Feelings are fluctuations of the mind. We say, “I feel like this”, or “I feel so bad”, or “I feel really excited”, and so on and so forth. Now, these ‘feelings’ are not really ‘my’ feelings; they are the feelings of the mind. Of course, if ‘my’ is also a product of the mind, then I suppose we could say these feelings are indeed ‘my’ feelings.

‘Me’, ‘my’, ‘ mine’ are all instances of ego. That is, they are the result of the identification of Consciousness with the mind (and body). If this ‘me’ is aware (conscious) of the mind and body without any attachment, then ‘I’ am not a prisoner of the mind. In other words, when ‘I’ am not attached to my mind and body, then my ‘I-consciousness’ (which is ego) is not stuck in my mind. When ego is stuck in the mind, the mind gets infected by ego, and the symptoms of that ego-infection are morbid feelings of the mind like depression, anxiety, hate, cynicism, bigotry, arrogance, and so on.

The detachment of the ‘I-consciousness’ from the mind is not just an intellectual understanding. Ego is really distinct from the mind. If it were not so, you would not be able to say “I am observing my mind.”

Mind is thought-force. Mind may consist of many thoughts, just a few thoughts, or even just one thought. Thought always has an object. The object of thought may be as simple as something seen (such as a sunrise), heard (such as music), tasted, touched, or smelled. You see, these experiences are all forms of thought, even though they do not necessarily involve any words. Now, where there is no thought whatsoever, there appears to be no mind. Actually, the mind is still there, but it is ‘still there’, that is, the mind is inactive. There are two states of the inactive mind: deep, dreamless sleep, and the yogic state of Samadhi (sometimes translated as Transcedental Awareness). [The early stage of this Transcedental Awareness is called Samprajnata Samadhi.]

To attain the state of Transcendental Awareness it is necessary to practice observing the active mind without taking any active participation in it. In other words, ego (the ‘I-consciousness’) sees the mind but is unattached to it. Ego is still present, but it is not infecting the mind and the mind does not affect the ego; hence neither (mind nor ego) is effected (moved) by the other. This is what we mean when we talk about ‘breaking the mind-ego connection.’

When the mind-ego connection is broken, one’s self-awareness is crystal clear, and in that state of clarity one realizes that the ego too is just a phenomenon of Mind. The Mind referred to here is the Universal Mind (MahaTattva). In this deep state of meditation one realizes that the mind which is observed by the ego is the object of ‘I-consciousness’. When this object (the individualized mind) is absorbed (dissolved) into the Universal Mind, the ‘I-consciousness’ (ego) is also dissolved. This is the higher Samadhi (Asamprajnata Samadhi).

The ‘one’ who experiences this Transcendental Consciousness is the Self in possession of the ego, mind, and body. This ‘Self’ is known as the living Self, or Jivatman. When the Jivatman (the embodied Soul) attains perfection in this Transcendental Consciousness, the Self is said to be Jivamukta, or a Liberated Soul (actually, a free living soul; a liberated embodied soul).

The person (embodied soul) who is really free, is free from all the fluctuations of the mind. That person realizes the identity of the ‘I-consciousness’ and the Universe, and is established in That which is beyond both. The liberated soul is beyond duality. This state of Oneness is filled with profound peace and joy. This transcendental peace and joy are NOT feelings of the mind, but constitute the very essence of our being (ATMAN). Experiencing this Essence is the ultimate aim of all living beings, and no one can ever find lasting fulfillment without It. OM