The Middle WayApril 21, 2012
Spiritual experiences are an interesting animal. Some of them are way outside our usual experience of the world. They can also be accompanied by both purification and feelings of peace, connection, and so forth. When people have experiences of other “dimensions” or “realities”, they sometimes take them to be the “real truth” and are prone to get attached to them. I know a fellow, for example, who had a profound experience a decade ago and is convinced this is enlightenment – he just needs to get it back. This points to a fundamental error in understanding: enlightenment is not about experiences, it’s about being. Experiences may result but they are not the shift.
Because of the tangling potential of experiences, some teachings suggest you ignore all experiences. They suggest all of that is just Maya, illusion, phenomena. Ignore everything but Self. It is only pure transcendent being that is important.
My approach is more highest first. Yes, do go for silent being. But I see experiences like thoughts. It’s not the experiences that are the issue, it’s our attachment to them that cause us trouble.
If we can take a “light” approach and enjoy what comes up but avoid trying to hold onto anything, focusing on liberation, then we are more likely to enjoy the ride.
There’s another difference the approach makes. The subtle feelings and refined perception of the God Consciousness (GC) phase post-waking are at first often subtle and delicate. If we discount what comes up, they will fade away. I’ve seen this happen with friends. This explains why few people who discount experiences tend to describe refined perception, God and related sorts of things. They simply don’t culture them.
That’s perfectly fine. Exploring the structure of creation, subtle beings, past lives and all that can certainly be distracting and it’s not for everybody. It gives you more things to let go of too.
But it’s good to be aware we’re making such a choice. If we instead allow experiences that come up to simply be there and dwell on them lightly, sometimes, they flower into broader, deeper experiences. New aspects of life and expression unfold. Give a Deva your attention and they’ll show you their magic. (laughs)
What we experience varies widely by person but broadly there is two types with GC. One is finer and finer values of feeling, the awakening of divine love, bliss, compassion, and so forth. The other is finer values of the 5 senses, perception of more refined values of the world and our body/mind, and related energetic abilities such as the siddhis. Also in there is the 6th (claircognizance) and 7th (connection) “senses”.
There is an old Indian saying – capture the fort and all the diamond mines and gold mines will be yours. The fort in this case is the source, silent being. The mines are all the unearthed benefits of awakening. What you ask of awakeness and awakeness asks of you will vary by person. But personally, I prefer the rich unfolding of GC followed by a unification. Someone is far more likely to describe silence as fullness than emptiness with this path.