First, a disclaimer: Anything said in words is false; words cannot convey another’s or your own experience in a way that you can be sure the other person knows exactly what you are talking about. Indeed, you can read Nisargadatta, Robert Adams, Ramana Maharshi, or Ed Muzika for years and never be sure that you really understand the experience they are trying to convey, nor can you be certain they understand what you are saying.
The same holds true about trying to communicate any unusual experience or understanding about anything phenomenal or abstract with anyone.
If it is an everyday experience we try to communicate, there is always an illusion of understanding due to the verbal-descriptive matrix of experiences and descriptions we are all embedded in. Of course this is just a convention and little reality is shared.
Given this, let me talk some about one’s inner space, the space that Robert, Ed, and Nisargadatta ask you to look into to find the “I,” the “I Am,” and inner energies and emotions.
When a beginning meditator first looks within, he or she may see nothing, or may just see darkness. A few will see some colored lights minutely flashing somewhere. Or, like me, immediately find darkness everywhere I “looked” within except for a blue light centered in the Third Eye area above and between my eyes, and about one inch inside my skull.
By watching that light it gradually expanded upwards and downwards and outwards. After a while the color blue gave way to a clear light that illuminated what had been just darkness, and by “pushing” that light downwards by putting a light mental pressure on the bottom edge of the expanded light, it gradually expanded downwards over a period of six months until the lighted Void or emptiness actually left the body and entered the ground below and also penetrated outwards illuminating the inner darkness of the imagined space that surrounded my body.
With this inner illumination I used to see reflections of the blood vessels network in my retinas, as well as floating thoughts that looked like semi transparent cloud “objects” a few centimeters across floating all around “me” in that imaginal space. I used the term “imaginal space” to differentiate it from the space or emptiness I saw with eyes open.
After a while it is impossible to tell one from the other; the light one sees inside with closed eyes, appears the same as light one perceives with open eyes, and the space also appears the same. The difference is that the imaginal space is idiosyncratic to me, and rarely can anyone share that inner space, while the outer space, by constant communication and societal norms make most of that outer space common for all, at least as a shared illusion.
Now the inner space has light and is mostly undifferentiated, with random lights, thought clouds, and other entities floating in it. When one is sleepy, and tending towards sleep, the imaginal space becomes the venue for dreams which live out their entire enfolding within that inner space.
I want to share also that the meditator, once having experienced the identity of internal light, objects, and space with external light, objects and space, becomes aware of other states of Consciousness coexisting side by side the usual waking world we experience. Sleep, dream, the Energetic Body, as well as the not-knowing state of the Causal Body are all seen to exist side by side, but one state seems to predominate at a time.
Even now, I always "perceive" the sleep state at the edge of my waking awareness, ready to move in and become the primary Conscious state with which I identify. I also "feel" within me, the state of absolutely knowing nothing, no-object, no awareness, that I can go to at any time, sometimes easily, sometimes not at all.
I want to point out that that inner space is an inner equivalent to eyesight. It is observed by an observer from the point of view of the head and eyesight, and as such, it is limited to observing only emptiness or subjective inner objects, such as images, lights, energy flow paterns and the like.
If one hears a sound either within or without, it cannot be isolated by the inner vision to a location. The same thing with the body senses.
The body cannot be accurately seen from within and associated with what the body feels as touch, pressure or pain. One cannot see the integrity of ones arms, legs, trunk, and head with one’s inner vision, nor can emotions be located in that inner space even after it has become filled with light that permeates everywhere within imaginal space.
Here is a major problem: If a meditator continues to look for something, one is engaging only the visualization sense; this can become so powerful of an orientation that the meditator can no longer feel anything inside.
One almost becomes oblivious to one’s body, because the kinesthetic impact of body sensations cannot compete with an over-developed inner visual sense.
However, thinking, reasoning, and logic can proceed rather well side by side with inner seeing, or the mind can be “seen” as only cloud entities slowing moving around one’s inner space. One cannot see emotions, body sensations, tactile sensations, taste, or sound in the same way. It is as if mind itself is a kind of visual phenomena, not unlike space.
(It should be noted that these thoughts are usually universal thoughts that everyone has, for thoughts give the external world forms and perseverance. Thoughts give the world structure and solidity.)
Therefore, by mastering the inner visual sense, the ability to feel emotions, or enjoy or even just experience tactile sensations, or enjoy music, etc., can be much diminished because one’s mental focus is on the inner space that quickly fades into dream, sleep, or fantasy.
Eventually the meditator needs to leave constant focus on the inner space and its phenomena, to a focus on emotions, body sensations, touch, body orientation, and to the new world of Subtle Body energies that begins to emerge when we start focusing on feelings and kinesthetic sensations as opposed to the imaginal space.
