Level Six: The Collective Unconscious
The collective unconscious is a region of consciousness and life energy that permeates all living beings. It is like a repository that contains every thought that has ever been thought, every word that has been spoken, every intention, every experience—in other words, all that is created is part of our shared experience, on the unconscious level, as human beings. It is in this region of consciousness where thought, awareness, consciousness, and archetypal content—some of which is formed, and some of which is unformed—begin the process of becoming manifest.
What is shared—what is manifest in this region on a universal level—is best described as a capacity or potential that exists rather than a specific, personally characterized piece of information. For example, the psychic and spiritual energy of the mother exists here, as well as a universal expression of the mother. When this energy moves through the different levels of awareness toward the awake mind, it collects information and aspects of manifestation that express this energy as human, then according to cultural expression, then with the particular aspects that become personal. A common mistake is when people attempt to correlate events and content from the awake mind and the material world with content of the collective unconscious. In other words, they reverse the process described above and assume that their personal experience of the mother, is universal. If one takes this personal experience and assumes it is representative of all mothers, then the understanding of the mother becomes fixed and limited, and does not retain the potential and the flexibility to hold the diversity of all mothers.
Another common misconception is that this region holds the capacity of predicting future events. Again, there is a shared capacity, but this shared capacity is subject to universal laws pertaining to the expression of freedom. The capacity of freedom can alter any event or circumstance because freedom is a fundamental characteristic of consciousness, energy and potential.
If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (John 3:12-13)
As the quote from John reveals, there is a quality or characteristic of the being who has ascended into higher realms of consciousness and then returns to be in relationship with persons in other states of consciousness, such that we describe that being as “anointed” (the meaning of Christ). An anointed being is able to use the content of all regions of consciousness as a means of communicating the revelation of God in human beings. The anointed being has the spiritual attainment and knowledge necessary to travel or pass through these realms, to recognize the characteristics of each realm, and to know what kind of signpost or milestone is represented in relation to God consciousness. This ability to return to the source of all consciousness and mediate between the highest level of consciousness and the realms below is rare among human beings. This is the reason beings that have attained this capacity are called “mediators.” It is only at the lower level of consciousness looking “up” at this capacity that this is seen as unique. It is only unique in the experience of the person perceiving this capacity for the first time and not having the experience of seeing and understanding this capacity in other beings.
The internal process of an individual with these abilities or capacities can result in access to the imaginal realm: the part of the collective unconscious where we experience the archetypal and primordial aspects of God’s being. This experience can be described as the part of us that is God recognizes God, and God recognizes us. Over time the boundaries of the imaginal realm become permeable to God consciousness and to a shared imaginal realm, thus the experience of God in this realm is both personal and collective. The highest form of mutual recognition between an individual and God occurs in the imaginal realm. Early experiences of this power are often captured by the intellect and the ego, which can lead to a premature declaration of revelation if the person has limited spiritual experience and attainment.