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Consciousness: What It Is and Why It Matters

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Understandably, consciousness is a subject of interest. It is a fundamental aspect of our human existence. But what is it?

The Scope of Consciousness

The field of psychology defines consciousness in a way that seems more closely aligned with the brain and its functions: thoughts, memories, and our existence in the ‘outer-world’. In the spiritual realm, consciousness is defined differently. It encompasses more than what might be viewed as a limited, physical-world view, the way consciousness in psychology seems to define it.

From the spiritual perspective — and it is my belief that this is the more pertinent and useful way of viewing this most basic aspect of the universe, our world and ourselves — consciousness is about not about the ‘outer-world’. Consciousness concerns the ‘inner-world’ and our awareness and understanding of it.

It has been said by spiritual masters that all answers are within. However, accessing those answers is a different matter. Most have trouble with this. The inner guidance we’d all love to have can be found with awareness of the multiple voices within, and the different foundations and perspectives from which each voice originates. This is consciousness.

Key Takeaway...

From the spiritual perspective — and it is my belief that this is the more pertinent and useful way of viewing this most basic aspect of the universe, our world and ourselves — consciousness is about not about the ‘outer-world’. Consciousness concerns the ‘inner-world’ and our awareness and understanding of it.

Self-Perspective

At this point, it is useful to mention that we are not physical bodies with a spirit. That is a misconception. We are spirits currently inhabiting physical bodies. This may seem like word-play or semantics, but it is not. There is a dramatic difference between these two perspectives.

The false belief that we are physical bodies first, from which a spirit is created, is limiting. It denies the true nature of our existence and blunts the actual power we each have.

The more empowering and reality based understanding of our actual existence is that we are unlimited spirits, each a unique and equal piece of the greater whole of the universe, which currently has chosen to experience a physical existence in a body. 

We are in charge. We make choices. We have the power to succeed or fail, to be happy or miserable. This perspective and foundation of our reality is something many avoid. They are not ready to accept this responsibility.

But we are responsible, whether we want and accept this accounting of reality, or not. We are the master of our experiences in the physical world. We create them so that we can experience them and learn from them, without judgment. The concept of 'without judgment' applies even when we create by ‘accident’, without any conscious awareness that we have created something that didn't go well.

Consciousness

This brings me back to consciousness. Consciousness is an active and intimate awareness of, and connection to, the inner spirit — that which inhabits the physical body — and its inspirations and communications to us in any and every given moment in time.

So, with that definition and understanding of consciousness in mind, does it really matter? What makes this discussion something that should be of interest?

And is it useful to have some idea of where you are along your path and journey to the more advanced levels of consciousness? (Regardless of belief or desire, we’re all on a path to higher consciousness. That’s the purpose we all share.)

Key Takeaway...

This brings me back to consciousness. Consciousness is an active and intimate awareness of, and connection to, the inner spirit — that which inhabits the physical body — and its inspirations and communications to us in any and every given moment in time.

The level of consciousness is different for each individual. We’re all at different points in our journey. Just like the different levels of schooling, kindergarten through the advanced degrees offered in graduate school, consciousness also has different levels. Dr. David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD, studied and wrote about this subject extensively. He created an arbitrary, algorithmic scale: The Map of Consciousness®, (Map of Consciousness is a Registered Trademark ® of Institute for Spiritual Research, Inc.), which defines some of the levels.

The different levels of consciousness, and where each of us is on this scale (Hawkins called this a ‘calibration’) greatly influences the choices we make here in the physical world. Our affiliations, desires, actions and reactions, and experiences are greatly influenced by our current level of consciousness.

As mentioned above, we each have several inner voices. Two of them are usually at odds, competing for our attention. One, the True Self, is passive and quietly waits for us to choose it. The other, the Ego self, is active and loud and demands attention. This is what has been termed the duality within. The level of consciousness on the scale to which one calibrates is usually a good indicator of which internal voice they identify, act and react from, and resonate with.

The choices you make in any given moment and situation are directly related to your level of consciousness. This is not to say that a choice will be good or bad, depending upon your level of consciousness. It is to say that there is influence in the decision. And this influence can sway your choice one way, or the other. And the choices you make do create your life experiences.

The Duality Within

Fundamentally, what this means is, you are making your choices — creating your life experiences — based on the voice of Love, (your True Self), or the voice of fear, (your Ego self). The vast majority of the world’s population are aligned with the Ego self, making choices from the inner voice of fear. This is the reason we see a world in chaos and never-ending turmoil. This is also why so many people cannot seem to find inner peace, contentment, and the happiness we all desire and seek.

However, alignment with the voice and guidance of love, the voice of the True Self, can cause different choices to be made. These can change your life experiences, but also this ripples throughout the universe to change the world.

Though this is only a brief explanation of the relevance of consciousness, and why it matters, I think it does present a useful foundation.

Key Takeaway...

However, alignment with the voice and guidance of love, the voice of the True Self, can cause different choices to be made. These can change your life experiences, but also this ripples throughout the universe to change the world.

Where are  You?

Knowing your calibrated level of consciousness is helpful. If you’ve ever wondered about some of the decisions you’ve made, especially the ones that didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, your level of consciousness may have been a factor.

Would knowing where you are now along your path of consciousness — where you calibrate on the scale — help? This depends upon you.

For some, it will be very useful. It will provide context and be a reminder that their inner guidance is a valuable tool and will prompt them to reach inwardly for assistance and guidance when making choices. Others, though, may ignore this available information and simply assume that their first emotional response is the best. They may not evaluate their options from this higher, inward perspective. But even they will ultimately find value in understanding consciousness and where they are in their journey.

What's Your Level?

If you'd like to learn more about your level of consciousness, please click here.

Dr. David R. Hawkins gave us a device to track our progress, to quantify our level of consciousness.
We now have the ability to know if we're making real progress...
Or if we've been sidetracked by the numerous distractions our Ego self creates and presents.

Your current level of consciousness is not static. It is dynamic. It is changeable.
You can advance to the realm of higher consciousness — Enlightenment!

In fact that is our collective purpose, the one we all share. But like most things in life, to make changes,
one must first understand where they are; what needs to be changed.

Acknowledgement of your current level is a great starting point for your journey.
Know Your Number!

Then... Whatever that number may be,
(and there is no judgement, regardless of where you may be right now...
either at the higher or lower ends of the scale, or anywhere in between),
you can change it.

You can do this. Everyone can!
We're all made of the same stuff inside.

It may not help in the moment when a choice was made, as they may not have yet developed the inner awareness to tap into this most powerful resource within them. But, if they choose to reflect back on their process — what they were thinking and feeling at the time when they made a choice that did not work out as hoped — it will help them with context and remind them that they may have been listening to the inner voice of fear. This is a more solid foundation from which to better evaluate past and future choices.

These are the basic elements of consciousness. It is all about awareness of the inner world; our connection to it, our ability to communicate with it, and our willingness to use the spiritual essence of our physical existence.



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