Adyashanti - I have a hard time meditating!?

Six types of meditation...

There are so many different types of meditation. How many? Who knows, but enough so that you can find the one that's right for you. To get your search started, here are six types of meditation you can try.

1. Breath watching. Can meditating be as simple as paying attention to your breath for a few minutes? You bet. Relax in whatever position works best for you, close your eyes and start to pay attention to your breathing. Breathing through your nose gets your diaphragm involved and gets oxygen all the way to the bottom of your lungs. As your mind wanders, just re-focus your attention on the air going in and out of your nose. Just do this for several minutes, or longer as you get used to it.

2. An empty mind meditation. Meditating can create a kind of "awareness without object," an emptying of all thoughts from your mind. The techniques for doing this involve sitting still, often in a "full lotus" or cross-legged position, and letting the mind go silent on its own. It can be difficult, particularly since any effort seems to just cause more business in the mind.

3. Walking meditations. This one gets the body involved. It can be outside or simply as a back and forth pacing in a room. Pay attention to the movement of your legs and breathing and body as you walk, and to the feeling of your feet contacting the ground. When your mind wanders, just keep bringing it back to the process of walking and breathing. Meditating outside in this way can be difficult because of the distractions. If you do it outside, find a quiet place with level ground.

4. Mindfulness meditation. A practice Buddhists call vipassana or insight meditation, mindfulness is the art of becoming deeply aware of what is here right now. You focus on what's happening in and around you at this very moment, and become aware of all the thoughts and feelings that are taking your energy from moment to moment. You can start by watching your breath, and then move your attention to the thoughts going through your mind, the feelings in your body, and even the sounds and sights around you. The key is to watch without judging or analyzing.

5. Simple mantra meditation. Many people find it easier to keep their mind from wandering if they concentrate on something specific. A mantra can help. This is a word or phrase you repeat as you sit in meditation, and is chosen for you by an experienced master in some traditions. If you are working on this alone, you can use any word or phrase that works for you, and can choose to either repeat it aloud or in your head as you meditate.

6. Meditating on a concept. Some meditative practices involve contemplation of an idea or scenario. An example is the "meditation on impermanence," in which you focus on the impermanent nature of all things, starting with your thoughts and feelings as they come and go. In the Buddhist "meditation on the corpse," you think about a body in the ground, as it slowly rots away and is fed on by worms. The technique is used to guide you to an understanding that your rationalizing mind might not bring you to.

There are many other meditations you can try, such as the "meditation on loving-kindness" or "object" meditation, and even meditating using brain wave entrainment products. Each type has its own advantages and effects. For this reason, you may find that at different times and for different purposes you want to use several different types of meditation.

Steve Gillman has meditated and studied meditation for over twenty years. You can find a good mindfulness exercise and subscribe to The Meditation Newsletter at: http://www.TheMeditationSite.com
By Steve Gillman

God is Love...

'God is love'; when love is awakened in the heart, God is awakened there.

Bowl of Saki, May 29, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Life's light is love; and when the heart is empty of love, a man is living and
yet not living; from a spiritual point of view he is dead. When the heart is
asleep, he is as though dead in this life, for one can only love through the
heart. But love does not mean give and take. That is only a trade; it's
selfishness. To give sixpence and receive a shilling is not love. Love is when
one loves for the sake of love, when one cannot help but love, cannot do
anything but love. Then one is not forced to love; there is no virtue in that.
One does not love because another does. It is simply there. It cannot be helped.
It is the only thing that makes a person alive. If a person loves one and hates
another, what can he know of love? Can you love one person fully if at the same
time you cannot bestow a kind glance on some other person? Can you say you love
one person fully when you cannot bear him to be loved by someone else as well?
Can you hate a person when love is sprinkled like water in your heart? Love is
like the water of the Ganges. It is itself a purification. As the Bible says,
'God is love'. When love is awakened in the heart, God is awakened there. When a
man has journeyed, he reaches the goal as soon as his heart has reached love.

The Sufi says, 'The Kaba, the divine place, paradise, is the heart of the human
being'. That is why he has respect for every heart. Every heart is his Kaba, his
shrine. The human heart is the place toward which he bows, for in this heart is
God.

Some object to Christ being called divine; but if divinity is not sought in man,
then in what shall we seek God? Can divinity be found in the tree, in the plant,
in the stone? Yes indeed, God is in all; but at the same time, it is in man that
divinity is awakened, that God is awakened, that God can be seen.

Ram Tzu Speaks...

You promise you'll change
You swear you'll do better
And maybe you will.

Ram Tzu knows this -

It won't be by your own power.

- Ram Tzu

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `




No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced"
Ram Tzu
Advaita Press, 1990

My Last Question - Part 1 - Mooji - NY 2009

After Illumination...

The differences between human beings still remain after illumination. The variations which make each one a unique specimen and the individual that he is, still continue to exist. But the Oneness behind human beings powerfully counterbalances.

— Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter 2: Enlightenment Which Stays > # 189........Paul Brunton

Nonduality...

Hindu and Buddhist Nonduality:

Conflict in the New Church Mind?



There are two types of religions distinguished in terms of how they define God and reality. Hindu and Buddhist traditions are generally based on nonduality while Islam and the Judaeo-Christian faith are based on duality.



In nonduality only God is permanent and real while the self is an illusion that vanishes when one reaches enlightenment, and the universe an impermanent state that is periodically dissolved and remade. That which changes and dissipates is not considered to be reality. Eastern religions teach that the purpose of life on earth is to learn to transcend the illusory self through raising one’s consciousness to the divine itself. This achievement is called enlightenment or God-realization. Individuals ought to live their daily lives by striving to detach all the qualities of self and life that adhere and create the illusion of struggles in life, culture, nature, and individuality. This total emptying of all morality and psychology is identified with enlightenment. The self has then transcended into God, the only reality, void and empty of all appearance and of changing qualites.



In strong contrast to this point of view, duality presents God and creation as distinct, permanent, and forever separate. Moslems, Jews, and Christians are taught that the purpose of life on earth is to prepare oneself for life in eternity. The individual self (or unique soul) is created immortal, and continues life after death in a spiritual body. The individual has freedom to choose to act in accordance with the revealed commandments of God or conscience, or to act against them. A spiritually good life leads to eternal heavenly happiness, an evil one, to infernal and unending misery. God is the Omnipotent Divine Person who creates the universe and maintains it in its order by intervening in its operation. God gives the individual the power to learn the Commandments and to follow them despite many inborn contrary desires. The individual receives this power through worship and love of God. Atheism and lawlessness constitute the refusal to worship and love God, an act of defiance that deprives the individual of the power to live a spiritually good life.



Can There Be Compatibility Between Nonduality and Duality?


Wilson Van Dusen is a recognized authority on both duality and nonduality. He recently wrote:



Hinduism's advaita vedanta or non-dual theology, probably represents the highest mystical insight possible. It is the insight that ultimately only God exists. My friends know that I regard Swedenborg's mystical revelations as the greatest ever. We can then ask the question, Can we also find non-dualism in Swedenborg? The answer is a resounding yes. The highest revelation of Hinduism is also in Swedenborg's revelations even though the two traditions had no contact.

(“The Highest Insight in Hinduism and in Swedenborg.” Published in the Messenger June 2001)



This point of view is based on the apparent similarity between “God rules all” (Swedenborg) and “Brahman is the all” (Hinduism). Since God rules all, the individual does not possess actual power but only the illusion of prudence leading to desired goals. And since God is the only life, human beings are merely receptors of God’s life, rather than self-existent beings that are alive. From these considerations Van Dusen draws this conclusion:



God alone is real (nonduality). … What we try to do God is doing through us. Our apparent duality is an aspect within a transcendent non-duality. The non-duality of God alone is super ordinate to all appearances of duality. … The non-dual position in Hinduism helped me to see it in Swedenborg's writings. … All our efforts to improve ourselves do not create an us-versus-God dualistic situation-but rather our efforts are a part of the working out of Divine Providence. (Van Dusen, ibid)



Van Dusen’s position of nonduality leads him to the notion that since God alone has power, “what we try to do” is actually “God doing through us.” Duality on the other hand, maintains a distinct separation between the motive we have (“what we try to do”) and God’s power that actually carries it out. The Writings reveal that God chooses which of our motives are carried out and which are unsuccessful or unfulfilled. God maintains us in freedom to persist or desist in any intention or choice, and looks at our motive behind the choice. The quality of this motive—good or evil, is attributed by God to each individual. The accumulation of all our choices is what makes up our character or spirit. This spiritual self is what lives after death and is either in heaven or hell depending on its accumulated character.



In view of this we cannot equate “what we try to do” (i.e., the character of the individual) with “God doing through us” (i.e., Divine Providence in managing all things). This duality remains forever distinct.



Examples of Clashing Concepts


God and Self

In nonduality, God is the only reality and the individual self is an illusion that vanishes upon enlightenment, leaving behind God alone. In duality, God and self have permanently distinct identity and existence, and the individual continues to evolve forever in the afterlife.



A Life of Prudence

In nonduality, our efforts at improving our character are ultimately and finally futile since everything about self is an illusion to be dissipated at enlightenment. In duality, our motives for the reformation and regeneration of character are empowered by God and brought to fruition and salvation. It is required that individual prudence be in the decisions we make, but what makes our decisions effective is the power of God operating in the background or from within. This required prudence is called in the Writings the “as-of-self” (DP 321). Nonduality sees this human prudence as illusory (maya), while duality sees it as that which ties each of us to God in a personal relationship by which we are saved. Nonduality replaces reformation and regeneration with detachment, meditation, and “mystical experience” as the path to salvation, liberation, bliss, and “cosmic divine consciousness.”



