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Book Excerpt 2

Earth School Phase Four: The Exquisite State of Enlightenment

An excerpt from Ramgiri’s book:
“HeartSourcing: Finding Our Way to Love and Liberation.”
All rights reserved.

 


Enlightenment is a state of Oneness, of absolute simplicity. This makes it impossible for the mind to grasp, for our thinking is not made to comprehend the One but the many in duality and opposition. We have glimpses of oneness and they make us hunger for more. The danger is that after glimpses of this sublime experience the ego grabs hold of them and we think we know. All the conflicting theologies of the world have been created this way and have led us astray. There are as many ways to describe higher states of awareness as there are beings describing them. Words and concepts can never fully express the great mystery of enlightenment because the highest experience is embedded in absolute silence. No description can ever capture the truth, as the authors of the Upanishads knew when they wrote, “Neti, neti” –it’s not this, and it’s not that. And so, out of my limited experience I will attempt to share with you what little I understand. May it shed some light on your way.

We live with a very constricted sense of self to which we are deeply accustomed. Our normal way is to identify with our thoughts, emotions, behavior and the physical body. We are imprisoned by ignorance of our true identity. The sign of that is our suffering. Then one day there is a shift and suddenly a much vaster perception opens up. We discover that what we are is not an ego inside a body, but the vast field of consciousness within which the ego, the body as well as all of creation appear. This consciousness is forever free, clear and limitless. Where we have previously identified with a small individual wave, now we come to realize that we are the cosmic ocean itself. Where our identity seemed locked into this mortal body, now we realize that what we are is not at all limited to this temporary form. We are not the body, mind and emotions we call “I”, but pure consciousness, immortal, unlimited and blissful.

I remember many moments of this: unexpectedly awareness expands and finds itself vast and unlimited, without center and end, blissful, void and free of all fear. Within this vastness the body and individual self appear. This vastness is the taste of Brahman, the eternal, unchanging, infinite reality. It is both immanent throughout this creation and it transcends it. In it appear all matter, energy, time, space and existence. It is the matrix in which all creation arises. This vastness conceives, projects and observes this small temporary I, which continues for a while until it dissolves. It is lovely, this manifestation of who we are in the world, but what we really are, the unlimited Self, is such a much greater truth, such a state of profound freedom from fear and from pain, such a complete expression of love. The immensity we are is never caught up in the dream of the world it creates; it is not the dream, nor the one caught in the dream, but the dreamer. And it is more even than that.

This experience brings a sublime state of freedom. It is enlightenment. It is immortality. It is our graduation from Earth School into Self-realization. With no confusion or obstacle left, you have become the manifestation of grace, wisdom and love in this world. After many times of awakening and forgetting again, you have come to the realization that you are what you have been seeking. You are free. You have come to the end of the path.

An ancient Indian text, the Ashtavakra Gita expresses it this way:

You are the endless sea
In whom all the worlds like waves
Naturally rise and fall…
You and the world are one.

In this realization you no longer live for yourself, but for and through all the people you touch. You live in Oneness with everyone and everything. You are unmoving within the constant movement of life, peaceful and clear. You are in harmony and your heart radiates your joy into the world. You have arrived here and now, where you have always been and you are fully awake to this moment just as it is. This alone is true happiness. It is unshakable and unending. Your identity is no longer a separate and limited ego housed in a bag of skin, but the boundless field of awareness in which all creation, including your body, appears and disappears. Nothing can harm you. You remain in this world by choice out of compassionate love for all beings. You have become the light of the world. You have now become a teacher in Earth School. You have awakened to your true Self.

We live in a great time, full of promise and difficulties, when darkness is giving way to new light, a time of turmoil when humanity is coming out of the stage of materialism to reach a higher awareness. We are witnessing the dawning of an age of more compassion and wisdom. Our world will not change overnight. Much of the change will be difficult and hard won. But inevitably a new consciousness is emerging. We can see this in the appearance of new teachers, methods, and skills, and as an intuitive knowing inside our hearts. We are guided internally. We are creating spiritual community in countless forms. New awareness is awakening everywhere. And while we may tend to get overwhelmed at times by the troubles and cares of this world, we can remember the prophetic words of the great sage Ramana Maharshi: “Let Him who created this world see to its maintenance. Meanwhile find out who you are.”

Although we see all around us how the old consciousness is desperately trying to stay in control, it cannot succeed. When a higher principle comes into being, power resides in the new life being born, even though it may not seem that way when you’re feeling the labor pains or when the new life is still fragile and young. For us as individuals, as well as for the collective, birthing and raising a new consciousness pushes us to our limits. This is scary, but it teaches us to question not our capacities but our limits. And it shows us that the immensity we are safely brings this new life into being.

It is not that the world is coming to an end, but layers of the old fear-dominated consciousness are being shed like the worn-out skin of a snake. It is an immense birthing process with contractions that can be fierce when the shadow contents emerge in their last big fury before they dissolve. We may fall back time and again into the fears and terrors of our past conditioning, only to awaken again each time as the phoenix of consciousness rises from its own ashes. This process of forgetting and remembering, of surrender, death, rebirth and renewal can be dramatic, but it is always guided from a higher source and is therefore completely safe. Any fear we experience is like the fear in a dream. It feels so real at the time, but once we awaken we realize that all the while we have been completely safe. When we do slip into old mind-sets, it helps to remember that the relief and the peace we seek are already fully present in us and it is there we can find them. Knowing this we can consciously open to the astounding reality of what is being born—our own intrinsic freedom and love.

 

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"People and situations do not cause you pain.
Your thoughts and emotions about them do.
You can change those reactions.
This is the key to freedom."
- Ram Giri