The Relationship Between Om and 108

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

The relationship between Om and 108 has much to teach us in terms of how to conceptualize and expand consciousness.

A primary presentation of consciousness is articulated in The Om symbol, via its three constituent sounds, A-U-M. Throughout the day we exist in the wake state, the first state of consciousness, represented by the A sound. The second state of consciousness is sleep, represented by the U sound. The third state of consciousness is known as deep sleep state, represented by the M sound. This state of consciousness is what we think of as being in the Zone. This state is when our abilities are sharpened and we are capable of great feats without great effort.

The fourth state is deep awakening, this is beyond being in the Zone. This state is said to be rarely attained, the likes of Buddha and Jesus being among those who have achieved this superior state of consciousness, which is known as the point behind the veil in the Om symbol.

The four states of consciousness in Om are reflected in 108. I’ve written before about the spiritual significance of the number 108 – a quick refresher is here.  Thinking about Om and 108, we can see that the wake state is the oneness. The sleep state is the nothingness. The deep sleep state is the infinite. And the deep awakening state is the unsaid, the silence.

What is Consciousness and What Prevents Us Deepening Our Conscious State?

Consciousness is perhaps best understood as the awareness of awareness. The level of awareness varies in accordance to the level of consciousness. Most are aware that they are seeing, but are they aware of their thinking? Are you aware of the thought processes taking place within? Are you aware what is behind them? The more we step back and observe our emotions and thoughts instead of simply being subject to them the more aware we become.

Carl Jung said, “A healthy man does not torture others -generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.” What is customary is often just that, and beyond tradition has no merit. The more unconscious folks are involved, the more tortuous a process may seem. It is typical that most people stop the development of their consciousness right around the time we face the most peril and trauma, just when we are most incapable of dealing with it. When it is too painful to address and move on beyond a situation we will be stuck there consciously speaking. And yet, just being aware of this and even casually contemplating it can change everything.

Our minds are like great cities of thinking and feeling. And like the island of Manhattan, the avenues and streets of thinking and feelings intersect the islands of our minds. When we are on the block, the city looks one way, and from across the river it looks entirely different, and from above, seeing the whole, it is another thing entirely. Try to cross the river, or fly a plane, to become more aware of your entirety, of how your thoughts and feelings relate with the city, instead of simply seeing things from only your comfortable attitude or neighborhood.

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Want to learn more about the metaphysical relationship of 108, and how it can help you live “in the zone”? Check out Ethan Indigo Smith’s book 108 Steps to Be in The Zone.




About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

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