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Dual Non-Dualism: Part Two
"Distinctions of Oneness"

   by Peter Holleran

   “One man says this, another man says that. O mother, pray, tell me what the Truth is.”   - Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

   This is a continuation of the themes in Dual Non-Dualism: Part One, that there are realisations beyond 'pure consciousness' or 'non-dual awareness' as popularly conceived, and, further, that there are several distinct forms or realisations of 'oneness,' that are easily misunderstood or overlooked. That is to say, it is easy, without acute discrimination of the states beyond the mind, for one to think he has reached the final goal, when in fact he has not. Finally, there really is a soul as contrasted with the ego and which is not just a mistaken identity. The original piece was quite long so the decision was made to place further material in three additional articles. Reading the first part is essential to understand what will be discussed here. This will be considerably shorter than Part One.

   First, there is quite a misconception among some teachers and students alike regarding the goal and the way. Since the goal is perceived as beyond the mind and ego, it is assumed that there is nothing an aspirant identified with mind and ego can do to help himself. This was briefly discussed in Part One. In short, this attitude reduces the hard facts of samsara to just a trick of the mind that one should easily 'see through.' The assumption is also made, and supported by many traditional scriptures, that ultimate reality is consciousness, and only consciousness, and that the true nature of the individual is also that same consciousness. Since there is only this one consciousness, anything a person might 'do' as a separate self, any form of spiritual 'practice,' only prevents or is a hindrance to his apperception of this truth. Much of this notion is attributable to the proliferation of satsang teachers decended from Papaji, who taught about the state of presence and 'confirmed' many 'instant' self-realisations among his followers. This, even while he also kept hinting that he had a 'secret teaching' that not one of his disciples was qualified for. That secret teaching, says anadi, is the almost-by-necessity secret teaching in all traditions, which is simply the absolute state 'beyond consciousness,' also mentioned by Nisargadatta and, more recently, Adyashanti (which is not 'beyond consciousness' per se, but the state where consciousness consciously meets its own absence in the unborn). First, let us address the concept of 'no practice.' anadi says:

   “The foundation is simply the effortless abiding in reality. But at the same time, paradoxically, we are reaching this non-doing, we are evolving into the real depth of pure being...At all times, be connected to the space beyond any goal, allowing yourself to experience the purity of now and the state of surrender. But at the same time, intelligently see whether certain elements need to be deepened or cultivated within you. And when you have this clarity, use your will, determination and attention in order to maintain them.”

   “It is essential to have a certain compassionate attitude to oneself. Compassion means both that you accept yourself fully and that you can relax into the reality of your Now. At the same time, compassion is to do everything that is necessary to complete one’s evolution. The middle path, we speak about, is in-between the goal and the goal-less. Here, the soul is like a river, effortlessly but with full strength flowing towards her ultimate destiny - the meeting with the divine.”

   “The more you are connected with I Am, the more you transcend the need for any goal. If there is no experience of I Am, if there is no awareness and one is simply unconscious, not to have a strong goal would be foolish. In such a situation, one has to focus because the sickness of ignorance is hurting the soul deeply. Later, when I Am is more and more present, one can afford to let go; one can simply relax. Still one has to go further but the amount of relaxed acceptance and effortlessness is much bigger than the energy of the goal...In the beginning, evolution is coming from our desperate need for freedom. Later, evolution represents our expansion into freedom itself, into the mystery of the beloved.”

   “To find your goal is a real challenge. It is not that you look in your heart and it is written there in big letters. The manifestation of your clarity, as far as to what you are looking for and what elements are needed for your soul’s completion, takes time. And it is precisely this not-knowing which allows you to grow. To have the answer to what you really want is already an evolutionary achievement. It all starts with the question. You cannot know your final blueprint. You have no way of knowing it. You are in the process of growing in this direction. One day, you become your blueprint and your journey in the time dimension is over.”

   “That is why we speak about the non-dual path which balances our evolution into the future with the right relationship to the now, that is, our present reality. This allows you to appreciate What Is instead of projecting your sense of well-being into future expectations. Here, the goal does not take you out of the moment but allows you to grow in a real way, where you are grounded in the Now. If you just relax into acceptance, without having any goal or vision of evolution, you will postpone your completion. Even though you are connected to the truth of the now, you will become stagnated for you are fragmented in your ability to experience reality.”

