Cosmic Consciousness (Unity & Duality)

QA142 QUESTION: In a number of the lectures, you talk about being as if we were integrated, as if we would be one with other people. {Yes} Could you clarify this – in what way would we be one with other people?

ANSWER: In that sphere of duality in which you live – and when I say sphere I do not mean geographical abode – I mean your own sphere of consciousness in which everything seems to be either this way or that way, either good or bad – you feel something is either according to your interest, good for you, or it is good for the other person. You cannot perceive of it being good for both concerned.

Of course, I do not mean this necessarily applies to everyone, because you may have in a certain issue, in a certain venture, people who have pursued the same interests. But there will always be those who have the other interests. The other interest you automatically feel – whether it is one person, you versus one other person, or ten of you versus other people – is always the one versus the other.

You think whatever is in your interest that furthers your existence, your life, your individuality, your growth, your pleasure, it might possibly and often does – appears to – interfere with the interest, the pleasure, the growth, the life of the other person. So, therefore, you are constantly involved in a struggle of you versus the other. In reality, this is not so.

In reality these two opposing fields just do not exist. Now, I know that these are words, as a theory, because you can give me any number of examples on that level of duality where it seems to be absolutely so – that your interest opposes the interests of the other.

But in any individual example, in any of you who are on this Path, when you go deep enough and resolve a certain problem, you will then always come to see that this was an error, this was an illusion. In the last analysis your interests and the other’s interest – in the real sense, in the sense of the real inner being – are exactly the same.

Now, if you would give me any example I would follow it through step by step to its very end and show you that this is not so. It is only when you take it out of context, when you look at the fragment of the thing, when you are on the level of duality that this appears to be that way.

Does this answer your question, or would you like to ask me something more specific so that I can give you a more specific demonstration of what I mean?

QUESTION: I understand that. But I thought of being one with another person in the same sense as being like a drop of water in the ocean. It then becomes the ocean. It’s no longer a drop of water.

ANSWER: No. No, not at all. That is a great error. This is, incidentally, one of the great, great, very deep-rooted fears of the human being and one of the basic reasons – on the deepest level – for resisting self-realization. Because man erroneously fears to give up his identity, his sense of being an individual – that he thinks he is truly annihilated and becomes one in a great cosmic sea. This is a total misconception.

Therefore this giving up of the ego faculty seems so dangerous – it seems like annihilation. It seems as though the individual perishes in the process of cosmic consciousness – you may call it that.

Now, why is this not so? Here the only answer I can give you is that the great truth of absolute and ultimate reality that transcends the level of duality, always seems contradictory. It is impossible to conceive that something can be so and yet at the same time also the opposite. It is true that you give up the little ego with its encased separateness. But it is equally true that you retain identity by giving up the ego consciousness.

You do become one with the cosmic consciousness, and yet you retain individuality, although you seem to give up individuality. I know this does not make sense on the dualistic level. And anyone who is still very deeply involved on the dualistic level can only perceive this as meaningless words.

But any of you who have, in certain areas, occasionally experienced transcending the dualistic level and come into the oneness of your innermost being, you then know that the two opposites are true – that they both exist as a complementary whole, as I so often and in so many examples explained in the past.

Way, way back I explained, for example, that free will and self-determination seem like two incompatible opposites. I showed you how they are both one and the same thing, both two aspects of the same wholeness. I showed you that activity and passivity seem like two opposites: How can you be active when you are, at the same time, passive? And yet the two exist as one complementary whole.

I gave many, many other examples of the like in the course of these lectures. There’s practically in every lecture I give, something that is, on the dualistic level, an opposite. People create whole schools of thought around one of the opposites – while one philosophy or one religion or one school of thought will adhere and say, “This is the right way,” and the other will say, “No, you are wrong; this is the opposite from the right way; we have the other opposite and that is the right way.”

I explained that both of them are wrong and both of them are right, because both form one comprehensive whole. It is exactly the same with the individuality versus the oneness with the all. Being one with the all does mean giving up the narrowly confined little self. But in becoming this larger self, you become one and yet you are a distinct individual.

