Remembering Spirit

Remembering Spirit

Occasionally, I have written about Deep Memory, the subtle structure of being itself. At it’s most fundamental, it is Veda, pure knowledge.

In prior posts, I’ve mentioned the value of spiritual study. In essence this is stirring the memory within us. Or more precisely, the memory in which we exist. We embody memory, Smriti.

The potency of the stirring of memory depends on darshan, the degree of transmission. The resonance we have with the teacher and teaching. Like finding a mate, just because a teacher is good, doesn’t mean they’ll speak to our true selves.

The most potent of course comes from in-person talks or satsang. A simulcast (streaming) audio or video show would be next most potent. Then a recording – video may be slightly more potent than audio. And finally books. But if the resonance is strong and the transmission deep, even a few words is enough.

A classic example of this is known as the Mahavakyas. The great realizations. A short phrase that enlightens. To understand this, it’s important to recognize the switch into unity consciousness is an intellectual realization. It is described as correcting the mistake of the intellect. Correcting the intellects division of self and world, of seer and seen.

I recently saw this in action. A teacher was using a simple perception exercise along with simple phrases in a group where the alertness was deeply alive. One person experienced a unity switch. When she later described her experience in similar terms, another switched. The right phrase at the right time with the alertness fully enlivened. Memory is stirred.

The Mahavakyas

There are a number of such statements and it would depend on the person which would be key in a unity switch. Shankara named 4 key ones from each of the 4 primary vedas. If you’ve read any eastern literature, you’ll find some of the phrases familiar.

1. Prajnanam Brahma – “Consciousness is Brahman”
(Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
2. Ayam Atma Brahma – “This Self (Atman) is Brahman”
(Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)
3. Tat Tvam Asi – “Thou art That”, the equality of jiva and Brahman
(Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
4. Aham Brahmasmi – “I am Brahman”
(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)

[UPDATE – see Mahavakya for a better understanding and update]

There are also other realizations that happen before and after unity.

Aham Vishvam I am the Universe
(Taittiriya Upanishad 3.10)
Devo Hum I am the Devata
Aham Shrivhir (sp?)    I am the Cosmic Body
Veda Hum I am the Veda

And of course, the perennial Upanishad quote that also suggests the 3 stages of unfoldment:
I am That, Thou art That, all This is That.

During the unfoldment of unity, the process is typically one of experiencing, then becoming. Thus, any of the above phrases may serve as a reminder in becoming.

The becoming of what we already are.

Last Updated on October 5, 2016 by Davidya

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  2. Davidya

    Hi Share
    I’ve heard a few versions. The main 4 above were evidently suggested by Shankara. Others suggest different ones.

    But if you see them as primarily for the unity switch/ correction of the intellect, Shankara’s 4 fit the bill. They’re all basically slightly different perspectives of the same statement. Thus dependent on how one comes to That.

    I’ve outlined here that I am That can describe the experience of Self Realization or CC. Aham Vishvam can happen well before waking, as Jim Carrey himself exemplified in the ‘I am the Stadium’ post above. Some of the other ones listed typically develop after the Unity switch. Thus they’re not really Unity switch ones.

    Your list is, in a way, the verification of unity. But as I mention, you never know what the trigger might be. It seemed to me, I am That was for my friend.

  3. Share

    Hi Davidya, did you ever see this version of the 4:

    Aham Brahmasmi
    Tat Tvam Asi
    Prajnanam Brahma

    The third line referring to kaivalya about which some masters speak a lot.

  4. Davidya

    Hi Share!
    This is similar to Shankaras. I saw a grouping of 6 that included your third, all of Shankaras, and another:
    Ekam evadvitiyam brahma Brahman is one, without a second

    Yours I saw translated as All of this is Brahman. But Kaivalya some use to mean oneness (sometimes as solitary), detachment, and the will for liberation. Rather different things. How do you understand its meaning? It’s not in the Gita concordance.

    I’d also be interested in your comments on another matter. Brahman is the term these are translated to mean. But they use the word Brahma, which is typically used to represent the creator aspect of the Shiva/Vishnu/Brahma trinity. More recently, I’ve seen Brahm used. Similarly to English, adding an ‘a’ on the end can feminize it but that doesn’t add much. Thoughts?

    I recall someone explaining this at one point, but I’ve forgotten.

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