No I

Well, another post on this topic.

There is just space and cognition and the content, as a field. There is no center, no contraction into an “I”, no sense of “I” and “other”. It is a tapestry of human self and whatever else is there, but no part of the tapestry is scrunched up into an “I”.

The content may be exactly what it is otherwise, when there is a sense of an “I” there. Only the context has changed, from a contraction into an “I” to a wide open field w/out center.

It is so simple that it seems almost impossible to talk about. It is so close to our experience – even when there is a sense of “I” – that we tend to overlook it. It is so different that we for a while don’t take it seriously.


It seems that I am oscillating between a sense of “I” and realization of no “I” these days.

After Joel’s talk earlier today, and through applying some of Douglas Harding’s experiments, there was a shift into an immediate realization of “no I” again.

As Douglas Harding says, the difference is similar to that of a closed fist and an open hand. One is a contraction and blocks (and used to punch!), the other is open for the whole world.

Another way of describing it is as a field of consciousness and its manifestations – with the same content as before. There is everything arising from within this human self (sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts) and everything arising from outside this human self (other humans, the room, sounds and so on), and it is a seamless field with no center nor any contraction anywhere.

When there is the “story of I” as Joel calls it, there is a sense of contraction in this field – around this human self. When the story of I is revealed as just a story, the field is revealed as seamless, with no center, and with no contraction anywhere. It is wide open for the whole world.

I went to our interim deeksha meeting tonight, and experience the deeksha energy as a field as well. It arises everywhere in space, as a field.

Just Happening

When what is realizes itself with no “I” anywhere, there is an experience of everything just happening. There is no doer, only the doing. It is all the will of God, movements within God.

And as long there is an identity as a segment of what is, then there is struggle and suffering. There is a belief in the thought “I” and it is placed on something within what is, such as this human self or pure awareness, and this creates the whole sense of drama and suffering.

And that too is the will of God. That too is God manifesting and exploring itself perfectly, completely.

At the same time, before this realization dawns clearly (which is also the will of God), we tend to act as if there is free individual will. And this just adds to the richness of it all, it is another way God manifests.

No Doer, Only Doing

(Slightly rambling (!) as so many of these posts…)

It seems so simple. There is no doer, only doing. That is all.

The content is not neccesarily any different, just the realization that there is no doer. It is all just happening.

This is the awakening of what is to its own nature. To having no “I” as a segment of what is. No “I” in the human self, no “I” in pure awareness, no “I” anywhere else.

And from the view of the largest whole, that which is beyond and includes all polarities, this is how it has to be. It all happens on its own, the whole fluid seamless form of phenomena is moving and shifting as an ocean. It all just happens. It is the movements of God.

It is God as emptiness, as awareness and as the fluid seamless whole of phenomena.

How could there be an absolute “I” within or as any of this, unless it is the whole of what is?

There is no “I” anywhere. And the whole of all of it – God, Spirit, Buddha Mind – is the only “I” there is.

There is only the doing, no individual doer. And that is the case for all there is.

And in this awakening, there is also the awakening to the ground of all there is. That which all phenomena arises within and as.

The ground is emptiness, and the forms are emptiness dancing.

Nothing is left out. Nothing is excluded.

It is just what is, as it is – with no doer, only the doing.

Impermanence & No I

Two of the core insights of Buddhism is impermanence and no “I”, and the two seems intimately connected.

When we more fully realize impermanence – fully allow it to sink in and be brought into awareness – then we have a chance to notice that which is not changing, which is ourselves as formless awareness, the Witness, or – going further – the ground, emptiness dancing, what is with no “I”.

And it is only when we find ourselves as formless awareness – or the ground – that we can fully allow impermanence into awareness. Otherwise, if there is an “I” there and we have not yet awakened to the ground, it is just too difficult to fully acknowledge, it seems to threathen our very existence as this “I” – placed on something that itself is impermanent.

So to fully bring impermanence – of the whole world of form and phenomena – into awareness, we need to have fully awakened to/as the ground, to emptiness dancing, to no “I” anywhere.

Contemplating impermanence then, or more simply just fully bring whatever the impermanence which is inevitably here in our lives into awareness – including all the fears and other reactions it brings up, may be one of the faster ways to a realization of the ground and no “I”.

And more generally, we can allow whatever is experienced more fully into awareness. Experiences always change, and being with this change allows us to more easily notice that which is not changing. First, ourselves as the Witness, as pure awareness, stainless, timeless. Then, what is – often the same content as before – but with no “I” anywhere, with an immediate realization of it all as emptiness dancing.

From I to No I, Dark Night, Deepening into the Nondual

Here is a summary of recent slightly obsessive ruminations (!).

Three phases: from I to no I

When there is a belief in the thought “I” and it is placed on my human self, then there is a blind caught-upness in whatever is happening. I am identified with some parts of what’s happening, and try to either hold onto or push away other parts, and there is a sense of struggle and suffering. I see myself as an object in the world, at the mercy of an infinite number of other and unpredictable objects. So, naturally I am also caught up in emotions such as fear, desire, aversion, anger and so on.

When there is an an awakening to pure awareness, to the Witness, there is still a belief in the thought “I” but now placed on the seeing. There is a sense of release here. I can work on and learn how to allow anything and everything to come and go as guests, to arise, unfold and fade within space & awareness. Learning this is a process and involves some effort and attention.

