Unit IV. Pure Mind
4. Pure intelligence
5. Mind training
Materials needed: Journal, Tape, CD or music to Gayatri mantra
Essential spirituality (optional)
Start where you are
Meditation and Perception
Roberts’ Path to No-self V
Clearing the Mind
“Universe is the Expansion of the Mind”
Swami Sivananda Radha
If you have been working systematically through these guidebooks,
you will have, no doubt, had an experience, probably in meditation, of the
world disappearing while you are still conscious. Such an experience
tells us that the universe and everything in it is created by the mind because
when the mind is quiet and withdrawn all objective forms disappear.
This idea is still difficult for me to get my mind around although I have
experienced it many times. I don’t think it means that the universe
literally disappears, but that perception of the universe depends upon the
mind, so when the mind is quiet perception ceases to work. Usually the
mind chatters away on its own like a car engine idling in the driveway awaiting
some action. But just because it likes to do this does not mean it
has to. What we are going to see in this unit is what happens when
the mind is silenced and how that can be achieved on a long term basis. .
. for those who desire to.
The mind is the sense of the sixth chakra very much like hearing was the
sense in the fifth chakra and so on. You will have noticed that the
senses have gotten less and less tangible as we have ascended the chakra hierarchy.
So have the elements. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect that
the mind would also become less grounded and tangible. And this is,
indeed, what occurs.
The bija, or seed sound, of the Ajna chakra is Om. This is a universal
sound (nada) that includes all the others when it is intoned properly.
It is also called pranava which means a mystical or sacred syllable.
And it also may be referred to as mahanada which means great sound (maha =
great, nad = sound). Om is the radiance of pure mind, so we are going
to look at the pure mind in this unit.
Mahat means “vast” and it is the highest level of mind.
So the word for Cosmic Intelligence in the Samkhya system is Mahat.
You could say that it is the mental operator of the subtle body. It
is composed of or encompasses the lower minds (Citta, Buddhi, Ahamkara
and Manas in that order) plus the gunas. Mahat is the first manifestation
of creative ideation. It would correspond to the Word or Logos in Christianity.
If we are going in the direction of evolution, Mahat is the level of mind
just above Buddhi, so it is that into which all other forms of mind will
dissolve during the Return. You could think of it as Universal Mind.
As such, Mahat is all seeing. It knows everything including that which
is beyond what the physical senses can supply. It is capable of direct
intuitive perception. So it is also called the “third eye.” Because
it goes beyond the elements, it is called tattvatita which means beyond
the tattvas into pure essence. You will remember that tattva means the
essential beingness of a thing. So now we have gone beyond essence,
even, into what is more like an archetype. In fact, we could probably
call Mahat an archetype because it is a pattern for lower forms of mental
operations. It goes, as well, beyond time, space, cause and effect.
It is a rarified field of mental operation that we can hardly imagine.
Yet it is capable of being experienced by human beings.
“Knowledge is the cause of Liberation.”
Mishra (1987, p. 193)
Ken Wilber (1983) described the transformation process as follows:
. . at each point in psychological
growth, we find: (1) a higher-order structure
emerges in consciousness; (2) the
self identifies its being with that higher
structure; (3) the next-higher-order
structure eventually emerges; (4) the self
dis-identifies with the lower structure
and shifts its essential identity to the
higher structure; (5) consciousness
thereby transcends the lower structure;
and (6) it becomes capable of operating
on that lower structure from the
higher-order-level; and so (7)
that all preceding levels can be integrated in
consciousness. (p. 102)
You will recognize this as the transcendence form of transformation. Wilber
goes on to explain that each successive structure is more complex, more organized
and more unified. We are already familiar with the two main processes
operating here: differentiation and integration. Differentiation separates
out the new structure and it also keeps it separate from the old structure.
Then the new structure takes the old one into its being and integrates or
assimilates it. Higher levels can operate on lower levels, but the reverse
is not true. Piaget’s discoveries about how the mind develops are not
different from this process.
