STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
THE EXPANDED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS (HANANPACHA)
The Culture of Oneness
When will the humanity of the twenty-first century finally be able to adapt its experiences and feelings to the new paradigms of modern science? How can this ancient feeling of isolation and separation be overcome? We urgently need to understand and feel that we are not strangers in the universe, that we were not thrown on to this planet by a divine whim, that we did not come from outside, that we did not arrive like migrating birds to spend some time here in foreign lands; we grew in this world with the plants, the flowers and the fruits. (Alan Watt – free translation)
Our difficulty in accepting that our emotional attitudes – the managing and categorising of our perceptions – determine, to a great degree, the quality of our lives and achievements, leads to various “victim-style” beliefs, such as “we are beings exiled on the planet and condemned to suffer” or, “the world is an external object, and we are separate subjects inserted into it, fighting to survive”. These ideas are part of the past, myths from previous millennia
Despite what ecology and the new physics shows – that beings and their environments make a single system, with its many manifestations in a present and creative space and time – there is a long way to go before humankind can really absorb this knowledge, opening the way for a more integrated level of consciousness, life and responsibility.
The experience of being human does not need to be felt as “a struggle to dominate the environment”; it can be felt as, and in fact is, a creative process in which the action of the subject and its context are one thing. I am that which the single field of action, the whole environment (the universe) is creating. We pretend that the origin of our actions is located inside each person; but to limit the “I” to any centre of decision-making and energy in the interior of a membrane, a layer of skin, is almost a convention, a social consensus.
Force of habit makes it hard for us to perceive that we are in fact pulsing with the story of the universe; this would be a sense of identity consistent with the current scientific description of organisms and beings. It would involve the sensation (1) of the external world (2) of our bodies (3) of our minds and consciousnesses, this trinity – which is in fact a unity – being perceived as a fractal expressions of the Universe or “universal being”, showing the unity, the “unicity” of the state of being. Rational understanding of this unicity is essential, but apprehending it and getting to know it at the level of feeling, of experience through mystic union, is the fundamental goal.
To experience our identity with the cosmos can be understood, by definition, a goal of pantheism, but it’s also part of the goal of many immanent spiritual traditions, such as Taoism, Zen and other sects of Buddhism. To a certain extent it’s also part of some of the more philosophical religious groups with roots in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.