Monday, May 4, 2009

You + The Universe

[This is not something to be agreed or disagreed with. I am not presenting truth. I am presenting a tool for you to use to make meaning of your reality and experience]

There is an interior and exterior in our experience of ourselves. There are individuals and collectives. In a certain perspective (a useful perspective), these four polarities comprise all experience. The collective is comprised of interior and exterior, as is the individual. This is all helpful, I promise, and gets more interesting towards the end of the post where I curse a lot.

Within these four polarities there is the perception of spheres of movement and stasis.

These movements are development, embodiment, uncovering, and awakening.

Development: Vertical movement. The process of growing, widening perspectives, greater fluidity of with internal experiences, and greater ability to understand and empathize with others. With each emergence into a new stage of being, the universe becomes experientially a bigger place. In the sphere of development, there is development, regression, and stasis.

Embodiment: Lateral movement. Is the flow between experiences at a specific level of development. One can develop capacities, take on new perspectives, play with internal content, and shift in external action without developing or regressing. This is a lateral movement in experience and perception. In the sphere of embodiment, there is movement, ownership, and stasis.

Uncovering: Depth movement. Uncovering is the process of opening reality to peer beneath the surface in increasing layers of depth. Some refer to this as state (of consciousness) development: gross, subtle, casual, and non-dual. The Wilber-Comb's matrix is a lattice that places states along the vertical line of stages allowing for a fuller internal landscape. Terri O'Fallon later improved on this by turning the lattice 45 degrees establishing the perspective that the more anyone was developed in both, the more room in the universe they had to play (it's not all about stage growth and it's not all about state development - it's both). A non-dual state is not enlightenment. The embodiment of non-dual stage is. In the sphere of uncovering, there is stasis (everyone is born into "gross" level of consciousness) and movement.

Awakening: Self-orientation movement. Awakening is moment-to-moment oneness with all that unfolds. In awakening, the identifying center is not the limited, ego-self, but the expanded universal self - it's the experience of perception without an "I" or "me". To be awake does not mean to always be in a non-dual state, so to speak. To be awake is to be one with reality as it's arising, and sometimes it arises as a seperate universe (you can be one with a separate universe and you can be one with a unified universe). From the perspective of the unawake, there is awakening and unawakening. From the persective of the awake, neither and both are true, and rest equally within. Again, there is movement, regression and stasis.

Again, awakening is not necessarily permanent oneness with the non-dual state. It's just a peice. I am always aware and present to the non-dual state; however, it is not always in the forefront of my experience. Right now, I am mainly aware of the gross (with slight awareness of the subtle and casual), and the non-dual rests in the background as the perceptive guiding light.

In the movement of development (stage), embodiment (capacity), uncovering (state), and awakening (enlightenment) there is a universal flux/flow: establishment, death, release, and emergence.

Establishment is a fixed perspective, like the "I/me" prior to awakening. In awakening, there is a profound death of self where all passes away into a complete release from former self. From release there is a re-embodiment towards the affects of the self (ego), but from a completely different orientation.

self --> no-self --> liberated self

The liberated self is what I am discussing as the Passionate Self.

All deaths are painful. Each stage of ego transition is painful. But enlightenment is the greatest pain of all, as it is, in a sense, a permanent death to the attachment to ego structure (a permanent big death followed ad infinitum by little deaths).

Anyone at any stage of development can become enlightened. Someone at an early stage of development will be one with a universe that is fairly small, fixed and limited, whereas one that becomes enlightened at a later stage of development will become one with a much larger, much more expansive universe.

In teaching, I recommend working on all four spheres, with an emphasis on awakening (and not being an asshole). In my experience, the more awake one is the less attached they are to their ego structures and generally more willing to release them. Awakening invites a more rapid ego development process (in the right contexts).

I said this on a call with Marc Gafni the other day and he almost fell over laughing stating, "I totally disagree. I know a lot of enlightened assholes." I agree. There are a lot of enlightened assholes. There's also a lot of unenlightened assholes. There are a lot of assholes everywhere. I am also a big asshole most of the time. As a matter of fact, we're all assholes. You too, dear reader, are probably an asshole. Take a moment and rest in your assholeness. It feels nice, doesn't it? The more you avoid, the more you become.

The observation remains consistent though: awakening, authentic awakening, provides a fluidity within one self that makes stage growth much cleaner and less painful. Note, I did not say that all awake beings will develop, I simply think that it becomes easier. It also requires the right contexts and structures.

This leads me to The Passionate Self, which has been the teaching that the universe has unfolded through me (and many other) the last two years as my own experience. Stay tuned...