Steps in the Evolution of Consciousness

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

At the lowest level of consciousness, a person has the experience of being a bystander to their own life. And if they are a bystander to their life, they are very likely a victim of it; they experience themselves as being “done unto” by the people and circumstances around them, and perhaps even by supernatural forces, by whatever name. A person may feel powerless in the face of that experience, and resign themselves to the inevitability of it. There are many people around the world for whom this is what is real, and the acceptance of victimhood is pervasive in the mass consciousness of humanity. In this experience, the person is not taking responsibility for their experience. This is the low point for humankind.

As the consciousness of a person, or a culture, evolves, the individual takes responsibility for the way they respond to the people and circumstances around them. This is the second stage of the evolution of consciousness. According to whatever values the person holds, they aspire to meet their world with thoughts, words and deeds that bring something virtuous—something good—to it. At this level of conscious evolution, the person may disavow any responsibility for creating the circumstances in which they find themselves. However, they are thinking about their responsibility to meet those circumstances in a virtuous way, in a creative way, based on whatever beliefs they have as to what that would be. The religions of the world excel in advocating this approach.

This is a step on the spiritual path, and it is a step in the evolution of consciousness for humanity. But it is only a step, not the destination. For one thing, this level of consciousness is prone to a terrible self-righteousness. To the individual, it can seem that there are all these bad, even evil people who are the cause of the terrible circumstances of the world. And the greater the judgment of others, the less the individual can see their own participation in creating the circumstances in which they find themselves. The individual may attempt to cloak themselves in visions of righteousness, leaving hidden the reality that they, themselves, are engaging in destructive behavior.

In this second stage in the evolution of consciousness, the individual may have committed to do their best in the situation—to treat others with kindness, to act with integrity, or to live a life of service. All these virtues are worth aspiring to. In fact, a person doesn’t evolve spiritually, and humanity does not evolve spiritually, without aspiring to the expression of the highest virtues possible to them. Yet this level of consciousness will not bring a person to their full creative potential, and it will not take humanity as a whole to its destiny.

If a person doesn’t develop further, they end up believing that they are a good person, and that it is the bad people who are creating the world as it is. It is this approach that has motivated the most destructive human activity. A person who has not evolved past this stage of spiritual evolution can steer jetliners into tall buildings, build nuclear power plants on geological fault lines, and carry out all the myriad smaller acts in the private lives of people around the world that are ultimately destructive.

The third stage of spiritual evolution is the destiny of humanity. It involves what appears to be a radical step—complete and utter responsibility by the individual for the contents of their consciousness, understanding that the whole world of a person’s awareness is present in their consciousness. In taking this responsibility, a person begins to have the experience that they are the creator of their world.

Up to the point of this acceptance, responsibility tends to be viewed in terms of “Who’s to blame?” and “Who gets the credit?” This is the second stage of consciousness thinking. “Who is good? Who is bad?” Our destiny is to realize our role as creators of our world. A creator is always responsible for their creation. And while there is a learning process as a person assumes this responsibility, the usual human judgment of other people becomes irrelevant.

There are several ways that you are responsible for the contents of your consciousness. Firstly, the world that is in your awareness exists nowhere else as it does to you. It is the magical combining of whatever the external reality may be and the unique attributes of your consciousness as a human being. No consciousness, no world. And if the consciousness is different, the world looks different. I can only imagine how the world looks to my Labradoodle! And I am certain that the world looks different to me than it does to people very close to me. It even looks different to me, depending on which side of the bed I wake up on, and I can change how the world is in my awareness by changing my mental and emotional state. In such case, have I just changed my thoughts, or have I changed the world? Increasingly, we understand that our consciousness and the world are not separate things. They are part of one thing, and the two aspects of that one thing are interdependent. Our thoughts and feelings change our world. You are responsible for the contents of your consciousness.

Prior to a person accepting that they are responsible for the contents of their consciousness, they tend to hide from their conscious awareness how they are influencing the people and events around them. It is usually easier to see how other people do this. We may observe the person who manages to offend almost every person they meet, but can’t understand why they don’t have friends. We witness the person who snacks all day, but wonders why they can’t lose weight. It is much more difficult to see how we, ourselves, are creating our own reality.

The truth is that you are responsible for the contents of your consciousness in a very practical way. You are thinking, feeling and doing things that are manifesting in the reality of the world in which you live. Taking radical responsibility as a creator, you see and understand your own process of creation in an uncommon way. If you are willing to face the feeling of shame that may come up, you can gain that insight and that understanding.

