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The Mystical Awakening of Humanity

Abraham Maslow, the father of humanistic psychology – the "Third Force" of American psychology, and its wonderfully enlivening concepts - "hierarchy of needs," "peak experiences," "self-actualizing personality," suffered a severe heart attack in his early 60's and died several months later. In the intervening months, a time of very fragile health he called his "post-mortem life," Maslow's personality changed dramatically, shifting from a nearly workaholic level of ambition and productivity to a steady state of transcendent calm, characterized by a deep serenity, unitive consciousness, spontaneous spiritual insights, and pervasive perceptions of radiance, beauty, and the miraculous nature of being. He described this state as the way the world would look if a mystical experience settled into a persistent state.
 
This experience changed Maslow. He now viewed humanistic psychology as a transitional state, a preparation for a higher transpersonal or trans-human one, a "Fourth Force" in psychology, one that could be taught and intentionally evoked. He called this new state of consciousness the "plateau experience" and said he could awaken it voluntarily and remain "turned on." He talked of teaching "classes in miraculousness." 
 
I'm proposing that mystical consciousness, our long-forgotten but fundamental human capacity for the direct perception of Creation, can be one of the most important resources for healing ourselves and the collective illusions that are destroying our world. Indeed, the approaching climate apocalypse may be the turning point in human civilization, moving us from the greed and power and the false self to the all-infusing love and unity of divine reality. This climate disaster is not the end of humanity, but it is a call to grow in sacred consciousness. It's a call to conscious elders and all who long to transcend the straitjacket of identity, time and story to come home to a new revelation of Eden.
 
I'm also proposing that we work together to enlighten human consciousness. Borrowing Maslow's brilliant intuition, what if we taught classes in "miraculousness," classes that dissolved left-brain illusions in right-brain mystical awareness? Re-balancing left and right brain functions we would envision a new kind of civilization, one where thought arose from divine consciousness to serve all life. Matthew Fox calls this kind of creativity "art as meditation" and I believe its unifying consciousness was the implicit goal of the University of Creation Spirituality and its later incarnation The Fox Institute. In such an awakened teaching environment, the whole spectrum of false self identities – rich, poor, teachers, homeless, mentally ill, doctors, soldiers, athletes, academics, scientists and seekers – discover that they are not who they think they are but so much more. When welcomed, a mystical pedagogy could thrive in countless places such as schools, businesses, nonprofits, churches, environmental agencies, community centers and activist organizations.
 
Fox concludes, "My conviction is that we need not only an outbreak of creativity in the fields of technology and science but also education, politics, religion, media and economics, but especially a spiritual awakening–What Joanna Macy and David Korten call the "Great Turning" and Thomas Berry calls the "Great Work" and I call a metanoia or change of consciousness from an anthropocentric…world view to an Original Blessing and Creation Spirituality worldview." This awakening is the essence of mystical activism.

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