What is “realization”? Types of realization. Meditation for realization.

Meditation is an activity that allows us to train the mind to see the world and ourselves with another perspective. It can be used for practical purposes, such as better sleeping or more efficient, and also to realize aspects of existence that are not obvious, but real. This realization of the non-obvious, the subtle, is what is meant by “realization.”


There are several types of realization, depending on which aspect of reality we focus our mind. Next we see a script of meditation that takes us to the different realizations (the realization of several subtle aspects). We can not pretend to get all the realizations in a few minutes, of course, this script just wants to show a possible way, and by the way defines what each type of realization means. Each person has a tendency to develop some specific aspect, but in fact we can, and it is convenient to do so, to work with all aspects. At first all we can hope to feel is an intuition of truth, something that resonates to us as real, but still distant; with practice, is seen more and more clearly, the mind is opening to new ways of seeing, to subtle knowledge, until finally the knowledge is “fully” realized.

Meditation on the realizations

  •  When the ego is active, love can only express itself as “I want.”
    I love you  because you make me feel good” is what the ego expresses.
    And if you stop being pleasant for that person, you fail their ego, you lose your utility for him. Then that ego says, “I do not love you anymore,” even saying “I hate you because you have failed me.”
  • When the ego is inactive, love shines on its own.
  • Love without ego is constant, demands nothing, does not seek to be useful.
  • If you remain calm with the ego inactive, and watch closely, you will feel your own love, shining in you.
  • The moment the ego reactivates itself, it loses that wonderful sensation, because the ego is incapable of realizing it, he is always waiting to get everything through something or someone, it never gives anything of itself.
  • If you immerse yourself in that feeling of inner love, you will see that it expands, which seems to encompass everything.
  • You will look around and everything will look bright, beautiful, because beauty and love both belong to the same plane, are aspects of the same thing.
  • This state is called the realization of love.

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  • When the ego is inactive, the mind becomes calm, ceases to seek, it relaxes.
  • If in that state you look attentively you feel the peace of a calm mind.
  • If you look more deeply, you perceive that someone is observing that peace, someone subtle, is not the ego, is not a thought, nor is it material, seems to be nothing, it is purely conscious presence.
  • This state is called the realization of your deep being, or realization of the Self in you, or simply, self-realization.

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  • Keeping the ego inactive, with the mind in deep calm, watch your surroundings closely.
  • You will feel one with everything. The separation between you and the world is a thing of the ego. It is relative, and ultimately false.
  • By observing both the world and yourself, with the relaxed mind, your consciousness is simultaneously containing your environment and yourself, your body, your emotions, your mind, everything is in your consciousness, forming a unity.
  • This state is called realization of non-duality.

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  • Meditating on the functioning of your body, a very complex biological machine, with innumerable cells, living beings cooperating with each other to keep you alive, we see the diversity of life creating an unity of life, you.
  • Breathing, feeling life in you, looking at the life around you, with the calm mind, you feel that all life is one, you are a focus in an ocean of life.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of life.

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  • Looking, with the calm mind, how the world works out there, so complex, how everything seems to work alone, with mathematical exactitude, governed by natural laws, the whole cosmos functions like a precision clock, you feel there is an intelligence there, subtle, immense, that is in everything.
  • That same intelligence keeps you alive, second to second.
  • Your own personal mind is part of that intelligence,  it is an individual focus of that cosmic intelligence.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of mind, or realization of the Universal Mind, “the Universe is a creation of the Mind.”

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  • Observing from the relaxed, open, centered mind, the Love that expands and is in everything, the unity of Life, the unity of the Mind, the non-duality of Consciousness, and your very profound being, encompassing all these aspects of reality with your consciousness, you experience a state of total oneness with Love, with Life, with Existence and with Mind.
  • This state is called the realization of the Self.

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There is a unique Self

quote-the-whole-universe-is-one-there-is-only-one-self-in-the-universe-only-one-existence-swami-vivekananda-275592

Individuality is a mental creation, so is relative; our mind analyzes the information given by our senses, and create our point of view of reality, so we believe there are uncountable separated objects. Also, our mind creates ideas about ourselves, making the so named “ego”, or our psychological individuality, another very relative (and unstable) creation that we take as absolute. Analyzing  deeper, mind finds our own body is made of almost uncountable forms of life named cells, and going deeper, each cell is also formed by uncountable atoms. In this way mind atomizes the reality. But at last, the atomization is so hard that we find void: matter is in 99,99% void! Seems no sense… where are the objects?

