The Great Awakening
We are living through the most exciting times in human history. Breakthroughs in every area of science are opening our minds to the beauty and mystery of the material world. At the same time technology is giving us the power to make many of our dreams come true.
But what makes these times even more exciting is that we stand on the threshold of the greatest changes in human consciousness ever. Whether it is our relationships with our loved ones, our attitude to money, the ever-increasing pace of life, the environmental crisis, everything is pushing us to wake up to our full mental potential. We are being called to rediscover for ourselves the profound truths of which the great saints and teachers have spoken for thousands of years.
At their core, they all have been urging us to become wiser, more compassionate, more psychologically healthy human beings. To let go of our attachments to having things be a certain way, to be less materialistic, less egocentric, less greedy and hungry for power or status. And through this shift in consciousness to find peace in the moment -- the inner peace we have been yearning for all along, but fruitlessly seeking in the world around.
This is the next great frontier; not outer space but inner space. The exploration and development of human spirit. This is not an exploration to be conducted by some scientists in a laboratory; it is an exploration in which we are all personally engaged, and it is taking place in the laboratory of life. And it is an exploration that is already underway.
Look at the book bestseller lists. Hardly a week goes by without at least half of the top ten being about some form of personal development. Look at television, the specials on healing, the success of Oprah. Look at the Internet, the plethora of sites devoted to spiritual growth of one form or another. This is what people are hungry for today; this is the direction the collective consciousness is moving in.
And look at kids today. I know many in their teens and early twenties whose values and wisdom far outshine the liberated thinking of a couple of decades ago. Those of us who lived through the heydays of the sixties might have thought our philosophy of life was pretty cool; and by the standards of the time it probably was. But place some of the wiser kids of today back in that world, and they would stand out as beacons of enlightenment.
Spiritual exploration is not just some lofty work, to be undertaken by some select few who have renounced the worldly life. Every day we have the opportunity to learn a little more about ourselves, to let go a little more of attitudes that no longer serve us, to step back and be a little less attached to desires. In every unexpected situation when the world fails to match our expectations, when what is happening is not what we think should be happening, we can remind ourselves that we have a choice. We can either see the situation through the eyes of fear - all the ways in which it could lead us to suffer. Or we can choose to see it through the eyes of love - as an opportunity for learning, growth and greater understanding.
This shift in perception is a foundation stone of spiritual work. If we practice this in every situation in which we find ourselves, with every person we meet, then we can move from being the victim of our thoughts and feelings to being the master of them. And through that help ourselves and each other to become happier, healthier, and more caring people.