Refined Brahman

Refined Brahman

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 than an empty infinity.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used the term “Brahman Consciousness” to identify this stage, known as the Great Awakening in the Vedas. It is a stage where we transcend even Atman (Self) and go beyond the origins of all that is in consciousness. In the context of stages of development, the term is understandable but here becomes an oxymoron. Lorne Hoff sometimes uses “Beyond Consciousness” as that better describes it – and adds suitable levity.

Lorne describes it like this: “Beyond Consciousness or ‘Brahman Consciousness’ is a perspective prior to Consciousness, prior to Intelligence and prior to existence itself. It is neither Self nor non-Self, neither Being nor non-Being, neither Consciousness nor non-Consciousness. It could be said to be the clearest experience of Reality. Words like universe, multi-verse, Absolute, Totality, Self, Divine Mother, God, Being, Pure Presence, Pure Consciousness, etc., cannot even touch it. It is beyond all description. It is pure Nothingness. From this perspective; you, the world and the universe… have never even come into existence. Something made from nothing will always be nothing. Of course, the word ‘nothing’ does no justice whatsoever to the supreme peace, perfect equanimity, and unlimited comprehension that It is. It is truly indescribable. It is exclusively self-evident to itself alone.

As I noted on Unity into Brahman, this shift often takes place in 2 stages – the first in transcending Atman, the second in stepping more clearly into Brahman. It’s a big shift that requires surrendering the Oneness of Unity.

At this point, the development of Atman has ended and thus the stages of development in consciousness. This is the end of what might be called the Shiva or Masculine stages, although I’m sure greater clarity will continue to develop. It is the new kindergarten, the new platform for understanding.

Once Brahman is relatively established, the next part can unfold. This will happen in one of two ways.

1 – If the refinement of God Consciousness and Refined Unity (the feminine side) have been unfolding already, the initial experience of Brahman will be flavoured this way and will naturally shift into Refined Brahman.

Of course, Brahman doesn’t actually refine. What refines is the vehicle for knowing it, this apparent cosmic being.

2 – If refinement has been modest and little unfolding of the heart and refined perception have occurred OR the stages of consciousness have unfolded rapidly (I’ve seen an example of awakening to Brahman in about 2 months), then the feminine side of the equation may have had little influence yet. Development may have been mostly internal and in consciousness alone.

This is like a drier form of Cosmic Consciousness (Self Realization) where the emptiness and detached observer are more prominent. In this case, it will be a more neutral form and the sense of nothing will be more dominant. There will not be a sense of holiness nor richness.

However, depending on the load of dross to clear and the development of sattva and soma required, at some point the feminine side of the equation will become more prominent. Another way to describe the feminine is embodiment – a fully lived state of it. The ancient texts have described both flavours.

Refined Brahman

At a certain point, all that is left is the body, the vehicle for knowing Brahman. It is cosmic and contains everything that may appear to arise. As Lorne put it, “the body is everything everywhere and nothing.

Or we can say there is only the feminine, the embodiment, the Divine Mother, pure holiness.

Creation is seen neither as a dream nor illusion now. More like a memory. A memory known as Veda. All of the famous sages of old exist in that totality of knowledge we experience as the cosmic body, our body. We experience the apparent unfolding in a sequence of apparent time and separate observers so that the nuances of detail can be recognized. But it never happened.

Lorne describes Refined Brahman like this:
Refined Perception Beyond Consciousness or ‘Refined Brahman Consciousness’, is a completely different perspective of the same refinement of perception that is perpetually happening in Consciousness. But because it is prior to Consciousness itself, there is no perceiver, no perceiving and no perception. It is perpetually swelling in all the same divine flavors and qualities of wholeness and love as experienced previously, only in a finer more exquisite delicacy and fullness prior to any possible distinction… This fullness of nothingness remains completely full yet uncaused.

Uncaused because it never happened.

He goes on to say:
From this perspective, the effect, which is Consciousness itself, and the creative intelligence inherent in Consciousness responsible for the appearance of creation, is also uncaused; and as such, so too is all creation. It is impossible to understand or describe.  Don’t waste your time trying to figure it out or making a concept out of it.  It can only be known by being it. Begin by awakening to being unbounded pure Being.

Paradoxically, we continue to experience just as we always have. But our perspective and understanding have changed completely, yet again.

This refinement of perception is essentially endless. Historically, it developed over hundreds of years. We have neither that time nor is conciousness fully awake enough to support it well yet. But it’s coming. And it remains such a remarkable opportunity.

Last Updated on July 30, 2016 by Davidya

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  1. Jim Flanegin

    This is quite fun, reading through these posts, until I get an ‘aha’. I liked what you said about Brahman being the end of the development of the masculine stages, or Shiva. Totally agree – that has been very clear. Also, this balance of the masculine and feminine within us, finds completion in Brahman. Far from the deep and neutral silence earlier experienced as the Self, Brahman is sweet, and blissful and nourishing and comprehensive. Personal, without being embodied.

  2. Hi Jim
    Thanks for the comment.
    I agree, although it’s useful to note you’re describing refined Brahman. Many people first go through a drier initial shift where those profound qualities are not yet so apparent.

    Loved your comment elsewhere about the CC-GC-UC process repeating itself after the Brahman shift, only now in this new context. An excellent insight. I plan to write on this in a bit and how it ties in with the Shakti (kundalini) stage, the koshas (embodiment/ cosmic body), etc. Another great example of as above, so below.

  3. Blanche

    Hi David, I cannot tell you how excited I am to read your post this morning. For some years, I have tried to explain to a couple of friends that emptiness is not the source, it is not the final reality, emptiness is the most refine level of existence. There is something beyond existence and non-existence, and that is the source. Pure Nothingness. Your post gives a voice to something I could not really talk about, but it is dominating the entire experience here. Lorne expresses it perfectly: the exquisite delicacy of full Nothingness. Bliss.Bliss. Bliss.

    Thank you for this blog.

    1. Hi Blanche
      You’re welcome. If that is their experience, it can be the truth for them so you don’t want to force. Just point. The sage Vasishtha said it was important to desire Unity (post-emptiness) but you can’t desire it if you don’t know it’s there.

      You may also want to search ParaBrahman here. Thats what comes after Refined Brahman. 🙂

  4. Blanche

    Hi David,
    There is no way to “force” an experience. However, I am at least intrigued that in my yoga group of long term meditators, everyone else seems to agree that emptiness is the source. The expression of reality varies infinitely in form, and there is no reason to argue with this. However, emptiness and Brahman are two very different things. And then it is hard to talk about Brahman – all the verbal arrows gently miss the mark…

    Thank you for pointing to the ParaBrahman – no experience here of something prior to Brahman. Maybe the knowing that there is something beyond love, when love is the essence of Brahman. There is the experience that everything is divine, the existence and non-existence. The full Nothingness is divine – that is all there is. It is not a transcendental experience, but a very immediate one. The perception of it is golden light, the feeling is love, the quality is beauty – it is just the unfolding in this point.

    There is some uneasiness here to write this comment – the words are not quite right. As Dogen says, “When I speak about montains, I do not mean montains, I mean montains.” Your blog is indeed forging a new language for a new world.

    1. Hi Blanche
      Sorry – I mean force your points.
      The question to be alert to – do they think emptiness is the source because they’ve heard that said (belief) or because they’ve had the experience?

      In either case, it can be difficult to pass along ideas that are outside their framework. This is why I tend to talk more about the process and stages. There is context for both advanced ideas and the current experience. It’s an expansion rather than a conflict.

      But still, it will only be heard by those ready. But yes, English was never structured to cover this.

      Beautiful and yes, this points to refined Brahman. The qualities of the quality-less (laughs). ParaBrahman takes it another step where the divinity becomes all.

      And yes, it can be an interesting dance of words. I just go with the flow of it and some meaning seems to be passed on, in spite of the words. 🙂

  5. Guru

    Namaste. You are a Rishi. world is blessed by your presence. Your clarity on atman, Brahman is perfect. It is not easy to talk about beyond consciousness. I was crying while reading this. Now I know ajata vada, drishti shrishti vada, shrishti drishti vada. You are my Guru. word thanks is so inadequate.

    1. Thanks. I am a human with some blessings, much of which is available to all. The gift is more as a seer than teacher.

      Yes, too often there is a mind seeking the one right answer. Yet reality is nuanced and layered. What is real unfolds in a series of truths as we unfold to it.

  6. Chris

    Hi David,
    On the subject of ‘it never happened’, this just jumped out to me from a recent batgap interview:
    “The only solace I’ve found is here: before creation starts up. Not in this moment, which seems a silly catch word amongst the non-dual crowd, but rather before this moment, before anything.”
    – Vicki Woodyard

    1. Hi Chris
      Nice quote. Thanks for sharing. There’s a distinction here though. The difference between before and never. 🙂
      Within consciousness, we can step beyond space and time, beyond eternity into a state of pure potentiality. Pure existence without any expression. Isness without form.
      Brahman though is before even that. A place where creation was never created and never will be.
      Curiously though, Brahman is the resolver of paradox. So while my prior statement is true, it does not preclude the dynamics of consciousness and becoming. So never happened, before, and time & space are all just perspectives.
      The mind really doesn’t like those sorts of scenarios but as we are it we can know this by being it.
      Being in the now is also a valid perspective. But it’s better to see them as steps in a process of unfolding rather then “the truth.” Fixed ideas are just minds way of control.
      I explored some of the ways time is experienced here:

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