The 5 Stages of Consciousness Evolution
This article will open your eyes about the different levels your consciousness can reach. You will discover where you stand amongst others based on what drives you and what stops you in your way.
Read this article till its end in order to discover where you stand amongst your peers when it comes to your consciousness level.
Are you on the high functioning end – of people who can always achieve what they go for? Or are you bound by the expectations of society?
How do those questions relate to your state of consciousness?
WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS?
Consciousness is one of those concepts that there are very difficult to define and explain. It is the question that has bothered philosophers for a long time.
One of the reasons that it is very difficult to explain is there is nothing to compare it with. How would you describe seeing colors to a blind person? How would you explain what chocolate tastes like to someone who doesn’t have any taste buds? How would you explain the sense of feeling happy to someone who is incapable of feelings – a sociopath?
According to psychology today when it comes to the definition of consciousness there are easy and difficult questions. Easy questions are questions such as:
- How does the mind understand information and categorizes it?
- How does the focus of attention work?
- What are the differences between the various mental states?
Those questions are easy because to answer to them you just need to explain the mechanisms behind those behaviors. To answer you mainly need to turned to the neuroscience.
The difficult questions are questions that might never find their answers:
- At what point does matter gain consciousness?
- When does a newborn child get their consciousness – is it before after birth?
- Does the consciousness of animals differ from ours?
What makes the answers to those questions so difficult is we cannot see how it works. The cause and effect relationship is not clear.
Some argue that the difficult questions will never be answered. Some are trying to create theories based on inductions about what we already know.
According to physicalism, consciousness is entirely a variable of the physical. Identity theorists believe that the mental Is equal to the physical. It is just a difference of how we experience it. We are subjective because we are subjective. We only know our brains from the inside and that creates bias in our minds that our minds are more than they are.
According to functionalism our mental state is the function of the role that we have been given. The brain is considered to be little different than just a biological implantation of a computer. We are just what we are, because we are supposed to perform tasks for ourselves and others. We’re nothing more than machines.
Obviously this theory has been attacked before for not explaining we still have consciousness even if we do not have a role in a particular situation. The consciousness of realizing we are who we are is not necessary for us to perform our tasks. Then why have it?
And, finally, according to dualism, the mental state can be explained by the physical world, just not entirely. Not well enough, at least, to answer the difficult questions.
There is a famous concept in support of dualism. Let’s say there is a brilliant scientist that is locked in a black-and-white room dressed in black-and-white clothing who explores the world through a black-and-white TV. Name is Martha. She is not a stranger to the concept of color.
She knows how the eye works. She knows about the different wavelengths that are manifesting themselves as colors in humans’ eyes. She knows the names of the colors. She knows that a tomato is red, and a cherry is red, an apple can be red and the raspberry is red. And all those reds are different from the red of the strawberry.
But if she is let out of her prison she will still experience something new when she sees the strawberry. She will experience what it is like to see the color of the fruit. And that is another experience. And that is another type of knowledge.
WHY THINK OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN LEVELS?
By now we have deduced that achieving a higher level of consciousness means you are achieving a higher level of knowledge about the world. Going to a higher level of consciousness will bring you new experiences, new feelings, and maybe even something you will experience as new senses.
But if consciousness is so difficult to even define, why would you try to think about consciousness in levels?
If it is so difficult to know what consciousness is, how could you categorize experiencing your own consciousness and put it in little boxes in your mind?
Well, that is precisely the reason why. The reason why consciousness is so difficult to define is because you cannot compare it to anything else. But you can compare the different stages of consciousness. Because of the experiences that you get to achieve in every single stage. Some people have looked at the subject and have defined levels.
And why levels? Why not just the categories of consciousness? Because a higher level of consciousness is something to achieve. You can work on it. And you can get there. And you can track your progress all the way there.
Watch Vishen Lakhiani explain the concept of Consciousness Engineering and how he came to the decision to create a school to teach it.
THE LEVEL OF NECESSITIES
The early man is the zero level of consciousness. It is a state of consciousness we are supposed to have passed as humans.
The early men were hunter-gatherers. They were not much different than the animals they were hunting. Their stamina, their speed, their relentlessness, and their slightly higher intelligence put them on top of the food chain. On the consciousness level, however, they were little different.
