Self-Realisation seems to have two components: first, an external world which we perceive, and second an ego which we feel perceives it. Initially we may feel that the body and mind belong to the ego; later when death has become more real to us and we have understood what is involved in brain injury or a stroke, we may prefer to assign the body and mind to the external world. But this does not alter the duality of our experience, consisting of an external world on the one hand and a perceiving ego on the other.
The experience of those who are Self-Realised, from their descriptions, seems to be of two kinds: in one state, in their samadhi or in final nirvana, all is one homogeneous consciousness, and there is no experiencer or experienced. In the other, in their ordinary life in this world and/or in some other one, both an external world and an ego appear, but both are felt to be unreal, or rather they are felt to be unreal in themselves and real only insofar as they derive from the same source, the homogeneous consciousness.
We are all familiar with the changing state of the unrealised. As our Teacher wrote, it oscillates “between a smile and a tear.” The state of the realised, as we know from their writings or, if we have been fortunate, from personal knowledge, is very different. Whatever the surface may be, their profound peace and satisfaction are unbroken, and at times we may catch their bliss, power and immediate knowledge in manifestation.
How can we change our state for theirs? Far the most potent means is meditation.
In meditation, whether on a text or on a picture, there are at the beginning three components: the object of meditation, the external world and the ego. Even while there remains three components, the meditation will be effective, but as rapidly as possible the object of meditation should displace the external world, so that once again we have an experience of two components only, but now the object of meditation, instead of the external world, and the ego. Once this is achieved, the process accelerates.
Efforts of concentration, focussing the attention and increasing alertness, must be continued vigorously until from behind either the object of meditation or the ego or from behind both, stirrings of life begin to be felt. These stirrings may take the form of light, power, warmth, or immediate knowledge. Only when these stirrings are felt can one cease all effort and simply stay still. If they grow less or fade, efforts should be restarted. But gradually they grow in continuity and intensity, manifesting first as power in motion, and then as power in stillness.
Let us leave the meditator at this stage. He is well on his way.