Sunday, September 08, 2013
When I was a child, say about eleven years old, we studied a bit of Eastern thought in our history text. That piece of writing told us that, according to Hindu belief "Brahman is Atman, Atman is Brahman." I had no trouble understanding the underlying meaning of this assertion. My young mind simply responded with, "Of course-this is obvious." I assumed then (and still do) that the statement simply meant that I--in my spiritual core (Atman)--was one with the "infinite consciousness" (Brahman, Oversoul, Creative Essence, Ultimate Reality, God/Goddess) of the universe.
I often sensed the truth of this notion when I was out in nature, for then something quite remarkable often happened. I felt a strange shift into a sense of oneness with all that surrounded me. The world seemed beautiful, and I fell into a delightful state of joy to be part of it. I now realize that I was indeed a "nature mystic," and that these early experiences were forerunners of other, more dramatic encounters with expanded consciousness latter on.
A few years later I found a thought similar to the Hindu belief expressed in Tolstoy's pronouncement, "The kingdom of God is within you." And since then I have encountered the same idea expressed in countless ways in myriads of texts. This, I think, was not only the expressed wisdom of the ancients, but it has become the transformative discovery of our own time: that "God/Goddess" (however defined) is not an entity that exists outside the self, but is contained within our very own natures, for we are inextricably united-- we are one and the same inseparable reality. We ourselves are merely the unique expression of that vast, insuperable, indefinable essence, and thus we exist only by right of our divine connection. Apart from our role as particles in the body of the inscrutable, we are, in fact, nothing at all. And all our strivings after things and power, money and conquest (whether sexual or otherwise) diminish us and lead us far astray from our true natures. We become lost in what Bunyan rightly called "Vanity Fair," slaves to false values.
Kundalini, in its highest form, reminds us of who we truly are, providing us with rapturous reminders of our actual nature, individual expressions of the sacred energies that inanimate the cosmos. In this state of union, we know with certainly that "Brahman is Atman, Atman is Brahman." No words or arguments are needed to persuade us of this self evident truth. We cannot ague with what our bodies (our subtle bodies resounding through our physical bodies) are telling us. Even though such transcendent states may not last continuously, they afford insistent reminders of the "enlightenment" state, the ultimate realization of divine connection.
(photo of "Begonia" by N.M. Rai)