It seems that our identity evolves from more to less constricted, from less inclusive to more inclusive. Eventually, we find ourselves as the largest whole – as that which goes beyond and includes all polarities – and even this is something we deepen into.
Shifting between I and no I
What is, is the “ground” – the emptiness – from which awareness and the whole world of phenomena arises from. And when there is an identification with any segment of what is, we split it – in our experience – into “I” and “other”. There is now an “I” caught up in a struggle within what is.
I find myself on the border between a sense of “I” and the nondual. I find a sense of “I” as formless awareness and to a lesser extent aspects of this human self. And I find it all as what is, as it is, with no “I” anywhere.
It is an interesting place to explore. And it is also interesting to see how this is different from how it was in the past for me.
During the initial awakening (relatively strong awakening into/as F7, F8, F9 in Ken Wilber’s framework), there was still a subtle identification with an “I” as the seer of it all.
It was very clear, from immediate experience, that Existence is beyond and includes all polarities – including that of seer and seen. Yet, there was at the same time a subtle identification with this seer.
And I was very aware of the discrepancy there.
Reasons for not moving into no I
There may be many reasons why the experience of “no self” (as an independent or fixed human self) did not deepen into a full and stable realization of “no I”.
[Nondual as cold]
One is a slight prejudice of this ultimate reality, this whole absolutely beyond and including every and all polarities, as somewhat cold and impersonal.
Of course, at some level – one that is at the surface – I know very well that it is a case of transcend and include. Everything within it is deeply included, also the fully personal, intimate, sensual flesh and blood human life. I see that many who awaken as this level do live full human lives, including many I know personally. And my own experiences this nondual level also tells me that it does indeed include everything I am familiar with.
Still, there is a part of me that sees it is somewhat cold and impersonal. And this may be enough to not completely have it “pop” and stabilize there.
[Attachment to remarkable content]
Another one, very real at the time of the initial awakening, was a subtle attachment to content. During the years of the initial awakening, there was much that was amazing in terms of content.
There were amazing clarity and insights from immediate experience, much of what matched what has been described by mystics of all traditions. There was the ability to directly experience, see and pick up energies very clearly in myself and others, and do healing. There was an immediate experience of everything – beyond and including all polarities – as God, Spirit, Consciousness. There was tremendous energies and clarity, allowing me to be tremendously productive in life, in terms of formal and informal studies, art and so on. And much more. All of it remarkable and big rings to hook into.
Why move on when what was there was so amazing and profoundly fulfilling?
I also see that I mistook the “ground” – what can really be best described as “emptiness”, for a subtle content – a subtle feeling, a subtle bliss, which seemed all-pervading and constant at the time.
I was basically attached to content in several ways, although subtly. Of course, from that view it seems subtle, but from a nondual view, it is pretty blatant.
Fall from grace
Then, after about ten or so years of this, there was a (predictable?) fall from grace. I was subtly attached to content, and content always changes, so when all these remarkable things went away – due to what seemed like just accidental circumstances – I went down with it. Everything in my life seemed to fall apart.
Eventually, I am gradually coming to terms with it, learning to find some appreciation for it. That too is God (Spirit, Buddha Mind) being God, completely.
Now, with a far more pitiful content (just about the reverse of everything described above), it may – ironically – be easier to shift into the next larger whole, that which also goes beyond and includes seer and seen.
The content is not so interesting, so I may as well shift the center of gravity into the “ground” of it all, the “emptiness” from/within/as which everything happens, including the seer and seen.
The ground from which, within which, as which everything happens, and where no segments of what is has an inherent “I”.
The ground which awakens to itself, as what is, as it is – with no “I” anywhere.
The ground, in awareness of its own nondual nature. Functionally connected with this particular human self, and operating miraculously through this particular human self.
Fully being this human self and the rest of the world of phenomena, and fully funcitoning as and through this human self in the world of phenomena.
Fully transcending and including the whole world of phenomena. Nothing is left out. Nothing is missing. Apart from the belief in an “I” – a belief in an inherent “I” in any segment of what is.
I and no I
When what is – this ground as the world of phenomena – believes in an “I” as a segment of what is, then there is all the drama and suffering we know from the typical human life, and most likely our own situation.
And when what is awakens to its own nature, as the whole beyond and including anything and everything, then it is free from this drama. The drama may well still be there, but it just comes and goes within emptiness. There is nothing that can be blindly caught up in it.
It may not look all that different in terms of how this what is functions as and through a human self, although there may also be a deepening into a more full humanity. A deeper inclusiveness, deeper maturity, deeper humanity.