Oh, the company we keep.

Amnesty International named the United States one of the top five executioners in the world, along with China , Iran , Pakistan , and Saudi Arabia . Does the fact that we’re grouped with these particular countries tell you that we might just be doing something wrong here?

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Enlightenment and Salvation – Same hole, different donut

Just as each religion has its own idea of separation, they also have their own idea of connection. To Hindus, it is called ‘enlightenment’. To Christians, it is called ‘salvation’. To Buddhists, it is called both ‘enlightenment’ and ‘the end of suffering’. Many great teachers have come before us throughout our history and preached these messages, some well known like Buddha, Jesus, and Lao Tzu, and some not as widely recognized. Sometimes the messages have been embraced, oftentimes the messages have been misinterpreted, and many times the messages have been shunned.

Those who have brought the message have run the gamut from being revered, reviled, and murdered. All too often, the message that they brought has been twisted to only strengthen the dysfunction, thereby making religion just as great a conduit for division and strife as for unity and peace.

Religious doctrine has historically served to bolster the egos of its adherents and create an “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality, all the while missing the true heart of the message. Nevertheless, in each of these traditions, the truth still remains at the core and calls out to those souls brave and wise enough to let go of the dogmatic trappings and find the wheat among the chaff.

Though those who sought the greater truths among the complacent traditions bore much fruit in the way of higher consciousness, once an established ‘school’ of thought was formed, the concept was soon snatched up into the identification of ego, and the message was lost again. Like the Gnostics of Christianity, the Kabbalists of Judaism, the Sufis of Islam, Vedanta of Hindu, and Zen of Buddhism, these smaller sects, though striving for the deeper meaning often served to only institute another ‘club’ in which one could join and miss out on what was truly being sought.

In the search for enlightenment or salvation, it is a journey that each man and woman must make alone in order to find that we are all one.

Can we try Democracy here first?

Is America truly a democracy? From the definition of democracy that I have come to embrace, it allows the general population the opportunity to take part in elections that create rules by which they are governed. And though in America we are given the opportunity to take part in elections that decide who governs us, we are not yet given the opportunity to take part in the actual laws. Instead, we do our best to select leaders that we assume will choose as we will choose. The problem with this system, however, is that we have now created a system that pigeon-holes our choices into two distinct parties, namely Democrat and Republican, or liberal and conservative. However, considering the choices that we are faced with in our current state of societal complexity is our system of democracy or republicanism still a viable means for creating a working government.
Given the advances in technology that we are now privy to, aren’t we able to create a new voting structure whereby citizens should be able to actually vote on issues instead of people that they hope will escape the lure of special interest groups and vote on their behalf? After all, for a good part of the votes taken in Congress, our elected officials don’t even show up. Couldn’t we reach this level of effectiveness by offering online citizen voting?
Imagine, for example, if instead of our elected officials convening and voting on whether or not we should go to war, we had them serve as educators on the pros and cons of the advance and allowed citizens to make the final choice on the internet by a Social Security number log in? Do you think that we would have still gone to war?

Who would Jesus bomb?

It is an inescapable truth that the “War in Iraq” in the Bush administration was sold to the people and abhorably supported by many members who claim to be followers of Christ. Since George W. Bush has professed to be a Christian, he has gained a rather blind following by several who line the pews. Especially in the first few years of his administration, after the attacks of 9/11/01, many Christians seemed to forget their allegiance to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in favor of their allegiance to the freedom offered to them through America, “God’s New and Improved Chosen Nation”. Is God glorified through nationalism? Is God glorified in unilateral bombing? Is God glorified when the church remains silent as people suffer so that those in power can gain more?

Think about the power that you possess as not only a representative of Christ, but also as a voting member of a democratic republic. And the next time you vote, consider very wisely what is best for your family, the country, and the world while praying for divine guidance.

In the meantime, you may want to go check out http://www.sojo.net to see how some other Christians view politics apart from the Religious Right.

