as first put forth by Tim Urban of waitbutwhy.com

We believe that as we gain greater understanding through Areté, we will experience a progression of consciousness.  While existing in any of the four identified stages of consciousness is temporary, and sometimes only fleeting, by living with more excellent habits we can make experiencing higher consciousness a habit as well.

  • Stage 1: The Fog
    • On this step we are surrounded by the cacophony of human emotion.  Our animal nature which seeks for survival and pleasure controls our actions.  We are not even aware that we are surrounded by this fog.
    • When surrounded by the fog of our daily lives we are small minded, short sighted, and stupid.
  • Stage 2: Contextual Awareness
    • We become aware of the fog, and recognize how unhelpful it is.  We can now make better decisions and gain greater agency over our lives.
    • Attaining consciousness of this level is often possible through education, reflection, and harmony with our physical bodies and the world.
  • Stage 3: Shocking Reality & Enlightenment
    • These are often "whoa moments" where we suddenly glimpse a greater perspective than just our individual circumstances.
    • Greater wisdom at this level helps us make even difficult decisions with better success.
  • Stage 4: The Great Unknown & Innovation
    • There is no reason to presume Stage 3 is the epitome of consciousness and wisdom.  This stage pushes the boundaries of current comprehension.
    • We don't know how much we don't know, but this leaves potentially limitless area for us to explore and innovate!  Living on this step means discovering genuinely new knowledge.

← The Thirty Aims                                        Contemplation →

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