Self Realization means shifting your awareness from its entanglement in your mind’s incessant mental story about yourself, to abidance in your true essential Being.
Your essential being is of the infinite consciousness and unspeakable bliss that is the Spirit in the Heart of All Beings, which takes shape as the universe and creates the play of life we lead.
The voice inside your head that you have naturally, but mistakenly, adopted as your identity is forever insecure because it’s always comparing yourself to impossible ideals, always trying to validate its existence, and because it’s based on a false foundation, a cloud of self-referential thinking that has borrowed a life of its own through the life force of your attention.
The false self image identity is like some kind of “original sin” that is a consequence of early childhood conditioning. Parents and society orient us to our newfound existence in this strange world and we suffer because we grow up within a mind that’s always comparing ourselves to what we’re told we should be. We’re forever keeping track of our life story and how we fit into this world.
Freeing ourselves from this vicious cycle of false identity connects us with the unshakable Peace and abiding Love that is with us at all times, as our own true Being itself.
Not inconsequentially, Self-Realization is a portal to communion to union with the source of all life, the Spirit by whatever name you choose to call it.
Throughout history, self realization has not been an easy task. It requires a refined intellect that often necessitates breaking the life-long habit of being wrapped up in the associative stream of thinking running along in our minds. We tend to “seek” to “find” things in the spiritual realm, but your own being is the awareness behind this whole search.
Seeking your soul is like trying to search of the retina of your eye.
You can never find yourself; you can only abide as yourself
and let go of clinging to the illusory self-image until it fades from power.
Historically, the path of self-realization has been a path of wisdom and knowledge, discernment between what is your nature and all the changing phenomena within. To achieve the refinement for this realization, the various methods of yoga and meditation have been arduous practices. The path of wisdom has often felt dry and dispassionate with the potential pitfall of keeping people wrapped up in their intellectualizations of wisdom rather than truly shifting one’s center to the heart of awareness.
In the first half of the 20th Century, a South Indian Sage called Ramana Maharshi made the ancient recipe for self-knowledge very direct through the inquiry “Who am I”?
In the beginning “Who am I?” inquiry shows us that the mind, body and emotions are all changing while there is a steady witness consciousness that is aware of it all. Ultimately “Who am I” is like an unanswerable Zen koan that takes you to the mindless place of the unanswerable, and thus short circuiting the rational mind, leaves one at the source of the mind.
In the evolution of humanity, people had become able to grasp this more quickly than before. This realization was often fairly unsteady for many people because it could be arrived at without the decades of preparatory practice to clean up the home that our spirit abides in: the mind and body.
People could grasp the truth earlier in on the path of refinement and evolution, but they would have to continue to tidy up their inner world or step backwards as the new power of themselves illuminated their inner mess. Failing to clean up the inner mess leads to creating an outer mess and distorts realization.
The other stumbling block in self-realization is the sheer mental subtlety in apprehending the source of the mind with the mind itself. It requires an awakening that can’t be forced and is often called Grace, a touch of the divine beyond understanding.
I have shared my background understanding which matches my experience to this point for the sake of those unfamiliar with this realm but now I will share a perspective I feel with be helpful for those more resonant with the “feeling” polarity of Spirit.
While there has always been a devotional path to Spirit, it hasn’t focused on connecting to self-realization. In devotion, you forget yourself in Love with that divine and in that selflessness, your personal identity and its story would matter less. Your devotion would infuse your life.
The real Heart of this is simple:
Self-realization via the experience of Love arising within.
When experiencing Love, rather than focus on whatever seems to trigger that Love to arise, surrender and abide in the source of the Love arising.
Love is the aroma of your deepest nature,
a Divine intuitive Bliss
that becomes Love when there is an object to Love.
Love is the natural consort of the mind. Without heart, the mind is dry.
Dwelling at the source of Love is easier to surrender to because the mind is balanced and fulfilled, easing our need to think to distraction.
Make it a practice whenever you can connect with your Love, to feel into its roots, BE into its roots. Be-Here-Now mindful awareness keeps you close to that source of love always and collects the presence of energy and mind that allows Love to arise most easily.
Returning to the source of Love, over and over, allows the mind to shift into a new home of rest and abidance in peace, arising as a tool of navigating life rather than as a master enslaving us.
Like a muscle, mindfulness and returning to center, returning to love becomes stronger with time, unless it doesn’t feel right not to be in your heart.
Really embodying this may take a certain amount of that grace magic that cant be forced, but it’s a worthy path to walk and one that’s sweet along the way.
Whatever brings out your heart: devotion, service, or life itself, becomes integral in your path to yourself, to Truth, to Life and to Love.
Love is the recognition, however unconsciously, of the divine heart of whatever is loved. Like all things in our complicated and dense planet, our ideas of Love become entangled with all our other forces within, our desires and attachments.
Romantic love borrows from the true power of Love within and combines with biology and other emotions and creates an ecstatic fog. Connecting at the source of romantic love can still illuminate but discern how the other forces jump in along with the current of love. The self-image identity often usurps love as a tool to validate its existence.
It’s common to try to strike a deal for exclusive love. If you only love only me, I will love only you. This is not the nature of Love although exclusive partnership can serve deep purposes in life. Love is your nature. Love is who you are. If you only love one person, and them only sometimes, love has not awakened in you yet, or you’ve mistaken chemistry, infatuation and attraction for Love.
So discern the source of Love within you from entanglements distorted to validate yourself or to engage in a romantic play.
I feel like the extent of someone’s spiritual evolution can be gauged by the extent of their love. If your heart is deeply limited, you are stuck in the hell of yourself. A little better is love of your family, and perhaps a few of your closest friends. The circle of love might extend to your community, your country, your race or gender, whatever it is that makes those different or distant from yourself into “Others.”
When you truly arrive at your love, it is choice-less and applies everywhere. It creates a non-vicious circle of increasing warm reflections in life as you embrace all. Naturally Life embraces you. True, some will fear the light of love, but the more unconditional and non-judgmental your love is, the greater and more nurturing people will feet it.
Love is a face of the Divine and the ultimate Power. We create knots through life, and even lifetimes, that ultimately can’t be untangled. We are trapped in their web unendingly but Love is the sword that frees us from all knots. The knots are part of our story and self-created identity.
Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Make a prayer and Intention to realize yourself at the Heart of Love and keep going Home.
Written In Tiruvanamalai on on the 140th anniversary of Ramana Maharshi’s Birth, January 11th, 2020