By Kavita Byrd
When the new post-Trump altered reality hit in November, it left me, like many others, reeling in shock and confusion. I had been involved for years in an attempt to forge an alliance between spiritual and progressive forces, but suddenly this seemed far too naïve and hopeful in the face of the dark realpolitik before us. Yet as time passed, in that strange and mysterious process by which our psychic forces re-group in the face of a new reality, something re-constellated; a new, more expanded perspective to accommodate the challenges of this unprecedented situation. It even struck me that this was the gift hidden in the catastrophe, the phoenix that rises from the ashes. For when things break down we are forced to re-constellate; we are impelled from within to re-evaluate where we are, and re-configure at a higher order.
I’d just like to say here that however devastating the Trump election and the rise of right-wing regimes around the world has been, I do believe there is a positive effect to the shake-ups it is causing. However shattering it may be, it is forcing us, particularly those who believe we stand for the good of the people and planet, to look again at our lifestyles and our actions, and ferret out any contradictions lurking in the shadows, our tunnel-vision, denial and distraction, which have impeded us from acting in our highest integrity and with a passion equal to the crises that confront us. It forces us to re-configure our view of what’s happening in the world, and where we choose to stand in it. With disruptions so enormous they can no longer be ignored, this is truly a time of reckoning, with ourselves and the state of our planet
When there is a problem so all-consuming it eclipses all others, we tend to lose sight of the background. Yet this is not a time to be distracted, so caught up in reaction, so consumed with fighting the symptom, that we lose sight of the cause. It is rather the time to look deeper, act deeper, ask ourselves how we got here. It is a time to widen our perspective, not narrow it; enlarge, rather than contract, our aspirations, horizon. A shake-up of this magnitude should ignite a renewal; wake us up to a vision of where we are, and the future we want to see. A wake-up call of this magnitude should shake us to our very roots, igniting a revolution from the most profound depths of our being.
Many have been shocked at the seemingly sudden and inexplicable upsurge of right-wing forces, but the reasons are not far to see. The reason right-wing forces have come into power is that we had a host of problems we were not addressing. It is not that they are the “bad guys” as opposed to the good guys, but that many of us who think of ourselves as the good guys were simply not acknowledging the deep flaws in our system, so long as we were enjoying the “good life’ off its spoils. Because these problems were not addressed in a truthful, wise and compassionate way, reactionary forces surged into the vacuum, using the opposite methods – lies, hatred and brutality.
Let’s back up a bit and see how we arrived here. After the 1980’s, when the right-wing agenda of neo-liberal corporate globalization was launched by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the left or liberals also became increasingly swept up in it, as even the democratic administrations that followed ceased to question its logic or its inevitability. While paying lip service to social inclusivity, most liberals were sitting on the rising side of a sky-rocketing economic divide, enjoying exclusive privilege; conveniently ignoring the fact that in a world of rapidly depleting resources and impending climate disaster, their consumption patterns, far from being available to all, were decimating livelihoods, cultures and the planet.
Formerly the educated elites on the left had made cause with the common people, but with the growing economic divide driven by the neo-liberal agenda, the contradiction of such a claim became more and more glaring, even as it was denied. For thirty-some long years, then, both the right and the left converged in the neo-liberal agenda, leaving the people and planet undefended, and ethics, compassion and caring by the wayside. (Globally, this void also provided fertile field for religious fanaticism and terrorism to arise.)
And now it’s all come to a head. It is not surprising that, with the progressive (and spiritual) forces so weak, far-right forces have been able to manipulate the anger and fear of those left behind, playing on their vulnerabilities and confusion to scapegoat minorities and monger hate rather than addressing the real issues. All the more reason for us, however, not to give up, but to take stock, re-examine, re-commit to the values that truly matter to us. And this means understanding that we cannot leave anyone behind, nor anything outside the scope of our care; that inclusivity means finding the common causes that unite us all; that everything — every person, every culture, every species, rainforest, tree — is a part of our own being.
