True Meaning of Consciousness

 

Image result for african consciousness fist        During my journey, I have come across two distinctly different definitions of what it means to be conscious in the world. The first encompasses an understanding of what it means to be aware of my African history as an African-American of the diaspora. I understand that this awareness or consciousness should motivate African-Americans to assume his or her responsibility as a builder and rejoice as a celebrant of African culture using it as a compass for their lives. The appreciation of the contributions of our ancestors toward the construction of this world should cause “the conscious” to stand with pride as we receive the inheritance from African pioneers, at the center of the historical narratives, rather than one who stands as a beggar at the perimeter as a Johnny-come-lately, as revisionist historians would have it to be.

Image result for consciousness

The second definition of consciousness is more about embracing an identity without navigating our way through the world without the explicit rudder of culture. In fact, in the May issue of the Oracle 20/20 Magazine, Patrick Paul Garlinger states in his article Consciousness Without Identity,

“that efforts at defining ourselves as an identity are never sufficient to the task of understanding who we are.  Our identities are always partial claims to the fullness of our being. The truth of who we are—the infinite self, or divine being, occupying a human body in this world—is not dependent on these identities.” Further, he says “because our egos believe our identities are necessary to our survival, we tend to cling to our identities and defend them constantly. Our sense of identity becomes a mechanism of defending our existence, and our claim to belonging in this world. In that way, our identity is always being scrutinized for where it is being undermined or disrespected, where boundaries are being crossed, where we are not being seen in and through that identity as we have constructed it. Identities place us in a constant state of vigilance, looking to where we are not seen and therefore do not exist, which is why there is a constant outrage of our identities…In an enlightened world, the ego operates in separation and that seeks to eliminate difference would no longer be the dominant consciousness. All differences—not just the categories we currently recognize and hold onto –would be respected. And if we were living in an enlightened state, we would regard other people’s differences as equally valid expressions of the infinite possibilities that a human form can take. For as you awaken and let go of the survivalist mentality that characterizes most of humanity, then other’s differences are no longer threatening to you and yours are not threatening to them.  But if you were validated already, and you were not seen for your identity, but because however, you express your own humanity was recognized as a valid expression of the divine, then there would be no need for defense.”

As I read the article several questions went through my mind. My truth is I have more questions than answers at this stage of my journey.

(1) I do not know his personal history. However, as a man with European features is it easier for him to talk about separating from identity when it is probable that he was never robbed of his identity or longed to now it fully? Some in the conscious community would even argue that as a European his own culture is not genuine but one created by borrowing from the culture of others. However, that argument has some obvious holes in it.

2) As an oppressed African-American in this country colonization destroyed the identity of culture that I could never fully embrace in this country. As I awakened, I did so through knowledge of self and that pathway for me led back to Kemet a few years back. Nonetheless, recently I heard a leading conscious teacher state that people often refer to Kemet as the apex of Africa in civilization but Kemet was actually at its decline then. So,  as the first humans in the Earth, direct descendants of God, there was no need for the same identities used today especially before African exploration and eventual European colonization. (Africans were the only ones here and according to the facts existed in a higher state of human form demonstrating greater abilities). Therefore, what was identity like for African people before Kemet as direct descendants of The Creator?

3) Is it possible to exist successfully in today’s society without adhering to certain identities? If so what does that look like in practice? If not, what are acceptable boundaries and expectations in respect to these identities? What guidelines determine how these boundaries are created? Who’s right? Who’s wrong and why?

4) How does respect for identities affect our practice and understanding of the universal law of oneness? The law of oneness says everything that exists seen and unseen are connected to each other, inseparable from each other to a field of divine oneness. Divine all-knowing, the matrix, pure consciousness or universal mind energy, sometimes also known as Life Force or God. Everything is one.

5) If we respectfully regard other people’s differences as equally valid expressions of the infinite possibilities that a human form can take regardless of what they are, does that lead to unity or chaos especially when we consider the societal foundations that are already in place? Further, has the time come to redefine identities and labels in today’s society so that personal evolution as a society is more accessible?

Perhaps consciousness can be defined not as totally one or the other but is inclusive in some way of both definitions.

