Global Priors Council 7/26~77



Today I would like to talk about that facet of profound humanness called "Consciousness." In some ways this might seem to be the easiest one to talk about because, I think, everyone here, in a real sense, knows about it to the bottom. I'm not concerned today about saying something profound, or new; I am concerned about how you and I point to what we now know is true about life.

As I look at the Profound Humanness chart before us now, it reminds me of an electronic grid, any part or combination of which can light up with­varying intensity at any given moment, The fascination lies in never knowing which category is about to flicker on, which will shine with steady intensity. Although there is a high degree of rational relationship among the categories, there is no implied progression as one reality of profound humanness. in the last two days as I have listened to my colleagues speak about event as mystery, I found myself somewhat resenting the fact that their talks spilled over into "my" category of consciousness; I thought they could have exercised a little more restraint. But I discovered that all of these categories spill into one another, for they are all interrelated aspects of one reality. ­

I like the image that together the touchstones of profound humanness form a web' or a net. When you participate in any one of them you get caught in profound humanness. Today we might consider four aspects that could provide a screen for grasping consciousness as a state of being that is profound humanness: the dynamics of that internal state of being; the inherent indicative; the fundamental characteristics; and the foundational resolve.

I have heard many of you observe over the last few days how well we all look. It's as if we never expected

us to look so good' I have found myself thinking that about my colleagues. Some times I have just come right out ant said "You look great"' At other times I've been astounded when someone has said it about me. When you take a look at all of us together, we certainly bear out the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; corporately we do look better together than we ever have at any other time. This has something to do with our having experienced or touches profound awareness, having participated in the depths of humanness. Whatever else these last few months of intensive engagement have been, you and I have been given back our lives in a strange and rather wondrous way. We shouldn't be surprised if it shows on us. It is visible. Although we didn't feel particularly comfortable at the time it happened, that's what happened. We have been given our lives back intensively.

First, I would like to observe something that is so fundamental we sometimes overlook lt, although we know it to the depths of our own being, life is consciousness. Without consciousness, life would not b~ what it is. That observation is not a profound statement, but it is one that needs to be said to allow us to step back and grasp what we have experienced.

Consciousness is given. It is a very objective happening. It is given in the simplest, most mundane experiences of our lives. It is given in the most spectacular, dramatic experiences of our live. It is given every single any of our lives. It is given to every single person. The fascinating thing about consciousness is that you never know when it is going to be given. To deal with consciousness is to deal with event and mystery. The three have become for me almost indistinguishable. Life ­ yours and mine ­ is always being intruded upon. We are continually being assaulted by the "other", We are forever being held over against the possibility which comes to us as far more than we think; we can possibly assimils~r­` 'i~_ ~s tlaruption; life is intts~ruption, ii£e is as~sult. It has ne~er bee­~x =~i~ .~', and we should never expe~­ it to be m~y d~ffere­nt. Consciousness itself, therefore, is under assault. The consciousnese th~t you have at any one mo~ect ia under the assault of "otherness;" When the other il2 iinge£ upon consciouanesa it comea in almoat any form. Any ob~ect or person or happening in the midst of life can be~ the vehicle which occasions consciousneas. When lt happens, besic aeaumptiona beco~e all acrambled. Then they are reve~led in a new light, and I am presented with a whole new operat~g picture of ~ea~ity.

Thia ia familiar territory for ua because we have worket through this dyna~ic in a time of knowing. ~nr grasp of it hag takeh sh&pe in one of our aethodological gifts to hiatory, imaginal eana.~tionv 11e ~acw that in a split second, an "aha" can happen through whic~n ever;thin~ bee< transfo=~ed; evervthiag seen before is seen in a different light ant is t6P~ ~4ef n tt]~\ to reveal that which ia utterly new. A sudden "reap of hidden reiationahips presenta itself in a ~holly new image, and the universe explodes. When thia happ'ens, you are left with the artlculatlon of a new rationality, which goca beyo~d any rationality that you have ever known or experienced before, and all previously tefi~ed logic 1B left behind. We have called that tran$rationality or aeei~g t­hrough to a third, fourth or fifth t~ension, that had not been aPParent before.

