Om represents the higher power and its connection to each of us. The syllable OM, which is the imperishable Brahman, is the universe. Whatsoever has existed, whatsoever exists, and whatsoever shall exist hereafter, is OM. And whatsoever transcends past, present, and future, that also is OM. Everything that surrounds us has an aspect of the divine, just as we do ourselves. The chanting of the sound Om reminds us of those connections to the divine and to each other.
But Om also represents the states of human consciousness. There are three states of consciousness – plus an indescribable 4th.
The 1stt state of consciousness, known as Vaishvanara, is waking state which is focused outward to material objects. The waking state is represented in the symbol by the lower curve (the bottom of the “3”).
The 2nd state of consciousness, Taijasa, is dreaming sleep or the mental nature which is focused inward to only the thoughts in the mind. The dreaming state is represented by the curl coming out of the center of the “3.”
The 3rd state of consciousness, Prajna, is dreamless sleep or deep meditation. As stated in the text, “…the veil of unconsciousness envelopes his thought and knowledge, and the subtle impressions of his mind apparently vanish.” The dreamless state is represented by the top curve (the upper part of the “3”).
The 4th state of consciousness, known as Turiya, is the hardest to describe – in fact, the text calls it “indescribable.” But perhaps the best attempt to describe it is as follows: “It is pure unitary consciousness, where in awareness of the world and of multiplicity is completely obliterated. It is ineffable peace. It is the supreme good. It is One without a second. It is the Self. Know it alone! This Self, beyond all words, is the syllable OM.”
Leading Anti-Marijuana Academics Are Paid by Painkiller Drug Companies
As Americans continue to embrace pot—as medicine and for recreational use—opponents are turning to a set of academic researchers to claim that policymakers should avoid relaxing restrictions around marijuana. It’s too dangerous, risky, and untested, they say. Just as drug company-funded research has become incredibly controversial in recent years, forcing major medical schools and journals to institute strict disclosure requirements, could there be a conflict of interest issue in the pot debate?
VICE has found that many of the researchers who have advocated against legalizing pot have also been on the payroll of leading pharmaceutical firms with products that could be easily replaced by using marijuana. When these individuals have been quoted in the media, their drug-industry ties have not been revealed.
Take, for example, Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University. Kleber has impeccable academic credentials, and has been quoted in the press and in academic publications warning against the use of marijuana, which he stresses may cause wide-ranging addiction and public health issues. But when he’s writing anti-pot opinion pieces for CBS News, or being quoted by NPR and CNBC, what’s left unsaid is that Kleber has served as a paid consultant to leading prescription drug companies, including Purdue Pharma (the maker of OxyContin), Reckitt Benckiser (the producer of a painkiller called Nurofen), and Alkermes (the producer of a powerful new opioid called Zohydro).