God: divine self within: inner awakening to God: union with God
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
When we have come to see everything as mystery, including ourselves, and we have come to know that God is the one mystery which is everything, then we shall come to realize that ...we are the mystery which is God; that is, having forgotten what we thought we knew, and what we think we are, we find that we exist wholly ensconced in the one-limitless-enigma, and, in fact, not only are we in that enigma, but we actually are The Enigma. And that Enigma, for a great part of history, has been called God. We are Mystery. We are God.
Ah, but wait a minute, how is that possible? How could we be both ignorant and God at the same time? And the answer, as we shall see in the following pages, is: nobody knows (not even God).
But first, regarding the immanent nature of Mystery- the fact that we are the greatest of wonders to ourselves- Joseph Campbell states: "Not the animal world, nor the plant world, nor the miracle of the spheres, but man himself is now the crucial mystery". And Lindsay Clarke's character proffers, "It's my contention that there are mysteries enough in here [tapping at his breast] to keep a man occupied without meddling in foreign parts."
"When we think of that sense and that feeling, or that inclination, which makes us affirm the word 'I', it is difficult to point out what it is, what is its character; for it is something which is beyond human comprehension."
Hazrat Inayat Kahn
The mystery is in us. Wonder lies within; God, or Heaven, or the 'Kingdom of Spirit', call it what you will, it is that which lies nowhere but inside us.
Alipi announced: "...if that which thou seekest thou find not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek and search after the excellency of other things? The universal Orb of the world contains not so many great mysteries and excellencies as a little Man, formed by God in His image. And he who desirest the primacy among the students of Nature will nowhere find a greater or better field of study than himself."
"It is the study of self which is really the study of God. ...[And] every soul has in himself a Kingdom of God. To become conscious of this mystery of life is to open one's eyes to the kingdom of God."
Absolute wonderment, then, is simply a person's realized relationship to a suddenly recognized unfathomableness- their own unfathomable Self.
As John Claypool remarks, "Several years ago I came across the phrase, 'the mystery that is every man.' From the moment I saw it I liked it, because it reminds me of a fact about every person who has ever lived- that everyone is a dynamic, mysterious reality..."
All we need to do is be aware of ourselves completely; to be 'open' and not closed off by preconceptions or desires about who we are or want to be. We must simply be, and finally we shall see ourselves truly- as miracles now and always.
It is only through our de-finitions of ourselves that we become finite, definable fragments, separated from the glorious One. By undefining ourselves and everything, we then become intimate with, and not separate from, the unfathomable whole.
"We wake, if ever we wake at all, to mystery."
We wake as mystery.
"For where, indeed, could 'the Mystery' be more cleverly hidden", asked Alan Watts, "than right in the seeking and the seeker...?"
It is not the world which is astounding, it is the 'I'; the astounding is the astounded; that 'I am!', is the wonder of wonders.
Kahn declares, "Man is a mystery in all aspects of his being; not only in mind and soul, but also in that organism which he calls his body. ...And so it is with the man who seeks the mystery of life outside; he will never find it, for the mystery of life is only to be found within."
Who am I? What am I? Why am I? Are these questions not the very basis of our beings? Are we not, in fact, wholly unanswerable questions? Are we not the mystery, awakening to itself?
Ernest Becker commented: "Man's very insides- his self- are foreign to him. He doesn't know who he is, why he was born, what he is doing on the planet, what he is supposed to do, what he can expect. His own existence is incomprehensible to him, a miracle just like the rest of creation, closer to him, right near his pounding heart, but for that reason all the more strange."
Indeed, what we must look upon with most catholicity- what we must lose all memory of, what we must perceive with no preconceptions whatsoever- is not the strange and impressive world outside of us, but instead what lies 'right inside our breast', which is to say, ourselves, our 'I'- the Mystery incarnate within, and as, each one of us.
Lispector described this necessary completion in one of her characters, writing: "[He] had fallen so deep into himself that he could not recognize himself. …[And so] accepting was accepting a great and obscure meaning that came from meeting with the unknown creature that he was."
We see now that wonder is not in the world, it is in mankind. 'Exasperation' occurs not as a function of any particular event but as the capability of the individual to be exasperated, to be exasperation. Awe is simply the flagship of perspectives, not that we have but ...that we are; exasperation is not a sense of being, it is being; one is exasperation. The person who is aghast, is aghastness aghast at itself.
