“There are three parts to the journey:
the journey from God, the journey to God,
and the journey in God.”
The first part of the journey is the actualization of the sense of apparent separation from the Divine, which likewise forms the basis for the “Search”, the great pilgrimage of return. We are sent out like filaments of light from the source of all light to illumine the dark spaciousness of the vast unknown. In this way, we each become the avatars of Source, each playing a unique role in a grand choreography of light and shadow far beyond our human comprehension.
In effect, we set aside our prior and eternal realization of Oneness in order to explore the infinite realms of duality, just for the joy of eventually seeing through the temporary facades and discovering again our indivisibility from Source. It is a cosmic game of “Hide & Seek”, of Lover torn asunder from the Beloved and consequently immersed in seemingly endless realms of desire and fear, grasping and avoidance, that constitute the fruit of separation.
In the midst of the ceaseless modifications of consciousness that comprise the flashing worlds of experience, we also gather some fascinating stories and adventures along the way, and it is the cumulative experience of all Its avatars that serves the ongoing Divine evolution and revelation of Self-awareness of Source Itself. Nevertheless, although they are not two, on the first part of our journey, Nirvana is Nirvana and Samsara is Samsara. How will we unify them?
The second part of the journey entails the yearning and consequent search for the happiness of re-union. In reality, all our efforts to find our way back from the sense of apparent separation and merge again with our own Source are really only the effort of Love to recognize and remember Itself. It is the primordial template from which all of our individual stories of seeking are cast — Love’s play of forgetting and remembering.
This is the “journey to God”, which will eventually be seen and recognized as a dream journey, a virtual reality journey, since in truth there has never been any actual separation or division. Samsara and Nirvana have never been separate. Love has never been other than Itself, despite the myriad disguises It indulges to momentarily play a game of “lost and found” with Itself.
As the journey reveals its secrets, the persistent signs may hint that there is only God, of which we are each unique individualized expressions, and that God is Love Itself. Nevertheless, this remains to be directly experienced and then fully integrated, or embodied. In the meantime, we seekers mostly still continue in hot pursuit of ourselves like a determined dog chasing its tail. We label such effort as our “Spiritual Path”, “the Way”, the “Practice” — complete with all sorts of contrived and hopeful schemes and strategies to achieve our goal. However, when the fruit has ripened, it no longer depends on the tree.
The “journey in God”, on the contrary, is just spontaneously remembering and effortlessly living in and as our own natural, primordial state, embodying our original innocence in the way we relate and behave, and selflessly serving all. It is based on the letting go, or surrendering, of any sense of personal will. Love lives us, without resistance or complaint. All is well.
Moreover, it is not a personal attainment, the result of fortuitous circumstances, deftly borrowed formulas auspiciously applied, or even awesome effort. All unfolds automatically. The subconscious simply ceased projecting an independent entity. The “person” we took ourselves to be, our provisional self-image, is now seen through as a sort of fictional narrative or virtual reality, a make-believe character in an unfathomable dream that God (Source) is projecting like a complex hologram, and purely for the sake of Divine Enjoyment.
Life “in God” thus assumes an intensity that cannot be described to or by the mind still entranced by the fascination with “choice” or preference. There is an infinite spectrum of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, loss and gain, and it is all welcomed, it is all beautiful – even the “ugly”. The entire panorama, in whatever form it presents itself, is recognized even as it arises as nothing more than the quicksilver mask of the Beloved, our own True Nature and Identity.
The way now is all about “just being” – that is enough, it has always been enough. How wonderful, and yet how simple and ordinary! What’s complicated is clinging to the belief that we have ever been bound and must be freed, redeemed, saved, or even that we need to be re-united with what we already Are!
This is also when we can say: “I am you.” The “other” — the object of our search or of our avoidance — is perceived to be none other than oneself, and so selfless service arises naturally, spontaneously, joyfully. The Heart knows Itself, loves Itself, serves Itself.
As this journey in the heart-mind of God becomes more and more effortless, a certain inevitability takes over and starts pulling itself further into the core of itself. Paradoxically, this free and unburdened consciousness is also expanding infinitely in all directions, and thus discovering itself afresh in each moment of Now. Furthermore, both Samsara and Nirvana are automatically recognized as conceptual designations, obsolete mental fabrications, and Silence replaces the habit energy of compulsive thought.
Yes, it is all a dream, but even though there may be an awakening to that fact, the dream still goes on regardless – it’s just that now we are awake in the dream, and can recognize it as such, and embracing it all as our own lucid awake awareness, indivisible from any experience. Sometimes we may come across others who are also awake in this dream, and together we can really laugh!
True transcendence is not avoidance or disassociation – it is passionately present and fully embodied head to toe. It is not frightened nor threatened by the implications of human incarnation. It has nothing to win or lose. There is truly only Love recognizing Itself behind the masks, playing joyously and gratefully against the background of the aware space in which all appears, thrives for a while, and disappears.
There is no longer any tendency to fixate attention exclusively in or on any part of it. There is no clinging to or running away from any of it, no regret or expectation that any of it be anything other than what it is. God has woken up to God.
Rather than signaling some kind of conclusive finality, however, this is all still a matter of movement within a dream, or ripples on a pond. Even the notion of God is still a figment of the dream, and when the dream itself is recognized for what it is — a play of consciousness, or projection of mind — then God, journey, and dreaming dissolve in the plain and obvious realization.
Realization of what? Realization that no thing or event has ever happened, no body has gone anywhere. Everything is utterly perfect, just as it is, and so not even perfect — beyond perfection and its presumed lack, beyond all stories and conceits!
How amazing, yet how utterly empty and transparent are both self and phenomena! Beyond that, no human notion, language, or imagination can ever reach. There is only that timeless phrase that points that way: “Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone beyond the beyond! Hail to That!”