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The Three Levels of Awareness
The Hindu scriptures teach that we are essentially a soul. According to the Vedas, the physical body that we can see and touch is only one of our three bodies. It is interpenetrated by a second, with a higher and finer rate of vibration, the astral body—the refined energy template that gives rise to the physical body. The physical body is structured and maintained according to the specifications of the astral body. The third body, known as the causal body, has an even subtler rate of vibration than the other two. It forms the true basis of the person’s being—the “cause” or original blueprint—and carries forward, in altered form, from one lifetime to the next. In the study of hast jyotish, when we look into the hand, we are really looking at the astral and causal bodies through their reflection in the physical body.
The conscious mind, parallel to the physical body, works with the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. It functions when we are awake and is inactive during sleep. The subconscious mind, which parallels the astral body, however, never sleeps as it is constantly monitoring our life support systems such as the heart, brain and lungs. Further, during our waking hours, the subconscious continually records impressions that underlie the information picked up through our senses; these impressions are then replayed at night in our dreams.
In Eastern texts, the superconscious mind, which parallels the causal body, is referred to as atma or soul. It is the light of pure consciousness.
The science of jyotish (the study of the effects of light) was developed to bring understanding as to how each of us filters this soul light through our subconscious and conscious minds. Through the study of jyotish, we can learn how to refract the personalized color spectrum that is our individuality back through the prism of our mind to rediscover the original source of light, which is our true heritage.
The superconscious is pure energy, and speaks to us most clearly through our intuition. The ordinary conscious mind, which operates through the five physical senses, is finite as it is confined to operating within a transitory physical body and, thus, subject to the laws of relativity. The superconscious mind, however, is infinite and not limited to the rules governing the physical body.
Depending on our level of evolutionary development, we have varying degrees of awareness of our conscious mind in the awakened state, and of the subconscious mind through our dreams. We can also, over time, become aware of our superconscious mind or soul. The soul can speak to us through the medium of the subconscious mind, which in turn relays its message to the conscious.
As our five senses are kept occupied by a constant barrage of data, it is difficult to hear the whispers of our soul. Fortunately, we have a built-in system to begin to access and make sense of the subtle nuances of this higher mind. When we sleep, our conscious senses are temporarily stilled, enabling us to enter into a realm not confined by time and space. The subconscious mind is thus freed to “televise” the subtle messages of the superconscious through our dreams. How accurately these soul messages come through usually depends on the quality and level of our waking consciousness.
During the day our conscious mind may be preoccupied, anxious or simply busy with the complexities of our external environment. During our sleep, we carry this static into our dreams, distorting whatever messages the superconscious is trying to convey to us through the medium of the subconscious.
Alternatively, if we are able to maintain a sense of peace and calm during our waking hours, such static is eliminated. The more we learn to calm our conscious mind, to observe, and to respond rather than blindly react to events, the more we alter the ratio between signal and noise in our favor, allowing us to hear better whatever message is being sent. Rather than being a composite of random and disjointed thoughts and events, our dreams become a medium through which the purity of the superconscious —that is, our soul—can speak to us and be clearly understood. Our dreams can become enlightening, perhaps even visionary.
This is not to say that we have to wait until we sleep to connect with this source that is reflective of our true inner self. The subconscious serves as an interface helping to introduce the superconscious to the conscious; once we have increased our waking awareness and learned to realign all three levels of our consciousness, we can begin to draw upon the superconscious while in a conscious state.
Through this heightened awareness, we gain a true perspective of reality. Although this connection doesn’t happen overnight, it is a comforting thought that with time and effort we can access this level. Working through jyotish, we can learn to recognize a deeper aspect of ourselves. The process itself is a path, and the relationships we attract while on it contributes to our growth as well as our happiness.