When we first begin the spiritual journey, the key is the culturing of pure consciousness within, our true Self beneath the story and drama of a me.
I recommend an effortless meditation as this brings us most easily to that experience of pure consciousness, also known as samadhi, transcendence, turiya, restful alertness, and so forth.
As that experience is cultured within, we release the barriers to living who we are and culture the ground for spiritual awakening. At some point, a person or event serves as a catalyst for the shift and we become the consciousness we’ve always been.
If we continue to culture the journey, we continue to develop in consciousness until we recognize ourselves as everything, infinitely and at every point within itself, even to “the farthest reaches of the universe beyond perception.”
This process can include the profound experience of the divine in various ways, like how the world comes to be and the major “powers” in creation.
At the height of development in consciousness, the opportunity comes to transcend it, just as we once transcended the me-self. We can step beyond Self and into Brahman, beyond consciousness and existence. As I’ve written about elsewhere, the first part of Brahman is often dominated by what is no longer here. We know a no-self nothingness.
This is a little like early on where the experience of pure consciousness was mostly noticed as a blank space without thought or other content. Only later did we recognize what was there, what contained all experience.
As we settle more deeply into Brahman, beyond the screen of consciousness, we discover a level of pure divinity beyond the most profound experiences prior. But this divinity is not something we can know with consciousness. It can only be known by itself.
In other words, we have to go beyond consciousness into Brahman. Only then can the circumstances be laid out for pure divinity to be realized.
The distinction between divine form and pure divinity might be compared to the amount of awareness we recognize in dream state with sat chit ananda (absolute bliss consciousness) where consciousness is our living reality. But the contrast of divinity is of greater size.
This is not to diminish the profound experiences and descriptions of the divine in form. Rather, it is to give some perspective on how much more profound pure divinity is.
It is not easy to describe as it is without form. It is prior to all creation and any distinctions. But it is with a power and potency beyond conception. We discover even infinite consciousness that contains all of creation is but a pale shadow of divinity.
It also makes it amusing when we hear someone awake say the divine is a delusion. Sure – many of the ideas out there about it are rather skewed. But the divine itself? Pure divinity.