"Remember that in pure…mind essence there is no asking of the question why and not even any significance attached to it. …Why don't you just relax and enjoy God?
God is you, you fool!"
We are the center of a vastness that has no limitation; we cannot get closer to the mystery of God than in ourselves. We must not look for the mystery outside of ourselves, for it is not outside; we must recognize ourselves as Mystery, emanating mysteriously, from our own mysteriousness.
In Baha'u'llah's prophetic words, "Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel."
As such, Osho claimed: "God has already happened. You are carrying him from the very beginning... You may have forgotten, you may have become completely oblivious, you may not be able to remember who you are, but still you are God."
Life is all one great event not understanding itself. And we are IT, not understanding Itself. We are the 'I' which does not know what 'I' is.
Indeed it is an absolute tragedy that we spend our days hunting for spectacle and distraction, when the most marvelous, intimate miracle lies right inside of us, and is us; for when we see and seek outwardly with only our own limited perspective, God the Great Mystery shrinks into an ungreat unmystery within us.
"By dint of accumulating non-mysteries and monopolizing non-meanings, life inspires more dread than death:
it is life which is the Great Unknown."
We are Life. We are not outside of it. What we are, it is.
We have been on the shore of 'knowing' too long. It is high time for us to leap into the river of unknowing, and let the miracle of god flow through us, and as us, for, as Thomas Jeffers pronounces, "...'God' will be unseeing as well as unseen till he has an 'I' who can watch and act for him."
As well, the kun byed rgyal po'i mdo, again in the voice of the Creator, states: "Oh great bodhisattva, listen! [My] own being [even] in its variety is not two, but also each part in itself is not...conceptualizable. ...I Myself, the All-Creating Sovereign, teach My own being after I caused it to become apparent. ...The individual actuation lets you see the whole. In such a way My own being is also taught. ...If I, the All-Creating, am not met then all...beings living in this...world will not understand their own being nor their actuating force. ...Therefore they will not see that I, the All-Creating Sovereign and their own being are not different. …For this reason, you must teach My own being."
It is we who must return God's own vision to the wonders of God. Such was the realization that would lead Kazantzakis to put the following words into the mouth of Christ: "This was...a good moment to reveal the word which the Lord confided in me and to awaken the God that sleeps within these men and women who destroy themselves in the pursuit of vain cares... [For] great things happen when God mixes with man. Without man, God would have no mind on this earth to reflect upon his creatures intelligibly..."
To become conscious of our own mysteriousness, is to become conscious of God's mysteriousness, for there is no difference. All is mystery.
"The presence of God is within our Consciousness.
The nature of God is I."
'I' is the substance of God; individuals are merely the forms that 'I' takes.
To better recognize this, Shankara explains why our 'I' is God's 'I'; he states: "A jar made of clay is not other than clay. It is clay essentially. The form of the jar has no independent existence. What then, is the jar? Merely an invented name! The form of the jar can never be perceived apart from the clay. What, then, is the jar? An appearance! The reality is the clay itself."
The Self is all selves; the mysteries are One mystery.
Our 'I' has been God all along. But how could we not have known that? It is absurd that God should not understand God. And yet ...how else explain the unexplainable? Everything is God, but no one knows what God is, not even God.
Perhaps, in fact, this absurdity was the intent all along- to be so mysterious that we could not recognize ourselves as we truly are, and the whole game of being (if 'game' is the appropriate word for this implausible tangle) was, and is, to grope and grope through the dark of the self, until IT finally figures Itself out.
Neale Donald Walsch quotes God as stating: "Since it is the greatest desire of the soul (God) to experience Itself as the Creator ...We had no choice other than to find a way to forget all about Our creation."(brackets are author's) Note that this statement comes right from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
The assumption here is that at some point in our spiritual evolution we had to forget our true selves- our Creator selves- for this was the only way God could play hide-and-seek inside his or her own creation. This is the same old wearisome story, recounted every now and then by anyone brave or crazy enough to imagine it, about how God became bored of being alone and omniscient, and so had to differentiate and hide within His own creation in order to experience the joy of rediscovering himself.
Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God, responds to the last statement by God, questioning: "I am amazed that we found a way. Trying to 'forget' that we are all One, and that the One of which we are is God, must be like trying to forget that a pink elephant is in the room. How could we be so mesmerized?"
Well, we did indeed forget. And now the horrible truth is that we must forget ourselves again; we must forget our false selves in order to remember our true selves.
"The goal of self-consciousness is to find oneself, this being the finding of God. It is as though God in his known capacity hid himself… allowing mankind to progress in an independent manner."
Eom Ida Mingle
Similarly, the idiosyncratic thinker, Neville, states: "Deliberately, [God] has become man and has forgotten that He is God, in the hope that man, thus Created, will eventually rise as God. ...[For] just as God in His love for man so completely identified Himself with man that He forgot that He was God, so man in his love for God must so completely identify himself with God that he lives the life of God."
The mystery of God lies within us; we are the narrow gate, but we have forgotten that the password to the mystery is 'I'.
Of this, Alan Watts wrote: "...this is the dramatic image of Brahma playing hide-and-seek with himself through all the ages of time, concealing himself with infinite ingenuity in the endless variety of apparently separate forms and beings, throwing himself away to recover himself with ever renewed surprise, plunging into ever more fantastically lost situations so that the finding again is all the more astounding. ...[This is the] Hindu concept of maya- the dramatic self-deception whereby the One plays at being the Many, and the Godhead lets itself be forgotten in pretending to be each individual being."
Life is a ruleless game, played by a multifarious cast of individuals who are not individual, but are God not knowing it is play.
The anonymous writer of The Way Beyond explains: "We have called It the Higher Self, and it is in fact [the] very God in you. It is like a ray or reflection of God's mind shining somewhere deep within your consciousness- a 'light which shineth in the darkness, but the darkness (of the outer human mind) knoweth it not.' For certainly when It can get your mind's attention and you listen, It displays a wisdom that is near to that God as the human mind can conceive. And those who heed and obey are given a glimpse of something wonderful, which while inexpressible is altogether divine and most satisfying. ...Everyone must come to that place- every seeker of the true way of life; for until self with its human mind has been completely humbled and gives up utterly, it cannot accept the truth of its non-reality and of the actuality of the God-man within..." (brackets are author's)
"You are the meaning deepest inside things,
that never reveals the secret of its owner."
Rainer Maria Rilke
It is becoming apparent why life is the outlandish absurdity which it is- because the Unknowable Creator is caught in an unknowable creation and is trying to use knowing as a way to get out.
This concept is advanced in The Kybalion of hermetic philosophy, which runs as follows: "This process is called the stage of Involution, in which THE ALL becomes 'involved', or 'wrapped up', in its creation. This process is believed by the Hermeticists to have a Correspondence to the mental process of an artist, writer, or inventor, who becomes so wrapped up in his mental creation as to almost forget his own existence and who, for the time being, almost 'lives in his creation'. If instead of 'wrapped' we use the word 'rapt', perhaps we will give a better idea of what is meant."
Now, summarizing the absurdity of this immanent show, Elsa Barker relates the words of an anonymous spirit in Letters from a Living Dead Man, which state: "Sometimes when praying, for I prayed much, there would come to me the sudden question, 'To what are you praying?' And I would answer aloud, 'To God, to God!' But though I prayed to Him everyday for years, only occasionally did I get a flash of that true consciousness of God. Finally one day when I was alone in the woods, there came the great revelation. It came not in any form of words, but rather in a wordless and formless wonder, too vast for the limitation of thought. ...Then gradually...I could put into the form of words the realization which had been too much for my mortality to bear, and the words I used to myself were, 'All that is, is God.' It seemed very simple, yet it was far from simple. 'All that is, is God.' That must include me and my fellow beings... From that moment life assumed a new meaning for me. I could not see a human face without remembering the revelation- that the human being I saw was a part of God. ...The realization nearly took my breath away. Life became unbelievably beautiful. ...[For] I found that as more and more I sought God in [others], more and more God responded to me through them. And life became still more wonderful. ...Sometimes I tried to tell others what I felt, but they did not always understand me. It was thus I began to realize that God had purposely, for some reason of his own, covered Himself with veils. Was it that He might have the pleasure of tearing them away?"
