Stages of Consciousness


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rding to the book Power vs. Force, there are several different the levels of consciousness among human beings. Author David R. Hawkins categorizes them as: shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, enlightenment.

[You can read an nice re-cap of these stages on Steve Pavlina's blog in his article Levels of Consciousness].

Although Mr. Hawkins has an excellent premise, I think we can more easily see 4 broader stages of consciousness throughout humanity: deeply unconscious, generally unconscious, burgeoning on consciousness and enlightened souls.

One of my missions with We The Change (and also with the new site I recently helped launch, Worldwide Tipping Point) is to help the generally unconscious crowd reach the next level of burgeoning awareness.

In my opinion, having this type of spiritual development occur on a global scale is the key to initiating fundamental changes our culture requires. Here is why:

Generally Unconscious

Most of the world is presently “generally unconscious”. The group is characterized by having some intellectual understanding of universal truths, but lacking the foresight

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and motivation to do anything about it.

Generally unconscious people will take the time to read enlightening books, educate themselves, and discuss meaningful concepts; but they stop short of integrating awareness into their own lives.

These people may experience moments of clarity in various forms (coincidences, heightened sensory perception, etc…) but only have small glimpses of it and most likely allow the egoic mind to rationalize it away.

Although the generally unconscious

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have a sense that we are part of something greater, and that universal connections exist between all things, they rarely feel the present moment and often think, and say, “Well, this is all great, but how am I supposed to actually live in this manner” or “this is wonderful in theory but no way I can possible live consciously all the time”.

Because this group is by far the largest in the world, and because they are on the cusp of consciousness, transitioning them into burgeoning consciousness (the next stage) is the single most important event that must to take place for humanity to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.

[Events like the Oprah/Tolle webcast are important because they are very public and mainstream attempts to bridge this gap].

The mission for the generally unconscious: To expand moments of awareness and create stronger intention to increase personal consciousness. Also to understand that their participation and motivation means everything.

Burgeoning on Consciousness

The fastest growing segment in the world, the burgeoning consciousness crowd is aware of universal truths, and practices the art of consciousness on a daily basis. These people are constantly searching for higher levels of awareness, and are avid readers and learners on the subject.

Burgeoning consciousness individuals experiment with mind practices like meditation, visualization, present-moment-awareness and often engage in physical activities like yoga and martial arts to increase consciousness. They have attained more than a glimpse, and understand there is no pursuit in life more worthy.

The burgeoning consciousness throng consists of the most creative/inspiring writers and speakers in the world, and can serve as the bridge to enlightenment for the generally unconscious group.

The primary objectives of this segment: To continue down the path of awareness, and purposefully spread their energy to less conscious individuals.

Deeply Unconscious

These individuals are characterized by having virtually no connection universal truths, and see themselves as completely separate and autonomous entities in the universe.

The deeply unconscious are unaware of the underlying relationship between all things, and do not even attempt to understand it from an intellectual standpoint. These people tend to go through life as “victims” and believe in luck and complete randomness as their saviors.

It is highly doubtful that deeply unconscious souls will find their way to a site like We The Change or Worldwide Tipping Point. To them, the mission of global consciousness would most likely seem foolish and these websites will remain virtually nonexistent. So if you are reading this, you are probably not deeply unconscious.

The hope for the deeply unconscious: to surround themselves with conscious people, literature and situations. Moments of clarity can transpire instantaneously (even for them), and prolonged association with conscious events is essential.

Enlightened Souls

Few and far between, enlightened souls understand the key to our salvation. They contain universal knowledge, and they are universal truth. Enlightened souls set the example for the rest of humanity to follow. Truthfully, it’s hard for me to write about these people because I am not one of them (hehe).

So where do you fall within the various stages of consciousness? Most likely somewhere between the generally unconscious and burgeoning segments…but your destiny is to continue to expand awareness. So let it happen, and actively seek it out!

Keep your momentum, and read these We The Change beauts:

50 Ways You Can Be The Change
From Caterpillar to Butterfly: A New Realm of Consciousness For Humanity
4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth

Picture above by Proverbs 31:10

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16 Responses to “Stages of Consciousness”

  1. Peter says:


    I think this is an exciting time to live in. As you have pointed out, things such as the mainstream popularity of Tolle are a sure sign that more and more people are choosing to live consciously. This can only be a good thing!

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks Peter– I totally agree! It really is a great time to be alive…

  3. Norea says:

    I come from an orthodox christian background, but I’ve been a seeker as long as I can remember. It’s like living in a bubble, you believe is created by God. You may want to know what is outside, even want to get out, but you know for sure you will die if you do. Litterally, because you won’t go to heaven.
    It has taken me quite some years to let go, but let me tell you there’s no stopping me now. I’m quite happy listening to Rev. Bird on Sunday mornings (as my dad calls it:-))and just be.

  4. Very interesting read, I have not seen a reference to the book Power vs. Force, which I really enjoyed.

    Very interesting read.

  5. Steve Little says:

    Hi Todd,

    Once again, we in total lock step….you just about 1/2 a stride ahead of me.

    My friend Maryellen Little ( has a really interesting corollary to the truth you outline here.

    God has inspired many into that population those in the burgeoning consciousness for the expressed purpose of creating the world tipping point to enlightenment.

    Thats is how people like me, a former corporate boss hog find themselve is this glorious place of love, fogiveness, and gratitude, deeply inspired to help others find their bliss.

    Thank you for your excellent contribution.

    Steve Little

    PS – I am looking forward to our interview in 3 hours.

  6. Todd says:

    Thank you all for the very genuine comments. It is great to see people on a similar path, and glad this article hot home for you!

  7. Kim says:

    Hi Todd,

    It was excellent to come across the reference to Dr. David Hawkins work on the levels of consciousness. I had heard about them about 2-3 years ago but did not know that there was a book so I can look into that now. Thank you.

    While it may seem doubtful that the “deeply unconscious” may not consciously seek to find a site like this, it is still a possibility among many possibilities. I believe all things are possible. Could it be possible that each and every soul has a desire to awake? While some may look like they are asleep we do not know what questions they ask themselves to which they may find answers that will lead to their awakening.

    Each person has a responsibility to self first and then, I feel, everything else will take its place.

    We are all playing our part. Obviously the more consciously aware we become then more peace, joy and harmony we can experience on a corporate scale. In the meantime, we must keep seeking the higher levels of consciousness David Hawkins speaks of. The higher you go in these levels it is a natural occurence that things such as shame, guilt, anger, judgement of others and self fall away as they are there to support the ego which in turn we feel is necessary to support us.

    When we get a realisation that we need nothing outside of ourselves including our ego it can be mind shattering experience but a beautiful one well worth seeking.

    Here’s to the pursuit of more love, joy and peace in our hearts, minds and bodies. Indeed we may even find that the very thing we are seeking we already are.

    Thanks Todd for another thought-provoking post.



  8. Todd says:

    Kim– your WELCOME, and thank you for sharing such a wonderful reply. I am excited, because tomorrow I am off to The Alliance For a New Humanity meeting in Costa Rica…an organization run by Deepak Chopra and Oscar Arias…and it should be filled with the burgeoning conscious crowd!

  9. Hi Todd,

    Glad to see Hawkins’ work mentioned! The only problem I sometimes have with all these classifications is that one seems a “higher” or even “better” level than others. Sure, those of us who are working in spiritual development are definitely striving for a greater consciousness … and at the same time, I think we have to be careful that judgment doesn’t creep in. In my own language, I’ve actually done away with the idea of “levels” of consciousness, and now use “aspects” of consciousness instead. I know, small difference …. still, I don’t like the implied hierarchy.

    I certainly agree with Kim that our greatest responsibility is our own growth. In the end, it is our example that may inspire growth (or not! … no judgment) in those around us.

    Thanks for a great article!

  10. Todd says:

    Thanks Andrea…and I hear ya. however, I really do think there are levels of awareness, and people who are more enlightened then others. I do not think it means they are better people, only more conscious…thats it…no other judgements involved. The way I see it, all learning is a function of increasing consciouosness. So having different levels (again, with no right, wrong, good or bad implied)gives us the opportunity to learn from other people…and whats more important than that!

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  13. Liara Covert says:

    Consciousness is definitely growing though collective energy. Althought it is not always easily described in words, a person feels it.

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  15. francesco says:

    i am an enlightened master.
    it’s hard work. it doesn’t pay the bills and i’m surrounded by bloody idiots.

  16. Benjamin says:

    Howdy folks. I am also an enlightened master. In fact, I am the same enlightened master as francesco, only in a different body. I like the title of this website. I am here to promote several websites that are likely to be of interest to “conscious people” like myself. But first, a poem:


    More Bent than a River

    the heads
    start their thinking
    and egos start stinking
    agendas start cranking
    our rivers start bending
    our ways stop their mending
    our minds start their spending
    of time on what might be
    instead of what is


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