Has there been a Shift in the Collective Consciousness of Humanity?
I am just writing my responses to interview questions for the next issue of Aontacht the Druidic Dawn magazine. I have just written this, and I’m interested to know if you agree with me, or whether you think it’s hopelessly optimistic!
“If you love something, you want to protect and nurture it, and so most Druids today (and many other people too, of course) are interested not only in their own spiritual progress or development, but in the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants. This is such an obvious idea it is easy for us to miss a significant point here, which is that the spiritual quest – while including an emphasis on care and charity, in the Christian world, and compassion and seva (service) in the Dharmic world – has always been primarily about gaining salvation or enlightenment for oneself. Now I believe there has been a shift in the Collective Mind, and that many people are as motivated by the desire to be of service to the world as they are by the idea of gaining personal enlightenment. Now both goals are seen as equally important, both are primary – that’s the shift, or the evolution, I believe that has taken place over the last decade or two.”
What do you think?Has there really been this shift?
Yes, I think there is an ongoing shift, probably beginning around the end of World War Two, when the USA took the dramatic step of helping the defeated Axis Powers, then the idealism of the 1960s (though that was often rather frivolous and misguided).
However, I would suggest that Jesus’ teaching were not, to quote you “primarily about gaining salvation or enlightenment for oneself”. The Lord’s/Jesus prayer has as its first request / aspiration “Thy Kingdom come on earth” and I include the word aspiration since I suggest that the prayer includes “my” commitment to creating this Kingdom,and thus is altruistic in nature. I would suggest that within the history of early Christianity in Britain, the Roman Catholic Church politicized this idea in an unhelthy way, but the now-identified Celtic Church encourage “Christians” to do all they could to embody Jesus’ example, even to the extent of loving the enemy, the “other” – as the Good Samaritan did.
I think there has been something in the air for a couple of decades now. I noticed it in my undergraduates most, a shift from the awful 80s ‘devil take the hindmost’ ethos into something else. The shift is palpable, but it is inchoate. People, it seems to me, are searching for a direction that, as you say, encompasses both self and planet. But it is very unclear, and people are generally lost, waiting for someone or something to clarify it all.
Yes, I feel most definitely there has been a shift, in fact many small shifts and a few massive shifts. Nov 22 2014,and Jan 4 being the ones I felt most.
Hi Lesley, it’s good to hear you feel the shift is palpable. I feel it too, but know I can be naively optimistic, so am very interested to hear others’ opinions. And I think you are right about that sense of being lost too.
Dear Philip, I am Richard Doni from Italy, and I speak often with Emma Bobcat. In my humble opinion surely there has been a shift, in particular people have become more aware of trouble due to the pollution and what it is causing to our world. See the matter of the global warming.
Look the same President of the USA just said 1 week ago that the climate change is the greatest threat to humanity.
So I believe that the shift in Collective mind is surely mandatory, otherwise we shall extinguish ourselves as a race.
So maybe finally people shall understand that there shall be a balance on these two request. The spiritual and the physical. As the bardic triad says ” and one point of liberty, and this is where all opposites equiponderate” So we must be able to balance the opposite to reach this point of liberty.
Hi Richard, thank you. Yes exactly – it is a matter of urgency now.
Hi Philip so sadly Philip, it has become an urgency because it is now a matter of survival. From the study of the United Nation the human race has less than one century of survival so what I believe is that what really is shaking the collective mind is “fear” And we know how strong fear can catalyse the thoughts of people…now the question is WHAT DRUDIRDY can do now to help people in this critical moment
A that is interesting! A different view: that the shift is happening not out of some noble altruism being born, but fear!
And your second point – I believe Druidry can indeed offer hope!
I believe all emotions can be reduced to two – fear or love. And while I can see your reasoning that fear is the driving force, Richard, I think that people have often learned to turn that fear into love. Love for our planet, utilizing our very basic nurturing instincts.
And yes, Philip, I think you are right that there has been a change in collective consciousness.
