Saturday, December 12, 2015

Open Mind

The physical brain is the repository of what’s learned about living in material existence. We are each an exquisitely complex integration of mechanisms to perceive and understand the world and because we walk around separately having different experiences there is the illusion that awareness is separate. But science has been unsuccessful at locating a place for consciousness, so the idea of awareness that flows through us bringing consciousness to our place in the world, what Sri Aurobindo calls the superconsciousness is not a far-fetched notion.

Our own experience of this is in how similar, exactly the same really, the perceiving mind in our head seems to be throughout life. I remember that phase in childhood when the idea of separateness was upon me and didn’t make sense, and I feel that same questioning mind using my personal mental equipment now. It’s what provides the outlook. Years of meditation have loosened my attachment to the personal in a shift to viewing it as a particular instrument for learning about creation.

It was interesting to read that brain scans show less over all activity and ego consciousness during time on hallucinogens. Yet the experiences reported are more elaborate and intense. This would support Huxley’s idea that the brain is a filter, screening out all that is not useful to our purposes. When the filter is disconnected the awareness ranges beyond the personal mind including sights and experiences not accounted for by brain activity. There are many reports from doctors and scientists of people having consciousness without brain activity and the testimony all mystical religions shows how stilling the mind opens it. Meditation is a way to let the brain settle. Day to day demands emphasize the personal, so it’s easy to get caught in the illusion that is all there is. As personal agendas fade, the mind expands into larger perspective. The extended mind opens the channel for inspiration, influenced by the needs of the field of mind. In this way a larger field of mind guides us to what we need and the individual contributions that grow from separate life history are what it needs. The noosphere described by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his "Activation of Energy" is the self-regulating organism of mind that encloses the planet like an atmosphere.
In a beautiful way of saying this from an essay by Bhikka Bodhi, “When the soul becomes embodied, it forgets its original nature and becomes enmeshed in material creation. This creates the self.”

We are particle and wave. When we’re identified with an isolated self, we’re particle. When identified with a higher frequency, consciousness remembers its original nature. Just like crest and trough are all part of the wave, we shouldn’t let our distinctions between figure and ground give the impression they’re separate and that only one side is important. Because we are material does not mean that’s all we are. As the wave, we are continuous with the energy spectrum.

Opening the mind to the possibility that consciousness is not confined in the body allows more access to the creative stream fueling the growth of the future. To be the wave is to resonate with the larger field of consciousness and feel the connection to all of creation.

No comments: