You wake up, down a cup of coffee, grab your stuff and rush to the station to take the tube to work. The same stations, the same people, the same situations are repeated over and over again. Every day. Every month. Every year. You live like a sleepwalker, in a trance-like state, losing your “today” and waiting passively for things – one day- to change …
… but miracles like that rarely happen by themselves. You clock-watch, spending much of your time waiting for the end of each day, looking forward to the weekend and that holiday you have planned. You are often angry, scared or indifferent. You are always in a rush and not really happy, but live in the hope of a better life. You don’t truly live in the present, but instead in the past or future, overwhelmed by irritating memories of what could have been, or dreaming about a better future life. You focus on the material side of life, trying to get more goods, more money, more brands, and better holidays. You are greedy for pleasure, but when you actually get them you still feel empty…
Does that sound familiar? If yes – it’s time to wake up.
Let me introduce one key term at this point – consciousness.
What is consciousness?
Simply, consciousness is the state of mind when you are fully awake, living in the moment, objectively aware of yourself and others, and possessing a clear understanding of the roots, causes and consequences of events and actions.
Why is it important?
In her book Personal Excellence, Celestine Chua says that
the perception, beliefs, mindsets and values we hold right now are a result of the consciousness we are operating in.
Chua compare consciousness with “a lens you use to view reality”. Eckhart Tolle, author of the bestselling The Power of Now, compares consciousness with the ability to be awake and present at any moment of being. He believes that people spend 99% of their time conducting an internal dialogue about their past and future, which could be classified as an unconscious state. Sometimes this internal dialogue stops, most often when we are involved in some process requiring our full, undivided attention. However, most of the time we perform tasks automatically whilst fully immersed in our stream of our worries.
Another scholar involved in the field of consciousness and self-development, Dr. Hawkins, believes that
the higher the level of consciousness you are in the more objective, positive and loving your mindset.
Chua compares consciousness with myopia. The lower the level of consciousness you have at any moment, the more distorted your perception of yourself and reality. Conversely, the higher the level of consciousness you have, the greater your clarity of vision:
The higher you go, the more lucid you become, and the calmer, more loving and compassionate, more successful, more generous and sharing, and more balanced and positive you become.
Successful people vs normal
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Have you ever thought what the unique characteristics of successful people are? Why they always look calm and confident and seem to reflect so much positive energy? I’m not talking about people who are ‘successful’ by chance (inheritance, lottery or other miracles!). I’m speaking of inspirational visionary leaders, trendsetters and philanthropists such as Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson. What do they have in common apart from fame and, in the case of the business-people on that list, money? You got it – a high level of consciousness! For exactly this reason they reached their goals and were able to manage their emotions and feelings, overcoming failure and disappointment to pursue their ambitions.
Levels of consciousness
Dr. Hawkins described 17 levels of consciousness. All of them were measured and marked from 0-1000 by the logarithmic method. I’m not going to cover the methodology in this article. I will focus on description of all 17 levels.
1). Shame (1-20)
This is the lowest level of consciousness, characterised by a feeling of constant humiliation and low self-esteem. These people feel worthless, miserable, ugly, stupid and unable to improve themselves or their lives. They tend to blame other people (parents, teachers, partners) or circumstances for their misery. According to Chua, “vibrating on this level for prolonged period of time can lead to elimination (of the self or others), in extreme cases resulting in suicide, or turning them into serial killers, rapists, moral extremists (mental of physical sadism)…”.
2) Guilt (30)
Feelings of misery are projected outward: This state is associated with public ‘punishment’ – a willingness to hurt or embarrass others. If you meet a person who tries to humiliate or hurt you, they are probably vibrating on this level.
3) Apathy (50)
This is a state of despair and helplessness. After being aggressive to others, abusers often experience feelings of emptiness that in turn trigger a sense of apathy. Many manifestations of addictive tendencies are common at this level, such as addictions to drugs, alcohol, TV, video games and social media.
4) Grief (75)
Many people are at this level at times of personal loss. The life-view is essentially tragic. The dominant colours are grey and black. People usually feel empty and paralysed, and want to break social contacts and escape from reality. This state is mostly inward focused. It may be externalised as a vibration of emotional disability or sadism, coldness, or ignorance.
People on the first four levels are overly focused on past heartaches, disappointments and tragedies. They don’t function ‘in the moment’ and are consequently unable to plan and create a future for themselves.
5) Fear (100)
The dominant feeling is one of anxiety. This level of consciousness is very often associated with anxiety disorder, and fears manifest themselves in a variety of ways: a fear of failure, loss, pain, death, even strangers, but the most powerful, overriding vibration is the same – timidity and defensiveness. People on this level are focused on the terrifyingly uncertain future. This level prevents any options for personal growth and self-development. One living on this level denies information and knowledge, and neglects and discounts the talents and wisdom of others.
