by Teri Goetz
Defining consciousness can be pretty elusive. However, I commonly define consciousness as who we think we are – given all the experiences, thoughts, and observations we have acquired until now. How else could we explain our awareness but with a frame of reference, namely, what we have been exposed to. Consciousness is the awareness of self by the mind. It is also the awareness of the world as we know it, and includes the idea of intuition.
All of this is subjective, of course. Meaning, we interpret what we see through our experiences, thoughts and observations. These are the lenses through which we decide whether or not to pay attention to something, whether something is “good” or “bad”, “safe” or “dangerous”. These are tools of the brain that evolution has given us to keep us alive. We learn quickly to sort and categorize experiences in order to make sense of them. As we get older, we have more and more experience, have been exposed to more, and therefore, our consciousness is expanded.
But what does that mean?
These experiences have also brought a fair amount of baggage along with them. For example we often make assumptions that because something happened in the past, it will happen again. This helps if we are in the wild and assessing a potential predator or threat. However, this instinct-based skill hinders our ability to see the world in a more positive, beautiful and unlimited way: the way of spirit.
I believe there are three components to raising consciousness from a mental level to the level of spirit. In order of magnitude, they are: awareness, understanding and knowing – and I do not mean just by the brain. The brain is the tool (the lens and filter) to make sense of it all, to describe it to our world.
However, there is an inner knowing which is the divine that defies the brain’s ability to explain. That is where real knowing resides…knowing we are the divine source of all the awareness and understanding. Knowing we are the source of all. And when we get there, it’s like lying on the most comfortable bed, with the finest linens and the most heavenly pillows after a very long journey. We simply sink into the release and knowing that we are spirit.
In a somewhat mechanistic view of consciousness, I feel we must find a place for spirit to participate in consciousness-raising, and it is through these three components that we can do this. The first two, awareness and understanding, are the building blocks to knowing, which first comes through higher and more evolved experience, and then from deep inside our truest selves.
The more we expose ourselves to things that will help us to grow in awareness, the wider our breadth and reach of information and understanding to draw on. For example, becoming cognizant that our thoughts create the way we feel, and the way we feel makes us act a certain way, is a highly conscious awareness. Applying that awareness creates an understanding of why we behave in a particular way.
Therefore, changing the way we think changes the way we feel, and therefore, our behavior. Our lives can change, simply by understanding the fact that once we are aware of our thoughts, we can use our consciousness to reframe them to live in a more successful and fulfilled way.
As we become more versed in moving our awareness into a less limited, more spirit based understanding, we move into knowing. At first, knowing comes from being tuned in to (or conscious of) the first two building blocks. As we become more adept at these skills, they feel like second nature. They are acted on without consciously focusing on them. THAT is part of knowing.
Taking it further, we learn that our intuition, our “divine knowing,” has something to say! When we get quiet and less trapped in the noise of our minds, for example in meditation, spirit gives us a deeper grasp of life beyond the mind. The more we tap into spirit, the more we find mastery over the mind, and therefore, expand our consciousness to include the divine.
Spend 15 minutes a day, repeating and meditating on the following affirmation. Feel free to journal about it, as well, for a higher consciousness understanding. By really contemplating the nature of spirit through awareness, learning and knowing, we begin to see how it permeates our lives in every way, that we are the creator of the thought, the emotion, the action. We are source and substance. And lie down in the comfort of that knowing.
“I elevate my thoughts to become aware of all experience as spirit. I learn I am the source (creator) of substance (thoughts). I know spirit is both the creator of the thought, and the substance that flows from the thought, the action. I know I am spirit.”