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Four of Swords — Spiritual Message of the Day

January 26, 2012

Four of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersThere are three well-known states of consciousness—deep-sleep, dreaming, and waking—and while we are immersed in any one of them, we think that it is the true reality. For example, a dreamer thinks her dream-self is real. Our authentic Self, however, is the pure consciousness that both encompasses and transcends the other three states. Some mystics call this fourth level of consciousness, which is characterized by serenity and bliss, “god consciousness,” and our eternal yearning for peace and happiness reflects our deep-seated desire to return to this state of transcendent consciousness, to rediscover our true Self.

For help in understanding the fourth level of consciousness, consider this analogy: this transcendent state of awareness is to our waking consciousness as our waking mind is to our dream mind. This is an ancient concept that has been around for millennia. For example, in Hindu philosophy, the true reality is Brahma’s consciousness while the manifest universe is His dream.

Similarly, we may say that we are dreaming our own reality, and when that dream is not what we want (which it usually isn’t) we think we need a better dream. But really, what we need is to awaken to the true reality of transcendent consciousness.

On the face of it, this seems very esoteric and impossible to verify. However, science has also begun to discover a fourth state of consciousness. In the early 1970s, researchers at UCLA discovered that meditation shifted people into a state of consciousness where brain activity is very different from that of waking, dreaming, or deep sleep. In mediation, brainwave scans reveal a state of restful alertness and integration of mental activity, which some meditation practitioners describe as pure consciousness or unbounded awareness.

The Four of Swords tells us that there is a fourth level of consciousness that we may discover through a practice such as meditation. And in this way, we may find the peace and happiness we so deeply desire and which is our true nature and birthright.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot.

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