The onset of this second movement is characterized by the falling away of self and coming upon "that" which remains when it is gone. But this going-out is an upheaval, a complete turnabout of such proportions it cannot possibly be missed, under-emphasized, or sufficiently stressed as a major landmark in the contemplative life.
When one is perfectly still-mind and body, silent and alone-there is no personality to speak of, thus personality is one's unique way of expression, it is what others see and know of us, nothing more or deeper than that.
It is far more than the discovery of life without a self. The immediate, inevitable result is an emergence into a new dimension of knowing and being that entails a difficult and prolonged readjustment. the reflexive mechanism of the mind -or whatever it is that allows us to be self-conscious - is cut off or permanently suspended so the mind is ever after held in a fixed now moment out of which it cannot move in its uninterrupted gaze upon the Unknown
It is one step, and a giant one, to see clearly and participate in the love that flows between the persons of the Trinity, but even here, God is seen as the object of his own love. It is yet another step to realize that God is beyond all subject and object and is Himself love without subject or object. This is the step beyond our highest experiences of love and union, a step in which self is not around to divide, separate, objectify or claim anything for itself. Self does not know God; it cannot love him, and from... Read more »
Only God is love, and for this love to be fully realized self must step aside. And not only do we not need a self to love God, but for the same reason we do not need a mind to know him, for that in us which knows God, is God.
But coming home that day, walking downhill with a panorama of valley and hills before me, I turned my gaze inward, and what I saw, stopped me in my tracks. Instead of the usual unlocalized centre of myself, there was nothing there, it was empty, and at the moment of seeing this there was a flood of quiet joy and I knew, finally I knew what was missing-it was my "self".
Since the moment of self-consciousness comes to a permanent end - and a new journey begins- is such a decisive stroke or milestone in the contemplative life, I can only speculate why so little has been said of this breakthrough; in fact , I may never get over the silence on the part of writers who say nothing about this second movement.
I went on to discover that in its deepest sense, the will is not primarily the faculty of desire for anything known, but rather, the desire for something unknown, animate desire for something that lies beyond ourselves, a longing for something we know is missing in us...
The assumption that the egoless condition, or union of self and God, is man's final goal and ultimate destiny is a great mistake. My purpose here is to affirm that the unitive state is a hidden path in itself, a movement in its own right that ultimately leads to no-self (no true-self and no-union). In short, the unitive state is the hidden path to no-self.