Four Stages of Spiritual Growth

Michael Bernard Beckwith’s four stages of consciousness and spiritual growth explained.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

Stages of Spiritual Development

There is a lot of work done in the field of spirituality. Much of it has existed for years, but we are only learning of it now. There are two main reasons why much of the work is only just getting the recognition that it deserves.

First is the advent of the internet. The internet certainly helped in discovering new ideas across subjects. As people started posting more information online, and as the search engines got better, more and more materials were discovered from the past.

The second reason is that people have started to get more comfortable with spirituality. More celebrities are expressing their spiritualities. And as the emotional tumult of our stressful lives is intensified, humanity is turning to spirituality as a source of calm.

Four stages of consciousness and spiritual growth were developed by Reverend Michael Beckwith in 1984. Decades ago, when no one was even talking about it. The structure that he described is so relevant and simple that suddenly a path seems to emerge for our spiritual journey. Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder of the Agape Institute in Beverly Hills California. He preaches in the church there and guides people on their spiritual journey.

Michael Beckwith led the movement of positivity and spirituality. He was part of the movie, The Secret and thereafter, appeared in many shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live. He is also a popular teacher at Mindvalley and leads the “Life Visioning” Masterclass. His teaching and ideas on Spirituality resonate with many people and yet are very simple to understand.

Without much ado, let's dive into the four stages of Spirituality or Consciousness. Here they are:

  1. The Victim: Things are happening to me.
  2. The Manifester: Things are happening by me.
  3. The channeler: Things are happening through me.
  4. Being Consciousness: Things are happening as me.

These four stages give us the map to consciousness. Through introspection of our lives, we need to map which stage of consciousness are we in right now? As you are doing this exercise, it is important to remember that these stages are all non-linear, which means that we may be in different stages in different areas of our lives.

StageStage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4
Life ExperienceTo meBy meThrough meAs me
Consciousness LevelVictim Consciousness.Manifestor Consciousness.Channel ConsciousnessBeing Consciousness.
Level of Spiritual PracticeLittle to no spiritual practice.The practice of affirmations and visualizations.The practice of mediation and visualizations.The practice of meditations and other transformative practices.
Belief SystemsLife is controlled by external factors.Uses the law of attraction and feels in control of life.Lives the life of surrender to the universe.Loses the sense of ego and lives in oneness with the universe.
Thought ProcessesWhy is this happening to me?I can attract everything I want in my life.God expresses the divine plan through me.I am one with God and everyone else.
Areas of OpportunityGiving up blaming.Giving up the sense of control.Giving up the ego and sense of separation.Experience limitless awareness.
Brief explanation of Michael Beckwith's Four Stages of Consciousness.

For instance, I may be in the victim stage in the area of my health, but the channeler stage in the area of my work. Being honest with ourselves is key as we decide what stage we are in. Let’s dive a little deeper into each stage so you can understand them a little better.

Stage one: The Victim Stage (Things are happening to me)

As the title suggests, in this stage of our lives, we are playing the role of victim. We believe that situations outside our control are guiding the fate of our lives. We also believe that we have no control over what is happening to us and that we cannot do anything to change our circumstances. For instance, we believe that our heredity, our skin color, or the place we were born drives our lives. If we were not born a certain way, we will not be successful, and we can't do anything about it. In this stage, we are often lost and miserable, unsure about where our life is going and how things are going to turn out. We often feel lost and anxious in this stage.

Stage Two: The Manifester Stage (Things are happening by me)

As we graduate from the victim stage, we enter the stage of the manifester. We begin to believe that we can direct the course of our experiences and that we are not limited by our circumstances. We actively begin to think positively to manifest experiences in our lives. This is the stage that the famous movie The Secret describes as well. We start to understand the laws of the universe and begin to use them to change the course of our lives.

Stage Three: The Channeler Stage (Things are happening through me)

In this stage of consciousness, we let go of the idea that we need to make things happen. We understand that we can make them happen, but we realize that there is a larger purpose to the life we’ve been given. We begin to trust the universe and we start the work we were meant to do in our lifetime. We realize that we are not here to just do the things we want to, we are here so things can happen through us. We become the vehicle of consciousness itself. It is the stage of ultimate surrender to the universe or God.

Stage Four: Being Consciousness Stage (Things happening as me)

This is the last stage of consciousness. According to Michael Beckwith, there are very few words to describe this stage of consciousness. Or there are many words to describe what largely remains indescribable. In this stage, we become aware that we are the universe. We are an eternal being that is not tied to this lifetime. We realize that we were never really born, and we never truly die, either. We come into coherence with who we are. As we enter this stage of consciousness, more is demanded of us, and we truly start living as eternal beings. We see less of a separation between ourselves and the outside world and others. We understand that we are all part of the same fabric of the universal consciousness. Our ego takes a back seat as we come to terms with this idea, and we start feeling more connected to everyone and everything around us.

So how should we use these stages of consciousness? There are many ways but let's start with something simple. Let's start with being honest with ourselves and writing down in our journals where we are in our journey.

Once we’ve identified where we are, let's start mapping out where we want to be. If you were at your highest self, what would that look like? Who would you be? What would you be doing? Who do you truly want to become?

Making a note of these thoughts in each area of life can help in understanding where we are and where we want to go. And then mapping out the path there.

If you feel resistance and feel that you are unable to accept these ideas outlined here know that it is completely normal to feel that way. As we start changing the way we think and perceive the outside world, we tend to hold on to our beliefs. We experience that our body does not want to change, and that is normal. Continue your quest anyway.

Share the progress of your spiritual journey with us in the comments below. Let us know which stage of consciousness are you in and in which area of life? As always, we’d love to hear from you.


Popular on Lifeism