Insight: A Mystical Map of Existence & Consciousness

Major excerpts from the book by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami--Author's Introduction to the Dimensions--The dimensions are a positive and helpful way of looking at life and understanding the experiences we have on the inward path. By identifying experience as being within one dimension or another, we are able to know at all times just where we are in consciousness, and that knowledge is the control over awareness that we need to continue the upward climb. At all times we are flowing through all of the dimensions. They all exist in total completion right now within us. However, we are only conscious periodically in one or another of them as awareness magnifies itself and registers the dimension by focusing upon it, shall we say.

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's framework of seven dimensions of the mind divides consciousness into seven categories that range from gross to extremely subtle. The first two describe physical existence--the inside and outside of things. The third dimension is mankind's normal level of consciousness, consisting of thoughts and emotions about our own and others' lives. The fourth through the seventh dimensions can be described as the inner, mystical or higher realms of consciousness. They are within everyone but require training and practice to be accessed with continuity. This unique framework is useful in providing guidance in our efforts to access inner states of consciousness. This requires knowing which dimension of the mind the inner state is in. Like following a mariner's map, once we pinpoint a superconscious experience we are able to return to it again and again, just as sailors can reach a shore on a chart. Gurudeva gives a helpful key to experiencing the states of consciousness in the fourth through seventh dimensions by relating them to the chakras. Specifically, he states that, while in meditation, to experience states of inner consciousness within the fourth dimension, look at the world from the chest area (anahata chakra); for the fifth dimension, look out from the throat area (vishuddha chakra); for the sixth dimension, look out from between the eyes (ajna chakra); for the seventh dimension, look at the inner world through the top of the head (sahasrara chakra).