The 5 Levels of Mind in Expansion Mastery
Understanding which aspect of mind and consciousness being referred to in any given practice can be an incredibly daunting task. When referring to the mind there’s many interpretations such as Freud’s “Three Levels of Mind” which are the Preconscious Mind, Conscious Mind, and Unconscious Mind. Then there’s other forms of reference in varying methods of psychoanalysis where sometimes for certain situations, the subconscious and unconscious are used synonymously and in other situations they are not. Others use a Conscious, Subconscious and Supe Conscious model. In certain esoteric spiritual systems, due to the translations, there is no distinction in terminology between the mind and consciousness. Some of this is the result of the translator being scholarly but not initiated into the tradition, sometimes’ it’s the product of being translated through various languages several times, and other times it’s purposeful to protect the teachings from those who have not yet been initiated into the system. It’s easy to see how all of this talk about mind and consciousness can result in complete confusion, frustration, and even misconceptions arising that can lead to errors in our practices or even prevent the practice from being effective.
I’d like to offer some clarity by presenting you with a “Master Key” if you will, at least in regards to what I’m referring to here within the Expansion Mastery teachings. This key will be used throughout the books, programs, podcasts, and articles with the intention of providing you with a sense of consistency and clarity in your spiritual practices. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to describe the mind and consciousness according to modern psychology, but instead from the perspective of spirituality. So, let me briefly explain each of the five levels of “mind and consciousness.” I’ll begin at the bottom and work my way up.
SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: The subconscious mind, in the context used within the Expansion Mastery system, refers to the level of mind that is below our conscious awareness. The reason it’s referred to as being “sub-conscious” is because it’s all the stuff below our level of mental consciousness. The subconscious mind is a powerful force that’s responsible for many things, and it’s influencing us even while we’re consciously aware in our daily lives. This is the area of mind responsible for the body’s processes that we don’t consciously realize are taking place, like sending stem cells to areas of the body for healing, the body’s cells regenerating while we sleep, and controlling bodily functions of the respiratory and circulatory systems to name just a few. Additionally, it serves as a storehouse for our beliefs, past stored images, thoughts, emotions, and memories.
We all know about the Law of Attraction and that our thoughts create our reality, well, most of that is launched from here in the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind holds takes your thoughts, turns them into beliefs and then begins to create your reality based upon those beliefs. I really like the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you think” but the problem is that the subconscious mind does just that. This is one reason we’re left to sort out things from our day or from various points of time in our lives through the subconscious mind in our dreams. Once you attain a stage in your training where you can master the subconscious mind, you have the ability to remain consciously aware in your dreams, and eventually cease dreaming altogether. Spiritual systems have specific methods for achieving this. It’s also the subconscious mind that is the playground and hiding place of the ego.
UNCONSCIOUS MIND: The unconscious mind, as it’s applied to the Expansion Mastery system, refers to that which we are unaware of with the conscious mind. This is much like the subconscious mind in this regard, but this is where all of the mental processes automatically taking place occur. Often times, these unconscious mental processes are patterns are also attributed to the subconscious, but the distinction I’ve come to know through my own experiences with deep spiritual practices is that there are mental processes taking place just underneath our awareness such as the mental filters that overlay our past experiences on anything new being perceived through our physical senses. There are many mental processes taking place very moment for which we remain unaware. I see the unconscious mind as a sort of bridge from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind. From a more clinical perspective, they tend to view the unconscious to mean being literally and even physically unconscious, as in the case of being knocked out, passed out, or even asleep in some cases. On the other hand, I understand the unconscious mind as that part of the mind that’s lacking awareness.
When we lack Mindfulness and act from a mindless state, that is an unconscious act. As we attain the heightened mental state of Mindfulness, we transcend the unconscious mind, bringing it into the realm of the conscious mind. The purpose of authentic Mindfulness practices is to bring these unconscious mental processes into the level of the conscious mind so they are no longer unconscious (ie. mindless). This is where we observe a rather large distinction between the subconscious and unconscious. The unconscious as a bridge can be understood like this… We consciously receive information through the physical senses, then that information is immediately, and unknowingly, (unconsciously) put through the process of mental filters to create a certain degree understanding for the information and then it’s sent to the subconscious where it will be turned into a belief and stored. The unconscious mind is the actual process of the filtering taking place and the subconscious is what transforms it into a belief afterward and where it is stored.
CONSCIOUS MIND: The conscious mind consists of all of the things we are currently aware of, stimuli being interpreted through the five senses, current thoughts, your immediate environment, your interactions with others, and so on. The conscious mind is based more upon what’s taking place in the present. The conscious mind is not the same thing as consciousness itself as it’s referred to in most spiritual systems. The conscious mind is very different and simply that level of mind that is aware of what’s happening in time and space. This level is easy, it’s when you’re eating a delicious hot fudge sundae and you’re very well aware that you’re eating it. It’s being aware of all those rampant thoughts running through your mind all day and all night, yet it lacks the awareness to realize that the vast majority of those thoughts are not actually your own. Proprioception is just one example of how we can increase our level of conscious awareness, allowing us to attain higher states of awareness for how our physical body moves in space as well as with how much force it moves.
Many spiritual practices, martial arts practices, and other forms of movement and posture practices, are all designed to assist us in attaining higher states of conscious awareness by bringing the unconscious aspects of mind up into the level of the conscious mind. Eventually, there is no more unconscious as it is absorbed into the conscious mind and the result is the attainment of Mindfulness. It is quite evident then, that this level of authentic Mindfulness is a form of awakening in its own right.
LESSER CONSCIOUS AWARENESS: Lesser conscious awareness is what is often referred to as the Observer or the Witness. This is the level that acts as a bridge between all areas of mind and higher consciousness. Connecting to, and strengthening that connection, to this lesser level of consciousness is the goal of most spiritual practices and even meditation. The idea is to transition from ego to essence and that requires us to go beyond the mind (all 3 levels of mind) and enter this bridge where we stand between physical reality and the spiritual world. It’s from this point that we connect to our lesser consciousness and remember our true sense of Self, allowing the wisdom of our higher consciousness to guide us in the physical world. When establishing a deep connection to our lesser consciousness, the observer, we then aim to shift from sensing ourself as being the body and mind and instead sense our Self as consciousness. When we can achieve this state of being, we remain about as connected to, and guided from, our higher consciousness as we possibly can while inhabiting this physical body and the mind.
This is the level that allows us to truly integrate body, mind, and spirit and live this lifetime in time and space as a completely integrated and balanced human being, living a fully engaged life. Here we accept the divine guidance of our essence instead of remaining the puppet of our ego. When we transcend the mind and dwell in the realm of consciousness, the ego begins to dissolve. No mind, no ego. This is why transcending the mind is such an important part of all spiritual systems.
HIGHER CONSCIOUS AWARENESS: Higher conscious awareness is what can be called pure conscious awareness. This is our true divine essence, the formless state of pure conscious awareness that is pure energy (vibrating). This is when our consciousness is connected to the Universal Source. This could be realized through our state after our physical death when we’ve left the physical body and the mind behind and we’ve returned to Source. This is the great energy field that permeates all things in the universe. It’s here that we understand the phrase of being a drop of water in the ocean. This is the state that is really attained while still alive in body and mind. In the known history of humanity, it appears as though there have been very few have ever achieved this state without transitioning through death. This is the state of being fully awakened.