November 19, 2011

The Consciousness Revolution Part 1 of 4

The Consciousness Revolution
[source: Steve Pavlina]

Lately I’ve been thinking we may be on the verge of some kind of mass awakening. It seems that more and more of us are experiencing an expansion of consciousness followed by a radical shift in our priorities. Maybe I’m just meeting more people like this due to the nature of my work, but I strongly suspect something’s happening behind the scenes.

The awakening process

One day you’re tooling along, working your normal job, living your normal life, and everything seems OK. But something happens that triggers a sudden expansion of your awareness, and for that brief moment of perfect clarity, you know what it’s like to be fully awake. You’re struck by the terrifying realization that your life has gotten way off course, and that you’re really meant to be doing something entirely different. You notice the various problems of the world, and you get the strong impression that you’re supposed to do something about these problems personally. But as you look around, you can’t help but notice that no one else sees what you see, at least not with the same degree of responsibility, so you don’t know what else to do except go back to sleep and hope everything will be OK. And maybe you do manage to go back to sleep for a while, but it’s really too late because you no longer find fulfillment in your old life no matter how hard you try. The whole experience may even lead to post-awakening depression. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know how to find fulfillment in your new level of consciousness. So you do your best to quietly cooperate with the status quo while being stuck with the awareness that something is definitely not right. The more you resist your new level of awareness, the more it haunts you.

This experience of awakening has been happening to people for a long time, but what’s different now is that when you have such an experience, you’re more likely to find someone who’s already been through it without having to retreat to a monastery. You no longer have to go it alone. That makes a huge difference because you can save years of trial and error by finding someone who can show you the ropes of your newfound sentience.

One of the things Erin and I love most about our work is that we encounter many people who are in the midst of these amazing transitions. Some are excited, some depressed, and some downright scared, but it’s not hard to recognize such people because they communicate as people who are awake. They know they can no longer go back to their old lives because all they see there is a hollow shell, a life without meaning or purpose, but they haven’t yet found their footing in their new purpose-centered lives. Many of these people stumble upon our web sites at just the right time, and they often tell us the most important thing they gain from reading our sites is to realize they aren’t alone. Erin and I are lucky to be going through this expansion process together, and we recognize what a tremendous challenge it is for those who are going it alone.

While Erin and I don’t claim to be the penultimate of conscious living, we have been able to solve some of the practical problems people encounter on this path. For starters we’ve found a sustainable way to stay focused on our purpose while generating plenty of income, so we can do this full-time without needing outside jobs. Secondly, we’ve centered our own marriage and family around our purpose, so we minimize work-relationship conflicts. And thirdly, we’ve been building a support network of like-minded people who encourage and inspire us. This was by no means easy, but it makes purpose-centered living very practical and functional under real-world conditions. Erin and I know what a difficult challenge this transition process can be. We had to undergo a lot of upheaval in our lives to make this work, including significant career changes for both of us, but the results have been well worth the effort. I think our greatest success as a couple is that we’ve found a practical, sustainable, enjoyable way to devote our lives to helping people. There are plenty of obstacles that make such a life difficult or impractical for most people, but one by one those obstacles can be overcome.

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