Chapter 4 – The Various Levels of Consciousness & Thought

Posted by on Aug 5, 2012

Exert yourself, O holy man! Cut off the stream (of craving), and discard sense desires. Knowing the destruction of all the conditioned things, become, O holy man, the knower of the Uncreated (Nibbana)! – Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

In the last chapter, I discussed the Law of Attraction in a very personal sense as it relates to dreaming the personal dream of life. I had actually been planning to write a book a few years ago about my feeling that the prevailing understanding of the Law of Attraction is incomplete. I am glad that I waited, because I had not yet grasped that there existed a whole other dimension of thought and manifestation that I had never before considered.

It was not until I was asked to provide a world reading for a 2011 New Year’s Eve radio show that an alternative way to view our abundance driven lifestyles unexpectedly revealed itself. And, I refrained from voicing on the radio what I saw, needing time to process it all. This was in large part due to the fact that the main message of the reading seemed to challenge the rationality of some of our popular abundance centered philosophies.

A sample from the reading follows (Peterson, 2012b):

The message was very direct, that the wheel of fortune was reversed and stuck in that position. The core of what I remember seeing is that we are stuck and not changing in ways that we are really being called to change. There were cards of refusing to change, being stuck, addicted, codependent, and similar ‘stuck’ themes. Many cards were indicating that what we are being called to change is our materialistic lifestyles, our greed, and our perversions of nature. The main message for 2011 was that we were stuck, and many of us likely were not going to change in the ways we were going to be called. There is potential, though, because I kept drawing the card, ‘A choice will be made for you, if you do not make one for yourself.’ The other cards forewarned that ‘an unexpected change will be occurring, when or how remains uncertain.’

While the reading revealed aspects about humanity that seemed harsh, what seemed even harsher was the outcome that was potentially coming into form via the card, “A choice will be made for you, if you do not make one for yourself.” I do not believe the reading was meant to judge or frighten anyone. Its true intent, I feel, was merely to bear witness to what was going on within our collective mind-set, and to reveal what that mind-set was manifesting and why—and that we do have choice.

Part of the reading relayed that a few disasters were in store for 2011; which, indeed, by March of that year the world saw Japan devastated by a tsunami, and deadly tornadoes tore through the United States shortly after. Even as events themselves drew closer, Spirit was revealing to me within my dreams how these happenings were not only symbolic, but manifested from various patterns of lifestyle, thought, and energy.

What I had never realized before was how much I was blocking my own awareness of truth by going along with being conditioned (like much of the world is) to perceive the larger problems of the world as an ‘us-against-them’ situation. And, by using the word them I am referring to various parental constructs, governments, institutions, power providers, and etc.

Seeing problems in this way, it makes sense that I would have to project what was, in part, my responsibility onto something outside of me. So, like many others, I carried the unchallenged belief that something or someone external should take responsibility for and fix many of the increasing number of issues within the world. Then, when this huge change in my perception took place, I could no longer see the same issues in the same light.

Once I glimpsed this bigger picture—one in which I had a share in the responsibilities of this planet and its problems—it started triggering further realizations. It was like a domino effect. Part of me struggled for a while with how to deal with this change in my perception that was taking place. I had been part of the whole movement that believed, ‘life is all illusion, so what is manifested, be it earth changes or anything else, does not matter.’ While this will always be true, certain angelic beings were telling me repeatedly, and even within my dreams at night, that we are gifted with ‘choice;’ ultimately to choose what to serve: love or fear, the whole or the self, awareness or denial, etc.

At the same time, it became clearer that the path of blame and of running away from the compounding problems that were manifesting in our world was the path of fear rather than love. As I kept digging and asking questions, I realized that we are reaping what we sow through our own free will. Not only this, but our free will has in way lost its freedom. How so? Our free will has become so trapped in fear-based patterns of thinking and choosing that it is becoming more increasingly difficult for us to believe it is even possible to think or make choices in any other way.
What I started to realize was that free will has been gifted to us out of the highest love of our Creator. It is also the impetus behind our eternal and subconscious drive to come to know ourselves as this Creator’s reflection. Many of us, I feel, unconsciously seek to become this reflection through the work of our hands, minds, and actions; which at the end of the day, these works can either reflect something that is life-giving or anti-life.

