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Dual Non-Dualism: Part Three
"I am not THAT"

   by Peter Holleran

   "You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself, it will not be your own way and will take you nowhere." - Sri Nisargadatta

   The above quote, of course, also applies to the consideration of every thought in this paper. We propose a different way of looking at truth than is implied in Maharaj's use of the Maha Vakya "I AM THAT," but the reader should bear in mind that however we look at it, there is inevitable paradox, and he must decide for him or her self what feels right. There are three main schools within Vedanta, that of Sankara (Advaita or non-dualism), Ramanuja (Vishitadvaita or qualified non-dualism) and Madhava (Dvaita or supposed dualism of soul and God), all of which, including the "Dvaita' school - which never actually considered itself to be Dvaita -despite significant differences, hold Brahman to be the non-dual ultimate reality. The differences have to do with whether Brahman has attributes or not, the nature of causation, and the nature of the souls: whether they are an illusory sense of separation caused by Maya, or real but eternally one with and a part of God, or real but separate yet eternally dependent on God who is their material and efficient cause. So all of the following and that described in the other three parts of this series must be seen as an inadequate expression in words for what is forever beyond, beyond, Beyond, or gate, gate, param gate, bodhi svaha!

   For instance, we suggest that the expression I am THAT be countered by "I am not THAT", and will explain why we feel that way. On the other hand, from the perspective of self-affirmation alone, it is stronger to affirm, "I AM God." or "God I AM" than "I am not God." Why? Because the latter suggests ignorance, materialism, and doubt. The word God is the word with the highest vibration level in our language, as attested to by sophisticated equipment, and represents All-Good. When we come from the limitation of ego or creature-hood, we are making a negative assertion, whether we feel, "I am great" (hiding an inferiority complex) or "I am no good (hiding a sense of superiority or false humility), whereas when we simply affirm, "I am God," automatically our vibration level increases, and we also automatically strive to do good, to the degree that we believe in or accept this truth. And the positive always trumps the negative. There are today several languages without any concept of a negative, or of a past or a future, only a now, and, we are told, that was the case with the original language of man in his earthly motherland and beyond for ages and ages of time.

   For millenia, some say hundreds of thousands if not millions of years, the word 'God' prevailed as representation of ultimate reality. It was only when mankind descended into separation and tribal superstition, with the worship of many lesser deities, instead of the one great Principle, that the ancient sages of India felt it better to use a word like the 'Self,' to draw our attention back to the fact that reality resides within, and not somewhere 'out there'. Yet the word 'God' carries a higher vibration than that of the 'Self,' and is closer to the heart of man which has always held it in reverence. At one time all of humanity knew this. If we accept the belief of the custodians of wisdom that the existence of man long predates the very creation of this earth, and as Spirit has forever been one with the Godhead, the Infinite Intelligence that prevails even before the Universe appears, then the knowledge that man is the 'Christ' of God, at-one with the Divine Principle, stands as the bedrock of our reality in truth. When we deny this, in thought, word, and deed, or when assert a negative, such as "I can't," or "I am not," we in essence deny God, for God is all and everywhere and THAT in which we have our being. Even the 'seeds of destruction' inherent within evil are only good. The very concept of forces of good and evil, by most accounts, originated in Persia only a few thousand years ago. They were not part of the reality of the primordial family of man. Only in the mind did it fall from the recognition of its divinity. Man today believes that he is separate, apart from the whole, while he is, in fact, forever merged in the whole, because the Soul's completion and very being is only within the whole, the one, God.

   We have introduced the word 'Soul.' This has been a central theme of this series of articles. In each we touch upon a different aspect or way of looking at this principle. Here in particular we explore the idea of distinguishing between God and the Soul. But this must not be taken in a spatial or experiential sense. The Soul is one with God. It has powers and knowledge intrinsic of the ultimate Principle. It is eternal and predates man himself, and is infinite and free. When we go within ourselves, again not in a spatial or mystical sense, but when one finds the Supreme Intelligence within, ones know that God is really himself, you - the entire being of you. So "God is you," "God is me," or "God I AM," is closer to the truth, in our opinion, than "I AM God," or "I AM THAT." We bow our heads to THAT, while asserting our unity within THAT. Jesus said, "I and my Father are One," and "Of myself I can do nothing, except my Father does the works," but then distinctly, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." So there is paradox, no doubt.

   We are not the first to argue about the nature of "Tat Twam Asi" (That Thou Art). The Madhava acarya, Aksobhya Tirtha, hundreds of years ago debated the Advaitin Vidyaranya on the meaning of Tat Tvam Asi. In this debate the Visistadvaitin Vedanta-Desika was the moderator. Vidyarana was defeated.

   anadi calls his school 'dual non-dualism', or Dvaita-Advaita, yet he realizes that that is just an approximation, to counter some of the other schools' fixed ideas. For reality is indefinable. He recognizes the existence of the soul as distinct from God, but not radically so. He calls it a 'unique angle of perception' of the ultimate reality. Thus it is not a part of God, like the Visistadvaitins, nor is it an independent 'substance' to be critiqued by Advaita, or illusion either. It is not separate from yet dependent on God as in Madhava philosophy, although he does use the language of a stage of realizing one being a 'child of the creator.' The soul, like Ramanuja, exists only within God, and in its ultimate realization knows itself only within God. And, in a sense the soul is the substrate of consciousness, one of its attributes, as the Ramanujists affirm. It is thus real. It is not an illusion created by maya as is held in traditional Advaita. To say that the individual consciousness is the absolute consciousness, or reality, even if similar in essence, moreover, is not quite right. It is a linear view of things, and, thus, even a form of dualism itself. It is important to keep in mind that each of these three schools arose historically for its own reasons. It is our task to interpret and formulate a model of reality that works for us in this day and age, realizing that language is all we have, but that it is limited.

   That being said, we summarize what has been said so far, suggesting that "God Is" might be our highest, most fundamental assertion. "I AM" is the second. Putting the two together as "God I AM" is the Christ-Unity of our eternal reality. Again, it is enigma because, as Anthony Damiani pointed out while commenting on the thought of Paul Brunton (PB), the whole of the World-Mind, or God, is in each Soul, not just in part. Yet this stupendous truth is the case for each and every Soul, which are all in fact one! In the following pages we will try to illustrate this concept in different ways. We are treading on holy ground, and must proceed with humility.

