Body, Mind and Soul
In the book The Path of the Masters Julian Johnson tells us that the Creator has constructed us in such a way that we are able, when properly informed and trained, to place ourselves in conscious communication with the entire universe of universes. He tells us that we are in fact a replica of the entire universe but on a very small scale, and for that very reason we are able to consciously reach the universes lying outside and inside of ourselves.
This is why we speak of the human body as a microcosm, a little world. And it is a fact that we have the ability, when our faculties are awakened, to actually hold conscious communication with the most distant heavens, to explore the outermost and innermost regions of space.
As initiates of a perfect living Master, getting in touch with the ‘universe of universes’ that Julian Johnson mentions, and claiming our noble inheritance, is our primary concern.
So let us take a closer look at the relationship between the body, mind and soul, the microcosm and the macrocosm, and the divine energy that is pervading all and giving life to all. And let us consider how we can literally experience these universes and heavens while still living on this physical plane.
To quote Julian Johnson again:
Note the nucleus of each atom, surrounded by its electrons. The relative distances between those electrons, when compared with their sizes, are quite as great as those between any central sun and its planets. Thus the human body is a vast and complicated system of universes, clustered together in a single unit.
The Path of the Masters
Within each tiny atom is an incredible amount of energy that no scientist can claim to understand. This energy is the primary creative energy, the Shabd, the divine Word of God that gives energy to everything in creation, from the highest heaven to the lowest possible plane, and everything in between.
In 1905, when Albert Einstein made the intriguing case that a large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter, he felt that he had finally tapped into “God’s thoughts”. This was expressed by his equation E=mc2 which measures the quantity of energy released when the atom is split.
Back in 1899 the scientist Max Planck proposed that the atom was an “ideal oscillator”. An oscillator is something that flips back and forth or on and off repetitively.
Since then, scientists have discovered that when the atom oscillates, it is actually flickering in and out of physical existence millions of times per second almost at the speed of light. This constant flickering means that at the subatomic or quantum level, nothing of the material world is solid. All the suns, stars and galaxies in the whole cosmos are a quantum mirage, oscillating in and out of reality. This oscillating in and out of existence creates light and energy, and the whole universe is like an energy-filled blinking light. Therefore at the core of every atom, every nucleus is nothing but powerful energy-giving light.
Scientists think that they are the first brilliant people to have discovered this, but this is exactly what spiritual Masters have told us throughout the ages, though in simpler terms.
In the words of Jesus:
In it[the Sound, the Logos] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
The inner light is within everyone, but we do not see it because the mind is directed towards the world of the physical senses.
Of course, the light and sound that Masters speak of is the Shabd or spirit. This creates the vibration which produces divine sound, which in turn produces divine light, which in turn gives life and energy to atoms.
To quote the Great Master:
This is a natural science, not man-made. Saints of higher degree, like Shamas Tabriz, Maulana Rum, Hafiz and others, followed the same science. At present there is no higher science than this.
The science that he speaks of is the Science of the Soul.
Life and intelligence are dependent upon Spirit. Everything in creation, be it inert matter or living tissue, has Shabd within it. It is just the degree that varies. Nothing can exist without Shabd. Therefore living tissue has a larger concentration of Shabd within it. This ‘larger concentration’ is what we call a soul.
But why are we humans so special? Why are we called the top of creation? Because we as humans have been given an amazing gift from the Lord – we have the potential to achieve self-realization and then God-realization. And this in spite of the belief among many Christians that man was born in sin.
In A New Earth Eckhart Tolle writes:
According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of ‘original sin’. Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so the original sin is to miss the point of human existence.
What makes us miss the mark? Why are we ignorant of our divine duty? The reason for this squandering of our human life is the ego. Ego is what makes us commit the original sin; makes us constantly miss the mark, not understand the true purpose of our amazing human existence.
The seventeenth-century philosopher Descartes erroneously thought he was acknowledging the ultimate proof of existence when he famously said: “I think, therefore I am.” What he should have said was, “I think, therefore I have an ego”– because he had found, not proof of existence, but the root of the ego.
