13 November 2012

Coming Alive to the Whole Self

We live in a mad, mad world.  I felt it from the time I was seven.  I knew this could not possibly be my world.  There was too much violence, too much indifference, too much uncaring, too much depression and too much anger.  Every one of my readers knows this.

Why is this?

First and foremost, we live in a consensus world, the partially stable world of consensual agreement as to what is real and what is not real.  This is the world of commonly perceived objects, social acceptance or non-acceptance, such as with racism, tribalism, family realities, political parties and ideologies,  dress codes, education, TV game shows, the nightly news, etc.

This whole bowl of wax is interpenetrated by a network of accepted ideas and interpretations, and to live in peace, we need to shape and contract our incredibly intuitive and powerful self to fit within the common pattern of social acceptance.  And this pattern shifts and changes from country to country, and century to century, and in none of this is there real happiness, for we are never ourselves; we are always caricatures, little robots or puppets, that once we discover this, and begin to lead authentic lives in a different reality, we are quickly shuttled away to the sidelines, not accepted, not allowed into the fold of family and society.

Now, as you know, there are tens of thousands of people now claiming to be enlightened.  I get emails every week from people who claim to be awakened, and indeed they are if you accept the definition of awakening offered by neo-advaitins, or other Facebook-style gurus.  The common thought now is that the whole world is awakening on an unprecedented basis.

This is absolute nonsense.  What has happened is that the bar measuring awakening has been lowered so far that even the most minor of “spiritual” experiences are accepted as awakenings, and then they join awakening groups where they congratulate each other.

Yet, essentially they remain the same, but now feel special, enlightened, above humanness in some cases.

You see, they are still blind, in fact even more blind than when they were simple seekers, wondering what was real, wondering what was the true way.

Seventeen years ago I had my first “awakening” experience after 27 years of thousands of different no-mind, oneness, and kundalini experiences.  But looking back, I would not now accept that initial no-I, no-self experience as an awakening.  The single experiences, no matter how world shattering are not what constitute “awakening.”

To me, the terms “awakening” and “enlightenment” mean absolutely nothing.  The big, shattering experiences MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING UNLESS THEY LEAD TO TRUE SELF-REALIZATION AND HUMILITY!

One needs to go beyond any single or multiple awakening experiences, no matter how deep or how persevering, through a long, long period of “training” whereby one loses dependence and primary identification with the conditioned false self, leading to a discovery AND integration of one’s true self, with all of its subtlety and sensitivity.

You see, the process of growing up and surviving in the mad, mad world is one of progressively dying to our deep sensitivities in order to fit and be sane within the confines of our assigned roles and accepted beingness in society.

Self-Realization is a progressively letting go of the conventional, and becoming open to repressed parts of ourselves. By true self, I mean all of the powers and percepts we had to reject in order to stay sane, but at the same time, to recognize the need for the sanity “box” we were forced to contract into in order to fit.  It is all me, it is all self.

The totality of this true self is incredibly powerful, incredibly sensitive, incredibly loving, compassionate, but also incredibly vulnerable.

Self-realization is not the result of any single transcendental experience, or even a hundred experiences.  It involves a progressive reowning of all of our sensitivities, including love, compassion, and awareness of all levels of the subtle body, including the surface awareness of beingness of the neo-advaitins, but also awareness of unconscious states, and the weird and somewhat disturbing energies and entities found in the so-called astral states, and then the conscious transition across the Causal body of unknowing, and then merger into the Turiya state and beyond.  Only then can we say we are self-realized, that we know who we are.  Mere energetic or emotional integrations really do not go so deep.

Today we have so many instant gurus, who have an experience one day, and are teaching the next.

They ignore the fact that the great gurus, Ramana, Nisargadatta, Robert Adams, Zen Master Joshu, etc., may have had a great awakening experiences, but did not open their mouths about it for at least 20 years.  Ramana did not teach for more than 20 years after his awakening. The same with Nisargadatta, and even moreso with Robert. Joshu supposedly struggled 40 years before his first awakening, and then had 60 years of 16 great enlightenments after that.  Did suddenly something happen so that now adays there are thousands of Ramanas, Nisargdattas and Robert around, or only those who think they are?