   A common 'non-dual' argument and the title of a recent and thoroughly engaging book is that 'consciousness is all.' The logic followed at first glance seems air-tight, and shares much with that of traditional advaita. This will be a brief rebuttal to that view. First, it is proposed that the idea that 'consciousness is all' comes from an invalid notion that the realization of non-dual awareness is the realization of ultimate reality. This is not necessarily the case. While the earliest Upanishadic writers did equate Atman and Brahman, this was not universally the case. Some teachers differentiated clearly between Atman (individual consciousness or soul, pure awareness and impersonal subjectivity - and not jivatman or ego, which are personal) and Brahman (universal consciousness, or the ultimate Subjectivity). The equation that Atman is Brahman, based upon the notion that Atman and Brahman are One, does not logically follow. To be One with something is not the same as being that thing. For example, to say the Soul can become, or is, one with God, does not mean the Soul is the same or equal to God, only that it is of a self-same essence and exists in a prior unity within it. The result of equating Atman with Brahman gave rise to the famous saying, “I AM THAT” by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Earlier, Swami Rama Tirtha expoused this view. While preaching I AM THAT, however, he also wrote:

   “Your real Self can never die. The body which is to die, which is dying every moment - by death let us understand here change - which is undergoing a change every second, and is dying out, is not your real Self. There is something in you which can never die. In conjunction with the body there is the Soul, the real Spirit which can never die...This thought of freedom in you, this universal thought tells us that there is something in you; and that something in you is your true Self, the real Me, because this freedom you want to have for Me, for the I, the real Self, and for nobody else. There is something in you which is really free, unlimited, unbound. The universality of this idea preaches in unmistakable language that the real Self, the real Atman, is something which is absolutely free.” (1)

   One can easily see the confusion. Whereas, in some traditions, such as Sufism, and the teachings of contemporary anadi, this is not acceptable, and it is more correct and humble to say “THAT is Me”, and “THAT is beyond me,” [‘me’ here referring to the soul], rather than “I am THAT.” The Sants, when reaching that stage, proclaim, “Aham Brahm Asmi,” or roughly, “Oh God, I am of the same essence as Thou art.” The Upanishadic interpretation of the Mahavakya, "Aham Brahm Asmi," is "I am Brahman." The difference in emphasis is significant.

   To clarify, the strict advaitists like Sankara use another famous Maha Vakya, 'Tat Twam Asi,' or 'Thou Art That,' to assert the identity of Atman and Brahman. They do this by eliminating the 'inessential attributes' of Brahman (such as Maya and her mysterious illusion of creation), as well as those of the Atman (such as ignorance or avidya and apparent limitation), emphasizing only the substratum of both which is said to be pure consciousness, or the Self. Other, later Vedantins, like the Vishistadvaitins, maintained that Maya is not illusion but the power of Isvara, the expressive aspect of Brahman, and that while both Atman and Brahman, or Soul and God, have the same essence, consciousness, they are different in attributes such as the power of creation, etc., and are not thus identical. Sankara rejected this, and also did not speak of Soul with God, he simply said that the phenomenal person was not real and the Self, non-dual Brahman (or Atman) was all. That is the advaitic way of getting around the problem or challenge of speaking of Soul and God. We do not attempt to resolve a debate which has been going on for thousands of years, i.e., who is right: Sankara or Ramanuja? Advaita or Vishistadvaita? Vedanta or Kashmir Saivism? and so on. Enough to demonstrate that there is an alternative view. It is not just useless hair-splitting; it has some bearing on how one leads his daily life.

   Some may object and say, “nothing but pure advaita is metaphysically correct,” or “it is not logical,” to posit anything other than the 'One'.” Or “nothing is known outside of consciousness, everything therefore 'arises in' consciousness,and therefore consciousness must be all.” Okay, let's say reality is not logical, but mysterious and paradoxical. And, like Walt Whitman, we are not above contradicting ourselves. 'Consciousness may not be all,' but for other reasons than that which we have just suggested, and, further, knowing comes from universal intelligence and the Soul, not merely consciousness or awareness, per se, which is a mirror in which the Soul can know herself. Further, consciousness does not know itself to be consciousness until it is recognised as such. Recognition is a function of intelligence. Realizing a 'state' is not enough, it must be recognized and understood. That is a fruit of a great evolution. We will return to this point later. Suffice it to say, though, that while some may feel that it is theoretically impossible for their to be an individual, that it is practically is the paradox, which when employing transcendental logic (which excludes nothing) is entirely acceptable.

   An erroneous concept is that the Soul is just another name for the ego, an entity that creates separation and divides us from God or Reality. This is not so, and was not the position of the ancient seers, whose understanding of the Soul was much more profound and not what passes for the soul these days. The position taken herein is that Soul is a reality distinct but not separate from God, and is so by divine design. Confusion of the Soul (Atman) with the ego (jivatman) is a mistaken notion derived from certain schools of both traditional and contemporary advaitic teachings.

   'Pure consciousness' is not the 'one thing' that makes up ultimate reality. Why? Because, while consciousness is indeed the source of all creation, it is not the source of itself. As Sri Nisargadatta has pointed out, consciousness itself abides upon the absolute, the being aspect of God and the absence of consciousness. Realisation of the absolute state as spoken of by Maharaj was where consciousness meets its absence while remaining conscious. The absolute 'beyond consciousness' is the being aspect of God. It was Maharaj's secret teaching. Consciousness, per se, is, in fact, dual, because even when there is no content the soul is still present, to whom such consciousness or awareness applies. Someone 'recognises' the state of presence-awareness. 'Who' is that? Even the so-called non-dual experience or vision is not possible without duality, unless one considers non-duality to be a state of unconsciousness, such as in deep sleep (or the original absolute where the soul did not yet know herself as soul). Nor can even intelligence function without a division of subject and object within the pure consciousness. And human intelligence, with guidance from universal intelligence, is what seeks awakening and creates the spiritual evolution. It is what allows “recognition” of awakening and enlightenment, for without recognition one may not notice that they are even present. Often they need outside verification or must be pointed out. And "such cases," said Nisargadatta, "are often the most reliable." The mind must also be convinced, and needs to believe in ones awakening, that it could possibly be true, that it in fact exists. So belief, subject to so much denigration, is also needed.

   We are seeking to somehow reach the timeless from within the realm of time. It is, of course, impossible, but that is just the way it is. “How to get the fly out of the fly-bottle?” queried Wittgenstein. “Look,” he said, “it’s out!”

