Reflection is an essential component of thrivability because in order for things to move towards higher levels of order, beauty, and goodness, consciousness must continue to evolve. Deeper reflection makes conscious evolution possible.
Reflection happens on different levels. At the more surface level, reflection is simply the awareness of one’s experience, one’s thoughts and one’s feelings, not necessarily with any perspective or context. As reflection deepens with maturity, one gains a psychological understanding of oneself, of one’s thoughts, feelings and inner experience and attains a new degree of freedom of choice. And as reflection deepens even further, one gains a spiritual understanding of oneself not just of the objects of consciousness but of consciousness itself. Aware that we are aware in the most profound sense, infuses us with that an
even greater degree of freedom. This spiritual understanding puts our experience and our psychological understanding within a much larger context, connecting us to the fact that we are a part of the evolving cosmos rather than seeing our own experience as existing in isolation and within confined boundaries.
When this happens, rather than seeing ourselves as possessors of consciousness, we see that we are channels through which consciousness can reflect upon itself. This insight is explosive and transformative. It gives us an extraordinary and profound understanding, while also giving us a very practical knowledge of ourselves. Psychological conclusions that we often make, then, no longer remain the ultimate conclusions about who we are but can be seen and questioned within a much greater picture in which the evolution of consciousness and culture are part of this extraordinary journey.
So let’s look further into what the evolution of consciousness and the evolution of culture means. The act of looking at that is also the process of reflection itself. One way to contemplate the evolution of consciousness is to reflect on both the limitations and the vastness of our own perspective of our sense of who we are. Consciousness is much more profound than the experience of being a separate individual with clearly defined boundaries, and extends beyond our sense of individuality. The evolution of consciousness would therefore reflect an increasing expansion, from the individual being aware, to the
individual being able to reflect upon him/herself, his/her inner experience. and the greater picture… to the Universe being able to reflect on itself through the individual...
As consciousness evolves through us, our very real preferences about life and the choices we make shift and there emerge new values, worldviews, preferences and ways of being. As this happens among different individuals these external changes in values, worldviews, preferences, and ways of being, are a reflection of the evolution of culture – as the interior of the Universe evolves, so does the exterior.
One of highest acts we can realize as human beings is to reflect on who we are and what that means in terms of how we are…together – an ongoing interplay in the relationship between the evolution of consciousness and the evolution of culture.
Our interest in deeper reflection is arising out of the self reflective nature of the Universe itself. I ask myself, “How conscious am I?” So WHO is it that is asking the question? It’s me!