Saturday, August 12, 2017

Meher Baba's Divine Theme (Part 3.)



                                                                              VI.
   
It seems that the human mind takes great interest in the beginnings, middles, and ends of things—perhaps it is because in the Creation that the ordinary human mind dreams and finds itself immersed in—conscious of—all and everything is finite and that which is finite has and end and therefore must have had a beginning and a middle as well. But the Infinite has no beginning and therefore has no end and therefore has no middle. The Infinite exists in the Eternal moment free of past, present, and future; free of beginnings, middles, and ends.


Still, to “appease the intellectual convulsions of the mind,” Meher Baba addresses the question of the beginning of Creation and the process of awakening and reveals that there somehow occurred in the Original Deep Sleep State of God a something that no word or words can adequately describe, but that Meher Baba calls the Lahar. Lahar, as best it can, conveys the sense of whim and whim suggests something beyond cause or effect.  Meher Baba states that the Lahar is the first action and this first action is also the first cause. The first cause results in a first effect and thereby establishes the law of cause and effect in all of Creation’s gross, subtle, and mental spheres.


Experience, guided by cause and effect, impacts consciousness, but consciousness obtained through action is necessarily always tinged by the unique qualities of that action. This tinge, retained as an impression on consciousness, is called a sanskara. Once this impression is formed, and consciousness becomes aware of it, then a need is created to experience that impression, and to experience this new impression an appropriate new action and medium is essential. Therefore, a new medium—a new form—must be created and associated with to experience this new sanskara. Meher Baba tells us that this new form is, in fact, nothing other than the consolidated mold of the impressions gathered in the previous life or form. Ironically, therefore, it can be said that we are always living—experiencing—one lifetime behind the one we are currently living.


The cycle can be summarized in this way:

1.      Action creates consciousness and sanskaras are the by-product of the process.
2.      Consciousness of the sanskaras creates the need to experience the sanskaras.
3.      To experience the sanskara, a new action and a new form are necessary.
4.      This action then leads to a change in consciousness and more sanskaras that need to be experienced.


This cycle characterizes the process of evolution. As stated previously, evolution is complete and its purpose fulfilled upon achievement of the human form. During the process of reincarnation that follows, the cycle continues, but with one important difference; since consciousness is already fully developed, no more consciousness remains to be achieved and consequently the sum total of sanskaras is not further increased.


The purpose of reincarnation is to loosen the hold of the already accumulated sanskaras on consciousness, and this is achieved through the spending (exchanging) of one sanskara for another. A further result is that, over time, the gross sanskaras also get thinned out sufficiently to enable involution, the next step in the process, to proceed.


During the process of involution, the consciousness of the soul enters the subtle and mental spheres and experiences the higher planes of consciousness.

                  
                                                                           
                                                                               VII.
                                                                 

(In addition to God Speaks and Discourses, numerous points were dictated by Meher Baba to Bhau Kalchuri that provides a most descriptive view of the planes of consciousness. These points were published under the title; The Nothing and The Everything.)
   
     
The planes of consciousness are not in the gross, physical universe and the pilgrim, experiencing involution on the planes, is not conscious of the gross, physical universe or his gross physical body. Though not conscious of his body, the body is retained and other gross conscious individuals can see and interact with the pilgrim through it. For his part, the pilgrim on the planes is generally aware of gross conscious individuals, but does not see their gross, physical bodies, instead, he sees and interacts with them as expressions of pure energy or, in the case of the mentally conscious pilgrim, as expressions of pure mind.

Between the gross sphere and the first plane of the subtle world is a connective membrane that links the gross sphere to the subtle sphere. This connective membrane is the sub-subtle sphere, or what is generally called, the astral world. Once the pilgrim is fully established on the first subtle plane this link is dissolved forever.

Meher Baba tells us that every plane has a heaven. These heavens are not the heaven and hell referred to by many Christians and Muslims. Meher Baba offers this explanation: Planes are connected to each other. One journeys from plane to plane as one journeys from place to place via a railroad network. The station from which one journeys is like a railroad station in the center of a city. The station is the plane. The city, with all its unique experiences, is like the heaven. One must come to the station, i.e. leave the heaven, before they can journey to the next plane.

The pilgrim on the first plane sees gross forms as shadows. These shadows are energy because everything, including himself, is experienced as energy. The pilgrim on the first plane is bursting with inspiration inspired by unimaginable sights and visions, colors and sounds, light that dazzles and enchants him, and the celestial music of angels inhabiting the higher planes of the subtle world. The inspiration he feels affects other gross conscious people near him. Nothing in the gross sphere can match the unimaginable beauty and experiences of the first subtle plane.

 It could take thousands of years for the pilgrim to progress to the next plane, but with the help of a perfect master the journey can be sped up. In the second plane, the pilgrim becomes seized by subtle powers and gradually gains control of these powers by becoming their possessor. With these powers, the pilgrim can perform at will, minor miracles like transforming a withered tree into a green one, or vice versa. He can stop moving cars or trains, prevent airplanes from taking off, or fill dry wells with water.

The section of the second plane called the heaven of the second plane has two sections and these sections are the heaven and hell states that are experienced by the gross conscious soul after death.  Both the heaven and hell states are within the heaven of the second plane.

It must constantly be kept in mind, when thinking about these descriptions of the planes, that all the planes of the subtle and the mental spheres are internal states; they have no physical reality and cannot be located in gross space. Individuals in the state of reincarnation, after death, do not experience the second plane but only the subjective states of heaven and hell, in accordance with their unique sanskaric patterns. Heaven and hell are mechanisms that help individuals to balance out their sanskaras in preparation for their next incarnation.

Once the individual achieves the state of involution, the need to experience the heaven and hell states between incarnations becomes unnecessary.  Pilgrims in the stage of involution, who have consciousness of the second plane, can imbibe the blissful state of heaven and avoid the pain of hell by the exercise of their will.

The third plane of the subtle world is a realm of even greater powers. This plane is where major miracles such as giving sight to the blind, speech to the mute, and hearing to the deaf are performed. Dead animals can be brought back to life and the minds of all gross conscious individuals, anywhere in the world, can be read at will.

In the heaven of the third plane, the pilgrim can see and interact with angels, for this heaven is the realm of the gods. It includes all the Hindu gods and deities who are, in fact, the Greek and Roman gods as well. As mentioned previously, archangels and angels are souls who, in their journey from the deep sleep state, become conscious while descending through the planes.


The fourth plane pilgrim stands between the subtle and the mental world with, so to speak, a foot in both. The subtle world was all about power and the mental world is all about mind. Though very advanced in power, the pilgrim of the fourth plane has not yet mastered his mind. The combination is very dangerous because if a fourth plane pilgrim so much as has a thought, then that thought is instantly actualized. Instigated by the thought itself, entire worlds can be created or destroyed and the minds of men and angels can be influenced. Obviously, the pilgrim needs help at this stage and the Nazar (watchful gaze) of perfect masters and masters of the fifth plane is on the fourth plane pilgrim. Meher Baba tells us that Kuber is the name given to a fourth plane pilgrim.

(To be continued)

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