Ordinary states of consciousness are described by Kylea Taylor in her book The Ethics of Caring as “normal and usual for most people in Western cultures. We spend most of our time in these ordinary states: working, studying, calculating, talking, writing letters, playing games, cooking, diapering the baby, mowing the lawn, or driving the car. . . busy interacting with the material world and other human beings who are also in ordinary states of consciousness . . .
Nonordinary states of consciousness are less usual, but quite normal and important to our functioning as human beings. These states enable us to expand our sense of who we are. Clients in therapy, spiritual practitioners in meditation or religious ritual, or clients receiving a massage are often in nonordinary states of consciousness—mild to deep trance states in which their awareness is focused in a different way than in ordinary life . . .
Light trance states occur normally in everyone throughout the day. Some examples of more noticeable nonordinary states include: dreaming, lucid dreaming, precognition, intense concentration, daydreaming . . . [as well as] therapeutic breakthroughs . . . regression, altered states, shamanic states, ecstatic states, and peak experiences . . . In these states, we focus our attention in a different way than in ordinary consciousness. Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and intuitions interconnect to bring us new information and to facilitate healing and understanding of ourselves and of life itself . . . Non-ordinary states allow ingraned habits of thought, feeling, perception, and understanding to recede, diffuse, and break down as necessary so that people can find new understanding and reclaim disconnected parts of themselves. Over and over again, those individuals who are changing and developing realize they have contained themselves in too small a cognitive or emotional box. Each time they realize they are in a box fashioned of their beliefs and fears, they struggle to find greater freedom. In the moment of breaking out of the smaller box, they enter a nonordinary state which is often a moment of profound experience. . .This moment is accompanied by a rush of emotion and greater vulnerability. It’s a time of disorientation when they find themselves outside their familiar, small reference points and in an unknown larger framework.”(1)
Traditional seminaries have students learn to read scripture in the languages in which the original texts were written—Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Sanskrit, and so forth—in which the authors talk about direct spiritual experiences, or make commentaries on others’ descriptions of direct experiences. Tzaddi’s seminary focuses instead upon the direct, mystical, metaphysical experiences themselves; upon the language of light itself, as personally experienced by the spiritual seeker. This experience comes to each person through the sacred portal of awareness and arises through direct perception in the psychic, subtle, causal, and nondual energy realms, or states of consciousness—the basis for mystical and metaphysical experiences.
If two people are in a room, watching the same event, they may describe that event quite differently, depending on the state of consciousness from which they perceived and experienced it. Our students and our clergy are encouraged to develop their mystical and metaphysical skills. This involves understanding:
- How to enter higher consciousness in a good way
- How to “navigate” and explore withing psychic, subtle, causal, and nondual consciousness(1)
- How to return, at will, to more ordinary, “left-brain” states of consciousness.
- How to integrate the shifts in energy that come from these higher consciousness states
- How to be well-grounded in “3D” reality
This combination of illumination and integration is an ongoing process tha allows students and clergy to better:
- Enhance and sustain their own vitality and well-being;
- Serve others and
- Contribute to the evolutionary shifts occurring on the planet
One might not “finish” with one level of consciousenss before the next level starts unfolding. More is not better, farther is not better, and faster is not better. What is best is what is “just right” at any given moment, and to go at just the right pace. These are highly individual rhythms.
Clients and organizations who are healing and involved in spiritual growth often experience nonordinary states of consciousness, and the people helping them are better able to offer support if they have their own personal experience of nonordinary states to draw upon. You can understand these studies as consciousness studies or as energy studies in general, or as studies of particular techniques, such as Reiki, guided imagery, out of body travel, shamanic journeying, past life regression, deep relaxation, meditation, contact with archetypal realms, unitive experiences, music therapy, breathwork, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnosis, EMDR, and so forth. Examples include but are not limited to Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Roslyn Bruyere healing work, LuminEssence guided meditations, RoseLight guided meditations, Society of Souls teachings, Sacred Intuitive Healing with Eve Soldinger, Qi Gong, Tai Qi, Aikido, Sun Dance, sweatlodge, and Sun Bear’s Medicine Wheel teachings. There are many others! You may be able to receive up to 70 hours of credit per vocational level for your previous studies if they are consistent with our ethics code.
