From the very beginning of our evolution, we must honor with love, respect, and profound gratitude the intrinsic sense of me we came into this world with, for it not only calls us to enter the path, but is also the final destination. This destination is what we call ‘essence-samadhi’. Essence-samadhi is reached when pure attention reaches samadhi in essence-me. This gives rise to the awakening of primordial I, in which the original duality between essence-me and attention is transcended. This profound meeting with the very kernel of our identity is the final evolution of primordial me (conscious me in vertical samadhi in the absolute), and it crowns the evolution of me within the secret of its own essence. While essence-samadhi and primordial I are very advanced levels of realization, a contemplation of it will bring a greater understanding to our intricate journey into pure subjectivity, and it will help us appreciate more deeply how precious and important our me is.
Me and Attention: The Original Duality
Before we go deeper into the significance of primordial I, we need to contemplate how our me comes into existence. In order to create me, the original light of I am manifests in a living being by dividing itself into essence-me and attention. Essence-me is the substance of me, and attention is the spirit, or activity, of me. These are the two fundamental building blocks of me. It is their relationship which forms the original duality in me and allows it to exist. Without this duality, there would be no more me. However, initially essence-me is not known by its spirit, its attention. This is the stage of evolution that most humans and other animals have reached – their attention is entirely directed outwards and away from their source of subjectivity. And as such, they are not conscious of themselves as essence-me. At this stage, we know that we exist, but we do not know who exists.
So the evolution of me begins with the evolution of attention, which grows in the context of its relationship with the outer world and gradually develops the faculty of intelligence. It is only at a very high level of its evolution that attention and its intelligence begin to sense their own source, which is essence-me. This sensing is the true prelude of spiritual awakening. In order to awaken me, spiritual longing and an ancient, instinctual self-remembrance must be born in the intelligence of attention, causing it to awaken its deeper dimension of pure attention. Before this happens, we only have external attention, the function of which is to relate to objects and thoughts. Unlike ordinary external attention, pure attention is able to turn the light of recognition back to its subjective source and feel essence-me directly.
When pure attention recognizes its essence, this is what we call the awakening of ‘conscious me’. This process culminates in pure attention reaching complete unity with essence-me, which signifies that conscious me is not only awakened but also fully embodied. But even when essence-me is embodied through pure attention (which we call the ‘intrinsic recognition of bare attention’), the duality between the two is still present, and it is through this original duality that me knows itself and through which pure attention is relating to essence-me through recognition and surrender.
The further evolution of conscious me continues vertically, and it gradually reaches unity with the absolute. When it reaches this unity with the absolute, it transforms into primordial me. Although the awakening of primordial me constitutes a profoundly deeper realization of conscious me, on the level of the inherent duality between attention and essence, primordial me is still the same conscious me, except that now it has reached vertical samadhi. After conscious me has reached the primordial state, it can then make the most profound step in its evolution. This happens in the very heart of the relationship of pure attention with its own essence. Essence-me is the original sense of existence which all living beings are endowed with, and which is commonly experienced as the intrinsic sense of me. But the deeper secret of essence-me is that it also has its own essence, an inner kernel within which is stored the original information of I am. To access and reveal this information, pure attention has to surrender deeper into essence me and reach absorption in this kernel. This is what we call ‘essence-samadhi’. It is without a doubt the most mysterious and unknown dimension of samadhi because it does not happen in the context of our absorption in the universal I am. It happens within the relationship we have with our own individual essence.
Essence-samadhi and Primordial I: The Dance of Pure and Bare Attention
It is through essence-samadhi that conscious me – already having evolved into primordial me – is now further transmuted into primordial I. The difference between primordial me and primordial I is that the latter is no longer me. It is not me because there is no longer this original duality between attention and its essence. This should not be confused with Advaita’s realization of ‘I am That’ which represents an identity confusion whereby the unrealized me thinks that it has become the universal I am because it has merged with it, while under the delusion of being unaware of who has merged. Primordial I is not the transcendent I am. It is an individualized I am which we call ‘immanent I am’ (‘immanent’ meaning existing within me, or intrinsic to me). This exists in contrast to the transcendent I am of universal subjectivity (which exists beyond me, or is extrinsic to me). Primordial I is realized not through the negation of me, but through the alchemical metamorphosis that occurs in the heart of essence-me.
