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.
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.