How To Experience and Feel Your Consciousness
To have a direct experience of one’s own consciousness seems to be a prerequisite for many spiritual endeavours and endeavours towards higher knowledge. Without knowing what the consciousness is, we are still tapping in the dark and have yet to arrive to one of the first major thresholds of the path. Without this experiential knowledge, we can go up to a certain point, but eventually we have to acquire this experience in order to build up faith in the inner work and in the Being.
We can get partial glimpses of consciousness throughout our lives, even outside of any kind of spiritual work. This is when we experience the present moment to the fullest, noticing the timelessness of it, perhaps when looking at the sunset, or at the ocean, or maybe when camping in the mountains…
As already mentioned in the article regarding the deeper meaning behind expansion of consciousness, the latter is a non-physical substance that is located in the mind, and it is from there that it expands and develops parallel to our inner work.
When we start out the inner work, we are introduced to the foundations of the Gnostic teachings, which is to be in the state of self-remembrance – to feel one’s own sense of self in the present moment throughout the day. As we keep doing this, we become more accustomed to this new way of being and are allowing our consciousness to shine through the mind in which it is ‘locked’. By so doing we wake up the consciousness from its sleep and we become more aware and attentive. The awareness that the state of being conscious brings is tightly related to the consciousness itself. When we are aware of the external world and of our own sense of self, we have our consciousness present and active, and the mind still. The more prominent is the consciousness in the present moment, the more silenced is the mind.
Many people believe that the mind is the highest faculty that the human being possesses, and thus the thinking process should not be silenced but rather it should increase. However, every person who has put concrete effort into the inner work (and has arrived somewhere with it) would know that the thinking process of the mind is mechanical and based in the subconscious, which means that we don’t have control over it and that it pollutes the human machine with low and coarse energy coming from the animalistic regions of the psyche. When we are in the state of self-remembrance, centered in consciousness, we are tapped to perceptions and abilities that simply transcend the abilities of the mind. The mind is still used (when needs to be used), however we (the consciousness) are in charge of it and use it as it is meant to be used. This is when “the spirit has control over the mind”. It has been said that the most elevated form of thinking is non-thinking, and for those who know what the consciousness is and what the mind is, that statement is a concrete fact.
There are different ways in which we can experience our consciousness; there are many different practices that we can use to arrive to this end. It does however require a continuous use of a practice (or a series of them). Still, to truly experience the consciousness it is necessary to be outside the mind. Consciousness is located inside the mind, and as most of the consciousness is conditioned by the subconscious elements (the egos), the free consciousness that we have available is inside the mind; it is caged in the prison of the mind. The reason why I say prison it is because every time there is a mental matter of any kind manifesting inside the mind, whether that be our own thought processes or anything else, we (the free consciousness) are there and stuck with it in the cage of the mind; we cannot yet escape it because the size of consciousness is too small and is fully embraced by that mental substance that we call the mind.
As we progress with the inner work, as we increase the free consciousness by liberating it from the conditioning of the egos, then the size of consciousness expands and it eventually goes beyond the mind, and even beyond the brain and head. This would give us an obvious perception of consciousness, we would then know what we are and would feel the non-physical ‘substance’ that the consciousness is. Nevertheless, we can get deeper and deeper glimpses of consciousness as we take up the inner work and begin with practices of meditation, self-remembrance, the mystical death etc.; when we do it seriously and consistently, it means that we start to change our way of being, from the mechanical one that is heavily conditioned by the egos, to more and more conscious way that slowly gravitates towards the spirit. However, it takes time to settle ourselves in this new way of being before we start to notice concretely who we are.
The way that we can start experiencing consciousness is by making it prominent and by making the mind silenced. The mind needs to still down so that we see the conscious awareness that is behind the thought, emotion and instinct. This can be achieved through the practice of meditation, though only to a limited degree because meditation on its own won’t liberate the trapped consciousness, it won’t expand beyond the mind. The more free consciousness that we have, the more we can notice the true sense of self that is beyond personality and the ego; that is the consciousness. Nevertheless, even when the size of consciousness is still limited and when is located only within the mind, we can still make it shine and have an experience of it, but it requires some work to get there. The surest and the most thorough way is by doing the inner work , which means to be in the state of self-remembrance, to work on the egos through self-observation, dissolving them and extracting the consciousness from them; by the correct usage of the creative energies and by having a sincere longing for higher knowledge.
It is possible to have ever deeper experience of consciousness, of feeling the consciousness, of observing it from ‘within’ and knowing what it is. When we arrive to that point, we have tapped into the ability to feel connection to our environment and everything in it; we notice our true nature as soul-being, and we understand more the path that we have put in motion and where it is taking us.
HDP, September 2020.