The Unitive State: An Experiential, First-Hand Account

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First, it would be ill-advised for us to go into the subtle metaphysical arguments of this matter, mostly with regards to how something like a no-ego state can even begin to have a “first-hand” account, as what is meant by the “no-ego” state is essentially a sudden lack or existence of subjectivity.

Otherwise, I would say to my readers, and especially to my brother-in-spiritual, a Red State Mystic, prepare yourself.

The second thing I want to establish is that, because of all the horrible things that has happened because of religion and because of religious authority’s abuse especially, I fully understand why so many people become skeptical and dismiss religion and most of all, I personally have understood and stated forthrightly in this blog my own dismissal of labeling myself as Christian- several self-identified Christians in the past have much to answer for, no matter their Church or denomination.

But this entry isn’t about defending or attacking Christianity, either. Rather, this is to comment further on what I’ve encountered and on what may well be the dawning of the Unitive State.

In the Autumn of 2007, I took it upon myself to become serious about my spiritual search. Everything that I have studied since then has almost exclusively fallen within the range of Gnosticism, Christianity, and Sufism. An underlying and connecting philosophy among these system is Neo-Platonism, though that’s again oversimplifying matters.

This is also when the experiences began starting- various kinds of insights about Christ, as it were, and of course, all kinds of experiences that way outside of any of the above mentioned systems.

Notwithstanding, eventually I came to identify what I call the Black Fire with my being Christian and with Christ. But more to the point, the Black Fire has two modes- one mode which is within, or immanent, and one mode which is without, or transcendent. The most intense moments are when this Black Fire is felt both within me and in the world around me, and this happens most especially at night when I’m driving alone but not exclusively so.

Even more recently, though, I came to realize the very real and tremendous reality of the Void that may be called Christ, something I’ve mentioned recently here. The Void seems to have been looming, moving closer and closer to me, and I’ve been forcing myself to do psychological work- facing various pains and confusions within myself, along with very real moral problems and conflicting impulses that make me a rather neurotic person on the whole.

Last night, something- and I’m not exactly sure what- happened. Something gave way within me.

Remember how I mentioned Christ as being the Earth Father Archetype? I felt the Void coming from both below and above me, moving into itself through me, uniting around my stomach area and moving even further than that- from Void to Void, from above to below and below to above.

What I came to see is exactly how deep the soul is, to put it poetically; I came to see the vast Nothingness that spreads out beyond our regular conscious mind, and it’s truly outstanding and amazing to see that absolute stillness within.

And from that point, I watched as various emotions would arise inside of me, and, as my friend Drew who is certainly in the unitive state said, be then reduced back into energy within the mystical sea.

This is identical to what Bernadette Roberts speaks of- the whole process of emotions arising and then going down the “drain” of God. Nothing sticks to one at this point- you still get angry, you still feel fear or jealousy or something from time to time, but it will fade just as quickly back into the Void.

So the realization also came to be something that has not been well-mentioned in Christianity. Christ doesn’t just live “in” our hearts. Christ is our heart. This is a mystery and difficult to explain. More to the point, I understand now what the Sufis mean about taking one step towards God, and he takes 10 steps towards us- this experience, this encounter, is more the process of God’s Grace, sheer and perfect and absolute, God’s Infinite Mercy, than my own efforts.

Lyrics from Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”

Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery

Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice, your voice can take me there

I’ve listened to this song repeatedly recently. The lines in particular standing out to me are, “Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery.” This certainly describes Christ, but more importantly, this describes God’s view of us. And my favorite line of all, “Just like a dream, you are not what you seem.” This certainly rings true of my ultimate relationship to Christ or the Void.

Now, some might ask why I’m attempting to label the Void as “Christ” and not some other deity, or why I’m making this identification. I found quickly last night that if I didn’t use some kind of word to describe it, that I couldn’t process it mentally; and this must certainly be what the Sufis mean by the necessity of a “container” for the energy, because otherwise it’s helter-skelter. So, too, this is where the importance of the Holy Eucharist comes in for Christians, as the whole process of communion gives a substantial form by which we can understand and commune with Christ.

