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use these bodies consciously in wakefulness. It becomes conscious of these bodies and the corresponding worlds only when its “full consciousness” turns inwards, i.e., towards itself. When the soul is conscious of the subtle world through the subtle body, it identifies itself with the subtle body, and when it is conscious of the mental world through the mental body, it identifies itself with the mental body, just as when it is conscious of the gross world through the gross body, it identifies itself with the gross body.

 

The Path:

 

The homeward journey of the soul consists in freeing itself from the illusion of being identical with its bodies (gross, subtle and mental). When the attention of the soul turns towards self-knowledge and self-realization, there is a gradual loosening and disappearance of the sanskaras which keep the consciousness turned towards and riveted to the phenomenal world. The disappearance of the sanskaras proceeds side by side with the piercing through the veil of the cosmic illusion, and the soul not only begins to transcend the different states of the phenomenal world, but begins to know itself to be different from its bodies. The Path begins when the soul tries to find itself and turns its “full consciousness” towards Truth (GOD).

 

At the first stage, the soul becomes totally unconscious of its gross body and of the gross world, and experiences the subtle world through the medium of its subtle body with which it identifies itself. In the second stage, the soul is totally unconscious of its gross and subtle bodies and also of the gross and subtle worlds, and experiences the mental world through the medium of its mental body with which it now identifies itself. At this stage, the soul may be said to be face to face with Good or the Over-soul, which it realizes as being Infinite. But even while it recognizes the Infinity of the Oversoul, which it OBJECTIFIES, it looks upon itself as being finite because of its identification with the mind or mental body.

 

Thus, we have the paradox that the soul, which, in reality, is Infinite, sees its Infinite state, but still continues to regard itself as finite, because, while seeing it, it looks upon itself as the mind. It imagines itself to be the mind, and looks upon the object of the mind as the Over-soul; and further, it not only entertains the longing to be one with the objectified Oversoul, but also tries hard to fulfill that longing.

 

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