Once you can only half-way comprehend this and envisage this apparent contradiction as a truth, as a possibility you can open yourself toward rather than cringing away from in fear, you will have overcome a very basic resistance to reaching self-realization. For this is one of its fundamental reasons – the fear of losing life, identity, existence, as I explained in the last lecture [Lecture #142 The Function of the Ego and Its Relationship to the Real Self], when you let go of the confinement of the ego.

QUESTION: You have talked about how we walk away or fall away from perfection and then try to get back to it [Lecture #141 Return to the Original Level of Perfection]– doesn’t that fit in somehow?

ANSWER: Yes. That too. Right.

QUESTION: Because if we get back to the perfect state we left, then we can find anybody else there who has also gone back.

ANSWER: Yes. Right. That is very true. The whole concept of perfection incidentally is exactly the same way – where you again have two opposites. On the dualistic plane it is seen as an opposite, for example, that on the one hand, it is being said that perfection is the ultimate state of reality, and on the other hand, where it is being said with equal justification, “Do not strive for perfection now; accept yourself as you are.” This is another one of those apparent opposites which are both true and which find a oneness in the comprehensive poles in the absolute reality.

QUESTION: There’s something about the nature of cosmic consciousness. In other words, I understand that all manifestation is an energy arrangement in a process of transmutation from one field to another. When does one become conscious that he has entered a cosmic consciousness – at least a beginning of a cosmic consciousness? And should intuitional thinking, or rather inspirational thinking, be the test of it or the proof of it?

ANSWER: The test or the proof can only be the absolute knowledge that one does not need any further test and any further proof – that it cannot and need not ever be confirmed by anyone else. It is a feeling – let me describe it, perhaps…

QUESTION: Faith?

ANSWER: No. No. Of knowledge. It has nothing to do with faith in the usual sense of the word. The words I can use are, of course, extremely limited, but I will try to make the best of it.

When this happens, you would at one and the same time, feel the greatest calm and peace that is imaginable and yet, at the same time, in the smoothest, most harmonious vibrational movement which may manifest as stimulation, growth and growing, wanting to move and being in movement without obstruction, without anxiety, without doubt, without any exertion.

It is the calmest and the most satisfying movement – stimulation in peace, and peace in stimulation – a dynamic serenity, as I have used this phrase before. This would be one aspect of it.

Another aspect of this would be a contact with this innermost being which furnishes energy, strength, and the answers to all the questions you need to know for your life, the solution of all the problems you can possibly have.

But this will never come as a miracle. It comes as a result of letting go of your preconceived, tight ego control with its tight ego opinion. It is so because your outer self is so open to contemplate any possibility that is other than what you believe at the moment. From that opening, this contact with the innermost self and therefore with cosmic consciousness comes.

In this cosmic consciousness there is no longer the evaluation of “in this, I am right and you are wrong,” and “you are right and I am wrong,” or anything like that. It is all a completely wider and different evaluation that gives you peace that doesn’t make you defensive, that makes looking at yourself a glorious possibility, because you do not have to defend yourself. Your whole being does not stand or fall from being right or wrong. These are some of the aspects that come from being in touch with the deeper-most self and transmit to you the reality of cosmic consciousness.

But it is something that never needs to be confirmed, although there are many counterfeit experiences such as that that come from an escape, that come from a gratification of the outer ego needs, that may make you feel good at the moment. But in the long run you will know, because you will know now once and for all this contact has been established and nothing can ever take it away.

You may lose it again, but you will know you can always recapture it by letting go of what you hold onto so tightly. What you tightly hold onto may be your opinion, your concepts, your fears, your old mode of life. Anything you hold onto, be it little or big, directly obstructs the self-realization; and only when you’re truly willing to let go and look at the opposite, at its possibility, with a totally open mind, can you truly work toward this final total self-realization.

That need not be confirmed. It cannot be confirmed, because it is the ultimate experience. You will know you are free and that your life is exactly – no more, no less than – what you want it to be, and that it has always been that. Inadvertently you have just wanted the things for stubborn, silly, ignorant reasons – that you have wanted in many areas where you are unhappy and what is not what you really want, yet you hold onto it. I mean this generally, of course.

