Note: The following dialogue transcript is taken from the conversation between Marc Gafni and Dada conducted in December 2012. The entire dialogue is currently available for a very limited time at the Imaginal World website.
We need to actually grow up to higher and higher levels of consciousness. The way we do it is we have to tell the story. We need to teach about levels of consciousness. People don’t even know they exist. There are clear and distinct stages of consciousness. That needs to become part of our vocabulary.
We need to being looking at where are we on the map. Where’s my people? Am I egocentric? Ethnocentric? Worldcentric? Cosmocentric? That’s just one simple way of talking about levels of consciousness. It’s really easy. Every one of our holy listeners, who are awesome and thank you and deep bow, can get that.
Egocentric: my felt sense of concern is me and my people, my family, people who help me survive.
Ethnocentric, which is a leap of consciousness: I have expanded my circle of care and concern to those in my circle, my country, my tribe, my religion.
Worldcentric: I actually have a felt sense of caring and concern for actually every human being in the world.
Cosmocentric: I’m even wider and more expanded. I have a felt sense of care and concern for every sentient being, for the cosmos, for past, present, and future, and I’m awakened to the divine in me and I’m acting as a divine agent catalyzing and taking the responsibility for this whole story that we’re in, because you started the story. You were there at the Big Bang. Where else could you have been? Because it’s your story, step up, take responsibility for it, play in it, in all the ways you can in your life.
Those four levels of consciousness, ego-, ethno-, world-, and cosmo-centric: that’w what I mean by levels of consciousness. it’s just a simple way to talk about it. We’ve got to grow up, and we need to wake up.
Dada: We need to evolve beyond fundamentalist religion which has created and continues to create so much division for world spirituality.
Marc: You’re absolutely right, Dada. But we don’t want to evolve beyond religion. That’s the thing. A lot of us have made this secular move. We’re beyond religion. That doesn’t help. Religion is a critical line of development, of spiritual intelligence which is that which lets me know the ultimate nature of reality, my values, my purpose, my values, and my meaning. What we’ve done is, because religion got locked in this fundamentalist, ethnocentric place, and for a bunch of other reasons as well. It overreached in its claims. It told us things that weren’t true. It told us how many bones were in the human body, and we started dissecting the human body and found out it was wrong. Religion made a bunch of mistakes. But the core of religion is really awesome. To identify with the evolutionary impulse which moves through us is awesome. What we need to do is evolve the religious impulse like it’s always evolved. What we’ve done is we’ve freeze-framed religion at a particular caricatured place, but it is awesome. It is our spiritual intelligence and we need to claim it. What we need is to grow up. That’s huge.
Dada: I like what you said about the levels of religion. You can certainly observe that and I’ve often thought that If you’ve got Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus together in the same room they’d be the best of friends. Because they’re kind of at the highest level and they directly experience.
Marc: My holy brother, with total love and holy delight, I’m going to challenge that with your permission. So we think that when you talk about Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha you talk about Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha, from a Dada world-, cosmo-centric perspective, so you see Jesus as a world-centric Jesus, as this high consciousness level Jesus, but actually when you talk to Christian scholars, there was this strong dimension of Jesus that was ethnocentric. If you look at what Krishna said in different passages. If you look at what Buddha said about women. You collect all the passages Buddha talked about women, you would be shocked and if you actually subscribed to them, all your female guests would cancel. It’s interesting that Buddha, Jesus, and Krishna, all were all these great holy spiritual beings — Let’s think of Moses. Let’s not leave this Jewish guy out — they were the most enlightened beings available at their time, but in their time all four of them were all four of them ethnocentric. All of them lived in ethnocentric times. There were moments they reached beyond their times but if you read for example Jesus the way he was reported by his disciples which you wouldn’t want to repeat in your local church and certainly in this series. When you live as kind of a world spirituality monk who has robes… You live in a deep world spirituality space. In other words, you are Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha, but this is Jesus speaking in you. We need to do that all through the system. We need to upgrade, up-level, evolve consciousness… it’s the single most important thing we can do to change the future of this planet.
Acharya Nabhaniilananda normally called “Dada”, is a senior meditation instructor of Ananda Marga, an authority on Yoga philosophy, a published author and a popular musician.