Stephen Parato, ContributorWaking Times
Have you ever wondered About what level of consciousness youre truly at?
Not in terms of it being a contest, or to say youre better/worse than other people, but as a kind of inner GPS that simply tells you where you are.
As humans, we tend to have very distorted and biased perspectives, especially when it comes to ourselves.
Its really easy to go on a yoga retreat and think youve transcended stress forever, or think youre enlightened after reading a few spiritual books.
This is why its crucial to have references that tell it like it is and objectively reflect where youre at.
I recently came across what can be described as a map of consciousness. Its a research paper by Justin Faerman entitled Mapping the Evolution of Consciousness: A Holistic Framework for Psychospiritual Development.
This paper describes, in plain English, eight stages of consciousness. And its not abstract or woo-woo. Its straightforward, simple to understand and backed by a lot of research.
Here are the stages outlined in the paper
Note: The first 2 stages are considered lower consciousness, while stages 3-8 are considered higher consciousness. This is not a judgment of being better or worse, but simply a means of classification.
Stage 1 is categorized by patterns of externalization and an overall victim mentality. The dominant emotions are fear, disdain and hopelessness. There is also a belief that life cannot be trusted.
In this stage, blame is placed on other individuals, society, government, nature, disease, etc. and other elements believed to be outside of ones conscious control and influence.
The motivating forces of stage 1 are safety and security.
Dominant Belief Structures:Life is not safe; I am not safe
Mantra for Evolution:God does not play dice with the universe. Albert Einstein
In this second stage, individuals realize that they have some degree of control. Yet this control is often motivated by fear and survival.
For example, war is an extension of this stage of consciousness. The enemy is perceived as a threat, and because of this, people believe they are morally justified to kill, eliminate or repress that enemy.
We also see various reflections of this stage of consciousness in our collective world. Look at how most people treat the environment and interpersonal relationships. Or consider the dominant mentality of politics and business.
This level of awareness is cut off from the following deeper understanding: Life is not a random series of events over which control must be exerted, but a deeper reflection of the internal psychodynamics of a persons own mind and consciousness.
Dominant Belief Structures:I must make it so; What I cannot control will destroy me.
Mantra for Evolution:If you bring forth what is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation. If you do not bring forth what is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you. Gnostic Gospels
In this stage, the individual begins to understand the direct connection between their own perceptions, beliefs and emotional state and the conditions of their life, relationships, experiences and reality as a whole.
This level of consciousness is represented by a fundamental shift, from disempowerment to empowerment.
In order to fully complete this stage, an individual must undergo a deep transformational process that includes the purging of all perceptual distortions (limiting beliefs) and the healing/release of all emotional wounds and traumas. The emergence of consciousness into later stages is observed in direct proportion to the evolution of an individual through this process of deep inner healing and transformational work.
Dominant Belief Structures:I am in control; I am creative
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Mindfulness, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, Emotional freedom techniques, Neuro-linguistic programming, Trauma release exercises, Psychotherapy, Hooponopono, Introspection
Mantra for Evolution:Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung
In this stage, we see the evolution of the self into the beginnings of deep joy and peace.
As the resistance to perceived undesirable circumstances in life falls away and one begins to understand that there is an intelligent flow operating in every moment guiding the evolution of consciousness on both an individual and collective level through what could be dualistically termed positive and negative experiences.
The individual realizes here that even in great suffering, there is great wisdom and potential for expansion and evolution and that nothing is out of place, ever has been or ever will be.
Dominant Belief Structures:I am loved; I am supported
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Seeing everything as perfect, Surrender, Acceptance, Letting Go, Embracing Flow and Effortlessness, Meditation
Mantra For Evolution:Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment. Eckhart Tolle
At this stage of consciousness, the individual begins to understand and observe that the Universe is evolving itself through them.
The individual begins to realize that all perceived suffering or negative events are either:a) Created or called into their reality by aspects of their own consciousness in an effort to be resolved and transcended as part of their individual evolution and as part of the larger collective evolution orb) Exist due to their conscious or unconscious resistance to what is unfolding, which is essentially a resistance of oneself.
Individuals in stage 5 live more through their intuition, as intuition becomes clearer and clearer as one moves up the stages.
Dominant Belief Structures:I am safe; Everything is perfect
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Intuitive Development, Kinesiology
Mantra For Evolution:Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself. Rumi
At this stage of awareness, the individual begins to understand that reality does not exist independent of consciousness, and therefore consciousness, or awareness if you prefer, is the causative factor of the universe and all that existsthat consciousness is creating all reality.
