I claim that it is what most spiritual communities are pursuing. Monastic groups of any kind are consciousness gravitational poles. They regulate the ups and downs of human civilization around a grounded consciousness anchor. Grounded because resting on complete awareness of Humanity.
.Living beings are consciousness cells.
Having no agency
What changes between someone present (awake) and someone asleep (mechanical)? Let’s start by setting up a referential. You spend a part your life listening, and another part of your life talking (or doing). When you’re listening, you’re doing a work of impression. When you’re talking you’re doing a work of expression. Expressing means projecting your energy out. Impressing means receiving energy in. You mostly do both of those with little to no agency. You express when you have an impression to do so. You impress when you are done expressing. This is because you give your full attention to the outside or to the inside. You are continuously entirely focusing on whatever object outside (environment, people) or inside you (thoughts, emotions, sensations). Therefore you think, emote and behave entirely in the frame of this object. You are incapable of self-agency, self-regulation or creative thinking. Pushing your attention toward anything else is useless because you will either come back, or be trapped elsewhere, in another thought, emotion, or sensation.
The danger of being entirely identified with something is that this thing propagates its features to your own surrounding over time without your consent. It also can over-empower you completely at any time. For example cases of dramatic phenomenons or stressful situations can take away your entire judgement or agency. You are so “impressed”, meaning your window of experience is so totally turned to the outside that you cannot process the information anymore. Literally your cerebral front lobe overloads and leaves your reptilian brain responsible for fight or flight reaction. This phenomena is responsible for inhuman acts committed in witness of humanity. People do not react ethically, appropriately or at all, sometimes in spite of their own life threat. Because they are entirely trapped inside the threat’s frame of action. This happens insidiously at many scale in your daily life. This is how you end up doing things you don’t want to do.
Creating your own agency
You cannot conserve your agency throughout most slightly intense phenomena. Most people’s threshold is very low, letting the decision makers, leaders or charismatic people entirely responsible for intense situations. People who have already created enough self-independence, enough self-agency. Self-agency does not come naturally. It has to be actively cultivated by the individual.
You do not have to dive into your worst fear or sacrifice anything at this point. You literally have to start at the smallest possible root of everything. You.
You can start this work yourself right now without moving an inch, without even stopping to read.
To awaken is to do a work of impression and expression at the same time. Every time you pass the boundary between impressing and expressing you find the middle line of consciousness. The frequency at which you pass this line, meaning at which you are able to be inside and be outside of yourself relates to your capacity to enjoy life and find fulfillment. To ride this line is to exist at both places at the same time. When you feel your breathing as you work on your computer, you have an impression of the world through your body and an expression of your life through the computer. You exist in comparison to what you live. This is what happens when you lucid dream. You are inside and outside. You are an individual of the world. You are a conscious cell. At peaks moment of your life, you feel in control because you flow as an individual | through the situation; which you are both aware of. The world is in the prolongation of yourself. By holding yourself AND the world at the same time, you become whole.
The flow of signal is uninterrupted and your creature enters a state of homeostasis. You find balance. At first you loose track of one or the other because you constantly slide in or out, that’s daydreaming or mechanical thinking. You forget about one or the other. Then you just have to try again. If you practice this all the time, you never loose track of yourself. You are able to focus for much longer and be far more productive. You are constantly aware of the line of sight because you are grounded in the present. This is the power of Now. This is where consciousness is foraged.