by Peter Holleran
In the original film, The Invasion of the Body-Snatchers (1956), Miles and Becky are hiding out in his office, taking stimulants to try and ward off sleep, for fear of being turned into the pod-people. They are discovered, and share a few words with their adversaries:
Pod Person: “It’s not so bad, Miles; suddenly while you're asleep, they'll take over your mind, your memories; when you wake up there'll be no more worry, no more pain.”
Miles: ”You mean there’s no love, no feelings?”
Pod Person: “You talk of love, what good is love? It doesn’t last, it never did.”
Miles: “I don't want any part of it.”
Pod Person: ”You’re forgetting something, Miles.”
Miles: ” What’s that?”
Pod Person: ”You have no choice!!”
In the spiritual arena, we are faced with a similar dilemma. Except that we have
a choice. We can either choose to become liberated, free from the limits of the body, wherein the soul first conceived its bondage, or we can embrace the appparrentlydescended bodily life and integrate it with the purity of the soul. We can 'emerge' as the awakened embodied soul, fully present within the totality of life, yet simultaneously at one with the I AM or the One. We can negate neither the body or the soul. This topic is the subject of this paper.
"The challenge of enlightenment is not simply to glimpse the awakened conditioned, nor even to continually experience it. It is to be and express it as your self in the way you move in the world."
- Adyashanti (1)
"In actuality, enlightenment is freedom from the "I" notion, not the embodied being. The embodied being is actually limitless consciousness with an in-correct understanding of its nature...What is self knowledge with reference to the ego? It is the knowledge that the embodied being is me but I am not the embodied being.This is tantamount to ego death because it shifts the ego from the center of consciousness to the periphery where it belongs, not that consciousness has a periphery. Self knowledge is the best of both worlds, not that there are two worlds, as it allows you to live freely as embodied consciousness, without suffering the results of actions."
- James Swartz (2)
“It is not only awareness of the mind and body which creates a conscious human being, but participation in them too! Spiritual realisation takes us not merely to liberation from the psychological dimension. The final goal is the transcendental state where the depth of I am and the presence of the physical, mental and emotional bodies are experienced as one unified organism.”
- anadi (3)
"The physical body is not an isolated phase of the creative scheme, but is in and one with the Universal Energy. To violate this fundamental unity is to isolate yourself in a hypnotic state where you seem to be a separate being, and therefore you cut yourself off, devitalize yourself and ultimately destroy your ability to further manifest in this plane. To deny the relationship of the visible with the invisible is to push yourself right out of your body and into the invisible."
- Baird T. Spalding (4)
“The old Oriental idea is to be lost in the Infinite. The new Occidental ideal is to be in tune with the Infinite...The teaching is thus both an inheritance from the past and a precursor of the future.”
- Paul Brunton
These are interesting times. Never in human history have spiritual teachings been so instantly available, nor so widely dispersed. Coinciding with this, there seems to be an evolution or emergence of new forms, new ways of conceiving and perceiving enlightenment or awakening. The most obvious example is the rejection of the traditional disregard for the body. The ancients wrote of the precious opportunity the man body afforded the seeker, but often simply as a means to see it as a limitation and an illusion to overcome, and at the very best, as a vehicle for the soul to come to experience the world and, through reflection, come to self-cognition and then transcend out of here as quickly as possible. Thus, from time immemorial techniques and methods and arguments have been devised to try to reconcile the odd paradox of the body. On one hand, it is a blessing, but on the other hand it is a curse. My master, Kirpal Singh, would occasionally say - but with a smile on his face and a chuckle - “You have to make the best use of the man-body, and that is - to get out of it!” Even at the height of my immersion in mystical endeavor a still small voice inside said, “that’s crazy!” And, coincidentally while being exposed to statements like this, I began to notice a continuing and, at the time, shocking process of extroversion and descent beginning to occur inside me. After several years of fairly successful inversion, I began to feel, “drained.” Not just tired, but drained like a bathtub with the plug pulled. I literally felt like I a glove being turned inside out. It’s kind of hard to explain. But it relates to what I would like to, hopefully briefly, discuss, to conclude this four part series of articles.
Way back when, there was a model of the soul that compared it to an inverted tree, whose roots were above (in the heavens) and whose branches were below (in the earth). This ancient cosmological map infiltrated most mystical paths, including the Upanishads. Man felt exposed, alone, and afraid, and he bought into the idea of escaping hell down here for the heavens up there, even if it was considered within the architecture of the human body. Kundalini is an example. This school, with roots in the kalachakric teachings from Central Asia, taught one needed to awaken and ascend via the serpent power from the muladhara chakra at the base of the spine to the sahasrar at the crown of the head. Some schools taught this was supreme enlightenment, others that it was just a first step for going even higher, world upon world to the supposed summit where the Godhead was.
Other Vedic texts taught that God resided in the cave of the heart, the size of a thumb, but, when realised to be found as infinite and all-pervading. Even if this was achieved, however, texts like the Bhagavad-Gita and various Tibetan Buddhist sutras still advised the seeker at the time of death to concentrate his attention and life-force at the point between the eyebrows and upwards to the crown, with the mind resting calmly in the heart, believing that only in this way could one avoid losing ones enlightenment and attain kaivalya or liberation after death.
Two things were missing in these views. One was an understanding of the divine shakti, which is not primarily an energetic movement within
the human body, as the kundalini is often understood, and, two, the existence of a true soul that is not at fundamental war with bodily existence. The times were not right to receive such a message, humanity wasn’t evolved enough emotionally, intellectually, culturally, and spiritually.
Beginning in the last one hundred years, but especially the past thirty or so, such understanding has begun to seep into our spiritual dialogue and world-view. Much talk goes on about 'embodiment,' and 'awakening' to the truth here and now. Sophisticated models have been offered to explain this greater view. Yet, it will be argued, very few, even while espousing a non-dual type of position, actually articulate precisely what is happening. A few examples may help us.
In the quote of Adyashanti above, he makes the important point that spiritual awakening is not as important as actually living that awakening. In his talks he has spoken of an 'embodiment' process that occurs after one is already awake. He sometimes infers that it can be quite a rough process. Paul Brunton long ago wrote that the Overself (man’s essential soul), at the opportune time, and generally after
a man had already gone through substantial maturation and purification, would completely 'overshadow' the ego-personality of the ripe soul and also make a 'mystical union with his own body.' This was a major announcement, but it was coincident with statements since made by others. [For those unfamiliar with PB's unique terminology (Mind, World-Mind, World-Idea, Overself), referred to in ths paper, please click here
for a precise explanation].
In Russian mysticism, and in stories of Christ, it is said that the Holy Spirit descends like a dove. St. Seraphim of Sarov and other Russian Christian mystics wrote of the experiences of the descent or baptism of spirit-force and of the heart. According to St. Seraphim, one should gather the mind into the heart, which will then be warmed by the grace of the Lord
"when the Spirit of God descends to man and overshadows him with the fullness of His outpouring."
The Prophet Baha ‘ullah reported such an experience while he was in prison:
"During the days I lay in the prison of Tihran, though the galling weight of the chains and the stench-filled air allowed me but little sleep, still in those infrequent moments of slumber I felt as if something flowed from the crown of my head over my breast, even as a mighty torrent that precipitateth itself upon the earth from the summit of a lofty mountain. Every limb of my body would, as a result, be set afire. At such moments my tongue recited what no man could bear to hear."
The experiences of these mystics, however, was still primarily of importance to the inner, 'frontal' personality, and not its radical transcendance from 'without'.
Ramama Maharshi experienced a 'great power take him over' when he had his famous death experience at the age of sixteen. He later transmitted what was called the hridaya shakti, or “power of the heart”. He explained that there was a terminal bend of the sushumna nadi at the ajna or sahasrar that went downward
into the heart, bodily felt as two digits to the right of the midline yet upon actual realisation in itself formless and bodiless. He said that on awakening from sleep, the light of the heart travelled upwards to the sahasrar and from there downwards, enlivening the centers below. His process of sadhana and transmission was for the current to retrace its way consciously from the head to the heart, where the 'I'-thought would die. Then, which he later discovered, there was a regeneration of this descending pathway called the 'amrita nadi', which was very the structure of sahaj. Even so, his transmission, not kundalini or any form of ascending energy, was a current that pulled one inwards
towards the deep heart center. So, while this was much different than the traditional shaktipat system of the more mystical gurus, it still acted to turn one away from the body, which Ramana at one time likened to a 'disease.' So, as much as he advanced the cause of a truly non-dual path, sadhana and realisation, he was still somewhat negatively oriented in some respects.
Sri Aurobindo argued that the final frontier lay in the descent of the supramental into the very cells of the body in order to live a life divine while on this very earth. He held that even the rishis of old did not discover this hidden "vedic fire". He in fact claimed to unlock secrets of the Vedas that only now have become accessible to the world. Aurobindo was not naive (although what he spoke of may not have been as innovative as he believed). He did not believe in matter separate from consciousness. That is, he was not a strict realist. Nevertheless, he gave a thorough critique of the advaita of Sankara in his book, The Life Divine. He also said, moreover, that he had experienced the "silence of nirvana in brahman long before he had any knowledge of the overhead planes." Still, his emphasis still lay somewhat on the impersonal, and they are still arguing in Auroville over what he exactly taught, and how to achieve what he envisioned as the goal.
What Aurobindo may have been right about was that not all truth is found in the scriptures. This is counter to the claims of advaita vedanta, which holds that the means to realize ultimate reality, which they call the Self, is
found in scripture and is an infallible guide. Anandamayee Ma affirmed that while what has been written in the sacred scriptures is all true, it is only part of the Truth. Buddha confessed that what he taught was only the smallest part of the truth that he had realized. Swami Vivekananda said:
"Do you think the scriptures contain all the secrets of spiritual practice? These are handed down secretly through a succession of Gurus and disciples."
