Last spring, I added my raised voice to hundreds of others in a rally supporting Planned Parenthood and the rights of women to make their own healthcare decisions.
With shared breath, we repeatedly shouted, “Resist! Resist! Resist! ” The mass of energy expressed by so many voices shouting as one was intensely powerful. In that moment, surrounded by a throng of kindred spirits, it felt like we could righteously overcome any threats to our freedom.
And in my righteousness, I knew beyond any doubt who my enemies were.
This was clearly demonstrated by what I perceived to be my enemies’ profound and dangerous lack of empathy and compassion, complete disregard for the living systems of our planetary home, and a perilous denial of facts supported by the leading science of the day. And as we chanted, my righteousness became fueled by justified anger. “Resist! Resist! Resist!”
And then something unexpected stopped my chanting in mid-breath, catching it in my throat like a stifled cough. It was the memory of watching a video clip from the election. Then-candidate Donald Trump was holding a rally with thousands in attendance.
They too were shouting with one voice. “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!“ My stomach constricted into a tight knot. In that moment, I realized that, on an emotional level, there was no difference between that angry multitude and my sharp chanting. Though our ideas were completely divergent, we both were acting from that same field of extremely incensed and contracted energy born from frustration and anger.
On a purely expressive level, their anger and mine could have been close siblings, even twins. In terms of emotion, we shared the same message, repeated over and over: “We’re right, You’re wrong! We’re right, You’re wrong! We’re right, You’re wrong!”
All the fear, the conflict, the ecological indifference, the insane ideas born from this ongoing Us versus Them mentality, the ease of de-humanizing the other when righteous anger filters our perception, are all born from the current worldview. The essence of this worldview is based on the idea that we are separate from each other and separate from the living system of our shared earth.
We can choose to work toward healing from the madness that fills the daily newsfeed and threatens our very survival. We can choose to create and embody an entirely new worldview based on connection over separation, and love over fear.
This is the paramount invitation of our times.
Since that rally, where I joined with my brothers and sisters in opposition to the current power structure, I realized that we don’t have time to putter around with the old models of political activism.
We need to make an evolutionary leap in our collective consciousness at a revolutionary pace! We need a more open-hearted approach! Our planet demands this of us!
Perhaps it’s not about resistance at all.
So, if not resistance, what might be an alternative course that points to the potential of a new worldview? I would offer the idea of transcendence.
It is imperative that we transcend our current worldview, our current point on the evolutionary arc, and move a couple notches up, toward the recognition that all of life is deeply interconnected—even those parts that we are so vehemently in disagreement with.
What we do to any part of the living system we inhabit, we do to ourselves. Many can see that this is indeed so.
But how do we proceed?
Ultimately, any collective creation of a new worldview would most likely develop in similar fashion to a successful dance party, with each of us learning our own steps and bringing them to the floor. Then we can collectively dance to a rhythm dictated by the communal heartbeat of our growth and healing.
For most of us, the foundation of this work is in refining our awareness through the incorporation of meditation practices into our daily lives, living more and more from that meditative mind state, or mindfulness. That, and retooling our belief systems through the use of that larger, meditative awareness, are the primary technologies we can use for consciously evolving ourselves.
The interesting thing about all of this is, if we are able to transform our intention from one of resistance to one of transcendence, our actions may not appear that different.
Our activism will still be very active.
We will still work toward empowering change and educating those who are less aware. We will still march in joined protest, and some of us will engage in acts of civil disobedience. It’s just that the internal fire will be burning from a different fuel, the fuel of transcendence—seeking for that higher point on the evolutionary arc that holds the knowledge that we are not separate and isolated beings!
And, with that intention, our acts will gain in the power, wisdom, and skill that naturally flows from that more expansive mind state.
And that is the fertile ground out of which a new worldview will be born.
This is what our planet is crying out for us to do right now.
So, “Transcend! Transcend! Transcend!”
Author: Tod Evans
Image: Abhisek Sarda/Flickr
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman