LOVE AND REVOLUTION: THE ARTICLE *
Updated: Jun 15
All revolutionaries aim to overthrow what they see as oppression and abuse, and install a regime they believe is more humane, more caring - a regime that promises respect, and fairness.
Ultimately - whatever the surface ´ism´ of a particular revolution - whether Russian (1917), Chinese (1911), French (1789 - 1799), American (1775 - 1783), Cuban (1953 - 1959), or Irani (1979) - in their hearts, all revolutionaries believe they are on the side of Goodness. What does that mean? In the last analysis, what it comes down to is that they believe they are on the side of Universal Love.
On this basis we can say that no revolution in human history has ever been successful - in as much as no revolution has ever successfully established the Reign of Universal Love on Earth. Why not? Because until now, no set of revolutionaries has ever been adequately trained in sustaining their capacity for Universal Love. As yet, no set of revolutionaries has adequately prepared their consciousness for such an epic endeavour.
Until now, no set of revolutionaries has even contemplated the possibility that the longterm success of the new regime they seek to install will depend entirely on the degree to which they themselves, and people in general, having educated themselves not only psycho-emotionally, but energetically or spiritually or existentially - and have therefore become able to consistently choose Universal Love.
To those among us who have little or no experience of the transformation of their own psyche and awareness, these words might well sound (at best) like idealistic, utopian ramblings, or (at worst) like absurd spiritual-lunacy. Even those of us who HAVE experienced personal transformation, or healing, or awakening of some sort might wonder whether political revolutions and the evolution of consciousness are in any way compatible.
My friends - my brothers and sisters, or however you might like to think of yourself: IT IS ONLY A QUESTION OF EDUCATION. However: it is not an education that the superficial, fanatically-materialistic, numb and hard-hearted, violent mainstream world culture will offer us. Of course it won´t. Why would it feed its own overthrow?!
However, nurturing the Consciousness that enables us to Choose Universal Love is our primary revolutionary act. Cultivating the capacity to recognise the moment-to-moment existential choice between defending and promoting our own little life project, or acting on behalf of the whole - and cultivating the capacity to act on that choice - needs to become our daily, self-developmental, revolutionary commitment.
And this is not a private matter. Sociologists talk about "the privatisation of spirituality" - the removal of overtly spiritual or existential concerns from the market place and from the political arena. "Meditate in private, if you like" is the message, "but keep it to yourself. And please don´t bring it to the office!"
NO! We can´t cultivate our capacity for consciousness and Universal Love alone. We need each other. We need to communities. And I say ´communities´ and not ´support groups´, because support groups can be easily, neatly bolted onto the A.I-infatuated, techno-intoxicated, production-and-progress-obsessed, centralisation and CCTV and control-obsessed, global mainstream. "Sure, do a little healing on the side! Why not?! What harm can it do?! Just don´t be late for work tomorrow!" NO! There are circumstances that favour the evolution of consciousness, and circumstances that thwart it....
Local community. Deep relationships. Responsibility for our locality. Contact with nature - with the trees, the animals, the insects and birds... with the weather, with the waxing and waning moons, with the equinoxes and solstices. Time out, down time, holy-days. Celebration, appreciation, gratitude. Local, poison-free food. Poison-free water. Creativity and contribution, as against wage slavery. All of these things favour the evolution and transformation of consciousness - and asphalt, street lights, traffic noise, plastic food, work-work-work, and junk, escapist entertainment don´t.
So here is a second revolutionary commitment: to adjust our lifestyles in ways that support and enhance our primary revolutionary commitment: the development of our capacity to Choose Universal Love.
So what is Universal Love? I believe we all already know. We know what Bob Marley meant when he sung "one love, one heart - let's get together and feel all right". We all know what it means when, in a huge stadium or auditorium, thousands upon thousands of people wave a light (their own tiny light) - and sway together, in one great oneness. We know Universal Love. What we don´t know is that it is easily accessible, or how to access it - or that it is the unharnessed, most radical revolutionary energy on Earth.
Universal Love is not romantic love. It is not focussed or fixated on one particular person. You don´t even have to like someone to love them - universally! Universal Love is not personal. It goes beyond the person and the personality... It is the love that arises when we know ourselves as consciousness - when we know ourselves to be a consistent, spacious energy that exists beyond our ever-changing personalities. It is the love that arises when - knowing ourselves to be consciousness - we look into another´s eyes, and see ourselves. Somebody else´s economic class, their educational background, their race, their sex, their age - everything about them might be different from us... But we look into their eyes and feel their pain, their struggles, their need to be understood, their need to be loved, their longings, their beauty - and we know that, in essence, we´re just the same.
