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Focus Levels

In which I consider the Monroe Institute’s taxonomy of consciousness.

When it comes to categorizing the various states of awareness, The Monroe Institute devised a system of labels called Focus Levels™, which provide a neutral identification for each state of consciousness. Right now you are reading, indicating that you are in Focus 1, which is “normal”, everyday waking consciousness.

Essentially, the higher the number, the deeper the state of consciousness. Focus 10 is mind awake/body asleep, Focus 15 is the state of “no time”, and Focus 21 is the very edge of perception of the space-time continuum where the mind remains fully conscious and active. There are many more.

As far as I’m concerned, the articulation of the Focus Levels is Robert Monroe’s great innovation. Hemi-Sync®, a trademarked brand name for binaural beats for which he is known, is merely the vehicle for this great achievement. I respect the Monroe’s Focus Levels enough that when I was asked to duplicate the frequencies for a prospective client, I suggested he simply go to the source and license something from Hemi-Sync.com. (He did.)

But I didn’t pass on the project because Focus Levels are sacred. I admire the work of Robert Monroe and I think we benefit from understanding the labels he attached to consciousness, but at some point it belies the deeply personal experience that is meditation: it feels clinical, formal, and dogmatic. I am informed by his work and I am inspired by the man, but mimeographing Monroe’s roadmap to consciousness is just not something that interests me.

Robert Monroe’s injunction to “get it out there” is a directive I consider often, but I don’t view it as an order to evangelize his taxonomy and structure. Instead, I view it as encouragement to build upon his understanding and to let his ideas guide us as we expand the boundaries of his work.

Anyway, here’s a neat video.

Phase Evolution discusses the nuances of many of Bob Monroe’s Focus Levels.

Resources

By J.S. Epperson

Independent purveyor of meditation music, producer of guided meditations, blender of binaural beats, and erstwhile Hemi-Sync® artist. higher-music.bandcamp.com

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