THE GREAT OBSTACLE to uncovering the deeper truths of life is primarily down to the self-delusion that one already knows everything that one needs to know or can know.
To think that you cannot really know more than you already do, nor learn anything of substance beyond what you have learned by a certain point in life, is to preclude yourself from higher, more profound, streams of information.
It is unfortunate that so many prefer to adopt a know-it-all attitude and dismiss topics of study, or subjects of inquiry, that don’t fit within the rigid parameters of a limited worldview, rather than taking the time to look into, and explore the wealth of possibilities, that can expand one far beyond those parameters.
What many don’t realize is that, in all probability, they have arrived at their point of stasis quite unwittingly. The reason for this likely lies with our educational systems which staunchly promote rote learning in contrast to the more creative approach of allowing intrigue to take its natural course and letting the mind chase whatever topics are of keen interest.
It’s understandable, of course, that a great deal of rote learning is necessary for technology-based cultures to flourish. We need mathematicians, physicists, engineers and architects, to name but a few of the vital professions required, and we would likely not fill those ranks if we let children study only what they found agreeable, interesting and easy to understand.
Nevertheless, imaginative exploration should receive equal time. After all, motivation is always down to interest.
Neuroscientists today speak of left brain, right brain activities and the consensus is that each hemisphere of the brain has certain processing capabilities which are dominant. The left brain primarily works with linear information and logic, while the right brain is spatially oriented and processes information in a more holistic fashion. This is not an absolute division, however, and studies show that the prefrontal cortex, where most of our day to day thinking takes place, certainly draws from both hemispheres.
Emotional intelligence, meanwhile, is an area of knowledge that gets almost no attention in our educational systems and this may be a greater problem still. If children were to learn about the “molecules of emotion” and how to control them via mindfulness and meditation, the world would likely be a much more peaceful and harmonious place. If children learned the power of cooperation over competition on a global scale, we might possibly never have violence or war.
Meditation offers the most direct way in which to access higher brain wave states that are conducive to holistic thinking and the control of our emotions. Such states can result in increased creativity and insights of a magnitude that are sometimes so profound in scope that they are life changing.
Beta is the brain wave of our ordinary, everyday mind in which we communicate with one another. It is a necessary state for societies to function. To access no other states, however, can eventually drive a person into a life that is brimming with mental stress and multiple problems of a physical nature.
This is why meditation is so important. It allows a person to cultivate states of mind that help one overcome problems related to mental and physical forms of stress and it can even relieve disease.
The alpha wave, for example, is slower in frequency and this tends to give a person significant relief from the incessant mind chatter that goes with the beta brain wave. Beta can make one feel nervous and irritable, whereas alpha can calm the nerves. It can result in feelings of peace and tranquillity, and allow rationality to prevail over emotional turmoil.
A deeper state, one beyond alpha, is called theta and reaching it results in experiencing slower brain waves still. While the delta brain wave is the slowest of all, resulting in sleep (and unconsciousness), theta is known for generating access to the twilight state between the conscious and unconscious realms, where a greatly expanded mental state associated with healing and transcendence can be directly known.
One might call this greatly expanded mental state, “nonlocal mind” or “mind at large”, for it is here that all minds have their source and continue to be connected throughout life. Jung called this mental realm, the “collective unconscious” (which means that our most common mental brain wave state – beta – could rightly be labelled “collective consciousness” or “consensus reality”).
Mind at large – MAL – is a level of mind that can be characterized as oceanic in scope, while the unit of consciousness we humans usually experience via the beta brain wave state can be likened to but a single drop in that ocean.
One cannot access MAL, however, without reaching deep states of consciousness that are only available in meditative repose. To meditate is to cultivate access to MAL.
What can occur when one does access MAL are expanded levels of insight into one’s personal life and life in general. The answers to important questions or creative resolutions often emerge from entering this mental state. The scientists and artists who attest to the reality of MAL are legion. (Poets famously refer to this state of mind as accessing the “muse”.)
The important thing about experiencing MAL is that it allows one to be aware of, and experience, a reality of significantly vaster proportions than the one we experience in our mundane, everyday world.
When one accesses MAL on a regular basis, one’s worldview changes for the better. The sense of oneness with “all that is” comes naturally to the fore via theta brain waves. When one reaches this state of mind, over and again, one may even find oneself sensing the kind of subtle, eternal, infinite attributes that go with the concept of God, or the Tao, the Akasha, Cosmic Mind or the Matrix. (However one wishes to characterize it.)
The ultimate, elevated perspective, perhaps, is the state known as gamma and it is at the opposite end of the scale from delta, for gamma brain waves are the fastest of all. Gamma, however, is believed to perform an integrative function, to process information from all the regions of the brain. When one considers that we experience millions, billions and trillions of bits of stimuli on a daily basis, it is easy to realize the importance of such an integrative function.
The vital point here is that absolutely anyone can learn how to access MAL and that it can be done easier than most people imagine. Even ten or fifteen minutes of meditation in the morning can start the process. Simply sit and let go of all thought, take deep, slow breaths in and out, and sense the energy that flows through and fills every fiber of your being and every cell of which you are physically composed.
MAL is on offer to everyone and it infuses everyone, whether one knows it or not. To access it on a regular basis eventually results in experiencing moments of supraconscious insight, which may sound very uppity, overstated or unreal, but to wade into even the shallowest waters of the oceanic mind is to sense the potential that is there.
Take no one’s word for it, though. Each of us is free to seek it out for ourselves and prove its existence.
To do so, can and will invariably alter one’s life for the better, for there is magic to be found in MAL. After all, MAL is the field of energy that organizes absolutely everything in the universe, which makes it the ultimate miracle in and of itself.