An interesting discussion arose over in comments on Takuins blog on his post The Road to Enlightenment. It was a podcast response to a question about a progression to Enlightenment. We both did some musing which led to something useful to share. Edited a bit for this format.
What I’ve found is that it’s not the person who awakens. So this goal of “becoming enlightened” will always fail. Yet it’s still a worthwhile intention or goal. What occurs is that the Self, that inner wakefulness, wakes up to Itself. That Self may thus arrange for the person to have some practices or some experiences to prepare the way. Or the person may do some things themselves. Which is it going on? If you grok that it’s all Self, then there is no real difference in who appears to be doing. You just go with it. Then one day, it happens. Why did it happen? We could point to this or that, but again because it’s not the field of doing that first awakens (that’s later), there is often no obvious relationship.
I would say there is a process to awakening but it’s not really linear. Mind likes linear models but growth is more a spiral than a line. We might use puberty as an example. We can point to norms and a typical process, but each person will experience it a little differently with a little different timing. There is a series of shifts, each followed by a time of adaptation.
I used to debate what was arising from self and what was from Self until I realized the idea that there was 2 things was the only thing keeping them separate. It is all just Self. The small self only exists as a concept and we thus credit things to it that are not of it. This may not be true for everyone but I don’t know that changes what seems to be happening.
It seems that the untrustworthy nature of apparent self is in its mis-crediting the source of the impulse. When we think “I did this”, we get messed up expecting certain results. But we don’t get the results because we mistook the actual source of the impulse. Self-honesty is the issue, as you mention. The linear aspect is the way it is being perceived, not the actual nature of what is occurring.
To me, intention is the impulse to express. The self may take credit for it, so it seems to be “self-driven” or it may simply arise due to the nature of action, one thing driving the next. It may arise as a consequence of being – for us to continue to be, this intention must be sustained. And it may arise from a sense of something “new” to occur, as in now let’s have a party.
If we take it that everything is consciousness or that which is conscious, then everything we experience, think about, sense, or desire is intended. So yeah, not much to do with anything a me might seem to think about. (laughs)
The way I model it is that lines going out in every direction are space. The incremental (linear) experience of changes in space is time. We experience events incrementally due to the way we are experiencing. In other words, it’s entirely perceptual.
More deeply, the principle of space arises when Self recognizes Itself and thus perceives a “distance”. (an infinity within an infinity) The process of experiencing Itself leads to the principle of time. Time and space are enlivened by the mode of perception. The way we experience the world. When people experience subtler values (internally usually at first), one can have experiences of timelessness and unboundedness, essentially pre-space-time.
Put another way, space-time is contained within perception and thus within consciousness. Even if people don’t recognize this perceptually, they’ve probably had the direct experience. We’ve all been beyond the universe, beyond space-time, because we are the container.
Without a person at the center, however cosmic we perceive ourselves to be, there is no space-time. Again, it is the act of perception that causes it.
There is a right here, right now. Everything happens within that. Because we usually perceive the expression of intention incrementally, change seems to occur in linear steps and we perceive unique spaces and times. Essentially its like we have our head in a bag, totally focused on what’s happening inside the bag. If we can relax that focus, we can see the bag, then that we’re holding the bag. (laughs)
And that bag is space-time. What some call the gap. We are the container of that, in consciousness.