The world exists in many layers of consciousness. To get a feel for how this works, let’s use a television analogy. When you have a television set, you can change channels to watch any particular program that you choose. At the same time, however, the signals for all the other programs are being sent. Elsewhere, other people are receiving the signals that you are not seeing. You can’t see those other signals because you have chosen not to tune in.
In the same way, all the layers and levels of reality exist at the same “time’ and in the same “place”. If you desire, you can tune in to those other layers of reality through dreams, meditation, teacher plants, shamanism, etc. Most of the time, however, most of us are tuned in to only one reality–consensus reality–with its rigid rules and linear thinking.
Consensus reality is what most people think of as the only reality. It is the realm where we agree on certain rules and play only by those rules. It is the realm of matter–of energy that moves so slowly that it doesn’t seem to move at all.
In the same space, there are other layers that we access all the time, but without realizing it.
The level of the body-mind, or instinct, has its own rules. On this level, you may be picking up energy signatures from plants, animals, people, or places. There are no thoughts attached to these processes, and they often work instantaneously. If you have ever reacted in a crisis, you know that your body just does things, and you never stop to decide to take action. This level also beats your heart and digests your food. All the things that you are not aware of still keep right on happening.
One up, so to speak, from consensus reality, there exists the world of the mind. We visit there all the time. For example, when you are driving and start to remember the argument you had with a co-worker, you may arrive at your destination and not really remember how you got there. That is because you left consensus reality and entered the world of the mind. Everything else disappeared. The rules of consensus reality do not apply here. You can time travel from past to future, you can go anywhere, and be anyone in your mind.
At another level, you find the realm of soul. This is “where” the essence of the individual you exits. We sometimes visit this realm in altered states, or dreams. Here, energy is more directly experienced. One can see the links between forms on the thought and physical level.
At this level, many of the happenings you see in your life originate. You think you are creating circumstances through cause and effect. The truth is, much of what you experience in your life comes to you as whole experiences that “you” decided on at this higher level. It is the level where your individual life is created.
When Zen masters talk about Satori, they are often describing a moment where you see at this level. Soul can see things more as they truly are. Thoughts are not necessary here, as concepts appear in complete form, not as individual words, broken down into fragments.
Over that level is the level where creation as a whole is formed. You begin to understand how energy slows down into matter, and how they influence one another. Here is the realm of archetypes. or general patterns, that that are used as templates to create a shared sense of being.
At another level is pure consciousness. Here you can see the underlying unity of everything, and experience oneness. Here, all is energy.
Understanding these layers of reality allows you to navigate them, and to know where you are getting your information. You can tune in to another level when you need to, to get more insight into your life, and your life path. All of us operate in these levels, in degrees more or less. Gaining insight into your alternate levels can help you to get more accurate information, to make better decisions, and to experience greater peace.