The Seven Layers of Thought - Part 1

Excerpts from a live webinar

As you know, our minds can be very noisy sometimes. As this Shift continues to unfold and trigger more of the who-we-are-not to surface and move out, understanding the steps or levels our thoughts move through may prove helpful in managing them. We are moving toward becoming more masterful of every thought, every emotion, and every action in every moment. Thoughts occur at many levels of loudness from the complete silence of knowingness to the screaming and arguing inner voice. Although there are many levels or layers of thought, let’s keep it simple and talk about the seven distinctive layers available to each of us. As we do this, please don't get locked into these layers as rigid lines. There is actually a fluidity and flow between them.  The flow from one layer of thought to the next is similar to watching the dawning of the day. For instance you can't easily identify 6:30am, or 6:32am by looking at the sky. The sun rises and the sky flows from darkness into light. A moment ago it was pre-dawn. Now the sun is up and shining.

First Layer of Thought

The first layer of thought is where we simply speak without thinking much about what we are saying. We see this occur every day. The man in the airport just blurts out meaningless comments. The woman chatters away as if she has no filter. Two minutes later, they don't remember what they were talking about. Functioning in this layer of thought, a person is generally unconscious of being unconscious, and goes about their day in a default-mode vs being conscious and intentional. Those who have not awakened spiritually live here. And those who are more awake and self-aware may still find themselves in this layer of thought. You might make a project of becoming more aware when you are in this layer. Notice when you make unnecessary comments, gossip, or contribute to a conversation that is noisy. When you begin to become conscious of this layer of thought, you will quickly begin to not participate in the unconscious babble. You will make better choices about how to present yourself and in what layer of thought you want to live.

Second Layer of Thought

This is the layer where you have conversations or arguments with other people in your head. You go back and forth in your mind about the situation and how you were right/bad/wrong/hurt. You scold the other person about how they were wrong/bad/hurtful/stupid. Guilt and blame lives here. So do resentment and revenge. All these thoughts can be very, very loud and consuming sometimes. Although not spoken, this level of thought also has a relationship to telepathy and clairaudience, because that conversation you are having in your head is very real in the moment and it is happening. Whether the person is next to you or a thousand miles away, the conversation is happening.  On an energy level, that other person can feel the energy you are throwing at them. This is also the layer where you really want to curse at the person standing before you: “You stupid person/idiot/jerk,” but instead you smile pleasantly and continue to argue with them in your head. Like the first layer of thought, this one has a huge amount of internal motion to it. In both layers you are still “going-to,” or engaging with the situation versus being still.

Third Layer of Thought

This third layer is where you figure things out, strategize, and problem solve. There is still a bit of motion here, and an internal, back and forth type of conversation. There is still a degree of engagement and emotional attachment. 

“I tried three different things and know this next way won’t work. How can I get this computer issue figured out before this deadline?”

“Okay, I said hello to her but she didn’t see me. What do I do now to get her attention?”

“What does that sign over there say? It looks so interesting.” Although not as screaming and intense as the first two layers of thought, there is still a little bit of undisciplined focus. Your mind is bouncing around trying to find an answer. There is a looking outward for the answer vs taking a breath, becoming quiet, and allowing the answer to make itself available to you.

Fourth Layer of Thought

This layer is a place that I will define as pondering. It is being curious and sitting back without being engaged in a situation. This is the first non-engaged, non-invested layer of thought. Curious: ”I wonder how that works?” Or “Where did that come from?” Or “What an interesting possibility.” There is no emotional attachment, judgment or pre-definition of answers or possibilities. Many times you get into this easy layer when you are not stressed or not being pushed on; when there are few external demands on you at that moment.  You might begin to think, ”Well, maybe it's time to consider moving. I wonder where I would like to live?” This is a question without a defined answer to it. The question is open-ended. The answer appears where that non-charged question is asked. All you have to do is allow it and not “move” from your thought to search for the answer. The answer, and the wandering thoughts surrounding the answer, then come into your awareness from the broader field of possibilities: “Well if I go to Portland, Oregon I will have this experience, but if I go to Tokyo I will have that experience, and then I could always move down to Perth in Australia and have this.” The process unfolds by itself and you are simply watching the process from a place of neutral curiosity. In this layer of thought someone may say to you, “Have you considered Boulder Colorado?” and you are open enough to consider it without rejecting or judging the possibility. No opinion. Curious.

Try it. Feel the difference – and let us know what you discover.


happyme 26th January 2012 12:03 am

Mexico :)


Keep updated with Spirit Library

Author Information

Jim Self

The co-founder of A Course in Mastering Alchemy, and an international speaker and author, Jim Self has been leading seminars and teaching healing, clairvoyance and personal energy management courses since 1980.

Books from Jim Self

A Course in Mastering Alchemy Cover image
Jim Self , Roxane Burnett
Spirit Matters Cover image
Jim Self


Jim Self Archives