This deep attitude which carries a concern for everything is not a superior attitude, but of course, from the lower level of reality, or a lower level of understanding, one uses the word 'God-like' in a derogatory manner because one is implying that it is a stupid and impossible attitude for a human being to take up. What you are, and I am, and many other people are, discovering is that it isn’t as stupid as we at first thought it to be.
Most of these impossible qualities and realities that people have talked about when they are trying to describe our spiritual reality, most of these impossible things, eventually, are discovered to be possible, but it does take a long time, sometimes, to adjust to them and to find out for oneself how they become possible.
I am often with people in my being because I delight in being with them. I really feel for them and with them, and it is their soul that I sense and am with. I continually feel the difference between their soul level responses and their outer personality level responses, when these come as two different things from the same person; that means, before the person has reached a reasonable amount of integration between those two levels.
It is quite often painful to me to be in the soul level at one minute, and suddenly being thrown into the personality level the next minute, but it’s one of the hazards that I am prepared to put up with, because I enjoy fishing for, and hunting for, the soul in people and bringing it into communication with my soul, whatever that word means – deepest level of being, most valuable valuer that I know about myself.
Now, when it comes to understanding what reality means, we have to observe together that you live in an area of awareness which is a valuing awareness; that is its chief activity. It is an activity which is learning how to increase and define its ability to value; it’s learning how to build a structure of values, which it carries around with it. That is your reality; you are essentially an observer and a valuer.
Now, out of your observations and valuations come responses and communications, but they only come if you’ve already observed and valued, so you are most essentially an observer and a valuer, and secondarily then a responder and communicator. You actually live in that valuing existence. Even if you were suddenly translated into heaven, your reality would be your continual awareness and valuing of heaven.
The essential nature of your being, and the most real thing about you, is your ability to value qualities. So, reality, so far as you and I can understand it, is most essentially a world of values. The word 'world' is quite inept; there isn’t a word which is suitable: it’s an existence of values; it’s an existence in values.
Your reality is made up entirely of values, but they have two distinct orders, and the lower order of values is built around a secondary valuing process which has become detached from the primary one. The secondary one is concerned with the personality keeping its end up and acquiring for itself the needs which come from its perception of itself in that way, and if one looks carefully into that perception, we find that it is a mistaken perception. But this mistake happens because the world conditions us to become susceptible to it.
In other words, the world conditions us to identify with this more outward level of our communication mechanism, instead of the most essential levels of those communicating mechanisms. Now the world does that to us, and gradually, because it does that, we build up an outpost which becomes the personality self – becomes an ego in its own right if you like – and it develops a valuing system around itself which is quite different to the essential valuing system of the essential valuer, which is in a more interior level, a more subtle level of your awareness. So you have to live in your universe of values, and l have to live in my universe of values.
Within your universe of values you have to discover and find for yourself this more essential and more valuable level, and to learn to separate it out from the less essential and less valuable level, which is your outer personality self fulfilling its needs. The inner, spiritual, essential self is working to fulfil its higher needs, but often it is being prevented from doing that by the activity of the outer personality self, which is grabbing all the attention in order to fulfil its own level of needs. Maslow spoke very clearly about this situation, so if you’ve had the chance to read Maslow’s books you will know exactly what I am talking about.
Now that is your reality; you can’t get out of that, unless perhaps it’s possible to destroy your own ego. I think what some Eastern religions, some forms of Buddhism, do is to take away the separate stance of the ego, which is one of the gifts which the Creator has given to us, and it unifies its own reality with the greater reality, not in the form of becoming a friend of that reality, but in terms of neutralising its own ability to be separate.
This attitude combines its attention and energies with the attention and energies of the bigger system of creation, which we could call the system of the Supreme Being, and, in this way, it seems to destroy its own separate existence and become a part of the Creator’s existence, but I don’t believe this is what the Creator wishes of us, or wishes for us, and if you believe in a system rather than a Creator, I don’t believe it’s the best way of making use of the system.
In the deeply religious sense, I believe that the Creator stands outside the system, and we can have an understanding of his Being in that way. We can make friends with him in that way if our own reality remains a strong and separate reality while we are becoming aware of the nature of that Being we call Creator.
