II. True Self
Who Are You?
But is the self that comes into being through the contemplation of
beauty the true Self whose realization alone brings us true freedom,
happiness, inner power and full creativity?
There is no simple answer to this, since life, and its focused
enactment in DEPTH Dialogue, is a dynamic ever-changing fluid movement,
that has stages of development in its living embodiments, i.e. in us
human beings. This means that the answer may be different at different
stages of development. As self unfolds itself to itself through deep
self-exploration, more and more revelations proceed to open up. You
realize more, you see more, you develop and mature, just like a child
matures into an adult with adult perceptions and understandings, one
stage of development at a time.
So, the answer is "maybe," "yes," "no," and "both," depending on where
you are along the journey to full self-realization.
We There Yet?
It would be easy to accept the ecstatic transcendent self that is born
in the contemplation of beauty as the true self that we seek. It brings
with it the experience of ever-growing ecstasy, expanded creativity in
all aspects and levels of life, greater freedom of action in the world
of appearances, an assured sense of confident inner power, and an
emotional fluidity that makes living beyond the suffering of old
limiting emotional patterns a reality.
But Socratic Wisdom does not ever stop in its questioning, in its
exploration of self and experience. It is not satisfied until
completion and totalization is reached. It is not satisfied until there
is a sure sense that there is no longer anywhere to go. It does not
rest until the journey is really over.
Do We Go From Here?
If the unbounded bliss of sublime transcendent beauty is not completely
satisfying, why not? And what is? What would be? What impels us to want
more than this?
The answer to this lies not in the exploration of experiences that was
described in the section above on Emotional Transcendence, but in the
exploration into self. It comes from the nagging persistence of the
question Who am I really? Not just Who am I? but Who am I REALLY?
When we explore deeply into THAT question we may discover that self is
an experience that we have, i.e. a content of our consciousness. BUT we
may also find that self is NOT a content of consciousness, NOT an
experience that is similar to all our other experiences, but quite
unique unto itself. We may even discover that self is not an experience
How could THAT be?
Pay close attention to the following. Do it yourself as you read.
When you are aware of any object in front of you or in your mind's eye,
there are always two factors in operation. First there is the object.
Secondly there is who or what is aware of the object.
You could call these the object and the subject, the "it" and the "I."
Who or what is AWARE of the object cannot ever be an object itself. An
object is what you are aware OF, not the awareness.
An object can never be awareness. It is always what is presented TO
awareness, like images are presented on a screen to an audience in a
So, if you who are aware of objects are not an object, and can never
be, who or what are you? You are not an object, you are not a thing,
you are no thing. You are pure, simple awareness, which is
no-thing-ness. Your ordinary, everyday awareness, distinct from all
objects of awareness, is this.
If you followed the above inquiry in your own awareness and
understanding you are now self-realized. You now know that you are not
an object, never were, never will be, and cannot ever be under any
circumstances. You now know that you are, and you live in, that
ultimate freedom of no-thing-ness.
The only reason we don't
ordinarily realize this is that our ordinary everyday awareness is
generally always totally engaged with objects of awareness, and we do
not have the guidance nor the opportunity to make the above
discrimination. Even after making the above discrimination
our awareness is still totally engaged with objects. The only
difference is that we now realize awareness in itself for what it is.
This is an important realization. In fact, it is the ultimate
realization - the realization of the ultimate Self beyond
all conditions and circumstances, existing in total freedom. This
realization will have natural and spontaneous effects
in your consciousness and life. (This will be explained below.)
Wake Up To Find Out
That You Are The "I" Of The World
But why do we call Pure Awareness "Self?" Why do we identify it
with what we call "I?"
Because when we look inside for what we call "I" what we find is that
the most basic thing that we mean by that is the "me being aware" of
something. That "me being aware" is awareness. When taken by itself,
without objects of awareness, it is Pure Awareness.
