Go deep. #62 October 23, 2018
They go low, we go high. They stay shallow, we go deep.
There is a common theme in the Tantric tradition, emphasized by Abhivinivagupta, that we take the traditional or conventional understandings, rituals, and practices and then interiorize them. Rather than understand them at the surface level of life, we find their inner-most meaning. How we can experience their deepest values and apply them directly to our lives?
The triadic school of yoga, named Trika, speaks of many triads. There is will, knowledge and action; manifestation, maintenance and dissolution, and the triadic structure of knower, object known and means of knowing. Ordinary awareness is the condition in which me, as the knower is so entranced by the object held within my grasp, via the particular means of knowing, (many types, most common: direct, inferred, revealed) that the sense of self is overshadowed. The stronger the attraction or revulsion, the more hidden that knowledge or sense of self is. This is not a bad thing as it permits absorption so necessary to perform, enjoy and handle any and all circumstances that arise. We are absorbed in a good book or movie or concert; we even say, ‘we lose ourselves’.
The problem is, we take this partial knowing as our full self. We risk the sad limitation of believing the ‘play is the only thing’, the whole thing. We never come to know who we truly are at heart, and thus continue to act on the stage of life with a partial script. We possess incomplete knowledge, knowledge that is missing key information and thus our experience too is partial. Therefore whatever we think, manifest or act upon will also be limited and riddled with ignorance. Ignorance that is two fold: we take the limited self to be the whole story, the whole truth; and are ignorant of the fact that there is anything else to know. In other words, we identify our self primarily as the mind-body, limitations and all and we shouldn’t; we do not recognize and identify as the Great Consciousness, unbounded and free and we should.
Everyday we awake and from someplace deep within, awareness rides out in huge streams of light; alighting on objects, filling the senses. This is the powerful outward current, captivating and natural, named vama. We do not need to do anything, awareness simply rides out and captures attention.
In deep meditation, we locate its opposite; we locate the inward current, named jyestha that is also natural and very powerful, but must first be found and the path cultivated. Then, as individual consciousness naturally turns inward and traverses those ever subtle bands of awareness, it comes to rest in the turya, 4th, state. Like a stirred glass of water, consciousness comes to rest from a state of flurry and activity, with less available power on the surface, in the way that the surface is always fluctuating and shallow, to a place of settledness that is deep and in the way of depth, powerful and quiet. This state, in which a sublime condition arises, is a state that is neither awake, as in outward engagement, nor dreaming, as in semi consciousness; nor is it deep sleep in which unconsciousness prevails. This state is new and surprising; sweet and tender and vibrating with silence.
So we have the knower (pramātṛ), the process of knowing (pramāṇa), and the knowable object (prameya). This triadic structure is symbolized as the fire (the knower), the sun (the process of knowing), and the moon (that which is known). Here the triadic structure, so strong on the outward relative plane, looses its power and simply falls away, collapses. In this moment, the knower has nothing holding individual consciousness mesmerized, and it is freed. Freed to stand facing itself. Individual consciousness stands in relationship to its source absolute Consciousness writ large, by means of the heart seed mantra, itself pure vibratory consciousness (given and made potent via initiatory diksha) and we say say, consciousness faces consciousness by means of consciousness alone.
In this sublime moment we are stripped bare and wholeness, perfection is revealed, divinity known; we are full, satiated. Upon emergence awareness brings something of this sweetness back to the surface and that ordinary triadic stricture is elevated, expanded. In truth we come to know that there is nothing ordinary about awareness or life at all. This is not something we can talk ourselves into or purchase; we cannot earn it though there is indeed something for us to do.
How fully do you see, know? What do you experience? Expand, deepen and cultivate awareness, for this determines the depth of awareness of absolutely everything. Forge the pathway, develop the habit of going deep in meditation, then anywhere attention is placed naturally, spontaneously go deep and pierce to the core. Yes we must continue to feed the mind, the intellect; we must hone, refine and heighten senses, all of them. We must increase our skill.
Importantly, we have the very basic understanding of the condition of the vessel itself, the state of consciousness of the knower, individual awareness, that will always determine and color whatever we perceive, have access to, experience and act upon. More, the heightened state of the knower, refines and expands the object itself as well as the means and process of doing so.
We want to immerse ourselves in the light, in the fire of consciousness. Not to merely understand it at some intellectual level, but to experience it directly and permit, cooperate, in opening our senses, our mind, our physicality to the entire expanse of possibility. We want to burn impurities, refine what is beautiful, reduce ALL to its fundamental constituent, freeing the mind rendering it clear and ready for astonishing insight. We do not wish to be cut off from that which is source and support. We want direct immediate access to the trajectory of growth that brings meaningfulness to life in the face of confusion, fragmentation and chaos.
Go deep. They go low, we go high. They stay shallow, we go deep. In that depth we are able to make leaps and bounds of unimaginable lengths.