This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book ‘Consciousness Sutras. Principles of Becoming Conscious’, by Ovidiu Brazdau. Sutras Commentary will be available in print & kindle editions.
The consciousness sutras are a compilation of principles, describing conscious experience and inner evolution. They are intended as experiential guidelines for psychologists, transformational counselors, life coaches, and anyone on a transformational journey.
The sutras and the commentaries have been created using my previous research—’Psychology of Becoming Conscious’ and ‘Entheogenic Insights’, available in the ‘Becoming Conscious’ collection at www.consciousness-quotient.com/becoming-conscious. This text also includes previously unpublished research results, especially the conceptual meta-research on conceptual convergence of conscious experiences and inner evolution, undertaken for the development of the Consciousness Quotient concept and the CQ-i assessment tool.
These principles clarify and describe the structure and the layers of conscious experience, and their dynamics during inner evolution, while providing various first-person methodologies for their exploration. The text includes multidimensional perspectives and highly experiential descriptions from a first-person perspective; due to this complexity, some phrases may require more than one reading. You could take short pauses while reading, to reflect on how collective mechanisms generate your personal conscious experience.
If some ideas don’t make sense at first, please continue reading, and allow your mind to slowly form the puzzle, until a coherent big picture emerges. Some pieces of the puzzle will reveal themselves later, after you understand why all the pieces are related to one another, and how they work together to create the conscious experience.
Please consider this compilation of ideas to be my subjective perspective on how inner evolution could unfold.
I. CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE
1. Consciousness is a generic concept, an umbrella term, that describes the ability to experience life on multiple self-reflective levels. This guideline is focused on conscious experience, the subjective experience of being awake and alive.
2. The conscious experience is an outcome of the natural evolution of life. It provides the means to observe, self-reflect, and partially influence automatic behaviors and patterns, enhancing adaptability to life processes and generating evolutionary diversity.
3. Conscious experience is generated by the adaptive processing in our body, its cellular life and energy, the electromagnetic, gravitational, and other fundamental forces and processes, and their rhythmic balanced interchange. Conscious experience emerges from the functioning of the whole body, not just the brain. The interactions between all cells, organs, and systems of the human body are reflected in specific ways in conscious experience.
4. The human body is interconnected through complex chemical and biological systems, and also through resonance chains on various frequencies. The resonance chains form synchronic nested rhythms networks that define the brain-body architecture.
5. The rhythmic, balanced interchanges can coalesce in different combinations of frequencies, forming dynamic resonance structures. These structures adapt the human body dynamics to life dynamics, through multi-frequency and multi-rhythmic adaptive processing. The resonant adaptive processing is embedded in the architecture of the mechanical and electrochemical exchanges, developed by the 60+ trillion human and bacterial cells that form the human body. Cognition, intelligence, attention, and awareness provide a glimpse of this multi-layered adaptive processing.
6. Life’s adaptive processing develops in progressive steps. Around 80 to 90% of the processing develops automatically, entirely outside our awareness, while regulating the functioning of our body. Some parts of the other 10-20% of life’s adaptive processing create three awareness types. Primary processing, from 20ms (milliseconds) to 100ms after the stimulus onset, generates basic awareness. Secondary processing, from 100ms to 300ms, creates pre-conscious awareness, and tertiary processing, from 300ms to 600ms and beyond, generates conscious awareness through cognition.
7. Reflective self-awareness (‘mental presence’), involving cognition and perception of time, needs at least 1-3 seconds to evoke the nowness experience, the localizing of an event in time as happening ‘now’. However, through witnessing awareness, which requires minimal categorization and cognition, humans could have a continuous ‘raw’ part of the conscious experience, subjectively felt as a fresh ‘being in the now’. Witnessing awareness begins to unfold from basic and pre-conscious awareness (below the 300ms threshold), while mindfulness is available later, after cognition gets involved in processing and the ‘nowness’ experience is generated. That’s why some contemplative experiences, with a significant witnessing component, are perceived as ‘atemporal’, or ‘with no self-identity’, while usual mindfulness experiences feel more like this: ‘I am observing reality here-now’.
8. To be conscious means to have a degree of witnessing awareness and a degree of freedom of choice when thinking, feeling, sensing, and interacting with people and the environment. An essential element of conscious experience is intentionality, which allows a person to choose deliberately what behavior to enact and what attitude to allow and select. From a temporal unfolding perspective, conscious experience is a flowing ‘window to reality’: it includes fresh components (generated by witnessing, with not as much choice available) and delayed components (generated by witnessing, cognition, and other aspects of processing, with greater freedom of choice available). The weight of these two components, in the overall conscious experience, is highly dynamic; some experiences can be ‘more fresh’ (when witnessing has more weight), while others can be ‘more delayed’ (when cognitive processing has more weight). There are also various other combinations, generated by the layers of conscious experience and sub-systems.
9. The witnessing awareness mode is a part of a meta-reflective intelligence system, generated by the body’s adaptive processing. When a part of attention is focused on the attentional stream itself, it generates meta-attention, and then meta-awareness—the awareness of awareness streams, creating a framework for awareness flows. While the feedback loop is added to the meta-processing of awareness, the witnessing awareness mode is activated, as an evolutionary response that supports the continuity of the feedback cycle. There is no need to sit in meditation to ‘achieve’ the witnessing awareness mode. Witnessing is available as a conscious choice, and it can be habituated through practice.
10. Witnessing awareness is an evolutionary feature, slowly developing in humans and other life forms, enhancing the conscious experience. This advanced feedback processing also develops in humans as meta-cognition (cognition about cognition), meta-emotions (secondary emotions, generated by primary-reactive emotions), and other types of meta-reflective processing. The witnessing experience seems directly connected to the early local recurrent and late top-down feedback processes in our brain, as well as all feedback mechanisms in our body, which maintain homeostasis and provide adaptation and support for life processes.
11. Witnessing is a fluid experience, a dynamic process, not a static ‘component’ of the conscious experience. It flows moment to moment. As life’s intelligence evolves, this perceptual ability also evolves, becoming richer and more complex. However, this evolutionary feature is at its earliest stage of development in humans, and it seems to reach its full potential in the post-autonomous stages of inner growth, through in-depth inner work and long-term efforts to de-automatize the psychological system and educate the attentional mechanisms.
12. Attention is the part of life’s intelligence that monitors and enhances the adaptive processing of stimuli from various sources, internal and external. While monitoring the global workspace of automatic processing, attention selects the stimuli that have or need increased processing. After selection, the body’s intelligence increases their processing through various mechanisms, including awareness and cognition. Thus, a conscious experience related to the stimuli is generated.
13. The conscious experience is enhanced by dividing attention to include narrow focus and global focus, at the same time, and also the immersed and objective ways simultaneously.
14. During adaptive processing, perspective filters are naturally created as coherent patterns of various information flows, such as awareness, cognition systems, attentional streams, memory, sensory perception, energy patterns, and self-identity. These patterns are then used to attend to the present moment.
15. Perspective-taking is the process a person uses to filter reality via various vantage points, or lenses, which select information sources and create meaning.
16. The perspective-taking generates highly subjective knowledge about reality, as it is conditioned by personal experiences, body functioning, group experiences, culture, and civilization habits.
17. Organic life on Earth developed collective patterns of functioning through the evolutionary process, reflected in human inner experience as collective root tendencies. These natural tendencies organize the adaptive processing in our body layers, generating various functional patterns inside the conscious experience, common to all humans.
