“That which is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not real,” said Sri Ramana Maharshi.
He also mentioned:
“The world is illusory;
Brahman alone is real;
Brahman is the world.”
(I’ve learned them from Ken Wilber’s incredible book, “The Essential.”)
So tell me, what is Brahman?
Quoted from Wikipedia (source of many truthful knowledge can be found here):
Brahman is the Absolute Reality or universal substrate (not to be confused with the Creator god Brahm?.) It is said to be eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and ultimately indescribable in human language. The sage-seers of the Upanishads had fully realized Brahman as the reality behind their own being and of everything else in this universe. They were thus Brahmins in the true sense of the word. These rishis described Brahman as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness, and infinite Bliss (saccidananda). Brahman is regarded as the source and essence of the material universe. The Rig Veda says that by the desire of the Supreme Being (RV 10.129.4), the initial manifestation of the material universe came into being from Hiranyagarbha (literally “golden womb”), out of which all worlds, organisms and divine beings (devas) arise:
“Great indeed are the devas who have sprung out of Brahman.” — Atharva Veda
It is said that Brahman cannot be known by material means, that we cannot be made conscious of it, because Brahman is our very consciousness. Brahman is also not restricted to the usual dimensional perspectives of being, and thus enlightenment, moksha, yoga, samadhi, nirvana, etc. do not merely mean to know Brahman, but to realise one’s “brahman-hood”, to actually realise that one is and always was Brahman. Indeed, closely related to the Self concept of Brahman is the idea that it is synonymous with jiva-atma, or individual souls, our atman (or soul) being readily identifiable with the greater soul (paramatma) of Brahman.
Generally, Vedanta rejects the notion of an evolving Brahman since Brahman contains within it the potentiality and archetypes behind all possible manifest phenomenal forms. The Vedas, though they are in some respects historically conditioned are considered by Hindus to convey a knowledge eternal, timeless and always contemporaneous with Brahman. This knowledge is considered to have been handed down by realised yogins to students many generations before the vedas were committed to writing. Written texts of the Vedas are a relatively recent phenomenon.
Connected with the ritual of pre-Vedantic Hinduism, Brahman signified the power to grow, the expansive and self-altering process of ritual and sacrifice, often visually realized in the sputtering of flames as they received the all important ghee (clarified butter) and rose in concert with the mantras of the Vedas. The term Brahmin in the Vedic period actually meant one who has realized Brahman. However, later on Brahmin came to be identified with the highest of the four castes, the Brahmins, who by virtue of their purity and priesthood held themselves as proprietors of rituals, though mostly without actual realization of Brahman, and void of Vedantic knowledge.
Among Hindu sects, Advaita Vedanta is the first instance of monism in organized religion and Hinduism is the only religion with this concept. To call this concept ‘God’ could be imprecise. The closest interpretation of the term can be found in the Taittariya Upanishad (II.1) where Brahman is described as satyam jnanam anantam brahman (“Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge and infinity”). Thus, Brahman is the origin and end of all things, material or otherwise. Brahman is the root source and Divine Ground of everything that exists, and is the only thing that exists according to Shankara. It is defined as unknowable and Satchitananda (“Truth-Consciousness-Bliss”). Since it is eternal and infinite, it comprises the only truth. The goal of Vedanta is to realize that the soul (Atman) is actually nothing but Brahman. The Hindu pantheon of gods is said, in the Vedas and Upanishads, to be only higher manifestations of Brahman. For this reason, “ekam sat” (“Truth is one”), and all is Brahman. This explains the Hindu view that “All paths lead to the one Truth, though many sages [and religions] call upon it by different names.”
I want to state something however.
Even though Ken Wilber’s books hold some very deep insights towards how we can further recognize our awareness, conciousness or Self – many of his teachings are concepts.
As I will repeat many times, you are neither your thoughts, body, feelings, nor concepts.
But I thought he’s not to be blamed, because Ken learned from many, many spiritual mystics or monks.
And most of us didn’t follow the way of these groups of people because we naturally understand that we’re still humans.
Just not completely.
That’s why Arjuna Ardagh’s introduction to “The Translucent Being” (someone who’s not totally opaque or transparent for light to go through) made absolute sense to me on the subject of awakening.
We’re not here to be totally separated from the world, or human life on earth, that’s for sure.
But of course, we’re not here to be controlled by our minds, feelings, bodies or concepts either.
There’s a balance between both where we can reside.
When something is true, it comes from our “Knowing.” We wouldn’t require arduous explanations on the subject, because then it’s a result of thought-twisting from the human mind. In Ken Wilber’s books, I have come to meet with a lot of difficulties on comprehending his teachings about holos, correlations of structures, contemplating the great chain, etc. and so I look at most of them with an eye closed.
What’s innate to you will be effortless to your being’s accepting.
Ken learned that humans don’t have free will or destiny.
If your brain works, you may smile at this.
Serendipity, manifestations, happiness, sadness, anger, joy, rich, poor, Mercedez, Honda, Big Mac, apple pie, likes, dislikes, Michaelangelo, Einstein, passion, talent, earth, solar system, air, lungs, marriage, divorce, Obama, McCain, win, lose, Wolverine, Star Trek, men, women – need I say more?
Everything happens out of our free will or the trusting of our “knowing.”
If anything, we have Everything.
The difference is, have you surrendered enough to your consciousness to truly know what your purpose is?
Have you had the chance to listen to what the “angel within the darkness” has to tell you?
Do you know the true path to happiness, peace and exhilaration on earth?