< Part 1
On God Consciousness: (the next stage in Vedic tradition)
What you have to consider is the cultural differences. Indian culture is much more devotional. In devotees I’ve known, they’re naturally developing the heart and refinement. Thus, when they come to the “GC” stage they’re more likely to have a fuller experience sooner. In the west however, the mind and intellect are cultured more. Thus, the intellect shift required for Unity is easier and tends to happen sooner while the GC aspects take longer. I would suggest they’re still there but may take time to flower if they’re not cultured. This may also be related to the time we’re in.
Perceptual stuff is generally associated with refined sensory values and the “3rd eye”. In some Vedic traditions, the 6th chakra (eye) opens around the Self realization stage, just prior to full CC. (crown) But I believe this is more associated with development of Sattva (purity) rather than of Atman (Self). Thus one can be very awake but lacking celestial or having celestial and not be awake. But of course, they’re interrelated.
The release of the core fear or sense of identity that separates us from the world/whole may be experienced as the end of the fear of death. But that’s somewhat individual. I know some who lost the fear of death earlier with experiences of past lives, for example. What ends is a long fear created by the experience of loss of wholeness. How we experience that fear ending varies, much as with awakening.
What follows that is what the Vedic tradition describes as an intellectual “aha” moment, a Mahavakya like I am That. With the barrier gone, we can recognize and “rejoin” wholeness as one.
In the Rk Veda, 7th mandala, Vasishtha emphasizes the importance of desiring unity. Without knowing of it and it’s qualities, we may be left in kindergarten with the end of the seeker above. Many books and interviews out there highlight people who had that first shift and think this is it. Not knowing of more, they loose the opportunity before them.
Some even make the mistake of confusing the inner wholeness with Advaita (non-dual) and Vedanta. The key though is that while they see the world as illusion, it is still separate. This is not unity.
A General Model:
What I’ve seen in practice typically is:
– some sort of Self realization – realizing I am That, witnessing, etc.
– what I consider the actual CC shift, when one shifts to being That. (the first is a recognition, the second is the shift. Some may do this together, others separately)
– more advanced waking of the heart, perhaps the experience of the decent of the divine to the heart (Adyashanti’s “head, heart, gut” model). It’s approach can be marked by perception of the celestial or creation becoming. For some, the flowering of God Consciousness happens now. For many westerners, later.
But some value of this opens up, then
– the decent reaches the “gut” and the core fear is seen and released. This ends the division between “inside” and “outside”. Loch Kelly calls this the BBQ. As with the first shift, for some a purge, for others a quiet shift.
– the mahavakya stage and realization of oneness or unity.
– a gradual expansion of oneness to all areas of life.
– the rest of the decent to the root and out into the world.
– somewhere along here, God realization. This normally happens after Unity per the texts.
– ongoing refinement, deepening and expansion.
I’ve detailed this quite a bit more and am testing it against others process: the approach, the shift, the integration, and so forth. It’s best if we not think of any such model in too linear a way. While there tends to be those 3 main “steps”, development is happening concurrently for all stages, even well before waking. There is also a pattern of experience and become.
In summary, there is a standard underlying process, but there is a very wide range of ways in which it might be experienced.