Instant recap: After more than twenty years of rigorous spiritual discipline and pathfinding, Franklin Merrell-Wolff attained the ultimate illumination: he became the Absolute All-Encompassing Everything/Nothing beyond space, time, and causality ~ even beyond Nirvana.
5. Inside OM
Among many of those who have attained it, OM is referred to as THAT of Which Naught Can Be Said. This is of course literally true, but among those with a mutual understanding that the words and imagery have only an indirect relationship to the actual reality, much of value can be conveyed ~ like a finger pointing at the Moon, or at the Sun behind the Sun. And in Merrell-Wolff’s case, his intellectual precision and philosophical acumen enabled him to convey vast amounts of priceless information to those able to grasp it, or decipher it.
In his report on his Recognition, he drew a line between the OM-in-Itself and the effects of it which precipitated into his relative consciousness. The first and greatest effect was that his consciousness underwent a tectonic upward shift: the roots of his being were transplanted into OM and the Supernal nimbus surrounding it. This is an actual first-person account of the reality behind the archetypal image found in many ancient traditions of the tree with its roots in heaven and branches reaching down to earth.
The next effect was that the nature and meaning of his ‘I’, his sense of self, changed dramatically from the familiar human focal point, the unipolar subject ever facing an external object. At the critical stage of the Recognition he “realized the ‘I’ as zero”, and at once it spread out to become the whole of space, a numenal substance of unlimited “thickness”, sweeping outward, everywhere, “an unpolarized consciousness which is at once self-identity and the objective content of consciousness.”
Everyone who attains OM and returns, including Merrell-Wolff, emphasizes that it is utterly beyond conceptual thought. Those who make the attempt to assist others to enlightenment may convey their Recognition in strictly emotional terms, describing their inner astonishments, raptures, and the exhilarating feeling of liberation. Others may speak only in riddles, or teach the technical aspects of meditation, etc. By contrast, Merrell-Wolff rendered an account of “superconceptual noesis“, which he described as “meaning without conceptual embodiment. It is the compacted essence of thought, the ‘sentences’ of which would require entire lifetimes for their elaboration in objective form.”
So how, you may ask, could he retain any of this superhuman knowledge? His answer is that “these massive thoughts of cosmical proportions” infiltrated value into his relative consciousness ~ the “precipitation” process mentioned earlier. He was thinking with the mind of God, and some of it inevitably trickled down into the merely human part of himself. Another vital factor is that his “self-identity remained unbroken in a series of deeps reaching into impenetrable Darkness, and yet I knew it was the very essence of Light itself.”
Other effects of the Recognition were: complete freedom, for “I had broken out of the bondage to the space-time manifold”. This included freedom from guilt and from the bondage of karma: “The accounts were closed and the books balanced in one grand gesture.” He had found the “solution of the sense of wrongness” that drives religious & philosophical effort ~ the sense of loneliness, solitude, incompleteness. He found that knowledge in the sense of information was no longer crucial; formerly he sought knowledge in the search for the Real, but now he was grounded in the Real on the most intimate terms. It seemed as if, “in an unseen and dark sense”, he already knew everything, and knowledge was only useful for the sake of expressing it to others.
During and after the Recognition Merrell-Wolff experienced joy and felicity beyond all manifest pleasures. He said that no cost would be too high for its attainment, even a lifetime of suffering; the rhapsodies of mystical literature are not overstatements. The joy is a force like an electric generator; it enriches rather than impoverishes other people. It cast a nimbus of beauty on the environment, which he was sometimes able to transmit to “those who may be in the vicinity”. This is borne out by his wife Sherifa, who made the following entry in her journal:
“These are interesting days: Franklin has penetrated to the very depths, it seems, of the Transcendental Consciousness…. His face is sublime. A light is all about him; his eyes have depths upon depths that almost engulf one who looks into them. He shines! He is happiness incarnate, a quiet depth of happiness that affects me variously. At times, I am ecstatic; again I am in a flame of fire that causes me actual physical distress, and I rain water from every pore. At other times I see deeper than I have ever seen into the meaning of life.”
Go to the first post and read the whole story in chronological order