Lee Hager, Guest Writer
The importance of attaining higher consciousness is regularly mentioned in connection with spiritual awakening and growth, but there’s been very little consensus about what it actually is. As Seneca pointed out, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” We can look to spiritual sages for understanding, but there’s another source that can clarify their words. Although quantum physicists weren’t originally researching consciousness, they uncovered information that’s offering fresh and surprising insights into consciousness.
Consciousness is generally defined as the ability to be aware of our own existence. Or, we can think of it as a tool used to create an inner reality that makes sense to us. Clearly, without consciousness we would have no sense of our own existence, and no ability to understand our place within the whole. When we think in terms of “lower” and “higher” levels of consciousness, it implies an awareness of existence on more than one plane. This thought echoes the concept of a “higher” and “lower” self.
What does science tell us about consciousness? A group of scientists known as material realists believe only matter exists. They claim that consciousness is a product of evolution and is simply a brain function that’s another form of matter. If material realists were correct, that would mean consciousness would exist only in creatures that are highest on the evolutionary ladder. In that case, consciousness higher than what humans already possess could not exist. Although material realists have diligently tried to discover how matter produced consciousness, all their attempts have failed.
On the other hand, quantum research has demonstrated that consciousness permeates even the most elemental particles in the universe. This fact indicates that consciousness was present at the beginning of the universe and has always been an integral part of everything in existence. This discovery also informs us that consciousness can, and does, exist apart from matter and outside of time/space.
Scientists now understand that consciousness is a field we exist within, rather than something we possess. Instead of producing consciousness, the brain acts as a receiver that picks up and processes consciousness that exists outside it. Although matter takes up only 1/3 of the universe, we usually think of the space that surrounds it as “empty.” However, this “zero point field” is actually packed with energy and acts as an enormous storehouse of consciousness and memory.
Spiritual sages have long considered this matrix of consciousness and energy to be a Divine Ground, the One Mind of God that’s shared by all of existence. As physicists delve deeper into the quantum realm, many of them are beginning to agree. This means that the Divine Mind literally permeates everything in existence, and this is where the concept of higher consciousness comes in. Although everything that exists is conscious, it would be ridiculous to claim that everything is equally aware. We can think of consciousness as a light that’s either on or off, but intelligence and awareness as a rheostat that can be dialed up or down. So how do we ratchet up our awareness and attain higher consciousness?
As strange as it seems, research demonstrates that the quantum foundation of the universe is real, while the material universe is a virtual reality. Spiritual sages have explained for centuries that our world is an illusion, and they’ve been proven correct. They tell us that we’ve turned our back on the oneness of All That Is to experience separation and specialness. To do this, we had to alter our level of awareness so that we could project an illusion of separate identities and private thoughts. The brain assists us in carrying out this charade by imposing its logic and veiling our connection with the Divine Mind.
It’s as if we had been living in a beautiful sunlit mansion but shut ourselves into a tiny, windowless basement room and stayed there so long, we forgot the mansion existed. Our forgetfulness couldn’t negate the mansion’s existence, but it certainly changed our level of awareness. When spiritual masters speak about “higher consciousness,” they’re reminding us that we can wake up from our illusion and reconnect with the One Mind.
How do we regain our connection with the One Mind? In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus said, “Where the beginning is, the end will be.” In other words, we reconnect by letting go of thoughts that promote separation and specialness and replace them with the desire for oneness. As we let go of our belief in preconceived notions, we open ourselves to willingly hear what the Divine Mind wants to tell us. This change of thinking brings us out of the basement and back into the sunlight of higher consciousness. None of us have ever left the field of the One Mind, now we only need to become aware of it.
Copyright © Lee and Steven Hager
About the Author
Lee Hager and her husband Steven are the authors of The Beginning of Fearlessness: Quantum Prodigal Son, a spiritual quest and scientific adventure based on Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, quantum physics and the gnostic gospels.
For more information on the synergy of science and spirituality and a free 6 part video eCourse, “Obstacles to Spiritual Growth,” or free sample chapters from their book, visit their website and blog at: http://www.thebeginningoffearlessness.com
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