Consciousness, self-knowledge - the felt-knowledge that we are more than our familiar, everyday, culturally-conditioned identities - is the prerequisite for Universal Love. Not for glimpsing it, but for the ability to sustain it - and to choose it again and again. So our self-educational curriculum needs to be: to learn the difference between The Consciousness We Are and our Conditioned Selves, to learn to discriminate our conscious behaviour from the behaviour of our Conditioned Selves - and to strengthen our ability to pull our identification out of our Conditioned Selves, and return it to the arms of consciousness.
This might sound mystical, far off, unattainable - BUT IT IS NOT. It is just a question of training. And, actually, results come quick. In fact, I am now going to recommend a practice, a training technique that will (a) help you know yourself as consciousness, and (b) offer you a powerful experience of Universal Love. If you can do this practice every day - fantastic. Just do it as often as you can. It is deeply pleasurable. But you will need someone to do it with...
This practice, which I call ´Conscious Relating´, will almost certainly generate a powerful, profound, intimate, erotic experience of Universal Love... Make sure you don´t confuse this with romantic love. You are not loving your practice partner unconditionally because they are "the one". You can experience Universal Love with anyone - with everyone! Practices like Conscious Relating, if you take them seriously, can revolutionise your perception, your relationships, your reality - your life! Which is why they are the groundwork for The First Successful Revolution!
The Practice of Conscious Relating
You´ll need half an hour, or forty five minutes. You´ll need peace and quiet. And you´ll need to not be interrupted. So select a practice partner, and a time when you can both put everything else aside. And try it! The practice has three main stages...
Stage 1, approx. 10 mins., "Belonging" (Consciousness of Self): Sit in front of each other, and both close your eyes. Go in. Become aware of your breath. Release your exhalations throughout your body - gently, tenderly. Become exclusively aware of your own body and breath. Let your mind rumble on, if it wants to - but give your attention to your own body and breath.
Feel your body, feel your breath - and feel your belonging. You are a part of everything. Inseparably. Perhaps remember the other species with whom we share this planet. Other species who eat and mate, as we do. And feel your belonging. Perhaps remember how the other animals, and insects and birds and fish also wake and sleep, with the day and with the night - as we do. And feel your belonging. Perhaps feel how you depend upon the air around you for your life. Feel the air inside you. And feel your belonging. Perhaps feel how you depend on the water you drink to stay alive. Remember the rivers and lakes and the rain. And feel your belonging. Perhaps remember how, in this moment, you are living and dying as have, and as will, countless generations before and after you. And feel your belonging. Feel your belonging more and more deeply with every breath, with every exhalation. You are part of everything. We all are! Let go into your belonging. Let life hold you. Let yourself be held. Be receptive. Receive.
Stage 2, approx. 10 mins., "Union" (Consciousness of Self and Other): Open your eyes slowly and gently, and come to hold a soft gaze with each other. Relax your eye muscles. See and let yourself be seen. But don´t let go of your sense of belonging. Don´t let go of your body and breath. The presence of "other" is impactful - but stay as connected with yourself as you were while your eyes were closed.
Now release your exhalations alternately (i) down through your own body, and then (ii) out towards your practice partner. When you release your exhalation through your own body, FEEL your own presence. When you release your exhalation towards your practice partner, FEEL their presence. Be equally aware of yourself and of them. "Breath to Self, Breath to Other". If more than half of your attention is on yourself - extend your feeling towards your practice partner. Feel them more deeply. If more than half of your attention is on your practice partner, retract it - feel your own presence more deeply. In this way, in silence, remaining in your sense of belonging, staying close to your own body and breath, holding a soft gaze: balance your energies - so that you can feel own presence and that of your practice partner equally, simultaneously. This "balancing up" of your energies is a moment-to-moment meditation. Remain alert.
Sometimes, in order to balance your energies, and deepen your awareness of both "self and other", it can help to use thought - like this: as you exhale down through your own body, think "I respect myself", and then as you exhale out towards your practice partner, think "and I respect you" (feeling your words, and meaning them, as you think them). Or you might think: "I accept myself, I accept you." "I suffer my ups and downs. I can feel you have your own struggles too." "I sometimes feel vulnerable. I can sense your vulnerability too." "I wish myself well. I wish you well too." "I let myself be blessed. May you let yourself be blessed too." "May I stand in my power. May you stand in your power too." These are just suggestions. Trust what comes...
You will know when your are resting in balance (feeling both "self and other"), while resting within the energy field of belonging (feeling held), because the atmosphere between you, and around you, will transform. The space will feel magical and sacred. Everything will seem more beautful. You will be in union with each other, and with the world around you.
