In writing articles about spiritual matters my only “rule” is that they be helpful in some way. Most of the time that means illuminating different aspects of spirituality to the point that people have an “Oh, I get that,” reading experience.
Most of the time that illumination comes not from ideas I’ve come up with, but those of spiritual beings far more awakened than I’ll probably ever be. People like Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle and an idea from today’s featured yogi, Mickey Singer.
What I’m trying to bring to the spiritual table
My main addition to the spiritual game is expressing these higher beings’ ideas in language that resonates with readers in such a way that they penetrate deeper into their beings. At least that’s my hope and intention.
So onward to Mickey Singer. While listening to one of his lectures about his bestselling book The Untethered Soul, I heard Mickey describe the three, what I call, ‘spiritual entities’ inside us.
The three are: mind, consciousness and shakti/prana/life energy (I’ll explain that later). The interplay of these three forces determines the entirety of our inner spiritual condition. How? First, let me describe each of the three forces.
The mind is a field of energy that acts, as Mickey says, like a computer. We have thousands of experiences in our lives and each one makes an impression that gets stored in our minds.
Some of these experiences make deep impressions. Some people saw the movie Jaws in 1975 and to this day have trepidation about swimming at the beach. That is a strong impression.
Or your father was verbally abusive to you growing up and now, early on in a relationship, your boyfriend yells at you for the first time. This cuts you to your core. If your father was a sweet man who never even raised his voice at you growing up this wouldn’t have as significant an impact.
When our computer buttons get pushed
When these impressions, or inputs in computer language, are stirred, like the yelling boyfriend, they result in the mind creating thoughts. “Uh, oh. He’s a screamer. I’m outta here…”
Some of these mind created thoughts can be strong enough that they create emotions, which also get stored in our “computer.”
The totality of all these thoughts and emotions create that field of energy we call the mind. The crucial point is that the mind is not who we are, though most humans mistakenly believe it is.
This is the entity inside us that is us. It’s the force that exists only in the present moment. It’s what observes, without judgment, everything happening around us in any moment.
This one can get a bit “out there” so I’m going to settle for a simple, but no less accurate, description. Shakti is the life energy that courses through us. When we feel good, our shakti flows freely. When we feel down our shakti is blocked.
Going deeper on this would entail things like, is shakti our soul or spirit? Is it the energy that emanates from “the one source,” which it returns to once we die? The truth is in there somewhere, but, in my opinion, is unknowable to humans.
Most important is that this energy within each of us is, in its natural state, pure love. Pure joy. Some go so far as saying that this love/shakti is God him/her/it-self. This is the view of Mickey, Ram Dass, Yogananda and numerous other saints and traditions.
The Interplay Of Mind, Consciousness And Shakti
How these three forces align and interact determines the totality of our inner condition. How does that work?
From the above, I hope it’s apparent that the pot of gold at the end of the spiritual rainbow is the unfettered flow of shakti. That is the state of pure joy and love.
Why we don’t feel awesome all the time
Well, if that is our natural state, why don’t we all feel like a million bucks 24/7? Because our shakti is blocked from flowing into our consciousness. What’s blocking our shakti? Mind.
Here’s one way of looking at it. We have our consciousness. Below that is our mind. And below that is our shakti.
The mind is in the middle. It’s that energy field of mind that blocks our shakti from flowing up and into our consciousness.
Shedding our mind energy
So how do we get rid of that mind field of energy so our shakti can flow and we can feel nothing but peace and love? We let go of it. Every time one of those mind impressions/computer inputs comes up in our daily lives, we immediately relax, breathe and let it go. Each time we do that, it’s one chunk of mind energy that flows up and out of us. One less impediment blocking our shakti.
You might be asking, “Is it even possible to fully let go of our mind/egoic self?” Yes, it is. Proof comes in the form of many Indian saints, like Yogananda, Meher Baba, Neem Karoli Baba and many others. These people exude joy and love.
Mickey Singer says that when somebody casually asks him, “How are you doing?”, he surprises them by saying, “I’m ecstatic!”
I’ve never been in the presence of one of these higher beings, but those who have say that they can literally feel the love pouring out of these people and that that itself is a deeply moving, spiritual experience.
Ram Dass’s life-changing moment in India
In fact, probably the single most important moment of Ram Dass’s life occurred when his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, simply looked at him a certain way on the day they met. Ram Dass said that look caused his heart to wrench open; he began crying uncontrollably. Just that look of total love and compassion, in that moment in 1967, started Ram Dass on a yogic journey that lasted until the day he died in 2019.
So yes, gaining access to that vast ocean of shakti is powerful. But it’s not easy. It takes years, decades of work; for anybody, including yogis. The constant letting of that mind/egoic self that acts as a dam between our consciousness and that ocean of shakti.
But it’s worth every second of work, as painful as it can be at times. Because it’s the ultimate spiritual landing spot.
So what’s the point of all this? To give you a different, but understandable picture of how our inner worlds work, with the hope that any clarity provided will aid you in your travels down the spiritual path.
I’ll close with some words from the great Yogananda. This is what he taught to any of those fortunate enough to find the vast ocean of love/shakti inside them:
“When you find this ocean, jump in…And drown in it.”