We talk and write about raising our consciousness, and becoming more conscious, the consciousness of nature, the evolution of consciousness, the development of consciousness—all valuable discussions but when lacking action they are not truly sustainable concepts.
Seeking higher consciousness can act like an opiate if we forget what really matters – our actions.
Sending love to the earth is good but doing love is better.
Sitting on the meditation cushion is good but compassion in action is better.
Too often I hear superiority within this concept of “higher consciousness” – we humans claim a particular variety of it and then spend our life developing it. But I wonder – shouldn’t we trust the more natural movement of life and as long as we understand that what we do reflects our true nature, reflects our level of consciousness then we are better to focus our energies on our actions.
Parker J Palmer teaches about the Mobius strip – – that which is within becomes manifest without. There is no real separation between our inner and outer landscape. Our consciousness is reflected in our actions; our actions reflect our consciousness.
A definition of consciousness includes, “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.” Of course this is basic at best, yet, holds the key to what consciousness is all about – being tuned in to life, to our surroundings. Then from this awareness we can choose to be of benefit, to live actively.
Even if we are to put one step toward some cause we hold dear, like recycling all our plastic because we believe this helps, this alone demonstrates a high level of consciousness: A sustainable consciousness through action.
- Being kind to someone is such an action.
- Fulfilling a dream is such an action.
- Peacefully protesting is such an action.
- Exchanging stories with others is such an action.
- Holding a conversation with the natural world is such an action.
- Not giving up on someone is such an action.
- To “set out upon that road” is such an action – –
It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try—
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
but all the more persistently
—to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself—
as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost. –Vaclav Havel, It Is I Who Must Begin from Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach
Join me this October on a year-long pilgrimage of action — The Zero Point Agreement & the Gifts You Were Born With.