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Search for Self

The wandering mind is the bane of yoga, the hidden cause of failure of meditation. It was outlawed by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. Krishna condemned it even. And still it continues unabated to assail the best of yogis even those who pretend that they are not affected by it.

Why does the iSelf have to trail behind its wondering mind?

Simple! The psyche is designed for the automatic consent of whimsical spontaneous mental operations which include desirable or undesirable emotional feelings, flash ideas, imaginative displays, deliberate plans and random or requested memories.

How to change this?

Teachers give different methods. Here are some of those proposals.

  • silently chant a mantra
  • audibly chant a mantra
  • track the breathing pattern
  • focus on the tip of the nose
  • focus between the eyebrows
  • focus on the top of the head
  • listen to soothing music which induces a meditational mood
  • listen to an involuntary inner sound
  • visualize a meditative state
  • do breath infusion prior to meditation
  • do asana postures prior to meditation
  • detachedly observe the mind’s constructions

If any such methods helps, then do it. Then check to see if the mind ceased its compulsions and if the coreSelf was freed for the time being from the mind’s hypnosis over it.

And what is the coreSelf?

  • Locate it as the focus from which energies protrude from the head.

And if one cannot locate that because it is too abstract?

  • Locate it as the observerSelf (iSelf) which perceives thoughts or ideas.

And if one cannot locate that because it is too indistinct?

