Levels of Consciousness — Paramahansa Yogananda Best Quotes
When superconsciousness descends into the realm of imagination, it is called subconsciousness.
When subconsciousness descends into the muscular and sensory phase of human life, it is called human or waking consciousness. When waking consciousness becomes attached to the senses and material things, it is called worldly consciousness, and when it is used to harm oneself or others, it is evil consciousness.
The little mind of the little man attached to little things cannot possibly identify itself with the universal consciousness of God. Just as a wavy mirror cannot properly reflect the objects in front of it, so a mind whose calmness is distorted by the thoughts of success or failure is unable to reflect the unchangeable Spirit. Man's consciousness, when constantly identified with material changes or mental disturbances, cannot mirror the immutable Divine, whose image is present within him as his true Self, or soul. (bg)
Just as a river has a source, so the river of consciousness has a source. It descends from Cosmic Consciousness, the consciousness of God that is beyond all creation.
When Cosmic Consciousness comes into the realm of matter—into each of the atoms that make up the planets and island universes, and the different forms of plant, animal, and human life — that Consciousness is called Christ Consciousness.
Develop sympathy and unselfishness if you would expand your consciousness. I have no consciousness of possession. I can leave everything in a moment if God calls, for I am not bound to anything. And yet all things are mine.
In Christ Consciousness the whole world —
everyone and everything in it — is your own.
The whole of space and everything in it belongs to you.
When you begin to feel the sensations of others as though they were happening in your own body, you are developing that Christ Consciousness. When you cultivate this consciousness and therein understand that everything is yours, you will have no prejudices about race or color. In that consciousness you feel the love of a million mothers in your heart, not just for a few but for everyone. You do not imagine it, you feel it—this love that Jesus, Krishna, all of the great ones manifested—this universal intelligence and love which is called Christ Consciousness. (me)
Super Consciousness or Soul Consciousness
When Christ Consciousness descends into the soul and pure mind of man, it is called superconsciousness.
Actually our human consciousness is Cosmic Consciousness, bottled up in a phial of flesh, corked with ignorance, and floating isolated in the ocean of Spirit. Because of maya, the cosmic delusion, this bottled-up human consciousness, although living and moving in Spirit, cannot contact Spirit, just as salt water that is corked in a bottle and floating on the sea cannot contact the sea.
Spirit divided Itself into:
God as the Father,
the Cosmic Consciousness or ‘Knower’
remaining beyond all creation;
God as the Son,
the Christ Consciousness or
cosmic intelligent subjective ‘Knowing’
power in creation;
the Holy Ghost,
the cosmic intelligent objective creation itself, the thing
Therefore, Spirit as God the Father has made the law of causation that governs the kingdom of His finite creation, but Spirit is not limited by the laws It has created.
Jesus said: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Expansion of human consciousness into Cosmic Consciousness by the art of concentration brings to the devotee a joyous wisdom far greater than the satisfaction of theoretical knowledge—however profound—resulting from the study of books. That devotee is like a man who has been trying all his life to get one thousand dollars, and who suddenly finds himself a billionaire! (bg)
By ascent of the consciousness through the subtle centers of life and spiritual awakening in the spine, the yogi learns the inner science of changing the consciousness of gross matter into the consciousness of its primordial principles. He resolves the five vibratory elements along with their manifestation of the five senses, five organs of action, and five life forces from grosser to finer principles: changing the consciousness of vibratory earth into the consciousness of vibratory water; the consciousness of water into that of vibratory fire; the consciousness of fire into that of vibratory air; the consciousness of air into that of vibratory ether; the consciousness of ether into that of mind (sense consciousness or manas); the consciousness of mind into that of discrimination (buddhi); the consciousness of discrimination into that of ego (ahamkam); the consciousness of ego into that of feeling (chitta). By thus dissolving the twenty-four principles successively into one another, the yogi then merges the consciousness of feeling into that of the primordial cosmic vibratory force (Aum), and the consciousness of Aum into Spirit. He thereby reaches the Ultimate Unity—the One from whom has sprung the many.
