in relation to bliss vs. no-bliss
Question: I understand that the mind arises from the nothingness to answer a question or relate to something in the world. How come when mind doesn't exist?
Jan: Mind is a construct. It is has no selfcontained and autonomous basis and as such you can say it does not exist. But in reality mind is a flow perpetuating itself; it comes into existence again and again in every moment and as such exists. But it does not exist as an entity. Mind is nothing but energy; it has no autonomous life. But as long as you are identified with it, this fact will be scary and then the illusion is there that mind is a real entity which is essentially you.
So when mind is a flux of energy and can be said to arise in each moment, how can you say it really exists? It is like a wave on the ocean: it arises in the moment upon the spur of the impuse that hits it - the wind. But you can not say it has any selfcontained and autonous basis. The mind is like waves on the ocean: they are vibrations in consciousness, fluctuations, forms that arise in response to interaction with the manifest. If mind was a real entity, then enlightenement would be something that had to be achieved by a process of change and acquisition of knowledge.
Q: What about knowledge shared in satsang?
J: Knowledge, that is shared in satsang, is only a game. The knowledge is part of the game the mind plays, but those who are good at giving satsangs are capable of deepening the game in such a way that the mind-game freezes at moments so attention cought up in the game suddenly has a chance to become self aware.
Thus satsang with a good satsanggiver, can be a sadhana in itself. And the more you stumble about in and out of the mind, the better. Satsang where you just sit and listen is no good. Satsang that just puts listeners in a listener position is nothing but philosophy and therefore it might even shallow the game. But of course some knowledge is necessary.
Q: So if going beyond the mind may eventually reveal the Self, what about bliss? I don't understand how bliss can lead to Self-realization.
J: You can get Selfrealized without any bliss. And you can have bliss without being Selfrealized. But if you have attained Selfrtealization without bliss, then if you want to move on, you will have to evolve bliss-states.
Q: I don't understand.
J: They are two different sadhanas, that both lead to enlightenment, and the sadhana of lovebliss will always follow after Self-realization sooner or later, but it may also begin before Self-realization.
This diagram illustrates the situation. The black dot represents the level of realization, or in other words, your identification. Most peoples identification is on the border between the superficial inner world and the outer world. So called "spiritual" "new age" people usually have moved the identification slightly below the top line to the area between the two lines. In true spirituality, the dot will move between below and above the lower line. In Self-realization without bliss (primary Self-realization) the dot of identification will have dissolved below the lower line, but everything else will remain intact.
Sooner or later after Self-realization, or even before if your sadhana is truely spiritual, Self will reveal itself to be Shakti ("energy") also, as well as pure being (Shiva). When this happens, you will at times enter states of ecstasy while meditating and you may also experience genuine lovebliss.
When the Shakti-sadhana starts, then the Self begins erupting into the system as a flow of energy and/or lovebliss. This process may begin even before Self-realization has been achieved. This is siddha-sadhana, "perfect sadhana", because it is automatic and is driven by the Self. It can begin spontaneously or it can be initiated by shaktipat or it can be given to you by The Blue Being as in my case.
This is the goal of Shakti-sadhana. As you can see, the entire system has collapsed into the Self and thus identification has collapsed into the Self. Perhaps "collapsed" is not the right word, though that is often how it feels. Rather you recognize that all layers, however gross or subtle, are the Self and have never been anything but the Self. This state is one of lovebliss.
As this state matures, you as Self recognize Self in other. You enter a love relationship with Self. Lovebliss becomes all-encompasing. This is real enlightenment. Some ignorance will remain in that you will have a sense of separation from other as object. We can stipulate that this will go away eventually, I do not know.
So final enlightenment will be this. Of course there will be no distinction between Shakti and Beingness.