When you have this realization of your true identity, your true self, your cosmic self deeply hidden behind the outer little ego, then you know your life always was exactly what you wanted, and that it is in your power to make it different if you so desire. And there will be no hardship, no difficulty about it, because it will all be one – you and your life and the outcome.

QUESTION: In this connection with cosmic consciousness, I’ve had a few split seconds of awareness, which I very, very seldom get any more. But I can’t go back to them. Can you explain that to me?

ANSWER: Yes. It would be exceedingly important for every one of my friends who is working on this Path, who is sincere in trying to get to the true, inner, real being – and I do not only mean my friends who are here, but every one of them – to never forget one simple yardstick that is so easily forgotten or overlooked: whenever you are not in vibrant harmony and awareness of your inner being, and of a harmony that exists between you and life, you are not looking and accepting yourself exactly where you are at this moment and where you could be at this moment.

Because if ever you are where you could be, you must be in this feeling of vibrancy and harmony between you and life. Not because your wishes have been gratified or because your ego aims have won or triumphed, but because you have seen yourself, at the moment, in the true light, which may have first cost you a momentary effort.

Actually it’s not an effort in the sense of needing strength; it is rather an effort in the sense of “Am I willing to look at this or that issue?” or “Is my present situation in life really honestly, to the extent that I am willing to let go of what I believe is so?”

If that is done, you may even come back with a confirmation that what you believe is so, is. But it would be recaptured in a different way, in a way that will no longer be behind the wall, but it will have transcended the wall, so that even the same will be different.

Or it may be that you find a new answer. Behind the wall when you held on, you thought that a new answer would be frightening and you must oppose yourself to it, while you now find after this willingness that it is not frightening at all, and that this new answer will give you exactly that feeling of vibrancy and oneness between you and life, of strength and harmony, of “everything is right” between you and life.

These moments when you felt that, for one reason or another, you had been in such a situation at that moment – wherever you should have been at that moment. But if that identical moment is identically tried to be recaptured later, it cannot be done. Because in that next moment something new is valid, something else has to be looked at, something else has to be let go of.

And therefore, whenever this experience exists and then man tries to recapture it in the same way the next time, it cannot work. Because life is a dynamic movement, a constant movement. That is the very essence of life; it’s the very nature of life. And when man tries to recapture an older state, that would then mean that life stands still. Life cannot stand still.

Therefore you want to recapture something now that does not hold true for now, that held true at that time when you had that experience. The only way you can recapture it is by letting go now, by being utterly willing to give up your tight ego control with all that this includes, with the emotions and the opinions and the state of mind you hang onto and hold onto.

When you are thus totally willing to see yourself in the truth, in objective truth, in transcendent truth, in the overall truth of the real self, if you have that utter willingness and express it, you will then find it, more often and more often. That will mean cosmic consciousness will become gradually your true nature.

By each such inroad you make, each time you declare, “I want to look at myself in utter truth. I’m willing for that purpose to give up my preconceived ideas – all emotions and pseudosolutions and pseudosafety I hold on to – for the sake of truth, for the sake of integrity, for the sake of honesty. This is what I want. And my deepest inner being will furnish me with that awareness about this truth I need at this particular moment, which may be different than what yesterday’s moment was and what tomorrow’s moment will be.” This is the yardstick.

If man would constantly do that, then his path toward self-realization would be a relatively very short one. He would, on this road toward this attainment, be in constant vibrating energy and peace. But unfortunately man’s struggle on the dualistic plane often blinds him and seems to obscure the issue.

Even those of my friends who have experienced it then forget again and do not use this yardstick. May every one of you, please, not only those who are here but all of my friends who follow this Path and maybe some one of you would be willing to undertake this labor of love, just get to everyone only this answer to this question as perhaps something you can – every one of you – keep and look at and read and reread and use.

 

QA144 GUIDE COMMENT: I would like to discuss for a little while a topic that has come up in connection with the last lecture [Lecture #143 Unity and Duality], where many of my friends are seeking answers – each in their own way – about how to reach a unified consciousness or the unified principle, as I call it – a oneness within themselves from a dualistic or conflicting plane of perception.

