Impact of the 1960s

Exploring the full range of our human potential.

Introduction

During the 1960s, as we young people were breaking out of our cultural confines, we discovered the powerful impact of psychedelic drugs. Our experience with these drugs gave rise to the expression expanding consciousness. When someone asked us why we took drugs, we could answer: because drugs transform our consciousness and we experience cool stuff.

Technically speaking, this was not accurate. Consciousness is the experience of being alive. Consciousness just is. It does not expand or contract. We cannot enlarge or change it.

But something else was changing very dramatically in our lives. We were expanding our experience of reality.

The first time that I used marijuana, for example, I was amazed at how fluid my mind became. By comparison, my normal mind seemed stiff and rigid, almost regimented. Now my mind flowed in, around, and all over as if it were liquid being poured out onto a surface. My reality in that moment was totally unlike anything I had experienced before.

These inner experiences were hard to describe to others. Those who didn’t take drugs were skeptical about the nature of what we experienced.

Our new sense of reality clashed with what we had been taught. Reality, we had been told, is the outer world of matter and form. Reality is objective in nature.

But what about these rich inner experiences? Weren’t they real?

The guardians of our cultural reality said no, they are not real. The inner experiences cannot be verified by others. They are not objective. Therefore, they cannot be real.

But that did not fly with those of us who had had these inner experiences. To us, people who had never experienced for themselves what we were experiencing were in no position to tell us what was real.

The guardians of cultural reality then relented — a bit: inner experiences are real, they conceded. But that which we experienced is not real. HUH?

Does this make any sense? We could have real experiences of non-real phenomenon.

Reality was cleaved into two: an objective reality (the outer world) and a subjective reality (the inner world). But only one of these realities, we are told, is actually real. This was half a century ago. Regrettably, this viewpoint is still largely the same in our culture today.

But here is the most important part: in denying our inner reality, we were told to deny a major aspect of what it means to be human. We were being asked to reject a major dimension of the human experience.

The inner world is not a blank void. It gives us a larger frame of reference to understand what it means to be human. The fact that these experiences cannot be replicated by others in the exact same way does not make them unreal. Instead, it expands our understanding of what reality entails.

Our inner world connects us to realities that expand far beyond our life on this planet. The inner world helps us to know where we come from. It helps us to know who we are beyond the limits of living within a body.

Without the experience of the inner world we are incomplete. We do not fully comprehend who we are or why we are here on earth.

Evolution?

Science tells us that human life is the random result of evolution. Consciousness arose within the brain to enable us to survive on this planet. It is contained within our body. I have my consciousness over here in my body and you have your consciousness over there in your body. Human Consciousness has now evolved to the point where it now recognizes itself — self-consciousness — and at least one Neuroscientist regards as this the pinnacle of human accomplishment.

But our inner world experience tells us another story. Consciousness lies at the root of all life. Itis the source of all life not just on this planet but throughout the universe. Everything is an expression of this one universal consciousness. Consciousness existed before the human body.

The human body may very well be the result of natural evolution, but is our consciousness limited to just what the body experiences. In our inner world we discover our connection to a consciousness that is far greater than life on this planet.

If the inner world offers us this kind of experience, it stands to reason that we were intended to experience this greater reality.

What we have been told about reality is not complete. We are not whole. We do not experience all the fullness that life offers us.

The consequences of our ignorance are clear to see in the events of the world today. There is a direct connection between our current problems and our lack of wholeness. We cannot wait any longer.

It is time for us to claim our lost connection to the inner world.

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