Twenty-First Century A.D.

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The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment
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Last Revised: 10 February 2005




Enlightenment Teachings and Experiences

Details of bibliographic acronyms are available here .




Subject: Bernadette Roberts
Dates: 1931-Present
Tradition: Roman Catholic

[During my] two-year journey ... I experienced the falling way of everything I can call a self. It was a journey through an unknown passageway that led to a life so new and different that, despite forty years of varied contemplative experiences, I never suspected its existence. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 9.)

Within the traditional framework, the Christian notion of loss-of-self is generally regarded as a transformation of the ego or lower self into the true or higher self as it approaches union with God; throughout this journey, however, the self retains its individual uniqueness and never loses its ontological sense of personal selfhood. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 9-10.)

[But] I came upon a permanent state in which there was no self, not even a higher self, a true self, or anything that could be called a self. Clearly, I had fallen outside my own, as well as the traditional, frame of reference when I came upon a path that seemed to begin where the writers on the contemplative life had left off. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 10.) "It" ... so surrounded me I could hardly divert my eyes from it. This went on for several days until I knew the greater my attempts to ignore it, the greater it increased the pressure to "Look!" So eventually I did look, and the moment I did so, it vanished and was gone, but in the same instant I knew why.

You cannot look at what Is, for it cannot become an object to the mind, nor for that matter, can it be a subject. What Is is "that" which can never be a subject or an object. Thus, the moment you look with your relative (subject-object-oriented) mind, what Is is gone because you have tried to make it an object, and it won't work. The relative mind cannot apprehend this reality; only a non-relative mind sees because what Is is equally non-reflective or non-self-conscious. Since what Is is all that Is, it has nothing to see outside itself nor within itself and thus, has no such thing as a relative, reflective, self-conscious mind. Nor is it a mind at all, nor consciousness, for no man knows what it is, only that it is. Therefore, once we have been rid of a reflective, relative, self-conscious mind, then and only then can we come upon what Is: that which sees and is seen and the act of seeing itself are ONE. (ENS, 67.)

The transforming process is a divine undoing and re-doing that culminates in what is called the state of “transforming union” or “mystical marriage,” considered to be the definitive state for the Christian contemplative. (PNS2, 131.)

Since I knew that this experience was not articulated in our contemplative literature, I went to the library to see if it could be found in the Eastern religions. ... [In Hinduism] the final state is equivalent to the Christian experience of oneness or transforming union. If a Hindu had what I call the no-self experience, it would be the sudden, unexpected disappearance of Atman-Brahman, the divine Self in the "cave of the heart," and the disappearance of the cave as well. It would be the ending of God-consciousness, or transcendental consciousness -- that seemingly bottomless experience of "being," "consciousness," and "bliss" that articulates the state of oneness. To regard this ending as the falling away of the ego is a grave error; ego must fall away before the state of oneness can be realized. The no-self experience is the falling away of this previously realized transcendent state.

Initially, when I looked into Buddhism, I did not find the experience of no-self there either; yet I intuited that it had to be there. The falling away of the ego is common to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Therefore, it would not account for the fact that Buddhism became a separate religion, nor would it account for the Buddhists' insistence on no eternal Self - be it divine, individual, or the two in one. I felt that the key difference between these two religions was the no-self experience, the falling away of the true Self, Atman-Brahman.

Unfortunately what most Buddhist authors define as the no-self experience is actually the no-ego experience. The cessation of clinging, desire, the passions, etc., and the ensuing state of imperturbable peace and joy articulates the egoless state of oneness; it does not, however, articulate the no-self experience or the dimension beyond. (PNS2, 136-7.) Four years later, however, I came across two lines attributed to Buddha describing his enlightenment experience. Referring to self as a house, he said, "All the rafters are broken now, the ridgepole is destroyed." And there it was -- the disappearance of the center, the ridgepole; without it, there can be no house, no self. When I read these lines, it was as if an arrow launched at the beginning of time had suddenly hit a bull's-eye. It was a remarkable find. These lines are not a piece of philosophy, but an experiential account, and without the experiential account we really have nothing to go on. In the same verse he says, "Again a house thou shalt not build," clearly distinguishing this experience from the falling away of the ego-center, after which a new, transformed self is built around a "true center," a sturdy, balanced ridgepole. (PNS2, 137.)

Subject: Da Free John (Franklin Jones)
Dates: 1939-Present
Tradition: Gurus: Swamis Muktananda and Nityananda.

On this extraordinary night I sat at my desk until it was very late. I had exhausted my seeking, so that it seemed there were no more books to read, nor any possible kind of experience that could radically exceed what I had already embraced. ... I was drawn into the interior tension of my mind that held all of that seeking, every impulse and alternative, every motive in the form of my desiring. I contemplated it as a whole dramatic force, and it seemed to move me into a profound shape of energy, so that every vital center in my body and mind appeared like a long funnel of contracted planes that led on to an infinitely regressed and invisible image. I observed this deep sensation of conflict and endlessly multiplied contradictions, so that I seemed to surrender to its very shape, as if to experience it perfectly and to be it.

Then, quite suddenly, in a moment, I experienced a total revolution of energy and awareness in myself. An absolute sense of understanding opened and arose at the extreme end of all this consciousness. And all of the energy of thought that moved down into that depth appeared to reverse its direction at some unfathomable point. The rising impulse caused me to stand, and I felt a surge of force draw up out of my depths and expand, filling my whole body and every level of my consciousness with wave on wave of the most beautiful and joyous energy. I felt absolutely mad, but the madness was not of a desparate kind. There was no seeking and no dilemma within it, no question, no unfulfilled motive, not a single object or presence outside myself.

I couldn't contain the energy.... I ran out of the building and through the streets. I thought, if I could only find someone to talk to, to communicate this thing. The energy in my body was overwhelming, and there was an ecstacy in ever cell that was almost intolerable in its pressure, light, and force. (KOL, 13-14)

As a result of the long course of my experience..., I had firmly identified myself, the structure of my real being, with the various instruments of the "chakra" system. That pole of energies with its various centers, high and low, seemed to me to be the foundation structure of every living being as well as the creative source of every existing form or universe. ... Thus, although the truth of real consciousness seemed to me to be one of radical understanding and "no-seeking," the conscious enjoyment of an eternally free and unmodified state, I could not on the basis of this identification with the chakra system see how life could be performed without a certain kind of seeking.

The chakra system and the philosophy it implied demanded a conscious, intentional purification and ascent toward concentration in the highest center and in the subtlest vehicle of being, the supra-causal body. Thus, spiritual life seemed ultimately determined by this goal of ascent. And, indeed, all of the religions and spiritual paths of the world, even where there is no conscious and sophisticated knowledge of Shakti and the chakras such as it appears in the Indian and Tibetan sources, rest in this basic philosophy of purification and ascent. ... Always I returned to an understanding free of all seeking. And this not only prevented my alignment with Christianity. It also created difficulties with what was for me the living tradition of Shakti yoga or Siddha yoga.

In February I passed through an experience that seemed to vindicate my understanding. For several nights I was awakened again and again with sharp lateral pains in my head. They felt like deep incisions in my skull and brain, as if I were undergoing an operation. During the day following the last of these experiences I realized a marvellous relief. I saw that what appeared as the sahasrar, the terminal chakra and primary lotus in the head, had been severed. The sahasrar had fallen off like a blossom. The Shakti, which previously had appeared as a polarized energy that moved up and down through the various chakras or centers producing various effects, now was released through the chakra form. There was no more polarized force. Indeed, there was no form whatsoever, no up or down, no chakras. The chakra system had been revealed as unnecessary, an arbitrary rule or setting for the play of energy. The form beneath all of the bodies, gross or subtle, had revealed itself to be as unnecessary and conditional as the bodies themselves.

Previously, all the universes seemed built and dependent upon that prior structure of ascending and descending energy, so that values were determined by the level of chakra on which consciousness functioned, and planetary bodies as well as space itself were fixed in a spherical or curved form. But now I saw that reality or real consciousnes was not in the least determined by any kind of form apart from itself. Consciousness had shown its radical freedom and priority in terms of the chakra form. It had shown itself to be senior to that whole structure, dissociated from every kind of separate energy or Shakti. There was simply consciousness itself, prior to all forms, all dilemmas, every kind of seeking and necessity.

... There was no need to have recourse to any kind of phenomena, problem or structure of seeking. The Shakti was not the primary or necessary reality. Reality was the Self-nature, the foundation of pure consciousness, Siva, who is always already free of the Divine play. Thus, I was certain again that real life was not a matter of experience and evolution. It was to be founded in radical, present consciousness. (KOL, 116-9.)

