Header Graphic
It's Not About Me

   - a work in progress

“When men imagine they are adoring Allah it is Allah who is adoring himself.” - Jalaluddin Rumi

"The truth may not always burst on its votary in a sudden brief and total flash. It may also come on so slowly that he will hardly know its movement. But in both cases this process will be measured by his abandonment of a purely personal and self-centered attitude…The illumination falls into the mind suddenly and I neither will it nor expect it. There is nothing of the “me” in it. That falls off my shoulders as if it were an extremely heavy and uncomfortable garment.”

"So long as the aspirant takes the attitude that he aspires to unite with the Overself, that he wants permanent spiritual illumination, he is only adding another desire to those which his ego already possesses. He is still turning round inside the closed circle of the little self."

"The Long Path is taught to beginners and others in the earlier and middle stages of the quest. This is because they are ready for the idea of self-improvement but not for the higher one of the unreality of the self. So the latter is taught on the Short Path, where attention is turned away from the little self and from the idea of perfecting it, to the essence, the real being."

“The transition from the Long to the Short Path is really a normal experience, even though to each person it seems like a major discovery.”

“The usual ways seek personal attainment, achievement, salvation. The aspirant thinks or speaks of “ my mind” or “my purification” or “my progress”; hence, such ways are self-enclosed, egoistic. Whatever repression of the ego that there is occurs only on the surface and merely drive it down to hide in the subconscious, whence it will re-emerge later. These methods are Long Path ones, hence are destined to end in futility and despair...The Short Path turns realization over to Overself so that it is not your concern any longer.”

“Why create needless frustrations by an overeager attitude, by overdoing spiritual activity? You are in the Overself’s hands even now and if the fundamental aspiration is present, your development will go on without your having to be anxious about it. Let the burden go. Do not become a victim of too much suggestion got from reading too much spiritual literature creating an artificial conception of enlightenment.”

“It is an error, although a reasonable one, to believe that attainment comes only when the whole distance of this path has been travelled. This is to make it depend on measurement, calculation - that is, on the ego’s own effort, management, and control: on the contrary, attainment depends on relinquishment of the ego, and hence of the idea of progress which accompanied it.”

"The average spiritual aspirant is unduly self-centered. This is because he is so preoccupied with his own development, his own self-correcting, and his own spiritual needs that he tends to forget a vitally important truth. This is that the last battle to be fought on the Quest - the battle which brings the ego finally and fully under the Overself’s rule - is reflected to a lesser extent in the earlier battles of the Quest. This battle cannot possibly be won by the aspirant himself for the very good and sufficient reason that the ego is not willing to commit suicide, or to put it in another way, is unable to lift itself onto a plane of non-existence. Final victory can only come by the bestowal of Grace from the Overself, which alone can effect this seeming miracle. To attract this Grace the seeker needs to turn away from his self-centeredness to what is its utter opposite - preoccupation with the Overself. He is to think of the Divine alone, of the infinitude and eternity of the Higher Power, and to forget all about his personal growth for a while."

Those who look for advancement by looking for inner experiences or for discoveries of new truth do well. But they need to understand that all this is still personal, still something that concerns the ego even if it be the highest and best part of the ego. Their greatest advance will be made when they cease holding the wish to make any advance at all, cease this continual looking at themselves, and instead come to a quiet rest in the simple fact that God is, until they live in this fact alone. That will transfer their attention from self to Overself and keep them seeing its presence in everyone's life and its action in every event. The more they succeed in holding to this insight, the less will they ever be troubled or afraid or perplexed again; the more they recognize and rest in the divine character, the less will they be feverishly concerned about their own spiritual future.”

   “The illumination falls into the mind suddenly and I neither will it nor expect it. There is nothing of the “me” in it. That falls off my shoulders as if it were an extremely heavy and uncomfortable garment.”

“The Overself lovingly swallows us.”

