The Emperor is Naked – Part 4 – The Awakening Impulse

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.
From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again
let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment.
The eternal makes you urgent.”

~ John O’Donohue

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.


The urgency of bad news easily rivets our attention. But something else is happening beneath the surface, beyond all those distractions. Human beings are awakening.

Something is coming that will get the attention of the whole world. It is inevitable. Consciousness is evolving. The measure of that is self-awareness, which is always catalyzed by some form of crisis, personal or collective. This is the real story of 21st century life, the prospect of a mass awakening of humanity.

What draws our attention is the surface play, disasters and catastrophes. Increasingly, millions of us are encountering life or death scenarios. But these are symptoms of something else, almost completely unreported and unknown to the vast majority of the population.

Humanity is awakening from the illusory state of egoic separation.

Confronted with global problems that are becoming increasingly local, many of us ask, “What can I do to help?” The highest level of contribution is to make choices that grow our experience of the spiritual trans-egoic level. Why? Because our contribution from that level is more powerful than anything we can do.

It begins with getting your own house in order.

In other words, become as wakeful and balanced as you can possibly be in relationship to the challenges you face, so that your choices are always coming from love. You can choose to be kind and compassionate and peaceful, no matter what. This means that you are prioritizing the quality of your vibration and the contribution that it makes to the world around you. When anyone rises to that level it makes a significant difference. If a hundred, a thousand, a million of us do that, it becomes the energetic contribution that just might serve to awaken our entire species.

So, how would you describe your personal transmission? If what I’ve termed “the awakening impulse” is the dominant force in your experience, then you are constantly taking personal responsibility for your transmission. It’s invisible by nature but becomes visible through what you say and do. Your real contribution emerges from the inside out.

Life on planet earth for human beings unfolds in the growing field of consciousness. Why did you come here? To grow through experience. Why can the journey be so hard? If everything was truth and love and light and delight, there would be little motivation to grow or change.

The awakening impulse thrives in a crisis. That’s when we rally together and help each other, when the differences that separated us evaporate in the heat of a shared challenge. None of us would wish suffering on others or ourselves but it seems that urgent crises are required to get our attention!

But note what John O’Donohue said in the opening quote: “The eternal makes you urgent.” He’s poetically describing the impact of this awakening impulse. When we feel it, we do know it as urgent, and more urgent than any catastrophe.

What could be more impactful than a life or death challenge? One thing only: The compelling invitation to deepen personal experience of the true nature of life itself. And that’s precisely what is available right now in every crisis, if we have the eyes to see it.

This confronts us with constant opportunities to choose and prioritize. Will we leverage the challenges we face – increasingly extreme as they are – to accommodate this awakening impulse and advance our personal transformation, thereby refining and strengthening our personal transmission? If we do, we are contributing to the awakening of others, because we are all connected in consciousness.

“Others” refers to more than just humans. We are all connected, beyond species type and even beyond time.

In truth, every room is crowded. If you are sufficiently attuned, you can sense the presence of other beings near you. Would you describe them as human beings who have died and gone on? Or, are you perceiving subtler levels of life in this multidimensional world that you are not as familiar with?

Our transmission persists beyond time as well. That’s part of what you are sensing, the eternal echo of lives past. When we awaken from the illusion of separation, when we perceive and acknowledge that ‘the emperor has no clothes,” we also awaken from the tyranny of linear time and emerge into a domain of eternal, joyful community without borders.

This describes the mass awakening of humanity. Our souls are coming alive together in the fire of planetary transformation.


The Emperor is Naked – Part 3 – Beyond the Ego

“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.


In this series of blogs we are exploring delusion and acknowledging the value of crises to provoke awakening. Now, let’s consider the greatest impediment to our awakening: the control of the isolated ego.

The individual ego lives in separation. Consider a primary tenet of capitalism: competition. Money is the god of capitalism and we fight for it. If you have enough of it, you should be free to do with it whatever you want, right? Consequences be damned, if we want luxury and we can pay for it, why not?

And, we should be in control, if we’ve earned it. As one absurdly wealthy power player once commented (apparently in all seriousness), “The world should be run by those of us who own it.”

Our politicians love capitalism, because they are well financed by individuals and companies who can afford to buy their support. Leadership today is more about money in the pocket than honorable values and principles. Candidates will say whatever needs to be said to stay in power and keep filling their pockets, all the while mooing about public service.

If they really were public servants they wouldn’t need payment and they would actually serve the public, not just their financial backers.

