“Om!, this syllable is this whole world”
– Mandukya Upanishad

When one learns the ingredients and process to make an omelet, one builds from there all possible combinations. Imagine the same accomplishment on what produces the reality one lives in. This knowledge is available in one of the eleven highest treaties on consciousness ever: the Mandukuya Upanishad. It is most impressive that it achieves this in only twelve verses.

In the Mandukya Upanishad consciousness is defined as OM, the imperishable word.The syllable that contains the entire universe, that transcends time and space. While the syllable sound is OM, its structure (the way it is used) is AUM, which is best described in the following image by

The not so obvious

The AUM structure (how to use OM) contains four stages: waking, deep sleep, dream and consciousness. Reality is divided between these four states, that is between what we perceive (waking), what we imagine (dream), the meaning of it (deep sleep) and consciously understanding all.

For instance, if I recall the image of an omelette but have not tasted it I’m not fully conscious of it. Nor am I if I know its image, tasted it but haven’t given it meaning as a healthy food, all together. Not experiencing all three stages in a fourth stage is an illusion (Maya). Experiencing all three (A+U+M) at the same time creates the fourth stage of consciousness.  This is so because to be conscious means to differentiate, to distinguish simultaneously, at the same time.

The never obvious

In the first verse of the Mandukya Upanishad it is said that AUM-OM transcends time: past, present and future. What follows is a teaching of Jose Luis Parise founder of the E.D.I.P.O. school of research on Psychoanalysis and Occultism where I’m a teacher. When we say OM we are pronouncing the impossible for our minds, because the position of the mouth for each sound is exactly opposite. The sound for “O” indicates to open the mouth while the sound for “M” indicates to close the mouth. To combine two opposite sounds at the same time means to transcend space, and to be in two spaces at the same time is to transcend time. The same way that understanding each of the three states in A+U+M is to transcend space-time.

I illustrated this in a design that explains both AUM and OM: