A Series of Essays
On The Beach
Essay Five: Creating Expanded Consciousness
How to expand your consciousness..........
I can’t believe I just wrote that out. Never in the last 40 years of my life would I have thought I would discuss or reveal such things in a more-or-less open forum. But after recently reading a fascinating forum topic by TwoIceFloes.com member Andee, called ‘The Elephant in the Room’, I decided to ‘man-up’ and talk about what I know about this issue of purposefully working to increase one’s conscious awareness. Perhaps it will be of use to someone; this is what I hope for most.
I was taught how to let my mind, my normal physical-awake consciousness, flow out of me and into other places in this earthly place of existence - and beyond. This ability is nothing unique - you possess it as much as I do. This essay will allow me to offer you the means to begin to explore this forgotten ability within. But first, before I write about the personal methods for doing this that were taught to me, I want to mention something about the words we use to describe our mental states of being.
I am very wary of using the terms ego, superego, id, conscious, and subconscious as if I were using terms as defined by modern science. I could look up their dictionary definitions and we could discuss them among ourselves - but I really don’t think such a discussion will be very enlightening. We are all so deeply damaged by our conditioning in this modern world that I think these terms are, in many ways, incorrect. They define what is basically a pathological state; not the normal state of natural humans. To me, using these terms to define what I’m about to share would be like going into a terminal cancer ward and deciding to reference the physical state of these patients as representing the normal human condition.
This is how sick I consider humankind to be at this time of Modernity.
Where is a control group that is not from Modernity; a group that has an entirely different way of viewing the world? Well, they really don’t exist now - but they did 80 or so years ago until their ways of thinking were marginalized, dismissed - or ruthlessly destroyed. Instead of challenging psychology, their mental worldview was consigned to the marginal arena of theoretical anthropological study and was not included in modern psychology. Now, those kinds of groups have almost vanished and there are no truly unspoiled control groups left to us. We are left to believe the modern human and how we mentally present ourselves today is all that is possible, even though science knows that a person’s mental state is created from both Nature and nurture.
In my opinion, the current generally-accepted descriptions of a human’s conscious state are a scientific impossibility. Unless there is a control group available that comes from a completely different ‘nurture’ paradigm, it is now impossible to come to a genuinely accurate conclusion obtained through a truly objective scientific study.
I used the term consciousness to lead off this discussion. I would actually prefer to use the term awareness, but there are clear and obvious issues in using that term. For instance, a person could be completely conscious in his or her own way, but sightless and not personally aware of colors at all.
However the issue of awareness goes to the very heart of my essays.
How can you be aware of something if you have no knowledge of its existence? Or what if you aware of it, but you have no tools available to explore or experience it? Our collective conditioning has stripped from our awareness the possibility of exploring important parts of our individual consciousness.
Consciousness is a person’s awareness of their surroundings and their relative location within those surroundings. For instance, as beings of the material world most humans are not consciously aware of energy; but we are aware of the result of energy used as a force to do work. We are aware of the result of energy but have no awareness of energy itself. This one fact should alert us to the limitations we are currently under as physical beings trying to become aware of the universe.
I am also hesitant to use the terms ‘awake’, ‘asleep’ or ‘dreaming’ to describe states of consciousness. These terms can carry a tone of judgment about them and I never want anyone to feel because they are just ‘waking up’ to these issues they are inferior in some way.
Our conditioning about these matters damaged all of us long before we were able to judge for ourselves. We have been convinced by societal beliefs and memes we are simply physical beings living lives apart from Nature. We are led to believe that everything of ‘Nature’ is primitive and chaotic, or threatening and messy - while everything of modern man is advanced and progressive.
Our language just does not have the right words to describe our true human ‘being-ness’ and all of its vast possibilities. We are even limited in our ability to discuss and describe ourselves by the very languages developed in our Modernity. This conditioning has stripped from us our knowledge of ourselves as more than physical beings with a deep connection to Nature.
At this point I want to again substitute the phrase awake mental voice for the word ‘ego’, which is the term usually used in this sort of discussion. Ego has a lot of negative baggage connected to it, which at this point needs to be discussed thoroughly before that negativity is allowed to continue due to any personal connotations on the part of the reader.
I don’t wish any confusion about what mental state I am talking about here. I am talking about the voice that most of us hear inside of our heads, the one we normally associate with the ‘thinking self’. We think this voice is ‘Us’ because we hear it all the time - but it is not really us. It is only a part of us, a part created by each of us from all the conditioning that has happened over our individual lives. The real, individual ‘Us’ is a great deal larger than this little voice we are trained to hear.
I have discussed my understanding of this awake mental voice and how it came to be, in Essay One: The Antidote. (Link)
To expand our consciousness, we need to find a way to lessen the constant presence of this awake mental voice in our heads. This is not easy at all since we tend to think this voice is ‘Us’. Our conditioning will have us believe we have no other experience with ourselves except this awake mental voice; but there is also our asleep mental voice which we have been taught to dismiss. If we want to connect to the larger Self, which exists both inside of our physical mind and outside the physical universe altogether, then we must turn down the volume of the awake mental voice - an undertaking that will seem truly frightening for some and absolutely impossible for others.
