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whippoorwill

USA
450 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  2:27:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It makes sense to view the different stages as possibilities that are available for investigation and independent verification if so inclined.

On the relation of personal experiences… I find a general framework to be more useful than an account of any particular experience, especially since there is a tendency to grasp for the experiences we want to have. One person's experiences may be entirely different from my own, and if I am looking for something specific that I have read about, I may miss what is already right there in front of my eyes. A conceptual framework allows me to map my own experience to a form of "milestone" - hopefully without getting attached to any kind of notion of "attainment."

On the rainbow body… I have also read Norbu's "Dzogchen: The Self Perfected State" and, if I recall correctly, the body of light is "built" during a person's lifetime but only becomes manifest upon a person's death. I'm willing to wait a very long time for a demonstration.

On the question of who does the exploring… Is it possible to be rid of all vestiges of ego while still in a body/mind? And if one finds that no one is exploring, then what is the issue with the experience of exploration?

Love
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jeff

USA
971 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  4:07:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kami,

Regarding your "direct experience" comment... I believe that question has been asked and answered in my earlier posts. They are my experience. Also, glad to hear that you have found someone who has described something similar.

Regarding your "realized" and comparison point... As I stated in the OP, the stages were formulated in attempt to be generic as to tradition, that is why I include descriptions of mind states, energy body states and examples of each stage. I wanted it to be as flexible (and hence more useful) to people. Also, the stages were designed as a potential guideline for oneself, not to compare. Why would anyone want to judge and compare to others (as with your Yogani) example)?

On your no "one" point... Many traditions agree with your implied perspective, but your description of Buddhism is not accurate. In Buddhism, all existence/perception is "conditioned" and hence some degree of "separation" (including a Buddha). Similar to the words of Jesus, a Son of God is "one with God", but does not "cease" and can go on to "do greater things" than he did.

Best,
Jeff
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jeff

USA
971 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  4:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Whippoorwill,

Thanks for your questions, though I am not quite sure if they were for me or Kami.

If me, my personal experience has been that we have the "ability to act". It is not all just a fixed movie. Additionally, as you have stated, as long as there is existence, there is some level of conditioning and as I said above... Some degree of separation. But once one has realized the emptiness of self, they know there is nothing to fear and no real boundaries that cannot be dropped.

Best regards,
Jeff
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jeff

USA
971 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  6:50:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kami,

I do not see the point of your copying a long blog post of a sutra into this thread?

I have repeatedly discussed the "emptiness of self" and how it relates to the perceived "local" being. Additionally, I have recommend the Lankavatra sutra which discusses the components in detail in recent threads.

It seems that we simply just disagree on the "cessation" point. You may have found some point where there is no longer some form of "separate" view, but my experience has been the same as Yogani describes in the AYP lessons. Distinct perception continues.

Best wishes,
Jeff


Edited by - jeff on May 13 2014 11:34:34 PM
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digofarias

Brazil
63 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  8:39:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jeff,

When you talk about physical body "limits" do you mean subject A's body can integrate higher frequencies while subject B's body can't even though both are healthy? Perhaps these are new terms/words for me and I misunderstood. I thought anyone reasonably healthy could potentially "evolve" up to the same point.

quote:
Originally posted by jeff

Hi Kami,

Happy to answer and share.

The concept and meaning of the "rainbow body" is easier to understand with some broader framework of ongoing spiritual development. For those who are interested, I have attempted to give some of that overview in the Riju & Jeff thread related to the later/completion stages (emptiness of ultimate reality).

After one has realized the emptiness of self, they have collapsed the local chakra system and it becomes sort of an "unified field". That unified field is the beginning of what is called the "light body" or in some traditions the "body of truth". As one continues to drop obstructions, the light body increasing integrates into "perceived reality" or from the individual perspective, the light body is seen to grow and stabilize. The term "rainbow" relates to increasing depth (or refinement) of the light. Similar to how light looks white/clear, but when hitting a prism, we see at a deeper level it is actually a full spectrum of color.

Each human body has sort a "limit" of how much integration/light it can hold before breaking down(destabilizing) into its light component particles. Depending on the tradition, one either wants to "leave/ascend" as soon as possible (classic immortal path) or wants to "stay" as long as the physical body is capable of supporting the light flows. Staying as long as possible is usually preferred by those who follow a Buddha or Christ path, as with such a divine being, the light flows though into the physical plane, helping to clarify/process karma for beings.

