Yesterday I said that Lightworkers are Souls who have come into physical life on Earth to assist humanity in achieving higher consciousness. (Click on the link above to read yesterday's blog entry about Lightworkers.)
What do we mean by "higher consciousness," anyway?
Consciousness is awareness. Psychologists have a different view of states of consciousness than do spiritually oriented people. Psychology speaks of the various states of sleep, such as Stage 1 Sleep, REM Sleep, and Deep Sleep. These are contrasted with ordinary wakefulness that we experience throughout the day. Some of the things spiritually oriented people experience are lumped under the term "Altered Consciousness." Hypnosis and delusions fall into this category, as well.
Those who follow non-traditional spiritual paths have a different idea of states of consciousness. There is a continuum that exists whereby it is almost impossible to tell when a person has made a shift from one state of consciousness to another. In this view, the vast majority of people are considered to be "asleep" even when they are not actually sleeping. The gradual shift to higher states of consciousness is called "awakening." Contrary to popular belief, "enlightenment" does not happen all at once. It is an ongoing process that, once begun, cannot be stopped.
There are three hallmarks of those who are experiencing this awakening. The first is reverence for all life. In practice, this means you value others and have a very clear understanding of the Golden Rule. Because of this, you begin to alter your behavior to avoid causing harm or suffering, not only to other human beings, but to animals, plants, and Mother Earth, herself.
The second hallmark of an awakened person is a heightened awareness of cause and effect. You clearly understand that your thoughts, words and deeds create the circumstances of your life and contribute to or alter the circumstances of others' lives. You begin to notice that the good you do for others and for the environment comes back to you in some form. You understand that the negative circumstances and events in your life were self-created, and that your past lives have a bearing on your current life situation, whether or not you actually remember any specific past life experiences.
The third hallmark of an awakened being is an increased perception of purpose and meaning in life. You know that you have some things to learn and a mission of service, and that these things were decided before your birth into this life.
Lightworkers do not all maintain the highest state of consciousness. In fact, a majority of them are only at the beginning of the process, themselves. This is what makes them uniquely able to help others, since they can remember and identify with the struggles that others are going through.
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First of all, let's take a look at the state of consciousness that the vast majority of people experience. The lowest state of consciousness has been called the Dark State. It is also what some call the Sleep State. This is a state of ignorance, where you are unable to access your higher wisdom at the Soul level. You may not even believe that such a thing as Soul exists. You think of yourself as a body and mind. The physical world is the only reality, and your perception of the world is limited to the evidence of your five physical senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Your focus is acquisition of material goods and recognition for socially accepted accomplishments. You ignore questions about the meaning of life, finding them to be useless.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this state. Everyone goes through it. Life in a physical body allows us to experience being separate from others, as well as to experience opposites, particularly the negative side of things, because negativity doesn't exist anywhere else in God's Creation. We experience negative things in order to appreciate the positive things in life. As long as physical life satisfies us, we remain in this state of consciousness. Souls come back into physical life again and again in order to have the full range of experiences possible.
At some point, we learn that our physical senses can be fooled. Sight can be confounded by optical illusions. Our sense of hearing is regularly fooled by sound effects used on TV and in the movies. Even our sense of smell can be fooled. Car dealers know this. They make sure every car has a "new car smell" and they often work on the doors of used vehicles to make sure there is a good, solid sound when the door is shut. They know that buyers use these two criteria for deciding that a car probably has a good motor and that it will not turn out to be a lemon. The makers of Fabreeze air freshener have a commercial on TV where people go into a grungy place with blindfolds on. The room has been sprayed with Fabreeze, so the people all say what a clean, fresh place it must be. When the blindfolds come off, they are startled and dismayed to see how wrong they were. Our sense of taste is fooled every time we drink soda pop that tastes like cherries or blueberries, for example. You can probably list a few other fake tastes for yourself. Even the sense of touch can be unreliable. Try this experiment: go into an unfamiliar room blindfolded and try to identify things in the room. You will probably be surprised.
It often takes a dramatic event such as the death of a loved one, a severe physical injury or illness, a painful divorce, or the collapse of your professional life to bring you to the point where you are ready for a change in consciousness. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Lightworkers are here on Earth in great numbers now, hoping to raise humanity's awareness out of the Sleep State without so much trauma. They are also here to help those who have suffered trauma to work through their difficulties and to raise their consciousness, rather than wallow in bitterness, despair, or self-pity.
The beginning of higher consciousness comes when we realize that the physical world has nothing to offer that will satisfy us in any lasting way. We learn that no amount of money will protect us from fear, loneliness or boredom. The acquisition of things or status keeps us busy for a while, but then we look up and ask, "Is that all there is?" We begin to search for the meaning of life, often taking solace in organized religion and traditional philosophy. Many Souls spend lifetimes in this state.
When we realize that mainline religion and philosophy aren't answering our deep questions about the origin and meaning of life, we start a personal search that may bring us into contact with many different religions or spiritual teachings. This search begins to have an urgency about it, and we begin to identify ourselves as Seekers. We seek love, truth, and God. The trouble is that we seek these things outside of ourselves.
At some point, perhaps many lifetimes later, Souls finally come into contact with a spiritual Master who is capable of directing their search in a more purposeful way. Some Souls come in contact with false masters who wish to take advantage of them, but all experiences are for learning, and just as with other opposites (good and evil, for example), we learn what we are looking for by experiencing what we are not looking for. The true spiritual Master shows the Souls who come to him for instruction that they must seek within in order to learn their true identity as Soul. At this point, Souls are literally hooked on their spiritual quest, and they cannot imagine quitting it, even for a potentially satisfying relationship with a significant other or a big promotion at work. This is the basic state of enlightenment that Lightworkers are trying to establish in human beings in the physical world.
Is this all there is to enlightenment? Not by a long shot. Tune in for more information tomorrow. :-)