There are some experiences one has in life that deeply change one’s level of awareness and perspective. This article is about such an enlightenment experience I had during my post graduate years at Rutgers University. I had been awarded a fellowship which, in addition to making me financially comfortable, brought with it the privilege of living in one of the better apartments on campus. My apartment was a witnessing man’s dream. My window overlooked a busy street and I would enjoy just sitting there and observing the world go by.
My observation of people though utilized a peculiar technique. I would always look at the moving legs of the human beings as they walked. I found that this would immediately strip away the image that we normally perceive in another and would make their “animal” nature very apparent. In other words, instead of noticing the clothes, the style, the hair, the nationality, the looks, the generalizations, the social category, etc, I would be sitting, amused by the fact that, at the end, it was just an “animal” walking along. Try this way of looking, it will make you realize how many layers society has caked on to your natural Self.
On one such occasion, as I sat quietly just observing, expecting nothing, an incredible shift of awareness took place. The person (it was a male college student) who was walking along, was none other than ME walking! This was the absolute Truth. It was not a conclusion or mental activity of any kind. It was ME walking… period. I was walking, there was no him. The state of consciousness was incredible. Here is a summary of the nature of this enlightenment experience, which I hope will give you some insight into these kind of awakenings…
1. No effort or expectation was involved on my part to create this experience, as I was simply, silently just observing.
2. The best description of what took place, is a “Shift of Awareness”. Where awareness simply went from The Ordinary Reality of Many to the True Reality of One. Or said another way, shifted from self awareness to Self Awareness. Where the Big Self is All and is our One True Identity.
3. There was no loss of consciousness or sanity and the resultant state was absolutely Clear and True. Seeing him as me or no him and only me, was like seeing the Sky as Blue.
4. As with most enlightenment experiences it was coupled with great joy, bliss and awe.
What this experience makes apparent is that the True Nature of Reality is radically different from the ordinary reality we perceive everyday. The reality of different people, including yourself, living different lives is just a projection. It is just Maya (illusion). It is just a play. Behind the scene everything is just you. All is you. Everything is just appearing and disappearing in your mind or in your True Self. Try to hold on to this Self Awareness, this Non-Dual way of looking and you will notice a remarkable difference in your attitude and feelings. After all, if everybody and everything is just you, what is there to fear and what is there to gain or lose?
You are all and everything is you. Thou art that. Tat Tvam Asi. There is only I AM.