The Enigma of Deep Sleep – 13
The Fourth Quadrant – jIvanmukti (Contd):
When once it is clearly understood that ‘What Is’ is a single Universal Awareness and all things within It go on as One solitary clock-work system, it will be obvious that no specific ‘individual’ or an ‘entity’ within that Universe would have a distinct ID or would make claim for special status with the sense of a separate ‘self.’ (The sense of a separate ‘self’ is the one responsible for the feelings of ‘me and mine’, as we already know). It would follow from this that no importance gets attached to the appearance or disappearance of whoever or whatever entity it may be that arises and dissolves within the total system. It means that the birth (appearance) or death (disappearance) of any one individual is an unimportant and inconsequential thing to the Universe. So birth or death does not, as an ‘event,’ warrant an emotional chest beating or sentimental reminiscing. It is like the ocean being unaffected in its entirety whether a particular wave raises from or subsides to merge back again into the mammoth sheet of ocean waters.
That could be a very humbling thought for us to realize that the birth or death of our bodies is nothing much to crow or cry about. The corollary fact is that all the anxiety and concern with which we tie ourselves into knots during our waking state is totally a meaningless agenda we impose on ourselves as the “doers” responsible for our safety and security! Oftener than not, this proves to be quite a difficult conclusion for our ego to swallow. But, in fact, the situation with regard to the Universe is no way different from the way our own bodies function. Within our body, millions of cells are born and dead all the time as a part of its own life-cycle. For example, nearly three hundred and fifty million red blood cells die and an equal number of new ones are born every minute in our body. Every second over five hundred outer skin cells die so that the body may be alive! No one is known to shed a tear for the cells that die or clap for those that are born.
What we tend to call as the human body has an ‘intelligence’ shared from the Universal system to function without any need for the individuating concepts of “me-mine” being operational. That means the body stays active and functioning but there is no thought of a ‘me’ as the doer and owner, all the actions being orchestrated by the totality of the System. The working of the body within the Universe goes on as an offering to the Entirety of Universe without the ‘ego’ sense. A particular body may carry an ID, a number like the bar code or a name tag, for communication purposes, for referrals, for energy inputs (in the form of food and such other requirements) – but beyond that it has no owner, a claimant, saying ‘it’s my body.’ It is the Universe as Itself manifesting in the form of that body for that moment.
Whereas the body (the sensory and action organs) is at rest in the third quadrant (i.e. deep sleep condition), it is quite active in the Fourth quadrant. While the individuating ‘mind’ is the prime mover of its activity in the upper two quadrants (i.e. the awake and dream states), there is no such prime mover in the Fourth quadrant. All activity goes on like the playing of different musical instruments in a symphony producing one melodious tune moment by moment. Each moment is a celebration. Each moment is a crescendo. Nothing is ever dull or dead.
And that should answer the question why we cannot just take a sleeping pill and enjoy the eternal bliss. Eternal bliss is not an inactive dead moment. It sizzles with activity in all its naturalness, neither enforced by external agents nor primed by motives to achieve something. All things work in unison as a celebration, the nameless Oneness modulating Itself as all, in Its infinite freedom to take any form.
On the dawn of this enlightening Knowledge, You, as Awareness, will not identify yourself with any one specific body as ‘my body.’ It will appear as though all bodies within the Universe are run and maintained by one all pervading system which is none other than You. Each body keeps moving and doing things within the Universe, working as if on an auto-mode, appropriate to the need of the situation without a conscious claimant of doership arising for the actions. And that is the way a jIvanmukta lives and works.
The totality of Oneness exists forever unceasingly for, that is Existence or Beingness Itself. The Beingness never moves or changes in spite of all the apparent activity. Individual bodies maybe moving but Consciousness shines through all the bodies without Itself budging. How this happens can be illustrated by comparing Consciousness to open infinite Space.
Suppose there is a pot. The pot itself is in Space. But space, in the shape of the pot defined by the contours of the walls of the pot, is also there inside the pot. Hence Space exists inside as well as outside the pot. Now you move the pot from position A to position B. The space within the pot appears to have also moved from A to B. But does the pot really carry its inside space along with it? No.
Wherever the pot may be, the overarching space itself has remained without movement. The walls of the pot merely carve out space in the shape of the pot as it is moved within the open Space. Thus the one Space that exists everywhere shines through as the pot space irrespective of where the pot is. Likewise, The One consciousness that is, shines through all the bodies without Itself moving anywhere, wherever the body may be (See Fig. 1).
As we have discussed in the previous parts of this Series, ‘time’ is thought and thought is mind. The absence of mind naturally implies the absence of time, a common factor that the Fourth quadrant shares with that of the third quadrant (i.e. Deep sleep). This should give us a clue to understand the statement that the idea of a ‘next morning’ is not a valid concept, because the very word ‘next’ connotes a passage in time. The implication of timelessness is that Consciousness modulates Itself to take a particular form and dissolves into Itself to arise anew and afresh unrelated to any previous appearance. It means that each appearance comes without any burden of memory. There is no history. No past event or situation is a cause for what is Now. In other words, cause-effect relationships do not exist in the Fourth quadrant. Just like Deep sleep does not happen in ‘time’, Fourth quadrant is also free from the shackles of time.
Maybe the following example could help understand the absence of a causal relationship between one appearance and the other. Suppose that the temperature in the room is shown to be 220 C by the thermometer an hour ago. And say the temperature now is 210 C. Can it be said that 220 C is the cause for the current reading 210 C? Unless we confabulate an external story of causal relationships around these two discrete readings, by themselves, the two readings do not indicate an intrinsic causal relation between them. When there is no relationship as a function of time, we have no reason to say that what has preceded in time is the cause and what has appeared later is the effect.
The appearance of darkness called night as you go to bed and the appearance of brightness called morning as you wake up are like the different appearances, unrelated to one another. They are like different snap-shots, much like the scenes watched under the strobe lights. Each is an appearance uncaused and unrelated to any other, historylessly. Therefore, if a world is seen with sunshine in one appearance and in darkness or (again) in brightness , we cannot assert that there is a time sequence.
There is not a moment when we are not ‘aware’ because we are Awareness. The truth of this statement becomes more obvious if we reframe the sentence in an interrogative form. Ask yourself if you are ever aware of yourself being ‘unaware.’ Even to be unaware, you have to be ‘aware’ of the unawareness! Secondly, you do not have to expend any energy to be aware. For example, close your eyes for a few seconds and open them. How much time or energy does it take for the eye to be aware of the sight in front? Whether you pay attention or not, all sounds keep pouring into your ears without any effort. These examples go to prove that you are yourself none other than Awareness. We don’t have to be mesmerized by mystic sounding phrases or tongue twisting terms to simply state that we are Awareness (brahman).
We shall next consider examples of “us” as Awareness without ‘thought’ veiling It. We shall also see if we can have some cues to stay knowingly as Awareness.
(To Continue … Part 14)