INNER PSYCHIC ORGANS – INTELLECT AND KNOWLEDGE
Intellect and ego are the evolutes springing from the combination of three attributes, goodness, passion and darkness. This is because intellect is characterized by the predominance of goodness, while ego has the predominance of any one of the three attributes at a given time. Intellect is the individual ability to comprehend. Because of this, the level of intellect varies from person to person. Intellect not only guides the mind by giving decisive decisions, but also helps the mind in association with your conscience (not consciousness, as discussed subsequently) to establish divine commune. Intellect is the outcome of interaction between ignorance and the unmanifest. Though intellect is a refined product of the mind, it does not mean that it is supreme to the mind. You have to even cross this intellect to realise the Self. If you really want to transcend your intellect, you have to transform your consciousness to the level of absolute purity. It is only at the level of consciousness, the difference between real and unreal is realised. The unreal is the cause of ignorance. When you are able to transcend ignorance, it signifies that you have transcended your casual body as well. Again this is not the final stage of your spiritual pursuit. More practice is required to reach close to the desirable level of enlightenment.
Mind is the knowing principle and intellect is the deciding factor. The mind gathers specific information through the senses and presents the picture without distortion to the intellect. Intellect analyses and evaluates and conveys its decision to the mind. When you see an object, the object is visualized by the mind, which in turn is passed on to the intellect for a decision by the intellect. Only intellect is capable of taking a decisive decision. Intellect can be compared to the chairman of a business organization, who is empowered to take all business decisions. While taking a final decision, the intellect reaches out to the store house of thoughts, the subconscious mind and tries to search for further details of the object if any. It is like the chairman consulting his subordinates. Intellect decides on the basis of past experiences stored as impressions in the subconscious mind. It is like the chairman taking the final decision based on company’s past records. Impressions are stored in the subconscious mind only if you are deeply attached to any object. If your attachment is shallow, intellect does not take the trouble of searching in your subconscious mind, as it knows that your inquisitiveness for that object is only momentary. If you have innumerable impressions in your subconscious mind, your intellect takes its own time to make the final call. It is like searching for a data in the hard disc of your computer. If your intellect knows, it is capable of knowing, that you are not interested in the object seriously, it does not cause imprints of the object in your subconscious mind. Such impressions remain only on the surface of the mind and ultimately vanish with time. Therefore, it is apparent that mind does not transfer any impressions to your subconscious mind as long as you do not develop any attraction to any object. If you develop desires and attachments that cannot be easily satiated, they are stored in the subconscious mind. Any impression in the subconscious mind prevents the realisation of the Self within.
We rely on our senses and intellect and accept the pluralistic world as real, whereas the reality is the indivisible whole or Brahman. Non-dualism says that it is the intellect which fragments the world into separate objects and events. Duality is not a fundamental feature of reality, but merely an abstraction devised by your discriminating and categorizing intellect. The cause of the appearance of the world is therefore in the nature of the intellect and not in the nature of Brahman. Brahman always remains unchanged, and the appearance of dualism is due to the intellect that works in association with time and space.
The false knowledge can be dispelled by acquiring true knowledge or the spiritual knowledge, by transcending your intellect. Intellect is the cause of illusionary world. When you transcend your intellect, you get associated with your consciousness, which is in a higher plane than your intellect. When you begin to get associated with your consciousness, you have commenced your spiritual journey. Keep your mind clear and still. Only your mind can influence your intellect. There is no way that you can bypass your mind to reach out to your intellect and there is no necessity also. Intellect does not mean true spiritual knowledge. It is only an interpolation between your normal mind and subconscious mind. Intellect only helps you in taking decisions when you are not able to take a decision using your mind alone. But, this does not mean that all the decisions taken by your intellect is always right. Intellect does not have the capacity on its own to make a final decision. It has to depend upon your previous experiences that are stored in your subconscious mind. Do not admire your intellect. It is also to be transcended, like your mind.