Beyond the image given by mind, the reality is one, without any separation. And this unique reality is complex, and can be seen from multiple points of view, having uncountable aspects ans facets.

The Self when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same Self when it appears behind this little universe—the body—is the soul. – Swami Vivekananda

“Is called God” means our mind label the unique Self, giving it a name, and also a sort of “personality”, but, again, is a creation of our little minds; the Self is beyond any conception, because is not mind, indeed, mind is only one facet of the Self.

But this fact not imply we must abandon our mind, on the contrary, mind can be highly developed and refined through study, reflection, concentration and meditation; in this way we become aware of the real, and we don’t fall anymore in ignorance, blindly believes, closed points of views, etc, and we human beings become able to know, to really understand the nature of reality.

Centeredness of attention

The focus of conscious attention

Attention is a function of the mind used to select which object we put into our field of consciousness; so sometimes the ability to be attentive and one’s conscience is confused. The ability to be aware incorporate the focus (attend) of any cognizable object and also its perception, while the consciousness field consists of all objects focused.

We say that the mind is concentrated when attention is held in a single simple object: the field of consciousness is narrow. Not the usual state, on the contrary, attention tends to change constantly from one object to another. For example, while we are doing a routine activity our thoughts come and go, and usually our attention follow them, so we are doing the activity almost unconsciously, unattended, in automatic mode, we can even seem absent during the activity, because our conscious attention is trapped in random thoughts.

This constant mental rumination is dysfunctional, as has been scientifically proven: produces a feeling of uneasiness and discontent. The various relaxation techniques and meditation seek to reduce this background mental activity calming the mind (for example, walking beside the sea, attending sensations) and moving the focus from thoughts to other objects, such as the body itself.

Attention captured by thoughts

Normally, our focus of attention are the body itself, the sensory information, and the thoughts, the latter being preponderant. Also, being the psychological self (also called ego) a mixture of thoughts and memories (we can say we think ourselves), the preferential attention to one’s thoughts is closely related to the sense of self: when a thought emerges, we believe that we ourselves are thinking, and obviously we full attend that thought. We could say that thoughts, self, and attention are entangled, making it difficult to discriminate between them. As more enmeshed they are, the person most difficulties will have for stop the automatically attending to all that the mind randomly propose him, whether good or bad, positive or negative, important or trivial; there is an identification of the person with their thoughts.

Centeredness of care

In conscious relaxation we relax and attend to the pleasant sensations that produces relaxation,  and in meditation we learn to calm our mind. When we have acquired some practice in such techniques, it becomes evident, and this is a fact proved by experience and also by science, there arises a new deeper self, one that is not any thought but is directly experienced, lived. For this deep I, which is also commonly called the inner witness, we have not yet scientific theories that explain it is, but we know the effects produced by: a mental stability and peace is achieved. Such deep I is experienced at first stages as something vague, like a calm presence that is watching without acting.

When we have some practice to feel it, we can start trying a more advanced meditation practice, one we know as centering of attention from the inner self, or simply centeredness. It consists of, from the inner I, acting as if we were him, observe the entire field of consciousness: our body, emotions, sensory information, and thoughts, but not jumping from one to another, as usual, instead,  watching them all at once, like all of them were a unique pack; all the possible objects of consciousness are incorporated into a wide field of consciousness, observed from the deep self.

We call the body-mind centering the ability to align or combine three human capacities: thinking (mind), feeling (emotions, feelings) and make (body) – Luis Lopez – Relaxation in the classroom.

Centeredness … is learning to stand and stay (in the deep identity) as long as we can. I am that who are seeing, feeling, doing physically – A. Blay – Self

Centeredness in the sense of identity merging with pure attention, it is not ideas about oneself. This enables addressing all aspects of the person at the same time and also have a sense of freedom of action upon them.

