Developing a Body/Mind Pathway to Shift from
Ordinary Consciousness into Spiritual Consciousness
Research Conducted by Patricia Lind-Kyle
Completed March, 2004
The primary aim of this research was to demonstrate a perceptual shift from ordinary consciousness to spiritual consciousness. The research protocols provided to the subjects were a means to experience and distinguish between these two conscious states as well as providing a pathway or set of interior markers that could be followed in order to have a consistent method to repeat this consciousness shift. The interior pathway was established to lead the subject to a unique and individual access point (or portal) into non-ordinary spiritual awareness that the subject could return to at will.
Ordinary consciousness happens when the mind is fixed in constant and active egoic thought patterns. These patterns focus on the outer world, one’s physical reality, as well as past and future events. Ordinary consciousness functions within fixed limitations of objective time and space.
In this research the nine Enneagram personality types are used to illustrate unique, diverse patterns of ordinary consciousness. Each of the Enneagram personality types represents an egoic pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors of an individual. These nine patterns are a result of both DNA and geographical, cultural and family conditioning. The unique Enneagram pattern emerges at a young age and the individual quickly assumes, and incorrectly identifies this pattern as their basic reality and the lens from which they view the world and their experience. These nine patterns generate a compulsive set of reactions that holds the ordinary mind into a fixated position of predictable behaviors. This fixated position can be called an individual’s “core fixation.” Following Riso-Hudson Enneagram type names we add a belief label that would represent each of the nine core fixation patterns.
• Position One Reformer: Not accepted, because not perfect enough. • Position Two Helper: Must give to get. • Position Three Achiever: Rewarded for doing not what one is. • Position Four Individualist: Something missing and one is flawed. Position Five Investigator: World demands too much, gives to little. • Position Six Loyalist: Can’t trust the world because it is a threatening and dangerous place. Position Seven Enthusiast; World is limiting, frustrating and causes pain. Position Eight Challenger: The world is an unjust place. Position Nine Peacemaker: I am unimportant and must blend in to feel comfort.
The assumption of this research is that these nine core personality egoic fixation patterns points to the basic structure of how an individual is locked into a constricted plane of reality we call ordinary consciousness. However, we also hypothesize that an individual’s primary Enneagram type is not only the blind spot that locks a person into ordinary consciousness, but it is also the ultimate gateway into spiritual awareness. When this unlocking occurs a pathway is established to move the mind consciously back and forth between ordinary and a spiritual state of mind awareness.
This study further assumes that each Enneagram personality is shaped by environmental holding patterns from early developmental childhood experiences. For example, the essential qualities of confidence, initiative, etc. related to trust in relationship to ordinary reality becomes lessened when separation of the child occurs from the mother. Issues related to trust become associated with fear, insecurity and inadequacy due to the feeling of abandonment from the mother. The response an individual child makes to this feeling of abandonment becomes the crux of the on-going core fixation development through out an individual’s life. The ultimate result of this fixation pattern is a reaction of distrust towards the world and the limitation of the experience of ordinary conscious reality.
Spiritual consciousness is a mind awareness without limitation. The mind is not focused on physical reality but on a subjective and infinite dimension of indescribable images, feelings and sounds. Spiritual consciousness is a nameless state that is neither light nor darkness, neither sound nor silence, but when it emerges into the consciousness of an individual assumes shape and form as a representation of light and sound. The oldest of spiritual traditions suggest that transcendent sound and light are the primal manifestations of God when projected into creation. Light and sound, then, are the primary experienced attributes of spiritual consciousness. The vibratory resonance of toning used by the human voice can penetrate down to the cellular level of the body as well as what some call the soul. The premise is that when the human voice is used with intention to direct the sound in the body it changes the amplitude and frequency pattern of the body/mind organism. The presumption is that putting sound into the body realigns the imbalances of the body/mind and creates a place of center. This study used techniques of sound toning as one of the methods for finding the pathway to shift from ordinary to spiritual consciousness.
