From an email by "st", a practitioner of the path of nonduality:
this past week my mind has been all over the place, in so many different schools of thought, and i got a bit tangled up ((which can be seen in my last email from last night where i questioned the nature of my experiences so far in meditation))
however, something has paid off -
there's a lot that i can't grasp in the siva-sutras, mostly because the sutras are often so cryptic and encoded in their own symbolic system which i'm not entirely familiar with, but of the parts which i understand i see that my own practice has followed the same pathways of experience
i read something that confirmed it for me -
confirmed that i have not just been constructing an elaborate 'mental fortress' ((a healthy doubt, i think, one that all those guys we've been talking about perhaps should have applied to themselves ...)) :
"... must be careful of the same possible danger, namely, that instead of attaining to the enlightened consciousness of the Fourth State, he may fall into the abysmal unconsciousness of deep sleep. Thus he must guard against this by maintaining a state of mindful awareness."
i have experienced both of those -
becoming significantly introverted to the point where everything (outer physical and inner mental) disappeared, resulting in a sort of annihilation - or as he says, the abysmal unconsciousness of deep sleep
falling into that is different to entering the same state during the ordinary course of sleep cycles - usually we are never aware of crossing into that state since we're so far gone in the illusion of dreams or attachment to external objectivity to maintain the subtle awareness to recognize it - but as it's experienced in the yogic process one 'slips' into it as a common mind might ordinarily imagine slipping into the nothingness of death
i think that state has its uses and significance, though, although it's so derided in these sort of writings - it's a profound escapism, even from self-awareness, and for someone who doesn't enjoy ordinary life it has its own hypnotic allure, - i must confess that i am often under this spell -
that nothingness has its own wisdom in the intense detachment that follows it.
one wakes as if from death, having known a sort of extinction, therefore entirely unafraid of it as a concept thereafter
i live in that condition now - experiencing it has burned away any sort of existential fear people usually have towards concepts like extinction of consciousness after death etc
however i have also experienced that turiya state - when i do not fall into that deathly unconsciousness ((which is also experienced as different from the peaceful (called saanta usually) samadhi state in susupti mode)), that veil of the susupti state is transcended, just as svapna was transcended and jagrat also - then there's that shining pervasiveness in consciousness, felt as one's own essence (when i wrote "merge into the essence" in the Nonduality Meditation this is what i meant), and there are all those qualities that are applied to it - ecstatic, etc., and when you "come down" or return to the waking state there's a sort of "buzz" in the whole body, a subtle bliss that probably lasts a duration dependent on how long the state was held. i experienced this bliss in the woods once and walked home several miles feeling so fluid - every movement just flowed without resistance, it really gave a deep insight into the grace that must permeate a fully integrated & realized being's entire life ... (from that point on i could understand the deep beauty behind stories like those about buddha twirling a flower in his hand and his disciple smiling ... the otherworldly grace and poetry of his very being)
now that i think about it - this is probably the presence people feel even with intermediate gurus, just as one receives the signal from someone transmitting an angry vibe, the same thing must happen with those who reach to their essence and really go into it deeply - i've read stories that i don't doubt about rajneesh walking in a room and instantly elevating the level of consciousness for everyone, which was described as a wave of energy pouring into the room and knocking them over (which is why i also think that his trademark long namaste greetings were not just put ons for his image but genuine transmissions of his energy) - apparently the last of such long namaste goodbye's he gave before dying was much longer than usual, like he was trying to give as much as possible that he could since it was the last time ... quite beautiful really
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