The following is an update to our announcement on Steven Vedro’s examination and interlinking of ‘stages of consciousness’ with technology.
Here’s the intro defining what he means by the sixth level:
“The core personal metaphor of sixth-level teleconsciousness is â€œdeep seeingâ€? â€“ moving from focusing on whatâ€™s in front of us to expanding our vision to take in the big picture of reality. This level of awareness, often realized through intense spiritual practices (and sometimes via equally intense psychedelics or spontaneous breakthrough situations) is awareness apart from the thinking mind. It involves processing the data from the outer world in full consciousness that one is in fact data processing.
Sixth-level thinking is by its nature holographic, holding all levels in awareness and appreciation; it is free to tune into the whole range of vibrations of consciousness. From this place, the old habitual mindset no longer satisfies, and all levels of reality, all ways of seeing the world, are open for fearless exploration. Co-creation and collaboration are this levelâ€™s social organizing principles.
On an inner spiritual level, Buddhism calls the sixth-level realm of perception Dharmadhatu, where â€œto see one object is, therefore, to see all objects.â€? In poet William Blakeâ€™s words: â€œto see a World in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower.â€? The eye is opened to the cosmic, but grounded in compassion. It decodes all incoming signals and discerns which ones to act upon, knowing all the time that there is always more than one story to believe. It sees not only the frames of each â€œlife movie,â€? but the projector, screen, and audience as well! It sees beyond superficial appearance and concepts to the creative energy that â€œmodulatesâ€? reality.
When the mind is prematurely opened to sixth-level awareness but not grounded in the lower centers, when the filtering systems of fifth-level teleconsciousness are not fully developed, the nervous system cannot handle the shock of â€œseeing beyond the veil.â€? I believe that the Infosphere has indeed thrown us beyond the veil, whether we are prepared or not. Our contemporary sixth-level choice is to â€œsee deeperâ€? or turn away into a deconstructed universe, where nothing seems to exist but cleverness and special effects.
The Infosphereâ€™s sixth-level technologies are our megapixel cameras, camcorders and photo cellphones, our DVD players and HDTV receivers. All of these tools are based on the digital encoding and manipulation of what we think we see. They all openly rely on illusion: on the creation of digital sound and image files that trick the brain into creating more than what has actually been delivered to the retina and eardrum. Just as we use digital editing software to crop and zoom, choose a point of view, change colors, contrast and brightness, routinely adjusting the â€œrealityâ€? of our digitized experience, our media challenges us to explore our point of view, to look wider and deeper, to focus on the once-hidden details of our visual field â€“ and metaphorically, on the shadows, the blurred lines and comfortable concepts that have heretofore defined our personal reality.”
EXCERPT 2: What spiritual work is associated with 6th level teleconsciousnes?
“Our all-surrounding sixth-level communications technology seems to be inviting us to examine our codes of consensual reality, to pay attention to where we put our attention. Doing practices that open one to this stage of teleconsciousness is a form of â€œesoteric signal decompression,â€? allowing one to look beneath surface identities to decode richer and subtler dimensions. Clear sixth-level vision brings one closer to experiencing the unity of creation, seeing the underlying continuity and hearing the hidden harmonic chords behind humanityâ€™s often painful apparent differences.
While a closed sixth-level awareness refuses complexity and searches for the missing code that will â€œmake senseâ€? of the incoming data, a blown-open one no longer even tries to â€œgroundâ€? the flow of information it receives into any real experience; every new image becomes, in Alan Lightmanâ€™s words, â€œa disembodied nothingness,â€? floating weightless in a sea of â€œdigital emptiness.â€?[i] For some, ungrounded media saturation has led to cults and magic. Many others have found themselves lost between physical and virtual realities, adrift in a world of Terminator II, Grand Theft: Auto and Mortal Kombat. Combining high-definition video image quality, surround sound and full interactivity with the experience of deeper and deeper sixth-level “realities,” — and the sweet lure of the energies of sexuality and power, marketplace forces have made the video game industry into a twenty-five billion-dollar global business, supporting 168 million players in the US alone.
Most of us however find ourselves between these two extremes, trying to make sense of our sixth-level media environment, trying to see more, to see wider and to see deeper in a world where everything is in the process of being digitized, where our entire culture will be delivered to our living rooms and our pocket devices, our cars and our computers, our eyes and ears, as strings of oneâ€™s and zeroâ€™s. Notwithstanding the popular image of compulsive teens hooked on violent video games or the rise of â€œprofessional gamersâ€? who play in public competitions for large cash prizes, the real videogame mega-hits are virtual sports leagues and online social simulation games such as SimCity. While the former ranks are filled with adult men, these latter games are massively popular with both boys and girls, who can create entire worlds: agricultural villages, vast industrial mega-cities, high-tech edge-cites or small pedestrian-friendly communities.
The spiritual lesson embedded in our sixth-level technologies is about seeing as opposed to merely looking; training oneself to dig beyond the surface pixels that make up our day-to-day reality. This is wisdom taught by contemporary philosophers of consciousness and by the esoteric masters of many ancient traditions. It is from this place of compassion, beyond the world of form, that one can watch the codes of the â€œcausal realmâ€? unfold and become â€œrealâ€? in the ever-forming Now. In a few years our analog television sets will go dark unless we upgrade to the new digital transmission system. I believe that the Infosphere is also suggesting that it is time to switch to a higher-definition way of seeing.