I remember a wor.~R ~n the village of Nadlapur, ~ho participated turing the Consult in the education te~. Throughout the Conault ahe had not said a word, but she had been preaent every day. During the last aession of team work she suddenly atood up, walked up to the board, took a piece of chalk and acribbled across it. Shen she turned around and asked in Telagu, ' ~ at does that asy?" We looked and diacovered it didn't say anything ­ it was Just scribbling. Mo one knew quite how to reapond, but ahe didn't wait for an snawer. She asid in her native Telagu, "I'm ready to learn what that says." Her life had been assaulted by the sheer "other" during the Conault, ant in that happening a breakloose had occurred. In the midst of al, tnas we do with those blackboarda ­ brainstorm^, and sw~rls, and gestalta ­ ahe grasped heraelf in terms of a new paradigm that revealed a reality that she previously had not realized exiated. She had never before seen the poasibility of being a literate person who could handle the spoken and written language. But at that moment she court claim, "I'* ready to learn; I'm ready to write."

Ihat kind of dyn~c occurs again and again ln life. It ia available to every peraon; it ia avai able to every co~lYnity, too. Maliwada left an indelible L~pression upon all of us who were ~rere thia peat year. I remember be~ng somewhat diaturbed during the Consult when people came up with a pictorial symbol for the village. They wanted to hold something of the history of the landmark, Daulatabad Fort together with their grasp of the dawning of a new day. When they came to depict that visually in a sy~bol, they used the rugged outline of the fort with a bright ret­gold aun rislng right over it. Aa one standa in Maliwada, the fort appeara due north. ~ne sun rises ln the EaBt and aeta in the Weat, nowhere within the vie~ of ehe fcr~ rom rhe perspective of the village. I wee deeply disturbed that they hat createa aa Jarring to mq weatern rationality as that sun riaing in the north. I 6n~e to rea$ize later that those people knew what they were doing when they ine.~s~ed upon their aymbol. It illustrates what we might point to with that category on the chart "1 ~pactful imagery." For that symbol

Globa1 Priors Coumcil Chicago


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revealed the reiations~ip that the ~ole c;:~ity had taker~ to ~he f.~tc,.re9 to i­~`zi~ ar~d "o ~~e ~rery =~s~e=y of `~e~ '~t re~ationsilip ~­as ~t~us ~ith ~ything ~he people had ever ex~evl: fenced in their lives . ~t all~;i ~ 1~ ~ ae a c~;ni';, co sea~r~< present to ~rreachir~ly new possibi~Iity. ~at 6ymbol deified logic. h=~.~ you I~L: through 1t you b~.oIa 7ife as more than lt ever appe~red to be. L~<e ~tiad become filled ~iL~h a d~wning, r~e~es~3 that betrayed aI1 rationaIity. The coGnitgy or 14al:1w~s, giv~g s:~pe to 8~d cIa~ng th~ t ~bol ~ d~n~trated what it means to par~ioipate ~& profound h~nness as profoulld eonsc~ou­ness.

I ~uld 1iiLe .o mem~:ion one ~ore ~ .l­~.~trattor&~ ~ere is ~ man who lives in 2laliWada W'~fOm 'i oeli~ve wil1 be with me fo.­ t`~.e rest o~ ~ lire. Some o~ you mow hisa, el~ho~gh you ~.; noc ­~ow ;~is n~. ~­ is ~o~b~aO you've sc~;en hin photo, I'm sure5 t.e =~.ands '.,o~d,ng a piccu.e af the ;rC>= ~Ea ­`u~iC7.~` ~e?a Mosely presented to h~ OurfiUg t~e s~SU't. 't0 be confronse~6 ty the t~lc of Fifth City in the pr~enee cf Le~La P ­ ~e~y ~5S aDL ovewnel`~ng aadress in iteelf. Cholcibaba wears 0a I­on ~ p~ dally ­ ne is L.e~fer seen ~it.^out lt. He tall" about his ova life as having oome alive d;iz ~g ~ha.. w~.,e~­ .n bece~lkier e~f 1975. He haa learned to articula~e "Iron Man" in ~=agliah~ ~d us`~s teat insage to refer to kits own stance in life. When C.ho~'b~be USSS his 0~.'~= rat'ner ~ncredible Marathi poetry, he a,3ea­= of having been caugh:c up in a pr~fou~ conscionenesa ehat has literally ~lown open the dimensions of his life and giv~a h ~ a ~7hole ne~ ~rasp of what it means to be Chokibaba, a hu~n being ~'ho can stand ~efore the possibilitle~ of life itself.

The dyna~ica of profou~d ConSC~ou~Yne~S are held ehen by the four subcategories or the chart: illl'minated .eia~Lonsh~2~. ~m.oac.­fu' :~agew3' paradigmatic insight, and tranarational interpre ~rion. [a the rtrs~ instarc=, the quality of coneciousness is im~easurable. You cannot accurately ~a~.~ulate how much conaciousneas you have or how much your neighbor has.

For profound consciousness has to do with standing present to the breaking in of the painfully new upon your life which occasions a paradigmatic insight and d~s.loses the pr`.~found ~ystery of life. It illuminates every relationship you have wi~th ­~`POU~­ co~lesgues~ with yc~rsel and with the mystery itself. It throws you into a f~onsciou3ness of conscio~snesa. That is, it enables you ta stand outside yourself and see yourself wacchsug yourself obaerving yourself. That experience is one that comes with a two fold of intrusion plus pain.

It comes with the­pain of having to make a decision. That decision is, I am my consciousness. I have inescapab~e fre~dom ~co cecide what my life is going to be about. However that decision '­~ not only tnar X am my consciousness. It involves the acknowledgement that consciousness ~rse`~ ts unequivocal 9 that consciousness carries with it the unequivocal requ~r~menc of an ultimate "yes" or "no" being given by you or by me. You and I are not in charge of consciousness.

We are only in charge of what we do with lt. What I do with the consciousness whicn ­~ given, _s who I am. Sometimes we wish th~t we didn't have the consciousness we have. We are flooded by cQn8CiOUSneS5 and with consciousness. At times we a£ron~e, '~'f ~here is one more thing I have to become conscious of ·.." And yet~ ~u~cre .t,s ...V ~t­','Ue about it. We either say "yes" or "no," We say "yes" and life is g.~.s:~en ~ `~.s' ':O~r£if~r pai~f~lly, it is giver... de say "no" and _ife is taken away. r~rS~t S~ 0~.i~+ ~ t~ ~~~iSe to us at al2. Tzere ls nothing wrong with that, Just donit `­..~pec~ .t to be o~n~r~ise. It is unequivocal.

ot7al Priors. Council 772SJ77

:Lca~sO ~ r~s7 p~­

S~e Far~ar poet~7 comes to T.45A>~ ~ A5_`A =orinec~i~ ^t'~ ­.t`13: ?.h~ `'e 7~* we & ~ ~ s~ t: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ _ ~ ~ ~A~ W~_ ~ ~ ~ f ~ O ~ £~ t ~ A e ~ ~ ~ _ ~ ~ ~ .. . ~ ~ ~ _ 0~ t~rOUgh ·i~ A .=.~ ~A~4 ~ tai1 ce gL~n ~Ato 90U iS stt_1 the .;:u h. b.~_ ~_fe.. But g~! A[g ~ ~ ~ ~0 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~0~ t me&n hand tag t out to some ea& ~ool or letting tt,e i~vlng dead ea~ you up. _t me~s kindling the life quality ~bere it was not. ~ en if it is only in tne whiteness of a washes pocket handkerchief."

