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- Bill Gaum
This article is an excerpt from a spiritual biography that I'm writing about my spiritual teacher, Pearl Dorris. I hope you find it helpful and inspiring. - Bill Gaum
* * *
Pearly taught us that despite all appearances to the contrary, it is a mistaken idea to identify ourselves with our physical bodies. It is a little like thinking that we are a car, simply because we use them to get from place to place. If someone foolishly believed they “were” their car, we might be able to free them from this illusion by pointing out that they are independent of their car. They can get into it and they can get out of it. Plus, the fact that the automobile can be discarded when it has outlived its usefulness, and yet they can continue on with their daily lives, all shows them that they are not their car. Likewise, our Ascended Sisters and Brothers tell us that we are not our physical bodies, and just like our cars, we can be independent of them. For example, we all know that we were not in our present physical body before we were born into it, and we will not be in it when we lay this body aside at the conclusion of this particular incarnation. And our Arisen Friends tell us that we have all had hundreds of embodiments. This continuity of life, that is independent of the particular physical body we happen to be currently using, is one of the reasons why we have the inherent feeling that life is eternal. Also, every night when we fall asleep, we leave our physical bodies behind us in order to go into the higher Etheric Realms. Thus, Pearly assured us that our physical bodies are simply instruments, or vehicles, that we are temporarily inhabiting in order to acquire certain kinds of wisdom that can best be learned at the physical vibratory level. But we certainly do not want to stay at this level indefinitely. It would be like staying in kindergarten forever. And yet that is exactly what happens when we think that we are our bodies, and we become emotionally and mentally “attached” to them. Clearly, if we want to break free of this illusion, and move on to our next level of spiritual evolution, we need to become aware of our true spiritual identity - our true self. Not surprisingly, this gradual process of beginning to realize who and what we really are, is called “self-realization.” This term, which is also referred to as “God-Realization” originated in India, and it has been popularized in the West by Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).
As one might guess, there are tremendous spiritual advantages to awakening to this reality of “self-realization.” This is why Saint Germain told Pearl and Bob, and their little group:
Recognizing yourself as something greater than the body you inhabit, will make it possible for you to achieve so much more than you dream. 1
Yet, at this point we may still be a little puzzled and ask: “If we are not our physical bodies, then what are we?” Pearl assured us that in reality we are spiritual beings of pure divine light. In short, we are spiritual beings who are having a temporary “human” experience, not human beings who happen to have temporary “spiritual” experiences. Yet, at our present state of consciousness it is not always easy to feel this reality. Thus, Sai Baba says:
There are very few people who realize the truth in the statements: “I AM not the body. The body is something that is temporary and will perish. I, on the other hand AM imperishable and I AM the Immortal Child of Divinity.” 2
Once we begin to realize this basic truth, then we can move on to an even more surprising revelation – not only are we not our physical bodies, but we are not even our “thoughts.” The Great Ones inform us that our thinking processes originate from our subtle mental body, and that we are actually independent of this “mental body.”* It is similar to being able to use a computer, even though we are not the computer. They also tell us the equally astonishing fact that we are not our “emotions.” These short-lived “feelings” arise from our feeling body, of which we are also independent. It is akin to being able to produce soothing, uplifting melodies on a piano, and yet simultaneously be aware that we are not the piano. Pearl explained that these three bodies – our physical, mental, and feeling bodies – which interpenetrate each other, are simply instruments which we are currently using while working at the physical vibratory level. All three of these instruments, as well as additional finer bodies, must be purified in order to become our faithful servants. And of course we have already been informed that we are not our “human personalities,” our “ego,” with all of its limitations, fears, doubts, and feelings of self-importance.
So how can we purify our physical, mental, and emotional bodies, so that we can break free of the illusions perpetrated by our temporary, egotistical human personalities, and awaken to the reality of our true Divine Nature? Pearl said that this will occur naturally as we apply the teachings of the Ascended Host and Sathya Sai Baba in our daily lives. Thus, through this daily, step by step process, we will steadily awaken to the realization that we are spiritual beings, rather than physical, mental, or emotional ones. And when we finally reach the level of consciousness where we know and feel, through continuous direct experience, that we are One with GOD, our Divine Source, then we have become fully “self-realized.” In this “Oneness Consciousness,” since we are at all times “in tune with the Infinite,” we are now a transcendent outpouring of Divine Mind, Divine Love, and Divine Power in everything we think, feel, say, and do. Thus, we have finally freed ourselves from the illusions of the ego, and the “separation consciousness” which it deceitfully engenders.
