16 Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven” (1895, 33). The Māndūkya Upanishad describes four “states” (Sa. avasthā) of consciousness that are central to human beings: “waking” (Sa. jāgrat), “dreaming” (Sa. svapna), “deep sleep” (Sa. sushupti), and the underlying substratum of all three states corresponding to the gross, subtle, and causal realms (Sa. turīya). The “Self” (Sa. Ātmā) is the principle of all states of consciousness and all degrees of its manifestation. It is important to note that the perspective of modern Western psychology begins and ends with the waking state of consciousness; meaning that all facets of life are analyzed from the waking state, with other realms being, for the most part, disqualified as they cannot be empirically verified. Contrary to the belief that “the psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains its equilibrium” (Jung 1985, 153), what we find, in fact, is that consciousness alone regulates all levels of a human being. A “science of the soul,” grounded in metaphysics and ontology, sees the waking state as a relative point of reference; not one that is absolute. For this reason, it can account for multiple realms of consciousness. In Sānkhya–Yoga, we find the cosmological principles of the three gunas and their psychic correspondences: “When ‘sattva’ predominates, consciousness is calm, clear, comprehensible, virtuous; dominated by ‘rajas’, it is agitated, uncertain, unstable; overwhelmed by ‘tamas’, it is dark, confused, passionate, bestial” (Eliade 1973, 23). In Buddhist cosmology, there are six realms that constitute life in samsāra (Sa. the cycle of birth-and-death): hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, fighting spirits, and gods. If we conceive of these worlds – not only as posthumous states that we experience after death – but as realms in which we can become immersed here and now, we can better understand not only the nature of the mind, but also extreme cognitive states and their relationship to mental health. By having recourse to a proper metaphysical perspective, we can make sense of the well-known insight by Ādi Śankara, the eighth-century sage of the Advaita Vedānta tradition: “There is in reality no transmigrating soul different from the Lord” (1962, 51). 5 Toward a Multidimensional Model of Consciousness Beyond the corporeal and psychic realms, traditional forms of wisdom maintain that human beings can occupy multiple states of consciousness. Buddhist writer Marco Pallis (1895– 1989) explains: “Man is but one of an indefinite number of states of the being” (1949, 127). William James (1842–1910), the “Father of American Psychology,” notes a similar idea (1985, 388): [O]ur normal waking consciousness… is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness… No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. How to regard them is the question… At any rate, they forbid a premature closing of our accounts with reality. The sacred psychologies of diverse cultures, throughout the world, provide us with a context for understanding these other states of mind. Due to their limited scope, empirical epistemologies fail to discern these realms of consciousness, as they only take into account “horizontal” dimensions of reality. We are reminded that “Heaven or Hell… comprise regions and degrees—in both the ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ dimensions—but the ‘life’ or ‘movements’ in these abodes cannot be penetrated by earthly understanding, unless it be through rare and fragmentary images” (Schuon 1970, 139). For this reason, Toshihiko Izutsu (1914–1993) points out (1994, 6–7): Such a vision of reality, however, is not accessible to human consciousness as long as it remains at the level of ordinary everyday experience. In order to have access to it… the mind must experience a total transformation of itself. The consciousness must transcend the dimension of ordinary cognition where the world of being is experienced as consisting of solid, self-subsistent things, each having as its ontological core what is called essence. There must arise in the mind a totally different kind of awareness in which the world is revealed in an entirely different light. That at any given moment we are in a particular state of mind or realm of consciousness, including extreme states, does not mean that they are not real. They can be just as vivid as our experiences in the external world of matter –