Stvari, kot so…

Opazujem dogajanje po različnih nivojih po Wilberju, od Mentalnega Ega, prek Avtentičnosti in Subtilnega nivoja in tudi onstran Kavzala.

In kakor koli že obračam te zaznave, vselej se izkaže, da je (razen na dramskem odru mojega uma) vse ok, mirna gladina vode in totalni mir.

Shanti.

Drugače povedano:

V brezvetrju dvigamo nevihtne oblake
in se pretvarjamo da celimo smrtne rane
čeprav nikomur ni bil skrivljen niti en sam las.

Haux Haux

Attainment claim

I intended to include the text bellow in my upcoming book “After anatta” and I changed my mind.

It does bring certain things about my current perception across so I post it here:

“There is a lot of commotion going on around the so called attainments according to various existing maps. We have Wilber map of lines, states and stages, the Four Paths Theravada map, Sri Ramana Maharshi’s levels of samadhi, Meher Baba chart;  A∴A∴ or O.T.O. initiatory grades etc…

Attainment claim in this context would be: I am at anagami stage; I have attained Nirbikalpa Samadhi; I am arahat; I am at Nondual; I am finally at the Subtle level; I am past the Subtle level; I have passed the Abyss!; I have attained and experienced AQAL (all quadrants all levels as per Wilber) etc…

I usually hear questions and comments like: “Oh my God, have I attained the Subtle level, am I there yet? When will my effort bring fruition?”, “I am at Subtle level, finally!”, “How do I stay at the Causal level?” and “How exactly to enter and stay at Nondual level?”.

People and students ask me all sorts of questions, these being the most glaring: “How does it feel when you enter Nondual or anatta or sunyata? Do you still feel pain and do you have problems in life? Are you aware of God all of the time? How does it feel to be able to enter samadhi at will? Are you Enlightened?”

Well, here is my claim of attainment, speaking in and for the domain of conventional reality:

As far as I am concerned, I have nothing special to say on the subject. Despite all experiences presented in the present work or on my Blog, on a personal, Authentic level, I can still be a complete shithead (just like I was twenty years ago) and I usually am, too. I am so used to just witnessing the drama of life that I take all that is happening to me and others as an elaborate joke; this usually means that people around me get hurt due to my lack of empathy. I can appear to be quite dispassionate and withdrawn. It is all just a play or drama to me (as of late, however, all the anatta insights combined have changed that somewhat).

I cannot levitate, I can’t read minds (for the most part), and I don’t know when Maitreya and His Masters of Wisdom will emerge. I do not know what your mission in life is and I don’t care much about it either. I cannot awaken your dormant Kundalini (whatever that means); I have got no clue who built the Egypt pyramids; I have no healing powers, sorry; I have not seen any UFO yet and I have got no more miracle powers or siddhis by myself than the next guy from the street.

Basically, I am just another guy.

Furthermore, I really can’t stand insincerity and I love to withdraw if I even suspect a manipulative and calculative person approaching. I shun the company of people infected by the victim mentality. I usually fuck up my daily appointments and would be lost without a digital calendar (I usually can’t tell what day it is). And when driving a car, well, I am quite lost even with the GPS on.

On top of that, I am very, very, very sensitive, much more than it shows; I tend to cry when I am away from my darling daughter Lara more than four or five days – I relish our time together, she is so alive, so full of Life. And my heart is quite shattered whenever I see or hear a mother scream at her three year old child without any reason and at the same time I sometimes still raise my voice to my own little girl.

And so, what about my attainment? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is this (from a personal standpoint): I truly hope to never ever again come to this fucked up Planet where people in general are either violent or polite and kind to each other only to avoid confronting deeper truths about themselves; there is nothing here to stick around for anymore, apart from contributing to the well being of others (which, for the most part, can and do take care of themselves anyway); and I would gladly give my life even for a few minutes in real physical presence of my Spiritual Master, Sri Babaji.

And, at the same time, all of these thoughts are not really convincing anymore, not even to me; it is all just currently arising and it will soon cease.

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā”

 

Wilber map: typical statements :)

Well, I am being playful so lets take a look at the Wilber map and typical statements from each level:

Mental Ego:
My daughter, well, no doctor of science will ever be good enough for her.
(this actually crossed my mind a few times, LOL)

Authentic level:
Patience is just procrastination without anxiety.
🙂

Subtle level:
We will all die, yes?
Well, I suggest we make peace with our various Gods and just go.
LOL

Causal level / Vedanta Nondual:
I used to be lonely, but now I am alone.
<deep sigh>
LOL

Buddhist Nondual:
What’s been felt,
What’s been known,
Never shined through in what’s been shown.
Always free.
Never me.
So I dub thee nonexistent.
<empty silence>

LOL

 

Q & A: Wilber map, the Nondual level

In this Blog I will try to convey what is “becoming” the natural state of awareness, especially in last few years (that is, since late 2011).

