The Emergence of Connected Consciousness

By Azriel ReShel on Saturday July 15th, 2017

Tap into Your Natural Flow

Nature, when we’re open enough to listen to it, always provides us with the clues for living a harmonious life. A life of higher awareness where we are present and aware of everything around us. Sometimes things in nature appear seemingly unconnected, even disconnected, yet, when you look a little deeper, they are more connected than we could ever imagine. Trees are an exceptional example of this, as are birds.

The murmuration of starlings is something exceptional to witness. There’s a harmony and perfection that goes beyond the mind. As thousands of individual birds move as one being, it’s like watching a miracle. A mesmerising pattern of life that appears almost as an animated sacred geometric screensaver, but is, in fact, a massive group of little black starlings; each with their own life and consciousness. What is amazing is that these thousands of birds do not ever collide as they move as one in a connected consciousness, where their individuality is no more. They fly like one great bird.

The mysterious phenomenon of murmations may not be so mysterious after all.

The Synchronistic Nature of Life

This incredible oneness and intuitive connection can happen with humans too. And not just in the presence of great spiritual masters. Joanna Macy, well-known author, Buddhist scholar, systems thinker and deep ecologist, is a respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology. She shares her wisdom on connected consciousness in her book, Active Hope, co-authored with Chris Johnstone.

Something very interesting occurs when a group of jazz musicians improvises together. A number of separate individuals, all making their own decisions, act together as a whole. As the music flows, any of the musicians can take the solo spot, that leading role gliding seamlessly between the players. Who decides when the piano or trumpet player should come forward? It isn’t just the person playing that instrument, for the others have already stepped back just a little to create an opening. There are two levels of thinking happening at the same time here; choices are made from moment to moment both by the group as a whole and by the individuals within it. When people coordinate their actions through a collective thinking process, we can think of this as ‘distributed intelligence.’ No one person is in charge; the players act freely while being guided by their intention to serve the purpose of the group. For musicians to improvise together, they need to listen very attentively, expressing their individuality in a way that contributes to the overall sound. When they tune into the group and become connected with it, it is as though the music itself plays through them.

Are We Ever Really Separate?

Something magical happens when we gather in groups, to meditate, sing, pray, create, dream, dance, tell stories, cook. The individuals drop away and there is a yoking. A synchronisation, almost of breath and heartbeats; much like what can happen between deeply intimate lovers. We are never truly separate. Our survival depends on our interconnectedness. We need each other, for food, shelter, water, and love. We depend on the generosity of others and the earth, for our very life.

Collective synchronisationMusicians jamming is an example of the synchronisation that can occur when we let it.

In these moments, it’s like we let go of our individual identity in order to belong to and access something transcendent, and totally beyond ourselves. Our consciousness can shift into something universal.

A key feature of distributed intelligence is that no one part has to have the whole answer. Rather, the intelligence of the whole emerges through the actions and interactions of its parts. ~ Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

Surrendering to the Whole

Joanna Macy speaks of this shift as a wider sense of self and one of the most exciting developments of our time. When we give up our individual wants and needs and surrender to the needs of the whole, we open ourselves up to experience and develop the most profound of spiritual qualities, like humility, truth, service, unconditional love, connection, and trust. It’s this shift into profound connection with something greater than each one of us, that will save the planet.

In a creative team, an idea may arise in conversation, then be added to and refined by other team members, its development shaped by everyone present. What allows a team to gel is a shift in identification, so that people identify with, and act for, the team rather than just themselves. Could the next leap in evolution arise out of a shift in identification, in which we shed the story of battling for supremacy and move instead to playing our role as part of the larger team of life on Earth? Could the creativity and survival instinct of humanity as a whole, or even of life as a whole, act through us? Connected consciousness stems from a widening of our self-interest, where we are guided by the intention to act for the well-being of all life. Within Buddhism, that intention is known as ‘bodhichitta.’ Bodhichitta moves our focus from personal well-being to collective well-being.

…We stand at an evolutionary crossroads, and we, collectively, could turn either way. Our own choices are part of that turning. We can choose, to borrow a phrase from Star Trek, the ‘prime directive’ of our lives. When our central organising priority becomes the well-being of all life, then what happens through us is the recovery of our world.

BodhichittaBodhichitta moves our focus from personal well-being to collective well-being.

Connected consciousness, or being at one with all that is, is not something to only be experienced by mystics or dedicated spiritual practitioners. It is the natural state of each one of us. And all we need do to experience is, is to let go of everything that blocks it. To return to our child-like innocence, trust, and reverence for all of life.

We are Connected to All Things

We feel this connected consciousness when we commune with nature, with animals, or with another human. It doesn’t even have to be someone dear to us. Deep moments of profound connection can happen with perfect strangers if you’re open and present. It’s like when life slows down, much like a movie in slow mode, that we drop into this oneness, and connection with all that is. Too often we’re rushing around in a state of busy nervous energy and miss the communications happening all around us all the time. The dog greeting us, the bird singing its joyful song, the person across the street, or the smiling child.

Life in its simplest and most profound is inspired connection and oneness with all things. Indigenous people know the heart of this stillness and connection and we can all remember and return to this place that we long for with all our heart, and the world will be better for it.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Azriel ReShel

Writer, Editor, Yoga Teacher & Healing Facilitator




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5 Responses to The Emergence of Connected Consciousness

  1. Nature’s gift & learning the meaning of respe ting fellow being, collective movement of thousands of birds with individual identity yet collective coordination is a brilliant logic. I had to stop for a while from this busy life and do introspection after reading her logic.
    Thank you for sharing…
    Verma Pradeep

  2. My thought… everyone could learn so much from each other’s cultures..make new friends..work toward world unity…

  3. It is quite coincidental that I read this tonight. Earlier tonight I got the inclination to write this quote completely out of my head and was very speratic. ” The only way that humanity will ever reach its full potential is to love ALL of creation including ourselves and each other as much as we do just ourselves. ” The last few days I have had this fire in me about this exact topic and had been deeply pondering on the thought this planet and maybe even the entire universe all being one being that we are just a tiny part of. At least no more important than any other part. This is sort of a new theory to me that just recently popped up lately. The thing is is my mind wont let it go. It is defantley time that we as humans break free from these chains diconnectedness. It is time that we focus all the energy and drive that we have to make money and contribute to this industrial age and focus it on loving all of creation. It’s time for us to change the curriculum in our school to imbead this in our children from a young age instead of raising them to try and survive in what is about to be the old outdated way of life. It is time that we ourselves begin to reach a higher lvl of our potential as human beings. But that can only be done the right way. Which is exactly what this article is talking about. It is time that we shed our cocoons and arise as the beautiful butterflys that we are capable of being. I feel the start of something new. Am I the only one?

    • This is a recurring message by Oneness as channeled by Rasha in her book “Oneness” – “The momentum toward unification in Oneness with All Creation is under way. The force of that momentum is a fact of life itself and cannot be impeded. For the power of Love is quite literally unstoppable, exercising its capability to manifest fully and to create itself – its vibrational essence – in every conceivable expression of life.”

      So, no, I don’t think you are the only one! 🙂

      It’s a great book – I think you would enjoy reading it!

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