What most of us want? IMO it comes to no two people in exactly the same way.
When I was a wee child, just becoming conversant with the outer world, I heard one name on people lips more than any other, Will Rogers, said to be the best loved man of his generation.
The link contains some of his sayings, but the one I remember is "I never met a person that I didn't like". Ah, how I would love to be able to say that, but it's such a long way I am.
Another man of the same type was Walt Whitman. He made many thrilling statements, but the one that haunts me is here (on page 48):
"And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God,
For I who am curious about each am not curious about God,
(No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.)
I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least,
Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself.
Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass,
I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign'd by God's name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go,
Others will punctually come for ever and ever."
(Song of Myself)
A famous book named Cosmic Consciousness was written by Dr. Richard M. Bucke (1837-1902). He described people he thought had achieved the higher consciousness.
It definitely has a spiritual dimension. It happens when you know you're right (special meaning to that word-- a theological meaning).
It's also closely related to mental activity. Call it getting high (in the old days we drunks would get high (happy) by anesthetizing our inhibitions, but the older you get the less effectual that will prove to be, so you just get more and more infantile).
The practicing Christian may get happy in a truer sense when they feel the presence of God. What most of us want? Certainly what I want.
I practice silence
This morning, sitting in a lazy boy, waiting for a chance to begin breakfast, afflicted somewhat by my asthma, I tried silence; it made me sleepy; that's not what I want, I want God. Well then, try some sort of encouragement, like the 23rd psalm: thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Hmn, what does that mean? Getting the rod is not very pleasant. Yeah! tough love. P.O. love.
You know what? I got high. I turned on my computer and began to try to share my high with you. God bless you.
What kills it? For me it's most apt to be anger, really quick tempered-- after all these years. Gotta stop that!
For a younger man it might be lust: drooling over a pretty form who goes tripping across the floor (Oliver Wendell Holmes), but it does no good, unless sex is your God, in which case it will have the same kind of diminishing returns as booze.
For us spiritual types? Maybe failure to forgive, inability to forgive. That will rob you of a higher consciousness about as quick as anything. It's called resentment. Generally speaking it's unChristian.
Higher consciousness? continuous? that's when you get to heaven, here or hereafter!