All types of exercises have only one goal and that is to change one’s level of being. Such a change is meant to be achieved not by gaining better control over humans’ inferior nature but by the activation and manifestation of the supreme Divine nature inherent in a person. In the terminology that I use, the state when one’s supreme nature is hidden is referred to as unconsciousness, whereas the state in which one’s supreme nature is revealed is referred to as awareness.
So long as a person’s consciousness is identified with their lower bodies, they remain unconscious; the stronger the identification, the deeper the unconsciousness.
In practice, the situation is as follows. As a child, one internalizes a set of ideas and notions about life that shape one’s individual conditioning. Based on this conditioning, personal desires are defined and formed. One’s primary emotional patterns are established during the same period and stay unchanged throughout life.
Starting from a certain point in life, a person’s whole existence becomes a sequence of routine actions and psycho-emotional clichés that swap instantaneously and do not require that person’s conscious participation in the process. When a person identifies himself with a desire, he lets it take over. Then when fear raises its head, it turns into their master at once.
An unconscious person is absent in his actions, though his ego tries to hide this fact by any means. An unconscious person is always somewhat inappropriate in his responses to life’s situations, because when he is identified with any of his inner states, he fails to properly perceive the situation around him. Due to the overly zealous activity of his mind, this person lives in a half-asleep state. For example, he is walking down a street. Memories of a recent conversation, TV show, etc. pop up in his mind, or perhaps he is making plans for the evening. In either case, the thinking processes one voluntarily merges with evoke images similar to those in our dreams. Walking, meanwhile, happens automatically. Almost everything is done the similar way—automatically—and the mind keeps daydreaming.
Another problem of an unconscious person is that he projects his dreams onto reality. For example, say that one is afraid of aggression and violence. In addition to making one feel insecure and weak, such fear creates a setting where every well-built man begins to look dangerous to him. Due to this fear, an unconscious person perceives all physically strong men as a threat. Since fear weakens us, almost anyone will seem stronger than us. This is a pure projection of the mind. When one’s inner reality becomes identified with fear, this creates an illusory outer reality in which the person now has to live. As we constantly project our inner reality affected by identification outwards, each of us travels through life in our own illusory world.
Desires and fears create the strongest projections. For this reason, one and the same person may come across as a liar, a demi-god, or just a random Jewish person* to different people. One and the same event is recognized as a hand of Fate, a needless tragedy, or manifestation of magical powers to different people. But the nature of a projection is the nature of a dream, and the dream emerges in the form of a mental product created by imagination and memory and, therefore, it does not have a reality of its own.
Since desires and fears are tightly linked to ideas that inhabit our minds, it sometimes happens that entire nations adopt an idea common to all and begin to share dreams—for example, dreams about the superiority of their race over all others.
These are the consequences of self-identification and the resulting unconsciousness. In our happy times of the unprecedented technologies, people have plenty of opportunities to identify with external objects.
I heard recently a humble dervish asked his Sheikh: “Please tell me, how spiritually uplifted is my state when I watch the TV? I feel clearly that my ego disappears, and I myself appear to dissolve too while watching.” The Sheikh graciously responded that such a state could not be considered spiritual, because when the dervish is back from this state, nothing is changed in his being. I would add that this situation perfectly illustrates the state of self-identification with the environment. With the ongoing spread of television, computers, and 3D technologies, the identification of self with external objects will only become deeper, and so will human unconsciousness.
Thus, release from identification is the basis of awareness. Actions of a conscious person are always marked by the presence of his consciousness which is not attached to anything and can see the processes in the lower bodies. Due to non-identification, the perception of this person is not distorted or conditioned by his mind, and he is free from projections of the mind and will cease daydreaming.
* TN: the author refers to Jesus Christ