  • Then for the time being accept the quiet mind space as the self

~~~~~~~

If a yogi cannot sort the coreSelf from its psychic adjuncts, particularly from the thought-producing intellect, he may develop objectivity by studying the way, the mind resumes thinking processes after it was silenced in a meditation session. Instead of trying to sort the adjuncts before reaching the silent meditation state, he may reach that state and then do the sorting when the mind attempts to resume its usual thinking process.

The mind will always resume this thinking process., Hence it is a reliable way to study what or where the thinking occurs in the mind, and who sees or is cognizant of such thinking.

I propose that one begin this with the idea that the thinking process and the observer of it are two separate psychic objects. Yes, I wrote objects. During the silent phase of meditation, the observer is present but the thinking process is absent. Because of this absence, the observer has no point of reference and may fail to identify itself.

However, when there is thinking, the observer suffers from a misidentification problem where it identifies so much with the thinking process as to label itself as the thinker. This error was stated by René Descartes:

I think, therefore I am (Cogito, ergo sum)

If the yogi finds that there is only a thinker in the mind space, he should sort that thinker into two parts as the observer and the thinking apparatus in the mind. There should be psychic distance between the observer and the thinking process within the mind. If there is no such space, it means that the observer identifies so straongly with the thinking process that it is fused into that process and cannot objectify itself. This is due to a helpless attachment, which is natural though it is undesirable in meditation practice.

Descartes’s statement may be rewritten:

I observe thinking therefore I am in opposition to the thinking process of the mind.

There must be two factors, the thinking process and myself as the observing self.

When thinking ceases, the observing self is left empty without the thinking reference. Like a man without a mirror, it then has difficulty self-observing itself.

  • That information is very clear!  A few of ideas came to mind after reading:

    • That in addition to the thinking process and the observing self, there is the component called consciousness.  Consciousness is there even when thinking is halted but it seems to be more related to the senses and the observing self than to the mind (analytical orb).
    • That you have not described your own experience of the form of the observing self, but have focused on the function, which really demystifies
      it (the core self)---no good or bad connotations intended.
    • That the core self can be recognized by almost anyone, knowingly or not, but such realization does not necessarily lead one out of samsara.  
    • Consciousness:

      What is that?

      In the inselfyoga™ consciousness is the environment which is absorbed by and which pervades the coreSelf from every angle. But consciousness has multi levels such that it causes the core to experiences differing states of awareness or even to not be aware of itself.

      Consciousness may be termed as a medium. For instance, fishes use the medium of water. Most mammals use the medium of air-atmosphere. Inevitably the core cannot exist without a consciousness environment. When it is liberated by any definition, it is in a consciousness medium. When it is spellbound, it is in another type of consciousness medium. Even when it is not aware, it is in a consciousness medium which more or less prohibits expression to come out of the coreSelf.

      An example of this is copper. If we have a jar of sulphuric acid and a glass of water side by side. Then we drop a small piece of copper of the same size in each. The copper in the water will merely sit at the bottom of the beaker. However, the copper in the acid will bubble, so much so that eventually it might disappear.

      In that example the copper is like the coreSelf. In a certain medium like in the water it is not permitted to relate to the medium it is in. It cannot express itself or exchange feelings or anything. But the copper in the acid is busy exchanging and related uncontrollably.

      Thus, in certain environments (consciousness levels) the core is static while in others like the acid, it is impulsively expressive and over relational to the point of losing whatever format (form) it began with.

      ~~~~~~~

      The coreSelf is not an absolute principle unto itself. It is reliant on an environment of consciousness. For that matter regardless of whether it likes it or not, it has to always be on some level of consciousness. Unconsciousness, subconsciousness and any type of consciousness is a level of consciousness. The self cannot switch to a no level of consciousness but it can lose objectivity when it is surrounded by certain levels of consciousness and it may interpret such states as

      • no consciousness
      • blank consciousness
      • void consciousness
      • absence of consciousness
      • nothingness
      • total consciousness
      • absoluteness

      It depends on the conduction between the core and the energy of the level of consciousness the core is switched to. Conduction when it is facilitated by any level of consciousness may cause trauma to the core where it feels that it is risking itself due to feelings which are undesirable. This give cause for alarm and existential questioning as to the worth of existence and as to if there is a way out.

      A lack of conduction produces expectation which is a need to be in association with others or with some other environmental energy where there could be positive desirable association.

      This gives rise to self-analysis for research into the autonomy or willpower effectiveness of the self.

      • Who am I?
      • What should I do here?
      • What is my value?
      • Who else is here?
      • Can this be set for my convenience?
      • That is so well written and explained as to be the hypothesis statement of inself yoga.  And you are indeed a master of the research as well!

         

        I am not fully on board, as I feel that what you call the core self, can be objectively isolated from the range of consciousness environments.  I am idealistic and I think the core can be like the lotus which is not permated by the dew drop (consciousness).  

         

        However I  appreciate what you wrote because it clarifies to me why as a teacher, you stress the the importance of locating the core self to a location or geography (of consciousness) which is to one's preference. 

         

        I have some doubts about that, because of the inherent instability of consciousness, and the core self's ability to maintain itself in any specific consciousnesss indefinitely.   I am on a quest to dive into the unchanging element of nibbana. Lord Buddha has given a path leading to that and my confidence has been placed there.

