Have you ever wondered… what level of consciousness you’re truly at?
Not in terms of it being a contest, or to say you’re better/worse than other people, but as a kind of inner GPS that simply tells you where you are.
As humans, we tend to have very distorted and biased perspectives, especially when it comes to ourselves.
It’s really easy to go on a yoga retreat and think you’ve transcended stress forever, or think you’re enlightened after reading a few spiritual books.
This is why it’s crucial to have references that “tell it like it is” and objectively reflect where you’re at.
The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution
Note: The first 2 stages are considered lower consciousness, while stages 3-8 are considered higher consciousness. This is not a judgment of being better or worse, but simply a means of classification.
Stage 1: Life Happens to Me (Externalization)
Stage 1 is categorized by patterns of externalization and an overall victim mentality. The dominant emotions are fear, disdain and hopelessness. There is also a belief that life cannot be trusted.
In this stage, blame is placed on other individuals, society, government, nature, disease, etc. and other elements believed to be outside of one’s conscious control and influence.
The motivating forces of stage 1 are safety and security.
Stage 2: Life Happens by Me (Control)
In this second stage, individuals realize that they have some degree of control. Yet this control is often motivated by fear and survival.
For example, war is an extension of this stage of consciousness. The enemy is perceived as a threat, and because of this, people believe they are morally justified to kill, eliminate or repress that enemy.
This level of awareness is cut off from the following deeper understanding: Life is not a random series of events over which control must be exerted, but a deeper reflection of the internal psychodynamics of a person’s own mind and consciousness.
Stage 3 : Life Happens in Me (Creator)
In this stage, the individual begins to understand the direct connection between their own perceptions, beliefs and emotional state and the conditions of their life, relationships, experiences and reality as a whole.
This level of consciousness is represented by a fundamental shift, from disempowerment to empowerment.
In order to fully complete this stage, an individual must undergo a deep transformational process that includes the purging of all perceptual distortions (limiting beliefs) and the healing/release of all emotional wounds and traumas.
Stage 4: Life Happens For Me (Receiver)
In this stage, we see the evolution of the self into the beginnings of deep joy and peace.
As the resistance to perceived undesirable circumstances in life falls away and one begins to understand that there is an intelligent ‘flow’ operating in every moment guiding the evolution of consciousness on both an individual and collective level through what could be dualistically termed positive and negative experiences.
The individual realizes here that even in great suffering, there is great wisdom and potential for expansion and evolution and that nothing is out of place, ever has been or ever will be.
Stage 5: Life Happens Through Me (Philosopher)
At this stage of consciousness, the individual begins to understand and observe that the Universe is evolving itself through them.
The individual begins to realize that all perceived suffering or negative events are either:
a) Created or called into their reality by aspects of their own consciousness in an effort to be resolved and transcended as part of their individual evolution and as part of the larger collective evolution or…
b) Exist due to their conscious or unconscious resistance to what is unfolding, which is essentially a resistance of oneself.
Individuals in stage 5 live more through their intuition, as intuition becomes clearer and clearer as one moves up the stages.
Stage 6: Life is Me (Sage)
At this stage of awareness, the individual begins to understand that reality does not exist independent of consciousness, and therefore consciousness, or awareness if you prefer, is the causative factor of the universe and all that exists—that consciousness is creating all reality.
Individuals in this stage experience a profound sense of unity and oneness with everything.
When an individual fully enters and embodies this stage of awareness, their simple presence itself becomes a transformative experience for others. Individuals in this stage often become teachers or leaders, dedicate their lives to service of others or seek solitude to spend time in introspection, although they may also choose to live very normal and inconspicuous lives.
Stage 7: I Am Infinite (Avatar)
Individuals at this stage of growth begin to transcend the physicality within which we are proverbially ‘trapped’ until we reach this point.
Here individuals begin to harness conscious control over this process by directing their awareness in such a way (through belief, emotion, thought, visualization, the manipulation of energy, intent, accessing transpersonal aspects of the self and likely other mechanisms not yet discovered) as to be able to make use of these ‘higher order’ quantum-transpersonal abilities of the self.
Stage 8: I Am Energy (Mystic-Shamanic)
Individuals at this stage tap into phenomena like:
- The ability to project consciousness across space and time, which encompasses the ability to see, experience and remember aspects of the self existing in other dimensions of time (past, present and future).
- The ability to interact with and communicate with other forms of consciousness such as plants, animals, objects and consciousnesses not currently existing in physical form.
- The ability to intuitively pick up sensory data beyond the limits of the physical senses.
As an individual becomes more grounded in the later phases of stage eight—which encompass this dimensional awareness—and simultaneously completes their evolution through lower stages, one would theoretically achieve complete enlightenment or non-dual self-realization.
This framework is beautiful because it allows you to effectively calibrate where you are. It naturally creates self-awareness. Awareness is the first step toward any change, and transformative in and of itself.