Finding the middle way in the battle between Left and Right

In seeking a balance between the left and right of political punditry, it seems that the most mean spirited thing I’ve seen on the left is Al Franken, who is a comedian before a commentator. And even his ‘mean spiritedness’ is more light-hearted than anything. But I haven’t found any single personality that would be the mirror image of a Rush Limbaugh or an Ann Coulter. Even when those ‘on the left’ are at their most angry, they are not as bitter, fork tongued, and accusatory as these two.

I think what usually separates the ‘left’ from the ‘right’ (and know how much I hate dividing things up this simply) is that the left is generally stands ‘for’ something while the right stands ‘against’. This is just my observation, but in the political arena at least, the left is for environmental protection, they are for human rights, they are for social justice, they are for corporate responsibility. The right is against same sex marriage, they are against abortion, they are against affirmatitve action, they are against corporate limitations, they are against raising envrionmental standards. In my view, it just seems that the term ‘conservative’ has come to mean ‘standing in the way of progress.’
Considering that liberals are often derided as being too soft, perhaps it is time for those of us who are classified as such (though I prefer the term ‘progressive’) to harden a bit. Not that we should become as jaded and aggressive as conservatives, but that we should become more tempered as steel is forged into a sword.
These last seven years of being under the rule of the Bush administration have offered us many opportunities to become hardened whereby our resolve must be strong as the multi-folded blade of a samurai by now. But the sword that we wield is one of power, whereas the weapon used by those that all too often stand against us is sheer brute force. And though it may be stated that those who run this administration have a lust for power, it is only because they do not truly have it. Therefore, they use force in its place as a nearsighted substitute.
What is the difference, you may ask? Power is pure. It has an inherent flow to it, rising through the principles of love, joy, and peace. Power is the emanation of God, if you will. God doesn’t use force; He invites us to use power. Force, contrarily, is managed by the lower consciousness of shame, guilt, fear, and pride. And as we have seen from this administration, those are their primary modes of operation.
Gays can’t be married because it is shameful. Drug users must be imprisoned because they are guilty. We must go to war or else we will be attacked again. And we must continue fighting to uphold the American Way. These are the cries of the forceful.
However, the voice of the powerful knows that his strength comes from beyond himself and his effect reaches far beyond his view. Thus his actions are aligned with that which is noble. Gays can marry because love must be celebrated as often as possible. Addicts need compassion and assistance in overcoming their weaknesses instead of punishment for their mistakes. Diplomacy is a far greater tool than war in the establishment of peace and unity. This is the voice of the powerful.
But often there need be mixtures of the two. The world can no more simply be categorized as powerful versus forceful than it can be simply divided into left versus right. What of all the places in between? Surely there are times when, though power is seen as a vision, it will take forceful measures to reach it.
While I believe that those who are categorically placed ‘on the left’ are striving for their connection with pure power versus force, this often makes them appear as soft, just as Jesus and Gandhi would have been viewed as soft against the tyrannical, gung ho attitude of the forceful. The true strength exhibited by these two characters and the many who share their virtues are astounding and leave anyone with sheer physical or mental force in the dust. And it is to this height that many on the so-called left aspire.
Therewith, it is difficult for them to sink to the level of those ‘on the right’ to utilize such barbaric tools as inspiring shame through name-calling and blame. That is why it is not nearly as entertaining to listen to the voices calling for compassion and peace on Air America and NPR as to the vile rants of such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter. For what is truly amazing about these right wing charlatans is that as far as we have come in our evolution of social consciousness, we are still enamored with the idea that there are those of us who are still operating from such base emotions. It is hard to believe that there are still people who have such gall and so eloquently act from such a position of perpetual ignorance.
For as much as many of us would idealistically like to strive to act from the higher echelon of consciousness in love, joy, peace, and harmony, there is still a certain amount of ‘fun’ to harboring animosity and attacking others with violent outbursts, either physical or verbal. Because these people operate from such low levels of consciousness, they realize that the only way that they will work their way up the ladder is to bring others down. This is the categorical ploy that all dictators and fascist governments use to subjugate their followers. They destroy their sense of self esteem, keeping them mired in shame, fear, and guilt with the full understanding that as long as they remain in that state of mind, they will never rise to the level of courage to overcome their oppressors. As it is with the loudmouths who wish to break the spirits of those that would strive for something noble with their lives.
They berate them. They deride them. They mock them. They do all that they can to tear them down, picking apart their lives like rats digging through refuse looking for an edible morsel. And though many listen to these voices with devilish glee, it is beneath those who are truly striving for nobility to pander to this audience by utilizing the same tools.
That is why Air America will probably never be as entertaining as Rush Limbaugh. The voices of the progressives wish to progress beyond the childish antics of name-calling and divisiveness and open up true communication instead of incessant debating. They would rather strive for true change than to sink to the levels of their counterparts, who struggle to attain the status quo and the consistency of warfare and subjugation.
However, as I said, sometimes a subtle blend of power and force is called for. For those of us who are truly striving for pure power, but have not yet reached the pinnacle of living completely in love, joy, and peace, to call upon the levels of consciousness from which these demagogues operate and beseech them to rise above their status. Perhaps it is time to point out to Ann Coulter exactly how shameful she is in her attacks of anyone who disagrees with her. Perhaps we should call out Rush Limbaugh on his guilt of being a drug addict and his mockery of democracy. Perhaps we should attack the media for their apathy in truly reporting the news, opting instead to only appease their advertisers. Maybe we should start inflicting grief instead of accepting it. Perhaps we should truly attack the entire Bush Administration and the collective of blind followers that gardened fear in the hearts and minds of Americans in order to carry out their greed inspired war. Perhaps we should bitch slap Bill O’Reilly to strip him of his pride and the smug look on his face.
Or perhaps we should continue operating from our own courage. Perhaps we should be willing to do the real work that needs to be done in order to effect the changes we are seeking. Perhaps we should just accept that there are those in this world who will never want to accept there could be a better way than what their myopic views afford them. Maybe we should reason that we will never become what we strive to be by becoming what they are.
Perhaps we should just love our families, enjoy our communities, and spread peace to everyone we meet, even to those who will not willingly offer it back. Perhaps we should understand and utilize our true power and leave the forceful to wrestle with themselves.

