Mind & Body
The War On Consciousness, And How We Can Put An End To It
In the western world, we have a very defined idea of the types of consciousness that people can have. In our society, everyone must live in the analytical present so that they can solve the types of challenges we face. We need individuals who think about problems, formally and logically, in the language of science and engineering.
For the most part, that’s how the vast majority of people live the entirety of their lives. Their analytical and logical minds are hyperactive, engaging with every situation they face, providing sequential solutions. When people go to work in the mornings, their consciousness is like a laser-light point glowing red on a whiteboard. They home in on the one thing that they need to focus on and stick with it the entire day. There is no room for a broader experience.
Alternative States Of Consciousness
There are, however, alternative states of consciousness that relatively few people in the West have heard about, let alone experienced. The analytical world is just one form of consciousness among many. The problem is that the provision for these altered states is lacking in our society. Legally, there are only a couple of things people could do traditionally to attain them. They either could go and live in the woods as a hermit – not exactly mainstream. Or they could join some religious order and renounce all their worldly possessions – again, not something that people generally want to do.
There were illegal ways of doing it, but that brought tremendous negative consequences. For instance, many people achieved an altered state of consciousness by taking various herbs and substances. But our society cannot permit such activities because they allow people to leave their analytical minds behind which means they become useless for an industrial society.
The Last Prisoner Project Politico points out that even with growing legalization, there are still tens of thousands of people in prison for cannabis possession. These people haven’t committed any violent crimes, nor have they harmed anyone. But, thanks to prejudices against types of consciousness, they’re denied freedom.
The strange thing about all this is that altered states of consciousness are fundamental to human awakening. When people achieve them, they get a sense that they’re walking on air. The universe seems to act for them, not against them. And they finally open their eyes to the possibilities of consciousness. Life ceases being this miserable drudgery that lacks depth and becomes something far more profound.
The war on consciousness is a serious impediment to human flourishing. Life shouldn’t all be about the acquisition of material possession. Labor-saving technology is great. But there’s more to our situation than that. Right now in the West, we live lives of spectacular material abundance but walk around in spiritual poverty. To achieve the fullness of human existence, we need both.
Fighting the war on consciousness starts with changing people’s minds on mind-altering substances. It’s time we stopped putting people in jail and started accepting individual sovereignty.