On The Nature of Our Times, I commented that “Oh yes, each area has its own laws of nature. That leads to unique expressions of culture, language, etc. This is akin to the very awake – they develop even freedom of the personality and become very distinct individuals, rooted in wholeness.”
A reader asked me to write more about this.
First, I’ll note that many teachers in recent centuries have emphasized a renunciate approach that favours a denial of the individual. However, most of us are householders and need some sense of person to continue operating in the world.
If we totally lost any sense of personal self, we wouldn’t be able to function. We couldn’t distinguish the boundaries of our body. What is our foot vs the floor? How can you pick something up with undefined hands? This is stuff we learn early in life.
The trick is coming out from under individuality and ego identification as our sense of self. Keep the learning but let go the bindings. Through spiritual practice, we roast the asmita or possessive my-sense and let go of identification with the Ahamkara or I-sense.
Then we expand and become identified with the cosmic Self or Atman with Self Realization. Still later, we release the core identity and our universal nature becomes increasingly prominent.
Yet we keep a point value, continuing to experience through this body-mind mechanism. Our mix of laws of nature give us the qualities we experience through. The combination gives us our distinct perspective within wholeness.
It can be argued that our purpose here as a soul is to have a unique experience of the whole, adding that perspective to the whole.
Another way to frame this is that consciousness already knows itself globally. But for all the details to be unfolded, it has to express a world of appearance, unfolding as a sequence of events (time), and points of experience (us). In this way, it can fully know itself.
Consider the difference between a view of a city and walking the streets and exploring the shops. The view will give you a sense of it, but we know the details on the ground.
Back to the point, it’s not just consciousness that wakes up. Gradually, as we live awakening, all the layers of our being awaken – even the personality and eventually, the body.
The more dense the layer is, the longer it takes to transform. Consciousness wakes up in a moment. But it takes awhile for the mind to catch up, then emotions, and so forth.
“Individuality” comes to have a very different meaning, like as this point of seeing from our infinite eternal being. In Refined Unity, we can experience from other points, such as a tree, cat, or rock. But our default point remains here. When writing the first book, my editor discouraged me from using “here” as a personal pronoun. 🙂
We may come to experience the body as like a vehicle for our life to live through. Deeper though, we come to experience the entire body, mind, and sense of person in the same way. The driver becomes cosmic.
Through this process, any constraints on the person fall away, like the subtle “shoulds” and “musts” and self-expectations; although this is limited somewhat by what’s supported by the collective. For example, you don’t see yogic flyers or celestial weapons around much yet. But as Lorn Hoff observed, such people become like a law unto themselves.
The liberation of the person is often most noticeable after the Brahman shift. With nothing in the way, the laws of nature can more fully express through this form.
I’m reminded of a favourite verse from the end of the Rig Veda:
Go together, speak together, know your minds to be functioning together from a common source, in the same manner as the devas [celestial beings], in the beginning, remain together united near the source…
– Rig Veda 10.191.2