Do you know what is the fourth state of mind ? The human mind is a wonderful and amazing piece of intricate machinery which can perform calculations faster and much more accurate than a supercomputer. With particular regard to hypnosis, the different states of mind we experience, should be known properly in order to understand consciousness(turiya) properly.
There are two main parts of the human mind:
- Subconscious Mind
- Conscious Mind
Conscious Mind is the analytical and critical part of our brain that governs our awareness or consciousness at any point in time. It is the final processing point for our decisions, actions or reactions in our daily life.It manages our will power,long-term memory,logical thinking and Critical Thinking.
The consciousness mind is basically your awareness at a present moment. You are aware of something on the outside as well as some specific mental functions happening on the inside.
Subconscious Mind is the ‘deeper’ part of the mind that is responsible for processing thousands of things at any single instant and for storing everything we have experienced in our lives with differing degrees of importance. It sort of runs an ‘Auto Pilot’ without us even realizing what has happened. It is similar to the hard drive of a computer that stores information that is accessed by the other parts of the computer/mind.It is responsible for managing our beliefs,our emotions,our habits,our values,our protective reactions,Our imagination, Intuition and some part of the long term memory that we have stored in our brains.
(Many researchers also mention the ‘unconscious mind’ which is usually concerned with regulating the automated processes of the physical body)
The mind operates at 4 predominant Brainwave States or Frequencies
These different states are classified according to the speed of the predominant brainwave signals from one neurological point to another at any one point in time. This speed and frequency is measured in ‘Hertz’ and the figures are obtained using an Electrocardiogram (EEG) machine.
1. Beta: This is where our mind usually operates in daily life. In such a state we have full conscious awareness and little bit attention of everything around us,Usually only one side of our brain is operating at this frequency. Beta is usually typified by brainwave cycles of 15 to 40 Hz (cycles per second)
Higher cycles of Beta Frequency usually equate to stress, anxiety and ‘over thinking’ as the conscious mind becomes misguided or reacts negatively to a given situation. High brainwave beta frequency also equates to hypertension, increased heart rate, increased blood flow, cortisone production and glucose consumption. Generally speaking, you do not want to experience the high beta state too often if you are concerned about your health. (Some techniques are included below to ensure this does not happen)
2. Alpha: A mild daydream or light relaxation state. Operating in Alpha can be exemplified to a situation when you are driving a car and
just cruising around or when you get captivated into a good book and sort of lose track what is happening around you. Meditation is usually done to oscillate your brain waves at Alpha frequency.The brain then operates in cycles between 9Hz & 14Hz. Alpha is generally considered a mix of partial conscious awareness and partial subconscious predominance at the same time. It is useful to absorb information when your brain is in Alpha frequency and is considered to be highly desirable for effective studying and concentration sessions. Alpha uses the left side of the brain for processing.
3. Theta:A Deep relaxation state where the conscious mind for most of the part,is ‘switched off’, and the subconscious mind is left to flourish and wander in its own stream. This
is usually typified by sleep, dreaming, very deep relaxation and is where most hypnotists aim at, taking their clients down to. Theta shows brainwave cycles operating at 5hz to 8hz. Theta is where ideas, visualizations and suggestions are more likely to enter the subconscious mind and consciously we become less aware of what is going on around us.
4. Delta: Extremely deep relaxation/sleep with complete subconscious mind in operation. Delta is experienced in the deepest of sleeps and is
interesting because it is proven that the physical body begins to recuperate and recover at a heightened level at this state. You can be in waking delta state if you are in an advanced state of meditation. This state is associated with ‘kundalini’ experiences. Delta is typified by slow brainwaves at 1Hz – 4Hz. It is interesting to note that a very skilled hypnotist who can take a client into Delta state, is able to perform such a phenomena by using hypnosis as a replacement for anesthesia during various medical surgeries and this has been documented on numerous occasions medically and scientifically.
Transitioning Between the Different States
Although the human mind naturally switches between the different states of mind according to the present environment, situation, people or happenings of the individual.It is possible to artificially stimulate your brain into different levels. As an extreme example when we are involved in a serious accident or injury, people sometimes enter into coma state. This is the brain’s way of performing an emergency response to automatically enter into the deepest realms of delta for heightened physical recovery, trauma protection and mental recovery. This is a very good example of the brain’s natural response to a situation where it lowers brainwave activity for instinctual protection means.
We can artificially induce a change in our mental state for both positive and at times, not beneficial purposes as well. Stage hypnotists often invoke a sudden shift in brainwave frequency through a rapid hypnotic induction in the person to enter theta for entertainment purposes. Although many people find this funny and it does illustrate the power of hypnosis, there is no real positive purpose in doing this other then to have a laugh. There are many examples of irresponsible use of these techniques for Mass Manipulation, and these are simply a tragic use of something that can be so powerful for positive change.
There are many ways to artificially invoke a person to operate at different brainwave frequency states. These include hypnosis, meditation, music and audio, massage, drugs, alcohol, yoga, pilates, video games, TV, driving, reading and many more just to name a few. By learning the best way to lower your mind state to Alpha, Theta and even Delta, it is possible create numerous positive emotional, mental and physical benefits to yourself. For instance hypnosis is fantastic to instate you into theta and then responsibly use direct suggestion, which will be better absorbed by your subconscious mind, to create permanent and lasting changes in your mind and body.
