How to Raise Your Consciousness, and Why You Should
“Raising consciousness” has become a buzz word in various circles, including spiritual, Counter-culture, and activism groups.
Maybe you resonate with this term, or maybe you don’t. In any case, I am here to convince you that “higher concsiousness” is the greatest ideal that man can strive for, on an individual and collective level. It is the basis for solving your personal problems and the problems of collective humanity. So let us start with: What is higher consciousness?
There are multiple definitions of consciousness. But for the sake of this article, I want to focus primarily on one. The definition we will examine first is...
Consciousness: The capacity to perceive, and the capacity to act.
With this definition, consciousness can be context specific. For example, a martial artist may have more consciousness in the octagon than a regular person does. They have more diverse and refined perceptions. They can read their opponents movements and strategies, they can read their strengths and weaknesses. The fighter also has more timely movements and response, whatever their opponent may throw at them. In short, the martial artist has more capacity to perceive and more capacity to act, within their context of excellence. We can apply this definition to many fields. We all have different levels of consciousness within fields of art, sport, politics, economics, relationships, spirituality and truth. Based on whet place our time and energy, we have more capacity to perceive and act within that field. We have more consciousness within that field.
This also links to the definition of wisdom. Wisdom can be defined as knowledge plus experience. Written another way, knowledge+ experience= Wisdom. So to gain more wisdom or consciousness within a field, you need to build your knowledge plus experiences in that field. You must gain experience of your knowledge in action. Gaining experiences and knowledge within a field is the life-blood of mastery, wisdom, and higher consciousness.
Let’s move to the “how-to” for increasing consciousness.
One can increase consciousness in a given domain of life, or we can increase our baseline level of consciousness. This means our baseline capacity to perceive and act. Humanity would benefit if we increase our consciousness across the board, including our baseline consciousness and our specialised knowledge in importance areas.
How to increase consciousness.
There are several well known methods for increasing consciousness. We will list them in bullet point and then expand a little on each one. Techniques for raising consciousness include:
- Meditation - Mindfulness practice - Yoga - Reading - Journaling - Implementing change - Psychedelics
Meditation is a well known practice for increasing consciousness. Neurologically, it is well documented to increase grey matter in the brain (used for learning), as well as exercising the pre-frontal cortex (self control, self reflection, and decision making). Experientially, it can increase relaxation and mindfulness. Mindfulness refers to a certain stability and continuity of focus. It is the ability to observe something, while knowing you are observing it, and taking in the details at will. Sustained levels of self-awareness and presence are a foundation to consciousness.
How to meditate? One definition of meditation is, “focusing on something in the present moment, in a particular way, on purpose”. It’s all about anchoring our focus to an object, and then learning to keep it there, thus gaining mastery of our focus and self-awareness/self control. Anchors for meditation can include a breathing pattern (slow and relaxed and layering in sharp breaths), or a mantra, an object, or a bodily sensation. Whatever the object, we simply keep bringing our focus back to that object and observe it.
This is similar to meditation. The main difference, is meditation is often a seated or stationary practice, whereas mindfulness is done while up and about, in the activities of life. Mindfulness is the practice of becoming self aware and refining your focus, while you are active in the moment.
There’s a lot of depth here so I will just brush the surface. Yoga can assist with consciousness because it adds a profound level of internal balance and harmony to the body. It builds strength and suppleness, relaxation and alertness. It optimises the many organs and bodily system, while putting one in a calm and meditative state. Yogic philosophy also promotes health on all levels: it is about cleansing the body mind and spirit of impurities, so energy flows through our being in full force, this cleansing us and nourishing us. Yogic philosophy promotes eating nourishing food, living in moderation, being kind and ethical, ect. Think of yoga as holistic health, as well as the physical practice. Having a healthy and harmonious body leads to an equally vibrant mind and state of consciousness.
Reading is equally pivotal to the above practices. Reading diverse material gives us new knowledge and frameworks for the world can work. Recall the definition: Wisdom= knowledge plus experience. When you build up new knowledge and mental models, and then gain experience and see them in action, you have gained some new wisdom and new consciousness of how the world works. You have perceived more, and in turn you can act more.
Journal is a practice of self reflection. And the written word makes this practice much easier. When journaling we ask ourselves important questions: What just happened, what could I do better next time, where do I want to go, how will I get there? Simply ask the question for any problem you wish to solve. Then work on crafting a solution. The self-reflective aspect of journaling creates more self-awareness and thus higher consciousness.
This is simply applying the knowledge you may gain from reading, journaling, or even meditative insights. When we gain knowledge or ideas, we can put them to the test by implementing new habits.
I originally wrote a lengthy section here, covering: What are psychedelics, why they are so effective for boosting consciousness, and how to use them responsibility and healthily. However, I have decided not incriminate myself. Let me just say this: It is pivotal to do psychedelics at least once/several times, as it will open you up to all the possibilities of existence. However, once you’ve had a few peak experiences, psychedelics become an occasional periphery tool, whereas the other methods mentioned here become the foundations for raising consciousness. This is a huge distinction: Foundational tools vs periphery tools. All of the items in the list are foundational (daily or weekly), whereas psychedelics are periphery (done every few months or year). If you would like to read my section about: What are psychedelics, how they help raise consciousness, and how to use them responsibly and healthily, feel free to comment or message me 🙂.
In conclusion, we have covered:
What is consciousness: the capacity to perceive, and the capacity to act.
Consciousness can be context specific.
It is related to wisdom: knowledge+ experience= Wisdom.
Consciousness can be increased in specific domains, or we can increase our baseline conscious functioning, through meditation, mindfulness, yoga and health.
Key techniques for increasing consciousness:
- Meditation - Mindfulness Practice - Yoga - Reading - Journaling - Implementing change - Psychedelics
I hope you took one or two novel gems here, and implement it to increase your consciousness. May you increase your capacity to perceive and capacity to act, so that your life is an elegant and efficient system for boosting your pleasure, your health, your competence, and your creative contribution to the world. May you remain enraptured by the magic of life and new discoveries. Namaste.
And if you have any other gems for boosting consciousness, I am keen to hear them!