Appearances Are Real

The duality in the Writings affirm that the individual self (or spirit) is a property of the unique and immortal soul created by God at birth and temporarily tied to a physical body that allows interaction between self and the material environment. The life we are conscious of is an outward appearance of inner things in that we are not given to see the work of God in its detailed operation in the background of events. However this external appearance is not illusory, but real—a part of the reality that God creates and maintains on our behalf. In duality, all that God creates is by definition real or part of reality. The self (or “as-of-self”) is our individual unique identity or character; it is a real spiritual entity or “spirit.” The physical body is a real natural entity. Duality asserts our birth into dual citizenship: the body in the natural world; the mind in the spiritual world. The two are tied to each other by the Divine Laws of Correspondences. Nonduality insists on defining all temporary or changing things as unreality to be dissipated—since it makes permanence or changelessness a condition for reality. But duality accepts change and development as a property of reality.



In duality God is creator of a real universe in a rational order and for a loving purpose. The creator of reality cannot be part of creation but must be outside of it. The Writings teach the permanent duality of create and uncreate (DLW 44). All that is infinite and without a beginning are part of God and uncreate (not part of created reality)—love, good, truth, wisdom, life, light, heat, endeavour. These are infinite in God and have no beginning. All else is created, cannot be infinite, and has a beginning—matter, spirit, consciousness, intelligence, affections. Nonduality in the New Church mind would be in conflict with these categorical absolutes. Nonduality is in opposition to all the basic rational concepts in the Writings that the New Church mind must contain in order to regenerate and become heavenly. The ideas of nonduality cannot receive admittance into the atmosphere of the New Heavens where everything is based on eternal dualities--the Lord vs. angels, husbands vs. wives, heavenly things vs. hellish, truths vs. falsities, inmost heaven vs. middle heaven, those who are governors or princes in heaven vs. those who are governed by them, and numerous others).



Morality and Conscience

Moral decisions we make as-of-self are real events powered by God alone. Only within duality can this make sense. Thinking within nonduality we are compelled to say that God is real while our moral decisions (or prudence) are not since they are works of illusion. In other words, God cannot power an individual’s conscience if it is not real, for only real things can be empowered.



Danger Points


Many types of thinking based on nonduality pose certain dangers to the New Church mind if ideas are admitted uncritically or unknowingly. The nondual and the dual in the mind strive to annihilate each other since they are inherently opposed. The Writings teach that certain ideas can become impediments to one’s regeneration (AC 806, NJHD 21). For instance the notion that both good and evil come from the same source can weaken our resolve for character reformation. The Writings show that without regeneration of character we remain infernal from heredity and cannot be saved for eternal heavenly life (NJHD 186). Weakening the absolute duality of heaven and hell in our mind also weakens our motivation for resisting our inherited evils and struggling to obey the commandments.



Nonduality as a system of thought strives to turn categorical discrete degrees into a continuum. The existence of discrete degrees is known only from the Writings (DLW. 173-281): God vs. creation, angel vs. devil, male vs. female, self vs. Divinity, natural vs. spiritual. These elements are created discrete and remain permanently distinct. Nonduality works to replace the “vs.” with “and” while duality insists on absolute and permanent distinctions. Duality is made of categorical (non overlapping) distinctness while nonduality constantly pressures the mind towards similarity and commingling (as in universalism, pluralism, relativism). New Testament concepts of pure vs. impure, good vs. evil, truth vs. falsity, wolves vs. sheep, in the Church vs. outside, are systematically eroded or altogether transformed by nonduality into something else, less distinct, less permanent.



One of the most popular and influential promoter of nonduality in the American climate is Joseph Campbell whose books and audiotapes more than a decade after his passing on are still on the best seller charts. Here are thematic arguments from The Power of Myth. by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers (Anchor Books; Reissue edition July 1991). I quote from a review by Douglas Groothuis of the Christian Research Institute (Accessed on the Web April 2002: http://www.equip.org/free/DC092.htm):



If you confess your sins you make yourself a sinner; if you confess your greatness you make yourself great. The "idea of sin puts you in a servile position throughout your life" (p. 56). He later redefines sin as a lack of knowledge, not as an ethical transgression: "Sin is simply a limiting factor that limits your consciousness and fixes it in an inappropriate condition" (p. 57). … Campbell believes our challenge is to say, "I know the center, and I know that good and evil are simply temporal aberrations and that, in God's view, there is no difference" (p. 66). In fact, "in God's view," you are "God, not in your ego, but in your deepest being, where you are at one with the nondual transcendent" (p. 211).



The Writings reveal that “Father” refers to the substance of Divine Love (or Good), which is the Lord’s inmost or Esse, while “Son” refers to its outward form called Divine Wisdom or Truth (Existere). Love and Wisdom are united as one in the Lord and proceed as one to create and maintain the universe (DLW 99). But in the unregenerate human mind they are separated in reception (love into the will and truth into the understanding). Regeneration becomes the process of reuniting these two so that the will from love acts together with the the truth in the understanding. This unity of functioning is called the church within where this love/truth duality is retained forever. It is the permanent distinctness of the elements in a unity that maintains its perfection (DP 4). A striking example from the Writings is the conjugial unity of the angelic couple by which husband and wife function as one (CL 184). Another well known example is the unity of the distinct heavenly societies by which they are integrated into the human form, creating the ever increasing perfection of the Grand Human in the spiritual world (AC 5377).



Nonduality as a system of thinking acts in opposition to these permanent dualities and strives to establish a continuity between them, fudging the categorical and absolute distinction. The New Church idea of unity or oneness between distinct elements is metamorphosed into a dissolution of distinctness, either into sameness (nonduality) or else “Emptiness” (unbounded, unqualifiable). The meaning of “oneness” is entirely different in the two systems of thought. There is no overlap possible, even in the same words (oneness, God, reality, spirit, bliss, love, self, sin, etc.).



It is prudent therefore for the New Church mind to be clearly aware of the hidden opposition when exposed to concepts of nonduality.

++++++++++++



Dr. Leon James is Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. His articles on The Writings can be accessed on the Web at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/swedenborg.html including an expanded version of this article.



I’d like to gratefully acknowledge the useful editorial help I received from Dr. Ian Thompson who maintains a Web site relating to Swedenborg at www.TheisticScience.org

Meditation...

If Meditation fails to attain its goal, it is in most cases because the person tires of making the needed effort, and returns to his ordinary state too soon. Success demands an untiring persistence, a refusal to get up from the seat until he is established in THAT.
...........Paul Brunton

My only wish...

Dear heart, where do you find
the courage to seek the Beloved
when you know He has annihilated
so many like you before?
I do not care, said my heart,
my only wish is to become
one with the Beloved.

- Rumi

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"Rumi - Whispers of the Beloved"
Selected and translated by
Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi
Thorsons, London 1999

Steps...

Every man's path is for himself; let him accomplish his own desires that he may
thus be able to rise above them to the eternal goal.

Bowl of Saki, May 27, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The sages have said, 'Rise above the earthly motives. Accomplish all you wish to
accomplish in life, whatever be the motive, and then that itself will lead you
to a stage from which you can rise above them, and above the earthly desires of
the body'. They have never said, 'Stop, and go into the jungle, and see life
from our point of view'. Everybody's path is for himself. Let everyone achieve
the fulfillment of his own desires so as to be able to rise above them to the
eternal goal.

All our experiences are nothing but preparation for something else. Nothing that
belongs to this world, however precious, must hinder one's path of progress. For
every step in the direction to that spiritual gain must be the aim of every
soul. ... Every belief and every experience for a wise person is a step of a
staircase. He has taken this step, there is another step for him to take. The
steps of the staircase are not made for one to stand there. They are just made
for one to pass, to go further. Because life is progress. Where there is no
progress there is no life.

Now...

"The entire history of life is revealing itself as your consciousness. It may appear as a past, the present, or future, but it is really the Here and Now unfolding to your awareness. It portrays the qualities of your own thoughts, the activities of your consciousness.

"If you are ever betrayed, it is because in your consciousness there is still some quality of thought betraying you. Every bit of error that happens to us in our experience is directly brought on by some state of consciousness of our own. Not that 'right thinking' stops it nor 'wrong thinking' causes it, but in individual consciousness are these latent traits and they set these events in motion."

-- from Joel Goldsmith's "Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture"
Chapter - Darkness to Light

Non-Duality Awareness...

In certain remarkable Eastern spiritual teachings the entire path revolves around entering our inherent pure awareness, pure consciousness, pure being, and residing there. Seer and seen merge into a global awareness which excludes nothing, has no center and no separation between observer and observed. The ego, at least temporarily, evaporates. Unfiltered, unfettered consciousness replaces ego as the organizing structure of the person. Seeing reveals the pseudo-self of ego as an empty and illusory construction, instantly dismantled by the unifying wholeness of consciousness in which nothing can be truly separate. Instead of our awareness collapsing in egocentric identification with some distraction or problem, we remain in the authentic fullness of consciousness. At first, this realization of the non-dual might only be intellectual. When the true seeing opens, however, it is both a magnificent surprise and patently obvious. Problems dissolve, joy, wonder, and compassion arise naturally.

The extremely rare saint may, on the occasion of this first taste of non-dual awareness, spontaneously enter a stable, lasting and completely effortless abiding in pure awareness, in clear seeing. Such people inspire us with their teaching that enlightenment is at hand, is our true nature, that we need only let go and be fully in the moment.

The great majority of us, though, are not so spiritually gifted that we attain enlightenment on our first contact with pure awareness. We sink back to autopilot. We cannot learn to ride the bike of non-dual awareness without training wheels. If non-dual awareness is our only practice, we either find it rough sledding, fragmentary and momentary, or we delude ourselves into thinking we have been conscious when we have not.

