The evolution of consciousness – part 7
Last month, in Part 6, KAMLESH D. PATEL explored the vastness that is Yoga, and its role in expanding our consciousness. In this issue he asks, “Why should we want to expand our consciousness towards a higher destiny?”
We have been talking so much about the evolution of consciousness, but what is the purpose of all this? Why should we be so interested in this field of evolution of the mind? Why do we need to purify our consciousness and heart?
Well, for a start, it is to get to first base. There is a growing wellness industry that has grown up around the search for peace, inner calm and better sleep. This in itself is a good indicator that we are not satisfied with the state of our minds. We are not happy!
During the last fifty years, there have been so many scientific and medical studies on the effects of relaxation and meditation on the physiology and psychology of human beings, citing meditation as reducing blood pressure, depression and anxiety, and positively affecting heart rate, oxygen consumption, immunity, sleep patterns, and the natural functioning of the brain.1
Current medical research on meditation2 goes one step further, using the latest neuro-imaging technology and genomic methodology to study how the practices of yoga and meditation affect genes and brain activity in chronically stressed people, and how these techniques can switch genes on and off that are linked to stress and immunity.
Scientists are starting to realize what yogis have
known for thousands of years:
that meditation can bring about stillness
and balance in the mind and the physiology
and psychology of the human being are altered remarkably.
Scientists are starting to realize what yogis have known for thousands of years: that meditation can bring about stillness and balance in the mind and the physiology and psychology of the human being are altered remarkably.
So it is not surprising that today meditation has become mainstream, and offered by corporates to their employees all around the world. Yoga and exercise classes everywhere finish with a few minutes of relaxation or meditation, and we find blogs and books on the bestseller lists about meditation and happiness.
A calm balanced mind gets us to first base, but is that the only reason we meditate? No, it is just the start. Having a mind that is still is great, but then what will you do with that still mind?
What is our human existence all about? We have always strived for more than peace and calmness. Think of a gold medal Olympian, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, a master violinist, a world-renowned chef, or a small child learning to walk. When we strive to excel at anything in life, we are willing to undergo struggles and discomfort to attain our goals. Life on Earth is about evolution. Every life is an evolution in developing wisdom, skills and attitudes. Inventions and discoveries are about evolution. Evolution is growth, change and transformation, and anyone who has ever had any goal or purpose in life knows that this instinct to excel and to push past the boundaries into the unknown is part of being human. It is in our DNA.
Peoples of all ages and cultures have asked some very fundamental questions :
Who are we?
Where have we come from?
What is the purpose of life?
Where are we going after this life?
These questions form the base of enquiry in science, religion, psychology, philosophy, and the mystical traditions of the world. They have lead to our theories of the creation of the universe, and our exploration of the building blocks of matter and life on earth. Without these questions, we would never have discovered the structure of the atom or the stars and planets of our galaxy and beyond.
The very fact that we ask these fundamental questions is because we are human. Homo sapiens means ‘wise man’, and the word ‘man’ comes from the original Sanskrit ‘manas’ meaning mind, one of the subtle bodies that we have been speaking about throughout this series. Even our taxonomic description of ourselves is concerned with the mind. So logic says that our purpose as human beings is all about the mind, and thus about consciousness.
Actually, our lives are led day in and day out trying to fulfill that higher purpose, even though most of the time we are unaware we are doing so. In this pursuit, we search to eclipse ourselves in love, we search for meaning, and we often search to escape the boundaries of everyday mundane existence, into an expanded state of consciousness, whether by healthy or unhealthy means.
Life on Earth is about evolution.
Every life is an evolution in developing wisdom,
skills and attitudes.
Inventions and discoveries are about evolution.
Evolution is growth, change and transformation,
and anyone who has ever had any goal or
purpose in life knows that this instinct to excel
and to push past the boundaries into the unknown
is part of being human. It is in our DNA.
This is what Yoga is all about too, as we explored last month in Part 6 – going through all the steps of refinement to the state of sahaj samadhi. But in the last 150 years, we have been undergoing an even greater transformation in our understanding of this evolution. The meditation practices of Yoga used to focus on an individual’s evolution to the highest pinnacle of human existence, whereas now the focus is on our collective evolution. This is the field of the heart, where consciousness expands across its full spectrum of existence.
When we sit in meditation and feel our consciousness expanding into unknown dimensions, observe our intellect evolve into intelligence and then into wisdom, our thinking transform into feeling, our ego subdue and become so humble and refined, and our skills improve, is it only for our own growth and transformation? No, the effect touches everyone and everything with which we are connected. We do not have to actively create this, as it happens without our conscious participation. That is how we change the outside environment. It happens automatically. Wherever the rose goes, the fragrance goes. Wherever I go, whatever I carry goes with me.
We just have to let things happen without interfering in the process. This connection will automatically happen once we start purifying ourselves. We will then feel that what we create within ourselves merges with the collective feeling, and we will become part of the entire scheme of things.
So our preparation has a great effect, a great echo into the future. The egregore that we prepare, the field that we prepare, will have its impact. Whatever the future has in store for us, we can accelerate the process by meditating regularly and well, wherever we are, together or alone. It is a wonderful time to be alive!
Article by KAMLESH D. PATEL
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017