We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.
~DEEPAK CHOPRA, The Secret of Healing: Meditations for Transformation and Higher Consciousness
Richer moments of consciousness
The time higher consciousness is often used by spiritually minded people to describe important but part to reach mental states. Hindu sages, Christian monks, and Buddhist ascetics, all speak of richer moments of higher consciousness through meditation or chanting, fasting or pilgrimages.
Unfortunately, the way in which the spiritual people discuss their states of higher consciousness has a tendency to put a lot of secular types on edge. It can sound maddeningly vague, wishy-washy, touchy-feely, and for one of a better word, annoying.
What on earth do these gurus really mean?
We deeply sympathize with such frustrations, not being by nature particularly attracted to the ineffable the mysterious; however, it seems that the idea of higher consciousness is, in fact, a very interesting one, which has nothing inherently to do with spirituality, and can be defined simply enough in strictly rational and secular terms.
This is how we see it.
As human beings, we spend most of our lives functioning in states of lower consciousness, but what we’re principally concerned with is ourselves: our survival and our own success narrowly defined. Ordinary life rewards practical on introspective, self- justifying outlooks for the whole marks of lower consciousness. Neuroscientists speak of a lower part of the brain. They call the reptilian mind and tell us that under its way we strike back when we hit, blame others, quell and stray questions that lack immediate relevance, fail to free associate, and stick closely to a flattering image of who we are and where we headed.
However, rare moments when there are no threats or demands upon us, perhaps late at night or early in the morning, when our bodies and passions are comfortable in quiescent, we have the privilege of being able to access the higher mind, what neuroscientists call the neocortex, the seat of imagination, empathy, impartial judgment.
In such states, the mind moves beyond its particular self-interests and cravings. We start to think about other people in a more imaginative way, rather than criticize and attack. We free to imagine their behavior being driven by pressures to right from their own primitive mines, which they’re generally in no position to tell us about. That temporal viciousness are we now see symptoms of heart rather than evil. It’s an astonishing gradually evolution to develop the ability to explain others actions by their distress rather than simply in terms of how it effects us.
We perceive that the appropriate response to humanity is not fear, cynicism or aggression but love.
At such moments the world reveals itself is quite different a place of suffering and misguided effort full of people striving to be hurt and lashing out against others but also places of tenderness, longing, beauty, touching vulnerability, fitting responses universes sympathy and kindness.
One’s own life feels less precious, we can contemplate being no longer present with tranquility. Once interest to put aside and one may imaginatively fuse with transient all natural things: trees, the wind, clouds or waves breaking on the shore.
From this point of view, status is nothing, possessions no matter, grievances lose their urgency.
States of higher consciousness are, of course, desperately short lived. We shouldn’t in any case aspire to make them permanent because they don’t sit so well with the many important practical tasks we all need to attend to, but we should make the most of it when do arise for when we require the most.
Higher consciousness is a huge triumph over the primitive mind, which cannot envisage any such possibilities.
Ideally we be a little more alive to the advantages of this higher mind and strive to make our oceanic experiences somewhat less random and less closed in unnecessary mystery.