   The word evolution is looked down upon these days, the more naive arguments saying: since there is no separate fixed entity, no separate mind or thought to be found, that there is also no doer, no evolution, no time, no karma, no soul: only the One, everything else being mere concepts. Notwithstanding the fact that concepts, beliefs, questioning, and even the imagination are not only essential for awakening and evolution, but they are, in a non-dual world, to be embraced as part of the totality. For instance, universal intelligence guides the individual intelligence to create, from its fund of ideas and experiences, a distillation in the form of concepts, leading to more and more abstract concepts, ultimately to concepts such as God, the soul, or liberation. It is highly doubtful that a person who never had a concept of God would ever realise God; rather, the likelihood is that he will remain captive to the collective mind he was born into, remaining in dark ignorance.

   One is born from the womb of the mother, into the 'womb of the buddhas' - the place where buddhas are born. But that takes place in time, a progressive evolution in the now, until the intelligence reaches, touches upon, or recognises the timeless. The paradox is that the I AM is realised in time, while one rests upon the timeless I Am. The same applies to the recognition of the soul. The intelligence makes a long search into the meanings of these things and their relation to ones own life and then is led to further and further questions until it reaches questions such as “who am I?” - “What am I doing here?” These questions, in fact, require quite a lot of imagination to produce. Not many people can imagine that their sense of self, carried by them for so long, may not be real. Creative imagination is then also needed. For average people this is a big step forward. As Anthony Damiani once said, "If you can ask an intelligent question, that shows that you already understand. To formulate a question precisely is already quite a feat of knowledge." PB, moreover, wrote that the special magic of the writings and words of a sage are that they generate concepts working from the memory traces of the individual, that actually lead a person closer to an accurate vision of reality. At some point this process ignites and man awakens and takes his first steps on the real path. For until he awakens from his slumber he is not really on the path but is still at the stage of looking for the path. For the path, truly speaking, is you.

   For the moment, it is asked that the advaitin set aside his advaitic logic and reasoning. We ask that he take Swami Nikhilinanda's words to heart, that "people will rather die than think", and use them to suspend critical judgement for a while and ponder what we will introduce, which is not advaita (2). What we are speaking of is beyond the common advaitic dialectic. Advaita does not permit of a notion of God or Soul outside of the Self. In the philosophical scheme of Paul Brunton (PB), however, (who understood advaita and studied it thoroughly with the reknown Professor V.S. Iyer) there is postulated a World-Mind that projects a master-image or World-Idea through each individual Overself (Soul), which then experiences a world through a body furnished by that very same World-Idea. Thus the body is in the Soul and the Soul is in the body. Nothing is known outside of consciousness, but there is a distinction (but not separation) between the Soul and World-Mind. There is a common substratum behind the Soul, its personality and its world, the World-Mind; there is a distinction within the One or ultimate Mind-in-itself of individual Souls and a God or World-Mind responsible for the commonality experienced by each Soul. At the same time, it is recognized that the Soul is infinite, impersonal, and all-pervading subjectivity, while the World-Mind is infinite, all-pervading impersonal Subjectivity. There is no subject-object relationship between Soul and God here, the relationship, if that word even has any meaning, is one of subject-Subject (a phrase of anadi's, to which we will return to later). The Soul is not the ego or the subtle body, which many teachers reduce it to. Moreover, Souls are not ultimate separate from each other in anything like the way that apparent egos or personalities are. In addition, the Soul lives within God eternally. To realize the Soul, in the sense that we are suggesting the term be used, requires prior realization of non-duality of consciousness that the advaitic teachers consider realization of the ultimate reality. anadi has a similar view. However, advaita, rejects this as a possibility, because in their view there can be no God other than as an idea or concept in the mind. Swami Nikhilinanda, in his translation of the Mandukya Upanishad, wrote:

   "Berkeley says that all external objects are but ideas in the perceiver's mind and God or the cosmic mind sends these ideas. Vedanta says that God is also an idea and the plurality of ideas and their relationship cannot be proved to be real. Vedanta is not certainly pantheism as it does not recognize any God independent of the Self, who is the universe." (3)

   The dictum "That Thou Art," or only non-dual Brahman is real, hinges on the doctrine of non-causality. This is known as ajatavada. In this view, even the concession to ignorance of the positting of maya, or Transcendental Illusion, to account for manifestation (nor creation per se) is itself maya or unreal, from the position of Reality. And if there is no creation or manifestation that is real, then everything collapses into one Reality, or Brahman; hence, "I AM THAT". PB, actually, was more of a parinamavadin, which argues for a non-separate creation that emanates out of the Real, although neither would he object to the ajatavadin argument. But he, and anadi, would make distinctions beyond the non-duality of consciousness, that of of Soul and God, themselves embraced in eternal unity. It is not an all or nothing world, is what we are saying. Consider this alternate way of looking at things.

   PB felt that advaita was too abrupt, and he sought to restore the reality of the Soul to its prior greatness, such as had been granted to it by Plotinus and Jesus, as two examples. He wrote:

   "Vedanta is unsatisfying partly because it is too jerky. It jumps abruptly from the finite and physical individual to the ineffable and unutterable Absolute Itself. It swings from one extreme to another. It fails to recognize that there is and must be an intermediary - the Overself.” (4)

   The writers of the Upanishads were inspired, no doubt, but how did they know what they realized through their logic and meditations was "the Self", and not the "Soul"? How did they known there was only one reality beyond the mind, for instance?

   PB also spoke positively about the ego and it role in ones spiritual awakening. For the ego is not an error, except when neurotic - and, in truth, not even then, as it is yet learning - but is a projection of the soul, not just the thought of 'I' or a "collection of thoughts and tendencies circling around a fixed but empty center" (PB), but also a complex pattern of destiny as well as intuitive intelligence of the soul which strangely enough, in this its positive aspect guides us on the quest. Even ones 'story,' supposedly the source of all evil according to many direct paths, is positive when it is represents a true 'soul-image,' and not a negative 'ego-image,' that is, when it reflects the truth of ones inherent purpose, abidance in the eternal, and longing of a soul seeking its origin. Of course it must be transcended, but it is a significant step to reach this point, and concepts are part of what are necessary to get there. They provide inspiration and guidance. They are necessary aspects of the working of the soul's intelligence. It is true sincerity that counts the most, not so much the technical precision of language.

