By Harold Boulette
“The term ‘Cosmic Consciousness,’ … means this sudden flash of ‘knowing’ in which all illusionary dividing lines between persons and things are broken down and the Universal Life is seen to be actually existent as One Life. To those who have reached this consciousness by either route just mentioned—or by other routes—there is no sense of loss of individuality or power or strength. On the contrary there is always a new sense of increased power and strength and knowing—instead of individuality, there is a sense of having found it. One feels that he has the whole Universe at his back, or within him, rather than he has lost his identity in the great ocean of life.” ~William Walker Atkinson
Many people don’t believe something like Cosmic Consciousness or Christ Consciousness is even possible. Others, however fear that if they achieved such a state they will lose their individuality. As Mr. Atkinson notes, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than being like a drop of water falling into a churning sea, it is more like an individual grain of sand on the beach gaining realization that it is the beach, that it and the beach are one. The individual grains remain, but still there is the beach.
In the software field there is something called Object Oriented Programming or OOP. It is basically the idea that each objects stands alone and everything associated with that object needs to be attached directly to it software wise. This flawed logic would make, for example, “deposit” a function of a bank account when in fact it is a connection, or relationship, between the objects band and customer. A new form of programming is now growing called relational programming that recognizes that is is all about relationships and connections, not isolated objects. And awakening to cosmic consciousness does much the same for people.
Atkinson goes on to tell us that Webster’s Dictionary defines “individual” as “Not divided, existing as one distinct being or object, single, one.” The definition has changed somewhat, but is still includes existing as one indivisible whole. But as I pointed out in the previous paragraph, we really don’t function as isolated beings, but in relation to other beings and objects of all sorts. Therefore, we are not truly separate from them because we can’t exist without other beings and objects. Just to look at one obvious example, we can’t exist without air to breath, so we are not truly separate from the air.
Another way to think of it is this. Suppose you were some unknown college student who decides to start his own company– say a Facebook or Microsoft. A few years later, your company employs thousands and has millions of customers. That that make you any less an individual? Of course not. In fact Bill Gates and Mark Z. may feel an even greater sense of self with their huge following. Achieving Christ Consciousness is a lot like that.
There is a story in the news of a seven-year-old girl who survived a plane crash that the rest of her family died in. She managed to free herself from the wreck and make her way to one of a very few occupied houses in the area. Everyone is talking about this as a miracle and can’t understand how she had the presence to stay calm under the situation and find her way to help. While the term miracle is not misused, this is not as surprising to those of us involved in spiritual enlightenment as it is to the materialists. We know that we all have great powers buried within us that an be awaken by working towards it, or by a traumatic event as happened with this girl.
When we become truly enlightened, we are aware of a oneness with all that exists including God Himself, yet we do not lose individuality. Instead, we become a greater individual: more truthful, more knowledgeable, more powerful, more understanding. We become a super human, yet still ourselves. Do not confuse this with egotism. This enlightenment is about as far from egotism as you an get and still function. The enlightened person is powerful and knowledgeable, yet humble because she knows she is not unique, that others can achieve the same if they make the effort. And, in fact, on of the common attribute of a truly awakened person is that they want to help other accomplish the same.
So do not fear that spiritual development will cause you to lose your individuality. It won’t. It will make you a stronger, more vital, more useful, more loving individual because you will relate to all that exists as your brothers and sisters. More, you will be a part of the universe and understand all of it when you gain that complete knowledge called Gnosis. Now is the time to forget the fight for separateness and isolation and instead become part of the beach of Light as the great Sun of Righteousness shine down on it awakening more souls every day.
“Oh, dear students, be not deceived by the mask of Personality which you may happen to be wearing at this moment, or by the masks which are worn by those around you. Realize that back of your mask is the great Individual—the Indivisible—the Universal Life, in which you are a center of consciousness and activity. This does not wipe out your identity. Instead it gives you a greater and grander identity.” ~William Walker Atkinson