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Collective Consciousness

Heike Zelnhefer
In the wake of the most recent mass shooting in Newtown, CT, I had to hit the laptop keys and start writing. So many news headlines, Facebook status updates, twitter posts etc. focus only on one thing - gun control. Newsflash! Nothing ever happens in isolation! I wonder what or who is more dangerous? The gun or the person pulling the trigger? Isn't a gun only as dangerous as the person using it? Why are we not taking better care of those in need? Or why are we not taking better care of each other? Why are we not respecting each other for who we all are? Humans! Why do we not teach our children how differences can unite us and make us unique? Why do we focus on separation instead? And why do we not have better mental health programs? Focusing on money and profit obviously is not working so why do we continue down the same road? Einstein said, "Insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Our collective consciousness has failed all those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, and our collective consciousness also has failed the shooter. An unspeakable traumatic event like a school shooting usually does not happen "out of the blue", instead, it is pre-meditated and set into action because of repeated neglect and lack of attention. A New York Times article talks about how the shooter was talking "about aliens and blowing things up" yet it was dismissed due to his adolescent state. Regardless of age, language intention is to be taken somewhat seriously. After all, the words we use is a reflection of who we are, how we see ourself, and how we feel about ourself. When someone talks about "aliens" you may want to ask yourself whether or not this person feels alienated by you or society. When someone talks about "blowing things up" the question arises whether or not this person is "blowing up" internally or wants to "blow up" him or herself because of how we are as a society, a collective consciousness. On the flip side, we also may wonder whether or not this person needs professional help.

One thing is sure, we can assign blame and point fingers all we want but ultimately, and going with the premise that we are all ONE, we have to look at ourselves. If we are all connected on an energetic level then how did my action or non-action cause such a tragedy? I need to ask myself, what can I do to make this world a better place? If we all, each individually and with that collectively were to ask ourselves these questions, we would realize that we all had a part in this. Marianne Williamson expresses it so eloquently when she talks about starving children in Africa. She writes, "Starving children in Africa are not poor because their consciousness is unaligned with love; they're poor because ours is." She continues to say, "When we collectively make love our bottom line - making humanitarian values rather than short-term economics the organizing principle of human civilization - then the situation will indeed miraculously change." Now you may think, well what have starving children in Africa to do with a mass shooting in the US? The answer is simple: It is our collective consciousness that is not in alignment.

Start there and you realize that we are all rushing through this life like it were a contest to be won. We really need to stop and smell the roses! We need to take more time for ourselves and for each other. Just yesterday I was talking to a dear friend of mine about cultural differences. Both of us were not born in this country and we discussed how we both dislike saying "How are you?" if we just end up not really taking the time to listen. Truth is, there is always time to listen. Human kindness is not just a trade only a few of us possess. Allow yourself to be kind, do nice things for strangers and not just your immediate family circle, help each other regardless whether you know a person or not. If we were all more kind, nicer, and spend more time listening and really being there for each other, things like the recent mass shooting or someone dying on the subway tracks trying to frantically get up on the platform again only to be crushed by the train because people were too busy filming the survival struggle on their smart phones instead of helping someone in need, may be preventable. We would have realized that the shooter needed help and was in fact crying out for help for quite some time. He may have been socially awkward and uncomfortable but have we ever asked ourself why that is? What is it about us that makes another person feel uncomfortable?

Thoughts like "I'm sure someone else will help" or "there are enough people here, let someone else do it" are painfully costly! Why not be the first to stand up and help? Often we see other people being bullied yet we do not help out of fear that if we stand up for this person, we may be next on the bullying list. This form of thinking is fear based and keeps you stuck in your tracks. If only one person acts, many others will follow. So always ask yourself how your own actions influence others. Do you want to go through life being passive or active? If you are passive, know that others will be passive as well. Yet if you are active, you inspire others to jump into action just like you.

Let's start non-violent action today: help each other, listen to each other, invite people into our hearts, be kind to each other, and think kindly and more positively about yourselves and others. Try on this outfit for a while and see how it fits.



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