awareness and spirituality

Societal fracture: rise of a new consciousness?

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A number of events in "civil" society are contributing to a new human consciousness, which is gradually becoming spiritualized. The sharing of the problems that humanity and the planet are experiencing leads to a generalisation of awareness of the difficulties and participates in the elevation of human consciousness, which is beginning to be concerned about the other kingdoms of life and its impact on the earth.
Evoking the paradigm shift in society thus leads to changes in all areas, including spirituality, which is also affected. In this article we will try to formulate the distinction between the emerging new consciousness and spirituality in the traditional sense. We will also highlight the characteristics of the new consciousness in the face of a humanity in mutation and transition.

Our conception of the spiritual path

Sf spirituality is that which connects to transcendence and manifests the Spirit, whatever its nature and according to the beliefs of each person, it leads through the individual quest, to find the connection with Unity.
This individual path progressively brings out the wanderings of the self to reveal the Self, that part of the divine nested within us (revelation of the Logos) which, when it blossoms, makes us find again the path of Unity. We then feel the connection to the Whole and we become aware that everything is linked, that we are a part of Unity and that we can feel in resonance with each kingdom, each element of the living, visible or invisible. We become aware that we are a drop of water in the immensity of the ocean of life. Our egotistical need to exist is appeased by the encounter with the unconditional Love that inundates and fills us, appeasing desires and needs filling us with fullness and allowing us to quench our thirst at the inextinguishable Source of the Consciousness of the Present.
 
To the prophetic visions of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, to name but a few, having dedicated their inner journey and actions to the emergence of the new consciousness, a number of events in "civil" society are contributing to the manifestation of a new human consciousness, which is gradually becoming spiritualized.

Different factors leading to the paradigm shift

In the twentieth century, a plurality of factors contributed to the paradigm shift we are experiencing today[1]. We will retain only a few of them by making a quick multidisciplinary panorama to grasp the societal fracture that is bringing about a new human consciousness.
 
The World Wars were the end of the matter
 
First of all, the World Wars that wiped out the West...[2] ...and drained it of blood economically and humanely. After having killed God ("God is dead" by Nietzsche) we killed the human being by industrializing death and systematically eradicating a part of humanity. This part of humanity, which has become object, has totally undermined the notion of subject (Jean-Paul Sartre with Being and NothingnessThe other is the notion of the "Other" (e.g., Lévi-Strauss and structuralism or Jacques Lacan and the notion of the Other). This irreversible fracture brought the West to its knees and questioned its fundamental values such as that of progress, a new religion which, together with science, had until then provided the answers towards a desired and optimistic future; the happiness of humanity being brought by progress, comfort and improved living conditions. And suddenly it also became synonymous with the industrialization of death.
We have crossed a milestone in the human imagination that led us to revisit the Lights in the face of the infinite shadows of Nazism and the concentration camps. A shadow that we see resurfacing today in the form of Daech, an echo to our collective unresolved memories.[3].
 
Economy crushes human beings
 
So, to this break with the values of progress, other factors have been added.
The economic evolution at the end of the 20th century led to a shift from capitalism to deregulated liberalism, particularly in the 1980s with the various deregulations (Reagan, Thatcher, etc.).[4]) decorrelating the gold from the dollar in particular, the economy then basing its wealth on a deregulated market, without any more safeguards, the principle of debt and the infinite manufacture of virtual money[5].
 
 
This deregulation has also led to a change in the shareholding structure of companies, which has moved from patrimonial to financial shareholders. As a result, financial profits have been given priority over the provisions needed to keep the company alive and to recruit properly. This contributes to increasing malaise and burn-out in organizations.
With 1973 and the first oil shock marking the end of the Thirty Glorious Years, economic fragility took its place in the idyllic landscape of infinite growth.
Factors showing unemployment breaking the social contract between companies and employees. Insecurity which has only increased over the years.
 
Another major factor explaining the paradigm shift is the globalization of trade making the world a huge market placing de factoThe economic, or rather the financial, over politics, with the lobbies of all major industries and services now dictating their laws to governments.
 
And at the same time, with the advent of the Internet, it is the beginning of the interconnection of the billions of people on Earth, directly or indirectly, now with computers and mobile phones. We'll come back to this later.
 
What are the consequences of these different elements on human consciousness?
 
The essential could be summed up as a breach of trust with the dominant model: science as a new religion can lead to the eradication of humanity, especially with nuclear power; progress does not bring happiness for all as announced; the continued exclusion of a growing number of individuals is the result of a breach of the social contract, deliberate eviction, deterioration of working conditions and dehumanisation of professional relationships. Then disillusioned and feeling betrayed and/or excluded, a certain part of the population questions the economic system based on debt, consumption and growth. More and more people are deprived of their assets (consumption), erected as an ersatz for spiritual quests and transcendence. Existential questions rest and everyone tries to find their own answers and to find their being lost in the labyrinth of illusions of consumption.
 
