What follows is a model of human existence. It is not the only possible model, even if it is correct. I can say that I have been unable to refute this model. It fits the observed evidence and explains it in a way that other models do not. It is little known or spoken of for reasons that will become clear.
Infinite awareness (IA) is our true being. There is only one of us here.
In order for IA to know itself, it creates worlds of manifestation and vehicles with which to experience those worlds. These worlds and vehicles have no independent reality apart from IA.
A useful metaphor for our reality is that of a holographic role playing game (RPG). IA is the creator and also the sole player of the game. While there may be lots of different games, the one "we" are now playing is called Evolution. Evolution is the process whereby IA extends the consciousness range of it's vehicles to allow for new possibilities for it's expression. It does this by creating challenges and then transcending them. Evolution is not about survival.
The RPG contains both player and non-player characters. The player characters are vehicles for IA (eg. humans, animals, plants, etc.). Non-player characters are not. They are programmed into the game to serve as challengers and adversaries to be transcended. Your individuality, point of view, or "fiction suit" is a player character. It is not the player, mind you; that would be IA. False ego is a non-player character. It is the "foreign installation", or "flyer" of Don Juan Matus, the "archon" of the Gnostics. A very good article by John Lash on this subject is available here.
Most philosophical systems and models of reality do not make this distinction between individuality and false ego. There is a good reason for this. The false ego is programmed to pretend to be you. That is it's primary strategy. It does not want you to know that it isn't, because as long as you think it is you, you will not transcend it. Don Juan's description of this energetic reality is well worth studying. It is in Casteneda's final book: The Active Side of Infinity, in the chapter called Mud Shadows. If you consider Don Juan a reliable source, then his assertion that this is the "topic of topics" is worth taking seriously. I won't say much more about false ego, since I've done that quite a bit in other posts.
What I haven't previously talked about is the nature and function of the "player character" or individuality. This is not the false ego. If the false ego were transcended, individuality would still remain. Individuality has real value for IA. It provides a vehicle for it's experience. Each of these vehicles is unique and offers it's own potentials to be realised. These potentials are defined by the spacetime patterns present at the moment of the vehicle's emergence into being. These are the patterns described by astrology and other systems of spacetime mapping. Realising the possibilities of the individuality is the same as Crowley's "true will". This is only fully possible once the influence of false ego has been removed. The individuality is not meant to be transcended. It is meant to be experienced in it's fullness. After all, IA didn't have to create worlds of manifestation. IA could have remained in a condition of undifferentiated unity. Therefore it seems evident that as much as we desire union with IT, the opposite is also true. IA wanted to be us, or we would not exist. To realise our true identity with IA, rather than false ego, is not to become the Borg. It is false ego's influence that demands conformity and interferes with our uniqueness.
As I stated in the beginning, this is a model, as are all our descriptions of what is. No model can be equated with the reality it represents. The map is not the territory. The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. The value of a model lies in it's utility. A good model is one that allows us to conceive, however dimly, that which is beyond language and form. In my own case, this model has proven more useful than any I have previously worked with. In the few years I've been using it, I have noticed increased authenticity and a massive reduction in interpersonal drama.
I don't trust the trappings of "spirituality", the clothes, the trinkets, the Books, the stereotypical voices. I am suspicious of anyone in a guru costume. I can't believe that enlightenment comes with a uniform. I just don't buy it (pun intended).
What would a true teacher want with a crowd of worshiping followers? If the teacher is qualified to teach, he/she should be able to recognise the relative handful with real sincerity and potential. After all, a teacher's job is to help the student find enlightenment for him/herself, not to preside over an adoring hoard of groupies. Pretty words, no matter how true, will never bring understanding. They can only reflect and confirm the knowing that is already present.
I don't consider myself enlightened (yet) but I know enough to see the dynamic at work in these spear-it-you-all cults of personality. Nobody gets enlightened but there are still pay-offs all around. It starts with the "teacher" who is usually sincere and charismatic, but deluded. He (it's usually a "he", but not always) typically has a peak experience (often accompanied by siddhis) and takes it for a divine mandate. Other people who are looking for a savior, are attracted to his aura of certainty. Those people begin to idolise the teacher, giving him their energy. This increases the charisma of the leader and attracts even more followers. This establishes a feed-back loop. The power and charisma of the leader keeps growing until it overwhelms him. Any weakness in the leader eventually becomes magnified beyond his control. At that point, scandal of some kind is practically inevitable.
The trap is equally deadly for the followers. Most of them come seeking to lose themselves in something greater. They are not disappointed. They don't know that the leader's powerful aura has been created by his (unconscious or not) vampirism of the flock. They imagine it is a sign of divine selection. Membership in the group relieves them of emotional isolation, gives them an identity, and makes them feel special. Eventually, the ability to think for themselves is trumped by their desire to belong. If they lose their belief in the leader because of scandal, abuse or glaring hypocrisy, they are left drained and disillusioned.
When I saw the ad at right on a newspaper box, I felt like sicking up. How dumb do you have to be, to think that anyone who promoted real spiritual freedom would be given editorial control of a Zionist rag like the Vancouver Sun? I can't believe people take this guy seriously. It's tragic. What could a sheltered, pampered figurehead possibly teach anyone. He's never been poor or married or raised a child. He hasn't got a clue about the challenges faced by those he presumes to teach.
Surely any real teacher would have the goal of making himself unnecessary. Are professional standards really too much to ask? Don't you think a Guru should have to produce at least one enlightened student before accepting the title? I can't think of a single good reason for a real spiritual teacher to claim to be one. The true teacher is revealed once his work had been accomplished. Think about it.