Description: The beautiful, radiant, soul body becomes shrouded with perceptions and emotions of the conscious mind making the outer more evident than the inner. Harness negative emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy and depression. Admit you are experiencing them, then strive to create alternate ways of dealing with emotions. It requires humility and self-reflection. Refrain from using ‘I’ and ‘my’, possessiveness regarding awareness. Be a witness. The conscious mind is a state of mind; there is only one mind; individual awareness flows through it’s various phases. Being caught in the conscious mind, the outer life, perpetuated by emotional habit patterns and reactions, the desire nature is never satisfied. Understand the conscious mind. Gain mastery of awareness, positively reprogram the conscious and subconscious through attention, concentration, mindfulness and thereby, extract yourself from the conscious mind. “Master Course Trilogy” Chapter 25, “The Conscious Mind.”
Text of talk:
Good morning everyone. We are continuing our “Merging with Siva” lessons and we’re in Chapter 25, “The Conscious Mind”, Lesson 173:
“Shrouding the Soul Body
“If we were alone in a desert, there would not be much of the conscious mind present. Our emotions would subside. Our perceptions would be keen and uncluttered. Our senses would awaken. Our reality would be mostly an inner reality. We would have to call upon our inner resources to subsist. But as soon as a city grew up around us with hundreds of people in it, we would experience the development of a vast conscious mind, for everyone would contribute just a little bit to it. Problems, projects, confusions and involvements of every kind would assert themselves, absorbing our awareness.
“Most of the inner resources we relied upon formerly would be forgotten as we ceased to depend upon our own inner strength and innate intelligence. We would begin depending upon a rule book. We would rely on what someone else thought, on what was taught in the universities, stored in the libraries, legislated by politicians and promulgated by the news media. We would follow opinion religiously and develop an intellect. And one by one, all of these layers of the conscious mind would cover the soul, making the outer more evident than the inner.
“The beautiful, radiant body of the soul would be covered in the very same way that we would take a gorgeous lamp glowing with light and put pieces of fabric over it. First we would put a yellow piece of fabric over it, an intellectual coating. Then we might argue about some intellectual concept. Others would say, ‘I don’t believe you.’ And you say, ‘I know I’m right.’ Then we would put a pink piece of fabric over the lamp. Pink is the color of emotion and self-aggrandizement. Perhaps we would continue trying to help our friend, and he would say, ‘I don’t want any help. Get out of here!’ We might become angry with him and put a red piece of fabric over the lamp. And when we are depressed amid all these mixed emotions, we cover the light with a black piece of fabric. When jealous of our fellow man, we drape a dark green piece of fabric over it. Where is the light of the body of the soul, that crystal-clear light? It is there, temporarily covered.
“The body of the soul actually looks like a plastic body filled with light. You have seen mannequins with arms, legs, torso and head made completely out of transparent, neon-like plastic. If you were to put a light in such a mannequin, it would glow. This is what your soul body, your psyche, looks like. The conscious mind has truly become a reality for those who have layer upon layer covering this body of the soul. They are living with all of those emotions vibrating in them. Greed, hate, resentment, jealousy and anger are all totally alive on the inside. Yet, plastered on the outside of it all are beautiful, superficial emotions.”
So my comment:
In the last talk, I commented on two of Gurudeva’s keys for remaining detached from the conscious mind. The first was taking time each day to regulate the breath. The second was instead of saying ‘I am hungry’, say ‘My body is hungry’, instead of ‘I am a bit sad’ say ‘My emotions are a bit sad. And Yogaswami added to that ‘be a witness.’
In this lesson, Gurudeva is focusing on the negative emotions of fear, anger, jealousy and depression. The first step in harnessing them is to admit you are experiencing them. Sounds natural, right? But some people will deny it. We tell them, ‘Oh, you’re angry’ and they’ll say ‘No, I’m not.’ So we have to get beyond that and you know, to admit that we’re experiencing them. Second is to detach enough to instead of saying ‘I am angry.’ to say ‘My emotions are angry’. A third step in harnessing them is to study out the patterns of experience that lead you to becoming angry and strive to create alternate ways of dealing with that situation the next time you encounter it to avoid the result of anger.
So that’s an interesting exercise. If we end up in an emotion that we don’t want to end up in, figure out what happened. First this, then that, then this, then that, then that happened and I ended up in emotion. So we can figure out a different way to respond, we can end up in a different place. But it requires humility and self reflection.
