Neti Neti is an old Vedantic phrase meaning ‘Not this, not this’. Nothing of the phenomenal world or of experience. One describes That by what it is not.
This is a useful starting place to review a few terms sometimes used in spiritual discussion that I don’t use much here. Simply because my own journey has not found them as useful.
In a meditation practice, when we first transcend the world of experience, it can be like a blank spot or void. As that gets clearer, people use many such terms to describe it. The void. Emptiness. Space. Nothingness.
I don’t use such terms much as for me it is more fullness. Some of it is pre-space, so such ideas as space simply don’t fit. Wholeness and totality do. But that is simply this perspective. There is no right or wrong answer here.
What is difficult for the mind to accept is that both fullness and emptiness describe the same thing. Totality of nothingness. Void of wholeness. (laughs) That’s not empty of wholeness but a void that is wholeness. Remember that oneness is inclusive and without polarity.
Recently, the term no-self has come up in talks and discussions. I don’t use the term simply as it’s not the way I experienced the process. But I have heard of people describe the falling away of the person or ego-self and finding a bit of a blank spot, before a sense of Self kicked in. Before a sense of the One Being was present.
Given the experience of void or emptiness, that would tie in with the idea of no-self. It implies without Person or ego-self. Stepping out of person and into emptiness. It may even be that “Self” is meaningless and a sense of ‘not’ remains. All ways of experiencing the One are possible.
Several of my awake friends have recently described having no mind. I have heard the idea before but I did not understand this at first as they still had thoughts. Turns out, what they experienced was that the individual mind lost it’s boundary. There was no longer anything there, any limitation to call “mind”. Thoughts and feelings simply arise.
In many ways, this is the pure form of it. Simple falling away of boundaries. All dissolving into Oneness, Being.
But on my own journey, it is not so simple. Because of my history, there already was a larger mind. Actually a couple of layers of that. What I call the 3 illusions are contained by them. When the individual falls away, the universal mind remains. When we transcend the shared illusion, God’s dream remains. When we transcend that, you come to the place of Being alone, as above. A kind of no-mind.
But as Oneness integrates, it comes to include the dreams again, but now within Itself, not separate. Now a part of rather than other. A real dream, if we could say.
Many ways on the path and many viewpoints. All in and of the same place. Every painter adds to the portrait in the empty frame.