You increase your insight into your life when you realize that everything you do or feel has a greater or lesser bearing on each of the first five Centers. For example, when you are eating, you are experiencing the food predominantly from the Sensation Center as you enjoy the taste. However, eating has aspects that involve the Security Center, for food can serve as an emotional crutch to make you feel secure. And, of course, the basic nutritional value in the food is connected with your security. Or your food can be experienced from the Power Center by pontificating to others as to what foods they really should be eating to become holy. Your food can be enjoyed from the Love Center as a way of accepting and loving new tastes. Or your food can be appreciated from the point of view of the Cornucopia Center as a further confirmation that you live in a beautiful world that gives you everything you need in order to live in higher consciousness. As you grow, you will begin to experience your food from any combination of the five Centers — or all of them.
In each of the five preceding Centers, you will find that you are continually judging yourself. In greater or lesser degree, you are comparing your thoughts and actions with a Center of Consciousness to determine whether you are meeting the standards of the Center. Each Center presents you with something to do:
Even though you are not supposed to be driving yourself, you may constantly be wondering whether you are really progressing rapidly. You may be saying inwardly, Is Bob growing faster than I? What’s holding me back? I thought my consciousness was at the Love Center and I just became aware of power aspects of our relationship. Did I just blow it? Does it help to keep a record of how many minutes a day I am on each of the Centers? Should I allow myself one month to get rid of most of the thoughts of the lower three Centers?
You will go through phases in which you are addicted to the Love Center and the Cornucopia Center. You may become impatient because you thought you were loving unconditionally — and you find something that you could not emotionally accept. Then you may get the feeling, I’ve just got to rush this through and then I can relax again and stop manipulating the people and things around me. I can really begin flowing for the rest of my life when I work through this problem.
Although your growth toward higher consciousness is associated with unconditionally accepting yourself and others, you will find that you experience each of the first five levels of consciousness as a standard by which you measure yourself. And isn’t this an addiction? Each of these five Centers of Consciousness may be regarded as chains that keep you vulnerable to fear, resentment, anger, anxiety, worry, etc. Even when your consciousness resides most of the time in the Cornucopia Center, it is still chained — although it may be regarded as a light chain of fine gold.
The way to become free of these chains is to let your consciousness reside in your Conscious-awareness Center. This is a peaceful place that is experienced from deep inside where you just witness your drama in all of the other five Centers. In this Center you do not judge or evaluate in any way. You just witness yourself, There he is in the unconditional Love Center. He just had a thought that he cannot really be loving when Mary gets mad at him. He’s putting himself down because he cannot yet experience everything as a form of love.
From the detached Conscious-awareness Center, you just watch yourself performing in all of the other five Centers. You don’t pat yourself on the back or criticize yourself in any way. You blissfully enjoy the show. You impartially witness yourself. You let your drama be anything — and everything.
You use the Conscious-awareness Center as a meta-center from which you get free from your preoccupation with the preceding five Centers of Consciousness — for all the five Centers bind you in one way or another by creating a special version of what’s happening. You break through all chains when you experience every moment of your life from that deep, calm place inside you where you observe everything — and accept everything.
The Conscious-awareness Center gives you a space between you and the surrounding world. From this Center you are no longer vulnerable to ups and downs. At last you are free — nothing can disturb you or bring you down even though your body and mind may be going through various types of drama. You still have to chop wood and carry water regardless of the Center of Consciousness you are on. You will still want to play an active part in the world around you. You will still be learning various things, interacting with people and doing your part in building a more beautiful world by living a conscious life. But you will not be doing it. It will only be your body and mind that are involved in these daily dramas of working, playing, feeling, doing, etc. Your Conscious-awareness will be watching it all as a magic show from a beautiful place deep inside you where everything is peaceful — all the time. Even if your body and mind go through the manifestations of anger or jealousy, you are aware that you are only playing out one of your addictive rôle s in your dramatic repertory. For you are just silently witnessing your body and mind picking up the cues and saying your lines as others recite their lines in the daily drama of life.
When you live in the Sixth Center of Consciousness you will experience yourself as an actor on the great stage of life. Each day you act out the lines that are dictated by the programming of your biocomputer. And you know that the cues others pick up and their responses to them are a function of the Centers of Consciousness that they are experiencing at the now moment in their journey toward awakening.