When you are able to transcend your mind and intellect, you acquire wisdom. Wisdom is the state of thoughtlessness, where universality of God is being realized. You cannot transcend this knowledge, as knowledge alone exists at this stage, the stage of transcending mind and intellect. It is the stage where all your thoughts of duality begin to fade out. This knowledge now begins to see the light within. This becomes possible because you are able to cross the darkness associated with the mind. The dark clouds have vanished into your knowledge. In a room of darkness, darkness is dispelled by putting on the light. In the same way, all the impressions or darkness of the mind are driven away when the light of knowledge is active.
Knowledge is nothing but your awareness beyond time and space. Knowing the eternity is knowledge. When you move forward in the path of knowledge, all your experiences are new. You are no more guided by your past experience. When you move forward with knowledge, you leave behind all your past. You feel the pressure of immense happiness that is ready to explode as bliss. As you proceed, the veil of māyā is being removed in stages. You begin to understand the real existence. You begin to feel the existence of the Divine everywhere. You do not see anything except the Divine. You are now entering the world of divinity, transcending the materialistic world. At this stage, you do not look for spiritual help from others. You become your spiritual master. You are guided by the divine. Sun’s light need not be recognized by other sources of light. In the same way, your knowledge need not be appraised by other sources. In fact, others cannot evaluate the state you are in. You are progressing from gross to subtle. You are moving away from your inherent darkness to spiritual illumination.
Knowledge is not a product of your mind. Knowledge is closely related to your Pure Consciousness. Mind is devoid of consciousness. It is only a transmitter. It receives inputs from sensory organs and makes you to function in close association with intellect, mind’s immediate superior. Knowledge already rests in you. You were not able to realize it because of the veils of illusion and ignorance encasing it. The veils can be removed by spiritual practice discussed in the second section. The final onslaught of your ego and mundane experience can be made only if you begin to focus within. Again focusing within gets refined with practice. Entire spirituality is based on practice and perseverance. Once you begin to give a small impetus, it begins to blossom forth in stages. But, the initial impetus is important. You alone can give that impetus, as spirituality unfolds only in the subtle field. No matter is associated in spirituality.
Knowledge is relative in value only till the ultimate truth is realised. When the ultimate truth begins to dawn, you begin to shed your individuality to realise your universal existence. You move forward to a state of being consciousness, when your own being gets dissolved into true spiritual knowledge and ultimate wisdom which decisively elevates you up to the level of the Supreme Self. Now you are That. You are the Brahman.
INNER PSYCHIC ORGANS – CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness is one of the four inner psychic organs and the most important as well. Literally consciousness is explained as an alert state of knowledge in which you are aware of yourself and your situation. Simply, it is a reference to your state of awareness. The purest form of Consciousness is God. When you transform your inherent and individual consciousness as the purest form of consciousness, it means that you are a Self realised person. In spirituality, the other components of inner psychic organs work in coordination with consciousness.
The difference between conscience and consciousness is to be understood. Conscience is the motivating factor that is capable of correct and valid reasoning. It forms a moral principle that governs your thoughts and is always preceded by a thought process. Thought process is nothing but usage of your mind to consider something carefully. Any thought process in association with conscience causes an action. Therefore, your actions depend upon the type of conscience and thoughts you have or you acquire over a period of time. If you develop positive attitude, you perform only good actions. If you develop negative attitude, you end up becoming a negative personality. Though one might have both positive and negative attitudes, what is predominant, only matters. A holy person has become holy, mainly because of his holy thoughts. Your conscience is decided by the imprints in your mind. There is a war between good and bad, always going on in your mind. Whichever wins, decides your conscience. Conscience is the factor that ultimately decides your character, whereas your consciousness is the connecting factor between your inner self and your thoughts. It is the binding factor of all your sensory inputs for the mind to consider.
The level of consciousness is not the same in everyone. There are several factors that affect your level of consciousness. The mental state in which you grow up is the primary factor that decides your level of consciousness and your mental state depends upon your environment. If you live among holy men, you become a holy man; if you live among criminals, you turn out to be an evil doer. If your environment is conducive to your mind, your level consciousness is at its best. It is reflected by your mental state of happiness. If you have feeling of guilt and shame, your level of consciousness rapidly declines and reaches its lowest level. Therefore, the level of consciousness purely depends upon your mental state. If you nurture too many thoughts in your mind, you become a confused person and you will not be able to take right decisions at the right time. In this stage, your level of consciousness is too low.
