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Introduction to Self-realisation and Mysticism

This section of the website is about the big questions of life:

Who am I? Why am I here? What should I become? How do I know? Where am I going? Why should I care? What is our fate? How am I free? How do I live a good life? Why is there suffering? Can I, should I, be happy?

What does it mean, to say something is sacred? And how is asking such questions relevant to everyday life?

Answers are often not readily forthcoming to such profound questions. Indeed, when they are forthcoming, they are often not easily trusted, and for good reason.

Self-realisation and mysticism are closely related. In this context, self-realisation refers to a clear, unequivocal and profound realisation of the fundamental nature of Self (and of reality.) Mysticism is an experiential practice of reality-discovery, through which the person can reach greater accord with the Self. In this way, mysticism is a practice grounded in subjective experience, while self-realisation is the truth (re)discovered.

The principle of mysticism is that the subject of study is always immediately and indeed intimately available. Such an idea may seem unintuitive and even confounding to the mind, which is generally saturated through social conditioning by all manor of subtle and not-so-subtle beliefs about the nature of reality. Nevertheless, if we are to begin at the beginning, the most obvious starting point in any investigation must be consciousness itself.

Without consciousness, any discussion of life is meaningless. The colour and texture of cognitions and emotions is the compass by which most people live. The appearance and acknowledgement of which, we might also call sentience, or the subjective-qualitative. Without consciousness, without sentience, there is quite simply, nothing to discuss. For the discussion itself is premised in the presumption of a problem – the distilation of which might readily be articulated as “What am I?”

Sentience is a mystery. The subjective-qualitative which is hearing or reading these words, is intrinsically an enigma, and will forever remain so.

The purpose of mystical exploration is to engage this mystery. It is through mystical exploration that our cherished beliefs and presumptions, that we wear in the body and mind, are gradually exposed for the sham that they are. Through a radical un-learning, the personal identity is discarded and the pattern of the person comes to rest within the impersonal, the very heart of the enigma.

Self-realisation is the (re)discovery of this enigma that is at the epicentre and the heart of reality. The discovery of the mystery is the end of existential anxiety, and the unfettered flourishing of that naturally boundless peace, wisdom and compassion, that is our essence.