Instant recap: When Franklin Merrell-Wolff attained OM (union with ultimate reality) he found himself thinking with the mind of God, a state of omniscience which “precipitated” a priceless residue of divine knowledge into his personal consciousness. He realized complete liberation, freedom from guilt and karma, and a profound sense of joy and felicity which overflowed into the lives of his wife and friends.
Merrell-Wolff felt certain that the transformation he had undergone was the ultimate Recognition of OM. In the earlier experiences and Recognitions, the basic human sense of incompleteness had been only partially removed; he still felt a longing for something more. Now all this was utterly resolved; he felt “abundant completion” and the fulfillment of all his desires ~ there was “nothing more to wish for”. Eventually, though, there dawned the awareness of a subtle imperfection: yes, he possessed joy, peace, rest, freedom, and understanding ~ but he preferred this state to its opposite.
Most people, even hardcore seekers of enlightenment, might be astonished at this observation, and think it’s like nit-picking the fine print of the title-deed to the treasure at rainbow’s end. But Merrell-Wolff grasped it as a defect, a significant imbalance: he was “bound to embodied consciousness”, meaning that he had to make an effort to remain incarnate in the world rather than merging absolutely into OM ~ and he would prefer to not be bound.
The small tension of this “nit” was still unresolved when Merrell-Wolff went to bed thirty-three days after his Recognition; as far as he knew, he would carry it with him till death. He was awake and alert when a great surge of transcendent power swept over him. His previous Recognitions had all come when he was in a state of inner stillness, and required his all subtle skill to “capture something that might be dispersed by a breath of mental or emotional activity”. In stark contrast, this time he was in peril of being overwhelmed; it taxed his resources to the maximum to face this force. Also unlike the past events, it came totally unbidden, a complete surprise.
The first effect was a sense of absolute Satisfaction. The last mote of tension, uncertainty, and preference melted into a profound balance and repose, not inclining in any direction. He actively embraced it as the ecstatic culmination of his long passionate striving for the ultimate. But even this turned out to be short of the peak, as he discovered in the following moments.
The Satisfaction evolved into a state of Indifference, an absolute detachment even from the bliss of supreme fuflfillment. It was not any sort of low, jaded aloofness in the familiar human sense, but a majestic High Indifference, “an order of life and consciousness beyond imagination”. It was so utterly whole that no positive quality could be added to give it any greater richness. In this state, Merrell-Wolff found that he could command all qualities and manifest them at will ~ he could bless or curse whomever he chose, but he was so void of desire that there was no reason to bless or curse. To reach back to a relative state from this ultimate OM required a “a contraction and blinding of consciousness, an acceptance of immeasurable lessness” ~ such is the creation of the world!
In Om “there is a sense of power and authority of cosmic proportions. By contrast, the marchings of the Caesars and the conquests of science are but the games of children.” These seemingly portentous achievements all inhere in a field subject to that Higher Power ~ “they rest dependent on that transcendent and seeming Void in order to have any existence whatsoever.” Life and death and the endless play of visible and invisible forces “seem no more than a dream-drama during a moment’s sleep in the illimitable vastness of (OM). And before the commanding Authority and irresistible Power of (OM), all dreams inevitably dissolve.”
Merrell-Wolff now realized that his penultimate Recognition had been subjective, meaning that it was not Absolute, even though his perceiving self was a Godlike Ultimate Subject who had completely transcended objective experience. And now he found that he had transcended the Subject as well: the Object was not discrete nor differentiated from it, as it is in relative existence ~ the poles had hermetically conjoined. This was true of all polarities ~ good and evil, light and dark, positive and negative, etc., etc. Whenever he tried to isolate any phase of the state or capture a thought in relative categories, the effort was defeated as it instantly flowed into its opposite as co-partner. Contradiction had become irrelevant.
Nevertheless, he could willfully evoke his mundane subject-object consciousness in order to gain knowledge. He described it as a searchlight which he could direct anywhere within the all-pervading OM and render chosen zones self-conscious. This is how he was able to capture the relative values which he expressed in his account, instead of just the “dimly-remembered inchoate transcendence” reported by most mystics. “I was able to carry with me into the relative state just so much as I was able to think into the mind during the interval of penetration”. And “naturally” he chose the features that were most significant to him as an individual.
There came an interval when the Recognition escalated to an intensity that taxed Merrell-Wolff to his limits. His sense of transcendent self dissolved in a nameless “Somewhat”, still more exalted. Now there remained nothing but pure Being: an omnipresent Consciousness with no subjective nor objective element. He wrote: “Both symbols and concepts fail. But now I know that within and surrounding all there is a Core or Matrix in which are rooted all selves and all Gods, and that from this lofty Peak, veiled in impenetrable Silence, all worlds and beings, all spaces and all times lie suspended in utter dependence. On that Highest Peak I could know no more; the deeps of Darkness and manifold sheathes of Silence rolled over me, and self-consciousness was blown out. But over this I sensed the faintest shadow of a breath of consciousness from out of a still vaster BEYOND.”
Next: A Relative Message from the Absolute OM
Go to the first post and read the whole story in chronological order