21 May 2017

May 21 Satsang Human Love Can be a Portal of Self-Realization

Tantra yogas use emotion and other drives to transmute these experiences for spiritual purposes, such as realization of the divine energy within, God, the Life Force uncovered by consciousness.

The combination of devotional and sexual yearning for another, especially if the other positively responds, but physical sex is not consummated, can lead to such great experiences of love, that it is recognized as being part of one's own true nature. The mind and emotions are powerfully focused on love and love is experienced to be one's own character.  The other just brought it forth by their own loving.

This is the subject of our May 21, 2017 Satsang with link below:

20 May 2017

Ramana on the Real

In the post immediately below, I offered an experiential/philosophical definition of the term “not real,” or, “does not exist,” from the point of view of Nisargadatta.

However, there is another explanation of these two terms that is used by the neoAdvaitins, and which comes from Ramana Maharishi.  The best explication of Ramana’s thinking along the lines consciousness, the body, existence and nonexistence comes from reading The Path of Shri Ramana, Part 1, by Shri Sadhu Om, chapter 4, page 58.

I have got to tell you that in ways the thinking of Ramana Maharishi seems to me entirely juvenile not very powerful. 

He defines that which is real as that which is always existence, and always aware for is always in awareness.  By that definition alone, the external world and the body are not real, because they are not always in existence or in awareness.  He says further that which is in existence and awareness only temporarily, is not really real, and it is really illusion or unreal.  For him, only the Self was real.

Thus purely by definition, that which comes and goes in consciousness is not real, but Ramana asserts that consciousness is always aware of itself, and is aware of itself in our sleep because when we wake up in the morning, we know we slept.  That is, when we sleep, we are not aware of the external world, we are not aware of mind, we are not aware of our bodies, and I can say most of us are not aware of ourselves while we sleep.  But Ramana says when we wake up we know we have slept, therefore we have existed even during sleep.

To me this is a very crappy argument and makes no sense.  We can just as easily say we knew that the world existed slept for our body existed when we slept.
This is purely a a definition of real, is that which is always aware are always in awareness, and only such exists.  If it does not meet these two criteria, whatever falls outside, considered as unreal.

The neoAdvaitins just eat up this argument, and they buy his argument that the self is always self-aware, it is just that we, by wrong thinking and wrong understanding, such as believing that the world is existent when we are asleep, or the body exists when we are asleep, have deluded ourselves into false truths.  For Ramana, no body and no world exists at all when we sleep, purely by definition, and the only “real” is the Self.  That is, the neoAdvaitins just hold this understanding as enlightenment, and believe that they are enlightened and they can say that the world is not real the body is not real in the self is real without any experience this truth, or any corroboration of these concepts.

This is so very, very different, from Nisargadatta, who holds that the I am, consciousness does not exist in sleep, and both consciousness and the body, as well as the external world are not real as defined in my earlier post of a 17, based primarily on experiences gained over years through meditation on the nature of the self, from seeing the emptiness within, seeing a pulsating, scintillating nature, and changeable nature of consciousness itself, seeing emptiness penetrating through all objects in consciousness which robs objects within consciousness of its individuality, and understanding that our bodies are objects in consciousness also just like the objects we see in the world, and as such we are the creator of both, both having the reality of mentation, imagination, dream.

So when you run into neoAdvaitins on Facebook and the rantings about trying for the real and everything else is unreal, you know they have been convinced by following the bad logic of Ramana, had not had some sort of real self-realization experience.

However, I am fairly sure Ramana and Nisargadatta shared the same state, it is just that they gave two radically different sets of arguments and explanations of unreal, illusion, etc.

They shared the same method, namely abiding in the one’s self, just quietly being oneself, although Ramana also taught to look for the I-thought and where it arose. Following that method, one always finds emptiness or the Void as the source of the I-thought and of all thoughts.



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18 May 2017

From Dust to Ashes

What is meant when Ramana or Robert Adams says “the world is not real.  You are not real.  You do not exist.  The world is in appearance, an illusion”?

