What Is Higher

What Is Beyond Us?

In the last article, we explored the different forms of experience to evaluate the possibility for better or superior forms of human existence. When considered from a perspective of the body and mind all experiences can be placed on a spectrum of sensing from outside in, and projecting from inside out. Furthermore we can evaluate these inputs and outputs for their subjective qualities to determine what’s better or worse for each of them.

For example, our nervous system senses the external environment (outside-in) and this produces stimuli in the body which respond to those inputs to act upon the external world through movement of the physical body (inside-out). In a similar way our emotional function makes sense of experiences (outside-in) and our intellectual function acts on those emotional sensations to produce thoughts which can be remembered and communicated to others (inside-out).

But this perspective seems like it’s missing something. It feels like a selfish view of existence where we only concern ourselves with the quality of our immediate personal experiences. What about love and care for others? What about family and community? What do we make of our sense of morality, justice, and social progress? What about wisdom, patience, and forgiveness? Where is self-sacrifice for the greater good?

Sensing a Connection

The common element to most of these considerations is the connection to other people and the world around us. A person who acted solely on the basis of what is good for themselves would be dangerous to others, and the psychological term for such a person would be a sociopath. Perhaps you know one. The truth is we all have the potential to act in this selfish mode, manipulating others for our own benefit without remorse.

On the other hand, a person whose actions were driven by love and care for others would be highly connected in relationship to the people around them. They might be considered saintly. This kind of higher potential must have something to do with social connection, our perception of the needs and desires of others, and our willingness to set our own concerns aside for them. Every parent must set aside their personal interests to successfully care for a child, because the child is unable to meet their own needs and will not survive long without their care.

Returning to our outside-in-inside-out model, notice that the ability to recognize the impact one has on the outside world, and the results of those impacts, is another kind of sensing (outside-in). The word for this kind of feeling is conscience. Taking the first definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:


(noun) con·science ˈkän(t)-shən(t)s

1a: the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good

She had a guilty conscience.

b: a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts

guided by conscience

How do we sense these impacts? It is through a combination of our senses (instinctive function), acting upon the world (moving function) and our valuation of the meaning of the people and things we interact with (emotional function).

But there is a missing ingredient that must also be present: awareness. We must be aware, or acting consciously, in order to sense the result. When awareness is lacking, we fail to properly take in the fullness of not only our senses, but our behaviors and internal thoughts and emotions as well. We are not experiencing the deeper meaning of the world around us. This results in taking things superficially, and not concerning ourselves with others’ interests. We are Barely Conscious, and we spend all our time in the relatively low-level consciousness that we find ourselves in — literally — effortlessly.

As a result of lacking awareness, many things we do or experience are either ignored or misperceived. The formation of memories from our lives become mixed with the moods and thoughts in which they happened, not directly from the present reality, which can cause these memories to become distorted. If this goes on for long, it can turn into a vicious cycle where imagined threats, anxieties or real traumas from the past are re-experienced over and over concurrently with the present. This can ruin activities that were once enjoyable for us, or worse, create serious psychological and relational problems.

Maintaining self-awareness, or self-consciousness, is the first step to reawakening our conscience. An immediate benefit of being present and self-aware is that we are more open to the experiences of others. We have less reactive judgements about their behavior, nor internal considering of how they are not doing enough for us. We can be more helpful to others by simply welcoming whatever arises in the moment with fresh eyes. In this way anxiety diminishes and we can have patience, kindness and understanding when someone makes a mistake.

Harmonic Development

We can think about our lower functions like motors that run at a certain rate of vibration. When we are self-conscious they are running in harmony like a finely orchestrated symphony. When we are asleep these vibrations can get out of sync, as if they have a mind of their own, like a broken air conditioner:

The result is a fragmented consciousness, where each function tries to take command for itself and tries to do things it wasn’t designed to do. For example our emotions might get in the way when we’re trying to do a physical task and we embarrassingly fumble it. Or the moving function might try to do the work of the intellectual function causing us to mindlessly repeat the same mistakes over and over. When one function replaces another the result is disastrous and internally feels like we are totally out of our element.