From a trans-egoic perspective, this doesn’t make any sense at all. But it does represent the dominant majority of the collective consciousness on this planet. We can judge that as wrong and lament about why things have turned out this way or we can re-frame what’s going on: We exist in a learning field of consciousness.

What happens – regardless of how catastrophic it may be – has a purpose: to inform, inspire, and motivate us. To wake us up! And the evolutionary force that does that, the one force that pervades the universe, intensifies when resisted.

Egoic awareness can be described as an “unconscious herd mentality.” Whatever is offered to the herd, the herd buys. These transactions are unconscious, dictated by egoic values. Those doing the selling are not interested in health and wellbeing, they are interested in profit.

We can follow the money. Our systems are all corrupted, because those running them are mired in the egoic level, interested in power over and profit from.

We can expect it to continue that way because most people don’t have enough awakened awareness to even question what’s happening. They are unconscious. They buy and consume what’s on the shelf without question. They enjoy an illusory freedom carefully designed to sustain slavery.

Many of us are familiar with the metaphor of a frog in hot water that will languish there as the temperature gradually rises, finally boiling to death. It could have jumped out at any time but doesn’t, because the heat increases slowly.

How hot does it need to get before we jump?

What will it take to personally evolve beyond our egos into a trans-egoic state where we take responsibility for ourselves and provide leadership based on the genuine desire to help others?

A big enough catastrophe, probably.

Could we avoid that? Those who study life on earth in the 21st century agree that, one way or another, we must face the music. The unintended consequences of our greed based, egoic choices and behavior over centuries are becoming increasingly impossible to deny.

It’s likely that the majority of us will encounter extreme societal, environmental disruption in our lifetime. How will we deal with it? We could leverage it to evolve our consciousness, to shift from an egoic to a trans-egoic experience by dissolving the barriers of separation between us, simply by helping each other. Or, we could choose to dig in and fortify our personal safety, walling ourselves off, just trying to save ourselves with egos intact.

In The Fourth Turning, William Strauss wrote, “When we deem our social destiny entirely self-directed and our personal lives self-made, we lose any sense of participating in a collective myth larger than ourselves.” 1

Here is the invitation of this 21st century, to participate together in a vast awakening beyond ego identification. I am one with you, you are one with me. We can, as Rilke advised, make our egos porous. We could welcome an experience of community based in love… for others and for ourselves.

Here is the great hope of our times, the individual choice to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

1. The Fourth Turning by William Strauss

The Emperor is Naked – Part 2 – Awakening is Slow

“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.”
~ Anthon St. Maarten

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.


In the last blog, we discussed The Emperor’s New Clothes, Danish story teller Hans Christian Andersen’s well known tale of denial. Now, let’s find out what we’re most afraid of seeing.

The evolution of individuated consciousness, a progressive process into wholeness, is slow. The measure is self-awareness, wakefulness, and the challenge to “making progress” is to mutely go along with the consensus in the collective consciousness, because we can’t see anything different.

It’s something of Catch 22: we can’t see what we can’t see.

Why don’t we easily gain a level of awareness where we are able to see and perceive things from a truthful perspective? Because we are mired in egoic levels of consciousness, lost in illusory separation. Of course, this creates conflict between us because we all inhabit our own customized delusional states.

The primary illusion, one that we all share, is separation. I am the subject … you and everyone else, everything else, is an object. We perceive ourselves and others that way. We are separate. This is not in fact true but we believe it is true. As long as I/we maintain separate identification, there is conflict between me as the subject and all the objects I encounter.

So, how do we change this?

Regardless of our optimism, awakening to the truth beyond separation is a very slow process. In fact, now faced with evidence on every hand that we may be de-evolving as a species, the most important question becomes: who am I choosing to be in relationship to the happenings of life?

In other words, the process of awakening itself has changed from a solitary affair in a meditative cave, perhaps, to something that happens collectively, simply because of the massive changes in our modern world.

Here’s the new acid test: Confronted by mass shootings, climate disasters, political chaos, can I remain a detached witness, maintaining peace and equilibrium and – in that way – demonstrate an alternative to illusory stories about what’s transpiring? Can I connect with my fellow human beings beyond conflict and not add to the suffering?

Here’s a turning point realization: I am the creator of my experience in relationship to what’s happening. I can choose to be loving and forgiving, or I can pile on with blame… pointing a finger at others without realizing that three more fingers are pointing back at me!

Shamans contemplate the current world situation and acknowledge that it takes a crisis, a series of them, big enough to get our attention and catalyze awakening. We can now easily acknowledge the truth of their perspective.

