Session Start: Sunday, November 02, 2008

(11:10 PM) AEN:    hi.. im reading from google book preview... some pages from a book called 'transpersonal knowing'... it contains a collection of essays by different authors... but unfortunately cos its a preview many pages are cut off. i typed out one portion of a text from john welwood on self-liberation and sent u by email. im also reading another another author called fred j. hanna, he talks of 3 stages of consciousness
(11:11 PM) AEN:    1st is precentered... 2nd is centered... 3rd is decentered... he says centeredness 'is an experiential sense of being that is intimately related ot the idea of I-am-ness -- that sense of being aware, alive, and at the center point -- the source point and the receiving point -- of conscious experience.' ....... Exposing that center, however, is an extraorindary challenge and requires transcendence of and dismantling the center itself
(11:12 PM) AEN:    he also spoke of 3 substages of ceteredness/i amness
(11:14 PM) AEN:    at first is he experienced everything ceasing and realised the core of reality, the source of all things, then in the first substage 'consciousness is established as the center of all activity, largely freed of mental processes and reactions', process takes place but ocnsciousness is ever observant and aware of the flow. consciousness is released from the shell of one's personality and able to recognise itself always being at the center.
(11:15 PM) Thusness:    Then?
(11:18 PM) AEN:    at the second substage is '...I had realized beyond any reasonable doubt that consciousness had the capability to alter and dissolve virtually any image, complex, thought, or trait. Indeed, it became obvious that consciousness was the ultimate source of all such mental constructions ..... I had found an effective tool to approachh centeredness I had sought for so long. I simply uncreated, deconstructed, or dismantled any mental construct that intruded into awareness. I had now had attained a degree of mastery over mind and self. This mastery was the second substage of centeredness. When consciousness is integrated, settled, and established in itself with no need for mental ideas or constructions as props and supports, it become liberated from being chronically absorbed or lost in mental processes. It can exert direct influence on the mind and change any of its manifestations. It no longer needs thoguhts in order to feel alive and aware. The pith is removed from the peach.'
(11:18 PM) AEN:    third substage of centeredness is called 'Exploding Outward from the Center':
(11:20 PM) AEN:    unfortunately the a big chunk is removed from book preview so i can only type what i see: "I now point to this experience as the culmination of movement toward the third substange of centeredness. The center explodes outward and stabilizes as an expansive beingness. Since that time, Consciousness was never again experienced as a center or point confined to being within the skull. There was now a sense of size or spaciousness at the center, as htough consciousness was pervasive and encompassing. I should mention that I did various exercises along these lines as early as 1969, but it all stabilized in this moment in the Idaho desert. Once again, there was nothing transcendent here: only a dynamic, supple, fluid and expansive release of being. Since then I have become acutely aware of how one's presence expands and contracts in direct proportion to the severity of challenges and difficulties in the environment. I continued this line of inquiry of deconstructing the mind and self for the next five years.
(11:21 PM) AEN:    then the Decentered stage, very unfortunately, they took that part out
(11:22 PM) AEN:    but he also mentions that the decentered stage has substages, if im not wrong
(11:25 PM) Thusness:    quite good
(11:26 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:27 PM) Thusness:    Actually it is just total openness without the sense of self
(11:27 PM) AEN:    oic.. what is a total openness?
(11:27 PM) AEN:    decentered?
(11:28 PM) Thusness:    But without non-dual and emptiness, we are unable to do it.  We also attempt to do it...but that is the wrong approach due to
(11:28 PM) Thusness:    Lack of insight of our true nature
(11:29 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:30 PM) Thusness:    Until one phase, the 'self' just disappear and all understanding becomes very clear
(11:30 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:30 PM) Thusness:    but it is very difficult without right view.
