“Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas. A human being is a part of the whole called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
Pure Self expresses itself as conscious existence. It is common experience that when one becomes conscious of oneself, one starts behaving in a funny way. The moment we become conscious of ourselves, our normal behavior disappears and strange behavior starts manifesting. This is the misery, sorrow, pain and tragedy of being conscious of ourselves. This strange behavior itself is mind. Pure Self expressing as consciousness reduces itself to the status of the limitations of the mind. Mind is the entity which creates duality, a sense of otherness in us where there is one homogeneous all pervading entity.
Due to this nature of mind, where it creates duality, there is consciousness of individual ego-centric existence leading to various kinds of divisions. The divisions such as day and night, the four directions in space, living and non-living, plants and animals, animals and humans, males and females, relatives and strangers, friends and enemies, rich and poor, literate and illiterate, beautiful and ugly, young and old, etc. and divisions on the basis of religion, caste, creed, race, nationality, etc. It also creates the limitations of space, time and objects.
If the mind is the culprit, then in the absence of the mind these divisions should cease to exist as far as we are concerned. Does it? Yes!! In deep sleep state the mind is completely absorbed in its source. Therefore in deep sleep we have no consciousness of where we are sleeping, on the water bed or under a tree; in India, England or elsewhere. We have no notion of gender and other divisions whatsoever. The greatest calamity, sorrow or misery of our waking state or dream state doesn’t touch us in deep sleep due to the absence of the mind, since these are felt only in the mind. In deep sleep we experience a glimpse of the Infinite Bliss in extremely minute quantum.
The philosophical aspect of all religions and the spiritual pursuit involves transcending the limitations of the mind and its feeling and emotions; and intellect and its thoughts, while being in the waking plane of consciousness. Though we transcend these in the deep sleep, but it is temporary and, most importantly there is no awareness of it. The process involves either expanding the ego to include the entire existence in it or dissolving the ego where the notion of “I-ness” ceases to exist to give a sense of otherness.
Then everything becomes the extension of our own existence. East and west, above and below, here and everywhere permeates that one dynamic homogeneous Reality. When we are in Pure awareness and live it, this outer world is no more available to us as a separate entity — the world that we perceive now with our limited body-mind-intellect equipment. This non-dual Reality does not admit of any difference from similar or dissimilar objects. This Indivisible and Immutable Self is not an impotent factor, but a positive awareness of Infinite Bliss. There is only eternal, Infinite Bliss. This world of attachment and sorrow is because of the self-dissipating extrovertedness and the delusory interests, wrongly created by our mind for the ego-centric individuality in us. All the objects of cognition are ever changing and of a perishable nature.
This experience of Pure Being cannot be described, because it will then be limited by the feeble powers of our speech. It is that light which is eternally within us. Moments of perfect attunement with It are the moments of Self-realization. Then one can have only pure, unconditional love for the entire existence.