barry robbins consciousness non-dual

By Barry Robbins

2021 marked the confluence of powerful events which, when viewed in a certain light, offer an understanding of how they are interrelated. These insights provide a healthy direction for change and transformation, particularly through the prism of sports.

Humanity is starting to understand the intricate relationship between individual and cultural change, how they are woven together, and the need for reciprocal relationships.

Taken together as a whole, an emerging theme of interdependence is revealing itself through some of these key events on the 2021 World Stage.

  1. Naomi Osaka and Simon Biles have courageously fired shots heard throughout the world. Athletes are no longer content with ignoring the messages of the heart and not acting on them. In both cases, removing themselves from active competition was the healthiest action Osaka and Biles could take, as they realized that their unaddressed emotional issues could put them in danger in their respective sports.

    This has magnified the need for Heartfulness, “the exploration, understanding and skillful training into our emotional nature”. Athletes are no longer content to “stuff” their feelings and are searching for healthy outlets for expression, as well as ways to work with emotions.

    Giving a voice to these issues helps encourage athletes to express the need for a common language and understanding around emotional needs, and our reliance on one another for support and community.

  2. Human rights and suffrage movements have gained traction in such areas as racism, gender equality and more, and are impacting prejudice and discrimination. Interdependence allows us to see through color, race, gender and separateness and appreciate that we are one species.

    As we try to navigate the roiling waters of racism and prejudice, the role of sports takes on added significance. Sports and athletes are embedded into the very fabric of society and as such, have an influence in social mores, ethics and philosophy. Sports can be a mirror of civilization and reflect the prevailing norms, resistance to change and inequalities of the day.

    Sports can also be a model for how we relate to each other, united by common goals and striving for achievement. It is how we relate to these differences that makes the change. Can you look through a person’s color, race and gender and feel into their heart and soul, which we all share together?

    Interdependence is the practice of non-dual (not separate) consciousness, in which our thoughts and actions are guided by the understanding of our oneness.

  3. Covid, which has created so much suffering, has given rise to a greater understanding of the fragile nature of the planet and the need to care for all. It is not sufficient for individuals to focus only on themselves. The lessons learned from this epidemic underscore our interrelationships and interdependency, and the need to think and act for the larger well-being.

  4. Ecology

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”
~ Robert Swan

The planet is under attack from one of its own life forms: Us.
The battle between the forces of extraction and exploitation vs. the ecology movement continues. Integral Ecology is the synergy of all of our relationships; with ourselves, each other, the planet and the universe. It is only when our awareness becomes all-embracing that we will awaken to our evolutionary destiny as benevolent beings with mutual interests.

Cultivating resilience and love, empathy and compassion is one direction forward.

Our Declaration of Interdependence involves a mature consciousness which embraces the human experience of oneness with all things. This Unity Consciousness or Non-Dual Consciousness is a universal message embraced by most of the world’s wisdom traditions. It is a pathway towards understanding perceived differences in a unique light and relating to them differently, finding our similarities.

We are both independent and mutually interdependent. The need to reconcile each is of great importance. Can we take an integral approach and hold both of these aspects?

This requires a shift in consciousness, a change in world-view such as when the human race realized the world was not flat, nor the center of the universe. The Galileo effect of our time will be the understanding that we are not separate but connected and unitive.

It furthers the understanding that we are part of a higher order of super nature, be it called God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Tao or any other name given to a supreme intelligence, of which we belong.

This unity consciousness holds all living beings as part of a larger whole, a larger awareness that extends beyond ourselves and includes and connects all of us. We are not separate and ego-centric but rather World-Centric and part of each other.

The Declaration of Interdependence is an understanding that consciousness is primary, that it is shared and connects all of us, and that we are born from it, live in it and pass back into it. In growing into this expansive way of thinking and acting, we give birth to a new approach and a new world.


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