Personal and Transpersonal

 

Here is an insight that Ken Wilber talks about occasionally, and that is quite clear from a Big Mind perspective.

Jung

Jung’s focus was on the universal (collective) personal level, and very specific to the human situation. What he calls archetypes are conditioned on the characteristics of this particular universe, this particular planet, and most importantly – this particular species.

Beings in (for us hypothetical) other universes, or other places in this universe, will live their lives in quite different conditions, and themselves have quite different characteristics. They may have one or three genders, more than one sun, more than one or none moons, not be biological in our sense of the word, reproduce quite differently, etc. So their collective and universal experiences, reflected in their Jungian style archetypes, will be very different from ours. Their mythologies and dreams will reflect their particular conditions.

But their transpersonal experiences are likely to be very similar – or identical – to ours. They can also open up to Big Mind, Big Heart, nonseeking mind – to borrow terminology from the Big Mind process. It will be expressed and lived differently, according to their specific conditions, but the transpersonal realm itself is the same.

Fluidity

 

We had our second Integral Practice Support Group meeting tonight.

Here is a description of the group, from an announcement:

[..] we have a Integral Practice Support Group meeting every other week. This is for people engaged in an integral practice or interested in developing an integral practice. It is *not* primarily an intellectual discussion group, although this aspect is also included. The goal is to support each individual in their unique path and configuration of practices.

Integral practice refers to a an approach to self-discovery and maturation that takes an “all level, all quadrant” view.

We explore our relationship to our own physical, energetic, emotional, cognitive and transpersonal levels, our relationship to others (intimate and social group), to ecosystems, and to Existence. And we look at the practices we each apply, or may apply, to explore and engage in each level and area.

The challenge for any group is to allow for fluidity between spontaniteity and structure, chaos and order – and allow for a chaordic flow. If we get stuck in either, or in an idea of “balance”, it goes dead.

I am hoping that the group also can integrate the inner and outer, intellectual and experiential, personal and social/ecological. All of these are essential for an integral view and approach.

It also became alive for me how this intention is an essential and important part of the process. The details of how it looks is less important. It will form around the intention and the specific ingredients at the moment, and will change over time.

The word support (understandably) came up as a potential point of misunderstanding. For me, it is support in the widest sense – support to allow us to deepen and clarify, whether it is intellectual understanding, transformation on any level, social engagement, etc.

Omega Point

 

There are many visions of the future of humanity, from a transpersonal perspective. One is Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point.

It may be difficult to say what will happen. But it is easier to say what may happen, given premises that are our best guesses at this point, and given enough time.

Maturation

It seems that there is a natural maturation of how awareness perceives the world. It is from a potential (nonliving matter), via mostly nonawake and nondual (plants, simple organisms), slightly awake and mostly nondual (babies), half-awake and dual (most human adults at this time), and fully awake and transdual (some individuals).

This pattern seems to be reflected in the development of individuals, as well as the evolution of the earth, and the universe as a whole. It could be that it is (and will be) reflected in the evolution of humans as well (or one or more other and later species). And it could be reflected in the evolution of species (or what they may be) other places in this universe, or other universes for all we know.

Push & Pull

Right now, there are many factors that push and pull us in the direction of a more fully awake and transdual awareness.

The push on a social level is mainly in the form of different socio-ecological disasters, both currently unfolding (ecological unraveling) and potential (large scale use of weapons of mass destruction, large scale social unrest due to increasing gap between wealthy and poor). The push on an individual level is mostly in the form of personal dissatisfaction, enhanced – in the rich world – by many aspects of modern life (speed, information overload, large number of demands and expectations).

The pull on a social level is in the form of becoming aware of the Earth as one seamless whole (photos of Earth from space, systems theories, ecology), and the vision of a world that works better for most or all of us. The pull on an individual level is the hunch that there is another way of perceiving the world which may reduce our individual suffering, and the unprecedented availability of teachings and tools that can help us open up to this.

Emergence

If we make our way through the current global ecological crisis (the extent of which we are not yet fully aware of) and related global social crisis (mass migrations, violence, social unrest due to limited resources and gap between wealthy and poor), what could emerge?

One possibility is that more individuals waken up to a more fully transdual view of the world, and this becomes a more common and visible aspect of our culture. To the extent these insights are accepted and adopted by the wider culture (not at all given), it will profoundly influence how we relate to ourselves, each other, and the social and ecological wholes.

It will change our social structure and processes to reflect or include a more transdual and integral view. We may begin to act in a way that acknowledges the Earth – with its social and ecological systems – as one whole. One body, where all aspects are interrelated and mutually dependent in their health and well being.

More Full Blown

As a thought experiment, how may it look if a significant number of individuals wake up to a more transdual view?

There may be a deep recognition of how God is manifesting and exploring itself through all inner and outer manifestations. And there may be a deep recognition that there is only one awareness – only God, Spirit, the Ground, the Absolute – manifesting through all phenomena including human beings. The awareness that shines through each one of us is the same, in each case with a different flavor.

This will profoundly influence how we relate to ourselves, each other, and the larger social and ecological whole. There will be a deep sense of one body – one seamless system. A deep recognition of the distinction between each phenomena, and of no separation.

And there is no end to the exploration and unfolding of this. There will always be new ways of deepening and clarifying awareness, and new ways of expressing and exploring it in this world. And there will always be new inner and outer opportunities and challenges to work with. New blindspots, new imbalances, new areas to clarify and explore.

Integral View

 

PreIntegral

When awareness is identified with the processes of the small self – the sensations, emotions, thoughts – it functions in a dualistic way.

It perceives a separation between inner and outer, me and you/it/they, and typically a separation between the ends of all/most other polarities as well. It sees distinctions, but not the fluid seamless whole. The world is fragmented.

Since awareness identifies exclusively with the processes of the small self, it also tends to get caught up in these processes. It gets caught up in the conditioned patterns of sensations, attractions, aversions, thoughts, ideologies.

The dualistic perception has many consequences:

  • Fragmentation
    Seeing the ends of the polarities but not the polarities themselves. Perceiving the parts, not the larger whole.

  • Blind attachments
    Blind attachment to aversions and attractions (blind in the sense of not self-aware, at least not to the point where there is a release).

  • Ideologies
    Thought patterns and ideologies that support these patterns of attachment and aversions. Thought and emotional patterns tend to self-organize to mutually support each other and function as one system. I have an aversion to noisy people, and justify my aversion by adding an analysis (they lack awareness) and a value judgment (so they are inferior).

This description is of course somewhat amplified and a caricature, but also seems to reflects some of the main patterns.

In this dualistic view, it is difficult to have a truly integral view as well. The tendency is too strong to identify with something and disidentify with something else. To engage and fuel some patterns of attraction/aversion, and push others away. In this view, we tend to perceive the world in terms of good and bad, right and wrong. I am right, you are wrong.

There are gradients of this pattern, visible among individuals and within each of us. Some tend to have a strong black and white, either/or, perception of the world. Others have a more nuanced perception. And each of us have a stronger either/or perception related to some areas of life, and a more nuanced perception related to other areas.