Garlinger closes that article by stating,

“We do not live in an enlightened world…consider this call to hold them more gently. As we progress on the spiritual path, as we deepen our relationship to the Divine, we come to worry less about self-preservation. The natural result of that shift in our minds is that our grip on our identities loosens and softens. As we awaken to our true nature, as utterly perfect and divine creations capable of living in unity with the rest of the world, we can regard our identities as a kind of stepping stone, as a way of claiming our place in the world until we realize that we no longer need to claim it in that way. We do not need to claim them as a life raft…see them as temporary expressions of who we are right now, recognizing that bound or limited by those identities…we belong in this world, we—and all of our many differences.”

I respectfully say to Garlinger thank you for writing the article and causing me to think Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to be a part of a meaningful conversation that leads to personal answers that satisfy my curiosity as well as gaining some personal growth. I honor Garlinger’s journey. Perhaps he feels the same about me.

Thank you for reading. I would truly enjoy reading about your truth on the topic. Please share your authentic truths with us if you have responses to the questions above, comments, more questions or concerns. Enlighten us.

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

In peace and light,

Dr. Free

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Author: Dr. Free

Dr. Free is a veteran educator. Her area of expertise is African-centered education consulting. She is a life learner who is passionate about truth, liberation, and justice. Dr. Free strives to be true to herself. She expresses herself in a way that enhances the lives of others and she enjoys giving others the space and encouragment to do the same.

8 thoughts on “True Meaning of Consciousness”

  1. Hi again Dr. Free. You may not want to accept this comment. I just wanted to chat with you about this post. I felt a synchronicity about this comment I wished to share with you.

    The quote of Patrick Paul Garlinger states, “because our egos believe our identities are necessary to our survival, we tend to cling to our identities and defend them constantly. Our sense of identity becomes a mechanism of defending our existence, and our claim to belonging in this world.”

    I recently read James Redfield’s take on this. He was discussing European Mechanization and Materialism as concepts which formed the western world’s thinking. He concludes on the psychological demise of a western culture that arose “where everyone was defensively trying to control and dominate everyone else.” And having been a Caucasian student of Pan-Africanism, I feel I can say that this eruption of thinking is what you were thinking as far as it being European in nature (ie. western mechanization and materialism being the culprit).

    I didn’t see anything in the past which described identity wars in my studies. It seems to me that ancient Akebulan and Kemet, respected positions for the most part, that each person had a role. My thesis papers were on Afrocentricity and US Educational Curriculum (another story) and Romance: Friend or Foe where I didn’t find the game playing that exists now among the ancients across cultures. There was respect.

    As far as if it is possible to accept separate identities, Fredrick Niche said a person cannot understand what they do not have relative experience of. I see the future having a need to help people have relative consciousness experiences in order that they can see more. One would have to have expanded consciousness experiences to be able to embrace such a concept as Oneness in this case of Niche’s take. And you certainly answered this in your number 5 questioning. As an evolutionary I love that.

    I was wondering however about true unity in this Age. As an empathic, while I can love all, sometimes my gut goes haywire in fear for no reason. I feel things I can’t explain so I tend to be reclusive. Its hard to keep my evolutionary vibe going among robotic collective expression and almost impossible to share. Like you, maybe writing this and thinking about it will help me move further ahead in my own evolution. Thanks for letting me share with you for a moment. Respect!

    1. Thank you so much for your post. I’m glad to know it resonated with you. Growth is possible as we share and respond honestly and respectfully. I honor your journey and purpose in this time-space reality. It seems we have similar questions about how we can achieve oneness. You said : “I didn’t see anything in the past which described identity wars in my studies. It seems to me that ancient Akebulan and Kemet, respected positions for the most part, that each person had a role. ” Significant point! The construct of race had not been created. Also, You said : “As far as if it is possible to accept separate identities, Fredrick Niche said a person cannot understand what they do not have relative experience of.” This is a profound comment. Our personal experiences can definitely influence how we conduct ourselves and how we perceive the world. Can a group of people who are presently and historically seen as superior understand the struggles and reluctance of an oppressed and suppressed people –and expect to fully love all and embrace oneness.? Additionally, if we are the oppressed and suppressed, are we limiting ourselves by living in the pain? Should we allow the emotions (energy in motion) to simply move through us, learn the lessons, and evolve? Thanks for the follow!