(11:31 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:36 PM) AEN:    oh i revisited the site and had access to more pages  he said "Up to this point, I had mistakenly believed that Brahman, or the One, was quite the same thing as the Buddhist void or sunyata. I saw my naivete. In one sense they are indeed the same, and in another sense that I cannot quite explain, they are not at all." and he said
(11:37 PM) Thusness:    Yes
(11:37 PM) Thusness:    both are talking abt awareness
(11:38 PM) Thusness:    Except one does not have clarity of insight
(11:39 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:41 PM) AEN:    but theres some pages i still cant see so i just type wat i can see. he said "Innfinite existence is something that the self struggles mightily against. Through the mind, it divides and separates all of life into dichotomous fundamental categories such as here/there, this/that, near/far, now/then, and self/other. I saw that in order to maintain itself, the self demands that things must not be perceived as they really are but must instead conform to any desires, needs, and expectations that further its illusion."
(11:42 PM) AEN:    "....After a few weeks the self would return. When it returned I would meditate again on it until a new realization would dissipate and another chunk of it I had not seen before. I had known for many years that these subtle manifestations of self were there. Now I was seeing what I already knew, but at a depth I never expected.
(11:42 PM) AEN:    This was the second substage of Decenteredness. The self fades in and out for short periods of time leaving an awareness of no category distinctions in everyday life. During times when the self is faded out, there were great feelings of empahty, compassion, perception, and spontaneity.
(11:44 PM) Thusness:    Not really Good...Hehe
(11:44 PM) AEN:    A recognition grows of a luminous pervasive awareness of the void as consummate and all-encompassing. In fact, it might be better said that the void is all there is, and that awareness is ultimately the void as well. In any case, the self is now clearly seen as a defense against or a false haven from voidness. Voidness is the true nature of all existence. It is only apparent without a self. When there is no self to alter, modify, qualify, compromise, and inhibit perception, the world becomes as though washed clean -- fresh, bright, and shimmering with light. Even the most mundane scenes are amazingly new and glow from within. This includes far more than the routinely beautiful flowers, forests, and clouds of the world. It also includes cockroaches, feces, and garbage.
(11:46 PM) Thusness:    to me insight is still not deep enough for true spontaneity to take place
(11:46 PM) AEN:    Amazing as it may seem, the world was even more clean and beautiful now than in the days of the Centered Stage. Without the self, there is a stark, breathtaking, impersonal majesty in all things that I did not encounter at earlier stages. The incredible fact is that I was simply seeing the world closer to how it is in actuality. Perhaps most remarkable is that there was no longer any sense of I-ness or me-ness or selfhood. I realized that the self is that part of the mind that manipulates the rest of the mind into serving its purposes and avoidance...
(11:46 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:47 PM) AEN:    and then
(11:48 PM) AEN:    he talked about practicing mindfulness of every sensation and thoughts and "what's more, watching the subtle aspects of will that bring those thoughts and images into being.
(11:49 PM) Thusness:    Quite good
(11:49 PM) AEN:    Then a thoroughly fascinating event occured. In March of 1995, during a mindfulness session on the will, I found that the will itself had become disengaged and that it was being observed as plainly as though it were a mental image of a tree. For twenty-five years I had believed that the will was intrinsic to consciousness itself. I was amazed to see that this was clearly not the case. After a few minutes of settling into meditation there arose a pure, uninterrupted contemplation of the will in operation. I began to understand that the basis of human nature was without any kind of volition. Most significant was the insight that the will is the cradle of and mother to, the self. In other words, it is not the self that does the willing, as we might normally conceive. It now seemed that it is willing that actually creates the self....
(11:50 PM) AEN:    then he said "This was the third of the substages in the Decentered Stage.
(11:51 PM) Thusness:    yes
(11:51 PM) Thusness:    What else?
