Copyright © 1995 A-Hameed Ali ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The source of me,
The origin of all,
May your lightning
Abolish the universe,
And bedazzle mind and heart.
May your mystery
Bring the brilliant night
And annihilate all self.
You are I,
And I am none other than you,
In absolute absence.
You are the source
Of all being,
You are the mother
And you are the beloved
Of the absolutely Poor.
So be it.
The next morning…
I wake up with the crystal heart filling the chest. I feel it as a hard, neutral presence. I feel an absence of love; this morning the crystal heart does not feel like love. In fact, I feel that I have no heart.
I cannot tell whether the crystal heart feels this way, or if it exposes an ego structure that feels empty of heart. By afternoon, it becomes clear that the absence of heart is not exactly related to the crystalline heart of presence. The lack is revealed to be the reaction of the ego-self. I become aware of a deficient sense of personality.
As I contemplate this conditioned state of the soul, I notice that I slowly become it. I finally feel myself as a person, an ego person with feelings. This clarifies my confusion of the crystal heart with the absence of heart. This person of ego recognizes only familiar emotions and feelings as the presence of heart.
I experience myself now as a person who is not trying to defend or protect himself. The inner condition is naked, exposed. No more defenses, no more pretenses. There are vulnerability, helplessness, weakness, not knowing, some innocence, and a very deep sadness. The person feels all these emotions. The sense of self, with its accompanying emotional state, appears simultaneously with the ego-line, indistinguishable from it. The contraction at the ego line feels harsh and prickly; there is a feeling of deep anguish.
I feel curious about this person whom I have known for most of my life, the person I have taken myself to be for many years. I wonder whether this person wants something.
To my surprise, a longing arises, a longing for the absolute. I see the mysterious blackness of the absolute, and as the empty and helpless person, I feel a definite longing to annihilate into it. The longing arises first as a sad and gentle yearning. Then it gradually transforms into a deep and intense love for the absolute.
The love appears after the longing, as if the longing has been hiding it. The love first manifests as an exquisitely faceted form of presence, a form that combines all aspects of essence in one manifestation. I feel it as intense, pure and selfless love, of various flavors and colors. The sweetness is heavenly, and the appreciation feels so pure it has a sense of divinity.
I realize that many things have been preventing me from recognizing and feeling this longing, from becoming fully the person of ego with all of his feelings and emotions. The heart has been slowly turning, directing its love and yearning towards the absolute.
This turning of the heart has produced guilt—guilt for not loving or longing for anything or anyone. I have unconsciously interpreted the shift of libido towards the absolute as a turning away from what I have loved before. This explains the subtle guilt I have been experiencing lately for not feeling that I miss my wife, or my friends, when I am away from them. There has been guilt for not feeling love and longing for the divine being, the unity of Being, which I have loved since I recognized it some years ago. I did not know my heart was turning towards a greater truth.
By divine being I refer to the unity of being, when the experience is of everything, the whole universe in all of its content and dimensions, as pure consciousness, pure presence or pure love. This is a state of oneness and harmony, the state of the real world, but I differentiate it from the experience of the absolute, which is transcendent to presence and consciousness, and turns out to be the inner essence of the state of oneness.
There have also been jealousy and insecurity, relating to unconscious fear that others will enjoy the love of the divine being, that perhaps I will not stay faithful to it, and that I will miss it. I recognize this jealousy and insecurity as a reflection of my early experience, when younger siblings enjoyed merging love with my mother, and I felt alone and empty. I believed then that the loneliness was a consequence of my moving towards autonomy. The anguished feeling in the ego-line is this negative relationship, full of frustration, hurt, insecurity and guilt.
I realize that this person feels like I often felt before Being began revealing its nature: insecure, helpless, lonely and alone, very sad, weak, without love or connection. It is surprising to see that, at this point of the unfoldment, this person longs for and loves only the absolute. This is amazing; the person of ego, when denuded of all defense and pretense, turns out to be a true lover of the Truth. It is a healing surprise.
Contemplating my inner state, I experience myself as a thin film of the gooey substance of the personality, stretched over the tremendous presence of the absolute. Then I become aware of the world as a harmonious unity of all appearance, a oneness. I see all of existence as beauty beyond words, full of love and grace. But even this is only a thin skin; its substance, its inner nature, is the vast, completely black absolute.
