Only, perhaps, in taverns and in gambling casinos will you find as many pretenders as you will likely find along the path to higher consciousness. So many would-be aspirants would rather talk, dream, and indulge their opinions than get on with the marvelous prospect of really becoming enlightened.
As you proceed toward higher consciousness, be careful not to be taken in by dreamers who show no signs of character, courage, kindness, or clear-mindedness. At the same time, avoid as you would an epidemic the temptation to pretend you are experiencing higher consciousness when you have no clear signs of self-improvement to indicate you have ventured anywhere at all in your quest.
Specific events must occur in your life if you truly discover your higher consciousness. By now you have studied and hopefully practiced character development, faith, love, and the levels of transcendental consciousness. You have developed the habit of patient practice and the Good Will Witness state.
As you develop day by day, you will proceed through the various planes of consciousness. At the same time you also move through the stages of the heart. Accepting yourself as you are and going forward steadfastly, you will experience most all the exalted states of consciousness mentioned here. Great adventures await you.
Different aspirants have different experiences and it’s wonderful to observe that each person’s path is individual and distinct to him or her. Each enlightened person contributes something unique to the overall experience of humanity. Nevertheless, nearly all aspirants on most of the paths to higher consciousness participate in a sublime experience called the mystical marriage. This great wedding is an activity of your higher consciousness which occurs when — and only when — you are appropriately prepared physically (in the conduct of your daily life), mentally, emotionally, and egoically.
Dedicated to Your Higher Self
As you strive to live an honorable life and be a good person, you find you need to make many sacrifices. Many opportunities to get ahead in your personal life or career often require some sort of compromise or dishonesty on your part but you discover you’re unable to make personal advancements which require a compromise of your ideals and growing sense of what is right. At times you very likely will have to fight, take risks, and stand up for your ideals. These crises or turning points often become times of loss or sorrow in that you will lose friends, opportunities, or be thought ill of by those who have a casual attitude about morality, ethics, or the value of the lives of others. You, however, feel you have no choice but to be true to yourself and that you must necessarily take the consequences of your heartfelt commitments.
Proceeding in this way, you grow a great deal in your character and become a fitting person to experience higher consciousness. You become a person who will not try to dominate others or take advantage of people when you have greater power and insight through your enlightenment.
You may also, during this formative time, feel periods of loneliness. You feel out of touch with former friends who have fewer values and sensitivities than you do. You also feel deeply lonely because you have not yet experienced your higher consciousness. You are caught between two worlds; yet you have the courage and conviction to go on into the unknown, whatever the consequences. You have faith in the reality and the supreme value of what you are endeavoring to do.
After many trials and deeply important learning experiences, you begin to form a humble but gratifying self-esteem. You feel at home in your quest and realize you are more committed to it now than you were even at the excited, enthusiastic beginning. Indeed, your determination and delight in the path are consolidated and strong. Perhaps at this time you’ve experienced some higher moods or tasted of samadhi. Perhaps not.
The Mystic Marriage
Suddenly — by a timing you cannot perceive or understand — you find yourself thoroughly committed and dedicated to your higher self, even though you have not experienced it in many — or any — direct ways. Somehow your life has been coordinated by subtle means so that your most special day of “the wedding” may come. Generally, this wedding experience does not occur deliberately and no preparation other than your good conduct of life is involved. Because you are living dedicated to and committed to your higher consciousness and your Creator, a change must necessarily occur in you. It’s only a matter of time, and somehow today is the day.
Determined to be true to your path, no matter what, you suddenly feel yourself called to sit down, to pause in your activities, and enter a meditation or reverie. Perhaps you feel like praising the Lord or are unable to speak the deep gratitude and love you feel in your heart. Suddenly this major event in your life, which once you never dreamed could happen to you, begins to thrill you. Deeply calm but sweetly surrendered, you feel an inner upheaval. A delightful, ecstatic movement of energy begins to rumble or shoot up your body. From your lower back and legs, powerful, ecstatically thrilling energy warmly (on rare occasions it may feel cool) pushes with great strength all the way up your body past your heart and throat, face, and into your head. This rush of ecstasy pushes on beyond your head and out into infinite space! All you are aware of is infinite, super-vivid light, love, and power.
You might later reflect that you felt, in this state, like a bird finally let out of its tiny cage to experience universal freedom. You might also reflect that you were not aware of your inert body sitting there motionless. However, while in this state you are only aware of the infinite nature. While in the experience, you do not reflect on your body, mind, or concoct some inappropriate metaphors. Rather, you experience your lofty and grand higher consciousness. You now know your essence, your source, and that it is ever so real and profoundly worth any sacrifice. However, even these mental thoughts and this verbiage are too slow for the state you’re in. These reflections occur only afterward.
This ineffable rush of consciousness is called the wedding, or the mystical marriage. In this indescribable event your finite, limited consciousness, your distinct individuality, has embraced your infinite self, your spiritual or divine self, and it’s love at first sight. This rush of your finite being into your infinite being is an embrace you will never forget and never want to leave. Your feeling nature has become one with your knowing nature. Your small will has met and abides for a time in the greater will.
However, fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your view, your body can only stand so much ecstasy and bliss. Also, the higher consciousness does not want to crisp you into a cinder, to wipe out your individual life. So, you return blissfully and ever so sweetly to regular consciousness, usually twenty minutes to half an hour after the experience begins. You come out feeling not only that you have been in heaven but everything you behold around you in your room, or in the park, seems to have that hue, that tincture, of blessedness. You feel astonished and amazed that such an experience happened to you, that it was so much grander, vaster, and more powerful than you could have ever conceived it to be.
With profound memory of the experience and a yearning it happen again soon, you resume your normal activities and find yourself keenly motivated to meditate again whenever the opportunity presents itself. No longer is meditation a chore or a difficulty. You now know what meditation can provide and what a life lived for higher values can mean to you.
Other people may mention that they see light around you. Dogs, cats, butterflies may love to be close to you, to enjoy the free flow of higher consciousness as its momentum continues to a beautiful extent, resonating in your individual life. Little girls and boys might think of you as their dear friend and feel perfectly at home with you on first meeting. Financial and other opportunities may also gravitate toward you as if moved by an invisible hand.
You see the world in a new perspective. You are now feeling your completeness. The finite wave of the infinite ocean has sensed its true source and how great that source really is. In this mystical marriage your finite and infinite nature have embraced in love. From now on they will work together, the finite and the infinite, each serving and helping one another as mates, as partners in love.
Likely you do not understand after this first experience what the wedding really means to you and your life. You may have many questions but this new sweetness in your life tends to give you faith and patient confidence that you will know everything that you need to know. After all, that great consciousness has embraced you as its own.
From this point on, you conduct your life like a wave on an ocean of joy. You see people and things as part of this oceanic consciousness. You recognize how few people sense or are in any way aware of their true nature and birthright, so you strive to be helpful and inspiring, but never dominating or proselytizing. Each individual must proceed at his own rate — which is based on the development of character and a willingness to surrender egocentricity for a state of humble self-surrender.
Your greatly stretched and transparent ego now seeks to re-experience the celestial wedding, to experience the divine lover. The ego seeks to arrange time and appropriate circumstances so that the finite individual consciousness may rush into the arms of the infinite consciousness often and without interruption.
You begin to realize that these ecstatic meditations and towering exaltations are not an end in themselves but something more is about to happen.
You Are Being Changed
As your finite and infinite nature play together and ecstatic rapture fills your being, you begin to discover that from the very first embrace, the very first wondrous experience of the rapture and unification of your being, something new has been planted within you, much like a seed. During the colossal periods of unification with the higher consciousness your mind and ego are completely absorbed in the universal awareness. However, you then find yourself coming down out of that state to function in your daily life, conducting regular activities against the background of immense joy and a sense of fulfillment.
Still, you begin to realize that the goal is not yet reached. The wedding, no matter how beautiful, has not had its true fruition. Somehow you yourself are being changed. While the wedding was very transforming in the new perspective and in the new powerful comfort that you realized, you now understand that there is a good part of your daily life and consciousness which remains separate from the higher self, separate from the higher consciousness, except when in deep embrace in meditation. You begin to recognize that you are now as if “with child.” Somehow a new being is stirring within you. This new being, this seedling, is of the quality of the higher consciousness; yet it is growing within you in your regular daily consciousness. This inner life continues to develop as the days and often months go by.
And now, on another great and special day — perhaps even a few days in a row which have been suddenly made available to you, a vacation or special time off from work — you find yourself extremely quiet and ever so full of the ecstasy of higher consciousness. You become very still and, like a woman in labor, totally concentrated on the birth that is about to occur. This birth begins to have the feeling of inevitability. This birth challenges your mind with this mystery — a birth which, in its coming forth, pushes your mind and emotions back into a reliance and trust on a great life process which is in the hands of a master midwife.
Gradually, birth occurs. Then, you suddenly realize the cry of your new being! You know in your totality that you are reborn. Your birth is a transformation of your finite consciousness. You now understand. You have become, truly, a new creature. You are a new person, free of old tendencies, habits, and attitudes which have bothered you throughout your life and caused harm and misery to yourself and others. You are new. You are filled with the infinite consciousness and yet you are able to maintain that realization of the infinite consciousness here in your sweet finitude. You, the individual, are a conscious part of the infinite ocean of awareness; yet you are human, finite, and distinct also.
You wonder at the birth. You wonder at your Creator. You realize that you now are the finite beloved of the infinite. It is no longer a matter of “something within” your consciousness being married to the infinite consciousness. That was during the period of the wedding. Now, your entire being — inside and out — is reborn. You are aware of the infinite consciousness moving in every cell and tissue of your being, from your toes to your hair. You recognize yourself completely renewed, and the beloved of your Creator! Your life takes on immortal and eternal dimensions. Your wonder and your joy, along with your gratitude, are never-ending.
Most all true aspirants for higher consciousness experience this wedding and great rebirth. May you in your quest one day know yourself and the higher consciousness in this new incomparable way.