The descent into all the energies and qualities of the self we had to kill off to gain functional “sanity” in the “real world” of convention is a developmental process in its own right, just like the progressive stages of development of the psyches of the infant, toddler, adolescent, and adult, but now in a transcendental direction of returning to the totality of our true selves. This is done by shedding all the conventions and regaining those parts we buried, yet still retaining the defensive structures that allowed us to cope and function in this artificial world in the first place.

The struggle always remains how to go deeper into ourselves yet retain an ability to function in the common world of insanity and insensitivity that we call modern life.

You see, true self-realization means one becomes ever more sensitive to the world that we buried in order to stay sane, and that world is not the one presented to the average, non-spiritual person.  We live in a different world and have to be careful how we present ourselves within “their world” otherwise we are branded as immature, narcissistic, crazy, wacko, or as a “diamond in the rough.”

Only when the whole world becomes incredibly sensitive to every aspect of every embodied, individual self within the universal Self of All, will the world not appear to be insane.  This is not a short-term project.  We are talking millennia maybe.

In the meantime, we need to learn how to remain sane, exploring an ever deepening inner world of energies, compassion, love and acceptance, while living within a world that is not real.  Good luck to all of us.

All of this came to me after meeting one of the most open and compassionate people I have ever been blessed to meet, and then a conversation with yet another such person.  What a blessing was bestowed on me during the last few days.


  1. Glad you are back in such fine form Ed.

    If I take anything from it and there is a lot to take - it is that this re-connection with Self is not going to happen any-time soon - millennia even?
    So how to live in the here and now and dodge,cope and cop the insanity.
    I have come to terms over many decades with my own personal insanity but all that allows is the ever increasing awareness of others insanity and that is the difficulty.
    It becomes like waking from a nightmare into an even worse nightmare.
    This world is too much for me and for most
    The ever increasing imaginings of people about spectacular redemption stories leave me feeling guilty and fraudulent.
    My friend Angie "normal' in every way is from a planet near galactic central and her mission is to guard the portal that will open up and we will ascend to a new earth!!!
    Wouldn't that be nice an alien redemption from this hellish reality.
    I am cynical and disingenuous but it is not for me to set her or anyone else "right ".
    It is all too hard and too sad every other day I meet people who tell me-
    "I am not from this planet" and I go along with it - which makes me a fraud and probably a coward - but I just don't know how else to behave.
    I look to you for signs, directions and sense but that looks way to hard and depressing.
    . So I ask again how are we to live I need more practical, simple, bog boring, kindergarten instructions - Help.
    I don't want to wait millennia or for a starship that is never coming!
    love Maggie

  2. Where'd the blessing that you've received in the last few days come from Ed? Why are you so angry and why do you let the world get the best of you in every post you post? Why are you different from others? Robert and Ramana taught Oneness as did many others. Don't bother trying to change the world...Robert or Ramana won't be more impressed if you do...Robert was emphatic in his teachings to leave the world alone and work on yourself. The world, your Ego, finds you such easy pickings and wastes no time getting under your skin. You're so sensitive its amazing especially for someone who's blog and website is called "It Is Not Real". What's not Real Ed, your enlightenment, your criticism, your judgement? Exactly what is it that's not real? No doubt you mean the world and yet you give it your full attention and emotion and buy right into the role of being a victim to it. You're going through what you're going through to help you understand it's based in duality, which isn't real and not Oneness which is real. Robert is knocking on your door Ed. He wants you to read the transcripts again.

    1. Jamie, I'll listen to you when you can explain how Oneness is not a concept.

    2. Jamie, I never got the impression that Ed was trying to impress Robert or Ramana. And Ed, you are so lucky, you have a new teacher, his name is Jamie.

    3. Translation:

      Why i am so angry and why do i let world get the best of me in every post i post? etc etc :>

    4. Fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting my piece Ed. Thanks to the others for responding.

      @Waldo...the question of Oneness being something other than a polyannish concept was something I struggled with for 3 years leading up to last spring. I was desperate to live 'in' but not be 'of' the world. Another 'concept' I had heard much about. It looked good on paper but could I really be unaffected by the world and watch it play out in front of me like a movie...neutral on what I was seeing and feeling only love and compassion? When I was lead to Ramana, Robert and Self-Inquiry I realized it was more than a concept. You could feel that way. But it is subjective. I desperately wanted it although one could say the piece I wrote to Ed wasn't out of love but was harsh and judgmental. And I wouldn't disagree. But there is also an aspect...or maybe the basis...of Oneness that implies complete surrender to this mysterious power as Robert calls it. I had tried to prevent myself from responding to Ed's posts for many months now thinking it was an egoic reaction but now I realize and I think your responses help to see it as another tool for learning and understanding what we're going through. In a nutshell Waldo...I can go and abide in the Self most of the time now...and when I'm not in it...when I'm in the ego...I can quickly find my way back to the peace it represents. But that's me. I essentially had no choice in the matter. What I wanted I came to understand could only be attained through surrender and I didn't know how to do it or what my life would look like on the other side of it. But I had to take that chance. Something in me told me to keep going. And so I did and made a strong move towards peace and quiet that hasn't left me. To you, Oneness might always stay an impractical concept which would be the right thing for you. Such is our paths.

      @Lila. I only mention that bit about Ed wanting to impress because in one of Ed's post over the summer he talked about how proud Robert and Ramana would be if we banded together to do something to get this world on the right track. Something to do with his passion for saving animals I think. My interpretation of that was that Robert was constantly teaching us not to have anything to do with the world...just leave it alone. And Ramana's teaching's were clear to me that the most important thing we could do was work on ourselves and by collectively uncovering our true realities we could in turn make the world a better place by having it disappear :) Thanks again for posting that Ed and thanks to those who responded.

  3. Love theses words, Ed, and love you very much. That's all I can put into words at the moment.

  4. It is in the same time so good and so hard to read what Edj is writting ! So good because he help us to awake to our sensibility . Our world becomes so distressing that we have to be alive again with love for others . It is urging !
    I should like so much be near Edj and do something different with him and other people in that way ! yesterday we were several persons together speaking , we all are interested by spirituality and are searching in different spiritual ways and we were speaking about how it was important to put more solidarity and more love between us to make our life better , with more humanity . And there was a beautiful love energy within our group .But we have no guru there .Since i am knowing Edj on this blog i am becoming very more sensitive about others and i know we have to move something in us and not watch the world as we were no concerned . If spiritual people do nothing who will do it to make the things better ?
    That week i was reading the blog of the last year . There was a marvellous group around Edj and it was a great pleasure to read about what it was happening during all this year . But now where are all these people ? why a mavellous man like him is alone without ashram ? I dont understand that !!!
    And there is all this new satsangs across different contries but i find it is so cold with no relation between people . Every one seems only waiting for edj 's speakings and after nobody speak to each other on the blog or very little .
    I am very happy to find you again Maggie because i liked very much when you were writting !
    We talk always about Robert who says there is noting to do with the world but i have read on the blog about someone telling we cannot understand what a person like him was really saying with these words .
    I was reading also about the EDj 's dream about a country with people who would like to live in peace and taking care of every body . I think if we were really spiritual persons the first thing we should have to do is to live together and begin to change rules of life in a little space before search for awaking .
    i am very sad to see how we are so far of that elementary thing but we have the life we are creating !
    much love for every one and i am very happy for Edj he could meet so beautiful persons!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Sylviane I too love to read your writings they are expressive and come from a very big heart full of love and compassion so thank you. It is that which becomes so very important that ability to maintain heart and compassion in the midst of chaos and confusion. It seems understated but in truth this lies at the core of all that we are seeking - words fail me and that must be a good thing ! The simplicity of love is a subtle thing that too soon passes un- noticed because of all the "head miles" I get snarled in.. Then I read your words sense your devotion and love and loyalty to Ed and I quietly smile... much love to you Mon ami et merci ... love Maggie

  5. Ed, it's because of posts like this one that I continue to read your blog. Thank you.

  6. I have a couple pals, locals, one a former Osho student, the other on her own - without a formal teacher - they, fast friends - who shared an affinity for Jed McKenna and David Carse among others - became involved with, "Liberation Unleashed" and now promote whatever 'that is' as a means - a vehicle - for 'transcendence'. Wolinsky - a direct student (with Jean Dunn) of Nisargadatta Maharaj - points to, "all teachings - no matter how sublime - are all abstracted transduced teachings". My sense is that he is not mistaken. Thank you. Pranams. Love, Chris

