Some argue that we, as a human race, are regressing. We are destroying the planet with mindless acts of deforestation and ever-increasing mining, forcing species to extinction, and emitting tons of carbon. Causing ocean acidification, depleting food, water and energy supplies and so on. Interestingly, despite these, and other horrifically destructive acts, more people than ever before are entering a new age of knowing or awareness. Has the Age of Consciousness arrived?
More people understand the meaning of the word consciousness and its implications than ever before. Has the tipping point finally been reached? If so, why now? Is it the result of increasing numbers of people searching for meaning, purpose and connection in their lives? Can we thank Quantum Physics and Neuroscience for answering questions that once divided spiritual and scientific thinkers? Or is it that people have had enough of current ways of doing things and the devastating effects on the planet? The list of possibilities is endless.
While the reason may be elusive, there is no denying that, as a human race, our awareness is evolving at an alarming rate. A few years ago the word "conscious" meant being awake and aware of what was going on around you in your immediate environment. Unconscious meant being asleep, knocked out, or unaware of what was going on around you.
In the new Age of Consciousness, "conscious" means something much more. It may be more akin to mindfulness - awareness of one's existence, thoughts, feelings and environment. And it goes even further - being awake, alive, accepting of life as it is, connecting with others on deeper levels, being present to the bigger picture, and the greater good for all. It is the recognition of interconnection between ourselves and our world. The most profound level of responsibility imaginable – that each of us, and our thoughts, feelings, and intentions create the world we live in. Karl Jung meet Buddha and John De Martini. Eckhart Tolle high five.
What evidence is there for the Age of Consciousness?
By now some of you may be thinking where has this hippy been hanging out? No I didn't just step off a plane from Byron Bay or Ibud, Bali, to find evidence for my assertion. I didn't need to.
The Age of Consciousness is gradually unfolding in all areas of society from our daily lives to our business practices. It seems that everywhere we turn there is reference to mindfulness, or consciousness, people making a difference, changing our world, or giving back in some form or another. Conscious philosophies and practices are gradually finding their way into mainstream society. In time, this can only lead to a huge shift in humanity.
Only last week I was visiting the Head Office of an international bank and a beautiful painting caught my eye. Admiringly, I walked closer and noticed there was a Hindu God in the centre of the painting. To the left was an image of the chakras. I have come to expect to see paintings like this in retreats in exotic places, not in banks in the middle of Sydney CBD.
Two weeks ago I heard a story about a café on Sydney's Northern beaches with a quote from Erkhart Tolle on a blackboard inside. When my friend told the chef she liked it, he told her of his passionate plans for developing consciousness in children around the world.
A few weeks ago a client forwarded me a brochure for a Mindful Leadership program advertised to the public sector. Is mindfulness moving into the public sector too?
A few months ago an electrician arrived at a client's office with "compassion" written on the sleeve of his shirt. I asked him why and he told me it was a charity his company supports.
And these are just a few local examples – what about the Bangladeshi bank focused on ending world poverty? Or the increasing cafes around the world that operate on donation only? Or the vast number of businesses around the world that donate to charities when you purchase a coffee, or have an introductory meeting with an accountant, and so on?
More people than ever before are talking about consciousness, mindfulness and social change. It is not uncommon to have deep, connected conversations with strangers about the raised awareness of many people on the planet.