Let us take an example of an apple. There are two persons who see this apple. One is a spiritual person and another is a mundane person. The spiritual person on seeing this apple goes ahead with his work and does not think about this apple after seeing it. His connection with the apple begins and ends in a moment. The mundane person, who sees the apple desires to acquire that apple and makes enquiries about its availability, price, etc. He develops attachment to the apple and also develops desire to acquire it. All his thoughts are focused only on the apple, till he gets it. In other words, he will not be able to concentrate on anything else, till his desire for apple is satiated. Though there may be other thoughts in his mind, nothing is as strong as the thought of the apple.
When you firmly decide to advance spiritually, you have to purify your consciousness. Consciousness can be purified only by the mind. When the mind is full of attachments and desires, you cannot purify your consciousness. You have to get rid of the impressions in your mind. All your ungratified desires form impressions in the mind. Purifying your consciousness is entirely within your control and no extraneous elements can purify it. Let us take the case of apple again. The spiritual person though has seen the apple is no more associated with the apple. Merely observing of the apple will not cause any impressions in his mind. In the case of mundane person, his mind is fully occupied with apple till he gets it. The mind of the spiritual person is pure whereas the mind of the mundane person is afflicted with the thought of apple. Apple is merely an example. The materialistic person will have too many thoughts in his mind. These thoughts not only fight against each other making his mind a battle field. This is how consciousness begins to play its role. Lesser is the intensity of your thoughts, higher will be the level of your consciousness.
When your mind is not crowded with thoughts, it has more time and space to work on your spiritual aspirations. Your spiritual journey commences only if you are able to transcend the limiting aspects. Limitation is caused by measurement. Any object is limited due to its three dimensional measurement. The apple has dimensional limitation. When you fix your consciousness on the apple, your consciousness at that time remains limited. When you look beyond that apple, though the apple will continue to remain in the same place, you are able to transcend the limitations of the apple. When you look beyond the apple, you are looking into space. When you are looking beyond the object, the difference between the subject and object disappears. Here, apple is the object and act of seeing is the subject. When there is no object, there is no subject as well. This is an instance of knower and the known merging together. Where there is no subject - object relationship or knower - known relationship, normal physiological functions are suspended. You will only now focus into infinity or universality. This is the state of bliss, where only inner silence prevails. Inner silence is a precondition for the state of bliss.
Often consciousness is treated on par with the mind, which is not fully factual. When consciousness and mind are the same, then there is no necessity to include both of them separately as the components of inner psychic organs. One is tend to treat both mind and consciousness as the same because of different states of mental conditions such as super conscious mind, conscious mind, subconscious mind and unconscious mind. Though consciousness and mind are not the same, yet consciousness is related to the mind. Consciousness is the foundational aspect of your physical body. Your physical body is superimposed on your consciousness. Therefore, consciousness is spread throughout your body and not just restricted to your mind. As mind controls other aspects of your system, it also prevails over your consciousness. At the end of your spiritual journey, you tend to say that you are not the body, but you are pure consciousness. Pure Consciousness is self illuminating. Only pure consciousness is self illuminating. If your mind is afflicted due to stress, your consciousness becomes depleted and weak. This establishes the relationship between the mind and consciousness.
The difference between a yogi and a materialist is the way they look at. A man becomes a scientist, doctor or engineer by connecting his consciousness with external objects. A yogi is the only person who has developed the ability to look within. A yogi keeps his mind under his control and an ordinary man is under the control of his mind. The evil impressions of the mind manifest as negative thoughts and surface in consciousness. Now the war between conscious mind and unconscious mind begins. If you keep your mind under your control, you can ensure that evil thoughts embedded in the subconscious mind do not get manifested. Even if they manifest, you can annihilate them by the power of your consciousness. But your inherent bondage makes you not to realise this and you continue to appear perplexed and confused. Mind and consciousness are always interconnected and consciousness passes through the mind. When it passes through the mind it acquires strong impressions of the mind. That is why, to purify the consciousness, one’s mind needs to be purified first. The purification of consciousness is possible only if sensory perceptions and mind are purified. All the three are interrelated. Though consciousness by nature is always pure, the impressions of the mind keep it as strained. Consciousness always stay behind the mind in its original illuminated form and when this pure form light transcends an afflicted mind, the pure light gets diffused as impure light making everything appear as deceptive and illusionary. In the process you lose out the reality. You are confounded with illusions. This happens because you have not purified your mind. In reality, the purest form of consciousness is God. All the beings are reflections of His Self illuminating light. If you keep different types of vessels filled with water under the sun, the same sun shines in different vessels that are in different shapes and forms. If God is the sun, we are the vessels. If God is macrocosmic, we are microcosmic, forming a part of His grand macrocosm.
