The Four Perspectives of the Mind
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2007-08-01
Awareness, energy, willpower are the same thing. Interest-awareness can shift energy levels. Strengthening willpower. Inner and outer willpower are the same ability. Intuition, superconsciousness, higher consciousness are present with regular daily sadhana.
Gurudeva's mamsani Shum reading for the month gives us a sense of how all four different perspectives, focusses of consciousness -- shumif, simnif, mulif and dimfi -- fit into the fullness of Saiva Siddhanta. Shumif is pure advaita. Going deeply into meditation experience certain strata of superconscious mind.
Our daily lesson is from Gurudeva's Master Course Trilogy, "Living With Siva" portion, has been on Chapter 16 "Harnessing Willpower." I thought I'd read from that and comment.
"The primal life force ever resident within the body, emotions and mind of man is, when used or allowed to function, what I term willpower. Now we can see that the ever-present persistence of life force gives an overabundance of willpower and with it the ability to direct it from deep within. This ability to direct the willpower is the jnana, the wisdom we seek. But we have but two choices: to gain jnana through learning the tried-and-tested, set patterns of living and conducting ourself or, through assuming a relaxed approach of ignorance, be guided by the 'good' and 'bad' and mixed emotional forces of the wills of others. Therefore, the devotee seeks to gain the conscious control of his own willpower, to awaken knowledge of the primal force through the direct experience of it, and to claim conscious control of his own individual awareness."
So that's one of the qualities of mankind, particularly when we're younger, is we're easily influenced by others. That's what it's saying and despite our best intentions, we may end up doing something we hadn't anticipated doing. So, teenagers are particularly susceptible to that because they're so concerned about their fitting into their peer group. They don't want to stand out from their peer group so consequently, what they end up doing can be based on the states of mind of their peer group rather than their own.
"Thus we can begin to see that our individual awareness, willpower and the primal life force deep within the body, emotion and mind are, in fact, one and the same -- that willpower, individual awareness and life force, their habits and usages, are but various aspects."
So that's an interesting meditation and it was one that we were doing in the, when we had our Northern California retreat; we had a number of meditations on awareness -- what awareness was -- and this is one of them that awareness, energy and willpower are the same thing. There are three different names for the same thing. So it's a very interesting meditation. One way of having insights into it, if it's a new concept to you, is that; the more we're interested in something the more effortless it seems to be to do it. And that which we are least interested in is the hardest thing to do. So, interest is another name for awareness. So, when we're interested in something our awareness is very involved in it and we have lots of energy and we can keep going, and going, and going. But, if we can't get ourselves interested in something, you know we're bored by it, then it seems to take forever to do something and of course we don't do our best work. You know so you can also see this in children, they can be tired or not particularly inspired and then the thought of going to the beach, or going to the park, or going somewhere, they're totally full of energy all of a sudden. Total shift in the energy level. Why? Because the interest level changed. So, it's a very interesting meditation.
"You will notice that, through our study together, these three aspects are referred to time and time again, individually as well as collectively. However, in the study of yoga it is important to keep in mind the totality of their sameness in order to fully identify your personal and continued experience of yourself as a being with unlimited will, constantly and fully aware of the primal life force flowing through body and emotions, as you, awareness, travel through the mind. This is the goal of the jnani, the one who has attained to wisdom, to the acquisition of divine knowledge and the personal experience of what he has learned.
"There are basically two aspects to the force of willpower. One controls our external life in the world and with those about us. The other controls our internal life, strivings and personal spiritual disciplines, or sadhanas. The externalized individual, who throws his force totally into the outer aspect of willpower, inwardly suffers nervousness, confusion and the lack of self-mastery. The devotee who throws his force totally into the inner aspect of willpower suffers total withdrawal from being able to face and cope with the forces of the world at large.
"It is the total willpower, through both these two aspects of willpower, the inner and the outer, that the devotee seeks to develop within himself, with an emphasis on the internalized, spiritual processes of his being, for he full well knows that only in this way is he able to serve effectively in the world without being of the world in any way."
Another way in which we talk about the relationship between inner and outer willpower is that it's the same ability. The, however good or not good our willpower is in accomplishing things in the external world, that's the same willpower that's there when we sit down to meditate. It's not a different willpower, it's not a different ability, it's the same ability. And it's easier to perfect it in outer things because we can see things more clearly. When it comes to the mind it's hard to see exactly what we did. But, Gurudeva has a guideline for strengthening our willpower and it's: "Finish every job you started and do it even better than you thought you could." You know, a very simple guideline. So, just be sure we do that. Be sure we don't leave things unfinished. Start things and abandon them and do things with half our ability, with our mind on something else. You know if we can finish each job that we start and do it even better than we thought we could, that's strengthening willpower. And then when we sit down to meditate that same willpower is available to help us concentrate our thoughts.
This next one is interesting.
"It is important to gain an intellectual concept of what it is like to experience through a prolonged term the deep, inner will of Siva -- for, granted, we are always experiencing something. Therefore, it is easy to categorize in one of three departments just where the impulses are coming from that cause our motivations. Number one: the instinctive impulses are from us and from others, and mainly concern our body and baser emotions. These are easy to distinguish, as these impulses provide most of the daily activities. Number two: the impulse to speak and to think, begun through one's own efforts or those of others. This is generally based on recurring knowledge accumulated in the past, churned up through present observations and conjecture about the future. This is also easy to distinguish, as these impulses generally fill any gaps that the instinctive impulses have made in a typical day. We can easily see that unless some break occurs, there is absolutely no room for number three, which is simply for God Siva's will to occur.
"Therefore, the process is one of breaking up the patterns of instinct and intellect, separating the impulses of them both, through regular and regulated periods of sadhana and meditation, so that the divine will, spiritual energy and infinite awareness can filter in and cause a new intellect to form."
