“Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?
Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.”
— Rumi, Be Lost in the Call*
There is an aspect of the awakening journey that is not often touched on in the general literature. The realization of our cosmic nature. By this I don’t mean the cosmic experiences of unbounded awareness, although that is the beginning. I mean our complete cosmic reality, how even our physical bodies are cosmic.
This is not something the mind can grasp as it is well outside the typical experience. But it is where the experience is going.
We can get a little sense of our cosmic nature by things that show up in our lives, clearly indicating we’re part of something much greater. Those coincidences and synchronicity. The sense of destiny.
Plus, it’s a good way to understand the awakening process. As I’ve noted, it is not the me who awakens. Takuin recently raised this issue on his post What did Takuin Do?, as in what was done to awaken.
As I commented, “Yes, awakening has nothing to do with anything a person might do. It is Self awakening to Itself.
And yet, some things happen. Perhaps some technique or teaching, some journey or experience. Self organizes it’s own process. It may appear that the person is doing something. But it is not. Tom put it well. Takuin does nothing.”
This is the hand of our cosmic nature in our life. How this shows up varies as widely as there are people. But there are some common stages along the way. There is of course the suggested states of consciousness: Cosmic, God and Unity. Similarly, Adyashanti talks of Self moving forward and absorbing the head, heart and gut.
But if you consider the energy structure of life, you’d recognize that the gut is not the end of the series. Within Unity, Self continues to move forward to absorb the full expression of the individual, including the physical body and environment.
By this point, the physical world is seen less as hunks of solid matter and more as an energetic system of life, a synergetic whole, a flow of being. The body is richly alive.
Also, the body is increasingly seen in relationship until it is seen as unapart from the whole. Unity unites everything in wholeness.
While the way experiences unfold for a given individual vary widely, we can offer an example to give a sense of it. How perception steps from the individual into the whole.
In After Unity, near the end I touched on how all persons similarly collapse into the present. We see we are not one person but all people at once, complete with their entire histories.
This is more about the collapse of time and space than unity though – we’re still seeing a bunch of separate things. And there can still be some sense of a me in relationship to other. Or a debate about what is Self and what is me. Still some vestige of individuality.
To illustrate how the process is uniting, lets introduce another track.
Let’s say that at the same time a person is experiencing their history come together, they are familiar with their bodies energetic system. Perhaps they have a sense of the movement of energy within and how that is reflected in experiences like emotions, food and impressions. Some people have very detailed perception of the bodies mechanics.
If they are experiencing a strong witness, there can be a sense of everything being done. It simply happens. As the perception refines further, we begin to perceive the real doers. The devata or laws of nature behind everything that happens. At some point, we discover that our entire body is filled with life, managing all of the functions of physicality. Cellular digestion, blood flow, oxygen infusion, emotions, thoughts, and so on.
Here’s where things begin to come together. Stepping back from being all beings at once and seeing the body as full of life, we discover that these are one and the same.
The body is actually cosmic and all those beings doing are none other than all beings.
Now this is a little difficult to describe or get your head around. But it is an intriguing look at our oneness.
There is only one person here. Just different aspects expressing themselves to come to know each aspect more thoroughly. The cosmic body includes all apparent individuals, each having a place or role in the one. But they are never separate from.
If we were to zoom in on any one aspect or person, we discover a mirror of the whole. An apparent individual that within them has all the devata getting all things done. And within each of the devata, the whole. All beings within the devata, within the person, within the cosmic. It is one and the same, perceived at different scales of expression.
You are never not a cosmic being. Nor is the devata digesting that chocolate you ate.
This is not a poetic expression of niceness, it is your literal reality. Or it will be.
Another way to look at this. If you take your apparent world of experience and then add it to your best friend’s, you get a blend. Like those circle diagrams in math, you get some overlap areas of commonality. Some areas where there is some commonality but some differences. And some areas where you have very different experiences. Add another person, then another. Each overlaps some and not other. The overlaps reinforce that area. Then add people to each of the people who have been added. Eventually you will have all people and all their individual worlds in one massively overlapping field. Now take one step back and you see all of this is taking place inside one thing. Just different ways of seeing the one.
“I should be rolling down the skyway
On my cosmic wheels
Instead of stumbling down this highway
On my boots of steel”
— Donovan, Cosmic Wheels
It’s worth noting that how I’m using the word ‘cosmic’ here is not cosmic as in outer space. This cosmic contains the universe. Your cosmic nature is quite a bit larger than anything like a galaxy cluster.
The body of God is larger than the cosmic person though. That’s another level of uniting.
*there’s some wildly interesting coincidences in that quote, first hit on a search.