The Ecology of the Soul is about consciousness, which, as we all know – or would, if we stopped to think about it for one moment – operates at different levels. Mostly when we say we are aware of our own consciousness we are talking about the mind, because that’s where we do our thinking, and, crucially, that’s where the idea of ‘I’ keeps popping up. What I will be doing today, what I did yesterday, how I liked that movie, hated that meal, was angry at work, relieved to get home… ‘I’, all the time ‘I’.
Implicit in all this thinking is the picture I have of myself, what I see in the mirror, what others see when they look at me. Ah, you say, you mean my face. Or my body. Yep, that’s what passes for ‘I’ or ‘you’ in the everyday world. But hang on a minute; if it’s ‘my’ face or ‘my’ body, who is the ‘I’ that owns these things? Who, separate from ‘my face’, ‘my body’ – and indeed ‘my mind’, because that’s how we speak of the mind – is doing the talking?
Next step: move the awareness of your consciousness down a level (or up, if you prefer), away from everyday rational thought or emotional activity. Notice I say ‘awareness of your consciousness’ rather than ‘your consciousness’, because yes, mind is part of consciousness; but when you focus on your own perception of your consciousness, your own awareness of it, you immediately go through a door into a realm of self-awareness where the mind is not a hell of a lot of use. Once through that door, thinking is a hindrance, not a help. You become conscious of yourself as Your Self; Self = Soul, but not ‘my soul’, because who owns your Soul? Your Soul is You, permanent, infinitesimal, un-creatable (excuse the language mangle), indestructible, a pinpoint of non-physical energy carrying all the recorded results of its actions which will contribute to all its future actions – through the body. You’ve left the realm of Doing, now you’re in the realm of Being.
This is a key teaching of Raja Yoga, to which the Ecology of the Soul owes a very great deal – in fact, all – of its insight into the nature of consciousness and how that translates into action. Accept that the real You is beyond Mind, that You the Soul do your thinking in the mind (and ’emoting’, and a few other things besides), but that your pure, unencumbered existence is something else entirely – the pinpoint of light energy – and you already have the makings of Soul Consciousness. If you merely meditate on this idea it will bring a result. I’m intending to interest people in these concepts without making them run a mile when the word ‘meditation’ comes up, so all I’m suggesting here is you sit in silence for a minute or two and ponder this idea: I am a Soul, a pinpoint of incredibly powerful energy, a mini- mini- micro-dot of consciousness, which in its pure, natural state, sits silent, glowing but not consuming itself, at peace. Perfect peace.
I am not my body. When I say ‘I’, I do not mean this physical form. I am inhabiting this physical form (I am located in my forehead) so I can create action in the physical world, which it is in my nature as a human soul to do. But I am in truth non-physical, and when I create action out of the mistaken sense of myself as a physical body – when I am body conscious – it all goes horribly wrong. I am black, you are white. I am a woman, you are a man. I am Serb, you are Croatian. I am poor, you are rich. I am fat, you are thin. Fear, anger, greed, enmity, anxiety, jealousy – all the negatives – come from and are fed by this massive, mega mistake. The biggest and only case of Mistaken Identity in human consciousness: body consciousness.
Chew on Soul Consciousness for a while – make it your Power Seed for today, a meditative 60 seconds followed by a full, conscious day in which you return to the idea and see how it affects your actions. You’ll feel light, you’ll feel high. You’ll feel what humans should be feeling as the norm; you can’t maintain it, of course, in the midst of a daily life of organising, planning, working, playing, getting, spending; you have to engage with the world that sees you as black, white, thin, fat, Serb, Croatian, man, woman, rich, poor. But you can return to Soul Consciousness; you can do all those daily life things but still keep it as your silent secret, watch Your Self as an inexpressibly tiny node of inexpressibly powerful and peaceful conscient energy, steering this mountainous body through its actions from your vantage point way up in the high forehead, controlling it through the ‘control panel’ of the brain. It’s a blast. It really is a new way of seeing, of doing. Of Being.