In my last post I talked about an important role for certain human beings to especially find it in themselves to fulfill in service of the Great Turning, a role some have described as a “non-anxious presence” or “frequency holder.” I have since discovered another term: that of “subtle activist.” The following is from the GaiaField Project – a project of the California Institute of Integral Studies. This really describes the essence of the role I was envisioning:
Subtle activists are people from any faith, spiritual or consciousness tradition who apply their practice for the benefit of the collective public realm. A subtle activism practice influences social change through the inner or subtle planes, rather than through conventional exterior means. We seek to support change through our focused collective intention and the depth and quality of our being, rather than our outer actions. However we do not believe that subtle activism, on its own, can solve all the world’s problems, any more than a meditation practice, on its own, is sufficient to solve all our personal problems. Action in the world is of course also necessary. Subtle activism simply expands the range of options open to an awakened activist. Subtle activism practices can be:
religious or spiritual – e.g., meditation, prayer, chanting, and so on;
indigenous ceremonies and ritual;
science-based consciousness programs – e.g., Heartmath’s heart appreciation exercises;
expressive arts – e.g., conscious media, ecstatic dance (like Earthdance), contemplative music, etc; and
- relational/process-oriented – e.g., healing aspects of our collective shadow, such as gender or racial reconciliation workshops.
Subtle activists focus on collective healing, which includes and transcends personal healing.
I feel this coincides well with Joanna Macy’s third dimension of the Great Turning – the shift in consciousness. (See my previous post.) Some of the points worth noting are:
Some people are particularly called to this form of activism;
Focused intention and presence are as powerful and empowering as outer actions;
Focused intention and presence and action are not mutually exclusive;
The breadth of the practices of subtle activism are rich in diversity, possibility, and creativity;
Subtle activism includes both personal and collective healing and transformation;
Subtle activism is especially powerful when practiced with others, forming a field of intention around whatever we want to create: peace, compassion, healing, conscious evolution…
I invite you to take some time to meditate on the concept of subtle activism. How does it resonate with you? Where do you practice it in you own life? How do you balance it with outer actions?