Through my turning towards the absolute, and loving it exclusively, risking the loss of the divine being and the unity of existence, the absolute reveals itself as the inner nature of this unity. The immense silence discloses itself as the self of the divine being. I recognize that what I love most is the essence of the divine, the very self of god. It is the divine ipseity, the self of everything: absolute blackness, complete annihilation, beyond being and nonbeing.
The absolute is majesty; when it manifests its crystal brilliancy it also has beauty. The beauty evokes passionate love; the crystal form of love attains a deep pomegranate color. The feeling is more than love; it is more like bedazzlement. The beauty bedazzles and enchants. I feel a deep devotional and passionate love, and desire for it to take me and completely annihilate me. That is what I have always wanted.
A subtle understanding further illuminates my situation. I see that when I feel increasing longing, devotion and love I become more identified as the person, the one who longs. As the longing person I am only a shell over the mystery, veiling it even while longing for it. In other words, even by loving the absolute I assert myself, as the individual, and thus become a veil over what I love. To completely have the beloved, my love must annihilate me totally.
I can have the beloved when only the beloved is.
This understanding reveals the loving person as a film over the heart. It is the personality showing its bare condition as a somewhat opaque, somewhat soft, layer of soul substance covering the area of the heart. Through the transparency of this personality trace I see a dark emptiness in the heart area, which I recognize as the feeling of absence of heart, or more exactly, of an empty heart. Understanding of this situation of the soul as lover affects this structure by beginning to dissolve it.
As I feel my very substance melting and disappearing, I first experience the state of poverty. The emptiness of the heart reveals itself as the state of poverty, in which I feel I have nothing. The love, however, is too overwhelming to allow me to remain in any limited state, even that of mystical poverty. The intensification of love melts away even the state of poverty, where now the emptiness in the heart transforms into the dazzling majesty of the absolute. The love becomes so intense, so passionately deep red, that after a while I cannot tell who loves whom. Do I love the absolute, or does the absolute love me? The passionate love is the intensity of the annihilating power of the absolute as it erases all but itself.
I, as the soul, behold the absolute appearing in the heart, occupying it as its rightful resident. The heart beholds the absolute as the most beautiful thing my eyes have ever beheld. It is dazzling and intoxicating, so black it is brilliant with blackness. It is nothing, but it shimmers and shines in such a dazzling way that I can see it has a crystalline quality. It is an infinite black crystal absence, brilliantly shimmering. The radiance is so bright it illuminates the cave of the heart the way a lightning storm illuminates the night. The lightning illumination ricochets in the cavern of the heart with such power I can hear it thundering and exploding.
The beloved now claims the heart fully. It has taken full possession of it, as its own throne. The beloved is not an other, it is the true dweller of the heart, my source, my ultimate self, and the ultimate essence of everything.
I am struck by the realization that in this experience I perceive the absolute for the first time in the heart, by the heart. The absolute is perceived inside the soul, by the soul. The heart reveals itself to be the abode of the absolute. More exactly, the heart is the window to the absolute. I have experienced the absolute many times before, almost continuously, but not in the heart, and not through the individual soul.
A new feeling arises, a completely welcome feeling that expresses a deep realization. I feel I am finally arriving home. This mystery, this majesty, is my home, my original place. It is what my heart longs for and loves more than anything else. I realize I have always loved this mystery, and always longed to melt into it, even though I did not know consciously what I loved and longed for. I knew I loved the truth, but I was not aware that the truth is ultimately this inexplicable reality. I see that I have always felt exiled, that I have always been seeking to return home. As I recognize the home of the soul, I recognize the totality of her search and its true meaning.
A few days later…
The dazzling mysterious truth of the absolute continues to reveal itself as the inner nature of the soul and of all appearance. The constant recognition is that this beautiful mystery is the absolute ipseity, that is, the nature, self and essence of soul and appearance. Today, I am aware of the luminous blackness of the absolute underlying everything. Yet I experience a slight distance from it. I feel slightly less intimate with it. I recognize the beginning of duality with the absolute, by merely taking the perspective of being intimate with it or not, as if it is something other. I realize that although I have been experiencing the absolute as my self and nature, the mind continues to think of it as an other, as an object that I, the subject, can be intimate with.
