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What You Seek is What is Seeking - God is Closer to You than Your Self

By Eric Allen Bell

When it comes to the subject of Enlightenment I am no authority. I do not possess special knowledge nor do I profess to speak to you now from some elevated state. On all matters Divine there is but one authority and that is The Great Mystery.


Enlightenment is often said to be a state of conscious communion with Divine Source.


According to some spiritual traditions this state is something of a finish line. One's existence is seen to be a cycle of birth, death and rebirth as one's soul perfects their karma and eventually reaches a state of Nirvana or pure bliss.


In the Judeo-Christian world the word "Heaven" is more commonly used. A person is believed to live only once and at the end of their life will face judgment. The outcome of this judgment will determine whether or not a person is worthy enough to enter the Kingdom of God or have to face eternal damnation. Something of a "get out of jail free card" is provided for those who believe in the teachings of a specific messiah or prophet and one's transgressions in this life can be forgiven such that they become pure enough to enter into a state of permanent God awareness, living side by side with God forever - so long as they believe.


These are the two main theories or beliefs that dominate the world religious consciousness. Outside the sphere of religious orientation are the Agnostics who neither deny nor embrace a concept of the Divine. Less popular, but growing in numbers these days, are the trendy New Atheists who believe that any concept of God or the Divine is pure fantasy concocted by the feeble human brain which fears death.  Many even reject the idea of "god" as simply the Infinite and not a deity.  To some Atheists, science is the ultimate authority - even though science is all too often the absolute faith that what one perceives through the sense organs is real, reliable and complete. It can be argued, from this standpoint then, that this New Atheism is  very similar to religion, since it is faith-based; faith in the sense organs. Faith that the sense organs can perceive the entire scope of "reality" is just as crazy as thinking that Jesus is coming to rapture his children some day.


Everything I have described to you thus far is rooted either in logic or in faith - faith being the belief in things unseen and faith being the absence of critical thinking. But there is another dimension of perception available to us and that is the field of pure knowing. Direct perception.


The brain-body organism that thinks it is me - that is to say the accumulated collection of beliefs, experiences, biases, prejudices , opinions, sensations, longings, hopes, fears, and other perceptions which all add up - which all conspire to equal a "person"... This person has had glimpses of a Divinely perfect state of pure bliss. The character that thinks it is Eric Allen Bell has thought himself to have had moments of clear God awareness. The person who I am often identified with has had a brush with total clarity from time to time, only to fall back into the survival-oriented, me-centered day to day existence that is life in the material world.


Can one then, as a person living in the world, have direct perception of the Divine? Can we experience continuous and conscious communion with Divine Source while living in this place we call the world?


There is nothing unique about me posing this question to you. The question is as old as time itself. What is Enlightenment?


How do you experience a continuous awareness of the Divine? If that which is Divine is infinite, and by its very nature it must be, then the Divine never loses its awareness of you. Therefore you are always constantly connected to God. The belief that you are apart from God is a state of ignorance.


So in an enlightened state one becomes aware of what already is. We awaken from our sleep. The awakened self already exists concurrent with the everyday mundane self who is generally unaware of who and what we are and where we came from.


The awakened self doesn't need to awaken. The Ego self, by definition cannot awaken, but will use so-called "spirituality" as a form of self help and decorate itself with its accomplishments, it's knowledge and its belief systems. It uses the spiritual experience as a means of avoiding anything spiritual at all.


As such, when asking the question "Can the self be awakened?" it is worthwhile to ask yourself who it is that is asking. Do you imagine yourself to be a person? If you do imagine yourself to be a person, know that the person can never be more or less than what it is. The person has no need for awakening as awakening runs counter to the survival-based mindset that is the mandate for the society the person is living in. Only that which is not a person, not a citizen, not a race or a gender or a set of beliefs can even begin to truly ask the question, "Who am I?"


If one adds to their arsenal of beliefs that "We are all one" that is only a thought and should not be confused for real perception. I know that New York exists, but seeing it for myself is an entirely different kind of experience.


