The complete freedom of what is

 

When there is a Ground awakening, there is a complete freedom to allow what is.

Of course, Ground always allows what is. The only difference is that sometimes, it is identified with its content, and tries to resist other content, which creates a sense of struggle. When it awakens to itself, it sees that it always and already allows any and all content. It is effortless. It is what already is.

It is a no-thing allowing any thing. A void allowing any content. Space, not resisting anything happening within it.

Ultimately, it allows it all because “it all” is no other than itself. It is awake emptiness allowing content, because this content is no other than awake emptiness itself.

The simplicity of awakening

 

I am often struck by the simplicity of awakening. And if it is an awakening to what we already and always are, why shouldn’t it be simple? That doesn’t mean that it easy, though. Often, it seems impossible and confusing, until it happens and it is revealed as utterly simple. In some ways, it was the complexity we added to it that held the temporary misidentification in place.

There are many ways of talking about it, and none are really that accurate. As with anything put into words, it becomes a relative truth, limited and with all its reversals true as well.

One is to say that what is awakens to itself.

Another, as awake emptiness awakening to itself, and to form as no other than itself.

Or as awakeness awakening to itself, no longer identifying with any of its content… with sensations, thoughts, this human self, the soul level, or anything else that is content of awakeness. And then realizing that it is all one field, all awake emptiness and form inherently absent of any separate self anywhere.

Or as the void awakening to itself as void, absent of everything… of form, substance, human self, soul, luminosity, any thing-ness, any thing separate from any other thing. And then realizing that all content is no other than this void, emptiness dancing, still absent of any separate self.

Or as the Ground of awake emptiness awakening to itself. The no-thing which allows all things, already and always. The Ground which allows any and all content, utterly independent of its particulars.

And even if it remains just a map, or a memory of a glimpse, or a vague intuition, this map can be helpful. It can help us see that content is not it, no matter how amazing and beautiful it is. Whatever changes, whatever comes and goes, is not it. What remains, is. The no-thing that remains, utterly free from yet allowing any thing, any content, any experience.

Forms of awakening: ordinary, amazing and neutral

 

Sometimes I wonder if these large-themed posts have much value. But then I notice that although these themes have to do with the big picture, they also reflect what is alive here now, in immediate awareness.

The human self, yes, right here, with its thoughts, sensations, emotions, actions in the world. The soul, yes, also right here, as the alive presence (more or less in the foreground, and filtered in different ways.) The spirit, yes, also right here, as the stainless awareness all of this is happening within and to, and even as. Even if it is temporarily identified with its content, forgetting about itself, the spirit level is still here. It is just spirit temporarily forgetting about itself.

One of the big picture themes is the different forms of awakenings… to our human self, to the soul, and to spirit.

An awakening to our human self is an awakening to the evolving whole of who we are as a human. This whole which is reflected in everything in the wider world. All I see out there, I can find in here.

An awakening to the soul is an awakening to the alive presence, filtered in innumerable ways, yet always with a sense of aliveness, vibrancy, timelessness, transparency into the void.

An awakening to the spirit is an awakening not only to, but as emptiness, as the void, the ground of all form. It is an awakening as the void, which is the same everywhere and always. To the awake void, which is timeless and spaceless, pure seeing. To the awake void which is no other than form, absent of a separate self anywhere.

The first type of awakening is a deepening into our humanity, a healing, development and maturing into becoming a more whole and mature human being. It is a deepening into our individual humanity, which is also a deepening into our shared humanity, opening for a real sense of intimacy, recognition, fellowship, empathy, compassion, and understanding. I recognize in myself what I see in you, and in you what I recognize in myself. In many ways, it is a deepening into ordinariness, becoming a more thoroughly ordinary human being, to whom nothing human is foreign.

The second form of awakening is an awakening into the extraordinary… into the alive presence, the luminous blackness, the fertile darkness, the indwelling god with is infinite love, intelligence, receptivity and its guidance, the alive luminosity, the brilliancy… all of this, which seems to extraordinary when we are used to identifying exclusively as a human being.

And the third form of awakening is a strange one. It is an awakening into and as void. As the void all form, all content of awareness, anything at the soul and human levels, arises within and as. In some ways, it is completely neutral. There is, literally, nothing there. No content needs to change for this awakening. Pain, fine. Bliss, fine. Even confusion, fine. It can all be there. The void can still awaken to itself, as void, and as emptiness dancing as all these temporary forms.

Together, there is the deepening into the fullness and ordinariness of a human life, the amazing qualities of the soul level, and the utter neutrality of the ground.

Amazingly wonderful, awful, and ground

 

In looking at my own path, I recognize a pattern (which is pretty obvious) that is similar to what I have heard from many others…

  • First, a normal life. I was an atheist and very science oriented. For me, this lasted until my mid-teens.
  • Then, an awakening. For me, it came out of the blue, and although intense also amazing and amazingly wonderful.
  • Then, a dark night, as awful and the previous period was wonderful,
  • And then, the Ground, finding oneself as the Ground of all of this, the play of form.

In this case, the awakening period, where everything was easy and I seemed to have a superhuman energy and clarity, lasted for almost exactly as long as the dark night has lasted, several years each. And I am still at the tail end of this dark night, there is still more to burn through… more beliefs, identifications, more boxes I have made for myself and existence that needs to go.

At times, it is a painful process. And at times, with a sense of ease and even bliss. But there is always the same ground, the same void it is all coming out of, the same void within it, the same void it is happening to.

And after having gone through the extremes of ups and downs, the amazingly wonderful and amazingly awful, I am ready for the Ground. The Ground allowing it all. The Ground of emptiness that cannot be reduced to anything else. The Ground which is the nothingness allowing all things.

Gratitude and stories we tell ourselves

 

The most profound truths are often the simplest ones as well, and sometimes the most difficult ones to realize (such as selflessness) and practice.

One of these simple truths is gratitude: practice gratitude, and you’ll be happy. Practice ingratitude, and you’ll make yourself miserable.

It is the power of the stories we tell ourselves.

Stories we tell ourselves, bringing misery or happiness

I can tell myself stories of how what I have is less good than how it used to be, how it can or could be, how it is for others, and so on. I can compare my intelligence to the most intelligent, my money to the most wealthy, my house to the most elegant homes, my education to the best education, my looks to the most beautiful, my skills to the most skillful, and I am bound to find myself lacking and make myself miserable.

Or I can reverse it by looking at what I can be grateful for. I can be grateful for health, friends, family, community, house, food, education, free time, access to nature, peace in my community, and so on.