I think it’s also possible to become a part of the energies which are the most ethereal level of creation, and this would be a sensation of continuing bliss, if you like. One would then bask in the rays of the Creator’s creative intention, just like a physical person would enjoy standing under a warm shower, and one could lose one’s reality in that way, in the enjoyment of standing under that warm shower and enjoying its warmth and its activity, and letting go of every other form of reality, every other form of responsibility, every other form of identification.
In that way, one returns to the womb of one’s being, but I don’t think one has actualised or accomplished the purpose of the potentiality which has been given to our being. But on a smaller scale, we have to deal with the overcoming of the outpost of the substitute personality ego if we want to become established in our proper essential higher reality; which is to say, our own essential divine being.
In order to achieve the awareness and the ability to be with our true self, to be according to our true self, to respond with the nature of our true self, we have to learn to eliminate the activity of the outer self, which has taken over the activity of living from our bigger, whole self. But this is a difficult thing to do, and everyone who is trying to do it will tell you the same thing – that it is a difficult thing to do.
How long it will take is not in anybody’s ability to say, because everybody does it in a different way, and takes a different time to do it. But we have to be careful that in the overcoming of the ego sense, of the outer self, we don’t deal with it in a way which is simply destructive, rather than integrative. We want to integrate the experience of the outer self and gradually make that outer self a proper continuation of our inner essential self. We don’t want to destroy that outer self, we want to make it a part of an integrated whole self. We want to be able to use it and live with it as a proper part of our whole being. We don’t want simply to destroy it. That means to say that we have to alter its nature and its attitude in such a way that it remains fully alive and active, but it alters its patterns of responses and refers them continually to its essential real nature and doesn’t handle them itself, in its own right, thus cutting life off from the essential self.
Now the sort of reality we run into in our every day activity feels to be a quite different reality to the one I have been talking about. It’s a reality we get into when we have been driving our car to work for ten minutes and become thoroughly irritated by the whole process. We are then in a mood of the outer self. We are in irritation, our reality seems to be the stupidity and the irritatingness of other people. Now this is the sort of reality which a lot of people refer to when that word is used, and it is real for them so long as they are identified with it.
I can’t make you choose which reality you identify with, and I can’t make you choose which reality you believe in, but, as I understand it, you must eventually come to separate out the world which you experience from the place that you experience the world from. And you must learn to notice the difference between the reality which is the observer in you, and the reality which is the artificial outer self in you (but still observes in its own right), and the reality which comes to you as a process of experience brought about by identification with the activity which is going on in the outer physical world around you, such as the irritatingness of other people, meeting deadlines, doing your work, fulfilling your obligations.
These are three different levels of reality. The outer ones are the outer world of events; they are a form of reality. The secondary ones are the secondary responses of the secondary personality-self, supplying its own needs and looking for ways of supplying those needs continually, and this is often what we refer to as the selfish self, the self-seeking self. It’s more concerned about its own self than other people’s selves. Then there is the most essential higher self, which values properly (values the most valuable concepts and qualities that we know of) which exists, and learns to know that it exists, in a reality which is completely concerned with valuing and a higher form of beauty, and a higher form of purpose, which is concerned as much with the fulfilling of its fellow beings as with its own being.
Those are the three levels of reality which we are living in. This outermost reality of events is changed very much, and seems to become a totally different form of reality, when the higher self lives in it. When that occurs, then you get a sensation that the outer world of events has suddenly altered. When the ordinary secondary self lives in the outer world of events it creates one type of physical world for you to live in, but, when the most interior, higher self lives in that outer world of events, it is as though that outer world is suddenly transformed, and carries a set of values and meaning which is completely different to the one you are normally used to living in.
