David Darling has pressed the matter of consciousness into the moment vividly for me, not simply due to his compelling prose, but also because of the immediacy of consciousness and its relationship to the world we inhabit, which often offers us conflicting priorities based on our personal sensitivity to the events which transpire in the temporal portion of our reality. From the simple beauty of the beams of sunlight filtering through the trees in the front yard, all the way through to the urgency of world events, our consciousness encompasses every nuance of our existence in ways that generally escape notice much of the time, but occasionally in ways that feel like a punch in the stomach.
For five years, starting in 2003 when my son deployed to Iraq and then later in 2007 to Afghanistan, our world was turned upside down while he endured a total of almost thirty-six months in a combat zone, battling the forces of terrorism, and pressing forward through unimaginable challenges in both endurance and comprehension of the world created by the circumstances of life in the 21st century.
Through all the countless hours of doubt and uncertainty for him, there were untold hours of the same for all of us who love him, but through it all there were innumerable moments when all the abstractions and implications of OUR existence were inextricably linked to HIS, and the world we were striving to create constantly was a world which included his safe return to us when his obligation was completed.
We were among the fortunate families who were able to welcome our son back to the USA in 2008, and the world we created in our little corner of the globe suddenly seemed brighter and more hopeful than it ever had in those many years prior to that day.
When we see stories in the news of the continuing loss of life over the struggles in the world, not just as we have recently seen in Afghanistan, but in many other places in the world today, the pursuit of our understanding of consciousness and its fundamental nature take on an even greater urgency, particularly in view of how the world is desperate for a means to end the division and erosion of our natural inclinations to recognize the universal oneness which binds us all together.
David Darling struck home on this point when he wrote:
“Every human being, and every human mind, has roots that extend indefinitely far back through time…the consciousness of the individual is inextricably tied to the consciousness of the whole…Everything in nature is actually connected or implicated with everything else….(and) Whether we like it or not, consciousness has a persistent habit of intruding into all our discussions about the nature of mathematics, physics, and reality as a whole. We cannot just step outside of ourselves to discover what things would be like–assuming they still existed at all–if we were not here.”
The world we humans are creating currently…needs work….