Last week I was working with a very large group and I was strongly reminded of where we are. There are, in a sense, those who are “awake” and those who have yet to “wake up”.
By “awake” I mean those who are conscious – self aware, aware of their place in the world and in existence, their experience of the world is largely one of love, compassion and tolerance. While those who have yet to “wake up” experience a far more competitive existence, where they have to fight for position and where the circle of love and support is small, perhaps just family or even smaller.
In the large group there were four approaches to the values based content of the session, there were: Enthusiastic supporters, cautious supporters, conditional supporters and the baffled.
These were people whose success to date has been based on a highly competitive “win/lose” culture and who are now being asked to move to a collaborative win/win/win culture. It is a huge challenge for many.
The enthusiastic supporters are like prisoners released from a dark cell, enthusiastically embracing the light and the warmth of the new experience. The cautious supporters know intellectually that the rules have changed, but have been burnt often enough that they are not willing to put their hand in the fire until they see some more evidence. The conditional supporters will do what they are told, but don’t really understand – in a sense they are faking it, until they get it. The baffled simply cannot see this new reality and can only respond to the words.
The last two groups are those who are yet to wake up. They cannot see what those who are awake can see, they have no experience of it. It is impossible to tell them what it is like, they have to experience it. They cannot even imagine it. When they hear the words that might be used to describe it, they can only frame them in the context of what they know, words, like love and consciousness, mean different things.
I have always said that the authentic journey has to be entered into voluntarily and yet these people are being asked to go on this journey as part of their job. It is a monumentally tough ask, and that needs to be respected. People going on this journey, especially those who have been successful in their careers so far, will find it immensely challenging. They will need support.
It is a mark of the changing times that Russell Brand was on Channel 4 News in Britain being interviewed by Jon Snow and explicitly talking about a higher level of consciousness, talking about Love, Compassion and Tolerance. For those who are awake, the challenge, the responsibility and the duty is to awaken others, with love, compassion and tolerance.
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