There is a lot that stays out of our awareness. It’s simple enough to see this when we consider the consciousness of other animals and people. What would it be like to smell the world with a dog’s nose? Or to claw a rug with the paws of a cat? What would it be like to be of a different race or gender?
We dig into our own perspective more deeply over time. We go to great lengths to rationalize and justify our being the way we are, but essentially it’s a matter of habit. We come preloaded with specific karmic programs (i.e. temperament, family, place, culture, opportunities…), which draw forth particular experiences. With every new experience, we receive confirmation that the world is a certain way — the way I see it.
Some have estimated that the brain processes 126 bits of information per second, while the world around us contains 10⁸⁰. I don’t know how reliable that assessment is, but it paints a clear picture: there’s a lot we don’t see.
At a certain point in our evolution, however, we may grow tired of our own perspective. That’s not to say it has no value, but we realize how incomplete it is. We want more. We can imagine initiation into higher consciousness as an opening of layers of perception that were not available before. New layers of perception bring new experiences and, pretty soon, a whole new world.
A few simple practices can help you cultivate a wider field of perception.
1) Remember throughout the day that you only perceive the tiniest fraction of what exists. Imagine you could experience all of the things that your consciousness keeps away — feel the movement of your blood, feel the force binding atoms together. Put your mind in the mind of a cat or another person.
2) Find something new in a familiar place. Spend time looking closely at a plant in your backyard that you’ve been ignoring — or even just a corner of the rug.
3) Do something you would never do. If you always wear white, wear black. If you consider yourself a person of impeccable taste, do something disgracefully uncouth. If you’re disgracefully uncouth, earnestly read a chapter of Emily Post.
As an astrologer, writer, teacher, and coach Alex helps people to discover just what their consciousness is capable of. Weaving together practices from ancient and modern traditions, both Eastern and Western, Alex helps people let go of their limitations, discover powers they did not know they had, and open up to whole new dimensions of experience and manifestation. Alex lives in Benicia, CA, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Visit him at https://www.twentyfirstcenturyalchemy.com/