“We need to retool ourselves in terms of consciousness, inwardly and outwardly.”
– Ilia Delio
Ilia Delio, in this fifth video of our seven-part series on “What is God Today?”, explores God, Consciousness, and Contemplation: “Teilhard would see the mystic as the forerunner of evolution. Contemplation and the maximization of consciousness becomes the fastest mover of evolution. One then moves out into the world, sees the world in radically new ways, and acts out of that new conscious awareness.”
by Jennifer Wallace
What is consciousness? That is a huge question today. Many philosophers, many scientists are grappling with the question of consciousness.
Our everyday level of consciousness is strewn, is spread out across multiple cognitive fields—our bodies are here, they have some level of consciousness to them. I am existing in this space but I am thinking of yesterday and I am thinking of what I have to do and I’m talking to you and so my poor mind is a fragmented, defracted field of awareness.
Contemplation, is an interior type of meditation where the mind is trained. We find this in both eastern religions and in western religions. So that across religious traditions if one trains the mind, trains the self, trains the body as well, if I contemplate, I experience something deep within me that I name as the presence of God. And contemplation is that centering process of being with God, of leaning on God, of a stillness in God. And as I do that, my levels of defracted consciousness begin to gather and they gather into what we might call higher integrated levels of awareness so that as they become more integrated, my mind becomes more attuned to that divine presence and therefore I begin to know myself in that presence in a deeper way a way of unity, a way that this “God/Me” language begins to transcend and fall away because now it is “MeGod;” it’s a type of unitive relationship.
So Teilhard de Chardin would see the mystic as the forerunner of evolution. In other words, what he would say is that contemplation, and the maximization of consciousness, then becomes the fastest mover of evolution. In other words, one then moves out in the world and sees the world in radically new ways and acts out of that conscious awareness. And so they begin to transform the world.
We need a new inner/outer way of processing our conscious lives so we can begin to use artificial intelligence and computer technology to deepen our lives as transformers in the world. Artificial intelligence can connect us in a way, can hyperpersonalize us in a way that is beyond my individual self.
I think our challenge today is to find a new level of artificial intelligence hyperconnectivity and maximization of consciousness through mediation and contemplation. There’s a discipline that needs to take place. It can’t be unbridled computer technology and it can’t be, “I cut myself off and go to Walden Pond.” It’s got to be a collaboration of the movements in which we have evolved to this level because we are longing for something that’s more unified both personally and collectively, and we need to retool ourselves in terms of consciousness. Both inwardly and outwardly.