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Train Ride

This article by Carolyn Baker uses the analogy of a train, and the article by Paul Chefurka uses the analogy of climbing a ladder to help us understand this journey of awakening to the dire emergency of how devastaing the destruction is to our life support system, this planet and the web of OUR life.

Embarking On The Journey Of Consciousness: Staying On The Train, By Carolyn Baker

You may have boarded the train believing that you were on a journey through literal time and space, encountering the dissolution of the external landscape. In fact, when you boarded the train, you embarked on a journey in quite the opposite direction which Rumi describes brilliantly:

You lack a foot to travel?
Then journey into yourself
And like a mine of rubies
receive the sunbeam’s print

Out of yourself such a journey
will lead you to your self,
It leads to transformation
of dust into pure gold!

------------------------------

Embarking On The Journey Of Consciousness: Staying On The Train, By Carolyn Baker
By carolyn, on January 13th, 2014

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

~Rabindranath Tagore~

Nearly every day I speak with people who are confused, bewildered, disoriented, or conversely, extraordinarily clear about what is happening to them. A few years, months, or weeks earlier, they began waking up to the predicament of earth and its plethora of species. I often ask them to tell me their story—not so much their personal story, but the story of their awakening to the collapse of industrial civilization or peak oil or catastrophic climate change. As they unpack their story, we often begin speaking of it as a journey—a journey of epiphany, of awakening, of coming to consciousness.

What I invariably recognize in my own journey of awakening and theirs is that once any human being allows certain realities to penetrate a few layers of denial, they have embarked on a journey from which there is no return. The unconscious mind in concert with the denial mechanisms, some of which are innate and some of which we have been inculcated with, tend to work overtime to ensure that specific realities will be almost immediately excluded from our awareness. Nevertheless, as hard as the defense mechanisms may exert themselves, occasionally, and for the most part for reasons we cannot yet ascertain, some disturbing facts take root in the brain and nervous system. This triggers certain bodily and emotional responses whereby one has the choice to ignore, rationalize, minimize, or unequivocally reject the facts, or on the other hand, ask more questions, delve deeper, and risk receiving even more disturbing information.

People often ask me: Why is that some people wake up, and others don’t? I can’t answer that question. What I do know with certainty, however, is that once one has allowed certain facts to implant themselves in consciousness, there is no turning back. Often, without consciously realizing it, we “sign up” for a journey from which there is no return and which will alter everything in our lives, including and especially, ourselves.

read the entire article here:

http://www.carolynbaker.net/2014/01/13/embarking-on-the-journey-of-consciousness-staying-on-the-train

Carolyn Baker http://www.carolynbaker.net
Carolyn Baker

http://www.carolynbaker.net

Carolyn Baker is available for consultation.
Contact her via her website.

Navigating the Coming Chaos: Carolyn Baker Vermont Tour 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I38X5uT4xH0


How Shall We Live, With the Earth in Crisis?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIwDXbuzb7U


Derrick Jensen On Resistance Radio With Carolyn Baker - 02/09/14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK54eRn6DDg


Art by Kathleen Fargo May

Climbing The Ladder of Awareness
by Paul Chefurka . October 19, 2012

When it comes to our understanding of the unfolding global crisis, each of us seems to fit somewhere along a continuum of awareness that can be roughly divided into five stages.

  1. Dead asleep. At this stage there seem to be no fundamental problems, just some shortcomings in human organization, behaviour and morality that can be fixed with the proper attention to rule-making. People at this stage tend to live their lives happily, with occasional outbursts of annoyance around election times or the quarterly corporate earnings seasons.
  2. Awareness of one fundamental problem. Whether it's Climate Change, overpopulation, Peak Oil, chemical pollution, oceanic over-fishing, biodiversity loss, corporatism, economic instability or sociopolitical injustice, one problem seems to engage the attention completely. People at this stage tend to become ardent activists for their chosen cause. They tend to be very vocal about their personal issue, and blind to any others.
  3. Awareness of many problems. As people let in more evidence from different domains, the awareness of complexity begins to grow. At this point a person worries about the prioritization of problems in terms of their immediacy and degree of impact. People at this stage may become reluctant to acknowledge new problems - for example, someone who is committed to fighting for social justice and against climate change may not recognize the problem of resource depletion. They may feel that the problem space is already complex enough, and the addition of any new concerns will only dilute the effort that needs to be focused on solving the "highest priority" problem.
  4. Awareness of the interconnections between the many problems. The realization that a solution in one domain may worsen a problem in another marks the beginning of large-scale system-level thinking. It also marks the transition from thinking of the situation in terms of a set of problems to thinking of it in terms of a predicament.