But further than that, from the union of the soul with Christ, I saw something even more important: “Just like a dream, you are not what you seem” refers also to humans. We are not what we seem and never have been so.

Red State Mystic, if you’re reading this- I can’t begin to explain the implications I have seen, but this must certainly have to do with the Fall of Mankind. The ultimate implication is that in the so-called Fall of Mankind, we began to see ourselves as we are not- this is the ultimate trick of Satan, as it were, though I have no idea how Satan fits into all this symbolically or mythologically, unless he represents our animal drives, and even then, I think that’s not quite correct.

So Christ’s coming then reveals not only the nature of the Divine but also the true nature of mankind. If one could see humanity from the standpoint of God, one would understand that as much as God is man’s mystery, MAN is GOD’S MYSTERY.

So, too, we must also see that while in the Holy Eucharist we apparently receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, in the same way, Christ receives our Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

Here’s to the further mysteries and revelations about God.

For me to not be Christian, I sure am a good poster-child, don’t you think? Hah!

Last night also saw a few strange psychic events. I dreamt that my friend Rheana called me and talked to me. When I awoke, five minutes into being awake, I received a text message from her. Otherwise, I didn’t sleep well- this state continued heavily until about three in the afternoon or so and has tapered off a bit but hasn’t completely gone. The emotions don’t seem to be “going down the drain” as easily at this point, but there’s definitely some kind of huge dent in the ego, and it won’t be long before it’s swallowed up whole, I bet! YAY!

Beaux


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PCE? Nirvana? Enlightenment? Moksha? Liberation? Freedom?

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How the experience began, I won’t bring myself to say just now, but we’re going to be discussing a few different things that happened, starting last night.

 

First, I phoned my friend Rheana; we had discussed hanging out and doing spiritual work, but she was rather tired and couldn’t. She mentioned a certain meditation involving the Heart Chakra called the Twin Hearts meditation, which involves visualizing the Earth in your hands and sending love from the Heart Chakra into the Earth, covering everything with love and giving love to every being in the world.

 

I took it upon myself to do this meditation later in the evening, and then, I tried to go to sleep.

 

That’s when the vibrations began.

 

If you’ve read Daughter of Fire by Irina Tweedie, she talks of these vibrations coming at night quite frequently.

 

Necessarily, the energy was coming from the Root Chakra and the Sex Chakra- largely where the kundalini is stored.

 

The energy created all kinds of wonderful feelings of bliss and happiness, of pure infinitude and purity and love and goodness. The intensity was such that it was exhausting the ego, and I must say that I do like this method of destroying the ego with too much happiness more than destroying he ego with too much suffering.

 

My dreams were not as pleasant, which was a surprise. A few different issues came up, most of which I was able to confront when I awoke, but not totally.

 

Then when I awoke today, I was getting ready for work, had gone to the kitchen, and the Grace of God HIT, just in a moment. One second it wasn’t there, and the next second it was, and good grief, it just got better and better and better and I felt happier and happier and happier. The bottom two chakras again seemed to “loosen up,” and the energy moved up to my head.

 

What exactly was going on there, I can’t explain. Reality seemed okay on every front. I think the Higher Self may have disappeared temporarily in addition to the Ego.  Maybe this is the PCE of which the Actual Freedomists speak. However, I noted that I didn’t come to the same conclusions as other people who claim the state of No-Self, but then again, I wasn’t in it for longer than half an hour.

 

One thing that I did notice was that there’s a sense of friendliness with the universe. To put it bluntly, the experience was like being best friends with every atom in the universe. There was no loneliness or isolation or low self-esteem; everything was as it should be, and life was great. My energy or matter was in harmony with all energy and matter.

 

Another aspect of the experience was the relaxation, the calmness. No tension in the body, no stress, no unpleasantness, no sense burden of Self. Very, very intriguing.

 

I wish that experience would happen again. I’ve waited and waited for the wonderful, clear world to return. It’s just all-around GOOD.

 

Beaux

 

This Whole Spiritual Thing is Progressively Confusing

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So much of spirituality and mysticism seems to conflict with itself.

