This is an exciting time. Whether the result of a certain percentage of people achieving a “higher” state of consciousness or simply good ideas reaching huge numbers of people because of technology, a lot of folks are showing an interest in their spiritual identity (or, as some put it, their conscious self.) I have to consider the Walmart Superstore as a barometer for every day life in America, therefore it’s intriguing to find Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” on their bookshelves. Oprah’s adoption of the book for her world-wide course has garnered, as I understand, several million “students.” This doesn’t make Tolle a new guru – Truth is Truth and can be presented, spoken, instructed, and understood in countless ways – but it shows to this writer the easy acceptance of concepts unthinkable in the recent past.
Carolyn Myss, for one, has a long teaching record helping people move away from “woundology” as their life focus. The cult of the victim is disintegrating. The teachings of a group of teachers called Abraham, translated via Esther Hicks, is focused relentlessly on the universal Law of Attraction as the determining factor in life experience. Essentially, the more time/effort/energy/attention given something, the more it appears and is experienced. Is a “victim” ever happy? How can a “victim” be happy? Yet a great number of people embraced “victimhood” as their means for a better life. Self-defeating comes to mind.
The wrenching awakening is that the universe, and life, is an internal operation. The ancient teaching “as within, so without” is gaining a fresh comprehension. It can, however, create a sort of identity crisis for someone who’s mortgaged their personality to some external condition, situation, or relationship. They can only be healed/happy or prosperous when some external “cause” acts on their behalf. A lot of people have invested tremendous energies attempting to mold the world and others to suit them. They are uniformly unhappy – what they are attempting is not possible.
Take the fashionable “Green” movement. The greatest service to Earth, nature, etc., is to appreciate it. Is it possible to feel “bad” while appreciating something? In his book “The Power of Now” Tolle plucks that chord: “As within, so without: If humans clean inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution.” It’s an inside, personal, job. We are Human Beings, not Human Doings.
The bottom line is a shift from passionate materialism – a world view that every thing is separate and unconnected – towards an understanding of a force that creates “every thing” through consciousness. Learning how to live this consciousness is the thrust. More people are becoming happier - which sharpens the difference with those who are working harder to live a victim.