To try to understand why people react the way they do under certain circumstances I put forth this as food for thought. I am using the Dawkins scale of consciousness as a way to establish levels of perception.
Let’s imagine a “bum” standing on a street corner in a fashionable neighborhood. He stands alone leaning against the corner of an upscale establishment. Let’s look at him from various levels of consciousness and note the differences in how he appears.
At the bottom of the scale is the level of shame, from this perspective, the bum looks dirty, disgusting, disgraceful. From a level of guilt, he would be blamed for his condition, ie: he deserves what he gets, he is probably a lazy welfare cheat. At the level of hopelessness, his plight would appear to be desperate, damning evidence that society can’t do anything about homelessness. At the level of grief, the old man looks tragic, friendless and forlorn.
Next, we move to the level of fear. We might see him as threatening, a social menace. Perhaps we should call the police before he commits some crime. From the level of desire he might represent a frustrating problem, why doesn’t someone do something? From anger, the old man might look like he could be violent, or on the other hand, one could be furious that such conditions exist. When viewed from the level of pride he could be seen as an embarrassment or as lacking the self-respect to better himself. From the view of courage we might be motivated to wonder if there is a local homeless shelter, all he needs is a job and a place to live.
From the view of neutrality, the bum looks ok, maybe even interesting, “Live and Let Live” we might say; after all; he’s not hurting anyone. At the place of willingness, we might decide to go down and see what we can do to cheer up that fellow on the corner or volunteer some time at the local mission. From acceptance, the man on the corner appears intriguing. He probably has an interesting story to tell, he is where he is for reasons we may never understand. Looking from the place of reason, he is a symptom of the current economic and social malaise, or perhaps a good subject for in-depth physiological study.
At higher levels of consciousness, the old man begins to look not only interesting but friendly, then lovable. Perhaps we would then be able to see that he was, in fact, one who had transcended social limits and gone free, a joyful old guy with the wisdom of age in his face and the serenity that comes from indifference to material things. At the level of peace, he is revealed as one’s own self in a temporary expression.
When approached, the bum’s response to these different levels of consciousness would vary with them. With some, he would feel secure, with others frightened or dejected. Some would make him angry others delighted. Some he would therefore avoid, others greet with pleasure.
Thus it is said we meet what we mirror.
This little thought exercise doesn’t change the current state of social issues in America, however, I hope that it does give food for thought. How do you meet others? What level of consciousness are you perceiving life from? How would your life change with a shift in your consciousness level? This exercise works not only for meeting other people but for situations as well. How would your life change if you looked at that flat tire from a higher level of consciousness?
Rising above the more base levels of consciousness is difficult. It is a life’s work and we all could use a bump up in levels. Perhaps just being reminded by this post will help your next interaction be more pleasant and come from a higher plane of consciousness.
– Paraphrased from Power vs Force, Dr. David R Hawkins