Level of Consciousness
Setting the mind includes choosing which level of consciousness to operate from. Consciousness is the condition of being aware of existence — the light of our perception. Mental processes can be conscious or unconscious. When we are conscious, we can respond to stimuli by will.
In neurology, altered states of consciousness include confusion, lethargy, stupor, and coma. Less than ordinary, you could say. In psychology, altered states of consciousness include hypnosis, meditation, hallucination, trance, and the dream state. They allow us to view our lives and ourselves with a broader lens and from different angles of perception than the ordinary consciousness.
The glass elevator
In his book “The Inside-Out Revolution”, Michael Neill uses a metaphor to illustrate how our level of consciousness or understanding of reality frames our experience and understanding of the world.
Imagine an apartment building with a glass elevator. This is your consciousness going up and down. From each floor, there is a certain view and some general assumptions about reality.
Ground floor — objective reality
You believe the world is as you experience it. The mind functions as a camera, recording 1:1 what’s going on around you. There is an outside-in, cause-and-effect understanding of what’s happening.
To change your experience, the world must change. This is the reality of the undeveloped mind. From this level, you perceive yourself as caught in a chaotic environment you have little or no influence on. With an “either-or” approach, your focus is to survive. You are a victim in a world of suffering.
Lower floors — subjective reality
You can interpret the situation before you react or respond. The mind is still a camera, but now you can frame and filter the experience with your thinking. The perspective is outside-in, as you view the situation or relation — not your thinking — as the primary cause.
To change the experience, you must rethink. This is the level many psychologists and self-help books work on. With a “both-and” mindset, you…