At the “height” of consciousness, you see that there are actually no heights.
There are no lows, either. There are no extremes; no rights or wrongs. Everything that once existed on a spectrum falls away and there is nothing but It. Here we have the essence of nondualism, the word which describes the absence of dichotomies. Here we see that there are not “opposites,” merely complementary differences that have come out of the One thing. Things are not real or illusory; good or bad. Life defies such qualities. It simply is.
Because most people have not reached this point, it can be helpful to visualize consciousness on a spectrum, or as a series of levels. I’m not super fond of the idea of “levels” because it tends to bring out the egoic aspect that wants to fancy itself “higher” on the scale and notice when those around us are “lower.” When a tool for understanding the divine brings about judgments of superiority and inferiority, we have to wonder how useful it is. However, I’ve simply found no better way to start out than by saying that up until total expansion, there is a series of levels.
David Hawkins*, a doctor and consciousness researcher, developed a scale to help us conceptualize these levels.
Even if you’re brand new to these ideas, I’ve found this to be an intuitive chart to read. You might even be able to find where your orientation to life is on the scale and therefore determine where Hawkins might place you:
First off, until you learn to guard your consciousness, your level is changing all the time based on what’s happening in your life, and based on those around you. There seems to be a misconception that once someone reaches the level of Reason, they don’t fall back down to Guilt. All of you brilliant people with depression know that’s not how it works. Even after the moment of enlightenment/awakening, we are capable of slipping back down, especially if we have not fully healed past wounds. This is because we are tremendously affected by the levels of those around us, which is to say that consciousness is highly contagious.
Remember: All spectra represent mere slivers of reality, but for now, I don’t have any other way to write about it. Every day I understand more fully why the most spiritual people either shut up completely or tell stories with multiple meanings so that the listeners may one day be confused into the Truth. I get that, but it’s just not my way. I am blessed with wordfulness and the Internet, so I figure I should probably use those tools.
Here’s the most important thing to understand about the levels: Without the drive and/or luxury to grow, individual people cannot help where they’re at on the scale. That is the nature of higher consciousness: It really is outside of our control. A person who dwells in hatred is stuck. A person who has shame is stuck. Being stuck is not their fault. They are stuck because ultimately, there is too much fear within them and their surroundings to move upward. One can spontaneously become unstuck and ascend to previously unknown emotions like bliss, peace, and true Love in no time at all. By universal grace, and/or conscious action, this occurs.
When we see that it isn’t people’s “fault” that they are closed, thoughtless, and hateful, compassion and forgiveness arise naturally. “Trying” to forgive is to misunderstand the essence of forgiveness.
After this, we get to play in all the juicy transformative stuff that can really only occur through Love.
*I’m not going to get into the criticisms of Hawkins’ work. Suffice it to say that I think he went too wacky with his theories for them to be effective in healing the collective mind. We needn’t believe in archangels or aliens in order to help one another. An understanding of consciousness should help us deal with this physical plane, this Earth, our emotions, and the way we treat one another. If it doesn’t, all we’re doing is getting lost in our imaginations. That’s fun, and I love getting lost in my imagination, but it is not wise to pretend like doing so is healing the Earth.