“To fight the unconsciousness you become the unconscious.”
The current political realities are a subject of conversation at nearly every social event that Mary and I attend. The latest news revelations get chewed on with earnest concern and much foreboding.
Lots of us, according to the polls, are suffering as we try to understand the Trump presidency and the divisions within the country. More than half of people surveyed recently reported substantial stress about the political climate. 29% of workers report that they have been less productive since the election.
Many people in the U.S. are experiencing an exhaustive state of anxiety. Some are reacting defensively, blaming others, becoming angry and fearful. Others can’t stop shaking their heads in bewilderment and regret. Still others pull back, refusing to bear witness or to participate in this great melodrama. Many hide behind the shield of cynicism, certain that leaders can never be trusted.
It’s hard to escape. With our ever-present news streams, we are witnessing directly every human problem, every act of bad faith, and every failure and misjudgment. Even as we listen obsessively to the news, we claim that we don’t trust the news. Lies and distortions get amplified and sent out to us uninvited and ubiquitous, like a noxious wind that never stops blowing.
These dynamics are global now, modern angst the defining emotion of most societies on earth.
The human species is having a crisis caused by its prevailing level of consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle, like other masters of awareness, believes that human unconsciousness is coming to the surface in a massive way right now as part of the process of human evolution. The process of leaving the traps of attachment and other bad explanations are necessarily painful. Suffering is the only thing that will make us examine the thinking and behavior that cause our current dysfunction.
But most people anchor their consciousness in the moment—in the daily news of human failure—rather than understanding what is happening in a larger frame—the frame of cosmic and human unfolding.
Only a small portion of us interprets current reality in an evolutionary framework, the only framework that avoids doomsday scenarios and allows us to be happy in the here and now.
The good news: when we view current events in a the large frame of evolution, we can sustain our poise, avoid the anxiety of our time, and live in a vibrant state of consciousness that contributes to human emergence.
Small frames guarantee our suffering
A frame is an explanation of reality. A small frame guarantees that we will suffer. The current explanation that many people seem to live by is a very small frame:
Humans are hopelessly flawed and we must protect
ourselves from the rest of the species.
This small frame is pessimistic and cynical, fearful and uniformed.
It ignores the incredible growth of knowledge in our species. It ignores the brilliant contributions to human well-being that are being undertaken by hundreds of millions of people all over the earth. It ignores human history, which is a story of evolution.
Those who live in this small frame have a small life, a life of self-pity and victim-hood. It is they who are hopelessly flawed, dragging their pain bodies everywhere they go.
Some people, of course have a bigger frame for their lives, but those frames are also stingy, frames like:
Even though humans are hopelessly flawed, we are the
greatest nation on earth and must protect it at all costs
from the hordes who want to descend on us.
This frame permanently separates us from others and assumes that Americans are superior to everyone else on earth. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads, as Thoreau said. Separated from most of the people on earth, these earnest patriots wage wars, build bomb shelters, or congratulate themselves on their nationalistic virtues. They are crazy.
Others are proud of what they consider an even bigger frame, but this explanation also guarantees suffering:
We believers love every person, but we are the only ones
who are/will be saved because only we have found and obey—pick one or fill in the blank—(Jesus, Buddha,
Still the separation, so suffering cannot be avoided in this frame for reality. History is full of wars committed by these nice god-loving people as they sanctimoniously butcher the infidels.
A frame that is big enough
We need a frame big enough to avoid suffering as much as possible, a frame that allows us to take all people into love’s embrace without reservation.
We might say it in different ways, but here’s a frame that is big enough to give us good explanations about what is happening to the people of the earth:
The universe is change, never-ending change. The universe is evolving, becoming more conscious of itself. Human beings are the most evolved life forms in the universe, as we far as we know, developers of awareness—cosmic scouts, explorers, and brave pioneers.
We are capable of using this frame to understand every second of our life.
This explanation helps us avoid any separation: all people are part of this cosmic unfolding, even if they are not aware of their special assignment.
A fairly significant portion of humanity understands and uses this framework in their daily lives.
These fortunate men and women live in awe as they observe the incredible changes and developments in the universe.
For those who have evolved personally to a life lived in awe, the vicissitudes of human behavior are all part of the evolution.
We can see that some people are more evolved than others, more conscious, more alive, more able to live life courageously, more able to love. These people use the framework of cosmic evolution to understand human barbarity and numbness as they serve others and foster further human evolution.
People who live in awe are not easily discouraged by the folly of human behavior: they understand that we are evolving at different levels and different speeds.
We know that destruction of the earth is possible at human hands if we don’t evolve fast enough, but the universe will simply create consciousness somewhere else. Meanwhile, though, the universe is protecting our tiny life-friendly island in the midst of nuclear cosmic explosions, destruction, and re-creation.
We can retain our poise at all times no matter what because the universe is operating with a purpose—a purpose that wants life and consciousness.
So here we are, pioneering on the frontiers of human awareness. Let’s live our lives in the big frame.
Human evolution happens in each of us.
If we fail to evolve personally, we contribute to the communal confusion and suffering.
Suffering is the result of living in a frame that is too small. Many people in the world now live in the small frame of materialism. As Wordsworth said, “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”
If we insist on spending our lives intent on amassing wealth, we invite the inevitable suffering inherent in the small frame. Hustling with our profit minds, unable to see a bigger frame, we shrink our potential and make ourselves and those we manipulate into our enterprise miserable.
So we must change. We need to explore larger frames if we want to move away from suffering.
We are incredible beings who are capable of finding joy in every moment.
All we have to do is quiet down.
Our minds quiet at last, we can understand our true destiny as explorers of the universe. Our minds quiet, living in a state of poise, we finally connect with everybody and everything—fully compassionate at last. Our minds still, we live in the present, grateful, creative, and lighthearted.
We know the universe is evolving because we are evolving.
This is the path of love we’re on. On the path of love, all we have to do is change.