So, moving into Mahat involves the same kinds of changes except that the
higher order differentiation and transcendence are mediated through high archetypal
cognitive forms beyond formal operations. Now the Ultimate Reality
can be directly experienced. Mishra (1987) says, “When identity with
Purusa is established, identity of the soul with body, senses, and
mind is gradually removed. The whole range of meditation is nothing
but establishment of union and individual consciousness with the Supreme”
(p. 352). This is a prime example of the process Wilber is describing.
Mishra (1987) also says that “. . unbroken, unwavering, discriminative knowledge
[prajna] is recognition of the absolute nature of Purusa which is Eternal
Existence, Consciousness and Bliss [Satchidananda]” (p. 196).
All of which brings us to prajna. Prajna is defined, in Yoga,
as wisdom, foreknowledge, universal intelligence. It is a Sanskrit
word that means “to foreknow, or to be wise.” Buddhists
(Trungpa, 1973) take this a step further and call it the all-seeing eye, discriminating
knowledge, super-knowledge or knowledge that both knows and sees. . . sees
situations as they really are, beyond ego and lower mind’s desires and agendas.
It is precise and singlepointed.
Singlepointed means the mind is concentrated and focused.
Exercise: Prajna (optional)
Read “Practice 6/Cultivate Spiritual Intelligence: Develop Wisdom and Understand
Life,” pages 213-250 in Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices
to Awaken Heart and Mind by Roger Walsh and begin to do the exercises.
Continue with this section throughout this unit as you are able to.
So what we have here in the sixth chakra is a situation in which objective
and subjective parts of mind join, unifying pairs of opposites within leading
to expanded, unified perception. This is sometimes called direct
perception because it is an experience in which one sees exactly what
is there without any obscurations. This has to be experienced to be
believed. At The Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO, there are special
rooms, called Maitri rooms, that are used to help develop this skill.
A student spends around 45 minutes in such a room, and when s/he comes out,
the whole world is brighter, more sharply in focus and almost overwhelming.
Direct knowledge and direct perception occur when the usual mental chatter
is stilled which allows these other functions of mind to emerge. This
is one reason why meditation is such a useful tool.
Practice: Meditation and Perception
Sit for meditation for at least an hour in a quiet room. Be prepared,
when you come out, to spend about another half hour just perceiving the world
and watching your mind and senses. Make notes in your journal about
any changes in sensation and perception that you notice. Are sounds
louder than usual, for example? What is the quality of your vision,
your taste, smell, touch and hearing? See how long you can maintain
that keenness and notice what disperses it.
You might want to try meditating in different environments, especially of
color differences, to see if your subsequent perceptions differ as a function
of the meditative environment.
It is the intelligence of the universe
that awakens in the matter of the galaxies,
mutates in our bodies and sharpens
our perspicacity by arousing dormant
physical and psychological faculties.
It has pushed the evolutionary advance. .
[to culminate] in the advanced
creative civilizations which shape the cosmos
to actuate this intelligence. (Khan,
Pure intelligence is akin to direct knowledge. It is the luminous
mind of God that is symbolized by light. This is the all-pervading
light that sees but is not the light that is seen. It is a priori knowledge
that is not based upon information. However, if and when we identify
with the subtle body, a different mode of thinking is aroused.
Consciousness that is carried beyond the point of functioning as personal
consciousness is called luminous intelligence by the Sufis. Buddhists
call it the clear light of bliss, and Yogis call it ananda. Pir Zia
(Khan, 2004) says that “Pure intelligence becomes consciousness when it is
confronted with an object” (p. 7). But when there is no object, intelligence
withdraws to its ground of consciousness which is luminous intelligence.
Further, we are told we should identify with the luminous intelligence because
that is who we are. In the center of the chest is our secret, inviolable
core of being where we can find an inkling of divine intelligence. We
can know reality by being present to it. This essential knowing means
identity of the knower, the known and the process of knowing. This
unity is known to all the mystical traditions. It is an act of sheer,
luminous Presence, objectless consciousness, pure intellect. Pir Zia
calls it “knowledge by Presence.”
