Instant recap: As Franklin Merrell-Wolff approached the highest realm of Spirit, he discovered by an acute premonitory insight that the seeming nothingness of OM was really the ultimate Ground of Being, das Ding an Sich, and the phenomenal world was utterly unreal by contrast.
4. The OM In Itself
Merrell-Wolff said that at this pregnant moment “there remained merely the clearing up of the residual barriers to the complete identification of the self with the supersensible and substantial world (OM), accompanied by the thorough divorcement of the self-identity with the phenomenal world. Only a few days were required for the completion of this effort.” Anyone who has ever been blessed with an experience of an overwhelming spiritual reality or entity, suddenly finding yourself at the gates of heaven or in the presence of God, can grasp the casual enormity of the quoted statement by paraphrasing it as: “All I had to do was totally stop being ME and start being THAT.”
After fulfilling that last prerequisite, Merrell-Wolff began meditating on Shankara’s treatise on Liberation ~ exactly what he was trying to attain. Again the breakthrough came by the realization of a mental “error”: he was unconsciously seeking a subtle object or experience, which would still be a phenomenon in time-space and therefore other than OM. Hence the goal must be pure subjectivity without an object, and the ultimate Recognition could not be of any object, even of the most subtle and interior sort. Rather, it must simply be “a realization of Nothing, but a Nothing that is absolutely substantial and identical with the SELF. This was the final turn of the Key that opened the Door. I found myself at once identical with the Voidness, Darkness, and Silence, but realized them as utter, though ineffable, Fullness in the sense of Substantiality, Light in the sense of Illumination, and Sound in the sense of pure formless Meaning and Value.”
Pure subjectivity seemed like a kind of vanishing point, having position in consciousness but no body; but Merrell-Wolff’s finely-honed noetic perception recognized that it was actually a subtler body ~ which of course would be an object. But he had already trained himself in the rigorous technique by which to deal with it, and now he applied it at the Moment of Truth: he stripped off the onionskin sheathes of his subtle body one after the other until nothing was left. And there he was as OM.