There are several levels of consciousness in human beings. As Eckhart Tolle calls them they are unconsciousness, consciousness and deep unconsciousness. Most people on the planet today are deeply unconscious. This means that they are never aware of their true nature beyond their identification with their self-image. Some people today due to spiritual cultivation and self-questioning have become conscious of themselves beyond their personal identification. People at this level then are alternating between being identified with their personality (unconscious) and are not totally identified with their personality (conscious).
This is a growing process, so there are people at many points along this scale having different levels of personal awareness. Continuously and fully conscious people today are quite rare – probably there are only a handful of people present on the planet today who have completely cleared up their old history and have totally dropped the image of their personality. For those people who are alternating between being conscious and unconscious, there is one thing that has to be cleared up before full consciousness will be realized. It is healing the pain body or accumulated negative energy of the past, which mainly is being held onto by the personality because it is getting it’s special satisfaction out of feeling alive by generating strong emotion. It is a protective emotional body of energy.
I would like to tell people that this can be easily done but the fact is it is not easy. It seems we have to go to level of being in much misery before one is truly ready to let go of feeling oneself in this way. If one is in the state of being conscious at times then they might wonder if they are fully conscious or not? There is a very simple way to tell: if you are having strong emotional outbursts at times you can be sure that you have not transformed your pain body and there is more inner work for you to do.
The misery results when something on the outside triggers emotional pain and brings up old unresolved images from the past coming out of early traumatic experiences, then the result is that one becomes identified with one’s pain body, which causes a strong identification with one’s personality resulting in ‘deep unconsciousness’. The way one does this is that an outside event triggers a strong emotion, one might feel deep sadness or loneliness, then the images from one’s childhood are recalled. As an identified entity, one dwells on the images over and over in one’s mind, then becoming the pain body and fully identified with one’s suffering.
However being partially aware, this state doesn’t last too long and eventually calms down and the ‘pain body’ relaxes. But it will continue to rear until the individual releases the pain body energy goes beyond it. Accumulated internal negative energy will eventually erupt to the outside as either physical or mental disease and will eventually force a breakdown and turn one back to oneself.