What is the state of your Consciousness?
One of the first steps in spiritual awakening and maturity is to recognise the difference between living reactively and living consciously.
An unconscious person lacks the ability to observe themselves at arms length, and to see themselves as others see them. You can recognise these people. They tend to quickly disassociate from any wrong-doing they have done. They either have no conscious memory, selective memory, or biased memory. They may unconsciously project their own short-comings or wrong-doings on to others.
You would have a frustrating time trying to get through to them as they would see your appeal to their conscience as a personal attack on them. These people are unconscious and have only the most basic morality like – don’t steal, don’t kill. They would have little appreciation or awareness of the subtle wrong-doings like ‘bearing false witness’, manipulating, or being under-handed. They are usually two-faced.
To them, they are simply defending their territory or protecting their interests. They often react like a reflex, without thinking first. They act upon every thought and feeling they have and identify with them completely.
There is limited capacity to mediate between their conscience and these feelings and thoughts. They just become them, regardless of whether the thought or feeling is constructive or destructive. These people are completely run by their egos and have a very different world view from that of a conscious person.
If you are able to observe yourself, and put yourself in other people’s shoes and feel empathy for those who suffer, then you are living consciously. You are able to perceive and respond with intuition and intelligence. The most powerful benefit of living consciously is that your mind becomes a tool for your consciousness. The tail no longer wags the dog.
Spiritual maturity means you develop the ability to witness your thoughts but not become the thoughts. This is valuable when it comes to insecure and negative thoughts and emotions. You can’t help having them, but you don’t need to take them seriously, or worse, believe in them like there is no other perspective. In a practical sense you no longer are a slave to the insecurities that ego keeps bringing up from its reactions to the external world. Ego is the limiter and filter of our consciousness so we can operate in this linear reality, it was never meant to be the arbiter of reality.
One of the pillars of spiritual maturity is knowing the power of love and the difference between unconditional love and universal love.