18. Root tendencies are barely accessible to our conscious awareness. Still, through in-depth self-exploration, it is possible to attend to their flows and adjust their effects in our inner life through conscious interventions. The collective root tendencies provide the initial structure for the personal vāsanās/samskaras, identified and described by Advaita, Yoga, Buddhism, and their practitioners; vāsanās/samskaras are sub-conscious drives and psychological imprints that automatically influence our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
19. From an experiential, first-person perspective, there are three essential layers of reality we can attend to, through the body: physical-material, energy, information, all taking place in space, as a container of these three layers, generating multidimensional dynamics inside the conscious experience. These reality layers are reflected in the human experience as interpenetrating body layers.
20. Physical Body layer consists of physical matter and its organizations in cells, organs, and systems of cells. Their dynamics are reflected in our inner experience through various external and internal senses, including sound, vision, touch, smell, internal organ sense, hunger, thirst, suffocation, pain, temperature, body position, balance, spatial orientation, movement, muscle and organs tensions, blood pressure, connectivity with other life forms, or other specific body processes.
21. Energy Body layer includes the energy exchanges that occur in our physical body, owing to various forces or phenomena, e.g., chemical forces, electromagnetism, gravity, body heat, food processing, breath. The energy body is the result of life processes, doing ‘work’ to maintain the functioning of a human being, perceived in various ways, e.g., emotions, feelings, flowing sensations, vital energy, sexual drives, cognitive energy, kundalini waves, energetic effects from human interactions (or from other life forms and nature), and various other energy-related sensations and perceptions.
22. Information Body layer incorporates various types of information exchanges between the cells and cell systems, as well as complex adaptive processing, such as awareness, cognition, attention, perspective-taking, language and meanings, intelligence, social and interpersonal information exchanges, connections with the intelligence of other life forms, and information from various resonance dynamics of life on Earth.
23. A good multi-modal integration enhances the conscious experience. Multi-modal integration refers to a harmonic integration of awareness related to body layers (physical, energy, and information). Memory and self-identity are embedded in all layers. That’s why, during the inner evolution process, one has to consider working with the patterns in all three body layers. The integration process is supported by a global attentional style, which keeps various flows of awareness together, in a synesthetic-like style.
24. Increasing the clarity of discrimination is essential for conscious experience. Clarity of discrimination refers to selecting/discriminating various stimuli, facets, and subsystems of the conscious experience. It also means perceiving and responding to differences and multiple changes in the inner and outer environment.
25. There are a variety of inner configurations available to humans, generating common states of consciousness, such as the waking state, relaxation, dreaming, deep sleep, transitions before or after sleep, daydreaming, creativity, trance states (zone/flow), or rare states such as lucid dreaming, high-energy experiences (kundalini spikes), samadhi, each of them having various stages of depth and variations.
26. Using witnessing awareness, we can attend to some structures and contents of the body’s adaptive processing even while dreaming or experiencing deep sleep. These inner configurations are known as witnessing dreams, witnessing deep sleep, and turiya. In the Upanishads, turiya is described as the fourth state of consciousness that could run in the background of all states, such as waking, sleeping, dreaming, or samadhi. Turiya is generated by a specific configuration of the witnessing awareness mode.
27. Conscious experience is enhanced if the perspective is trained to include attention to space, as a permanent part of the attentional structure. This creates a new type of awareness, known as spatial awareness, sometimes described by mystics and philosophers as the void-like nature of conscious experience.
28. By consciously using the perspective, the attentional structures, and the connection with space, we can participate in the present moment with more richness, connecting with multiple layers of reality in creative ways.
29. The natural events in our lives create specific patterns of thinking, feeling, sensing, and acting. In time, they habituate as a psychological self-identity, a unique personality. Self-identity is a habituated way of experiencing life.
30. Specific and repeated events in our lives form a web of patterns that activates in specific circumstances, generating subpersonalities, mini-identities adapted to that specific event/topic.
31. In the inner evolution journey, observation of the subpersonalities is the premise for becoming an authentic human being. In time, we can integrate all the subpersonalities into one fluid identity, and we can live in contact with the totality of ourselves in each moment. To do this integration, first we need to notice the subpersonalities and then create a system of life-values that can apply to all subpersonalities. Using this method, we get a coherent structure that allows us to be authentic all the time, while adapting our behavior to each specific context.
32. The Consciousness Quotient is a composite psychological construct, including traits, skills, and abilities that allow us to explore and optimize the conscious experience.
33. An enhanced Consciousness Quotient means a higher degree of witnessing awareness and being less automatic in thinking, feeling, sensing, and interacting with people and the environment, together with a higher degree of choice when initiating a behavior. It also means a better capacity for connecting with life and experiencing fresh aliveness through the body.
II. INNER EVOLUTION DRIVES
34. Life on Earth is a continuous flow of change; collective adaptation and evolution unfold continuously in every human being, driven by internal and external circumstances.
35. Inner evolution happens when unexpected events, whether personal, social, or planetary, require adaptation to new circumstances.
36. Along with the temporary drives requiring adaptation to unexpected issues in life, ten evolutionary drives can generate and sustain accelerated transformative waves in individuals.
37. Giving birth to life
This evolutionary drive provides the energy for the procreation and education of human descendants.
38. Connect and align
The drive to comply and align to group values and beliefs (including religious ones), by conforming and adjusting to collective cultural values and civilization rules, and achieving group ideals.
39. No more!
This drive sustains the evolutionary processes, ignited by life issues such as dramas, traumas, failures, or conflicts. It relates to ‘cleaning’ and healing the effects of unbalanced actions from the past, becoming aware and integrating personal or transgenerational patterns, or solving personal problems.
40. What’s this?
This is the evolutionary drive toward understanding and generating new knowledge and wisdom.
41. Being human
This is the drive toward developing a healthy identity, sustaining the journey toward maturity, realizing autonomy, self-actualizing, finding unity, and adopting Being-values.
This drive motivates and sustains the journey toward harmony and freedom, usually through spirituality. Sattva is one of the three tendencies of nature (‘gunas’), described by Eastern philosophies as the quality of ‘being light’ (as opposed to restlessness and heaviness). Sattva also refers to goodness, positivity, truth, serenity, balance, and peacefulness. The other two tendencies of nature are rajas, oriented toward passion, activity, and motion, and tamas, related to confusion and inertia.
43. Feel alive
This is the evolutionary tendency to immerse oneself in the experience of being alive.
44. What’s beyond?
This drive generates evolution through curiosity and exploration.
45. Support and protect life
This is the collective drive to take care of life in all its forms.
46. Innovate and share
This is the evolutionary drive to generate innovative ways of being and living.
47. These evolutionary drives run in the background of conscious experience and shape the individual’s inner journey toward fulfilling its evolutionary goal, which supports collective evolution.
48. The transformative waves generated by these drives could extend over many years or decades.
49. A transformative wave begins with a challenge, when an issue is presented to the global workspace of conscious awareness, followed by some chaos when new information is flooding inner experience. Then the wave reaches a peak, when the ‘chaos’ is structured into new patterns, generating a shift (unfolding as insights, energy re-arrangements, ecstatic states, new perspectives, awakenings, decisions, etc.), usually followed by integration, that will eventually lead to a new structure of personality (self-identity) or new ways of being alive. It can be unhealthy to enter the new personality before the transformative wave is slowed down naturally.
50. A transformative wave ends when that specific adaptation is acquired, the specific need has been satisfied, and the evolutionary seed unfolds. Multiple rounds of chaos/adaptation cycles could occur before the drive is satisfied. Some evolutionary drives are active for a very long time, or through the entire life of an individual, and their effects could be mistakenly considered as ‘stable personality traits’.