The Indian saint, Swami Vivekananda, summarizes this process in the following way:
After long searches, here and there,
in temples and in churches,
in earths and in heavens,
at last you come back,
completing the circle from where you started,
to your own soul, and find that He,
for whom you have been seeking
all over the world,
for whom you have been weeping and praying,
in churches and temples,
on whom you were looking
as the mystery of all mysteries,
shrouded in the clouds,
is the nearest of the near,
is your own Self,
the Reality of your own life, body, and soul.3
Pearl explained that Jesus went through this step by step process of acquiring self-realization, during the years preceding his ministry when he was traveling through India, and other countries. Of course, Jesus had already achieved high levels of self-mastery and self-realization while rendering remarkable spiritual services to humanity in former embodiments. Yet, now that he was back in human form, he had to make strenuous conscious effort to reawaken to what he had achieved in former times. And in addition to awakening into full God-Realization in his final embodiment, he simultaneously achieved perfect self-mastery – a quite extraordinary attainment! Sai Baba says that as Jesus progressed along this pathway of self-realization, his first major awakening occurred when he came to the realization that, “‘I AM’ a Messenger of GOD.” His next step, which happened a few years later was, “‘I AM’ a Son of GOD.” And the final step was, “I and My Father are One.” 4 Baba assures us that this is the very same process of God-Realization that each one of us can experience. Jesus also promised us this same thing when he said for those who apply his teachings to their utmost, “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (John 14:12, KJV) Not surprisingly, accomplishing self-realization is one of the “greatest works” that any of us can achieve.
There is additional good news. Pearly taught us that this progression towards full self-realization, is a perfectly natural consequence of gradually mastering our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions! And the further we progress along these lines, the more our “separation consciousness” dissolves, and the easier it is to directly experience being “One” with our Divine Creator. Consequently, year by year, as we apply the teachings, we will gradually awaken more and more into this “Oneness Consciousness” in steadily higher ways. In fact, this has been the divine plan from the very beginning!
Amazingly enough, the Great Ones promise us that even in this lifetime we can awaken to the realization that we are not only an outpouring of divinity, but that we actually are the Indwelling Divinity. And the closer we get to this goal of full purification and self-realization, the easier it will be to graduate and move on to our next level of spiritual development and service. As we know, this graduation process is referred to as “Moksha” or “Liberation” in India, and is called the Ascension by the Ascended Ones. And, as has already been mentioned, because of all the extra divine assistance that is now pouring to the earth to bring us into the New Age, we can actually achieve the Ascension prior to becoming perfectly pure and fully self-realized. Naturally, this does not mean that no effort is required on our part. On the contrary, we need to sincerely apply the Higher Laws with steadfast determination in every aspect of our lives in order to master our lower emotions, desires, and self-destructive human habits. And the closer we approach self-mastery and self-realization here and now, the greater the service we can simultaneously render to our fellow living beings. Of course, once we are Arisen, we are forever liberated from the cycle of birth and death, and can now participate forever in the eternal bliss of divine creation within the Ascended Realms.
Pearl often liked to share the following story of Jesus (which was alluded to earlier in this book), which is found in the New Testament, in the Book of John, Chapter 10, (NIV). Jesus was within the Temple in Jerusalem, when people surrounded him and asked if he was indeed the Christ. When Jesus replied that his miracles spoke for themselves, and that “he and His Father were One,” the ignorant people, not understanding the deeper significance of his words, thought he was being blasphemous and picked up rocks to throw at him in order to “stone” him to death. But Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
They replied: "We are not stoning you for any of these, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods?’”
As has been previously explained, Jesus was referring to a passage in the Old Testament, from the Book of Psalms, Chapter 82, verse 6, which says:
"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."
In other words we are all Children of GOD, and since children grow up to become what there parents are, we are growing into Godhood. And so, just as caterpillars become butterflies, ultimately our destiny is to become Gods and Goddesses.
Yet, when those of us, who have been brought up in the western, Christian-Judeo belief system, first hear this idea that we are One with GOD, it usually takes us by surprise. In fact, it can be quite shocking to us! Amazingly, this tends to be our response even after carefully studying the Bible and discovering that Jesus himself wanted us to understand this very same truth. Thus, despite Jesus’ words to the contrary, we find ourselves saying, “Oh no. That is impossible. GOD is GOD. And I am just a puny human being. It is sacrilege to think that I could ever be ‘One with GOD.’ Besides, I know that I could never be that good.” At first glance, this even sounds reasonable. But when we examine this statement a little more carefully we discover an absolutely astonishing fact. We are suffering from the very same ignorance that caused the people to want to stone Jesus!
And if we really think deeply upon it, we will see that our long, ingrained habit of “thinking” that we are separate from GOD, is actually an enormous, egotistical folly filled with hypocrisy! This is because when we consider ourselves to be separate from GOD, then we are in effect saying that whenever we do something good, it is our egos that have done it; and that our human personalities are the source of the love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness which we give to others; and thus we, as separate, individual human beings, should get the credit for it. But our Arisen Friends tell us that our human personalities are not the source of these divine attributes – GOD is. And in truth we are not separate from GOD - the Great I AM. But rather each of us is a “Ray of Light” from the heart of the Great I AM, and whenever we are kind, compassionate, and selfless, we are an outpouring of the divine love, mercy and goodness which comes from our I AM Presence. Thus, we should give credit to where credit is due, and no credit goes to our “egos” - our temporary, constantly changing, “human personalities” - that are deluded by separation consciousness. All credit rightly goes to our I AM Presence – the Atma, which is our True Self, and which is One with our Divine Parent, the Great I AM – the Paramatma! Thus, when we rightly identify ourselves with our True Self, our I AM Presence, then we too can say, “I and the Father-(Mother) are One.” But, if we mistakenly think that we are separate from GOD and identify ourselves with our temporary, separate egos, then all we can say is something like: “I may be a miserable sinner, but whenever I do anything good, I better get the credit for it! It’s not GOD that did it, I’m the one that did it!” We have been doing the latter for a little too long. We are not miserable sinners – we are divine beings – children of our Divine Parents. And our egos do not get the credit for the good that we do – our True Self, I AM Presence does.
