After studying the subject of consciousness for quite sometime, I came to a conclusion that there are 4 levels of consciousness. As our awareness increases, we advance on these levels – from Sub-consciousness to Mind-consciousness, Self-consciousness and then finally Super-consciousness or Enlightenment.
A Person may be in a particular level or may be transitioning from one level to another. Sometimes, we keep oscillating between the 4 levels of consciousness, until there is complete awareness when we hardly come back to the previous level.
Let us look at these levels closely –
In this state, we are living our life on auto-pilot. Most of the time we are not aware why we are doing what we are doing and why we are getting the results that we are getting. We mostly blame the circumstances, other people and our fate for the unwanted results and conditions that we experience. We wish if things were different or may be we wish that we were more lucky or born under a different star. This is where we are living outside-in. We are letting the outside world control us.
Most of the people live in this sub-conscious or unconscious state and hence being in this state seems logical or normal. As everyone is just like each other. But there is this inherent desire to change this state and move to the next level. Next time when you catch yourself wanting to change your current life situation to a better one, note that this desire is what is making you move to the next level to consciousness. The process of seeking answer will increase awareness and will help you advance to the next level.
How to break-free from this level? Understand that we control our own life. We have the power to create what we desire. A simple illustration to experience this power can be made by closing our eyes and mentally visualising a tree and then zooming in to the leaves, going closer and closer to see the details and may be even the cells and the sub-atomic particles. After that, zoom out to see the leaf and then the tree and then the whole landscape, the country, the earth, the galaxy and then beyond. In matter of minutes, we were able to move from a cellular level to galaxy level through our mind. Similarly, our mind can go anywhere and to any time and find the solution to our problem – IF we listen to our mind.
This brings us to the next level of consciousness – the Mind-consciousness. In this state, we are now aware of the power of our mind. We no longer blame others for the results and situations that we experience. We believe in ourselves and are determined to change our circumstances by changing our thoughts.
But at this stage we encounter our Paradigms – the old programs in our mind and habits that just do not allow us to accept this new awareness. It keeps pulling us back to our previous level. But once again, the desire which is fuelled with our newly found power of mind, keeps pushing us to move forward. We start to discover various techniques and tools to empower us – Visualisations, Affirmations, Vision boards, EFT, NLP and so on. All these help us to remove the negative programs and install new and better programs in our mind.
How to break-free from this state? Many people see some glimpse of this state and their old paradigm pulls them back to the previous levels and they feel safe. They find many reasons to believe that various techniques mentioned above do not work and the next level is only mystic. But those who come back to this level are the ones that embark the journey of Self-Growth or Personal Development. The most critical thing in this level is to be in constant touch with the Self-Growth material. It may be reading a blog or listening to some inspiring lecture, signing up for a course or buying some audio programs or reading books. Do at least one thing each day to keep you reminding of the power of your mind (This way you are re-programing your mind, each day)
As we realise the Mind Power and we work through the Paradigms, replacing them with new programs, we often encounter the 2 voices talking in our head. One voice is based on the paradigms or the programed mind and the other one steams from the desire that wants the change to happen. We may hear us saying something like “I do not like the way I look or the money that I earn or the life that I live.”
Notice that there are two “I” in this conversation. The ‘I” that do not like the current situation and the “I” that is part of the current situation. This is when you realise and meet your true self – the Spiritual Self. “You are not a human being having a spiritual experience, your are a spiritual being having a human experience.” – Wayne Dyer. The awareness bring a whole new dimension to our understanding of our own life. We are Spiritual Beings and we are here on this planet Earth, in the human body for a specific purpose. Our Mind is merely a tool that we use to analyse, comprehend and converse with the outside (physical) world. As we start observing the thoughts generating by the mind, it becomes easier to remove it from the Auto-pilot and even identify if it is actually a talking paradigm. The Observer is the true self. We then realise that we are also eternal being – we go on and on like a stream of water taking different shapes – a stream, a river and then an ocean and then get recycled into a new “Life”.
This realisation is the most powerful one and most liberating one. We start to see the bigger picture and understand that there are no coincidence. Everything is for a purpose. It gives us immense power and ability to expand our boundaries.
How to break-free from this level? – Understanding that we are spiritual beings, opens the door to infinite power and possibilities. We can now understand our connection with each other and with all the living and non-living objects. The time and space virtuality becomes apparent. But then we also encounter two main roadblocks – Ego and Fear. These are the only 2 things that holds you back in this level. The Ego, which in turn is the Fear of your existence, tries to separate you from the One Spirit of which we are all part of. The ultimate program which was very essential for our survival – Fear, which instigates a flight or fight response, is predominant and keeps us away from reaching the next stage. Meditation is the most powerful tool for this level. Observing the mind, releasing any thoughts that arise and giving no power to these thoughts, connecting to the inner body – are some of the ways we can break-free from this state.
Super-Consciousness / Enlightenment
According to Buddha – Enlightenment means “No Suffering”, i.e. No Pain, End of pain. This state can be achieved after we have reached the highest levels of awareness. Awareness of ourselves, our existence, our thoughts and our desires. It is when in presence of this awareness, we bless the contrast in life, the people and things around us, the circumstances etc.. This is when, we seem to have achieved a Super-Consciousness state.
I cannot speak much about it as I haven’t experienced it myself, except for some glimpses. But one of the purpose of our life is to reach the highest level of Consciousness or Enlightenment. Most of the people live in the 1st level through out their life and then move directly to 4th level when they die. But there are some people who actually move through each of these levels and live an Enlightened life. We can live that life too. It is not restricted to Buddha or Jesus. They have shown us the way and we can walk through this path the experience the true life.
“The Secret of life is to die before you die and realise that there is no death” – Eckhart Tolle in his book – Power of Now