Several things are meant, and all of them are based on experience rather than a philosophical viewpoint.  That is, yogic experience, not every-day, “common sense” notions of concepts.
1.  The first “reason” appears at first to be philosophical, but actually rests on experience.  This reason is that nothing lasts, everything is constantly changing, from the mind, one’s body, the seasons, weather, climate, and even the rising of mountains and their subsequent erosion away.  No object lasts.  No object endures.  Nothing is self-sustaining in the objective world of objects.  Seeing under the aspect of eternity, nothing lasts, nothing persists, not even the world for the universe.  As such it is not real in the sense of being self-sustaining, self caused, and eternal.

 2.  In the moment of first awakening, when one first realizes the Manifest or divine Self, the life force, Shakti, acting in conjunction with consciousness, and one loses primary identification of the body, and re-identifies as consciousness, the way consciousness is perceived changes radically.  Consciousness becomes one’s primary identification, and everything is realized as being just an appearance within consciousness, an object within the field of consciousness, and as such, is not independent of your consciousness.  Nothing is independent of you as consciousness.  It does not have an independent existence.  It is just an appearance in consciousness, including the appearance of your own body.  Everything is just in appearance in consciousness.  The operative word is “appearance.”

3. The other thing you have to realize, is that this point your experience of consciousness itself changes as opposed to before when you felt you were dealing with objects that had the same reality as you, as a physical body.  One experiences the world differently.  It is a safe place now as it is no different than you are as body/mind.  Both are appearances within the one consciousness.   Also, consciousness seems far more intimate than a supposedly separate and objective world of coequal objects. They become “your” objects.  And reality no longer seems as solid.  It flows.  Nothing appears solid anymore because everything is permeated against a background of emptiness, and things flow out of emptiness and back into emptiness. It is not just a concept, you actually witness the coequality of form and emptiness and their indivisible interplay.

4.  But after a while of dwelling in and identifying with consciousness instead of with the body, one realizes that consciousness itself is temporary, ever-changing, and is not self-sustaining.  So, just like when a dream ends, the dream world disappears into the unconscious, into nothingness, so when the body dies, the sense field and the sentience associated with that physical body just disappears, and is absorbed into the nothingness which proceeded its birth.  Consciousness comes out of nothingness, and at the end of one’s life span, is recalled into nothingness.  It is a temporary show.  Thus, while everything is consciousness, is known through and by consciousness, and is an appearance in consciousness, consciousness itself is just an appearance within nothingness.

Thus, understand Robert and Nisargadatta when they say world is not real, it is an optical illusion, it is Maya, means that the entire “play” of consciousness has the same reality as a dream, same origin, and the same end.  It suddenly appears from out of nothingness, just as a body is born and sometimes later consciousness begins.  When the body dies, the associated consciousness is absorbed back into nothingness, which some call the absolute.
It cannot be understood from the Western point of view where all objects are considered to be independent of consciousness and consciousness merely illumines the existence of relatively stable external objects that exist independently consciousness, and you are but one object among many, some of which are sentient, and others, like rocks appear to not be conscious.  As long as you identify your body as you, and consciousness as the instrument for perceiving a real external world, you can never understand the point of view that no object is real, including your body, or your mind, or your emotions.  All these are constantly flowing, mixing, combining and recombining, flowing out of emptiness and then disappearing back into emptiness or nothingness. 

Therefore, Buddhists say form is emptiness and emptiness is form.  Forms have the essential quality of being empty, nothing, and in that sense they do not exist.  They appear out of emptiness, or nothingness, in the same way as the entire universe is supposed to have been born, out of nothingness, in a big bang 13 billion years ago, and they returned to emptiness or nothingness at the end of the universe when all the particles in the universe become dispersed into nothingness.

Practicing Self-Inquiry

Recently two people wrote to me regarding what they considered a problem: the distraction caused by random thoughts.  They wanted to know how to overcome the distraction of their constantly thinking mind.  They wanted to be able to focus their attention laser-like, onto some specific object, like the I-thought, in order to perfoem what they thought was proper self-inquiry.

However, this is entirely the wrong approach.  This forceful control of the mind will beget only tension. which someday may result in a very focused mind, but that focused mind, that laser -like attention, will never discover the self, because the self appears when the mind is entirely gone and is utterly relaxed, because you are utterly relaxed.  A laser-like attention focuses downwards to a point, while relaxed openness, is aware of everything, and is happiness, freedom, and lack of constraint.

