A modern PC, best seen on a laptop, has different states: If you connect it to a power outlet, it is running in normal mode. If you work on the go using the battery, the unit switches to the power saving mode. If you want to turn the unit off, you have to decide between a "hibernation", a standby mode and the complete "shutdown". And even then, certain functions are still operating - the clock continues to run, network connections are further supplied.
Also every human can live in different modes. While you read this, you are (hopefully) in the waking state. If you go to bed at night, after some time you will fall into the sleep state. Many body functions then are in sleep mode, but others are still in operation: breathing, heart, circulation, the sense of hearing, and your brain is not turned off. In "dream mode" it is able to certain actions to which it would be incapable in the waking state. When you meditate, you can achieve even more sinking states.
Knowing and distinguishing these different spiritual "states" is the core business of all religions. That is why we devoted an extra chapter to the phenomenon of these meditative states. We think that is important that these conditions are clearly distinguished from the levels of consciousness.
In the history of religions, there are always the strange phenomenon that shamans, saints, gurus or apostle who had made special spiritual experience, nevertheless in "real life" behaved horribly unenlightened or immoral. The experience of a special Verzückungs- or enlightenment state does not mean the automatic "rise" to the next level of consciousness and an associated highly developed ethical attitude.
"Religious elucidated thanks stages, spiritual experience thanks states" - could be described as an important goal of our book. Anyone familiar with the levels of consciousness, has thus criteria at hand to engage critically with its contents completely his spiritual teacher and to separate the wheat from the chaff here.