Most of us were brought up with no awareness of higher awareness. We were brought up to think that our minds do not have the potential to be developed to a higher level than what is considered normal in our society. You might even have been brought up to deny that your mind has such a potential.
Most religions and Scientific Materialism claim that the human mind is a fixed entity. We are born with certain abilities or intelligence, and we are affected by our upbringing, but once we reach adulthood, our psyches are locked on a track, and there isn’t much we can do about it.
Obviously, if you had believed this, you would not be reading this website. In fact, millions and millions of people have started realizing that you do not have to live the rest of your life as a slave of your current psychology. There is indeed something you can do to change your Life Experience. This usually starts out by taking two forms:
- Some people acknowledge that they have issues in their psyches that limit them. They may have been exposed to trauma, either as children or adults. Or they may have become aware that they have a tendency to react in ways that hurt or limit themselves. So their main motivation for looking into psychology is healing.
- Some people have a more diffuse motivation, that at first is often seen as a desire to know and understand something more, than what we were told as we were growing up. It is an intuitive sense that there is some knowledge that is missing and that if we cannot find it in mainstream religion or science, we need to look elsewhere. Such people are seeking something, and in the beginning, we often do not know what we are looking for. We just know there has to be something we can find.
Once you start either healing your psychology or finding higher knowledge, a third option opens up. It is the realization that most people have a rather low level of awareness, as can be seen by the multitude of selfish actions that take place and have been taking place for a long time on Earth. We begin to see how low this is, and we also begin to sense intuitively that this cannot be all there is to human life.
There has got to be something more, and that something is a higher level of awareness. Indeed, some people do demonstrate a higher level of awareness than the normal level, and many people have intuitively sensed that we all have the potential to raise our consciousness to a level that is beyond what we call normal or even human. This, of course, is the very foundation for HAP.
HAP is the psychology of how to raise your awareness.
Raising awareness is natural
Many of the people who have been searching for a higher knowledge have felt like outcasts because none of the people around them can understand this quest. Yet this is rapidly changing, as was foreseen by an American psychologist, named Abraham Maslow.
Maslow was part of a movement called Positive Psychology. The basis for this is that the science of psychology, starting with Sigmund Freud, was focused on studying abnormal or pathological psychology. Positive Psychology is focused on studying the more positive aspects of psychology, including the human potential.
Maslow is famous for developing a pyramid of human needs, as seen here.
The important feature of Maslow’s pyramid is that it describes the natural evolution of any society, even humankind as a whole. The lower needs are deficit needs, meaning they only occupy our attention when they are not filled. For example, if we live in a society where our lower needs are met, we will naturally begin to focus our attention on the higher needs.
This implies that in many of the modern, affluent democracies, a growing number of people have now freed their attention from the deficit needs (because it is relatively easy to fill them) and they are now beginning to focus on the self-actualization needs. Unfortunately, our societies have not given us much help for understanding this process, which is one explanation for the fact hat mental illness is increasing and that many people are dissatisfied with their lives, even though their material needs are filled to abundance.
Self-actualization is simply another word for raising your consciousness to higher levels. HAP is designed to describe a systematic, step-by-step path for raising your awareness towards the full potential for human awareness.
HAP is not about intellectual knowledge
The path that is described by HAP is about raising your awareness, NOT about expanding your intellectual or analytical knowledge. It is not about making you more knowledgable about your psychology but about empowering you to heal your psychology and raise your level of awareness.
Knowing a lot about human psychology is not the same as being able to raise your awareness (something many educated psychologists have proven). Raising awareness is not done through the intellect, although the intellect naturally played a role. Raising awareness is first of all an intuitive process, meaning that you come to see some limitation in your psyche that you cannot see now.
You may have heard about the concept that the physical brain has a left and a right hemisphere. The left brain is often considered the rational, analytical mind and the right side the holistic intuitive side.