More Power vs. Force

I remember walking down Sunset Boulevard with Jay B during his visit to Los Angeles, trying to explain to him the problem that I had with Evangelical Christianity. I remember telling him that the tools for ‘Evangelical Explosion’ involved two questions where the first answer was that we were all horrible sinners and could not save ourselves. I said, ‘What a horrible place to start a philosophy’.

But upon studying consciousness through the book ‘Power vs. Force’ by Dr. David Hawkins, I found an explanation that made it a more understandable beginning. The framework of Dr. Hawkins’ research into consciousness is based upon the idea that there are various levels of consciousness pertaining to how much Absolute Truth was present. For instance, Enlightenment or Christ/Buddha Consciousness is at 1000. Below that are Peace, Joy, Love, Reason, Acceptance, Courage, Pride, Anger, Desire, Grief, Apathy, Guilt, and Shame.

SHAME

Shame is completely devoid of Truth because it builds upon the negative aspects of the notion that we have fallen short of the glory of God. Finding that this statement is not a negative connotation involves directing your consciousness to release yourself from guilt and move up the scale of consciousness to a healthier presence of mind.

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they felt Shame. This was the first emotion felt by humankind upon its fall from grace.

This is the state I am in whenever I fall short of what I believe to be expected of me. This is where I am whenever I consider the ramifications of my tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol abuse. This is where I am whenever I consider my sexual impurities. This is where I am when I think of all of the people I have let down in my life. This is where I am when I revisit the past in the chariot of remorse.

