The translucent revolution

Translucent people have learned to access their deepest nature as peaceful, limitless, free and unchanging beings. Simultaneously, they remain fully involved in the events of their personal lives.

Translucent people have learned to access their deepest nature as peaceful, limitless, free and unchanging beings. Simultaneously, they remain fully involved in the events of their personal lives.

by Arjuna Ardagh — 

Late one evening, Robert was out taking a walk. Having passed through many trials and tribulations in recent years, his mood was blacker that night than normal. “I am finished,” his mind announced.

He still has trouble explaining what happened next.

“I was overcome by a sense of relief,” he reports, “a sudden feeling of inexpressible freedom. My body was filled with happiness, as if I were suddenly getting a joke I’d been missing up until then. I was totally here, in this moment. I could feel the trees around me, and hear the sounds, without having to listen to thoughts telling me things needed to be different in some way. Everything was being experienced, but the ‘me’ was gone.”

Over the last 12 years, I have spoken with thousands of people who have passed through similar consciousness shifts. Their awakenings have changed who they thought themselves to be and the nature of the world around them. While some are notable teachers and writers, the majority are ordinary people leading everyday lives. Some have come to this awakening through contact with a teacher, some from entering the depths of despair and others after years of meditation.

The shift can occur in a one-time light bulb moment or after marinating for many years.

These awakenings initiate a gradual metamorphosis, which is both evolutionary and endless. A spontaneous generosity of spirit, an impulse to serve, and a willingness to transform living into an art form gradually replace the normal life experience marked by fear and measured by acquisition. I call this endless process of evolution and transformation “translucence.”

A transparent object, like a clean sheet of glass, is almost invisible. You see everything through a transparent object as if the object itself were not there at all. An opaque object, on the other hand, blocks light. A translucent object allows light to pass through, but diffusely, while maintaining its own form and texture.

Translucent people have learned to access their deepest nature as peaceful, limitless, free and unchanging beings. Simultaneously, they remain fully involved in the events of their personal lives. Thoughts, fears and desires still come and go; life is still characterized by temporary trials, misfortunes and stress. But the personal story is no longer opaque; it now reflects something deeper, more luminous and abiding.

The translucent play vigorously in their relationships with others, their work, their creativity, and their political and environmental causes, but they play more to play than to win. Translucents display an above-average generosity of spirit. Giving to other people and to the environment replaces old habits based on lack, desire and need. Above all, translucents have a humorous and often irreverent relationship to their personal lives, beliefs and identities.

They generally do not follow one particular teacher, teaching or group, although many have, in their pasts. As a group, they occupy as wide a variety of occupations, appearances, and educational and cultural backgrounds as humanity itself. They generally do not identify themselves as enlightened or as having attained anything, and they generally are not attempting to become enlightened. They are not overly materialistic or spiritually cynical.

During the last three years, I have interviewed more than 170 translucent writers and teachers. By asking about their experiences with their own students, I have gained indirect access to the experiences of millions of people around the world. Finally, with the help of sociologists like Paul Ray and Duane Elgin, I have studied numerous polls and bodies of research suggesting a radical change in collective consciousness. Conservative estimates put the number of translucents at three to four million, worldwide.

Many of those interviewed feel this shift is in the first buds of its emergence as a new kind of humanity, with realistic grounds for optimism about our race.

Open a newspaper today or switch on your TV, and you will hear tale after tale of terrorist threats, global warming, growing economic disparity and corruption, or the depletion of natural resources at a rate completely out of proportion to anything in our past. Each of these disparate and complex problems seems to demand a unique solution that is, in most cases, still beyond our grasp. But they also can be viewed collectively as symptoms of a mindset that is dying; one which simply cannot continue because it is unsustainable.

Are you translucent? If this brief summary sounds familiar to you, you may already be a part of this evolutionary current. You certainly are more a part of the solution than the problem.

What we do and how we live is not as trivial as we may sometimes think. What you choose to do in the next five minutes, and the spirit in which you do it, contributes to the difference between annihilation and the opportunity for this world to return to Eden. The future rests in your hands — and the stakes are getting higher, daily. It is time for all of us to wake up to our natural sanity and to live it passionately, dangerously, intensely — translucently.


Arjuna Ardagh has a master’s degree in literature from Cambridge University and has trained as a meditation teacher and studied with a number of prominent spiritual teachers both in Asia and in the West. He founded the Living Essence Foundation, which has trained more than 450 practitioners to help facilitate our world’s shift in consciousness and is the author of The Translucent Revolution: How People Just Like You are Waking Up and Changing the World. or 800-972-6657, ext. 52.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 4, August/September 2005.

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