Thursday, May 20, 2010

the phoenix of the purified self rises from the death ashes of the false self

~ Standing at the Edge of Infinity ~
On the Shores of Ocean of Silence - Ocean of Love



~ Preface ~

It took constant effort to keep from being overcome by the deadly, thick, black fury of what I called ‘the primal force of maya’ - the nuclear forces of life itself in its destructive aspect. I often felt that if I gave into its dark power I would die, but that is apparently what was happening anyway, an inner death caused by this raging force that was slowly annihilating everything in my existence layer by layer. Outwardly, I was active and healthy and functioned normally in the world. Yet inwardly I was dying, something I had never experienced before and was not familiar with. But what exactly was dying? I kept fighting against it - I wanted to live! 

For eighteen months the destruction gradually increased. It grew very dark. In one phase a tiny spot of light appeared... I reached out for it and it expanded to something I could hold onto, though I didn’t know what ‘it’ was. I could only think this must be a version of ‘hold onto the light’! Otherwise, there was no light, and seemingly no God.

~ Vision ~

Fighting against it for so long exhausted me. I grew so tired I unknowingly began to slip, to give into it. One afternoon as I tried to rest the annihilation suddenly intensified into a dense opaque vortex that pulled me deep inside its fierce winds as they spun toward a center. As my last fight was extinguished I slowly let go - to vanish forever. Death had won. It was a relief to finally surrender, but I was sad that I had to leave. I can hear the sound of the winds as I spiraled into the depths without moving a muscle physically, emotionally, or mentally - just waiting as I was hurled into death. 

But death didn’t come.  

At the deepest point of surrender it suddenly became very still and within a second I passed through an invisible ‘wall’ that I almost didn’t notice. In an instant I was on the other side looking at the most breathtaking ‘place’ I had ever seen. It is impossible to describe. I seemed to be standing at the edge of infinity - it was infinite. It was night, but unlike the thick black fury of destruction, this was a pristine, crystal, glowing night, perfectly still and silent.

It took a few moments for my perception to adjust to what I was seeing. At first it appeared as nothingness, then gradually the ‘air’ began to almost sparkle, not with stars, but with floating particles fine as powder that seemed to create a delicate glow. It was completely empty of forms, not even angels or spirits - yet it wasn’t barren. It felt and looked alive and vibrant, which was extraordinary because the stillness and silence were so profound only my soul could comprehend it while my heart and mind stood still in awe. It took my breath away. I fell deeply in love with it - or perhaps should say I had never felt such deep love, such vibrant joy, such stunning beauty, in such vast stillness and silence.  

I looked at it for a long time... then gradually became aware of the roaring winds just inches behind me on the other side of that wall. Evidently maya couldn’t enter here, it could not cross that wall. I began to realize that I was safe for the first time in a year and a half since this death had begun. I had gone beyond it. There is no death here. Yet, I had no idea what or where ‘here’ is – but didn’t care, so long as I could stay here forever. 

~ Changes ~

I had no choice, however, but to return to the world. As time passed, I thought of almost nothing besides this luminous night and was amazed to find that my memory of it always brought it back into view – the silence, stillness, beauty, and love are always there. It became part of my consciousness the instant it appeared beyond any need to understand it - although I had to make the effort to remember it so worldly concerns wouldn’t bury it again. This remembrance was so prevalent that the Night established itself in my ‘peripheral vision’ as I went about my day. 

- Unpublished Work | Copyright ©  1991 M. E. B.


~ Update ~
May 2010

Over the years curiosity also became prevalent and a fourteen-year quest to understand it unfolded. I found a small amount of information about it, including these points: 

What died? A portion of the false ego, the false ‘I’ – impressions accumulated over lifetimes fused into knots of illusion. This death occurs in small increments over lifetimes too, until we finally reach God Realization. When a portion of the false ego dies and the aspirant becomes more centered in God, an equal portion of a purified ego takes its place, a process that continues until the aspirant is completely established in God. This pure ego functions normally in the world with normal human attributes. It strives in worldly and spiritual matters, but also becomes quiet and still at times to allow one to rest in the Ocean of Silence.  


Inner death is a natural process that is beyond our control. A favorite symbol of Saint Teresa of Avila was the butterfly … its metamorphosis from the caterpillar symbolized our own inner transformation during spiritual growth. Of course, a dramatic death is not experienced in the journey to the Ocean during meditation, concentration, and contemplation. But letting go of the false ego – surrender – is key to clearing obstructions so that door can open. 

The ultimate definition of the Ocean of Silence that I have found is from Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. He calls it the ‘dark luminous light’ … it is infinite, and its edge, the borderland, is luminous. He says that it is... God.. Allah... unmanifest before and after creation. Even without a glimpse of this Ocean, knowing that it is there establishes an important thought, for, Upasni says, we become what we think. And the Perfect Master Ibn Arabi said that ordinary consciousness can glimpse it long before God Realization. 

And a New Day Dawns, Revealing a World Completely Transformed… 


~ Bird of the Dark Luminous Light ~


Years after the Ocean vision I had another lucid dream, an ‘inner event’ as Ibn Arabi called them.  The dream was in answer to a question I had about ‘what to do with these dreams’, if anything.  The Greatest Master appeared in the dream and handed me a book.  I opened it and across the double page was a magnificent, large, powerful bird.  It was somewhat stylized:  a front view from head to tip of tail, as if it were standing up vertically on its legs, with its wings fully spread out across both pages.  

It was so real that I ‘zeroed in’ on it to examine the details in its feathers, and realized that this bird was made of the dark luminous light.  As usual, there is no way to describe the glowing quality of it.  At first glance it seemed to be simply black, and in a way it was, except that it was made of the luminous night.

- Sharing of awakened visions by M. E. B., may Beloved God protect her heart and bless her soul


~ Thrice Annihilated ~

My Beloved, joy of my eyes
You are me as Myself, there where I am My companion
at every moment
May God be glorified!
You are my essence
Hand in hand let us enter together
into the Presence of the only Beloved
Let there be no more distinction between us Becoming One in Reality
Oh, how wonderful a thought!
and what subtle blending:
"The transparency of the glass, the purity of its contents 
becoming identical, give birth to bewilderment:
Is it the glass or is it the wine that we see? "

All life in the universe vanishes.
Moons are eclipsed, the sun disintegrates, the stars explode.
We are thus thrice annihilated (fana).
Similar to Annihilation Itself (fana fi'Llah).

And we ascend to the three degrees of permanency (baqa)
Following the example of Permanency Itself (baqi bi'Llah).

- Ibn Arabi, may God hallow his noble soul
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