By James Redfield author of The Celestine Prophecy
February 7, 2011 – I made a decision at the beginning of this series of articles to “tell it like it is,” as the saying goes, about where so many of us are in these weird times. And they are weird, aren’t they?
People in Egypt, and elsewhere, are still taking to the streets, calling for more democracy and transparency in Government. No doubt, this is a positive sign, a sign that people feel empowered enough to risk everything in the search for a life of more freedom and opportunity — that is, it is positive until the action crosses the line into violence. Remember, one wants to say, the effectiveness of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Nothing is more powerful than non-violent protest.
Trouble is, at the same time these authentic demands for freedom are being expressed; other factions are seeking to take advantage of the situation for less noble reasons: right-wing forces are paying desperate people to attack the demonstrators. Other despots want to replace the existing repression with a religious tyranny of their own. Even some democratic governments are subtly trying to manipulate things, all the while lying blatantly about their agenda — and getting outted by wikiLeaks.
Yes, indeed. The only word for it is weird. Yet amid the conflicting signals and motivations, I believe we can see an authentic call for reform persisting — a call that I think can be seen to represent a new step in spiritual awakening. In my new book, I call it the Twelfth Insight. But, just as easily, it could be called the Twelfth “call to action.” Or the Twelfth “return to civility.” Or a Twelfth “rise to an authentic Spirituality.” For these labels speak to the characteristics of this experience.
In its essence, this street action reflects a larger call to a higher type of interaction that honors truth, and where ideas are exchanged without a hidden agenda or a jab at one’s political opponents — and where every institution, from government to the news media to our own family, returns to honor about what they are doing. One would like to also add here: “just like it used to be.” But of course, we know that truth and honor in public affairs has always been a bit of wishful thinking.
In fact, perhaps it was our collective awareness of this hypocrisy that led us to give up on truth in the past. For decades, it has become more and more accepted to subtly lie in politics, to hide the fine-print in legal agreements, to turn a blind eye to corruption if you’re in the media, and to personally deceive others in order to gain money, prestige, or power. Now, we seem to have reached a point where no one even attempts to hide this loss of integrity any longer. The American Congress in 2010 seems to be the poster child for this loss in ethics.
Yet clearly, the massive amount of lies, fraud, and corruption we see around us has finally begun to shock us out of our complacency. But the tipping point is not the abstract idea of a return to ethics. The tipping point occurs when we discover how our lives are personally heightened when we go into integrity and honor. It’s why I call what is happening a spiritual awakening. It turns out that even a small turn toward integrity pays immediate dividends. This occurs because to become honourable over truth requires that we move into a new, very precise, psychological place in our lives — one marked by an instant feeling of being centered at the vortex of our life experience.
Why is that important? Because we have to be in that place of centeredness before we can even know what is true in our own lives, and that place then systematically enlarges as more truth of life finds its way into consciousness. It feels the same way the wisdom teachers of every religious tradition have always said it would: The truth sets us free. It always has, even if this truth has to be eternally rediscovered by every generation and every person.
Find this place, and life’s journey becomes the most fun. If we’re honest, we begin to experience events that lift us into an ever-higher consciousness. We begin to notice the Synchronicities. And once we perceive this divine hand operating in the universe, our search always turns in the same direction: Toward a search for more spiritual truth, and when we knock on that door, we immediately begin to connect to a greater God Consciousness that feels like a download of energy, love and belongingness.
And it gets even better. Eventually we discover that we can enlarge our spiritual consciousness even more by getting in alignment with the Divine design of the universe. What is the key to this alignment? Our old friend, the truth — especially as we tell our truth to others. Most of us know that “what goes around comes around.” We’ve seen it occur over and over again. And now we are proving to ourselves the role staying honest and honourable plays in this Karmic mechanism.
In a sense, by becoming centred in a search for spiritual truth, the full scope of Karma is being revealed to us. Deceive others by shading the truth for our own benefit, and we draw those same kinds of deceivers into our own lives. Not as punishment, but to show us how our distortions hurt, so we can come back to truth. And these lessons slow us down until we do.
On the other hand, if we act in truth and service toward others — where we say to each person what we have a hunch they need to know, becoming a Synchronicity for them — we draw those same types into our lives: people who are there to be a Synchronicity for us. This is when our Synchronistic flow and success really take off, as we are now in alignment with Divine design, bringing a new meaning to the scripture: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In fact, a second line could now be added: “…because that’s exactly how they are going to do unto you.”
Doubt it? Just try the above principle for a while. The amazing thing is that this Karmic alignment is just one of the first discoveries that come from an honourable search for spiritual truth. Once we embrace integrity, we realize that there are more steps available to live at an even higher level of spirituality consciousness. And best of all, you don’t necessarily have to get in the street to make a difference. When we get through all the steps of this consciousness, we arrive at a new level or positive influence that goes out into the world day and night.
Living in the truth is contagious, and it works to affect those still stuck in a corrupt system or way of thinking, but who want more. Then someone tunes into this influence, and feels they aren’t alone, and writes an email exposing some corruption. Then another lends support, and then many join in, and suddenly a human institution is made better. In this way, things shift. Sometimes, it takes some time. In other cases, it happens immediately, spontaneously.. . in the blink of an eye.