(11:52 PM) AEN:    The insight about hte nature of will freed me from more revolutionary intensity than any experience I had had to date. It was wholly astonishing. When I now looked "within" for a center of awareness, nothing was to be found. There was now an almost palpable chasm or gap or emptiness where once there had been a self. Unlike fading in and fading out, this is a revolutionat the centerpoint of awareness -- a metamorphosis. An essential core aspect of the self had been removed and been joyously replaced by the void. Ties and bonds to the self had been spontaneously cut. Both the pith and the peach were gone. There was no more "I," and when I looked it was nowhere to be found. THere was no more center from which to orient the rest of hte world and mind."
(11:53 PM) AEN:    "Perhaps most remarkable is that I discovered what it is to function without willing. THis is where spontaneous intuition guides one's action without engaging the will. I believed that this is the essence of hte concept of wu-wei found in the Taoist writings of Lao-Tzu or Chuang-Tzu. The phrase is usually translated as actionless action-- action that is rooted in being rather than having or doing. I would phrase it as action without will. Life at that point was nothing other than the
(11:53 PM) AEN:    next page taken out of preview
(11:55 PM) AEN:    2 pages are taken out
(11:57 PM) AEN:    then he talks about The Nature of the Void, "...THe void, or emptiness, or sunyata, is an ancient Buddhist concept that is easily misunderstood. There are several key points to consider. The void is not the same as nothingness. Unlike what often happens in full union with Brahman, it does not have to occur in a trance. The void is what is left when the self is completely absent. Another important and related point is that the void is apprehended by the highest intuitive knowledge -- where there are no views, conceptions, ideas or thoughts. THe world is seen as it is in its actuality and primordiality -- with no more filters, modifications, interpretations, qualifications, goals or purposes to obscure its radiant existence. In other words the world is as it is in itself -- compeltely empty and totally full. Without a self, all of life is interconnected, intersubjective, and sharing consciousness. The entire world is brimming with alieness in the organismic sense mentioned by the great philsopher Alfred North Whitehead.
(11:58 PM) AEN:    There is a multiple loci of consciousness -- that is, a distinct sense that one is seeing things from many spatial locations simultaneously There is a similar sense of multiple foci, in which there is a simultaneous sense of being focused upon myriad points at one and the same time. The combination of multiple loci and foci may give some idea of why it is so difficult to describe this intuition. THinking is at a standstill and is replaced by an encompassing intuitive knowing that is dialectical rather than logical or rational. Mental images are absent -- no longer an aspect of mental activity, and thus no longer serve as uncoscious filters or template for perceptions and preconceptions of a world that now appears primordially
(11:59 PM) AEN:    then the rest of hte pages are cut off
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Haha
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Okie
(12:00 AM) Thusness:    Actually true insight of spontaneous arising has not arisen
(12:00 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:02 AM) AEN:    btw he seem to talk about no self as being a stage rite
(12:03 AM) Thusness:    Yes
(12:03 AM) Thusness:    Just remember what I told u
(12:03 AM) AEN:    oic.. so that isnt insight into anatta?
(12:04 AM) AEN:    what u said
(12:04 AM) Thusness:    Before effortlessness spontaneous arising take place, anatta and emptiness must arise
(12:05 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:05 AM) Thusness:    Otherwise there is no true insight of effortlessness
(12:05 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:05 AM) Thusness:    after that it is just naturally just activity and action
(12:06 AM) Thusness:    No center, no self
(12:06 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:07 AM) Thusness:    in summary, just dissolve completely into services and activities ultimately
(12:07 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:13 AM) AEN:    btw the author also said that for him 'The Decentered Stage is largely new territory with many years of exploration remaining'.
(12:13 AM) AEN:    btw is that like insight into anatta?
(12:13 AM) AEN:    he talks of it as if its a stage rite
(12:14 AM) Thusness:    Not yet
(12:14 AM) AEN:    icic..

