by Peter Holleran
“This vision is beyond duality and non-duality, embracing the paradoxical existence of the individual soul and her evolution within the ocean of universal intelligence."
(Aziz Kristof) transmits a teaching which calls for a mutlfactorial or multidimentional realization of what he has called the true “me” or soul; this path has non-dual consciousness as its starting point, being as its foundation, and awakening of the heart as its penultimate goal. It might be said to be an original combination of true Advaita, Zen, and Sufism. Thus, he criticizes many non-dual and neo-advaitic teachers as stopping at the realization of ‘presence-awareness’, the witness, or even ‘pure consciousness’, without going beyond that to realize, next, being, which is beneath consciousness’, the gateway to the absolute state [Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
in his opinion being one of the only teachers in recent history to recognize this further state (1)
], and finally awakening the heart, which, along with awareness and being, are the three centres of the individual I Am (or the experience of the universal I AM within the energy system of an individual being) and the gateway to the true soul in the beyond, where the soul meets the Beloved. The beyond itself, for anadi, has two aspects, the Absolute (the unmanifest) and the Divine dimension (which ‘rests’ on the absolute), both of which are ultimately one.
The awakening of the soul, founded on the awakening to the inner state of the I am, or awakened awareness, being, and the heart, is the central goal for humanity; it is what perceives the awareness, knows the beingness, and gives sweetness and meaning to the creation. It produces the complete human being, which is our spiritual destiny. It itself leads to the ultimate, or awakened unity with the heart of the beloved, in which the soul knows herself 'in a new, transcendental way', 'no longer owning her own being,' but knowing herself not by her presence but through her absence in the ultimate subjectivity or universal I Am, in which she is no longer self-referring but continues to function uniquely within the whole. Thus, his teaching has Sufi and advaitic roots. It has depths, is complex and original, and we can give but an introduction here. [Also keep in mind that when this was was written the author had access to anadi's first three books only (Enlightenment Beyond Traditions, Transmission of Awakening, and The Human Buddha), which are now out of print, and which he no longer uses in lieu of his book of enlightenment
. The older books are not as streamlined as the latter, yet contain much useful information, many anecdotes and much explanation of esoteric aspects of various traditions and offer a good perspective from which to tackle the new book. So the reader may use these present articles as backdrop to make his study of the recent book more discriminative and fruitful. Please have patience with his unique terminology and sometimes paradoxical logic; the attempt will be made to make it as clear as possible as we go along. However keep in mind that this article is my own analysis, and received no approval - or permission - from anadi. It is fairly long, the first in a series of four articles; the succeeding ones are shorter. Again, these represent my understanding only
; for direct instruction see www.anaditeaching.com. A link to a two-hour September 2013 interview with anadi on Buddha at the Gas Pump is given at the end of this series. Hopefully these writings will help prepare the reader for that. This teaching promises to break new ground. It boldly claims to be based on a revelation of guidance for humanity at its present stage of evolution and understanding. Thus it appears to be worth our while to consider, at least, against the backdrop of the best understanding we can gleam from the great traditions of mankind, as well as the broad vision constructed by modern philosophers such as Paul Brunton (PB). anadi states:
“A liberated being is not automatically awakened to the soul. Enlightenment, as is traditionally understood, may disconnect one even further from the reality of pure me
[“pure me” will refer to “soul” in these quotes]. Why? Because one becomes stuck in the impersonal experience, not being able to make the final step, which is awakening to the personal experiencer. Just as, at one stage of evolution, a human needs to become a buddha, in order to transcend ignorance, so the buddha has to go beyond enlightenment in order to become human and reach the natural state. The complete understanding of the natural state goes beyond seeing it merely as consciousness free from thoughts or the non-abiding condition of pure being. The natural state is total existence, radical wholeness, where human sensitivity, intelligence and emotion, are contained unconditionally in the universal space of isness, which is the unity of being and love. To become human again has a different flavour from the Zen idea of returning to the ‘market place.’ Here, we speak about the ultimate suchness, where human sensitivity is acknowledged and the presence of the soul fully manifested.”
“The human buddha is beyond humanness as well as beyond buddhahood. He or she is beyond these polarities, living the true natural life of an awakened human being. The human buddha has not stopped evolving or growing, for his or her last breath has not yet been taken. He or she sees the need for never-ending maturation on all levels. He or she fully accepts and honestly acknowledges the reality of human life, including the difficult parts of it as well. The human buddha acknowledges his or her human desires and needs, including emotional longing. The human buddha does, indeed, have desires and needs and experiences the various conflicts and contradictions of human life.”
Stated thusly, this almost seems contrary to traditional expectations of what it means to be awakened. However, anadi goes further. The following will be a somewhat lengthy series of quotes, mostly taken from The Human Buddha. This book attempts to present a unique teaching as well as purify other teachings of partial understanding. Much invaluable, clarifying information is also given in the link to his website above. [Note: anadi says that the new student should primarily read his latest book, book of enlightenment
(2011), which is more concise and easier to understand, without the liberal use of capitalisation, than his previous three books all published a decade ago; I did not know this at the time of first writing this article. All attempts are made to clarify confusing points].
“The difference between an ordinary human being and the human buddha is, however, enormous...The human buddha lives the human destiny, being rooted in the invisible dimension of the beyond. He or she is one with the divine. His or her mind is silent and free and the heart, at all times, is immersed in the tranquil ecstasy, experiencing the constant joy of unity with the beloved.”
“This vision is beyond duality and non-duality, embracing the paradoxical existence of the individual soul and her evolution within the ocean of universal intelligence...Perhaps, one of the greatest gifts of the new understanding is the clear differentiation between awakening to the Self and the soul-realisation. The soul is not merely the illusion of separation which must be dissolved within reality. The soul is herself the perceiver and experiencer of the ultimate as well as of her own existence within the ultimate. This realisation is both, dual and non-dual. It is dual because me is still present; it is non-dual because the soul abides within the ultimate in the state free from any movement and separation.”
“When one is awakened, two parallel realities are experienced simultaneously - the unconditional reality of I Am and the dynamic reality of the personal self. Personal self or psyche evolves in its own dimension within its emotional body, mind and intelligence. Apart from its own evolution, as if in separation from the I Am, it awakens and refers back to this very I Am. Here, personality finds its inner refuge, resting in I Am and deepening through it its very existence. Who, however, uses personality and rests in the I Am? It is neither the I Am nor the personal self. It is the soul, the individual essence of divinity.”
“One of the main misconceptions regarding the question, "Who am I?" is the assumption that we are seeking for one thing. Many are under the illusion that there is only one object of the spiritual search, namely the Self. But it is important to understand that the answer to this question is multidimensional...One of the most frequent illusions in collective spiritual consciousness, is an idea that there is only one real essence within us, and everything else pertains to ignorance and should be discarded. It is true that there is an essential core of our eternal soul’s identity: the existence of the pure me beyond body and mind. But it does not eliminate the validity of all the other aspects of our being. Me is multidimentional and exists on many levels at the same time. Pure me has a centre in the heart and abides in a unified energetic field created by awareness and being. It is the very foundation of our awakened reality. However, this experience cannot be taken out of the context of our inherent human qualities.”
Here he is saying what he elaborates on in the later stages of his teaching, that even after profound awakening to awareness (‘pure consciousness’), being (‘awareness beyond consciousness’), and heart (the seat of the soul), the three making up the total field of the individual I Am, one will awaken to the soul and its unity with its beloved, and, through further evolution, transform the human dimension from within ones illumined consciousness to fully align it with the unity of soul and the universal I AM. This, he says, is to be a ‘human buddha.’
"The only capital you have is the very experience of your existence. And you have no way to escape from this situation, for you have only yourself. At the end of the day, whatever you do, you come back to yourself. You come back to this simple experience of yourself which has nothing to do with your own ego-image, with your acquisitions, with your success or failure. The reality of me, pure me. What is this pure me...? Who am I directly? Who am I? This inquiry is not intellectual, it is a beautiful adventure of the soul, which is discovering her intimate inner light, the light of her own presence. She is returning back to the root. For that reason, we call it 'awakening' for it feels like waking up from a dream. One may say: 'I am just me,' and stop there. But there is also another understanding which reveals to us that the experience of me itself evolves, until it reaches its final depth. This final depth we have called the 'complete me'...You are deepening this experience through right understanding, right cultivation, and right effort. The element of effort is indispensable as a part of our evolutionary journey, even though you have support from existence, support from the esoteric dimensions, support from below and above. It is your destiny, it is your responsibility to co-create your own awakening."
“The non-dual philosophy is not a path but a vision of awakening pointing directly to the now. The non-dual path, however, sees the necessity of evolution and reflects, in a more dynamic way, the reality of awakening. The concept of the path involves movement-evolution in time, the becoming of awakening. Awakening unfolds in time, reaching deeper and deeper into the reality of the now. Enlightenment is not merely an insight into reality; it is a process of meeting this reality.”
“The fundamental understanding behind the vision of the non-dual path, refers to the co-existence of the already present reality of I Am with the complex process of reaching it. The dual path sees only the element of reaching, pointing to the future realisation, the non-dual philosophy emphasises only the immediate presence of that which should be reached. The non-dual path sees the unity of these apparently exclusive elements...Even though the non-dual path may have a paradoxical nature, it nevertheless reflects the reality of human awakening.”
The astute researcher of the writings of Paul Brunton (PB) can also see many elements of his teaching reflected here: the necessity of a process of evolution both mental and
spiritual; the positive value of the ego; the need for realisation of the soul, and its mediation between the ultimate dimension and the relative world; the need for an actual practice of an integral nature; a healthy respect for human ignorance and its present condition; the eternal preservation of some form of individuality; and the criticism of traditional Advaita as being too rigid in disregarding eternal distinctions or verities other than the one “Self”. PB said he was only a spiritual pioneer and that many more would follow him to further elaborate the doctrines needed for our modern age; anadi appears to be one trying to do this, although it may take the reader some time to get used to his creative terminology that has evolved along with his deepening awakenings.
[For those unfamiliar with the terms and teachings of PB, an excellent summary can be found here
Krishna Prem, speaking on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, writes similarly to anadi on the dimension of the heart:
"Words fail us here: we must plunge deeper yet within the heart and see that in that mystic inactivity, within its very being, lurks Divine creative power. It gazes and the forms spring into being; gazing, It holds them fast; ceasing its gaze, they fall back in the matrix once again. Here lies the mystery of the Will both in the macrocosm and the microcosm. The Will, even the individual will, is not the creature of mere outward forms. A Divine freedom is its very essence: the Light has an inherent power to gaze or not to gaze, also to change the level of Its gazing. This cannot be described; it must be seen and known within the heart. Failure to understand this mysterious actionless activity has disastrous consequences, for it transforms the central Fount of joyful, radiant Light into a static Absolute, an eternal Futility, throned in the heart of being.”
While there is always the eternal now, anadi argues that this must, paradoxically, be reached
through practice. Somewhat similar to Gurdjieff who said that man is not born with a ‘soul’ but must build one through sweat and tears, anadi says that the soul is realized only through practice and transmission:
"As you awaken, you become an autonomous being which lives by the power of her own light, generated from within...Most human beings agreed to live in ignorance with their consciousness lost in the mind. They accepted to live in forgetfulness. But with this agreement, they have died. A person who is not free from the mind is a ghost and not a being. Freedom from the mind is your dignity as the divine being, which you are. A being has to be born. It is not born from another, it is born from within. When you are born in the body, it means that the body becomes pregnant with the soul. The soul is not released until you give birth to her. One day she will be born."
He goes so far as to state that one can even be in the absolute state without, in a sense, having a soul, or perhaps better said, without realising or awakening to the soul.
"We come back to the centre of the now. There has to be this strong will to be in the now...If you are in a state of forgetfulness, completely identified with the mind, you don't really exist...But when you relax more and more into the now, you see how unreal the mind is. You see that who you are is not an entity, it is not a thing, it has no crystalized identity...Here, you are entering the unknown. The unknown is known as an experience but it is unknown to the mind. The mind cannot understand it, but your soul knows it directly. There is an immediate confirmation from your soul that your experience refers to reality."
[After the development of the conscious, reflective ego] there is a process of returning back to the source; all the energy and consciousness that has developed somehow turns back and begins its pilgrimage, its journey back, in a conscious way, towards the light of I am. So the one who returns back to the light of creation, to the source of existence, is not the same one who began the journey. It is a new being. That is why we say that the soul never existed. What existed is the light from which our soul is made. But it was not embodied through the essence of me; it was purely impersonal. So we are all going back - home. But this time as adults in a spiritual sense, as mature, intelligent beings who have integrity and have realized their pure nature, the light of
[the soul]." (from his website)
This is similar to PB's idea of an emanant or ray of the soul or overself entering the realm of manifestation and then evolving through many lifetimes to a point of the soul's self-recognition, and the establishment of an enduring individuality as well.
Nor, says anadi, can one go beyond awareness or presence , the resting place of many non-dualists, to the absolute state, except by grace or transmission. This is because consciousness is what you are
in the created realm, and consciousness cannot transcend itself. This in itself is a radical aspect of his teaching, which Sri Nisargadatta also held to, that consciousness, in fact, is of the created dimension. This expands the notion of what creation actually means. This should become more clear as we proceed. Further, realizing awareness or consciousness alone, he affirms, may produce peace, but can also make one arrogant and dry, and with an even bigger ego - if one’s human ego has not been accepted, matured, and realized as an expression of the soul, the awakened heart connected with the supreme.