Interconnection and cooperation
 
Interconnection via the Internet allows both the exchange of information and the dissemination of knowledge, and especially with social networks facilitates the instantaneous sharing of information, particularly on societal developments. This results in a radical change in human relations.
First of all, to manage the problems we have co-created (pollution, climate degradation) in order to preserve common goods and the environment, individual responses are insufficient. We have co-created a level of complexity that to be managed requires a transdisciplinary approach. This means learning[6] of cooperation between disciplines and skills and thus move away from the principles of competition to find ways of doing, creating and inventing together. Cooperation which is then based on values such as fraternity.
Secondly, connection practices on the Internet and in particular via forums and social networks develop a horizontalization of human relationships. Exchanges are now peer-to-peer rather than father-to-son.
As access to knowledge is now offered to everyone via Wikipedia or Google in particular, the high position of knowing is called into question. Consequently, the status of expert found in the teacher, manager or spiritual master are revisited. As each one can be called upon via the web by anyone, the filters linked to the privileges of the status are erased. Consequently, the hierarchical, patriarchal (top down as described by the Anglo-Saxons) are questioned.
 
Horizontality and changing human relationships in organizations
 
Individuals wish to live in their daily lives this horizontality brought by digital technology (Internet, Smartphones, and any connected object); a horizontality that poses the equivalence in humanity that then pushes the lines of functioning between individuals.
We are thus seeing the need for companies to break free[7] From the burden of hierarchy, communication and governance practices are also evolving towards shared decision-making and responsibility. This horizontality seeks to reconcile the need for individual uniqueness and the collective consciousness of the "we".[8].

Paradigm shift leads to raising consciousness

What is this paradigm shift about? It is the advent of the knowledge society. Internet brings a revolution in representations and behaviours, just as writing and then printing previously did.
Today, the unlimited dissemination of knowledge, accessible to all, is changing the power relationships between individuals (knowledge/power) and developing cooperative and equivalent behaviour.
The sharing of the problems that humanity and the planet are experiencing leads to a generalisation of the awareness of difficulties and participates in the elevation of human consciousness which is beginning to care about the other kingdoms of living beings and their impact on the earth.[9].
 
Prometheus - Film by Rydley Scott, 2012
 
Human consciousness is spiritualized in the sense of understanding the interactions between all living things. This leads it to become interested in spirituality and to discover that in all planes from quantum physics to ecology or existential quest, everyone discovers that everything is interrelated. This leads to a change in behaviour and a decision to take care of oneself, of the earth, of others. It is ecological awareness and an understanding of the mechanisms of living things.
 
The human consciousness then develops empathy benevolence and compassion. And in doing so, it evolves more consciously towards its awakening.
The democratization of the knowledge and practices of the great spiritual traditions (from Buddhism to Chinese medicine or the knowledge of the first peoples) encourages the generalization of meditative practices, which, becoming secular, are entering into all environments, especially the corporate world. And we know the virtuous effect of meditation which, thanks to the research of neuroscientists, shows that the more we practice, the more it modifies our brain, especially the frontal lobes developing the behaviours of empathy, benevolence and care for others.
 
Thus, the excesses of our deregulated financial society and over-consumption, leads, thanks to digital technology, to the development of ancestral spiritual practices allowing the development of human consciousness and the more generalized practice of empathy for oneself, in relationships and for the environment and the Earth!
This is in line with the work of Clare Graves followed in particular by Ken Wilber (dynamic spiral) on the evolution of human consciousness. At each stage of complexity produced by humanity it evolves in its cognitive and emotional capacities and crosses a threshold to precisely manage the complexity it has created.
This also corresponds to the research of Carl Gustav Jung who, with his notion of the collective unconscious, gives an explanation of individual and collective psychic functioning as the foundation of our collective consciousness.

And what are we talking about when we speak of the new consciousness?

The new consciousness is thus the fruit of individual and collective suffering linked to the break with a model promising happiness for all (progress and science) and having demonstrated its shadowy abyss leading to the rupture of trust between the system (long represented by the State) and the citizens. It is also this formidable manifestation of collective resilience in the face of humanity's potential for self-destruction.
 
Lacking structures and reference points, which is the hallmark of a paradigmatic in-between, left alone in this identity and existential wandering, everyone is groping around. Existential quests abound and the need for reliance and belonging reappears. The religare is once again becoming a priority that will take contemporary and secular forms in sports stadium gatherings or in recent citizen collectives aimed at reviving democracy (Occupy Wall Street, Anonymus, Arab Spring, Nuitdebout, CivicTech...). In the quest for meaning, resonates the need to get together, to recreate links and relationships. Traditional missions of religions that today in our West in spiritual vacations revisit. Each one leads his or her own path to bring answers by juggling personal development, psychological work and spiritual practices.
 