When what is awakens to itself as having no “I” anywhere – when no segment of what is revealed as having no inherent “I” – there is a more complete release. There is the same content – awareness and phenomena, seeing and seen – but no “I” as either our human self or awareness or anything else. It is all just happening. And there is an immediate realization of it as emptiness, as emptiness dancing. Again, there may be the same content – pain, anger, confusion, grief and so on – but it is all revealed as emptiness dancing. There is no suffering anymore.

Dazzled and dark night

During the awakening as formless awareness, there may be a good deal of bells and whistles going off. Bliss, miracles, synchronicities, seeing and engaging with energies, experiencing all as God and Spirit, and so on. And since there is a belief in an “I” there is also an attachment to phenomena, however subtle it may seem at the time. We are dazzled by the show – by the content, and since it is subtly experienced as “other” there is also a subtle holding onto it.

Two things can happen here. Either we continue and awaken as the nondual, as no “I” anywhere. Or we continue to hold onto I and other, and as the content moves – as it always does – there is a fall from grace. It seems that one way this can be triggered is through exhaustion of the human self, from the high energies that can be experienced in this awakening.

In Ken Wilber’s framework, the awakening to Witness is F9, and it can be accompanied by awakening to F7 and F8 which is nature- and deity-mysticism. At all of these levels, there is a belief in the thought “I”, and a subtle sense of I and other. And this can occur even if there is a clear sense, feeling or intuition of God being completely beyond and including any and all polarities. We have an immediate and (apparently) clear realization of this, yet this whole beyond all polarities is subtly “other”. “I” am here as pure awareness, experiencing Existence as beyond and including all polarities. There is a oneness of “I” and the whole of Existence, of God.

During the dark night of the soul, there is a sense of loss of connection with God and of “dryness”. No content gives comfort anymore. And this is exactly what is needed for the awakening to ground, to the emptiness which content arises within and as. To the context for all content and experiences, to that which never changes and is always right here now. To what is, with no “I” inherent in any segment of it.

No I

The irony is of course that this experience of “no I” seems to be all of ours immediate experience. We just don’t trust it, and add a belief to the thought “I” onto it. Somehow, it seems safer that way. We become familiar with that way of operating.

And we have trouble becoming childlike again, to drop what we have been trained to see and experience, so we can realize that there is indeed on “I” anywhere in our immediate experience.

It is what aways is. Indeed, it is that which time unfolds within and as.

Or more accurately, it is that in which the fluid seamless whole of form (time & space) unfolds within and as.

Deepening into the nondual

There may also be a deepening into the nondual (I don’t know too much about this). First, it may be a nondual awakening with same content as before. Then, it may deepen to be present to itself during the sleep and waking cycles of our human self (as it seems that it can be at F7-F9 awakenings as well). Then it may expand in space for all I know.

Transcend and include

As the nondual awakening has the same content as before, only with no “I” anywhere, it is another case of transcend and include. Nothing is lost, apart from the belief in the thought “I” and the struggle and suffering that brought with it. There is an effortless inclusion of our human self and human life, in its fullness – and its continuing development and maturation.

The Universe Story & The Transdual Breaking Into The Nondual

I keep coming back to how the Universe Story – the story of the universe, based on mainstream science and told as our own sacred creation story – leads us deeper into the transdual.

Through the Universe Story, we learn to see the Universe as a whole – beyond and including all polarities. We see the Universe as one single seamless process, expressing itself as galaxies, planets, ecosystems, plants, animals, humans, awareness, self-awareness, cognition, culture, cities, civilizations and so on.

We, who embody the local eyes and
ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos,
we have begun, at last, to wonder at our origins.

Starstuff contemplating the stars.

Organized collections of ten billion billion
billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of matter,
tracing that long path by which it arrived
at consciousness here on the planet Earth
and perhaps throughout the cosmos.

– Carl Sagan, in Cosmos

And through deepening into the nondual, we set the stage for it eventually popping into the nondual (probably with the help of some practices in most cases).

We go from dualistic to deepening transdual to nondual to nondual with transdual within.

From being exclusively identified with our human self, to expanding our circle of concern and identity, to finding ourselves as what is with no “I” anywhere, to integrating this with the diverse transdual views and approaches.

The first version of transdual is a deepening into the realization of Existence beyond and including any and all polarities, including existence and nonexistence, creator and creation, Spirit and matter, seer and seen, nature and culture, body and mind, and so on.

The second version of the transdual is a deepening into the exploration of that which embraces and is beyond all polarities, in the context of the nondual – from the direct and crystal clear realization that there is no “I” anywhere.

The first transdual is vaguely aware of the ground – it may be intuited or sensed, but seen somewhat as “other”. The second transdual is from an immediate realization of everything as emptiness dancing.

Even the unconditioned is conditioned on awakening

In some spiritual traditions, they talk about conditioned and unconditioned such as such – for instance compassion.

This makes sense when we talk about conventional conditioning, but there seems to still be a condition there – even for the “unconditioned”.

When I am exclusively identified with my human self, anything that comes up for me tends to be conditioned by external and internal circumstances. Something happens which triggers something in me, and the mechanisms behind it are formed by biology, culture and personal experiences. So in this case, (just about?) everything is conditioned – in a conventional sense.

When I awaken to myself as pure awareness, or as what is with no “I” anywhere, there tends to be “unconditioned” compassion and so on. But what comes up is still conditioned on something, in this case the realization of our nature as pure awareness or as what is with no “I” anywhere.

The infinite compassion that tends to come up here is certainly unconditioned by anything in the world of form, although it can be stimulated by it. And it can be described as unconditioned in the sense that everything is just happening – it is emptiness dancing. But we can also say that it is conditioned on awakening and immediate realization.