People keep searching for peace and happiness by revolving within the content of the mind which is conditioned by circumstances and genetics and, consequently, very limited in its ability to perceive. True vision lies in the wider consciousness.

The sequence in the wider field seems to be as follows: There is the expansive consciousness that may be called the Universal Consciousness. When it functions through the brain (which is the physical organism), it issues out a stifled form itself that functions as the mind. So, we can write:

Universal Consciousness ==> Brain ==> Mind

This indicates that the perception by the mind is always influenced by the brain as a repository of memories and as an interpreting medium through the accumulated knowledge. The brain also carries the genetic conditioning apart from the conditioning by circumstances in which the human being finds himself. This causes the mind’s cognition and interpretation to be a matter of conditioned output and so it leads to improper understanding of what there is really. One of the inevitable outcomes of this warped awareness is the arising of the ego which is essentially a product of thought.

Thus, if we can go back on the above process, we begin to get a glimpse of the unspoiled consciousness as evidenced by the following three ravishing experiences that human beings have gone through over the years:

1. OBE (Out of Body Experience)
2. NDE (Near Death Experience)
3. Satori (Spontaneous Expansion of Consciousness)

The above three have also demonstrated the significant fact that consciousness can function without the brain being involved. Some examples of expressions from those who have gone through the above are given below.:

OBE: Dr Reynor Johnson, an English Physicist, Melbourne University, Australia, collected many cases of OBEs and some of them were reported in the book ‘Leaving the Body’ written by Scott Rogo. One of the correspondents to Dr Johnson conveys some very interesting perceptions during his OBE. He says that while he was out of his body at about 11 PM, he floated over a moor feeling very light, lighter than air. He glided past clouds on that moonlit night. A cool wind was blowing. The life in the clouds and in the wind was within him too. He was filled with glorious life. The sensing of the past, present and future all melted away and the eternal now was felt in that dimension. He wondered if that is what the dead experience, then how much more alive they are than we are here!

NDE: There are many near death reports that talk about the expansion of consciousness while the body is lying lifeless on the earth. An excerpt from one of them, written by Victor Solow, and published by the Reader’s Digest (October 1974) is given below.

“A recurrent nostalgia remains for that other reality, that condition of indescribable stillness and quiet in which the ‘I’ is part of a harmonious whole. The memory softens the old drives for possession, approval and success.”

Satori: This is a Japanese word that denotes the state of Enlightenment. In Sanskrit, it is known as the state of Samadhi. Some people get into that state, always in an unexpected and impromptu way. They attempt to describe that ineffable state but don’t find the right words. A German, Kurt Friedrichs, who had such an experience describes it in the book “What Vedanta Means to Me” edited by John Yale. It is as follows:

“One afternoon at low tide on the west coast of the island of Heligoland, as he was climbing over the seaweed-covered rocks in order to have a rest beneath an overhanging cliff, washed out by the surf of many centuries, a spiritual ecstasy suddenly took possession of him. The waves breaking at his feet and the endless surface of water stretching away to the vanishing point all of a sudden threw him into another sphere of consciousness. He felt that he himself was surf, sea and infinity. Time, space, body-consciousness – everything was blotted out, drawn up into an absolute consciousness of light and bliss.”

Once we understand the above relative aspects of consciousness, brain and mind, we move into the esoteric aspects of life with their touch of true spirituality. That lays the right foundation for holistic and peaceful living. The associated field of awareness forms the theme of the website

Author's Bio: 

The Author: Gopalakrishnan T Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He 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 presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.