   Many non-dualists presume, principally through an inquiry into consciousness by the mind only, that one can and does reach the absolute state. But inquiry alone will not take one beyond consciousness, says anadi, because consciousness, until the soul is born, essentially is you in the realm of creation. It awakens to itself, becomes conscious of consciousness, a ‘subject-subject’ state of presence-awareness, through the help of intuitive intelligence, a subset of universal intelligence, but not only for its own sake, as some kind of finality, but rather to allow further possibilities. For only surrender and grace will pull or take one beyond the mind and consciousness, even non-dual consciousness, to the recognition of the absolute state or the 'other side' of the heart, and beyond. This is the testimony of great saints and sage since time immemorial. Whether the "aham sphurana" or "hridaya-shakti"(power of the heart) of Ramana, the "current that knows the way" of Robert Adams, or the divine vibratory word of God spoken of by the saints ("And then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb..." - Revelation 22:1), there is a link between the Supreme and its progeny that is activated by grace, and brings an ecstatic finish to one's tryst with the world, setting one free to see the World-As-It-Is.

   Those who assert awareness to be the primary substance or being of reality are misled and mistaken (hearing something again and again making it appear to be the truth), but they are correct in maintaining that the world is not known outside of consciousness. It is, in fact, valid to conclude that the world is consciousness, or not-separate from consciousness. This is not to fall into a subjective idealism, for the world is a virtual reality produced by universal intelligence coming from the ultimate subjectivity, and is known through an infinite number of centers of conscious perception thus giving rise to the experience of an apparently objective but actually subjective world-in-common. This is what PB (and Iyer) revealed long ago with the doctrine of mentalism. The truth is that both consciousness or awareness and the world arise together, although one can also have, through practice, the experience of pure consciousness without content - but even there, it only appears to be so, for there is always the subtle presence of the soul, which yet remains unquestioned.

   Consciousness may be said to be within the body, as the body is also within consciousness. This is the mysterious nature of consciousness. Thus, there is a non-duality - in the created dimension, that is, this side of the unmanifest - beyond the duality created by a mind producing an apparent subject and object relationship between personality and the world of objects. It is correct to say that, upon the awakening of consciousness to itself, that it becomes known that the personality, previously taken to be the subject, is really not the subject but rather an object to consciousness, the true subject. It is incorrect, however, to claim this subject to be the ultimate subjectivity itself. PB long ago made these ontological distinctions clear. Yet this error is made all the time by those who teach 'presence-awareness' as the one reality, but without complete knowledge not going further. It may by some stretch of logic be a plausible inference, but it defies common sense, and another conclusion.

   When the state of presence or awareness is stabilised, one feels a freedom and happiness, perhaps even a bliss and peace, associated with being released from the limits of the mind - but this does not mean this is the last word on awakening, or the end of the road for the soul. There are many states beyond the mind. And, as Kabir warned, what about the 'seed-mind' within, lurking in the depths of consciousness to undermine ones 'enlightenment'?

   Nor does such awakening always bring great happiness. Happiness and peace are qualities of states beyond the mind, but their extent varies according to the individual. Among other things, this depends on the soul’s evolution, the state of the personality development, how far or how deep one wants to go with the process, and how present the ancient yearning for the soul and its union with the source is felt.

   The awakening to the state of presence-awareness, or consciousness becoming conscious of itself, is not liberation, but the awareness aspect of the soul, or, it might be said, the soul’s identity or reflection in the mind, or in the 'lake of the mind' (mana-sarovar). It does not exist independently, waiting to be experienced, as such, but only becomes real when recognised. This is where the function of intelligence comes in. Realisation and recognition are one. Being and knowing are one. It is not, moreover, all of the soul, or its only aspect. The soul’s truest seat is in the heart, say the ancient scriptures, and it also abides within the dimension of being. When the state of presence is awakened and stabilised, says anadi, one can then relax that awareness and sink deeper into being, giving consciousness roots. Being has deepening levels, but if one plumbs its farthest depth he can then actually have the experience of consciousness seeing its own absence and merging into it, while still remaining paradoxically present. This is what Sri Nisargadatta referred to as realising the absolute state 'beyond consciousness.' Few achieve this and, according to anadi, it is not necessary in order to know the soul and God. However, this preserves consciousness in the absolute dimension, where it would otherwise remains un-knowing stillness, like deep sleep. "In the absolute," said Maharaj, "every I Am is preserved and glorified." Awareness only endures as subjectivity beyond the body when it has first awakened to itself and then known itself in its own absence, its fundamental ground. Otherwise, there is no continuity of conscious awareness after death (shy of enlightenment to the divine, ultimate state - which we have yet to delineate). Thus say these sages - although not all. (5)

   Maharaj, however, apparently stopped there. He declared, 'I AM THAT,' emphasising that the I Am was 'consciousness' only, and pointing to the transcendence of that or merger of that in the absolute state 'beyond consciousness.' To him that 'absolute absence' was the ultimate I AM. Yet how did he know that? What told him? - 'consciousness'? The 'absolute'? No, they did not. Nor was it the intuitive intelligence - essentially the ego, in its positive aspect the shadow or expression of the soul, and that which propels the quest. It was tradition that told him. For all his greatness Maharaj ignored the personal, the soul, through which the impersonal, the universal I AM, is known and also becomes know to the I AM. He simply appeared not to care about it. He spoke disparagingly of the body, i.e., "It is not necessary that it live long," etc., as contrasted with scripture that says, "One should wish to live a hundred years," preferring to vanish in the Unborn. He was bound by the Eastern tradition to negate or ignore the personal in favor of the impersonal. He spoke of awareness and being (the absolute), but what about heart (the divine) ? This is perhaps the most complex aspect of the total I Am, which itself is not just 'consciousness,' but an organic, holistic unity of awareness, being, and heart - as well as, importantly, intelligence. The latter is often overlooked in the traditions where the vision of enlightenment or awakening is limited to that of a static, singular state. But 'who' or 'what' recognises 'consciousness,' or even the 'absolute beyond consciousness'? Only intelligence - the soul's intelligence. This is why Anthony Damiani said he much preferred the word 'intelligence' over that of 'consciousness,' because it is much richer in meaning and not as linear in scope. [This concept is discussed in the article What Is Intelligence?; also, the limitations of traditional models of enlightenment are considered in Why We Need a New Vision, both on this website].

