………I spent the first forty-plus years of my life with a persistent feeling something just wasn’t right. I was sure I had forgotten something but just couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Since you are reading this book it is very likely you know exactly what I am talking about. It is kind of like going on a trip and wondering if you left the iron on, or if you remembered to turn off the sprinkler in the garden. We have all had that type of feeling: you know something is wrong but you just can’t quite put your finger on it. I knew it was important for me to remember. My joy depended on it somehow. It was this kind of persistent feeling that urged me into the first phase of awakening: realization that there is more to my life than what I had been experiencing. I wasn’t sure exactly what awakening meant at the time. But I knew I wanted to find out.
One of the first things I found out is there are other ways to perceive my life. It is like the burning building story. If you place four different people at different corners of a burning building, you will get four different stories of how the building burned–which means we all have the ability to see our lives from various points of view. This means we have choices. The two different points of view I would like to discuss concern our Ego Consciousness and our Higher Consciousness.
Our Ego Consciousness consists of our human beliefs and perceptions as derived through a series of filters. These filters include human emotions and attitudes. It is our judgmental side. When we observe our world through our Ego Consciousness, we judge things to be good or bad, safe or harmful, prosperous or poor. I think you get the picture. Our Ego Consciousness deals in duality. For every positive there is a negative. Beliefs and thoughts that originate from our Ego Consciousness tend to be fearful, negative, judgmental, critical, and so forth. There is a statement in A Course in Miracles (Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975, p. 136) that talks about what it is like to perceive and experience our world through the Ego Consciousness:
Grace is the natural state of every Son of God. When he is not in a state of grace, he is out of his natural environment and does not function well.
Everything he does becomes a strain, because he was not created for the environment that he has made. He therefore cannot adapt to it, nor can
he adapt it to him. There is no point in trying. A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God. That is the only environment in which
he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs. It is also the only environment that is worthy of him, because his own worth is
beyond anything he can make.
As with anything, there are a number of ways one can interpret this saying. My interpretation is that each of us creates our world through our Ego Consciousness perceptions and then we wonder why we’re so unhappy. We try to fit into our world and we try to make our world fit us but neither way has a satisfactory outcome. I believe in order to find true joy we need to perceive and experience our world through our Higher Consciousness.
When we see the world or ourselves through our Ego Consciousness we are unable to clearly see the absolute joy and beauty surrounding us. I like to visualize the Ego Consciousness as the seed pod that contains the beautiful creation within. It has a purpose, but if the seed within never breaks through this barrier it will never experience its own beauty nor the absolute joy that exists in the world around it.
Higher Consciousness is a term used to describe your spiritual side. It is another way of expressing the state of being you achieve when you view life through a higher connection to the Universe. When you experience life through a higher connection, you become more aware of the abundant joy and beauty that already exists. One way to experience this concept is through nature. Nature knows no boundaries or lack of wealth. It is non-judgmental, unlimited in abundance, and constantly expressing beauty. Another good way to understand this concept better is to ask yourself a simple question; “How would God see or view this?”
The difference between the Ego Consciousness and the Higher Consciousness is this: duality does not exist in Higher Consciousness. In your Higher Consciousness you are not creating your world as you do when living life through your Ego Consciousness. You do not need to judge things as good or bad, safe or harmful, prosperous or poor. You are simply removing your outer shell and observing the world that already is.
I decided, and am now convinced, the way home was through seeing and experiencing my world through my Higher Consciousness. My task was to find a way to move out of fear-based thoughts and beliefs and into my Higher Consciousness. This proved to be a very difficult task…………….