Mindvalley Blog

Consciousness Evolution: Feel, Think, Grow, And Contribute

evolution of conscious

What happens to our thoughts, ideas, and mental concepts when we die? Is every lesson we learned and every idea we have created been for nothing? Perhaps, these aspects add to the idea of a consciousness evolution of the human species.

Here’s what we mean…

The atoms that make up the human body are constantly being exchanged within the universe.

In fact, every day, billions of atoms (equivalent to the mass of your arm) are transferred between you and your surroundings.

While most of these atoms are Carbon Dioxide and water, research shows that within 1 year, 98% of the atoms in your body will be replaced – and within 5 years, every single part of your body will be atomically re-born, completely exchanged with new atoms (with the exception of the Carbon atoms in tooth enamel).

Hence, we become completely new people.

Tom Chi shared this mind-bending fact at Mindvalley’s A-fest 2016. Watch his talk below:

The Purpose Of Knowledge Exchange

This constant exchange of atoms serves a purpose.

As we age, our body must create new cells to replace the old ones. When old cells die, our body creates new cells (from the atoms in the food we eat), while preserving the original function and knowledge of the old cells and the ‘knowledge’ the old cells acquired from changes in the environment.

For example, the ‘knowledge’ held in your eye cells to recognize shades of red as potentially edible or non-edible (poisonous) berries in nature is preserved when your eye cells are regenerated. 

DNA also follows this process.

DNA stores physical information and is changed by the environment. Despite the fact your DNA is constantly dying and being re-created, the new DNA your body creates ‘saves’ the information that old DNA acquired.

This idea of conservation of accumulated information is easy to see within our bodies.

However, when it comes to consciousness, it’s difficult see this accumulation.

In the process of consciousness evolution, we add our ideas, thoughts, mental constructs, and beliefs to the collective consciousness world.

The idea of human collective consciousness has been recently been looked into scientifically, yet it’s complete mechanism of action remains unclear.

Biochemist and cell biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, has extensively researched and theorized one of the potential purposes of the collective consciousness and the mechanisms through which it acts, called morphic resonance.

This largely unexplainable phenomenon is thought to add our individual intelligence to the global collection of knowledge and experience.

Thus, the evolution of consciousness expands

consciousness expands

What Is Consciousness Evolution?

Trends and fashion noticeably change over time. However, it takes thoughtful insight to notice how our thinking has shifted over thousands of years.

Old schools of thought have been built upon over time — a process of continuous transformation and evolution that has culminated to the present moment.

As an example, Facebook changed the way the world communicates with people through social media. However, the invention of modern social media can be traced back thousands of years to systems of communication that have been continuously improved upon.

For example, the first known social media platform, the mail-delivery system, was thought to have been used around 500 BC. This idea was improved by training carrier pigeons, who could cross longer distances in shorter times to deliver messages across oceans and continents. Then, discovery of electricity brought us telegraphs in the 1700’s, followed by the radios and telephones in the 1800’s.

The invention of the internet ultimately revolutionized communication, as email, AOL, and Myspace were the most advanced forms of communication just a few decades ago.

That is, until the arrival of Facebook — which was built upon all the strengths of the communication constructs of the past, while adding several features that expanded the capacity for people to communicate easily across the globe, in seconds.

The world as we know it has been an evolution in consciousness, thought, and innovation since the dawn of time.

Our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and actions influences people in our lives (in the present and future).

We may never be able to understand the full impact of our contributions, as the ripples of our influence spread far beyond what we can see.

This idea, known as the Butterfly Effect, suggests the small factors can have large ramifications in every aspect of life — especially in consciousness evolution.


Tom Chi, establishes 4 quadrants of where the influence of global consciousness takes place:

The 4 Quadrants Of Consciousness Evolution

1. Disserviceful Discomfort

The biggest manifestation of this quadrant is shame. Shame can be an extremely uncomfortable emotion, that stems from an inconsistency between expectations and actions.

Often, consciousness evolution is influenced by the issues we experience in the world. Another speaker at 2016 A-Fest, Renee Airya, helps people overcome shame. Her teachings explain how you can shift disserviceful discomfort into serviceful comfort.

2. Disserviceful Comfort

Addiction is the epitome of this quadrant.

Addiction can be defined as anything that prevents you from being alone with your own thoughts. It is the underlying inability to deal with your own thoughts. This opens addiction to a variety of behaviors. Addiction, whether to drugs, obsessions, or even candy, is comfortable and offers an immediate gratification.

However, addictions are often a disservice to the world, and fail to contribute to the well-being of the global consciousness. People in this quadrant serve as counterexamples for others.

3. Serviceful Discomfort

This quadrant revolves on the art of breaking out of comfort zones to contribute on a higher level. It confronts learning how to maximize productivity in order to create a larger positive influence.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a teacher in this area, who promotes being as uncomfortable as possible (regarding your own limits) in your contributions to the world. Not to mention, there are countless other teachers who aren’t as aggressive in this idea, but provide service.

Any task-oriented service is uncomfortable (to some degree). For example picking up all the garbage on a dirty beach. However, in this discomfort you will find value. This quadrant covers the self-help or personal growth aspect of knowledge.

4. Serviceful Comfort

Conscious evolution is at play through meditation in this quadrant.

Emily Fletcher and Eckhart Tolle serve as examples of this quadrant, as their teachings promote being comfortable, yet still serviceful. They stress the importance of being aware of our inner world, and enjoying life through the experience of internal emotions.

It is important to note that specific kinds of meditation fall into this quadrant. For example, relaxing and flowing styles of meditation are comfortable and contribute to the development of mindfulness and tranquility. However, contemplative and breakthrough types of meditation arouse discomfort. These types of meditation border on the edge of the Serviceful Comfort and Serviceful Discomfort.

Where do you fall in this spectrum?

While we all contribute to consciousness evolution through every stage, we also have the power to choose how we’d like to contribute. What are your thoughts on that?

Share it with us in the comment section below!

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