«116 Experience of the Ved • Realization of the Cosmic Psyche by Direct Perception: Opening Individual Awareness to the Self-Interacting Dynamics of ...»
About the Author
Michael Dillbeck is Professor of Psychology and Dean of the
Graduate School at Maharishi International University. He
received his B.A. summa cum laude from Benedictine Col-
lege in 1972. He then went to Purdue University as a Univer-
sity Fellow, where he received his M.S. in 1973 and his
Ph.D. in 1976 in psychology. Dr. Dillbeck has published widely on the theoretical foundations of Maharishi Vedic Psychology and empirical research testing its predictions on such variables as EEG coherence, perceptual and cognitive flexibility, reduced anxiety, reduction of crime rate, and im- proved quality of life in society. He is also co-editor of Sci- entific R e s e a r c h on M a h a r i s h i ' s T r a n s c e n d e n t a l Meditation and T M - S i d h i P r o g r a m : C o l l e c t e d P a p e r s, V o l u m e 5.
116 Experience of the Ved •
Realization of the Cosmic Psyche by Direct Perception:
Opening Individual Awareness to the Self-Interacting Dynamics of Consciousness Michael C. Dillbeck M a h a r i s h i International University Fairfield, Iowa, U.S.A.
Abstract This article outlines the description, from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Psychology, of experience of the Ved — the perception, within the simplest form of human aware- ness, of the self-interacting dynamics of the unified field, the field of pure consciousness or cosmic psyche. This realization is described by Maharishi as developing through in- creasingly refined experience of the field of pure consciousness, cultured by his Tran- scendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs, until one clearly experiences the internal dynamics of the field of pure consciousness, termed the Ved. "Ved" means "pure knowledge." Pure knowledge is knowledge of the unified field of natural law on the lev- el of pure self-refer
Innumerable tendencies are arising in creation. From this one can imagine there must be innumerable qualities of self-interaction in the self-referral state of consciousness. Vedic Science completely reveals the knowledge of that reality, where the innumerable values of the
knower, the known, and the process of knowing are contained in that sea of consciousness.
Thus the perpetual continuum of the self-referral state of consciousness is known to be responsible for the infinite variety of creation. (p. 30) W h e n o n e experiences natural law as the d y n a m i c s of o n e ' s o w n self-referral consciousness, according to Maharishi one gains direct access to the deepest internal m e c h a n i s m s of nature. T h r o u g h this experience, the individual enlivens the organizing p o w e r of these natural l a w s for the benefit of his or her o w n life and of the w h o l e environment.
In the W e s t, the V e d has b e e n c o m m o n l y misunderstood as a set of b o o k s. In contrast, M a h a r i s h i (Maharishi International University, 1974) has described the Ved in the
following w a y :
Where is the Ved? In India? No. In the Himalayas? No. In any part of the world? No. In any phase of the finite? No. Then where should we look for the Ved?
The Ved itself answers the question of its location. It says:... in the imperishable transcendental field — pure awareness, pure intelligence, pure consciousness.
What then is the Ved? Is it the books of Sanskrit hymns? Here also, the answer is no.
The four books known as Rig-Ved, Sama-Ved, Yajur-Ved, and Atharva-Ved are not the Ved; books serve to record the words of Vedic literature, but they themselves are not the Ved....
Ved is the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence. How can one come to know the Ved, which is located in the transcendent and which is the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence? By developing pure awareness, the one key to Vedic study.... The development of pure consciousness is the key to all knowledge and the prerequisite of Vedic study. (pp. 195-196)
M a h a r i s h i g o e s on to bring out the practical value of the experience of the V e d :
What is the purpose of knowing the Ved? The purpose is to live the wholeness of life....
The study of the Ved has its purpose in structuring the home of all knowledge in one's awareness. Thereby one owns the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence and gains maximum effectiveness in every action, leading to the most rewarding achievements and to fulfillment — the wholeness of life encompassed in every wave of living....
That is why, to know Ved, one is advised to develop the holistic value of awareness — unbounded awareness, pure awareness, transcendental consciousness. And on that level of awareness alone can the value of all knowledge be gained; on that level of awareness alone can the significance of the Ved be a living reality. (p. 196) B e c a u s e the V e d resides in the transcendental field of consciousness, Maharishi points out that one can k n o w it only by discovering it through o n e ' s o w n experience of the self-referral state of c o n s c i o u s n e s s, transcendental consciousness.
Any knowledge may be viewed as a qualified state of the knower. The phenomenon of gaining knowledge or experiencing is best understood when analyzed as consciousness identifying itself with the quality of the object and experiencing the object as the object is imprinted on the level of consciousness. The process of transcending step by step reduces the intensity of impression of the object, until the finest trace of impression fades away and the consciousness is left to itself completely identified with its own pure nature. This is transcendental consciousness, the self-referral state of consciousness.
Transcendental Meditation unfolds the knowledge of the finer levels of thought through direct experience until the finest qualified state is transcended and consciousness experiences its own self-referral unqualified state.
The practice of Transcendental Meditation provides an opportunity for consciousness to experience its qualified and unqualified status. The practice of the TM-Sidhi program provides an opportunity for consciousness to create qualified states from its unqualified state at will.