The Shift of Consciousness between Ordinary and Spiritual Consciousness
A primary intention of this research study was to demonstrate that an individual can develop a consistent and repeatable route into a body/mind access point or portal that moves an individual from ordinary to spiritual consciousness. The discovery of this route is first in having an individual understand their basic spiritual block or core ego fixation as identified in their Enneagram pattern. Understanding how this pattern works is the first step for the individual to shift perception of being isolated and separated in order to begin to perceive that they have the possibility to gain the mind freedom that all realized beings describe as enlightenment or liberation. This research is intended to be able to demonstrate that through understanding the pattern of one’s core fixation and through a technique of self inquiry, a person my be able to produce the conscious change from focus on a repressed emotional state of consciousness to a more spacious and liberated quality of being that moves one into the experience of attention so as to focus on only the present moment of existence. This study holds the assumption that it is possible for any individual to awaken to his or her spiritual nature and know it as a continuous experience of daily life.
Background Context for Shifting Consciousness
Through out the ages Divinity has thought to be present in all things by manifesting itself through the immense adventure of evolution. Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit priest, anthropologist and discoverer of Peking Man, described evolution as a combination of complexity (evolution’s outer manifestation) and consciousness (evolution’s interior expression). Conscious was that part in evolution that contained the Divine spark hidden within the complexity of matter. In Teilhard’s view both complexity and conscious comes to full expression in homo sapiens. Humans for thousands of years have been exploring this inner consciousness to discover the Divinity that is within himself. The fulfillment of this evolution process would come to completion at what Teilhard called the Omega Point where God consciousness’ breaks through the ordinary reality of complexity in matter to create a new spiritual dimension of reality. Every culture in every age has invented ways to approach and realize Divinity as part of oneself. The Neanderthals held burial ceremonies to help the dead journey beyond physical life; the Cro-Magnon left cave drawings of Shamanic figures doing various rituals to experience the “other world”. Transformative practices from India, China and Japan evolved sophisticated Hindu and Buddhist traditions that had practices to develop powers to over come pain, to understand others, to provoke ecstasy, to lead members through death and rebirth activities, and to experience joy in daily life. The Christian mystics, who claimed to be God intoxicated, have influenced many of the deeper practices that we embrace today in the West. The following background practices from current spiritual teachers provides specific insight for the protocols that were used by subjects in this research.
The transformative practices, which began with our ancient ancestors, have now evolved in the last century to include a variety of methods to create self-transformation. Within the last 20 years the idea of wholeness or integration of the body, mind and spirit has been the focus of major practices in the West. For example, the research done by Michael Murphy and George Leonard on peak performance led them to develop an integrated program that focused on the body, mind, heart and soul. Their research over a two-year period had participants practice mediation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, nutrition and intellectual understanding of what they called the “integral principles”. The hypothesis of their study was to have participants produce an extraordinary state beyond ordinary experience. Their study examined positive growth changes and the ability to utilize the full capacity of the human conscious state. They concluded from their study that a long-term practice is needed for long-term transformative and growth results. Their view is that practice is essential to continue to produce integrative transformative results on a continuous basis.
Eckhart Tolle, a modern mystic, teacher and writer uses a transformational practice of embracing the present moment in order to live an awakened life. In Tolle’s book, ”The Power of Now” he indicates that on a deeper level within a human being there is already a place of integration and we need do nothing to complete it. Tolle’s view is that the body is the key to this self-transformation in order to enter into a state of inner peace. He suggests that there are access points, or portals in the body that can be used to bring an individual to live totally in the present moment. Tolle’s portals into the formless are not separate from the form of one’s body. He suggests that it is the life within every form that contains the inner essence of the Universal Presence. Tolle asserts that through each person the Unmanifested seeks to know Itself.
In contrast to Leonard and Murphy’s idea of “ self-transformation” through self effort, Eckhart Tolle states that Divinity is to be found only by fully surrendering into the present moment. He says that the present moment is accessed through a continual awareness of what is occurring at a feeling state within the inner body. To be anchored in the body provides access to key spiritual portals. These portals are:
- to feel the radiance and power of the presence directly and indirectly through the natural world,
- to experience the cessation of thinking and to be in stillness,
- to surrender and let go of mental-emotional resistance,
- to be in the silence out of which sounds emerge, and to know and experience space where Nothing exists.
Tolle presents his views in a similar way as to what the Buddhist’s teach. That is that “the essence of all things is emptiness” and that the externalization of inner space and inner silence, is stillness. It is in this stillness that the present moment is experienced fully.
The late Ramana Maharshi of India was said to be the greatest sage of the twentieth century and that his voice of understanding and insight is an authentic experience of enlightenment. Maharshi’s path to enlightenment is through the use of the method of Self-Inquiry by exploring the fundamental question of “Who Am I?” In this method Ramana claims that one can open to a deeper understanding of reality and be liberated from the fear and disorder that is the basis of assuming that the identity construct of one’s ego is real. He suggests that we live an external life projecting and reacting to events as if they were real until one day we get tired of the whole game and surrender our ego structure by discovering the real “I Am.” The Self-Inquiry method of continually posing the inner question “Who am I?” begins to change our reasoning system and to ultimately dis-identify from the ego in order to become identified with the Universal Self. Ramana’s approach provides a path that takes the apparent duality of subject and object out of one’s experience of the external world in order to face the unity of reality as one encompassing Truth. When a person has this direct non-dual experience one experiences the bliss and peace that is the natural expression of this state.
All of these various spiritual approaches provide methods, practices and insights for the transformative, and awakening of the enlightenment process. For purposes of this study the Enneagram with its nine personality types offers a means to use and integrate many of these other methods and approaches to shifting consciousness in a more direct and specific way. All of these approaches tend to generalize their methods for the majority of those who engage in them. This study proposes that the Enneagram System provides a more individual and focused way for a person to discover their unique path to realize the source of Reality.
The current popularization of the Enneagram has focused almost exclusively on the psychological traits and patterns of the nine types. The deeper function of the Enneagram, however, is to point the way to who we are beyond the level of personality, to a dimension of ourselves that is infinitely more profound, and represents the nine “faces” of the soul.
The first use of the Enneagram appeared in the West around the turn of the twentieth century in the work of the Armenian mystic, George Gurdjieff, who said that he learned it from the Sarmoung Brotherhood, a mystic order in Central Asia. Gurdjieff implied that the Enneagram was to be understood as an archetypal symbol that in itself had a great deal of inherent power. What we know of the Gurdijieff system is that one way he used the Enneagram pattern was in a series of complex dance-like movements ritually performed by a group of people. However, he did not appear to use the Enneagram as a map for either psychological or spiritual understanding of one’s inner experience.
It was the Bolivian mystic, Oscar Ichazo, who reformulated the Enneagram as we know it today. In the mid 1960’s a group of Americans traveled to Arica, Chile to explore the Enneagram with him, as well as explore other methods he was teaching. Claudio Naranjo was one of those individuals who was with Ichazo in Chile and was particularly interested in the Enneagram. Naranjo had also studied many Eastern spiritual traditions and found in the Enneagram a tool that could be a focal point for his own teaching. Through his teaching he introduced the Enneagram into the United States and incorporated both the psychological and the spiritual teaching with the Enneagram. One of his students was Helen Palmer who became a popularizer of its use as a psychological method. Another of Naranjo’s students was A. H. Almaas, who through his own awakening saw the Enneagram as an access route into deeper spiritual unfoldment.
The use of the Enneagram patterns in this study is to provide both a context for the subjects to understand their bocks to an awakened spiritual consciousness, as well as using the core fixation pattern of the Enneagram type as a pathway of inner “land marks” in order to gain repeatable access to what we postulate is a unique and individual portal between ordinary and spiritual consciousness.
Research Design and Procedures
An announcement about subjects for the research was made at a woman’s gathering in Nevada, CA. Of the volunteers six subjects were chosen. The criteria for participation was that the individuals needed to have done extensive spiritual practices and psychological work, but who still felt that something within them had not been able to touch or shift their focus of attention to a larger more expansive field of reality.
There were six females ranging in age from 44, 50, 57, and three at 60. Enneagram types in the study included 2 nines, 2 twos, 1 three and 1 four. The subjects met for six 2 hour sessions over a 12 week period. Research was conducted in the Fall of 2003.
The first and sixth sessions were pre and post testing procedures with pre and post interviews. Sessions two to five used a series of procedures and techniques to identify an individual’s ordinary consciousness and then provide a means to shift into spiritual consciousness. There were three stages in the six sessions. Session one and two was Stage I of exploring ordinary consciousness and establishing the ego personality structure that inhibits spiritual access. Sessions two and three was Stage II of changing perceptual awareness and discovering how to surrender and develop trust. Session 5 was Stage III in shifting consciousness. Stage IV was evaluation of the subject to determine the access and level of shift from ordinary to spiritual consciousness. What follows is the content and activities of each session.
