What is Higher Consciousness? ( It’s Probably Not What You Were Thinking )

Higher consciousness doesn’t have to be a spiritual state, although many describe it that way.

It can be also be explained as an increased awareness, or a difficult to reach higher mental state.

To try to paint a better picture of what we believe higher consciousness to be, first, we need to take a trip deep into the human brain.

The Reptilian mind

Scientists often use the term reptilian mind to describe the more primitive part of the brain.

It is also referred to as lower consciousness.

We share this part of the brain with many other animal species.

It is the part of our minds that has been around for more than 100 million years. It helps us survive.

Examples of Reptilian mind behavior:

  1. The fight or flight reflex
  2. Bodies basic functions like breathing, circulation and digestion
  3. Balance and posture

Imagine coming face to face with a crocodile. In the crocodiles mind you are going to either be lunch today, or a threat that must be run from. (more likely the former).

The crocodile is not going to be worrying about paying next months rent bill or hurting someones feelings.

We also have that part in our brains, much like the crocodile.

Fortunately though for humans, evolution has also given us something a lot more advanced.

The Neocortex

The neocortex is the part of our brain that is the most recently evolved.

This is where powerful mental processing occurs, and the mind moves beyond just self interest and onto impartial judgement and other higher thought patterns and perspectives.

Physicist Roger Penrose says that the stuff going on inside our brains is more complex than anything else in the universe, including entire galaxies.

Researchers believe that if we mapped out every connection within one human brain, it would take up more than 100 million terabytes of storage.

Neocortex operations:

  • Reasoning
  • Values
  • Language

Higher Consciousness Explained

The Barrett Model of Consciousness

Richard Barrett’s model consists of seven stages of consciousness.

I created the Seven Levels Model to provide a clear understanding of human motivations. The model is based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It was apparent to me that Maslow’s research and thinking was ahead of his time. Abraham Maslow died in 1970 at age 62, well before the consciousness movement had taken root. I saw that, with some minor changes, his hierarchy of needs could be transposed into a framework of consciousness. In 1996, I set about making these changes. -Richard Barrett

Each stage progresses to the next in a logical manner.

Reference Drive
Survival Feel protected or unprotected
Relationship Feel in or out of a group
Self-esteem Feel positive or negative about yourself
Transformation Act out of your true self
Internal Cohesion Find similarities between your views and goals
Making a Difference Align your views with others to make a greater impact
Service Live through voluntary service to meet your personal goals

The first 3-4 stages are fairly self centered, then as the progression continues the perspective becomes much more broad.

Barrett’s model assumes that we normally exist in the middle levels of consciousness, however can jump either up or down.

If we are confronted with some kind of threat, or stressful situation we will go down to the lower levels.

On the other side of the coin, should we experience a moment of euphoria, or have some kind of spiritual moment, our minds will move to higher levels of consicousness.

Symptoms of Higher Consciousness

There are a few ways that you can tell if someone has reached higher planes of consciousness:

  • Living in the now – being able to live truly in the moment and not be distracted by thoughts and worries
  • Wider perspective than self – being able to separate oneself from a situation and look at it from other perspectives when it is not related to loved ones

The majority of humans are self absorbed and struggle to really see past themselves.

How to Reach Higher Consciousness

If we don’t make a concerted effort to try, many of us will never reach a higher consciousness.

It is normally the realm of bhuddist monks and spiritualists however that doesn’t mean that you can’t reach these higher planes of existence as well..

If you want to give it a go, here are some tips to help you on the path to attain higher consciousness:

  • Keep yourself in peak physical condition
  • Meditate
  • Control your emotions
  • Practice gratefulness
  • Journal

Putting it all Together

Higher consciousness is not just a single thing or process.

It is not possible to just flick a switch and snap into this state, it must be practiced and learned.

As human beings we are in the unique situation where we can view the world through a perspective larger than ourselves.

To do so though we have to want to. And we must be aware of how we are operating at a point in time.

It is easy to get wrapped up in our own lives.

So next time you are arguing with someone, try to step outside of yourself. See what happens when you really try to understand the other side.

Have you experienced higher consiousness?

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