Conscious Evolution: From Nothing to Objective Reason part 1.

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According to ancient knowledge, men have the possibility to experience four basic states of consciousness – basic, because every one of these states have different degrees. Two of them are natural- that means experienced by everyone. The other two can’t be spontaneous, and represent the result of a conscious evolution developed through a path dedicated to inner research. The fours states of consciousness are the sleep, walking state, self-consciousness and objective consciousness.
Sleep and the dreaming state is the main argument of many texts. We usually think that we live in a condition of conscious awakening because we can perceive the different degrees of consciousness when we are dreaming or when we are “awake”, and this leads us to the illusion that we can really perceive ourselves and life in general.
Sleep is a subjective and passive state. While sleeping, we are involved in dream dynamics and our psychic functions work without any logic, continuity, or cause. Echoes from the past and vague perceptions such as noises, physical perceptions, muscular contraction and pain passes through our mind without leaving any coherent input.
It must be said that what happens during our sleep is strictly related to our individual awareness: the degree of awareness during the dream state reflects our level of awareness during our daily life. There is a possibility to experience different experiences from those described above, but only one is for developing a higher state of self-awareness. There are some practices which offer this opportunity, e.g., the tantric Buddhist tradition has a practice of the Milam or Nylam, the practice of the “Illusory Body”, commonly known by the West as Dream Yoga. This practice permits an increasing clarity and lucidity to both waking and sleeping, removing the hindrances and obstacles for a higher awareness. It is important to warn that this practice, if not related to a mindfulness practice during the walking state, can make emotional discomforts. In fact, during the “lucid dreaming”, there is a lengthening of the R.E.M. phase, increasing the production of serotonin and provoking depressive states. In the group I was part of in the early nineties, some of the practitioners were spellbound by this practice to the degree that they left the daily practice and dedicated all their attentions to the dreams: this had harmful consequences to their emotional states, and some of them still bear today, those consequences. So, if you are interested in such practices, be careful.
The walking state does not differ much from the sleep state. A man conditioned by his identifications and fragmented personality constantly loses his awareness, and he can’t perceive this because he has the illusion of continuity determined by memory. When we wake up in the morning, we perceive a state of awareness as a result of yesterday’s memories, a continuum that creates the image of our life.
It is correct to say that, during our daily routines, we experience states of sleep and partial awareness: in fact, we lose our awareness approximately every two minutes – but often even after a few seconds – when we change the object of our partial attention, varying mechanically the emotional states and mental processes.
Similarly, during the sleep state, our consciousness has similar variations, because the quality of our memories depend on the individual degree of awareness. What we remember of our dreams is not very relevant. The absence of a qualitative awareness prevents the recording in our memory of concrete images, with the exception of very intensive dream experiences which happens in the walking state, that can momentarily increase our level of attention.
During our sleep, emotions, thoughts, and desires corresponding to our aspirations, fears, and needs, ordinarily covered in our subconscious mind, arises. During those moments, it is very difficult to distinguish which are the reflections of our real needs, and which comes from the “external” impressions.
The second state is the walking state, and this happens when we wake up, speak, work, imagining that we are awake. This is a state of relative consciousness, or dream-like state, when the sleep degree of attention remains. But now, we achieve a critical attitude towards situations and impressions, a better administration of our thoughts, higher reactions to sensory impressions, feelings, and desires. Walking state is less subjective than the sleep state, because we have the possibility to distinguish what we are from what we are not, our body from other objects. But, nobody can affirm that this is a real state of awareness because all the perceptions perceived are illusory, contradictory, more similar to the illusory perceptions of the dream states. We act in a state of sleep of consciousness, but we don’t know this. Generally, this is a concept that is difficult to accept, but let us consider how many times during our life experiences, someone has told us, or we told someone: “Hey! Wake up! Are you sleeping?” This is only an expression, or the unconscious perception of a reality we are not commonly aware of.
The ancient traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Yoga and others, defined this – the ordinary waking state as “sleep of consciousness”, to accentuate the fact that human beings experience a not very high perception of reality and themselves during sleep. Even the Gospels have many references to this situation: e.g., Jesus answers to Peter when he asked him to linger to participate at the funeral of his parent: “Peter…follow me and let the dead bury their dead”.