Meditation is also useful to achieve a light Alpha state wherein you can consciously process information and self suggestion to help change your emotions and feelings. Music and audio such as binaural beats, white noise, theta rhythm, nature recordings and other slow, repetitive trance inducing sounds can help you overcome insomnia and sleep better, perform self meditation, self hypnosis and achieve deep relaxation in the alpha, theta and at times, delta realms.Deep relaxation on a consistent daily basis is proven to be advantageous for the mind and the body! It promotes clarity of thought, focus, better health and a better mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Reaching fourth state of mind is equivalent to reaching God or Super-consciousness. In a philosophical book of great antiquity, it is said,
“True experience of the self is the unawareness of who ‘I really am’.”
As a snake discards his worn-out skin and is not aware of it afterwards, similarly a realized person is unaware of his body. In the absence of body-consciousness ideas about this mundane existence, miseries and pleasures, liberation and bondage, etc. vanish and his mind goes in the fourth state (Turiya slate- fourth state). When the practitioner goes beyond this state , he becomes Brahman (god) himself and the Upanishads describe that state by using the cryptic words “Not this not this ” viz. Brahman is beyond words.
What is Turiya – The Fourth State of Mind
It is said that God is all-pervasive. This means that God lives in every part and pore of your body. Science believes that there are millions of cells in the body, and each one contains intelligence.
What this means is that in every cell of the body the power of God resides. However, it lies dormant. All the gods and goddesses lie asleep in the body. This is because you do not practice meditation. Your consciousness is limited to eating, drinking, procreating and telling lies. It is limited to jagrita, swapna and sushupti. You are aware of only these three states of consciousness. You are either awake, or dreaming, or sleeping. You do not know of a fourth state. However, there is a fourth state of consciousness in a human being, called turiya, which is a higher consciousness. This higher consciousness can be acquired by the practice of one-pointedness of mind.Turiya is the background that underlies and transcends the three common states of consciousness. The states of consciousness are: waking consciousness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep.
Turiya is discussed in Verse 7 of the Mandukya Upanishad. However, the idea is found in the oldest Upanishads. For example, Chapters 8.7 through 8.12 of Chandogya Upanishad discuss the “four states of consciousness” as awake, dream-filled sleep, deep sleep, and beyond deep sleep.Similarly, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, in chapter 5.14 discusses Turiya state. Maitri Upanishad discusses the fourth state(turiya) in sections 6.19 and 7.11
When one slowly rises above the three states of jagrita, swapna and sushupti during dhyana and a new sky,a fourth state takes birth in him, his consciousness awakens. TURIYA or the fourth state is that state in which the individual soul rests in his own Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa or the highest Brahmic consciousness during Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
For achieving this fourth state(turiya), you can practice these five spiritual practices :
(1) Imagine that you had a dream. In that dream, you have purchased a plot and are building a house. The house gets completed and you call your dear friends for the house-warming ceremony.But Mid-way you have been awakened from your sleep due to some happening or person.But the dream is still going on. You give a sumptuous dinner to your friends,and arrange the party along with appropriate entertainment services like a grand host.But since you are out of your dream, you will have no knowledge about these happenings.Now for a moment just imagine the entire universe as a dream.Now for instance mid-way you are awakened again.
Now out of the dream you have no idea of what is goin on in the WORLD. As there is no one who is experiencing the world now you will have no knowledge or recollection about what is or was happening here, after you wake up. Such thoughts give a different kind of peace of mind and divine joy.
(2) You may be familiar with the concept of a mirage in a desert (reflection of the sun as false water)In the same way,what if we think that our mind is just like a mirage and a reflection of pure consciousness is there in it.? Both the mind and the ego are not real things but a superimposition (like the mirage in the rays of the sun) on pure consciousness. Such thoughts are useful in eradicating the ego within us.
(3) The practitioner should always imagine that he is out- side his body at a distance of about 10-20 feet.He should just think that he is a witness of that body. In this condition the practitioner will have no experience of bodily pains or pleasures, honor or dishonor etc. His mind remains calm and tranquil in times of even the greatest and gravest miseries and misfortunes. He enjoys real peace of mind.
(4)Now just Imagine if you are standing in front of an anthill. The ants are running here and there with great enthusiasm and there are specks of corn in their mouths. They are meeting one another at every instant, and yet they are unable to cross any tiny stream of water.
You will think of these activities as stupid since you are not an ant. In the same manner try to become a superman and look at this world. You will then know that all glory, power wealth, cities, etc., are childish, like the world of ants. This is because your mind is now a divine mind. Practice of this spiritual practice will diminish your craving for worldly desires and activities and you will always enjoy Divine Joy
(5) Think powerfully that all activities in this world are directed and controlled by the god Almighty. Nothing happens unless you observe him and his symbols. Since you are a tiny part of the universe,you should think that your life and its activities are also controlled by him. Your life is being shaped according to His will. Unwavering faith in this thought is compulsory. This is a fact and not fatalism. You must have the conviction that the mere raising of your hands is His will and not your own. In an advanced stage of this spiritual practice the sense of ego is completely annihilated and practitioner is convinced that the activities of this world and his body are controlled by His will.You will start thinking that you are a puppet controlled by the god Almighty. Under His direction, your life is bound to become divine, happy and glorious. These spiritual practices are not supposed to be practiced in a sitting position and at a fixed time like other meditations.
You must, revolve the above mentioned thoughts in your mind during the whole day. In the end you will feel that this world panorama is a mere sport of the Almighty. He will not take seriously any misfortune, disappointment, humiliation, etc. which he might be subjected to. Of all the above five spiritual practices, spiritual practice number 5 is supreme and brings about quick results in attaining the fourth state( turiya ).