Centeredness exercise

I transcribed below the exercise of centeredness as I am doing in my daily practice; remember that it is not an exercise for initiation to meditation, if you try before having achieved a certain mental stability, through initial relaxation exercises and meditation, chances are that no results are obtained. But if we have already experienced, we became aware of this profound I that observes everything that happens without action, beyond thoughts, then we can try this more advanced practice.

Preliminaries
We find ourselves in our favorite meditation position, in the right place. Relax the body, releasing tension. Breathe deeply, slowly, deliberately, two or three times.

Then we made our favorite relaxation exercise or meditation, in order to calm and relax the mind. Whatever the technique chosen, to the end we have to be in a relaxed state but mindfully. We dedicate a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20 to this stage.

Centering
Then we close our eyes and take care of our body: we note their presence, we focus our attention on it,  without any purpose, without judging or thinking about it, we just attend, we are there. Note also their weight, the pressure points that body weight exerts on the chair or mat. We spend about three minutes.

Then we attend to our senses: in succession, focus each of them, touch (throughout the body, the clothes we wear, the air in contact with skin), smell (which smells detect?), taste (what flavor we have in the mouth?), hearing (noise both inside our body, in the room, and also far away). About three minutes.

Then we attend to our emotions, our emotional state: what is? We feel that physical, soft feeling, which is the emotional state when we are relaxed, focusing our attention there for a few minutes.

In the next stage we attend our thoughts, our mind: “observe” the interior space where thoughts arise, perhaps at that time does not arise any but the space is there. If you experience any, then observe how thought appears and disappears again in the space of mind. We were there about  two minutes.

Now try to attend to all of the above, but not in sequence but in block: the entire field, including the body, senses, emotions and thoughts. To do this, we can imagine that “we step back” to gain perspective and mentally become able to cover everything with our attention. We stay there all we can, experiencing the feeling of cover the whole field of consciousness without identifying with any of its contents.

Exiting: As usual, breathing deeply, gently mobilizing joints, opening eyes and slowly getting back to normal physical consciousness.

Delusions of separateness

ona_solitaria

In the Universe of delusions of our little individual mind there are one category that is specially harmful for ourselves: separateness. In the picture I illustrate it: in a vast Sea we can see countless contiguous waves, all of them forming part of the Sea. If any wave had a little individual mind, then it were possible situations like the one of the picture: a wave feeling alone, looking for friendship, maybe for love, and moreover, hoping a forever unchanged relationship. There are other delusions also originated from separateness, that are even more dangerous: see the others as different from ourselves, and fear or even reject such differences.

A wave of the Sea is unstable, fickle, and last for a short lapse of time, there are not any stable part in it, and of course is not alone at all, but surrounded by other waves of their same nature; analyzing with our mind any wave, we can see differences between them: there are tall and short waves, large and small, breaking and smooth ones, newborn and old ones, etc., but, all of them are waves. Also, human being is unstable, fickle, and last for a short lapse of time, and lives surrounded by billions of fellows. Why this sense of separateness?

The delusions of separateness and his by-products are originated,  created by our individual mind. Indeed, is the main function of the so-named psychological ego, a mental construct that feels separated from all the environment, and feels threatened for anything that challenges their sense of separateness … but at the same time such separateness make him very weak, so the ego is always looking for protection, for security, for a stable environment, for people who help him to survive. In this complicated two directions movement, towards separateness for survive as an individual ego, and also towards the others for have help, human being lives. Is a very  complicated balance, producing schizophrenic behavior: people walking on the street, coinciding on a elevator, or in a train car, avoiding eye contact, for fear to be damaged in some way; neighbors in apartments, living side-by-side for decades, without almost any human contact,  family living  people wanting to live home, maybe divorcing, maybe emancipating prematurely due to hard disputes with parents, etc etc.