This is how love can transform your whole psyche; it can awaken you very quickly to sexual feelings and energies, as well as sensitizing you to other body sensations and orientations. The body comes alive so to speak when before one’s sole existence was as witness to the inner world, and by remaining in that observer role while awake in the external world. One becomes a witness all the time.
But love, especially romantic love, brings powerful impacting energies, deep emotions both positive and negative, and with it, an entryway to feeling and observing the energies of love, surrender, humility, grace, and rivers of colored emotions running through us within.
We all always have this Subtle Body, or Energy Body, but most people, unless that are deeply aware of their bodies and emotions, never feel these inner energies, and love can convert the most intellectually removed person, or the most “non-emotional and non-tactile” person into a deeply engrossing and intimate involvement with one’s own energy body in a very short time.
Of course there are Kundalini teachers who teach access to Subtle Body energies and the Kundalini through mantra, chanting, breathing exercises, and visualizations. However, I feel a practice of love and devotion can be far more powerful and far quicker than these exercises to open awareness and change within the Subtle Body.
For the advanced meditator who has mastered witnessing the inner world of lighted space, the unfolding process of love brings new dimensions of experience as well as a steadying of understanding.
Feeling one’s body totally, owning it as you; feeling emotions totally, also as you; feeling the Energetic body, totally as you, all bring together a recognition of you, to you, as a multidimensional body consisting of your imaginal space of light, images and dream, the sensations of your physical body as an observed entity, your emotions as tools to “feel” rather than see the world, love which binds it all together, with absolute certainty of who and what you are. You see yourself as a totality, but with just one remaining element to be added: awareness of your self-awareness.
This is the magic moment where it all comes together and unfolds differently for different people. For me, it was from a unbelievably powerful sense of Self arising from my gut, flowing upwards into my heart, then flowing upwards and outwards through my head and arms. It felt as if the power of God entered my from below and grace flowed downwards from above in the form of a golden light that lifted all my sins or impurities away, leaving me totally surrendered, totally grateful, and with the final realization that God and I are one.
I now know who I am: I am all that I see, feel, hear, taste, and touch. I am also the witness. I am also totally love. I am my body. I am my Energetic Body. I am my inner lighted emptiness. I am also the single observer of everything, totally beyond Consciousness. And I am Shakti, the energetic aspect of God that is acting through me as me. And, I ultimately am the knowledge of who and what I am.
This is why I emphasize a path of love, not just of a purified, rarified “impersonal, unconditional love,” but of all forms of love, from friendship, to mother love, sibling love, hot passionate romantic love, love of an animal or thing, love of God or Christ.
I believe love is the most powerful and quickest way, but also an extremely difficult way with powerful emotions to be dealt with, huge restructurings internally of how we see the world and ourselves within it, shifting moralities, often terrifying physical pains associated with emerging emotions.
QUESTION BY ANTONIO CINQUE:
That's quite a wild ride, Edji. Very interesting. Thank you.
So many are looking for these kinds of spiritual experiences, as a means of validating their spiritual progress, and in hopes of finding a final solution to their suffering. What do you think about seeking 'spiritual experiences', and what part do they play in awakening?
You probably know of the many who get caught up, perpetually, in one supernatural, impressive spiritual experience after another, never seeming to find the way out of these experiences. Some even indulge them as a means of building credibility and gathering a following. Some mistaking Oneness for Enlightenment, etc.
I think it was Nisargadatta said to 'expect nothing from experience'. It was him saying this that seemed to bring relief from the enormous sense of burden from thinking I also have to go out and find a way to have the incredible experiences.
... I wonder what you think about this?
I have now, instead, settled for simple being, and just only living with whatever comes, and whatever spontaneously happens, without seeking any particular experience, or even any particular outcome.
Well, regarding experiences, I think they are fascinating. Each time we have an "experience" we are talking about something different, something quite out of the ordinary, and can be quite captivated by them..
I know the beginning meditator, if sincere and makes great effort, will have literally hundreds of new experiences.
And with each new experience, they either leave a residual of new understanding or they don't. Other experiences are so powerful or wonderful we want to repeat them, and some never are repeated.
My own experience is that there is a continual unfolding of experiences mixed with understanding. Experiences change our understanding as to what is, and what we are, as well as our goals.
I have had three what I call Satori, and each of these is a teaching point for me: The experience where the inner and outer world boundary disappears and one enters a period of Oneness without separation into inner and outer, I and thou. There is only one space, no I or me. This is what most FB teachers talk about.
Then there was the experience and with it the understanding that I was apart from Consciousness. Consciousness and its states came and went, but did not touch me. I became the Absolute, the witness, and everything in the manifest world was only an object that did not touch me including the Void.
Lastly there was the Self-Realization of myself as a multidimensional being, physical, emotional, mental, Voidlike, filled with Shakti, and held by God, the divine. This is the realization that has continued to expand and unfold.