There is a state of true unity. The rishis called it Brahmi Chetna, “unity consciousness,” and declared that it was the goal toward which all other states of consciousness are evolving. Anyone who has a speck of self-awareness is heading, however haltingly, toward it.
The difference between me, a man who lives in ordinary waking consciousness, and a man in unity, is that I see the world dominated by differences: Billions of separate fragments cluster together to form my reality. A man in unity sees these fragments, too, but underneath them he perceives wholeness. To him, the world with all its diversity is just one thing.
A world made of only one thing sounds strange, but the rishis found it glorious, because what they beheld in all directions was their own awareness. Creation became a mirror showing them themselves. The objects seen by the eye were no longer made of inert matter. They breathed with life; their being flowed seamlessly into the rishi’s own. Although usually invisible, this living consciousness could shine forth at times making a table or tree seem to glow from within or filling the air with a shower of golden sparkles.
Visible or invisible, a world suffused with awareness becomes indescribably intimate to a person in unity. There are no separations anymore. Without stretching out a hand, one can feel the texture of a distant wall. The heave of the earth as it turns on its axis can be felt under one’s feet. Even touching a star becomes a direct experience. “Since everything is made of consciousness alone,” the Upanishads jubilantly declare, “there is nothing in creation that is not myself.”
The mind’s shift into unity is as radical as the change from walking to sleeping, or sleeping to dreaming. We are speaking of a natural unfoldment of the mind’s deeper layers. The rishis claim that wrapped up inside us is the capacity to command every force of nature, to influence every atom in the universe.