For example, notice how the word evil is the word live spelled backwards. Consider, then, that blasphemy may merely reflect a choice to scorn life, rather than to protect, revere and foster it. This ‘life’ does not simply pertain to our daily living, either. It encompasses the miracle and holiness that lives within all living things and beings. It is this miracle of life which has been imbued with our Creator’s breath and ignited into living form through his great love. It is this natural abundance and treasure that our thoughts unconsciously undervalue while giving value to the lifeless and transitory. Why? Because we have lost the ability to cherish the original lotus seed we were born from. Instead, we live a life that is depressed and muddy. We have lost grasp of the miracle, and can only perceive abundance through using our will and manifestation abilities toward the creation of money and lifeless commodities.

I now believe that an opportunity to make a free will choice between serving the true life or the false anti-life is a prime reason why many of us incarnated during these amazing times. Due to the incredible fruits being sown in the world, we have the chance, unlike generations prior, to use the environment and world scale events as a way to see where we have gone astray in our thinking. We can use this time period to understand that we not only have personal karma to fulfill, but a responsibility to the collective and to the earth. Of the various lessons that are available for us to learn, we can choose to learn peace, we can choose to learn to wake up to our illusions, we can choose to learn how to bring balance back to our dream of form, and we can choose to come to embrace that we are part of a collective consciousness experience as well. But to do this, we must first understand what is meant by the term collective consciousness; we must understand how our thoughts may not necessarily be just our own but a reflection of a greater whole.

Individual versus Collective Streams of Consciousness

What is a good definition of collective consciousness? I see it as a level of thought that extends beyond our personal thought level, of which our personal thought level can both be affected by various streams of collective consciousness as well as contribute to them.

If we can step back and contemplate a bigger picture concerning our thoughts and how they are intertwined with the consciousness of a collective, we may be able to view them as existing within a system of streams (visualizing these streams as encompassing different branches of collective thinking, patterning and belief). We can then visualize how there exists one large stream with smaller and smaller tributaries running from, into or within the larger streams. Some may cross over into other streams, take multiple pathways, etc. Though, when it comes to thought, its streams might not be as clear cut as those streams we view within nature.

In my perception, the biggest streams are those which involve our beliefs concerning life in general, such as that we are human and have basic needs for survival. Tributaries may form which encompass the beliefs of different cultures, norms, groups, religions, etc. Even these tributaries, may have smaller streams within them or branching from them, and so on and so forth; each reflecting more and more individualized and independent streams of thinking. Our individual consciousness is only one tiny stream that flows among many other streams to form a larger one.

To add a twist to this, in the same way that there are various streams of consciousness, there is more than one level which manifestation can occur. For the purpose of simplicity, we could categorize two main levels:

  1. Personal Manifestation: creates fruits within one’s personal sphere of experience. Such fruits affect one’s personal/individual dream of life.
  2. Collective Manifestation: creates fruits within a larger sphere, such as on a collective or world scale. Such fruits affect a bigger picture that goes beyond the individual level of experience. There may be a collective consciousness of the entire world, as well as sub-collectives (i.e. the sub-streams and tributaries), representing cultures, countries, areas, groups, etc.

If we can also take into account beings such as angels, guides, discarnates, or inhabitants of other realms and worlds and their belief systems, then there is even the possibility that nonhuman dimensions of consciousness and/or manifestation can have an effect upon the earth, or influence our individual or collective consciousness.

Even the two main levels of manifestation mentioned above—personal and collective—may be affected by different levels of consciousness:

  • Subconscious
  • Conscious
  • superconscious

If we can visualize these different levels as they pertain to streams of consciousness, we may find that the most stable and purest stream is the superconscious; of which our individual superconscious is our lotus nature, and our collective superconscious is a pond which is pure, immaculate, and free of mud or algae. The superconscious stream is the part of us that I see as fully awake, even if in our human form we are not conscious of it.

