Today, we continue our self dialogue in exploring our evolution through the third dimension and our opportunity to transcend it….. (Click here to read part one)
So picking up where we left off–regarding our evolution — you say that ultimately humanity will transcend the third dimension. What exactly does that mean?
Well, in my thinking, it means that some aspect of us will move beyond the limitations created by living in a world of time and space where things appear to be separate from one another. Although I certainly have no insider knowledge about the characteristics of life beyond the third dimension, I have to imagine that it entails leaving behind the need for a physical body as we know it, as well as the experience of linear time. My belief is that the aspect of our being that we carry with us from the third dimension relates to our consciousness.
So is this transcendence done by each of us individually?
Good question. On a certain level, I believe that it is. I believe that each of us grow and evolve at an individual level that leads to our personal transcendence beyond the third dimension. This personal evolution is in consciousness. However, I also believe that as an individual evolves to higher levels of consciousness, such levels bring awareness of the interconnectedness of all life and an expanded circle of care and concern for others. This awareness brings a desire to serve others, a desire that seems natural from the viewpoint that we are all one. This intent to serve others frequently includes a desire to assist others in the expansion of their consciousness. Therefore, in this light, one person’s evolution assists the group’ s consciousness. Also, we might consider that an individual’ s consciousness is part of the collective consciousness of all humanity, so that one’s growth also contributes to everyone’s growth in that regard.
Must we really take an active role in our personal evolution? Won’t we just naturally “transcend the third dimension” when our bodies experience the process of death?
There are some spiritual teachers who say that — that the transition from this life to our next experience allows us to automatically release the limitations imposed upon us by our identification with our bodies and our sense of separation from one another. Yet these same teachers usually share that some type of sense of personal identity is carried with us into our next level of expression. Although the release of the body may bring an expansion of our awareness, such expansion doesn’t eliminate the necessity for our growth during our time in the third dimension. The higher our growth while here now would seem in my way of thinking to be beneficial. On the one hand, the greater our wisdom at the point of transition, there might be the opportunity for enhanced assimilation of our new expanded awareness. On the other hand, if as some spiritual teachers and traditions suggest — that reincarnation back into the third dimension reoccurs until we learn our lessons here, then the greater our wisdom at the point of transition brings with it increased likelihood that we have “completed” our experience here.
Okay, then what must each of us do to transcend the third dimension and evolve personally?
Well, the simple answer is be aware of this process, set an intention to further your evolution, create a vision of what your personal evolution looks like and then act in a manner that is in alignment with that vision. Your vision and your related actions must incorporate all aspects of your life — your inner work and your outer work, your work on yourself and your work in relation to others. I find philosopher Ken Wilber’s integral practice is helpful here in understanding the various parts of your life in which you need to consider your plan for growth. Working on your shadow self is essential. Some type of spiritual practice that builds within you an awareness of the oneness of life is key. Other spiritual teachers frequently offer other specific guidance. My suggestion is that we use logic to build our plan, but that we also use the vast power of our intuition to choose the path that is best for us individually.
That’s the simple answer?
Yes. Obviously it sounds simple but that doesn’t make it easy. Yet there is a more complex piece to our evolution that we need to consider, in my opinion. Our physical nature has evolved through the third dimension for thousands of years. That process has hardwired within us certain factors that have served us along our evolutionary path but now create barriers as we seek to evolve further. Some consider these factors to be coded into our DNA, others say it’s part of our collective consciousness. Either way, these structures keep us with one foot firmly planted in the third dimension even as some aspect of us calls us to higher levels of awareness.
What are some of these structures that have served us but now limit us?
There are parts of humanity that may be considered animalistic. Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and their lower levels. We have base needs where we seek to meet basic physiological needs such as air, water, etc. Beyond those needs we seek basic safety and security for ourselves — shelter, procreation to continue the species and so. Next Maslow says we seek to create a sense of belonging with others and a desire to experience love. We must consider that for thousands of years, meeting each of these needs served an evolutionary purpose — we continued to live and thrive and reproduce. Yet our hardwiring to meet these needs keeps us stuck in sensing the need to compete against others for what appear to be limited resources — food, water, land, money, sexual partners, power, possessions that make life easier, etc. Although at some level we may be called to transcend these desires, our third dimensional hardwiring keeps bringing us back to them.
So how do we overcome this hardwiring?
Well it comes back to the simple answer — awareness, intention, vision and action. If we’re not aware of how our third dimensional evolutionary process has created both these gifts and challenges, then in our ignorance we will continue to ignore them and never overcome them. We will continue to live our lives in competition and struggle, seeking to fill the bottomless pit of needs that can never be satiated, keeping our attention and focus on the lack and limitation and growing more of the same.
Is there anything else we need to understand in moving beyond the third dimension?
Yes. We need to understand what many mystics and philosophers have pointed out to us — the creative power of our thoughts–thoughts are things. Evolution has allowed consciousness to make a critical leap within humanity, we have become aware of the fact that we are aware. With that, we have also moved into the awareness that the consciousness embedded within us is actually the creative power of the divine — and that through our free will choice we can use that power for destructive purposes or creative purposes. We need to learn to harness that vast power within us for good, for ourselves and for others. We need to remember the truth that we are interrelated to everyone else. We need to grasp that on an intellectual level and then embody it into our emotions and choices. Next we need to release our attachment to all the trappings of the third dimension. To be clear, yes, let’s enjoy the vast array of beauty and bounty of life here on planet Earth. It truly is a gift. But attachments to all that is here will keep us stuck here. Finally, we need to be aware of the evolutionary process and our role in it. We need to recognize that we are conscious co-creators in the process. As we grow and evolve personally, we need to consider how we might use the power of our thoughts and intentions for the greater good of all so that we not only complete our individual third dimensional experience but assist others on their path as well.
So are we really continuing to evolve?
Yes, I believe so. As mentioned previously, this evolution is more in our consciousness. We become more aware. Another word for this is to say we become enlightened. Evolution’s next step for us is in consciousness, awareness, enlightenment.
So where does religion or spirituality fit into this?
In my opinion, religion represents the formalized rules, dogma and organizations that have evolved to point humanity back towards this divine unity. To that degree that have served a useful purpose. Yet they are tainted by humanity’s animalistic base needs and thus have limited us simultaneously by dividing us and keeping us separate from one another. One must consider this — does a religions’ stressing of their rules, their sacred texts, the specialness of their group, their discouragement of marriage outside their group, and their way being “the only way to God” serve to unite us as a people or divide us? More often than not such thinking brings more divisiveness and less love. Such characteristics of religion have even encouraged violence and war. Is this the next logical step for humanity? Is this our highest possibility as a people? Spirituality, on the other hand, implies a direct experience of unity. Spirituality seeks us to have a direct link to the divine without any intermediary such as religion. Religion may have served our evolution but it is spirituality will take us to the next level. Spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation seek to create within us our own personal experience of God. Such experience moves us into higher levels of care and concern for our fellow mankind as well as assisting us in releasing attachments to third dimensional desires. Hence, as mentioned, a routine spiritual practice of communing with a sense greater than our smallness is essential to transcending the third dimension.
Next time we conclude this discussion as we consider humanity’s collective evolution and its shared transcendence of the third dimension…
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!