Exploring the Stages of Consciousness

Through the use if kinesiology, the science dealing with the interrelationship of the physiological processes and anatomy of the human body with respect to movement, Dr. David Hawkins has developed a sort of hierarchy of consciousness. By measuring the physiological strength of a subject, Dr. Hawkins tests the reaction to various stimuli in order to gauge how it affects the subject’s consciousness. According to his paradigm, which is based on a numerical system whereby 1000 symbolizes the pure consciousness of God, at any given time, a human being operates primarily from one of seventeen stages of consciousness.

Starting at the bottom, Shame measures about 20, very close to Death, which would have no value in the testing. Aligning this paradigm with the biblical account of the Fall of Man after eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this stage of Shame was what cast Adam and Eve from the paradise known as the Garden of Eden. The ladder then climbs to Guilt, Apathy, Grief, Fear, Desire, Anger, and Pride. According to Hawkins, as mankind has progressed through these stages into a greater understanding of the world around us and our connection to it, there was a pivotal shift in the 1980’s as the collective consciousness reached the level of Courage.

During this time, known infamously as the “Me Generation,” we reached a tipping point where we somehow found our independence from the lower consciousness which had been holding us back. That is not to say that this consciousness of Courage had never had a grand impact on mankind before, nor any of the stages above it. Nevertheless, at this time in history, more people than ever before were finding Courage they had never before known and finding the strength to go after what they wanted in life. Although this erupted in great breaks with accepted morality, religion, cultural norms, and even ethics, it also brought about a surge in the entrepreneurial spirit, a healthy economic system, and grand leaps in technology and artistic expression.

According to Dr. Hawkins in his book The Eye of the I, “the promise of a new era in man’s understanding of God is emerging. Now the level of consciousness of mankind is high enough to be able to recognize the truth of a God of Love instead of worshipping the god of guilt and hate.”

In the Judeo/Christian tradition, which the most prevalent religious understanding for the majority of Americans, mankind’s natural state is one of sinfulness, resulting in an astounding amount of Shame at the outset of shaping one’s belief system. From this initial level, mankind has worked through the Guilt of our sins, been Apathetic to our plight, Grieved over the misery of life, Feared the wrath of God, Desired more fulfillment that the burdensome life we have created for ourselves, grown Angry with our state of affairs, Pridefully found our own standing, and had the Courage to want more from life than the suffering we have put ourselves through. Many of us still operate largely from one of these levels, but more and more of us are realizing the possibility to operate from a higher state, and understanding that it is only a matter of allowing ourselves to be open to it.

From this stage of Courage where the majority of us now operate, we have the potential to open ourselves up to higher and higher states of consciousness by simply realizing that they are within our grasp, as millions of others have done before us. For whenever one of us rises to the next level, the collective consciousness is raised, bringing us into a closer understanding of our connection to one another and the Source of our being.

The next stage for most of us is the level of Neutrality, that understanding that it is not about our might that we grow in this consciousness. We must simply open ourselves up to the level of Willingness, and allow the consciousness to flow through us. We then become receptive to what life has to offer us at the level of Acceptance, and operate from the level of Reason to understand where this consciousness originates. If we can use this understanding to comprehend the benevolence of and Intelligent Designer, we are then able to spread that goodwill by giving ourselves over to the level of Love. Living in such conscious splendor, we can rise to the level of Joy. Operating at such a level of fulfillment, we find ourselves at the level of Peace. Ultimately, the journey for each of us is to re-enter the Garden of Paradise by reaching that level of Enlightenment and once again enjoying that perfect union with God.

Reaching that ultimate state of Enlightenment is something that only occurs for about 1 in 10 million people, but this stage is not to be sought after. We need not even follow any particular paradigm to reach it. We must only let go of false truths and rely on the faith that this greater ways exists. As Dr. Hawkins states in his book Reality & Subjectivity, “Be passionate for God, not belief systems. That is the only real decision that has to be made and can be applied to any and all situations. The question is always whether to be at the effect of the world or aligned with the Truth of God instead. The search for Enlightenment is different from that of seeking worldly success.”

For understanding our place in the world, even this paradigm is wholly unnecessary. Nevertheless, just like every religion, paradigm, science, or artistic expression we use to explain our condition, it can still be utilized if one so chooses. It is my belief that just becoming aware of the possibility, we raise our awareness. So my question to you, as you make your way through your daily life, is from which level of consciousness do you primarily operate and will you allow yourself the Courage to operate from a higher level by the end of the day?

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