Dennis Dossett

Dennis L. Dossett
(All Rights Reserved)

    In 1892, William James (philosopher, psychologist, geologist, and anthropologist) wrote about what psychologists now refer to as State vs. Trait personality characteristics. We’ve come a long way since then, but the general idea is that States are temporary ways of being (i.e., thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating) and reflect transient psychological and physiological reactions to situations in a specific moment. Thus, State responses are behaviors that can be controlled by changing the situation.

    Traits, on the other hand, are regarded as enduring personality characteristics and tend to be more stable patterns of behavior that generalize across similar situations, differ systematically between individuals, and remain rather stable across time. Trait explanations of behavior allow us a way to predict the present from the past and are thought to develop as learned responses over a period of time, beginning in early childhood.

    So, what does all this mean? It seems to me that Traits (as learned responses) are basically habits, behaviors and ways of thinking that begin simply as novel responses to the environment that gain strength over time through repeated reinforcement. That is one definition of “learning.” From this perspective, the distinction between States and Traits is simply a matter of sufficient reinforcement of thoughts, expectations, and more “observable” behaviors that become what we call “habits.” And while contemporary psychologists talk about state versus trait personality characteristics (for example, self-esteem, anxiety), I’m not aware that anyone in any field of human endeavor has thought to apply this notion to the topic of “Raising Your Vibration” or Soul Evolution. And anyway, who cares? I believe that You should, and here’s why:

    “Raising Your Vibration” is such an easy concept to talk about. It is so global, so nebulous, so ill-defined that almost everyone in the contemporary spiritual landscape bandies the phrase about as if they were all thinking, speaking, and writing about the same thing. But I’m not so sure. Maybe we should consider thinking a little more clearly about this than any of us (including me) has up until now. And why should it make any difference? Stay tuned.

    Many in the general population tend to think of “Raising Your Vibration” as “manifesting,” the verb form defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “to make evident or certain by showing or displaying,” and the noun form as “readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight.” At least, this is the most common (popular) meaning based on the 2006 movie and book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. To much of the general population, “Raising Your Vibration” is about how to create (manifest) more material “stuff” in one’s life. In short, think positive thoughts and you will get what you want (flashy car, big house, better job, the relationship of your dreams, etc.). And even much of Abraham’s (collective consciousness of Spirit as channeled by Esther Hicks) teachings have been taken out of context and interpreted (“hijacked” is more accurate) to support this popular idea. For example:

•   “Everything that everyone desires—whether it is a material object, a physical condition, a financial situation, or a harmonious relationship—is wanted for only one reason: they believe they will feel better in having it.” ~ Abraham (The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships, 2009)

    Clearly, this interpretation refers to “Raising Your Vibration” as a Trait, controlled by or responsive to the situation at hand, the outcome or “reward” of positive thoughts. Sorry, that’s not it, but the general population isn’t quite ready yet to investigate and understand (let alone implement) the Law of Attraction as it is intended. So, just what is “Raising Your Vibration?” Let’s take a quick look at how two of my most important teachers actually view this topic:

    Abraham tells us that it is our natural state of being in which we are Allowing our life energies to flow freely, unhindered by resistance. For example,

•   “If you’re not thinking about a negative thought, your vibration is going to raise to its natural positive place.” (Virginia Beach, VA, April 11, 1998) ... “I understand that, in the absence of resistance, which is the only thing that holds my vibration down, my vibration raises and will rendezvous in the Vortex ..., which is where all inspiration and all the people that don’t get this vibrational stuff call ‘magic’ happens.” (Inspirational Quotes)

    Is there anything in these two (out of hundreds of similar) quotes that smacks of “readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight?” I don’t see it. Abraham is clearly referencing a different form of “Raising Your Vibration” than that held by the general populace. For example:

•   “The basis of your life is absolute freedom, the goal is joy, and the result of that perfect combination is motion forward, or growth. Your goal is to find objects of attention that let your cork raise.” (Virginia Beach, VA, April 12, 1997)

    “Letting your ‘cork’ raise” is Abraham’s way of rephrasing “Raising Your Vibration.” It communicates a more complex but seemingly simple concept quite well. Not only that, but the relationship of cause and effect is completely reversed in this and hundreds of other quotes. The emphasis is not on “stuff” or “manifestation” as the outcome; they are but the means by which one “grows” or raises their vibration. Yes, positive thoughts do create the possibility of abundance, etc., but that is a by-product of the end goal, the process of attaining, “freedom” and “joy” (“ever-new joy” as Yogananda calls it).