(1) Kylea Taylor, M.F.T., The Ethics of Caring: Honoring the Web of Life in Our Professional Healing Relationships, pp. 12-15.
(2)Some descriptions of the different levels by Jim Marion in Putting on the Mind of Christ:
- Psychic consciousness
- Experience a knowingness that is not dependent on the five physical senses or on being in the same space or time with the person that is known. Begin to develop, consciously or unconsciously, the five astral or psychic senses: clairsentience, clairaudience, clairvoyance, psychic “smell” and psychic “taste.” Access to conscious science of manifestation through vibration, “loaves and fishes” (Matt. 16 – 21); access to conscious healing through laying on of hands (Luke 13:13); access to prophecy (1 Cor. 12:8); access to speaking in tongues (1 Cor. 12:8, 1 Cor. 14:22). To make progress, it is not necessary to master this level; basic competence will do. Nor are specific psychic skills or experiences important; what is important for basic competence is to become more interested in what happens inside the psyche than in the outside world and to develop the ability to accurately sense what is going on within—to become a contemplative, i.e., a serious meditator (cf. a mystic who is a contemplative with pronounced psychic abilities). Witnessing from the level of inner observer/”permanent self” is meditation even if no specific meditation technique is used. Learn to listen to the still small voice before making decisions and to “pray always” (1 Thes. 5:17), becoming more and more sensitive to the messages of the soul or higher self. Do not neglect space-time obligations.
- The dark night of the senses
- The spiritual transition between the psychic and subtle levels that fosters compassion towards the self and all persons: the spiritual capacity for universal love. Healing and transmuting a sizable part of our deeply (and most often unconsciously) held negative emotional and mental vibrations.
- Subtle consciousness
- The soul’s way of knowing—pure intuition or knowingness—begins to become operative in the person. Dangers at this level include projection of remaining dark parts of the self outwards and the projection of our godly self outwards; be awake and careful about what kind of energy is being channeled; John of the Cross warns that this stage contains strong risk in believing in vain visions and false prophecies. Acceleration of spiritual growth.
- The dark night of the soul
- The spiritual transition from the subtle to the causal levels. Shift from seeing God, the Devil, and other people as distinctly separate from ourselves, to knowing ourselves within God and everything within us, God within and without. Multidimensional reality becomes accessible. The Baptism of Fire and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11). Purification of the emotions to learn how to love as a bodhisattva, as Jesus loved. Finally attain psychological wholeness and see both self and world without projections. Integration of, and re-unification with, the split-off parts not only of the personality, but also of the soul, i.e., karmic redemption. Transmutation of some of the mass karma through individual process.
- Causal consciousness
- Emotionally, unfolding of great inner warmth for everyone and everything. Often “a desire to be either alone or occupied in something that will benefit some soul” (St. Teresa). Conscious realization that the self is within God, a cell in God’s body, the Christ (1 Cor. 12:12 – 27). No longer about beliefs, but about experience, that whatever one does to others, one does to one’s self and to Christ; that there is no death; that sin does not exist, only ignorance, or lack of awareness; that no soul can be eternally lost. Radical faith and trust become second nature. Enter into kairos, sacred right timing, right questioning, revelations. Fundamental Clear Light of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Perception that all humans are teachers for each other and that all have a part to play. Human limitations remain; revelation comes through that person’s previously learned thought-forms, vocabulary, cultural assumptions, and personal interests. Danger of over-detachment and neglect of our new co-creatorship responsibilities
- Nondual consciousness
- Ananda(bliss), joy. Divine ground of being that underlies all the levels. The Godhead or Deitas(Meister Eckhart), i.e., the level above what normally is thought of as God (Creator God). Fulfillment of Christ Consciousness. No separation between divinity and humanity. The difference between the individualized Spirit (the soul) and the universal Spirit (God) disappears. Monadic level. “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30) “Do you not know you are gods?” (John 10:34-35) The individuated Christ self is not annihilated but remains in existence as a vehicle to operate in space-time.