Large numbers of mystics, yogis and other wise men throughout history have conceived and emphatically declared that the mind transcends the limitations of the physical brain. In modern psychology this possibility was clearly put forward by Jung when he postulated that an enormous part of the mind was the unconscious, or collective aspect. He suggested that within the collective unconscious part of the mind there are an infinite number of mental contents common to all of us. He suggested that each person has the ability, though rarely developed, to contact data that is available to everyone. An often quoted analogy is given of a large number of islands in the sea. Each of these islands is in fact the top of a mountain which has its base in the seabed. From the surface of the sea the islands or mountain peaks have individuality. Yet from the viewpoint of the seabed the islands or individuals are seen to have their function in a common base. In other words, the islands which appear separate are actually connected with each other by the seabed. Yet because we cannot see this common connection, we automatically assume that the islands are totally separated and different from each other. It is the same with the mind. Everyone sees himself as an island and looks at other islands, other people, and sees separateness. This individuality does exist from a superficial point of view. This is why people have different personalities - different tastes, different likes, dislikes and other individual attributes that define the unique character of a person. However, if we could dive deeper into our mind, we would make the incredible discovery that the mind of each of us, in its deeper aspects, is one and the same thing. There is no difference. We are not saying that they are similar; we are saying they are one and the same.
Our immediate response to this idea on a rational level is that it is impossible. This reaction is understandable because we see our character as the island; we don't see ourselves in our deeper aspect, the sea bed. We feel, through conditioning, that our mind is only in our head. The acceptance of this unity ofmind in each person (i.e. collective unconscious) implies that the mind transcends the physical boundaries of the head and this is difficult to believe. In fact we don't want you to see this on a rational level. Instead of an intellectual discussion we would much prefer you to practise meditational techniques and find out for yourself
Most people are scientifically inclined, therefore let us approach this possibility of an all pervading mind from a scientific point of view. Scientists in recent times have been trying to fathom atomic structure. They found that various scientific models of the atom and its paths could no longer fit experimental and observed facts. The existing and widely accepted theories, such as Bohr's model, began to break down in the light of experience.
Various experiments showed that the electron is not a material particle; it is something more, even more than a wave pattern. Before these experiments the electron was regarded as the building block of the universe - the ultimate particle, in fact. Old theories have had to be discarded, not only of the atom but of the cosmos. Scientists, in a way more characteristic of mystics, have begun to pose the possibility that the materialistic universe that we see with our eyes is not the ultimate reality. What seems obvious to us is being disowned by progressive thinkers. They have suggested that underlying the material universe is some deeper reality. It is even suggested that our present assumptions regarding the nature of time and space are incorrect and unrealistic.
Some mathematicians, working with more intangible concepts, have suggested that the material universe is permeated by a universal medium or substratum. This medium is pervaded by waves of inconceivable frequency and velocity, well beyond even electromagnetic waves of the highest known frequencies. It is suggested that these so far undetected waves pulsate throughout the whole substratum.
From this theory atomic scientists are more able to understand the behaviour of atomic particles. They can foresee the possibility that an atomic particle is no more than a build-up of these wave amplitudes one upon the other. We cannot and do not see these waves. What we do see is the manifestation in the form of what we call matter. We tend to assume that this matter is more solid than we think, but actually it is our senses that interpret matter as matter. In accordance with the ideas of some modern scientists, what we see as matter seems to be no more than an accumulation of waves. In other words the physical universe which we perceive and which seems so real is no more than a gossamer substance without solidity. It is the manifestation of the underlying, hidden substratum. Is it the 'dream of Brahman' that Indian yogis exclaim is the nature of the manifested universe?
Is it asking too much to suggest that this substratum is the same as the seabed in relation to the islands? In other words, that each of us physically and mentally, on a superficial plane, is no more than a manifestation of the underlying, all pervading and infinite substratum. That is, we are implying that this underlying medium is the same as the cosmic mind. Each person is intimately connected with this hidden cosmic mind and not only has access to its infinite potential, but each of us is essentially the same in essence! The mind of each of us is exactly the same thing; however, to know this we must explore its depths. This is the realm of meditation.
