Separation Consciousness: the Disease We All Have.
Separation: the division of something into constituent or distinct elements.
Consciousness: the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself.
Our world is defined by our differences. Differences in race, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, area of town we reside in, religion, political views… the list in absolutely infinite. If you want to separate yourself from someone else, chances are you can find a way to differentiate yourself.
While being different is most certainly not a bad thing, and should be celebrated in some instances, I believe that humanity has taken this idea of difference and separation too far, and it has reached a point where it has become detrimental to our development as a species and as people.
I define this propensity for humans to separate as Separation Consciousness. I explain it as “the state of being aware of one’s difference to something or someone else.”
At best, separation consciousness manifests as cultural celebrations (such as Hispanic Heritage Month) or monumental moments (such as the first African American President), however at its worst, we see what is going on in the world now: war, poverty, genocide, racism, misogyny, and the like.
I believe that this separation consciousness is the root of all the evils, large and small, that currently exist in our world.
The Holocaust, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, world wars, genocides, dictators, oppressive legislation, religious sects and cults that commit crimes, the most recent United States presidential election that put a known misogynist and racist in the White House — all of these instances stem from the fact that at the heart of it, those involved felt separate and different from another group of people.
This separation consciousness exists on a micro level as well. Think about the times when you prejudged someone at work, in the grocery store, or at school, based on something superficial such as a haircut or a style of clothing. Or when you see someone begging for money on the side of a road.
That twinge in your stomach as they approach your car is a definite indicator of the existence of this separation consciousness within you.
I truly believe that all of the world’s religions, philosophies, and beliefs are trying to accomplish the same thing: to make humanity understand that we are all actually the same. All humans, regardless of any difference you can think of:
Are made of flesh and blood
Need to be loved and understood
Experience hunger and thirst (and need food and water to survive)
Need a place of security and rest, etc.
Yet, we continue to believe that some of us are less than others and some are better than others. This belief is one that has the potential to thwart the progression of consciousness as we know it. We will not continue to thrive on this planet if we continue to believe that we really are all that different.
So what can we personally do to help rid the world of separation consciousness?
It all starts with you.
The great Jalaluddin Rumi once said: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” What are the ways in which you feel different from those around you, your coworkers, your family members, your friends?
As an African American, I feel my race almost everyday, particularly in the aftermath of this most recent polarizing presidential race with a President-Elect who referred to my race as the Blacks and spoke about how our lives were all poverty-stricken, however I, too, must examine the areas of my life where I am conscious of my separateness from someone else.
Once you’ve identified this place of separation, begin to think about the mindset you have around this idea. For me, I am guilty of assuming that any mistreatment I experience in a store, for example, is due to my race, as opposed to an employee having a bad day or another reason completely unrelated to me at all.
Next, it’s important to begin to notice when this feeling of separation emerges. What are you doing? Who are you with? What was your thought? This metacognitive process will help you to begin to change your thoughts ever so slowly.
Finally, how you can you replace these thoughts of separation? Insert a new story. Think of a way you and this person are actually alike or have something in common. Better yet, strike up a conversation around this similarity with this person. You may gain a new friend.
We are in the Age of Aquarius. The world is toxic, both physically and metaphysically. There’s chaos. It feels as if the world may just burn down while we are asleep in our beds. As such, it’s all the more tempting to separate. Our ego wants it, demands it even. But in order for us to help bring Gaia back into balance, we must cling together with all we’ve got. She’s calling out for our help. Can you hear her?
Amara Pinnock is a former early-childhood and special educator in the DC metro area. She is an aspiring vegan and undercover singer. You can find her at her newly-launched blog, Millennial Moonchild, or on Instagram.