   “That is the pitfall for those who take some of the Advaita teachings too literally. They assume that it is enough ‘not to seek’ in order to ‘find.’ But what they find are only fragments of the real thing. There are secrets on the path which are beyond acceptance - they are hidden dimensions of the now. If we say to a person who has no awakened awareness: ‘just relax, you are already That!’ such a person will have only one second of semi-connection to reality. Immediately, the unconscious mind will take over. That’s why, so few could realise the truth behind the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. In order to reach the Self, awareness must awaken, energy must transform, and many faculties must be activated. For that simple reason, we do need goals and spiritual targets.”

   Reliance on concepts, including non-dual concepts, are both a help and a hindrance. They are a help, in that through the freedom of questioning, the mind or intellect searches its data banks, coming up with ever more abstract concepts, beyond body-mind identity, finally leading to the most abstract of concepts, that of liberation and God, and then going beyond all concepts. They are a hindrance, however, when they over-simplify the quest. For instance, anadi says that the concept of “no-self” can actually cause one to miss discovering the I Am, because on some level it is being denied. This is also the drawback of Theravada Buddhism for many seekers: it doesn’t point to the subject, only to mindfulness of what is not real. He gives Thich Naht Hahn as an example of a popular and much beloved teacher of this school. According to anadi, however, being mindful is only helpful when it becomes “mindful of being mindful,” that is, “mindful of the one who is being mindful.” Only in that sense will it lead to realisation of the Self, by establishing, first, a center of awareness, and then, with maturity, the relaxation of that focus on a center and the resting in the principle of pure, dimensionless awareness, the ‘I’-’I’, non-separate from the world. Even this, as we outlined in Part One, is only the first of three “enlightenments,” and not yet even the full ‘I Am’, but considered to be the final goal by many, many teachers. Richard Lang is a recent example of this. He writes:

   “What a stunning proposition we have here. If you put aside what others make of you (for them, you are an appearance, a 'thing') you will find you are utterly different -- you are boundless awareness containing all things. Within you is the source of the world. You 'are' the source of the world. Surely it's worth seeing if it's true. And if it is, worth living in the light of this truth - this wonderful, astonishing, miraculous truth. Central to this hypothesis is the view that you don't have to change anything in your life to see who you really are, here and now. You are already that One. It is, rather, a matter of waking up to what you already are. This is discovery, not achievement.” (2)

   To anadi and Nisargadatta, the consciousness so awakened to is in the realm of the conditioned, the created. It is not the absolute, the unmanifest. It is not the true soul-realisation, according to anadi, nor is it ultimate reality. Reaching this station of awakening - for that is what it is, a station, not completion or the end - is both an achievement and a discovery. anadi agrees with the non-dualists in portraying this state as, in a sense, ‘ordinary,’ but disagrees by stating affirmatively that it is also certainly 'extraordinary', and a big step in the soul’s evolution. It is not the ultimate, that is the mistake of the non-dualists or advaitins. It has an impersonal color, but to the soul it is personal, because it is the identity of the soul in consciousness. Beyond this lies, however, awakening to the depths of being and the heart, then the awakening of the soul and its recognition of the universal I AM. This has been already described in detail.

   Adyashanti also supports this view. He says:

   "This is really a fundamental transformation. That's why I say that we can have a very deep and profound realization of the truth and, in the end, the final real freedom doesn't necessarily come about through a realization. It comes about through a deep surrender at the deepest seat of our being. Of course, most people are going to need a profound realization of their true nature in order to be able to surrender naturally and spontaneously. But it completes itself in a blind and unpredictable release of control." (3)

   anadi says that the prerequisite of reaching the absolute state ‘beyond consciousness’, is “surrender, surrender, surrender, surrender,” and grace from the beyond or as transmitted through an enlightened master.

