Recently, I was on another retreat with Lorne and Lucia. It was a profound exploration, brought about by a young woman who had recently had a clear shift into Brahman. This only a few months after her initial awakening and Unity. Such a thing was at one time astonishingly rare.
Unlike her shift, the Brahman Consciousness (BC) shift can be a two-stage affair not unlike the initial awakening. First, transcending Atman into a kind of dry phase where we can be more conscious of those aspects of Unity that we’ve lost or are falling away than the new perspective. And then a second stage where the fuller value unfolds. I explore this more here.
The profundity of the shift cannot be over-estimated. As I’ve noted, the grace people often talk about is Brahman. The true driver to the awakening process is Brahman. It is, fundamentally, all that is. And yet it neither is nor isn’t. It is beyond that duality.
Describing BC is an art in itself. As the old saying goes, the Tao than can be described is not the Tao. Brahman is beyond the conception of even someone in Unity. It is beyond existence, consciousness, even the most rarefied, abstract understanding of pure Being or Isness. Transcending Atman, it is beyond I and Am.
To avoid larger concepts over Sanskrit terminology, Lorne called it “Beyond Consciousness“. Amusingly apt and playful. Even calling it a stage or state of consciousness is erroneous as it is beyond that too.
BC is said to be the final stage of Unity but is quite distinct from Unity within Atman. The ancient texts called it The Great Awakening due to its profundity.
While In Unity, we recognize both ourselves and the world as my Self (Atman). This makes it profoundly intimate, even right in the senses. In BC, we transcend all that and discover there is no world. Nothing is happening or ever did. Note though that this is not the same thing as an emptiness that may first be experienced in pure, content-less awareness. There is no devoid here.
Because we transcend Atman, the Self looses its sense of Self, of being, and we are beyond all that is. When Atman knows Brahman it is Brahman. As has been famously put, the Knower of Brahman is Brahman.
Some may imply this is a greater wholeness than Unity but it’s not. It is beyond such differentiation. But the supreme value of wholeness is revealed. It is a simple, causeless completeness.
Paradoxically, this does not mean there are no experiences or that it’s a blank emptiness. But there are no actions, just a kind of lively alertness. The devata value or seeing continues, along with love and bliss. Yet as it is beyond Maya (creation); the appearance is non-existent. We come to see other people not as individuals but as patterns of devata.
As is said repeatedly in the Yog Vasishtha, there are no causes, so there are no effects (creation). Thus, all those former experiences of the nature and layers of creation all dissolve in a heap and our understanding of what is real vastly simplifies.
You’ll notice this description is full of paradoxes and logical inconsistencies. This is the fault of language and the lack of reference points we may have for such statements.
While we may certainly place a very high regard on someone in BC, it’s always good to put such things in perspective. In the Kala model of stages, the most evolved humans reach about a 7 on scale out of 16. In other words, there are beings who are more than twice as advanced and talented as the most evolved human.
We do what we can. 😉