Consciousness is the new religion.
We hear that 25% of the American public have deserted church in the past 20 years, a trend that doesn’t seem to be abating either.
That represents 82 million people who have changed their belief systems, an astonishing ground-swell.
What are all those people doing for solace these days?
The prevailing thought is that Politics has become the new religion.
The rise of populist politicians such as Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Boris Johnson with their flashy rhetoric and head-line grabbing one-liners, has attracted a certain segment of the populace to follow them.
These charismatic figures use language taken from the Old Testament to keep the parallel between God and Politics tight.
Their policies become holy wars.
We are hoodwinked into believing that god is somehow backing their cause, by the insertion of holy rhetoric!
Many of these church deserters are young, impressionable and looking for a cause.
A smaller percentage are people who have seen through the charade of the Church.
So many people have been put off by the way that corrupt preachers and priest have comported themselves, that religion has lost all meaning.
There are other undercurrents afoot here too.
There’s an interesting new fashion doing the rounds, that of appearing stressed.
It started for me, in the 1990’s in the UK, when American banking firms started to grow in the City of London. Very quickly it became the norm, not to leave the office before your boss did. If you didn’t look stressed and busy all the time, then you weren’t trying hard enough.
For a high salary, you were expected to have to hurt yourself mentally and physically.
Nobody could get paid well AND be happy, that just wasn’t part of the scene.
It was observed that in the 1920, young men adopted an air of being languid and aloof. This was a trend set in universities, that stayed popular amongst young middle and upper class people until after the Second World War.
The new fashion for young men is to look Stressed!
John Cleese very aptly points out that we are no longer able to distinguish the difference between Solemnity and Seriousness.
He says, that it’s always possible to have a serious conversation, with humour in it, but people mistake a humorous conversation as not having any gravity..
As a child, I was always aware of the Teachers who managed to make me learn something, they were open-minded and often funny people.
In my adult life, I have met teachers who are so po faced, that it’s almost impossible to engage with them. It’s the same problem, as with religion.
If you take Qigong so seriously, that you think that there’s no place for humour in class, then you’ve missed the point, especially with a western audience.
Life and teaching need to be held with a light and happy touch, not the solemnity of an out of touch priest, or the stress of an overwrought worker
So we now find ourselves living, as the great philosopher Boy George sang,, “In the Church of The Poisoned Mind”
Our minds have been poisoned by Politics and Religion for so long.
What we are searching for, and are programmed for to a DNA level, is an improvement in our lives.
We often feel that “things” have never been so bad, but by almost every metric available, life is greatly improved for the vast majority of humanity.
The traditional way to make these improvements was through the development of various religions, that tried to stop us killing each other, but sadly became weaponised themselves in the perverted process.
We turned to politics to help guide and shape our society’s, but in turn these became unwieldy and eventually weaponised too.
The underlying aberration in both of these was greed
The understanding of Time, and the limited life-span we give ourselves, has created a Journey. We are hard-wired to look for improvement and aimed towards comfort.
If you take a straight line, then that suggests a simple evolution where we evolve together in co-operation.
If you add the idea of making “Comfort” your single dedicated goal, then greed creeps in. Comfort is addictive. It’s all too easy to see, trying to get the best seat on the train, aiming oneself for the big sofa in the café, endlessly trying mattresses until we find the perfect night’s sleep!
If you are making me uncomfortable, I’m likely to push back, and want my slice of the comfort pie. War easily ensues..
You’ll not be surprised to hear me off the idea of Qigong as the perfect tool to help us on this journey.
There is discomfort inherently built into Qigong. We sometimes use a wonderful exercise called Chen Qi, or another Chen Bi. One requires you to move your shoulder blades together sixty times a minute, the other requires you to keep your arms outstretched in a straight line. Sounds fine? Until I suggest we do the exercises for ten minutes, fifteen minutes or maybe forty minutes!
(The secret is to do the exercises with a Qi mind, and a Qi body – using your regular mind, and muscles will only cause pain and anguish!)
So, here’s a change that I’ve been able to appreciate after my thirty-five years of qigong. My resistance to pain and discomfort has evolved. It allows one to be a much more patient person. (a quality not shared by the young or by politicians!)
If your desire is to blast into government and sweep the board clean, you’ll fail.
Politicians seem to be getting younger (Yes, I know I’m getting older and that’s how it always looks to an older person!) But patience is not seen as an important quality these days. People are no longer happy to bide their time.
Hence we see in the UK a Prime-minister at 47, when it wasn’t unusual for us to expect our leaders to be in their sixties in the recent past.
As the journey of time seems to accelerate, so younger people push themselves forward more quickly. This is not, in my opinion, such a healthy trend.
People who have endured more, can be more patient, as understood through Qigong also.
Qigong is the tool I suggest to rectify this. I’d love for our children to be taught this kind of resilience building exercise. Imagine how our world would look if it were run by generations of stable, patient people!
There’s a deeper flow here too.
If the current world seems like “The Church of the Poisoned Mind” – where do we find the promised Church of the Conscious Mind from the title of this article, and moreover why would we bother?
My contention is that we are addicted to Stress as a race, all patience has leaked away. We plaster on a po face of solemnity and seem to have forgotten joy and love. We resort to the age-old plan of violence, rather than peace.
Unfortunately, just doing more of the same will not, as Albert Einstein pointed out, return a new result.
If we continue to use the same thinking, then the downward spiral to destruction of the human race beckons. We will shortly deliver the “Nuclear Solution” to ourselves, and reset the world to begin again, hopefully with a more enlightened race!
Assuming that this is not what we desire, then where does the path lie?
Over the millennia, a few individuals have stood out in our cultures.
These are people who have achieved a higher level of mind-state, often referred to as Enlightenment.
It’s seen as being for the few, and as in the gift of God.
My suggestion is that if one puts oneself in the way of Enlightenment, it might well find you too.
I think we can make the ground fertile, plant the seeds, and eventually more of us will find the hidden doorway.
Have I found it yet? The honest answer is NO, however I have experienced moments of true “universality” – where the travails of life dissolve, and the experience of one-ness floods in.
In a state like this, it’s no longer possible to see destruction as the only way. The sudden realisation that you are me, and that I’m in every “you” brings the understanding that there is only oneness, only universal consciousness.
Qigong is simply the sturdy pedestal upon which we place unity consciousness.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many other paths to the top of the mountain, this just seems to be the most viable to me, after half a lifetime of looking.
There are many teachers who can help you prepare for this adjustment.
My Teacher’s Lu and Ling from China, and through them and via myself, we can help suggest a path.
There’s a great Teacher in Ireland called Mani, who has a wonderful free course on Youtube. There are amazing books out there, my personal favourites being the books of Jed McKenna.
One of the greatest masters in the field would have been Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, who posits the question “Who am I?”
He suggests this line of self-inquiry to help one understand that there is nothing but consciousness.
If we are to save the human race we need to, yet again, evolve the Human race.
It’s 30,000 years since we came to prominence as the leading species.
It’s time to evolve again and become Homo Spiritualis.
Take time in your day to evolve your conscious mind.
If we can create a wave of conscious evolution, then humanity may yet survive.
On our current trajectory, I think not.
There are old stories that suggest that there have been other iterations of sentient beings on Earth through the aeons. We hear stories of the Atlantean and the Lemurian races who became powerful, and then ended themselves through their misuse of technology. Seems we may well be on the brink once more.
I’m suggesting another way to evolve the species, not a way to reset us back to zero once again.
If you require my guidance, you need only ask…
Love love, love, only Love!