On teachers... Let's just say, I think many are more in the "business" of spiritual advancement then truly knowledgable themselves. In my experience, if one "knows" they can explain/show in simple terms.

Regarding, my personal practices... Currently, I mostly just "reside" and notice the flow. The last few years I have also done a fair amount of exploring universal mind.

Regarding recommendations... I don't think there is a "one size fits all" particularly when you get to the deeper levels. All spiritual growth is infinitely dimensional. But, on an individual level, I am always happy to share my perspective.

Finally, my comments here and in the Riju thread are my personal sharings and not from any book (or sutra). Others mileage may vary, but whenever possible I have included friends (some AYP members) for independent verification.

Best wishes,
Jeff

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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  9:44:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I believe that if we want to know the truth--and by the truth, I mean abiding in the perfection of Now--then we must trace the threads of our thoughts and feelings to the seed desires from which they spring, and once these seeds are found, we can relax in trusting that they will sprout--in due time, and by divine decree.

Not all desires and dreams are meant to come to be, and I'll quote the great lyricist John Prine:
"If dreams were thunder, and lightning was desire, this old house would've burned down a long time ago."

Here we are, and we will be here until we are not, and when we are not, we will probably be somewhere else, which is still part of here, so actually, there is nowhere to go even though we are going everywhere. A few sidesteps notwithstanding.

Are we clear?
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jeff

USA
971 Posts

Posted - May 14 2014 :  08:25:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by digofarias

Hi Jeff,

When you talk about physical body "limits" do you mean subject A's body can integrate higher frequencies while subject B's body can't even though both are healthy? Perhaps these are new terms/words for me and I misunderstood. I thought anyone reasonably healthy could potentially "evolve" up to the same point.




Hi digofarias,

My deeper point is that we are not our bodies, or said another way... We are not limited to our physical bodies. Just as some people can run faster or jump higher, different physical bodies have various capacities to hold light/energy. As an example, in general, women can hold more energy/light than men. Also, the human form has been evolving in general lately, which can be seen manifest at a physical level in the rapidly growing technology over the last few hundred years.

Ultimately we all have the same potential, but some of that work is done "beyond" the physical human body.

Best regards,
Jeff
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Mar 13 2018 :  7:36:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by jeff


1 Normal State – Wandering mind. Some will often have 3-6 (or more) threads/dialogs of thought jumping around. Nothing is usually noticed regarding “energy”. Sometimes sense of hot/cold.

2 Temporary One Thread – In meditation, one quiets to one focused thread (as in mantra or concentration). At this state, one may begin to notice energy (if looking for it) and it often begin to feel like tingles or vibrations in the body.

3 Temporary quiet mind – One can begin to see/trace thoughts. Can feel the “movement” of energy and notice chakras.


etc....




This is an interesting look at the various "attainments" one's persona seems to experience. But real spirituality has nothing to do with attainment. It's the very opposite of that. It's about finding yourself identifying less and less with the individuality of a persona. To gather spiritual merit badges for a persona is to work the other way.

Awakening from a dream is not a shift of experience, but of fundamental perspective. In this case, rather than beholding Entirety from a perspective of separateness, you find yourself identifying (much to your surprise!) as the Entirety. And that's it! This minute flip of perspective is the whole thing. All the other spiritual stuff is mere yadda-yadda.

Here are the stages of this subtle flip of perspective. The sole change herein is of perspective, and nothing else! (though I've included a few chatty asides that, while hopefully interesting, are not directly relevant):

1. I'm in here and everything else (i.e. the world, as well any deeper intelligence) is out there.

2. I'm in here and everything else is out there, but the deeper intelligence weirdly seems to be in here, too!

3. There's no difference between "in here" and "out there". There's no separate "me-in-here", yet that nonexistent me-in-here absurdly takes credit for the realization ("I'm enlightened"!). Some truth has been glimpsed, yet the frame of perspective remains rigidly stuck right where it was. This is the stage of spiritual arrogance. This is where 99% of spiritual writings come from, as we share/spew transpersonal wisdom in order to grow our personal brand.