I say that I will try, and that’s for a reason: it is simply impossible to convey in words what can only be experienced. The Nondual level is so far beyond even the Causal experiences that any attempt at defining it is, in the end, futile.

So, let me open the Q & A section of this Blog with a nice story:

“Once upon a time, there were three Sufis who agreed to meet and discuss the highest Nondual attainment. Well, they met alright, sat down and looked at each other and then they laughed their asses off for three days straight and left.”

It is pointless to try to explain it all or to get it just right. I might just as well refrain from the sharing now and be done with it and just laugh and laugh… But I won’t. Let’s play.

Q: What is the Nondual level of awareness?

A: It is not a level, it is not a state and it can not be attained, at least not as we can understand the attainment of the other transpersonal levels of awareness (the Subtle and Causal levels).

I don’t really know how to explain it, but the matter of fact (for me) is that the nondual (Buddhist nondual in this case, not the Vedanta one) is the natural “reality” where there is no center, no God, no actor and no agency. Complete freedom, peace, way beyond even the freedom of the Causal Self.

Wilber says that the Nondual is like a paper on which all other levels of human awareness are written on. It is the natural ground reality, as it were.
I tend to agree.

Q: What’s with the Vedanta nondual?

A: Vedanta nondual is actually the Causal transpersonal level. As far as I can understand all of this, the Vedanta teachings (Upanishads, and even Tantras) proclaim in one voice that the Brahman is the ground reality and that He is the non-differentiated awareness, the “I am presence” which is, well, everything. It is the Source and River at the same time, and the Witness and phenomena that It witnesses. Hence the term advaita (not-dual).

And that’s the Vedanta nondual. Where advaita stops, Buddhist nondual starts, according to my experiences.

The Theravada Buddhists scriptures, for example, state that the  journey towards enlightenment begins only when first anatta insight manifests. And the anatta insight itself is already far beyond the Causal Self and Causal level (Vedanta teachings). And I am not speaking here in terms of hierarchy.

Q: It is said that Ramana Maharshi was all about nondual. What is your take on that?

A: No, Sri Ramana Maharshi never said anything about Buddhist states of consciousness. He was all about Vedanta teachings, the jnana path.

We can see this from His own statement; for Him, the highest possible attainment is the so called Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi, which He describes like this:

“In yoga the term samādhi refers to some kind of trance and there are various kinds of samādhi. But the samādhi I speak of is different. It is sahaja samādhi. From here you have samadhana [steadiness] and you remain calm and composed even while you are active. You realize that you are moved by the deeper real Self within. You have no worries, no anxieties, no cares, for you come to realize that there is nothing belonging to you. You know that everything is done by something with which you are in conscious union.”

“You know that everything is done by something you are in conscious union”, He says. Well, this can not possibly be the nondual Buddha is said to have attained and was sharing.

What Sri Ramana Maharshi shares is perfect Causal transpersonal attainment.

The nondual discussed here, however,  is the anatta and sunyata, which is described in the scriptures like this:

“Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen.
In reference to the heard, only the heard.
In reference to the sensed, only the sensed.
In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.
That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that.
When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there.
When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two.
This, just this, is the end of suffering.”
(Dawsonne 2010, Udana 1.10)

No Self, no center, nothing to be at-one-with. Anatta or an-atma. Non-self.

Q: OK, so what is the nondual really, and how to attain it?

A: As I already said, this can not be attained, not in a sense our minds are used to work. Action – reaction, this simply does not apply here.

Maybe this will add some light to our discussion (a quote from my upcoming book, After anatta):

“It is simply impossible to keep any trace of any kind of identity (whether from the Centuar, Subtle or even from the Causal stage) when really moving on to the Buddhist Nondual, i.e. anatta and sunyata. No way. Even the slightest trace of identity implicates and indeed induces duality, albeit unperceivable.

If we consider Vedanta Advaita (monism, non-separateness), there are no problems with some kind of ultimate or causal identity or entity or inherent quality still present. No problems there.

But as soon as we move on to the Buddhist Nondual, namely anatta and sunyata, then every single trace of identity, entity and inherent quality (even the higher Causal notions of the unmanifested Being or Brahman) must be left behind, entirely and unconditionally.”

So, what I am talking about here is the so called “Identity collapse”. And I am not speaking about the ego or Authentic self, I am speaking about “collapsing” the I am presence, the Causal self, the Witness as well.