   Adyashanti further says of this state :

   "The liberated one has association with consciousness but does not dwell there. The liberated one has returned consciously to the ultimate principle, which resides before the consciousness. He or she is the awareness of consciousness. An evolution has taken place in that person...The truly liberated one has transcended even the oneness of consciousness, as if being in deep sleep but fully awake..The truth is ever new, existing only in the now. The highest truth is beyond knowledge and experience. It is beyond time and space, and beyond beingness, consciousness, and oneness." (4)

   This state has been pointed to (but not elaborated on) in the Zen tradition, where, after a first satori a practitioner may exclaim, "Ah, the immaculate Yogins do not enter Nirvana and the precept-violating monks do not go to hell!", but overcomes this initial enthusiasm and self-assurance through further training, wherein he learns that "to be conscious of the original mind, the original nature - just this is the great disease of Zen." The full realisation does not come easily, but requires great training, including study, discipline, and sacrifice, as well as passion, sincerity, and earnestness.

   While such a state is practically inconceivable, the paradox of how consciousness can be aware of its own absence, of unconsciousness, was described in note 1 in Part One of this series. However, the quote contained therein is so rich that it bears repeating:

   “To say that the absolute is unconscious is incorrect, for the absolute exists beyond the polarities of consciousness and unconsciousness. The term unconsciousness simply does not apply here. The unmanifested is below conscousness; it is a domain of pure isness which ‘no one’ is conscious of...Realisation of the absolute is quite fascinating, for it is a meeting of the time dimension with the timeless. Here, paradoxically, consciousness is conscious of non-consciousness; consciousness becomes conscious of its own absence. That which is beyond recognition, becomes recognised. Consciousness meets face to face that which originally gave birth to its existence.” (5)

   Need it again be said, that this is something far diffferent than that spoken of by most teachers of 'presence' ?

   Hakuin, perhaps the greatest of the Rinzai Zen teachers, the 'patriarch who revived Zen,' 'the greatest sage in five hundred years,' upon his first satori after meditating on the koan ‘Mu’ for four years, shouted:

   “‘Why, the world is not something to be avoided, nor is Nirvana something to be sought after!’ This realization he presented to the Abbot and some fellow disciples but they did not give their unqualified assent to it. He however burned with absolute conviction, and thought to himself that surely for centuries no one had known such a joy as was his. He was then twenty-four. In his autobiographical writings, Hakuin warns Zen students with peculiar earnestness against this pride of assurance.” (6)

   It seems that somethings never change, and are to be expected as the normal course in the evolution of awakening, more so in those without much life experience, or prior moral and metaphysical training. The awakening from the limiting nature of the dualistic mind comes as such a relief and sense of happiness that it is easily mistaken for the ultimate condition. Speaking of joy or happiness, moreover, in the Mahayana tradition they describe fourteen levels of joy experienced in meditative absorption; they also list ten stages of realisation after the awakening of ‘emptiness’. This should put in perspective some of the hopeful grasping at the ultimate non-dual teachings in the traditions - usually reserved for advanced practitioners - which are today often cherry-picked by the uninitiated as evidence for how simple the quest should be. We are speaking of famous sayings, such as Tilopa’s advice to Naropa to “just keep your mind in its natural state,” or that of the sage Ashtavakra, who wrote in his famous Gita, “this is your bondage, that you practice meditation,” which were stage-specific instructions by great sages to those well along on the way.

   After the above awakening Hakuin endured three years of merciless hammering by the Master Shoju, who “utterly smashed his self-satisfaction.” He had another satori, which he classified as a ‘great satori’, and which his teacher confirmed by saying, “You are through.” Nevertheless, Shoju admonished him not to be content with such a small thing but to perform the ‘practise after satori.’ This is known as the “downward” practise, where one ‘descends from the mountaintop’ to become the Great Fool, highly revered in the Zen tradition. It was not until more than ten years later, and much meditation under extremely austere conditions, that Hakuin penetrated to the depths of the Lotus Sutra, and gained a most fundamental awakening:

   “The meaning of the ordinary life of his teacher Shoju was revealed, and he saw that he had been mistaken over his great satori realizations. This time there was no great reaction in the body-mind instrument.” (7)

   Abbot Zenkei Shibayama of the Nanzenji Monastery in Kyoto, Japan, in an alternate manner describes the inner work of the true Zen path (the ‘secret’ path):

