Raising Levels of Consciousness for Personal Growth

Levels of consciousness
David R. Hawkins in his book Power vs. Force talks of a hierarchy of levels of human consciousness. You can also find out your level of consciousness, based on your current life situation. From low to high, the levels of consciousness are: shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, enlightenment. While we keep shifting from one state to other, usually there’s a predominant state, in which we stay most of the time.

‘Courage’ is the first positive level and if you are reading this post, you must be at least at this level since you are aspiring for personal growth. You become disciplined and start looking for productivity increase when you reach the level of ‘Willingness’. You accept the responsibility of your role in the world when you reach the level of ‘Acceptance’ and awaken to your purpose of life when you reach the level of ‘Love’.

Eckhart Tolle describes the state of ‘Joy’ consciousness in The Power of Now. Just being around people at this level makes you feel ecstatic. The person at this level is guided by synchronicity and intuition. There’s no need for goals/targets and plans — since one is operating at a much higher level. Then there are levels of ‘Peace’ and ‘Enlightenment’ which are reached only by the people like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Guru Nanak and Mohammed. For a more detailed description, I suggest you to visit Steve Pavlina’s Blog. Lower consciousness is the root cause of all social problems and higher consciousness is the solution.
Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism (based in Japan and organized under SGI) talks of nine types of consciousness. The first five types of consciousness correspond to the five senses viz sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The sixth consciousness integrates the information received from the five senses to make sense of the world. The seventh consciousness enables us to make moral and value judgments and though Shakespeare may have said nothing is good or bad, we still like to decide what is good and bad for us, our families and our society.

The eighth consciousness lies below the level of conscious thought. All the experiences of past and current lifetimes are stored there and this consciousness only provides the framework of our individual existence. It is similar to what we call the sub-conscious mind. Our habits, likes, dislikes, talents, strengths and weaknesses-all arise from the eighth consciousness.

It is the ninth consciousness which lies still deeper and is the essence of life itself. This consciousness is pure life force and hence it helps us to purify all the other consciousness types. This is similar to soul consciousness. By meditation and chanting (or other spiritual practices), we can tap this life-force. Once we are able to tap it, we become more aware as our senses become more perceptive. We develop clearer thinking which improves our decision making.

Then begins the sweet journey of creativity, joy, wisdom, intuition, awareness and in fact a point of ecstasy and oneness, where none of these matter.

How to Raise Consciousness levels
Once you have understood the levels of consciousness, there is an immediate question or desire, “How do I raise my consciousness level or continue with higher levels of consciousness for longer period of times?”

The chart given below guides us to different steps we can take to raise our levels of consciousness. Though some of the tools like contemplative practice (meditation) can be used at any level but a person at very lower levels of consciousness may have too much noise in the mind and may find it very difficult to meditate.

(Adapted from Steve Pavlina’s Blog http://www.stevepavlina.com/)

Why it is almost a never ending game?
Whenever you reach a new level of consciousness or awareness, you continue to retain the benefits of the previous levels, but you tend to release their weaknesses. Raising the level of consciousness is a never ending game since reaching enlightenment or the highest level of consciousness takes several lifetimes. I had once posted on Facebook, “The soul sees the visions of enlightenment. The mind brings us back to endarkment.”

There are no hard and fast rules though. The lesser the noise in the mind and the more the positivity in attitude, easier it is to raise the level even to the level of enlightenment. Enlightenment may be an easy ballgame for some either due to the good karmas of the past or due to the relaxed and grateful mind. But then again momentary enlightenment may be easier and to stay in enlightened state is the tough part of the job.

In a recent discussion I had with Dr Karan Singh, well known Philosopher and Spiritualist, he remarked, "Consciousness can only be raised through conscious efforts and it will not rise on its own." 

But no doubt it is worth the trouble, at least that’s what I believe. J
(Originally published on http://spirituallounge.com/)
Brief Profile
Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant & Deepest Passion Coach. He is based in New Delhi, India and specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy (Enlarge, Excel and Evolve) is, "Enlarge as a Human Being, Excel as a Social Media Being and Evolve as a Personal Brand"

(I express my deep gratitude to my mentor Sensei Ikeda & Bharat Soka Gakkai, for the mentorship and inspiration.)


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