The downer trope of “higher” consciousness
An aspirational spirit is one of the greatest gifts of human life, but when the aspiration is for “higher” consciousness, we couldn’t employ a poorer term to describe it. The higher=better metaphor forms the seed crystal for a significant chunk of the folk theory of enlightenment, and it appears to occlude a recognition of nondual awareness by defining it as something we are not—right now. But it appeals to our biological prerogative to ascend the hierarchy, which is probably where the whole aspirational thing got its start.
Nondual enlightenment is not a jump from lower to higher consciousness, it is a lateral shift in the perception of awareness, one that comes as a recognition of awareness that has been ongoing. Like the sailor who went around the world to find his greatest love in his old neighborhood, the question becomes, did he ever really need to leave? Some would say yes, perhaps out of an appeal to romance, but while many travel long and hard on the spiritual path, not very many ever seem to arrive at their intended destination, and this may only because their idea of where they were headed has always been entirely wrong.