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Higher Consciousness: A Study in Fiction

By Scott Shaw

Since the dawning of advancing consciousness, people have put forth the idea that you can advance your consciousness, you can become more, superior, and/or enlightened. At the core of all of these teachings is separation. By seeking higher consciousness, you are becoming more than the person next to you. They are of a lower mind because all they think about is their desires, their car, their house, their family, their whatever… But you, the seeker, you are more! You are something different—someone more holy because you are on the path to higher consciousness.

This trend, this definition, has been taught a thousand different way throughout the various religious traditions and spiritual schools across the centuries. There have been a few teachers who have stepped to the forefront of the pack and have expounded new and somewhat different teachings. And, for whatever karmic reasoning, they have been remembered throughout history. Schools and religions have been created around their name. Siddhartha Guataman, the Sakyamuni Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Sri Shankaracharya, and the list goes on. Then, there have been the teachers who reference these individuals as supreme beings. Many of these teachers devote their entire lives to, The Becoming, of what these teachers propagated and the higher consciousness they were believed to have possessed.

But. Let’s step back for a moment. “What is higher consciousness?” What do you define it as? What do your teachers tell you it is?

The first step in understanding higher consciousness is defining what it is to you. Because what it is to you, may not be what it is to me.

The next question you must ask yourself is, does pursuing higher consciousness actually make you something more, something better as has been laid down throughout time.

No one can tell you the answer to those questions. I can say, that if we look at the masses of humanity, we can see that most people pursue nothing more than the fulfillment of their own momentary desires. They want what they want. But, I want what I want to. You want what you want to. And, the person seeking higher consciousness wants what they want; namely, higher consciousness.

Ask yourself, “Is the pursuit of higher consciousness any different from wanting a new car, a new girlfriend, a new boyfriend, a new watch, or a new whatever?”

Certainly, there is the belief that a person on the Spiritual Path is not so much seeking things only for themselves but are more set upon a course which is designed to aid in the betterment of all of humanity. For example, there is the, Bodhisattve Vow, where a person makes a vow to gain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings and once they have achieved enlightenment they will continue to reincarnating, (continue to come back to this place we call life), until all of humanity is fully enlightenment. That sounds selfless. But, is it?

If we take a more refined look at this concept, it brings us back to the primary point, “What is the key concept in the Bodhisattve Vow?” It is that one person will do one thing. They have heard of it. They desire it. So, they pursuit it. Thus, it is nothing more than a desire.

Though the spiritual practitioner may make it sound like they are doing something for the good of humanity, we still come back to the central focal point of, “I.” “I will do this. I will get that. Then, I will do this for you to make all things better.” Me, me, me…

Can there be any concept of, “Me,” and, “I,” in true higher consciousness?

Some spiritual traditions teach that their techniques cause a person to loose all sense of, “I.” But, this is also one of the main selling points that has been used in the propagation of the use of hallucinogenic drugs, “You will lose yourself. You will become one with all” But, this is all mumbo-jumbo. It is simply a means and a method of convincing people that there is some strange and illusive cosmic thing out there that they cannot encounter naturally.

To the matter of fact; yes, some hallucinogenic drugs will cause you to lose your sense of self. But, then the drug wears off and you are back where you started. The only problem is, the drug has altered the chemistry of your brain forever and you are never the same. And, that, “Never the same,” is not a good thing. Or, the drug has altered your brain to the degree that you become mentally ill. In this modern time they have developed some pharmacological drugs that can help reverse this pattern. But, nonetheless, you will be left with, “Never the same.”

If we look at this ideology a bit deeper, “What do you become if you have no sense of self?”

Again, here we are taken into the rhetoric of higher consciousness. It is often stated that, “This person’s consciousness is so high that they are completely removed from self and are completely removed from this world.” Well, so is a person who is insane. Are they enlightened? Have the achieved higher consciousness? Immediately the argument will be made that they did not choose their condition but a holy man did.
Choice is a condition of life. We all choose what we choose. And, for the most part, people who want to be something, oftentimes pretend that they are just that; whether they are or not. They fake it till they make it.

“Oh no, my guru isn’t like that!” How do you know?

Most people never have the opportunity to spend enough one-on-one time with their teacher to truly see that they have human flaws. They are simply allowed to see a presented image. Moreover, if one follows a, “Supreme teachers,” who has passed away then all ability to see who they truly were is long lost, as they died a long-long time ago.

All if this is not to say that there is not true spirituality. And, this is not to say that there are not those who truly possess higher consciousness. But, how many times have you found yourself thinking, “Oh that teacher is a fraud. He or she is not truly holy.” How many people have said that about your teacher or about you?

As there is no one definition, there can be no one higher consciousness. Since there is no one higher consciousness, like all things it life, its pursuit is left to the definition and the belief system of the individual mind. What you believe may be completely disavowed by the person sitting next to you. And, in fact, a few years down the road, you too may completely believe something different than you do today.

Belief is only that; belief. It is a perception individually held by each person. It is not universal. As it is not universal, there is no one way to attainment. There is only YOU and what YOU believe.

What do you believe and why?

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