GUILT

Guilt is at a little higher state than shame, but not much.

Adam and Eve apparently pissed God off something fierce because they racked up some major bad karma, were kicked out of the Garden and were forced to work by the sweat of their brow, and were finally able to understand this notion of pain that the Snake failed to allude to when he was digging his fangs into the Fruit. They felt pretty bad about the whole thing.

Rising a bit out of my shame, this is where I begin to truly feel the implications of my wrongdoing. Where I at least have enough self esteem to know that I have hurt others by my actions, and more so hurt myself. It is still a state of paralysis in large part, and the reality it incurs does not offer much positive energy to move forward.

APATHY

This is where Adam says, “Well, here I am out in the forest. I might as well build a shelter. I’ve got nothing better to do.”

After being pummeled with Shame and spending an exorbitant amount of time dwelling in Guilt, there is a subtle desire to get out of bed and start the day anew, but not so much of a push that the covers are quite thrown off. This is where I stare at the ceiling or floor or layer of dust on the counter and just don’t care that it is there.

GRIEF

Adam shrieks, “It’s colder out here, and this stupid shelter that took me hours to build is leaking rain on my forehead. I can’t sleep because my faux pas is bringing the Apocalypse. To top it all off, my girlfriend left me for a lesbian from the other garden, and my vegetarian son just killed my butcher son. I just want to crawl up in my new body and die.”

Rolling into the fetal position, I curse God for the life He has granted me and can barely fathom a way to recoup all that I have lost due to my wicked ways and foolish tendencies. In an inexhaustible resource of pain that tears at the heart and, coupled with the foolishness it exhibits, has a good likeliness to push one back down into Shame.

DESIRE

Tired of the torment, Adam raises his head and says to himself, “You know what I need? A bigger house. And maybe my own garden right over there.All this thinking is making me thirsty, I could go for some milk. Actually, you know what I want now? A cold, frosty beer. Ooh, served by a really hot waitress who looks better than that bitch with the taste for ribs.”

Once Grief is overcome and the bedsheets are kicked off, I get the strange compulsion to want more for my future. Though I have been ravaged in the valley of the shadow of death, I want more for myself than the life that I have led thus far. The sun rises over the horizon and I long to bask in it.

ANGER

Though Adam has seen the glimmer of light at the edge of the cloud, he reflects on what caused his former demise. “I can’t believe I let her get me into this mess. ‘Just try it,’ she says! That’s it! Everybody on this whole damn planet can just go to hell! My ex! Her lesbo lover! Every single one of these raccoons, and badgers, and bears, and sharks, and tigers, and snakes! Oh, don’t even get me started on those snakes! I shouldn’t have given him such a cool name.”

The shadows of the valley, the specters of Shame, Guilt, and Grief wash over me, and an internal rage grows in my belly, causing me to at once hate myself, and at the same time grow into a staunch resiliency against the life that has plagued me.

PRIDE

As Anger subsides, Adam puts his nose to the proverbial grindstone. “Here I gotta work all day and stub my toe. I’m better than this. I’m smart. I’m good-looking. I’m educated. Well, at least I got that whole Knowledge of Good and Evil thing going for me. I’m quite a catch. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a bad mamma jamma.”

I deserve more than this, I say to myself. I’m better than I’ve thought that I am. I rise out of bed and look at the looming figure in the mirror, finding what I can of the man I think I can be, and claiming that it is me. I shower. I shave. I dress a little less shabbily than I have allowed myself to in the past.

COURAGE

Adam tears off his loincloth and bellows, “It’s time I did something about it. I know it’ll be tough, what with God’s boot print on my butt and having to go it all alone now. But I think I can do it.”

I grab my pack and move toward the door. Though I only have a few elements tucked away, I know that the tools I have will be enough to help me through whatever I must face. This is the point of no return. I will try to better my existence.