Various eminent scientists have now declared that the universe is beginning to look more like an all encompassing mind than anything else. Some of them have even suggested that all atomic particles are nothing but mind-stuff.
In this respect they are echoing the affirmations ofvarious mystics throughout the ages. Let us take a few examples. It was the well-known poet Emerson who wrote:
Substances at base divided, In their summits are united. There the holy essence rolls, One through the separated souls.
This is echoed in the ancient yogic text called the Yoga Vashishtha: "Know that there is a mental mechanism everywhere. It resides within each particle; it extends into space; it is within the heart of a vegetable; it functions as fluid within a leaf; it rains as a cloud; it lies as a stone; it plays in the waves of the ocean; it penetrates massive mountains; and it assumes the shape of the size of an atom." (Ill: 40, 2123) And it was Shakespeare in The Tempest who wrote with sublime simplicity: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on . . . "
In our previous discussion on prana we described scientific research and discovery into the essence of the bioplasmic or pranic body1. You will remember that the Russian scientists conducted practical experiments which clearly revealed the existence of a field of force around and within the body. They called it bioplasma; we call it prana. Others have called it the aura, among other names. This subtle body was photographed by means of high frequency Kirlian photography. Without use of a high frequency electric field, we are not able to see the highly complex pranic field.
Yet when photographed under the prescribed conditions it manifested as the highly complex and organized iridescent bioplasmic or pranic aspect of our being. Though within the realm of supposition, it is more than a possibility that as higher and higher frequency electrical fields are utilized, so we will see more and more subtle aspects of our existence of which we are at present unaware.
It seems more than a possibility that the pranic body and the yet scientifically undiscovered higher frequency substances are the link that each of us has with the cosmic substratum or mind. In fact this seems more than a supposition, for Russian scientists dealing with the subjects oftelepathy and other psychic phenomena, have actually measured changes in the state of the bioplasmic body during psychic events. In other words, they were able to detect changes in the bioplasmic body of a telepathic receiver when he was receiving messages from a telepathic transmitter who was often many hundreds of miles away. These experiments seem to lead us to the conclusion that each person has the capacity to directly connect with other people through the medium of the cosmic mind.
In fact many psychics, clairvoyants, etc. have said that there is an etheric energy body (pranic body) which connects the brain cells with the cosmic mind. Others have put it differently by saying that this etheric body is the means by which the life energies of the universe and the collective unconscious can communicate with the physical body. It seems that we are far more intimately connected with each other and can communicate directly with each other in a far deeper sense than is often considered. Each individual has vast powers. However, these faculties are rarely utilized; in fact, we tend to sneer and be sceptical of any truth in telepathy, clairaudience, clairvoyance and other psychic powers.
The aim of meditation is to dive deeper into this substratum so that we can intimately contact and be aware of its potential. When we do so, it seems to whisper to us subtle answers to the seemingly unsolvable riddles of the universe. This is perhaps why we can experience intuitive flashes; it is a time when we contact the basic substratum of existence. In psychological terms we could say that it is a time when we connect our awareness with the collective unconscious. Within this storehouse is contained all the knowledge that ever has been and ever will be.
This underlying matrix is the background of existence, inanimate and animate. Nearly all life forms seem to see and know only the material world around them. It is only in evolved forms of life, such as man on the planet earth, who have the ability to occasionally contact this underlying foundation of existence. We have the gift, though rarely used, to look behind the scenes. We have the potential to look behind the curtain of maya (usually translated as illusion, but better translated as misperception or misunderstanding of reality). Each of us is able to transcend our physical limitations and experience knowledge, bliss and timelessness, where beginning and end have no meaning and where there is no past, present or future. This is the aim of meditation: to dissolve into the underlying essence of all things.
We emphasize that we don't expect you to believe or accept what we have written. Why should you? We want you to try meditational techniques and find out what meditation is all about for yourself.
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