God wakes up to Godness with bewildered astonishment.
"We do not even know what the self is."
Therefore, if we are to alter the game, we must simply cease being suffering, separate, created beings, and instead return to the memory of the enigmatic One Being which we have for too long fallen away from, through the infinite labyrinths of our own Godlike amnesia, as it were.
As Meister Eckhart declared: "He, then, who is to be poor in spirit must be poor of all his own knowledge, so that he knows nothing of God, or creatures, or of himself. ...For if God once found a person as poor as this, he would take the responsibility of his own action and would himself be the scene of action, for God is one who acts within himself. It is here, in this poverty, that man regains the eternal being that once he was, now is, and evermore shall be."
Eckhart is saying that once we become empty of all the dross within, God the Mystery can do nothing but rush in to fill the vacuum of our absence.
It is up to each one of us to choose between suffocating in the vortex of the limited, knowable self, or instead to cut the cords which bind, and let ourselves drift out into, and be, the vast, incomprehensible sea of Being itself.
"My plan, then, in so far as the negation of all effort and purpose may be said to be a plan, is to stop evolving, to remain what I am and to become more and more only what I am- that is, to become more miraculous."
To 'become more and more' ourselves, is to become freer, more Unknowable, more Godlike, more and more The Great Sea of Mystery that is contained in every part of that Mystery called 'I'.
Dag Hammarskjold asserted this when he wrote: "At every moment you choose yourself, but do you choose your self? Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you may build many 'I's'. But in only one of them is there congruence between the elector and the elected, only one which you will never find until you have excluded all those superficial feelings and possibilities with which you toy out of curiosity or wonder or fear and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience in the mystery of life and the consciousness of the talent entrusted in you and the wonder of you which is your 'I'."
If we seek to understand life (the life which we are), we will never see it as it is- i.e. not understandable. However, if we give ourselves away, forget everything, and open up to the grand possibility that we are limitless, then, and only then, will the unfathomable, blissful mystery which we are dance naked right before us.
Zen Master Yuansou asserts: "This inconceivable door of great liberation is in everyone. It has never been blocked, it has never been defective. Buddhas and Zen masters have appeared in the world and provided expedient methods, with many different devices, using illusory medicines to cure illusory illnesses, just because your faculties are unequal, your knowledge is unclear, you do not transcend what you see…and you are tumbled about endlessly in an ocean of misery by afflictions due to ignorance, by emotional views and habitual conceptions of others and self, right and wrong. The various teachings and techniques of Buddhas and Zen masters are only set forth so that you will individually step back into yourself, understand your own original mind and see your own original nature..."
Here we are reminded of our 'original' nature, which is pristine, untainted, virginal, knowledgeless nature.
With this in mind, Lispector wrote about one of her characters, stating: "But after ignoring the lesser truths, he began to resemble other beings, as if enshrouded in mystery. His ignorance transformed him into a mysterious being."
"'I am that I am' is what every sacred being seems to say.
...[And] the response of the imagination
to such a presence or significance is a passion of awe."
And so the absence of rapture exists only because we imagine ourselves as separate, suffering, detached, and limited beings, and therefore 'outside' the fullness of the One Mystery called God, the Self, the Source, or what have you.
An anonymous anecdote from the East will further support this point:
"Master" said the student "where do you get your spiritual power?"
"From being connected to the source," said the Master.
"You are connected to the source of Zen?"
"Beyond that," said the Master, "I am Zen. The connection is complete."
"But isn't it arrogant to claim connection with the source?" asked the student.
"Far from it," said the Master. "It's arrogant not to claim connection with the source. Everything is connected. If you think you are not connected to the source you are thumbing your nose at the universe itself."
The lesson is simple- We are the Source. We are the Creators. We are the all and the everything. We are God.
The absurd thing about this, however, is that ...God does not understand how it is possible; God is a mystery to God.
If, after all, it is true that 'God' is what cannot be understood, then if a person thinks they understand God, it is not really God that they understand. For a God which is not a mystery, is not God.
'God', in fact, is the only word that properly expresses our non-understanding of things; 'God' is the window to the abyss- the word that opens every wordless door, as long as we consciously do not know what lies on the other side.
