It has been known for a long time that the human mind is a small subset of a vaster consciousness that is much superior in its awareness and perception. We get an inkling of it from some paranormal phenomena. Our minds usually circle within a limited zone of awareness. That leads to the formation of the ego and its domination. Looking into the wider consciousness, we have the opportunity to release ourselves from the tyranny of the conventional mind. Here some paranormal phenomena can be of great help. The subjects of astronomy and paleontology can also take us into the esoteric realms so sadly missing in the general awareness of human beings in modern days.

The present humanity is driven, by and large, by the conventional mind-set which is primarily a matter of habitual neurology. From small family quarrels and religious conflicts to war between nations, the basic causal factor can be traced to that fundamental malady. No doubt, there have been, off and on, great acts of kindness and empathy throughout history. However, they have been isolated events, more as exceptions than anything widespread. From ancient days, people from esoterically inclined cultures, such as the sages of India, have spoken about the vaster consciousness beyond the conventional mind. Even though they tried to bring the common man into it, only very few could understand and move in that direction. The result is that we have a humanity today that is totally unaware of the vaster regions beyond the mind. Being sunk in that kind of limitation and ignorance, human beings are driven by egoism with its self-importance and callousness. Such a narrow minded scenario permeates the religious field too, unfortunately. Those with perceptions beyond the apparent are trying to bring humanity to the wider awareness so that human beings can live with abundant feelings for one another and for the environment. They would go beyond the self-centered psychology that creates disharmony, ruthlessness, abominable violence and pain to all. Man’s brutality to animals on land and sea is yet another symptom of his mental shallowness.

Recently, research has made its in-roads into some paranormal phenomena that brings clarity in the direction of the wider consciousness. It helps us love everything in life unconditionally. Two such phenomena are the Near Death Experience (NDE) and the Out-of-Body Experience (OBE). They take people away from the limited cocoon in which the habitual mind functions.

The Afterlife
In 1993, Jenny Randles and Peter Hough published a book entitled “The Afterlife”. They cover many aspects of the vaster consciousness by looking into different paranormal phenomena. People who read it will be attracted to do their own research in the direction of universal consciousness and the associated awareness in daily life. The authors indicate that Margot Grey was one of the researchers inspired by the pioneering work of Raymond Moody on NDE. Margot says the following:
“Many people, who nearly die whether in an accident, during surgery or in other traumatic circumstances, subsequently report a remarkable experience while physically unconscious. This event brings with it a profound and permanent alteration in their understanding of the nature of realty. There are many elements, recounted by thousands of people, common to all these accounts. These frequently involve an encounter with a compassionate being of light, a meeting with deceased loved ones, and feelings of inexpressible beauty, peace and transcendence, leading to a loss of fear of death, greatly increased sense of life’s purpose and a more loving and open attitude.”

The book would be interesting to both the enthusiast and the skeptic. When we reflect on the wide spectrum of issues addressed in it, we begin to strike our own path of discovery. On that path, our mind begins to lose its hard boiled conclusions and beliefs. That brings in mental peace, willingness to pardon and an outgoing feeling of compassion towards all. The wonderment created by that journey keeps burning like a bright flame lighting our way to Divinity.

The immensity of our Universe
The vastness of the universe, in space and time, is a measure of its immensity – not only in physical measures but also in terms of its intelligence that holds everything together in a continuum of order and harmony. There are no chance happenings. When we remember this as we go about our daily chores, our minds develop wide elbowroom. The freedom arising out of it helps us conduct our life with an undercurrent of compassion and austerity.

Astronomy is one of the fields that remind us of the immensity around us. The Wikipedia says that Voyager 1, already the most distant man-made object in the cosmos, reached 100 astronomical units from the sun on August 15, 2006. That means the spacecraft, launched nearly three decades ago, will be 100 times more distant from the sun than the Earth is.

Let us look at another example from our Space Age. Voyager II was a spacecraft sent by the United States in 1977 to study some planets in the Solar System. After passing close to the intended planets, the craft left the Solar System at a speed of about 100,000 km per hour (approximately 60,000 miles/hour). It is travelling at about 50 times the speed of an advanced fighter plane. That is an unimaginable speed. If you are standing - a little away from its path, of course – hoping to see it, SWOOSH – it is gone! You can’t see it. It is too fast and before you know it is coming, it is gone. A tremendous feat by a group of scientists and engineers!

Voyager II is traveling in a curvilinear path because of the complex motion influenced by the rotation and gravity of Earth and the Solar system. If it were to go in a straight-line path to Sirius, one of our nearby stars, it will take 100,000 years to reach the star! Can one imagine this mind boggling distance to that celestial object? Traveling at such a terrific speed as 100,000 km/hour, it would take 100,000 years to reach a close-by star. What to speak of those distant stars and the even more distant galaxies? An unimaginable magnitude of void exists between those celestial objects. If we watch the stellar canopy on a clear night, the awesome depth of the Universe makes a profound impact on us. We get an inkling of the immensity in which we live.

Compared to those staggering dimensions, we seem to be totally insignificant. But not so! Because those immensities, colossal as they may be, are still perceived by the mind functioning in the little human brain! The Masters say that when the mind is free and liberated, it enters the Consciousness that fills the whole Universe! This fact is amply corroborated by many NDEs and OBEs. Reflections on these help us feel the intriguing nature of the Universe and Divinity. The mind releases itself from the self-imposed burden of emotional attachment to belief systems. Such a mind is indeed a truly religious mind. It is a pity that the vast majority of people is given over to sectarian religious systems that divide people and bring about disharmony in the world. Sooner or later human beings will recognize that fact and will move towards being truly religious, outside of the ego trends. That much-awaited scenario would take them to higher dimensions of living. You will play a significant role in that transformation because you had the patience to read this article till the end!

Associated topics are in the website Visit the page ‘Consciousness’ in that site for an interesting slide presentation by NASA on the planets, stars and galaxies.

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy. Blog: