Article Nonduality

Rising Earth Consciousness

More than a decade ago, I came to the realization that my unique essence is simply the expression of an infinite and unbounded form of consciousness. While I realized that “I am conscious,” I also realized that “I am consciousness” itself. Two apparently unrelated experiences (realities), but totally inseparable. Within that process, I also experienced that “you are conscious” and that “you are consciousness” too. In the space of awareness, “you” and “I” (“we”) are totally interdependent. I cannot be conscious of you, if you are not conscious of me, because the mutual consciousness of both of us have the same origin. Thus, they possess the same fundamental alchemy in relation to the original attributes of all consciousness—perhaps in different proportions, or planes of reality and self-realization. These attributes are, for example, unconditional love, individual and collective compassion, inner peace, and more. It is through the interplay among these attributes that our different consciousness connects. In Thailand, I said, “The only reason I am able to see that flower is because that flower is able to see me, at the same time. It is a mutually-inclusive-experience.” This is why the greatest mantra is: “I am because you are, and you are because I am.” In sum, three inseparable realities: you, me and we.

Today, most marketing, advertising, politics, and economics are geared to separate us. This is the world of “me, me, me.” Individual materialism is now the essence of global reality. As a result, each of us are like hamsters, in separate cages, and within our own idiosyncratic reality. The messages about our “collective reality” (“we”) are often expressed as some negative and inefficient way of life. This projection houses little tolerance for diversity, ethnicity, race, income levels, etc. Our process of inner transformation has weakened.

Nothing is separate (neither in space nor in time). Within pure consciousness, this state of separateness is not possible. Today’s efforts to keep us as separate entities is intellectually exploited (manipulation of the mind). As a result, we have a feeling of being unable to trust, to befriend, to cooperate, to be truly happy, to recognize others as co-equals, and to respect nature. The establishment engages in major efforts to keep us with an empty consciousness of “the other.”

To address the challenges of Rising Earth Awareness, the theme of this Quarterly, we must reflect on a number of questions: Who is rising? What is rising? What do we mean by “you,” the other? Who is “you”? How inclusive is the “you”? How does the “you” get transformed, both in content and scope, as a result of rising Earth Consciousness?

My meditative experience shows the term “You” as embodying all types of consciousness, each one conscious of itself. In this reality, I am conscious of myself, you are conscious of yourself, and we are conscious of ourselves. All, happening at the same time, within different levels of awareness. If one is not aware that you are conscious of me, or that I am not conscious of you, it does not mean it is not happening.

These three forms of consciousness (I-, You- and We-Consciousness) are interconnected in a coherent manner, where all, together, form a fundamental “totality.” I call this totality: “Container Consciousness.” A consciousness that contains: all expressions and levels of consciousness; a huge number of ‘connecting points’ of those expressions of consciousness; and, its own holistic consciousness, which is much more than the arithmetic sum of its parts.

The Buddha taught us the uniqueness and relevance of the Container Consciousness. It basically means a simultaneous state of inner- and outer-experience within which each individual consciousness (I- and You-Consciousness) is aware of itself (it has its own identity and awareness) while, at the same time, is aware of the totality as One. It is the expression of the ‘We-Consciousness’ (collective consciousness). The Container Consciousness is, therefore, also aware of itself (One Coherent Whole).

A good example illustrating the nature of a Container Consciousness is our human body. Our human body is “the container.” The container has its consciousness (Container Consciousness). It contains a million expressions of different consciousness; e.g., vision, audition, tact, taste, smell, etc. These are “the contents.” Each content has a unique type and level of consciousness, which connects and interacts with each and every other content within the container. Thus, the consciousness of my vision acts coherently with the consciousness of my audition (it should!). If that coherence is not present, then we would have a problem or an illness.

It is important to add a vital dimension of Container Consciousness: the term “You” includes all human beings, all sentient beings, and nature. Every aspect of these ‘beings’ is contained in one unique consciousness. In a third-dimensional-reality, this looks like concentric circles (or multiple connecting spheres) of various container consciousness. The first circle is “me,” the second circle is “you” and “me” (we), the third circle is “all sentient beings and nature,” and so on. If all were about human beings only, as it is happening today, we will always end up be destroying the other beings and nature.

By nature, the Container Consciousness is all inclusive. This assertion has huge implications in addressing Rising Earth Awareness.

When we realize that these interdependent relationships are an inseparable ‘continuum’ of different forms of Container Consciousness (expressed as forms of intelligence), then, a bigger question arises: Is human consciousness separate from Earth consciousness? A corollary of the above: What happens when we see these two as separate?