It would take many years to understand the revolution in my being. It marked the rise in me of fundamental and unqualified life, and it removed every shadow of dilemma and ignorance from the mind, on every level, and all its effects in the body. But I would have to pass through many years of trial before that understanding could become the stable constant and premise of my being. (KOL, 13.) Standing in the garden, with an obviously discernible form, made of subtle energy but without any kind of visibility, was the Virgin, Mary, Mother of Christ! ... Just as her Presence was not physical, but subtle, her communication to me was internal.... I told [Swami Nityananda] ... how the Shakti appeared to have taken over independently of ... any ... source. He blessed me, told me that I belonged to Her now, and that I should leave [the ahsram] and let the Mother guide me. ... I took ... flowers to the temple of the Mother Shakti near the Ashram. There is a sculpture of her benign, multi-armed, and omnipresent image there. I looked into her face and saw that she was the same one who appeared to me in the form of the Virgin.... As I left I felt her assure me that I was her child and she would guide me. (KOL, 126-30.)

In an instant, I became profoundly and directly aware of what I am. It was a tacit realization, a direct knowledge in consciousness itself. It was consciousness itself without the addition of a communication from any other source. I simply sat there and knew what I am. I was being what I am. I am Reality, the Self, and Nature and Support of all things and all beings. I am the One Being, known as God, Brahman, Atman, the One Mind. (KOL, 134-5.)

The primary awareness of reality, my own actual consciousness [can] not be modified or lost. It is the only thing in our lives that is not an experience. It depends on nothing and nothing can destroy it. It is bliss, joy, freedom, consciousness and sublime knowledge!

... That Presence could be identified as "Reality," "Self," "God," "Shakti," "Guru" or whatever. It was simply the sense of being related to a Presence that was truth and reality itself; a perfectly absorbing, consoling, illuminating Force that contained me, lived me and guided me. It is the heart of all religious and spiritual experience. (KOL, 136-7.)

Subject: Byron Katie (Byron Katheleen Reid)
Dates: 1942(?)-Present
Tradition: N/A.

The Work was born on a February morning in 1986 when Byron Kathleen Reid, a forty-three-year-old woman from a small town in the high desert of southern California, woke up on the floor of a halfway house.

In the midst of an ordinary life – two marriages, three children, a successful career – Katie had entered a ten-year-long downward spiral into rage, paranoia, and despair. For two years she was so depressed that she could seldom manage to leave her house; she stayed in bed for weeks at a time, doing business by telephone from her bedroom, unable even to bathe or brush her teeth. Her children would tiptoe past her door to avoid her outbursts of rage. Finally, she checked in to a halfway house for women with eating disorders, the only facility that her insurance company would pay for. The other residents were so frightened of her that she was placed alone in an attic room.

One morning, a week or so later, as she lay on the floor (she had been feeling too unworthy to sleep in a bed), Katie woke up without any concepts of who or what she was. “There was no me,” she says.

All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, the whole world, was gone. At the same time, laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out. Everything was unrecognizable. It was as if something else had woken up. It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie’s eyes. And it was so delighted! It was intoxicated with joy. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it; everything was its very own self.

When Katie returned home, her family and friends felt that she was a different person. Her daughter, Roxann, who was sixteen at the time, says,

We knew that the constant storm was over. She had always yelled at me and my brothers and criticized us; I used to be scared to be in the same toom with her. Now she seemed completely peaceful. She would sit still for hours on the window seat or out in the desert. She was joyful and innocent, like a child, and she seemed to be filled with love. People in trouble started knocking on our door, asking her for help. She’d sit with them and ask questions – mainly “Is that true?” When I’d come home miserable, with a problem like “My boyfriend doesn’t love me anymore,” Mom would look at me as if she knew that wasn’t possible, and she’d ask me, “Honey, how could that be true?” as if I had just told her that we were living in China.

Once people understood that the old Katie wasn’t coming back, they began to speculate about what had happened to her. Had some miracle occurred? She wasn’t much help to them: It was a long time before she could describe her experience intelligibly. She would talk about a freedom that had woken up insider her. She also said that, through an inner questioning, she had realized that all her old thoughts were untrue. (LWI, x-xi.)

Subject: Eckhart Tolle
Dates: 1952-Present
Tradition: N/A.

I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence.

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else's life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train -- everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

"I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. "Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the 'I' and the 'self that 'I' cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I i drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear and my body started to shake. I heard the words "resist nothing," as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Sudden there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have I recollection of what happened after that.

I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I have never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. The soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.

That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.

For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.

I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.

But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.

Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: "I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?" And I would say: "You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise." That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.

Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher. (PN, 1-3.)

Subject: Andrew Cohen
Dates: 1955-Present
Tradition: Guru was Punjaji (H.W.L. Poonja)

When I was sixteen years old, the most extraordinary thing happened to me. Late one night as I was talking with my mother, for no apparent reason I began to experience a completely new and unimaginable condition. My consciousness began to expand in all directions simultaneously and I experienced what could only be called a revelation. Tears profusely poured out of my eyes and my throat repeatedly opened and closed for no reason. I was completely overwhelmed and intoxicated by Love and was struck by a sense of awe and wonder that is impossible to describe. I suddenly knew without any doubt that there was no such thing as death and that life itself had no beginning and no end. I saw that all of life was intimately connected and inseparable. It became clear that there was no such thing as individuality separate from that one Self that was all of life. The glory and majesty in the cosmic unity that was revealing itself to me was completely overwhelming. I could hardly speak. My mother told me years later that I had said to her at the time not to worry, that I was not unhappy, and that this used to happen to me often when I was a child. In the midst of this explosion I was struck by what seemed to be a message that came directly from the revelation itself. That message was: if you give your life to me alone you have nothing to fear. Disoriented, it took me several days to recover from the impact that this explosion had on my mind and body. No one whom I described this extraordinary event to seemed able to appreciate its significance or even understand what I was talking about. (AOA, 5-6..)

When I was sixteen, I had an experience of cosmic consciousness that occurred spontaneously. Completely unsought, it emerged from the unknown. I was sitting up late one evening speaking with someone and suddenly, for no apparent reason, the doors of perception opened. In an instant, all boundaries disappeared and it literally seemed as if there were no walls, as if I wasn't sitting in a room having a conversation, but I was sitting in the middle of infinite space. I could see the walls and I could see the room that I was in but, inwardly, my experience was that all boundaries were gone and I was actually existing in and as infinite space. It became clear to me at that moment that there is only one point in space and that, no matter where we may appear to be physically located at any time, we will always be in exactly the same place.

I saw in a way that is difficult to put into words that all of life is One—that the whole universe and everything that exists within it, seen and unseen, known and unknown, is one conscious, glorious, intelligent Being that is self-aware. Its nature is Love but it is a love that is so overwhelming in its intensity that even to experience the faintest hint of it is almost unbearable for the human body. I saw in that moment that there is no such thing as death, that life has no beginning and no end. I was awestruck and overwhelmed. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and yet I wasn't crying and, strangely, my throat was opening and closing by itself. I was just sitting there but I felt like I was on my knees. I was in a state of wonder. And then something curious happened—I don't exactly know how to explain it. There was a message for me that said: "If you give your life to me and me alone, you'll have nothing to fear." And the implication was that if I didn't, then I would suffer terribly. (LE, 31-2.)

The ego simply cannot grasp what is beyond itself. The SELF can only know the SELF and in this understanding there is no personality or ego involved. There cannot be if the understanding is real. (AOA, 33.)

There are times when suddenly everything becomes clear in a way that is profound, when everything falls miraculously into place, when the burden of confusion lifts and one is able to see the way things actually are. In moments like these one experiences Liberation. (FHNH, 27.)

Someone who is awake is able to see much more of what is actually there than someone who is not. This is because the quality of their attention has become vast, subtle and profound. (FHNH, 95.)

My inspiration never wanes! It seems that the greater is the resistance to my heart, the more passionate I feel about expressing the Truth clearly and accurately. What it is that runs through my veins, that sets my heart on fire, that lights up my whole nervous system…. I am unafraid only because I know that what I am seeing is the Truth. (AOA, 122.)

It is ever new! Ever new! (AOA, 122.)

Without a clear understanding of what an Absolute Relationship to Life actually is, the possibility of any genuine victory over fear, ignorance and self-deception will remain only an idea in the mind. (ARL, 4.)

Understand that the entire process of spiritual evolution, transformation and awakening is not a personal matter - it's an evolutionary matter. When evolution occurs within one individual it means that the race as a whole has evolved. So the only point is: can, will and does evolution occur, or not? If you are not willing to take it seriously, it won't happen. You will slip and slide along with all of the others … in an unconscious soup where everybody is blindly following each other's lead. That is why it is so important that the individual be willing to take themselves and the possibility of their own transformation deadly seriously. (FHNH, 8.)

