Regarding some of your questions: Your question was, "I understand that we are not this body, mind, intelligence or ego, but are pure consciousness or pure spirit soul. This consciousness has been polluted by association with matter. By association with Krishna this consciousness will be purified. This consciousness is all throughout our body giving us the power to think, will, and feel, but how is consciousness interrelated with matter? Is consciousness like mist that hangs around a mountain? How do matter and spirit connect and how do they work together? I hope you understand my question. And what exactly takes place when consciousness becomes purified?" A living entity has constitutionally mind, intelligence, and ego, but they are contaminated in contact with matter. At the present moment, our ego is working under some designation. Somebody is thinking that he is an American or Indian, and other is thinking that he is Brahmacari or Householder. This sort of ego is material but when one is firmly convinced that he does not belong to any material designation, but, his pure identification is eternal servitorship of Krishna—in Vedic language it is called, aham brahmasmi. That means I am spirit soul. The Mayavada philosophers on account of their negligence to serve Krishna, may sometimes come to this understanding of Aham Brahma asmi, but they again fall down to the material platform on account of such negligence. Therefore, this chanting process is being constantly in Krishna Consciousness, there is no such fear of falling down of the devotees. Your statement "By association with Krishna this consciousness will be purified" is right. Consciousness is not related with matter. Just like the air is always pure, but when there is a mixture of dust in the air, it appears to be a cloud. The cloud and air are different substances. Similarly consciousness is pure spiritual, but when the consciousness desires to enjoy matter, it becomes cloudy and dusty, or contaminated. And then at that time, thinking, feeling, and willing everything becomes polluted. The same example as I have given several times that the proprietor of a car and the car are different identities, but when the proprietor thinks that this car is for his enjoyment, he becomes absorbed in such thought, and as soon as there is some loss or accident to the car, he thinks that he is hurt. This consciousness is false, but one suffers the consequences on account of false identification. Consciousness is not like mist, but when it is materially contaminated, it looks like that. Another example, that water from the sky falling down on the ground looks muddy, but water is not muddy, it is clear. When the water is again filtered, and muddy things are precipitated, the water comes to its original lustre, crystal clear. So our Krishna Consciousness movement is that we have to clear our consciousness by the transcendental addition of Krishna chemical. Then everything will be nice and clear, and we shall be able to see our identification without any designation. I think your questions are answered up to the last part, when you inquired "what exactly takes place when consciousness is becoming purified?'"Please keep me informed about your plans and program for Australia, and I hope you are all well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami