Book excerpts from the Spirit and Flesh religion and spirituality online library.
The void, emptiness, identity, and spiritual liberation: crossing over into eternity
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
Can we become absent in the midst of the present?
Can we be empty, and doing?
Can we learn to not-exist inside existence?
It is only the ego, standing in front of the light, which casts a shadow. To be nothing and stand in the light is to illuminate all, without shadow.
To surrender shadow is to become light.
To surrender self is to become Self.
However, we can never get rid of our eternal selves. And so we surrender ourselves only so that we can be the Self; we become empty only so that we can be full; we die as a separate self, only to be born as the all.
When the great emptiness pours through us, out into form, the difference between inside and outside vanishes, because the membrane between these two has been washed away. All is one emptiness now. No inside or outside. Only one- the great, everything emptiness.
To stay in that emptiness while operating in the form, is to bring the invisible light of Self into the shadow of self.
This is to settle the emptiness into the form, and so to see through the form into the unformed.
The subtle witness, which we are, of the gross being, which we also are, is the crossing over and crossing back nature of our dual selves which are one.
We must watch ourselves as if we were watching another person, and also be ourselves intimately. That is how we pay attention to ourselves being. That is how we be and not-be. This is how we cross over, and cross back.
The eternal, infinite Self includes this realm, but is not limited by this realm.
We must accept and release, and be firm and soluble, so as to avoid getting caught in identity, and yet be of the world.
To get caught in identity is to accept limitation.
To de-identify is to expand.
We run aground when we chase after the ephemeral instead of dwelling in the everlasting.
To be aware of the everlasting Self is to be the whole.
To be whole is to be non-reactive to the particular.
To transcend the paradigm is to become liberated.
To identify with the paradigm is to become contained.
We must experience our Self as neither labeled nor bound, so as to be a mystery.
To be mystery is to be free.
The forces which have caused us to believe that we exist only within this paradigm have no power over lucid ignorance, because such uncontained wonder cannot be caged within by concept.
To say 'I' without knowing what 'I' is, is to begin the journey to immortality.
I is everywhere.
Therefore it has no name.
Everything is I.
Therefore there is no I.
The eternal self is the eye beyond the I, the self beyond the self, the awareness which is stillness, the stillness which is awareness.
This is the great void.
All things are contained in the void, but only no-things are one with the void.
Anything that can be said of anything cannot be said of the void.
The void is beyond everything that is, was, or will be.
This is the transcendent realm.
When one encounters the void a slight grin emerges.
This is not the void smiling, it is the reaction of the not-void knowing it is the void.
The void is not a cold nothingness, for it is beyond coldness and nothingness.
It is impersonal awareness.
To awaken to impersonal awareness is to be the conscious void which has no being.
That which has being is somewhere.
That which has no being is everywhere.
To attain such ubiquity is to lose location.
To be everywhere is to lose perspective.
The subtle, eternal self permeates all, is involved with all, but is beyond all, for it is everywhere.
To find our ubiquity we must go beyond all.
We must cross over before we can cross back.
To dissolve into the void is to become the formless stillness permeating all form- the great impersonal awareness beyond all knowing.
This is how we cross over.
by Jack Haas