The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali
Book IV: Self-Completion
In Yoga the world is Real (not illusory, as it is for example in the Vendanta). Nevertheless, although the world exists and endures, it owes this to the “ignorance” of the spirit: The innumerable forms of the Cosmos, as well as their methods of manifestation and development, exist only to the degree to which the spirit, the Self (purusha), is ignorant of itself and, by reason of this ignorance of a metaphysical nature, suffers and is subjugated. At the exact instant when the last Self shall have found its freedom, the whole of creation will be reabsorbed into the primordial substance. (Mircea Eliade)
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the British Sci-fi series, Dr. Who. It has endured since its humble origins in make-shift scenic designs to today’s breathtaking Digital SFX. All the while, though, one constant remains—the main title character, simply known as Dr. Who, “regenerating” himself (though his consciousness remains the same and intact) in countless different masculine-incarnations until ultimately—should that “time” ever arrive—he simply is reabsorbed into his primordial-self. This is a wonderful metaphor—Dr. Who AS the Self—regenerating over and over and over again until, like the above quote from Mircea Eliade, he is reabsorbed into the primordial substance—the ultimate Self-Same Unborn Mind. In this concluding Book of the Sutras, the salient elements in the former books are revisited, yet with a reinforced ellipsis: The Self, now Fully and Recollectedly cognizant of Its Noble Staturehood, thus makes a triumphant return to its Primordial-Eminence from its self-induced insomnia . This will be Realized through the Dharmamegha Samadhi.
iv. 1-3 The Transference of Consciousness
4.1 Both higher and lower siddhis can be re-activated from siddhic-practice in previous incarnations, or can be presently developed through the use of herbs, mantras, and by samādhi.
Patañjali has summarized the various means for procuring the siddhis. Alice A. Bailey makes a pivotal point concerning one of them:
It is needless to point out that the use of alcohol and of drugs can and does release the astral consciousness, as also the practice of sex magic, but this is astralism pure and simple and with this the true student of Raja Yoga has naught to do. It is part of unfoldment on the left-hand Path.
Good point to consider in this obsessively drug-ridden-age that seeks short-cuts to enlightenment. Relying on foreign substances only induce habitual stupors that can keep one imprisoned in intoxicating astral-realms for evermore. There’s no doubt about it, these substances cloud the mind. The best (and safest) path is the hard-earned one, through diligent study and disciplined practice.
4.2 The transformation from a lower to higher consciousness is evolutionary in scope.
The Lankavatarian adage holds true here: What the Mind focuses on determines it’s *body* of Reality. If the mind focuses on debase things, consciousness simply reverts to the most primitive-instinctual-body-consciousness base. When the Mind turns-about and Recollects Its true perfection in the deepest seat (Amala) of consciousness, then “spiritual-evolution” is engaged, thus the Diamond-Mind-Body is intrinsically generated.
4.3 The Methods incurred are not “the cause” of this transformation, but they provide the tools in which to weed-out all mind-impurities as a farmer irrigates his field.
The seed of Buddha-nature is inherent in all, yet the Bodhi-Seed needs to be properly cultivated lest it never reach its full Buddhaic-potential.