What does it mean to become Self-realized? What does it mean to be enlightened?
These are the goals of so many spiritual practices and people doing spiritual practice want to achieve these goals but what does it mean? Have you thought about what it means to be enlightened, what it means to be Self-realized?
Within each and every one of you lies the entire Creation. All that has ever existed, all that will ever be and the stillness from which it originates all lie within you. On the surface, you are an individual. On the surface, you are separate from everyone else, from everything else. You are identified with a body, with a mind and mental capacities with your thoughts, your feelings. All of this and all of your experiences through your senses compose your identity, that which you believe to be yourself.
Because that definition is so associated with an individual body and the experience of embodiment through the senses, you become something apart from, separate from everything else. Even science will tell you this in an illusion. Even scientists will tell you from their research that this identity is but a small spectrum of the field of experience that can be had. If you move into the molecular realm, into the atomic realm, the subatomic realm, the difference between you, the chair, the floor is nominal. Patterns of electrons and subatomic materials floating in a vast amount of space and even if you go deeper, there are only waves that form themselves into subatomic materials, into electrons, protons, atoms, molecules, cells and matter.
When you move into the subatomic world, into the world of waves and space, where is the difference between you, the air you breathe, the chair you sit in, the person next to you? If you move into the stratum of the vast cosmos where millions of stars exist, galaxies and galaxies, untold numbers of planets, untold numbers of species, where are you in this vast array of the cosmos? A speck of dust!
In the senses of the human body, there is a certain experience of reality that feeds back to the developing mind and says, “This is who I am, what I can experience in the range of my five senses and what I can imagine and think about.” When Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita asked Krishna, “Lord, show me your true form,” Lord Krishna said, You are not capable to see my true form. It will blind you.”
“Please, Lord,” Arjuna said, “Show me your true form.” Krishna revealed to Arjuna his true form, not as a leader of an army but as the infinite white light, the blazing sun, more brilliant than a thousand suns in the sky, more vast, more powerful, until, seeing only a glimpse of the true nature of Lord Krishna, Arjuna could not bear the sight. He said, ”Oh, Lord, please, I cannot exist in the presence of this. Please be again my simple friend and leader.” And so, Lord Krishna became again ordinary for Arjuna’s vision.
That which lies at the core of this universe is not bound by any definitions of the human mind. It is not bound by time or space. It is eternal, immortal, infinite being. That infinite being is the ground of your being. It is the Source of your very own Self. For who are you? Are you all of the experiences you have through your senses and that you process? Are you the memories? Are you the beliefs? Are you the body? Are you the mind? Are you your feelings and emotions? Or are you the witnessing consciousness that knows all of these things, the knower of your own existence, the one who knows, “I exist.” Even the I-feeling -- what is it without someone to know that you exist? Who knows that you exist? Is it not you that knows you exist, knows your I-feeling? That knower, that one who knows that you exist is the Atman, your Soul. That atman, that knower, that witness, the one who knows everything that has ever happened in your life when that awareness is focused in a broader spectrum, all Creation lies within the purview of that aware consciousness. Past, present and future lie in the awareness of that vast intelligence. For the atman, your Soul, your witnessing aware Self, not your I-feeling, not your ego, not your body identity but that simple knower, that atman is a part and parcel of the Paramatman, the supreme Soul, the consciousness that underlies and is the substantive nature of all existence.
Just like when the drop of water is dropped into the ocean it is the ocean itself, so that knower witnessing all that you have ever done, all that you have ever thought, all that you have ever conceived, that very deep Self within you that knows all of this, has witnessed it, has experienced it, that knower as the drop of water that drops into the sea is the same knowing Self which is the Self of all. That is the paramatman, the supreme Self, the One. For there are never two; there is only One, only one Self, one witness, one being, one wholeness of being, dreaming the great dream of this Creation, dreaming the dream with all the dream characters, all the high drama, the tragedy, the comedy and the joy. The Great Dreamer dreams it all, knowing, witnessing, experiencing.
All occurs within the mind of that One. As the dream occurs in the mind of the human being, so the Creation arises within the mind of the Great Dreamer, is spun into existence, witnessed, experienced and then dissolves again to the unitary whole from which it arose. You are but a dream in the mind of the Dreamer.
What is your existence? Are you a separate entity? No. No. What is the separation between the dreamer and the dream? There is none, isn’t it? The dream is in the mind of the dreamer, made of the mind of the dreamer. In the great play of this universe, you abide in the mind of that Great Dreamer witnessed by the knower of all things. The very substance of your mind, the very cells of your body, your deepest secrets, your greatest pain all lie within that purview, all takes place within the mind of the Great Dreamer.
You are never alone. You are not separate. The separateness is an illusion created by a belief that you are a body and the senses and that the duality of outside and inside is real. It is a dream in the mind of the dreamer. You are but a creative expression of the one eternal Self caught in the illusion of individuality, caught in the belief that you are a body and you are apart, that you are no longer whole when, in truth, you have always been whole. You will always be whole. You have never been separate.
To realize the Self is to know the deception, the illusion created by identity with the body and the senses, the illusion of individuality, the illusion of separateness. To realize the Self is to become enlightened to the truth of your own eternal nature, of the invisible nature of the one eternal being. Do you understand? Just for a moment at least? To remember and to not forget?