The Nature of Spiritual RealizationThe Nature of Spiritual Realization
The Nature of Spiritual Realization

Unlike a mere experience, a Realization of any degree involves
a fundamental and permanent shift in one's sense of reality

What is your sense of Reality right now? Odds are that, in spite of any "spiritual experiences" you may have had at one time or another in your life, the direct and tangible awareness of God or a Greater Reality is not your experience in this moment, and is not your constant or even regular experience.

If this is so, then regardless of all those meditation classes, regardless of all the spiritual reading you've done, it has not amounted to a Spiritual Realization that is, a fundamental and permanent shift in your sense of reality, and all your conclusions about it. Every experience has its limit, because it doesn't fundamentally change the experiencer.

This is not to say that most people open to the possibility of growth don't experience some kind of shift in their sense of reality. For example, thinking of one particular friend of mine, perhaps one used to feel most people were idiots, and now one feels much more compassion for people (in part having seen one’s own liabilities, but perhaps also just because of a general increase in one’s sensitivity to one’s own suffering and the suffering of others). This is good! And it is a realization of a kind (a small "r"), if it takes the form of a permanent, positive shift in one’s relationship to others. But as good and necessary as human maturation is (and it is indeed a necessity at the beginning of genuine spiritual practice), why settle for little "r" realization alone? Big "R" Realization is available to you as well! The shift in sense of Reality that is a Big "R" Realization is profound. It is literally a shift in Identity. All the realizations associated with being merely the physical body are still little "r" realizations. But you are also Spirit (as is everything and everyone). And you are the Consciousness in which the universe is arising.

This is a very useful yardstick by which to measure our current realization, and our own life goals! Does anything we are engaging in now have the purpose of Realizing Perfect Happiness? Even close? Probably not.

The genuine Spiritual process is all about Spiritual Realizations, permanent shifts in one's sense of Reality. Such Realizations are the milestones by which one can mark one's actual progress in the process, and the process culminates in the Ultimate Realization of Most Perfect God-Realization (which we described briefly in the last section).

It should be said that here are profound cultural and religious taboos against God-Realization. Simply put, these stem from the misconception of God as "Creator", rather than God as "Source". In the former view, anyone who says "I Am God" is committing sacrilege, because built into the viewpoint is an unbridgeable gap between Creator and creature. Even mystics speaking of "communion with God" has been risky business throughout the course of the Great Tradition, but most of them survived that confession without torture or excommunication for heresy, and a few were even officially recognized as saints.

It's worth considering for a moment the common uses of the word, "realization". Two common uses are worth looking at.

The first is defined by the dictionary as "bringing into concrete existence". "She realized her goal of earning a million dollars" is an example.

A second use is as a reference to a mental insight of some kind, often sudden in nature: “He suddenly realized that he had left his hat in the car.”

The sense in which we are using "Spiritual Realization" has something in common with both these senses, but also cannot be reduced to either. Spiritual Realization is very "concrete" in the sense that it is a fundamental and permanent shift in one's sense of Reality. But unlike the "million dollar" example, what is Realized is not something that wasn't the case before; rather, like the "hat in the car" example, what is Realized was (and is) already the case. Spiritual Realization is more like awakening, like opening the eyes, than like achieving a goal.

Reality is always already the case. But "Reality Itself is no small matter!", my Spiritual Master has quipped. And "Realizing Reality" is by no means some kind of merely mental insight, or mental shift in viewpoint, because Spiritual Reality is not merely mental. As we will see, the actual Spiritual process even requires a profound conversion of the entire body-mind, even at the physical, cellular level:

Avatar Adi Da SamrajDivine Enlightenment is a literal change of the whole body. If you have acquired the human form, then the change that must occur in the body is not really so much in your outward appearance, because you already have the necessary structure. Rather, the changes that must occur are psycho-physical changes — just as literal as if you were to acquire more legs and arms, except that the most dramatic changes occur in dimensions other than the shape of the physical body. Changes certainly do occur in the flesh and in the elemental structures of the body, but those changes do not really alter the body's outward shape. Nevertheless, those changes are as literal as the "evolutionary" change from a dinosaur to a human being — and they are as dramatic as that, but they principally occur at more subtle levels of the physics of the conditional being. There are literal changes in the nervous system, literal changes in the chemistry of the body, literal changes in the structural functioning of the brain.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Super-Physics of Divine Enlightenment


God-Realization involves a series of permanent shifts in identity

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