The harmonious functioning of our instinctive, moving and emotional centers in self-conscious unification come together to create a new way of being or experiencing a new center of function which is called the Higher Emotional Center. It comes with many other capabilities besides conscience, such as intuition, acceptance for the mistakes of others, strong sense of community and common purpose, and secure connection in relationships. Perhaps more importantly it comes with the lack of many harmful tendencies such as anxiety, depression, irrational anger and fears, sense of disconnection or isolation, loneliness, boredom and so on. These are literally impossible to experience when our lower centers are unified and we are awake.

Do not seek and you will not find

The aim of religious teachings and spiritual experiences is simply to provide a pathway or guidance to access this “lost world” of the higher emotional center. There have been many metaphorical stories about this world, such as the Garden of Eden or the City of Atlantis. It was a natural state for human consciousness, but somehow we were expelled from it. Our city sank. We are no longer in contact with that way of being.

What’s worse is that we imagine we have these qualities anyways. We believe ourselves to be fully conscious, unified beings, functioning normally. We interact with other people just like us. Maybe we act selfishly or make a few mistakes here and there, but so what? We’re doing our best. This attitude prevents us from seeing the reality of our situation and taking any action to correct it. We’ve forgotten what we once had, even if we have a nagging feeling that something is missing.

Seeing how we truly are would cause discomforting pangs of conscience. We’d no longer be able to accept the way things are — the way we are. Ignorance is bliss. It can’t be stressed enough that we are simply imagining ourselves to be conscious and conscientious. If we accidentally happen to experience a truly unified state it is gone again moments later, and we spend the rest of our time trying to recreate it or never even realizing it has left us.

Imagination is another challenge which makes consideration of these ideas tricky. Actually it is not very helpful to consider them at all. Instead we must try to experience them directly for ourselves which is the best way to challenge these false beliefs and begin to see reality for ourselves. Thinking about it is only helpful in the beginning — soon we realize that our thoughts and imagination are major obstacles to staying present.

Self(less) Projection

Now that we have discussed the outside-in sensing function of the higher emotional center, let’s consider the corresponding inside-out projection, or external actions, that might results from this. We previously learned that sensing with emotions leads to intelligence. What kind of action would sensing with our conscience in present awareness invoke? Due to the fact that we have such little experience with our higher emotions this becomes speculative, but we can make a few reasonable deductions.

From sensing a connection, we can imagine such a person would be highly empathetic and connected with those around them. They would be present to events and have a high degree of awareness. As a result of their awareness, they would develop and demonstrate intuitions and insights about the best way to respond to whatever situation life throws at them. Their lower functions would be ready and available to fulfill the specific purpose for which they were intended, not battling each other for command. They could be impartial observers with objective reason, willing to sacrifice their own self-interest for the greater benefit of others.

We might consider this as a new state of being beyond self-consciousness. The mind expanding beyond its narrow definition of self into ever subtler, more profound states of consciousness. Soon the image of the Self recedes from its primary location and becomes simply one of many “self”s acting together to produce a shared reality — an objective consciousness. Here we again see similarities with spiritual teachings about the death of the self, egolessness and so on. It is a place where one comes to emptiness or nothingness; their personal opinions and grievances far away in the rearview mirror of this spaceship of the mind. Of course, one’s ego doesn’t dissolve just by thinking about it.

The Next Steps

We’ve come a long way. We described a division of consciousness by functions and the different ways of being human. We discovered that physical sensation, movement, emotion, intellect, higher emotions (conscience) and higher intellect (objective reason) can actually account for every kind of conscious human experience possible. These functions are not arbitrarily invented categories. They are simply the expression of fundamental laws that govern our entire universe.

If you’d like to know more about the evidence for the existence of these laws within the structure of:

  • atoms
  • RNA and DNA
  • the electromagnetic spectrum (visible light)
  • sound waves and musical tonality
  • an ordinary deck of playing cards, or tarot
  • the fibonacci sequence and pascal’s triangle
  • and more

you can read further in a book called The Blueprint of Consciousness: An Accelerated Path to Awakening, which can be purchased here. You can also explore the rest of thedogteachings.com website for additional content and interactive learning materials.

If this all sounds like something you’d like to learn more about and possibly work towards, then you have come to the right place. At Harmonic Development we will be publishing articles regularly and creating more tools for developing consciousness. The Master Key is a great place to learn more about how reason develops and functions. The Conscious Boardgame is a metaphorical journey through life which contains rich lessons about consciousness and the inner work of self-development. There will be more to come in the future.

Welcome to Harmonic Development!

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