Piotr Ludwiński (a 19 year old Polish who frequents my Facebook group, Dharma Connection) described one month ago his realization of anatta and mind-body drop-off.
Jackson, what was meant in my post by "we simply don't find any basis"? It meant that no "nothing", no "space", no "thing", no "it", no "who", no "spiritual beingness", no "Self", no "The Awareness", no "Source", no "Mirror", no "non-dual Knower" is found apart from ignorance
"Nibbana is, but not the man that enters it,"
~ Visuddhimagga XIX
That aware space you mention so much, Jackson, I have recognized (I've pursued direct path of self-enquiry). I've reached direct realization of "what is your original face" as shapeless, self-cognizing radiance. Self-knowing space-like presence.
That realization of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss when there is no distance between "me" and Existence-Consciousness-Bliss took place. When one realizes there is no "ME and Existence-Consciousness Bliss", but only self-knowing Existence-Consciousness-Bliss it is effortless, unfabricated, non-conceptual and immediate experience. That intimacy and taste of existence cannot be forgotten. It is like "kiss from beloved" u have mentioned but not exactly; I speak about situation in which there is no more "ME" and "Beloved" but only Beloved remains. Kiss so powerful that "me" dissolved and I noticed that "Kisser and kissed" is one.
I've also experienced sinking into nothingness like Nisargadatta Maharaj points out as attempt to integrate the fact that there are perdiods where not even Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is experienced.
I've misinterpreted Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Buddhism in overall. Remaining in "natural state" seemed me to just remain in nirvikalpa samadhi, absorbed into non-conceptual thought. When I write "non-conceptual thought" I mean I AM/Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. This is "stage 1" in Thusness' ladder of "seven stages". http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html
Then I came across Thusness' and Soh's blog. It showed me that Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is golden chains. Further contemplation resulted in fluctuation between experience of "One Mind" and "No Mind"; fluctuating between substantial and insubstantial non-duality. http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/substantial-and-insubstantial-non.html
Jackson, you generally speak a lot about what is called by Thusness' and Soh as "One Mind" => for example quote of one of recent posts of yours "The Knower and the seeing and hearing are non-dual, yet not the same. The clouds in the sky are non-dual, yet not the same. The reflections in a mirror are non-dual regarding the mirror, yet are not the same.". I have experienced this substantial non-duality directly. This is stage 4 in above mentioned ladder.
Problem behind "substantial non-duality" is that there is powerful attachment to thought realm. "One Mind" I mentioned above is last resort to hold to this framework.
"The world is illusory;
Brahman alone is real;
Brahman is the world."
You need to directly discern and understand why realization that is expressed by this stanza is from the very beginning based on attachment to certain cognitive mistake. Otherwise there is absolutely no possibility of understanding Buddhadharma. Countless yogic practices were developed to enhance intensity of experiential realization of this stanza. I've realized directly first two sentences which is Self-Realization and then experienced directly meaning of third sentence. It is "One Mind"/stage 4 in Thusness' ladder. I've directly experienced that Mind/Presence is mirror that is non-dual with phenomena but yet independent of them. So I directly realized the meaning behind this pointer.
But I have also experienced no-mind and realized the difference directly. In "No Mind" there is no more "mirror" that is "non-dual with senses".
That mirror is recognized to be just one of the senses; particular manifestation in thought realm; non-conceptual thought. So that above statement about brahman is just based on delusion and attachment to this non-conceptual thought and reifying as "mirror", "Self", "non-dual Knower", "Mind", "Awareness" etc.
"In actuality, that non-conceptual thought is not any more special than a passing sight, a passing scent!"
But anatta isn't experience of "no mind" in which self/Self/"awareness"/"mind" is forgotten and only non-dual senses remain without center or reference point. Realization/insight isn't peak experience.
So what is anatta and how does anatta apply to non-conceptual thought/I AM/Existence-Consciousness-Bliss/Brahman?
Through contemplation on right view and anatta it was recognized that "Divine Being" too, as it was discerned directly, is simply self-luminous activity without any trace of agent, doer behind it. In other words, non-dual shapeless presence is just non-dual experience in thought realm.
It is not "more important" than non-dual sound, non-dual scenery, non-dual thoughts, non-dual tastes, non-dual odours, non-dual sensations.
It is not "mirror" that is "non-dual" with senses; it itself is just experience in one of the senses.
I recognized that it is "always so". There is no agent, no linking basis, no source, no "The awareness", no "self" no "Self", no "the Intelligence" that is BEHIND self-knowing phenomena. "Existence-Consciousness-Bliss" is included in phenomena, for it's position of mirror and non-dual knower is just because of wrong view and framework that is based on cognitive mistake and assumption.
I understood why Soh used word like "phenomena-ing" instead of "phenomena".
If someone would like to grasp "nothingness" as last resort to be able to conceive "I", "me", "Source" and "The Awareness". Well, formless samadhis are also just self-luminous activity without any agent, source, self, Self, Intelligence behind it whatsoever. Only lack of realization and insight into anatta results in reification like Nisargadatta did.
