The time has come to reawaken our humanity
It is easy to blame societal and environmental ills on powerful elites, big business, greedy bankers, corrupt politicians and corporate fat cats; perhaps easier still to blame it all on the ‘system’. But let’s be honest, if only for the briefest of moments. We are all complicit in the current state of affairs, we the people, the consumers, employees, voters, citizens, neighbours, friends, foes, blamers and blamed. The seismic state of affairs demands a sea change from blame, resentment, fear and loathing. It’s time to awaken something deeper within and all around us.
Yes, there is most certainly a crying need for new ways of operating and organizing; and this involves us all. Yet, before we get busy, first and foremost, we need to wake up from our own delusion. And for that we need nothing more than our own intention and attention. What’s at stake here is our sense of self, our sense of society and our sense of humanity, beyond blame.
How often, in our busyness to fix things, do we pause to ponder what lies at the heart of all our problems? How often, in our rush to improve our situation and achieve more, do we catch a glimpse of reality beyond illusion? First we must recognise that we are largely caught up in our own cacophony of confusion. We must personally take on-board that it is our rushing around trying to find substitutes for the real thing that is pushing us further away from who we truly are. Only then will we be able to free ourselves and our well-intended ‘solutions’ from the flawed logic that created this untenable situation in the first place.
‘We think that being practical means keeping busy getting on with our lives, rushing from one distraction to another, finding more and more substitutes for what we dimly sense but don’t know how to face or discover.’ – Peter Kingsley
What I find so positive about the recent surge of interest in mindfulness in business is that as we can embrace a simple and effective daily practice of focusing our intention and attention. Through time-honoured contemplative practices such as meditation, holotropic breathing, journeying, Nature-immersions and embodiment activities such as dance, T’ai Chi and yoga, we allow our doors of perception to open up and the restrictive shell of our ego-self to permeate more readily with the world. Our everyday awareness, which is largely littered with fragmentary busyness, is enriched with a wellspring of inspiration and wisdom that life affords us.
Such a practical activity is to remember the origins of our Western civilisation and philosophy, to live in love of Sophia – Nature’s wisdom flowing within and all around us; a theory and practice that has been warped, misrepresented and trampled over in our head-long rush into materialism whereupon we grasp at abstractions while over-looking the real thing. These times of transformation and upheaval stimulate us to glimpse into the eye-of-the-heart of reality, if we dare look. This fuller perspective of reality is not for the faint-hearted as it requires courage both to let-go of ingrained acculturations and to let-come the uncertain unknown uncontrollable wildness beyond our domesticated numbness.
Through our own intention and attention we shape our perceptual frame influencing how we relate to: our deeper sense of self (our somatic and soulful ‘bodymind’ with its sensuous sea of spiralling yin-yang vortices, and its repressed emotions, wild undercurrents and urges, instinctual and archetypal resonances, and subtle perturbations of heartfelt intuitive wisdom); and, our social relations within the world (the human and more-than-human physical and psychical inter-related matrix of reality we find ourselves immersed within).
Through nothing simpler than stillness, we may open up to the wellspring within – the intimacy of our inner-sense – then a somatic-social-soulful sentience flows through our relations, nourishing our worldview. Put another way, by consciously opening our doors of perception beyond the narrow-mindedness of rationalistic materialism we learn to reconnect with the wisdom within and all around us, in-so-doing gain a deeper sense of intimacy, love and meaning in our lives. This is the beginning of our future, unfettered by yesterday’s logic of separation, competition and domination.
Through our conscious intent we can train ourselves to become actively attentive; training ourselves to transcend the constricting perspectives of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ Neo-Darwinism infecting our socio-economic and political worldviews today.
Neuro-imaging of the brain shows that the more we practice opening up to this deeper consciousness, the more our brain’s plasticity (ability to adapt) increases as does our baseline ability to perceive reality beyond the ego’s illusion of separation. We not only become more resilient but also more wise. So, the more we practice this state of presence through our intention and attention, the more the illusion is robbed of its conscious energy and the easier it becomes to actively engage in our emerging future unpolluted by the same thinking that created the problems in the first place.
‘The Western mind has trouble stopping its clock. It conceives its inmost life as a biological clock and its heart as a ticker… To change how we see things takes falling in love. Then the same becomes altogether different. Like love, a shift of sight can be redemptive…you get something back for what you had misperceived as merely worthless. The noisome symptoms of every day can be revalued and their usefulness reclaimed.’ – James Hillman
Rehabilitating our somatic-social-soulful selves is primary and fundamental for the future of our humanity, not a luxury nice-to-have.
The ancient wisdom traditions and pioneering discoveries of quantum physics point to the same essential wisdom, that through our intention and attention we can train ourselves to attune with the inter-relatedness of life. Through our conscious awareness of the ever-evolving moment, freed from abstractions of space-time bound linearity, we can swim with the stream and attune with the Dance of Life. This is to perceive our true humanity. This is an opening up of our soul and a revitalisation of our six senses (the sixth being intuition, which, as Einstein knew, is a sacred gift our current society has largely forgotten).
Why choose illusion when you can choose reality through nothing more simple than our intention and attention.
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