Some teachings focus on the realization that there is “no-self,” no person. While it is important to acknowledge that spiritual unfoldment can feature no-self, it might be difficult to understand why no-self would be appealing.
No-self is when the sense of being a separate person, a “me,” or more radically, not even having a sense of being a person, becomes our perspective. One essentially awakens as “no-self.”
Who wants to be no-self? We are rather attached to who we are. No-self might sound foreign, or frightening.
First let me assure you that no-self does not mean life’s pleasures are relinquished. Continue to enjoy chocolate, or whatever your pleasure(s). And let me add that no-self does not mean any of the other multi-dimensional layers of your existence will cease to exist. Not even your ego.
“No-self” is simply a way of referring to the changes in our sense of self, or identity, as we progress in spiritual unfoldment. As we unfold spiritually our sense of self, our identity, shifts to other perspectives, or points of view of reality. Each of these shifts is a step further from identification with the ego or any subtle remainder of identification.
Any of these shifts can result in the sense of no-self. This is because each step out of identification with any perspective along our journey shifts who feel we are. And with each shift there is less identification with the layers of individual structure that comprise who we are as human beings.
Eventually, we reach a shift where no remnants of “individuality” appear to be left with which we are identified. Of course all the layers of who we are remain intact. We do not cease to be human. All layers are still present and functioning. We discover the nature of who we are beyond any personal or individual concept. We find that all the layers where we previously were identified reside “within” us without obscuring the realization and knowledge of who we truly are.
This is the fruition of no-self, because at this point in our spiritual unfoldment, self and identity cease to have meaning, at least not in the sense they did previously. We could still use these words to refer to the fact that we still perceive a world, but our perspective really resides outside of the whole dynamic of perceiver and perceived. There is only the totality of Reality beyond consciousness.
The significance of our spiritual unfoldment through the stages of no-self is that with each shift of perspective there is the progressive amplification of peace, love and joy flowing through our “no-self-ness.” We experience more Grace and move closer and closer towards a fuller, living reality of the Divine.