July 1, 2015
Self-Realization 1-2-3: God as Light “Ishwara”
Today, I practiced a full set of Falun Gong exercises with the intention of being transformed and moved forward on the path of Self-Realization, followed by practicing Raja Yoga meditation.
I was transformed alright. I found myself contemplating a teaching from Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi. The extremely important concept of Maya is explained in a helpful footnote on p. 51: “Cosmic illusion; literally, ‘the measurer.’ Maya is the magical power in creation by which limitations and divisions are apparently present in the Immeasurable and Inseparable.” Paramahansa-ji then quotes a poem by Emerson which refers to lifting the “veil,” meaning being able to see through the illusion of Maya to the truth.
As I was explaining to a student in our book study last night, Maya is the world of apparent duality: good and evil, light and dark, male and female, God and not-God, soul and ego, right and wrong, and so on. When one lifts the veil of illusion, one becomes able to see the truth of Monism: God is all there is. God is All. God is in all and all is in God.
I had also expressed last night that I believe this is what Jesus was referring to when he said, apparently repeatedly: “The kingdom of God is at hand.”
Now, the connection of the two ideas will help if we add that feminist Christian theologians invite us to express Jesus’ statement with gender inclusive language by saying or writing: “The Reign of God is at hand.” I do prefer this statement, not only because it includes both genders as equal (men and women, kings and queens, God as Mother along with God as Father), but also because “reign” is a verb.
Jesus also said (Luke 17:21): “the kingdom of God is within you.” This same Greek word for “within” can be translated “among” as well, so some translations read: “the kingdom of God is among you.”
Add it all together and what do we have?
When we seek God’s will, the Reign of God is at hand.
The Reign of God only happens within us and among us when we submit to God’s will.
When we individually do God’s will, God reigns within us.
When we do God’s will together, God reigns among us.
When we do God’s will, God reigns upon the earth.
To add this to the concept of Maya, the one way to create the Unity of God as what we experience on earth rather than experiencing the illusion of duality and Maya, is to seek and to do Divine Will. Doing Divine Will creates unity rather than duality.
This all became clear to me as I was meditating. I was then told, “Now add the concept of Self-Realization to this.”
I struggled with that a bit. First, I realized that, just as Maya creates the illusion of separation and duality, so also our egos create a false sense of self as separate from God. But that self-as-separate from God is an illusion – it does not really exist, at least, not as something really true that will last in eternity. It is not real or true or in the long run; we just experience it as “reality” in this world of illusion or Maya.
Then, I remembered that the Indian Saint, Dada, or JP Vaswani, whom I met a month ago, remarked to me, “I am nothing.” Dada was modeling the truth that there is no ego self; it’s an illusion. The ego is nothing, at least in the end, when we are Self-Realized.
Then the golden truth occurred to me: the way we reduce the ego to nothing is to stop allowing the ego to have its will, and turn our “self-will” over to God. When we completely identify ourselves as one with God and continually do God’s will, the ego has no power; the ego ceases to exist when it is no longer fed the power to follow its own will.
Eureka! Becoming Self-Realized means seeing through the veil of illusion and knowing that we are one with God. Becoming God-Realized means allowing God’s will to reign through us.
1-2-3: Maya is overcome by seeing the truth of Divine Presence; the Reign of God becomes real on earth as we allow God to Reign through us; We become God Incarnate (Self-Realized and God-Realized) when we know that we are One with God and God’s will is continually done through us.
At some point while meditating, I experienced myself as filled with bright white light, and “saw” bright white light everywhere in front of me. I actually ended up opening my eyes to see if more sunlight was in the room, which of course it was not; I was just seeing the light of Divine Presence within me and around me. I wondered if I was experiencing what I think is called “anubhava” or direct perception of God. I remembered Paramahansa-ji referring to himself having an experience of seeing God in the form of Ishwara, or light.
I remembered that Paramahansa-ji explains that perception of God leads to direct knowing of Divine will as well as experiencing bliss. I didn’t think I was experiencing bliss, but then I started thinking of things that had been troubling me, and discovered that none of them mattered.
For instance, I have to move, and will be living in a basement room, and in this elevated state of consciousness, that no longer mattered. This was true of several things that had troubled me, such as not being able to have my dishes in a cupboard and getting to use “my own” dishes; in this state, none of it mattered. So, I realized I was experiencing the bliss of non-attachment.
When I went to shower later, I did feel like laughing – just laughing. This was a “mild” case of bliss, and yes, a sign of anubhava, or direct perception of God. This is the grace of God – we cannot deserve it. The Light of God is grace. Perception of God is grace. We are nothing and therefore accomplish nothing, yet God-through-us can accomplish great things.
I am so grateful.
May God be glorified as Light, as Bliss, as Love, as Peace. Now I understand better the words of Jesus: “You are the light of the world,” and “I am the light of the world.” When we are in this state of being One with Divine Light (Ishwara), and when we do God’s will, the Light of God Reigns on earth. God incarnates in us.
May it be so!
Carol – I was recently re-christened “Anandi” by an enlightened friend of mine.
P.S. “Mornings with the Masters” is now on Kindle!