In Chinese culture, every year has an animal mascot. It's the "year of the monkey," for example, or the year of the rooster. For NaturalNews, 2012 is the year of consciousness (or conscious awakening, in a sense).
Does this mean we're going to abandon the mundane daily news of planet earth and float off into la-la land where we start chanting mantras and worshipping self-proclaimed enlightened gurus? Hardly. In fact, in 2012 I want to talk with you about what I call grounded consciousness. Or "holistic consciousness."
And why? Because it is the lack of consciousness that's behind every corporate crime, government conspiracy, political corruption, Big Pharma scheme and environmental crime that takes place on our planet. Those who lack consciousness engage in "you versus me" crimes of selfishness -- stealing, exploiting, destroying, deceiving -- yet such behaviors come from a place of ignorance about consciousness and the universe around us.
Let me make this really practical and easy to understand by invoking characters from popular culture:
Yoda taught Luke Skywalker that all things are connected. "The Force," as he explained it, flowed through all living things and bound them together in a kind of mystical universal energy. George Lucas was right on the mark when creating this fictional character, because "The Force" really does exist, and it's made of consciousness.
It is a sense of not just self awareness but of connectedness with other living things. The truly conscious person is not merely "awakened" about their own existence, but is fully aware and even spiritually attuned to the reality that we are not really separate from other living things around us.
Sure, we have our own individual ideas, egos, memories and actions. So we are still individuated (which is a good thing), otherwise we wouldn't even be able to talk using the word "I" (which some gurus say is an illusion anyway). But technically, when we talk about "I" we should really be talking about "we" because everything that one person does is reflected throughout the other conscious creatures and beings on our planet, so that even seemingly personal, individuated actions inevitably become "we" results.
This isn't some fleety, high-minded blabbery. It's real. It's practical. Allow me to give you an example:
Suppose a selfish, low-consciousness corporate CEO says, "I'm going to dump this toxic waste into the river because that saves ME money, and it makes ME more profits." So he dumps the waste into the river.
Downstream, a billion living creatures start to become damaged by the toxic waste: The fish, frogs, turtles, trees, plants and perhaps even cities full of people who use the river as their water supply. This, in turn, creates "a disturbance in the Force," as Obiwan described it in Star Wars. The disturbance spreads sickness, disease and dysfunction. That dysfunction inevitably makes its way back to that same corporate CEO -- perhaps the mutated offspring of some woman who drank the polluted water grows up and becomes a violent criminal who car-jacks the CEOs granddaughter and murders her in the process. While the CEO will decry "how terribly violent our world has become," he will disavow the truth that he poisoned the world and made it more destructive.
The violence that happened to his daughter was the inevitable result of his own acts of violence unleashed upon the world through toxic chemicals.
Even individuated, "we" still share a common thread
From the point of view of universal consciousness, there is no "I" -- there is only "we." And WE are affected by everything that each one of us does. If you take pharmaceuticals, you are contributing to the destruction of the planet because those chemical medications pass through your body and get flushed down the toilet where they chemically pollute the planet. Someone who says, "I need these antidepressants so I take them" is really saying "screw the planet, I am willing to poison the world in order to try to mask my own symptoms of depression with a toxic chemical."
So, you see, the corporate CEO who pollutes the planet is not much different from the 40-year-old housewife who feels depressed and pops pharmaceuticals throughout the day. Both are operating out of an illusory sense of what I call spiritual isolationism -- the false belief that we are disconnected from our world (and from each other) and that we can do whatever we wish as long as it helps us in the short term, regardless of what it does to other living, conscious beings in the long term.
This is the stunted point of view from which all deception is based -- all wars, GMO contamination, government conspiracies and corporate poisoning of the people is conducted from this place of spiritual isolationism.
Spiritual integration, in contrast, is what you might call the process by which a person comes to a sense of self awareness about the relationships between all living things. "Awakening" is integration. It's also the path of the Jedi, to use the Star Wars metaphor again, because it relies on using the Force as an ally in the protection of life.
The spiritual (Jedi) farmer
A woman who grows a garden is a spiritual farmer in that she gives new life to seeds. When a plant creates a seed, at first that seed is just a biological machine held in stasis, awaiting the right moment to sprout. When a seed sprouts, consciousness enters the plant in the same way that a soul enters the developing fetus right after the moment of fertilization.
Both a human fetus and a garden seedling are conscious beings with a sense of awareness, a (limited) sense of self, a functioning nervous system and increasingly complex awareness of its immediate environment.
The idea that plants have consciousness has been taught throughout many early human civilizations, of course. The American Indians believed this, as did the Inca. Indians believed the desert Saguaro cacti were sacred beings, watchers over the land. And when you're in the presence of these amazing beings, you can't help but agree with them.
