Friday, December 10, 2010

The Threefold Egolessness of Primordial Presence

I wanted to share some recent experience that culminated in a deeper realization of the true nature of mind. I have shared in the past that I have felt that enlightenment is not a static realization that we one day realize, possess, and put in our pocket for eternity. Enlightenment is a kind of dynamic, self-renewing, ever deepening, ever enriching, and ever expanding state. This is why the enlightenment of the Buddha was both the same as the enlightenment of of Santana Dharma (Hinduism) and yet also different. It is too alive to be exactly the same in any two individuals and also too universal to be very different in any two individuals.

About seven years ago, I tore a major structural support ligament. I was putting an elderly client to bed as part of a healing house call and she dove too fast downwards. My lower back spun counterclockwise and tore a ligament between L4 and the right femur. For about 3 months I could not stand, lie down, or sit without pain. The only relief I found was to go into Shivasana and do conscious connected breathing. Later on I was able to Chi Kung. I had also built a special kneeling bench which would evolve the hip stabilizers to compensate for the wound. Chiropractic and Prolotherapy helped immensely in this healing process. I later found several herbs, including Turmeric, Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Kava, and Ginseng to be helpful, especially when combined within a tea.

Having been symptom free for over a year, I decided to do some Raquetball for an aerobic workout. But found that it retriggered my injury, relapsed my condition to how it felt 3 years ago (the injury was 7 years ago and it has felt like rebuilding the body from the ground up). With some Chiropractic, TENS, MSM, breathing, walking, and herbs, three days later it felt like it was 1 year ago. I am hoping that after another round of Prolotherapy that it will be back on on course in about 6 weeks.

There is some mystery, though, in physical pain and physical injury. It is an interesting state to explore, though a challenging one too. The pain signal has a feeling of something that is meant to be obeyed immediately. There is a rush to accomplish something to end the pain. To slow down this process and be present to what is happening takes some meditative skill. When one has the philosophy of physical immortality in the background of this process, there is a difference. One is that you do accept the condition as it is, but without resignation to the condition. You do not conceptualize this as something permanent and necessarily leading to death by a series of slow collapses to our living system. Two is that you witness "regeneration" as a living force in your system. I do find it interesting that this kind of tissue regeneration appears even in very late stages of aging, that new tissue can still seal a cut. The process may have slowed down, but it is still working almost to the very end. The body seems capable of a lot of repair. The body must be damaged a lot before it ceases to be able to repair itself. I think, too, when humans better understand better how certain lizards regenerate their tails that we will be able to understand how to regenerate our limbs. I think the learning will be about stem cells and also about why there is a high voltage bio-electric field are the edge of the tail regeneration process. There was a story I heard where an elderly man was near hit by a lightning bolt. He was far enough away to not get fried on the spot, close enough to get thrown by the blast, and far enough away to not get any broken bones. It seems he may have gotten a massive dose of ionized plasma. In the month or so after this experience, his gray hair turned brown again and he regrew a third set of teeth. Tesla lived past 90 years old and in his later years he had made a small TENS like machine which he gave himself a bio-electric treatment every day.

During dreamtime, I came to understand what this inner voice shared about the "twofold egolessness" of Primordial Consciousness. I found I could synthesize the insights of Nassim Haramein, a physicist and mystic who might be on the verge of completing the unified field theory of Einstein (the search for one equation that would show the inter-convertibility of all the forces of the universe). What is interesting is that he is not using algebra or calculus, but geometry to describe this inter-convertibility. I find this fascinating, because the Five Dhyani Buddha Mandala is an yantric geometric artform that might be intuiting the same thing. What is curious, too, is that Quantum physics reduced the forces down to four, vaguely similar to the four alchemical elements of earth, fire, air, and water. By adding a fifth element (ether or space), the four become inter-convertible and therefore unified. There are more levels, though, since yin and yang, cosmic male and cosmic female energy, form yabyum pairs within each element, each enlightenment family. The main enlightenment family that I work with has the Amitayus-Pandara yabyum with the element of fire. The male energy represents the inner principle and the female energy represents the living experience. There is a point in meditation when the entire mandala becomes alive and reveals something that feels like a living mathematical/geometric equation which seems fundamental to how everything in the universe actually works.

