Unity into Brahman

Unity into Brahman

I’ve written a number of articles on the development of Unity Consciousness. In essence, the outer world of experience is united with the inner world of being. There is no longer an “inside” and “outside”. Put another way, the seer or experiencer is united with the seen or objects of experience. Only seeing remains. All becomes one, directly and intimately.

(see States of Consciousness for context)

The Veda of Unity vaguely describes the 10 stages of Unity. These correspond to the 10 mandalas (books) of the Rk Veda. If you look closely, you’ll note they also align with Atman, the 8 prakritis (5 elements, mind, intellect, & ego), and Brahman. Subjectively, certain stages will be more prominent or obvious than others.

Of course, the unfoldment of Unity is a nonlinear process of “experience and become” where all aspects of experience, memory, and all of space and time are united in one wholeness. At its completion, “Even the farthest reaches of the galactic universe which we can’t see are still concretely cognized and appreciated as an expression of the Self.” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) Makes sense if you are the universe or that which contains the universe.

It is in this range when the Cosmic body and body as devata become apparent. We become aware of the cosmic nature of our seeming individual body. Not just the Self within is cosmic but even our physiology. Our finger is a city of light beings, managing the biological functions of that digit for all physical beings, concurrently. As you can imagine, it’s quite a different way of seeing life.

The entire unfolding process, from CC/Self realization to Unity is a development of Atman, the cosmic Self. But then, a surprising thing happens. (yet again) With the dissolution of the “faintest remains of difference“, we begin to transcend the Self. Soon, we find ourselves beyond all of the former notions of fundamental reality. We are beyond consciousness, creation, Self, existence, divinity, absolute, all space and time; including eternity and Now, everything. We are stepping into Brahman.

This next stage is known as Brahman Consciousness (BC) but is not a stage of development of consciousness or Self like prior stages as we’re transcending them. It is a natural progression from Unity. However, even someone in Unity cannot comprehend it, it’s that big a shift. Any attempt you make to conceptualize this will be a farce. The point of this article is to support people on the journey, not make goofy concepts.

Describing Brahman is like describing the Tao. If it can be named, it is not the Tao. There are no words to describe what is beyond existence, beyond creation, beyond all form. But please, don’t confuse this with the silence of deep meditation or Self Realization. While this is Brahman, it is only the very surface. To know totality, you have to plumb its depths.

This has been a rare stage of development; to be able to reach this within a human life has been uncommon until recently. In the last century, the seat of the Shankaracharya of the North of India had sat vacant for nearly 150 years as no one was qualified. Few translations of old texts on the subject will have the slightest clue. The Brahma Sutras, for example, cover the stitching together of Unity. Most translations read like a convoluted argument rather than a list of the recognitions of the intellect, stitching together oneness.

The BC shift seems to occur in 2 major stages:

During the approach, we may notice we contain all creation and the Self rather than being it.  Like the person may seem off in the distance after the CC shift.

Stage 1: In the first stage, we transcend all the development of Atman and the fullness and intimacy of unity. We find ourselves as nothing. This is not a nothing in the usual sense of the word. It is totality. A nothing more than everything.

It is neither full nor empty, neither exists nor doesn’t. It is beyond all such polarities. This can be a dry period with the intimacy and bliss of unity falling away. One person described it like pulling the plug on the fullness of Atman. It is giving up your prior enlightenment. It is once again returning to kindergarten.

In some ways, it’s analogous to the CC shift. In that process, some people experience losing the ego and becoming the no-self or emptiness. While they are then unbounded, free and peaceful, until the bliss kicks in it can be rather dry. The world is illusion and thus can have little meaning. Similarly, when Atman falls away with all its fullness and qualities, we can experience a dry period. We have gone beyond everything and found nothing. The world never was. All knowledge (Veda) is found to be cosmic memory.

Stage 2: In the second stage, we slip a step deeper and fall into a new intensity. Given the above, you can appreciate it’s very difficult to describe. Beyond the beyond? This is known as the Great Awakening. We become the causeless cause and now understand the origin of alertness and liveliness that lead to awareness and the creation we once knew.

The distinctive “quality” of the experience is that there is no creation and never was. Nothing has ever happened. There is no Maya or Lila. There is simply non-moving “flow” within That that gives the appearance of what we experience. Watching bees on a cluster of flowers, it is more like a fluid, like the surface of a large quiet body of water in motion but not going anywhere. The white light that once surrounded life is now all there is.

