24th May 2010 entry of my e-book:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Your mirror-like awareness has no limitations, has no boundaries and edges. It does not belong to any object that appears on it. It does not belong to the body-mind object that you identify as 'yourself'. It does not belong to anything. But everything arise from that…
…Impersonal/Universal Awareness is animating or ‘powering’ the body and the personality like electricity is powering the TV to show the images on screen. Whatever happens on screen is ‘run’ only by the ‘power’ of the One Mind.

Everything and everyone is the spontaneous functioning of One Mind, there is no individual doers/actors/selves.

Just had a conversation with Thusness about this.

He told me that there is a problem of saying more than what is necessary, and that it comes from a clinging mind. That is, stripping of 'individuality' and 'personality' becoming a 'Universal Mind' is an extrapolation, a deduction. It is not direct experience like "in thinking just thoughts", "in perceptions just perceptions", "in seeing just the seen" - just 'what is'.

Similarly when I experienced 'impersonality', it is just 'impersonality', but it becomes a 'Universal Mind' due to clinging which prevents seeing. And if I further reinforce this idea, it becomes a made belief and appears true and real.

Therefore when I said 'impersonality', I am not being blinded as I am merely describing what I have experienced. This Mind is still an individual mindstream, and though impersonality leads one to have the sort of 'Universal Mind' kind of sensation, one must correctly understand it.

Buddhism never denies this mind stream, it simply denies the self-view. It denies separation, it denies an observer, a thinker. It denies a perfect controller, an independent agent. This is what 'Self' means, otherwise why is it a 'Self'? An individual mindstream remains as an individual mindstream, but it is nothing related to a Self.

Hence it is important to understand liberation from the right understanding, otherwise one gets confused. There is the experience of non-duality, Anatta, 'Tada' (http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/04/tada.html), Stainlessness (http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/04/stainlessness.html), but these have nothing to do with Self. Hence if one wants to understand Presence, then one must clearly and correctly understand Presence.

It is important to refine the understanding of Presence through the four aspects: impersonality, degree of luminosity, dissolving the need to re-confirm and understanding why it is unnecessary, and effortlessness.

These have no extrapolation and are what I am experiencing currently, and these requires improvement so that one can progress from "I AM".

There is the experience of impersonality. It is the stripping off of the personality aspect, and it causes one to link to a higher force, as if a cosmic life is functioning within me, like what Casino_King (a forummer who posted many years ago in both the Christian and Buddhist forums) experienced and described - the impersonal life force, which he called Holy Spirit.

It is as if it is all the functioning of a higher power, that life is itself taking the functioning, so dissolving 'personality' somehow allows me to get 'connected'.

I agreed with Thusness and told him that just yesterday I remembered a Christian quote that is very apt in describing this aspect: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."- Galatians 2:20

Thusness agrees and told me that it is about surrendering to this greater power, that it is not you, but the life in you that is doing the work. It is the key of getting 'connected' to a higher power, to a divine life, to a sacred power - and one wants to lose oneself for this divinity to work through us. And this is what Thusness meant by Thusness Stage 3 experience, the 'I' is the block, because of 'holding' one is unable to 'surrender' completely. When one completely surrenders, the divine will will become your 'will'.

This is not the non-dual sort of experience, nor is it about I AM or the Certainty of Being, nor is it about Anatta.

For example, "I AM" allows you to directly experience 'your' very own existence, the beingness, the inner most essence of 'You'.

A true and genuine practitioner must give rise to all these insights, and understand the causes and conditions that give rise to the experiences and not get mixed up. Many people get mixed up over different 'types' of 'no self'.

For example, no-self of non-dual, no-self of anatta, non-inherent existence and impersonality, are all not refering to the same experience - but rather they are different results of dissolving certain aspect of the tendencies.

Hence a practitioner must be sincere in his practice to clearly see, and not pretend that one knows. Otherwise practice is simply more mix-up, confusion, and nonsense. It is not that it cannot be known, it is just that the mind isn't clear enough to see the causes and conditions of arising.


At my I AM phase, when I started experiencing impersonality, I had this conversation with John Tan:

“Session Start: Saturday, 5 June, 2010


(11:27 PM) Thusness:    certainty of being when you focus on the 4 aspects till the peak and with right understanding, you will also have the same experience as anatta and emptiness. when you felt that the will of the source becomes your will, you become life itself, that is the same experience. actually all is the same experience except that buddhism provides the right understanding. in the experience of "I AM" and the article you posted about the divine, what is the peak of experience phase?

