Awareness and Consciousness, the Same Thing

Trilogy Commentary, MWS Lesson 34


Consciousness, separate from awareness, exists in all life forms. Meditation, awareness beyond thinking, without the use of words; we're trying to see, we're trying to experience. "Try to penetrate the core of existence...beyond the stillness of the inner areas of the mind." Enter the Shum Energy Meditation; end up at the original source of energy that can bring the experience of realizing the Self: Kashum, nikashum, shumnikashum, bishumnikashum, aiibishumnikashum and haiiaiibishumnikashum.

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lesson 34 .

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

This morning we're continuing with Merging with Siva. Chapter 5, The Story of Awareness.

"Awareness and Consciousness.

"Consciousness and awareness are the same when awareness is totally identified with and attached to that which it is aware of. To separate the two is the artful practice of yoga. Naturally, the Shum-Tyaef language is needed to accomplish this. When awareness is detached from that which it is aware of, it flows freely in consciousness. A tree has consciousness. Awareness can flow into the tree and become aware of the consciousness of the tree. Consciousness and mind are totally equated as a one thing when awareness and consciousness are a one thing to the individual. But when awareness is detached from that which it is aware of, it can flow freely through all five states of mind and all areas of consciousness, such as plants and the Earth itself, elements and various other aspects of matter..."

A quote from Yogaswami, it's related:

"From a distance you can see, hear and smell things that are far away from you."

Okay, pretty good. Then there's a story I remember. This is Gurudeva back in the 1960's corresponding with an individual in Nigeria who was promoting Gurudeva's teachings in Nigeria. And he happened to mention one day to the monks that he had an experience where he was flowing through these very large leaves in Africa. What impressed him was the size of the leaves. So they were bigger than what he was used to.

Well what's the point? Well the point is awareness tends to go where you, to places that you are thinking about. So in this case Gurudeva was thinking about Nigeria and so his awareness went there in this experience. And happened to experience the consciousness of large leaves.

"...Here we find awareness separate from consciousness and consciousness separate from the five states of mind attributed to the human being..."

That's a very important point. I've never seen it stated anywhere else; it's creating three instead of two. Normally when this area is talked about we create awareness in consciousness. And then when we're thinking about consciousness we're thinking about the consciousness that a human being experiences. We're not going beyond that. But this is saying: Oh no, we also, consciousness is independent of that. We have the human beings' state of minds but consciousness exists in all life forms.

Then we get the Sanskrit.

"...In Sanskrit we have the word chaitanya for consciousness, and for awareness it is sakshin, meaning witness, and for mind the word is chitta. Consciousness, mind, matter and awareness experience a oneness in being for those who think that they are their physical body, who are convinced that when the body ends, they end and are no more..."

So bringing in chitta, we were using that in last weeks talk, relates to Patanjali's second verse:

"Yoga is the restraint of mental activity. So restraint is nirodha; mental is chitta and activity is vritti. So chitta vritti is translated as mental activity in our lexicon. So vritti is an interesting word. The literal meaning is a whirlpool or vortex. In yoga psychology names the fluctuations of consciousness. The waves of mental activities. Chitta vritti of thought and perception.

So I have an interesting image in my mind, a whirlpool. A whirlpool is defined as a rapidly rotating mass of water in a river or a sea into which a objects may be drawn. Typically caused by the meeting of conflicting currents. So I was seeing, when it's a mental whirlpool, what gets drawn into it. Awareness! So awareness gets caught in this whirlpool of mental activity and has trouble getting out because there's conflicting currents in it, it hasn't been able to resolve.

Then the other idea in the definition is waves. The waves of mental activities.

So Yogaswami's, "Words of Our Master", English, uses the words waves:

"Waves rise in the ocean, so waves of thought arise in the mind. Yoga is to control thoughts as they arise. Great ones say that yoga means union. You want to take hold of something, all the fingers must join together. Similarly, in order to reach God the mind must become one-pointed."

Back to the lesson:

"...We have three eyes. We see with our physical eyes and then we think about what we have seen. Going into meditation, we see with our third eye our thoughts. Then we choose one or two of them and think about them and lose the value of the meditation. It is the control of the breath that controls the thoughts that emerge from the subconscious memory patterns. Once this is accomplished, and the ida, pingala and sushumna merge, we are seeing with the third eye, which is the eye of awareness, wherever we travel through the mind, inside or outside of our own self.

"The minute awareness is attached to that which it is aware of, we begin thinking about what we were aware of. Controlling the breath again detaches awareness, and it flows to another area of the mind, as directed by our innate intelligence--this intangible superconscious, intelligent being of ourselves that looks out through the eye of awareness in a similar way as do the two eyes of the physical body. This then divides what we are thinking of and thinking of what we were aware of, or distinguishes the process of thinking from that of seeing during meditation."