Fortunately, this important spiritual concept is not some “great mystery” which is too difficult for us to understand. It is just the plain simple truth. In fact, it is really quite is easy to understand. If we think about it, whenever we are kind, understanding, or serenely courageous, during these moments we are really an outpouring of GOD’s Love (kindness), Wisdom (understanding) and Power (serene courage). Consequently, in this way and at these times, we have become, temporarily, an outpouring of divinity, to the same degree that we are feeling these divine attributes! So the kinder, wiser, and more serene we become, the more divine we become! And when we become perfectly kind, perfectly wise, and perfectly serene and courageous at all times, then we have become completely divine. Is this possible? Jesus, who always spoke pure truth, said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew.5:48, NIV). Obviously, he would not have taught us to work towards something that was not possible. Likewise he promised us that we can do all that he has done, and he achieved perfect mastery, (John 14:12, KJV)! Therefore, not only is this possible, but through the remarkably natural process of applying the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and the Arisen Host, we will gradually begin to realize that our True Self is divine – it is only our temporary ego consciousness that thinks it is separate from GOD, and wants to take all credit for itself.
Thus, our ultimate destiny is to become at all times, a perfect outpouring of GOD’s love, wisdom, and power, rightly used, in everything we feel, think, say, and do. And once we have attained this state of “Being,” what has happened? As we have already seen, we have become completely divine. We have finally, after long centuries, and hundreds of embodiments, “dissolved” or “melted away” the “veil,” “mist,” “curtain,” “separation-consciousness,” “duality,” “maya,” or whatever we want to call it, which we had previously unconsciously created as a result of our ignorance. In this new oneness consciousness of self-realization, we will feel and know that in reality, never for a moment were we ever separate from GOD. No, not even once! We simply, over long ages, became more and more infatuated, immersed, and intertwined with materiality, until we assumed that we too were material! And of course by then, we were so immersed in “maya” and the temporary, egotistical “human personalities” that we had created in our ignorance, that we had completely forgotten our true divine nature and Divine Source – the Atma – the Great I AM. So then, our Divine Parent had to send to us highly advanced teachers like Quan Yin and Buddha to come to show us the way to purify our hearts so that we could begin to comprehend the greater truths once more. Then, when we once again sank back into darkness, saviors like Jesus had to come to lead us “lost sheep” back to the paths of selfless love and righteousness (right-use-ness). But, when the entire human race has finally sank so low that it is in danger of complete self-destruction, then Divine Incarnations must come in order to prevent humanity’s extinction. These are the Avatars such as Rama, Krishna, and Sai Baba.
Fortunately, since we are now coming into the New Age, this time as we acquire the advancing consciousness of self-realization, through self-conscious effort, we will never again fall into the “maya trap.” This is because, as a result of all the extra divine assistance pouring to the earth now, we will be able to make our Ascensions. Of course this does requires us to do our “homework.” Then, once we have merged with our Atma, our I AM Presence, we will be forever free of all limitations. We will truly be Gods and Goddesses just as the Great Ones have promised us.
During the years I was living and serving with Pearl, I created the following prayer to help me feel this reality of “oneness consciousness” more clearly. I share it here with the hope that it will be as much a blessing to you, as it has been to me.
Dear Heavenly Mother-Father GOD,*
Whenever I AM loving and kind,
it is really You,
pouring Your Love through
this part of Yourself which I AM,
to bless other parts of Yourself.
Oh Beloved I AM Presence,*
Whenever I AM wise and have an understanding heart,
It is really You,
expanding Your Divine Mind,
through this facet of Your Being which I AM,
to bless other facets of Your Being.
Oh Infinite Atma,*
Whenever I AM serenely courageous,
and go forward to do what I know is right.
It is really You,
moving Your Power through this aspect of Yourself which I AM,
to bless other aspects of Yourself.
Oh Infinite Creator, Great I AM,*
Whenever I AM loving, wise, and helpful,
I AM Your Love, Your Wisdom, Your Power in action.
I AM simply an outpouring of You!
And when I become perfectly pure and selfless,
I will be a perfect outpouring of You.
I will then continually experience that
I AM You and You are Me,
And We are One.
Oh Beloved Mother-Father GOD*,
Thank You for expanding through Me,
This growing awareness of Self-Realization!
I AM now awakening to the full realization that
You are my True Self!
