My First Post/Chapter – Emergent Consciousness
From the front page:
I feel an aspect of the split within me, even now as I write. The split that seems to pervade so many things in our culture.
Is it okay to write what “wants” to come through me?
To trust what emerges, from the inner work and activism that I have done now for almost 40 years?
There is always the possibility to trust.
But can I, will I in the face of the constant pressure to succeed, to impress – “This is your first post, you have to wow them”. Or as the marketers say: “You have to grab their attention and you have to do it within the first three sentences!”
And there is some truth in all of that, which is part of why it can all get so confusing. Maybe I don’t need to “wow” or “grab” but I do want to connect. …
I do want to share with you, what emergent consciousness means to me.
The real challenge, is to learn to do the part which is true, from a place of genuine desire, as opposed to from a place where it feels like life or death. Or maybe a better way to say it – is to learn to do it with a consciousness of that, life or death feeling, but not lost in that dynamic.
That is in some ways, the point of this whole site/book.
To acknowledge the life or death feeling, the shadow of trauma, that is such a core part of the dominant culture, here in the US.
And at the same time, to hold space for a deeper consciousness to emerge in the face of that.
To explore what it means to be in acceptance, of the brutal truth of how much hurt there is in this culture, while not getting so lost in that hurt, that we forget all the possibility, all the brilliance actually, that we each hold within our own heart and soul, concurrent with that lineage of trauma.
The holding of these two things becomes in its own way, a kind of life dance.
A living out of questions, as opposed to a compulsive search for answers. A dance – because it is only in embodied consciousness, that we can hold, what seems to the alienated mind so completely contradictory.
In embodiment and movement, there is a resonance that rises, that goes beyond the alienated mind’s attempt, to make things fixed.
Things which are in fact moving realities.
It is only with a capacity for emotional fluidity, that it is possible to face the lineage of abuse and trauma in our past, without being utterly overwhelmed and re-traumatized by the weight of that lineage.
It is only with this same capacity for emotional fluidity, that it is possible to face any of the impending apocalyptic futures that the denial of this lineage is creating – not the least of which is the unfolding climate catastrophe.
The point of becoming conscious of this lineage is not to re-traumatize.
The intention is to let there be space for this lineage to be released. For in the denial of this lineage, we deny the very doorway to all that is still possible. We lose the possibility of understanding the real meaning of grace.
It is only recently that I have truly understood the promise that comes with a deeper understanding of trauma.
Because trauma is in fact, not a fixed reality.
The freezing up, that is one part of what happens in trauma, is not supposed to last forever.
It is literally a temporary and in many ways brilliant survival technique, that allows a person to not be overwhelmed by pain and/or fear, while at the same time harnessing the resources that are available to do whatever is needed, to survive whatever the trauma incident is.
The freezing up of trauma is only one part of the full cycle of trauma.
It is meant to help us to find a safe place to heal and release the overwhelming feelings associated with trauma.
But somewhere in the European lineage of this country, trauma seems to have become embedded in a fixed way, in the culture itself. To the point that survival isn’t a temporary phase of some cycle, it is a way of life in and of itself.
I am no psychotherapist or historian but it is not hard to see how this could have happened.
My own grandparents comes from Ireland, France and Germany. Just the most cursory historical knowledge of these countries, gives us the rise of the holocaust in Germany, the potato famine in Ireland and the birthplace of the inquisition in France.
And that is just scratching the surface.
Add to that, the incessant wars of Europe, the plagues, the endemic sexual abuse of European culture, the abuses of feudalism and on and on and on…
In a way, it is no wonder that this culture is not even more traumatized.
I used to wonder how a people, could have let happen – what happened in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, what happened in the genocide of Indigenous People here on this continent, what happened in the enslavement of millions of Africans and so on.
But the simple truth is that a culture that has numbed itself out to its own pain, cannot feel the pain of others.
The zombie apocalypse is not a mythos about what might happen in the future.
It is the understory of what has already happened.