4. Perspective blinks between both identifications, like an optical illusion that makes you flip between two interpretations. Sometimes I identify as Entirety, and sometimes I discover, to my chagrin, that identity has flipped back to me-in-here. Old habits die hard! At this point, it's quite easy to revert, long-term, to identifying as "me-in-here" without noticing it, all while continuing to feel spiritually advanced. If so, welcome back to #3, likely for a long time (don't ever cease your sadhana!).

5. I'm still bouncing between identifications, but I clearly observe it all from a higher perspective. I watch myself flip back and forth with bemusement and forgiveness - i.e. the way God (or however you'd refer to the broadest possible perspective) might view it. This is no longer an irritating back-and-forth experienced by some separate me-in-here. Instead, it just is what it is, viewed from the perspective of Entirety, which at some point became (without my noticing) my solid basis of identification. Soon, the bouncing settles. This is the start of spiritual maturity.

6. I seem (to my surprise upon observing my own actions) to have joined Team Entirety, though externally I still appear to be the usual persona. Entirety has become my default perspective. I can (and do!) intentionally and effortlessly flip back to pretending to be a separate and individual me-in-here, just for kicks and entertainment (which is why I pretended to adopt a dramatic persona in the first place). "I'll just KILL myself if the Red Sox lose!" But when I do, it's experienced lightly and playfully.

7. As I playfully pretend, with relish and enthusiasm, some particularly dramatic and gripping experience makes me utterly forget myself - like a moviegoer forgetting she's in a theater. I fall, yet again, into a hypnotic trance, having gotten caught up in the pretending.

8. I'm in here and everything else (i.e. the world, as well any deeper intelligence) is out there.


The notion that there's magnificent awesomeness awaiting you at the "end" of it all is adolescent and silly. For one thing, there's no endpoint, as it's a circle.

Again, it's not about "attainment". If your magnificence lasts more than four hours, call your doctor.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 13 2018 9:01:42 PM
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Mar 13 2018 :  10:52:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
That's one thing I love about this forum...you can dig through the archives and resurrect any topic you so desire.

And...you can also relish in, and reflect upon, behind-the-scenes experiences you've had with forum writers.
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1412 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2018 :  07:27:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
@Jim - Love it!


Sey

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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1727 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2018 :  11:33:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Jim.

quote:
Originally posted by Jim and His Karma
If your magnificence lasts more than four hours, call your doctor.[/i]


"Doctor, I have a magnificence problem..."
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Dogboy

USA
1947 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2018 :  1:57:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Me-in-here thoroughly enjoyed this!
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kumar ul islam

United Kingdom
788 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2018 :  4:50:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
become the light don't just look at it
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2018 :  5:10:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by kumar ul islam

become the light don't just look at it



When did you stop being the light? In fact, is it possible to stop? Have you tried?

There's no "becoming". The only thing that can change is perspective.

Maybe "Stop pretending you're not the light."

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 14 2018 5:12:57 PM
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Blanche

USA
766 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  06:43:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jim,

Thank you for sharing. Yes, "I am enlightened." never happens, because there is no "I". It is only the Consciousness/Being who wakes up to itself, and it becomes obvious that "I" is only a character, one of many embodied by the One. The character "I" continues to play its role on the stage of the world, but the identity is shifted to the Being. It is absurd that any "I" might take credit for any attainment, but it happens - and it makes for a good play. The same way that the actors on the stage of the world forget that they are only actors, start to identify themselves with their roles, and a lot of drama unfolds. What a marvelous play!
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  1:33:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Blanche

Yes, "I am enlightened." never happens, because there is no "I".


When an iceberg melts fully into the ocean of which it's always been composed, where does one pin the medal for this achievement? :)

But it's going too far to claim there is no "I". Of course there is! "I" is an ongoing project, as you know very well. Considerable near-obsessive work goes into making it real. However, the maker confuses himself with the "I". And it's deliberate confusion!

Just as we all love getting lost at the movies, Awareness enjoys getting lost in pretending. It's a feature, not a bug. Remembering, then forgetting again, is the cosmic dance; the drama "unfolding", as you say! Stillness is boring and literally unremarkable. Ever wonder why so many people with sedately comfortable lives create optional drama (i.e. "rich world problems") for themselves? It's the exact same impulse!

