These comes a time for most on a spiritual path where they have to let go of everything they have read by teachers, whether Ramakrishna, Nisargadatta, Ram Das, Sasaki Roshi, or the various Gita’s and admit to themselves that all of these teachings are at some point, contradictory to the other teachings. There are no general truths that all traditions agree on, or at not modified even within the same tradition over time.
Any teaching has to be expressed in words, and all of those words are concepts—maps about spiritual experience, not the experience itself.
Up to this point all that you have are other peoples’ teachings or concepts that are part of a larger network of thoughts and generally accepted concepts about what spirituality is about, or enlightenment and self-realization are about, explained usually not in terms of actual experiences, but in terms of other concepts. That is, enlightenment is explained in terms of different kinds of Samadhis, or progressives states of poorly defined stages of emptiness.
But when you recognize you have only learned and repeated the concepts of others, you are ready to walk your own path with no guarantees of a successful conclusion.
But I’ll give you a hint: your mind can never find the truth, can never find who you are. It can only talk about what you are, provide a map of You. But as Alfred Korzybski famously stated, “The map is not the terrain.” The map is about the terrain, but you cannot walk on the map to get from point A to point B.
So to get to awakening from where you are now, you have to stop reading maps about the terrain of enlightened or non-enlightened mind, point B and point A, and instead look for point A in yourself, because unless you know where you are, you certainly cannot get to point B, supposedly where you are not. Anything said about point B is just other peoples’ opinions, and is not your experience.
The weird thing is, that staying at point A, abiding there, accepting the experience of point A will eventually get you to point B, which is the experience of the completed and whole Self. Successfully doing this requires throwing away all maps, all spiritual concepts from Tolle, to Ramana, to Robert Adams, Ram Das, Osho, and Krishnamurti. I don’t care what they said or which of their quotes are trotted out. They are speaking about their experience and their maps, not your experience and your maps.
A truly exceptional teacher will try to get you to look within for who you are, that spark of “I exist,” “I am alive,” and to follow that backwards to a pre-verbal experience of existence, existence without thought, dropping progressively lower into your self-experience.
But this process can become very dry and you can become lost in saying goodbye to what you had thought yourself to be as you go deeper and deeper into Self, and lost into the process of sinking itself and become lost in the experience of emptiness.
To offset this tendency, when you go within, you need to go within with feeling, with acceptance of all that arises, with love of all that arises that takes all experience into your heart. Embrace everything that arises within as you.
Then you will truly realize at some point you are all that exists, and more… You are also the divine that people seek: the source of life and the universe. Discovering God within yourself is a beginning of a whole new movement from within: sentience arising, boiling and burning in love and acceptance.