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What Is Conscious Awareness? (click on READ MORE at bottom to read a formatted version)

CHAPTER ONE

What Is Conscious Awareness?

“If you want to awaken all of humanity,

then awaken all of yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world,

then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift you have to give

is that of your own self-transformation.”

Wang Fou, Hua Hu Chin

Have you ever uttered the words, “I didn’t realize what I was doing,” or “I’m not sure where that

came from” after doing something you later regretted? If you’re an average human being, the

answer is probably yes. We all, at times, find ourselves doing and saying things without knowing

why, reacting in ways that surprise ourselves, and tripping over invisible obstacles in our own

psyches. As human beings, we are blessed with the ability to be conscious of ourselves—to be

self-aware. But for most of us, conscious awareness is not an ongoing experience. We have the

capacity to observe the movements of our thoughts and feelings and make choices about whether

to act on them or not. We are not blindly driven by impulse and instinct—at least, not entirely.

But our degree of consciousness can vary dramatically. We all, at times, feel like victims of our

own unconsciousness, driven to make the same mistakes over and over again by patterns and beliefs we can’t even see. To liberate ourselves from this experience, we need to actively

cultivate greater consciousness.

Conscious awareness is the state of being aware of one’s own existence—one’s unique

thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, surroundings and external environment. It is a state of

wakefulness of the mind.

Consciousness is an enigma. Science generally considers consciousness to be a complex

activity of the brain, but the truth is that no one has yet explained exactly where it comes from.

The idea that it arises out of the brain seems implausible—if you dissect the brain, you cannot

see consciousness, just as you cannot see thoughts or beliefs. I like to think of the brain is its

conduit. We need the brain to process consciousness.

Spiritual teachers and thinkers are less concerned with where consciousness comes from;

in fact, many of them believe that everything comes from it. Deepak Chopra, in The Seven

Spiritual Laws of Success, writes: “The source of all creation is pure consciousness … pure

potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that

our true Self is one of pure potentiality we align with the power that manifests everything in the

universe.”1

Like Chopra, I see consciousness as being both a human faculty and a divine state of

being. In the human sense, consciousness is our awareness, cognition, perceptions, beliefs,

emotions and so on; in the divine sense, it is a field of infinite possibilities; the source of all

creation and potentiality. Divine or higher consciousness is the origin of everything, and

therefore it is also the nature of our true selves. The premise of this book is that, when we align our human consciousness to higher

consciousness, we become consciously aware beings, connected to our true selves. We come

closer to understanding the relationship between our human nature and our spiritual nature and

we integrate them in a meaningful way. If you are not trapped in the limiting beliefs of your past,

you can start pulling any possibility you want to become from the field of the unmanifest. In this

book, I have tried my best to create a process that can clear our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and

patterns to allow us to connect to divine consciousness, the universal light. There are many terms

in the spiritual and religious traditions for this ultimate dimension. You can use the term God if

you are comfortable with it. Or you may prefer Supreme Intelligence, Great Spirit, Creator,

Higher Power, the One, or any other name that represents that all-encompassing light. I like to

use several of these terms interchangeably, but I often choose “the Source” as it points to this

dimension as the origin of everything.

Conscious awareness is not something that we “get.” It is something we unearth within

ourselves. Within all of us there is an awareness that is still and conscious at all times. It is that

awareness that we need to connect to the Source or higher consciousness. Conscious awareness

is a dance with the Universe—a dance between self-awareness and a conscious recognition of

our union with the Source.

The problem, for most of us, is that we are disconnected from our true self. We have built

up layer upon layer of a false identity, based on our conditioning, our beliefs, and our traumatic

experiences. To put it simply, this constructed identity is what spiritual teachers refer to as the

ego, although there are many different ways this term is used in academic psychology. For the

purposes of this book, I define ego as the constructed identity that obscures our true self.

Contemporary spiritual teacher Ekhart Tolle refers to the ego as the illusory self, because it embodies a misperception of who we are. He writes, “Ego is always identification with form,

seeking yourself and thereby losing yourself in some form. Forms are not just material objects

and physical bodies. More fundamental than the external forms-things and bodies- are the

thought forms that continuously arise in the field of consciousness.”2

All that we have to do is to reconnect with this awareness. Most of our frustrations stem

from the fact that we believe something is wrong inside and needs to be fixed; in reality, nothing

needs to be fixed, only uncovered. It all begins with self-awareness. My intention for you is that

each day as you complete the chapters and do the work, your awareness will expand and will

awaken to the origin of your true nature. Each day, through your readings and the stillness of the

moment, you will learn how to connect deeply to your true self. You will feel joy, passion and

abundant love as you reconnect with your natural state of conscious awareness. Over time, you’ll

create a magical relationship with yourself and with each person who crosses your path.

Many of the great spiritual teachers and wise men and women throughout the ages have

spoken of conscious awareness or self-awareness as the highest form of human attainment.

Spiritual seekers have answered the call to “Know Thyself” by journeying within in search of

enlightenment. Psychologists, too, have helped us to shed light on the inner workings of our

minds and emotions and bring them into awareness.

I like to think of conscious awareness as a process, not an attainment. It is a journey with

no end point, for there is always more to uncover. For the sake of this work, I define conscious

awareness as a process by which that which is subconscious or unconscious becomes

intentionally conscious. (For the purposes of this book, I am not distinguishing between the

subconscious and the unconscious, although psychologists use these terms in different ways.)

Conscious awareness is the process of purposefully observing and distinguishing our patterns at play, their connection with our actions and reactions, and their impact on others and ourselves.

We become deliberately aware of what operates our lives by opening ourselves to ourselves, to

others, and to the Source with love and compassion.

