In 2012, I had focused my attention back on awareness itself which gave my joy and peace. But still, I wanted to dig deeper. Around June 2013, I was still focused on awareness. If awareness is what I am and if I am at the same time in everything, then I yearned for a clearer experiential understanding of that. How can I experience that I am pure awareness? And what is the connection between the awareness and the visible 3d world?
And as it often happened, such an intense wish had the power to call experiences to me which would answer my urgent questions.
The balloon-skin experience
One day around June 2013, I was waking up slowly in my bed. I felt as mere consciousness. There was nothing in me, not even my body. The strange thing was that I felt expanded. What came to my mind as a metaphor was that it was like the skin of an inflated balloon.
Then, slowly my body , the bed, and the walls of the room would come into my field of awareness. And they appeared to be as if painted on the balloon-like skin of consciousness.
I had read about Ramana Maharshi’s metaphor that we as awareness are like the screen on which movies are playing. What we are is the changeless movie screen. And the ever-changing bodies are appearing on it. But the screen is untouched by what is appearing on it.
Now, this consciousness-as-balloon-skin experience was somewhat like the movie-screen metaphor. One could probably argue about what the balloon-shape meant. I sensed that it pointed to the fact that the awareness was something which was one dimension higher (3d) than what was ‘painted’ on it (body, bed, wall = 2d) even though that interpretation is not totally consistent with a 2d balloon skin (bent in 3d) and 2d things painted on it (also slightly bent in 3d).
The second revelation was preceded by the following dream in June, 2013:
I see a man on a metallic staircase. There is a little boy of maybe 2 years of age, naked with diapers, who is running after the man on the staircase. It appears as if the boy is begging or bothering the man somehow.
Then a second man comes into the scene and talks to the first man. After that, the first man seems to have made a decision. He says, “Okay, at one time it has to be done. He cannot procrastinate forever.” And with these words, he pushes the little boy down the staircase.
The boy falls down and lands on his diapers. I cringe and think, ‘How cruel! I hope they have used a stunt for this scene.’ I watch as I see a baby tooth and some blood come out of the boy’s mouth. He seems unharmed and says, like in astonishment, “Papa!”.
Interpretation: I was the little boy running after my guide (man no 1). A second guide came in and convinced the first guide to give me what I was begging for. Then my guide made a decision to give me a push to get me to grow up (losing the baby tooth) and to get to see the Father (‘Papa’).
As it turned out, that dream was like an announcement of what was to come.
The next evening, I went to bed and could not breathe properly. I had had one sip of red wine during dinner, and that seemed to cause some allergic reaction in my throat. So, I did my best to try to fall asleep, always thinking that I would suffocate if I relaxed too deeply. So, my state was not totally relaxed, but a strange mixture of alertness and relaxation. I figured later that the red wine and the suffocating sensation were probably necessary for the following experience to occur.
In the middle of the night, I had the experience that I was a point of consciousness in a vast nothingness. I was conscious, aware, but I had no form, no body (neither the physical nor an astral one). There was no thought in me. And around me, there was huge, black nothingness. Then the thought appeared, ‘Wow, this is so vast!’ And after that, I woke up.
I regard these two experiences together with the awareness-watching-awareness meditation as very important milestones on my spiritual journey.
This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).