Your Evolution - Human Consciousness14, May, 2013, by Seema Bhatnagar
Living consciously is nowadays a commonly heard term. Sometimes even the marketing world takes advantage of this term and entices gullible customers for making right choices. I am wondering if many of us have a clear understanding of the word "consciousness". Many would argue that since we are alive, breathing and perfectly awake, should be good enough proof of our consciousness.
Well, to some extent it is true that consciousness means we are not dead and working in full awareness and that itself is a solid proof of our state of consciousness, but does it stop there only or it has a much more depth or dimension to it than a layman can imagine.
If consciousness means living with full awareness of our surroundings, actions and reactions then how come people are getting angry and killing each other or conspiring against each other. Also, if people are living consciously then why there is so much anger, rage, hatred and enmity around us? Can we conclude that anger, hatred, lust, greed, enmity are all important parts of our consciousness and it is alright to commit such actions with all our full awareness. Well, the immediate answer must be "No" even if you yourself are an angry person. Interestingly, in the same consciousness state, we also find people who are loving, compassionate and have all hearts for humans, animals and anything which is a part of nature. I wonder, how come, there is such a great diversity in the state of consciousness.
What is consciousness?
The brutality in the form of rape, murder, bombings etc. caused on fellow beings makes me to think what is that difference which makes an animal different from humans and what is that aspect/dimension which turns humans to behave like animals? How come people become so apathetic and insensitive towards others when we claim that we live in the civilized society?
The fundamental difference between animal kingdom and human kingdom is the presence of highly developed consciousness level in humans which allows them to use intellect more purposefully for better survival possibility. It is not that animals do not have consciousness, they too have it but it is very rudimentary and hence they survive with well developed instincts. In humans, since the conscious is well developed there is no need to use instincts for survival purpose
Going by this differential aspect, consciousness is that intelligence which allows an individual to make choices based on intellect and not by power of circumstances or in the heat of a moment. For sure, consciousness has played a very significant role in the evolution of human beings and it is only this force which made the survival of humans possible on planet earth.
Personal growth and Consciousness
The sole foundation of Hinduism or for that matter any religion is about raising human consciousness. All Hindu Vedas speaks only about raising human consciousness so that one attains self-realization. Raising ones consciousness means acting and making choices with full awareness about possible consequences. With such a great tool with us, still very few of us make full use of consciousness.
Instead of acting out of our consciousness, many of us lead life under the force of survival and make sub optimal choices in life. You would agree, if you see people constantly falling into wrong relationships or in wrong jobs or probably in wrong circumstances it is purely out of sheer lack of consciousness. Drug and sexual addictions, alcoholism and obesity are some problem areas which indicate lack of consciousness. Insensitivity and rash behaviour towards others are some other situations when individuals go berserk because of sheer lack of exercising consciousness on their part. People turn to animal behaviour with a drop of a hat; a quick example is road rage, where you see people shooting and killing each other in a matter of minutes for such a trivial cause.
It always intrigues me what is that which influences our consciousness to be developed and underdeveloped. On conducting research on this topic, I got an insight that according to Hindu philosophy, our experiences and desires from past lives influence our consciousness to a great deal. Another interesting perspective which I came across is about the levels of consciousness by David R Hawkins. According to him, there is a concept of collective conscious of the all individuals of the universe. This collective conscious is actually on work most of the times and each and every action of ours is governed by our level of consciousness.
Levels of consciousness
David R. Hawkins in his book Power Vs. Force has given a new perspective about the human consciousness levels. According to his concept, levels of consciousness, (as depicted in the figure below), individuals at different levels have different dominant personality traits. This study of consciousness level is based on the science of Kinesiology, which means study of human and animal movement, performance, and function by applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience.
Following sections briefly describes different levels of human consciousness based on research conducted by David R. Hawkins:
Shame (20) :This is the lowest level and is next to death. Individuals with this level are constantly thinking about suicide. They are shy, withdrawn and introverted. Some of such individuals compensate with perfectionism and rigidity, becoming driven and intolerant. Since it pulls down the whole level of personality, Shame results in a vulnerability to the other negative emotions, and therefore often produces false pride, anger and guilt.
Guilt (30) : This is one level above Shame and individuals at this level have a tendency of committing suicide. The deep seated guilt provokes the rage which may surmount to killing others.
Apathy (50) : Here, an individual have a constant feeling of hopelessness due to poverty and despair. Even if the resources are made available they are not able to utilize it because of the constant feeling of hopelessness.
Grief (75): Here, the emotion of grief is so strong that an individual becomes remorseful because of the past events which could be loss of job, family, friends or any type of personal loss. The emotion of grief becomes too strong and makes an individual very weak and paves a way for depression and in some cases it could lead to death due to irreversible depression.
Fear (100) : Individual at this level is fearful and the world view is full of traps and threats from others. This persistent state of fear leads to state of high levels of stress and anxiety which may further affect relationships with others.
Desire (125): Having desires is not bad but when the desires are uncontrolled can lead to incessant craving to have more and more which if not get satisfied can be the reason of personal dissatisfaction and disappointment. An individual at this level is driven by the desires to accumulate and greed to have more which sometimes becomes addictive.
