What exactly does raising consciousness mean? What does it entail? How can you measure your progress?
All excellent questions that spiritual and esoteric traditions from around the world have been attempting to answer for millennia and the very ones I’ve been asking myself and intensely contemplating for over a decade. I’d like to think I’ve discovered meaningful answers, distilled from a synthesis of the shared wisdom across all the different paths I’ve studied: from Shamanism to Sufism, Hindu/Tantric philosophy to Daoism, Jungian Psychology to Non-Dualism, Kabbalah to Quantum Physics and everything in between. I’ve combined what I’ve learned from these traditions with personal insights and distinctions I haven’t specifically seen mentioned anywhere else to form a very powerful set of ideas, insights and guiding principles outlined below that have the ability to dramatically shift consciousness in a remarkably short period of time.
As far as I’m concerned, expanding your consciousness is loosely about the following four things:
1. Understanding the true nature of reality.
2. Experiencing the full range of human ability and potential.
3. Developing your spiritual awareness.
4. Having a positive impact with your life by being of service in some way shape or form to someone or something other than yourself.
While I’m not going to go into depth explaining what each of those mean in totality, I am going to offer three extraordinarily powerful ways you can experience a massive positive shift in your consciousness. One that will take your life from wherever you currently find yourself to an extraordinary level of fulfillment, happiness, success, freedom, peace, flow, and growth.
I make no reservations about stating that the act of truly and authentically raising your consciousness, which most definitely encompasses and includes living your purpose, is the most important thing you can do with your time on this planet and will result in your life becoming better than you could have ever imagined in your wildest dreams. In fact, I believe it is, as the famed mythologist Joseph Campbell stated, your “Hero’s Journey”—your actual, underlying purpose in this life—at whatever pace you choose, to expand your consciousness as described in the framework above.
And in order to accomplish that goal in the shortest time possible, if that is your desire and intention, I recommend focusing your time and energy on the following three key areas that will radically expand your consciousness.
1. Move Through the Six Phases of Consciousness
One of the most important things to understand is that within the general framework of raising your consciousness, there are sublevels and distinctions of conscious/spiritual awareness you must move through. These are states of mind and perception, meaning that they primarily have to do with how you see, interpret, and experience life and the world around you. I lay them out here as they have been developed and coined by spiritual teacher Mary O’Malley:
1. Life happens to you.
2. Life happens by you.
3. Life happens in you.
4. Life happens for you.
5. Life happens through you.
6. Life is you.
In a nutshell, this describes the process of moving from unconsciousness to consciousness, from the idea that life is happening to you, through the idea that you are creating your life and ultimately into the understanding that there is a greater wisdom in life than we could possibly comprehend, which is not so subtly being alluded to by breakthroughs in quantum physics research in recent years.
Rather than offering a rehashed description of the six phases here, I would recommend that when you finish this article, you take a minute to read Mary’s brilliant, in-depth explanation that can be found here.
Suffice it to say that moving through these six phases is a non-negotiable step up the ladder of consciousness and is an excellent tool for gauging how far you have come. And when combined with the following two keys, radical shifts may be experienced in remarkably short periods of time.