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The Rishis’ Observation

The Rishis’ Observation

The ability of the rishis to enter the fourth state at will and observe what is there, is not “thinking” as we use the term–the whole phenomenon is an immediate experience, like recognizing the fragrance of lilacs or the sound of a friend’s voice. It is immediate, nonverbal, and, unlike a flower’s fragrance, totally transforming.

Rather than seeing time, space, matter, and energy “out there,” the rishis observed that reality begins “in here,” with our conscious awareness. At any particular time, they reasoned, a person must be in one of three states of subjective awareness–waking, sleeping, or dreaming. What he perceives in these states constitutes his reality.

The ancients assumed that reality was thus different in different states of consciousness–a tiger in the dream state is not a tiger in the waking state. It obeys entirely different laws, and similarly, the laws of the sleep state, although not known to the conscious mind, must be distinct from those of the waking and dreaming states.

The rishis looked closer and detected between each of these states a gap that acts like a pivot as one reality turns into another. For example, just before falling asleep, the mind gradually leaves the waking state, withdrawing the senses, shutting out the waking world, but at the junction point before the mind actually falls asleep, a brief gap is opened, identical to the one that flashes by between each thought: it is like a little window into the field that is beyond either wakefulness or sleep. This realization opened the possibility for leaving behind the usual boundaries of the five senses by diving through the gap.

Adapted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra (Bantam Books, 1990).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

42 comments

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9:29PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

the rishis did what

9:32AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Ok Chopra some way I can use this bit of information to enlighten my life would have been a great addition to the article. It just made me think of inception!!

12:21AM PDT on May 4, 2011

The experience is a difficult to explain ..... in a search for the right word, I came up with 'flow into another dimension'.

3:14AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Thanks for sharing

11:21PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

I remember reading this in your book. I'm still looking for guidance on how best to achieve the state though, other than practice, practice, practice. ;)

9:53PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

thanks for the article.

7:33PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

I've not heard of this but it's very interesting.

4:42PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

thank you!!!

3:27PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

That makes sense. It seems the three states are sometimes even more intense than when you are wide awake!. I think my senses are strongest when I wake up. Of course I'm fully rested, but if there is any anxiety I will feel it first in the morning or maybe I'm just sensitive in the morning.

11:12AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

And it drives me mad that I'm so much in my head even though I work hard not to be!

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