The most profound reason that you are responsible for the contents of your consciousness is that you are part of the one universal reality that is creating it. You are a human being, but you are much more than just a human being. You are the universal creative spirit that created you, your world, and all that is in that world. You can live your life in a way that lets that awareness blossom through your thoughts and feelings. You can bring the intelligence of universal consciousness and the empowering love of universal consciousness to your world. You can live your life as the creator of your world, not just because you can track, in a practical way, what you did to create it. Not just because you feel responsible to make the best of the cards that have been dealt to you. You can be the universal creative spirit for all the people and all the forms of life in your world, and for your own humanity, because you are awakening to the reality that this truly is who you are.

As I rose this morning, I was thinking about the place where I live, Sunrise Ranch, in this light. I live my life being responsible for this place. In an outer sense, I didn’t, by any means, create everything that has happened here. This place was here long before I came and will be here long after I leave. And there are many other people who live here now who are a part of creating Sunrise Ranch. But still, I live my life knowing that I am responsible for this place; for the people who live and visit here, and for the project being undertaken here. From an outer standpoint, it is not a rational thought, but from an inner standpoint it is what’s true for me. There are choices that other people have made over the years at Sunrise Ranch, and made even in recent history, that are not my choices. And in that sense, I have to live with other people’s choices. It might seem easier to say that I am the victim of those choices, and to live my life that way. It might seem easy to say I’m not really responsible—that there are things that other people have done that are to blame. And that there are other people who deserve the credit for the creative accomplishments here. But that is not the reality in which I live. The true nature of responsibility is such that despite what anybody else does, that’s just surface play. I am responsible for my world. If Sunrise Ranch is a world, then every world needs people who are responsible for it, who see it as their own in the name of the universal spirit that creates all things.

Living in that place of responsibility, we open ourselves for more insight as to what is happening in our world and why. We have more insight into the causative factors and the part that we have played, and the parts that other people are playing in creating what is happening. We have more capacity to act creatively, not less. All too often for people, being responsible goes to who’s to blame. Who’s at fault? Who did something wrong? And who gets the credit? That’s what responsibility is believed to be. That view of the world hides what is truly happening. It blocks the ability to see what is really going on, and certainly keeps a person from taking complete and utter responsibility for the contents of our consciousness.

The first verse of the Twenty-fourth Psalm is an expression of this attitude of total ownership and responsibility on the part of a Creator for their world:

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

That is true for the creative spirit that is your ultimate reality. The earth is yours—your physical body and all the rest of the physical world you inhabit. The human world, too, is yours, and all who are present in that world.

You are responsible because it is yours. It is your world. It is your life.

Jesus embodied the spirit of the Creator for Planet Earth and her peoples. The story of his life and ministry is the story of the Creator taking responsibility for His creation. The creative spirit within Jesus was not content to observe humanity from afar, passing judgment on the failings of humanity. That spirit incarnated in human flesh, even as we each have done, to take direct responsibility for the contents of human consciousness.

John 3:17 speaks of Jesus’ incarnation this way:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

This statement does not portray the spirit of a bystander, or a victim. Nor does the story of Jesus’ life. He was not content to see others as to blame, and himself as good. This verse portrays the spirit of the Creator taking total responsibility for His creation.

Jesus embodies the evolution of consciousness that is the destiny of people who are awakening spiritually today, and the destiny of all of humanity. We didn’t come here to be a bystander to our world, to be an observer to it, to judge it, to view it from afar as if it was not ours; to pretend that we do not have a vital interest in what happens in our world. We didn’t come to divorce our world, or to stand aside from it in any way.

The story of Jesus is the story of an incarnation right into the depth of humanity, not of trying to affect it from far off, not trying to receive it gracefully with love and compassion from a distance. No, he transformed the human world through his own being. Do you think you have any other way of transforming the world, really? Do you think you have any chance of transforming it from afar off?

Thinking of the world as a whole, is it possible that this story of Jesus that has been looked at as a religious story, as if it related only to him, is the story of a man who was on the vanguard of what must happen for us as humanity today? There must be some number of people who together say, “This world is mine. I can’t blame its problems on the bad people. This is my world, and I’m here to take the radical view that I am completely and utterly responsible for it.”

The truest thing about us is the universal creative spirit that created this world. It is our destiny to know it.

David Karchere
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