We are all capable of becoming something more through consciousness. Think of the most reputable figure, whether it be in the secular or non-secular world...you are more than capable of his or her accomplishments. Throughout human history, individuals and groups with awakening consciousnesses have been striving to break the code of the unconscious, to gain access to the locked programs of their unconscious minds and revise them, in other words -- to take conscious control of their psychospiritual evolution.
How are humans going to be able to make the Great Turning from the unsustainable and destructive industrial growth society to a life-affirming, embracing consciousnesss and ecologically sustainable way of life on Planet Earth?
How did the world get to the point where we're facing multiple, intractable, converging, global crises? Wouldn't the common good be better served if we understood what's happening and prepared for what's coming?
The three great "consciousness-raising" traditions of the world, psychology, mysticism, and religion, have always been about this to some degree, however unconsciously and unwittingly. In the psychological tradition, this is part of the aim of psychotherapy, hypnosis, and psychoactive drugs. In the mystical tradition this is part of the aim of meditation and yoga. In the religious traditions, this is part of the connection with God. In this regard, PsychoNoetics and to an extent, other "clearing strategies" do not stand alone. They are recent efforts in a great lineage of awakening that will continue to evolve as long as humanity continues to evolve.
There is always the fear that if we do not collectively evolve our consciousness and our culture, and create sustainable communities, the disintegration of industrial civilization will evoke the worst aspects of human nature. However, Darker scenarios of the future seem to have two assumptions in common: 1) that as economic contraction and ecological disintegration make survival the main issue, the reptilian brain will assert itself in conflict and violence at the expense of civilized, compassionate values and norms; and 2) the resulting chaos will further degrade the biosphere, our planetary life support system, and could lead to a dark age from which humanity may never recover.
The hope is that humans can consciously evolve beyond the reptilian brain's default responses to danger. The evolution of consciousness and culture would be the creative response of an integrated human brain.
Psycho-spiritual evolution is the cultivation and integration of depth and vastness in the process of evolving consciousness: psychological depth and spiritual vastness. Or we could call it the evolution of sustainable sanity -- sanity that transcends the default responses of the reptilian brain and sustains conscious choice in the midst of stressful, frightening situations.
PsychoNoetics as a conscious, evolutionary tool
In as much as it breaks the code of the unconscious, PsychoNoetics is a revolutionary transformational paradigm in this great lineage of awakening. The, "technical" aspects of this new paradigm are auto-kinesiological diagnosis, and the clearing strategy itself. But utilizing these techniques with a sacred intention, rather than merely a medical or psychotherapeutic one, qualifies PsychoNoetics to stand as a (clearing) path, alongside the (meditative, devotional, inquiring and psychophysical) paths of Buddhism, Vedanta, Sufism, Gnostic Christianity, Kabbalah, and various, non-traditional spiritual teachings.
Psychonoetic clearing proceeds entirely as a conscious decision to let go. There are no principles to be learned, no identity to be assumed, no examples to be lived up to, no information or teachings to digest. All you need to do to access your real identity as pure consciousness is to understand that you are That, and to clear away the memories, thoughts, and feelings that are obstacles to that realization.
Noetic psychologist Alan Combs distinguishes between anabolic and catabolic spiritual paths. Anabolic paths essentially consist of creating or constructing a new state of consciousness (as in affirmations, visualizations, and guided meditations). Catabolic paths, on the other hand, consist of deconstructing customary or habitual states of consciousness and their contents, so that new levels of organization can spontaneously manifest themselves.
PsychoNoetics, intended as a Clearing Path, is catabolic, a path of deconstruction, (although it can be used to guide anabolic processes like affirmations as well). It frees us from illusion and facilitates the acceptance of the reality of What Is. True spirituality can only emerge from this acceptance.
A fundamental, philosophical division
PsychoNoetics heralds a turn in philosophic orientation for the entirety of Western society. Remember the questions that I posed earlier in the book? Why is it that science, experts, and external authorities have taken such a hold of us, and why are some of us rebelling against this? In previous chapters I have pointed the finger at some of our beliefs about reality, but another part of the answer lies with our unexamined philosophy. Consider this.
There is a fundamental philosophical division in the world, one with widespread moral and ethical implications, which unconsciously influence most of the helping professions that have a "psychological" basis, like education, religion, psychotherapy, and social work. They even influence our legal system. On one side of this divide, people believe in laws and systems of ethical and moral directives. In the west this is exemplified by the Judeo-Christian tradition and in the east by Confucianism. The existence of these directives on how to live an upright life, how to be a good person in society, come out of a belief we have to be told, be taught, and tell ourselves what to do and how to live. This could be characterized as the doctrine of the child human, the human who is perpetually in need of a parent or a parental society.
On the other side of this divide, people believe that all humanity possesses an essential state of being, which it is our mission to uncover and perfect throughout our lives. From this perfected state, wisdom and compassion in thought and action spontaneously emanate. This doctrine is exemplified in the East by the traditions of Taoism, Advaita, and Chan and Zen Buddhism. It could be exemplified in the esoteric reaches of the Judeo-Christian tradition as a state of grace.
This split is not often commented on, but I think it is the most central division in human thought and certainly the division most relevant to the conduct of our lives. It is the difference between being treated or treating ourselves as a child, on the one hand, and being treated or treating ourselves as an adult on the other. I don't mean an adult plodding beneath the weight of obligations and responsibilities, but a mature being animated and illuminated by an inner light, an inner wisdom, an inner connection to "God".
There Is No Master
Until the need for a master is relinquished, the manifestation of and deepest identification with super-intelligence will not be possible. Truly, there is no master. There are, however, people that have developed the capability to bioenergetically influence others to their own ends. These ends are often masked by altruistic purposes and deeds, heroic efforts to help others, and even proclamation of unique oneness (or identification) with God. In reality, these masters distract their students and devotees from the realization of real, radical freedom and, ultimately, from "its absence" by means of a "substitute" manipulation of their bioenergies and psyche. Some individuals caught in this complex web of master-student are fortunate enough to break free of its viscious circle and realize that the "goal" is not unfathomable, rare, or unique, but rather simple, natural and accessible (and rightly so) to every living being.
We must realize that we are all masters in a sense and dissolve all myths, fantasies, and unrealities with a direct and unfiltered embrace of consciousness. We must not support "eternal relationships" to masters or teachers, which forever require undivided attention and energy.
Where we are
People who have been brought up to believe that man is driven by directives tend to be authoritarian personalities, (i.e., polarly position themselves either in authority or subject to authority) and reify facts and directives. What is more, they do unto others as they do unto themselves, and they do unto themselves as they do unto others. That is, they direct themselves through beliefs, laws, and "shoulds" and, when they have the chance, they impose these "shoulds" upon all others who have the misfortune of coming under their authority: spouses, children, parishioners, employees, or subjects.
Institutions, whether they are governments, religions, armies, or businesses, are even guiltier of this than are individuals. Organized religions, almost without exception, have been the most flagrant abusers and beneficiaries of this pernicious tradition. This is a mindset that imprisons mankind.
On the other hand, people who believe that man can be driven by an inner light, a gradually revealed connection to some source of inner wisdom, love, and truth, are inherently as free as their authoritarian counterparts are in bondage.
Most of what passes for education, religious instruction, knowledge, and government by laws, etc., is driven by facts and directives. In some ways science has provided an even more convincing rationale for external directives than the existence of an authoritarian God. There are only a small minority of individuals, philosophies, and institutions who dissent, who are free from this most oppressive delusion.
When we look at history we realize that only through the exact science of incrementalism has all of the above been possible. This relies on many small changes enacted over time in order to create a larger broad based change. World powers have embraced this systematized knowledge and applied it to the gradual deterioration of human health for one purpose - control.
Envisioning a self-illuminated humanity
We need to firmly ground an alternative body of thought and action on the vision of the self-illuminated human. Science, education, government, morality, and ethics, have not only to be recast in this light, but also reconceived in it. People for whom this viewpoint is natural, artists, poets, musicians, visionaries, free spirits and, of course, -- mystics, must give up their roles as dissenters on the periphery of a bounded society. Instead, they need to come together in mutual affirmation to form an alternate core, a core of inner authority, a core of light, a core society to which people can come as they liberate themselves from authoritarianism. They must recreate our institutions, particularly our schools and churches, in this vision so as to create alternatives for our society and a starting point for our children.
The Clearing Path of PsychoNoetics is aligned with this vision of the self-illuminated human, and is, in fact, facilitating this vision. Learning, information, affirmation, no matter how true and how wise, even learning about the self-illuminated human, are not enough. Only by letting go of everything that we hold on to in the space that is our consciousness, can we come to our real identity, and realize our inner authority.
Illumination is the stage characterized by the infilling of our souls with grace, with divine light -- bringing truth, giving us inner spiritual strength, and blessing us with spiritual gifts. It is a call to the resurrection life, to rise to new life in the Spirit in human form, no longer requiring death to complete the cycle.
We are in a new age, a global ecology where everything and everyone is visibly interdependent with everything and everyone else, and where almost all information is a mouse-click away. In this total information environment we are fast realizing that our survival is dependent upon sustaining the global system that sustains us. We are realizing that humanity must put their individual differences and individual identities aside and cooperate towards common goals. For that, we need a higher consciousness, one that sees that our individual interests are inseparable from the interests of the whole. This is no more and no less than enlightened self-interest, a new Golden rule that says do onto the All as you would do onto yourself.
How can the Clearing Path of PsychoNoetics help bring forth this new realization? We can, of course, be educated to this viewpoint, and a certain amount of education is in order. In fact, it is essential. However, education alone will not shift our consciousness. There is within every one of us an inherited resistance, which, as I have said, derives from our inescapable identification with our physical body and its survival. Identification with our body, inclines us towards an equally vulnerable and separated identification with our self-image.
This fundamental, survival urge drives most competitive human behavior. It is an evolutionary heritage that must be overcome or at least put into perspective, in order for new patterns of human response-ability to emerge. Clearing practices loosen our identity with our bodies and deconstruct all of the "false" identities that are built upon that. This, in turn, can break down those boundaries that keep humanity at odds with one another. If we envision what a society might be like when this becomes a reality, and our deep interdependency becomes apparent, we will be inspired to follow a clearing path not only for ourselves, but also for all humankind.