Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Involution and Realization - that which lies beyond Reincarnation

As a child I always sensed that there was something more to life than what I was being shown—more to it, not more of it, if you know what I mean.

Children guessed but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew.” – e.e. cummings 

It wasn’t that I didn’t ask; relatives, teachers, religious authorities…  And it wasn’t that they weren’t more than happy to tell me the truth, but all of their answers and explanations somehow fell short and over time I retreated into my dreams and fantasies.

As I grew older, the sense that there was something beyond the limited life as I experienced it did not diminish—in fact it only got stronger. I could see that the emperor was not wearing any clothes, yet nobody else could see it—or maybe no one else wanted to admit it. But I continued to seek, believing that somewhere there were those, or at least someone, who did know—who did experience a greater reality I could only sense.

It’s been said that human consciousness is like an incredible house, with many beautiful rooms on different levels, but for the most part, consciousness continues to be content to exist in the dank and dark basement of that house. I never stopped believing that there was something beyond that basement and I never ceased to long to experience it…

Eventually, I came to learn that involution—the higher planes of consciousness—the subtle and the mental worlds—God—Self—lies beyond the basement of gross human consciousness.

As a young adult, I learned about a man named Gurdjieff and I began to study his teachings. I was struck by his description of seven ‘men’—seven states— that a human being can attain. The first of these states he called man number one. Man number one identifies himself with his physical body. His reality is the physical world, and his intelligence is the intelligence of his physical body, and the state of his physical body is his truth.

The second man—man number two—is feeling man; his intelligent and his truth derive from his feelings which manifest to him through his emotions.  Gurdjieff characterized his type as the religious monk, and said that he can exist in any race and any culture and does not have to be actually living a religious life in a monastery.

Man number three’s intelligence and identification derive from his thoughts. He is a thinking man, and although he is responsive to his body and is aware of his feelings he finds his truth in his thoughts.

Higher consciousness, what Meher Baba calls subtle and mental consciousness, is the stories of the house that lie beyond the basement—it is also what is generally called the spiritual path, or the higher planes of consciousness.

Gurdjieff said that men numbers one, two, and three are born into their states, but one has to work on oneself to become man number four. Man number four is a more balanced man. His truth is found in the harmonious balance of his body, feelings, and thoughts. He is not yet on the higher planes—the spiritual path—but is very close to it and has a permanent connection to it. Meher Baba said that such an individual has Hawa.

With the full manifestation of the state of man number four comes the possibility of advancing further—entering the process of involution of consciousness and becoming man number five, man number six, and ultimately, man number seven.

Gurdjieff said that what distinguishes men numbers five, six, and seven is their capacity to do. The ability to do is a very important consideration for Gurdjieff. Men numbers one, two, and three cannot do—with them everything just happens. Only man number seven can really do.

Meher Baba goes into more detail regarding the distinctions among men of higher consciousness. Speaking about the evolution and involution of consciousness, Meher Baba says that evolution is the process of acquiring consciousness through association and identification with all forms of creation from stone, to vegetable, to animal—up to the human form. The human form is the final evolutionary form.

Reincarnation takes place in the gross consciousness of the human form inhabiting the gross world of creation. Gross creation consists of all physical life forms and all the planets, suns, galaxies, etc. that gross conscious scientists study, while involution takes place on what is generally called the higher planes of consciousness of the subtle and mental worlds.
The subtle and mental worlds have no physical location in time and space; they are found within one’s individualized consciousness—when that consciousness has rid itself of the vast majority of its gross impressionssanskaras—the burden or baggage of its journey through the process of evolution.
Reincarnation is the process by which consciousness is unburdened from these gross impressions  Men numbers one through four are not on the planes of consciousness at all, though man number four can attain the state called hawa. Hawa is a permanent connect to the planes but not yet on them.

The consciousness of man number five progresses through the first three planes of the subtle world. The subtle world is experienced in a gross human body, but the consciousness of these men is subtle—they do not experience gross consciousness at all, though they appear to eat and move and do all manner of things consistent with gross consciousness.

The fundamental difference among those on the three planes of the subtle world is a difference in the experience and use of powers. The powers of the subtle world are almost unimaginable when compared to the powers—the doing—of men numbers one, two, three, and four. (For a  detailed description of the powers of the subtle world, please refer to Bhau Kalchuri’s book, The Nothing and the Everything, and Meher Baba’s book, God Speaks).

Man number six experiences neither the gross world not the subtle world; his truth, his reality, is the reality of the mental world—the world of the mind. Meher Baba tells us that the fifth and the sixth planes of consciousness constitute the mental world. The truth—the reality—of one on the fifth plane of consciousness is that he experiences himself not as a gross reality like men numbers one, two, and three, not as energy, like man number five, but as thought itself.

The last plane of illusion—of creation—before the experience of Reality, is the sixth plane of consciousness—the domain of man number six. This domain is the domain of feeling, as opposed to the domain of thought. On the sixth plane of consciousness one’s truth—reality—world—is feeling; his seeing is the seeing of feeling, and what he sees is God, everywhere and in everything—yet, his identity is still with the mind and therefore there is no union with God.

“You and I are not we, but One!” – Meher Baba

Man number seven has merged with God, in God, and has become God in human form. His journeyless journey through his dreams of duality has ended in the realization of eternal infinite bliss. For a while, he retains his human form with its subtle and mental bodies, but for him, the processes of evolution, reincarnation, and involution, are over. 

Once again, Meher Baba—the spiritual authority of our time—reveals in God Speaks, many details regarding the states of the God-realized souls before and after the final dropping of their gross, subtle, and mental bodies. He tells us that at all times there are always 56 God realized souls in human form on earth. Earth is currently the physical planet on which involution and realization occur.

I first learned of Meher Baba in the 1960s and, as time went, I began to learn more and more about Meher Baba, but from the beginning I never doubted that He was He was who He said He was.

 In 1979 I found myself on a pilgrimage to His tomb shrine in India. There, more and more, I began to feel that my path had led me to that moment. Meher Baba said love was the only thing that mattered and the only thing that was real, but with respect to love, I knew undoubtedly that was less than a beggar sitting under His feet at that table of love.

With all the ignorance and arrogance accumulated through my lifetimes of inhabiting the illusion of creation, I boldly said to Meher Baba that though I knew all about the techniques and practices of spirituality, if He wanted me to have the experience of love it would be up to Him to help me.

 I returned to the U.S. and spoke to the leader of the Gurdjieff work in Chicago and after asking for her blessings, I left the work that I had practiced since 1969.

Since coming to Meher Baba in 1979 I have continued to hold on to His daman—the hem of His garment—though, in truth, I feel that it is His hand that gives my hand the strength to hold on.

And what about the love that I so boldly told Him would be up to Him to show me?

Well, as Rumi said; “When the subject of the essay turned to love, pen broke and paper tore…”

                                                                                                            ©copyright, Michael Kovitz, 2018

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