If you've seen the movie Inception, you recall how they experienced a dream within a dream. Consciousness is like the opposite of that, it's the same thing only it happens while you're awake, so it is being aware that you are aware.
You might have heard me talk about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, at the lower end of the pyramid. There isn't a whole lot of consciousness happening at the bottom.
Most animals and other life forms are on this level. Most wild life forms aren't conscious of most of the things humans are conscious of. To be aware that we are aware is truly the pinnacle of human evolvement and something we should all strive for.
You might hear of people describing themselves or others as being "woke", and a lot of people have negative connotations with this term which I believe is just due to their ego feeling the need to judge something they don't fully understand.
Everyone has had this happen; you're driving down the road and suddenly realize you don't remember the last 10 miles. You were so lost in your thoughts that you were not mindful of what was actually happening.
Being mindful is a type of meditation, to put 100% of your attention on a single task. This is the opposite of multi-tasking, which is not very practical in this modern world we live in today.
However, the mind gets stressed easily when it is overloaded with information. This is why we feel a sense of calm and inner peace when we go out in nature and just sit. There is nothing to do, except BE. The mind loves this. This is the first step to higher consciousness, to clear the mind.
Time doesn't really exist, because it is always NOW.
They say people who are depressed are living in the past, and people who are anxious are living in the future. So what does that make people who live in the present? They just are. In the present moment, everything just is, with no worries, no regrets, just pure being.
This is why altered states are so enjoyable. Once you take away thoughts, you're left with an empty space of awareness.
Getting into an altered state is easier than you might think. Of course, one obvious method is to use drugs to reach that point faster and effortlessly, but we want the natural method.
There are a few that I find always work. The sound of steady drumming is one of the best ways. You can get yourself a drum and do it yourself but I suggest finding videos on YouTube. This way your hands are free and you can meditate while doing this, or dance, however you body wants to express itself. During this trance state, the brain goes into alpha mode. This is a good time to either give yourself affirmations, or to focus your intention on something you want to manifest.
Slow, rhythmic breathing is another way to enter into an altered state. This is why this is so important to do when you are meditating.
Dancing is probably the most fun way to achieve an altered state. This works best if the music holds a steady rhythm. Doing this in a place where you can close your eyes is even better. Music is one of the best focusing activities for the mind.
Hypnotism is often ridiculed but people aren't usually aware that most of us get hypnotized every day without realizing it! You can get hypnotized by the highway as you're driving, by the tv as you're staring at it barely blinking, by music that is repetitive and goes on long enough to pull you into a trance.
When we are in this state, the subconsious mind is accessible. You can take charge and reprogram your habitual thoughts, any trauma you have had in your life, and direct your mind to manifest your dreams.
Another method of reaching your subconscious mind is to lucid dream. This is a hard skill to learn, but if you can master it, it will be a massive benefit to your life.
Studies have shown that things like learning and therapy can take place in this state. You are essentially able to do anything you want, so there is no fear. And since you are aware of it, it is pretty much like a real experience, which becomes a real memory once you wake up, as long as you can remember your lucid dreams!
Of course, meditation is the ultimate altered state, and it's so important that I have a separate page on just that.
Click here to proceed to the next page about meditation.