Focusing clamps down while relaxation opens up, is not tight, and is not a limiting of awareness.

Instead of trying to use the mind control the mind, you have to do the exact opposite, which is to use the mind to lose the mind, to intentionally relax.  You learn how to relax and drop your attention out of your head and into your heart, and even lower, into the gut.  You need to sit or lie relaxed, and continually relax even more. In such a relaxed state, you can perform complete body scans of feeling each part of your body, starting at you toes and ending in your head. You “feel” your body from toes to head.  Feel into your chest.  Feel your diaphragm move.  Feel the air expanding your lungs.  Feel into your gut.  Relocate your center of gravity of attention from head into your body while in a relaxed state.

Then you relax and open your awareness again to the totality of your consciousness, from inside the body, to the surrounding room and environmental sounds.

And when you sit in formal sitting meditation, let your attention drop into your gut.  Not trying to see anything or feel anything just rest your attention into your gut or heart.

After a bit of practice, you will notice that your brain starts freezing up, and it feels like a rock, heavy, and unable to move or think.  You feel utterly stupid with no thoughts.  After practicing this for a while and getting used to that feeling of being a rock head and utterly stupid, and accepting it as a normal state, one day, suddenly, the center of your attention will drop into your body and out of your head.

The problem of "you" feeling the disturbance of random thoughts, is that your center of attention is in your head most of the time, which is right next to the central transmitter of constant thoughts, namely your brain.  When you both occupy such a small area, the broadcasting thoughts seem like a big deal.  But when your attention falls into your body in a relaxed state, you will enter an entirely new world.  It will feel as if you have dropped into a huge, dark, canyon, an expensive emptiness that will feel entirely open and comfortable.  This is your entry into emptiness, into the Void.  From this new location in that expansive emptiness, the mind will seem so very far away from "you."  What is “you” will now feel like you are in a new location in a vast emptiness, and the mind can continue to prattle and talk to itself but it does not disturb you because the transmitter is no longer located right next to you in your head space.  Thoughts are then experienced like listening to a radio from two rooms away.

Then thoughts do not disturb you.  You can ignore them like all the people in a crowded room while you are attending to one particular conversation, or like ignoring the crowds and sounds while at the beach, lying in the shade.

This is not really enlightenment, but it is an opening into the expansiveness of your heart, and within this expansiveness you can feel your own sense of presence, your own sense of I, of being alive, of being sentient.  Just resting there in your own presence is proper self-inquiry, which is really an abiding or resting in one's own self.  Abiding in the self this way, feeling the quiet emptiness, feeling your sense of presence, feeling the I-energy, will lead to an experience of an identification with the totality of the manifest consciousness, what I call the Manifest Self.

This is the first stage of enlightenment: recognition of yourself as no longer an individual, but identified with the totality of your consciousness, that your consciousness is you, and not that body object which is experienced within your consciousness.  You are much larger than your body experience.  You are the totality of all of your experience including the external world, all your thinking, the emptiness, the peacefulness of that emptiness, and all the energy states that comprise your sense of presence or existence as a sentient being.Recently several people have written to me for advice on how to focus their attention on the I

14 May 2017


password is edji

Only time to look for notice here is if satsang is cancelled.

07 May 2017



05 May 2017

Hello Edji,

For some time now It's been clear that there is no entity within the body. And in silence, there is no separation and there is a feeling of oneness. But the identified I-thought arises whenever something happens to the body and all the resistance and suffering comes back. I can't seem to let go of the belief in the "I am a body" idea even though I can see it isn't true. It makes no sense to me and leaves me really frustrated. Could you please help me?

Thanks very much,



There are distinct experiential differences between the I-thought, the identification with the body, and you.  What does the I thought point to?  Emptiness.

The identification with the body is feeling the body from the inside, which is different from any other experience, and as such, we tend to identify with it because it is always there opposed to environment or people around us.  It has a constancy that environmental appearance lack.

But you witness that.  As its witness, you are separate from that body feeling.

So you need to relax more deeply.  Fall backwards more deeply into your sense of self.  Just keep doing it, more and more, longer and longer.  You will begin to see all things related to your body and your mind are really witnessed by you, and you are not affected by them.  This is the beginning of enlightenment, the foothills so to speak.

