I chat with Chris Paradox , who also poeticises, about ‘Consciousness Culture’. Plus two of Caxton Press live in the studio . Caxton Press are a polemical London based outfit with an array of intellectual MCs including a female that offers what we almost forgot women in hip-hop are capable of delivering. The group have spent a year tweaking their debut album in pursuit of ‘the truth that is buried deep underneath the murky haze of modern life’.
So what is consciousness culture?
Let’s break it down. According to WikiPedia consciousness is ‘a loosely defined concept that addresses the human awareness of both internal and external stimuli. This can refer to spiritual recognition, psychological understanding, medically altered states, or more modern-day concepts of life purpose, satisfaction, and self-actualization’.
Awareness is the key word. There is a growing group in society that are becoming more aware. Aware of spiritual connection, aware of connection to each other, aware that we have a choice and a purpose – every single one of us. Often that purpose at its barest level is simply to come together and to serve.
Have I lost you? I’m not talking about shedding all your possessions and living on berries (however appealing that sometimes sounds to me) or joining the nearest commune (ditto on the previous sentiments), I’m talking about being kind to yourselves and each other, share your gifts, think outside your own box of existence.
One of my many staple reading references is Reality Sandwich an amazing online resource that reports purely on consciousness culture. In one article the site’s Creative Director Daniel Pinchbeck – also activist, author and psychedelic figure head, explains the transformation that our planet is experiencing –
“As we undergo our planetary initiation, we are going to transcend individual ego and local boundaries to identify ourselves with humanity as a whole, becoming one global tribe. We are on the cusp of realizing ourselves as one species organism, in symbiotic relationship with the planetary ecology as a whole. Once we make this leap, we will share resources equitably, adopt cradle to cradle and no waste manufacturing practices, and shift from competition to cooperation as our basic paradigm. We will go from acting like a parasite or a virus on the earth to becoming the earth’s immune system.” ‘Planetary Initiation’ (Reality Sandwich), Daniel Pinchbeck
Interestingly it has been noted that consciousness is something we seek, and then run from. Why? Because consciousness demands responsibility and action.
Consciousness requires that I recognise when I am treating myself in a way I would never want to treat another human being. That means living in the body, conscious from moment to moment of thought and sensation, but not becoming attached to thoughts which hurt, frighten, create anxiety and/or punish.
That’s why having your own daily practice is so important. Please don’t be put off my the term ‘practice’. I use that term very loosely. A practice can be almost whatever you choose it to be, as long as it supports your intention to expand your awareness and then act upon it. Isn’t that the very least we can do for ourselves?