We need an inner structure to enable us to balance between falling out of the present moment, back into the self-centered view on the one hand, and falling off into a semi-conscious absent-mindedness on the other. We need to contact, build, and organize our sensitive energies into a vehicle capable of supporting pure consciousness in a stable manner. So we focus on practices that involve the gradual cultivation of attention, contacting and organizing energies, body awareness, radical acceptance of ourselves and our situation, seeing the processes of attachment and identification operating within us, prayer, and the rest.

Non-dual awareness is not difficult to experience. We need only simplify into the moment, coming to rest in pure awareness itself by backtracking within our ordinary awareness to its natural, wide-open clarity. We go behind sensory experience, behind emotion, behind thought, behind our very self, into the now. We allow the clouds of thought and emotion and pain to float by without obscuring our presence, and we become that vast sky of unadorned awareness. Pure awareness precedes all; it forms the substrate that receives experience. This clear consciousness appears both wonderful and seductive because the relative ease of momentarily entering the utter satisfaction of non-dual awareness is matched by the ease of falling out of it. Non-dual awareness draws us to seek it directly. But to establish ourselves in awareness, we need a balanced path of cultivating our soul, our wholeness.

This conundrum has been widely debated in spiritual circles for millennia. In early Chinese Zen, for example, the discussion took the form of gradual cultivation versus sudden awakening. The wise, like the twelfth-century Korean Zen master Chinul, taught the necessity and complementarity of both. Sudden awakening into non-dual awareness bestows a first release from the egocentric grasping and rejection of experience. With this weight lifted, we can breathe freely the air of the Present. When we return to our usual state, our understanding has changed. From then on, the recognition of clear awareness as our own essence informs our pursuit of practices in the gradual cultivation of our being. Doubts dispelled, our faith and confidence in the spiritual pursuit grow unshakeable. Awakening recurs more frequently and for longer periods, and we discover the satisfaction of living in Presence. No longer divided inside, no longer focused on the division between our self and the rest of the world, we arrive at rest in the non-dual wholeness of awareness.

Yet non-dual awareness, pure consciousness is not the ultimate goal. We are here to serve a great Purpose. Living in awareness accords with and supports that Purpose in important and subtle ways. But our obligations do not end there. Respecting both the traditions of the East with their focus on being and those of the West with their focus on doing, we see that being is not enough. Purity of being, awareness, promotes the purification of our will, the letting go of attachments and egoism. Gradually opening our will, first to our own Self, our own individuality, and later to the Divine Will, gradually opening our heart to the Great Compassionate Heart of the World enables us to discover and create our destiny through our own unique service to the All.
...........from Innerfrontier.org

Is Love, an emotion?...

Love is definately more than an emotion, It is the state of non-self.. what you
think is emotion is actually the Freedom of non-self or what we call God.. we
call this mental state of Joy by many names but the most common is Love.. you
would gladly give up your most valuable possession (life) because of this Love
for your family and friends.. why are you not willing to give up your very life
Now? for this Love that we call God.. the altar that is used in religion is
really meant for the sacrifice and death of the false self.. and then
Unconditional Love is returned...........namaste, thomas

The Voice...

When I have entered the Light of Divine Consciousness, I found mySelf as Light and Love for as far as Eternity stretched.. I had no eyes and yet I could see forever.. Unconditional Love was flowing around Me and through Me.. Information in the form of Divine Knowledge was flowing through Me and the rest of this Unending Light and Love.. I was identity within Reality.. Was I the entire Light and Love that only existed?.. I cound feel no other identities within the Light.. But, I decided to ask a question to the Light, to find if there was another Consciousness within this Light.. A Voice would answer My questions.. the Voice sounded male and spoke with a friendly tone.. How could I hear a Voice with no ears?.. Was I actually speaking to Myself as Consciousness?.. Thoughts of the self and Overself entered My Consciousness.. There is only One Self.. There is Only One Source.. Identity was created within Divine Consciousness as a method of Experiencing Duality as a way to Know Non-Duality and Love.. "Know Thyself" was the answer...........namaste, thomas

The Short Path...

The Short Path man ought not to depend on authorities, scriptures, rules, regulations, organizations, gurus, or writings. His past history may outwardly force such an association on him, but inwardly he will seek to liberate himself from it. For his ultimate aim is to reach a point where no interpreter, medium, or transmitter obtrudes between him and the Overself.

Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 1: Entering the Short Path > # 83 .... Paul Brunton

What is Non-Duality?

The Thinking Mind...

“Do not try to approach God with your thinking mind. It may only stimulate your intellectual ideas, activities, and beliefs. Try to approach God with your crying heart. It will awaken your soulful, spiritual consciousness.”
Sri Chinmoy

No opinion...

One of the by-products of an awakened state
is to simply view every event as an extension
of Consciousness and embrace what is--as is.
No judgment, no comparison, no opinion about
it, and no preference for how it should be.

- Satyam Nadeen

Time and Work...

The time and work is within the mind.. years of meditation and contemplation just to dissolve the ego enough to finally surrender the final vestage to enter Reality.. even though identity remained, Grace given, allows that to experience the true essence of Light and Love.. never wishing to leave, time though not existing, manifests again to signal Your departure into matter.. Thoughts of Finality enter, only to open the question of, "Is there more?".. Only the complete disolution of identity is the more that is sought.. Pure Awareness and Pure Extinction call from the distance of duality.. Monotheism asks It's name and I shout back, "There is no name for Finality but Love"...........namaste, thomas

Logic...

Logic is such a strange word.. we think of the logic of thinking as a
scientific approach to Truth.. But, is it logical to be apart from the Only
Energy within the Universe.. we can logic ourselves to death, we can play with
words to build a faulty foundation on sand or we can twist logic to start wars
and enhance our false selves.. Is it logical that we must die, so that we must
Live.. Is it logical that we endure the pain of separation and non-Love even
though we have the answers and paths to Freedom.. No, there is not much power in
logic.. It is just a lot more thoughts to bounce against each other.. God is
beyond logic..God Is.........namaste, thomas

how to live it? - Mooji

Alan Watts...

From: 'The Wisdom of Insecurity':
"...when you really understand that you are
what you see and know, you do not run around
the country-side thinking, 'I am all this.'
There is simply 'all this.'



"...our experience is altogether momentary.
From one point of view, each moment is so
elusive and so brief that we cannot even
think about it before it has gone. From
another point of view, this moment is always
here, since we know no other moment than the
present moment. It is always dying, always
becoming past more rapidly than imagination
can conceive. Yet at the same time it is
always being born, always new, emerging just
as rapidly from that complete unknown we
call the future. Thinking about it almost
makes you breathless."


"...there is no formula for generating the
authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.
You cannot talk yourself into it or rouse it
by straining at the emotions or by dedicating
yourself solemnly to the service of mankind.
Everyone has love, but it can only come out
when he is convinced of the impossibility and
the frustration of trying to love himself.
This conviction will not come through
condemnations, through hating oneself, through
calling self-love all the bad names in the
universe. It comes only in the awareness that
one has no self to love."


"We are accustomed to think that, if there
is any freedom at all, it resides, not in
nature, but in the separate human will and
its power of choice.

But what we ordinarily mean by choice is not
freedom. Choices are usually decisions
motivated by pleasure and pain, and the
divided mind acts with the sole purpose
of getting 'I' into pleasure and out of pain.
But the best pleasures are those for which we
do not plan, and the worst part of pain is
expecting it and trying to get away from it
when it has come. You cannot plan to be happy.
You can plan to exist, but in themselves
existence and non-existence are neither
pleasurable nor painful..."

"In the strictest sense, we cannot actually
think about life and reality at all, because
this would have to include thinking about
thinking, thinking about thinking about
thinking, and so *ad infinitum*. One can
only attempt a rational, descriptive philosophy
of the universe on the assumption that one is
totally separate from it. But if you and your
thoughts are part of this universe, you cannot
stand outside them to describe them. This is
why all philosophical and theological systems
must ultimately fall apart. To 'know' reality
you cannot stand outside and define it; you
must enter into it, be it, and feel it.

Speculative philosophy, as we know it in the
West, is almost entirely a symptom of the
divided mind, of man trying to stand outside
himself and his experience in order to verbalize
and define it. It is a vicious circle, like
everything else which the divided mind attempts."



"The common error of ordinary religious
practice is to mistake the symbol for the
reality, to look at the finger pointing
the way and then to suck it for comfort
rather than follow it."

Definitions and Beliefs...

By overlaying a subjective grid work on the
world through your definitions and beliefs, you
vainly try to artificially divide the indivisible.

Beneath all of your ego-based interpretations,
however, the Absolute persists undisturbed and is
completely untouched by everything that you think,
feel, say and do.

Meanwhile, though, you're still struggling to
frantically write the story of your life on the watery
surface of an Eternal Ocean.

But you're using an icicle pen!


- Chuck Hillig

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Seeds for the Soul
Chuck Hillig
Black Dot Publications, 2003

What is Love?...

Love is definately more than an emotion, It is the state of non-self.. what you think is emotion is actually the Freedom of non-self or what we call God.. we call this mental state of Joy by many names but the most common is Love.. you would gladly give up your most valuable possession (life) because of this Love for your family and friends.. why are you not willing to give up your very life Now? for this Love that we call God.. the altar that is used in religion is really meant for the sacrifice and death of the false self.. and then Unconditional Love is returned...........namaste, thomas

In the Silence...

Deafened by the voice of desire
you are unaware the Beloved lives
in the core of your heart.
Stop the noise and
you will hear His voice
in the silence.

- Rumi

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Rumi: Hidden Music
Translated by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

The Final Journey...