Subject: Swami Chetanananda
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: Monk, Ramakrishna Order

In the nondualistic experience, the knower, knowledge, and knowable become one. Thus, he who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. (Swami Chetananda in Dattatreya, AG, 1.)

In samadhi, the meditator, meditation, and the object of meditation -- all these three become one. This is the culmination of Vedantic realization. (AG, 7.)

In samadhi, when name and form disappear, man experiences the oneness of Brahman. (AG, 9.)

A knower of Brahman destroys the idea of duality, which originates from ignorance. At that time, who will see whom? Who will know whom? (AG, 15.)

Subject: Paul Ferrini
Dates: Unknown-Present
Tradition: N/A.

Beneath the thinking mind is a pure, non-judgmental awareness. As soon as you discover that awareness, the heart opens, and giving and receiving are effortless. (SOH, 11.)

In truth, nothing is broken and nothing needs to be fixed. If we could dwell in this awareness, all our wounds would heal by themselves. Miracles would happen, because the ego structure blocking the miracle would dissolve. (SOH, 18.)

Your ego is terrified of the unknown. No matter how terrible the known past is, the ego prefers it to the unknown present. All of its energy goes into trying to make the present into the past. It thinks that this creates safety, but in truth it creates continued terror, a constant aggravation of the wound until the pain is so intense that it must be dealt with. You see, everything, even your ego, conspires toward your awakening!

So living the past over and over again creates the ultimate terror. Outwardly, life seems safe and predictable. Inwardly, the dynamite has been lit. (SOH, 22.)

Living in fear, the ego-mind seeks safety, but never finds it. Because it never investigates its own fear, it is constantly driven by that fear unconsciously, and its creations are unconscious projections of that fear. This includes all its relationship dramas.

Fear must be faced. It must be dealt with. It must be made conscious. This brings the darkness to the light. It ends the split between ego and spirit, inner and outer. The light that comes when darkness has been fully explored is not the same light that was there when darkness was pushed away. (SOH, 24.)

Being in a body gives you the opportunity to explore the mistaken belief that your needs are different from the needs of others. As soon as you begin to see that your needs are the same as the needs of others, the veil begins to lift. You stop needing special treatment. You stop giving others special treatment.

What you want for one, you want for all. You do not make one person more important than others. The perception of equality is the beginning of the transcendence of the body and the physical world. When you no longer need to hold yourself separate from others, you can serve without being attached. You can give without needing to know how the gift is being received. (SOH, 33-4.)

Subject: Flora Courtois
Dates: Unknown.
Tradition: N/A.

Sometime in April, ... I went home to Detroit to spend a week with my parents. There, about three days later, alone in my room, sitting quietly on the edge of my bed and gazing at a small desk, not thinking of anything at all, in a moment too short to measure, the universe changed on its axis and my search was over. ...

The small, pale green desk at which I'd been so thoughtlessly gazing had totally and radically changed. It appeared now with a clarity, a depth of three-dimensionality, a freshness I had never imagined possible. At the same time, in a way that is utterly indescribable, all my questions and doubts were gone as effortlessly as chaff in the wind. I knew everything and all at once, yet not in the sense that I had ever known anything before.

All things were the same in my little bedroom yet totally changed. ... The focus of my sight seemed to have changed; it had sharpened to an infinitely small point which moved ceaselessly in paths totally free of the old accustomed ones, as if flowing from a new source.

... So released from all tension, so ecstatically light did I feel, I seemed to float down the hall to the bathroom to look at my face in the mottled mirror over the sink. The pupils of my eyes were dark, dilated and brimming with mirth. With a wondrous relief, I began to laugh as I'd never laughed before, from the soles of my feet upward. (EE, 43-8.)

Over a period of many months there took place a ripening, a deepening and unfolding of this experience which filled me with wonder and gratitude at every moment. The foundations had fallen from my world. I had plunged into a numinous openness which had obliterated all fixed distinctions including that of within and without. A Presence had absorbed the universe including myself, and to this I surrendered in absolute confidence. ... The whole world seemed to have reversed itself, to have turned outside in. Activity flowed simply and effortlessly, and to my amazement, seemingly without thought. Instead of following my old sequence of learning, thinking, planning, then acting, action had taken precedence and whatever was learned was surprisingly incidental. Yet nothing ever seemed to go out of bound; there was no alteration between self-control and letting go but rather a perfect rightness and spontaneity to all this flowing activity. (EE, 48-9.)


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