“Maharishi, What is the Settled State of Mind—is it ‘Transcendence’?”

–Excerpts from an interview with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Science of Mind magazine, November 1993

Can you offer us more understanding of the “settled state” of mind? Why is it so important?

Maharishi: The settled state is where we find the principle of least action, through which natural law operates. It is important because it is the fundamental level of life.

And being in the “settled state,” or the state of least action, is equivalent to transcendence?
Yes. Transcendence is the state where the mind has moved beyond everything other than itself. That means it has transcended all kinds of activity, small and big, and it has settled down in its own authority, in its own sovereignty, into the unbounded dignity of its own intelligence. And in this state, transcendental consciousness turns out to be a lively field of all possibilities.

Maharishi-MaheshSo, while the mind usually operates in an active, or “unsettled” state, Transcendental Meditation takes it to the settled state.
Exactly! To understand this process, we must ask: how does the mind work? What does it do? We know the mind is always subject to its own nature, which is to evolve. Evolution is the essential nature of existence. The mind is always searching for more and more and more—more knowledge, more happiness. The mind moves on, always toward more and more.
But the mind has two sides. One side is in the direction of diversity, in the direction of many, many. The other is in the direction of unity, the unified state. “Gaining unity” means rising to Transcendental Consciousness, the settled state, while “gaining diversity” means moving toward more and more activity. Unity is on one side, diversity is on the other side. Both sides belong to the nature of the mind.
The mind moves to diversity in search of more and more, and it moves in the direction of unity—a quiet state of unbounded awareness, unbounded consciousness, unbounded intelligence—in search of less and less. The move of the mind from its active state to its quiet state is part of the nature of mind itself, and we say the mind in that state is at one with the unified field of all the laws of nature. Its potential is unbounded, infinite; it enters the field of all possibilities. When the mind gains its unified state, that is Transcendental Consciousness.

What is the nature of Transcendental Consciousness?
It is Unity Consciousness, an encounter with the field of unified consciousness. In Transcendental Consciousness, the mind experiences itself, intelligence experiences itself. The mind is the observer of its own reality. In that state, the mind is Transcendental Consciousness.
Just as the quiet surface of the ocean is the source from which all waves arise, so the self-fulfilled state of mind, which we call Transcendental Consciousness, is the source of all activity. We call it the unified field of natural law, from which all the different laws of nature emerge and conduct their specific activities in the relative world.

Is the state of unbounded awareness maintained during the day, even after the formal meditation period ends?
As a result of regular practice, it is maintained more and more. The situation is as though we were to take a white cloth and dip it in yellow dye. We bring the cloth out and put in the sun and the yellow fades away. Then we put it back again and again into the color and back again and again into the sun. In the dye it keeps on becoming yellow and yellow and yellow, then fading, fading, fading in the sun. But over time the color becomes permanent. That happens to the mind through regular practice. That unbounded awareness, that pure consciousness, the field of all the laws of nature, becomes ingrained in all activities of the mind. Then the mind begins to live in Unity Consciousness. That’s how Unity Consciousness becomes a living reality.

Maharishi-NewWhat new applications are you currently exploring for Transcendental Meditation?
We are working in many directions—dealing with education, community planning, prison rehabilitation, and so on—but our primary focus is on promoting what we call “irreversible world peace.” We are seeking to establish several permanent groups of 7000 advanced Transcendental Meditators in various places around the planet. Their meditations will create a powerful coherent influence in the collective consciousness and neutralize built-up stress and tension in the world, creating an environment of progress and peace. Our goal is to create Heaven on Earth, and we are taking practical steps to accomplish it.

Copyright © 1993 Science of Mind Journal.