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Spiritual experience is an experience of aliveness of mind and body as a unity.... The central awareness in these spiritual moments is a profound sense of oneness with all, a sense of belonging to the universe as a whole. -- Fritjof Capra, Auguries of Innocence
The sacred has always been with us. It’s right there outside the window. It’s right there outside the walls we’ve built around ourselves, right there outside the doors of perception made opaque by the human ego.
Modern people have allowed our religions to follow our egos’ lead and divide us into competing fragments. But as we’ve learned, the sacred is unlimited, all-pervasive, everywhere: it’s in every being, accessible to all. Every faith is rooted in it.
Reawakening Our Spiritual Sensibilities
Indigenous people have always found ways to incorporate the religious beliefs imposed on them by dominant cultures, producing a syncretistic marriage that preserves their ancient bond with the sacred while honoring the new. Should we have a personal religious heritage, we don’t need to defend or disown any cherished teachings. All of us have the ancestral memory we need to reawaken our spiritual sensibilities and restore our relationship with everything that animates the living universe, allowing what we’ve lived in the past and what we can now experience every day to enrich each other.
John Briggs and F. David Peat (Seven Life Lessons) maintain that “an understanding of wholeness is already woven deep within us”. Leonardo Boff (Essential Care) notes that the feeling of veneration for Mother Earth “has never been totally lost in humanity.”.
We can have it all—because we are part of All That Is.
The sacred speaks through Gaia; Gaia speaks through the sacred. “Thinking together” enables us to hear her voice again.
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“The individual nexus of pathways which I call ‘me’ is no longer so precious because that nexus is only part of a larger mind,” notes Gregory Bateson. “The ideas which seemed to be me can also become immanent in you.”
For Briggs and Peat, “Experiencing solidarity with the whole universe... is about moving from... the consciousness of what we only know individually, to the consciousness of what we also know together.”
The World Is Alive
Rupert Sheldrake writes:
As soon as we allow ourselves to think of the world as alive, we recognize that a part of us knew this all along. It is like emerging from winter into spring. We can begin to reconnect with our own direct intuitive experiences of nature. We can participate in the spirits of sacred places and times.
We can see that we have much to learn from traditional societies who have never lost their connection with the living world around them. We can acknowledge the animistic traditions of our ancestors.
And we can begin to develop a richer understanding of human nature, shaped by tradition and collective memory, linked to the earth and the heavens, related to all forms of life, and consciously open to the creative power expressed in all evolution.
We are reborn into a living world. -- The Rebirth of Nature, Rupert Sheldrake
The sacred is right there, waiting for us.
As Bateson puts it, “A certain humility becomes appropriate, tempered by the dignity or joy of being part of something much bigger. A part—if you will—of God.”
What a Relief!
We’ve stretched separateness as far as we can stretch it. And we’ve learned the gift of it, because it clearly is a gift. And now we’re coming back to the realm of oneness and collectiveness. -- Red Pele, Centered on the Edge, Ruskin et al.
Henceforth we have to learn to be, to live, share, communicate, commune as humans of Planet Earth. Not to be in our culture alone, but to be earth people as well. -- Edgar Morin, Seven Complex Lessons
The global heart is awakening, calling us... into the possibility of a world beyond our wildest dreams... What we are birthing is far too large for any one person, organization, or country. Can we do it? -- Anodea Judith, Waking the Global Heart
For me, one of the most wonderful things about the return of collective intelligence is that it frees us from having to figure everything out ourselves—not that we could do this even if we wanted to, the world’s problems having become so unutterably complex.
Nor do we have to give our power away to leaders as clueless as we are. Collective intelligence allows us to trust the wisdom of the group to act in the best interest of every being that shares our planet. We can be confident that together we’ll recognize and select the people most able to govern us wisely and well, because they too will be using collective wisdom to guide them.
We can relax, knowing that everything self-organizes and all we have to do is our part, offering our unique gifts—whatever and however humble they may be—to the whole. The magic of the group will take care of the rest, bringing the solutions Mother Earth needs for her children to thrive.
Gradually, inexorably, love will replace fear on and among all levels of existence, and the great family of life on Earth will resume functioning the way it was meant to. With the return of collective intelligence, the promise of an incredibly exciting new world is real. And it’s doable. In spite of the disastrous legacy humans have left up to now, there’s hope!
“The wrecked landscape of our World House could sprout a renewed world, but a new language has to be found... to grow from the indigenous hearts we all have hidden,” says Martín Prechtel (Secrets of the Talking Jaguar).
Gaia’s Genius At Work
As the future reaches back to rescue the wisdom of the past and the past delivers us into the future, we can watch Gaia’s genius at work. As always, she labors in mystery and paradox: the reality under construction is so much bigger than all of us, yet every single one of us is utterly vital for its creation.
We may have abdicated our responsibility to the miraculous living tapestry that supports us, but it continues to offer us its best and most beautiful promise every moment. We may have abandoned Gaia, but she hasn’t abandoned us.
“The transformation of the human species has begun,” declares Ervin Laszlo. “A new epidemic is spreading among us: more and more people are infected by the recognition of their unity. The fragmentation of human communities and the separation of man and nature were but an interlude in human history, and that interlude is now coming to a close.” (Quantum Shift in the Global Brain)
Sheila and Marcus Gillette predict that “our common external world... will be a reflection of the internal process that leads to the collective consciousness achieved by humanity.” (Soul Truth)
Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown believe that this new consciousness will manifest “in an unpredictable array of spontaneous actions, as people step out from their private comforts, giving time and taking risks on behalf of Earth and their brother-sister beings.” And given the dynamics of self-organizing systems, they say, “it is likely that as we reflect and act together, we will soon find ourselves responding to the present crisis with far greater confidence and precision than we imagined possible.” (Coming Back to Life)
“We believe that the power of our thinking can lead to a silent revolution that suddenly won’t be silent anymore,” the Gillettes insist. “We will move mountains and make a difference in ways that we have not yet begun to imagine, and express our love for our planet and our brothers and sisters while writing new history.” (Soul Truth)
To achieve this, says Prechtel, “we need all peoples: our poets, our shamans, our dreamers, our youth, our women, our men, our ancestors, and our real old memories from before we were people. We can’t make the old world come alive again, but from its seeds, the next layer could sprout.” Secrets of the Talking Jaguar
Brian Swimme (The Universe is a Green Dragon) sums it up it this way:
We are now restructuring our fundamental vision of the world. The new cosmic story overwhelms all previous conceptions of the universe for the simple reason that it draws them all into comprehensive fullness.
And most amazing of all is the way in which this story, though it comes from the empirical scientific tradition, corroborates in profound and surprising ways the ecological vision of the Earth celebrated in every traditional native spirituality of every continent.
The Return of Collective Intelligence: Ancient Wisdom for a World out of Balance
by Dery Dyer
Drawing on recent findings in New Paradigm science, traditional teachings from indigenous groups, as well as sacred geometry, deep ecology, and expanded states of consciousness, the author shows how the ability to think and act collectively for the highest good is hardwired in all living beings. She explains how to release ourselves from enslavement by technology and use it more wisely toward the betterment of all life. Underscoring the vital importance of ceremony, pilgrimage, and initiation, she offers ways for us to reconnect to the infinite source of wisdom that fuels collective intelligence and which manifests everywhere in the natural world.
For more info, or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.)
About the Author
Dery Dyer is former editor and publisher of Costa Rica’s award-winning English-language newspaper, The Tico Times, where she worked for over 40 years. She holds degrees in literature and journalism from U.S. and Costa Rican universities and has studied indigenous spirituality in many different parts of the world. She lives in Costa Rica.