So, there again, that adds another complexity to the problem of your reality, and this living of the higher self through the outer world also applies to the secondary self. The outer self can be lived in fully and properly by the inner self, and that transforms the outer self too. So that makes a total of five worlds of reality for you to live in. That means two forms of outer reality, lived in by self one or self two, two forms of the outer ego self to live in, which is conditioned by whether it is living in it in its own right for its own ego, or being lived in by the higher self for the right of the higher self (with the needs and the purposes of the higher self being lived out in that outer personality). So that’s two forms of outer worldly events to experience; two forms of outer personality self and sense of ego to experience. And fifthly, the experience of being in the 'beingness' of the true essential divine self, or spiritual self, in such a way that you are being it in its own reality, quite separately from the reality of the outer personality self, or the outer world of physical events.
So there are five forms of reality that you probably have experienced already, but you would find, as we all find, that it is very difficult to separate out clearly one form of reality from another, and we may eventually discover that, even in this higher level essential self, there is more than one form of living in that self, which is very subtle.
We could say that, even in that spiritual reality, there is a reality of the spiritual nature living in the created universe as a part of that created universe, as though the created universe was a whole in its own right, like a plant is a whole in its own right, working out its own biological function. And then a higher form of being, in that higher being again, is recognised in that the essential element of that higher form of beingness is in the 'absolute', outside this biological function of creation, of the created universes.
Here we belong to an order of reality which is the same order that the Creator Himself belongs to, but the difference between those things is very subtle, and we need not concern ourselves with them until we wish to, but they have resulted in two different forms of religious activity, and two different forms of spiritual activity which I’ve noticed in people. The one is becoming part of the whole, and is only concerned with becoming part of the whole, and the other is becoming its own individual divine reality in its own right. It is concerned with its relationships with other individual realities and is concerned very much, very deeply, with its relationship with the Creator’s reality.
This may gradually become a concern with the friendship which exists between ourselves, in this higher sense, and the Creator’s self; our divine friendships with one another and our divine Creator, who becomes our very great friend. In this way you also have two forms of reality to choose.
The Creator is not going to push His friendship on you, and is not going to force you into a friendship with your other fellow beings. This is something you have to take up and value as a possibility, but not as a 'must'. You can return to the oneness of the Creator’s emanations, if you like, without discovering the value of your own separate reality, or the Creator’s separate reality, or the wonderful possibilities that exist between those realities and the realities of your brothers and sisters. This you have to discover for yourself, and to take up yourself, and to choose to take up for yourself. The Creator cannot thrust it on you any more than we know we can create friendships at will. They have to happen, and they have to happen from both sides of those friendships.
So, for me, when I use the word 'reality' in its biggest sense, it is usually signifying the process that is going on in accord with the Creator’s longing to bring about the existence of our own separate individual realities, and helping those realities to grow in understanding and strength in their own right. It is a continuation of the Creator’s reality which He has chosen to expand in such a form that individuals can arise from His nature, and become established in their own right and appreciate the treasures which the Creator’s nature has stored up for them. They can also take part in creative living and creative friendship in such a way that they can come to a form of living which can enlarge the Creator’s own understanding, and bring in the possibility of harvesting further values and greater treasures in the future. That’s the significance of reality which I generally refer to.
Then there is a form of reality which is beyond our comprehension, and that is the reality which belongs to the comprehension of the Creator. That must be the reality which the Creator Himself exists in, or has come from, and that is not in our ability to understand until the Creator wishes to show His understanding of it to us. That would be a totally 'beyond' form of understanding of reality, because it is the reality from which our reality has arisen, and the reality from which the Creator’s reality has arisen. That we don’t know about. I feel our common sense says we should not know about that, until we know virtually all there is to know about the other reality, which we have talked about and which is more available for us.
So the difference between all these forms of reality, which we have drawn attention to, are very great indeed. It’s like looking down at your own fingernail and comparing the size of that with the size of the physical world we live in, the size of the solar system that the physical world lives in, the size of the galaxy which the solar system lives in, and also that system of galaxies which is the cosmos, then realising that that is only the physical cosmos and not the ethereal cosmos, or the spiritual cosmos. There is a vastness in the reality and the forms of reality which are available for us to perceive and to understand and relate to, which is on that scale, but the Creator has given us an ability to cope with that scale of reality and understanding, even if it takes us quite a while to exercise that ability of our nature.
REF: Abraham Maslow – Towards A Psychology of Being, Van Nostrand, 1968.