Evolution of Consciousness – Meher Baba

When God identifies Himself with human beings, He is no longer semi-conscious; because at this stage in the divine dream state, as soon as God identifies Himself with a human form He gains full consciousness.

Full consciousness now having been gained, this consciousness ought to dispel all dreams and cause God to experience the real awake state, giving Him the realization that He is God. At this stage, although God identifies Himself with human beings and although God is now fully conscious, with a feeling of greatest awareness,* yet God has not realized His real, divine awake state because the full consciousness thus far gained is of the Nothingness of the Nothing which was latent and which is now manifested apparently as Everything through the projection of His own divine infinite sub-consciousness. This leads God to identify Himself with His projected creation rather than to become conscious of Himself as the real Everything and of His own identity as God.

* Before attaining human form there is consciousness but not awareness. In sound sleep there is neither consciousness nor awareness. Till the sixth plane there is awareness. In the seventh plane there is only consciousness.

In short, this is the stage at which God, while identifying Himself with human beings in full consciousness, still remains quite oblivious of His own real and original state of God-Is.

Even in this state of full consciousness God still continues to experience the world of His own creation, and with greatest awareness simultaneously continues to identify Himself with human beings, thus finding Himself sometimes as man and sometimes as woman according to the predominance of impressions which are opposite in nature. In other words, God in the man state, although fully conscious and completely aware, experiences Himself not as God in the God-Is state but as man in the human state, not as infinite but as finite.

The paradoxical irony is that God the Real now finds false creation as real, having lost His own reality in illusion and having made His own reality an obstacle to experiencing Reality.

In order that God-in-man should experience Himself as God-in-Reality, the projection of the full consciousness of God, which is now fixed on man, should be so drawn inward that the same full consciousness, which when projected outward identified God as man, should now identify Him as Himself. This is realization of the God state and this realization is the divine goal which alone brings about the end of the divine dream.

Attainment of the divine goal would mean that at this stage God-in-man, through the gradual process of involution of consciousness, should eventually experience the passing-away-in that original divine sound sleep state of absolute vacuum while retaining the legacy of the full consciousness which has been gained. Thus God would be able to realize His eternal “I am God” state consciously. Whereupon, attaining His original state consciously, God would experience His own divine eternal existence and His own divine nature which is the Everything—infinite and real; and so at last get the real answer to His First Word or question of “Who am I?” as “I am God.”

To make it clearer, to attain the divine goal with full consciousness evolved, the human-conscious God strives, through further experiences by the process of reincarnation, to withdraw inwards towards Himself the already projected full consciousness, which He gained as soon as He identified Himself with the first human-form in His divine dream (Creation).

As this stage of the beginning of the end of the divine dream approaches, the full consciousness of God which experiences the false awake state in the human form strives to the utmost through the process of involution to withdraw inwards, unto Himself, this fully evolved consciousness which is projecting outwards onto all things in the cosmic universe rather than unto Himself.

In order to describe the various stages by which the complete unconsciousness of God in His original sound sleep state gradually projected full consciousness through the process of evolution of consciousness, and how the projected consciousness was eventually withdrawn inwards through the process of involution of consciousness, after numerous reincarnations, before actually experiencing the real divine awake state of “I am God,” let the different stages be visualized step by step, comparing each stage of gradual gain in consciousness of God with the relative states of a normally conscious man who is at first in sound sleep and who subsequently gains consciousness enough to realize eventually his ordinary awake state every day.

First Stage

Visualize a man with eyes completely shut and in sound sleep. This man is completely unconscious and is oblivious of all that surrounds him. Now picture at the same time the original divine sound sleep state of God as He is in the original absolute vacuum of the God-Is state. In both cases, that is, both in God’s formless state and God’s state of human-form as man or woman, there is complete absence of consciousness, and in both cases absolute vacuum prevails. Simultaneously, also picture the total absence of consciousness in both cases as comparable to the completely shut eyes of a man in sound sleep.