        • Regarding what you wrote which is:

           

          I think the core can be like the lotus which is not permeated by the dew drop (consciousness).

           

          There was a yogi who presented a similar idea. It may have been Paramhansa Ramakrishna. That yogi explained that the core is like a crystal which when it is near a pink light has a pink appearance, and when it is near a green light, it has a green appearance while in fact it is neither pink nor green.

          The details of this is that if we get a transparent translucent crystal and examine it in the daylight, it will show no specific color. We will assign it as being transparent. However, if we take it into a room which is lit by a pink light, that same crystal will appear to be pink.

          To be sure that the crystal was not affected, we may take it outdoors in daylight again. With confidence now that it was not affected, we may again go into the pinkly lit room but again the crystal will adopt the pink color.

          What happened?

          Is there some magic or illusion?

          The truth is that when it is in the room it is influenced by the pink atmosphere so that its transparency subjects it to pink influence. However, the influence is superficial because otherwise it would remain when we take the crystal to daylight.

          This still does not mean that the crystal is absolute, because otherwise its transparency would not allow the pink light to have influence.

          Again, we may investigate to see if the crystal is affected in any way when it is in the presence of the pink light. For instance, when we take a magnifying lens into daylight and place it so that the sun’s rays are perpendicular to it, we find that anything below the lens begins to heat up. In that case we know that the lens is affected by the sunlight. Even though the lens is transparent, it is affected.

          Hence there is a similar question about the coreSelf. Is it affected by the consciousness environment it becomes aware of? If it were absolute, it could not be affected. If on the other hand it is proven that the coreSelf may take an action to be exempt from certain influences, then that raises the question:

          • Can something which is not absolute commit an action which will make it become absolute?

          ~~~~~~~

          Ramakrishna used the example of the lotus flower. He quoted that repeatedly. But in the Bhagavad Gita, we were introduced to a different way of looking at this. Krishna suggested that Arjuna should be involved but should allow the affectations to happen without being deterred by them.

          Thus, we have two types of ascetics. One type the sannyasi is supposed to be completely resistant to moods. The other type, the tyagi, is supposed to be seemingly non-resistant but should let the moods pass through and still remain objective to them.

          The sannyasi should not feel the moods because they should not pass through his/her nature, while the tyagi simultaneously feels and does not feel the moods because as they pass through, he/she does not indulge on a deep level in them.

          Where is the coreSelf in all this?

          For the sannyasi the coreSelf does not go into the pink room under any circumstance and thus he/she is not subjected directly or indirectly by the pink influence. For the tyagi the coreSelf goes into the pink room and is subjected to that influence but during the venture he/she does not take the experience seriously with the result that it does not register in the psyche as being substantial. This in turn allows the tyagi to remain uninfluenced on a higher plane of consciousness.

          • Here is my view on the methods listed above for silencing the mind. I have tried the following two methods long before I learnt Michael's Kundalini Yoga breathing procedure:

            • track the breathing pattern
            • focus on the tip of the nose

            The above two methods would put me in a no-thought zone or very-less thought zone soon and I could easily meditate without the onslaught of thoughts or images. But the subtle body would not reach a very hight state with the above method.

            After I switched to the Kapalbhati breathing procedure and meditating on naad as per Michael's Kundalini yoga procedure, initially it was very very difficult to focus on naad since the mind was not accustomed to focusing on naad. After persistent practice and raising kundalini, naad focus became easier and subtle body would shift to higher states.

            My conclusion is this. At the lower level of mind (i.e., without breath infusion or with insufficient breath infusion) naad absorption will not yield results. But as the mind jumps to higher states due to sufficient breath infusion the naad absorption will become easier and one can appreciate naad. One can even hear very subtle sounds of naad and experience its vibrations.

            Regarding focus between the eyebrows: As per my experience it should only be done if there are no thoughts and images in the frontal part of the subtle head and when the subtle body shifts to a higher level due to breath infusion.

            Regarding coreSelf: As per my experience, I can locate it at its default position in the subtle head as an observer. If I pull my two eyelids internally and trace its energy backwards to the center of the head I can know its location as suggested in the Core-self Discovery book. So this is a sure method of locating its position. 

            Regarding analytical orb: As per my experience, I know its location by its function - its image displays and thinking process. Whenever I put my focus in the frontal part of the head I can see the image displays and thinking process starting immediately. If I shift the focus downwards towards the tip of the nose the thoughts and images decrease. I feel this is a sure method of locating this organ even though one cannot see this visually.

            Regarding Kundalini: As per my experience, I have raised kundalini successfully several times and I know for sure its location and its effect when it raises into the head. So Kundalini Yoga is a sure method of locating this component of consciousness.

            So by the above procedure one can easily locate the coreSelf, analytical orb and Kundalini even though one may not be able to locate the sensual orbs, sense-of-identity and location of memory easily.

             

             

            • Let's call it a draw, Michael.  

              Better to let the focus on inSelf Yoga Forum be on successes of your teachings and techniques.

              Arpana, I am happy to hear of your insights!   That is great investigation of the adjuncts!  