I AM You and You are Me,
We are One.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
So now that we know that self-realization is both a desirable and inevitable part of the divine plan, then what can we do to more quickly melt away the illusion of separation consciousness? Sai Baba says:
The [human] mind sees separateness, duality; but there is another way of experiencing reality – as Unity. It is though the heart, by the process of Love . . . For the limited little wavelet self to know that it is the ocean, it must merge back into the ocean through love.5
Likewise, Anandamayi Ma says:
The easiest way to GOD is through love and devotion.6
Baba also says:
Consider the heart as Atma. Soften It and make it full of compassion.7
And you may remember that Sai Baba says that we can more quickly awaken into “unity consciousness” by speaking softly, kindly, and sweetly to each other:
If one is anxious to see GOD in every object, the sweetness of the word will be of immense help.8
Is there anything else we can do to break free of “duality consciousness?” Sai Baba says:
We are trying to discover GOD, searching for [GOD] throughout the Universe. But we omit to investigate [GOD’s] existence within ourselves as the very core and keystone of our being. When you discover yourself – your Self – all wailing ceases and you attain supreme happiness. This is the real Self-knowledge.9
So how can we help to uncover our real “Self,” the real “I?” In Pearl’s later years, she would come across the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, a great “jnani” (pronounced yah-nee), or self-realized saint of 20th century South India. His teachings were simple and direct. Sai Baba says that:
Ramana Maharshi used to tell everyone who went to him, “Know who you are.”
Baba goes on to say:
When asked, “Who are you?” you invariably give the name that someone fixed on you as a label. But, who are you really? Have you tried to know that correctly and well?10
Dr. Hislop, in his book on Sai Baba entitled, My Baba and I, gives the following quote in which Ramana Maharshi describes some of the consequences of “separation consciousness:”
How does the desire for Eternal Life arise? Because the present state is unbearable. Why? Because it is not your real nature. Had it been your real nature, there would be no desire to agitate you . . . Consider what happens when a stone is thrown up. It leaves its source; is projected up; tries to come down; and is always in motion until it regains its source where it is at rest . . . Where there is a sense of separateness from the source, there is agitation and movement until the sense of separateness is lost. So it is with yourself. Now that you identify yourself with the body, you think that you are separate . . . To identify oneself with the body, and yet to seek happiness, is like attempting to ford a river on the back of an alligator . . . To continue in that state will only keep one in an endless tangle and there will be no peace . . . The Self remains ever, even after the body perishes. The discontent is due to the wrong identity of the Eternal Self with the perishable body.11
Sai Baba recommends his college students to study Ramana Maharshi’s teachings on Self-Inquiry. Ramana says:
Self-Inquiry leads directly to self-realization by removing the obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized.12
What is self-inquiry? Ramana taught that we can discover our true nature by asking ourselves “Who am I?” in every phase of our existence, being, and mind. For example, if we ask, “Am I my hands?” we come to the realization that, “No, I am ‘that’ which uses my hands.” If we ask, “Am I my thoughts?” We can honestly respond by saying, “No, I am ‘that’ which directs my thoughts,” and so on. Gradually, in this way, by examining every facet of our beings and continually asking ourselves, “Am I this, am I that?” we will realize that we are not our body, mind, or feelings. They are simply instruments that we use. Through this simple process of “self-inquiry,” we inevitably discover that we are actually That which is “Aware” of our body, mind, and feelings, and which should be directing them in constructive ways. And as we continue to ask, “Who am I,” and “negate,” or “let go of,” everything we are not, ultimately the only thing we have left is this Awareness. Not surprisingly, Ramana calls this Awareness:
Likewise, Sai Baba says:
Atma is also known as “Awareness.” It is this awareness that is responsible for the “I” consciousness in all beings, which is called “Aham.” When this “Aham” identifies itself with the body, it becomes Ahamkara. This is the false “I” and not the real “I.” What hides the Atma always, is the [human] mind.14
But fortunately, as we purify our mind, body, and feelings through further self-discipline, serene feelings, pure thoughts, a pure diet, and selfless service to others, we will gradually become aware that we are really an outpouring of divinity itself. And as we steadily approach the purity of perfect self-mastery we will realize, and finally know through direct experience, that we are One with GOD. This why Ramana Maharshi says:
The “Self” itself is “I,” the “Self” itself is GOD.15
And Baba says:
The true “I,” which gives rise to this “my,” is really the deepest consciousness in everyone and in everything. It is called Chaitanya, the “Divine Consciousness.” [This] Consciousness is all pervading. It is within you, around you, below you, and beside you. Truly, it is you. This Chaitanya is to be found everywhere, in everything in the world. But to realize it, the mind must be turned inwards. You must become inner-directed and search out your truth, by realizing that “You are not this, you are not that, Neti, Neti, Neti, [No, No, No].” You are not the mind, you are not the body, you are not the intellect. Then who are you? The answer comes, “I AM I” . . . Aham, Aham!”* This is the right path to follow for self-realization. This path can only develop out of the path of love, the path of devotion. To search for GOD there is no other way.16
This is because grateful, loving devotion to GOD, opens our hearts as nothing else can. And the more “open” our hearts become, the more our I AM Presence can fill us with Divine Mind – which begins dissolving the “separation consciousness” inherent in the “human intellect.” Likewise, the more we are filled with GOD’s Mind, the easier it becomes to realize that whenever we are kind, pure, gentle, forgiving, selfless, serenely fearless, and so on, we are actually an outpouring of divinity. Consequently, as has been mentioned, the only conclusion that we can come to, is that when we become completely pure in all ways, always; we have become completely divine. And this of course leads to only one possible conclusion: we are now One with GOD.
