I write a monthly column for Horizons Magazine. Usually I just take a blog entry and clean it up. This month’s issue is for the new year, so I wrote it from scratch. It could have been titled, Enlightenment for Mystics, but I went with the above.
The body of the article below the break (huh?).
Becoming One with the Divine
For the new year, do you want to be one with God (Her, the Divine, the Beloved, …)? Do you want to feel in love? Do you want to be overwhelmed with joy, appreciation, and gratitude? Do you want whatever psychic, healing, or magical powers you have to increase a thousand-fold?
I call this state Mystical Oneness and it is actually quite simple: All that is required is for you to surrender. All you have to do is lose yourself in the “flow of God.” Mystical Oneness is simply union with the Divine. No “you,” just Her.
Mystical Oneness is sort of like “Enlightenment for New-Agers.” Traditionally, the metaphysical community and the non-dual community have rarely seen eye-to-eye. To the New Age seeker, radical non-duality with its focus on emptiness, sounds cold, dark and lifeless: “there is no you, there is no thing, neti, neti, neti, (not this, not this, not this)”.
That the New Age movement has largely been ignored by the non-dual community is quite sad. Ironically, it is the metaphysical spiritual seeker who has a distinct edge over the more rational, inquiry-driven, non-dual folks: New Agers already believe in something greater than themselves.
Mystical Oneness approaches non-duality from a different direction. It focuses on the fullness aspect of enlightenment: The Love, the Light, Synchronicity, Harmony, Beauty, Joy, and Bliss. Think Rumi, think St. Theresa of Avila, think Brother Lawrence and Meister Eckhart. Mystics all. Mystics who sought, found, and surrendered to their Beloved.
The mystic says, “I know that there is an omnipotent Intelligence operating through all things, that ultimately She is everything, and all I need in order to know Her, and feel Her, and be one with Her, is to surrender myself to Her.”
What keeps us separate from Her? What makes it so hard to surrender to our Beloved?
For the traditional non-dual seeker, the archenemy to enlightenment is the mind taking thoughts too seriously.
For the metaphysical spiritual seeker, your archenemy is your strong sense of Self.
New-agers—with their strong attachment to their mystical powers—almost invariably think of themselves as special: I’m psychic, I’m an astrologer, I do Reiki, I do yoga, …. I’m special.
Just as thoughts are the enemy of the Zen practitioner, the “I’m Special” attitude is the enemy of the mystic. You can’t be one with the All by thinking that you are special simply because the belief that you are special means you believe that you are separate. Separateness is the antithesis of Oneness.
The trick to finding oneness with your Beloved is to stop believing these gifts (intuition, premonitions, energy work, …) are yours, and start looking at them as Hers. Think of your gifts as God literally moving through you.
I call this “God moving through you” the Radiant Level and when I function at this level, I often think of myself as sort of a portal for Her to move through me and flow out into the world. Just don’t get a messiah complex doing this—don’t make yourself special all over again—see everyone as a “portal of God” too.
When you can do this—when you can be the Portal and stop owning your gifts, when you can deeply feel “your powers” as Her powers moving through you—then it is a very simple and short step to realizing that everything you are, everything you’ve owned about yourself, is—and always has been—Her.
This realization—that everything you’ve owned about yourself is really God acting through “your” body—is Mystical Oneness. It is enlightenment for the New-Ager. Enlightenment for anyone who resonates with the feeling of Fullness over the feeling of Emptiness: the psychic, the yoga teacher, the astrologer, the light worker, the energy healer.
When you stop owning yourself, when you realize that all you thought you were, has always been Her (God, the Divine, the Beloved), then you and She will naturally merge into One.
When you become one with Her, when you surrender to and lose yourself in Her, you are—to quote the Buddha—Awake.
Want to be one with God? Then surrender your “self” to your Beloved. It really is that simple.
The less there is of you, the more there is of Her.
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