"God is never an explanation.
It is the most profound and utter declaration of 'I don't know'
and yet in this unknowing lies the I AM."
This realization is further described in a short anecdote by the anonymous spirit in Letters from a Living Dead Man. He relates: "There is a mystery here which I cannot fathom. ...One night I seemed to be reclining on a moonbeam, which means that the poet which dwells in all men was awake in me. I seemed to be reclining upon a moonbeam, and ecstasy filled my heart. For the moment I had escaped the clutches of Time, and was living in that etheric quietude which is merely the activity of rapture raised to the last degree. I must have been enjoying a foretaste of that paradoxical state which the wise ones of the East call Nirvana. ...I was vividly conscious of the moonbeam and of myself, and in myself seemed to be everything else in the universe. It was the nearest I ever came to a realization of that supreme declaration, 'I am' ...[Though] I marvelled not, because the state of my consciousness was marvel."
We are all 'I's'. Everything is I, Everything is marvel, and mystery. What we claim to know as separate things, or even separate Mysteries, are unseparate parts of the Whole. So we can only become contiguous with the One Mystery by recognizing the Mystery within each one of us, which we are, which we call 'I'.
To become exasperated by the implausibility of our own existence, is to become the implausibility of existence. Which is to say, it is to become existence.
"The truth is always some inner power without explanation. The more genuine part of my life is unrecognizable, extremely intimate and impossible to define. …I am so mysterious that I do not understand myself."
It is in the relinquishing of personal attributes, definitions, and expectations that the event which we are is laid bare before us.
Ernest Becker stated: "Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance... The invisible mystery at the heart of every creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation."
That is, when we recognize our own mysteriousness, we become one with the mysterious universe. And along these lines, Rabidrinath Tagore offered: "The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end...[and then] melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance 'I am!'"
Thus Ramtha was able to find God and himself as the very same self. He offers: "...that which I was going to, which was my home, was the great, elusive Unknown God, the grand mystery that caused all things to occur. ...[But] who was the Unknown God? It was me... My path in my life was to become the Unknown God- which, I was to discover, was myself- and to go beyond the dimensions to frolic in the adventures of forever. ...[Know that] you are God. You always have been, you always will be...[and] this grand understanding...you allowed to be taken away from you. And [so] from every adventure along the way, you will gain a greater perception of the mystery of yourself. ...then you can say with grace, dignity, and humble strength...the I AM that I am is the essence of All That Is. ...To become God is to say...'I Am' ...[For] you are gods created of God...gods living in the wonderment of their own creation. "
Indeed, the mystery of the 'I' inside of us is the mystery of God, for "the kingdom of God lies within", as you will recall. It is only when we give up the preconceptions we have of ourselves that we open up to the Great Mystery which is in us, which is 'I', which is God. For, just as God cannot be known by the mind, neither can 'I'.
All is One Mystery. There is no division. We are all the One God Mystery, and yet God cannot even understand how that is possible.
"You are what you can't find."
Tigger, from Winnie-the-Pooh
Which is to say, the Self cannot be known to itself, for it is indefinable, acontextual, and infinite. Only that which is finite can be de-fined.
On this point Lao Tzu suggested, "It is called mystery. Meet it, you cannot see its face; follow it, you cannot see its back."
And the kun byed rgyal po'i mdo states: "A contemplation of the great good qualities cannot be achieved through contemplating them by means of contemplation itself. ...Likewise, the immutable mind, this very mind itself, cannot be realized through one's own mind. ...Consequently, the pristine awareness cannot be object to the pristine awareness."
What these differing quotes are saying is that we cannot 'know' our 'I' directly.
Jean Paul Sartre describes this as such: "The very meaning of knowledge is what it is not and is not what it is; for in order to know being such as it is, it would be necessary to be that being. But there is this 'such as it is' only because I am not the being which I know..."
Another way of looking at it is this: when the little self dissolves in the big Self, every division ends; subject and object become one. As such the mystery and the perceiver of the mystery are no longer separate. Thus knowledge- which is an event that exists only when the One is divided into the 'ten thousand things'- ends, and so the knower ends with the knowledge. Everything becomes mystery.
