This is (mostly) not an article about religion!
Are you a sentient being?
But, are you really?
The famous quote, from the Crucifixion, “Forgive them for they know not what they do…” can be interpreted in several ways I think. As a child, we Christians believe that Jesus is saying “Don’t mind them, they don’t know who I am.”
A closer look suggests that he’s telling us that Mankind isn’t quite as sentient as we might have hoped we were… quite literally, they are out of their minds, they have no idea what’s really going on or what’s at steak for humanity.
We can comfort ourselves surely, that things have moved on after 2,000 years and that we are more evolved now?
Just take a quick scan round the globe. We are still fighting wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Mexico (The ‘War on Drugs’) – These conflicts have claimed 45,000 people’s lives this year alone. (2020)
Killing each other wholesale should be something of the past. We agreed after Hiroshima and Nagasaki that we would never do that to each other again, yet Nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferate all over the planet, and “Strongmen” brandish them as a caveman would have brandished his club.
You may think we have changed, but Nothing has changed in this department in thousands of years.
We are savages, just with bigger clubs.
It’s deeply wired into our DNA to be tribal. This has been proved in millions of conflicts and experiments.
The “fear” of the “other” is well known. When push comes to shove, we circle the wagons to the exclusion of everybody but our tribe. Recent research work even shows the selective breeding programmes we take on subconsciously to mate with people with the “right” features, creating a race of more acceptable looking humans. Sorry, If you have a large caveman-style forehead, or a pointy face like a rat, then your line will be dying out soon. (Based on research, and not my prejudice..although it probably is at some level!)
Let’s examine The Allegory of Plato’s Cave.
In the story, Socrates (Plato’s mentor) tells of a group of people brought up in a cave, chained together in a herd, all facing the wall. Behind them is a fire, and whenever anything passes the fire, it casts a shadow on the cave wall. The people see the shadows, and give them meaning and names.
Socrates tells us that Plato is like a person who has escaped the cave.
He has learned the real nature of reality.
Socrates tried to convince the others to escape, but they weren’t inquisitive enough, brave or interested enough to bother.
Here, we see that same story feeding through, people who are stuck in a “herd” cycle, never quite understanding the truth of their reality. (They know not what they do…)
Did you ever play the computer game the Sims? The premise is a world where you set little digital “people” up in their own houses with their own families, and jobs. You put a little Sim lady in a house with a little Sim guy, and before long they have a little Sim baby.
There comes a time, when you have to go to bed, when you decide, “I’ll just let my Sim characters get on with their lives, everything seems to be going well.” By next morning, when you awaken, they’ve burned the house down, and the baby is dead!
They unsophisticatedly crash around, leave the Iron on, forget the baby at the park and blunder into a disaster, because you – their “god” wasn’t there to guide them! (They know not what they do..)
It’s unfortunately all too like leaving your teenagers home-alone for the weekend!
I was one once. We got up to plenty of “high-jinks” – It’s little wonder that parents don’t trust teenagers! “Dad I’ve lost my phone, my bike, my jacket, my wallet..” (Insert your own irritating version of this story here!)
Teenagers go through a difficult phase in life.
Before “The Change” they are built (generally) to believe and follow what their parents have told them, and the societal rules under which they live.
At some stage, they then go through “The Change” and now they have an opportunity (University, or maybe the First Paycheck..) to start to flex their muscles.
It doesn’t take long before they are behaving like drunken sailors, bar room brawlers, and low-life lounge-lizards!
It’s easy as an author to write off a whole section of society, with the stroke of a key, but what I’m hoping to draw attention too, is that It’s rare that we ever actually manage to shake off these teenage years.
I always use the example of Parliament here in the UK. Do these people actually look like adults to you? What was the mental age of Donald Trump?
Humanity has a history of leaders who don’t seem to have evolved past their twelfth birthday!
It would be nice to suggest that the problem is exclusive to men, but sadly It’s not.
Playground petty-gossip follows us into the workplace and thence to the front pages of our news. It’s either violence, racism, or celebrity gossip. Very few of us seem to have made it out of the playground.
It’s possible to add a superb veneer of class, or education, but scratch underneath that, and there’s still a hurt little boy or a disgruntled little girl.
So, what does this Adulthood actually look like?
Maybe the question should be..“can you prove that this ‘reality’ we live in is actually real?” (Might be a better starting point!) – Or is it just one big “Sims game?”
We have so many different religions we can follow through life..
They all broadly offer the same thing – life after death. It’s a great business model, because the last person to “come back” was 2,000 years ago, and he was playing for the home team already!
Many religions use the idea that you can point at a random stranger and say “the reincarnation of my uncle!” – It’s also pretty disprovable. The one thing that’s Not on offer is any change to your current status! You can tell me you’re a reborn Christian, but you still look like you are going round the same religious loop to me..