(Soh: Important, read these: Anatta is a Dharma Seal or Truth that is Always Already So, Anatta is Not a State and No Mind and Anatta, Focusing on Insight




Session Start: Wednesday, 5 November, 2008

(5:17 PM) AEN:    hi.. did u read the email i sent on self liberation?
(5:18 PM) AEN:    btw i went to library just now and read the book 'transpersonal knowing' a bit, the one where the self liberation article and also another author that talked about centered and decenetered
(5:19 PM) AEN:    i tink i going to get it.. hehe
(5:20 PM) AEN:    btw fred j. hanna mentioned a fourth substage of decentered stage... he said
(5:21 PM)    Thusness has changed his/her status to Idle
(5:23 PM) AEN:    Initiated a file transfer
(5:23 PM) AEN:    ...I would like to add that there seems to be no evidence for the popular ideas of th Universal Self and the Universal Will. In younger days, I was once very fond of such characterizations. These are attractive ideas but arise from dependence on self and ind. In other words, such concepts are conceptually "pretty" in that they are harmonious, symmetrical, and balanced with great intellectual and conceptual appeal. Much like certain religious beliefs, they even bring a certain amount of comfort. However, they actually represent the concept-forming activities of the mind, warned against by Huang Po and so many others. concepts as these and others such as cosmic evolution makes good sense at earlier stages, but as the self becomes dismantled and the mind divested, such concepts lose their atractiveness, become less important, and are spontaneously abandoned.
(5:23 PM) AEN:    Initiated a file transfer
(5:23 PM)    Thusness has changed his/her status to Online
(5:23 PM) AEN:    

In any case, this state of "willess activity" lasted for approximately a year, and once again, even though it diminished there was another new plateau that had been achieved. For the first time since I began my quest, I did no sitting meditation during that year. My meditation was now done spontaneously and in the moment as life presented itself. I had no illusions, however, I knew that there was much more work to do. I had been aroun te meditative block too many times to get fooled again. After the glow wore off I found myself meditating once more on the will and other new ares that needed attention.
(5:23 PM) AEN:    But that center has not returned. There is no center of consciousness anymore and that feels quite natural and appropriate. It is hard to remember what it was like to have one. To experience the lapse of a self under healthy circumstnaces is, paradoxically, to understand what it means to be a normal human being, that is, "true normal." Indeed the more the meditation and growth continue, the more normal and insignificant this person becomes. It is quite liberating to be rid of this needless signifiance.
(5:23 PM) AEN:    
Seeing Consciousness Arise out of Nothing

As of this writing, I am still quite in the midle of the Decentered Stage, and the meaning of true normal  continues to unfold. A fourth substage manifested recently while meditating on consciousness itself. This meditation can be described as following or tracing consciousnes back to its origin point, well beyond ind and perception of the world. I was doing this exercise as a result of the influence of Zen. There came a point at which, amazingly enough, I saw that consciousness itself is actually quite substantial, much more so than t void or sunyata. And as the void,
(5:23 PM) AEN:    I saw consciousness itself coming into being out of noting at all. In some deep chamber of inner life, I saw it there, springing from the eternal dialectic between absolute sometingness and absolute nothingness, and arising as the wondrous compromise between the two. consciousness actually appeared as a gossamer substance, alive and fluiid, aware, pure, and somehow clean and "innocent." The wholly astonishing aspect was that consciousness, that which does seeing, was actually being seen and watched, as both subject and object. lease believe me when I say that I know this makes no sense at all. I am only reporting what seemed to me to happen. Perhaps equally strange, I also felt released from consciousness, with a resulting sense of being unburdened and somehow freed.
(5:24 PM) AEN:    There was no "I" in this experience, only the void itself. A deep certainty arose that the void is not consciousness but encompasses consciousness as it does everything else. I know that this flies directly in the face of popular ranspersonal writings, for there we find consciousness florified and exalted as teh supreme, ultimate, perfect, utmost, transcendent reality. Not so to this iveinvestigator. It is wonderfully freeing to be released from this limiting perspective. Paradoxically, it seems that even transcendental consciousness has its limits. This insight taught me to appreciate Zen more than ever. I should also mention that the efect was largely temporary but the leson lives on.
(5:24 PM) AEN:    is he talking something like stage 3?
(5:25 PM) AEN:    and then towards the end of the article theres a summary
(5:25 PM) AEN:    


A Summary of the Stages and Substages

The Precentered Stage

The Precentered Stage begins with the first experience of being centered. It is only the beginning. Some persons have many transcedent experiences and never get past this stage. Continued practice in the Precentered Sttage produces t insights that lead to becoming centered and the stability that comes with it.