"When, having thought of everything, he thinks of himself- for he manages this only by the detour of the universe, as if he were the last problem he proposes to himself- he remains astonished, confused..."
In Osho's words: "Knowledge is a bridge between the object and the subject. If they are not separate, the bridge cannot exist. ...We are one with it, there is no space between us and the truth, so we cannot become the knower."
Thus 'wonder' is simply God waking up in, and as, the incomprehensible context of God's creation. Through this threshold, the being walks back to itself, for itself is its Unknowable Godself. This is why we must 'become as children', so that we may become Children of God, and then grow into God.
Now, Jiddu Krishnamurti, in his relentless manner, makes certain that we do not all become megalomaniacs, or develop 'messiah complexes', simply because we are God. He admonishes: "All your conceptual progress is based on the term 'to be'. The moment you use the word, not only verbally but with significance, you inevitably assert being as 'I am'- 'I am God', 'I am the everlasting'... The moment you live within that idea or within that feeling of being or becoming or having been, you are a slave to that word."
All pride in being God ends when God realizes his or her own incomprehension.
As such, Jung comments: "...a man's attitude towards the self is the only one that has no definable aim and no visible purpose. It is easy enough to say 'self', but exactly what have we said? That remains shrouded in 'metaphysical darkness'... it is a veritable lapis invisibilitatis...[and] since we cannot possibly know the boundaries of something unknown to us, it follows that we are not in a position to set any bounds to the self." Having said that, Jung suggests: "If [a man] possesses a grain of wisdom, he will lay down his arms and name the unknown by the more unknown, ignotum per ignotius- that is, by the name of God."
Which is to say, to know that we are the God who does not understand, is to accept ourselves as being greater than we can ever imagine the grandeur of God to be. It is to elevate and yet humble ourselves in the very same moment.
Ramtha adds: "God is not a word. It is a feeling that lives within each of us. And the more unlimited your perception of God, the grander and more joyful that feeling...[Therefore] just as God is imageless, so be you. ...[For] the more unlimited your thinking becomes, the more unlimited your life shall become. ...How can you say 'This is what God is', when what God is now will not be the same in the next now? How do you perceive an open-ended universe? ...with a finite mind you cannot reach that far with description. Though the terms 'God' and 'The Father' have been used, they are only words to refer to...the unlimited isness of forever."
Again, God is unknowable. We are unknowable. And if we accept not knowing ourselves, we will be God not knowing God.
"He who defines himself, can't know who he really is."
We wake up as God with absolute incredulity. And when this happens the word God is not even there for us to describe ourselves, only the unavoidable, staggering realization that ...I AM!
'I AM' is the indefinable Self, the primordial mystery. Realizing this, Sri Nisgardatta Maharaj offers: "It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For, as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as total negation. All you can say is this: 'I am not this, I am not that'. You cannot meaningfully say 'this is what I am'. What you can point out as 'this' or 'that' cannot be yourself. Surely you cannot be 'something' else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable."
That is, 'I' is as meaningless and inaccurate as all other words. There is no such word which properly describes what the word 'I' attempts to describe. There is only the unknowable, indefinable, insurmountable mystery...'I'.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj continues, speaking from the 'I' of 'I's', he says: "I cannot tell what I am because words can describe only what I am not. ...I am beyond consciousness and, therefore, in consciousness I cannot say what I am. Yet, I am. The question 'Who am I' has no answer. No experience can answer it, for the self is beyond experience. ...I am free from all description and identification. Whatever you may hear, see, or think of, I am not that. I am free from being a precept, or a concept."
And so, if you begin to know yourself as God, and you know God is unknowable, you will no longer know yourself, nor will you know God. And this recognition is, "...the consciousness which stupefies the Lord himself", rejoices Swamiji Shyam.
God does not understand being God, God merely experiences being God. There is no Knower, only the Great Unknown.
"You think God knows you?
Even the world He does not know."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Hence Antero Alli observes: "There is no Final Arrival or Absolute Enlightenment save honourable mention given to confessing ignorance. [For] as more functions of Intelligence are integrated into our perspective, our maps and definitions become more open-ended as the more we 'know', the more we realize in utter clarity, what remains unknown. Somethings are just not meant to be figured out. Sometimes all we can do is realize that we are the mystery itself and let it go at that."
