Nondual Passion: When the Collective is Invective



An extract from the book: Nondual Passion - a Quality of Consciousness in Nondual Therapy, by Georgi Y. Johnson

What happens when the collective moves with denial, cruelty, violence, and rage, sweeping away individual freedom and demanding another kind of unity?

What is going on when the collective demands conformity toward a unified agenda, and tyrants and despots whip up what appears as the passion of the collective?

What do we do in a groundswell of lynching, hate or war?

Don’t these collective evils show us just why we should avoid passion, lest it become collective?

Shouldn’t we then seek a "separate self" to save our souls?

Shouldn’t we then shun evil with the strength of morality and codes of ethics?

Contrary to chapter 19 of this book, shouldn’t we let ourselves judge, even if it means standing alone?

Wouldn’t we be justified in the deepest sociopathy?

From the micro to the macro, from individual to collective, this is the confusion that leads us to disempowerment. The manipulation of the collective field of disowned emotion, such as rage, hate, and jealousy, is not passion but collective release. It is not deep care and responsibility for suffering behind such movements, but a collective groundswell of emotional disenfranchisement.

Each time we refuse to acknowledge a resonance in our consciousness, out of fear of shame or blame, or just horrible discomfort, we avert our consciousness from it. The resonance does not disappear, it seethes beneath the threshold of consciousness. When we do that collectively, there are whole collective pools of rage, hatred, jealousy, and despair. These seek release in the safest possible way, without the risk of personal rejection from the herd. If we can find conditions where these emotions are framed as ‘good’ and righteous, then releasing them can feel empowering. The collective field offers such a possibility.

When two or more are joined in a thought or an emotion, the emotional resonance becomes compelling. When a critical amount of people in a whole nation join up to a field of denial, righteous rage, or hatred, many others will be energetically recruited.

They will experience the same rage or hatred directly as if it were their own.

The collective becomes intensely personal and the old personal grievances are suddenly endorsed by the power of the collective.

Collective emotional consensus can be compelling to the individual psyche, moving it beyond rationality, decency, and the natural ethics of the heart. The individual can become a channel through which disowned collective horrors are released.

The Forbidden "Wrong"

The deepest taboos within these collectively disowned emotions, the darkest of the shadows, involve the active principle: the perpetrator. While we are all victims of cruelty, who would touch the perpetrating energic experience of being the abuser? Who can touch the sphere of suffering in which we find the inner sadist or the unthinkable wrong? Wouldn’t we rather murder ourselves through suicide, than admit to the inner murderer?

Our vulnerability to the sways and throes of collectively disowned emotion, and the manipulation of these energies by tyrants, is a direct result of our inner inability to take emotional responsibility. Where we do not own the resonance within our consciousness, that emotional energy becomes available for outer manipulation. The responsibility vacuums in the psyche are the entry points for psychopaths to engineer, control and possess us.

It is precisely because we cannot own the individual energy of sadism that the collective sadism possesses us. It is because of our disposal of the core pain of evil, that the outer evil enchants us. When we refuse to acknowledge our power, the active principle of perpetration, then we become servants to collective perpetration. We get emotionally driven by the psychospiritual disorder of the whole. This is a disorder in which we are limited to a psychology of war: it is ‘kill or be killed’; ‘us or them’; ‘with us or against us’; hero, or traitor.

Nothing on this planet, including the full force of collective man, has the power to separate us from our true nature, and the unity that is inherent to the source of all we are. As Krishnamurti said: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

To realize that the separate self is not ultimately real but is an expression of pain, is to move from the suffering of social conformity into the deeper, integral quality of the authority of true nature.

Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together

All over the mammalian brain, there are mirror neurons. These are the neurons of experiential resonance, sometimes called empathy neurons. When these neurons were first discovered, they were understood in physical terms. When the monkeys in a laboratory saw the scientist eating, the neurons fired as if the monkeys themselves were eating. The transpersonal resonance is there, and we respond to it. We experience what we witness, as if we were the one doing it. But this is not just physical, it is also emotional and spiritual.

We have the free possibility of blending in, first-hand with any experience in our environment. In any given moment, we could attune to an endless range of vibrations – from affliction in a tied-up dog, through to the sense of infinity in the sky above us. There is a natural freedom here, but we get caught where we have issues, where there is unfinished business, where there is conflict, or in those fields of resonance where we lose our compassion.

Where we lose our compassion, we also lose our freedom to attune. For example, if we believe everything is allowed except the death of children, then with the death of children we lose our compassion. If we believe we can experience any sensation at all, in those areas where we experience murderous shame, we lose our compassion.

The universe in that moment becomes evil, together with nature, god, and any ruling authority. We get caught in the field of resonance in such a way that we can no longer meet it.

Our awareness forbids this pain because it is not allowed. But now we lost our attunement, so we resonate with this pain everywhere, in the death of a baby ant, a young tree, a news headline or a spoken word that even hints at it. When we see a propaganda poster showing a baby on a bayonet, we are ready to bomb whole cities of the enemy, including man, woman, and child. Through our core pain, on the strength of the collective, we became perpetrators of the very pain we refuse to feel.

Passion as the affirming flame

Nondual Passion is the alchemical quality through which the vitality of core pain expresses as an offering to the wellbeing of the whole. Passion gives us the power to stay as the resource of true nature, even amid emotional turbulence. It can offer a ferocious love and make us perpetrators of care. It dissipates fear and takes the vitality from any emotion and offers it in service to the collective wellbeing. It empowers peace. It moves beyond fear in the integrity of wisdom.

The collective wellbeing can be responsive, empowering us back, from the outside-in.

The swell of collective emotion is undercut by a deeper current, arising from that inner dimension where the individual and the collective are one.  The power of emotional consensus is dispelled through a deeper power – the pure Nondual Quality of power – arising with the unnegotiable strength and wisdom of passion. 

From this core dimension it is known that as a human being, I am every human being, and I am the one human being. In this, the greater depth, wisdom, power, and responsibility emerges. We become an affirming flame, as in the famous poem of W.H. Auden written at the outbreak of World War 2:

“Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”

The resource of true nature offers source magic, that always outlasts the voodoo of tyrannical leaders. In the place of freedom of expression, passion offers freedom itself. In the place of the righteous rage, it offers the fire of truth. Beneath the urge to control, it offers the fearless power of all creation. Beyond the helpless energy of destruction, it brings existential energy that is indestructible. Beneath the compulsive urge to release emotion, it offers the unconditional release of unfettered, boundless awareness.

Nondual qualities are naturally expansive and are resonantly closer to true unity. Where emotional crisis can make the abyss a formless dimension of evil, true nature opens an unfettered dimension of emptiness which is a field of infinite creative possibility. Here, there are the core sufferings, including the suffering of evil. But also, here is boundless mercy, peace, freedom, love, and unity.

The dualities within the individual story and within the collective history lose authority as Nondual Passion emerges.

This passion is sourced behind the suffering of time. Even death has no power over passion.

It is sourced beyond the lostness of space. Even pure absence is passion’s playground.

The passion lives on, even after the body has lost separate form.

Stirring in every expression of life, whatever its form, this passion offers the realization of unity, at the center-point of wisdom, and this allows the navigation of the collective malaise through compassion that will liberate the whole.


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