CONSCIOUS RELATING, CONSCIOUS SOCIETY
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
In my opinion, the central question (if we want to co-create a new, decentralised,
community-based, nature-based, conscious society)
is how we relate to each other.
SEEDING A NEW SOCIETY
For me, how we relate - the quality of our relationships - the consciousness and closeness with which we relate - is the most crucial and important aspect we need to consider if we want to co-create a new, decentralised, community-based, conscious society (or societies).
We might set up alternative currencies, barter systems, learn to weave and cobble, and live with the land. We might even, eventually, establish fully autonomous, self-sufficient local communities. BUT, if we are not relating consciously, then all we will have done is have re-organised ourselves. We will not have become the seed of a truly different society. We will have set up better organised, perhaps ecologically organised, local communities - but we will not have prepared the ground, or the energy field, for our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, to inherit a radically new culture of awareness, loving respect and beauty.
Is it ridiculously idealistic to aspire to leave such a legacy for our descendants? Is it an unrealistic, utopian expectation? The truth, in my opinion, is that we don´t know! People throughout history have looked into each other´s eyes, and been empathic, and offered kindness, and attempted to co-create conscious societies, and enjoy them, and offer them to the generations to come, but had - let us say - limited success. Yet perhaps only now do enough of us have the psychological understanding, the emotional maturity, the mental clarity and the the undogmatic spirituality needed to make such a society a reality.
Whatever the case - it seems there´s "a call to consciousness" in countless individual hearts - and a collective evolutionary call within the species - that we "cannot but obey"! And so many of us walk on - into the unknown! The "pathless path" towards a conscious society beckons. And here is my contention: that if we are to continue with such a mega-undertaking - such an epochal collective pilgrimage - and have any hope at all of succeeding, then: the main issue to which we need to give our attention, and for which we need to take responsibility, individually - is the way we relate.
What do I mean by Conscious Relating? Firstly, let me say that when I talk of "relating" I mean, yes: how we relate to (or with) everything - the trees, the animals, the elements, things - but ABOVE ALL, I mean the way we relate to-and-with each other.
And what do I mean by relating "consciously"? Two things. Firstly, that we relate in the present, in the present moment. And secondly, that we relate in the present moment with a degree of awareness of our "dual nature" as both consciousness itself, undefinable in terms of time and space - and as crazy and magnificent individual characters, very much conditioned by time and place.
And when I say "a degree of awareness", I don´t mean intellectual understanding. I mean degree of FELT perception, in the moment (of our dual nature).
So those are my definitions. Many of you will no doubt understand me - although you´d express the same understandings in other vocabularies. Which is fine, of course. But whatever our vocabularies - what does Conscious Relating look like, in practice? I will paint a picture of it. Tomorrow I would no doubt paint a slightly different picture. I don´t intend it to be definitive. It´s a sketch, an outline - and a reminder, and a call...
Please bear in mind that we haven´t been educated to relate like this; that actually - by virtue of our lack of undogmatic, experiential/spiritual, intellectual, psychological and emotional education - by default, most of us, most of the time, tend to relate unconsciously. So a depiction of Conscious Relating might come across as forced, awkward, artificial or unrealistic.
But please also bear in mind that this is a depiction of people who have been educated in "the invisible" (the mental, spiritual and psycho-emotional dimensions of our experience) - in ways that are not currently available on our school or university or workplace curriculums. They have made themselves the object, or the subject matter, of their education. And not just "once, on a weekend workshop"! To learn to Relate Consciously, consistently, in my opinion, for most of us, requires years of dedicated self-study.
So let´s take an example of a two such educated people who are living together - and both feeling cramped, both feeling they need space, and both hesitant to say so! A scenario many of us might recognise...
But firstly we have to remember that people who Relate Consciously, as I have said, live in the present. And the present is a mystery. The present moment cannot be held conceptually. It can only be felt. And the more deeply it is felt, the more sacred and wondrous it seems. So whether the moment is full of happiness, or full of sadness - the perception of its sacred wonder unites such people in a deeper pleasure than its surface happiness or sadness. They live together in a recognisable, tangible, deeply-pleasurable energy field of awareness and appreciation.
