The Facets of Being
|Merely reading and
realisations intellectually in no way constitutes enlightenment.
Only those in Division I can be attained by intellectual reflection alone (with the exception of 'The Great Silence'). The others can only be attained through direct meditative experience using Awareness-In-Itself. This is the deepest faculty beings possess and is far more fundamental and all-encompassing than conceptual thought.
~*~Some of these realisations may sound abstract or even cold. The experiences are far from it. When people experience (an) enlightenment, they may use phrases like 'mind-blowing', 'earth-shattering', and 'life-changing'. One may feel chakras and knots 'uncoiling', and profound states of bliss of body and mind, sometimes to the point of the temporary 'disappearance' of either or both.
~*~It may be hard to imagine how they could lead to the benefits outlined. Yet these are the same enlightenments so sought after by the great traditions for the very reason that they are the greatest gift an individual can give themselves.
Understanding of the real nature
of experiences and objects
● Interdependence (1.1): The interdependence, connectedness and 'inter-influence' of all form
● Insubstantiality (1.2): the lack of any solid form
● Undifferentiatedness (1.3): the fact that any realm of form is not inherently divided into separate objects but arises as one vast undifferentiated field. It is our 'conceptual energy' - the labelling, thinking mind, that picks out different parts of this field and labels them as separate 'things'.
● The Great Silence, or Raw Non-conceptual Experience (1.4): the lack of inherent significance of any form, including all values such as 'positive' or 'negative', 'good' or 'bad', 'beautiful or ugly', 'desirable or undesirable'. Form in itself says nothing about itself. It has no labels.
● Karma: the dynamics of cause and effect, 'internally' and 'externally'
One massive implication arising from the above is that nothing with form can be perfectly predicted or controlled. This means no rule we make to predict the outcome of anything (from small personal matters to the nature of matter) is absolute - all ideology is contingent. Even science admits its limitations, via 'the Problem of Induction'.
Experiencing your own most fundamental, indivisible nature
● Awareness-in-itself: you are Awareness-In-Itself: your experiences of the five senses and your 'conceptual energy' merely appears within the vast space of awareness which you truly are
● The 'Self-Contained Sphere' (2.1): you are the 'divine beholder' - omniscient within your own realm. The dream-world and 'this world' (indeed all worlds) are equally merely experiences of The One. That you are. This is a rare realisation which the teacher of the Facets of Being has experienced first-hand. It provides unsurpassed independence, freedom, courage, and an unshakeable humble 'self-esteem' way beyond 'superior' and 'inferior'. If there was one enlightenment that could be called 'Supreme Enlightenment' - this would be it, because of the empowerment it provides; its capacity to more quickly lead to the others; and its capacity to make certainty in the veracity of the other enlightenments unshakeable. In fact, this enlightenment takes the other enlightenments to a whole new 'level' that would more properly be described as a different 'dimension' of being. A poetic description: before, you thought you were a small being in a vast, mysterious threatening universe. Now you realise the universe is within you. It is only your experience.
● Transcendence / Independence (2.2): Awareness-in-itself is capable of experiencing any form without its capacity to reflect form being affected in any way
● Emptiness (2.3) : this pure Awareness is utterly empty of content in itself. One result of this is that it - you - can never be truly sullied. This also reveals the Great Silence from the 'side' of consciousness. Awareness-in-itself experiences without imputing concepts or significance. It experiences everything in its silent, meaning-free primordial simplicity. This includes its experience of the very conceptual energy (labelling and thoughts) that does impute significance. This is also what makes it possible for one to experience life as a flow state free of heavy conceptualisation.
● Openness/Choicelessness (2.4) : Awareness is utterly open and choicelessly experiences all form that arises, without blocking
Ultimately we are pure, unstainable, independent, unassailable, immortal, all-pervading and self-contained. Yet paradoxically we are utterly open and vulnerable through our utterly non-dual union with all form encountered in each moment - including even our own flow of conceptuality.
Experiencing the true relationship between yourself and the universe
● The not-self of the person and phenomena: no aspect of your existence has any solid form, including that which you normally regard as 'you' and that which you normally regard as 'the universe' (We do not categorise this as a facet in itself but rather a summary of a few facets. We include it because it is useful)
● Subjectivity (3.1): the lack of any truly objective form(s)
● Non-duality (3.2): in every present moment you are utterly non-separate from all form that is arising, and this can be experienced as direct nondual union with that specific form when the conceptual energy we normally call 'object-recognition' and 'thought' relaxes
● Existentially non-separate but functionally independent: this very rare realisation resolves many paradoxes, and will be a powerful revelation for the 'advanced practitioner'. It reveals that you as Awareness-in-itself have absolute functional independence from all realms, while at the same time, existentially ('physically') you are utterly non-separate ('one') with any realm you are experiencing, and existence as a whole. Awareness's function of knowing-experiencing is self-existent, transcendent and beyond change, yet existentially it can never be separated from the rest of existence (all form). (We do not categorise this as a facet in itself but include it because it is useful)
Experiencing the nature of yourself and all realms as one indivisible whole: Being
● Wholeness (4.1): Ultimately you and any realm you are currently experiencing are one indivisible whole
● Fullness (4.2): this whole is utterly complete, effulgent with blissful energy. There is no greater satisfaction than this.
● Plasticity and Infinite Variety (4.3): Being - the indivisible union of Awareness and any (necessarily form-) realm is like a blazing fire. Awareness-in-itself is like the heat of the fire and form is like the shape of the fire. Like a fire, being can never be 'frozen' into one fixed shape. It is infinitely plastic; it manifests as an infinite variety of experiences/forms, whilst forever maintaining its unity. Indeed: even (the moment of) realisation is, in the end, just an experience.
● WYSIWYG / 'Suchness' (4.4): 'What You See Is What You Get'. The only thing you ever need to concern yourself with ultimately is the present moment. The ultimate truth that you can find about form, or about any form-realm, is only and simply your own present-moment raw experience of form. In the case of human beings, that is the currently-presenting colour-shape, sound, sensation, smell and the mere form of the conceptual energy (object-labelling and 'thought') currently presenting, not any 'truth' it proclaims within its contents. (Clearly, awareness-in-itself is the 'medium' of all this - but since it is utterly transparent and does not act, we do not need to 'deal' with it). The realisation of 'The Self-Contained Sphere' (see above) provides certainty that the only thing you can ever experience in any realm is what is appearing to you (as you) right now. There is nothing 'behind' or 'beyond' this. If there was, then that would only and simply become your present-moment in the future. This provides utter certainty about the most fundamental (indivisible) nature of all realms, profound relaxation and powerful immunity all non-organic mental illness arising from misperception of reality (e.g. psychosis)
● Isness (4.5): reality IS. Whatever is present cannot be denied or resisted because it already IS. You already live within reality. This IS reality - whether you label it as good or bad, desirable or undesirable. There is no other, you have never stepped out of it, you will always experience it directly. Ultimately meditation can know reality but not change its ultimate nature.
● The ocean of energy (4.6): you as Awareness-in-itself, and the field of energy of any realm (such as our 'physical world' experienced as the five senses) in any one moment merge and inter-penetrate each other indivisibly, in the same way the space of the sky inter-penetrates the clouds. There is not a jot of separation. This can be experienced as a vast ocean of blissful energy. One of the many results is a deep sense, understanding and feeling of being enfolded safely and lovingly in the bosom of 'The Great Mother'.