A daily practice

Just as I can easily find a million reasons to make myself miserable, I can find infinite reasons for gratitude. There is always one more, and one more.

Making ingratitude into a practice, I find contraction, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, fear, depression, fatigue, holding on, and misery.

Making gratitude into a practice, I find receptivity, joy, peace, appreciation, well-being, passion, letting go, and happiness.

It is as easy as taking time to look for what I can be thankful for, throughout my day, and it is easy to find.

Why stories work: because I believe in them

Whether I tell myself stories of ingratitude or gratitude, one is as true or untrue as the other. The reason they impact me as they do, is that I believe in them to a certain extent, and I believe in stories about what they mean.

I have money, and that means that …, and that is good. I have less money than many others, and that means that …, and that is not good.

The core belief: the idea of I

Ultimately, the stories have power because of the core belief in each of our lives: the belief in the idea of I, as separate from others, as a unit in space and time, subject to birth and death, joy and happiness, health and disease, fortune and misfortune.

What is already alive in our immediate awareness is simply the field of seeing and seen, inherently absent of any I anywhere, yet also with an overlay of a sense of I placed on this human self.

And this overlay, this belief in the idea of I placed on just a segment of this field, is the root of the misery, and it is the reason why stories of ingratitude create misery and stories of gratitude create happiness.

When Ground awakens to itself, the belief in the idea of I falls away

When this field awakens to itself as a field, absent of I anywhere, with no center, with no subject and no object, with everything as subject and object, then these stories are seen as what they are – just stories, with no substance, absent of any absolute truth in them.

It is all Spirit, in all its many forms, and Spirit is in the foreground independent of what particular form it takes. It is Spirit experiencing Spirit. There is only a quiet joy, along with whatever else arises.

There is natural gratitude, independent of stories.

Just one anchor

 

In exploring the sense of I, I notice how there is often just one little anchor there, one last refuge for the sense of I.

There may be a sense of all content as God’s will, as happening on its own. And at the same time, there is still a belief in the idea of I, now placed on an imaginary observer of this stream of form.

When I explore this, I notice that there this sense of I is often placed on some sensations in the head area, and that is all. As if these sensations were the subject…! They too arise among the forms, just as any other form, within time and space, coming and going.

So it gets multi layered. There is a genuine experience of the stream of form as God’s will and happening on its own, absent of I. At the same time, there is still an attachment to the idea of I as a segment of all of this, now placed on a very limited set of sensations in the head area.

Together, there is the familiar sense of Self, as the Ground of seeing-seen, and self, as an observer somehow set apart from this, hidden away, placed on some sensations as a last anchor.

All that is needed is to notice this, to allow it to be seen. And then there may be one other anchor, and maybe another, and maybe another, until it all unravels.

Planting seeds in the world of form

 

Seeds are planted in the world of form, and as form, allowing the field of seeing and seen to awaken to its own nature, inherently absent of I anywhere.

And seeds are planted in the world of form inviting the human self to continue to actively heal, mature and develop, before and after this awakening.

The field remains the same in its formless aspect, as emptiness and awareness. It is timeless, untouched by form. Yet, as form, it is not only never the same, it evolves.

And planting a seed in the human self, inviting it to continue to develop even after it is released from any sense of I, allows it to more consciously take part in this evolution. It allows it to continue to play the game, even after the field of seeing and seen has awakened to its absence of I anywhere.

It allows it to be more actively engaged in its own unfolding as an infinitely small aspect of the evolution of the world of form as a whole.

One Taste and an infinite variety of tastes

 

When Ground awakens to itself – as the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere – it comes into the foreground to itself.

Ground in the foreground: One Taste

Whatever arises in form is then recognized primarily as Ground itself, as emptiness and awareness, so have One Taste. There is an infinite variety of form, of content of experience, yet always primarily as Ground itself, as Spirit, as the Divine Mind.

Form in the foreground: many tastes

Prior to this, when there is identification with aspects of the seamless field of seeing and seen, it is different.

If there is identification with an aspect of form, then form is is the foreground and the Ground (emptiness and awareness) is in the background. The many tastes of the infinite variety of form is in the foreground, and the Ground remains in the background, maybe not even noticed apart from in glimpses, and even then often not taken very seriously. It is always there, so taken for granted. It is so inconspicuous, so not paid attention to. It is in the background, so its potential for transformation – when allowed into the foreground, is not known. It is Other, so not explored as a possible I.

Seeing in the foreground: a taste of One Taste

If there is identification with the seeing itself, then the content of experience, the world of form, is revealed as a seamless whole, as one field, so this is the first taste of One Taste, it is the beginnings of One Taste. And as the world of form is recognized as no other than Ground itself, the Ground of seeing and seen, there is a deepening into this One Taste.

One Taste and an infinite variety of tastes

Since the Ground awakening includes form – the content of experience, and the formless – emptiness and awareness, it is more accurate to say that there is One Taste, and within this, an infinite variety of tastes.

Nothing is lost, apart from the not noticing of Ground. And much is gained, as everything is now recognized as primarily Spirit, yet retaining its infinite variety of tastes.

Meditation: Ground revealed to itself

 

I notice that a part of me wants to sensor much of this, because it either seems to simple and obvious, or too confused. But I know of course that all this are relative and provisional truths at most, as anything expressed in words or any other way. Relative truths, in this case coming from a not clear awakening, and written down so they can be let go of more easily.

Allowing content to come and go on its own

So in basic meditation, such as Shikantaza, everything is allowed to be as it is. Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, thoughts arise. They come and go on their own. They live their own life. If there is an impulse to change any of it, then that is included as well. That too is just noticed. It is all fed to awareness, simply, with ease.

Initial mimicking of Ground

In this, there is initially a conscious mimicking of what Ground already does: allowing all content to come and go on its own, freely. It is the seeing (or more accurately emptiness) inherently free from the always changing content, and naturally and effortlessly allowing the seen to live its own life.

Ground shifts into foreground

After a while, Ground tends to shift into the foreground. It notices itself, becomes aware of itself, brings itself into the foreground of awareness. The shifting content falls into the background, and may be recognized as no different and no other than Ground itself.

There is just the Ground of seeing and seen, inherently absent of I anywhere.

Ground recognizing itself

So by mimicking Ground, allowing content to come and go on its own, Ground is allowed to more easily recognize itself, to bring itself into awareness, as the Ground of seeing and seen inherently absent of I anywhere.

Headlessness and radical subjectivity

 

The focus of the upper left quadrant of the aqal model, the individual and inner, is on what is alive in immediate awareness.