Since the feeling of devotion, and the consciousness of unity with all life that it engenders, is so vital to achieving self-realization, we might ask, “How can we expand this feeling within us?” Sai Baba says that by selflessly serving others we can help awaken within us this crucial loving devotion. Plus, this same activity of selfless service will ultimately awaken us to the supreme realization that we are an embodiment of divinity, and that our True Self is the Great I AM. Therefore, Sai says:
The fundamental, the main foundation, is Love. Where does this begin, and where does it end? Love begins from the point of Service, and it ends in total Identification with the Spirit. Without the Spirit of Service, you can not experience the Divinity of “I AM.”17
Thus, it is not hard to see that the more we help others, the easier it is to compassionately realize that we are all “One.” And eventually, in this same way, we will also realize that we are One with all Life everywhere. As we already know, the path of devotion can also be strengthened by pouring our loving gratitude to our Divine Parent during our calls, prayers, and meditations. Likewise, it can be expanded by singing devotional songs to our Mother-Father GOD; as well as songs of gratitude to our Ascended Sisters and Brothers, (including the various Goddesses and Gods); and to the great saints, prophets, and other emissaries of Love and Light found in each religion; and of course, to the Angels and Archangels.
As one might guess, Pearly stressed the importance of using affirmations and visualizations to more easily awaken into the fullness of self-realization. This is nothing more than affirming the great truth which Jesus revealed to us when he said, “You are Gods,” (John 10:34). And so she said:
Turn your attention into your Center for a short time and acknowledge: I AM that I AM. I AM the Resurrection and the Life. I AM here, I AM there, I AM Everywhere. I AM the Oneness of all things. I AM the Living Consciousness of the Christ Light. I AM sustained in the Light. I AM the Way, and I AM the Truth, and I AM the Life.18
We can silently affirm these truths to ourselves during our daily meditations; when we are commuting to work; taking a walk; taking a shower or bath; preparing a meal; or any other convenient time.
Below are some of the affirmations recommended by Sathya Sai Baba and Saint Germain to help us achieve Oneness Consciousness.
Sai Baba says that:
GOD is neither distant nor distinct from you. You are GOD. You are Sat-Chit-Ananda, (Being, Awareness, Bliss). You are All. When shall you know his truth? When you shake off the delusions that hide It. If your yearning to experience Divine Bliss is sincere and pure, from this day, keep ever in your memory, by constant repetition and prayer, what I am about to tell you:
Then, he asks us to use the following affirmations:
(1) I AM GOD; I AM NOT DIFFERENT FROM GOD.
Be conscious of this always. Keep it ever in Mind.
(2) I AM THE INDIVISIBLE SUPREME ABSOLUTE.
This is the second truth to be established in your consciousness by unremitting repetition and prayer.
(3) I AM SAT-CHIT-ANANDA. (BEING, AWARENESS, BLISS).
(4) GRIEF AND ANXIETY CAN NEVER AFFECT ME.
(5) I AM EVER CONTENT; FEAR CAN NOT ENTER ME.
He concludes this part of his discourse by saying:
Always feel thus, and pray for this conviction to grow stronger and stronger.19
Likewise, you may recall Saint Germain saying:
The affirmations below are of inestimable benefit to all who seek the Light, to those who aspire to Mastery, and to My Students I especially recommend them:
‘I AM’ the Living Light.
‘I AM’ the Presence of GOD: ‘I AM.’
‘I AM’ The Open Door, which no man can shut.
‘I AM’ Here, ‘I AM’ There, ‘I AM’ the Only Presence Everywhere
Of all affirmations, however, the one that I recommend to you above all others, which will – if used steadily with full understanding of its meaning – Raise all human activity into the Ascended Master Octave, is: “‘I AM’ the Resurrection and the Life.” And, for this reason it was the one most used by the Master Jesus, and the one which made his Raising of his own flesh form possible.
