“The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life’s challenges when they come,” Eckhart Tolle wrote. “Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.
“If you cannot be present even in normal circumstances, such as when you are sitting alone in a room, walking in the woods, or listening to someone, then you certainly won’t be able to stay conscious when something ‘goes wrong’ or you are faced with difficult people or situations, with loss or the threat of loss. You will be taken over by a reaction, which ultimately is always some form of fear, and pulled into deep unconsciousness. Those challenges are your tests. Only the way in which you deal with them will show you and others where you are as far as your state of consciousness in concerned, not how long you can sit with your eyes closed or what visions you see.”