When someone is going through intense spiritual experiences it’s very easy for that person to feel alone and isolated, as if he or she is the only one in the world who’s ever experienced what he or she is going through. For that reason I decided to share some of my journey in hopes that whoever needs this writing will find it and realize that others have been where they’re going. For those people who need it, I hope what I have to say will provide support and encouragement.
When I think back on what I’ve read that has meant the most to me, it has been without a doubt the personal accounts of people’s spiritual experiences. From Muktananda’s Play of Consciousness to Milarepa’s Biography and Hundred Thousand Songs; from Longchenpa to Ramana Maharshi to Franklin Merrell-Wolff, those accounts gave me something to relate to, to compare notes to, sometimes to argue with: something with which to interact. I first read Muktananda’s Play of Consciousness less than a year after my 1978 experience, and it was the first writing I’d come across that I could relate to. I cannot describe how much it meant to me to be able to read someone’s first person account of experiences that were so incredibly similar to my own.
When I realized how much those writings, and others, have meant to me, I decided to resurrect my old Spiritweb writing from 1995, with some updates. My hope is that someone will find my writing useful, and that it will give them something to relate to in their own spiritual growth and experiences.
Much of what follows is going to be in the first person, and will be only about experiences. Grand spiritual theories or systems don’t really do much for people in the throes of spiritual awakening any more than theories about the biochemistry of digestion do much for hungry people, so I hope this will give those who need it something substantial to chew on.
I sometimes intentionally don’t elaborate and sometimes suggest things or use metaphors because I feel it is important for the people I am writing to find their own ways of thinking. Metaphors are excellent because they tend to change shape and meaning along with and according to the perception and growth of the person reading them, and they give the person a strong “ahhah!” boost of discovery so they can see their own progress and growth. The last thing I want is to have someone memorize what I have to say and ingest it as some kind of final word or gospel truth.
What I do want is to act as a prod, an encourager, as someone who gives someone else the permission and encouragement to be themselves. The Greek word “metanoia” is appropriate here: it means “spiritual rebirth”. At times I’ve felt like a spiritual midwife assisting in a person’s rebirth. I’ve had the privilege to attend a few metanoias: some are quick and easy, some are slow and painful, but they always result in “oh thank God” and sheer joy. So, in that spirit….
One of the most important things I can give you is to tell you to pay close attention to how you limit yourself, to how you don’t let yourself be your Self. Please don’t limit yourself by thinking that my experiences are somehow unavailable to you: they are available to you. They’re your natural state, they’re what you are.
I’ve considered putting this phrase at the end of every paragraph, in bold red type: “What I am, you are. What you are, I am. Everything that I’ve experienced, you can experience. Everything that I am, you are. Everything that you are, I am also.“
You are the Infinite Eternal Absolute being aware of itself. Even your sitting where you’re sitting and reading these words, and being aware that you’re sitting and reading these words — even this small bit of awareness — is the Absolute being aware of Itself. And this whole process is grounded and sustained in pure, infinite, unconditional love.
By pure, infinite, unconditional love, I don’t just mean some kind of infinite emotional state, or being in the mood to hug anyone and everyone you meet. Pure, infinite unconditional love is the ground, the source, and the sustainer of all of creation on all levels. Pure, infinite, unconditional love is the creative force of the Absolute. It is the Absolute being self-aware, it is the Absolute being self-conscious, it is the Absolute interacting with Itself as Itself.
Touch your fingertips together: even the sensation that each of your fingertips has of the other is the Infinite Eternal Absolute being aware of Itself.
This is how I experience myself in all aspects of my being: from being infinite presence to the guy who still needs to wash last night’s dishes, I am aware that I am the Absolute being aware of Itself. And so are you. It’s my greatest wish that you, and all beings in all worlds, become aware of yourselves in this way.
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© 1995 - 2019 by Roger Hamstra