Andrew: Peace and love everyone. I’m Andrew Hewson and I’m here with David “Davidya” Buckland the author of Our Natural Potential and someone that I feel is a profoundly important influence in the, in the spiritual community right now.
He writes extensively about the stages of enlightenment and provides a very clear and comprehensive understanding of the unfoldment in the context of daily life. This is something that I truly value and so I’m grateful to be here with David.
David: Thank you.
A: Thank you. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me for a little while. So I’m going to see if we can find some commonality in the different language that we use.
David speaks from more of a Vedic context. I believe that the conceptual framework for the seven stages of enlightenment arises from the Yoga Vaishistha. Yes. And the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
D: Yes, I studied that many years ago. yes. Okay. So that’s kind of my base concept.
A: Beautiful. All right. And the language that I use has arisen just spontaneously through what has unfolded here and what I feel is appropriate for those that I’m speaking to, to provide clarity and a conceptual framework for the process as it unfolds.
I came across David’s work last year and was really impressed to see the commonality in what we were speaking about and how he had laid everything out and it was something that was a joy to find because I did not see it anywhere else in the spiritual
So the basic terminology is much different. I do not use any Sanskrit terminology and when David does he clarifies what that means and what it’s pointing to, but hmm.
D: There’s still nuances, yeah.
I sometimes do Sanskrit because the word, there isn’t really an English word for it. And so I have kind of like, like Satva for example, I’ll translate as purity or clarity, but it’s, there really isn’t an English word for it.
So it’s kind of a, yeah.
A: Yes, exactly.
You know, as I’ve started to read some of the ancient texts and become familiar with Sanskrit to the degree that I could, I could see what certain words were pointing to and what they were encapsulating as far as a given level and things like that. But I also can see where different teachers teachers use the same word, the same Sanskrit word, to use different, to point to different things. Very different. So that was part of the reason that I don’t use that so much in the teaching here, but I feel that if it is well clarified it is an extremely valuable tool. So yes,
D: there’s an inventor named R. Buckminster Fuller. He developed the geodesic dome and talked about the geometry of thinking in his book Synergetics.
One of his principles was if the word in English didn’t have an exact meaning, he would create another word to replace it so that he would only communicate exact meanings.
But it meant reading his material was a little [garbled]. You had to learn all this language.
I have, Several people, I’ve had several people make comments about the language that I use but I still feel that a lot of it is free from conceptual baggage and that adds for even if they do have to really dig in and discover what the word means or what it’s pointing to that that adds adds to the clarity
D: Whereas I’m using language which which has a lots of baggage
A: But you’re being very clear about its nature in the context of your teaching and I really appreciate that. So David describes seven stages of enlightenment starting with Self-Realization which is essentially just a shift into what he would refer to I believe as a silent observer. One realizes themself as the inner witness of all phenomena.
D: I do just adjust that slightly because for some people that’s kind of how it unfolds, but for some people they shift into a witness before Self-Realization. Yes. Kind of like the observer wakes up and you’re kind of live kind of step back a little bit and you’re kind of observing your life and and what’s happening. And you’re not making claim to, you know, I am doing this and this is my idea. And this is, I did, you know, all the me, my, that kind of dynamic starts to fall away.
But there’s another stage in there where that observer has to wake up to itself. And that’s where Self-Realization is, where Self realizes itSelf.
I mean, and sometimes there’s a, that’s kind of a muddier area sometimes for people and they can kind of get confused on what Self-Realization is.
A: Thank you so much for clarifying that, David. That’s so beautiful, ’cause that was also the case here. There was a clear witnessing presence, even in the presence of an identification with the body still.
D: Yes, same here.
A: So yes, Self-Realization is shifting clearly into the field of observing itself, or the field of witnessing itself.
D: And the Self knows itself.
A: Yes. – Self-Realization.
Aware that it is itself, right? Yes, right beautiful. Yeah, and then, he goes on to describe the stage of God Consciousness
A: and this is a more refined value of the initial shift
D: Yes, there’s kind of you could say two aspects to the process and the the second aspect is a little bit less recognized in the West.
Because we have a more mental orientation and so on but essentially there’s a there’s several stages in consciousness and then there are several stages in refinement of perception and the means of knowing and the awakening heart.
So it’s kind of like the masculine and feminine sides of the process. So the God Consciousness process relates to the refinement part of it and the awakening heart.
