Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
Perspectives on God – Part Four: The Muck of Mass Conscious Thinking
by William Gunderson
In the Intro to Part 3, I stated that our illusions of limitation are a natural consequence of having come into physical form. But we are not meant to remain mired in the muck of illusion. All of the combined illusions of man’s separation since the beginning of time form what is often referred to as mass consciousness. It is the dense energy of fear and limitation, what I refer to as the muck. We shouldn’t complain about the muck; it’s just part of the range of thought, providing us choices and opportunities to come to better know ourselves. We should, however, try to recognize the muck for what it is, since most of our problems arise from the fact that we don’t.
I would like you to see how everything that we consider to be part of life-the conflicts and struggles and distresses–are simply one version of how it can be. It’s like being in a funhouse with distorted mirrors and perspectives and scary images. If we were raised in such a giant funhouse (where it was our whole world), we would adapt and think that is the way life is. Well, this life where we see limitation and powerlessness is really no different. It’s an illusion. Immersed in the muck energy, it just feels like that’s the way life is. The illusion of mass conscious thinking is held together with cords of ideology, dogma and conventional thinking. The problem with these kinds of beliefs is that they bring with them not just an assertion that they are right, but a “certitude” that they are. When we are certain that it’s one way, we cut ourselves off from all other possibilities.
Importance of Being Aware of Harmful Beliefs
There are two perspectives, inner and outer. Respectively, there are thoughts of love (inner) and thoughts of fear (outer); truth (inner), illusion (outer); our divine god-self (inner), our false self–personality, self of the world (outer). Our life is totally construed according to which of these perspectives we focus upon or “come from”. Each represents an approach to living and being. Are we going to live according to truth (our higher selves) and thereby live powerfully unlimited creative lives or according to our separated selves, in bondage, limited by our worldly reality? In this part, we are examining the realities of living from the latter perspective and the manifestations of limitation and attack that stem from the fear thoughts inherent to it.
If we are perfect expressions of God, we often wonder why it is that we seem to not experience a life we imagine would be consistent with that reality. Why do we continue to swim in the mucky energy of limited thinking? It seems we’re not making a connection between the idealism of our teachings and our real world experience. It’s as though we’re saying that our teachings are “up there” and my day to day real life is down here. There’s a gap. It seems to be that we don’t step out of the muck long enough to look objectively at what we’re in. If we did, we’d be more inclined to rise out of it and begin living differently, ceasing to fight against the things outside. What follows is an effort to bridge that gap.
Nature Of Fear Energy
The muck exists. It’s just a natural outgrowth of diversity of thought. It is the humdrum mix of limited beliefs of mass consciousness routinely repeating, over and over. They are urging us, judging us, tempting us and pressuring us to feel unworthy, guilty, angry, outraged, jealous, resentful and defeated. And as we buy into it, we become mired, living the same old routine experiences that result.
For the most part, the muck is fear energy, the opposite of love. It is the outer stuff of the world. If it were love, we would experience it as light, joy, magnetic power. When we stay in the muck however, we are concerned with others, always sticking our noses into their business, judging them, worrying about what they’re doing or thinking, worrying about how we stack up compared to them, wondering if we are acceptable to them, agonizing about how they’ve hurt us. Our egos convince us that this is life, the only way it can be. But that’s not true; we don’t have to buy into any of it.
We forget that we are eternal beings, part of the whole of Universal Subconscious, individualized into this physical expression in order that the whole may experience itself. That experiencing can only occur through comparison to what it is not. Mass consciousness, with its range of thoughts of fear, attack and limitation, provides the contrast and the opportunities to learn and evolve toward thoughts of love. When we indulge in fear thoughts (an error), the effect is undesirable experience. We are supposed to learn from that (like touching a hot flame) and pull away toward better thoughts. But erroneously thinking the muck is just the way life is, we participate, playing its silly and often nasty games. As bad as it feels, we choose it over love. We actually get vicarious thrills from the attack games (directed toward ourselves as well as others) and become addicted to the dramas, yet never really experiencing any peace of mind or joy. It’s as though we’re hypnotized. The tragic part of this is that by participating, we deny ourselves the opportunity to experience the magnificent life that a powerful aware expression of God should experience.
We rise out of this morass by simply waking up and becoming objective observers. It’s not productive to oppose mass conscious thoughts. Opposition is just another way of participating in it. Rather, through your observations, you can become more aware of options. Then you can simply choose to focus upon more enlightened thoughts. If you maintain focus upon what you want, you’ll not draw into your experience the undesirable ideas within mass consciousness. Quite simply, they will not be attracted to you. Just a reminder-everything is energy and like attracts like.
