Death of the subject “I”…
February 25, 2008

I think if people really knew the ultimate purpose of meditation they would probably think twice about pursuing the practice!  This might sound funny coming from a meditation instructor; fortunately, most people who learn to meditate show up for some of the more tangible benefits that have been known to manifest as a result of the experience over even a short period of tenure and practice: reduction or elimination of stress and anxiety, increased creativity, strengthened immunity, improved brain wave coherence… the list is endless ~ check out Googles 31300 entries for “benefits of meditation”.   

There are many stories aback of the purpose of Spiritual practice.  If you have immersed yourself into a more new age approaches spirituality will probably fall into a healing, transformation or create the perfect life kind of narrative.  If you’re grabbing spirituality by the balls, enlightenment is typically the most popular, most storied and most misunderstood of all the favored “goals”.   

When one visits a diverse expression or variety of the wisdom traditions you can often find reflections of “truth” itself, threads of insight pleasantly suggest all paths have the potential and ability to lead one to the unified whole!  Whether you want to call it enlightenment, realization, transcendence, cosmic consciousness, or what ever, ultimately all these terms result in the death of the subject “I”. 

The wisdom tradition of Vedanta suggests that most of our suffering is based on the illusion of the existence of the subject “I”.  It’s the suffering of not knowing the true Self a choice to “I”dentify with the ego or small self which grasps and fears the transient and unreal, while also resisting the illusion of its ultimate demise.  This is a proven formulae, a platform for the experience pain and suffering; enough too last a lifetime. 

One problem with many spiritual paths is they emphasize a doing aspect that is based not only a judgment of the present moment, but also places a significance on an improved tomorrow.  There are two traps involved in this methodology:  

One is that it negates the fact the bigger part of the real you is free now and can be embraced now,  

and secondly,  

it reinforces rather than deconstructs the existence and illusion of the subject “I”.   

Most teachings perpetuate or enhance not only the existence of an “I”, but also the possibility of getting, having or achieving a new and improved self or “I”.  A rehabilitated or transformed “I” that will provide you with the perfect little life.  While there can be benefits to using a variety of different methods to improve the quality and way you do life, in a Spiritual context it’s valuable to recognize early on that less of the “I” is more. Giving up something of the “I” now, allows you to reveal more of your true nature and Self and in doing so, reduce the amount of pain and suffering you experience in your life.  

The seers and sages of our distant past navigated, mapped and in a few cases “mastered” the “territory” of  the spiritual journey as a progressive “evolution” of consciousness into more expanded states and ultimately, real “I” zation.  Most of the population is very familiar with and will spend their entire lives living in the first three, of seven “states” of consciousness: deep sleep, dreaming and waking; a few more adventurous Souls may take the time to step out of their conditioned perception of reality by “force” or by  “choice” to awaken the observer or witness within and the first step in the ultimate demise of the “I”ndividual.   

The immersion of oneself into the depths of one’s true nature using some sort of successful meditation practice allows one to “travel” back and forth from waking state of awareness into the fourth state of transcendental consciousness.  It allows the mind that was once bound to become unbound.  This “journey” allows one to begin to realize that the world perceived is not necessarily the world to be experienced.   This subtle shift in attention and perception while gentle often provides many dramatic left turns in the life of someone who has made the choice to abandon the foreground of their life for the background of eternity and the true Self that had previously been marginalized.  The task at hand is noble, grand and necessary, what’s at stake is freedom.  For as long as the “I” remains in the foreground of our attention we will continue to experience reality through the veil of chaos and suffering. 

As we begin to peak behind the curtain of distinction we realize that what the “I” had created through its thoughts, memories, associations, perceptions and body “I”dentification had no substance or truth except at the level of the mind, as a projection.  We are awakened from the trance of our dream.  It’s not that clues have not been left behind informing us of our ultimate destiny and demise.  Spoken words often hide unspoken truth, behind a journey so infrequently travelled.  Sleep has often been called ‘the little death”, Samadhe a Sanskrit word describing the experience of “slipping into the gap” or silence of meditation, means “No me”; Nirvana means extinction!   

As one “progresses” through transcendental consciousness to the fifth state of Cosmic consciousness, one foot is in “heaven” the other on earth. The boundary between time and space is beginning to bleed into the timelessness of eternity.  It is here that the defined “I” begins to unravel.  The “you” and the “me” that had a past, a present and a future, that once believe it was born to die will be recognized for what it is, a role player cast among many roles, many stories, many lives.  It is here that one begins to lose the hysteria and mellow drama of our scripted lives.  It is here that one recognizes one is in the world but not of it.   

The fifth leads to the sixth; divine consciousness.  Here, there is no distinction between the sinner and the Saint.  Here, the rich and the poor the joy and the suffering are seen as “one”.    A bridge of equanimity has replaced the perception of the subject/object split.  The “I” has been upstaged, for it no longer holds the trump card of perception.  The mind is quiet; the body is still, the Self has awakened to itSelf.  “You” finally get over yourself.  The divinity within now recognizes the divinity without.  Life is no longer experienced or perceived as up or down, inner or outer.  There is simply a divine play of consciousness.  Recognition takes place of denial and the true miracle of creation ~ inclusion, is unleashed for the benefit of all humankind. 

 At the seventh level of consciousness the “I” ceases to be an “I” as pure, undisturbed consciousness erases the illusion of all boundaries. 

“Here” the person ceases to be a person. 

“Here”; there is no coming, there is no going. 

“Here”, there is no arising, there is no subsiding. 

“Here”, nothing is the same, nothing is different. 

“Here”, nothing exists, nothing does not exist… 

The purpose of meditation is not to attain but to reveal.

In silence, my mind remembers and my Soul awakens.

Here,

my mind is still,

my body is quiet,

my breath is deep.

Here,

my life flows with effortless ease.

Here,

I am aware of my own inner perfection.

In Solitude I belong to my Self.

In Solitude, I realize the One Spirit that dwells within me.

Here,

the seed of divinity that lies within me contains the whole truth.

 Are you ready to remember?           

              

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The Great Unlearning
January 26, 2008

For most of my life I have hungered and journeyed for this discovery of Who I Am. While at times the ambiguity of this journey and quest feels incomplete, I now have the wisdom of years that affords me the ability to detach from some of the more generically sanitized versions of Spirituality that I have watched or played with. Respectfully, while most of these standardized versions continue to serve many, I can now see in my own life they were only temporary pit stops of learning that never quite satisfied the deepest calling of my Soul.

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