CONSCIOUSNESS

13 01 2019

This is the   34th chapter of Charles Eisenstein’s book, “The More Beautiful World Our hearts Know Is Possible.” You can read the chapter, and the whole book, on line here. Please consider supporting Mr. Eisenstein’s work by buying this or another of his publications.

Work on the level of story is not only the key to creating a more beautiful world; it is also identical with what has always been called spiritual practice. Of course it is: at the bottom of our Story of the World is a Story of Self, with its delusions of separation from other people, from nature, from Gaia, and from anything we might call God.

In Sacred Economics I questioned the notion that we ought to pursue some unitary spiritual goal called enlightenment; indeed that such a thing, as one thing, even exists. The parallel is too close to money, the one thing from which all other blessings supposedly arise. In a society where, it is advertised, money can meet every need, money becomes not just a universal means but a universal end as well. Of course, when one achieves financial wealth one realizes that it cannot in fact meet every need: not, for example, the need for intimacy, connection, love, or meaning. Whether or not we are financially rich, we all know this. But then, rather than question the notion that achieving one thing will lead to all other things, we merely displace that one thing away from money and onto something else. Beholden to the dogma of separation of spirit and matter, we take this other thing to be, unlike money, something “spiritual.” Some call it God, some call it enlightenment, but we have not left the money-patterning of pursuing a unitary goal—the most important thing there is—to which one must render endless sacrifice……

…..Today, the breakout of consciousness into the Story of Interbeing is happening for the first time on such a mass level as to obviate old teachings about spiritual practice, gurus, and masters. The age of the guru is over—not because we don’t need help from the outside in order to inhabit a new story, but because the transition is happening to so many people in so many ways, no one person can, on his or her own, serve the traditional function of a guru. Those who tried to serve this role in the late twentieth century, if they hadn’t the good grace to pass away or the good sense to retire from guru-ing, generally came to ignominious ends, embroiled in scandals of money, sex, and power. This wasn’t because they were charlatans—most, I believe, were people of profound insight, mystical experience, and deep practice. But the water table of consciousness had risen to such a point that it came gushing from many new springs, and none were able to hold the energy.

To be sure, there remain many teachers today with wisdom and integrity, both within and without traditional lineages, who have much to offer. I have met quite a few of them, people far wiser than myself, but each, it seemed, needed teachers of his or her own, and many of the ones I admire the most readily acknowledge that. So it is not that we can rely solely on the inner guru, as some New Age teachings would have us think. It is that the guru, unable now to incarnate in something as small as a single person, takes the form of a group. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, the next Buddha will be a sangha. As Matthew Fox says, the second coming of Christ will be the advent of Christ consciousness in everyone. Perhaps it might be said that the millennia-long work of the saints, sages, mystics, and gurus is nearing completion—they have nearly rendered themselves obsolete..

music:

 The Beatles, “Baby You’re a Rich Man

Dr. John “You Might Be Surprised

consciousness


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