The Second Awakening

Core organizers of Raise the Consciousness at SUNY Purchase make good use of a classroom after hours. All photos in this series are by Eric Francis.

At SUNY Purchase earlier this week, I gave a talk on the history of student organizing in New York State, and how students got the SUNY system to divest from the South African apartheid government in 1985. It’s more interesting than you may think.

Dear Friend and Reader:

FOR THOSE WONDERING why I’m jumping up and down at the awakening happening on campuses, it’s not just nostalgia. Anyone calling for peace and objecting to war deserves to be listened to. Every day, student protesters are making certain important matters of our time a little more accessible to common thought and speech.

Many people are looking around these days for portents of awakening. Students rumbling to life and opposing war is written in my soul as a signpost to a better future. Students are supposed to be intelligent. Unless we’ve given up entirely on the notion that the university is a place where smart people come to learn rather than just go into debt, we now have a little evidence that may actually be true.

I realize not everyone agrees that the purpose of education is to rebel in some way. Most are happy with the indoctrination model. However, I would put that to you as a question. What is learning, except for a revolt against the incorrect or the unknown — which is quest for experience to establish new knowledge. It doesn’t always look like what normally happens in a lecture hall.

Students at SUNY Purchase involved with Raise the Consciousness, the group that organized the silent vigil two weeks ago, leading to 80 student arrests.

In the Shadow of the Moon

Through April, we, the world, experienced a series of pulsar-like celestial events, one of which blazed a crest across the United States; millions came out to watch a month go by in four minutes, amplifying the effect.

Tucked into the shadow of the Moon was the healer and awakener, Chiron (a planet discovered in 1977, exactly aligned with the Moon and the Sun at that moment). Altogether, the effect was to focus the I Am power of Aries into a light beam searching for souls committed to living in a state of awareness.

In the midst of a dark time where there is little in which to take solace, to me a student movement for peace is one of the best things I could barely imagine.

The stress level on the planet remains high. This is based on a combination of fear, uncertainty and humans being immersed into the robotic realm unaware that’s actually what’s bothering them.

Whether these expressions are short-lived or signify a dawning of consciousness, they are a sign of potential. For example, potential that even more people could snap out of the nightmare of endless war on the planet, and kvetch loud enough to hear oneself and act on one’s situation.

Campus bulletin board at SUNY Purchase.

Relevant Astrological Markers are Long-term

Ambivalence toward the warfaring tendencies of our species is a defining marker of human consciousness. Many cling bitterly to “their side” in a war, even if it’s thousands of miles away, and obviously immoral. Yet simply not caring is the more pervasive feeling.

What does coming out of this trap look like? In part, it would include people being kinder to one another on the immediate local level. That would be a big improvement to our overall quality of life. And yet there is the matter of the behavior of governments and the society itself to consider.

The recent eclipse is not the only astrological marker of an (available) shift in consciousness; it is the most outstanding of several current influences.

One of the most exciting of those is the new emphasis on the air signs. Pluto is almost through with its transition into (air-sign) Aquarius. This 20-year transit, focusing on the mental environment — state of mind and everyday waking life — is pushing the contrast between individual and group consciousness.

Think of this this simply as the ability to have your own ideas, even if you know they are “controversial.” It is also the willingness to stand up and stand apart. Under Pluto in Aquarius, the potential for group awakening exists as well. That feels like meeting people who have also figured out something that took you a long time to understand — then doing something with that potential.

RTC members rummage through a lost-and-found bin of stuff collected after mass arrests on campus the previous week.

Sedna and Jupiter in Gemini

Another long-term mental-state marker is Sedna in Gemini. This is a factor that defies all concepts of Western astrology. Until fairly recently, the longest-term planet was Saturn, which takes 29 years to orbit the Sun. The discoveries of Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) got us out to orbital cycles of a century or two.

Sedna, discovered in 2003, takes 11,400 years to cycle our Sun. It was most recently in Gemini at the end of the last ice age — a while ago. It returned to Gemini in late April and will be there until 2066. For the first year of Sedna in Gemini, Jupiter will also be in Gemini, magnifying the effect — so we can see what it’s about.

Gemini represents individual people who are good with words, and also the mental state on the level of inner dialog and ordinary conversation. Sedna is sublime, and describes an influence coming from the environment itself, as steam rising up from the ground. This is about an evolution of mind, and of language.

Usually, ground effects go unnoticed; people just walk around on them. However, they are the source of the most information about your options and how to handle them. We live in the mental environment, and it’s reflected in things so important as your mood and how you get along with others.