This insight brings more clarity in the head, and exposes a very basic personality structure. I experience myself as the soul, as presence and aliveness, but recognize that a basic concept patterns the soul into a structure. The concept is the notion of entitihood. I realize that I still believe I am fundamentally an entity. I experience myself as the soul presence, but think of this soul as an entity. This observation allows me to feel the presence of the soul as a blobby or plasmatic shell, empty within. Awareness now recognizes a plasmatic presence, the raw substance of the soul, all over the body, while the absolute is within.
The soul can be experienced in many ways. It can be experienced patterned by an ego structure—image, notion or concept—so it appears as a shell, veil, tube, thickness, hardness, and so on. It can also manifest as free from structure, and the experience is then of a formless, blobby or watery substance. It can manifest as imbued by its essential nature, and it is experienced then as an alive and dynamic presence. And it can manifest in its basic mode, before any structure or development, and then it appears as a formless fluid presence. This basic substance of the soul is experienced specifically as a plasmatic fluid, similar to the plasmatic substrate of the physical body.
With the recognition of the soul as a shell around the emptiness of the absolute, its substance begins to dilute and become watery. I feel it now as tears, warm deep tears, as the blackness of the absolute begins to penetrate and pervade it. The soul melts, becoming an ocean of tears and sadness.
As the perception develops, I become the depths of the absolute, aware of the totality of the universe as made out of soul substance in the process of diluting. The state of unity of appearance manifests now from the perspective of the absolute. The universe exists as a beautiful appearance, as the apparel of the absolute. This leads to further understanding of the absolute, what it is, how it affects consciousness. The understanding is that the absolute is divine ipseity, divine essence, the secret, the inner of the inner, the source, the unknowable, the guest.
Annihilate mind in heart,
Divorce heart from all relationships,
And then love,
Consume yourself with passion
For the secret one.
When you are absolutely poor,
When you are no more,
Then the guest will appear
And occupy his place,
In the secret chamber,
The heart he gave you.
He is the inner of the inner,
He is the secret,
He is the guest,
And he arrives
Only at night.
A few days later…
Today, while having breakfast and then driving to a friend’s house, I am not the absolute, but the person who is a direct expression of it. I experience myself as a person in the absolute, and empowered by it from within. The absolute expands out, infusing the person, and appearing-manifesting through him. I recognize the absolute as the heart of me, the self of me, the nature of me, and the person that I am is an extension of it. The self and the extension are united; the absolute and the soul are married.
I experience myself as an extension of the absolute only when there is embodied functioning, such as in eating, walking or driving. In other words, when I am simply resting, not doing anything, I experience myself as the vastness of the mysterious absolute. But when I function, do and act, as an embodied presence, I experience myself as an inseparable extension of the absolute. I function then as an organ of action for absolute Being.In this condition I am mature, completely responsible, totally the center of my life and action. I am total presence. The presence has no veils over it, no defense or pretense. The back is at the front. Nothing, absolutely no part of me, is held back. There is total spontaneity, and absence of self-consciousness.
The experience is total presence; complete involvement; utter openness; and non-self-conscious spontaneity.
The interplay of involvement and spontaneity, presence and absence, is beautiful and deeply satisfying. I am myself, without a feeling of self. I merely function as my own nature. That is why calling the absolute “ipseity” feels more accurate than thinking of it as ultimate reality or truth. It is the ultimate reality that is both the self and the self-nature.
The passionate intensity and fierceness of presence gives this way of being the flavor of a love affair.
The process of the realization of the absolute continues to expose deep components of the personality, revealing other implications of the truth of the ultimate nature of myself and the world.
This process confronts me again and again with the animal states and tendencies of the libidinal soul: insecurity, fear, vulnerability, helplessness, and so on. When I relax, the passionate burning arises, along with the hot tears. Then the ipseity, the luminous crystal blackness, shines through. I again experience this mystery as both the self and the nature of everything. I see the universe as a beautiful appearance, like a luminous veil over the mysterious darkness. Sometimes I see the absolute; sometimes I feel and sense it, as a luminous crystal presence of black clarity.
A particular perception begins to dominate: awareness of the ipseity as the self. The perception is that I am the ipseity, but it is different from any experience of any other dimension. There is no sense or feeling of I, identity, or self. The beingness of ipseity has no conceptual quality. But there is a perception, or apperception, that it is none other than I. It is a perception of the ipseity being the beingness of me, without the feeling of me. The I is not the familiar I, whether ego or essence.
I know it is I because I am it. There is nothing else that is I. It is the sense of complete subjectivity. This is recognizing the subject that is I.