In the book Radical Inclusivity I am pointing to a new level of consciousness. The idea that we are in the midst of a shift in consciousness is not original and in fact is gaining popularity. One particularly accessible description of this shift can be found in Fritjof Capra’s book, The Turning Point.
The specific question I want to explore is: How is it possible to move from one level of consciousness to another?
This is a question that is fundamental to the whole idea of Radical Inclusivity and has been a part of the world’s great mystical traditions for millennia.
How can the consciousness currently experience be used to induce an experience of a consciousness beyond it? How can we pick ourselves up by our own mental bootstraps?
Those of us who encounter this problem are encountering the essential challenge that must be faced head on by anyone who aspires to consciously participate in generating a shift in consciousness. One source of the challenge is that our existing level of consciousness is shaped by our ideas about reality and the medium of ideas is language.
In other words, our ability to understand and even perceive of anything depends on the background of understanding that we are resting in.
I studied physics as an undergraduate and I know that if you don’t have the background of necessary to understand complex mathematical formulas, they are literally meaningless. Once you learn the background you can directly perceive the reality that the previously meaningless numbers and symbols represent. The formulas come alive.
In the film “The Gods Must be Crazy” a coke bottle falls out of an airplane and into a village in Africa whose inhabitants have no context to understand what a coke bottle is. The film is a humorous exploration of what the coke bottle gets used for in its new environment.
During the twentieth century, the notion that all of our understanding about anything depends on the pre-existence of a necessary background of understanding was explored by philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger.
When we talk about a shift in consciousness, or what has often been called a paradigm shift, we are talking about shifting into a new background of understanding.
The question is, how can our current operating system create the next one? How can the consciousness that we currently have, give us access to something that lies beyond it?
The short answer is…it can’t.
We can’t construct a new level of consciousness, and we can’t guide ourselves to it in any linear way. But it is possible to discover something accidently that you could never discover on purpose.
The contemplation that I would like to leave you with is, how can our current background of understanding be used to induce a shift into a new operating system altogether?