Anger (150): This is a level where an individual is irritable, explosive and have low tolerance towards any triggering events. The angry person may go to any extent to take revenge and may behave like an infant. The angry behaviour may affect all aspects of life and may lead to poor relationships with others and self.
Pride (175): This is a level where a tinge of positivity starts and individual experience positivity and a rise in self esteem. Though it might sound positive but here, the self esteem is dependent on external conditions which may block growth for an individual.
Courage (200): It is a level where an individual experiences empowerment and can have a better control over life which helps in availing the opportunities in life and to cope with negativity in a more productive way. Despite the stress and anxiety an individual feels more empowered to face life and is more willing towards personal growth and development. It is a level of productivity.
Neutrality (250): This level marks the level of safety where an Individual has a sense of well-being with a required capability and confidence to face the world. An individual becomes easy to along with and doesn't feel the need to control other people's behaviour.
Willingness (310): Marks the level of rapid growth. People at this level becomes genuinely friendly and experience social and economic success and receives appreciation and rewards from society which further reinforces the self-esteem.
Acceptance (350): Marks the level of major transformation where individual accepts others in entirety and is not interested in right and wrong and is more inclined towards resolving issues and tough problems. A sense of equality and respect towards others gets established here.
Reason (400): Intelligence and rationality rise to the peak and at this level an individual shows an increased capacity for conceptualization and comprehension. This is a level of Nobel prize winners. People like Einstein, Freud and many of the other great thinkers of the history also calibrate at this level.
Love (500): This marks the level of love which is unconditional, unchanging and permanent without depending upon any external factors. Love emanates from heart and does not discriminate others on any factors. Interestingly, only 0.4 percent of the world's population ever reaches this level of evolution of consciousness.
Joy (540): Here, an individual shows a capacity for enormous patience and the persistence of a positive attitude in the face of prolonged adversity. People who have attained this level have a notable positive effect on others.
Peace (600): This level where an individual experience transcendence, self-realization and God-consciousness which is a state of eternal bliss. It is extremely rare, attained by only 1 in 10 million people.. Individuals at this level, some of them become spiritual teachers; others work anonymously for the betterment of mankind.
Enlightenment (700 -1000) : This is a peak of human conscious level and at this level an individual experience oneness with the world and loses the sense of individuality; and there is an identification of Self with Consciousness and Divinity.
As you can see, the lower levels are more about negative traits in individuals and as the level reaches higher the positivity level get enhanced. This shows the clear evolution of human consciousness. The values represented for levels represent logarithmic progression and not arithmetic progression, so even a small change would make a significant difference in the overall value of that level.
Based on the results of this study, it is interesting to know that 85% of the human race calibrates below 200 while the overall average level of human conscious today is approximately 207.
My personal experience
After getting insight about consciousness, I realized why people are compelled to behave in a particular manner because it is somewhere deeply embedded in their constitution which compels them to behave that way. In fact, this insight also gives me a power of understanding and acceptance towards those individuals with whom I interacted in my life and somehow they behaved in an unexpected way contradictory to what they pretended, some played clever, some jealous, angry or some pretended liking and then rejected, breached trust, took advantage, all those individuals were compelled by their respective consciousness level and acted that way. With this new insight and understanding, I accept their behaviour with more ease considering the fact that they are in a process of evolution and haven't yet achieved the higher levels of consciousness.
It is not that I personally have achieved the higher levels of consciousness and judging others, it is simply that I want to share how I have learnt to accept people with more ease. Probably, this attempt only has helped me to push myself perhaps one level higher.
It might sound very humongous but personally I aspire to attain the highest possible level, the peak of human consciousness. I feel, we haven't utilized the opportunity of being human if we have not achieved the highest possible state of consciousness. Achieving that state is in itself a great and unparalleled contribution towards society.
How to raise your consciousness level?
On knowing personal level of consciousness, it is natural for an individual to think and seek ways to enhance it. Well, first of all, congratulations to you because the mere awareness about personal level of consciousness is a beginning of a promising change. For a person who lives in lower states of negativity, probably it takes more than a lifetime to even reach the state of introspection about personal consciousness level.
If you are determined to enhance your level then there are ways but it is quite an arduous path to follow. Hinduism prescribes practicing austerities like fasting, meditation and continence in personal life to enhance consciousness level. In fact, all religions in some or the other way prescribes certain practises and rituals for this purpose.
In brief, following a rigid discipline in thoughts and actions are the corner stone of raising ones consciousness. Abstaining from violence (physical, verbal or thoughts) and expressing love towards others is the surest and the only way to enhance personal level of consciousness. Mind it, pretending love for the sake of enhancing personal level will not work, it has to be genuine, authentic and must be from your heart and that is a reason this path is hard to follow. In the world, where everybody is out with a survival-of-the-fittest mindset, it sounds ludicrous to express love towards others, isn't it? But, this is the only way out.
Embark on your journey
If you feel, that this society must be full of loving and positive people then why not start with self first. Even if you are already positive in life then why not throw a challenge to yourself to take it higher until you reach the peak. Reaching to the highest point of human evolution could be the only meaningful goal one can have in this life rest seems child's play.
I am sure something inside you will stir you up and an idea to kick start your journey would surely float in mind. Wishing you a happy and successful journey towards the only meaningful and highest goal in your life. Let's contribute and gift to humanity what unique and best we can offer.cheers