The River of Life
Gurudeva's 1970 Audio Master Course - Chapter 4
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 1970-12-15
Master Course Recording. Chapter 4. Light of spine like Christmas tree. Kundalini shakti. Life as a sacred river. Lean on own spine. Move and detach awareness. Areas of mind. Become consciously conscious.
Flow along with the beautiful River of Life each day this week. Afterward you might enjoy making notes of your inner discoveries, perhaps an idea from Master which you particularly like. Dont hesitate to write down even simple thoughts. Truth is mostly in simple things.
We'll all "Aum" together and get the vibrations going strong.
[Audience chants "Aum" with Gurudeva]
Each time I chant "Aum" my entire spine lights up like a great, big Christmas tree. I see it through the third eye, through the inner vision and it looks just like a big Christmas tree and I'm all spine. The consciousness of the legs fall away; I don't have any legs, I don't have any arms, I'm just spine. And it's just one great, beautiful core of light and sparkling out through the nerve system like a Christmas tree. And that is actually the symbolic meaning of the Christmas tree: it is the illumined spine. The vision is not the thing to be clung to or to be worshipped or to be repeated. These are only signposts that you are doing all right on the path to enlightenment and when you do have a vision, let it go. Say, "Fine, I've had a good signpost. I'm doing just wonderfully well in my inner life, in my spiritual life."
As we go along on the path of enlightenment, many different things happen to us and it's called phenomena and these are generally one-time experiences. I had a wonderful experience once that I remember as just as if it happened an hour ago. I was coming out of deep meditation and I infiltrated my body--I was just light and my body was porous-- and all this light came through the body, through all the pores of the body, they seemed to be separated and as the last part of the light came through the body, I came back into my normal consciousness. Experiences such as that show us that man has a divine nature locked up within him and he alone can turn the key. He has to have strong arms to do it because it's a great, big key and there are those along the way that will point the way, will guide him, will tell him that, "You're tarrying too long in a certain, given area of the mind; time to pack up and move on into other areas of the mind. Don't waste your life in the instinctive mind. Don't waste this life in the intellectual mind. Don't be too involved in the superconscious mind itself but soar on in to the very core of your being and make your mark. Meet your goal and then come back from Self Realization and you can tarry as long as you like in the various areas of the mind because you will not get stuck in them, you will always return to home base."
As soon as we begin to work within ourselves, on ourselves and solve problems from within ourselves, as soon as we really begin to meditate, we release within our body a new form of energy and in the Sanskrit this is called kundalini shakti, kundalini power. This is a fiery vapor-like substance that is actually the heat of the physical body in its natural state. But when this kundalini force, which is vibrating right at the base of the spine, when this kundalini force is, in a sense, jarred loose, that is the new form of energy, the new fuel, that turns the airplane into a rocket and propels awareness within. As the kundalini force rises up the spine, awareness goes deeper and deeper and deeper within the superconscious areas of the mind.
In Hindu mythology kundalini shakti is depicted as a snake. Even vapor rising looks, in a sense, like a snake. Or smoke rising from a piece of incense moves through the air like a snake moves. This kundalini force is such a refined and yet such a powerful form of energy, it is the power that moves awareness into inner areas of the mind in the very same way that the natural energy of man that he is born with propels awareness through the intellectual areas and instinctive areas of the mind.
Let's look at life as the Wailua river coming from Mount Waialeale, flowing off its cliffs, collecting up power and energy all the way. Let's look at whole life as a sacred river. The life flow of an individual is like a sacred river. This river is sacred to the Polynesians in the very same way the Ganges and the Himalayas are sacred to the Hindus. It's symbolic of the individual man and the life force flowing through him. The river merges into the sea. Man's energy flows through the body. Meditate on life being a river. And man's awareness flows down the river or man's awareness can cling to the banks somewhere along some part of the river and not make the full cycle of flowing into the sea, being lifted up by the sun or the cloud, flowing back over the mountain again--the full cycle of life which you experience as you detach awareness from that which it is aware of. But if awareness clings to the bank of the river or mulls over the future, mulls over the past, lives in a reactionary condition for a long period of time, then the life cycle is not complete. Meditate on this.
The power of the spine and the river are one and the same. Energies flow through the spine and out through the body, are transmuted again and flow through the spine and out through the body. This is the cycle of life. However, if we are aware of the past or aware of the future, we begin to congest these energies and we limit our life flow tremendously. Meditate on the river and the power flowing through the body, through the spine as one and the same. Meditate on awareness flowing freely through the power of life or being attached to the bank of the river or attached to some reactionary condition of the past and held status quo year after year after year after year blocking the life flow. That's how we hold back our evolution and that is how we remain in the same classroom in the university of life year after year after year without graduating.
When we have attachments to the past we really worship the past. We can't change the past. We can only run around in our memory patterns of the past, we can make up new memory patterns as we do and really create a new past for ourselves. You've heard how people tell a story of what used to be and each time they tell it, it changes a little bit. They're creating a new past. They're living in the past, they're blocking the flow of life like putting a log across the river. The energies have to flow over it, it's a hindrance. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Be a being right now and then you will feel the energies flow through the spine, out through the physical body and the nerve system as a constant flow right from the sacred mountain which is the head. The head is Mount Waialeale, thousand-petaled lotus of the head from which all energies flow. This is the area in which we meditate. This is the area in which we first see the clear white light and through this area merge into Self Realization.
The past is one of the biggest barriers on the path. The past is only a dream. Let go the past. Flow with the river of life, let that river of life flow out through your spine, out through your six thousand miles of nerve current, out through the muscles and cells of your physical body. Let go the past! Live intensely in the moment. And yet the power of an inner experience, even though it's a simple one, is just enough to make us become intensely aware of the past, a half an hour from the time the experience happened. What do we do? Turn your back on the past. In the very same way you wake up in the morning and you become involved in the day, you don't sit around remembering your dreams.When the past comes roaring into view from your subconscious mind and awareness begins to flow through it, distract awareness into some intensely creative project. Any project.
When life is flowing through you, you can make any project a creative project. Cleaning the floor can be a very creative project and you become more and more alive as you do it. What is creative about it? Your intense centralization of awareness upon the job that you're doing so that you do the job super well. Flow with the river of life. Let the river of life from the central source of life itself flow through the spiritual body of you, through the astral body of you, through the nerve system, central and sympathetic, through the physical body, its muscle, its sinews. And obviously with all that, there's no room, no time for the past. Our energies might well be better caught up in a fine, creative future.
When awareness detaches itself, when we deliberately do that, we detach our awareness from that which it is aware of, we are detaching ourself from the banks of the river and we're flowing freely with the currents of life. When we do this what happens? The spiritual forces take over. All the innate powers of the spiritual body take over and handle our experiential patterns. The same patterns that we've been trying to handle through the powers of the instinctive mind, through the powers of the intellectual mind become handled by the powers of the superconscious mind. A simple adjustment. Let go the banks of the river, let go the past, let go the future, let go reactions. Live in the eternity of the moment and say to yourself, "I am a pure being but I am not that which I am aware of."
If we are aware of a plant or a tree, just because we see it does not mean that we are a plant or we are a tree. If we are aware of joy, just because we experience it and it runs through our nerve system doesn't mean that we are joy any more than just because we're aware of hate and we experience it through our nerve system doesn't mean that we are hate or hateful. Pure awareness remains always the same like a clean, fine beam of light. That is what we should call you.
The power of letting go is a great power. And it's one of the second powers of the freedom of the soul--the first one is observation; second one's the power to let go. What do we let go of? Lots of things. We can be having a mental argument with a friend. All of a sudden we let go of it. We just don't do that anymore. Move our awareness into another area of the great, vast universe of the mind. But it takes power to let go--we could be terrifically attached to emotional reaction that happened a year ago and we live with it and mull it over in our mind--take power to let go, tremendous power to let go and not do that anymore.
