Self-Understanding: Which of the 4 Categories Are You In?

Self-Understanding: Which of the 4 Categories Are You In?

Dennis Bradford

388 Posts



What is my self-understanding?  Is my self-understanding correct?

In other words, what are you?  What kind of entity are you?  What do you take yourself to be?  Do you understand yourself correctly?

In other words, with what do you identify?

You judge yourself as falling into one of four categories.

First, you are only a body.  Not:  you have a body, but you are a body.  In other words, you identify yourself with nothing but a body, a separate physical being.  Even consciousness you take to be physical.  

Second, you are only a body and a mind, a “bodymind”.  In other words, in addition to your physical being, you identify yourself also as a mental being, namely, a specific set of thoughts and beliefs.  A belief is nothing but a thought (conceptualization, judgment) considered true to which we attach.  In addition to being physical, you are also conscious (and you don’t take consciousness itself to be physical).

Third, you are only a body, a mind, and your emotions.  An emotion is a connector between mind and body; although it’s centrally a judgment, it always has a physical location in the body.  [I’ve argued for this view in Emotional Facelift and Emotional Empowerment.]   For example, when you are angry, in addition to the reason why you are angry you may typically experience an unpleasant feeling or sensation in your gut.  In other words, in addition to your physical and mental being, you identify yourself also with an emotional being, namely, a specific set of emotions.

Fourth, you are the impersonal witnessing awareness of an individual set of physical, mental, and emotional experiences (events, episodes).  You are really the impersonal observer.

Which category do you think you fall in?  [Could you be mistaken?  See below.] 

You and Others

Assuming that your classification is correct, how do you compare with others?

About 41% of adult human beings fall into the first category.  From the spiritual perspective, these people are “unconscious,” spiritually blind.

About 18% fall into the second category.  These people think of themselves as what Descartes thought of finite substances, which are sometimes called “bodyminds.”

About 26%  fall into the third category.  [Even Descartes recognized the reality of emotions.]  Using Dr. Hawkins’s Map of Consciousness [see below], these people probably most often calibrate in the 400s.  Rational, educated people are likely to consider themselves “persons,” which are cobbled together from bodies, minds, and emotions.

With respect to the fourth category, there’s a difference between thinking that you are the impersonal witnessing awareness and “realizing” that you are the impersonal witnessing awareness.  To “realize” it is to be a sage, and only about .04% of people are sages who realize it.  Sages have personal calibrations of 600 or higher.  However, many people, probably mostly in the 500s, think of themselves as that awareness (without having [yet] “realized” it).  The percentage of people in the 500s is about 14%.

Unless you are already a sage, whichever category you are actually in, you have plenty of company.

Where these Percentages Come From

I calibrated them myself this morning [14 September 2021] and then related them to Hawkins’s Map.  They do change over time.

If you’d like to learn how to calibrate them yourself, I explain how to do so in Chapters 2 and 3 of my How To Dissolve Unwanted Emotions. 

If you’d really like to understand Hawkins’s Map, which I strongly encourage you to do, read (in order) his Power Vs. Force, The Eye of the I, and I. I also introduce it in Chapter 4 of How to Dissolve Unwanted Emotions.

Could Your Own Classification Be Incorrect?

Certainly.  In fact, it almost certainly is!

Why?  Any apprehension of truth is relative to a certain perspective.

Every separate or limited object [form, thing] gives off at least a minute energy vibration or frequency.  This is as true for thoughts and emotions as it is for bodies.  These vibrations can be calibrated.

Every human being calibrates between 1 and 1000 on Hawkins’s Map.  It’s an algorithmic (not arithmetical) scale.  Until death, no individual human’s calibration is fixed; it may increase or decrease, sometimes significantly.

People who calibrate at different major levels have vastly different surrealities; they live in different worlds.  This is why those with lower calibrations simply cannot understand those at higher calibrations.

Levels 1 through 199 are levels of falsehood.  People who calibrate at such low levels live in worlds characterized by selfishness and emotionalized egocentricity.  There’s no integrity, love, or acceptance of responsibility.  This is the level of force and bestiality; animal survival requires self-interest.  Personal pleasure and gains are all that matter. If your calibration is, say, 155, you’ll think that people who calibrate in the 300s or 400s are soft-headed fools and dreamers.

Integrity begins at level 200, which is also the beginning of love and empowerment.  Rationality begins to overpower emotion at level 400.  If you live in North America, probably most people you know calibrate between 200 and 499.  Nearly all of the great philosophers, artists, and scientists calibrate in the 400s.  Many thinkers pride themselves on being hard-headed.

The objective, material world itself, which is characterized by linear causality, calibrates from 1 to 499.  The subjective, spiritual world, which is nonlinear, calibrates between 500 and 1000. 

Love blossoms at level 500 and above.  Unconditional love requires a personal calibration of 540 or higher.  Calibrations in the 500s are those of people who are lovers, genuine givers.  Calibrations of 600 and above are those of selfless sages.  The greatest human beings such as The Buddha and Jesus Christ calibrate at 1000.     

Not surprisingly, persons with personal calibrations at 499 or lower often think that those who calibrate at 500 or higher are spiritually hallucinating.

Why is your nature or essence almost certainly not what you think it is?

It’s because your personal calibration is almost certainly at 599 or lower.  If it is, you still think of yourself as a person. 

What’s wrong with that?  Persons are, supposedly, separate individuals.  The problem is that suffering (unsatisfactoriness, discontent, misery, despair, unhappiness) is caused by separation.  Until you “realize” that it’s false that essentially you are a person, your suffering will continue.

Love is the unity that overcomes separation.  Whereas separation hurts, love heals.  The great sages, saints, and mystics essentially take themselves to be love.  Instead of thinking of themselves as separate from it, they identify with everything else.  To love is to identify with the beloved. That’s why they are the greatest lovers and why they do not suffer. 

If you are still suffering, your personal calibration is 599 or less.  Therefore, until and unless it increases to 600 or higher, whatever anyone tells you about sagehood will remain unintelligible.  What now, though, is unintelligible to you may nevertheless be directly experienced.  It’s possible to experience what cannot be conceptualized.

In fact, all the sages assure us that spiritual awakening is the greatest experience available to human beings.

2 thoughts on “Self-Understanding: Which of the 4 Categories Are You In?

  1. Kelly maggiore

    Has for me I fall in the third sage before meant my coach(Dennis Bradford) with the help of how to dissolve unwanted emotions he gives me instructions which I have to follow and I study calibration day and night, and I thank God and my coach my life don’t remain the same again.

    15/09/2021 at 10:32 am
  2. Dennis Bradford

    Thanks, Kelly.

    28/10/2021 at 4:33 pm

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