And the various practices here, such as meditation, prayer and especially self-inquiry, are all about radical subjectivity: what is alive right here and now, outside of any filters of thoughts – such as ideas, expectations, memories?

Headlessness

Headlessness is one way to explore this radical subjectivity. Is there really a head here in immediate experience?

All I can find are some sensations arising in space, coming and going, and a fuzzy pink blob where others see my nose, but there is no head here. The idea of a head is just that, an idea superimposed on an area of space. There is just space here, allowing anything and everything to arise, to come and go on their own: sensations, sounds, sights, thoughts, this body, arms, hands, desk, screen, window, a dog barking. There is capacity for the world, and the world arising.

Deepening familiarity

And as there is a deepening into this exploration, through meditation, prayer or self-inquiry, there is a deepening familiarity with what we find:

The seen, including this human self, is within space and time, come and go on its own, and there is no I to be found anywhere. How can there be an I there, if it is seen? If there is an I anywhere, it must be in the seeing itself.

The seeing transcends yet embraces time, space and the seen. It is free from the seen, from space and time. It is free from this human self. At the same time, is there really a separation here? Where do I as seeing end and Other as the seen begin? I cannot find that line anywhere.

So there is an early noticing of the Oneness of seeing and seen. They distinct from each other, yet not quite two.

When the sense of I was placed on the seen, there was a sense of I and Other within the seen, within form. Now, when the sense of I is placed on the seeing, there is a sense of I and Other as seeing and seen. Yet, the boundary between the two is not to be found anywhere. Maybe the whole sense of I is superimposed on the seeing and seen? Maybe it comes from the belief in the idea of I, which then the seeing and the seen is filtered through in different ways?

As this is explored, and it becomes more clear how the mechanisms of samsara (a sense of I and Other, of duality) functions and that there is no I to be found anywhere in seeing or seen, it sets the stage for a Ground awakening.

The Ground awakens to itself, as the Ground of seeing and seen, as emptiness and form, as emptiness dancing, absent of I anywhere. The whole sense of an I and a center falls away, and there is only the totality – without center anywhere, so with a center everywhere.

Always already

The irony is that this is what was alive in immediate awareness all the time. It was never not alive to itself.

Yet, since it was not taken seriously, since what was alive in radical subjectivity was not trusted, it remained in the background, overshadowed and (apparently) blocked out by a sense of I and Other, created by the belief in the idea of I, formed by what was being taught by society and those around us.

What is always already here, in immediate awareness, in radical subjectivity, was not trusted, so could not emerge into the foreground. Until it had been explored so thoroughly that the sense and filter of I fell away.

Radical subjectivity

In this sense, spiritual practice is all about radical subjectivity.

What is alive in immediate awareness? What is already alive here now, free from expectations, beliefs, ideas, memories, stories? How does it look when I gradually learn to differentiate what already is from how it is colored by ideas? How does it look, when thoughts arise as just thoughts, along with everything else?

Is it possible to make a mistake?

 

Here is one way of looking at the question of mistakes from different filters…

Ground and Big Mind

Ground is inherently free from any notions of mistakes or no mistakes. It allows any forms to come and go as Ground itself, as emptiness dancing.

Big Mind, as Ground as emptiness and form, is similarly absent of any notions of mistakes. It is beyond, yet includes, any ideas of mistakes or no mistakes, and anything these ideas point to.

When Big Mind awakens to its own nature, there is the realization that any and all forms are inherently free from mistakes/no mistakes.

Spirit exploring itself

Moving slightly into the relative, yet informed by the absolute, we can say that everything is Spirit exploring and experiencing itself.

I eat icecream, I stub my toe, I sleep, I miss a deadline, I get praise, I forget the name of a Breema sequence when teaching, I decided to stay in the US instead of going back to Norway, I get sick and can’t do much for a couple of days, I fail a test of some sort.

All of these, and anything else in any human life and existence as a whole, is Spirit manifesting, exploring and experiencing itself – as emptiness and form, experiencer and experienced, seeing and seen.

And this happens independent of the particulars of the content. No matter what form is doing, it is still Spirit experiencing itself. There is no mistake there. It is inherently free from the possibility of mistake.

Beliefs

The sense or experience of mistakes only come in, and is inevitable, when there is a belief in thoughts. Existence should look this way, so if it conforms, it is no mistake, and if it does not, there must be a mistake somewhere: you made a mistake, I made a mistake, God made a mistake.

Feeling like myself

 

And here are some of the different ways of feeling like myself….

Usual identity

One is whenever life unfolds so I can be comfortable in my usual (limited) identity.

I am this and not that, and life does not question that identity right now, or, even better, life conforms to how I would like to see myself.

So I see myself as an introvert, and I have a quiet evening at home or with close friends. Or I see myself as clear and alert, and I happen to feel that way today. Or I would like to be warm and personable, and I happen to be in a situation where that comes out.

In each case, I feel like myself, aligned with my usual identity or what I would like my identity to be.

Being participation

Another is when we experience ourselves as whole. For instance as the whole that is beyond and includes body, energy, feelings, thoughts and soul.

This is what they call Being Participation in Breema. And the body/psyche whole is called the Centaur level in KWs framework.

We can shift into this when we are relaxed and alert, comfortable with ourselves and the world, and our (limited) identity falls more into the background. And our center of gravity is more stably here when our identity is more embracing and closer to include all of what we are as humans and soul and even Spirit.

Ground awakening

And yet another form is to feel like my Self, when the Ground of seeing and seen awakens to its own nature absent of any I. Here, everything in the seen and the seeing itself is revealed as Spirit, as emptiness dancing, as the Always Already.

When Ground awakens to itself, there is the final sense of “feeling like myself”. Spirit recognizes everything as itself, as the many forms of Spirit.

Coming home

In each of these cases, there is also a sense of coming home, deepening with each one.

As a kid, I remember sometimes waking up in the morning with a sense of longing, of longing for something I couldn’t quite identify, longing for a deeper sense of home. I tried everything, from reading Donald Duck comics, eating sandwiches with strawberry jam, drinking hot chocolate, spending time with my parents and brother, going outside, playing with friends, but nothing seemed to help. There was something really important missing, which I could not identity.

When the initial awakening came, out of the blue, in my mid-teens, I realized (later) that this is what I was longing for. This is what I knew was already there, but not noticed. This deep sense of belonging in and as part of all of Existence, of no separation, of everything, with no exceptions, as God and Spirit.

And later when I found Breema, I found another flavor of this sense of belonging and coming home. And again in the tastes of realized selflessness.