They can be in a kind of linear way but they can also be out of sync, so to speak. Some people, for example, start to unfold refined perception long before they wake up, and they can actually get quite developed in that arena. A lot of energy healers, for example, and things like that, have more refined perception. People who talk about, you know, angels and higher beings and that kind of thing. Those are a form of refined perception, or people who can look inside the body and see the organs and the energy and this kind of thing. Those are variations of that.
And so that process can start before awakening but it may not start until well afterwards. It’s kind of more about the process
of refinement and purification. And it depends on the kind of techniques the person’s engaged in and the kind of life they have. It’s also cumulative from prior lifetimes too. So we don’t all start from the same starting point in this life. Both in terms of development of consciousness and development of refinement. So some people go into a God Consciousness stage after they wake up. So there’s that refinement and so on, and some people skip that and go on to the next stage. And then the God Consciousness comes later.
But one way of… another way it’s talked about, like Adyashanti, he’s a Zen American who studied in the Zen tradition. He talks about head, heart, gut.
So essentially head is the Self-Realization, the shift from being a me to recognizing the Self.
So there’s a letting go of the concept of a me, you could say, the idea of us and all the stories and stuff around that, that collapsed with the first shift.
Some right away and some over time. And then there’s a descent to the heart.
From a Kundalini standpoint, they talk about the Kundalini Shakti rising to the crown and awakening and then a descent. So Shakti joining Shiva and the two descending together through awakening and then God Consciousness at the heart and then Unity at the gut, the next stage.
So there’s a lot of variation and there’s, you know, when I studied it with Maharishi, he talked about just three, the
first three stages primarily, and then later on talked about more. And at that time it was like this and this and this. It’s just like really simple, structured, something people could understand.
But now there’s a lot of people for which this is unfolding. And there’s this huge variation in how it’s actually unfolding. Like we mentioned earlier about some people have a witness before they wake up and some people don’t. Just there’s little nuances and so it can get confusing because it’s, you know, for somebody witnessing it kind of sounds like that they’re awake by a lot of the description but they actually don’t know the Self yet. The Self is kind of awake but not to itself.
It sounds like a, you know, almost like a, what’s the word, a terminology, being picky about about wording or something, but it’s actually a huge difference in experience. It’s an important nuance.
A: It is important, yes, I appreciate your clarification there because I have seen, I know of many cases right now where there is a clear recognition of a witnessing presence of, there’s a recognition of a field that is present, yet they have not realized, the Self has not realized that it is itself there.
So there’s still an identification that is present that feels like it is aware of a field, yes?
D: Yeah, exactly.
A: And that’s the way that things unfolded here, so I do understand that, that that can be an important phase of development as well.
D: Yes. And it can be really valuable because you have that period of time where you’re an observer and you’re a little more detached. And then you’re more conscious of the ego dynamics and you’re kind of able to wind some of that down.
But of course then you kind of get into this thing where the ego tries to manipulate the experience. I don’t know if it was like that in yours, but I remember at a certain point that I realized that the ego was using memories of spiritual experiences to pretend to be the Self and create these conflicts with itself.
And it’s like, how am I ever gonna see through that?
But then at a certain point I realized it wasn’t the I, the me I, that was going to see through it. It’s the Self that wakes up to itself.
A: Right, yes.
I had never heard of the Self when this was going on here.
So I had no context for it in that sense. I acquitted it with the presence of God. Yeah, because that’s what it felt like to Andrew at that time. And so that’s how I…
D: That point’s to a little more refinement that there already too, that you recognize that, ’cause for some people, what can lead the God consciousness process is that they wake up, they realize that I’m not the doer, that it was just the ego claiming to be doing that, that it kind of, and you can kind of see it at a certain point, sometimes with the witnessing where something happens and then you go like, and then the ego kind of goes like, “Oh, I did that. This was my idea.”
A: Right. Right.
D: I just need to feel in control and, and, uh, yeah, it’s quite, it’s quite, uh, convoluted and, and bizarre when you kind of become more conscious of that, that, uh, dynamic.
A: Yes. Beautiful.
So I, I describe the, the shift a little bit differently. The way that I describe it also includes the masculine and the feminine. I refer to two aspects of the field of subjectivity, and there’s a shift either into one of these two aspects. So one aspect will be dominant and the other will not be recognized in its fullness yet. And so I describe the two aspects as either pure awareness, which I would consider the
masculine aspect, or conscious presence, which I would consider the feminine aspect of the field.
D: Right, it’s like the silent observer and the more lively fullness.
D: And that’s where you get into it.
A: And that power to observe itself. Right. Yes.
D: Yeah, there’s no Shiva without Shakti. Because consciousness can’t know itself without that aliveness.
Yeah. Oh, lost the point I was going to make. Sorry. Oh yeah, one of the things to understand the refinement too is because you have this, we were talking about pure consciousness or pure awareness at those deep levels. And then we have the surface of life with the, you know, physical world, our emotions, our thoughts and minds. But there’s these layers kind of between that, between the silence and the lively consciousness and the surface layers. And that’s what the refinement is about, becoming more conscious of those things.
Just like some people are unconscious of their emotions, they have emotional responses and that kind of stuff, but for the most part they’re paying no attention to that at all, or they’re repressing them, or whatever. And with a little bit of noticing, then mindfulness or however you want to word that, they can become a lot more conscious of how they’re feeling and what’s going on with their emotions.
And the same kind of way as the perception refines, you become aware of the fine mechanics of the mind and the intellect and the fine feelings and this inner energetics and you know people talk about chakras and all those kinds of things so that’s kind of the arena of the middle range that can come online.
A: yes very important as well I, you know the way things unfolded here there wasn’t really a lot of spiritual information that pointed to those subtle levels. So it was something that was very familiar, you know, this shift into seeing that I was this infinite field. And it wasn’t something that seemed strange at all. It seemed, you know, it was like, “Duh!” You know?
D: Exactly, yeah. I’ve noticed that with a lot of people waking up. One of the first things that they often notice is like, “Why didn’t I get this before? This is so simple, it’s so obvious.”
It’s like, “I’ve always been it already, so like how could I be so clueless?” Because right there it’s perfectly normal, you know, it’s yeah.
A: Yeah, and then as a lot of those, the awareness of a lot of those finer mechanics started to shine forth and you know this consciousness was becoming more familiar with itself and the way that it was appearing in form and all of that.
That also seemed very familiar so I didn’t equate it with refined perception actually until I came across your work and I heard you speaking about refined perception. I didn’t even know that that was something that could be absent but I would be watching some different teachers and I recognized that there was a few things missing you know, just in watching some YouTube videos.
D: Yeah on the flip side of that of course is myself who studied this in great detail, but when it actually started to unfold I had to throw out all my concepts because there is something off with most of it and then kind of bring it back in, in terms of the new context.
Because there’s just like, just, you know, mental garbage that had gotten caught up in there.
A: Right, it’s not supposed to be this way.
D: I get emails on a very regular basis from people wanting to escape their lives by waking up and wanting to know how to get enlightened instantly to escape their lives.
That’s kind of like running away from, because enlightenment is your life. It’s right in your life.
A: Yeah, you should say you don’t want to be enlightened because all of that stuff is going to be boom, right?
D: Yeah, exactly. Then there’s no escape because it’s making you more conscious. So what are you more conscious of? What you haven’t dealt with yet.
A: That’s exactly right. Buckle up, you know.
It’s always interesting to see how those, you know, in the immediate blossoming forth of a contextual shift and the total recontextualization of what we have previously taken to be reality in ourself, you know, there is that period where it is very much so prevailing that it kind of perhaps doesn’t allow for a lot of that material to come up yet.
But I’ve found that once it settles down, then the process of surfacing begins. And, and that’s such an important process. And as we begin to work with that material as it arises and really resolve it intelligently or allow for it to be resolved intelligently, then that fullness comes, comes back with a greater, a greater intensity.
D: Yes. And learning how to do that too.
D: So many layers of that just, you know, like I talk about energy healing, for example, fairly regularly on my blog now, but back at that time, it was off the page. It wasn’t something I paid any attention to.
But just when, as I became aware of those energies and where I was kind of like contracted and, or in aversion or whatever in those inner dynamics, becoming conscious of those and then learning to be okay with it and then allowing that to be processed and complete.
Or some of the old stories, you know, these old things from childhood even that we’re running little programs that would be triggered by certain experiences in life.
And now they’re coming up more consciously and it’s like, what?
I believe that? And then once they’re seen, you know, they can be resolved.
But it can be quite an unpacking that goes on, yes.
A: Yes, yes, I found that the fuller that the condition becomes and the brighter that the light of Divinity becomes,
then the more it shines into the depths of those unconscious layers.
And it’s almost like that, by the time we get to the space where we see something that was very, very deep, the condition is such that it’s able to support that. It’s able to support that healing, it’s able to support that resolution.
And if it had come up at an earlier stage, it would probably, we probably would not have been able to really be with it in the way that we are when it arises.
D: Right, I agree.
That there’s that, being able to allow it to be as it is so that it can be. ‘Cause so often it’s just like, it’s the end of a traumatic experience or something that was very difficult for us in some way that was never quite completed.
