Higher States of Consciousness

Excerpted from The Road to No Where
Definition Higher Consciousness
The ability to perceive reality forensically, with the inner eye, and to act upon that perception with full vigor. Acts driven by spiritual realizations of higher consciousness are not decoupled from their perception. Just as the act of seeking food is not decoupled from experiencing pangs of hunger at the most primitive level of consciousness. Higher consciousness must culminate in commensurate acts driven by spiritual hunger in order to satiate it just as the stomach's hunger culminates in seeking food to satiate it. When one is unconscious, one does not seek even physical sustenance and dies if not intravenously fed by others. Similarly, one can be spiritually and mentally unconscious while fully conscious at the physical level, seeking only to fulfill the physical needs of the body. When one acquires greater levels of consciousness to the next cognitive level, one seeks intellectual sustenance to meet the needs of the hungry mind. The next hierarchy of that path to increasing consciousness is in seeking spiritual sustenance to feed the hungry soul. The desire to satiate its cravings principally leads to striving for a well lived life as outlined in the many moral recipes from antiquity to modernity.
That well lived life, a concatenation of acts by definition, and arguably orthogonal to personal beliefs, is always predicated on the existence of higher levels of consciousness. Without the latter, there is no spiritual hunger, no striving to satiate it, no acts, and consequently no transformations at any level, personal to macro social. The omission of that transformation, by its very nature of absence, seeds evil in society because man's natural instincts for unbridled primacy subsequently flourish. These two have been balanced like yin and yang of Chinese philosophy to counter each other: instinct for primacy vs. higher levels of consciousness. The former comes built-in at birth just like all the other tangible and intangible properties of each individual's physical and natural makeup. The latter has to be nurtured, cultivated, nourished, and developed just like the mind.
The modern scientific world tends to accept the development of the mind, both halves of the brain, as both natural and necessary to reach full human potential. But it calculatingly ignores the development of what in fact makes us the most human. There is a very good practical reason for that omission as will become apparent below.
In Islam
Reaching higher levels of consciousness is a long and arduous journey which commences by following the spiritual recipe outlined in Surah al-Asr (PDF) for living a life that is not judged to be of a total loss in the celestial place. Journeying on that path, one progressively moves farther and farther into realizing greater and greater states of consciousness. It is a journey which feeds upon itself like the practice of any skill craft. Spiritual craft is no different in that and many other respects. It must be developed and perfected. Its pinnacle is captured in the following verses of the Holy Qur'an in Surah Al-Fajr: “O soul that art at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him)” (89:27, 89:28). And the enticement or prize offered for reaching this zenith: “So enter among My servants, And enter into My garden.” (89:29, 89:30). Since not all among mankind are endowed with identical capacities but fall on a bell curve, some journey for the lure of the prize alone, while others find little meaning in the prize when the journey itself is the reward. We focus on the journey and why it's both necessary, as well as the first-cause predicate, for the macro social evolution of mankind to free itself from the bondage of fellow man; for the desire to strive to reach the pinnacle of life's existence despite the daily needs of the stomach. Even the successful struggle for survival of the freedom of the natural man in the social Darwinian jungle depends on it.
The Path For All Mankind
Notice the culmination of the human state of existence whence it has reached its zenith: “O soul that art at rest!” The Holy Qur'an does not say: O conscience that art at rest! For we know all too well how easily conscience can be put at rest. It also does not say: O intelligence that art at rest! For we also well understand how reliance on superior intelligence to craft the mission statement of life, and the morality that governs it, can easily lead to the enslavement of the masses. All theistic world religions which propound the existence of the soul offer some prescription to elevate its state to its highest level of existence for the masses. For Islam, one cannot claim that the aforementioned state of the highest level of consciousness whereby the soul, no longer in a state of turmoil, expressed metaphorically in these verses, isn't an all encompassing and most general specification for the real purpose of life's journey!
Provided of course, one believes that man's life has some inherent purpose, and which the secular humanists who posit the wholly material conception of man, do not accept. Nor do they accept the notion of Revelation. Nor any purpose to life other than what each man or his community and nation themselves assign it, as its occurrence is deemed “accidental”, and for which Nietzsche proposed the “will to power” of the superior intellect to accelerate the social evolution of man beyond the semantic straight-jacket of “good and evil” that theism is enchained in. The empirical role of the superior intellect – and not merely the abstract thought expounded by secular humanists to sell it to the world – in crafting mankind's value system, and thus its direction of evolution, is examined in the essay: Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement! (PDF).
Islam's conception of higher states of consciousness commences with the recipe outlined in Surah al-Asr, and culminates in the soul that art at rest, for every spiritual being who defines itself as more than just the materialist collection of physical atoms and bio-chemical reactions. Anyone, of any persuasion and belief system, except the Richard Dawkins variety of course, can strive in that path of the well-lived life which is Islam's prescription for the journey to increasing levels of consciousness, without giving up their own natural socialization into their respective tribes, nations and religions.




Higher States of Consciousness – Why it's Necessary BY Zahir Ebrahim







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