Consciousness is the New Black ~ by Mark Gilbert

consciousness

There are trends that come and go….and then there are things that are timeless. There are some things that are timeless but may sit in the background unnoticed until at a certain point our collective attention sees it. At such point it may appear to be a “new trend” but upon closer examination we recognize that it has always been in style, we just weren’t seeing it or discussing it. Our consciousness is just such a “thing”.

Our fascination and curiosity about consciousness goes back a long time. One might consider the Pre-Socratic interest and development of the concept of the nous or Plato’s allegory of the cave as ways in which we have tried to get an understanding of Mind (with a capital M to see it in terms that transcend our individuality). There have always been those who tried to push forward human understanding of that which we use to understand anything at all. As author Gary Lachman writes in his wonderful book The Secret History of Consciousness:

“The study an exploration of consciousness, as opposed to the attempt to explain it, has a long and fascinating history. In the form of religious and spiritual practices it reaches back thousands of years – Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all have traditions centered on the investigation of interior states. But as a philosophical and scientific pursuit linked to the idea of evolution, it’s roots go back only to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Since the 1960s, ideas about ‘higher’ and ‘expanded’ consciousness have made many inroads into mainstream culture; yet few people who practice various forms of ‘consciousness technology’today are aware, I think, of the background to their interest nor know that some of the most influential people in academic and intellectual circles in the early part of the last century…were deeply involved in the study of mysticism and altered states of consciousness.”
Recently, we have begun to hit a tipping point with mainstream interest in the topic of consciousness. Yes, there has been a growing interest in the subject by materialistic scientists who seek to show through fMRIs the correlation between the firing of the neurons in certain areas of the brain with certain states of consciousness – but the mainstream interest in the topic that I am witnessing is not limited to such a narrow scope.
This greater exploration includes the material but also pushes into the interior realms as well…..and then turns the entire subject into something to further our collective societal evolution.

Consciousness is seen as a tool for our creating a greater and better world.

This has been the essential topic of discussion here on Conscious Bridge for the past 5 years. A couple of months ago, I wrote about the so-called “Twee” trend – a new group of people whose intentions and actions according to social commentators includes a focus on humanity’s essential goodness, a valuing of things that are beautiful, a lust for knowledge and a desire to focus attention on a project that does good for the world.

From my perspective (as I wrote about), these social observers are noticing the growing number of people who are moving into “higher” or “second tier” or“integral” consciousness. A characteristic of these higher states of development (beyond what I mention in the other article) include an interest in the melding of science and spirituality and an in brain-mind medicine.

Individuals at this level become interested in thinking about thinking….studying mysticism and altered states of consciousness….exploring first hand these states through spiritual practices, meditation and more.

A couple of weeks ago, a Huffington Post blogger, Dianne Collins, commented on this trend noting, “Millions of people the world over are part of The New Mainstream. It is defined neither by generation, by politico credo, nor by religious creed. The New Mainstream is defined by recognition that we are in a time of awakening to a new mindset, an expanded worldview and yes, a higher-level consciousness for humanity. The New Mainstream is defined by a cosmic pulse of awakening — a new consciousness!”  She goes on to note that this new “mainstream” is talking about the same subjects as everyone else but only with a different “point of view”.

What is this point of view?

She describes it as including the merging of science and spirituality,  exploring energy healing, quantum physics, ecological inventions, intuition and the power of intent.  Sound familiar?

Every where you go, you encounter evidence of this growing group of people who are recognizing the underlying power of consciousness and intention to create a new world — a world that honors and supports everyone.

From the meditations used to conclude most lessons in yoga studios to the teachings of Deepak, Oprah, Wayne Dyer, Abraham-Hicks, New Thought centers and more — from the exploration of the brain by scientists to the experiential retreat centers exploring the deepest inner realms of our being — from the mainstream media incorporation of topics such as the Law of Attraction and the power of intentions to the growing number of people who question the conventional wisdom of getting all their news from mainstream media —to so many other examples of people waking up and evolving to the higher possibilities in their lives —the evidence is all around us of this growing“trend”.

We are in a spiritual renaissance where we are growing out of the old limitations of the dogma of our religions of the past as well as the newer limitations of materialistic “scientism”.

Individuals are questioning everything, learning and growing and exploring for themselves without need for an intermediary between themselves and the Truth. 
The search for meaning that has long been a part of our history has incorporated the concepts of evolution from science and given the search a new context.  The pioneers of the late 19th and early 20th century blazed a trail that we are now widening.  The monumental leap to second tier consciousness that Clare Graves wrote about in the the 1970s is growing in numbers. Whether these new explorers see themselves as being at “second tier” or “integral” (as Ken Wilber describes it) is immaterial.
What is important is that our timeless search for the understanding of our consciousness and its power to influence the direction of our lives has grown to such size that we can no longer ignore its impact on our culture and its direction.

Where are you on this evolutionary journey?

Are you stuck in old limitations and habits of the past — being controlled by old programming and old ways of being?  If so, it’s time to grow on to new levels of life.

At these new levels, you:

  • recognize the value of science but also realize the value of our inner consciousness.
  • spend time exploring the inner realm through meditation.
  • let go of competition and expand your cooperation with others.
  • see the value of using the power of your intentions and thoughts to create a better world for yourself and others.
  • More and more you see that there are no “others”, that we are all connected–all One.
Perhaps it’s time to join with others in this timeless trend?

NOTE: The title of this article was inspired by the use of the phrase by a comment post on the Dianne Collins blog.  My thanks for the inspiration.

Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his very latest one Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent. Check it out!

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