Consciousness, Systems, and Evolution
The level of society's group consciousness determines the style of systems it develops, whether political, economic, legal, religious, or philosophical. This applies to personal and interpersonal relationships a s well. As we step higher in awareness, the old, denser forms crack, crumble, and vanish. New, lighter forms replace them.
The world is on the threshold of a sweeping change. We are witnessing the passing of the old order. If the transition goes smoothly, it will be more like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon rather than a domino-like series of cataclysmic events. This article addresses a few aspects of this all-encompassing phenomenon and focuses on some tools that may help us as we experience the transformation. Not only are our systems changing, but we as individuals are changing as well. In fact, it is our changing that is changing the systems.
Although all levels of human endeavor are being affected, we will only touch on a few areas -- the political, scientific, and religious. Mostly, though, we'll explore the personal aspect. Nevertheless, we can apply the principles described here to any system society has built. We will start with a few paragraphs about politics, which will lead us into a discussion about the effects of consciousness and ego on our lives.
It's a Matter of Consciousness
Systems reflect the consciousness of those who build and run them. You could devise most divinely inspired plan, but if the people involved are acting from a low level of awareness, the distortions of their ego will show in the structure. In short, the level of human awareness determines the level of consciousness of the political (or any) structure.
This is easier to understand when you know what the State (regardless of its type) really is: it is human beings with titles, performing tasks with specific purposes, in official buildings.
Laws — usually written agreements — define what the people within that system can or cannot do and gives some (with "enforcing" titles, like police, judges, etc.) the authority to implement those rules. Levels of consciousness are also reflected in the laws that we write. On the positive side they can provide justice for all. As a negative example, everything that Hitler did was legal: he passed laws saying, "It's OK," and no matter what unjust or atrocious actions the law allowed, the enforcers we acting lawfully.
The State, then, is people. As an external reality, the State, like the Church, does not exist. The same goes for the military, corporations, the Mafia, KGB, universities, non-profits, unions, clubs, "Wall Street," and so on. They are people organized in specific ways for specific purposes — nothing more than that. Words, however, hypnotize us into believing otherwise. Peeling away the veils of these word-induced illusions is not so easy.
By extension, any system will improve if the individuals involved raise their consciousness. People who are truly happy — their happiness is sourcing from within and not relying on passing, external circumstances — are people with a higher consciousness. But can being happy really make a difference in politics? If everyone was happy, we would not have war. Suffering would be greatly reduced. That much is obvious, but it goes beyond that.
The collective consciousness of humanity influences the overall quality and structure of human life. Consciousness supports life; unconsciousness is indifferent to it. As an analogy, imagine a lake with six billion drops of water. If each drop is pristine, life in the lake can flourish. If the drops are polluted , then the life forms won't develop as fully as they could. In severe cases, they will perish prematurely. Likewise, a collection of truly happy people can uplift any system in which they involve themselves. The power of this collective happiness can help each individual reach his or her highest potential.
You can see this in business too. Say you have a choice to deal with one of two companies. From one company you sense an authentically happy, upbeat energy. The other has a depressive and controlling atmosphere. If all other elements are equal (product, price, warranty), which one would you support?
There are many ways to be happy or more conscious. One is to monitor your experience: what are you thinking and feeling right now? How are you behaving in this moment? Spiritually, when you are aware, you are awake. If you are awake most of the time, you are enlightened or a saint, depending who's defining you. Usually, though, people are asleep. They react reflexively to their thoughts, emotions, and to the environment; they are lost in the stream of their thoughts. This is living out karma; they are not exercising their Free Will.
By the way, everything we have said about the effects of happiness on a system can be said about compassion, peace, love, and wisdom, or any other quality that we associate with higher consciousness. When we operate at this level, we are focused in the Now. We are not trapped in the mentally created past or future.
Wake Up Tools
Psychologically, we can escape from the cage of the imagined past or future. Thousands of spiritual and psychological tools exist that can help bring our awareness back to the moment. For example, Eckhart Tolle's excellent book, A New Earth, contains dozens of these tips, as do thousands of other texts. Here are a few more tips to add to the list.
These tips (or tools) are interconnected, although some are more suited to certain circumstances than others. Many are phrases that, when programmed into the subconscious, act as reminders to bring us back to the present. With practice they become part of our lifestyle and work automatically. While some of them may sound lightweight or even silly, they can shift the context of a situation and that helps lessen the grip of the ego.
IT'S LIKE THE WEATHER "Weather reports never change; they are all about change."
Bebbly Dortly, Nez Master
When you feel really bad, it seems as if the feeling is here to stay. Experience shows, however, that all emotional states change — just like the weather. When you feel bad, remind yourself that "It's like weather." Given time, you'll see that you are always right. Psychologically, knowing this makes the situation less intense because it gives us hope. With practice, this attitude becomes ingrained, and we instinctively interpret life from that perspective: It's like the weather, and it will pass. Sunny days become cloudy; gray skies brighten. This perspective builds patience and fortitude.
The problem with spiritual tools is that when our emotions kick in and we feel bad, those feelings and the accompanying thoughts become the most dominant influences in our mind. Brain science has shown this to be a physiological fact. The bad feelings (and the thoughts that go with it) demand that we pay attention to them. As a consequence, we forget to use the tools. That's why building a strong, internal spiritual foundation is important: so when we feel bad, the positive reality within us can poke through the layer of negativity and keep us light, buoyant, and loving. "Build your house on rock."
Unfortunately, "building your house on rock" is difficult when it's already built on the sands of ego. The ego, like a dictator fearing to be deposed, will fight any attempt that we make to take away its control. Only with the persistent intent of Will can we be successful. It takes consistent practice, regardless of what path we are following. Not remembering to use our tools puts us at a disadvantage when dealing with negativity. Often, the best we can do is quickly return to the moment and have as little "down time" as possible.
More at Article continues