PB wrote on the latter point, a very important point:
"The ego to which he is so attached turns out on enquiry to be none other than the presence of World-Mind within his own heart. If identification is then shifted from one to the other, he has achieved the purpose of life."
anadi explains further how it is easy to confuse the state of presence with full enlightenment:
“A person who is in the state of presence has no way to know that it is not final enlightenment. Only grace allows one to go beyond consciousness. Most teachings available do not distinguish between the realization of pure consciousness and the absolute. So far, only Nisargadatta Maharaj was able to create this clear distinction. Perhaps now you can see the importance of having certain essential conceptual tools. If you didn’t have the concept of the absolute state, how could you aspire to reach it?..The absolute state represents a very subtle and profound realisation and as such it is reached by very few souls. It is a state beyond change; it is beyond the movement of energy. However, a person abiding in the state of presence can also interpret this state as pure rest, a oneness with the source! Do you see the difficulty here? These matters need to be studied in order to gain complete clarity..That’s why, often you need to meet a competent master who can clarify your state...In order to shift to the absolute state, one must be on some level dissatisfied with the state of pure consciousness. Even though it is true that there is no way that the absolute state can be reached by will, but still one does co-operate. This co-operation in terms of proper and purposeful surrender into being is essential. The shift itself is a function of grace and transmission of energy from the master or directly from the beyond.”
I have dealt with this subject of consciousness versus ‘awareness beyond consciousness’ (being, or in Nisargadatta's term, the absolute) in depth in the article, ‘The Primordial Ground.’ In that piece a firm conclusion based on comparison of the view of various sages could not be drawn. After reading anadi it seems as if there is an answer. This will be explained as we go along, as well as in footnote #1.
anadi holds, much like PB and Sri Aurobindo, that human beings evolve through many forms until they become self-consciousness. This self-consciousness, while ignorant of its true origin, is a crucial stage and the first stage wherein one can begin to realize his inner being. What then separates those who long for realization and those who don't is the development of the intelligence over many lifetimes:
“All souls crave understanding, but what amount of it they can receive relates to the capacity of their intelligence. The evolution of the intelligence takes much, much longer than awakening to I Am. Intelligence evolves in a more dynamic way. What is intelligence? It is the capacity to reflect the truth and the complexity of life. It is to intuitively reflect in our intellect and heart the workings of universal intelligence, in the realm of this dimension. Most souls enter the spiritual path in the hope of escaping their misery. They are not ready to crave understanding for they are fast asleep, lost in their dreams. To crave true understanding is itself awakening. To crave understanding is to have this deep, intense longing for clarity as to what we are doing here.”
“It is difficult to become a man,”
said Kirpal Singh, “but easy to become God.”
anadi is adamant that merely saying that one is realized, or in the now, or ‘beyond-ego’, as some questors and even teachers so freely do now, is ultimate delusion or hubris, and that the greatest of masters such as Hakuin or Hui-neng spent years after
their initial awakening maturing in these other dimensions. There is
a path, even though one is always within the one, rooted beyond the I-Am, in the eternal now. But one does not know this unity. Even with the realisation of the 'absolute state, the awakening of the heart - the place where the person meets his soul, the ‘doorway to the divine dimension’, which he says for humans is a further goal than even realization of the ‘absolute’ - has still to take place, yet has rarely been fully realized or acknowledged by teachers past and present.
This is a fresh teaching, requiring in-depth consideration and experience for self-verification. anadi appears to give the stage of awakening of the heart almost an ontological status, as compared with the opening of the heart chakra by yogis or the further post-awakening embodiment process spoken of by several teachers, but actually, he describes it as a realization with several dimensions
, from psychological to transcendental; the writing revealed in this link unfolds like the petals of a rose and reads like an ancient yet most intimate scripture. The one who wrote this has wisdom.
anadi's teaching is intricate and detailed, requiring concerted effort in both study and application to fully grasp its significance. It presents a unique and comprehensive map of enlightenment
. On his website he also gives a most discriminating description of stages leading to realization of I Am (and universal I AM). He clarifies unanswered questions the reader of I AM THAT may still have.
"It is not difficult to become enlightened, to become self-realised. What is difficult is to convince your intelligence that the spiritual search points not to vague ideas about enlightenment, but to you. This very intelligence, in combination with the sincerity of the heart, is our only security on the path."
"One needs to practice. It is common sense. One has to subject oneself to the process of awakening. The misconception of what is traditionally regarded as a non-dual philosophy is the negation of evolution. According to such a view, either one is self-realised or one is not. Nothing in-between can be possible. This type of logic is far too simplistic and linear. This view doesn't at all reflect reality. Enlightenment is not one event, but a complex process of merging with the ultimate, in steps. Awakening is a process of the deepening and unfoldment of I Am...Your search refers to you, your present existence and truth. You are intimately discovering your own existence, from moment to moment. That is the skill, the art of the non-dual path of awakening. It is not a path 'to' awakening, but the path 'of' awakening. This means that awakening is already happening to you!"
"Through awareness you transcend the mind and through being you transcend awareness. You cannot really transcend yourself through awareness. Why? because awareness is you! Within being this 'you' can disappear... The moment you drop into being, you become absorbed into the universal presence...When your experience of being deepens, you are at rest, a constant rest within the beyond. You become free from yourself, from your sense of separation. You are free from this constant need to sustain your sense of identity. You rest in the timeless. You merge with the transcendental unity of being and love, which is I AM. This primordial sense of I AM has created you. And now you are returning home, to the domain of the beloved."
"Without the heart, all is meaningless. Awareness has no more significance and being is merely neutral. It is the heart which brings meaning and value to any state. She brings the inner beauty, sensitivity, love and appreciation - for it is from the soul. You are the soul! What is the soul? She is the first and foremost expression of the beloved. This very me which you experience is the primary manifestation of the creator, the spark from the fire of God. This me journeys in time to discover herself, and through herself she recognises the source of creation. Me originates from the divine domain. That is the place to which you are returning."
"Awareness frees you from the mind; it brings the light of clarity and pure presence. Being allows you to rest in the now. And the heart is the final fruit, the blossoming of your existence. The heart is your meeting place with the divine."
He issues a caveat:
"The element of practice is essential, but without self-knowledge it lacks any transforming quality. Practice without understanding is dull and sleepy. For that reason, we emphasize so much the need for self-knowledge. With this clarity as a base, you will understand more what you are doing and what you are aiming towards.
[Isn't this what Plotinus said, that "we must teach our souls"?] Instead of hypnotising you with the idea of enlightenment, we de-hypnotise you, bringing clarity and understanding into the reality of true awakening. Here, awakening relates to you and you can relate to it fully, doubtlessly. When you become successfully de-hypnotised, you may stop even to use the term 'enlightenment.' You will return to the simple reality of the self, beginning to live directly and innocently in the reality of I Am. You will start to live in the real world of what is."
"Enlightenment is 'nothing special' and it does not make you into anything special. That which you will reach is inner silence, humility, and innocence. It does not give you anything apart from yourself. Therefore, if you hope to attain something other than yourself, you may choose a different path, but not the path of awakening. In this way, you will avoid disappointment. Only a mature and sensitive being can receive the awakened state and live this reality in a dignified manner."
Adyashanti agrees with anadi on this point, that true enlightenment is seen as 'nothing special':
"Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment."
anadi keeps coming back to the paradoxical fact that, while all is one, practice is necessary for the soul to realize
that, and, further, the goal is not elimination of the individual being:
"Who is the soul? She is the essence of your individual existence. She discovers wholeness and recognises the truth of totality from her own unique perspective
[this is what PB refers to as the '"great Uniqueness"
, in contrast to the psyche or personality]. She discovers truth through her understanding, evolution, and expansion. You are the soul. The essence of the soul is in the heart. It is in the heart that you meet your true, ancient identity in the most direct and intimate way...The true goal of the spiritual path is not at all to negate individuality. The aim is rather to re-awaken the state of unity with existence, from the perspective of an individual reality."
"Enlightenment is not the absence of me, but the presence of unity. Here, me and existence create one unified field beyond individuality and beyond universality. In this experience, the unity of pure love, understanding and intelligence create the very life of the individual soul merged with totality. The spiritual path is the science of reaching the state of unity, from the place of relative separation."
"We are taking you from the island of the separate me to the other shore, to the motherland which is both your origin and your destination. The sailing ship which will take you to the other shore is guidance. The wind which allows you to sail the ship effortlessly is grace. The right direction which you take, not to become lost in the vast ocean, is true understanding. And the efforts which you make in order to help your ship reach its destination is your co-operation and power of will. Your co-operation is responsible for your destiny, dedication, ability to overcome difficulties, as well as trust in difficult moments. In this way, you are not merely waiting passively for the wind to push the ship in the unknown direction. You aim at the right direction and sometimes you have to use the oars as well."
"This island which is the separate me and the continent are, in truth, already one underneath the ocean. They are however, relatively separated, for the infinite ocean lies between them. That is the amazing paradox of being a soul. Even though we are one with the source of creation, still, we are reaching towards a state of unity. We have no choice but to start sailing..."
"It is absolutely true that you always receive help. This help descends from the divine dimension or through the medium of a human master. But the birth of I Am takes place from within. It is your awakening, it is your responsibility. Therefore, your intelligence must be engaged and your heart dedicated. Awakening is not a mechanical happening...There are many pseudo-masters who surprisingly emphasise only their presence. They say, 'stay with me and it will happen one day!' They lack the basic understanding of the awakening process...Masters who are fully awakened are extremely rare and difficult to be found, like precious jewels...True masters always give you tools through which you can awaken and be a light unto yourself. False masters speak only about their presence and the miraculous nature of enlightenment...Your effort, your co-operation is the noble sacrifice which you have to make on the altar of evolution. This is your true dignity, to become responsible for your own awakening."
"Even though the spiritual path seems to be foolish
[a reference to a popular Zen story where at the end of one's efforts one appears only to have been led back to where one had started from] , it is noble and real at the same time. We are reaching what is, from the place of 'what is not,' that is, from the place of separation and forgetfulness. The spiritual path is real. It reflects the process of awakening and the deepening of this very experience of what is. It is the adventure of consciousness which discovers its own isness, always in a new way."
"The linear mind sees always only one side of truth and cannot comprehend the paradoxical nature of reality. One extreme view regarding the concept of enlightenment assumes that because the self is the only reality, there is no place for reaching it. Here, the very concept of a spiritual path is self-contradictory. According to this view, either you see truth or you don't. And when you do have an insight into the self, it is equal to complete self-realisation. According to this view, enlightenment is one, as there cannot be degrees in the self. Here, even the path to enlightenment is denied for it implies duality and the presence of time. The very process of reaching the self takes place in ignorance and ignorance can give rise only to deeper ignorance - never to awakening. If we followed this line of thinking to the very end, even enlightenment must be negated...The logical difficulty with this concept is based on the lack of differentiation between the self and enlightenment. The self is always present, but the recognition of it takes place in time. Enlightenment refers to the recognition of truth. Of course, it requires an element of duality. Without duality there would be no place for any movement of intelligence. That's why, extreme non-duality cannot reflect the nature of truth. Dual-non-duality is the proper term for the truth of creation."
"The mind has to intuitively grasp the subtle meaning of the non-dual path. If one does not practise according to this understanding - one is not honest to one's own soul. Either one lives in the illusion of a pseudo-advaita intellectual 'enlightenment,' or one lives in an anticipated future, overlooking the truth of the now. if you negate the spiritual path and the necessity of the inner work, you are being dishonest with yourself. If you keep on saying that the self is all there is and there is no need to practise, you simply deceive yourself. In such a case, you simply refuse to see how fragmented your mind is and how painfully you are disconnected from the light of creation. Here, denying the need for practise, one tries to realise the self immediately. But one is unable to. The spiritual path is a reflection of the basic necessity to evolve, a reflection of common sense and wisdom."
Adyashanti seems to agree with anadi that reality is bigger than we can imagine and has many simultaneous dimensions; he speaks eloquently on accepting everything as an aspect of the Infinite One:
“All things - all beings and all activities, no matter how ordinary - are equal expressions of the Infinite. There is no more or less Infinite, no higher or lower Infinite. Therefore, all attempts to either find or hold onto the Infinite are based in illusion. And illusion itself is none other than the Infinite. The Infinite uses all measures in order to awaken in all the various forms in existence. It uses birth, life, death, happiness, sorrow, clarity, and delusion in order to awaken. All of your seeking is in reality the activity of the Infinite as well. No matter how far astray or deluded you become, you can never get a single step away from the Infinite's embrace. If you could all at once stop believing your dreaming mind and be completely still right in the midst of your present state, the Infinite would effortlessly present itself.”
anadi expresses much the same thought in a more personal and poetic manner:
"It is I AM speaking, that which created you. This I AM is not individual, it is the space, the womb of existence. It is absolutely intelligent and knows you, your life and your destination. It knows even your forgetfulness as well as your illusions. You are invited to the domain of the beloved which is your eternal parent. She gave birth to your soul in the beginning and is your destination as well."
