How many times have we talked about being conscious in our conversations, Guy? What is it, really, this consciousness we speak of so often?
Wikipedia explains it like this: “In common speech, being conscious means being awake and able to react accordingly to our environment. Consciousness is an attribute of our mind which usually has qualities like subjectivity, self-consciousness, wisdom and the ability to capture the relationship between one self and one’s environment.”
Your consciousness is all about how you perceive yourself and the world around you. It is all due to what you have experienced and how your brain interprets everything. From the moment we are born (when we are not conscious at all, incidentally) we start develop our consciousness. So when do we start becoming conscious?
When I was a little girl nobody believed that what a child experienced before the age of four, had any meaning at all for that child. It was believed that a child younger than four had no possibility of remembering anything, and therefore did not possess consciousness. Now we know better—we know the brain is the organ that develops the most during the first six years of our lives, and all that time we are becoming more and more conscious as to who we are and what life is about. We also know that it continues to evolve for up to 22-25 years before it is fully developed!
As we grow we are constantly bombarded with impressions, from everywhere, which we experience with our senses, and day-by-day we build up a library of experiences that are used to interpret everything and give us our own, personal reality. We observe our parents and other role models to learn how to act and behave, as our brains are just like a sponge, sucking in all information uncritically and putting it all together to make sense of the world.
The moment we are born, we are purely genetic, with no personal experiences in life, yet we have such vast potential in our DNA. From the soup of genes that was mixed in our conception, the mix that became ‘me and you’ is unique to every one of us.
The preferences we have in our DNA constitute our body, mind, and spirit. A very small part of our DNA is physical, in fact not more than 3-4 %, yet it is so amazing; so beautiful and exceptional! But in fact, most of our DNA is multidimensional, unseen to the eye but very much present.
70-75 % of the multidimensional part of our DNA is. I don’t want to insult anyone, but many people don’t believe anything unless it is proven by science, but what can I say? We all have feelings, don’t we? And just as with our thoughts, we can measure the results of our feelings, but not what they are! From the deepest anger, bitterness and sorrow, to the highest love, joy and compassion, our emotions are like a compass guiding us through life. We have absolute free will; we can do whatever we want with our life, still our feelings will give us direction if we decide to trust what we feel and follow it.
Then, on the other hand, there is another aspect of our DNA just waiting to be opened up through intent, and that is the spiritual part. As our emotions are our guidance and dominant over our DNA, they will also guide us towards our spiritual awakening.
But let us go back to consciousness, as that is what we are discussing in this conversation. Our birth must be the most traumatic thing we ever experience in life. Pushed and squeezed and twisted out from this safe, warn place into a very bright, cold place with a lot of noise, where we intuitively take our first breath of air. Can you imagine how that must be? In one breath everything kicks in for the first time! One breath, that starts a breathing cycle that will continue until the day we die—nothing is left to chance. It is an incredibly well organised system, so much more intelligent than we can ever imagine.
This is the starting point for what will become our consciousness. Very soon it will be pushed deeper down into our unconscious mind, as we are bombarded with new impressions all the time. This is necessary as our brain develops and it is a well-known fact that a child’s level of intelligence (by the way, there are nine different brain functions that are a part of our intelligence, which I will come back to later) is equal to the stimulation given from birth.
Now, there is a very interesting part of our development; a part we all experience… For our first 3-4 years, our brains are not developed enough to put things together by logic, so the only guides we have that can tell us about the world we have entered are our feelings—this incredible amount of multidimensional guidance we have in our DNA. Everything we experience, absolutely everything, is measured by and stored as experiences in our brain, according to how we feel. Slowly our brain gathers more and more information to use, in order to create patterns of signals, to guide our body’s physical functions and develop our interpretation of life. After about 3-4 years, it starts to put it together in terms of logic.
Can you see how every one of us possesses different potentials to bring forward into consciousness? As time goes by, we specialise in our expertise. Some end up living in the head, governed by logical sense, where feelings are often ignored. Feelings interfere with what is expected, as life is about doing the right things. People who live in their heads allow that 3-4 % of the DNA that is physical in charge of everything. Feelings are bothersome, and are easily manipulated by some form of medicine or another.