Avagosha in AFFIRMING FAITH IN MIND talked about "the pure thoughts of the luminous void". I found his text interesting, because he mentioned how the Buddha did attain physical immortality, attained "a body that could live out this entire aeon", but did a special tonglen, drawing in enough planetary karma into himself so that his physical body could die, and by transmuting the energy created a "storehouse of merit" that the Buddhist sangha could draw upon to help the enlightenment process of everyone involved as well as alleviating an enormous amount of human sorrow that would have otherwise been experienced. The 16th Karmapa may have done something similar during the last years of his life. Having scientist witness this process, they noticed that it seemed that one disease after another was arising and dissolving in his body, as if each one was in some sense being cured and then another one being taken on.

The death of the Buddha was not a usual death. The historical rumors were that he had died of eating poisoned pork. But Buddha was a vegetarian and near the end of his life he was mostly likely even vegan. He did eat some mushrooms that were called "Delight of Boar" and were well known in the region. His last meal seemed to be at a house where a mushroom collector had prepared a dish from them. These mushrooms are sometimes poisonous, but usually not poisonous. But it would be odd for only Buddha to have died of the same batch that others had also eaten. The name of the mushrooms must have confused some later historians and they may have assumed pork poisoning from it.

But the story that seems most correct to me is that the Buddha did a combination of tonglen and phowa (conscious intentional ejection of the individual principle of consciousness from the body) to release his body and "die". The reason why this seems to be so is that after the Buddha gives his last discourse and dialogue with his students, he does go into a meditative trance, and started intentionally releasing his body. Someone comes late to the gathering, apparently having come from a long way to see the Buddha one last time. The Buddha senses him and returns back into his body, re-animates it, and has a long discourse/dialogue with him, and once done returns back into his phowa process and does release his body.

By doing this, he demonstrated how to "die consciously". He fulfilled several purposes by doing this. One was to show a teaching about how to handle death should it happen. Two was the release his students into their own process so that they would no longer lean on him as a personal teacher. They needed to "find their own way on their own". Every teacher eventually must release his or her students to do this. There is a tremendous temptation to lean on an enlightened teacher. It happens for a thousand reasons. There is a deep love and intimacy that happens between teacher and students that is very nourishing and very healing. I think it reparents us and heals our inner child. Yet the final lesson is to "fly the nest" and become enlightened oneself. One can then return to the nest later on, but then one has changed and can love the teacher without attachment. The Buddha then created another physical body from the Quantum field and still teaches advanced bodhisattvas and dakinis to this very day. The Lotus Sutra is symbolic of the gatherings that one can attend to in dreamtime even now.

Although the dreamtime voice talked about a "twofold egolessness", there are really three. One of them is so very basic to Buddhist meditators that it was not touched upon by the voice, which only wanted to point to a more subtle distinction between two different kinds of advanced egolessnesses. For the sake of comprehensiveness, though, I am naming all of them:

(1) the egolessness or emptiness of the material universe and material bodies.

(2) the egolessness or emptiness of internal phenomena, of sensations, emotions, thoughts, intentions, memories, directed attention, impulses, drives, and reactions.

(3) the egolessness or emptiness of the individual radiant point which dwells in luminous emptiness.

Each category of egolessness is worth deeply feeling in meditation. The first one is to realize that everything that we experience outwardly is transitory, always changing, interdependent, subject to cause and effect, connected by karma, and never truly solid, permanent, or isolated from anything else. When we understand and feel this always, then a certain kind of sorrow and loneliness ends. We relax into being at home everywhere and anywhere. We realize that everything is unfolding perfectly, that even all the power possessing beings who seem to run the sometimes corrupt world of conventional disinformational politics, greedy corporations, drug cartels, and dogmatic angry religions, cannot violate the law of karma and can never be above the process of recipocal maintenance of the universe.