There is neither "the awareness" nor "Spiritual Intelligence" behind non-dual self-luminous activities (non-conceptual thought that is reified as Brahman/Self I also include in this). "Awareness" and "Spiritual Intelligence" are just labels on these self-luminous activities without agent. "Mind" is just label for this self-luminous arising and passing. Just like "weather" is label for various activities without doer behind them.
Two stanzas about Anatta by Thusness' are leading to two equally important aspects of anatta;
"There is thinking, no thinker
There is hearing, no hearer
There is seeing, no seer
In thinking, just thoughts
In hearing, just sounds
In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors."
Realization of just one without the other is incomplete. Anatta is only understood and realized when there is discernment and recognition of what both of these point to.
""He perceives Unbinding as Unbinding. Perceiving Unbinding as Unbinding, he conceives things about Unbinding, he conceives things in Unbinding, he conceives things coming out of Unbinding, he conceives Unbinding as 'mine,' he delights in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you."
So using this quotation as example “He has not comprehended it" can take place when one realizes second stanza but doesn't realize what is exact meaning behind first one...
"He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, he does not conceive things about Unbinding, does not conceive things in Unbinding, does not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, does not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' does not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? Because, with the ending of delusion, he is devoid of delusion, I tell you."
In realization of meaning of both of above Thusness' stanzas on anatta, there is no more place for "Source", reified "Spiritual Intelligence". There is no place for any phenomenon or noumenon behind self-luminous non-dual activity.
First-fold emptiness simply means that there is nothing behind non-dual phenomena-ing. All views that are contained in above statements by Buddha are simply recognized for what they are; delusions that have lack of the insight into anatta as their cause.
Moreover, posing a question in a way you do, was directly refuted by Buddha; http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/phagguna-sutta-to-phagguna.htmlread this Jax.
Buddha isn't stressing this simply because of his whim, but simply in realization of anatta it is clearly seen why exactly these questions are flawed from the very beginning.
No god, no Brahma, may be called,
The maker of this wheel of life,
Empty phenomena roll on,
Dependent on conditions all."
"Infinite Consciousness", "Infinite Space", "Nothingness", "Neither perception nor non-perception" are included in "empty phenomena roll on".
Speaking about "Non-dual Knower" show lack of true understanding and realization into anatta. Why? Because it is still disease of conceiving. Attachment to see reality based on subject, object, agent, doer, source, manifestation, self, Self.
In other words, by speaking that there is no agent behind self-luminous activity I also include experience of self-cognizing Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (which is called "I AM" in Thusness "seven stages", due to my former conditioning I use similar terminology).
But what exactly is realization of anatta? Using two stanzas by Thusness' realization is direct insight that it is "always already so". To apply this to my own spiritual search it means that from the very beginning of my journey there was no agent, no linking basis, no source, no "the awareness" no reified "non-dual knower" or imagined "spiritual intelligence" behind this. It applies to my delusion of personhood, to my delusion of reifications of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, to my delusions of sinking into nothingness, to my delusions of substantial non-duality ("One-Mind/stage 4 in Thusness "seven stages").
That is why anatta is one of "three marks of existence". It isn't stage or experience. It is always already so.
AN 10.60 Girimānanda Sutta:
"Now what, Ānanda, is the recognition of selflessness? Here, Ānanda, a monk, gone to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, discriminates thus: ‘The eye is not-self, forms are not-self; the ear is not-self, sounds are not-self; the nose is not-self, odors are not-self; the tongue is not-self, flavors are not-self; the body is not-self, tactual objects are not-self; the mind is not-self, phenomena are not-self.’ Thus he abides contemplating selflessness with regard to the six internal and external sensory spheres. This, Ānanda, is called the recognition of selflessness."
Thus, we came back to Bahiya Sutta:
‘The seen will be merely the seen, the heard will be merely the heard, the sensed will be merely the sensed, the known will be merely the known.’ This is how you should train, Bāhiya.
When, Bāhiya, for you the seen will be merely the seen, the heard will be merely the heard, the sensed will be merely the sensed, the known will be merely the known, then Bāhiya, you will not be that. When, Bāhiya, you are not that, then Bāhiya, you will not be there. When, Bāhiya, you are not there, then Bāhiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor between-the-two. Just this is the end of unsatisfactoriness."
(One day later)
Yesterday some heat penetrated the body and had experience of something like, "dissolution of body". But can't describe this clearly, since I mean sensations of body; I see that "body" is imputation like weather on sensations. If we use "mind" for I AM, thoughts, emotions, memories, that "mind" too is like weather. That weather analogy is really helpful. If six consciousnesses are seen as imputation, then basically no "body" and "mind" remains at all. Especially if we don't imagine some super consciousness behind skandhas. So "sentient beings" is too like "weather".