Human being has two dimensions. In one dimension, as a part of the whole, he is Nature, he is Universe, their personality is a creation of the Universe, and is in constant interchange, intercommunication with their environment; their body is matter, and their individual mind is also a product of the evolution, a product of the Nature. But besides that, human being also has an identity, an individuality; even with the constant interchange with all their environment, even continuously changing, something in him keeps him self-aware. The evolution of the identity of human being involves both dimensions, both directions: connecting with the environment and also developing the sense of be somebody beyond the environment.
Expansion of the identity: non duality
The former aspect is the phenomenological, the existencial one; the person lives it as if it were two different things: the objective world, outside them, and the subjective world, within them. Indeed, both things are subjective, because the person only can experience the contents of their individual consciousness; their mind divide their field of consciousness into separated zones, one zone is labelled as “I and my“, other zone is labelled as “not I, not mine“, but indeed all the stuff is in the same field, their own field of consciousness. We are not claiming here “there are not an objective external reality”, we are only saying that people only knows the objects into their consciousness, and such objects are made of all of their experiences and knowledge, but very often people don’t realize this fact, thinking about their own consciousness objects like they were external ones.
There are a possible evolution here: expanding the field of individual consciousness, integrating all their objects, searching relationships between them, and realizing the unity in the diversity of objects: all of them are contents of one unique field. This manifests itself as a progressive control of the outside world, as well as the need to organize that knowledge of the world within itself. Science is one of the ways of do it, trying to learn the way of being and working of things. We, as a human specie, are involved in such evolution.
In the same way, but going beyond, when the individual mind relax their classification of the objects of consciousness in categories “external” and “internal”, then all the objects of knowledge are seen in one unique field without added separations; as a result, the identity of the person, so far it identified with some of these consciousness objects (like my thoughts, ideas, body, etc.) experiences an expansion: the person now feels he is, in some way, all their objects of consciousness, without exclusions, he is in all, and all is in him. Indeed, in such state, the person identifies with their consciousness as a whole, not with any particular object; is a non-dual state of being: the subject and the object are the same.
Contraction of the identity: the ultimate self
There comes a time when the person realize he, as an identity, is not any thing, but a pure subject beyond any object or name. He is not their ideas, even he’s not their personality. Their ultimate identity is nothing, but a “nothing” that is pure power, potential energy. In their field of consciousness their ultimate identity appears like a non dimension point. Living from this deep point he feel the sensorial world as very far.
When the person develops such punctual awareness, realizing the ultimate subject, all the things become external to him, all are external objects, except himself who is subject. At the same time he realizes all he experiences is part of their own consciousness, so in some way, all the “external” objects are himself. So there are a motion: an expansion in which he recognises himself being all, and a contraction in which he lets go all and simply he is, no more. Usually the person lives in some point between such two extremes; the reality covers all, from one point to the whole. The personal reality, or field of personal consciousness, is like a flat Galaxy: there are a lot of matter, of things; we can live and even identify with some of them, or with other of them. In the middle of the field there are the nucleus of the Galaxy, our true identity. From this center we have perspective of all the field.
Higher dimensions of identity
Numerous testimonies from various places, traditions and times, testify is possible to expand our identity/awareness in other dimension, we can say a “vertical” dimension, in contrast to the “horizontal” one, of which we have spoken before. When the person is used to live as a “self” independently of the environment, including their emotions and thoughts, which now are lived like “external” to him, may spontaneously open to the Universal Self which is inside of all. He himself is like a little Universe, a Galaxy, surrounded by the whole Universe. And this Universe also has two facets: the objects and the subject; who is the ultimate subject? the Self, who is unique, existing in all, and at the same time transcending all. Then, he discover there are only one Self, expressing in some way as many.