The more habits and tendencies you have, the more conditioning and education, the longer the deconstruction of mind/body experience will take, and for your freedom.  For now, you feel your imprisonment in habit, identifications, and mind, but you have to see yourself as separate from all that.

30 April 2017


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Only time to look for notice here is if satsang is cancelled.

29 April 2017

There is another point I want to make here.

There are many, many teachers plying their goods, building Satsang’s, writing books, giving retreats, wanting to change the world through the force of their personality and teachings.  They are like many little Satans in sheep’s clothing, speaking sweetly, being warm, cuddling and smiling, while calculating the size of their sangha, and the night’s receipts from Satsang.  They manipulate, cajole, and sweettalk students into giving money and work, and they give them crap and return, just the very basic teachings and a warm and friendly smile.  But they are useless even to themselves.  They have no advanced knowledge of themselves.  They can only teach the useless knowledge that picked up from books or from other third-rate teachers that they learned from.

But even more so, a good or potentially great student is almost impossible to find now.  Most are just interested in accumulating teachings from books and from random Satsang’s or retreats.  They may spend three months or four months at an ashram and leave, because they were not paid what they considered the proper respect to great students like they are.  So much narcissism nowadays, students expect masters to bow to them for paying attention to them.

Therefore I tend to be hard on students.  The pursuit of enlightenment is the most arduous, dangerous, and perilous life.  There is so many pitfalls, so many false paths, so many false leads, so much bullshit in terms of methods, techniques, Shaktipat, true and false, that leads their heads swimming trying to figure everything out so they add their own speculation onto all the false knowledge being given to them.  So if you can see through the false, and to survive and go on to real realization of any depth, they have to develop discriminatory intelligence rather quickly, and see the fool for the fool, and not be a fool following an immature teacher.

The best Zen teacher I studied with this is Sasaki Roshi, because he would not tolerate fools, and his teaching method was very strict.  Fools were not allowed to stay in his centers.  Only those who really wanted to deeply studies in.  There was an extraordinary amount of discipline required of the student, many demands made on them as he deepened in their understanding of Zen.

Robert was an entirely different style teacher.  On the outside he was very silent but friendly, a kindly looking old man that everyone could identify as a father that they wanted, whose long stairs and fumbling speaking drought a kind of fondness is students.  But students never stayed.  They could not understand Robert.  They could not understand it when he said, “you do not exist.  You are not a human.  You are not your body.  The world is an illusion it does not exist.”  And he meant it.

When people met him privately for lunch or otherwise, he listened as a blabber about all their problems, and he tried to give sage advice to their petty concerns.,  But hardly a one grew up under his tutelage.  The novelty of hearing “you do not exist.  You are only consciousness.  Only consciousness exists.  Your body is unreal.”  Goes away after a while because you do not know what the hell he means, see you take it as a kind of joke pointing to something deeper.  But he was being literal.  He spoke from his point of view which is of being beyond consciousness but that all that existed was in consciousness, but he as outside of consciousness did not exist, and neither did you, but you did not know it.  How many people really want to know they do not exist?  How many want to transcend life and death really?

Not one in 10,000 students has the gumption or the drive to really progress and develop spiritual discipline, and spiritual discrimination that allows them to eventually become their own guru.  And of those one and 10,000, literally only one in 10,000 will become enlightened—at most!  Something will always hold them back.  Lack of emotional maturity is one reason?  Clingings or Vasanas will hold you back from even letting go of the body and identifying with consciousness or as consciousness within the universal consciousness.  You hang onto the body because it has a permanence that your mind does not have.  Mind flickers and flickers, and even consciousness disappears at night, so there is the belief in the body as being more real and more permanent than consciousness.  So it is very hard to let go of the body.  Not one in 100,000 will ever let go of their body, maybe not one in a million-really let go of their body.

It is even harder to let go of consciousness, because once you attain identity with consciousness the happiness and bliss is so powerful that it makes you swollen and fall at the feet of the divine in total devotion and surrender.  Who wants to give that up to find that absolute one that stands behind all?  The only one that will do that is the one that sees that consciousness itself is an illusion.  One that sees that consciousness flickers and is not sustained.  When the body dies, the consciousness associated with that body dies also, no matter how joyful or blissful that entity was one minute before death.  Therefore how many are willing to let go of that ecstatic state of union with God?  Not one in 10,000.  Read what Bernadette Robert said about “the catastrophe” of leaving unitary consciousness, Christ consciousness, and proceeding into no self, nothingness.  It was a horrible experience for her, as it was for U.  G. Krishnamurti, who also called it the calamity.  Your entire world falls apart, your entire consciousness becomes a stranger to you is the ultimate witness.  Yet so few understand the complete and utter peace and rest that comes with that state of having lost everything, given everything up, becoming complete, having no pangs, having all loves, having no desires.  How many would give up God realization for this state of completeness?  One in 10,000?

Therefore, I tell you the truth, but really so few are ready to hear the truth.  So few are ready to hear that the path to self-realization, and the further path to nothingness requires great discipline, great dedication, great perseverance, and through that one develops inner strength and also spiritual discrimination.  But most of the people that come now are newbies, they do not have a clue as to who they are or where they are going, and have no idea of the life of spiritual seeking that lies before them and the disappointments, headaches, and sufferings entailed in order to garner even a small bit of discrimination.

You see, in a sense those who succeed are great men and women.  They are spiritual heroes.  They are not the ordinary run of human being.  They been bitten deeply by a need to understand themselves or to know God, and they gained and the ability to introspect into their own subjectivity and from that complex experience of self to ferret out the various states and experiences found by going within, and are able to do that fearlessly, tirelessly, with great determination, and ability to struggle and struggle and struggle, until their own self, their deep self, shows that the nature of consciousness and what lies beyond.

Strangely, sometimes that bite of the snake of self-knowledge does not come until later in life, after a long life of immersion in a normal human world in a normal human existence.  Take for example, Leonard Cohen.  I met him in 1970 at Mount Baldy’s and center but we were both studying under Sasaki Roshi.  He was probably about 40 at the time.  He was fed up with life but eventually became a Zen monk.  I do not think he ever made it.  I do not think he ever found what he was looking for, his self.  I am not sure he even was fully acquainted with emptiness.

But the famous Zen master Joshu, historically did not get the bug to seek himself, to understand himself, to attain great Satori until the age of 60.  According to history he lived to be over 120, and when asked what his experiences were, he stated I had 17 major Satoris, and thousands of little ones.

This is what a teacher looks for, not the newbies to teach kindergarten methods, and kindergarten understanding about the nature consciousness, because most spiritual students are looking for more than a better life, happier life, or sex, or ecstasies, etc. they are not really looking to understand themselves, nor have they any idea how difficult it is to escape from their mind and their concepts.

Are there any of you out there that have that capacity to be a spiritual hero?  It takes someone who has been bitten deeply by the snake of self-knowledge, and easily throws away where they are in life everything that they have, drops at all, and starts the long path to finding the self.

All the others, I just warn them, that the way of seeking is difficult, fraught with perilous mistakes, suffering, emotional pain, feeling misused and abused, when in fact only their desires are being thwarted.  I tell them the odds of successfully becoming enlightened.  I warned him about people who say they are already enlightened and there is nothing to do, or people who say there is no separate self so all is good.  But I really cannot help them.  They are not strong enough, or they lack courage, they lack discrimination, or they are filled with fear can only take baby steps.

I have been accused of being a grudge, of having no compassion, because I speak of the mathematical odds of ever becoming enlightened as 10 or hundred million to one.  This is what Robert told me.  This is what Nisargadatta says.

Therefore, is it really compassionate to lead people on with endless encouragement when I know how few will ever come to any real understanding of who and what they are and the nature of world and consciousness?  Or is it more compassionate to dissuade people from this onerous task, and have them do something else with their life, something which will give some satisfaction and meaning?

I am not alone regarding this.  People are all screwed up with infinite numbers of concepts about themselves, the world, consciousness, and the accumulated knowledge that they have read from 100 different sources.  All of these ideas lie side-by-side in a humongous mess all of which is contradictory to other concepts within this mess.  How can anyone find truth in this maze of confusion?