Substage 1: Precenterednes begins with a glimpse of a transcendent reality beyond ordinary perception of hte world and mundane cognitive processes. The reality glimpsed is recognized as being beyond ordinary subject/object distinctions.

Substage 2: Merging with the transcendental reality to the point of full identification with it. Once again, this involves transcending the world of phenomena and moving beyond subject/object distinctions.
(5:25 PM) AEN:    Initiated a file transfer
(5:25 PM) AEN:    
The Centered Stage

At this stage a person intuitively understands the meaning of the term "pure consciousnes." Consciousness is understood as the center, focus, and origin of reality. It is seen  as separate from mind and self, which serve only allow and debase its pure character and quality. Consciousness is established in itself, freed from psychopathology, and  ultimately tiedto transcnedental reality.

Substage 1: Consciousness is established as the center, largely free of mind and reactions. This is not to say that reactions do not take place, only that consciousness is  ever observant and aware of the tides, flows, and eddies of mental processes and emotions. Put a bit differently, it might be said that consciousness exits or is released to  some degree from the "shell" of one's personality.
(5:25 PM) AEN:    

Substage 2: Consciousnes becomes integrated, settled, and established in itself with no need for mental ideas or constructions as props and supports. It is liberated from  being chronically absorbed or lost in mental processes, including personality issues and structures. consciousnss is seen as separate from mind, more primal than mind, and as  absolute. It can also master and change any construction of mind, although not its total master.

Substage 3: The center expands outward and stabilizes as extended being. consciousness is no longer and never again experienced as a central point confined to being within the  sull. There is now a continuous sense of size or grand spaciousness that becomes a part of one's being.

The Decentered Stage
(5:25 PM) AEN:    
In the Decentered Stage the center beigns to corrode or decompose as if from within. The self begins to literally disappear not only in transcendent experiences but in  everyday life -- which begins to become more and more transcendent. the "i" becomes les pronounced.

Substage 1: centeredness begins to break down as a result of the decomposition of confining self-structurs. This process results in a not unpleasant lack of lack of a sense of  center, which is now replaced by a sese of mildly pleasant disorganization.

Substage 2: The self is clearly seen as a defense against or a haven fro th stark reality of the void, and as a wound in te fiber of one's being. The self fades in and out for  short periods of time leaving a lack of category distinctions in everyday life. During times when t self is faded out, there is a recognition of a luminous, pervasive  awareness of the void as primordial and what all things are.
(5:25 PM) AEN:    

Substage 3: The center ceases to exist, along with a sense of self. There is an almost paalpable chasm or gap where once there was a self. Unlike fading in and fading out,  this is a revolution at th center of awareness -- a metamorphosis. An essential core of th self is removed and is joyousuly replaced by the void.

Substage 4: Consciosuness itself is seen, in and by the void, coming into being. For the first time, consciousness seems almost substantial and limtited by comparison to the  void. one is momentarily freed fro mconsciosunes.