The shock and confusion of recent events has also re-affirmed for me the importance of stepping back and seeing the big picture – who we are, in the largest sense, where we are, and where we want to be going. “Big pictures” may be unfashionable in this post-modern relativist world, but given the crudity, chaos and small-mindedness into which our world is descending, I think they are more necessary than ever. Without the motivation and inspiration they give us, we are lost, swept along in the chaos ourselves, with no rudder in the storm.
After Trump’s election, I felt more than ever the need for a greater sense of meaning, a bigger picture that can override the sense of despair and futility, and make life worth going on for. I realized that, at least for me, not only one “big picture” was needed, but two: the eternal and the evolving, the spiritual level but also its outer expression, a positive vision of where this world is heading.
There is both the eternal, and the evolving dimensions of our being. We exist on multiple dimensions, with multiple identities, like concentric spheres, from our common Spirit or universal Consciousness at the core (the eternal, unchanging dimension) to the individual, local, global and Cosmic (the evolving) dimensions. More than ever today we need a context large enough to recognize these dimensions, and draw upon their connections. When we expand our vision to include them all, we vastly enhance our power to transform our world.
Identity politics can set us apart, but if we expand our identity, can rapidly bring us together. In this time of accelerating fragmentation, there is a growing need to identify with the Whole. We may identify ourselves as citizens of our own community and country, but today we must expand our understanding of citizenship to embrace as well the global and Cosmic levels. It would not be an exaggeration to say that our evolution depends on it, as well as our very survival. If we do not learn to identify with that which is greater than ourselves, that which is greater than ourselves will likely cease to sustain us.
Identifying with the Whole is not an abstraction – it is the recognition, and ever-widening inclusion, of the multiple dimensions of our identity: as individuals, local citizens, global and Cosmic citizens. Each of these identities has its own role and power, and, at a time when we need all the resources we can muster, none can be neglected. Each of these dimensions supports our evolution, personally and collectively, in an essential way. It is only by expanding our consciousness to embrace our true all-inclusiveness, that we can transfigure our consciousness and transfigure our world.
Kosmic Citizenship: The Arc that Bends Towards Justice, Truth and Beauty
Right now there is extreme disintegration at the global level, threatening the survival of life on this planet. In the face of overwhelming odds and overwhelming setbacks, I believe we need, as never before, to draw upon the perspectives and powers of these other dimensions to motivate and guide us. It is particularly by calling upon the deepest and widest levels of our identity – our deepest spiritual core and our widest identification with this evolving Cosmos – that we access wonder and awe, the deepest source and widest horizon, from which to draw inspiration, energy and guidance to heal our global crises.
First of all we must recognize that evolution is not a linear progression in time – it is a deepening of perception that brings to light levels of our identity that have always been there, but have thus far remained unidentified or latent. When we can draw upon these deeper, wider identities, the whole spectrum of dimensions of which we are a part, we access enormous resources, that can jolt even the most entrenched patterns in our psyche and society, into a new constellation. When we see our historical moment in the big sweep of space and time – and even more so, beyond them: the quantum field where they come together, the miracle of this universe, and the mystery of its source — whole new possibilities open to us, inspiration for the long haul. We are plugged into deeper and higher powers. These deeper and higher powers are not outside but within us, the power of our interconnection with our own Source and the Cosmos.
If we look at the global level alone, we are likely to feel overwhelmed, helpless. In the same way, while local resilience is essential, if we confine our focus to the local level alone, our actions are likely to feel ineffectual, unable to make a dent in the larger forces of destruction hitting us now with a vengeance. These days we need not only to think global and act local, but to open our hearts to the Kosmos, and the deeper, wiser inspiration and guidance that flows from its widest vista.
Kosmos is the intersection of Consciousness and Cosmos, the deeper, eternal, internal intelligence that overflows as the Cosmos. It has created us and continues to do so, moment by moment by moment. When we align with it consciously, we become co-creators in its unfolding Creation: we board a great arc in space and time; an ark beyond time and space itself, that lifts us beyond the present storms and helps us to navigate them.
