“When this secret is revealed to you, you will know that you are not other than God but that you yourself are the object of your quest. You do not need to get rid of your self. Do not think therefore that you need to pass away, because if it were necessary to pass away, that would mean that you are His veil. You do not see God as having ever created anything, but as being every day in a different configuration.” - Ibn ‘Arabi / Balyani
Oftentimes, it is made to seem that the Self or personality is the enemy - and that to see the truth, one’s own uniqueness must be obliterated. But this presupposes something important - that you are powerful enough to veil truth. This reminds me of a beautiful saying by Terrence McKenna, echoing a similar sentiment.
Don’t worry. You don’t know enough to worry. Who do you think you are that you should worry, for crying’ out loud. It’s a total waste of time. It presupposes such a knowledge of the situation that it is, in fact, a form of hubris.
Balyani highlights several features of the spiritual quest. Firstly, that the path and result are the same. You are the object of your quest, because you yourself are God. This gets rid of the notion that being human is a cosmic mistake. The quote finishes with a powerful thought: nothing is ever created as being apart from the Ultimate, but everything is the Ultimate in a different configuration.
So you ask yourself - do I feel like God/Shiva/Universe? No.
I think it’s because we’re expecting something special. Expecting it to feel a certain way. After my last Vipassana meditation retreat, what most struck me was the teaching to stop looking for a peak experience, and understand that it’s all just an impersonal flow of phenomena. As Tony Parsons says: “Everything you’ve ever looked for is happening to you constantly”. The pressure, the heat, the sweat, the itch - that’s all God in disguise. As the meditation master Sunlun AShin Vinaya says, one of the pillars of insight is understanding that:
“the uncomfortable truly is the norm”
For me, working towards a deep understanding of this quote, is the spiritual path.
It is as it is.