“The Overself takes over his identity not by obliterating it but by including it through its surrender...What happens metaphysically to the further existence of the being resulting from the conscious union of the ego with the Overself is guarded as a mystery and may not be discussed...He will unite with the Divine first by completely disappearing into it, then by discovering his higher individuality in it...When the two are one, when ego and Overself no longer remain at a distance from one another, man experiences his first illumination. What will happen thereafter is wrapped in mystery."
(Paul Brunton, Notebooks, Vol. 13, Part 1, 4.89; Vol. 15, Part One, 1.25, 1.30, 4.55, 5.228, 5.232, 5.233, Vol. 15, Part 1, 5.222, 4.70; Vol.14, 6.117, 6.69)

“Everything is for God, and for His purpose. Of course He wants you to be happy, but that is not His highest aim. God’s glory and His purpose are the end of all things...It is hard to convince a modern person that God is his final end, and that everything in life should be to God and for God. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and your freedom in God. You must simply want God’s purpose fulfilled more than anything else in creation. You belong to God, you have been made for Him. Your natural instincts tell you to protect your life, and take care of yourself. There is nothing wrong with this, but you can live by a deeper instinct within your spirit that lives only for God’s glory...”If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:34; Luke 14:33) We must follow Jesus Christ, step by step and not open up a path for ourselves: we can only follow Him by denying ourselves; and what is this but unreservedly abandoning every right over ourselves? And so St. Paul tells us, “Ye are not your own” (1 Cor: 6:19); no, nothing remains that belongs to us. How can we retain anything of our own, when we do not even belong to ourselves? God has only bestowed upon us a will, free and capable of self-possession, that we may the more generously recompense the gift by returning it to its rightful owner. The only thing that really belongs to us is our will, and it is of this, therefore, that God is especially jealous, for He gave it to us, not that we should retain it, but that we should return it to Him, whole as we received it, and without the slightest reservation. If the least desire remains, or the smallest hesitation, it is robbing God, contrary to the order of creation, for all things come from Him, and to Him they are all due...You can love God simply for who He is, and not for what He does for you. If you think this kind of love is impossible, I have two things to say. Nothing is impossible with God. Are you going to accuse the greatest Christians of every generation to be living an illusion simply because you cannot match their standard?”Is eternal life your goal, and not God Himself? Your love is weak indeed if this is true!”

“Sometimes God takes away His gifts until you can possess them purely. Otherwise, they will poison you. It is rare to hold God’s gifts without possessiveness. You think everything is for you. You do not think first of God or you would not become depressed when your visible blessings vanish. The truth is, you are mostly concerned with yourself. Self-love is proud of its spiritual accomplishments. You must lose everything to find God for Himself alone. But you won’t lose everything until it is ripped from you.You won’t begin to let go of yourself until you have been thrown off a cliff! He takes away to give back in a better way.”

Prayer of Surrender: ”Am I afraid to give myself to You? What a mistake! It is not even I who would give myself to You, but You who would give Yourself to me. Take my heart.” - Fenelon, The Seeking Heart, p. 178-179

“We invert the order of things...We must not desire his glory on account of our own salvation, but, on the other hand, the desire for his glory should impel us to seek our own happiness as a thing which He has been pleased to make a part of his glory. It is true that all holy souls are not capable of exercising this explicit preference for God over themselves, but there must at least be an implicit preference; the former, which is more perfect, is reserved for those whom God has endowed with light and strength to prefer Him to themselves, to such a degree as to desire their own happiness simply because it adds to his glory.”

   “Suffer Him, then, to despoil self-love of every adornment, even to the inmost covering under which it lurks, that you may receive the robe whitened by the blood of the Lamb, and having no other purity than his. O happy soul, that no longer possesses anything of its own, nor even anything borrowed, and that abandons itself to the Well-beloved, being jealous of every beauty but his? O spouse, how beautiful art thou, when thou hast no longer anything of thine own! Thou shalt be altogether the delight of the bridegroom, when He shall be all thy comeliness! Then He will love thee without measure, because it will be Himself that He loves in thee…

   Thou art the life of my soul as my soul is the life of my body; Thou art more intimately present to me than I am to myself; this I, to which I am so attached and which I have so ardently loved, ought to be strange to me in comparison with Thee; Thou art the bestower of it; without Thee it never would have been; therefore it is that Thou desirest that I should love Thee better than it.

   “O my God! in these souls, offended at thy pure love, I behold the darkness and rebellion resulting from the fall! Thou didn’t not make man’s heart will this monstrous passion of appropriation. The uprightness wherein the scriptures teach us he was originally created consisted in this, that he had no claim upon himself but acknowledged that he belonged to his Creator. O Father! thy children are sadly changed, and no longer bear thine image! They are enraged, they are discouraged when they are told they should belong to Thee as Thou belongest to Thyself! They desire to reverse this holy order, and would madly raise themselves into Gods.”
(Fenelon, Spiritual Progress, p. 129, 19, 20)

   “At length, when it no longer hesitates to lose all and forget self, it possesses all. It is true that it is not a conscious possession, so that the soul addressed itself as happy, for that would be to return to self after having quitted it forever; but it is an image of the condition of the blessed, who will be always ravished by the contemplation of God, without having a moment, during the whole of eternity, to think of themselves and their felicity. They are so satisfied in these transports, that they will be eternally rejoicing, without once saying to themselves that they are happy…They do not possess happiness, but their happiness possesses them."

[note: compare with advaitin Shri Atmananda, Notes on Spiritual Discourses, #1325: “When you say you are happy, you are not happy. For then, you stand away from your happiness and are objectifying it. When you are happy, you are not happy in the literal sense, but you are happiness in identity, and then you do not know it.” ]

   “Most seek to guide Thee instead of being guided by Thee. They give themselves up to Thee, that they may become great, but withdraw when they are required to become little. They say they are attached to nothing, and are overwhelmed by the smallest losses. They desire to possess Thee, but are not willing to lose self, that they may be possessed by Thee. This is not loving Thee; it is desiring to be loved by Thee. O God, the creature knows not to what end Thou hast made him; teach him, and write in the depths of his soul, that the clay must suffer itself to be shaped at the will of the potter!”

"We must not desire his glory on account of our own salvation, but on the other hand, we should see that our own happiness is a thing that he has been pleased to make a part of his glory. It is true that all holy souls are not capable of exercising this explicit preference for God over themselves, but there must be at least an implicit preference. We human beings have a great distaste for this truth, and consider it to be a very hard saying, because we are lovers of self. We understand, in a general and superficial way, that we must love God more than all his creatures, but we have no conception of loving God more than ourselves, and loving ourselves only for him....We may be sure, then, that it is only the love of God that can make us come out of self. If his powerful hand did not sustain us, we would not know how to take the first step in that direction."
- Fenelon, The Complete Fenelon, p. 100, 103

“Meditation will not bring divine union, neither will love, nor worship, nor your devotion, nor your sacrifice. Nor does it matter how much light the Lord gives you. Eventually it will take an act of God to make union a reality. In the Old Testament the Scripture says, “No man shall see God and live.” (Exodus 33:20). If your prayer still contains your own life, that prayer cannot see God. Your life will not know the experience of union with His life. All that is of your doing, all that comes from your life - even your most exalted prayer - must first be destroyed before union can come about.” - Jeanne Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (Sargent, Georgia: SeedSowers, 1975), p. 125

"What is meditation? Meditation is not this body-mind meditating as an individual, but it is this knowledge "I am," this consciousness, meditating on itself...You will not be able to comprehend this so long as you try to understand things as an individual...It is not the person that is doing sadhana. The person is in unrest and resistance to the very end. It is the witness that works on the person, on the totality of its illusions, past, present and future." - Nisargadatta Maharaj, I AM THAT

“The great sages of our collective history have all told us that what they realized is meant for each one of us, that it’s not unique for them. It’s not something they own. It’s something they realize is inherent within everything and everybody, because really, it’s not you or I who wake up. It’s life that wakes up.Your life becomes an expression of that which is inexpressible, unexplainable, and indefinable.”
(Adyashanti, Fallng Into Grace, p. 200)

“Maybe you could also see that insofar as the Lord of the World - or let’s say the lords of karma - brings about this fabrication, your ego, for whatever number of years, it must love that very much. In other words, the Governor of the World, who creates what we look upon as the natal chart, must love that very much. It loves it completely, but the ego mistakenly understands that as love for itself.” (Anthony Damiani, Standing in Your Own Way (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1993), p. 158)

   True, it loves it for the sake of the Intelligible world or Nous, within the soul, and which the soul is within, i.e., the Great Uniqueness, when in its fulfillment the soul transcends and no longer owns herself but is, so to speak, in union with the Supreme.