In either case, as long as awareness is identified with the processes of the small self, the basic tendency is one of dualistic perceptions.

Integral

When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from its content – the processes of the small self – it also begins to perceive the world in a more transdual way. Awareness is distinct from, although not separate from, the fluid sensations, emotions and thoughts of the small self.

It perceives itself as that in which experiences of the inner processes unfold, but not exclusively as these experiences. Awareness perceives itself as luminous space within which the experiences of the inner/outer phenomena unfold. It has more of a birds-eye view, more perspective. It can allow itself to not get caught up in all the habitual processes of the small self. It has more conscious choice in how to relate to inner/outer situations.

From this more inclusive and expanded view, it can also see that all inner/outer phenomena are part of a seamless fluid whole. There is a distinction between inner and outer phenomena, and among inner and outer phenomena, but no separation.

In this more transdual view, an more integral view is also possible (maybe inevitable?). We are less attached to any particular phenomena, and can more easily see the value in each one. We begin to explore how each one is useful in some inner/outer situations, and less useful in others.

This view can mature into an appreciation of the inner/outer world as God manifesting and exploring itself, in always new ways. Everything is perfect as it is, and there is always room for improvement. It becomes even easier to have a more integral view of the world.

Spiral Dynamics

In Spiral Dynamics, they talk about first tier and second tier memes (or levels). When we operate from first tier memes, we perceive the world in terms of right/wrong, good/bad. I am right, you are wrong. In the second tier, we take a more integral approach to the world. We appreciate the value in and function of the other views, and see how they are an intrinsic part of the human experience and collective and individual maturation.

It seems that awareness awakening to itself as distinct from its content, it perceives the world in a more integral way – reflected in the second tier memes.

And as this experience deepens, its expressions in the world moves along the second tier levels. The view becomes wider and more inclusive.

Causality

 

When we operate from a dualistic view, we see causality. When we operate from a transdual view, we see movements in a fluid whole.

Causality

When awareness is identified with the processes of the small self – sensations, emotions, thoughts – it perceives in a dualistic way. It sees a strong separation between inner and outer, and between various outer phenomena (especially those with spaces inbetween them). It sees one object bumping into another, and perceives it as causuality. One object did something to another.

Fluid Whole

When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from the processes of the small self – the sensations, emotions, thoughts – it perceives in a more transdual way. It perceives distinctions but no separation. All inner and outer phenomena is a fluid and seamless whole. Changes in the world are – and reflect – movements in this larger whole. There is no causality.

Awareness is in itself not dual, nondual, or transdual, but it can function – perceive the world – in those ways.

Integrated

A transdual view means an integration of the views of the small self and Big Mind, the perception of distinctions and no separation. We can see that there is causality, and that there is movements within the larger whole. Again, there is a distinction but no separation.

Universally Human

 

Everything in us – sensations, emotions, thoughts – and our relationships to the inner and outer world, reflect universally human experiences. Although in each case, with its own distinct flavor.

Separation

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it experiences the world in a dualistic way. There is not only an inner and outer, a me and it/you/they, but there is a strong sense of separation between them. Awareness then perceives the inner world, the personality, as very different from the outer world in general, and from the inner processes of other human beings in particular. We are special. This leads to awareness attaching itself to and fueling emotional/thought patterns that we label guilt, shame, pride, arrogance, etc. Awareness genuinely perceives these patterns as substantial and valid.

No Separation

When awareness perceives itself as distinct from the inner processes, it functions in a more transdual way. It has more of an overview, and sees that there is a distinction between inner and outer phenomena, but no separation. They are part of one fluid whole, mutually dependent and influencing each other. There may be a distinct flavor of the processes unfolding within a particular person, but they are also recognized as universally human. The additional strain of perceiving oneself as “special” falls away. What comes up is empathy – from seeing what’s in this particular inner world also out there, and the other way around.

Jung

Jung’s tremendously valuable work, focuses on this level – the universally human. How God manifests as a human. It looks at universally human experiences, reflected in the archetypes. It is transpersonal in the sense that it looks at the universally human (beyond each person), but still “personal” in the sense that it focuses on the processes of the human organism and personality (meaning inner processes of sensations, emotions, thoughts). It can lead to us towards wholeness as a human individual – wholeness within mind and embracing mind/body – and to the brink of something more accurately transpersonal.

Jung had a dream late in life where he went in to a cave, and saw himself sleeping and in a meditation posture. He knew that if he – as the sleeping meditator – would wake up, he – as Jung – would die. This is another indication that his work, and outlook, brought him to the brink of the transpersonal – although not quite over the edge.

If the meditator woke up, he would wake up to Big Mind, and Jung as a separate entity would cease to exists. There would of course still be a small self, but it would function within a larger context.

Excitement

 

I’ll attempt to put words on this as well…

I have noticed that even in the midst of pain (which just appears) or suffering (self-induced), there is a stream of joy, bliss and excitement. It seems to come from that in me that knows that this too, is God manifesting and exploring itself. There is a joy in fully experiencing a human life, including the messiness and pain and suffering that comes with it.

Resting & Deepening

 

I experience a polarity between…

Resting

The sense or experience of everything being right here/now. The realization of this here/now being it – Big Mind, an expression and manifestation of God, Spirit, the Absolute. We can just rest in it – allow it to unfold. There is nowhere to go, nothing to seek.

Deepening

Then there is the sense that something is a little off. Something is not quite right. There is a wish to deepen and clarify whatever needs to deepen and clarify. In particular the experience of Big Mind, the relationship between the self and Big Mind, and how to live from the Big Mind perspective and bring it into the world in always new ways.

The Beauty of the Polarity

It seems that both needs to be there. The absolute view (everything perfect as it is) gives a sense of relief and spaciousness. The relative view (room for improvement) gives a direction and a wish to deepen and clarify the view and how to bring it more fully into the world. Without the first, there may be a seeking for something apart “out there” or “in here”. Without the second, there may be complacency. With both, there is a light touch and a deepening and clarification.

Mountains and Rivers

 

There is the famous quote (paraphrased) of the Zen monk who said…

First mountains and rivers were mountains and rivers. Then I saw that mountains and rivers were not mountains and rivers. Finally, they again were mountains and rivers.

I am not sure if I understand this accurately according to the traditional way, but the saying does fit my own experiences.

First, everything was ordinary – in the sense of dualistic. I was me. Everything else was whatever they were. But something was off. Something was not quite right. I was not quite at ease or at home.

Then, I had an opening into a transdual – or Big Mind – view. Nothing was what it used to be. Now, everything – all inner/outer phenomena – was a manifestation of God, Spirit, the Absolute. Everything was magic, different, and yet deeply familiar and home.

Then, as the novelty wore off, it became more ordinary. I explored and found ways to integrate it more into my life (although that was and is a difficult process). Big Mind and small self became more aligned, and everything seemed more ordinary again – including myself as small self.