If you remain calm and humble, yet determined in your dynamic application, you will – through the activity in your own feeling world – become aware of the Raising Activity of This Call above all others, and begin to understand its Full Meaning. A more profound meaning is not to be found in any other expression in any language on the Earth today. It was by the use of this Call, and This Call alone, that Jesus was able to accomplish what He did; and what He has done, so too, can you do; and it may, and I dare say, it will, be easier for you – for the Cosmic Light has reached a greater expansion today than it had at His time, and Greater Assistance from the Ascended Master Octave may be given, and is being given, and will continue to be given, until All America and the Earth Itself is Raised into that Sphere of Light and Attainment where all GOD’s children are One once again with their own GOD-selves, and it is One World Without End. So be it, so shall it be!20
Pearly stressed that when we say “I AM GOD,” it is important that we say it in the way that our Divine Parent desires us to do it. We certainly would not want to say it in the egotistical sense of thinking that “we – our little separate human personality” is GOD. That would be a serious mistake. It would be a little like a drop of sea water, that has temporarily gotten washed up on the sand, to say that it is the whole ocean, and that the immense body of water from which it just came is unimportant, or does not really exist. But, fortunately for the little droplet, it would quickly see its mistake as soon as the next wave comes along and washes it back into the sea. Then to its delight, as its consciousness merges once again with the immense ocean that it was always a part of, it can see how when it was on the beach it was suffering from “separation consciousness.” And now that it has merged once again with its “divine parent” and its awareness has joined with its parent’s consciousness, it is now aware of all the immense ocean and how it can be aware of every nook and cranny of the ocean in all its vast depth and expansiveness. It is aware of all the beaches, all the islands, all the continental shorelines, all the life in the sea, - in short its awareness now encompasses the entire ocean. Thus, it can now say, “I am the ocean,” and yet it realizes that it can only say this if it does not think of itself as separate from the ocean.
Since we are human beings, rather than droplets of sea water, perhaps it may be helpful to give a further illustration. The Great Ones tell us that each of us is in reality a “Ray of Light” which our Divine Mother-Father has projected forth from its own Heart. If we say, “I AM GOD,” while still thinking of ourselves as separate from GOD, then we would be suffering from the same illusion that the little droplet of sea water experienced while lying on the sand. It would be a rather foolish, egotistical thing to say. Yet, there is a way of saying it, which can help us awaken into the proper “Oneness Consciousness” that our Divine Parent desires us to have. Since we are “Rays of Light,” then through our ability to imagine (image-in), we can go to that quiet place within our hearts, and visualize it as a beautiful golden sun. Then, dwelling in our little golden sun, we can look up and see a golden ray of light pouring down into us from our own Higher Self – our I AM Presence. As we allow our consciousness to travel up that Ray of Light into our I AM Presence, we can then continue on traveling further up that Ray of Light into the very heart of our Mother-Father GOD – the Infinite I AM. And once we arrive there, a miraculous thing happens – as our awareness joins with the Consciousness of our Divine Parent, our awareness expands to encompass all Creation. Consequently, if we desire too, we can now expand our conscious awareness from the center of the Heart of GOD, out to the “end” of any other Ray of Light in all Creation, and thus be there, too! For instance, now that we are dwelling in the Heart of GOD, we can “expand” our awareness “out through” Jesus’ Ray of Light, and when we get to its “end” we would be “One” with Jesus. This is because our consciousness would have merged into Jesus’ consciousness and thus we would now be directly experiencing ourselves as One with him, and would now be feeling his immense Love for all Life. And even though we would be experiencing his Love for everyone everywhere, yet Jesus would still be Jesus, and we would still be who we are. Likewise, all the other Divine Rays in creation could simultaneously be doing the same thing. For example, Quan Yin can expand her awareness to merge with the Great Divine Director, or the Goddess of Peace, and be aware of the particular divine consciousness which they represent to the Universe, and yet she would still be Quan Yin, and they would still be who they are, yet simultaneously they would all be “One” in consciousness.
Now, let us say that we allow our awareness to expand simultaneously out through every “Divine Ray” in existence, throughout the many Universes of Universes, throughout the many differing planes of various spiritual rates of vibration. We would now be aware that we are one with everything! We would be “One” with GOD and GOD’s creation, and yet we would still be who we are, and all the other rays would still be who they are, and yet we would all be “One” in consciousness. So we could truly say, “I AM GOD,” and yet it is in the consciousness that we are all One, and that we will forever be pouring forth our love and adoration to our Divine Parent – the Infinite I AM, who enables us to constantly experience this Oneness Consciousness, and without whom, we would not even exist.
Of course, the above illustrations give only a poor approximation of the incredible Divine Reality of Oneness Consciousness that we would really experience. Our Ascended Sisters and Brothers tell us that this Reality is a state of awareness that can only be experienced as we purify our hearts and minds and then merge our consciousness into our I AM Presence, and thence into the Great I AM – the Paramatma. And our happiness, as we move into it, will be beyond anything we can possibly imagine.
