One of the defining factors of being human is our potential to reflect and embody consciousness to quite profound levels. This isn’t exclusive to humans but it might be called one of our greater potentials – to live reality right in form.
Many of the things we’ve often considered “human” can also be discovered in plants and animals, although the expression varies considerably. For example, some cats are very present, some live in their own world, and some are thick as a post. Trees have senses and emotions but experience very differently.
Our path isn’t about “getting enlightened.” It’s better to frame it as becoming more and more conscious. Not just of ourselves but of the world and all levels of being. Simply living life and having experiences is integral to our own growth.
Increasing awareness brings greater understanding, compassion, solutions, healing, and opening for still more.
We can see this process beginning even in early childhood. One of the first major movements of maturation is distinguishing ourselves from our mother, then becoming a progressively more autonomous being. Once that is well established, we have the platform for stepping into universality without getting lost in it.
Fundamental to all of it is the question of being, of who I am. This is also a key marker for stages of development. We see this in cognitive and ego development and later in stages of development in consciousness. Each major change is a shift in our sense of who we are and the nature of the world.
Who we are is not reserved to our spiritual practices but is lived in every moment of our day-to-day life.