6) Desire (125)
The dominant feelings at this level are ones of lust, craving and avarice. Someone on this level craves food, emotions, money, sex, and the consumption of material goods. They perceive others not as independent, valuable individuals but as tools to satisfy their cravings (material, professional, sexual, social). These people are focused on past experiences and on future pleasures and gains: They deny, and could even hate, their present existence as they see it as unsatisfying.
7) Anger (150)
The dominant emotion is hate. One of the common social expressions of anger is strident activism against something, followed by feelings of aggression, frustration and even revenge (ex. religious, environmental, animal rights, sexual minorities etc.). People on this level are focused on past pains and future revenge, seeing the present moment as basically frustrating, a time of waiting.
8) Pride (175)
The qualities which characterise this level are scorn, arrogance and racism. However, this state of consciousness is unstable, and could be destroyed at any time by people from the previous level (anger). You have probably noticed that arrogance is often “punished” with aggression. This is not by accident. Vibrating on the pride level, people often transmit the negative energy of dualism (I’m better then you – you are less worthy then me) that is easily picked up by people from the anger level (which may result in physical violence!) or even those on the guilt or shame strata (who, in a worst-case scenario, may be at risk of being physically or mentally abused or even killed). People on these level could be living in the present from time to time, but mostly dwell on their past achievements and dream about their future victories.
9) Courage (200)
This is the first wake-up point and a threshold between force (violence, aggression, physical and emotional extremism, jealousy, possessiveness, rudeness, and abuse) and power (help, support, sharing, empowering, and inspiring). The dominant emotions are openness (to knowledge, emotions, people, and tasks) and curiosity. Someone on the courage level of consciousness sees the world as an exciting place, full of great people and opportunities. Such a person is warm, open, willing to share (resources, emotions and information), supportive, collaborative, positive, and optimistic. These people have made a conscious effort to live in the present moment, even if their thoughts are mostly future-orientated. The past, in their mind, is accepted as providing lessons and experience.
10) Neutrality (250)
At this level people stop being judgmental. The dominant emotion is a feeling of safety and satisfaction. The individual is not possessive, not hungry for recognition, not aggressive, and very flexible. If they don’t attain something they aim for, they can easily refocus their energies toward something else. They believe in themselves and always have a plan B, a result of a solid understanding of the external world, an inner peace and a high degree of self-awareness. These people are very responsive due to their awakened state of being and are positive, supportive, confident and friendly.
11) Willingness (310)
This is a point where real social contributions begin. The dominant emotions are optimism and sympathy. Life is seen is hopeful. Someone on this level is able and willing to create and to contribute, not only for the benefit of themselves and those people close to them, but for the good of the whole world. These people are present and happy in their ‘now’.
12) Acceptance (350)
This is the second waking point, according to Chua. At this point the individual consciously realises that she or he is a creator. The person is highly aware of themselves and of the society in which they live, and see a clear path to reaching their goals of improving life. The dominant features at this level are acceptance over rejection, creativity, collaboration, openness, long-term vs short-term, ‘striving for personal excellence and growth’, and a willingness to educate and to develop him/herself and help others.
Another defining emotion at this level is forgiveness: Personal pain and old offences are relatively unimportant and go into the “memory box” of the past. One on this level clearly understands the abstract nature of time, and is able to separate the present from the past (in particular, painful memories) and the uncertain future (anxieties and fears) and direct all their optimism to fulfilling present tasks.
13) Reason (400)
Starting from this level, the individual’s presence ‘in the moment’ is constant.
Understanding and rationality are core features of those operating on the Reason Level. A person on this level tends to gather an enormous amount of information from various fields, puts it together, analyses it, and transforms it into easy understandable forms or extracts completely new ideas from it, transmitting these to others. “The life-view is meaningful” on this level, according to Chua. People on this level have the potential to make a huge, positive impact on society in general. Inventions, breakthroughs, and new scientific discoveries take place on this level. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robinson are just a few examples of people who reached the level of Reason.
14) Love (500)
Starting from this level, the uncontrollable internal dialogue is over. People reaching this and the following levels are constantly present ‘in the moment’, and consciously free from negative emotions.
The dominant feeling is unconditional love. There is no antithetical feeling of hate, just overwhelming, outwardly-radiating love. Mother Teresa is one of the brightest examples. According to Dr. Hawkins, only 0.4% of society could reach such a state of consciousness.
