Individuality, God, Non-Duality and Ultimate Reality


by Jai Maha Dev

From the point of view of spiritual science, individuality is essenceless.  This means that there is no basis for individuality in Reality.  Individuality is based in unreality.


Reality is this: the ‘I-consciousness’ and the Universe are essentially the same.  When one realizes the unity of the ‘I-consciousness’ and the Universe one attains the state of Supreme Happiness.  Beyond this is the indestructible, unchangeable, ever-new, totally imageless State of Being.  This is the Absolute Reality. 


So what is unreality?  Unreality is that which appears to be so, but really isn’t.  It appears that we are mortal beings which are born, go through life, and die, and that this is all there is.  But most people want to believe that there is something more than this, so they imagine an afterlife where everyone goes to be judged by some super-being called God, who decides who goes to heaven or hell, or maybe somewhere in between.  This too is a big hallucination, a fiction of the mind, and is just another shade of unreality. 


Religious beliefs allow individuals (ego-entities) to keep their separate identity (ego, individuality) while simultaneously trying to establish the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present Being, Who somehow knows what everyone has done, is doing, and will do, but mostly stays out of the way and lets people do whatever the hell they want, and Who rewards or punishes everyone according to whether or not they have done what He wants.  There are so many flaws that can be found in religious belief systems, and it is not the purpose of this article to reveal all of those flaws, but we can at least say this: 


“When I am present, Thou is not.  When I am not, Thou is all there is.”


This does not mean that I am Thou (God); what it means is that where there is duality, there is no Reality.  Duality is unreality, it is Ignorance, and the knowledge of duality (unreality) is called Avidya.


To conquer our small self (ego), to go beyond ourselves and experience our Eternity, we need to know both Avidya and Vidya:  we need to know the nature of this world (including our body, mind, intellect, and ego) and we also need to know our Real Nature.  The knowledge of this world is Avidya, and the knowledge of that which is beyond all this is Vidya.


Both orthodox and neo-religious belief systems are outdated by that which both precedes them and supercedes them:  and that is the undiluted Truth.   And that Truth is this: the Real is ever real; the unreal is never real.  


“We are not what we are, we will not be what we are, but we are what we are.” What we really are is indestructible, indivisible, invisible, formless, beginingless, endless Consciousness Itself.  Perceived through the medium of the enlightened intellect, we are the pure Spirit Self.  Perceived through the medium of the mind connected with the brain (and other body parts) we are living, thinking, feeling, individual beings.  We are in fact all of this, and none of this, because this is all a drama (Lila), a play, a sport, a dance of energy and matter which has effused from the core of our Being.  


Our individual identities are nothing but figments of our imagination.  Whose imagination?  It is no ones imagination, it is just the shadow created by the interplay of light and darkness, of energy and matter, of Purush and Prakriti.  Our individuality is in fact essenceless; it is only our unborn, unchangeable, indestructible uniqueness that is real, and that uniqueness has nothing to do with personality, mind, and ego: it has nothing to do with individuality. 


Again, our individuality is just a phenomenon of this world.  Beyond this phenomenon is the noumenon, and that noumenon is the Substance (Prakriti) from which everything we see, hear, taste, touch, smell and think has been manifested.  For whom does this manifested Universe exist?  It exists for us, the countless unique souls (conscious entities, or we can say, ‘entities of Consciousness’) that reside here in this world of mind and matter, and by whom this world is pervaded.  By Whom is this Universe created? It can only be created by the Supreme Self (Supreme Consciousness) which pervades every particle of this creation, and also pervades all of us.  That Supreme Self is One Without a Second, and is our own Ultimate Self.  That Supreme Self is the Self of our self, It is the Soul (essence) of our soul.  This doesn’t mean that our soul loses its uniqueness by virtue of the presence of the Supreme Self. Remember: every soul is eternal, and that which is eternal is indestructible and can never end.  The highest experience of all experiences is to experience directly the Presence of the Supreme Self within our own self, and our own self within the Supreme Self.  The proximity, or closeness, of Atman (the Self) with Paramatman (the Supreme Self) cannot be expressed with words.  That union (Yoga) is beyond the thoughts and feelings of the mind and intellect.


Some religious thinkers will assert that there is no difference between Atman and Paramatman, and some call this kind of thinking Advaita, or non-duality.  But this is a mistaken notion of ego.  Advaita is this: God is One Without a Second.  This does not negate the existence of that which is not God; just as one can say that Jai Maha Dev is one without a second, which simply means that there is only one Jai Maha Dev; it certainly doesn’t mean that no one else exists. It is the height of ego to say: “Jai Maha Dev exists, I am Jai Maha Dev, and there is no one else but me.”  This is in effect what the neo-vedantists are saying when they assert: “God is One Without a Second, I exist, therefore I am God.”  This is of course ludicrous.


According to everyone’s experience, all of us exist and all of us are different.  This is not an illusion; this is a fact of life.  The question is this:  is there something more than this and more than us.  The answer, proven by direct experience (and by other ways, including inference, the reliable testimony of other reliable people, and even logic) is that there is a Supreme Being so powerful and intelligent by Which all of this has been created from nothing (or so it appears, though actually it has been created from Prakriti), is sustained and regulated with meticulous care, and is eventually dissolved and then created anew, again and again, and again.  And all for what? --- All for us, so that we can experience the highest state of Consciousness, the state of Absolute Freedom (Moksha).  It is the experience of the union (closeness) of the Self and Supreme Self; it is the experience of our own Essence.  


When we have removed all traces of ego from our consciousness, we no longer differ with that Supreme Consciousness.  Again, it is not that we (the absolutely pure Atman, soul) lose our uniqueness and become God.  Rather, we lose our ego, our false identity, and no longer differ with God.  That is, there is no longer any assertion of ego and we become our own True Self.  Truly speaking, we do not become our True Self, because our True Self is always True.  We do not become real, because our True Self is always Real.  The mistaken identity exists only in the darkness of Ignorance.  When the darkness is removed with the Light of Wisdom, our ever-Real nature is revealed, and that revelation is Enlightenment. 


Ignorance and enlightenment exist in the Mind only.  When the union of Purush and Prakriti (Spirit and Matter) is known as the essence of Avidya, then the ever-manifest Integral, Indivisible Being is all that there is. The contact of the Self with the non-self is a misnomer.  The division of the indivisible is not real.  Yoga is the process of restraining the mind from differing with the Divine; Yoga is stopping the mind from making up stories and creating images of unreality. When the mind is completely restrained one attains the highest state of Yoga, which is the union of the Self with the Supreme Self.  This union already exists, has always existed, and will exist forever—it is Eternal, and it is Eternity itself.  It is just the mind that needs to be enlightened about this Ultimate Truth.


The Supreme Self does not stand in need of enlightenment.  Our ever-pure, ever-real Atman does not stand in need of enlightenment.  It is the living self (comprised of mind, body, intellect, ego, and spirit) that must be enlightened.  When the living self is enlightened, we say that we have awakened from the dream of Ignorance, and we realize that we have always been free and have never been touched by anything that happened in the dream, because the dream was never real and we never became unreal.  This experience is our experience, it is not the experience of the unchangeable Supreme Self—and yet, it really is the experience of the unchangeable Supreme Self; that is, it is our experience of the unchangeable Supreme Self.


This discourse is for those who are really serious about experiencing their own essence, their own True Self.  It is not for those who already have everything all figured out and don’t want to drop their images.  Holding on to images is also a drama, but the one who plays that part becomes type-cast and never gets to experience the full breath of Consciousness. 


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