Ordinary Mind

 

It seems that the (Zen) term Ordinary Mind can be understood in a few different ways.

Big Mind

It can refer to awareness being familar and comfortable with the transpersonal – or Big Mind – perspective. Big Mind is ordinary.

Big Mind & Self

It can also refer to relationship between the self and Big Mind as familar, comfortable and ordinary. Nothing special.

Living in the World

And it can refer to living in the world from a Big Mind perspective, and being familiar and comfortable with it. We appear as ordinary – as nothing or nobody special. We respond to situations as they come up, in an integrated way – from Big Mind and self. There is no need for anything extra.

Thoughts

 

Thoughts – and the relationship between awareness and thoughts – is still mostly a mystery to me.

Process

There is the process of thoughts/thinking without any particular entity producing them. They appear, unfold, and dissolve within space or mind – seemingly coming from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere.

Identification

When awareness identifies with thoughts, there is the sense of “I am thinking”. The thoughts seem to be produced consciously by this entity called “me”.

Clouds

When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from the processes of the personality, we see that (a) the self is no fixed or separate entity and (b) that the process of thinking goes on largely on its own – it lives its own life. Thoughts unfolding within spacious awareness are like clouds passing through the sky.

Engaging

In both situations, awareness can engage with the thinking process.

In the first instance, where awareness identifies with the thoughts, it is involuntary. Awareness either fuels or attempts to push away whatever thoughts come up.

In the second instance, where awareness is aware of itself as distinct from thoughts, there is more of a choice. Awareness can choose to engage with the thought process in a certain way, or just allow them to come and go on their own without engaging with them.

Conditioning

The thought and emotional patterns seems to be conditioned – including by the characteristics of this universe, our biology, culture and personal experiences. They react/respond to inner and outer stimuli in a certain way, which partly is shared among human beings, partly shared within our culture, and is partly unique to us as individuals.

Channel

It seems that when awareness engages with the thoughts, it can channel them in a certain direction – to a certain extent. They will always tend to live their own life, most likely based on the conditioned patterns (sometimes to the embarrassment of the self).

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it seems that the self is the servant of the thoughts. We are somewhat at the mercy of the habitual patterns of the personality.

When awareness is aware of itself, the transpersonal – or Big Mind – perspectives can be expressed through thoughts. Thoughts are then the servants of Big Mind or transpersonal perspectives.

One Taste

 

One Taste can be described in three – related – ways.

Awareness

When awareness becomes aware of itself as distinct from its content, it stays in the taste of awareness. All experiences of the inner/outer world unfold within spacious luminous awareness.

Phenomena

When awareness awakens to itself, all phenomena – all polarities – unfolds within it. It awakens to a transdual awareness. And in this, it also transcends the absolute and relative. All phenomena unfold from God, Spirit, the Ground, the Absolute. All phenomena have One Taste.

Transdual

The final – fully transdual – way, is when awareness and unfolding phenomena is one fluid seamless whole. There is a distinction but no separation. There is One Taste.

Awareness & Timelessness

 

Awareness naturally senses itself as timeless (somehow beyond time/space)…

Idenitified with Inner Processes

When awareness is identified with inner phenomena – sensations, emotions, thoughts – it sees itself as the processes of the personality.

The sense of itself as timeless is then applied to the personality. Maybe not to this physical body, but at least something – the sense of identity formed by identifying with the inner processes – continues after death. This is then called the “soul”. Awareness mistakes the impermanent for the timeless.

Aware of Itself as Distinct

When awareness is aware of itself as distinct from its content – the unfolding experiences of the inner/outer world, it recognizes itself as (apparently) timeless. It is luminous space within which phenomena unfold, and dualities or any particular form or characteristic does not seem to apply to it. Seeing itself as timeless allows it to recognize all inner/outer phenomena as fluid, impermanent.

Beauty

 

Beauty is obviously very subjective. Still, there may be some underlying processes.

We experience beauty on several levels…

  • In that which triggers attraction in the personality
    Anything that generally supports life (biological bias)
    Learned from our culture and personal experience (cultural/personal bias)

  • Gives us a sense of the transpersonal (the numinous)
    Some art and nature. Anything that opens up a taste of the transpersonal for us.

  • In everything, when we operate from a fully transdual awareness
    Any inner and outer phenomenon, independent of label, is experienced as beautiful. Everything is a manifestation of God.

At the two first levels, awareness perceives in a relatively dualistic way. In the third, it perceives beyond and embracing all dualitites. Even here there is necessarily differentiation and distinctions, but we still perceive everything equally as manifestations of God, Spirit, the Ground, the Absolute.

Notes

Some examples for each level.

  • Biological
    Opposite sex: signs of health and vitality, youth, strength, symmetrical face, joyfulness.
    Nature: lush and rich landscapes, landscapes that allow overview (savannas), rivers, lakes, clean air, green vegetation.

  • Cultural
    Small or large feet, small or wide hips, thin or plump, tattoos or not, different clothing, art, music, philosophy, religion, social systems, social interactions, certain emotions/thoughts/experiences, etc.

  • Tastes/glimpses of the Transdual
    Vastness – desert, ocean, starry sky
    Refinement in art – Bach, Carlos Nakai, Rembrandt, Nerdrum, etc.

  • Transdual view
    Appreciation and experience of God manifesting in every inner/outer phenomena.
    A river, an emotion, a city, thoughts, a snake, a blossom, clouds, an ocean, a mountain, a human being, a galaxy, wars, joy, suffering, a skilled and an unskilled poem, a grain of sand on a beach, a fugue by Bach, heavy metal, a painting by Manet, a painting by an unskilled artist, a leaf on a tree, a nebulae, anger, peacefulness, blame, compassion, realizations, delusions, a car, a tree, someone logging a tree, a river, someone polluting a river, death, birth, cancer, a healthy organism, a skyscraper, a mud hut, a bird, a deep sea creature, a planet, a rock, sky, earth – these are all God, Spirit, the Ground, the Absolute manifesting in a myriad ways. There is no separation between any phenomena and God/Absolute, and no separation among phenomena, yet there is differentiation and distinctions.

The levels can obviously co-exists in layers. A healthy human body can be beautiful on a biological, cultural, transpersonal and transdual level. Wars may be ugly on a biological and cultural level, but we can still see it as another manifestation of God/Absolute – and thus inherently beautiful. This does not prevent us from doing what we can to prevent wars, and alleviate the suffering inherent in wars. It just gives us a lighter touch. More space and overview when we relate to it and decide on our actions.

Juiciness

 

Existence is God manifesting – exploring itself in always new ways.

When we awaken to Big Mind, we get a taste of the absolute and relative being distinct from each other, yet with no separation. Awareness is formless luminous space. Phenomena unfold within this space – emerge from it, unfold, dissolve back into it. It is all beyond dualities.

And the juiciness is in how to live from this experience. How to bring it into the world.

There are no guidelines for how to do this. It is new in every situation.

