Are levels of consciousness layered on top of one another or are they inter penetrating ?
If there are ‘layers’ there would need to be something to define the boundaries, thus keeping the layers apart. Layers can be represented as in the diagram below:
It would be more accurate to say that they are inter-penetrating & does not experience tell us that emotion and thought, for example, inter penetrate and run into each other.
The diagram below shows the inter- penetration of the 3 primary colours. The mixing of the 3 shades produces the variety of colours we see. This best describes how one ‘level’ of consciousness affects (colours) another:
emotion circulates and is turbulent, compared to thought that is directed.
Perhaps the levels are just a change in the ‘quality’ of energy from ‘above’ the mind tunnel. To call them levels or layers is perhaps just a useful way of describing the differences in quality of this energy.
We can apply this to the aspirant who meditates and wants to transcend the ‘layers of consciousness’ in their meditation ,the mind separates the layers but this does not assist in meditation.as the ‘boundaries’ are just the minds’ way of perceiving and dividing creation.
When one has 2nd initiation or TRIKUTI these boundaries are dissolved and the aspirant realises that they are not the body, mind, emotions etc and their true identity lies beyond these ‘forms’ of creation and resides in something much bigger i.e spirit which is FORMLESS.