Many other teachers have said and are saying the same thing, namely, that both truth is alive in the hands of a realized teacher, and that there is reasonable evidence for a progressive revelation of truth as man evolves through time, and that the forms it takes are changing as man understands more about himself culturally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Something is emerging and we cannot go back exclusively to the old ways.
Continuing , while it teaches an essentially gnostic view, in the 'gradual' path of Sant Mat, through the grace of a Master who is imbedded in the Word, creative logos, shabda-brahman or sound current that is said to emanate and uphold all of the worlds, created and Uncreated, and emanating from the heart of Absolute God, the aspirant concentrates on that luminous sound or sonorous light and ascends mystically plane by plane, dying at each stage
, until, led by and merged into the Radiant or "Sambhogakaya" form of the Master, he reaches the Great Beyond or the Godhead, wherein he merges in stages. Although felt within the body-mind, the current actually comes from above and beyond
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."
- John 3:8
However, upon returning from such a lofty station, the process of the current is, in a sense, reversed. Now the realised adept is saturated at all levels with this divine current and distributes the Word, shabd or naam to his disciples. He can "come and go" between Earth and the great Beyond [the uncreated dimensions] in the blink of an eye, as it were, bypassing all of the planes in between, if he so wishes. For, unlike the disciple, he is no longer bound by time and space. He is a human, cosmic, transcendent, and fully multi-dimensional being. He has been dipped into and become an amrit (divine nectar) and his very body over time becomes transmuted. This is true of the greatest of these masters, of whom there have been very few. That is my understanding. Bear with me; I know that this kind of teaching is considered 'old-fashioned' these days. Two examples will suffice to illustrate the mystery of bodily transformation in this school. Sant Kirpal Singh, upon the death of his guru, Sawan Singh, had the following to say. Keep in mind, this was after
he had been accessing the highest regions within for thirty years, and also after, as a young man, having an activated kundalini energy coursing through his body before eventually abandoning that for the higher practice of shabd bhakti:
”I beseeched, ‘Hazur! The peace and security that I have in sitting at thy feet here cannot be had in higher planes!'...Hazur’s forehead was shining resplendently. He opened his mercy-showering lovely eyes intoxicated by God’s divine love and cast a glance at my humble self - both eyes gleaming with a radiance like a lion’s eyes. I bowed my head in solemn and silent adoration and said, ‘It is all Hazurs’s own benignity.' Hazur steadily kept gazing for three or four minutes into my eyes, and I, in silent wonderment, experienced an indescribable delight which infused a beverage-like intoxication down to the remotest corners of my entire body - such as was never before experienced in my whole life.”
The second example is from Babuji Maharaj, guru from the Agra lineage of Sant Mat, who made the following statement, somewhat unique in the tradition:
“It is usual that the awakened Saint or Gurumukh (beloved disciple of the Guru)
must go through a period of great physical depression and weakness. This is
because the entire constitution of the body has to be transformed in order
that it may be in harmony with the spirit in its awakened condition and be fitted
to perform the work before it. This period of depression may continue over a
number of years, but it is usually followed by a high degree of bodily health.”
“This physical change is absolutely essential for making appreciable spiritual
progress. The capacity of the body to undergo it constitutes the limit of
usefulness of the body. There have been exceptional jivas (souls) endowed
with bodies capable of enduring in one life the whole requisite transformation
without breaking. But in (such) cases the immediate physical effect of the
transformation was a low and depleted bodily condition which continued for
quite a number of years. After the changes have been effected, complete
physical vigour usually comes back, though with a body very different in its
constitution. One of its acquired characteristics is its softness and freshness
like that of a babe
Sant Rajinder Singh further tells us in mystic language about the communion of the lover and the Beloved:
"It is a meeting that enraptures the soul, filling it with exquisite intoxication that permeates every part of our being...It is being permeated from head to toe with divine love."
So in Sant Mat the body is transformed by the awakening of the soul and divine power. It becomes more alive, not less, as the process matures. Still, it is recognised that the soul’s true home is not here, but in the Beyond, although unity is still experienced, ultimately even into the very pores of ones body.
Sri Nisargadatta inspired many future teachers with his teaching of realising the 'Absolute State beyond consciousness.' This goes much deeper than most teachings on non-duality, which limit themselves to awakening the state of 'presence-awareness,' in that the Absolute State represents the deepest dimensions of being in the unmanifest dimension where consciousness mysteriously and at the cost of ones ego-death meets its absence and yet remains conscious
. There is really no such thing as 'beyond consciousness.' While it is true, that consciousness is the source or light of all creation, and without it there would be nothing, consciousness is not the source of itself. It abides on being, the place of its own absence. The absolute state Maharaj talked about was where consciousness actually becomes aware of its absence while remaining present as consciousness. What Maharaj meant regarding the absolute state was that it was beyond 'awareness' as usually known. But consciousness is always existing, or else it could not recognise its absence in the so-called absolute state!
Yet Maharaj spoke somewhat in the traditional negative way regarding the body and personality, as if they were the enemy, saying it "isn't necessary that it live long," and admitted to looking forward to “going home.” (10) The "yearning to "go home" part is fine, it is the desire of the soul. Yet it is presented within a somewhat negative, or world-negating, point of view. This is only natural for one who gravitated to the unmanifest, absolute state, but it doesn't express the full reality of the soul, which, paradoxically, while at home in the beyond, is in unity with the universal I AM or God, and the source of the experience of oneness in the created realms. It is also paradoxically capable of negating itself, and traditionally has done so, and it has even been recommended it do so. As anadi states:
"It is only the non-lineal logic that can comprehend what is happening in this process of awakening, where one can transcend individuality but still remain oneself. The soul cannot be negated. One can pretend that one does not see her, but one cannot escape from one's own soul."
He further states:
"Traditions of non-dualism in particular offer an impersonal interpretation of reality that tends to negate not only our ego-identity, but also our individual soul. In their desire to express the truth of universality, they overlook the significance of our sacred individuality...Enlightenment is perceived as no more than the removal of the false self, when in fact, experiential clarity reveals that it cannot exist without the individual, who must not only transcend his own ignorance, but whose presence is necessary to actually experience the state of truth."
"We may wonder why extraordinarily deep teachings of non-duality founded by seers of the highest order have repudiated the existence of a personal essence. It is not that the conclusions of these masters sprang from incomplete realizations, but rather that their perceptions of reality were conditioned to express their experiences in a purely impersonal way. The traditions we are referring to were created in times when humanity was not yet ripe enough to embrace the consciousness of the soul."
"Traditions of the past were not designed to reveal the subtle dimension of the soul; their objective was the strict realization of impersonal peace and freedom. Their teachings were not incorrect, only incomplete - and not in their time, but from the present perspective of the expanded potential of human consciousness. Even though enlightenment is a timeless realization pointing to the changeless principle of absolute reality, insight into that reality eternally evolves as the subject of illumination becomes increasingly whole."
In short, he says, "one does not have to disappear in order to merge.
"We cannot transcend separation by negating our individuality, or through simplistic identification with the objective reality
[i.e., "I am the world"]. These, the two most common misconceptions about oneness, actually lead us away from the reality of unity, for they presume that we must somehow disappear in order to merge. Losing ones sense of self is not an experience of oneness, but the imbalanced condition of a split-mind that is not grounded in the reality of I am...We do not need to eradicate our individuality, but to awaken its true subjectivity and surrender it to the whole."
In sum, the soul in essence is of the nature of impersonal subjectivity, but it is a distinct individuality within the the universal impersonal subjectivity or I AM.
Of course, this is what PB had always said. The soul is individual, but not personal. One can go all the way up to the intellectual Principle and the One, in Plotinus' terms, but must return and be soul, at least until the soul is finished with this human dimension, which is a complex affair and destiny.
Nisargadatta, however, did say, on some occasions, 'go home, marry the girl next door, take up your father's business, and live an ordinary life.' So he intuitively understood there was more to the ultimate reality than even the absolute state. He spoke of looking out and seeing 'I am love,' while looking in, and seeing 'I am nothing,' so he intuited the dimension of the heart, the divine dimension, which inseparably and indissolvably rests upon the absolute (the two together constituting the complete reality), although he didn't speak of the heart like Ramana Maharshi did, as an actual portal to the beyond. For him, the portal to the absolute state was the consciousness aspect of the individual I am, or the state of presence-awareness, which he spoke of going beyond while not actually fully elaborating how this was to be done. But, as anadi points out, the personal I am, a reflection of the universal I AM, is composed of three aspects: awareness (consciousness), being, and heart. It is more rich than just 'consciousness.' For anadi, the union of awareness, being and heart is the true gateway to the beyond or unmanifested, the trancendental state where consciousness, intelligence, and love are known In their original state, and the soul is met and known through the eternal light of I AM, its 'divine parent.' In his teaching, the realisation of non-duality is not the goal, but the base upon which to realise one's soul.
Reality, what might be called the 'ultimate' - as opposed to the absolute, or the ground of consciousness and all existence - is 'everything': world, body, ego, soul, awareness, being, the heart, the absolute state, liberation, self, no-self, soul, and God. Yet from our personal side, this side of the 'beyond,' the gateless gate,' we can appear to experience these various dimensions separately. Reality is true transcendence, negating nothing.
Many talk of non-duality, where the world and the self are realised as not-two or a unity. Yet the vision of enlightenment still often subtly implies a dualism between spirit and matter, at least, energetically, a gap whereby one can seemingly live a life as a witness or disinterested observer watching the events of life, or, at its best, actively engaging in worldly affairs from the vision of awakened mind, but not as an ‘awakened body’. Swartz talks about the "death of the 'I' notion," "the knowledge that the embodied being is me but I am not the embodied being,”
and , to “live freely as embodied consciousness, without suffering the results of actions.”
