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The Rise of Spirituality
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by Ralph Freelink Values

Spiritual inquiry

The book Megatrends 2010 (, written by Patricia Aburdene, predicts the rise of spirituality. She claims this will be the number one megatrend for the future. A megatrend, according to Patricia, "is a large, over-arching direction that will shape our lives for a decade or more". Whether you believe deeply in spirit or think it is a religious hoax, it will influence your life one way or another. It is inevitable. What is spirituality?

We are in a universe that is inside us. Spirituality is the practice that brings up this inner universe. It gives a sense of belonging and profound inner peace. Spirituality is about loving what shows up. There is a great array of techniques and religions available that show us the path to liberation. Our choice is entirely personal. These are all different ways that point to the same thing. The Buddha is within each of us and therefore always available. What does it take to become awakened, enlightened or liberated? In plain words; we have to become aware. Self-awareness is the premise of spiritual living. Moment to moment we endeavor to remain aware of the change. Everything changes all the time, things rise and pass away, around us and inside us. If we learn to observe the impermanence of life, without attaching and identifying, we are developing spiritually. It takes years of practice to become an expert in this art of living, but we can start here and now. All spiritual inquiry is about consciousness.

The zone

What is consciousness? With consciousness I mean presence or wakefulness - the ability to observe without attachment, to remain aware and to experience the world in acceptance. As it is. In America, when athletes, artists and performers, reach this state of presence in their work they say they are in 'the zone'. To be in the zone, means to be one with the activity, to feel no separation between self and other. The other could be a person, a canvas or a playground. We all have had moments when we 'forgot ourselves' and blended with the activity. Remember? If we become aware of the nature of this experience we can bring it into our daily lives.

Now. The moment has a lot offer. It is the place that determines who and where we will be next. If we open up to the potential of the moment, it can literally inform our presence and bring up our true nature. Some deeper experiences of life, known as glimpses of something other than our current sense of self, could cause a permanent shift in our consciousness. This is a very important point on our spiritual journey, because the otherness becomes undeniably real. The idea that 'there is more' suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

The phenomenon of spirituality is present in all the things we do and create. Only most of it remains unconscious. However there is no invention in life, whether social or technological, without consciousness.

Stewards of the Earth

Consciousness fuels creativity, because people are driven by a faculty deeper than their individual minds. When we are in the zone, submerged in the now, we are dwelling in the realm of consciousness. It is the primacy of inspiration, invention, happiness and of course love. It is here with us, always has been, and all we need to do is allow it.

If we develop a more awakened relationship to life we begin to feel responsible. And responsibility is needed if we don't want to continue causing fragmentation in a world that is intrinsically whole. We have reached a point in human history where we have to design a future based on our relationship to the whole community of life. The gift of consciousness will shine in our actions, if we dare to become caring stewards of the Earth. With a silent, non-attached mind, we can begin to see this wider context and align various aspects of our life with it.

Consciousness externalized

Consciousness is the vital element to all technological and social innovation. In spite of this most lives are still driven by the unconscious mind. With access to a more responsible and mature mind we are on the verge of a new era. All human expression, including technology, is an externalized manifestation of consciousness. Society as we know it, is a reflection of our inner world. The two are inseparable. Things are in our own hands.

The creativity of consciousness, or the universe, is freely available, and is becoming a more important resource than capital, fossil fuels, and consumer products. Through activities such as meditation we cultivate this essential substance. The performance of awareness, the non-dual mind, is an very simple thing. Yet its realization is a life-long commitment and practice to the unattainable. A paradox resolved only in direct experience, where the attaining mind and the unattained mind come together. Small meets big.

Value of money

We have to go inside. We are loosing the rat race outside ourselves. The ideas, beliefs, and assumptions rooted in our inner domain shape our behaviour. What if we would act out of a non-assuming and non-biased mode of consciousness? What if we would learn to sense, think, and act intuitively? It changes our direct experience of the world and our perception of it. It would be incredible. We begin seeing the intrinsic value of all life and our personal values would shift accordingly. Each moment is a presentation of openness and free respond.

Any organization that wants to change through responsibility, creativity, and innovation is going to have to invest in the growth of consciousness. Within our capitalistic system we have the wonderful opportunity to invest in this element and profoundly change the direction of the human enterprise. If a company advances in the development of this higher good it will bring forth new realities and a more encompassing value system. The result will manifest in higher quality of life and socio-economic sustainability. We finally give money a chance to work for us. Money is the enabler of economic traffic, not the purpose. If this insight dawns on us we will reclaim our original position within the dynamics of value exchange. Right in the centre of all activity. If we flow, moneys flows. If we get stuck, money gets stuck. Money is another aspect of consciousness externalized.

Conscious capitalism

When we master ourselves, become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, we develop freedom and presence. The world leaders of the coming decades are men and women who master their shadows. Only daily spiritual practice will bring forth self-mastery. It will be the difference between conscious and unconscious capitalism, between mature and immature investments. If we have the courage to dialogue with the numerous aspects of the self, silently observe change, and mindfully approach the world, miracles may happen. With a sharpened intuition our planet becomes a spiritual playground for awakened human beings.

The future of risk

Do you dare to take the risk of investing in the unseen? In reaching out for the intangible? What are consequences? Stepping into the unknown is a hazardous thing to do. Especially for business. Maybe 'letting go' will be the new core business of all organisations. It will be the source of all innovation. Because if we let go, we also let come.

Is this the future of risk?

Ralph Freelink, founder of the Centre for Holistic Inquiry (, is a psychologist in the knowledge stream on the future of trade. Ralph will be a "catalyst" at the Summit for the Future

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