It is my belief that our collective universal purpose in life is to raise consciousness to ever higher levels. Expanding consciousness or enlightenment has been a concern of mystics, philosophers, and shamans for millennia. But today more “common” people are being called to this task.
Enlightenment may sound like an impossible feat that the average person cannot attain. But enlightenment is a journey, not an end goal. We’re not talking about Jesus or Buddha here. We are talking about everyday people, us, taking the steps to become more enlightened, in essence, increasing our inner light.
In Power Vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, David R. Hawkins, Ph.D., introduces the Map of Consciousness, a scale that he developed over the course of 20 years of research around the world. It shows various levels of consciousness, the emotion associated with each, and how we can move through them in our lives.
According to Hawkins, we are born with a specific level of consciousness and choose to either lower it or raise it up. Some will move it very minutely; others will boost is substantially. It is all up to us individually what we do. It is within our control.
Another fascinating concept Hawkins discusses is the exponential power of higher consciousness on the world around us. Higher levels of consciousness have exponentially more power than lower levels. For instance, Hawkins explains, that one person at the level of 700 (the turning point for “enlightenment”) will counterbalance 70 million individuals below the level of 200 (sleepwalking).
And even this: “…85 percent of the human race calibrates below the critical level of 200, while the overall average level of human consciousness today is approximately 207. The power of the relatively few individuals near the top counterbalances the weakness of the masses toward the bottom to achieve this overall average.”¹
So there is a fairly clear distinction between people that live their lives consciously and awake and those that are “sleepwalkers.” In my own consulting practice, I have uncovered some signs that help myself and others continually seek greater levels. Here are some signs that will help you gauge where you are:
#1 - Ability to Observe & Reflect
I believe that the ability to stop and observe ourselves is a major tipping point to increasing consciousness. Sleepwalkers react to situations without missing a beat. When encountering a situation, they immediately slip into well-grooved emotional patterns without giving it a thought.
Those that are awake are able to pull back and look at a relationship or situation without attachment and emotion. They can see the bigger picture in how events unfold and the interactions that got them to this place. They can see the dynamics at play. As was in the book the Celestine Prophecy, they can see the power (energy) struggle between people and once they “see” that they are in a position to think, act, and behave differently.
#2 - Take Responsibility
Sleepwalkers experience their life as a victim. It’s because of x, y and z that they are not loved, not successful, not happy, etc. They do not see how they manifested the life they are in.
People that are awake realize they have all the control yet none of the control at the same time. They realize that they have complete control of their inner world. They take responsibility for what they do – their thoughts, actions and behavior. They also realize that external forces are completely out of their control so they don’t expend their energy trying to control others or situations. They focus their energy on how they can create contribute to the most positive outcome.
#3 - Being Present
Sleepwalkers tend to be prisoners of their past or worriers over the future. They react to situations as they always have without being fully present in the here and now. They make decisions based on fear of what will come. People that are awake consider the details of the current situation and are not encumbered by past or future experience.
#4 - Open-mindedness
Sleepwalkers are closed-minded. They are skeptical of new ideas and follow the masses. People that are awake consider new ideas and are not afraid to appear different. They have the courage and conviction to stand by their ideas.
#5 - Compassion
As a major component of all world religions, compassion is critical in reaching higher levels of consciousness. “Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.”² Most people experience a level of compassion in their lives, but some experience it more frequently and often act on it.
#6 - Look for Signs
Sleepwalkers experience the physical reality as the only reality. They are not aware that there is an underlying web of connection embracing everything in the universe. Awakened people recognize that web of connection and see that everything that occurs can be viewed as a sign from the universe to help guide them. Daily life has a richness that sleepwalkers do not experience.
#7 - Lighthearted
Sleepwalkers are entrenched in drama most of their day. Drama over minor concerns to mega concerns, they have little time to feel joy in their lives. People that are awake in their lives find joy around every corner. They laugh hard and often. (Think: Dalai Lama).
#8 - Positive
Sleepwalkers are often pessimists, have low, dense vibrations and therefore they attract negative, low energy into their lives. Those awake have an optimistic “setpoint.” It doesn’t mean your life is perfect, but it’s your general perspective on life. And this leads me to…
#9 - View Challenges as Opportunities to Grow
When bad things happen to sleepwalkers they complain and blame. When bad things happen to those awake, they tend to view these challenges as opportunities to grow.
Given all this, I want to be sure that you understand that I do not mean that “awakened” people never slip back to lower-energy ways. Our consciousness is dynamic, not static. We move throughout levels during the course of every day.
We all dip into anger, frustration, and fear. We all have times of guilt, apathy, and shame. However, these episodes are temporary for those that are awake. They are more resilient and bounce back after a period of time to their current “set point.”
This is not an exhaustive list of values associated with higher consciousness. And many of these signs overlap and are contingent upon each other. This list comes from my experience and I do it is helpful to you.
Moving Through the Levels of Consciousness
Once you move up to the positive levels of consciousness there is no going back. You see reality for what it is. You see your connection to everything in the universe.
Movement to higher setpoints of consciousness can be a spontaneous leap or incremental advances. A great leap make come from a significant revelation either from a major trauma or even a single, awesome experience in nature. The more common advancement is to experience minor steps upward. Here are some ways to continue to raise your consciousness:
- Be mindful of the signs above
- Read books on spiritual growth
- Participate in spiritual workshops and classes
- Do therapy with a spiritual counselor
- Surround yourself with people that of higher consciousness (it’s contagious!)
- Improve the feng shui of your home (because that contagious, too!)
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Want more? Here is a good blog post I found on sleepwalking that inspired me to write this post: http://personalexcellence.co/blog/sleepwalking/
¹Power vs. Force, p. 95