Lecture 217 – The Phenomenon of Consciousness | Abbreviated Version

Consciousness is a creator of energy and energy must contain consciousness—various aspects of consciousness, as well as degrees. There is no physical, biological, electrical or atomic energy that could be anywhere near as potent as the energy of direct consciousness. By this I mean the energy of thought, feeling, intent, attitude, belief. There cannot be a thought—even the most mechanical, dead, sterile, cut-off thought—that does not also contain feeling.

Pure, abstract thought may appear as totally divorced from feeling content. The more abstract and pure the thought is, the more the feeling must be commensurate with it. As its underlying energy current, abstract thought contains a feeling of immense peace, of an intrinsic understanding of universal law that is bound to induce joyousness and bliss. The more subjective the thought is, the more tinged with negativity the feeling becomes.

A subjective thought is one that is created from personal desire and personal fear, from a state of egotism and separation. Let us examine desire. Desire, from a spiritual point of view, may be “undesirable,” to use a paradox. For too much desire, intense desire, subjective desire—desire stemming from the ego and its distortions—alienates you from the core of your being.

P2             However if there is no desire, there cannot be expansion. There cannot be venturing out into new ground, into new realizations and states of awareness. This kind of desire contains faith in the possibility of attaining a better state, courage, patience and commitment. The moment you see this (distorted possibilities of both apparent opposites), opposites exist no longer. Rarely if ever is anything in itself good or bad.

Even unfeeling knowing, what you call in this era “intellectual knowledge,” must have a feeling content. It stirs up certain chain reactions. So, consciousness is always a feeling, an energy manifestation, whether or not you are aware of it. The power of choosing which thought to think in itself stems from strong energy movements and results in affect. Therefore consciousness must be one with energy. Dry, cut-off knowledge must also contain feelings.

The underlying feeling may be fear. The more superficial energetic state may be boredom. Boredom is also an energetic state, although a negative one—negative in the sense that the absence of something does not mean that what is absent is not intrinsically and essentially present. It is only temporarily made absent. If you pursue the state of boredom deeper into the recesses of the soul substance, you will find that there is always fear somewhere: fear of knowing all you can know now, about yourself and about your relationship with the universe.

P3             The first and least developed is the state of slumber, where a being does not know it exists. It can feel and move and grow, and even, to an extent, think, but below the threshold of self-awareness, like a mineral or a plant. They have nevertheless in-built patterns of creation, self-creation, which that particular organism follows through in a deeply meaningful, purposeful way, always compatible with its particular lawfulness. These states are states of consciousness, but not states of self-consciousness.

The apparent disconnection of inanimate matter is only temporarily frozen consciousness. What does such consciousness “say” when it is aslumber? It may say, “I do not want to know; I do not want to know me—me in relationship to the world around me.” This statement is a creative nucleus—a statement made by consciousness, by deliberate choice and disposition. This statement brings forth an inexorable chain of events, leading gradually but surely to the condensed, slowed-down state that finally becomes a “crust,” hardened and apparently dead.

This is what matter is composed of. Once the hardening process is in action, matter itself can be used by consciousness for life-affirming and positive purposes. Matter is still malleable and can be impressed by human consciousness. Since consciousness is capable of inventing and creating, it can mold, shape, and form out of the substances within matter.

P4             So every object you use, enjoy, or need fulfills its task. Such an object also contains an energy field, which is its antenna, it’s receiving station, so that it must become a reactor. Its consciousness content is still too limited to be more than a reactor. You may often find that you have certain relationships with objects. There are some objects you cherish, need and enjoy while others never work out well. The separation of consciousness that you experience is therefore a very debatable one.

Separated organisms, objects and entities are separated only on the surface level. But within and beneath that surface level there is a constant interaction. Nothing exists that does not contain consciousness. The second state is self-awareness, which begins at the human level. What does self-awareness mean? Awareness of “I am,” “I exist,” “I can think,” “I can make a decision,” “My decisions have impact,” “My thoughts have effect,” “My feelings reach other beings.” In this state self-responsibility begins.

P5             Within the human state of consciousness, of self-awareness, there are many, many degrees and variations. The human state of self-awareness lives within its self-created dimension of time. It is therefore not in the state of being, but in the state of becoming. On the highest rise of the curve we return to the timeless state of being, but with a high degree of consciousness.

This third state is the highest state of the three. We might call it universal consciousness, or perhaps cosmic consciousness. In that state of consciousness you live in a state of being. On this level of development the state of being surpasses self-awareness. It has reached universal awareness. Here the self is recognized as being in all that exists.

P6             However unjust an evil manifestation may now appear to you, it only appears that way because in your limited time-bound state you are not in possession of the connections. Were you thus aware, you would see that all negative manifestations, no matter how cruel or unjust they may seem, are self-created medicine for the purpose of ultimate purification and ultimate bliss. Evil does not and cannot destroyit can do so only temporarily and within the framework of what I just mentioned.

If consciousness could expand without the simultaneous expansion of the self-purifying agents, evil could destroy the divine. So, as an in-built protective mechanism, negativity closes the perceptive organs: blindness, deafness, dumbness, and numbness set in. The only way to come out of this state of ignorance, limitation, powerlessness, of being severed from the nucleus where there is all-connecting life, is by the consistent attempt to know yourself where you are now.

The disharmonious state, the anxious state, the unhappy state, the depressed state, the state of unrest and fear and negative, contracted pain is always a reflection of something you might know right now, but choose—yes, literally choose—not to know. The first vital step here would be to transform the “I do not want to know” into an “I want to know,” and follow it through. You cannot awaken into a higher state as long as you do not know what you choose, what you think, what you feel, what you need, what you desire.

P7             The first phase, in this regard, is purely self-explorative. The second phase—often overlapping with the first—expands into knowledge of others. The third phase leads to universal knowledge beyond the human state. I am talking about a different kind of knowledge, in which a kind of comprehension takes place that unites fragmented understanding.

What I told you in this lecture is specifically designed to make you aware of the potency of your thoughts, of the potency of each thought that you decide to think, each attitude you decide to adopt. When you are truly conscious of this potency, you become more responsible and more capable of creating. You then approach the state in which you know that God-consciousness is within everything. Make the commitment to truth in every possible situation, about any conceivable incident.

—The Pathwork® Guide