The "I AM," as the supreme Knowledge (Truth) before knowledge is transcended
I have heard complaints on Facebook that people did not understand the quotes in my last two posts regarding the various states of consciousness Siddharameshwar was talking about in Master of Self-Realization.
You must understand this is not a textbook of economics or mathematics. You cannot understand this material with your mind. Don't use your mind. Don't try to figure out what is being said. What we call the mind is one one of many properties of what Siddharameshwar calls the subtle body, which is the second body of mind and intellect. That which is beyond the mind and intellect, cannot be comprehended by the mind. Objective knowledge of the world, even the so-called spiritual world, such as knowledge of the astral planes, kundalini flows, the sciences both soft and hard, psychology and psychoanalysis, cannot touch the two higher bodies of emptiness or the void, and the supra-causal body, otherwise known as Turya, or the "I Am."
Read the quotes very slowly. Then stop. Let the quotes rattle around in your brain and gradually settled deeper. Then go back and read paragraph by paragraph, one paragraph at a time. Stop after each paragraph and just sit with the contents. Do this for each paragraph. Then go back and start all over again. Read each paragraph sentence by sentence. Stop after each sentence and let the meaning penetrate deeply. Then go into meditation. Stop reading altogether. Just sit in silence and let the truth of these words sink deeper into your psyche and into your heart.
The correct way to read a master of Jnana, or of Bhakta for that matter, is to be as silent as possible. Don't try to manipulate these concepts with your mind. Don't try to figure out the meaning. Just read the text and let it settle into your heart. The more advanced you are, when you read, the more silent, open and receptive you will be. Do not read with the greedy mind that wants to grasp and process concepts and give them back to other people on Facebook. This is your final spiritual pursuit. This is not a toy to throw around and pitch in the air for everyone to see how well you've learned concepts. This is not a game where you learned concepts to show everyone how advanced you are or smart you are. This is your life's blood. Read the text as if it's the last one you will ever read. Let it penetrate you deeply. Drop the mind and receive the text within your heart.
Then you will clearly see, that when the text mentions the "causal body" it is not talking about a literal body. It is more a state of mind or level of consciousness. Even these concepts do not really fit the reality that you perceive when you go deep. Don't think too much about the meaning. Just let it sink in. Just imagine this is going to take you 1000 years to understand so don't wind yourself too tightly. Love and acceptance will show you the way as well as trust in the text and your teachers.
In the section beginning on page 55 of the Master of Self-Realization, Siddharameshwar talks in more detail about the great causal body, the Turya state, otherwise known as the "I am." He states:
Now we will see how knowledge arises in these four bodies. To gain the knowledge of objects with sight through the gross body, it is implied that all of the four bodies are instrumental in bringing this about. The physical eyes alone cannot see an object without the help of the subtle eye of the intellect. For example, we see a mango, or have the knowledge that this is a mango, but what would happen if we were only to see what the physical eyes alone see? Of course, the physical eyes should also see the object is a mango. However, behind the physical I is the subtle eye of the intellect whose help is sought to know the mango.
(Comment: this is rather obvious. If a 10th century Norman or Saxon man were to "see" a 2012 Toyota Camry, he would have no idea what it was for her about. He would have no concept of how it ran, or less he found the ignition that ran at all. It would be a complete mystery to him. Thus without the intellect, and an accretion of objective knowledge, the Camry would not be seen at all. It would only be a metal and glass lump.
In the same way, while the eye can see the mango or an orange, it takes experience in the mind to recognize that these are edible fruits.)
However, even this combination of the physical eye and the subtle intellect is not sufficient. If these two do not have the support of the causal body, the intellect is dead. The causal body functions in various ways, like space, sky, the void, distance, etc. The intellect needs the background of space in order to function (as a container). So, now there is the eye, the intellect, and the space in the form of the causal body, but if there is no witness in the form of the great causal body (consciousness; the "I am") to connect these three, there is no knowledge of anything.
Thus in order to get the knowledge of objects, it is necessary for all four of these bodies to be present. If we look progressively from one body to another, it needs to be pointed out that in order to know the activity or changes in the subtle body, the physical body is not necessary. Additionally, the activity or changes that occur in the subtle body such as attraction and repulsion, thirst and hunger, and pleasure and pain, can only be known through the aid of the causal and great causal bodies. Looking in the other direction, in order for knowledge to rise in the causal body, the help of the gross and subtle body is not required. At this stage in the explanation, it must be made clear that knowledge on any level is always dependent on the great causal body, the I Am.
For gaining knowledge in the causal body, the elements of the subtle body, mind, intellect, thinking, prana (which would also include kundalini and other kinds of energies circulating within the body and one's sense of presence) and the senses, are of absolutely no use. The elements of the subtle body only have influence over the gross and subtle bodies. The field of the causal body is entirely different from the gross and subtle bodies, and nothing from them can ever step into it. The question arises, "If this is the case, how can one enter into great causal body?" It is a fact that the scope of the mind and intellect is limited only to the subtle body and they do not have the capacity to enter the further two bodies, the causal body and the great causal body.
It must be stated that knowledge of the great causal body, I Am, Turya is absolutely self-sufficient. It stands on its own, (like the sweetness of sugar, unadulterated), and has no dependency or expectation of help from the previous three bodies. This knowledge is self luminous. By way of analogy, even though the eye sees all objects, no object can see the eye. Similarly, nobody is capable of seeing this King of Knowledge (which is the "I Am"), which is the eye of the eye.
This knowledge proves its own existence only by its own luminosity. Even though the I cannot see itself, anyone who has eyes never has doubts as to whether he has eyes are not. He can see because he has eyes. This type of certainty naturally abides in him. Similarly, one has knowledge of oneself while witnessing someone or something other than oneself. In order to see our eyes, we need a mirror in order to see the reflection of the eyes. That objective knowledge is only the reflected knowledge of the eyes. However, the knowledge of the great causal body proves its own existence by witnessing everything other than itself. For its proof of existence, no other evidence is required.
(Comment: this is what Rajiv and I mean by the term "apprehension," or to apprehend. We know of our own existence as certainty, even when we are not consciously aware, such as in the deep sleep state, by a deep intuitive knowledge that we always exist, which becomes greater and stronger a conviction, the more aware we are of this apprehension of our omnipotence.)
This knowledge of the great causal body is "all pervading," and yet it is as if it were invisible from the ignorant beings point of view. Instead of seeing the knowledge of the great causal body, for him the gross body, which in proportion is like a poppy seed in the ocean, has become the biggest thing of all. It has become a habit that when looking at smaller thing, that which is objective, we forget the bigger thing, that which is subjective. We abandon that which is self-proving and self-sufficient, and praise artificial things. It is like when words of praise are given to beautiful electric lights, yet we fail to give the same praise to the light of the sun, or will we look at pictures painted on a wall we forget the wall itself.
What actually happens in this process is that in spite of the fact that the pervading substance is infinitely bigger, when we pay attention to the pervaded object, we forget the pervading substance. The gross is pervaded by the subtle, and the subtle is pervaded by the causal, and the causal pervaded by the great causal (consciousness, knowledge, "I am"). The knowledge of the great causal body cannot be seen because everyone's attention is focused on the gross and that which is objective. When the focus of the aspirant widens, becoming that which is all-pervading, then one will have the vision of truth, the infinite knowledge that covers and you and envelops the vastness space.
Although the knowledge that abides in the great causal body is the destroyer of the causal body (ignorance), it cannot destroy the gross and subtle bodies. The ordinary and superficial objective knowledge that is gained through the mind and the physical body is not the destroyer of ignorance. Only that extraordinarily unique knowledge of the great causal body, is the opponent of ignorance. Ignorance is actually sustained by ordinary objective knowledge (which includes all of the "objective knowledge" of religion and conventional spirituality, New Age spirituality, the sciences and paranormal sciences, academia, psychology, etc.)
Just as the gross and subtle body’s inherent activities function for and ignorant man, these activities also continue to function for the Jnani after he has gained self-knowledge.
(Comment: this is exactly what Robert Adams says in his "confessions of the Jnani, where Robert states:
I am infinite, imperishable, self luminous, self existent.
I am without beginning and end.
I am , birthless, deathless, without change or decay.
I permeate and interpenetrates all things. In the period of universes of thought creation, I ALONE AM.)