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Fourth states of Matter and Consciousness May 10, 2006

Posted by pinaki in open thread.
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In hindu philosophy,Turiya is a state of pure consciousness, or the experience of ultimate reality and truth. It is a fourth state of consciousness that underlies and at the same time transcends three common states of consciousness: (i) the state of waking consciousness (jagrata), (ii) the state of dreaming (svapna), (iii) and dreamless sleep (susupti). In fact

The Mandukya Upanishad defines turiya as follows,

“The fourth state is not that which is conscious of the subjective, nor that which is conscious of the objective, nor that which is conscious of both, nor that which is simple consciousness, nor that which is all-sentient mass, nor that which is all darkness. It is unseen, transcendent, the sole essence of the consciousness of self, the completion of the world

In other words consciousness is the constant factor in all the three states and it is unaffected by the presence or absence of objects. Consciousness itself does not require to be revealed by another consciousness. It is self-revealed.While everything is presented to consciousness and is revealed by it, consciousness itself is not presented to anything else. It is never an object in relation to another subject. It is that which underlies both subject and object. It is the fourth, the turiya, the brahman. If one looks at the AUM/OM symbol ,the three sates and the fourth state can be clearly understood.Not only does the sound vibration of the AUM/OM represent the four levels of consciousness, so too does the visual symbol.


  • The lower curve represents the Gross, Conscious, Waking state level ( jagrat), called Vaishvanara.
  • The center curve represents the Subtle, Unconscious, and Dreaming level( svapna), called Taijasa.
  • The upper curve represents the Causal, Subconscious,& Deep Sleep level( susupti), called Prajna.
  • The dot, point, or bindu represents the fourth state, the absolute consciousness, which encompasses, permeates, and is the other three, and is called Turiya.
  • The arc below the dot symbolizes the separateness of this fourth state, standing above, though ever remaining part of the other three. Piercing the bindu finally allows one to attain the highest experience, and this comes after following the process of Kundalini Awakening.

“Divine state of bliss” is what Turiya is.
God as turiya

Bhagavata Purana 11.15.16 describes Bhagavan with the words turiyakhye (the fourth), the meaning of which is found in the Bhagavad Gita 7.13:

tribhir guna-mayair bhavair ebhih sarvam idam jagat

mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam

“Deluded by the three [gunas], the whole world does not know Me, who am above them and inexhaustible.”

It is the fourth state of the famous Taraka-Raja-Yoga system in India, equivalent to a raising and temporary coalescence of the human consciousness with the atman, otherwise called nirvana. In this turiya state the divine self is perceived by the individual entitative self as its parent; and the atman thus is realized to be in its essence free of any mayavi distinction from its universal divine source. Turiya, the highest of all the states into which the consciousness may cast itself or be cast, “which is a practical annihilation of the ordinary human consciousness, is an attainment of union with atma-buddhi overshadowing or working through the higher manas. Actually, therefore, it is becoming at one with the monadic essence” (OG 72).
Turiya is a state or condition of consciousness which to the eye of an observer seems to be that of the deepest abstraction from things of the material world — that state which to most people would seem to be a complete or perfect trance, physically speaking. The higher consciousness of the human being, often unconsciously to the brain-mind consciousness, enters into turiya and brings about for the physical person a condition of perfectly dreamless sleep; however, it is a state of the highest or most exalted spiritual and intellectual activity.

“In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it [the monad] loses its name, as it loses it when the real ONE self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi (the Turiya state) or final Nirvana; ‘when the disciple’ in the words of Sankara, ‘having attained that primeval consciousness, absolute bliss, of which the nature is truth, which is without form and action, abandons this illusive body that has been assumed by the atma just as an actor (abandons) the dress (put on)’ .

Similarly when you look at matter “Plasma” …. There are three classic states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas; however, plasma is considered by some scientists to be the fourth state of matter. The plasma state is not related to blood plasma, the most common usage of the word; rather, the term has been used in physics since the 1920s to represent an ionized gas. Space plasma physics became an important scientific discipline in the early 1950s with the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts. Lightning is commonly seen as a form of plasma. Matter changes state as it is exposed to different physical conditions. Ice is a solid with hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O) molecules arranged in regular patterns, but if the ice melts, the H2O enters a new state: liquid water. As the water molecules are warmed, they separate further to form steam, which is a gas. In these classic states, the positive charge of each atomic nucleus equals the total charge of all the electrons orbiting around it so that the net charge is zero. Each entire atom is electrically neutral. Although plasma includes electrons and ions and conducts electricity, it is macroscopically neutral: in measurable quantities, the number of electrons and ions are equal. The charged particles are affected by electric and magnetic fields applied to the plasma, and the motions of the particles in the plasma generate fields and electric currents from within. This complex set of interactions makes plasma a unique, fascinating, and complex state of matter.

Plasma is found in both ordinary and exotic places. When an electric current is passed through neon gas, it produces both plasma and light. Lightning is a massive electrical discharge in the atmosphere that creates a jagged column of plasma. Part of a comet’s streaming tail is plasma from gas ionized by sunlight and other unknown processes. The Sun is a 1.5-million-kilometer ball of plasma, heated by nuclear fusion .

Scientists study plasma for practical purposes. In an effort to harness fusion energy on Earth, physicists are studying devices that create and confine very hot plasmas in magnetic fields. In space, plasma processes are largely responsible for shielding Earth from cosmic radiation, and much of the Sun’s influence on Earth occurs by energy transfer through the ionized layers of the upper atmosphere.

‘99.9 percent of the Universe is made up of plasma,’ says Dr. Gallagher (a plasma physicist), very little material in space is made of rock like the Earth, making it omnipresent.

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