First let me note that what I am writing is simply my experience, not to be confused with “Truth”, of which I know nothing. If I write in a tone that sounds certain, assertive, or emphatic, know with certainty that the seeming assertion is always arising from my Heart as a question. A question posed not from one who “knows”, to one who “does not”, but from a Friend awash in Wonder… to a Friend awash in Wonder.
There are two aspects to Self Enquiry. Initially, intellect reveals to us, through empirical investigation, knowledge of what we are not. Then, at the fateful juncture where the mind reaches the end of its capabilities, we fall, if we are Wise or simply Fortunate “into the Heart”, into Feeling Enquiry, into Experience.
Without that falling, we are left simply “knowing” what we are not - not an object-perceiver-experiencer-person, as we'd mistakenly taken ourself to be.
But falling, at that juncture where intellect, knowledge, and understanding fail, we come, in time, to the vanishing of time, to the Experience (not the conceptualization) of Existence as the most Essential aspect of What we Are – Formless Pure Awareness, in which all duality has vanished; all duality… including any felt sense whatsoever of ourself as the experiencer; all sense of ourself… period.
And yet… Awareness remains. Pure. Unalloyed. And the nature of that Experience without an experiencer is… Unimaginable, Inexpressible, the Heart's Desire Fulfilled. Heaven.
Hinduism calls it nirvikalpa samadhi, and the Unalloyed Ecstasy of Pure Being. Others call it Union with God. Others, the Embrace of The Beloved. Others, The Self. Still others… Emptiness. It is not necessary to pour your Experience into the “interpretation” or description of another, however revered or worshipped that description may be by millions. What matters is coming to the Experience yourself.
But it's so vitally important to note that it is not necessary to Vanish in Union, in Absolute Dissolution as Pure Awareness, to become both Liberated from the felt sense of embodied selfhood, or Illumined with the Bliss that is inherent in that Dissolution, here… in the Dream of manifest existence in space, time, and creation. In my own experience, Dissolution and Bliss were subsequent to Union, and for years I assumed, incorrectly, that one must have experienced Union for these aspects of ongoing experience to be present. For both the Dissolution of acute dualistic experience and the Ineffable Sublimity that was inherent in that Dissolution were both recognized as being “from” the Experience of Pure Awareness; Water from that Ocean, Heat from that Fire. But I have since seen Friends come to Dissolution and Bliss without having experienced Union.
For even as you enter the frontiers of Heaven through the inward turning of Attention, the Perfume, the Fragrance of The Beloved will greet you, surround you, embrace you, and you will begin – slowly perhaps, but ever more so – to experience the Dissolution of the felt sense of identity as an embodied object-perceiver-experiencer-person, and the advent of the Ineffable Sublimity of Bliss, which – not to be mistaken for any other pleasure – only arises inherently in the Dissolution of the Experiencer.
The moment you fall into The Heart, you have entered the Tavern of The Beloved, and the Beautiful One will pour the Wine you long for, and offer the Rose of Love, Causeless and Unconditional.
The mind will lead you to Heaven's Gate. But there, in Humility, will stop and say…
“I have given you all I can,
“I have shown you what you are not,
“Knowing, now, what you are not,
“What is this formless Knower,
“You can Feel the very Aliveness of Being,
This is the juncture where Feeling Enquiry begins. We cannot find where we are; cannot describe what we are; and yet, we Feel the Aliveness that we Are. Feeling Enquiry is, at this juncture, all we are left with. We find ourself at the Gate of Pure Awareness, of Heaven.
The mind turns, and continues its dialog:
“I cannot enter here,
“Where Knower and known vanish,
“Nor can ‘you’ enter,
“For I will keep ‘you’ alive,
“To enter Here, you must fall,
“And Experience, what You Are,
“Only when you enter, and return, Illumined,
“And together, you and I, Mind and Heart,
“Vanishing as two…
“Where Lover and Beloved Vanish,
“Now… at this juncture…
“Abandon investigation and Rest, Alertly,
“Until “you” Vanish,
“Don't float shallowly Here,
“Sinking… falling… into the Feeling,
“Until the last ever-so-subtle vestiges,