Each of us creates a world that is generated by the Centers of Consciousness that we are using in today’s script of the cosmic play. Central casting has furnished various people who are dressed up as actors for the purpose of helping you in your consciousness growth. But your higher consciousness is out in the audience watching your body and mind interact with other bodies and minds on stage. And you view everything you do and say as part of your growth toward freedom from your addictive traps.
Your addictive programs that activate your ego and your rational mind constantly keep you from realizing who you really are. The way to tell what you think you are or who you think you are is to notice carefully what your ego is guarding. What are the fronts or social images that you are now in the process of living out? What things trigger anger, fear, jealousy, or grief? What somebody does your rational mind defend? Whatever dance you are now doing and backing up with your ego represents who you now think you are. All of this programming keeps you vulnerable and insecure.
What images do you have of yourself? What kind of impression do you want to make on others? Do you project yourself as an achieving person, a competent person, a help-poor-me person, someone that the world takes advantage of, a good mother, a good father, a good businessman or businesswoman, a drop-out, one who is versed in various knowledge games, an artistic person, or a real expert in the sex games? Or perhaps your ego is guarding your image of being very perceptive of the foibles of our civilization and definitely above it all. Perhaps you have some hobbies and you guard your image as a guitar player, motorcyclist, surfer, painter, poet, singer, or whatever. Or it may be that you are through with these mundane projections of your self image. Perhaps your ego is now guarding a pure you as a climber of the mystical spiritual mountain. Do you get upset when someone points out that your way is not the only way or not the best way for him or her? What are the various games into which your ego is directing your energy and consciousness at this time in your life?
When you clearly see your various activities, games and personal boundaries as a drama that your ego is now trying to guard and enhance, you will understand who you now think you are… But you are not any of this stuff. All of this stuff is simply a dance that you are going through to discover the conscious being that you really are. If you were to write a list of all the activities, attributes, personality characteristics and personal boundaries that your ego is now defending, you will find that many of them were not on the list ten years ago. And if you grow toward higher consciousness, most of them will not be on the list ten years from now. As you increase in consciousness, you see with perspective the way you are busily engaged in a mechanical playing-out of the rôle s in which you have programmed yourself.
All of these things that your ego is busy defending act as a series of boxes that keep you trapped. Every box suffocates and is your ever-present source of vulnerability on the roller-coaster of pleasure and pain. Most of the addictive models you are now guarding represent patterns of personality that are a function of the time and place where you were born and grew up. If you had been born in a different social group, your ego would be busily engaged in guarding a different set of rôle s.
The world is here for us to enjoy, but we can totally enjoy it only when we are free from identifying with the rôle s we play in the drama of life. The only way to continuously enjoy a game of chess or checkers is to avoid taking it so seriously that you get emotionally caught up in either winning or losing. Human beings (with their big rational minds) enjoy solving problems. But we tend to take these problems with such seriousness (perhaps due to our prestige addictions) that we kill the aliveness and fun of our here-and-now life situation. We need a way to discriminate between what we essentially are and the motivational models that generate our behavior.
To get free of our identification with the social games in which we are now trapped, we must clearly see the games for what they are. It can be helpful to experience a book such as Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture. When we see the mores of our tribe from the perspective of comparative anthropology, it helps us liberate ourselves from our cultural traps. When we really see the economic and social folkways of our in-group with insight, how can our egos continue to get away with demanding so much that we really don’t need in order to be happy? How can we take so seriously the many prestige games in which we are now engaged? How can our pride keep us imprisoned in the meaningless loss or gain and fame or shame games that we previously thought were necessary to make our lives work?
A conscious being does not reject either his individual games or society’s games — he just plays them as games. If our group says, Let’s play the game of keeping the sexual parts of our body covered when we walk down Main Street, it is accepted as a part of the here-and-now games of life. If a conscious being is in a place where the group says, Here is a beach or a hot springs where nude bathing takes place, an individual without addictions in this area can also flow with what is here and now. Except where individuals are being harmed, conscious people flow with the activities and feelings of the group. They are magnificently flexible and they are comfortable with whatever dance the social orchestra may be playing. They are equally comfortable in trying to change the dance — for they usually find ways to work toward change from an us space. Their consciousness, love, insight and flexibility give us messages that help us spring free from the social rigidities that we thought were natural.
