Yesterday, we had a meeting of our small integral group. The topic was the witness, the formless unborn, the space & awareness, absolute – and how we experience it (somewhat hopeless question as it is empty of any characteristics, distinct from the world of phenomena and thus also words) and how we bring awareness of it into our daily lives.
We did a couple of inquiries and reported back to the group. When you close your eyes and try to find yourself, here in this moment, who or what do you discover yourself to be? and we also used the formless unborn inquiry by Ken Wilber listed in a recent post. One talked about how he experiences himself as a holarchy, from the absolute through the body. Another about a slight resistance to resting in such a vast – infinite – space. Another (me) about how I went through a cycle of the “right answer”, then looking too actively, and then resting into it and finding that I am the sound of the crow and the cars, the sensation of the wind, the weight of the body, the smell of the trees. I am the function of experiencing, and I am whatever is experienced right now – and couldn’t find myself as anything else.
We talked about ways we bring awareness to it in daily life. For me, using Byron Katie’s inquiry process to clear the space (allowing beliefs in thoughts to fall away and reveal the clear spacious nature of mind) and Raphael Cushnir’s Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? I notice that when I drop resistance to my experiences, when I allow myself to be with what I am experiencing right now as it is, this allows the witness to reveal itself. I also notice that when I come to the breath and the body, this also allows awareness of the witness to be stronger.
We talked at different points about how this all relates to the integral model and integral practice. When we rest in the witness, we are aware of all the levels of our being and can be actively engaged with/through the small self in the world.
And we also talked about our various experiences with the witness, the absolute, the formless unborn, space & awareness empty of characteristics. One of us talked about a two-day experience in a nondual state, where everything revealed itself as perfect as it is and words were meaningless in trying to describe it. Another about the cycles of weaving together the absolute and the relative, aligning the relative with the absolute, and the apparent messiness of the process. And a third (me) about my experience when I was 16 of the universe as consciousness, and I as this consciousness.
The beauty of this is in how we all come together around this aspect of our existence, and can talk freely and sincerely about it, with a light touch and humor. And there is a great beauty in all the different flavors of our experiences. It is all about the absolute, and all in individual and unique contexts of experiences and with different flavors.
I also talked with someone at the end about the beauty and the pitfalls of talking about it. The beauty is in the sharing, in the similarities of our experiences and the richness of the unique flavors, and in the sense of support we all find for our individual processes. The pitfall is in comparing and possibly creating expectations. And this too, is a part of the process – the beauty and messiness of the human life.