    Abraham seems to focus on the immediacy of the moment, the NOW, in terms of “feeling good”—or at least “feeling better” than you did just a few moments ago—through the mechanism of positive visualization (a form of thought). The challenge, of course, is to maintain the focus of one’s thoughts on anything (whatever it takes) to “feel good” over an extended period of time. That is something which most of us have to learn to grow into. Thus, it seems that the immediate response to environment is more akin to “State Vibration,” while the long-term goal is “Trait Vibration.” It’s not that the Trait interpretation of the Law of Attraction is completely wrong, it is just short-sighted; it is not the whole story and certainly not the most important, long-term (State) objective. As Abraham says:

•   “Spiritual versus Material are not the choices. Everything about this physical manifestational experience is spiritual. It is all the end product of spirit. You have nothing to prove. Be the spiritual you and create like a physical fiend.” ~ Abraham (Collective consciousness of Spirit as channeled by Esther Hicks; Virginia Beach, VA, April 12, 1997)

    In dozens of newsletters, Maitreya (Ascended Master channeled by Margaret McElroy) spoke constantly about “raising the vibration,” as changing levels of consciousness. In well over 90% of those newsletters he referred to blocks (resistance) in the emotional body, most of which originated in past-lives and are still playing out today in our current incarnation. These blocks are unlearned life lessons, unbalanced karma (which always comes with life lessons), and trapped or “unused” energy (most of which comes from past lives and is always accompanied by life lessons). All of this is the topic of Book 2 in the Dancing with the Energy series, “What’s Holding You Back?” So, according to Maitreya, “Raising Your Vibration” is primarily about learning life lessons through experience, resulting in “Wisdom.” This is the consequence of healing (detaching from) the energy of resistance (blocks), but in a way that focuses on a different approach than that of Abraham. Maitreya’s emphasis on Wisdom is thus clearly more a matter of “Trait vibration” than of “State vibration.” For example:

•   “One cannot realize enlightenment if one still has outstanding energy which has not been dealt with. One cannot be enlightened if one has hatred, anger, fear etc. in one’s energy. In order to reach ascension and enlightenment one needs to have controlled the emotional body and detached from all that is material.” (Newsletter #104) ... “How can you tell whether a soul is on a high vibration? ... They do not speak badly of anyone or anything, they see goodness in all they do, their heart is open, and their concerns are truly about caring and compassion rather than money or financial/material reward. When you find that soul, you have truly found a Master’s energy.” (Newsletter #221) ... “When you concentrate on the material path in life and do not attend to the spiritual part of your being, this will also create another incarnation.” (Newsletter #20)

    In summary, Abraham emphasizes the importance of constant focus of thought on positive outcomes, while Maitreya focuses on learning life lessons through personal experience, including healing (detaching from) trapped energy. The personal experience of this process leads to Wisdom, a reliable and steady guide to life in the midst of life’s day-to-day whims. Thus, both of these teachers point us toward “Raising Your Vibration” as the development of Trait rather than State Vibration. Maitreya and Abraham emphasize different aspects of the same process, but the end results are the same. I am reminded of a familiar quote from another great teacher:

•   “You don’t attract what you want (State); you attract who you are (Trait).” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

    So, what do you choose to emphasize in your life, State or Trait? How will you go about “Raising Your Vibration?

Have a great month!


“Old habits die hard, but with a little faith and a lot of hard work, they die before you do!”
~ Dennis L. Dossett (Dancing with the Energy - Book 1: The Foundations of Conscious Living) ~