According to anadi, there is a further realisation:
"The soul finally meets the beloved...In order to reach such a state, one foot has to be in the absolute and the other foot in the divine dimension. Sufi masters get there easier. Rumi was, for instance, in that exalted state."
In his books and website anadi describes even further transformations beyond this, relating to human purification as well as transcendance ‘beyond liberation.’ Transcendance is based on wholeness, not dissociation from the creation (to which realisation of the absolute state by itself may lead, and of which more will be said later). On the former aspect, human development and purification, he says:
"The psychological evolution of the human and the internal evolution of the soul are mutually supportive along the path. To reach psychological completion as a human, one must awaken the states beyond the mind and the soul, and for the soul to expand into the beyond, one must reach a deep sense of completion in one’s human life. Only a human who is over and done with the earthly dimension is ready to experience the freedom of the soul; and only when the soul is free can she embody an awakened human existence."
PB wrote a similar, integral message:
"How can a 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 ‘me’. There is a vague echo inside, a faint, intuitive feeling about a strange yet beautiful concept - the opposite of conventional spiritual teachings which denigrate the me, and perhaps that is the point - to free us from negative feelings about ourselves and lack of true self-love as well as conceptually incorrect traditional impersonal notions of enlightenment that leave out the soul and consider it to be merely the illusion of separation.
Let us see if we can find similar thought similar coming from other sources. To start, by way of comparison, Sri Nisargadatta gives his description of the relationship between ego, I Am, and the absolute:
“When the ‘I am myself’ goes, the ‘I am all’ comes. When the ‘I am all’ goes, ‘I am’ comes. When even ‘I am’ goes, reality alone is and in it every ‘I am’ is preserved and glorified.”
PB, with whom the teaching of both Nisargadatta and anadi is in at least partial sympathy with, wrote:
"There is some kind of a distinction between his higher individuality and the Universal Infinite out of which he is rayed, whatever the Vedantins may say. And this distinction remains in his highest mystical state, which is not one of total absorption and utter destruction of this individuality but the mergence of its own will in the universal will, the closest intimacy of its own being with the universal being."
"Although it is often said that the spiritually evolved man undergoes a profound self-loss, which penetrates his whole nature and affects his whole expression, the truth is that he does not really lose himself in the new consciousness which has taken possession of him. He loses only his frailty and ignorance, his egoistic pettiness and mental distractedness, his body-based materialism and useless sorrow."
"The actual experience alone can settle this argument. This is what I found: The ego vanished; the everyday "I" which the world knew and which knew the world, was no longer there. But a new and diviner individuality appeared in its place, a consciousness which could say "I AM" and which I recognized to have been my real self all along. It was not lost, merged, or dissolved: it was fully and vividly conscious that it was a point in universal Mind and so not apart from that Mind itself. Only the lower self, the false self, was gone but that was a loss for which to be immeasurably grateful."
According to anadi nothing actually ‘goes’, all is subsumed in a great entirety of reality. Thus, in a sense, the ego is real, the path is real, effort and seeking are real, ignorance is real, and the soul is real. Further, one remains human throughout; he knows his individuality within the whole or the universal I AM, while the awakening of the true heart reveals his divinity as a ‘child of the creator.’ This is similar to the Sufi position that one never becomes God, but he knows his right and eternal relationship with God. PB has also sided with this view:
"The Sufi term "companionship with God" is more accurate than the Christian-Hindu "union with God."
"It is humbler to admit, with Muhammed, "I am a servant of God, I am but a man like you," than arrogantly to assert with the Advaitin, "I am the infinite Brahman." It is better to say modestly with Jesus, "the Father is greater than I," than to announce with the Sufi Mansur: "I am God."
anadi makes this important statement:
"There is a feeling in Sufism, that the human aspect of buddha has been on some level acknowledged. Maybe because the existence of the soul has not been negated in this tradition of the heart. A Sufi master has a soul, the soul which prays and cries to the beloved. When you read Rumi's poetry, you can feel how often he was sad or lonely and feeling like a child in the face of God."
This is so, even though Rumi would also paradoxically speak in the following manner:
“Why should I seek? I am the same as He.
His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself!”
anadi finishes his comment on misconceptions of enlightenment:
"It seems that the roots of the concept of a super-human buddha have their origin in India. We could historically trace the gradual development of this concept. The human effort to transcend the reality of limitations and suffering, was so great in India that it gave rise to the creation of the ideal man-god, the super-being, the ego-projections coming both from followers and from masters. This extreme model of enlightenment was born. This model negates our humanness as well as the reality of the soul. Philosophically, it was also caused by the incorrect assumption that atman (soul) is brahman (the ultimate). This assumption was made because of the lack of a sophisticated enough view of enlightenment."
This is radical and refreshing.
"Another reason behind the attempt to negate the human part of the buddha, is a certain tendency of the human mind to choose extremes...The mind wants to pinpoint the reality of the buddha. From the point of view of the linear mind, either the buddha suffers or is beyond suffering; either the buddha still evolves or is beyond evolution; either the buddha has desires or is beyond desires. The mind is unable to grasp that the buddha is both."
"We have to use concepts in order to involve. Some spiritual ideas, philosophies and models are essential for us to support our evolutionary journey
[this is how Anthony Damiani said the "rational soul" helps us, by taking from its fund of ideas and experiences the data to form more and more abstract concepts which finally lead to the most abstract of concepts, that of realisation itself, at which point the concepts have done their work and fall away] But as we reach higher and higher experiences and insights into the nature of reality, our mind is able to reflect a truer picture of reality - in a non-conceptual way...A tradition, using the metaphor of the Buddha, is like a raft. The raft takes you to the other shore and when it is done, you simply drop it. if you don't drop it, you cannot go further...What is the other shore? It is reality after enlightenment, the real world. This real world is the true reality of the human buddha. Here, buddha transcends his own buddhahood going beyond freedom itself! Here the buddha at last says: I am just human."
Here again, what did Anthony say? When discussing PB's idea of a natural progression from religious devotee, to mystic, to sage, and then finally to the philosopher-sage, in answer to a student's question of what comes next, as that seemed to be the ultimate, he quietly sighed, "We have to become human."
anadi emphasizes that it is very important that a master must never forget his prior ignorance. If he does so he will not be able to understand why his students don’t just “get it” right away. He argues that contemporary advaita teachers often lack this capacity. PB also maintained that this is a basic requirement for a teaching master, that is, for one who guides as well as instructs to the final goal, and does not just radiate or transmit energy:
"There are men of enlightenment who cannot throw down a bridge from where they are to where they once were, so that others too can cross over. They do not know or cannot describe in detail the way which others must follow to reach the goal. Such men are not the teaching masters, and should not be mistaken for them...The man of enlightenment who has never been a learner, who suddenly gained his state by the overwhelming good karma of previous lives, is less able to teach others than the one who slowly and laboriously worked his way into the state - who remembers the trials, pitfalls, and difficulties he had to overcome."
anadi mentions a few other things one who presumes to be a teacher needs to keep in mind:
“In most cases, those who announce their enlightenment represent only a certain type of self-realisation. Most often they represent the realisation of pure awareness. And even among them not all are stabilised in their experience...The problem with the popular view of ‘sudden enlightenment’ is that their interpretation is rather naive. This idea can be very misleading because many seekers assume enlightenment is a sudden, complete and permanent shift of perception...But this is not true. Even those who are considered the greatest masters had to take many steps in their evolution towards completion. In most cases, a master reaches complete enlightenment only in old age.”
“Even if one has experienced a certain shift of consciousness, it takes years for such a person to understand his or her state and much longer to be able to teach. A spiritual master has to understand the process of awakening. It is a very complex process...Teaching is a responsibility and most teachers, because of their egos, want to become masters as quick as possible. They have some spiritual shift and immediately they start to give Satsang. It is ridiculous what is happening on the spiritual scene.”
“It is not to judge. It is not to walk around saying: ‘this man is enlightened’ and ‘this one is not enlightened.’ Just know that the term enlightenment designates many stages and possibilities of awakening, and not everyone who awakens is completely enlightened.”
“Do you understand? That is the point. If a spiritual teacher can help you, see this as an opportunity to grow, until the point where you may perhaps go beyond. I have personally met many masters which from my present perspective were not in a complete state. But still I have learnt from them and I am grateful because they shared their truth as much as they could.”
He stresses the need for confirmation of one’s awakening, especially if one intends to teach others:
“It is possible that one may become a buddha and still be uncertain of it
[Nisargadatta said these cases are often the most reliable]. On the other hand, it is possible to be absolutely self-confident about being a buddha, without being one!...The wrong view which so many seekers share is an assumption that enlightenment is self-verifiable, self-proven. This means the moment you reach it, you should know it doubtlessly. Unfortunately, the reality of it is much more complex...
[see Bankei Yotaku: Unborn Zen
for more on this theme]. If someone has no doubts, this person should be even more doubted as something is definitely wrong here. Certainty is a function of time, growth of intelligence and integration on an energy level. Even famous masters had many doubts about their state...Most teachers convince themselves they have reached the complete state and cannot allow themselves to even doubt it (even that they secretly very much do) for they would lose their role as a true master."
“Because the reality of awakening is rich and rather complex, we need a complex and visionary teaching which can mirror this complexity in our understanding. We meet many seekers who are resistant to go deeper in the teaching, for they don’t want to make an effort to understand. They escape into spirituality because they are already too complicated and overloaded with knowledge. But without an essential understanding, how could you possibly go deeper into the multiple dimensions of self-realisation? Our teaching is not complicated but complex. Reality is complex and, if we wish to reflect the real truth about enlightenment, we have to create a teaching which is precisely as complex as reality... But you must remember that truth is often less attractive than fairy tales.”
“The moment you start to represent an enlightened state in the form of teaching,you have to be fully confident about your realisation. In such a situation, you do not represent merely yourself, you represent awakening.”
A couple of final recommendations for the would-be spiritual teacher to bear in mind:
“There are two kinds of enlightenment. One is enlightenment to enlightenment; and the second is enlightenment to ignorance. Enlightenment to ignorance is necessary for the work of teaching. If a teacher does not understand ignorance, there is no way to teach in a real sense. When you understand ignorance, you see that ignorance is also reality. There are certain laws and principles governing the spiritual path which need to be respected..Some advaita masters become so extreme in their interpretation of non-duality. Advaita as a philosophy is simply a creation of the mind. It uses quite a simplistic and linear logic, which does not always reflect the paradoxical nature of reality. To cling to such a linear view is the same as not to understand the truth of the evolution in time. There was a famous master called Poonjaji. According to him, his students didn’t love freedom enough for they were not able to keep the state of presence. But as we know, it is simply physically impossible to stabilise the experience of pure awareness unless the energy system is able to contain it. One has to take it easy sometimes, being patient with the process. So, ignorance needs to be respected because it is real; it is not merely a mistake in perception.”
This is a very radical statement; many non-dual teachers say that the problem is essentially and only that: a mistaken perception; anadi argues that there is also a multidimensional energetic component that cannot be left out of the equation. An example of the above current non-dual view has been given by Adyashanti (this is only for illustrative purposes only, elsewhere Adyashanti does acknowledge an energetic compoment to awakening) :
"Open mind, open heart. Realize that there isn't somebody in there to protect. There is no need for an emotional barrier or the feelings of separation and isolation that come from that barrier. The only reason you ever thought that you needed protection was because of a very innocent misunderstanding. This happened because when you were given a concept of yourself in very early childhood, you also received a kit with which to build walls that would protect this concept. You learned to add to the kit as circumstances arose. If a good dose of anger seemed useful, you would add that to the kit, or perhaps you added resentment, shame, blame, or victimization. Whether you cling to a self-image as a good person or an inadequate person, the kit of identity is used to protect that image.”
It is commonly known that one first becomes self-conscious and self-referring at about eighteen months of age. The personal ‘I’ is born. The leap is then made by many non-dualists that merely knowing this and trying to go back before that point is a sufficient practise for awakening to presence or pure consciousness. The assumption is made that the inevitable evolution from the womb-like existence is a mistake, whereas it is an inevitable evolutionary development to form a personal centre that can inquire and understand both self and world. We can, in any case, not go ‘back,’ but must proceed ‘forward." anadi says that this argument about a mistake in perception is not a full explanation for our ignorance and divorce from the light of creation (which, he points out, is not visible light). It is also not necessarily a mistake in this world to set practical boundaries to protect either the ego or
the soul at certain times.
In other words, this is basically a positive statement about the ego. Notably, and furthermore, the advaitic sage Atmananda Krishna Menon, a proponent of the 'direct path', had this to say about the ego:
"Every object is a pointer to the Absolute. Even the much despised ego is a great help to the realization of the Truth. The presence of the ego in man, though in a distorted form, is infinitely better than the absence of it, as for example in a tree. Through the ego, you perceive only objects at first. But the objects ultimately point to consciousness. Therefore the first perception, though wrong, subsequently leads you on to the Reality, and the perception itself is made possible only by the presence of the ego. Hence the ego is, in one sense, principally responsible for the realization of ultimate Truth."
Intellectually understanding (and purifying) the root of childhood identification (and wounding) may take place, anadi says, before or after awakening to consciousness, the soul, or even the absolute state. He refers to it as fully integrating the human with the divine. In his case this human purification took place after his awakening of the three centres of the I Am (awareness, being, heart) and their union with the absolute, and then the universal I AM. PB differs only in stressing that without significant human maturity, which he describes as full development of the functions of thinking, feeling, and willing (or head, heart, and energy), any awakening one might have will be either partial or unsustainable until such maturity is reached, and also that both processes may need to be pursued simultaneously.
anadi's point, imo, is that this ‘innocent misunderstanding’ is not all there is to the process of our ignorance, and that, at best, its recognition quickens a process of understanding leading towards our awakening to awareness or consciousness, but not necesssarily beingness (awakening beyond consciousness) or the heart (soul).
PB agrees that the primary error is one of mistaken thinking, of the bifurcation of consciousness that leads to the perception of separation. Yet the ego-I is more than a thought; in reality it is a complex pattern of karmic destiny made of many habitual thought-forms that has yet to fructify in the newborn, but will in due course do so out of its own necessity. The baby is not enlightened; such is a romantic notion. Otherwise the long pageant of evolution with many incarnations would be meaningless. There have, of course, always been those who feel that is the case. "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." And this is, certainly, an arguable point, but a rather dismal one.
anadi goes on:
“Remembering your past forgetfulness can also help you to appreciate the awakened state. When you are a long time in the enlightened state, you forget that you are in some kind of a special state. It is only by this comparison with others and your own past that you can again see how blessed you are. Comparison is not always from the ego. Often it allows us to awaken an alive relationship with the rest of creation. When comparison comes from the soul, it represents a quality of wisdom.”
Like many other teachers, of course, he says that the natural state is completely ordinary, but also extraordinary at the same time. That is because very few people are simply being who they are, free of the collective mind that molded their personality. .
Again, the awakening to the soul is the capstone of enlightenment. One becomes conscious of God by becoming conscious of what is conscious within and as us. The ‘gaze’ of a sage, according to PB, who is established in identity with his soul, can then simultaneously see himself: within the Absolute (Mind); in relation to the beloved or the divinity (World-Mind); and also be witness to the entirety of creation and know it as essentially an emanation from his own being. It is ‘his world,’ or rather, he and the world are non-separate, while he also abides beyond the world, and knows all of this as one inseparable reality. With slight variations, this is anadi’s vision also. Only the specific practices to get there are unique.
anadi calls his position ‘dual non-dualism’, or dvaita advaita, to distinguish it from ‘non-dualism’ or advaita - which he says usually means the realization of presence or consciousness, and which most disciples of Poonjaji and even Nisargadatta teach as the goal:
“Advaita is a very profound path, it is an ancient path which points directly to the realisation of the self. But as a philosophical system, it is not as logical as it seems. Reality is based on a different kind of logic, which is non-linear. Advaita, unlike Zen does not pay attention to details. What it means is that it refuses to see the steps in-between ignorance and awakening. At some stage, advaita must deny even the existence of ignorance, for ignorance is illogical!
[Indeed, to bridge the unanswerable gap between ignorance (avidya) and reality, advaita has had to posit beginningless transcendental illusion or maya
] There is no logic in ignorance. But reality is more than human logic - it is paradoxical and surprising. Reality is constantly surprising us, destroying our poor concepts and crystallised views. Reality is teaching us constantly about humility.”
“In true non-duality the concept of non-duality is itself not non-dual! Who says: ‘non-duality’? Who is this me who says that there is only non-duality? Don’t you see that only due to duality, the concept and experience of non-duality can be possible? Duality represents ignorant separation, while non-duality the universal space of being. But when duality meets non-duality, the universal existence becomes consciously realised. This experience is beyond duality and beyond non-duality. We have named it the ‘dual-non-duality’ or ‘dvaita-advaita.’
True non-dualism, he says, is not just a vision, but a practice and a path. The great Hakuin, whom anadi speaks of respectfully, is an example of a sage who spent many, many years testing, refining, and confirming his own realisation, which confirmation is very important for everyone, but sorely lacking in many practitioners and teachers today, who believe that enlightenment is self-verifying, but which anadi says is a serious misconception. In Zen the greatest masters may have experienced eternally distinct stages of subjectivity, or Principles, but they did not speak of them, whereas Plotinus, PB, Aurobindo, and anadi have. PB enigmatically wrote, when speaking of a final stage of realisation:
"Only after he has worked his way through different degrees of comprehension of the world whose passing his own development requires, and even after he has penetrated the mystery beyond it, does he come to the unexpected insight and attitude which frees him from both. In other words he is neither in the Void, the One, or the Many yet nor is he not in them. Truth thus becomes a triple paradox!"
The sage Dattatreya, in his famous Avadhuta Gita, stated:
"Some seek non-duality, others duality. They do not know the Truth, which is the same at all times and everywhere, which is devoid of both duality and non-duality."
Better be safe and apply with Nagarjuna the four-fold dialectic, “it is, it isn’t, it’s neither, and it’s both.”
We can see, so far, how closely anadi's view parallels PB’s mature writings. To recap, for PB, as well as Plotinus, there are three, not one, eternal Principles. PB uses the terms Mind, World-Mind, and Overself, where Plotinus says the One, Intellectual Principle or Nous, and Soul. For PB, a sage is one who has achieved identity with his Overself. It is that Overself (infinite in its own right) that wins the ability to both be ‘in dialogue’ with the World-Mind, from which it emanates and which PB equates with ‘God’, and also know its essential being in Mind, or the Godhead’. The Overself [Anadi's soul or ‘pure me’], is, PB says, a man’s ‘personal god’, his beloved, that to which he at first
looks up to in reverance and longs to be united with. He further says:
"The Overself will overshadow him. It will take possession of his body. There will be a mystical union of its mind with his body. The ego will become entirely subordinate to it."
Sri Nisargadatta makes the related comment:
“When the mind has been put to rest and disturbs no longer the inner space (chidakash), the body acquires a new meaning and its transformation becomes both necessary and possible."
Ramana spoke of the ‘current of the heart, or ‘aham sphurana’ that drew one to the heart centre, or ‘I’-’I’ realisation of pure consciousness beyond thought:
“The ego is limited, separative and particular. ‘I’-‘I’ is limitless expanse of consciousness.”
Sastri asked how you feel this in the body. Ramana said: “the whole body becomes a mere power, a force current: Life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet and as you go deeper and deeper you become a mere centre and then not even that for you become mere consciousness.”
Retaining this consciousness whether thoughts appear or not is what PB calls realisation of the Overself; it is the state of sahaj. And it is more than a state of consciousness, but one of being also. The two, says anadi, may be experienced separately, but are in reality one, as also is the addition of the dimension of the heart, making enlightenment complete.
The awakening to the deep heart or Overself gives, peace, love, and happiness. But the Overself or soul, in turn, according to PB, can look ‘upwards’ to its source, the World-Mind and Mind. anadi expresses this in terms of three layers of the Heart:
“The divine dimension is the heart of all hearts. The soul is the essence of your individual identity and the purest reflection of God in you. Next is the surface of the heart where the soul becomes the personality. The soul is a child of the beloved and personality is the child of the soul.”
He explains further:
“Within our personal body there are two gateways through which we can meet the ultimate. One is the hara through which we realise the being aspect of God, which is the absolute. The other gateway is the heart centre through which we realise the heart of God, which is the divine. When Buddhism, for instance, speaks about emptiness, it points to an incomplete realisation of truth. It does not mean that Buddha Shakyamuni did not realise the divine dimension. It simply means that in the general energy of Buddhist teachings, the divine presence is not seen at all. A path like Buddhism which is concentrated on liberation from suffering is certainly not interested in exploring the vulnerable dimension of the heart. To avoid suffering the best way is to reach the absolute and to forget about the heart. Resting in the absolute state brings total disidentification from the time dimension. Realisation of the absolute state is the most clean way to get out of samsara.”
“The soul as such is vulnerable and cannot ever be completely free from suffering. The moment the soul incarnates, she agrees, on some level, to experience a certain amount of suffering as a part of her life’s experience. But even Buddhism saw the necessity of awakening to the heart. Their work with heart is present in an indirect way through the development of compassion, and loving-kindness. However, compassion will not be enough for the soul-realisation. Compassion is a feeling generated for other living beings where one does not actually acknowledge one’s own suffering. Compassion is a kind of luxurious emotion coming from the place of freedom. But to experience the soul is to experience compassion for oneself. And unless one acknowledge’s one’s suffering, sadness, longing and vulnerability, one cannot become compassionate towards this very me which is in the centre of all...For most people, it is through the experience of pain that the soul signals her existence. These personal feelings revolving around sufferings, longings, being wounded and searching for love, allow you to awaken your soul. Through them you come closer to the very subject of these feelings which is the pure me. Someone who has not suffered cannot discover the heart.”
The poet Goethe wrote:
“He who has not spent the midnight hours, weeping and waiting for the morrow, he knows Ye not, Ye Heavenly powers.”
“The danger however is that one can get stuck in this personal layer...For that reason, work with the heart has to go together with meditation. Unless there is a continuity of awareness and tranquility of being, one is unable to transcend the personal layers of the heart. When we are solidified in the I Am, we can in a mature way enter the internal reality of the heart...The work with the heart is quite complex. It is much more complex than work with awareness. Awareness is rather primitive compared to the heart. The heart is very rich and multidimensional...Work with the heart has to be done in meditation, in prayer and in everyday life. It is the intention which matters..Experience will bring all elements necessary, as it responds to the clarity and purity of your intention. It is ultimately a function of grace and grace only. The higher intelligence is required to support this process.”
[As Anthony Damiani once remarked, "at some point the 'King within', the power of grace, takes over, and you become intuitively aware of being guided and helped"].
“The process of discovering the soul is very interesting. It is very similar to awakening to the state of presence in terms of taking a step back towards the subject. But where is the ultimate subjectivity? Which subject is the true subject?: Awareness or the heart? Many traditions assume that pure awareness is the ultimate. They think that witness is the self. It is of course incorrect. We can call it confusion in self-identification. It is in the heart where we come closest to truth. It is in the heart where you meet the creator most directly. You cannot meet God through awareness. Pure awareness is just an outer aspect of God’s reality. It is in the heart which is the beginning and the end of everything. To experience the beloved in the heart is the most moving experience for a human being...”
Behind the personal feelings lies the pure me, or the soul, the bridge between the creation and the creator. Behind even this deep layer of the heart lies an infinite space of love, an ocean of divinity:
“For where does the soul dwell? She does not dwell in emptiness, neither does she abide nowhere. She abides within the sacred space of the divine - the other dimension. The other dimension is another name for the presence of the beloved, the domain of the creator...In this final experience of the heart, being and the heart merge into one. You become pulled into the final depth of the heart, where you end and the beloved begins. Here you become absorbed into the beloved...Because you are a dynamic being, even when you are energetically connected with the beloved, you can still relate to the beloved in a personal way. You are able with deep emotion, to encounter the sacred presence of the creator.”
PB held that from the position of a man's identity as soul, he could both know himself in Mind, and, as stated, ‘be in dialogue’ with the World-Mind. While PB spoke more in terms of consciousness only, the analogy is similar. He also wrote:
"Here in the ego we may perceive a reproduction of the sacred Overself under the limitations of time and space. Whoever grasps this great truth knows henceforth that this Overself is no more distant from him than his own heart and that what he calls "I" is inseparably united with what men call God."
To reiterate, once more anadi says:
“Consciousness is not the ultimate. The ultimate is the realm of beingness which is present prior to consciousness. Consciousness itself arises from beingness. Beingness represents pure Isness, the timeless source of creation. Beingness
[the absolute, not the aspect of being which is the energy centre of the I am that is the link between the individual and the absolute] is the uncreated energy, the source of all and the centre of gravity for total existence. In the state of presence, consciousness is liberated from unconsciousness, from all its lower forms and subdivisions. Next, through its own presence, consciousness is ready to surrender...into the dimension of beingness. At this point, consciousness and beingness meet. The primordial presence of the unborn and pure awareness create one field of I Am.”
“Apart from the awakening of awareness and being, we emphasize enlightenment to the heart. This realisation takes us beyond peace and beyond clarity into the experience of divinity. Divinity is not a state but a profound sensitivity, linking us with the dimension of love and beauty. This realm of ultimate sensitivity gives the highest meaning to creation. Therefore, it is the heart which is the final flowering of self-realisation...A being who is fully self-realised is one with pure consciousness; he or she rests absolutely within the uncreated, and is united with the divine, or the heart of the beloved.”
Sri Aurobindo writes along these lines:
““He will perceive the beauty of the All-beautiful and the miracle of the All-Wonderful; he will enter in the end into the bliss of the Brahman and live abidingly in it and for all this he will not need to shun existence or plunge into the annihilation of the spiritual Person in some self-extinguishing Nirvana. As in the Self, so in Nature, he can realise the Divine. The nature of the Divine is Light and Power and Bliss; he can feel the divine Light and Power above him and descending into him, filling every strand of his nature, every cell and atom of his being, flooding his soul and mind and life and body, surrounding him like an illimitable sea and filling the world, suffusing all his feeling and sense and experience, making all his life truly and utterly divine.”
Adyashanti has spoken of unity and the divine at times as well as non-duality. He put it this way:
“What bonds us is seeing the divine in and as everything and everyone. If we’re really spiritually awake, we see something extraordinary in and as each person, whether they know it or not. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the connection. That’s the unity.”
