February 25th, 2008

NewAge

Reflection on higher consciousness

There may be quibbles, but the Wikipedia article on "higher consciousness" seems a decent introduction to the topic. It certainly brings home the point that different cultures, at different times, have founds ways to cultivate a superior form of consciousness. Well, superior in many ways: Not only pleasing to its practitioner, it also allows more clarity of thought, approriate feeling, useful action and freedom in living. Despite this, higher consciousness is uncommon, while "good enough" consciousness abounds. A major reason for this is probably the time it takes in most people to cultivate the higher consciousness, time that often collides with the need to spread your genes as quickly and widely as possible early in adult life.

Why, then, is this option clearly available across continents and ages? Since it is found in different civilizations, it must have existed - at least as potential - before the rise of civilization itself. In fact, I find it more likely than not that civilization was sparked by such people, for the simple tribal mind would not be willing or able to make such leaps forward. Why is a property of being human so widespread when it does not contribute to the spread of the practitioner's genes? Is divine intervention the only possible explanation?