Q: How do you understand the famous “Mu” answer to the question whether a dog has the Buddha nature?

A: Excellent question, it fits right into our discussion. Thank you.

It is said that illustrious Zen master, Joshu was asked a question: “Does a dog have the Buddha nature?” and the master answered: Mu (which means, no).

My understanding is that Buddha nature can not be pinned down, there is nothing inherent about it, it is no-where and no-one. There is no center, no Self, no God (if you believe in him), no agency and no actor. Anatta.

I have observed that most people I met are convinced that Buddha nature is something they can identify with. Well, according to my anatta and sunyata insights, there is no question about any kind of identity when we come to the Buddhist nondual.

Hence, not even a dog has anything there as a Self or Center. Anatta, an-atma, non-self. No-soul.

Q: Ken Wilber has written a lot about the nondual. What’s your opinion on his contribution?

A: In my honest opinion and with all due respect, Mr Wilber is not speaking about the Buddhist nondual in his books OR if he is, he is very very vague about it. Granted, he must have had a lot of experiences along the transpersonal line of things, but as far as I can understand his words, he is always speaking about the Causal level even when using the words that may convey the Buddhist nondual.

As a matter of fact, there is a huge difference between the Vedanta Causal and Buddhist nondual. If that wasn’t the case, why would the hystorical Buddha offer completely new map of human awareness not elaborated on in Vedanta?
Why wasn’t he satisfied with Upanishads and Tantras which in one voice proclaim the superiority of Brahma or Shiva (supreme being)?

Of course, these are only my speculations, but nevertheless interesting to take into consideration.

Q: How is it when you are in nondual?

A: Anything I say about it is just a joke. 🙂
Words lose their meaning when we come to the Buddhist nondual, in my opinion.

How about this:
there is no one here, there, anywhere, no center, no actor, no cause and no effect. All that “remains” is just what has always been, unfolding, manifesting and disappearing on its own, not touching anything and yet intimately interconnected.

Hahahah. As I said, it is pointless to try to convey this.

Let me finish by quoting this (again from my upcoming book, After anatta):

“The Buddha said “Monks, when the gods with Indra, with Brahmā and with Pajāpati seek a monk who is thus liberated in mind, they do not find [anything of which they could say], “The tathāgata’s consciousness is dependent on this.” Why is that? A tathāgata, I say, is untraceable even here and now.”

This does not mean the tathagata’s consciousness is ‘independently existing’ but it is like drawing on water – utterly traceless and self-releasing. When you try to draw on water, the picture does not land, does not lead to ‘growth’, does not lead to grasping or infatuation.”

Drawing on water – explaining the Buddhist nondual state – trying to catch the Buddha nature.
LOL (laughing out loud)
🙂

Related Blogs on the Buddhist nondual:

 

Question about the Nondual level?
Contact me here >>

Enter Dzogchen: rigpa

Vedanta Advaita teachings on the subject of the ultimate experiences of Oneness (i.e. samadhi) are quite different from the Buddhist teachings. The main difference, as far as I can see, is that the Buddhist teachings (Dzogchen and others as well) affirm the non-self or anatta natural reality whereas Vedanta insists on the base “I am” (Aham Brahmasmi) reality.

Both are valid, of course. To me, however, the “I am” presence, has become like any other movement in the Mind: impermanent and with no base whatsoever.

Rigpa as per fellow Buddhist, quote taken from a closed FB group
( Mahasiddhas, Mahamudra & Dzogchen >> )

“The ultimate nature of all sentient beings is said to be pure, all-encompassing, primordial clarity or naturally occurring timeless clarity. This intrinsic clarity has no form of its own and yet is capable of perceiving, experiencing, reflecting, or expressing all form. It does so without being affected by those forms in any ultimate, permanent way.

The analogy given by Dzogchen masters is that one’s nature is like a mirror which reflects with complete openness but is not affected by the reflections, or like a crystal ball that takes on the colour of the material on which it is placed without itself being changed. The knowledge that ensues from recognizing this mirror-like clarity (which cannot be found by searching nor identified) is what Dzogchenpas refer to as rigpa.”

Gone, gone beyond: anatta

Thus far I have shared on the Blog transpersonal insights (i.e. sabikalpa and nirbikalpa samadhi) into Absolute reality as per Vedanta awareness teachings.
There is more to be realized, however.
In the realm of so called Emptiness teachings or teachings of the kind Buddha, there is no self, no center, no agency, no God involved in the natural ground Reality: anatta or an-atma.

