Researched, collated and written by faculty members and associated fellows of the NewEarth University School of Consciousness & Spirituality ~
Healing ourselves and the world: evolutionary non-dual spirituality
The indivisibility of consciousness and matter has long been claimed by ancient spiritual traditions and is now being likewise asserted by modern science. If in fact consciousness and matter are indivisible, existing as an interconnected continuum rather than two separate domains, there are radical implications not only at the spiritual and scientific but also at the social levels. What are these implications?
- Material and social governance must be grounded in a spiritual consciousness (i.e., individuals, the collective, and natural forces/resources exist in a unified web of life; our economics and ecology must respect and reflect that)
- Spiritual practitioners and social activists need to join forces, as spirituality and social transformation need to go together
- Non-dual spirituality and evolutionary transformation, in particular, need to be synthesized, and brought into co-creative synergy
- Subtle-energy level and psycho-energetic balancing as the intermediating key, in the spectrum of consciousness, energy and matter
- At all these levels, the balancing and unification of masculine and feminine qualities of consciousness is a central factor
If the ancients have always known that consciousness and matter are indivisible, what makes it such a revolutionary idea today, one with the potential to save our world?
Firstly, because science (for centuries) has denied it, and is now coming around to confirm the same view. The recognition by science of this fundamental spiritual truth of interconnection and Oneness may serve as a tremendously fertile platform to reverse its destructive misuse, and apply its now highly developed potentials to creating a truly sustainable and life – supporting society.
Secondly, in the face of the enormous conflicts and crises facing us, it represents a vision that can unite us, a basis for global social transformation, healing the rifts between religions and ethnic divisions, and the gross inequalities that have resulted from a sense of separation and competition. The spiritual recognition of interconnection and Oneness revolutionizes the worldview and priorities that underlie our social relations, our economic systems and ecological approaches, bringing us together as one global family.
Thirdly, while the ancients taught that spirit and matter are one, now we are starting to understand Oneness in a dynamic, evolutionary manner, not as the end-of-the-line in a spiritual journey. We do not “disappear” into Oneness when we realize it, but become co-creative with it. Spirituality is not the denial or transcendence of life, but a tremendous invitation to contribute actively to the evolving expression of the Divine in the world, including the creative evolution of our social systems.
Fourthly, we have now gained access to a more integral vision of what spirituality means, and how to embody it in our own personal healing and psychological development. Spirituality is being “democratized” as we learn ways to access our own inner healing, growth and evolution, to develop our unique creativity and – through new processes of co-creative communication and collective presenting – use it as a bridge to collective action with others. We are at a coordinate-point in our evolution where we are no longer constrained to conform to the dogmas and institutions of outer authority; we are learning to directly access our own sovereign higher potentials, offering our creative gifts to the Whole. This is supported by a far greater understanding of synergistic processes and unified-field dynamics than has ever existed before.
Recognizing and mastering the link between consciousness, energy and matter gives us – as nothing else can – power to radically change ourSelves and therefore, the world. By aligning with our Source in Consciousness, and with the subtle-energy quantum field through which it acts, we harness the greatest possible power within us to change and heal. At a time when it is absolutely critical that we act, it is equally critical that we harness this deepest power available to us to do so.
Spiral Synergy: non-dual consciousness and stages of evolutionary unfolding
What is the relationship between Consciousness (pure non-dual Essence) and the evolutionary stages in its unfolding as energy and matter, the manifest world of the Cosmos?
Many models may be put forth, but basically there can be said to be three stages in the unfolding of Universal Consciousness through the cosmos and human consciousness: material evolution, conscious involution, and conscious, co-creative evolution.
In the first stage (after the “Big Bang!”), as Consciousness hides itself increasingly in matter, it also evolves sufficient complexity that eventually it becomes self-aware in the rational, self-reflective human. In this form, it then begins to seek its own Source, to “involve” back through its evolutionary layers until it reaches Self-Consciousness, conscious union with its Non-Dual Source. From there it emanates out again, to consciously permeate all the levels, re-aligning them as it goes, eliminating obstacles, obstructions and distortions; and then continuing – in free flow – to evolve and grow, co-creative with its Eternal Source, now…into greater and greater expressions of Wholeness or Oneness.
The three stages are:
- Material Evolution: The evolution of Consciousness into/through matter, leading to the generation of sufficient complexity through matter that matter (in the form of the human brain) is able to reflect upon itself
- Conscious Involution: The return of materially-bound Consciousness (through the human heart-brain) to realization of its own Source
- Conscious Co-Creation: The continually spiraling, conscious interplay of eternal Source with its own evolving creations, in a fractal, holographic resonance of progressive synergy, generating both ever-greater diversity and unity
The spectrum along which these stages proceed is:
Non-Dual Essence > Causal > Subtle > Psychological/Mental > Physical/Social (Ecological, Economic Systems)
These levels may be envisioned as concentric circles, with non-dual Essence at the center and complex social systems at the outer periphery.
This sequence of the three stages along this spectrum is:
1) first outward; 2) then inward; 3) then the integration of both, the spiral synergy of inner and outer in continual play. In other words, in both our collective and individual development, the trajectory is the same: 1) physical evolution; 2) spiritual “involution” back to subtle and formless Source; 3) return to the balance point in the heart between formless and form, spirit and action, universal and personal, as “embodied non-duality.”
Taken from this third-stage perspective, which reconciles time and the timeless, formlessness and form, the trajectory of the evolution of Consciousness is seen not as a linear one, but a trans-dimensional one, in which time and space curve back on themselves, like a Torus involving three distinct phases, expressing themselves both sequentially and a-temporally.
In its most absolute sense, Consciousness can be depicted as a dynamic spiral, continuously and simultaneously expanding and contracting into and out of Itself, ever-deepening into its own central core and widening into its ever-growing cosmic expressions.
When our human hearts (as its own creation) are aligned with this conscious heart of creation, we become the direct, receptive vehicles for that expression – as love, beauty and ever-flowering creativity. This is the stage humanity is poised to enter into now: co-creative synergy with the Source of Creation itself.
eternal and evolving faces of consciousness
Consciousness, as we have seen, “unpacks” itself as a temporal sequence of evolutionary stages (collectively and personally), yet also as a spectrum of states of consciousness, which do not depend on time but are all potentially accessible in the present moment.
In this way, Consciousness could be said to have both eternal and evolving faces, both for us personally and our collective cultural evolution. Its eternal faces are first of all that of undivided, non-dual Consciousness, the primordial Source of Creation; and secondly as the subtle, concentric holarchical spectrum of all its states simultaneously existing now, potentially accessible in the present moment. Its evolving faces are represented by the same spectrum as sequential historical stages of collective culture; and the same spectrum as the classical sequence of personal developmental stages.
The fascinating thing is that this spectrum of Consciousness is the same, whether we see it as unfolding stages or an ever-present spectrum of holarchic, nested states.
Whether a certain quality of consciousness is called a stage or a state depends only upon whether we are viewing it from a temporal (linear) perspective or an atemporal (concentric) universal one. This spectrum ranges from non-dual through causal, subtle, psychological/informational, and physical/material, a progressive or simultaneous continuum (transmutation) of each of these states/stages into one another.
All of the historical stages exist in us now, as potentials that can be collapsed. Yet we need to develop in order to be able to access and realize them, to “involve” back to Source and the heart. To the dualistic mind this is a paradox, but it conforms to the logic of higher spiritual consciousness, in which the convergence of opposites obtains, in which both time and space and the eternal non-dual Source co-exist, the former simply the manifest aspect of the latter.
When we enter into the third evolutionary stage of conscious co-creation with Source, the temporal and trans-temporal aspects of our spiritual journey merge; we become conscious channels for both the eternal and evolving faces of Consciousness.
summary of the non-dual evolutionary model
Emanating from their core in primordial unity, the three state/stage spectrums of Consciousness that we have just observed exist in a fractal, nested-spiral relationship to each other. From the most universal to the most personal they are:
- Universal: Impersonal states/stages in the unfolding of Consciousness Itself, from non-dual to causal, subtle, psychic and physical form (including the self-reflective human form ) [material evolution of the Cosmos]
- Cultural: Collective stages/states of human cultural evolution. The cultural evolutionary stages of Homo Sapiens Sapiens proceeds back in the opposite direction, from gross materialism back to non-dual consciousness, and returning to the heart-center, where non-dual consciousness and material action are integrated and conscious co-creation between Universal Source and the individual begins [cultural involution, integration and co-creation]
- Individual: Personal stages/states of human psycho-spiritual development. Same spectrum as the collective stages/states of collective cultural evolution, on the fractal micro-scale of the chakras. Where one’s center of gravity along this line of personal psycho-spiritual development lies is determined by the context of collective cultural influences, i.e., one’s historical era and geographical culture, as well as the potential to access (out of sequence, trans-temporally, non-locally) any of the simultaneously co-existing states in the spectrum of consciousness. (This is where we can “bend time” and weave the higher dimensions of the “future” into the present.) [personal involution, integration and Divine co-creation]
The “stage” aspect of each spiral is sequential, from a temporal perspective; the “state” aspect refers to the simultaneity of all stages from a trans-temporal perspective, all potentially accessible in the timeless Now. These spirals are all active, breathing in and out of the core of Eternal Source into increasingly diversified evolutionary manifestations, thus they are simultaneously eternal and evolving, a unity of universal Source and its own display of unique individuated, ever-changing expressions. (This is what makes each of us, in our unique forms, the Divine incarnate.)
“unevenness” in development: why it arises and how to approach it
From the a-temporal or trans-temporal perspective, everything is already One; the individual (and all creations in form) are directly realized as one with the Source of Creation, in this very moment.
From the temporal, evolutionary level, however, the same spectrum, as the phases of both cultural and individual evolution, acts as a dynamic spiral, as we have already seen. Ultimately this spiral tends towards the progressive synchronization of the individual with the universal. Yet because both collective and individual evolution proceed in spiral waves rather than linear fashion, this also results in what appears to us – often egregiously so – as “unevenness” in development, both in the progress of the human race as a whole, individual cultures and individual psycho-spiritual development. We are subject to throwbacks, regressions, and incongruities, both culturally and personally, that sometimes make us wonder whether we are progressing or going backwards!
Cosmic evolution, expressing itself through the human vehicle, both culturally and personally, is a progressive churning through obstacles, crises, and the higher consciousness and course-corrections they call forth. Through rough waves, chops and the school of hard knocks, an increasingly refined receptivity and alignment is honed.
From a personal point of view (and this is probably the best place to work from, the necessary prerequisite to positively influencing larger collective patterns), it is easy enough to notice that our spiritual and psychological development may sometimes be very uneven. We see that someone can be highly developed in non-dual or subtle consciousness, for instance, and yet the psychological correlates of balance, integration and unity at the behavioral level have not yet caught up. Some people are highly intelligent yet have poor impulse-control. Why does this occur?
Just as the evolution of the cosmos unfolds in a spiral fashion, so does our own personal evolution, as a fractal part of it, also unfold as a spiral. It unfolds as the physical evolution of our body/brain, returns to its Source as conscious involution, and spirals out again as conscious co-creation. However, it can get stuck at any one of these phases, its fractal rhythm then going “out of phase” with the cosmic. In the larger picture, this dissonance is also contained, part of the creative play of evolution, but in the individual trajectory, more integration, more Self-awareness is needed, for the individual fractal to flow seamlessly in synchrony with the Whole. This is where the developmental, psychological and energetic processes of shadow-work and self-balancing come in. They help free the channels through which the full creativity of Source flows.
One can be stuck at any level of material or ego-identification, as well as in an attachment to emptiness – anywhere along the spectrum from Eros to Thanatos, from over-attachment to life-denial, a clinging to the forms of life or an attempt to evade them. The perfect balance is to be rooted in the unmoving center of life, yet fully participating in its creative, ever-evolving expression.
In physiological terms, we need to balance our brain, synchronize our brain with our heart, and thus synchronize our heart with the heart of the universe.
The heart is the leverage point, the fulcrum in the spectrum between emptiness and form.
A majority of individuals today (and thus our collective society as a whole) are stuck at the material end of the spectrum (the first lower three chakras). A small minority of spiritual practitioners may be stuck at the formless end of the spectrum (those attached to emptiness, personal liberation, or otherworldly salvation.) A still smaller minority have involved back to the formless and then returned to the heart, where formless and form, spirit and action, the universal and personal, come together. This latter group, however small, is the vanguard of evolution with tremendous leverage – the potential to co-create a critical mass for the greater collective evolution.
Love — the power of the heart — is both the foundation of existence and its ever-expanding fulfillment; love is the fulcrum and love is the fullness, the fulcrum of the spiral of evolution and also its full sweep. We revisit this in another article, Love as the Fulcrum, another collaboration from the faculty members of NewEarth University’s School of C & S. (2018)