Caring for our home has always been there. visible in some leading lights and truthsayers as well as many of us ‘ordinary’ people. But it is growing, becoming louder, becoming a driving force.
Long may it grow!
I think that’s making quite a negative assumption about everyone who came before. What I think has changed is that it is now much easier for people to work together, even across the world. Maybe there is a slight increase in people caring, but I think most of the change has been in their ability to do something about it.
Aha! A different take on this Helen, thank you! Just to be clear, you’re saying personal salvation and the quest for moksha – liberation – was balanced in the same way with a care for the planet and humanity in general, and other species, and you feel it’s just our ability to communicate and connect nowadays that makes this dual desire within us clear, and gives us the opportunity to act more effectively? So perhaps the internet has helped in this process?
I am meeting more and more people wanting to know about the inner healing journey to Oneness.
They all want a teacher. i explain that each of us already has our own inner teacher, healer inside and we do not need to look outwards as we were groomed to believe under patriarchy- giving our power and money away to men in frocks. Even my 4 year old worked that out.
I also notice the sudden interest in the Dragon and Fairy kingdoms and the return of magic.The return of the Sidhe – people of Peace has also helped a lot.
Yes Catherine, I agree that we only have to look at how the world has devoured the mystical and magical in recent years to see that there is a need to be met. It’s interesting in modern times to see the ways in which this happens.
To paraphrase Jesus, ‘If you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, be a servant.’ Of course, all religions teach service and compassion as the road to true happiness. Maybe more people are realizing this and adjusting their lives and ambitions accordingly.
Yes I think there has been a shift personally and more widely, helped by the internet. Just hope it is not too late. I see all around how obscene unrestrained greed is and how easy it is to live a life of love in community but will people power prevail in time?
I have a tendency to agree although I sometimes wonder whether I am deluding myself and it is just wishful thinking? Maybe it is just those that I surround myself with that feel the same way but outside the rest of the world feels different? But really, I am optimistic and filled with hope.
This particular discussion I have had often with my peers (late 30’s and 40’s many of whom work with different healing modalities, earth, physical and spirit based)
There is definitely a way of thinking that has become considered ‘old skool’. The idea that enlightenment is a self serving path to a higher state of consciousness with ascension ideals is no longer relevant. Also that spiritual progression and practices that take you away from your physicality and out of your humanity seems pointless.
Surely the main aim is to bring that search for connected and the divine ‘down’ within us? That it is through our bodies and our connections to the here and now that change is created. That independence becomes interdependence as we attempt to create communities, re-wild our souls a little and be in service to the earth and each other.
Somehow the search for the spiritual self no-longer feels ‘out there’ in the cosmic wilderness but ‘down here’ deep within. When we look through our eyes, deep within the belly of the earth, we can see the stars.
So I think yes, there has been this shift, as one half of the rapidly polarising madness of the world.
Thank you Angharad – I think your point that “spiritual progression and practices that take you away from your physicality and out of your humanity seems pointless” is really one of the pointers to the way understanding is changing – and the question that raises ‘Well, amongst whom? Your educated friends maybe, but look around at Syria etc etc and you’re just living in a cosy bubble.” is how you begin your comment…and why I posted in the first place really! 🙂
It’s certainly an interesting discussion, but thanks to technology and travel our passions go further and our ‘peers’ can be global. It is the common threads that draw and bind us together, so I am still going to go with ‘Yes’. I am lucky enough to have a large and multi flavoured bag of peers who have all met across continents because of similar callings (although there appears to be an assumption about educated!:) ) But there is no denying those of us who reside in the UK live in a “safe space’ compared to those war torn countries.
I shall throw the question out some more and see what comes back. I look forwards to seeing how it unravels 🙂
Yeah- sitting in a GP’s chair there seem to be more folk running into and addressing existential crises which standard medical management and prescriptions cannot help. They seek within a medical model which is skewed to offering them the Western Technical medical solution as there is little other socially acceptable NHS signposting- even the inadequate ‘talking therapy’ interventions need to be initiated by GPs. Thankfully this societal behemoth is utterly unable to stop our quest, we just haven’t been let in on the fact we are all seeking spiritual progress!
