Evolving Consciousness as a Human Right

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” So begins the United Nations document The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Twenty two years ago I was faced with sexual slavery for the first time.  It was on a water testing trip with my high school to the Amazon basin and we were passed on the river by barges heading to supply the people looking for gold.  One of the supplies that barges carried were girls my age.  I was 14 at the time and that event made an impression on me.  One of my goals in life would become to create a world in which slavery couldn’t couldn’t exist. (Not to mention the practice of dumping mercury into the water to retrieve gold isn’t the best idea for the environment.)

As this desire to change the world evolved over time and as I gained access to education I realized that acting in presence with ones self outside of external influences was key to getting people to behave in a sustainable manner.  In addition with both this and people behaving with an understanding of how nature works (this is also called permaculture) then they begin to support systems that are in that same alignment.  Organic, consciousness, mindfulness, fair trade, buy local – these movements are visible at this point in a way they weren’t even just 10 years ago. Motion is happening…

For most of my life I’ve thought about human rights as directly tied to issues of slavery and discrimination, access to clean food and water.  Today as I’m reflecting on this topic I realize that I’m thinking about human rights in a different way.  I’m thinking about the right to freedom of thought.  This freedom is certainly able to be influence by external means. Billboards, radio and tv advertising.  Advertising is everywhere you look and listen.  If you think about it you are constantly getting messages as you go about your day.  Observe the behavior of the people around you.  What are they wearing?  How do they dress?  Have you even noticed how people’s accents can change after they’ve lived somewhere for awhile? Have you ever thought about how the people around you influence how you act, think, and behave?  Even more importantly are you able to free yourself of these structures and expectations or are you a slave to the constructs that you perceive in the world around you?

I’ve always felt a little out of place.  My ability to conform has never really worked and I can always see myself as being a little different than those around me.  I also know that this gives me some freedom to just be who I am.  As I step forward on the path to raising my consciousness I’ve feel like I’ve found a place where it doesn’t matter .  As I continue to deepen my meditation practice and explore other practices I notice that I care less about what others think.  I notice situations around me almost as if they were a play.  I notice that my friends and family are more open around me in being themselves and sharing their love.

I believe that I have the right to live in my true nature and release the bonds around my mind.   As my friend Roman would say “the right to evolution of consciousness.”  And so I work on practices daily to open the mind, to keep it from spinning into the patterns which I know aren’t helpful.  I do this by practicing mindfulness, meditating, and breathwork.  I also enjoy other practices like yoga and QiGong.  There are many options to choose from so don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried something and it didn’t work for you.  That could also just be that pesky mind getting in the way and not wanting to be under control.  Tame that wild beast!  No matter what it thinks that monkey in your head needs to be taught how to control the spaceship.

In order to allow people to break free of the trappings of their mind there must freedom of education to support the access of information, something which Malala recently brought to our attention.  The freedom of religion, and spiritual practice is also a key piece to this.

Today I will celebrate my right to freedom by practicing it.  I’m going up to the Crestone Stupa, a sacred site, and sitting in meditation to the Green Tara later in the day.  I will practice being present and keeping my mind quiet so that I might simply be me.  This may seem simple, but it really does take practice.  I do hope you’ll join me on this journey to break free from mental slavery.  As Bob Marley said “none but ourselves can free our minds”

Bob MarleyRedemption Song

“Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the Book.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
Won’t you have to sing
These songs of freedom? –
‘Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs –
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

One Reply to “Evolving Consciousness as a Human Right”

  1. Kir,
    I appreciate your stream of thought here. I have so much appreciation for the non-conformists I meet. It’s wild to think about how much effort there is to shape our thoughts and behaviors from external forces which don’t know us as individual human beings with unique experiences and thoughts and dreams. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – about how we keep ourselves liberated from this pressure, and how we we can unite to build alternatives which preserve that respect and dignity for the individual experience.

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