(11:48 PM) AEN:    which article about divine?

Hmm im not sure

(11:49 PM) Thusness:    the article about the source after "I AM"

(11:50 PM) AEN:    is it like the 'sacred will of the world'

i mean the peak of experience

(11:51 PM) Thusness:    after glimpses and realization of the source, when the divine will becomes your will. you must be able to experience every manifestation as the grace of divine will. so must understand this in terms of direct experience and right view. :) i will talk to you when we meet. do you know why there is the sensation of a 'divine will'?

(11:57 PM) AEN:    bcos the sense of self is being let go... and its seen that everything is spontaneously arising from the source

(11:58 PM) Thusness:    and what is this 'source' that seems to be doing the work?

(11:59 PM) AEN:    consciousness, life?

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    isn't "I AM" the consciousness?

(12:00 AM) AEN:    ya but at the beginning it still feels like an individuated sense of presence... but then later its seen as more impersonal, like everything is merely the expression of the source

(12:00 AM) Thusness:    first you must understand the separation is due to dualistic thought, thought separates. do you know what is the 'divine' will? the sensation due to "the sense of self is being let go... and its seen that everything is spontaneously arising from the source" causes the 'divine will'

(12:02 AM) AEN:    oic..

(12:03 AM) Thusness:    what is the divine will?

(12:03 AM) AEN:    it means its happening due to the divine source, nothing is happening due to an individual will/agent/doer

(12:04 AM) Thusness:    when someone hit the bell, anything due to divine will?

(12:05 AM) AEN:    its also divine will bcos there is ultimately no separate person who acts, and no separate person who experience.. everything is manifested by the divine will... including every action that is spontaneously arising

(12:05 AM) Thusness:    when someone hit the bell, anything so divine?

(12:05 AM) AEN:    it’s a manifestation of consciousness

(12:05 AM) Thusness:    no good no good. because of the lack of understanding of your nature. your nature is empty. what is this divine will? it is just DO [dependent origination]. because we think in terms of entity and the 'weight of this dualistic and inherent' tendencies makes us feel separate and inherent. instead of seeing 'DO', we see it as divine will. not knowing empty nature, we mistaken DO for divine will. not knowing no-self nature, we thought we are independent. when no-self is fully experienced and insight of anatta rises, you do not feel source as separated from 'you'

there is merely manifestation, empty luminosity. empty as in DO and therefore does not require 'divine will', yet all manifests due to empty nature, effortless and spontaneous. there is conditions that are required for manifestations. a 'divine will' is not necessary

(12:11 AM) AEN:    icic..

(12:12 AM) Thusness:    when a practitioner realizes no-self and anatta insight arises, he clearly sees conditions. there is no divine will to listen to, but whenever condition is, manifestation is. slowly understand this.  do not see DO as something dead. see it as direct manifestation of your breathe just like you experience everything as the grace of this divine will. feel this grace of life everywhere. letting go of yourself completely and feel this life

(12:18 AM) AEN:    oic.. i am writing my experience to lzls lol

(5:36 PM) Thusness:    Lol.  In Chinese


(6:12 PM) Thusness:    the second experience is more of 天地同根,万物同体. (tian di tong gen, wan wu tong ti: heaven and earth have one root, ten thousand phenomena have the same substance)

(6:12 PM) Thusness:    clouded by '我相' (wo xiang, self image, egoity)

(6:12 PM) AEN:    what do you mean

(6:13 PM) Thusness:    means the second experience is more of a realization on the same source.

much like ?

(6:13 PM) AEN:    oic..

why you said clouded by wo xiang

(6:15 PM) Thusness:    ?  (xiang, image) is simply a construct.  That is from a dualistic point of view, being 'connected' must always be the case.  When you de-contruct personality, you merely discover. a practitioner must also be aware of the 'weight' of these constructs. from an empty point of view, when the tendency is there, it is also not right to say that the interconnected state is always there, always the case.  Obviously 'you' are not 'connected'. when the 'construct' is strong, there is no such experience or when the 'personality' is there, there is no experience of '万物同体' (everything has the same substance/source).  Or 'personality' is that very experience of individuality and therefore cannot have any experience of same 'source'. get it?

