The Three Qualities of Consciousness

The Three Qualities of Consciousness

Rainfall in the Arctic by khteWisconsin
Rainfall in the Arctic by khteWisconsin

Recently, I saw reference to a talk by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called “The Three Qualities of Transcendental Consciousness: Unboundedness, Bliss, and the Home of All Knowledge.”

Transcendental Consciousness is another term for pure consciousness, consciousness itself, by itself. Initially, this is often first experienced in meditation when we transcend thinking and experience consciousness without content, pure.

This transcending is also called samadhi or turiya. It is the path of Yoga as it cultures presence, that which wakes up to itself.

However, there has to be enough clarity for this to be recognized. We may notice a blank space in practice. And then we think about this experience, taking us out of it.

Early on, noticing that thoughts are starting can be a marker for them having stopped. We may also notice a sense of spaciousness that can seem empty or full.

As the experience deepens, we gradually notice more. Like the breath starting again after a pause. Or a wave of bliss as the attention moves from consciousness back up through the bliss body to the mind.

When consciousness becomes an ongoing presence, it is no longer transcendent.

In the title, we can see Maharishi mentions three primary qualities of consciousness itself: Unboundedness, Bliss, and the Home of All Knowledge.

I’ve mentioned in various articles that consciousness arises from 3 fundamental qualities of Divinity: Alertness, Liveliness, and Intelligence. These correspond directly.

Alertness is the Shiva quality that notices the unbounded spaciousness of self-aware consciousness.

Liveliness is the Shakti quality that enlivens consciousness into flow, including bliss. We can define bliss as the lively inner surface of self-aware consciousness.

Intelligence is the Devata value that structures that flowing liveliness into the world of experiences. When this value is lively in our awareness, the intelligence within comes online and brings us understanding. Inner knowing becomes reliable.

At a fundamental level, that intelligence resides together in wholeness in a space known as Veda or the Home of all Knowledge. It’s the ultimate library, as it contains the “blueprints” for everything. Creating something just requires giving that blueprint attention. This is how creations come to be and within ours, our universe, and all its content. Consciousness is the medium and the means.

The deeper you go, the more qualities and the more words you can use to describe those qualities. And yet, those words never meet what is beyond the mind. We know it by being it, by recognizing we are That, by That.

Last Updated on March 20, 2022 by Davidya

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  1. I’ll add that Maharishi’s approach was to use words that describe common subjective experience of these qualities. This makes our inner reality vivid and relevant. The approach I mention is focused more on the source. These qualities don’t become apparent until Refined Brahman stage and are far more abstract. But they are the qualities that give rise to our subjective experience.

    Maharishi’s approach gives deep insight into our subjective experience and serves a broader audience. My approach is to go deep into the mechanics of how this world is. But these are reflected directly in our subjective experience, as the article describes.

  2. Anthony

    Dear Davidya ,
    Thank you. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how sometimes you read something and it is alive (and can change on rereading it again.)
    I’m wondering if this is the Divinity being expressed and received that can give it that quality, the Shakti that keeps its liveliness and the Shiva that is the sparkling ever present truth you feel in it ?

    1. Hi Anthony

      I call that resonance. Certain “voices” will resonate with us more than others. This is strongest live but can very much resonate even through the written word. Someone reported waking up reading this blog and someone else, the book, for example. And many have reported this aliveness. Sometimes, they don’t even relate to the written topic but feel the presence.

      Timing also seems relevant. We can catch this flow sometimes but not other times. For example, I woke up listening to Lorn on a conference call (before the webcast). A couple of years later, I discovered a recording of that talk. Didn’t relate to it the same way at all.

      Yes, it’s the intensification of the liveliness that stirs the alertness to wake up to itself. In the experience here, that takes a drop of pure Divinity for the shift to happen but many are not aware of that part. Some do notice a white light around the time though.

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