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  • Writer's pictureAnne Sweet

An integrated approach

I was wondering if you might have some guidance for a fairly strong curiosity I’ve recently developed about merging with the Absolute while still alive. A couple of decades ago I had just relinquished my last bit of fear of Hell, created by my religion that I grew up with. When that fear was finally let go, suddenly a very innocent curiosity about the nature of reality and who/what I am arose, and this deep insight occurred where I saw that the essence of being/consciousness is all and that it is the very same behind all sets of eyeballs of all life forms, the very life force itself, etc. Now, two decades later, something about that insight clicked in a deeper way, and has made me super curious about practicing remaining awake or aware in deep dreamless sleep, and the possibility of merging with the absolute while still alive in/with a body. Any guidance or referrals is greatly appreciated. L.W

I’m not sure what you mean by merging with the Absolute while still alive. From what you have mentioned here, you have already recognised that "being/consciousness is all and that it is the very same behind all sets of eyeballs of all life forms, the very life force itself".

As I understand it, if this is your effortless, lived reality, then this recognition is none other than unity consciousness/realization of Self as Absolute, Absolute as Self. I’m not quite sure what more you are after? Apparently even in very advanced Vajrayana Buddhist practices which focus on dreamless sleep/lucid dreaming, the aim is still to bring about this fundamental realization of the true nature of reality.

If this is not your effortless, lived experience, then I would suggest that this is where your efforts are best directed - integrating, deepening and living the insight you had many years ago in a very grounded way, and with the help of a qualified and experienced teacher, if that is what you choose to do. If you don’t mind my saying, it may be that you have developed an abstract idea of what merging with the Absolute is, and it is becoming a distraction for you.

I think you’re correct that the insight from years ago, though profound and reorienting of my perspective, didn’t fully ground itself into my whole lived experience because there’s still ignorance and anger and unresolved issues that keep the false notion/perspective of there being an other and a me going.

Maybe that’s why I’m intuiting the practice of remaining awake in the deep dreamless sleep will help finish off the idea of the individual and the simultaneous arising of the idea of other, and maybe deepen the lived experience of awareness being one and the totality. L.W

I appreciate the openness and maturity of your response.

If I may say something more: as we don’t know each other, my comments can only be general in nature, and you may already be familiar with what I’m going to say.

Many/most seekers after enlightenment would very much like to jump over the uncomfortable aspects of what is involved in becoming a fully integrated human being (one who has embodied their humanity and has recognised their true nature as timeless empty awareness).This tendency (spiritual bypassing) is unfortunately propagated and supported by the contemporary satsang movement which encourages a 'no-practice/you are already enlightened/there is no-one here' *fast food* approach to spirituality which generally just leads to a lot of confusion and delusion.

You already have the self-awareness to recognise that you have various unresolved issues - my advice would be to not jump over these issues in pursuit of the Absolute, but to deal with them directly (therapy - particularly with a therapist who is very experienced and knowledgeable about spiritual matters - is one option). As Nisargadatta says: "You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond, it will pull you back". It’s essential to do all the work involved in self-realization, and to provide a solid, integrated foundation in oneself for that realization to take root and flourish. My sense is that you are rushing ahead and possibly overlooking these foundational steps.

The non-dual insight you had many years ago is still alive within you today and is an extremely valuable guiding light. You are obviously an intelligent and mature person. You are at a significant point in your evolution and the steps you take now will decide how well that evolution progresses. It is possible to waste years if not decades in the spiritual labyrinth (as I did) - my sense is that the right instruction from the right teacher for where you are right now, would be enormously beneficial. You have obviously already covered a lot of ground, and just need the right guidance to steer you well.

Thank you for the kind compliments, I’m taking your advice and looking into therapists with a nondual bent. Your suggestions have been pretty spot on in my opinion, because it just makes sense that these hang ups in my life revolve around psychological and past stuff, so why not just go into them with some professional guidance and do the work. Thank-you. L.W

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