When consciousness is directed outward, it takes on the forms of outer objects in order to function in the world. Pure consciousness becomes mind by contracting in accordance with the object perceived.
Upon identifying itself with the outer world, awareness becomes the mind. Upon identification with the objects of perception, awareness takes on the feeling of individual “I” and “my” and becomes ego. It becomes the intellect by assuming the functions of judgment and discrimination. It creates endless thoughts. It creates stories and contemplates them.
In this contraction, the mind loses connection to its Source, pure awareness, and identifies as ‘other’. We think we are this body and these thoughts. Then the mind lives in a state of differences. We live in the pairs of opposites and experience pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow.
When the mind functions in the outer world, we experience diversity. When the mind mingles with the senses of perception it makes us feel we are the experiencer. Mixing with the organs of action, we think we are the doer. Supreme consciousness assumes the form of individual mind. It feels it is a separate entity. Yet, in reality, it is always supreme awareness.
When the mind attains knowledge of its own essential nature, pure consciousness, it becomes God. God is the witness of the mind. We are not the experiencer or the doer. We are the witness of the mind. If the mind became pure, if it transcended thought and dissolved in the supreme stillness, we would experience God everywhere, as everything. We would experience our true Self.
Consciousness is our true nature. Mantra is the sound form of formless consciousness.
The mind takes on the qualities of whatever it focuses upon. Repeating the mantra, the name of God, allows the mind to become absorbed in God. It allows the mind to become one with its original state, pure consciousness. Then we recognize who we are; the deity and goal of the mantra. We recognize that God is one’s own Self. We are supreme consciousness; the Absolute. We are That consciousness which exists in every particle of the universe. Mantra guides us to our Source and identifies our Self with God.
As we repeat the mantra, we identify our mind with the divinity that lies in the mantra. The mantra is not a mental construct. It is the essence of God; our true Self. It is our Self we are calling forth with the mantra.
Mind becomes purified by the mantra and we realize we are the deity of the mantra; consciousness itself. Mantra repetition keeps the mind from becoming ensnared in its own creation and identified with outer objects. By repeating the mantra, mind retains its true identity as consciousness. Through constant mantra repetition, we identify our mind with God and not the outer appearances that our mind focuses upon.
Even as consciousness becomes contracted and limited as individual mind, it still holds the memory that it is pure awareness, universal consciousness. This is why we say, “there is more to life, something more beautiful.” This is remembrance. It is the mind remembering its original state. It constantly reminds us, “Attain the great state. Realize the true Self. Thou Art That.”
Note: If you do not have an enlivened mantra, you may consider using Om Namah Shivaya as your mantra.