  7. I have a couple pals, locals, one a former Osho student, the other on her own - without a formal teacher - they, fast friends - who shared an affinity for Jed McKenna and David Carse among others - became involved with, "Liberation Unleashed" and now promote whatever 'that is' as a means - a vehicle - for 'transcendence'. Wolinsky - a direct student (with Jean Dunn) of Nisargadatta Maharaj - points to, "all teachings - no matter how sublime - are all abstracted transduced teachings". My sense is that he is not mistaken. Thank you. Pranams. Love, Chris

    1. Chris...........

      I happen to have the DVD of Stephen Wolinsky("Prior to the I am") explaining in detail about the "abstracted transduced teachings" , which is just jargon for saying the teachings, concepts, whatever, are the brain's process of taking on virtually anything representative of that which is illusory or non existent(IOW, it's all empty appearing in the form it does).

    2. Yes. I feel fortunate that Stephen's and Jean Dunn's offerings came my way when did.

  8. Maggie writes;
    "It is that which becomes so very important that ability to maintain heart and compassion in the midst of chaos and confusion."
    Thank you Maggie to answer ! Yes, that feeling is really contagious and we can see it in many occasions and also see how it may change things or persons !
    Like you say it is subtil but it is !!!!
    And why i love so much Edj it is because he is like an enormous ligthouse ,often he looks like a volcano because of the fire he emits ! with him i could see how i was so sleeping and so frozen in my heart and my convictions .
    I"ll give you an example of what his love can do . One day i was sending to a friend the photo with pigeons and the man on the public bench and all that beautiful love between them . For my friend it was a shock ! she was in an ashram to work on his "ego" and she realized her life was not here turning around his navel and doing work for the ashram but outside with these persons in the street !She had worked a lot before the ashram in that way.
    Other people i met actually are persons who were also in different ashrams, with Amma or boudhist gurus but there are tired to do much and much sevas and nothing is moving in them .
    And now i am trying to stay in the self ("shut up and go within!" like he says !) with this love Edj presence and let my heart open around and i am very surprised how many subtil things are coming!
    with much love for you Maggie and hope you will write again !

  9. Oh Sylviane I do so love your postings here - fresh alert with a hint of naivety that is like the smell I drowned myself in after the birth of my son- he smelt like LOVE. How strange your words evoke these enormous loving feelings in me I cant help smiling in a light and natural way - What is this ??? I am heady and want to giggle. But no!- the ego says I should be practicing meditating studying. I should be in abeyance and reverence to Ed whom we both love so much. I should be going deeper into the void deeper and deeper and dissolve all the muck and nonsense so I can be purified enough to receive his grace!
    Sorry Ed/ ego of Maggie!! cant do !! Please Ed just know that without you I would never have experienced aspects of my Self that Sylviane ( and so many of your students) so openly and fearlessly share, she loves you so much and it is as she says contagious - maybe just maybe for now that is enough. You know what the say about enough - that it is as good as a feast! I feast on her love for you and your love for us and am grateful.
    love to all - Maggie

  10. Dear Maggie, sister of heart !!!
    i am very happy to read about your beautiful feelings and memories , it makes me very moved ...it is what Edj awakes in us : to be instantaneously moved by persons or situations .
    You seem so vulnerable when you are writting , i find very beautiful to feel that and i love very very much as you are !!!
    You say i am naive but i am not, because too much sufferings in past and i am feeling very strongly when situations or people are wrong , not sane !
    But what is going again with Edj/ love/ presence is an innocence which was dead and who makes me becoming sensitive and alive again .
    Yes the world is very horrible and cruel and nonsense , but so many love glimpses in it make possible to escape from depression .
    A few days ago we were at Starbuck (like you say at US!) with two friends boy and my friend girl who has a cancer and she was very combatant ,saying as she was struggling for life and she will win against illness .There was a very great feeling of power in her and a great anger . And she feeled like only her had got a real great problem .
    But one of the two boys who is about fourty years announced he had lost his job and got no family for help and no much money so he was very afraid , but he is in a perfect health !
    And he told to my girl friend he did'nt what of their two situations was the worst because he was thinking now that dead would be better !
    And the other boy was confiding to us a little girl he loved very very much in his family was dying by cancer . He was very moved and there was a great smoothness in him . He told us what he was finding very beautiful with that little girl that never she spoke about cancer or illness , she was happy when she did not suffer and when she was too ill she was like the ill animals , watching with great open eyes and not speaking , but never angry or saying something about what she was thinking with that illness ! the mind was not there , only sensitiveness .
    My girl friend was listening and she was very impressionned by all these words .
    We have shared a great moment of truth together , there was much love between us and every one has gone away very happy by this sharing and phoned me to say it and hoping to see us soon and have other beautiful sharings like that one !
    i am very happy to share so beautiful moments with you like we do !
    much love for you Maggie

