There are two states of consciousness.
- An unaltered state of consciousness
- An altered state of consciousness
Unaltered states of consciousness
An unchanging state of consciousness seems somewhat straightforward, and it is. This is where your average human being wakes up every morning and works on a moment-to-moment basis.
It is our natural state of consciousness, which makes us aware of reality.
In an unchanging state of consciousness, we experience things as they are in the present. Our emotions flow freely and we operate in a generally heightened state of physical awareness.
Most of us enjoy this state of mind to the fullest and find ourselves reasonably comfortable within its abode.
Sometimes, however, for some reason or the other, we seek an escape.
Such an escape can sometimes be imposed on us as well. As it actually exists, many altered states of consciousness that come in direct opposition to our better judgment and personal will.
Altered states of consciousness
Before we begin to classify the different forms of altered consciousness, let us take some time to ensure a consensus on what it means to be aware.
We would define consciousness simply as being in a state of awareness.
Thus consciousness and the unchanging state of consciousness become synonymous, distinguishing itself as the direct opposite of the state of being unconscious.
From here, an altered state of consciousness can be defined as a temporary deviation from the normal state of mind, without becoming unconscious.
There are many ways in which one can find oneself in such an altered state of consciousness, and then, although some are sought, some are not.
Meditation as an altered state of consciousness
Practicing meditation as an effort to induce an altered state of consciousness is perhaps the most sought-after way in mankind today to raise our awareness, and for good reason.
Commonly practiced in all spiritual institutions and ideologies, meditation, when used properly, can be one of the most beneficial tools along the path to self-realization.
In its simplest explanation, meditation guides its practitioners to enter a true and pure state of presence.
While here, the trivial stresses of our daily lives are separated, washed away in the void. As a result we are allowed to relax, and flow naturally to a higher state.
We move from a naturally unchanging state of consciousness to a deliberately altered state of consciousness, as our paradigm changes in a beautiful way that can never be undone.
Perhaps you have already realized exactly what I am talking about here? Maybe you remember entering an altered state of mind in some other way?