In a recent conversation about climate change and how consciousness was involved in the anthropocentric aspect of climate change, a friend asked me whether there was such a thing as a climate of consciousness.
To my view, and indeed in my experience, there is. Really, why shouldn’t there be? Just as we feel the wind or sun on our face when we are outside, we can experience the ambient consciousness climate wherever we are. It can feel very different in a depressed neighbourhood in an inner city in the western world and a similarly depressed neighbourhood in a country like India or Cambodia.
We lead such insular lives that we find it hard to believe that our personal emotional state can influence the larger scenario. We may just about accept that our personal lows may influence those around us, though we often put that down to the behaviour we manifest – looking hangdog, behaving listlessly. However, there is far more going on than we actually acknowledge most of the time.
In reality, our emotional state not only directly influences people close to us, but it also influences our physical environment close to us (and the non-physical environment too). All our thoughts whatever their nature, and the emotions we feel, spread out much further than our bodies and our immediate relationships of the day. They infuse the material reality around us, and can be felt very tangibly if you choose to tune in.
Have you ever walked into a room and just known that there has just been an altercation there? How about walking into a friend’s house and sensing that she has just had a physical clear-out in the house (initiated by an emotional desire to let go of some of the past)? That sense of a clearing in the physical space that had not been there last time? What do you experience when you visit a new country as you set your feet on new and unknown land?
I recall a particularly profound experience I had not so long ago when visiting India. (Actually, it was not the first time I had been there, but I had become much more sensitive to changes in the energetic surroundings I was in, which resulted in my being very much more aware of the difference between the Indian climate of consciousness and the UK consciousness climate at an almost visceral level.) When we were about 5 miles out from the airport and were well into our descent I was moved to tears absolutely spontaneously, with no obvious external or internal trigger. By the time we landed I was almost blubbing with joy. It felt so absolutely right to me, so much like home, despite the culture and the obvious external differences from my UK birth home and what I now consider to be my physical home.
It was very much to do with the quality of energy and consciousness stored in the land and built up consistently by centuries of people engaged in routine spiritual practices. A place where it was commonly accepted by the majority of the population that they were not just human bodies disconnected and isolated from each other and the greater whole, but part of a seamless web of consciousness which permeated everywhere and manifest in many different ways. A place where people were much more aware than in the west how their though forms influenced their own lives, and beyond.
If we could see beyond the physical world, we would be able to see the consciousness weather patterns building up localised climates, in much the same way that we can now see weather maps from satellite. There would be places where the energy levels were stormy, where there were rapid shifts, where there was stability, where there was rapid change with volatility, where there was slower and steady change. The picture would be infinitely more complex than any satellite pattern, requiring one to tune in to different layers and different energetic forms of consciousness. One could see how a ‘storm’ brewing in one part of the world would slowly affect the weather patterns elsewhere, how consistent turbulence or disruption in one area would, over time, affect the consciousness climate over the whole world.
Where significant negativity is exuded it can often become dominant and can be tangibly felt by some people, and where positivity is the predominant aspect that also can be experienced. My experience as we landed in India was of that visceral body understanding of a profoundly positive zeitgeist maintained by the human population there, which fed and nurtured the land.
By contrast, when I returned from India, I stopped off at Dubai to change flights. I’ve never been attracted by the Middle East and would not have chosen to visit there, but despite that I was taken aback by just how strongly my body responded. Again, five miles out from Dubai my body started responding, this time by feeling nauseous and I felt the need to search out the sickbag ‘just in case’. I felt ill the whole time of the stopover, needing to lie down as much as possible, and only started to feel relief once we were in the air and some distance away from Dubai.
Whilst most people are unlikely to respond so strongly (and I admit that my metabolism was very poor at the time, so very subject to easy disruption from environmental changes, which was fortunate because it really magnified my bodily response to a level that I could appreciate and never forget) nevertheless we can tune in at a body level, avoiding the mental clutter associated with appraising a new environment, and just sense the ambient climate in any place. Much like conducting an empathy walk with someone, we can use the same sensing practice to sense into the bigger picture wherever we are, asking ourselves what changes we are experiencing.
One of the most impressive changes in consciousness I have heard about is the change in Cambodia. The level of consciousness there is now extremely positive. And yet it was only in the 70’s that the country was precipitated into an extremely negative consciousness spiral or vortex during the Pol Pot regime. Yet now they are one of the most positive countries in the world, and that can be felt in the land itself.
How did this happen? I believe that there was a collective move in Cambodia to transcend the effects of the mass genocide and move into support, love and nurture of each other regardless of roles that individuals may have played. This switch to positivity at a collective scale had a powerful effect on the people of the country and on the land itself.
How different that is from the climate of consciousness in most countries in the West, a climate of fear of terrorism and of being inundated by refugees.
Our thought forms, our ideas about ourselves, other people, our relationship, or lack of relationship with the earth from which we come – all these are fed into the earth itself. The thoughtforms can become physically manifest in our environment. This is really no different from the increasingly normal acceptance that our own personal emotional state influences our own health.
The thought forms that lead to massive mining and mineral extraction actually physically scar the earth, affecting its integrity, but they also scar the earth invisibly. The thoughtforms that foster racial and other forms of inequality directly affect the people both holding those views, and those on the receiving end. These thoughtforms can also directly translate into affecting the environment. And they can also affect the parties involved in the production and maintenance of these thoughtforms within the physiological structure of their own bodies. These thoughtforms create stresses within the bodies of both the perpetrators and the victims which directly affect the biological structure of their bodies. As we die and our remains return to the earth these forms linger in the earth itself.
