The simplest definition of consciousness is awareness and we exist at three different levels of this. The first is the level of the senses, the second is the level of conscious awareness, and the third is the level of conscious connection.
Living at the level of the senses means that we are trapped by the senses - after all, seeing is believing, right? But, as soon as we rely upon the senses to define our world, we become trapped by our own definitions. We move out of the flow of existence, away from the source and into a state of separation and duality. This applies not only to our world, but to us.
The senses fool us. They tell us that the earth is flat, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that we are standing still and that we are not falling. If we move past this perceptual deception and begin to develop a conscious awareness of the reality that we inhabit, we begin to question the information that we are gathering from our senses and, in doing so, challenge our perceptions and come closer to a ripening state of consciousness.
This same process applies to our self-perception and our world view. Perception - particularly self-perception - can, regrettably, be reality. That is the trap, and that is where, quite frankly, we become a victim of our own device.
The core of spiritual evolution - and so personal, social and psychological revolution -- relies upon the recognition that duality is a false premise. We are all of us -- and all of "it", meaning both sentient and non-sentient beings, as well as the objects of this world -- made up of the same stuff. How that stuff is put together and the speed at which the electrons that hold it all together vibrate are what defines what the "it" is.
Spiritually, this same notion is consistent --- I am one, you are one, we are all together one -- and it is really just a matter of how that oneness manifests. This idea is fundamental to Taoism and the "10,000 things'" of Buddhism, as well as Gnosticism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam by virtue of the early influence of Zoroastrianism upon the canons of those traditions.
Speaking practically, moving away from relying strictly upon sensation and perception to define our reality means taking a closer look. It means not only recognizing that the world is not flat, the sun doesn't rise in the east and set in the west, we are not standing still, and that we are not, in fact, constantly falling,. It means being consciously connected to ourselves through the recognition that it's not "out there" - it's "in here"!
Creating connection to ourselves, questioning our expectations, ideas and assumptions and exploring our perceptions, takes us out of the culture of victimhood and brings us closer to a state of conscious awareness. We move from being a victim to a participant. How do we go from being a participant to being a co-creator? We do this through vision, intention and the conviction that we are the architects of our own lives.
Participating means showing up, it means being present. It means breaking free of the bonds that we ourselves have created and being in the now. Taking that freedom from psycho-spiritual bondage to the next level, to the level of generation, evolution and revolution propels us forward from a state of conscious awareness into one of conscious connection.
The level of feeling and thinking are the trap, where we get caught. The level of doing is conscious awareness, where we move past our perceptions to a state of authenticity, revealing our personal truth. The level of being is conscious connection - the place of creation, where we generate change.
Instead of living in the box of perception, or riding the wave of awareness, we become co-creators, facilitators and the architects of our lives. We not only create the change - we are the change and when we return to the level of feeling and thinking, we find that those perceptions that we held so dear have indeed been transformed.
To that point, try this -- pick a situation that you perceive as an issue for you or that you would like to change. Write down some simple phrases about it under the headings of feeling, thinking, doing and being. An example:
Feeling (my perceptions)
I am anxious about money.
Thinking (my beliefs)
I will never have enough.
Doing (my intention)
I will create a sense of control by actively managing my finances.
I will not live in fear.
Being (my conscious connection)
I am enough.
I have enough.
I will live in abundance.
I cannot fail.
Go back to your statements of feeling and thinking in a week, and see what you find - you may surprise yourself.
© 2008 Michael J. Formica, All Rights Reserved