I use the term ultimate reality to refer to the highest aspect of consciousness of this universe - that which is most divine. Some people may think of this as a supreme being or a state of nirvana or enlightenment.
Jews, Christians, Moslems and Hindus worship an omnipotent God while Buddhists and Taoists see the absolute as more of a state of consciousness. David Goddard, in his book Tree of Sapphires writes this: "There are potential drawbacks to thinking of the Supreme Reality as either a person or a state. Because all images are concepts based on finite experience…In conceiving the Absolute as a person, you embrace the idea, in your subconscious, that some things may be given or withheld by that person – that some beings are favoured and others not. On the other hand, when you conceive of the One Reality as a state, you imply that there is no personal relationship and that you must reach it unaided by the ineffable, solely by your own efforts." The Buddha did not answer the question of whether or not there is a God because he thought that the concept was a distraction - we do not need to contemplate this in order to become wiser and more loving or to become enlightened.
Many mystics believe that ultimate reality is something that can never be understood by the human mind – we can only start to glimpse suggestions of it in our moments of deepest meditation and greatest love but I feel that we are all inexorably connected to and a part of this divine universe and therefore we embody and ensoul divine principles.
Your beliefs are your own and your feelings may transcend words or explanations but I feel that meditation and contemplation of this issue is like seeking ultimate truth and is therefore worthwhile. To grow and develop our spirituality requires allowing positive changes and whatever our spiritual or religious beliefs are now we can trust that a process of wise growth can in no way diminish what we currently hold most sacrosanct.
Thoughts or prayers that have the highest intent are equally loving and wonderful whether they are intended for the universe or for a supreme being. We are each a part of this divine universe and our concepts of the ultimate reality does not make us any less divine or any less a part of it. Doubt is just the part of belief which is in transition from ignorance to understanding and from fear to faith.
I have found that truth unfolds for those who intend and try to find it. If you want to know the greater mysteries of the universe, then you can embark on the journey to discover it. The wise person tries to discover as much about their inner self as the outer world and universe because we can't know what we're seeing if we don't know from what perspective and through what lens we are looking.
The subject of ultimate reality is relevant to your journey through life because your destination defines your path.
We are here to be as truly happy as we can and to grow more loving and wise through the opportunities and challenges that we have in our lifetimes. We are here to freely choose to love and as we do so we experience the happiness that this brings ourselves and others. We learn that happiness comes from within ourselves and is reflected back at us by the world and the universe around us. We are here to be happy and to delight in the joys that life brings.
We are here to develop and grow - to expand our consciousness by becoming more loving and wise and it is possible to know and love this universe and everything in it. We are conscious on infinite planes of consciousness, from the physical planes that we can touch, through emotional, mental and spiritual planes of consciousness, right up to the ultimate reality or divine source.
The human incarnation is both challenging and rewarding and we have chosen this path for development of our souls. Our challenges cause pain but also growth and the rich rewards are inner happiness and outer harmony. The Earth is a place of stunning beauty with abundant life and amazing people and when we find enjoyment and happiness in any part of our lives here, then we are reaping the rewards of human existence.
Our souls learn through many lifetimes that inner balance brings happiness and harmony and that imbalance brings pain and suffering. We generally grow unevenly and this brings imbalance and pain which spurs our consciousness to grow in those areas that it has avoided due to fear. People, events and situations in our lifetimes both create fears within the soul and present us with opportunities to face them, grow and overcome them. Although most human lifetimes will inevitably entail some pain and suffering which we can strive to understand and overcome, our lives abound with unlimited potential for love and happiness. Learning about ourselves, other people, our relationships, the world and the universe brings wisdom, and loving these things brings harmony and peace.
What you imagine to be you – the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs that make you, the individual, is mostly your soul – the consciousness that temporarily occupies your body for this lifetime. The soul is what psychologists call the subconscious mind and it is a huge and powerful consciousness that has learned and grown through many lifetimes: perhaps even hundreds or thousands of lifetimes. Our minds are free to think any thoughts that we like but the thinking part of us is tiny compared to the vast consciousnesses that are our souls and our thoughts are influenced by our souls.
Our souls are conscious on a vast range of planes of consciousness and each part of this range is related to a particular aspect of the soul. The soul experiences its internal relationship with itself, its external relationship with other people and relationships with the earth and the universe.
The soul is the consciousness that is incarnated as you and the chakras are the main centres of consciousness of the soul. Each chakra has a consciousness of its own and is conscious on a range of planes of consciousness (or dimensions). Our complete soul is like a microcosm of the universe because we are conscious on all of the planes of consciousness, from the physical to the ultimate reality and it is through love and wisdom that we grow and become more conscious of the universe and everything in it.
Physical, mental and emotional problems (pain and suffering) arise through imbalances in the soul and we can discover what our imbalances are by examining and understanding ourselves. By examining our chakras it is possible to find out what fears and false beliefs we have that create conflict and pain within the soul. Inner fears lead to imbalances and conflict within the soul and will not just manifest as mental, emotional and physical health problems but they will be reflected in the people, relationships, situations, world and universe around us. Our love and wisdom, and fear and pain is reflected back at us by everything in our lives. So by examining our lives we can find out about our inner love, wisdom, fear and pain and understand our souls better.
Choosing to think wise and loving thoughts can absolutely change our lives and can affect our souls, however our deepest fears will usually need more than positive thinking to be overcome. We can find out about our souls through examining our lives, meditating and seeking divine guidance. Fears are purged by painful situations in our lives but by understanding our fears we can make the process of finding balance and good health much easier. We attract to us the experiences that exacerbate our fears until we overcome them and we also attract the love and kindness that is within our souls and which radiate out to the world. Our souls learn and grow through many incarnations and become ever more loving, wise and conscious. Divine love is the foundation of the universe and the more balanced and conscious we become and the more this flows through us.
We are each a part of our higher self, spirit or consciousness that is the greater part of us. Only a part of your higher self is incarnated as your soul because the higher self is normally too vast a consciousness to fit into a human soul. Our higher selves are conscious of everything that our souls are and are guiding and experiencing the learning of our souls. However, our higher selves do not generally have the fear or pain that our souls do, depending upon their growth - their degree of love and wisdom – their degree of consciousness. But generally we can consider our higher selves as perfect, however small or great they are.
I once read that no more than 50% of the higher self can incarnate and that there is a limit to how much consciousness can actually fit into the current human soul. This made me wonder about my higher self and I asked for divine help with understanding this. One day I was lying down, contemplating my soul and suddenly it was as though my consciousness was transferred to my higher self. It was as though I was immense compared to my normal state. I could still feel my body but it was as though it was tiny compared to myself and it was as though I was remote yet connected. This, I knew was my higher self showing me that it was a much greater consciousness than my lower self – my soul. And then the situation reversed and I felt as though I was bloated, dense and heavy: I was being showed that no more of my higher consciousness could fit into my soul.
Every thought, word, deed, feeling and emotion of your life is experienced by your higher self. Every nuance and every action of your soul at every level is experienced by your spirit. You are not judged, you are just loved completely unconditionally and there is nothing that you can do to stop that.
I have been told quite clearly that my higher self is my main spirit guide and that it is more than 10,000 years old. It makes me feel safe and comforted to know that I am a part a great consciousness to which I am inexorably connected. I don’t know if my higher self has another soul incarnated at the same time as me or how many incarnations my soul has had. I have more questions than answers but this seems like a healthy state.