The end of seeking, the birth of runaway realization
Seeking had ceased at stages, each realization or awakening coming to a deeper and more complete ceasing of search or need. What became clear at some point in this path is that Reality does not posit itself as one ultimate that all will agree upon. It does reveal itself as one ultimate or another, each absolutely true and liberating, but it does not have to continue revealing itself as this ultimate. One can stabilize in one of these ultimates and that becomes one’s life attainment. One is free and happy, and can render a great service to others.
But since in this path many realizations occurred, there was first an integration of all of them, which I had termed coemergent nonduality, in The Inner Journey Home. The path did not stop there, even though I had thought it had reached the end several times. The path continued beyond the nondual, for all these realizations are variations on nondual experience of reality. There was then what I had termed uni-local realization, sometimes referred to as radical nonlocality. This is the realization that reality is a unity but in a different way than in nondual realization. Reality is a singularity, where each form contains all forms and the ultimate that forms the nature of the forms. Such realization removed the way of seeing the ultimate as ground, recognizing that ground is a human concept after all. This kind of unity, which is absolute intimacy for there is no distance of time or space between any form and another, opened love to newer and surprising dimensions, revealing the power of love, for it expresses this unexpected and most sublime unity.
The next and most important question is: which ultimate is the true ultimate?
We ask this question because almost all teachings take the view that they have the correct ultimate truth of reality. Each believes they found the right ultimate or absolute truth, and other teachings are either wrong or second best.
One does not, of course, have to take the view of ultimate this way. This view of ultimate truth, which almost all teachings adhere to, is in some sense Aristotelian. It is a way of looking at reality to find the irreducible ground, the simplest or most primordial truth, the final cause or the prime mover. In other words, if we are totally free and can see and know absolutely freely, what do we see as the final essence or true nature of reality or all experience?
This is true, but it’s not all that is true
One can look at reality as having other kinds of truth that are more significant for the spiritual journey.
That we can find truth that is not simply a matter of reducing experience to the simplest or most basic. It is like the difference between physics and biology. The truth of the physicist is the ultimate particle or element that constitutes all others. For the biologist, what matters is the organization of the aggregate particulars into a living organism, and then determining what is the most evolved or most advanced. Are there spiritualities that look at truth in this manner? In other ways?
The discussion I have given about the views and ultimates of the various teachings are my own understanding of them, and I am not claiming these traditions will agree with me. But I think I made the point about the different views of what is ultimate or absolute truth. I have known many of these ultimates in my journey of realization, and also views of spirituality and realization that are not about ultimates. In my immediate experience, each appeared as real and final, and implying liberation and freedom. I had to solve the situation for myself; not just for my mind but also for my liberation. And, also for the teaching I teach, the Diamond Approach. So for me, this contemplation is not an intellectual or even philosophical exercise. It goes to the very heart of soteriology, and hence significant for liberation.
I leave it to you to find your answers. But it is also of value for anyone anywhere on the path.
What we hold to be true will determine not only our attitude, but also our openness to the potentials of reality and ways of experiencing it.
Such insight might shake us to the roots, or might open us up in ways we have not expected or envisioned. Or both.
The question of ultimates exceeds self-validating looping
This contemplation has been informed, in part, by Godel’s famous proof, sometimes referred to as his two theorems. Kurt Godel was the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century, just as Einstein was the greatest physicist of the same century. They were close friends. Godel belonged to the Vienna circle that included many philosophers –like Wittgenstein- logicians, mathematicians and scientists. They were involved in discovering or outlining the philosophy of science as it was developing then. Godel proved, using mathematical logic, that any system that is self consistent cannot be complete. In other words, for the system to be self consistent it will have to exclude some truths. It cannot include all truths. It is true that he proved this for some mathematical or algebraic systems. But since I had learned about it, I saw its applicability to all systems whether mathematical, mechanical, intellectual, philosophical, scientific, or spiritual.
It seems to me it expresses some mysterious truth inherent to reality.
Of course, I have not proved it to be applicable so universally, and nobody has attempted that. Godel’s proof, even though it was about simple arithmetic systems, is still quite difficult to comprehend and only the rare mathematician fully understands it.
The important thing about Godel’s proof for our contemplation is that I have seen it to be applicable to all teachings, or traditional systems of spirituality. Any teaching is inherently a system, regardless of whether we believe it so or not. Even when we think it is nonconceptual direct experience the fact that it happened, it expresses itself as a system, even though of direct truths about reality. So we begin here to continue this contemplation, and to add my contribution to it.
This quantum leap was different from the others, in the sense that it was not a matter of going deeper, higher or subtler.
It is a matter of exiting the whole view of reality having an ultimate ground and looking at the relationship of one thing to another. So where nonduality viewed particular forms as equal forms expressing the same reality, this realization highlighted the unique particularity of each form, especially the indispensible necessity of the individual soul for any realization, for without it there is simply no experience or consciousness.
The path did not stop there, and it has not stopped. Realization continued. One example is the realization of seeing that duality and nonduality are the polar opposites of a conceptual dichotomy. They are both the expression of reality, but one with the concept of separateness and the other with the concept of unity. This ushered in the simple realization of reality where there is no separation and no unity. Reality is what it is, with no commentary. Reality is neither material nor spiritual, for both are conceptual categories.
Reality is simple and can accommodate all the conceptual categories without it being patterned by them.
The view of totality
There are others, interesting and intriguing, but all pointing to the truth that Realty or Being, or God, is experienced differently by different teachings or individuals.
In each it is complete and completely satisfying, but not ultimate in the sense that it is more fundamental than the others.
From such streams of realizations there emerged a view that does not have to subscribe to the view of any of these ultimates, but able to express itself through any of them. I termed it the view of totality. I mean that it a realization that can accommodate any of the views or realizations, or several at the same time, without having to adhere to any as definitive. It is the view that accommodates all possible real views of reality, without judging them or assessing them in a hierarchical manner. It is not an intellectual view for the mind cannot have such openness. It is a realization that does not depend on the view of ultimate or even the view of completeness of the human being, but accommodates all of them as true and valid ways of experiencing reality.
The view of totality expresses a new kind of freedom. It is not the freedom from self, not the freedom of being pure consciousness or awareness, not the freedom of ripening and completeness, but the freedom from having to be anything. It is the realization of not being anything, where “anything” includes all possible forms and formlessness. Life becomes the freedom of Being to manifest whichever realization- ultimate or completeness- that addresses the moment most optimally.
Life is a continual discovery of reality and its secrets.
It is not a seeking and not a looking after anything. It is like the creative dynamism of being is liberated totally so Being is free to manifest its truths in endless ways. It is absolutely nonsectarian, and totally inclusive. It celebrates the differences between the traditions and teachings, for they all express it purely and genuinely.