Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Consciousness the Key to Survival

Call it whatever you like, but I believe there is a spark of divinity, a seed of a great evolutionary future latent in the core of human beings.  The stories of the great seekers of ultimate reality are often wildly original. At the same time, there are striking commonalities.  I found this to be the case in my study of two extraordinary persons, for example, the strange flying mystic, Joseph of Copertino,  I was aware of the mainstream recoil from talk of things like levitation—especially, if they are associated with organized religion and  antiquated theology.  But after reading an essay on Joseph and his marvels, I decided to go back to the original eyewitness accounts of his life and astonishing phenomena.  If all the things about the saint were true, it would be a fantastic challenge to science.  It would also provide crucial data that supports Henri Bergson’s vision of creative evolution.  In other words, we are not the final product of human evolution.


But then another turn enabled me to actually meet the last living master of Taan or vibration yoga, also known as nada yoga.  In this case, I was able to sit down and interact with a person I like to call a human singularity.  Now the two men came from different traditions and eras, saint Joseph from 17th century Catholicism and swami Nada from 20th century Hinduism.  I was curious whether amid the cultural disparities there were commonalities.


I should state what my overarching concern is.   As people everywhere on earth are  learning, since the Industrial Revolution, human technological activities among the rich and powerful countries are warming up the planet, causing catastrophic climate changes everywhere and faster than the science has predicted.  It is a matter of hard  fact to say that humans have set in motion a process that, as we speak, is doomward bound for much of life on earth. Call this point number one. 


The second point: How do we stop, slow up, get a handle on this self-destroying process we have created and save ourselves and our planet?   The first thing I would say is crucial and should be obvious:  We have to understand what is happening, how we have set this process in motion.  We also have to understand that to deal with it everybody has a role to play.  We go backward if we don’t get these absolutely basic points.  Unprecedented disaster is encroaching upon us and we all need to face this truth.  And we all need to play our part in the effort to minimize the disaster and discover new and less destructive ways of inhabiting our planet.  So far all I have said is common sense and should be obvious to anyone.   If you’re standing on train tracks and see and hear a locomotive roaring toward you, you have to get out of the way. But the full nature of this challenge calls for more than common sense. It calls for a radical critique of the assumptions that led to our suicidal planetary lifestyle.  


Looking further into this frightening future, something beyond common sense is going to be needed when food, water, and infrastructure give way. This already describes the circumstances of millions of people today, the result of a way of life  that has poisoned and overheated the planet with rampant technology.


United Nations leader, Antonio Gutteres, throws down the real gauntlet. The only way to cope with this fast advancing global peril is by changing the way we live on Earth. We need to realize that human and all life depends on the health of the  Earth.  The Earth is not a shopping mall, not a resource we can endlessly exploit for the sake of capitalism and consumerism. 


We have to learn to use technology to enhance not exploit nature, treasure and cultivate its wonders, not turn them into commodities. It’s been said, and seems obvious, we can change our life only if we change of consciousness—our beliefs, aims, and values.   We hear it from many quarters: what the world needs is a change of heart, a deepening of consciousness, a new perspective on how to live.   After all, how we live is mediated through our consciousness at any given moment.  It makes a difference, if our consciousness is colored by hatred, contempt, paranoid suspicion, ignorant fanaticism OR by curiosity, gratitude, love, imagination, empathy.


There are people among us who seem to inhabit a form of consciousness that is higher, richer, more challenging than what is normal and customary. I mentioned the saint and the yogi.  The one thing these two had in common was to focus upon on their inner life and the life, progress, and expansion  of their consciousness.  How they did this I describe in detail in The Man Who Could Fly and the Yoga of Sound.  That potential for evolution lies in us all.  Each of us will have to work on ourselves in whatever way it works, as the crisis of climate Armageddon intensifies.








ecoecho said...

Wow a new book! Yoga of Sound: The Life and Teachings of the Celestial Songman, Swami Nada Brahmananda. Thanks! I have also trained in Nada Yoga - only through the Daoist tradition via my own personal music theory discovery while in high school (that turns out to be called noncommutativity in science). This noncommutativity also explains our current "biological annihilation" on Earth since all of modern science is based on "commutative geometry" as Alain Connes explains (he corroborated my music theory claim when I discovered his "Music of Shapes" talk on youtube). Connes has the Fields Medal - harder to get than the Nobel Prize!
I look forward to reading your Yoga of Sound book - thanks so much Michael Grosso! Inner Traditions - ah yes - I will order direct from them.

ecoecho said...

OK I ordered your new book! Do you have your Ph.D. thesis posted online somewhere or can you quote that reference to Socrates' recurring dream about music and Socrates dancing in his cell? I had never heard that before - thanks, drew

Michael Grosso said...

You don't need my thesis for that quote. It's in the writings of Plato, the Phaedo, if I recall.

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