Why is it that a lot of people these days are talking about there being a spiritual awakening happening on the planet when clearly the world is a mess right now. There appears nothing spiritual about it, tensions are high, and there seems to be more aggression and hate than ever before.
On a grand scale, we are transitioning through a state know as “Chaordic”, which in complexity theory, is a term used to describe the emergence of a new underlying order out of chaos. Our world and almost everything familiar about it is changing, an old model is breaking down and an new model is emerging, and this means that a lot of how and what we did no longer works in this new context.
Whenever you learn a new skill or adapt to a new set of circumstances, with time, you ultimately become “Unconsciously Functional”, this happens when your state of competence is relevant and becomes automatic. Put a different way, it is when the new skill or adaptation has become habit and is thus programmed into your subconscious, you can therefore do it without consciously thinking about it. It is however, important to keep in mind that this skill or adaptation is only relevant to the context or set of circumstances that triggered the learning or growth in the first place.
When you are unconsciously functional and your context changes, then to the extent that your functional state becomes irrelevant to the new context, is the extent to which you are shifted into a state of “Unconscious Dysfunction”. Unconscious dysfunction, as the term suggests, means that you are unconscious of what you are doing or not doing that is not working, and then tend to project your lack of successful functioning onto your external world, assigning blame and playing the victim. This reliquishes you from any responsibility for your actions or behavior, hence victimhood is tempting.
Until you are able and willing to recognize the indicators of your own dysfunction, those being – denial, projection, blame, defensiveness and victimhood, you have no control and remain stuck in the dysfunctional state. It is only when you become aware of your dysfunction that you can move into the first stage of the learning cycle, known as “Conscious Dysfunctional”. At this stage you move out of blame and victimhood and take responsibility for your own dysfunctional behavior. While this can be an incredibly difficult and challenging space to be in, the upside is that you regain control of the only thing you can control, yourself.
Growth begins when we admit our dysfunction, own it and ask for help. While a coach can help to bring awareness to an unconscious dysfunction, it is often met with denial or defensiveness. It is only when we are willing to acknowledge and own it, that a coach can help facilitate our growth. In this phase we need all the support and guidance we can get because it is a very uncertain, uncomfortable, challenging and confusing phase to be in. Remember, conscious dysfunction means we are still displaying and experiencing the results of the dysfunctional behaviour, the only difference is that we are now conscious of it.
Holding a vision of what it will be like once you have learnt and adopted a new functional behaviour (Conscious Functional) is key to generating the the “staying power” for navigate through the challenges in the conscious dysfunctional phase. When you hold this empowering vision and recruit the right support and guidance, you eventually have your break through to “Conscious Functional”. This is a highly rewarding phase, it is the phase where you finally “get it”.
I believe that what we are experiencing on global scale is collective “Unconscious Dysfunction”, hence the prolific level of projection, defensiveness and blame. Yet, like a beach ball being pushed underwater, we can no longer keep holding it down. We cannot continue suppressing unconscious dysfunctional patterns much longer, and we need to start acknowledging and owning our own dysfunctions and resist the temptation to blame.
A spiritual awakening sounds lovely and we tend to attach very positive interpretations to it, however in reality, a spiritual awakening is a deep experience of conscious dysfunction, where we can no longer distract ourselves from our dysfunctional patterns and we have to face our fears and shadows, resolve them and grow through them.
This is where the right coach can be an invaluable investment, as they help you to establish an empowering vision of a new conscious functional state and help you through the confusion and uncertainty of the conscious dysfunctional phase, then hold a supportive space for you to explore new ways of being.
On a macro level it is helpful to step back and realize that our world is not falling apart, but rather going through the growing pains of evolving towards a higher state of humanness and consciousness.