I feel it is important to name this because, when the feelings of crampedness, and needing space, and the hesitancy to speak appear - they do so within this energy field of presentness and deep pleasure. The feelings stand out - like text that´s been highlighted! Or like when one section of an orchestra suddenly becomes dominant...
And so these two people sit down together to acknowledge these feelings... They begin, in the same way that the Na´vi in Avatar say "I see you" - by acknowledging each other´s being - each other´s undefinable essence. (At least that´s how I understand that greeting!) Which brings us back to the other aspect of Conscious Relating: awareness of our "dual nature" - as both timeless and time-bound.
Why - before addressing their feelings of confinement and their fear of self-expression - do these people pause to acknowledge their timeless (i.e. always-present) essence? Because they´re aware that the feelings they are about to share belong to their time-bound selves - to their unique personalities, with their unique self-images, with their unique constellations of memories, fears and dreams - and this pause creates perspective.
And with perspective - with the perspective of the our timeless selves - comes a shift of identification from outward personality towards inner essence, compassion for our own and each other´s surface self - and a sense of ease...
And so they say "I see you", in whatever way they choose ("there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground"), and they let themselves be seen. And they rest, together, for a while, in the union of their oneness.
I told you this is not our everyday way of relating! But, in my opinion, this is only because we are uneducated (bizarre as it might seem) in this most basic of all matters: how we relate to each other...
I am not going to now enter a detailed psychological analysis of what each person then shares. Suffice to say that - because of this State of Union - when each shares the thoughts and feelings of their conditioned personality, they are able to do so with full responsibility for the subjectivity of their experience. They are disidentified and self-loving enough to be very simple: "I am observing these thoughts in my mind", they say. "I am observing these feelings in my heart". "I am observing these sensations in my body."
They don´t say "You are an engulfing person", or even "I feel you engulf me, or constrict me, or constrain me". They say "I am feeling I can´t move about as much as I need to, I am feeling I need to stretch and run about" (for example). And because each person is ONLY focussed on observing and sharing their OWN experience - each time they speak it´s as if they peel off a layer, or turn a page... The truth that "I am afraid of sharing my need for space because I am afraid of hurting you" gives way, perhaps, to the deeper truth that "I am afraid of sharing my need for space because I am afraid of being alone" (for example), and so on...
This self-revelation, this peeling away of the layers of our conditioned personalities´ thoughts, feelings and sensations - within the energy field of our unconditioned union - is exquisite! It is tender, it is passionate, it is painful and joyful, it is respectful, it is bold - it is love!
Yes, Conscious Relating evokes love. Transpersonal love. Not personal love, and not a non-personal love. It is not an ´impersonal´ love - in the sense that we might talk of an ´impersonal atmosphere´, when referring to a huge building without windows, or pictures on the walls. It is a trans-personal love because (a) it transcends the personal, and because (b) it links personal to personal. Conscious Relating opens us to a Transpersonal Love because it reveals us to each other as different faces of ourself.
And now that I have explained what I mean by Conscious Relating, I imagine, and I hope, you understand why I say that - if we want to co-create deep, intimate, beautiful, conscious communities and eventually, even, new, conscious societies - we have to learn to sit with each other, and talk to each other, and interact with each other in deep, intimate presence.
Does this mean we have to abandon our resistance to the advance of Technocracy and Transhumanism? Of course not! Does this mean we have to succumb to the the dehumanisation of humanity? No! Does it mean we have to forget about decentralisation, local community resilience, or respecting the other species, or ´nations´, with whom we share this planet? Of course not! But, in my opinion, it does mean that - simultaneously, and perhaps most importantly - we need to self-educate in the beauty and delight of deep, intimate relating.
AREAS OF SELF-EDUCATION
So what might this self-education look like? I would say there are three areas we need to consider. Firstly, I would say we need mental clarity. And I have written about this in my essay "The Tribe of the Clear Mind".
Secondly, I would say we need to deepen our felt-perception of the sacred and intelligent Mystery of the Moment - of our felt-perception of our sacred belonging - and of our own sacredness.