Your mental state determines what you think is possible and what you think of as real. Those things are truly important.

Ordinary campus party, SUNY Purchase, May 2024.

Wakin’ Up is Hard to Do

My old friend Scott Grace, in his New Age musical act, used to spoof a pop song in the form of “Wakin’ Up is Hard to Do.”

Or so it seems; human consciousness is sluggish, and more inclined to stick with a less-than-copacetic situation than it is to take a risk on an improvement.

That can manifest as camping out in a “comfort” zone of rage and known deceptions. However, under the hot focus of our moment, it’s getting stuffy in there. You could say that the first awakening is associated with becoming hip to the lies we’ve been soaked in all our lives, and that has become a popular meme.

For some, that goes right to “everything I ever thought was true is false and everything I thought was false is true.” Cue the space hoax and hidden continents and that stuff about the Beatles being fake and the female Hitler the simulacrum we live in and the imminent economic collapse induced by the Deep State and nanorobotic implants and aliens or Freemasons or 8th dimensional entities controlling the world.

What a relief!

That guy with the podcast and the latest horror story! He’s the one who knows the truth! No, no, it’s the retired financial advisor! It’s that cool-seeming alleged billionaire. No wait, wait, wait, the truth lives down that…rabbit hole! The truth is a rabbit! I’m gonna get really, really high and chase it for hours! (The bunny is actually munching some dandelions up in the yard.)

Student housing at SUNY Purchase is better than many schools because the campus is surrounded by million-dollar homes. There is no off-campus housing.

The First Awakening is Discernment

This feeling of faux “discovery” can be a rush, especially for anyone who has never read a good science fiction novel (the kind printed on paper, not the endless, non-nutritive, bulimic chow-down of Netflix; I recommend Ender’s Game).

Yet this stage of growth is really about learning discernment. Everything cannot be true, everything cannot be false, and the difference is not based on what makes you feel the most outraged. Or hopeful, or self-righteous or whatever. Discernment is not about your personal preferences. It is not about determining what you “agree with.”

Truth is what you establish to be true without prejudice, with long experimentation, using multiple approaches that take you beyond perception. Logic, observation and intuition are involved. The resulting state of understanding may not be peaceful; you may wonder what the heck you’re supposed to do. Sit with that for a while. Flexibility is required.

Discernment is marked by a state of open inquisitiveness rather than cocksure certainty. It’s less inclined to argue and more inclined to ask questions and listen. In the world of total information overload, this can seem like a dangerous state. But the presence of discernment means you smell your food, and chew before you swallow.

I dread to think of how much food is consumed before being sniffed first, along with a good few other things. We can all learn something from dogs and cats. (I’m especially fond of watching cats sniffing the air, taking it all in before deciding which direction to walk.)

Sabrina Thompson, official negotiator for Raise the Consciousness.

The Second Awakening is Trust

Most spiritual traditions comment on how true awakening is about love. I agree, and I also notice that there’s too much confusion about love to use that word meaningfully.

As long as we “love” people who do horrible things to us, the word and the concept will be irrelevant. That “love-hate” quality is specialness, romantic love, jealous obsession, control and is essentially a karmic tether. None of those things are love; something else is.

Rather than love, I prefer to describe the more accessible idea of trust. And I don’t mean naïve trust, but rather the trust that comes from having learned discernment as a way of life. Since it cannot be about the judgments of the ego, it must be about something else. Authentic discernment is based on a relationship to one’s inner teacher, which modulates all of existence.

Trust is a skill, and it’s comparable to roller skating because as you learn it, you’re going to fall down a lot. Trust has the dimension of learning who to trust in your environment, whether with your secrets, your money or watering your house plants while you’re away on vacation. Be happy if you have one or two people in your life who demonstrate their worthiness of your trust.

Core organizers of Raise the Consciousness.

Then there is the part about trusting existence. That’s a big step, in the midst of so much deceit and manipulation. I’m talking about connecting to something larger.

At the bottom of all of this is trusting yourself. It’s the only trust that matters, because everything else is based on it. You may feel you have little reason to go there, perhaps because you’ve betrayed yourself so many times.

Herein lies the essence of the mystery, and a key to enlightenment. If you don’t learn to trust yourself, you can’t trust anyone, anything, or any facet of existence. You will feel like a scam artist, trying to trick your way through life.

And that is not who or what you are, even if you may pretend.

With love,

Eric signature

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