a true thing, the essential element in bringing about human transmutation, a creative explosion, and a new kind of culture. The personal dimension on other hand, when it’s put first, is false, the greatest impediment to transformation and revolution in consciousness.
So a true individual (meaning an undivided human being) is a microcosm of humanity, whereas the personally oriented individualist is a fragment contributing to human disintegration.
I’ve been looking for self-knowing individuals to think together who aren’t seeking enlightenment from others, but who are a light to themselves. A revolution in consciousness is essential to humankind changing course. It isn’t happening, though to the extent that individuals around the world are awakening, the ground is being prepared for it.
Questioning never ends, except in states of complete stillness and awareness. Though that occurs on nearly a daily basis during meditations in nature, new insights, and the state of insight open up new questions.
That is the nature and beauty of doing philosophy. Even fully illumined human beings (which I’m not) don’t stop questioning.
I wanted to think that most spiritual guides and life coaches were helping to awaken the individual human being. But what I’ve found is that nearly all are comfortable and complacent in their personal domains.
Clearly, the vast majority of one-on-one or small group spiritual guides, shamans, life coaches and suchlike are not about individual growth, but personal and emotional comfort.
Their object is not to help themselves and their clients who feel disturbed by what is happening in society and the world, and feel the urgency of radical change; their goal is to help themselves and their clients be comfortable in cells of their selves.
The psychologist voiced a common theme: “I have no sense of urgency, because I trust that everything in this world is going the way it needs to go.”
With self-comforting thinking like that by professional therapists, it is no wonder the culture is so utterly dysfunctional, and a sociopath like Donald Trump could become president. When light cannot fill the vacuum, darkness will.
Rather than examine the core factor of the personal orientation—self-centered activity—many smart people have sunk into the warm, mushy swamp of ‘the Higher Self.’ Extreme unction is being applied to the ego, while promoting the illusion of personal growth.
A friend wrote to say that a “revolution in consciousness cannot occur until faith in existing institutions (government, media, etc.) is utterly and completely annihilated.” But isn’t that just what is happening, without an alternative?
Without an inner revolution and philosophical foundation, the erosion of faith in existing institutions also erodes our faith in the human prospect. Intellectually we know they are not the same thing, but when institutions fail without individual and collective response, a people perish. And when a people perish, most people emotionally experience it as humanity perishing.
Radical change cannot happen gradually, by ‘evolving,’ which means employing time. Psychological time is the great enemy of humanity.
Needless to say perhaps, I’m not seeking opinions, beliefs, or knowledge, but rather to hold questions together. Very few are able to do so, but if ten self-knowing people could do so at the right time (timing being a very different thing than time), they would ignite a creative explosion.
So the core question remains: Can the crucial inner revolution in consciousness ignite at this point in human history?
As urgently as humankind needs it, there is no evidence, sign or feeling such a revolution is occurring or will occur in the foreseeable future. But one never knows. All one can do is work for the future of humanity—presuming we still have one.
Is this where faith comes in?