  11. The entire spiritual dilemma, you know, boils down to only one problem—denial. Denial that everything which is born will die. Denial that everything I want to keep—identity, possessions, friends, family, lovers, health, life—will be lost. That denial, that continual avoidance of this simple, basic, undeniable truth, obscures my true nature by forcing everything I do and everything I think to serve an unconscious strategy—a strategy of denial--so that instead of simply living, which means allowing whatever is to be, and whatever arises to arise, I continually attempt to protect myself against the pain of that simple truth: nothing that I think I have, nothing that I think I am, has any permanence whatsoever. It never did, and it never will.
    Everything, even my imagined "self," awakened or not, dies in every moment, to be replaced in the next moment with a new version of what I think I am. Because such total impermanence is terrifying, we paper it over by creating a story of who I am. A story, we imagine, can continue. But that story, which is only a thought-form, obscures what I really am: the endless awareness in which that story, along with everything else, is born and passes away.
    In each moment, be honest. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to which you can cling for security. Accept that fact--for it is a fact--accept that pain, stop telling yourself the story of denial, and all will become clear without any effort whatsoever.

    pointer by Dr. Robert Saltzman

    I just wanted to show it here ...

    Love, Kathy

  12. Hello Jamie,
    when i read your words i am thinking about an advaita guru i was working with him for a long time . I was always surprised when talking to him about my sufferings (which was very hard at this moment ) by his attitude : i feeled him completely listening what i was saying ,trying really to understand and help , but he seemed in the same time very far , not really touched . He wrapped me in his beautiful self energy but often i was seeing on his face a smile and he wanted i understand that my sufferings were not real , an illusion of the ego because i was another that the little I which was suffering . And i feeled very far from him by this way because i had no access to what he was speaking, only feeling a little across him !
    And here i met Edj and saw how he was with people suffering at satsang : completely with them and speaking himself about his sufferings ! He was really sharing with others and touched in his heart and body, like a human person.
    There was an extraordinary satsang about loss and death , and there was not Edj, as a man awaked , free of suffering, not touched by it and other people like us always staying in our bad ego conditions . He was completely with us,suffering like us, but the great difference was that enormous Love in him which always was there as the real core of the Self and because of that he can let suffering go across him and never more be afraid to feel it and he was helping us to go with him in that way .
    Perhaps i am wrong because i have no access to that state about what you are talking but it is what i am feeling . And that makes a very enormous difference with other teachers i was knowing before who was always talking about non-duality only. Edj is completely vulnerable ,involve in that relative world ,in spite of beeing awaked .
    And you want he stops that because that world is no real ???
    much love

    1. Thanks Sylviane. I would never want Edji to stop what he is doing because he is teaching us so much about ourselves. Indirectly in my case. Through his sharing of Roberts materials I've come to love both Robert and Ed. It took me many months to write that email because a part of me thought it was an egoic, judgmental reaction to what I didn't agree with about Ed's blog posts. For some reason the night I wrote it that resistance left me. I have felt this many times since last spring as I dropped deeper and deeper into what I can only call surrender. To be frank I was surprised that Ed posted it but it reminded me that there are stronger, more mysterious forces as Robert called them at play here, and I felt that those forces were acting through me. I've appreciated the feedback and can see that each one of us has a strong commitment to finding our own truth. I would never want to get involved in judging another's path although it would seem that way with the email I sent I now understand that there was a good reason for me to send it and I think that's playing out now. I'm late for dinner but thanks for sharing with me Sylviane.

  13. Thank you Kathy for that you are posting !
    i like very much !