Session One: Interview and Assessments. In the first session, pre tests were given to identify Enneagram types, beliefs, behaviors, psychological patterns, and how the subject viewed the state of their ordinary and spiritual consciousness. In the Pre-testing five tests were utilized one hands on test, and four written test. The tests given were the Riso-Hudson Type Enneagram Indictor, Finding God, Sensory Modality, Right Brain/Left Brain, and SCL-90-R.
The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, Version 2.5 uses 144 uses 144 questions to identify an individuals basic personality type. Beside describing the individual type the assessment provides the orientation of personality as assertive, compliant or withdrawn.
The Knowing God assessment is an instrument developed by the investigator of this study based on the book How to Know God The Soul’s Journey Into the Mystery of Mysteries by Deepak Chopra. Chopra describes seven stages of knowing God. The assessment was made up of 54 questions that probe at what stage a person is at in their experience with God. The seven stages are: • Stage one – God the Protector • Stage two – God the Almighty • Stage three – God of Peace • Stage four – God the Redeemer • Stage five – God the Creator • Stage six – God of Miracles • Stage seven – God of Pure Being: “I Am”.
Two other written assessments were Right/Left Brain Orientation and Sensory Modalities. Both of these assessments were developed by Lind and Kyle Consultants. The Right/left Brain Orientation assessment indicates the bias toward either brain orientation. The Sensory Modality assessment evaluates the bias orientation toward visual, auditory and kinesthetic in taking in, processing and outputting information.
The SCL-90-R is a Symptom Check List of 90 questions that is designed to reflect the psychological symptoms of nine global indicies of distress. The 90 items are rated on a five-point scale of distress (0-4) ranging from “Not at All” to “Extremely.” The primary symptoms that are measured are as follows:
Somatization: distress arising from perceptions of bodily dysfunction.
Obsessive-Complusive: thoughts, impulses, and actions that are unremitting and irresistible.
Interpersonal Sensitivity: feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, particularly in comparison with other people.
Depression: reflect a sign of withdrawal of life interest, lack of motivation and loss of vital energy.
Anxiety: signs of nervousness, tension, trembling, panic attacks and feeling of terror, apprehension and dread.
Hostility: reflects thoughts, feelings or actions that are characteristic of the negative affect state of anger, aggression, irritability, rage and resentment.
Phobic Anxiety reflects a persistent fear response to a specific person, place, object or situation that is irrational and leads to avoidance or escape behavior.
Paranoid ideation: reflects a disordered mode of thinking with projective thought, hostility, suspiciousness, grandiosity, fear of loss of autonomy and delusions.
Psychoticism: reflects a state of withdrawn, isolated, schizoid lifestyle with hallucinations and thought control that ranges from mild interpersonal alienation to dramatic psychosis.
The interview in the first session asked the following questions:
- Why do you want to be in this research project?
- Is it important for you to have a spiritual expression in your life?.
- Is it important for you to have a feeling of “bliss” and peace?
- What is your notion of God, the Source or a Higher Power?
- What is your spiritual practice (if any) at this time?
- Have you had experience at Meditation? If so, what forms?
- Are you willing to explore childhood and family patterns?
- Are you willing to commit to specific practices during the course of the research?
Session Two: Character Fixation. The second session reviewed the various assessments and explored each participant’s Enneagram personality type using the results from the Riso-Hudson Type Indicator as well as an inquiry about childhood beliefs to help confirm their personal type. One of the key ways of confirmation was identifying how parents related to them in childhood. A visual belief pattern was created from this discussion to understand the core fixation pattern that drives the ego personality structure. A technique called Recapitualation was taught to practice the releasing of beliefs. Journal instruction was given for work at home releasing beliefs as well as instruction in meditation practices.
Session Three: Childhood Holding Patterns. In session three childhood stories were reviewed from the “homework” of Session Two to explore the underlying fear that was unique to each story. These fear patterns were viewed as the barrier to the experience of spiritual awareness. Childhood holding patterns including specific beliefs, behaviors and feelings were outline. The subject then was asked to lie on a massage table and a meditation induction was given preceded by a song by Kathy Zavada called “Hold Me.” During the meditation induction there was a technique used to help the subject release stored up negative feelings related to the childhood holding patterns.
