In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says,
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
There are many different ways to name it, but we feel something deep inside us... and something we are part of... that flows through us and connects us all together.
Along the way it’s likely that you have run into terms and concepts like “higher consciousness,” “universal consciousness,” or “collective consciousness.”
In general, the idea of a “universal higher consciousness” is that there is a nonlocal and atemporal source of being… source of awareness… source of perception… through and in which we have:
an unmediated and direct experience of the way things really are; an unmediated and direct experience of ultimate truth; an unmediated and direct experience of the oneness of all things; an unmediated and direct experience of all things being whole, complete, harmonious and well; an unmediated and direct experience of no separation.
Inside the reality of “universal higher consciousness” there is the dissolution of all spiritual ignorance, and there is only the light of what is real and true. Some refer to this “universal higher consciousness” as “God.” Others see the references of Jesus to the “kingdom of God” as this “universal higher consciousness.” What if there was a paradigm shift that cut the ties between God and religion? What if God and spirituality were embraced by people as a natural, thriving, vibrant, expanding inner reality and dimension that we share and live together?
In my writings I often refer to our “true Self.” In the above terms, that Self dwells in and is an expression of that “universal higher consciousness.” When Jesus said, “I am the truth,” you might understand Jesus to be saying that “universal higher consciousness” was united with the elements of human personhood in order to have a human experience, and that the point is to create our human experience out of that consciousness. In other words, we were born “out of the image of God” as creators, and we are here to create our world from that “universal higher consciousness” (“on earth as it is in heaven”).
You could deconstruct terms and concepts such as “higher consciousness,” “universal consciousness,” or “collective consciousness,” and explore their original meanings/usages by studying people like Anaxagoras, Hegel, or Durkheim, but these terms have now evolved and taken on new meanings in the spiritual context. Quantum Physics has also added a scientific dimension, foundation, and validation to these concepts.
For many people coming out of religion, this may be unmapped territory, and perhaps you were even scared away from such terms because you were told they were “New Age,” “demonic,” and who knows what else. Religion tends to be very effective at controlling and limiting people’s spiritual freedom and evolution through fear tactics. All the above terms and words are not “new.” For example, pre-Socratic philosopher Anaxagoras delved into these concepts, as well as philosophers like Hegel and Durkheim (and many others).
There is a spirit of the times in which we live. It is a mash-up of all the prevailing narratives that influence and govern how we see ourselves, the world, God, and all of life. But there is also the spirit of the depths. This spirit is timeless. This spirit is eternal life. This spirit is harmony. This spirit is freedom. This spirit is love. This spirit is beyond all words and description. The spirit of the times holds us down. The spirit of the depths lifts us up. What the spirit of the depths reveals within us is folly to the spirit of the times… a divine madness. This is ultimately why Jesus was crucified. The spirit of the times would not accept the spirit of the depths. They said Jesus was crazy. He was… the kind of crazy we need.
Be mindful today of the Spirit of the depths stirring within you, opening up an awareness of what is real and true. It might happen randomly or any number of things today might trigger it. It will bubble up inside from your deepest feelings, and will likely include homecoming sensations in which you feel free and connected to a beautiful and harmonious whole. It’s not necessary to understand it or decode it into religious language and concepts. Keep it real and natural. Embrace it with the simplicity of a child. Speak from those deep feelings to others in your own words. Any person can do what I just described. It doesn’t require any specialized knowledge or depend on you being some sort of enlightened guru. It may be a challenge for some, but only because you have been led to mistrust what is inside you. In that case, you must step out in faith and courage.