While standard Vedanta, this might still seem to harbor a subtle disregard for the body. The world is seen as images in mind or consciousness, in the worst case as merely dreamlike and equally valueless value, and at best to be engaged in an active yet more or less dispassionate manner, while waiting for the body to drop. Swartz, however, is active and teaches, experienced nirvikalpa samadhi and other yogic phenomena prior to his awakening, and is compassionate, yet in his autobiography he speaks of having realised the 'Self,’ after which he was just “waiting for his coronary." Perhaps this was only a form of humor, or maybe I just don’t get it, but this seems different than the awakened awareness, being, and heart that anadi speaks of. That is, it doesn’t sound like completion for the soul. Of course it doesn't, for vedanta doesn't recognise the soul; nor do the non-dualists, for whom the rest of this paper may not be their cup of tea, for it presents a different view. I am not saying it is right, but is is different.
[The teachings of anadi are discussed at length on this website within three articles prior to this one, beginning with Dual Non-Dualism
PB called his most fundamental philosophical view 'mentalism,' an understanding that nothing is ever experienced outside of consciousness, and therefore IS consciousness, and a view which when pursued to its end leads to non-duality, or the understanding and perception that the world and the soul or Overself both arise within the same World-Mind, whose World-Idea is projected through each soul which it then experiences as a world through an appropriate body to do so. As mentioned above, he also spoke of an 'influx of the solar force' into the body-mind of the individual. This is not incompatible with mentalism but rather a dynamic aspect of it. PB himself also said that his teachings were not the last word on the subject, and that others would come after him to complete what he had started:
”Not one but several minds will be needed to labor at the metaphysical foundation of the twentieth century structure of philosophy. I can claim the merit only of being among the earliest of these pioneers. There are others yet to appear who will unquestionably do better and more valuable work.”
And of course, reality cannot be fully expressed. Still, the sages try as best they can. I am not suggesting that PB was wrong; it is chiefly the languaging that is in process of adaptation to better fit our evolutionary progression. I am currently of the inclination to believe that combining the wisdom of PB, the sacred tradition of the Sants, and the fresh vision of one such as anadi may be one of the best creative efforts of synthesis available to us today. And I think if PB were still alive and had seen the fruits of many minds over the last thirty years he would agree. J. Robert Oppenheimer, from another perspective, said:
"The history of science is rich in the example of the fruitfulness of bringing two sets of techniques, two sets of ideas, developed in separate contexts for the pursuit of new truth, into touch with one another."
Which leaves us were we are now. It is proposed that while non-dual teachings have solved one problem - that of a split mind and vision of a 'world out there' radically opposed to the inner state of the person, there is still something missing on an energetic level
. The idealists may object, but it has been suggested that on a real, energetic level, there is a felt split that has yet to be overcome, or even understood, and in some cases explained away as if it simply doesn't exist. Let me try to simplify this. With the concept of the overshadowing of the personality by the Overself or soul, and its mystical union with the seeker’s body, PB gave us a step forward in envisioning a new understanding of enlightenment. But this idea of a powerful outside transformative intervention or descent of the divine may be conceived of as different from the idea of a fushion
of the soul and the personality
, in which the soul comes forth from within. This can only be known experientially, not intellectually, as the weight of tradition is powerfully focussed in another direction. It is assumed, chiefly by advaita, that with the realisation of sahaj or non-duality such a division, wholly illusory, is eliminated through insight. But a new teaching, beyond idealism or ‘realism’, is beginning to be heard.
What we are also talking about is the difference between something coming from 'outside' - not to be understood neccesarily in a spatial sense, although it may at first be felt that way - and an inner
dynamic or transmutation, whereby the soul, as it were, 'flashes forward' and comes out of hiding. anadi calls this awakening to the 'me', which in its ultimate aspect is the soul. This is quite different from the 'twice-born' or 'second birth' of the saints where one sheds the physical coil, passes through the zero-point of the sahasrar and enters the first subtle region. This former birth is not mystical, although a form of death does occur in either instance. The difference is that in the gradual progression of mystical deaths through the various stages, the connection with the I Am or essential subjectivity is not generally established until far along in the process.
anadi speaks of 'pure suffering,' which is the suffering of the enlightened human being. This is not the usual suffering of discomfort or having ones egoic ambitions or dreams denied. It is existential
suffering the soul agrees to upon taking incarnation, just by being here. It is why even a totally integrated enlightened being can cry because of his separation from God. To the logical mind it makes no sense, but it is just the way it is. This is, in fact, what births the soul in this dimension. Yet, in a real sense, this domain is not the soul’s true home. Her true home is in prior unity with the beloved. That is why, despite vedanta, for the sensitive she still suffers.
In this vision of the enlightenment process, you, me, the precious soul actually awakens in and as the human organism, rather than just presiding as its overseer. This seems to be new
. It is more than U.G. Krishnamurti’s famous psycho-biological transformation that apparently catapulted him into the absolute state, the proximate cause which appears to have been some form of unconventional kundalini awakening, although his example was perhaps some kind of preliminary manifestation of part of it.
This ensouled embodiment is not a rejection of the need for awakening to pure consciousness; indeed, that is its prerequisite. anadi, however, in my opinion, has taken the traditions a step further by arguing that for all their greatness regarding the impersonal absolute, they for the most part, not all, have missed the very heart of it all, the (personal, intimate) soul, which lies beyond commonly accepted non-dualism. PB in fact was the first one to begin speaking in these terms. anadi teaches that a stage after awakening to the personal I am, what he calls the subjective 'inner state,' that is, to awakened awareness, expansion into being, and the enlightenment of the heart, is the transparent awakening of me. The me which all along has been guiding our awakening and evolution, recognises itself in its purity as the soul. When the state of presence and the heart is awakened, the meeting with the soul can take place. This is because the conscious ground for her emergence has been created. It becomes complete when the soul recognises and also merges with the absolute state. All souls, he says, however, are not destined for such an extreme stage - nor is it necessary. What is necessary and inevitable is for the soul to recognise its own existence in the 'heart of the creator,' the universal I AM. This requires intelligence and grace. The intelligence of the soul working through the human ego must guide the ego to finally step down. What this amounts to is the inner crucifixion PB wrote about, and which all traditions speak of. It is the complete surrender of both ego, the will to be, and consciousness, the desire to know. What results, of course, is the not-knowing and non-being of ones absence in the divine presence, ones ancient soul-identity realised.
Some sages emphasize heart, some emphasize being, but all have awakened the state of presence, without which the deeper awakenings cannot be stablised. That is the value of the human incarnation, for only as a human being can one make a self-referral in the mind (ego) and from there develop a steady center of awareness that eventually becomes the state of presense-awareness, or the subjectivity of consciousness. This state in itself is not eternal per se, but allows the eternal dimensions to become realised. Nisargadatta spoke mostly of developing this state of presence
or consciousness, by meditating on the sense of I Am, or the feeling of ones existence or 'I'-hood, until one went beyond this into presence
. This to him was 'beyond conscious', in the sense that it was beyond separative ego-consciousness
or awareness. It was beyond any form of self-referrence. Beyond even this was what he hinted at as the absolute state, in which consciousness meets its own absence
while remaining conscious. This is a much deeper state, what anadi calls the 'Diamond Mountain,' a Zen term.
Ramana seemed to flow between the heart and the absolute. In one moment he would cry upon hearing a devotional story, or when a little bird crashed into a wall of the ashram and died. On the other hand, when told of the horrors happening in Ethiopia, he seemed to retreat into the silence of being in the beyond, saying that all those people were only appearing in the 'Self.' This was upsetting to his listeners. The sixteenth Karmapa was at a party in a big city when he excused himself and went out onto a balcony. Gazing down at the crowds in the streets he began to cry. When asked why he was weeping, he said it was because of the millions of people who would not find the dharma in their lifetime. Yet he was the embodiment of 'emptiness,' as likewise was H.H. the Dalai Lama, who once cried upon hearing of a fellow monk who had become embroiled in a sex scandal.
After the I am is awakened and the soul is born [the real answer to the question, 'who am I?'], there is a potential further stage, says anadi, where there is a gradual deepening merger or fushion of the soul with the personality or me. This is not a mechanical process or result, and it is more than just awakening from the mind to the non-dual state of sahaj, or non-dual consciousness. That, in fact, is its basis. It is a dynamic transition for it allows for active creativity in thinking, feeling, and action, rather than the traditional image of one as merely an impersonal observer of the world revolving, as it were, upon a great wheel. This process is often difficult, but, then, so is life. What it really means is the purification of the 'me' to better express the soul as a window onto the universal I AM. The soul would still prefer to hang out in the inner state of rest, due to the subconscious impulses that have remained unpurified even through its awakening. There is still work to do, but work which only grace can successfully achieve.