Moving Toward Awareness
We don’t increase awareness through avoidance. Many so-called New Age teachings / teachers, conscious of the fundamental truth that we get what we give our attention to, seem to take an avoidance approach about the unpleasant expressions of fear. This is understandable. But avoidance is as much a focus of attention. We can’t run from or push away that in our lives which we don’t like. We do much better by bringing all of this fear stuff out and laying it on the table where we can view it objectively. Only through increasing awareness, does it lose its hold over us. Seeing it for what it is, we will soon lose our taste for it-even become bored with it. I’m talking about breaking our emotional attachment through awareness. As an example, in my particular sport of choice–skydiving, we make ourselves aware of incidents that have led to problems (for others and / or ourselves) so that we might choose to make corrections in our own actions or equipment and to recognize situations should they occur to us. Then we turn our focus toward fun-not fear. We don’t become emotionally attached to (fearful of) problems that have occurred. Our increased awareness improves our experience.
So let’s become objective observers of our thought environment. Look, one can’t attack others as being wrong, rationalizing it as just personal opinion, and not expect to experience that attack energy coming back to him. It’s just not how the universe works. You can’t just condemn others for doing things that your religion prohibits and say, “I’m just following God’s will”. God’s will is never about condemnation.
As we look at the sort of unsavory thinking that motivates attack, you may think of people to whom that applies and then feel anger or outrage. The whole point is to realize that these reactions are part of our own conditioned tendency to attack back. Following the tendency is a choice that only harms us. But awareness of the tendencies must precede if we are to rise above them. So be warned, this is a very candid, even blunt description of the manifestations of fear energy. If you wish to be the expression of Infinite Mind that you are, you must make a choice to move away from limited thinking. And by the way, we should not blame ourselves or feel guilty that we have been lost in the muck. The fact that you are reading this is testament to the fact that you have decided to follow the light of truth and move from the illusion.
A Matter Of Certitude–Thinking Style Of Separation
The separated individual, entranced with the illusions of his ego feels insecure. He seeks to relieve the resulting tension by closing out “other”. For example, let’s say that someone is raised to believe or otherwise has come to believe certain things and he has a strong conviction that those beliefs are the only way (they could be political or religious beliefs). Then, in order to relieve the stress he experiences when he’s confronted with ideas that conflict, he develops ruses to close them out. He begins, consciously or not, to utilize faulty thinking patterns which are expressed in a variety of ways. Psychology refers to these as defense or coping mechanisms. The more strongly we hold beliefs, the more assertively we hold that we are right. We protect ourselves from threats to our personal take on reality by attacking the opposing ideas. The ego always wants to protect its idea of who we are; opposing ideas have the potential for throwing that into question.
We utilize the defense mechanisms to negate the feelings of vulnerability. For the separated individual, the compulsion to avoid ambiguity is powerful. He closes himself within the fortress of his perception of reality and of who he is, locking out inconsistent ideas. The walls of the fortress are built with the insistence of his rightness, and, of equal importance, the wrongness of others.
There are many expressions of this. Sadly, critical thinking is always sacrificed and replaced with cynicism. The cynic portrays the holder of opposing ideas (the “opponent”) as being not only always wrong, but in addition, always bad. He casts the motive behind every idea, action or thought of opponents as immoral, corrupt and criminal, regardless of how admirable the motive may really be. Cynics often seem to be mind readers, the ease with which they make assertions about the feelings and motives of others. Truth is not the point for the cynic. He magnifies the negatives and filters out all of the positive aspects of those with whom he disagrees. He lives by innuendo, unsubstantiated charge and implication. Expression of fear or expression of love?
In a William Raspberry column I read sometime ago, I came across a quote by Teresa Heinz (widow of the late Pennsylvania senator) who, I thought, expressed this mindset very well. She was describing political partisans, who in their insistence of being right, exhibited mean-spirited, hate driven behavior. She characterized them as:
“…critical of everything, impossible to please, indifferent
to nuance, incapable of compromise. They laud perfection
but oddly never see it in anyone but themselves. They
are right all the time, eager to say I told you so, and
relentlessly unforgiving…They corrode self-confidence and
good will; they rule by fear and ridicule.”
