Nowadays, there is constantly more attention by people to the nature of our Being. Perhaps this indicates some sort of evolution, as more and more people are getting unstuck from traditional ways of viewing “god”, evolving to more modern scientific views and post-modern panentheism. Of course, modern and postmodern views have their one hinderances for various reasons.
The common fallacy, that can be found across the spectrum of evolution, is that people are looking to find or to prove god, into the realm of manifest experience. That is, in the traditional realm, one finds god in a temple, or church, in the modern realm, one tries to find god in quanta and in a postmodern realm, provided that one does not belong to the far-left, people are hugging trees. The problem is that icons and statues, test tubes and nature are not IT.
How to find
In order to find God, one needs to turn the light of awareness around, back to its Source. There are ways to do this and one of the most efficient ones is Self-Inquiry. The most effective form of it that I know of is called Gnostic Intensive.
Provided that one effectively manages to do the process of turning the light of awareness around, one can finally rest into Awareness, as Awareness. This is the Self, our True Nature. When this recognition is made, one realizes that things have always, already been this way and the nothing really changed. This is essentially true, from the point of view of Truth.
However, there was a big change, from the relative point of the ignorant separate entity. What makes one separate is ignorance. Ignorance about how things truly are, that is, holding the mistaken belief that one is separate entity with quantifiable and qualifiable characteristics. If one identifies themselves as something, one identifies themselves with the mind.
The great lie
Experiencing Truth, makes one realize that this identification was false and also that, regardless of the identification, they have always been the Self. It is like being a millionaire and having forgotten about it. You can have millions in different banks and millions in cash, but since you forgot, not having access to them, you worry about being thrown out by the landlord, for due rent. You worry about the bank taking your car, because you didn’t pay the instalment for the loan. Technically you are a millionaire, but since you forgot, you don’t feel and live like one and that’s because of a false belief.
When you go to the bank, really worried, in order to negotiate the instalment, the banker looks at your records and he suggest that you take some money from the millions you have in your bank account and pay the instalment. Wait a minute. That means that you can also pay the landlord. You are rich now, problem solved! Yes, but there and two crucial points here. The truth is that you were already rich and the realization of the untruth brings tremendous relief.
Like in this metaphor, the Realization that one is not the mind and the one is the Self, Consciousness, Awareness, Void, brings a huge relief. The problem is that the mind is accustomed to think otherwise. The average person is identified with the mind, even after experiencing Truth, so they also feel otherwise. The average person doesn’t believe the banker, when he tells them that they are millionaires and they get out of the bank and keep living like they are poor.
The great liar
The reason this happens, is that the primary and main false belief remained intact, this is the belief that I am separate, or the belief “I”. The “I-thought”. This is the seed from where the tree of ignorance (the false notion of separation) grows. Even if one has a Samadhi, a Direct Experience of Truth, of the Self, of who and what one is, if the seed is still there, after the experience is gone, the tree will grow again. Perhaps not necessarily in its original shape, but it will. In reality, this should not be called an experience, because an experience is within space-time, so it has a duration. The Direct Experience of Truth, is outside space-time, therefore it is a non-experience. It is Awareness resting in Itself as Itself. What exists only in space-time and is therefore bound by it, is the mind. The problem is that during the Direct Experience, the mind thinks “wow this is cool, I am infinite, I am God, I created all this” and by doing that it appropriates the experience. When this happens, one, no matter how expanded he is, he gets contracted to an “I”, he gets and identity with qualifiable and quantifiable characteristics.
The “I” can be very expanded. The “I” can feel “one with all”. The “I” can feel “one with God”. As long as there’s an “I” there, “this is not IT” and sooner or later something will be missing. If a technique i.e. self-inquiry, meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, energy work, devotional worship, needs to be applied in order for the one to feel expanded, then the “I” is still there.
This “I” is the seed of the mind. The “I” becomes “I am”, which is the trunk of the tree, sprout from the seed. Then “I am” becomes “I am this”, “I am that”, which is the logs and the rest of the tree. This “I” is the primal “I-ness”, the primal sense of selfhood and as I-ness feels its existence, it becomes “I am”, and from this I am, all identities that apart the mind are created.
If one is in the Path of Enlightenment, then it is crucial to understand that “I am” is not IT. “I am”, is not the end. It feels, like IT, it has characteristics of IT, but it also carries an “I” and that “I” is what keeps one of being in the Natural Stage, also called Sahaja Samadhi.
The demon ghost cave
In the Tibetan tradition there is the expression of the demon ghost cave. Among other things, they use this expression to point out that a cave can be empty and silent, but that doesn’t mean that the cave is the true Emptiness. The cave is not the Void of the Self. I met people who practiced meditation of mind clearing modalities that they though that the were experiencing the Self but they were just “ghostcaving”.
I will explain. Ghostcaving, is having an experience where the mind is temporarily blank and therefore silent. A blank mind is still a mind and one should not mistake it for the Great Void. Some meditators I met, used techniques to “achieve the void”. This is a fake void, the ghost cave. The True Void, cannot be achieved as a goal and cannot be approached by any technique.
Anything achieved or approached, anything that involves effort and a doer that puts the effort, is within the realm of the mind. The True Void cannot be approached or comprehended by the mind, because it is of a different nature than the mind and completely uninfluenced by it.
Others use techniques to clear the mind from its content and achieve a short-term state where the mind is devoid of objects. A mind devoid of objects is an empty mind. An empty mind is still a mind and experiencing the empty or still mind is not Experiencing the Self. The very simple reason is that the Self is what is experiencing the mind. The Self, at least initially, is ultimate subjectivity, that is perceiving whatever arises. The Self is the ultimate subjectivity that perceives any content. The Self perceives the whole tree, including the seed. The mind cannot comprehend anything prior to the seed. Even the theoretical comprehension of apparent emptiness, prior to the seed’s existence, is an emptiness made within the mind and therefore is after the seed.
Consequently, if one is identified with a log of the tree, an identity, and manages to make the log disappear, then one is temporarily identified with the void, remaining in the space that the log took, but this is a false void. This is just another identity appearing as void. The real Void is also perceiving the false void, the identity that exists, where the log used to be.
The Void is Awareness itself and everything appears in Awareness. If one identifies with the content or absence of the content of awareness, one still identifies with the mind. Therefore, even if an empty mind feels good in comparison with the busy mind, “this is not IT”. An empty mind is a void in objectivity. The “entry point” of the real Void, is a void in subjectivity.
A more mature Realization
In truth, the term “Void”, is a metaphoric one and it doesn’t describe the Reality in its totality, because one can only suggest or point towards the Reality, but it is impossible to describe it. When the Realization matures, meaning that the bodymind is accustomed to the Truth and start living from it, the subjective void spreads to the objective realm and then everything is this Void. But this is not an empty void. This is a pregnant Void, a void that is inherently pure potentiality, love and beauty. It is the Goddess, being pregnant with the World. Everything born, unborn and about to be born.