I am reading A Cry in the Desert: the awakening of Byron Katie, and although it is interesting, it is also a reminder that any story first perfectly mirrors its author, and then equally perfectly (and differently) mirrors whomever reads or hears it.
All we see is ourselves. While there is still a belief in I, it appears that all the qualities we know from our human self is what we see out there – in others, in dreams, in stories, in landscapes, in fantasies. And when the belief in I drops, we see that whatever is happens is Buddha Mind, Spirit, God, emptiness dancing – inherently absent of any I. (Or we can say it is an “I” in a different way. It is the “I” distinct from the I of I and Other. It is the “I” which has no fixed identity, no boundaries, no Other – and yet also is free to manifests as the experience of fixed identity, boundaries, and I and Other.)
The author talks about body identification in a way that helped me look at the different apparent levels of body identification again. For instance…
- Body identification & sense of separation
This corresponds with for instance F5 in Ken Wilber’s framework, center of gravity in the rational mind. It is where many (most?) people in the modern world are.
- Body identification & less or no sense of separation
This corresponds with F7 and F8, nature and deity mysticism. There is still a sense of I, even if it may become more vague and ephemeral, yet also a clear experience of no separation, of intimacy with any- and everything happening. F6, the centaur level, the experience of the whole beyond body and psyche, may also include the beginnings of this sense of no separation.
- Identification as Witness
Here, the center of gravity shifts into the Witness, into the seeing, into pure awareness. I am seeing, not this body, not anything in the world of phenomena. Initially, there may be a sense of separation to the world of phenomena. Then, there may be a sense of no separation with the world of phenomena. In either case, the world of phenomena is directly experienced as a seamless whole, there is no inner and outer anymore.
What used to be seen as “inner” – the interior experience of this human self, and the “outer” – the experience of the outer world, are seen as just parts of a seamless landscape. The apparent boundary between them falls away.
Finally, there is a realization that even this sense of I – now placed on the Witness, is also merely a belief in a thought. It is still the belief in the thought I, now just placed on pure awareness rather than this human self. In seeing this clearly, and the potential for suffering and confusion even here, this too falls away. Now, there is just what is, inherently absent of any I. It is all emptiness dancing.
It is the inner and outer world from no. 1 and 2, revealed as a seamless whole in no. 3, and now revealed as inherently absent of any I in no. 4.