More on opaqueness, transparency and popping


Here is some text deleted from a previous post on this topic…

For me

For me, even within the last several months, there has been a fluid movement among all of these three [opaqueness, transparency and popping].

Last summer, there was a period of transparency and glimpses of popping. Then last fall, there were some weeks where it popped. Then, a period of transparency again. Then, a period of mostly opaqueness with some phases of transparency. And so on.

There are waves within waves. A fluid process.

When I believe in an idea of how it should be, there is suffering because what is is always different. When the belief drops away, I am free to enjoy the always changing process. It becomes an adventure – sometimes unpleasant, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes liberated. But always an adventure.


Within each of these, there is also a deepening possible. We can deepen into our exploration of opacity. We can deepen into our exploration of transparency. And we can deepen into the popping, into explorations of the ground and the dance of God.

Freedom to explore

In the awakening to the dance, the two others are present as well.

There is the exploration of how it is to function as a human being from selflessness, and to deepen into this. And there is the continuing development of skills, knowledge, information and everything else. There is the continuing development and maturation of our human self, within the context of selflessness.

But there is also the freedom to explore of how it is to function with a temporary identity as something finite. To taste this again, to deepen our connection with others and our compassion and humility. And there is the freedom to similarly explore transparency, functioning as a human being transparent to the ground.

There is the freedom to explore all of these, which parallels – or rather is a tapping into – the freedom of what is.

God is free to explore all of this – opacity, transparency and popping.


So if there is an identification with any position, with any realization, with any state, there is stuckness. There is an identification with a segment of what is, an identification with something finite within the context of the infinite. There is a holding onto a position, and this brings suffering since what is is more fluid than this position.

And this suffering is a reminder of the identification, the holding onto. It is God’s way of telling itself that this too is a position, a narrowing of what is, an identification with something finite within the context of the infinite. The suffering is an incentive to inquire into it a little further, to gain a little more clarity about it.

It is an incentive for God to bring more of itself into awareness.

And this never ends, as the unfolding of the form aspect of God may never end. God is pouring itself forth, in always new and different ways. Any holding onto anything is a sure recipe for suffering.

Opaque, Transparent, Popped


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


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.


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.


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.



I am interested in the process from opacity to transparency to popping.

More precisely, from an opaque and unquestioned self of a separate self, to a glimpse of selflessness and a vague sense of self transparent to the ground, to a realization of selflessness that pops into the foreground.


First, there is an unquestioned self of self. What do you mean, of course there is a self here! Isn’t that obvious?


Then, we may have a glimpse of selflessness – of the divine mind, Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Dao, Brahman, God, Spirit. We realize that everything arises within and as the divine mind, and that this human self is just a pattern of the tapestry. Or at least we have a taste of it, an intuition of it, a sense of it.

And here, our habitual and vague sense of self can become transparent to this ground – to everything as Spirit, as God. There is a habitual vague sense of self, which comes up stronger some times and less strong other times.

When we look, when we inquire into it, we see that it only comes from a belief in the thought “I”. It is not really there. What we placed it on – sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts, attention, awareness, are all just parts of the infinitely much larger tapestry. There is no “I” inherent in any of it. Or we can say that the whole of it, beyond and including all polarities, is the only “I”. Although not even that is really an “I” as there is no “other”.


Then, this realization of selflessness may pop. It pops into the foreground. It is obvious. Crystal clear. No question about it. No need to look for it. Everything is the divine mind. The groundless ground forming itself into this temporary and fluid play of forms. Emptiness dancing.

The human self is still there. The only difference is that there is no longer any exclusive identification with it, or anything else. Nothing has any inherent “I” in it.

There is the realization that our human self is the local manifestation of the movements of the whole. The whole functions temporarily through and as this human self. There is no hint of any separate doer, only the doing.

Center of gravity

Throughout this process, the center of gravity moves along the continuum from opaqueness, via transparency, to popping. And then back to opacity again for all I know – just to make it more interesting.

And there is fluidity within this process as well. Anyone may come up within a period where another one is more stable. And there may also be fluctuations between two for a while as well, or even among all three.


What is awakening? Is it when we have a glimpse and transparency? Is it when it pops? It is even when there is the awakening to opacity?

To me, they are all awakenings.

First, there is an awakening to opacity. An awakening to how it is to function as and through a human self, in the world of phenomena. An also an awakening to how it is to experience an identity with the finite, as separate, and the suffering coming alive through that.

Then, a middle ground of awakening to the transparency of the self. There is still the residue of habit, of a habitual sense of self. But there is also an early realization of selflessness. The self is transparent to the ground.

Then, the divine mind awakens more fully to itself. Selflessness pops. The ground pops. It is all revealed, clearly, beyond any question, as the divine mind. As the play of God. As emptiness dancing.



I went to a Sat Nam Rasayan practice group tonight, and found it very rewarding. The approach is very similar to the way I have done healing since my teens, and also quite similar to Big Mind and Breema.

I went into Big Mind quite easily, supported by the atmosphere there. And experienced again the clear figure-ground shifts that occur.

Opaque, transparent, and popping

First, there is an identification with something finite. In my case, a habitual identification with things that appear to occur in my head/throat area – sensations, emotions, thoughts, attention to these, and the awareness it all occurs within. At the same time, there is a transparency to all of this. If I look, I find that none of these have any “I” inherent in it. And there is also a sense of no separation to anything else. Even here, it is all transparent to the ground.

Then, there is a shift to this ground within and as which everything arises – the sounds of the cars going by, the room, the people in the room, the voice of the instructor, the sensations, emotions, thoughts, focus, and the awareness it all unfolds within. It is all revealed as a seamless field, with no “I” inherent in any of it. It all just happens.


So it is a figure-ground shift in a quite literal sense. First, there is a vague sense of self habitually places on certain phenomena arising in the present. And all this occurs against the ground of space and everything else happening. Then, this ground pops out into the foreground and all the figures are revealed as just occurrences within, from and as this ground.


It is also interesting to note the continuum here. There may be an opaque identification with something finite, not questioned at all. Then, there may be a glimpse of selflessness, and still a vague habitual sense of self placed on something finite, but transparent to the ground – especially when attention is brought to it. And finally, the ground may pop into the foreground and all the finite forms are revealed as the temporary forms within this ground, as emptiness dancing.


In the shift from one to the next, there seems to usually be an extended period of fluctuation between the two, often starting with brief glimpses of the next one, then longer periods shifted into it, and then shifting the center of gravity into it in a more stable way.

This allows for an easing into it and gradual familiarity with the new way of experiencing the self – from opaque and unquestioned, through transparent and not really real, to not existing other than as a label of temporary, limited and practical use only.