the outer space of the mind

exploring the far reaches of the interior universe

Imagine the exhilaration of going into outer space for the first time. Wouldn't you just watch and absorb? You would be overwhelmed and in awe because you had not known exactly what to expect. You had speculated, but you didn't know for sure. You had many assumptions, based on imagination. Now you might find that some of what you imagined or thought possible has proven true, while you have to totally discard other preconceptions.

The journey to the outer space of the mind is actually the very same: you have heard about higher states of consciousness and people who had attained them, so you drew conclusions –  wrongly or rightly – and created your own hypothesis. Now you find out.

The mind is like space with all the stars and planets: everything exists and is waiting to be discovered, but we can only go so far in our first explorations. Just as the first major voyages in space were to the moon, our first exploration is to the hidden place in our own mind. Just as the moon is able to reflect the light of the sun, we can discover in the mind the place that reflects and absorbs the Light of Divine Wisdom. We can-not take all the Light at once. We must take it in degrees. We may have a great flash, but it is a flash, and does not stay.

The more you overcome the resistance of the intellect, the more often you can travel to the place of Light. As you make repeated visits, you may discover new laws or circumstances that you need to become aware of, like physicists who discover the laws of the physical world or biologists who understand the laws of nature. You may not have given this cosmic law a name or defined it, but it's there. Then you will experience the repercussions of your discovery, which will reshape your entire perspective.

A pioneer in bringing yoga to the West, Swami Sivananda Radha is the author of 10 classic books on yoga, including Kundalini Yoga for the West and Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language. Her teachings focus on developing awareness and quality in life.

  read more of swami radha's past columns

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