It’s tempting to put people into categories: good, bad, somewhere in between. But anyone who has been through difficult moments in life can attest to the fact that often, it’s not that simple. Most people are a little good, a little bad, a little so-so, and how they behave depends on the specific situation and what they’re going through at the time.
What many people don’t realize is that there’s a rhyme and reason behind this, and there’s actually a way to recalibrate your consciousness to create more intent on giving back to others and less focused on your own ego. To understand how, we must first talk about the three natures we all have within our consciousness.
Sato guna is the purest state of consciousness. People who fall into this category have an altruistic, compassionate, loving, and giving attitude toward life and others. They operate from a place of pure humanity. People who are predominantly sato became that way via what they’ve learned, either in this lifetime or in past ones. Most sato people are very spiritual, and are very in touch with their empathetic side or heart intelligence.
Rajo guna is the materialistic state of consciousness, and it falls somewhere in the middle between good and bad. Most people in the world can be put into this category, as they are very grounded in the here and now—the material elements of the world. That’s not necessarily a reprehensible attribute, but sometimes they make choices based on ego-related motivations. Most of us are somewhat generous, occasionally jealous, sometimes kind, occasionally selfish—in other words, a mix of pure and impure. This mix is definitely a step up from the impure state of consciousness, but there’s still room for improvement.
Tamo guna is impure. People in this category tend to be what we might call “cold-blooded.” They mainly operate based on detached emotions and are not in touch with their heart intelligence. They come from a very insecure, self-centered place that leads them to hurting other people. You probably don’t know too many people who truly fall into this category; lifetime criminals are a good example. The funny thing about tamo people is that whatever they do (i.e., stealing), they do to achieve rajo (i.e., money), but their whole approach is very negative.
Most people have a mix of all three of these natures, and yet, one is predominant. Even the purest people will usually have an element of rajo guna in them, and very rarely, and element of tamo guna. For example, a sato guna might be 90% sato, 8 % rajo, and 2 % tamo. No one is one-dimensional.
The Power to Shift Your Consciousness
After reading through the descriptions of each nature, you probably have a good idea of which one is predominant in your own consciousness. No matter where you currently are, one thing to take comfort in is that the possibility of changing your nature, or at least shifting the balance between natures, is always there.
So, someone who is tamo can become a rajo and then grow into a sato. No matter where you are in your life, you can make this shift because every soul has the potential to move to a better form of consciousness. The question is not so much whether your consciousness needs to be rebalanced, but when. It is natural to want to evolve.
To start, you have to go to the source: your soul. In India we call it agman, and from that source radiates energy. That energy is consciousness. The intelligence of the consciousness is reflected as the mind, and the mind’s physical manifestation is the body. When you assume the body, you identify yourself through your own perception of your mind and body. We are a bundle of all this stuff.
For many people, the desire to make a shift or to rebalance comes naturally because in a sense; it’s easier to be good than it is to be bad. Being “bad” causes stress, anxiety, and guilt. But since our natural state is good, the moment you want to go to that source, it is willing to be pure again right away. Even with the worst criminals, the moment they turn around and decide to go the other way, their being will shift, and it will be profound.
Take the example of our own lives. Think about a time when you lied and carried that burden of the lie. When you then told the truth, didn’t it immediately feel so much better, more natural? When you’re living without jealousy, anger, and hate, you feel so much more peaceful, centered, and good about yourself. That is your basic nature; that’s why you feel that way. Our basic nature is love and kindness. No matter who you are or where you are with your consciousness, you’re going to come full circle.
Related: A Meditation for Healing Emotional Pain
How to Rebalance
The bottom line is that a shift in consciousness can bring about a shift in your whole being. In order to do that, you have to connect with that inner source or energy by going inward. Think about it this way: When you go off to sleep at night, you connect with the rejuvenating part of your energy, and in the morning, you get up and feel revitalized to go about your day. By staying awake, you cannot recharge your energy. The source of that energy is inside us; that’s why when we go inward, we get recharged.
Rebalancing your consciousness works in a similar way. You have to go inward to recharge your purest nature, usually through meditation.
A meditation to begin rebalancing and working toward a more pure consciousness is very simple. Sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your heart center. Then, repeat for two minutes: “I am pure consciousness.”
As you start to say this mantra and believe it, a shift will start to happen in your mind. When your mind has a shift that purity that is our basic nature starts to come in. You can do this for whatever timeframe you want—one minute, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, but the key to making type of meditation effective is that the practice must start from you. Go inward, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you feel balanced.