Have you heard of the Map of Consciousness? Have you seen the following chart somewhere? It will be unfamiliar to many readers. The Map of Consciousness was created by David Hawkins, an American doctor of psychiatry and psychology. Hawkins reportedly created the map based on kinematics theory, experimenting on thousands of people for over 20 years. He first quantified the luminosity of human consciousness from 1 to 1000 lux, and then divided it generally into 17 levels.
I first met Dr. Hawkins in Sedona, Arizona in 1997. At the time, I was exploring all over Sedona, meeting local spiritual leaders; Dr. Hawkins was one of them. I was glad and excited when I first learned of the Map of Consciousness. I liked that he quantified consciousness
, something commonly considered abstract and vague, making it possible to approach the subject in a concrete way, and that he described in detail patterns of emotion and behavior seen at each level of consciousness. The Map of Consciousness, of course, is not absolute; it serves as a guide, providing milestones for people who want to grow spiritually.
I used my influence to arrange for the publication of the Korean edition of Hawkins's book on the Map of Consciousness, Power Vs. Force
, I invited him to retreats and conferences several times, and I've been actively telling others about him through my lectures and books. Dr. Hawkins was teaching and writing in Sedona when he passed away in 2012 at the age of 83.
In this blog post, I want to share with you five pieces of wisdom on how to apply the Map of Consciousness to living the life you truly want.
1. Honestly recognize your state of consciousness
First, look at the Map of Consciousness and understand how each level of awareness causes certain emotions and behaviors. Then, observe the nature of your usual state of consciousness. We generally go back and forth between many different emotions and forms of consciousness even in a single day, but we normally remain at a certain level of awareness. You probably have a pattern to which you keep returning, a kind of base camp of consciousness. It's important to recognize that.
Your consciousness is the attitude with which you face life. Most people live their whole lives without ever changing that attitude. For example, people on level 100 are always anxious and full of doubt. No matter how much money or knowledge they may have, no matter how high their position, the world just seems dangerous, and other people appear intent on harming, using, and deceiving them. That's why their worries never cease. They do have moments of joy and peace from time to time, but these are only temporary, and they are once again shrouded in doubt, anxiety, and fear.
As you end your day, take a look at the Map of Consciousness, asking yourself what kind of consciousness you experienced most that day. Be honest with yourself. You can know if you will be honest with yourself, setting aside all your justifications, excuses, self-consolations, and self-pity. This is because we all have a sense for knowing the truth.
I recommend that you print out the Map of Consciousness and put it up in a highly visible place. Every day, observe what state of consciousness you are in. You will see, feel, and know it if you watch dispassionately. Other people cannot observe and realize things about your consciousness level for you. You have to do it yourself.
2. Choose the level of courage or higher in every situation
Look at courage, which is 200 lux on the Map of Consciousness. Dr. Hawkins said that 200 is the decisive number, the watershed between true strength (power) and false strength (force). At levels below 200, whether individually or socially, people end up leading destructive lives, and only at 200 and higher do they finally change to move in a constructive direction. At 200 and higher, they can use positive energy, empowering themselves and others, but they weaken others, using negative energy below 200.
I agree completely with Dr. Hawkins' opinion that courage is the turning point where a person changes from negativity to positivity. Take a look at consciousness below 200. You'll see shame, guilt, apathy, sadness, fear, desire, anger, and pride. At such levels of awareness, it's hard to have hope for yourself and the world.
begins in courage. When you have courage, you realize that you have the power to improve life for yourself and those around you. And courage is the turning point where a creative life can begin.
We need to strive to place our awareness at least on the level of courage. Don't permit your consciousness to fall below 200, no matter what your situation. If you're mired in shame, guilt, apathy, or anger, you have to quickly wake up, pay attention, and get yourself out of those states as quickly as possible. Remember, 200, courage, is the minimum level of consciousness for changing your life in a positive direction and for helping others.
