Excerpts from God Talks With Arjuna by Paramahansa Yogananda
What is Cosmic Consciousness?
A necessary warning to students is this:
"Do not think you are spiritually advanced just because you have heard a lecture or read a book on cosmic consciousness, or because you fancy yourself to have attained it, or even because you have experienced astral visions (entertaining and enlightening, but still in the domain of matter)."
You can know all matter to be thought only when you are able
to withdraw life force and consciousness to the medullary plane, and can enter the spiritual eye—doorway
to the highest states of consciousness.
...Entering the door of the spiritual eye*, he ascends to Christ consciousness (union with God's omnipresence in all creation) and cosmic consciousness (union with God's omnipresence in and beyond all creation).
* The spiritual eye is the single eye of intuition and omnipresent perception at the Christ (Kutastha) center (ajna chakra) between the eyebrows, which is directly connected by polarity with the medulla center.
The deeply meditating devotee beholds the spiritual eye as a ring of golden light encircling a sphere of opalescent blue, and at the center, a pentagonal white star. Micro-cosmically, these forms and colors epitomize, respectively, the vibratory realm of creation (Prakriti, Cosmic Nature); the universal intelligence of God in creation (Kutastha Chaitanya; Krishna or Christ Consciousness); and the vibrationless Spirit beyond all creation (Brahman).
In deep meditation the devotee's consciousness penetrates the spiritual eye into the three realms epitomized therein.
The man of cosmic consciousness, never feeling himself as limited to a body or as reaching only to the brain, or only to the cerebral-lotus light of a thousand rays, instead feels by true intuitive power the ever-bubbling Bliss that dances in every particle of his little body, and in his big Cosmic Body of the universe, and in his absolute nature as one with the Eternal Spirit beyond manifested forms.
The man into whose pure hand his divine bodily kingdom has been wholly delivered is no longer a human being with limited ego consciousness. In reality, he is the soul, individualized ever-existent, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss, the pure reflection of Spirit, endowed with cosmic consciousness. Never a victim of imaginary perceptions, fanciful inspirations, or "wisdom" hallucinations, the superman is always intensely conscious of the Unmanifested Spirit and also of the entire cosmos in all its bewildering variety.
With his consciousness extended and awakened in every particle in the circumambience of infinite space, the exalted yogi feels his little physical body and all its perceptions not as an ordinary human being, but in oneness with omniscient Spirit.
Freed from the intoxications of delusion and delusive mortal limitations, the superman knows his earthly name and possessions, but is never possessed or limited by them. Living in the world, he is not of'the world. He is aware of hunger, thirst, and other conditions of the body, but his inner consciousness identifies itself, not with the body, but with Spirit. The advanced yogi may own many possessions, but will never sorrow if all things are taken away. If he happens to be materially poor, he knows that, in Spirit, he is rich beyond all dreams of avarice.
The spiritual man performs all right actions of seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, and hearing without feeling any mental attachment. His soul floats on the foul waters of dark earthly experiences— of man's sad indifference to God—like an unsoiled lotus arising from the muddy waters of a lake.
The superman experiences sensations, not in the sensory organs but as perceptions in the brain. The ordinary man feels cold or heat on the body surface; he sees lovely flowers externally, in a garden; he hears sounds in the ears; he tastes with the palate; and smells through olfactory nerves; but the superman experiences all such sensations in the brain. He can distinguish between pure sensation and the reaction on it of thought. He perceives sensations, feelings, will, body, perception— everything—in thought, as mere suggestions of God as He dreams through man's consciousness.
The superman beholds the body, not as flesh, but as a bundle of condensed electrons and life force, ready to be dematerialized or materialized at the yogi's will. He feels no weight of the body, but perceives the flesh merely as electric energy. He sees the motion picture of the cosmos going backward and forward on the screen of his consciousness: he knows in this way that time and space are dimensional forms of thought, displaying cosmic motion pictures, dreams that are constantly new, infinitely varied—and true-to-touch, true-to-sound, true-to-smell, true-to-taste, and true-to-sight.
