Over on Layers of Stages, Kris brought up the challenges of overcoming the ego. What Genpo called the ‘path of submission’. That critical stage when we discover the reality of Self and begin to see through the ego. Those deep habits of belief that hold us in a tiny box of fear and separateness.
This can be one of the most challenging stages of the path as the ego is often deeply ingrained and may feel it is fighting for it’s life, throwing up all kinds of noise and objection. It is the ultimate coyote – the trickster.
At the same time, the Self is still seen through some values of illusion so it seems vague, distant, and the benefits may be uncertain.
The points he raised were important enough that I’ll share them here.
Sometimes, this coming and going is because of values of clarity. Sometimes it is levels of contrast. That is – at first it is very distinct as it is something new. But we soon get used to it. It becomes normal and ordinary – even deep values of bliss and peace. We should not expect the intensity of the event to return as we will have become used to it, integrated it. But we can expect it to deepen and get clearer. Remember – the flash is not the important part. I know a few people who have passed early stages of contrast, like being a distinct separate witness, but they still look for the witness as the contrast was a kind of marker even if it’s a step down.
This coming and going also illustrates the cyclic nature of the process. We seem to take 2 steps forward, then a step back to integrate.
However, there are some things that will continue to ramp up indefinitely – those fundamental values of reality. Like the depth of bliss, peace, and freedom. Just when you think you have experienced the ultimate peace, love or rapture, some deeper value comes along.
Another point to mention is not to hold to an experience. It may form a milestone for you, but looking to it as reality and holding it will keep you from moving further. If it’s an experience or memory, it is not being.
You clearly see 2 aspects there – there is the quiet self-validating opening which gradually becomes integrated. (normal, ordinary) This is awakening to the Self within, it is now real, not a concept.
And there is the mind, seeking to understand or grasp what is beyond it. It is easy to fall into doubt as the mind receives few messages that are not such. Our world is full of messages of dis-validation. This is the nature of the ego. It needs to be right so makes what it does not perceive as self to be wrong. Black and white, good or bad, right or wrong.
And in the seeing, you have seen you are not the doubt, nor the mind that brings it up. This is seeing through the illusion, the noise.
The discomfort and so forth arises for a few reasons. For one, you are moving forward and so this brings what no longer serves to the surface to be seen and released. Just see it as another opportunity to allow. The world is also moving forward, pushing us along. And because of your increased clarity, you see stuff you didn’t used to see. It has always been there but now you have a step back and see what it has been. Not pretty. But it only seems worse because now we see it. (laughs) Finally, there is the aspect mentioned above – the ego is nervous about it’s future.
And yes, the mind is attached to consequence, to result. Expectations lead to suffering. Again, this is the ego idea that this is who I am that causes this. The process of release takes time. On the cosmic scale, it is the blink of an eye, but in the middle of it, it seems to take forever. When we put our attention on it, time seems to slow down. The whole thing is just an exercise in being OK with what is so we can learn to allow.
All it takes is one complete allowing, just for a moment, for first awakening. Then the Self can step forward. And we find it was organizing it all along…
The sense of contradiction is a good thing. It means you have made deep progress. That there are now as if 2 of you. self and Self. The heavy sense of attachment arises from something that may not be conscious yet, the grasp, the identity.
But you see the simplicity of it, so the grip begins to loosen. The concepts of ego begin to lose control. Of course this makes them nervous. Remember you are human and the beauty of this process is you will see it clearly and thus can help others who follow. There is some more mud to clear, some long habits of thinking. But the benefits will come. Amusingly (or not), they will come mostly when it no longer matters (laughs). At first they are subtle, so easily overshadowed by want and expectation. Later, they will dominate everything. Happiness more real than a table.
These days, mind will seem the enemy, playing tricks, pretending to be what it’s not. It has created an illusion of staggering proportions that you cannot begin to imagine. Our entire universe, but a pearl in a much bigger place that itself is one of many. But don’t make mind the enemy – that is not allowing. And that is stepping into the mind’s game rather than being the player. It’s a game the mind cannot win for Self is so much greater. Eventually, the mind will be your friend again. It will be your ladder home, your means of expression to bring bliss into the world.
It is a curious paradox. What you are looking for is not concrete and thus will have few concrete ‘benefits’. Yet, once you are that which you already are, it will become more real than the world and person you once thought real. And then that realness will move forward and absorb all of it, into a greater real than we can conceive.
Be patient. Soon it will be clear why this.