What is Meditation

Meditation Techniques

Spiritual Inspirators

 

 

 
CONSCIOUSNESS & AWARENESS

I. Consiousnes & evolution

II. What is Awareness
III. What is Consciousness
IV. The Ouroboros Consciousness
V. The Super Awake Flow
VI. Shared Fields of Consciousness
 

THE INNER AND THE OUTER PERSON

The inner and the outer Person
The Sacred Wound of the Inner Warrior
  
THE BUTTERFLY OF THE SOUL
The operative system of thought
Asynchronus control systems
The liberation from or of the Self
Meditative spatialization

Meditative pixellation
The liberation of the greater Self
The Butterfly of the Soul
 


HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE

Religion, Science and Philosophy
Meditation and secterianism
The 'I' and its developmental history
Meditation and Meta-Consciouness

Meditation & Symbols
Jesus in the footsteps of the Buddha
  

QUESTIONS TO MEDITATION

Is meditation a miracle cure?
Is meditating narcissistic?
  
MEDITATIVE VISIONS

God wants to become Man

Singularity, Meditation and Entheogens
Meditation and Love
Meditation and Truth
About the author
 


 







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE OUROBOROS STATE OF SUPER CONSCIOUSNESS

God is a fountain flowing into itself
St Dionysius

In the light of the mirror of you,
the universe observing itself through consciousness.
Roger Penrose

Who has prepared this evening meal? asks the seeker.
A man, responds the sage.
Dost know his name?
asks the seeker.
Not I. His name is not spoken.
He is more silence than speech.
He is above name.
What food has he prepared for this feast?
Himself, no less than himself,
says Meister Eckhart.

The moral is that those who live the life of
the five senses never taste this food.

Meister Eckhart

What I describe here, everyone can check out for themselves in their own inner lab: In self-reflective stillness, the sensual experience of the inner body imiedeatly grows. Just being quiet and focusing on one's inner self can work wonders.
 
At the forefront of the exploration of consciousness lies an endless expanse of bewilderment. Every time we cross its frontier, we are met with a new level of perplexity, a series of endless mysteries behind the mysteries. Yet, it is precisely in this space of mystery that something profound can occur. When we redirect our curiosity from its natural outward trajectory to an inward exploration of itself, we may be able to develop an expanded state of abstract awareness and consciousness.
 
This shift is not easy, however, as the human mind is primarily designed to focus on the external world and ensure our physical survival through the intake of calories. Our subjective 'I' is not naturally programmed to look at itself, to observe its own inner workings. Therefore, exploring the depths of consciousness requires utmost sincerity and vigilance. We must commit ourselves to the task of inward exploration, even when it is difficult, and when we are met with resistance from our own minds.

There are all too few who are fully ripe
for gazing in God's magic mirror.
Meister Eckhart

The restless and outgoing mind can however be tricked inward through the process of meditation. When you close your eyes and ask yourself, Who am I?, the knowing of not-knowing intensifies. Initially, a sense of bewilderment arises as the 'I' asking the question dissolves through the very act of questioning.

The primordial pan-consciousness versus the concentrated light of man
A primordial  and not self-aware pan-consciousness seems to pervail time and space. This innocent omnipresence can be intuitively experienced in deeper states of meditation.

I am certain
as I live that nothing is so close to me as God.
God is nearer to me than I am to my own self;
my life depends upon God's being near me,
present in me.
 
So is he also in a stone, a log of wood,
only they do not know it.

If the wood knew of God and realized his nearness
like the highest of the angels does,
then the log would be as blessed as the chief of all angels.

Meister Eckhart

Consciousness is everywhere, but it is not conscious about itself being conscious. Hence the real fun begins in a human being with the extraordinary capability to know God, which in my interpretation of Eckhart is equivalent to self aware consciousness.


When you look for yourself, you dissappear

There is nothing to understand.
Papaji

Meister Eckhart suggests that to see God, we must become blind. This may seem paradoxical, but it points to the fact that the ego cannot look at itself without spiraling into annihilation. When we direct our attention inward, an unknown something observes itself. This activates an infinity function where the solid conscious observer instantly melts into fluidity, so that the one asking, Who am I?, ceases to exist. We are only our 'I' as long as we look away from ourselves. Consequently, we vanish each time we try to catch ourselves directly, and without a subject capable of understanding, understanding becomes meaningless. Not knowing is in this sense wisdom as opposed to knowing which creates knowledge.

