Life, the Great Experience - Clear White Light - Part 3
Merging with Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2021-11-05
The clear white light is always there, it's covered up; pranayama quiets the mind of thought and purifies the subconscious through understanding the lesson of each experience. We create our mind each instant. "There is no past there is no future, now is the only apparent reality!" "Consistency is the key to the conquest of karma." We repeat a pattern of experience in cycles, many times before we learn and move forward. The sum total of many experiences form one great experience.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lessons 95,96.
Good morning everyone. Continuing with our "Merging with Siva" series. Going through the lessons of "Merging with Siva" in chronological order. The talks given first are being read first. So we're still in 1957, Sutter Street Temple, "Life the Great Experience." And we have my introduction first here. The last lesson we did mentioned experiencing the clear white light. So repeat Gurudeva's text on that:
"Each experience is a classroom. When the subconscious mind has been fully reconciled to everything that has happened, when you have fully realized that everything you have gone through is nothing more and nothing less than an experience, and that each experience is really a classroom, you will receive from yourself your innerversity personal evaluation report and it will be covered with the highest grades, denoting excellent cognition. Each of these higher grades is important, for when you put them together they will unfold a consciousness of understanding, making you eligible for your graduation certificate of visually seeing the clear white light within your head while sitting in a darkened room."
So the last sentence there is the important part. As a result of understand subconscious mind gets orderly and allows us to see the clear white light. Whereas, a subconscious mind that's not yet in order blocks us from seeing the clear white light.
"Patanjali's Yoga Sutras" adds another aspect to experiencing the inner light. The verse state that once the breath is regulated through pranayama that the covering of the inner light disappears. So it's covered up and that covering is removed through pranayama.
And of course "Tirumantiram" has a very important verse that defines yoga as: "Beholding the light of life." So Tirumantiram gives importance to seeing the inner light as well.
So I have an illustration that pulls all these points together:
Imagine a pond of water with gold nuggets at the bottom. If either the surface of the pond has ripples due to a wind or the pond itself is cloudy due to the presence of mud, the gold nuggets at the bottom of the pond cannot be seen from above. The ripples on the surface represent an active intellectual mind; the cloudy water represents the impurities in the subconscious mind; and the gold nuggets at the bottom represent the clear white light. The idea is that to experience the clear white light, we need to restrain our thoughts through pranayama, which quiets the surface, and purify the subconscious mind through understanding our experiences, which takes away the mud.
In other words, the clear white light is always there. In ordinary thinking we think we have to make something happen or manifest, that it's not there cause we don't see it. So I have to do something in order to, for the clear white light to be within me. The clear white light is within you, you just have to uncover it. It has two coverings, one is the ripples on the water, the thoughts which are taken away by pranayama; and the other is the mud in the water which is taken away through remolding the subconscious. And in this case, Gurudeva's lesson, he's talking about through understanding the lesson from each experience.
So moving on to the next lesson in Life the Great Experience, Lesson 95.
"We Create Our Mind Each Instant."
"I always try to keep the approach to the study of life and the unfoldment of the inner Self very simple by giving examples of the flower that begins as the little seed and grows into a stem forming a bud. We know nothing of the blossom until the bud opens, and we know little of the bud after it has become a blossom. However, each process within that growth to maturity is an experience for the plant. The seed contains within itself its basic laws of growth. The stem will tell its own story as it grows. The bud contains many experiences and has contained within it a complete story of its own. As the blossom unfolds, it tells a radiant autobiography of beauty."
So, Gurudeva's stressing there that, don't explain things in complicated ways. But try to keep, keep it in simple terms. So one of the simple examples I've given recently in writing a "Publisher's Desk" on "Climbing the Ladder of Consciousness," is just that, comparing a spiritual path to a ladder. So, if you want to get on the fifth rung of the ladder, you don't stand back and run and jump. Which is, you know, trying to move ahead too quickly. No one would do that. They'd stand on the first rung, then the second rung, then the third rung and the fourth rung, then they'd finally get to the fifth rung.
So that's the way we need to approach the spiritual path and we need to master each rung before we move onto the next one so a certain amount of time is required.
"In the philosophies of the Orient, the inner mind is often depicted as the lotus flower. This is what the mind would look like if you could see the mind. We can look at things on the material plane. The ugly things tell us how ugly the mind can become. When we look at the beautiful creations of nature, we see how lovely the mind can be.
"It is up to us to choose how we want to create the mind, conscious and subconscious. I say 'how we want to create the mind' because we are creating our mind each instant. There is no past! That dream as it passes before our vision is right now. We call it the past because we say we remember, but as we are remembering, we are recreating what we are remembering in the present. There is no future! That is also a dream or a vision, just like the past, because when we think of the so-called future we are recreating it before our vision right now. Therefore, there is no past, there is no future. Now is the only apparent reality!"