By nature, human consciousness is attached to the world of senses. When we want to progress spiritually, we have to fight against our inherent nature. That is why spiritual path has so many obstacles. Human consciousness is different from cosmic consciousness. Divine consciousness or cosmic consciousness is free from sensory influences. A closest comparison is our free will. Free will is the sense of being that is empowered to consciously choose between alternative courses of action with full knowledge that you have chosen otherwise.
Consciousness cannot be in different pieces. Fragmentation happens because of separate individuality, which in turn gives rise to independent status to the mind. To realize God, you have to bring your attention to a point where duality begins. At this point, your consciousness is in its purest form. It is comparatively easier to pull back an afflicted mind from this stage. If you focus your concentration on this conceived point, fragmentation of consciousness ceases and you are ready to enter into the state of unified consciousness and ultimate bliss. Pure Consciousness, Self, God and Brahman are all the same. The dualistic appearance of the world is due the existence of individual consciousness. In reality, there is nothing exists except the Self, the Pure Consciousness. Consciousness does not change, but your mind changes frequently. It is the inherent nature of mind. When a person dies, only his physical body dies. His consciousness does not die nor his subconscious mind and karmas. It is like electricity. Electricity does not change and always remain the same. If a bulb is fused, we change the bulb or we even change the design of the bulb. But the electric energy that burns the bulb does not change. Always remember that energies do not change. Heat energy, wind energy, etc are typical examples. They do not change at all. They always remain the same. But they manifest in different shapes and forms. In the same way, the Cosmic Consciousness does not change. It remains the same, as God alone is eternal and does not change. It is only the body that changes during transmigrations. You attain liberation when your individual consciousness dissolves into the undifferentiated consciousness. You can feel this, as this means that you have transcended your sensory influences. You are ready to be liberated when you individual consciousness is preparing itself to merge with the Cosmic Consciousness. Cosmic Consciousness and Self consciousness are the same. Individual consciousness and self consciousness are the same.
There are degrees to the level of consciousness. If you have a measuring scale of 12 inches, 1 – 4 is the mundane level of consciousness. At this level, you will have more of negative energies than the positive energies. 5 – 8 is the medium level of consciousness. Here, you develop spiritual aspirations and you begin your spiritual practices. You give serious thought to transforming spiritually, leaving aside your religious compulsions. 9 – 12 is the highest level of consciousness and 12 is the Brahman, beyond which nothing exists. In the lower level of consciousness you are bound by inherent human feelings like desire, attachment, guilt, hatred, anger, fear, etc predominate. At 9 – 12 level you have love, gratitude, compassion, etc prevail. The transition between the lower level and the higher level takes place in the middle level of consciousness. This is the stage where your negative energies are getting ready to get subdued to pave for positive energies. Your spiritual journey commences at 1 and culminates at 12. At the level of 12, your soul no more exists as a separate entity and it will get merged with the Brahman, once all your karmas are spent. At the levels 10 and 11, you are a completely transformed person, radiating love and compassion. Men around you begin to adore you.
The purification of individual consciousness happens only in those persons who have higher spiritual intellect and high standards of moral living. Spiritual emancipation happens at an average age of thirty to forty five years of age. This is not the case in spirituality alone; it is the case with every individual success. A person’s growth is decided only during this fifteen year period. At around thirty years, the seed is sown and at around forty five, results are reaped. Therefore, the age at which one begins his spiritual pursuit also counts for complete fulfillment of spiritual aspirations.
(to be continued)