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Meditation, Super-Consciousness and ‘Enlightened states’ of Awareness

November 5, 2011

What is meditation? According to the most ancient wisdom traditions of the world, meditation is the purpose of life.

Not my purpose of life, not someone’s purpose of life, but the true ontological raison de entre, the reason for existence, true existence itself.

The very real and only important purpose for your and my short life and existence here on earth. Not philosophically, not theologically, but as a realised experience.

However, meditation today has come to be seen as a mild therapy, a form of self-growth, or a practice for euphoria, a somewhat different understanding than the historical and stunningly powerful descriptions of meditation that direct humanity towards the state of ‘self-realisation’ often referred to as ‘superconsciousness’ ‘cosmic awakening’ or ‘supreme bliss’.

As the famous Hindu Saint of the 19th centaury, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa stated “God-consciousness is 10 million times more blissful than sexual experience.” quite a striking contrast to an understanding of meditation as stress reduction.

This experience, the evolutionary unfolding of the human organism, is well documented in the lives of thousands and thousands of saints throughout the world and throughout history, and although often-(but not always) preceded by multiple meditative and mystic experiences, is not gradual but rather always described as a sudden and illuminating realisation of reality, a heightened state of consciousness that directly perceives the reality of consciousness, both internal and that known as the external universe, suddenly and profoundly, beyond words imagination and concept.

Omniscience of the soul, as the soul, beyond the limitations of a mind constrained by thought, of the universe as it truly is and not as a belief, a state symptomatically accompanied by profound psychic awakening and inconceivable bliss.

Not imagination, but perception, not questioned or doubted but overwhelmingly transformative.

It is described as the realisation of the nature that each human being already is, as if an inverted and limited experience of life and of reality suddenly gives way to the all encompassing experience of the world as it truly is, the deeper and universally encompassing reality described by mystics, poets and saints throughout the ages from all races and all religions. And for the first time, suddenly, the words of religions and of the mystics, are comprehendible.

It is as if all psychic and all mental faculties, all emotional faculties, all potential experiences give way into the true depth and nature of the reality of the soul and its relationship to reality itself. An eternal and inconceivably ancient dance of consciousness and divinity in form and time. An experience so powerful, so life changing and awakening, that nothing in your life can ever been experienced in the same way again, and not a single day can pass without the true nature of reality working subtly to transform your mind and heart back to their natural state. That of this tangible and overwhelmingly powerful experience of the only real truth, reality beyond, behind and encompassing thoughts. As Krishna says in the song of god-

“One feels infinite bliss, That is perceivable only through the intellect, And is beyond the reach of the senses. After realizing Brahman, One is never separated from absolute reality.”

This is meditation.

No matter what we may do in life, what personal growth we may achieve, what wounds we may heal, what events we may experience, what beliefs we may adopt and allow to pass away, our mortality demands our attention to this deeper reality, and invites our experience of it.

Even if we were to do and achieve all other things, but not ever experience meditation for ourselves, and by experience I don’t mean in words or feelings, visions or sensations, practice or learning, but with the whole being that we are, as it truly is. It will be as if we had achieved nothing, did nothing and died without ever understanding who we really are, and what life really is.

The concept of meditation, it its original context, is a long way from self help movements and the new age philosophies. Nor is it as simple as the term, self awareness, as the Catholic Church would say ‘quid putas eius’, its not what you think.

Over the last seventy odd years there have been extensive research publications and debate, within the scientific community regarding the physiology and biology of meditative and mystical states of awareness, encompassing many traditions of so called meditative practice and finding stunning neurological and biological correlates to the subjectively related experiences of the individuals studied.

While this produced a range of deeply fascinating findings and can teach us a lot about the physical, sociological and psychological benefits inherent in the process of learning to meditate and of different meditative practices, they also tell us much more. They inform us succinctly, comprehensively and without waver, that although many different meditative practices can bring wonderful and beneficial results for our health and psychological/spiritual wellbeing and adjustment. That there is a vast difference between the practice of a meditative tradition, and the experience of the mystic state of awareness.

