Steps of Unfolding Divinity

Steps of Unfolding Divinity

What a Look! by Vinoth Chandar
What a Look! by Vinoth Chandar

In our fourth conversation, Andrew Hewson and I touched on stages of unfolding Divinity but didn’t detail the process. I thought a list of possible steps of unfolding Divinity in our awareness would be useful.

A Few Notes
If we have an unsettled mind and emotions, it’s very difficult to sustain finer perceptions. The waves are too choppy to see into the water. As we settle through spiritual practice and emotional healing, the veils become progressively more transparent.

This process often starts with experiences that come and go, but when established, become ongoing realities that can be accessed most any time.

This doesn’t require personal perfection, just enough clarity and a willingness to experience what is here, the good and the more difficult.

There is considerable variation in sequence and appreciation. It depends on what arenas we refine, where we give our attention, and the balance of our natural laws.

I’m not discussing imagination, hallucinations, or beliefs. These are direct experiences that arise when we prepare our vehicle of experience. They bring a profound understanding of the nature and purpose of life.

It’s important to distinguish between source and mind-made stuff, often called astral. Divinely driven experiences can gain form and meaning through the fields of the mind, but they have a deeper origin. Astral beings are of mixed nature, much like humans and can be misleading. Divine beings are aware of their Divine source and purpose, so they’re not driven by their ego. They don’t mislead.

Always remember that you have a human body to live a human life. The point here is filling out your experience of reality. It is not to escape your humanity or avoid your life, however appealing that may seem. If you try to avoid life, nature may bring harsh experiences to ground you. Or the experiences fade.

Divinity is different in different stages of development. The God of belief is not the God intuited from refined perception. And that is not the God we experience directly and develop a relationship with and ultimately merge with. And that is not pure Divinity.

Readers of this blog know I distinguish between Atman and Sattva, between stages in consciousness and stages in refinement of the qualities of consciousness. While intertwined, they’re driven by different processes. The first begins with a realization and shift in being, then matures. The second is driven by refinement and leads to climactic realizations. This article is primarily about the second.

If the second is not being developed, little of that process will unfold and there will be a drier, flatter form of enlightenment.

What I describe are an important part of a full unfolding, but they are a side-effect of the process. Chasing these experiences is a distraction that can lead to new concepts, resistance, and blind alleys.

Using drugs, forcing energy, and other means to get experiences is a dead-end that may damage our vehicle of experience by clouding and distorting the finer bodies.

First, let’s explore some common ways we first experience refinement.

Recognizing the hand of Nature
One of the first ways many have perceptions is with the Clairs or subtle senses. This is having sensory experiences of pre-physical things like energy. It varies widely how and what unfolds. This arena is larger than the physical world.

I’m visual so tend to use visual words, but refined perception isn’t limited to sight. Experiencing may include sounds, feelings, smells, tastes, and knowings.

Those with a strong intellect may make logical inferences of profound intelligence running the world. This may arise from recognizing the precise formulae required for our universe to even exist. Or the constant input of order required to sustain and evolve the universe in the face of laws like entropy. Stop adding order and everything dissolves to dust.

As perception refines further, we may begin to see or feel life force, auras, and related subtle fields. We may begin to get a sense of non-physical beings of various qualities.

Gradually, the koshas or sheaths become apparent: the energy or emotional body, the mental body, subtle geometry and structure, perhaps even the finest relative or celestial.

Also related, we may start experiencing the laws of nature or devas doing the doing, managing the growth of plants, the elements of nature, and so forth.

If there is some sense of separation or detachment from the ego-sense, we may recognize that life is being done, like our breathing. We can let go of the ego’s story of being the doer.

Recognizing the hand of God
We may have some early experiences of Divine influence or miracles. This is more than synchronicity, like seeing everything align for a specific outcome or the stage set for an unfolding.

A more advanced form of experiencing life as being done is what I call flow. This happens through our life, our body, and the surrounding objects. But it’s most obvious in the body where we feel powerful flows of energy. Unlike purification (kriyas) that can be sudden, flow comes with grace. There can be related spontaneous movements, asana, and mudras expressed through this body, not by it.

Similar to the above, we can experience the laws of nature creating and supporting the world around us.

Ditto for experiencing aspects of the mechanics of the world becoming, that it’s created intentionally and/or that it’s recreated in every moment.

We can interpret all of these experiences in various ways. There are many descriptions of such experiences, what they learned, and models of life that resulted. They can also be doubted and dismissed, discouraging their development.

Once we’re Self Realized and the intellect becomes resolute, perception becomes deeper and more consistent. This helps stabilize the experiences until subtle arenas become available to us at any time. It also reduces the tendency to get caught up in such experiences from ego identification. Or deluded by appeals to our unmet needs.

Besides settling the vehicle, we clear the fog through resolving incomplete experiences (often emotional).

We also gradually upgrade the qualities of the physiology from inertia (tamas) to clarity (sattva) via the fires of transformation (rajas).

