104: Beyond the Seven States of Consciousness
Seven Sages were arguing over the ultimate shape of Reality, or Consciousness.
“Reality is a point!” said the first. “The foundation of existence is the timeless nothingness of Deep Sleep!”
“No, Reality is a line!” said the second. “Life is Consciousness moving as Thought; Life is but a Dream!”
“No, no; you’re both wrong! Reality is a plane: two lines intersecting in an X!” said the third. “Truly, Waking State is the most logical of Realities!”
“Oh, you poor blind fools!” said the fourth. “Reality is a circle! Transcendental Consciousness is not Sleep, nor Dream, nor Wakefulness — but something Beyond! It embraces the restful nothingness of Sleep, while being Awake: Self-Aware with no thought!”
“No, Reality is an ellipse!” said the fifth. “It has the Self-Awareness of the Circle, together with thought! In this way it can appreciate Itself as Cosmic Consciousness, the Silent Witness, embracing Sleep, and Dreaming, and Waking States!”
“No, Reality is a parabola!” said the sixth. “The Silent Witness of the Self has broken open into God-Consciousness, appreciating the infinite splendors of the Other — of the Supreme Lady-Lord of all of Creation!”
“No, no,” said the seventh; “it’s the hyperbola of Unity Consciousness! Two parabolas reflecting each other perfectly — the Self and the Lady-Lord know each other as One, and all of Creation is known as the Self!”
“Who is to say which of us is right?” said the first. “Truth is different in different stages of Consciousness. Truly, there must be as many different Realities as there are Sages!”
An eighth Sage then appeared among them, holding a double ended cone. “Here is Reality — a multidimensional THAT which each of you has been viewing through a single plane of consciousness — your ego! As soon as you realize that ALL of these planes are transient, and ALL are simultaneously available, then you can surrender to the perfection of THAT which IS in this moment — THAT which is simultaneously a point, a line, an X, a circle, an ellipse, a parabola, and a hyperbola! All seven of these states of Consciousness are but slices of THAT!”
Let’s draw a double-ended (or “double-nappes”) cone (looking like an X with an ellipse at either end between the end-points of the X), and then sketch 2-D planes intersecting the cone in the various manners outlined below.
A horizontal planar-section through the center of the cone yields a zero-dimensional point: Sleep State.
A diagonal planar-section along the edge of the cone yields a one-dimensional line: Dreaming State.
A vertical planar-section through the center of the cone yields an X, a two-dimensional plane: Waking State.
An off-center horizontal planar-section yields a circle: Transcendental-Consciousness — horizontal like Sleep, but “full,” aware, in two dimensions, like Waking State.
Moving this sectional plane slightly into a diagonal yields an ellipse: Cosmic-Consciousness — horizontal sleep-like transcendence (circle) now moving or awakening into a diagonal subjective object-awareness (something like dreamstate).
Shifting the sectional plane more, till it is completely parallel to the diagonal edge of the cone, yields a parabola: God-Consciousness, wherein the self-contained qualities of Transcendental-Consciousness and Cosmic-Consciousness are “broken” into a new sort of “otherness” infinity: like Transcendence Dreaming.
Shifting the sectional plane still more, till it is completely vertical, but offcenter, yields the hyperbola:
Unity-Consciousness — essentially twin parabolas: Like waking-state in that it is vertical, but the mirror-quality of the infinite self-other is fully evident: Like Transcendence Awake.
Finally realizing that all these “states” are essentially illusory, mere “moods” or planar lenses which show different aspects of the One Reality, is “Brahman,” THAT awakening to itself: The self-evident Cone. Now the very “plane” with which one unconsciously identified throughout the other states is seen to be “nothing” but an imaginary two-dimensional construct or slice through the three-dimensional reality which IS. All doubt disappears.
(One can then play with different slices through the Self-evident Cone to yield various unfoldments or harmonics of THAT or “Brahman.”)
The horizontal planes are sleep (point) and its Transcendental-Consciousness harmonic (circle); the diagonal planes are dream-state (line) and its Cosmic-Conscious harmonic (ellipse) or God-Conscious harmonic (parabola), and the vertical planes are waking-state (X) and its Unity-Consciousness harmonic (hyperbola).
The model also shows that while one can posit the traditional sequence of Seven states of Consciousness as given above and in the Transcendental Meditation Organization, there is no real necessity for the standard sequence; in fact there is no real reason why one might not jump at any time from any planar state directly to the cone itself, “Brahman,” as soon as one realizes the impermanent (“egoic”) nature of all states of consciousness. (Granted, though, the more varied “slices” of consciousness we take of the Brahman-cone, the easier it is for the cone to know itself.) We also see that the idea of “permanence” of any of the planar states of consciousness (“ego”) is basically claptrap. The only permanence is the cone itself; the rest are merely shifting moods or lenses of perception. And when the cone “awakes” to itself as THAT, one realizes one “is” or embraces essentially all the states of consciousness simultaneously.