When Awareness is directed against itself,
a feeling of not knowing is created.
 When Awareness is going out,
knowledge is created.
Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thus, the question Who am I? dissolves, and we, like a rubber band, snap back to our normal equilibrium of being a solidified 'I'. However, this new 'I' is different from the older one that just one second ago tried to get a glimpse of itself. As we know from quantum physics, we cannot observe anything without changing it. We cannot even remember something without changing our memory of it. Therefore, the disappearance of 'I' during introspective self-examination creates a spiraled transformation, where a new 'I' contineously replaces the old 'I'. The relay of "Who am I?" is now in the hands of the next 'I' in the race towards a black hole of continuous death and rebirth.

How to see God? To see Him is to be consumed by Him
Ramana Maharshi

Ego cannot look at itself in God's magic mirror, without spiralling into anihilation.  However pure consciousness in its essence can do so and even thrive. In the micro ego-death of self enquiry, a more intense awarens is born. The strange and wonderful thing is that as the not-understanding and dissolution of solidified subjectivity intensifies during this investigation, so does the abstract consciousness experiencing it. Through the loophole of increasing curiosity-driven awareness of not-knowing, our consciousness expands in both quality and quantity.
 
Atman and Brahman
Let me in this context repeat the lessons from the chapter
What is Consciousness. Consciousnes in its abysmal essense does not expand, neither in quantity nor in quality. Consciousness belongs to another dimension where such terms from time and space does not give any meaning. What expands in clarity and quality is the part of the human brain that somehow is able to recreate a simulacra of the primordial ground.

In India, since ancient times the individual human soul has been called Atman. The universal soul was termed Brahman. In this context it would give meaning to view Atman as a brain derived simulacra of ding an sich.
In this context, I envision Atma-consciousness as a time-space 'copy' of the absolute space-timeless primordial abyss. Individual human made consciousness can be compared to a soap bubble, whose thin and ultra-transient membrane reflects the sky.


Atman in Brahman

The black hole of the soul
When the human created space-time created simulacra consciousness in such a loop begins to chase its own tail, wakefulness accelerates in intensity. It can be illustrated by the acceleration of gravity and breakdown of traditional natural laws that happens in front of a black hole. I do believe this is more than a mere analogy. The cosmos is consisting of reuse of mathematical algorithms on all levels from the infinite small to the infinite big. We are in this sense a mini galaxy with a black hole in our soul. We fear the hole as death and at the same time we are attracted to its attraction. The brain-derived possibility of Atma-consciousness in feed-back singularity falls in love with the grand attractor abiding in ding an sich. This is the needle point where death and life meet in a dance room beyond time and space as we know it.

This is what Meditation is all about: to make Atma-consciousness aware of Brahma-consciousness in an expanding self-referential loop with the potential capacity to end in a singular state of explosive conscious not-understanding.
In this context, the following statement from Meister Eckhart gives 'sense':

In unknowing knowing shall we know God.

He further states:

Had I a God whom I could understand, 
I would no longer hold him for God.

Eckhart rarely uses the the term consciousness. Among the Western mystics, the singular state of consciousness has been termed 'God'. God is in my view nothing but a projective concept of a rare state of being within man's own event horizon. God abides in the complexity of the human brain as super consciousnes.

Let us sum up. The 'variability' of consciousness is, at its core is a result of the human brains ability to enter an intensified state of self referentiality. The first looped stage is when consciouness becomes aware of itself in wakefulness.
 
Mystics from all times and places have experienced something that so far have been out of reach of comon man, occupied as he was with the algoritms of survival. Meister Eckhart states:

When the spirit turns from all things
 becoming into the not-becoming....
  
Then the void shines into void.

On the narrow path of describing consciousness as experience, I would now declare that there is a state of concentrated consciousness where it becomes self-aware in being able to experience experiencing.

 
THE OUROBOROS STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
I call this state the Ouroboros state of consciousness

The Ouroboros state can only happen in highly advanced and complex biological brain structures with an extended capability of self-referentiality.

 
The Ouroboros Snake is one of the world's oldest trans-cultural symbols. C. G. Jung interpreted the Ouroboros as an archetypical mandala.


The snake-god of
the Azteks: Queztacoatl

The ouroboros state of consciousness begins where the snake is feeding on itself. It is the autophagy state of mind, where, as Meister Eckhart states, man becomes his own meal. It happens when consciousness goes into a feed back mode.
 

Human Consciousness as a Fedback Loop
Where the attention goes, the prana flows. In introspection consciousness is becoming aware of consciousness in a loop. This is why the introvert question of who am I, is devoid of answers. It creates a feedback loop where the entity that puts the question dissolves. In this state one basically loses the connection to the outside known world in the same way that a microphone in feedback is not able to amplify what it normally is designed to do, like a speech or a song. When information dissolves behind the event horizon of the black hole of consciousness, an abstract subject-object-less wakefulness as such arises.