The coin of awakening II: Impersonal Enlightenment and personal Self-Realization

 

I my slow enjoyment of Integral Spirituality, I have come to chapter six, The Shadow and the Disovned Self. In general, I find IS even more clear and to the point than previous books by Ken Wilber, and this chapter in particular is amazingly so. It seems that his writings has benefited from his more active engagement with a range of people through the Integral Institute, and he clarifies several points that used to be more fuzzy to me.

On pages 129 and 130, he writes about the difference between Enlightenment and Self-Realization.

Enlightenment means to be one with the stages and states at any one time. Or we could say it is a Ground awakening, Big Mind awakening to its own nature, or realized selflessness. Enlightenment is independent of however the world of form arises in the present, it is independent of any particulars in content.

In an a complementary fashion, Self-Realization has everything to do with the particulars of the content, of how the evolution of the world of form shows up right now. It has to do with the healing, maturing and development of our human self, until we catch up to the leading edge of current human evolution, and continue to develop (more or less) along that edge.

This is a beautiful way to put it, and one that very much makes sense to me. On the one hand, we have the impersonal awakening which is available at any time and any place. On the other hand, we have the personal expression of this awakening, riding the crest of evolution and our individual development.

The coin of awakening: exploring both sides

 

(Somewhat long and rambling…)

There is a coin of ignorance and a coin of awakening.

Coin of ignorance: what we are and mechanisms of samsara

One face of the coin of ignorance is ignorance of what we are, and the other face is ignorance of the mechanisms of samsara.

Coin of awakening: emptiness and form

And one face of the coin of awakening is emptiness, and the other form. Or we can, more loosely, say context and content, Ground and phenomena, absolute and relative, and more specifically – in our case, Big Mind and human self.

When Big Mind awakens to its own nature, when there is realized selflessness, both are naturally present, inseparable, revealed as two sides of the same coin. One is not more or less real or present than the other.

At the same time, there can definitely be a difference in emphasis, and this has to do with how our particular human self is put together, and also the culture and traditions it functions within and is influenced by.

Emphasizing the absolute

So for instance Joel, at the Center for Sacred Sciences, tends to emphasize awakening as a release from our human self, which is completely valid. There is a release from blind identification with our human self, and the drama that comes with that identification.

In general, he tends to emphasize emptiness, Ground, the context of a sense of I or realized selflessness, Big Mind. And he tends to de-emphasize form, phenomena, the content of this universe and the human self, and our particular human self. He certainly acknowledges this face of the coin, but it is not emphasized. He also tends to leave out the evolution aspect of the world of form, including the interpersonal and the healing, maturing and development – along the many lines and their levels, of our human self.

Since Big Mind is emphasized, it can appear somewhat detached and impersonal. It can even appear as an escape more than anything else, although it is an escape from misidentification into what we already really are.

Since the particulars of our human self is somewhat in the background, the healing, maturing and development of our human self is also in the background. As Ken Wilber points out in his dramatic language, an awakening – and the practice up to it, can even “cement” the human self in place to some extent, including its dysfunctions and current levels of development.

Including the relative

Others, such as Genpo Roshi, Saniel Bonder, the other teachers associated with Ken Wilber, and I am sure many others, emphasize more strongly an inclusion of the relative.

For Genpo Roshi, it means to become more fully human. For Saniel Bonder, the many forms of mutuality and embodiment.

Here, the evolution of form, and the development of this particular human self, is emphasized as much as the awakening itself. And the awakening of realized selflessness is just one step in this process. It is not by any means an end point. It may be “final” as it is a Ground awakening, yet it is not final at all in terms of the continuing unfolding, evolution and development of the world of form in general, and of this human self in particular.

One aspect of the awakening can still be seen as an “escape” from blind identification with this human self and the suffering that comes with it. But as much as an escape, it is an opportunity and invitation to allow this human self to heal, mature and continue to develop in a richer, fuller, deeper, wider way.

Development within two contexts: a sense of I and realized selflessness

The world of form is change and continues to evolve, and this human self too continues to change and develop.

When this human self changes and develops within the context of a sense of I, there is an identification with some aspects of this human self and a disowning of other aspects. It is a house divided against itself. There are varying degrees of drama and struggle in this process, which in itself brings various dysfunctions, lopsided developments, and so on.

On the other hand, when this human self changes and develops within the context of realized selflessness, there is an invitation to a much fuller, richer, deeper, wider, more balanced and integral healing, maturing, and development.

This human self naturally reorganizes within this new context, and this process can be aided and greased. And the relationships that this human self has to others and the wider world also naturally reorganizes within this new context, and this too can be encouraged and helped along.

Nothing new, yet a difference in emphasis

Most (or all?) mature traditions and teachers acknowledge this. But there is certainly a difference in emphasis. As many suggests today, it seems that our current phase in human evolution, and the way awakening is expressed, is one of emphasizing the inclusion of the relative, including the healing, maturing and development of our human self and its many relationships to the wider world.

Why settle for just a Ground awakening when there is so much more to explore within this new context of realized selflessness. When there is an opportunity for this human self to engage more actively in the evolution of the world of form, particularly through its own healing, maturing and development.

Realized selflessness changes the context only: this human self continues to be part of an evolving universe and continues its own development. So it may as well actively engage in that process.

Evolution is, after all, one of the faces of God. It is what God appears to do in its form aspect.

Leave that out and there is still realized selflessness, which is of course fine. But it also leaves out the fun that this human self can have by more consciously engage with and grease its own process of unfolding and reorganizing, and that of the larger whole.

Big Mind doesn’t care either way. But engaging in this way can certainly be more fun for this human self. At least for this human self.

One with? Yes and no.

 

An awakening to selflessness is a shift in context from a sense of I to realized selflessness. The content can stay the same, and the context shifts.

This is similar to what Ken Wilber says on p. 115 in Integral Spirituality:

Enlightenment is becoming one with all states and all stages at any given time.

Context and content

The Ground of it all, of the seeing and the seen, context and content, emptiness and form, is inherently absent of any I, and this is what awakens to its own nature.

(Even the temporary sense of an I is inherently absent of any I. It may appear very real and substantial as long as it is there, but even in the midst of all that – and the drama that goes with it, it is inherently absent of any I.)

And the content includes the current unfolding of this universe and this particular human self. In other words, it includes the current evolutionary stage of the Universe and the human species, and the current developmental stage of this human self, just as KW points out in that quote.

Any expression is relative truth

Any expression of this is naturally in the realm of relative truths, and there is nothing absolute in any of the many ways to talk about or communicate this.

Words split the world, and what they point to is effortlessly beyond and includes all polarities.