Second Stage

Visualize the next state of the man as being still asleep but beginning to open his eyes very, very slightly, because he is just bestirred from his sound sleep state and the spell of absolute vacuum is shattered by the emergence of the dormant impressions now commencing to project through the sub-consciousness of the man which also lay latent in him in his sound sleep state. Because of the projection of the varied impressions through the sub-consciousness of this man, he now begins to experience dreams while still asleep, although no longer in the sound sleep state, because the absolute vacuum no longer prevails. For the man to commence experiencing dreams means that in his initial stage of the semi-conscious state he begins to experience through his sub-consciousness the dormant impressions of the Nothingness in sub-subtle forms. The man now is not only in the initial stage of the semi-conscious state and is not only beginning to experience dreams, but he is also starting to get involved in the dreams by beginning to associate with the creatures in sub-subtle forms of his own creation. Thus the projection of impressions, which lay dormant in the sub-consciousness of man, makes man play the role of the hero or the creator in the drama of his dreams. Because this man in this dream state has only just stirred from his sound sleep and has just attained the semi-conscious state, picture this man experiencing the dreams as one who is starting now to open his eyes very, very slightly. The beginning of the opening of the eyes resembles the advent of the first trace of consciousness as sub-consciousness manifested in man.

While visualizing this state of man, as a parallel, picture likewise that state of God in which He has just stirred from His original divine sound sleep state. God now only begins to experience the divine dream state, or the Creator state, as soon as the first most-finite impression of the Nothingness is projected through the divine sub-consciousness of God. Both of these—i.e., the Nothingness and the divine sub-consciousness of God—were latent as of Nothing in the original state of God as the Everything. God, now in the initial stage of the divine semi-conscious state, just begins to identify Himself with the creatures of His own Creation (i.e., His own divine dream) through the infinite divine sub-consciousness which just begins to project the Creation, that is, the impressions of the Nothingness.

Third Stage

Visualize the third state of the man as still asleep, but with half-open eyes, because a man in this state now completely experiences the semi-conscious state. In order to picture this complete semi-conscious state of the still-sleeping man, continue to visualize him with eyes very, very slightly open, representing the beginning of the semi-conscious state. In this state, as said above, he starts to experience dreams due to the false, illusory impressions of the Nothingness which were collected sub-consciously and are now ejected out through the projection of the sub-consciousness, giving rise to the beginning of the dream state of man. But, as the dreams continue, and as they gather momentum due to the intensity of the projection of multifarious and varied dormant impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man, he gets more and more involved sub-consciously. As a result he now firmly associates himself with the creatures of his own creation in the dreams and he is completely in the semi-conscious state. This semi-conscious state of the man represents that state which is neither the complete sound sleep state without consciousness nor the complete awake state with full consciousness. This state, so to speak, is the semi-awake state. Now visualize this third state of the man as the state of semi-consciousness represented by half-opened eyes experiencing the dreams more forcefully and much more intently.

While visualizing this state of the man, picture as a parallel that state of God in the divine dream state where God is experiencing a semi-conscious state. At this stage, God as the creator of Creation experiences the creator state through the infinite, divine semiconscious state. Here the infinite divine sub-consciousness, intensively projecting Creation into being, continually affirms God’s identification with the creatures of His own creation. This gives rise to infinite experiences of a more forceful nature in the divine dream of God, when God actually finds Himself as the creatures of His Creation.

Fourth Stage

Visualize the fourth state of the man as that in which he is still asleep but trying gradually to open wider his already half-opened eyes in accordance with the greater and greater intensity of the projection of more and more impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man still in his dream state. Here the man is not only in a semi-conscious state but is verging on being fully conscious, and is about to realize his awake state.

Now paralleling this, picture also that state of God in the fourth stage of His divine dream state. Compare the fourth state of the man in the semi-conscious state with a very critical stage in the divine dream state of God. Here the projection of infinite impressions, through the infinite divine sub-consciousness of God, is so intensified in the course of the cosmic evolution of the consciousness of God, that this projection is about to be so completely fixed, or so perfectly focused, onto the infinity of Nothingness as to identify God with His own most perfect image in His divine dream of Creation. Thus at this stage in the divine dream state, God the Creator is about to identify Himself with a human form after innumerable identifications with all and everything that is in His Creation including inanimate and animate objects. God, in the divine infinite semi-conscious state, is now nearing the verge of gaining full consciousness concurrently with His identification with human form.

Fifth Stage

Visualize the fifth state of the man as being still asleep but with eyes now almost open. The man in this state is still in the semiconscious or semi-awake state, experiencing the dreams at their height in their final stage, in which the impressions are projected through his sub-consciousness with the greatest intensity. The zenith is reached both by the intensified projection of the impressions in much less hazy forms, or in greater degree of realism, and by relevant dreams which are dreamt in a greater degree of clarity or in their ripe stage. This is the stage in dreams when the sub-subtle forms of Nothingness have reached their zenith and appear more clearly. The dreams at their height now must stop, because the zenith reached by the projections of impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man is at this point sufficient to excite and urge the emergence or manifestation of full consciousness at any moment. This state of the man almost fully conscious may therefore be pictured as a man with his eyes almost wide open, though still asleep. This is the stage reached a split second before the man has roused from his dream state to become wide awake. This is the completely matured semi-conscious state of sub-consciousness.

While visualizing the fifth state of the man, side by side with it picture that state of God in His divine dream state where God is experiencing the completely matured state of the divine, infinite semi-conscious state and is almost about to gain full consciousness. At its zenith the intensity of the projection of infinite impressions through the divine, infinite sub-consciousness of God has almost ceased to identify God semi-consciously with the last of the creatures in the cosmic evolution of Creation and forms. With divine, infinite sub-consciousness, God is in His divine, infinite semi-conscious state, which when almost matured identified God with infinite impressions of animal forms. But now in the fifth stage of the divine dream state where God is in the completely matured divine, infinite semi-conscious state, God can no longer be made to identify with impressions of animal forms even though they are intensively and infinitely projected through His divine, infinite sub-consciousness.

At this point a stage is reached in the divine dream state where in, with the projection to infinity of impressions projected infinitely through the divine, infinite sub-consciousness of God at its zenith, this infinite projection has almost identified God with a human form and God is almost fully conscious.

Sixth Stage

Visualize the sixth state of the man as having completely awakened from his sleep and as having his eyes completely wide open. In this state the man is no longer in the semi-conscious state, dreaming the dreams which were nothing but the hazy and faint projection of the dormant impressions of Nothingness which were stored in the sub-consciousness of the man, and realized through his sub-consciousness in sub-subtle forms of Nothingness. This is the stage in the state of the man where he has just awakened completely, but albeit he is fully conscious, he is not conscious of his “Self” as yet. The man is no longer in his sound sleep and semiconscious states and, with full consciousness gained, is pictured now with wide-open eyes. This means the end of the dream, or the end of the false state of man where he experienced the latent or dormant Nothing manifested in its raw state as Nothingness in the shape of hazy and faint sub-subtle forms. The man now in the awake state no longer experiences or sees the Nothingness as something hazy or faint as he used to see it in his dream state. With his eyes just opened wide and fully, he is dazed and stares vacantly at things that now confront his sight more realistically. The man now observes things that confront his sight as if he were seeing the ripe, the clear and the fully developed forms of the same Nothingness that he saw in his dream as raw, hazy and faint. In this state the man sees, as it were, yet another dream, but he sees it much more realistically than the dream from which he awakened a split second before.

This is the sixth stage in the state of man where the man, dazed, simply experiences the sight of things much more realistically but still as if it were just a vacant dream. That is, the man sees more forcefully and realistically but still vacantly the dream of his dream state, giving him the sense of yet another dream within the dream of his dream state.