When
souls leave the body in the near death experience, they are naturally drawn to
the frequency of non-self (Love) that they Are.. Therefore, there are many
frequencies of existence.. as Jesus said:" There are many mansions in My
Father's Kingdom".. Complete surrender of the belief in separate self brings You
into the Light and Love called Divine Consciousness which is Reality.. Although,
we are without the false self, we still believe that we have a separate
identity.. as a drop of water in the ocean.. The final journey is to Know that
You are actually the Ocean.........namaste, thomas

What is God?...

I like to keep things very
simple by using as few words as possible.... The Truth is that God is the very
Energy of Love.. This is the bonding Energy of the Universe and the family..
Love is the desire that follows our mind and our desires.. the point is, God is
Love and anytime that you see Love or feel Love, you see and feel God..when you
do not see Love,then you see ego, or what is known as evil...........namaste,
thomas

The Overself...

The Overself remains always the same and never changes in any way. It is the hunger for this quality, thought of as "peace of mind," which drives men to seek the Overself amid the vicissitudes of health or fortune which they experience.(P)

— Notebooks Category 24: The Peace within You > Chapter 4: Seek the Deeper Stillness > # 123.........Paul Brunton

The Great Way...

This is from 'The Spirit of Tao'
Trans/edited by Thomas Cleary
The Great Way

The Great Way is very difficult to express in words. Because it
is hard to speak of, just look into beginninglessness, the
beginningless beginning. When you reach the point where there
is not even any beginninglessness, and not even any nonexistence
of beginninglessness, this is the primordial. The primordial Way
cannot be assessed; there is nothing in it that can be assessed.
What verbal explanation is there for it? We cannot explain it,
yet we do explain it-where does the explanation come from?
The Way that can be explained is only in doing. What is doing?
It is attained by nondoing. This nondoing begins in doing.

Castles in the Air...

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them..........
from the "Conclusion" to Walden ... Henry David Thoreau

Literary entertainment...

"The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next." ......
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Paul Brunton Biography from wikipedia...

Paul Brunton was born in London in 1898. He served in a tank division during the First World War, and later devoted himself to mysticism and came into contact with Theosophists. Being partner of an occult bookshop, The Atlantis Bookshop, in Bloomsbury, Brunton came into contact with both the literary and occult British intelligentsia of the 1920s. In the early 1930s, Brunton embarked on a voyage to India, which brought him into contact with such luminaries as Meher Baba, Sri Shankaracharya of Kancheepuram and Sri Ramana Maharshi. Brunton's first visit to Sri Ramana's ashram took place in 1931. During this visit, Brunton was accompanied by a Buddhist Bhikshu, formerly a military officer but meanwhile known as Swami Prajnananda, the founder of the English Ashram in Rangoon. Brunton asked several questions, including "What is the way to God-realization?" and Maharshi said: "Vichara, asking yourself the 'Who am I?' enquiry into the nature of your Self."[1]

Brunton has been credited with introducing Ramana Maharshi to the West through his books "A Search in Secret India" and "The Secret Path".[2]

One day—sitting with Ramana Maharshi—Brunton had an experience which Steve Taylor names "an experience of genuine enlightenment which changed him forever". Brunton describes it in the following way:

I find myself outside the rim of world consciousness. The planet which has so far harboured me disappears. I am in the midst of an ocean of blazing light. The latter, I feel rather than think, is the primeval stuff out of which worlds are created, the first state of matter. It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly alive.[3]
The times of World War II Brunton spent in India, being hosted a guest by the Maharaja of Mysore, His Highness Sri.Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV.[4][5] He dedicated his book "The Quest of the Overself" to the Maharaja and when the Maharaja died in 1940, he was present at his funeral.

After two decades of successful writing, Brunton retired from publishing books and devoted himself to writing essays and notes. Upon his death in 1981 in Vevey, Switzerland, it was noted that in the period since the last published book in 1952, he had rendered about 20,000 pages of philosophical writing.

A longtime friend of Paul Brunton, philosopher Anthony Damiani, Founder of Wisdom's Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies in 1972,[6] coordinated the publishing effort together with a team of people including Paul Cash and Timothy Smith. The Swedish-American publisher Robert Larson started publishing the 16-volume set in 1984.

[edit] The Hidden Teachings Beyond YogaIf Brunton can not be credited with introducing Yoga to the West because of the existence of other previous luminaries such as Blavatsky, Vivekananda and Yogananda, at least he holds a preeminent position in bringing to the West the best the Orient has to offer: the doctrine of Mentalism. No other writer but Brunton has declared Mentalism to be the esoteric doctrine of the Orient. Brunton is also the only writer to differentiate Oriental Mentalism from Berkeley's.[7]

As the theory of relativity, according to Einstein, brings space and time together so does mentalism unite spirit and matter; this phenomenon is explained by Brunton as being inherent in imagination.[8]

Paul Brunton expounds the doctrine of mentalism in his magnum opus, first in part one which is introductory and preparatory titled The Hidden Teachings Beyond Yoga and last but not least in a revelatory work named The Wisdom of the Overself. According to Joscelyn Godwin, "...Since discovering Brunton's work in the 1960's I have found no reason to discard their philosophical principles."[9]

[edit] AssociationsIn the 1940s and 1950s, Brunton lived with American author and former psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson, the son of a Jewish American friend of Brunton,[10] as Masson's parents were among a handful of Brunton's close disciples. Masson published a memoir of his childhood under the title My Father's Guru. Initially influenced by Brunton, Masson gradually became disillusioned with him. According to Masson, Brunton singled him out as a potential heir to his spiritual kingdom. In 1956, Brunton decided that a third world war was imminent and the Massons moved to Montevideo, since this location was considered safe. From Uruguay, Masson went at Brunton's bidding to study Sanskrit at Harvard. Brunton himself did not move to South America, instead spending some time living in New Zealand.[11] Masson subsequently became proficient at Sanskrit, and realized that Brunton did not have the facility with the language that he claimed.[12]

[edit] See alsoSelf-enquiry
[edit] Bibliography[edit] BooksAre You Upward Bound with William G. Fern (1931)
A Search in Secret India (1934)
The Secret Path (1935)
A Search in Secret Egypt (1936)
A Message from Arunachala (1936)
A Hermit in the Himalayas (1936)
The Quest of the Overself (1937)
Indian Philosophy and Modern Culture (1939)
The Inner Reality (1939) [published in the U.S. as Discover Yourself, same year]
Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga (1941) [13]
Wisdom of the Overself (1943)
Spiritual Crisis of Man (1952)
[edit] MiscellaneousBrunton, Paul. 1975. "A Living Sage of South India" in The Sage of Kanchi New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, New Delhi. ed by T.M.P. Mahadevan, chapter 2
Brunton, Paul. 1959, 1987. Introduction to Fundamentals of Yoga by Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D. New York; Harmony Books
Brunton, Paul. 1937. "Western Thought and Eastern Culture" The Cornhill Magazine
Brunton, Paul. 1951. Introduction to Wood, Ernest Practical Yoga London: Rider
Plus articles in "Success Magazine", "Occult Review", "The Aryan Path", &c.
[edit] Posthumously Published TextsEssays on the Quest (1984)
Essential Readings
Conscious Immortality [14]
Notebooks of Paul Brunton (1984–88)
[edit] Further readingKenneth Thurston Hurst, Paul Brunton: A Personal View, 1989, ISBN 0-943914-49-3 [15]
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, My Father's Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality and Disillusion, Addison-Wesley (1993), ISBN 0-201-56778-4, (new edition 2003 by Ballantine/Random House)
Annie Cahn Fung, Paul Brunton A Bridge Between India and the West. A doctoral thesis presented to the Department of Religious Anthropology Universite de Paris IV Sorbonne, 1992, online text, published by wisdomsgoldenrod
J. Glenn Friesen: Studies Related to Paul Brunton, online text
[edit] Footnotes1.^ Description of the visit and reproduction of one of the dialogues with the Maharshi, done from rough notes
2.^ Kamath, M.V.; Kher, V.B. (2003). Sai Baba of Shirdi: A Unique Saint. Jaico Publishing House. p. 298. ISBN 8172240301. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZcEJn3MLjcIC&pg=PA298&dq=Paul+Brunton+biography&lr=#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20biography&f=false. "Ramana Maharshi...was revealed to the wider world outside India by Paul Brunton..."
3.^ Paul Brunton in his book A Search in Secret India, p.305, cited by Steve Taylor in his article Satsang The Power of Spiritual Presence /in New Dawn Magazine No. 101 (Mar-Apr 2007)
4.^ Jeffrey M. Masson (1999), Der Guru meines Vaters, Eine Kindheit mit Paul Brunton, Berlin, Theseus, ISBN 3-89620-144-1, p. 25
5.^ Annie Cahn Fung, Paul Brunton A Bridge Between India and the West, Part I: Genesis of a Quest, Chapter 3: In Mysore
6.^ Wisdom's Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies
7.^ Mansfield, Victor (1995). Synchronicity, science, and soul-making. p. 195. ISBN 0812693041. http://books.google.com/books?id=jSf_jIN4Yt8C&pg=PA195&dq=Paul+Brunton+mentalism#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20mentalism&f=false. "The world is the invention of Universal Mind."
8.^ Feuerstein, Georg (1997). Lucid Waking. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.. pp. 157–158. ISBN 0892816132. http://books.google.com/books?id=jMepDq0yiioC&pg=PA157&dq=Paul+Brunton+mentalism&lr=#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20mentalism&f=false. "We like to reiterate that 'everything is relative'..."
9.^ Godwin, Joscelyn (2007). The Golden Thread. Quest Books. p. 186. ISBN 0835608602. http://books.google.com/books?id=bt7YY7dQRCMC&pg=PA186&dq=Paul+Brunton+mentalism&lr=#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20mentalism&f=false. "My mentalistic position is not based on any academic training in philosophy..."
10.^ Storr, Anthony (1997). Feet of clay. Simon & Schuster. p. 162. ISBN 0684834955. http://books.google.com/books?id=XxUay6uxp3EC&pg=PA162&dq=Paul+Brunton+Jeffrey+Masson#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20Jeffrey%20Masson&f=fasle. "He was so ashamed of being half-Jewish that he had a cosmetic operation on his nose."
11.^ "In 1963, after several years of travelling and living in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Brunton withdrew to the serenity of the Swiss Alps." Adyar online
12.^ Yoga Journal. 112. Active Interest Media Inc.. Sep-Oct 1993. p. 116. ISSN 0191-0965. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZukDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA116&dq=Paul+Brunton+Jeffrey+Masson#v=onepage&q=Paul%20Brunton%20Jeffrey%20Masson&f=false. "This is a scathing account of growing up with a guru in the house."
13.^ Some information
14.^ Excerpts
15.^ Here, in his son's account, is Brunton's description of an illumination that came upon him after years of study. Excerpt

You Are Life Itself...