51. It’s natural for these drives to be depleted if the change requires a broad adaptation that cannot be acquired in one or a few transformative waves. Sometimes a drive may activate again, generating another attempt to synchronize. Sometimes it remains inactive, and the drive energy is ‘reassigned’ by life’s intelligence to follow the natural pace of collective evolution.
52. More than one drive may be active simultaneously in an individual, at a given time, generating inner experiences with enhanced complexity and aliveness. For any individual who wants to understand what’s emerging now in the inner life, it is helpful to become aware of these active transformative waves, noticing whether the wave is peaking, or the energy is before or after the peak.
III. DEVELOPMENTAL MAPS
53. Inner evolution has two main components: inner growth (growing up) is a journey toward maturity, by learning to develop a harmonic, healthy, and fluid self-identity, while the awakening journeys (waking up) add new depths and facets to our conscious experience of being alive, open and connected with ourselves and life.
54. Inner Growth, the journey toward psychological maturity and a fluid self-identity, unfolds in developmental stages, from birth to adulthood, while one’s mental frameworks/worldviews evolve from egocentric (me) to ethnocentric (my family, my group), sociocentric (my community, my nation), worldcentric (all of us), planet-centric (all beings, the Earth), and cosmocentric (all that exists, the universe). Caring, love, respect, and deep connection with nature and life are available at any stage of development.
55. Developmental psychologists have identified specific characteristics for each stage, which seem to be similar among all the people at that specific stage of inner growth and maturity, in all cultures. The healthy transition through stages develops in a logical sequence. Later stages are reached by transitioning through the previous stages, incorporating their perspectives, structures, and patterns into a larger, more flexible, and connected self-identity. Later stages are not happier or more adjusted; each stage has its challenges.
56. During inner growth, individuals become increasingly aware of the psychological mechanisms that generate their inner experience, while expanding from concrete contents of inner experience (e.g., facts, events, social interactions, sensations, thoughts, emotions), to psychological-philosophical contents (e.g., how thinking happens, why emotions occur, how self-identity develops, the use of paradigms, philosophical processing), to continuous real-time attending to meta-reflective processing, such as witnessing awareness, meta-attention, meta-awareness, meta-cognition, meta-emotions, self-identity and subpersonalities dynamics, perspective-taking mechanisms, collective awareness.
57. A person at a more mature stage can understand earlier worldviews, while an individual at an earlier stage cannot understand someone whose center of gravity is at a more mature stage.
58. Most of us simultaneously live within multiple stages; e.g., a subpersonality may be in stage 4 and another one in stage 5. We can feel, act, and react authentically from a unified perspective only after the inner harmonization process has reached a certain maturity.
59. In the journey toward maturity, there are two steps in each transition through developmental stages: vertical development, a structural shift in meaning-making, and horizontal development, an exploration of the world using the same configuration of being-thinking-feeling-sensing-acting-relating. Both are important and necessary for a healthy evolution of personality.
60. Occasionally, during peak experiences or ‘altered states of consciousness’, a person can temporarily access configurations specific to more mature stages, but without being able to influence the flow. After the peak experience ends, such people tend to interpret the meaning of the peak experiences through their habituated perspectives. Although our psyche allows short-term ‘vertical jumps’ during peak experiences, these jumps are rare, as many peak experiences facilitate the processes of letting go, connecting, opening, allowing, fluidifying, or awakening experiences, which usually do not transform self-identity structures.
61. Even after a stage is habituated, a regression of the self-identity center-of-gravity to an earlier stage may happen, due to stressful life events. In these situations, the self-identity returns to the last stable configuration. This is a healthy defense mechanism.
62. Understanding and learning about developmental stages, and consciously using these transformation maps, may reduce the inherent suffering during inner growth by facilitating smooth transitions toward maturity and inner harmony.
63. If a person is interested in using the developmental stages map as a tool for self-evolution, it is most efficient to do it step by step, while seeking to understand the next two stages of inner growth. One should also do inner work to cultivate the new psychological structures and worldviews, inviting the transformation, rather than trying to reach the later stages of development directly. This process can be facilitated by transformational counselors, who have been trained in vertical development, evolutionary mentoring, and transformative methodologies.
64. During transitions toward maturity and autonomy, a repeating pattern has been observed. First, the person opens up to a new way of functioning, but they see it as a personal development (it’s about me). In the next step, they see this new way of functioning in other people, and realize that it is a collective feature (it’s about us).
65. Non-conceptual experiences (pure consciousness, unity consciousness, transcendental states) are available across various developmental levels; they do not belong to a ‘higher’ developmental level.
66. Along the inner growth process, a simultaneous evolutionary process could emerge, described as awakening journeys. Awakening journeys consist of a continuum of openings and insights about the functioning of life and nature. Each awakening is a transformative experience, felt as a transition toward a more complex and deeper awareness.
67. Awakenings are natural evolutionary processes, each one making a specific contribution to the collective self-reflection process. People all over the world have the same types of openings/awakenings, with a subjective flavor added by their preferred frames of reference.
68. There are various types of openings that can be described as awakenings. An awakening is an opening to new ways of functioning, providing new ways of being alive and connected with life.
69. In time, if this new opening is cultivated and consciously nurtured, it becomes an awakeness skill. In other words, it creates a habit (it habituates), supported by the neuroplasticity of the brain. After these neuroplasticity processes occur, the person can use the new awakeness skill without investing much attention. It becomes automated, thus creating the conditions for the next step in evolution.
70. Each person creates meaning from these natural openings based on their worldview. The individual’s interpretation of these natural evolutionary processes is biased by their meaning-making structures, due to the inherent limitations of the language used by each framework (e.g., spiritual, philosophical, religious, pseudoscientific, scientific, etc.).
71. Awakenings happen either sequentially or, sometimes, simultaneously. New awakenings can occur even if previous openings have not been habituated. Each opening has various depths, and it takes time to integrate it, anywhere between a few years to some decades. After integration, the new conscious awareness skills lead to lifestyle changes and new awakeness styles.
72. There is no ‘final’ awakening. Each awakening system triggers a deeper understanding of other systems, until multidimensional awakeness skills are acquired, and all the layers are harmonized and integrated into conscious experience. This process is species-wide, and it is a continuous process.
73. Awakenings can emerge within individuals at various developmental stages. Some awakenings are experienced in their essentiality at later stages, after the self-identity becomes more flexible.
74. Various opening experiences occur spontaneously during life, lasting from a few seconds to a few hours. Most people lack the education to recognize and cultivate them. When they are very intense, the opening moments could be considered peak experiences or altered states of consciousness.
75. Some evolutionary processes unfold in dramatic ways, which may be quite distressing for the people around them. The societal reaction is to confuse these transformational moments and to consider them as a kind of psychosis, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, which slows down the transformation process if one is required to use long-term medications.
76. Awakenings can be learned, cultivated, and invited into our lives, and habituated through practice. They are not necessarily the gift of any god or guru. Perhaps they are a gift of life, but who knows? We just need to allow ourselves to be transformed in new ways.
77. Various psychosomatic processes accompany both the inner growth journeys—toward a mature and fluid self-identity, and the awakening journeys—which enhance one’s connectivity with life. For in-depth information on psychosomatic dynamics, explore the following awakening journeys, described in the Appendix: Conscious embodiment – the reconnection with the body energy and body perceptions; Awakening to the energy flows and kundalini awakening; Vibrational awakenings: from erotic to ecstatic, enstatic and beyond; Awakening the heart and the experience of unconditional love as deep resonance. Also, consider the ‘chakras’ model as a metaphor for energy dynamics, rather than as a technical description of the energy body.
