Samata, equilibrium, has been immensely praised by Gautam Buddha. It simply means absence of any preference – neither this nor that. You are simply so much in the middle, so absolutely in the middle, that you are almost out of the duality – samata – because you have withdrawn your energy from both sides, you are not throwing your energy on any duality.
The whole energy becomes concentrated. In that concentration of your total energy is the possibility of explosion. The small point exactly in the middle cannot contain that much energy, which was spread all over a line divided into many sections, over the whole spectrum. It is almost like an atomic explosion. But it is the atomic explosion in consciousness.
The atom is not material, but a living entity. A living explosion of your energies becomes almost like a lotus flower. The shape of the explosion seen by the enlightened person is very similar to the shape of the lotus flower. It is because of this that the lotus flower has become symbolic of enlightenment.
From this point things are totally different. There is growth – growth never stops – but we cannot call it growth because that may create confusion. Before, it was dualistic; now it is non-dualistic. Before, there was constant conflict; now there is no conflict – it simply goes on growing.
Hence there is absolute silence and great blissfulness, because for the first time you are free of the torture of being caught in two opposing polarities. There is no tension, everything is relaxed, everything is at ease. Rather than calling it growth, it is a let-go.
Now the flow of your life becomes a relaxed phenomenon. There is no end to evolution. Enlightenment is the end of dualistic growth, but the beginning of a non-dual evolution…a peaceful, silent movement of energy which goes on becoming bigger and bigger and goes on losing its separateness from universal energy. It always remains individual, even though it is spread all over the universe.
That feeling cannot be expressed by “I” because “I” is just another way of saying “ego.” Before enlightenment there was ego; ego can exist only in conflict. This state can be spoken of only as “am”-ness, without any “I.” It is a very strange feeling: you are not, and yet you are. You are not your old self; you are no longer a self, but you have not lost the feeling of am-ness.
So the question of what happens to individuals when they dissolve into the universal…. They still remain individuals, but with no assertion of “I” in them…just a silent song of am-ness or isness.
It is as if we put hundreds of candles in this room; all their light will become one. You cannot differentiate in the light – which part belongs to which candle – it has become a universal phenomenon. But still, each candle has its own flame, it has a certain individuality. The individuality has not disappeared, but it is very quiet and very silent and very nonassertive. It is almost as if it is nothing, but it is still there.
And that is one of the greatest mysteries: to feel yourself at one with the whole existence and yet know your inner flame…part of the whole, and yet not just a part – you are also a whole.