The questions you’ve asked indicate that you’re a seeker of truth. So I will give you a thought to reflect on and see how it fits your view of life.
This whole urge to know the meaning or purpose of life and contemplate the nature of existence comes from a “sense of I” or the personal self, which usually results from past mind conditioning. In other words, it is acquired.
Just like our body is an accumulation of the food we eat, our mind is also an accumulation of all sense impressions and perceptions we accumulate in our lifetime.
We’re taught to think like an individual that has a separate existence and that we have to struggle in this bad-mad world to survive. We’re given teachings on morality, ethics, and religion, and whatever ideas and beliefs we form are limited to the society and culture we’re born in.
The problem is that this creates cognitive dissonance because there’s a great conflict at the root of thinking of oneself in a separate existence, and because of deeply ingrained beliefs, it becomes challenging to accept the oneness in diversity. Unicity in multiplicity. And that behind all appearances is the same consciousness running through each one of us.
I’m not saying that all spiritual and religious teachings are wrong, but they do not liberate us from the finite self we believe ourselves to be. They do not free us from the limitations of suffering as a limited being with a ticking biological clock.
We’re already the love or the infinite consciousness we seek, but the reason why we cannot “see” this is that the conditioned mind creates strong attachments to thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. Striving to find freedom by holding on to acquired beliefs is never going to work.
We’re holding on to a lot of stuff. Some of it is conscious, while the rest is unconscious. Every belief that you hold in your mind becomes a part of the perceived personal self. The more we identify with this perception of self, the more insecure we become.
To an extent, we become paranoid trying to protect this illusory self. Everything that we believe poses a threat to this self; we try to eliminate it consciously or unconsciously. Our predisposition towards negativity and biases is a clear indication of this.
Therefore, examine the mind and let the Heart (not the organ, but the spiritual heart without a location or center) awaken. When the Heart awakens, Non-dual awareness, consciousness, god, source, or whatever you want to call it, ceases the limited mind-body organism and the individualized ego has no choice but to surrender.
The word “buddha” means the awakened one. We’re all buddhas. The only thing that keeps us trapped in duality is the identification with the limited mind-body complex. That is what prevents us from “seeing” our true nature. The moment this truth is seen in totality, we realize we are eternally free, and freedom is here and now.
When this awakening happens is not in our control, but the whole question of “purpose and meaning of life” and restlessness associated with it disappears whenever it happens.
Awakening is waking up to the realization that there is NO ONE who was asleep. It is an impersonal realization. Awakening is neither desirable nor undesirable. It simply is surrender to What-Is rather than What-Should-Or-Should-Not-Be.
You imagine yourself to be far away from this source or infinite consciousness. Your imagination creates distance and separation as the mind acts like a veil that obscures reality. It plays this never-ending game of chasing and achieving enlightenment to divert attention from the reality that is now.
This imagination is an illusory creation of your mind because how can you be far away from the absolute reality that “you are.” Therefore, the idea of liberation or awakening is not to seek answers to questions but to destroy the questions themselves.
If you get caught up in concepts and theories, your own intellect can become the biggest roadblock to this awakening of the Heart. The mind, by nature, is like a sharp knife. It creates divisions by cutting. While that is extremely useful in the material world, it is useless with subtle aspects of existence. So for every answer, ten more questions will arise.
People endlessly debate theories, ideologies, beliefs, and concepts of rights and wrongs but never come to a conclusion that brings about liberation. The one trying to attain liberation through personal effort is also a part of the illusion. Self-realization is a realization that there is no personal self that awakens through personal effort.
The mind is not a seeker; it is by nature a wanderer. It is only interested in debates, contradictions, chaos, and conflicts. If there were no conflict, you probably would never know that the mind exists.
This is the reason why we’re trapped in samsara (the world of name and form). So the emphasis should be on seeking the source of the questions than getting the answers. Therefore, knowledge alone will not liberate you.
Why you cannot expand your consciousness to the infinite is because you have made “the infinite” into an object of your desire. In other words, your mind has tricked you by conceptualizing the infinite into a finite (and desirable) object of perception.
You have attached the “me” to this finite object, which means that it’s the ego talking, and it has convinced you that there is something to attain for abiding happiness. Do you see the trap? And now you desire it, just like you desire different other things in life.
Don’t try to think your way into the awareness. Thinking is a horizontal process that indicates involvement and effort, and therefore, there’s no room for thinking in the awareness or now.
Self-investigation through deep inner exploration can help in stilling the mind, but whether the self-investigation or self-inquiry will be sincere or not is not in our (the one desiring enlightenment or liberation) control.
Asking the question, “Can our consciousness become infinite?” is like a wave in the ocean asking, “Can I ever become the sea?” The wave is never, has never been, and will never be anything apart from the sea. Similarly, you are nothing apart from the source, the infinity, the all-pervading consciousness, the absolute, or the god.