I bookmarked this article from July 10 in the Huffington Post, knowing that this was a topic that I wanted to write about. I finally read it today and found it a fitting time to share with all that is happening in the world right now. Marianne Williamson is a spiritual activist, author, and lecturer. I first learned of her from a famous quote that is widely attributed to be written by her for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, and which I have read at the end of a few of my yoga classes.
Today, I discovered that although it is a passage included in one of her books, it was actually never spoken at Mandela’s inauguration. This year, she also ran (unsuccessfully) for Congress. Marianne is a truth teller and I could not agree more with what she writes.
The Revolution of Consciousness
“There is a revolution occurring in the world today, but it is not fought with armies and it does not aim to kill. It is a revolution of consciousness.
This revolution is to the 21st century what the Scientific Revolution was to the 20th. The Scientific Revolution revealed objective, discernable laws of external phenomena and applied those laws to the material world. The Consciousness Revolution reveals objective, discernable laws of internal phenomena and applies them to the world as well.
The Scientific Revolution improved the state of humanity in many ways, but it also fostered a worldview neither ultimately helpful nor deeply humane. That worldview is mechanistic and rationalistic, without the slightest bow to the primacy of consciousness. Yet consciousness supplies moral vision and ethical purpose, without which all the science in the world won’t keep us from destroying ourselves or the planet on which we live.
Gone with irony and deep sigh any lingering hope that science will cure all the ills of the world. Certainly science has improved and continues to improve the world in significant, even stunning ways. But despite all its amazing gifts, science cannot give us what we most need now. It cannot save us from ourselves. Science can lead to the cure of a physical ailment, but it is not just a physical ailment that needs healing. Humanity’s core problem is not material but spiritual. It is our insanity — our inhumanity toward each other — from which we need to be delivered, in order to save us from the self-destruction on which we seem so bent.
Science itself is placed at the behest of human purposes. It can be used for good and it can be used for evil. Of itself, it is neutral and thus amoral. It should not therefore be our god. It’s time to end our strict obeisance to its dictates that the laws of the material world are fixed and unalterable, unchanged by the powers of consciousness. The old Newtonian model of world as machine has in fact given way to the realization that the universe is not a big machine, so much as it is, in the words of British physicist James Jeans, “a big thought.” Science itself has begun to recognize the power of the mind, but not so a lot of the world it has mesmerized over the last hundred years.
We need to heal our thinking, in order to heal our world.
The Law of Cause and Effect holds true on every level of reality. Thought is the level of Cause and material manifestation is the level of Effect. Change only on the level of effect is not fundamental change it at all, yet change on the level of cause changes everything. That is why a revolution in consciousness is our greatest hope for the future of the world.
What is the Revolution of Consciousness, in a nutshell? Like all great movements in human history, it is based on a single insight: in this case, that we are not separate from one another. We are not material beings limited to the physical body, but beings of consciousness limited by nothing. Like waves in the ocean or sunbeams to the sun, there is actually nowhere where one of us stops and another one starts. On the level of bodies, we’re all separate of course. But on the level of consciousness, we are one.
What that means, of course, is that what I do to you, I do to myself. That makes the Golden Rule very, very good advice. Do unto others what you would have others do unto you — because they will, or someone else will.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, affects all indirectly.” That understanding is not metaphor or symbol; it’s a description of an ultimate Reality shoved from our awareness by an obsolete scientific worldview. To reclaim that understanding is not blind but visionary. King was not just a movement leader but also a spiritual one, proclaiming that the human condition would not fundamentally change until our hearts were changed. Until that change occurs within us, every time we cut off the head of a monster three more will take its place.
Anything we do to anyone else will ultimately come back at us, whether as individuals or as nations. Once we know that, we cannot un-know it. It changes everything, including our hearts. How can we not change how we see each other, once we realize that we are each other?
In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” The revolution of consciousness paves the way for the peaceful evolution of the human race. The alternative to that evolution is catastrophic and impenetrable darkness.
Any species, if its behavior becomes maladaptive for its own survival, either mutates or goes extinct. What arrogance it would be to believe that that applies to every species but our own. In fact, humanity’s behavior is in fact maladaptive for our own survival: we fight too much with too many weapons of mass destruction existing on the planet, and are actively destroying our own habitat. Our choice is clear: we will either mutate or we will die.
The mind does not want to hear this, but the heart rejoices in it. The dictates of science aren’t so sure about it, but the dictates of consciousness are clear. Humanity doesn’t need to make another machine; it needs to make another choice. We need to consider the possibility of another way, another option, another path for the human race to follow…one in which we do not bow before the laws of science, but rather bow before the laws of love. The mind will no longer be our master, but our servant. Science will no longer be a false god, but a truer help. And humanity will evolve, peace at last will come to earth, and war will be no more.”
I find it difficult to look at the photos and read the stories of those who were killed in just this one incident without feeling a strong sense of connection to each one of them. We really are all one.