So we gradually learn that we are not these personalities that our egos are defending so valiantly. If we are not our personalities, this collection of motivations that we have picked up from our society, just what — or who — are we? Many of us identify our selves with our bodies — this changing structure of bones, muscles, and other organs enclosed by our skin. When our bodies are not well or are transmitting a sensation of pain to our biocomputer, our egos tend to focus attention on the pain so that we identify completely with the pain. As we grow into higher consciousness, we increasingly realize that we are not the bodies we live in. Our bodies are just temples that are the homes of our consciousness.
Once you stop identifying with your various social rôle s and your body, you will probably say, Aha! My essence is my rational mind. For isn’t this the essence of being human? This is the part of your biocomputer that has the ability to use language, to analyze, to calculate, to produce thoughts and images, to sort out sensations, to store them away in memory and to retrieve them, to use symbols, to compare beliefs and assumptions, etc. Didn’t Aristotle define man as a rational animal? But here again, your rational mind is not your essence. Your intellect or rational mind is a magnificent sixth sense that can help you in your journey to higher consciousness if you know how to use it properly. Or it can keep you helplessly trapped in the lower three Centers of Consciousness by slavishly cooperating with your ego to form rigid, logical defenses that maintain whatever programming you are now stuck with. So you let this one go too…
You are now getting it narrowed down. If you are not your social rôle s, your body, or your rational mind, just what is left? Are you your senses — the various gates through which visual, auditory, tactile, taste and olfactory data are received? Or are you your emotions — those feeling tones that you expend so much energy in either getting or avoiding? Are you your programming — the collections of desires, motivations, expectations and demands on which your ego focuses most of your attention and energy? Or are you your ego — that master controller that is such an absolute dictator when you are trapped in the lower three Centers of Consciousness? Fortunately, the essential you is none of these, either. And so we continue the search for you. Could it be that the search for your essence is clouded by your ego-backed programming that wants you to be somebody? Does your name, your memory and your rational mind combine to give you the illusion that you are a specific entity that should make a splash as you pass through the world of people and things?
At this point you may have the feeling, There’s nothing left of me. But your essence is something which you may experience to help you grow into higher consciousness. In the Living Love Way, we define your essence as your Conscious-awareness. To understand what we mean by Conscious-awareness, look straight ahead of you and notice for a minute the images that are being transmitted through your eyes. Then close your eyes. Do it now before reading on…
The visual sensations disappeared — but your Conscious-awareness remained. Behind all of your thoughts, sensations and images, your Conscious-awareness is always there. Most of the time we keep it smothered under a ceaseless Niagara of words, activities, thoughts and sensations which keep our minds analyzing, calculating, symbolizing, talking, remembering, futuring and pasting.
The experiment above demonstrates that your visual field and your Conscious-awareness are not the same. Let’s go further. Close your eyes. Do it now for one minute before reading on…
What were you aware of? When you shut off the visual input to your biocomputer, you probably became aware of sounds. But sounds are not your Conscious-awareness. Suppose you go to a completely dark, quiet place. With the visual and sound inputs quiet, you may now begin to tune in to your body on deeper and deeper levels. You can experience bodily sensations that have previously been up-staged by the more dominating happenings of your five senses and the stimulation of your ideas, thoughts and words. You only experience your essence fully when you have quieted your emotion-backed drama and the torrent of addictive stuff churned out by your rational mind.
In other words, you are the awareness of your consciousness! You might wish to visualize a television screen in the middle of your head where all of your thoughts, images and emotions are projected. It’s all there in color — including sights, sounds, words and thought. It’s all going by on this imaginary television screen in the middle of your head. But you are not the television screen. You are not the images or stuff on the screen. You are that which is conscious of being aware of all of the stuff which is running on the screen. You are simply the watcher of the stuff on the screen. As Ram Dass puts it, Observe your scene from a quiet corner of your mind in which there is nothing to do but ’see.’ You are the consciousness that just sees what is happening on the screen. Your essence is pure Conscious-awareness.
As the watcher of the screen, you are perfect. The screen may be projecting a horrendous movie that is showing all kinds of pain and suffering — on the screen. Or the screen may reflect a happy movie that shows a beautiful sunset, a delightful sexual experience, or an enjoyable meal. But the essential you is the pure awareness that just watches the stuff go by on the screen of your life. Behind what you think you are — You are!
