Consciousness… Week 06


a Moment for Wisdom…



A Moment for…



“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all being in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.

Gautama, the Buddha

 Life is consciousness.

Emmet Fox


Divinity is the enfolding and unfolding of everything that is.  Divinity is in all things in such a way that all things are in Divinity.”

Nicholas of Cusa




Personal Wisdom:


What are your personal notions/ideas of the nature of Reality?


Where did these ideas come from? 


Societal Wisdom:


What would a society that experiences the “unity of all life” look like?


Do you have any experiences with such a society?




a Moment with Sharif…




I speak about “The Divine” frequently.  It’s probably time that we explore what this means.


This triple quote contains the essence of my beliefs and the essence of what I think of as “Reality”.


In our over-stimulated society, most of us do not stop to ponder the nature of our existence.Whether we exist.  What that existence means.  Where we were before we were born, and where we will be after we transit out of these bodies.


For most of us, our “faith” consists of pointing to the contents of a bottle on a shelf and saying “I’ll have some of that.”  We don’t have to think about what’s in the bottle, how old it is, whether or not its contents are relevant for the lives that we lead today.  We don’t even have to know if there is anything at all in the bottle.


A recent survey asked college students about their religious/spiritual beliefs.The overwhelming majority professed a belief in “Jesus Christ”.  Great.  But when the surveyors probed that belief, they came up with… little.For most of the college students, “Jesus” was a figure that you prayed to in order to get stuff – what I call the “Skinny Santa Claus”.  They knew nothing about his life or his teachings, not even as much as a Sunday School child.


I don’t think that this is something peculiar to Christianity.  This shallowness of understanding shows up in all of the wisdom traditions, reducing them to hollow shells.  It’s time for us to shake ourselves from our stupor, to stop repeating platitudes, to deeply
understand and experience the Divine.


That’s what the Buddha is saying in the above quote.  All is One when you sit on your meditation cushion and contemplate the cosmos.  All is One when you are in the supermarket checkout line, behind the woman with the kid throwing the temper tantrum.  All is One when you get fired.  It’s One when you see the most beautiful rose of the summer…


And when that happens, judgment disappears.  You lose the perspective of “right” and “wrong”, of “good” and “bad”.  What the Buddhists call “the unconditioned good”.


“Out there, beyond notions of rightness or wrongness, there is a field.


I’ll meet you there…”





This is the meaning of the Emmet Fox quote.You are alive.  (You probably figured that out without me having to tell you.)  Your children are alive – not just that their bodies contain self-replicating biochemical reactions, but that they contain a “LIFE” that is joyously rich. 


The Earth is alive – from Her dynamic, electromagnetic, molten Heart to the thin biosphere in which we live our entire existence.  And… She is conscious… but in a way that is beyond our comprehension.


The Sun is alive.Sol, and the entire Solar System, is alive.


Look at the palm of your hand.  “See” a molecule of your own flesh – packed with aliveness, with Order, with direction, with purpose.  See each molecule as perfectly aligned with your Divine purpose and destiny.  (There is a name for cells that are not aligned with your Divine purpose and destiny – they are commonly called “cancer” cells.  They are using up resources, doing their own thing, without any thought of the good of the whole.  We can refer to them as “Breaker” cells…)  


The plastic in the keys of the computer keyboard that I am using is “alive”…  The fake
wood table that supports the plastic keyboard is “alive”…



All is “Divine” – and there are different orders of Divinity.  All LIFE, in its way, seeks to model the “Sacred Pattern”.The blood cells coursing through my toes are alive, conscious and Sacred – at a level different from me writing this and you reading it. (At least… I hope so!) This consciousness is far beyond the mechanistic notions of Breaker physics – adequate for explaining the material world (to a point), and completely useless for seeing beyond it.


Want to see the Sacred Pattern at work?  Simple:  Take a cell from your heart, put it in a nutrient solution in a petri dish.  It will continue to pulse, in time with your own heartbeat.
(Breaker scientists say this is “electromagnetic impulses”.)  Take a cell from my heart, do the same.  It will pulse.  Now: bring the two cells together.  They will synchronize their pulses!(Breaker scientists don’t have an explanation for this.)  They feel the Pattern… 


The Sacred Pattern is invisible at the material level, yet is as relentless as gravity.  We
can interfere with it (giving bad food to your heart, for example), we can ignore it (seeking mechanistic answers), we can claim that it doesn’t exist – yet it is there all the same.


In our meditations, when we separate our beings from our thoughts, we begin to detect the Sacred Pattern.  That’s why the practice of meditation is important.






Consciousness Exercises:


This week’s “Consciousness” exercises: 


William Penn spoke of the “Society of Friends” and founded “The City of Brotherly Love”.
Martin Luther King spoke of the “Beloved Community”.  Mahatma Gandhi established the
“ashram” as the practical embodiment of his spiritual ideals.


  1.  What would a “Sacred Society” look like to you?
    1. What are the beliefs that people would enact on a regular basis?  Write down the ten most important practices of a “Sacred Society”? 
    2. How would those beliefs differ from your present society?
    3. Do you have any personal experiences with people living in a “Sacred Society”?  What are they?  What was desirable about the lifestyle of the participants?  What was less than desirable?


  1. What would it take for you to live in a “Sacred Society”?
    1. If you were designing a society according to a Sacred Pattern, what would be its most desirable aspects?
    2. What would NOT be desirable about living in such a community/society?


  1. Look at how your present society functions: 
    1. What can you deduce about its beliefs from how it ACTS?  (Not what it says it professes, but what it actually does… that demonstrates one’s inner beliefs, much more eloquently than stacks of holy books.)





All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.








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