The superman sees that the birth of his body was merely the beginning of certain changes; he knows death to be the change that naturally follows earthly life. He is ready and able, at the moment of his choosing, to part consciously with his bodily dwelling.
Being one with God, he dreams within his cosmic consciousness all the divine dreams of cosmic creation.
The superman's body is the universe, and all things that happen in the universe are his sensations.
He who has become one with the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God is aware of the coursing of a planet trillions of light-years distant, and, at the same moment, of the flight of a nearby sparrow. A superman does not see Spirit as apart from the body; he becomes one with Spirit, and beholds, as existing within himself, his own body as well as the bodies of all other creatures. He feels his body, a tiny atom, within his vast luminous cosmic body.
Withdrawing his attention, during deep meditation, from the out-ward sensory world, the superman perceives by the power of the inner eye. Through the searchlights of the astral powers of vision, sound, smell, taste, and touch, and through the even finer causal perception of pure intuition, he beholds the territory of omnipresent Cosmic Consciousness.
In this state, the superman knows the twinkling atoms of cosmic energy to be his own eyes, through which he peers into every pore of space and into Infinity.
He enjoys in all creation the fragrance of Bliss; and inhales the sweetness of astral atom-blossoms, blooming in the cosmic garden.
He tastes the astral nectar of liquid cosmic energy, and sips the fluid honey of a tangible joy, existing in the honeycomb of electronic space. No longer is he lured by material food, but lives by his own divine energy.
He feels his voice vibrate, not in a human body but in the throat of all vibrations, and in his body of all finite matter. He listens to his voice of creative cosmic Aum, conjoined with the song of Spirit, singing through the flute of atoms, and through the shimmering waves of all creation; and he desires to hear naught else.
He feels his blood of perception run through the veins in the body of all finite vibratory creation. Having conquered the touch-sense of material-comfort desires of the body, the divine man feels the sensations of all matter as expressions of God's creative cosmic energy playing upon his cosmic body, in a bliss unmatched by any physical pleasure of touch. He feels the smooth glide of the river over the breast of the earth.
He feels the home of his Being in the ocean of space, and perceives the swimming waves of island universes on his own sea bosom. He knows the softness of the petals of blossoms, and the tenderness of the love in all hearts, the aliveness of youth in all bodies. His own youthfulness, as the ageless soul, is everlasting.
The superman knows births and deaths only as changes dancing on the Sea of Life—even as waves of the ocean rise, fall, and rise again. He cognizes all past and future, but lives in the eternal present. For him, the conundrum of the why of being is resolved in the singular realization: "From Joy we have come. In Joy we live and move and have our being. And in that sacred perennial Joy we melt again."
This is Self-realization,
man's native state as the soul,
the pure reflection of Spirit.
Dreams of incarnations play on the delusive screen of individuality; but in reality,
never for a moment is man separate from God.
We are His thought;
He is our being.
From Him we have come.
In Him we are to live as expressions of
In Him our egoity must melt again,
in the ever-wakeful dream-lessness of
The yogi, he who seeks the ultimate goal of Self-realization and kaivalya (liberation), leads in battle his righteous warriors of self-control and moral behavior on the Kurukshetra plain of material action; he fights for the victory of interiorized God-communion on the inner spiritual plain of Dharmakshetra Kurukshetra; and further, on the field of Dharmakshetra, or spiritualized consciousness, he strives to maintain, against the pull of the lower ego nature of body consciousness, the superconsciousness, Christ consciousness, and cosmic consciousness attained by successful yoga meditation.
The essential proof of Self-realization—of God's consciousness in you—is to be truly and unconditionally happy. If you are receiving more and more joy in meditation, without cessation, you may know that God is making manifest His presence in you. (Man's Eternal Quest p.163)