Finding truth, one’s elemental being, and prior to being-Ness, requires a very subtle mind and a clear grasp that all concepts are misleading.  As Huang Po said, “The only truth is that there is no truth; beware even of this truth.”  If you follow the mind and where it leads after reading books, or even after deep meditations, the mind will always lead you to untruth.  Truth cannot be found in mind and mentation or analysis.  Truth is found by going to the root of one’s own being, into that inner space existing prior to one’s own being this, prior to the mind, prior to consciousness.  And how easy is that?

Listen to what Nisargadatta Maharaj says about entering the spiritual path, or pursuing self-realization:

“If you think you are interested in spirituality, I am dissuading you.  If you follow any other vocation except spirituality, you will have some hope that you will succeed sometime.  But if you enter spirituality, all your hopes will ultimately be shattered.  You will be left with no hope nor expectations.  So I again advise you, do not jump into the spiritual thing.  If you do that, you will be licking without a tongue; you will be left with nothing.  You might even invite your own death; death will be there, death will meet you, you will be shivering in your shoes.

“Two college students had come here.  I told them: forget spirituality, follow your normal inclinations, tendencies, do your normal duties, just give up spirituality.  Why did I talk to them like this?  I got involved in spirituality, in the business of spirituality; and finally I lost that love of the self also thereby.  I have no more love for the self.  That is the reason I told them to not follow their spiritual inclinations.

“A chief anchor for anybody is the love for self, consciousness, the “I-love” state, the main bonding.  I started spirituality in the name of self-knowing only, because I love myself, I love to be.  And I wanted to know what is God.  And to know that means spirituality.  So in this bargain, I lost that; I am no longer fascinated by that love to be.  Because that is the main bondage, the main condition, the “I-love.”  So long as the vital breath operates, so long as the pulse will be beating, until then there is this love to be, until then there is the consciousness.  When the vital breath quits the body, the pulse will stop and “I-am-Ness” is no more.  Since my love to be is now completely finished, exhausted, I have no more fascination for that state of “I-love.”  Therefore I have no more love for anybody.  We normally involve ourselves in loving somebody else from the main standpoint that I love to be.

“I call this, our skull, and earthen pot.  So long as this earthen pot is not properly baked, you have to collect knowledge from elsewhere.  When it is properly baked then you will be in a position to understand of what I am talking.  But what will happen to you after you listen to my talks?  The shell will burst; it will crack.

“When you come here, you will be cremated yourself.  Whatever identity you will have, whatever idea you will have about your own self will be cremated.  Would you like this type of knowledge, which I am exposing here?  This love to be, this consciousness, unsolicited, spontaneously, it has come—for no reason.

“And since then it occupies itself with all activities.  These worldly activities are only due to that, self love, love to be.  But self-love is not real.  It cannot be eternal; is a passing phase.  All this knowledge, in final analysis, is of no use.  Since you will liquidate that very consciousness, finally whatever you have heard here is of no use.  Only within the realm of consciousness is knowledge innocent.  But having heard whatever I have said, if you retain it in your memory and because of your association with that knowledge, some new knowledge will also sprout in you.  All of this is no use really.  But it has one use: you will be able to parade your knowledge before the ignorant masses, you will have a chance to become a guru.

"Whatever knowledge you originally had plus the knowledge you have heard, and the knowledge which is sprouted you, when you finally understand or realize all that, you definitely will come to the conclusion that is all unreal, of no use.”

What Nisargadatta is saying, is that coursing along a path of spirituality, of self-knowledge, means your utter destruction as an individual, as a human being, as a person in this world.  And not 1/10,000,000 people will attain even this.  Most get lost in concepts and words, and become knowledgeable and spout that knowledge to other people which helps them not because they can not come to any conclusion because of the morass of conflicting concepts.  And at the end of that path, even a successful path, you become nothingness itself and have lost all love for life and existence.  Are you sure you want that?

28 April 2017

Why is attaining enlightenment so difficult?

The first reason “enlightenment” is so difficult, is sheer confusion.  Almost no one that seeks it has an accurate preconception of what it means or entails.

There are so many spiritual teachers and teachings today, that reflect many different models of spirituality, and levels of attainment in spirituality, all speaking at the same time on the Internet, or in written books, with very little commonality in terms of definition, goals, experiential states defined, or what enlightenment really is.

