The following 37 tidbits of higher consciousness were derived from the perennial bestseller “Handbook to Higher Consciousness”, written in 1972 by Ken Keyes. This book has helped countless people to experience dramatic changes in their lives, and to increase their ability to experience happiness. It’s a reference book for being at peace with whatever happens in your life.
Here, then, are 37 tidbits of higher consciousness:
1. The only real problem in your life is how you’re using your mind.
2. You always have enough to be happy. It’s the patterns in your head that make you unhappy.
3. View others as unfolding beings in their journey toward higher consciousness.
4. Think of the world as a loving place that is designed to give you everything that you need.
5. You add to the suffering in the world when you take offense, just as much as you do when you give offense.
6. Happiness does not lie in getting people and things outside of you lined up exactly to suit your desires.
7. An addiction is any emotion-backed demand that you may have. It’s any desire that makes you upset or unhappy if it is not satisfied. Your addictions are your attachments, demands, expectations, emotional programming, and models of how life should treat you.
As an example, if you get angry when someone cuts you off in traffic as you drive to work, it’s because you’re “addicted” to having a smooth and completely hassle free trip to work. If you get upset when you ask a friend for help and they respond that they can’t help you because they’re busy, it’s because you’re “addicted” to having people acquiesce to your requests.
8. Life is warning you to get rid of an addiction every time you are emotionally uncomfortable in any way.
9. Upgrade your addictions to the status of preferences. Here’s the distinction between an addiction and a preference:
- When an addiction is satisfied, you feel momentary pleasure, relief, or indifference. If an addiction is not satisfied, you feel emotional distress.
- When a preference is not satisfied, you are simply indifferent — it was only a preference after all. But when it is satisfied, it adds to the texture and beauty of your life.
10. Allow yourself emotion-backed demands only for physical necessities such as air to breathe, food if starving, and shelter if freezing.
11. If your washing machine stops working and you’re addicted to appliances that work, you’ll get upset and you will suffer. If you prefer that your appliances work well, then when your washing machine breaks down you won’t compound the problem by superimposing your uncomfortable emotions on the situation.
12. There is nothing that you can do to change the present moment. It simply is. You may be able to change the situation one second, one minute, one hour, or one day from now, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change the way things are right here and now. By not getting irritated you will be more effective in doing what needs to be done to change the situation for the next moment.
13. When a tire blows, you simply accept that this is the here and now reality of your life. You’ve lost the tire, but that doesn’t mean that you have to lose your peace and serenity. Now, serenely, begin to take the necessary steps in order the change the tire.
14. Giving up an addiction means re-programming that part of your brain that makes you restless and unhappy if a desire is not realized.
15. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be addicted to money in order to acquire it. You can prefer to have money; you will then be able to enjoy whatever money you receive, but your happiness will not be contingent on the size of your bank account.
16. We see things not as they are, but as we are. Your addictions distort how you process the enormous flow of information that is constantly flooding in through all of your sensory inputs.
17. By tuning in to your minute-to-minute stream of consciousness, you discover the addictions that make you worried, anxious, resentful, uptight, afraid, angry, bored, etc. You thus use every uncomfortable emotion as an opportunity for consciousness growth. Even though you may still be feeling emotional and uptight, you begin to get at the roots of your ups and downs — your brief bits of pleasure and your long periods of unhappiness.
18. All there is in your life is the eternal now moment — and your experience of this moment is created by the programming in your head.
19. Watch your own body and mind, and the people and things surrounding you, from the deep, calm place inside of you. When you do that you’ll have insights as to what you need to do in order to flow with the river of life around you.
20. You can make really effective changes when your consciousness is free of emotional turmoil.
21. By fully tuning in to the now moment in your life, you will discover that you always have enough to enjoy every moment of your life. The only reason you have not been happy every instant is that you have been dominating your consciousness with thoughts about something you don’t have– or trying to hold on to something that you do have but which is no longer appropriate in the present flow of your life.
22. Whenever you’re unhappy, your emotions are telling you that the people or things around you are not conforming to your vision of the world, or the way you think things should be.
23. You stop viewing yourself as being “pushed around” by the world when you realize that only you can “push” yourself. To quote Buddha: “Nothing is upsetting you. You get upset because you are upsettable.”
24. If you want those around you to act in a more loving and conscious manner, act in a way that helps them to do so.
25. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’ve resigned yourself to live the rest of your life with a particular person, or in a particular situation. It just means that you won’t cause yourself emotional discomfort because of the way things are in this moment.
