As a baby each one is born innocent and pure, without name or personal identity. Despite having no developed mental faculty, we are gifted with the power of awareness that knows when we are hungry and whether we are comfortable or not. So even without name or language, a knowing power is always present.
In childhood, though our nature is still relatively innocent, the sense of individuality soon forms, and we start to see everything and everyone as separate. We know people as separate, things and forms as separate, and with this awareness of separateness a consciousness of possessiveness automatically comes into play. And so from a young age, even before language has been fully learnt or understood, the child starts to say ‘me, my, this is mine, and that is yours’.
Sooner or later, as time passes and conditions of family and society influence us more and more, we lose the innocence we had as babies, we lose the worry-free state of the child and we develop all the traits of dissatisfaction and insecurity that plague a human being throughout his whole life.
The nature of separateness is such that it makes us constantly look outside ourselves for ways and means to feel complete and one with our society and environment. We are normally at the dictates of our mind, which tells us that if we are successful in acquiring the objects of our attraction or fulfilling our desires, happiness will come. But if we study closely, we can clearly see that this is not the truth of the situation, and not the path to inner peace and fulfillment.
In this way, the wheel of passing time between birth and death continues. Never feeling truly fulfilled by any human endeavour we never achieve a state of freedom from the anxieties and emotions that make us vulnerable to discomfort and unease. The sense of safety and true well-being always remains an elusive hope rather than a reality.
If permanent happiness is not found within the field of change, it must be that it lies within the field where no change takes place. As that which is unchanging is not perceived by the intellect, mind or senses, and is not within the three states of consciousness a human being knows—waking, dream and deep sleep—meditation becomes the means to opening the door to a fourth state of consciousness. In the fourth state the senses become quiet and the mind is absorbed in stillness. This in itself provides a unique opportunity for true rest. The fourth state is the unchanging reality, and meditation is the technique that allows you to recognise that this is who you really are, have always been, and will always be. Being one with that state you are one with all beings. No sense of separateness remains.
As in every aspect of life, whatever we wish to become expert in takes regular practice. Regularly tuning into the fourth state will bring its reward in the form of a peace that no other experience can compare to. In the fourth state, the innocent knower of the child you were is revealed as never having left you. Through the practice of meditation supported with the correct knowledge, a tremendous inner strength and evenness of being is unfolded that can be maintained and accessed under all circumstances.
Regular meditation allows you to develop a deeper and more settled state of consciousness with much less struggle, than if you meditate sporadically. Regular meditation will result in the meditator becoming aware of the unshakable inner peace within, and a great sense of detachment from all the emotional reactions and stresses generated by our usual limited and chaotic thinking, which prevent us from feeling peaceful, fearless and free.