The important words here are, ‘”if we're really spiritually awake
," and, "something extraordinary in and as each person
." That is, realising divinity, for anadi, is more than just a heightened sensitivity or way of looking at things, although that is a good quality to have, but it is the fruit of a complete awakening to the I Am, and through that, to the soul, which can then recognize the beloved. Each ‘person’ is then seen as something ‘extraordinary’, as they are seen as arising in divinity Itself. This is a profound state, essentially transcendental and not psychological or empirical - while not excluding the psychological and empirical.
The Ramana Gita also says that the supreme reality may be referred to in personal terms:
“The one Supreme Reality is termed as ‘Shakti’ by some, as ‘Self’ by other
learned ones, and by yet others as a ‘Person.’ “
Also, in Sant Mat, the soul, upon reaching Sat Lok with the help of the Logos, the Word, Naam, Shabd, or Intelligent Life-Current, comes face to face with the Sat Purush, which is said to be “God seen as a Person”; Sat Purush then absorbs the soul into Itself and leads it to the unmanifest Godhead; yet strangely, the soul is returned to being soul, according to the divine will, and may even dwell in an eternal world of its own, Sach Khand, if it so chooses.
A few more important points, very important, illuminating, and discriminative points:
“The concept ‘I am That,’ even though inspiring is not fully correct. That which is always and has always been, is God, the universal I AM. In truth, it is not one reality to which we are awakening, but two. The first one is to our own existence which is the soul; and the second is the realm of beingness which is beyond us. We do not create who we are but we create the very awakening to who we are. Similarly, we in no way create the universal I AM but we ‘create’ the awakening to it. Is it clear? The ultimate reality exists beyond recognition. In order to be recognised, duality must arise.”
However, this duality is not the usual one we are taught as an illusion by non-dual teachings, that is, the duality or apparent separation of consciousness and the world, or self and others. The following point is extremely profound, the essence of the meaning of Dvaita Advaita:
“Perhaps one of the most misunderstood issues related to the nature of enlightenment is the issue of awareness. In truth, non-dual awareness can exist only in duality. When we speak about non-dual awareness, we mean the Primal Duality
[soul and the beloved, the I AM] , prior to the gross level of duality created by the mind.”
And what is the beloved, the creator? We are now getting closer to the very heart of the mystery:
“The beloved is a unity of the absolute and the divine. The absolute is the being
[of the beloved] and the divine is her heart. Universal intelligence is the wisdom of the creator; grace is her loving care. The soul is her child and the creation is her eternal dance and the mirror in which she can reflect her formless face.”
The ‘creator’, in anadi’s terms, is not the demiurge or even the Sat Purush. It is more of the nature of the World-Mind or Absolute Soul:
“The creator is the inner and the outer, the created and the uncreated, time and timelessness, evolution and the unchanging perfection. The creator is beyond consciousness but contains the totality of knowingness
[universal intelligence] . Her essence is love, light and mystery. She cannot be fully known but we can reach re-union with her everlasting presence, returning home...”
The creator is also ‘beyond emptiness’ :
“Emptiness is another name for the absolute, the uncreated energy. Certain mystics have realised that the original void or emptiness is the ultimate. This realisation is however not complete, as emptiness is not the whole of the ultimate. The secret within the absolute is the presence of the divine dimension. The divine is simply the heart of emptiness and, in truth, the very meaning of the absolute. The absolute represents the being aspect of the ultimate reality. The beloved is the unity of emptiness, love and inexplicable intelligence.”
As PB said, no man can know the whole of God, but he can know something godlike within him: his Overself or soul. Further, that soul can recognize the Principle(s) that are eternally generating it; in short, it can recognise the presence of God; it can also know something about the World-Idea, but not everything. For anadi, the awakened soul can know both its rest in the being aspect of the beyond, the absolute state, and simultaneously that it is in unity with the creator. This ‘knowing’, as it is beyond the mind, is really ‘not-knowing’, and therefore unlimited
. However, this ‘not-knowing’ of the mind is ‘knowing’ of the soul. However, no human being in his identity as the soul can know all of God; we only know as much as we need
There is one final mystery to be explored: the very mystery of the soul. We will do so in a little while.
Both PB and anadi say that practice is essential, and that simplistic proclamations of many newer advaitists to the contrary dilute and lessen the realities of the spiritual path. anadi says that true 'non-doing' is only possible from the side of the beyond, the timeless. Anything on this side is only an approximation. Some among this group are, in fact, coming to admit this. Nisargadatta himself combined a practical understanding along with
the idealistic non-dual vision. He agrees with anadi:
"You need both clarity and earnestness for self-knowledge. You need maturity of heart and mind, which comes through earnest application in daily life of whatever little you have understood. There is no such thing as compromise in Yoga."
Damiani is also in accord with these sages:
“It doesn’t take much perception to see that once one recognizes that the continuity of the ego is something that’s assured, in the sense that it will always go on, then you have to take a direct hand in guiding its growth and evolution - not only for its own purposes but for the purposes of all humanity...Isn’t that the Bodhisattva ideal? You’re offering to try to be of service. You realize the illusory nature of the ego. Now what would you do? Are you going to go around saying the ego doesn’t exist?...[No], you become dedicated to the Higher...to develop wisdom and compassion until all are enlightened...So that means that now you have to take a direct hand in guiding this karmic continuity.”
anadi strongly exhorts aspirants to take seriously the matter of their own evolution:
: Is enlightenment only a matter of destiny? Some advaita teachers deny that we can do anything about our awakening.
: They deny, for their vision is conditioned by certain ideals and a linear logic. You can do a lot to help the awakening process. What you can do is concentrate effort into inquiry, self-discipline and the intensity of your search; this has enormous value! Don’t wait for something to happen, for it will never happen. You will waste your life and your tremendous human potential. Be real and take the responsibility of awakening in your own hands. It is true that in some stages of self-realization, your will is not enough. For instance, the absolute state can be attained only through the power of transmission. But unless you take yourself to the very edge of your possibilities, no grace will ever enter. Grace is a response to the intensity of your dedication.
While inquiry may be of benefit in accessing the state of presence, or pure consciousness, only ‘surrender, surrender, surrender, surrender"’ helps in dropping into being, for this stage is not a process of transcending the mind but more of the nature of an energetic expansion. And only the willingness to experience pain, prayer, yearning, and grace will open the heart. Grace is also the only thing that can pull the unified 'I am' through the doorway, gate, dark hole, or zero-point, into the beyond, for this is beyond human effort. Thus the need for a realised master.
Adyashanti, like anadi and Nisargadatta, has spoken about a realization ‘beyond consciousness’, and also, as mentioned, that after awakening beyond the witness to the state of no-self or pure awareness, there is usually a progressive deepening of that initial realisation (which was most often a cognitive shift), from the level of the the head to the heart to the ‘gut,’ which is a real ordeal, a total transformation, in coming to true surrender or letting-go of self-control. Once again, he says that, in most cases, one first awakens ‘out of life’ (to the witness consciousness), and then one awakens ‘as
life’ (to the non-dual state); then, depending on ones prior conditioning, there is further embodiment which takes place, i.e., the heart is purified and opened, and any remaining egoic self-will or self-control is surrendered or released. PB made the same clear distinction between two awakening stages, first to the witness, then to pure consciousness. The realization of pure consciousness whether the world appears or not, to repeat, he calls sahaj or non-duality. This has historically also been the usual advaitic progression. First the world is negated as unreal. Then one realizes the inner self or Atman. Then one returns to the world and realises that it and Atman are one reality, consciousness. anadi would say that this is real, but not the ultimate, as consciousness is really of the created, not of the unmanifest.
anadi says that, while there are sequential variations from practitioner to practitioner, depending on their background or “blueprint”, the general awakening progression is from the head (‘awareness’, pure consciousness), to the hara (‘beingness’), to the heart (the crowning glory and primary doorway or gateway to the beloved). The reason for this progression is that, for instance, if one has not brought his mind to focus and crystalised his attention, allowing awakening to awareness, he will lack the stability to drop into and rest in being. In Gurdjieff’s terms, the man has yet to build a center or soul. Some may incarnate having already more or less previously awakened to presence and not have to spend much time in this preliminary stage of developing a subjective center of awareness, and go directly to letting go of this focus and resting in impersonal, centerless consciousness. For others to prematurely attempt to do so will tend to keep them in a state of sleep, so for them the cultivation of a state of vigilance is at first necessary. The appeal of non-dual teachings is primarily for those who have done such work already; for those who have not, such teachings may be detrimental to their soul’s development and spiritual progress.
This is an important point, for the spiritual states are subtle, and it is beneficial to have a teacher or master who can competently confirm the nature of one's experience. For instance, anadi mentions a student who wanted to go to an intensive Gurdjieff retreat in order to practice 'self-remembering,' while to anadi it was clear that this person was already energetically abiding in the state of presence, and such an exercise was unnecessary. This is another important point. While an initial awakening is important, most states require a process of cultivation, stabilisation, and then realisation. When fully realised the state will then usually maintain itself on an ‘energetic level’ without ones constant ‘vigilance or attentiveness. If this were not the case then one could never progress beyond awareness into the deeper dimensions of reality.
It should be noted that while he says that the energetic centre of being is at the hara, much like the heart its experience is really not locatable in the body:
"It is beyond the body. The experience of being is all over you, so to speak. It can't be located for it represents the absence of yourself. In being you dwell in the beyond."
[three] qualities of the I Am
[awareness, being, and the heart] are awakened and integrated, they become one. They create one energetic field of the inner state which is united with the other dimension. Here, I Am merges with the universal presence of God."
In this path nothing is denied or negated, except provisionally, such as in separating the observer from the mind and world of objects, only to reunite them at a later stage; all is accepted and known to be of one reality.
anadi makes the point that, contrary to tradition, the true, ancient advaita (epitomized by Sankara) was really a path of ‘transmission and grace.’ He says the ‘path of self-knowledge’ is actually Buddhism. Indeed, Sankara many times said that without grace one could not realize the truth. Not only that, but Sankara and also the famous Ashtavakra, were great saints and sages, adepts in yoga, and not just ‘talking school’ advaitists. And from time immemorial it has been said that the best way to get such grace is from the human embodiment of truth. Mooji, disciple of Poonjaji, said:
"Having a teacher is vital. It’s only arrogance to feel I don’t need one. Make use of one until you go beyond the need for help. A true teacher doesn’t want anything from you, even your devotion. They are just satisfied that you come with an authentic attitude or approach and are searching only for what is true. In that way, they have power and are fully available because there is sheer joy in imparting true guidance to an authentic seeker. It is a mistake a lot of people in the West make, because they have so many ill-conceived ideas about teachers and gurus. But it is often arrogance that is posing through such attitudes."
Currently, it is becoming politically incorrect to suggest that this is necessary. Many teachers also say there is nothing one can do except to simply ‘stop doing', ‘keep quiet’, or ‘feel the presence.’ This is an easy sell, but anadi, to the contrary, says that one must, in fact, work to achieve such ‘non-doing,’ which becomes the foundation from which more a complete realization and ‘effortless’ path becomes possible. This has been the position of PB, Damiani, Nisargadatta, and sages in every age. Without passion, self-effort, and intelligence, one may waste one’s life pursuing or hoping for a dream of enlightenment.
It will require of the reader a fair immersion in this man's teaching to get a grasp of what he is trying to convey. At first glance it appears very complex; the same has, no doubt, been said about the philosophy of PB, or various schools, such as Buddhism. Yet to this perplexity comes the following response:
“Our teaching is neither simple or complex. Most seekers refuse to use their minds. They are so tired of their minds, that spirituality is for them a hope to forget about thinking. But it doesn’t work like that. If you don’t use your mind, even your simplicity is false and ignorant. Of course, we don’t suggest to use spirituality as a means of bringing more and more information to the brain. That would be insane. And there are many pseudo-seekers who study books all their life without doing any actual meditation. We speak about balance. Be simple, but see also the complexity of your existence. Your existence and evolution are not only complex but paradoxical. See how rich your I Am is! See how difficult it is to align the purity of your inner state with the complexity and challenging nature of the external reality. See how difficult it is to be truly awakened and not only remain on the level of empty talks about simplicity or non-duality.”
“Ask yourself whether those who say that this teaching is too complicated, are they themselves simple?...You see, only a complex teaching can heal you from your own complexity. When the disease is serious, the treatment is usally very complex. Because our teaching is very complex, it can heal the complicated nature of ignorance. The truth is simple, but ignorance is very complicated! A spiritual teaching is more designed to treat ignorance than to reflect the simplicity of truth. That is important to understand. A simple teaching is false for it cannot grasp the fragmented and complicated nature of ignorance.”
He continues to make it clear that the use of the mind and intelligence [buddhi
] on the quest is essential:
"We encourage you to ask your questions, for it reflects the curiosity of the mind. Asking questions enlarges your capacity of intelligence for reaching new understanding. Through questioning, intelligence becomes able to grasp its own evolution in time. This intelligence belongs to the soul, that is, it serves something higher than itself. Understanding is the only bridge leading to completion. A new insight allows one to go beyond one's present perception of truth. It is as if through a quantum leap, one is moved to a qualitatively higher state of consciousness."