We can see that which is behind what appears. A normal kind of perception
is replaced by a resonance based on like-ness rather than other-ness, a sense
of unity. Pir Vilayat said that there is no being who cannot be contacted
by attuning to their resonance. This accounts for the efficacy of prayer
and comtemplation. It also goes beyond language since language limits
us to the explicit state of being.
Acording to the Sufis, what is needed is an identification through the anti-podal
point of view. This means being able to see things through God’s perspective
or from God’s point of view. Put another way, God uses my senses and
mind to perceive things. So it is not a matter of trying to imagine
what God thinks or perceives. We have to see through our eyes as if
we were the God entity behind them. We have to shift the witness from
the human to the celestial point of view. Conventional knowledge is
a veil upon the known, so we need to get behind the veil and see from that
position. God sees through our eyes.
If all of this is true, then a crucial issue in awakening is how to move
from acquiring knowledge from experience, as we have been used to do, to discovering
revealed, true knowledge through Presence. Pir Vilayat (Khan,
2001) said that clues to divine intention were to be found in our souls and
in the physical world. The intricacies in us are exemplars or clues
to divine programming and archetypes. However, the Divine reveals Its
intention to us not with clues or through language, but through revealed
knowledge or intuition or direct knowledge. That means we need to tune
ourselves to the resonance of the celestial spheres. The key is to
discover the celestial witness in ourselves. “Why are you seeking knowledge
when you can know the knower?” (Khan, 2001)
Exercise: The Unitive State, Phase V
Read Phase V in The Path to No-self and make notes in your journal
about how Robert’s ideas fit with these definitions of prajna, pure intelligence
and direct perception.
The mind requires training and discipline if it is to develop as a
tool of transfor-mation. And there are many ways of doing this.
But first, let us see how the mind functions in the Ajna chakra.
Mind in Ajna Chakra
Harrigan (2002) says there are two levels in the Ajna chakra separated by
a hard cap on the top of the Shiva lingam that closes off the Susumna through
which Kundalini is said to be traveling. At the lower level, we find
the Manasthana or mind point that is at the base of the lingam.
It is here that Ida and Pingala flow into the susumna. And here that
we can access the world of mind that is responsible for concentration and
learning. However, it is tied to the external world through the senses
which means that we can get stuck here if we cannot detach ourselves from
its forms. The knot here is the Rudra Granthi, to which we will return
later on. Om is the sound of kundalini circling under the cap trying
to rise. However, she needs devotion and longing to enable her to escape
We also find Hakini here who represents the six aspects of God and who holds
the tools useful on the journey through this chakra. She has six heads
representing increased mental power and subtlety and six arms representing
increased power and efficiency. She is a symbol of the union of manifest
and unmanifest energy and unified intelligence. [See Johari (1987, p. 76)
for a picture of her.]
In the upper Ajna chakra, we get beyond the conditioned (manas) mind and
established in Buddhi as the objective witness with discriminative mind.
The makara or bindu point is here. It is the entry to the celestial
realm of the Causal body. Beyond this point, true spiritual transformation
begins and there are no more blocks. There is now the ability to go
beyond mind and commune directly and experientially with the Divine One.
There is stability, equanimity and direct knowledge associated with a clearer
view of the goal, new insights, understandings and blissful experiences.
Here Kundalini must go to work to clear all remaining obscurations from
the entire subtle body before she can enjoy complete union. If the
purification work has been going on all along, this task will be much easier
and less disruptive of one’s life. But, in any case, the unconscious
must be emptied and cleared before the goal can be reached or any further
progress made. The best way to cooperate is to gracefully allow the
process. Much of it may take place below the level of awareness or
during sleep. It sounds to me very much like the Dark Night of the
Soul in which a similar cleansing is occuring.
Exercise: Clearing the Mind (optional)
Read “Practice 4/Concentrate and Calm Your Mind,” pages 147- 171 in Essential
Spirituality and begin to work on the practices.
Modes of mind training
Samyama is a combination of concentration, meditation and contemplation
or samadhi. We have met this before. When the three forms of mental
discipline are well-established, the mind rests in the great void symbolized
by white light (although it appears black to the senses); and we become centered
and balanced. In time, this state becomes so comfortable and easy to
access that the individual can detach from the body easily and at will which
leads to ability to use the mind in new ways. We can purify the mind
by contact with the Divine One and then bring it back into life for service.
