A Conscious Imperative
"Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected...as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we are witnessing now." --Eckhart Tolle
It has been snowing ash in Portland. For the past few days, stepping outside to afternoon temperatures near 100 degrees, into a haze thick and grey has been akin to stepping into a sauna that is burning campfire wood with the flue closed. Instead of the cloudless blue of summer, or the cool grey overcast of the rest of the year, the sky has taken on a white density. Folks walk around with bandannas and face masks, there are minimal bikers on the road, and few people are outside. It feels more like fallout than school season. As the West burns, the Gulf of Mexico floods, and the eastern seaboard braces for increasingly strong hurricanes.
We are now in the Anthropocene, the time when humans are aware of and can objectively measure the extent to which their activities have an impact on the planet. The brilliant human intelligence that has led to the technology and development of modernity has also served to amplify the destructive capability that unconsciousness has on life. On an individual level, allowing the ego to drive thought and action leads to fear, greed, and the desire for power. The ego is fueled by attachment to form - because it cannot feel, it must have. At the root of this is the false premise that humans are somehow separate from or even superior to Nature. Humans, like all of the other life on this planet are of Nature. Viewed from this perspective, the health and sanity of our individual thoughts and actions contributes to the health and sanity of our collective thoughts and actions.
The intrinsic connection Mr. Tolle refers to is how the state of collective human consciousness is being reflected in the material world it inhabits. As the quantitative impact of humanity continues to increase, it is more important than ever to look at the quality of this impact. What are our thoughts and actions doing to ourselves, each other, and the environment?
One of my yoga teachers recently shared that the current darkness and perceived chaos happening in the world is not necessarily the darkness of the tomb; that instead it could be the darkness of the womb. An opportunity - and at this stage an imperative - for humanity to birth itself out of the darkness it has created from living unconsciously.