How Everything ‘Gets Transformed’ Into Pure Consciousness

Out of compassion, Atmananda sometimes tells the earnest reader or disciple that every experience “gets transformed” so that it can be witnessed by Consciousness.

Take the following representative example: “[T]he I-principle [one of his favorite terms for the Ultimate] is said to be the witness of thoughts. The ‘I’ cannot come down to the mind’s plane to witness the thoughts. But thoughts get transformed into pure Consciousness in order to be witnessed by the I-principle; and Consciousness is the real nature of the ‘I’-principle” (Notes on the Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda: Volume I, no. 38).

This is such an elegant line of higher reason. How can an apparently physical object be witnessed by Consciousness? It cannot unless it’s directly understood that the physical object is nothing but form (mind) and that mind is nothing but Consciousness. Hence, in the language of “transformation” (it’s a fudge, a teaching tool, and Atmananda, teaching with compassion, knows it), the object “gets transformed” into the idea and the idea “gets transformed” into Consciousness.

The truth is that there is only Consciousness-without-an-object. Yet this truth, for many sadhakas, often requires some “step ladders” in order to be “reached.” Those step ladders, of course, are sadhanas, one especially stunning one being the Direct Path as expounded by Atmananda. The above is but one way in which (what I’ll term) the Way of Reduction works. With immense skill does Atmananda trace out other lines of higher reason.

You noticed, I trust, that I put “step ladders” and “reached” in quotes. This is because

[r]ealization consists in becoming deeply aware of the fact that you have never been in bondage. Because realization can never happen; it can never occur in time. To the question: ‘When shall one realize?’, the answer can only be: ‘When the “when” dies.’

Ibid, no. 84.