78. During inner evolution, transformation ensues in all layers—physical, energy, and information. Each thinking pattern has a relationship with an energy pattern in the physical body or our emotional structure. Just intervening on one side, the body or emotions, will not produce a stable change. Visualization techniques, in which people imagine sending ‘energy’ to heal parts of the body, produce only placebo effects. To harmonize the cognitive and emotional imprints in the body, we need to use the body, not to visualize ‘energies’ in the body.
79. The psychosomatic process generated by life’s energy intelligence, known as kundalini, has at least three parts: the first part seems to be pranotthana—the ‘cleaning’ process, when the body may be convulsing, moving uncontrollably, or sometimes performing perfect yoga asanas or spontaneous mudras. The second part is when the energy can propagate smoothly and increase the synchrony of rhythms and flows in the energy body layer.
80. The third stage of kundalini processing is when all types of energy are in synchrony, and there are no more significant/unsolved traumas or blockages. In this stage, the person can increase aliveness and combine high and low frequencies, without losing the high synchrony by generating ‘heat’ (or expansive energy flows). It’s a transition from ecstatic to enstatic, usually occurring after the person develops the ability to allow high-frequency experiences, at the same time with low-frequency experiences; this is done by allowing the increase of density in the energy body experiences. This transition is supported by a lifestyle that is oriented toward spirituality and harmony, while nurturing the sattva tendency in all layers.
IV. TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING
81. Transformative learning involves learning, understanding, opening, adjusting, adapting, and habituating to new ways of being alive.
82. The learning process during inner evolution requires an upgrade in the meaning-making structure; one must also grasp the basic technical-experiential terminology related to all body layers (physical, energy, information), their interconnections, and the transformative processes unfolding throughout. By understanding what’s happening, the developmental transitions could advance more quickly, thus reducing confusion and suffering.
83. Developing visual-spatial thinking (thinking through spatial imagery), along with the auditory-verbal (sequential) thinking, provide an increased speed of processing and facilitate learning and understanding during inner evolution. An easy access to both thinking systems is helpful.
84. Samyama is a process of perfect and continuous fusion with the object of attention, through absorption. This uninterrupted connection generates a real-time tuning of cognitive understanding and other perceptions, leading to prajna, experiential-direct knowledge.
85. Learning to practice samyama is helpful for finding the in-depth roots of developmental flows. Practicing samyama with various issues and topics that arise during inner evolution could provide insights for correct decisions, related to that specific issue.
86. A growth mindset is essential for inner evolution. This includes openness, cognitive and emotional flexibility, and a willingness to accept feedback, criticism, and paradoxes. This mindset involves the frequent admission that ‘I don’t know yet’ and an unconditional acceptance of life as it is. All these qualities need to be fueled daily when conscious transformation begins. In time, they will provide an automatic framework, catalyzing the inner evolution journey.
87. In the inner evolution journey, we must defeat psychological inertia and modify the inner defense mechanisms that maintain self-identity stability. The self is a consequence of evolution; that’s why the process of change is not gratified by nature with joy, but rather with fear and frustration. Some people tend to see this inertia as negative, or as if negative energies may ‘attack them’. But, positive emotions (e.g., enthusiasm, joy, curiosity) are also released as an evolutionary support to overcome the inertia.
88. Authenticity and radical honesty are essential during inner evolution, to integrate the subpersonalities and create a workspace for the pre-conscious information to participate in the conscious experience flow. We cannot change the past; all we can do is accept everything and see the present as a result of our past actions. What we can do is become fully honest and authentic, and change the future by acting differently. It may be helpful to know that, during inner evolution, a pattern of experience that shows up is the mirror of karma, when one’s conscience is re-evaluating past actions, and feelings of guilt and inadequacy may appear. In these situations, radical honesty and complete acceptance of all past actions are needed. Also, connecting with friends or discussing these issues with a therapist can provide different perspectives on what happened in the past, thus reducing the ‘absolutist’ tendency of self-judgment.
89. Usually, it takes more than one cycle of exploration to integrate an issue or a subpersonality that is unbalanced. Some brilliant and meticulous individuals, in a counseling or self-development process, tend to self-arrest themselves in a paradigm, just because they are ambitious to solve an issue entirely, before moving on to the next topic. They keep looking at causes and answers, with lengthy efforts, by diving again and again into personal and transgenerational material; they are looking for final answers or a final healing. But, even if we use our discriminative power extensively and do body work, some life issues are so intricate and complex that the only way to ‘solve’ them for good is to grow up as a whole and become more mature with our entire being.
90. During inner evolution, everyone has times of high sensitivity. A highly sensitive person has an increased depth of processing. Such a person is over-aroused (i.e., easily aroused compared to others), has high emotional reactivity and empathy, and higher sensitivity to various stimuli. When people work with their emotional system using witnessing awareness, they discover new depths of sensitivity, experiencing full empathy and full connections with the target of the attentional stream.
91. Anxiety and depression are natural experiences, along the continuum of aliveness. When there is too much activation of life energy, people experience anxiety. When there is less aliveness, they experience depression. Learning to balance aliveness is essential for navigating inner evolution.
92. Transformative change requires noticing and observing patterns and understanding how these patterns connect and work together within systems. Systems thinking is a fundamental skill for a mature self-identity. Some of the systems which can be analyzed during inner evolution are the body, food, emotions, relationships with other people, the mind, the way we talk, and the self-identity. Perhaps the most dramatic transition during inner growth occurs in the post-autonomous stages of development (construct-aware and unitive), when people begin to see their self-identity as a system and stop their compulsive identification with it, by expanding their perspective to include the self-identity as one of the many systems that create our inner life.
93. The switch from automatic pilot to conscious functioning requires an in-depth exploration of our ways of being and interacting. The process of inner evolution is a large-scale re-programming of certain automatic patterns that are available to conscious awareness.
94. Some automatic structures of the psyche are available for re-programming easily; some of them aren’t, due to non-conscious self-defenses that make us negate, reject, or ignore certain experiences and their significance.
95. The rejected/ignored content is what psychologists call the shadow. The shadow is an informational content that is already available to conscious awareness, but the self-identity control is acting as if the content doesn’t exist, thus reducing harmony within the psyche. The shadow is usually created during childhood, through unhealthy parenting styles, and propagates itself from childhood to adult life. The shadow can be transferred from parents to their descendants, if the adult doesn’t do inner work. In the inner evolution process, it is necessary to access the shadow, and allow its contents and patterns to contribute to conscious experience.
96. De-automatization involves a new skill: to observe the self-identity/ego defense mechanisms and to skip using them, when they are not necessary. Allowing all kinds of experiences to flow through us is a natural way to integrate and accept them. If we interpret inner experiences that we don’t like as ‘negative’, then conscious processing tends to bypass those parts labeled as ‘negative’.
97. These are possible estimates for the rate of transformation: it takes at least six to eight months to change a habit; at least five years to transition from a developmental stage of maturity to the next, if the circumstances are favorable, or at least two-three years if the person is doing vertical transformative work under supervision; at least one or two years to integrate a transformative experience; and at least three to five years after an awakening experience. These are highly subjective estimates and depend on the time allocated to inner work and practice.
98. People with a high transformative potential who decide to take a positive disintegration approach could advance more rapidly through transitions, but they also need time for integration.
99. The inner evolution rate is substantially increased by adopting a no-drama attitude toward life experiences. Inner evolution generates fundamental changes in our inner structure and social-relational networks, and frictions could emerge. Allowing ourselves to adapt ‘fast’ could be a helpful strategy.