So that's a wonderful teaching. It helps us live in the present moment. And in thinking about it I was comparing it to watching a video starting in the middle. So we start in the middle of a video and you consider the middle the present, you rewind, going into the past, you fast forward, you're going into the future. You look at the middle again, you're in the present of the video but all of that's taking place in the present moment of your consciousness.
"Now is the only apparent reality, and it is up to us to decide how we want to create our mind, because we do create our mind each instant. We can make basic decisions. 'I would like to be nice to a certain friend of mine. That is the one who has not been too friendly to me lately.' This is a basic decision. Go out today and if someone does harm to you, or your friend is not kind to you, show your love by doing something kind for him. It is up to us to decide how to face life, be it 'Love your neighbor,' or 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' It is up to us to fathom the reaction we are going to cause in ourselves and others by each of our decisions. Since each decision will bring its own reward, it is up to us to determine whether we want to suffer through a reaction as a result of an action that we have not duly considered in the light of dharmic principles.
"Life is a series of decisions. Each instant, as we create the instant, we are creating the decision. We are facing the reaction we caused to come before us, and in facing it with the power of principle we are building the so-called future. So, a man has two paths, and every moment is a moment of judgment. Good judgment comes from concentration, directing the flow of thought. It does not always have to be difficult to choose."
So my comment:
Before acting, consider the reaction that your action is going to cause. To fathom the reaction we are going to cause in ourselves and others by each of our decisions. But it shouldn't only be the the immediate reaction it also should be the long term impact on the relationship and also the karmic fruit of that action, what is going to happen to us in the future. So if we take all that into account before we act, then we're acting wisely.
Friday, Lesson 96, We create our mind each instant.
"The Art of Being Constant
"There is an art which you can learn which will make all of your decisions easier. It is the art of being constant. Consistency wins. Consistency is one of the most important qualities of a devotee. It is only through consistency in your daily life that you gain the awareness which enables you to cognize the experiences of life, taking from them their real lessons. It is only through consistency that you can avoid many of the boulders that lie in your way on the classical yoga path to enlightenment.
"Practice the art of being constant and you will unfold your destiny, discover what you were born to do and learn how to accomplish it in this life. For in that security you will awaken and fulfill your destiny and realize the Self. Thus, having your feet planted firmly on the ground, your consciousness can dwell freely in the spirit born of Self Realization."
So the phrase that came to my mind in Gurudeva's teachings is: "Consistency is the key to the conquest of karma." It's a beautiful statement. I think one of the keys in consistency is not to set your goal too high. In any endeavor you can get over enthusiastic and try and do too much at once. So you're exercising fifteen minutes a day and all of a sudden you want to increase it to an hour. That may not be realistic so it's, and therefore you won't be consistent, you won't be able to sustain it. But if you move up slowly, move it say to 25 minutes, 35 minutes, 45 minutes, etcetera, can get up to an hour in a way that's realistic. So don't set the goal too high.
"Study your approach to life today as you practice this exercise. Take some of the experiences from your subconscious state of mind. Add them up and see how well your life balances out. Visualize a scale before you. Put the total of the experiences understood and the lessons derived from them on one side. Put on the other side of the scale the total number of experiences that you do not fully understand and from which you can still reap lessons. See how they balance. If they balance evenly, you are well on your way to becoming steadfast and constant. If they overbalance on the reactionary side, you are on the right track because you now have the power to balance your scale--your subconscious. If they overbalance on the understanding side, you should consider dedicating your life to the service of others.
"Sit quietly with your eyes open [closed]. Look deep within and trace back to the peak experiences that have happened through your life from your earliest days. Quickly fan through the pages of your life and pinpoint each climax, and know that that climax was the sum total of many experiences, forming one great experience out of which one great lesson [of life] was born.
"Take the experiences that you are not quite sure of--all the ones that you cannot form into a solid stone of understanding. Take those experiences and resolve to trace down each intuitively. Don't analyze. Just look at the sum total of the experiences, and after awhile you will get your clarification in a flash of intuition. This will be of great benefit to you. The great lessons that those experiences offer will become apparent as you progress in your practice of concentration. Do this and you will do much for yourself."
So my comment is:
Repeating a pattern of experience over and over and finally gaining the lesson from it, moving on to the next pattern is how we tend to act. In other words, we don't just do something once. We get into a pattern and repeat it many times before we finally learn the lesson from it and then we move on to a slightly more refined pattern. Repeat that many times, we finally learn the lesson in that one. So that's what Gurudeva's pointing out, we have these long cycles of experience from which we learn and move forward.
Have a wonderful day.