The soul, says anadi, is very fascinating in that it is neither created nor uncreated, but is
nevertheless eternal. For the confirmed non-dualist, who in binary fashion sees only the phenomenal (the created, images and/or things) and the noumenal (the uncreated, consciousness), this seems contradictory and illogical. What anadi means is that, one, the soul is not created, as it is not of the manifested dimension and is in fact, as consciousness, the source of all creation (for PB, through its indissolvable connection to the World-Mind), and, two, it is neither uncreated
, in that it is not the same as the absolute state, the primal unmanifest dimension. From the side of reality, the soul can be said to be created, but from the side of manifestation, it is uncreated. Linear logic of non-duality has no room for this possibility. In general, it lacks an appreciation for the soul. PB championed the notion of soul or Overself, but he didn’t speak in detail of a deepening merger of that with the body (although he hinted at it), inasmuch as he held pretty much to the notion that consciousness or awareness was all, and that everything was arising in consciousness, much like newer non-dual teachers. He differed, importantly, however, in attempting to distinguish (without separating) the divine Soul from the ‘one Self’, and in maintaining that soul was an eternal existent, of the nature of consciousness, that could know or experience its higher principles, which he called World-Mind and Mind. He said that these were essentially equivalent to what Plotinus meant by the Intellectual Principle and the One. In so doing PB was, I feel, leaning beyond consciousness alone as the ultimate Principle. Even for him, the soul was consciousness, being, and intelligence, a 'point' in or ray of Mind, distinct but not separate from all souls, imbedded in the source and ground of all. Thus, he was a true pioneer moving us in a forward direction.
Yet the idea of wholeness or radical transcendance of this dimension through embracing the totality, as opposed to the idea of liberation, personal or impersonal, was not yet ready to be announced or explored. But now we have anadi, for one, who speaks definitively of such a thing, which he says is the ultimate destiny of the enlightened soul. It is not negation, but transcendence in God - without elimination of the 'me' - once the soul reaches her 'completion’ - which itself is different for each soul. This is a new doctrine, that could not have been introduced before as humanity was far too provincial in its outlook, and far too bound to the concept of personal salvation.
Where is God, the ultimate I am, the totality of the divine and the absolute? Where, also, does the 'divine shakti' come from? It cannot be understood in a spatial sense; the best word is 'beyond,' or 'the Now.' Thus, besides 'Who am I,' and 'What am I,' the questions 'Where am I?,' and 'When am I?' are also important to contemplate. They lead to the same end. And once one has passed into the beyond, it is never far away. For must of us this can only be understood beforehand through the creative imagination. Our minds reel after even conceiving the non-duality of the state of 'presence-awareness.'
Different frequencies of transmission or guidance for humankind needed to be activated before such a possibility was discovered or revealed. Which is one reason the notion of 'emergence' is beginning to enter the lexicon more and more along with evolution. Evolution implies a process in time, and emergence connotes an occurence in the now, and also a more discrete transmission, a speeding up of the spiritual process and understanding. Of course some things have not changed; all of this occurs within relativity, not the absolute.
While it may be hard to describe, more and more people are noticing a sense of 'dropping into their bodies,' their souls 'coming forward,' in a new way that defies categorisation according to traditional models of enlightenment. Maybe it is just the pendulem swinging from idealism to realism, neither of which is the complete truth, being but conceptual viewpoints. Or maybe not. In most cases, such shifts are not motivated. That is, one is not trying hard to become 'embodied.' Adyashanti himself cautioned against this, saying that his earlier teaching on embodiment was becoming corrupted as something that one can 'do.' It is simply happening in one manner or another, for one reason or another, in one context or another. It transcends, while fulfilling, the 'integral' vision that is becoming quite popular today. Yet integrating many different things is not the same as awakening to the soul. One might say it is the post-or-para-enlightenment process of becoming human, the holy fool, 'enlightened duality,' or 'dual non-dualism', within the wholeness of the 'totality. It is personal while at the same time lived within the universal. Deep witholding and unconscious patterning is being undone, sometimes radically and quickly. The result is being experienced as non-dual in a way that is different than the unity sometimes traditionally experienced as sahaj samadhi. For in that classic realisation, there often remains a practical sense of distance between the body and the Self. Ramana spent sixteen years in the caves after his death experience before he was comfortable and integrated in ordinary life, yet he still considered the body to be nothing more than a corpse, and therefore his teaching was, from this new perspecrtive, incomplete.
So, where does all of this leave us?
In my own case, I understood and 'saw’ the numinous, mysterious ‘no-self-yet-entirely-self self' (!), subtle and ordinary yet ineffable neither time nor timeless vision of - I can’t even say what it is. We all have our moment. Yet over the years, and much deeper as Pluto transits my first house, I find deep inner witholding being seered and forced to let go whether I wish to or not into a crazy sense of merging with the body in an unexpected and unpetitioned way, consciously at least. I accept it as destiny. Others have enjoyed the fruits of such a process much more than I have at this point. And I do not know where it is leading, but guidance in the form of books literally falling off the shelves one after another offering confirmation of the process continues to amaze me. I am not afraid to use the word 'me,' which it is ridiculous to deny.
I wonder, how many readers are feeling a similar thing happening in their case?
Obviously, this must not be misunderstood. There is much more to the soul than embodiment. The body, even when seen from the non-relative divine perspective, is impermanent. But concentrating too much on impermanence, like, for instance, some Vipassana practitioners do, can potentially prevent one from finding his I Am and the soul, if these are a priorly considered as impermanent. Such is not the fault of Vipassana, but in the way it may be understood. For carried to completion, insight and awakening will arise, replacing bare witnessiing. The Vipasanna practice is one form of initial practice, to separate the observer from the observed, and to get some distance from immersion in subconscious thinking and perception. The problem is that without some initial effort of bringing the mind back to its center, one can easily remain stuck in the subconscious. 'Keeping the mind open' is a more advanced practice, not for the average beginner. Yet, once some centering has developed, the nature of the observer
must also awaken, otherwise one may be stuck in an extended ego-conscious state of 'observing the mind,' which conceivably could go on, without the intervention of grace, for an indefinite period of time. Attention must awaken to itself. This is the fruit, for instance, of the more direct 'awareness watching awareness' method. The subject must be realised. Yet even this, the state of presence - according to anadi - is only a first stage of enlightenment. There is a divine love affair yet to be realised. In a similar vein Baird Spalding writes:
“You can work until you have released yourself sufficiently to get a glimpse of the horizon’s ‘grander view.’ Here again you cease to struggle, your mental vision is cleared, but your body is still encased in the shell. Realize, that the newborn chick, when its head is free from its shell, must still go on with the struggle. It must be entirely free from its old shell or environment, before it can grow into the new, which it sensed and perceived as soon as it had broken a hole through the shell once encasing the egg from which it grew.”
What we have been trying to say is that, while one remains incarnated, there is a possibility of a realisation of a total multidimensional self within the universal I AM, in a way that does more than avoid negating the body as well as the soul, but fuses them in a more complete way than tradition has previously allowed. anadi states:
“There is a process of dissolution into the absolute state, and there is a possibility of dissolution into the unity of the absolute and the heart. In this way the experience is different, the dissolution is more complete and holistic. As you can see, the dissolution varies depending in the level of surrender and the kind of dimension we dissolve into.”
While there is dissolution, the soul paradoxically remains present. PB agrees:
"He enters into a state which is certainly not a disappearance of the ego, but rather a kind of divine fellowship of the ego with its source....He loses his ego in the calm serenity of the Overself, yet at the same time it is, mysteriously, still with him....It
[the Overself] is a kind of impersonal being but it is not utterly devoid of all individuality....The dictionary defines individuality as separate and distinct existence. Both the ego and the Overself have such an existence. But whereas the ego has this and nothing more, the Overself has this consciousness within the universal existence. That is why we have called it the higher individuality....He as he was vanishes, not into complete annihilation and certainly not into the heaven of a perpetuated ego, but into a higher kind of life shrouded in mystery....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 the universal Mind and so was not apart from that Mind itself. "
“The understanding that the soul is the child of the beloved cannot be explained. It is simply reality. This is the mystical and religious experience one has when getting in touch with this purity and utmost sensitivity in the heart. For the first time one knows who one truly is. The child of the beloved.”
All right. One final quote before we transition back to our original discussion: the importance of not negating the me or the body, on any level (personal, psychic, or transcendental) in order to awaken to the soul:
“It is important to understand that the term of no-mind can refer to many areas of the I Am. In the case of Zen, for example, they try to base their vision of the enlightened state on the attitude of non-conceptualisation. It is called suchness. The ideal is not to fabricate any concepts but to see reality from the place of not thinking
[or no ‘point of view’; anadi recognises that the state of presence is there with or without thoughts, and cites Dzogchen as an example of a tradition that acknowledges this]. But the I Am is much more rich. What about the vertical evolution into being? What about the heart? The difference between the no-mind in awareness and the no-mind in the absolute state is enormous.
[which is why Sri Nisargadatta stressed the important need for sadhana] Therefore, we have to use more precise conceptual tools in order to reflect the reality of the inner state."
[Note: he uses the term 'inner state', to refer to the inherently subjective and not objective nature of awakening; in comparison, many mystical states, while 'inner' in relation to the body, are 'objective' from the perspective of the soul; as PB said, 'the Overself's without is our within.'] ” (19)
The most important thing, however, is not awareness, or the state realised, but the complete human individual who is actually living them. He states:
“It is not only awareness of the mind and body which creates a conscious human being, but participation in them too! Spiritual realisation takes us not merely to liberation from the psychological dimension. The final goal is the transcendental state where the depth of I Am and the presence of the physical, mental and emotional bodies are experienced as one unified organism of me. Here, one is not observing anything, what remains is the natural awakened human being. The addiction to the attitude of observation and disidentification from natural feelings and desires keeps one glued to the mind and closes the heart deeply!”
In order to do so successfully, one needs to purify the me, to heal her wounds to a sufficient degree. How is this done?
“How can the psyche be re-aligned with the soul? In truth higher technology is needed, which is grace or the intervention of higher intelligence. It has been an experience of many enlightened beings that even after self-realisation, the psyche has not changed, but remains as it used to be. Of course, a new level of freedom has been added which is the very presence of the inner state. For that reason, the idea of disidentification from the mind has been so strong in some traditions. Because he is unable to change the mind, one negates it as “not me” and chooses to abide in the safety of the inner state. If the soul, however, wishes to be truly whole, certain work with the psyche must take place.”