While our higher thoughts spring from these superconscious streams, our ego-based thoughts originate from the conscious and subconscious streams. These streams represent the illusions that make up our dream of life and all the stories it weaves and tells. I think part of our incarnated purpose is to find our way back to the superconscious stream, individually and collectively.

Furthermore, while the superconscious stream can never be polluted by the other streams of consciousness, the conscious and unconscious streams can become more purified and aligned with the superconscious—through realizing we are the superconscious. This said, we are all living an experience as part of a multi-dimensional stream of consciousness. Within such an experience, the dualities and pollution only appear real, until we find our way back into alignment with the superconscious stream. Once doing so, we will not need to create various forms of emotional, physical, mental, psychic or spiritual pollution anymore.

What Really Constitutes Thought?

Not only do we have multiple levels of consciousness, we also have different carriers of consciousness vibration. Such carriers carry the energy and make it real by expressing it into the world of form.

In the Bible, it was the word becoming real, which when our will and intention are strong and unwavering—while supported by the knowledge of who we truly are—manifestation can happen that straightforwardly. However, I believe that there are forms of consciousness that are capable of manifesting, which the carriers of such consciousness can go beyond words. There are, after all, many different forms of thought, communication, and language that can be expressed all at once, and many do not involve language thoughts (thoughts composed of words).

So, what are some of these carriers of thought?

  • willful prayers, intentions, and desires
  • emotions
  • visualizations (intentional or subliminal)
  • conscious or unconscious wants, desires, hopes, dreams, beliefs
  • actions or inactions (arise out of thoughts, wants, desires, hopes, intentions, etc.)
  • lifestyles, habits, conditioning, addictions (arise out of various forms of thought and beliefs, whether conscious or not, sometimes operating on autopilot)
  • energy and vibrations

Again, many of these can be considered as existing at an individual level of expression, or as part of a collective level of expression (i.e. where a group of people act as carriers for the same thought consciousness).

What Happens When Thoughts Contradict One Another Or Are Empathically ‘Taken On?’

Not every thought we have will manifest concretely. Additionally, different thoughts and intentions can contradict one another, even at a core level. I realized this one day when I saw a psychic while seeking to be released from various forms of suffering. He explained to me that I had two intentions that opposed one another. One was conscious and the other was unconscious. According to this psychic, not only did this frustrate me, but it manifested neutrality concerning what I consciously wanted to achieve.

As it turned out, I even had thoughts that were not my own that I had taken on from others around me in my personal environment.6 Yes, this is a form of thought as well; as is picking them up from the general collective consciousness.7 I had accepted a certain stream of consciousness, and it became part of my own energy, vibration, intentions, behavior, and language. Whether a person does or does not end up taking on another individual’s thought forms is largely dependent on their own thought level and susceptibility.

Many of us take for granted how truly sensitive we are at a vibrational level. Most healers understand that we can even forcefully project thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and other vibrational energy onto others. Such transfers of thought energy, when unloving, are often labeled as psychic attacks, curses, voodoo or spells. Such transfers of thought energy, when loving, are often labeled as prayer or healing. Through such prayer or healing, energy (a carrier of thought vibration), can be directed into another person’s energy field to help them with their own thoughts, or to help them to balance their energy or vibrations (since thought and belief is believed to be at its core a form of vibration/energy).

Additionally, some of us even use homeopathic medicines, flower essences, and other vibrational medicines which carry the consciousness vibrations of various plants, crystals, animals, music, etc. These vibrational energies become integrated into the energy field of the person who uses and accepts them. We are also sensitive to the positions of the planets, and to the moon and tides. Some people with earth empathy may sense Mother Earth and her consciousness, energetic shifts or imbalances. Other individuals may be sensitive to animal consciousness, or that of cherished pets. And, as I suggested earlier in this chapter, it is even possible to have our thoughts or consciousness affected by nonphysical beings such as angels, guides, departed ones, extraterrestrials, etc.

The truth is, many of us subliminally take on thoughts and beliefs that are not our own all the time. It is by choice though. We do have free will and cannot attract anything unwillingly or which does not resonate with our energy and belief systems on some level.

