Self-Realization A to Z

by Robert Wolfe on February 25th, 2016

​All spiritual, and religious, traditions have had in common a contemplation of a fundamental actuality (or factor, or condition), beyond which there is not anything else.  The words, and names, used to indicate or define this ultimate actuality demonstrate, by their number and range, the impracticality of characterizing it—hence one of its titles, is the Ineffable.

Being the fundamental factor, or first principle, it can be said to be the pre-existing condition in which (or out of which) all existent things arise.  While all things derive their existence as a corollary of it, it—uniquely—is self-existent.
All spiritual, and religious, traditions have had in common a contemplation of a fundamental actuality (or factor, or condition), beyond which there is not anything else.  The words, and names, used to indicate or define this ultimate actuality demonstrate, by their number and range, the impracticality of characterizing it—hence one of its titles, is the Ineffable.

Being the fundamental factor, or first principle, it can be said to be the pre-existing condition in which (or out of which) all existent things arise.  While all things derive their existence as a corollary of it, it—uniquely—is self-existent.

Yet, without manifestations of it, it in and of itself represents no thing, or nothing.  Thus it is also described as Emptiness, or the Void.  Put another way, without beings to attest that it exists, it would not be known as existent.

Because it is known as self-existent, it is generally recognized to be without beginning or ending.  What has been called the Infinite, or the Totality, supercedes any limitations in either space or time; both space and time conceivably have a beginning and ending.  The Totality, on the other hand, is said to be unbounded, illimitable, immeasurable in space, unlimited in time.

That which has no beginning or ending has no borders, restraints, or restrictions.  All forms have a limitation in time or space.  That which is perfectly illimitable would be formless.

The important point, which spiritual teachings emphasize, is that a ubiquitous actuality, that is entirely unrestrained in space or time, would be irresistibly present—everywhere, at all times.

This would mean that, having no barrier to its presence, at any point ever, in any time or any place, it would not only have surrounded every thing (or form) which ever existed, it would (at any and every moment) penetrate, permeate and saturate every entity which has been, is, or will be.

In other words, it is understood to be the essence of all of actuality—in fact, the essential be-ing of all that is.

It is generally considered to be the ground, or source, of being.  All things (or forms) arise within it; exist within it (or we could say, as it); and eventually return to this immutable condition.

The spiritual teachers emphasize that all forms (whether material or immaterial) are impermanent, and transient.  But that eternal and infinite presence in which all existent things arise, and subside, is not itself impermanent.

The impermanent forms are called relative, in that they are dependent upon changing conditions, within time and space.  That which all else is dependent upon, and which is not itself subject to change, they call the Absolute (the word actually means “not relative;” it also means “without limitation.”  All of the myriad names or titles, for the ultimate actuality, are summed up in that word, which spiritual texts have utilized universally).

But, the important point, which is often overlooked, is that the relative and the Absolute are not two different, or separate actualities.  There is only One actuality, though we might refer to it, in its manifested appearance, as any particular (or general) relative form; or, alternately, we might consider its essential nature as the omnipresent being-ness in which each thing has Absolute expression.  The two aspects cannot in any way be considered to be apart from each other; the relative is within the Absolute, at the same time that the Absolute is within the relative.  This, then, explains the paradoxes elaborated by the teachings, and their teachers.  Complete clarity regarding the paradoxical nature of the ultimate reality is known as enlightenment, realization, or awakening.

Another name for enlightenment is nondual awareness, or Absolute awareness.  It is also described as the transcendence of the dualistic perspective.

The rishis say that our underlying condition, or true nature, is the formless presence, or being-ness, that is the essential element in (or of) every form.  When you go to sleep at night, there are several times, (scientists confirm), when you go into such a deep sleep that “pure awareness” is all that is present.  There is some sort of vital presence, because if someone were to pinch you, or yell “Fire!,” you’d wake up.

But in this condition of deep sleep, there is no sense of being some particular “person,” no concepts, no conception of “others”—in fact, no perception of a world, or even of a universe.  There is simply empty awareness.

When we wake out of sleep, there are bodily needs and conscious attention is directed toward attending to the needs of the physical organism.  As a consequence, we subjectively operate in the material surroundings, from the standpoint of relative considerations, and conceptual relationships.

In other words, although in deep sleep we do not conceive of any individuated selves, in the waking state we think in terms of “my self” and “other selves.”  It is this “relative” perspective which is referred to as duality.  

In the state of deep sleep, where there is no awareness of even one “thing,” that empty condition is what is indicative of nonduality.  The rishis say that it is out of this formless, nondual awareness that the separative, dualistic thoughts (which we utilize in the waking state) are formed, and consciously perceived.

The nature of the thinking process, is that it is divisive.  We think in the form of words, which are themselves separative, and our thinking process entails comparison and selection: choices upon which to act.

This process has practical value, in the material world, in terms of deciding (and pursuing) our bodily needs.  However, our divisive, or dualistic, thought patterns lead us into conflict: me versus you; us/them; friend/enemy; and so on.

It particularly leads to the conclusion that “I”, and some “other” thing, or reality, are separate from each other: principally, that I and God (or Ultimate Reality) are two different things.  The idea then becomes to seek some sort of “union” with God, or the Absolute.

The rishis say that the formless awareness, which is at your core, is a manifestation of the Absolute.  It is the ground of being for your every thought, conception, or conclusion—and this even includes your thoughts, or feelings, of separativeness.

Since you and the Absolute cannot in any way be apart, or separate, when this truth is clearly, and thoroughly, realized, it is known as enlightenment.  It is also called Self-realization.  (Self is another appellation for the Absolute, the point being that it is your “self” that is recognized to be the limitless actuality.)


Excerpted from Always Only One, by Robert Wolfe


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2 Comments

Ale%u0161 - March 5th, 2016 at 11:11 PM
Yes,there is a great joy in speaking and listening (writing and reading)about absolut-numinousis.Although,it is clear,that it is,by its very nature,immposible to say anything correct and appropriate about it,there is unavoidable temptation,to do so.Once experienced,numinousis left,huge and unfulfillable hole in psihe and it is its(psihe) reflex for fulfilling it,which correspondly creates all those concepts about enlightenment awakening,liberation...,just to avoid direct confrontation with numinosis-hole within itsel.Because,to search,is the most effectiv way for not to find-to avoid it.During this process of searching,there are "found" various "profound,spiritual experiences".There are "awakenings"and "samadhis".There are increasing "love,bliss and beauty" on this way towards final perfection-Self-Absolut-God.Immense spiritual cosmos full of jogas,practices and ways to enlightenment,various experiences,gods and gurus take wild grow,until in this mental caos,which culminates in intelectual and emotional breakdown,in colaps beneath gurus feet,by his grace,liberation-emptiness(catatonia) prevails and the true Self is recognized.
But there is also another way,jnana-knowledge,supreme knowledge and knowledge about supreme knowledge.as well.Where concepts about unconceptional are affirmed,negated,affirmed and negated,and neither affirmed nor negated,all in sense,to postulate intelectual surogat of numinousis and so prevent the psihe,to fall in the hole of (its)nothingness once more.
But as it is,this fall is inevitable anyway.It is in fact happening all the time,it is all that is happening and it is happening right now.It is Time and it is Now also.All this cynicism,all this flickering thoughts and misused words serve only as an apparent attempt to prolong,at least for a little while,the unavoidible suck in to the Stream.
Gail - March 16th, 2016 at 2:06 PM
Excellent read. I have some strange fluctuating experiences and realizations, clarity and all that, but I forget a lot about 'what I really am' and this has reminded me again...I feel moved...

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