Any map is different from the actual terrain. Even in its reflection of the terrain, it highlights some features and deemphasize and leave out other.

One with? Sort of.

So when Ken Wilber talks about this, that too is a relative – and incomplete, truth. Sometimes, there is more detail and accuracy in the way he talks about Big Mind awakening to itself. Other times, such as here, it is more casual and more inaccuracies creep in.

He says one with, but this indicates that there is something that is one with something else.

Here, Ground awakens to its own nature, absent of I anywhere. It is not one, not two, not not one, not not two. It is all of those and none of those. It is actually much simpler and more ordinary than what any words can reflect.

For practical purposes, speaking casually about it, one with is perfectly fine. At the same time, it does not quite capture it.

One with, not yet Ground awakening

It can even give a false impression of Ground awakening when there is none.

At some point, the center of gravity, our identity, shifts from a part of the seen (our human self) to the seeing itself. And there may then be the realization that the seen and the seeing are not so different from each other, not really two.

There is an intuition that they are aspects of a whole, expressions of the same Ground. And there is a sense of no separation, of being one with everything. But there is still a sense of I here, placed in the seeing.

This may appear to be close to Ground awakening, but it is not Ground awakening.

It is really as far from Ground awakening as an identification with the seen is from an identification with the seeing. Each of these three shifts are clear, unmistaken, and significant.

Ground awakening, simpler and more ordinary than words can capture

In Ground awakening, all of this – the seen and the seeing, emptiness and form, is revealed to be inherently absent of any I. There is not one, not two, not both, not neither.

Just what is, absent of any I. Simpler, and really more ordinary, than what any words or models can capture.

Hide and seek, right here

 

Lila… cosmic play, God playing hide and seek with itself.

It can often sound a little abstract. It can easily remain just another attractive (or not) idea.

But it is more intimate than so. It is alive right here, in immediate experience.

Right here, is the open awake space. That which all content happens within.

Right here is the open awake space forming itself into its own content. The content that takes the form of this human self and the rest of the world.

Right here, is the identification with the fluid content. The seeing of I as a part of this content.

And right here, is the wish to awaken. Right here is the desire for Ground to awaken to its own nature. To notice itself as Ground, as seeing and seen, as inherently absent of I anywhere.

A belief means identity with content

 

They decided to divide the stone into pieces.
Of course then the Priceless became lost.

Most everyone is lousy at math
And does that to God –

Dissects the Indivisible One,

By thinking, saying,
“This is my Beloved, he looks like this
And acts like that,

How could that moron over there
Really
Be
God.”

– from The Gift

In an earlier post, I mentioned the shifts from (a) a sense of I as seen, as content of awareness, as this human self, to (b) I as seeing, as pure awareness, as Witness, as that which content arises to and within, to (c) a realization of absence of I in seeing and seen, and Ground as seeing and seen.

Whenever there is a belief in a thought, in any thought, there is automatically an identification with content.

An idea is attached to, it is believed in, it is taken as true. Right there, the world is split.

It is split into I and Other. I is placed one segment of the world, leaving the rest to Other.

It is split into I as having a particular identity and Other as outside of this identity. I am those segments that fit into this network of ideas making up an identity, and whatever is left is Other.

Right away, there is an identification with content. I am this, not that.

Right there, the center of gravity is in content.

Right there, comes a sense of drama and struggle.

Right there, forgetfulness comes in.

Forgetting myself as the seeing, as pure awareness.

Forgetting myself as Ground, as seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

I as seen, seeing and absent

 

There seems to be a simple progression from I as seen, then as seeing, and then absent.

I as seen

First, there is a belief in the idea of I and it is placed on content of awareness. More specifically, it is placed on this human self or aspects of this human self, those aspects that fit our identity, our beliefs of what or who we are as a human being.

This human self and the rest of the world arises in awareness, and this is filtered so that this human self appears as I and the rest of the world appears as Other.

In this process, awareness itself may appear as Other, as something that comes and goes, that there is more or less of, that can be distracted. I am this human self, an object in the world of phenomena, arising within space and time, subject to birth and death, and awareness is somehow an appendix to this human self, a property of this human self, and it can be more or less present.

The center of gravity is mainly in the seen, in our human self.

I as seeing

Then, the sense of I shifts to awareness itself, to pure seeing, to witness, to this clear awakeness.

I am awareness, and the whole world of phenomena arises within me. I am timeless and spaceless, and time and space arises within me. I am without form, and form arises to and within me. I am seeing, and Other is the seen.

There is a tremendous sense of liberation in this. There is a disidentification with the human self, with its reactivity, limited identity, precariousness and mortality. The world of form, the world of phenomena, is revealed as a seamless whole. There is no inside and outside anymore.

The center of gravity is mainly in the seeing itself.

Finally, there is the dawning realization that here too, there is a sense of I and Other, and where is really the dividing line? What is more true in immediate awareness? Is there an I and Other? How can there really be an I and Other here?

I as absent: Spirit as seeing and seen

As this is explored, there is the realization that any sense of I and Other comes from the belief in the idea of I, placed on the seen – this human self, or the seeing itself.

Now, seeing and seen is revealed as inherently and always absent of any I. It is all Ground in its many appearances. It is all Spirit. It is emptiness dancing. It is the Divine Mind, revealed as seeing and seen. The seen is no different from the seeing.

The center of gravity is now in Ground, appearing as seeing and seen.

Clear shifts

Each of these shifts are clear and significantly different from each other. Yet, there is also often a gradual shift in each case. There may be glimpses of the next phase, temporary shifts into it, intuitions about how it is, a sense of how it is. Then, there is a more clear shift into it.

For instance, when there is still a sense of I placed on the seeing itself, there may be a very clear sense of it all being one, that the seeing and seen is Spirit, that I and Other is no different. But this is still merely a sense of it. It has not yet shifted into a clear, obvious, indisputable realization that seeing and seen is inherently absent of any I whatsoever. The center of gravity is still mainly in the seeing and has not yet shifted into Ground.

And when this shift occurs, it is seen how filtered the previous realization was, how much there was still a sense of I there, even if it appeared quite transparent at the time.

Consciousness – personal or spirit?

 

The whole world gets filtered through any of the beliefs we have, including the belief in the idea of I.

Consciousness filtered through belief in I

So when there is this belief in the idea of I, usually placed on our human self or parts of it, this also filters how we interpret – and perceive and experience – consciousness.

If I see I as this human self, separate from the rest of the world, then consciousness appears to be a property of this human self. It is a human consciousness, and it is my consciousness. It is unique, and is born and dies with this body.