He explains that therapy or New Age healing techniques, without the awareness of the I Am, are not strong enough to be effective in removing ones essential human sorrow and suffering. At some point one realises that he must begin to call upon the divine:
“Both, the negation of personality, where one chooses to rest in the inner state, and psychological work without the essential presence of I Am, are incomplete. The psyche must be re-aligned with the pure me
[soul]. This is a complex process, for the mind and emotional body are not conscious and have been crystallised throughout many lifetimes and numberless experiences. Even from this lifetime we carry so many wounds, blocked energies and unconscious negative patterns, that we can hardly conceive of healing all of them. For this reason, higher technology is needed, an intervention of grace.”
Much purification of the psyche (mentally, emotionally, and morally) needs to occur before true awakening, as PB emphasized, but afterwards there is the possibility and strength for going much deeper and 'knitting' the personality even closer to the soul. That is what anadi is addressing:
"Even in the case of masters who had a sudden awakening...the evolution didn't stop. The gradual process of maturation was present before their awakening and certainly after. There are different stages of enlightenment. Not everyone who reaches enlightenment is in the ultimate state. Therefore, it is more true to say that there is evolution, there is a gradual process through which one reaches deeper and deeper the depth of the I AM."
This is what Adyashanti referred to as progressive revelations of "stillness within stillness."
"In Advaita Vedanta, when they speak about the Self, we might assume that it refers to one area of experience, to one reality which is common to all awakened beings. In this way one either recognises the Self or one does not, and there is nothing in-between. But, in reality, the Self is multidimensional and is not always revealed fully to the awakened being...One can experience some aspects of the ultimate or one can be fully awakened, merging with the wholeness. The level of Self-realisation reflects our own expansion and growth into "who I am." Awakening to the Self does not mean that suddenly one remembers what one has forgotten.
[Indeed, anadi says that we are born in this realm of forgetfulness, and must strive to 'remember our future', our destiny, not our past, for we have never actually been born as a soul before. Woah.] It is the whole expansion of energy and consciousness; one becomes wider and wider, reaching deeper and deeper the heart of reality...The growth, the expansion into the inner states
(22) and understanding should always accompany each other. If there is no understanding, the experience of the I Am is dull and without depth. We grow in understanding and in sensitivity; we meet the eternal with our own intelligence and our own heart."
After the realisation of the soul, then, which itself generally depends on the mature and stable awakening of the three centres of the I Am: awareness, being, and heart [which can be considered to be the meaning behind the description 'Sat-Chit-Ananda,' and not merely three aspects of 'consciousness,' as is traditionally maintained, which is more one-dimensional thinking], one can further call on the creator to bring one deeper into wholeness. For the soul does not truly know herself except within unity with the I AM:
“Soon one discovers how helpless one is in the attempt to bring about the radical and full transformation of the way the psyche operates. It is at this stage that one needs to invite consciously the help of the divine. Only the one who created us can finally transform us. In Rumi’s words: “whoever brought me here will have to take me home.”
“The healing and transformation of me does not happen through awareness. One can witness the mind for a hundred years and it will remain the same! transformation takes place through the Heart. The heart has transforming power, the power of grace.”
“Certain teachings assume that observing the mind or witnessing the mind is sufficient to transform it. Behind this concept is an incomplete psychological understanding of who we really are. Observing gives you a certain space of freedom and distance. We may assume that the observed (the psychological self) is not me, therefore, it has no longer any impact on our well-being. But, unfortunately, the situation is a bit more complex. The observed in the mind is also me. That’s why those who exercise observing of the mind, in truth, at all times need to use strong will in order to remain disidentified! Because the observed and the observer are both me, that’s why, more holistic understanding and inner work is required...This that changes the mind is a combination of understanding, the centre of awareness, presence of the heart, and a certain cleansing of the subconscious mind...Why is the heart so important in the transforming process? Because the soul is in the heart and the soul is linked with the power of grace directly. Here, you express clearly the intention of changing youself and ask deeply for help from the divine...it is beyond human capacity to cleanse the mind, which has been crystallised from the infinite past. But grace does it. It is not necessarily a sudden event, it is a process, it is evolution.”
"How does the
[subconscious] mind become cleansed? Because of its unknown nature, purification is often believed to be a function of grace. This is true provided we take grace to be an organic process intrinsic to evolution rather than a miraculous event. Purification occurs naturally, in accordance with our evolutionary timing, karma, destiny, and blueprint. Grace is eternally present in the heart of the soul, and progressively manifests as we mature to the point of transformation. So while our cooperation is the most crucial condition for purification, it does not in itself result in complete purification. Rather, it is a preparation for higher energies and consciousness to enter our being. What supports our cleansing the most is having an open heart that can bridge our human psyche with the plane of the soul and serve as a portal to the grace of the divine...When all other relative means prove insufficient, we find our deepest power in the strength of our intention...The force of universal intelligence, which is based on the wisdom and grace of the creator, naturally responds to the sincerity of our intention to seek purity and freedom, and manifests the necessary assistance."
Adyashanti seems to have come to this essential point of view:
“To me there's the witness that's often talked about in spirituality, the witness that is transcendent of and inherently different from the object which it witnesses. This kind of witness is, at least in part, a creation of mind. To witness in this independent way is not really the movement of our true nature. In relation to this whole idea of embodiment and the unwinding of one's own conditioning, this distant witness has very little effect on the most powerful elements of our conditioned self. Witnessing certain parts of our own conditioning from the outside is enough for relatively minor or not so deeply entrenched parts of separateness to melt away. Yet that simply doesn't work for the deep, really core remaining pieces. There needs to be a deeper death into what is - a yielding to being awake. Otherwise we're using our own awakeness to distance ourselves, rather than yielding - to what it really means to be fully awake. What it means to be fully awake is to be not only fully conscious but to be fully feeling, to be fully experiencing.”
Jeff Foster also is in humble agreement:
"The Advaita concept “THERE IS NOBODY HERE WHO SUFFERS! THERE IS NO SUFFERING!” doesn’t even begin to capture the richness of human experience and the possible beauty in suffering. Although in an ultimate sense it might be true, nobody lives in ‘an ultimate sense’ – and if they think they do, I wonder what sort of denial is going on. When suffering is understood and therefore loved, there is no need to deny it in this way – all human experience is embraced in this seeing…and that’s really the end of seeking, now, now and now. The end of seeking, right at the heart of this human experience. No need for any talk of the ‘impersonal’ – the appearance of the personal contains all the grace that’s needed. All Advaita/Nondual concepts dissolve into the clarity of life itself. That’s true freedom, I feel."
And right here
he finally honestly says something I have been trying to express for years. Thanks, Jeff.
What these teachers are coming to, in my opinion, is that if one thinks he can merely observe the mind, see the body as just a 'thought,' or analyze it into its Buddhist skandhas
, he had better hope that he has 'the karmic load of a gnat,' as Adya once quipped. For in a practical sense 'the body has a mind of its own.' Many advaitic followers often appears to be in the position of Chester A. Riley [so endearingly portrayed on the television show “The Life of Riley” by William Bendix] who said, “my mind is made up - don’t confuse me with the facts!”
Without grace, support from the esoteric dimensions, either directly through the higher power or a master, and true prayer from the bleeding heart, one is likely to be disappointed at his lack of real change. First there is rain, then flowers, then fruit. If there is no rain, then...? If one isn't there yet he needs to work - and beg - for it. What else can one do? Anandamayee Ma said, "By this (crying) all will be achieved."
Ramana said that one must stabilise the awakened state by "scorching the vasanas
,” or latent tendencies of egoity, “in the heart.” Yet, how many are actually capable of this? Who can eradicate his own karmas? Ramana had a realisation of the depths of the heart - in the beyond - the 'other dimension'. For him 'scorching the vasanas,' or 'reining in the wandering or extroverted mind,' had a much deeper significance than the limited mental efforts of the average seeker attempting the same. Wherefore the need for even awakened souls to appeal to a higher power for help. This is not a concession to ignorance, but the natural urge of the human spirit.
Brunton explains why such a process must necessarily take time:
"The depth to be penetrated from the surface to the deepest layers of the human psyche is too great to be reached quickly without acute sacrifice and intense anguish.
And what does the "deepest layers of the human psyche" mean? Simply, the deepest levels of the human heart, which is where one finds the soul, and the soul meets the beloved. It's not a place, yet, then again, it IS.
And what is considered 'negative extroversion' for the beginner, who must build a fence around his spiritual efforts to prevent him from straying from his centre, becomes fearless, 'boundless extroversion' for the awakened embodied soul.
Once again, why does one choose to petition the higher power for such cleansing, even after one has awakened? The answer that anadi gives is that it is for the soul’s true completion, as well as to be of greater service to others. anadi echoes here much the same thought as PB, that there are two parallel processes going on, the soul’s awakening, and the ego’s mental and emotional development and perfection, or perhaps better said, its re-alignment with the native purity of the soul. First, PB wrote:
"How can man fully express himself unless he fully develops himself? The spiritual evolution which requires him to abandon the ego runs parallel to the mental evolution which requires him to perfect it...The ego is a part of the divine order of existence. It must emerge, grow, enslave, and finally be enslaved..."
"One is both in the body and in the Overself. There is..no contradiction between the two."
This fundamental and irreduceable paradox is the reason for the parallel - and ultimately singular or holistic - development.
“The evolution of me, the evolution of the psyche, and the evolution into the I AM, are not the same but parallel. In our journey into wholeness, we are not only awakening the
[individual] I Am, but purifying our me, too..When the soul wishes to purify the me, she naturally attracts the power of grace who enters and does the final work...For that reason, it is so important to pray for help to the other dimension.”