      1. Thank You for allowing the conversation to go public. I also honor your journey. To add to your questioning on oneness, emotions and learning lessons: In my writings I too embrace the word play of ‘energy in motion’ and am writing an entire chapter about Emotions being ‘Energy In Motion’ and using it as an evolutionary principle. Again with Niche, each audience will perceive this ideal uniquely but there are many options. I feel we can do as you suggest to allow emotions to move through us, learn the lessons and evolve or we can come to utilize this ‘energy’ in a new way. For example, change the old stories from his-story to new personal stories. We do not have to keep telling old stories. In the new story we can say anything we’d like, such as emotions becoming energy in motion. Starting with the question of what is our ‘energy in motion’, we can come to know that emotions are an ‘energy’ and we can then transmute negative energy to a more usable fuel for creating new ideals, (burn off the old ideals and start spreading new collective thoughts). I love that Pan-Africanism changed the story that in regards to oneness we are all one already even though we do not yet see it. (That is a longer story but one that does well to continue to grow in the public eye). Racial separation is only a story made by fear, although sad and brutal. What if we were all one back then and only a story separated us? How would we replace or change this story? Each will have there unique version, but it is a great exercise in developing new thinking for healing. This does not mean accepting or forgetting what happened and what is happening. It is a ‘rise up’ story. Like the pyramids contain one Pharoah’s story over another and another. It will take time to make it happen, but as Tracey Chapman sang: The whole world is broke, time to make a new beginning. Make new signs, new symbols, new language – and, while we don’t really take a look at progress being like this, we can create new beginnings with a new story. It takes new leaders again and again who will innovate change with a new brain cleansing story. Imagination, quiet as it is kept, belongs to the Magi within us all. Peace and Much Respect!

      2. “Racial separation is only a story made by fear, although sad and brutal. What if we were all one back then and only a story separated us? How would we replace or change this story? Each will have there unique version, but it is a great exercise in developing new thinking for healing. “……..you ask thought provoking questions.

  2. Hi Dr. Free,

    I came across your wonderfully thoughtful and incisive blog post, and I wanted to take this brief opportunity to follow up with you on some of your questions. I am delighted that you honor my journey and contribution. I am happy to say that I equally honor yours. By way of background, the article you read was a distilled version of some chapters of my most recent work of channeled wisdom, Bending Time: The Power to Live in the Now. And many of your questions are ones that are raised expressly in the book, because initially I too balked at this notion of consciousness.

    Allow me to offer a few answers, as I so appreciate the kindness and generosity with which you engaged with my work, and I want to do the same for you. The first you posed was whether it has been easier for me, because of my European features, to separate from identity because either I never had that identity taken away from me, nor longed to know it fully. The answer, as you likely would anticipate, is far more complicated than a simple yes or no. With respect to race, I fully acknowledge that I have benefited from white privilege; I have never had to face any question about my right to belong, my capacities or my basic humanity because of my skin color or features. As a gay man, however, my right to belong, my masculinity, and my right to love have been challenged, at different points and in different ways, both socially and in my own personal experience. No one person’s experience is ever interchangeable with another’s, so I don’t speak for all gay white men, but I know what it means to feel like an outsider whose best approach to survival was to mask my desire or to feel the pain that my capacity to love another would always be regarded as somehow inferior to a true, heterosexual love relationship. All of which is utter hogwash. And for many years, as a former professor of Spanish literature with an emphasis on gender studies and queer theory, much of life was focused on LGBTQ emancipation.

    Even as my consciousness evolves, I in no way deny my history as a gay man, nor my history as a white male, nor the extent to which all three of those categories intersect in varying ways with privilege and social opprobrium. They are my history, lived experience, and my mind and body carry those memories around with me. So with respect to personal experience, none of it is to be denied, pushed aside, ignored. The second model of consciousness, which you so eloquently summarized, sees them as pieces of ever-evolving awareness/consciousness, that is not obligated or defined or limited by that past, even if that past remains a part of that self. And so if someone were to say, is Patrick gay or straight?, I would answer that I am “gay.” But for me, gayness is not some core principle that requires that every part of my life somehow reflect that. It is not a claim to belonging in such a way that my relationships, my personal presentation, my spirituality somehow need or must be an extension of being gay. And I don’t regard my place in the world as requiring that gayness be fully accepted by everyone. I know that I belong because I am alive and here.

