In order that the mind should see light instead of darkness, so the entire soul must be turned away from this changing world, until its eye can learn to contemplate reality and that supreme splendor which we have called the good. Hence there may well be an art whose aim would be to affect this very thing. ~Socrates
The Isha Upanishad, an ancient Indian text, says of this fourth state:
It is not outer awareness,
It is not inner awareness,
Nor is it a suspension of awareness.
It is not knowing
It is not unknowing,
Nor is it knowingness itself.
It can neither be seen nor understood,
It cannot be given boundaries.
It is ineffable and beyond thought.
It is indefinable.
It is known only through becoming it.
The mind is quiet, when all thoughts, feelings, perceptions and memories with which we unconciously identify have fallen away, what remains is the essence of self, the pure subject without an object. What we then find is not a sense of “I am this” or “I am that;” but just “I am”.
It took quite a while for me to separate ego “I am this or I am that” from the essence of “I am”. I remember growing up hearing the grown up say, “you need to grow up and be somebody”. It meant that you were a “Doctor, Lawyer or Indian Chief.” Most folks in the world of materialism are judged by the type of car you drove or the kind of clothes you wore. In a way, I was glad to grow up in the 60’s because the Hippie movement of anti-establishment meant to judge yourself and others by who you were inside and to love life. When I went to rehearsals with dad I learned who the musicians were by the way they played and the style and swagger with a positive vibe that flowed individually as well as when the orchestra played together. You improvise when you know the essence of yourself, and that essence is pure consciousness. You are fully aware of your true identity. You are in a state of “in the moment” consciousness.
Meditation is allows for free-flowing consciousness and it is another form mental “doing or experiencing.” Meditation is frequently focused on quieting the mind with respect “paying attention” instead of “thinking.” I must admit, my first time meditation was at Georgetown University in 1979 and we were all in a room next to the gymnasium we laid down on the floor and were instructed to breathe slowly and rhythmically. When the session was over, I hadn’t realized that I fell asleep and was yes you guessed it, snored loudly. I was so embarrassed I never went to another session like that again. Of course my next attempt was when I attended Yoga classes and lying in the “corpse pose” I learned to quiet the mind by changing the direction and quality of your attention. You would create an intention focusing by focusing on our inner essence. The best way for me is to concentrate on your breathing, slowly and rhythmically and your mind quiets down and you discover an inner calm and peace. The ego chatter begins to evaporate. When your mind is settled the spirit and body begins to relax. Thoughts begin to drift away and your mind is completely silent.
In a waking consciousness state we are aware and experience the world through the senses. In dreaming consciousness we become aware and experience worlds through the lens of imagination. It is pure consciousness—pure in the sense of being unchanged by thoughts and images. It is consciousness without content. How about you, is there a unique way of getting to the “waking consciousness” state that works for you? Sometimes it is sitting on the beach with my iPod watching the waves and sometimes it is in my living room with smooth jazz playing and with my eyes closed gently dance about slowly to the sounds. lifting my eyes off of my circumstances and set my focus on You. I know that with You, all things are possible. Show me Your ways. Show me Your love and all of the good things You have prepared for me In Joy and light I write…Peace Out!
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