This is a natural view when there is an (exclusive) identification with our human self.

Consciousness filtered through I as awareness

When the sense of I shifts to awareness or consciousness itself, the experience of consciousness also shifts. Now that is who I am. It is not a property of this human self, rather, it seems that this human self is a property of consciousness.

Before, this consciousness was interpreted as arising from this human self. Now, this human self – and the rest of the world of phenomena – clearly arises within consciousness.

I am the seeing, I am pure awareness, timeless, spaceless, formless, and the world of phenomena, time, space and form is Other, it is the seen.

At some point, there is the dawning realization that here too is there a polarity of I and Other, now placed on seeing and seen. Where is the boundary, really? What is the difference between the two? Maybe the experience of this form of I and Other also comes from an overlay of ideas, maybe this too is filtered through a belief? What is already more true in immediate awareness?

Consciousness absent of I

This exploration allows the final belief in the idea of I to be seen and fall away. Now, consciousness arises without the filter of I and Other, and seeing and seen is seen as consciousness itself. The content of awareness is awareness itself. It is all form and emptiness, Ground as seeing and seen, and there is no I inherent anywhere – not in the seen and not in the seeing.

The same consciousness appearing in different disguises

The very consciousness that initially appeared as my human consciousness, as a property of this human self, and then as seeing as opposed to the seen, is now revealed as Spirit, as Ground, as Buddha Mind, Divine Mind, as seeing and seen, and inherently absent of I anywhere.

It is all revealed as the very same consciousness having appeared in different disguises. And the disguises were only created by beliefs, by attachment to ideas, filtering how it all appeared to itself.

Spiritual Practice as Alignment with Ground

 

Spiritual practice can be seen as a gradual alignment with Ground.

More precisely, it is Ground temporarily misidentifying itself as exclusively a human being, and trying in various ways to mimic what it already is.

It is a gradual remembrance of what we really are, a gradual waking up from the dream of being identified as a human being.

Shikantaza

In shikantaza, just sitting, we allow whatever arises to come and go on its own, to live its own life. Ground does this inherently, allowing any experiences and any phenomena to arise, to come and go, to live their own life.

More accurately: Ground is temporarily misidentified as a segment – as a human self or maybe pure awareness, as seeing but not seen. And through shikantaza or similar approaches to meditation, it tries to mimick what it already is: that which allows any and all phenomena to come and go on their own.

Practicing selflessness

In practicing selflessness, we practice getting out of the idea of I and take a larger and more inclusive view. Ground, temporarily forming itself into any phenomena including all beings, is inherently selfless. There is no I anywhere.

More accurately: Ground, temporarily misidentified as a human self and an object in the world, tries to practice what it already is: selfless. Due to the temporary misidentificaiton, this seems very difficult, if not impossible, until Ground begins to remember what it is.

Prayer

In prayer, we try to connect with God, allowing the apparenty boundary between I and God to dissolve.

Or more accurately: Ground temporarily splits itself into an individual human self or soul, and as God or Spirit, and tries to connect the two, allowing the apparent boundary between the two to dissolve.

Self-Inquiry

In self-inquiry, we explore what is already true in immediate experience. There is a human self, but is there an I anywhere? There is the doing of this human self, but is there a doer? What is it that comes and goes? What is it that does not come and go? What happens when there is an attachment to a thought? What happens when there is not an attachment to a belief? If I take a statement and turns it around any way possible, is there some truth in each of these new statements? Is it possible to not attach to any one, yet be free to engage in and play with any and all of them?

More accurately: Ground, temporarily misidentified as a human self, explores what is already true in immediate awareness. In this way, it gradually starts uncovering what is already there, what always and already is there.

Preparing the ground

Through these and other practices, the ground is prepared – so to speak – for Ground to awaken to its own nature. To suddenly, in a flash, recognize what it already is, what it always is, inherently absent of any I anywhere.

Ground

 

Some ways of talking about a nondual awakening…

It is the Ground of all phenomena that awakens to its own nature, while still functionally connected to a particular human self.

Allowing any and all phenomena

This Ground is that which already allows all phenomena to arise, to come and go, to live their own life. It allows – in no particular order – Hitler and Jesus, Buddha and GWB, pain and pleasure, equanimity and drama, repression and clear seeing, clouds and mountains, inanimate matter and life, seeing and seen, stars and galaxies, dark holes and nebulae, birth and death, cities and rain forests, Bach and Madonna, cars and bikes, confusion and clarity, delusion and realization, a sense of I and awakening as already selfless, beliefs and thoughts freed from beliefs, suffering and joy, arrogance and humility, any and all perspectives, justice and injustice, harming and helping, destruction and building up, war and peace, simplicity and complexity, and anything else that is happening, ever has happened, and ever will happen.

It allows all of this, inherently. It allows itself to be formed into any and all of these. It allows space to hold and take any and all of these forms. As Ground, there is no resistance to any of these, not even to resistance. It is all there, naturally, spontaneously, just happening, living their own lives.

Spiritual practice mimicking Ground

And in spiritual practice, we mimic this as well as we can.

We practice shikantaza, just sitting, allowing anything to come and go on its own, including resistance and holding onto something. We practice selflessness, acting in selfless ways, because that is our nature. We practice self-inquiry, looking at what is already true in immediate experience.

In all of these ways and many more, we prepare the ground for Ground to spontaneously awaken to its own nature.

Content stays the same, context shifts

In a nondual or Ground awakening, the content can stay the same. No change is needed in content. It is just the context that changes, from a sense of I to a realization of no I anywhere in all of this.

When the context shifts in this way, content does change as well as a consequence of this shift. This human self reorganizes and realigns to the new context, at all levels – from physically, energetically, emotionally and mentally, to how it lives its life. It needs time to reorganize, as Ground needs time to become familiar with operating through a specific human self in the context of realized selflessness.

There is a maturing at all levels after this awakening, and this includes exploring and developing skillful means, ways to live this through a human being and in the world.

Ground and human self

No human being awakens. It is the Ground that awakens to its own nature while functionally connected with a human self.

There is no human awareness, only the inherent awareness of Ground temporarily misidentifying itself as human or as the property of a human self.

When the center of gravity is in the human self, it sees itself as an object in the world, within time and space, subject to birth and death, at the mercy of emotions and beliefs, living from likes and dislikes. When Ground awakens to its own nature, allowing and as any and all phenomena arising, this human self just becomes a part of the landscape.

There is a seamless field of whatever is happening, this human self is a small part of this field, and there is no I anywhere. This human self and everything else lives its own life. There is just the doing there, and no doer to be found anywhere.

