How many levels of consciousness are there and what is awakened or higher consciousness?
For thousands of years people have been exploring and discovering the landscape of consciousness. They have uncovered techniques to alter our perceptions and awareness of reality and have developed many pathways through the use of movement, sound, breathing, meditation, sensory deprivation, hypnosis, shamanic journeying and prayer to reach a world of wonder, and to experience the mystical and the divine.
They became what we have named avatars, spiritual teachers, delight makers, wizards, sorcerers, shaman, masters and spiritual warriors and they have created a legacy, a treasure trove of maps and keys to enable us to live beyond our wildest imaginations.
Before exploring the definition of higher consciousness it might be best to consider what it is that we experience as being as normal consciousness or being awake.
Unless we have intentionally ventured into a journey to explore the depths of our mind most of us are only familiar with a few states of consciousness; normal awakeness, dreaming, deep sleep and the unconsciousness that is a result of a medical situation either through illness or anesthetic. Then there are some who have had alternative states of consciousness encountered artificially through medications, or through extreme circumstances such as shock, exhaustion or sensory deprivation.
Our usual consciousness is one where we experience ourselves as a separate unit. There is an ‘I’, and we tend to think of ourselves, ‘I’, as being separate and contained within something such as our brain or body. Some of us go a step further and consider ‘I’ to be the thoughts or emotions we experience, but in all cases there is still an ‘I’ in separation from others. Our experience in this state tells us that nobody else hears ‘our’ thoughts or feels ‘our’ emotions or experiences ‘our’ body sensations.
So our normal consciousness is one of a separate ‘I’, which is awake and constantly processing information from the ‘outside’ world. This state of consciousness is not something that we have to make happen – it is automatic. And it operates so quickly that we are not usually aware of the mechanics behind it, nor do we usually exercise any control over them.
It operates in four broad steps :
- We cognise. That is we see, hear, taste, smell and touch perceived objects that are separate to us.
- We recognise. We quickly assess an object and then we label it.
- We evaluate. We decide whether or not we like or dislike the object.
- We react. We then start an emotional pattern based upon our evaluation by developing feelings of attachment “I want more” or feelings of aversion “I don’t like it – get rid of it”.
This process which starts in the conscious mind quickly falls into the patterns that our deep within us and are largely an unconscious and uncontrolled response. These reactions consume huge amounts of attention and energy and are the basis for our assessment of whether or not we feel happy.
The trick to creating happiness and freedom is to become aware of the automatic reactions and take charge of them. Two things then happen, firstly we can stop the blind patterns that make us unhappy, and secondly we can recover untold amounts of energy that we can use for living magically, as Delight Makers.
The first indication that our consciousness is stepping beyond the bounds of normal waking experience can be realised by a change in our sense of ourselves as being separate from the rest of the world. When we can start to feel the aliveness of other living beings, and in the things that we think of as inanimate, we have opened the door to a world where we can travel through the metaphysical, and rabbit holes become our new playground!
copyright © 2010 by S. Koshare Edouardes
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