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Self, Souls and Different Levels of Reality

Written by Nirmala on .

Q: Is there a logical proof that all souls are multiple personalities of the same self, and of what therefore  to do?

A: What an interesting question. I am not a logician, but I will try giving an answer that might intrigue you.

All there is, is truth. What is, is what is! However, not all truths are equal as some truths are small and some are big. A purely conceptual thought, like say a mythical creature with seven heads and purple polka-dots all over its furry body is a very small truth. It only exists in my head (and maybe in yours now too). Physical objects have more truth or reality, and in my view, the soul has even more reality. The sense that we are all one is an even bigger truth.

I define the truth as whatever opens your heart or sense of being and quiets the mind. A smaller truth has the opposite effect. That is not exactly a logical definition, but it is an effective way to sort the many truths we encounter in life by how true they are, or in other words, how big a truth they are.

So back to your question. Let's propose three different truths and see how they measure up:

1- We are separate individuals and when we die, that is that.
2- We are individuals with souls that continue on after we die and then reincarnate in a new body.
3- We are all one soul that incarnates in all of the bodies throughout time.

Which one opens or relaxes your awareness the most fully? Which one quiets your mind the most? Just try them on like you are trying on a piece of clothing and see which one fits the most spaciously. That is the truest conclusion. And by the way, this is always contextual and includes what fits with all of your other beliefs and experiences, so what is true for you at this point in time may be different than what is true for someone else, or for you at another point in time.

There is a fourth possibility:

4-All three truths above are true simultaneously at different levels of experience or reality.

So, depending on your perspective and where you are looking from, you can experience yourself as a completely separate being with little or no fundamental connection to other people. Or with a shift in perspective or where you are experiencing your self from, you may then sense that you as an individual continue through space and time beyond the time of your birth and death. Then with a very big shift in perspective, you may experience that you are one with all souls and all expressions of life as a whole. However if all of these perspectives exist simultaneously, then you will also be able to shift back into a smaller perspective and experience your self as a completely separate and seemingly purely physical entity. For example, that is likely to happen if you have a tooth drilled at the dentist with no novacaine!

There is even a level of truth or reality where all of the above is seen to be a dream and completely unreal. At that level, there are no bodies, no souls, no one infinite soul and nothing ever happens. Even this empty level of truth can coexist with the other levels, so it still might be a matter of your perspective in the moment.

There are lots of wonderful metaphors for this idea of simultaneous different levels of truth, including sometimes contradictory truth. One is how on a rainy day, you can look up and see a sky filled with grey clouds. And yet you can fly in airplane over that same spot and experience blue sky and sunshine. And you can even go up in a rocket ship and discover a black sky and a sun that never sets. And you can even continue out into the empty blackness of outer space beyond the distance at which you can perceive either the earth or the sun or even our entire galaxy! And yet all of these levels of the truth exist simultaneously, even if they might seem logically to contradict each other.

And then there can be lots of smaller truths within any bigger truth. Someone a few hundred miles away from you on the surface of the earth might be experiencing different weather, or even nighttime with no sun. Same level, but still very different truths.

In physics, it would seem that physicists are struggling with a similar dilemma as they try to sort out the different rules that apply to ordinary levels of experience versus a much larger scale where Einstein's theory of special relativity explains some very strange and different truths. Or they can explore the extremely small dimensions where quantum theory describes an even stranger set of rules for how things happen in this reality. Again, these different levels all coexist at the same time, even though there are radical contradictions between the different rules or theories.

How many levels you distinguish and where you draw the line between different levels is somewhat arbitrary, but I would invite you to also check out Timothy Conway's excellent model that proposes three different levels of nondual reality here: http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/3_levels_of_nondual_Reality.html 

As for what to do, that of course depends on what level of truth you are experiencing in the moment. Thankfully there are lots of different answers to that question also. If there were not different truths, and even different sizes or levels of truth, then it seems that this life would be unbearably homogenous and there would be little opportunity for endless debates and discussions on the internet! As it is, we can seemingly never be done exploring the truth from all different perspectives and levels, which may be just what consciousness as a whole is up to when it creates all these apparent individuals.

I hope this is helpful, although I would guess it all raises more questions than it answers :)

stars in the sky

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Announcing: Free Weekly Online Satsang with Nirmala On Wednesdays

Written by Nirmala on .