That which is awake within you does not seek awakening. That which seeks awakening can never find it as every move it makes is in fact an attempt to avoid the experience entirely.


Call off the search. There is nothing to find for the one who has not lost anything.




Eric Allen Bell


Eric Allen Bell is Founder of
Multimedia for Mystics




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Tags: Eric-Allen-Bell, consciousness, enlightenment, god, online-spiritual-groups, religion, self-realization, spiritual-blogs, spiritual-networks, spiriutality


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Comment by Eric Allen Bell on October 6, 2013 at 7:51am

@TOJ - Well said :)

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on October 5, 2013 at 3:51pm

@TOJ - Interesting how the Hindu doctrine has promoted the neurosis of needing to become perfect in order to reach some finish line called "Enlightenment".  

Comment by Alexi on July 5, 2013 at 5:38pm

You asked two very good questions in this post: "Can one then, as a person living in the world, have direct perception of the Divine? Can we experience continuous and conscious communion with Divine Source while living in this place we call the world?"

I am one of those who have added to my "arsenal of beliefs" that 'We are all one' but I'd add that it is not a substitute for real perception, as even a "brush with total clarity" renders this almost a trite statement to what is, for me, actually almost difficult to describe or comprehend.  Perhaps a better phrase would be "It is all one", and while even that is still just a thought, I'm not sure if words are even the medium to use to describe the experience at all.  When I use words in more complex ways, I talk of quantum physics and non-locality, concepts like lucid dreams or a holographic universe, that everything in the world is just energy, paradigms of space and time and such.  This is perhaps an intellectualized ego - and I've come to wonder if this is an adaptation attempt to live in this world as the "person" I perceive myself to be while simultaneously sorting through that feeling of a connection to the Divine ("it is all one").  I'm not so sure it is so much of a "search" people go on, as much as it's a series of struggles to close the gap on perceived separateness from others, from nature, from the universe - AND - even if in that "journey" you are to arrive at something that was there all along, then what?  How do we have a continuous connection and still live in this perceived reality? 

Comment by Nils Alterskjær on December 6, 2012 at 10:19am

Fantastic Eric :D Very nice. The word Nirvana is actually a combination of 3 Sanskrit words, Nir-Va-Djna, literally meaning "without wrong thoughts", this point towards a state where the experience and the definition of  this experience is congruent. Abiding in a state of NirVaDjna is to abandon lying, pretence, daydreaming and so on. It is a state in which perception is used on this world of concepts and found to be nothing else then just another expression of the "Divine" or what ever for a lack of a better word. The world and all in it is found to be whole. 

Comment by mik e evans on March 8, 2012 at 8:42am

nice article Mr. Bell...

Comment by Josiane Dumas on October 22, 2011 at 11:43am

With an open mind and an honnest heart , the Divine Source itself connects with us , I am a witness for that, the day The Divine Source of All connected with me, I felt an impulse that pushed me toward a small plant in a concrete made  plaza, and there I had the impulse to bend over the plant, there was a four leaves clover, the only one , showing me the miracle I was experiencing, the materialisation in this tiny 4 leaves clover of the Divine Source telling me " you searched for me with honnesty and love, here I am for you". Since then nobody can take away my faith , better said....I live in HER consciousness and  Presence......I feel inconditional love and learned how to forgive even my ennemis.....and always search in me for my fautls, for my mistakes, seeing how my ego is strong and how to overcome it so it doesn't get in my when I act, when I feel, when I speak , making sure I do not hurt people around me, and if I do, as I observe myself, I immediatly correct the mistake in my mind so I do not reproduce it and forgive myself....To understand everything is to forgive everything.... Buddah.....much love and light to you Eric

Comment by Søren Beejo Hansen on October 22, 2011 at 11:25am

Lets call off the search - and then what happens? Well, either it´s a realisation that I´m complete or better that 'I am that'. Or it´s a clear seeing or thought or whatever - a product of the mind of a person. Then it will become an inner conflict: I don´t want to seek anymore, but I just have to take a look at what Adyashanti says. I´m not seeking, it just feels good to be close to him.

