There is some further clarity I can bring to the recent series of posts on The Journey.
Earlier, I did a 3 part-er on Finding a Teacher. There is a kind of spectrum of approach from which to choose. You may find a certain teaching style is something you need at certain stages of growth. Note that this is a spectrum of intellectual process. Heart based teachers would branch differently.
As someone like Takuin observes, there is no need for a teacher, teaching, system, or process. One can simply look and question how you are perceiving it until you arrive at what is. Complete simplicity.
A little over from that is the Ramana lineage. Teachers like Gangaji and Neelam. They focus on an inquiry into who is observing. There is a teaching, but it is light. The focus again is more on observation. Simple.
A little further and you have teachers like Adyashanti. A little more focus on understanding, going deeper into it. But again, always about source.
The more process and the more mind you get, the more complex. You may be more likely to find a false teacher here. It’s a more open playground for the spiritualized ego.
And on the other side of the spectrum, you get the deep analysis and focus on understanding. Some of the systems of India sit here with thousands of years of teaching and ancient traditions. It’s the path I’ve been on for several lives. You’ll see this throughout my writing. One could say this is too much in the head and I have considered that. But I can see that it is who I am. Indeed, even in the deepest of spiritual experience, there I am seeking to know.
The best example I can suggest is Mellon-Thomas Benedict’s near death experience. When presented with the usual process, rather than continue along he asked and got a tour of the universe and such. I am much the same way and have been given ‘gifts’ that support that.
I will say that I am not on a pure intellectual path. Maharishi has stated that the path of the intellect is the path of the monk. That close examination does not fit with a householders life. My path is heavily perceptual, the path of the karma yogi. But there is a deep drive to know in there too. Again we see the prescribed paths are not this or that but inclusive. Indeed, the second aspect of the awakening process is of the heart, so all paths must be trod.
This focus on knowing and process has advantages and disadvantages.
Knowing and experiences build concepts. Concepts can be very useful for understanding and framing the journey but they equally become barriers to being. If we are attached to our concepts and experiences, we are holding to mind and memory. This is not silent being. I have seen people close to awakening, holding dearly to their 20 year old spiritual experience that they took to be ‘reality’, forgetting that experiences are not That. That is being, without form.
I struggled with this issue myself. Over 30 years ago, on a long meditation course I had one of those big flash bang experiences, everything absorbed in white light. When I then sat to meditate, there was a big download of knowledge, what I refer to as a cognition. Concurrently I was experiencing all the “symptoms” of first enlightenment – awake inside 24/7, peace and bliss, and so on. Second stage stuff was happening constantly, stepping well past any teaching I had.
But it was all experiences. I had not become That, so the inner awareness gradually fogged. The opening and download aspect did not stop however, so there was a disconnect between the understanding and what was experienced. It was not a tidy step 1, step 2 process. I was doing step 2 while apparently going backwards on step one, and so forth.
I now understand that I had what could be called a jiva or soul awakening, but this is not enlightenment. A step towards but not becoming the deep silence. The soul is still separate, the ego remains.
The white flash some think of as ‘enlightenment’ and can sometimes be concurrent with awakening. But the giveaway is the flash. It is basically an experience of the upper chakras joining and connecting to the divine. An opening but not becoming. I’ve read a couple of ‘awakening’ stories that were the flash without becoming. Nice experience, but not enlightenment. (note – the flash is not necessary. It is simply a sudden change rather than a more gradual, smooth opening)
All this did prepare the ground for what has followed. But there was a lot more time in there than I expected. A lot of processing went on. (laughs) And it took some time to get that profound knowledge may simply be that, nothing more.
And remember, every time you think you have reached the “ultimate”, it’s not. Infinite means always more.
The trick becomes not being attached to what you know or experience. Then the knowledge hangs more lightly and it becomes a remarkable journey. We step into the flow of life and the flow of knowledge. We discover that they are the same thing – life is the flow of intelligence, the built in knowledge of what is. Veda in Sanskrit. The true guru is within.
How you may ask do you not be attached? By connecting deeply to the silence within. By your practice that connects you with inner quiet. This will loosen the grip. Then we become that which is. And all holding falls away as we have the security of the unchanging peace and the departure of the holder.
Be patient with yourself. It is a big change to go from suffering to ecstasy. There is a lot of trash to take out. The trash of the world, the trash of our deep past, the trash of concepts, the trash of hurt, the trash of identity.
You may find my writing rather ‘thick’. I am not on the simple path others may enjoy. But it is my pathless path and it is a deep joy. Sometimes, it touches someone where they need to clear and an an opening ensues.
Isn’t life the most remarkable thing?