I saw a thread entitled "Levels of Consciousness" seeking to define various stages in conscious evolution, so I thought I would post my own
rendering, which is different.
First of all I will discuss "focuses" of consciousness, based on the Monroe Institute's research. They claim that consciousness itself is a
non-local phenomena, meaning it does not belong to a particular time or place. Even while you are in your body, your consciousness can access
completely different times and places of existence, based solely on its focus and intention to go there.
The Monroe Institute defines these focuses of consciousness, which are numbered "arbitrarily," to give a more right-brained sense of the
differences, rather than an appearance of a linear progression:
: Normal waking consciousness; our awareness is of our body and environment.
: This is what is called hemispheric synchronization, when both the left and right hemispheres of the brain are working in unison, and
the mind is in a relaxed state.
: This is also known as "mind awake, body asleep," and is the beginning of consciousness being withdrawn from awareness of the body
and moving on to awareness of other things.
: Defined very subtly simply as a state of "expanded awareness," past focus 10 where the body is already asleep while the mind is
: A state where a sense of time is distorted or non-existent.
: The experience of the outer boundary of time, space, and 3D blackness.
Beyond focus 21 are what are commonly referred to as "out of body experiences."
Obviously, our body awareness shifts around between these states on a daily basis, whether we are consciously aware of it with our minds are not. We
are all shifting around in various focuses of consciousness, even if we have already obtained higher focuses in the past. There is no guarantee we
will maintain them, and actually it is very impractical, if not impossible, to always maintain higher focus states during while being physically
In addition to these focuses of consciousness, there are also other peculiar states of mind/thinking
that are known to various cultures and
philosophies and have been taught for centuries:
: This is a state of mind where dualism is denied. "Right" and "wrong" no longer have concrete definitions, but are relative
to one another in all situations. Similarly, "high" and "low" are relations to one another and not concrete, absolute terms; "hot" vs.
"cold," "left" vs. "right," "up" vs. "down," "in" vs. "out," "smart" vs. "stupid," "educated" vs. "ignorant," are realized as
all being "made" of the same idea and only contrast relative to each other, and never in any absolute sense. In other words, "cold" does not
exist by itself. "Cold" only exists in relation
to "hot." Once this is fully understood, the mind can never rationalize dualistic ways
of thinking ever again, as the obviousness of their relativity becomes perfectly apparent. Taoism is an example of a philosophy that teaches
Similar to the above: the principle of vibration
, which is simply alternation between two extremes, of the same principle. "Heat" and
"cold" are two relative polarities of the sensation of temperature that alternate in our experiences, thus giving rise to each other and
simultaneously acting as a "vibration" or cyclical, between one to the other and back again.
: Satori is a Japanese word that means "understanding," and is associated with a sudden and powerful insight that changes one's
perspective and awakens one to higher truths. It is a classic element of spiritual development but is not limited to any one particular realization.
Traditionally Zen Buddhism attempts to facilitate satori through the use of koans
All as One
: There are infinitely many levels of this realization, that everything in existence is inter-related and also arises from a single
source, a source that science seeks under the term of a "unified field theory," and other traditions refer to by a myriad of different names. An
example of this is the full realization that "the universe" (singular) actually consists of everything in existence, and is only whole and complete
in this regard. Everything that happens is equally an expression of the universe.
All is Mind
: In the most personal and direct application of this fact, it can be noted that the entirety of our human experiences throughout
our life are limited by the tools we use to experience that reality, namely our nervous system. There are known limitations to our sight and hearing,
that we can only see and hear within a relatively small range of all possible sights and sounds. It can also be found that our minds themselves and
our emotional circuits have distinctively "human" characteristics that color our experiences and prevent us from experiencing any such thing as an
Everything you think you are seeing or hearing from the external world, you are really only experiencing inside your head. You have never actually
"seen" a tree, you have only interpreted a certain range of photon frequencies that are reflected into your eyes from a tree. Similarly
you experience is solely within your head, colored by the biology of your nervous system. A dog sees only in black and white, and
for a dog, this "is" reality. Food for thought.
Order and Chaos
: Possibly the most frequently recurring theme in the universe is that of order vs. chaos, or entropy vs. "negative entropy."
Intelligent beings seek to conserve their own energy and preserve themselves, by keeping themselves healthy, by reproducing, etc. Intelligent
beings represent order in the universe. Chaos, on the other hand, is a lack of order. It can be seen as ignorance and confusion in human
populations, and it is destructive and loses energy to the environment as per laws of entropy. Order preserves itself and promotes more order and
intelligence, and chaos also preserves itself, but by causing more destruction and disorder. The two forces are at odds with one another and can be
stereotyped any number of ways, love vs. hate/fear, knowledge vs. ignorance, etc.
Yes, this is another arbitrary duality. The union of these two opposites is called the "Tao" in Taoism, the Yin-Yang represents the play between
these two forces, and their interaction and constant tension is the very engine that generates reality.
I'm positive that this thread is incomplete. So feel free to share other states of consciousness and realizations that I have missed.