Why is the mystic state important?

It is important to our individual happiness, because our entire psychological structure, and corresponding life experience and interactions is based upon our avoidance of it -(a subject for another blog) therefore no matter what work or experiences we may have that allow us to experience greater happiness in life, greater fulfilment, greater adjustment in life, without the release and transformation that occurs through surrendering this fear into the unconditional bliss of the direct experience of reality as it is, there will never be acquired freedom, deep down, there will always be a degree of dissatisfaction and a need for more. We may intellectually understand how it is we wish to be, but habits and deep seated traits with persist. Our deep subconscious processes based on fear will rule our lives.

At the level of our spiritual life, indeed reality and life is in essence, by definition, spiritual beyond profound, and according to those who have experienced the mystic state of awareness, this state is the only important desire in life, and critical to live if we truly care about our personal spiritual wellbeing and journey through and after life. All the so called ‘real world’ created by human culture and intellectual and physical infrastructure is, is a powerful and dangerous illusion that sustains our physical existence and keeps us trapped in cyclic behaviours that lead nowhere. At best it can afford us the freedom to truly experience life, at worst it can confuse us into believing that what it offers us, is life.

We may have glimpses of freedom and mystic states, through religion, through entheogens, love, compassion, family life, child birth, work, activity and meditative practice, and it is clear these will and do bring about a deepening of our openness to spirituality, to life. But without choosing from a sober place, to surrender life the to the mystic state, even these can become a way to engage with phenomenon, with experiences, with growth, with change and to by definition, miss dealing with the root cause of our dissatisfaction, our fear of the natural uncaused bliss true meditation in the sense discussed exposes us to. As Ramana Maharishi stated; “when the mind, one pointed and fully focused, knows the supreme silence in the heart, this is true learning. ”

This state and our desire for it, is important for humanity because to have peace in the world we need peace within our communities and to have peace within our communities we need peace within, and ultimately all peace except this peace is relative and not absolute. Because all peace except this peace is tainted by the fear of  this peace, a fear which underlies and informs all other experiences and psychological processes.

This is important because billions of human beings have been brutally murdered, tortured and raped in the last hundred years, it is important because without this reorientation, this deep peace, empathy and compassion are limited to the states of consciousness and awareness we employ as our lenz and limitation, and without resting our fear and our failings into this peace, we are left with only an insatiable need for growth, for connection, for healing, for achievement, for recognition, a drive that decoupled from compassion and empathy, and channeled by the wrong view, allows and dictates that 1.6 billion humans will starve and live in slums, tin sheds and mud that stretch from horizon to horizon right now, it is important because we have deforested the planet and created the biggest known mass extinction of species in the history of this planet, an event that is accelerating as I write. And the solution for these events is not to sing happy songs and consume.

Meditation will not automatically bring about a solution to this problem, the problem of the human heart and mind expressed as this insanity, but the psychological and intellectual reorientation of the relationship of the self to reality that comes about from the experience of meditation as described above, does develop our capacity for intelligence, empathy, compassion, love, kindness, wisdom and the peace it brings can strengthen and increase the degree of conscious freedom from conditioning the body-mind complex employs.

We have the capacity and understanding today, through our sciences and industries, our infrastructure and institutions to comprehensively transform our civilization and our personal and communal existence into a form far more ethical, moral, sustainable, fulfilling, uplifting and beautiful, however our lack of real emotional engagement with life, with its mud and dirt and piss and blood, our lack of empathy and passion, forms our only real collective obstacle. It ensures that the very real obstacles presented by our highly intelligent thinking and powerful institutions and systems, remain real.

The mystic state not only address’s our deepest fears, it directly transforms our perception of our conscious awareness and of the fundamental nature of reality, the shift in world view that this implies and the psychological freedom it allows can combine with the cultural heritage we possess for interpreting these experiences, to bring about a radical change in our consciousness, in our motivations and experience of life, and in turn in the relation we bring to bear and to our living global systems and family.

This is real meditation. As a monk once said to me, everyone is always meditating, the trick is to stop.

 

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