Session Four: Shifting Levels. The fourth session investigated and focused on the release of the subject’s fearful barrier of emotions rooted in their ego personality. There were five elements to this process:
- The subject was asked to identify and experience the emotions generated from a recent emotional situation in their life.
- The subject was then asked to explore the hidden fear underneath the emotions.
- The third step was to explore where these hidden layers of fear were stored in both the body and mind.
- With a meditation induction the subject was taken through the body/mind fears to experience the release and freedom that is available in the mind.
- A short documentary movie called the “Power’s of Ten” was viewed. The movie shows the dimensions of matter going from a person lying on a blanket, and then scales out past the planets and star systems to the infinite universe. It then reverses and goes in the other direction through a point in the man’s hand and then into the cells of the body and finally through limitless molecular energy to the Universal infinity. This documentary shows that the departure and the arrival are at the same quantum point. This movie was to show the participants another perspective of consciousness and to show how to scale to a different level of perception by moving from their limited personal view to a broader more universal perception
- The purpose of the emotional investigation of the core fixation and the movie was to see that what blocks entrance to a spiritual consciousness is also the portal when seen at a different scale and emotional amplitude.
- Finally a technique of self inquiry was taught to be practiced for the next session.
Session Five: Beyond the Mind. The session started with a meditation induction that focused on the mind as the betrayer. A video called “Powers of Time’ was shown to experience the relativity of time and space. The practice of Self Inquiry was discussed and further practiced. The subject was then asked to lay on a massage table. A relaxation induction prepared the subject to make toning sounds corresponding to a note played on a piano. The notes played were the C scale octave. Each note was repeated and played in the scale as it corresponded to a particular musical instrument as made by a synthesizer. The subject was asked to identify the note that most resonated to them. They were asked to find a resonate note that felt comforting and calming and that gave them a sense of balance emotionally. Once they found the resonate note they were to identify the corresponding area of the body in which a similar resonant vibration occurred. Each subject was then asked to find a particular body sensations at the point of the resonance. The sound, the emotional feeling, the body sensation were to provide the pathway from ordinary reality into a spiritual expansion of consciousness that would provide a consistent access point or portal that the subject could return to a will.
Session Six: Sound shifting practice, post testing and post interview.
Personal suggestions were given to the subjects to continue their consciousness shifting practices. The subject was given two post tests the SCL-90-R and the Knowing God, and given a post session evaluation form as well as a verbal exit interview about the previous sessions.
The pre scores of each of the participants was analyzed as a base line in which to design the appropriate approach and communication style for each individual’s conscious development for accessing spiritual consciousness. For example, the results of the Right/Left Brain and the Sensory Modality assessments would indicate whether the person was visual or kinesthetic, whether more left brain oriented and analytical, etc. in order to communicate to them in the appropriate style to reduce any barriers in the discussions or exercises. The SCL-90-R assessment was used initially to evaluate the stress points as the core fixation patterns were explored and brought to consciousness. The Knowing God assessment provided insight as to the perception the individual subject held about their conceptions of spiritual reality and experience.
After the sessions the post scores of the SCL-90-R and the Knowing God assessments were compared to the pre scores
Knowing God. Everyone has different conceptions of God and their relationship to a spiritual Source. The assessment explores may different beliefs and perceptions about one’s concept. The 56 questions had a six point agreement/disagreement scale. The comparison between pre and post testing showed that the perceived stage of how the subject viewed a spiritual Source shifted up the scale in all but one subject. The results of the seven different stages indicates how the individual views their understanding and relationship of themselves with a spiritual Source.
Stage 1 represents the fear and struggle to survive on their own.
Stage 2 is wanting to have power and achievement from God
Stage 3 seeks to know oneself and have peace.
Stage 4 trying to discover Self and gain spiritual insight.
Stage 5 longing to discover the workings of nature.
Stage 6 desiring to heal self and others.
Stage 7 knowing to be the infinite expression of God’s creation.