Sacred Action in A Holographic Universe
We know what it means to see our self as a local citizen, and even perhaps a global citizen, but what does it mean to see our self as a Kosmic citizen? And how does this help us at the level of practical, critical action?
A Kosmic citizen works at the local and non-local levels both, tapping into the ripple effect of this holographic universe. He recognizes that whatever we do at the individual level ripples out to the local and global levels; that each of our actions is informed by, and in turn informs, the whole, the greater quantum field in which we are all connected. The Kosmic citizen, at her best, embraces both the depth and breadth of our being, and taps into that eternal level, beyond time and space, where all is already perfect, Whole, bringing its healing power to bear on the conflicts and divisiveness of this world.
To be a Kosmic citizen is to draw on the widest arc of time, and our deepest source in the timeless, and bring the inspiration that springs from both into healing life on this planet. Each of us has a passport to the Cosmic and quantum dimensions, and to bring their powers home.
There is a dimension where all is already perfect, all is already Whole. And there is another dimension that departs from that Wholeness, devolves into division and evolves back into Wholeness. We are at the nadir of that phase of division (the Kali Yuga), where devolution becomes dissolution; from this space, a re-immersion into the Source of the Whole, and its open potential for renewal at a higher order, can then re-emerge.
In one way we are always home, in another we are on an infinite, open-ended adventure. When we remember both, we are home-free, resting in who we truly are, and also always unfolding, an intimate part of this participatory universe… Mostly we live in between, but we can learn to lean into the infinite depth or the infinite breadth of our being; in fact, we are always held in them, inseparable from our infinite source (Consciousness itself) and its infinite, boundless Cosmos.
The consciousness of a Kosmic citizen thus both goes beyond time and space and includes them, forging the quantum connection between the eternal and the levels of its ever-unfolding evolution. We align with the bigger picture of our true eternal, undivided nature, and the evolutionary impulse to bring its expression more and more faithfully into form, at the individual, local and global dimensions.
Drawing on each of these levels, we weave their powers together into a dynamic, exponential force. The universal, non-local field of cosmic intelligence that is our source, flows, unobstructed, into expression at all levels: personal, local and global. Actions at these levels, in turn, detonate the power of the non-local, multiplying in impact and scale, ripping across the unseen field that cuts across time and space and interconnects us all. In a fractal, holographic world, everything reverberates. Far from being helpless, the effect of each of our words, each of our acts, is limitless.
This gives us not only greater power but greater responsibility – in both senses, the ability to respond, and the willingness to do so. We come out of the tunnel-vision of our own self-interests and recognize how they converge with the Whole. When we recognize this power, the nature and scope of our actions shift – we cease to be reactive, and become pro-active, co-active. The rest of creation is not outside us; we join it in a dance of co-creation. We become channels ourselves for the unfolding of the universe, in its process of unending revelation.
Eternal and Evolving Faces of Truth
To live in truth is to live in the truth of our interconnection, with all the spheres of our being, and thus ultimately with all Being — none of us is alone, everything we do rings out through the universe, through all time and space. As Kosmic citizens we are guided by the universal template of wisdom within us, universal yet flowing through us in its own unique way…Conversely, all the spheres of our being, nature and the Cosmos nourish and support us, infuse us with their own part – the energy and information they carry — in the vast intelligence and the vast love of the universe, its infinite orchestration…
We are not solid, separate, but the ever-evolving edge of a collective, Cosmic process, the evolution of Consciousness (God) through material form. We are the far end (so far) of a chain of Consciousness evolving through ever-more-complex material form, but we are also the beginning of the chain, always connected with our original, eternal nature as Consciousness Itself.
