Collective Consciousness

Laying on the procedure table, IV in my arm, nurses bustling around, doctor by my side, I felt the lump in my throat and my eyes beginning to water. My panic door opened and I was ready to jump on the bandwagon of a boatload of chaotic thoughts verging on my demise, a disease I didn’t want, my spouse abandoned in the parking lot, my daughter busy and forgetting what today was. My list could have continued. I took a breath and brought myself right back to the present. Thank you meditation.

My breath brings me back to a feeling of harmony and order within. My fear and lack of breathing brings me into a chaotic funnel of panic. I can visit both places several times just by using or losing my breath.

Order and chaos exist all around us, particularly when we’re not aware of it. We are all empathic on some level, some more so than others. Part of our humanity is having many senses beyond the beating of our heart and the use of our breath. We exist in a humanity of consciousness. As humans, we learn from our experiences.

As a 67 year-old woman, my behavior is different from my behavior as an 18 year old. I have learned from life’s lessons about love and fear. I have become aware of the value of kindness and respect. I saturate my life with mindful acts that represent my gratitude and my values. I live in a mindful consciousness every day. And there are times my mind takes over and the door opens to fear, doubt and worry. I have tools to help me when that door is opened as I don’t feel good when I walk into that arena.

I experience both order and chaos. My breath helps me manage my awareness by bringing myself back to the present. It’s a balancing act in mindfulness.

I have come to understand the collective unconsciousness is living without awareness. This concept was originally defined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung and is sometimes called the objective psyche. It’s the idea that a segment of the deepest unconscious mind is inherited genetically, not shaped by personal experience.

Recently in meditation, I practice an exercise that’s a bit different, where I blend with the collective consciousness. This is a place inhabited by others embodied and non-embodied who mindfully live with awareness, hold values of kindness, heart-centered awareness, truthfulness, self-responsibility and love. There are many more values I am not listing. This collective consciousness harbors many both past and present all the way back to great teachers in our time.

We bask in our collective consciousness in our meditation group, existing in awareness as we share from our hearts and our minds using trust and honesty. I bask in knowing the collective consciousness is thriving, ever expanding and always there for us to touch upon as we breathe.

Eckhart Tolle helps me understand the idea why disorder or chaos is necessary in our lives to help us become more conscious, thus living a more awakened life in mindfulness.

In The Opportunity for Adversity, Eckhart Tolle writes:

“Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.”
“And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.”
“And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.”

Participants’ Reflections: