James Bene, a spiritual influencer, wellness coach, intuitive reiki master and owner of Bene Mudra has put together his best spiritual guidance blog with free spiritual articles, top 10 wellness tips, holistic advice and his metaphysical teachings. This blog is for anyone who is seeking to live a well balanced and beautiful life! James sees clients in Los Angeles for Reiki treatments and intuitive conslutations.
Are you asleep?...and I don't mean in the physical sense because I doubt you would be reading this if you were! I am referring to your state of consciousness... or the quality of awareness of thought in the observation of an external object or something found internally. Seems hard to grasp? Well, it is!
The concept of consciousness plagued brilliant philosophers such as Descartes! At the time, it could not be mechanically explained and was fundamentally incoherent. Thanks to advancements in technology, there has been extensive research in cognitive science with significant contributions from fields such as psychology, neuropsychology and neuroscience.Eastern as well as western modern spiritual philosophies such as Buddhism, yoga, new thought, science of mind and metaphysics use the consciousness concept (mindfulness) as a vehicle to lead a person to emotional balance, freedom of thought and ultimately enlightenment. God is within, if conscious of that, you can raise your vibration to dimensions far beyond physical form. Meditation is the most valuable tool in the quest for enlightenment and self-realization. Celebrities, spiritual leaders, teachers, therapists, healers and communities around the world boast the importance of a meditation practice. I will not delve into what meditation is here, but I urge you to research and install some form of meditation into your life.
A Simple Equation
Another way consciousness can be achieved is through external life experiences. An experience (positive or negative) is perceived the moment it connects internally to belief. If the experience negates the belief system it may cause you to become aware of the truth, resulting in a new self-awareness and a changed reality of your conceptional world. Reality and truth are two different concepts: Reality is what you make of the simple truth and truth is what lies beyond a shadow of doubt. Truth is 1+2=3, where reality is the creation of your existence based on the sum of 1 plus 2. You can see examples of this within our current political climate. We are more conscious of bigotry, racism, sexism and homophobia now than ever before because of the uprising of individuals who hate and discriminate. Those who are sheltered or blind to these types of people are forced to take off the rose colored glasses and face the truth that these issues are still unresolved in this country. The #awake, #metoo, black lives matter and the women's march movements have all resulted from high levels of collective consciousness fused together with a drive to educate those still unaware in waking up from unconscious, comfortable states of waking sleep.
Are you awake now? The truth is you are both conscious and unconscious at the same time because of our subconscious mind. The word "subconscious" is an anglicized version of the French word "subconscient". Coined by the psychologist Pierre Janet (1859-1947), who argued that beneath the layers of critical-thought functions of the conscious mind lay an even more powerful awareness that he called the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind does not exist within the physical brain but within an energetic field in and around the body. This energetic field is where all memories, habits, traumas and old beliefs are stored. You are not fully aware of these until triggered by external sources or internal stimulation. I have come to realize that the goal is to bridge the gap between the two minds and find the whole mind state of being or "oneness". Metaphysics claims that within this state lives the power to manifest any life desired and the experience of true joy. Unlike religious ideology, here the magnificence of "God" and the key to salvation is within us so the need to pray or worship outside of that is unnecessary. Buddhism, which is both a way of life and a religion, also holds this philosophy to be true at its core, yet Buddhism is dynamic and multi-layered which leaves most Christian-raised westerners lost in translation.
My Definition of Consciousness
Consciousness, according to me, is the sum of all life experiences understood and accepted at the core truth as ordered by divine universal law. When you choose to heal you are subconsciously seeking to displace all lies, misconceptions and hallucinations of the mind with absolute truth. I am sure you have heard the expression, "The truth shall set you free." This is my favorite of all quotes because of its absoluteness. Truth seekers around the world have made names for themselves within the artist, self realization, spiritual and even religious communities. You may seek their guidance, art and read their works because they have found a way of living that you strive to emulate but may not have the wisdom yet to achieve. You are attracted to them because of their truth! If you perceive something or someone as "fake" you might shy away. This goes for people in your life, situations, business', authors, singers, etc. For example, an actor who does not succeed in getting the audience to believe that their situation is real will find themselves covered in tomatoes. Art is needed (in all its forms) for its realism so that you can know yourself to be true by the genuine emotions felt while being immersed in it. In that moment you are fully conscious and dare I say healed. Creativity, in my book, is the ultimate expression of the conscious mind! This is why those who are more conscious tend to enjoy art, culture, travel, spirituality and literature.
The question you're probably thinking is, "how do I lead a more conscious life!" The answer is simple yet complex. Think of your life as one long road trip with multiple stops along the way towards your final destination. You are either so consumed with where you are headed that you drive as fast as you can to avoid stopping or you stay too long in certain places, lost in emotional distress mental delusion, or spiritual paralysis. To live consciously is to seek the truth in all situations, to accept it, live it, let go and move on. Not to look, but genuinely see. Life is not always going to hand you roses... and if it does please stop and smell them! Difficult situations have the power of derailment. Your job is to navigate those muddy paths with grace, understanding and ease. Once settled, you get back behind the wheel, smile and continue to drive with the subtle reassurance that you will reach your destination in perfect timing.
Remember, consciousness is the sum of all experiences defined by the truth! To be conscious is to ask yourself one simple question, "Is it true?" Begin with your negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they are based on absolute truth or delusion. Most often you will discover that your thoughts concerning yourself, others and the world are based on falsehoods and irrational beliefs learned and validated along the way. In dispelling these beliefs you will explore the true authentic self which is free from all attachments. From this place you share your truth, thus spreading consciousness to those who can receive it. This my friend is the first step in the quest for mindful and conscious living, so as always, and in the great words of William Shakespeare, "To thine own self be true!"
James Bene is an influencer, artist and teacher within the world of metaphysical arts and owner of Bene Mudra Wellness. He resides in Los Angeles, California.