So again, this is a very important point that's not usually made. Distinguishing thinking from that of seeing. A number of meditation techniques just involve thinking. I remember, I was surprised, I was researching it for a presentation and I started with the Blue Mountain, Eknath Easwaran, very wonderful writer, translator. And his meditation techniques for the Blue Mountain Center is: Think about lofty quotes from any of the world's great scriptures. That's the meditation. We're thinking about lofty thoughts. It's totally thinking based and it's not even related specifically to Hinduism. Any of the world's scriptures, we just take some wonderful statements from there and just think about them. So nothing wrong with that but it's very different than the meditation technique that Gurudeva has put forth and that we practice.

Then there's another one where you're just, doing, you're repeating a mantra and it's called mediation. Well of course to us repeating a mantra is called japa. It's not meditation. And again we're involved with words. So, this is meditating without the use of words. How can we do that. Because we're seeing something with the mind's eye. So it's something that isn't necessarily understood by those starting to meditate. We're not trying, we're trying to see. We're trying to experience something. Of course, visualization can help us see something but visualization is only a prelude to the actual seeing of what we're looking for inside of us.

"Awareness travels into the wonderful strata of thought, where thought actually exists in all of its refined states. First in these strata of thought is an area where ideas are only in a partial, overall, conceptual stage. Deeper into this stratum, they, as concepts, become stronger and stronger until finally they almost take physical form. Finally, they do take physical form. But you are the pure individual awareness, the ball of seeing light that is seeing all of this occur within these strata of mind and not identifying too closely with them. The quest is to keep traveling through the mind to the ultimate goal, merging with Siva. When you are conscious that you are awareness, you are a free awareness, a liberated soul. You can go anyplace in the mind that you wish. (The next statement is very interesting).

"The mission is this: Don't go anyplace. Turn awareness back in on itself and simply be aware that you are aware..."

This relates to the idea of getting side-tracked. In Gurudeva's original design for the San Marga Path, we had Garden of Temptations, psychic side-paths. Getting into predicting the future, seeing past lives, talking to the devas on a regular basis. Those kinds of activities are possible when we learn to use our inner sight. And Gurudeva's saying: No, we don't want to go there; we want to use our inner sight to turn awareness in on itself. That's the mission.

"...Try to penetrate the core of existence. Become conscious of energy within the physical body and the inner bodies, flowing out through the nerve system and drawing forth energy from the central source of the universe itself. Now, try to throw awareness into this central source of energy and dive deeper and deeper in. Each time you become aware of something in the energy realm, be aware of being aware. Finally, you go beyond light. Finally, you go into the core of existence itself, the Self God, beyond the stillness of the inner areas of mind. That is the mission and that is what humanity is seeking--total Self-God Realization."

This could be called the energy meditation. We're tracing energy within. And when we end up at the original source of energy that can bring the experience of realizing the Self.

Gurudeva wrote that up in Shum which is my last idea. Entering that energy meditation:. Kashum, nikashum, shumnikashum, bishumnikashum, aiibishumnikashum and haiiaiibishumnikashum. Right? You remember that.

So kashum is the guha, second dimensional word: The cave like chamber where swamis, yogis, and sadhakas meditate, study and sleep.

Then we go into something non-physical. Nikashum: The art of withdrawing energy into the spine through the use of pranayama. Names the process of drawing the magnetic energy from the subtle nerve fibers, nadis, which surround the body into the spine. When a devotee enters meditation the energy is drawn from the conscious mind into it's subconscious. Then the energy of the subconscious is drawn the subsuperconscious. When this happens the devotee becomes conscious in the inner states of mind.

Shumnikashum: Feeling the psychic heat while drawing... Feeling the psychic heat while withdrawing prana into the ajna chakra.

Bishumnikashum: Withdrawing prana into the refined realms of the sahasrara chakra through the use of pranayama. An advanced stage of pratyahara.

Aiibishumnikashum: Withdrawing all odic prana into the actinic energy.

So for those not familiar with Gurudeva's use of the word odic and actinic, the Sanskrit word it can be rendered as ashuda-odic and shuda-actinic.

And the last one: Haiiaiibishumnikashum: Withdrawing the actinic prana into the Self. The ultimate pratyahara.

So that's our energy meditation in the Shum language which is same idea as in the last paragraph there and lesson number Merging with Siva.

Have a wonderful day.

Aum Namah Sivaya.

Photo of  Gurudeva
The common bonds uniting all Hindus into a singular spiritual body are the laws of karma and dharma, the belief in reincarnation, all-pervasive Divinity, the ageless traditions and our Gods.
—Gurudeva