As the shadows clear and clarity dawns, we further polish our vehicle by simply experiencing those fine values. They awaken in our experience and bring their qualities to us.

A key process in both refinement and upgrading our support of nature is soma. Soma is a fine substance that exists in a raw form as a white ocean at the top of creation. We’re immersed in it. Nature can’t make use of it in that form though. Through samadhi, a refining human physiology can “flow soma through the filter” in the brain where it drips down into the back of the throat and is swallowed. Our digestion then distributes it around the body.

This speeds up refinement and sattva, supports and enhances our laws of nature, and attracts new laws to bring us new capacities and support.

This is also pointing to how our body is cosmic, the body of all bodies. I’ll come back to this shortly.

Recognizing God
With deeper refined perception, we come to recognize not just the hand of God but God directly.

This may come as a sense of God as an impersonal but profound presence and intelligence. Or it may come in forms of God, often related to forms from our tradition or culture.

While we can experience forms of God prior, God Consciousness stage and a direct personal relationship with God isn’t considered possible until Self Realization is established. When we know who are, we can know God.

God Consciousness is supported by two key aspects: refinement of perception so we can recognize Thou, as above, and the awakening of a higher octave of the heart chakra called Hridaya.

This leads to a personal relationship with our highest ideal, the Ishta Devata or chosen form of God. While your Moon’s birth sign or family or spiritual tradition may prescribe your Ishta, I’d leave open what unfolds. God will show up how God shows up, in a form most suitable for you.

As noted, you may experience various embodiments of God or qualities of Divinity prior to your Ishta. For example, in my case I experienced variations of the pancha devata or five primary forms in the Vedic tradition (one was a Western form of that primary quality). Each showed up to guide me to the next deeper layer of creation. Much later, I came to my Ishta.

The Personal God
With the awakening heart (Hridaya) above, a profound flow of love begins. That Ishta or ideal form of God we most relate to may be where we direct that flow of love. Or we may direct it to our guru or upaguru, our mate. There are many possibilities that may arise. Ramana famously directed it to a mountain.

In any case, a direct relationship with God develops as a form of surrender or folding back upon itself.

After the Unity stage shift, the God Consciousness process continues, but now in the new context of Unity. This is called Unity in God Consciousness or Refined Unity.

The Inner Guru
Around or after the Unity shift, the resolute intellect broadens into the entire field of experience and knowledge unfolds much more easily. We gain what has been called the inner guru.

Even more deeply, in Refined Unity, we become the intelligence aspect within the process of experience, also called the devata value. This means experiences will come with their own understanding, to the degree this is clear.

The Cosmic Body
Gradually, during the unfolding, we may begin to recognize our human body is not just a local physical form with some auras.

There is Aham Vishvam, the recognition that this body is also the body of the universe. We recognize I am and contain our universe. (Not as a concept but a lived recognition.)

Then Devo Hum, the recognition that this body is the devata body, the body of all the devata (points of intelligent light) that manage all bodies in our universe in all time simultaneously.

And then, typically in Refined Unity, we become aware that our body is cosmic, Aham Shrivir. Our body is the body of all bodies. This relates to the experience described in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11, although in that case, Krishna is showing the cosmic rather than Arjuna yet recognizing he is that.

A specific form of experience may unfold where the entire nature of an object is experienced all at once. I call this a cognition. Not everyone will cognize and those that do will have different levels of cognition. The highest are those who inscribe consciousness with a new recognition that evolves creation. These seers are named within the Veda they will cognize so are born for the job. The next level are those who revive a prior cognition in a different age. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said that not everyone can cognize but everyone can realize.

God Realization
At the peak of Refined Unity, we have the final merging with our chosen form of God, I am Thou. We may keep a small distinction if we’re devotional.

Alternatively, we see through the Chhandas or screen of consciousness. The weight of the world thins and consciousness itself becomes transparent.

In some similar way, consciousness can now step back and look upon its whole. We recognize infinite consciousness is also a sheath. This can set the stage for the Brahman shift.

The Brahman shift is a transcending of consciousness, so it’s also transcending our experience and relationship with God.

Sometimes, this shift unfolds as a dry period, beyond God and all the flavours of consciousness. Then, as Brahman stage refines, new values unfold.

Gradually over time, the refinement moves forward right onto the surface of the body. It becomes more fluid. I imagine it dissolves back, element by element, if we can live long enough. This will be easier in a higher age.

Through cognition above, we can awaken slumbering laws of nature. They then integrate with existing laws in creation, upgrading the world and helping evolve the whole.

Divine Principles
In Refined Brahman stage, we become aware of unexpressed qualities of Divinity such as the aspects that give rise to consciousness: alertness, liveliness, and intelligence. They are in Brahman, but not of it. Alertness allows Brahman to know itself, for example, but it doesn’t express into consciousness in itself.

Pure Divinity / ParaBrahman
We don’t come to pure Divinity until we’ve seen through the covering of the world, the covering of creation, of consciousness, and of Brahman. Divinity is profoundly subtle and yet all powerful.