I have been invited to offer a weekly online satsang on the Awakening Together Sanctuary. They have an ongoing gathering place online for all kinds of spiritual exploration and discovery. You can either participate in the discussion or just listen in on their internet radio station. Here is the info:

Weekly Satsang with Nirmala

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Weekly Satsang with Nirmala
Each Wednesday at 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT

Join & Interact with Nirmala live during Satsang in the Online Sanctuary
Or simply listen live via the internet radio station

(Recordings of past satsangs will be posted on this page once they are available)

About Satsang

Who are you really? Are you your body, mind, and personality? Or are you the spacious awareness in which they appear? Questions like these point us to the infinite oneness and Presence that is the true source of peace, happiness, and love. Satsang means “gathering together to inquire into our true nature.” It is an opportunity through inquiry and dialogue to discover that the love, peace, and happiness you have been seeking are available here and now. Satsang is a chance to finally rest from all seeking and struggle and to experience directly the completeness and perfection of your Being. You will discover the sweet richness that is revealed when you give the truth your undivided attention.

Nirmala’s Invitation

Nirmala invites questions and suggestions for topics we can explore together in these online meetings, as he wants these gatherings to serve you in the most direct ways possible. Satsang is for you and so he invites you to make it your own by asking your questions. You can offer your questions online during the session, or you can email Nirmala ahead of time at Nirmala (at) endless-satsang.com. You can learn more about Nirmala’s perspective through all of the material on his website including several free ebooks, articles, and videos and audios of satsang on this website.

Nirmala’s Books


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Fatigue After Awakening

Written by Nirmala on .

Q: I went through 4 years of debilitating insomnia due to anxiety about being sleep-deprived the next day (a cruel vicious circle...and catch-22...), and then had a profound and complete awakening to the vastness of the present moment. Since then, however, a chronic fatigue has developed and continued unabated, and for the past 26 months I've been on my parent's couch in a drained, often exhausted, quasi-depressed state.

I haven't been able to resist what is, or avoid what I feel in the energy body, since surrendered, so in that sense, I have been at peace. Basically, I know all is well. But, my parents see me unresponsive, depressed, and fatigued, and are very worried and sending me to doctors.

I am doing herbal treatments for chronic lyme, and have had blood tests and everything is good and healthy. I'm physically healthy, but I think my energy body is fatigued and depressed. I feel strongly and deeply that this process is some sort of integration and transformation of the energy body, which uses all my energy, and thus requires me to "incubate" and lie on the couch. But, I suppose I can't be sure, that's why I'm treating for lyme. If you ever come upon some more information on this "awakening fatigue" situation, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd pass it on.

A: I am not sure if it is much comfort, but the kind of experience you are having is not uncommon, even among well known spiritual teachers. There are many levels of truth, so it is hard to determine what is really cause and what is effect, but a profound awakening does seem to have effects on the body. These effects are often more extreme when the awakening is sudden and profound as there is naturally a clearing process that happens before, during and after an awakening. When the awakening is profound, the post-awakening clearing process can happen more rapidly and dramatically leading to symptoms like what you are having.

And of course, it can also just be a case of genetic and/or environmental causes coming to the fore.

Here are some suggestions I can offer on different levels:

1- You might check out Monolaurin as a physical treatment for Lyme and other disease agents:

2- You might want to explore both psychological and even metaphysical clearing processes to help the process unfold on those levels. Here is a woman who lives near us who does shamanic healing: http://lorimorrison.com/

My wife, Gina Lake, has written a book about clearing called Getting Free that might have some useful info and exercises for you.

2- If at some point, you think you are able to pursue something fairly demanding, there is a center in Tennessee that works with the subtle body and Kundalini system, which may also be where this effect is arising from: http://kundalinicare.com/

3-You might experiment some with motivating in spite of the lack of energy just to see what happens. I wrote about this some in two blog posts:
The worst that can happen is you collapse again, or maybe you will find that the energy you are lacking shows up when you start doing things again.

4- As you seem to know, all of this is temporary and does not harm your consciousness. This is the largest truth and is a great comfort when approaches on other levels do not bear fruit immediately. Here is an article about this level of truth: http://endless-satsang.com/noharm.htm

I experienced some of what you are describing after my own awakening, so I have lots of compassion for what you are going through. Please do keep me posted as to how this unfolds for you.


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