26. The outside conditions of your life do not make you feel either secure or insecure. One person may feel secure with practically no money at all, while another may feel insecure with a million dollars in the bank. Your feelings of security or insecurity are due to your emotional programming.
27. Lots of people look for happiness through sensations, whether it’s through sex, the taste of food, the sound of music, the sensations of movies and plays, creating a certain environment in their home, and so on. Looking for happiness through sensations keeps you constantly searching for the next “fix” and for more varied sensations. Sensations become addictions, and nothing is ever enough.
Once again, when you upgrade sensations from an addiction to a preference, you can enjoy things such as gourmet food and music, without having your happiness depend on them.
28. Some people look for happiness by wielding power. They look for happiness in the following:
- Having more money, not for security, but so that they can manipulate others.
- Having more prestige (they surround themselves with status symbols).
- Having knowledge and lots of hobbies (so that other people perceive them as being interesting and a high achiever).
None of the above items create what we are all truly looking for: peace, serenity, and a feeling of oneness with others.
29. No one is suggesting that you renounce worldly activities: the world is there for you to enjoy it. The idea is to renounce the emotion-backed demands which keep you from enjoying the bountiful life which has always been around you.
30. We are not the personalities that our egos are so valiantly defending. Our personalities are simply the result of our current programming.
31. You are the awareness of your consciousness. If you visualize a television screen in the middle of your head where all of your thoughts, images, and emotions are being projected, you are what is watching the screen. As Ram Dass puts it, “Observe your scene from a quiet corner of your mind in which there is nothing to do but ‘see.’”
32 . As the watcher of the screen, you are perfect. The movie that is playing on the screen might be horrendous, but you are not the movie. You are what is watching the movie.
33. By tuning in to the ocean of loving energy around you, you can have far more security, enjoyable sensations, effectiveness, and love than you would ever need in order to live a continuously beautiful life.
34. Whenever you feel upset, take full responsibility for the emotions that you are experiencing. Get to work as quickly as possible identifying the programming, or the addiction, that is leading you to reject what other people are saying or doing.
By taking full responsibility, you give your ego and rational mind an entirely different direction in which to operate. They begin to work on helping you to reprogram yourself, instead of egging you on to manipulate and fight the people in your life.
Here’s the process to follow, in a nutshell:
- Explore the suffering.
- Pinpoint the addiction.
- Reprogram the addiction.
- The suffering stops.
35. Ask yourself the following questions in order to determine which addiction is causing you to feel alienated from the here and now:
- What is happening right now? (Just state the facts; the what, when, where, who, and how.)
- What specific emotion am I experiencing?
- What am I telling myself right now?
- What pains or tensions are being evoked in my body at this moment?
- What do my posture and face look like?
- What dance is my rational brain doing in order to prove me right and everyone else wrong?
- What am I trying to change in the outside world instead of doing the inner work to change my response to it?
- What phony front is my ego trying to maintain? What mask am I wearing?
- What happened to me in the past that makes me upset whenever anything similar happens?
- Do I want to be free from this automatic response?
- What am I rejecting in the here and now?
- What am I rejecting about myself?
- What am I rejecting about the situation?
- What threat does this person or situation represent to me?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- What am I demanding in order to be happy?
- Could I accept this and still be happy?
- What is the model I have of the way I should be, must be, or have to be?
- What is the model I have of the way I should be treated?
36. Once you have pinpointed the addiction, your next step is to reprogram it into a preference. When you reprogram, you use your will and determination to give yourself clear, firm operating instructions. You tell your brain that you want it to function in a different way in processing incoming data in the future.
Here are some sample reprogramming instructions you can use:
- Life is my teacher.
- I am not my addictive programming.
- I am lovable.
- I am the master of my life.
- I don’t need to control people.
- I can accept what is.
- I don’t need other people’s approval.
- It’s okay to make mistakes.
- It’s okay to be me.
- I can let go and just be.
- I love myself.
- I am enough.
- It’s OK to be right where I am.
- I am getting free.
- I don’t have to get caught up in his/her programming.
- I can accept him/her just the way he/she is.
- I don’t need outside acceptance.
37. With persistence and determination, you can reprogram all of your addictions — no matter how long-standing or how strong they are. Keep telling yourself that you programmed yourself many years ago and that you can reprogram that which you programmed.