Stream of form flowing through awareness

The world is a stream flowing through awareness. The stream of forms and experiences is always new, fresh and different, and with a past and future. Awareness is always here, timeless, allowing anything to arise within and as itself.

And when I try to change this stream, to hold onto some things and push other things away, my center of gravity shifts into this stream. Trying to change it comes from identification with the stream, and it only reinforces the identification, until it becomes uncomfortable enough – or the whole game is seen clearly enough, to release this identification.

I see this daily, even in subtle ways. As soon as there is even the smallest resistance to experience, I know it comes from identification with form – with a fragment of the seamless field of seeing and seen. And in noticing this, there is the invitation to allow it all to be as it is, even the impulse to change it. The center of gravity now shifts back into the witnessing of it all, or even the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

Deity Mysticism, Witness & Fall from Grace

Even as the center of gravity moves to nature and deity mysticism and/or the Witness, there is still an identification with a segment of what is.

There is a belief in the idea of I, and it is placed on the soul (nature/deity mysticism, F7/F8) and/or pure awareness (F9). There is still a sense of I and Other, no matter how apparently transparent and subtle.

It is an awakening still with the presence of a sense of I, and identification with a segment of what is, so it is naturally subject of change with changing content.

Nondual awakening

From here, it can move on to a nondual awakening, to Ground awakening to its own nature of no I anywhere, allowing any content to come and go as it naturally does. This is an awakening where the context is the only thing that needs to change, from a sense of I to an realization of no I anywhere. Content – states, experiences, phenomena, come and go freely and naturally, as they do anywhere, but no with no trace of attachment or resistance to them.

Fall from grace

If this does not happen, if there is a stuckness here even as there is a deeper readiness to move on, there will be a fall from grace, a dark night of the soul. And this fall from grace invites to a gradual wearing off of any sense of I, eventually revealing the Ground – absent of I anywhere.

It seems terrible as it happens. It seems that everything is lost. But it is just another phase in the process of Ground awakening to itself, of God remembering who it is, of Buddha Mind realizing its own nature, of emptiness dancing.

Example

This is what apparently happened in my case.

The nature/deity mysticism awakening and the awakening as Witness initially came out of the blue, uninvited in any conscious sense (to somebody who saw himself as a die-hard materialist and atheist!). It deepened and stabilized over some years.

At some point, there may have been a deeper readiness to move on to a Ground awakening, yet there was also an attachment to and holding onto the belief in I and to the nature/deity awakening and the sense of Witness as I.

So there was a fall from grace, a dark night of the soul, also lasting for years, gradually wearing off attachments to a sense of I, to segments of what is, to any content. And it is still far from complete.

Causal Only?

I thought of the night last summer where I woke up during a lightning storm, and there was just pure awareness – nothing else. There was no sense of time. No sense of space. No sense of any form of conceptual knowing, and no sense of awareness of the absence of conceptual knowing. No associations, and no awareness of the absence of associations. No knowledge of being a human being, in a room, watching lightning outside the window, on Earth, in this universe. There was just pure awareness of the situation, absent of all this.

After some time – which I later assumed could have been 30 seconds to a few minutes – there was a slight discomfort stirring, an emerging awareness of the not knowing, and this lead to the “booting up” of my conventional knowledge and associations. I then realized that although there was no sense of time, there had been several lightning strikes so it must have happened over some time – maybe up to several minutes.

Looking back at it now, it seems that this could have been the causal level apparently functionally isolated from the other levels – apart from the physical obviously, since this body sat up in bed, opened its eyes, and looked at the lightning flashes outside of the window.

There was just pure witnessing, pure awareness. Pure causal level.

Until, after some time, the other levels functionally came back in.

Maybe the main outcome of this episode was a renewed and deepened appreciation of all these other levels. The causal level alone, functionally isolated from the others, is not really that interesting. It is just a big eye, taking it all in equally, and not much else.

With the other levels, it provides a sense of disidentification and liberation which is wonderful. But alone, it is not much to write home about. To anthropomorphise, I guess that is why all the other levels are around, to flesh it all out and make it more interesting.

No Distance

One of the characteristics of an awakening beyond our human self – to F7 (nature mysticism), F8 (deity mysticism), and/or to F9 (witness) – seems to be a deepening sense of intimacy with the whole world, a deepening sense of no separation.

Jen has shifted in and out of the witness over the last few weeks, and I asked her tonight if she also experiences a sense of intimacy with the world. She immediately said yes, and that it seemed that the world had become two dimensional – that there is no distance anymore, although also of course the usual distance in meters or feet that we all are familiar with.

There is the conventional space, measured in meters or feet, within the context of a sense of intimacy with it all, of no distance.

Early sense of ground

And why is it so?

It seems that it is an early intuition or sense of the ground, an early taste of nondual realization. Consciousness is beginning to be aware of itself as everything, including the seer and the seen.

Early sense of God watching God

In addition to this deepening sense of intimacy with the world, there may also be glimpses beyond this – where there is a stronger realization that this is God watching God.

When I look into somebody’s eyes, it is God watching God through God. And this can be very obvious sometimes, especially with the right people in the right setting.

We can have tastes of this even as there is still a vague sense of I placed on this human self or the witness.

Deepening further

As this deepens further, it shifts into a more clearly nondual realization. There is not any inherent I anywhere. It is all just happening. There is no doer, only the doing. It is all the play of God, all emptiness dancing.

Buddhist God Realm, Identification with Witness, and Fall From Grace


I am sure this is detailed in Buddhist philosopy, although I can’t recall having seen this in the sporadic readings I have done in the area.

One of the six realms is the God realm, defined by bliss but also impermanence.

It seems that this describes an awakening as formless awareness – as the Witness, F9, causal realm – quite well.

There is bliss and a certain release from suffering, and it can certainly last for a long time. Still, there is the belief in an “I” here, now just placed on pure awareness. The seeing is made to appear as a seer.

With this subtle “I” there is also a subtle “other” and attachment to content. And as content always changes, it inevitably leads to a fall from grace. It is temporary.

All of this sounds a lot like the God realm.