The second one goes deeper and this is where we see that what we thought to be our self is also not solid, permanent, and not even sentient. We learn to notice how all our thoughts do not have a self, all our emotions do not have a self, all our sensations do not have a self, all our impulses, reactions, memories, attention locks, and mental conditioning does not have a self. We learn to watch this internal tapestry of interconnected phenomena constantly unfold and change, and we see that there is no permanent abiding core of self identity that is integral to all these states. There is a paradoxical process where we reown what we had repressed and alienated, and then release it again consciously by noticing how there is not self within the phenomena. At one point in this process, we release our grip and our resistance to anything transitory, and relax into the eternal, the unborn, the unchanging, and undying. There is an experience of lucid clarity, thoughtless inner peace, and calm knowing. The material universe feels transparent and vivid when this happens. We realize that the imagined solidity of the material universe was something we projected. We also noticed that the universe is not merely physical but psychophysical, that it is constantly interacting and responding to our mental and emotional states.

What Nassim Haramein talked about is that our physical body emerges from a geometric field that has at its center a point sized micro-black-hole. This black hole is at the center of two tetrahedrons, one pointing down and rotating counterclockwise and one pointing up and rotating clockwise. This black hole driven geometry then produces a toroid vortex where the energy flowing up the spinal core is meant to flow upwards. This spinal core has seven basic sub-vortexes which are the chakras of Buddhist and Hindu energy yogas. The individual core of self identity, which is sometimes called the soul or atman, is a radiant point that resides where the heart is beating. It is really meant to be at the thymus gland behind the sternum, but it moved into where the heart beats out a kind of fear to directly meeting life as it is. It is like it is used to being one step removed from life experience. The fear of getting hurt makes us a little guarded with each other. Even in its current place, we can deeply interact with each other and feel depths of intimacy with each other, but it is still one step removed from a kind of deeply felt oneness with each other. Actually, two steps removed.

What I find interesting is that the radiant point aka black hole is mentioned in one Buddhist text authored by Longchenpa (I think). It is still considered one step short of full realization of egolessness/emptiness. It is still subject to the Madhyamika logic, this shows that any solid thing, like an empty point, is an illusion, that it is still interdependent, nonsubstantial, subject to causation, subject to karma, etc. At this point, it is like the particle/wave controversy in Quantum physics, where two rigorous empirical/logical thinking process arrived at quanta as particles and quanta as waves. Eventually the idea of a "wavicle" came up to unify those two lines of thought. The atman (self) versus anatta (no self) is a similar controversy and does unify in a similar way. I did find that I had to penetrate the radiant point itself and feel its emptiness and when I did there was an explosion into unity. I went from the 9th consciousness to the 10th through this. The radiant point both exists and does not exist. There is a curious phrase that it exists by "mental imputation", that the mind can label something like a "chair" and make a valid mental imputation (versus invalid one where you call a table by the mental imputation "a chair"). There is something similar going on with the luminous void, because it has "pure thoughts" within it and "we" are those pure thoughts. In other words, pure thought of a fundamental core individual identity is a kind of mental imputation that takes chunk of emptiness and labels it, and then gives it a kind of reality. The difference is that it is not part of our external conditioning, it comes from within, from the luminosity itself. In Jungian psychology, they would call the core individual identity an "archetype". It is what can say, "I AM" within us. When I was inquiring into this, I felt my breathing spontaneous move into a deeper and fuller breath that felt like it was breathing itself. I felt a kind of "empty self" that was relaxed into infinity and which included the physical body on the other side (which was feeling at peace with the injury process and is feeling better now). Everywhere was felt a warm feeling of Presence. Dogen Zenji seemed to describe this when he said, "The universe is a bright pearl (and there is nothing else but this).

I am quite sure that I will have refined my understanding later on about all this and put all this into clearer words. But I wanted to share something of what was actually contemplated as it flowed within me, what connections were being made, and what resulted.

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