Stage 3, approx. 10 mins., "Consciousness Speaks": For approx. 5 minutes each, one at a time, now speak your present-time experience. In other words: one person speaks and the other listens, for five minutes - and then the other person speaks for five minutes, while the one who just spoke now listens. (It is not a conversation.) Both continue to hold a soft gaze. The listener continues meditating on balancing their attention, within the energy field of belonging, while the speaker speaks. And the speaker shares their present-time experience at the physical, emotional, mental and energetic/spiritual/existential levels, like this:
"I am noticing such and such a sensation in my body." "I am noticing such and such a feeling arise in me." "I am noticing such and such a thought pass through my mind." "I am noticing such and such an energetic shift in the energy field around us." In other words, we don´t speak from identification with our personalities - saying, for example "right now I´m feeling this, or thinking this". No. We speak from Belonging and Union, from The Consciousness We Are - and we describe the experience of the Conditioned Self. We share the physical, emotional, mental and energetic experience of the personalities with which we are habitually identified - while rested together in loving union, and in the bliss of our belonging.
After the first person has spoken both close your eyes, and take a few breaths, and let go of all that was said and heard. Then open your eyes again, and reconnect - before the second person speaks. The formal part of practice of Conscious Relating ends when both have spoken. Thank each other. Embrace. And then give yourselves a little informal time to debrief - to share insights and realisations. Take care, though. You will probably both be very open. So speak subjectively - don´t tell the other "tough truths" about themselves, just share your own subjective experience. Be kind. And remember: this was a practice. A practice for what? A practice for everyday life. Don´t immediately switch back into your habitual way of being. Let the practice filter through...
Conscious Relating is extremely powerful. If you practice regularly it will impact every aspect of your life because, or course - we never stop relating. This world, this reality, is the world of relationship! We are always relating - with ourselves, with others, with our environment, with the situation we´re in...
In fact, it can be beautiful to practice Conscious Relating with the situation we find ourslves in. Then, rather than "breath to self, breath to other" we practice "breath to self, breath to the situation". And our experience of the situation transforms...
There are no doubt many similar practices, and maybe you already have one of your own. Use whatever works! This one works. Please accept it as my gift to you. I find it an exquisite practice - a direct doorway into Universal Love! For me it has been, and continues to be beautiful, potent, and transformative. I invite you to do it, repeatedly - to get to know it, and to make it your own.
Community and Tribe
In conclusion - most, if not all of history´s revolutions have been well intended - lovingly intended, even - but revolutionaries have been ill-equipped to establish regimes that perpetuate their deepest, most heartfelt intentions.
Today, in my opinion, we are faced with a global situation that calls for a global revolution. Our leaders are utterly hypocritical - preaching greenness while genetically modifying our food and spraying our skies, and preaching freedom and equality while continuously tightening the grip of centralised, impersonal, absolute, digital control. We are being conveyed without consultation into a technocratic, transhuman, smart-city dystopia... But are we the revolutionaries we need? Even if, tomorrow, the armed forces of the world all suddenly turned and said "enough!" - would we be able to set up and maintain a society founded on our deepest, most heartfelt intentions - ultimately, on Universal Love? No! Because we ourselves don´t live in Universal Love.
The roots of our revolution need to be in self-education. And as I have said, this doesn´t mean we sit around in support groups, living the lifestyles with which we are familiar. Absolutely not. The need to self-educate is not an excuse for inaction. As well as self-educating, simultaneously - we need to mobilise ourselves in the direction of decentralisation, of local community, of letting go of our dependency on the mainstream, and self-sufficiency, re-skilling, and re-embedding ourselves in the natural world - because all of this creates the optimum environment for learning to live in Universal Love.
Finally, I want to repeat a distinction I often make between community and tribe. A local community might consist of several thousand people. Perhaps even more. And since consciousness and Universal Love are cultivated in intimacy, and since, obviously, it´s impossible to be intimate with that many people - within our communities we need tribes. We need tribes, or "non-biological extended families" - groups of ten, twenty or thirty people who know each other well, and meet regularly, and support each other in the cultivation of Universal Love.
BUT - such tribes don´t exist! They are, I believe, the social structure we need to create if we want to offer and receive the support we need in order to live, increasingly consistently, in Universal Love. So we need to invent them! I believe this is a crucial aspect of the First Successful Revolution - the Deep Revolution I have been discussing in this essay. We need to invent tribes - tribes of people dedicated to their own and each other´s self-education, to the education of their children and grandchildren - to consciousness, conscious daily living, and conscious relating - to learning to live together in Universal Love - to being the revolutionaries capable of the First Successful Revolution!
With warmth and respect, Mark the Mystic Activist Catalunya, October 2022
www.markthemysticactivist.com www.t.me/conscioustribes (Telegram)
* THIS ARTICLE BECAME CHAPTER 5 IN THE SECOND EDITION OF THE BOOK "LOVE & REVOLUTION"