We had our Integral Group meeting last night, and talked about the different broad ways mind/awareness can function.

  1. Unawake transdual
    All of existence, as it is. Examples are nonliving matter and plants. Awareness is dormant, a potential only.

  2. Half-awake dual
    Awareness is awakened, although identified with the small self. This is the case animals and most humans. Awareness functions in a dualistic way. It is an object in a much larger world of unpredictable objects. Relating to the inner and outer world seems a constant struggle. It only knows how to either engage with or push away experiences. There is an attachment to the small self and the Relative.

  3. Awake nondual
    Awareness awakens to the Absolute, to its nature of spacious clarity. When this happens, there is a natural fascination with its own nature, it wants to stay with it and explore it as much as possible, sometimes to the exclusion of the Relative. It is natural and healthy, but can also go too far in excluding the relative. It is possible to get “stuck in the Absolute”, in denying – obviously or subtly – the validity of the Relative. There is an attachment to the Absolute.

    For all the bliss, there is a suffering here from not being able to connect with other small selves. The view is just too different, excluding the relative, the small self and the small self views. If we perceive all phenomena as illusion, how can we interact with small selves in any meaningful way?

    In Buddhism, this is a stage that they try to get people through as quickly and painlessly as possible.

  4. Fully awake transdual I
    Here, awareness embraces the Absolute and the Relative. It awakens to the Big Mind view. It is engaged in the world, through the small self as a vehicle, but mainly identified with the Big Mind view. This is the Bright Sun of Enlightenment. The particular small self, serving as a vehicle, acts so that it is perceived as special by other small selves. There is still a subtle suffering here, in being somehow “special” and “different” from other small selves. And there is a subtle attachment to the Big Mind view.

  5. Fully awake transdual II
    Here, awareness chooses to rehumanize more fully. There is no longer any need to appear “special”. The deepest and richest way to function is to be just an ordinary human being, although now in a different context. In this phase, there is a freer flow between Big Mind and small self views and functioning. The rigid attachment to the Big Mind view is softened. We are so familiar with the whole terrain that we can finally relax into it.

  6. Fully awake transdual III
    The final phase is one of active engagement in evolution and society. We explore how to function actively in the world, as individuals, society and a species, from a Big Mind view. And we explore how this always changes as the inner/outer situations changes – as our understanding deepens and our challenges changes.

In one way, the phases do outline a progression. Each phase is more inclusive than the previous one (with the possible exception of the nondual phase), and each phase includes the previous ones.

On the other hand, it is not necessarily a linear process. We can all access any of these at any time. We can all have glimpses of them, for instance through the Big Mind process. Yet, it still takes time to stabilize, deepen, clarify, become familiar with and live from any of these.

What is interesting is that there seems to be a spiral pattern. The last phases are quite similar to the initial ones. First (1), there is just Existence – being in a transdual way. Then there is dualistic (2) and nondual views (3), and then transdual awareness (4-6). First, there is ordinary humanness (2), then there is an extraordinary enlightened being (3), and then there is rehumanization and an ordinary human being (5-6). First (2), there is focus on evolution and progress (at least in our culture), then there is focus on being (3) and acting in the world (4-5), then again on active engagement in evolution and change (6). The difference is the context, the view, and what is brought with us through the journey.

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