If you want to be free, you cannot hide from anything. Many spiritual seekers are using spiritual practices as a means to avoid many aspects of themselves.

The problem with this is that as long as you are avoiding anything, you are not living in truth. You are avoiding truth. No one ever became enlightened by avoiding truth.

If you want to be free, then you must face yourself and face your life as it is. Do not use spirituality or spiritual experience as something to hide behind. As long as you are avoiding parts of yourself, or life in general, then even very profound spiritual experiences and revelations will have very little permanent effect on you.

Do not simply seek to transcend life, but realize that you are all of Life. You are Life itself.

~ From: The Impact of Awakening, by Adyashanti www.adyashanti.org

Undivided...

"Undivided, yet appears as if divided in beings; He, the object of knowledge, is the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of (all) beings."
Bhagavad Gita

Written on a hut wall...

"If you want to be a mountain dweller...
no need to trek to India to find a mountain...
I've got a thousand peaks
to pick from, right here in this lake.
Fragrant grasses, white clouds,
to hold me here.
What holds you there,
world-dweller?"

Chiao Jan (730 - 799)
from _The Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry_
Edited by J. P. Seaton
http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/J/JanChiao/InscribedonW.htm

The Lover of this World...

The lover of this world is like someone in love
with a wall illuminated by sunrays; he doesn't
realise that the radiance and the splendor do
not come from the wall but from the sun; he gives
his heart to the wall and when at sunset the rays
of sun disappear, he is in despair.

- Rumi

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Muriel Maufroy
"Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi"
Sanyar Press - London, 1997

Time does not exist here ...

Where does the whole of samsara, all animals
and plants, all concepts, trees, and birds come from?
There is only one Source: return to it, merge in it.
Know what it is and everything is It itself.
There is no difference between you and what you call other!
Know this and you will speak to all beings;
every rock, tree, and animal at the same time
because time does not exist here.

Time does not exist here - Papaji

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"The Truth Is"
Sri H.W.L. Poonja
Yudhishtara, 1995

The Thought called "I"...

"The first and foremost of all thoughts that arise in the mind is the primal `I'
thought. It is only after the rise or origin of the `I' thought that innumerable
other thoughts arise. Search by means of a deeply introverted mind, where from
this `I' arises. If we go inward questing for the source of the `I', the `I'
topples down, and immediately another entity will reveal itself, proclaiming,
`I!, I!'. Even though it also emerges, saying, `I', it does not connote the ego,
but the one, perfect existence."

~ Ramana Maharshi

Beyond the mind of Thought...

"There is something.
Much too vast to put into words.

There is a tremendous reservoir, as it were,
which if the human mind can touch it, reveals something which no intellectual mythology
- invention, supposition, dogma - can ever reveal.

I am not making a mystery of it ... Either one creates a mystery when there isn't one
or there is a mystery which you have to approach with extraordinary delicacy and hesitancy,
and, you know, tentativeness.

And the conscious mind can't do this. It is there but you cannot come to it,
you cannot invite it. It’s not progressive achievement.

There is something but the brain can't understand it."

Krishnamurti

Enlightenment...

"Self-Realization or Enlightenment is nothing more than the deepest possible understanding that there is no individual doer of any action - neither you nor anyone else. Also you are not the thinker of any thoughts, nor the experiencer of any experiences - they happen. When IT happens, no bright lights are likely to flash in your head!"

Ramesh Balsekar

Consciousness and Awareness...

From what I have read from more advanced mystics than myself, Awareness
cannot enter the lower frequencies of illusion and thus manifested the
intelligence called Divine Consciousness to reach into these frequencies and
uses the sub-conscious mind which is also called soul as a circuit to the
lower frequencies of matter as a process of experience.. To bring what is Truth
into Falsehood (Reality into Illusion) I believe is not possible, as the
illusion does not really exist and therefore, there is no place for Awareness to
travel to.....Considering the question of, can we raise our frequencies to reach the state of
Awareness?.. We can definately raise our frequencies due to reaching higher
frequencies of that Universal Bonding called Love.. The raising of our frequency
is exactly the lowering of our imaginary bond to separate self(ego).. But, the
key word is "our".. In Reality, there is no "our".. There only "Is".. We are
already Divine Consciousness but there is still a small speck of duality called
identity.. This sense of separate identity became further confused by taking on
also the identity called ego.. Thus, we are doubly confused.. The goal is to end
all identities, even the identity as Awareness.. This state is complete
non-duality and Freedom..........namaste, thomas

Non-Duality Awareness...

Lama Yeshe: When you contemplate your own consciousness with intense awareness, leaving aside all thoughts of good and bad, you are automatically led to the experience of non-duality. How is this possible? Think of it like this: the clean clear blue sky is like consciousness, while the smoke and pollution pumped into the sky are like the unnatural, artificial concepts manufactured by ego-grasping ignorance. Now, even though we say the pollutants are contaminating the atmosphere, the sky itself never really becomes contaminated by the pollution. The sky and the pollution each retain their own characteristic nature. In other words, on a fundamental level the sky remains unaffected no matter how much toxic energy enters it. The proof of this is that when conditions change, the sky can become clear once again. In the same way, no matter how many problems maybe created by artificial ego concepts, they never affect the clean clear nature of our consciousness itself. From the relative point of view, our consciousness remains pure because its clear nature never becomes mixed with the nature of confusion.

***

Paul Brunton - The Quest

Look at your mind...

Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. When it is quiet, you can go beyond it. Do not keep it busy all the time. Stop it - and just be. If you give it a rest, it will settle down and recover its purity and strength. Constant thinking makes it decay......

Nisargadatta

At some point...

When, at some point, there is a spontaneous
surrender of the personal needs, preferences,
desires, opinions, and beliefs that function as
reality filters, the realization of your true identify
may spontaneously arise. When this happens
there will be no more questions. You see that
everything is the answer - that the guru is and has
always been completely present. He manifests as
the person, inner voice, or happening that triggers
this surrender. Any way the invitation is extended,
it functions as the guru. It may be silence from a
sage or words from a shopkeeper. The surrender
may come through agony or ecstasy. It can happen
through an apple falling on your head; it can come
from the smile of a child; or it can arise from deep
inside as you walk along a beach at sunset or when
your burn your finger on the stove. At any time, your
sense of separation may dissolve to reveal the One
beyond all duality.

- Leo Hartong

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Awakening to the Dream
Trafford, 2001

IT alone IS...

With one's own being, "I" as person expands through knowledge into "It" as universal Self. When? Never. For now I perceive all this as a dream. "It" alone IS on awakening; "It" alone was then.

— Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter 2: Enlightenment Which Stays > # 223........Paul Brunton

Levels of Spirituality...

I hear so much about levels of spirituality but I find myself not caring about
levels of anything.. Perhaps, because I follow the "short path of Zen".. there is
only One level in Zen, all others are illusions of progression.. But, the Truth
is that their is no progression to something that You are already.. The only
level is Enlightenment, which is just Awakening into Reality.. Our
Home.......namaste, thomas

Mind,Consciousness and Awareness...

While the mind is centered in the body and consciousness is centered in the
mind, awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid, silent, peaceful,
alert and unafraid, without desire and fear. Meditate on it as your true being
and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realize it in its fullness.

Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind
itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the
toy.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Meher Baba/The Goal ...

"Knowingly or unknowingly man is ever seeking the Goal, which is to realize his
true Self. The very nearest and innermost to man is his Soul, but the humour of
it is he feels far, far away from It. There appears to be no end to his journeys
towards the Goal through the numberless highways and by-ways of life and death,
although in fact there is no distance at all to cover. Having achieved full
consciousness as man, he has already arrived at his destination, for he now
possesses the capacity to become fully conscious of his Soul. Still he is unable
to realize this divine destiny because his consciousness remains completely
focussed in his inverted, limited, finite self”the mind”which, ironically
has
been the means of achieving consciousness.

"Before he can know Who he is, man has to unlearn the mass of illusory knowledge
he has burdened himself with on the interminable journey from unconsciousness to
consciousness. It is only through love that you can begin to unlearn, and,
eventually, put an end to all that you do not know. God-love penetrates all
illusion, while no amount of illusion can dim God-love. Start by learning to
love God by beginning to love those whom you cannot. You will find that in
serving others you are serving yourself. The more you remember others with
kindness and generosity, the less you remember yourself; and when you completely
forget yourself, you find me as the Source of all Love."

