Throughout millenniums ancient cultures have search for knowledge in their inner being. They were aware of the different states or levels of consciousness of which humanity is capable to access. We have to distinguish the difference between being consciouss and being aware. Awareness is a cognitive capacity; it’s a capacity of “realizing”. Consciousness would come to be the state of being, an evolutionary level and the divine part of the being. Awareness is the level of “realizing” that is interrelated with consciousness. Consciousness is the state of comprehension or the energy that the being can reach by comprehending itself and the divine realm.
The Vedic philosophy between century VII and X divided the states of being in states of ignorance and superior states. In the states of ignorance were included the dream states and wake states (states that we recognize today as valid). The superior states could be described as pure consciousness without limits, without changes or without any mental activity subject to the senses. These states are reached by spiritual techniques that eliminate all limitations.
Shamans in America reached levels of pure consciousness using entheogens or master plants like Peyote or Ayahuasca. They would leave the sensory limitation behind to enter the knowledge of the cosmos and the divine through direct experience. They would search for comprehension and the transcending wisdom of the universe. The knowledge from cultures like the Mayas with the Psilocybin Mushrooms and Peyote (Mescaline), the Inca with the Ayahuasca and the Wachuma (San Pedro) are precisely testimonies of this eagerness of leaving the sensory limitation and the search of pure consciousness through the use of entheogens and altered states of consciousness.
The Oriental and the American consciousness technologies seem to be divorced as to the methodology, but do match on their final purpose. The meditation & asceticism in Oriental cultures and the barbaric ingestion of a plant with capacities to alter the states of perception in American cultures, match confirming that this alteration is a source of wisdom. Both agree that the observed “reality” by the five senses is an illusion or just a way of “looking” in basic states. They also match utilizing vibration as technique for energy transmission or comprehension. The acoustic vibration is used by the Vedas through mantras to call states of comprehension, protection and compassion. Equally the Icarus or amazon chants and other vibrational waves according to the cultural context are used by healers and shamans in their so called barbaric or primitive cultures.
In conclusion, humanity has developed techniques or technologies to escape their actual form of perception and to access states that allows observation of themselves from other states of consciousness. These technologies placed in a sacred context can bring healing through the comprehension of the being. They allow the comprehension of matter and its surroundings as a metaphysical reality subject to cosmic laws that would be impossible to comprehend in the trap of the basic senses. Therefore the expansion of consciousness can take humanity to understand the purpose of existence. It helps to solve the actual human conflict between matter and the spiritual connection. It can take humanity to comprehend and reach the energy of wisdom, compassion and true love. Consciousness technologies are a development from thousands of years in which humanity through diverse tools, seek to comprehend the ability to heal suffering and awakening from the belief of only one way of material reality.
Abraham Maslow in his book “The Psychology of Science” has shown how science could be the best neurotic defense mechanism invented by man. The selective rejection from the human knowledge is a defensive maneuver in which fear eliminates the transpersonal experiences as an object worthy to study. It has taken science to leave a side the most fundamental part of humanity, that is spirit. We need science to become an open system for personal maturity. Modern physics teaches us of the general unity of the universe where consciousness has a much closer role than which has been described by the great mystics. Transcending the ego, even for a moment, is the beginning of awakening.