Today we have reached a point where we can no longer afford to ignore this inner world. It is human actions and human decisions that lie behind so many of the world's problems....Our global crisis is, at its root, a crisis of consciousness. Picture from EMN Online Museum of Art, Aut. Gio Kadagishvili
Being able to experience reality as it is, undistorted by our hopes and fears, is often referred to as “enlightenment.” The reference “light” in this word is usually thought of in the sense of illumination. A mind that is enlightened is said to be an “illumined” mind. It is a mind that has “seen the light,” or sees things in a new light.
The future is coming faster and faster. This speeding up is the consequence of innovation breeding innovation, leading to exponential rates of development. As well as the many scientific and technological advances this will bring, it also places stress on the underlying systems - personal, social, planetary - accompanied by growing crises. Now more than ever we need our spiritual practice, to stay cool, calm, and collected in the coming storm of change.
Imagine the world thirty years from now. Very likely we'll see quantum computing, nano-tech medicine, 3D-printed organs, artificial intelligence surpassing that of the human brain, possibly fusion power. Advances in molecular biology could be pushing life-expectancy ahead faster than we are aging. Our bodies, senses, and mental functions may be augmented in ways that seem like science fiction today.
When a seed -- or an animal -- or a man is ripe, it must mature to its next phase. Or rot. Stewart Edward White. The various environmental, economic, and social problems confronting us are symptomatic of a deeper underlying crisis -- a crisis in our thinking, perception, and values.
Before we can begin to consider the evolution of consciousness, we have to ask when consciousness first arose. Are human beings alone conscious, or are other creatures also conscious? Is an animal such as a dog, for example, conscious?
Fifty years ago, as our culture began a collective journey of conscious awakening, the Beatles recorded their anthem, "All You Need is Love." Since then, we've been distilling the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions, stripping away the trappings of time and misunderstanding, to reveal their common truths.
Western science has had remarkable success in explaining the functioning of the material world, but when it comes to the inner world of the mind, it has very little to say. And when it comes to consciousness itself, science falls curiously silent.
A Quantum's Eye View. “Good morning, Alice,” a voice said. Or at least it seemed like a voice. Alice rubbed her eyes. She'd fallen asleep in the orchard and had been dreaming of tea parties with singing cakes and dancing oysters. She rubbed her eyes and looked around, but there was no one in sight. Had the voice been in the dream, she wondered?
"In the final analysis, the hope of every person is simply peace of mind". The Dalai Lama Most of us have become so focused on what it is we think we want, we have forgotten what it is we are really seeking. We seldom ask ourselves “What is it we really want?”