Meditation’s Great Obstacle
Things that you cannot face in yourself you will hate when you see them in someone else. To counteract this, your universal love, the platform for Self Realization, must be awakened into the emotions of the instinctive mind and filter out into the conscious mind. So, as you are meditating and the various aspects of your subconscious come up, face them positively, reprogram them beautifully, and they will settle back into simply a memory pattern, resolved and incapable of disturbing you again.
If you see something in someone else you do not like and it is affecting you emotionally, sit down and face it within your own subconscious mind. The sore spot is located there. If you feel someone is doing something that you do not think he should be doing, and this really gets on your nerves, just know that under the right circumstances you may do the same thing, because the tendency to react to it is there in your subconscious. Get into yourself and reprogram that area of your subconscious with good, positive affirmations. Firm up your lifestyle, be more strict with yourself, use your willpower and think positively. Do not allow a weak link in a chain of habit patterns to bar your spiritual unfoldment even for a moment.
One of the biggest barriers on the spiritual path is to dislike our own subconscious as we become familiar with it. We must watch this pitfall very closely. The subconscious mind is not an enemy. It is just a well-used piece of equipment that we are renewing. We have to bless the subconscious mind and look at it as a vital tool to help us in our spiritual evolution.
The point I want to make is: do not fear the subconscious mind. Realize that it has not been programmed as it should be. Therefore, the program has to be changed. Realize that your superconsciousness is the master programmer. Get busy and reprogram your subconscious through the power of affirmation. You can do it through the powers of meditation.
Of course, there is a portion of the subconscious mind that remains more or less the same, handling the instinctive, involuntary processes of the physical body. But by following a sattvic diet, which is conducive to meditation, this area of the subconscious also begins to improve. As we improve food intake and elimination processes, we stop storing up poisons in our cells. As stored poisons are released within the body, they are eliminated regularly. This more physical area of the subconscious mind is also improved through proper breathing, proper posture, hatha yoga, getting plenty of sun, exercise, walking and all of the many wonderful things that benefit the physical body.
Add to your contemplative lifestyle a craft. Working with your hands in doing a craft as a hobby, taking physical substance and turning it into something different, new and beautiful—this kind of creativity is important in remolding the subconscious mind. It is also symbolic. You are actually remolding something on the physical plane and, by doing so, educating yourself in the process of changing the appearance of a physical structure, thus making it easier to change the more subtle mental and emotional structures within your own subconscious mind.
It is a principle on the path that until we are rather advanced we do not really know whether we have reprogrammed the subconscious mind or not, or if the reprogramming has been done correctly. However, we do know when we create something with our hands whether it is done correctly and carefully. We also know when it is finished, for we can see it on the physical plane. Taking a physical substance into our hands, using it carefully and systematically, and disciplining ourselves to finish that which we have begun is a powerful process. By doing this, we overcome habit patterns of carelessness and of not being able to pay attention to details. We also overcome the habit of becoming distracted. So, choose a hobby or a craft.
Seeing Oneself In Others
As soon as the subconscious mind has been positively reprogrammed, even just a little, the channels of intuition begin to open, and you feel peaceful. Disturbances within your mind subside. At this stage on the path you often wonder if you are making progress anymore. You hold a consciousness like being in an airplane going a thousand miles an hour while holding the feeling of not moving. When you feel as if nothing is happening to you inside anymore, you are living in an intuitive state, the eternity of the moment. Your intuition is now penetrating your external mind all of the time.
When your subconscious has been cleared of past reactionary patterns and reprogrammed thoroughly, you do not take exception to things that happen in the world. In understanding, you love everyone and embrace every event. You intuitively sense just what they are all going through, because you have in your memory banks knowledge of each happening acquired during all the lives you have ever lived.
Man has not always realized that a subconscious area of mind exists. For hundreds of years, humanity in the West believed that the conscious state was the only reality. Humanity has had religious inclinations also, and believed in superconsciousness, but felt that superconsciousness was totally outside and away from the individual self. That is why God is talked of as being way up in the heaven, and the angels high in the sky.
Why was God supposed to be outside the being of man, way up in the sky? It was because the subconscious area of mind was in-between. From this limited perspective, man saw himself as a little, insignificant nothing that has come from someplace, not knowing for sure when or how he got here in this conscious state. He knew he was a kind and hateful, generous and greedy, jealous, intellectual, instinctive being. He knew that. He knows it today. That is how one gets along through life. You have to fight for what you want. You have to argue. You have to be jealous, or else how are you going to get anyplace? You have to be quick-tempered to dominate others. You have to scare people, get your own way and elbow your way through life. That is the way to live when totally in the conscious mind.
Excerpts from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami