An experience of cosmic consciousness

The following is an extract from ‘The physicist as mystic’ by David Lewis in ‘Forbidden History,’ edited by Douglas Kenyon.

“… the great yogi Paramahansa Yogananda … experienced his own awareness merged with cosmic consciousness …”

“In his famous autography, Yogananda describes his experience. ‘My sense of identity was no longer confined to a body,’ he says, ‘but embraced the circumambient atoms … My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive … all melted into a luminescent sea. The unifying light alternated with materialization of form.’

After describing a state of ecstatic joy, the renowned yogi goes on to say ‘A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes … The entire cosmos … glittered within the infinitude of my being.’ In the jargon of modern physics, this experience might be described as Non-Locality in the electron sea. In the jargon of Yoga, it is called Oneness with Supreme Consciousness, Ultimate Being, or God.

Like sages before him for thousands of years, Yogananda describes the universe beyond matter as being composed of indescribably subtle Light. He describes the material universe as being composed of the same essence but in a grosser form, a principle echoed throughout the world’s mystical traditions and now in modern physics.

Regarding the source of this Light, Yogananda says, ‘The divine dispersion of rays poured from an eternal source, blazing into galaxies transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster, then fire became firmament.’

Perhaps more significant, the sage tells us his experience of the centre of all light and creation poured from a point of intuitive perception in his heart, not from his intellect …”

(Comment: How does a rational, reasonably sceptical Seeker of understanding of Reality respond to this incredible experience? )