The evolution of consciousness – part 5
THE SCIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY
Last month, in Part 4, KAMLESH D. PATEL explored in some detail the impressions caused by our emotions, where they form knots in the spiritual anatomy of a human being, and what we can do to remove these impressions. In this issue, he shares with us some more thoughts on the spectrum of consciousness.
‘Consciousness’ is a popular word these days in the field of mind-body medicine, and also at the cutting edge of research in science and spirituality and the quantum field. The idea of a spectrum of consciousness is not new. Yogis and mystics have written about it since time immemorial, and more recently also western psychoanalysts and psychologists like Carl Jung and Ken Wilbur1.
What do we learn from this literature? It tells us there is a vast spectrum of consciousness in a human being, spanning the subconscious mind through consciousness and all the way to the superconscious realm, most of which we don’t understand.
As we discussed in Part 2, the great Swami Vivekananda once said, “Consciousness is a mere film between two oceans, the subconscious and the superconscious.” He understood the infinite, limitless nature of this spectrum, because his own state had expanded across that spectrum. He could observe and describe exactly what he found.
This was also the case with Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, who researched and described the states of consciousness and superconsciousness of the various chakras in the Heart Region, the Mind Region and the Central Region of a human being. In the light of these findings, science still lags a long way behind Yoga in describing the spectrum of consciousness.2
Modern psychologists are also generally studying the mind that is compromised, with very little research done on a healthy mind. Even less has been done researching higher consciousness, as found in personalities like Buddha, Jesus and Swami Vivekananda. And how will we study such higher individuals who we can count on the fingers of one hand when the scientific approach requires a large amount of data to verify observations in order to conclude? From a scientific perspective, we are also limited in another way: when we observe and record results, we can only analyse the outcome from our own level of consciousness.
Persons with a higher, more evolved consciousness see from their perspective. Both are right, from their level of observation and understanding. Because a person can observe the world from the peak of the mountain, the people in the valley should not decry and criticize his wider vision. Similarly, astronomers who view the heavens through a mile-wide, gazing at the beauty of the stars and galaxies, have a greater advantage over our normal eyesight. So scientists and their logic are also correct, but this correctness is from a limited level of understanding and vision.
If you meditate with Yogic Transmission or Pranahuti,
you will experience more and more deeply and broadly
this spectrum of consciousness, and go beyond experience
into the realm of direct perception and knowledge.
If you meditate with Yogic Transmission or Pranahuti, you will experience more and more deeply and broadly this spectrum of consciousness, and go beyond experience into the realm of direct perception and knowledge. Gradually more and more of this vast field of consciousness will open up to you.
Swami Vivekananda once said: “What does consciousness matter? Why, it is nothing compared with the unfathomable depths of the subconscious and the heights of the superconscious! In this I could never be misled, for had I not seen Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gather in ten minutes, from a man’s subconscious mind, the whole of his past, and determine from that his future and his powers?”3
These days, scientists measure brainwave frequencies and electro-magnetic frequencies of the heart in order to try to describe and understand various states of consciousness, e.g. normal waking consciousness, various stages of sleep, a relaxed mind, and a meditating mind, just to name a few. They have already realized that the electromagnetic field of the heart is much stronger than that of the brain.4 This is inline with the findings of those yogis of calibre, who have considered the heart as the centre of our being.5
Yogis have also told us that the heart and mind are not two separate entities, but instead there is a heart-mind field, known as the subtle body or sookshma sharir.6 This vibrational field spreads outwards from the centre of our existence, the heart, into every aspect of our spiritual and worldly life.
The field of the heart and mind can extend across the full spectrum of consciousness, from the depths of subconsciousness all the way to the heights of superconsciousness. In the middle sits our conscious mind, affected at every moment by what is happening along the full spectrum, from both the subconscious and superconscious states. There is always a dynamic interplay.
For example, even when we are fully aware and alert to the present moment, our fears, likes and dislikes from past experiences affect the way we feel. We may fear a specific situation that stops us from embracing an opportunity, or our desires pull us towards other activities. So at no time is the conscious mind unaffected by our subconscious past. Similarly, inspiration from our superconscious can come at any moment. We may have some unexpected insight or inspiration that drives a decision that we would not normally consider. All three levels are always operating at any moment in time.
This interplay is known in Yoga as the interplay of the subtle bodies – chit, manas, buddhi and ahankar. We have explored these four subtle bodies in Part 2. Chit is consciousness, manas is our contemplative mind, buddhi is intellect and ahankar is ego. As they become refined and purified, through the process of yogic cleaning, our awareness expands to encompass more and more of the spectrum of consciousness.
When you meditate intensely with Yogic Transmission, your heart opens and you develop the ability to experience the spectrum of consciousness as an integrated field. This is what ‘Yoga’ actually means – integrating, unifying the field. You become aware of all dimensions at the same time. Your consciousness expands.
The mind is capable of being fully awake and in the world, and yet deeply absorbed in the Absolute at the same time. This is the state known as sahaj samadhi, where everything can be known through superconscious perception – the direct perception of Nature. Traditional samadhi is often defined as a stone-like consciousness where you don’t feel anything, but that is not as subtle as sahaj samadhi, where we develop a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree consciousness all around.
In sahaj samadhi we see everything to the extent possible
– front, back, past, present, future – everything is in our view.
The extent to which one can expand in consciousness
is nothing but the reflection of evolution.
In sahaj samadhi we see everything to the extent possible – front, back, past, present, future – everything can be in our view. The extent to which one can expand in consciousness is nothing but the reflection of evolution. So while we are working, we are focused on work, on the surroundings, on the TV if it is on in the room, on something happening outside the office, and also on the Source. We are focused on the transmission that is happening inside, and the condition that is prevailing within, on something that is about to come into our system, on the thoughts that are arising, and on the next step we should be taking; and yet we remain peaceful seeing all these things at the same moment.
Automatically, this consciousness becomes three-hundred-and-sixty-degree consciousness. We are not focusing on any particular thing. The moment we focus on a particular thing, it is no longer meditation, but concentration instead.
So in this state we see how our consciousness can expand and we are able to utilize our minds in such a dynamic way.
There is also another way of looking at the spectrum of consciousness, and that is from personal, or individual, to collective. This is the spectrum of mind to heart. Our mind gives us our individual identity through the ego, ahankar, whereas the heart is collective. In the words of Ram Chandra Fatehgarh, “What is this ‘we’ of ours? It is our heart.”7 It is through the heart that we are all connected. This is the hope of our future and Yoga is the key to unlocking this whole spectrum of consciousness.
1Wilbur, Ken. 1974. Psychologia Perennis, The Spectrum of Consciousness, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 7, No. 2.
2Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur. 1989. Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol. 1.
3Swami Vivekananda. 1947. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 8, ‘Saying and Utterances’.
4 McCraty, Rollin. 2015. Science of the Heart, Vol. 2.
5Patanjali, Yoga Sutras
6Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh, 1973. Truth Eternal, ‘Karma’.
Article by KAMLESH D. PATEL
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017