As the human species developed, an interesting change happens. Individuals learn to dress themselves. They put on clothing because they are cold and because they are naked.
Hunt becomes more than a way to catch prey. In becomes a ritual with multitudes of returning values. The animal is used for its meat, it’s skin and its bones.
They learned to gather food. That involved knowing where there is an abundance of edibles. They had to realize the importance of those places for them and their families. They had to prepare and go on long journeys to get there.
Not long after, farming followed. The early men learned that they could cultivate some of the plants and they could use them for food and other benefits. They could shelter animals they could use for their meat, milk, eggs, and skin. They learned how to take care of them.
They adopted practices and rituals that preserve them from the outside world. They would start forming societies – big families where they could take care of each other, take care of the plants and their animals.
They developed the concept of shared benefits and shared danger.
While animals knew what danger was, the early humans recognized danger for themselves and the others. They could define the source of the danger, the location of the danger, the time the danger puts them and the greatest risk, and they could warn and shelter their close ones from it.
The early men started living together, because of need, and that created the basis for forming tribes, cities, for conceptualizing religion, for starting to create the basics of cognitive culture.
It created the basics for the modern man.
THE LEVEL OF CONCEPTS
The early man was little different from an animal. The modern man reaches the first level of consciousness. From level zero to level one. Sadly, this is where the majority of humanity stands today.
Level one of consciousness is defined by the duality of one’s idea of the world. At level one, a person has distinctive concepts about the physical world and the spiritual world.
We realize that we are bound by the physical world. We live in our bodies and if we get sick we die. If we get hit by a rock it hurts. We experience physical pleasures through our body even though they manifest in our mind.
And we have a completely different concept of the cognitive world of culture, religion and society. Created by men.
Language is a great part of the way we understand the world of ideas. Language facilitates our practices, our rituals, our communication and our thoughts.
We slave to abstract concepts.
All of those concepts feel very real to us. You feel most of them like physical need. You can’t live without water. And you probably can’t live without love. But you can run your fingers through water. Love is a function of consciousness.
All of the books that are written on those subjects. The cliché of following a career – most of the concepts shown above have become so trivial they feel like they really exist in the physical world but they don’t.
We think about businesses, brands, organizations, budgets, motivation, mentoring, racism, sexism. All of those are societal concepts.
And we regard them as physical objects. As if the laws of physics would apply to them. As if they are unchangeable.
Success only happens if you work hard? You can only achieve something in your career if you go to college?
While level one of consciousness is a step above level zero, it has a serious flaw. We create our own concepts, we trivialize them, and we regard them as if they are a part of the physical world.
We create the concept of right and wrong.
The majority of humanity exists at this level of consciousness. Most people live their lives judging something is good or bad as soon as they come across it. They never question authority. They never question what they have been taught by their parents, by their school, or by their religion or society.
THE LEVEL OF QUESTIONING
Level two is the step over level one because this is where you realize that things are not just black and white. You’re not so sure in your judgements and the judgements of your parents, your school, your society, your government.
You start to question a lot of things you thought were set in stone.
You question your religion. What is God? Where is he? Or she? All of them? Is God always right? Even when he is violent? Even when he punishes the innocent people?
You question your raising. Why do my parents tell me this or that? Should I be more liberal or more conservative than them in my views of the world? Are my spiritual beliefs really reflected by the religion I was raised in?
You question the education system? Am I really learning something that will prepare me for the later stages of life? Am I learning everything I need? Why is this entire experience so expensive? Why do other people seem to succeed even though I have a higher education than them? Am I being taught how to think? By people who don’t seem to think at all?
You question your system of values. Should I just pursue a career all my life? Should I pursue happiness? Should I pursue money? Should I pursue love?
Am I allowed to dream or am I risking too much? Should I post your career that could turn out to be a dead end?
You start thinking about creating your own rules.
That puts you on a path where you could develop yourself, where you could learn a lot about yourself and the world, why you couldn’t grow as a person and a spiritual being.
You can grow and expand your abilities in every aspect of your life. If you always questioned the rules you will always know if you are on the right path. You will know.