    Unfortunately, for many, if not most, people, their lived experience, as you point out, is one in which identity seems like a necessary foothold, something to hold onto and defend, to protect one’s existence because it has been taken away from them or they’ve been denied a sense of self. But according to my Guides, our identities are all too often creations designed to protect us from a sense of otherness, to deny our common humanity, our shared oneness. The very categories of race that we use today have a historicity of their own — as creations designed to catalogue and place in a hierarchy the diversity of human expression. White people needed race (and still do) to protect their own fragile sense of belonging in this world, and have used it for such deleterious ends, to dehumanize, torture and suppress others who were not deemed “white.” As such, it is entirely normal, and indeed laudable, that those whose humanity has been questioned to challenge those notions by claiming pride and power in that identity. That has been equally true for the LGBTQ community, with our emphasis on pride. And when communities face literal death from police brutality and racism that says that black lives don’t matter, it is a natural and powerful response to say that black lives matter. But those are responses to a model of identity by a dominant group that requires and demands that the other to be rejected.

    And so the second model of identity is really about recognizing our oneness is a way that doesn’t mean that our differences cease to exist, they just don’t cease to exist as a means of defining our place in a world that needs defending, because our places in this world don’t need defending or justification. That is indeed a process, and indeed might even seem aspirational more than possible or even plausible in our world today. And the burden is on the dominant group to let go of their own attachment to identity — white people need to address whiteness and privilege, straight people need to address heteronormativity, and men need to address patriarchy. Nevertheless, each of us is capable of doing this work, on an internal and energetic level, so that we live a life in which we emotionally and intellectually know that our humanity, our right to belong, our basic goodness are birthrights, are not up for discussion or debate or negotiation, because we are imbued with the life bestowed upon us by our Creator.

    And do I know exactly what the world would look like (this is a version, I think, of the question you asked about how African people before Kemet conceptualized identity)? I do not. But I know, from a spiritual perspective, that it doesn’t mean the erasure of the many characteristics that we associate with men or women or black people or white people or gay people or straight people. We wouldn’t be reduced to some sort of dull conformity or sameness. Those differences would appear, not to separate us, not to say, that’s not me, but as ever expanding possibilities of what it means to be human. If difference didn’t threaten, we wouldn’t need a boundary in the form of identity that says, that’s not me, to be drawn and reinforced, with all of its systemic effects. So, in this way, one’s background wouldn’t cease to be relevant, and we wouldn’t have chaos or sameness. We would see our aspects of ourself as pieces of something else, a form of consciousness that recognizes that we have particular experiences in our bodies, and those differences would be a source of awe, wonder, and curiosity, not fear. We wouldn’t need to deny our history, where we can from, but how those pieces would make meaning for the self would be different. How we think of ourselves and others would shift dramatically, as we would approach each other in our “fullness” (the word used most often by my Guides for another person’s self beyond identity categories) — all of the characteristics that make you up now as well as all of that which is beyond form and beyond our five senses. I would see you, and you would see me, and see all of these pieces, as different ways of the Divine taking form, without reducing each of us to those characteristics or experiences. No erasure, but no reductionism, either, but rather a celebration of the multiplicity that the human form can take.

    I recognize that the origin of my writing, as channeled material from a group of ascended masters, may be unfamiliar or unconvincing; I encounter that frequently. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in reading the book, I’d be delighted to send you a free copy. You can send my your information at patrick@patrickpaulgarlinger.com.
    Thank you again for your considerate engagement with my work. I hope my response expresses adequately my deep respect for your own path.

    Blessings on your journey,
    Patrick Paul Garlinger

    1. Mr. Patrick Paul Garlinger, Thank you so much for your thorough response. I am excited to have you share! I’m glad The Universe saw to it that you would “come across” my blog. It cannot get any better when information comes from a first-hand resource. Your post brought clarity and a reason for more contemplation. (Doesn’t take much to motivate me to ponder 🙂 ) I will continue to revisit your words. While your comments were thought-provoking. I found the portion following very interesting.
      And so the second model of identity is really about recognizing our oneness is a way that doesn’t mean that our differences cease to exist, they just don’t cease to exist as a means of defining our place in a world that needs defending, because our places in this world don’t need defending or justification. That is indeed a process, and indeed might even seem aspirational more than possible or even plausible in our world today. And the burden is on the dominant group to let go of their own attachment to identity — white people need to address whiteness and privilege, straight people need to address heteronormativity, and men need to address patriarchy.

      I truly appreciate your candor and transparency. I sensed the gentleness and sincerity of the energy in your post.
      Dr. Free

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