In August 1970, at Humboldt State College, in Arcata, California, TM Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi discussed how Cosmic Consciousness (CC), the fifth state of consciousness, is different from Glorified Cosmic Consciousness (GC), the sixth state, sometimes referred to as God Consciousness. He talks about the fourth state, Transcendental Consciousness (TC), which we experience when we practice the Transcendental Meditation technique, and the seventh state, Unity Consciousness (UC). For a complete introduction to higher states of consciousness, see “7 States of Consciousness—Unlimited Possibilities for Personal Development.”
Question: Would you go over the distinction between Cosmic Consciousness and God Consciousness [Glorified Cosmic Consciousness]?
Maharishi: God Consciousness. You must have seen sometimes in the forest, trees, when the sun or moon, maybe the sun is behind you and it is falling straight on the trees. And what you see is all the leaves and branches lighted in the sun, bright, brilliant. At other times, when the sun is on the other side and you see the tree, and what you see—yet you see the leaves and the branches, but they are shadowed. Not that brilliancy, not that brightness, not those details, but some sort of shady appearance of a tree. That is the difference in Cosmic Consciousness and God Consciousness. When the sun is on the other side, far away, it is Cosmic Consciousness. And when the sun is on this side, it is God Consciousness.
I’ll make it more clear, but this is it. When the sun is on this side, God Consciousness. When it’s on the other side, you see the tree, but there is difference in the expression of the tree. One expression is bright and brilliant and full of light. The other expression is a little dim and shadowed.
What has happened in Cosmic Consciousness? That Being, or this Transcendental Consciousness, that pure awareness, has become permanently established. The self—the small self, small S self—has now become big S Self. Small S has become big S Self. Individual self has become universal Self. That unbounded pure awareness, self-awareness, and the waking state—waking state of consciousness and Transcendental Consciousness—both at the same time.
What has happened in Cosmic Consciousness? That Being, or this Transcendental Consciousness, that pure awareness, has become permanently established.
Cosmic Means All-Inclusive: Transcendental and Waking States Together
By virtue of waking state of consciousness, we see the world as we have been seeing it. By virtue of pure consciousness, we have that unbounded awareness established. Previously, we were only aware of the world. And now, we are aware of pure awareness also, along with the awareness of the world.
So two things have come to be, to be together: That pure awareness, which in the beginning of meditation days was found in the transcendental area, when the world was gone. We meditate, mantra becomes finer and finer and finer, and we have transcended. That awareness is there, but without the world, without relativity, without waking consciousness. And this state we call Transcendental Consciousness—that every other awareness in the relative had been transcended, and we are in this pure transcendental awareness, pure consciousness. This is Transcendental Consciousness.
When this pure awareness comes to be lived along with waking consciousness, then it is Cosmic Consciousness. Cosmic means all-inclusive. All-inclusive means inclusive of the relative value and absolute value of consciousness: absolute consciousness, self-consciousness; waking consciousness, relative consciousness—both together, all-inclusive; relative and absolute, both inclusive. This is the structure of Cosmic Consciousness. The world is seen as we have been seeing it.
When this pure awareness comes to be lived along with waking consciousness, then it is Cosmic Consciousness. Cosmic means all-inclusive.
With Higher States of Evolution, We See the World in Greater Glory
As our ability of perception improves with higher states of evolution, evolution advances, and then our ability of perception improves. With the improved ability of perception, we are able to see the world in greater glory, and the glory of the vision improves till we appreciate the world in the celestial value.
The world is the same. The flower is the same, as I said in the morning, but we have improved in our ability of perception. So the transparent, colorless film—transparent, colorless film of the sap—which is already present there, but it was not cognized before—now it has started to be cognized: [this] means the finest relative value of the world, the finest, comes up to be cognized. And the finest relative in its value is celestial.
So everything is cognized in its most glorified value. This is the vision in God Consciousness, everything in the celestial value—as if things were cognized with green glasses, and now they are cognized with yellow glasses. The difference [is] in cognition, the difference [is] in the value of cognition.
