We say a person is wise when they see the bigger picture of life; when they can identify the path that takes one out of suffering and towards peace. A wise person seeks that path themselves and encourages others to walk with them. Very few people exhibit wisdom and achieve peace. Those that have are revered and respected and become the sages and prophets of humanity. What is the bigger picture of life that they see and others don’t? What prevents a person from attaining peace and living a joyful life? Some claim it is the Ego that holds them back in favor of its own gratification. Others blame the Devil for misguiding the seeker. The truth is that you hold yourself back. It is a question of mental maturity and level of consciousness that will determine your success upon the path of peace.
Mental maturity has more to do with disciplining the mind than age. It is true that age often has a tempering effect upon the urges and inconsistencies of youth, but with intention and focused practice, you can achieve mental acuity at any age. The difficulty in governing the mind lies in our apparent inability to control our thought processes. ‘Monkey Mind’ is the term that is sometimes used to describe the erratic movements of our thoughts and the sometimes inexplicable directions that our thoughts can take. Where do thoughts come from?
The Buddha, in his practical wisdom, thought that it was immaterial where the thoughts came from. The important thing was to deal with the immediate suffering. Eckhart Tolle’s answer was that thoughts come from the collective human consciousness and are not generated from the individual. He portrays thoughts as energy forms. When they resonate with our mind, that thought is introduced into our awareness and we claim it as our own. Mental maturity is the recognition and awareness that thoughts are not our own. We are the gatekeepers that either allow thoughts to enter or ban them from surfacing. This can be realized by disciplining the mind.
Your level of consciousness is a product of many factors. The first is the level of consciousness at which you were born. I call it your birth ray. Your entry level of consciousness depends upon your karma or the amount of energy blockages contained within your energy body. In each progressive lifetime, you have the opportunity to either increase or decrease the extent of blockage patterns you have accumulated, which influences your level of consciousness in the subsequent lifetime.
Another factor that affects consciousness is association. What family, society, culture, were you born into. Who are your friends? Who are your teachers? What outside influences have shaped your life? The third factor involves your effectiveness at clearing karma from your energy. Do you clear it consciously with techniques like meditation, exercise or prayer or do you rely on unconscious clearing through sickness or having accidents? A fourth factor in consciousness is your ability to discipline the mind. Again, techniques in meditation, and prayer can help with that.
Controlling the mind and the thoughts it allows to surface affects your consciousness level. Your ability to become heart-centered is the final factor affecting your level of consciousness. This means the degree to which you love others unconditionally. This last factor is also the most important. To love others unconditionally is the reason you are here in this existence. It is the essence of who we are. Your level of compassion is directly associated with your level of consciousness.
A wise person is someone that seeks to envision the bigger picture in life and then acts accordingly. Wisdom is that bigger picture. Your progress upon the path of wisdom is tempered by your level of consciousness. The context of your environment can be a boon or a detriment to your advancement. The deciding factor, however, is your intention to grow spiritually and the quality of your heart.