It is also important to remember that even the Ascended Ones, who are completely “One” in consciousness with GOD, and thus are self-realized in the fullest sense imaginable, and who are not separate from GOD in any way - they too still pour their love and devotion to GOD, the Infinite I AM. As the Goddess of Purity says:
Never forget that even though We are Arisen and from the standpoint of humanity above error, still We are not above the I AM Presence; and even as you turn to that Great Presence of Light within you, so do We acknowledge our oneness with that Light, and call to that I AM that I AM that We may give ever more of Ourselves in Love, in Understanding, in Happiness, and in Peace.21
The preceding illustrations also show why Pearl said:
As has been said, “Ye are Gods.” It is true! As Sai Baba is saying, “You go forth and say ‘I AM God’.” That is a big thing for us to contemplate, for if you were to say that among your fellow man, or in the orthodox church, you see how quickly they would turn from you, and feel that something is the matter with you. So it is something that has to be handled very carefully, and yet it is something you can do in the privacy of your own meditation, your own private work. If you are where no one hears you, you can speak softly and intune to this Source of Light within you and say: “I AM GOD.” Do it, but be very careful someone is not listening who will report it to others . . . Whatever you cause another to think and say, you are responsible for. It is something where discretion must be practiced. When I first started working [with this Great Law] it was difficult for me to say a thing like that, and I used to say: “I AM GOD in action. I AM GOD Light.” That seemed to soften it for me, but I still do it, and once in a while I get brave enough, as I work silently or sit quietly by myself, and I will say: “I AM GOD.” 22
But, as Pearl stressed, we need to say it with the correct consciousness.
Sai Baba says that:
“Happiness is essential for GOD-Realization. It is one of the Major gates to Divinity. It is not just a fault if a person is not happy; it is one of the most serious of all faults. It is a barrier to Realization. Mostly, people are unhappy because of worldly pursuits, attachments, [and] enjoyments. Too much interested in the world. To get free of this fault, a person has to be told of the seriousness of the fault. He should realize that [selfish] desire is never ending, like the waves of the sea . . .
Actually, sorrow or pain is caused by desire. The cure is to use that same desire and turn it to GOD, to desire GOD. Instantly, suffering will cease because the cause, turning from GOD to worldly desires has been eliminated.23
As Sai Baba has just explained, even though happiness is essential for self-realization, in our unillumined search for happiness, we often turn away from GOD and become entangled in trying to fulfill various selfish worldly desires, which eventually bring us their inevitable sorrows. In our ignorance over the true source of happiness, we often feel, “that it just isn’t fair,” that our Divine Friends and Sai Baba advise us “give up” so many things which seem to be a source of “pleasure” for us. But, as has been mentioned, Pearly taught us that if we actually examine these supposed sources of “pleasure” and “joy,” we will discover that, in reality, they are not what they seem to be. She explains that in reality, these various possessions, foods, and activities give us only fleeting sensations of pleasure, which are all too quickly gone, and which we can never, ever “get enough of,” in order to be satisfied. Thus, instead of filling us with a deep feeling of contentment and inner peace, they leave us with a restless aching for more which can never be filled.
Consequently, instead, of bringing us happiness, just the opposite has happened. Thus, serene inner peace, contentment, and happiness becomes impossible! Pearl assured us that these so-called “pleasures,” have always brought us all kinds of problems including discouragement, restlessness, distress, anger, depression, and sorrow, and always will. And if this is not a perfect recipe for unhappiness, what is? So it is not a matter of giving up habits and desires that have brought us happiness, but rather letting go of the very things that have been promising us joy, yet which have actually been keeping us in bondage to misery. This is why Anandamayi Ma says:
What appears delightful to the senses, later develops into a hot-bed of poison, generating inner turmoil and disaster, for it belongs to the realm of death. . . 24
She also says:
Indolence and lust - these are the greatest obstacles on the path to self-realization.25
In brief, she explains:
Thinking of anything other than GOD is what creates sorrow.26
So how do we get out of the mess we have created for ourselves? Anandamayi Ma says that it takes effort:
When the heart is full of worldly desires, it is their very nature to make the mind confused. This is why effort is necessary. . . Withdraw the mind from outer things and make it turn within.27
As we all know, this is not always an easy process. In fact, “letting go” of some self-destructive desires or habits might seem almost impossible. This may be eating or drinking something which tastes good, but which we know is unhealthy; coveting some unnecessary possession; or engaging in some activity that promises happiness, but which we know is self-destructive.
There are two basic approaches to overcoming our unhealthy, selfish desires – the “fast way” and the “gradual way.” For some people, the “fast way” or going “cold turkey,” is often the easiest, quickest way, to overcome our undesirable habits, although it may not seem very “easy” while we are in the middle of it. This is because the more we try to resist “giving in” to a particular desire, sometimes the more and more difficult it seems to become. In fact, oftentimes it seems like day after day we can just barely withstand giving in, yet if we continue our “application” – continue making our affirmations and calls, we seem to have just enough strength to keep on persevering. And finally it seems as though the desire is now so irresistible that there is nothing we can do to hold ourselves back, but strangely, at this “most difficult” of all points, if we “keep on keeping on” with our application of the law, we often find that the very next day the desire is gone! The previously tempting idea is no longer attractive. It has simply lost all its power. The whole thing has been turned upside down. The previous day we felt the weakest of the weak, and the next morning we now feel incredibly strong, confident, and happy. It is an amazing process. And now we are in a much more powerful position to overcome the next habit that has been keeping us in chains.