Meher Baba
_The Everything and the Nothing_, 44
Beacon Hill, Australia: Meher House Publications, 1963, p. 73

The Primordial Ground...

by Peter Holleran



”We must think very intensely on what the nature of the One is, and then there is a point at which you let go of anything. But do not think that the discussions of this are pointless, for the One is the only important thing you can discuss in your life - at any time, anywhere - there is nothing more important.” - Anthony Damiani (1)


At the outset I would like to point out that in this article the ideas expressed are not mine but are those of others greater than I, as well as that of the muse that guides my pen. Of myself I could not create articles like this without inspiration from behind the scenes. Anthony Damiani stated succinctly:

"...when you're working out the meaning of the doctrine in all its implications, and you're trying to make it explicit, you'll find that you can't do it under your own power. It's only when the higher power within you, the Overself, starts taking a hand in the game, that you start finding the material you need to answer certain questions, and you find other material to provoke you into asking certain questions, and so this mysterious process keeps going on. When a person is under the surveillance by the higher power, you can almost say the Logos is working its meaning out in that person, and the person will become conscious of that. Everything else is secondary. That's the process that happens....But the interesting thing is that the World-Idea is working itself out and becoming self-conscious in you. That's the amazing thing. And anyone who has experienced that doesn't go around saying "my ideas." (2)

That being said, we shall proceed.

Anthony Damiani argues, a la Plotinus, that someone who has realized his Soul, in Sahaj Samadhi, can then intuit that Soul's "priors," ie., “The Absolute Soul, The Intellectual Principle and The One”, from which it is an eternal emanation, but that one must forever return and be Soul, or, in PB’s terms, the Divine Overself. Realization of the Overself or Soul is itself the realization of non-duality, or Sahaj, according to Damiani. Nevertheless, the Soul cannot be or become the One. Though the One depends on nothing, the triad of eternal distinctions or principles, it is maintained, are real and can neither be bypassed or discounted. Contemporary teacher Adyashanti and many others to the contrary argue that one can in fact permanently realize the One. Which view is more correct? Or are both somehow true, coming at the issue from different points of view? Adya states:

”First, one awakens to personal freedom: the realization that you are formless consciousness itself. As consciousness, you are free of body-mind identity.

[This could be equated with Nirvikalpa Samadhi, or formless absorption in the Witness-consciousness, or I- Am]

“Then, there is the awakening to non-personal freedom. This is the birth of a vast non-personal Love for the whole, for all beings and all things. It is the realization that, you are the whole. Therefore, a freedom that is in any sense personal seems pale in comparison to a love, which is so much greater. This is a phase of surrendering any and all personal attachments to the greatest good, the Self. As self-centered concerns dissolve, a love that is all-inclusive sweeps you up into its arms and into a new life of service, celebration, and love.”

[This might (or might not) with reasonable certainty be seen as a description of sahaj samadhi, the ‘natural state’, 'maha ati', ‘open eyes’, or Turiyatita where there is no distinction between inside and out, and the world is seen to be no different than or non-separate from Consciousness Itself. The subtle distinction between mind and its contents, consciousness and perception collapses into the non-dual state.]

To this, however, Adya posits what appears to be a third possibility:

“Beyond non-personal freedom lies Liberation. A liberated person has transcended any motivations, personal or non-personal. Everything happens spontaneously, free of any sense of being the doer of deeds. The liberated one has association with consciousness but does not dwell there. The liberated one has returned consciously to the ultimate principle, which resides before the consciousness. He or she is the awareness of consciousness. An evolution has taken place in that person."

"Whatever you accept, you go beyond. Liberation is complete acceptance and, therefore, complete transcendence. If you accept everything, you go beyond everything. Going beyond the world, you are free to be in it because you are the world. The knowingness that you are all-that-is, that knowingness itself, is beyond the world, beyond consciousness, beyond all. The truly liberated one has transcended even the oneness of consciousness, as if being in deep sleep but fully awake.”

"The truth is ever new, existing only in the now. The highest truth is beyond knowledge and experience. It is beyond time and space, and beyond beingness, consciousness, and oneness." (3)

This could be our traditional sahaj samadhi or natural state, IF the second example given above does not, in fact, indicate sahaj, but rather is describing what might be considered a form of savikalpa samadhi known as the unio mystica or the sense or feeling of at-one-ment with the all that the medieval saints speak of. Not really the nondual realization which one thinks of as the dropping of the sense of separation, but still a state generating a great feeling of abundant love, albeit with a subtle dualism. It may sound the same as the non-dual realization but is very different.

Sri Nisargadatta, however, also used similar language to speak of the non-dual realization: he at times said that one returns to the absolute principle before consciousness [elsewhere, however, he says that it IS just pure consciousness]. Contemporary Karl Renz also talks like this, about a principle before consciousness. This seems to be implying a state higher than Sahaj, as it is commonly described. Is this, then, Meister Eckhart’s “primordial ground where distinction never gazed” , a favorite phrase of Adya’s? Is this in fact a greater realization than what is meant by the traditional Sahaj or realization of the Self? Is this what Dattatreya, author of the Avadhut Gita, meant when he wrote,

"Some seek non-duality, others duality. They do not know the Truth, which is the same at all times and everywhere, which is devoid of both duality and non-duality."

The answer is not clear. Both positions have been argued for.

Ramesh Balsekar, disciple of Nisargadatta, does not speak of a realization other than consciousness itself:

" "What does one want to protect? That without which nothing else has any meaning or value: the animating presence of Consciousness, without which you cannot know or enjoy anything. And the best way to protect anything is not to be away from it at all. This is the purpose of spiritual practice - to remain continuously one with Consciousness all the time." (from A Net of Jewels

Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon also spoke of consciousness as the ultimate realization of truth.

PB, without elaborating further, wrote in his Notebooks that Sahaj Samadhi was the highest state attainable by man, but not necessarily the highest state possible.(4) PB elsewhere, in apparent agreement with Damiani, wrote of three degrees of penetration into the Void-Mind, in a similar manner as had Plotinus.

Damiani said that the philosopher sage will remain Soul, resting in Sahaj, even though as Soul he will be able to intuit or catch the emanations of the Soul’s priors, which in the language of Plotinus were ’The Absolute Soul,” “The Intellectual Principle,” and “The One.” But he would not perpetually rest as the One but must return and be Soul.

"The sage unites with his soul and he's permanently soul. He can get a glimpse of the Intellectual Principle but he cannot become the Intellectual Principle. He must return and be soul. He will always be soul. You, I, and everyone else. So the higher glimpse is not your glimpse of your soul [which may be what many experiences of non-duality and satori are], but the soul's experience of the Intellectual Principle. When you achieve identity with the soul, you can get a glimpse of that Void. You can call it the Intellectual Principle or you can call it the Absolute Soul in the Intellectual Principle. It doesn't matter what you call it, because the One, the Intellectual Principle, and the Absolute Soul of Plotinus - those three Primal Hypostases together - can be considered as the Void Mind. But this higher glimpse is distinct from the unity with the soul, the identity with your soul. It is a different kind of experience. You could know many things when you have achieved identity with your soul, but when you have the glimpse of the Intellectual Principle, the only thing you could know is that it is. Nothing else. So, in other words, you could know that God is after you have achieved union with the soul. Before that all you could know are the contents of the soul, and the soul itself."

"They don't have texts available on these things. When PB speaks about what a philosopher sage is, he points out that the philosopher sage is a person who has achieved permanent union with his soul. He doesn't say that the philosopher sage is one who has achieved permanent union with the Intellectual Principle or with the Absolute Soul, but one who has achieved permanent identity with his soul. This soul that he speaks about, this is what he refers to as made in the image of God - in other words, the image of the Intellectual Principle. And this is what the philosopher or the jnani is, he's the soul. He knows that his essence comes from the Intellectual Principle. He knows it, not intellectually, he knows it because his soul is a direct emanation from that, and the soul's self-cognition automatically includes the recognition of its principle - where it comes from."

"So it's true that the glimpse into your soul is of the nature of the Void. It's true. But it's also true that the essence of your soul, even though it is void, and the essence of the Intellectual Principle, which is also void, are distinct. [important point]. Now what is the distinction between these two? When the philosopher sage says to you, "God is," he's not saying that my soul, even though it is cosmic and infinite, is God. He's speaking about the Intellectual Principle, and that's the experience that comes to the philosopher sage. PB even says that if that's all they can comunicate, it is enough. When the individual soul or individual mind has that experience of the Intellectual Principle, that is the announcement he makes, by referring that experience to God. He says that's God. Plotinus goes further and says that in that identity he even achieved mystic identity with the One itself, Mind itself, Absolute Mind, that which is beyond the Intellectual Principle. And he goes on and describes it - (but I don't want to get into that because it's too complicated" !) (6)

For much more on this topic please see PB and Plotinus: The Fallacy of Divine Identity and THE INTEGRATIONALISTS AND THE NON-DUALISTS - 1 on this website.

Meister Eckhart seemed to speak in a manner both wishing and not wishing to get rid of the above mentioned distinctions. In Sermon 52 he said:

"I pray God to rid me of God."

While in Sermon 10 he proclaimed:

"The nearness of God and the soul makes no distinction in truth. The same knowing in which God knows Himself is the knowing of every detached spirit, and no other. The soul takes her being immediately from God . Therefore God is nearer to the soul than she is to herself,' and therefore God is in the ground of the soul with all His Godhead."

He also makes a mysterious statement:

“When the soul enters the light that is pure, she falls so far from her own created somethingness into her nothingness that in this nothingness she can no longer return to that created somethingness by her own power."

In German Sermon 5b, he concludes:

"God's ground is my ground and my ground is God's ground."

Rounding out this discussion of the three Primal Principles, Plotinus wrote:

"The gradation of the One, the One-Many [Nous], and the One and Many [Soul] is eternally fixed, and is an expression of reality."

Similarly, Sri Aurobindo tells us:

" There is an essentiality of things [the transcendant, infinite Spirit], a commonality of things [the universal Spirit], an individuality of things [the individual Spirit]; the commonality and individuality are true and eternal powers of the essentiality; that transcends them both, but the three together and not one by itself are the eternal terms of existence." (7)

Continuing, PB referred to Sahaj as the “awareness of awareness whether thoughts of a world appear or not,” (which he also describes as pure awareness or consciousness itself), as opposed to the the witness-I, which is only “awareness of awareness.” Adyashanti, above, stated that the liberated one is the “awareness of consciousness.” It is assumed here by his terms that "awareness" is not the same as "consciousness".The problem is that if we accept that here by "consciousness" he means "non-dual consciousness", then his position may or may not be the same as that of PB and other's description of Sahaj. What would the awareness of non-dual conscious mean? In addition, Adya states that the Liberated individual is beyond all motivations, personal or impersonal, but does that really mean that such a one is in a state beyond what "non-personal freedom," as described above in his second statement, seems to imply? Is there, in fact, such a thing as "non-personal motivation" or "non-personal doership"? It seems to be a contradiction in terms. Isn't a sage in sahaj samadhi already beyond all motivations? So if the Liberated individual has “returned consciously to the ultimate principle, which resides before the consciousness,” does that really mean something beyond a state of Sahaj, or realization of the Soul, that is stably realized? If so, how does that occur, and how would one know it? The priors of Plotinus possibly seem to suggest a principle(s) beyond or before consciousness, if by consciousness itself we mean the Soul, but they may also simply point to a deepening within consciousness itself.

I suggest that the confusion posed above might be solved if we consider the following writings about Atmananda Krishna Menon's views on the enlightened state. He posits kind of an intermediate state between the Witness and pure Consciousness that may be similar to what Adyashanti refers to as "non-personal freedom":

"There is a quotation which Shri Atmananda made from the poet Alfred Tennyson. It concerns the dissolution of personality into 'the only true life'. And it is relevant to the question we have been discussing, about the dissolution of perceptions, thoughts and feelings into consciousness itself. Here is the passage quoted (from a letter by Tennyson to Mr R.P. Blood, quoted in the book 'Atmananda Tattwa Samhita' which transcribes Shri Atmananda's tape recorded talks):

"... a kind of waking trance, I have frequently had, quite up from my boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has generally come upon me by repeating my own name two or three times to myself, silently, till all at once, as it were out of the intensity of consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the weirdest of the weirdest, utterly beyond words, where death was almost a laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life ..."

Here, Tennyson describes a state which was induced by repeating his own name, the name that represents his individuality. This brought about an "intensity of consciousness of individuality"; and out of that intensity, "the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being". This 'boundless being' is of course the 'all', in your aphorism: "All is consciousness." Shri Atmananda remarked that this 'boundless being' still has a taint in it, because it still implies a conception of some world of things that are added up into an unlimited 'all'. There is still there a sense of things additional to consciousness -- either in a world outside, or brought in from outside.

Where it is truly realized that there is nothing outside consciousness, then there cannot be anything that adds conditioning or quality of any kind to consciousness -- neither by sending any influence from without, nor by being brought themselves inside. Without any such addition, there can be no bounds or limits in consciousness; and so there can't be any sense of the 'boundless' or the 'unlimited' or the 'all'. So, according to Shri Atmananda, this 'boundless being' is not the end of the road, but a last remaining stage of transition, with a last remaining taint that dissolves itself into the final end." (Ananda Wood, 2003)

Is the "pure consciousness" of PB and Atmananda, then, the same as the "ultimate principle that resides before consciousness" of Adyashanti and Nisargadatta, or must we bring in PB's description of Absolute Mind in itself to satisfy this dilemma, which, however, PB has said man himself can never know, except through his individual Overself?

I propose that this matter might be cleared up if we rely on the tried and true Upanishadic wisdom of Vedanta. In Vedanta, there is nothing prior to Consciousness. Consciousness is the Self, the All, our eternal yet ordinary nature. It is neither big nor small but is beyond all attributes. It is my contention, therefore, that while Adyashanti undoubtedly knows what he is talking about, he is wrong in his choice of words. Further, PB may be misleading. Let me explain.

First of all, awareness and consciousness are synonyms. Therefore, it is nonsense to say that the liberated one is beyond consciousness, or is the 'awareness of consciousness'. Consciousness is all there is, and it is inherently Self-aware. If that is what is meant by the "awareness of consciousness," then it is all right. Otherwise, how could one be aware of anything or any principle beyond or before consciousness if he wasn't consciousness to begin with? For an exhaustive consideration of this point, please see the book, Consciousness Is All, by Peter Dziuban (2006, Blue Dolphin Publishing, Inc.). Secondly, PB, as I said, may be misleading when he says that the witness-I is the 'awareness of awareness' (which, as already stated, is the same as to say the 'awareness of consciousness'). More accurately, it might be said that the witness is the awareness of consciousness as reflected in a sattvic mind. It cannot be awareness of consciousness, because that would imply something other than consciousness to be conscious. The witness is an impersonal awareness, but still the 'experience' of consciousness or the Self, which implies a subtle dualism, and not yet the knowledge that one IS that consciousness, or the Self. THAT further understanding is liberation. The witness, Vedantist James Schwartz (Ram) suggests (although this may be wrong), is a rarified form of Savikalpa Samadhi in which, once again, one experiences the reflection of the Self in the mind. It is the 'I-I' of Ramana 'ever shining in the intellectual sheath.' It is not Self-realization or Liberation, which is knowledge that one is the eternal, ever-free, ordinary, actionless Self, the One-without-a-second.

According to Schwartz, direct knowledge can come in Savikalpa Samadhi, because you are there, ignorance is there, and the vision of the Self is there, so the akandara vritti (the unbroken 'I-Am the Self' thought) can destroy the ignorance and set you free...if you identify with it:

Experience of the Self is not enlightenment, but it can lead to enlightenment if the intellect can assimilate the knowledge - "I am awareness" - that arises when the attention is turned within and the mind is sattvic." (8)

The problem with any form of Savikalpa Samadhi, however, is that if you are not very dispassionate and do not have at least a rudimentary self-knowledge you will be so overwhelmed by the vision of the Self that you will not grasp its significance and will not therefore be freed.

(I suggest that perhaps the waking state itself can be seen as a form of Savikalpa Samadhi and thus is a primary domain in which for realization to take place. Every perception or experience can be seen as a 'pointer' towards the Self or Awareness, for everything perceived appears in this pure awareness which is what you are. and when inquired into, can reveal the Self. This is not possible in Nirvikalpa or sleep).

On the other hand, says Schwartz, in Nivikalpa Samadhi the knowledge which comes is indirect because it is only after the samadhi ends that you realize that you were 'not there'. This 'not there' inferentially proves your existence as the Self, but it doesn't achieve direct knowledge that one IS that self. One remains ignorant and the ego reconstitutes itself. It is, however, useful for purifying and concentrating the mind and eradicating vasanas.

Ramana defined enquiry as 'holding the mind on the Self, which, again, means keeping your attention on the reflection of the Self in the sattvic mind - a state of Savikalpa Samadhi - which at some point or another, inevitably leads to knowledge that one is the Self, ie., non-duality. Schwartz argues that the many years Ramana spent in caves after his famous death experience were engaged in this terminal sadhana from enigmatic fixation on the I-I, aham sphurana, or experience of the Self as reflected in the pure mind, to final identification AS the one Self. For more on this see The Lost Years of Ramana Maharshi.

PB in most places has argued against the fixed notion that there is, in fact, just One Self. He, like Plotinus, was inclined to let the irreducable paradox of Soul as a One-and-many stand, rather than reducing all to the One:

"There is some kind of a distinction between his higher individuality and the Universal Infinite out of which he is rayed, whatever the Vedantins may say. And this distinction remains in his highest mystical state, which is not one of total absorption and utter destruction of this individuality but the mergence of its own will in the universal will, the closest intimacy of its own being with the universal being." (9)

He elaborates further:

"The actual experience alone can settle this argument. This is what I found: The ego vanished; the everyday "I" which the world knew and which knew the world, was no longer there. But a new and diviner individuality appeared in its place, a consciousness which could say "I AM" and which I recognized to have been my real self all along. It was not lost, merged, or dissolved: it was fully and vividly conscious that it was a point in universal Mind and so not apart from that Mind itself. Only the lower self, the false self, was gone but that was a loss for which to be immeasurably grateful."

[Sri Nisargadatta also used this term: “points in consciousness”]

"Without keeping steadily in view this original mentalness of things and hence their original oneness with self and Mind, the mystic must naturally get confused if not deceived by what he takes to be the opposition of Spirit and Matter. The mystic looks within, to self; the materialist looks without, to world. And each misses what the other finds. But to the philosopher neither of these is primary. He looks to that Mind of which both self and world are but manifestations and in which he finds the manifestations also. It is not enough for him to receive, as the mystic receives, fitful and occasional illuminations from periodic meditation. He relates this intellectual understanding to his further discovery got during mystical self-absorption in the Void that the reality of his own self is Mind. Back in the world once more he studies it again under this further light, confirms that the manifold world consists ultimately of mental images, conjoins with his full metaphysical understanding that it is simply Mind in manifestation, and thus comes to comprehend that it is essentially one with the same Mind which he experiences in self-absorption. Thus his insight actualizes, experiences, this Mind-in-itself as and not apart from the sensuous world whereas the mystic divides them. With insight, the sense of oneness does not destroy the sense of difference but both remain strangely present, whereas with the ordinary mystical perception each cancels the other. The myriad forms which make up the picture of this world will not disappear as an essential characteristic of reality nor will his awareness of them or his traffic with them be affected. Hence he possesses a firm and final attainment wherein he will permanently possess the insight into pure Mind even in the midst of physical sensations. He sees everything in this multitudinous world as being but the Mind itself as easily as he can see nothing, the imageless Void, as being but the Mind itself, whenever he cares to turn aside into self-absorption. He sees both the outer faces of all men and the inner depths of his own self as being but the Mind itself. Thus he experiences the unity of all existence; not intermittently but at every moment he knows the Mind as ultimate. This is the philosophic or final realization. It is as permanent as the mystic's is transient. Whatever he does or refrains from doing, whatever he experiences or fails to experience, he gives up all discriminations between reality and appearance, between truth and illusion, and lets his insight function freely as his thoughts select and cling to nothing. He experiences the miracle of undifferentiated being, the wonder of undifferenced unity. The artificial man-made frontiers melt away. He sees his fellow men as inescapably and inherently divine as they are, not merely as the mundane creatures they believe they are, so that any traces of an ascetical holier-than-thou attitude fall completely away from him."

