Amidst all this we are foundering upon the collapse of sensemaking, the digitization and politicization of everything, systematically retarding our ability to understand the world and our relationship with it. We have lost touch with our inner knowing, set adrift upon a vast ocean of competing narratives and agendas. Which captains are we to believe, which shores are we to seek, and which winds are we to reset sail upon? These are questions that lie at the heart of this book.
Amazing Grace touches a universal human theme, that forgiveness and redemption are available to all humans, no matter how much we have “sinned.”[vi] There is another layer of existence beyond our story of despair and suffering, and it involves a deepening awareness of an intelligence that is not within our immediate control, forces that our small-s-self can barely sense. This is why “Amazing Grace” is one of the most sung of all songs in the English-speaking world, with thousands of recordings. With every orbit of our planet about the yellow star, individuals of our species sing the tune around ten million times.[vii] Many of us live life acting out a story that we did not consciously choose, via a self that has not understood who we truly are. If we can accept that without judging ourselves or others, without making it wrong that we have not quite been true to ourselves, then our Authentic Self is ready to emerge.
Is the suit a symbol of oppression, or a symbol of liberation?
To learn how to feel deeply is not easy. Many of the more popular or academic practices of presence do not understand this secondary level of healing. This is, of course, due to the limited aims of most of these practices. The purpose of many current mindfulness modalities is to permit calmness, and they are not usually healing practices. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why some mindfulness studies indicate that mindfulness practice results in a small percentage of practitioners becoming more depressed, anxious or even suicidal.[ii] Mindfulness may allow us to relax just enough to leave us poised at the gateway of ancient caverns of the psyche; but ignorant of the cruel goddess. Those practices may not provide us with the proper tools to navigate our way out of that murky domain.
The Consilience Project is a sensemaking platform founded by Daniel Schmactenberger. I’m a “fan” on their Facebook page. TCP is a fairly recent initiative, but one that is vital at this time in human history. Just a day or two ago they published the first of a series of articles on the crisis in sensemaking,…
– Higher levels of cognitive responsibility are positively correlated with expanded stages of consciousness evolution.
– The degree of our victim consciousness is inversely proportional to our level of cognitive responsibility.
– Our need for drama is directly related to our unwillingness to assume responsibility for our lives and especially our emotional experience.
– Our sense of personal empowerment (agency) is positively related to cognitive responsibility, and inversely related to our need for drama and identification as a victim.
– A key barrier to assuming higher levels of cognitive responsibility is the often unconscious fear of the emotional pain that we will (possibly) need to feel if we do so.
The moment of agency and its emotional and intuitive expression is key to the development of your Authentic Self. In order to express your authenticity, you must honour the strong and subtle feelings and information that arise from within.
Yet the spirits of the ancestors move within us still; nervous, foraging ghosts with hungry bellies, scanning incessantly for sustenance, water and predators upon the African savannah. Despite our increasingly protected, controlled lives, we humans of the 21st century remain prone to the whims of our biology. And perhaps to mind fields that connect us beyond space and time to the trauma of past lives lived and ultimately lost by our desperate forebears, now long returned to the dust from which their physicality arose.
Power and Presence begins with the disturbing proposition that the ITopian nightmare has descended and possessed us. The weaponization of the internet, politics and society is all but complete, and our souls – our authentic selves – have been defeated. Our awareness has shifted from the inner wisdom of the psyche to become ensnared in a virtual MemeWorld, which we now confuse for reality. Power and Presence is a confronting but (I hope) ultimately uplifting volume designed to shake readers from the illusion and empower them to rediscover their authentic selves, and from there to build a truly meaningful and empowered life.
The benefit of Engaged Presence is not just that it promotes a more peaceful and open dialogue. You will also grow and develop as a human being. You will learn so much more over the next few weeks, months and years than you ever could have if you’d been less open and welcoming of other people and ideas. Better still, you will likely be part of the healing of the cultural divide.