Just imagine we stop “looking at the navel” and instead we start to look at reality without mental filters, what we can see then? Is easy: a Sea of billions of fellows, with out same characteristics, exactly the same, the ones of the human specie. Also, we can see our little mind is no more than a product of Nature, and also has the same characteristics in all our fellows. We are strongly focused on the differences, and don’t realize the similitudes, the oneness that embraces all the individuals.

colonia_pinguinos

If those penguins had Ego, many of them were lonely there, others would fell threatened by others, and some of them will attack others

Indeed, we have here an enigma: there is a Natural force named the evolution of species, and also other force named conservation of the species; both acting coordinately. The former are dedicated to “tuning” the species for improve their adaptation, but also is able to create new species; the last is the conservative one, dedicated to exactly reply the DNA from individual to individual, and also to defense against eternal attacks. It happens that evolution, the first force, has given us human beings a so developed nervous system (originally created for help the second Natural force, conservation of the individual) that creates a virtual psychological ego, so worried for survive that is able to involve himself in armed conflicts … killing other members of their own specie for political, or religious, or other reasons (that is, psychological invented reasons)… so attacking directly the Natural force of conservation of species!  Maybe human being is an error of the evolution? Then, our future will be become extinct for our own hand. Maybe is an intermediate product toward a new specie? I think so, also Eckhart Tolle, the well known writer and speaker, think in this way, see for example The Ego, the Now, Evolution and Madness: An Interview with Eckhart Tolle.

Identification of the person with ideas, thoughts, opinions

The problem of identification with personal ideas

There is an automatic process that occurs very often among us is: I discover an idea that can be self-make or created by others and accepted by me, which I see as correct, as some; then that idea is attached, built, mixed with my personality, my sense of self. It is a natural process of the human psyche, in fact the ego itself is a mixture of intertwined together ideas, so this process is part of the creation and maintenance of ego.

The problem is that ideas, however good they may seem, are always partial, contain a partial truth, a point of view. But our ego needs to feel stable, seeks to be; basing their existence on partial ideas, he gets into trouble, as any external event that denies the accepted idea will produce a feeling of destruction of the structure of the ego, which feels like self-destruction due to identification mechanism. This is an exact process, so as it happens.

Perhaps it will seem to exaggerate, but the problem posed is, or may be, serious or very serious; depending on the level of identification that we have, how well or how badly structured that is our psyche, and external events, denial of ideas that have integrated into our sense of self it can be from merely a temporary discomfort to a catastrophe, well for us, or for anyone who it has been guilty of denying our beliefs.

This is clearly seen when one has formed an idea of how life should be: for I have a good job, good friends, a stable family, etc. If that idea becomes integrated with our sense of being, and so it does not get to even partially fulfilled, we feel denied, unsuccessful, and we fall into depression, one of the most widespread diseases in developed societies. In contrast, in countries that maintain permanent armed conflict, where life is very hard, is virtually unknown psychic depression; people who have to survive day to day do not plan anything, do not think of idyllic lives, and therefore can not identify with these ideas, that all they would do is add more suffering to which they have.

Also clearly it is seen in the process of identification with ideologies; in this case there is a structured set of ideas, rather dogmatic body, but remain partial, and are accepted and integrated deeply into the personality. Consider for instance religions, and also in, economic, moral or political ideologies. And think how many misfortunes, conflicts, wars and horrors we have suffered and still are suffering, due to the blind application of ideologies. In the extreme case, the identification is so strong that any individual who does not agree with the ideology is seen as a danger, as an enemy of our very existence, as someone who must be converted or destroyed. Therefore it is a very serious issue.

cruzads

Crusaders (“Christian warriors”) against Mongols in the religious wars of X-XII centuries

 

Fixing the issue

Why does it happen this identification? It is an expression of natural law: biological evolution has created complex beings, formed by billions of individual cells, which tend to be self-conscious, to be “somebody”. In the present course of our evolution, identification is with the mind rather than the body. There is a natural demand for be somebody, but who? It is this tendency to satisfy the demand to be someone that brings us to build an ego from ideas: I am so and so, I’m an engineer, I’m agnostic, I am … In fact we are nothing of all that, we should say: now I have a name, a profession, a belief … but are variable, if you ask me in ten years may have changed all that.

If when I meet with an idea, rather than accept it and incorporate it into my being, I meditate on the truth itself, my intuition of truth, which that idea is just one way, one aspect, then my view will be wide and I can accept other different ideas, and in the event that the original idea is diminished or denied will not affect my sense of being, I will not need to defend it, nor do I feel offended or lowered. There will not be any discomfort, resentment, frustration.

