In The Fourth State Of Consciousness
Why is it that some people - 'seekers' - are seeking an awakening of consciousness? What are the benefits, if any? What's the big deal? Is it of any practical value in our day-to-day living? Or is it just some esoteric feeling that is being sought?
Awakening of consciousness is a key to greater happiness
Beyond the realm of experience
Although it is stated on the page describing the experiential nature of the fourth state of consciousness
that this state is essentially beyond the realm of experience, the mind-body system nevertheless does undergo changes of a significant nature. These in turn result in changes in the way we experience life on all levels, as will be explained shortly.
Formal research1 has shown that during a particular technique of deep meditation in which the fourth state of consciousness is said to be experienced - referred to as transcendental consciousness - the physiology comes to a 'deep state of physiological rest and relaxation.' In addition, there is an 'enlivenment and integration of large areas of the cortex (featuring significantly increased alpha power and long-range coherence). This physiological signature is unique to this fourth state of consciousness, and never appears in waking, sleeping or dreaming.'
The experiential benefits of these changes
This deep rest results in the release of deep-seated stresses that the level of rest during sleep seems unable to get to. And as stresses get released, or dissolved or dislodged from the physiology, we emerge from such a state with a nervous system that is subtly yet significantly different from the one we had when we entered that state.
So, although the fourth state of consciousness is there all the time, as the basis of all the other states, when the system is lightened by the elimination of some stresses, it is as if we experience an awakening of consciousness - a more stable level of consciousness that we were perhaps only dimly aware of previously.
We can allow the mind to take us to that fourth state regularly every day by using one of the more effective methods2 of mind-body deep relaxation and rest. By allocating some time every day - as a daily routine like taking a shower or having a lunch break - this awakening of consciousness through stress release progressively refines our psycho-physiology. As a result, the nervous system is progressively cultured to enable that state to be livelier in our awareness throughout our day's normal activities such as work, social interaction, recreation and so on.
In short, we find that we are progressively - and quite spontaneously without any trying on our part - using more of our full human potential. That is why people who meditate regularly twice a day (using an effective technique, that is) report that they experience improvements in a wide range of areas of their life: health, memory, effectiveness, happiness and everything else.
1. Formal research on transcendental consciousness
2. Methods of deep relaxation that I can vouch for
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