Consciousness

As we work with intuition we move at times beyond simple sensory observations and active imagination. The question inevitably arises - what is this consciousness? Are we just in a fantastical realm or is there a lawful progression of deepening as we move from imaginative witnessing and insight, through inspiration and into this level of intuition? How might we 'prove' the knowledge that arises from intuition in terms of evidence-based research, or stand over decisions that we might make?

This subject of consciousness is so big, and has occupied humankind over centuries. The great teachers within spiritual traditions seek to understand consciousness from a mystical perspective, noting that our subjective experience also contains a numinous element that rises beyond our feelings and thoughts. Consciousness is the indestructible aspect of all sentient beings that lives on, even after our physical element has died. There is a large and extensive field of research on the mystical aspects of consciousness throughout the ages in the Mystery Schools. It is also the subject of philosophers, mathematicians, neuroscientists, physicists, psychologists and indeed each one of us.

Some scientists have tried to explain consciousness using observable facts and evidence-based research and so attempt to understand our inner subjectivity in a way that evidence-based research and so attempt to understand our inner subjectivity in a way that rises above hearsay, superstition, and magic. One of these questions is whether consciousness is a biochemical, physiological phenomenon or a mystical non-local one? Many argue that consciousness is a human condition of complex brain and neural interactions, which can explain everything, from the basic responses of flight and fight, to the most complex of mathematical abilities. It is beyond our field of study to review the literature on the physiological activity of the human brain and its link to consciousness. The traditional debate between nurture and nature adds another complexity to the development of consciousness. Scientists have sought to ascertain how much influence our genetic heredity has upon our development, and how much is influenced by upbringing and environmental factors.

These two methods of enquiry have been our steady friends and companions, each giving us gifts for the writing of this book. We suggest that the answer to consciousness holds something of both of these polarities.

The scientific stream, with its discipline of empirical research, has given feet to our exploration of Intuitive Consciousness. Observations are rigorously based within the sensory-grounded. The mystical method of enquiry, with its courage to explore mystery, allows us to trust in what lies, for the moment, beyond the reach of our current levels of scientific enquiry. It has inspired us to view the extraordinary as not destined only for an elite, but as needing to be available for all of humanity. It has also led us to study elements that lie within any spiritual practice, and to examine methodically that mystical experience of crossing the threshold from ordinary everyday awareness into Intuitive Consciousness.

Many times we have asked ourselves how reliable is the consciousness that we access from across the threshold? The answer to the question is not a simple one and is useful to ensure that we maintain the practice with a constant vigilance and healthy cynicism. We suggest that as you travel along the way you never abandon your inner researcher. Always check out what is going on rather than following something blindly. Take time to understand your inner world so that you never lose your autonomy. Working with Intuitive Consciousness is not an altered state but a steady training in consciousness that takes patience and fine-tuning. Notice the difference when you base your decision from within the ego alone or from across the threshold. When working with Intuitive Consciousness does your capacity to create and direct your life events increase?