Awakening Awareness - An Experiential Online Seminar - Part II
As given by Ron McCray
Step 2 - Self-Consciousness
Self-Consciousness in this sense means awareness of how we are being in a given moment. It is not the traditional state of embarrassment or shyness generated by a sense of inadequacy as in, "Iím too self-conscious to wear this silly hat!" As humans, we are always in one of two states: physical consciousness or Spirit consciousness. Even when we sleep, we are in one of these two states, and the state is reflected in the nature of our dreams.
Physical consciousness occupies most of the time of the vast majority of humans. In this state we are concerned about "issues" that reflect our physical wellbeing. For example, health, wealth, power, concern for others, safety, social status, right versus wrong, and the biological need for sex illustrate the concerns that root us in physical consciousness. When we are in physical consciousness, our attention is focused on ourselves. There is nothing "wrong" in existing in a state of physical consciousness. We have a mandate to keep our biological bodies in good working order so that we may be capable of taking the actions that move us forward. Many of us become so concerned with keeping our biological bodies satiated and safe, that we seldom venture out of physical consciousness.
Recall times when you felt a very strong sense of love and acceptance. What you felt may have been with respect to another human, an animal, a place, or an experience (watching the sun set, for example). Typically this emotion holds complete acceptance, peace, contentment, and a sense of timelessness. You may have experienced this state when performing the Experience or Validation exercises in Step 1, Creative Energy. If not, do not be concerned for you have experienced this emotion many times. It is the state of Spirit consciousness.
Essentially, Spirit consciousness is a state of selfless love and acceptance. While in this state, the ego, identity, self are all set aside, replaced by a sense of connectedness in which we are profoundly related to everything. Spirit consciousness is directly experiencing the flow of creative energy. This may seem like an impossible state in which to exist. You have been in this state many times in your lifetime. You simply may not have been aware of the nature of the state. Spirit consciousness is the "natural" state for us. Physical consciousness is "unnatural."
The nature of our biology demands that we put survival first so that the body remains intact and functioning. However, in the industrialized world, we extend physical consciousness far beyond the biological mandate. We have placed "meaning" on virtually every aspect of our physical lives. Where we live, the car we drive, the title of our position, the amount of power we have, how much money we make, and the adornments we place on our bodies have taken on far more significance than necessary. Moreover, they separate us from our fellow humans instead of bringing us together. Competition (for physical symbols of success) has succeeded cooperation. Consequently, we experience "scarcity" and drive ourselves to get "ours" at the expense of others attempting to get "theirs." A common description of this phenomenon is the "rat race" (with apologies to rats).
Once again, there is nothing "wrong" in engaging in the rat race. All that we do in life is an opportunity to learn. We take some of the opportunities, and some of them we donít. There is no judgement either way. Once we have knowledge of Spirit consciousness, it can become the desired state of consciousness because it is the truly natural state. We aspire to Spirit consciousness because it is the state we want to be in and not because we think it is the state that we should be in.
The purpose of this step is to create awareness of the two states. Physical consciousness is very easy for most of us to recognize since we dwell in it so much. Spirit consciousness is usually not experienced directly but has occurred many times for all of us. The exercises that follow will assist you in recognizing both states. For now, that is all that is needed. Later, we will work towards entering Spirit consciousness as a "conscious" choice.
List any questions that arose from the preceding background material (see part 1, published in last monthís issue). Leave some room below them to write answers.
Now, without using analysis, logic, or "common sense" answer each of the questions that you wrote. Let your intuition or "uncommon sense" guide you in your answers. If need be, answer from the perspective that you are creating answers to your questions, and whatever you create is true. Write your answers on the lines lettered A. You may find that your sense of this lesson deepens and that more questions arise. To find answers to them, use this same procedure. Continue asking and answering until your curiosity is stilled. Use additional sheets of paper if needed. When you are complete with the Preparation, read the instructions for the Experience.
Re-read the questions and answers that you explored in the Preparation. Position yourself such that you are comfortable. Close your eyes, take a slow, deep breath inhaling for about eight seconds, hold the breath for eight seconds (if you are uncomfortable holding your breath that long, then exhale when discomfort starts), then slowly exhale for eight seconds. Take at least three breaths in this manner.
Now, think of the one thing in the world that holds (or held) the highest degree of warmth and contentment for you. Perhaps it is a parent, a sibling, a child, another loved one, a place, a pet, an experience. The only essential requirement is that when you think about "it," you experience a warm, satisfied, peaceful, emotional state. Remember how you felt and re-enter that state of emotional being. Sink into it and be conscious of how you feel. Are you happy? Are you safe? Extend the emotional state for as long as you are comfortable doing so. If you fall out of it, breathe deeply, re-orient yourself, and enter the state once more. When you are done, take three more slow, deep breaths. You experienced Spirit consciousness.
Immediately, re-focus your thoughts to an event, thing, or person that causes you upset, anxiety, or discomfort. Enter into the state that results from these thoughts and dwell on how the state is directed towards your "survival." Are you comfortable? Are you content? Or are you anxious, afraid, doubtful, or suspicious? This is physical consciousness.
Now, clear away the emotions created by physical consciousness. Take three slow, deep breaths. Recall whatever you used to enter Spirit consciousness and once more enter that state for as long as you are comfortable. When you are done, take three more slow, deep breaths. Describe your experiences in writing. Be sure and contrast your perceptions of the differences between physical and Spirit consciousness.
To validate your existence in either physical or Spirit consciousness, you will need to develop awareness of being in either state. Use some device to remind yourself to check which state you are in. Anything will do that reminds you to think about (be aware, be conscious) your state. Place a rubber band around your wrist, an unfamiliar object in your pocket, or associate something that you do often with taking stock of the state you are occupying. At this point, there is no request to do anything about the state. You just want to know that this is where you are in the moment. The more frequently you check your state, the easier and more reflexive it becomes.
The identification of which state you are in should be easy after completing the Experience exercise as described above. If you did not do the Experience exercise, or are unsure of the results, please go back and repeat it until you are comfortable recognizing the two states. Clues for the state of physical consciousness include a tense, uncomfortable, physiological condition, and a fearful, angry, or depressed, emotional mood. In general, there is a sense of foreboding, resentment, unhappiness, or distress. Clues for the state of Spirit consciousness include a relaxed physiological condition, a sense of wellbeing, contentment, humor, and an emotional mood in which everything is as it should be.
You may find that you are aware of far more instances of being in physical versus Spirit consciousness. Do not be concerned. Most of our training as children and adults orients us to physical consciousness. Although Sprit consciousness is the "natural" state, it is suppressed by our training and social influences to be in the background and often invisible or transient. "Things may be good now, but troubleís on the way," is the motto of so many people. When you do experience Spirit consciousness, savor it and consider how great it would be to remain in that state most of the time. It is possible.
Please write any notes that occur for you as you experience the two states during your daily activities. This Validation exercise is one that you need to keep doing beyond this step. You will find that Spirit consciousness occurs more frequently as you become aware of its existence. The more that it consciously occurs for you, the more time you will want to dwell therein.
Copyright 1999 Ron McCray
NOTE: If you miss a step, and it is not available on this website, you can e-mail the author (mail to: email@example.com) and receive the step via e-mail. Ron McCray is happy to answer any comments or questions that you may have about this series of seminars.