So, this is an interesting challenge. You know I know a number of individuals who are somewhat mystically oriented. But yet, they never take time to meditate. They never take time to contemplate, sit down and go within. Though you think they would want to from their general conversation. But they don't. So, this last statement by Gurudeva shows why. Well, they haven't committed themselves to a time, a regular time for meditation. So consequently they never have time for meditation even thought they would really like to and know it would benefit them. They never get around to it. The impulses from the instinct and the impulses from the intellect fill up their waking day. So, it shows the importance of setting a regular time and of course the best time is first thing in the morning before we get very busy. Once we get busy with the day and get involved in all our responsibilities and all it's much harder to turn that process off and meditate then it is to mediate before we turn it on. So therefore, in Hindu tradition, we're always encouraged to meditate first thing in the morning before we start our day. So again, the reading from Gurudeva shows the importance of being regular in that practice. Cause if we're not regular, before we know it, the mind is filled in with impulses from the instinct and the intellect and the spiritual impulses aren't there anymore. It's such an easy process for them to go away. So we don't want that. So therefore, we need to maintain a regularity in our daily sadhana so that the instinct and the intellect aren't our total experience of life but our intuition, our superconsciousness, our higher consciousness is present also on a daily basis.
Turning to our Shum Lesson for the month. This is one of the one's that doesn't make any sense at all until you catch on.
The four perspectives of the mind: shumif, mulif, simnif, and dimfi. So I'll just read from it a little bit.
"This is one of our most delightful mamsani, (meaning basic Shum Meditations) naming the four different focuses of consciousness. The intelligence within each of these four can and has taken lifetimes to know, to memorize, to investigate, cognize and expand the mind into the depths which are there to be explored. But imagine this month gaining a superconscious glimpse of all four of these perspectives at one time.
1) Shumif is the perspective of awareness flowing through the mind, the mind itself being unmoved.
2) Simnif is a perspective, the simnif perspective is its opposite; the mind is moving, and the intelligence of the person observing--such as a scientist looking through a microscope into the inner workings of matter--is stationary.
3) The mulif perspective is the way of words, the way of the scholars of philosophical intellect.
4) Its opposite is the dimfi perspective, which is just now coming into focus on this planet through the newly found abilities of being able to communicate with Mahadevas, devas and beings of all kinds on other planets, such as the Pleiades, in this galaxy and beyond. Those in this perspective are not aware of being the center of all things, the shumif perspective. Nor are they aware of the world's many philosophies, the mulif perspective. Nor are they much concerned about the nature of a drop of water, the simnif perspective. Their minds fly high in dimfi."
And one more comment on this. So, this commentary from Gurudeva shows how all four perspectives are part of Saiva Siddhanta when we approach it in it's fullness. Sometimes we think: "Oh well, we just, we just use the shumif perspective." We just use the meditative perspective of being awareness traveling through the mind. But, that's not the case. As Gurudeva points out we want to use all four perspectives in our pursuit of Saiva Siddhanta.
"In shumnam (or meditation) the shumif perspective of the three worlds and seven dimensions of the mind does not involve us in the knowledge of the devas and Mahadevas who live in the inner worlds. You would be experiencing through the shumif perspective exactly what the devas would experience in the Second and Third world were they to meditate upon the shum concepts. Shumif is pure advaita. When we become conscious of devas, Mahadevas or our personal Deity, we have transferred our perspective into what is called the dimfi perspective, which is pure dvaita (or dualism). The Siddhanta philosophy is approached from the mulif perspective when it is intellectually studied. And, of course, banasana (hatha yoga), the knowledge of pranayamas, kalibasa and the currents of the physical body all relate to the simnif (or scientific) perspective."
So that gives us a sense of how all four perspectives fit into the fullness of Saiva Siddhanta.
So I ran into an interesting experience recently. I was talking to some of Yogaswami's devotees in Toronto Canada and they're getting somewhat interested in meditation. But despite, you know being Yogaswami devotees, their understanding of the realm of meditation is very very simple and not at all profound. So you know, you have to start at explaining things in a way that makes sense. So I ran into a, the concept: What do you meditate upon? You know something I hadn't thought about for a while. When you meditate, what do you meditate upon? Well it's so self evident right? Well you meditate on this, this, this and this. But, how do you explain that to someone who doesn't understand what you're meditating upon and then someone else in the room said: "Well you're meditating upon God, right? But, you can see that the concept they had was of the personal God. So, like dimfi perspective. God as a person. As you would experience God in the temple. So, I could see, this is going to be a challenge to explain. So, I haven't developed it yet but I'm working on it for the, our coming travel study program, our innersearch study program in January. Because the background of those going is quite different and I'm sure some will be in this same situation of, you know; we have to start with the basics. What are we meditating upon? And then if you say: "We're meditating upon God," then we're going to run into the dimfi, the concept of God as a person and trying to experience God as a person which isn't what we're trying to do in meditation of course.
So we pointed out, why do I bring that up? Well it pointed out the difference between the shumif and the dimif perspective of -- as Gurudeva says -- "Shumif is pure advaita" meaning you're experiencing exactly what Siva would experience or anyone else would experience who's going in deeply in meditation. You're experiencing certain strata of superconscious mind. So in that sense there's no dualism.
So, it's an interesting mediation and as I say: "Once you catch the four perspectives it all makes sense." Until then it's kind of hard to grasp. But, I think the core point I'm making is: All four are contained in Saiva Siddhanta. That's what we want to realize. The shumif is for meditation but the other three perspectives are also important.
Thank you very much. Aum Namah Sivaya.
[End of transcript.]