Previously, the world was cognized on the very surface level, gross level of creation, and now finest level of creation, which is celestial in its nature. So celestial perception: The value of the world had increased from gross to the finest, and this is what we say, to the celestial level. And that is the difference in Cosmic Consciousness and God Consciousness. The value of perception increases to the highest, highest level in the relative—it’s yet in the relative, but supreme relative. And in Unity [Consciousness], that supreme relative reaches the level of infinity.
This is the vision in God Consciousness, everything in the celestial value—as if things were cognized with green glasses, and now they are cognized with yellow glasses.
In God Consciousness, Our Heart Has Maximum Value
So when we rise from Cosmic Consciousness to God Consciousness, what happens is the environment is enriched to maximum value. Environment is the same, only our appreciation of it has improved. Our friend is the same, but if we begin to doubt whether he is a friend any more or not, so our doubt is damaging to our ability to appreciate him. Our love improves our ability to appreciate him.
In God Consciousness, our heart has maximum value. The heart has expanded to maximum value. And with that great, most highly expanded heart, the evaluation of the world reaches highest value. The evaluation—we evaluate the world in its supremely relative values: supremely relative, highest relative. This is the glory of God Consciousness.
In front of God Consciousness, compared to God Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness is—it has its own value, that’s all, its own value. It’s good. It’s good because it has been a stepping-stone for God Consciousness.
Even at this state of evolution, freedom is eternally gained. This freedom in Cosmic Consciousness is glorified in God Consciousness. And this glorified freedom in God Consciousness finds its fulfillment in Unity [Consciousness]. Freedom is realized in CC. It’s glorified in GC. It finds its fulfillment in UC. So what I have to say is, “You see.”
And that is all that I have to say. This is the difference between CC and GC.
With that great, most highly expanded heart, the evaluation of the world reaches highest value.
Waking State of Consciousness Is Not Reliable
Deep sleep state of consciousness, there is no creation—no question, that is out. In dreaming state of consciousness, we know it’s too illusory. The world is too mistaken. The body, which does not know even to jump 20 feet, is found flying in the dreams. So it’s very unrealistic. Dreaming state of consciousness, being very illusory, it’s out of consideration, as [is] sleep state of consciousness, out of consideration.
Waking state of consciousness, how much validity it has to appreciate the true value of the world? We know from our own experience. Even our dear friends are doubted the other day. They have been so good for 20 years, and then the next day they seem to be no good, because my mood is not good anymore.
Waking state of consciousness is not reliable to estimate the value of the world or the value of environment.
Waking state of consciousness it is, but sometimes it is this, and sometimes it is this. Sometimes it appreciates, sometimes it condemns. And therefore this is also not reliable. Waking state of consciousness is not reliable to estimate the value of the world or the value of environment, because we know how deceptive it is. The friend is the same, but if we are happy, he’s very good; if we are not happy, he’s not so good.
So the evaluation of the world, the picture of the world, changes with our moods. And therefore, in the waking state of consciousness, we are not good enough to evaluate the world. Then what to do?
Pure Awareness Is the Basis for Proper Evaluation of the World
There is another state of consciousness, Transcendental Consciousness. Fine, let’s get onto that. When we get onto that, the world ceases to be. No evaluation. Nothing is left there. Just as in the deep sleep the world didn’t exist, here also it doesn’t exist.
But one thing is there: that I don’t sleep. I’m awake inside. And therefore, maybe this could be a basis, this pure awareness could be the basis for proper evaluation of the world. If this pure awareness could be established along with waking state of consciousness, maybe my moods don’t go up and down too much, because [of] this pure awareness. Fine.
Let us stabilize this pure awareness, along with waking state of consciousness. Fine. It is established. Now we are in CC. The world is that, and I am that. I am this, and the world is this. Now what has been done is, I have realized my Self. In my pure consciousness I stand, and I see the world as it is.
In my pure consciousness I stand, and I see the world as it is.