   “The first step in pursuing the way to religion is to “empty oneself.” But this “emptying oneself” does not mean, as ordinarily understood, merely to be humble in one’s thinking or to clean out all from the self-deceived mind so that it can accept anything. It has a much deeper and stronger meaning. One has to face the “ugliness and helplessness” of oneself, or of human life itself, and must confront deep contradictions and sufferings, which are called the “inevitable karma.” He has to look deep into his inner self, go beyond the last extremity of himself, and despair of himself as a “self which can by no means be saved.” “Emptying oneself” comes from this bitterest experience, from the abyss of desperation and agony, of throwing oneself down, body and soul, before the Absolute."

   "It is the keenness with which one realizes one’s helplessness and despairs of oneself, in other words, how deeply one plunges into one’s inner self and throws oneself away, which is the key to religion. “To be saved,” “to be enlightened,” or “to get the mind pacified” is not of primary importance. Shinran Shonin, who is respected as one of the greatest religious geniuses in Japan, once deplored, “I am unworthy of any consideration and am surely destined for hell!”...When one goes through this experience, for the first time the words of the great religious teachers are directly accepted with one’s whole heart and soul...”

   It might be suggested that one meaning of to “be saved” means to realise the absolute state, where, as Nisargadatta said, “every I Am is preserved and glorified.”

   “Surrender, surrender, surrender, surrender.” And, “beware of pride, it has fooled the greatest among sages,” warned Kabir.

   anadi, however, does not stop there. He maintains that there is a further awakening, that of the heart, not just of the chakra or the emotions, which, combined with awareness and being, leads to the soul-realisation, opening one to recognition of the 'divine dimension'. This ushers one into the true depths of the mystery, coming face to face with the beloved, or what he calls the “creator”, and which he describes as a unity of the absolute state and the divine. The divine is the heart of the beloved, and the absolute is the very ground on which the divine 'rests'. Beyond even this, he says, lies the final mystery of the soul, or the 'pure me'. The soul is the very means by which the beloved, God, comes to recognise Itself as God, not as a whole but in and through its distinct expressions. Lover and beloved are distinct but eternally united. As this also was described in depth in Part One, we will discuss it here in a slightly different context as 'three distinct awakenings of oneness.' The teachers of the 'state of presence' or 'consciousness,' only teach or are aware of or awake to the first of these three. anadi says that this is so today and has, for the most part, been the case traditionally also. It is an area of much confusion. He says:

   “There are three types of oneness you can experience. First, is oneness realised through awareness, where you feel that all is included in the space of consciousness which is vast, infinite, bright, luminous and all-pervasive...When pure awareness is fully present, there is no need to keep it so crystallised at your centre; you relax with it, allowing it to be in its natural condition. It is a state where you are non-doing, effortlessly resting in the light of object-less awareness. You abide in this clear, vast, infinite space of pure consciousness - you become it. And here you realise oneness, for you experience that the space of awareness actually contains all...We don’t use the term ‘witnessing,’ but the term ‘state of presence,’ because the term ‘witnessing’ implies duality. When you are ‘witnessing’ yourself speaking to another person, you feel yourself somewhere in the background, behind. But when you are in the state of presence, all is embraced, contained in the light of awareness. In this way you are embracing and not witnessing - that is the difference. Embracing is higher than witnessing. Witnessing is a relative state; it is not all-inclusive. That’s why the term ‘state of presence’ is more precise than ‘witnessing’...

   [This state should not be misunderstood. The key phrase is 'all is embraced, contained in the light of awareness.' This includes, of course, embracing duality. For, as Mooji says, duality is not a mistake. It is an aspect, an expression of the divine to allow perception to take place. One must not hang too tightly to a conception of oneness, even while experiencing it. This is just practical advice. On the other hand, anadi's argument goes beyond this to say that even the oneness of pure consciousness is really a subtle state of duality, as it is not in the realm of the absolute, which is that that on which consciousness abides].