NEUTRALITY

Stepping out on his new path, Adam consoles himself, “Then again, I’m beginning to get used to the arrangement I’ve got here. Sure, it’s still cold, damp, and lonely, but it’s got a certain charm. Whatever. I’ll think about it later.”

But even if I don’t succeed, I will still go on. My breath comes in. My breath goes out. I do not care about success so much as I care about the experience of trying. Whatever may come, I go.

WILLINGNESS

Adam decides there is no turning back. “You know, on second thought, I should do something about my situation here. This place has got plenty of stuff to cultivate and enjoy.”

The elements that I started with begin to morph into new opportunities. The tool that I brought for a specific purpose has found a new use, and I find the fortitude to wield it with as much dexterity as I can muster.

ACCEPTANCE

Adam shrugs his shoulders. “Yup. There’s a few things I’ve got to take care of. But my, just sitting back for a moment and taking the whole place in… Once you start to like it, there’s a bit of reminiscence of the Garden.”

Yes, this is life. I have found purpose in the tasks that I fulfill and the people whom share them with me. I realize that getting out of bed and utilizing the power of Courage and Willingness have granted me great opportunities, and accept them with open arms.

REASON

With a bit more swagger in his step, Adam chimes, “Now I’m starting to get it. That boot mark on my butt has healed up and I suddenly don’t feel so far from home. As a matter of fact, I can smell the home fires burning.”

I have indeed found Purpose. The realization of my every breath grants me appreciation of life in total. I was not meant to dwell in the valley of shame, but am daily growing into a greater and greater awareness of what this life really means. From the actions to which my hands are placed to the words of acceptance that pass through my lips, I see the reaction I have on the world.

LOVE

Finding spring in every step, Adam sings, “This is a great place to live.”

As smiles burst from those in my company, I am inbued with a stronger sense of meaning and purpose, to truly feel the exhilaration of other people’s happiness. For by my own Courage, Willingness, and Acceptance, I have realized that I can have a lasting impact on those who share my company and those who are, in turn, touched by them. Love really is a many splendid thing. .0

JOY

This is unspeakable.

My very being is all I ask.

PEACE

Om.

I understand.

