I looked at some of Adi Da’s book at a bookstore earlier today, and was again struck by the discrepancy between content and emotional tone. There seems to be nothing special or unique in the content, yet it has an emotional tone as if it is. This is the same discrepancy I have noticed with his student, Saniel Bonder (Waking Down in Mutuality)… Here too, nothing unique or different in the content, yet it is presented – and has an emotional tone – as if it is. Very odd.
And it seems somewhat immature.
One of the hallmarks of a mature and seasoned awakening seems to be a sense of it being unremarkable, nothing special whatsoever. There is no separate I there, just this one field arising in myriad ways, so how could it be remarkable? Any sense of specialness seems to come from a trace, or more, of a sense of separate I.
In Zen, they talk about the brilliant sun and the hazy moon of enlightenment. The brilliant sun is the immature and young awakening, where there is lots of flashy stuff and maybe even a sense of it being remarkable – to the person it is expressed through and others as well.
Later on, it matures and seasons into the hazy moon of enlightenment, which seems completely and utterly unremarkable, both to the person it is expressed through and others. It just seems very mature, whole, balanced, in a completely unremarkable way.
As a sidenote: I wonder if not a dark night phase following the brilliant sun is what helps season it. Burning through and out (most of) the remaining traces of a sense of I, and maybe more importantly, the effects of a sense of I on the personality… Including a sense of it being special. That is certainly how it has been for me. A brilliant sun phase where it did seem quite remarkable, then a plunge into a dark night where there is no consolation anywhere, and then a gradual emergence into a ground awakening that seems completely unremarkable in every way.
(Not that I am a good poster boy for any of this… the process is far too messy for that, and my human self far too messed up… but I guess that too is part of the process for many.)