To deny that the body exists, that the world exists, or that both a personal and a Higher Self exist is just plain denial of what is obviously real to all the rest of us.
To deny that experience happens and that I experience these things is done either as the result of the experience of a special state of unicity which probably will not persist, or identifying with the state of emptiness, which is always there, or is purely a theoretic conclusion based on the premise that there is no separate self in reality, thus no experience, and thus no experience.
To live in that state of no self, or of the Void, is one thing, and a very high experience. But it is not the end because the personal almost always returns to the position of being a human being, limited, alone, vulnerable.
However, if they don’t, what does this experience or understanding give them? For Jan Esmann, he says he lives in constant bliss. Robert Adams said he lived in or experience peace beyond understanding. Nisargadatta maintained the world, Self, God were all illusion, and that he was beyond Consciousness and not touched by being.
Really, is that what we want? Only this, to be beyond the world, aloof, merely observing suffering and joy for many, or being in Jan’s undifferentiated bliss where only Shakti exists?
However, no matter what they said that they have achieved in terms of experience or understanding, most act as if they were an ordinary person.
They all act in ways not to injure their bodies. They all eat, drink, etc. Many of the great teachers retain a full spectrum of emotions. That is they laugh, cry, feel anger, fear, jealousy, and are judgmental to a degree even if they do not admit it. So what is their advantage?
For me, the great advantage of realizing one’s own Self, the divine ground within, experiencing the awe of it, grace, bliss, joy, and an ability to be completely open to everything that arises within and is presented as reality or activity from without, is the greatest of purifying experiences, and the essence of which is that you know you exist, are in possession of physical and energetic bodies, and you know all that you are. YOU KNOW WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE AND YOUR DIVINE ROOTS, AND YET ARE COMPLETELY HUMAN AT THE SAME TIME.
Also, the Self-Realized person is capable of being brutally honest with themselves, for they have the Self, and other things do not matter enough to hide for fear of losing something except perhaps your physical life or of someone you love. They still you may lie. But generally you are quite honest, definitely open to expression of all that goes on within one’s self, and are quite focused on obtaining some sense of justice in the world.
Many of the one note teachers of No Self, Emptiness, silence, or just Shakti are really closed down, are not open, and do not share well with others. Their silence hides their vices and apparent “non-teacher-like” behaviors and desires.
Like I once said, the most powerful presence I ever encountered was Carl Rogers, who had a sense of gravity, or mass, of sheer openness that had a profound impact on me. He was truth in action.
There were only a few Zen masters that I have known that came anywhere near that openness, Seung Sahn and Maezumi Roshi, and to a lesser extent, Kozan Roshi. The rest had massive facades. Ditto most teachers I have met in other traditions.
I just want to introduce more reality, openness, and honesty in spirituality, as opposed to staying in special states, holding onto concepts of emptiness, present, no-self, etc. Yes, like John Troy said, I could just witness my own Self, the divine within, feel the expansive, lighted, and joyous divine presence and just stay there in silence. But such joy wants me to shout the good news to all: There is a Self within you that is divine, and whose discovery changes everything for you. Yes, I gave my experience life by labeling the experience as of the divine because that is how it came to me: something entirely beyond me, entered me, and gave me a new life. I really mean to say that there cam a new awareness of what dwelt in me. It was always there as a potential knowing, but the ground of meditation, introspection, and long pondering had to be laid first before grace visited.