What is Consciousness?

Question: I hear you use the word consciousness quite a bit. Are you referring to awareness or are you talking about the sum of our belief system? Could you share your thoughts on this subject?

Response: Depending on the context, I, like many, use the term to refer both to awareness and to the sum of our belief system. When someone loses consciousness, we mean they’re unconscious. They’ve passed out. If we say someone has the consciousness to drive a car, we mean they possess the knowledge and skill to operate the vehicle without thinking about it. You have the consciousness for a thing when you unconsciously process all the mechanics involved while you are doing the thing. The musician goes from merely reading and playing notes to making our spirit soar. The painter’s eye is no longer on technique but on the subject that literally dances across the canvas. Nearly anyone can learn technique, but not everyone crosses into that consciousness we associate with true artistry.

When we speak of developing a consciousness for health, prosperity or any desired state, we’re talking about so aligning our awareness with an already established ideal that the expression of this ideal becomes the inevitable result. Yes, the artist learns technique. But learning technique is not the goal. The goal is the expression of an ideal they see and feel at a deep level.

Building consciousness is a two-fold process involving the technique of denial and affirmation. Denial, in this context, is not ignoring or pretending there is no proverbial elephant in the room. Denial is releasing the mental and emotional energy we’re pouring into the elephant, the negative appearance.  We’re shifting from treating the appearance as a power to be overcome, to the understanding that it is our own energy concerning the appearance that is to be redirected. We do not start with an attack on the appearance that we want to change. We start with the ideal we want to express. We do this by releasing the crosscurrents of mental and emotional energy we’re pouring into the appearance, and we seek a deeper experience with the ideal. Otherwise, we end up lobbing affirmations like artillery shells at the elephant. Our consciousness is a house divided. One condition must be eliminated before the ideal can come forth.

I believe Jesus was referring to this principle when he suggested that true prayer is the act of accepting we have already received that for which we ask. To the head, this is illogical. But it is not from the head that we pray. Memorized prayers or oft repeated affirmations do not make true believers of us. Prayer is a heart process, an intuitive, experiential receptivity. It is an understanding that what appears to be true of the body is not true of the soul. The body may indeed be ill. This is the elephant in the room. The soul, however, is whole. In one sense Jesus is saying that we are to make our soul’s wholeness the new elephant in the room. At the fundamental level you and I are whole right now. We release all mental and emotional energy that contradicts this truth and we seek to move deeper into the experience of the soul.

We don’t use spoken denials and affirmations to force a thing to be true. We speak words that realign our awareness with what is already true at the soul level. We release our association with this sickly body and we affirm what is true of the soul. When we say, “I am whole and complete, and my wholeness is shining forth through this body now,” we are speaking the truth. We do not want to deny the condition of ill health, as in pretending that it isn’t present.  We want to release all belief that this condition is some kind of out-picturing  of our spiritual essence.

This principle applies to all negative appearances. The soul lacks nothing. It is our consciousness, our belief system, that runs interference with this truth. We develop a consciousness of wholeness in all areas by first seeking an experience of what is true of our soul. In our quiet times we envision the soul’s radiance beaming out through our body and circumstances until this truth becomes our positive elephant in the room. We shift from a consciousness of belief to a consciousness of knowing that the expression of our soul’s wholeness, in all areas of our life, is the inevitable result.