What does it mean for my personal life? For how I relate to others and the larger social and ecological systems? What does it mean for how we organize ourselves socially? As part of a larger planet? A larger universe?

There is a continuing deepening into Big Mind, into the self, into the relationship between the two, and how the self can express and live from Big Mind in these social and ecological systems, this planet and universe.

View & Deepening

 

There are many ways of getting a taste of the qualities of awareness and a more transdual view.

Taste

When awareness becomes aware of itself as distinct – and inseparable – from the particular and changing experiences, it also becomes aware of some of its own qualities.

Awareness is inherently indepdentent of dualities – it is that in which the fluid phenomena of the inner/outer world unfolds. It is beyond and embracing any duality of existence/nonexistence, spirit/matter, mind/body, delusion/enlightenment, living/dead, right/wrong.

Awareness is what is here/now, reading this sentence. It is the same, wheter it is identified with phenomena or not, deluded or enlightened.

Awareness is formless – it takes on whatever form manifested by inner/outer phenomena.

Awareness is clear, luminous and spacious – that in which all inner/outer phenomena arise, unfold, and fade without leaving any trace.

Deepening

Having a taste of this – through sitting practice, bodyoriented practice (yoga, tai chi, chi gong, breema), Big Mind, nature, art, spontaneous experiences, or something else – we can deepen it.

We can continue to explore the nature of awareness, continue to stabilize our center of gravity to include awareness, continue to allow layers of “sleep” to fall away…

This is a natural process. Just as a seed grows into a tree, awareness can grow into deepening awareness of itself when the circumstances are right.

And the most condusive circumstance may be sitting meditation under guidance of an experienced teacher.

Hooks & Energy

 

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality – sensations, emotions, thoughts – everything becomes hooks. Awareness is caught up in the conditioned responses of the personality, triggered by inner/outer situations. And the stronger and more intense the response, the more caught up it tends to get. There is little sense of spaciousness, overview and choice (although there is of course the perception of choice).

When awareness becomes aware of itself as distinct – yet inseparable – from the particular and changing experiences of the personality, there is a sense of overview, perspective, and more conscious choice. We can choose more how to relate to the inner/outer world, and what actions to take.

In the first situation, strong and intense experiences serves as an even stronger hook. There is a sense of awareness being trapped in a very small space, with few options. It fuels or pushes away the experiences, which leads to a contraction. The stronger the energy in the experience, the stronger the contraction.

In the second situation, strong and intense experiences are just that – experiences. They unfold within and rage through awareness, and the energy in the experiences often lead to a sense of expansion and clarity.

The latter is of course the tantric path. When our center of gravity includes awareness, all experiences becomes food for clarity.

Even here, there is the possibility for hooks. Something may be triggered that brings awareness into identification with it. This can especially happen when wounds not brought into awareness – wounds we are not comfortable with – are poked.

A solution is to familiarize ourselves with our particular pattern of contraction, recognize it when it occurs, and then bring focus to awareness through any tool that works for us – the breath, weight of the body, Big Mind process, Can I be with what I am experiencing right now?

Conditioning, Projections & Transdual

 

This topic came up in a conversation a couple of days ago…

Attitude: Everything is sacred and of spirit, except the mentality of human beings who behave in a way I do not approve of…

Justification: Humans have free will, and somehow choose to behave in destructive ways.

Resolution: (a) Recognize the conditioned nature of existence, and the different faces of choice/no choice. (b) Recognize and integrate projections. (c) Recognize and experience all phenomena, inner and outer, as expressions of Spirit – of emerging from God, Ground, the Absolute. Nothing is more or less sacred than anything else.

The Many Faces of Choice

All phenomena in the inner/outer world co-emerge, are mutually dependent and interdependent, and thus also conditioned by (a) the nature of the processes of the world and (b) each other. When we are identified with the processes of the personality – with sensations, emotions, thoughts – there is little awareness and little choice. The processes of the personality is conditioned by the nature of the processes of this world and of biology, culture, personal experiences, and when we are identified with these processes, our choices are made based on this conditioning.

When awareness awakens to itself, center of gravity expands to include awareness. There is more sense of overview and perspective. And there is a sense of new choice, although this is also conditioned by a multitude of processes.

When awareness unfolds as luminous, spacious and more fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice. There is a sense of choice, but there is also no choice – it is all one seamless whole. In a way, there is a response to situations – beyond choice and no choice.

Choice is in a sense an illusion. When we operate exclusively from the personality, there is little or no choice – it is all conditioned responses (including the thought and decision making patterns). When awareness awakens to itself, there is a sense of choice – but still somewhat conditioned. When awareness awakens as fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice.

So, it is in a way futile to judge. We all do as best as we can, from our conditioning and experiences. We all make the best choices we can, even if they often lead to suffering for ourselves and others. We are all in the same boat.

Projections

Everything we see in others, we recognize because it is also in us. All qualities and characteristics we perceive, are there in the outer as well as the inner world.

We can be aware of them more in the outer world, or more in the inner world, but they are there – as a potential or unfolded/expressed in various ways.

When our ideas – such as self-image, right/wrong and good/bad – prevents us from seeing qualities within ourselves and only out there, we live in a fragmented perception of ourselves and the world. We split ourselves us from ourselves and the world.

And when we live in this split, emotions of aversion and attraction comes up. Attraction and aversion is the “glue” that ties our attention to the qualities of ourselves we are not aware of. They tie our attention to them, until they are recognized as being equally “in here” as “out there”.

Attractions and aversions are also the guideposts that can help us recognize and eventually integrate projections. When I experience attraction or aversion to something in the outer world, I can identify the specific characteristic it is aimed at, and then explore it in myself. How is it expressed? Why would I rather not see it in myself? Can I be with it?

Eventually, we come to a point where we recognize all qualities – in both the inner and outer world. For any statement about us, we can sincerely say “yes, that is true too”.

This process has several effects.

Our ideas becomes more fluid. My self-image becomes more fluid, porous, transparent and inclusive. My ideas of right/wrong, good/bad, softens and looses their charge.

And I can recognize myself in the other. What I see in the other person, is also there in myself. This softens judgment, and opens for genuine empathy and compassion. We are all in the same boat. I am not inherently any better or worse than anyone else.

This also opens up for more clarity and perspective. From making choices based on attractions and aversions, we can respond to situations in a way that is from more awareness and are more life-supporting. We loosen our grip, and allow some space, overview and clarity in.

Transdual

All phenomena is a fluid seamless whole. While there is distinctions, there is also no separation.

They are all expressions of movements within this whole (going beyond limited causality).

They are all born from Spirit, God, Ground, the Absolute.

They are all inseparable from Spirit, God, Ground, the Absolute.

Clouds, mountains, emotions, galaxies, the ocean, cities, culture, music, a leaf, a nebulae, feelings of attraction and aversion, sunlight through the leaves, a chirping bird, a fugue by Bach, murder, ideologies, a star, a planet… All inner and outer phenomena – is a seamless whole with God, Spirit, Ground, the Absolute.