What happens when hurricanes strike, when wild fires rage, when earthquakes shatter our reality? People come together. We leave our isolated caves of individuated separation and fear to recognize that we’re all in this together. Catastrophes force us to help each other and, through that experience, we explode the myth of separation.

It’s the same with guns and mass shooting. The latest horrifying newscast prompts an immediate expansion of awareness. Wait a minute, what are we doing? How can we stop this and deal with our crises? This kind of concern lasts a little while. Some change may actually result, but if it is not a big enough crisis, then everyone quickly returns to complacency. We go back to sleep, content again with status quo.

Until the next disaster strikes.

Awakening is a very personal matter. Some of us simply open our eyes and get out of bed. Most of us linger awhile, perhaps day dreaming about what’s waiting for us. Some of us are difficult to rouse. Teenage boys, especially, might require vigorous shaking to complete the shift from deep sleep into functional wakefulness.

Overall, humanity seems to be a teenager. And, we’re being shaken. Every day brings more news stories of disasters near and far. Of course, it’s academic until they touch us personally but these days that’s happening with increasing frequency.

Fire may not force us to evacuate, but we have relatives and friends who lose everything. We may not be shot in a domestic terrorist attack but we know someone who was. We may not lose our home when the mortgage interest rate skyrockets but our neighbor does. And, sometimes the crisis does land squarely on our own lap. What then?

Plato said that necessity is the mother of invention. Author John Ashcroft expanded on this. He ventured that “if necessity is the mother of invention, it’s the father of cooperation. And we’re cooperating like never before.”

Evolution in consciousness from separation to connection may indeed be slow but it’s accelerated by crises. It’s safe to say that today’s crises aren’t likely to recede. So, it follows that the process of awakening within our human species may accelerate.

Apparently, this is what it takes to awaken us from the self hypnosis that blinds us to the awareness and experience that we are one with God!



The Emperor is Naked – Delusion: It’s a Hard Habit to Break

“Delusion detests focus and romance provides the veil.”
~ Suzanne Finnamore

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.


The Emperor’s New Clothes, Danish story teller Hans Christian Andersen’s best known story, has become a catch phrase for delusion and the difficulty of speaking truth to power.

In the story, two weavers promise an emperor “a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” 1

Delusion is a hard habit to break. Delusion defies logic and persists, even when confronted by the most revealing facts. After all, in Andersen’s tale the emperor was stark naked. But onlookers enthusiastically denied that, and it took an innocent child to break the spell.

One convincing proof I’ve encountered that confirms our obstinate refusal to acknowledge and state the obvious is the story about how ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger. On his website, Mark Wenning, reports on the origins of this belief.

“This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.” 2

The longevity of this myth confirms our willingness to accept authoritative accounts at face value and to perpetuate them for years by failing to examine even the most obvious facts. In this case, what’s obvious is that if ostriches did indeed bury their heads in the sand they would now be extinct… because they would have all asphyxiated.


In Andersen’s story, a child finally blurted out the truth. And, he was censured for his honesty. He spoke truth to power and that wasn’t popular. Of course, that remains true today. But what that child demonstrated is instructive. As Jack Zipes, an author who writes about Andersen, explained: “Sight becomes insight, which, in turn, prompts action.”

A further comment from Wikepedia states, “Scholars have noted that the phrase, “Emperor’s new clothes”, has become a standard metaphor for anything that smacks of pretentiousness, pomposity, social hypocrisy, collective denial, or hollow ostentatiousness.” 3

Do we see any of that today?

We can take our pick from a long list of denials. Here are just three:

– Medical doctors receive less than 25 hours of instruction on nutrition during their many years of rigorous training. We now face epidemics of obesity, cancer, depression, etc. But there’s no official, acknowledged connection between what we eat and our health.
– NOAA confirms that 16 of the last 17 years have been the hottest on record, yet our American president pronounces that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
– The financial crash of 2008 occurred because of deceitful lending practices that continue today with increased fervor, and the same financial experts who didn’t see that crash coming assure us there could never be another one.

Delusion, it’s a hard habit to break. But it helps to explore the ramifications of Zipes’s comment further: “Sight becomes insight which, in turn, prompts action.”

All of us have had the experience of seeing something we missed before. Those moments of revelation have the potential to inspire insights which can lead to new action. But the key is that moment between sight and insight. That’s where change can be initiated.
Lightbulb in hand
This story plays out in the climactic scene in the war film Bridge Over the River Kwai. Alec Guinness’s character has an epiphany. He “sees” through his delusion. This leads him to a powerful insight. He says, “Oh my God, what have I done?” Almost immediately, he takes action. He falls on a plunger, blows up the bridge he’s been so proud of, and the train carrying ammunition intended to kill allied soldiers, plunges into the river below.