“There are two ways. The soul has a choice either to completely negate the personality, the me, or to accept it as a part of her multidimensional wholeness. In the first case, one, being rooted in the I Am, denies the reality of me. This approach is popular on the Advaita path, for example. In the second case, the soul takes the resonsibility for her me. In order to transform me, one has to become responsible for it! You need to take responsibility for your me. You need to acknowledge that all feelings, responses, desires and fears which you experience are part of You...Both
[approaches are] valid, but from the perspective of a complete human being, the second is more holistic. That is the difference between liberation and transcendance. In order to become liberated, it is enough to reach the inner state and to negate me. But transcendance takes place when the presence of the inner state embraces the wholeness of me. Here, one truly transcends.”
He further explains how this error began:
"A long time ago, in India, a concept was created that one is not a doer, that one is purely a witness. This concept is coming from the awakening to the centre of consciousness. When the state of presence is awakened, the mind becomes witnessed from behind and moves to the periphery. the movement of thoughts is no longer in the centre. In the centre is this non-dual awareness which is, so to speak, witnessing the mind. This concept, however, is not completely correct. This concept implies that one identifies oneself fully with the state of presence and refuses to see the self-conscious movement of intelligence as being an integral part of me. In this way we perceive the mind and its intelligence as something just happening on the screen of consciousness, and not being me. However, much more accurate is to say that they both constitute the reality of me. You are the witness and you are the intuitive intelligence as well...and, in truth, it is only because you are this intelligence that you can discover the state of presence and are able to relate to it...The traditional teachings, which have been created a few thousand years ago, did not discover how the inner state
[I Am] and the movement of intelligence relate to each other. That's why, the psychology which has been proposed by them is unable to explain fully the inner processes and the process of awakening...Who is the one recognising the state of presence? Who is the one who is appreciating the state of presence? Who is the one who is observing the state of presence? It is YOU as the intelligence, without this intelligence you would be dead...it is important....Who we are in the mind, is composed of two centres. One is the static centre of the state of presence which does not change; Second, is the dynamic centre of our intelligence. This dynamic centre is always in movement, and it relates to both: to the state of presence and to the gross level of spontaneous thinking coming from the subconscious mind. This intuitive intelligence is very important for it allows us to grow and to understand the process of awakening."
"There are certain schools which negate the mind, which speak about "no-mind" and try to cut off any kind of inquiry into the nature of truth. These schools are too extreme. Of course, the essence of spiritual discipline is the state prior to thought, deeper than the mind, but it does not mean that the mind is to be negated. It is to be embraced, included as an inherent part of who we are and this mind has to grow. Intelligence is a combination of intellect and heart, sensitivity and comprehension."
"Next important question: who is truly the one who has arrived at our meeting? Who is enduring pain in the knees in order to bring more peace into the mind? Who wishes to be happy? Who is longing to escape from sorrow and human sadness? This is not the same question as "who is observing the mind?" The observer is not the essence of you. The observer is merely our centre in the mind, in consciousness. Your true identity is the soul which, by the design of the human body, is located in the middle of the chest...What is the soul? It is the unique, individual flavour of me which is experienced in the heart. The soul is using the mind, she is using awareness and is resting in being, but herself is dwelling in the heart. The purpose of the awakening of the heart is not merely to generate feelings of compassion and love, but essentially to recognise the light of our soul."
"Generally speaking, there is enlightenment to the Self, and there is enlightenment to the soul. The Self represents the unity of pure awareness and being
[Sri Nisargadatta might be an example of this; he spoke chiefly about consciousness and the absolute state]. The soul represents the essence of me in the heart
[this would be more like Ramakrishna, or Ramana, who embodied the aspects of being and the heart]. They are not the same, although they complement each other....The soul, which is in the heart, is like a child. If you look at yourself deeply, you are just a child. You are not a child of your physical parents but of the divine, of the universal mother. This feeling of child-like quality in the heart has been lost; we have become too adult, too gross in the way we experience our heart. But this child is still there and has not changed! It is always pure and always innocent...It has certain desires, longings and fears. These feelings are real and need to be acknowledged for they come from the soul, not from the mind."
As Ramana said:
"Unless one becomes a six-month old baby, there is no hope for one in the realm of Self-knowledge."
And here, in my opinion, are the clinchers:
"As you can see, in our vision of enlightenment we do not negate the soul and we do not negate human nature. We don't negate certain essential vulnerability in our heart which, in truth, is pure sensitivity. We do not negate the presence of desires and, above all, the desire to be happy and fulfilled in all areas, not just spiritual."
"There are two sides of evolution. One is the side of ignorance, the darkness of forgetfulness. Here, we are trying to get out of the mud of unconsciousness and negativity. The other side of evolution is already within the awakening. One is already a part of the wholeness, but the evolution continues. There are more secrets. It is not only about getting out of suffering as the Buddhists imagine. Here expansion takes place within the already present happiness."
“If one wishes to awaken the soul, the me must be accepted. If one wishes to negate me completely, the soul cannot become awakened. It is through me that the soul recognises its own light. Otherwise, she simply dissolves into the I AM. In the first approach, only this into what we dissolve is recognised. The one who dissolves is not seen. Traditionally, the question “who is experiencing the I AM?” was designed to negate the me. The expected conclusion was that there is nobody experiencing anything. There is nobody in terms of a specific entity, or a solid ego. However, when we use more subtle tools, sensitive tools in this inquiry, we will find that there is someone there, and this someone is our soul.”
Dharma Debate and summary thoughts on anadi
Colin Drake shared this email exchange with me:
Dear Brother Anadi:
“I have just been reading The Human Buddha which was recommended by a reader of my first book Beyond The Separate Self - The End of Anxiety and Mental Suffering. I have been enjoying it greatly and was particularly interested in your spiritual biography. I am always interested in different models of Awakening and people's paths to that.”
“I have a question: what do you mean by Soul? As far as I have experienced, and can 'see', we are each a unique ephemeral manifestation of The Absolute, through which That can sense, contemplate, experience, engage with and enjoy Its manifestation - the physical creation. However, we are never separate from That and eventually return back into That. You seem to indicate that we are individual entities. Do you believe that, as in the Christian/Hellenic tradition, we remain forever unique?”
“I am not using my old books for teaching purposes any more. Rather
refer to Book of Enlightenment, which is more or less up to date
description of the teaching.”
“As to the Soul, she does not exist unless actualized. The common
misconception is that the soul is present from the beginning of each
person’s existence. The soul is our higher being, the awakened sacred
individuality. Her evolution has no end into higher levels of truth
My comments to Colin
You teach that there is simply ‘consciousness-at-rest’ and ‘consciousness-in-expression’. In his early books, Anadi makes a big point of rejecting the notion that 'consciousness at rest' is the same as 'the absolute beyond consciousness', such as expressed by Sri Nisargadatta. He says they are not the same. Nisaragdatta in I AM THAT
actually seems to waffle between both positions. While famous for talking about realizing what is 'beyond consciousness', at other times he says the 'absolute consciousness' is beyond the 'individual consciousness.' No wonder people are confused about his teachings! Then he says that birth and death don't matter, and ‘I am always getting happier, because I know I am going home’ - kind of like an emanationism view as opposed to a true nondual one. However, anadi, like Nisargadatta, does talk, not only of a state of presence or consciousness, but of an absolute state - and beyond.
He is a bit more in line with traditional advaita, imo, in his latest book, but, like Paul Brunton, Plotinus, and a few others - yet unlike advaita - is still not shy of talking of soul. For these sages Soul is not a separate entity in the way an ego or body-mind appears to be; it is
unlimited, boundless consciousness. However, in Plotinus (Aurobindo, too) you will find talk of three primal principles (or hypostases), and three degrees of 'penetration of the void, if you like, not one monolithic mass of consciousness; yet all are inseparable. So experientially anadi has distinguished several different states of awakening. Whether he is right I don't now.
Anyway, for anadi, as best as I can understand, there is (or was, in the early books) what he called a 'primary (inseparable) dualism 'beyond' the apparent nondualism of consciousness; and that is, soul and God, in which, like those other philosophers, soul is distinct but not separate from the One, Absolute, or whatever. it is not an individual person, an ego or ego-soul as some put it, yet it is not the One. He paints a beautiful, lyrical picture of it in The Human Buddha
, but is a bit more concise and refined in book of enlightenment
. Still, when I asked him about the state 'beyond consciousness', he answered, 'there is nothing beyond consciousness.' I then said, 'but that sounds different from what you used to teach.' He seemed a bit put-off by my probing and then told me not to think so much! But that is the way my mind works, I have to get to the bottom of things as much as possible. For me, there are many mysteries and paradoxes, imo, that we are just beginning to articulate better.
He admits of several forms of 'not-knowing', and deeper degrees of realization than just the state of presence, which, of course, are not possible without first realizing the state of presence (consciousness). He is heavily influenced by Sufism and Zen/Nisargadatta, which accounts for his teaching on the absolute, or being as the 'ground of consciousness', 'beyond consciousness', and also of the soul as a real existent. However, the higher realization of soul is not truly known outside of, but within God. This is consistent with Plotinus and Sufism.
I had a friend who was into Sant Mat but not happy with it, who went to India and spent the better part of a year with anadi a few years ago, and said his transmission blew him away. He is a young guy, and when I last looked he had a website and had hung out his shingle as a nondual teacher. I saw him being interviewed on an internet program, and he talked the usual, 'there is no one', etc. with a sagely smile on his face. His new presence actually seemed genuine compared to his troubled countenance the last time I ran into him. But I thought, my God, man, this is crazy. I told him to let his realization simmer a little while first, that perhaps that he should at least consider it.
A few months later he wrote be with all kinds of questions and said that his realization had gradually faded away and he was 'a smuck ' again! Go figure. He didn't stay with anadi, he told me, only because he thought he couldn't live up to the standards and conditions that anadi required, which really weren't that tough, just come on retreat once or twice a year, and some sitting practice.
Anadi made what I feel were several 'goofy' comments in The Human Buddha
. Namely, he makes awfully short shrift of Dzogchen, saying it is ‘only’ the state of presence, based solely on his short stay with two Dzogchen teachers, and also dispenses with vipassana, based on relatively short immersion in those teachings as well. I am not extremely impressed with his understanding of either of them. He does rightly point out, however, that one can engage in mindfulness for a long time, for instance, without awakening the true observer, and he teaches how to avoid that. But in true vipassana, they have already mapped that out long ago. You observe and are mindful for a time, and insight at some point spontaneously ignites. Then you go deeper, through various meditative or insight jhanas or absorptions. Anadi also talks of receiving ‘revelatory guidance’, from some version of his own soul or universal soul. I don't have a big problem with that, except that he mentions that his guidance told him that Bhagwan Rajneesh and Chogyam Trungpa had realized the ultimate state, but just couldn't live it. I found that rather questionable guidance, if you look at the facts. Trungpa did a lot of good, but became an alcoholic, supposedly due to his bad car accident that left him with pain. My Japanese accupuncturist used to treat him, however, and I said to him, 'you know, everyone talks about Rimpoche being a sort of crazy-wise adept." He answered, 'that's bull---t, he was an alcoholic, we used to drink together in my office, and he liked blond girls with big boobs." Two pictures are painted of Rajneesh. One is of a persecuted spiritual innovator, poisoned by the U.S. government while he was heroically trying to introduce a new life-positive teaching in the West. According to others, he was an impotent tantric mezmerizer who had condom dispensors placed in every room at his ashram in Oregon; while the adults were away having their fun, five and six year old kids were having sex. A transcript reads that a six year old girl was upset because this little boy wouldn't make love to her! Broken relationships, broken lives, drug dealing and murder were the fruits of Rajneesh's reign. So, again, while I in fact do like much of what Osho wrote, overall that raises a warning flag to me regarding him and also the guidance anadi speaks about.
Then, in book of enlightenment
, towards the end, he makes what I feel is an unjustified and unjustifiable statement when he talks about how, for really bad, recalcitrant people who refuse to evolve, their soul gets destroyed or reabsorbed - not as a punishment he says - but just as if it had never been. That there are a limited number of incarnations one can have before this happens. This, of course, conflicts with just about every other tradition, dual or nondual. He also, along with Maharaj, says that when you die it is lights out until rebirth - basically dismissing any intermediate manifested realms that have been well mapped out in many traditions by great adepts. In one of the books he tell someone 'there are no bardos'. So there he is eliminating Tibetan Buddhism also, with a patently false statement or one with no foundation. Yet, maybe he was making a point to someone, and that wasn't general teaching advise. perhaps. When I pressed on this,he said, 'well, there are no bardos like ordinary people imagination.' Fair enough, but why not say that in the book? Writing is a sacred responsibility. The language and every word is important.
He makes comments like the soul not being born or existing until it is recognized, yet then he speaks of it as eternally residing within the absolute. This has some validity according to certain traditional ways of looking at things.The notion giving 'birth'to the soul, however, is I think his version of Gurdjieff's notion that one must build a soul - but Gurdjieff was really talking of building a subtle body capable of operating consciously in the subtle realms, not a soul as defined by these sages. Anadi, further, says that when the human karma is over, the soul will continue to evolve, but now 'no longer in herself but within the universal evolution.' Of course, this is different from Advaita that maintains that the One itself certainly doesn't evolve. But then, anadi does claim his teaching is beyond traditions. And, the book of enlightenment
is also quite different from The Human Buddha
. It does give new and profound insight into many interesting samadhis, sleep, and turiya, for instance, while still reinforcing his essential teachings on Soul and God.
Regarding the so-called ‘absolute state’, Ramesh Balsekar either misinterprets Nisargadatta's position or sides with the second of the two positions regarding consciousness apparently taken by his master Nisargadatta. Balsekar also believes in consciousness at rest and consciousness in action. He doesn't talk of an 'absolute beyond consciousness’ that Nisargadatta frequently did. Atmananda Krishna Menon occasional talked about that, too, so I wouldn't be quick to dismiss it off-hand. For anadi, it is a very strange state wherein consciousness, once having realized the state of presence, rests deeper in being and finally consciously notices its own absence. He says that being is the ground upon which consciousness rests. Unfortunately, that is vague language that even Nisargadatta used. Nisargadatta said, moreover, that 'without consciousness we would not even know that there is an absolute." This is an obvious logical contradiction, for then consciousness would have to be superior to the absolute if it is what lets us know there is an absolute!! For anadi, the distinctions between the state of presence, the absolute state, the soul and God are realizable experientially through contemplation. In my opinion it needs at least two or three readings of his books to get an as accurate as possible view of his teachings. There are many fine points that I found very valuable. Still, there are also important questions raised as well.
Anadi's teaching on the heart is expressed as unique, but, in our opinion, while truly important it is not at all clear whether it is something new or different from other traditional or contemporary heart-based teachings.
Having said all of that, I would like to mention that pure non-dualists should note that all Indian schools of philosophy, from yoga to Vedanta, incorporate some of apparently dualistic Samhkya philosophy into their teaching. Buddha himself was born in the same town of Kapila's (the founder of Samkhya) ashram, and also studied Samhkya in depth with a pandit there whose name I have forgotten. Now why would they incorporate that if all one need to do was follow the 'I'-thought and know consciousness? Maybe to have a richer realization, one that explains and actualizes more from within relativity?
Sankara, later, was a great advaitin, but also an accomplished yogi and tantric. He did not just teach advaita. Some say he merely made concessions to lesser points of view, like the Upanishads seem to do, but other say, no, he really believed in a comprehensive realization.
The notion of three primal hypostases of Plotinus: the One, the Intellectual Principle or Nous, and Soul, (all in the transcendtal and Immanent domain of consciousness) are also echoed in Plato, PB, and Aurobindo, the latter who say something like, 'an absolute spirit, universal spirit, and soul are the three basic eternal terms of existence. The absolute is primary, but all three are the eternal terms of existence that we have to deal with.’ PB would not commit that the Soul or what he called Overself was multiple or singular, but it was part of this triad of principles that make up Reality. Soul for these sages is not something that gets encapsulated within a body, although an emanent of it apparently does so (although direct pather's might refute that), but the body is also within consciousness or the Soul. "Then shall I know even as I am known" (a Bible verse) reflects the 'Soul in the Intellectual Principle (or Nous) of Plotinus. It is a very high spiritual state, after one has realized union with one's own Overself. The word 'one's own' here is misleading, because the Overself or Soul is us. And it cannot be separated from other Souls, the world, or its own Source like ordinary separate things are. All is One, but there are, in this view, still distinctions. So the average mystic or quester who realizes nondual consciousness has really realized his Soul. If it is permanent he has reached union with his divine Soul. This is a high Sufi station, and a requirement for the higher realizations, where the Soul 'knows its priors', or the 'principles that are eternally generating it - the Nous and the One, or, in PB's terms, World-Mind and Mind. Yet Soul for PB is not identical to World-Mind or Mind, but is a ray of or point in Mind. He has called the realization of the Soul and the assumption that that is the absolute, the 'fallacy of divine identity.' And sages say there are three degrees of deepening absorption into this. So in this regard I find anadi in sympathy with this group of sages, especially in regards to his idea that the Soul is, in fact, unique and eternal, and not just an ephemeral expression of an Absolute, as Advaita implies. Even the word 'absorption' is not quite right, because that may imply some mystical state, whereas these reaiizations are beyond the fulfillment of ordinary mysticism. Traditions such as these have been around for a long time, yet, as one can see, they are quite different than Vedanta. They do answer certain questions that Advaita cannot, but raise questions of their own. Which is why I say with PB that we are just beginning a modern re-articulation of these teachings.
One way of looking at some of this is referring to the Buddha’s original four-fold stages of realization: stream-enterer, once-returner, non-returner, and Arhat. "Stream-enterer implies having a nondual glimpse, whether shorter or longer. This can even become relatively permanent through an incarnation. Yet, while permanent, it may lack depth, and the karma may not be fulfilled or worked through. So then one is a 'once-returner.' Again he has a 'path moment', kensho, or satori, but this time because his relative knowledge or realization is so much deeper he may feel he is 'done'. But it is not so. He, too, comes back, or works out his full realization elsewhere. This may be why the awakening of the Buddha was so profound and definitive, because of his prior background and deep inversion practice prior to his culminating vipassana/insight practices. Why would he come up with these stage if they were not necessary? This has nothing directly to do with the discussion of soul, but I add it in here to illustrate that it is entirely possible for some nondual teachers to have a permanent nondual glimpse going on but still not be fully enlightened in the most traditional sense.
Also, you say:
"As far as I have experienced, and can 'see', we are each a unique ephemeral manifestation of The Absolute, through which That can sense, contemplate, experience, engage with and enjoy Its manifestation - the physical creation. However, we are never separate from That and eventually return back into That."
