Brahman itself is totality, not diversity. The field of diversity is also Brahman but in the sense that diversity is just an appearance of totality.
The title of this article is a reference to the Brahman stage. Over time, it’s become clear how different the shift is for various people.
Each person experiences the stages in their own way. But by the time you get to late Unity, the variations in how the process has unfolded, the dominant laws, and dharma make an increasing difference in the subjective features and emphasis of the experience.
I’ve … Continue Reading…
When I previously wrote an article on the Mahavakya (great sayings), I used an old understanding, informed by a 70’s talk by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (before he was differentiating the Brahman stage) and common English translations. It’s time for an update.
The common translations are “I am That, Thou art That, All this is That, and That alone is.” These are lovely and sound both like realizations of Unity Consciousness and of the stages to it – if we take That to be equivalent to Atman. Or as Brahman where Atman = Brahman.
But … Continue Reading…
One of the challenges of progress on a spiritual path is the falling away of what has unfolded. In other words, our apparent gains can be lost again. Several times.
Yet surrender remains a key part of the process. We have to be willing to release the old so the new can arise. Then what is of value in the old can be restored in the new context. This means nothing is ever really lost but does have to be released periodically. Having vs Holding.
One of the big places this happens is with the stage changes themselves. While … Continue Reading…
While awakening is about liberation, it is liberation FROM the person. It is loosing our identification with being an individual ‘me’ that things happen to.
Both before the shift and for awhile afterwards, there can be a fair bit of unpacking of old baggage: old resistance and incomplete experiences.
There is also a forward progression into higher stages in consciousness.
Part of that forward movement is what can be described as a descent of source into our local experience. Adyashanti described a process of head, heart, gut. This continues to the root.
The effect of this process is … Continue Reading…
There is an interesting shift that takes between the style of experience in Unity and the style in Brahman.
In Unity, we progressively become whatever we experience. Perceptions, memory, the whole works – as we experience it, we recognize we are it in the most profound, intimate way. Simply living life, we gradually come to know the entirely of consciousness (Atman) until we know ourselves as both global awareness and all points within that. Of course, some will frame or emphasize this process a little differently – like with being or inclusiveness. The dominant theme though is a growing … Continue Reading…
When I say “Variations in Brahman” I don’t mean variations in Brahman itself but rather in how it is known. How a person shifting into Brahman knows it.
At the high end of Unity consciousness, God Realization unfolds with a distinct variation.
On the one side, you have those who unite with God. This causes the transcending of Atman into Brahman and a distinct “loss” of the intimacy of the Unity stage for a time. Brahman becomes a distinctly different stage. Like the ego in Self Realization, Atman as if falls away.
On the other side are those taking … Continue Reading…
How does one describe a quality of divinity that is beyond consciousness, beyond existence, beyond even the subtlest division?
We can use the word Divinity itself. True Divinity. Totality. A profoundly “exquisite delicacy” that is prior to differentiation or distinction as Lorne Hoff put it. It is uncaused and can only be known by collapsing the dynamics of consciousness and merging with it. Brahman is the knower of Brahman.
As the sage Shankara framed it:
“Brahman is real
the world is not real [the half truth]
Brahman is the world”
Put another way:
… Continue Reading…
As the saying goes, Brahman is the knower of Brahman. And as I’ve noted, consciousness arises in Brahman. But Brahman is also beyond consciousness.
The key here is the distinction between conscious and consciousness. Conscious in this context is that quality of lively alertness. It knows itself.
However, when that lively alertness flows and becomes aware of its nature as consciousness, it creates the dynamic of self-aware consciousness – knower, process of knowing and known (aka subject, process, and object). Self-aware consciousness (Atman) looks in on itself, creating what might be called a virtual space into which … Continue Reading…
There are a lot of three’s in this process of awakening.
There is the observer, the process of observation and the observed.
There is the purification, the refinement and the embodiment.
There is the 3 stages of consciousness awakening to Itself. (Cosmic, Unity and Brahman, although Cosmic, Refined Cosmic, and Unity align better with the above patterns)
There is the rise of kundalini, the descent in higher stages, and the final rise of embodiment.
The Brahman (third) stage itself has three aspects:
The initial Brahman shift, often in 2 main … Continue Reading…
In the process of shifting from being a me, identified with a body-mind, and becoming Atman, the cosmic Self, there is a series of stages. I typically describe this in terms of stages of development in consciousness. Shifts in how consciousness is self-aware locally.
Adi Shankara described this process in a slightly different way that I’ve mentioned here several times. That is in terms of the dominant guna of our body-mind. This is more about the Shakti or feminine side of the process, unlike the more masculine consciousness-based approach. More of an emphasis on … Continue Reading…
Writing about Brahman in an intelligible way is a little fraught. It’s so beyond most peoples frame of reference that words can be entirely misleading. How do you describe something that is nothing, that is beyond consciousness, beyond existence, and is without qualities or form?
And yet for someone in Brahman stage of development, that’s all there (is). To say it is nothing is to completely misrepresent it. To say it is something even more so. To confuse it with the emptiness of early Self Realization is a complete error. This is much deeper … Continue Reading…
There’s a pernicious idea people often have that the awake are supposed to teach. That enlightenment somehow gives you a teaching mission. I’ve seen a number of such people start teaching, then fade away. Or start too soon.
Teaching requires a certain set of skills, like an ability to speak to the student on their level. It will probably have shown up in some way already. Most people have other skills instead. Further, you want the awakening to mature and integrate well first. Too soon and you speak from too small a place – even if it does seem boundless. … Continue Reading…