This wonderful article was written by RPT Teacher Ben Ralston, of the international Prem Center, in Slovenia. Ben, an Englishman, runs yoga retreats for international audiences, and is available for both yoga and RPT classes and sessions throughout Europe.
Ben continues our series on Beingness with this wonderful explanation of where Beingness fits within the Yogic tradition.
By Ben Ralston:
According to Yogic philosophy, the essence of a human being is ”Satchitananda”, meaning absolute existence, absolute knowledge, and absolute bliss.
In RPT terms this is what we call “the diamond”: perfect being-ness. When we drop all of our blockages, we shine as Satchitananda. [Editor’s note – the diamond metaphor is a teaching tool used in class. Simon will cover this in a blog article soon.]
To understand Satchitananda we break the word down into its component parts:
SAT – Absolute existence: means non-relative being. In other words, without beginning and without end; timeless; limitless; ubiquitous Being. It means I AM, and further, that there can be no ‘I am NOT’. Furthermore, it means that anything that follows the I AM (I am so and so, I am a builder, I am a man/woman, etc) is not true. Absolute existence means absolute truth, or truth that is not relative.
CHIT – Absolute knowledge: The Upanishads declare that all knowledge is in the self; that in fact, knowledge itself is the self. In fact, Vedanta literally translates as “the end of knowledge”.
To use the analogy of a radio transmitter: When you tune into the radio, the information which you hear is not in the antenna, or the radio itself, but all around you already, even before you tuned in, as radio waves – a form of energy. Similarly, all knowledge is energy, and can be tuned into – (this is called intuition) – if we know how. Since we are limitless beings, and made of pure consciousness, that knowledge is part of our own self – within.
ANANDA – Absolute bliss: bliss is a feeling of perfection, perfect happiness – that everything is just as it should be. It encompasses total joy, security, and contentment. You could say that it is the emotional state of the divine, although bliss is not an emotion, it is beyond emotion.
Taken together, these 3 qualities, which the yogic scriptures declare to be the essence of a human being, imply pure LOVE. When you experience yourself as omnipresent, omniscient bliss, what else is there to feel but love? This is the highest consciousness.
When this consciousness is experienced whilst maintaining an awareness of the individual self, it can be called Beingness.
This state can be experienced for just a second or two (for example whilst taking a deep breath and acknowledging) or it can be maintained for longer periods of time.
However, in the average person the subconscious vibrations, beliefs, and associations that are caused by trauma – either inherited or otherwise, obscure this state of perfection.
In yoga this obscuration is described as: the pure, or higher self (the experience of satchitananda) being conditioned by the mind (the small self, ego). When the pure self is unconditioned by the mind, it shines through as the experience of satchitananda. This, again, is the diamond – unobscured by the rock / dirt of trauma. This is freedom.
The word Yoga translates as Union. Another word for union might be coherence or cohesion. Specifically the word yoga refers to the union of the various aspects of ourselves.
In RPT (especially Level 3) we focus on the coherence of our minds – brain, heart, body, and so on. This relates to the enlightenment research from the Institute of Peak States (who call them ‘brains’ rather than minds or centers of awareness). Even calling them minds is to me a bit misleading. I ‘feel’ them as centers of awareness. It is the union of these centers that is a key goal of yoga, Reference Point Therapy and (I believe) Peak States of Consciousness.
Another way to put it is this:
The classical definition of (what is the process of) yoga is: YOGAS CHITTA VRITTI NIRODAHA, which means “yoga is the cessation of the modifications of the mind”. In other words, when the mind stops modifying our experience of reality we enter into the state of being that can be called yoga (union / cohesion) – or Beingness!
This is essentially the goal of RPT – to acknowledge and Be with our experiences (traumatic or otherwise), so the mind stops modifying them. Disease and disfunction is, ultimately, just the symptom of what we avoid acknowledging.
The word Satsang literally means ‘in the company of truth’. Satsang is said to be one of the fastest ways to enlightenment. It means to be with someone who is already on a higher level of consciousness. When you are in that person’s company, their PRESENCE, their Beingness, is said to automatically raise your own consciousness.
This gives rise to emphasis, in Eastern traditions, on finding a Guru. The word Guru comes from ‘Ru’ – to lead / dispel – and ‘Gu’ – from darkness. A Guru is one who leads us out from the darkness, or dispels that darkness.
To me, RPT is the very process of removing subconscious blockages by making them conscious – or removing darkness by shining the light of awareness. And the higher the consciousness of the therapist (even if only for a moment whilst taking a deep breath) the more effective the therapy.
So you see, for me, RPT is yoga!