ENLIGHTENMENT

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Power vs. Force

In my search for Truth in my life, I have used all sorts of tools, methods, and crutches to reach this point in my journey. I have used things I learned in school, at home, in church, from friends, from religion, from books, from movies, from music, from art, from drugs, from spirit, from prayer, from solitude, from life, and from now. It would seem that Now is the greatest teacher.
From each of these other teachers, though I have learned love, compassion, honesty, hope, I have also learned biases, weaknesses, fears, anger, spite, and bitterness. Now teaches me that all of those things are part of life. Now teaches me to accept it and go about my learning and teaching to stay consumed in the moment of now to continue in the learning of Truth. Gnosis. The Word.
From each of these other teachers, there are patterns of belief, patters of consciousness, patterns of behavior, patterns of need, patterns of color, patterns of sound, patterns of fury, patterns of beauty, and patterns of truth. Now, all of those patterns blend in the pattern of life to create the most spectacular portrait of art to ever be envisioned, the Art of Creation. And through all of these patterns, there are common occurrences that, when they are lined up just right, create rungs in the ladder of consciousness, steps on the road to enlightenment, and bricks on the path to bliss to assist us in climbing toward that ultimate Truth. That Truth is beyond all of the words you use to get to It. It is the Word. It is the Life. It is One.
These levels have been mapped out by Dr. David Hawkins in his books Power vs. Force, The Eye of the Eye, and I. Before I progress through these levels to map out my own journey, and hopefully help you find footing on your own, I want to offer a few quotes to help me clarify the theme of this project.
“All of the Great Teachers throughout the history of our species have merely taught one thing, over and over, in whatever language, at whatever time. All have said, simply: Give up weak attractors for strong attractors.” – Dr. David Hawkins
The levels that Dr. Hawkins built into this pattern range from Shame to Enlightenment, from 10 to 1000. His assumption is that everything can be measured for inherent Truth through the practice of kinesiological testing, the mind/body/spirit’s reaction to the given information. It can be used to gauge books for Truth, from religious texts to romantic novels. It can be used to gauge food for greatest vitality. It can be used to judge marketing for guidance in consummation. And in can be used in art as a catalyst for change.
Pablo Picasso said that art is “a lie that points to the Truth.” In a recent website I found on the subject of these levels, I found a discussion board where users posted their testing results on various books. I found it somewhat comforting to find that some of my favorite books, those that have greatly inspired me, and yet gave me more than a modicum of grief, were rated so low on the scale. It gave me hope that we are all in this together, each with our own frailties, to assist each other as we strive to attain the realization of the journey beyond the tools that we use to reach it.
The following is a list of books I have either read or come near to reading thoroughly and where they fall on the levels of consciousness.
999.8 – I: Reality and Subjectivity, by David R. Hawkins
980 – The Eye of the I – From Which Nothing Is Hidden, by David R. Hawkins
970 – The Upanishads
910 – The Bhagavad Gita
905 – The Zohar
895 – Nicene Creed
740 – Paramahamsa Yogananda – “Autobiography of a Yogi”
850 – Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David R. Hawkins
840 – Dhammapada
790 – New Testament (King James Version minus Book of Revelation)
720 – I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
699 – Gospel of St. Luke
660 – Genesis(Lamsa Bible)
660 – Gospel of St. Thomas
650 – Psalms(Lamsa Bible)
640 – New Testament(King James Version from the Greek)
610 – Tao te Ching
600 – A Course in Miracles (Workbook)
675 – Thom Hartmann – “The Prophet’s Way”
620 – Marianne Williamson’s “Everyday Grace”
510 – The Road Less Traveled-25th Anniversary Edition, by M. Scott Peck
500 – Thom Hartmann – “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight”
480 – A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
450 – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
475 – King James Bible (From the Greek)
430 – I Ching
405 – The Book of Mormon
400 – Gnostic Gospels
350 – Proverbs (Lamsa Bible)
265 – The Dead Sea Scrolls
430 – The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning
400 – Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
360 – Flow, by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
70 – The Book of Revelation(New Testament)

The Book of Revelation has always perplexed me. However, on further consideration, given the judgment that one feels through the lower levels of shame and guilt, it’s not necessarily surprising. From whatever truth I choose to gather from this, I begin my journey in Shame.
“Judgment day is every day; it is already here and is constant and unending.” – Dr. David Hawkins
Judgment Day is the progression from Shame to Enlightenment, to go from near complete separation from God, to the warmth of his loving bosom by eternal progression through the course of consciousness to the state of grace that awaits us. The levels we share on this journey toward salvation, from the moment when Eve and Adam ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil to this moment, when we are finally recovering from the indigestion of that meal, take the following form.
Shame
Guilt
Apathy
Grief
Fear
Desire
Anger
Pride
Courage
Neutrality
Willingness
Acceptance
Reason
Love
Joy
Peace
Enlightenment
The current average of human consciousness is at the level of Courage, and it is through this level that I find the strength to write the following. I have lived in Shame. Throughout my journey, I have used a number of crutches to reach this point, and they have often served to more greatly increase my Shame and keep me from furthering my journey toward greater consciousness and the revelation of higher energies. Even in this weekend, I have deliberately succumbed to the passions of my lower consciousness and used tools that bring me down to the level of Shame more than they accelerate me toward the Courage that I must use to join the rest of my world and help them strive for the next level.
I drank beer. I smoked cigarettes and marijuana. Because I know that these are all lower energies, they compel me to shame for all of the times I have chosen them over the higher levels and methods that I could have. Because I am at this level of Shame, it is my hope that I can progress past it through the words that I write, reaching out to others who feels such shame, comforting those who feel the ensuing guilt, giving vitality to those who feel apathy, strengthening those who feel grief, assuring them that feel fear, fulfilling those with desire, quenching those that feel anger, humbling those that feel pride, and encouraging those that feel courage to rise past the question of neutrality to the state of willingness. It is my hope that my own journey, my own experience, will speak to others, and mirror their journeys as we make the progression toward One together.
“The human experience of the Presence of God is the same in all ages, all cultures and all localities” – Dr. David Hawkins
This is the way in which I intend to structure my busy-ness plan. Letter by letter. Word by word. Sentence by sentence. Lie by lie until we reach the Truth.
My Mission is to reach the Truth. My Vision is to reach the Truth. My Values are honesty, emotion, spirit, nature, compassion, play, joy, education, and peace. My Goals and Objectives are to communicate the letters, words, sentences, and lies in such a way as to draw the consciousness of my community toward the One Truth. My Action Plan is to continue structuring these letters into words, sentences, and lies until I have no more lies to tell, no more sentences to construct, words to mobilize, and letters to send.
I start by offering apologies for the Shame I have caused. In my various forays into lower consciousness, I have felt and created Shame. I have felt it in my parents, my family, my wife, my friends, and my community. I apologize for my exercises in this futility.