(6:19 PM) AEN:    ic.. ya

(6:19 PM) Thusness:    the former does not realize the causes and conditions for any arising. when we say it is always 'there' we are having 'absolute view'.  If we cling to that, then that will prevent clear seeing.  So what is the experience of 'individuality' like?  it is the very experience of what practitioner before the 'connection' feel and understand. that is a state of reality, cannot be said to be determined or not.

(6:21 PM) AEN:    oic.. what you mean by that is a state of reality cannot be said to be determined or not

(6:22 PM) AEN:    hmm i think i get what you mean. so one must deconstruct the individuality otherwise there is no feeling of connection

(6:22 PM) Thusness:    yes. for personality is the very state of individuality. what i want you to understand is not to have a pre-determined state.

(6:26 PM) AEN:    ic... that means according to conditions we experience the connection, but its not always there?

(6:27 PM) Thusness:    yes it is better to understand that way


(6:28 PM) Thusness:    now when you experience certainty of being, you only experience the undeniability of your existence. doubtless, certain and present. but being connected to the source is different. it will also determine your later phase of practice. if you are attached to the Presence, what happened?

(6:31 PM) AEN:    hmm. you mean when you are attached to Presence you will have difficulty seeing the connection?

(6:31 PM) Thusness:    you wanted the state of Presence to transcend to the 3 states (waking, dreaming and sleeping) for you are only interested in that Certainty of Being. whereas when you realized the source, you don't do that. you are surrendering much like the christian. you are devoting. nothing is important besides serving the divine. sustaining the state of presence and devoting to a divine source is different. you sleep when it is time to sleep. whatever thy will is. in Presence, you still think of control, in surrendering, you realized you are being lived. Awareness is being done. it is almost the opposite, but then there is also the integration

(6:35 PM) AEN:    oic.. Actually i think if we let go of control completely the presence is also naturally there, there is no need to try to control presence

(6:36 PM) Thusness:    if you think that, that becomes a hindrance

(6:36 PM) AEN:    oic how come

(6:36 PM) Thusness:    coz you are torn in between. you are serving 2 masters. :P Presence and source. but then there is also the integration where divine will becomes your will. then in jacob ladder meditation, after realization and experience of the grace, it must be found everywhere. therefore you return to phase 1 of the ladder with new understanding. you are directly and intuitively experiencing all manifestations as the expression of life. where you and the divine become one, where phenomena and the divine becomes indistinguishable, as transient, as inner and outer world

(6:40 PM) AEN:    oic..

(6:40 PM) Thusness:    however that is because we are trying to express and understand this in an inherent and dualistic way. we speak in such a way because we are using a dualistic paradigm.  and the experience seems difficult to reconcile and become seamless. so you must arise insight. you realized, what you call Self/self is just a label. this is very difficult to understand. then you are not trapped in 'reconnection' or surrendering.


You realized there is no-self (Soh: Thusness Stage 4 and 5). whatever experienced is vividly present and aliveness everywhere because what that 'blocks' is no more there through the arising insight. now how clear are you in directly experiencing sensation? in experiencing sound, color, sight, taste? the mind at present is more interested in the behind reality. so anatta transform the experience of individuality through insight, clear seeing. there is a difference in saying what you call Awareness has always been sight, sound, the scent of fragrance… and there is Awareness and there is sound, sight, taste… when you see and mature your insight of anatta, it is realized that wrong view is what that is causing the problem. however after that, you must practice directly

(6:48 PM) AEN:    what do you mean practice directly

(6:48 PM) Thusness:    means you don't think theoretically too much after the arising insight of anatta, there is a difference between thinking that a Weather truly exist and the changing clouds, the rain exist inside weather. get it? so when you took that to be real, it creates the problem of reification and intensifying the inherent existence of Self. if there is no-weight to the constructs, then there would be no problem. unfortunately, constructs are like spells. :)

(6:51 PM) AEN:    oic..

(6:52 PM) Thusness:    do you get what i meant? just experience first. feel this aliveness everywhere. in other words, what you realized is beyond ? (xiang4: [imputed] appearance), but you do not understand the impact of ? (xiang4: [imputed] appearance). anyway you can send your article to your lzls for comments. :)” - June, 2010

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