This state corresponds to the few seconds immediately after a man has awakened and cannot help but see at first the objects that come within range of his vision rather than his own self. This is because, as soon as his eyes open after the sleep state, the spontaneous opening of the long-shut eyes creates in him a sort of dazed state and, although the man has awakened and is fully conscious, he is still unaware of his Self or of its position in relation to the objects surrounding his very self. He simply stares at the objects upon which his gaze falls.

While visualizing the sixth state of the man, make a parallel of it by picturing in the same way that state of God as of that instant when God has just identified Himself with a human form and has just gained full consciousness. At that moment God is no longer in the divine, infinite semi-conscious state, dreaming the original divine dream which was the projection of the latent Nothing re l e a s e d by the divine, infinite sub-consciousness as the Creation, or as completely evolved Nothingness.

In this sixth state, God is now out of His original, divine sound sleep and His divine, infinite semi-conscious states because He is now fully conscious. Here God is conscious not of His unlimited Self nor of His infinite, unbounded and unlimited trio-nature of infinite power, knowledge and bliss, but is just fully conscious. God is fully conscious now in the sense that God is consciously absorbed in the Nothingness which now manifests through His full consciousness as clear and well defined, realistic gross states apparently demonstrating their infinite aspects ad infinitum.

Seventh Stage

Visualize the seventh state of the man where he has his eyes wide open and is completely and fully awake in the sense that he now asserts his limited self or ego, and is conscious of his human form or the gross body, of his surroundings and of the gross world. Though this man is fully conscious and completely aware of the gross, and experiences the gross world in full, yet he is still unconscious of the limited energy and mind of which he indirectly makes unconscious use, being aware of their aspects through the limitations of his gross body alone. In this state the man is fully conscious, but gross-consciously, and is fully aware of his self as a man in the world of his surroundings.

The man is not only completely aware of the gross world, and of all things in the world which confront his view, but he also actually experiences them by involving his fully conscious and fully aware state of limited self in them. He now recognizes the objects of the gross world through his five predominant gross senses and differentiates them one from another, using them discriminately or indiscriminately, automatically and indirectly utilizing energy and mind which are now fully developed, in attaching to them their relative values as and when his limited self asserts in his awake state before he passes away once again in sound sleep.*

* In the awake state, it is the mind that sees through the gross eyes, hears through the gross ears, smells with the gross nose, eats through the gross mouth and acts through the gross limbs. In the dream state (sub-conscious state) it is the mind that sees through the sub-subtle eyes, hears through the sub-subtle ears, and so on. In the sound sleep state, it is the mind that is at peace and at rest.

While visualizing the seventh state of the man, picture likewise that state of God where God identifies Himself completely with the human form and gains full and complete consciousness. God now no longer dreams divinely the original divine dream but, with full consciousness now completely gained, He experiences falsely the complete awareness. This awareness makes God falsely aware of that original Nothing which was latent in His own state of infinitude, and which, with the present gain of full consciousness, makes God experience that Nothing realistically as the Everything, infinite and real. In other words, God, when He was in the divine, infinite semi-conscious state, was experiencing the latent Nothing manifested as the Nothingness as His divine dream. Now, when God is in a fully conscious state, He apparently experiences that Nothing, not as the divine dream of Nothingness, but He now actually experiences the awareness of this Nothing as the Everything.

In this stage with the advent of awareness, although God in the state of creator has stopped dreaming divinely the original divine dream, yet, because of His having gained full consciousness and complete awareness, God now becomes completely aware of the original divine dream not as a dream but as something realistic, not as illusion but as reality, not as the Nothing but as the Everything, preserving the Nothing that He created. Thus it is that, although God gained full consciousness and experienced complete awareness in the state of creator, this very awareness of God the Creator proves a deception and makes God now experience His own divine dream (or the Creation) of the Nothing as Reality while He identifies Himself with the human being.