The comparison between pre and post testing showed that in all subjects but one that there was an increase in the 3rd and the 4th stages. This indicates that when one penetrates the spiritual consciousness it seems to activate the 3rd and 4th stages which represent God of peace and God of insight. In stages 3 and 4 one begins to see that peace can be found inside and so can a form of knowing about oneself he experienced. Before the testing it was assumed that the subjects would increase in stage 7 that they are God. The assumption was that having the experience of finding the portal people would have the direct experience of God. This did not occur because they could not make the leap of surrendering their total Self and of losing their ego identity.
SCL-90-R. This assessment provides a meaningful and valid picture of a person’s psychological distress status. On analyzing the pre test scores there were no subjects that indicated they were in any form of sever distress. In the post test scores compared to the pre testing for the six subjects there were the following results:
- Body issues went up in 4 and remained the same in 2.
- Obsessive/compulsive patterns went down in 4 and the same in 2.
- Interpersonal sensitivity went down in 5 and the same in 1.
- Depression went down in 3 and remained the same in 3.
- Anxiety went down in 5 of the 6.
- Phobic anxiety went down for 2 and stayed the same for 4.
- Paranoid Idealism went up in3, down in 1 and 2 were the same.
- Psychoticism scores remained the same in 3, up in 1 and down in 2.
The observation from this pre/post testing is that in the psychological domain the fixation patterns were still deep and the practice to work with the core fixation needed to be worked with for a longer period of time to break up its hold on the personality than the time given in the study.
Post Evaluation Questionnaire. Each subject was asked to report on what was understood and experienced from working with their Enneagram pattern, applying the self inquiry method using the technique called “What is Underneath”, reaction to the video The Power of 10 and sound toning.
Enneagram Characteristics. Each participant in the research reviewed their Enneagram characteristics with emphasis on their beliefs and key core fixation behavior in terms of feeling separated from God or some spiritual Source. The following is the self-reporting by the subjects of their experience.
Subject 1: “It was interesting to see myself from a different perspective of who
I was not.”
Subject 2: “It was the first time I had immersed into myself with such clarity.”
Subject 3: “Reviewing my type brought me into contact with a ‘somebody” that
was always merging, accommodating and being over powered by others.”
Subject 4: “It was good to have a deeper clarification of my type characteristics
that get in the way of the connection with the Source and in my connection with others.
Subject 5: “This is the first time I had understood how I operated in the world. I
had only seen little parts of myself up to this point. But looking at
my type in an in depth way I learned where the fixation was in
binding me from the truth of who I really am.”
Subject 6: “It wasn’t easy to look at some of the qualities that I thought were just
me, when in reality they were the mask hiding ‘just me.”
“What is Underneath”. In session four the inquiry technique of asking the subject about their core fixation pattern used the phrase “What is underneath that statement, view, belief, etc.?” Each participant worked with different personal issues but came to similar emotional and intellectual insights about their pattern. The following is the self reporting by the subjects of their experience.
Subject 1: “I began with not feeling deserving, then moved to hopeless, to
despair, and then seeing light, opening my heart and growing in a feeling of limitlessness.”
Subject 2: “The session began with a sense of distrust of myself, then to feeling
not respected, to lack of love, to being unworthy, to emptiness,
depleted, fearful, meaninglessness and then to being in a state of
non-existence. Then came a freeing experience and one of
liberation, then a neutral place, the place of observing rather than
Subject 3: “It began with a disappoint feeling of being on earth, then to having to
endure it, then a sadness, pain, emotional loss, lack of wholeness,
and then finally a completion in a place of rest that was neutral
and spacious and in which I felt like I was the source of it all.
Subject 4: “I began with a feeling of abandonment, then it moved to hurt,
betrayal, lostness, non-trust, fear, hopelessness, despair, then to a
void, nothingness and peace.”
Subject 5: “ It began with betrayal, feeling of not being enough, terrified, a
collapse into despair, feelings of suicide, then to the void. It
did tend to help me see the ‘cost’ of hanging on to my Enneagram
Subject 6: “The session started with a feeling of rejection, the feeling then moved
to my life as things not being fair for me, to being alone, angry,
vulnerable, having no control, and then feelings of being
destructive to myself. Amazingly, it then opened into a vastness.”
The video Powers of 10. Each subject viewed the video twice. The first time it was viewed with sound. The second time without sound, but being given a meditation induction as they viewed it.