GP training itself is stuck in hospital models. GP initiates are tested and expected to jump hoops which can de-humanise them despite humanistic awareness and teaching by GP trainers (what a concept!). It is only by dint of ‘failing’ within the system that doctors can embrace, enjoy and blossom in the humanistic caritas of the spiritual quest which was most likely the urge we felt initially and attracted us to training in medicine- same goes for nursing, psychology, sociology etc, etc which have all been equally hamstrung by bean counters, bureaucracy and commercial interest.
Perhaps the reason for coming here is to suffer and grow- if all were enlightened at the outset what would be the cosmic point of Earth being in existence?
There is a thing called the Order of Melchizedek which has love, willing service and fulfilment as it’s 3 basic tenets- a non-hierarchical, trans-religious acceptance of each individual’s place with the ALL………..the difference between ‘alone’ and ‘all one’ is only one ‘l’ and a space.
Earth might be the ‘l’ in space we all queued up to have a ride on.
In which case we is all shiftin’ perpetually, jus don notice….cept from when I does.
You can find more about Melchizedek at google or:
Check out ‘Semiramis’ too……….
Thank you Andyou! I love: “the difference between ‘alone’ and ‘all one’ is only one ‘l’ and a space. Earth might be the ‘l’ in space we all queued up to have a ride on.”
From my intuitive point of view, I believe that surely past 5 years there is a significant shift , that is probably induced past 10 15 years…
Right now a big shift is taking place and on a metaphysical plane, huge amount of intensivied Awen , High Light is coming towards the planet.( in waves) The more aware and open to this new Light coming in , the bigger the shift , awakening of the mass.. And I am very optimistic as well. kind regards and Blessings, Mimsy
Fear, critical moment, time running out……for whom?
Does this universe care about a speck of dust around a minor star. How about the latest foto of Andromeda for a sense of perspective:
Where did Earth come from- and was it all so bad before we found out how to shit on Gaia?
If the dinosaurs couldn’t take the heat and the planet went on, then extinction of our specie might be an entirely fruitful event, from a cosmic perspective.
I wouldn’t think the universe would get frightened that it might miss its train. There will always be another one for it to hop on!
Indeed Philip and I would go a step further and say that for many the progress of the individual and the care for and nurture felt for all life, from fellow humans to the planet it (her)self, that this is all linked and can be seen as all part of one greater journey. We are seeing beyond the ego, the self, and not losing self in this but expanding the definition of who and what we really are. By degrees, and much to the consternation of the powers wishing control of the world, we are indeed evolving. X
Good morning, Philip. Part of me wants to respond yes, there is a shift taking place but I’m not sure that is a question I can answer. There is certainly a lot more attention given to our planet and resources now. Many (if not most) druids are called to this activism given our knowledge that in order to reach higher consciousness, we do so through our physical senses, through our connection with earth’s life and the energy that runs through all. At the same time, I am surrounded by others in my network who are focused on and working towards higher states, practicing in other realms and planes. Some of these individuals are content to leave physical considerations to others. I agree with Leslie that people are ‘lost’ and are seeking something. While we are all trying to find grounding, the commercialization of spiritual quest has, IMO, led to even less grounding. In an immediate world lived through keyboards and airwaves, it is harder to find those who can truly guide us. Having said that, I have noticed that as people begin to care for our planet, for whatever reason, be it fear, a wake up to responsibility, the beginnings of kinship with all life, they are learning to connect. Through that connection, their spiritual senses awaken, shaking them from passivity. Hmmm. I’ll think more on this.
My perception is that a shift has begun, is in process, but has not yet been completed. Like you I live within earshot of the A27 and the constant roar and rush of traffic along that road proves that, for most people, and also for the economy on which you and I depend, the change has by no means taken place.