But one thing I know is that the Great Void I remember experiencing way back when I was younger was actually not the finality of all things. This was my mistake, the assumption, that I had been making.

When Llewellyn talks of their being no goal and then talks of one’s problems not getting any easier in life, I find myself becoming belligerent and wanting scream, “Then what the fuck are we doing all this for?”

And it’s true- if the mystic’s path does not ultimately culminate in the end of suffering and the realization of “what it’s all about,” if it indeed has no end and is something through which we endlessly circulate, then it makes no sense to pursue it and in all honesty actually makes more sense to go play cards, have a gin and tonic, and try to find happiness in external things in life instead of worrying about meditating, God, or the Holy Eucharist.

Yet I am disinclined to think that there is no end to it all. I think, rather, the notion of their being no end is the product of people who have not yet arrived but have mistakenly assumed that the lack of an ego is the end of the journey.
I find it extraordinarily odd that Bernadette Roberts and Richard from the Actual Freedom Trust insist that they haven’t found any reference to the “no-higher-self” state in which they both find themselves in the literature. I figured it out from reading a website that dealt with mysticism long, long ago. Unfortunately, that website is now defunct.

But the point of the matter is that it was apparent that the Higher Self was not the Highest State, that it was not the end- and I was only a 15 year old in Alabama reading about this stuff.

To Bernadette’s credit, she does say that others have come upon the no-higher-self experience, and that eventually everyone will. I’m not sure if by this she’s referring to death, or if she means everyone will eventually hit Nirvana, or what exactly.
I understand, for the Sufis, the confusion is part of it. The confusion is naturally used to distract the ego, and the sooner the ego collapses, the sooner we can go on to a further stage of the path. But I wonder, too, about the ego and the nature consciousness.
Suffice it to say, I know that the ego can cease- I have been there, but it was only temporary, though it was pleasant. Predominantly what was missing was a certain pressure on the forebrain, and also tension that was in my shoulders. These things were completely gone- it was a state of relaxation, a state unburdened, and I wish I could exist in it all the time.
Maybe one day I will look back on the path and be like, “Great Scots, how much of an idiot was I to do this or that!” Hindsight is, however, 20/20.
Beaux


An Idea to Kick Around

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The unfortunate aspect of blogging is that blogs that aren’t just random journal entries have to have a certain kind of theme and focus in order to be more successful.

Holy Poached Eggs initially worked as a sort of catch-all for everything but had a theme of Southern Food. Because my religious writings and ramblings needed an outlet, I produced Craving Aletheia.

Needless to say, Craving Aletheia isn’t exactly established in the same way as Holy Poached Eggs is. I did take a break on HPE earlier in the year because I was going through a rough emotional patch and kind of plunged into one of the darkest levels of my life that I’ve ever seen, but then I decided to bounce back and really put myself into my writing.

After all, I am a writer. This is what I do. This is what I love. This is what I know how to do, this is what I’m good at.

I know I ended that sentence with a preposition, but the technicality in the English language is that you can end sentences with prepositions so long as it doesn’t conflict with the overall flow of the sentence.

The point of it was this: Holy Poached Eggs gets views every day. Not very many views, given, and when I have thirty people viewing it and get two comments, I’m ready to break open a big keg of root beer and celebrate and dance around the room like a drunken person even though I don’t really drink. Craving Alethia doesn’t get nearly so many views, but it exists out of necessity, and typically the people who are interested in mysticism and spirituality in the way I am are bound to search out and find it anyway. And I can live with that.

The question is whether or not I should start a third blog, a blog dedicated to mundane life experiences that exist outside of cooking and outside of spirituality.

Of course, some smart-ass will naturally jump in at this point and try to point out how the mundane and the spiritual aren’t necessarily separate or something along those lines and try to be all “I r Zen Buddhisting” on me, but let me just go ahead and point out that I’m well aware of that fact and am just trying to express things in terms of, “Be that as it may, most people don’t have a conversation with Jesus fully appearing to them on a daily basis,” and allow that to solve the matter.

