Two weeks ago I celebrated my ‘Gate-aversary’… I first saw through the illusion of the personal self one year ago as of New Year’s Eve.
In Buddhism this is referred to as passing through the Gateless Gate, or stream entry. I’ve never studied Buddhism but understand why those terms would apply.
There is, of course, no actual Gate through which one passes, no water to enter. Yet experience is accurately described as being one way ‘before’ and completely different ‘after’:
I was anxiety-ridden, a futurizer, believing of all thoughts regardless of content; and now am not.
I saw separation everywhere, was suspicious of others, deeply disliked myself; and now do not.
I judged, angered, sadded, and resented much of the time, and now have very little of them.
The list goes on.
There were also a number of expectations of what it meant to awaken from the dream of self, the illusion of separation. I thought it meant steady bliss, a certain amount of omniscience, and a 24/7 altered state of consciousness (read: not a mundane day-to-day consciousness). Perhaps even levitation! Nope. Scratch those!
The first big thing that changed was around thoughts. I was fully buying into whatever mine presented, never doubting they were true and absolutely not to be ignored. Now, as Byron Katie so succinctly says, I love them and don’t believe them.
I am able to see thoughts as an imposed narrative, placing a story on top of sensory, mental, and emotional experience; not bad or always mistaken; simply unnecessary ideas about experience, clouding it, fogging the view.
Thought is useful to me at times, of course, but usually only brought to the forefront when needed. That’s it.
The most succinct thing to say about how life is now, is that everything is still very ordinary in the way it shows up, and simultaneously, nothing is perceived as it used to be.
Rather, all is constantly known to be a seamless, non-separated singularity. The One is seen to be omnipresent as the apparent many, and the many seen as the One, very cleverly disguised. Fun and very helpful!
This became, after some stabilization, obvious beyond questioning. Diversity and separation are known now as vastly different animals; the former shows up everywhere, the latter does not exist other than in sensory perception.
Before, oneness realization was a hope, for which there seemed no hope at all. Now it is a constant.
Seeing through the illusion of a separate ‘me’ opened the door to numbers of further realizations. Yet it is the first and most fundamental illusion; and while intact, everything had been seen through its filter, coloring all from the point of view of the ‘self’. This significantly limited experiencing.
And then I saw through it. My gratefulness will never end.
So… that’s the nutshell version of the past year. Thanks for sharing it with me. What a ride! And on and on it goes…