The infiltration, if one can call it that, of green imperatives into religious and political consciousness has begun a change in discourse where planetary considerations can no longer be ignored or sidelined – once they are introduced into the discussion. The strange thing to me is how seldom they are in fact brought into the discussion. How normal it still is to announce that one is flying to a distant holiday destination not only without guilt but even with the expectation that one will be congratulated! Or the concentration of the public mind on issues such as immigration, EU membership or Ebola to the exclusion of far more important considerations such as the human causes of global warming, environmental destruction and species extinction.
It seems that evolution has not equipped us to be aware of such large-scale cataclysms, only ‘present and immediate dangers’ such as threats to health or tribal integrity. Without such a change in perspective I fear that the shift in the collective mind that you refer to will remain only an ideal, not a reality. Consequently we must equip ourselves to face a less than ideal future.
I suspect you are right about us not being equipped to face non-immediate threats – and so while there is champagne and smoked salmon in the supermarket, what’s the problem?
Somehow the challenge (certainly for me) is to maintain hope in the face of the evidence. And to do that, I need my spiritual path. I need faith really!
I, too, feel there is a shift taking place. Unfortunately, though, it seems it goes in both directions. When just observing the microcosm of my childhood friends, it is interesting to see how many are involved in some spiritual path other than revealed religions. While they contribute to the increase of actual numbers, the very reason I know about them is the internet and its communication platforms. Thirdly, it seems easier these days to “come out” without fear of repercussions. I think all three factors together cause this (perceived) exponential growth.
And then there is ISIL, the South American drug cartels Boko Haram, and the rekindling of the extreme right wing in Europe etc. that clearly show that the paths of deep darkness is also alive and well.
Is the rise of spirituality therefore just a balancing act, a counter weight?
Many people today will say “look at the state of the World,look at what we have done to the planet” but still carry on with their consumer lives with the attitude of “As long as it doesn’t affect me its OK.” There is a shift in Human conciousness, awareness is growing but the doing part is very slow. It will come to the point in the not so distant future when humanity will be on its knees before Nature when religion,wealth and power will be long forgotten by man. With the latest discovery by the Kepler telescope of an ancient solar system twice as old as ours its just another reminder that we are part of the growing collective conciousness of the Universe, and Man will learn to be a apart of it.Spiritual Evolution.
Yes, I quite agree, Philip. Spiritual healing and environmental / social healing go hand-in-hand. I don’t really know if it matters which comes first but, like the trees as we grow up and benefit the world on the physical level we simultaneously grow stronger and more deeply connected to the earth in the inner, unseen realms.
As Carl Jung would say, by embarking on the project of the deep self, we immediately not only benefit ourselves, but the whole world as well.
One of the problems with the modern environmentalist movement is that we think we need to save the whole world, which not only seems an insurmountable task, but perhaps even a bit hubristic as well. But by all of us engaging in the transformative work of our own spiritual development, we are quite literally saving the world from the only thing it ever really needed saving from — our illusions that we are apart FROM the world, rather than an inextricable and necessary part OF the world, and that we can cause harm in the world without also inflicting harm upon ourselves.
I detect a whole different trend among the people I know, late in their fifties and early sixties, who each in their own way have tried to work for the preservation of the Earth, for environmental responsible behaviour – they are giving in, they feel everything is lost and the catastrophe is unavoidable. Even my son who is 40 know told me some time ago, that he has a feeling of guilt towards his daughters “For what future will they have”. I see people running round in despair, looking for a solution, that must be practical, and that won’t be found.
thank you Philip for this discussion!
I think about this all the time as many “spiritual” groups and teachers are saying similar things. Personally I too am torn between really wanting to believe a positive shift is happening and despairing that the reality doesn’t seem to show it to be true. Like others in this post I am confused by my “leftist” (my american term) friends who gleefully drive more now that gas is cheaper and boast about their globe trotting adventures seemingly oblivious to their carbon footprint in those endeavors. I guess I yearn for not only more spiritual discussion on the many internet groups I read but also a sense that all of us is willing to act in ways that are not always “fun” i.e. forgo that trip, decline the new SUV, purchase less wasteful “stuff”.
