Reviewing Dr. David R. Hawkins book, Healing and Recovery, I was struck once again by how he views the body and up into awareness itself. What we think of as our self becomes progressively less dense, less linear, as we look closely at the structure and how and what each level experiences.
The body, he says, has no way to experience itself. Yes, we have senses, but those senses have no meaning until they reach the mind. They are experienced in the mind. Without the mind, the senses are just electrical and chemical signals without meaning, and the body itself cannot experience them.
The mind is what puts those signals together into a meaning, and, for instance, whips your hand off a hot stove – ooh, bad signals coming from the hand, move hand! The meaning of the chemical and electrical signals was that there was pain and discomfort, and the mind responded with a solution. Yet in some cultures, pain is welcomed – for example, the Sun Dance, and a festival in India where great weights are carried as a sign of devotion, and great pain that ensues is welcomed. The actual meaning of the signals comes from the mind – the experience comes from the meaning the mind gives the signals.
I think we can agree that the mind itself is formless, and considerably less dense than the body. Is it true to say that the mind itself is located in the brain, or at least within the network of nervous system signals? It certainly is tied to that system. Without the network of nervous system signals and the brain, what could the mind do or be? Nothing. Yet modalities such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) clearly show that the mind does not restrict its operations to the physical system that creates the mind. NLP often works with how the mind operates even outside the body. The mind at least creates images ‘out there’ such as timelines, positionalities and more. Is the mind you? Is the body you?
If you lose a piece of your body – say a leg, or an arm, are you still you? Most people will say yes, the sense of self within remains the same. The mind itself does not seem to have this sense of self, just a sense of the body. So where does this sense of the self come from?
Going deeper in to what Dr. Hawkins said, the mind cannot experience itself either. The mind only experiences the body. What experiences the mind? Consciousness. If you have ever had medical anesthetic, you know that you become unconscious – the pain signals from a medical procedure are still there, in the body and mind, but you are not conscious of those signals, or any other information being processed by the mind. Consciousness experiences the mind.
The fact that consciousness can be shut down by an anesthetic or a blow to the head or by extreme pain being experienced within the mind indicates that consciousness is still somewhat tied to the body. Less dense than the mind, where is consciousness located? Out of body experiences show that consciousness can leave the body and come back again. It’s not attached to the body.
Looking at this further, when you are conscious of an emotion, where do you experience it? If you pay attention to where you feel it, you will often find that you experience it ‘all over’, especially with overwhelming emotion. It seems to be everywhere, all around you, as if you are surrounded by a cloud of emotion, enveloped in it, completely filled with it, and extending well outside the body. This is consciousness – you are conscious of great emotion. The mind has given you a meaning of signals, and another layer has developed from that – the meaning of the mind’s meaning. You are conscious of the meaning of the mind’s meaning. Consciousness itself experiences the mind, and is aware of a layer of meaning higher than what the mind can offer. Consciousness is aware of what is going on in the mind.
Are you your consciousness? You can’t be, if consciousness can be knocked out of you temporarily, which would mean that you don’t exist while consciousness is subdued. So consciousness cannot be you either.
How, or what, experiences consciousness? Dr. Hawkins tells us that awareness experiences consciousness. The formless, infinite field of awareness is what experiences consciousness.
This makes sense to me (finally!) It has taken some time for this to become useful information for me. I had trouble understanding what Hawkins meant by the “Eye of the I.” This explains it.
If you think of infinite awareness, forming itself (I, aka ‘I Am’) into multiple points, or eyes, of consciousness, you get beings that experience from the viewpoint of that eye. Make sense? These points of consciousness – Eyes of the I – then can experience from whatever viewpoint they choose. This formless I is who you really are. You may never be aware of this, especially if your ‘eye’ was formed at a lower level of consciousness. Yet it is still who you really are.
Your understanding that you are the Eye of the I may need to go through several levels – first, of intellectual understanding, and then of some level or levels of resonance within your consciousness, where you know, not just think. You are, once you know.
I presume that those who are enlightened, and I am certainly not one, would be at this level of knowing. They know they are infinite, formless awareness, One with All. This final step of enlightenment is taken by God (what I call Source – the Source of All) and is not under our control. We can only prepare ourselves for this understanding that we call enlightenment. This intellectual understanding of the concept of Eye of the I, and then some level of resonance (being conscious of infinite awareness, or even the concept of infinite awareness) seems to be another point of preparation for enlightenment.
I am deeply grateful for this teaching by Dr. Hawkins.