“We must be ‘oned with bliss’ if we are to be aware of it. That aspect of our being by which we may attain this communion—that ‘marrow of the Soul,’ as Ruysbroeck calls it—usually lies below the threshold of our consciousness; but in certain natures of abnormal richness and vitality, and under certain favorable conditions, it may be liberated by various devices, such as contemplation. Once it has emerged, however, it takes up, to help it in the work, aspects of conscious self. The surface must co-operate with the deeps, and at last merge with those deeps to produce that unification of consciousness upon high levels which alone can put a term to man’s unrest.” ~Evelyn Underhill
Becoming one with “bliss”, or more accurately, one with God, is indeed the way to truly expand consciousness to higher levels. It is also true that when our soul is awakened and our consciousness on that level starts to grow, the surface level of consciousness, or ego, is generally unaware of it and may remain so for years. Nonetheless, that spiritual awareness, that Divine Consciousness, may be growing below that surface.
Underhill says it may be “liberated” by various devices including contemplation, and that is also true. She doesn’t really explain what this “liberation” involves. Basically, you must convince the surface consciousness of the ego to allow the higher consciousness of the soul to surface and gain some degree of control. This is not an easy thing to do and many struggle with it for years. The ego does not give us it’s total control and power easily. You have to convince it that it benefits by allowing the soul consciousness to come to the surface occasionally. As Underhill correctly states, the surface must cooperate with “the deeps” or the higher consciousness of the Soul if one is to achieve unification of consciousness, even briefly.
The good news is that even if that unification has not happened yet, we can still benefit from that higher consciousness having awakened in our spirit and soul. It aids us when we here the gentle whispers of intuition advising us. It aids us with dreams that can provide advice and predictions of the future (if one takes the time to study, review and interpret them).
Ms. Underhill ends the paragraph by telling us that this unification of consciousness will put a “term to man’s unrest.” A gentle way to put it, but then this was written quite a few years ago. Man is far more than simply lacking in rest. He is angry, violent, greedy, materialistic, selfish, and more. Not all of us, of course, but enough to have made our world a real mess. Passing more laws doesn’t seem to fix it. Telling people to live together in peace and harmony also does nothing. But this article tells us what we can really do to fix it that will actually work.
One thing the quoted section doesn’t mention is how we get this higher consciousness activated in the first place (it was covered earlier in her book). The simple fact is you can’t unite the surface consciousness with the higher consciousness unless you first awaken that higher consciousness. You do that by awakening and nourishing the spiritual faculties that lie dormant within each of us: the spirit and Soul. And the only think that can awaken those faculties is the spiritual light that comes to us through the spiritual sun just as physical light comes to us mostly from the physical sun. It is not by coincidence that St. Francis had his awakening when watching a sunrise from his sickbed and Jacob Boehme had his when sunlight reflected by a shiny metal bowl struck him in the eye.
So if you want that unification of consciousness to happen within you, the first step is to awaken the spirit and soul with the light of the spiritual sun. Spiritual sun, not the physical one.