Also, although I applaud our president (Obama) for finally having the guts to name Global Climate Change as an unprecedented threat I continue to be appalled by the political opposition’s stance here in the US. Again, I want to hope, I do love the discussion but am not sure it is being followed with any global consequential action.
I have noticed it for some time now. The falling of the Berlin Wall was maybe a sign of the beginning of the shift and as with all awakenings/births some growing pains are to be expected and it may be a bumpy ride throwing up all sorts of upheavals. Also I have noticed as mainstream religions become more tolerant, dark extremist elements appear to come together and become more apparent. I call this the yin/yang effect and it seems to be a natural universal process.
The world has become a smaller place .a new generation have travelled more and experienced different places and cultures. Many have made friends and connections and with the advent of the global telecommunications revolution are able to build communities that alternate between the virtual and manifest world. This is in my opinion why the new generation wish to serve the planet and the people as they feel more part of a global community.The move toward obtaining some form of enlightenment comes because there has been a lot more interaction between western people and Asian spirituality.
ohm shanti shanti shanti.
Yes! Thank you Rick I think you’re right – it’s the one enormous positive of the internet and international travel.
I believe there has been a shift in consciousness of the people. There seems to be many schools getting children involved in gardening in the school garden patch which is good as it gives children an interest in nature.
Apart from this a tolerance of peoples life styles has developed and more people are turning to the Earth based spiritualities and systems such as Reiki healing to help with the healing that is needed for our planet and its inhabitants.
Or could it be explained by “Consensus Reality” as highlighted in Damh the Bard’s latest post? (http://www.paganmusic.co.uk/thinking-about-consensus-reality/).
The internet has made it much easier to gather together with like-minded individuals and information overload has made us much more likely to be self-selective in terms of what news we pay attention to (particularly in the affluent and relatively safe countries with which we are likely to be in “social” contact.) Are we in danger of creating a bubble in which we see the trends we want to see?
In addition, advertising has found a new niche market in “green” products and is using the high moral ground of care for the environment as a marketing tool. How many of the people who say they care and buy these trendy green products care enough not to fly to their holiday destinations or drive their SUVs to their cosy farmers’ market? It may be fashionable to claim green credentials but it is, to many I fear, the equivalent of a sun bed tan.
Just trying to act as devil’s advocate here as I see a lot of this consensus reality in most of the responses!!!
Since the turn at the solstice, I’ve been seeing more things to feel hopeful about more examples of people doing the right things for the right reason, seeds of hope putting up little shoots all over the place. in my head I am uncertain – I’m always uncertain but my gut feeling for a while has been that the tide is turning…
It’s funny. I was just talking with this with a friend, looked down, and saw this blog title right at the same time we were agreeing that there has been. Yes, it’s like we’ve crested a hill. We’re just at the top, but a shift has been made.
I too have enjoyed this discussion and feel inspired to join in at this late state of the game. I’ve been noticing a shift to the more indigenous forms of religions or spirituality such as Druids and Wicca and Native American forms of spirituality. In Canada I see and welcome the rise of power and voice from the 1st Nations People. Here, especially in B.C. they are speaking up for the animals and for the rivers and are becoming a very vocal resistance to the Enbridge and the Keystone pipeline and to fracking despite the push from the Harper Government to push them through. I see this as a shift to a spirituality that sees the earth as sacred.
But as others have pointed this is being counter balanced by extreme greed from huge corporations such as Monsanto that are running things behind the scenes with absolutely no regard for the planet or repercussions and extreme fundamentalism swing of Abrahamic Religions stirring things to a barbaric frenzy in places that poverty and overpopulation are exploited. Both of the later threats are tangible and serves a huge challenge for us all to come together and be the best that we can be to tackle both dire issues.