Shame
According to Hawkins, this is one step above death. At this level, the primary emotion one feels is humiliation. It’s not surprising that this level, being so close to death, is where most thoughts of suicide are found. Those who suffer from sexual abuse are often found here, and without therapy they tend to remain here.

I have exercised a suitable amount of shame in my life. I have made myself the lowly and downtrodden.

Guilt
Not too far from shame is the level of guilt. When one is stuck in this level, feelings of worthlessness and an inability to forgive oneself are common.

The fact that I should have known better than to engage in the actions that I have participated in brings me great guilt. I have recklessly abandoned the higher tenets of truth that I was called to.

Apathy
The level of hopelessness and despair; this is the common consciousness found among those who are homeless or living in poverty. At this level, one has abdicated themselves to their current situation and feels numb to life around them.

Being the wanderer that I am, both off and on the road, I have been consumed with apathy. I have found comfort in the status quo and it has forced me to succumb to these weaker energies.

Grief
Many of us have felt this at times of tragedy in our lives. However, having this as your primary level of consciousness, you live a life of constant regret and remorse. This is the level where you feel all your opportunities have passed you by. You ultimately feel you are a failure.

There are so many things that I could have done, but instead, I was wasting my time, destroying my body, and ruining my relationships. How much have I missed out on? I have destroyed so many changes to be a positive change in my world.

Fear
People living under dictatorship rule or those involved in an abusive relationship find themselves at this level. There is a sense of paranoia here, where you think everyone is out to get you. Suspicion and defensiveness are common.

What if they laugh at me? I can see myself standing on a stage and being heckled. I can imagine the chagrin I will feel when questioned about my own weaknesses in a public forum. Imagine the scrutiny I will undergo if I stand up and say that I’m a prophet.
Desire
Desire is a major motivator for much of our society. Although desire can be an impetus for change, the downside is that it leads to enslavement to ones appetites. This is the level of addiction to such things as sex, money, prestige, or power.

Regardless of the fear, I have desire for the fame. I seek the recognition and the praise. I want to pass it off as the byproduct of being a Leo, but I take responsibility for what I want. I want the wealth. I want the money. I want the prestige. But I also want to serve as an example of how to use these things wisely, and appreciate even the lack of them.
Anger
As one moves out of Apathy to Grief and then out of Fear, they begin to want. Desire which is not fulfilled leads to frustration which brings us to Anger. This anger can cause us to move out of this level or keep us here.
I have let so many things stand in the way of my getting what I truly want. I have allowed things to guide me from my path. I have made foolish mistakes over and over again. I have constantly undermined my better knowing and sabotaged my ability for success.
Pride
According to Hawkins, since the majority of people are below this point, this is the level that most people aspire to. It makes up a good deal of Hollywood. In comparison to Shame and Guilt, one begins to feel positive here. However, it’s a false positive. It’s dependent upon external conditions such as wealth, position or power. It is also the source of racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism.

