Adapted from Power, Freedom, and Grace, by Deepak Chopra (Amber Allen, 2006).
Every day we normally experience three states of consciousness: Waking, dreaming and sleeping. But only by spending time in silence, stillness, or meditation do we experience a fourth state of consciousness where we start to glimpse our soul. When we glimpse our soul, we become a little more intuitive. We start to feel that things are not just what they seem to be; there is something more behind the scenes.
The physical world we normally experience is a shadow of the real world. The real world, the world of spirit, exists behind a veil, and the veil is our own conditioning. In truth, we are not bound by the world of space, time, matter, and causation, but the veil prevents us from seeing this truth. It also prevents us from living in power, freedom, and grace.
In the fourth state of consciousness, we begin to sense the deeper reality that is orchestrating the physical world, and there is a tearing in the veil that separates the physical and spiritual realms. Just as we have to wake up from the dream state to experience waking consciousness, we have to wake up from what we call waking consciousness to glimpse our spirit, our inner self. This is called glimpsing the soul, and it’s the fourth state of consciousness. It’s simply to be in touch with our soul.
This leads to the fifth state of consciousness, or cosmic consciousness, when our soul fully wakes up in waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Our body can be fast asleep, but our soul, the silent witness, is watching the body in deep sleep. Our body can be walking, and the silent witness is watching the body walk. Our awareness is localized in space time, and it’s non-local, or transcendent, at the same time.
If we don’t interfere with nature’s intelligence, then we start to awaken into the sixth state of consciousness, divine consciousness. In divine consciousness, we see and feel the presence of spirit in everything. When we wake up in divine consciousness, we don’t just see a leaf, or a table, or a cloud, or a rainbow; we see the whole universe being all these things.
Next, we waken to the seventh state of consciousness, which is unity consciousness. This is when the spirit inside us, which is now fully awake, merges with the spirit inside objects, which are also now fully awake.
The universe is conscious, and because it is conscious, it is conscious of itself. So the eighth state of consciousness, infinite consciousness, is its own observer. The observer is the discontinuity, the gap, the off.