Self-Realization and a painting by Gustav Klimt

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Gustav Klimt's famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer serves as a metaphor for Self-Realization. Realization proceeds in stages. At first, the usual distinction between self and other -- between the woman and her environment -- is punctured by the process of intense concentration, showing that underneath what was thought to be a physical or social or mental environment was this beautiful golden 'stuff': call it silence or bliss or consciousness. But then this very bliss is itself realized to be just another color of paint on this painting, just another object. And so in that sense both the 'egoic' and the 'blissful' states are themselves considered to be merely points of view that are themselves formed by something else, something that is beyond the egoic and the non-egoic, something which is not itself a point of view. And in that process even the very stages of realization are themselves recognized to be occurring only from one of these points of view... points of view which are part of the painting, which is not limited or bound by them.

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