Talking about consciousness is a fashionable subject these days. As if it is a new religion, trend or fashion. A lot of so-called “spiritual” people use it to judge others as being less “evolved” and ignorant.
I say, bleep that!
Consciousness is a simple concept that a 5-year-old child can understand. Sandy, the dog is conscious, whereas Teddy the teddy bear is not. Sandy runs around and responds, Teddy just sits there and does not move. When children play-act, they know they are pretending. It’s not real. When the plastic scissors are used to cut Teddy’s hair, they know it is just a game!
Many adults forget this simple truth and go through life play-acting for real!
Just believing in something does not make you more conscious. You can believe that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden. However, belief alone won’t make you more conscious, nor the fairies more real.
Think about it this way. When you go to the hospital for an operation, and the anesthesiologist gives you drugs to “put you to sleep” while they operate, you go through stages from conscious to unconscious where you are not aware of anything.
Sleepwalking through life?
Zombie movies are very popular because so many people go through life like they are a sleepwalking zombie. They are in a constant sleep-like mild trance. Long ago, they suffered through suppression or abuse that fixated their attention. As time passes the original injury is long forgotten, however, their mental attention remains fixated on it as an unsolved problem. Too many of these issues lead to a sense of overwhelming malaise and an inability to be fully present to their surroundings. This mild trance makes them less aware, or in other words, less conscious.
If the majority of their attention is stuck on a long-ago problem, that remains unsolved, how much attention do they have available for today’s challenges? Or for that matter, how much attention is available for other people’s difficulties? Not much right?
Often these people complain about not feeling “present” and experience an inability to concentrate, focus, rest, and relax. Their minds are hyperactive one moment, and then immobilized the next moment by debilitating depression. Following a lot of effort, these people achieve a temporary sense of calm, but it doesn’t last. The slightest provocation jolts the hyperactive mental cycle again. If this is describing you, the way out is to become more aware of where your attention is fixated, doing something to heal, and over time you will improve and become more conscious.
You may be wondering if you can just pop a pill?
Psychedelic drugs and peak experiences?
Sure, you can try to alter your consciousness via drugs or other high-intensity experiences. It sounds very appealing to swallow a tonic or jump on the spot yelling chu-chu while waving your arms around. Surely then, you can avoid all the hard work of changing your nasty behavior and the labor-intensive process of actually becoming a better person by getting conscious quick! Just like get-rich-quick, get-spiritual-quick, get-conscious-quick is seductive as a shortcut, but does it work? Yes, and no.
Yes, these methods do lead to a temporary altered state of consciousness, however, is it sustainable and do they lead to better behavior? Do they make you a better person? Do your results improve?
Results can be measured, which means you can track an improvement in consciousness by looking at your results. Owning your results enables you to own your consciousness.
Maybe you are a selfish prig who only thinks of yourself, and after taking a psychedelic drug, you realize that there are other people whose needs matter as much as yours. Your consciousness expands, and you know that we are all interconnected, fellow travelers on spaceship earth and that if you sink one side of the ship, we all go down together? If this increase in awareness sticks, and it leads to a lasting change in your point of view and behavior, then congratulations you have altered your consciousness for the better. On the other hand, most people only experience a temporary increase in awareness and upon returning to their normal environment, old habits take over and before long it is as if nothing happened.
Surely, there must be more sustainable ways to make lasting improvements?
Yoga and Meditation?
Yoga and meditation offer a path to increase your body awareness, calm your mind and detach from the emotions of life’s roller coaster. Daily rituals and practice have many benefits. When combined with deliberate right-action and problem-solving, Yoga is very connecting and meditating brings a sense of calm, oneness, and insight. On the other hand, as with any practice, it can be used to support unethical and wrong action. Imagine the wife beating, serial cheating, husband who feels guilty and ashamed of their wrong actions. To alleviate their racing mind, and to dissipate the feelings of worthlessness, they meditate to detach from their emotion and quell the inner disquiet. Meditation offers temporary relief. However, lasting peace and serenity can only be achieved through diligent right action.
The application of right action includes taking right actions into the future as well as righting the wrong actions one has taken in the past. This can be done by making amends.
Seeing what cannot be seen with your eyes?