I was taught to quiet my own awake mental voice by letting my mind wander into the physical nature of plants.
This is easiest for me when I choose a large mature tree, but even a blade of grass can work. It should be a plant connected to the earth, not one contained in a pot. Usually I will be barefoot with the soles of my feet in contact with the ground. A quiet space works best for me with no one else around. That includes no distractions such as music and especially no conversation going on nearby. I sit still and relaxed - and then let my mind drift. I do not focus on anything, but then I also do not try to restrict my thoughts either. I just let myself drift and focus on the plant, gently trying to connect my own consciousness to that of this plant.
When you attempt to do this exercise your awake mental voice might start nagging at you, telling you this is crazy; that you can’t talk to trees. Tell your voice gently but firmly you don’t want to talk; you just want to feel the tree. Gently push your awake mental voice away as often as it comes up and simply give yourself permission to flow into the tree.
Use whatever method you need to such as visualizing parts of the tree in great detail. But the point is not to make it a chore or to use lots of words. The use of chores and words are the domain of the awake mental voice and that is what you want to leave behind. Do not focus on lights or spirits or God or gods or anything except the tree. Trees are part of Nature and part of Mother Earth. That is all you need.
But you really can commune in this way with trees or other plants. They are very aware of you.
Everyone’s experience is different; but for me personally I simply slip into the consciousness of a tree and begin to sense it. It is as if my physical mind expands, gets bigger, and then focuses beyond me and into the tree. My mental state when connected with that of the tree is much like a dream state, but not a lucid dream because I have left my awake mental voice behind. Communicate with the tree and only with the tree. Do not be distracted by anything else until you can grow in your ability to focus yourself within this state.
All of us experience life by using our various senses in slightly different ways. For example I am very visual and for me most of this experience will be visual. Others might be auditory and hear speech or other sounds which are more necessary in order for them to create this experience. Remember, you are focusing a portion of your physical consciousness and using it to expand into this other space of natural consciousness, thus consciously joining with Nature. Please note that this act should always remain under your own conscious physical control; do not cede this control to anyone or anything other than yourself.
Your potential in this state is literally limitless. You might be in a kind of light trance and able to flow mentally into all life around you because it is also entirely connected to that tree and thus to you as well. This ‘Web of Life’ is your Mother, the place from which your earthly being-ness comes when in a physical body. Part of your being, a part of your non-local consciousness, is lodged inside this Earth Mother so you can be physically expressed here in this place.
There are very specific reasons my siblings and I were taught to focus on Nature. It is part of Her, the creator of this Earth, and the only real entity we ever need to connect with. She is always with us and without Her we are not truly alive at all. After all each of us is, literally, physically created from her Earthly body as well as energetically inter-connected with everything and everyone through Her.
For me the Earth represents the physical body of a great Entity of Generation who created us and all other life on Earth. There is no religion involved in this concept. The Earth is simply Life itself, manifest as a material body. The Ultra-conscious entity who inhabits this body is our Mother in this place, but only a tiny portion of her is actually in the Earth. The Earth, and all else here, is of Her - as are we.
When we connect to Nature we are connecting through our own personal part of Her and can then experience other parts of Her. This allows us to experience Her through a deeply moving, timeless moment of being joined with someone who loves us so completely and unconditionally as one of Her children that there is no sense of separation from Her at all. Through this connection you can learn of your larger non-physical nature and begin to remember this is not only your birthright, but also your natural state of Being.
Your Earthly Mother is always with you and present in all life around you. There is no humanly-constructed omnipotent male ‘God’ figure sitting in the sky that made you or created any life on this Earth. Any conscious connection you have to any other part of Nature will show this to you in an instant. The true ‘male’ consort of the Earth is the Sun, whose energy pours down on the earth and gives all of Her creations the power to function and live.
By using the simple exercise given above you can reconnect with this larger part of yourself and get a little feel of the ‘Infinite You’. But do remember: everyone is different. Everyone will have a different and very personal experience of this. I have no experience at all with any forms of meditation. To me they all seem directed at some predetermined end or goal and this has always felt wrong to me. My only intention in this exercise is to connect to my Earth Mother and to the larger part of me.
Also, many meditation practices are part of some larger religious experience and I have never connected with any organized religion. I could never follow any religion’s direction at all so I have never based my personal methods for this exercise on any of the usual meditation practices. Connecting with my greater Self through Nature and the Earth was always enough for me.
The important thing to remember is that your estrangement from this larger part of you and your connection to Nature is an artificial state caused by our conditioning in this modern place. Every person on Earth should be effortlessly able to do this kind of expansion of consciousness into Nature.
Remember that everything we need is already inside us. This connection to Nature will allow you to experience it instead of being cut off from it.
Expanding vs. Altering Consciousness
I purposely called this discussion ‘Expanding Your Consciousness’ as I never want to use the description ‘altered consciousness’. For me, we should expand our consciousness to include the parts of us we are not normally connected to now in Modernity. What is really a condition of ‘altered consciousness’ is the strange, pathologically-restricted view of ourselves we currently believe in and follow while living in Modernity. This is as altered a state of consciousness as is possible to achieve on Earth; and it is very pathological, very sick and quite insane.
Expanding our consciousness is the birthright of every person born on Earth. Being able to connect to Mother Earth is an ability thus guaranteed to every one of us. It is not special at all. No one who can do this should ever hold themselves up as ‘special’ in any way or be viewed as such. Avoid anyone who holds themselves up as enlightened or holy or deserving of special honors because they seem exceptional for having ’unique’ or ‘spiritual’ gifts.
There are many different methods that may be used to expand your consciousness. The method I have described is a type of self-hypnosis focused on a tangible aid, i.e. a physical part of Nature. You might use natural drugs, drumming, chanting, rhythmic repetitive movement or hypnosis instead. Any of these can work - but some will take you to places of concern for me. As I mentioned in the prior essay on protection I would prefer someone with no experience in this approach towards expanded consciousness stay inside yourself and Nature in your initial attempts. It is important for you to stay physically awake, conscious and in control at all times. If you don’t, you might reject your experience as if it were a dream - and we are conditioned to discount our dreams. Or, something might occur that puts you at risk. Be careful and conservative if you have no experience with this process. Go slowly, and immediately return to your usual state of consciousness if you encounter anything at all uncomfortable or disturbing during your explorations.
Varieties of Personal Experience
Every experience of expanded consciousness is different for each person because everyone always starts at a different point of awareness. Allow Nature to direct you, to envelop you and to show you what it wants you to see. Your experience can be graceful and peaceful and gentle - or it can be so expansive and overwhelming that it is life-changing.
If you do this exercise often enough, you will discover parts of you that you never knew existed, huge parts of timeless, expansive experience and strength. You will experience how connected we really are to all living things on this Earth. You will see it is really impossible to tease apart separate objects one from another. The consciousness of one animal will flow into another and you will see this happen. The energy of one object will flow into another, blurring the edges so that finding separate objects becomes almost impossible.
You could also feel the awareness of what you usually think of as inanimate objects - rocks and streams and waves for example all have their own energy and a type of consciousness you will be able to feel at an experiential level. It will be incredibly beautiful. You will be able to directly and very personally feel your connection to this life of Nature. You cannot avoid feeling you are a part of it; and once you do, you will never feel separate and alone again.
Remember: the word ‘natural’, which represents our true state of Being, derives directly from the word ‘Nature’. Talk about things being hidden from us in plain sight! Here is a perfect example of the degree to which we have allowed ourselves to be separated from our true state of Being.
There is no right or wrong at this level of connection. Every person will experience what he or she needs to experience.
Usually we will not connect at first to any non-physical entity, but simply to the forces of natural life all around us. Later, if one does this enough, we might be contacted in one of these expanded states by a non-physical entity. Usually this will be one of the assistants we always have with us in our current physical manifestation. If such an entity makes itself known, remember to use the techniques I discussed in the previous essay on protection before you willingly engage with them. If your ‘visitor’ is truly one of these assistant-beings, they are there to help you. This is their job and they take it very seriously.
If you do this enough, and they feel you are ready, I suspect they will assist you in traveling all over the universe, both the physical and the non-physical. When you do this you will get a real experience of what it means to be infinite. Your view of the physical world will never be the same again. The Lies of Modernity will fall from you. You will be reconnected to the larger part of you, the one from which you truly originate - and you will never again ‘forget’ how that feels and what it truly means.
The most important thing you will experience from this sort of expansion of your consciousness is to become intimately aware of the fact you are a timeless being who is mainly located outside this physical place. Once you know this, really know this in the depths of your physical being, the main fear of life within Modernity will fall away from you: the fear of death.
You will no longer be afraid of death because you will understand that you, the larger non-physical you, will never and can never die. The entire system of socially conditioned controls we blindly accept as humans living here now will become meaningless to you. You will never be tempted to give up your sovereignty to any agent or agency attempting to lie to you by claiming they, and they alone, can provide or take away from you something you already have - and could never lose anyway.
All of the many Little Lies of Modernity are based on this One Great Lie.
An Open Invitation
I encourage everyone who wishes to comment here to describe any method you might use to expand your consciousness and what you experience when that happens. A forum on Two Ice Floes has been set up for this discussion. We all need to understand the usualness of this thing and the fact it can happen for anyone. There are as many ways possible as there are people, and all are valid - but some come with built-in risks. Please try to avoid the risks. Do this slowly and carefully - and with great enjoyment and lightheartedness. More than anything, this marvelous experience should be both fun and educational for you. As people of Modernity we are so stunted and restricted and afraid. Our ancestors would laugh at us for not knowing how to do this sort of thing easily and naturally.
Some might want to talk about the sleeping mental voice, which is something else that can be used to experience expanded awareness. In this essay I am focusing only on an awake experience, either in a light trance or as an awake, aware experience. The sleeping experience is much more complex and the subject for an entirely separate discussion.
Please feel free to ask me anything about this exercise in expanding your consciousness or to discuss the entire topic in all of its aspects.
Written by On The Beach
20 July 2014
Iba, Zambales, Philippines