From my upcoming book, After anatta:

“…After three days of enjoying almost constant personal audience with Dr John Rowan or “the living Buddha”, as I lovingly refer to him, I was sitting on a bench in a park, sun was shining, and it was a warm, lovely autumn day. I was browsing through a book on integral psychotherapy and transpersonal identity development (Forman 2010), and it all started while reading the information about the Nondual.

But before sharing the anatta insight, certain notions are worth mentioning, I think.

In Kashmir Shivaism, ancient guidelines about obstacles to ultimate reality are outlined, so called malas or impurities (Forman 2010, p.158):
– anava mala (belief that any given person occupies particular space, i.e. I am here not there, and certainly not everywhere),
– mayiya mala (belief that there are other objects outside of us, i.e. John is out there, not here where I am located). Basically that is the root perception of a false ego, the illusory center of reference, according to my current understanding.

By the time I got through reading this, Nondual was already present (only seeing the seen, hearing the sound etc…), it seems the first two malas were recognized as false straight away: with the Kindle reader in hands, boundaries just vanished, and the little ego and also the well established and stable Causal realization was gone, gone beyond and what remained was seeing only images, hearing only sounds. It, the “I am Presence” (Causal Self) became only what five aggregates or skandhas, according to Buddhism (Form, Sensation, Perception, Mental Formation and Consciousness) were offering from moment to moment, arising and ceasing.

It is important to note that I was at that point still able to switch back to the “I am” presence, perceiving the well known impersonal presence of the “True self”. For years I entered that state, hence falling back to the “I am” presence was happening so easily, I guess.

It was different this time, however: I realized with the aha! moment that the “I am” presence in the centre of my consciousness is exactly the same as the arising and ceasing manifestation which  was being intimately experienced. The seen, sensed, cognized AS the “I am” presence – only that “I am” presence was not there anymore.

What instigated the further insight, it seems, was comprehension of the third mala (or impurity) from Kasmir Shivaism:
– karma mala – belief that a person must perform an action, do something to remedy any given situation, say “I need to meditate to get enlightened”.

It happened a few moments after I read those words (obviously I was using the entry of mental formations and consciousness), everything just became crystal clear, no switching back to “I am” presence, for there was no one here, there, anywhere to switch to!

And I am not talking only about the little false ego (which, in my opinion, may also be called the Authentic Self from Centuar or Authentic level); I am talking about the “I am” presence, The Witness Itself.

For years, I was grateful to abide as a Witness, Omnipresent and liberated, as it were, relatively free from mental/emotional/physical impressions, laughing at the drama I was continually witnessing. But now, the “I am” presence itself, or the One Witness was gone! Even the Pure abstract potential or the so called Unmanifested “I am” (higher Causal level) was nowhere to be found! It seems that after years of entering samādhi at will, I was allowed to move on.

Only there isn’t anyone to give the permission or anyone to be allowed to move on or do anything else. No one is here, it never was, and it cannot and does not exist, because events are unfolding on their own. No center needed. Phenomena are free, separated from every other phenomenon, not touching and yet interconnected but liberating as they come and go!

Gone (leaving little ego behind), gone (beyond the Causal Self), gone beyond (leaving even the lure of the Nondual behind).”

Next, niroda-samapatti >>

🙂

Identity development

I often write about various levels of psychological-transpersonal identity development here on the Blog, trying to point out that there really is an identity development happening in my (our?) existence and that Authenticity itself is but a stage and a level of human consciousness. One can indeed go ahead and more progress could be realized, as I hope becomes clear in the text below.

So, here I offer an excerpt from my upcoming book on Vedanta and Buddhist teachings in the light of transpersonal awakening, titled After anatta:

The Wilber map at a glance

…Wilber map will play an important role in this book so let us take a closer look at the subject.

We can’t avoid mentioning AQAL when we speak about Wilber map. The acronym AQAL stands for ‘All quadrants, all levels’. See Appendix for full chart and for the list of suggested reading, please.

Let us just glimpse at the levels on the Wilber map that directly concern our topic, namely transpersonal ones plus the Mental Ego and Authentic level. We will not be dealing with levels prior to the Mental Ego.

As far as I am concerned, these levels or stages are as real as you and me; they are not some half-cooked concepts but living facts of life, which can be observed by anyone interested in deeper understanding of human conscious psychological-transpersonal (spiritual) identity development. It is good to know what each of these levels covers, offers and, in a way, demands. In my case, the map has helped me a lot, both in my personal  as well as in my professional life. Knowing these stages adds to clarity and understanding of my own life and that of others. Thank you dear Ken!

Let us then take a quick glance at the identity development of, say, young and lovely Jane. She is tall, lovely, attractive, has blue eyes and blond hear, of course.

