Levels of consciousness

Consciousness itself cannot be weighed and measured by natural science. What science can do is to measure the neural wavelength in the brain during for instance meditation – and different states – or levels – occur. But natural science cannot measure or draw the experience that is connected with these levels.

In buddhist tradition, especially, we have stories from people who have experienced these different states of consciousness. And there are quite a few maps, let us call it maps.

From a non buddhist perspective we also have stories from different traditions. This one is from Gourdieff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff) . He maps out five levels of consciousness.

  1. The level of deep, dreamless sleep. No ego function is active here.
  2. The level of dream sleep. A dream ego is active, experiencing what is happening in the dream.
  3. The level of everyday life. The ego is active and not aware, identifying with thoughts and emotion
  4. The level of mindfulness. The ego is becoming more transparent, realising that there is a state of consciousness that is merely experiencing mind and body. An awareness state of no judging. Training mindfulness we can tell stories from this state of consciousness, the heart opens. At this state the ego realises that there is more to life than the ego, and the ego has a longing for these levels of consciousness. The sadness is, the ego cannot go there, just like the ego is not a part of the dreamless sleep.
  5. Non dual level. No ego.

Anne Vinter, 06.12.2020

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