Conscious awareness is a powerful process that will allow us to master our circumstances

and become independent actors in our lives, not influenced by our past or held back by limiting

beliefs, not reacting to emotional triggers, and acting independent of any social and cultural

programming. It will help us choose our responses based on the clarity of the facts and become

present to what is at play in our lives moment by moment.

Jungian psychology uses the term “individuation” to describe the process of transforming

one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious. If I were to

draw a parallel, I would say that the process of conscious awareness is a process of individuation.

It has a comprehensive healing effect on the person, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

In Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality, the conscious mind consists of everything

inside of our awareness, but much of what occurs within and between us is unconscious. Freud

used the metaphor of an iceberg to describe these two major aspects of human personality. The

tip of the iceberg that extends above the water represents the conscious mind, while the vast

mass below the surface is the unconscious. Our unconscious behavior is a result of social and

cultural programming, which has often taken place decades, centuries, or millennia ago and

therefore limits and inhibits us from being more effective.

It is widely accepted by psychologists, from Freud and Jung to more modern scholars,

that by the time human beings are around seven years of age, ninety percent of all the learning

and habits in our life have been formed and become subconscious. We have formed the habits of

walking, talking, and thinking, and developed coping survival mechanisms. We have also established our beliefs around things like success and relationships, and inherited inner

programming and thinking patterns that may be positive or toxic in nature.

Since the twentieth century, much has been written about the conscious and the

subconscious or unconscious mind. However, many of the studies and opinions can be

contradictory or elusive in nature. In modern cognitive psychology, many researchers have

emphasized the degree to which cognitive processing happens outside the scope of cognitive

awareness, and shown how things we are unaware of can affect our behavior.

This book does not specifically address the psychological or neurological aspects of the

mind. Rather, it focuses on offering practical ways to find clues as to how to access some of the

toxic subconscious patterns we have, and transform and transcend them through a conscious

awareness process. The compelling question behind this work is: what if the mental

programming that you currently have within you is stopping you from achieving your dreams,

goals, and desires? How can you move past the inner voices that have kept you where you are?

The intent of this program is to enable you to start the process of becoming consciously

aware of your toxic beliefs and to show you how to shift into a game that makes you happy at

any point in your life. By choosing to partake in this transformational experience, you are taking

a powerful step toward creating a self-aware life that will allow you the freedom to be in the

world, expressing your authentic, original self. I am deeply grateful that you’re joining me on

such a worthwhile journey of self-discovery and self-creation.

To change is never a comfortable act—especially at the level of consciousness. It entails

overcoming our natural tendencies, our conditioning, and our hereditary programming in order to

adapt to a new reality. Let’s be honest here: who among us likes to change and relinquish the old

when it is comfortable and easy? We often say, “If it’s not broken why fix it?” Letting go of the old patterns and embracing the new and unknown is not a piece of cake. This is why most of us

will only decide to pick up a book like this when our lives start being uncomfortable, when

things get so bad that we can no longer afford not to make a change. Those who are able to be

pro-active in these matters, inspired by an inner knowing and a desire to lead the way for others,

are few. But whether the challenges in your life pushed you to transform or you are among those

rare pro-active individuals, you are one of the pioneers of conscious evolution. Those individuals

who choose this road will alter the pathways of their emotional and psychological patterns, and

may even be able to cause a change on a genetic level.

While still in its infancy, the new science of epigenetics is revealing that our genes are

influenced by many more factors than scientists had ever considered before. Developmental

biologist Bruce Lipton, in his book The Biology of Belief, writes:

Epigenetics, which literally means ‘control over genes,’ has completely upended our

conventional understanding of genetic control. Epigenetics is the science of how

environmental signals select, modify, and regulate gene activity. This new awareness

reveals that the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to life

experiences. Which again emphasizes that our perceptions of life shape our biology.”3

What this means, for us, is that by affecting our beliefs, emotional states, and behavioral

patterns and by healing our negative traumas we may be able to influence our genes and

transform not just our own lives, but the legacy we pass on to our children, grandchildren, and

our evolving species. This, in a nutshell, is the rationale behind the process of conscious

awareness described in this book. This process is practical; it requires commitment, courage, and perseverance to complete. Furthermore, it requires the inner conviction that it matters—not just

for individuals but for humanity.

Life is a constantly evolving process. I believe that the purpose of our human experience

is to awaken to who we truly are and connect back to higher consciousness. Through the process

of our own healing, we help heal others and the planet. When we are on the path of conscious

awareness, we are contributing to the process of conscious evolution. To consciously participate

in the evolutionary process, you have to keep flowing with it. If you watch the flow of water

coming down from a waterfall and you see a big rock in the middle of the stream, you will see

the water taking a different trajectory and avoiding the rock, whereas a leaf that has fallen in the

stream will be freely flowing with the current.

This evolutionary process is not linear, but spiral. As we go through experiences and

challenges in our life, our conscious awareness unfolds in leaps and bounds. We fall, we learn,

we get up, we develop our game, and we move forward with the evolutionary process. If we

resist, close off, hold a grudge, engage in violence, or become bitter from our experiences, we

become like the hard rock in the middle of the stream. We block ourselves from evolving and do

not contribute to the whole.

On our pathway of conscious awareness, every challenge becomes our teacher and every

trauma becomes our opportunity for a leap of consciousness. Every difficult person in our lives

becomes an assignment for growth and development and an opportunity to practice. Every

sickness becomes our spiritual master. The lessons that we don’t learn will keep showing up in

our life until we learn them. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity becomes for

conscious evolution and healing. When approached in this way, the process of conscious

awareness becomes a continuous dance with the movement of life.

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