Higher states of consciousness

Seven States of Consciousness

There are 7 major states of consciousness, each with their own specific physiological characteristics. Modern science has many more methods and sensitive means of measurement of physiological change today than at any other time in human history.

The first research, locating a new totally and unique state of consciousness, a 4th major state, whose physiological characteristics are different from waking, dreaming and sleeping, was published in 1971 in The Lancet by Dr Robert Keith Wallace.

Just as depravation from any of the major states of consciousness, such as sleep, is found to be harmful to human health and well being, he suggested that the lack of exposure to this 4th major state results in a lack of fulfilment, suffering and problems, which are the common experience of most human beings today.

Wealth, freedom of speech, or the type of political and economic system we have, do not make as significant a difference to human life as the state of individual consciousness or the level of collective consciousness of society as a whole.

Characteristics of the seven states

  1. 1. Waking state of consciousness

  2. Waking consciousness is experienced as sensory perception of the world around us and the ability to function in the real world for many hours at a time. Physiologically, its characteristics show an alert and active brain, focussed on dealing with sensory experience, and with comparatively high metabolic rate and other specific physiological measurements of blood chemistry, skin resistance, respiratory rate etc.

  3. 2. Dreaming state of consciousness

  4. In dreaming, sensory perception is entirely imaginary though metabolic rate is generally more restful than in the waking state. There are rapid eye movements associated with the imagined world of dreams. Depravation of the dreaming state can lead vivid day dreaming while in the waking state, resulting in sometimes disturbing hallucination and other mental and physical health problems.

  5. 3. Deep Sleep state of consciousness

  6. Deep dreamless sleep involves total lack of awareness - blackout. Restfulness of body and mind results in an average reduction in oxygen consumption of about 8% at the deepest point of a night’s sleep. Depravation from sleep can cause depression, lack of co-ordination, irritability and other mental health issues, and eventually hallucination and complete collapse.

  7. 4. Transcendental Consciousness - the 4th state of consciousness

  8. Characterised by a rest much deeper than the deepest point of the night’s sleep. Oxygen consumption is much lower than that normally required to sustain life. In Dr Wallace’s research oxygen consumption typically fell by 16% or more. The brain displays global coherence and increased frontal lobe activity which is highly correlated with improved academic performance, greater self actualisation, better general health, higher IQ, improved moral reasoning and a whole host of other indicators. The increased frontal lobe activity is quit significant as this area is the ‘chief executive officer’ (CEO) of the brain, and puts together all the information coming from other parts of the brain enabling it to makes decisions.

  9. The brain core remains deeply restful, while the whole brain is fully alert but without any of the focussed activity seen in other states. This is described as total brain functioning and is not seen in any other technique of relaxation or meditation for which there is published research in reputable journals.

  10. The subjective experience of transcendental consciousness is one of being fully wide awake inside, with awareness only of consciousness itself. Unbounded awareness, without the activity of thought. A sense of complete freedom and absence of any kind of fear or apprehension. This is completely unique and different physiologically from waking, dreaming or deep sleep. It combines the deepest rest with the highest degree of alertness of consciousness.

  11. When deprived of regular experience of this state of consciousness human beings inevitably suffer fear and anxiety, make mistakes in their behaviour, violate natural law, which inevitably results in suffering, and experience a lack of complete fulfilment. This is in spite of the fact that there may be every reason to expect the individual should be fully satisfied due to their abundant material comforts and possessions. Still, something will be felt to be missing.

  12. (more coming soon)

  13. 5. Cosmic Consciousness - the 5th state of consciousness

  14. 6. God Consciousness - the 6th state of consciousness

  15. 7. Unity Consciousness - the 7th state of consciousness