From: Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter by Marc Gafni
Your divine spark manifests as your drive to attain something beyond the contracted self of ego. You do not simply want to disappear into the one. Rather, your internal drive is to appear as a unique expression of the One. It is the answer to the question you are constantly asking: “Who am I?”
In the daily practice of Kabbalah, the seeker goes back to the moment before the world was created, to when the divine spark initiated the evolutionary process. This moment is available right now. You were there at the very beginning. Hitboddedut is the name of one of many forms of meditation designed to get you there. You enter deeply into the center of your being until everything but that center falls away. It is the Ground of Being—ayin or absolute nothingness—that is paradoxically personal and knows your name. Holy paradox lives in this realization.
The God train to this face of being is certain kinds of meditation and certain forms of chant. You rest in the timeless time and placeless place. In the language of Solomon, “His left hand is under my head, his right hand embraces me.” You feel the divine embrace. No matter where or how you fall, you fall into the hands of God. This is the ground. Even when everything falls away, you are still there. When you awaken in the morning, the first practice you do is to contact this ground and realize your presence in it and as it. It is about this ground that we speak when we speak of the One, the unified ground of reality that is always and already you. Even as it personally holds you.
Once you realize this identification, your relation with all of reality is transformed. You have left the narrow straits of Egypt and have started to walk in the wide places. You have accessed the truth of your wider self. You have discovered Big Mind, Big Heart, Original Face, All-That-Is, Essence—all names for what lies right beneath your personality. It is the ayin before the yesh, the unmanifest ground from which all that is manifest is born. In this place you taste, for the first time, your freedom. One Taste.
The moment when ayin reveals itself as yesh, when the peace-bliss of an unchanging God explodes with a big bang as dynamic and evolving divinity who is movement and direction itself, is called the Mystery of Creation. That which is perfect seeks an even higher perfection, as if such words could be spoken or understood. The changeless, motivated by infinite ecstatic love, suffers the exquisite pain of change and evolutionary revelation in order to give gifts of love that would otherwise remain un-given. And un-given love is not love. The Second Taste. All reality emerges from what is called by the kabbalists nekudah achat, a single point. In that single point, you are there. At that moment, from the depth of that point, you decided to unfurl a world. You, God, created the Uni-verse. It was not your ego, but your Unique Divine Essence that made the mysterious choice to create a world. It was your Unique Self that initiated the big bang. The purpose was simple and clear—for the higher good of all sentient beings.
At the moment of the big bang, the original light of infinite goodness is shattered. It is shattered in the way that the heart of the lover is shattered: by opening in love to the beloved. It is shattered by an infinite desire to move from Being to Becoming; to merge with the beloved, and through that merger, to emerge into greater Being. To be more glorious, more beautiful, more awake, and more in love than was ever possible before.
Infinity and unity explode into finite, disconnected shards of the original divine unity. The process of evolution begins. Slowly the light hidden in the dark shards of the broken vessels is re-gathered. Divinity is rebuilt through first-, second-, and third-person reconstructive projects. Buddha is the first-person project of meditation and introspection. Sangha is the second-person project of social artistry and transformation coupled with prayer, chant, and devotion to the beloved. Sangha is always with thou and with the Thou of God. Dharma is the third-person project of developing discernment and right understanding, and therefore, right action in the world.
This whole impersonal process of evolution is all very personal. It speaks directly to you. You feel it inside of you right now as the powerful desire to awaken and be more. That desire is God desiring to be more through and as you. When you enter into your deepest self, you begin to clarify your desire. You realize with absolute shock, joy, and delight that God not only desires but needs your Becoming. It is this realization that we call the New Enlightenment of Unique Self.