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Cultivating Unity Consciousness

Contribution to GTI Forum Can Human Solidarity Globalize?

Jing Lin


Global solidarity is based on unity consciousness. Unity consciousness is a level of vibration that goes beyond the self and reaches the heart and souls of all beings and existence. Unity consciousness manifests as the sense of oneness, compassion, love, and respect, both for human beings and for nature. This unity consciousness can be fostered, cultivated, and elevated. It is like skills that can be learned, acquired, and applied. Eastern philosophy is based on an ontology that we all have this vital life energy—called qi, prana, Ki, or ruach in various names in various traditions. This energy is the force that creates the universe, and that in fact makes our life a miracle. Religious and spiritual teachers engaged in the practice of meditation through which they built up this energy and achieved a unity consciousness. They therefore called for people to embrace love, care, respect, and forgiveness as the foundation for our global brotherhood and sisterhood. They entered this unity consciousness through meditation, through which to harbor the immensely powerful qi and to harbor virtues as they reach the Dao consciousness.1

In the Eastern wisdom tradition, qi is this vital life energy that should be cultivated through meditation, and in fact doing good for the world is treated like technologies that attracts and returns this creative energy to oneself in a vibrating, reciprocal, intelligent universe. With accumulation of this energy, latent abilities in human beings are revealed, allowing us to see and hear a lot more, reaching understanding and realities of higher dimensions. When we have elevated our energy, we elevate our awareness and resonance capability, which allows us to experience interbeing and embody the knowing that love is the force propelling all existence in the universe. When we come to this consciousness, we realize that our life’s purpose and goals are much bigger than what we hang on to as materialistic goals, and a sense of awe and respect, and a sense of gratitude are bred for all beings and existence.

Wisdom traditions around the world all contain the teaching of methods for cultivation of this vital life energy, and they all emphasize the simultaneous cultivation of virtues. Virtues and energy are interrelated, which gives rise to wisdom. In a state of unity consciousness, harming others feels like harming oneself, and punching holes in the Earth feels like punching holes in one’s own body. This experience of co-suffering, as well as the experience of mutual joy, is the foundation of global solidarity.

People must see the benefit of meditation and cultivation of virtue before they want to change course from grabbing power and wealth. Hence, we need to enter a new era seeing “miracles” as imaginable and achievable, to greatly expand our ability to sense the greater reality, that is, our spiritual being is real, just as real as our physical being, and that we have these multiple dimensions extending way beyond the ego-self. In my understanding and in my own research, all the spiritual traditions around the world aim for discovering, revealing this spiritual being which has incredible power. One is called a Buddha when one can move the universe with one’s heart (a compassionate heart for all beings and existence). One becomes a sage when one harbors the creative energy of Dao. Alchemists have explored the secret for living a very, very long life, looking for the Spring Water for longevity and immortality. It is time we all become alchemists having a much longer vision of life and a much higher perspective about our role in the universe. People like Albert Einstein sense that the universe is a consciousness, and that the universe is moral and intelligent, and that we have a great role to play in the evolution of the universe. We can be greater than ourselves.

So, in order for us to have global solidarity, we need to explore the secrets of life; we need to go way beyond the five senses that we have relied on to see the world and feel the world. We need to cultivate the ability to resonate with the universe, to cultivate the energy that creates all existence, and to sense others as ourselves, as sacred and intelligent beings who are playing a part in the song of love of the universe.

We are hopeful if we are willing to undergo an inner transformation, searching from within for wisdom and love, and kindness and humility. In fact, we already have all the know-how from our wisdom traditions, from the indigenous spiritual practices. We need to work to bolster our vital life energy through contemplative meditation and understand the universe structure as grounded in the virtue of cooperation and interdependence, and that doing good for others is circulating the vital life energy back to oneself.

I see hope in our world: already many people are joining the momentum to find solutions to the problems of the world through inner work, to cultivate their vital life energy, and to broaden the scope of their work and life, and to embody love and respect for people and nature. We can actually enhance the possibility for global solidarity by adding to the energy that is already being built up for unity consciousness. Global solidarity is an embodied state of being; it is not about getting more for ourselves and for others; it is about being in harmony with the love energy that guides our life and the universe. The whole universe cannot sustain and cannot function without the guiding principle of mutual support, cooperation, yielding, and giving; so is the case of our world and our relationship with nature. If we have a global consciousness like this, we have global solidarity. We can redesign school curriculum and programs that fully incorporate meditation and cultivating virtues into all aspects of learning and being. The new form of education seeks to integrate the body, mind, heart, and spirit. It aims to understand the secret of life and maintain the deep curiosity for the wonder of the universe.


1. For more on this, see Tom Culham and Jing Lin, Daoist Cultivation of Qi and Virtue for Life, Wisdom, and Learning (New York: Palgrave-Springer, 2020); Jing Lin, “From Self-Cultivation to Social Transformation: The Confucian Embodied Pathways and Educational Implications,” in Confucianism and Education, eds. Yiufeng Liu and Wen Ma (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 169-182); Jing Lin, “Enlightenment from Body-Spirit Integration: Dunhuang’s Buddhist Cultivation Pathways and Educational Implications,” in The Dunhuang Grottos and Global Education: Philosophical, Spiritual, Scientific, and Aesthetic Insights, ed. Xu Di (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 113-131).



Jing Lin
Jing Lin is Professor of International Education at University of Maryland and co-editor of Transformative Eco-Education for Human and Planetary Survival.


Cite as Jing Lin, "Cultivating Unity Consciousness," contribution to GTI Forum "Can Human Solidarity Globalize?," Great Transition Initiative (August 2021), https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/global-solidarity-lin.

As an initiative for collectively understanding and shaping the global future, GTI welcomes diverse ideas. Thus, the opinions expressed in our publications do not necessarily reflect the views of GTI or the Tellus Institute.


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