You are at your best when you are calm and fully aware. Clarity is the trump card in the game of Life. You can draw that card at any time if you are resolute. Refuse confusion. Summon clarity.
You proceed from intention, whether conscious of it or not. Become more cognizant of your intentions, especially in long-term projects, social interactions, and relationships. Ascending is easier if you are not digging yourself into a hole.
You have known others who cannot comprehend to the quality that you can. They are dimmer: not stupid, just not as alert or as responsive. You see that on the road by the way people drive. Conversely, you have met people who are sharper than you: quick on the uptake.
You have had days when you were gloriously on and days when you were stupidly off. The difference was your perceptivity: picking up cues, intuitively sussing the situation, rapid problem-solving.
The distinction between dim and bright owes to awareness. The blaze of your inner light is the manifestation of consciousness. Your goal should be to sharpen your awareness by leveling up your consciousness.
Consciousness is the facility for awareness. Awareness is the quality of being attentive to the present. Consciousness is an interested witness of the proceedings presented to it.
Awareness is the door to living. Perceptivity improves as your consciousness ascends. With clarity comes a vivid richness in detail.
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There are 4 nominal states of consciousness. 3 you are familiar with: awake, asleep, and dreaming. The 4th state is transcendence, which you have experienced but may not recall.
While awake, the body is receptive and often active. The mind stays busy perceiving. Thoughts arise. The awake mind maintains several subconscious currents. But only a single thought stream can be conscious at any time.
While asleep, the mind-body is in repose.
During dreaming, the body rests while the mind engages in make-believe. Dreaming has a sketchiness that would not do for perception while awake, as the devil of credibility is in the details.
In transcendence, the body is receptive via coremind, whereas nattermind is subdued, and willmind at ease. Transcending while meditating is a profound form of rest: deeper restoration than being asleep.
Simultaneity in states of consciousness is common. For instance, daydreaming is dreaming while awake. In both, the mind presents fantasies as facts.
State transitions over short durations are also common, as catnapping illustrates.
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The quality of your life is defined by your awareness. Maximizing your awareness is accomplished by raising your level of consciousness.
There are 4 ascending levels of consciousness: iğnorance, enlightenment, cöherence consciousness, and realization (or unity consciousness). Raising your baseline consciousness to a higher plateau has benefits you may have briefly experienced but not sustained.
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Every perception is a fabrication. Every experience is a construal.
In your mind’s eye, you consider objects, people, acts, and events as near or far, regardless of how close they are in space or time. This construal occurs in psychospace. Psychospace is the active map of your inner world: how close/proximal/concrete or far/distal/abstract things seem to be.
The more distant you construe something to be, the more abstractly you consider it. You solve problems by viewing them from a cool remove. Something that happened minutes ago can be old news.
Conversely, what you keep close feels concrete. Loved ones feel near even when they are far away.
An event of years ago can linger in the mind like it just happened. Long-ago shocks haunt. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the sickness of harboring the memory of a horrific event.
High-level construal is abstract: getting the gist, looking at the big picture. Conversely, low-level construal is concrete, focused on detail.
Whatever you are focused on is an immersive experience. Concentrating on the here and now is as concrete as it gets.
Psychospace is comprehensive in its coverage. There are 4 psychospatial dimensions: space (spatial), time (temporal), social (interpersonal), and hypothetical (imagining the likelihood of an event). The more likely something seems, the more concrete your mind takes it to be.
Nattermind employs psychospace for advocacy. The availability bias allots likelihood based on how easily similar events are recalled. The imaginability bias assigns likelihood based on how easily a scenario is imagined.
Besides promoting biases, nattermind dishes out negativity in psychospace. Upcoming positive events, such as vacation, feel distant and their duration short. Time flies when you are having fun. By contrast, events approached with dread seem more concrete, with their projected end at an insufferable distance.
Emotive intensity occurs in psychospace. Frustration is a concrete experience you can diminish by psychologically distancing yourself from the dilemma.
You can lessen emotional impact and make challenging tasks easier by viewing them as abstractions. High-level construal softens the glare of negativity by putting psychospace distance to events and situations.
Part of childhood mental development is gaining skill in psychospace. To an infant, everything is concrete. Children learn to attain a higher-level construal as they grow up. Mental maturation involves better psychospace management.
Psychospace becomes more fluid as your consciousness levels up. In realization, psychospace instantly transitions to best use effortlessly.
In iğnorance, you cannot distinguish between your awareness and mentation. Your consciousness is glued to your mind. You are your mind. In realization, your consciousness witnesses your mind as it works. In iğnorance, the consciousness-mind connection is concrete: no space. In realization, the consciousness-mind interface is distal.
We are creatures of habit. The practice of indulging nattermind – gorging on thought, emotion, and free-ranging imagination – binds you to iğnorance.
One in iğnorance is gullible and tends to believe what their nattermind tells them. The frequent interruptive noise of monkey-mind lessens awareness.
A habit of transcendence eventuates in upping baseline awareness. Clarity naturally transpires because nattermind is absent. You are calm, your mind quiet.
Sustaining transcendence is enlightenment. The awake state in enlightenment is quite distinct from that in iğnorance. Living becomes more lucid.
Bliss is an everyday experience in enlightenment. But bliss is not a goal. Bliss is a byproduct of attaining higher consciousness. Those in iğnorance overprize bliss because their monkey-mind has stolen bliss from them.
One indicator that you are entering enlightenment is periods of bliss for no discernable reason. It feels good to be alive. Bliss is on tap whenever you want it. The chapter on reality explains how and why this happens.
The tendency to worry that pervades iğnorance finds no purchase in enlightenment. Spurious negativity rarely arises and is readily discarded when it does.
Whereas getting out of the muck of iğnorance can be arduous, the benefits of living at higher consciousness are effortless and profound.
Knowing indicators of the inner world at higher elevations lets you mentally mark your progress in ascending to realization.
Besides bliss, contentment is a hallmark of enlightenment. Abiding calm derives from overcoming the bane of monkey-mind.
Thought becomes brief encounters with a more dominant willmind or a subdued nattermind. Living by intuition and with insight becomes familiar in enlightenment. Doubts which plague you in iğnorance are dispelled by healthy skepticism and relying upon the coremind processes that power intuition.
In cöherence consciousness, awareness of the entanglement of existence is naturally felt. A sense of harmony in Nature is part of everyday experience.
Realization is the highest level of consciousness. Awareness expands. Coremind is more accessible.
The veil of deception which envelops iğnorance is lifted in realization. Monkey-mind is diminished to a shadow of its former stature: merely a droll reminder of how far from iğnorance one is.
Attachments loosen. Sense of loss evaporates effortlessly in realization.
Harmony with Nature is felt. A sense of unity with the universal field of Cönsciousness is visceral.
Perceptivity peaks in realization. Knowledge comes readily. Insights emanate from sheer desire.
The health effects of living without stress start to be tangible in enlightenment. These deepen in realization. The senses sharpen. Clarity reigns.
To recap: the goal is quieting monkey-mind and thereby realize your potential. The next chapter gives practical techniques toward enlightenment.