Q&A: A split in consciousness
When I meditate I often feel a split in my consciousness. Part of my consciousness is in a deep meditation while another part of my consciousness is observing and carrying on a running commentary on what is being experienced. What does that mean?
There should be no split in your consciousness. When you are properly meditating, your consciousness will become a single entity. If you feel that you are making a running commentary, then you have to know that either your mind or your vital or your physical is not totally one with your meditation. Your heart and soul are meditating most devotedly, but the mind may not be there. In our path we give more importance to the heart than to the mind. But that does not mean that we can neglect or ignore the mind. The mind has to become one with the heart so that the soul can carry both of them together. When you are meditating, sometimes your mind does not want to sit beside the heart or become one with it. That is why you are aware of this split in your consciousness. It comes from the mind. In your case very rarely does it come from the vital.
One of the Upanishads mentions that there are three kinds of meditation: gross meditation, subtle meditation and transcendental meditation. Your particular experience takes place in the first stage. In spite of having a very high meditation, you feel that your whole existence is not there. Although in your psychic consciousness you are having a very high meditation, it will not be totally fruitful, because all the members of your inner family are not participating.
In the second stage of meditation you will see that you have become totally aware of and unified in your consciousness. Now you are just using the term 'consciousness', but in that stage you will actually be able to sec and feel what consciousness is. At every moment you will be able to see the divine streak of light, the all-pervading light inside you which has united you with the Highest. In this stage of meditation you become the connecting link between earth and Heaven.
The third and highest stage of meditation is transcendental meditation. In this stage you will be able to feel or see yourself as both the meditator and the meditation itself. In this stage the seer and the seen come together. This happens only in the highest Transcendental Consciousness when you go beyond nature's dance, which means temptation, frustration, anxiety, fear, jealousy, failure and so forth. But all this does not mean that in gross meditation you cannot enter into your deepest meditation. You can. But only your heart and your soul will enjoy the deepest meditation; the physical, the vital and the mind will not be able to enjoy the deepest meditation at that time. That is why it is called gross.