Thinking about Global Activism and Social Change, Personal Intentions and Spiritual Consciousness by Jameelah X. Medina

Jameelah MedinaThe events in this world begin with the individual. The world’s occupations trace back to the individuals who create them and those who ignore or support them. The world’s genocides trace back to the individuals who create them and those who ignore or support them. The world’s offensive wars trace back to those who create them and those who support them through action or inaction. Daring to exclude Divine Decree from this discussion, the events that take place in the world are due to the malice within mankind. This malice can be direct and intentional, or it may be malice by default due to the absence of benevolence. These atrocious events begin with the individual because unjust rulers, dictators, invaders, executioners and occupiers, only have the power to rule, dictate to, invade, execute and occupy because they have subordinates who give their obedience and acquiescence. We are those subordinates as a group and as individuals. The question is: Why do we obey and acquiesce?

The reasons for our obedience, acquiescence is in part due to political ignorance, fear and a sense of powerlessness, but also due to a lack of self-consciousness, soul-consciousness, a finely-tuned conscience, purpose, and intention.

Acquaintance with One’s Soul

The soul or spiritual heart of the individual determines either positive or negative, good or bad thoughts, action and chain reactions. Individual spiritual illness and disease is at the root of what we see occurring on this earth, from the rape of Mother Earth, who has sustained us in her womb with perfect balance since before our collective memory can recall, to the complete disregard for human life and its intrinsic value through legal, illegal and unchallenged annihilations and genocides under the guise of “national security,” “liberations” and “democracy,” and in the form of wars, prisons, miseducation, and unnatural natural disasters.  Because the root cause of these events is at the individual level, we are each and all accountable and responsible for correcting it. This correction begins with our intention.

Consciousness of the intangible self assists in the development of and actions taken by the physical self. In other words, the body is used as an instrument to do the will of the soul, and all that happens in the world is a result of how the body is used or misused by the good or bad intentions of the individual. World events are a reflection of our voice and silence, of our rebellion and complicity, and of our action and inaction. Under the tutelage of our soul, we can bring about enormous changes in this world through our good and purposeful intentions.

Personal Intention

Before embarking on the journey of global action and social change, we must intend to do so. Intentions precede actions, and correct and positive intentions result in correct and positive actions. The reverse is also true. However, before the personal intention to act produces change in the world, one must have intended and be in the process of fulfilling personal intensions. One must intend to dissect the self and discover the illnesses and diseases of the heart and expel them. Doing this requires a level of spiritual awareness. Not all illness and disease must be treated before action is possible, but those associated with inaction, apathy, and a constantly self-centered locus of focus. One must intend to better oneself and offer the best of what she possesses to the world on the local or global level. As the army says “an army of one,” the individual is an army of one in the chain reaction of consciousness, awareness, action and peace.

The colloquy of personal intention necessitates a discussion on purpose. Our actions must be purposeful, and the need to act involves a sense of purpose. Everyone’s purpose may be different, but at the same time, essential to the process. Personal purpose is something we individually discover and decide. Collective purpose is something we must all develop and put into action. For those who need help, we assist. For those without a voice, we speak. For those without knowledge, we teach. For those without pupils, we learn. For those without audience, we listen. For those without, we provide. For those, we are. In this manner, “those” become “these,” and our connections and inter-responsibility and accountability are honored. Whether we are parents of children, sisters of siblings, daughters of parents, wives of husbands, teachers of students, citizens of nations, we are actors who must identify and fulfill our purpose with purpose, conviction and intention. This is when we transform into advocates, agents and organic vehicles for change and action. This also requires a level of consciousness in order to bring “those” people closer in proximity to us.

Spirit and Social Consciousness

To become spiritually conscious requires initiating a spiritual archeological exploration. If we are honest and truthful on this expedition, some of what we find might and should alarm us.

