I think there are two primary levels of awareness possible for modern humans.
There are those who don’t think about why they want what they want, and there are those that do. I am not speaking, of course, about why one prefers Thai food over Korean food, or any other trivial preference, but rather why we seek friendship, love, to be close to God, or to be a “good” person.
There are those who have realized that these innate desires are a product of our genetics and our environment and are basically chemical illusions, and there are those who literally don’t think about things because they are so basic as to be invisible.
It reduces to meaning and purpose either being natural and external or being illusory and self-created. If you do what you do because “that’s just what you’re supposed to do…duh!”, then you’re at level one. If you have realized that the world is simply a shitstorm of mathematical variables, and we are the phenomenally unlikely output…then you’re a number two.
Perhaps we can name another type of person. This is someone who has left level one and accepted that there is no intrinsic meaning in the world and has seen the world for its cold molecular interactions, but has gone back to embracing the illusion. He lives in that world because it is practical and it allows him pleasure, but during times of intellectual exercise or clarity he can return to that mechanical view.
Let’s call that level three. Remember, though, that if you forget the truths revealed by level two because you went back too far when embracing the illusion, you’re back to number one.
So what level are you on? And are there important levels that I’m missing? ::
[ Edit: I found this post of mine earlier which better describes the truths of level two. ]