There are distinctions – and no separation. Everything is perfect as it is, and there is room for improvement.

Overview & Engagement

If we only see the seamless whole, there is no engagement and no action. It is serene but detached. One half of Existence is left out.

If we only see the distinctions, there is no spacious awareness or overview. This can lead to reactiveness, and a sense of righteousness, being a victim, hopelessness, anger and blame. Again, one half of existence is left out.

When we see distinctions within the seamless whole, there is overview – and there is engagement.

Notes on Choice and No Choice

There is a form of choice and of conditioning on each level, each looking different at each level…

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it is all conditioned by the processes of this world. There is a sense of choice, but even the decision making process is conditioned.

When awareness awakens, there is a different sense of choice. I can choose how I relate to the inner/outer situation. Even here, there seems to be conditioned residue – from biology, culture and personal experiences.

When awareness awakens as more fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice. There is choice in a certain sense. And there is no choice in a certain sense. There is both, and yet none.

Integral Life/Practice

 

Currently…

Overall attitude
– Sincerity
– Allowing everything (full personality with no exceptions) to be subject to change. Nothing held back.
– Looking for blindspots, for what I am not currently seeing.
– Aligning myself more with Existence, on all levels and more deeply.
– Directional, a continuous path. No goal or end is possible.

View/Framework
– Integral model, AQAL (all quadrants, all levels, all lines).
– Buddhism

Psyche
– counseling
– Working with projections

Body
– Past: yoga, tai chi, chi gong, Feldenkrais
– Current: Breema, walking, hiking, cycling

Body/Mind
– Past: yoga, tai chi, chi gong
– Current: Breema, meditation
– Living the questions

Relationships – Intimate & Social
– NVC
– Sincerity
– Say what I mean, and mean what I say
– Bringing a transdual view more fully in to life

Social
– Global justice movement
– Open Source approach (wide sense)
– Transformation into a more life-sustaining, life-centered culture

Ecological
– Deep ecology
– Ecospirituality

Earth
– Systems view (Capra etc)
– Ecospirituality
– Living the questions

Universe
– The Great Story
– Ecospirituality

Existence
– Prayer
– Meditation
– Breema
– Living the questions

All Levels
– Prayer, meditation
– Breema
– Living the questions
– Basic orientation (sincerity, everything up for change with no exception, looking for blindspots)

Dream

 

I was in a large old growth forest in the Pacific Northwest, and I could jump from one location to another.

When in the air, I saw the whole region and the curvature of the Earth. There was overview, spaciousness and perspective. I could see various human activities on the edges of the forest and beyond.

When I was on the ground, it was sensual, rich and earthy. A rich texture of smells, sights, touch – of soil, pine needles on the ground, trees, bark, branches, the sky above, wind.

It was a slow bounce. There was time to fully experience both the spaciousness of the overview, and the rich texture in the midst of the forest. And I could choose where to land.

The dream reflects a dance within polarities: Awareness and phenomena. Heaven and Earth. Incarnation and disincarnation. Mind and body. Spirit and Matter.

It reminds me of a regression therapy session I did a while back in Salt Lake City. I experienced the incarnation and disincarnation cycle as a pulse, as the breath of Existence. A dance between luminous awareness observing the Earth and the Universe, and of awareness being centered on an individual organism and personality.

The night before, we had the first meeting of our Integral Support Group at our house. The morning after the dream, I met with Gary R. to talk about becoming a formal Process Work student. And in the afternoon, I talked with Casey at a holistic health clinic about Breema – and gave her a session (where we both went unusually deep). Today, I am going to SLC.

Breema & Levels

 

Breema goes beyond all dualities… Giver and recipient, individuals and surroundings, inner and outer, mind and body, doing and not doing, giving and receiving, absolute and relative. It gives us a taste of all this, and a support in bringing it into everyday life.

For me, it decrystallizes and is deeply transformative on all levels. And it seems to work on each level in a way that is appropriate here/now, with no effort on anyones part.

Sometimes, it works mainly on a very physical level. It can be robust and vigorous, and stretch and loosen up muscles and skeleton.

Sometimes, it works mainly on an energetic levels, shifting energies around according to where they are needed.

Sometimes, the need is on an emotional level, and it is deeply nurturing, supportive and healing, in a safe atmosphere.

Sometimes, it allows us to soften and let go of habitual thought patterns. Cognition becomes clear and receptive.

Sometimes, it is transpersonal – it allows us to rest in spacious and clear awareness, that which goes beyond the personality.

It always works on each of these levels, but the effect may be more clear in one or another.

Meditation in Action

 

Meditation refers to resting in – or expanding our center of gravity to include – awareness.

Awareness

First, awareness is blindly identified with the processes of the personality. It gets caught up in sensations, emotions, thoughts, and fuel or push them away. It is caught up in the conditioned and habitual processes of the personality. There is little space, overview, perspective or choice.

As awareness becomes aware of itself as separate from these phenomena, there is a sense of overview, perspective and choice in how we relate to the inner/outer world. Awareness becomes aware of itself as luminous and formless (although at a dull level at first), within which all phenomena unfold.

Transdual

Awareness is always transdual – it allows all phenomena to unfold within itself, both poles of each polarity. It is a mirror.

When it is identified with the processes of the personality, it experiences the world as fragmented and dualistic – inner/outer, me/you, us/them, mind/body, spirit/matter, etc. It is in the midst of its efforts to push some experiences away and hold onto others. But even here, it is truly transdual – reflecting both poles of each polarity. The mirror is covered in dust.

As the center of gravity expands to include awareness, it allows the (experiences of) the phenomena of the inner/outer worlds to unfold within itself. It becomes aware of itself as reflecting both ends of each/all polarities – whatever comes up here/now. It is aware of itself as transdual. All phenomena of the inner/outer world is experienced as a fluid seamless whole. There are clear distinctions, but no separation. The mirror is clearer.

Then, it deepens the experience of the transdual. Now, spacious awareness and all phenomena is a fluid and seamless whole. Distinct from each other, yet with no separation. The mirror falls away.

Meditation in Action

Traditional meditation practice, resting in transdual awareness, is invaluable in this process. And there are some very valuable techniques for bringing this awareness into everyday life.

One is asking ourselves Can I be with what I am experiencing right now?

This allows awareness to become aware of itself, spacious and reflecting the processes of the inner world. There is a sense of overview, and of choice. There is a growing sense of the transdual nature of the inner/outer world. It is a fluid seamless whole – including and going beyond all polarities. And there is a sense of the transdual nature of awareness and phenomena – as two aspects of a fluid seamless whole. One no more real or important than the other.

Breema is another tool. It gives us a taste of how body, emotions and thoughts are experienced when the center of gravity is expanded to include awareness. There is a decrystallization – a softening of habitual patterns – on all levels. Emotions are nurtured, becomes supportive and gives a sense of fullness, richness and vibrancy. Cognition becomes clear and receptive. This – along with the nine principles – makes it easier to come to awareness in everyday life.

