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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  The Charm
. . . . . . .
Monday, March 7,2011

The Charm

By Cary Bayer  

“The fourth (state of consciousness), say the wise, is not subjective experience, nor objective experience, nor experience intermediate between these two, nor is it a negative condition which is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. It is not the knowledge of the senses, nor is it relative knowledge, nor yet inferential knowledge. Beyond the senses, beyond the understanding, beyond all expression, is the Fourth. It is pure unitary consciousness, wherein awareness of the world and of multiplicity is completely obliterated. It is ineffable peace. It is the supreme good. It is One without a second. It is the Self. Know it alone!” – The Upanishads

Un less you’re Rip Van Winkle or in a coma–neither of which applies if you’re reading this now–you’re familiar on a daily and nightly basis with the three changing states of consciousness. They are, in ascending order, dreamless sleep, dreaming, and waking. Underlying this trio of changing states is a fourth state–described in the quote above–that most people have never even glimpsed.

This fourth reality is nonchanging, it’s beyond time, and the good news is, that it’s your true Self. It’s also bliss. When you take that into account, it’s a shame that so many people are unfamiliar with it. When you live without it as a cushion, you’re like a soccer ball being kicked around. When you live with it, you live a steadfast peace, regardless of what’s going on in your life. Instead of being booted around like that soccer ball, you have much more happiness, energy, creativity, clarity, peace, and vitality, to boot.

This same principle of the importance of the fourth is also evident in the national pastime of baseball, in which an inning is meaningless if you put runners on each of the three bases without scoring any of them. It’s only when a runner safely reaches the fourth base (home plate)–the one he started from when he came to bat in the first place–that a run goes up on the scoreboard. We have an expression in our language that goes, “The third time’s the charm.” As far as baseball and consciousness are concerned, however, the truth really is that “the fourth time’s the charm.” Or better yet, “the fourth state is charming.”

How to Awaken the Fourth The connection to your higher Self in this fourth state of consciousness is possible at any moment of the day or night in the waking state, or at any moment of the night–or day, for nappers–in the sleeping or dreaming states. That’s because your true Self– the infinite silence and peace of your inner non-changing Being– underlies every moment in time

of the three changing states. The easiest way to contact this state beyond activity, perception, thought and feeling–this state of pure Being–is to allow your changing mind to settle into the non-changing peace of the Self. Meditation is the best way to do this because, being in a seated position, you’re not going anywhere and, with your eyes closed, you’ve begun the process of reducing perception. When you use a mantra to quiet the thinking process, you further increase the odds for making contact with the fourth state of consciousness at the source of thought itself.

For purposes of full disclosure, I have been contacting this fourth state since I was 17, when I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM). Three years later, I began teaching it, as well, and have taught many hundreds of others through 2009. I also trained dozens of TM teachers. In 2010, inspired by my experience as a TM teacher, I launched Higher Self Meditation, which accomplishes this contact with the Fourth as effectively as TM, and at a third of the cost.

If you’re one of those people who hasn’t yet connected to the infinite silence, peace, and bliss of your higher Self–the nonchanging fourth state underlying your changing experiences of waking, dreaming, and sleeping– why not come home? When a runner does that in baseball in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, his teammates mob him and give him high-fives. If you do this in Higher Self Meditation, you will feel high–and you’ll be on your way to experience state of consciousness five, in which the non-changing fourth state coexists on a 24/7 basis with the changing three states. But that’s a whole other column.

 

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