The truth of the matter is that most of us do not even know that we do have an inner goal in life, which is to develop our consciousness. We are enamoured by the multifarious attractions of our outer world, and our total focus is locked in achieving our worldly goals to generate wealth and enjoy life, which is no doubt important. However, as a consequence of this preoccupation with the external world, consciousness becomes identified with the external world, and we live with a worldly-consciousness. We have actually forgotten that “we are consciousness, and not this body, or this mind.” This is our state of affairs today! From now on, wherever I use the first-person words like “I” and “we”, we need to understand that these terms simply mean “consciousness” or “awareness.” We have already seen in the previous sessions that we are, indeed, “consciousness” and not our body or our mind. Yet, in the general use of language, we still have to use the first-person terms such as “I” and “we”.
With our over-indulgence in the affairs of our outer world, we have had a tragic outcome that no one is largely even aware of. We have, unknowingly, rejected and neglected our inner goals of life. This is a problem caused by our excessive involvement with the outer world. That is, it is the result of repeating the same worldly activities over and over again. This is the same as memorizing a multiplication table, by repeating it multiple times. Our consciousness is like a torchlight. In the dark, the light will beam out only in the direction we hold the torch. With our free willpower, we turn the torch to illuminate the areas we wish to. That is, our “attention” and “intention” is the steering, or handle, for our consciousness.
Much like Tantra, “Huna” is a psycho-spiritual system that has existed in the Hawaiian Islands since time immemorial and is still very active even today. An aphorism used very accurately by the Huna teachers is very popular in the western world. It goes like this “Wherever our attention goes, energy flows.” There is an inextricable link between consciousness and energy. We will discuss this relationship a little later.
The outside world is something that we can see in front of us. The inner world is something that cannot be seen at all. Out of sight is, no doubt, out of mind! Therefore, we do not think about the inner world, and we do not try to know about it. However, we can recognize that there is such an inner phenomenon for us. We know that we have a “mind”. But none of us has ever seen our “minds”. Likewise, we have several unseeable existences within us and around us. Science calls them, ” the fields” – like electromagnetic fields. The mind is a field that is alive, naturally intelligent, and a personality of its own. The only trouble with the mind is that it cannot be known with our five sense organs.
We have seen in our last sessions that all ‘things’ and phenomena here are nothing but the manifestations of consciousness functioning at varying degrees of intensity. We are moving into more profound and deeper topics now. During the embryonic stages of cell division, for example, how does a primary undifferentiated cell know what is its intended function and morphology in the eventual body that is under creation at that very minute? Some cells must become hair, some must become teeth and nails, and some must become liver and heart. Dr Rupert Sheldrake describes it in his book, “Morphic Resonance” ( https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance ), that the cell gets instructions through messages from a field called the “morphogenic field”. Similarly, Dr Bruce Lipton, in his book The Biology of Belief ( https://www.brucelipton.com/books/biology-of-belief ), describes the external, intelligent fields that influence cell biology. Those who want to know more about intelligent ‘fields’ in and around us, can read these books. All that I have to say here, for now, is that there are so many phenomena in us and around us that we cannot see, but are there in existence and hugely important for us. Sadly enough, this “inner world” where “consciousness” is seated is what we have so far neglected.
Now, let us see what the connection is between the development of consciousness and religion. The purpose and goal of all religions is the development of our ‘consciousness’. It’s just that religions don’t tell us that out straight. Even if religions say this, most of us will not understand it, because we will understand it only when our consciousness has developed enough to understand it. Preparing the majority of people up to that readiness potential is the job of religions; It was the great personality who founded that religion who, in accordance with the general level of consciousness of the people who lived in his time, selected any particular path and method suitable for the development of their level of consciousness at that time. Essentially, if we go into the depths of any religion and examine it, we will surely understand that all religions are aimed at the development of consciousness itself.
It is, therefore, good to be born into any religion. But by achieving the development of consciousness, which is our inner goal in life, we must reach a state where religion is no longer needed. That is why it is said that spirituality begins where religion ends and eternal truth begins where spirituality ends. When we study in a school, we will successfully graduate from school and leave that school. Isn’t it? Do we continue sitting in the same school because we like the teachers and the environment in the school? We don’t. So it is! However, today, unfortunately, religion is like a kind of club membership. Either we adopt and practice the same method given to us by birth – whether it is suitable for our individual level or not – we will live as a member of that club and die as a member of that club; Or else we will be out of the club, without a membership. As more and more people develop and expand their consciousness in course of time, this state of affairs will, no doubt, change.
