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River of Life, Purify the Subconscious, MWS Part 3

Merging with Siva

Sacred rivers and the element water: Water washes the aura, when we bathe with water we open channels into the inner world, we can be seen by the devas. The river is a temple. Subconscious basement, put our experiences in order, concentration playback at the end of each day bringing into your life an abundance of creativity, intuition, perception and bliss.

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lesson 24.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone. We are continuing our new series of talks going through most of the lessons of Merging with Siva. Choosing the oldest talks first and commenting on them. So we're continuing today with The River of Life, Chapter 4, Lesson 24 which was given in 1957.

Lesson 22 began by talking about the River Ganges which in Sanskrit is Ganga. While I was looking up some various information on water and rivers, came up with this to share.

Gurudeva wrote some excellent insights about water from a mystical point of view: "Water washes the body but more so washes the aura. Water like fire is a substance which penetrates the three worlds alike. When we bathe with water we open channels into the inner world. Also when we swim in water one can actually be seen by the devas in the inner world. Fire two can be seen in the inner world from long distances. Fire and prayer simultaneously bring forth the inner world. Prayer is always done through talking through the top of you. The end of the kundalini fire is at the top of the head. When this fire is seen the devas come and listen and cooperate in every possible way."

End of Gurudeva's quote there.

So to summarize, in other words when we are bathing in a river we can be seen by the devas in the inner world just the same way we can be seen by them when we are in a temple. So simple way of summarizing that the river is a temple. We never thought of it that way but the river is a temple and certainly you know around the holy rivers in North India that's how everyone, how the Hindus treat the river.

Next idea is on a confluence. For, these are my writings here: Even more auspicious than bathing in a river is bathing where the two rivers meet, the confluence, which in Sanskrit is 'sangama'. The most famous confluence is 'triveni'.

Wikipedia gives this description:

"In the Hindu tradition, Triveni Sangama is the confluence of three rivers that is also a sacred place, where a bath here said to flush away in Hindu tradition. Triveni sangama is the confluence of three rivers that is also a sacred place, with a bath here said to flush all of one's sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth.

"Triveni sangama is the confluence of the Ganges (Ganga), Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati River. Triveni Sangama is located at Prayag -- the area of Allahabad neighboring the confluence; for this reason, the confluence is also sometimes referred to as Prayag.

"The Ganges and Yamuna there can be identified by their different colors -- the water of the Ganges is clear white while that of the Yamuna is greenish in color. The third river, mythical Saraswati, is called invisible.

"A place of religious importance and the site for historic Kumbha Mela held every 12 years, over the years it has also been the site of immersion of ashes of several national leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.

"The auspiciousness of the confluence of two rivers is referred to in the Rig Veda, which says, 'Those who bathe at the place where the two rivers, white and dark, flow together, rise up to heaven.'"

Interesting information from Wikipedia.

Next we have the actual Lesson 24.

"Subconscious Basement

"I liken the subconscious mind to a basement. Those of you who have lived in the same house for a number of years have observed the following: as life progresses in the home, old things make way for the new, and the old things invariably are put into the basement. (So the basement, this for live streaming we have some in countries that don't have basements. Basement is common in houses in very cold climates. So it's under the main floor and is commonly used for storage and there's a big furnace there to heat the house etc. So people tend to accumulate things in their basement; in more modern houses that don't have basements they get accumulated in the garage. So, where ever they're accumulated, that's what Gurudeva's talking about.) The basement (or other place of accumulation) is likened to the subconscious mind; the main floor, to the conscious mind. If one is putting too many things too fast into the basement and is too busy enjoying the new things passing through the conscious mind into the subconscious basement, there is no time to keep the basement in order. Suppose there is an earthquake, an emotional upheaval in life and the entire house shakes. The lamp shades of the big lamps get mixed up with the small ones; the pillows of the old sofa get mixed up with the pillows of the armchairs. Should we enter the basement, it may take us several hours to find the articles we're looking for. That is the subconscious mind. It gets all mixed up if we do not look into ourselves constantly and put our subconscious basement in order.