This means giving repeated, regular time to meditating, or Tai Chi, or Dance Therapy, or planting potatoes, or running through the forest, or communing with the muse of essay writing! Whatever habit, or habits, work for you!
We don´t need any help in identifying with our individual personalities - with the characters we play all day long (and all night long), year after year. We are, essentially, fully identified there already! The side of our "dual nature" with which we are under-identified is our experience of ourselves as undefinable, free, and part of everything - the core, conscious, timeless beauty of ourselves. This ´spiritual´, or ´existential´ area of our self-education means making a specific commitment to ourselves as to how we will cultivate this innermost, sacred, still and blessed aspect of our being - and sticking to it.
So I´d say, if you haven´t already done so already: choose your way(s) and commit to it/them.
And share your commitment(s) with trusted friends... And ask them about their own commitments. And ask each other how you can support each other. We need each other´s support. We need each other. We need tribe. It´s tough to stick to an existential discipline, for years, by oneself. But when we travel alongside each other - having agreed to support each other, having agreed in words (not tacitly, or by some assumed telepathy!) - having made a pact to be a close, supportive, transformational tribe - then the path becomes easier, more textured, more nourishing, more sustainable, and more fun.
Which brings us to the third and final area of our self-education for Conscious Relating: the psycho-emotional - the territory of our ´stuff´. In general terms, I don´t believe we need to pick apart every emotional detail of our every interaction, but I do believe that a degree of psychological and emotional awareness is essential. We need to be able to name our emotions, and we need to be familiar with the habits of our psyches - in order to be able to make wise choices.
And if I recommend co-creating a tribe for the spiritual area of our self-education - for the psycho-emotional area I´d say it is critical and crucial. I would say that without others, emotional self-knowledge is almost impossible. We need to get angry with each other in order to see our anger, our fire, our power - and learn to direct it (rather than be directed by it), and engage it creatively. We need each other so that we can feel how we cling to each other - and come to recognise our vulnerability, our tenderness, our innocence - and learn to care for ourselves, and learn how to give ourselves consciously.
And I am aware that, just as I have said we are not accustomed to Conscious Relating - nor are we accustomed to belonging to a tribe. But there is the challenge, I believe: that if we want a conscious culture, then we need to learn to relate consciously - and if we want to learn to relate consciously, then we need to form tribes.
There are, of course, innumerable therapeutic techniques we can choose to use in this area of our self-education - and again, I´d say: go with whatever works for you! Everyone has to find their own way. I make my own recommendations in The Soul Tribes Booklet, chapter 5, "Learning to Relate in Consciousness and Love" in which I talk about The Heart Circle as a way of gathering as a tribe for psycho-emotional healing and transformation.
Educating ourselves so that we can Relate Consciously - educating ourselves intellectually, existentially, and psycho-emotionally - takes time. There´s no quick fix. We have been (in my opinion) brutally conditioned by a superficial, unconscious and violent culture - and to de-condition, or re-condition ourselves, in sacred, conscious, respectful relating won`´t happen overnight. There is a journey to be undertaken - a journey, as I have said, that I believe is best undertaken together.
Sometimes, I have found - in my own experience and that of others - we commit cosnsitently to our self education, and pursue it enthusiastically - but after some years, perhaps, come to feel it is having little effect. "I still have very little dual-identification" we say to ourselves, despondently, "I still relate almost completely identified with my body-mind-personality-character - almost completely unconsciously!"
And yet, I have also found that sometimes, perhaps when we are least expecting it - in the middle of a conversation with a friend, perhaps - timelessness and sacredness envelope us, and we find we are able to laugh at our pretensions and ambitions from a larger perspective, and forgive each other and ourselves - and experience love. And these moments seem to come - not by any effort of our own - but as if by grace.
My own feeling is that our daily commitments prepare us. They turn us into the fertile soil for the seed of grace. The years pass, we stay strong in our commitment to consciousness, and somehow we find that we are no longer principally-identified with our individual personalities, that, as if by grace, we have become "re-identified" - principally identified beyond our personalities, and able to relate to everyone and everything as the embodiments of The Sacred Mystery we all already always are.
Mark The Mystic Activist Catalunya, 2022 www.markthemysticactivist.com t.me/conscioustribes