People for centuries have spoken of the existence of a profoundly spiritual experience known as Cosmic Consciousness.
This can be described as a higher level of level of awareness and consciousness, and some describe it as the experience of ‘knowing God’.
Its essence cannot really be captured in words, but some of those who have experienced it describe an overwhelming intensity and joy.
All pain, conflict, and imbalance disappears in the clear light of perfect bliss, knowledge and true being. For those how have experienced it, the connection has been the supreme experience of their lives.
Although this ultimate pure experience of cosmic consciousness may lie beyond the reach of most people, all of us are capable of experiencing it to some degree.
Almost all of us have had occasional moments of transcendence; times when we were lifted out of ourselves into more serene and joyous realms. These are often the shining moments of life, moments of our greatest happiness.
Although they may be fleeting and ephemeral and nowhere near the intensity and height of genuine cosmic consciousness, they are nevertheless true fleeting glimpses of the ecstasy to be found in unity.
Additionally, for some, such moments are remembered only with the greatest effort simply because they occurred when they were still very young. But the flavour of the experience lingers on in the subconscious, leading us to believe in the potential for something greater than anything we have known to date.
Too often, moments of clarity and light are lost in the frenzied pace of everyday life and buried under the debris of activities and possessions.
We become weighed down beneath the clutter of mundane existence. The types of activities that occupy most of our waking hours can have little or no affinity for spiritual experience.
Yet, there is something within us that longs for transcendence, and is dissatisfied without an occasional glimpse of the Infinite. Perhaps that is one reason why so many people are restless and discontented, despite material wealth and success.
We yearn for joy, but too often forget how to find it.
Joy can however be found.
Although transcendent moments usually begin spontaneously, it is possible to set up situations and states of mind where such experiences are more likely to occur.
These prerequisites may vary from person to person, though most individuals have found that there is a greater possibility of becoming elevated into higher levels of awareness under one or more of the following conditions.
Give them a try.
No matter how numerous our responsibilities or how hectic our routine may be, we can, if we really want to, find some small period of time to be alone and quiet.
During this time, if we empty our minds as much as possible of thoughts, plans, ideas, memories, resentments and desires with which it is cluttered, we then become open to the possible infusion of unifying bliss.
While some people would not dream of starting the day without an initial period of prayer and meditation, for others life just seems to busy.
In this industrious, frenetic society where “every moment counts”, where only “the early bird catches the worm” and where we must always “get up and go”, we would do well to realise that there is a basic human need for regular psychic rejuvenation and incorporate this into how we live our lives.
It is difficult, under the pressure of competitive existence, to eliminate the clutter of thoughts and worries that besiege our mind.
With practice however, it is possible to substantially reduce the storm of mental impressions and to reach a point of calm and openness, like the eye of a hurricane, where temporary waves of harmony may slowly seep in and perhaps, if we are lucky, even cascade into a flood of cosmic awareness.
It has often been said that of all the creative arts, music is the closest that humanity has got to the infinite harmony of the spiritual plane.
Aldous Huxley expressed it very simply: “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Many gifted composers have insisted that they have created nothing themselves, but merely written down the music they heard in their minds. It is almost as if composers were different from others mainly in their capacity to hear music which is already there, but from which the rest of us are excluded.
Perhaps like a radio, they can tune into a wavelength that the equipment of others cannot receive. Through the medium of music however, we can hear for ourselves the glorious melodies which are the sound of cosmic unity.
That is why listening to music can sometimes be a pipeline to mystic experience. As the music soars, so can our consciousness, into realms of sublime harmony.
Throughout history, people have sought spiritual connection through a relationship with the natural world. Some consider that the natural world is closer to the spiritual world and has a natural and instinctive link to the unity of all creation.
From time immemorial, prophets and seers have gone up to the mountains, into the woods, or into the deserts to seek a closeness with this link.
We too, can often find in nature a setting where we can become re-attuned to this unity and become receptive to an infusion of cosmic bliss.
Henry David Thoreau, once wrote these beautiful words about nature: “Alone in distant woods or fields, in unpretending sproutlands or pastures tracked by rabbits, I come to myself. I once more feel myself grandly related. I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are, grand and beautiful.”
We have used our gifts of curiosity and intelligence to achieve incredible and worthwhile things. However, in doing so we have lost much of the natural instinct that united us to the whole of creation.
Without this connection to the infinite, we are cast adrift upon a sea of meaningless achievement; hence the widespread alienation and despair amid the artefacts of affluence and power.
We desperately need moments, even if occasional and fleeting, that are a reminder of the eternal, orderly unity of which we are a meaningful part.
Such moments of transcendence and expansion of awareness can increase our creative ability and enrich our lives.
They are moments well worth seeking.