Initially, you will find that your path leads you to explore your own personal subconscious. You'll experience a lot of "a-ha moments" as the patterns that have governed your relationships and attitudes are traced to early childhood imprinting. Once you expose this imprinting, it ceases to have hold on you. In the personal subconscious level are found the reasons why we choose the same type of romantic partner over and over again, the roots of unconscious habits such as biting our nails or sleepwalking. Here, too, are found the causes of our attitudes about love, money, and our perception of "reality". Working through the personal subconscious can be a liberating experience, can help you free yourself from unhelpful behaviors, and can help you live a more satisfying life.
But for those who choose to walk their path of consciousness further, there are many more levels to explore.
Carl Jung recognized that within each human being, beneath than the individual unconscious, lies the Collective Unconscious. It is this deeper layer that connects us all as human beings, and provides the archetypes that the human experience has collectively shared over the millennia. In this beautiful layer are found all the myths, fairytales, and gods and goddesses which humanity has fashioned in its own image.
Archetypes are shared from culture to culture. Also included in the Collective Unconscious are the archetypes which represent the range of human familial forms: that of The Mother, The Father, The Child... and all the myths and stories that surround these archetypes.
Much of our psychological and spiritual work deals with this Collective Unconscious. It is the gift of our ancestors and previous lifetimes that allows us to journey into this collective treasure trove and incorporate understanding of the human condition.
This experience of shared Collective Unconscious can become activated and accessible as we learn to alter our consciousness. You might find, for example, during a sound balancing, meditation or hypnosis session, that initially, your Personal Unconscious childhood memories are uncovered. Then going deeper, you may recall other human lives with which you have a Karmic connection. These "past life" flashes often reveal the cause of current issues or situations, and also are a part of the Collective Unconscious, shared by every human. Empathy for other people becomes far more accessible as you realize that each of us is on the same journey.
Our archetypical stories are woven into our very DNA. From the Collective Unconscious you may experience messages or visions of your most beloved gods and goddesses, angels, and guides. These beings are always there, ready to bring you messages that you need, at any time.
Global Collective Consciousness
The next level that is accessed is the Global Collective Consciousness, connecting us with all species past, present. and future; and with the Global Consciousness itself.
At this level, you become experientially aware of your connection with all of life. You are no longer, as Alan Watts said, a "stranger" on Earth. Contrary to the old Judeo-Christian concept of being "in the world, but not of it" you become aware that you are Home. You belong here, now, in this moment. No longer an orphan on a hostile planet, you realize that you are surrounded by your kin: other human beings, animals, and plants are your connected, extended family.
You may find that things that never particularly bothered you before, such as violence in movies, or a diet of animal products, suddenly has become unappealing. Everyday events may evoke a great compassion from you, (accessing the Archetype of a compassionate Goddess like Kwan Yin, for example). You may feel on a spiritual level that you want to embrace every living thing in love... and you may find yourself choosing to consciously send out blessings and compassion to all species, or as the Native Americans termed them, "All my relations". Compassion becomes a very real and vital expression in your life.
Deeper still, your connection to the planet itself may lead you into what is often termed eco-spirituality. At this level, you experience the planet as a sacred, living entity. This experience may come to you in dreams or meditation, during a sound balancing session, hypnosis session, or a vision, and it can be recognized by the fact that it does not go away. You truly feel at one with the entire planet. You may suddenly feel inspired to nurture the soil, to garden, to use only organic methods to feed the soil, to protect wildlife, and to walk softly on the planet, lightening your pollution footprint. You may be inspired to more consciously change your purchasing habits, refusing to add to the planet's pollution burden. Compassion and consciousness become an even greater part of your life.
Going deeper still, you suddenly experience the living, Universe within: The Conscious Universe. And here you realize that deep within you is contained the boundless Universe: deeper is also higher! Here, all things are One, and separation is understood to be an illusion. Suddenly everything around you is imbued with meaning, and you may find that every ordinary action is a miracle. Every step is in grace. You live in compassion and wisdom.
So far, for most of us, these deeper levels are challenging to maintain once the experience itself wears off. But as we practice consciously living in the present moment, we find that we manifest more of these higher qualities more consistently.
And once we've experienced these deeper/higher states of consciousness, it becomes our task to open ourselves to express the compassion and grace they've given us, in our everyday lives.
It's an awesome adventure!