Samyama training comes from Patanjali. We will examine it more closely
in the next unit.
LoJong mind training is a Buddhist set of practices that is designed
to awaken the heart. Bodhicitta is the name of the awakened heart,
and this goal is one of the primary ones in Buddhist practice. Lo
means “mind” or “thought” while djong means “practice,” “purify” or
“training.” The connection between heart and mind can be made on two
levels. Yogis have long been saying that the seat of the mind is in
the heart. Now, there is physical evidence (Pearsall, 1998) that the
heart controls all systems in the body including cells which we now know
are also conscious (Pert, 1986). Second, control over one’s mental
processes is essential for the individual to be able to relax into the vulnerable
spaces of the heart.
Another way of thinking about Lojong is that it removes the delusion of
a separate self and develops compassion which is a form of Bodhicitta.
As you may remember, Buddhism says that ego is in large part responsible for
our conviction that we are separate entities. If we can get beyond this
idea and recognize that we are all part of one existence, it is easier to
develop empathy for others especially our enemies. In this training,
we do not try to get rid of ego but we learn how to use it to liberate ourselves
from the obstacles in our paths, so that we can connect with the mind of truth.
Unconditional kindness to ourselves first, and then to others is essential
in this practice, so there is no violence or harm done to anyone.
There are two vows that are associated with Lojong: Taking Refuge and Taking
the Bodhisattva Vow. One takes Refuge in the Buddha,
the Dharma and the Sangha. Taking refuge in the Buddha means making
a commitment to the Buddha-nature within us, that potential for liberation
that is within all of us. Taking refuge in the Dharma means acknowledging
our confidence in the teachings and commitment to the path. And taking
refuge in the Sangha means we will associate with and learn from others who
have gone ahead of us on the path. This is one version of the Refuge
Masters, all the Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas, please hear me. From now until
realization, I take
refuge in the Buddha, who is the example of my own nature.
I take refuge in
the Dharma which is the path to achieve liberation of, fulfill-
ment of, that nature
and I take refuge in the Sangha, the companions and guides
on this path.
All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times, and the ten
me as one who seeks refuge in the Triple Gem for the
benefit of all beings.
(Khentin Tai Situ Pa, no date, p. 24)
The Bodhisattva vow has to do with recognizing everyone as part of
myself. It essentially says that I will postpone my personal liberation
until everyone is liberated, and I will continually reincarnate to help others
achieve this. This means that we all share the suffering of life, and
we all share the eventual liberation because we are all One. So it is
not really possible for me to achieve liberation by myself. The Bodhisattva
vow acknowledges this fact and serves to remind us that the journey is not
complete until all of us have arrived Home. But the larger effect of
this vow is to help us develop the gentle heart of compassion. “Compassion
is the wish that all beings may be free from suffering and its causes” (Khentin
Tai Situ Pa, no date). That means we develop kindness to ourselves and
our wounded, tender hearts first, and then we extend it to others, both friends
and enemies. You may remember that Jesus also taught this. Six
of the paramitas are guidelines for the Bodhisattva. They are generosity,
discipline, patience, energy (as joy), meditation (as mindfulness) and knowledge
(as prajna). Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam
Trungpa (1973) will provide you with more information on the paramitas.
There are also discussions of them sprinkled throughout these guidebooks.
[See Unit X for a summary of the paramitas.]
Any number of practices are associated with Lojong. Two of these are
essential and a third is desirable. The first is meditation to calm
the mind. The second is tonglen. You will be familiar with
both of these if you have been following this course. Tonglen is essential
because it is a practice that enables us to transmute negative attitudes
and feelings into positive ones. It also sends out the positive feelings
1. Begin reading Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron.
Make a copy of the “Root Test of the Seven Points of Training the Mind” in
her Appendix, so it is handy for reference in what follows. As you read
this book, make an outline of the slogans that includes the slogan and what
each one means to you in your own words. Continue with this book until
it is finished.
