Some people may be wondering why this blog is talking about consciousness, and what it has to do with navigating the Great Recession.
When I was in my 20’s, I took a summer off, and by myself, back-packed throughout Europe.Â Leading up to the trip, many of my friends would ask me if I had any fear about traveling so far from home, to places where I didn’t know the language, without anyone traveling with me.Â I didn’t.Â I had several cousins who had made this journey previously, and I had read about the thousands of others who were traveling this way as well.
Needless to say, everything was going fine:Â the departure, the flight, the arrival, going through customs.Â When I finally walked out of Heathrow airport, however, I lost it!!!Â I completely freaked out, wondering what the hell I was thinking, having no idea of what to do next.
After I settled down, I got out my trusty “Let’s Go Europe” book, and read the section on London.Â It guided me to a Tourist Office, where I made reservations and got directions to a local youth hostel.Â When I finally arrived, I met dozens ofÂ fellow travelers who had stories of their own to share.Â It was an awesome start, to an awesome trip.
The point of my story is, it might never have happened if 1) I didn’t know it was possible, and 2) I didn’t have a guide to help me along the way.Â In today’s post, my goal is to describe a destination that is not well understood in our society, one with a huge potential to help people with their tranzition through the Great Recession.
Just like my trip to Europe, it’s a lot easier to take a journey when you know that a destination is possible, and when you have guide that can help you along the way.Â Transformative states of consciousness are such a destination.
Within almost every culture since the beginning of history, higher states of consciousness have been a part of their mystical, spiritual, and/or religious traditions.Â Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions share this history, as do the Buddhist, Hindu, and Pagan traditions.
Within each of these traditions, higher states of consciousness have been described, along with various techniques designed to get you there.Â While hundreds of these descriptions exist, there appears to be only two that are shared across the board as fundamentally transformative ones.Â These states are so profound, that they are often reserved for worthy recipients, and only revealed through a formalized process.
Clearly, not all states of consciousness are equal, with two that are especially important within the historical traditions.Â Further, these two states are progressive, meaning that one is usually taught as a gateway to the other.Â Conceptually, these higher states can be thought of as part of a progression of consciousness that follows the sleep, dream and awake states that all people share an awareness of.
To avoid confusion on these points, I’ll use the term “dimensions of consciousness” to describe the five major states of consciousness as shared by the world’s traditions.
The Five Dimensions of Consciousness
(Just like no amount of reading could prepare me for my walk out of Heathrow,
no amount of words can sufficiently describe the experience ofÂ transformative
states of consciousness.Â Please let me know if I can make the following clearer)
The First Transformative State -Â The Witness
While everyone is aware of the first three dimensions of consciousness, a smaller percentage of the people have ever experienced The Witness.Â In The Witness, you are outside of yourself, watching yourself in thought and action.Â It is an awareness of your mind and body, from the perspective of your soul (or spirit, based upon your tradition).
You may have had this experience before, but not recognized it for what it was.Â Many people report this as a result of a near fatal accident.Â The good news is, it’s pretty easy for most people to achieve this state quickly and consistently, with a little practice and a little patience.Â In addition, it’s a valuable tool for breaking memes, and tranzitioning the Great Recession.
The Second Transformative State – Nirvana
The second transformative state is also recognized by virtually all of the world’s traditions.Â It goes by names like Nirvana, Transcendence, Christ Consciousness, Samadhi, One with the Holy Spirit, etc.Â It is the moment in time when you are no longer separate, but part of everything that is.Â It changes you on a fundamental level.
An even smaller percentage of the people have ever experienced Nirvana.Â Those that have often report having had an epiphany, described as descending like a lightning bolt or spark of electricity.Â Most traditions use The Witness state to help people prepare for Nirvana.Â Achieving this state is not easy nor automatic, and can take years to attain.
We’ll talk more about Nirvana in future editions, but next time will continue to explore The Witness — how to get there, and what do there.Â As always, comments welcome, and thanks for reading.Â Until next time …