100. The practice of inner arts every night, before sleep, could enhance the rate of adaptation, by allowing daily echoes to be processed and integrated within conscious awareness. While the body transitions from wakefulness to sleep, an active witnessing could support the accelerated integration of daily issues. The simple act of contemplating the inner world, while transitioning to sleep and entering the dream mode, is a powerful and straightforward method that can be used by anyone who doesn’t have the necessary time for a separate daily practice.
101. The intention is a lens through which we pre-define the perspective-taking process. The intention is composed of a choice and a commitment to action. It can be unhealthy to depend on intentions, because ultimately, intention is a way of ‘controlling’ the perception of reality. Rather than making an intention for ‘something’, it is more efficient to use broader intentions, such as ‘I wish to live the experiences that I need in order to change’, or ‘I trust life, and I am heading towards where I am needed’. These statements should be followed by actions.
102. Daily practice is essential for supporting self-directed neuroplasticity. The concept of ‘self-directed neuroplasticity’ means that we can intentionally influence our brain functioning with the mind. We can embrace new ways of thinking, and feel them in our minds, by visualizing how we want life to be. Due to this stimulation, repeated over time, the brain will create new neural connections, and the anticipated experience becomes available for choice-making during everyday activities. Then, it’s about practicing the new ways, until they become habitual.
103. We don’t necessarily need a master or expert guide during the inner evolution process. The master/disciple relationship is just one way of learning, among many other ways. In formal educational contexts, a developmentally informed practice can be helpful for learners, teachers, and educators. By adjusting the educational style to the learner’s stage of maturity, better outcomes may be obtained during the educational process.
104. Abandoning the rational mind to the inner master’s intuitive powers is not always optimal. Until the psyche has undergone a ‘cleaning’ through personal work, the information received as ‘intuition’ will be just as biased as our usual psyche. Intuitions are valuable choices, not ‘truths’.
105. For changing a perspective, the first steps are opening to the unknown and paying attention to how perspectives are naturally created through automatic contrasts and associations. The new perspective is automatically (non-consciously) created through comparison with previous experiences. Without learning perspective-taking flexibility, a complete letting go of the old perspective is impossible.
106. The transition from one perspective to multiple perspectives is catalyzed by integrating the polarities, by going from ‘or/or’ approaches, ‘this or that’, ‘me or others’, ‘good or bad’, to an inclusive view, integrating ‘this and that’, ‘good and evil’, ‘me and others’. What is seen as the opposite/duality in a previous perspective must be seen as a whole in the new perspective.
107. Moving to a new perspective requires prioritizing the chosen qualities and configuration, among the variety of possible options, and fixating the quality by using it intentionally, until it habituates and becomes automatic.
108. When learning a new perspective, a linguistic bias may interfere: using old language to describe new perspectives. This is a natural phenomenon during the early stages of transitioning to a new perspective, when the ‘feel’ of the perspective is different from one’s previous experiences. One of the tasks when transitioning to a new configuration is learning to use words in a new way.
109. While learning new perspectives, one can use a process called anchoring. An anchor is a stimulus that can serve to retrieve from memory a desired perspective or emotional state. Anchoring involves using and cultivating triggers in a deliberate way, to support the habituation of a new perspective. To do this, select a key object or element from the perspective you want to acquire (such as a ring, a flower, an idea, or an object) and keep the anchor around you in daily life, so that when you see the anchor, you can remember the perspective. Then—when you see the anchor—dive into its perspective and try to keep the perspective active as long as possible.
110. During inner evolution, there are some patterns of transformation that are relatively common to people of all cultures: the automatic life review, symbolic journey, and healing of transgenerational patterns. These transformative processes require many years to be completed, but the result is a more harmonic inner organization that facilitates the next steps in evolution.
111. Automatic life review is an automated process that offers new perspectives on past events, by reframing and reinterpreting our memories, thus providing new meanings for past experiences. Its outcome is an automatic memory reconsolidation. The life review unfolds in progressive steps, until the content of memory has been reorganized and allowed to participate easily in conscious experience.
112. The explosion of meaning: symbolic journey and theory of everything – This associative mental process indicates the start of a profound transformation, generated by the emergence of systems thinking, by a traumatic life event, or by other causes. During this process, meanings begin to connect in various symbolic ways. The logical connections create the feeling of being an explorer, who is journeying continuously through a miraculous, uncharted territory. It is a natural process that will eventually lead journeyers to their own ‘theory of everything’.
113. Healing the transgenerational patterns – This process is about awakening from the spiral of continuous patterns that persist from generation to generation. It requires an understanding of transgenerational schemes of thinking, feeling, sensing, and behaving. Growing up is not just for ourselves; we grow up as a part of a collective evolutionary process. To become fully free, a person has to notice these transgenerational patterns, do what can be done to harmonize them, and then extract oneself from their transgenerational flow, while connecting to the larger family of humankind.
114. What does it feel like when I change? What does it feel like when other people change? Deep change involves participating in a process that we do not yet understand. It involves changing physical, emotional, and intellectual patterns, and this growth process unfolds continuously during a transformative wave, day and night, until the evolutionary drive is satisfied.
V. DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES
115. During inner evolution, a series of transformative challenges have been observed by psychologists and practitioners. They may not appear in all individuals, but it’s helpful to know that they could emerge. If these challenges are not identified and recognized, their automatic unfolding may lead to unnecessary suffering.
116. Depersonalization – In the inner evolution journey, depersonalization may accompany the emergence of witnessing awareness. When witnessing first appears, there is a shift in the locus of identity: people see themselves as if from outside, and their entire life could look like a dream. Depersonalization can also occur as a natural post-traumatic response, due to drug addictions (such as ketamine), or as a side effect while learning the ‘observing’ point-of-view and ‘non-dual’ inner configurations.
117. Mara’s daughters: the chosen one – This is the tendency to think that ‘I am the chosen one’, that ‘I am the only one that has awakened’, or ‘I am the next Jesus/Buddha/you name it’, and ‘there are no others like me’. Just say ‘no thanks’ to this proposal when it begins to unfold.
118. Mara’s daughters: self/ego hijacking – This is a pattern of experience whereby, after an awakening or transformative experience, or moment of pure awareness, the resulting energy is captured by self/ego-related desires and consumed by fulfilling them. Just say ‘not yet’ to the ‘start-now-this-project’ drive, while you are in the post-awakening high. Think about big plans, but don’t start anything; wait until the high passes and then check with yourself again to see if you still feel like doing it. Or, create anything you like, but double-check to see if it’s coming from your center.
119. Self/ego hijacking may be a cause of the bipolar cycle during inner evolution. After a moment of inspiration, the available energy is consumed by various activities (either everyday activities or ‘divine missions’ or ‘change the world missions’). During the ‘consumption’ phase, the high activation of energy looks like a manic episode; after it is consumed, depression ensues. The solution for this challenge is to use the energy internally and allow it to transform internal mechanisms of being. In other words, the energy should be interiorized and processed similarly to how erotic energy can be converted into enstatic energy.
120. Mara’s daughters: when the self thinks there is no self – The ‘self’ never disappears; it just fluidifies, becoming more flexible and adapted to moment-to-moment flows. The patterns of the body’s adaptive processing are always in us, and they do have a preferred way of functioning that translates into our conscious experience as a self-identity. We can’t drop the self, but we may drop the ‘there is no self’ perspective and see what happens next. This challenge seems to be related to certain spiritual teachings and some spiritual or philosophical communities that promote a dominant perspective that ‘I just am’, ‘there is no self here while I am talking’, or ‘the self doesn’t exist’.