Anthony Damiani says that when a person is ripe and begins to question he begins to come under the guidance of a higher power that directs him to find the answers he needs in order to go further:
"When you're working out the meaning of the doctrine in all its implications, and you're trying to make it explicit, you'll find that you can't do it under your own power. It's only when the higher power within you, the Overself, starts taking a hand in the game, that you start finding the material you need to answer certain questions, and you find other material to provoke you into asking certain questions, and so this mysterious process keeps going on. When a person is under the surveillance by the higher power, you can almost say the Logos is working its meaning out in that person, and the person will become conscious of that. Everything else is secondary. That's the process that happens...But the interesting thing is that the World-Idea is working itself out and becoming self-conscious in you. That's the amazing thing."
This is in complete accord with what PB so laboriously wrote volume after volume about, well ahead of his time.
anadi continues, shifting the emphasis onto Grace:
“You must understand that the main source of awakening always has been and will be grace, the divine intervention. This grace needs often the medium of the master. In advaita, it was not ‘self-knowledge’ which produced so many enlightened beings, but the transmission from master to a disciple. Self-knowledge is only a part of this process, for enlightenment points to something deeper than any type of knowledge. Enlightenment points to the actual change of dimension, to the dimensional shift. No knowledge or inquiry can bring you there. But grace can.”
Adyashanti, I think, would agree. He said:
“All inquiry is meant for one purpose: to take you experientially into the Unknown as efficiently as possible. Once you get there, simply be still because the inquiry has delivered you to its destination. The rest is up to Grace.”
On his website anadi clarifies exactly what grace is:
"Grace is the natural response of existence to you falling in love with your true self. Otherwise grace does not see you, it is as if you don’t exist. If you want to exist, surrender to your own soul, to the light of your true self. This is how you come into existence, and suddenly you become visible to the divine. It is not sentimental - it is real."
What a beautiful statement: become visible to the divine. Is this what St. Paul meant when he said, “then shall I know even as I am known”
One of anadi’s most insightful proposals is the need for a teaching suitable not only for the seeker but also for the realizer
. He writes:
“So far there hasn’t yet been any elaborate teaching created for those who have reached enlightenment. Why is there a need for such a teaching? Such a teaching is necessary to deepen understanding of those who are self-realised; they are most often conditioned by their particular traditions.
[that is, because of such conditioning they will not have a clear understanding of their own experience, and experience is meaningless without understanding] Also, in most cases, self-realisation is not complete yet. For example, the absolute is missing, or the heart. There are also enlightened masters who are far away from their souls.”
To illustrate the difficulty we are facing in distinguishing states, what Ramana referred to as the 'I'-'I' in the heart is, in anadi’s terminology, the awakening to the state of presence, or pure consciousness without reference to an object: the pure I, atman, witness, etc.. Maintaining this realisation in the full external waking state, which Ramana seemed to have achieved by the age of thirty-two
, is the state of sahaj. anadi declines to call this non-dual, however, because in his view, being the state of consciousness, it is still not the unmanifest but is of the creation, where duality prevails. This, again, is such an important but subtle point, that the reader must study his entire work to understand it fully. Non-dual consciousness is still in the realm of duality, of the created dimension!
PB in his Notebooks made the comment that he didn't say that sahaj was the highest state possible, but only that it was the highest state possible for man. However, the astute reader of his Category on "The Alone" will notice that he seemed to be almost struggling to hint at something higher. My feeling is that if PB were alive today he might write a book called "The Hidden Teaching Beyond the Hidden Teaching
." Shree Atmananda also hinted at such a state, but like Maharaj, didn't make explicit how one could attain it, and most of the time argued for the primacy of consciousness. Atmananda's student, Jean Klein, suggests the following:
"The timeless nonstate cannot be achieved because the mind cannot evolve towards it. The mind can only bring you to the threshold. Awakening comes unexpectedly when you do not wait for it, when you live in not-knowing. Only then are you available."
We here ask the question, "available for what?" The answer can only be grace. And, "awakening to what?" - consciousness, or the state ‘beyond consciousness’ ? It is not clear. And it has been argued that grace is needed for both. Further, what practises may help one, amidst the vicissitudes of life, to become stabilised in the state of not-knowing, which is
essentially the state of presence-awareness or consciousness - from which one can sink into the absolute? That, too, is left unanswered. The assumption is that one must simply be ready.
PB spoke similarly about the limits of the mind, although in his written work he offered a host of things one could do for oneself while ‘becoming ready’ or preparing to be accepted by grace:
"Thinking cannot get rid of thinking, but it can go to the limit of thinking. Seeking cannot get rid of seeking, but it can go to the end of seeking. If seeking is not denied or frustrated, if it is allowed to run its full course, it will come to its natural limit. However, it is Consciousness that dissolves the seeking thought, just as water dissolves the sugar cube. Seeking should be allowed to run its course for it is in the dissolution of thinking, not in the frustration of thinking, that Consciousness is revealed, that Consciousness tastes itself. Seeking never finds what it is looking for. It is dissolved in it. From the mind’s point of view, it is the end of seeking, rather than its fulfilment, that brings about the revelation of Presence. From the point of view of Reality, it is the experience of Consciousness recognising itself, that brings about the end of seeking."
Here once more we see the implication that surrendering or exhausting the mind is the proximate cause of awakening to consciousness. Yet while it may be the end of seeking for the ego, it might also be seen as the beginning of the path for the soul. For PB, like anadi, the displacing element for the ego is the soul, or Overself, not the ultimate, as many non-dual teachers maintain.
anadi definitely affirms that man can achieve more than awakening to ‘consciousness’, through grace and guidance from the beyond. In fact, he says that from the place of self-realisation, or God-realisation, the real evolution begins:
“The evolution of consciousness is just a beginning of the journey into the supreme awakening. When the light of awareness is established
[the first enlightenment], we are free from our negative absence in unconsciousness. But what can we do with this freedom? We surrender it to the absolute through our being
[the second enlightenment] , and to the divine through our heart [the third enlightenment]. Here, we begin the process of merging with the beloved. There is no end to this love affair with God. And, dear friend, it is far beyond the human effort of being conscious.”
“The state beyond enlightenment can be viewed from several different angles. For example, awakening to the heart and transcending the absolute state is one way to go beyond enlightenment. Another way is to drop the concept of being a buddha, to drop the need to translate one’s state as anything. The next way is to return to the world and to the reality of being human. That’s why we speak of the human buddha.
[Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche, whom anadi respected, said, “everyone wants to be a Buddha, but no one wants to be a sentient being.” ] The next meaning of going beyond enlightenment refers to the continuation of one’s evolution into the mystery. There are further enlightenments which are beyond the traditional models. One can expand infinitely into the dimension of love and intelligence. But how far one wishes to expand, relates to one’s unique blueprint and evolution. That is the other meaning of going beyond enlightenment. There are many secrets, many mysteries and many ways of encountering Infinity which are beyond the totality of human knowledge.”
PB is in agreement with anadi, when stating that no man can know the whole of God, or the Unknowable Godhead; the most he could know about the latter was that It Is:
“When the last words have been uttered, the final sentences written down; when the sermons, books, and articles have exhausted all that human intellect and human intuition can explain, suggest, or hint; when the profoundest mystical experience has yielded all that it could reveal, there will still remain an awed feeling before the Grand Mystery that is God, a tremendous humility before Its unknowableness.”
"Where is the man who has ever known the unknowable and indescribable Supreme Godhead? For all men came into existence after it already was there. But whoever receives knowledge by tradition, investigation, or intuition, by meditation, revelation, or even by science leading into metaphysics, by art or poetry or literature, may acquire the tremendous certitude that it is there. More - it must always have been there."
Both of these men differ with traditional advaita which most definitely says that man can know ultimate reality, Atman or Brahman, which are said to be identical. Swami Nikhilinanda, in his translation of the Mandukya Upanishad, argues that man, given the right equipment, can certainly know and realize the Truth. anadi says that this truth is not that Atman and Brahman are one (consciousness), and that one is THAT, but, rather, that one is Soul, in unity with God. Soul is transcendental, beyond all duality of self-referrence, and, furthermore, is not just consciousness. More will be said on this in subsequent essays in this series.
Another issue worth mentioning is the ‘secret teaching’ that Papaji spoke of that none of his disciples were worthy of receiving. anadi comments on the significance of this statement:
“What Poonjaji meant by ‘secret teaching’ was simply the absolute state...The process of reaching the absolute state has not been described for the public..Because the absolute state has always been a secret, transmitted directly from a master to a disciple, the official teachings do not differentiate between the realisation of pure consciousness and the realisation of the absolute...He (Poonjaji) was only teaching about the state of presence with some elements of the heart. In our teaching, the information about the state beyond consciousness is available but, still, it is a ‘secret’ unless you realise the absolute, isn’t it?...And if you think that is the end of secrets, you are very mistaken. There is no end to the relevation coming from the dimension of understanding...There is simply no end to new discoveries. It is like the horizon - you can never attain it. Similarly, you can never reach the end of the mystery. But what you can reach is your completion. And..this completion is your ultimate secret.”
The concept of ‘completion’ is an important part of anadi’s teachings on the soul. It essentially means the fulfillment of the soul’s ‘blueprint,’ which is its evolutionary destiny for this lifetime, and all lifetimes, prior to the end of the human
phase of its evolution. More will be said on this in succeeding essays.
Many great ones have sung the praise of the company of a true guru in understanding that which the books cannot convey in full:
“Do you think the scriptures contain all the secrets of spiritual practice? These are handed down secretly through a succession of Gurus and disciples.” - Swami Vivekananda
“It is next to impossible to ascertain the Truth without the guidance of a teacher. This is the ancient tradition of the east and it will have to become the modern tradition of the west. There is no escape. The explanation of this statement lies in the subtle nature of the truth." - Paul Brunton
“The shaikhs of the Path have declared the following about the necessity of having a master, “He who has no spiritual master has no religion.” - Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
“O Friend! sit near one who knows the condition of thy heart. Rest a while under the shade of a tree that is laden with fresh and fragrant flowers. Loiter not in the market place from shop to shop, as idlers do. Go straight to one who has a store of honey with him.” - Maulana Rumi
“Devotion to God keeps one entangled in this life - just consider gravely. But devotion to the Master carries one back to God.” - Kabir
The problem with any teaching is that we can come to a point where we can't see things any other way. This can lead to stagnation:
"The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it."
- George Bernard Shaw
Yet more and more teachings are appearing that reflect that truth is more mysterious and complex than our finest philosophy.
Traditionally, for instance, according to Mahayana Buddhism, the glimpse of emptiness is the first of ten stages to full enlightenment. It is recognised that the underlying nature of all these steps or stages is
effortless, non-conceptual awareness. That is the precondition for progress. It is progress of the soul, not the ego. Furthermore, it is taught in the Mahayana tradition that fixating on non-conceptual awareness may grant one rebirth in one of the formless realms, which themselves are still within conditional existence. [The full understanding of ‘emptiness’ is beyond the scope of this article; suffice to say, that Nagarjuna’s commentator, Chandrakirti, said that those who considered ‘emptiness’ as a state were “philosophically doomed and destined to land in a self-condemned void!”
For more on this see ”Emptiness Is Empty”
on this website]. This is what anadi and Nisargadatta have said about consciousness or awareness: by itself it is still in the realm of the created, not the uncreated. So among the newer teachers of non-dual consciousness, it appears, there may be legitimate, but partial understanding.
There is also a difference between states of emptiness, or awareness as reflected within the psychosomatic organism, and the great emptiness of the absolute, the beyond, which is much deeper. There is a profound distinction between the void nature of the soul and the void of the absolute. The Tibetans speak of a meeting of the true ‘nature of the mind’ with the ‘Ground Luminosity’ shortly after death, in which one has a first opportunity for liberation before sojourning through the bardos and eventual rebirth. Great sages who have awakened to the subjective nature of the mind, such as Ramana Maharshi, Bankei, and Milarepa, didn't then spend years in meditation, contemplation, and in some cases the company of other sages deepening, completing, and confirming their enlightenment for nothing. It is not the labor of a few weeks. Nor is it a mere cognitive shift in identity, however attractive that argument may seem. It is also more than just ‘psychological freedom,’ which some new teachers have held forth as the truth. There is much more, and there are many elements necessary, including, not only understanding, but profound surrender and an energetic shift or transformation, requiring the help of grace.
Anthony Damiani went into this problem at length in his book, Looking Into Mind
. Speaking of the sage who, having achieved stablization in identity with his divine Soul, whose nature is ’pure awareness,’ ‘absolute silence,’ beyond ‘space-time,’ and ‘beyond thought’
- all the qualities the non-dual teachers say is the (easily realised) nature of absolute reality - can then get the experience of the higher Principles that ‘eternally generate’ (or, in anadi’s terms, ‘create’) the soul. These would be the Absolute Soul, the Intellectual Principle, and the One, in Plotinus’ terms. Anthony himself said that he always preferred to use the word ‘Intelligence’ instead of ‘consciousness,’ as that has a somewhat broader scope. He also admits that the buddhists and advaitins will say, “of course, you are only making conceptual distinctions.” But Anthony says, no, that these three degrees of penetration into absolute reality have been mentioned, albeit obliquely, in various traditions, but that, outside of Plotinus and a few sages, “there are no texts on these things.’”