And this attitude will have a second effect, as important or more than the first: in doing so, I’ll discover as a being that is beyond ideas, however good they may seem. I will not confuse me with things, with states, with ideologies. I will realize that I am independent of all that, I simply am, no more. And no longer we suffer or will suffer more, by partial ideas. The same ego is weakened, it will not disappear, but lose strength, and can no longer take control, rather it will control us, and we will use it as a means of expression of our being.

I can not stop repeating the importance of this dis-identification: if formal education to include in their programs the development of this vision, so to be free, not tied to ideology, and did well, believing in what he does, putting the necessary resources, imagine the reader the social transformation that we would see in just a few years. The effect it would have on the conflicts we now have worldwide. It would be revolutionary. We will be peaceful beings.

Paloma Pau

The way of knowledge

Desires and knowledge

According to the ancient Vedas, we have a soul, and such soul has four distinct desires. The first is dharma, the desire to fully become who we were meant to be, the longing to achieve our highest state of well-being to fulfill our destiny. The second desire is artha, the desire for the material means (money, health) necessary for fulfill our dharma. The third desire is kama, the longing for pleasure in any and all forms. The fourth is moksha, the desire to be free from the burdens of the world, experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace and a state beyond the reach of the other three desires.

The more separated from the whole we feel, the more egoistic will be our desires. Our knowledge of the world depends on our mind (manas), and also the fulfilment of our desires; when the mind is exclusively dedicated to fulfil egoistic desires, the knowledge is lower, indeed is ignorance. One of the schools of classical Yoga, Jnana Yoga, aims to develop higher, true knowledge. Is the way suitable for intellectual people. In ordinary people mind is so dedicated to fulfil selfish desires than become entangled with them, making a mess named kama-manas, “desire-mind”.

A short tale

Once upon a time, in the Indian part of Punjab region,  there was a young promising teacher of University, doing his post-doctoral stage: Harmanpreet, who was both a very clever man but also a follower of ancient traditions, he meditated every morning for half an hour and also use to read spiritual books. Moreover, he had a mystic temperament, he can feel joy deeply and also he can feel sorrow very deeply, more deeply than the average person, because they was more sensitive and clever. Harmanpreet was also an amorous man, that is, strongly disposed to romantic love, considered for him the highest form of love while we are in the world. He had fallen in love sometimes since their adolescence, but nothing serious.

It was the first year in  the University for Advita, a girl belonging to the low Indian caste named Shudras. Her family was a very conservative one, but also they had a strong ambition, a will of become respected in spite of their caste; the father was a respected engineering, and he wanted all their sons and also daughters had also a career, and a good job. In the Hindu tradition Advita was starting to be marriageable, so their parents started to think about, despite she was not interested at all in such subject, she was only nineteen years old.

It happens that Advita felt attracted by Harmanpreet, one or her teachers; he was so polite and clever … Soon she look for him in Facebook and ask him friendship. Harmanpreet wondered a bit, is not usual such event, a student asking friendship with a teacher, but at last he accepted. Next night, after dinner, while Harmanpreet was working on his laptop, Advita opened a chat with him, and ask him about some academic topics, starting a chat that prolonged for two hours; the two young talked about music, travels, movies, etc etc. When chat was over, Harmanpreet felt a smooth excitation, a sense of happiness, it was a very nice chat. Next weeks such chats became common, strengthening the new friendship. Slowly, almost unwittingly, such chats became the most desired times of the day. In classroom both kept their composure, they  greet with a smile, no more.

At last Harmanpreet noticed he was deeply in love with Advita, a love strong and deeper than any other he was experienced before, so he started to make plans: he imagined being presented to her parents, who sure would be happy because he was a promising teacher, also imagined a very happy, joyful life. But when the young teacher opened their heart to Advita, problems started: their parents never will let her marry with somebody that was not their own choice, arranged with the family; even more, both young was of different castes: Harmanpreet was a brahmin, the higher caste, while Advita was a Shudra, low caste. Advita’s parents was against mixed caste marriages. Being Advita  educated in obedience and respect, also considering family the most important thing it the life, any dating with Harmanpreet was closed.

So Advita started to avoid Harmanpreet, chats was over, even she didn’t greet him at class, ignoring him, although she also loved him. When Harmanpreet accepted such way, ignoring her, then the girl felt stupid herself, and looked for him with her best sonrisa, trying to keep the friendship, then Harmanpreet regained hope, trying to go further, causing the reaction of Advita, who moved away again. Such cycle happened and happened, causing a lot of suffering to Harmanpreet, who even felt ill, feverishly.

He started to meditate in the situation, reflecting, even contemplating the situation, looking for relief. While meditating, he stopped their mind from wandering, and contemplating the facts from a mindfulness state. One day he was contemplating the fact: “when I try to get close to her, following my strong desire for her, she go further, and when we relax my desire, waiting nothing, then she returns, giving me their friendship“; suddenly he had an insight, “selfish desire for her is not love, on the contrary, my desire prevents her love”  and at the same time, he noticed a strange feeling of let go, something released from him. At that very moment the longing for a romantic love was dissolved  for the insight, because he realized passionate love was not the higher kind of love, indeed, the higher love is the unattached one, when we are able to give without expect anything in return: True Love is what remains when the selfish passion ends. And Harmanpreet ceased to suffering, entering in a peaceful loving state.

The desire that Harmanpreet felt was very strong indeed, covering the four Vedic desires: he experienced dharma, the longing to achieve their highest state of well-being and fulfill their destiny, thinking Advita was the way for achieve it; also he experienced artha, the desire for the material means, thinking about Advita as it; evidently he also experienced kama, the longing for pleasure, and until a certain point also experienced moksha, the desire to experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace, imagining he will feel the higher kind of love through Advita. After the insight, such desires became highly purified. Harmanpreet now only wants the best for Advita, also the best for all the people around; he himself had pure Love in their heart, waiting any chance for share it with anybody, without  expectations. Such state is blissful. Harmanpreet is now a  Jnana yogi, he has higher knowledge about life and love.

A Touch of Zen wisdom

In this post I transcribe some quotes uttered by the Zen master Berta Meneses in a lecture, including a personal brief comment.

An antidote for desire is freedom.

Since desire binds us to the objects of desire, making us dependent on them, so not free.

We don’t need solve our problems, we need dissolve them.

The “problems” really are generated in our mind in response to events that we do not like, so we oppose to the reality; relaxing mind these problems-ideas become dissolved, as a block of salt in water.

Let it be, let it go.

Let the One who dwells within us to express, let it be, and at the same time, let the existence elapses, flow, let it pass in front of us, watching.

It is necessary to conduct a “drain” of the unconscious.

The unconscious mind is accumulating experiences that have not been fully lived, have not been assimilated, either by conscious rejection, either by inability to grasp their meaning. We need to drop things, clearing all this accumulation we have in the back room.

Be centered in action: between the external stimulus and our response to the stimulus we must insert a brief space, and fill that space of awareness, presence.

For our responses to stimuli from the outside world no longer be automatic, for we do not behave like automatons, we must train in notice the short space of time between the stimulus and response, and once there, be present at that moment. Thus, the answer will be given progressively more and more aware, will be more authentic, less conditioned.

Let’s talk, say things from the depths, from our center.

This is an example of be centered in action: action in this case is talking. Before speaking, in the earlier time, we are fully present, then our speech will arise from our center and be inspired, energized. Our speech is often uprooted, far from our being.

The teacher-student dialogue is a dialogue heart to heart, no one is” superior “to another.

A true spiritual teacher does not purport to be superior to anyone, because this attitude is typical of the ego, which the teacher is free. What the teacher really wants in the dialogue with the disciple is to help him raise consciousness to more subtle levels, trying to convey an experience, something the teacher is already living.

A koan is nor a riddle, nor a paradox; It is an approach that uses opposites we have to transcend, looking at them from a higher level of consciousness, seeing, feeling that “nothing” that is the matrix of all that exists. The koan is not answered, the koan creates an experience.

It is common in the West go wrong with the concept of koan, interpreting it as a riddle for which must be found answer. Is not that. It is an invitation to transcend our conventional mind.

Zen aims to embody the essence, the Self,  in the world.

Zen is not a means to “escape” from this phenomenal world going to a more subtle, but on the contrary, connects the two worlds, allowing higher levels of consciousness manifest here and now.