121. Dark nights and regaining connection – After the blissful high of the awakening, the energy level and creativity may decrease, and some people think that they have lost their ‘gifts’, or God has abandoned them, or related thoughts. If this challenge presents itself, instead of searching for ways to return to the awakening/connected state, know that most awakenings are new ways of flowing, not fixed states; they emerge by abandoning oneself continuously into the layers of the present moment and not through remembering.
122. Maya pattern – When an individual first realizes the amplitude of the automatic collective patterns, or the collective cultural hypnosis, it may be dramatic from the social-relational perspective. After observing that many people live in an ‘internal movie’, the individual comes to realize that all humans are living primarily on automatic pilot. In this situation, the only one you can really ‘save’ is yourself. The collective awakening from illusion is at its earliest stage, and it will take many millennia to advance. Just do your part as well as you can.
123. Spiritual-framework absorption (spiritual bypass) – There is a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks. The biases emerging from absorption into a spiritual framework may include a weak self-identity, compulsive goodness, whitewashing, the repression of undesirable or painful emotions, spiritual narcissism, spiritual obsession or addiction, blind faith in charismatic leaders, the abdication of personal responsibility, and social isolation.
124. Channeling is a way of discovering an ‘unusual’ perspective and allowing information to flow from within, using that specific perspective. Some people misinterpret this process by thinking that the information source is an entity, a spirit, an angel, or an extraterrestrial, outside their psyche. The challenge in this situation is recognizing that the channeling source is always internal, while allowing the ‘unusual’ perspective to be integrated with the other perspectives, in a healthy self-identity. To do this, one has to modify the attentional structure, by allowing the ‘channeled’ configuration to participate in the conscious experience on a daily basis.
125. Information overload may happen during intense waves of transformation. In this situation, it is better to reconnect with nature and use visual methods for organizing the information (such as drawing or painting). A method that has proven helpful is to gather the information in categories and systems using visual ‘life maps’ or ‘journey maps’, and to repeat this process until the information has been organized.
126. Echoes of information from the collective may populate personal inner experience, when there is a personal resonance pattern actively connected to external sources. This connection can happen, for example, through loving someone or something, or as a result of social interactions, reading books, or watching TV.
127. Differentiating between ‘my’ contents (my emotions, my thoughts) and externally induced contents (imprints from interactions with others’ emotions and thoughts) is vital for inner exploration. After connecting with someone, notice if your mind tends to ‘talk’ with that person. If this is the case, switch the inner talk to self-reflection using a 3rd person perspective (talk with yourself about that person and the interactions with that person).
128. Integrating a spiritually transformative experience includes challenges such as processing a radical shift in one’s reality, sharing the experience, integrating new spiritual values and knowledge with worldly expectations, adjusting to hypersensitivities and psychic aftereffects, or finding purpose.
129. Inner evolution dynamics, related to the transition to a more fluid self-identity, are rarely approached successfully by traditional psychotherapeutic methods. They require therapists with experience in non-dual psychotherapy and knowledge of inner growth stages. The counselor must ‘abandon’ their regular self-identity, as the client experiences a self-identity/ego death or an identity change. Otherwise, the counselor will unconsciously ‘fixate’ the client’s self-identity, stopping the transformation process. An appropriate therapeutic approach could be an unconditional presence, which doesn’t require establishing a rapport between the counselor and the client.
130. Sometimes the transition to a new inner configuration happens dramatically, leading to psycho-spiritual crises. Therapeutic approaches such as ‘open dialogue’, ‘healing homes’, and nature retreats have been proven effective in supporting individuals through these types of transformations.
131. To reach a global inner harmony, all components of conscious experience (such as witnessing, cognition, perspective, attention, emotions, pulsional energy, perceptual connection to the physical body, and self-identity) must be transformed and allowed to function simultaneously. All systems need upgrades to create a harmonic conscious experience. For instance, shutting down the development of rational thinking to favor emotional connection (‘all is love, nothing else matters’, ‘feel, don’t think’), or shutting down self-identity to favor non-dual awareness (‘all is awareness, universe is awareness’) may be helpful for a while. Still, overall, these unilateral trajectories lead to unbalanced development.
VI. DISCOVERY JOURNEYS
132. There are three main types of inner configurations (‘states of consciousness’) that unfold naturally or that can be accessed through various transformative methods:
– Low arousal configurations, when the physical, energy, and information layers of the body have the same pattern of slow activity. These configurations are active in relaxation, yoga asanas, meditation, and deep sleep.
– High arousal configuration, when the body layers are hyper-activated. Some examples are dance, mystical rapture, ecstatic trance, and kundalini experiences.
– Mixed configurations, when the layers are not following the same pattern of activation. In these mixed configurations, a body layer could be aroused while others are relaxed, and there are various combinations of low to high arousals of the body layers. This category includes experiences such as night dreams, lucid dreaming, certain entheogenic experiences, or enstatic flowing.
133. On the low arousal continuum, a typical inner art session using relaxation has these stages: after closing the eyes and calming the body-mind, the inner experience shifts to relaxation, and the mind content is usually composed of the adaptive processing of daily activities. After a while, pratyahara occurs (i.e., isolation from external stimuli), and the body layers can either enter a dream state, or transition directly to deep sleep, depending on how tired the physical body is. For inner art sessions, it is better to allow a short journey into deep sleep (or practice yoga nidra), so that the body may replenish and reharmonize naturally. Then, after refreshing the energy resources, the person should be able to start the inner explorations with a clear mind.
134. On the high arousal continuum, during inner art sessions with an energetic component, the inner world has a specific quality when kundalini is activated (by itself or intentionally). High-energy kundalini spikes tend to energize visual spatio-temporal thinking, manifested as ‘visions’, as compared to audio-sequential thinking, mediated by words. The speed of thinking is higher through images, and the rich causal content of the high-energy experiences makes the perceived speed even faster, because causal events enter awareness faster than non-causal events.
135. It is possible to add spatial awareness and depth perception to the workspace of inner experience. This is done through enhancing awareness of the physical space and the size of the perceived body layers. Try this sequence: maintain pratyahara with closed eyes, reach a stable isolation from external stimuli, and then use spatial awareness to expand the attention to include external space, not just the inner space, while maintaining both external and internal space as ‘one’. In other words, use a deep connection with the inner space, specific to pratyahara style, but refine the perspective to perceive inner space and external space as one, while allowing information from outside the body to enter the experience. When external awareness is merged with internal awareness, and the physical 3D space is experienced as a common framework, the state is referred to as a unitive experience (or unitary mystical state).
136. The localization of the inner experiences in the physical 3D space, using divided attention, could clarify some confusion in the interpretation of inner experiences. For instance, dreaming and dream-like experiences, such as ‘out-of-body experiences’, take place in the inner space while pratyahara is active.
137. The night dream is a partial reflection of the automatic adaptive processing in the body layers (physical, energy, and information). The night dream may provide useful information about one’s inner life dynamics, especially if the dreamwork psychology methodologies for exploration and interpretation are used. The books with dream symbols and their symbolic interpretation have no relevance or value for inner evolution, because each dream symbol has a personal significance to the dreamer. Moreover, the same symbol can have a different meaning in each dream, depending on the context. When analyzing dreams, the relationship of the dream self/ego with the symbol is more relevant than the symbol itself.
138. By accessing a dream-like configuration, in self-induced experiences during inner art sessions, it is possible to intervene in the automatic adaptive processing and modify or ‘align’ some patterns. While working with dream-like experiences, an active witnessing awareness mode is necessary, especially during the transitions through dream states and deep sleep states. It is healthy to do these dreamwork explorations separately from the natural night dreaming process; the night dreaming should be allowed to happen automatically, outside of self-identity control.
