It’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, full of light and color and shadow. Many people are in the quarter-mile wide parkland, which follows a creek as it cuts through the college and town. Most, whether alone or in small groups, are with man’s last friend, but they (and their dogs) are well behaved.
A sparrow flies in close, and shyly takes cover behind a branch. Each sight, sound and smell grows vivid and meaningful beyond the verbal level—indeed, beyond the power of language to express. By the time I stand up, everything is new. The beauty around one is astonishing, and I feel as if I’d never been to the place, never heard the waters of a stream before.
The sense of newness is neither an illusion, nor a ‘mystical experience.’ It is simply the unsought result of attending, without division or exclusion, to everything happening outside and inside while sitting in a relatively unspoiled spot of nature. When one simply observes without goal or division, the brain cleanses itself of the past, of memory and experience, and one sees nature and the world afresh.
Though it appears that only darkness is operating in human consciousness at present, there is an intelligence in the universe that is available to self-knowing human beings who have the intent to understand and liberate themselves. That’s true even though at this point collective consciousness seems impervious to insight and cosmic intelligence.
You would think that igniting meditative states within one would make things easier. But it works the opposite way—the more one awakens meditative states, the harder living in the world becomes. No wonder so few people actually do so! One grows more sensitive to the inhumanity of man, the darkness of consciousness (including within oneself), and the lack of caring and response.
What is the relationship between our individual consciousness and the collective consciousness of humankind? Like a hologram, each of us enfolds the entirety of human consciousness within us, though most people only project a small segment of it. (And an awakening human being projects little or none at all.) Thus self-awareness that isn’t self-centered opens one to the entirety of content-consciousness, and a dimension beyond its increasingly lifeless domain.
Indeed, collective consciousness and the world are actually the same thing, the latter being the expression of the former, and the world in turn conditioning individual and collective consciousness. What breaks the vicious circle? Self-knowing.
So, given that the world is the outward expression of the consciousness of every person, and that the consciousness of humanity as a whole is enfolded within each one of us, that means the individual has a lot more potential to affect change than the specialists maintain. And when awareness and insight awaken and grow in enough people, human consciousness will no longer darken and deteriorate.
I’m not referring to awareness about something, but awareness that is inseparable from action and everything else. The 1960’s notion that ‘raising awareness’ will lead to redressing injustice is based on the same fallacy as traditional journalism, which holds, against all evidence, that if people knew about what was happening, if they had the right information, they’ll act on it. I know too many people who have willfully tuned out and turned off for that to be true.
There is a surfeit of knowledge and information, and yet worldwide, contrary to the feel-good con men, political/economic injustice and environmental degradation aren’t decreasing, they’re increasing. On the individual level in the wealthier sectors of global society, more and more people are concerning themselves only with the personal dimension—many with ‘personal transformation.’
Is there another way? Can insight illuminate the smothering weight of the past overshadowing the present (which is human consciousness within us), allowing people to move in a new direction of wholeness? Overall, a creative explosion of insight (not scientific insights) is clearly the only thing that can change the disastrous course of humankind.
What is the threshold for such a phenomenon? Is it that when awareness and insight awaken in enough people, a revolution in human consciousness as a whole will ignite? That doesn’t look like it will happen in my lifetime, but one never knows.
Even so, our individual responsibility is great, especially since most of the world’s people live at or below a subsistence level and cannot concern themselves with such matters. Obviously, people who are barely eking by do not have the energy and time to consider the transmutation of consciousness.
Unfortunately, for most of those who do, it’s still a personal matter, driven by self-concern, not by concern for humanity as a whole. Perhaps this is also why so few come into direct contact with the intelligence that suffuses the cosmos.
Those who require tangible proof cannot see the ineffable reality, but those who experience the ineffable can express intelligence tangibly. However, trying to implement visions and plans before the revolution ignites is a prescription for despair.
Because there is no utopia does not mean the only option is adapting to a world of increasing dystopia.
At the very least, we have a responsibility to the future of humanity not to adapt to a dead culture by becoming inwardly dead ourselves.