What’s really behind the “global consciousness shift”
The roots of the idea of a ubiquitously-experienced shift in human consciousness extend to at least the late 19th century and the birth of European theosophy. Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy gave the idea many more legs in 1980, and recent speculation about the winter solstice in 2012 has it running like a jack rabbit.
Historically, such an event would be unprecedented. However, that doesn’t stop people from believing it’s just around the corner, and this is because of a metaphor system that makes it easy to believe.
The idea of a globally-experienced shift in consciousness is rooted in the metaphor “consciousness is energy” and its entailments. Since we know that energy can be transmitted across distances by electromagnetic waves, we believe our consciousness can be changed by being in the presence of an “enlightened” person, or by exposure to “energy” from extra-planetary or supernatural sources.
Another metaphor in play is “higher is better.” Thus, we seek to “raise” our consciousness, and when our consciousness is “higher,” it is better for us and the world at large. Consciousness can also be “quickened,” as this “raises” the frequency of the “energy.”
Finally, this all rests on the notion of containment: “I am in my body.” This allows us to believe we exist as mental beings made out of the energy of consciousness that exists inside our bodies, and that we can move to a higher, and thus, better state.
What is almost universally overlooked is that this set of notions work together to create an idea of distance from what is being experienced now as our normal, nondual consciousness, which isn’t actually higher, but can certainly be missed when we believe it is.