Substage 5: No inkling, no clue. There remains much, much more to learn.
(5:32 PM) Thusness:    The stages are okie to me but the insight is still not there.
(5:33 PM) Thusness:    despite the fact that there is the awareness of the importance of being 'decentered', the true insight and essence of no-self isn't there yet.
(5:33 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:33 PM) AEN:    what does he mean by entering void.. is it something like that stage 3 kind of experience?
(5:33 PM) Thusness:    being transparent
(5:33 PM) Thusness:    that is luminosity as the void.
(5:34 PM) AEN:    but he said its beyond consciousness
(5:34 PM) Thusness:    there is no problem experiencing as this void.
(5:34 PM) Thusness:    just the non-dual understanding isn't there.
(5:34 PM) Thusness:    this is because phenomena & void remains dual.
(5:34 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:35 PM) Thusness:    That is he 'sees' a particular aspect of our pristine nature but is unable to go beyond analysis of the experience and that prevents him from experiencing the texture and fabric of awareness.
(5:36 PM) AEN:    icic..
(5:36 PM) Thusness:    phenomena is just an appearance that dependently originates when condition is.
(5:36 PM) Thusness:    and this is what Awareness is.
(5:37 PM) Thusness:    What he 'sees' is still with a center.
(5:37 PM) Thusness:    that center now has become the 'void'
(5:37 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:37 PM) Thusness:    in actual case, there is only appearance.
(5:38 PM) Thusness:    the void was created due to the inability to go beyond dualistic more of understanding.
(5:38 PM) Thusness:    mode
(5:38 PM) Thusness:    Therefore there is no real experience of liberation.
(5:38 PM) Thusness:    the void is what that 'bond' him.
(5:39 PM) AEN:    icic..
(5:40 PM) AEN:    oh ya btw did u read the article i sent u by john welwood
(5:40 PM) Thusness:    not yet
(5:40 PM) Thusness:    ????,???? (Seeing form is to apprehending Mind, hearing sound is the Tao/Way)
(5:40 PM) Thusness:    there is no need to experience 'void'
(5:40 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:40 PM) Thusness:    all in ?,? (sights, sounds)
(5:41 PM) AEN:    icic..
(5:42 PM) Thusness:    all in ?,?,?,?,?,? (sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thought)
(5:42 PM) Thusness:    seeing this is seeing our Buddha nature.
(5:42 PM) Thusness:    only due to our empty nature manifestations appear diverse.
(5:43 PM) Thusness:    it is not knowing our empty nature that 'void' is seen to be really existing.
(5:43 PM) Thusness:    what exists is just appearances
(5:43 PM) Thusness:    this is luminous yet empty.
(5:44 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:45 PM) Thusness:    It is not that we are stubborn that we can't accept the existence of the 'void'
(5:45 PM) Thusness:    the 'Void' must be understood correctly
(5:45 PM) AEN:    icic... wat is the 'void'
(5:45 PM) Thusness:    it is an assumed 'space' that arise only in 'thinking and analysing'
(5:46 PM) Thusness:    it is a 'mind space' made believe to exist and appears to exist only during introspection.
(5:46 PM) Thusness:    What truly exists experientially is just the 18 dhatus.
(5:47 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:47 PM) Thusness:    it is still the cause of dualism and dualism causes separation which is the root cause of suffering.
(5:48 PM) Thusness:    There is no true spontaneity and effortlessness when we are still dualistic.
(5:48 PM) AEN:    the assumed 'space' is the cause of dualism u mean?
(5:49 PM) Thusness:    it is not the cause of dualism
(5:49 PM) AEN:    what is the cause of dualism
(5:49 PM) Thusness:    the tendency to divide is the cause
(5:49 PM) Thusness:    that tendency to divide can manifest as 'space', 'void', 'Self'
(5:50 PM) AEN:    oic..
(5:55 PM)    Thusness has changed his/her status to Idle
(6:01 PM) AEN:    john welwood speaks of different levels of practice. in summary: "If we use the analogy of awareness as a mirror, prereflective identification is like being captivated by and lost in the reflections appearing in the mirror. Reflection involves stepping back from these appearances, studying them, and developing a more objective relationship with them. And transreflective presence presence is like being the mirror itself -- that vast, illuminating openness and clarity that allows reality to be seen as what it is. In pure presence, awareness is self-illuminating, or aware of itself without objectification. The mirror simply abides in its own nature, without either separating from its reflections or confusing itself with them. Negative reflections do not stain the mirror, positive reflections do not improve on it. They are all the mirror's self-illuminating display."
(6:05 PM)    Thusness has changed his/her status to Online
(6:06 PM) Thusness:    good.
(6:06 PM) Thusness:    The fact is the mirror is and always is just an analogy.  It is never is really a reflection.
(6:07 PM) Thusness:    it is a reflection because our DO nature is not seen and therefore we can't 'see' that Awareness is always so.
(6:08 PM) Thusness:    We see 'Awareness' according to certain 'definition' and is affected by that definition.  That 'definition' is not what Awareness is and all analogies become fault.
(6:08 PM) AEN:    icic..

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