   And what is the heart, the aspect of the individual I Am omitted by Maharaj, and only indirectly pointed to in Buddhism with its concept of metta, or 'loving-kindness'? The Sufis speak of the heart as a 'perfume' of the beloved. The Upanishads say it is the seat of the soul. But the soul is un-meetable until there is first a stabilisation of presence-awareness and its resting in being, 'beneath' consciousness. Not perfect stabilisation, but sufficient for the clear awakening of the heart. The heart is sensitivity. It has a number of levels. It is not just personal feeling or emotion, or even the deeper emotions of the soul, such as yearning or compassion, nor is it only the source of our being, as Ramana Maharshi often said - for it encompasses many levels of our being, not only the source. Yet at its most fundamental level it is the soul, our ancient identity. Therefore, when all three aspects of the I Am are awakened, the soul can emerge through the depths of the heart itself. And at the very, very deepest level of the heart it meets its beloved. This is not to be understood in too rigid of a spatial sense, as the beloved, once the inner requirements are met, is found everywhere. And, if one could only accept the fact, he would know it even now, before meeting any requirements. It is his birthright.

   Part of the confusion over the terms 'consciousness' or 'presence-awareness,' and 'soul,' arise from a misunderstanding of the difference between the 'observer' and the 'witness'. Asking, "who is the observer?," according to anadi, is a technical device that takes one beyond the observer, the ego, to the state of presence. This is sometimes called the witness. It doesn't really witness anything, it is consciousness without objects. And it is also, strangely, 'observable' by ones intuitive intelligence! anadi says that, contrary to thinkers like Krishnamurti and other traditionalists, who state that 'meditation is a state where the observer is not,'

   "It is not the elimination of the observer (the intuitive intelligence) which brings one to the awakened perception, but the transcendence of it. Elimination of the observer is, in truth, regression from the perspective of evolution. The observer, being able to stand apart from the subconscious mind and the empirical reality, is the only passageway to the dimension of pure subjectivity. It is only from the reality of the pure me [soul] that the perceived is embraced in a non-conceptual way." (6)

   anadi says that traditional self-enquiry can bring one to the threshold of pure subjectivity, to the recognition of our essence, by revealing the presence of consciousness, but it is necessary to evolve and expand beyond this realization, which basically does not go beyond the waking state. He says that it is a mistake to assume that traditional enquiry yields ultimate reality. This is important:

   "The traditional aim of self-enquiry 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-enquiry 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-enquiry results in identification with the universal self, we suffer a case of mistaken identity, having confused our relative subject with the absolute subjectivity."

   "We must dwell neither in a void of negative absence derived from the negation of our personal self, nor an illusion of omnipresence derived from identification with universal I am. True self-enquiry points to the essence of our individual existence, the heart of me."

   "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."

   We cannot jump directly from the ego to the supreme in one step or one inquiry. For the process is truly one of evolution, what anadi calls a spiritual expansion, on conscious, intuitive and energetic levels, and not only one of insight.

   Here we are speaking of soul and God. Soul is not an object, even to its divine parent, the ultimate subjectivity, call it God, the universal I AM (anadi), World-Mind (PB), or the Absolute Soul in the Intellectual Principle (Plotinus). The relationship here, while experienced as a unity - with the subtle and often overlooked experiencer or knower of this unity being the soul - is also a kind of duality, but not of subject and object, rather, to state once again, of 'subject and Subject,' the soul and the univeral I AM. We are now at the heart of the mystery. Here, the soul experiences a merging in God, while still being present to itself. It now knows itself truly, but not, as it were, from the outside, but from within itself, and also from inside of the Inside. It knows itself in God, but it is not God. It is not THAT. There is not just one homogenous block of reality, but a richer and greater mystery. In its original state, the soul never knew itself, it simply abided in God. Upon return, it knows its eternal identity in God. It is a strange and unfathomable divine leela, and we are but 'picking up pebbles on the seashore of knowledge.'

   In PB’s language, the true soul or Overself is non-dual, pure being-consciousness (a 'double-knower,' as Plotinus termed it), looking down at creation while also looking up to its source. It is the medium between the personality and the World-Mind, and a ray of that World-Mind. He comes closest among the sages to anadi in languaging reality. For Nisargadatta, the I Am is a 'point of consciousness,' resting on the state 'beyond consciousness' - the I AM, which he considered the ultimate reality. Yet the soul and heart were not explicitly affirmed by him, but rather a priorly negated in the manner of most Advaitic and Buddhist teachings.

   For anadi, the soul is the light reflected within the dewdrop, while God is the light of the sun. The light in the dewdrop awakening to itself is realisation of the soul, while the light in the dewdrop, the soul, seeing or recognising the sun, is the realisation of God - unique and limited, by necessity, to the soul's individual (yet paradoxically, cosmic and infinite) perspective. For no human being can know all of God, but only what he needs to know to fulfill his unique destiny. Knowledge or realisation of God is thus on a 'need to know' basis ! Nor is it a single 'generic' state, but one based on our individual, our soul's 'unique angle of perception,' as he puts it. And this is as it only could be. There are other forms of enlightenment, greater than that of the human, but of which we can know nothing about. Such is one of our built-in limitations, within which we grow to our optimum capacity, before transcending - without negating - this dimension. There are further mysteries to which we cannot penetrate. This is something that advaita does not accept. To them ultimate reality, the Self, can be known. Anadi, however, says:

   "God is mystery...however, we have access to some parts of this mystery. God is total reality which is composed of absolute beingness, absolute awareness and infinite intelligence and love. These are the building blocks of God, so to speak. Apart from these building blocks, there is the unknown, the mystery which is beyond our comprehension...and that must be respected with humility. The reality of God cannot be deciphered but one can have a clear experience of merging with God, of becoming one with her majestic presence. [PB spoke of the awakened soul knowing the 'aura of God's presence'] We are not speaking about some unclear and hysterical mystical experiences which some imbalanced and superficially emotional individuals have. We speak about the realisation which can be measured with the utmost clarity and which contains intelligence and dignity of the soul." (8)

   When the total individual I Am awakens, if the heart is not bypassed in favor of mere non-existence or abidance in being, the uncreated, one may awaken further through the heart to the divine dimension, which rests upon the absolute and is its very meaning or other side (the 'form' of 'emptiness,' which is love); the soul is born, which then proceeds to seek and merge forever within its source, the oversoul, the beloved, the universal I AM. While there may appear to the amazed gaze of the soul to be only One, a non-dual-unity, on subtle discernment it is realised that there is, in fact, an 'illusion of non-duality,' for the soul remains present as the knower of, and within, this unity, as soul in I AM.