So here we are, as grownups… Take a look at your life: absolutely everything you see in it today, is there because of your previous solutions. Take a look back on this week, how many of the solutions you have found were govern by the way you felt in the situation?
If we only make our choices according to our emotions, there is a fair chance that we will stumble, leading to some very stupid actions. There is a good reason why we have a logical, conscious mind, that puts everything together and helps us follow the law of government and society—so to simply follow our emotions may not be a good idea! But what about starting to become conscious of your feelings whilst making everyday choices?
In one of our earlier conversations, Guy, we talked about how successful people use the guidance of their feelings to make conscious choices; they allow the uncertainty that comes from not being able to see the whole picture to be a part of it, because they trust their gut-feelings.
We are entirely unable to see the full consequences of our actions. There are far too many variables to consider, as it always tends to include other people, WHO HAVE ANOTHER LIBRARY FROM WHICH THEY RETREIVE THEIR INFORMATION!
This is the part where you and I come in, Guy, as we work, in different ways, with the transformation that is needed in order to become more conscious of what is going on. Matter, like our body, has an incredible skill in making an illusion of consistency, yet there is no part of our body that is older than seven years! That is how long it takes to replace all the cells in our body. Now here is something for you to ponder about: If every cell in your body contains absolutely all information there is about you, stored in your DNA (and, as we know, it is our DNA that is the recipe for those new cells), why do they duplicate in a downward spiral? Is it possible that we, by being more conscious and aware of what our inner guidance tell us, are able to reset that recipe?
What do you think about that, Guy? You have a lot of experience from The PowaForce Forum as to how people transform their life by becoming more conscious of the unconscious—what can you share with us to bring more clarity?
You know, Kari, our words bring back a vivid recollection of some of my earliest childhood memories—snapshots in time that are always with me. One of those is an occasion, when I could not have been more than eighteen months old, lying in my cot, playing contentedly with the mobile dangling above me and listening to the happy voices of my parents talking downstairs… Another is of a little toy wooden cart I would push around outside when I was barely three…
Many would refute the fact that I had the capacity, as such a young child, to remember these things, saying that it was perhaps a construction of events captured in photographs. Whilst it’s true that pictures certainly do remind me of these occasions, my memories are not static, as they are in pictures—they are actual, fluid experiences!
From the day we are born, as you say, Kari, we begin storing away memories and experiences. Even before our eyes focus properly, we hear our parent’s voices and feel their loving touch, and these constitute the basis from which we formulate our experience of life; we gain familiarity with our surroundings, as well as the people who occupy it! In fact, depending on these circumstances, we develop our first notions of love and, unfortunately in many cases, fear… This critical beginning phase of our consciousness remains with us our entire lives!
A baby who is given only love and care by parents and siblings, and encouraged to explore this big new world (even if it initially extends only as far as a nursery or bedroom) has the potential to begin with a Way of Being founded in abundance. By contrast, what foundation would you say that same child might have, if he or she is either abused, or exposed to abuse, such as parents continuously arguing and shouting or being violent towards one another? Certainly not love and abundance, but most certainly fear and scarcity!
Emotions are formed even prior to birth and initiation to consciousness—a fully developed foetus will move and kick according to how it is feeling, as its brain has already formed and, aside from being within the womb, attached to the mother via the umbilical cord, is to all intents and purposes a fully-fledged being. Yet because the foetus is still entirely dependent on its mother for life’s essence, if the mother is upset, it will be accordingly upset. Conversely, if the mother is relaxed and happy, the unborn child will also be… So although our consciousness doesn’t begin to develop before we enter the world, our emotions most certainly do!
We move on, then, to consciousness and what it constitutes. There are four stages of consciousness relating to our levels of competence in the world. These develop as we grow, and depending upon the circumstances, we exist in multiple domains at any one of these stages simultaneously.
The first of these stages of consciousness is when we are Unconsciously Incompetent. During this stage, usually as newborn babies and up to 3-4 years of age, as Kari mentioned, we possess no experiential references with which to define any form of competency. For example, we are placed in a car, yet we do not comprehend it as being a means of transport, but simply another interesting ‘space’ where suddenly our surroundings begin to move… We are also unaware that we are being transported from place A to place B, as we have no concept of distance or time.
(Interestingly, the moment we are born, we are considered to be one hundred percent enlightened! I wonder—does it follow then that enlightenment is when you recognise that you are unconsciously incompetent and that you know nothing? Is this what it means to truly live in wonder?)
As we grow older though, we become aware that we are being driven in a car, and we are able to cognise other vehicles on the road, yet we have no concept of what it means to actually drive a car (or indeed that we ever will, as someone else is always driving)—we know only that mom is taking us to school, or to the shops, or to visit friends. At this level of competency we are deemed to be Consciously Incompetent. I remember being obsessed with cars and trucks and earthmoving equipment, never once wondering how it might feel to drive one—that was for old men of eighteen with a license to drive!
Years later, we are of legal age (in our dotage!) to possess a drivers’ license, so we begin taking driving lessons. There are many things to remember and to learn; many of the actions we need to take are performed simultaneously, such as indicating to turn a corner whilst applying the brakes, gearing down, checking the rear-view mirror and turning the steering wheel accordingly. We must apply absolute concentration to the act of driving a vehicle (just observe a learner driver, as to their jerkily uncertain progress). This is the stage of being Consciously Competent.
Then, once we’ve learnt how to drive a car, we drive virtually every day, such that the actions attributed to driving become habitual and eventually, we don’t even have to ‘think’ about driving. We are not conscious of our actions; they just happen, so we sing along to music, or speak to a passenger while we drive, all the while performing the multitude of actions necessary to get to our destination. This is known as being Unconsciously Competent.
Incidentally, breathing in and out is an unconsciously competent action—we never give a thought to breathing. Conversely, to sea mammals and reptiles such as whales, dolphins and turtles, breathing is a conscious action. In order to breathe in, they must surface, even if they are able to spend long periods of time submerged. So to them, breathing is a consciously competent action.
Considering the constant changes in the progress of life and new learning, much of our lives are spent at a level of conscious competency. It’s something to contemplate! Think of all those people who become bored with their jobs because they can “do it in their sleep”… We need the stimulation of change and of new adventures, to give purpose to our lives. To do so, we need to tap into that vast reservoir of potential, which is largely unconscious to us!
This leads me to your query about The PowaForce Forum, Kari, and how we can use the kind of tools, mechanisms and processes employed to assist people to unlock their potential through becoming more conscious of who we are and what we are capable of.
PowaBase, which is the flagship, four-day programme under The PowaForce Forum umbrella, operates at the levels of both Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence, assisting trainees to see the world entirely differently, by urging them to look to what they don’t know that they don’t know (what doesn’t as yet exist for them), rather than the endless and unchanging cycle of what they know!
Our programmes are experiential in that we work with the premise that the mind forgets yet the body always remembers! Just like learning to drive a car, as I was relating earlier with regard to conscious competence, and I’ll use this as an analogy: Let’s say you had never driven a car before and I gave you a manual on ‘How to Drive’, telling you that I’d give you the weekend to study the manual and on Monday, I’d sit you in the driver’s seat and you’re going to drive… Well you know the answer is that there’s no way that’s going to happen! You would sit behind the wheel with a blank mind—completely overwhelmed!
If, however, I was to sit you behind the wheel and point out what the different controls were for, allowing you to familiarise yourself with the actions and their sequences, before allowing you to start the car and slowly start to drive, in no time you would progress to the point where we could venture out onto the road—and you’d be driving! More importantly, you’d NEVER forget, or more accurately, your body would never forget!
This is precisely the core nature of PowaBase. There are no writing materials allowed in the training room, and, aside from daily homework exercises, no notes handed out. You are there to learn, not to memorise… In fact you are learning about yourself, a totally unique human being, for whom no notes could be pre-written by another!
Consciousness, in the physical sense, is about growing your awareness, and to accomplish this, you need to become more observant—of yourself, of the world around you, and how you interpret your existence through language…
We continue this conversation next week, Kari, so the question I have for you is: How do we become more conscious of our consciousness?
(Painting by Gary Buhler)