To be fully awake, to experience Reality without any modifications, all identities, ideas, and filters must be washed away. This includes the enlightened identity.
In Self-Realization, we come to know ourselves as one with all things. We realize our divine nature as our true nature and experience all things without exception as manifestations of divinity. It is immeasurably beautiful and radiant.
But as the contemporary spiritual teacher, Adyashanti, reminds us, “True enlightenment destroys enlightenment. As long as you can refer back to yourself and say, ‘I’m enlightened,’ you’re not. Enlightenment is authentic only when there is no one left to be enlightened. Even to say, ‘I am nobody,’ is one too many.” Finally, the last filter, the filter of divinity, of God, of emptiness and fullness, must also fall away.
“Awakening is a letting go of both the positive and negative aspects of your self.”
– Advanced Path book
The process can be disorienting. You lose your center and your footing. You lose your last grasp on any form of comfort and any reference point in the universe. You no longer look in a mirror of divine self-reflection, nor do you peer through any lenses of any kind. Finally, you see everything as it really is. You see and experience Reality directly. It is the ultimate liberation.
“Be willing to lose absolutely everything, including your awakening and all your realizations. Let go so that you can be.”
– Advanced Path book
If you want a glimpse of this, go sit with a tree or on a rock. Both the tree and the rock are content to be themselves, to express what they are without striving to be anything more or less. To weather the seasons with grace. To grow and deteriorate without any motivation or complaint. The tree doesn’t try to be the rock, nor the rock the tree. And they experience Reality directly, without filters of ego or identity or divinity. The tree doesn’t think, “I’m a tree,” with all of the characteristics that humans have assigned to a tree. It doesn’t have any concept of God. It exists prior to any condition or definition or experience arising. It simply is. You can learn a lot from a tree or a rock.