Now, in the first place, it is extremely important to know that a conflict within yourself must be found in order to know or be capable of any alternative or action available, and be in peace about it. In order to do so, you have to find the common denominator of the two available alternatives in your negative feelings.

In other words, for instance, you are confronted with this act or the other act. Both acts leave you in confusion, and you do not feel good about either one of the possibilities. You may believe, in principle, that one is probably right or supposed to be right, and the other is possibly wrong. But you feel disturbed about both available solutions.

The only way you can reach unity is by, first of all, acknowledging your disunity in both alternatives, admitting this disunity, and admitting the fact that you feel confused. You feel uncertain in your own emotional perception, regardless of what you know to be right in principle.

Now, the moment you make this admission of your own confusions, you have reached a negative unity, and that is the unity you possess at this moment. You can then proceed to go a step further and question yourself as to why you are that uncertain. You will see, my friends, in the last analysis, it always amounts to a lack of self-respect, a lack of certainty in yourself.

Now, this – and this is very important to understand – has nothing to do with what you consciously think about yourself, because consciously you may be very sure – or appear to be very sure – and even believe that you are very sure. But unconsciously this is often quite a different story.

Wherever and whenever you cannot accept yourself as you are, and whenever you do not like yourself – sometimes rightfully and sometimes you reject yourself more than you deserve, because you judge yourself on this unconscious level, out of context – you perceive in your feelings a certain trend. This really may not be a nice trend, but you perceive it out of context and therefore you’re all bad in your own eyes. This is too unbearable to face, and that is then covered up – and often covered up with exactly the opposite.

Now, in finding unity in your daily life, it is absolutely indispensable that you discover your self-rejection and the lack of a good opinion you hold about yourself. When you do that, you will be able to find the answers to the questions that bother you. So many of my friends since having read or heard this lecture are confused about the unitive principle and how to get to it.

QUESTION: In this discussion of duality, it seems so very simple. Why doesn’t the simplification come through when one begins to work with it? Why does it always seems to recede and become buried and very complicated?

ANSWER: It cannot be grasped for a very simple reason: you all want to reach the unitive principle with perfectionistic standards. In other words, you’re seeking what would be the perfect act. Perfectionism is always based on, number one, unrealism. It is unrealism in the sense that you are not perfect; you cannot be perfect – you are what you are at this moment.

You cannot find unity because you cannot accept yourself on the grounds of what you are at this moment. You struggle and strive to be something you are not at this moment. Therefore, you look in the same spirit for the answer: What would be the perfect action? What would a perfectly developed personality do in such a case?

You strive for this kind of consciousness. This is impossible because you are not there and you cannot jump from where you are now – you cannot just override that.

First of all, the Now – as you happen to be at this moment – has to be accepted. You say, “Yes, I am this and I am that. I have this selfish impulse and this opportunistic, hypercritical and pretentious trend in myself. And I have this greed and this inability to accept anything that is not absolutely the way I want it.”

When these admissions can be made, you are much more in unity than when you deny and strive for something you are not at this moment. Then you can proceed to question yourself and say, “Now, why am I this way? Is that all there is to me? Am I possibly, in the way I experience this fact, exaggerating and making myself worse than I am, and overlooking that I have very positive values also, in addition to these trends?

“I would like to get a more realistic picture of myself. Yes, I admit this, but do I really need to feel that bad? And the fact that I feel that bad about it, does that not mean that I perceive that this is all there is to me? Is this not equally false as my pretense to be what I am not at this moment?” This attitude leads to unity.

But when you seek the unitive principle on perfectionistic standards, you defeat the purpose. You go about it in the exact way that can never bring it about, in the way that wants to be special rather than to be a human being as all other human beings.

With this kind of approach, you are bound to find the unitive principle.

QUESTION: There is still a block. I can’t grasp it. When I have made my mind up about something, I think this is right. And then somebody else says that his point of view is better than this. Then I listen to the other, and when I listen, I’m already blocked, because then in my mind the other one is not good. I’m not speaking out of insecurity but out of the feeling “he might be right.”