In order to right the wrongs in the world through action and activism, we have to embark on the difficult journey within our selves. This journey leads to consciousness, this consciousness to purification, and the purification of the soul is a means to achieve tranquility in self, thus paving the road for achieving peace worldwide. The world’s atrocities reflect us as individuals. Through spirit-consciousness and personally intending to right wrongs both internally and externally, we can act locally and globally to exact social change. Therefore, soul or spirit consciousness and social consciousness are interrelated and work together to effect change.

Social consciousness is necessary for social change. At the core, social consciousness is spiritual consciousness. To say something wrong or right, bad or good is happening in the world requires a level of understanding of bad and good, wrong and right. Social norms play only a minimal role, while familial socialization plays a larger role. However, the individual’s center is the essence, this essence or soul acting as a metal detector senses wrong immediately, and it agitates the soul, thus appearing in the form of guilt, anxiety, anger, sadness, sleepless nights, etc. We are equipped with internal Global Positioning Systems (the brain and the heart); all we need to do is tune in and follow directions. Is it that simple?


Jameelah X. Medina, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and orator. Her latest book, ABCs of Living a Good Life: 26 Things I’ve Learned along the Way, is available for free on her She is also the owner and operator of Dr. J’s Apothecary where she makes all-natural products for health and wellness. 

Author: Jameelah X. Medina

inquisitive, feminist, womanist, altruist, truth-seeker, healer, human being...

13 thoughts on “Thinking about Global Activism and Social Change, Personal Intentions and Spiritual Consciousness by Jameelah X. Medina”

  1. Beautifully written. I agree with you that each individual must act in the world and like you I hope each individual will act to make the world a better place.

    However, I am not so sure about your (ontological?) statement that everything begins with the individual. I would say it is more true that everything begins with relationship. The only way we know it is better to be loving than hateful is because we have been loved as children. If we have not been loved, we will find ourselves on the sociopathic spectrum with little or no ability to feel the feelings of others.

    The process view is that individuals act and our actions make a difference in the world, but we always act within a context of relationships, not only to other near individuals, but also to wider social and cultural mores and visions, to people far from us, and in relation to the whole web of life. This is not to minimize the importance of choice, but to situate it “in context.”


    1. Hi, Carol. It’s interesting because I am not completely convinced of my own argument on that point after really thinking about it over some days. Thank you.


  2. “Daring to exclude Divine Decree from this discussion” includes disregarding the fact that the very *origin* of the “malice within mankind” is to be found in the ‘fallen’, dualistic consciousness of the “self” (referred to as the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”) and the “beast of the earth” consciousness of the ‘thinker’ (asserted by J. Krishnamurti as the origin of conflict and violence); and that the only way of resolving such conflicts is through the adherence to the Moral Law and the acknowledgement of both Revealed Truth (represented by the “Tree of Life” and the “sidrah tree”, symbolizing the Vision of the “Son of man”) and the Revelation of “the resurrection”.



    1. My disclaimer disregards so much, as the intent of it was to talk about human individuals and how we may take more spiritual responsibility in our activism and pursuit of social justice. Thanks.


  3. Thanks, Jameelah. A fine, challenging post! The social change needed in my opinion is surely that awareness of our continuity you mention, but I think you would agree, that same connectedness extends in a global sense to our ecosystem, the diversity of its life forms, and even to our oneness with all existence. Two poems appended by historical, Japanese women poets —

    In the sky,
    flocks of departing geese;
    in the weeds,
    murmuring insects —
    tears like dew well up in my eyes.
    ~ Otagaki Rengetsu

    In the sweltering sky
    a ladder — someone carries it
    to the deep shade
    ~ Hashimoto Takako


    1. Beautiful poems, Sarah. I think we (those of us who operate within more “western” frameworks that inform us that human beings are the pinnacle of creation) would do well to look at other traditions that understand humans as part of the whole, not the center. Thanks for your thoughts here.


    2. Sarah, I really like the poems. I also agree about our interconnection and even oneness with all of life. Thank you.


  4. Beautifully written and I see a lot of positivity if we ( starting from myself) utilize these concepts you pointed out.


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