Half Of Americans Remain Here…
Continued from yesterday…
The next stage of consciousness is ethnocentric. At this level, the person has evolved from complete egocentricity (me) to tribal sentience (we), where they are mindful of what’s in the best interest of the group they belong to.
A child, for example, beginning around the ages of 3–7, sees more clearly and extensively the role of others. Friendships have now become more important. Events such as starting school open them up to a larger world, and eventually, their primary identity could switch from self (me) to a group/tribe (we). While initially, the tribe may be as small as the family, it eventually may grow into a mega-tribe, such as a nation, a particular religious faith, a political party, or a given race, color, sex, creed.
The central focus of this stage of consciousness is that the tribe that I identify with is special as supposed to all others. People displaying this type of awareness generally compartmentalize the world into “us versus them,” “in or out,” or “friend or enemy.” This ethnocentricity creates tension, conflict, and at times even violence and war, where one is willing to lay down their life for their clan.
Although it’s a step up from the egocentric consciousness, this level has the potential for even more evil because it quickly turns into a form of collective egocentricity. And since the potential destruction occurs in the name of a “righteous” cause—whether political, religious, racial, or national—people within the group feel justified in harming other groups because it serves the group’s greater good.
People who have an experience with God at this stage interpret that encounter through an ethnocentric structure or intelligence. A student of the Bible may notice that the predominant consciousness of the time was ethnocentric. God is portrayed in the Old Testament as very tribal, sanctioning stealing, killing, and destroying in his name for the sake of the tribe.
When Jesus arrived on the scene, both preaching and demonstrating a non-tribal, loving God that undergirds all reality, it didn’t sit well with the society at the time. It’s one reason for the crucifixion.
Of course, one would suppose that the same spirit (consciousness) that was in Jesus would be in Christianity. But, instead, Christianity to a large extent, became another religion anchored in ethnocentricity. The crusades of the Middle Ages are a classic example of two fundamentalist ethnocentric religions attempting to destroy the other in the name of the love of their God.
Until the last century, most of the world, including much of Christianity, never moved beyond this stage of consciousness. Even to this day, half of Americans remain at this ethnocentric or lower stages. As a result, it’s not difficult to find large segments of the population with tendencies toward sexism, racism, fundamentalist religion, and mega-tribal dominance. Compromise is a dirty word because the way that “we” see the world is the only acceptable way to see reality.
Yet, there’s good news. More and more people are observing reality through more inclusive structures of consciousness. Perhaps, the universe’s movement is toward an Omega Point, with all beings awaken to their oneness with God and all things.
To be continued tomorrow…
Written for Path of Love Daily Wisdom by David Youngren. The post is based on chapter 3 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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