ANSWER: You see, this comes from this very strongly dualistic way of value-judging everything in terms of what is right and what is wrong. You completely overlook here that what both parties say may have a truth, and they each see it, perceive it and feel it from a different vantage point. It is not either/or.

You are very strongly geared on either/or because your whole inner personality is at war with itself; you are at war within yourself. You are constantly battling between one side versus the other side, and not acknowledging and accepting both sides. Therefore you transmit this identical attitude to all questions you hear, to all issues you come in contact with.

This, of course, stems from certain factors that you still have not acknowledged within yourself – not really. You have occasionally found aspects of it and superficially acknowledged them, but immediately you battle against them. And then you project this onto something else.

QUESTION: But I just said that, what you just said – that both people are right.

ANSWER: Yes, but you do that in a spirit of war. They are both right without finding peace and understanding – extended understanding – in it. It then becomes problematic. If it weren’t, you would not ask this question. You would not feel about it what you feel.

So even though you may say, “Yes, they are both right,” you do not feel they are both right. You feel it as though there is a conflict and that they are at war with one another. I mean, they may also be both wrong. Or it may not even be a question of either being wrong or right.

As long as right or wrong is brought into certain issues, they become very confusing, because one is immediately out of touch with reality – since reality is so often impossible to grasp in terms of right or wrong. This is what is very strongly in you – against yourself and therefore also your surroundings.

Let me give you a hint that perhaps I might have given you before at certain opportunities but you were not quite open. Maybe there’s an opening now. Your inability to forgive yourself regarding certain matters stems from the fact that you have not forgiven a person who you feel that way about, toward whom you have this guilt. There is a lack of forgiveness there that is deeply enclosed in your soul and that you do not admit to yourself.

QUESTION: I admit that I don’t forgive. I never denied that. I cannot forgive myself, and I cannot forgive someone. I read once, in a book about Luther, that he doesn’t look right nor left. He believed that if you listen to the other person, really listen, you’re already lost with your own opinion, because you think the other person might have been right.

ANSWER: No, my dear, that is completely mistaken. This is a distortion, as everything can be healthy and constructive, or can be its opposite. Going straight toward one’s goal can be a very healthy thing, and it can be a rigid and close-minded thing. Listening can be a very healthy thing, and if it is healthy, it will never create a problem.

Anything that creates a problem, you can be sure is already a distortion of the healthy version. You can be open-minded and listen, but that does not mean you get lost and that you lose your sense of reality and your grasp of security. And yet it does not mean that you are rigid or stubborn or that you have a one-track mind because of it.

This is a typical dualistic problem. It is either going straight ahead in a one-track mind or it is losing yourself. There are two negatives there. Or one is supposed to be right and the other approach is supposed to be wrong. In the unitive principle both exist and are necessary elements in a healthy, well-balanced life that do not contradict with one another.

It is at times necessary to go straight ahead and discuss, and not prevent listening in an open-minded way. It is not in opposition to it – not at all. The moment that it is seen as an opposition, that there are two contradictory factors involved, it comes from an erroneous and self-conflicting attitude.

You are not seeing, in the full extent, to what degree you still resent and do not forgive the very person toward whom you blame yourself for human failing.

QUESTION: I do not even reconnect with that.

ANSWER: I show you the deep reason for your block. As long as you do not recognize it, the block will exist.

 

QA149 QUESTION: I find it very difficult to even imagine operating in other than a dualistic state. What difference would there be if one were self-realized and in the unitary state?

ANSWER: Development in such a Pathwork as this, gradually makes you aware of the fact that there is a voluntary self and there is an involuntary self, as it were.

You all come to the experience, perhaps at the beginning only in isolated instances, that the involuntary self is a spontaneously manifesting phenomenon, while the voluntary self is a laborious process that needs constant renewal of discipline – even if this discipline has become second nature – so that it is no longer experienced as such.

The repeated focusing of attention in the right manner – as you go through in the Pathwork – trains you to be aware this ego self, which at first is so ingrained, it does not even occur to you that there is something else.