We put it, at the time, it was a big thing, we put part of it aside to deal with later and then never came back to it.
And so now it’s coming up to be finished and really, for some of that stuff, I found that I just had to sit with it for a moment and it would just wash over me in a wave of energy and emotion and it’s done.
And sometimes it’d be like a huge weight came off or just like, “Awch,” and a real relief. But yeah, there was no way that could have happened when I was younger, just because it was so entangled with who I thought I was and the self story and all that kind of nonsense.
A: Exactly, yes, that’s beautiful.
I’ve also found a daily writing practice extremely helpful. You know, writing has taken place every day here since the initial shift, essentially. There was a period of time where it stopped as part of an offering it back, like a surrendering it, because I noticed a subtle reliance that was there, and kind of a conditioned habitual tendency to want to inventory something and investigate it on paper when it arose.
And so I recognized that also as a limitation, or it was recognized within the field of conscious awareness.
D: So another way to control.
A: Right, right.
So that was the, but that was at a pretty advanced space. So I do feel that it’s very valuable to have some sort of a daily investigation practice where we can really start to to see what’s taking place with it with a great degree of clarity from a bird’s-eye view and we’re not trying to process it necessarily just within you know, within the mind or within our cognitive experiencing in that way.
D: Yeah I agree.
It’s a whole process and it still surprises me what comes up.
And there’s a tendency, I think you’ll see this also, that there’s a tendency at a certain point, we’ll get into it perhaps further on when we get into the later stages, but as we become more and more part of the wholeness, we move more and more past a lot of the personal stuff and then we start basically processing the collective. Yes. So it doesn’t really end or anything about in that kind of sense. But we have a, we become more effective over time. I guess you could say.
A: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I found it’s a you know that the intelligence really finds its own way you know oftentimes it’s not, it’s not something that necessarily needs to be learned, but having a, having a basic framework or an understanding and a recognition that it is a process and that even in higher stages there is still surfacing, there is still resolving that’s taking place, there is still healing that’s taking place is so important because that is really confirming and validating if someone is going through that and their condition is one that is exquisite, yet all of this stuff is coming up.
And it may seem contradictory or conflictual, and it’s really not.
D: And it’s really important to understand those dynamics too, because sometimes you see that with people, they wake up and they think, “Oh, I’m supposed to be a teacher” because I have some knowledge now.
And they start teaching right away, and then they start dumping on their students, and they have the old concept, “Oh, I’m supposed to be perfected now and free of problems,” and they may be even teaching that, and yeah, anyways, you can create kind of messes and stuff.
So really understanding that, you know, the dynamics is very, very helpful.
And because there is that understanding of consciousness in many ways in a lot of traditions, but the purification and cleaning part is not always present.
A: Right, yes, and it can get pretty heavy sometimes too.
I’ve noticed that as the nervous system really becomes fine-tuned, you might say, and is able to handle a greater degree of power and divine presence and bliss, that also allows for some pretty large, what I would call energetic condensations to come up, just some seemingly gridlocked energy or fragmented energy and it comes up and you can get put on freeze mode, you know sometimes, when it comes up because of the intensity of it but I found that by the time that that kind of material is coming up for resolution the body is well equipped, you know once condition is well, you know, well stabilized, able to handle that and you know there’s a capacity to really allow that in a way that is efficient and effective.
D: And it’s quite remarkable the capacity that can develop actually too, because we become you know, that wholeness, that allness. And so you know coping with some aspect of a personal trauma within the context of everything is not really a big issue. There’s still, there’s still the challenge of working past sometimes, you know, because we can have had a, you know, decades of habit of keeping a lid on that stuff and just being able to let that go and allow that to surface and so on. Yeah. It can be a little bit of a process but it’s still, there’s no problem handling that in there, when the container gets big enough.
A: Right, yeah, you can’t remember it when it’s gone.
D: I have a journaling habit myself but I don’t do it sort of do an every day kind of a thing but rather as it comes up but it usually happens a couple times a week just as new things open up or or new things are seen and understood and yeah and it just writing it down kind of makes a little bit more clear and can kind of help resolve or clarify what’s going on. So…
A: it does that’s what, that’s part of the reason I brought that up because I was on your web site the other day and I read where you did value it daily you know your writing was very helpful in the unfoldment.
D: Yes what I actually publish is kind of different, a different style of thing but yeah it’s an interesting process in itself too, because sometimes what’s happening is I’m writing for the world and not for myself in that context.
Other stuff comes out that I didn’t even know, just kind of in this process of trying to formulate it in words and just other stuff will just flow right out. It’s kind of nice.
