Part I – The Mystery
We open our practice with it, we close our practice with it. We get tattoos and wear jewelry with it. OM. But do we understand its significance beyond its ubiquitous presence?
A primal, primordial sound. In Hindu tradition the OM mantra is the oldest and most sacred. It is sometime referred to as the Hymn of the Universe. It is considered the first breath of creation. Indeed, creation stories of most religions indicate that existence was brought forth with a sound. “In the beginning was the word...”. Not technically a word, but a vibration and the OM vibration, as the first utterance of Creator, contains all vibrations in existence, past, present and future.
There is a depth of information embedded in the OM symbol itself and we can mine much deeper insight and understandings by examining it. The familiar swoops and curves, in fact, tell the tale of our human experience.
There are four components to the spoken mantra and we vocalize the first three as syllables, Ahhh Uhhh MMM. The fourth component is the silence through which the vibrations resonate. The written symbol consists of three curves (curves 1, 2, and 3), one semicircle (curve 4) and a dot. Together they symbolize all levels of consciousness, or, the totality of who we are.
Large lower curve 1:
This represents the waking state, consciousness turned outward and experiencing manifest creation through the five senses. It's larger size signifies the state we spend the most time in.
Upper curve 2:
This represents the unconscious state, where Self “desires nothing nor beholds any dreams.”
Middle curve 3:
This significantly lies between deep sleep and waking. It indicates the subconscious or dream state where 'self', gazing inward, beholds desires and inner reality.
These are the three states of human consciousness and the three curves therefore represent our entire physical phenomenon.
This represents the fourth state of consciousness, the unutterable, soundless silence. The Absolute. It is a non-dual state where All comes to rest in the state of peace and bliss – the aim of all spirituality. This Absolute state illuminates the other three states.
And lastly, this separates the dot from the other three curves indicating the illusion of duality and separateness from that blissful state, our Divine nature.
The sum total of this mystic symbol represents the totality of our Being, the finite and the infinite, the manifest and unmanifest, the All and the One.
Now that the curtain has been pulled aside to reveal mystery of the OM, I hope you're intrigued. In the next post, we'll delve into how we can work with this beloved mantra to create magic in our lives.