Brahman Plus

Brahman, photo by Drew Coffman

This article spins out of a discussion in comments on Is Brahman God, an article from November 2014. All experiences and the world arise from consciousness interacting with itself. For a materialist that sees consciousness as a byproduct of the physical brain, this may seem delusional and ridiculous. And yet if we undertake an experiential study of consciousness itself, we soon experience consciousness by itself. This is known as samadhi or turiya. It gradually becomes clear that consciousness is not a byproduct but is the source of experience. The mind and brain are vehicles for that process, supporting and functioning … Continue Reading…

Ways of Seeing, Modes of Living

stairs

The world around us can be perceived through several distinct lenses. Our past experiences certainly are a major influence, not to mention our dominant sense, our culture (group consciousness), our stage of development, and so forth. Through an appropriate spiritual practice that brings transcendence (Samadhi, Turiya), we not only touch into consciousness (presence) but we refine the physiology and our senses of perception. Refinement takes place through purification of the subtle layers of our physiology and a shift in the overall tone or dominant guna we carry. This combination refines our perceptual abilities. Each of us comes into this life … Continue Reading…

Types of Self

When people use the English word “self” or any of its variations (myself, himself, etc.), they may refer to one or several things. Most commonly, they’re talking about the personal self or me. Yet if you ask them who they are, they’ll offer their name and profession: what I’m called and what I do – not what I am. If you ask them who they experience themselves as being, they’ll probably think the question odd and be unable to answer it clearly. They may drop into stories to explain who they are. But if they explore the question, by default … Continue Reading…

Where is the Self?

On How Many Hearts?, a commenter asked why some teachers talk about the Self being in the center of the head and others in the heart. I thought the response was worth sharing. I’ve added more. The Self or Atman aka self-interacting consciousness is universal and thus is located everywhere, infusing everything. It is the essential medium of all we experience, including what is experiencing, the process of experience and what we experience. Form, emotion, thought, or sensation and what is noticing these – it’s all consciousness. And yet, at its highest, we recognize that Atman is aware universally and … Continue Reading…

What is a Soul?

The topic of souls came up in conversation with friends. In the west, we debate if animals have souls and talk of loosing one’s soul, splitting the soul, and so forth. A lot of that is confusing a sense of self driven by mind with the eternal, untouchable soul. The Vedas contain several philosophies with some variation on this topic. But generally, soul is seen as equivalent to jiva, a living being with life force. In other words, a dog and a plant have a soul but a chair does not. Even though everything arises in and of consciousness, it … Continue Reading…

Two Processes of Divinity

To embody Divinity post-Brahman, there may seem to be two distinct processes. This is akin to the 2 processes of development in consciousness – Atman and Sattva. One aspect is becoming where we recognize we gain a deeper relationship with consciousness. This is the Atman part of the equation. The other is Sattva, the refinement and polish that leads to deeper knowing and experience and  embodiment. Together, they are the primary purpose of spiritual techniques. But as is the way of all creation, this turns out to reflect deeper causal drivers. As above, so below. In embodying Divinity, the sense of divinity … Continue Reading…

The Coverings

We can also view the awakening process as the gradual removal of coverings or veils. While there can be various specific hindrances to deeper sensing like the noise of unresolved emotions, there are 2 broad categories of coverings. The first is known as tamas, the guna or quality of inertia. When prominent, it gives the world a sense of solidity and reality and leads us to become identified with it. I am this body and these are my possessions and my thoughts, etc. That leads to a tendency to try hold on to or control experiences and to resist what … Continue Reading…

More on Means

Recently, I wrote an article highlighting a snippet of the Rig Veda where it observes that the enlightened act by means of that which remains to be united. That part that is not “enlightened”. A similar passage comes up in the Isha Upanishad. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance. Into as if still greater darkness enter those who delight in knowledge. “It [Atman} is other than knowledge,” they say. “It is other than ignorance,” they say. Thus we have heard from the wise who have explained it to us. Knowledge and ignorance – he who knows both together, … Continue Reading…

Stages of Development in Consciousness

aka higher states of consciousness or stages thereof One of the most popular articles on this blog over the years has been on states of consciousness. First as an outline of the 7 states of consciousness model, then a newer version, consolidating the many updates to the prior article. This article reframes that model a little further to better reflect how people are experiencing the process. I’ve begun making references to this model, so I thought it time for a new Key Post. I’m also working on a book that goes into this in much more detail. Psychology has begun … Continue Reading…