Ground Awakening to Itself, and Functional Connections

 

Ground awakening to its own nature, of no I anywhere, can still be functionally connected to a human self. That is how there is the appearance of a human being awakening.

What I find very interesting is how this Ground is somehow separately functionally connected with innumerable sentient beings. It is the same Ground, yet functionally separated innumerable ways within itself, to a wide range of vehicles (beings) in the world of phenomena.

Typically, there is very little “leaking” of immediate information between these selves, with the exception of synchronicities, and possible esp and so on.

So this awakening of Ground to itself is an awakening to its own nature, expressed through one particular human self. Which means there may be, and most likely are, awakenings beyond this type. These are just speculations, but they could be awakenings expressed through groups of human selves, or through even wider and more diverse groups of beings or even inanimate matter. Who knows. At least here, that is still in the future.

All sentient beings, the great earth, and I have awakened together

 

This is what Sakyamuni Buddha said upon his awakening, according to the story. And it is one of those statements that are confounding before awakening, and clear as day after.

The main question coming up is: If all beings awoke then, why do they appear so deluded?

When Ground awakens to its own nature, including to being the physical space everything appears within and as, then it is clear that this Ground is the same Ground always and everywhere.

It is also the Ground awakening to its own nature, while functionally connected to a particular human self.

So this means that the Ground awakened to its own nature as the Ground of all sentient beings and the great earth. Yet, this awakening is expressed through only one particular human self.

Finer Detail

 

Even when the Ground awakens to its own nature, and is functionally connected to a particular human self, the way this human self talks about and expresses it varies a good deal. The particulars of the vehicle determines how it comes out. This means that the descriptions of the awakening and the awakened realization comes out with varying degrees of precision and clarity.

Various forms of inquiry, including the The Work and the Big Mind process are powerful tools here, allowing for finer and finer levels of exploration and insights.

The strength of The Work is in its uncovering of (a) what happens when there is a belief in a thought, (b) the contrast to who/what we are without the belief, and (c) exploring the (relative) truths in all the turnarounds of the initial statement, allowing for different perspectives and insights we may not otherwise have noticed.

The strength of the Big Mind process lies in exploring all the various ways the mind functions, on personal and transpersonal levels, all the various dynamics and interactions, just about only limited by the imagination.

Having these tools available means that people not operating from a full awakening can have far more clarity and insight around certain issues than those operating from an awakening. This is not surprising. Our levels of knowledge and skills are independent of awakening, and so is – to some extent – our insights into how the mind operates on personal and even transcendent levels. It is very democratic that way.

Figure-Ground Reversal

 

A rambling draft…

It is interesting to explore the flow between the appearance of I and Other and the (near) realization of selflessness, of what is with no I inherent anywhere.

It seems very close to a figure ground reversal in the visual realm. The content stays the same, yet that which is perceived as figure and ground switches.

In one case, there is a sense of I and Other, and I is placed on temporary forms. So the flow of the innumerable temporary forms and appearances is now in the foreground. This human self, sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, other human selves, houses, trees, stars, music – all of these are in the foreground. The Ground of space, awareness and clarity is seen as Other and in the background. We may notice the ground of space, awareness and clarity, yet it is all somehow an Other – coming in and out of focus and attention.

In the other case, this Ground of space, awareness and clarity comes to the foreground, revealed as inherently absent of any I and Other. The flow of temporary forms and appearances arises within this context of Ground. The forms now becomes more of a background, as just the dance of this emptiness. As it is sometimes expressed, it is all God appearing in various forms and God is in the foreground.

Reversal as drama

It is very simple. Yet, for understandable reasons, we are used to seeing the forms in the foreground. It becomes a habit.

And as there is the appearance of I and Other as an absolute and final reality, we make the figure-ground reversal of realizing Ground in the foreground as an Other. We distance ourselves from it for this simple reason, and bring also this into our sense of struggle and drama.

When the reversal happens, it may not be complete at first and may clarify over time. And the switch may go back and forth many times before it stabilizes more in the realization of everything absent of any I.

The consequences of each

Each of these reversals have their own natural consequences.

When there is a sense of I and Other, and I is placed on temporary forms, these forms are in the foreground. As space, awareness and clarity appear as background and Other, they appear to be more or less present – although it is really only the noticing of them which comes and goes. And as I is typically placed on this human self, “I” become finite, limited, temporary, within space and time, wanting this and not that. A sense of struggle and drama arises. There is an exclusive identification with our human self, and “I and Other” appear as final and absolute.

When the Ground is in the foreground, there is a sense of ease, flow, of timelessness, of space & time unfolding within this timeless now. There is still I and Other in a conventional sense, although revealed as just conventions with no inherent or absolute reality to them – both revealed as Ground.

Sequence

  1. :: The Origin ::

    There is the Ground (space, awareness, clarity) and the play of the Ground (the flow of infinite forms and appearances of the Ground).

    :: Appearance of I and Other ::

  2. A sense of I as separate from Other arises. It arises as Ground and as one of the appearances of Ground. It is Ground appearing to itself in the form of I and Other, subject and object, seer and seen.
  3. The sense of “I” is typically placed on temporary forms. In our case, on a human self.
  4. Since “I” is placed on temporary forms, these now appear in the foreground and the Ground in the background as “Other”.
  5. As Ground can appear as Spirit, God, Buddha Mind, timelessness and so on, these now also appear as “Other”. There is the appearance of “I” connecting with God as “Other”, and this connection appears to be more or less strong, more or less present, to come and go.
  6. The qualities of the Ground – timelessness, space, awareness, ease, clarity and so on, are now brought into and out of attention. They appear to come and go.
  7. As “I” is placed on something temporary and finite, what it is placed on now takes on a more permanent and solid appearance.
  8. Placing “I” on something temporary and seeing everything else as Other, there is a sense of drama and struggle.
  9. This sense of struggle and drama solidifies the sense of I and Other, it makes the distinction seem even more real, more absolute, more final.
  10. We now either see the reversal of Ground into the foreground as (a) a fantasy, nonexistent, impossible, irrelevant or (b) as a desirable Other. In both cases, this reversal is brought into the drama.
  11. It is possible to still be caught up in the drama of I and Other, and place “I” on some (limited) qualities of the Ground. The fluid and infinite appearances of the Ground may now be seen as “Other”. This is another form of the struggle.
  12. Being caught up in the drama of I and Other, it is also possible to see the timeless and formless aspects of Ground as real and the time and form appearances as less real or illusionary. This is yet another form of the struggle.
  13. And being caught up in the drama of I and Other, it is possible to make what is without abstractions and stories as real and desirable and abstractions and stories as false and undesirable. This is yet another form of the struggle, not much different from any other.
  14. Being caught up in the drama of I and Other, we can make the reversal of I and Other in the foreground as false and undesirable and the reversal of Ground in the foreground as true and desirable. And we are still caught up in the struggle as much as in any other way, although it tends to be the final form of the struggle.
  15. When the struggle is exhausted, the reversal to Ground in the foreground is allowed to happen with more ease.