This profound recognition of reality in a new fundamental way brings with it an intensity of… happiness and bliss are not suitable words. Even the raptures described elsewhere here do not meet it. We have surrendered the bliss of all life for a satisfaction even more profound.

With time in this stage, the body is said to become very refined and capable of things we would have previously considered miraculous. The more overt physical abilities mentioned in the Yoga Sutras, for example. Shiva and Shakti together have come to ground to embody the awakening. Typically, we would then experience a final rise or decent to a location that would best support our role in the world thereafter, be it world teacher or shoe salesperson.

I have feedback from just a few people so little more can be said for now. But it’s an amazing sign that Joe and Jill Householder can enjoy it now.

Last Updated on April 10, 2014 by

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  5. Yup, I totally get this. I’m sitting here in amazement because I, also, have come across few who I feel have had this experience and none that are currently “alive in the present” (language is profoundly limited in expression of this stage) or why a motive would even arise to seek such a person.

    I really wish we could sit down with some tea or coffee and go over this territory eye to eye as it requires one of those transmissions that the internet is just not capable of. 😉

    Anytime you are in San Francisco, message me.

  6. When we compare notes, I need to specify that I went through the process in what may appear to be ass-backwards to most. For instance, I only took up Zazen practice, which slowed down the epiphanies to a manageable rate, after most of the explosive stages of enlightenment had occurred. I wouldn’t wish that painful experience on anyone else so I’m pretty adamant in my advice on starting meditation practice before anything else. Anyone who identifies with their mind (e.g. scientists, philosophers, etc), in particular, needs to have some sitting time under their belt before I would help them go beyond.

  7. Davidya

    This is a conversation that began on:

    Yes, there is a big difference between the realization or shift and the lived embodiment of it. That can take time. I still have some resistance to “being seen”, for example. The difference is clear as when greater openness is there, others around me recognize it. Very old habits can be slow to go.

    And actually, there is profound value for the awake to just sit together. It amplifies it all. Many of the awakenings and shifts I’ve seen have happened in groups of others awake, maybe even just having a chat. Much easier when resonant examples are close by.

    In fact, it’s said that when enough are quite awake, if they gather together it will be enough to raise up the world. These verses from the Veda’s speak about this:

    Distance in time and space are not really barriers. I woke listening to someone talking on the phone. But proximity definitely amplifies.

    I’m directly N on Vancouver. Will keep it in mind. 😉

  8. Davidya

    I can concur on the meditation practice. I have a strong mind as well. (laughs) A good effortless meditation gives deep rest, helps purify the physiology (energy too) and makes familiar the experience of source. This can considerably smooth the process. A friend began meditation after his unity switch to help smooth, so I’ve seen this with others too.

    That said, even meditators can have bumpy periods. It depends on the sequence of events and what needs to happen. But many I know barely noticed the kundalini process.

    I thought about suggesting you have a chat with Lorne. He’s great with clarity about the process. But his was pretty smooth. Someone I more recently “met” who had a bumpier ride (even with meditation) and thus got to know kundalini traditions is Igor Kufayev. He can relate to the above post. We’ve been corresponding partly as he values comparing notes like the post but also as my kundalini understanding was a lot more primitive than I realized.

    (laughs) I found myself supported during epiphany-thick periods so I didn’t have to worry about things like functioning in the world. Now, there is better integration so they’re just part of life.

    I can also relate to being a little backwards/ out of sequence. I began witnessing full-time many years ago, then started cosmic perception. In the teaching i was in, witnessing sleep meant Cosmic consciousness and post-celestial experience was advanced God consciousness. But it was apparent to me I wasn’t awake (in CC) yet. Still ego’ed. Awakening came much later. I’ve since met 2 others who had similar. The Kundalini Vidya tradition explained how the variant happened. (though I’ve since found 2 other ways the sequence unfolds in)

    The key for me was in recognizing that we’re here to have unique experiences of the whole, to be another way for That to know itself. As such, each of us will unfold and experience in somewhat unique ways. For me, the exploration is now in more fully groking the underlying process from which the variants arise. Much as I referred to puberty in the prior article.

    Such an adventure. And we’ve only just begun. 😉

    1. gayanee

      This resonates so much with me. Totally relate to the backward experiences too. And “coincidentally” it was while listening to Igor talking for the first time I realized an “medical” incident that took me to the hospital and had doctors taking cerebral spinal fluid out of the base of my spine to release the pressure going to the head, that that was my kundalini awakening. Feels good to hear different stories of this process. “The key for me was in recognizing that we’re here to have unique experiences of the whole, to be another way for That to know itself.” yay yay!! Namaste!

  9. I enjoy analysis of the variants as well, as paradoxical a desire to analyse “it” may seems sometimes. 🙂

    Use my email supplied and feel free to peruse/add my fb profile. I’ve been working on writing about my path and I always love sharing material with other experimental explorers.


  10. Davidya

    (laughs) Yeah, what drives awakening arises beyond all expression and thus has no restraints or limits and follows no models. But if we’re going to communicate it and support others, we need a framework or at least working model. Creates a kind of paradox that can devolve into dogma.

    Was attempting to read a book this evening, a recommended text interpreting older Sanskrit works. While skilled conceptually, the author clearly had not experienced the material. And the material itself was clearly based on one persons description of what they had learned from their experiences. So there was the actual experiences, then the learning, then the description of the learning, then the interpretation of the description of the learning…

    The end result was lots of concepts, misunderstandings, and odd non-standard things. Not useful.

    Apologies but I don’t use FB. Don’t approve of predatory services. Will drop you a note.

  11. No worries on FB, I don’t disagree with your opinion on their predation. I lean anarchist and trust our original nature when removed from cultural so I’ll be happy when we figure out a way to stop thinking about how to “monetize” every object and thought in the universe.

    I sent a private e-mail on this, but I can also mention it here. Ancient texts are like a game of “telephone” and we are at the end of the chain, including all the necessary distortions and errors introduced by each interpretative layer. All of the texts together point to the same paradox; our awareness unfolds into our individual understandings of we work with the ambiguity of the unknowable.

    The experience of the translator is fairly important. I’m a big fan of the “Red Pine” translations for this reason. I just finished his Lankavatara Sutra translation. I found his notes on the mutations of the texts he found in his research and the reasons behind editorial choices when presented with multiple interpretations very helpful.

  12. Davidya

    Right. When people recognize the game isn’t really about who dies with the most stuff, that will shift. Though I suppose there will always be those big on money.

    Yes, especially when the texts are translations of translations as well. A lot of the early Vedic stuff was done by German Max Muller, who viewed it all as myths. Some texts have stood the test of time while the meaning is often partly lost. Other texts are one persons perspective/experience, which can be interesting but may not have the weight of others. And yes, we are essentially here to have a unique perspective and experience of the whole, so each experience will be unique.

    I suppose I don’t see anything as unknowable, just not yet known. Though I appreciate that as a person, I don’t expect to be able to know as God knows, all at once. But together we can get a little of that.

    Have heard of them but am not as familiar with Asian texts. Have browsed some good translations and have a couple of texts that compare phrases with Vedic stuff that I’m more familiar with. And yes, I find it useful when they show the Sanskrit, the transliteration, the word by word and the resulting translation. Then I can see how they’re interpreting and can tweak my understanding where needed. That format is less common though. Some texts I have multiple copies of do a similar compare, though I tend to favour certain renditions. Most have serious flaws. The key term Kaivalya from the Yoga Sutras for example is translated dozens of ways that imply several different stages. Given the qualities listed prior, I think its something else altogether.

    The Brahma Sutras are the one I’m waiting for a decent translation of. One I’d like to see was done 50 years ago but has not been published yet. Recently, a book was published with excerpts and a conversation about the effort, but not the work itself yet. The text describes all of the key recognitions that take place in Unity through Brahman but most translations don’t even have that context and it comes off like a bunch of arguments.

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  25. Chris

    Hi David,
    This is a beautiful post! I get the feeling that you’re saying that it is revealed that the (captial S) Self of Vedanta is a kosha.
    Would you say that is correct?

    1. Thanks, Chris.
      Yes, exactly. When we’re in Atman, it’s experienced as infinite and eternal. It seems the ultimate. But when we go beyond it, we discover it too was another layer of expression and that consciousness/ Atman has an origin.

      I’ve written various articles about what follows further along. Parabrahman and pure Divinity take this the next step.

      Most kosha models stop at 5, the deepest being the bliss body. But there’s 7 as I outlined here:

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