The terms “higher consciousness” is used quite a bit, and I have always felt uneasy about it.
Partly, it is the term “consciousness” which seems to have too much baggage – and be perceived in too many different ways by different people – to be very useful.
Partly, it is the term “higher”.
To me, the more I explore awareness it seems more about peeling away. “Higher consciousness” is what is left when layers of confusion and misidentification is peeled off – but then it seems more as just plain basic consciousness. In a sense, it is in the “bottom” of everything… It is the basic ground, what is left when the confusion lightens.
This awareness here/now – experiencing the sounds of the traffic and the wind, the cool air, the light from the computer screen, the hardness of the stool – is exactly this basic consciousness. It can function in different ways – as identified only with the small self, or only with big mind, or freely with both or none – but it is still always the same.
In the first case, it functions in a somewhat confused way and creates suffering for itself. In the second/third case, it awakens to its own nature – as spacious awareness distinct from all polarities and fluid content. It functions in a more deluded way, and a more awakened way, but is still the same basic awareness.