The power of letting go is a spiritual power. It's one of the faculties of the soul. Letting go of attachment or anything else is not running away. It's not not facing up to situations, it's simply facing up to them faster, it's simply running into them and making them disappear. When we have the power of observation, the power to let go, the power to live in the eternity of the moment, we're warmer, we're more friendly, more nice to be around, more hopeful, more human as humans should be, more lovable, closer to our family and friends and associates.
The power of letting go is not ignoring situations and pretending that they do not exist. It's conquering situations with a sharp stroke of a sharp knife, calling an end to living in an area of the mind that we don't want to be in. The power of letting go is not being insensitive. It's being extremely sensitive because we have the backup power of observation. Work on discovering awareness and discovering the power to detach awareness from that which it is aware of. This can be worked on day after day, week after week, month after month for the rest of your life through your daily experiences. Then next, great power of the unfoldment of awareness is to being that immortal being, the soul of you, the next great power is leaning on your own spine.
Lean on the power of the spine that's being fed from the central source of energy of life itself. Constantly. Day after day after day, night after night after night, there's a power going through the body, the nerve system that is untouched by any experience that you've ever had, ever will have, any reaction or any action. And call it, if you like, the eyes of that power, your individual, pure intelligence, your awareness. Tune into that wonderful river of life in the same way that you dived into the Wailua river. Tune into that beautiful river of life. They say a sacred river, once you dive into it, and if you're in the right attitude, it'll remove all of your worries. Dive into the river of life within your own spine. It'll not only remove all of your worries, it'll burn 'em up, they won't even be there. Dive into the river of your spine. Merge your awareness in it; the awareness gets renewed, sharper, keener, more vital.
As we unfold on the spiritual path, as we understand all of the processes of ourselves, oddly enough, other people begin to understand us. If someone doesn't understand our lifestyle or understand what we're doing inside of us simply 'cause we don't understand it thoroughly ourself. But as soon as we dive deep enough into the central river of life and become aware of it, we've dived into the river of life of everyone. It's the same power going through everyone's spine. Soon as we begin to lean on our spine and lean on that energy and be more aware of it than we generally are of other people that we lean on--everyone is running around looking for sanction from somebody else and they're leaning on mother, father, family, friend, school teacher, someone they'd meet on a bus, anyone to get permission to do something that they're going to do anyway thinking about that, aware of these other leaning posts more than most of the time--soon as we reversed awareness and we lean on our own spine, we're leaning on the central source of energy, so to speak. We cease leaning on any one else, we're leaning on our own infinite intelligence.
The same energy flowing your spine this very minute, flowing through the spine of the body of your soul, flowing through the spine of your astral body, flowing through the spine of your physical body, out of it you become aware. When awareness is lost in the intellectual areas of the mind, we begin leaning on other people's ideas more strongly than our own. When awareness is lost in the instinctive area of the mind we begin to lean on other people's emotions and evolve them with our own.
When awareness flows through the superconscious area of the mind, we begin to lean on our own life force, so to speak, become totally conscious of it. Therefore we are totally aware of the awareness within everyone. We begin to look at people differently. We see their awareness rather than their emotion and we find that the power of awareness is almost the same in everyone.
We look at an angry man and we see pure awareness in his eyes. We see his emotions are disturbed. We look at a peaceful man. We see pure awareness through his eyes. The currents of his body are flowing nicely. We look at an intellectual man all bound up in the realms of thought. We see the same pure awareness in his eyes however, that awareness is flowing through the world that's always thinking. Then we begin to see life as a great and wonderful thing and really enjoy being in the world because we're in the outer world and inner world at the same time. And the outer world becomes the inner world and the inner world becomes the outer world. There's no dividing point.
When awareness wants to recenter itself, so to speak, or you want to find your first center then become aware of the energies flowing through the spine itself and try to become-, merge awareness into the central source of energy itself. That's easy to do. All you have to do is to feel the spine. Move the spine around. Feel the energy that moves the spine around. Identify with the energy more than the spine. It's very easy, very powerful. Awareness, once it is detached from that which it is aware of, then can begin to review our thought sequence pattern that has been developed in this life. We begin to watch how we think. We begin to edit our thoughts as an editor would edit a book. When awareness is identified with and thinks it is that which it is aware of, we don't watch our thinking processes at all. Because we think we are our thinking processes.
When we begin to watch our thoughts, we come into another power of the superconscious mind. We can then mold our thought sequence patterns in a different way. Or we can begin flowing our awareness into the more refined areas of the mind where thoughts are functioning rather than into the grosser areas of the mind. We have the power to travel through the mind of thought, in any way that we wish to, for we are the tourists in the wonderful world of thought.
Watch how we think. We find that we generally think about the same thing in the same way year after year after year. Try to find another way to think about it. In finding another way of thinking about it, we find another way to react to it. By editing our thoughts very closely, we're editing our emotional behavior. And we're molding again our contemplative life style. For there's a part of the mind that we'll soon discover that doesn't think at all, absolutely peaceful, free of thought. When I am in a state of meditation, I am soon out of the realm of thought. It's a very foreign item, almost like another person coming into the room unbidden if I'm aware of a thought. I'm immediately in the part of the mind that perceives, that cognizes but doesn't think. When I come out of meditation, I come into a heavier state of the mind and work with cumbersome thoughts occasionally. Thoughts are very heavy compared to the refined state of the mind that doesn't think at all; superconsciousness. It just perceives.
We must not look at superconsciousness as being something out of our reach simply because it has the word, "super," attached to it. You are super. The superconscious mind is right there all the time. There was not for the superconscious area, there wouldn't be an instinctive or an intellectual area. You use your superconscious mind daily. Awareness is so aware of the instinctive and intellectual, it's not aware of the superconscious at all. A small adjustment has to be made. That small adjustment is easy to be made. You can make it.
What does awareness do once it has liberated itself and flows freely through various areas of the mind? Awareness then turns within on itself. It becomes pure consciousness. Just a pure state of consciousness for there is not a second thing to be aware of. This pure consciousness is the underlying substance of the entirety of the mind and when we are in this state of pure consciousness, we are on the threshold of Self Realization. We come into the clear, white light, then we come into the Self. This is what we're here on Earth for. This is your heritage to claim.
So, little by little, as we go on in our spiritual unfoldment, we become more and more consciously conscious of where we are in consciousness or, the mind. I always use the word, "mind" and "consciousness" interchangeably to mean the same thing. I use the word, "awareness," to indicate man's spiritual, individual ego which flows through the mind or flows through consciousness. Awareness is also consciousness but in its purest state, pure consciousness. When awareness is in the depth of superconsciousness, awareness and superconsciousness, that area of the mind, are one. Man sees vast inner space within him. I have looked within superconsciousness and seen inner space that's so vast that you can go on and on and on within it. You have no consciousness of physical body, no consciousness of emotion or name or place; you are just that, pure consciousness, that pure inner space. And then you come back into the world of thought. Then you come out again into the world of emotion. Then you begin to feel your physical body and you begin to move your physical body. Then you go in again to the source, and out again to the dream. And in again to the source and out again to the dream.
Before awakening you are in so-called "reality" and you go in to--you're not so sure--seems like a dream; it's elusive. Our language is set up to make the inner being elusive because it doesn't supply really enough words to describe it adequately. Then you go back to reality. People who leave the path to enlightenment simply stop striving. They stop working within, with themselves. If one was to leave the path to enlightenment, he simply lets awareness flow through the instinctive mind and responds and acts according to the animal in him. And the animal in him gets very strong. He becomes argumentative. He becomes willful and he begins to think that the external world is absolutely real and absolutely solid and he is sure he's going to live forever. But if we are on the path to enlightenment we keep working with ourselves. We keep taking these principles and applying them to our own life.
