The Four Stages of Competency
I have to give credit where it is due. CJ, a wonderful Course in Miracles teacher here in Orange County, had the brilliant idea to use the 4 stages of competence when becoming a student of a course in miracles and she teaches that in her Course in Miracles class. I expand on this here in each stage, with using my own examples and interpretations. Enjoy.
Note: Enlightenment itself is evolving and expanding just like the rest of the world. Understand there is no “destination”, it is simply a state of being. All of the levels are interchangeable and there is no end to the journey.
Stage 1- Unconscious Incompetence
“You don’t know what you don’t know”
You may struggle to see the value of the course at this stage and so the consistency has not developed yet when it comes to reading the Course.
a. Looks like- What this stage looks like is when you are reading the course, and you can barely make it through a paragraph without: confusion, boredom, or frustration.
b. Feels Like- You feel like you aren’t “getting it”, because you can’t seem to stay focused for long, or even comprehend the material in the book. It feels like nothing is “happening” for the most part but confusion and frustration.
side note– Some of you, may feel that the course is a direct threat some of your core beliefs. This is a good thing. To feel frustration, is actually much better than boredom. You misperceptions that were to no fault of your own are finally being uncovered!
c. What is really happening- Underneath the surface, because of your little bit of willingness to be with the course, the process of undoing is unfolding without your conscious awareness. These words are words that you’ve heard before, and they are seeping into your consciousness, slowly thinning out the layers of the perceived separation.
Stage 2- Unconscious Competence
“You know what you don’t know”
a. Looks Like- You may read the course more consistently, and really make more of an effort to stay with the lessons and text. Here, some ideals may make complete sense, and you feel as if you have quite a bit of catching up to do.
b. Feels like- You may feel fear, that you aren’t “where you should be”, because there is so much that now you feel you don’t know. You may also be in continual confusion about “which voice is which”. Was that my ego, or the Holy Spirit that gave me that information and how do I know the difference?”
c. What is really happening- The door to the illusion is slowly shutting and is being replaced with truth. Truth that has no bounds. Imagine the Holy spirit as a bridge between your spirit and God. In this stage, this bridge is missing planks, and is unsteady but the bridge is now recognized by the “little” you and has come into your awareness. So we are just getting started with strengthening our ability to communicate with God (the big you).
Stage 3- Conscious Competence-
“You know, But you are very conscious of your Knowing
- What it looks like- This is when we carefully practice all of what we’ve come to understand in the course, but we are very conscious of it, the way a child is consciously riding a bike or tying their shoe when they are first learning.
we are constantly in a state of monitoring our thoughts and our “Holy Spirit Batting Average” We know when we are “there”, listening to the Holy Spirit and then within next conversation with Aunt Agnus, we can become triggered and see separation within an experience.
b. What it feels like- We can feel REALLY on point for a few days because we were able to clearly see when we chose the Holy Spirits voice over the Ego’s. And just as soon as we feel on point, we can feel a shift of feeling off base. You may feel discouraged that you “made a wrong move” in a conversation or experience etc and this sometimes can lead to a few days of feeling totally off course. (But you aren’t of course!
c. What is really happening- The spirit muscle of communication with the holy spirit is strengthening. As you continue to listen to the Holy Spirit , the bridge strengthens, the voice becomes clearer, and it becomes less conscious and seeps into your operating system.
Stage 4- Unconscious Competence
“Enlightenment, Salvation, God-Realization”
a. What it looks like- The Holy Spirit’s voice is what flows through you without conscious awareness. As you inhale, all of your words and actions come from “beingness.” The actions of your body and the words of your mouth represent symbols transmuted from the God that you are and have come to realize in this stage. You become God.
b. What it feels like- You feel peace throughout all experiences, and your value judgements on “good and bad” are gone. You can be in “the world of anger” but you are in a state of continual peace, regardless of the emotions that arise within you. You realize now that you are home.
c. What has happened- You’ve come to the realization that there was nowhere to go, nothing to do, except to just be. The course was a humanistic mechanism that was needed in order for you to take a journey back to what was there all along. As you live out your life as God expressed through the body, your life becomes a tangible example of your own course. And you become a way shower to those that are also looking to come home.
Enjoy the Journey.