    At this point the possibility that there may not be a solution begins to raise its head.People who arrive at this stage tend to withdraw into tight circles of like-minded individuals in order to trade insights and deepen their understanding of what's going on. These circles are necessarily small, both because personal dialogue is essential for this depth of exploration, and because there just aren't very many people who have arrived at this level of understanding.
  5. Awareness that the predicament encompasses all aspects of life. This includes everything we do, how we do it, our relationships with each other, as well as our treatment of the rest of the biosphere and the physical planet. With this realization, the floodgates open, and no problem is exempt from consideration or acceptance. The very concept of a "Solution" is seen through, and cast aside as a waste of effort.

    For those who arrive at Stage 5 there is a real risk that depression will set in. After all, we've learned throughout our lives that our hope for tomorrow lies in our ability to solve problems today. When no amount of human cleverness appears able to solve our predicament the possibility of hope can vanish like a the light of a candle flame, to be replaced by the suffocating darkness of despair.

How people cope with despair is of course deeply personal, but it seems to me there are two general routes people take to reconcile themselves with the situation. These are not mutually exclusive, and most of us will operate out of some mix of the two. I identify them here as general tendencies, because people seem to be drawn more to one or the other. I call them the outer path and the inner path.

If one is inclined to choose the outer path, concerns about adaptation and local resilience move into the foreground, as exemplified by the Transition Network and Permaculture Movement. To those on the outer path, community-building and local sustainability initiatives will have great appeal. Organized party politics seems to be less attractive to people at this stage, however. Perhaps politics is seen as part of the problem, or perhaps it's just seen as a waste of effort when the real action will take place at the local level.

If one is disinclined to choose the outer path either because of temperament or circumstance, the inner path offers its own set of attractions.

Choosing the inner path involves re-framing the whole thing in terms of consciousness, self-awareness and/or some form of transcendent perception. For someone on this path it is seen as an attempt to manifest Gandhi's message, "Become the change you wish to see in the world," on the most profoundly personal level. This message is similarly expressed in the ancient Hermetic saying, "As above, so below." Or in plain language, "In order to heal the world, first begin by healing yourself."

However, the inner path does not imply a "retreat into religion". Most of the people I've met who have chosen an inner path have as little use for traditional religion as their counterparts on the outer path have for traditional politics. Organized religion is usually seen as part of the predicament rather than a valid response to it. Those who have arrived at this point have no interest in hiding from or easing the painful truth, rather they wish to create a coherent personal context for it. Personal spirituality of one sort or another often works for this, but organized religion rarely does.

It's worth mentioning that there is also the possibility of a serious personal difficulty at this point. If someone cannot choose an outer path for whatever reasons, and is also resistant to the idea of inner growth or spirituality as a response the the crisis of an entire planet, then they are truly in a bind. There are few other doorways out of this depth of despair. If one remains stuck here for an extended period of time, life can begin to seem awfully bleak, and violence against either the world or oneself may begin begin to seem like a reasonable option. Please keep a watchful eye on your own progress, and if you encounter someone else who may be in this state, please offer them a supportive ear.

From my observations, each successive stage contains roughly a tenth of the number people as the one before it. So while perhaps 90% of humanity is in Stage 1, less than one person in ten thousand will be at Stage 5 (and none of them are likely to be politicians). The number of those who have chosen the inner path in Stage 5 also seems to be an order of magnitude smaller than the number who are on the outer path.

I happen to have chosen an inner path as my response to a Stage 5 awareness. It works well for me, but navigating this imminent (transition, shift, metamorphosis - call it what you will), will require all of us - no matter what our chosen paths - to cooperate on making wise decisions in difficult times.

Best wishes for a long, exciting and fulfilling journey.

Paul Chefurka
October 19, 2012

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/LadderOfAwareness.html

 

   

 

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