We can't do it all at once but, little by little, we work with ourselves. We work and work within ourselves and we become consciously conscious of where we are in consciousness. If we're functioning in and aware of the conscious mind we know that we're aware in the conscious mind. If we're in our subconscious mind and aware of our actions and our emotions and our desires and our reactions to past experience, we know that we are in our subconscious mind. If we're aware of our body of light and our intuitive faculties we know that we're in the sub-superconscious mind.
To become consciously conscious of where we are in consciousness is one of our first big accomplishments on the path. It all starts out with attention, concentration, observation, meditation. Sit down, quiet the body, control the breath, watch the thoughts, watch the distraction and unwind awareness from the conscious mind. Unwind awareness from the subconscious mind and reprogram it. Unwind awareness from the sub of the superconscious mind. Unwind awareness from the superconscious mind. And awareness dissolves into its own essence: the Self. The end.
[14:51] First steps: first detach awareness from that which it is aware of and then soar within. Go up the river, right up the river to the mountain. Go up the spine, right up the spine into the head. Move awareness inward and go in and in and in and in and then go in and in and after that go in and in and in and in and then go in and in. It's an inner quest. It's easy, it's not difficult. You have an immortal body, your soul, that's drawing these elements inward unto itself, constantly, minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day, lifetime after lifetime. Just becoming aware of it now. So go in and in and in and in and in and in and it'll all be unfolded from within yourself and penetrate the external areas of your intellect and you will have a wonderful education from the inside out. A trained intellect, trained by your own superconsciousness.
The vast universe of the mind: there's nothing wrong with any of the areas of the mind. There is no good, there is no bad, there is no up, there is no down; it's just awareness flowing through one area or another. We go through an area where that area of the mind is conflict and arguing and fighting. We go through another area where there is peace and harmony between people. There is no good, there is no bad; only experience, one after another. Once we can reprogram the subconscious mind to understand that all the areas of the mind, they're there, awareness, which is made of willpower and energy is there too. The secret is: is not to identify with that which we're aware of but to claim our individual, inner freedom and have awareness flow through all areas of the mind.
If we go into an area of the mind and we don't like it, we don't have to dislike awareness for being there, or dislike the area because that'll keep us there. If I walk out on my lawn and it's muddy because of the rain, I don't have to dislike the mud and dislike my feet. All I do is wash my feet, the mud's good, feet's good, the water's fine. If I go into an area of the mind which makes the nerve system not feel too good, I do not have to make it worse by saying, "This is a bad area of the mind and I'm bad for being here." And hate myself and hate the area. Not at all. Knowing the inner law, which I do, I simply begin to breathe. If it's convenient, sit in lotus. Flow awareness into simshumbisi, become totally consciously conscious in pure energy. It all fades away. Awareness is pulled into this primal source and I'm out of the area. The nerve system adjusts itself. I wipe my feet and we're fine. Take these two: the dirty feet and the area. The water represents simshumbisi and there we go.
That is putting the esoteric, the inner knowledge, into practice in your own, personal life. If you don't put it into practice into your own personal life, it's just so much talk. Just more study for the intellectual mind to compare to something else it's previously studied or will study later on. Let the study be within. Educate the intellect from inner findings. Go in and in and in. Discover for yourself how you can deliberately pull awareness out of an area of the mind that makes the nerve system not feel as you think it should feel. Do that time and time again. The breath and the energies will become vital and vibrant in you, through you. And you'll call you, the soul, energy itself. That great, immortal soul of you that has a body which is made of light which lives right in this physical body, right at a higher rate of vibration than the astral body itself. It's there, it doesn't die and each lifetime is like a year of experience for it.