This does not excuse any of these atrocities. For those of us, who are a part of that dominant culture, and as a white man in a very mainstream lifestyle, I am very much a part of that culture – we are all responsible in our own ways.
But if we are to change ourselves.
If we are to break out of the seemingly endless cycle of horrors, that we euphemistically call modern history, we must understand the depths of what we are up against.
If we are to make space, as I said earlier, for the brilliance of each of our own hearts and souls to emerge, we must understand how we came to be who we are, not just individually but also as a culture.
For most of us, that do not identify so much with the dominant culture, it is in its own way easy to be shocked by people like Trump and Weinstein. It is harder, to look at how the culture that produced these abusers, lives all around us all the time – way beyond the particular grossness of these specific people.
It is hard also to look and not get lost in it all.
Even as I write, I can feel the place where I could easily forget to stay open also, to what is possible.
It is such a struggle in a way to bring the lineage of abuse and the culture of trauma into consciousness, that in some strange way, for me at least, once I am there it is hard to stop. I could even here and now, write on and on about the abuse. It is a weird thing, how it is both so hard to write about and then how it can become one long compulsive endless litany.
As if, this is all of what is true.
It is as if the alienated mind resists bringing it all into consciousness but then once that resistance is broken, it compulsively latches onto it all with the same level of intensity.
But the point is not to get lost in the litany.
The intention is to see the thing that blocks us, so that we can actually be conscious of it, in a way that makes it possible to release this all.
To release the culture of trauma that unconsciously influences so much of what is happening in the world today and create in its place a culture of consent, a culture of embodied and emergent consciousness.
A big piece of my own understanding of all this has come to me through the exploration of my dreams – but this site/book is not meant to focus on dreams or dreamwork.
Dreams are not what most of us think they are anyway.
They are in their own way, a simple reflection of both our conscious perspective of the world and how the broader culture of trauma, affects who we think we are. They in a very simple way (and yes I know, slightly weird), show us a view of ourselves that is outside of this culture’s view of who we are.
To me the more importance of dreams has to do with their capacity to help us see the world through a lens, that runs much deeper than the vision we have acquired, growing up within the culture of trauma.
But there are of course other practices, that can do this for us also.
Prayer practices, somatic and movement based practices, mindfulness meditation, reconnecting to the earth, embodied activism, yoga, plant medicine work etc., are all possible ways to access and develop an embodied consciousness that allows us to both accept the past and creatively let a deeper emergent consciousness come through us.
My point here isn’t to list every practice that could be a part of this movement but rather to point out that there are many, many access points to the deeper consciousness that lives within each of us.
How we access deeper consciousness is not so important.
Learning to share with each other, what we are learning in that exploration, is though. One of the core things I have learned about deeper consciousness is that it is utterly relational.
It is only in the traumatized thinking of western culture, that we view the world around us, with the assumption that we are fully isolated entities. Trauma culture imbues an assumption of isolation that is so deeply embedded, that most of us do not even realize how much we live in that isolation.
This site/book is part of my own desire to break out of that and be in deeper in relationship.
To bring the deeper consciousness that has opened for me on an inner level, to bear on my desire for a world that embraces the brilliance, that lives in each of us.
It is also an offering of support – if that is needed.
I want this to be a part of creating a space where emergent ideas can be brainstormed and incubated. A place where we can share the ways that we are exploring the practical application of those ideas, in our inner practice and in the activism that flows from that place.
In this process I will reference directly or indirectly, some writers and teachers that I have recently and happily stumbled upon in this process:
- adrienne maree brown, author of “Emergent Strategy”
- Tada Hozumi – “selfishactivist.com”
- Jardana Peacock – “jardanapeacock.com”
- Buddhist Peace Fellowship – “buddhistpeacefellowship.org“
- Generative Somatics – “generativesomatics.org“
- angel Kyodo williams – “angelkyodowilliams.com”
- amongst others….
If you are excited about this possibility, please feel free to be a part of this conversation.
With love and respect,
Dec 26th, 2017
FREE Intro to Emergent Consciousness!
Tuesday January 23rd, 5:00 pm pacific – 8:00 pm eastern