Ascent of the Awareness Beyond the Mind and the Descent of the Spiritual Consciousness

Some people describe their process of knowing and responding as a “gut instinct”.  Others focus on the promptings of their heart.  Others feel the seat of their awareness in the brain.  It is thus not hard to understand that as a next level of conscious awareness begins to manifest that it would have its locus in a particular area, and in the case of a new level manifesting above the mental level, that this would experienced as located above the head.  Through a constant repetition of the ascent to this new standpoint, the consciousness can effectively be re-centered and take on the characteristic view and action of this level.

Yogis who enter into the trance of Samadhi experience a level of awareness that cannot be transcribed into the terms of the mental awareness, and thus, they continually have to utilize the trance state to achieve the experience and when they return, they feel an influence or effect but cannot precisely describe the experience.  At some point however, the links are made, the mind is sufficiently prepared and the experience can be entered into consciously and brought to bear upon the mind-life-body complex.

Yogic practitioners report the experience of an ascent to a higher level of awareness, “above the mind” and also report the descent of a force from above that enters into and illuminates the mind, provides a new force to the vital and begins to impact the physical being as it diffuses into the body.  The descent of the force can be like a constant drizzle of rain, or it can be experienced like a jolt of lightning or an electrical force.  The ascent can be a calm shifting upwards of the standpoint from what we may call the “human” standpoint to the “divine” standpoint.  It can be accompanied with a feeling of calm wideness of vision and understanding, an inclusive sense of Oneness that shows the inter-connections of all existence, as a sense of deep peace, but also as a feeling of bliss or ecstatic union with the divine.

Sri Aurobindo observes in The Life Divine:  “In time the ascent comes to be made at will and the consciousness brings back and retains some effect or some gain of its temporary sojourn in these higher countries of the Spirit.  These ascents take place for many in trance, but are perfectly possible in a concentration of the waking consciousness or, where that consciousness has become sufficiently psychic, at any unconcentrated moment by an upward attraction or affinity.  But these two types of contact with the supeconscient, though they can be powerfully illuminating, ecstatic or liberating, are by themselves insufficiently effective: for the full spiritual transformation more is needed, a permanent ascension from the lower into the higher consciousness and an effectual permanent descent of the higher into the lower nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Six, The Triple Transformation, pg. 74

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