Consciousness can express itself as awareness. Some things and some people are more aware than others. Who or what is the Observer of this experiment?
We understand that consciousness is “the tool” connecting our awareness to this reality. It’s a marvelous tool. It supports our cognizance, and it is the platform for our default states of consciousness, waking, sleeping, and dreaming. It is also the doorway to altered or higher states. It’s a tool made for exploring reality, and it prompts us to ask additional questions.
“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.” ― Brian Cox
The most obvious question is who or what is doing the exploring? Who is the observer of our consciousness? Is it “me” doing the exploring? Or is it much more? Could it be our consciousness and life experience are part of a more extraordinary, more complex experiment?
Are we nothing more than a cosmic experiment? Is the total of our existence in the cosmos merely trying out different scenarios? Are our lives a singular or shared experience? Are we separate from the universal consciousness or only a partition of “a greater awareness”? Are we the cosmos made “conscious?”
The spiritual pioneers in ancient cultures devised methods to explore consciousness. Some people have a natural ability to access both altered or higher states. They don’t need procedures or psychotic drugs. The people with this innate ability we call Seers, Shamans, Mystics, Prophets, or Witches.
Everyone has the innate ability to explore altered or higher states. We call this type of investigation spiritual exploration. Most people cannot access these other rooms — with instruction, a key to open the door. Using the proper method, we can find the gifts in our DNA. It doesn’t require the belief in imaginary beings, just the ability to follow a process.
When we are born, we only need the primary three states of consciousness to orient our identity within reality. The observer limits our perception to give us time to acclimate and prepare. Most of us need to use these processes to open the doors of awareness.
As adolescents, most could not handle the extra bandwidth from these other states. After all, as children, we are orienting ourselves to our human container. However, we cannot know the depth of experience unless we use these other doors of consciousness. Unfortunately, some never go beyond the default set of three rooms. Many people are oblivious to the fundamental nature of our awareness.
We Are The Cosmos “Made Conscious”
You can find techniques for exploring consciousness in many ancient cultures. They fine-tuned the methods over eons. These methods optimized how and when to introduce these techniques. For that reason, these consciousness-expanding processes are highly effective learning strategies. It’s is a very efficient and practical way of ensuring the best learning outcomes.
They developed the blended learning models we use today. These methods assess readiness, prepare the learner, and then assess learning. These methods use frequent quality checks to ensure the individual’s understanding and use of the techniques. It’s the exact method we use in our blended learning process.
Every day we are awake, we should say, “thank you” for this beautiful gift of consciousness! Expand your awareness. Allow the observer to explore other realms of your consciousness.
Anyone can create their path using the wisdom of these methods. It’s where you’ll finally understand why we are “the cosmos made conscious.” You’ll understand how our life is the universe understanding itself. And perhaps understand what a remarkable spiritual experiment we have available.
The catalog of methods for developing and exploring consciousness is what we call Spiritual Technologies. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic. These tools improve observational skills and help us identify the roadblocks that get in the way.
We recommend you incorporate emotional checks in all of these processes. Keeping your feeling in check helps us think more clearly.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphones to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become helpful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse language to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the truth-seekers axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate personality profile. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will help you understand the source of our “personal power.”
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.
Meditation is a mind hack that often uses mantras, sutras, and affirmations as tools. These mental devices open doorways of consciousness. You could easily categorize them as awareness expansion tools, the same with Yoga since it contains a range of meditative processes.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Grounding exercises focus on our connection with nature, such as Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory (learning how to learn).
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Are we a part of a grand experiment, the cosmos “made conscious?” Even if you don’t, let’s make the most of this opportunity they call life.
Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. We offer this curriculum through our individually tailored virtual learning academy and our traditional face-to-face sessions. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (1). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia