Imagine what critical mass consciousness might mean for our planet. That’s what I have been considering this past week. In this context, I am referring to critical mass as “a threshold value of the number of people needed to trigger a phenomenon by exchange of ideas” (Wikipedia).
In a recent Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra suggested the possibility of critical mass consciousness because of the advances we have made in technology. Imagine all of us aware of being aware.
The idea of awareness or wholeness reaching such a threshold does seem more than plausible as we are able to communicate globally on a daily basis, if we are so inclined. Whatever technology may or may not be, it is bringing us together face by face, word by word, video by video, an ongoing parade of points of view. It seems there are few places or events that we cannot access.
The recent US presidential election is a good example of such an event. The reelection of President Obama revealed much about us as Americans, not the least of which is that we, too, are moving toward that segment of the planet where white is just another color. In revealing ourselves, warts and all, we relied on the risk that is hope, on the spark that is genius.
“Genius is a crisis that joins the buried self, for certain moments, to our daily mind” (William Butler Yeats). Whenever we are jarred into genius, we have the opportunity to become whole–once again aware—to perceive yet another perspective on what it is to be human. Through crisis, we absorb all that we have been so that we may be yet again anew and maybe, just maybe not as attached.
“The purpose in crisis, if there is one, is not to break us as much as to break us open” (Mark Nepo). Letting go is a lifelong lesson. To be broken open is to detach from the outcome of crisis, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes. To become aware of all around us requires us to love enough to let go. As the Buddhists say, “to be a fisherman you must detach yourself from the dream of the fish. This makes whatever is caught or found a treasure” (Nepo).*
Perhaps that is what takes us to crisis, our ever narrowing inability to let go of the dream. We attach our lives to a candidate, to a belief, to a fish, and we close ourselves to any and all outcome outside of our narrowly defined dream. No such dream could ever come true for our attachment to its outcome is beyond the dream.
St. Francis told us that “[we] are what [we] are seeking.” As seekers, we break open, teetering on the edge of ourselves, where awareness begins. Extending all that we are to all that surrounds us is consciousness, motivated only by compassion, love, gratitude, and joy. Just consider that we have the technology to reach such critical mass consciousness.
*(All Mark Nepo quotations are from The Book of Awakening, Kindle version).
7 thoughts on “Considering Critical Mass”
Thank you for another wonderful and thought-provoking post. I often wonder why trends arise specifically – why sudden mass interest explodes into life, and then vanishes again? Why do things go ‘critical’? What drives them? And wouldn’t it be great if, amidst all the ‘funnies’, and the politics, and the quirky YouTube movies – and all the other things that get critical mass through social networking these days – we could see just one other thing ‘go critical’ more often than it usually does. Kindness. Ah, one can dream!
Critical mass kindness is a dream of mine as well. Perhaps if we just keep on being aware; well, you know what an optimist I am. Thanks, Matthew!
Very nice. This was like a vacation from my work reading today. Thank you. My brain needed the massage.
Always glad to provide a vacation, Jay. Appreciate you stopping by and glad to know you, too, enjoyed “Foyle’s War.”
Beautiful writing. You have such a way of making me think in ways that my brain hasn’t learned yet. Thanks for introducing me to a new idea.
Thanks so much, Dona.