Everything is Consciousness:
It is the source of all life as well as the power of life itself.
The purpose of spiritual practice is to understand and directly experience this ultimate truth, and furthermore, to discover that we are that Consciousness. In the nondual Kashmir Shaivite tradition of Anuttara Trika, this all-pervading Consciousness is called Śiva. He exists in a state of eternal completeness, simply repeating, Aham , “I am.” That mantra expresses His divine status and it also gives life to us. Aham is the very breath of Śiva.
Kashmir Shaivism describes five essential powers of Śiva. The first is that of Consciousness itself. Then, emerging from within Śiva’s infinite Consciousness is Śakti, the divine energy that creates, sustains, and dissolves the universe, again and again. Tantric exposition clearly states that this power is inherent in the very nature of Consciousness itself. It is not an inert awareness. Śakti is the power of bliss, and arising from bliss are the triadic powers of divine will, knowledge, and action.
Consciousness, bliss, will, knowledge, and action are the source of everything that exists, including our own individuated life. All of creation manifests as an expression of Śiva’s unity, arising from within Himself through His five powers for the purpose of expanding His freedom and the joy of that freedom. From within Śiva come all the energies that sustain and illuminate our experience and provide the means to discover our unity with our source. In our sādhana, we learn to access our own divinity by aligning ourselves with these powers.
Śiva’s grace gives us the capacity to know unconditional joy by knowing Him as our Self. From the highest perspective, this means that Śiva can look back at Himself through us. This is possible, because all reality, both inner and outer, is held within undifferentiated Consciousness in a state of absolute potential. That Consciousness bursts forth as prakāśa, the light that illuminates life. Brilliant in its own radiance, this power is an effulgence that continually shines forth from within itself to create all manifestation. The illuminating power of prakāśa is present in every level of creation, experienced as infinite light in our own awareness. Although it appears as diversity, prakāśa is really the expression of unity, much as light coming through a lattice is broken into parts.
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