Seeking affirmations of their beliefs, certainists prefer associations with those who also think unlovingly (“the preaching to the choir” environment). They crave authority and seek leaders–particularly those who will assure them (and patronize them) that they are right–for deep down is the self-doubt that has propelled them to the need for certainty to begin with.
One cannot be certain he is right if he doesn’t have ready answers for all issues. Ambiguity invites questions, rather than certitude. At it’s extremes, the outward expression of the need for certitude results in fanaticism. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel, an authority on the subject, described fanaticism as being excess conviction. He wrote: (Note: I have selected passages from his full text.)
“…an idea becomes fanatical the moment it minimizes or excludes all the ideas that confront or oppose it. In religion it is dogmatism; in politics, totalitarianism. The fanatic deforms and pollutes reality. He never sees things and people as they are; his hatred makes him fabricate idols and images so ugly that he can become indignant about them. In his eyes he and only he, has the right to put his ideas into action, which he will do at the first opportunity.
…My experience is that the fanatic hides from true debate. The concept of dialogue is alien to him. He is afraid of pluralism and diversity; he abhors learning. He knows how to speak in monologues only, so debate is superfluous to him.
…A fanatic has answers, not questions; certainties, not hesitations. In dictatorial regimes, doubts were considered crimes against the state…Nietzsche expressed it this way: ‘Madness is the result not of uncertainty but certainty’.
Substitute the word fanaticism for the word madness and the equation holds.”
Parade Magazine article by Wiesel 4-19-’92
Fanaticism could be viewed as the individual visiting the pain (expressed in rage and hate) of his memories of love rejections upon others. However, while this may describe the most outward expressions of fear, the attacks are also turned inward upon the self, whether the individual expresses them outwardly or not.
Fear or love?
The significance of this thinking style is also recognized within the field of psychotherapy. In fact, one of the most prominent types of psychotherapy is Cognitive Therapy. Its whole precept is that the symptoms of depression and anxiety (and others) are related to distorted thinking that, in part, leads the patient to feel inferior and hopeless; it’s aim is to help the patient recognize this and provide him exercises to correct his thinking. Thought–where the rubber meets the road. But here, we are interested in more than psychological mechanics. We are reaching toward our Higher Selves and remembering that we are subject to the conventional wisdom of this world only to the extent that we choose to be. We are recognizing the role of energy and attraction in our experience. This is beyond the scope of conventional therapy.
Are you beginning to see that when you observe all of this fear energy at the workplace or in your neighborhood or amongst family members, it isn’t something that you just have to bear as part of your life? Can you see it as manifestations of mass conscious thought which you can choose to take or leave? Leaving means vibrating differently from those thoughts you don’t prefer by focusing upon those you do.
We can’t control other’s insistence upon being right but let’s realize for ourselves that we don’t have to be right because there’s nothing to protect–no threat from outside. It’s silly when you think about it. Why do we care that someone else’s reality is different from ours when we can simply vibrate differently? So I implore you to give up all ideas of certainty. Is there anything wrong with saying I believe what I believe but others may see it differently; I could be mistaken but that’s the way I see it now, or, I might change my mind at a later date? If you insist upon certainty about something, I urge you to be certain about your infinite nature.
If we can accept the idea that there is no static reality, we can then acknowledge the limits of our own view. And this doesn’t disturb us because we realize that it’s always changing anyway. The more we accept this truth, the more we are open to exploring and considering other ideas. Quite soon we begin to appreciate the grand adventure of life before us. So ironically, the more we acknowledge the limits of our own worldview, the more we open our perspective to the truth of our limitlessness. The more we are certain of our rightness, the more cloistered we become and the more limited our perspective.
Religion / Culture / Society / Politics
Race consciousness is a stew consisting of, among other elements, religion, culture, society and politics-a recipe for fixations upon issues of morality-especially other’s morality. There are always those who observe evil and insist there is a severe moral decline unlike any other time. Often they assert that it’s all due to an erosion of the “Biblical foundations” of our nation and insist the only thing that can save us is a return to them. Many speak of engagement in a cultural war.
Clearly, this is an example of personal reality that is not toward love, unity and inner peace; its focus is upon other. The supposed enemies in the war are those who don’t have these fears (thus, immoral). If that fits you, you may feel uncomfortable or defensive when you hear the criticisms of moralists. You may feel the need to dispute them.
