When people use the English word “self” or any of its variations (myself, himself, etc.), they may refer to one or several things. Most commonly, they’re talking about
the personal self or me. Yet if you ask them who they are, they’ll offer their name and profession: what I’m called and what I do – not what I am.
If you ask them who they experience themselves as being, they’ll probably think the question odd and be unable to answer it clearly. They may drop into stories to explain who they are. But if they explore the question, by default … Continue Reading…
Awareness is aware of itself both globally and at every point within itself. It is simultaneously fully aware and collapsing to a point at every point. And further, that point is expanding back out again in every moment. This collapsing and expanding in every moment is the very breath of life. Our natural growth process reflects this too. We collapse into a point of apparent individuality and then expand back out again in enlightenment.
From the perspective of a body or person, we experience from one of those points. The intellect then distinguishes here from there and the I-sense arises. … Continue Reading…
Atman or the Cosmic Self has a three-fold nature. It has a subject or observer aspect, the process of observation, and the object or observed aspect. I illustrated this here.
As consciousness is aware of itself both globally and at every point, it can observe its own dynamics and experience this directly.
“Locally” or personally, we experience this as the ego or I-sense, the intellect, and the mind.
Samkhya describes how Buddhi (intellect) recognizes self as different from other, creating Ahamkara, the I-sense or ego. This arises in early childhood as a baby distinguishes itself from mother.
Manas … Continue Reading…
The personal ego is a self-serving mechanism by its very nature, designed to protect our perceived individuality. Curiously, it will even place protecting itself above protecting the organism when convinced to do so. Soldiers on the front lines, for example.
This makes waking up rather challenging as the ego can be quite convoluted in its attempts to justify, protect, and mask itself. It lays claim to everything it knows, creating self-justifying stories of great complexity. For example, it will use memories of spiritual experiences to call a part of itself ‘spiritual being’. Then it plays that off the ‘personal me’ and … Continue Reading…
The “Truth about Reality” is way beyond the mind so cannot be found though reading or hearing. All we gain through the senses is information from which we build concepts about the world. This is neither truth nor reality. At best, we have a working hypothesis.
Philosophy and spiritual teachings can offer pointers and maps, like a route to deeper truth. But they are not truth in themselves.
Reality can only be known directly, by being.
We can describe experiences of reality, but it’s always through the lens of this physiology. How much of it we embody. But what we … Continue Reading…
“Those who play at being angels, end up as animals.”
— Blaise Pascal, The Ascent to Truth
I ran into this quote recently while reading Mariana Caplan’s book Halfway Up The Mountain. It rather succinctly spoke to the hazards of not living a human life most of the time.
The context of the quote was the various hazards of mystical experiences. Such experiences are largely in the category of subtle perception. Lovely, but not really “spiritual” at all. Plus, all too often, the motivation for chasing them is personal gratification or escaping our human experience rather than gaining skills … Continue Reading…
I realized from a few recent comments that there was something I was taking for granted that may not be obvious to all readers.
That is the distinction between awakening and who it’s being embodied by. I recently talked about Styles of Enlightenment but wanted to be clear on this point.
The content of this blog is observations from This journey. I write about many aspects we all have the potential to go through. But I have an emphasis on how it has been unfolding here and in those around me. Each of us has our own journey … 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…
Recently, I’ve been corresponding with Jerry Freeman, another BATGAP interviewee. He sent me a few of his essays. I’ve quite enjoyed them and asked if I could share this one – There is a natural pulsation. (PDF 180k)
The article explores the natural ebb and flow of all things and an approach to bring to that.
He then explores the 2 aspects of ego:
– Ahamkara or I sense that is required to be a human
– Asmita is the overlay of conditioning that shadows the ego. What I refer to as our stories … Continue Reading…
This came up in another forum when someone questioned why they hear of the end of ego but the ego returning and some awake teachers not acting like their ego is gone. Edited slightly for context.
There’s a few things here. When awakening is happening, it can very well feel like an ego dissolution or death. However, what is actually happening is the identifications of the ego are dissolving, not the ego itself. Thus the ego is again recognized as being present after awakening, but it is no longer the centre. It’s simply a function, a person there that has … Continue Reading…