In short, God the Creator as the God-in-man, though now fully conscious and completely aware and out of His original divine dream state, yet finds Himself not as God but as man with complete gross consciousness, experiencing the creation of His own original divine dream state as Reality. Here it is to be said that the God-in-man continues to experience in the awake state with the awareness of false reality the vacant divine dream as yet another dream of God within that original divine dream.

This is the most alluring stage in the state of God when, with full consciousness gained, God is led astray, by the false awareness attained, to identify Himself not with His unlimited and infinite Self, but with His most perfect image in the shape of the human being, while God continues to experience the vacant divine dream.

Although it appears as the most fantastic imagination, yet it is a fact that the very life of man is the veil that shrouds the reality of the eternal existence of God.

It is the irony of divine fate that God gets lost in man to find Himself, and the instant that man gets lost in God, God realizes His Reality as Existence, eternal and infinite.

In other words, infinite God becomes infinitely absorbed in His own infinitely perfect image intently seeking His infinity; and although God does gain full consciousness through it, He does not realize the reality of His own eternal, infinite existence in it. But, the instant the full consciousness thus gained ceases to identify God with the infinite reflection of His infinitely perfect image, this image vanishes from the consciousness of God, and God spontaneously and automatically and consciously realizes His own identity as God, the infinite Existence, and finds that He alone ever was, always is and eternally will remain the Only Reality.

Thus God in the man state, at first realizing Himself as man, asserted His limited aspects through the limited self or the limited ego, the limited mind, the limited energy and the finite gross body. Then eventually and ultimately realizing Himself as God, He manifests His unlimited, unbounded, infinite trio-nature of infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite bliss through His divine unlimited Self.

While depicting, through the seven different primary stages, the process of unfoldment of the latent consciousness of God in His original, unconscious, divine sound sleep state, as compared with the seven different primary states of man gaining consciousness right from his unconscious sound sleep state to the state wherein he gains full consciousness and wakes up completely with wide-open eyes, it is found that this is the process of the evolution of consciousness of God which eventually identifies the fully conscious God with the fully conscious man, after identifying God with all and everything inanimate and animate in the drama of the divine dream of Creation.

Right from the unconscious state (compared to the divine sound sleep state) until full and complete consciousness is gained in the man state (compared to the wide-open eyes of man experiencing the gross world), God remains One, indivisible, infinite, formless and eternally all-pervading. But it is the all-pervading, infinite nature of God that expresses consciously and unconsciously His eternal divine existence, directly and indirectly, in one and all states and forms, through their expressions of their very being.

The whole process of evolution was an absolutely spontaneous outcome of the original, infinite whim surging in the unconscious God to become conscious of His eternal and infinite existence. And, paradoxical as it may seem, in the process of evolution the unconsciousness of God urged the gradual unfoldment of the latent consciousness of God, which consciousness grew greater and greater through a gradual, systematic and progressive process of gathering and experiencing varied and innumerable impressions through identifying God with varied and innumerable gross forms.

So it is that the evolving consciousness of God gives rise to the identification of God with forms and states of forms of higher and higher types. This identification of God in turn gives rise to an apparently unending chain of associations and dissociations, or the so-called births and deaths, of forms and beings which continue to form and assert and then dwindle away in the Nothingness, leaving behind the legacy of impressions which in turn again lead the evolving consciousness of God to identify Himself with yet another form moulded of the very impressions left behind by the form that dwindled away.

Through the process of evolution, the unconscious God did eventually gain full consciousness when the evolved consciousness of God eventually identified God with the human form. But this full consciousness gained was impressioned consciousness and therefore did not make God realize the original, infinite state of God. On the contrary, God realized that He is man. Thus God, after having the original whim of His First Word (“Who am I?”), at this stage finds Himself to be man and experiences the gross world, apparently living in it as man and quite oblivious of His infinite and eternal existence until He finds the real answer to His First Word of “Who am I?” to be “I am God.”

-Meher Baba

From God Speaks, Part 8

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