Subject 1: Did not comment on the video.
Subject 2: Did not comment on the video.
Subject 3: “I found that Powers of 10 put the pieces together for me. But at times
I got lost in the detail of the story and not able to see the scale in
terms of how it applied to me.”
Subject 4: “It showed me how insignificant I was when I saw my little local self
began to dissolve into a greater sense of unity and vastness.”
Subject 5: “I began to equate what I was going through in my life with the
movement and scale of the incredible dimensions of space. I saw that it was important for me to be flexible and not to think that this is the only world.”
Subject 6: “My life is trivial compared to the vastness. But I saw that the outside
and the inside of my life is somehow the same. I was finally able to step back and just watch myself react.”
Sound Toning. As described above the purpose of finding one’s unique sound and finding its resonance in a particular place in the body was used to “construct” the individual portal for the subject to shift from ordinary to spiritual consciousness. The following responses are the subject’s report of finding the portal.
Subject 1: Didn’t report.
Subject 2: “The note was F and it was located in my head. Toning the note gave
me a feeling of being in a pure space.”
Subject 3: “ The note was E and I found it vibrating in my solar plexus and heart
Subject 4: “I loved finding the tone E. It gave a sense of calm and I kept
hearing a word repeated ‘center’.”
Subject 5: “The note was G in the throat and it gave me a feeling of being loved
and at home.”
Subject 6: The sound was C#. It was effective in finding the portal of stability and
being grounded in space.”
Discussion of the Results
The results of the study strongly support the hypothesis that an individual can distinguish between ordinary and spiritual consciousnesses. A pathway, or landmark can be identified to consciously move from one to the other to establish a relationship between them. Once the pathway is understood and experienced there is a natural portal or access point for one to return to at will. Thus, through this access into Spiritual awareness it allows one a continuous, conscious, deepening, and expansion into their own spiritual dimensions.
The data from the Knowing God tests showed an increase in the God stages of three (3) and four (4) – the stages of inner peace and insight. There were a variety of changes in the other five (5) stages but the strongest correlations were in these two fields of awareness. After one explores the shifting of ordinary to spiritual awareness a pivotal change occur. This invites a surrendering for a breakthrough to directly experience the inner world. This surrender experience is a direct shift from an outside focus to an inner attention and it allows a relaxation, a sense of well-being and the experience of deep peace to be realized. Finding the pathway to one’s unique portal provides a field of spiritual consciousness for creative insight to arise. Where there had been an exterior identification of personality and a sense of self, identification shifted to an inward place of being. Each subject reported a more reflective, calm and inner directed response to the world. Thus, there was an expansion of consciousness to view another aspect of reality and experience a different identity.
The SCL-90-R assessment measured the level or depth of the individual’s psychological distress. It is a reliable indicator of the current level of emotional disorder. It combines information concerning the number of symptoms reported with the intensity of perceived distress. All participants were in the normative scale.
In the data from the SCL-90 tests the most significant and consistent trend through out the scores of all subjects was a decrease in the scores of phobic anxiety, paranoia, and psychoticism. The reduction in these scores indicates a change related to trust in something other than the external world.
In the case of phobic anxiety it is defined as persistent fear of a specific person, place object or situation. The experience of the subjects reported after participating in the study indicated that they cultivated an inner strength resulting in courage as indicative of the scores.
The next area of reduced scores was paranoia. These are characteristics of projective thought such as blame, suspicion, and non- acceptance. The study protocols used the Enneagram personalities to deeply engage the subjects to examine their personality traits as mechanized behaviors that didn’t represent true identity. It was suggested in the course of the study to the subjects that these behaviors are generated by fear and create an interior storyline of self-talk that keeps a person identified and invested in the fear pattern. With fear as the foundation of the storyline, and experiencing the underlying feeling of being separated from others, the self-talk storyline creates a perception that the world is against us. However, once there is an experience of vastness, space and peace it is difficult to go back to the storyline in which one is alone and is being attacked or a victim of circumstances. Both the results of the SCL-90-R and the Knowing God assessments both showed movement away from the fear that generated the underlying storyline as well as the need to hold on to the self-talk as a means to support the core fixation pattern of fear.
Generally these three negative dimensions deal with the positive concepts of responsibility, trust and self-value. From the interviews all the subjects showed positive change in their own self-regard.