A healthy soul in a healthy body

If the doors of perception were cleansed
every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
W.Blake

In this context, I would define the term, enlightenment, as a singular feedback of Consciousness into Consciousness. Here Rumi's polishing of the mirror becomes mandatory. Consciousness and it's time-space correlate in the form of the capability of high quality experiencing is necessary for Consciousness to reach a point of no return in order to enter the state of a singular feedback.
A dull and low quality of attentive consciousness, will not be able to reach the point of no return.
 
The possibility of being conscious about being conscious is most probably a feature that only can evolve in grown-up humans and some of our primate relatives.

The child pictured above is conscious, but it is still not being conscious about being conscious. Maybe there is, as Annaka Harris discusses in her book, a pan-Consciousness present in all matter. However, this Consciousness is not self-aware. A trained meditator will often be awake in even slow wave sleep. However only when he wakes up into being aware of being aware he can have a glimpse of the fact that he was aware of being aware. The meta-awarenes of being aware will emerge gradualy as we grow up. A human being is, in this respect, a concentrated rabbit hole of self-awaring Consciousness. We are self aware oases in the vast delicious dessert of primordial unconscious Consciousness.

What is the mirror of consciousness made of seen from the Atma level? It consists of neural feed back connections between brain cells. A mirror is a feed back mechanism.





The human sensory PA system
A phenomenon that can illustrate introverted attention in singular feedback is an amplifier connected with a microphone pointed at itself. When the microphone is busy sensing extroverted sounds like a singers voice, the system fufils the purpose it was created for. However, if a sensitive microphone comes too close to the loudspeaker it is connected with, an explosive sound like a howl will emerge.

 
Click for an example of a singular
feedback created sound loop.

The singularity of sound feeding into its own output radically overwrites the normal functions of the system. As sensory bio-feedback we function quite similar to this self-oscillation process. Actually a professional PA system is designed not easily to go into a feed back mode. Even professional stage microphones for live concerts are designed with a certain dullnes towards subtler weak sounds in such a way that a feed back is prevented already in its birth. Evolution has for sure made the same mechanism for our senses, in order to prevent us from the stand and stare mode when we were supposed to hunt for calories.

Creating a feedback loop between a microphone and speaker requires three key components that are similar to a meditative feedback loop:

Firstly, the microphone needs to be placed near or pointed towards the speaker. Similarly, we need to get close to ourselves and direct our attention inwards by shutting out external distractions.
  
Secondly, the input sensitivity of the amplifier must be turned up. Similarly, our senses need to be sharpened and attuned. We can only achieve this heightened inner sensitivity through intimate and vulnerable honesty.

Thirdly, when the output volume of the amplifier is turned up, there may be a sound feedback. The greater power outlet of the amplifier is comparable to the outlet capacity of a healthy and strong person. When we have an excess of healthy physical energy, with an abundance of chemical-firing neurons, we may find ourselves in various states of flow, even in external situations like running or dancing. This form of feedback is more prevalent in young people.
 

Within this spectrum, there are basically two meditative extremes. One pole consists of sensitive introvert people, and the other of people with lots of outgoing energy.

Visual feed back

Another type of feedback loop can be observed when a camera is pointing at itself through a monitor screen.

Below is a video clip that illustrates a dynamic version of an accelerating introverted loop. The loop in the video is created simply by pointing a video camera at the TV screen it is connected to. The fractal, singular, and kaleidoscopic patterns are created by the handheld camera constantly amplifying its own signal. Tiny movements in the camera create unpredictable and dynamic changes, all leading towards the Great Attractor of infinity.

 
Isn't it thought-provoking that such a simple act as pointing a camera
at oneself can create such surprising and complex phenomena?
 

Self referential Amplification through the five Gates of the Senses
The mirror and the microphone provided us with illustrative examples of light and sound feed back.

In the human body the awarenes of inner sensations and feelings is the first to get activated. Once you close your eyes, there is an instant and automatic rise of abstract sense based awareness within the body. Sense amplification is the first step into the meditative self-referential space.

 
An Indian Saint once shared with me that his first groundbreaking enlightenment experience began with an itching sensation on the top of his head. As he sat in front of an enlightened Master and looked at him, the feeling grew until it consumed him and he lost all sense of time, space, and body.

As a general rule Introspective self referentiality happens first through the close and intimate registration of body sensations. From there on it can happen through all the five sense circuits. One can in meditation commonly hear sounds and observe light phenomenons. Even taste and smell can in rarer cases get activated.

