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“We are at the point of the evolution of our collective awareness where we may even assume stewardship of consciousness itself.” David Hawkins
Given unbridled technological progress, the unavoidable challenge facing humankind is that of creating awareness. Human consciousness possesses qualities which Artificial Intelligence (AI) as we currently know it, is unable to access. At present, AI is largely computational in nature whereas the properties of human consciousness extend its reach to permeate the core of the universe itself. For future guidance, it would thus make sense not to put our trust in the clock, but the clock maker.
We are, often reminded that one should change oneself before trying to change the world. This requires self-awareness, understanding and the will to improve regardless of our inherent laziness, defensiveness, not to mention potentially appealing opportunities which may arise to claim unfair gains.
According to the world renown ufologist, Steven Greer, the light of consciousness is the very birth right of every human being. Human awareness or consciousness is, however, largely limited by the need for self-preservation and a deep-seated fear of disempowerment and loss. This is mostly responded to through fight or flight: we either take control or avoid and deny potential threat.
Within the information rich world, we tend to turn to knowledge for control, and while knowledge is regarded as power, relentless pursuance of it may involve what Vasudev refers to as “death in instalments” of consciousness. We do not have to look far to notice the devastating impact of so-called technological progress on the planet, of which human consciousness holds accountability and stewardship.
Krishnamurti regards fear as rooted in thought and concludes that action based on knowledge or thought alone is always incomplete. Knowledge prevents receptiveness to transcendent wisdom and insight. It entails definition, categorisation, closure, identification, and attachment – none of which contributes to the required level of openness and connection which enhances human consciousness and therefore depth of integrity. Knowledge fills the proverbial cup, and according to a Zen proverb: one cannot fill a cup which is already full. Silence and openness may, however, enhance resonance of a transcendent nature.
But how do we overcome our inborn fears? It seems that self-awareness in combination with critical questioning, including: “what do I really stand to lose?”, “do I need to attach?”, “will I be disempowered?”, may enable us to overcome unrealistic fears.
An equally powerful route to consciousness entails the exercise of compassion. It involves pursuing understanding by mindfully attuning oneself to others and the world. Underlying this is empathy and a realisation that one is part of all and that all is one. Furthermore, compassion requires emptying oneself by losing one’s sense of the packaged self, the ego. Through silence, one can resonate with what is and through acceptance and trust one can go with the flow of seemingly intimidating change processes. Antennae out, we become alive and aligned with a greater consciousness and creative energy. Mystical thought suggests a focus on breath, in the moment, while observing own thoughts, emotional changes and energy flows in the body. Compassion thus involves resonance. Without it our awareness becomes disconnected from the surrounding, ever-present conscious field.
It makes sense for the social sciences to address the topics of consciousness and integrity at the point where science and spirituality merges. This requires a concerted effort to increasingly leverage scientific and philosophical contributions to obtain an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of consciousness. A new science of consciousness may well be rooted in deep spirituality.
In alignment with scientific and spiritual insights, leadership can be harnessed in all spheres and levels of society to transform collective awareness. According to Torbert (2004) the effectiveness of such initiatives depends upon the level of consciousness of leadership. Integral levels of leadership awareness hold the potential to create attractor fields (à la MacTaggart and Hawkins) by which the collective consciousness can be migrated to more inclusive levels. Almost as light overcomes darkness, high levels of awareness tend to prevail, spread, and elevate more limited views within society.
These insights need to be applied intentionally by Human Resources Management to populate corporate, political, and social leadership roles with individuals who show the required levels of consciousness. For this, the psychological measurement of value orientations and worldviews is required.
Hawkins too, points out that the impact of leadership awareness depends on its inclusiveness or level, and may range from mere force (the impact of egotistically driven energy and positional power) to that of real power (which is accessible through inner awareness only). The attractor fields resulting from integral and enlightened leadership will be characterized by the kind of courageous, wise, empowered, and transcendent compassion which underlies integrity and sustainability, or a depth of resonance with the self, others, and the world.
This may just be what is required to prevent politics and business imploding under the weight of unawareness, as evident from centralised corporate control, cronyism, Machiavellianism, avarice, over-consumption, income disparity, military proliferation, and suchlike characteristics of the industrial complex which currently seems largely devoid of leadership integrity.