 
The thirst for transcendence is intact and the paths are as numerous as the individuals on the way.
What is remarkable is that following the New Age impulses that followed the 1970s and their rejection of authority experienced as abusive, trial and error and stammering resulted in tinkering (in the Levi-Strauss sense) that some would call syncretisms demonstrating the need to make something else happen. The Age of Aquarius marks the beginning of a new form of spirituality which, after 50 years, is beginning to mature.
The extravagances of some New Age pro's are always present, however. A large majority of people on the way weave a new path between esoteric promises and the teachings of classical spiritual filiations.
In the same way that the rest of civil society is tinkering, groping and trying out new formulas in governance and cooperation, everyone is led to make a selective sorting between the invariants of the spiritual traditions still valid in our changing society and the aspects that have become obsolete in a society whose individuals are growing in autonomy and maturity.
 
Thus, many are now making their market among psychological and personal development practices to build, consciously or not, a path of inner evolution and drink from the multiple spiritual traditions in order to create a corpus of theories and practices that correspond to them, structure them and make them tend towards wisdom and awakening.
The rejection of the "de facto authority" imposed by the posture of the knowing leads to the recomposition of the postures of spiritual "masters" and disciples. Those who have, just as in the corporate world, or leaders and managers become coaches or facilitators and teachers are transformed into maieuticians and no longer into knowers. Spiritual guides are there to accompany on the path those who solicit them, responding to a specific need and no longer able to decide for them the moment of their maturity to become their own masters.
 
Of course, this does not prevent the pitfalls and egotistical obstacles of the individual quest. And of course, many get lost, make mistakes, and precisely this is what the younger ones who participate in the emergence of this RenaiSens, they want to experiment, try and assume that they will probably make mistakes, but they want to experiment.
 
This new spiritual consciousness is then this need of this humanity in transition and transformation to take the risk of becoming itself at the price of trial and error which it prefers to the ankylosis of the expert's goodwill.
It expresses the resilience of humanity, which will do everything in its power to survive. She wants to reinvent herself. Understanding with experience the errors of egotistical wandering, she learns to evolve by remaining detached from a single master with power concentrated in the hands of one to privilege co-growth. In this way, spaces are created for co-growth in spirituality, new forms of fraternities in which each one helps the other to face his shadowy areas, his unresolved facets, in benevolence and compassion so that growth can take place together, in communion, a new way of weaving bonds, of creating relationships, a bit like the first peoples from whom we learn today to help us elaborate a new humanity.
Everyone brings their experience and practices, shares them, makes them experiment and dares to express their frailties, deposits their weaknesses with caring peers, shares their wanderings in order to grow in tolerance, compassion, wisdom and spirituality.
 
Everyone helps each other on the path of awakening that many now wish to be the work of humanity and not just that of the individual.

In conclusion

The new consciousness is then this ecological consciousness of self, others, the earth and humanity and the consideration of an individual and collective holistic evolution to bring survival to all, the preservation of mother earth. It is the understanding that being part of the Whole has become as much a physical as a biological and societal evidence as an individual and collective project to develop our spirituality to all so that the path of awakening is a path of respect for the living and the common goods.
 
 
Christine Marsan is a psycho-sociologist - Trend watcher
 
[1] For more details, see Marsan, C. Entrer dans un monde de coopération, Chronique Sociale, 2013.
[2]Le Monde/ La Vie, Hors série, L'histoire de l'Occident. Decline or Metamorphosis, Edition 2016.
[3]This is only one of the explanatory factors, to go further, let us see Osons la fraternité, collective, Editions Yves Michel, 2016.
[5]Today 98% financial transactions are information flows that are not based on any economic or monetary reality.
[6]Let's say relearning, since nature (see the teachings of biology and biomimicry) has always favoured cooperation over competition and the majority of first peoples perpetuate rules of life in harmony with the living, favouring peace over war.
[7] The liberated company is this aspiration of companies to free the organization from the sometimes stifling hierarchical functions by giving the base (bottom-up impulse of the employees) the possibilities to self-organize in order to function with more fluidity and performance. This brings more autonomy to economic players and develops their relational skills (benevolent communication, new forms of governance).
[8] The learning of history is done to avoid sinking into the excesses of communism and capitalism. The new consciousness brings out a third way that is reflected in many areas.
[9]This led Paul Crutzen to describe our human influence on the anthropocene earth as having as much impact as other major stages of the planet's evolution. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocène
 
 

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