What I´m saying is something like: As long as one feels incomplete, lacking, one has to seek something to fill the emptiness inside - even food. I did that. And then what you´re saying sounds good and right but it doesn´t help.

One needs to be with what´s happening this moment - even if it is uncomfortable, trusting that that´s the portal to call off the search.

Comment by Marek Zielinski on April 20, 2010 at 5:18am
The more I silence myself the more I am enlightened by Spirit.
I am One with Divine Source.
In Spirit and Peace Forever
Initiator of
Comment by laughingRain on April 19, 2010 at 7:53pm
Thank u Eric, what a comprehensive piece, I could hardly add to it, but oh well, here goes! Your summation is to call off the search for what is not lost. Exactly what ACIM says in different words. You cannot be separate from God, but it is possible to ignore things unseen as unreal, or as u said, to live in a state of ignorance is to ignore that which confounds the mind. I never throw anything away, like a new concept but store it for later reference, not everything has to be true or false. It can just be.
how true what u said, to perceive one's self as a seeker is somewhat confining to that definition of yourself as a seeker, how tiresome I suppose, to seek and not find, or to find there's never an end to the finding, to the seeking. Our several glimpses of divine experiences which cause us to know, but not to believe, as knowing is more like inexpressible faith, these experiences is what causes us to wish to communicate with one another about them, because they are good news!

this article reminds me of something important. I see being aware of the divine force as a blinking on and off situation, with the moments in linear time lengthening during the blinking on process, which we can call awakening, as that sounds mighty good to me!
Blinking back off means it's time to take care of physical reality, such as the body, the house, the bills, etc.
I figure to live totally awakened permanently is somewhat impossible to imagine and still be somebody's mom, or play a role such as having a job where you fit into that role.
It would be impossible because we do what we do here to get the paycheck, to keep well, so to have shelter, food, comforts, help others, etc and being in bliss, nirvana, what that state suggests to many is, there is no need to attend to, to get something, as you've already got everything you need and it's an illuminated state of mind, to say, inspired. I will say being awakened is to rise in the morning with a feeling that it's great to be alive, although you can't really put your finger on why this is so.
I'd say living in a state of grace, where you are grateful for everything, to god and fellow man, is close to full enlightenment as we may get while still being in a body to maintain. yet I could be lying! unknowingly.

thus the necessity to blink back off, to experience just being a human, going about it's business of knowing some things, but not really having all the answers immediately available, such as the divine intelligence knows all things, and we get to plug in sometimes.
I come from a school of thought to consider the first question is always who and what we are. The 5 senses we have been given can never tell the whole story efficiently, so we call this life time a limited consciousness expressing, and the experiences you've had to touch divinity once in awhile, those are plugging into the unlimited consciousness. From what I read here, it appears you are fully awakened, but the ironic thing is, if you are fully awakened, you really might not be here that much longer because you are starting to move too fast for the others to be able to understand you, until your frequency rate increases that the human body is not sustainable due to the light energy acting on it.
I really want to be a scientist! next time maybe.

I've had a few of those experiences with divinity, and I'm finding almost everybody I run into these days can express a few encounters with awakening, usually, we speak of an NDE and how blissful it can be while we are there, and how dreadful to have to come back and finish up something.
I cannot see an ending point though, but I can see it only continues spiriling and if it stops for a breather, it again begins ascending further without ever losing it's former status, the "who I am" just adds but never subtracts from itself.
I do believe there have been masters on this earth who had direct contact with God or divine forces, not just a perception, but a direct communication with something that it is a part of, and a two way conversation can happen internally with that.
I'd say these were awakened, but still continuing with their soul plan and not resting in eternal bliss. If you are too blissed out, after all, they might want to do away with the evidence!
so learn to laugh, it's a good releaser of tension.
again, thankx for the piece, it's good to read it and reflect. LR
Comment by Chris Bertison on April 19, 2010 at 5:31pm
I liken awakening to our higher selves being the Genie trapped in a bottle (physical self), and Ego is the cork that has sealed off the bottle. In awakening, the bottle tries over and over again to 'pop it's top' in order to release that which is within.


Eric Allen Bell




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