Anthony on the "We"

Whenever I have used the term "the center of his being," I have referred to a state of meditation, to an experience which is felt at a certain stage. The very art of meditation is a drawing inwards and the finer, the more delicate, the subtler this in drawing becomes, and the closer it is to this central point of consciousness. But from the point of view of philosophy, meditation and its experiences are not the ultimate goal--although they may help in preparing one for that goal. In that goal there is no kind of center to be felt nor any circumference either--one is without being localized anywhere with reference to the body, one is both in the body and in the Overself. There is then no contradiction between the two.   

The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (#25670)

Anthony: When a person sits down to meditate and succeeds in intensifying their attention, it seems as though this concentration is going through their center.  Think of all the radii of circle converging to a point.  And PB says this is the experience that comes from meditation.  I would say basically what’s happening is that the attention is being restricted or contracted to that point which we refer to as that part of the soul which has been projected; in other words, the re-embodying soul.  That’s one type of experince. There’s another type of experience which goes further than that and takes you to the experience of your I AM, which is beyond the re-embodying soul.

So we could say something like this: when you constrict your attention to a point, and you experience the re-embodying soul, it’s like a mystical experience, and we can call that consciousness just for the sake of discussion.  And then there’s something beyond that which we can call the Mind, the individual I AM. If you go beyond that re-embodying soul and reach that individual I AM, there is no reference to any center.  You don’t experience the gathering of all your forces and a plunging to a central point in you being. That I AM is an experience which is quite different.

Now the combination of these two – the experience of your center of being and the experience as just being --- is what Plotinus referred to as the “We”.  And that’s the philosophic experience: the experience of the I AM, which includes that part or power that the I AM has to project forth.  So when we say that the I AM projects forth a part of itself or a power from itself and this is the consciousness which gets embodied – that’s one experience.  The experience of the I AM, independent of that, is another.  The two of them together is the experience of the soul as the “We” which contains both of them and that’s the philosophic experience.

Anthony Damiani  Living Wisdom . Page 159-160