"Only after he has worked his way through different degrees of comprehension of the world whose passing his own development requires, and even after he has penetrated the mystery beyond it, does he come to the unexpected insight and attitude which frees him from both. In other words he is neither in the Void, the One, or the Many yet nor is he not in them. Truth thus becomes a triple paradox!" (10)

Granted, the mind reels and gets overheated with all such talk. Adya simplifies it for us, fortunately, and suggests that, however one views the liberated condition, whatever terminology one uses, the following basic transformation is required:

"This is really a fundamental transformation. That's why I say that we can have a very deep and profound realization of the truth and, in the end, the final real freedom doesn't necessarily come about through a realization. It comes about through a deep surrender at the deepest seat of our being. Of course, most people are going to need a profound realization of their true nature in order to be able to surrender naturally and spontaneously. But it completes itself in a blind and unpredictable release of control."(11)

As the Tibetans say, "don't confuse understanding with realization, and don't confuse realization with liberation."

Adya elsewhere has said that even for the liberated one there is an ever-deepening process, ie., that even liberation is not in any sense "the end":

"The realization of your true nature is the end of not-knowing who and what you are. The belief that you are simply the body-mind mechanism comes to an end, but this is not the end in any absolute sense. It's the beginning of another mysterious unfolding. It's the beginning of something without end. When you awaken, you realize that around that body-mind is presence and space, and you know that you are this infinite presence. This presence is inconceivable, even to those who realize it. You can't say what it is; you just know that it is what you are. It could be called emptiness, consciousness, God, or spirit, but still there's a certain mystery to it all...In the infinite, you have great, ever-deepening realizations, and yet there is simultaneously the sense that nothing is going anywhere. Everything is an unfolding of stillness within stillness." (Summer/Fall 2008 Retreat brochure).

There is no end. Moreover, "the end" is just a concept. The end, that is, "stopping", says Adya, is not the same thing as "cessation." Cessation of what? - conceptual, dualistic experiencing, including a subtle, almost impenetrable dualism created by many teachers through too much adherence to non-dual concepts that lead more to a form of monism than true non-duality. In the example given above by Dattatreya, surely the sage wasn't pointing to something beyond real non-duality, but was merely guiding the reader to the state of what is beyond the concepts of both duality and non-duality. So perhaps, then, there is no contradiction between the teachings we are discussing here. "Pure consciousness", the "ultimate principle before conscious", and the "awareness of consciousness", are, after all, mere words. Nevertheless, they should be wielded skillfully with razor-sharp discrimination like Shankara so as to leave no doubts and lead the disciple swiftly to Liberation. An endeavor in that direction has been attempted here. If I have become a stickler for details I humbly apologize. It is hoped that discriminating readers will respond with much-welcomed feedback and comments.

What we can be more or less sure of is that the ordeal of realizing any one of these stations is profound, requiring much of a person, to purify the mind and ready the aspirant for enquiry, which alone leads to Self-Knowledge. To this end in most cases there must be karma yoga. There must be adherence to dharmic laws. There must be devotion to 'God', guru, or the Self. All of these means thin down the ego and the ego-creating vasanas, and are also a guard against 'enlightenment sickness' after realization. There will be inevitable pain as the heart is cracked open. There will be valleys, peaks, and plateaus. Madam Guyon implied as much when she wrote:

"The life of the believer is like a torrent making its way out of the high mountains down into the canyons and chasms of life, passing through many experiences until finally coming to the spiritual experience of death. From there, the torrent experiences resurrection and a life lived in concert with the will of God while still going through many stages of refinement. At last the torrent finds its way into the vast, unlimited sea. Even here the torrent does not totally come to be one with the vast ocean until it has once more passed through final dealings by the Lord."(12)

Eckhart Tolle said:

"The down cycle is absolutely essential for spiritual realization. You must have failed deeply on some level or experienced some deep loss or pain to be drawn to the spiritual dimension. Or perhaps your very success became empty and meaningless and so turned out to be failure."

Meister Eckhart wrote:

"A man must become truly poor and as free of his own creaturely will as he was when he was born. And I tell you, by the eternal truth, that so long as you desire to fulfill the will of God and have any hankering after eternity and God, for just as long you are not truly poor. He alone has true spiritual poverty who wills nothing, knows nothing, desires nothing." (13)

Richard Moss writes in his book, The Mandala of Being (highly recommended):

"The great spiritual tradition that places major emphasis on compassion is Buddhism. If we have - and I don't believe this happens just once - "crossed the ocean of despair" as the Buddha is described as having done, we know how much this journey was not only about courage and hard work but also about grace. Knowing that we have been the recipients of grace - that something has happened beyond our efforts, our understanding, or our insights - creates humility. This humility is what protects us from becoming egotistically involved in grandiosity and self-importance about whatever level of liberation we may have achieved." (14)

and

"If, as you step back into the Now position, you cannot find the compassion to see others as they are and accept them that way, if instead the old stories keep pulling you out of your beginning and into resentment or hurt, it is because underneath these painful feelings lurks an even more threatening feeling, one of the untamed emotions. Perhaps it is a core feeling of worthlessness, or a terrible sensation of abandonment that has crystalized into a belief...This primal fear will not go away simply because you can recognize the falseness of your you stories. You cannot truly come back to the beginning of yourself until this feeling is fully met and held in the Now....When we begin to consciously face feelings that do not immediately dissipate even when they are no longer reinforced by thought, it means we are uncovering fears that our faith is not yet great enough to allow. We are getting to the root of our present survival structures. This is deep work, the darkest hour before the dawn. But even at the darkest times, the power of awareness abides: we are always larger than what we are aware of. By trusting this truth and resting in the Now of ourselves, embracing anything at all that we feel, we steadily build muscle until we are no longer accepting our limited identities, no longer the victims of our stories about others. More and more, we live authentically in the fullness of our beings." (15)

"It is the ego and its survival project at the helm of our initial, youthful spiritual experiments, and inevitably we are called to spiritual maturity. Since the last thing we are willing to trust without "hope" is a relationship with the untamed fears, we find it difficult to redeem these dark places, and we postpone doing so...After any awakening or any new opening into a state of expansion and new vision, these darker aspects are always the next energies that come forward and ask for our acceptance. If we do not turn away, do not keep burying the darkness over and over again, then we can, at last, rest in the fullness of ourselves, and the limiting conditioning of the fear-hope process no longer enslaves us." (16)

By fear Moss refers to the fundamental fear of non-being, in all its permutations, and by hope, the ego's perpetual hope for survival. In general, both must be faced for higher spiritual realizations to become possible. As Anthony stated, the greatest purgation occurs in the emotional realm. Further, the deepest witholding out of fear, and the 'existential grip" that Adya speaks about, must be let go before realization, liberation, or the Self can be known.

Having detoured somewhat from our original inquiry, the question then remains: can man realize the One, or only the Soul? Is our problem merely one of words? Who is right? Is it Adya, Nisargadatta, and the current non-dualists, or Damiani, Atmananda, and Aurobindo? Further, does the Upanishadic wisdom resolve all of our doubts? Is Consciousness all there is? Or is there a 'pure potentiality', or 'Tao', standing prior to its 'divorce' into a paradoxical 'marriage' of Consciousness-Being, Consciousness-Radiance, Existence-Non-Existence, Presence-Awareness, Emptiness-Awareness, Identity-Relatedness, Shiva-Shakti? Are these better pointers to Reality than 'Consciousness'?

I leave it for those with greater lights than I to answer this question. In the final analysis perhaps the best we can do with this mystery lies not in finding an answer to our questions, but in questioning our answers. To realize that one knows nothing is perhaps the greatest achievement.

[See Bankei Yotaku: Unborn Zen for discussion on the "practise after Enlightenment" and the depth of transformation required for final Liberation.]


A sign of progress


(1) Anthony Damiani (in Stephen McKenna, Plotinus; The Enneads (Larson Publications, Burdett , New York, 1992, p. 712)
(2) Anthony Damiani, Looking Into Mind (Larson Publications, Burdett, New York, 1990, p. 64-65)
(3) Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening, by Adyashanti www.adyashanti.org)
(4) [Note: What did he mean here: that higher realizations than sahaj were possible by beings other than man, such as alien beings - or perhaps - by gods?]
(5) Anthony Damiani, Looking Into Mind, op. cit., p. 207)
(6) Ibid, p. 201, 206-207
(7) Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p. 381 (as quoted in: Don Salmon and Jan Maslow, Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness (Paragon House, St. Paul, MN, 2007, p. 335
(8) James Schwartz, How To Attain Enlightenment (Boulder, CO: First Sentient Publications, 2009), p. 175
(9) The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), Vol. 16, Part 1, 2.200
(10) Ibid, Part 4, 2.142, 2.154, 2.155
(11) Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing (Los Gatos, California: Open Gate Publishing, 2004), p. 154-155
(12) Les Torrents, pt. i. cap. viii.
(13) reference unknown
(14) Richard Moss, The Mandala of Being (New World Library, Novato, California, 2007), p. 293
(15) Ibid, p. 202-204
(16) Ibid, p. 270