As a practitioner of metaphysical philosophy or teaching, I have read, heard and used the words “expanding consciousness” so frequently. My experience is that the word consciousness is not easily accepted or understood. There are two levels of knowing: we can mentally or intellectually know a topic or we can know a topic on what some may call a “gut” level.

On the first level, a topic can be discussed in a conversational manner as acquired information. On the second level, a topic can be talked about far beyond an informational point of view. On this level, the person has acquired a deep knowingness, understanding and acceptance that oftentimes can be shared with others from an experiential perspective.

Our consciousness is a deep understanding and acceptance of what is going on in our minds at a conscious, subconscious (or subjective) and spiritual level. For example, on the day that each of us was born, the doctors, nurses and attendants all yelled out, “It’s a girl (boy)!” In most instances, we were locked into that gender identification and all that it implies to be a girl or a boy. We heard it; we had our role models, and we accepted ourselves based on this identification. This represents our consciousness of being part of a specific gender.

However, when we are told that we are spiritual beings, it is difficult for us to expand our consciousness to truly accept that identification. Those of us who are either in the traditional or the non-traditional religions find it quite challenging to let go of the limiting identification of being “only human.” We have been trained that the physical world is the real world. The physical world is real to most of us — the invisible not so much.

An essence within us practically demands that we expand our consciousness. Whether we do this on a conscious level or not, we are “wired” to some extent to look deeper into this thing called life. At different times in our lives, even those who are not bound to any religion, we begin that inner search for a deeper understanding or meaning for being here. Once the question is posed and we begin to initiate a search for meaning of our lives, we have begun the quest of expanding our consciousness. It was Albert Einstein who said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Imagination is invisible!

By expanding our consciousness, we have begun to look at life and all our experiences as having a deeper meaning — more meaningful than just having been born, becoming an infant, then a toddler, a young child, a pre-teen, a teen-ager, an adult, middle age, senior citizen and finally meeting the end of our physical journey. By expanding our consciousness, we can truly experience more peace, love, joy, creativity and the wonderful things that are available to us.

When I look at a rose, I can see its physical beauty. As I expand my consciousness, though, I can actually use my imagination and share that rose with someone I care about without being near them. I can think about and discuss my thoughts and feelings about what power and intelligence has the ability to create a rose. With those thoughts and culminating beliefs, I can begin to believe in something or someone who created me and everyone else and begin to feel that my existence is important.

The way in which I can expand my consciousness is by looking at my daily experiences and recognizing that there seems to be a connection between my belief system and my experiences. I start asking questions and observing those who seem to be in a better place. I begin associating myself with people who have already made this decision to expand their awareness (another word for consciousness) beyond the obvious. I make a commitment to myself to look at life in a more inquiring manner. As I begin this journey, I will find the simplicity, beauty and calmness in my own life. I will notice patterns in my experiences that seem to correlate with my thoughts and feelings (this is consciousness).

Expanding our consciousness is not an easy task at all. It must be done consciously, very deliberately with a commitment to ourselves. But when we make this determination, not only do we benefit from this endeavor, but those around us also are positively impacted.

As we begin to expand our consciousness, we begin to understand what Einstein meant when he said, “There is something subtly intelligent and inexplicable.”

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Portia Jones was ordained as a Unity minister in 1991. She furthered her studies of Religious Science and became a Licensed Practitioner and led a Religious Science group in Manhattan. Later, she let go of her spiritual teaching responsibilities and became a full-time school teacher for the next 20 years. She is now retired and resides in Puerto Rico, where she continues to write spiritual articles, give classes and workshops and is a monthly guest speaker at the English-speaking Unity Church in Santurce. Contact Portia at imgodaware13@gmail.com or call 787.242.2487.

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