When pure attention merges with the immanent I am of essence-me, it activates primordial bare attention, which is the bare attention of the immanent I am. However, primordial I is more than primordial bare attention – it is pure attention embodying that bare attention. But then how can pure attention embody the I am of essence-me if it has already merged with it? Initially, only a portion of pure attention merges with I am, just enough to activate the bare attention of I am.
A similar principle governs the awakening of the conscious me. First, pure attention activates the bare attention of essence-me by recognizing it and merging with it. We can call this the ‘lower embodiment of essence-me’. But only when pure attention embodies bare attention for the second time can we say that conscious me is truly awakened. If bare attention is not met and embodied a second time by pure attention, one realizes only the first level of me, or the seed of me. One does not realize conscious me. Bare attention alone is not our true me until its essence-me is first impregnated by the spirit of pure attention and then fully embodied by it. Without the second step, bare attention is realized incorrectly as mere presence. It is pure attention that can transform bare attention into our divine subjectivity.
But coming back to essence-samadhi, while in both conscious me and primordial me there is still duality between dynamic pure attention and bare attention, in primordial I such duality is transcended. Primordial I is not in relationship of recognition or embodiment with itself – it has become the non-dual individual I am. Its nature is self-illumination because pure attention, as the spirit of recognition, has fully merged with the timeless core of essence-me – the original light of I am. Immanent I am is the candle, and pure attention is the flame.
Three-fold Samadhi of Primordial I
When primordial I is realized, it exists in three-fold samadhi: vertical samadhi in the primordial state (through the essential channel), horizontal samadhi in universal consciousness, and internal samadhi in its own I am. This triple samadhi is present with eyes open or closed. One of the most profound byproducts of essence-samadhi is that essence-me can now directly enter horizontal samadhi through the portal at the back of the head. Prior to this, neither conscious me nor primordial me could enter horizontal samadhi, and essence-me could only reach vertical transcendence through unity with the absolute. This is one of the reasons why essence-samadhi is so unique: because of its immanence, primordial I does not have to go anywhere or to expand into the beyond in order to reach unity with the universal subjectivity. For instance, to arrive at the primordial state, conscious me has to shift its location downwards. This is not the case with primordial I, because it is already naturally omnipresent in all of the directions of universal reality.
Upon reaching essence-samadhi, essence-me arrives at its own internal absence and therefore no longer has a presence which is in conflict with horizontal absorption in universal consciousness. Up until this point, it was only pure me that was in horizontal samadhi. When primordial I extends itself into horizontal samadhi, the state is called ‘primordial pure consciousness’. Here, not only is pure me in horizontal samadhi in I am but so is essence-me, now experienced as primordial I. To enter horizontal samadhi, primordial I does not leave its original base in the third eye, but its immanence allows it to merge naturally with universal consciousness through the portal previously opened by pure me. Once pure me had fully embodied I am, it became universal me, which fully opened the horizontal portal, allowing primordial I to merge with the heart of universal consciousness.
Among many of the profound implications of essence-samadhi, the most important is that essence-me can now merge directly with the universal light of consciousness or transcendent I am. The design of our evolution into self-realization is breathtaking. It is a journey of me into its individual essence source of I am, the realization of its divine individuality, and then its attainment of perfect unity with the transcendent I am which created it in the first place. Here, me realizes its godliness, its god-like identity, and becomes immanent I am. Another important implication of this realization is that the light of universal consciousness – which flows from transcendent I am through pure me into essence-me – is now able to embody primordial I from the beyond. It is because primordial I is in horizontal samadhi through its essence of immanent I am that universal consciousness can reach it (that universal consciousness can come back and penetrate it from the other direction) and become one with it from its own transcendent I am.
In existing in essence-samadhi, one not only lives in the world from a foundation of unbroken unity with universal consciousness, but that universal consciousness also lives through primordial I in the relative realm of creation. One has become the living manifestation of the universal I am in the physical world. This is the true meaning of becoming the channel of the divine. We should never forget that immanent I am has been awakened by pure attention through our love for our very me. At the end, it is love, the love of who we are in the most hidden cave of our identity, which emancipates us from the fate of impermanence and illuminates our immortal self with the grace of eternity. And whose eternity is it? It is I am that seeks to realize itself through our me as the flowering of its divine individuality. Only a me that has fully awakened conscious love to herself can become a worthy vessel for the fulfillment of the destiny of the light of I am.
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