Having a third blog, in a way, seems superfluous. Two blogs are already a lot to handle, in addition to any other writing that I’m doing (and believe me, I’m doing a lot this year- 2011 is the Year of Writing for me. I WILL write, I AM WRITING!), and my blogs aren’t technically even as great as they could be. I blame that on the lack of a decent camera and a lack of the best kinds of resources, but I won’t worry about it for now.

I have good comrades who have given me a lot of advice (thanks, Logan) and I know that there’s a specific audience that will understand from where I’m coming in the midst of my ramblings, people who are naturally gifted with the ability to extricate from my tangle and mess of words precisely what I’m trying to give to them.

Whether or not I’ll actually begin a third blog is still up in the air. I definitely don’t plan to make it a resolution for the new year. In fact, I haven’t made any full-blown resolutions this year, though I thought about giving up sugar. This may not be the best idea, though, because writing a food blog actually kind of requires that I cook and eat things, and I know sugar isn’t everything, but I’m writing about Southern food, and we do use a lot of sugar and grease and such.

Lately, I’ve had dreams about enlightened people. Last night I dreamed about Bernadette Roberts, and she was trying to explain to me various things about the mystic’s journey and what occurs in it. She also had a British accent and reminded me of an actress, though I can’t remember which one. I’ve also discovered that when I don’t dream much, I awaken in a rather cranky mood.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens with 2011 and the writing. I pray for inspiration, I pray for dedication, I pray for discipline to write, write, and write some more. I even took the postaday2011 challenge for WordPress. I may cheat on this and say that a post on either of my blogs counts as my post for the day.

Beaux


Vibes and a Chart

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One of the weird things about progressing spiritually is the acquisition of sensitivities to things of which other people don’t have a conscious experience. That or most people have a conscious experience of those things, and I’m completely unaware of it.

The vibes of different systems appear to me now. I’m not really sure how to explain it. Going to the Actual Freedom website, I can feel myself being roped in by the particular thought forms that they (unknowingly) impress on the world. It seems I’m much more tuned into the vibes of Sufism and Gnosticism.

I wish I could simply pick a system, remain committed to it, and go with it, but again, every direction to which I go seems to have a barrier come up very quickly. The other option is to create my own system, which is quite likely the most difficult possible thing to do and has no guarantee of working.

Everyone has their various opinions and perspectives on things. The Actual Freedom Trust is filled with the biggest world of straw man arguments I’ve ever seen in my life. But what is it that causes people who attain Nirvana to say that no one else has ever gone as far as they?

Bernadette Roberts, the Catholic mystic, says much the same of her own experience with Christianity and the Christian mystics, though she also says that the journey can be made in any tradition, and she also goes on to say that likely the Christian mystics didn’t detail the “no-Self” experience because the Church would have attacked them for it. Roberts herself certainly espouses a number of views that are unorthodox.

Making diagrams, charts, and maps is an extremely dangerous thing to do on one hand, because to do so usually creates a conjecture that the mind tries to fit itself into, and in other cases, the diagrams and such are maps that have been written on the territory one has personally traveled.

However, for the sake of the mind having something to grab onto and not completely rejecting the ability to make the mystic’s journey in the first place, it is sometimes (note that I said sometimes) useful to make diagrams, and sometimes it’s also good to write out things so others understand.

So let us attempt to make out a chart here with me.

In so far as I understand it, the mystic’s journey happens something like this:

First, the ego surrenders to God or the Soul or the Higher Self. The ego eventually becomes burned away and remains only as a sort of shell for the Soul. The Soul then becomes united to Christ or the Cosmic Self. Eventually, this unity with God burns away even the Higher Self, and one is left as a vehicle of complete cosmic reality- many people experience this as a Nothingness. (In Sufism this is what it is termed.)

And then, and only then, one enters into the final state, which is totally Other.

Most people, when they refer to Enlightenment, tend to refer to the dropping away of the ego and the revelation of the Higher Self. This is often experienced as expanded awareness, bliss, love, and so on. It is, however, not the final state, and I think not realizing this is the mistake that a lot of the New Age crowd makes.

As to whether or not the Absolute State can be experienced while still in the body is also a huge matter of debate.

These are my thoughts for the moment.

Beaux