A contribution by Janice Dolley
It seems that immense changes are afoot, calling us as a global society to shift from the materialistic and separative thinking that has led us to the critical ‘code red ‘situation that we are in on so many fronts today. As a planetary society this has resulted from a loss of perception of the greater whole of which we are an integral part, our place within a vast cosmos, and the loss of connection with our inner life — the invisible spiritual worlds that invisibly interweave with our everyday lives.
The reality of our daily lives so often consumes all our attention but once we grasp the reality of the loving creative consciousness that embraces all life – for which every religion has a different name – it is easier to be no longer fearful of the chaos of change that is underway but instead see this as the outer forms of outgrown ideas disintegrating so that new energy can be released to act in ways that better serve the greater whole.
The first step in this shift is the dissolution of the limiting old structures, habits and ways of thinking which is already underway and is causing distress to many. The second step is envisioning and working hard to bring into being new ideas, new visions and the much-needed qualities of love and compassion for all life. In other words, following the universally accepted Golden Rule of “Do unto others that which we would have them do unto you.” Our challenge now is to have the wisdom and creativity to use the power of our thoughts and the love of our hearts to begin to co- create new ways of being.
Here are some questions to start our thinking and our discussion with others(1):
1 What would our world be like if it was based on an understanding that all life is one and deeply interconnected?
We would first need to relinquish the narrative of scientific materialism that tells us that we are the only sentient beings in an inanimate universe that is without life, meaning, purpose or intelligence. Instead, we need to follow the evolutionary scientists and cosmologists of today who are now providing the evidence for what the Mystics through the ages from all faith traditions have always said – that “All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body Nature is and God the soul.” (2 ) Individuals and groups across the world are beginning to use this as a new narrative for our time and come together to build small communities, co-create new initiatives and explore the possibilities for a unified world.
2 How soon might we realise that we live in a participatory world and that a shift in our thinking would make conflict, war and the desecration of nature no longer acceptable?
Whilst the mainstream news channels tend to focus on negative issues, there are many initiatives at local, national and global levels that, although not yet widely visible, are moving towards living in harmony within a framework of the unity of all life. In loving and compassionate ways, they are working towards ending ecological destruction, caring for the marginalised and treating all life as sacred.
3 Might we then see the cosmos as a living presence and the whole universe and all of nature as intelligent?
We are beginning to understand that “consciousness is not something that we have but is what we and the whole world are”. (3) This is helping us to leave behind the idea that nature and other life forms have no consciousness and instead understand our deep interconnectedness. The younger generation are tuning into vegetarian or even vegan lifestyles that will end factory farming, pollution of the oceans and over fertilisation of the soil so that we live in greater harmony with the whole of planetary life.
4 Might we begin to sense other realities and other dimensions of being?
The materialist’s rejection of God as an outgrown superstition is receding as an increasing number of people have had what they call a spiritual experience. The Alister Hardy Research Trust has demonstrated that 50% of people interviewed in the UK have testified to this. Meanwhile a good percentage will claim that they are spiritual but not religious; established religions are beginning to be seen as only one route to an awareness and reconnection with our deeper soul selves.
5 Might we then strive for unconditional love to underpin all our relationships?
It seems that as we recognise the heart as both the seat of our own soul as well as having faculties of intelligence exceeding those of the brain, as researched by the Heart Math Institute, so we find that the power of love and relationship can build new possibilities and new levels of caring and sharing. We are also realising that this Love is the very energy that is both the source and support of all forms of life. As The Beatles so famously sang: “All you need is love, Love Is All you need.”
6 When we realise that time and space only pertain to our planetary state of being and are not fundamental dimensions underlying reality, might we change forever our ideas about death?
Already, the reported experience of those who have had a near death experience, of those involved in after death communication with a loved one, of those who have recollections of past lives and even intimations of lives to come are all changing the old materialistic idea that consciousness originates in the neurons of the physical brain, so that when the brain dies consciousness ceases to exist. Indigenous people have always honoured and consulted their ancestors and today more people are feeling connected to those who have passed on as well as with subtler dimensions of being such as angels, devas and spiritual guides or teachers.
7 Might we then begin to counterbalance rational thought with intuitive ways of receiving inspirations and ideas?
According to the seminal book “The Master and his Emissary” by Dr. Iain McGilchrist, we have become prisoners of the literal and rational left hemisphere of the mind, which over centuries and millennia has closed down access to the imaginative and creative right hemisphere.(4) He shows how this imbalance between the hemispheres has led to a distorted misinterpretation of reality. We need to value inner ways of knowing as well as scientific methodology.
8 Might we then be able to counteract the idea that we are bio-physical machines with no sovereignty or free will?
This will take some shifting as AI and ideas of transhumanism appeal to those with an urge towards power and control over others. Whilst computerization and even aspects of AI can be beneficial if responsibly used in ways that have deep regard for the sovereignty of each human person, there is a real risk of their being used as instruments of a techno control — as Aldous Huxley warned us in Brave New World “and George Orwell in “1984”. We need to be aware of our responsibility for the natural progression of humanity into greater development of our human potential in ways that have regard for the ongoing wellbeing of all.
9 Might an upsurge of the power of the feminine assist us to develop in a direction of beauty, goodness and truth?
The role of the feminine has been suppressed for millennia and the dominance of the masculine drive for power has not been balanced by the feminine values of caring and relationship: with ourselves, with others, with all expressions of the one life as well as with that ‘something’ beyond our present understanding.
10 How would human relationships, social justice, science, medicine, education, politics, the government and the military be reframed according to perspectives of consciousness as primary and love as the essential basis of all relationships?
In every country across the world small initiatives are underway such as soul-centred forms of education, holistic forms of healing working alongside the standard medical practises, experiments in grassroots politics, work on making ecocide a criminal offence, initiatives to clean up the oceans, communities transforming into eco-villages, transition towns or integral cities in which love is the connecting glue. These are like islands of the future coming together in a new world that is slowly emerging.
“We are awakening to what I have called the dream of the cosmos – the dream of an enlightened humanity engaging in a new role on this planet, a role that is in harmony with the evolutionary intention of the cosmos and is no longer driven by the quest for power, conquest and control and the appropriation of the earth’s resources for the benefit of the few.” Anne Baring (5)
Notes and References
- These questions inspired by those of Trish Pfeiffer, Co-Editor of Mind before Consciousness : Visions of a New Science of Consciousness”,O-Books, 2007
- Eighteenth Century poet Alexander Pope
- Jude Currivan “ The Cosmic Hologram: Information at the Center of Creation, Inner Traditions, 2017
- Iain McGilchrist “The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of an Alien World ”,Yale university Press, 2009
- Anne Baring, “ a Quest for the Soul”, Archive Publishing, 2013