Free at Last: Being What We Are

Nature has apparently designed us to evolve into a more unified, awake state of consciousness. Many religious teachings for millennia have pointed to the realization of this unity as the highest attainment of a human life. Mutual devotion to this level of realization on the part of countless individuals has led, over thousands of years, to our current process of awakening together. There is a growing interest today in the potential of cultivating a common sense—both inter-subjectively and socially. Our capacity to share a commonly sensed consciousness may be the next step in human and cultural evolution, an integral element in the maturation of the universe, and even essential to our survival as a species.

Over these last hundred years, many of the realizations described in ancient texts have been explored by western science. As one such example, Hinduism teaches that there are aspects of ultimate reality whose interaction accounts for all experience. The so called ‘real’ Purusa (Sat-Purusa) is a void that gives rise to an unchanging spirit (Purusa)—the point that radiates consciousness through all points, as a colorless light. This spirit is said to be present everywhere, in everything, and everyone—as the soul of the universe. It guides our evolution, breathing life into matter, as the presence of consciousness. As the oneness in every life form and in all of humanity, spirit is the essence of both the individual self and the universal Self.

According to Hindu teachings, this is why the universe is dynamic—versus being static. All else changes (Prakrti) and is subject to cause and effect. These teachings hold that we are all one spirit, coordinating countless material manifestations. The overall unity of creation, while it does not change, allows for this cause and effect wherein the unity of opposites produces novelty and consciousness itself. This dynamic and paradoxical relationship of unity and novelty has been realized directly by many of the tens of millions reporting a near death experience (including this author) who have seen that we are “in this world but not of it.” What is more, these experiences can be lived in life with others. Contemporary research has examined what appears to be essential for cultivating conscious community, finding that a shared sense of emptiness frequently precedes social integration.

My own ongoing research in attention management and group intelligence shows subjectivity and objectivity are integrated and displayed through the quality and presence of our attention. I have found that whenever we are aware of the void-like nature of our awareness—whether alone or together—our ability to receive and reflect is significantly enhanced.

Experiencers report feeling one with everyone and everything. They share enthusiastically about the evolution of a ‘common sense’ that can be cultivated and popularly embraced. When collective attention is undivided and aware of itself, people can recognize its quality and presence. Participants experience the breath entering and leaving one another’s bodies as well as a profound altruistic way of being together.

This is a subtle process requiring a deep sense of shared relaxation and the gradual development of ‘effortless concentration.’ Our minds and bodies serve as a lens—as do our eyes and ears—for attending to whatever we choose to notice. Clearly, we seem designed to receive, reflect, and be—whatever we attend to.

This author is developing plans for a movie that will cause hundreds of people—at once—to share a life-changing experience of being awake as one. By sensing their greater body, heart, and mind, viewers will be interconnecting with one another. Inside of 90 minutes, an entire audience may claim they have always known each other. It will seem natural to feel love with total strangers. As unlikely as this may sound, years of experiential research confirms that this does happen. A scientific experiment that has been replicated by many laboratories over the last 25 years will be presented in the film. Eminent scientists and educators have agreed to serve on the advisory board and, in some cases, direct one of the five neuroscience laboratories involved—some of which are located in different countries. To back this up, scientifically derived (‘seeing is believing’) images of interconnectedness will be presented via news reports, print media, talk show formats, feature documentaries, and dramatic films. The intent of this film, future films, and related media will be to help shift the separatist mindset of humanity, so ‘the one we all are’ is felt and thought intuitively by every human being.