   Second, is the experience of oneness realised through being. Being is deeper than awareness, for it is more rooted in the uncreated. When you experience oneness within awareness, it is a realisation taking place in creation. This is because awareness is the essence of creation [this correlates to the assertion of the non-dual schools that awareness or consciousness is the source of creation, the noumena of phenomena, the two in fact being inseparable]. When you experience oneness within being, particularly when the absolute state is reached, everything is contained in the experience of unity. But, this time, from the depth of the now, which is the uncreated isness of the absolute. This experience is much deeper than pure consciousness. And what it means, in truth, is that your particular me is rooted deeper in reality, beyond awareness."

   The third experience of oneness is when the heart is added, when the dimension of love is included. We are not talking about emotion...it is not that you feel a connection from your heart with creation. The moment you feel connection, in truth, it is already separation. When the heart is awakened, it merges with being and embraces the whole reality in the sacred space of I AM
[the universal I AM]. This space is made of pure isness and pure sensitivity, which is the very presence of the divine.”

   There is actually a fourth state of oneness beyond these three:

   “The last and final realisation of oneness is enlightenment to me. So far the unity has been realised, but the experiencer of this unity has still been overlooked. Who knows unity? The mistake many traditions have made, was an assumption that oneness is attained through the annihilation of me. In the 'absence of me,' not only does separation not exist, but nor does oneness. In the traditional concept of oneness, me merges with the universal I AM and negates herself. However, even when me negates her own existence she is still present, for she has no way to cancel herself out! For that reason, much higher than the negation of me is the realisation of me, that is, soul-realisation. When me is realised, the transparent me [the unity of pure me, the awakened soul, with the absolute state] is manifested. Realisation of the transparent [or transcendental] me is the final experience of oneness. Before awakening to me, the experience of unity is not complete, for the very simple reason that the experiencer of oneness is overlooked - for the very subject is not realised. In the past, they made one more incorrect assumption, that the seer is the Self. It is the soul which is the seer, for she is an angle of perception from which totality recognises itself. In the ultimate experience, not only is the universal presence realised but the mysterious perceiver of it as well, which is me. That we call apperception.” [note: this is not exactly the same meaning that Ramesh Balsekar attached to the term ‘apperception’; for him, the perceiver, the me, did not exist] (9)

   In the Sufi tradition, the self, that is, the soul, the lover, even the personal self, is not negated in the Advaitic sense, rather one expands into the divine. There is definitely an ordeal, some calling it annihilation, others arguing that that is impossible, for how can that which does not exist annihilate itself, Al-lah being the only existent? Others speak of separating the chaff of the self from oneself, not to eliminate oneself, but rather to give birth to the soul, who can then know the beloved. One does not become 'That', for That is you; such is the paradox: You are not That, but That is you; yet, you are in unity with That. Fully awakened and realised, in perfect tranqulity and peace, resting in the absolute, one is drunk with the divine, and cannot even tell at times who is the lover and who is the beloved.

   “True oneness is not self-conscious. True oneness simply is; it is present beyond concepts. It is a state of not-knowing. [Student: If oneness is a state of not-knowing, how can we know that we are in a state of oneness? How can we verify not-knowing?] A very important question. It is a master question. How can we know that we are in a state of not-knowing? How do we know that we are self-realised, if enlightenment is beyond the mind? If you know that you experience oneness, no longer are you in a state of not-knowing. From the other side, if you don’t know, how can you know that you have reached oneness?”

   “There are two levels of knowing and not-knowing. First, not-knowing represents your pure being beyond any concepts, and knowing represents the presence of understanding coming from intuitive intelligence. Because being and intelligence co-exist, knowing and not-knowing can co-exist. The sage is beyond the concept of enlightenment, for he or she simply abides in the natural state, beyond the need to call it anything. But even though one rests in the natural state which is beyond knowing, simultaneously one knows that one is in the ultimate state. In time, gradually even this knowledge that one is in the state of oneness, relaxes and dissolves into not-knowing. At this stage not only being is in a state of not-knowing, but intelligence is as well. For this reason, Hui Neng, when asked ‘are you enlightened?’ replied: ‘no!’ For this reason, Bodhidharma when asked by the emperor Wu, ‘who is standing in front of me?’ said: ‘I don’t know!’”