Thoughts are sounds
Even the thinking mind can be triggered into a self-referential loop.
Repetition of a mantra, where a syllable, a word, or a sentence is repeated mentally or even loud ad libitum, is a sound-based meditation. In this repetition, the cognitive meaning in the thoughts vanishes, leaving the meditator with pure sound. Thoughts, in essence, are sounds. Even the initial "Who am I?" meditation is essentially a thought-based technique that collapses the cognition of thoughts.
 
It's important to note that the quality of self-referential amplification depends on the quality of attention given. Dull and low-quality concentration cannot reach the point of no return, which is necessary for consciousness to enter the state of singular feedback. An attention interface that is too obsessed with chasing external objects will only meet with boredom when looking inside.
 
This state of singular feedback, which I define as enlightenment, occurs when consciousness is amplified into consciousness in such a way that it comes close to the singularity. The capability of high-quality experience in consciousness and its correlation with time-space is necessary for consciousness to reach this point.

Two forms of meditative feedback
In a regular meditation session, most of us will only experience a full-blown explosion of pure consciousness in rare cases. However, less can also do. When turning inward, the level of feedback intensifies, not enough to go into a singularity but enough for us to feel blissful and relaxed. The Indian called this state Sat Chit Ananda.
 

The synaptic dance of the Ouroboros

The ancient symbol of Ouroboros, the serpent eating its own tail, represents the cyclical nature of life, and in the context of neurochemistry, it can also represent the continuous feedback loop of signaling chemicals in the brain. When we meditate, we can experience a range of feelings from relaxation to ecstasy, which can be explained by the activation of the brain's signaling chemical circuits. In this sense, life's purpose could be seen as the pursuit of a cocktail bar of signaling substances, each with its own unique effect, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, acetycholine, DMT, and many others. With up to 200 different chemical neurotransmitters keeping the party of life going, the possibilities are endless.

Psychedelics and meditation 
Interestingly, people who use entheogenic substances often report profound experiences of eternity and divinity. This is because these substances increase the sensitivity of the brain's five input circuits, resulting in an explosion of a multitude of self-referential feedback loops. The similarities between meditative and psychedelic experiences is rooted in the world of feedback interfaces. In both cases, sensory impressions are intensified to the point that a singular feedback loop is inevitable, leading to visions and experiences beyond the ordinary.
 

 
THE DARK INNER SPACE AND THE TENNIS BALL

The body is much rather in the soul
than the soul is in the body.
Meister Ekchart

When you delve into the depths of meditation, you'll encounter a myriad of internal sensations that swirl around within your body like clouds. Some of these feelings are familiar, like love or worry, while others remain a mystery, nameless and incomprehensible. Even the sensations you know well become increasingly enigmatic the closer you examine them. That's where my chapter on Meditative spatialization comes in. Here we'll take a closer look at the space that contains these feelings and investigate the stage upon which our inner demons and gods act out their roles.
 
Inner spaceholding

In a state of deep meditative attention, the sensations and feelings you experience are all contained within an inner space. This space is felt subjectively inside your body, and as your focus spirals inward, the dark space that holds these feelings becomes more conscious of itself. The feelings and sensations grow more intense, but so too does the container that holds them. Without this expansion, you'd be overwhelmed or even traumatized by their sheer intensity. However, during an ideal meditation or even a psychedelic journey, this space can grow in size, intensity, and clarity, all in accordance with your level of concentration.

This next statement is crucial: as you approach the vertical self-referential singularity, the space can expand to such an extent that, as Meister Eckhart put it, the body is more within the soul than the soul is within the body.

Picture this: I remember the first time I felt like I was truly inhabiting my own body. But in a heartbeat, my entire perception shifted, and my body became this tiny little speck in an endless expanse of space. Suddenly, the feeling of being in a body vanished altogether. It was like a tennis ball turning inside out, an absolutely mind-bending realization that permanently changed how I saw the world.

This incredible experience is what happens when short-distance senses, which occur within the realm of awareness, transform into a field of light and sound that expands into conscious darkness. And when you finally reach the singularity, everything - even light and sound - disappears into the void of pure, unfathomable nothingness.

God's exit is his entrance.
He broke in to let us out.
Meister Eckhart

It's wild to think about, but it's true: the way in leads out. This journey takes you from a physical sensation to a limitless expanse beyond anything you could have ever imagined.


OUROBOROS CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE GOAL OF LIFE
According to the sage Niargadatta Maharaj, a cigar dealer from Bombay who couldn't read or write, the purpose of existence is to expand, preserve, and protect consciousness.

This phenomenon of consciousness expansion is a natural consequence of complex self-referential systems, and in biological systems, the more complex the system, the greater and more intense the consciousness it reflects.
 
