Spirituality begins for many of us as Children. We learn about God, or Gods. We learn about the life and adventures of Gods, and the spiritual lessons associated with these adventures.

 

We learn the rites and rituals of our religion. We are told our place in all this. As we grow, we either accept or reject what we have learned. Maturity brings discernment, and we come to a more "realistic" view in our spiritual life. We learn that the body will pass away, but the "spirit" lives on. We call this "spirit" a "soul" or the "self".

 

Our Spiritual practices, no matter what religion, attempt to make us aware that this "soul" or "self" is the permanent aspect of our existence. We grow to have less interest in the body, realizing that it will surely pass away. But we cling to the thoughts of "soul" and God

 

Our learning as children may have given us thoughts of a "heaven" or a "hell". It may have given us scientific theories regarding existence, such as physiology, cosmology, and all the rest of it. We may have accepted or rejected concepts such as "resurrection of the body" "salvation", or "gunas" or the "five elements", or "karma".

But if we are on a spiritual path, we cling to "soul" and "God" as the reality that stands beyond the concepts, no matter which we accept or reject. 

 

As we grow in spirituality we combine all this "knowledge" and come to a conclusion that what we see around us is passing and changing with time, including "ourselves". So eventuality we come to ask the question; "Who am I".

 

Ramana Maharshi told us to ask this question; "Who am I". He told us to meditate on this. Nisargadatta Maharaj said much the same in his admonition to "stay in the I AM". If we follow this advice, we become aware that "I AM", or our "awareness" of our consciousness, is the only true thing our minds can observe. We come to see that, as the "observer" we not only observe the world, but ourselves in it. So we come to the conclusion that the "I" must not be this "person" we observe. When we see the "person" we have taken ourselves to be as simply another part of the manifestation, no more important than any other, we begin to stabilize in the "I AM". We now experience consciousness. This I AM consciousness" Nisargadatta Maharaj expressed as Brahman, or "God". 

 

This experience of God as consciousness, or the "I AM" allows us to go beyond the body, but the mind still "clings" to the thoughts of both the "I" concept, and the "God" concept. We see that both are the same; this "I" and "God". However both the "I" and "God" are still in the mind. This is where many get lost, or mistakenly take "themselves to be God". This is nothing but ego.

 

The ego, being a "thing", wants to remain a "thing". It can not imagine itself as "nothing" or even "everything".

This is where experience comes. Once you realize you are not the body, you now must let go of the concepts of both the "I" and "God", and uncover the Love that makes the two One. Love is not a "thing", it is an action of unfolding.

 

Love, the ever unfolding, unchanging reality is Parabrahmin; that which you are.

 

This is why we are told that we must renounce everything. All concepts must go. All dualities must be resolved in themselves. Good-bad. right-wrong, guna-nirguna. All dissolve in this understanding. No one can tell you this,

it must be found for yourself. As Nisargadatta Maharaj used to say, one must come to this conclusion on your own, and live accordingly.

 

The living accordingly  is the most important part, as the mind cannot conceive it, and words cannot express it, you can only "be" it. 

 

 

 

 

"Sometimes I feel I am everything, I call that Love. Sometimes I feel I am nothing, I call that Wisdom. Between Love and Wisdom my life continuously flows."
- Nisargadatta Maharaj