   “Here, intelligence drops all concepts, even the ability to understand that one is self-realised. It is here where the collective human mind is dropped completely. That’s why the Bodhidharma answer ‘I don’t know’ can be seen as higher than the Hindu answer ‘I am That.’ Here, all is transcended. But the not-knowing that Bodhidharma was in, was not an expression of ignorance, but fullness, totality and a complete unity with existence. The ultimate not-knowing is knowing without an object; it is a pure knowing, a unity of being and intelligence.”

   "What does not-knowing mean? Not-knowing is your absence within the now; your absence within the universal presence. When Socrates said 'I know that I don't know,' it was just in the mind. It is the point where the mind gives up but what next? You are still very much there, with your ego-not-knowing-image. True not-knowing is beyond knowing one's not-knowing; it is pure being, the absence of the self....When you abide in the state of not-knowing (the beyond) you know yourself directly as pure me. This knowing yourself directly as pure me and abiding in not-knowing which is the beyond, become one. The result of it is a transparent self-image which leaves all traces of concepts behind. This state is purity...This ultimate transparency is the mysterious meeting of the soul with the source of creation. Me meets the beloved. This supreme communion is beyond anything one can imagine; it is so subtle, so sublime that words exhort themselves. To understand it, you must enter the home of silence, the domain of unity, the temple of the beloved which is made of love."

   And what is love? It is very profound thing. It may sound like a fanciful description, but according to the Sants, it is the very 'glue' that holds creation together.

   In Mahayana Buddhism, the goal is liberation, or the full realisation of emptiness or sunyata. In the Vajrayana school, they combine that with an array of yogic and mystical practices. Yet while they speak of awakening and cultivating bodhicitta or compassion, they don't commonly speak of the heart, as an actual dimension, or of realisation of the soul and god. This is not necessarily because the Buddha had no awareness of the divine state, but because in the historical development of Buddhism the emphasis was on negating the limiting concepts of soul and god prevalent in his day. There are scattered hints, however. In the Lankavatara Sutra, for instance, we read the following:

   "THEN SAID MAHAMATI to the Blessed One: When the Bodhisattvas yield up their stock of merit for the emancipation of all beings, they become spiritually one with all animate life; they themselves may be purified, but in others there yet remain unexhausted evil and unmatured karma. Pray tell us, Blessed One, how the Bodhisattvas are given assurance of Nirvana? and what is the Nirvana of the Bodhisattvas?"

   "The Blessed One replied: Mahamati, this assurance is not an assurance of numbers nor logic; it is not the mind that is to be assured but the heart. The Bodhisattva's assurance comes with the unfolding insight that follows passion hindrances cleared away, knowledge hindrance purified, and egolessness clearly perceived and patiently accepted. As the mortal-mind ceases to discriminate, there is no more thirst for life, no more sex-lust, no more thirst for learning, no more thirst for eternal life; with the disappearance of these fourfold thirsts, there is no more accumulation of habit-energy; with no more accumulation of habit-energy the defilements on the face of Universal Mind clear away, and the Bodhisattva attains self-realisation of Noble Wisdom that is the heart's assurance of Nirvana."

   The Buddhists also, like the Sufis, speak of many stages along the way, after a first awakening, which many in their initial excitement often mistake for a final one. The Lankavatara Sutra provides one of the best depictions of this paradox of realisation: that it is gradually attained, while eternally present.

   “Some day each and every one will be influenced by the wisdom and love of the Tathagatas of Transformation to lay up a stock of merit and ascend the stages. But, if they only realised it, they are already in the Tathagata's Nirvana for, in Noble Wisdom, all things are in Nirvana from the beginning.” (12)

   PB likewise wrote:

   "This is evolution: although truth is ideally attainable here and now, technically it is attainable only at the end of the pageant of evolution, when the whole man has been highly developed and is ripe to receive the greatest of all gifts." (13)

   And what are some of the signs of this enlightenment, this evolution? There are no signs, yet, these are some of the signs. PB states:

   "The effects of enlightenment include: an imperturbable detachment from outer possessions, rank, honours, and persons; an overwhelming certainty about truth; a carefree, heavenly peace above all disturbances and vicissitudes; an acceptance of the general rightness of the universal situation, with each entity and each event playing its role; and impeccable sincerity which says what it means, means what it says." (14)

   In short, peace, truth, humility and sincerity.

