Part One: The Death of Willful Ignorance:
Being Honest About What Is In Front of Us
As we evolve personally and communally along the spiritual path, a large part of the leap back into
realizing our fully loving nature is to claim more and more willingness to be aware of what is in front
of us and what is yearning to express itself from inside of us.
Communally and individually, events that seem to be getting more and more outrageous are
pushing us to surrender to a more loving way of being. We see scientists denying the evidence of
global warming. We see large groups of people making up stories about healthcare legislation and
the citizenship of our President. Religious fanatics insist that the world is only 6,000 years old and
that we all are going to fry soon, or at least the ones who don't buy their version of God and hell's
In this article, I will explore our willingess to honestly and courageously observe the events in our
so-called external world. It is my belief that everything that occurs in our experience happens for a
reason, and that everyone we encounter is our teacher. Communally, it seems that more and more
frequently we do not want to acknowledge the truth about various events and scenarios that are right
in front of us to see.
Why is that? The modern science of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) has a quite interesting
answer to this question: That human nature is such that we will go much further to avoid pain than
we will go to get pleasure. If we anticipate the experience of pain by acknowledging a simple and clear
truth, then the human mind tends to be eager to simply deny that truth. We make up stories about
it or simply refuse to discuss or think about it. Some will even fight to defend something that, when
viewed with honesty and courage, is simply indefensible.
How often to you say or hear: "I'd rather not know"? or "Get real"?
Yet, it's tricky, especially for those who identify with their mind. The other side of that coin is
spending lots of time watching the violence and insanity of our world on the evening news and in
the newspapers. This can often tend to amp up our fear. It is a significant part of the spiritual quest,
I think, to simply be aware: to see what is in front of us and to discern the lesson or the opportunity to
Some confuse this kind of calm awareness with judgement. Inherent in the term "judgement" is the
labeling of someone, some group or some event as good or bad: endorsing or condemning. On the other
hand, I see the practice of discerning as the willingness to use the logical/intuitive mind to see the
lesson or truth in a situation or experience---without judging it as good or bad. This discernment may
lead to expanding a conversation or to choosing to shift a conversation or to disengaging from a social
encounter that we see is going nowhere worthwhile.
Collectively and individually, we are in the process of unlearning our adherence to willful, voluntary
ignorance. The choice to act stupidly or to indulge in destructive distractions is born of fear. The new
dawn is about waking up to our individual and collective power to be happy, calm and loving. We are
being called upon, I believe, to exercise loving trust and courage to move beyond fear and beyond "us
and them" thinking. It's all us.
What are the symptoms of voluntary ignorance? What are the signs that we are avoiding obvious truths?
The simplest symptom for us to see is found in the spiritual pandemics of obesity, alcoholism, drug
abuse, pornography and other feelings-stuffers and temporary nervousness-releasers.
How can you build your willingness to be aware and discerning in a way that helps to unfold your loving
nature? Some ideas for your consideration:
1) By practicing, build your intuitive sense of knowing when to ask questions or do some
research....and when to gracefully disengage from a conversation or experience that
2) Be aware of the choices available to you about where you get your news, then choose
wisely and consistently in where you do get it and how often. To do this effectively means
that you spend more time consulting the loving, intuitive heart part of you than you spend
caving in to the fears of the mind.
3) Observe the spiritual profitability of your relationships with family, friends, co-workers and
acquaintances. Which charge you up? Which drain you? Which offer the opportunity for
you to learn something? Which offer you the opportunity to truly give? You might choose
to contemplate any of these questions in a pause session. I use the term "pause session"
to mean a quieting of the fearful mind and a tuning into the calm, happy and loving nature of
the heart. (see my homepage at YourPauseButton.com for free pause sessions).
A far simpler pause session you can have at any time when considering a social, political or religious
belief is to ask yourself this question: "Is the souce of this belief based in love or fear?"
The world we are creating is to be one of peace, harmony and calm. To create that kind of world means
exercising the courage to dump fear and choosing more and more consistently to trust one's inner
guidance that comes from the wise and intutive heart, letting the fearful mind dissolve.