   These are all concepts, to which the reader may object, and for which we plead ‘guilty’. Yet so is the famous 'one Self' a concept, and a rather rigid one by comparison. How does one who has awakened to 'presence-awareness know that that presence is the one Self, or that there is, in fact, just one Self? For as Kabir said, "If I say he is one, the question of two arises." Further, how does one know that "consciousness" is the ultimate, all there is? Just to say that consciousness is self-knowing is not satisfactory, nor that it is the source of everything because it is the knowing factor within creation.

   At some point, anadi affirms, it becomes seen or known that the light of ones soul is borrowed from the light of God. [Such light is invisible, the intelligible light of cognition and recognition]. Yet who knows this, and how? You know, through universal intelligence, the wisdom of God. When the soul awakens to herself, her own light, that is realisation of herself. When the soul becomes aware of the source of its light, that is her realisation of God. The soul doesn’t become God, but it becomes aware of the presence of God. I can hear the non-dualists scream, "nonsense!", "fairy tales!" - but it is all right, one can scream. Perhaps it will help. It is all good. There is no problem, for all is embraced and accepted. We simply prefer the doctrine to be not only true, but beautiful. Shakespeare wrote, "there are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio." Reality is not only perfect stillness and rest, but also dynamic as well. Truly, it is beyond all forms of logic: deductive, inductive, syllogistic, symbolic, transcendental, and paradoxical. It Is what it Is, always and forever.

   Some traditions teach only realisation of God or the Self. But, anadi, for one, argues, without realisation of the true perceiver, the soul, such realisation is incomplete and not, in fact, true. For the two, soul and God, are indissoluably intertwined. This is beyond ordinary non-dual presence-awareness, itself but a first stage of enlightenment. The great ones of the past such as Rumi and Ramana and others didn’t spend decades after this point in contemplation and practice if there were nothing further to be reached. Read about Bankei and Hakuin, and how their self-confidence was utterly smashed by their masters, how they went beyond the stage of being 'One-Eyed Monsters,' and engaged the “practice after Satori, and the “downward” practice after that. Read the lives of the great saints and sages, such as Milarepa and Kirpal Singh, their suffering and sacrifice. That is not only preparatory to enlightenment but part of the deepening afterwards, the integration of the personal or human with the soul. Consider also the value of an unbroken lineage, where a master is supported by an esoteric stream of realised beings precedeing him, who transmit through him and are, so to say, 'watching his back.' Read what Papaji and Nisargadatta, from whom many newer teachers claim to descend, really said about their enlightenment. These beings, each and all, weren’t naive souls, but represent the flower of human intelligence.

   All of this is non-conceptual. There is really and forever only not-knowing, and nothing but not-knowing, but of this there are nevertheless several degrees, brilliantly elucidated by anadi: the not-knowing of the state of presence-awareness, of the absolute state beyond consciousness, of the realisation of the soul and God, and beyond. For the soul's destiny does not end with the human evolution, but in conscious union within the universal intelligence and universal life, whose evolution never ends. It is not a state of the mind but of being and the heart. It goes deeper and deeper and forever. The wise man who awakens to this mystery, evolves into a holy fool, an innocent child of the divine. He comes down from the mountain, and resides beyond the beyond, totally beyond, gate, gate, param gate, and, abiding in the I AM, beyond all concepts, including lofty ones like, ‘form is emptiness, emptiness is form,' the classic non-dual declaration, and no longer knows or cares if he is enlightened or not. All he is interested in is the beloved and the well-being of her creation, seeing God’s eyes looking out at him from everywhere, even as silence overwhelms his inner being. He is calm, serene, and ordinary, but an ordinariness of an extraordinary nature. His ordinariness is the fruit of a great evolution. He knows himself in his not-knowingness, in every moment, and as if for the first time.

   Let us now re-cap. This may be the most important paragraph in this article. In order to say "I Am That," there has to be someone who says I Am That. This has been overlooked because of preconceived conclusions of the spiritual paths. It is not the ego which says it, it is not consciousness which says it, it is not the absolute Unborn which says it, nor is it THAT which says it. It is the Soul, the deepest aspect of Me, which says it, the hidden perceiver of all states which is not a state but our true identity. We start out life unconscious, or basically subconscious. We do not start as pure knowing consciousness, contrary to many teachers. There is some consciousness, and we become self-aware enough to start seeking for our true nature, which has never known itself. The sleeping soul yearns to know herself and her Creator. So she first strives to know herself in the mind, as consciousness, through various practices (vipassana, then awareness watching awareness, etc. ), until attention comes to a state of self-awareness. This stabilizes as the state of Presence. Since it has universal, impersonal, and subjective qualities, traditionally, and for most contemporary teachers, it is taken for the ultimate. But this is not so. It is, for one thing, absent in deep sleep, and, also, it is not immovable, but has energetic fluctuations. When this awakened consciousness knows its own absence in its being aspect as the absolute state, it realizes the Unborn, the source of peace, the ground of consciousness. This, however, is not the ultimate either. The meeting point of consciousness and its absence in being is the reflecting mirror, and foundation, for the Soul to finally know herself in the Heart. Most Buddhists stop here. But when the Heart awakens, upon a foundation of awakened consciousness and being, one can know its 'deepest' depth, the closest to us, which is the Soul's true identity.

   One can simply rest in the peace of the absolute state, detached, disidentified. That, for many, is the goal. Yet the Soul is still 'crying' to know itself and its Creator. The happiness of the Soul is not merely the absence of suffering, but a positive transcendental condition. The Soul can know herself in the mirror of consciousness, but it is not the mirror herself. Nor does consciousness, as the mirror, watch the mirror! This is different from the popular model where the creation is the mirror for consciousness to know itself. In a way, that is so, but it is stage one, not the final goal. Consciousness is the knowing factor, the light of cognition. It is not, however, the Soul's identity. That is prior to consciousness and known through the Heart center. It is, finally, neither within nor without. It is positive joy, not just negative peace. It is the unity of Buddha-nature and Christ Consciousness. Next, the Soul comes to know the Beloved, the I AM, and merges into it yet without losing it distinct existence. This is a wholistic vision and divine mystery. In this, I am not the I AM, I am the perception of the I AM from the unique 'angle' of the Soul within the Totality. While I am not the I AM, the I AM is Me:

   "When Me [the Soul] is awakened to itself for the first time, the new and true Non-dual vision of reality is apperceived. In this apperception, the Wholeness embraces its very experience, the unique Soul, the ultimate heart of Me, as itself. This Me is an indivisible part of the Ultimate Seeing. The Non-dual Perception is not the end of Seeing. The evolution into the Seeing of Reality does not have an end. And this evolution can take place only through the Me, the mysterious perceiver of the Universal I AM. This Perceiver is not separated from the Wholeness. It is this part of the Totality through which the Now becomes the Seen." (9)

   This, I believe, is the deeper meaning of Sant Kirpal Singh's oft repeated slogan, "seeing is above all," and Ramakrishna's, "I see Him as clearly as I see you!." Not just seeing light, but seeing God.