   Why do so many in these late times cling only to the ideal concept and forsake the reality ? For it is, in fact, not really true that realisation is eternally present. Nirvana or the absolute may be eternally present (or, perhaps, eternally absent); the actual realisation beyond time and the timeless, or the simultaneity of time and the timeless, however, occurs gradually in time. To explain, we must recap a little bit:

   “So firstly, you must become fully present as an individual, because an ignorant person is not really present - there is nobody inside. An ignorant person experiences a subconscious, fragmented presence. In order to become really present, the centre of awareness must be awakened. This is because it is not you as the mind who becomes present, but awareness crystallises itself as pure ‘I’. The moment you are fully present, you can let go for the first time, let go into the universal absence which is your origin. You cannot let go before that. When you exist as a subconscious reality, letting go would make you even more unconscious. But when your soul’s identity is crystallised, the moment you let go, a merging starts to take place and you become absorbed in a conscious way into the ultimate reality.”

   “As you gravitate towards this original absence, as you let go of yourself, something else takes over. Here, you do not need any more to sustain yourself as an individual - the Beyond sustains your presence. The beyond takes you. It is like falling asleep. To fall asleep, something must take over within which you become absent, you as the conscious mind. What is the sleep state? It is a dimension beyond the conscious mind. But in the case of spiritual expansion, when you dissolve, you still remain conscious. That is, you are present in a certain way
[that is what H.H. the Dalai Lama said: we do exist in some way] That’s why, this expansion is a meeting point between the absolute absence and the individual presence; it is beyond the absence and beyond the presence. That’s why, one can know that one has transcended, that one is contained within the universal. From this knowing, the depth of recognition is born and the very appreciation of the experience. And who does appreciate it? It is the one beyond the uncreated and the creation. This mysterious subject to all, your own soul, the dimension of me. The experiencer of the beloved and her creation.”

   “The absence has no way to know that it is absent and the presence is locked in its presence. The meeting of these two creates a new quality, the birth of a new dimension. It is the recognition of the absence which becomes present to itself. This is the secret of the absolute state which no one can grasp. Here, even though you are beyond consciousness - you know it! How is it possible? How can knowing be present beyond knowing? That cannot be explained. The words cannot go any further. They brought us as far as they could. The rest is beyond words. If you wish to understand that which is beyond words, you must enter that dimension.”

   Beyond the realisation of the soul and its recognition of the beloved, the I AM, comes final purification of the personality and its unity with the awakened soul in a complete wholeness. PB hinted at this when he wrote:

   "The highest goal of the quest is not illumination gained by destruction of the ego but rather by perfection of the ego. It is the function of egoism which is to be destroyed, not that which functions. The ego’s rulership is to go, not the ego itself." (15a)

   He also said that:

   "Another reason for the need of the...preparatory work is that the mind, nerves, emotions, and body of the man shall be gradually made capable of sustaining the influx of the Solar force, or Spirit-Energy." (15b)

   "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." (15c)

   anadi said that for this to happen in a dynamic and not passive way requires the soul's intention and sensitivity, destiny or blueprint, and the assistance of grace from the beyond in cleansing ones subconscious mind, which cannot be successfully accomplished fully on ones own. It is something one must pray for. He speaks of the soul praying for it. I think it amounts to a real merger with the world. Not everyone wants it. Perhaps it is only necessary for those destined to teach. This is a process of evolution that occurs after awakening, from within the totality. It is more than just a change of consciousness. It is beyond traditional liberation and ultimately leads to a true transcendance, not a mere negation of the me.

   In simple terms, however, the basic game is this:

   Student: Why do so many traditions negate me?
   anadi: They simply overlook her. Without me there is no enlightenment. The concept that me must be eliminated proves ignorance. Me herself is the light of creation which enters the uncreated. The uncreated is not aware of itself. Therefore, it needs me to know itself. Without me what remains is just a deep sleep state. The purpose of being me is to recognise God. Me is the vehicle through which God recognises her own presence". (16)

   And what does it mean to become me?

