One of the secrets of writing is that you can create a compelling argument for just about anything at all. Regardless of its logic, truthfulness or fact just about anything can be created as verification to justify a point of view or a manipulation of reality.
Clearly this has relevance to almost every subject under the sun. But nowhere is it more prevalent and proliferating than in the areas of spirituality and consciousness. Long the province of charlatans, mystics, scientists and religious zealots alike, the spiritual-consciousness field is peppered with half-truths and unprobed beliefs. Partly of necessity, because the traffic of meaning between the spiritual and the material realms is unreliable at best. But partly also because people like the truth to agree with them, to support them in their self-interest and they like to talk about the thing that interests them most: themselves.
The truth however is less partisan or preferential. It is really strictly speaking, at least spiritually, impersonal. Let’s take a few popular, but nonetheless erroneous, beliefs from the Mind-Body-Spirit (a.k.a. the New Age) field and look critically at what they are really saying:
1. Only consciousness creates the world.
Everything is consciousness. It doesn’t create anything, it already is everything that is, or is not. Both pre-manifestation and post-manifestation, emptiness and all posible potential. So consciousness does not create the world, it is self-sourcing, it is the real world!
2. There is a new spiritual teaching that enables people to rescue themselves and mankind.
People do not need rescuing, neither does mankind. Both need to see themselves for who and what they really are, then no rescue is needed or appropriate. The idea of a new spiritualiy that saves or rescues is a prime example of taking a relative theme like heroism and drama and converting into spiritual terms, even though it doesn’t work, because it is not relevant.
3. Our belief in the fallacy of the existence of the objective physical reality that does not depend on consciousness is limiting.
The belief in existing objects is only limiting when we do not see the world as it truly is, a reflection of the absolute and all objects that arise in consciousness only. This gobbledy-gook is popular, perhaps stemming from the popular idea that maya equals illusion or that samsara is not Nirvana or whatever. Read more deeply into your own religion: maya is a relative reflection of the divine in the world of time and space.
4. Only the consciousness of a human being contains all elements of existence. The consciousness of a human being is the same undifferentiated consciousness that exists in, through and outside, and pervades all of existence and all existing objects of this and any other time. The great sages are levellers, they insult our arrogance and complacency. This consciousnes that I arise within as an individuated form is exactly the same — exactly the same — as the consciousness of a dog or a stone — why? Because there is only one consciousness.
5. Alter human consciousness because it includes all other elements; if a person were to use the knowledge, the world about us would change crucially.
Consciousness of a human being or anything else includes all elements. This already crucially influences the world; there is no need to instruct people in how to do this, merely help them to see what they are creating already!
6. Knowing how to reach harmonic development together with the universe enables us to have a healthier physical body and happier life, and the world will develop accordingly.
When a human being is over-concerned with health, happiness and harmony, they inevitably miss the larger point which is that the world, like human beings and everything else, arises and subsides in consciousness. Since all this, from the point of view of reality, i.e. where we really are, is happening simultaneously, spiritual evolution and harmonic development are strictly speaking merely relative terms with no real relevance to the spiritual, transcendent and divine. To play with the incidence of synchronicity and convergence for the sake of self-interest carries its own consequences and perils. But most importantly, when you become involved in it, you miss the main point of psychological and spiritual endeavor, which is the search for the truth which is substantially more expansive than these material and quasi-spiritual concerns.
7. Everything around us — the earth, the sun, space, Nature, people and objects — are based on the structure of our consciousness, which includes the consciousness of the Creator. When we discover what the spirit and consciousness is, we can manage our state of being, we can build the world and control every creative action and manifest results.
But this is what we doing already! Furthermore, does the earth, the sun etc. really exist around us? Are they not more truly in us (from the point of view of individual psychology)? Or from a deeper truth are these manifestations and us not really the same thing, i.e. consciousness? Does consciousness have a structure? How can the All truly have a structure? If it did wouldn’t the world be rational and reasonable and make sense? Rather than be uncertain, irrational, arbitrary and random? Do we really want to control (what? We are all consciousness!) and manifest results when we are already doing precisely that, without being aware of how and what and why and when we are manifesting anything? In any case what do we mean by results — this world, the truth, is a manifestation of all possible worlds at all times waiting for us to witness and become one with it.