Flocks of tourists, tagging along behind signs held aloft by their guides. Flocks of the faithful, eyes solemnly fixed on the cross that they dutifully follow through the streets. Forgive me if this offends you – I can’t help but see the similarities.
An arena, jam-packed to the rafters with devoted fans of – a football team? a rock group? a religious or political leader… or some simmering mélange of them both? Why do these images disturb me?
If Oneness is indeed what floats my personal boat, what bothers me so about these manifestations of what could be seen to be just that – individual human beings gathered together with one intent and purpose, melding their awareness into one solid block of consciousness, moving and thinking as One?
Throughout history, the skillful herding of mass consciousness has inspired us, lemming-like, to war and hatred of the Other – whether that adversary was people of another religion or skin colour, Satan/the Anti-Christ, people who love others with the same sort of genitalia as their own, or the Yankees was immaterial…. And whether the reigning mood was for or agin’ something was also immaterial. As much as scenes of the various Springs sending shoots up throughout the planet move and inspire me, I have to say that the potential rabidity and volatility of the emotions of The Mass frankly give me the willies.
So here I am again, talking about Duality….
Let’s get back to Easter…and sheep. From little lambs frolicking innocently along behind their Shepherd on the Paths of Righteousness come adult sheep, stubbornly keeping to the way they Know is Right and Good, and not afraid to butt dawdlers into line. Think “Hive”…think “Borg”…. ANY belief that sorts the world into Good and Bad is potential for trouble.
“Hold on a minute”, I can hear you say. “Haven’t you just been railing against mass consciousness as something bad and scary? You’re contradicting yourself!”
It’s true – we all have our own likes and dislikes, our fears and attractions, sculpted of our personal histories. What I am attracted to or repelled by is the product of generations of learning (programming) about what is safe and what is dangerous to my personal existence. It is the manifestation of an evolution of survival techniques, recorded in my bones and blood. It tells you about my inner world – period.
Any and all emotional reactions are caused by the consonance or dissonance between what we learned about the world and our place in it, and who we presently perceive ourselves to be. It is becoming common wisdom that we should not take anything personally – whatever anyone is saying about us tells us more about them than about us.
Do you see what I am saying? Our personal predilections inform us of the factors that have created us over time – they help us know ourselves (…although we will call to ourselves people and situations that confirm our beliefs, and therefore the realities we create also tell us about our programming….). Cultures and societies concerned with their own continued existence require us to swim like schools of fish, and in the past we have swallowed our indoctrination, hook, line and sinker: good/bad, right/wrong, appropriate/inappropriate, acceptable/inacceptable…. We have learned to divide the world in these terms and to react accordingly with internalised reward and punishment.
Oneness consciousness is based in the awareness of our not being separate from anything else – what benefits one part of the Whole will eventually benefit each part. This is not the reality of ‘It’s a jungle out there”, where only the strongest and most vicious survive – it’s about the strength of the web of interdependence rather than the brittle illusion of independence that leads to competition and domination.
I’m not saying that either following the raised sign of a tour leader or the symbol of a religion/faith is intrinsically bad. But why we’re doing it – that’s the question that niggles…..
Blessings and Love,
I’ve started reading Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha” for the first time. I’m at the part where he decides not to join Gotama and the other followers and instead goes his own way. And he realizes that he no longer has a label. He no longer belongs to any group, be it Brahman, ascetic, or disciple. He belongs nowhere…and everywhere. He consciously leaves “sheepdom” and wonders where exactly his place is in the world.
I love synchronicity! Thanks for you delicious food for thought.
Thanks, dear Margaux….The more we embrace synchronicity, the greater place it has in our lives and the more miraculous we perceive life to be…. Since we’ve got a choice, why not choose this??
Love (from Paris)