I began this thread by reviewing the least creative levels of consciousness, those levels that limit most the creative expression of consciousness in physical reality. These consciousness levels I call:
- To Control and To Be Controlled Absolutely
- To Force and To Be Forced
- To Threaten and To Be Threatened
- To Blame and To Be Blamed Undeservedly
To raise myself from these levels of consciousness, all I need do is say, “Yes,” to the reality of my suffering and be willing to learn from my experience. This immediately brings me to the more creative level of consciousness that I call:
- To Accept With Intent to Learn
Next I needed to understand how my situation came about, including any forces involved in its creation and maintenance. To accomplish this understanding, I found I needed to ask questions: first, questions designed to uncover the physical and psychological processes involved in my suffering; and second, if I required further understanding, questions designed to uncover the broader spiritual, theoretical, or historical processes involved in my suffering. Asking these questions raised me to the next most creative levels of consciousness, levels that I call:
- To Understand Physically
- To Understand Spiritually
Now I find myself at the next most creative level of consciousness, the level of consciousness I call:
- To Give
To Give is a dynamic level of consciousness, one that involves willingness to take any and all nonabusive steps necessary To Give myself the physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual resources required for healing the situation that is causing my suffering. Finding such resources almost always involves asking others for help. This can be very hard to do, particularly if I am ashamed of the part I may have played in bringing my situation about or permitting it to come about. Such shame arises from the consciousness level of To Blame. And we have seen already that in order to raise myself from my the consciousness level of To Blame I must accept that I feel this way and be willing to learn from it. This raises me from the consciousness level of To Blame to the level I call To Accept With Intent to Learn, which in turn opens my mind To Understand Physically and Spiritually the dynamics of my shame and readies me To Give myself the help I need to heal my situation.
The wonderful thing is that, once I get into the habit of taking the action to give myself the help I need to relieve my suffering, that attitude of To Give overflows to others. I find an inner strength welling up in me, a feeling of sureness, dignity, and rightness that others see and wish to emulate. Giving from an overflow of enjoyed resources is a very different experience from the kind of codependent giving that many of us mistake for noble spirituality. It raises one immediately to the level of consciousness that I call To Love.
Don’t misunderstand me here: sacrifice has its place in spiritual evolution. But sacrifice as it is commonly practiced by religious ascetics and martyrs often arises from the consciousness level of To Force, and does not, in the end, succeed in healing the endless power struggle that characterizes so much of civilization. (To understand the proper place of sacrifice in the greater scheme of things, see my future blog, To Know That One Already Has.)
NEXT: To Love.