But if you're looking skyward (or even inward) for the Creator, for truth, and for your damned Rainbow Body or whatever, that means perspective remains frozen in identifying with the pretended - in the persona and its dramatic narrative. Remove personhood from the equation (by flipping perspective back to pretender, rather than pretended) and there's only silent awareness, with no complications whatsoever.

In that scenario, what happens next? Fresh complications are created, of course! A return to the absorbing and entertaining "I" project! What fun!

The only problem in all this is that Awareness is so adept at immersion and identification with storylines, and gets so lost in the pretending, that the world's rollercoasters start feeling like oppressors, rather than fun rides for sheer entertainment. Horror films are meant to titillate, not torture, but if you've frozen into tight identification with the protagonist, this entertaining experience can feel oppressive. So it's best if the pretending - the identification - is worn somewhat lightly. For that, spiritual practice, e.g. AYP, is the answer.

That's what spiritual practice is for. Not to cease all pretending and freeze perspective upon one's true nature as omnipresent silent awareness without an object, denying that "I" is even an option. Nor to soup up our fake narrative persona with awesome superpowers and rainbow bodies. But simply to wear it all as lightly and playfully as originally intended. Keep perspective lithe!

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 29 2018 11:05:26 AM
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  2:11:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If you'll reread the above posting, you'll notice that it's written from the perspective of Awareness. That's why it's straight-ahead and avoids the usual tangle of dramatic spiritual hooey - holiness, exaltation, journeys, transformation, etc..That stuff's a head fake. It's dream talk.

When you approach from the perspective of dramatic personhood, this is a triumphant "evolution" of "becoming God". Wow! Understandably, people get completely unbearable with that crap. It's why I can't stand to read these forums, or most "spiritual" writings.

99% of spiritual material comes from people frozen into identification with their persona (see my stage #3, where some level of truth is glimpsed - your persona's ENLIGHTENED!!! - but perspective has not budged). A simple flip of perspective, when it happens, is nothing exalted or holy. It doesn't enhance this character you're pretending to be playing, it just makes the pretending more loose and playful for a while. A shake of the arm to remember it's only a movie. You chose this ride!

So, for sanity's sake, PLEASE try to restrain the urge to dramatize the process of shaking momentarily free of drama.

I've been stewing over this thread for several years now, unable to express my issue with it. But that's it right there: there's no need to dramatize one's de-dramatization. It's the bane of "spiritual" people. That's why it's best to stay away from the hoo-ha, and just quietly, dutifully do your practices (to maintain a lithe perspective) and not get distracted by notions of augmenting your persona, like chintzy video game power-ups. There's nothing useful in that mindset, just deeper freezing.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 16 2018 3:14:32 PM
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Dogboy

USA
1947 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  4:01:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1727 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  5:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Jim
quote:
Originally posted by Jim and His Karma
When you approach from the perspective of dramatic personhood, this is a triumphant "evolution" of "becoming God".


Yes, there is a stage when the I gets enthusiastic about "becoming God". Is that such a bad thing though? Wouldn't the opposite be worse? If the I took a dislike to the spiritual destination, wouldn't the practitioners abandon their practice before they got anywhere near stage 8?

When we understand that each of us goes through the 8 stages you described in your post above, doesn't that also lead to some tolerance towards what we later come to see as naive glorification of enlightenment? I guess this question was prompted by the phrase: "people get completely unbearable with that crap". Also by your statement that you can't stand reading these forums. You are here though. Perhaps the disapproving tone in your words echoes in my ears stronger than you have intended.

You know as well as the rest of us that "a shake of the arm" will not lead to the realisation that this is a movie. You refer to the importance of meditation yourself. The "ho-ha" may be a useful aid in keeping people motivated to keep up the practice over the years or decades. Is shooting it down such a good thing?
Just an opinion of course.
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2018 :  6:39:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by BlueRaincoat

Yes, there is a stage when the I gets enthusiastic about "becoming God". Is that such a bad thing though?