There is a timeless big picture, and a big picture in time, of the eternal dimension and its evolution. Depending on which philosophy one believes in, the phenomenal world either dissolves back into the light of the eternal, or evolves into greater transparence and reflection of it – its sacredness, peace and unity. Perhaps both; that is, through repeated cycles of dissolutions into the light of the eternal, the emergent level becomes more and more congruent with it. Each time the manifest level emerges, on each upward turn of the evolutionary spiral, it becomes a more and more faithful reflection of its own Source and true nature.
The eternal perfection is always there; to find the perfection, or even movement towards it, at the evolving level, is much more challenging. Evolution, as we have said, does not proceed in linear time, as the linear mind would have it, but by waves, huge crests and troughs of progress and apparent regression. We have to see beyond these waves, huge arcs of historical time, to see the dynamic perfection of the phenomenal level. Deeper still, we need to divine that point in the evolutionary timeline where time itself merges into the timeless, where the local falls though a wormhole in time into the non-local; where the horizontal march of time suddenly bottoms out into a vast expanse of timeless, infinite depth. Here the evolving and the eternal themselves converge into one, and our perception of their perfection, waves and troughs notwithstanding, itself becomes undivided. Even conflict and crisis, seen from this space, are saturated with grace.
A Pro-Active Vision, Not a Fait Accompli
To anyone who argues that the evolutionary vision presented here is hopelessly idealistic, that the world is clearly devolving rather than evolving, I would say that the vision I offer here is prescriptive rather than descriptive. It is up to us to put our energies into making this a better world, it is not a fait accompli. This should motivate, not depress us, inspire us to galvanize out highest potentials, all the more so when the outcome is not decreed. Precisely when the challenges are so daunting, we can rise to our highest moment. The very fact that the odds seem so heavily stacked against us makes this a choice we must consciously make, and a choice of the highest order. Life was not designed to hand us our freedom on a plate; in fact, by its very nature it can’t be enforced from outside us. It is up to seize it, to recognize and rise to the highest potentials within us, for our own lives and the world…
When we recognize that we are multi-dimensional beings, the perennial question of free will begins to look very different. We have multiple levels of evolution within us – some past, some future, some ever-present and timeless — which do we choose to align with? For those who say there is no hope, I’d say: even if there’s no hope in the world — and perhaps even more so — the hope has to come from our hearts.
Life is speeding up. The consequences of our delusions and self-delusions are also speeding up. They are hitting us in the face, there is no escape now. And this is good – not in a moral sense, that suffering is necessary or necessarily good, but that by our stubbornness and complacency in the face of our own self-destructiveness, we ourselves make it so. Many, it seems, will not wake up until the consequences of our actions become so extreme that they have no choice – either to face it and change our ways, or go under altogether. In these times of escalating chaos, the universe is delivering us an ultimatum: to align with its higher power and truth, or forfeit our precious privilege of participating in the miraculous journey of its further evolution.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the common thread in the reflections I’ve shared here: how the negative events in our lives, while at first they seem out to destroy us, in fact are neither random nor malevolent, but exist to drive us deeper to the light we truly are. Once we see that, we begin to surrender to the wisdom of those events, to the light itself behind them, and to shine it in the world. This is true both for the life events that challenge us individually and collectively. As a healer I guide my clients to turn their negativities inside out, to dive into the darkness and retrieve the jewel. Today we are in the midst of a global healing crisis. If we recognize this, surrender to it, and learn to shine the light that is our birthright and deepest nature onto the darkness of these times, we will surely pull through.
About the author:
Kavita’s main interest is in bringing together spirituality, healing and social transformation, with an emphasis on evolutionary spirituality and the role of the feminine. Since 2007 she has been working with the Global Peace Initiative of Women, writing reports for their international conferences on these themes. Kavita is a faculty member of the Consciousness and Spirituality Academy of the New Earth Institute.
A dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, Kavita has been based in India for the last twenty-four years, studying and practicing the teachings of non-dual spirituality, Advaita Vedanta, in the line of Sri Ramana Maharshi.
For more about her background and her vision for a living community for Evolutionary Spirituality, see her website: http://www.shakticentre.blogspot.com/.