A manual for turning on the light in your life to inspire others.
Knowledge is power, power usually corrupts, and corruption keeps us from the light.
How can we turn knowledge into wisdom?
Can we remain equanimous with ultimate power?
Can we use compassion to stay connected with others and be helpful to them?
This path is not for those seeking to make life easier or more comfortable. It's a training program to explore the light and dark caverns of human consciousness. To learn to swim through the darkness and help others to do the same.
The course is structured using 9 levels that cover 18 states of consciousness1. Each level couples a creative state with a destructive state. They are loosely related reflections - it's a nicer way to reflect than by groing through all the destructive states in on go for example.
Each level title has 2 states of consciousness below it. The pictures are meant to show a kind of perspective from that level as well as a contrast between the creative and the destructive state at that level.
The (reverse) order of the headings is a movement from more common mental states to the less common and usually more powerful/extreme states of consciousness.
Each section is just an introduction and will be covered in more detail in a dedicated page. At this stage it may be best to read without trying very hard to understand. Try to catch the feelings or patterns and make a mental model for yourself of how you interact with these various states.
These states of conciousness lie at the middle of our conciousness map from the perspective of stability. They are the minimum states required to investigate something new and release the energy needed to embark on a new discovery.
Curiosity & Courage
- When you wake up on a Sunday morning with no plans for the day and ponder "What should I do?"
- When you get to your guitar lessons and remember the last lesson your teacher said she was gonna show you something totally new next class.
Affirming Emotionally - Feasible View - Energized & Refreshed
Ready to engage
The states of conciousness start to deviate at this level. Neutrality which leads towards truth deviates from pride which assumes you already know and takes the knowledge you have as proof you are better than someone without it.
Neutrality allows a smooth way of navigating the terrain that presents itself and absorbing new information that may not match the internal view.
Trusting - Satisfied
Receiving without judgement or conditions
The path towards truth becomes very confusing and hard to navigate with this state. The persistent outward view is to demand the external match the internal. Example actions include manipulating others, transforming the wild world, debating with the aim of convincing the other they are wrong.
Scornful - Demanding
Giving opinions and making demands without assesing the situation
At this level the amount of energy is increasing. Both anger and willingness set me up for immediate action usually to resolve an immediate obstacle.
One important difference is that willingness usually aims at doing some actions in a way that is welcomed by the environment, getting the collective to invite the new solution.
Internal Energy: Intentional
Exchange: Inspired to contribute
Anger usually comes impulsively trying to solve a situation with force. Force of vocal action can quickly escalate to force of physical action. In the worst case it starts to rob the collective of the ability to give permission and coerces a situation that distributes pain even for uninvolved bystanders.
Internal Energy: Agressive
Exchange: Vengeful, looking to punish others for the personal condition
At this level we are descending into the origins of action. The high-energy states of consciousness exist primarily at the mental level. This is where plans are made, where habits are changed, and where identity is formed.
Acceptance is not complacence - acceptance requires understanding of the environment, of the conditions for change, and uses them to be an advantage in one’s goals.
Internal Energy: Harmonious
Exchange: Trancending the short term obstacle to focus on bigger goals
Desire ignores the obstacles that would otherwise be obvious and heads straight towards and idealized solution that is not integrated with a good understanding of reality.
Internal Energy: Desperate
Exchange: Enslaved by impulsive actions to chase pleasure or avoid pain
These states of consciousness help us deal with new information, with threats, and with the incomprehensible. The path towards truth here is reason which aims to organize new knowledge into an existing web of connections, frameworks and models. Fear is a reaction to the unknown that dismisses the new information, wants to hide it, or distort it into a monster, curse or other mystical demon. Although fear serves to protect us from certain dangerous conditions, like the common reaction against snakes and spiders that might be dangerous; fear hinders us from exploring further into these triggering topics, to use the same example even once we learn as adults that many of these animals are actually not a threat we still avoid them and react impulsively.
Internal Energy: Exciting
Exchange: Abstraction through experimentation
Internal Energy: Agitating
Exchange: Withdrawal, becoming smaller to the point of disappearing
3 Unquantifiable / Limitless
At this level comes a first breakthrough into the creatives side of our being. These states of consciousness are rare because most people feel like they are up to the external world to create the conditions for them. At this level the earlier states of consciousness rarely help us to deal with our experience as these powerful emotional states are beyond the calculating mind. The key here is to allow these states to flow freely.
The conditions for love are harmony, cooperation, complementations and togetherness.
The conditions for grief are conflict, abandonment, loss, interference and separation. One way to transform from love to grief or better from grief to love is to use compassion. To connect to the understanding that to have grief in a moment means there was previously love - which is now lost - nurturing the feeling of gratitude for the flow of love to grief can help move back in the direction of love.
2 Unexplainable / Does not fit in a box
At these states we notice that the energy moving into the external world starts decreasing.
On the path of lightness, joy is an appreciation of the world as it is, the beauty of all the connections and relationship that allow consciousness to thrive. Joy in slow motion is a cycle of the seasons, a symphony of all emotions, an overflow of care pouring out in all directions.
On the path of darkness disillusionment leads to an inability to appreciate the incomprehensible complexity of the world around us, it fades into a vague nihilism... “fuck it, I don’t care” is the prevailing theme on that dark side.
A whilrpool of carelessness. Numb comfort of disconection.
1 In the Shadow
Peace integrates all of the previous states of consciousness. It finds a balance and moves with the knowledge that all of your previous actions and states of consciousness brought you to this exact point. Any and all negative and destructive behaviours require amends, retribution, and reconnection. The state of peace is outward looking, having achieved this mindset one aims to spread peace all around. It’s the only way for it to last.
Guilt is a very low level, described by actions that show hiding, denial, wanting to turn back time and do things differently. It can drag down the whole world. Guilt seeks to avoid the darkness, it makes it impossible to connect with any higher states. The state can be transformed through surrender, transparency and communication... Nothing else can stop the growing rock of guilt in the pit of the gut.
The most extreme ends of human consciousness.
One way to compare these two is by projecting them into our death. Death with an enlightened state of consciousness leads to light. Death with a state of shame to deep darkness. Take a moment to imagine the person you consider closest to enlightenment on their death bed. Compare with who you might imagine the most shameful of the people you have met.
Another way is to compare by the actions of those very accomplished teachers in our society. The enlightened path has always been one of dispelling illusions, myths, and disolving the chains of mental, physical and spiritual slavery.
The Darks side has always aimed to create obstacles for others in an attempt to hold on to power, resources, and life potential. The dominant actions here are coercion, slavery, and ownership of life force.
1. Influenced by research from David R. Hawkings
2 Full image