We can use the model of a bright lamp to represent our level of awareness or consciousness: Our body represents the lamp which is lit ever more brightly as our awareness increases. The brightness of our awareness lights up our surroundings so that we can see and hence perceive additional aspects of ourselves and our surroundings.
The light fully illuminates a space around us which is approximately the shape of a sphere. In the following we will describe this space as the awareness sphere. We can clearly perceive everything within the sphere with our common sense or our intuition. Outside the awareness sphere the brightness of our lamp is no longer sufficient. The further away something is from our sphere the less easy it is to perceive it.
Figure 5: Awareness (higher consciousness) as a sphere of light around our body
The better developed are our abilities to live the basic rights of existence the greater is our «awareness sphere». The light from our body becomes stronger such that it lights up a greater area. At first we can perceive or understand more and more things and interrelationships in ourselves and gradually also in our surroundings either with our common sense or our intuition. We have an increasingly better feel for what we should do or not do (higher consciousness). For example just as we have seen with the virtuoso musician, with increasing development we can not only take in other information, but we can even «radiate» additional information. This is not only true for us human beings but also applies in general to all beings.
The model of the awareness sphere is extremely appropriate for discussing some of the characteristics of our personal development:
As already indicated earlier the development of a human being can only proceed in steps. We can at least partially select the sequence of lessons ourselves, however the extent of learning is the same for all beings. Using the analogy of human development with the building of a pyramid we have already seen that it is sensible to first build the foundation and thereafter each layer symmetrically one on top of the other. It is true that we can try to build up the pyramid from just one side, but this will soon cause us difficulties since the sloping wall will fall down.
Let us consider this step by step development with the model of our awareness sphere: We cannot double the diameter of our sphere in one go without adopting all the diameters between the present state and the new diameter – if only for a short time. As our lamp shines out more strongly the diameter of our awareness sphere becomes ever greater, we cannot «leave out» any diameters. We will return again later to the enlargement of the awareness sphere when considering our development on the basis of tasks in our everyday and professional life (also called inducing consciousness or developing a higher consciousness). Thereby we will see how pointless it is to deviate from our personal training plan, in order – for whatever reason – to perform tasks which are too demanding or too easy.
Figure 6: Enlargement of our awareness - spiritual growth for a higher consciousness
In the next chapter, while considering our responsibilities, we will still frequently return to this model of the awareness sphere.
If someone pursues a goal other than that of personal harmony, he will naturally over a period of time also acquire the necessary abilities for this goal. His perceptive ability with respect to that information which is necessary to achieve his goal, will develop. As examples of the acquisition of such specific abilities we have mentioned a virtuoso musician, a good mountain guide or a dealer on the stock exchange. They all develop their abilities and in particular their intuition, however each one especially for his own task. There is not simply only «the intuition», rather intuition is normally task-specific or target-oriented. Correspondingly there is intuition for mountain climbing, playing the violin or football, share dealing etc. Intuition and all other abilities develop differently according to the objectives striven for in life by a person.
We can also represent the abilities required to achieve the respective goals other than personal harmony as the sphere around a person. These other goals are only those goals which do not lead to personal peace and harmony, in other words those goals which are not compatible with the respecting of the basic rights of existence. Such goals may be for example power over others, high standing in society or revenge for a particular event. With these goals too we develop the corresponding abilities over time, which we can represent in our model as a coloured sphere of light around us. To differentiate between the abilities we will however give this sphere other colours, for example red, green, blue or a mixture of these colours.
If someone strives for several incompatible goals then the corresponding abilities will be developed as far as possible. The abilities of a given person with several goals can thus be represented by several, concentric coloured spheres of light. The size of each of these spheres is then established according to the level of the respective abilities as with the white awareness sphere.
However we continue to describe our awareness (or higher consciousness), i.e. the ability to live the basic rights of existence, with the bright, white light sphere.
When someone makes the living of the basic rights of existence into his greater goal, this means according to our model of the awareness sphere, that he no longer pursues the goals which have led to the coloured spheres. These will as a result gradually disappear, so that one single white sphere remains which becomes ever larger. In our model this symbolizes the increase in awareness (spiritual growth or personal growth for a higher consciousness).