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“You ask ‘How can I know the infinite? I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.” [Plotinus 205 –270 AD]
“The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one.” [Einstein 1879-1955]
“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” [Jesus - Luke 18:21]
Within Mystical and Spiritual Traditions, there is the common theme of a state of consciousness beyond the human experience of consciousness. This state provides visceral knowing that the human experience is illusion. Mystics and Spiritual Traditions employ varying degrees of subtlety when referring to the illusory nature of human experience.
“Nothing is more hidden from us than the illusion which lives with us day by day, and our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be.” [Amiel 1821-1881]
On some level, humans are aware that they are an expression of the universe, yet with few exceptions, the human self experiences that it exists independent of the universe or separate from the universe. This has been referred to as the Illusion of a separate self and it accommodates an ego.
“The observer and the observed are one. Don’t simply absorb words look inside, deeply, intimately and see”. [J. Krishnamurti 1895 -1986]
To the degree that a sense of self is gained through identification with non-local or universal consciousness, the observer and the observed are perceived as one.
To the degree that a sense of self is gained through identification with a physical body [materialism], the observer and the observed are not one, but separate. In this illusory state, one experiences the bondage of physical existence.
“There is bondage through identification”. [Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 1914–2008, founder of Transcendental Meditation ]
In the purest form of spiritual experience, identification with a physical body is a secondary consideration: primarily there is identification with non-local consciousness or an unnamed, undefined nonphysical phenomenon which permeates the universe. This provides the experience of one with the universe. This experience does not accommodate an ego.
This spiritual experience, which goes by many names, is not a permanent state. Those recognized as authorities on the subject indicate that it can last from several minutes to a few hours. Following the experience, the individual’s appreciation of reality is altered in a manner responsive to the experience for the remainder of his or her life.
In many cases, the individual becomes a spokesman or promoter for this perception of reality. In modern times, there is no better example of this than Edgar Mitchell, the founder of IONS.
I believe there may be value in a discussion which critiques or expands upon this material.