What is consciousness?
Most people think of consciousness as a binary: you’re either conscious or unconscious. You’re asleep or awake. You see and hear what’s going on around you or you don’t.
In truth, consciousness is much more complex, and yet at the same time, it is much simpler. That’s because, at its core, consciousness is really awareness.
It is awareness of your place in the universe, of what makes you unique, and of what you have to give. As you reach a higher level of consciousness, you begin to have more of this awareness.
Read on to find out what level you’re at now, then to learn where you can go from there.
What Is A Level of Consciousness?
To truly understand consciousness, you have to stop thinking about it as a binary and start thinking of it as a spectrum. As you advance along this spectrum, you reach higher and higher levels of consciousness.
The beginning: Pre-consciousness
Psychologists define pre-consciousness as a knowledge of what you have without knowing that you have it.
If we apply this definition to spiritual levels of consciousness, we can start to see a glimmer of our true potential.
The goal: Heightened consciousness
The activation of your gifts, talents, and capacities become so vibrationally real to you that all you see are open doors and possibilities. All that you see are your assignments for downloading the world that most people can’t see and anchoring it in time and space.
– Dr. Michael Beckwith, author of Mindvalley’s Discover Your Life Purpose masterclass.
If consciousness is awareness, then heightened consciousness is an awareness of your own awareness.
It’s a state in which all you know is set free and you know, unquestioningly, that your purpose is to share it with the world.
Defining The 5 Levels Of Consciousness
If we start with pre-consciousness and move toward heightened consciousness while identifying the stages in between, we can break down consciousness into five basic levels.
Level 0, pre-consciousness, was how our early human ancestors operated. These hunter-gatherers had awareness locked within them, but they didn’t have the language to understand or express it.
Level 1: Awareness of the culturescape
A pre-conscious early human was aware of the physical world. When we reached Level 1, we became aware of a constructed world of cultural norms, practices, and expectations.
This is the level at which an estimated 95 percent of humanity operates.
The trouble with Level 1 consciousness is that we don’t question those norms.
We accept society’s definitions of things like love, career, and success. We even judge other people based on them. But we don’t ask ourselves why we hold those beliefs or if there might be alternatives.
Level 2: The awakening
When we reach Level 2, we start to question those inherited norms. We ask things like:
- Why do I need a degree?
- Why do I practice this religion?
- Do I really need to work a 9 to 5 job?
By asking these questions and really thinking about the answers, we start to see that we don’t have to follow society’s rules. We may start to experiment with meditation or visualization.
Mostly, though, Level 2 is about the questions rather than the answers. It’s about realizing that you can forge your own path.
Level 3: The state of limitless
When you’re at Stage 3, inspiration is guiding your intentions. You don’t really desire that much anymore. Rather, you feel your way into the world. – Vishen Lakhiani, author of Mindvalley’s Becoming Limitless program.
You enter Stage 3 when you start to discover your own answers. You are aware of your unique mission. You know that you are living out your true purpose.
You live that purpose so authentically, in fact, that the universe starts to back you up and things just click.
Level 4: Becoming extraordinary
When you get to stage 4, you feel so confident. You just know you’re going to succeed in what it is that you’re doing and it doesn’t come from arrogance. It comes from a deep love of contributing to humanity.
– Vishen Lakhiani
When you reach Level 4, your consciousness merges with everything. You feel absolutely connected to all forms of life.
Level 4 consciousness is so rare that only a handful of people in the world can reach it on a regular basis. But there are many more that have experienced flashes of it.
It changes you completely.
When you ascend to a new level of spiritual consciousness, you become more deeply aware – of yourself, of the world, and of the bonds that connect it all.
Have you ever experienced a moment like this? Share it with us in a comment below.