“The invitation is always to stop – to stop the projections, internally and externally, to stop what you imagine other people are projecting. You stop it all. It’s a hall of mirrors and it gets scary when it’s believed in. But when you stop, and you’re very still, there’s nothing happening.” Gangaji
Godhead: from Middle English godhede, “godhood”, and unrelated to the modern word “head” source
This term “godhood” points to what I often call the creative Force or First Principle energy, capitalized to signify the highest conceivable force or principle.
The following excerpt from Sadhu Arunachala’s short booklet on Ramana Maharshi is very relevant to my own realization. Sadhu Arunachala was a man of British origin, Major A. W. Chadwick, who came to Ramana’s ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India, on November 1, 1935, where he remained until his passing in April 1962. source
“Off and on for a number of years I had been practising some form of meditation on my return from work in the evening, (I was at that time employed in Chile) and, after I finally retired, in my own home. This meditation of mine actually turned out to be very much the same that I learnt later when I came to Tiruvannamalai. I had argued that since God had created the world, (there must be some beginning somewhere, and this necessitated a Creator), it was only out of Himself that He could have done so, for if there was some other apart from Himself then He could not be God, undisputed and omnipotent.
“So I decided that the seeker himself was God or, as Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) puts it, the Self. My method of meditation then, was to make the mind cease from thinking as an individual and just rest in its God-head: ‘Do not think. Be!’
. . .
“That the method that I devised of stilling the mind and concentrating on my own essential core, which I had decided was God, differed little from the method of seeking out the Self by constant enquiry and search for the Witness as taught by Bhagavan, there can be no doubt.”
Our essential core, or Godhood, sprouts out of Itself. Therefore, It is in each form or creation. It is free of all attributes and thus It can take on any quality or form without being bound by these. When It is looking at and experiencing manifested forms and qualities as one of these (which is the state of being we are most familiar with) It feels Itself to be a peer, immersed in the flow of creation. It experiences Itself as a subject surrounded by many objects, many of which see themselves as subjects as well. This we can call the state of being a “self” with small “s.” Feeling itself as having been created by “something” or “someone” apart from itself, it naturally seeks this Creator apart from and “outside” of itself.
“I” is a word that actually signifies the innermost identity and thus it actually points to the Source, one can say It (Source) calls Itself “I”. This first word “I” upon which all thought-forms are based, is ever-present, sometimes spoken, and most of the time assumed as the prerequisite for all other statements. Rarely is it seen in its true meaning as the name of the Godhood. In the state of limited consciousness, the self refers to itself as “I” without the realization of it actually being the Self that it is seeking.
In human consciousness “I” generally experiences itself as one of the limited forms that sprouted from the Source, the Godhood. Seeking the Godhood somewhere “out there” results in a unique experience: “I” is the creature (small “self”) following the energetic trail, wanting to zero in on that unique Quality of the creative Force. It discovers traces of that trail, that Quality, in many places: in happiness, in excitement, in hope, in satisfaction, in fulfillment, in service to others, etc. It misunderstands the source of all of these as being somehow connected to and dependent upon the forms and qualities that it was interacting with when each of these appeared in its experiences (e.g., “that person made me happy; that food satisfied me.”)
Through various extraordinary experiences and contemplation of wisdom teachings, such as those of Ramana Maharshi, I discovered in my own direct experience that the Quality I was seeking in life was not at all dependent on or connected to any of these particular forms, experiences or circumstances. What I was seeking was actually my own innermost “Self.” I then began to explore and investigate how it is that I lose the realization of this Self-Quality in my life. It became apparent that looking for the contact with and continual experience of “It” was the reason why I felt separate from It as the Supreme State of Being. I was continually creating the experience of being separate from what I was most ardently seeking by the very fact that I was seeking.
Letting this seeking movement subside was not as easy as I expected when I first had that realization. I began to incorporate into my daily life some of the mindfulness and present-moment teachings that I found in the works of Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gangaji, Shunryu Suzuki and others. With continued practice, this seeking movement, which could also be described as a “choice-making” movement of the mind, subsided more and more. This allowed me to realize that “I Am” the First Principle.
With this realization, my perspective of being a limited form that sprouted from an almighty Source and was seeking that source outside of itself flipped 180 degrees to a new perspective of being the Absolute (without form) looking at or witnessing the forms that sprouted from It (Me.)
As many have pointed out, the Absolute simply witnesses the Happening, the divine creation, if you will, without controlling it or intervening in any way, because It is without attributes and thus has no means with which to control or determine the Happening. It views this amazing Happening, full of fascination at the perfection with which “It,” unfolds/ “I” unfold in this spontaneous manifestation of the potential of Creation.
Everything is a part of this unfolding and It is supremely Self-correcting as the phenomena strive toward the balance of the Whole. The Whole can never lose balance, although from the limited-self perspective, I may feel that things are “out of control” and chaotically “out of whack.”
The unique experience we are immersed in is that of being the limited self in action and at the same time the unlimited Absolute from Which all sprouts and Which is immobile and untouched by all phenomena. “I Am” is filled with great affection for this show of Life that continually erupts and springs out of “My” essence, manifesting in a never-ending display of infinite forms and qualities.