3. Choose for yourself what level of consciousness you will live
Can you use your will and effort to change your level of consciousness
? Of course! When your level of consciousness changes, your life will also change dramatically. For example, when someone at the 100 level, stuck in victim consciousness, anxious about everything, convinced that others keep her from doing as she wants, reaches the 350 level, she dispassionately accepts the ups and downs of life and comes to have a mature sense of responsibility, of true mastery over her life.
Know that your consciousness can change. Be very certain about this. It's possible to live with a brighter awareness, escaping from a consciousness that pulls you into a state of force, not power. It really is. What you should do first is accept that possibility.
What you should do next is choose. Look at the Map of Consciousness and pick the level for your life. Next, thinking of yourself as having reached that state of consciousness, act like it. Ceaseless practice begins now. Think, feel, and act like you're on this level until you are.
Our brains already have everything they need. Our brains can experience all states of consciousness
, from shame at 20 to enlightenment at 1000. Choose the mode of consciousness in which a brain will operate, and constantly remind your brain of it.
The levels of consciousness
are not a staircase that you ascend step-by-step. It's possible to jump immediately from shame to courage, from anger to love. If you recognize that you're in a state of force consciousness, put everything you have into getting out of that condition as quickly as possible. It begins in choosing to do it.
4. Refrain from doing things that cause others to sink below 200
Let your words, deeds, and energy help others reach a state of power consciousness. Don't do anything that will cause others to drop into an emotional state or level of consciousness
below 200. If you are a parent or educator, work even harder to keep these words in mind.
I failed to adapt to school life when I was young. I couldn't focus on my studies, my test scores weren't good, and my teachers treated me like a problem child. I hated going to school since it would just make me feel shame, guilt, apathy, and fear. In contrast with this, going to a tae kwon do gym was fun because I felt hope and pride that I, too, could do something, and I always went voluntarily.
Today's educational and social systems, being based on competition, drive many people below the 200 level of consciousness. Don't align yourself with that current. You must not make others feel ashamed or apathetic, especially not younger children. Help keep children from losing confidence and enable them to feel self-esteem. Find something they do well, no matter how small, and praise them for it. This also applies to dealing with yourself.
5. Let a life of completion illuminate your consciousness
In I've Decided to Live 120 Years
, I proposed that we should switch our paradigm for life from success to completion
. Even to be successful, your basic level of consciousness has to be 200. Only then can you have the will to provide for your own health, happiness, and peace. To head toward completion without remaining focused on success, however, your level of consciousness has to rise to 500, love, and 600, peace.
You come to consider the happiness of others when you reach the 500 level, this becoming an essential element for moving people. Approaching the 600 level, you take interest in opening the spiritual eyes of others, not just your own. On reaching the 600 level, pursuing the enlightenment and good of humanity becomes your primary goal in life.
It's easy to fall to the level of force if you're attached only to success. Even after obtaining money and prestige, you'll be afraid of losing them unless you have a dream of completion. On reaching the pinnacle of achievement, some find themselves feeling that life is meaningless and sliding into severe apathy. In serious cases, some people, full of arrogance, consider others laughable. Our lifespans will gradually increase; living 100 or 120 years with a consciousness no brighter than 100 or 150 would be disastrous. If you have a heart of Hongik, determined to help others and make the world a better place through your life, and if you act on that resolve, your consciousness cannot help but grow brighter.
Life with a consciousness level of 500 or 600 is not something that's impossible for all but a small number of enlightened saints. Such awareness is already there in our brains, the Creator having permitted us all to enjoy its blessings. It's a blessing we have already been granted. All we have to do is accept and choose it.
Tell yourself this when you begin a new day every morning. "Today, I'll live life on a consciousness level of ( )." Your choice is important. In the moment you choose, "I am a great soul," your soul starts becoming great. Then all you have to do is act, taking your first steps with that attitude.
Let's make our lives a blessing for the earth.