Transcend and include

Lately, the process of transcend and include has also been vivid for me.

I see, as Ken Wilber describes it, how that which is taken as an “I” gradually becomes a “me”.

In particular, I see how all various identities (of I, gender, wants, etc.) switch between being taken as an I, as a subject, as that which splits the world into I and Other, and as a me, an object, a thread in the tapestry of what arises.

When they become a me, a thread in the tapestry, there is a sense of ease. They are still there, but just as a part of the landscape. There is a release of identification with it.

It is there, available, ready to be used by this human self in whatever way comes up for it to use it, but absent of I. There is just a sense of ease.

Engagement in realized selflessness

Within realized selflessness, there are two different forms of engagement.

The first is the form of engagement that is always here, before and after this awakening: it is the engagement of Spirit with itself – as Ground of seeing and the infinitely varied seen. In realized selflessness, this type of engagement is clearly noticed.

The second is the more conventional form of engagement: being engaged in the life of this human self, in its health, maturing, development, relationships, engagement and role in the world.

And as before awakening, this engagement can be present in different ways and to different extents following the awakening. It all depends on the infinite causes, the patterns and processes of the world of form as a whole of which this human self is an infinitely small part. Or we can say it all depends on the personality of this human self, and of the seeds of intention, interest, preferences and passion planted in it, and on how the wider world interplays with all of this.

Embracing the polarity: engaged detachment

I am noticing some weariness coming up around what I am exploring in my daily life, writing about here, and also reading in books and blogs. There is a mix of it seeming so obvious, and yet not very clear (!)

I can just watch it, shift the center of gravity out of it, not be caught up in it, not fuel it, not push it away, just allowing it to be. Shifting into the seeing of it. Shifting out of form and into the emptiness and wakeful formless. Alone, that feels a little barren.

I can feel into it, allowing it to unfold and deepen within the felt richness of it. This is form engaging with form.

And then there is the embrace of both: feeling into it, deeply, richly, within the context of an absence of I (or even just the sense of it.)

And as there is a more full awakening of realized selflessness, form is (still) of course fully free to engage with itself as much as it want. There can be a full engagement with whatever comes up, a full engagement and exploration in terms of bringing attention to, feeling into, and following the unfolding of whatever comes up, and in terms of engaging in the world, in relationships, in politics, in discussions, in whatever comes up to be engaged in. And the engagement is maybe even fuller than when there is still a sense of I, since this tends to create a good deal of ambivalence. In the context of realized selflessness, there is an invitation for a more whole hearted participation.

Yet, in a different way, the degree of engagement is exactly the same before and after awakening to realized selflessness. The human self is living its own life before and after, an inherent part of the world of form, not able to extract itself from being influenced by infinite causes and itself being the cause of infinite effects. It is as fully engaged in the world of form as a water molecule is fully engaged in the ocean it is a part of. Any sense of fuller or less full engagement is at a different, more conventional, level.

The me and mine, and the you and it, within transcend and include

In his chapter on the shadow in Integral Spirituality, Ken Wilber writes about the me and mine, and the you and it, within transcend and include as it shows up in spiritual practice.

Arising as 1st, 2nd and 3rd person

Anything arising can be seen as 1st, 2nd or 3rd person: as I, me or mine, as you, we or ours, or as it, other or theirs’s.

Trancend and include

And anything arising can be transcendet and included through various forms of spiritual practice such as meditation and self-inquiry. It arises within the field of everything arising in the present. And it arises as awareness, consciousness, Spirit, Buddha Mind, Brahman, God. This is of course wonderful in itself. It is reality waking up to itself.

From a blind identification with content, with the seen such as our human self or our soul, the center of gravity and identity shifts into the seeing itself, as the witness the seen arises within and to and as. And from here it shifts into realizing that there is no I anywhere in all of this: here is no I in the seen and no I in the seeing. The center falls away. The self-contraction falls away. There is just a field of what is, of the seen and the seeing, absent of I anywhere.

And there is the realization that this is how it always already is, even in the midst of the temporary misidentification with a portion of the seen or with the seeing itself.

Yet, as KW points out, there is a very important differentiation here. There are two flavors possible for what has been transcendet and included.

The me, you and it of that which is transcendent and included

If it is recognized and known as I, it becomes me and mine. It is arises as you or yours, or it or theirs, then it remains so even after the transcending and including of it.

In the first case, it remains 1st person. In the second case, it remains 2nd or 3rd person. Even as it arises as Buddha Mind, Spirit, emptiness dancing.

Example: anger remains an it

This is something I saw clearly in my initial awakening in my teens, and one of the reasons I worked so much (and still do) on recognizing and integrating projections: making the it into I and mine. It is a long process, one that lasts as long as there is a functional connection with a human self, so it is a good thing to find peace with – and find the enjoyment in.

For me, anger was definitely an it, an yours and theirs, probably due to the long list of typical suspects such as upbringing, family and cultural patterns, my young age (not ready to wake up from this aspect of the family and cultural trance), and so on.

So even in the midst of the awakening, where everything is revealed as consciousness, as Spirit, as God, it remained an it. Anger arises as Buddha Mind, with no separation and even with no I anywhere. Yet also firmly as an it to this human self, within all of that.

As Spirit, there is of course no need to integrate it. It already naturally is, arising within and as Ground and Spirit.

Yet on a human level, for this human self, it was very different. This human self had no idea of to integrate it, how to include it in its repertoire, how to use it, how to live it, how to use its energy in daily life and interactions with others, how to effectively relate to it when it comes up in in oneself or others. Anger remained an it. Something slightly foreign to this human self.

If anger is an I or mine previous to the awakening, it looks quite different. Of course, it still arises as Spirit and Buddha Mind. But it is now me and mine when it arises. It is not foreign to this human self, but something familiar, something that is included in the repertoire, something that can be lived and used in daily life, something that this human self knows how to relate to in itself and others in daily life – in a more effective and effortless way.

The absolute and relative of me and yours and it

At the absolute level, there is no difference. It arises as Buddha Mind and that’s it.

At the relative level, there is a huge difference. In the one case, where it remains an it, it is left out of the repertoire of this human self. It is foreign to this human self. And in the other case, it is included in the repertoire, it is familiar, it is a tool that this human self knows how to relate to and use.

Never too late…!

Of course, it is never too late to make the it into a mine, to own that which was disowned, to become more familiar with it at a human level, to include it into the realm of the familiar and the daily repertoire of this human self.

Gradations along the scale of 1st, 2nd and 3rd person

And there are also, of course, gradations of this, all the way from extreme disowning of the quality at a human level, to a deep familiarity and comfort with it. It can be something that this human self never touches, even after awakening. Or it can be something it is very familiar with as mine and knows how to use with elegance and effectivity.

These qualities are not only a component of our human makeup, allowing us to be fuller, richer and more complete and mature human beings. They are also skillful means, and the more of them that go from yours and it into me and mine, the larger the repertoire of skillful means available to us.

Deepening in familiarity, fullness and richness

There are always more of the yours and it that can be made into me and mine. And there is always further to go in allowing this human self to become familiar with it, exploring how to use it, how to live it, how to bring it seamlessly into daily life.

It can deepen in richness and fullness, as a me and mine.

How to work with this

In terms of the techniques for working with this that I am familiar with, the Big Mind process and The Work both seem excellent.

Through both, we become familiar with the its as me and mine. We learn to own that which was previously disowned. To include in our conscious repertoire at our human level that which previously was left out.