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.
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.
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.