Teacher anadi explains our uniqueness in this way:

   “It is very interesting to see that the soul who is the experiencer of all, can negate herself. That's why, the concept of the no-soul or no-self has been created in Buddhism. The soul, who has reached the original state, the Unborn, the emptiness, and who has become completely one with the universal I AM, can negate her own existence! She can say, "I am not." The soul can assume that there is only the universal impersonal existence. For that reason, the awakening to the soul is the most subtle for she is closest to us, she is our nearest identity. From the point of view of the soul, even emptiness, even awareness, even the inner state and inner peace are external, so to speak."

   “It is a paradox that in order to go beyond the me you have to find your real me. Your real me is the soul. By finding yourself, a certain merging happens, certain transcendance takes place. The moment you merge with yourself, you become part of the bigger me, bigger whole. So you cannot go beyond your me just by negating it. You can go beyond your me only by realising it fully, this is a law. Accept your me as it is and go deep into its reality. In this way, suddenly you will see that it is no longer this little separate me, it is the Great ME, me which is experiencing unity with Creation, with the Creator.”
(Aziz Kristof, (anadi) Transmission of Awakening (Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1999), p. 277-281, 160-161)

   “The soul is unique because she is herself, not because she tries to become someone or something else. She has the inimitable flavor of pure subjectivity and a distinct place within the totality of existence...The realm of absence is absent only from the viewpoint of personal presence...That which witnesses our absence is the impersonal intelligence of the soul. In the realization of absence, the soul does not disappear, but transcends the illusion that she owns her personal existence."

   “In our ignorance, we unconsciously assume that our longing for spiritual transformation is based on an essential need to reach personal well-being and release, when in truth it is existence using our self-centeredness as fuel for its own expansion. We do not evolve for our own sake, but for the sake of the eternal whole. It is the will of the divine that all beings and forms of intelligence expand into the sacred heart of creation."
- (anadi, book of enlightenment (www.anaditeaching.com, 2011), p. 164, 257, 295

“There are chiefly three exquisite qualities of love. The first is that the soul here loves God, not through itself but through him. This is a remarkable quality, for the soul loves through the Holy Spirit, as the Father and Son love each other, according to what the Son himself declares through St. John: “That the love with which you have loved me be in them and I in them” [Jn. 17:26]. The second exquisite quality is to love God in God, for in this union the Soul is ardently absorbed in love of God, and God in great ardor surrenders himself to the soul. The third exquisite quality of love is to love him on account of who he is. The soul does not love him only because he is generous, good, glorious, and so on, to it, but with greater intensity it loves him because he is all this in himself essentially...It praises God for what he is in himself. Even though the soul would experience no delight, it would praise him because of who he is.” (St. John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, Stanza 3.82/3, from The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, ed. Kavanough/Rodriguez, 1991)

   “This divine breeze of the Holy Spirit should be greatly desired...The soul desires this, not for her own pleasure and glory but because she knows that her Bridegroom delights in this, and it is a preparation and foretelling of the coming of the Son of God to take his delight in her.” (Ibid, The Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 17.9)

   “After having abandoned yourself entirely to Him, you should regard your soul as ground that no longer belongs to you but to Him alone in which to sow whatever seed He pleases; light or darkness, pleasure or disgust, in a word, all that He pleases, or nothing at all, if such should be His will. Oh! how terrible to self-love is this nothing! but how good and profitable for the soul is this grace, and the life of faith. God does not complete His work in us perfectly, unless we become firmly established by our will in the conviction of our own nothingness.”

   “In fact, why should one be so engrossed in oneself? The true self is God, since He is more completely the life of the soul than the soul is the life of the body. God created us for Himself alone; let us think then of Him, and he will think of us, and provide for us much better than we can for ourselves. When we fall let us humble ourselves, and rise again, and go on our way in peace, and think always of our true self which is God, in whom we should lose ourselves and be engulfed, in the way in which we shall find ourselves absorbed and engulfed in Heaven during the infinite duration of the great day of eternity. Amen! Amen!"
- deCaussade (Spiritual Counsels, Eighth Book, Letter XI, XVIII)

   “In the Absolute, every I AM is preserved and glorified.” - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj