Perceiving Brahman

Perceiving Brahman

The title of this article is invalid. It’s designed to point to one of the paradoxes of Brahman. Brahman is a total unification that is inclusive of everything, including such subtle dualities as consciousness and existence. And yet it is nothing. There is nothing to experience in pure Brahman.

In Unity, the subject and object of perception in the self-referral dynamics of consciousness collapse together, leaving only experiencing. In Brahman, even experiencing is merged leaving only knowing. Brahman is the knower of Brahman.

Some people like myself have a path that includes Karma Yoga, the path of of perception. That can serve us very well through awakening and Unity.

But when we move beyond Unity into Brahman, there has to be a reset. Brahman is known by Brahman, not by experiencing.

This includes the world. The world is Brahman. This means the world is not its appearance – the reality is Brahman. It is known rather than experienced.

(This is not the same as world as illusion, an effect of the guna of transformation.)

Noticing this can be a key aspect of the shift from Brahman into Refined Brahman. For the refined aspects of Unity to return into the new context of Brahman, there has to be that shift from expecting experiencing to knowing. Otherwise, Brahman remains flat.

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. Share

    A Sanskrit professor once told a class of students that there is this from the Vedic literature: Brahman say, “My indestructible Maya.” To me this suggests a very rich relationship bt the world and Brahman, even bt the world and its appearance. Might be beyond words, except in the case of Vedic cognition…

  2. Hi Share
    Right. There is a point in Unity when the world can become more real than ever because it is the eternal Self, mySelf.

    In Brahman, the world is Brahman so is absolute and indestructible. It appears to change but that is only appearance.

  3. Jim Flanegin

    Very well said David! Thanks. This makes perfect sense. It is a very different sort of knowledge, the knowledge of Brahman, activated simply by its realization, again and again. Yes, nothing changes, and through this, everything comes.

  4. zen pig

    a while back, I had a short time, where all there was, was “Knowing”, it’s not that the physical world disappeared, but there was no thought. just Knowing, and Knowing was everything. If I remember correctly, this lasted for about two days, and I started to see, that the second any thought would emerge, this Knowing would fold in, and the so-called separate world would emerge. I have no idea what this would be called, and I have no need to call it anything. just something I felt to share. I don’t know if folks can have a glimpse of “Brahman consciousness” or not. maybe it was something else. anyway, it was very peaceful/grounded/substantial. best way to describe it.

    The interesting thing, that started me thinking again, was that I saw that, although this was a very cool thing to see or be, so to speak. I don’t know how we would live our lives like this? maybe that was what brought me out of it. cheers.

  5. Hi ZP
    What I describe in the post is prior to experiencing, so a little more subtle. But yes, there is a knowing that can come online like this. Typically, it becomes ongoing around Unity. It is called various things like “inner guru”, ritam bhara pragyan (that consciousness which accepts only truth), or the resolute intellect. But when it is better integrated than any experience like you describe, it does not disrupt daily functioning but rather enhances it.

  6. We have a glimpse of Brahman with any clear transcending or samadhi. In fact, some even call that Brahman. However, samadhi noticed is a form of experience within the dynamics of consciousness. So we could say there’s a veil still over Brahman. Brahman is beyond consciousness.

    This means “Brahman Consciousness” is kind of an oxymoron. I tend to use “Beyond Consciousness” or Brahman now.

  7. zen pig

    Thanks Dave. don’t mean to keep gabbering on, but I have not had anyone able to discuss this in the past. coming from a soto zen background, I had thought that I had experienced Samadhi, which for me, felt like kind of a consciousness deep dreamless sleep. if that makes any sense. no real concept of time, much like deep sleep, yet, still aware. only had this happen once when I bought into all the hoopla about becoming dependent on meditation, and decided to take ten days off, and since nothing happened, I started to sit again, and had this experience. it seems like there are a whole host of different states of consciousness. Samadhi did not seem all that it was talked about to be, if indeed that was what I experienced. might have just been some kind of reaction to taking 10 days off sitting after doing it hours a day 365 days a year! thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  8. Hi ZP
    I understand entirely. I went 30 years like that.
    Yes, exactly. The Yoga Sutra describes stages of samadhi.

    We could describe clear samadhi as alertness without content or as you have, etc.

    Sometimes what makes an experience clear is the contrast. Like when you sat after not doing so. A decent meditation brings regular samadhi but often it’s not very clear. Or it includes qualities as the above link describes. But eventually, we become that and it becomes ongoing.

    There are many stages of development we might describe and a gazillion kinds of experiences. But the stages in our relationship with consciousness are a little simpler, with lots of variation in experience. I talk about that here:

  9. Null

    Brahman is known by Brahman..the world is brahman..the observer/thewitness knows the observed, that big light center like the sun is brahman, or that earth containing souls is brahman, or you containing cells is…
    Thank you so much davidya..
    Jai satya narayan.. Namaste

    1. Brahman is nirguna, without qualities. Yet it is also saguna, with qualities. The key is not confusing Brahman with consciousness. Consciousness is Brahman but Brahman cannot be known by consciousness.
      Brahman means The Great. It is greater than any conception of it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest