States Of Consciousness

According to Vedanta, there are seven states of consciousness. In India, one of the greatest seers of the twentieth century, Sri Aurobindo, said that because we are in a very early stage of human evolution, most of us experience only the first three: sleeping, dreaming, and wakefulness.

Each of the seven states of consciousness represents an increase in our experience of synchronicity, and each progressive state moves us closer to the ideal of enlightenment.

The first level of consciousness is deep sleep. In deep sleep there is some awareness–we still respond to stimuli such as sound, bright light, or touch–but mostly our senses are dulled and there is very little cognition or perception.

The second state of consciousness is dreaming. During dreams, we are a little more awake and a little more alert than during deep sleep. When we dream, we are having experiences. We see images; we hear sounds. We even think in our dreams.

The third state of consciousness is being awake. This is the state most of us are in most of the time. Measurable brain activity during the waking state of consciousness is quite different when compared with brain activity during both sleep and dreaming.

The fourth state of consciousness occurs when we actually glimpse the soul, when we transcend, when we become, even for a fraction of a moment, absolutely still and quiet and become aware of the observer inside us. This state of consciousness occurs during meditation, when we experience the gap, that quiet moment between our thoughts.

The fifth state is called cosmic consciousness, the sixth state divine consciousness, and the seventh state unity consciousness.

Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).

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Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


Sheri K.
Sheri K.2 years ago

There are many who do not know this. Then there are the few that study and know it all. Amazing how life itself is so precious for your body, mind and soul.

Andras C.
Andras C.2 years ago

I am an avid reader of Deepak Chopra's work and as usual this extracted adaptation is a powerful message. All those seeking clarity during their awakening will recognise that.
Thank you for bringing it to our attention!

MGreat Kanth
Past Member 3 years ago

Very True Very True Very True . I always wake in sleep but not at the first two hours

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

worth thinking about

Julie H.
Julie Hoffman3 years ago

I love this.

Malti Ragh
malti ragh3 years ago

what about the description of the 5th.6th and7th states?
Sri Aurobindo is more than a seer- He is divinity. So is Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Talya Honor
Tal H.3 years ago

Thanks for the article!

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the information.