There are many factors in life that can function as catalysts for letting the mind undergo fundamental transformation. Those who sense the poison behind the unconscious living soon discover these catalysts and move on to stable inner peace.

Most people lead an unconscious living within the vortex of conditioned response and never go outside the self-created cage. This leads to mediocrity in life, which sustains fear, anxiety, anger, self-pity, jealousy etc. The practice of religion does bring in a reflective attitude and it moves one towards some serenity. However, people soon develop emotional attachment to the religious system and that engenders its own problems, such as feeding the ego on its twin demands of satisfaction and security. If people would move into the philosophic aspects of the religion, then there is the possibility of psychological reflection, which can help them steer clear of the robotic living. It is unfortunate that not many religions encourage this approach; instead, they expect abject conformity. If people tend to be reflective, however, there are quite a few catalysts in life that can move them into the esoteric avenues. These avenues help people strike a new trail for themselves so that they no longer function as conformists and gradually step out of the unconscious living.

We explore one such catalyst here.

Immensity: The vastness of the universe, in space and time, is a measure of its immensity – not only in physical measures but also in terms of its intelligence that holds everything together in a continuum of order and harmony. There are no chance happenings. When we remember this as we go about our daily chores, our minds develop wide elbowroom. The freedom arising out of it helps us conduct our life with an undercurrent of austerity.

Astronomy is one of the fields that remind us of the immensity around us. Let us look at an example from our Space Age. Voyager II was a spacecraft sent by the United States in 1977 to study some planets in the Solar System. After passing close to the intended planets, the craft left the Solar System at a speed of about 100,000 km per hour. It is 50 times as fast as an advanced fighter plane. That is an unimaginable speed. If Voyager II were to go in a straight-line path to Sirius, one of our nearby stars, it will take 100,000 years to reach the star! Can one imagine this mind-boggling distance to that star? If this be so of a close by star, what to speak of those distant stars and the even more distant galaxies? An unimaginable magnitude of void exists between those celestial objects. If we watch the stellar canopy on a clear night, the awesome depth of the universe makes a profound impact on us. We get an inkling of the immensity in which we live.

Man in his present anatomy and physiology is reported to have lived on this planet for about a million years or so. In contrast, those huge dinosaurs of gargantuan proportions are reported to have roamed the earth for 300 million years! They passed away only recently – just 65 million years ago. There are other similar facts that take us for a ride across the immensity of the universe. Scientists have double-checked and triple- checked these numbers and so, for sure, they do not take us for a ride! Compared to those staggering dimensions, we seem to be totally insignificant. But not so! Because those immensities, colossal as they may be, are still perceived by the mind functioning in the little human brain! The Masters say that when the mind is free and liberated, it enters the Consciousness that fills the whole universe! Those who go through a near death experience feel that the Universal Consciousness is our real home. Reflections on these help us feel the intriguing nature of the universe and Divinity. Simultaneously, they augment our inner serenity and healthy living.

The calmness that ensues from our awareness of the immensity keeps us company during our daily life. Mental conflicts begin to dissolve because we see others as part of a larger scheme of things and hence accept them as they are. During our sleep, the dreaming activity occupies a lesser period than before and so the body moves into a healthier state.

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Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.
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