Now, we are at a new point. I am totally convinced of it. I feel it to the core of my Being (or perhaps better from the core of Being). I see it echoed by spiritual teachers in all traditions. Suddenly, it was as if we turned around, and it was happening. In Joseph Chilton Pearce's recent book, Biology of Transcendence, he speaks of research which points out that the brain goes through very specific changes at certain ages in early life - around 3 or 4, again around 12 to 15, and once more at around 18 to 22 (I may have these ages wrong by a few years), where the whole chemistry changes; certain synapses are created, others destroyed, specific things are sought (primarily meaning in life), and so forth. It takes a certain maturity for these things to happen. Similarly, globally, as a species, we seemed to have reached one of these points. We are evolving to the next stage, potentially a stage that may be occurring for the first time in human history. It is an age of Global Awakening, an Age of Enlightenment.
As someone who has been teaching about Enlightenment and Consciousness for nearly 20 years, for most of it, there wasn't a whole lot of interest. Suddenly, you see people talking about it on talk shows, on the street, on buses. Perhaps not in a deeply serious way, but still, it's in the air. But it's a little like talk about a cure for many diseases - something of a remote possibility, but not taken too seriously. It's time to change that!
Trigger the Enlightenment Virus!!!
Our culture, our world, has been deeply infected with a virus. This virus has been going on for quite some time, and its hold is insidious and pervasive. It is the virus (or viruses) of egoism, narcissism, materialism, fragmentation and divisiveness. Whereas we used to have tribes and families, we now have billions of independent entities, each vying for personal fulfillment and even supremacy. Even the so-called nuclear families of the 50's and 60's have passed on, and a huge percentage of children grow up in single parent households. Our culture has become terminally ill. If you watch TV, you see that half the advertisements are for things that no one needs, while the other half are for medications to cure them from the diseases they have acquired from those very things - many of them for obesity, depression, and anxiety. What we essentially have is a virus of anti-Enlightenment, in all its various forms. We need to trigger the Enlightenment Virus!
First, it is an understanding of what Enlightenment or Awakening is. It is the recognition that we are not the ego-based individuals we think we are. The spiritual teachings of a wide variety of traditions essentially tell us the same thing - You are Absolute Consciousness - the sense of an individualized and localized self is part of this Infinite and Absolute Consciousness. When you inquire into the thing you call "I", it is not the body or the mind or the emotions, although all of those things are occurring IN Awareness, you are in fact that Awareness within which the personality 'you' is arising.
Secondly, it is the recognition that this is not something for some 'Special' people only - the Jesuses, the Buddhas, the Mohammeds (or any other well known, living or dead, spiritual teachers) - but is in fact the normal reality, which we have simply missed because of our infatuation with the phenomenal reality. It's like looking in the mirror and completely identifying with the person IN the mirror, rather than recognizing you are the person that is gazing AT the mirror. It only requires spending some time to look at the 'looker' and realizing that behind it all, the 'BIG' looker is the real, impersonal, and ever-present YOU.
Thirdly, it is spreading this virus. This is the most important part, and, for now, perhaps the most difficult. The Anti-Enlightenment Virus is SO pervasive, that it literally drowns out all other ideas. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And to make matters worse, for many, they don't even know there is a needle. But Enlightenment is a reality, and it is possible to spread it. That's what teachers have been doing for centuries. But commonly, the virus has been mutated to a belief system, which is another type of Anti-Enlightenment virus. Real Enlightenment has nothing whatsoever to do with belief systems. It is an actual and concrete recognition of Who One Is. What's more, this virus has a tangible effect on deeper layers. It has an advantage. Unlike traditional memetic viruses, which need to be spread AS a belief system, the Enlightenment Virus is spread not only through mental and intellectual understanding, but also by 'resonance'. Most people who have spent time with a deeply Enlightened being recognize that there is more going on than simply seeing and hearing; there is an energetic influence taking place. This is what Alan Lithman in his ground-breaking book, An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium calls Evolutionary or Integral Activism:
This is the mission of www.OneMillionAwake.com - To spread this enlightenment virus around the globe; to document and assist 1,000,000 people in their Enlightenment, so that this all-important Enlightenment Virus can infect the world, eventually overcoming and wiping out the Anti-Enlightenment Virus. Remember, at first it is a joke, then it is possible, than plausible, then inevitable. Be a part of this Virus!