The Voice of the Silence Notes Pages
NOTE D — CONSCIOUSNESS
In order to understand The Voice of the Silence it is helpful to consider the views of ‘Mind’ and ‘Consciousness’ which originated in the Yogācāra School, and are still held by all Buddhist Esoteric Schools. Discernment of levels of Consciousness is essential to spiritual training.
The 8 Cognitions and 5 Wisdoms of the Yogācāra School
1 - 5: That which is cognised by the 5 Senses.
6: That which is cognised by the intellectual card-indexing brain.
7: That which is cognised by the ego-sense or will: Mind or Manas.
Manas has no being of its own; it is simply the union — a position between the ordinary individual view-point and the Universal Consciousness.
1] When turned outwards it is the seat of intellectual operations and emotions [all that forms the human personality]. It is then the consciousness of the brain, and may be termed the ego or individual ‘self.’ The Lower Mind.
2] When turned inwards it is the intuitive mind, or spiritual consciousness. It is then conscious of Ālaya, the wholeness, and may be termed the SELF, or the True Self which has the adamantine universal quality of Truth. The Higher Mind.
Manas in its outward aspect is, of course, invaluable for everyday living, and must be cherished and trained accordingly. However, in order to profit fully by the inner aspect which leads to enlightenment, we must remember that “The Self of Matter and the Self of Spirit can never meet.”
The great Zen teacher, Daisetz Suzuki, tells us:
“Manas has no own-being, no body of its own nor marks by which it can be differentiated. It belongs to both sides.
This awareness is related to what Dr Carl Jung terms ‘the Personal Unconscious.’ When this is perfectly understood it can be turned over by meditation into the Wisdom of Equality. [When choosing falls away.]
8: That which is cognised by Ālaya.
This is the Fundamental Universal Consciousness, which is all-existent before, during and after manifestation, and to it sentient beings have access in meditation.
The Centre is symbolised by crossed vajras.