In Zen, where the emphasis has been on direct experience, this ‘hidden’ teaching is even more obscure. Perhaps only a few of the greatest of Zen masters realized the absolute depths of the void-mind. Well, there are texts available now. Anthony, Plotinus, and anadi speak of further realisations. Even the gnostic school of Sant Mat posits three stages beyond realisation of the soul. Anthony states:
“When one is in that position, that union with the soul, then he can receive the aura which is emanating from the World-Mind. And he knows - that is his soul knows - that that principle is. If we say that the experience of the Intellectual Principle can’t exist, then the most that we could know is the existence of our soul as the absolute individual; and we could never know what Plotinus refers to as the three Primal Hypostases, or even what PB refers to as the World-Mind. You couldn’t know it. But because the very nature of the soul is similar to the Intellectual Principle, it can receive the aura
[the use of the word “aura” should not be confused with anything of a sensible or psychic nature; Anadi refers to this as the “flavour” of the Divine] which is emanating from the Intellectual Principle. And in that emanation the soul receives the fact or the revelation that God is, the existence of God.”
“Now, this may not sound important; but when you understand the teachings in some depth, and you realise that the most we could know is our own soul, then you begin to realise something utterly astounding: the individual soul as absolute can actually be receptive to the emanation or the aura of the Intellectual Principle and that individual soul, that sage, can even be directed by the Intellectual Principle. But its direction wouldn’t be like any kind of message or anything of that nature. When a person, for instance, is on the path of mysticism and he’s developing his interior life, there comes a time when he starts hearing what they call the Interior Word. Your soul actually talks to you, gives you advice, tells you what to do. It may be difficult to believe this, but it’s an exquisite experience when anyone comes into contact with it. There you’re actually guided and told what to do, and your development takes place that way. But when we speak about the silent utterance of the Intellectual Principle, you don’t even have that kind of guidance. It’s absolute silence. The perception of the Void, that Intellectual Principle coming into your soul, is utter silence. It’s so silent that it’s deafening.”
Then he goes on to attempt to clarify confusion about the ‘no-mind’ or ‘void’ experenced in various Buddhist schools, particularly Zen:
: In the Buddhist meditational approach, can you directly pursue the Void Mind?
: No, you must go through the soul.
Paul: In many of the actual methods in the Zen tradition or Chinese tradition you don’t find them speaking about the soul.
: They speak about it as mind. They speak about the direct transmission of the doctrine of No-Mind, and things like that. When Hui-Neng, for instance, speaks about “from the first not a thing is,” he’s speaking about the principle of..his individual mind. That’s where he’s coming from then. He’s not coming from the Intellectual Principle, the principle of Emptiness. This is the position that all you could know is your own mind and that if you could experience it in its profoundest level it would be void.
: But the tradition of the void or emptiness is the core of the Buddhist tradition, the void mind.
: Yes. But what mind are they talking about? That’s the question I’m asking. Are they talking about the Intellectual Principle or are they talking about the individual mind? Now, it will vary according to the texts you read. Among individual Zen teachers, some have been quite mistaken, and others have been quite accurate. So I have to know which ones you are referring to. I went through that difficulty quite a few times and I got very confused, because these distinctions do not exist in a great deal of their literature. Nonetheless, I’m quite sure that the great Buddhists have had authentic experiences. Hui-Neng and Bodhidharma knew what they were talking about, it’s just that they haven’t left it behind in written works. It wasn’t that I found that they were useless. I found that what I wanted to know wasn’t in there.”
“The individual Overself is similar but not identical in essence with the Universal Overself. PB makes this point quite often: there is a difference between every individual Overself and the source from which it comes. The individual Overselves that emanate from the Universal Overself are somewhat less in essence than the universal. But the important thing is this, that the only way that you can receive or perceive the Void is to become that pure awareness that your Overself is, because it’s that pure awareness of what your Overself is which is receptive to the Universal Overself
[imbedded in the Intellectual Principle and the One].” (67)
This confusion is illustrated by contemporary teachings of non-duality, where it is maintained that there is either the ego or the absolute, self-consciousness or pure awareness, and no recognition of the soul as the impersonal but individual essence in which phenomenal experience arises. It is assumed that being impersonal implies the one, God, the universal I AM as the subject of phenomenal perceptions. The teaching of Jean Klein and his student Francis Lucille represent one example among many on this position. Lucille states:
"Enlightenment is the sudden recognition that non-duality is, has always been, and will always be the reality of our experience. Duality is an illusion. Consciousness is not private and personal, but impersonal, universal, and eternal. There is no limited personal entity, no conscious ego. The ego is a perceived object, not the all perceiving awareness."
While it is true that there is no limited, personal entity or conscious ego, it is an assumption
that the 'all-perceiving awareness', which is impersonal from the point of view of the ego and that perceives the ego and its experiences, is the universal ultimate subjectivity or I AM, and not the soul. Colin Drake draws the same conclusion:
"The body is experienced as a flow of sensations,
The mind as a flow of images and thought.
What is it, then, that notices these presentations?
The constant subject that need never be sought."
The point remains, precisely what is this constant subject? The non-dual teachers assume it is the ultimate, but anadi, PB, and Damiani distinguish between the impersonal subjectivity of the soul and the universal
impersonal subjectivity of God or the I AM. anadi, similar to Damiani, adds that there is the 'no-mind' (or non-conceptual nature) of the soul, and the 'No-Mind of the I AM':
"Many seekers are conditioned by the impersonal vision of no-mind, which while not incorrect, is incomplete. For them, it is an unexpected revelation to realize that the state of no-mind is none other than being oneself...Still, we must not limit our experience of no-mind to one of individual subjectivity; personal no-mind must be founded upon universal no-mind. Our pure subjectivity must be actualized in its primordial unity with the impersonal subjectivity of the supreme reality."
"Ironically, the depth of the non-conceptual state is directly tied to the profundity of the previously gained conceptual insight. Intelligence does not become absent in the state of no-mind, but expands, penetrating the dimension beyond thinking with transparent knowing, and flooding it with the light of consciousness and truth. Only after the state of no-mind has been realized and fully comprehended can we move beyond understanding to embody supreme no-mind as the intelligence of the original void."
The very discerning reader may find subtle differences between the teachings of PB, Plotinus and Damiani, with those of anadi, but the similarities are quite strong, and clarifying: namely, that the displacing element for the ego is not the one self, but the soul, that there is an essential need for both practise and grace, that there are different states beyond the mind, that there is both soul-realisation and God-realisation, and that the entire affair is not just a quick matter of ‘getting it,’ as so many teachers today maintain. (68a)
Because anadi's teaching, as he says, is complex, as contrasted with complicated, a certain repetition is in order. First, most non-dual teachers teach that consciousness is the ultimate reality. anadi says that is not true, and cites Nisargadatta as an example. He says that:
“Realisation of the absolute takes place through the being quality of I Am. In Zen there is an expression, ‘the bottom of the bucket falls out,’ referring to the shift beyond consciousness. The ‘bucket’ represents I Am experienced only within the individual energy system. Through the shift to the absolute, the soul becomes one with the unmanifested. That was the reason Buddha Shakyamuni negated the Hindu concept that Brahman is the ultimate. In his understanding, Brahman was the equivalent to pure consciousness. He discovered that consciousness itself still belongs to the created reality.”
Many newly awakened individuals and teachers speak using this metaphor of 'the bottom falling out of the bucket', or 'the penny dropping', as something that has occured in their case, often but not always without much effort or struggle. Usually they mean they awakened to a state of impersonal consciousness, or non-identification with ego-personality, not the absolute as pointed to by Nisargadatta, or the Great Satori realisations spoken of by the highest of Zen Masters. There is nothing wrong with this, as the metaphor is useful in each case of awakening. But there is often a lack of clarity in the understanding of the state one has reached. anadi further claims:
“The absolute state can be seen as the final enlightenment but this view is incorrect. Evolution still continues and can give rise to the next awakening, enlightenment to the heart. It is not true that enlightenment, as such, must include the heart. One may be in the absolute state but have the heart closed. The heart brings into the inner state a profound sensitivity, the flavour of divinity. The heart is the middle point, the balance between the absolute and creation, that is, between the unmanifested and the manifested...When the heart is awakened, energy moves from absorption in the void to this very precise equilibrium in-between the inner and outer. Here, there is neither in nor out, in the experience of true oneness. At this point, the absolute and the divine become one - being and the heart create one field of experience. The next enlightenment takes us to the realisation of the very experiencer of all, which is the soul.”
From this lofty point, the real, never-ending divine adventure begins
, as the divine soul, resting in the absolute, comes ‘face to face’ with its creator, and begins to unite with it. Paradoxically, there is ‘not-two’, ‘no separation’, ‘non-duality’ on the plane of consciousness, but within the fabric of reality there is also a paradoxical merging of the soul within the creator as well as the soul knowing Itself as a child of the creator; thus, a Primal Duality within Unity. This is unlike advaita and much more akin to the Sufi position, which anadi says is closer to the nature of truth.
Not to mislead the reader, neither anadi nor this writer mean to belittle the awakening to the state of presence, or those who teach it:
“Even awakening and stabilisation in the state of presence is a very hard task and for most it takes the whole lifetime. That’s why reaching final enlightenment is quite a rare phenomenon.”
“The state of presence from one perspective is freedom from the mind, which you can translate as happiness. From another prespective, for the soul who wishes to go deeper into the nature of reality, it may still be a limitation. This is because one continues to remain separated from the unmanifested and lacks unity with the divine.”
“The absolute state is too extreme for most souls and in some cases can close the heart, if it brings too much disidentification. To become one with the void is like dying. To transcend through the ‘black hole’ within the hara and merge with the uncreated is truly a desire of very few souls. These souls are rather extreme in their evolution. We must remember that reaching a certain enlightenment does not always bring complete happiness...The awakening to the I Am does not merely take you away from the adventure of life, it allows you to see clearly what it is that you want...Enlightenment does not merely refer to one type of realisation and it is not the only target in our evolution. Final enlightenment is a destiny of very few souls and they have to pay their own price. There is a certain justice here, in terms of distributing different kinds of happiness to different souls. A soul who reaches final enlightenment has to suffer many lifetimes; such a soul has to be isolated, completely concentrated inward. Such a soul has to often renounce human love and many other natural human needs. Such a soul has to live in an extreme way. It is a high price - even though ultimately it is a bargain.”
The reader of I AM THAT may remember that this is why Sri Nisargadatta stressed the need for real practise:
[death]. It is also all-pervading, all-conquering, intense beyond words. No ordinary brain can stand it without being shattered, hence the absolute need for sadhana, Purity of body and clarity of mind, non-violence and selflessness in life are essential for survival as an inelligent and spiritual entity."
We said that there was one more mystery to unfold, that of the soul. anadi says that it is in some ways even more of a mystery than that of the I AM or creator. He states:
“What’s the difference between soul-realisation and self-realisation? First, self-realisation and God-realisation are the same. In fact, the term ‘God-realisation ‘ is more precise because the word ‘Self’ is rather one-dimensional. The reality of God is far beyond that which we could experience as ‘our true self.’ You cannot have clarity in this matter unless you understand the fundamental difference between the realisation of your soul and the universal presence. We spoke about the light of the sun reflected in a dewdrop...The light inside the dewdrop, is the light of the soul. The light inside the dewdrop belongs to the sun. The light of the soul is borrowed from God. The soul cannot exist without the source of the light, which is the beloved...When this light inside of the dewdrop becomes consciously aware of itself, we speak about soul-realisation. And what is God-realisation? It is the moment when the reflection, inside of the dewdrop, becomes aware of the sun! When the light inside of the dewdrop recgonises its own source. Here, at this stage of realisation, a famous exclamation is born: ‘I am THAT.’ That is to say, I am the sun for I am made from the light of the sun. But, as we know, this statement is not fully correct. More appropriate to say: the sun is me, THAT is me...There is a big difference between saying ‘I am you’ and ‘You are me.’ In the first sentence, the relative subject says that it is itself the absolute subject. In the second sentence, the relative subject admits that the absolute subject is its very light and existence.”
We can now see how PB could speak of the absolute subject as reality, but also say that for us there is a God to whom we look up to with devotion:
“For us who are philosophically minded, the World-Mind
[i.e., Absolute Mind in its active aspect] truly exists. For us it is God, and for us there is a relationship with it - the relationship of devotion and aspiration, of communion and meditation. All the talk about non-duality may go on, but in the end the talkers must humble themselves before the infinite Being until they are as nothing and until they are lost in the stillness - Its stillness.”
“But there is something more here. Who was that one who was allowed to enter the gate? If you can intuitively grasp it, you will understand the paradoxical truth beyond duality and beyond non-duality - the dual-non-duality. Yes, it is me. What is God-realisation without soul-realisation? The light inside of the dewdrop has become aware of the sun but is not conscious of itself, it has not realised the existence inside of the dewdrop. You see, the important issue to understand is - from which place does God realise herself? What is this place from which God becomes conscious of her existence as God? Isn’t it from within the soul’s heart? To realise the soul is to realise that very vehicle through which the beloved becomes conscious of her divine presence...When the soul is realised and God is realised, the beloved recognises herself and this very me from the heart of which she has recognised herself. Here, all polarities and aspects of God-realisation are included and embraced within the total knowingness of I AM.”
