Recently I ran into another quote from the Isha Upanishad, part of the body of work known as Vedanta or end of the Veda. Veda means knowledge so Vedanta is the end of knowledge, the highest truths.
Hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
The face of truth is hidden by a covering of gold.
— Isha Upanishad 15
I particularly like this one due to its many layered meanings. For one, it is a quite literal description of 2 points of transcendence. The first, the ocean of bliss that gives rise to life and the world. The second, the ocean of love in which all beings sit. Both are gold and both mask a deeper reality but are rich in themselves.
This also describes allegorically how we can get caught by “temptation” on the journey home. The bliss, refined perception, new abilities, knowledge and/or experiences can distract us from the deeper values of waking. There is an old Indian saying – Don’t go after the gold mine. Capture the fort and all the gold and diamond and silver mines will be yours.
And it touches on the “covering” aspect of the dream or Maya. It’s worth noting that the style of Maya changes as our perception evolves. This removes the covering and thus enables what is hidden to be revealed – until we come to the next “edge” of infinity.
Curiously, I had just made some observations about the ocean of bliss in comments over on Mike Sayers blog, wherein I was joking that he WAS indeed bigger than the universe – a title he had used in jest.
“Stepping outside of yourself is something for each of us to experience ourselves….Until it’s a shared experience, it’s just another concept.
…You may recall a wave of happiness during meditation when you came out of an experience of deep silence. You just experienced stepping back into the universe*. That wave of bliss was crossing the threshold, the edge of becoming, the ocean of om, the “quantum field of possibilities”. [the covering of gold] It’s not somewhere else or some other dimension. We’re standing in it all the time. You are becoming at every moment.
As the perception refines, you’ll be able to experience it more completely and see/hear/feel the process taking place. When you can step outside the box of the universe with the senses, then you can see how the universe is, how it works, etc. And how small a part of the picture it is.
Some describe this as one of the signposts or key points on the journey. It could be seen as the second waking, from the dream of the universe, although it’s only part of that and some get there before self realization. (first we wake up, then we open the eyes) But certainly, a major perspective shift. A vastly bigger picture. But you’re still experiencing within the divine dream, so a little more yet. (laughs)”
*BTW – by ‘stepping in/out of the universe’, I’m not talking about something like astral travel. I’m talking about stepping deeper into who you are which is larger than the universe. As you step back into the person, you cross the threshold of the universe.