              • Arpana gave these statements which I comment about below:

                 

                Regarding focus between the eyebrows: As per my experience it should only be done if there are no thoughts and images in the frontal part of the subtle head and when the subtle body shifts to a higher level due to breath infusion.

                 

                So by the above procedure one can easily locate the coreSelf, analytical orb and Kundalini even though one may not be able to locate the sensual orbs, sense-of-identity and location of memory easily.

                 

                Mi~Beloved’s Remark:

                In this life I was introduced to the focus between the eyebrows by Arthur Beverford, who is deceased and who I see frequently now on the astral level at least once per week.

                He rendered it as he was taught by Rishi Singh Gherwal. The process shown by Beverford was to do a series of asana postures with deliberate breathing. Then to do some alternate breathing (anuloma/viloma pranayama). Then to meditate. Just before the meditation, he instructed that some peppermint/camphor oil (White Flower Embrocation) be rubbed between the eyebrows. This gave a cooling feeling which made it easier to focus there.

                The idea was to open the third eye. Did it work? It hardly worked. It only worked now and again but there was faith in the instruction. That kept a student doing it. Thoughts were ignored at best but it was not considered a failure if thoughts were impulsively constructed and the yogi just could not curtail or cease them.

                A student should know that this method was mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a traditional method because the third eye is located there. It opens there regularly for some yogis.

                For me at the time when Beverford introduced this which was around 1970, my third eye opened on a daily basis even without doing the practice. Hence with the practice that was reinforced further. Later however after about ten to fifteen years I noticed that the frequency of third eye opening decreased. I traced this to interest in sexual activities with corresponding responsibilities which ensued. Some other psychic functions did not decrease and the reduction of third eye opening did not squash psychic insight and some other important functions of the subtle body.

                There are instructions about exactly where to focus because when reading the Sanskrit one is at a loss to determine exactly where to focus. This is settled concisely if one has an experience of the third eye opening but there is some instruction too about focusing at the tip of the nose. What tip? Where? At the top of the nose?

                I was told by an ancient rishi, Upamanyu, that the place is the top part of the nose where the nose enters the face near the center of the eyebrows. He gave that as the definite location of where to focus. However, the third eye opens where Beverford indicated which is smack center between the eyebrows. It does however move up or down on occasion.

                I concur here that when a student is told to meditate focusing there, he/she should be briefed on the following:

                • wait to meditate there only when there are no thoughts or images. Otherwise one runs the risk of causing increase of the thoughts and images. When you sit to meditation first determine the state of mind as to if the mind is free of thoughts and images. If it is not then do something to stop it. Once you achieve that you can focus between the eyebrows or do whatever practice you desire.
                • The focus between the eyebrows should be without much pressure. If possible, like touching something with a feather, as compared to hitting something with a hammer. However, one may not do this initially but should work in meditation to achieve this light touch to the center of the eyebrows.

                ~~~~~~~

                • Of the adjuncts, the one which is the most difficult to locate or objectify is the sense of identity. Actually, my advice is to forget about it for the time being but to remember that Michael Beloved said that it exists and it has to be dealt with in time.

                  The reason why it is difficult to locate and pinpoint is that it is near in frequency to the coreSelf which makes it almost indistinguishable to the core. Even when a yogi goes into the causal plane, the sense of identity goes with him and no other adjunct is there but there the sense of identity is like an invisible something and cannot be used for any reason there even though it exists there. Thus, students should forget about this for the time being and perhaps have the hope that this adjunct will be seen when one goes above the siddhaloka places.

                  From my research, which is apart from book knowledge, the sense of identity arose suddenly and immediately as soon as the coreSelf became aware of the psychic material nature (prakriti-pradhana). This means that as far as our existence is concerned, it came about from the beginning of our existence here. There is no way we can segregate ourselves from it at this time. This is why I am amused by yogis and spiritualists who feel they can shed it at some stage. Try convincing yourself that a horse will remove its carefully fitted bridle? What type of horse is that? How did it suddenly develop human hands? I hope you appreciate my humor.

                  Arpana mentioned two other hard-to-locate adjuncts

                  • sensual orbs
                  • memory

                  Let me list the adjuncts and the coreSelf which I discovered and which are mentioned here and there in the Vedic texts.

                  • coreSelf
                  • sense of identity
                  • intellect (analytical orb)
                  • memory
                  • kundalini

                  This is a list of five aspects or five psychic objects in the subtle body or psyche.

                  However, I must reduce these to four only because the sense of identity is so fused with the coreSelf as to be indistinguishable. I did not list the sensual orbs because they should be regarded as extensions of the kundalini.

                  Here is the list of four aspects:

                  • coreSelf with sense of identity
                  • intellect
                  • memory
                  • kundalini

                  A yogi must carefully learn to identity these as to their functions and location. This included their invisible and visible conditions. A yogi must rate the relationship between each of these just as he/she would rate a romantic relationship with someone else.

