According to Vedanta, there are seven states of consciousness. 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.
Most of us experience only the first three: sleeping, dreaming, and wakefulness. The fourth state of consciousness occurs when we actually glimpse the soul, when we become aware of the observer inside us. This state of consciousness occurs during meditation.
The fifth state of consciousness is called cosmic consciousness. In this state, your spirit can observe your material body. Your awareness goes beyond simply being awake in your body, and beyond simply glimpsing the soul, to being awake and alert to your place as part of the infinite spirit.
The observer can observe the body while itís dreaming, and simultaneously observe the dream. The same experience occurs in waking consciousness. You have two qualities to your awareness, local and nonlocal, at the same time. Your intuition increases. Your creativity increases. Your insight increases.
The sixth state of consciousness is called divine consciousness. In this state, the witness becomes more and more awake. You not only feel the presence of spirit in yourself, but you start to feel that same spirit in all other beings.
The seventh stage of consciousness, the ultimate goal, is called unity consciousness, or enlightenment. The spirit in the perceiver and the spirit in that which is perceived merge and become one. When this happens, you see the whole world as an extension of your own being.
In this stage, miracles are commonplace, but they are not even necessary because the infinite realm of possibility is available at every moment. You transcend life. You transcend death. You are the spirit that always was and always will be.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).
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