On August 5, 1970, at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California, TM Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi discussed how Unity Consciousness, the seventh state of consciousness, develops from Cosmic Consciousness (the fifth state) and Glorified Cosmic Consciousness or God Consciousness (the sixth state) with regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. For a complete introduction to higher states of consciousness, see “7 States of Consciousness—Unlimited Possibilities for Personal Development.”
Question: Maharishi, this morning, you spoke very briefly about Unity Consciousness, and I was wondering if you would explain Unity.
Maharishi (holding a yellow rose): Beautiful golden flower, but if we put it to analysis, what we find is every fiber of this is nothing but colorless sap. Beautiful light green stem—if you put to analysis, every fiber of this will be nothing but colorless sap. All the various things will be found, nothing but colorless sap, all the various colors.
Seeing the Colorless Sap in the Golden Petal
Now, on the surface, it is beautiful golden color; underneath, colorless sap. This we say when we don’t appreciate the colorless on the color. We only see yellow, don’t see the colorless on the surface. But because every fiber of this is nothing but the colorless sap, therefore the colorless sap is even on the surface. It’s not only at the depth; it is also on the surface. This is the reality of this, that even though we don’t see the colorless sap, we see only the golden color, but the reality of all the golden color is that even when we see it golden, the colorless is there even on the surface and even at the depth.
When our vision is dominated by the golden, then we don’t comprehend the colorless. But if our vision is cultured enough or refined enough to cognize the reality of this golden color, it will cognize golden color and colorless sap, both on the surface of this, because that is the reality.
If our vision is cultured enough or refined enough to cognize the reality of this golden color, it will cognize golden color and colorless sap, both on the surface of this, because that is the reality.
The petal is nothing but colorless sap through and through, on the surface and at the depth. But we see only the yellow, because our vision is lacking in its merit. The reality is that there is the gold, there is the colorless, and both at the same time on the surface, and both at the same time at the depth. This is the reality. Our vision comprehends partial reality of this. It only sees the yellow. It doesn’t comprehend the colorless. And this means our vision is lacking in merit. It’s not fully developed vision. This is all that it can mean.
If we can culture our vision in the value of the colorless sap, we will be able to comprehend the gold and the colorless at the same time, everywhere.
Perceiving Unmanifest Depth and Manifest Surface at the Same Time
Now supposing we want to find the colorless sap, where do we find it? We go to the root. And there is a root, and then the finer root and finer root and finer root and finer root. At the end of the finest hair of the root, there is that drop of pearl, a pearl, a dewdrop-like colorless sap, a crystal colorless sap, which has not yet become the root but is now ready to be transformed into a root. It has separated itself from the soil; it has not yet become the root—that is the colorless sap.
And when we see very clearly this colorless sap has become the root, and the root is also colorless and gradually it gains some color and some color, and then it gets into more colorful shapes. And then eventually all this green, and then eventually all this yellow. And then we see this yellow, and then we see that pure, colorless, crystal dewdrop of the sap.
And then again, we see this yellow. And then again, we see this colorless sap, unmanifest colorless sap. And then again, and then again, and then again, and then again, and then again—alternating our vision from this to that, from this to that, from this to that. When our vision will dominate into the value of the colorless, then we will be able to comprehend the colorless on the surface of the color.
And because the colorless is transparent, it is possible to see the color and the colorless at the same time, because one is transparent and the other opaque. The golden is opaque and the colorless is transparent, and therefore the colorless on the surface and the opaque golden at the basis of it, and both are comprehended clearly in their full values at the same time. And this will be appreciating both the unmanifest colorless and the manifest gold at the same time.
Because the colorless is transparent, it is possible to see the color and the colorless at the same time… And this will be appreciating both the unmanifest colorless and the manifest gold at the same time.
As Unity Dominates More and More, Differences Become Less and Less
Now, a situation can arise that our vision gets dominated still more by the colorless, and then we comprehend the dominating colorless and the non-dominating gold in our vision. Colorless is cognized more dominatingly, and the color is cognized in a less dominant manner. And when the colorless becomes more and more dominant in our vision, then the difference between [this] petal and [that] petal, the difference between the gold and the green, the difference between the leaf and the petal, becomes less and less and less and less. What begins to dominate is, that which underlies this, and that which underlies this—that comes up on the surface.
And the colorless zooming forth more and more in our vision, what is happening is the difference between this and this is beginning to be less and less. And unity between this and this beginning to dominate more and more, a time comes when the colorless is dominating. Neither the green dominates nor the gold dominates—what dominates is the unity of the colorless in the gold and the green.
And then the unity dominates; differences not dominating. The leaf always remains green leaf, the petal always remains golden petal, but the difference between the leaf and the petal, the difference becomes less, unity becomes more, more dominating. Not that we cease to appreciate the leaf and we cease to appreciate the petal, but we appreciate the petal more in terms of the colorless, we appreciate the leaf more in terms of the colorless. We appreciate this and this both together, more in terms of the colorless, and this is what is called a vision of Unity.
The leaf always remains green leaf, the petal always remains golden petal, but the difference between the leaf and the petal, the difference becomes less, unity becomes more, more dominating.
Life Is Lived in Waves of Bliss When Harmony Dominates
By alternating this field of manifest and that unmanifest pure field of pure awareness—like the colorless drop of the dewdrop of the sap, a pure awareness which is the ultimate constituent of all this variety of the creation, that unmanifest pure awareness which is one flat wholeness of life—our vision opens to that in meditation, then opens to this variety of manifestations, opens again to that state of Unity, again to this. What happens is that abstract, unmanifest pure awareness becomes more and more dominant in our vision. And as it gains ground more and more in our vision, the differences begin to be less and less, Unity begins to dominate. And in this process of evolution, the Unity becomes dominant. Vision becomes dominated by the sense of Unity. In spite of all the differences remaining there and being appreciated, yet Unity dominates. And this is sense of, sense of Unity.
It is a state of consciousness that is a state of consciousness beyond God Consciousness, that state of Unity. In spite of appreciating and behaving in the field of all this diversity and differences, Unity dominates in perception, in thinking, in action. And this is what is called behaving in Unity—walking and talking and perceiving, experiencing all in terms of Unity. Not that the diversity of creation gets dissolved, no. Only the sense of Unity dominates. And that is the level of consciousness.
And this is accomplished by transformation of the physical structure of nervous system, all these physiological changes which Dr. Kanellakos [Demetri Kanellakos, Ph.D., Stanford Research Institute] explained, this physiology of an evolving man, physiology of an evolving man. The modification of the functioning of nervous system that keeps on taking place time after time. We meditate, and alternate the meditation with action day after day, month after month, year after year, this transformation taking place.
The functioning of the nervous system is set in a particular style, and that style of functioning of the nervous system, pertaining to the corresponding state of chemistry of the nervous system—this kind of transformation enables or cultures the nervous system to produce that kind of awareness where harmony dominates, [and] disharmony remains secondarily established. And on that level of disharmony dominated by that sense of Unity, the entire life is lived in the waves of bliss.
In spite of appreciating and behaving in the field of all this diversity and differences, Unity dominates in perception, in thinking, in action. And this is what is called behaving in Unity—walking and talking and perceiving, experiencing all in terms of Unity.
“I Am That, Thou Art That, All This Is That”
This is a life, a practical life, a most highly evolved state of human existence in Unity. This is Vedanta [fulfillment of all knowledge]. That unmanifest pure Being is there; only at one time it is transcendental—that means it is beyond the relative. At other times, when our awareness has opened to that transcendental, then that ultimate content of life, that pure Being, zooms forth in our awareness, and then gets established with such great intimacy that the whole awareness is in terms of that.
Then “I am That, and thou art That, and all this is That,” and that is the life in Unity. Not that one is unaware of the diversity, only that the diversity becomes secondary. Unity becomes important and prominent. Till this has happened, the diversity is prominent; Unity is latent. But that latent field of life opens to our direct awareness through meditation: We open our awareness to that, open our awareness to this, open our awareness to that, open our awareness to this.
So, when our ability of perception, when our consciousness becomes used to that area to the extent it has been used to this area, then that and this both come to coexist. And that is Cosmic Consciousness: full transcendental awareness along with the waking awareness. Both have come simultaneously to be a living reality of life, that and this. Everything one does, one does in the awareness of that unbounded pure Being, or that is also called Self-awareness. Self-awareness and this awareness of the world, both hundred percent that and hundred percent this—this is 200 percent value of life in Cosmic Consciousness.
Then “I am That, and thou art That, and all this is That,” and that is the life in Unity. Not that one is unaware of the diversity, only that the diversity becomes secondary.
Cosmic Being Grows on the Level of Diversity
Now, evolution does not stop here. The awareness, that Self-awareness, continues to grow. And where it grows? It can’t grow on the level of the Self because the individual self by this time has already become that cosmic Being. So Being, and then Being absolute and this relative. And when the evolution continues, then it can only continue on this level, the objective level then—the level of diversity where Unity has not yet been established. That Self-awareness has been gained fully; the Self is infinite Being in that state. Yet it’s not complete because this field of diversity coexists with this field of infinity.
Now, infinity wants to overtake this also. It’s not satisfied by developing itself on the level of the Self alone. No, it must overtake the field of non-Self as well. This is Cosmic Consciousness, the non-Self and the Self both: non-Self on the level of waking consciousness, Self on the level of Transcendental Consciousness. Both have come to be lived, and now the evolution has to go ahead, and then it starts to go ahead on this level.
This non-Self also gradually starts to be appreciated in higher and higher values. All this appreciation of the gross on the surface of things starts to be replaced by the subtle on the surface. Gross surface of the finger, all the subtle here is already there. We know from physics, muscular level is imbibed by the molecular level, it’s there on the surface. Molecules are nothing but a collection of atoms; atoms are nothing but a collection of subatomic particles. So all this is there on the surface. Finest particle on the grossest muscular level, it’s there; only, as long as our vision is not open to those finer regions, so long we are only appreciating the gross. But when the experiencer, the I, the individual self, small s, has become big S [Self], then it starts to perceive more minutely.
And when it starts to perceive more minutely, the vision is not only restricted to the surface gross value of creation; it starts to see some finer values even on the surface of creation. And it’s quite legitimate. When the perception becomes more and more sharp, it must perceive the quality of that which is sharper on the surface. And the finest creation, the finest in the relative, begins to be perceived even on the surface. And, just for information, that finest in the relative is of a celestial value.
When the experiencer, the I, the individual self, small s, has become big S [Self], then it starts to perceive more minutely.
Infinity and Infinity Is Unity
Celestial cognition comes, and it comes, and it comes more and more, and it comes more and more. The Self is intact. The infinity has been established on the value of the Self. Now, the non-Self is rising to be appreciated more and more, nearer to the value of the infinity. And nearest to the value of the infinity is finest relative; finest relative in its character is celestial. The celestial begins to dominate the vision.
And then when celestial is established along with the Self, it is called God Consciousness: the supreme value of the relative and the absolute Self, both hand-in-hand. This is a step higher than Cosmic Consciousness; we call it God Consciousness.
Now, it’s not yet the end of evolution, because the finest relative has to be raised to the value of the infinity. And one more step of evolution, and the finest relative, which was perceived in terms of the celestial, now then is comprehended in terms of infinity. So this non-Self has gained the value of infinity—the Self had already been infinity—so infinity and infinity. And all this, all in terms of the Self, and Self in terms of that, and that in terms of the Self—this is how [we have] the sense of infinite harmony.
Whereas in Cosmic Consciousness, there was that great challenge: Self, non-Self; something variable, all the time changing; something non-changing, non-variable. So this and this was of a complete contradictory nature. And as evolution goes further and further ahead, this difference begins to be less and less. This non-Self begins to gain the value of the Self more and more and more and more. And when actually it has gained the value of infinity—this non-Self has gained the value of the infinity—then infinity in the non-Self and infinity in the Self; so infinity and infinity, and this is Unity.
This non-Self has gained the value of the infinity—then infinity in the non-Self and infinity in the Self; so infinity and infinity, and this is Unity.