|"Mind Molecular Congruence" by justinbonnet|
Listen to The HumanExperience - “Transformation” before reading.
“In using art as a tool for transformation we have the opportunity to create a reality that is beautiful, healthy and strong as our imagination permits.”
“What one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence.” - Intention Discourse, Cetanā Sutta, SN 12.38
- Euphoric experiences due not infer a truthful status
- Shifts in conscious are a result of a change of views affecting conscious experience.
- Views are the energy of the spiritual path
Have you experienced the release of new beliefs in light of the old? In the excitement over letting go of repressive mindsets, which is a growing trend in Western spirituality, the phrase “shifts in consciousness” has been popularized and promoted. Characteristics of this event follow general spiritualistic understanding of sainthood, Buddhahood, enlightenment, etc. and overall sense of expansive and interconnected energies. Despite the potential for these things to occur, as it concerns our conversation on consciousness I have a different take worth considering. In the following I will offer a fresh perspective on shifts in consciousness via exploring the causal relationship views have upon the body, how views affect conscious experience, and provide a relatable example.
“I am of the opinion that shifts in consciousness are a regular part of the spiritual life...”
The first factor for our discussion is the mind-body relationship. According to Buddhist dependent origination a higher order process to consciousness is what is known as “sankhara”; properly translated as “volitional formations” or psychological conditioning. For ease of conversation we will refer to them as “views” (note: views will be held synonymous with beliefs). Western spirituality is evolving away from former oppressive religious ideals and it is of the utmost importance to bring to light how the body can respond to shifts in views. Typically these former views contain disdain for self, body, unbelievers, etc. and as a person changes their mind (which is the true meaning of 'to repent') the foreground of the mind is noticeably different. Due to the polarity of these beliefs the effects upon the mind are quite profound and will be felt in the body (tranquilizing or even euphoric). The euphoric experience do not infer truth or enlightenment, however upon this point we can better understand what shifts in consciousness empirically means. Valid experiences are occurring, but how many are taking the time to understand them?
|"Vitis Animae" by beaudeeley|
Think of sankhara's as DNA and consciousness as the seed. Hidden, complex, and coded the DNA is the underwriting that establishes the characteristics of seedhood. As the right conditions continue to persist the DNA also underwrites how and what the germinating seed will become. If the existence of the seed was as malleable as the mind (arguably over millions of years and with the right conditions it is) if the DNA changes, so will the progress of its existence. As it concerns “shifts in consciousness” it works in the same way because sankhara's are the underwriting for conscious experience. If there is a change in perspective, so will consciousness shift. Our views are the energy of our spiritual path they renew or degrade the spiritual experience as things change, in contrast to iterating and reiterating packaged spirituality it has more potential to be a progressive, personally engaged journey.
What are shifts in consciousness? They are the changes of mind (views) both the Buddha and Christ taught and as volition changes so does our conscious experience. It is easy to mistake renewed existences from these changes for something more than they really are (conditioned phenomena). I am of the opinion that shifts in consciousness are a regular part of the spiritual life and should not be emphasized any more than a mechanic's relationship with a wrench (it is just a tool). I, of course, strongly encourage utilizing views as an integral part of meditation and daily living to promote inner peace and wholesome interactions.