The human brain, with its immense number of internal connections that surpasses the particles in the universe, is currently the most complex system we know of. Because of its complexity, human consciousness is the most sacred thing that exists. It is the most advanced phenomenon that time and space can create, representing the impossible longing of Atman for Brahman, and vice versa.

In this sense Atman is the son of God.

Atman is Jesus.

And so is, with the words of Eckhart, every noble and good hearted person.


WHEN THE AWAKE AWAKENS

A man is a dream of a shadow
Σκις ναρ νθρωπος
Pindar, Pythian 8.95f.

Wake up, people! Viewing human life as a dream paradoxically requires a lot of wakefulness. I can't help but chuckle when I see Jehovah's Witnesses standing on Torvegade in Christianshavn, hawking their magazines with the oh-so-telling title "Wake Up." Even the alcohol-addled Greenlanders seem more alert than these dreamy folks, with their stiff body language and outdated 70s outfits that, in my mind's eye, morph into snuffed-out gas lamps from the 1800s. But maybe I'm the one who's asleep... After all, a tale from India that made its way through Persia over a thousand and one nights ended up becoming a comedy written by the Danish enlightenment philosopher, Holberg. In it, the poor peasant Jeppe wakes up in the baron's bed. In India, a beggar wakes up from his slumber and realizes he's a Maharaja, a king, only to wake up again and realize even that kingly life was just a dream. For ancient Indians, life was an illusion teetering on the brink of a nightmare, and the ultimate goal was to escape it.

And then there's meditation. When superconsciousness arises, suddenly you realize that everyday consciousness is nothing more than a form of sleep. You wake up, even though you thought you were already awake. At first, this wakefulness is delicate and often fades after just a few seconds. When it slips away, it's like falling back into slumber.
It is like waking, not up but down.

I've got a secret to share. Meditation is the simplest thing in the world. Seriously. All you have to do is sit and do nothing in an attentive state looking for everything and nothing. But here's the kicker: when you let your mind wander like that in effortless effort, you can be lucky to discover a vortex within yourself that's based on similar math that creates black holes in the universe.

It's time to go after the Holy Grail. Drinking from this cup will intoxicate you with the signal substances that instantly prove all those philosophical musings about life's meaninglessness to be nothing but a bunch of overblown hot air. All those book towers of fancy French thinkers and dreary life insights spewed out by writing schools have left me with nothing but dust on my brain and in my lungs.
 
But now I can breathe freely again. Sure, I spent 25 years as a high school teacher - a noble pursuit, to be sure, but honestly, ten years would have been plenty. If I would have spent the rest of that time, 15 years with a knife in my mouth, living on the edge in the wilderness it would have been much better.
 

But now I'm awake and free. Wakefulness is when your consciousness becomes aware of itself, and most of us are in that state most of the time during the day.

But superwakefulness? That's a whole different ballgame. As we saw earlier, it's born when consciousness becomes aware of itself in a loop that speeds up - ideally, towards infinity.

So do I really declare myself in theatOurorobus state? Not really - rather something in between. However just a few glimpses of the super -awake state will change your life for the better - I dare to say way better!


So go ahead, dear reader. Close your eyes and plunge into your mind's dark inner recesses.

In that darkness, your superconsciousness will awaken like a sleepy giant, illuminating the void with its radiant darkness. Only those who also dwell in the salvific nothingness of the black sun will be able to recognize it. And as the quote goes, there's a world of difference between the outwardly oriented ordinary consciousness, which sees the world as divided into subject-object relations, and the non-dual consciousness of the inner world.

 


NOTES

Two types of meditators
Within this spectrum, there are basically two meditative extremes. One pole consists of sensitive people, and the other of people with lots of excess energy. Usually, the sensitive meditators will be introverted, and the energetic meditators will be more extroverted. Both of these types can go into meditative supervigilant self-swing, but despite this important common gift, they often do not thrive in each other's company. The sensitive meditator's challenge is to avoid narcissistic sensitivity. She must be able to accommodate her vulnerability without going into reactive defense. The energetic meditator's challenge is sometimes a lack of empathy, and his challenge is not to use his abilities as a supervigilant energy bomb for selfish purposes. In a gross generalisation we find the sensitive meditator on the New Age scene and the outgoing meditator in extreme sport, yoga and scientific set and settings. They tend to quantify their meditation, telling themselves and others to count breathing on in and exhales.
This new outgoing meditator is slowly replacing the old new age introverted and sensitive meditator and this devellopment in a way showing how our society embraces spirituality through the process of quantification and commodification.
 
My ideal for a modern meditator would be the ambiverted type on top  of the bell curve.