15) Joy (540)
According to Chua, “the dominant emotions are serenity and compassion”. The world is perceived as being inherently perfect at this level. “This is the level where saints, advanced spiritual students and healers dwell”, Chua concludes. She adds that some people close to death could also briefly ascend to the level of Joy.
16) Peace (600)
Bliss is the dominant feeling. “At this level, there is no longer any distinction between observer and subject”, Chua says. Eckhart Tolle describes this level as free from judgmentalism and negativity; the individual lives constantly in the ‘now’.
There are no random thoughts, no random emotions or destructive feelings. One on this level is fully connected with the universe at every single moment of their existence. Hawkins thinks that only one in a million could reach this level of consciousness. Examples include Jesus Christ, and the Buddha.
17) Enlightenment (700-1000)
No emotions and no thoughts at all exist at this level. The individual transforms into a channel of pure universal energy. Examples include Christ resurrected, the Buddha following enlightenment, and Krishna.
Consciousness vs success and productivity
What is the correlation between consciousness and productivity/creativity? The lower the level you are on, the lower your productivity and creativity are. Real creativity starts from the level of Courage, the first positive, outwardly-focused, level. Productivity is pretty low before the level of Pride because individuals waste their energy through continuously occupying themselves with negative thoughts, and worries.
Consciousness vs energy level
Your energy level is tightly linked with your level of presence ‘in the moment’, and the quantity of negative thoughts or dreams about your future you fill your mind with, with no actions to realise or avoid those possibilities. People literally waste themselves away on worries, anger, jealousy, aggression, pointless competition, and empty dreams, rather then creating anything useful for either themselves or others.
How to wake up
According to Dr. Hawkins 85% of society never even reach the first wake-up threshold, the level of Courage, instead fluctuating between shame and anger.
He explains this phenomenon largely through economics (being below the poverty line, many people simply don’t have any opportunity to develop themselves, instead spending their life time struggling to survive). Even with an abundance of resources, most people don’t even reach the level of Pride, as they are overly focused on competition and the acquisition of material goods. He concludes that the average level of consciousness on our planet is fairly low. The lower the average level, the greater the level of damage inflicted on a daily basis to both the planet, and ourselves.
Your personal level is mostly your own responsibility. Here are just a few tips on how to increase your consciousness
- Find inspiration.
It could be anything, or anyone, inspiring: gurus, books, motivational talks, travelling to new places, interacting with interesting people.
Try to find inspiration in every day of your life. Collect inspirations, write them down or take pictures to use them in future. The more inspiration you have in your life, the more focused on the present moment and positive you become.
- Leave your comfort zone.
Thy to do something new, explore new areas of activity, enhance your experiences and develop your skills, learn new subjects or delve more deeply into subjects you are familiar with, and acquire new experience and knowledge. Do this daily. Add new things on both the mental and physical sides to maintain a balance.
- Be present
Time is an abstract phenomenon, existing only in our head. Logically, there is no past and no future. There is only the constant present moment – ‘now’. If you make an effort and focus on the present moment, cutting out the past (painful or aggravating memories) and the future (uncertainty and related anxieties) you could easily clear your mind of any negative thoughts. If you ask yourself if you have problems now, at this particular moment, 99% of the time the answer will be ‘no’. So, there are no reasons to worry. Just stay in the present.
- Stay positive whatever happen
As in the previous point, there is no need to worry as the past no longer exists (it passed a second ago!) and the future has not yet happened. 99% of our worries live in our heads only, so be upbeat and create a better future for yourself.
- Cut waste
It’s related to any sort of waste: clothing you don’t wear, folders you don’t use, watching TV, scrolling social medias feeds, chatting about nothing with people who don’t bring your up. Clean everything up and regularly aerate your space with fresh air, new ideas and new knowledge.
Moreover, be very careful choosing people you interact with. According to Celestine Chua your level of consciousness is an average of 5 people you interact more often. So, it’s up to you but keep in mind aggressive, shallow, apathetic, jealous, competitive, miserable and constantly moaning people will drag you down.
- Be compassionate
Help, support and empower others if you can. Remember the more positive energy you spread around the more positive your World will become.
- Collaborate rather then compete
Competitiveness gives birth to aggression, jealousy, constant comparisons and other lower energy feelings. Collaboration is in opposite: put together creativity and recourses for better off, empower people, and multiply positivity.
- Share experience and knowledge
Don’t be shy to share your knowledge and experience with others. Very possible they will appreciate and use it for better off.
- Follow your life purpose
This point is worth to write a book. I will definitely write a separate article about it. For now just saying: never betray your dream. If you feel that you were born to express yourself in dancing – dance, if your were born to acquire and share knowledge – teach, if you feel you have a talent in sport – go for it.