Seven Stages of Conscious Ascension
By Dave & the guys
Although impermanent & without a separate self, Store consciousness contains all phenomena in the cosmos, both conditioned & unconditioned, in the form of seeds.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Words from a recognized master of consciousness – an explorer of what may be the deepest levels of consciousness attainable from a material perspective.
Are they true & do each of us have access to what might be called infinity, to the seeds of “all there is”? If so, is this awareness attainable to diverse individuals from diverse backgrounds?
I believe so. Realistically, if we are to believe those who speak of personal Near Death Experiences, these levels of awareness are available to us all immediately following our physical death. Awareness, hyper reality, freedom & a much elevated perspective. A universal consciousness that awaits, filling in the gaps, providing a context & information, seeds automatically planted into a smaller portion of itself.
In examining mindfulness or awareness, we may be able to categorize how one perceives reality into classes or orders of awareness, each one unique & separate from the others, each with a seemingly different purpose. For the sake of convenience, think of the colors of the rainbow, the visible spectrum of light. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Why use the rainbow? Hopefully that will become apparent.
If we think of awareness in terms of maturity & growth, a newborn infant might be described as a new consciousness – processing power & information but no real context for interpretation. We will assign red level consciousness to this level of awareness. This level can be characterized by a massive outreach to the external world simply for satisfaction of basic needs, in a seeming programmed search for data by which to begin to “make sense of things”.
It is during this all important time that a more subtle & yet more profound programming is put into place – a material world requires an external, material interpretation. This routine will guide us for the rest of our lives in the material realm. It can be overriden but to do so requires a concentrated, conscious effort.
As the child & associated consciousness grows & matures, the “external routine” is constantly reinforced. We learn that to progress we must obtain information from the external world. We then immediately interpret this worldly reality with the information that it so readily provided. It is a circular system of input, output/interpretation & feedback, resolving our awareness & understanding to as fine a degree as possible given the information available & the meaning associated with that information.
The essential problem with circular systems is that if error (of perception or interpretation of meaning) is introduced, that error is reinforced & solidified in a circular fashion, becoming more & more real to the consciousness with each iteration. At some point, each error becomes reality & thus a “false” sense of reality is developed, reinforced & solidified over time.
Enter the concept of weighting. Some conscious experiences are weighted differently than others by our brains. This is done due to survival concerns apparently. For victims of intense traumas, the victim’s sense of reality is further distorted from that of a person who has not suffered a similar trauma due to the weighting given to the traumatic event.
Essentially, we live in a world populated by individuals, each of whom has there own individual, error prone sense of reality. Given the circular nature of our self programming & given the differing formative experiences of each individual, it then becomes a practical impossibility for any individual to fully relate to another. Their versions of reality are different, sometimes in ways small but often in ways large.
Robert Anton Wilson coined the term “reality tunnel” to describe this phenomenon. Think of taking a drinking straw, closing … one eye & looking through the straw with the remaining open eye. What you see is an extremely limited field of view. Interpreting what is seen is much more difficult than when viewing unobstructed with two open eyes. As a result, the view of what is being observed is limited & constrained.
In a similar fashion, our interpretation of reality, our false, error prone interpretation, also acts as a limiting tunnel. Remember, it is a circular system. One version of reality built on observations, some accurate, some skewed, is used to interpret new information & experiences & because the system is self contained & circular, the new observation or experience will inevitably take on characteristics of the previous interpretation. In theory then, as one matures & grows older, they will become ever more error prone in their observations & their version of reality will become more & more false.
Enter the objective, cognitive process. We each have the capability, given a properly functioning brain, to assess our version of reality & adjust it to match new observations & results. For example, consider a child at a circus. They have their first experience with a clown. Because the clown is brightly colored & his features exaggerated by makeup & costume, there is the distinct possibility that the child will react to this new experience with fear. Fast forward ten years. During this time, the child has read of clowns, had others recount positive experiences with clowns & realizes that clowns are normal people who simply appear different. The next encounter with a clown, assuming its not a murderous psycho clown, will be a positive experience. The old experience is overwritten with the new, & a different perception of clowns now exists in the mind of the now older child.
This circular yet self adjusting system of cognition & awareness filters out errors & is constantly working to refine & ensure the accuracy of an individuals perception, thereby correcting ones view of reality from one of falseness to one of accuracy. It is not a perfect system. Some people never completely lose their fear of clowns. The trauma overrides the cognition. And so, the system allows a partial overlap of realities among individuals but not a complete meshing of perfect perception.
To this point only red has been referenced. Orange comes next & is characterized by cautionary behavior. There’s a reason caution signs on highways are colored orange. Individuals who extend their awareness from that of the red level become more thoughtful & consciously correcting of their personal view of reality. A red level participant largely takes things as they come, with little interpretation, simply building their awareness block upon block, each level a similar version to the one before with little correction. Orange individuals “put more thought into it”. However, the primary aim of an orange individual is based on caution. Once they have satisfied this need of self protection, their cognition essentially stops.
It is possible to look around us in life & see red individuals. They function with little regard for caution & typically lead lives filled with difficulty & varying, inaccurate views or perceptions of the world around them. Orange individuals have fewer difficulties & a more “solid grasp” and awarenness of the world around them.
We move on then to the yellow individual. This individual has, in a circular fashion, achieved a degree of objective cognition which dictates the following: A) Being cautious does little to help others. B) Helping others & taking the minor risks associated with that leads to a more peaceful world. C) A more peaceful world is safer & more pleasant for oneself D) Ultimately, it becomes logically apparent that helping others is protecting & helping oneself.
At this point, we are entering advanced levels of consciousness. The yellow individual has moved beyond self gratification (red), self interest (orange) and entered the inclusive zone.
The inclusive zone is a recognition that not only is cooperation essential to survival, but that altruistic behavior is somehow right. The motivations for this behavior inevitably are attributed to awareness of a higher power or a simple personal realization of kinship among living things.
Levels red, orange and yellow are firmly rooted in the material world. There is little consideration given to higher levels of awareness. Indeed, the idea that awareness or mindfulness may have the possibility of extending beyond the material world are conceptual in nature only and considered largely unattainable.
Enter the spiritual realm. Green, blue, and indigo. Green level individuals have escaped the material realm as the limit of their consciousness and have begun intermittant forays into an awareness of something larger … a spirit or soul, eternal existence, permanence and changing forms. However, still being grounded in the material world, this transitional level is a level of difficulty in reconciling the often brutal events of materiality with the seeming peaceful existence apparent in the higher reaches of form.
To supercede materiality requires a leap to level blue. This is a difficult transition, for to do so requires complete release of form and materiality. In attaining this level, a consciousness has realized that their form is merely a form of the moment. They understand that there is purpose inherent within reality. They have gained trust in the process. They see and understand birth of form, growth, maturity and ascension. This is the first level of peaceful existence, one independent of events or relationships. There is a connection established with a larger consciousness, the Store of consciousness as referenced by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Before moving beyond blue level awareness, it is useful to examine how one reaches beyond each level to the next one. Conquering fear, a realization that there is more to existence and a desire for that. Inherent within these three prerequisites for ascension is a friend of becoming ever more quiet within oneself and observant.
The indigo level is a leap yet again. Rather than existing as a mere observer, trusting in the wisdom of cosmos, one prepares to return home. Awareness grows beyond individuality and self to that of something larger. This exists as more than a simple connection to the Store of consciousness and an immersion begins.
Beyond level indigo is the purple zone. While indigo might be called universal in awareness, purple reaches beyond. What lies beyond is a mystery. The fear that must be conquered is the final step – the loss of all individuality, a return to pure white light, the All.