This is very important because the term Rising Earth Awareness may be addressed in at least three possible ways: (i) as the rising of human collective (global) consciousness, (ii) as the rising of the Earth Consciousness, which asserts that the Earth has consciousness, and (iii) as the mutual and inseparable rising of both. In my view, we have to address all three, without separateness. It demands exploring the “I-Consciousness,” “We-Consciousness,” and “Nature-Consciousness” (all combinations). Our attention must be on the intersection of these three forms of consciousness, on principles and instruments to be able to have the experience of the intersection, and on creating conditions to be fully aware of all types of consciousness.

Rising Earth Consciousness means to focus on the rising (nature, process, impacts…) of the Highest-Expression-Container-Consciousness: all human consciousness, all sentient beings’ consciousness, and Mother Earth’s consciousness. As One Container Consciousness. A whole encompassing totality. The Rising Earth Consciousness is not a separate addition of the Earth and human consciousness. Having had the inner experience of the Highest-Expression-Container-Consciousness I invite others to do the same.

It is not possible that only one type of consciousness rises continuously without all others doing the same. Human beings cannot be just conscious of themselves without an Earth consciousness rising at the same time. An analogy: it is impossible to be healthy if the Earth is ill. If the soil is polluted, my bones are polluted. If the water is polluted, my blood and other body liquids are polluted. If the air is polluted, my inner air and the lungs are polluted. There is a constant exchange and interaction between the inner environment and the outer environment, and between the inner ecology and the outer ecology.

The “awareness” of our own “individual consciousness” (the “I Am”) is not an isolated event. Thus, expressions of the “I Am”—like my love, my compassion, my solidarity, my peace—are intimately, and simultaneously, related to multiples expressions of other consciousness (her/his love, our love, total love). Therefore, one cannot say “I love you” if one positions his or herself as separate from the others (we consciousness). Also, the experience of our mutual love requires that my and your consciousness be simultaneously connected to the ocean of love (the attribute-love at the Origin). If I am not connected to the We-Consciousness or, if your consciousness is not connected to the ocean of love (from where the origin of my love comes from), my expressions of love will never be registered.

Even the state of “I love myself” is not separate from everyone else’s consciousness and all possible expressions of love. It is impossible to love myself without loving everyone and everything. If someone could do so (e.g., the “I love myself” as separate from, and independent of, that ocean of love), such experience is not one of love but ego. Love and ego are two very different states of reality. Ego is not connected to the origin, because the origin does not possess ego. It does not exist. This is why my consciousness (and, so yours) operates and expresses itself, within a common and unbounded ‘state of collective reality,’ whether I have self-realized that or not.

Understanding how Earth Consciousness rises must be constructed on a solid process of self-realization of interdependence. When interdependence is absent, then consciousness does not rise. It stagnates or decreases. The consciousness rising is, by its very nature, an act of “We” (all, collective) and not just an act of “I” (individual).

This has important implications regarding how we conceive “Creation”: whether it is an act of “one-by-one” (me as separate from your creation, separate from the whole creation). Or my creation is part and parcel of a holistic “collective” unfolding. To me, it is the latter rather than the former. My existence belongs to a totality. And, the totality belongs to me. I am not a separate and an independent arithmetic addition to reality. My existence has merits in relation to itself and to important and vital connections with being part of the collective (i.e., creation of the collective). Earth Consciousness Rising will only happen when one approximates that experience.

I “I-Consciousness” is my ultimate identity. But, my own “Self” acquires true existence from and within the totality. My identity is individual and collective at the same time. Inseparables.

To say that Rising Earth Consciousness includes all those forms of consciousness, simultaneously and organically, may not be the perception of many people. The reason may be traced to a major error of the intellect. This error brings duality: I see all outside me but, I see all as separate from me: “I am not that.”

This duality has dominated science, economics, politics and business, science, technology… The policies and actions derived from this approach are destroying nature and the world at large. Just think about climate change. Many people (including scientists) affirm that we are separate from the climate, in two ways: we do not contribute to global warming and we are not an intrinsic-consciousness-connector with that climate. A few years ago, I gave a seminar entitled “Global Warming; Inner Warming.” The main message was that the warming of our “external climate” is the mirror image of the warming of our “inner climate”—e.g., stress, fears, worries, depression, anger, loss the sense of belonging, weak personal and collective identity, etc. We are intrinsic-consciousness-connectors with the outer climate. Many spiritual perspectives assert that ‘the inner is like the outer, and the outer is like the inner.’ This is not a cliché; this is a profound truth and state of reality that all beings are experiencing.