Similarly, Carl Jung, in one of his last writings, provides an interesting confession about his life, stating: "Nothing but unexpected things kept happening to me. ...But it was as it had to be; for all came about because I am as I am. ...I cannot form any final judgement because the phenomenon of life and the phenomenon of man are too vast. The older I have become, the less I have understood or had insight into or known about myself. ...I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; I have no judgement about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions- not about anything, really. ...I exist on the foundation of something I do not know. ...When Lao-Tzu says: 'All are clear, I alone am clouded,' he is expressing what I now feel in advanced old age. Lao-tzu is the example of a man...who at the end of his life desires to return into his own being, into the eternal unknowable meaning. ...The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things. In fact it seems to me as if that alienation which so long separated me from this world has become transferred into my own inner world, and has revealed to me an unexpected unfamiliarity with myself."
Here Jung, who so sedulously researched and documented the almost wholly lost art of Alchemy, brings to us, in his own terms, the outcome of alchemy itself: the mergence of the microcosm into the macrocosm- the little mystery into the Great Mystery.
"...let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless."
Recalling Rainer Maria Rilke's poetic passages in earlier chapters, we may now read some of his later poems with more clarity on the esoteric process of Alchemy, which he was so sublimely documenting.
Excerpts from his poem, Imaginary Career, express the idea of the progression from childhood wonder, to profane entrapment, to god-wonder. He wrote:
"At first a childhood, limitless and free
of any goals. Ah sweet unconsciousness.
Then sudden terror, schoolrooms, slavery,
The plunge into temptation and deep loss.
Defiance. The child bent becomes the bender,
Inflicts on others what he once went through.
Loved, feared, rescuer, wrestler, victor,
He takes his vengeance, blow by blow.
And now in vast, cold, empty space, alone.
Yet hidden deep within the grown-up heart,
A longing for the first world, The ancient one...
Then, from His place of ambush, God leapt out."
Rilke is poetically suggesting that at the end of all the confusion, losses, and madness, that which was dis-solved (our false self) is coagulated back into our true 'I AM', our god-self.
This event- of God leaping out from his or her hiding place within us- is the culmination of The Great Work of Alchemy, which is again synopsized beautifully in one of Rilke's last poems, As once the winged energy of delight:
"As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build that great
arch of unimagined bridges.
Wonders happen if we can succeed
In passing through the harshest danger;
But only in a bright and purely granted
Achievement can we realize the wonder.
To work with Things in the indescribable
Relationship is not too hard for us;
The pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
And being swept along is not enough.
Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
Until they span the chasm between two
Contradictions... For the god wants to know himself in you."
There it is. The gross made spirit, the lead made gold, the profane made divine, the mortal immortalized, the self made Self, the little 'I' become All, the reasonable returned to mystery.
This goal- that the individual awakens to his or her mysterious godself- was acknowledged by Aleister Crowley, arguably one of the master alchemists of recent times. He offers: "Every man and woman is not only a part of God, but the Ultimate God. 'The Centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.' The old definition of God takes new meaning for us. Each of us is the One God. ...Each simple elemental Self is supreme, Very God of Very God... [And] man has veiled himself too long from his own glory... But Truth shall make him free. ...The Great Work is to make these veils transparent."
We must slow down, be calm, remain innocent, and simply accept and enjoy our intimacy with, and as, the entire field of the Mystery of Being. After all, we are God. We must accept our mysteriousness.
"There is no mystery about the inner life
except the mystery of godliness."
But what then does it 'mean' to be God? What does it mean to be God's 'I', God's self, the great mystery, immanent within us? Well, perhaps it does not mean anything at all, at least not to our limited forms of understanding. Perhaps the God which is unknowable within us, which we are, should never be given any characteristics, any limitations, any definitions, or preconditions. For that is the only way in which God is not limited, and therefore the only way in which our true selves are not limited.
To accept this is to accept a powerful and troubling truth- that we must release every idea and supposition about what the self is, about what our 'I' is, and become naught but a vast and imponderable mystery to ourselves. We must cease creating definitions and descriptions for ourselves, and allow that we are so implausibly enigmatic that we are far beyond our ability to understand ourselves.
Ken Wilber relates how this possibility- of accepting our impossibility- comes about. He states: "All those things that you know about yourself are precisely not the real Self. Those are not the Seer; those are simply things that can be seen. All of those objects that you describe when you 'describe yourself' are actually not your real Self at all… The deeply inward Self is witnessing the world out there, and it is witnessing all your interior thoughts as well. This Seer sees the ego, and sees the body, and sees the natural world. All of those parade by 'in front' of this Seer. But the Seer itself cannot be seen. …It is utterly timeless, spaceless, objectless. And therefore it is radically and infinitely free of the limitations and constrictions of space and time and objects- and radically free of the torture inherent in those fragments. …Some would call it God, or Goddess, or Tao, of Brahman, or Keter, or Rigpa, or Dharmakaya, or Maat, or Li. …Amazing! Miraculous by any other name."
It is apparent that every definition, aspect, or characteristic which we had to renounce from our idea of God, as in the last chapter, must now be applied to our own most inward self, our 'I', for they are the same thing, and therefore we cannot claim to know one while not knowing the other.
If we are God, then we are limitless mystery- limitless enough to contain an infinity of limited ones.
This is an old truth which we have been offered from day one; Christ admonished us two-thousand years ago, "Is it not written- Ye are Gods?" And yet we believed it not.
"It is that which you have sought to understand from the beginning of time. The Great Mystery, the Endless Enigma, the eternal truth. There is only One of Us, and so, it is THAT WHICH YOU ARE."
(from Conversations with God)
Perhaps it is time we grew up and got on with the show.
We are the Creators of the Creation. We are the Dreamers of the Dream. We are the Eye of the I. We have found ourselves inside what we claimed we did not know was us.
The Gospel of Truth, from The Nag Hammadi Library, relates: "The gospel of truth is a joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the grace of knowing him... For he discovered them in himself, and they discovered him in themselves, the incomprehensible, inconceivable one, the Father, the perfect one, the one who made all things."
The unique mystic, Neville, provides another exegesis on the matter, suggesting: " Hear, O man made of the very substance of God: You and God are one and undivided! Man, the world, and all within it are conditioned states of the unconditioned one, God. You are this one; you are God conditioned as man. All that you believe God to be, you are; but you will never know this to be true until you stop claiming it of another, and recognize this seeming other to be yourself. God and man, spirit and matter, the formless and the formed, the creator and the creation, the cause and the effect, your Father and you are one. This one, in whom all conditioned states live and move and have their being, is your I AM, your unconditioned consciousness. ...[Such that] as the conditioned state, I (man) might forget who I am, or where I am, but I cannot forget that I AM."
The acceptance that our 'I AM' is God's 'I AM' is the recognition relentlessly brought forth in the 'I AM Teachings' of St. Germain and other 'ascended' masters, published by the St. Germain press. They contend that it is only in the realization that our self is God's Self that we truly are God.
"The 'I AM' is the Fathomless Mind of God."
Joseph Benner conveys this point emphatically, writing from the 'I' in all of us: "I! Who am I?- I AM You...Yes, I AM You, Your SELF; that part of you who says I AM and is I AM... I, your Divine SELF. ...You are an expression of Me, because only through You, My Attribute, can I express My Self, can I BE. I AM because You Are. You ARE because I AM expressing My SELF. ...You are a human personality, yet You are Divine [; the] first of these truths you believe, the latter you do not believe. Yet both are true- That is the mystery. ...[Therefore] Be still! And KNOW- I AM- GOD."
So when we finally come to this outlandish observance, perhaps we will also shout in exaltation with Nijinski, "I am God, I am God, I am God."
And perhaps, just like him, we will all need to fall down in ignominious wonder at the incomprehensible actuality that WE ARE THE GREAT-ONE-MYSTERY WHICH IS GOD.
"Then shall the Vision of the Lord be granted unto thee,
And seeing Him shalt thou behold
The Shining One
Who is thine own true Self..."
Therefore, we now understand our Work- to know our own divine unknowable selves; to be and to see mystery everywhere, and in everyone.
Only then will a new age dawn, division will become unified, time will end, love will fill everything...
"And the mystery of God shall come to an end."
(excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas)