Editorials of Nancy Roof

Spiritual Discovery

There is something paradoxical about crisis. Why is it that at our most dark and despairing moments, some mysterious force enters our psyche to pull us forward, to elevate our consciousness and invite a brand new perspective? This is what I discovered over and over again as I served the role of spiritual guide to hundreds of aspiring individuals for twenty years in the 1970s and 80s.

Those were exciting times—times of emergence of the human potential movement, Eastern spirituality and deep experiential practices. We recognized that the human psyche had the capacity to evolve beyond cultural conditioning to the realization of a higher authentic Self—the Soul. We questioned the meaning of life and different worldviews and asked, “Who am I?” We became explorers of the inner life.

I was privileged to share this untraveled path with many on an intimate basis, and as I did, I began to discover unexpected patterns of development. Most of my clients began their self-exploration on a surface level, solving compelling issues that arose in their relationships and outer lives. is was the domain of traditional psychology. As these issues were resolved, deeper layers of their inner worlds were revealed. The surprising discovery was that the deeper they went into layer upon layer of unresolved crises from the past, the more available was their intuitive power and the inner guidance that is one of the gifts of expanded consciousness.

I remember one person who shared with me her fear of death, a fear that appeared constantly in her dreams. At this time she was living a rather ‘stuck’ life, holding onto relationships from kindergarten times that she had long outgrown but feared giving up. In fact, the increasing numbers of these relationships were becoming a burden actually preventing her from moving on. As she delved deeper into her pain and fear of death and its symptom of not letting go, her higher self began to emerge with all its beneficial gifts. Facing her deepest fear had released her from the bondage of the past and a whole new world opened up to her.

Bearing witness to these intense interior struggles gave me insight into the transformation process. When my work evolved into studying the emergence of social and global systems, I began to see the relationship between the personal and the social.

One of the most promising directions of the new paradigm is the recognition that nature can teach us how the material world works. We discover that the code to evolution and transformation has already been written. Following its organic and natural processes teaches us about our own nature as well.

What I would like to explore with you now is the possibility that there are natural laws built into the universe that guide the process of social and global transformation—that the code or pattern of evolution of individual consciousness may be our code for collective evolution as well.

Could it be that the social and planetary crises we are presently experiencing are signalling the end of an old way of organizing our institutions and the precursor of a new ‘commons approach’ that benefits all equally? As the superconscious is attained through purifying the toxins in the depth of the psyche, so it may be for the collective. Humanity as a whole is now ‘stuck’ and paralyzed. Do we need to clear out our toxins before we can move on? Do we need to clear out past inequalities and imbalances and face the reality of the corruption and injustices of our institutions?

Our governments are in a state of paralysis, our financial system collapsing, traditional religion questioned, education not serving life, and entertainment, science, health and all organized structures that were developed in the industrial era have been commodified and are now stuck in for-maximum-profit materialism. In the United States we have yet to release the toxins accumulated through the genocide of Native Americans on our soil, the treatment of women as ‘less than,’ the injustices and slave labor of the poor and the colonization and economic ‘hitmen’ exploiting other countries. If we take the transformation of individual consciousness as our model, we can see that a higher state of development— towards the global commons—will probably not occur without the release of these toxins within the collective unconscious. Is this how we turn world crisis into world opportunity?

Just as the natural world has given us a map of evolution, the world of individual consciousness is revealing the map of collective evolution. Let us use these natural tools to bring in the new civilization based on the common good.

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