Spirituality seems to offer more. Meditation seems to be the backbone, or is it just another way that we can bury our heads in the sand, keep ourselves trapped in “Sims land?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Qigong teacher, I know the power of these exercises to heal, and I see the massive changes and healing that people make in their lives with meditation.
What do I think It’s all about?
In reality (whatever that might be…) the “Yin and Yang” model works pretty well here.
If you had lived in 17th Century Somerset, working in the fields, then a runaway horse might provide the excitement for your whole year! These days you’ve probably seen 20 videos, news articles and posts more exciting than that in the first hour of your day. We live an exceptionally exciting YANG lifestyle.
By getting into Qigong, Tai Chi or Yoga, you are at least introducing an hour into your day where you are looking after yourself, and not absorbing ‘excitement’ – It’s really good for your body, and long Yin periods of downtime like this can trigger deep healing.
They know not what they do…
You can, however, to “smash through” your Yoga set in a Gym, and gain none of this benefit I’m espousing. You might as well stay at work!
The whole point is about balance. In Chinese medicine and forms such as Qigong the whole point is regaining balance – something that 21 century lives are almost devoid of.
This then is what I’m talking about. Adulthood, not passing the age of 21, not learning to drive, not your first sexual encounter, not your first drink, fight or cigarette, but the moment when you first listen to yourself. This type of Adulthood is defined by self-knowledge, not a number.
Nine out of ten people, when they have a headache, they’ll pop a pill, and keep going.
Only one out of ten will stop what they are doing, to wonder what’s going on inside, what might be causing the pain, can I tie it back to something I ate, or drank or didn’t drink? Maybe it relates to the stress of the situation..?
More than just what’s going on and what’s caused the situation, they might already be thinking what changes they can make to their lives to never have this happen again. Perhaps you walk into a therapists waiting room. You start to feel a bit sick, and notice a headache coming one. Do you ignore that and soldier on because your head told you to? Or do you quietly make your excuses and slip out?
(This has happened to me before. I didn’t slip out and regretted it for days afterwards. My one and only time at a Chiropractors office..I’ve learned to see the signs, and generally don’t even get to the bad part. I’ve generally made the right choice way before.)
So, Adulthood, in this definition, is taking the time to listen inside. It’s taking the time to decide the best course, and not just blunder on. It’s looking for the flow, it’s staying in alignment with what’s best for your body and emotions. Most of all, it’s practicing this every day and at every opportunity. When life throws challenges at you, do you revert to childhood anger; do you shout like your father used to do; do you walk away like your mother used to do; or can you keep your equanimity, because you’ve practiced and trained for this?
There’s another layer to this adulthood..
Responsibilities for your actions. “If I do this, how will it affect the others in my life or in the world?”
Can you see the damage you do if you buy a $100 T-shirt, made by a child in India who gets paid $1 per day? Can you become a conscious consumer?
Choosing to pursue a job with a company that’s known for Its destruction of the Amazon Forest would be a great example. Do you take the cash and who cares, or live by your conscience?
These are all questions for somebody who’s decided to separate themselves from the Herd mentality. Can you drag yourself out of the cave?
Maybe It’s just better to keep scrapping with your partner, drink to forget, fight tooth and nail for the money, and slip into an early grave?
The great news is that nobody’s going to force you to become an adult. Generally speaking, It’s much easier to go with the Herd, and not look out of place.
What I’m suggesting takes dedication, and looks like swimming against the tide (to the average herd mentality person) it takes practice, practice, practice…. Again, nobody will force you, you have to drive this yourself, or not…
Recently a close friend passed. I miss him deeply. At his service people paid such great and deep respect to his life. I was just left thinking – what a waste. In his last few years, he was starting to wake up, and see the illusion for what it really was.
He’d been an integral part of the machine for a lifetime.
He’d been an exceptional part of the machine for a lifetime.
In our final conversations, it was clear that he’d seen behind the scenes, that he’d broken through the Matrix.
It was already too late for him to pull out of his nosedive.
On occasional days that I get a glimpse even beyond Adulthood to something that feels like Unity.
This “Virtual Reality” that we are actors in, this personalised and very real “Sims game,” I don’t actually think that it means anything at all.
I believe that universal consciousness expands itself though our adventures, but nothing more than that.
I don’t actually feel that worried about death. It feels more like that nervous excitement about going on holiday.
I don’t think that I’ve lost my brilliant friend, I just feel he’s escaped this round of the game early, and that we’ll have another go together soon in some new dimension
If we have any chance of saving what’s left of this beautiful world, it’s time to start teaching our children about their bodies and their consciousness.
The apparent abject failure of Religion to actually save anybody, needs to be replaced by a real understanding of Consciousness.
Adults don’t burn down rain forests for profit. Adults don’t fight tribal fights, don’t indulge in filling people’s bodies with sugar and chemicals for profit.
Just think about that – No more war, healthier lifestyles and a loving care of our planet –
EDEN, right here in a few generations.
Now there’s something to strive for! (And something to vote for too!)