Yes, it is. By remaining frozen in persona-identification while assuming you've transcended personhood, you compound the problem you were hoping to solve - relieving the oppression of frozen perspective - by doubling down on that same perspective. What's more, these are the folks who define and personify spirituality for the billions who understandably would like to relieve some of their feeling of oppression. Newbies are impressed by their lofty proclamation of enlightened attainment, so these folks wind up leading the way.

Also: there is no "spiritual destination".

I'm not here because I like it, I'm here because, as I said, this thread has bugged me for years, and I finally figured out how to express it. I felt obliged to do so, knowing full well that I wouldn't enjoy the fallout. Truth vs piety is always uncomfortable and volatile (sometimes even deadly). The message could be softened, sure, but then it loses the power to penetrate complacency and groupthink and stuckedness, which is obviously my main intention.

I understand many people don't come here for that sort of thing, but I'd be surprised if those who prefer the normal soothing tone of this forum got past my first few sentences. If you chose to keep reading despite my obvious forthright impiety, that's on you, not me. My tone's clear from the get-go. And if you also choose to engage with me, as you have, you've invited exposure to yet more of my tone. Please examine your ambivalence. It's not my job to talk the way you like, it's your job to listen to what you want to hear.

quote:
You know as well as the rest of us that "a shake of the arm" will not lead to the realisation that this is a movie.


Just throwing this out there: if you'd spend more than a quick moment considering what took me 45 years of contemplation to express, you'd be less prone to misinterpreting my words, as you did here.

I'm happy to engage with anyone trying to thoughtfully process my postings. Otherwise, from this point I'll "listen off the radio"", as they say....

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 16 2018 8:54:11 PM
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Charliedog

1623 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2018 :  04:50:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Charliedog's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am learning from your posts, Jim. Thanks!
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1727 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2018 :  04:54:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
There need not be any fallout, Jim. We are just expressing opinions here, aren't we? I'm fully aware of the possibility that some months or years down the line I might read my posts and disagree with half the things I've written.

I'm reading your posts with curiosity more than anything else, so I'll just ask one more question:
Do you really think that words have "the power to penetrate complacency"? It has been my impression that only practice and growing up from the inside (for want of a better expression) brings each of us to a position where we are comfortable letting go of our illusions. Do you think any stern words have the power to propel people from stage 3 into later stages?
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Blanche

USA
766 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2018 :  07:50:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Jim and His Karma


So, for sanity's sake, PLEASE try to restrain the urge to dramatize the process of shaking momentarily free of drama.


Why? Before we get somewhere, we are on our way, and every step takes us closer to our home. Shaking free of drama may be transitory before it becomes established. Where is the problem? Before we arrive to the top of the mountain, we imagine the view from the top, and this inspires us to continue. It might not be the right view, it almost certainly is not the true view, but whatever view it is keeps us going. Some of us are quiet, some are loud, and some are in between. Yes, you are right, the key is to focus on the process, not on the result.

Besides practice, non-attachment is the other essesntial practice. Expecting that things should be a certain way is a mark for attachment. Progressing on the path is not about getting to a right-and-final-stage or a correct view. Progression is about how many things and ideas we can let go.

Just an opinion, and definitely not the final one

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jonesboy

USA
594 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2018 :  1:56:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit jonesboy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It seems like there is a lot of projection with the term attainment and ego.

I have found a lot of truth in the stages as mentioned by the OP.

Isn’t attainment really nothing more than the clearing away of our obstructions? If one is filled with ego that is an obstruction and would prevent one from any such attainments.

I.e. if you desire a state of being or some ability it is that desire/obstruction that will keep it ever out of reach.

We are much more than just some silent observer. The Witness is just the first stage of realizing silence in daily life. There is much more beyond that.

Powers, abilities are a result of a deeper realization, of moving ever deeper for instance to the realization that One is like Siva and as Kashmir Shaivism mentions with such a realization one has the powers of creation.

Can they also be a trap? Absolutely. I see it often with 3rd eye types but to believe they are not part of the process is to deceive oneself and others.

Remember silence isn’t the goal and to think so would be very limiting to ones spiritual growth.
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kumar ul islam

United Kingdom
788 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2018 :  3:16:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
these posts are the fruits of practice please post more
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Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book


Tantra Book


Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book


Samyama Book


Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book


Self-Inquiry Book


Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book



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