Fulcrums, I & Other
Using Ken Wilber’s fulcrums as a filter, I can find some patterns in my own process, as well as an interesting dance of what is seen as I and other.
[F6 :: centaur]
Centaur, oneness of psyche/body. Here, we find ourselves as a whole beyond and including psyche and body, although still exclusively human. I am my human self, and everything else is still “other”, although I am aware of the interconnections and the seamless whole of it all. There is a growing feeling and intuition of the whole of nature, and my own human self being embedded in it.
[F7 :: nature mysticism]
Here, I experience Spirit or God in/as nature. The natural world is Spirit, or is infused with Spirit, and I – as a human self – is one with nature. There is a growing feeling or intuition of everything, the whole of Existence, as God or Spirit.
[F8 :: deity mysticism]
Here, the whole of Existence is God or Spirit, and I am one with it. This is deity mysticism. I am still an entity within all there is, although one with all there is. There is a growing intuition or feeling that the world of phenomena arises within pure space and awareness, stainless and unchanging.
[F9 :: witness]
Here, I find myself as this stainless and unchanging space & awareness, within which the whole world of form and phenomena arises. I am space & awareness, the world arises within me, and I am one with the world of form. There is no separation, although there is still a subtle duality of seer and seen here. There is a growing sense that God is even beyond the duality of seer and seen.
Here, there is just what is – as it is. There is the formless, stainless, changeless diamond space & awareness, and there is the world of form happening within and as it, but there is no “I” anywhere. Within all there is, there is no segment – formless or in form – that can be set aside as an “I”.
I & other
At F6, the Centaur phase, I am this whole beyond and including psyche and body. I am the fullness of my human self, the seamless whole of thoughts, emotions, energies and a physical body. And everything else is other.
At F7, I find myself as one with the whole natural world. There are still things left out, for instance anything human such as human culture, civilization, thoughts and emotions. These are seen as other.
At F8, I find myself as one with all of Existence, beyond and including all polarities. I am one with God, Spirit and the whole manifest world, including nature and anything human – including human civilization, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Here, other is the stainless space it all happens within, and also the final subtle duality of seer and seen.
At F9, I find myself as the Witness, as stainless formless changeless awareness, one with the world of form arising within me. Although there is a clear realization that Existence is completely beyond and including all polarities, there is still an experience of a subtle duality of seer and seen. That which is beyond and including seer and seen is still subtly “other”.
And when this subtle duality of seer and seen finally falls away, there is no “other” even subtly.
In my own case, I awakened as Witness when I was sixteen, following a night of significant drunkenness (the first and last time). I was absorbed into the witness, and this deepened over the following year. The whole world was distanced, as if far away.
Then, I awakened to oneness with all – to everything as Spirit or God, and I one with it all. This was an awakening to F7 and F8, to a quite strong extent. I experienced Existence or God as beyond and including all polarities, including that of seer and seen, although for myself – there was still a subtle duality of seer and seen.
And as there was this subtle duality, this subtle identification with a segment of what is, it could go one of two ways. I could awaken to the complete nonduality, to that beyond and including seer and seen, or I could stay identified as a segment within it all and go down with a fall from grace. And it was the last option that happened.
Followed, this last summer and fall, with a (temporary) awakening to the complete nondual, to everything as it is with no “I” anywhere. To the crystal space which is beyond and includes the seer and seen. And it was completely unremarkable. This lasted for some weeks (10-15?), and then faded.
Typical gradual process
It seems that this is a typical process. We have a certain center of gravity, a certain familiar identity and way of operating. Then, there is an intuition or feeling of the next phase – that which is slightly more transdual. Then, we are dipped into it, have a taste of it, find ourselves temporarily as it. Then, as we become more familiar with it – with ourselves as it – we move into it more stably. Of course, this is an idealized way of looking at it, making it more orderly than it often is.
…and the wrinkles
Sometimes we are thrown into it without any (apparent) preparation or intuition, as I was during my initial awakening as Witness and then the nature/deity mysticism phases. Sometimes, we are dipped into it before there is an intuition. Sometimes, it is stable right away – or at least lasting for a long period – as my initial (incomplete) awakening.
It also seems that F9 can come before F7 and F8, and often does. What I have seen, and experienced myself as this all started to come back, is that F9 comes first, then F7 and F8 – in a gradual way. First, we find ourselves as the Witness, then there is a deepening experience of no separation and intimacy with all of Existence.
I’ll also mention again the two options at each phase. Either, we move on – when we are ready for it. Or, we remain stuck there and may go through a fall from grace – a period when it all seems to go away, be taken from us. We have an exclusive identity, and as Existence is beyond any fixed identity, life will throw something up that throws us out of it.
It feels terrible, but is grace in disguise. We learn what happens when we have a fixed and separate identity – no matter what it is. And we are humbled in a way that makes us more receptive to move on.
And as we already are familiar with the phase we were thrown out of, it seems that it re-emerges relatively easily as soon as we embrace our fall from grace and the lessons in it. It returns, maybe in a different way, and we may be more receptive to move on.