The Structure of Illusion and Enlightenment
I will describe the Structure in which we appear – since Awakening to this Structure is Enlightenment.
The Ultimate Reality or Truth is the Transcendental Person Infinite, Eternal Bliss, Prior to all kinds of relations. That Person is Radiant Consciousness, or Divine Ignorance-Radiance.
The same Person, although One, is also Dynamic – expressed as an Infinitely Extended Process of numberless kinds of Manifest Play. In that Play, self-consciousness arises in each specific process or apparent entity. And this self-consciousness within the Dynamic Play of Existence cannot know or experience the Divine Person over against itself. The Divine Person is a Unity, Who Transcends the Dynamic Play while also appearing to Pervade it and even to Be it. Therefore, to Realize the Divine Person, individual beings must transcend their manifest forms, or their independent existence in the Play.
The Divine Person does not appear as such to the independent conscious entities within the Play. Rather, the Ultimate Reality seems to be a hidden Transcendental Consciousness, over against the Universal Drama of all phenomena. The entities intuit the Divine Consciousness through their own fundamental consciousness, which seems to be their essential or central condition of existence. Therefore, they may feel that God is Consciousness. But all of the phenomena of experience distract the entities and seem to bind them to what is not Consciousness.
Thus, the Divine appears to, have divided Itself, becoming Consciousness on the one hand, and Dynamic Manifestation on the other. But, in Truth, the Divine is One, and this Self-Division in God is only an illusion, created by the presumption on the part of the entities that they are independently existing in a World of experience, separated from the Eternal Position of Transcendental Unity, or Bliss.
The living beings become convinced of their independence by virtue of the distracting power of manifest experience. They begin to turn from Intuitive Communion with the Divine Reality, and they turn toward the phenomena of the Play. Thus, experience continues, reinforcing the illusion of independence, separation from the Divine Condition, and necessary association with phenomena.
Entities thus develop desires and tendencies of all kinds, which trap them into automatic and uninspectable association with continued experience. They are launched on a space-time Tour of Possibility. But in that Process, the Bliss of God-Communion is replaced by inherent suffering, or self-possession. Therefore, as experience develops, so also does the profound sense of bewilderment, despair, and the feeling of entrapment. The entity feels that it is an independent, conscious being with form in a World, and that it is necessarily associated with experiential phenomena. Happiness seems to require continued experience and improvement of experience. The Real, or God, is considered either to be perfectly interior to the World or else to be the Perfection of the World.
Such is the puzzle or dilemma of consciousness in the case of manifest individual entities, or souls in manifestation. The manifest soul, or entity, is an apparently independent consciousness (the manifest expression of the Divine Ignorance, or Perfect Consciousness), covered by or necessarily associated with a body-mind and an Infinite World of relations (the manifest expression of the Divine Radiance, or Perfect Bliss).
“The Spiritual Master is not an individuated personality. I am not a separate character. I have been murdered, undone, sacrificed by this Great One.”
The Dreaded Gom-Boo, or the Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks to Cure.
“In Yogiji’s words, This beggar died at the lotus feet of Swami Ramdas in 1952…..This beggar ceased to exist in 1952. After that, a power has pulled him here and there. Even now, this beggar is controlled by the same power, the power that controls the whole universe! This beggar has no consciousness! No mind! All has been washed away! No thought, no planning, no mind to plan. No sense of good and evil. Swami has killed this beggar, but life has come. Millions and millions of salutations at the lotus feet of my Master, Swami Ramdas! The same madness still continues. He has initiated this beggar in Ramnarn and has asked to chant it all the twenty four hours. This beggar began to do it and in the space of a week, this beggar has got this madness’.
Recorded by Ma Devaki, WAVES OF LOVE.
The only true “solution” to this dilemma is an Awakening that inherently transcends every aspect or condition of the dilemma. Thus, the manifest soul must Awaken to the Realization that it is always already and priorly Free of all conditions of experience, or the body-mind. Experience is not necessary, or even a Way to the Divine Person. The body-mind is an illusion in the Play. By association with the body-mind, the Free soul, or the Self-which dwells in the planes of manifestation but is inherently free of identification with phenomena-suffers the illusion of identification with phenomena. Liberation in Truth comes when this association produces a critical sense of revulsion, thus permitting intuitive Awakening from the stream of experience. This Awakening is Self-Realization, and it is perfected in the sixth stage of manifest life.
When there is this Awakening beyond the distractive power of experience, the Self may then begin to Awaken to the Single Reality, the Original Condition, the Divine Person or Absolute Personality. The Self, first Awakened, tends to abide within Itself, excluding experiential phenomena-since the Play of experiential phenomena is recognized to have been the very Process that originally caused the Self, or Free soul, to forget its Free Condition. However, exclusive Self-Realization does not permit Transcendental God-Communion, or Realization of the Divine Person, the Inclusive Ignorance-Radiance of the One Reality. Therefore, the Ultimate Liberation comes only when the Self yields its effort to exclude phenomena as well as its previous effort to maintain association with phenomena.
In the first five stages of life, entities seek association with the various kinds of psycho-physical phenomena. In the sixth stage of life, entities seek to avoid association with every kind of experiential phenomenon, while abiding in the prior Bliss of the Self. But in the seventh stage of life, the Free soul, or Self, is yielded perfectly into the Condition of the Absolute Personality, or the Domain of the Divine Person. Thus, experiential phenomena are no longer either sought or avoided. They are simply recognized as unnecessary modifications of the Single Reality, which is Transcendental and All-Pervading. Thus, the Self becomes Sacrifice, Radiance, or Love, transcending not only experience but also the Unqualified Consciousness of the Independent Self (separated from the Infinite Radiance of Existence). Therefore, even the inward or exclusive Self-Position is yielded into the Bliss of Ignorance Radiance, the Absolute Personality, Who is the Person in the Play and the Person Who is Prior to the Play. Then all phenomena and every gesture of recoil from phenomena and toward Self Containment are Dissolved in Self-Sacrificial Communion with the Divine Person or Identity. And nothing is strategically excluded or included, nor may it be strictly said that the soul is either the same as God or separate from God. There is only the Paradox of God, the Divine Person, and by virtue of Absorption in Bliss through that Paradox, the Eternal Self is Translated into the Eternal Domain of God, beyond all the illusions of separation and suffering.