It is obvious that the transformation of unqualified pure consciousness into any qualified state must involve the activity of specific laws of nature. As consciousness becomes more and more clearly aware of the process of its transformation, it becomes more and more familiar with the activities of the specific laws of nature which govern this transformation [the self-interacting dynamics of pure consciousness]. As the practice advances, consciousness becomes more and more awake to details of the activity of the different laws of nature, until a state of full awakening is reached in which the diversified activity of the laws of nature does not overshadow the unified state of natural law and consciousness blossoms in its total potential. Functioning from within the range of different laws of nature it remains completely and constantly in tune with the unqualified value of its pure nature.
This is what we call the enlivenment of the total potential of natural law in human consciousness — mastery over natural law, life in accord with all the laws of nature, the field of all possibilities in individual life.
2 This is described in the Vedic literature as atindriyadarshana.
Ved in its original script is just the whisper of the unified field to itself, and human awareness, settling down to its own self-referral state, very clearly cognizes its own selfinteracting activity. (p. 64) A c c o r d i n g to Maharishi V e d i c Psychology, once the individual has attained the level of d e v e l o p m e n t w h e r e he or she is capable of perceiving the details of the inner dynamism of pure consciousness — w h e n one is fully " a w a k e " — experience of the V e d happens spontaneously. Maharishi locates the description of this p h e n o m e n o n within the Ved itself ( R i g - V e d V.44.14), in the expression Yo jagara tam richah kamayante — " T h e h y m n s seek out him w h o is a w a k e " (Maharishi International University, 1974, p. 196).
T h u s, it is possible for individuals to experience the V e d b e c a u s e the essential nature of the m i n d is p u r e c o n s c i o u s n e s s, the c o s m i c p s y c h e, and pure consciousness, being
self-referral, can c o m p r e h e n d its o w n nature. As Maharishi (1985a) has c o m m e n t e d :
The unified field, even though glimpsed by the objective approach of the different disciplines of modern science, is a subjective reality which is open to itself, which knows itself.
3 The area of Vedic literature which deals with experience of the Ved is the six Upangas, which are associated with systems of gaining knowledge (Maharishi Vedic University, 1985a, pp. 116-117). In the fourth Upanga, the Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanjali, the experience of pure consciousness as silent is described as kaivalya. The Yoga Sutras also describe the TMSidhi program (Gelderloos & Berg, 1989). The fifth Upanga, Karma Mimansa, corresponds to a further refinement of experience in which pure consciousness is found to be a field of great internal dynamism — the Ved. The final Upanga is Vedanta, which expresses the reality of fully developed unity consciousness, in which the silence and dynamism of pure consciousness are experienced as one wholeness, Brahman. Taken together, the Upangas provide means for developing complete knowledge through the complete development of the knower. (See Dillbeck, 1988, for a brief description of the various aspects of the Vedic literature.)
Figure 1. The process of attuning the individual psyche with the cosmic psyche, the unified field, takes place in three steps.
The first step is the experience of the unified field through the Transcendental Meditation technique. The second step is the TM-Sidhi program, which enlivens the selfreferral field of pure consciousness for the fulfillment of desires. The third step is experience of the Ved, in which consciousness is fully awake to the unmanifest dynamism of natural law in the unified field. This is the level of pure knowledge, in which the infinite organizing power of natural law is available.
self-interacting d y n a m i c s of the unified field, experienced in the self-referral state of
c o n s c i o u s n e s s. He describes the relationship b e t w e e n pure k n o w l e d g e and its infinite org a n i z i n g p o w e r in the following w a y (1986a):
Knowledge in its absolute state is the unified field of all the laws of nature. Ved is pure knowledge, absolute knowledge, and in knowledge is contained the organizing power of nature. The infinite organizing power of nature is contained within the structure of pure knowledge, the Ved. Ved is the lively potential of natural law, which is the unified field....
The total knowledge of this unified field is available in the Vedic literature. (p. 100) A c c o r d i n g to Maharishi V e d i c Science, there are two areas of the Ved, one devoted
to pure k n o w l e d g e and o n e to its organizing power. Maharishi (1986a) states:
"Ved" means pure knowledge and the infinite organizing power that is inherent in the structure of pure knowledge. When we study the Ved we find that it is divided into these two areas. Therefore, when we say Ved means pure knowledge, we always mean that Vedic study includes both the structure of pure knowledge and the infinite organizing power of nature inherent in that structure. (p. 26)
Pure knowledge is when consciousness has nothing other than itself in its structure, when the awareness is completely self-referral, when the awareness knows itself. When we say "pure knowledge," we mean that all that there is is knowledge, a solid mass of knowledge.
The knower of that is also the same solid mass of knowledge.
The knower, the known, and the process of knowing which connects the knower with the known — when these three aspects of knowledge are seated one within the other, that is called Samhita. Samhita is the collectedness of knower, known, and knowledge. There are Rig-Ved Samhita, Sama-Ved Samhita, Yajur-Ved Samhita, and Atharva-Ved Samhita — four Vedas, four Samhitas. This state of pure knowledge, where knower, known, and knowledge are in the self-referral state, is that all-powerful, immortal, infinite dynamism at the unmanifest basis of creation. (pp. 26-27)
The Brahmana aspect of the Ved embodies the organizing power of pure knowledge inherent in the Samhita. The Brahmana is divided into three sections — Upanishads, Aranyakas, and Brahmanas. These three aspects of the Vedic literature respectively express the organizing power associated with the Rishi (knower), Devata (process of knowing), and Chhandas (known) aspects of pure knowledge contained in the Samhita. (Maharishi Vedic University, 1985a, p. 115)
Maharishi describes the pure k n o w l e d g e or Mantra aspect of the V e d in the following w a y :