Fundamentally we can say Divinity gives two “qualities” that are key to this process: alertness and liveliness.
Liveliness stirs alertness into awareness and then into flowing as consciousness. Consciousness curves back on itself and the lively radiance leads it to become self-aware. The 3-fold dynamics of consciousness emerges – the observer (a), the process of observation (c), and the observed (b).
If you think of the above in three dimensions, it becomes clear that these self-interacting dynamics give rise to a quality of space – a ‘distance’ between observer and observed (a & b).
The process of observation (c) gives rise to the experience of time, a sequence of events in space. From there we get vibration, geometry, fields, and form.
As liveliness intensifies, it flows, giving rise to vayu or air, movement, and touch. Liveliness also lights up consciousness, giving rise to fire, light, and sight. As we get more inertia, the flow becomes water and taste, then slows into solids with earth and smell. (you may notice a progressive shift in the dominant guna here)
The elements are the observed side, the senses the observer side. (I explore the relationships more here)
If we come back to the liveliness in consciousness, this arises on the inside surface of self-aware consciousness as vibration. The sound this makes is called the Pranava, the one sound of creation becoming, AUM (not Om). We can also experience this as a high-pitched constant tone or as a fine vibration in the body. Some people go through a phase where some form of this is prominent.
The lively inner surface of consciousness is also called universal mind.
As I’ve noted before, self-aware consciousness (Atman) is aware both globally and at every point within itself. Divinity has a value of being profoundly self-networked. So those points on the surface of self-awareness have an inherent intelligence and structure we could call a spherical array. The illustrated C arrow becomes many.
While we use language in a linear way to communicate and we take turns talking, devata use sound (vibration) to create. They do this in call and response. But they’re “talking” together, simultaneously. The harmonies create what we’d call interference patterns and nodes.
The relationships between the active “speakers” and the patterns create a form of subtle geometry. You sometimes hear this called sacred geometry or the Platonic forms or the “all-space filling geometry” of Buckminster Fuller. This geometry brings structure and becomes the substrate of the appearance of the world.
We can’t think of this as linear. While the world is being recreated in every moment, the devata work in subtle time outside of a simple forward sequence. Their work has the effect of creating what we might call standing waves that sustain a form for a time. We might use the analogy of a tuning fork. They create the tones and then everything resonates from that.
Vibrating space and geometry give rise to structured fields. Flow in fields we call energy or we experience them as thoughts and emotions. The combinations give rise to form and physical appearance.
Complicating this considerably is that these dynamics are happening at all scales. We live in a sea of consciousness that becomes self-aware at every point. Our body as a whole sits in a structure of self-aware consciousness. Every cell in our body does too. Every molecule, every object, right on up to our universe. Atman itself arises in this dynamic. Space is nested, like a Russian Matryoshka doll but vastly more complex.
Because we have the same structure as our environment, we can experience all of this within our own awareness. If you want to think in terms of our koshas or ‘energy bodies‘:
Atmamaya is the level of self-aware consciousness where creation begins
Chittamaya is the level of flow
Anandamaya (bliss) is the level of vibration, also where our universe begins within creation
Vijnanamaya (intellect) is the level of relationship and structure
Manonmaya (mind) is the level of subtle fields
Pranamaya (energy, emotion) is the level of gross fields, energy
Annamaya (physical) is the level of form
What then differentiates a rock from a self-aware being if everything is made of consciousness? A sutra from Divinity brings us an energetic structure (chakras, etc) that allows development of mind, senses, and so forth. In other words, an observer aspect that allows consciousness to be aware of itself through this form, to the degree the form can reflect or embody it.
“God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in the human being.”