Whea life iteelffforces consciousneas upon you, you either be a trans~ltter or you be a zombie. I. never .llkad that rena ~o~ble. It waa always too offensive to me~ butt it i~ heipful2..y d4­~scripti~­e. '~nen people are $aced Y~th the co~nsciousness that comea in tne int~st,:y of with life aa it is, one attempta to withdraw from the On~ta~­.,'f:t of ico'.^i~c­~^OuE~es$~ ae defeDds h[~self again~t the palufully searing lighe or con~ci;~.­~=ss ~h&­,C i~.p~ges~ int~mdes upon his l,.fe a~d literally ripe off his face an6. ste~,s fr~ h4~ ~ry m~aUs he ever had of assL~ilating any new thing. That ~t~ri.;s>~iYa Cear~ dee~l, ~­ ~L1S en~rai`~. Such defensivenesR iR

4 ~ _ ~ ~ ~ _ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

,`~y ~u"~'ngenc. wDen It t~ given tO you. you m'­­st care for it or it goes away. tou cannot keep hold of it~ Consciousness dses not belong to you or to me. Bither rou e~body it or your very life bec~es reduced and finally, tak~n away.

becently I had oceaalon to ackno~dge before this body something that marked a ew tlmension of conscic.usnesa to me, when I ludicated that I am in my 50th year. ~as in its~lf is nos the shcsking thing. ':he shocking aspect is that I experience :ore ~lfe f~ o~ia ~­,'0t gr3 m~>' ve~na do~ than I have ever experienced before. Thie rear I have e~`eri~need my ii~­e a& haV~ni, h~eU given back to me and I do not attri;ute that entirely to being 50. For 8~ile I was ru~ning around this year esylng, ~ell, I'm 49. Gat another year to gc." Then I realizet that wee not true. I

in the 50th year. That's a great gift becanae I don't know what it meann tn h" ~n .~ _ ~__~__9

La that I have to go ouE and create what that meana. However It waa not that ;ymbolic year algae, but its co~vergence with my eDcounter with India ant the ~ffense of facing my own death.

~is year I was introducet by ~y consciousnesa of conscioueness to the finality of . q own life and to the awareness that I was participating in that finality. I rave known chls lntell~cr­~ally for aome t'­~. I have stood before death ~n other ,eople. It've stood ~efore dead ho~li~s. I hav~ understood intellectually that ~ery one ~^ us .~ go~ng to 61e and someday ~ ~ going to die. But I was irthed into a new consc~ou~ess ~hat my ceath w~s ta~ing place and I was directly articipsting i~ lt. TI`ls new co&sc.lousness was rooted in the intensity that India s. There iff the a£,sault of so ~any people. You are never by yourself, you are ever anywhere wnere someone else ia nor..tooking at you. You experience the assault f having your st~le stripped away. Having that by which yo,~ have preYiously dentifiet yourself and the style you decided to mold ripped away, torn apart by he assault of everpresent innoce~t suffering, There are so mMny esperlencea hat grounded this. One day while ~alking down a atreet in Auraugabad, ~ tur~ed corner and was co~fronted by .i ~oung q~ad ~hose arm was Just a leprous st~mp which e ahoved before q, face and be~ to wave. Tha: experience was the intensiev of

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hen I came her~ ~ coIlesgue ­ge;~arked that he had seen a picture of me. He had

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ling to live. Wei $,

$IoDal Pr$ors Co7=eil

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I expe~ienced be~g a~saulted in tha~. p>ace of so much innocent sufferl~g b~ an ~Lg~i.^;.~,~t ~.r~.i~, ~elT~tf ~a]~d 1~ Si~rL(; ~.~.t'~ D7 it, ~d seeing m7 m~ physical life ~ei~i\g ~otsl~y strip­~A away. I was tV~r~n over against t~ raw consciousness of my ~ de~th .'hic~ ~i~al]~yi ie w~et p~fs~oaind cousciouenees does. ui~kPen consf­~ous$ess in rOdUf~eS you t~e tk.e finality of life, what a `~ft c.Lat is. I had ¢~=uiated ~j~f~ 3 ~'' '{ i'~if~ (~ ~S ~5' Wi~Ei~ ~ ew~tality before. but int~fecc~lally. '~C)= i l e ( onsca.o'es~=<ess ­iL 1i.~iFe W'9~'^ih .'LS .~rOUn4ied ~i6.. a gut level. I h8~fe been introducea b,­' ­onsciouane~s ~t:^~el.t to tf'~a f3Lytallt:y o£ my lil.fe; ~d I £ind that^ is la

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begi'=~'rOg (tr~ ~2.~ti _7q6e ~;i~f;~ ~ t~.£ ~_ ~­ ·~e ~`eneive, radica+­ engag~t, it doe£; r`at 't03;ti~ ~`Y`/ d;~ter~.~.~e ­~,'her ~ i_~e or die. ~at 6~''5~''" ~ th~t I am not a£­~.~16l o'­ ;­n`~ ~ waia:~ ;­o 6~.e~ `~o the `~rary, T kcaVe a )o Ot 1.iving to dl3 yet ~ b:~,~. ~ ~i,<.CiLiL..f. t. ;~ ~> t..~L ~2~.L~ ~tetl~f~r I 15.~: i~t' ~ . C6S115~40~.~ i~f&­ .~ (t~i7:~. 8­'<~l,­~­~­­ `~­ ~''i~_'­~­'L~g ~ I was cr pos~es~.d an'~ be~ ti~r~= ~$i_ ~,~ 3':~;~ .­4'i.f`'~.i~''~8Y ~ ~conse.quence and. tota' i3~­ ~i? ity ot ~­ 0~ .L~i,~ ~ ~ ?~ fCO~SC~US O ~g been thr`~ over a£ai~st the Ct~Dlp~l~ti~!~! t'3i ~ 3~ Ei~6 t:he rea~at­~..~ :' ~logl~ afterw~­xrds, ^o w:~l '~; the dlfferer~e ci =~y ha~ding lSe.e~ b~ 9 ~ =~ ~.~a of havinc~ ~een tnrown ~r`~; agatz?.st tiae f~.­`ct cl~iat ~av l~fe ~a~ come i~d it can go, and wken I stand bei:ore mysta~.y ;~c siat:~ ~;at, ^~ ~ a~r~ ti.~t t:~.,.e sCars will stilL~ continue i~ t6~:~' e~ ~,E¢. yet~ ~A~ '. 0,~S ~.~'i .~ ~Y~ ~:~.~..~i~.e ~e.6er ~ i~ve ar 6te. ~at ~eS a diffe­­ence is ~e~&~er che it~ ~> c~.~sr~esa I ha~e is ~ and re­~ngaged at the po~t where h:isaor~ :ts tu:~.g~ at th~ po~t where :~.~mocent sufferillg takes p~i~e r.~ :~'.~e~. ~.i~ ­'U3^~..~&~ £;'L!< C1! our `.~c is ma7lifest. ~ dic~tt ask :EG~ 1~11:LS, but ~ha­~ ~ ~ ;;he ~*~4 ~ .e '~,~: ~

Since ­~..en~ ~ Z­:sve been aware of ~ n~w a~e~"tness in myself which ~s part of what it me~s to ~ve ~.his conselousness. This slertnesE: to live allows everything to be biricr&ed =n=~ ~t al1~s the new to bre~k ~n on >^ou and give your life back to you at the same time it a11~sus for the painful out esserltia1 growth that the human journey is. It~e been left ~rith that kind of residue. But the resolve I .;.~ve and tne resolve that I sense ix in you is ­­ "By God, I'm golug to see to 1~, w:ith the kind of co~scir$asr~ss has '~een gi~en to me, that I am going to live the one brief, complet~ lif^­ ';aa`: ~s ~ine 1r,. ssscn a way that it does not go for nothing." This is a declaration o' war on r~ciuce~ co~sse~ousness. It is a dee1aration of war on any soc~a1 s~ruc~.^.re <~t r~s~­ic~s h`=an 1ife aud dehumanizes. It is a declaration oi war ou ~ay­ ~hst s~ands in tci£ way of men a~d women across the face of ehis ea t>~ what i" ~e­~hS t0 ~C pro£ound1y human. Consciousness ls having the apparer.e ripN,Ye.~ apart and sec~ng ­.~rough that which is given to that which you never dreamed cou`.u be.