   What, one might well ask, exactly is the Soul when it 'dissolves' in the Beloved? As said, this is mystery, for the Soul is forever one with the Beloved, yet it had never recognized this. [This is an extremely important point, because, according to anadi, the traditions have not adequately distinguished between a state and the recognition of a state]. The states, such as consciousness, do not exist independently waiting to be recognized. Thus, the state of Presence is not present in deep sleep. It's existence is inferred while in the waking state. States become realized through a process of evolution. And, it is, in fact, the Soul which recognizes any state. Anthony Damiani said that when a Soul comes to self-recognition it is for the first time, that it never knew it before. PB said the same, and that an 'emanant' of the Soul was projected into creation and evolved through a long evolution. anadi calls this the 'minimal Soul' required for existence as a sentient being]. When Soul knows itself, it can now merge with the Beloved. It merges while remaining herself, but without self-ownership. To define the Soul is not as easy as to say what consciousness is. For what is the essence of a caterpillar when it completely dissolves in its cocoon before becoming a butterfly? What we are trying to express is something like that.

   In anadi's words, once again:

   "When the Soul sees that the identification with thoughts and feelings is not her real identity, she starts to seek within the consciousness for her true face. It is usually at this stage when one discovers the state of presence. The Soul is experiencing her pure "I Am" for the first time. It is so easy to stop at this stage, assuming that this is our true identity. So many have stopped here, convinced that this is the end of the journey, but it is much too soon."

   "When the Soul discovers the Presence, we can say she has found the tool through which she can recognize herself. Through the presence, the Soul is conscious of herself as pure consciousness...but still it is not her true identity."

   "In the Absolute State, the Soul recognizes herself as that which was never born, the Unborn source of Consciousness. In the Absolute State, the Soul, thanks to consciousness, recognizes that which is prior to consciousness, prior to any experience. Here she has the experience of absolute rest and ease...At this moment the Soul might conclude: "I am That," "I Am not Consciousness, I am the Unborn." But the journey is not completed yet."

   "Who is behind the sense of I Am? Who recognizes the Absolute State? Who feels this amazing rest of being in the Absolute? It is not simply "Consciousness" and it is not "nobody." There is something more to it, much more. This "more" is Me, my True identity. What is it? My true identity is not personality, not the I Am, not the Absolute State. The ego is just a movement of my intelligence; the I Am is the essence of that by which I am conscious and I can experience knowing; the Absolute is simply my foundation, the source of my beingness on which I eternally rest. But who or what am I?"

   "What is the intimate core behind the sense of myself? The Soul, expanding into the different realms of consciousness and intelligence, is coming closer and closer to awakening herself to herself, as herself. This awakening can take place only if the maturity of intelligence meets the depth of sensitivity within the Heart. I am that which I feel directly in my Heart as myself. The utmost intimate touch of my own recognition of myself is absolutely personal. Humility, innocence and sensitivity meet in the Heart as a direct knowing of myself as myself."

   "Although it has universal qualities, it is at the same time absolutely personal. The sense of I ultimately belongs to the Soul and only to the Soul."

   "Ultimately the I Am announcement refers to the oneness of the Soul, the Consciousness and the Absolute. I Am means that Me, the Soul, resting upon the Ultimate State is recognizing herself in the mirror of Consciousness."

[For anadi, the 'Ultimate' is the Universal I AM, the Totality. The Ultimate is the unity of the Absolute beingness (the empty 'nothingness' that becomes known to conscious in the Absolute state) and the Divine (the dimension of the Heart, the Beloved). The Soul's true resting place is in the Beloved, not the Absolute; the Absolute is the resting place of consciousness. Simple in essence, but admittedly much more complex than merely saying "all is consciousness"].

   "To find the Soul is to experience within the Heart the deepest, the most intimate, personal and unique feeling of Me...The Soul can realize herself fully only if she meets the Beloved. the Soul in reality exists only in relation to the Beloved...The Soul is a reflection of the Beloved within the Heart." (10)

   This final discovery is the most beautiful. anadi expresses the divine paradox in an elegant and truly creative way. To my mind, it makes most non-dual teachings seem rather limited in scope:

   "The Soul can rest only in the Beloved. The Soul cannot rest in herself exclusively because she doesn't exist apart from the Creator. The Soul exists only in the Beloved."

   "The Soul is the Beloved, but the Beloved that sees herself as a Soul. In this seeing, the Beloved is separated from herself. This is the mystery of Creation."

   "The pure understanding that is born in the Heart gives rise to the highest ecstasy, to the ecstasy of the Divine. It is not only the ecstasy of the Soul discovering the Beloved - it is the ecstasy of the Beloved discovering herself."

   "It is possible to call Creation an illusion, the Creator emptiness, and the Soul non-existent. This is the shortest way to the impersonal. Seemingly, the impersonal is reached by the impersonal and dissolves into the impersonal. This is the ideal of Non-duality. But in truth, to meet the impersonal face to face, the personal must be there to face it. Here, the ultimate duality serves its supreme purpose, and Me rests in full acceptance of its supreme "dual" existence and truth."

   "The Soul is that which meets the Divine. In this meeting, the Soul is dissolved into her deeper identity. But though she becomes dissolved, in some mysterious way, the Soul continues to exist, and recognizes That in which she is being dissolved. This is the miracle of the meeting with the Beloved. Because the Soul is present, the Beloved can be met; and only because the Soul can be dissolved is the Beloved met. The Soul therefore is the Beloved. The Beloved is the Soul."

   Anthony Damiani would say that the Soul's inherent self-cognition now recognizes its 'prior' principle, the Intellectual Principle or Nous. PB might say that the Void-Mind wakes up to itself. Kabir would say that 'the drop merges into the ocean, and the ocean merges into the drop'. In whatever way one finds it, it leaves one speechless, in never-ending tears of joy and gratitude.

   To conclude, anadi states that in complete direct paths [excluding for the moment alternative, more gradual (and sometimes incomplete) mystical paths], one first awakens to the subject of consciousness, as the witness, and then goes beyond subject and object, realising the non-dual state of Consciousness or presence-awareness. After this, Consciousness is allowed to relax and deepen into being (the gateway for a rare few to the Absolute state 'beyond consciousness'). Then or concurrently one may awaken to the divine domain of the Heart. In the 'depths' of the Heart lies the non-dual 'duality' of Soul and Beloved. Some teachers and traditions have emphasized Being and some the Heart as doorways to the 'beyond'. [And, it should be mentioned, that the word 'beyond' should not be taken in a spatial sense; prior to realization, some imagination is required here]. Nisargadatta and Ramana were such examples. Enlightenment is possible through either doorway, although completeness asks for both, as they are truly inseparable. The three aspects of the individual subjectivity or I Am, of awareness, being, and heart or love, along with grace, intuitive and universal intelligence - even the alignment of the stars - allow for the birth of the Soul, which is then and finally drawn to its Creator as a moth to a flame. It is never not in the Creator [capital "C" because it is beyond both time and the timeless], but yet it is still drawn to it. Such is a marvelous divine paradox. This Primal Duality beyond non-duality is - to repeat one more time, for it is well-worth pondering - of the nature of 'subject to Subject,' not 'subject to object.' The subjects know each other, as it were, from inside one another.

  When and how does the ultimate, the Creator 'create'? First, how. Not as a carpenter builds a house. Creation by the creator happens only in the eternal now. This is ajata, or non-creation. That is what is meant by creation. Thus, 'nothing ever happens,' and, therefore, paradoxically, 'everything happens.' And when does the Soul know its unity with the creator? Also in the eternal Now, the timeless, the vertical dimension into which it is paradoxically evolving through the horizontal dimension of time. The Soul is born where time and the timeless meet. The Creator is beyond the polarities of time and timelessness. "Time is the moving image of eternity," said Plato.

   The Soul is not born until it is born. The whole cosmos is its midwife. Until then it does not fully know itself as itself.

   There is only Reality, after all. All parts of the being are evolving, and not merely realised to be illusions. This is the integral vision:

   "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." (12)

   Not only does one merge into the light, but the light must thoroughly penetrate the darkness, for one to truly go 'beyond'. And at the heart of this vision is a 'Primal Duality', beyond the ''Created' realm of non-dual consciousness as well as the apparent duality generated by the mind - while at the same time including them.

   It is for the reader to ponder these things deeply and not be quick to come to preconceived conclusions.

   The path is real, and the one travelling the path is also real. On the other hand, they are 'not.' The mind can never get its arms around this thing, but it can and will try, some say must try - until it is no longer possible. Beyond 'Consciousness' and the 'Unborn', one, through Grace, falls into the ever-waiting arms of love and understanding, as a 'child of the Creator', the Beloved.

   There is no game of comparing achievements, nor is it correct to value only the 'end.' What is important, finally, says anadi, is not the state realised, but the one who has reached it. For the whole man must be considered. Even one who is enlightened to the absolute state may not be as evolved as one stably abiding in the state of presence, or the heart. This is not a contradiction of what has been argued before, but a true assessment of the non-linearity of the path. For each and every moment is a fulfillment of an aspect of the soul within the totality of the now. What was Mr. Roger's level of enlightenment? See how petty a question. Once again, we confront the statement of Maharaj:

   "You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself, it will not be your own way and will take you nowhere."

   This, of course, includes using ones intuitive intelligence to ask important questions, even if by doing so one goes beyond what Sri Nisargadatta said was the supreme realisation, for instance, determining for oneself whether his conclusion ('the absolute state') was limited by a traditional outlook or whether or not it was incomplete. We need to respect higher guidance, yet without being intimidated by the experience of others, thinking that ours may not fit their accepted mould of enlightenment. We are each of value in our own way, a unique expression of the infinite, and in our fulfillment, the great Uniqueness.

   Where, then, is God? “Where is the ocean?”, said the fish. For she is not absent. If one does not see her, it is because he is absent, not God - because the soul is not yet present, which would give him eyes to see. It is a mystery; how many times must we use that word? Again and again, for it is a good word. Ramakrishna Paramahans said to Naren (Vivekananda), “Yes, I see God, more clearly than I see you!” He wasn’t talking about a vision of Kali; he had long gone beyond that. Nor was he talking about a formless trance; he chided Vivekananda severely for wishing such an experience, saying, “you fool, there is a state much higher than that!” What he meant was THAT spoken of in the Ashtavakra Gita, of which he kept a copy hidden from all but his spiritual son. He spoke of seeing God! And ‘who’ could do that? Only the soul, when it meets its absence, and paradoxically becomes even more present, from inside of the divine Person. And even then it must fully meet and intimately unite with its humanity, becoming 'human', from within the wholeness of the totality, evolving beyond traditional liberation... But this is a subject for the next and final article in this series, Part Four: Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

   "The soul's vision it has of its divine Lord is the vision which He has of the soul." - Ibn 'Arabi

   "The eye with which I see God is the eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye,
   one seeing, one knowing and one love."
- Meister Eckhart

   “Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sun-like.
    And never can soul have the vision of the First Beauty unless itself be beautiful.
  - Plotinus

   "God is closer to me than I am to myself." - St. Augustine


   That is the vision; this is the promise:

   "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which
   God hath prepared for them that love him."
(I Cor. 1:9-13)

   "For then shall I know even as also I am known" (I Cor 13:9-12)

    Rumi: The meaning of Love


(1) http://www.ramatirtha.org/vol1/vol1.htm
(2) For a concise and insightful summary of the advaitic path to self-realization, see James' Swartz What Is Enlightenment?)
(3) Swami Nikhilinanda, trans., The Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada's Karika and Sankara's Commentary (Kolkata, India: Advaita Ashram, 2010), p. xxxii
(4) Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, Vol 16 (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), 1.90
(5) Consciousness after death?
(6) Aziz Kristof (Anadi), Transmission of Awakening (Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1999), p. 19
(7) anadi, book of enlightenment (www.anaditeaching.com, 2011), p. 153
(8) Kristof, op. cit., p. 269-270)
(9) Aziz Kristof (anadi), Enlightenment Beyond Traditions (Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidas, 1999), p. 156-157
(10) Ibid, p. 111-115
(11) Ibid, p. 131-134, 156
(12) anadi, op. cit, p. 17