The Psychoticism dimension of thought score was also reduced. It is a thought system that allows one to be alienated, isolated and withdrawn. The exercise of, “What is underneath”, teaches that beyond ordinary consciousness lies another consciousness that is not fearful or stressful but loving, available, and accessible. Each time one experiences this layer of consciousness there is a reduction of the intensity of fear, panic, and terror.
In the study one of the ways of describing the Enneagram Personalities was that, God was the computer and the different personalities were the soft ware. Each participant wrote, drew pictures and journaled their personality characteristics. The subjects observed that the external world became less fixed, permanent and was the result of the storyline they made up about it. For example, the Enneagram 3 participant never viewed herself as the creator of various outer images in which she wanted others to see her in a particular way. When she saw her pattern in which she observed that her whole life was simply a variety of walking and talking images in which she hoped to gain love and acceptance from others. This realization uncovered a blind spot that stirred deep pain, loneness, and feelings of unauthenticity. Working through this blind spot she was able to detachment from this old thought form to an opening of her heart to self-love. When there is identification with the Enneagram personality pattern there is a basic separation from the spiritual dimension and the fear identification that holds back and covers up an experience of love.
In session two the Enneagram personalities were first identified in each participant as the role they play in ordinary consciousness. The clarification of these roles of their personal behaviors, feelings and beliefs established a definition of what for them was ordinary awareness. The core fixation feeling of each particular Enneagram personality was then examined. The exercise, “What is Underneath.” illustrated what supports or drives this feeling to keep each participant in fear and separate from the Universal Source. For example, Enneagram 2 participant discovered her key fixation as betrayal that also held feeling of not being enough, terror, thoughts of suicide and despair. As she felt despair she got stuck in the feeling and it was as far as her ordinary mind could feel. However, being willing to be guided deeper into those feelings of despair there came a point where she had an automatic release of her mind into a vastness, neutrality, and state of wellbeing that removed the despair, tension and pain.
Once the distinctions between the two realities of ordinary and spiritual consciousness were recognized by the subjects, the next step was to help them find a repeatable pathway in order to establish a route from ordinary ego driven reality to spiritual reality. To master the movement between each consciousness state the use of vibration of sound and personal toning was designed as a practical bridge between the two consciousnesses. By moving up and down the scales on a synthesizer with various instrument sounds each participant found their sound and matched it to a particular place in their bodies noting the physical sensations the sound produced at that body area. Pitching the voice to the note, feeling the place and sensations in the body as they toned on a daily basis provided an immediate shift into spiritual reality. A unique route for each subject from the ordinary to the spiritual had been established through the practice of vocal resonance. This was a mind/body vibration route that could quickly and easily be reached at will. For example, the Enneagram 2 participant found the note G located in her throat area was accompanied by a feeling of being loved and being at home, as well as a sensation of physical softness. The other subjects had different notes and different emotional and physical sensations.
The study demonstrated that each participant was able to find their unique pathway by finding their own sound, identifying the resonance of the sound at a particular location in the body, as well as a generalized feeling and sensation that helps the mind recall and ground this new pathway.
In summary, the hypothesis that an individual could shift from ordinary consciousness to a distinct and specific spiritual consciousness was demonstrated by the six subjects. What was learned in the post interviews and questionnaires is that to maintain this ability to shift between the two consciousnesses there needs to be continual practice and the willingness to master the mind pathway into exploring the nature of deeper consciousness and one’s true reality.
Next Steps for Research
It is clear from the experience of doing the study that the use of Nuerofeedback to monitor the brainwave patterns of subjects as they shift from ordinary consciousness to spiritual consciousness would give another dimension of feedback to an individual as well as train a person to be more precise in how they found and developed their pathway to the spiritual access point.
The value of using nuerofeedback would be to first measure the degree of amplitude of beta, alpha and theta brainwave activity of a subject. From that baseline it may be possible to monitor and track the shift from ordinary to spiritual consciousness as the subject uses the body/mind techniques that they discovered as the pathway into their spiritual portal.
The training process using nuerofeedback could also be used to strengthen and stabilize the pathway to the spiritual portal in order to make the shift in between the two conscious states more reliable, quicker and to enable the individual to explore more deeply their own spiritual terrain.