Unit IV. Pure Mind


1.  Om
2.  Mahat
3.  Prajna
4.  Pure intelligence
5.  Mind training
6.  Command
7.  Cautions

Materials needed:  Journal, Tape, CD or music to Gayatri mantra

Books needed:

Essential spirituality (optional)
Start where you are


Meditation and Perception
Roberts’ Path to No-self V
Clearing the Mind
Gayatri Mantra

“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an experience tells us that the universe and everything in it is created by the mind because when the mind is quiet and withdrawn all objective forms disappear.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.

Pure Intelligence

         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, 2003)

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 this block.

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 vow:

           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
               directions, recognize 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 to everyone.

Exercise: Tonglen

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.

Practice: 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 tonglen.

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)

Practice: Maitri

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 purpose.
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, email: info@therelaxationcompany.com, 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 disillusioned.

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 entities.  

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
              world.     – 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.

In touch
with reality
Out of touch
with reality
Mind disturbed
anxiety, fear

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 achieved.

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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