Many of us spend our lives searching – for who we are, what we should be, and where we need to be heading. Whether we are weighed down by the idea that life is simply a random series of events that gets thrown at us, leaving us with no possible way to truly determine our own lives; or that we get to make our own choices in life, and when we fail, it is our fault. Either way, the consensus in both the scientific and spiritual community is that both notions revolve around the basic, animalistic functions of human consciousness.

For centuries, people believed that the breath is what differentiated the living from the dead, and based on the scientific knowledge they had then, that was a relatively accurate idea. This is how the term “spirit” came into use – the Latin word “spiritus”, where the term “spirit” derives, literally means “breath”. Hence, every time someone died, their breath – or spirit – left their body for something bigger than human life on Earth.

As modern science has shown, it wasn’t breath that was leaving the body during death, it was consciousness. As your heart and lungs stop, your human consciousness ceases to exist. You no longer have a functioning mind, body, or state of being. Whether you believe in the religious ideations or not about where your spirit and consciousness goes after death, most people have a general belief that there is more than this life after death. This is how the basis for any type of spirituality emerged – and how the development of the literal and spiritual connotation of consciousness came to be.

Since spirit has become synonymous with consciousness due to the history behind what happens to us during death, the terms spiritual and spirituality have continued to evolve to encompass the ideas of different levels of consciousness. First, the term spiritual now refers to the expansion, deepening, and understanding of consciousness. Many people have different beliefs as to what this means to them personally, but in the end, spiritual development of your conscious mind can be understood as a deliberate effort to overcome feelings of aloneness and singularity in the world. This has been explored by many avenues of the years, whether through psychotropics, religion, and/or spiritual ideations.

From there, the term spirituality has also continued to evolve into an actual state of being; both through a higher understanding of awareness and consciousness of oneself in the universe. This can be practiced, exercised, and honed, but it is also what many people deem a “spiritual or religious experience and awakening”. Basically, as our understanding of our place in the world – and a deeper understanding of consciousness – evolves, we learn the true meanings of connectedness, wholeness, our connections to nature, and awareness.

Higher Consciousness and What This Means to You

If spirit, breath, and consciousness are all the same, then what is it and how does it affect you personally? The basic definition of consciousness is an understanding, awareness, and perception of one’s own mind and the world. The idea of consciousness has many forms and levels, all of which reflect where we are in certain phases of our lives. To those who have awakened, it is obvious where others are in their consciousness journeys, which allow them to truly help those who need it. This is not to say that any level of consciousness cannot be just as caring, helpful, and loving, but more often than not, when we are a at a basic, humanistic level of consciousness, we are too busy trying to figure ourselves out first.

The basic ideas of the stages of consciousness vary from group to group, but it all sums down to these four points:

  1. My Life Happens to Me (The Drone): Life is a series of random events that are out of my control. I am a victim to my circumstances, so everything that happens to me throughout my life is not my fault – nor is it my choice to do anything valuable or invaluable with my life. I accept everything but question nothing.
  2. My Life Happens by Me (The Artist): I have realized that my life is in my control. I can make positive and negative outcomes in my life, because I have the power to artistically express who I am. It is my subjective reality that allows me to see the world for what it is – in my control. However, at this point in my conscious life, if something goes wrong, I have failed. I blame myself because my life and my mistakes are my doing.
  3. My Life Happens for Me (The Alchemist):I have realized that I cannot have healing when I am stuck in controlling everything in my life. To achieve higher consciousness and personal healing, I can no longer be the victim of my own life, nor can I force it to change for better or worse. It is what it is, and I am learning acceptance. My life is for me, and I am realizing that it is not a random series of events, but what it is. I am curious about what each day holds!
  4. My Life is Me (The Wizard/Magician): Just like a wizard – or whatever similar figure you would prefer – I work to magically fuse the positive and negative elements that are my life. I accept what is, yet I continue to be happy and excited with what each new day brings. I work every day to bring these elements of myself together to heal, to grow, and to reclaim the power that I have over my curiosity and love of everything that life has to offer. As Eckhart Tolle said, “You are not in the universe, you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately, you are not a person but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”

Throughout these next few weeks, we will be exploring more in depth about the various stages of elevating the individual consciousness, and the importance of elevating the individual consciousness to reach the higher collective consciousness. When we are all working towards a collective, unified, and interconnected level of being, our personal and group healing can achieve great miracles.