Revolution in Consciousness? Not Yet!
Revolution in Consciousness? Not Yet!
Dusk is quickly descending. Moments after sitting down at streamside, I hear something in the water a short distance downstream. I turn to see a young, but full-grown deer standing in the shallow current.
At the same moment, it spots me, and a split second later the animal performs an astounding athletic feat, taking three big bounds across the creek and up the steep bank. The water’s edge must have always been a place of danger for deer, and so they evolved a highly developed flight reaction at any hint of a predator.
The palpable mystery of dusk deepens. One feels, as the last light of day drains from the skies, that one knows nothing and is nothing. The sounds of nature (the washboard of water musically flowing by at my feet) and the noises of man (the roaring engines on the racetrack a couple miles away) co-mingle in the darkening parkland.
Knowledge can drain out of one like the light on a hot summer’s evening. The mind falls silent, and its content —the useful and useless memories —cease operating. Psychological time stops, and for a little while at least, one simply is, and is nothing.
This, you might say, is fine for the individual, but in the meantime humankind is plundering the earth, poverty is becoming more acute, and wars are raging on, killing millions and wasting billions of dollars. Something far greater than a few individuals sitting in samadhi is urgently needed: a revolution in consciousness and a political manifestation are urgently needed.
Some say that a silent revolution in consciousness is already in progress, and that it is an inexorable movement that will be impossible to stop. I would like to be so sanguine, but human history is in fact accelerating in the opposite direction.
I once heard a great religious teacher say that no teacher, however illumined, has changed the basic course of humankind. And the basic course of humankind is toward increasing division and fragmentation through the unintelligent use of thought.
Thought is a separative mechanism. Its fundamental principle is to remove ‘things’ from the environment and prepare them for use. As such, it obviously has its place. However, thought doesn’t stop with utilitarian outward separations, but fabricates and sustains a separate self--a personal and collective ego —that is given the importance of life itself. Therefore without insight into thought, inner and outer fragmentation proliferates, and threatens the wholeness of nature and people.
Two attitudes are indisputably false: that it doesn’t matter what happens to humanity; and that humankind will go on this way forever. The outlook that ‘things have always been and will always be this way’ is wrong on the face of it. Even if we’re thinking in terms of thousands of years (since the beginning of cities), or tens of thousands of years (since the beginning of modern humans), change, not stasis, is the law of life.
Does what happens to humanity matters to more than just us? All sentient species in the universe matter because they have the potential to consciously awaken cosmic intelligence within themselves. That has nothing to do with a separate God, a deity projected as perfect thought, but with Intelligence without a designer.
Humankind is meant to live in harmony on this incredibly beautiful planet, not plunder it and make cyborgs of ourselves. (The line between machine and man must be sharply drawn now, or man will become a machine.) Nothing is perfect, but human beings can live in imperfect harmony on this earth.
For that to happen, obviously a revolution in consciousness is absolutely necessary, but just what does that mean? First and foremost, a psychological revolution means the beginning of the end of thought’s domination —both in the human mind/brain, as well as ecologically. Also, the revolution in consciousness has to manifest politically very quickly, in order to begin to manage the many extreme challenges facing people in the global society.
People all over the world are beginning to awaken, and for the first time in human history, a planetary psychological revolution is essential (since humankind’s margin of error is gone), and possible. A few people, questioning to the core of consciousness and awakening insight together, could ignite this revolution. And that will change the course of humankind.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.