“Daring to Dream:
How might we shift into a New Consciousness?”
A talk given by Revd Don MacGregor at ‘Co-Creating the New’, a day held on 20th September 2014 in Bath, UK with Janice Dolley, Peter McGugan and Kaia Nightingale.
I believe there is a universal path of wisdom that underlies all true spiritual paths, and it is to do with the dawning realisation of our interconnectedness at the energetic level. We are One in the divine matrix of consciousness that holds us all in being – and that Jesus knew it. His words (whether actually his or the gospel writer’s understanding of him) were “I ask … that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, … so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one…”
His teaching was to love, and that is the way to develop higher wisdom and interconnectedness – love is about compassionate relationships, which is what is needed in the world at all levels. This is the spiritual journey – into Oneness
But how do we, as individuals, make that shift? There are certain tried and tested disciplines, techniques and practices that help us to ‘awaken’ spiritually onto this oneness and interconnectedness. There are two aspects to this: the first is raising our level of consciousness, in order to connect with our true Self, Higher Self, greater Being, God or whatever we want to call it, and secondly, widening our breadth of consciousness, to experience ‘being’ more fully, to relate positively to all other beings. It involves reconnecting with, knowing and ultimately being centred in the True Self. It is not about transcending the world; it is about bringing higher consciousness down into our being, and then living that out in our daily lives. It is about being as fully here, as fully present as we can be. Simply and fully ‘being’ is at the core of every authentic spiritual practice. In the bible, the name of God given to Moses at the burning bush is ‘I Am that I Am’ – meaning simply ‘BEING’. This is enlightened awareness from higher dimension.
The way to make the shift is through inner work, and becoming awakened to the reality of the interconnectedness of all. It’s about becoming aware that much of the time we operate out of our lower, egoic self, our own desire nature. This egoic self is needed for our development, finding our place in the world, but it is defensive, self centred, self preserving, judgmental and divisive. The inner work is to move our centre of being beyond the ego, learning to let go, disengaging from the fight or flight reaction, becoming more compassionate and heart centred. This is moving towards the higher light, our soul, remembering who we are. This is spiritual transformation.
The most important practice in this move is having a practice of meditation. There are many different types, but it is central as a way of dis-identifying with the ego-self and developing a deeper connection with our true-self. It helps us to develop the ‘witnessing presence’, that part of us that can rise above the swirl of emotions and desires. Meditation is about observing, feeling and welcoming whatever arises, but then letting it go. What arises in the silence of meditation may be distracting thoughts, worries, anxieties, day-dreaming, boredom – but when we realise we are thinking thoughts, we notice and let go. Use of a mantra or sacred word is helpful as an anchor to come back to when letting go of thoughts. This gradually trains our mind to become quieter and more aware and open to higher intuition from the Soul-level.
There are many other practices that help as well. The path to Higher Wisdom needs to be embodied in full awareness and deeper understanding of who we are, in mind, heart, body and soul. To see from Oneness, we have to move our centre to a higher, finer, more compassionate place that transcends the level of egoic thinking that is so prevalent in the world. Egoic thinking is tribal thinking, that divides the world into who is in the tribe and who is outside, who is acceptable and who is not, who is one of us and who is not. If you are not ‘in’, then you may be the enemy, to be ridiculed, looked down on, deceived, or even stamped out. For the world to survive, we have to rise above that level of thinking – and this is the shift that is happening. The troubles we see all around the world at present are, I believe, the birth pangs, the labour pains of that shift to a new way, a new story for humanity.
The Candle Illustration
A candle is made to give out light – that is its purpose and destiny. It may look very nice, it may be brightly coloured wax, with decorations on it, or even a nice scented smelly candle. But until it is lit and burns, it has not fulfilled its role, its potential. The candle will not spontaneously light up and glow, there is an outside stimulus; and there is also a cost involved. The materials of it is made (wax and wick) are slowly consumed to make possible the shining of the light. The lower matter is given up, is transformed, to make the energy of light. In a continuous process of “enlightenment,” the candle surrenders its being at one level in order to manifest it at another. This is our destiny – to surrender our being at one level in order to manifest it at another.
The shift in consciousness is happening from two directions.
1. Awakening within – we have to be willing to engage in the inner work that can change and transform.
2. Downloads from the Source. There are other forces at work in this universe, whether we call them Mother nature, divine love, the Source, God, the Universe, Spirit or whatever. But the direction of these energies is to move us, that is the whole human race and the whole planet, to move us on to a better place, a higher level. This has both societal and ecological consequences for how we live together.
As we enter the age of Aquarius, this is the transition we are going through. It was there in the gospel stories two thousand years ago, in both Mark and Luke. When Jesus sent the disciples ahead to find a place to celebrate the Passover, he said they were to meet a man bearing a pitcher of water (the symbol of Aquarius) – and this man would lead them to the Upper Room (the higher consciousness). Well here we are 2000 years later, at the beginning of the age of the man carrying the pitcher of water (water signifying an outpouring of spiritual awareness), and we are talking about a new way, a higher consciousness, or being led into the Upper Room! We all held our breath at the end of the Mayan calendar, but it wasn’t an end, just a staging point in a massive cosmic cycle, a marker to a better way that we are entering upon. This is not going to happen overnight, we’re talking 50, 100 years, maybe more. Its a gradual transition. But it has started. We are the change. We are one. That is our destiny.