The Cosmos and Consciousness, by Ashok Bhatia (2022)
Naval aviator and NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell believed that there is a spectrum of consciousness available to all human beings. At one end of the spectrum is what one may refer to as material consciousness. At another end one may experience what could be referred to as ‘field’ consciousness, where a person becomes one with the universe, perceiving the universe. When he was out in space and looked at our beautiful planet, Mitchell said that he felt having attained a state of field consciousness.
Different Hues of Consciousness
Identifying different hues of consciousness is akin to the case of seven blind men trying to describe an elephant. People have different perspectives. Many of us use our brains to explain what we understand it to be. Many others use our hearts to do so. But the concept of consciousness is rather profound. It is beyond the sensory limitations of the human mind, which has an uncanny ability to divide and analyze things. So, when Mitchell spoke of field consciousness, he was possibly referring to the part of the consciousness spectrum which is beyond human imagination.
Spiritual masters tell us that consciousness is the breeding ground of all things, the source of creation. Thus, whatever we see on the material plane – all species and each one of us – possesses consciousness. Our individual consciousness is embedded in this universal consciousness. In the interim stages, we have collective/group consciousness. All of these could be different but lead eventually to the universal/field consciousness.
On the mortal plane, for those who are aware of their inner reality, a shift from one to another kind of consciousness becomes possible. As per the Shamanic tradition, this would be like shifting the Assembly Point.
How Travel Becomes an Uplifting Experience
Many decades back, as a kid, I had the privilege of seeing – from a distance, of course – Yuri Gagarin, a former military pilot and the first human being to have travelled to outer space. When he looked at Planet Earth from inside his Vostok 1 capsule in 1961, he expressed his feelings thus:
“Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it”.
When one looks at our planet from outer space, geographical and man-made boundaries disappear. Fault lines arising out of religious beliefs, caste, creed and nationality vanish. Conflicts look petty manifestations of the inflated egos of our leaders. Wars sound meaningless and a waste of precious resources. One ends up seeing the bigger picture. A composite whole becomes the reality.
Not many of us get to travel to outer space. However, even at the mundane level of our lives, our experience is not different. Once we shift our Assembly Point, so to say, or change our frame of reference of viewing things, people, objects and incidents, we experience the exhilaration of a fresh perspective on the situation at hand. By distancing ourselves from our immediate surroundings, we allow the windows of our minds to open up to newer possibilities and ideas. Our problem solving abilities improve.
Take the case of what happens when we travel. The worries of prior preparations melt away. The concerns at the point of destination take some time to pop up. In this brief interval of time, we often gain a fresh perspective. We get charged up. Likely solutions emerge to intricate problems which sounded insurmountable till yesterday. Hope dawns. We walk into the sunset with our heads held high and our vision clearer.
Three Catalysts of Universal Consciousness
Switching over from one kind of consciousness to another one is not easy. Nor is the inner journey from material consciousness to universal consciousness. Three catalysts, which can help us to achieve this universal consciousness, are: Awareness, Care and Intent.
If simple awareness is the starting point on the spiritual path, attaining a deeper level of awareness brings us face to face with our true selves. The more we care for our environment and our society, the better human beings we become. If our intentions are as pure as fresh snow, driven by a compass of benign values, the actions we take and the resultant results we get are more likely to enrich the cosmos at large.
Enlightened leaders who strive for a higher purpose in life are indeed the conscious ones whom we could all look up to.
Ashok Bhatia is an occasional author, a speaker, a regular blogger and content creator on such topics as Management, P G Wodehouse, Bollywood and life in general. Based on his 35 years+ experience in the corporate world, he is acutely aware and conscious of the need for high values and ethics in business. Almost all his articles and books have an underlying current highlighting this very theme. In him, one finds a fierce critic of any kind of compromises on this front. He believes that business ships which are built on a keel of sound values end up not only having a better brand equity but also yield better returns to their stakeholders. When businesses are broad minded and give back to the society at large, they serve a higher purpose.
His blog posts can be accessed at ashokbhatia.wordpress.com.
(Inputs from Dominique Conterno and Esther Robles, co-founders of Consciousness Enterprises Network (https://www.consciousenterprises.net) are gratefully acknowledged).
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