Someday, perhaps when you fall into a kind of slumber and the outside
world starts to fade into the background, you will find yourself alone
in pure awareness - no objects, no world. You might have previously
thought that you would have disappeared too, that this was
annihilation, but you find that "you" are still there. Then you will
know for sure who "I" really is. When you come back to the world you
will look on it with a new "I."
You Are That
Pure simple awareness, no-thing-ness, is the True Self, the Self that
is not a content of consciousness, not just an experience among other
You ARE that Absolute Self beyond all circumstances and conditions. You
ALWAYS were, but didn't know it, hadn't yet realized it.
THIS IS NOT
EXTRAORDINARY!!! IT IS THE MOST
BASIC CONDITION OF LIFE AS A HUMAN BEING - THE ORDINARY
EVERYDAY AWARENESS THAT IS MOST BASICALLY YOU.
ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE SELF IS YOUR COMMON ORDINARY EVERYDAY AWARENESS,
KNOWN AS SUCH WHEN YOU DISTINGUISH IT OFF
FROM ALL OBJECTS
OF THAT AWARENESS.
Again, just to get it through loud and clear:
IT IS YOUR COMMON
ORDINARY EVERYDAY AWARENESS!! IT IS WHO YOU ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN,
ALL THE TIME IN YOUR ORDINARY LIFE
LOST IN OBJECTS AND EXPERIENCES!!
Now you know!! Now
you see it for what it is. Now you realize!
The most simple everyday
awareness that you already always have is the Ultimate True Self - when
known for itself, by itself, in itself!!
What It Is
Depending on where you are coming from, the realization of Nothingness
may seem like either
a. an impossible dream beyond attainment for
anyone but yogis, meditation masters, mystics or special gifted ones,
b. a ludicrous concept that has neither reality nor any practical
In fact, simple pure awareness, no-thing-ness, is already with
you, already "in" you right now. It
is as close as the man's glasses that he searched for all over the
place when they were on his head.
All the talk and teachings, etc. from gurus, traditions, religions,
spiritual practices, etc. about the Ultimate Self being some far-off
attainment or some special state of consciousness that is difficult to
get into, are all just basically wrong.
The only reason that the simplicity of Self has been missed, and
therefore become a far-off image of the end of some difficult journey,
is because it has been so close, so intimate, so much a fundamental
everyday part of us that it is just taken for granted, not even noticed.
All that it really takes to realize the ultimate self of pure
awareness, of beingness, of the most basic state of our existence, is
to notice our everyday simple awareness. Because that is where it is,
that is what it is. Realization is just to notice it, and recognize it
for what it is.
If you didn't get it,
that doesn't matter. It is just a demonstration.
In DEPTH Dialogue this realization happens naturally and spontaneously
simply as a result of doing the deep self-exploration. What happens is
that as you observe and witness your experiences more and more you
begin to notice that those experiences are NOT YOU. As you explore
experiences of selfhood more and more you begin to realize that even
those experiences of who you thought, felt and sensed you were, are NOT
At some point,
without even hardly noticing it, you have come to just
simply know that you are not any of the images, feelings and
experiences that parade before your senses and your mind's eye.
Not only this, every
round of DEPTH Dialogue self-exploration brings
you to a shift and realization in your awareness and understanding,
that is a real creative breakthrough from beyond anything you ever knew
or experienced before. Realization "out of the blue." When this
happens, the old mind is whited out, like when shadows disappear from
a room when you turn on bright lights. This "whiting out" is pure
awareness coming through too. The transcendent beingness, the pure free
no-thing-ness is cracking through the crevices.
The Riddle Is
Oracle at Delphi: Socrates
is the wisest man in Athens.
The riddle: Why did
Oracle say that Socrates is the wisest man?
The Oracle at
Delphi (quoted by
Socrates): Know Your Self.
Self is no-thing,
not a thing, no-thing-ness.
realized and then lived this central illuminating
truth of existence.
Is The Fullest Ecstasy
So, the deepest, truest form of ecstasy comes
not with the realization of the transcendent experiential self that is
born in the
contemplation of beauty. This is an image of self that is still a
content of consciousness, still within the bounds of appearances.
