As mentioned before, this topic comes under the general heading of ‘Is there a God?’
As to this question, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) put forward five attempted intellectual or logical proofs of God’s existence in his Summa Theologiae. Most ingenious, but this topic is beyond logic and beyond the intellect.
Thomas cannot have taken to heart the Muslim scholar Al Ghazali (c.1058-1111) -‘the truth is not arrived at by reason alone’.
My argument is, as this blog suggests, that direct experience is the only way we can know anything for sure -and yes, I am aware this ignores Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, also the possibility of self-delusion. But in practice the power of the experience now in question is such that these counter-arguments are simply obliterated.
So my argument is Arthurian rather than Thomasian. To explain: T.H.White (1906-1964), the English author of ‘The Once and Future King’ employed a particular literary device in his story of the education of the young King Arthur by the magician Merlin. The device and principle was that one can only really know what a fish (or other being) is by becoming it for a period of time. Accordingly, Arthur was magically turned into a fish (etc.) as part of his education.
This is consistent with the well known saying that one can only know another person by living in their shoes for some time. Accordingly, one can only know God by temporarily becoming this Being. This is called at-One-ment, arguably a New Testament phrase, and nothing whatever to do with ‘atonement’, this last commonly used in the Old Testament. It is Realisation of the higher Self, as opposed to the lower day to day experiential self.
This refers directly to Psalm 82,6:- ‘I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High”’; also to John 10.34:- ‘Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?
So ‘Enlightenment’ is, at least in my experience, synonymous with at-One-ment, as one might have expected from the meaning of being filled with light. I realise this is inconsistent with a view of the Sanskrit word Nirvana as emptiness, but this was absolutely not my experience. My experience was of being ‘blown out’ like a flame, in that my name; personality, and ego were temporarily overwhelmed and obliterated by infinite love.
This is consistent with the Hindu understanding of Nirvana as union with Brahman (God), and with the literal translation of Nirvana as ‘blown out’.
It was an experience of total bliss and absolute completion. This is presumably what is meant by the ‘peace that passeth all understanding’. There was also a sense of immense potential creativity; also of (my) individuality: we are not God, we are individualized Spirit.
And in this general context it is apparent that the Grail Cup is the human psyche and/or nervous system.
Love from an Angel was in my experience (see a previous article) less than infinite, in that there was no Nirvana. It felt like much more love than a human being can generate though.
On this basis I take the Enlightenment or Self-Realisation experience as proof of the existence of a much higher Being than an Angel.
Obviously one person’s experience will not, and should not, persuade another person. But a report from a trained observer should give cause for some thought in others.
How else may God be known?
Also in my experience, God is one who will let a person know, directly or indirectly, about their particular character flaws, to the extent of what their ego can handle at the time.
Clearly God wants us to evolve psycho-spiritually, if we are open to it and have invited such feedback. We are evolutionary beings.
A number of points need to be made in relation to this remarkable event:-
(i) A psychic told me months earlier that I was to be ‘Greatly blessed’, and my Guides weeks before, that there was to be ‘A reward for effort’.
(ii) Kundalini (the Holy Ghost?) rose up and moved around inside my skull in a very particular manner (as in a friend) a couple of weeks beforehand, so I assume this is a prerequisite, a cleansing or strengthening of the nervous system.
And please note ‘perfection’ is NOT necessary!
(iii) Clearly the above event is what is actually meant by ‘dying to oneself’ (Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35) and ‘being born again’ (Peter 1:22; John 3:3, 3:3, 3:7).
So we can now understand how much Spiritual awareness has been lost in (what remains of) our religions, in which the form (or pretense) of a ritual has lost its substance. As an example, one is NOT ‘born again’ merely by saying so, no matter how solemn (or hypnotic) the occasion. And ‘dying to oneself’ is clearly NOT understood by contemporary commentators on the Christian religion -nor by the writers of the Bible.
(iv) After the event in question a voice in my head said “Now all you need is a mantra”. Not quite correct, as there was more work to do on my character flaws and attitudes over the next 16 years (to date).
As mentioned before, perfection is not necessary for the Grace of Self-Realisation: it is available to very many, given some personal effort
(v) The fact is, the power of this event is a CONSIDERABLE shock to the system, and it takes months or years to ‘get over’. All my own mind could offer when it recovered was “What!!??”. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes to mind in this general context. It was the nicest ‘stress’ imaginable though.
(vi) The fact that no modern ‘guru’ mentions this aspect strongly suggests to me that NOT ONE of them is or was actually Self-Realised or Enlightened, as pointed out by Geoffrey D. Falk in his 2009 E-book ‘Stripping the gurus….’
Some will not be convinced their favourite ‘guru’ is inauthentic, because of their ‘energy’. But i know what it is to have (had) an inflated ego: there is a tremendous amount of power to influence others in that state.
(vii) Clearly there is no such thing as being partly Enlightened: in practice it simply is or is not given.