“When I eat food I do it consciously, when I assimilate it I do it unconsciously: when the food is manufactured in to blood, it is done unconsciously: when out of the blood all the different parts of my body are strengthened: it is done unconsciously. And yet it I who am doing all this; there can not be twenty people in this one body. How do I know that I do it, and nobody else? It may be urged that my
business is only too eat and assimilate the food, and that somebody else does the strengthening of the body by the food for me. That cannot be; because it can be demonstrated that almost every action at which we are now unconscious can be brought up to the plane of consciousness. The heart is beating apparently without our control; none of us can control the heart; it goes on its own way. But by practice men can bring even the heart under control, until it will just beat at will, slowly or quickly, or almost stop. Nearly every part of he body can be brought under control. What does this show? It shows that we also perform the functions, which are beneath consciousness, only we are performing them unconsciously.
We have, then, two planes in which the human mind works. First is the conscious plane, in which all work is always accompanied with the feeling of “I”. Next comes the unconscious plane, where the work is unaccompanied by the feeling if “I”. That part of the mind’s work which is unaccompanied by egoism is unconscious work, and that part which is accompanied by egoism is conscious work. IN the lower animal this unconscious work is called instinct, and in the highest of all animals, man, what is called conscious work prevails.
But the matter does not end here, There is still a higher plane on which the mind can work. It can go beyond consciousness. Just as unconscious work is beneath consciousness, so there is another sort of work that is above consciousness and that also isnot accompanied by egoism. The feeling of “I” is only on the middle plane. When the mind is above or below that plane, there is no feeling of “I”, and yet the mind works. When the mind goes beyond the plane of self-consciousness, it experiences Samadhi, or super consciousness. But howdo we know that a man in Samadhi has not gone below consciousness has not degenerated instead of going higher? In both the cases the experience is unaccompanied by the feeling of “I”. The answer is that by the effects, by the results of the work, we know which is below and which is above. When a man goes into deep sleep he enters a plane beneath consciousness. His body functions all the time; he breathes, perhaps he move the body in his sleep, without any accompanying feeling of “I”; he is unconscious, and when he returns from his sleep he is the same man who went into it. The sum total of the knowledge that he had before he went to sleep remains t he same; It does not increase at all. No enlightenment comes. But when a man goes into Samadhi, if he goes into it a fool, he comes out a sage…. As this illumination with which a man comes back from Samadhi is much higher than can be got from unconsciousness, or much higher than can be got by reasoning in a conscious state, it must therefore be super consciousness, and so Samadhi is called the super conscious state. This is short, is the idea of Samadhi.”