"And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." Mark 14.36
The first Self-experience is a really God's Grace and the first real step towards total liberation. Without this experience, all activity is like tidying up a crammed room in total darkness. The first experience is like finding a torchlight that will light up the room briefly before its batteries run out. Suddenly, you can see all the objects that you have been picking up, moving, turning and feeling by touch. You adore the high ceiling, the spacious room and the furnishings. You do not have an idea, however, how much work is waiting for you in order to turn the room into a place full of happiness, freedom and sunshine.
When the Grace is gone, the room is re-captured by darkness. Desperate, you try to figure out how to turn on the flashlight again, or another source of light. This moment is very important. You must comprehend why you are still not as happy as you were in God's Grace. You must remind yourself of the true knowledge. God's Grace is always present in you, but the ego - the feeling "I am the body, the doer and the owner" - separates you from God, thus concealing God's Grace. Remove these constructions of the mind, and you will merge into the happiness of God's Grace again.
How to receive God's Grace? There are many methods that examine, recognise and calm the mind. By applying them honestly for months or years, each seeker can receive the Grace. Religious ecstasy, achieved by repeating God's name, directing the mind towards God and total submission, is another way. After repeated several-hour-long total concentration, preferably in a spiritual centre, an identical experience can arrive. Fundamentally, it is an interruption of logical rational thinking under the influence of the ego, and opening up the heart, the residence of the Self. You cannot escape purification and recognition of the mind anyway, but you will possess partial knowledge of the goal, and therefore will be able to concentrate your efforts better. The question is whether, in the state you will find yourself in, you will be able to use God's Grace effectively. In my opinion, it is always better to have this experience than not have one.
The real spiritual purification begins after the obtaining of God's Grace, removing all that obstructs you from permanently abiding in God's Grace and achieving the ultimate goal of liberation and enlightenment.
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