Actually, disputing the claims of another belief system that it is the only right one isn’t a bad idea. But I hasten to add that this is not the same thing as trying to quash it or saying it is wrong for those who hold it. You need not even dispute the claims to the critic. You need not go out of your way to defend your views or make the case to others who might scoff (even though their own views may be built upon quicksand). No, the value is that YOU gain a perspective of the truth for YOURSELF, so that YOU can make the case to YOURSELF, so that you don’t allow the old crystallized beliefs to place YOU in self-doubt about pursuing YOUR OWN ideas. This sort of disputation is in line with the purpose of this section–correcting the false beliefs we may hold about ourselves and obtaining a more realistic view of the ones from the outside.
Justification For Attack
We know that criticism and attack are based in fear. And we know that fear results from the illusion of separation. There are beliefs about such things as work, (the Protestant work ethic), about intolerance of “bad” behavior, about money (it represents evil and greed), patriotism, tradition, etc. In addition, are the pressures to conform. There is the exhortation to defend a host of ideas–honor, good name, mother, family, family values, country, the faith and more. Then there are pressures to be politically one way or another, to criticize secularism and / or liberalism as evil, to stand up for what’s right, to stand on principle (in fact to value a strong stance regardless). Many of these calls to stand and to defend are really ruses to attack those holding different ideas. Love or fear?
Certainists emphasize absolute moral standards that all must follow. They refer to disregard of them as “relativism”–a prevalent subject, frequently raised in political and religious discourse-and thus worth examining.
Absolute Morality vs. Relativism
The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need religion if you are terrified of death. -Gore Vidal
To begin, the term relativism, is almost always used contemptuously. We might more appropriately refer to those labeled as “relativists”, as non-absolutists; one never hears so-called relativists referring to themselves as such or espousing a moral view that they call relativism.
What is meant by the word? Most obviously, it’s portrayed as the flip side of absolutism–the idea of absolute moral standards handed down by an authoritative, rule-obsessed God. Relativism, therefore, is seen as holding that all moral judgements are subjective, i.e., determined by each individual for him / herself, and subject to change at any moment. To absolutists, this amounts to no moral values at all. In their opinion, this can only lead to a corrupt and immoral society (Today’s absolutists assert this has been the case since the 1960s).
Absolute moral standards are reassuring for those inclined toward certainty for it removes the ambiguity (and ensuing discomfort) of being unclear about what is right or wrong. It’s all prescribed. Consequently, there need not be disagreements over such issues. Having to think and reason and make personal decisions about these matters is not necessary. In addition, objective moral standards allow absolutists to claim for themselves moral righteousness, a justification they utilize to judge and condemn those who fall to temptations and get caught in moral lapses. Absolutists eagerly leap to the task of holding “sinners” accountable, demanding admission of guilt, pleas for forgiveness, public repentance and punishment. Absolutism is a contrivance aimed at controlling other / outer. Absolutists have little tolerance of those who can tolerate ambiguity, sneering at non-absolutists whether or not they behave morally and responsibly regardless of obedience to absolutes. Love or fear?
When many agree upon static views, one result is a collection of inflexible rules of conduct. So morality becomes a matter of following the rules and evil infringing upon them. There is nothing cosmic or spiritual with this approach. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Certainty about one’s own reality leads to an outer concern about other’s takes upon reality. This is why the outer focused approaches to God, especially in their more fundamentalist applications, are very much concerned about the beliefs and actions of others. But more to the point–absolute morality is not about love. At the beginning of this article, we said that there are two focuses of attention-love or fear. Absolute morality is a consequence of a focus upon the latter.
But absolutists understandably ask, from whence moral standards if not from an ultimate authority? Well as mentioned in earlier articles, the laws of the universe (the working of cause and effect and the law of attraction) are far better and more effective at achieving loving behavior by helping us to recognize and correct our errors (sin?) than are absolute moral standards. We will discuss this in greater detail in coming articles.
End Part 4
©2001, William Gunderson. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal. http://www.consciouscreation.com (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice and the URL.)
About William Gunderson… Current and/or past roles include designer of experiments in research psych, advertising and corporate assignment photographer in San Francisco, Operations Director in start-up ventures, skydive instructor, patent holder and product developer, start-up venture helmsman. Too many interests and no specialties seemed a curse. He has since come to peace with the fact that working through failures and frustration were actually part of the unfolding of his individual divine gift. (We all have them without exception.) His happens to be wonderful problem solving abilities. “The overview perspective, seeing the inter-relationships of many disciplines was supposed to be my thing after all.” William now lives in Southern California assisting businesses, as opportunities arise, with product development, co-creators, marketing, vision and just being student and teacher, as we all are in this evolutionary process. If you would like to email William, the address is [email protected].