Individuals in this stage experience a profound sense of unity and oneness with everything.
When an individual fully enters and embodies this stage of awareness, their simple presence itself becomes a transformative experience for others. Individuals in this stage often become teachers or leaders, dedicate their lives to service of others or seek solitude to spend time in introspection, although they may also choose to live very normal and inconspicuous lives.
Dominant Belief Structures:I am one; I am whole
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Service, Contemplation, Meditation
Mantras For Evolution:You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself. Alan Watts
Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion. Rumi
Individuals at this stage of growth begin to transcend the physicality within which we are proverbially trapped until we reach this point.
Here individuals begin to harness conscious control over this process by directing their awareness in such a way (through belief, emotion, thought, visualization, the manipulation of energy, intent, accessing transpersonal aspects of the self and likely other mechanisms not yet discovered) as to be able to make use of these higher order quantum-transpersonal abilities of the self.
Individuals at this stage perceive and know themselves to be limitless and are in various sub-stages of actualizing that reality beyond a simple intellectual understanding.
As individuals move more deeply into this stage they proportionally complete lower stages which leads to an embodied confidence, power and knowingness, which is palpable to most all who they come into contact with.
Dominant Belief Structures:I am infinite/limitless; Anything is possible
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Esoterics, Visualization, Kabbalah, Sound/Vibration/Mantra, Qi/Nei Gong, Kriya Yoga
Mantra for Evolution:Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Albert Einstein
Individuals at this stage tap into phenomena like:
Those who have near death experiences as well as users of psychedelic drugs or plant medicines (ayahuasca, DMT, LSD, mushrooms, etc.) are often able to have highly embodied first-hand experiences of this state of awareness pre-development into this stage, giving them a proverbial taste of this reality without necessarily having done the psychospiritual foundational work necessary to experience this stage organically and therefore they often lack a deeper understanding of the larger framework of what is happening along with the ability to maintain it beyond a transitory phenomenon, still nonetheless forever changed by the experience.
As an individual becomes more grounded in the later phases of stage eightwhich encompass this dimensional awarenessand simultaneously completes their evolution through lower stages, one would theoretically achieve complete enlightenment or non-dual self-realization.
Dominant Belief Structures:Everything is energy; I am awareness; Reality is an illusion
Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:Energy healing, Esoterics, Visualization, Kabbalah, Qi/Nei Gong, Kriya Yoga, Meditation, Visualization, Remote Viewing, Astral Projection, Telekinesis
Mantra for Evolution:We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Although this model ends at stage 8, this doesnt imply that no further stages exist and that somehow stage 8 is the pinnacle of conscious evolution. However, any claims as to what happens beyond stage 8 at this time are simply conjecture.
At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of where youre at.
When the descriptions are objectively laid out, it forces you to be honest with yourself.
Its also helpful to accept where youre at right now, while continuously learning and growing. Dont resist where you are right now or beat yourself up, neither of those serve your highest interest. Choose love, gratitude and compassion in each moment and you cant go wrong.
Heres another important point: youre not limited to one stage! Chances are that youre dipping into different stages on a daily basis. But it should be fairly apparent as to what stage youre grounded in at this point in your life.
For me, Im pretty grounded in stage 5, though I often fluctuate between stages 3 and 6. Ive tasted stages 7 and 8, yet these experiences have been few and fleeting. Sometimes Ill even find myself in stage 1 or 2, and thats okay. Its all a part of the human experience.
This framework is beautiful because it allows you to effectively calibrate where you are. It naturally creates self-awareness. Awareness is the first step toward any change, and transformative in and of itself.
I encourage you to read the full paper, which you can download for free here:Mapping the Evolution of Consciousness: A Holistic Framework for Psychospiritual Development
Which stage are you in at this point of your journey? Is this framework helpful for you?
Leave a comment below.
Much love to you on your path.
Stephen Parato (akaStevieP) is a holistic health & wellness advocate, philosopher, writer, and positivity connoisseur. He is also the founder ofFeelin Good, Feelin Great. Website link:http://www.feelingoodfeelingreat.comFacebook link:https://www.facebook.com/FeelinGoodFeelinGreatTwitter link:https://twitter.com/SteviePThatsMe
This article (The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution) was originally created and published by Stephen Parato of Feeling Good, Feeling Great, and is re-posted here with permission.
The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution was last modified: May 31st, 2017 by WakingTimes
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