Turiya and Time


I have few questions, please clear my confusions..

1) What is the fourth consciousness state of “turia”?

2) In “The Time Tunnel” I read that “Time is deep cosmic secret, no one knows what it means! We must try to solve this secret.” Can you please explain real nature of time and how it flows?

—dhruv parikh, india


Dear Dhruv,

Turiya is the so-called fourth state of consciousness (conscious, dreaming, dreamless sleep, turiya). It is the state beyond deep, dreamless sleep, in which the superconscious is active. It is the constant background consciousness that we all have, but upon which the other three states can—and usually do—intrude and thereby interfere with the experience of reality as it truly is.

As for time, all great masters say that time and space are illusions. But as long as we are in the illusion, time is a reality. So to understand the true nature of time, we must be able to step outside of the illusion. That can be done only in the superconscious state; any explanation I could offer would be mere words, which are of the conscious mind. Yet the conscious mind wants to have some understanding of time, and I hope you will find some of the following helpful.

First, Paramhansa Yogananda offered an analogy: He compared time to a movie film, which can be run through a movie projector quickly or slowly, forward or backward. Think about it.

Another step toward understanding time can come by noting that outward reality is full of change, and it is change that gives rise to our experience of time. Without change, we would have no sense of time. Change and time are the same. (Again, think of the movie film analogy.) If we live in the superconscious state, however, we perceive the changeless, timeless nature of the one true reality.

Now let’s leave philosophy and analogy in favor of a practical suggestion from Swami Kriyananda’s Success and Happiness Through Yoga Principles: “The secret of turning the truth of timelessness to best present advantage is to see change, and even evolution itself, as a process of unfolding awareness. Allow no fleeting concern to lead you away from that goal. At the same time, don’t allow theoretical philosophy to blind you to present realities.”