Identify yourself with the soul. Say, "That is the real me." Later on, you'll be saying, "The Self. That is the real me." Though we'll take it in easy steps first. And put each of these areas into practice, one at a time. Find the pingala force, find the ida force. Discover when we're in one, the physical body feels a certain way. When we're in another, we feel differently. Then little by little, your inner life will be dramatic, buoyant and vibrant, and joy and sorrow becomes a study to you, an absolute study rather than a disaster area or, something to be sought after; we- we seek for joy and we abhor sorrow. Both are a study when you know how to put the inner laws into practice.
Now you know some of these inner laws. Study how you would put them into practice. First ask yourself the question and go back into your life about a year and ask yourself the question, "What have I put into practice in this past year?" You might find nothing therefore, your aggressive, study habits, routine habits have to be perfected. You have to train yourself to spend a certain amount of time each day in inner search, in inner study. And if you miss a day, make it up the next day. Who will train you? Let the inner body of the soul be the trainer in educating and molding the outer energies and programming the subconscious mind anew. Then little by little you nurture the external nature along and begin to feel fine and free and can move easily in various inner realms of the mind and your inner search will then have gained a ground and you'll be always on an inner search day after day, month after month, year after year.
[23:47] As we go on through life, we have one challenge after another. We think we're strong enough to meet the biggest thing that could ever come to us in proportion with the things that have come to us in the past that have really shaken us up a bit. But the next thing that comes along is a challenge to us. Flow with the river of life. Let it flow from you, out through the aura, out into the room, all of the time. Now we have to work with ourselves in order to do that. By sitting up nice and straight all of the time, by having the eyes focused more inwardly than externally, regulating our breath some while we walk and more while we're seated, living a good, contemplative code, a lifestyle that is designed to bring forth the inner man. We begin to reprogram, reschool the subconscious, instinctive impulses.
It's not easy at first because we have a lot of them but little by little, as we continue working with ourselves, the subconscious mind begins to absorb the energies of the present, begins to become a model for us, a helper to the external senses. And little by little, we are stronger on the inside than any challenge that can come to us from the external world. All challenges that come to us from the external world, we have set into motion ourselves, somewhere in the past. And like a boomerang, the vibration we set in motion, snowballs some and we face it in the present. So we arm ourself with the intensity of the moment by always keeping two-thirds within, allowing the river of life to flow vibrantly through us all of the time.
It may not flow through us all of the time and when it doesn't, it gets stuck somewhere, we have to then work with ourselves, have a good positive meditation. Talk with yourself sternly. Again, awareness becomes detached from that which it is aware of and we're on our way as an eternal being, ready to meet any challenge that we've set in motion in the past and enjoying the bliss of the eternal substance of that river of life as it flows through the nerve system.
After hearing all of these wonderful things and outlining this wonderful potential for your life, you might wonder, "Am I worthy? Am I good enough after all the many things I have done in my past?" If all the many things that you have done in your past were good enough to bring you to the point where you can hear all of these wonderful things about the inner realms and the possibilities for you once you turn inward, and if you feel you're not worthy, or not good enough, I would say you have enough humility to continue, vibrantly and vitally with confidence. If you think, "This is for me. I have learned all of this and now I can go ahead and learn more," then I would say, "Search deeper. Study the basic teachings deeper until you're moved to the point where the little 'I' goes and you say, 'Am I worthy? Am I really good enough?'" Because the "I" that we speak of, of course, there refers to the individual, personal, subconscious, emotional ego and that's never worthy, it's never good enough, can be never good enough.
The mere fact that you would be hearing of these vital, tremendous inner teachings means that, yes, you are worthy. You are good enough. You have to continue making adjustments in your life. I can point out the path. Your awareness, energy and will, tremendous motivating force has to flow along that path to your final, dramatic realization of the Self. And when you find the Self, you will say, "So simple. How could I have ever missed it? So pure. So obvious. Where was I all the time, all these many years that something so real, so close, so pure and so simple could have ever escaped me?"