The Evolution of Perception and Fear

You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish, so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files, including lectures, music and/or sound meditations, may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

Several months ago the article for the month was focused on the topic of mastering fear, however fear is a big topic for us humans so we are returning to the topic in order to go deeper. This article continues our understanding of the way fear operates in our lives and how to move beyond it.

Imagine you are making your way down a snow-covered mountain. You can either flail your way through the deep drifts in your running shoes and shorts experiencing a lot of misery and unhappiness, freezing your ass off, or you can smoothly navigate the times in a thrilling way like a master skier with proper attire, flying down the mountain with a mixture of joy and skill. The journey is on the same mountain, on the same terrain, the same amount of snow, with the same obstacles of trees and rocks, but a totally different experience for each. What is the difference? The difference has to do with perception. On this planet there are seven different states of perception available. Five of these are more commonplace and two of them are extremely rare.  For now we will concentrate on the five more common ones. These five states of perception are divided into two basically different experiences that we will get to in a moment.

These states of perception are intimately associated with the soul ages that people experience on their slow evolution toward awakening and self-realization. These soul ages and their levels are exactly like the stages of development that each human being goes through in each lifetime: They are infant, toddler, child, adolescent (young adult) and adult. I have spoken about these in many past articles available for free in the archives on my website Here we are going to concentrate on the specific perception in each because that is what relates to our ultimate understanding of fear and the state of our planet right now.

First of all I am going to suggest a proposal that proves itself to be true if you examine it for yourself: How you perceive anything ultimately causes you to manifest it or create it in the world you out-picture.

What this says is that, perceiving something results in manifesting it. If I perceive that the world is a horrible place it will soon become true for me. If I perceive the world to be a loving place it will soon become that for me. So with this proposal in mind let us return to the five principle states of perception and how each has imprinted the world with certain beliefs, fears, norms, and behaviors that both determine our world and leave a legacy for countless generations following.

An infant perceives the world as “me and not me.” “Me” is home base and feels safe. Not so with “not me.” Mothers breast feels good so it is “me.” If “not me” feels bad then it is “not me” and I have several possible responses. I can reject it, spit it out, expel it as in vomit and shit.  I can try to attack it or push it away. I can cry until it goes away. You get the idea. These are primitive responses because they are reactive, not proactive. That is what is available to an infant. That is what is available to an infant soul. If it feels good it is me, if not, then it is not me. Kill it, attack it, reject it are the simple possible responses. This what makes infant souls rather dangerous to deal with.  Infant souls manifest the things they fear with unfortunate regularity. While they often feel safer in jail because of the limits imposed, they are also surrounded by in-house predators that may just try to kill them. Infant soul lifetimes are no piece of cake in this regard. They tend to be brutish and challenging. The fact that every human being on the planet has had numerous infant soul lifetimes recently or in the distant past means that we have all left a legacy on this planet of brutishness, violence, terror, and so on. This is what we created, this is what we learned to expect of the world, and this is what we imprinted our descendants with. This legacy is very much with us today. Although there are now only 5% infant souls on the planet there is still great violence and terror. That is the legacy we left that we are still living with.

A toddler perceives the world as “me and other me’s.” They are sophisticated enough to acknowledge that there are other humans around but their true interactions are few. They engage in parallel play. They are now in the sandbox that is filled with other children with adults supervising them from nearby. Their play routinely ends up in grabbing, controlling, yanking, pulling and generally acting like uncivilized little savages until adults intervene. It is all about trying to be the one to dominate the others, set the rules, control the little terrain in the sandbox and it is done in a completely brutal way. It is also noisy accompanied by tantrums, screaming, whining, and crying. This is the world they perceive and this is the world they manifest around themselves.

Toddler souls are very fearful. They just do not feel very safe even if they are the bully in the sandbox because they feel deep insecurity.  They are glad that parents are watching them ready to put a stop to things if they go too far. Too bad it isn’t like this in the larger world. Sometimes there are no parents to intervene and we have atrocities to sort out.

Toddlers imagine themselves to be rulers of their little universe until parents intervene or call off their little show. Then after some wails they are at it again. Isn’t that how some adults behave in this world? We have all been there and we have left a legacy of this way of perceiving the world. Whatever parts of the world are still living this way, it is because we contributed to it and handed it down to our descendants.

A child perceives the world as “me and you and I am going to dominate you. This is progress because now there is a “you,” an acknowledgment that you are a person I relate to but it is very conditional because it is seen through the filter of “I am going to win because I am king of the mountain.” This stage is all about consolidation of power and wealth at all costs, not for the benefit of others but for the benefit of ones own ego. We have seen thousands of years of abuse as this behavior has been taken up by more and more people in every nook and cranny of the world.  It has led to massive wars, inequality, corruption, destruction, extreme injustice, the good old boy network, privilege of the few, the dominance of the masculine over the feminine, the destruction of Mother Nature and so on. All of us have participated in this gamesmanship for better or worse on our way up the ladder of evolution and what we have left behind is a legacy of perceiving the world through the eyes of competition, dog eat dog and ruthless behavior, advantage taking, crushing the opposition, and destroying all in our path getting in the way of ultimate takeover and takedown. Although many of us have moved on to more mature levels of perception we have still imprinted the world in some very extreme and negative ways and those perceptions live on through our cultural norms and societal beliefs. We in many ways are the victims of our own selfishness in past lives and the work to correct all this is daunting, especially when it is adopted by the latest generations of younger souls who want their day in the sun.

An adolescent/young adult perceives the world as “me and you and I know how you feel.” This game changer perception shift transforms everything. With this new perception I can no longer treat you like shit because I recognize your suffering and I recognize me in you and you in me. This is an enormous step ahead in perception but it comes with some problems. From this perspective people are prone to feel like victims of grossly unjust practices that seem to be coming from outside of them. Projection is alive and well at this new level. So attitudes like “The world is not fair, God has abandoned me, I am alone and misunderstood, the world is a shit sandwich and everyday you take a bigger bite, I am unbelievably miserable, everything bad that could happen will happen to me, I think about killing myself every day, and on and on. This victim approach glorifying suffering has left its own legacy through the icons of countless families and subcultures and these perspectives are passed down through generation after generation.

Through these attitudes we are living in our own depressing stew from earlier lifetimes so to speak.  Fortunately there are positives as well. We are more sensitive, perceive beauty better and more often, appreciate the finer qualities of life more, and delight in the finer nuances of relationships with everything around us. In short we have become wiser and deeper, more mature and with these attitudes we have begun to imprint our world. Because of the sheer numbers of mature souls in the world today (35% and rising) the world is changing fast in terms of more maturity and great concern for the environment. The question is can this influence be strong enough and happen quickly enough to carry the day or is it too little too late? That is what makes this movie of life so interesting. As a planet we are now at a classic Hollywood “all is lost moment” that the hero/heroine must confront.

Old souls begin to perceive the world as a virtual reality experience designed to learn lessons, enjoy, and experience for the sake of experiencing. They learn to perceive the world from higher octaves and have a much more accurate and true understanding of the true mystical and alchemical nature of reality.  They are much freer than ever before through taking responsibility for the way they think and perceive the world around them. They understand that what appears to be the other is actually “myself “in different clothing. All is Spirit, all is holy, all is sacred with no exceptions to the rule that Spirit is absolutely everywhere. These perceptions are beginning to pervade and find traction all over the world as little by little more and more people join the rather thin ranks of the oldest souls. In the last twenty-five years the numbers have risen from twelve percent of the population to fifteen percent. That may seem like a small increase but evolutionary speaking it is extremely rapid like a mutation that changes a species overnight.  Fifteen percent is enough to change the world especially when you consider that old souls are harder to kill and they each have the power and influence of thousands of younger souls. Consider the effect and power of teachers like Pema Chodron, Adyashanti, the Dalai Lama, Echart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Kahn. Each one of them is capable of changing the world in significant ways.

Old souls are actually not afraid of much. They are of course not excited about losing their freedom and they would like to stay away from violence as much as possible. Perhaps if anything, old souls are afraid of not growing fast enough or not succeeding at curbing the ravages of the ego, something that does not go away until the very end of our incarnations.

Then there are the sixth and seventh stages of development, the transcendental stage and the infinite stage, that are very rare in terms of showing up in physical form. Gandhi was one such representative of the transcendental stage and Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Krishna were important representatives of the infinite stage. They speak for themselves in terms of world influence. There is no fear at these stages. Just one of these guys imprints the world for thousands of years and more are coming.

All of these differing perceptions are vibrations that attract different segments of the population who go into resonance with them. That means we are all living in a multidimensional framework we call the world. It is not the same world for everyone. There are in fact a number of different overlapping worlds and realities going on all at once. We can notice that there are other perceptions but we have the choice not to go into resonance with them. In this way certain vibrations become less popular and others become more popular and the world seems to change around us. In actuality it is we who are changing our worlds. So the reality is that what we call our lives is way more magical and way more amazing than we ever thought it was. It is very complex and paradoxically very simple at the same time. Change your perception, change your world.  How do we change our perception? First we change our beliefs through close observation of our own experience. Then we clean out the belief cabinet so to speak, getting rid of perceptions that do not match our new beliefs. This is scary but required. There are many techniques for this but the simplest ones are: 1. Self-observation. 2. Choosing a new approach based on what is true, not self-deception. This involves going into resonance with new beliefs 3. Asking our inner helpers to help us make the transition to new beliefs and perceptions. We need help. 4. Acting on our new perceptions to find out if they hold water. This takes courage.

We have seen that how we perceive anything makes it so in terms of its manifestation in physical form.  So this outline of the soul ages has been a way of showing the main different perceptions that determine our physical reality, many of which are at cross purposes as you can readily see. Many of them are based in intensely fearful foundations and yet some are more grounded in love, joy, selflessness, generosity, beauty, forgiveness and so on. The latter is where we are going and where we will ultimately end up, no question about it.  Hopefully this makes clear the nature of the obstacles and the amount of clean up work we have ahead of us to realize our highest aspirations. We are at the threshold of brutal self-destruction or transformation like the chrysalis into the butterfly. The latter is our destiny, the former is our last great flirtation with the ego’s fear based desire to consume us. That is actually not going to happen. Why? Because we already chose our path of liberation when we began this long odyssey.  We are going to awaken no matter what the cost. It is inevitable.


José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman’s Way.

Upcoming Retreats & Events

Join us in person & virtually


Purchase, audio, courses, and more

Related Articles

You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish, so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files, including lectures, music and/or sound meditations, may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

Your Cart
Your cart is emptyView Cart
Apply Coupon