Acknowledge

 

We all have innumerable voices within us. These are the many different aspects of the processes of the personality – their many configurations and groupings. And each of them holds a certain truth. They all contribute something valuable, when they are seen and acknowledged.

Last night, a voice came up strongly that said I am a failure. There several ways I relate to this. Sometimes I allow myself to be with what I am experiencing – to allow it to unfold within awareness. Sometimes I set it aside and let something else come to the forefront – usually a specific task. Sometimes I try to place it in in a larger perspective – remind myself of all the ways I am not a failure, that it depends on the perspective, that this is just the processes of the personality, etc. And sometimes I accept it and acknowledge the truth in it. Yes, I am a failure – I have not lived up to some of my potentials, to some of the promise. There is a great relief in acknowledging the truth in these voices, because it is always there. We are so complex that anything that can be said about any of us contains some truth.

Each of these approaches has some value. And sometimes I need to go through all of them to find a deeper acceptance, and be able to just be with the experience.

Spoonful of Sugar

 

In many spiritual traditions, they set up a relatively harsh path for the students. It worked then – in that culture and for those involved in it – although may not be appropriate for most people today.

Most past cultures had a strongly authoritarian bent. The student was expected and willing to – figuratively or sometimes literally – give up their lives for the teacher. They accepted a large amount of abuse.

Today, we are in a different culture, with different expectations and configurations of the personality. Most people expect mutual respect and responsibility in the relationship of guide and traveler. We are not willing to give up all autonomy, and not willing to have a one-sided relationship with a teacher.

So the spoonful of sugar approach may be more appropriate, and equally effective if done well.

The Big Mind and Breema are two examples. Both have old roots, yet seem especially well suited for people in contemporary society. They are enjoyable and even fun, while easing people into resting in awareness and a more transdual way of experiencing the world.

Mirror

 

No Trace

When the center of gravity includes awareness, it appears as spacious and luminous. There is a sense of a spacious awareness, within which all experiences unfold. And when the center of gravity includes awareness, nothing sticks. The processes of the inner/outer world emerge, unfold and fade, and leave no trace.

We can say that awareness sees, accepts and moves on. Or that it is similar to a mirror reflecting the experiences. Or even more accurately, that there is a fluid and seamless whole of inner/outer phenomena unfolding within spacious and luminous awareness.

In either case, there is no trace.

Trace

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it engages in these processes – through fuelling them or pushing them away. The particular processes are impacted from this engagement, and in turn impact the personality. If awareness fuel them, the patterns grow deeper. If awareness push them away, they are not seen by awareness – not processed – and will push in return until seen.

In both cases, there is a tendency for awareness to revisit the experience – especially if it was strong. It was not fully seen initially due to identification with it, and awareness is pulled back to it.

Stripping Extra

 

Seeing is essential for moving on. We see what is going on with the personality, accept, and move on.

In therapy, there may be a lot of energy given to certain patterns of the personality. We are trying to “fix” something that cannot be fixed by talking or prodding. It can only be “healed” by expanding our center of gravity to include awareness, and from this view see, accept, and move on. The problem may still be there, but it is in a very different context.

In different spiritual practices, there is often inflation and hangups seen as expressions of realization.

Breema can be an effective antidote to both. We see, accept and move on. And it is a very humbling practice. In all areas, it continually strips away the extra.

Humbling

 

As somebody mentioned yesterday, there is a lot of seeing of the personality going on when we do Breema. We see, accept, and move on.

Breema is a very humbling practice. When I work with the principles, I see how I am not as fully awake or present as I can be. I can always move more in the direction of being awake… I can always move more in the direction of the principles coming alive.

It strips away the extra.

What is Experiencing?

 

Using the living the questions approach (can I be with what I am experiencing?), I have been able to get back into a more regular meditation practice again. Whenever resistance to sitting comes up, I allow myself to be with the resistance – which takes the charge out of it.

This morning, I sat with the koan What is Experiencing?

It is clear that luminous space is experiencing. There is a fluid organism and personality – with fluid sensations, emotions, thoughts – but no center and nothing fixed. There is also a relative dullness (from lack of regular sitting practice) so the luminous awareness is – still – relatively local. Just around the head and body.

Supports

 

Opening for and stabilizing into Big Mind is a continuous process. Fortunately, there are many approaches that can be supports in this process.

Big Mind

The Big Mind process, an expansion on Voice Dialogue, is one. Through guidance, anyone can emerge into a taste of Big Mind in a matter of minutes. And with a little training, we can learn how to apply it in our own lives. It gives a sense of the terrain – where we are at, where we can go, and how to get there.

Meditation

Meditation, resting in awareness and allowing all experiences to unfold within awareness, is another invaluable support. It trains the mind in single-pointed focus, and brings a sense of spaciousness and expansion to awareness.

Relationships

As part of the process, we bring relationships into awareness. How do we relate to the inner and outer world?

How do we relate to formless awareness? How do we relate to our physical body? How do we relate to the fluid sensations, emotions and thoughts? How do we relate to other people? How do we relate to the larger social and ecological systems? How do we relate to the universe?

For each of these, there are tools and approaches that can be of great help. For me, these include…

  • Awareness
    Zen, Big Mind, Breema

  • Physical body
    Breema, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, walking, hiking, swimming, dance, etc.

  • Thoughts and emotions
    Councelling, different forms of therapy, jungian work with projections and dreams, Process Work, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, etc.

  • Other people
    Nonviolent Communication, Process Work, meditation, Zen, Big Mind, Breema

  • Larger social and ecological systems
    Zen, Big Mind, Breema, systems view, sociology, ecology, Process Work, Zen, ecospirituality, deep ecology, The Great Story, The Universe Story, new cosmology.

  • The Universe
    Zen, Big Mind, Breema, systems view, ecospirituality, new cosmology, the Universe Story.

View

We also need a map of the terrain, an overall framework. I tend to use the Integral Model as the overall framework, as it helps me see how the different other maps and tools relate to each other. Other frameworks include Buddhism, Daoism, systems theories, any mystical tradition, science. This map is always evolving with different inner/outer situations – responding to different needs and insights.

Perspectives

All of the above helps us shift perspectives – to expand out of small mind.

One that I find especially useful is ecospirituality. From this view, the universe is awakening into awareness to itself through its awareness organs, including us human beings. We are distinct organisms, but also awareness organs for the Earth and the Universe. Through us, the Earth and Universe become more aware of itself, first as fragments then more as a whole. This helps us out of a view of ourselves as separate entities, and helps us see ourselves as a part of a larger seamless whole. It also opens up for a sense of meaning and belonging, and for a more transdual view.

Simple

 

Here are two simple and parallel ways of describing awakening…

Big Mind

When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality – sensations, emotions, thoughts – there is a sense of contraction. Awareness is operating in a very local and medium awake way. This is small mind.

