Who am I?

self-realization Sep 19, 2023


Self-realization is the journey to recover or remember our true essence. It is a movement from separation and fragmentation to wholeness (I to We). It is the part of us that is untouched by time, suffering, fear, or shame. It is the witnessing pure consciousness before fusion and attachment to the world of form and time (thoughts, body identification, emotions, subpersonalities, relationships).

To learn who we are, we must first learn who we are not. Ignorance, in this vein, can be defined as thinking ourselves to be that which we are not. As we disidentify or shed the various masks, parts, and shadow attachments, an ever-present awareness emerges or is remembered. In other words, that which you are searching for has always been there. It waits on welcome, not time. Unfortunately, we have lost connection to this loving presence. We become lost with the contents (our emotions, thoughts) on our movie screen.

Once we diffuse and release attachments, we may notice a calming, peaceful, non-judgmental, and witnessing background presence. This is our true nature that sits in the movie theater of life, watching the mind’s projections (the movie projector) without losing itself or attaching to the contents on the screen. This presence is behind all experiences, emotions, and thoughts.

Bliss and Witness Consciousness 

When one sits in complete witness consciousness, a great freedom is felt each time we release object attachment (the world’s problems, the effects, thoughts, emotions). We first separate subject and object. Then, witness the object. Then, realize we are free of said object. For example, I have emotions, but I am not my emotions. I am free of my emotions. As we do so, we begin to experience what the wisdom traditions call pure bliss, or “freedom from.” You are the I am without anything to follow.

This sense of bliss allows you to exist in the eye of the cyclone, resting in a state of inner peace regardless of what is arising in and around you. You are at peace because the truth of your nature is eternal and cannot be threatened.

Bliss can be likened to the chalice of your body emptying attachments. The journey, however, does not stop here. Your empty cup, free of attachments, now waits to be filled by something far more expansive and profound. If one rests openly in this state, the great Kosmos may decide to revisit you, offering a rare opportunity to glimpse what lies beyond—unity consciousness.

Love and Unity Consciousness 

At last, if we peel just one more layer and take a step behind the witness, we may be gifted with an awareness of the groundless ground of all being. The Zen Buddhism tradition calls this “our original face,” or the face we had before we were born. It is here where subject and object merge to become one.

The great mysteries of life are often found in paradoxes and polarities. Enlightenment, in part, involves the resolution or transcendence of life’s contradictions. Recall that bliss (freedom from) involves the release of attachments and objects. Unity consciousness, on the other hand, like the prodigal son, calls for their return. There is not one single part of the Kosmos that is excluded. Everything is invited. The body’s chalice had to release identification with the thousands of fragmented identities in order to fill back up with everything as an integrated whole (e.g., the ego and witnessing Self). The feeling-emotion state associated with unity consciousness is not bliss but rather all-encompassing love and fullness. I am the ocean, my thoughts, my body, the thousands of subpersonalities, the Big Bang, creation, death, and life. I hold them lovingly without conflict.

It is in this state that one feels a complete sense of oneness, love, unity, and interconnectedness. The original name to describe this state, cosmic consciousness, was coined by Richard Bucket. It describes a person who perceives the whole of the Kosmos as an integration.