2. If you do not already have it, download the instructions for tonglen.
1. Begin a tonglen practice and continue it until it comes naturally
to you in all phases of your life. You could set a time daily to practice
it. You can then begin to remember it at emotional moments in your life
especially when someone irritates you. Waiting in line is another fruitful
time to practice. In a crisis, only the last two aspects of the practice
need be to used: breathing in the dark, heavy and hot, and breathing
out the bright, white and light.
2. Make notes in your journal about changes you notice in yourself
as a result of this practice. Track your heart especially for indications
of its opening. How are you handling your new vulnerability? Notice
the overlap between your study of the Lojong slogans and your practice of
The third practice is called “Maitri.” It involves a
prayer that sends loving kindness to everyone. It is another practice
of compassion, one that reminds us of our common humanity. Above all,
it allows the escape of positive feelings into our environment that so desperately
needs it. The maitri prayer includes the four immeasurable contemplations:
loving kindness, compassion, joy and impartiality in that order. Both
tonglen and maitri practices increase the amount of positive, loving energy
in the world. Thought, especially in the form of prayer, has an infinite
range and a speed greater than light. So, if your intention is pure,
you can accomplish a great deal of good. The maitri prayer follows:
May all beings have happiness and the
causes of happiness,
May they all be free from suffering and
the causes of suffering,
May they never be separated from the happiness
which is free of all kinds of suffering and
May they abide in the great impartiality.
(Khentin Tai Situ Pa, no date)
You may use the prayer above. Please say this prayer daily until you
have memorized it. It goes well with a meditation practice perhaps in
tandem with a prayer of gratitude at the end of your sitting. As you
go along, make notes in your journal about the state of your heart as a result
of this practice.
These practices bear directly on the dualism that is being counteracted
in the Ajna chakra. Furthermore, they teach us how to use the obstacles
and events in our daily life as spiritual practices. One of the most
important contributions of Buddhism to the spiritual journey is its attitude
of loving kindness to all of our experience. We do not attempt to destroy
parts of ourselves such as the ego, but instead we learn how to accept and
value even our mistakes as teachers on the path.
Mantra is another form of mind training; and, at this level of development,
one can design a mantra and imbue it with power. Yogis say that the
mind is a structure created by sound. Therefore, certain mantras can
protect the mind. Other mantras can help us tune in to the celestial
realms or to our inner guidance. Swami Radha says that mantras are words
of power that can activate and amplify latent cosmic forces. They can
even be inaudible speech in the form of ethereal, intuitive perceptions.
As such they are the language of the heart. We can think of mantras
as forms of consciousness. After long periods of practice, a mantra
will become self-generating and keep playing itself in the background of your
consciousness. This protects the mind and keeps you in constant touch
with Supreme Consciousness.
The bija mantra for the sixth chakra is OM. In practice this is intoned
as A-U-M. The “A” represents sattva, the “U” represents rajas, and the
“M” represents tamas. You will remember these as the three gunas.
These letters also stand for knowledge, will and action which are the three
aspects of consciousness that form the A-Ka-Tha triangle in the Brahma-randhra.
As such OM represents the all-encompassing cosmic consciousness, or turiya,
that is beyond words and concepts. AUM is the primordial sound
that contains the essence of everything, so it is not to be taken lightly.
Yogic literature spells out how the cosmos was created by successive intonations
of layers of sound or vibration. First came Nada as Shiva/Shakti or
the Word. From Nada came Bindu as Shabda-Brahman (the Supreme Consciousness
as sound) followed by the avyakta, or causal body, that unmanifest energy
that manifests as knowledge, will and action. Then these are associated
with the three gunas or qualities of forms. So mantra gives us the power
to create oneselves in the image of God. To create something, we mentally
and vocally utter its natural name with creative force. Creative thought
ensouls the uttered sound. This takes practice.
Johari (1986) says that chanting A-U-M before and after any mantra harmonizes
the two hemispheres of the brain. The closing of the lips on “M” enables
the vibration to reach the the Brahma-randhra and it vibrates the corpus callosum
that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.
Om bhur bhuvah svaha
Earth, Midworld, Heaven!
