Acknowledge this graphic from the internet, useful only for scholars.

In this 31st dharana of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva says:

Dig deeper into your body mind

Into the subtle essence of its constituents

Supreme Energy reveals herself 

Let us start with the world around us that we see. We perceive this world through our five senses. What we perceive, we filter through the prism of experiences we have had since we came into this world. These experiences, stored as memories, some conscious, many unconscious, distort what see into what we would like to see. A higher intelligence then interprets these perceptions into actionable entities. Finally, our ego initiates action. These actions have consequences, which leave memories of experiences, which in turn create more perception filters. So, the cycle continues, a vicious cycle of conditioning.

The five senses constituting the gateways of the mind body to the external world, the memory store, the higher intelligence and the ego define how we move from perceptions through thoughts to action. Together, they create our mind maps, mind traps and mind blocks. Each of our mind maps reflects the illusion of our belief system, which leads to multiple mind maps among different people. Maya, illusion, born out of  differing perceptions, creates the distortion and conflict in this world.

Shiva asks us to dig deeper and to look at the reality behind our perceptions. Joo and others tell us to break down the body mind movements into the constituent energies of the world, such as earth, water, fire, air and space, each subtler than the one preceding. Or to look deeper into the ego, the command center of all this illusion, and move into an inner reality of one’s own divinity. i find all this complex.

As always, I seek refuge in Ramana Maharishi. His process of self enquiry, going through stages of who creates these perceptions, delayering  one’s ego as it were, works wonders for me. I have no need to learn about esoteric terms such as tanmatras, panchabhutas, saktopaya and such others, leaving me confused and no wiser. Ramana simplifies the complex. Ramana will have nothing to do with the chart displayed at the beginning.

Look at the world outside. Instead of accepting what your senses perceive and your mind interprets, question the reality of these interpretations. Who senses? Who interprets? Who wants to act? Who is that person? who am I?

Am I my senses? Am I my perceptions? Am I my memories? Am I my ego? If i am, what happens to me when I die? Am I just this body and mind? Am I gone for ever when this body dies and becomes the earth or ashes?

Or am I more than my mind and body? If i am what is that lies beyond my mind and body?

Who am I?

I have read learned scholars advising the reader to refine perceptions of body mind to subtler essence of space and then to the universal energy of prakriti and beyond. These make no sense to me. These scholarly words find no experiential resonance within. Ramana’s words do.

As i dig deeper into subtler layers of where my thoughts come from, i reach a stage where these thoughts freeze. I become a witness. I disengage. Peace descends. Mindfulness prevails. Words cannot describe this state. Only experience can.

If that experience defines the state of the universal creative Supreme Energy, para sakti, so be it.