Awareness of one’s impact on others and their impact on you is beyond what you can see with your eyes. The more you can see in your mind’s eye, the more awareness, i.e., consciousness you develop. Consider the primate who is aware of their social relationships in the group. They keenly pay attention to every member jostling, competing and social game. However, when a member, steals their bunch of bananas behind their back, if they don’t see, it didn’t happen. They will notice the bananas gone. However, their ability to imagine what happened in their mind’s eye is limited. To this degree, their consciousness is limited primarily to what they see.
People who are fixated on their physical senses will experience limited perception other than what they see with their eyes. They often think to themselves “I will believe it when I see it.” However, as your consciousness increases your ability to see it in your mind’s eye, to creatively imagine, and to see a group’s social dynamics, motivations, hierarchy, and cliques go up!
The near-death experience?
Another surefire way to expand one’s consciousness is to go through a near-death experience. The history books are full of examples of people who had close brushes with death and in the moment of their imminent demise, realized that there is more to life than the constant self-interested, me too, merry go round.
The best investment you can make?
I believe that the best investment you can make is in activities, experiences, and education that challenges your beliefs, thinking, and expands your consciousness. You are alive and free to the degree you are conscious.
I have traveled to more than 500 cities in 54 countries and invested more than 30 years studying, analyzing and researching what consciousness is and how to develop my own. Rather than study how consciousness forms in the brain, I have focused on what it is, how to expand it and what are the key factors that stimulate and cause a quantum leap in consciousness.
When an entire society goes through a collective quantum leap in consciousness, a golden age of innovation, wealth, and prosperity ensues. The most notable example was the Renaissance of the 14th to 16th centuries.
My passion has been to discover how to stimulate our own Renaissance — a personal Golden Age and then to share it with others. Everything is better with friends!
I have found that the quest to create peak-experiences, combined with some analysis of what happened and why have led to higher understanding. Most people have experienced a peak experience state, however for many; it happens by chance.
There are deliberate steps you can take. I have discovered how to create the circumstances to invoke peak experiences anytime I choose and how to make it a way of life.
Would it surprise you to know that consciousness can be categorized and measured on a scale that can be extended to cover all the significant areas of life? Money, income, wealth, relationships, business, leadership, health, career, etc. No, there isn’t a unique NASA designed instrument to measure it! Even better, we can all measure it with some simple education and a system that makes it easy!
How? Easy! By looking at and categorizing your results, then work backward to your drivers and eventually your consciousness. My partner of 13 years, the late Anjou MacPherson and I created a system known as The OPTIMA Zones of Human Behavior & Peak Performance. The system explains the cycle of life, why we behave the way we do and why some people are more successful, happy and fulfilled while others seem to be caught up in an endless cycle of struggle for mere existence.
Have you ever wondered why some people struggle and are unhappy, while others seem to be in the right place at the right time are happy and fulfilled?
Most therapies, medical practices, and self-improvements systems focus on identifying dysfunction, treating it and becoming functional. Health is often viewed as the absence of disease.
The OPTIMA Zones were created to look at life holistically, from the big picture, ultimate, optimum and what is possible in an ideal condition and then work backward to identify varying stages of suboptimum all the way to nonexistence. Identifying where one is at versus where one could be if conditions were optimum, help to determine the best possible path to realizing the full potential in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort.
Without a holistic system, one would be lost without a map. If you have no idea where you are and no idea where you are going, then you would be lost and don’t even know it.
The OPTIMA Zones provide a detailed map. Including Seven Zones across 53 Dynamics of Life, Career, Business, Health, Wealth, Relationship, and Leadership.
The system focuses on measuring outcomes and what creates these outcomes. Improving performance can only happen when one starts with a baseline of performance to improve. It is important to note that this is a non-religious system used by people who maintain their current religious practice (for example Christian, Hindu, Buddist, Muslim, Sikh, etc.) while using the system. In fact, many users of the OPTIMA Zones report that their current religious practice is strengthened.
Leadership Advocate and Co-Founder of the Goldzone Group. I help leaders to master the new rules of leadership for the new economy. Over the past 30 years, I have visited over 500 cities in 54 countries to explore, learn from, and help many of the world’s leading companies, leaders, and luminaries in the fields of science, technology, health, finance, entrepreneurship, and leadership.