                  Location is important. For instance, the convention is that the kundalini is located at base chakra muladhara but the kundalini can jump from there and latch to some other place. The yogi should know where his kundalini is based and how it moves and distributes its influence through the subtle body or psyche.

                  I report from my research that the coreSelf and the intellect have default locations in the head of the subtle body, while the memory and the kundalini are located in the trunk of the subtle body with the exception of the short term very recent memory being located in the intellect.

                  ~~~~~~~

                   

                  • The first step is to locate the intellect. Once that is achieved the yogi/yogini should use that success to locate the coreSelf. This is because the coreSelf and the intellect are like a man and wife. If you can locate one you will surely if you are patient find the other. In fact, in the story of Puranjan in Canto 4 of Srimad Bhagavatam, Narad gave the coreSelf as a king without a queen or kingdom and the intellect as a queen in a kingdom without a king.

                    According to Narad when these two met, it was love at first sight. They lived together in the city of Bhogavati, the place for excitement, the physical body. This means that there is an intimacy between the coreSelf and the intellect with the sense of identity being so fused into the core, that these two act as one reality.

                    A yogi must study this intimacy and see if he can bring about a divorce. According to Patanjali they have to split up. No divorce is nice. This one is especially traumatic. Sir Paul Castagna once told me that he hated to have to do it. His view initially was that the self is one cohesive whole something and it should not be split into parts. But that only means that we prefer to have a functional car, then to have several parts like engine parts, transmission parts and then have to put that together and make it work.

                    Most people feel that the self is one thing or it is nothing. But in that usage self means the psyche according to inSelf Yoga and it is one whole container for several psychic objects.

                    ~~~~~~~

                    The kundalini is best discovered by doing kundalini yoga, where it is aroused through the spine into the head but unfortunately most people have access to nature’s easy process of knowing kundalini but they are unable to observing it by that method which is sexual expression.

                    Kundalini yoga causes kundalini’s arousal through the spine but kundalini is also aroused naturally with little effort and without breath infusion and yoga postures through the sexual organ.

                    It is the same kundalini which is involved in both arousal through the spine and arousal through the genitals. This kundalini should be studied in detail. A yogi should also know the relationship between the kundalini and the intellect as well as the kundalini and the coreSelf (inclusive of sense of identity). Whatever that relationship is should be adjusted for the acceleration of yoga practice.

                    In most spiritual sects this is ignored and is considered to be of little or no consequence. This is just fine because each of the process have varying objectives which stress or neglect certain methods.

                    ~~~~~~~

                    The study of the memory is necessary. It is listed as one of the undesirable vrittis compulsive operations of the mind. I suggest that this study begin with location of the intellect and then tracking to see where the memory comes from before they hit the intellect. However, there are two memories to consider. One is immediate recent memory. These are easy to track because they are located in or on the surface of the intellect, so that if you located the intellect you already located these. However, the other memories travel from somewhere and then hit the intellect after which one can see that the intellect is activated with thought-idea-image constructions to illustrated such memories and also to make the coreSelf become occupied with the ideas.

                    A yogi must patiently in meditation wait and look to see where the long-range memories come from. My report is that they are located in the chest area. They travel through the neck and then hit the intellect which feels compelled to illustrate them further. The intellect in turn, compels the core to be attentive to the resulting display.

                    Modern meditators are mostly unconcerned with this. They are instructed to observe thoughts with detachment and not to give any attention to thoughts. But that process provides no clarification about the location of the memories which are stored in the psyche from this or from previous lives. It does not show if there is an intimate relationship between the intellect and the memories. It does not reveal if there is a conspiracy against the core by the adjuncts. It does not reveal if in its present stage the core is a weakling who just cannot overcome the influences of the adjuncts.

                    If someone finds that the memories are located somewhere other than where I stated they are, that is approved because in medical science there were cases of surgeons finding specific organs in odd places in the bodies of certain humans. There are general locations which tally with most humans but sometimes a child is born with the heart leaning to the right or some organ in a place never seen before. The important thing is to locate it.

                    ~~~~~~~

                     

                    • The sensual orbs are no easy to perceive but one should understand that these are produced by the kundalini even though they are controlled in part by the intellect. Sometimes they report directly to the intellect before they render information to the kundalini, which is their source.

                      The way to trace them initially is to trace their signal inputs to the intellect or the kundalini. To understand how to approach this, consider what it would be like for a leaf to give information to a tree about which direction a branch should grow in. The leaf is like a sensual orb which gathers information from the environment. It sends that information through sensitive cells in the branch which the leaf is attached to. This information travels down into the tree.

                      Once informed the tree grows the branch in a certain direction where it figures it will acquire more sunlight. If you are located as a cell somewhere in the stem of the plant how would you perceive the cells in the leaf and their sensing ability. This is like what you must do to begin research of the sensual orbs.

                      • Tremendous contributions gotten from Arpana's remarks.

                        Thank you greatly for the detailed and meticulous revisits!

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