“In Sufism, there is the concept of getting drunk with the divine. A beautiful concept, but many take it literally, which can be very misleading. If you want to lose yourself in God, prior to becoming fully conscious, you simply become more unconscious than you were before..On the path of self-realisation, the stage of being drunk with the divine takes place at the end only, when one is already energetically one with God..To be drunk with the divine is not to be in a trance state; neither is it to be in the state of pure consciousness...to be drunk with the divine is beyond consciousness and unconsciousness. Neither is it the absolute state, because it refers rather to the quality of the mind of the soul who abides in the ultimate. It is the mind which gives itself up becoming more like a child, returning to its original purity, innocence and humility. Here, one doesn’t want to know anything, one drops even the concept of being enlightened, even the concept of being the soul. Here, one is truly in love with the beloved. One is drunk with the beloved, yet deeply calm, tranquil, silent, sensitive, ordinary, humble, alone, empty of all concepts...being one with this eternal, ancient yearning which itself is the very meeting with the mystery...You are inside the ocean of the divine. Just make yourself at home! The reason that you are not seeing God is not her absence, but your absence! You are not yet present to your soul’s existence.”
Maulana Rumi says:
"Dear heart, where do you find the courage to seek the Beloved when you know He has annihilated so many like you before? I do not care, said my heart, my only wish is to become one with the Beloved."
anadi stresses again and again the importance of not mistaking our real identity:
"The traditional aim of self-inquiry is not to awaken the soul, but to realize her absence, either through identification with the all-pervasive self-of-all or the negation of the personal self. As we attempt to transcend our personality through self-inquiry we should take care not to negate our soul as well. Our aspiration to merge with totality should not lead us into self-denial. If our self-inquiry results in identification with the universal self, we suffer a case of mistaken identity, having confused our relative subject with the absolute subjectivity."
"The soul is not the universal self, and never will be. Her very creation implies a level of individuation. In the realization of the self we reach unity with the supreme reality; we do not become that reality. The state of unity is a plane rich in diversity that contains infinite individual angles of perception, all existing within the universal whole."
In summary, the soul is subjectivity, impersonal from the point of view of the ego, but individual from the point of view of the universal impersonal subjectivity or I AM:
"The purpose of evolution is the transmutation of our personal individuality into the impersonal distinctness of the soul's unique existence within the undivided whole." (77)
anadi wrote that he was awakened to presence as a five year-old, and an inner impulse to go beyond his present state time and again drove him to continue his search for further awakening as well as confirmation of his own state. As a young man he became the Polish national chess champion, which led him to travel which brought some balance into his mystical life. He said that his heart was sensitive and longed for human contact but his soul from past life tendencies was so introverted that it made making contact very difficult, a difficulty that lasted a long time. At age 21 he was forced into the Polish army, where he became so distraught at the impersonal, heartless environment he was captive to that he attempted suicide by swallowing a huge amount of pills - enough he says to kill an elephant - but was unsuccessful, and accepted that such was his fate. After leaving the army he spent time in nature in deep contemplation and wrote a first book called, "The Name of God." At this point he began a serious spiritual search. As most books were not translated into Polish he taught himself English and read everything he could find on Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, as well as Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, and other teachers. He confesses that many incarnations as a Buddhist led him to seek to remain in the unborn, but this had imprinted in him - not on the conscious but on the energy level - a negative perception of creation. He makes the remarkable confession that even the absolute state, as pointed to but not fully elaborated by Sri Nisargadatta, was not able to give him real happiness. This is a shocking statement, the ultimate counter-intuitive message. It was at that point in his evolving spiritual journey that ‘guidance’ led him to realize the dimension of the heart, the third aspect of enlightenment, after awareness and being. In his current lifetime, he confesses, guidance not only led him to the absolute but then further ‘cleansed his subconscious’ so that he could have the awakening of the heart and see ‘this reality as a beautiful expression of the creator.’
He gives some sound advice about trying to model one's path after a traditional ideal:
“Shakyamuni Buddha 'renounced' most of his worldly desires, for he didn't have them! His particular soul was already fulfilled as far as his human nature is concerned. He brought this emotional completion from past lives. All he needed to do was to reach the beyond, to merge with the unborn...But his life cannot become a model for everyone. It was appropriate for his particular soul and blueprint. If you, for instance try to fit this model, you will hurt your soul and cripple yourself. If you follow the Theravada philosophy and attempt to eliminate all your desires, exercising detachment, you will go against your soul. You will block the positive expansion in your evolution. You need to have many experiences and desires. They help you. Your desires are your friends! How otherwise could you possibly grow? Having no desires has nothing to do with being a buddha. A person who has no desires is dead!"
[this is even radically different from Nisargadatta, who advocated, in the traditional manner, being desireless and not needing any more experience; thus, while being almost alone among his contemporaries in teaching of an absolute ‘beyond consciousness,’ his general teaching style still may be seen as reflecting a Hindu life-and-body-negative disposition].
"As one grows older and their emotional desires become fulfilled, one let's go more into the inner dimension. It is also a question of age and having many life experiences. But here, the letting go is not coming from detachment. Detachment is from the mind - it is the mind's attitude. An awakened being who becomes absorbed in the beyond is not detached at all. Such a being is beyond attachment and detachment, beyond identification and disidentification. He or she simply does not care anymore. That is a natural transcendance. To go beyond buddhahood is to drop the very concept of liberation; it is to become simple and truly ordinary. The final step beyond buddhahood is the awakening of the soul where the buddha again becomes the child of the divine. No longer is he or she merely a liberated being but an innocent child of existence - like a mystic in a state of wonder, in a state of prayer. An awakened being stands with open hands in front of the eternal garden of the beloved - the mystery.”
"Who is the lover and who is the beloved? The deeper you go into your heart, the less you understand! Let yourself become completely confused, lost in the ocean of the heart, no longer knowing...who is the lover and who is the beloved."
"It is not just awakening alone which matters but the depth of sensitivity coming from Intelligence and the heart, and this is lacking the most."
"At a certain stage of development, it is more important to work hard at self-improvement and to detect hidden weaknesses and remedy them than to attempt anything else.”
This is such an important point
that we direct the reader back to anadi's comment in note # 59 where he essentually stated that, when all is said and done, grace is the primary mover in all awakenings. Many seekers are supported from the esoteric dimensions [i.e., through past orpresent association with a master, for instance], and as long as they are truly sincere, even if they do the practice ‘wrong,’ they will still be pulled to the other shore
. It is difficult - what to speak of inappropriate - for an outsider to discern what ones evolutionary purpose in this life is. Moreover, the sequence of awakenings themselves may vary, depending on ones past state of development. A person very stabilised in the state of presence, for instance, may be more advanced (that is, demonstrate more spiritual growth, maturity, and intelligence), than someone who has experienced the absolute state. This is because man, and enlightenment, is a mutidimensional reality. Also, the soul's 'blueprint’ (or destiny for fulfillment) in each incarnation is unique, and something for an individual to discover for him or her self.
In his newest work, book of enlightenment
, anadi says that, while it is very necessary for the stages of enlightenment to be precisely outlined, and then understand, the most important thing is not what state one has experienced, but ‘who’ is experiencing it
. That is, the ‘whole person’ in all its dimensions is the primary factor. For after all the enlightening is done, the complete person must be matured and integrated with the inner state, in order for the soul to finally transcend this dimension in a positive and non-dissociative manner, and move on to further, endless, evolution, from within the universal life itself.
Enlightenment is not a contest to see who is more advanced. Everything is real and necessary in its time and place. It is a mysterious, non-linear, and to some extent unpredictable process.
Sant Kirpal Singh said:
"It is not the inner experience which determines the spiritual progress, but the basic personal attitude of serene living of the child disciple, which proves his or her worth."
Paul Brunton also writes:
"If a man claims to have attained the fullness of his higher being, we may test his claim by the moral fruits he shows. For he ought constantly to exercise the qualities of compassion, self-restraint, nonattachment, and calmness on the positive side and freedom from malice, backbiting, greed, lust, and anger on the negative side."
Time is of the essence, yet there is time enough for everything within this integral view, including time to be
, and become
, human. Time will not - and cannot - be lost in doing so. Anthony once said that even the enlightened sage will work on his ego if he feels it to be necessary, inasmuch as he works for the World-Idea and the greater ability to serve others that such development gives him.
That is why the great Kabir
“So what if you have dropped illusion?
You didn't drop your pride.
Pride has fooled the best sages,
Pride devours all."
And this is also why PB always stressed the need for a well-rounded, five-fold spiritual quest: religious veneration, moral purification, altruistic activity, mystical meditation, and metaphysical reflection. He symbolized this endeavor by a five-pointed star with a point in the center indicating the presence of the Overself in the heart. Very prescient and a blue-print for many to come.
I Am is All, All is I Am
anadi's perspective on the soul and the ego as contrasting with advaita are presented throughout his website; the reader may see The Soul: Our Sacred Calling
and Freeing the Mind From the Prison of Non-Duality
for a basic introduction.
To continue, Dual Non-Dualism: Part Two
1. Aziz Kristof (anadi), The Human Buddha
, 1999, anadi on Nisargadatta
2. Ibid, p. xxvii, xxii, xxxi-xxxvi, 40, 47-48
3. Sri Krishna Prem, Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita
, p. 128
4. Kristof, op. cit., p. 84
5. Ibid, p. 5-6
6. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton
(Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1987), Vol. 6, 8:1.127
7. Kristof, op. cit., p. 518-519
8. Ibid, p. 525
9. Ibid, p. 4, 16-18, 22-23
10. Ibid, p. 18, 26-27
10a. Adyashanti, source unknown
11. Kristof, op. cit., p. 54-61
12. Adyashanti, source misplaced
13. Kristof, op. cit., p. 39
14. Ibid, p. 589
15. Paul Brunton, op. cit., 8:1.158
16. Kristof, op. cit., p. 587
17. Sri Nisargadatta, I AM THAT
(Durham,NC: The Acorn Press, 1993), p. 230
18. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton
(Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), Vol. 16, Part 1, 2.200
19. Paul Brunton, reference misplaced
20. Paul Brunton, op. cit, Vol. 16, Part 4, 2.142
21. Ibid, Part 1, 1.78
22. Ibid, 1.164
23. Kristof, op. cit., p. 549
24. Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi
, p. xx
25. Kristof, op. cit., p. 549-550
26. Ibid, p. 550
27. Paul Brunton, op. cit., 5.20-21
28. Kristof, op. cit., p. 486-487
29. Ibid, p. 487-488
30. Ibid, p. 489-490, 586
31. Ibid, p. 491
32. Ibid, p. 516
33. Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing
, reference misplaced, (www.adyashanti.org)
33a. Nitya Tripta, ed., Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shree Atmananda
34. Kristof, op. cit., p. 516
35. Ibid, p. 543
36. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Part 4, 2.142
37. as quoted in: Jerry Katz, ed., One: Essential Writings on Non-Duality
(Boulder, Colorado: Sentient Publications, 2007), p. 52
38. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 2, 1:5.19
39. Sri Nisargadatta, op. cit., p. 497
40. Bhasya xxi - Sastri’s commentary on The Ramana Gita
, written by Ganapati Muni, but authorized by Ramana
41. Kristof, op. cit., p. 220-221
42. Ibid, p. 223-224, 217-218, 219-220
42a. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 14, 3.349
43. Kristof, op. cit., p. 55
44. Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p.563-564
45. Adyashanti, from Non-Dual Highlights
46. The Ramana Gita
, op. cit., p. 158
47. Kristof, op. cit., p. 230-231
48. Ibid, p. 410
49. Ibid, p. 411
50. Sri Nisargadatta, op. cit., p. 124
51. Anthony Damiani, Standing in Your own Way
(Burdett, NY: Larson Publications, 1993), p. 256-257
52. Kristof, op. cit., p. 520-521
53. Ibid, p. 30
55. Mooji, from an interview with Paula Marvelly
56. Kristof, op. cit., p. 534-535
57. Ibid, p. 56
58. Anthony Damiani, Looking Into Mind
(Larson Publications, Burdett, New York, 1990, p. 64-65
59. Kristof, op. cit., p. 534
60. Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing
(Los Gatos, California: Open Gate Publishing, 2004), reference misplaced
61. Kristof, op. cit., p. 535
62. Jean Klein, reference misplaced
63. Paul Brunton, reference misplaced
64. Kristof, op. cit., p. 497-498
64a. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton
, op. cit., Vol. 16, Part 1, 2.41, 2:36
65. Kristof, op. cit., p. 540-541
66. Anthony Damiani, Looking Into Mind
(Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1990), p. 202-203
67. Ibid, p. 203-208
68. anadi, book of enlightenment
(www.anaditeaching.com, 2011), p. 236-237
68a. A note on Sant Mat
68b. Kristof, op. cit., p. 481-482
69. Ibid, p. 482
70. Ibid, p. 484
71. Ibid, p. 485-486
72. Sri Nisargadatta, op. cit., p.
73. Kristof, op. cit., p. 414
74. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 15, Part 2, 1.72
75. Kristof, op. cit., p. 414-415, 419
76. anadi, op. cit., p. 153
77. Ibid, p. 293
78. Kristof, op. cit., p. 565-566
79. Ibid, p. 411
80. Ibid, p. 591
81. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 3, Part 1, 2.112
82. Kirpal Singh, Spiritual Elixer
, p. 84
83. Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 2, 6.407
84. Kabir, Bijak