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In several occult/religious schools of thought there is this idea of evolving or elevating ones consciousness to the level of being able to merge with the ocean of consciousness itself.  The idea I can understand; but why to do it I don’t understand.  Why would someone do this?  

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In some practices, the Cosmic Consciousness is more a flash of understanding and oneness, ie Satori from the Zen tradition.  A flash to sometimes lasting several days, a deep feeling of Oneness, yet afterwards one goes back chopping wood and carrying water.  Its seen as a guide post along the way that one's practice has broken through a barrier. 

 

We're not suppose to stop there and gawk at it.  Sort of like, you've gotten your master's degree, now its time to leave academia and go on to real life. 

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4 hours ago, Jadespear said:

In several occult/religious schools of thought there is this idea of evolving or elevating ones consciousness to the level of being able to merge with the ocean of consciousness itself.  The idea I can understand; but why to do it I don’t understand.  Why would someone do this?  

 

Think of your emotional body and feelings and the part of mind  influenced by that .  Now think of your physical body and health . Somewhere 'out there' is your 'spiritual nature' and things you consider important to that . Then there is the whole intellectual world .

 

If that was all swirling around separate , would you not want to bring them together ? or , to answer your question in one word ; integration ..

 

There are also many  advantages in this merging , relating form understanding one's true nature ,  communication, compassion, understanding, etc .   Its one of our major operating advantages (so why block it ? ) .  And its the source of many 'psychic ' abilities  ( eg,  its easy to communicate with 'another'  mind when parts of those separate minds are not separated at all .

 

And its an awefully good exercise to get beyond the problems of ego centralism   ;) 

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Those that seek or want enlightenment tend to have an inkling that there is something present that underlies what they think of as conventional reality, and want to know what it is. This commonly happens after having a spiritual experience or "supernatural" event of some kind. Seeking also happens when someone is just tired of the struggle of human life, tired of torturing themselves with stories from their past, or projected ideas about the future that always fail to come to pass as they had hoped.

 

How does it happen? As thelerner capably suggests, there is momentary insight into things as they truly are. In that moment what you think of as your "self" disappears, and it is seen that the world of "self", things, others - of space/time even, are all conceptual constructs that have never truly been real in the absolute sense. This essentially breaks your belief in the world as you had previously contrived it.  While this insight gradually fades shortly after it starts, as the "experience" of this seeing goes away, the insight is permanent. Over time it becomes increasingly obvious experientially that what you saw in that experience is, and has always been, present, eventually dissolving the seeing of things from a fictional "self" and ,later still, making it impossible to see anything as other than the grand emptiness/fullness of the Tao/Dharmakaya. 

 

If you don't struggle with your life, or find the events or objects in it and their lack of permanence unsatisfactory, there really is no need to try to alter how you see them. If you are satisfied, why would you bother? I would guess that your presence here suggests that this is not the case, though?

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This might not be a primary motivation for someone to pursue this path--although a common element in forms of spiritual healing involves merging with God or the All.   Lawrence LeShan describes this in "The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist".

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