The essential you is perfect, has always been perfect and always will be perfect! There is nothing you can do to alter the perfection of the essential you. And this perfection does not need to be guarded with ego. When you realize who or what you really are, your ego can relax and you can really enjoy your life. For nothing poses either a threat or an absolute necessity to you any longer. You can truly enjoy being the essential you — and only then can you totally and continuously enjoy the unfolding drama that your life brings you.
As you begin to experience yourself as the watcher of the drama from the Sixth Center of Consciousness, you no longer labor under the illusion that your intellectual effort, will and frantic paranoid watchfulness are necessary to keep the world operating properly. Instead you experience the power, the deep peace and the exquisite beauty of letting your energy harmonize with the energies around you. You realize that by tuning in to the Ocean of loving energy around you, you can have far more security, enjoyable sensations, effectiveness and love than you ever need in order to live a continuously beautiful life. And as you learn to identify the essential you with your Conscious-awareness (instead of with the social and individual stuff that your ego has backed up in the past) you deeply and continuously enjoy both the drama of your life and the perfect being that you naturally are.
You will observe that your growth towards the highest Centers of Consciousness may fall naturally into three phases:
The Sixth Center of Consciousness is characterized by being aware of yourself. There is your essence — your Conscious-awareness — and there is the daily drama of your body, your senses and your rational mind. You see all of your drama with insight and perspective. Although this is a peaceful, beautiful Center of Consciousness, there is still duality. There is still a fine line of separation between you and the world.
On the seventh level of consciousness, one is catapulted from self-awareness into pure awareness. In other words, one is no longer witnessing oneself. The body, mind, senses, and Conscious-awareness are not separated. In this Center of Consciousness, one does not experience security, sensations, power, love and Cornucopia — one is security, sensations, power, love and the fullness of life. The highest state of consciousness is attained by reprogramming what is called the self. One’s thought activity is calmed. The direction of perception has shifted from subject-object manipulation, through a phase of loving acceptance, to a unity with everything in the environment.
To understand this distinction between experiencing something and being something, consider what happens when you have an intense sexual climax. Up until the time of orgasm, you have been experiencing the sexual sensations such as increasing warmth, pressure and stimulation of your sexual organs. You are experiencing sex. But at the moment of sexual climax you are no longer the experiencer. You may no longer be conscious of yourself enjoying sexual happenings. During the moments of an intense orgasm, you are the experience. At that moment you may feel a total oneness with your sexual partner — for there is no longer the experience of you as a separate consciousness.
At the Cosmic Consciousness level, one can function with enormous effectiveness because the screens that limit one’s receptiveness have been eliminated. One is now tuned to the finer nuances of the surrounding world. One is open to the broad spectrum of all of the finer cues that the world has been sending all the time — but which were previously not picked up by a consciousness occupied by security, sensation and power on the lower levels and love, Cornucopia and witnessing on the intermediate levels.
And now at the end of one’s journey to higher consciousness, one has become a god-like being. One has truly achieved one’s birthright. As a fully conscious being, one is optimally perceptive, optimally wise and optimally effective. Because one has transcended all personal boundaries and experiences no separation from anyone or anything in the world, serving others is the only thing to do in life. For there are no others. Everything is experienced from an us space.
Perhaps a word of advice may be helpful here. The Seventh Center is extremely difficult to attain. Out of the four billion people in this world, there may only be about a hundred people who are consistently in that Center. Achieving it usually requires a detached life style and a long period of intense consciousness growth practice. Even preferences must be eliminated to reach this Center. The author of this book generates his experience of life using the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Centers and enjoys life continuously. This does not mean he is a hundred per cent free of addictions, but he often goes many weeks without any separating emotional feelings.
When you have eliminated about ninety-nine per cent of your addictive programming, the remaining amount will probably be very subtle and will not interfere with happiness. When you have done the inner work required to get to this level of effectiveness, you know exactly which Pathway or Method to use whenever you experience the beginning of an addictive sequence. Within seconds or minutes you work through whatever security, sensation, or power addiction you are triggering and then you are right back at the Love or Cornucopia Center again. These Centers are totally adequate to enable you to live a happy, fulfilled, wise, effective and enjoyable life. It is worthwhile knowing about the Cosmic Consciousness Center, but do not let it become another addiction. If you work hard to use the Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Centers of Consciousness in processing and interpreting your own energies and the energies of the world around you, you will experience a deep peace and enjoyment within your heart that is wholly enough.
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