What is Consciousness?

Consciousness is not a new concept. The message of Jesus Christ is actually an invitation to consciousness itself by his inviting us to be aware of our essential spiritual nature and relationship to the Divine. Christ told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This simple yet profound commandment holds within it the idea that the “self” can be found in the “other” and by loving others, we are in turn loving ourselves.

Such an idea inherently means that if we are conscious of others’ needs, and in turn others are conscious of our needs, the destruction and suffering of humanity will give way to peace. It is impossible however, to love one another or ourselves if we are focused on the fears and desires of the ego. Such ego drives give rise to narcissism and pervasive self-absorption which separate people and ultimately cause suffering.

Being painfully aware of the suffering within and between people, Christ provided a viable, conscious way to be in the world … He simply said that there is no way we can enter the Kingdom of God unless we turn and become as a little child. The little child lives in the state of “soul” not the state of “ego”. By becoming as a little child once more, we are re-entering the state of pure transparency to God. The task of leaving ego, retaining our life’s wisdom and returning to soul is the greatest spiritual challenge before us. It is also a challenge that requires consciousness of reality, of our true purpose and of the common Divine source from whom we all come. It requires conscious being.

Why Do We Suffer?

With each passing decade, humanity is plagued with global conflict, as well as massive human suffering and death. Also, as time goes on, the risk of planetary environmental demise increases. There is also on the individual level, tremendous agony within millions of people. Mental and emotional conflict and pain continue to torture people, and cause dissension, aggression and destruction to individuals and families. Millions this day, are searching for relief. Under these threats and stressors, the human soul can easily be forgotten and ignored by the egocentric preoccupations of humanity. The ego promises to provide the relief sought for, yet the ego is limited and impaired. It cannot under its own volition, alleviate the suffering its fears and desires cause. As an alternative to suffering, humanity can awaken to call forth its very soul.

If the soul is not called forth and if egocentricity continues to block consciousness, it is more likely that we, the inhabitants of earth, will destroy ourselves.

Can the Enneagram Increase Consciousness and End Suffering?

The Institute for Conscious Being seeks to call forth the soul as our truest self. In this endeavor, many can benefit from the wisdom of spiritual tools taught and practiced by the Institute’s trained leaders and faculty. The ripple effect among and beyond the people who avail themselves of such learning can be significant as consciousness spreads. Some of the tools for which the Institute provides (or will provide in the future) instruction include art and spirituality, meditation, mind-body connection through yoga, centering prayer, dream work, self-inquiry, spiritual guidance/direction, teaching consciousness in the school setting, spiritual photography, spirituality of the written word, story-telling/ the narrative as soul, spirituality in the cinema, spirituality of the pilgrimage, and many more. A basic spiritual tool espoused and taught by the Institute is the ancient Enneagram, which is a map of the flow of divine energy. Essentially, the Enneagram is a spiritual map to the soul. Just one of the many portals to soul consciousness, the Enneagram is a tremendously illuminating method to self-realization and consciousness.

The essential nature of the soul was made very clear by Christ when He said, “What does it profit a person if the person gains the whole world but loses their soul?” Indeed, even American popular culture attests that if anything of us survives death, it us the consciousness of the soul.

As the Institute for Conscious Being explores the importance of the soul, great effort is made to include a diverse audience and an acceptance of all spiritual paths. Because a sacred container must be used in exploration and teaching consciousness, that container for the institute is Christianity while other divine traditions and their containers are recognized as also sacred.