    :: Reversal to Ground in the foreground ::

  16. The reversal to Ground in the foreground happens on its own, although we can practice and train in ways which makes it more likely to happen. It can happen suddenly, out of the blue without or with practice. Or it can happen gradually, over time. The reversal just happens. As a master of reversals said: the reversal it is an accident, and practice makes us accident prone.
  17. When the reversal happens, it seems obvious. It is all Ground. There is a sense of ease. There is still the conventional “I and Other” and the conventional “I” can be placed on our human self used to navigate in the world, but it is not taken as anything final or absolute, just as the play of Ground.
  18. When the reversal happens, there is still a functional connection to a particular human self. There is even the conventional “I” placed on this human self, although it is recognized as just another temporary form and appearance of Ground – no different from any other.
  19. When the reversal happens, there is the recognition of everything – of the flow of forms and appearances – as happening within the timeless and eternal Now and Present. Everything is always fresh, always new, always different. God never repeats itself.

    :: Both reversals the play of Ground ::

  20. And when the reversal happens, we see that it was all the play of Ground. Both reversals are the play of Ground, in one instance with the forms in the foreground and in the other instance with Ground in the foreground. And in one instance with the appearance of drama and struggle and the other with the appearance of ease. Both are fine. Both are Ground. None are inherently more preferable than the other.

Neutral

 

I am over and over struck by how the realization of selflessness – as it appears in my very limited experience of it – is just completely neutral. It is really a void. Empty of characteristics.

It is just the Ground from, within and as everything appears. It has no color, no sound, no texture, no qualities, no characteristics.

Just completely neutral.

And it has to be, to allow everything to unfold – it has to be independent and beyond any and all polarities, to allow for and manifest as any and all polarities. There is no other way, it seems.

There is a great beauty in this, in the simplicity and clarity of it. Yet, it is also a little puzzling and even disappointing. Is this really what they all talk about? Is it this that is the “goal” is so many traditions? It seems so simple. So obvious. So much like what has always been here. It is the eternal present – that which always is, that in which time and space unfolds. Simply.

And as we become more familiar with this complete neutrality, we also see more clearly that it allows everything – it really does allow everything, it is beyond and includes all polarities, all there is in the world of phenomena. Nothing is excluded. Not even the temporary identity as only a segment of all this. That too is allowed, as is the awakening to the Ground, as the Ground, as that in which this all unfolds, as everything unfolding in the present.

Nothing is lost. Nothing is left out.

Again, as we become more familiar with this, we see that it appeared initially that something was left out. In the awakening to and as the Ground and all phenomena unfolding as the Ground, it seemed that an exclusive identification is left out. I am this Ground, although there is not really any I here either, as there is no Other. There are no positions, no viewpoints, nothing fixed. Then, we see that even this is included. Even an exclusive identification is included, both in how this exclusive identification unfolds in others, and even in ourselves. We rehumanize, deepen into our humanity, into being no different from anyone else – not only as Ground but also as human, as a limited human being, flawed, stumbling, stuck, maturing, developing.

First, there is an exclusive identity with a segment of all that is – typically as a human being.

Then, an awakening as Ground.

Then, as Ground manifesting as the infinite world of phenomena, always unfolding within this eternal present.

Then, even as the limited, the deeply human. Coming back full circle, but now within the context of selflessness.

No Distance

 

One of the characteristics of an awakening beyond our human self – to F7 (nature mysticism), F8 (deity mysticism), and/or to F9 (witness) – seems to be a deepening sense of intimacy with the whole world, a deepening sense of no separation.

Jen has shifted in and out of the witness over the last few weeks, and I asked her tonight if she also experiences a sense of intimacy with the world. She immediately said yes, and that it seemed that the world had become two dimensional – that there is no distance anymore, although also of course the usual distance in meters or feet that we all are familiar with.

There is the conventional space, measured in meters or feet, within the context of a sense of intimacy with it all, of no distance.

Early sense of ground

And why is it so?

It seems that it is an early intuition or sense of the ground, an early taste of nondual realization. Consciousness is beginning to be aware of itself as everything, including the seer and the seen.

Early sense of God watching God

In addition to this deepening sense of intimacy with the world, there may also be glimpses beyond this – where there is a stronger realization that this is God watching God.

When I look into somebody’s eyes, it is God watching God through God. And this can be very obvious sometimes, especially with the right people in the right setting.

We can have tastes of this even as there is still a vague sense of I placed on this human self or the witness.

Deepening further

As this deepens further, it shifts into a more clearly nondual realization. There is not any inherent I anywhere. It is all just happening. There is no doer, only the doing. It is all the play of God, all emptiness dancing.

Opaque, Transparent, Popped

 

Here is a slightly different take on the opaque, transparent and popped process (see previous postings).

Opaque

Here, there is an unexamined belief in the idea of “I”, typically placed on any number of aspects of our human self. It may also be placed on pure awareness, but then the transparency starts coming in.

Transparency

We realize or have a glimpse of selflessness. Nothing has any inherent I in it. It all comes from a belief in the idea of I put on top of what is. There may still be a vague and habitual sense of I, placed on our human self or pure awareness, and we may still sometimes habitually act as if that is true, but when we look – we cannot find any I anywhere.

We see, or intuit to various degrees, how the groundless ground forms itself into all these forms – our human self and the rest of the world of phenomena, and there is no “I” inherent in any of it. It all just is.

So our human self is transparent to this ground. There is a vague sense of I, yet also the realization that there is no inherent I there.

Another way this may show up is to place the belief in I on pure awareness, which also gives a sense of transparency to our human self. At some point, we realize that we are still places the idea of I on an aspect of what is, and that even awareness has no inherent I in it.

Popped

Then, the groundless ground may pop. Become crystal clear. Obvious. It comes to the foreground and the world of phenomena is just the play of the ground. It is the ground forming itself into the myriad forms, always fresh and new.

And here, there is a different form of transparency. Here, all forms become transparent to the ground. Obviously transparent to the ground. They are all emptiness dancing.