   “To become truly an individual, one has to discover the real me, which means one has to transcend, on some level, the unconscious identification with the mind. One has to give birth to the soul. If one has not given birth to the soul, one does not yet exist as an individual. That’s why, an individual is not necesarily born from the mother. An individual has to be born from one-self. That is the second birth - the birth of the I Am, the birth of the soul. To be an individual is to become the soul. This is the paradox that even though we are the soul, we have to become the soul, or rather the soul has to become herself. When the soul becomes herself, what she realises is her uniqueness through her unique blueprint. Your blueprint is to be the only soul perceiving reality from your particular angle.” (17)

   What did Nisargadatta say? To paraphrase a famous quote, "When I look inside, I am nothing; when I look outside, I am love." And just what is it that is 'looking'? Nisargadatta does not tell us. Can it be other than the 'double-knower', the awakened soul? For anadi, if there is grace from the beyond, if it is your destiny, and if the stars are aligned (for many factors must come together), at some point being and heart fuse and become a unity, and the total I Am gets 'pulled into the beyond' to merge with the universal I AM. Thus is revealed the 'Primal Duality - of soul and beloved - beyond non-duality', what St. John might have called the 'theopathic state.' At this point, one needn't look inside or outside to find it, for it is everywhere and nowhere. The soul, forever in the heart of the beloved, now knows that is so. Even so, and remarkably, the human development continues, until the soul fulfills her optimal destiny in this life. This may sound conceptual and complicated to those trained in Advaita philosophy, but remember, the soul itself is already far beyond mind and conceptualising.

   A few more thoughts on 'oneness':

   "To realize the state of oneness is to transcend self while remaining an indivisible part of that realization. Though dissolved, the soul continues to exist, but now in a new, transcendental way...Upon entering the domain of universal consciousness, the soul becomes one with the eternal expansion of light and intelligence. Evolution is no longer her private affair; it is universal and infinite. Evolution within the state of wholeness is by nature impersonal, because the soul in transcendence no longer owns her individuality - it is owned by her creator..The soul does not disappear, but transcends the illusion that she owns her personal existence." (18)

   "To realize oneness we need to transform our sense of me so that it can merge with absence while remaining present...Only our deeper self, not our human personality, can access the state of oneness...It is the soul uniting her eternal presence with totality...Her knowledge of being herself is unconditionally merged with the consciousness of all-that-is...It is only by becoming our true self that we can merge with the ocean of universal presence and still remain conscious...By becoming one with the self, the soul transcends her sense of separation, but not her existence and function. She continues her everlasting evolution within universal I AM. Prior to her awakening, the soul evolved towards the state of unity, but now, from the point of her complete realization, she begins to evolve within the state of oneness, beyond oneness. Oneness is not the final goal, but the true beginning or our expansion into the mystery of the beyond. Who is evolving? Who is expanding into the bliss of reality? Who is growing into deeper revelations of truth? There can be no answer to this question because that one is eternally evolving and changing within his unchanging essence. There is no end to the awakening beyond awakening." (19)

   Part Three: I am Not THAT

1. Aziz Kristof (anadi), The Human Buddha (Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000, p. 110-11, 128-129
2. Richard Lang, Seeing Who You Really Are, (www.headless.org)
3. Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing, p. 154-155, (www.adyashanti.org)
4. Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening, p.
5. Kristof, op. cit., p. 189
6. Trevor Leggett, A Second Zen Reader (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1988), pp. 130-131
7. Ibid, p. 132
8. Abbot Zenkei Shibayama, A Flower Does Not Talk (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1970), p. 172-173
9. Kristof, op. cit., p. 194-195
10. Ibid, p. 363-364, 310-311
11. Dwight Goddard, The Buddhist Bible, “What Is Nirvana?”
12. Ibid
13. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), Vol. 11, 2.124
14. Paul Brunton, reference misplaced
15. Kristof, op. cit., p. 199-200
15a. Paul Brunton, reference misplaced
15b. Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 15, Part 1, 4.35
15c. Ibid, Vol. 16, Part 1, 2.251
16. Kristof, op. cit., , p. 275
17. Ibid, p. 278-279
18. anadi, book of enlightenment (www.anaditeaching.com, 2011), p. 293, 257
19. Ibid, p. 232-233