When dealing with your children, you will know you are not instilling in them just anything passed down on your by your parents or your religion.
When doing meditation or just taking care of your mental health you will know you’re not bound by any concepts that aren’t yours. That you are thinking for yourself.
When you’re trying to explore your consciousness, nothing will stop you.
You will only do the things that work for you. In a funny way you are a life hacker. Because every time you follow tradition you know that you do because it works. And every time you do something new you know you’re doing it because it works.
You find your own destiny. You follow your own way. You can hack reality. You’re ready for the state of the limitless.
THE LEVEL OF THE MISSION
While at level two your question the traditional way of living, at level three, you’re no longer interested in tradition at all.
As a life hacker, you might have been concerned that your parents see another way of life for you. That they wanted you to get educated with good grades, go to college, have a great career, marry have children, and grow old with your partner.
You have questioned their intentions for you. You might have even compared yourself against people who have taken this way of life – your roommate from college, your classmates, other people from your hometown. You asked yourself if they are happy. You asked yourself if they think they are successful. You asked yourself if this is the right way to go by your parents will. Regardless of what your answer was for yourself you asked those questions.
At this level, you are only interested by your mission in life whatever it is. This is the way most great minds in our generation think about the world. Nothing interests them. Nothing motivates them as much as one driving power. An almost mysterious driving power that only speaks to them. Their calling.
And it is very clear to them exactly how they’re supposed to live their lives. Exactly what gets them vertical in the morning. Exactly what the next step will be. They are filled with a sense of purpose for what they should be doing with their reality.
They are always characterized by four concepts and That would become intrinsic into their internal beliefs.
First of all, they feel a sense of unity with the world. They are never prejudiced or biased against anyone. They feel they have their place within the family that is our planet.
Second, they believe their guts. They have a very strong feeling for their internal intuition. They believe in their sixth sense.
Third, they feel inspired. Their driving power is very strong and it fills them with intention and motivation. They feel they are about to serve the world by fulfilling their mission.
And last, they believe in their destiny. Luck is on their side. They feel lucky. Everything they do and everything that happens to them coincides and synchronizes with the universe to bring them to where they have to be. They’re always positive, enthusiastic and optimistic about the world.
These are the people that have grown over their necessities. They are not ruled by needs. They have released themselves from dogmas. They do not live the life according to what society believes is good or a bad, right or wrong. They have their own answers for their questions.
They believe they are responsible for their own faith, that they have a mission given to them by the power higher than God. That they are here for a reason. And that they have a mission to fulfill, and by working towards their mission, they are serving society, humanity, and the world.
In that, they are godlike.
THE LEVEL OF GOD
When you are unbound from any believes that are not yours, when you feel a mysterious connectedness with the world, when you feel you have a calling that you need to serve. When you feel you have a place in this world you are with a godlike mind.
At this level of consciousness you experience a beautiful state of mind of interconnectedness with the world.
It is a level of consciousness that is very difficult to describe. Like Martha and the color of the strawberry, it is something to be experienced. People who have tapped into this level of consciousness describe a feeling of thankfulness, peace, being content, feeling an exhilaration from life.
For most of humanity this is a state of consciousness that is very difficult to achieve. Most of us will only have short experiences operating on that level.
However, it is a level to strive for. Whoever has experienced the godlike mind, changes forever. They change for good and they change for the better.
While the information about the different stages of consciousness is definitely interesting, like Martha in the black and white room, it is not something to learn about. It is something to experience.
You cannot go from the zero level to the godlike mind. You need to grow through all of the levels, taking your time and reaching for the benefits of every level, tearing the boundaries that keep you low.
It takes time. It takes dedication. It takes a spiritual openness. It takes faith.
Once you have taken on the right way don’t give up.
Start a diary and describe your experiences. You have a long way in front of you. It’s a bumpy road.
You might feel you were very successful one day, and feel stumped the next one – by past mistakes, by regrets, by the heavyweight of society on you, by expectations from others, by constant misunderstanding.
You will find people with closed minds will not like you too much when you are different. When you leave your life in the way they never could. When you are free and want to forge your own destiny, while they are bound by the limits of their own minds.
Be brave and if you live the way you feel is right.