Why is thinking not proof of existence? Because we are not our minds, our egos or our bodies. These are simply tools that are given to our souls to use in this material plane. Our true existence, our true identity is the power behind the thinking.
During meditation we go beyond the mind. We leave thinking behind, and realize that the ultimate truth does not lie in our ability to think. The ultimate truth of who you are is not “I am this” or “I am that”, but “I am”.
The ultimate truth can only be realized during meditation. Just being able to think “I am” is not self-realization. Self-realization can only happen when we reach the fourth spiritual region, which is where our soul, unencumbered by the mind and body, realizes its true glory and can then proclaim “I am”.
At initiation the disciple is given certain vital information that is necessary for spiritual success. And he is instructed in the method of meditation, by means of which he will develop inner sight and hearing and begin his journey to spiritual liberation.
Following initiation the disciple commences the spiritual exercises in which he has been instructed. In ordinary waking life the mind and the soul are diffused throughout the body. But during meditation they must now be gathered and concentrated at this one point in the forehead, at the spiritual third eye.
This concentration is facilitated by simran, the repetition of certain words given by the Master. We must repeat them until they are a part of the very fibre and substance of our being. We need to do two types of simran – the one to create focus during meditation, and the other as ‘background music’ throughout the day whenever we are not engaged in mental tasks.
When the attention is fixed unwaveringly at the third eye, all the powers of both mind and soul gather at that inner centre. When concentration is complete the initiate then does bhajan, which is listening to the music of the Sound Current.
This results in the spirit current or soul being slowly withdrawn from the body. The entire spiritual being then moves towards the eye centre, and the inner worlds – the ‘universe of universes’ – are entered.
Slowly the disciple experiences flashes of light or hears various sounds. Eventually the soul has sufficient force to penetrate the so-called tenth door. At first the disciple only peeps out through this door. But by and by he goes through it and the soul, astral body, causal body and mind leave the physical body completely. The disciple then steps into a new world, which he has never seen before.
Julian Johnson describes what happens next:
At a certain point just below the astral world, something happens which changes the whole course of the disciple’s life and also his method of travelling upward from that point on. This is the meeting with his own Master in his omnipresent, higher Radiant Form. It is the Master, his own Master, appearing just as he does in physical life, except that his body is now much more fine and beautiful and full of light, brightly illuminated.
The Radiant Master there and then receives his disciple with much love, to the great joy of the disciple. From that moment on, the two are never separated throughout the journey to the still higher regions. The Master’s Radiant Form, actually, is always with the disciple from the moment of his Initiation, but the disciple cannot see it. But from here on, the disciple can see his beloved Master in the inner worlds as well as the outer world of this earth.
By means of the technique of the Masters’ science, the disciple has now learned how to leave his body and rise at will above this world. Thereafter, in the company of his Master he follows the holy path that leads him from earth upwards through kingdom after kingdom, each one more splendid than the other, until the Master brings him to the end of the Master’s Path, the Fifth Region, where the disciple becomes one with his Lord, the Supreme Ruler.
The Path of the Masters
Many initiates become discouraged when they have not achieved this level of spiritual development. But let’s persevere. Every round of simran, every minute spent in bhajan, gets us closer and closer.
The darkness that we are aware of immediately upon closing our eyes is like an untuned TV screen.
It is the very same darkness in which the Radiant Form of our Master is waiting for us. Once we have gained more concentration, the seeing faculty of the soul will develop and the darkness will be replaced with light.
So keep on meditating, keep on shooting for the stars. We will succeed. And always remember this profound statement: “A big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting.”
So let’s keep shooting!
“I am too deeply enmeshed in mistakes to make
any spiritual progress,”
a student confided sadly to Paramhansaji.
“My bad habits are so strong that I’m worn out
by my efforts to fight them.”
“Shall you be better able to fight them
tomorrow than today?” the Master asked.
“Why add tomorrow’s mistakes to yesterday’s?
You have to turn to God some time, so isn’t it better to do it now?
Just give yourself to Him and say: ‘Lord, naughty or good,
I am Your child. You must take care of me.’
If you don’t stop trying, you will improve.”
He added: “A saint is a sinner who never gave up.”
Paramhansa Yogananda, The Master Said