So Alder, I've always taken queues from those who've gone before. Experience trumps classroom study.
At what age would you estimate that you arrived at these realizations?
It's all new for me. The stuff you bring to the table has helped me to begin unraveling the gordian knot which is the complex "self".
There is no rule like this. Just because I was kind of hit with this seeing at age 67, the seeing was that it was always there, the only thing that changed was my willingness to give up seeing as I was habituated to see. And yes, that old seeing was as a complex self. The complexity was the thinking that I was my story of histories and futures, my learnings, my memories of experiences, projections about everything arising in thought. Suddenly, it was as if I was looking over my own shoulder at all of that, seeing how I had made it up from a moving picture. It was that famously unreliable eye witness testimony. Once seen this way, in all honesty I could see I didn't really know anything for certain... not in all those old details at any rate.
Yes, as they say, it was a dreaming; pretending to be a knowing. What can bring such a change? I would say, a willingness, an urge of the heart to be free from one's own delusion, and the humility to entertain the new idea that all the old ideas of self have run their courses. When this break comes, toss even the new idea away, as it has served its purpose. Mooji says of this, "when you get a thorn in your foot, you can take another thorn to remove the first thorn. Then you throw both thorns away." The mind is not the identity. The mind, as it is, is just another blessing of this life. The thoughts and ideas all come and go, as they should and must. The heart thinks in silence. The silence was there before any thought of mind arose. It is there now.
It is the eternal simplicity out of which all complexity owes its temporary appearance. This is seen in an instant. And seen, it cannot then be unseen, except by a denial of the experience.
When I saw through my own story a mere 17 months ago, I would have to term it a blinding revelation, coming upon me in a perceived crisis of identity. I could say I had sought it for many years through the path I had been on. But, not knowing what such an awakening would entail on an experiential level, I was totally unequipped to integrate my sense of self into it. Here, there was a great grace added to the grace of this new sight, in that I was just discovering a master of such awakening, someone who could show me the ropes, as it were. I immediately had begun to, out of habit, integrate my experiences in the form of a new story of identity. I was effectively handing this off to my mind in the form of a new historical 'me,' being created in my mind. I am so thankful to have found a loving and wise master just then, at such a juncture.
I had no idea that the experience that was so freeing was that of emptiness and non-identity. I had almost immediately embarked on the creation of 'spiritual me.' The new improved identity. I thank my master who showed me the truth of my experience was in what had been laid down, and nothing that had been, or could be, picked up, on a personal level.
There is only the Self, the One Self. We can express it in the statement, "I am," or, "I exist." Is there any need to say more? The One Self lives its existence as the everything arising from what? Could there be words to speak here?
I am He as you are He as you are me and we are all together... coo coo cachoo.