139. The automatic adaptive processing, which becomes available to conscious awareness during inner explorations in visual dream-like states, is grouped in patterns that have specific styles of unfolding (or flowing). As pieces of information can contribute to more than one pattern, the meanings would shift dynamically, while the visual-spatial thinking creates various visual landscapes and actions, based on non-conscious automatic processing.
140. When working with the visual-spatial content and patterns during inner explorations, the pattern of flowing is most relevant, not the interpretation of the symbolic content. In other words, pay attention to how the dream-like scenes unfold, explore why and how they transform from one into another, and notice how their flowing pattern is generated by your mental and emotional preferences. Then, work with yourself to adjust your life through harmonic actions, while watching again, in the inner art sessions, whether the unfolding pattern has changed.
141. Lucid dreaming or visualizations may alter some flowing patterns. Still, these methods require frequent actions on the same pattern to induce a real change in the pattern, as these methods do not usually impact the physical and energy correlate of the pattern. Visualization and lucid dreaming usually explore the content of the patterns, not their causal structure, nor their specific way of unfolding.
142. During visual dream-like states, all body layers are in a continuous state of flux, and they flow based on patterns that were developed through past experiences. Some of their relevant past configurations could be partially revealed to conscious awareness, when samyama is performed on a specific scene or pattern of flowing, during the visual dream-like state, while monitoring the inner workspace using witnessing awareness.
143. In dream-like visual configurations, it is possible to access the H-band, the pre-conscious adaptive processing. The H-layer contains information at the brink of associations that may further develop (or not) as patterns, which later enter the conscious experience. The attentional configuration that is useful for attending to the H-band is the global-objective style.
144. Other layers that can be accessed during visual explorations include the archetypal layer, containing highly symbolic and emotional content from various cultures, or the visionary layer, which includes densely packed information in higher resolution, with powerful insights and energetic effects when kundalini is involved.
145. Visionary experiences are available through exogenous entheogens, music, dance, or natural kundalini activations, but also intentionally, through practice, during inner arts sessions. Intentional visionary experiences are facilitated by previous experiences of kundalini activation, or kundalini peaks during experiences with entheogenic medicine such as ayahuasca, changa, or LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, or other plants or substances.
146. Navigating the inner world during intentional visionary experiences requires a conscious transition through the layers of experience and skills for diving into various contents (through samyama), without becoming fully absorbed in the content of the experience.
147. The densely packed information, accessed during high-energy kundalini peaks, can be perceived as downloads of information. This is a natural property of the high-resolution visual-perceptual style of thinking, as compared to the everyday low-resolution style. Because of its multidimensionality, even a simple high-resolution scene can have an intense meaning-making message, which can be later unzipped and re-encoded into everyday life as usable information.
148. During high-energy kundalini peaks, the perceptual visual flows, including visual-spatial thinking and perceptual visuals related to the eye retina, can be used as a feedback tool for navigating through visionary experiences, in an intentional and interactive way. When visual-spatial thinking is active (as in a dreamy state), visions can be similar to a lucid dream but with an intense meaning-making structure.
149. Learning the transition from ecstatic to enstatic configurations provides additional awareness during high-energy experiences and opens up new gates for exploration. Enstatic flowing is generated when attention is divided to incorporate two configurations: high-energy experience of the moving body and the silent-static experience of ‘center/space’, simultaneously. Enstatic dance is one method that allows the management of high-energy kundalini spikes during visionary experiences, which sometimes feel overwhelming if the person is static.
150. The enstatic skills, allowing low and high arousal simultaneously, broaden the variety of inner experiences and enhance their multidimensionality. Developing enstatic skills and practicing enstatic dance is also helpful for individuals who experience sudden, uncontrollable body tremors or spasms, while going through the pranotthana stage of kundalini awakening. The practice of enstatic flowing enhances the fluidity of the energy body patterns.
151. During intentional visionary experiences, a direct method that produces an instant reconsolidation is to enter the dream-like state, watch the unfolding automatic perception through dream-like visuals, and when a scene from the visual experience needs to be modified, intervene by activating the retina perception (i.e., inner eye vision). Then, focus on that specific flow/pattern, and dive-into/absorb that pattern (or visual scene), in a way similar to samyama, while allowing the automatic activation of kundalini. Then allow the pattern to be harmonized by itself within the body layers. When using this method of fully merging with a visual scene, it is unnecessary to control the pattern by directing it to a ‘correct’ flow. Instead, the full acceptance of whatever comes generates an automatic homeostatic integration process.
152. The high-pitched sound that appears during high-energy DMT-like experiences, usually called ‘carrier wave’, comes from the self-tuning energy, due to the ‘pressure’ of the hyper-synchronizing process. This inner sound becomes noticeable not only in high-energy experiences, but also when people begin their transformational journeys in life, or go through transformative times. Sometimes, the inner sound is misdiagnosed as tinnitus.
153. Using inner sound as a feedback tool, while navigating visionary experiences, is a simple and effective tool for diving deeper into inner experiences, creating the inner workspace for intentional visionary experiences.
154. Engaging in frequent transformative experiences without allowing time for their integration may be partially helpful. For instance, an intense entheogenic experience needs at least half a year or one year to integrate, due to its cascading effects, from easy-to-observe changes, in the first weeks, to deep and subtle changes in the months and years following the experience.
155. During collective experiences with ayahuasca, such as the dancing ceremonies at Santo Daime, the synchronizing process is facilitated by the collective. Sometimes, a person would process a collective blockage, helping all the others. Or a person might cry, without having a personal reason, because it helps another person in the group who is energy-stuck.
156. Practicing shared awareness consciously together, in groups, we awaken to who and what we all truly are, an enlightening universal intelligence, appearing as uniquely individuating minds and bodies. Awakeness has no image, yet—like a mirror—it unites, reflects, and transforms our imaginations, inspiring love and awe. By sharing awakeness, the delusions of separation dissolve, awakening and enlightening our selves and all of humankind.
157. Conscious evolution in intimate relationships means transitioning from psychological and emotional co-dependency, or relationships based on practical-psychological needs, to conscious relationships, either as a couple or in a marriage. In a conscious relationship, both partners have a growth mindset, oriented toward mutual co-evolution. The partners seek to empower each other, providing a space for their partner to evolve, while also enjoying the shared space. They appreciate what each partner provides, without forcing or manipulating the partner into desired behaviors or attitudes.
158. In this type of transformative connection, the relationship is primarily a space to share and practice deep connection, mutual awakening, growth, unconditional love, and caring. Fulfilling other needs comes as a secondary benefit. In a conscious relationship, each partner is responsible for their own emotions and feelings and committed to doing inner work to harmonize with their partner, without projecting self-oriented needs and desires on the other person. Working with the shadow and developing emotional intelligence are vital for a conscious relationship.
159. Some conscious relationships are experienced by partners as ‘soul-mate’ connections, where there is a total openness to the connection, and the partners can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ each other in extraordinarily deep and interconnected ways. However, once it is developed, this harmonic profoundness can become a conscious interconnectivity skill and be used for interacting with other people from the larger ‘soul-family’, or with anyone open to this type of ‘soul-level’ connection.
160. The conscious skills learned during the developmental journeys can be used by couples and individuals who become parents to develop a conscious parenting style. Conscious parenting includes a positive parenting approach, as opposed to power-based approaches such as authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved. Conscious parenting promotes an empathic and open communication based on emotional intelligence, respect, authenticity, unconditional love and support, especially in the early years when the brain patterns are developing their mainframes. The conscious parenting approach has roots in educational styles such as Montessori or Waldorf, proven to have positive effects on children’s inner development.
