What is Consciousness-Inspired Literature?
By M. R. Neer
Writers with expanded consciousness write from that level. A writer’s consciousness flows within the language of their writing. They are fluid in their awareness, not frozen. This means that their writing has the power to transform the reader, to help the reader evolve. How do these writers achieve this power?
The effect is spontaneous as it flows from their level of consciousness, but there are several markers that indicate that their writing is consciousness-inspired and evolutionary for the reader. Essentially, a writer of expanded consciousness is able to “express broad comprehension in very compact expressions,” like putting the ocean in a drop. Five signs of CI-Lit include:
- Inward Movement. It directs the reader’s awareness inward. It leads the reader to deeper, more expanded levels of awareness, towards the Self. This is the fluid motion of this type of writing. The reader is moved to make connections.
- Reverberating Experience. It includes descriptions of higher states of consciousness or insights into the deepest principles of life that reverberate in readers who have had such experiences. It inspires their attention in that direction. It connects readers to others and to nature.
- Swing of Contrasting Values Close Together. When the awareness swings between extreme values quickly, the intellect is sharpened, and the emotions are cultured. The writing can swing from concrete to abstract, from personal to universal, from contraction to expansion, from surface to depth, from activity to rest, from dynamism to silence, from emptiness to fullness.
- Increasing Charm. The inward, subtler levels of the mind are fundamentally more pleasurable, joyful, and blissful than the surface levels. Writing that evokes such deeper experience or understanding must have elements of charm, beauty, and harmony.
- Evolutionary Action. Such writers will often engage the reader in a quest of some kind where the characters go through stages of learning, maturation, and transformation. The reader identifies with this growth and experiences a beneficial transformation of awareness.
Consciousness-inspired literature has elements that lead to greatness and enduring value. It has a profound effect on the reader, if the reader is able to appreciate the subtleties above.
I am grateful to Rhoda Orme-Johnson, former English Department Chair at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA, for her clear explication of a Unified Field Theory of Literature based upon the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Let me conclude with a quotation from Maharishi about the power of great literature: “So it’s the comprehensive vision of a poet or a literary writer that sees, not the surface structure of it, so much as he sees the mechanics involved in its evolution. And this is why, no matter what one sees one sees evolution there, and because evolution is one’s own nature, in everything one sees one’s own nature, and this reference to the self makes everything enjoyable. So the study of literature would even go so far as to develop UC.” [Unity Consciousness]
The purpose of Great Passages is to give you regular experiences of consciousness-inspired literature so you can feel its power in your life and get to know these writers. As Maharishi also said, “What we put our attention on becomes more influential in our lives; what we see, we become (1967).”
For more information, see this article on the Principles of Consciousness-Inspired Literature.
“When the awareness of the artist is in tune with this center of infinite creativity, his creation, his piece of art, breathes the fullness of life, nourishes the creator, the artist, and inspires his admirers with waves of bliss.” Maharishi