Bringing focus to awareness, and staying with awareness, there is a sense of it expanding and awakening. The center of gravity expands to include both awareness and experiences unfolding within awareness. The sense of “me” goes from being only the sensations, emotions and thoughts, to also include spacious and formless awareness. There is a sense of clear, spacious awareness within which all experiences and phenomena unfold. Awareness is transdual in that all phenomena of the inner/outer world unfolds within it – beyond and embracing all polarities. From this comes overview and perspective, and a more conscious choice in how I relate to the inner/outer world.

Unfolding Awareness

In our everyday life, awareness is the observer, the Ground, the Absolute. But it operates in a half-awake and very local way. It is identified with the processes of the inner world. It perceives “me” as the processes of this organism and personality, and get caught up in the fluid manifestations of the inner/outer world. It is a case of mistaken identity, or at least an identity that is less inclusive than what it could be – a part of the picture is missing.

When focus is brought to awareness, the sense of “me” is gradually more inclusive. It expands, becomes more fluid, porous, transparent, and eventually falls away.

As awareness awakens, the sense of “me” goes through several phases – it burns through layers of more inclusive and fluid “me”s until it all falls away. There is only the fluid seamless whole of luminous, spacious, formless Ground within which all phenomena unfolds.

Our awareness goes from local to universal to nonlocal, and from half-awake to fully awake. Our identity, our sense of “me”, goes from the personality to Big Mind to falling away completely.

Simple

It is a very simple process, and there are many invaluable supports for this process… Some of the ones I find useful are Zen, Big Mind, Breema.

Notes

I find that I have trouble describing awareness awakening to itself, and how the sense of identity becomes more inclusive. One way of describing it is that there are several layers of awareness, from half awake to fully awake. As awareness is brought to itself, it identifies itself with the next layer closer to fully awake, and then realize that this too is not the observer. It turns towards itself, thinks that it is something that is another fluid phenomenon, and then identifies with the next layer of semi-awake awareness. It is a process of discovery, of moving towards a more fully awake and transdual experience. Until there is only Existence.

Focus & Spaciousness

 

There seems to be two central qualities to deepen a transdual view: focus and spaciousness. These correspond to what Buddhism refer to as shamata (single pointed focus) and vipassana (insight).

If there is focus without spaciousness, it is uncomfortable and likely to turn into its opposite. If there is spaciousness without focus, there can be a lack of clarity. Both seem necessary – single-pointed focus, unfolding within spaciousness.

One gives direction, fiery/penetrating energy, and a sense of movement forward. The other gives space for it to unfold within awareness. One gives a sense of progress, the other of everything being OK as it is. One is related to the relative, the other to the absolute. One can be exclusive, the other always inclusive. One burns through layers of mistaken identity, the other is the witness behind everything.

Meditation in Action

 

Breema is – quite literally – meditation in action.

Meditation refers to resting in awareness. There is a deepening transdual and spacious awareness, in which all experiences of the inner/outer world unfolds.

Some of the tools in traditional practice are… Counting the breath. Asking ourselves Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? Sitting with the koan What is experiencing? All of these brings focus to awareness as different from sensations, emotions, thoughts.

Breema does the same. When we come to the breath, the weight of the body, the movement and posture of the body, we bring focus to awareness as different from all these. There is a focus on awareness, which is always right here right now. We are in the present.

And we use the bodywork and the nine principles as support to bring focus to awareness – to include awareness in our center of gravity.

Notes

When we are not in the present, do not have a center of gravity in spacious awareness, we tend to get caught up and lost in sensations, emotions and thoughts. Our emotions tend to be reactive. Our thoughts habitual and circular.

When we are in the present, when our center of gravity includes spacious awareness, we have a sense of overview. Our emotions gives a sense of fullness and richness, and our cognition is clear and receptive.

What Breema has that seems different from meditation, is the Breema atmosphere.

The Breema atmosphere is unmistakable and very tangible when we are in it, but also difficult to express. It seems to include the body remembering how it is to be in awareness, supported by emotions and cognition. It stays in the body – deepens as we continue with self-Breema, bodywork and working with the principles – and supports us in shifting center of gravity to include awareness. It makes it far easier to stay present in everyday life.

Mutuality & Earth

 

From a certain perspective, the Universe is unfolding awareness of itself through its awareness organs – including us human beings. And the more diverse these awareness organs are, the more angles it is experiencing itself from.

This perspective is as valid as any that is more common in our culture, just less often encountered.

We can also say that the Earth is unfolding awareness of itself. First locally and as fragments, and now increasingly as a whole – through views of Earth from space, global communication technologies, systems theories and more.

Maybe this is one of the new meanings of mutuality. The Earth is unfolding awareness of itself as a whole, through one of its awareness organs – humans.

When we become more aware of this, what will it mean for our relationship to each other and the Earth?

It will most likely include a deepened sense of humility, of awe and respect for each other and the Earth, and of mutuality through an inescapable partnership with each other and the Earth. It will be always new and different.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

 

In many spiritual traditions, the typical human sense of “me” is seen as a case of mistaken identity. And the resolution unfolds through several phases.

First, there is a half-awake awareness, blindly identified with the organism and personality. We see “me” as these sensations, emotions and thoughts. And we are caught up in the rollercoaster ride of conditioned attractions and aversions, triggered by always changing and unpredictable inner and outer situations.

Then, there is an experience of awareness being separate from these processes. There is a sense that “me” is maybe awareness, not the fluid processes of the personality.

As this unfolds, there is a deepening sense of all inner and outer phenomena unfolding within spacious awareness. We are growing into Big Mind. “Me” then becomes this awareness, observing all the phenomena unfolding in a transdual way. All inner and outer phenomena is a fluid seamless whole, beyond polarities.

As the transdual experience unfolds, we come to experience “me” as both luminous and spacious awareness, and the unfolding phenomena. All phenomena is a fluid seamless whole, and awareness and unfolding phenomena is a fluid and seamless whole.

The awareness is still centered on an organism, but the sense of “me” gradually becomes more fluid, porous, transparent, until it falls away.

Eventually, there may be a more fully awake transdual awareness with no center. Expressed through a human organism or not. At this point, there is only Existence.

Inclusiveness

This may seem as a detachment process, and in some ways it is. But it seems more accurate to see it as a process of more inclusiveness. The processes of the organism and personality are still there, as is the unfolding awareness. Nothing is lost, except the experience of “me” as limited to this personality and of the world as fragmented.

The transdual view can be fully lived through this organism and personality, in this society and ecosystem, and in this particular universe. And loosing the sense of precariousness that comes from small mind, we can engage in life more fully – without holding back, allowing resistance to fall away.

This – is the truly exiting adventure in this whole process. The parallel unfolding and deepening of transdual awareness and of living and embodying this awareness. How does it look in my personal relationships? How is it expressed in my relationship to and engagement with the wider society? What does it mean for our social system and our relationship to the rest of the Earth? What does it mean for our relationship to the rest of the universe?

There are no final answers here. It will always change and evolve depending on our current situation and what we learn in the process. It is always changing, always new.

It is a path made by walking.

Alert & Relaxed

 

When we rest in awareness, there is alertness and relaxation.

