Higher Consciousness

The writer and philosopher of the everyday Alain de Botton has now started A School of Life to help us all find a little more guidance in our lives, and he does it in the most generous, least annoying way possible.  I've been a big fan of his since his books How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy.  Here in this video (from the School of Life Youtube Channel) he talks about the idea of higher consciousness, a subject often touched on in relation to meditation.  Though the practice of meditation and the idea of higher consciousness are much more in the mainstream than they used to be, they can still intimidate and confuse people who are new to both.  I've struggled with this myself, as I've slowly come to meditation in fits and starts over the past few years.  The confusion is not surprising. Often the very practitioners or teachers who could help don't remedy this situation much by giving it all a gauzy mystical touch when relating it to others.  I've discovered the practice of creating space and quiet in yourself is a very concrete and teachable skill, like building muscles with exercise.  Which is a relief, in some ways.  It doesn't have to feel out of reach (like striving for enlightenment), and it's an especially good skill to have as artists, for with these glimpses of our larger selves, we also tap the most creative aspect of our minds. 

'Higher consciousness' sounds mystical and possibly irritating. It shouldn't. It just captures how we see things when we go beyond our own egos.