21 December 2014

Beware of spiritual paths with ultimate teachings or ultimate realities: they stifle growth

One needs to be careful when choosing words describing spiritual experiences and the nature of reality.  Talking about emptiness, as Robert Adams often pointed out, is not the same thing as experiencing or living in it.  Many wrong conclusions can be drawn from the use of or belief in a term that has no actual referent to your own experience. Some people even believe that the world does not exist because atoms are 99.9999999 emptiness, therefore what see and feel of the world is an illusion.

For them the concept of emptiness or the Void takes away the reality of the world they see and the experience of their own bodies.  This is the kind of blindness that words like Void or Emptiness can bring--doubting one's own experience of solidity.

Moreover, Emptiness is not Self or No Self.  Emptiness is just one aspect of phenomenality, of the inner and outer worlds.  It is one aspect of Consciousness, and as such, a common element of everyone's experience (at least for those who have meditated for some time).  But so is the experience of the external world, or of having a body, or of the sleep and dream states.  All are common elements of experience of everyone.

As I have said many times, Consciousness is like a mansion with a 1,000 rooms, each having their own characteristic.

Many paths lead you to an ultimate room, whether it be the Emptiness of  Zen, which is still a phenomenon, to the Unity Consciousness of no-boundary states, where all objects and emptiness appear exactly, like objects permeated by emptiness, and both are seen to be Consciousness.

Others lead you to there being only Shakti and Sahaj Samadhi, or to No-Self, while others begin and end in experiencing magic, energies, bliss, and mastery of energy states, astral projection and other psychic powers.

And still others talk of the Absolute beyond Consciousness as did Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, and his teacher, Siddharameshwar, where you could not know the Absolute, but only be it.

Others, like myself, speak mostly of the need to experience and manifest love, to love and serve others, to practice an I-Am oriented introspection done with openness, total acceptance and love for all that arises, and that somehow opens the way for the Self to show itself to you as Christ Consciousness, as Krishna Consciousness, as an inner explosion of light, love, bliss, grace and power that allows little, ordinary you, to experience yourself as both a completely embodied human being with problems, desires, needs, vulnerability, emotions, etc., and yet at the same time sharing a oneness with God.

You might say this is a balanced position of experiencing the ultimate, God, Self, as living within you, pervading you, comforting you as a human.

This is a new style of Western Spiritual thinking that is Christian in many ways, especially of experiencing God or Christ Consciousness within you all the time, with a feeling of rest, joy, and often of bliss, yet also feeling the all-pervading Emptiness, and also the vulnerability of being human, with all the fears, desires, sadness, etc., associated, deeply, and fully, being completely alive and exposed to the rawness of being embodied spirit.

For me spirituality has many paths and many ends and mostly the paths do not compare with each other.  The master of one path may know nothing about another path and will not have comparable experiences.  But I would be wary of teachers who direct you to one ultimate truth as an ultimate or Absolute, final truth.  They have shut down and think they have everything, and usually, these teachers have an inner arrogance of having attained something others have not yet experienced or reached their arcane knowledge status.  This is plain arrogance and so many energy-oriented, and so many no-self style teachers are stuck here defending their positions and attacking others whose view varies from theirs.

I welcome the openness of spirit directed towards ever expanding horizons of knowing and feeling, but especially the experience of Realizing one's own Self as human and divine, and using this as a launching point for continuous loving involvement in the world and being of service to others as your brother's keeper, and the good shepherd of all sentient beings.

Really, it is impossible to speak of the exhalation, bliss, joy, grace, and humility one feels in the presence of God (Christ/Krishna) within.  One is overcome by the grandeur of God and Self, witnessed by the personal self, and then they all become one.

Even now it arises in me during Satsang, the power of the divine courses through me, and I am Emptiness, a holographic body, bright light, and sheer happiness in vibrating bliss, and it is all the result of abiding in the I-sense, listening to sacred music, and accepting and loving all that arises doing the former, especially the difficult task of accepting, absorbing, and loving all negative emotions, for they are the lost and rejected parts of one's self that need to be seen, felt, and accepted as part of you, not hidden away and rejected.


  1. Thanks Edji; this comparative approach is like a meta-commentary, added to all the books or teachers one may come across. It's hard to know how to consider them all as a piece and your honesty is showing a mature approach - not binary "right/wrong" but nuanced balancing of what each path and teacher has to offer, what to look out for, your own path and exactly what you are offering. I think your carefully considered pan-approach will be looked back on with tremendous love and gratitude in history -although I'm much more interested in it right now! Love, Matthew

  2. I agree totally with both of you Edji and Matthew.... Thanks for the contribution. I got a job...another small donation on the way...