Some of these thoughtforms can be short-lived, when they are discarded and/or revised and a healing takes place. Others, belief systems strongly held by many people, have a long-lasting effect on the environment and permeate it strongly. I recall visiting the concentration camp museum at Belsen in the 1980’s and was surprised by how much I experienced the horror of the experiences of the interns in a very visceral manner. My body was responding to the memory in the land. I have heard since that many of these concentration camps have since been transformed into uplifting experiences for visitors, as there has been so much collective healing in the intervening period.
I am sure that you, the reader, will have had similar experiences for yourself, but it is possible that you have discounted the significance of them. But the fact is, that it is important to be aware of how your body responds to your environment, because those changes and the effect they have on you have been produced by someone, somewhere, just as you are also affecting the earth, and indirectly other people, elsewhere.
The change in the local consciousness climate in a place can be transformed by collective changes in consciousness. Healing collective trauma and letting go of the past allows a place to embrace the new – the new consciousness that humanity can bring to it. It doesn’t change what happened in the past, but it does change our focus on the future, where we shift our focus in how we relate to others nowadays, and how much joy we bring into the world.
As some say that we ARE the food that we eat, meaning that the quality of our diet affects how healthy we are, similarly, the earth IS significantly affected by the quality of human consciousness both globally and locally. Animals and plants do affect the quality of the consciousness held in the earth, and this is the predominant factor affecting areas where there is little human habitation or influence. However, where there is a high density of human population or activity, then humanity produces by far the most significant effect on the earth. Even within our domestic areas, our gardens, it has been shown that blades of grass show measureable stress in advance of being mown. If we can see it at the level of a grass blade, just imagine how much more significant that is at a larger geographical level.
Nowhere is this more apparent than where there are massive depredations on the landscape, mass mining of minerals, the tar sands extraction, or places where there has been significant wilful loss of life. These places have been so degraded that plants and animals are scarce. It is only once humanity leaves the place that it becomes recolonised by plant and animal consciousnesses. The time that this takes to happen is largely dependent on the degree to which the human thought form persists. If the land is too degraded by human negativity (and I am in no doubt that the scale of wilful extraction from earth can be viewed as a form of negativity and lack of respect for the being of earth) then plants and animals simply cannot manifest there.
So, imagine what the changes in the climate of consciousness is doing to the Amazon rainforest as it is progressively desecrated. A place, that not only held a significant place on earth acting as the planet’s lungs, is affected not only at a tangible level, but at a wider non physical level. And, just the intention to start clear felling could affect the rain forest ahead of time, in the same way that grass blades register the intention held by a human to mow it.
The very intention that we hold towards any place, any part of the world, animate or inanimate can have a profound affect on it. It is time we became aware just how much our intentions affect our world.
Each thoughtform or non-physical entity is constantly evolving as we ourselves evolve and change our emotional state. As long as we stay fixated on the concept of using fossil fuels as our energy source we will be affecting the earth, both tangibly and in invisible ways, by the extraction and the unwanted side-effects of the use of fossil fuels: increasing CO2 densities, particulate pollution and methane release, and these are only the side effects that we are currently aware of.
Just as we find it hard to consider the possibility of consciousness ‘weather’ (think of the emotional outpouring after Princess Diana’s death) and the longer-term consciousness ‘climate’ so we find it hard to comprehend that there is much more going on that affects our world, and the well-being of all within it. How much do we understand about the effects of the non-physical aspects of our usage of radioactive fuel? There is a constant interplay between what we can see and can currently measure, what we can see but do not currently identify as significant factors, and what we can’t see and currently do not have the understanding to be even able to measure it. Even though we are continually finding greater refinements in the way our individual bodies operate, new medical findings of how hormones and enzymes influence our metabolic processes, we do not currently recognise that there are processes which are entirely outside our current field of view, because we do not even allow for the possibility that they exist.
What we cannot see is infinitely more complex than what we can see. The global weather patterns that are monitored by satellite daily, and the long-term recording and projections of future climate change may seem complex to us. But they are extremely simple compared with the complexity of the non-physical realm within which earth and all its inhabitants are immersed. The number of different consciousnesses and the types of energy they flow are much more diverse and far ranging than what we currently can see on our earth. In fact, by the nature of evolution, the non-visible will always be a more significant factor in the potential for our environment. But these non-physical consciousnesses need our co-operation to be able to manifest on earth, to contribute to the evolution of earth, to greater diversity, to greater creativity, to greater joy – to the flourishing of life on earth. To be able to participate in this creative dance we need to be open to co-operation with a greater whole, letting go of outmoded and destructive thoughtforms and practices, and entering into a joyful dance of ongoing creativity. To be able to fully respond to the manmade aspect of climate change we will need to set aside our individualism, our self-imposed boundaries, and to co-create in creating and enabling the changes that are waiting in the wings to happen. Like all change, it will be uncomfortable, and will be outside our control as we begin to acknowledge our place in a larger whole. But if we don’t do it we are shutting off the opportunity for the larger consciousness of earth to unfold as we attempt to constrain it by our own sense of self-importance.
It is possible for us each to change our personal consciousness, our thoughtforms and our emotional setpoint. And, as we are all connected through invisible threads, that can influence others.
As Goethe says:
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, We Are the Decisive Element
We are not going to change and repair the planetary damage quickly, but what is within our personal control is the intention and the trajectory we follow. The results may not be visibly apparent in our lifetimes, but the underlying climate of consciousness will be positively affected for the benefit of future generations.