Concentric CirclesThe human sense of being a separate limited self comes from the perception of distance and limits. The mind feels that it is at the centre of perception. The sense of distance spans outward from 'itself'. Through sight it perceives distance. Through sound it perceives distance, and also to a certain extent through touch. Even with our eyes closed we can perceive where our hands and feet are, and they are perceived as being a distance outwards from our centre of awareness.

This 'centre' or heart of awareness is not strictly accurate. It may be a conceptual point where all perceptions are known and where dimensions seems to be perceived from, but it is a relative centre dependent on the apparent outer shell. The mind has a sense that it is in the head, where the eyes see from and the ears hear from. But this is an assumption. Truly, if you reach out with the mind you will not find any limits.

Similarly, the mind can assume identity with the body and can feel that it is within the body. This is based on the faulty assumption that the body's limits are firm and impervious. But we know that the body or indeed any physical matter is not impervious. Matter gives an appearance of solidity, but we know that radiation can travel through matter that seems to be solid. For example, xrays are used to examine bones within the body, and ground penetrating radar is used to analyse buried structures beneath the soil.

Back to the human being. There is a sense of being within, because we perceive these apparent limits, the outer shell of the head and body, and the distance away from us that things appear. As I've mentioned elsewhere in these blogs and in my books, our perception of distance is always right here. We may recognise that, but there is still the sense of 'here' being within the human form.

Truly, this point 'here' is not enclosed. It is a spaceless space, within which the sense of inside and outside is experienced. We experience this sense of being within the apparently limiting human form from a field of open awareness. We perceive the imaginary limits of the heart and the whole from here, from nowhere.

So, although the spiritual seeker learns to look within to 'know thyself', it is found that there is no within. The heart of being its not a centre, because there are no limits to define it. But in seeking this heart of being we realise that there is no inside or outside, and that there is no divide that separates the heart and the whole. It is in realisation of the Infinite One that the sense of being a separate limited self falls away.

This is what is called enlightenment, self realisation, or nirvana, where the illusory separate self is "snuffed out". Maya, or the illusion of separation, is rooted out at the source and reality is perceived clearly as it is. The limits that seemed to define the separate self disappear, and it is revealed that there is no identity. Pure formless aware being.