Meditation and illumination of the stratas of the mind

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Having spent much time and space playing around with words in an effort to describe a convenient concept and model of the mind, we will now consider meditation and its relationship with different mental phenomena.

The aim of meditational practices is to direct our normally extroverted awareness into the domains of the mind. Consider the personal levels of the mind (i.e. the instinctive and the logical) as represented by the face of a wall. The bottom half depicts the instinctive mind and the upper half the rational mind. The area outside the wall stands for the suprapersonal mind, the superconscious realm being above and the collective unconscious below. It is night time, so you can not see the wall or the surroundings; however, you have a torch and the light beam represents your awareness. The beam is small in diameter so that it does not light up the whole wall and surroundings, only a small area of the surface. During normal wakefulness the beam of our awareness only lights up the rational part of the mind or the upper part of the wall. Therefore, we operate on a predominantly logical level throughout life. Our awareness moves from one thought to the next but within the confines of the rational mind.

During meditational practices the aim is to direct the beam of awareness downwards, so that it lights up the lower mind or even the suprapersonal mind beyond the area of the wall. Many people, when they make a little progress in meditational practice, start to see grotesque visions and apparitions, monsters and devils, or they suddenly come face to face with deep rooted conflicts, complexes and phobias. They are most surprised and often upset when they see these phenomena, for they did not previously conceive or know that they existed within their mind.

At this state the light of awareness is directed downwards to the lower level of the mind - the instinctive mind. The awareness leaves its usual arena and starts to highlight the instinctive nature, with its desires, obsessions, hatreds and prejudices. We experience the manifestation of our problems continually for they surface during everyday life in the form of emotional outbursts, anger, depression, restlessness and many other stressful life reactions. However, we do not normally know their root or source. When one's awareness explores the lower mind, we confront the seed of these problems. When they are known they can be removed; in fact they automatically drop away.

Before one can transcend the lower mind and direct the beam of awareness outside the limitations of the wall or the personal mind, these disturbances and memories have to be exhausted. The lower mind has to be purged of its clutter and unwanted dirt. One's awareness is almost drawn towards the lower mind as iron filings are attracted to a magnet; it is almost as though one's awareness is compelled to explore it and clean it out. Or, more likely, the lower mind acts as a veil that prevents us seeing into the deeper aspects of the mind. It is only when this fog of problems is removed that we can experience what is beyond.

It is only when the beam of awareness looks beyond the wall to the unconscious and the superconscious realms that meditation begins. We transcend both rational and instinctive thought. We enter the sphere of suprapersonal experience - the domain of our ancestral experiences and intuitive, inspirational flashes. This is the land beyond words, which defies rational explanation. Only personal encounter can convince you of its truth.

The culmination of meditation is enlightenment, where one is overwhelmed with the light of truth; when one knows the joy of knowledge that sages have known throughout the ages; when one realizes the reality behind existence along with one's own identity and that of others. One realizes the core of existence is the Self, that each of us is a limitless storehouse of knowledge and energy.

The inner and the outer world Passive meditational techniques allow one to dive into the inner depths of the mind. The more one cleans out the personal lower mind, the happier one will become in interaction with the outside world during day to day life. One will harmonize with external activities instead of fighting with them. One will be peaceful instead of continually tense.

The deeper one delves into inner realms, the more one sees reality in the outside world. One will realize that there is actually little or no difference between the outer and inner realms of existence. The difference only appears to be because of logical thinking and the lack of understanding of our real nature. It was Christ who said: "When the outside becomes the inside, then the knowledge of Heaven has come".

Many people have the misconception that meditational practices that are introspective in nature lead one away from participation in worldly activities. This is far from the truth. In fact, just the opposite is true - one's external actions, that is, the surface expressions of inner nature, will be far more powerful and intense. The deeper one explores the inner domains, the greater the force of expression in external activities. One's whole life, work, play, etc. will be executed with joy, efficiency and strength. One will be able to accomplish things that seemed previously well beyond one's ability. Knowledge of the inside leads to knowledge of the outside. Higher awareness of the world inside the mind leads to higher awareness of the world outside of you.

Eventually passive meditational techniques become superfluous. They are no longer necessary when one lives in a continual state of meditation. One's activities become a continuous, joyful and spontaneous experience of meditation. No longer is there conflict between the outer and the inner world.

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The Power of Meditation

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