Let us try to understand it in another way. As I said, the conscious is the superficial part of the mind which is lighted, and below it lies the unconscious buried in the dark. Then below the unconscious lies the collective unconscious, and at the bottom lies the cosmic unconscious – which is the mind of the entire universe, which is the total mind, the universal mind. Remembrance of God or self-remembering happens at the level of the cosmic mind, which is the ultimate in consciousness. God or self is known when we become completely integrated – not only with our unconscious and collective minds, but also with the cosmic consciousness, which is of the highest. To be in contact with the cosmic mind is what we call the contact high.
I will explain it in yet another way. When you meditate here at the camp and go deep into meditation, you first come in contact with your individual unconscious mind. Then some of you begin to scream and cry and some others dance and whirl and sing. All these activities arise from your individual unconscious. And by the end of the first stage of this meditation you cease to be individuals; you all become a collectivity. Now you are not individual entities separate from each other, you are a collective whole. This is the moment when you go deep in meditation and touch those levels of the mind which are part of the collective mind. Then you don’t feel that you are dancing – it feels that dance is going on and you are just a part of it. Then it does not seem that you are laughing; it seems the cosmic laughter is happening and you are just a participant in it. Then you don’t feel that you are, it feels that only existence is and everything in existence is dancing: stars are dancing, mountains are dancing, birds are dancing, every particle under the sun is dancing. Then your dance becomes a small but integral part of the universal dance. This experience is coming from your contact with the collective unconscious.
Just below the collective unconscious lies the world of the cosmic unconscious. You arrive there via the collective unconscious; and once you are connected with the cosmic unconscious your awareness undergoes a complete mutation. Then you cease to feel that you are a part of the whole, rather you know that you and the whole are one – you are not a part of the total but you are totality itself. And then you suddenly remember who you are; this remembrance shoots up like an arrow from the depths of the cosmic unconscious and fills your conscious mind. Then you also know, and know simultaneously, that this awareness that you are the brahman, the ultimate, the supreme is nothing new – it has always been with you, buried deep in your cosmic unconscious.
I divided the process of remembering into four parts just to make it easier for you to understand. Krishna would never consent to this division, nor do I. In fact remembering, or consciousness, is nowhere fragmented; it is an integrated whole. The conscious and the unconscious are extensions of the same intelligence which is one and indivisible.
In our innermost depth we are aware that we are God, we are divine. We do not have to become divine, we have only to discover our divinity. It is really a matter of recognition. The seer of the Upanishad says in his prayer “O Sun, please uncover the truth that is covered with gold.” It simply means that truth is veiled and it has to be unveiled. Divinity is not to be achieved, but unveiled and recognized. What is it that veils it?
It is our own forgetfulness, our unconsciousness which covers the truth.