The ancient Tantra masters had written in their treatises that at least 64 methods have existed since prehistoric times for the expansion of consciousness. That is why Tantra is not considered as a religion. It is a collective way of living – a way of life. You may find some similarities between these methods, which is because of their common goals. In fact, the name “Hinduism” is a misnomer. It is the Tantra-based “Sanatana Dharma” that was wrongly named by the westerners as “Hinduism”, and everyone followed it thereafter. Likewise, the reason why “Hinduism” is not considered as a religion but as a way of life is that people followed different ways for the same purpose of evolution of consciousness. All these different ways are intimately intertwined with the very fabric of life and living throughout. Once the evolution of consciousness has been attained, and one has mastered the art of holding on to that evolved state so as not to fall back into earlier lower consciousness, then Tantric practices are no longer required.
Before we move on to the evolution of consciousness and its relationship with the concept of God, or fundamental questions such as what God is, who God is, and what is the difference between the two, a few more concepts in Tantra need to be understood. Please listen carefully and understand these concepts, as we are getting a little deeper into the subject now.
It is relatively easy to understand subjects that we can see, hear, touch, taste and know with our five senses, namely our eyes, tongue, nose, ears and skin. But when it comes to subjects beyond the capability of these five senses, we must develop some special ingenuity in understanding the unseen. It is like learning to swim. If we keep trying, we will learn how to swim without realising ourselves. We can’t study swimming by looking at a book. Firstly, we need to be really interested in such esoteric subjects. Secondly, there must be a strong, unquenchable desire to understand it. Thirdly, many of the esoteric knowledge we gather may not necessarily make any sense to our sceptical mind; hence our mind may not immediately accept it. It is only when our consciousness gradually develops that our doubts vanish on their own. It is much similar to light displacing darkness.
Therefore, when it comes to questionable knowledge, that “drop” of knowledge should be collected and retained just as bees gather honey, and not just reject it outright or blindly accept it. Gradually, that doubt will clear all by itself. It may take time, but that retained drop of knowledge will one day help us to complete our understanding. If we dismiss a new concept as “stupid” and reject it, we lose that drop of knowledge. If we thus lose it, when we need that piece of knowledge at a later time to fully understand any subject, it would not be there for us any longer. So we need to be open-minded to move forward with esoteric learnings. This is a very important point that we should remember.
In addition, there is a very important principle that we can adopt for understanding the esoteric subjects. That principle is called the “Principle of correspondence”. Simply put, that principle is the efficient way of using analogies and similes from a known topic to understand an unknown topic. If we use what we already know as a lever, we can comprehend what we do not yet know. The “Principle of correspondence” is one of the seven most valuable “golden keys” given to the disciples by the ancient sages. If we use this golden key skillfully, we can open many unopened doors of knowledge. All examples themselves work in line with the “Principle of correspondence”.
Let me give you a small example to demonstrate the “Principle of correspondence”. By understanding the atomic structure, that is, how the electrons protons and neutrons are arranged within an atom, one can easily understand how the solar system is arranged. Both are things at different levels. Both are in two different dimensions; they are of things of two different realms. Knowledge of one will help to understand the other. This is due to the fact that there is always a similarity or correspondence between the laws and phenomena that exist in different planes of existence. The application of such techniques will greatly help to expand our consciousness.
Ancient sages used to use “examples” very skillfully. They used to use a technique which they called “chandra sikha nyaay” For example, when attempting to show children the pale crescent of the moon in the sky in broad daylight, the method of using “Chandra Shikha Nyaay” to show the moon is to say, “Look, can you see the crow sitting on the eastern branch of the mango tree? Look at the tip of its beak; there is the moon.” This is how sages used to employ “Chandra Sikha Nyaay” to explain the unseen moon from the seen branch of the mango tree. Many examples, however, do not have to be one hundred per cent corresponding to the situation. We need to employ our common sense to grasp the essence of the examples used and we should not ask questions like, “How does the moon sit on the crow’s beak?” Listening to examples means using our common sense to grasp its essence. I will be using examples as often as possible, in order to illustrate concepts here; they are to be, however, taken as “Chandra Shikha Nyaay”. “Chandra” means moon; “sikha” means branch and “Nyaay” means reasoning.
We need to develop three important concepts for beginning to learn Tantra. The first one to know what consciousness is – that we have already understood. Now, secondly, we need to understand what “Sakthi” is in Tantra. Then, thirdly, there are two types of relations between this “Shakthi” and “consciousness” in Tantra; One is the Advaitic Relationship and the other is Dvaitic relationship – that is, based on “Non-duality” and the other is based on “duality” That we will see in the next session.