Tat savitur varenyam
Let us meditate on that most
Bhargo devasya dhi mahi
Excellent light of the divine sun
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
That it may illumine our minds
(Tyberg, 1976, p. 24)
Paul (2000) says this means “We worship the word [shabda] that is present
in the earth [bhur], the heavens [bhuvas], and that which is beyond [svaha].
By meditating on this glorious power that gives us life, we ask that our minds
and hearts be illuminated” (p. 11 in disk flyer). This mantra is composed
of 24 sound-syllables. Each is the energy of one of the 24 gods or
archetypes. Each energy has a different nature and serves a different
Practice: Gayatri mantra
1. Secure a tape or CD that has the Gayatri mantra on it. The
best I have heard is Shabda Yoga recorded by Russell Paul (The Relaxation
Co., P. O. Box 305, Roslyn, NY 11576, phone 800-788-6670, fax 516-621-2750,
or web site www.therelaxationcompany.com).
Paul has also recorded other mantras on this disk including AUM. And
he presents the music in an authentic Yogic manner which is breathtaking.
Alternatively, you may secure the music for the mantra and accompany yourself
on a musical instrument. (A little book of music called Bhajans at
Yasodhara Ashram contains the music for the Gayatri mantra as well as
other songs most of which are not mantras per se. Contact Timeless Books,
Box 9, Kootenay Bay, BC V0B 1X0. www.timeless.org.
The original booklet, Mantras, Bhajans and Songs does contain mantras
and can be ordered from the same place.)
2. Use this disk or music to chant with. Try out the combination
of AUM with the Gayatri mantra. If possible, put yourself on a regular
schedule with it as it takes a great deal of time to internalize a mantra.
Johari (1986) offers more information on how to use this mantra for healing
(pp.37-43). However, you should get the mantra well established in your
habits before you embark on variations. Johari recommends doing
one mala (108 repetitions) every day in the early morning in order to internalize
the energies, so you can see the time commitment that must be made in order
to get results. Please be patient and stay with this, or you may become
If you are going to commit to a long range mantra practice and you do not
resonate with the Gayatri mantra, you are free to choose another one because
it will become part of your system. However, be sure you have a mantra
and not just a song because only true mantras have the power you want.
3. After you chant for a while, sit quietly for meditation and to
allow the vibrations to sink in and impact your spirit. Keep notes
on the practice.
The word Ajna means “to command.” This is not in the sense that a
general commands his army. Rather it has to do with communication.
At this point, one can receive the command of the guru from above.
Mind to mind communication with the guru is possible. The first time
I experienced this was at a meeting with Jamgon Kongtrul III in Boulder back
in the mid-80s. The teachers were interacting with him, and I was just
a student so saw no possibility of asking my burning question.
Suddenly, he turned and looked directly at me, made eye contact, and
the answer to my question came into my mind. It was like a light going
on suddenly! I was literally transfixed while the Guru continued his
conversations without a break.
Another way to interpret the command from the guru above is in terms of
channeling. When the mind is completely quiet, we can become
aware of both Spirit and our guiding angels. This takes a regular regime
of meditation so that all the chatter and unconscious material that needs
to be expelled can be dealt with first. That makes a space for the
spirit of guidance to come through. Channeling is a process that requires
constant monitoring to make sure that the “voice” that is heard is truly
a higher entity and not the voice of ego. Usually one can tell the
difference if what is received is written down and then reexamined with some
humility after a week or so has gone by. Discrimination.
There is a vast body of literature that purports to be channeled material
beginning with the prophets of old who have stood the test of time.
Much of the Biblical material was channeled as is true of all the great scriptures
in other traditions. In more modern times, Alice Bailey channeled the
Tibetan and Charles Leadbeater who was clairvoyant and psychic brought in
more information about the unseen realm. Even more recently Mary-Margaret
Moore has channeled Bartholomew, Pat Rodegast has channeled Emmanuel, the
Guide was reported by Eva Pierrakos, and Seth by Jane Roberts to name a few.
