Have you ever noticed that there are moments, even extended moments, when you are capable of thinking “multidimensionally”? I.e., no longer in terms of this versus that, or this causes that. Instead, you notice, with the Buddhists, the phenomenon of “co-dependent arising,” where linear causal strings dissolve into the living, breathing, formless awareness that holds all and loves all equally, beyond measure.
Getting from here, “three-dimensional” consciousness, to there, where all forms dissolve into oneness, appears to be a gradual process during which one’s awareness undergoes a number of steps. Here are three versions of “ten levels of consciousness.” The first gives each level a snappy title:
The second one evokes a gradual gradient between levels, and reminds me of a discussion with one of my former husbands. We had been trekking along a mountain trail, four days into a pack packing trip, so our senses were wide open. As the sun began to set behind the mountain it was as if time slowed down enough for us to notice what appeared to be sudden shifts in perception, as one level of the gathering darkness shaded into the next. We wondered then, as I wonder here, with the “ten levels of consciousness,” are these sudden level shifts just a matter of human perception, or are they also occurring “in reality.” And beyond that: are all ways that we humans demarcate aspects of “reality” mind-created?
Finally, I’d say pay attention especially to this third version, in its entirety. The ten levels come with a preface of ten facts, and includes a ten-level chart. I’m especially interested in what the author claims about the difficulty of moving from ego-based pride consciousness to heart-based courage consciousness, since I’m working with someone right now who is pushing exactly that boundary, and thankfully, he is consciously noticing his extreme rage. He and I talked this morning about how our Mother Earth has been pummelled for thousands upon thousands of years by enraged ego-based people seeking revenge for real or imagined wrongs, running rivers of blood.
This truly does feel like an extraordinary moment of opportunity when we humans are learning to surrender ego consciousness to eco consciousness. Nothing less will do if we wish to avoid extinction. And even then, we may not avoid extinction. This is what we must face. That either way, we all die. There is no avoiding it. Nor should there be. All forms are impermanent, co-dependently rising and falling like the tides.