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From Survival to Service, The 7 levels of Personal Consciousness

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

How do we enhance and maintain a quality lifestyle that supports our personal drive and passion?



In this article: The 7 levels of Personal Consciousness

"If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside." - Unknown

From this profoundly simple quote, we can deduce that if we are to move forward from basic survival, then we must be prepared to do the inner work.


Expanding upon Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Australian author Richard Barrett, in his seminal book ‘The New Leadership Paradigm’, succinctly spells out how we can move from raw survival, through the intermediate levels, to being of service, considered the highest form of human consciousness, at this point in time.



7 levels of personal consciousness


1. Survival:

Let’s start at the bottom rung of this ladder, Survival.


Innate and composite within all living species, including humans, is the urge to survive.


We prune fruit trees and rose bushes, threatening their survival and viola, next season we have healthier fruit and richer blossoms.


Our primary drive as a species is to remain alive, and to avoid premature death. The irony is, if we are at the core, infinite consciousness, animating these physical bodies, then that part of us never dies.


"Everything Is Energy and That’s All There Is To It. Match the Frequency of the Reality You Want." - Albert Einstein


He also stated that “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” In our case, the transformation is from one level of Consciousness to another.


However, the reality is, we do need to provide the basics for ourselves, families, and communities; they are food, shelter, clothing and transport, the latter in remote, developing locations may be a simple track, or means of getting ourselves and our produce from point A to point B.


2. Relationship:

relationships, 7 levels of consciousness

Relationships are the foundation of achievement and thus our healthy relationship to ourselves, is vital to moving beyond survival. By ourselves it is implied the four bodies of the human being –

1. Physical Body

2. Emotional Body

3. Mental Body

4. Spiritual Body


Physical Body:

Some form of mastery is required to respectfully transform these body’s into a healthy and viable state, starting with fully honouring this physical form, through which you experience life’s offerings. Our five senses, with a spot of the sixth sense of intuition thrown in, is how we encounter the world around us and the healthier the body, the deeper our relationship grows within, and the outer world.


This would be a good start:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet of plenty of fresh, non-processed foods, drink sufficient quantities of water every day, (the average human body comprises of 50% - 75% water) and limit caffeine and alcohol intake.

  2. Make the time for regular and suitable exercise

  3. Get sufficient sleep for your body’s needs

  4. Practice good health and hygiene

Emotional Body:

Without a doubt, fear is the most destructive emotion to carry around, and learnt, conditioned fears emanate from the ego.


We can make a conscious choice as to how long we entertain our emotions, from the lowest; fear, regret, shame and blame, up to; joy, happiness and enthusiasm, and everything in between.


These emotions permeate every cell in our body and often get stuck, bring about dis-ease, which foments into disease, so it well behoves us to support the higher level emotions.


Mental Body:

Our minds are full of thoughts, ideas, concepts and more, but are often dictated to by the ego, which is steeped in fear, separateness, and superiority, along with a gamut of subsets.


We can change our thoughts to more positive ones, whenever we find ourselves dwelling on negativity, pain, or trauma from the past. It is a choice as to what we focus our attention on. To have mastery over our mental body starts with us making this conscious choice. The wellness of our physical body is dependent upon the quality of our thoughts.


Spiritual Body:

This, like the mental and emotional bodies are not seen, but felt. By diving inwards, the hero’s journey within, we can uncover who we really are at the core, and live from that place.


This journey can be via meditation, contemplation, yoga, immersing ourselves in Nature and many other opportunities.


A healthy and authentic relationship with our four bodies will lift us to the next plateau of consciousness.


3. Self Esteem:

self esteem, 7 levels of consciousness

Can be defined as having self-respect and confidence in one's own worth or abilities.

The opposite of this is self-destructive and usually accompanied by the feelings of unworthiness, a lack of self-love, disrespect towards oneself (and others), worry, anxiety, negative self-talk, and a lack of confidence. Hint, much of our lack of self-esteem originates from our early childhood and learnt conditioned reactions to conflict that we have witnessed.


The above will need to be overcome and transformed, if we are to move up the ladder of consciousness. This can be achieved through direct self-enquiry, contemplation, meditation, counselling, coaching, or any modality which guides us inwards to the root cause of the condition, and replaces it with the truth and more life-enhancing beliefs about ourselves.


4. Transformation:

transformation, 7 levels of consciousness

Now we get to the juicy bit! Transform means to undergo a marked change, and so we can alter, access more of our consciousness and ultimately, our behaviours will become wiser and more intelligent.


This is the critical tipping point of our growth and if we have not arrived at our personal stage of ‘Need of Change’, i.e. transformation, nothing is going to change!


“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein


In essence Consciousness is complete and whole as it is, but what is lacking is our access to it. So transformation requires a deep dive within to uncover, what is always there, and will never cease to be.

This can be achieved though being quiet (in silence), removing all distractions, immersing ourselves in Nature, meditation and any other modality, which sends us inwards on a voyage of uncovery.


5. Internal Cohesion:

Internal cohesion, 7 levels of consciousness

Internal is to go inside and cohesion means to bring together in wholeness and unity. Internal cohesion therefore implies bringing the various parts of us together in alignment; in short, our head and heart come into alignment.


When we are guided by our heart and our intelligent mind is in harmony, we are in the state of internal cohesion.


The opposite is true that when we are dictated to by the fearful, egoic-mind, riding roughshod over our heart, we run into all sorts of challenges.


Be guided by your heart and allow the head to bring clarity into the picture.


6. Making a Difference:


The old paradigm is systematically crumbling away, to make way for the new. The new pattern, a life-enhancing model benefitting all species and our precious Mother Earth, is heavily influenced by cooperation and collaboration.


Finding those who share your passion and purpose is the key, for the days of the fiercely independent person are waning. There is plenty to do to bring about the much-needed, constructive changes to humanity and the New Earth, where we live in peace, harmony, and unity.


Find your life purpose, your vision for a better world, along with the gift(s) you have to offer and share it/them widely.


Most of all, make a difference in all you think, say, and do.


7. Service:


Service is the act of doing something for, or helping someone. It goes beyond our own personal desires and ‘wants’, to selflessly giving, with no expectation of receiving anything in exchange. It is considered the highest form of Consciousness.


It is driven by a clear and pure vision, passion and purpose and is in perfect alignment with who you are at the core; an infinite being, having a human experience


In summary, we can make a conscious choice to lift ourselves out of survival mode, work our way upwards by becoming more conscious and aware, until we reach the pinnacle of being of service to others,


This is a worthwhile pursuit and results in the changes we wish to see in the world (Thank you Mahatma Gandhi, who was and remains, an exemplary purveyor of this process).


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