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Namah Journal

Consciousness and health

The Self and Nature

Dr. Alok Pandey

The Self and Nature are like the light and its lamp.

Light is an essential common element. The quality, intensity, power and capacity of light changes as the lamp changes. Some lamps can draw and bear a greater light from the generating source, some less. The light issuing from the soul is in itself neither good nor bad. Light is light and it illumines. But as it enters the vast cosmic movement, it illumines different fields, witnesses different scenes, moves through different things. The surface consciousness, ignorant of the source of light, is the sufferer, the participant, the actor who mechanically repeats a role and script. To change the script, the light of the Self must grow towards nobler and more beautiful climes and scenes. This way, at least for the individual, things change, though the cosmic problem of the tragi-comedy remains. Thus growing and disengaging itself from one scene to another, at a point of time, the light of the Self begins to turn towards its own source, — the ray towards the parent sun. This is the awakening of the sense of the true Self in us. The light no more identified with the lamp knows itself as the unseen eternal source. Nature falls into a state of balance and quiescence.

Yet this is not all. We have to find not only the source of light but the source of its twin, Heat, — the power of tapas (fire has both heat and light). With tapas turned towards the cosmic Ignorance, ignorance is transmuted to become a perfect expression of the Self in us.

Our awareness can be identified with one of the three states of being. Identified with the field and its objects, we live in a state of separative ego. We believe the reflected light to be our own and try to turn it to our own narrow purposes. Thus, each separate formation in us clings tenaciously to its formation in Ignorance and refuses to change. This is the fundamental source of stress.

The second poise, we can assume, is to be identified not with phenomenal objects and surface consciousness (as most are), but with one of the three main soul forces. That is, we step back from phenomenal ignorance and enter into cosmic Ignorance. This is the mixed field of the subliminal parts, the inner mind, inner life, inner physical and its corresponding powers. It would mean a greater capacity but in itself no radical change. Following this line, we may arrive at the extreme possibility of identifying with one of the cosmic Gods or the corresponding Titans.

The third is, to discover and be identified with the true Self in us. Once this happens, there is the first radical change and a door opens to new possibilities. For instance, the light can withdraw its power back into itself or, the Self can grow towards a state ‘higher than mind’ or else the individual self can expand into the World-Soul or the transcendental Divine, any or even all of these, depending upon the development of consciousness.

At each new poise, a new equilibrium will need to be developed. A new station will mean a different regard of consciousness upon the cosmic play and nature, for the Self is one, but its power, vision, etc., are different, based on the rung of the ladder it stands on.

Now, if we are identified with the phenomenal surface ignorance we feel maximum stress. We die with the death of the form; we become extinct when the Self chooses to turn its light on another field (evolution). To enter into one of the forces of the Self gives some respite (most yogic methods help to find some entry into the subliminal). But again, we confront a vaster field of ignorance and the corresponding suffering. To discover the true Self gives true respite and freedom.

In passing, we may say that modern medicine acts upon the phenomenal nature (outer surface consciousness). Hathayogic āsanas; Prāṇāyāma and Reiki; Psychosomatics, bio-feedback, hypnotic suggestions; act correspondingly upon the physical, vital and mental energies of Nature behind the phenomenon.

Only the discovery of the true Self frees us from the shackles of Nature. Then the lamp becomes transparent and the Light alone shines.

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