The greatest rising of consciousness will happen when we finally realize that the “I” and the “other” are “One.” When we are fully aware that life on this planet is an act of “We” and, thus, humanity as a whole is only one layer of the Highest-Expression-Container-Consciousness. Humanity is a powerful form of collective reality and experience. Your consciousness rises because you and I have self-realized our interdependence. The “I-Consciousness” influences the essence, formation, level, quality, and expressions of the “We-Consciousness,” and we have to continue exploring these connections.

I use the term “exploring” because the inner and outer realities keep changing (nothing is fixed) as consciousness rises. And, when consciousness rises, we are never the same, and we will never face the same reality. Because we are never the same within this rising process, this exploration process will never end. To me, this continuous process of exploration is “spirituality.” Exploration through meditation, contemplation, prayer, silence, experience, and available instruments within the science of the inner-self.

Most diseases are an imbalance in 5 forms of consciousness: (i) “consciousness that I am consciousness” (some call it pure consciousness)—diseases linked to separation from our origin and identity; (ii) “consciousness that I am matter”—diseases that are genetic; (iii) “consciousness that I have senses and emotions”—diseases as a result of our emotionality—diseases of the heart and of psychological nature; (iv) “consciousness that I can develop and move”—diseases that result from excess or lack of inner and outer growth; and (v) “consciousness that I am interdependent”—diseases associated with interpersonal and social (collective) imbalances including the relationships with our parents. The implications: if we are to be healthy, or to be healed, we ought to pay much more attention to the rising of consciousness, or the lack of it!

Earth is consciousness. Nothing in nature is void of consciousness. Not even the rocks. All natural states, all sentient beings, and all forms of Earth’s life, derive awareness from this unique and vital form of Earth Consciousness (which acts as a Container Consciousness). Earth Consciousness embodies millions of expressions of interdependence among: all the elements of life (e.g., earth, wind, space, water and fire); all forms of living species (e.g., animals, birds, forests, grasses, soils, insects, flowers, fruits, and water bodies); and all nature’s kingdoms (e.g., the mineral kingdom). When left alone, all the many forms of interdependence are in perfect balance.

We cannot be unequal ‘partners’ with nature. We must make peace with all expressions of nature.

How do we break down the duality between I-Consciousness and We-Consciousness? How do we build bridges into Nature’s Consciousness? The construction of the bridges is essential in economics, politics and business. Often, the principal aim is to see whether just following the “private interest”, societies will attain the “collective interest”. A classic dilemma confronting hundreds of leaders around the world, concerned with the welfare of the collective, as opposed to the welfare of just certain individuals. Leaders are paying more attention to the management of the Common Good. Adam Smith – “The Wealth of Nations”—suggested an “invisible hand” as such an instrument. Others have suggested ‘the market’ or ‘the state’ as the important instruments to cross these bridges. Today, with the unfolding of citizens’ spontaneous movements everywhere, new alternatives have emerged to cross those bridges.

The future of humanity is indeed collective –human beings, sentient beings, and nature– and we cannot over exploit nature as we are doing today. However, most objectives and goals, articulated to avoid a decline in collective welfare, demand the infinite expressions of various states of consciousness. Examples of these expressions are solidarity, equity, justice, peace, rights, conservation, caring, sharing, cooperation, love, compassion… These are not just words. These are ‘States of Being’ and they are to be self-realized. It is an inner road. It is an inner experience. One cannot buy peace in a supermarket.

Let me end by saying:

The ecological destruction will greatly limit our own human transformation and consciousness. We must re-establish the vital connections between human consciousness and nature’s consciousness.

This is the only viable future for humanity.

The human consciousness is not an island in a sea of consciousness. It is part of that ocean. Our spiritual future must unfold from a clear understanding that all beings are leading towards enlightenment. Even mosquitoes are walking towards enlightenment.
The relationship between humans and nature is not one of superior to inferior. They do not have an inferior form of intelligence. They have a different form of intelligence. We are nothing without nature. Always remember that “you need nature, but nature doesn’t need you.”

About Alfredo Sfeir-Younis (Dzambling Cho Tab Khen)

Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, candidate for President of Chile, 2014, is a Chilean economist, spiritual leader and healer, Founder and President of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation. He retired after 29 years of service from the World Bank where he was the focal point for human rights. His last position was Senior Advisor to the managing directors, and the Institutional Focal Point on human rights. He developed a new paradigm based on the linkages between spirituality and economics and on the role that values play in decision-making processes, both nationally and globally.

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