heightening consciousness

The meditatative states that have long been cultivated in Eastern traditions are often described as techniques for heightening consciousness. In fact they are ways of bypassing it. Drugs, fasting, divination and dance are only the most familiar examples… Subliminal perception – perception that occurs without conscious awareness – is not an anomaly but the norm. Most of what we perceive of the world comes not from conscious observation but from a continuous process of unconscious scanning: ‘Unconscious vision… [has] proved to be capable of …gathering more information than a conscious scrutiny lasting a hundred times longer … the undifferentiated structure of unconscious vision… displays scanning powers that are superior to conscious vision.’

- Anton Ehrenzweig (1908-1966)