It took extreme pressure to provoke his awakening. What will it take for you and me? We live in a crisis ridden world yet, so far, the official strategy remains “business as usual.”

Railing against “them” is an avoidance strategy. Awakening to the truth is a very personal matter. We can choose to be vigilant about our own delusions and turn what we see into insights that lead us into new behaviors.

That may or may not inspire others, but it’s the example all true leaders provide.


The Awakening Moment – Do We Really Get the Leadership We Deserve?

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us
to be what we know we could be.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.


AAlexis de Toqueville, a French diplomat, political scientist, and historian, wrote that “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.” Was he right?

According to Toqueville’s premise, the results of the latest U.S. election – which has thrown American into something of a political free fall – is exactly what we deserve. Whether that is entirely true or not, over 60 million Americans voted for President Trump.

Let’s be realistic about something: our current system of democracy is not truly democratic.

As one astute blogger observed, “The public doesn’t get to choose who the nominees are. The powers that be (the two major parties’ leadership and the corporate media) decide who the “legitimate” nominees are going to be. They weed out of serious consideration any other candidates…” 1

But this doesn’t negate the fact that 60 million voters chose to support the values that the successful candidate and his cohorts represented. They agreed with those values. We can complain about this, rail against a rigged system, etc., but that’s just a smokescreen, effectively distracting us from acknowledging what’s really going on.

What’s really going on is that we humans are less evolved than we’ve thought! We still embrace extreme selfishness, we crave attention, we are intoxicated with personal power over others, and we attack those who disagree with us.

We might protest, “Oh no, not me!” but remember, whenever we point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves! Have you ever witnessed such finger pointing, since this election? Forget about “Him” and “Them” for a moment. What about us? What about me?

Here’s more from that post. “The candidates who are left… are then “democratically” elected by the people. This process is like a child who is told by his/her parents that they can either have the peas or the carrots, but they must eat one of them. If the child chooses the carrots does that mean that the child is in charge of what s/he eats?” 2

I wanted to include this statement before offering an alternative, just to ensure that we do understand how impossible our political choices are. Given that, and the realistic assumption that nothing much will change any time soon, what’s left for us, for any of us who feel urged to make a difference? Because, clearly, voting doesn’t accomplish much.

There’s always a third candidate.


You can vote for yourself. Not in a voting booth, but in your assumption of personal responsibility to live your values. In the opening quote, Emerson wrote, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” What if we saw that person when we looked in the mirror?

That would be an awakening moment.

Imagine giving up on the hope that someone else, anyone else, could represent that for us and becoming 100% responsible, totally self-empowered to provide what was needed in the reality of the moment, and to be fully accountable for the results. Yes, we can still vote and choose the best candidate in our eyes. But we can also stop hoping they will save us. No, they will represent the values of the voters… until they get into office. Then we get to find out what values they really represent, based on who funded their victory! If those values are radically at odds with our own, we can relapse into judgment… or, we can produce our own “third party alternative.”

You know I’m not talking about an alternative political party.

Here’s the catch: that alternative would need to be inspiring and no-one gets inspired by complaint. What inspires is kindness and the kind of strength that lifts others up rather than putting them down. Confidence, teamwork, compassion. And, as I wrote about in the last blog, Love with a capital “L.”

At this moment in our human history we are confronted by a crisis of leadership, because we have projected what’s truly needed onto others. Yes, we will always elevate men and women to positions of power where they can help (hopefully) mediate the affairs of a town, state, nation, and the world. We do need those who are skilled at management.

Meanwhile, here we are, with the opportunity to fulfil Gandhi’s injunction, to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” What might this accomplish? Who knows? But we’ll never find out unless we try. And that begins by separating inspiration from management.

It’s unfair to demand that every superstar athlete or celebrity be a paragon of personal virtue and it’s the same insanity to demand that every elected “manager” will provide enlightened inspiration. BTW, those truly inspiring leaders that have come along periodically always pointed their finger at us and said, as Gandhi did: “be the change.”

If the power of Love can, as I like to say, “beat our hearts and steer the stars,” imagine what else it could accomplish, if it was more widely expressed. That’s what we are here for in these wild days on planet earth. Despite our insanity, we humans are uniquely designed to express Love. I wonder what might happen if we took that responsibility seriously?

2. Ibid