FYI. There is one instance in which we don’t want to use the possessive adjective “my” and that is for awareness. The phrase I use instead of “my awareness” is “I as awareness”. Awareness is the witness faculty of the soul and as such is not possessed by anything. It is the possessor. So you don’t want to say “my awareness”; that means you are something besides the awareness, right? You’re what has the awareness but you are the awareness. So you have to say: “I as awareness”.
“Conscious and Subconscious
“Remember, the sum total of the conscious mind only knows what has preceded it, what has gone before it—the past, what it can remember. It will only accept that which seems to be reasonable. So when the process of going inward persists, the sheaths have to be removed, one after another. The senses have to be quieted, the subconscious mind re-educated. This is how the conscious and the subconscious mind work hand in hand.
“The subconscious mind is like a great computer. It responds to the programming that has been set in motion through all the previous lives. Our reaction and habit patterns of this life form our tendencies of the next life, and the tendencies of our last life make our reactions and habit patterns of this life. Life after life we have been programming the subconscious mind. It has been mainly programmed by awareness caught in the instinctive emotions of the senses of the conscious mind itself.
“The conscious mind can become just as vast and wonderful, or as terrible, as we want to make it. It is not to be feared. It is not to be ignored, either. It is to be understood. The conscious mind is a state of mind just like all the others, for there is only one mind. Our individual awareness flows through the various phases of that one mind.
“The conscious mind is primarily an odic force structure. Odic force is the emanation of actinic force through the physical body. (That’s a beautiful definition. Where does odic force come from? It comes from actinic force going through the physical body). Hidden tendencies, repressions, suppressions and reactionary habit patterns accumulate in the subconscious mind and give enough ballast of odic force for awareness to be really attached to everything of which it is aware. We are then in the conscious mind most of the time, and not inwardly oriented.”
This is a nice word I like: “When people are caught.” Gurudeva uses that word a few times in the last few lessons. Being caught in a state of mind.
“When people are caught in the conscious mind and believe it to be absolute, they believe in finite terms such as: ‘When you’re dead, you’re dead. So live your life and really get as much as you can out of it, because when you’re dead, you’re dead, and that’s the end of it.’ They believe that the external world is absolutely real, that anything of an inner life is simply imagination. They live a rather shallow life, perpetuated by their emotional habit patterns and reactions. They anger quickly. They are quick to become jealous. They are suspicious, and they become emotionally attached to other people, with whom they later argue or fight. They love to be entertained. They seek entertainment, trying to get more of everything that is possible to get. Their desire nature is never satisfied in their conscious-mind experience. Awareness has been enmeshed in these conscious-mind desire cycles for such a long period of time that to release it and dive deep within, we must first gain mastery of awareness through attention and concentration. After awareness is wise to the conscious mind and the subconscious has been positively reprogrammed, attention and concentration bring us into subsuperconscious states. We begin to breathe regularly and diaphragmatically. We become aware of only one thing at a time in the physical world, allowing one thing to attract our attention, rather than continuing to ramify. This practice begins to weave awareness into subsuperconscious, perceptive states.”
Gurudeva has given us one more key for remaining detached from the conscious mind. And that’s we must gain mastery of awareness through “attention and concentration.” Then he gave the example, becoming aware of only one thing at a time.
A modern term for becoming aware of only one thing at a time is mindfulness. I asked Chat-GPT to define it. Here’s the response: ‘Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and without judgment.” Isn’t that a good phrase? “…with curiosity and without judgement.” “It involves being fully engaged in the present experience, rather than getting lost in thoughts or worries about the past or future. (Sounds like Gurudeva.) Mindfulness is often cultivated through meditation, but it can also be incorporated into everyday activities, such as eating or walking. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a greater sense of clarity, focus, and calm. Mindfulness has been shown to have numerous benefits, including reducing stress, improving emotional regulation, and enhancing overall well-being.”
So my comment on Chat is:
Chat’s answer includes the type of examples I generally give which is when you are eating, think about what you are eating. When you are walking, enjoy your surroundings. Don’t let the mind drift into the past or future and in that way we’re strengthening our ability to concentrate which is an important ability to have to extract ourselves from the conscious mind in which many people are caught as Gurudeva says.
Have a wonderful day.
[End of transcript.]