I have just come in from one hundred minutes of running in the rain (and this doesn’t make you sick by the way, rain is not a virus). I am telling you this so that you know that I practice what I teach. That is akin to one hundred minutes of meditation. Running or meditation on its own will not expand your consciousness or give you greater awareness, but it will clear your mind and you will be more receptive to new ideas, even if they are your own. So my run in a way brought about my idea for this blog, and if you go out and jog right now, and try to quiet your thoughts while you’re doing it, and just focus on your breathing, it would make you more receptive to what I am about to say. See how this all works?
The title for this blog is a line from a song by Echo and the Bunnymen, and you can find it on the Resources page along with other SN appropriate music. (I hate the word appropriate, but there it is)
What is meant by expanded consciousness? It is a broad term and often associated with new age spirituality or by proponents of psychedelic drugs, however to me expanded consciousness is simply greater awareness through detachment from social conditioning, by reconnecting with the natural world, which also includes you by the way. You, everything and everyone are made up of the same three particles that make up atoms, (and waves come into the equation but we are not getting into Quantum Physics just yet). All atoms are not the same due to the varying numbers of particles nevertheless your cells are made up of atoms (you get the idea). So what differentiates you from a rock or a goat? Chemistry, biology, consciousness, conditioning and your ego, but essentially you are atoms and therefore connected to all things in the universe. Rediscovering your natural self and letting go of attachment to manmade constructs and social conditioning is the key to living an authentic life of purpose. (This is what Soul Navigation is all about. It is not about spirituality. It is about adventure, nature, and realising our true potential)
So we should start letting go of the ego and start realising that we are not so important, we should start letting go of our narrow perspective brought about by social conditioning. A narrow perspective will result in egotism, individualism, nationalism, an ‘us and them’ mentality, entitlement, materialism, narcissism, prejudice, racism and the list goes on. A broad perspective on the other hand Darren, will bring out the empathy in you. As you feel connected to everything your compassion will grow and you will let go of the things brought about by that conditioning and narrow perspective.
Awakening is not easy to deal with and you will probably have feelings of lesser importance, insignificance, helplessness, isolation (you will get no sympathy from people who have not started to navigate their own journey, “You new age hippy! Next you’re going to tell us that you don’t want to eat animals. Go and guzzle a bucket of Goji Berries”). You will begin to see life differently and once you have awakened you can’t go back to your former state of ignorant bliss (there were times I wanted to do just that). Awakening is a process and not an overnight epiphany. You will not go from ignorant bliss to great awareness bliss. You will struggle, but then you will find peace, within yourself and peace with others (please note that whenever I mention others I refer to all sentient life and not only to people). Through this peace and harmony, connection with the natural world, and freedom from misinformation, you will experience more bliss than ignorance can bring, and it will be real.
Social conditioning came about because people are social animals and we live in communities. Our parents and teaches taught us behavioural norms, etiquette and values based on what they were taught, which in turn is based on traditions, culture, religions, so that we could fit in. We were encouraged to follow certain career paths so as to become productive citizens. The Government does not require very many artists, but more tax paying workers and professionals to feed to corporations. The education system is geered toward this career focus. Although all of us are unique we are not treated as such when it comes to social conditioning. Add to this mass media advertising driving competitive materialism and consumerism down our throats and it is no wonder that people attach such meaning to the clothes they wear or the car they drive, and the size of their flat screen TV.
When you have awakened, the small things will not matter so much (think about it, they only matter to you and a handful of people around you anyway) and you can start to focus on what really matters to you. Letting go is never easy but it is very liberating. You can then turn around to all the institutions and advertisers who tried to put you in a box and say, that box you gave me burnt nicely. Smell that freedom.