On the third morning after Robert left Los Angeles, the moment that I awakened from sleep, something wonderful happened. I discovered in one instant who I was, and that I had always known who I was. I discovered that I had always been self-realized!
Once again, for the ten thousandth time of waking up, I had transitioned from the sleep state to the waking state, but this time, there was no change in the sense of who I was. Mostly, the sense of ‘I’ in dreams and the sense of "I" in the waking state, were similar, yet the sleeping "I" disappeared when the waking "I" became alive. The sense of palpability and clarity were very different and I emerged into a world that was relatively constant everyday.
However, this time, there was no difference in the experience of "me." None. As I awakened, there was no transition. The same subjectivity prevailed unchanged throughout the apparent transition. I, whoever or whatever I was, was not touched by the phenomenality of the waking world or the dreaming world. I was beyond and apart from existence. Both were just mindstates added onto me, whoever that was, since there was no me.
You might say the dream me and the waking me were gone but I was the same; both Me-s were merely thought forms along with the entire dream world and waking dream world. All were thoughtstuff or like thoughtstuff in a sort of mental space that pervaded all reality until one wakes up.
A poor analogy would be like watching a movie on television. Then there was a commercial. Although there is an apparent transition from one sort of flickering light on the screen to another flickering light and different sounds, the watcher was not changed, not affected. The analogy fails if the watcher gets upset with the timing of the commercial.
Another analogy was as if you were lying under a sheet on the bed and someone took the sheet off. What you viewed would change, but you would not be changed at all.
I realized that the sleep and waking states were just superimpositions on me. Consciousness was a superimposition on me. Even the nothingness of deep sleep was a superimposition on me—at least it felt that way. Consciousness did not touch me. I was beyond sleep, dream or waking states. All these were happenings in consciousness, but none had anything to do with me. Consciousness had nothing to do with me. I was beyond all.
Consciousness itself is not real, but the awareness that I am not touched by consciousness is a knowledge expressed by Consciousness within Consciousness. Absolute subjectivity is beyond understanding. The Absolute does not know itself, it knows of itself as the constant substratum of changing phenomenality. The Absolute just is. However, knowledge of this and the expression of such knowledge is through Consciousness.
This was a marvelous experience of Self-knowing, of recognizing and accepting my true nature. I could say at last, with full conviction, "I know who I am." Despite the body pain, despite the fear that was still lingered, despite the anxiety of indecision about the move to Sedona, despite my desire to be with Robert and to save my cats from the animal shelter, all of which still crowded this mind, I now knew who I was. The body-mind would continue to do whatever it was supposed to do according to time and place, but it had nothing to do with me. I was beyond the apparent ongoing turmoil of the body-mind.
In the Absolute, there is no body, no space, no time, no knowing and no non-knowing, no ignorance, no enlightenment, no vastness and no consciousness. All that is happening in Consciousness.
I wrote Robert of my turmoil and of the sudden experience of knowing who I was, but I did not have to seek verification. I knew who I was and I did not need confirmation. It was just icing on the cake when I talked to him a week later, about the experience, and he responded by saying, simply, "Congratulations, you are self-realized! Now do you feel completely happy?" I do not remember what my response was, but I did know that I was not touched by either happiness or unhappiness.
Although I would get tied up into being the body and into normal everyday life concerns, they no longer mattered, because I knew who I really was. As a matter of fact, I could now more easily return to the human condition because it did not frighten me. I did not like it much, but it did not frighten me. My body might still experience the appearance of fear, fear, but that was phenomenality's concern, not mine. This feeling of being the owner of reality was associated with an increasing sense of certainty and boldness.
I also knew now that it was right for me to stay in Los Angeles. Robert, on the other hand, moved to a place apparently much worse for him. Of course, over and over he had said about everything, "It is only an appearance." He told me what would happen in Sedona after he moved there and he did not paint a pretty picture. He told me that the promises would never be fulfilled. He told me that the people there would fight among themselves to gain his favor. I think he felt the change in the physical surroundings might help his health because he knew something was wrong with his body--at least this is what Nicole told me later. The move to Sedona temporarily rejuvenated his health. He was as energetic as he had been in years, and even his voice improved. Perhaps he felt they needed him more.
In fact, Robert reveled in chaos. I think he found it interesting. He used to create it everywhere around and among his students.
His wife, Nicole, after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, became obsessed by the notion that California was about to fall into the Pacific. From what she had read, Sedona was as close to the ocean as one could get and still be safe. Part of his moving, I am sure, was due to her insistence.
In the end, I do know know why he moved and I don't think he did either. He just did, just as I did not.
I missed him terribly. I missed the walks, the drives, the lunches and dinners, and the constant teachings he gave by both word and deed. However, nothing was happening to open Sedona to me. My cats were not being miraculously taken care of, and no one but Robert called me from Sedona asking me to come. I felt comfortable here even with many self-accepted responsibilities.
During the subsequent weeks, many people from the Los Angeles Satsang called me, telling me of their troubles, and asking how Robert was doing, and why I had not moved with him. They all urged me to stay in Los Angeles, saying they felt this is where I belonged, and that they couldn't picture me in Sedona, and frankly, neither could I.
I reiterate; the Sedona people never kept their promises, even the ones who went on the claim Robert as their teacher. Once Robert got there, he became their captive. He told me this is what would happen, yet he did it.