Awareness is understanding, the expansion of awareness is the expansion and deepening of understanding. Generating the forms of mind required to deepen awareness is about ability and skill. Without ability and skill the same patterns of awareness will repeat themselves. Deepening awareness requires the ability to first recognize the gates, then to recognize the key required to open the gate, and lastly the skill to move through the portal that is formed. In opposition will be the magnetism of old patterns of awareness. It is for this reason that self-discipline has always been the first key to mental mastery. Self-discipline is the strength to keep the mind to the grindstone.
As the mind initially enters each space of awareness it must learn to adjust its tension. Each shift will seem like a stretching, as if no more can be encompassed and yet we must seek the spaces where more openings can be found. This can only be accomplished through working each form into the mind. Each time we walk this “groove” with our mind, it learns through intense observation the communication that exists within this space of awareness. Without the skills to “listen” and communicate with the energies that exist here, we will not gain the keys to further expansion. Pure strength and will is not enough, because where one gate will require rigid strength, another will absorb this type of strength like a sponge, instead requiring a formula or an intelligent communication. It is recognition of these keys that students and seekers have classically come to masters for, however there must be a balance between blindly accepting keys and the process of learning to recognize keys on our own. While simply taking and training in a key will open up the experience for us, we will pass by the vital opportunity to develop the sensitivity required to recognize within our own consciousness. Without this sensitivity we may gain spiritual and metaphysical experiences, but we will lack the ability to choose and direct those experiences.
This can be likened to the difference between being told the exact words required to enact a conversation and being taught how to express communication with conscious influence and direction. Ultimately learning how to communicate through our own consciousness is what is important, however neglecting the understanding of exact words or keys would be foolhardy. Just as we need to learn etiquettes to communicate within the external world, understanding language within the world of consciousness is vital. Eventually our grasp of the language becomes fluent and we can critically decide what parts to lose and what to keep. At this point we have learnt how to express meaning with less and less importance placed on form or etiquette. However this state can only be achieved through first mastering the form. It is again similar to verbal communication in that exact phrases and such are very useful when learning a language. Then when fluency is achieved forms can be restructured in order to refine the meaning and expression within. By learning to observe the effect of a ‘phrase’ or ‘word’ we understand the meaning behind the form. It is this energy or influence behind the form that is most important. This is what unlocks dormant awareness. It is through this process of unlocking, observing, stretching and alert focus that awareness is expanded.