The fullest ecstasy only comes from complete freedom beyond all
appearances, with full realization of emptiness, no-thing-ness,
Pure Awareness without an object, as who and what
you are, as Self; and this in all seeming appearances in your everyday
This is because Nothingness is the complete and total freedom from ALL
limitations. It is liberation from the prison of ALL illusions. And it
feels like getting out of prison.
can only have
limited ecstasy while you are still in prison. It is
only a taste of what life is like in the "great wide open" of free life.
You can be really and truly happy only when you are completely free -
and feel it, know it, live it!!
The levels of deep creative power and functioning that DEPTH Dialogue
leads you to are stages in the integration of this total freedom of
Nothingness into your experiential self, and your everyday bodily
physiology, experience and life.
This doesn't happen all at once but as natural stages of development in
your journey of deep self-exploration. One of the steps of this journey
is realization of ecstatic transcendent levels of experiencing, which
includes experiencing self as this kind of experience.
Further exploration and development reveals to you Self as Nothingness,
and then the integration of that realization with self as transcendence
and experience as ecstatic.
Just as there are levels of creative unfoldment, as presented in the
previous section (Overview
along with this
unfoldment, and an integral part of it, is unfoldment of realization of
Self as no-thing-ness, as the ultimate freedom that results in the true
complete ecstasy of being out of the prison of the seeming sufferings
and limitations of existence.
Self-Realization Level I: Creative Generativity
As you directly realize in your own experience that you are the one and
only creator of your experiences, you also realize who the real you is,
i.e. the no-thing-ness we have been referring to, that simple pure
awareness that is aware of all those experiences that you are creating.
You come to witness your experiences, including your experiential
self, more and more, as pure awareness
vividly present along with objects and appearances, but apart from
them, free and clear.
Self-Realization Level II: Spontaneous Generativity
As you realize that your creation of your experiences is a spontaneous
dynamic flow beyond all technique, method, will or intentionality, you
come to realize that seeming objects of your experience are more like
fluid blends of energy or consciousness similar to currents in the
ocean, rather than static blocks of stuff like statues. "Objects" in
your awareness, including your experiential self, become
transparent to the subtle levels of your
experiencing, in a sort of fluid hologram of ever-changing blends of
the most basic elements of experiencing.
Self-Realization Level III: Dynamic Radiant Beingness
As you realize the unity of the deep quietness of Being with the full
dynamism of all-powerful creative action, seeming "objects" of your
attention, including the body, mind and experiential self, become
to awareness itself. That is, they are experienced as no-thing-ness
also. The appearances of life do not disappear. They are merely
experienced as having no substance or existence. Existence is seen to
be an illusion, while appearances remain the same as ever. What
you thought and perceived to be existence in all things and
experiences, you now realize clearly and experientially is nothingness.
Nothing changes, everything changes.
The ancient analogy that illustrates this is that pottery is made from
clay. The stuff of any given piece of pottery is not its particular
shape or form, but the clay out of which it is made. So, the stuff of
any given object, and of all objects, is now directly and clearly
experienced no longer as an existence or substance, but as
no-thing-ness, the same simple pure awareness that you are.
as all there is, in everything that is.
There are not many selves.
not one Self.
is ONLY Self.
pure awareness, dynamic radiant
beingness, the "fertile void." No-thing-ness as awareness
in all the forms of appearances.
The whole of
existence then becomes for you like one vast ever-changing
fluid hologram that you can pass your hand right through, rather than
like a thick, dense, seemingly solid statue that blocks off the space
it occupies. In this analogy the "hand" is your conscious awareness,
without any resistance through all the shapes and forms of life,
realizing that the statue-like thickness and denseness of seeming
existence isn't there and never was. What really happens is that Self,
Pure Awareness, which once was completely overshadowed by the forms of
appearances, now becomes your foreground in consciousness while the
forms of appearances recede to the background.
And this too happens
in stages of development. First you start to
experience the objects of the "far senses" in terms of Self. This means
the objects of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching outside
objects. Gradually, after that, you start to experience the more
intimate experiences you normally associate with your experiential
selfhood in terms of Self. This means your internal representations of
the far senses, such as thoughts, images and emotions, and then your
internal sense of being touched, and your internal bodily sense
(proprioception) that normally represents your most basic sense of
experiential selfhood, i.e. how you feel yourself in your body. This
latter stage is the thickest of the illusions of objective existence.
It is your identification of self with the bodily sensations that give
you your normal sense of being alive and being "you." Once this
identification is loosened and dissolved, all illusions of Self or
world being something other than Pure Awareness are gone, and you
experience ultimate and absolute freedom.
Self-Realization Is Complete Freedom
This is the ultimate and complete freedom that alone brings the fullest
ecstasy which is the most complete "trump card of the emotions,"
releasing you from all suffering and limitations. Only this level of
completion will and can bring this full transcendence and mastery of
emotions that cause suffering, pain and illusions.
Will The Real
Self Please Stand Up
So, again, Who are you really?
Is the experiential self that is an image in consciousness real? If
as Nothingness is truly all that really is, how can the experiential
self be real? How can ANY experience be real?
If the Absolute Self is sufficient unto itself, what function does
experience have. Is it all mere illusion? Is it all just a mirage? Are
we lunatics experiencing hallucinations?
Experiences appear so that pure awareness can be conscious of itself.
Appearances are Self being aware of itself. Self as nothingness has no
object to be aware OF. If there were no (seeming) objects present to
awareness, Self would be like a person in deep dreamless sleep. It
would be completely and utterly oblivious. It would be deeply asleep.
So, far from being hallucinations, apparent experiences are the
aliveness of awareness to itself, creating out of itself in order to
know itself. The substance of its creations - the whole world of
appearances - is only itself, but in a form that can be reflected back
to itself. Nothing seems to be something in order to be itself, i.e
Pure Awareness is lively
awareness awake to itself. It is not a static state of absolute being,
oblivious to itself as if asleep. Self is no-thing-ness awake and alive
to itself through the seeming forms of appearances in the world of
Full Self-realization is knowing that in yourself, i.e. knowing that
you are pure awareness creating experiences out of yourself in order to
be aware of yourself. Appearances ARE real! Experiences ARE real! But
they are not what you have thought they were. You come to realize
gradually in steps (as shown above) that they are just the creative
you being you.
The good news, as stated as clearly as possible throughout this site,
is that this ultimate freedom and fullest ecstasy is the true natural
state of affairs for human beings. It is not an accomplishment but a
natural level of normal human development. The only thing that has kept
this from happening in recent times is the loss of true deep inwardly
focused Socratic education. This is now again available, so that full
self-realization, with all that results from that, is easily available
It can't be emphasized too strongly that this is an educational
process. It is as easy and as natural as learning your a-b-c's, your
1-2-3's or your p's and q's. Once this is known and accepted,
self-realization won't be seen as unusual or exceptional. It ISN'T. It
is just something to be learned. The deep inward Socratic way is the
proven and effective way to learn this.
All of the above
descriptions of development into full self-realization
are the results of direct personal observation and then reporting what
is seen. This is not speculation, received teaching, a philosophy or a
theory. This has actually happened.
But don't EVER let
ANYONE tell you that because they report such
experiences that they are special, "evolved," "enlightened,"
"awakened" or holy, etc, etc. EVERYONE and ANYONE who cares to
follow the path of deep self-exploration can easily be fully
self-realized. This is not special. IT IS AS IT SHOULD AND CAN BE
- for you, and everyone! And, it does not take someone "special" to
help you realize who you truly are, because you truly already
is just you revealing that to you. DEPTH Dialogue
is just an average normal someone like yourself being there with you
like a friend, to help you focus into that inner dialogue with your
self in order to fully realize that Self that you already ARE.
authority or guru in DEPTH Dialogue is YOU!