There are so many “spiritual” teachers now that identify “enlightenment” that define enlightenment as the recognition of a “divinity” within, and that “within” is not experientially defined.

So many spiritual teachers talk about internal energies, kundalini, Shakti, Chi, life-force, prana, etc. that define “enlightenment” as having accessed these energies in our awareness, and perhaps having obtained some mastery in the guiding or use of such energies for whatever purpose, as enlightenment.

So many of these teachers fall into the feminist “goddess” meme, as realization of the spirit within, and having an innate existence in every human being, but which is often labeled as the “divine feminine” within, with so-called “wild” energies of creation, sexuality, creativity, healing powers, and disruption.

There are so, so many such energy oriented teachers who talk about incarnational spirituality, that is of the energies that arise from and during the existence of the body.  They recognize that the body is not consciousness, but consciousness is of the spiritual dimension, and those are most closely identified with Shakti, kundalini, the life-force within.

However, for Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, Ramana, and the Advaita tradition as a whole, this definition of enlightenment is not even a halfway measure of what enlightenment means for them.

For example, take Robert Adams, who began every Satsang with a statement such as: you do not exist; you are not real; the world is not real; the world is like an optical illusion having no independent existence of its own; the world is a projection of one’s own self; your body does not exist; you have no body, no mind, and are not a thing.

Nisargadatta on the other hand emphasize that your identification of you as a body, is entirely a mistake.  You, the “I-am” is experiential, and it is the experience of being alive, that you exist, that you love to persist in existing, and enlightenment is attained by this identifying with your body, to re-identifying with your sense of existence, which has three elements: your body, which is in the form of a material-world host; the life force that the other teachers mentioned above take as being a real nature; and consciousness, the totality of which is the universe of experience within which our attention wanders and becomes randomly aware of the totality of what we find within consciousness, as consciousness illumines self and the world.

From Robert’s point of view, from Nisargadatta’s point of view, your fundamental identity lies completely outside the normal humans identification with their body, or with their minds.  For both these teachers, one’s identity first should be with the IM sense itself, which is a combination of consciousness and the life force, or Chit, or consciousness, and Shiva/life force.  The two operate together, the life force, and the awareness of the Lifeforce, result in the experience of the world, one’s own body, and all the activities of that apparent body within the world.

However, for these two teachers, there is no individuality.  Once you realize that the body comes into being purely spontaneously as the interaction within and between the elements of nature creating the physical body, its genome structure, its potentials, and the Lifeforce, which is specific for that body in space and time, you recognize that the identification with the body as an individual presents, itself is an error, is illusion or Maya.

In spiritual evolution from the Advaita point of view, one must disidentify with the illusion, or Maya, identification with the body as being an insignificant existence within a much larger external world, and take on a new identity as the totality of the Lifeforce and consciousness, with the individual instantiation as a local identity with the particular body mind.

As an analogy, it is a recognition that I am not a cup of water separated from all other cups of water in the world, but my essential nature is not the form of a cup holding the water, but with water itself, and water itself is the same everywhere, whether in the ocean, in another cup of water, or as rain or ice.  Water is a universal concept so to speak, and not just the water attached to one specific form such as a glass or bottle.  As such, water stands in here as an analogy for a new understanding of consciousness, as being the same everywhere.

The individual consciousness is an instance of, or and instantiation of the universal consciousness, which is the awareness of the manifest world including one’s own sense of existence, everywhere at once.  That is, I am no longer an individual soul operating within a body within the world, but I give up that narrow identity to realize that I, as consciousness, partake of the universal characteristics of a universal consciousness, with the wandering awareness, working in conjunction with the life force.  You realize that you are the totality of the manifest universe that you are aware of, and not a limited awareness attached to a specific body, but that body itself that you perceive, is only an appearance within your awareness, within your consciousness, and is no longer your identity.  You become free to become identified with limitless consciousness.  This is the first stage of enlightenment for the invite and’s and for the two teachers I mentioned.