Trees have nervous systems. Weeds in your back yard engage in social networking through the chemical transmission of messages about external threats. A blade of grass may not have the physical brain of a human being, but it has what I call "a sliver of consciousness." That doesn't mean I feel guilty mowing the lawn, but it does mean I carefully consider my actions when altering any natural landscape, removing trees, planting trees, and tending the garden.
As humans, we are especially gifted with mobility that allows us to be caretakers for other forms of conscious life, including both plants and animals. We have the arms and legs that trees don't (except in Lord of the Rings, I suppose). So we can move around, meaning we can create life (plant seeds), or we can destroy life (GMOs).
My point in all this is that the destruction of life always comes from a place of spiritual ignorance. A person who could callously and mindlessly destroy life (or poison the planet with GMOs, for example) is a person operating from a total lack of understanding about the consciousness that ties us all together. When Israelis say they want to kill Palestinians (or vice-versa), this is done from a place of giving in to the "dark side" of the Force -- the seductive, destructive side, which seems powerful at first but is actually a sign of spiritual weakness.
To harm another human being, as the Buddhists say, is to harm yourself. Why is that true? Because underneath the individuation and the ego, there flows a current of connected consciousness. It flows like a river through all living systems. To destroy life is to disrupt the flow of that river -- an act that inevitably darkens your own reality as well. There is no act of violence that is undertaken in isolation. All acts of both violence and compassion are reflected (and even magnified) throughout the fabric of reality. This idea is echoed across all world religions, including Christianity.
Police state fear is only possible from a place of low consciousness
An important point to understand in all this is that no society has yet achieved the recognition of consciousness that exists throughout all living systems. Our human societies remain in their infantile stage, operating from a place of individuated ego, and lacking the deeper understanding of connectedness that becomes obvious when the true nature of consciousness is firmly grasped.
War is the ultimate expression of disconnectedness. When one nation decides to murder the people of another nation, this is an act of extreme ignorance tempered by anger and wrapped in illusion.
Police states -- like the one into which the USA is now descending -- are the day-to-day expression of disconnectedness and ego. Think about the whole message of the terror-driven police state: YOU might be a terrorist. So I, the TSA agent or the federal law enforcement agent, must destroy you before you can destroy me. This is the philosophical foundation of Darth Vader.
So rather than working on ways to stop creating enemies -- or ways to nurture peace, liberty and prosperity -- the police state government is intent on isolating and separating people, creating division and fear that drives people apart. Whereas peace is achieved through the integration of cultures (i.e. western white people going to visit the mosques of Islam, to understand their culture better), terrorism is achieved through the spreading of suspicion and paranoia that drives people away from each other in fear while concentrating power into the hands of the "Dark Lords" (evil tyrants like Janet Napolitano, who only lacks a black cape and a loud respirator).
This is the whole point of the "If you see something, say something" campaign that depict white people, black people, and brown people as possible terror suspects to be treated with total paranoia. The government, you see, is in the business of lowering consciousness and creating division instead of peace. Peace pulls power away from governments and puts it into the hands of the People. War and fear, on the other hand, keeps power concentrate in the hands of government.
Love and compassion, on the other hand, are the vibes of raising consciousness and creating mutual respect. Governments do not teach love and compassion because such concepts are self destructive to governments.
The way out of terrorism, war and government tyranny
All this makes the pathway out of terrorism, war and fear rather obvious. You cannot "fight" tyranny and win with force. Tyranny thrives on the death, the destruction and the fear that goes with that application of force. Tyranny can truly only be conquered by awakening people to the greater truths about who they are, how they are connected, and how they all experience holographic fragments of the same stream of consciousness that flows through all living things.
The way to stop war, in other words, is to teach those who commit war so that they realize they have been operating under the illusion of false individuation. A cat might initially be scared by its own shadow on the wall -- and it might attack that shadow -- but once it realizes the shadow is simply an expression of itself, it recognizes the foolishness of fighting its own shadow, and it calmly walks away.
On our planet today, when one nation commits murder (war) against another nation, it is fighting its own shadow, and the solution to such shadow fighting is not to "build bigger bombs," but to raise awareness of the situation so that those involved both realize the silliness of it all and decide to walk away, embarrassed of how childish their actions now seem.
The end of government deception, corporate conspiracies, never-ending war, mass murder, Big Pharma's poisoning of the world, and even day-to-day muggings is found not simply in physical security, but in conscious awakening.
Does this mean you should stop thinking about self defense preparedness and start meditating away all your problems? Absolutely not: Until all the other people are also spiritually awakened, you must take prudent, practical measures to protect yourself and your family in the physical world. But as you do so, strive to teach and exemplify an "awakened" course of action that avoids violence and encourages people to connect with the deeper, higher truths of who they really are (and how they're connected to everything else).
Carry a stick, in other words, but use it to support your neighbor rather than strike them down.