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Be courageous and face this moment in time consciously and with all the discernment and clarity within your power. --James O'Dea

James O'Dea: Conscious Activism

--by James O'Dea, Mar 03, 2021

From a spiritual perspective, ego is always trying to claim the privileges of being right and to assign judgmental proof about who is wrong; and by doing so it blocks receptivity to the subtler realms of spiritual insight.

Receptivity is the door to a more spacious and non-judgmental awareness. The mystic practices attunement to what is and tries to leave behind any ego attachment to what should be. It is one thing to practice this as a meditation exercise; it is another to carry it into one's daily life. After all, what we're talking about here is a strenuous commitment to breaking down the conditioning that blocks us from a subtle receptivity to the language of spirit. We literally have to dismantle the way we see the world and still function effectively within it even as we become more receptive to spirit!

As we become more consciously receptive to what is, we listen with more empathy and slowly develop greater compassion for ourselves and others. We are not so hard on our own or others' shallowness and superficiality. We are less easily lured into the ongoing manipulations around us. We begin to commune with a deeper reality. We find there is a constant gravitational pull towards what is more essential. We develop an antenna for the presence of integrity and for subtler qualities of being. We shift from quantitative perceptions about how good, how bad, how much, how little and so on, to qualitative perceptions; and to noticing how present or absent we or others are in any given situation.

There is a Sufi expression: The best of men and women are hidden. They are hidden from the world's definition of success and failure, but their treasure of qualities is visible to those who cultivate an awareness of the subtle and to those who develop a keener receptivity to masterful beings who transcend polarity within themselves. The mystic who has begun to develop these capacities will be mysteriously drawn to such great beings as they light the way ahead and prepare the seeker for the cauldron of truly deep initiation.

The subtle realms are accessed through fire and light, deprivation and spiritual abundance: there is no linear way. We will have to shed skin, as Trungpa described. Our ignorance is thickly coated with energies that will need plenty of refining; and the receptive mirror of the heart will need to be polished until it reflects Love at the source.

Having a place to serve the world as this inner drama unfolds can be a great gift for the emerging mystic and, rather than being a distraction, the world of dedicated activism can intensify contemplation of what is real and what is corrosively false.


For more inspiration, join March 9th's Awakin Call with James O'Dea and ServiceSpace founder Nipun Mehta. More details and RSVP info here. 

Excerpted from The Conscious Activist, Watkins Publishing, 2014.James O'Dea, www.jamesodea.com is award winning author of Cultivating Peace. He is lead faculty for the Shift Network's acclaimed global Peace Ambassador Training. He has conducted frontline social healing dialogues around the world for many years. He is former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Washington office director of Amnesty International and CEO of the Seva Foundation. He is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders group founded by Deepak Chopra and is on several advisory boards such as The Peace Alliance and Kosmos Journal. He is followed extensively in social media and lectures widely. James grew up in Ireland and England and currently resides in Colorado. The author lives in Crestone, CO. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


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