The second stage of enlightenment, is to recognize even after this dis-identification with the body, and a re-identification with the totality of consciousness itself or universal consciousness, as well as with the life force operating therein, that you as an individual do not exist, because the Lifeforce is universal even though it is operational within your “so-called” body.  As such you have transcended your human identification.  You have transcended your status as a body’s incarnational status, of being a divine expression of the universal consciousness.  Instead, because of the universal nature both of consciousness and of the Lifeforce, you, as an individual does not exist.  This consciousness is purely impersonal as is the life force.  It is activities have nothing to do with any specific form with names such as Robin, Ed, Frank, Max, Janet, Deborah, or any other human name.  No individual form exists except as appearance within the play of consciousness which itself is entirely impersonal and not individuated in any way.

Within this expanded identification, you have no place as an owner, or as a door, as it act door, but it is a play of the forms within consciousness within space and time, within which your personal identity no longer exists.  How many are willing to give up their individual nature to attain misunderstanding?

What happens at this level however, is the attaining of complete peace, and rest.  There are no individual needs at this level.  One does not feel that one wants anything, even though the body continues to operate on its own as it always has to feed itself and they take care of daily duties, but no longer with a sense of ought, a sense of should, or a sense of I want.  The individual is dead, and now there is merely the play of an impersonal consciousness and impersonal life force.

This in itself, is a very difficult attainment in understanding, and usually requires a whole series of events or experiences that allow for progressive or even a sudden, total reorientation of one’s identification away from the body to that of reidentification with the totality of consciousness or the manifest universal consciousness.  But this is just the first stage of enlightenment from the invite point of view, from the Robert Adams point of view, from the Nisargadatta point of view.

The next stage is to recognize either through multiple experiences of dis-identification, or multiple deep recognitions and shifts in one’s understanding of one’s identity away from identification with universal consciousness in a recognition that what you are is in fact deeper than consciousness, then one sense of presence even.  What you are is entirely beyond consciousness of the life force which is the play of consciousness.

One now enters a new stage where one views oneself as a part from one’s body, from one’s mind, as the witness, which itself has no identity, no characteristic, no appearance, and no experience, but you do experience yourself, whatever you are, as a part in separate from consciousness and the life force.

This separate “witness” itself has no characteristic whatsoever, has no appearance whatsoever, has no mind, no touch, no taste, no sound, no smell, and thus the last resort because one has nothing one can say about it, can only call it nothingness, but it is really beyond nothingness or something this altogether, and as such no words can point to it, no thoughts can think about it, nor can one have a vision of it.  This “witness” is the “true” you, but itself is beyond description, beyond words, beyond experience.  Your only experience at this point is of utter peace, utter rest, utter lack of need, and being separate entirely from existence and eternal rest, and this experience of utter peace and utter rest is itself an experience that is not you, but sort of is the final “perfume” residual of your past existence as the manifest universal consciousness which are no longer identify with it which no longer exists for you.  You are entirely beyond that, even though your body continues to operate within the my butt no longer with your awareness.

This is why Nisargadatta says the essence of the knowledge he is conveying  be apprehended by more than 1/10,000,000.  At other times he says not more out of 100 million.  Robert says the true Jnani is the rarest of things, the number in the entire world can be counted on the fingers of the hands.

Thus I have tried to explain the difficulty of obtaining “enlightenment” from the Advaitic point of view.  From this point of view you transcended your humanness, then transcended consciousness itself, to become something which might be called a witness that lies entirely beyond experience or understanding, and is sometimes described as Nothingness itself.

Yet, this enlightenment is not an obtaining.  It is really a progressive dis-identification with first the body and mind, then with consciousness and the life force, to a reidentification with that which is Nothing.  The Jnani then looks upon death as the final liberation with that apparent body and apparent mind, allowing him to rest in nothingness.  How many “seekers” could possibly identify with this in without first having tasted the perfume of Nothingness, the utter peace beyond understanding, the state of having no need and no awareness of the world first?  To the seeker who is not even dis-identified with his own body, how can such a goal be taken as real or possible, let alone as something to be desired, when in fact it is beyond all desire altogether?

This is why enlightenment is so difficult.  It is utterly beyond conception, beyond understanding, and even beyond attainment, because there is no individual to obtain it.  The individual is long-lost after absorption into the universal consciousness, and does not exist at all In Nothingness.