I suggest that this, as expressed, is not a truly accurate nondual view, that 'returning back to That' suggests emanationism and that we are not always That, with no coming and going in reality. Or are you conceding that there is something that comes and goes? 'What' is it that returns back to That? You leave us with only the Unmanifest's manifestation going back to itself, but might not this be a conceptual error, in that Unmanifest/Manifest are two relative polarities within a true Absolute? And that might there actually be a Soul that emanates part of itself, takes part in manifestation, yet knows itself always from within the One Absolute, remaining paradoxically distinct yet non-separate? I suggest that you and many advaitins - by this more transcendental definition of Soul - may be confusing the antahkarana and physical body with the Soul as being the 'temporary' or 'ephemeral' manifestation of the Absolute. That is, Advaitins think that without any limiting adjuncts or upadhis
, the jiva or separate person and Brahman are one. However, other schools of thought feel that the Absolute is not so monolithic, that nonduality, meaning 'not-two', does not mean 'one' either, that it is more mysterious and paradoxical than that, both theoretically and experientially. The Soul, as anadi and others assert, is not manifest or phenomenal. And it can only be realized once the state of presence is established. At the very least, this is an open area of debate and investigation. The fact that you took a typically laconic email answer from anadi, and a single partial reading of only one of his earlier books, as 'confirming your original views', and have also not responded to any of my comments, strikes me as an example of a limiting dimension of investigation all too common in many current non-dual circles. I found I needed at least two fully concentrated readings of all of anadi's books to get a grasp of where he is coming from - whether he be right or wrong. You also equate the Absolute's manifestation with the physical creation. Yet there are, of course, many other levels of manifestation than the physical world. [And, to be exacting, in nonduality creation is not admitted]. In any case, if we do 'go back' or 'return' it is likely in stages, not all at once. You also give attributes to the Absolute such as 'experiencing', 'enjoying', 'contemplating', engaging with', and so on. This is not the Vedantic definition of the Absolute or Nirguna Brahman, which has no such attributes. So, with all that, please at least consider an alternate view.
Best to you, Peter
We personally find that among newer teachers there is often a lack of the profound degree of relative wisdom necessary both to successfully teach others beyond a narrow range of possible combinations, and also reach a deep understanding of the many dimensions of individuality and a healthy respect for the law of karma. In this respect, the books of anadi are refreshing and intriguing, and despite what he says, he is somewhat of a traditionalist. His teaching is radical, but he also believes in study, contemplation, meditation, transmission, and grace. I find his teaching on the nature of the ego, as a manifestation of intelligence, entirely positive and refreshing, his recognition of the principle of Soul as being beyond the separate self consistent with ancient doctrines in Sufism, the Greeks, and in modern times PB, and his leaving for man a Mystery of Mysteries as the great Unknown and Unknowable other than the fact that It Is
, a Holy of Holies, not unlike many venerable teachings. His metaphorical description of the Soul and God relationship as one of 'Subject-subject', as opposed to subject-object, points towards the transcendant or non-egoic nature of Soul as a real existent, known by God even while God remains a fundamental mystery that we can be touched by yet not fully comprehend. Further, there is a form of 'pure suffering unique to the sage and his incarnations. In these respects he is much like PB who wrote:
"The mysterious Godhead has provided a witness to its sacred existence, a Deputy to evidence its secret rulership. And that Witness and Deputy can be found for it is sits imperishable in the very heart of man himself. It is indeed his true self, his immortal soul, his Overself...If it is true that even no adept has ever seen the mysterious absolute, it is also true that he has seen the way it transforms its presence through something intimately emanated from it. If the nameless formless Void from which all things spring up and into which they go back is a world so subtle that it is not really intellectually understandable and so mysterious that it is not even mystically experienceable, we may however experience the strange atmosphere emanating from it, the unearthly aura signifying its hidden presence."
"Let us not deceive ourselves and dishonour the Supreme Being by thinking that we can know anything at all about IT. We know nothing. The intellect may formulate conceptions, the intuition may get glimpses. but these are our human reactions to IT. Even the sage, who has attained a harmony with his Overself, has found only the godlike within himself. Yes, it is certainly the Light
[Note: PB doesn't mean mystical light in this quote, but the light of consciousness], but it is for him, the human being. He still stands as much outside the divine Mystery as everyone else. The difference is that whereas they stand in darkness he stands in this Light."
"After the last sermon has been preached, the last book written, Mind remains the Mystery behind all mysteries. Thought cannot conceive It, imagination picture It, nor language express It. The greatest mystic's experience is only his own personal reaction to Its atmosphere, as from a distance. Even this blows him to pieces like a bomb, but the fact that he can collect them together again afterwards shows that it
[his higher individuality] must have been present in some inexplicable supernormal way and was not lost, both to continue existence and to remember the event."
"Becoming and motion are processes, but Being, pure consciousness, is not. In the experience of a glimpse we discover this fact. Being transcends becoming, but it is only the Gods who live on the plane of Being; we humans may visit it, even for long periods, but we must return."
"The actual experience alone can settle the 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."
"His goodwill to, and sympathy for all men, rather empathy, enables him to experience their very being in his own being. Yet his loyalty to his higher self enables him to keep his individuality as the inerasable background for this happening."
"The illuminate never achieves perfect happiness because he is well aware that others are unhappy and that they are not alien to him."
Therefore, we remain, unlike many nondual teachers, comfortable with the notion of a Soul that is of the nature of consciousness, inseparable from God yet also 'an eternal wanderer in God's infinitude', as well as with the notion of an unknowable Essence that is That which expresses itself into polarities such as Unmanifest/Manifest, or Consciousness/Phenomena, within which there are many degrees and dimensions. We also, as does anadi, firmly believe in the reality of Grace. Many nondual teachers, however, do not. We suggest that without acknowledging the reality of the Soul, it is difficult to make room for such a notion. PB writes:
"It is not within man's power to gain more than a glimpse of the diviner life. If he is to be established firmly and lastingly in it, then a descent of grace is absolutely necessary...It is not within the power of man to finish either the purificatory work or its illumination-sequel: his Overself, by its action within his psyche, must bring that about. This activating power is grace...Since the very "I" which seeks the truth and practises the meditation is so illusory, it cannot obtain what it seeks or even practise with success, unless it also receives help from a higher source. Only two sources are possible. The first and best is the Overself's direct grace. This must be asked for, begged for, and wept for. The next best is the grace of a master who has himself entered into truth-consciousness."
All who are disposed to a comparatively simplistic advaitic philosophy would do well to take note of such teachings discussed here and study them in depth.
The reader must, of course, do his own due diligence and make up his or her own mind on these matters. We feel that anadi's teaching offers a sophisticated challenge to many simplistic advaitic offerings. Click here for a two-hour Sept. 2013 anadi interview
on www.batgap.com (Buddha at the Gas Pump).
We end with these words of Kabir:
"Beware of pride, for pride has fooled many sages. You may have gotten rid of mind, but who can part with the seed-mind within?"
1. Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening
, reference misplaced
2. James Schwartz, How To Attain Enlightenment
(Boulder, Colorado: First Sentient Publications, Inc, 2009), p. 26
3. Aziz Kristof (Anadi), Transmission of Awakening
(Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1999), p. 302
4. Baird T. Spalding, Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East
, Vol. IV (Marina Del Rey, California: De Vorss & Co., 1948 (1976), p. 187
5. Franklin Jones, The Spiritual Instructions of Saint Seraphim of Sarov: A Siddha or Master-Yogi of the Eastern Christian Tradition
(Los Angeles, CA: The Dawn Horse Press, 1973), p. 54
6. Baha’ u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Wilmette, Illinois: Bahai Publishing Trust, 1953), p. 22
6a. Swami Vivekananda, Meditation and Its Methods
(Hollywood, California: Vedanta press, 1976), p. 74
7. Kirpal Singh, A Brief Life Sketch of Hazur Baba Sawan Singh
; also quoted in Portrait of Perfection
(Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1981), p. 44-45
8. Babuji Maharaj , Notes of Discourses
, Radha Soami Satsang, Agra, 1947), p. 80, 117
9. Sat Sandesh
, "Eternal Marriage" (Naperville, Illinois: SK Publications, March 2011), p. 10-11
10. "As he gets older, he grows more and more happy and peaceful. After all, he is going home. Like a traveler nearing his destination and collecting his luggage, he leaves the train without regret. The reel of destiny is coming to its end—the mind is happy. The mist of bodily existence is lifting—the burden of the body is growing less from day to day."
(from I AM THAT)
11. Kristof, op. cit., p. 222
12. anadi, book of enlightenment
(www,anaditeaching.com, 2011), p. 26-27
13. Ibid, p. 226-227
15. Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius, Buddha's Brain (Oakland, California: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2009), p. 9
16. Baird T. Spalding, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 184
17. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), Vol. 14, 6.265, 27; 3.401, 394; Vol. 16, Part 1, 2.194; Part 2, 2.142 2.142
18. Kristof, op. cit., p. 288-289, 294
19. Ibid, p. 302
21. Ibid, p. 65
22. [Note: the term 'Inner' here does not mean mystical, which is still 'outer' or objective; it refers to the inherently subjective realisations; as PB once said, "the Overself's without is our within."]
23. Kristof, op. cit., p. 66-67, 154, 184, 274-276
24. anadi, op. cit., p. 186, 184
25. Adyashanti, “Love Returning to Itself”, The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, ed John J. Prenderegast, Peter Fenner, Sheila Krystal (St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House, 2003), p. 64, 62
26. "A Short Note About Suffering” by Jeff Foster (www.lifewithoutacentre.com)
27. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 9, 1.277
28. Ibid, Vol. 6, 1.158, 1.165
29. Ibid, Vol. 6, 8:1.127
30. Kristof, op. cit., p. 297-298, 115, 157-158, 220, 148-149, 124
31. Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 12, Part 4, 2.79, 2.95, 2.98
32. Ibid, Vol. 16, Part 2, 4.268
33. Ibid, Part 4, 2.142
34. Ibid, Part 1, 4.20, 4.25
35. Ibid, Vol. 12, Part 4, 5.100, 5.110, 5.122