When we are identified with the processes of the personality – sensations, emotions, thoughts – there is tension and sluggishness.

Notes

When we experience the inner/outer world as unfolding within awareness, we can relate to it with a sense of spaciousness and overview.

There is clarity and alertness. And there is less to hold into – we can allow the personality to relax.

When we blindly identify with the processes of the personality – sensations, emotions, thoughts – there is less overview. We are at the mercy of the conditioned processes of the personality, triggered by unpredictable inner and outer situations.

There is a sense of exhaustion from this rollercoaster ride, and a sense of wanting to escape from it by tuning out. And there is a sense of precariousness which makes the personality tense up.

Levels & More

 

Ordinary

When we operate from a certain level of development in a relatively stable way, we experience it as natural and effortless. It is just what is.

For most of us, thinking – in an everyday sense – is easy. There is nothing to it. For others, including other species, thinking on that level may seem impossible – or at best very hard work.

Healthy

There are healthy and less healthy expressions of each level.

When there is a sense of contraction, the expression tends to be less healthy. When there is a sense of openness and ease, it tends to be more healthy.

Each level has its place and value, and this is most clearly visible when we are at ease with ourselves and the world.

Maturation

The maturation from one level to another has different aspects.

There may be glimpses of how it is to function at a higher level – maybe through social interactions with others that operate from that level.

There may be a sense of dissatisfaction with how we currently operate. It does not give us quite what we are looking for, it seems to not work as well as it used to.

And there are processes at work in the inner/outer world beyond these that also allows us to mature into the next level.

Integral Model

An integral model – applying levels, quadrants, lines, types – seems essential for understanding and even guiding our maturation as individuals, culture and a species.

It allows us to see the value of each approach, to see them in relationship to each other, and to find a more neutral terminology to describe levels and maturation into new levels.

This neutral terminology also helps us experience higher levels as more natural and ordinary. It takes the hype and unnecessary mystery out of it.

Attractions & Aversions

 

Evolution

Attractions and aversions are natural processes of the human organism and personality. They have helped our ancestors – including those who lived long before they emerged as humans – to survive.

We experience an attraction towards that which supports our life (warmth, companionship, friendliness, support, resources, health, etc) and an aversion towards that which does not support life (hostility, isolation, impoverishment, illness etc).

This is both natural and healthy in a biological and evolutionary perspective.

Transcend

But it is possible to move to an experience of the world that transcends attractions and aversions – that moves beyond while including these.

When we bring focus to awareness, it becomes more spacious – it is that in which our experiences unfold. This means that we have an overview and perspective on the processes of the organism and personality, and we can choose how to respond to different inner and outer situations.

A simple tool for doing this is asking ourselves Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? It brings focus to awareness, and gives space for us to relate more consciously to our experiences.

Positive & Negative

Our terminology always reflects a particular worldview. When we say “positive” and “negative” emotions, it reflects what we see as “us” and how we relate to the world.

We relatively blindly identify with the phenomena in our awareness – sensations, emotions and thoughts. We experience the world in a fragmented way – we see the poles but not the larger polarities. And we relate to one end of the polarity with attraction, and the other with aversion.

We call experiences we relate to with attraction “positive”, and those we relate to with aversion “negative”.

Moving into resting in awareness, we experience sensations, emotions and thoughts as unfolding within awareness. Value judgments fall away. They unfold as any other natural phenomena – as clouds, waves in the ocean, the wind. All inner and outer phenomena becomes as fluid and seamless whole. Although there is still differentiation, there is no need for absolute separations.

From this sense of overview – allowing a sense of absolute separation and need for value judgments to fall away – we have a more conscious choice in how we relate to inner and outer situations.

Evolution and Embodiment

 

Awareness

For many centuries, going back to Gautama Buddha and possibly before, individuals have been able to come to a fully transdual awareness.

It is a process of awareness becoming aware of itself, first in a half awake way and then more awake. It continually burns through levels of what seems as “me” until there is only a luminous spacious non-local awareness left within which all phenomena unfolds (close to or identical with the Eye of God).

Those who unfolded transdual awareness in this way made it possible for others to follow in many ways, through maps, individual guidance, and possibly other less obvious ways.

Transdual

An encounter with – and resting in – the absolute, can be seen as an end in itself. But this is only a partial realization. It leaves out the relative. This does have an end.

If it is truly transdual, it embraces both the absolute and the relative, and deepens our experience and exploration of both. This is a continuous and neverending process.

Embodiment

Today, it seems more important than ever to use an integral approach.

To deepen our experience with the absolute and the relative. To deepen a transdual experience as well as exploring how to embody it in the world – how to live it more fully through this organism and in this social and ecological system.

This universe is always changing and evolving, including our social and ecological systems and the human organism. There is always more to explore, more ways to deepen the embodiment. It is a continous process of discovery.

Good & Evil

 

As with everything else, good & evil looks different depending on the view. And they are ideas that this particular culture seems to have a fascination with, probably because of its traditional dualism and preference for abstractions.

Objects

From a perspective that is strongly dualistic and attached to abstractions, good & evil can almost appear as tangible objects – something real out there. This view is sometimes perpetuated in popular culture and among certain social commentators, although is increasingly seen as an outmoded way of understanding human behavior.

Now, there is more an understanding of the impacts of biology, culture and personal history on how people view the world and act in the world. There is a general understanding of the basic findings of mainstream psychology.

Contraction vs. Opening

Another way of looking at it is in terms of contractions and openings. When we contract, we are apt to behave in ways that bring suffering to ourselves and others. When we open, we are more likely to act in ways that support ourselves and others. Often, we are at the mercy of the conditioned process of the personality, and triggers in our outer situations, when it comes to contractions and openings.

Blind Identification vs. Awareness

When there is a blind identification with the processes of the personality – when “me” is these sensations, emotions and thoughts – then we are in for a rollercoaster ride of contractions and openings, triggered by the changing and unpredictable outer situations.

One way out of this is to bring focus to awareness, and to find triggers for openings. When we stay with awareness, the fluid processes of the personality unfold – there is a sense of overview and perspective. There is more of a choice in how we relate to the inner/outer situations, and how we respond to the inner/outer situations.

Some triggers for awareness can be coming to the breath, the weight of the body, asking ourselves can I be with what I am experiencing right now? Regular practices such as meditation (staying with awareness), Breema, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, etc. can help us more easily come to awareness in difficult situations.

Note

There is a difference between aiming at switching contractions into openings, and of coming to awareness. One aims at changing inner processes unfolding, the other at giving more space to them unfolding. One may or may not work, and involves a certain amount of struggle and precariousness. The other allows whatever unfolds to unfold, and there is space and overview to choose how we relate to it.

The trick is to recognize contractions when they happen, know in our being the suffering they lead to if we identify with and act on them blindly, know how to come to awareness, and choose to come to awareness. It is a continuous practice – always deepening, always required.

Even when this becomes more habitual, there will be moments where we may be hooked – getting blindly caught up in sensations, emotions, thoughts.