Mental Ego / Instrumental level
On this level, just barely coming out of the dysfunctional family environment, Jane has thrown her heart far out into the social arena, so to speak. She has identified with social structures almost completely; Jane uses her own talents only as tools for succeeding in the outer world. She is following social/political/religious/educational guidelines without questioning their face value. There is almost no authenticity – only devotion to rules and structures that were written by others.

This level is the level of trying to blend in and playing the game of others without even bothering to question one’s own inner motives. Playing the roles, she uses her own feelings as an instrument for gaining recognition, love and respect from others (which she is never ever really satisfied with, of course). She has got virtually no inner freedom, no freedom of choice; ‘I must’ and ‘I must not’ dictates her life.
Keywords: ignorance, alienation from inner needs, blaming others, devotion to outside rules and structures, playing roles.

Transition to the Centaur level: Jane still has to deal with her Shadow (to use a Jungian term), and she had better deal with it using a structured down-to-earth approach. To clear up the Shadow, she has to, well, clear up the Shadow; the transpersonal insights are not really needed at this point. One of the easiest ways to complete this challenge is humanistic and transpersonal psychotherapy (psychoanalysis and psychiatric pills won’t cut it, not even by far, in my opinion).

Centaur / Authentic level
This is the level of responsibility. At this level, our golden haired Jane has awakened from following some structures alien to her own heart and is starting to use her own talents, well, for herself. Slowly but surely she is becoming a person (as Rogers put it), individualized and self-actualized. She has fought hard to free herself from social, religious and political dogmas; she is joyful and happy about her own victories in life. She is creating her own life (according to her, of course), responsibly and independently of others. She is well aware of her inner needs and can employ various strategies to meet those needs, easily. Eventually, she will be self-actualized.
In these years she distances herself from certain friends, especially from Mary and John, who are both highly educated (both are PhDs, in sociology and economics, respectively). Mary and John simply don’t get it what on earth has happened to Jane and why she avoids intellectual discussions, fancy dinners and company of other immensities from academia. Jane of course, has seen through the Mental Ego structures and is bored in the company of individuals who don’t even express their own feelings, not to speak of really connecting with feelings and needs of others. She is becoming free, truly free from any kind of dogmatic conditioning.
Keywords: responsibility, authenticity, I create my world, independence, I and mine.

Transition to Subtle level: Jane will have to dig deeper, much deeper. Group support and reliable guidance is crucial here, it seems. Rituals, spiritual symbolism, initiations are welcome. First transpersonal insights are most needed at this point.

Subtle level
At this level Jane has realized that her own Authentic Ego or Self has been forcing her to mostly work hard, to fight and to win. She is older now, in her forties but still very pretty and attractive, happy and satisfied in daily life. She is not really at peace, however, for she wants more; she feels that there is more to her existence than authentic feelings and hard won battles in material life. And she is right. First truly transpersonal experiences dawn on her, she realizes that she is spiritual being, a Soul. She loves rituals that are directed to non-material spheres of existence. She joins in the local Tantric group where she learns all about lower and higher Subtle level, demons, angels, archangels, goddesses and how to evoke and invoke them. She enjoys individual rituals and also group work.
Keywords:
surrender, love, inner peace, rituals, heartfelt compassion.

Transition to the Causal: Jane will need to open up even more and leave all the colorful manifestations of the Divine behind. Meditation, on the formless One, is of one the ways here.

Causal level
Jane has had more than one cup of celestial love, drinking it with angels, archangels, gods and goddesses and she is ready to move on to formless Divinity. She experiences her own Soul as the Source of everything. She identifies herself with the “I am presence”, with God/Goddess Him/Herself. There is no one at this level, only the One; and Jane is at one with Him/Her.
Keywords: freedom, detachment, clarity of perception.

Transition to the Nondual level: Our very experienced fair-haired Jane will need to experience what has been called “the identity collapse”. Of course, the identity I am referring to here is not the material one (her personality or Ego, the “I and Mine” concept), but the Causal Self. She will need to experience anatta insight first.

Nondual
Jane is ready to move on. She realizes that all along her path, she has been climbing up a ladder never noticing that everything that has been and is still happening to her, well, has been and still is……nothing at all. Everything is as it should be, and she realizes that it has always been like that, with no center whatsoever.
Keywords: no center, no here and now, no agency, no God, emptiness.

Transition to everyday life: Jane will have to be very clear about the most abstract Buddhist concepts, i.e. anatta, dependent origination, total exertion, two fold sunyata, to name a few…”

 

The book is due in 2016.
🙂