The spectrum of consciousness can be divided into 7 levels. In this brief article, I describe the 7 Levels of Consciousness.
The normal level is the Conscious Mind. While this is the “normal” level of consciousness in the sense that most people abide in it regularly, it is not an ideal or even healthy state of mind if one is identified with it and believes one IS the Conscious Mind, as I explain later.
Below the Conscious Mind are 3 abnormal levels (two of which were described by Western psychologists), while above it are 3 supranormal levels.
The levels have been known and described by mystics of many religions, including Jewish Kabbalists and Buddhist/Hindu Yogis.
In Kabbalah, all existence, including human consciousness, is likened to “a Tree,” which is made of 10 Sephirot, manifestations of God. However, the tree can also be divided into 7 levels, corresponding to the 7 Levels of Mind:
The first two levels consist of the roots of the tree (Yesod) which are connected to the ground (Malkuth). Above is the level that contains Netzach and Hod. Tiphereth is the fourth level, and Chesed and Gevurah make up the fifth level. Then, on the sixth level are Chokmah (Father) and Binah (Mother), and above all on the seventh level there is Kether (literally, means crown), the infinite source of everything.
More well-known is the Eastern system of Chakras, the 7 main energetic centers, which also represent the 7 Levels of Consciousness They are illustrated below:
I present correspondences from these religions to emphasize that the idea of the 7 Levels of Consciousness is not a dogma, but a truth which had been given different names by mystics from different traditions.
This article was inspired by the following video by my Master, Osho:
Cosmic Unconscious Mind
The Cosmic Unconscious Mind is the foundation of consciousness. It is the deepest, most basic Level of Consciousness.
It is an impersonal Level of Consciousness, which is the foundation of the mind of the whole existence, of the entire universe.
Everything which has a mind shares this level, not just humans. It is the universal mind.
Corresponding chakra: Base.
Corresponding sephira: Malkuth.
Collective Unconscious Mind
This level of mind contains all that has preceded us and is identical in all individuals. The whole history of the human mind is contained in it.
While the levels of consciousness have been known in the East for centuries, in the West, the Collective Unconscious Mind was first described by Carl Gustav Jung.
Jung believed that this level contains memories and ideas inherited from our ancestors, which we are born with.
Corresponding chakra: Sacrum (the Sex chakra).
Corresponding sephira: Yesod.
The Unconscious Mind was described in the West by Sigmund Freud.
This level is individual. It’s unique to each person and contains all of one’s memories and experiences, which have been forgotten or repressed. As Freud discovered, even though we are not aware of the contents of the Unconscious Mind, it has a strong influence over our lives.
The Eastern concept of Karma is at work on this level as well as on the other unconscious levels. Whatever we do, feel, think, or experience while being identified with the doer/experiencer is stored in the Unconscious Mind, where a tendency is created to repeat that same doing/experience.
Most dreams are nothing but the unconscious repetition of the strongest patterns in our Unconscious Mind. The more identified we are with a particular Karma, the higher the chances are that it will manifest in our dreams.
When we stop identifying with our experiences, Karma is no longer created, but existing Karma (the content of our Unconscious Mind) still must be liberated, namely to surface in Conscious Awareness without identification. Eventually, dreams cease, which is a sign that Karma and the Unconscious Mind has been cleared.
Corresponding chakra: Solar Plexus (the Ego).
Corresponding sephira: Netzach/Hod.
The Conscious Mind is the most common Level of Consciousness, which we use daily.
It is however a very small part of our entire mind, and is basically a potential. Experiences enter the Conscious Mind, where they are then either become stored in the Unconscious Mind (if we are identified with them) or they disappear as fast as they appear (if we remain unidentified with them).
When the Conscious Mind is empty, it becomes a stepping stone which allows us to transcend into the higher Levels of Consciousness.
The content of dreams is normally based on one’s individual Karma, that is from the personal Unconscious Mind. However, there’s another type of dreams, Dreams of Clarity, which are created by the Unconscious Collective Mind.
The practice of Dream Yoga aims to remain unidentified with our experiences even during lucid dreams.
Corresponding chakra: Heart.
Corresponding sephira: Tiphereth.
The first higher Level of Mind is referred by Osho as No-Mind because there are no thoughts in it. When one abides in this impersonal level of consciousness, there’s complete and absolute silence.
However, it is not empty. It is filled with consciousness. There’s a presence of awareness known in Tibetan Buddhism as rigpa, the infinite awareness.
One who abides in this level exists with the Peace of the Lord.
To connect to this Level of Consciousness simply witness your experiences, and then witness the witnessing. That pure witnessing is the Conscious No-Mind.
When one is able to remain in this Level of Consciousness during sleep, a type of dream known as Clear Light Dreams is experienced, in which one is just aware of one’s awareness. No images are spontaneously created, and if they are, they are immediately dissolved by awareness. This type of “Dream” can become one’s normal Level of Consciousness, which one dwells in during waking life, REM sleep, and even deep sleep.
Corresponding chakra: Throat.
Corresponding sephira: Chesed/Gevurah.
Superconsciousousnes / Super-Conscious Mind
When one dwells in the Conscious No-Mind continuously, a higher Level of Consciousness may be attained.
In the Super-Conscious Mind, there is still an absolute silence, however the difference is that there is no sense of individuality.
While in the Conscious No-Mind one feels as if one is a witness, in the Super Conscious Mind, the whole is witnessing itself.
I often use the following metaphor to explain this:
We are like springs. Each person is a spring. But we are really just the water and not the rock/ground the water is flowing from. This water only seems to be a separate entity because it emerges from a particular point. But in reality it is not independent from the groundwater.
While the Conscious No-Mind is the spring water, the Super-Conscious Mind is the groundwater.
Or you can think of the Conscious No-Mind as a wave in the ocean, while the Super-Conscious Mind is the ocean itself.
When we start dwelling in Superconsciousness, we experience ourselves not as separate beings, but as a part of a larger sphere of consciousness. We realize that there are not multiple consciousnesses, but just one consciousness. The separation was just an illusion, a dream.
The State of Mind at this level is of an uncontainable Joyfulness, Ecstasy.
Corresponding chakra: Third Eye.
Corresponding sephira: Chokmah/Binah, also known as Aba/Ima (literally, Father/Mother).
Cosmic Conscious Mind
Finally, the highest level of mind is the Cosmic Conscious Mind, in which there’s no longer separation between subject (Consciousness) and object (the world).
One realizes that there never was anything else. There’s only oneness, a unity. One becomes one with the whole existence.
In the East this is referred to as a State of Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Buddhahood.
In Western mysticism it is known as Christ Consciousness, or a state of Godliness.
Corresponding chakra: Crown.
Corresponding sephira: Kether (literally, crown).