Awakening Climate Consciousness is a series of Experiential-based exercises designed to sustain the shifts produced in the Bearing Witness workshop. It can also deepen social transformation where Bearing Witness is unable to. While Bearing Witness works on the psychology behind the behavior, Awakening Climate Consciousness works on the consciousness that is the bedrock to our psychology.
While Bearing Witness is paradigmatic in change, One Tiny Drop recognizes that, without the right supports, the participant can easily slide back to the status quo. This regression is especially when the participant fresh from the Bearing Witness experience has connected to her authentic self, a place of higher sensitivity. As such, when she comes across troubling feelings, she can often double down on the very same problematic action to feel better even though those disruptive feelings emanate from those actions. For example, using a meat-eater, she will eat more meat than before to attain the same level of equanimity as in the past. This double-down is because Bearing Witness reveals the full and nuanced consequences of eating meat, connecting the person to the troubling implications of such an act. And as a result, the participant could increase their consumption as a way to manage those previously-denied troubled feelings.
Another possible limitation to Bearing Witness is the self-sealing nature of our ego. Imagine pushing into and quickly withdrawing a pencil from a tub of putty. This analogy highlights how our ego attempts to dismiss any new authentic experiences. It commonly recovers the old self by downgrading those experiences as performative. Performative acts are where our inspiration is to appease the situation than a sincere interest in change. We can easily slide back into framing authentic changes as disingenuous or performative in service of this restoration. This pull for the old self is worsened further when we find ourselves faced with—and thus motivated to reduce—the discomfort caused by our newfound psychological trajectory at odds with an unsupportive environment.
Additionally, our ego may have us defend ourselves by bolstering our identity from feeling the exposure from our newfound vulnerability. Identity Protection is when a person goes through the motions of change largely driven by guilt and shame. However, take away guilt and shame and you have now lost the change. This is especially true when the person returns to an old familiar environment where their feet are not held to the proverbial fire. Awakening Climate Change connects the participants to their deeper but lasting authentic response past guilt and shame where that person holds themselves accountable in an earnest way, and not from any emotional and psychological pressures stemming from invulnerability.
The more the participant is willing to travel interiorly, the deeper the anchoring, and thus the participant is less condition-bound to maintain equanimity.
As such, Awakening Climate Change changes all this by working with sub and semi-conscious levels of awareness to mitigate and reverse the effects of individual and collective climate crisis paralysis. It picks up where Bearing Witness leaves off by providing the participant with a new anchoring of a more robust sense of equanimity. It does this by shifting the participant to places where their equanimity is dependent on fewer conditions for support. As a result, the participant travels interiorly to this less condition-bound place, which then affords them a more robust sense of equanimity.
And as a result of this shift, the participant not only has fewer threats to disrupt their equanimity but will also gain better self-reflective skills and insights to manage what is left of their few threats. Collateral to this process is the participant becomes less dependent on their psychological armors and buffers. This way, this root pathway–essential to connecting the participant to their social and planetary systems–also connects the participant to their deepest sense of joy, gratitude, and sacredness of life, qualities not readily accessible from being entombed in armors and buffers.
(O)ur current level of equanimity with all its compensations requires several planet earths to power and maintain.
At the core of Awakening Climate Consciousness is the destruction of the planet due to a cascading, bidirectional, and self-reinforcing fracturing of self, a fracturing from others, and fracturing from the planet. This fracturing is part of the self-separation required to maximize the benefits of, while simultaneously generating impunity from, an Industrial Growth Society paradigm. This paradigm of exploitation, extraction, and brutality that sadly—through the help of our active ignorance that is the basis for impunity—allows such harm to be directed concomitantly at self, others, and the planet. It is this paradigm, abetted by our habituated complicity, that has brought us to the brink of the catastrophic destruction of global, social, and ecological systems. In short, our current level of equanimity produced by this fracturing requires a high level of compensations such that this would require several planet earth to power and maintain under the status quo.
The greater the person’s inner fracture, the more conditional (and thus threatened) their equanimity becomes, the greater need for compensations to thwart off threats. This need then places greater pressure on extractive energy or oppression, increasing ecological and social destruction. As a way to generate impunity for this destruction, we rely on increasing the veils and denials from our complicity to the ensuing immoral consequences. As a result, we live in a deep bubble state buffering us from ever sensing the fractured self that starts, as well as reinforces, us in a disassociative state.
(W)e cannot give to the planet what we haven’t given to ourselves: a free path to inner balance that leads to outer and other system’s balance
One Tiny Drop offers two major approaches to Awakening Climate Consciousness: 1) The Self as the mediator, and 2) The Self as the self-less mediator.
- The Self as the mediator (SAM): The methodologies using Self-as-mediator (SAM) target the deepest held sense of “self” in relation to others and the planet as a whole. This targetting is to disrupt and unseat the current destructive paradigms, making way for us to cultivate compassion, curiosity, and respect as operating principles for society and life on earth as a whole. This restoration connects the person to their meta needs of overcoming the Existential dread from not fitting nor belonging in this world. This anchoring then restores inter and intra social and ecological systems to a recalibrated equilibrium and sustainability for all inhabitants on earth. In short, we cannot give to the planet what we haven’t given to ourselves: a free path to inner balance that leads to outer and other system’s balance.
- The Self as the self-less mediator (SSLM): The methodologies using Self as the self-less mediator (SSLM) premises we can attune to the agency of the universe that pre-existed before we as a species arrived on the planet. Rather than assuaging the existential dread of the agent self using the SAM methodologies, SSLM simply avoids this by backgrounding the agent self far enough that it simply becomes the conduit to experience that all-present agency. The Self experiences this agency without it having to flesh out itself thoroughly. Just like a spring in a masterpiece clockwork, by no more than playing its part to the whole, it simultaneously reaps the benefits of the whole. The implication is by this tuning in we can also see and accept that our fate is inextricably bound up with the planet’s fate, a connection that is both acute and direct without any psychological buffers or distancing. And thus, we are simply guests on the planet. As such, we can now face the unfaceable: the planet is simply agnostic to the agent self and to all its accompanying protective mechanisms as it goes through its reparation from our actions. The more profound implication is we can see the urgency that we can act to reduce our contribution to this reparation as an intermediate step, and in the event where we don’t succeed, as a final step, choose to experience our death in an awakened state. In short, we step aside and put the planet first, knowing the planet will always have the last say in spite of the presence or absence of our volition.