HAP does not consider intuition as a feature of the physical brain but a feature that helps your mind step outside the physical brain and the intellectual mind. We have earlier seen that you have the ability to step away from your present situation and look at yourself from the outside. This stepping outside your normal Life Experience is the core of intuition.
Intuition is when you see something that you cannot see through the intellect, the analytical mind. It is not something you arrive at through a reasoning process, even though reasoning can set the stage for an intuitive experience.
For example, many scientists have described working very intensely on solving a particular problem for weeks, but the solution escaped them. They then went hiking or fishing, and as their intellectual minds relaxed, they suddenly had an intuitive breakthrough and “saw” the solution in a way that was beyond intellectual understanding. This is how Albert Einstein “saw” the theory of relativity.
While HAP will naturally give you knowledge that your intellect can use, it is primarily geared towards giving you intuitive experiences, often called AHA-experiences. This is where you suddenly “see” something you could not see before, and even one such experience can shift your consciousness to a higher level. As you continue the process, you can reach levels of consciousness far beyond what you have today.
What is higher awareness?
The problem with describing higher awareness is that there are levels of awareness that are so far beyond what is considered normal, that it is difficult to describe them with words. You really have to experience it, but you obviously cannot experience it with your present level of awareness. But let us look at some examples.
A couple of hundred years ago, all countries were dictatorships, where the general population were the slaves of a dictator and a small elite of privileged people around him. Today, many countries are democracies, and this shift was based on the concept of human rights. Some dictators may say people have rights, but the elite has different rights than the population. A democracy is based on all people having equal rights.
What drove this shift from dictatorial governments to democracies? It was a raising of the awareness in the nations that are now democratic. At a lower level of awareness, you think might is right. As you rise to a higher level, it becomes obvious that all people have the same rights and that no one has the right to take away the rights of other people. This is not intellectual understanding, but a distinct shift in awareness.
On a personal level, there are still people in the world who are criminals, but in the democratic nations most people would not even consider stealing or killing other people. Obviously, criminals are still at a low level of awareness, whereas many people have risen to higher level of awareness.
We have talked about the fact that most religions promote the credo to do unto others as you want them to do unto you. But a person in a lower level of awareness will consider this a weakness, as many criminals do. Only when you rise to a higher level, does it become obvious that if you treat others well, the universe, or the cosmic mirror, will reflect this back to you.
As a general trend, we can say that there is a scale for the levels of human consciousness:
- At the lowest level, you find the most selfish and self-centered people. These are what is often called narcissist, sociopaths and psychopaths. They have no concerns for how their actions affect other people, they have no empathy.
- Somewhere in the middle, you have what is considered normal people, and they would never consider doing what narcissists do. They know intuitively the reality behind the saying to do unto others.
- At the highest level, you have people who have transcended all selfishness. They work to raise up the whole instead of raising themselves compared to others. There are various levels of increasing selflessness between the normal level and the highest level.
Another way to describe this is that for people at lower levels of awareness, life is a struggle. Or we could say that life is suffering, as the Buddha said 2500 years ago. What he actually meant was that when you are at a certain level of consciousness, where you see yourself as a separate being, you can only suffer. But if you transcend that level and come to see yourself as connected to something outside your own mind, you can overcome suffering and attain a more blissful state of mind.
While it can be important for people to know there is an ultimate goal, HAP is based on the fact that you cannot instantly jump to the highest level of consciousness. You must start at the level you are at right now and then focus on taking the next step up. You keep doing this, and at some point you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come.
So again, higher awareness means to go through a shift whereby you come to see something you cannot see now. This is not a matter of intellectual understanding. We have earlier looked at the analogy of the path being like finding an observation tower in a forest and climbing to a level where you see the forest from above and the landscape beyond it.
Intellectual understanding is like staying on the ground level and expanding your understanding of every aspect of the forest. You get to know every tree, but you still see the world from the ground level. Higher awareness is like climbing the tower and now gaining a perspective that is beyond understanding. You see what you did not see before, and what you see becomes your new reality.