Emanations of Self: 1

dalai-lamaThe Dalai Lama sat down and began speaking. He was anecdotal and just finding his stride. Then he felt the nakedness of his arm; it was minus his mala beads. “Hmm, where is my rosary?” he posed. For the next thirty seconds we witnessed a serene flurry of mind, thought, an assisting monk ready for action, and His Holiness looking through his satchel for his rosary. They were there. He pulled them out, smiling as everyone does when the beads, or the keys, the letter, or anything else magically is found. As he held them up he said, “Strong sense of ‘I’ arise in that moment,” and he laughed his holiness-human laugh. It was the best teaching he gave that session.

The moment was empty for all to see, empty in that each person watching got it perfectly. Sunyata is that: empty so as to perfectly meet a need. As such the perfect necessary arising does so and the need is met. It was also precious because His Holiness automatically displayed the intrinsic nature of Self. There are layers and levels of identity from the just being formed, to immature, to maturing, to amazing, to sublime and transcendent experienced as not-Self or non-dual. The full range is the purposeful, planned, and orchestrated development of conscious self-Self-SELF aware identity up to a profound scale. This is why scriptures of the world report the layering or emanations of divinity. The Vedas, Egyptian Pyramid texts, and Buddhist tantras and sutras all speak of layers of identity born from one another and returning into the greater absorbing One.


Brahman is the Absolute without attribute and ineffable. Yet Brahman chooses to express which gives rise to Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, which give rise to Shiva-Shakti, Krishna, and all diverse presentations of life and form.

Similarly, Purusha is without other. It is pure omniscient omnipresence yet it expresses so as to relate. This creates all other, the intrinsic sense of self knowing, and the need to be. Those creations of s/Self-knowing are:

  • Ishvara-Awareness-as-Itself: cosmic and profound, unlimited – ONE-NON
  • atman-soul-consciousness: pure and complete – a One,
  • and jiva: self-awareness coming to know itself as a self, growing in quality, capacity, skill, and virtue, through processes of doubt-trust, love-hate, resolution-anger, desire-satiety, etc. Jiva is one that is aware of multiplicity, pulled out in every direction in order to eventually understand center and personal oneness. The diverse traits that comprise the complexity of one’s identity lead one ultimately to the recognition that “I am not these habits and desires, skills, and loves. I am something more.” Now the one seeks the One.

The Egyptian presentations might or might not be more obvious.

  • Nun is absolute, before all or anything. No-thing-ness, all potent potential contented, pure, wordless, unwordable.

Ultimately, Nun (Note: non, none, no – is this the original root of all derivations of the same?) produces that which is necessary: the serpent of creation and the impulsing seed of vibration as formulation. Yet the vibration, called serpent, is not in any way other than Nun. Nun is indivisible. Serpent is the undulating no-sound roaring vacuum of potency. (like the human experience of a Lions’ Roar samadhi but on a vastly smaller scale yet no less profound and perfectly wordless and indivisible.)

  • The potent energies of Allness-NON (Nun) secrete, and Atum is. “Atum is not different from Nun or the serpent, but is a part of them both as only they exist.”1 Atum is “the All and Nothing.” The ancient Egyptian texts state “I was alone in a state of inertness” but then Atum projected himself out of inertness and is considered the first principle of light. (I ponder birthlessness creating a birth-incarnation of a universe, a big bang of creation, and thus the beginning of that which we call existence-Life.) “He is the combined act that not only brings himself into existence, but also everything else at the same time.”2

rakheperiAtum is the principle of becoming, now having birthed himself (who is genderless). As such the scarab beetle now represents this eternal arising and immersion or setting of Atum as and into creation. Khepera – scarab beetle represents transformation, birth, rebirth, and the medium this process requires: layers of densification, and the rolling wheel (dung ball) of life. Atum now is ONE, identifiable while non-dual. Yet this non-dual principle of profound Allness will set the wheel of becoming in motion, thus Atum is that wheel (represented by the beetle rolling the dung ball), is the beetle: a veiled ONE representing all course and toiling expressions of One and Self, and Atum is that which marks the lost and the found by being the first light. Only as such is there also a first darkness, the beginning of forgetting the wholeness-ONE that the Self is, and instead thinking oneself to be the toiling course expression of being.

  • “The becoming of Khepera by Atum was symbolized as either a primeval mound, a bennu bird (phoenix) or as a Benben stone. As a primordial hill, Atum was seen as the first land rising from the waters of the ocean.”3

Ultimately, Atum and each identified with oneself Self awaken. Phoenix represents the burning ground of that process, the excruciating and completely necessary self-immolation of one’s ideas of oneself. We are not what we think, nor are we a set of reactions, habits, or memories. We are light, Atum, arising and causing our own dawn. The fiery illuminations of small self kindle the fires of insight. We begin the process of realizing that there is no self. Phoenix-Atum-becoming now is the son of transformation and rebirth. Nun (Non) has created Atum-Ra, the sun/son, you and me as the divine light incarnate.

And Buddhist tantras and sutras are similar.

  • kuntuzangpoSamatabhadra-Samatabhadri is Non-the unformulated and causless. Yet, (there always is the proverbial “yet.”) the birthless, causless, and deathless creates, moves, undulates, breathes, does.
  • The non becomes.
  • Samantabhadra-dri becomes the first buddha.
  • One becomes five (primordial buddhas).
  • Further defining or layering is through the process of three (kayas).

Emanations beget emanations, all for the purpose of Being expressing as knowable. Consciousness is the plan and purpose of this universe or multiverse of which we are a part. We are that consciousness, we are that Nun, non, beginningless non-self SELF that now is known, and knows, and thus can create in full knowing, which is awareness as vibrating pure light.


  1. Egyptian Wisdom Revealed:  http://www.ancient-egyptian-wisdom-revealed.com/books/creation-mythology/
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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10 Responses to Emanations of Self: 1

  1. Susie says:

    So beautiful and same truths in the various traditions masterfully orchestrated

  2. aaremo says:

    This is an excellent post — you capture the essence of nonduality so simply and understandably. I like the wall you pulled different sources or traditions/teachings together, I’m not v familiar with the Egyptian and some of the Buddhist tantric teachings so I found this fascinating 🙂

    • Thank you. At root, the essential teachings are simple and understandable. I guess the process is to hold that truth as self-evident, and thus look for it. Then, like the Tao says, we find it was always with us. Nonduality must be essence as self is essential, wouldn’t you say?

      • aaremo says:

        I would say — completely. The essential teaching is simple, but almost too simple for many people in our culture of ever-increasing complexity. I always like bringing it back to the purest simplicity 🙂 I’ll be reading the second post v soon, just waiting til I have an undisturbed moment 🙂

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