Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Over my time as a Yoga guide I have quite often found myself saying brain but correcting myself to say mind or vice versa. What is the difference? Is there a difference? I recently read that the brain has dimensions that we can measure, length, width, depth and weight while the mind has no dimensions, it is not limited in space and thus is able to transmit its basic state via vibrational energy over an unlimited distance. Is this philosophy or is this science?
What do we mean when we say I?
Baring the above in mind when we say 'I' what or who are we actually referring to? Is it the reflection we see in the mirror, the physical with dimensions, or the mind? Now when we say mind in relation to ourselves it sounds quite odd right, but if we were to say consciousness would that better reflect another aspect of ourselves, the potential true 'I'? What is the difference of mind and consciousness? Neither have dimensions, neither can be held, seen or weighed but we know they exist right? When something 'comes to mind' where does it come from? We talk about the conscious and subconscious all the time, we can be conscious and unconscious. Eric Pepin put it the best I've seen in his book 'Meditation with Eternity' by saying
Look in the mirror, what do you see? It is actually you? If we look closely we may see a whole micro-universe of living cells and organisms. Every cell of our body is a unique living creature operating and functioning without our involvement. In fact there is no real physical you.
So where does that leave you, or me for that matter? If our bodies are made up of a myriad of different organisms working together on our behalf where do 'we' come into it? If we remove all of these organisms what would be left? Does it leave us with this mind, this consciousness? This energy with no dimensions, no limit to how far its vibrational energy can travel.
'Ok', I hear you say, 'how about when I touch something I can feel it, if it wasn't me how could I know what it feels like to touch something?' Well, again, this comes down to energy, electrical this time round. The cells in our fingers, for example, send electrical impulses via our peripheral nervous system which then travel up via our central nervous system to our brain where the electricity is converted into the experience of touch. 'Ah! It's a message to the brain! The brain is physical, it has dimensions, thats where we process information!' But did we actually touch the glass? The experience we felt was shared via electricity so the part of us that feels the experience was energy. Imagine if you will that the body is like a mobile phone and our minds, our consciousness, are the frequency waves from the incoming call passing through the atmosphere. Without the phone we wouldn't be able to receive the phone call, our bodies can't process that information in it's raw state, we need the physical body of the phone to collect and convert that information so we can hear what is being said. It's a very similar situation with our body and our mind. Our consciousness needs the body and all of it's amazing cells to interact with the physicality of this natural experience, and by 'natural' (Prakrti) I mean that which decays - but thats a whole different blog!
Everything in the universe has a vibrational state. All objects have a natural frequency or set of frequencies at which they vibrate. The quality or timbre of the sound produced by a vibrating object is dependent upon the natural frequencies of the sound waves produced by the objects. Some objects tend to vibrate at a single frequency and they are often said to produce a pure tone while other objects vibrate and produce more complex waves with a set of frequencies. The same is for energy, have you ever heard the buzz of electricity on a pylon? Ever got that feeling when near someone that something does't feel right or, of course, the opposite that when you're near someone you feel lighter, freer, even happier. We pick up on atmospheres in a room or vibes off of people on a daily basis. These are all energy frequencies being sent out by each and everyone of us all of the time. Some can see these frequencies, traditionally known as 'auras' and they have been recording by various scientists including one of the first to record them, Dr Thelma Moss using Kirlian photography way back in the 1970's. Scientists also use equipment known as ceramic piezoelectric sensors or accelerometers to measure the vibration of, well, whatever they can!
So we have the science but where does the philosophy come into it?
Where doesn't the philosophy come into it may be the easier question here. As early as man can remember these energy fields have been a subject of study and debate. From the most
ancient Indian texts with Chakras and Nadi channels, through traditional Chinese medicine with 'Chi' energy and the meridian lines to the South American Shamanic practices with archetypes using spirit animals to represent life forces throughout the body. All ancient, all separate from one another yet all focussing on the same bio-energy systems through the body. Great teachers through the ages telling us to 'Know thyself', 'the kingdom of God is within you' Jesus, 'the first moment of consciousness of the new being must be preceded by its substantial cause, which must be a moment of consciousness', the Dalai Lama. 'Swaraj (Self-rule, control of oneself) can only be achieved through an all-round consciousness', Gandhi.
How can they know all these things all those years ago? Things that the scientific world are only just discovering and beginning to realise. It comes back to this energy, prana or chi 'life force' energy in Indian and Chinese cultures respectively. This energy which ebbs and flows through each and every one of us, is it actually us? Is this energy the real us? The energy that we were talking about earlier, our mind, our consciousness.
So how can this energy that we're referring to, this energy that is us, that is in us here and now have helped these ancient people know what we are only just learning now? What if it were connected to a greater source. I asked earlier, when things 'come to mind' where do they come from? What if our consciousness was part of a greater consciousness, what if our consciousness was shared?
Delving back into our imagination, that wonderful place of which we can go where we like, picture what we like, that place that has no dimensions, no limits.....Let's picture an ocean, all those tiny little water molecules gently ebbing and flowing in sync with the moons gravitational pull, it's a nice hot summers day and the water is evaporating up into the sky. The molecules rising out of the ocean don't cease to be water as they continue on their journey up into the clouds where they meet other water molecules and eventually fall back down to earth finding their way back to the ocean. So, when we look at the ocean we see the whole but when we remove a part it is still water, likewise we can look at consciousness much the same, as a whole, where parts can move away, like an individual consciousness. When we look at it like this the thought of reincarnation doesn't seem so far away, if the water molecules from the ocean gather into clouds and fall again back into the ocean and continue being as if nothing had changed who's to say our consciousness won't return to the universal consciousness when our bodies, nature, fail us? The thing about energy is it never dissipates, the first law of thermal dynamics states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be destroyed or created so with that in mind who's to say our energy field, consciousness, won't return one day in another form?
The drop is You, the ocean is You ~ Rumi
Now that hasn't answered the question of how the ancient civilisations knew all these wonders of the universe, though there is a clue coming, and until the last 50-60 years we couldn't really answer that. This being why the majority of people would dismiss it as fantasy, heresy and plain voodoo magic! But with leaps in science and the exploration of quantum fields science is beginning to come round to the same way of thinking that there is an eternal source out there and even that we are connected to it, a place where time doesn't not exist, a place where electrons are in a state of potentiality, a place where ANYTHING is possible and most importantly a place that we have access to.
There isn't enough time in todays blog to keep going on this I'm afraid but I'm sure there's quite a bit to get your head round to begin with. There are answers, it just depends how far down the rabbit hole you're willing to go...
Update - News just in from the CIA...
(Well found recently - actual study from 1983 and publicly released in 2003 found by a friend in 2020)
Sources - Letting Go - David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
- Meditation with Eternity - Eric Pepin