Awakening and insight

Only one insight is required and sufficient for awakening, and that is the – alive and direct – insight into what we really are. That which content of awareness happens within and as.

All other insights are independent of awakening. They can happen before or after awakening, and there is also no end to them.

And if we are lucky, they have a practical – although temporary and limited – value.

Some insights can sometimes help our human self function in the world – including help with its healing, maturing and development of skillful means. This is the worldly wisdom.

And some insights can sometimes serve as a pointer for noticing what we really are, or rather – for what we are to notice itself. These are the insights into the dynamics of samsara, into how and when to apply certain pointers to notice what we are, and the insight into what we are that comes from directly noticing what we are – even if it is not yet a full blown awakening.

So insights can have an immense value in these practical and limited ways, and it may be helpful to notice that their value is practical and limited. Especially if we get caught up in unfolding insights for their own sake, since that too can become a trap.

Initial draft…

Only one insight is required and sufficient for awakening, and that is the insight into what we are. (Awareness, and its content as awareness itself. That which all experience happens within, to and as.)

When it comes to other insights, it is easy to see that there is no end to them.

And these insights have – at best – a limited and practical value only.

They can help our human self function in the world – including aiding its healing, maturing and refinement of skillful means. (Worldly wisdom.) Or they can serve as pointers for what we are noticing itself. (Insights into the mechanisms of samsara + direct noticing of what we are.)

It seems obvious, but can also be a helpful reminder, especially when we get caught up in the “insight mill” and forget the limited and practical value of insights – and what they can and cannot do for us. It can be a run for the next insight, rather than practically applying the ones already here – and taking the consequences of them.

It can also be helpful to notice that insights continue to unfold before and after awakening. And that certain insights into the mechanisms of samsara, which removes some of the veils preventing what we are from noticing itself, can be quite refined even before awakening – especially among those who engage in forms of inquiry such as The Work, the Big Mind process, inquiring into the sense fields, and more.

Sometimes, “unawakened” ones who engage in these forms of inquires can even have more refined insights into some of these dynamics than others where what we are has awakened to itself. It is all about taking the consequences of them. Allowing it to sink in. To be seen. Felt. Loved.

This is also a reminder for teachers to stay within their area of expertise, and for students to look out for the same. Do they stay within offering pointers for awakening, and sometimes also for healing and maturing?

Trigger: The idea – which I sometimes see in both students and teachers – that awakening somehow, miraculously, gives insights into anything else. And a teacher in my life who often strays quite a bit outside of this, and stirs up a great deal of material for me to work with.

Initial outline….

  • awakening: only one insight, into what we are
  • other insights + elaborations of that one
    • no end to them, before/after awakening
    • practical value only
      • help our human self function in the world
        • also help it heal/mature, develop skillful means
      • pointer for awakening)
        • if not a pointer to awakening for us, then (most likely) won’t facilitate awakening

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