Carmel Bracken RSM*, is the author of this guest blog, with Laudato Si’ addition from me. 

Hidden Wholeness 

DSC_5144In the heart of the Civic Centre of San Francisco there is a beautiful fountain which has two quotations etched on it. One quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt is written in a very prominent position and states that ‘The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation …. it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative efforts of the whole world.”

The second quote by John Muir  reads ‘If you try to pick out anything at all in the universe you will find it hitched to everything else.’ This is  written on a slab of stone that is  underneath the water and easy to miss. For me this is very  symbolic, that of the two quotations this was the one placed in a deeper, underwater place. It reminds us that we need to do deep soul work to uncover the hidden wholeness of all of life and that only by living from an awareness of unity consciousness, will we truly know how to co-operate with each other and all of life.

 Essential Unity

Science is now offering us proof of what John Muir intuitively understood and what  the mystics knew for generations, that “at our essence we exist as a unity, a relationship utterly interdependent, the parts affecting the whole at every moment…”

galactic_stairway-wbPope Francis makes this point again and again in Laudato Si’. For one example:
It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected. Time and space are not independent of one another, and not even atoms or subatomic particles can be considered in isolation. (par. 138)

How do we embody this wisdom? What are its implications? Mercy Sisters have asked themselves this in their Chapter question “In what ways will we allow our place in the interdependent and interconnected community of all of life to influence us?”

Subtle Activism

11214128_826056660848348_9202236779506786994_nIn trying to live into this question, I found myself exploring the path and potential of subtle activism, which is based on an awareness that “every improvement we make in our  private world improves the world at large for everyone.”   Subtle activism is any “activity of consciousness or spirit, such as prayer, meditation …. intended to support collective healing and social change.” Subtle activism influences social change through the inner or subtle plane, rather than through conventional exterior means like marches, demonstrations, lobbying, etc.

The potential for subtle activism is only beginning to be tapped. As breakthroughs in quantum physics began to reveal “the unified field of universal intelligence at the basis of mind and matter” a number of scientific projects began to explore the effects of intention and meditation.  A study in Washington DC showed there was a decrease in crime for a two month period in which 4,000 people gathered to meditate. Intention experiments —  “a series of scientifically controlled, web-based experiments testing the power of intention to change the physical world” —  have produced extraordinary results. Findhorn experiments showed how “positive thoughts improved  the growth of plants, and Masaru Emoto’s experiments showed how human emotions effect the nature and composition of water.”


Subtle activism does not replace action in the world, it just extends the range of options open to an activist who is awake to a holistic and integral vision of reality where “the subtler, inner dimension of human experience is being reclaimed.” It can be a means of making a contribution to social change for those who no longer have the physical stamina for action in the outer world and for “people of a certain temperament, or who possess certain spiritual gifts.”

Subtle activism is deeply challenging for  it calls us to live from a place of awareness, knowing that “Every thought, action, decision or feeling creates an eddy in the interlocking, inter-balancing, ever-moving energy fields of life, leaving a permanent record for all of time….” Subtle activism is not about telling others what to do, but a call to embody whatever quality we wish to see in the world, to “be whatever it is we ‘send’ out.” This is implicit in Ghandi’s call to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

1 Lynn McTaggart, The Bond
2 David Hawkins, Power Versus Force
3 Gaiafield project
4 John Hagelin
5 Robert Moss
6 David Nicol
7 David Spangler
8 David Hawkins, Power Versus Force
9 David Spangler

MIA20_4_Workshop1_ss *Carmel Bracken is a member of the Irish Congregation of Sisters of Mercy, Northern Province. A member of their Mercy Global Action Network (MGAN), Carmel received an MA in Culture and Spirituality in Sophia Center in Oakland, California. She has inspired me with her writings and presentations, and I am grateful for this blog.

10 thoughts on “SUBTLE ACTIVISM

  1. Thanks, Terri, for sharing this wonderful article. I love the concept of subtle activism – not telling others what to do, but really living our deepest values. A very worth-while challenge…


  2. On Feb.1 millions of people around the world joined in a world synchronized meditation for peace in Syria. This article of subtle activism is so in keeping with that synchronized meditation. Tomorrow there is suppose to be a cease fire in Syria!! How’s that for subtle activism. Hoping & praying the cease fire holds.


  3. I found all this challenging, inspirational and encouraging. I long to be connected and beckoned deeper and deeper into this interconnected nests of all of creation.

    Many thanks for the gift you are sharing. I have been so enriched.

    Blessings and peace

    Sister Pattie Snudden

    Pattie Snudden

    0425 230 076


  4. Terri, Greetings from Milwaukee! Please send me a PDF of Carmel’s article. Love, Fran ________________________________________


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s