I’ve been shown that ParaBrahman unfolds in 7 stages. These stages are stages of embodying each of the fundamental qualities of Divinity (love, power, etc.). And these stages have some correspondence with the chakra system.

In that unfolding, we recognize Divinity in what had been the background of creation.

As we embody pure Divinity more and more in the physiology, we immerse the laws of nature (devas) of the body. This can cause them to awaken spiritually. However, this can also trigger considerable purification, much as it often does when we initially awaken.

I’m sure there is much more that could be added. In a sense, pure Divinity is the beginning of unfolding Divinity, just as pure Consciousness (samadhi) is the starting point of enlightenment.

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  1. Jeff

    I experience divinity on the level of finest feeling when I listen to Vedic recitation, Gandharva Veda. and in catholic religious services. These are felt through flavors of consciousness that can emit divine beauty an/or divine love. I sometimes have experiences in the form of gold light. I also experience divine grace, usually connected to water in rain showers, or the Catholic mass.

    To me divine beauty is a divine tool that draws the mind inward so that we connect with it’s source with the divine. For me, the basic source where divine beauty is at its peak is in Mother Divine. This creates a symbiotic relationship with ourselves and the divine which enlivens, awakens, and strengthens the divine.

    Once drawn to the divine, the devi deities emit unconditional divine love which unifies my shared unconditional divine love through the shared love. Love and being loved.

    I experience divine grace as a key that relieves stress that acts as a barrier to shifts of rising consciousness.

    In my mind, this these daily experiences has become my basic dharma which is essential in the maintenance of creation.

    Thanks for this post as it gives me a roadmap to the growth of living in the divine, which to me dramatically raises the quality of human life.

    1. Beautiful, Jeff.
      Unlike the stages where there is a standard unfolding, this process has more variety. But broadly, there is a progressive deepening and expansion.

      This article is also an analytical approach to the process. As you note, love, beauty, and other refined qualities are very much a part of this process. Yet that subjectivity has the greatest variety. 🙂

      1. Jeff

        My descriptions of experiences have two fold process. First they provide information, more importantly, they enliven silence in the reader, the environment, and myself. My own silence is like Rudra and I experience what others experience when their attention is in the gap.

  2. Lynette

    D, when you wrote spiritual practice, what is a spiritual practice? I don’t understand. I am new to TM , and my teacher said TM is not a spiritual practice. I was raised Catholic, so does praying the rosary for example, counts as a spiritual practice? Thanks. Also appreciate the article on Nature.

    1. Hi Lynette
      It’s very simple. A spiritual practice connects you to source and helps culture that. TM cultures samadhi which, as the next talk goes into extensively, lays the ground for the above.

      Your teacher probably said it wasn’t a religeous practice. That’s a bit different. There’s no belief or faith or ritual required. It’s compatible with any religion. There’s a Catholic priest in S. America that has a whole program based on TM. They’ve taught tens of thousands.

      The rosary is a religious practice as it has elements of faith. If it’s just in the mind, as in petitioning God, then it remains there. If the heart is engaged, it goes deeper. And if there is a deeper surrender to source, then it becomes a spiritual practice too.

      In other words, where a practice takes you is what makes it spiritual. How it’s being used. You can turn walking into a spiritual practice. And you can turn a church service into a drudge. How we are with it makes a lot of difference.

    2. Jeff

      In my opinion, all of earth’s major religions lead to God realization. The key is not in the meaning of the words, which are on the surface of life, but in the reverberation of sound and in the performance of rituals. The key to unlocking their power is to completely integrate silence and to purify the physiology. Once done, attending a Catholic mass has great celestial beauty and of course is very purifying.

      In Catholic masses, I have direct experiences of Christ, seen angels and experienced God’s grace.

  3. Neville

    Despite my 36 yrs as a TM meditator I feel my recent progress is just reaching a threshold where real meaningful advancement feels like its just beginning. I haven’t been consistent throughout these years (only in the last 12 -15), and do recognise that most of this time has been dealing with ALOT of clearing. However, I really hope that in my lifetime I experience more of what you clearly, eloquently and most beautifully describe. Thank you very much for your posts.

    1. Hi Neville
      Recall the old instruction about not judging the practice by the subjective experience during? Kinda the same here. It may not subjectively feel like much progress until there’s some contrast or something distinctive. But that tapas of practice makes a big difference for unfolding what I describe in the above. The ground is more refined and cleared. That may not be obvious until after awakening but it makes a big difference in the unfolding.

    1. Hi Neville
      By tapas I mean warming. This results from transcendence and purifying. Regularity is helpful as it cultures deepening. Occasional “band-aid” meditation may handle the stress of the moment but isn’t going to deepen as much.

      Of course, this is generalization. If we’re not getting enough sleep, we’ll get it in meditation. Inversely, we can have big openings that massively move us forward. There really are no “mistakes” in all this. What wants to be experienced will unfold. The possibilities are endless.

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