If you’ve landed on this web site I assume you’ve been around the spiritual block and have read and heard many spiritual ideas.
Each tradition and each teacher uses those terms and ideas in different ways. That is inevitable, even within the same “tradition”, so things can get a bit confusing.
In order to improve communication I would like to offer my definition of a few terms that I use when discussing the subject of spirituality. Keep in mind that some of these terms are used in other traditions and they may have different meanings there.
Everything and Nothing. The potential of everything as well as the manifestation of everything. Pure Consciousness has no subject or object so we cannot say: “I am conscious of…” from this perspective.
Glimpse of Truth
The first time there is a deep enough realization of our True Nature and a simultaneous realization of the True Nature of the world. That is: All is Consciousness. Deep enough to change the character of the spiritual work. (Referred to as enlightenment or awakening in certain traditions.)
The final Removal of Ignorance of Self, leading to stabilization of Total Acceptance. The absence of restlessness and seeking. Nothing is Wrong Anymore. The belief and feeling that “I”am going somewhere spiritually becomes absent.
The phenomenon of adopting an identity. Usually accompanied by attachment or involvement in the experience of that identity. For example, identification with the sense of separation and the experience of attachment to, or involvement with, that supposed entity that is supposedly separate.
Sense of Separation
The conceptualization of an entity that goes by our name and the identification with the personal feeling of being separate from the rest of the universe. The sense of separation is the root of psychological suffering.
Suffering that is created based solely on wrong ideas and wrong identification. Suffering created through false personality. If the wrong ideas are eliminated and the identification is corrected psychological suffering becomes absent.
The part of our personalities that is structured to reinforce the sense of separation and the identification with it. It is built of a network of false ideas and negative emotions which also manifest through the body in postures, movements and physiological imbalances. (Referred to as ego in general spiritual jargon.)
The process a seeker goes trough in the preparatory period of spiritual work whereby the personality is re-educated, observed and controlled. In this period the seeker does not know what he/she is seeking. Or has a vague intuition about it but which is covered by a series of temporary concepts and beliefs.
The process a seeker goes trough in the final period of spiritual work whereby the personally is stripped of unnecessary concepts, beliefs and functions. This period begins with the Glimpse of Truth. In this period the seeker has a clear intuition, based on direct experience, of what he/she is seeking.
The effort or action of investigating the True Nature of “I”, or questioning the veracity of “I”. Prior to the Glimpse of Truth this action may lead to the Glimpse of Truth. After the Glimpse of Truth this action has the function of re-establishing the Truth glimpsed and of contributing to the further elimination of the unnecessary from the seeker’s personality.
Space and the sense of existing prior to having a name, a personality or a body. It is the seed of the manifestation or experience. It is the Natural State manifested in sentient form. Now.
Spirit – Our Essential Nature
Pure Consciousness. As the unmanifested it is Pure Potential and Nothing. As the manifested it is the entirety of the universe, including our bodies, personalities and the sense of “I Am”, including the ego and the sense of separation.
Spirit or Essential Nature is realized to be our identity, when the sense of separation is removed. Our Essential Nature is not something special, it is natural. Now.