Ever have the feeling that the world is in a downward spiral? Or that we ought to be able to organize our societies to better meet our needs? In this article we will propose a “consciousness revolution” that we believe will not only improve our social structures but will enhance the lives of everyone who embraces it.
Consciousness itself can be an inordinately complicated subject, and we don’t pretend to be able to answer all questions about the nature of consciousness. After outlining what we mean by a consciousness revolution, however, we hope the reader will agree that we need one. We will avoid arguments about such things as qualia that could endlessly muddy the waters. Instead we will present a simple framework for understanding the role of consciousness in our lives, and we will develop a method by which each individual can freely and creatively choose her or his own role in the further evolution of consciousness.
Developing a revolution in the way people think requires an interaction among diverse perspectives. We invite your participation, corrections, and constructive suggestions. It will not happen in a day, but let us begin the consciousness revolution here and now!
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Let’s also dispense with the idea that consciousness is so complicated as to be mystical in nature. Consciousness can be conceptually reduced to its simplest elements and reconstructed as a whole. We don’t need to answer every question about consciousness. Further, we are convinced that consciousness must be demystified, democratized, and that a carefully defined, higher level be made available to everyone if we, as a species, are to progress beyond the dilemmas of 21st century conflicts.
Readers who want to delve more deeply into one among the many theories of consciousness can read our earlier article on the Ancient Pyramids of Consciousness. We also encourage a look at the literatures on “post-formal thought,” integral philosophy, models of hierarchical complexity, nutraceuticals that improve cognition, neurofeedback systems for improving brain function, the rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI and AGI), the social effects following robotic replacement of human workers, the harm done by gross inequalities of wealth, and of course, the real science of climate change.
It is well-known that intense emotions can narrow consciousness and reduce adaptive intelligence. This happens at societal levels as well as in individual situations. Therefore, we will outline a proposal for addressing historical issues of racial, gender, and economic injustice. Unless these are adequately addressed it is difficult to imagine progressing beyond the enmity among Identity Groups that represents a serious obstacle to the further evolution of societies around the world. Further, these issues, as we shall see, are directly related to the primary issue of human survival. We hope our proposed program will be enacted, that it will make the first societies that adopt it beacons of light in a darkening world.
Lastly, we intend to reveal an essential unity of secular spiritualism and faith-based spiritual traditions.
What is Consciousness?