The Unalome is a symbol from Buddhism and is often described as a sign of the path to enlightenment. Since the concept of enlightenment is a very abstract concept in the West, I usually say that it is the symbol of the path from separation to totality.
The symbol begins at the center of the spiral; This point symbolizes our birth into the earthly sphere. Here we find separation; Separation from the maternal body; The experience that our body is our own and we are ‘alone’ in it.
This separation is needed to gain experience. For I can only experience something when it is outside myself; I can not write with a pen if it is not physically separated from me.
The older we become, the more our consciousness spreads; Where our field of activity as a baby is limited to a few meters, it expands as a young adult. And so we learn more and more about matter, and about our interaction with it. Do you still know how long it took you to write and read?
Eventually the moment comes when we ask ourselves what is behind the matter. This can happen, on the one hand, through an interest in philosophy and the question of being, but also through the experience of something deeper or a certain situation which makes one look at the world from a new point of view.
For me the moment was a fairly ordinary one; it happened again and again that my best friend called on our house telephone, two seconds after I had thought of her. At first I thought it was a coincidence (today I know that coincidence is nothing but a gift from heaven (;) — but after this procedure had repeated over 20 times, I knew that something else had to be behind it. And so I began to deal with empathy, telepathy, and the collective subconscious.
Suddenly I was no longer in the spiral of the Unalome, which symbolizes the expanding consciousness, but in the first loop of the symbol. I like to call the loop part of the symbol “the spiral staircase of the ego” because it symbolizes the ascending consciousness and thus the dis-identification with everything we are not.
My first bend was that I learned more and more about the collective subconscious, and learned that we are all connected with each other. I found everything I realized now so exciting that I could no longer understand how someone could be satisfied with the material, and personally condemned anyone who still chased after his next Porsche or was only keen on making more money.
I managed to ascend to the next, a little smaller loop during a very deep meditation, in which it was shown to me that everything is one. I am everything and I am nothing — it does not make a difference when I think that I am more intelligent or see deeper than others, or to compare myself with others, because I am exactly where I am. But at the same time I am only as far as the one who has just arrived in the spiral as well as as far as the one who has already taken the whole path and has achieved Nirvana, the ultimate fusion with cosmic consciousness.
When I put myself above or below others, I do not pay respect to my own path, plus I stagnate in place without moving forward or back. I was very grateful for this insight, because Osho already said: “Our greatest ego is the spiritual.” So this was my first loop of dis-identification.
My further loops were the dis-identification with the pride, and with the thoughts. At the moment I am working on not defining myself over my emotions. I am the I am — never more, never less. Pure consciousness in earthly action. Each of us has his own spiral staircase of the ego, as well as his very own way from the separation into the whole — my story serves only as an example.
After leaving the last loop of the Unalome, you have settled in your inner core. All the detours of the ego were necessary to return to your essence. It is only when one experiences separation that one can experience totality — at least in the sphere of duality.
And so the line of the Unalome continues to flow — at the place with the serpent lines (the serpent symbolizes cosmic wisdom and divine energy — its pattern when moving is a symbol for the heartbeat that drives us all) it symbolizes that we have arrived in our essence and within the flow of life, instead of being pushed back and forth by it. We have understood that we are the river, not the boat — that our ego is part of the whole, but not as important as it fancies. That life flows through us, and we must only allow it to express itself through us rather than control everything through our thoughts and deeds.
The straight line at the upper end stands for the path to Nirvana, which is the fusion with the cosmic consciousness. The final point is Nirvana; Like the paradise or Shambala, Nirvana is not a place, but a state. It is understanding the truth behind the veil of illusion.