The sensory perceptions coming through the five senses have a great effect on the mind, and how we view the world.
These sensory perceptions occupy the attention most of the time. However, there are times when we disregard them and the outer world, and live in an inner world of thoghts, daydreaming or imagination.
In this article, I am not referring to the inner world of the mind, but to something beyond it. I am referring to a state of consciousness without thoughts; a state of consciousness of being aware of your real being.
This consciousness exists twenty-four hours a day without any interruption. Everything takes place, happens and arises within this consciousness. To understand and experience it, you do not have to create it, travel anywhere, or arrive somewhere. There is no such thing as reaching or developing this consciousness.
This consciousness is not something outside you, or something that you have to strive to reach. All you have to do to be aware of it, is to silence your mind and its constant chatter.
Some might manage to get a glimpse of this consciousness; others might get more than a glimpse. It should be understood that it is not a state or a level to be reached, nor something supernatural. The state I am talking about is your birthright. You are it. Without it, you do not exist.
The mind and its thoughts hide the inner world of consciousness. The outside world occupies the attention and does not let you dive in and experience your real and pure consciousness. It is only when the mind becomes quiet and silent that you become aware of this consciousness, this inner world.
We are very busy with the mind and its thoughts, giving them our full attention. We are completely immersed in thoughts and sensations that we forget our real consciousness. It is like someone who forgot that he is wearing colored eyeglasses, and believes that the world is as seen through these eyeglasses.
The inner consciousness is on a higher level than the mind, and therefore, the analyzing, thinking mind cannot participate in it, and cannot know anything about it. It can only guess about it. It is a great instrument, but it has its own limitations.
As said earlier, only when the mind becomes quiet and silent that you become aware of this consciousness. Only when the mind becomes quiet we get a glimpse of this consciousness.
What can help you get this inner awareness? Concentration exercises and meditation.
By imposing silence on the mind, the clouds of mind disperse and do not hide the bright sun of your inner world.
Thoughts, and the tendency to follow the five senses outwards, towards sense objects, are the obstacles to seeing the bright inner light.
- It is only when the fog disappears that we can see the landscape.
- It is only when there are no waves in the lake that we can see the bottom.
- Making the mind quiet is the way to see the bottom, the base, which is pure Consciousness, our inner world.
Sometimes, we get a glimpse of the inner world, even if our mind is not trained. Everything that stops the thoughts for a while, can cause this to happen. Looking at a beautiful painting, watching beautiful scenery, being out in nature, or experiencing some deep feeling makes the mind quiet for some time.
At these times, the mind relaxes, and for a little while, thoughts and the five senses cease to demand our complete attention. Left without our demanding thoughts and senses, we experience, even if it is for a short while, a different, free kind of consciousness. You most certainly have experienced such moments.
The inner consciousness is at the background of everything and is present in everything. It is formless, and we cannot hold it, measure it, or confine it. We cannot deny its existence, because it is our very own life.
Sometimes, it seems as if there are different levels or degrees of this inner consciousness. It is the degree of quietness and silence of the mind that determines how deeply we experience it. Some people are more aware of it, and others less aware.
The stronger the power of concentration and the ability to silence the thoughts, the more a person becomes conscious of this state. It might seem that it comes and goes, but it is the mind that arises and subsides, covers and uncovers this inner state.
The coming and going are of the mind, not of the consciousness. In time, this state can be experienced not only occasionally, during meditation or in a retreat, but always, everywhere, and under all circumstances.
The silence of the mind that one experiences, is a not the silence of lifelessness. In this silence, there are power, life and light. In it, everything looks great and fine.
The inner silence is not a state of vacuum. When it is experienced, inner happiness, joy, and a sense of power arise. One also experiences a fuller, greater consciousness and awareness. When the sheets and covers of the mind are removed, we feel that we are in contact with everything in the universe, and that all consciousness is one.
Spiritual awakening is one of the attributes of becoming aware of the consciousness of the inner world and managing to experience it. In this state, thoughts, worries and fears stop disturbing us. They may continue to appear, but they will be powerless to influence us. We acquire the power and ability to deal with them quietly, calmly, and efficiently.
One of the practical results of becoming aware of your inner consciousness, the inner world beyond thoughts, is the ability to stay calm and undisturbed under difficult and trying circumstances and situations. Just think how it would feel not to be disturbed by news, difficulties or hardships, and to enjoy constant inner joy, happiness and peace of mind.