161. The conscious parenting style is highly intentional and deliberate about increasing the we-space and the presence-awareness in the parental relationship, thus supporting the inner growth of children. Conscious parents are aware that their non-conscious processes are easily transferred to their kids through imitation and resonance. Thus, they become interested in doing personal work to harmonize the unhealthy transgenerational patterns in themselves, so that these patterns won’t be transferred to their children.
162. Conscious skills can also be used for developing conscious organizations and for learning conscious leadership skills. A conscious organization is described in the following ways: it has a world-centric or planet-centric perspective, a collective evolutionary purpose, and a culture based on cooperation-collaboration; further, the employees are regarded as valuable human beings with complex personalities (they are not merely human tools). In a conscious organization, the relationships between hierarchical levels are based on reciprocal leadership (instead of power-based hierarchical structures), and the managers empower the individuals in their teams to develop and evolve as human beings.
163. Conscious leaders are aware, cooperative, and collaborative. Instead of following the hierarchical power-based paradigm, the conscious leader is a facilitator who catalyzes group decisions and problem solving. Conscious leadership is grounded in the sociocultural knowledge of reciprocity, allowing leaders to perceive patterns in their environment, recognize the interconnectivity of multiple problems, and subscribe to a participatory leadership style, which incorporates shared responsibility and problem solving. A conscious leader knows that communication is essential, while ‘ghosting’ someone (i.e., not replying to their initial message, or cutting off communication after an exchange) is an unacceptable behavior, which damages the organization and the human interconnectivity.
164. Similar to personal growth through developmental stages, an organization can be viewed as having stages of development, depending on their leaders’ stages of maturity. Each stage is an increasing step toward a more conscious leadership structure. Developing an awareness of organizational stages can be helpful for organizational consultants and trainers.
VII. CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION
165. The inner evolution of humans toward a more conscious experience is part of a larger evolution of life on Earth, and the evolution of the universe through the Stelliferous/Galaxies Era, providing the necessary ingredients for life, and the energy to sustain it.
166. In the cosmological timeline, we are positioned at the mid-point of the Stelliferous Era. Many stars and planets are yet to be born, long after cellular life on Earth is no longer possible. The universe may produce other types of life, not necessarily carbon-based, and the tendency to self-organization will also generate some self-reflective consciousness in these species, but their ‘consciousness’ may have other evolutionary purposes than for life on Earth.
167. Although at the global scale of the universe, the potential for life, intelligence, and consciousness is immense, in our local timeline on events, life on Earth has a big survivability issue: it is at the end of its journey. It started approximately 4,000 million years ago, and it only has approximately 500 million years left until C3 photosynthesis becomes no longer possible due to the sun’s increased radiation, leading to a global extinction of multicellular life, which will take place up to 1 billion years in the future.
168. Organic life on Earth is the only known process that systematically records the information about its past dynamics in a self-reflecting and local way, through various recording systems, including DNA and books, and uses this knowledge for adaptation and creative evolution. Individuals from various life species use previously-stored experience in creative ways. Self-consciousness is not necessarily needed for reacting creatively to an inertial tendency; a high intelligence may be enough in some situations.
169. It may be that conscious experience itself is just a layer of life’s intelligence, which uses sophisticated feedback loops and adds an additional layer of processing to the adaptive processing already taking place in all life on Earth. Conscious intelligence is evolving throughout all species, at various rates.
170. The inner evolution is a reflection of the collective evolution. Although some humans may develop themselves to incredible levels of inner harmony, this personal ‘achievement’ was only possible because of the collective, and it is essential to feed back the ‘personal achievement’ to the collective. Although life’s evolution is supported by interdependence and cooperation, it is likely that not all the ‘personal achievements’ are later integrated by the intelligence of collective life. Some individuals or groups may be living using highly unique conscious configurations.
171. These unique personal configurations may have a source not only in psychological and social aspects. They can also be related to specific configurations of the physical body, such as high quantities of unique codes in the microbiome’s DNA. For example, the human genome has about 20-25,000 genes, and there are barely 1% genetic differences between individuals, while the microbiome has millions of genes, half of them unique. The extraordinary variety of information in the microbiome impacts the qualities and nuances of the conscious experience.
172. In these collective frames of reference, some questions can hardly find answers. How conscious can someone become? How awake and alive? Where is humanity heading to? Finding purpose in these complex perspectives may be difficult, but what has proven useful is the development of evolutionary awareness and the ‘intentional evolutionary’ path.
173. The intentional evolutionary path has already been opened by the vows of boddhisattvas, millennia ago. Across the planet, there is an emergence of individuals who are choosing to dedicate their lives to consciously advance the evolutionary process. They recognize that their lives are an essential part of the global evolutionary process, and they realize that they have a significant role in its future evolution.
174, The intentional evolutionaries are living answers to life’s most challenging self-inquiries: Why am I here? What is my purpose? What can I do with my life? Since I am aware of the cooperative direction of evolution, can I use this knowledge to do what I can to ensure that humanity achieves future evolutionary success? What contribution can I make to the evolution of humanity?
175. In our collective evolution, the next global shift, after conscious intelligence, may be the expansion of harmonic intelligence, which includes ‘harmonic resonance’ and ‘synchronization’ as essential skills. Conscious harmonic resonance skills are already emerging in humans.
176. What will happen when conscious harmonic resonance evolves to its full potential, in all three layers of our body: physical, energy, and information? There may already be a word for this vibrational harmony: satcitānanda—harmonic existence and truth, harmonic conscious awareness, and harmonic enstatic bliss. And maybe the path is spanda—harmonic synchrony with the primordial vibration of the universe.
177. Id est omnia. Please filter these consciousness sutras through your own experience, and add your color to the rainbow.
A timeless blessing, inspired by Metta meditations May I Be Peaceful. May You Be Peaceful. May All Beings Be Peaceful. Thank You.
May I Be Free.
May My Body Be Strong and Healthy.
May I Be Filled with Loving Kindness.
May I Be Happy.
May I Awaken to The Light of My True Nature.
May I Be Safe.
May I Have Simplicity and Prosperity in Life.
May I Be Well.
May I Have Equilibrium in Life.
May I Be Free from Suffering.
May I Live in Harmony with Life.
May I Be in Resonance and Intimacy with Life.
May I Be Free of Unhealthy Attachments.
May I Be in Harmony with Life Force.
I Offer Compassion for Me.
I Offer Loving Kindness for Me.
May You Be Free.
May Your Body Be Healthy.
May You Be Happy.
May You Awaken to The Light of Your True Nature.
May You Be Safe.
May You Have Simplicity and Prosperity in Life.
May You Be Well.
May You Have Equilibrium in Life.
May You Be Free from Suffering.
May You Be in Resonance and Intimacy with Life.
May You Be Free of Unhealthy Attachments.
May You Be in Harmony with Life Force.
I Offer Compassion for You.
I Offer Loving Kindness for You.
May All Beings Be Free.
May All Beings Be Healthy.
May All Beings Be Happy.
May All Beings Awaken to The Light of Their True Nature.
May All Beings Be Safe.
May All Beings Have Simplicity and Prosperity In Life.
May All Beings Be Well.
May All Beings Have Equilibrium in Life.
May All Beings Be Free from Suffering.
May All Beings Be in Resonance and Intimacy with Life.
May All Beings Be Free of Unhealthy Attachments.
May All Beings Be in Harmony with Life Force.
I Offer Compassion for All Beings.
I Offer Loving Kindness for All Beings.
A timeless blessing, inspired by Metta meditations
May I Be Peaceful.
May You Be Peaceful.
May All Beings Be Peaceful.