Another great question, this on the basics of our existence.
“My spiritual journey is driven by one main question I had from the very beginning: How and why did I and this world come to existence? After reading so many books, ok, I can accept that the world is an illusion, so I can take it out of the question. But how about “I”? My admired spiritual teachers all say:
The only thing I know for certain is I AM and I don’t know anything else.
Is this I AM knowledge so strong that it dispels the urge to ask the question about how and why the Spirit comes to existence?”
Some people use “I Am” to describe soul realization. The awakened inner spirit. But this is not Self realization as the me remains. The deeper sense of Self or “Amness” becomes clear either before or after Self realization – that’s why the name. Self realization itself is when we not just experience it but become it. Some describe this as the end of the seeker, when self-knowledge dawns. It’s not learned knowledge but rather more knowingness.
While this is a worthwhile “goal”, some people suggest this is the end of inquiry. Not in my books. It is not the end of knowledge. In fact, this is one of the things I harp on. It’s just the beginning. That’s partly why they call it being “reborn”. If you consider “I Am” and the surrender of knowing the end of wisdom, you’ve missed the discovery of reality itself. Fundamental reality is beyond I and Am. There are many teachers who are realized but fewer who have reached the highest truths of fully embodied unity. While a realized person can offer great value, they cannot take you where they are not. Only in unity is the fundamental reality revealed, after transcending even God’s dream.
As a side note, not everyone will use terms like “I Am” because there can be a sense of the end of “I”, either with the end of the ego or with the end of identity prior to unity. However, it’s difficult to use English without using “I”. (laughs)
Ultimate reality cannot be described as it has no qualities or characteristics. In fact, it is beyond even being. We can use words like silence, source, or unmanifest. Brahman or Tao. Within that unmanifest nature is 2 unexpressed principles, what Lorne calls liveliness and alertness. When alertness becomes lively, the silence becomes aware and then becomes aware of itself. When awareness becomes aware of itself, there is a recognition, then explosion of expression. Being becomes, existence then is.
How that expression is perceived depends on from where you are looking, your perspective. One may see an explosion of love that flows, creating and sustaining everything. One may see Shiva and Shakti making love. One may see the unfolding of pure knowledge and intelligence into structure. One may also feel, hear, or know or may not see, just feel or hear or know. Thus, the diversity of descriptions of the details. But the fundamental process remains. Until you experience it for yourself, it will not make a lot of sense. But it is you who is doing this. You are that awareness, that lively alertness that infuses everything, that causes being to become.
Everything we know and experience is a derivative of that process. Often, a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. As above, so below. The world is frequently described as an illusion and this is found true at a certain point. But the deeper truth is that it’s a dream. The imagination of God, at play in the field of love and wisdom.
Certainly, our experience of life quite often does not match that experience. This is understandable. We’re perceiving it through a pretty heavy load of filters – resistance and expectation of what it ‘should’ be and an unwillingness to see it as it is. Ironically, we fear only ourselves.
As far as why you are here – first thing is that you are never separate from the whole. It only appears that way. Infinity has drawn it’s attention to a point, what we might call the soul. That focus unfolds the completeness into what we describe as space and time so that your focus can experience it incrementally. Go into the detail. A means for the unexpressed Self to know itself. For love to experience its breadth and depth. You as an apparent individual are here to experience a specific aspect for/of the whole. Consciousness creates and shifts for a specific sequence of experiences to occur.
This may sound like determinism or fate, but who is consciousness? You are. You are unfolding as you choose. Free will and determinism are one and the same.
In the end though, this is just words on a screen. They may help you remember, it may mean nothing. It is for you to look within and find out for yourself. When that inner Self awakens to itself, then finds itself in all things, the perception of wholeness dawns. There are no words that can describe it. But one can be it and thus know it. And that knowingness will dispel “the urge”.
As a bonus, you will understand the Upanishads. (laughs)