Utility

Bedtime Stories for All God's Children

This about some inspiring stories from my summer following the intensive with David in Sedona in April. I feel gratitude for the personal meetings and ongoing relationship with David; for the intensification of experience of the Divine that has been growing and accelerating since we met. There is much more clarification from the Avatar continuing since I was a young devotee of Sri Ramakrishna, who lived in the 19th century, a personification of the Absolute, especially of the Divine Mother Kali Shakti. As David put it recently, once one comes into direct contact with a human being in which the Divine is fully manifested, you have hit the jackpot. Surely this is especially true of meeting a living Avatar. The Avatar is the Avatar whenever and wherever manifest in human form.

When sitting for meditation in particular, but generally in the background of all activity, I am not intent on more knowledge of the psycho-physical realm or knowledge for resolution of specific psychological or physical issues. I am seeking, not to make something happen by my will, but to see clearly the operating power of the Divine. From a perspective of devotional ideology, a relationship with the Divine Mother is a matter of Grace for me personally. Any “spiritual experiences” are a gift to be accepted with reverence and with the “innocence” that David often mentions. I think this means meditation with no demand for anything. Now and again, when the thinking mind recedes and pure feeling dominates, Grace happens.

All I can do is describe experiences of Grace without really being able to convey what they were/are in my subjective experience. It seems best to me to just to start with some philosophical inquiry about such experiences. A certain philosophical presupposition underlies speaking of these experiences. I will call them “events”. My subjectivity is that of a finite being in relation to infinite Being, even though I may intuit being is an “illusion” superimposed on Being. This is the situation of a body-mind complex in “spiritual ignorance” characteristic of individuality. Individuality is the fragment of the field of all thought that is “I” in relationship with the remaining content of all thought which is “not-I”. I'll try to elucidate.

I use the word “superimposition”, as I have come to understand it as technical term in Advaita Vedanta (see the link below). Simply put, it could be said to be the opposite of “displacement”, a concept that implies multiplicity. A metaphoric illustration is space itself, for example the space in a container filled with water and a rock: the rock displaces water so there is a multiplicity of rock and water, but neither the rock or the water displace the space they occupy in the container. Both the rock and the water are superimposed on space. The space occupied by the water and rock is a metaphor for the Absolute, the space is one without a second. The concept of superimposition (in Sanskrit, Adhyasa), is significant to what we mean by “consciousness/existence/bliss” as asserted in Vedanta (in Sanskrit, Satchitananda).

I think the occurrence of “events”, subjective devotional experiences of Grace, generate an allegiance to the actuality of consciousness being not limited to what is accessible to thought, though thought as subjective experience is superimposed on consciousness. This allegiance is maintained in “ignorance” then justified in “Illumination”. Based on my subjective experience, I assert an intuition of unlimited consciousness inherent in as well as beyond the reach of thought. The “event” is not significant in what it is thought to be, for that is limited, fragmentary and temporary. Yet such experience sustains and amplifies the intuition that consciousness is Absolute while it is not fully clear in my individual experience that this is the actuality of “what is”, unlimited by space-time natural to thought. The “full clarification” is a situation of a body-mind complex in “Illumination”, actually manifested in the jewel of humanity, the Avatar.

A corollary to my situation of “ignorance” is that all I do or say is circumscribed by the “illusion” (in Sanskrit, Maya). I, as this fragment of the field of thought, am temporal. I can engage with thought only the limited field of its application. This is useful of course to the acquisition and application of knowledge, but impotent for objective knowledge of what we intuit as the infinite scope of consciousness, inclusive of thought and nondual as opposed to the multiplicity of objects of knowledge in the field of thought. Its a paradox: the nondual Absolute does not contradict Maya. I conclude that my practice of meditation essentially establishes some condition, maybe call it an “open heart” and a “silent mind”, but this is still Maya. Nonetheless, to sit in this condition is when Grace more often and more intensely occurs. “Illumination” is the Absolute, is the Divine, as a human being the vehicle of the Avatar.

A greater clarity, an enhanced intuition, is emerging directly associated with my introduction to David. There is acceleration, a growing moment to moment continuity of Grace in a continued contemplation of his physical existence. This is the most apt observation I can offer. The kind of episodes or “events” I may describe come and go as my being is clarified. Another theme is to call such episodes, and the emergence of an associated new baseline of daily “spiritual experience” or “enlightenment”, the advent of greater “True Sanity”. Of course my present experience is colored by my conditioning, both the detrimental habits of thought and the apparently inspired visions of my creative imagination. All this is happening in the retreating craziness of it all. I am filled with gratitude to come into direct contact with a human being in which the Divine is fully manifested.

Some may have a sincere interest, beyond mere curiosity, in my own very subjective account of such “events”. This is what all of us here participating in this community blog are writing about, is it not? Are our experiences like these objectively verifiable? No, they belong to the realm of poetry. It does not matter how they happen or if they are real or actual or not. In fact they are temporal, they come, they go. It is easy to argue its a matter of individual creative imagination producing what we emotionally and mentally experience in our psycho-physical being in such encounters with Being, or the Divine. Indeed we have created innumerable gods and goddesses, and all manner of description of yogic phenomena. Nonetheless, we intuit this is the operation of the Absolute in our individual consciousness and existence. In anyone's experience “events” are blissful. Satchitananda operates in us since the body-mind and all organic and inorganic Life, this multiplicity, is superimposed on the nondual Absolute. Its an inspiring, beautiful, conception philosophically. Its a good story, yet rather too dry perhaps compared to anecdotal accounts of Grace you may hear from me and others. I will tell you some good bedtime stories if there is any interest. Perhaps the reader will watch the comments on this post.

Note: For a complete read on the meaning of “superimposition” in Advaita Vedanta:
http://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc62758.html The term (in Sanskrit, Adhyasa) expounded by Shankara was a revelation for me. Its a complex philosophical idea with all kinds of nuances and disputed interpretations. The word also has a common meaning in English. Still, I wanted to use a specific term for the philosophical inquiry I am presenting above, and this Sanskrit term's usual translation is the best, I think, for my simplified application.

Comments

I was excited when I saw this post. When ever something gets written here I get excited. Few people that I come across driving around the country contemplate these things. And that's okay. But I get a break from all that here and it excites me. I really enjoyed reading your contemplation. Thank you for sharing! And the link to. Which I will be reading more of later. The comments at the bottom of the link are great!

By ryan

Usually I anticipate what I write will be experienced as too dry and intellectual, so happy to hear you were excited. I have always been drawn to Shankara's Jnana Yoga and in my heart this kind of contemplation evokes a sustaining undercurrent of bliss in daily life. Now and again there are episodes of more intense subjective experiences of Bliss-Peace or Love-Bliss, or just Silence. I much appreciate in contrast your own capacity to share your subjective experiences so openily and in heartfelt language.

By Stephen

I got a lot of enjoyment out of reading it for sure! But the big thing is you were able to articulate the big picture of it all into words imo. You captured quite a snapshot. I get what your saying as i read it but have no idea how to put such a big picture into words. And cover so many angles, and perspectives. Beautiful work!! Much appreciated! Thank you!

Its fun reading and writing. To me a great deal of growth happens in it. Contrasts and perspectives go good with bliss and silenence.

By ryan