Friday, May 19, 2017

Yogananda was not only an accomplished Yogi but was also adept at dream yoga. He stated that God dreamed the world into existence which is in keeping with the Ancestors' teaching that "to think like God is to think with imagination."
He noted that there were many reasons for dreaming besides instruction and prophesy:
 For fun and entertainment
 As a rehearsal for life and for dealing with unfinished business and dysfunctional karma
As a source of inspirational ideas (for instance the dream that lead to the invention of the sewing machine) 
For working through subconscious worries and fears 

He also confirmed that like awake time it was illusion or Maya and the two were no different.

Patanjali's Sheaths of Consciousness

 Patanjali's in describing his five energy sheaths stressed that most dreams arose from the subconscious and the Mind Sheath (monkey mind, narrow mind or ego) and connected one to the Astral or Imaginal realm which is also a template for the intermediate stage of death or what the Tibetans call the Bardot. We connect with this vibration in the R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep in the early hours of the morning. This is also the time when the veil between worlds is most permeable and we can connect with our spirit guides for guidance and empowerment. Sangomas know this since this is the time to drum and dance so the ancestors can come through with messages. 
Yogananda did not enjoy being in the Astral realm during sleep because of its low vibration. The Intellectual Sheath of Patanjali is also referred to as the Causal and this is where Yogananda chose to be. 
He defined different states of consciousness as follows:
The Conscious state
The Subconscious
The Superconscious ( Patanjali's Cataleptic Consciousness) 
Semi-superconsciousness of the dream state in the Causal

 Our normal conscious waking state
 The subconscious which contains all memory which manifests especially in dreams
Superconsciousness. When superconscious in meditation yogis  actively tap into the higher vibration and awareness of the Causal (or Intellectual Sheath) in a delta state when the subconscious and ego are on hold. 
Patanjali stated that Cataleptic consciousness was also facilitated by Pranayama - the science and meditation of breath. 
Yogananda claimed that he was also able to enter this deep delta Causal state of "Turiya" during sleep. This joyous state of sleep he called Semi-superconsciousness and was where he preferred to be rather than in the Astral. This state occurs in the early phase of sleep and for most of us is dreamless. Yogananda was able to visit other worlds or parallel universes or "Locas" in this state and connect with gurus and teachings. Kabbalists and accomplished dreamers are able to do something similar. One can be "awake" or lucid in this sophisticated form of dreaming, in other words, know one is dreaming. 

Ancient wisdom teaches that dreams can be a rehearsal for death by paying attention to what it is like to be in the Astral where many of us go in R.E.M. sleep. 
Spiritual masters, moreover, are able to change their vibration during deep meditation or sleep and access the Causal in Semi-superconsciousness. 
A prelude to this is the ability to lucid dream. However, most lucid dreamers use this state for entertainment and enjoyment since whatever they imagine will materialize (as is true for the Astral intermediate stage of death.) Those fortunate enough to be lucid can experience directly what this particular phase of death is like. Presumably if they were able to raise their spiritual vibration and have the right intention they might be able to attain Yogananda's Semi-superconscious state of being in the Causal while asleep. Since I cannot do this myself I cannot speak from experience although every now and again I am in a peaceful realm which makes absolutely no sense when I awake but makes perfect sense when I am asleep.

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