Meredith: This passage is from “Nature,” found in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s journal. Emerson identifies his awareness when his ego is suspended:
“Standing on bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space – all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me. I am part or (a) particle of God.”
Maybe this is a formless experience, where Emerson is taken out of himself in a consciousness illuminated beyond the foreground. His ‘eye’ of wisdom and intuition is very open. I ‘see’ this in you sometimes. Does it resonate with you?
Akilesh: Emerson, in his beautiful quote, was on the precipice. In his quote he stops short of letting himself fall over the edge into the abyss. The nothingness he saw, that he could have dissolved into, is universal being itself. Actually, there is no "me" for any currents of being to circulate through. Emerson is neither a part or a particle of God. He is God. He is the Universal Being itself. When Emerson is not, God is. Dissolving into the nothingness he glimpsed, his mind identified self, his fixation on ego, falls away, recedes into the background, and graceful presence emerges, universal being manifests. It was there all the while, only covered over with Emerson. It abides here and now, always and everywhere, lovingly, graciously waiting for us to open our hearts. Empty of our Emerson, our identity, there is bare ground, we are bathed in blithe air, uplifted into infinite space, unbounded by any ego, any body, feeling or sensation. We become a transparent seeing without a seer. We find we are a nothingness, empty space, warm, loving, intelligent and luminous. Without boundaries, our insight is vast. We are turned into the sky itself. Actually, as Kabir noted later in life: the ocean has merged with the drop, the ocean itself, vast and unbounded, pours into the drop. No Emerson can contain that. No Akilesh, no Meredith. Only just this... Call it love, call it beauty, silence, presence, being, call it God. Who we are is this, and we immerse, or merge ourselves in it. We find one another in it.
Meredith: Do you recognize the precipice that Emerson stood upon? I sometimes recognize that I stand there, too. Not quite able to see into the depths of the abyss, not yet ready to leap. It is my conscious mind that is standing there – some other part of me has already taken the leap. I’m not certain I would be aware of this if it were not for the mirror you hold for me – a reflection empty of me. That feeling of wanting or about to burst – I feel it too at times. This must be the whole of the ocean within us – so big we can hardly contain it. We are no longer – because we cannot hold it alone. We become the energy. This is so beautiful.
Akilesh: So many of us, as egos, in the historical dimension, deeply identified, stand on the precipice. We've all had glimpses, and these glimpses are what you can speak to in others when you relate to them. The glimpse may be described in any number of ways but you can tell it is a glimpse of the beyond because it will have that fragrance. It will show itself with the vibration, aroma or aura of bliss. It will be described in ordinary terms -- just seeing pigeons flying against the backdrop of a gray sky in winter, and yet a poignancy and ecstasy will be present, unexplainable. But you will recognize it.
The mind always wants to analyze and explore the depths of the abyss before it takes the leap. This is impossible. It takes great trust to take such a leap, to not hold on to ego identification, and let oneself dissolve into nothingness, the abyss. You have got it right. "It is my conscious mind that is standing there -- some other part of me has already taken the leap." Exactly. It is in the realization. Once the realization is there, the leap has already occurred. The whole universe is wide awake. Some realize this, most don't. When you release your hold on ego fixation, you find awakening is already there, already present. It's not like you get something from outside that wasn't there in the first place. Initially, fear arises whenever anyone gets close to being -- the space "empty of me." But this fear passes.