In our quest for spiritual unity, the paths we tread are often shrouded with misconceptions and misguided notions. Bentinho outlines a unique perspective that posits a seemingly paradoxical approach: embracing separation to experience unification.
When we talk about the spiritual journey towards unifying with the Ultimate Reality or the Absolute, the conversation often circles around dissolving the sense of separation we harbor within. However, there’s a subtle yet profound approach Bentinho proposes that may seem a bit unorthodox at the outset but holds a deep reservoir of wisdom upon closer inspection.
He suggests that the practice of distinguishing or separating the ‘True Self’ from the ‘False Self’ can indeed be a bridge to experiencing unity. While this sounds counter-intuitive, it echoes an age-old wisdom from the biblical verse, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). This scripture invites us to a form of separation too, where in stillness, we can differentiate the ephemeral from the eternal, thus recognizing our true divine nature.
The journey Bentinho elaborates upon is not a physical separation but a discerning practice where we untangle our awareness from the false identifications, attachments, and perceptions we’ve gathered along our human experience. It’s about peeling away the layers of misidentification to reveal the pure awareness that remains — the unchanging, ever-present knowing.
The term ‘separation’ here doesn’t denote a divisive action but a purification process, a way of disentangling the true essence from the illusory experiences and identifications. As Bentinho explains, it’s not about a philosophical or dogmatic separation, but a spiritual practice of discerning what we are not, to understand and experience what we indeed are.
As we practice separating our true essence from the false identifications, we journey closer to the heart of unity. In this practice, we’re not creating unity; we are unveiling it. Unity, as Bentinho elaborates, is the fundamental state of existence, unaltered by our perceptions or experiences of separation.
This practice of separation isn’t about negating or denying our human experiences but transcending them to experience our true nature. As we refine our understanding and experience through this practice, we grow subtler in awareness, transcending conventional realities, and aligning closer with the infinite, undivided reality.
Bentinho’s insight reminds us of a quote by the philosopher Alan Watts, “We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.” As we practice discernment, we realize our inherent unity with the cosmos, akin to leaves inherently united with the tree.
The spiritual journey is indeed about returning to our original state of unity, which is always present but obscured by our misidentifications and attachments. Through the practice of discerning separation, we’re merely removing the veils that obscure our vision of this unity, enabling us to experience and reside in our true nature, the state of boundless unity.