This is just a sample of the information made available to us by disembodied
We have to read this material with the awareness that it has come to us
through a human mind and, therefore, may be contaminated. One choice
is to reject it out of hand, as many do; but that is throwing out the baby
with the bath water. Many of these teachings have a great deal to offer
us. What is required is to run any questionable statements through your
truth detector which is in your heart center. No surprise.
It seems to me that channeled teachings have an opportunity to correct some
of the older messages that have, themselves, been contaminated by the various
and sundry priests and others who have had a personal stake in the dogmas
they teach. A Course in Miracles (1985) is a prime example of
such correction. One of the outstanding things it does is append and
amplify the teachings on forgiveness that tend to get lost in the Bible.
This work was channeled by Helen Schucman and written down by William Thetford.
Helen describes herself as a psychologist, educator and atheist. but
the voice seems to be that of the Holy Spirit. A Course in Miracles
is a huge body of work which includes both a text, a workbook for students
and a teacher’s manual.
Another form of communication that is relevant here is your conversation
with your Higher Self. You can think of it as inner guidance.
The Higher Self is often presented as an objective witness. But it also
can be seen as the psyche or that part of yourself that knows what your journey
is meant to accomplish, where you are going, who you are, etc., all those
perennial questions. It may be the part of yourself that knows the
Truth of reality. Often this aspect of yourself is accessed through
visualization, dreams and/or active imagination [see Robert Johnson’s (1986)
Inner work or Ira Progoff’s (1975) At a Journal Workshop for
more information on how to do this]. Swami Radha used to say that dreams
are messages from the Higher Self. And she offered a technique for decoding
dreams to secure the information.
Finally, Almaas’s (2002) concepts of The Facets of Unity are instructive
because they deny any separation between the Divine One and the individual.
Because Sufis believe that the purpose of embodiment is for the One to get
to know ItSelf, they would probably agree that the One communicates Its needs
to us through whatever channels are available and open to It.
The soul manifests in the
world in order that it may experience the different
phases of manifestation,
and yet not lose its way but regain its original
freedom, in addition
to the experience and knowledge it has gained in this
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
Along with all of this aerial knowing may come a new set of psychic powers
called siddhis. These will be discussed in the next unit. However,
a caution is in order here because there is a very dangerous potential for
ego to get personally involved with them and lose its way on the path.
History is full of accounts of individuals who went astray and lost their
souls due to the use of siddhis for ego-gratifications. So we must take
care to maintain our sincerity and humility and watch constantly for evidence
of pride and spiritual materialism.
Allow me to stress once again the importance of discrimination and discernment
in this journey. There is a danger of psychosis if kundalini is aroused
or pushed before the body and chakras are ready to open for her. A kundalini
psychosis is difficult to distinguish from other psychoses especially if
the therapist is not trained in transpersonal psychotherapy. Therefore,
clients who are misdiagnosed can end up in an institution or taking unsuitable
drugs that abort the process. However, the DSM IV-TR: Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association,
2000) is finally recognizing some forms of spiritual emergency, so there is
hope for the future.
The following table shows a few of the distinguishing differences between
psychosis and enlightenment.
|Out of touch
Table 6-3. Differences between Psychosis and Enlightenment
A kundalini psychosis can present symptoms that resemble psychosis, so careful
diagnosis is necessary to establish that the connection to reality is, in
fact, being made. Usually a person suffering from a spiritual emergency
can interact sensibly with the therapist even though the symptoms may be otherwise
bizarre. Suffering that is characteristic of neurosis and psychosis
is usually due to blocked flow of subtle energies and repressed material
in the unconscious or to unimpeded eruptions of unconscious contents when
the ego is weak or ineffective. Behaviors, in these cases, is aberrant
and inappropriate to the circumstances due either to defenses or to ineffective
ego controls. What this means is that we need our egos to interact
with the world and other people. But ego needs to surrender to the
Higher powers in carrying out its duties. So a balance needs to be
This completes Unit IV. Mind. We have examined the mind from several
different perspectives to see how it works on the higher levels of reality.
And we have experimented with sound as a creator of mind.
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This completes Unit IV. Mind. The next Unit V. Consciousness explores the forms of
consciousness that manifest at this level of spiritual development.
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