"Our subconscious basement is created first through association with our immediate friends and family and the interrelated strains, tensions, misunderstandings, joys, pleasures, happy memories and sorrows. In a lesser degree it is created in the outside world through the people to whom we have become attached. These attachments are reflections of what is already in the subconscious basement. (Interesting point here coming up.) In other words, we bring out of these people qualities similar to the qualities in our own subconscious. However, if every day at a certain time we meditate, go down into that basement and put a few things in order, pretty soon our basement is orderly and clean. We begin to understand the subconscious, seeing it as transparent, and we have no attachment to anything in it. We are not holding on to any old hates, fears or ancient misunderstandings within ourselves.

"When we are not harboring negative attachments to anything that happened twenty or thirty years ago, thus creating tensions in our body and confusion in our mind the subconscious becomes a power house. The superconscious energies flood easily through you, bringing into your life an abundance of creativity, intuition, perception and bliss. The subconscious in this pure state is of great benefit to you both inwardly and outwardly when properly programmed."

That's the end of the lesson and then we have some of my comments.

So Gurudeva's comparison is putting objects in the storeroom such as a basement on a regular basis. Not taking time to do so in an orderly way is the same as is similar to storing memories of our experiences without taking time to understand them or handle unresolved situations. So those are two important points: understanding something and if there's an aspect of it that has unresolved consequences, understanding those and acting on them. So if we don't do those two things, if we do this for many years, builds up a congestion in the subconscious mind.

Well fortunately Gurudeva gives a solution. He says: "We can prevent this from happening by taking a few minutes every day to put our experiences in order."

So, one of the practices, it's not in this lesson but it's elsewhere in The Master Course Trilogy, is called Concentration Playback. Concentration playback is the idea that at the end of each day, briefly practice concentration playback and review the tasks you perform during the day. Only review the current day. Do not allow unrelated thoughts from other days to enter. Any tasks were not done with full energy and to the best of your ability, reflect on how you could do them better. If any interactions with people did not go well, resolve any hard feelings with understanding.

Gurudeva is talking about the subconscious mind here and it's an important theme in his teachings, indeed to understand and forgive others for events in the past. Plus we need to live in the present in a way which does not create unresolved experiences. So we have to understand the past, resolve it and learn to live in a way in the present so we don't add to the subconscious basement more unresolved experiences and experiences we don't understand.

So this is not a common approach among modern teachers of Hinduism and yoga. They don't talk a lot about the subconscious mind. They kind of jump right into meditation. But Gurudeva says: Wait a minute, we need to get the subconscious mind straightened out first.

Go to, let's see what this says next here. Yeah, let's read the next point first and then give my common example.

Gurudeva then points out that when the subconscious is in order then the superconscious energies flood easily through you bringing into your life an abundance of creativity, intuition, perception and bliss.

The example I commonly use is the pond of water. We have the pond of water and we have gold nuggets at the bottom which are representative of the superconscious mind. And then the water itself in it's initial state is muddy. So that's representing the subconscious mind that's not yet put in order. And then on the surface, which is our thinking mind, we can have ripples on it. So if we're looking, trying to see the gold nuggets, we have to get through the ripples and then the mud to see the gold nuggets. So that's not going to work. Too many obstacles. So we need to quiet the ripples, which represent our thoughts which is common to modern teachings but we still have the mud. We have to get through the mud to see the golden nuggets. So that's where purifying the subconscious mind comes in and Gurudeva puts great stress on it he even says, for those who have a significantly disturbed subconscious mind, they're going to meditate, manage to calm the thoughts on the surface, end up in the subconscious mind, realize it's a mess, not even get close to the gold nuggets and stop meditation.

So we need to, before we embark on serious meditation, get the subconscious mind in order or purify it or straighten it out.

Thank you very much.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Remember, your powers of observation are cultivated by abstinence from excessive talk. That is all you have to do to begin with--be more silent and observing, not wasting or dissipating this most vital power.