The Future of Consciousness
by Arjan Kindermans, Managing Director, EnlightenNext Amsterdam
How does consciousness develop? This is a fascinating question. Consciousness. Pure subjectivity. Awareness. We all know it exists. That is why you are able to read this piece, for example. Yet scientists aren't able to find it. You can't locate it. Consciousness is not a 'thing'. It is what everything appears in. It is not the seen but the seeing itself. Now, talking about the evolution of consciousness gets even trickier. Here we are talking about the development of that which everything appears within and not about the development of all the things that we can see.
Since we made it from cells via bacteria, fish, mammals, primates, primitive peoples, medieval citizens to modern humans, something is definitely developing, and it isn't just our tools. We are becoming increasingly conscious; how we see ourselves, how we see the world and how we interpret what we see, is all developing. Recently that development has sped up tremendously. We went into space and saw the earth from above for the first time. We started connecting with people from all over the world through the Internet. We are now getting news from anywhere, literally within minutes. We have been evolving both technologically and psychologically; we left behind old values and dogmas. Many of us freed ourselves from the ties of tradition and religion and decided for ourselves what we believe in. We are more conscious now, and we started focusing that greater awareness on ourselves. We have become our own highest value, and that is what we seem to have gotten stuck in. As positive as it is - the individuality that is such a high value in our culture has made possible many things that were impossible before - yet the attachment to our individuality, to the image we have of ourselves, our cultural narcissism, makes moving to the next stage in our evolution very difficult.
Many people have stated that the crisis we are in now is a spiritual one that it is our consciousness that needs to change. As one of Albert Einstein's most quoted aphorisms states: you can't solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them. So we have to leap. We have to shift to a higher level. I am passionately interested in finding out how to do that and, more importantly, in actually doing that. In Andrew Cohen's philosophy, called Evolutionary Enlightenment, my interests in spirituality and evolution came together and I found it opened up the previously unthinkable possibility of consciously creating the future; to be an agent for and expression of the process of evolution that, consciously or not so consciously, we are all part of.
Arjan Kindermans is a speaker at our event about the future of Consciousness, Thursday, January 25, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15