The most common way we subliminally and willingly take on thoughts is through general streams of collective consciousness that linger around us and influence us more than we may realize. We take them on from television, movies, books, advertisements, magazines, culture, governments, and religions. We take them on from anything that tries to impress upon us who we are, what we want, how we should feel about ourselves, what we should look like, what we should believe in, what we should buy or sell, and the list goes on. While embarking on cleansing programs to vigilantly ‘clear’ ourselves of beliefs is not necessary (see chapter 9), finding a way back to Self does involve weeding through all these thoughts and beliefs (through becoming the detached observer) in order to find who we are, who we are not, and what thoughts are in true alignment with the energy that we truly, and on all levels, wish to carry into our world.

How to Tell What You Are Thinking & If It Is Aligned With Truth

A fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed. Ill done is that action of doing which one repents later, and the fruit of which one, weeping, reaps with tears. Well done is that action of doing which one repents not later, and the fruit of which one reaps with delight and happiness. So long as an evil deed has not ripened, the fool thinks it as sweet as honey. But when the evil deed ripens, the fool comes to grief. -Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

There is a reason the Bible and Buddha preached to us about the fruits of our actions and prophecy. As taught within the bible, we will be able to distinguish the true prophet of God from the false prophet according to the fruits of each prophet’s teachings (i.e. the effects of our seeds or beliefs). This may sound judgmental, but it simply means the true prophet is the one who speaks in service to Spirit rather than to the split or to the world. Today, there are many spiritual people who still serve the world. And, that service does yield the fruits of ecological imbalance, as well as bondage to systems, structures, forms, and other manifestations that have nothing to do with who we truly are. They are illusions. We do not necessarily need to fight them, master them, or change them. We merely let them reveal themselves to us for what they truly are: illusions.

Because all manifestation in the world is rooted in thought, we can use the world to decipher what our own thoughts and beliefs are, both on the collective subconscious and conscious level, as well as the individual level. As we discussed in the chapter on the Law of Attraction, we can use the symbolism within the world to locate even some of the subconscious thoughts of the collective that may be influencing us.

To begin this process, we can start to look at the problems of the collective world (i.e. the fruits of false prophecy) while connecting these problems to certain ways mankind is behaving. Once able to do this, we can then connect these behaviors to the thoughts and beliefs that lay underneath (as well as what streams of consciousness are promoting such beliefs). Then, we may be able to see where prophecy (i.e. guidance concerning how to live spiritually or otherwise) may have become misaligned. We may also begin to see how this misalignment process happened. Sometimes, when examining issues this way, we may find multi-levels of thoughts and beliefs all working toward various forms of misaligned manifestations. We may also find that some beliefs and systems we went along with without questioning are the ones that are leading to the disharmonious fruits in the world.

Yes, our wholeness exists, but our earth being-ness may not yet know this at a human level. It is still acting out themes that are self-undoing (see glossary) within its dreaming. This is not to say that this is ‘wrong’ or that we need to feel bad. We are simply having a consciousness experience, in which our consciousness is capable of growing, learning, and evolving.

In chapters 5 and 6, we look at how certain collective thought processes are affecting us on an individual and societal level.


[6] For those readers who will not know what I mean when I use the term “taken on” or “picking up,” these are common terms used in new age circles and various energy healing modalities. Another word used is “sponging.” It reflects the belief that we can be affected by other peoples thoughts, prayer and energy through a process called “empathic sponging” where one literally takes on(take into their own experience, beliefs and energy field) the thoughts, symptoms, feelings, or vibrations of other individuals, collectives, or earth Herself.

[7] See footnote 10.

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Mandy Peterson is a psychic visionary, empath, channel and EFT Practitioner. She is the author of the book “I Am the Lotus, Not the Muddy Pond,” and a regular columnist for the metaphysical magazine, Bellesprit. As an empathic healer and reader, Mandy works 1-to-1 with clients, helping them to achieve clarity, peace and balance. For more information, see the “About” page.