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..:: The Universal Mind ::..


Alan Schneider


             The universe can and should be thought of as an orderly, intelligent, and conscious state of being, an Awareness, of which each individual human awareness is a part. In this sense, the physical universe becomes a Universal Mind or Consciousness, engaged in what the Hindu religion calls the Cosmic Dance, an eternal manifestation of deep involvement occurring on every plane everywhere. The Universal Mind is the ultimate source of all knowing and all being, including our human knowing and being. Although the physical universe appears to be a chaotic, random mechanical creation from the perspective of the casual observer, it conceals the vast root Intelligence of the Universal Mind, hidden behind the apparent mechanical chaos of its superficial physical manifestation. This Intelligence is certainly subtle in the extreme, but remains the architect of Creation nonetheless. Its presence is revealed to human beings in many ways – synchronicities, meditative (and other) spiritual visions, epiphanies, occasional direct revelations of deep meaning (causing apparently random events), and extra-sensory observation and perception. Locally, on planet Earth, the Intelligence has created human sentient self-awareness through the process of evolution, as a mirror of The Universal Mind and Intellect. The creation mirrors the Creator – we could not demonstrate our consciousness, even at its current primitive level, without the Presence of the Universal Mind existing at the largely subconscious foundation of that level. 

            At this subconscious location, the Universal Mind demonstrates a structure having a significant element of collective manifestation. This manifestation is expressed on the level of archetypes and archetypal symbols. The well known Major Arcana of the Tarot system are also archetypal symbols of the various estates and stages of life, as are the Runic glyphs, Hebrew letters, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Sanskrit characters, to name but a few of the many archetypal symbol systems.  That which is collective is shared among us at the deepest level of expression. So it is that we all participate either knowingly or unconsciously in the process of the foundation consciousness of the Universal Mind.  The archetypes themselves are buried in chaos, both within the physical tissue matrix of the apparent body, and, beyond that, in the intergalactic matrix of the apparent physical universe. They emerge in the form of the culturally determined symbol systems just mentioned, among many others cataloged in history and prehistory. The archetypes themselves are driven into symbolic manifestation by another hidden, chaotic process. We have referred to this process in this essay as the Universal Mind

            Every creative thought or impulse that we have originates from this place. If the process of creativity is studied carefully enough, we discover that we cannot know the point of origin of new ideas and conceptual processes, even if we knew their pre-existing constituents, because that point is located beyond the threshold of perception, somewhere in the background chaos of the mind. I have myself stood before this absolute chaos that forms the curtain concealing the Universal Mind, and experienced many new insights, ideas, and processes simply emerging through that curtain into my conscious perception! Can I then say that these were my creations, because they emerged into my personal consciousness? I think not – all creation always has and always will originate within the Universal Mind of the Logos.  

            Meditation is one of the most effective ways to begin accessing the Universal Mind and Consciousness, because it results from a voluntary, conscious mechanism of willful personal decision, as opposed to the many other Universal manifestation processes that tend to be more inadvertent. We customarily chose when, where, and how to meditate. And meditation is also the psychological “royal road” to relaxation, health, and enhanced self awareness. This single area of activity, when practiced with regularity for even a few minutes a day, will eventually correct virtually every imbalance in ones personal existence. This is achieved by establishing a sensory disconnect with the frequently self defeating daily mental and physical routines practiced in our lives, while simultaneously turning attention inward toward the hidden conscious states that determine the awareness of every human mind, and of the Universal Mind, which contains all knowing and being. 

            The most frequently used posture for meditating is the cross legged Lotus position seen in many Eastern religious systems, This is a very effective physical position, but the full application, in which the legs are interlocked at the ankles with both feet facing upward, can be very difficult to attain, particularly for beginning students. The HaIf-Lotus, in which only one leg is interlocked with the respective foot directed upward, is also effective, as is the traditional non-interlocked cross legged "Native American" style seated position. In fact, the most important condition of the Lotus Posture is the requirement that the spine be held straight and erect. If this cannot be done for several minutes, then another position which will permit sufficient detachment to focus on the meditation technique used should be chosen. This can include sitting upright in a chair, or even lying on the floor. The spinal column is the physical and evolutionary foundation of the body, and contains within its subtle structure the Primary Chakras. These are more-or-less physical areas of focused awareness that approximately correspond to a sequence of glands and meta-processes occurring both in the body and in the mind. This is one of, if not the, Great Bridge from the physical universal to the perceptual universe, and then on to the Universal Mind.  

            At the base of the physical spinal column, the First Chakra, Muladhara, is found. Although this consciousness center is nominally concerned with rote physical survival activities (e.g. working, eating, sleeping, breathing, eliminating), it also contains a “packet” of a very important psychic agent – the Kundalini Energy. This energy is normally latent in most individuals, but can be “initialized” by the practices of postural Yoga (e.g. the Lotus Posture) and meditation. Once thus activated, the Kundalini Energy begins to slowly rise up through the following Chakras along the spinal column, activating successively more subtle and sensitive modes of conscious perception as it does so. This process of activating heightened awareness is referred to Ascension in Yoga and Meditative practice, and is considered to be the ultimate goal and meaning of life in the physical form here on the Physical Plane of Manifestation. It is through the Ascension process that we even can know that material life is occurring on what is only the first Plane of Manifestation – one that is followed by several others in succession as consciousness is expanded beyond mere physical perception. 

            The attainment of the meditative state becomes a matter of great ease with practice. Simple steady, relaxed breathing is one of the most effective ways to enter the meditative state – is in fact the key to entering this state – and subsequently begin accessing the Universal Mind. One need only find a relatively quiet space, attain the posture of choice, close one’s eyes, and begin breathing in the manner just described. Even the first practice will begin to relax the matrix of social conditioning and anxiety that prevents the perception of the Universal Consciousness in the personal mind, or ego, as this mental form is frequently referred to in spiritual discourse. As this practice is continued, the Presence of the Universal Mind is increasingly sensed on all perceptual levels as the ultimate source of manifestation behind the apparently distinct forms and processes experienced in daily living.  

               Because the totality of knowing and being includes free will, we can choose to see ourselves from the cosmic, Universal perspective, or from the simple material perspective, or any other, but the repeated practice of spirituality always tends to reveal the subtle and majestic order which underlies all superficial events. Universal Consciousness occurs as we move in the direction of the totality of existence, and become more and more aware of who and what we are in this infinite, eternal expression. Although the meaning of existence at the physical level of perception is, as Carl Jung has said, that it is “a battle”, and we must come to terms with this level of expression for the sake of our physical survival, this is only the first stage of meaning. Once the minimal conditions for existence are determined and attained, we can move on to the extended purpose of living, which is the liberation from the bonds of physical perception called Enlightenment in almost all of world’s spiritual traditions. This is why we are here.  

               All of life’s difficulties are caused by living in spiritual impoverishment, and cured by developing spiritual awareness. This form of living is far more powerful and effective than even the most intricate human mental design. I encourage the investigation of the Universal Mind and Consciousness as the most direct route to this enhanced spiritual awareness, and the Truth at its foundation! 


                                                                              - With Love, Alan -

                                                    (CR2008, Alan Schneider)


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