For other people, a more gradual, step by step approach brings the greatest success. We can do this by setting a “ceiling on our desires,” and then as time goes by and we feel we are ready for it, we continue to lower the ceiling level, until finally we either eliminate the unhealthy desire entirely, or we bring it into appropriate “healthy” bounds. An example of something we might want to eliminate entirely is the habit of smoking tobacco. An example of something that needs to brought within appropriate bounds would be that of eating only enough to cease our hunger, rather than over eating. Whether we free ourselves using the “fast way” or the “gradual way,” in either case, it is important to remember to be patient with ourselves if we are not progressing as fast as we would like to in our attempts to overcome our “undesirable” desires. As we all know, attaining self-mastery and self-realization is a step by step process. As Pearly said, “Nobody achieves it over night.” Those who have seemed to have had it from birth, such as Anandamayi Ma, or those who seem to awaken to it suddenly, such as Buddha and Ramana Maharshi, have all earned it in former embodiments. In these previous lifetimes they achieved it the same way we now can – in a gradual, step by step manner, through selfless service, loving devotion, self-inquiry, and of course the indispensable self-discipline, self-correction, and self-purification. To condemn ourselves for not becoming perfect masters overnight, is like criticizing a baby for not becoming an adult in one day. That would be absolutely ridiculous! So, if our Arisen Friends would never dream of condemning us, but only radiate their love and encouragement to us; surely we can do the same thing to ourselves and others.
Here is some more encouraging news. As we start to make progress along these lines, it begins becoming easier to feel that deep longing for GOD and the company of the godly. And as time goes on and this feeling strengthens, it becomes easier and easier to “let go and let GOD.” In fact, even though we need to make strenuous effort, Anandamayi Ma says that a point will eventually come when:
Feeling pulled toward the Divine, and indifferent to sense objects, occurs simultaneously. Renunciation happens of itself. There is no need to give up anything. This is real, genuine renunciation.28
With purity, unflinching faith, and burning eagerness, go ahead and you will Realize your True Self.29
And as we progress, we will find that the effort we expend to take each step forward, gives us the strength, energy, and fortitude to make the next step. And with each challenge met, and each victory along the way, we will gain greater confidence, energy, and encouragement. Sometimes the way will be easy, other times it may be difficult, and occasionally it will seem almost impossible. So we need to be patient with ourselves so that we do not get discouraged. This is why Anandamayi Ma teaches:
The first step on the path to Realization . . . is the manifestation of unbroken endurance and never ending patience. 30
Likewise, Sai Baba says,
Patience is the only strength we need.
Pearly assures us that if we “keep on keeping on,” we are certain to make steady progress.
Are there any forms of pseudo-self-realization, or dangerous pitfalls that can divert us from the goal of Oneness Consciousness? Anandamayi Ma says:
There are instances when one loses consciousness while sitting in meditation. Some people have found themselves swooning away . . . This is certainly not Realization . . . To fall into a stupor, or into “yogic sleep,” will not take one anywhere.31
And interestingly, Sai Baba and the Ascended Ones, tell us that a person who has become self-realized, will never say that they have reached it. So we need to be wary of those claiming to be self-realized. One might ask, “How can we determine if we are approaching this transcendent state of consciousness?” And, “How can we be sure if someone else has genuinely attained it?” Fortunately, there are certain characteristics that accompany this high level of self-mastery, which can give us clues as to whether we, or someone else, is close to attaining it. As one might guess, a truly self-realized person has become an embodiment of perfect kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, humbleness, sweetness, serenity, courage, forbearance, patience, and so on. If they are not yet perfect outpourings of these divine qualities, then they are not perfectly self-realized.
What is the aim of life? As Sai Baba says:
The real temple for man is his heart, but forgetting this fact, man goes after temples outside. Temples are erected to remind men about GOD, but the Divine dwells in the heart and should be sought there. Men go through any amount of difficulties, hardships, trials, and tribulations in life, but few try to understand their essential Divinity, which should be the primary aim of life.32
And what is the most direct way to self-realization? Anandamayi Ma says:
The intense desire for GOD-Realization is itself the way to it.33
Thus, the first step of the self-realization process is simply beginning to get a feeling for what it is, and how to accomplish it, as well as having the sincere desire to attain it. Then, as Pearly explains we will gradually and naturally awaken into it more and more, in a step by step manner, as we steadily apply the teachings of the Great Ones in our lives.
Was Pearly completely, fully self-realized? She would have been the first to admit that she was not, yet she seemed to be fairly far along with the process by the time she Ascended - which is a tremendous accomplishment in itself. Yet, prior to her Ascension she still had human failings. She was sometimes anxious or impatient – all of which seemed to stem from a lack of self-confidence. Is she self-realized now? Yes! When someone Ascends, the Light from their I AM Presence dissolves the remaining darkness of separation consciousness, and they are now and forever fully and perfectly self-realized.
Dear Reader, if this previous chapter has seemed too difficult, or “far out,” please do not be concerned about it. Perhaps a later reading of it, after having applied the teachings for some time, will bring about a more comfortable feeling and new insights.
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For more insights on Self-Realization, please read the gradual process of Self-Realization that Jesus went through: "Jesus One With GOD".
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© Copyright 2014 Bill Gaum All Rights Reserved.