Blog by Eric Allen Bell - God is Closer to You than Your Self
If you consider yourself to be on any kind of spiritual path, you very likely have had a tendency to be too hard on yourself. You try not to think negative thoughts, to avoid judging others, to avoid "sin". One definition of the word "sin" is "separation from God". We want to avoid our dark side and become more of "how we are supposed to be". This way of thinking occurs probably not as the result of religion, but rather religion has sprouted as the result of this way of thinking. We believe the lie that we are not adequate, when in fact we are.
In fact, the "shadow" (your dark side) is as much a part of the human experience as is having two eyes. The light and the darkness that are basic components of the psyche, are what enable the human mind to perceive as it exists in material space. There exists both day and night down here on the ground, and the inner world of the human mind adjusts itself accordingly. The light and the dark are not at war with each other anywhere but in the mind. Everything is chaos and everything is harmony and one idea does not negate the other. Who are you, in the midst of it all? Are you the chaos and the harmony? Or are you something that is more full than either of these concepts can describe?
As part of our physical evolution, the brain has developed an ability to identify opposites in order to survive. And there exists no shortage of New Age books that would have us believe this is a flaw, something to feel that we must fix.
While this platform of duality in perception has allowed us to make great breakthroughs technologically and in the arts and so much more, it is also the foundation of every war - mine versus yours, and us verses them. And perhaps in the material world war is part of how nature operates. But are we bound to this and only this? From the meditative state the answer is quite clear.
Simply "us" or "ours" are very difficult concepts for the brain to hold onto without having to meditate, read spiritual books, go to Satsang, church, temple, etc. This Non-duality flies in the face of everything our brain has told us it needs, in order to navigate its way through our concept of the world. However when the body dies, when we leave this place, duality is baggage which may not required for the journey. But can we also inhabit material space, live in duality but not be captured by it?
You can realize the oneness of all things before having to wait until the body expires. Even "oneness" is just a word and a concept. It implies something finite when the mystery in fact refuses to be held in such a way. Self Realization is always in the room with you. Your appointment with it is now.
It is possible to navigate through a world of opposites, play by its rules, but also know that none of this is real? It's reality has limits and how real can something limited really be? This experience of your body, located in time and space, is just a tiny fraction of what is really going on.
Can you be in the world but not be of the world? If you believe you require an invitation, I invite you so snap out of it. Can you be here, but not only here - and yet be fully here? Are you willing to let go of the task of maintaining all of this fragmentation?
I'm not claiming to be on some higher plane or posses special powers. I am no one special. We are all Divine. You can see this if you are willing to see it.
God or Source, being Infinite, is that which you were never apart from in the first place. The illusion of separateness is ultimately a trick of the mind. You were never separated from Source. Adam and Eve are fictional characters, but then so am I and so are you.
So does time exist in the mind or does the mind exist in time? Or do they both exist in non-local consciousness? Is non-local consciousness not the ground of all being? Isn't this what the symbol of OM means? Isn't OM who and what you are - limitless, free, beyond what can be contained or described by any concept or impression?
And this is the hallucination that fuels so much suffering in the world - the illusion of separateness. Materially there exists separation of bodies and nations and so on. But there are dimensions of consciousness that allow for more depth and range than this, while still enabling us to navigate through material space as an individual in the world - flaws and all.
What is the purpose of Enlightenment? Is it permanent? Is it a finish line? Or, are there enlightenments along the journey? These moments of realization allow for more depth and more range. Is there any value, in purpose in this? You will not know until you experience it.
The big lie is what we've structured our civilizations on. It is a delusion that holds most of the religions establishment together and keeps many of the powerful in power. The lie is that spirituality is about groveling in front of some god and apologizing for your inadequacies. The lie is that spirituality is about improving yourself, or improving the world. The laws of nature and evolution will take care of that. Spirituality is about seeing things as they are and excepting things as they are. It is about knowing your Self. Religion is about believing in something else instead.
Suffering occurs at the level of the brain-body organism. But often even this suffering can bring us to the realization of a truer identity - one that is not a concept - one that is eternal and not so subject to the fluctuations of time and space. We long for that realization while also trying to push it into the future. The realization sees you coming. The story is stretched out over time, in the mind. And yet it all happens in an instant. It has already happened, it will happen, it is happening and it always was and is. You will come to this through crisis, or you will come to this through bliss, or you will not come to it at all, as you realize that it is as you are.
Imagine a world where we all felt safe enough to stop believing in the lie. By all outward appearances, the material world of today is not ready for such a revelation. But are you?
Once you realize that the only one who has the power to truly convince you of the lie is yourself, you are ready to for the protagonist to meet the author of the story. Little self meets Big Self. Duality and Unity are one in the same.
Or in Vedic terms - Atman is Brahman.
To know yourself is to know God, and to know God is to know yourself.