In fact, this something else – that is and could be spontaneous – is feared. It is feared because it may manifest, first of all, in a negative way. If you do not give it a chance to manifest the way it is, it cannot prove itself highly trustworthy and benign.

When I say “manifest to prove itself as it is,” I do not mean that you act out the destructive impulses that exist in you. But the spontaneously manifesting destructive impulses must be objectively recognized. When you do this again and again, you then begin to experience that embedded underneath the destructive impulses is a beautiful strength, resiliency and reliability, and wide-open wisdom and power.

This must manifest spontaneously if you do not squelch it due to your fear that what first of all manifests may not be so constructive. Little by little you learn to use your ego self for the purpose of contacting this involuntary self. Everything great that mankind accomplishes or experiences comes from the involuntary self.

Every work of art – of real art – is an expression of the spontaneously manifesting involuntary self. Every real scientific discovery, every real understanding of the universal processes is a spontaneously manifesting phenomenon coming from the involuntary self.

The real delight of living, the pleasure supreme that is a cosmic existence – reality – is an involuntary phenomenon manifesting spontaneously.

This begins in small ways, here or there, after the major encrustations have been removed and after the consciousness begins to envisage the existence of this inner involuntary self that can manifest spontaneously. First it happens in isolated instances. Later on it happens gradually more and more often.

As the ego integrates with this involuntary self by the process of any valid work, this becomes eventually the way of living, the way of being – where man is constantly enlivened, motivated, and lived through, if I may use this expression, by the involuntary self, the spontaneously manifesting self – which is not a lack of control as the unenlightened fears and beliefs.

It is a relaxed control that does not come from the immediate ego. It is always, first of all, a question of committing and entrusting oneself to this divine nucleus within, which is a spontaneous revelation.

If every act of one’s life is lived in this way, it is what might also be called “total self-realization.” When fear no longer exists and when distrust has vanished because one has discovered, as an absolute fact, this inner power, this inner presence, this existence of an involuntarily manifesting self, then there is no longer a running away from the self.

Each Now, no matter what it brings, becomes a perfection. The outer fulfillment man craves must first be relinquished in order for it to be possible to manifest. If you think, “I can only be happy if I have such and such,” self-realization in the true sense is not possible. In no matter what devious ways it is blocked, it is still blocked in this attitude, and this attitude may be concealed. The emotions would have to be translated into concise words.

No matter what the Now brings, even if it is frustration, it can be accepted. Not in resignation, but in the understanding that in transcending Now there is the potential of total fulfillment, even if the outer fulfillment is absent.

The outer fulfillment must not be abandoned resignedly and in a spirit of martyrdom. It must be realized rather that the outer fulfillment is secondary, but the inner understanding and frame of mind is primary. In whatever is Now – the potential deep inside in that point of the immediate inner self – lies the answer to all questions.

In order to get to this point in the Now, outer layers may have to be accepted that you do not accept offhand in yourself. In that process you can transcend the Now and come into a state where everything is good. Therefore the outer fulfillment will become possible again, when it is no longer an absolute condition to happiness.

These words may sound obscure, but for anyone who is anywhere near, they will make sense. This particular work you are engaged in will become more clear, more focused in this direction.

 

QA218 QUESTION: I’ve had an experience about ten or twelve times in my life which is totally different from any other experience. As a child, I called it a thirst, and the thing that’s strange about it is that although I would call it a longing as an adult, in and of itself, it’s remarkably fulfilling – ebullient – a feeling that comes from within me, and I can’t say that there’s any uniformity of when it arises in me. But I would like to understand what it’s all about.

ANSWER: Well, this is an experience that is a foretaste of the unitive state – or part of it, at any rate – in which you experience a wholeness and a different sense of reality. I do not know the occasions, but my guess would be that it would happen when you least expect it and least hunt for it. Is that not true? {Yes}

It comes as a result of an opening that exists in you that you have previously worked for. That is a very wonderful thing for you, in the sense that it conveys to you that this is the way you can – all beings – can actually live all the time – that sense of wholeness. It will come again, unbidden, not grabbed, but as a natural by-product of the work on the unresolved self that needs to be done.

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