When the Object Overshadows the Subject, Experience Is Baseless
Previously, my existence was so involved with the world that everything I saw, I was lost in the sight. This is identification. Whatever we see, the image of that goes through the retina and falls on the screen of our mind. Our mind gains this picture. It loses its pure unbounded awareness and only the flower remains, and the seer gets lost in the sight. The seer—I—gets lost into the sight. Only the flower remains. I don’t know. What I see is the flower. What is there in the consciousness? The flower. Who is seeing is not in consciousness.
So, when the seer, when the knower is in darkness, what is the basis of knowledge?
I see the flower, but I don’t know who is seeing the flower. The knower is in darkness. The object of knowledge is in light, but the knower is in darkness. When the knower is in darkness, the whole knowledge has no basis. And this is the vision in bondage—in the state of bondage. When we are only in the waking state, when we have not developed our transcendental, pure consciousness, when our individuality is only individuality, when it has not been supported by the universal unbounded awareness, then only the object remains and the subject is as if annihilated by the object. And this is called objective life, or material life.
Material life means the subject is not able to uphold his status when he comes in contact with the object. When he comes face to face with the object, the subject becomes shadowed by the object, as if the object annihilates the subject: predominance of object; predominance of matter alone at the cost of the subject. This is called material life, life in bondage. Whatever we see, that remains dominant. The seer is annihilated. The experiencer is annihilated; only the object of experience remains. But now, in this case, the experience is baseless.
In this state, in the state when the experience is baseless, how can the value of creation be evaluated when the evaluator is in ignorance? When the evaluator is in ignorance, how can the evaluation be in light? And therefore, unless the Self is realized, the real value of the object cannot be evaluated.
So, when the seer, when the knower is in darkness, what is the basis of knowledge?
Self-Realization—the Basis for Perceiving Creation in Its Supreme Value
Realization of the Self, realization of the perceiver, is the prerequisite to the valid realization of any other thing. Only in the waking state of consciousness, the evaluator, or the cognizer, the seer is in ignorance. Therefore the sight is not valid at all. In this situation, when the knower is in darkness, evaluation of the world is not valid. The world cannot be evaluated.
Now, through TM, the Self is realized. The knower comes in light. I know what I am. I am seeing the flower, yet this phenomenon of seeing is not able to overshadow my Being. My Being shines in its unbounded awareness, and yet the individuality is capable of perceiving the flower.
So for valid evaluation of any object, realization of the Self is the prerequisite. Realization of the Self is a prerequisite to proper evaluation of creation. This is the first step. Realization of the Self is the prerequisite to realization of creation, proper evaluation of creation.
Now, in Cosmic Consciousness, the Self has been realized, and the creation stands as separate from the Self. The doer, being engaged in action, is a witness to all that he is doing. And in this state of consciousness, the Self is most powerful. By virtue of his being infinitely powerful, he’s able to do less and accomplish more. He’s able to do nothing and accomplish everything.
This we see in the market. When a man is a small businessman, he has to work very hard, so many hours and all that. As he grows in wealth, others work for him. He doesn’t even go to the market. Maybe a few telephone calls a day—enough. When he grows still more powerful, he doesn’t even telephone. Just by his being in the town, the whole market fluctuates this way and that way and this way.
As the power grows, one is required to do less and less and less and less. And when the power is infinite, one is not required to do anything. One is just a witness. By virtue of his being there, everything goes on according to his demands—or he doesn’t have even to wish, everything goes on for him.
This is growing in power. This is CC, Cosmic Consciousness. The Self is a witness. With that great authority, everything goes on by itself. In this state, when one has realized one’s Self, one realizes what creation is. The value of creation is realized when the evaluator has realized himself.
Now, the gross value of creation has been realized. The value of the creation is much more than what it is realized in CC. Value of creation is really realized in its supreme value in GC.
In this state, when one has realized one’s Self, one realizes what creation is. The value of creation is realized when the evaluator has realized himself.