By gradual steps the yogi in this way converts all consciousness of matter into the consciousness of Spirit. This realization is not attainable through either reason or imagination, but solely through intuitive experience. Such experience is, in nearly all cases, the result of practicing meditation and yoga techniques as taught by the great sages of ancient and modern India. (bg)
The kingdom of God is the region of Cosmic Consciousness where God the Father dwells beyond the precincts of vibratory creation wherein the sole reflection of God the Father inheres as the universal Christ Consciousness. The kingdom of heaven, situated within the astral vibratory region of pure manifestations, hidden behind the physical vibrations of electrons, protons, and matter, is a lesser state realized by the devotee than that of the kingdom of God. (sc)
In the "kingdom of heaven" ecstasy, the astral forces that govern creation are perceived; initially in this superconscious ecstasy one perceives occasional lights and sounds and bliss—the most significant being the variations of the light of the spiritual eye and of the sound of the holy Aum vibration with their effusion of peace and joy. In subconscious "ecstasy," as in the state of sleep, the devotee experiences an imaginary or pseudo state of unconscious joy. In cosmic ecstasy, the ecstasy of Cosmic Vibration, the devotee joyously feels all vibratory creation as his own body. In Christ ecstasy, the devotee feels himself merged in the transcendent reflected image of God's Intelligence as Christ Consciousness omnipresent in creation. In God the Father ecstasy the devotee feels one with the infinity of Cosmic Consciousness beyond vibratory creation, with its indescribable state of joy: "He who knows, knows. Naught else knows." (sc)
The separative and relative qualities inherent in the sense-identified consciousness compel it to behold, not the Unity of God, but the multiplicity of creation. The "Eternal Now" is split for man into inconstant states of past, present, future. In cosmic consciousness these delusions of relativity disappear; and with them, the illusory dreams of past sense pleasures and unfulfilled desires, and future will-o'-the-wisp hopes and promises. The yogi in blissful cosmic consciousness experiences the eternal undifferentiated Sole Reality. (bg)
All manifestations and activities in creation are the Lord's Cosmic Yoga. He is the Singularity that evolves as these multi-expressions and that unifies them in the one cosmic consciousness of His Eternal Being. The devotee who recognizes this immanence of God, and who follows the prescribed yogic steps to attain full realization of Divinity, understands how the One became individualized and active in the many; and how, in a scientific way, that descension from cosmic consciousness may be reversed in oneself into ascension or reunion with Spirit.
The devotee who advances by means of step-by-step methods of yoga is therefore acknowledged by the Lord to be the better versed in the science of the union of soul and Spirit. Concentrating on the immanence of God in His primal manifestation as the Cosmic Aum Vibration (Holy Ghost) and its creative differentiations in the cosmos and in the microcosm of his own being, the yogi experiences the primary savikalpa samadhi. While in a transcendent ecstatic state, oblivious of external creation, he perceives God in one of His divine qualities or aspects—in form or formless. (bg)
The man who has escaped from maya into Cosmic Consciousness is filled with unalloyed supreme bliss. Free from the relativities of delusion, at one with Spirit, his immutable Self is undistorted by Nature's kinetic currents of pride, changing moods with their impulsive desires, misery-producing attachments, and the undulating, contrary pair: passing joys and griefs. (bg)
We are made of the matrix of consciousness. All life was spumed out of the one Source of the river of consciousness.
Your individualized consciousness is thus the very foundation of your existence. All of your thoughts and actions are bubbles and droplets of the river of consciousness.
The seemingly solid body is actually a mass of electro-magnetic currents. Its electrons and protons are condensations of the relative positive and negative creative thoughts projected by God, which I call thoughtrons. All creation derives from these thoughtrons, the consciousness of God.
What is the difference between black and white? They are two contrasting thoughts, each frozen into its particular concept, that is all. For example, black horses and white horses in a dream are nothing but different crystallizations, relativities of the dreamer's one stream of thought.
In the ultimate sense, then,
all things are made of pure consciousness; their finite appearance is the result of the relativity of consciousness.
Therefore, if you want to change anything in yourself, you must change the process of thought that occasions the materialization of consciousness into different forms of matter and action. That is the way, the only way, to remold your life. (jt)
Meditation is the method of realizing the connection between one's body-circumscribed life energy and the infinite Cosmic Energy of God, the connection between the conscious and subconscious states and the Cosmic Consciousness of God. Through Kriya Yoga meditation, the consciousness is gradually transformed from identification with the inept and often treacherous physical body, with its love of breath and "bread," to awareness of the inner astral body of self-renewing vibrant life energy, and thence to one's ultimate nature as a soul image of God: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. (sc)
Man's mind, operating as a part of Nature's twenty-four elements, is engrossed in the material manifestations wrought by the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, which are subject to the law of relativity and time—the divisions of the timeless, eternal now into the progression of past, present, and future. To escape the flux of time, the devotee must rise to the Spirit beyond Nature's compartments of relativity. The Absolutness of Cosmic Consciounsness is the only cure for the relativity of mortal consciousness. (bg)
(aoy) — Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
(bg) — God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
(dr) — The Divine Romance by Paramahansa Yogananda
(jt) — Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
(me) — Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
(os) — Other Sources... Talks, Booklets
(sc) — The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda
(sm) — Self-Realization Magazines