Mr S wrote to Z., “ Mr S wrote: 

“Hi Z. - Even the idea of an I that dies in to the light is still relating to an I that has agency and can die in to the light. The eogic "I"  can never wake up! And our True Nature is already awake.  At some stage there is a seeing that what we seek we already are (empty awareness that simply is)  and that the egoic mind is just a dynamic appearing in empty awareness (this essentially is what pointed out during a Dzogchen transmission if words are used) However, as part of your process, and as a temporary concession, you can let go and relax into the light and see what happens. It is mega important though to differentiate between awakening (and is happening to know one)  which is totally non personal and an awakening experience which is the egoic self having the experience of an awakening - the latter ends up being just another experience and will be short lived and full of the difficult "post awakening" experiences people often describe, when they mistake it as an actual awakening.”, “Z., notice simply until it crystal clear that the apparent I that has had an abusive past is merely and nothing more than concepts and therefore a story appearing in awareness - seeing that you are the empty awareness and not thought which is like "writing on water" is all that needs to be seen (deeply). The past too is merely a concept arising within awareness. Awareness - your true nature - is without time. Once this is seen clearly, thoughts of all kinds related to the apparent I continue to rise as an energetic unravelling takes place that may continue for many years. This is why in Dzogchen Trekchod is practised thoroughly before Thogal.””

 Soh wrote to Mr S:

Thanks for your sharing. But I would like to mention that seeing 'Awareness' as a container for thoughts and phenomena to arise in is still a form of subtle dualism. It was seen this way during my I AM phase, but further insights into nondual anatman removes this subtle dualism. On anatta and different phases of insights: , ,

Likewise, Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith points out in his teachings (and I cannot do direct quotation from him as this is in his private forum posts for Zangthal members, but I have also compiled some of his public forum posts here, worth reading -- ), and I paraphrase, that seeing rigpa, pristine consciousness and so on as a container is the problem. There is in truth no container. Radiance is appearances and appearances is radiance.. the issue comes when we reify cognizance (the appearance of diversity) and its radiance as two things, so Dzogchen practice is simply recognizing that cognizance and its radiance are nondual even though there's always appearance of diversity. There is no self, but there is empty cognizance and its radiance.

Furthermore the dualism between rigpa and dhatu that are characteristic of earlier phases of practice and the preliminary form of rigpa, collapses with further insights (what I call nondual anatman insight):

"...Also, as I said in DhO earlier, ""Another interesting 'technical' point since this is DhO. There was a point in his retreat where Arcaya Malcolm Smith described how at the mature phase of Dzogchen practice, the 'vidya'/'rigpa' (the knowing/knowledge) is exhausted where the vidya and dhatu (something like knowing and field of experience) totally collapsed in a 1:1 synchrony (and he gestured two circles coming together), whereas before that point [the exhaustion of vidya] there is a sort of out of phase issue between vidya and dhatu. That's said to happen in the fourth vision (in terms of bhumi map, Malcolm mentioned years ago that's 8th to 16th bhumi based on some text). Somehow it really reminded me of one of Daniel's descriptions in MCTB on fourth path. His student Kyle did inform me that it is the same as what I call anatta realization [which I realised almost 10 years ago, it is the same as MCTB's fourth path]. Also, Malcolm mentioned many people have the wrong idea that Vidya/Rigpa is some eternal thing that just goes on forever, but it too is exhausted later along with all other phenomena [although this is not annihilation as appearances/pure vision still manifest] (elaboration: )."

Likewise, Kyle Dixon, that Malcolm told me over dinner was the first student of his that totally understood his teaching, also said in 2014, "'Self luminous' and 'self knowing' are concepts which are used to convey the absence of a subjective reference point which is mediating the manifestation of appearance. Instead of a subjective cognition or knower which is 'illuminating' objective appearances, it is realized that the sheer exertion of our cognition has always and only been the sheer exertion of appearance itself. Or rather that cognition and appearance are not valid as anything in themselves. Since both are merely fabricated qualities neither can be validated or found when sought. This is not a union of subject and object, but is the recognition that the subject and object never arose in the first place [advaya]. ", "The cognition is empty. That is what it means to recognize the nature of mind [sems nyid]. The clarity [cognition] of mind is recognized to be empty, which is sometimes parsed as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness, or nondual clarity and emptiness." - Kyle..."


Wrote to some people on reddit recently: "In the initial phase of practice, and even after the initial awakening into I AM/Eternal Witness, the Witnessing Presence seems to be behind all contents as an underlying background or ground of being.

That duality of context and content collapses in further realizations. In further realization, it is seen that there is never an Agent, a Watcher, an Observer, apart from moment to moment luminous manifestation.

Thought this might interest you, on the stages of spiritual awakening, nondual awareness and its nature and the subtleties of insight:

🙏 🙂 p.s. I'm Soh, and Thusness (John Tan) is my mentor... I've been through similar stages in my journey as the first link (7 stages) with some minor differences (e.g. I didn't go through stage 3)"

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