What are some different levels of awareness?

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Answered by: Travis, An Expert in the Creeds and Religious Beliefs Category
I want you to imagine a baby coming into the world than imagine being that baby. The first thing you would see is light; colors of every color in a swirl of color, you leave the womb and encounter the unknown. I imagine this experience is a bit traumatic, hence the crying you hear as you imagine it. What ceases the crying? Safety. Once the baby feels safe it accepts the unknown and curiosity grows. This curiosity is the learning process and is innate in all living things. The feeling of safe and unsafe is innate in all living things; it is easily witnessed within yourself and other living things. Safe and unsafe can also be thought of as advance and retreat. "This is safe so I feel comfortable advancing here" or "This is unsafe so I must retreat to safety to feel comfortable again" In a dimensional sense, this would be the first, a straight line.

After awhile of experiencing safe and unsafe I imagine the baby than becomes aware of experiencing safe and unsafe, thus learns of manipulating the experience. This is where domination and submission take place, by imprinting the feeling of being safe or unsafe. This is the ego. The safe easily dominate the unsafe because the safe come from a state of advancing and keep the unsafe in a state of retreat. By dominating the unsafe it reinforces the feeling of safety for the safe and reinforces the feeling of unsafe in the unsafe. Feedback loops. In reality we are always safe, yet our minds tend to think differently for "survival" reasons. Watch toddlers at play and this is seen pretty easily. Watch any animal interact with another and it will become clear who the "alpha" is, and if one cannot be determined right away than a fight or flight response is stimulated. One will simply leave it alone or fight for dominance. This awareness, however unconscious, brings two dimensions into our experience, that of dominance and submission; up and down. Now we have a cross. Several personalities can be mapped within this cross.

The next level of experience would be that of symbols, creating them, understanding them, passing them on; language. As the baby continues the learning process it is inevitable that it will learn to express what it experiences in the form of symbols. It is through these symbols that we learn to relate to each other, learn to learn from each other, and actually speed up the learning process. This level is what is responsible for the history books, for education, for being rational. As we begin to understand symbols (language), we begin to categorize experience, we build a "map" for the universe. This creation and understanding of symbolism can be thought of as the third dimension of experience, that of depth.

As we go from knee high to a grasshopper (toddler) to grasshopper (young adult) we become acutely aware of culture, society, and sex. We also become aware of our place (however false it may be) within these. This level of awareness, of being a part of a society and a culture and of sex, is transmitted by the third level of creating and passing on symbols. Acting out and believing yourself to be apart of said society and culture would be the expression of this awareness. Sexual pleasure and reproduction is understood on this level. Definitions of "moral" and "immoral" are made here. Operating within your culture and society is the concern of this awareness. This is adulthood, the baby learns of a system and operates within it.

Most people stop being curious on this level, but if curiosity remains than one eventually becomes aware of these four levels at work within yourself and everyone else. The awareness of this leads to freedom. Not freedom from these levels of awareness or dimensions but freedom within them. This freedom is expressed as doing what you want when you want because you can. This awareness connects mind and body, and with this awareness one realizes that you can create your own happiness out of nothing. There are, of course, other levels of awareness in perhaps even infinite amounts. It seems that with each level of awareness, the becoming aware of that awareness leads to another...awareness.

It seems to me that underneath it all, there is this "I" which is yourself. This "I" attaches itself to these dimensions of awareness; so you say "I am this, and not that" when in fact you could be both or neither. This "I" becomes attached to these dimensions of awareness in order to become aware of itself. When you recognize the "I" in everyone than you may believe yourself lost but only because you don't realize you are actually found. How can I be everyone? My advice is to find yourself, love everyone as yourself, and then be yourself.

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