I am talented. I am good looking. I am charming. I have what it takes to become a celebrity. And I have the ability to lead my community, my country, and my world toward a greater life for all.
Courage
This is the level of empowerment. It is the first level where you are not taking life energy from those around you. Courage is where you see that you don’t need to be tossed to and fro by your external conditions. This empowerment leads you to the realization that you are a steward unto yourself, and that you alone are in charge of your own growth and success. This is what makes you inherently human: the realization that there is a gap between stimulus and response and that you have the potential to choose how to respond.

To do that, I need to continue streaming these words regardless of what others may think or say. This is my truth: that I am to write the world. I may not speak complete Truth at all times, but I must take the steps that I can as all of us work to get there together. I must do my part.
Neutrality
Neutrality is the level of flexibility. To be neutral, you are, for the most part, unattached to outcomes. At this level, you are satisfied with your current life situation and tend not to have a lot of motivation towards self improvement or excellence in your career. You realize the possibilities but don’t make the sacrifices required to reach a higher level.

At this moment, I finish my writing for the day. There is only so much I can write at one time, and only so much that can be read. Thank you for joining me on my journey. It is my hope that you will join me for the ascension to Willingness…
Willingness
Those people around you that are perpetual optimists – this is their level of consciousness. Seeing life as one big possibility is the cornerstone of those operating here. No longer are you satisfied with complacency – you strive to do your best at whatever task you’ve undertaken. You begin to develop self-discipline and willpower and learn the importance of sticking to a task till the end.

Until…
Acceptance
If Courage is the realization that you are the source of your life’s experiences, then it is here where you become the creator of them. Combined with the skills learned in the Willingness phase, you begin to awaken your potential through action. Here’s where you begin to set and achieve goals and to actively push yourself beyond your previous limitations. Up to this point you’ve been generally reactive to what life throws at you. Here’s where you turn that around, take control, and become proactive.

We…
Reason
The level of science, medicine, and a desire for knowledge. Your thirst for knowledge becomes insatiable. You don’t waste time in activities that do not provide educational value. You begin to categorize all of life and its experiences into proofs, postulates, and theories. The failure of this level is you cannot seem to separate the subjective from the objective, and because of that, you tend to miss the point. You fail to see the forest because you’re tunnel-visioned on the trees. Paradoxically, Reason can become a stumbling block for further progressions of consciousness.

Reach…
Love
Only if, in the level of Reason you start to see yourself as a potential for the greater good of mankind, will you have enough power to enter here. Here is where you start applying what was learned in your reasoning and you let the heart take over rather than the mind – you live by intuition. This is the level of charity – a selfless love that has no desire except for the welfare of those around them. Ghandi and Mother Theresa are examples of people who were living at this level. Only 0.4 percent of the world will ever reach it.

The…
Joy
This is the level of saints and advanced spiritual people. As love becomes more unconditional, there follows a constant accompaniment of true happiness. No personal tragedy or world event could ever shake someone living at this level of consciousness. They seem to inspire and lift all those who come in contact with them. Your life is now in complete harmony with the will of Divinity and the fruits of that harmony are expressed in your joy.

End…
Peace
Peace is achieved after a life of complete surrender to the Creator. It is where you have transcended all and have entered that place that Hawkins calls illumination. Here, a stillness and silence of mind is achieved, allowing for constant revelation. Only 1 in 10 million (that’s .00001 percent) people will arrive at this level.

Together…
Enlightenment
This is the highest level of human consciousness where one has become like God. Many see this as Christ, Buddha, or Krishna. These are those who have influenced all of mankind.
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