It still surprises me that I can actually communicate some of this stuff. It’s not a skill I thought I had, but it just arose.
I did want to loop back a little bit and explain why it’s called God-consciousness. Because there is this process in there with the perception refining and becoming aware of those subtler dynamics.
It’s kind of like we can become aware of what might be called the hand of God or that divine influence you’ve also referenced in there.
well, flows, that’s kind of more, a little comes later, but there’s that falling away of the individual ego claiming that I did this and so on like that.
And so the question comes up, okay, so what is doing this? What is, where does this world come from? What’s motivating me to do these various things?
you can sort of see dynamics and part of the refinement is getting to know the laws of nature and how the world functions, those kind of mechanics.
But you know and then behind that there’s kind of the deeper divine aspect. Now there’s an idea that comes out of the Vedic tradition also that I find really useful. They refer to it as the personal and the impersonal and it’s a little bit like the masculine and the feminine, the other way around, but it’s not quite the same thing.
But essentially it’s like the impersonal is kind of looking to the world with the intellect. And we see the world as functioning laws of nature, a mechanical process and systems, consciousness as a function and so on like that.
It’s kind of the way you see philosophers talking in that kind of drier, the scientific method kind of approach, the more objective approach.
And then there’s the personal, where we experience more from the heart, more from the fine feelings. And it’s actually the same level of functioning in terms of those those layers between the surface and consciousness, but it’s its approach from that is different, you know, from the heart rather than from the intellect.
And from the personal perspective, those same principles we can explore with the intellect, we can explore as embodied, essentially, those laws of nature have a personality, a form. Because it’s on a subtle level, that form is kind of amorphous and there’s come some variation in how that appears it’s kind of like, an analogy, you might think of is like in dream state when you’re when you’re having a dream and somebody shows up a certain way and then they change into their thing. Whatever. It’s kind of a very pliable or you know dependent and…
Our culture, our expectations that kind of thing have a strong influence on you know, how that, how those kind of things show up. And so if we’re not comfortable with that, and it’s like, “Oh, that’s kind of weird,” you know, then we’re going to be more inclined to have an impersonal approach to how we experience the world and see it in terms of principles.
But if we’re open to that, then we’re going to have another means of knowing, basically, a more subjective means. And it’s useful to recognize that influence of, you know, them choosing how they appear to us or our influence and our expectations on how they appear and this kind of thing. So the appearances are kind of mirage-y or they’re just appearances.
But if we can look behind that into the dynamics, then there’s the potential to have a relationship with the laws of nature.
An example that comes to mind, for example, I was in a plane, I was having a plane flight one time and it became quite windy out and the plane was kind of, you know, going for a ride, a roller coaster with the wind. And so I tuned into the wind devas and, that were basically moving the wind around and had a conversation with them and they kind of, you know, in this case they were kind of like, a little grumpy, it’s my job, you know, whatever, I’m doing my job here.
And, but had a little, you know, polite conversation, treat them with respect and they moved on.
And then the plane settled down and I was able to enjoy it.
So it’s kind of like, there’s those advantages, to be able to investigate and communicate on that level.
But from, you know, my experience, it’s mostly too much information. So for the most part, I spend my life in the more impersonal mode, ’cause otherwise it’s just, you know, we’re surrounded by life and everything you know the flowers and trees have have have uh you know devas, however you want to describe them, they’re responsible for managing those things and you know they’re available to communicate with but you know you don’t want to be, you know, get too much information thing. Too much, you have to function in the world, yeah
A: Beautiful, I’m glad that you brought this up.
You know, the way things unfolded here was in a in more of an impersonal unfoldment. There is still a high degree of refined perception and refinement. And you know, it was very much recognized as divinity sort of revealing itself to itself every step of the way, except for some what I would call some high negation conditions that arose you know later on. But I had never heard of, you know, the possibility of these aspects of myself being recognized as embodied or personified.
A: And I moved to an ashram where this was their number one understanding. You know, where they operated on that personal level.
D: That’s less common, yeah.
A: And so in that environment it was very interesting because a lot of spiritual positions were surfacing and it was a very, very constructive time. A lot of refinement actually was taking place there because there were some subtle positions that were present I wasn’t aware of. And being in that environment allowed for those to come to the surface and for them to be recognized.
And being introduced to that understanding and then coming across your work allowed for that recognition to unfold with a greater clarity.
D: And for me, the way it showed up was starting to see them and it’s like, “Oh, what is this? I don’t know. I don’t know about this.”
and you know kind of pushing it out and then finally higher beings started showing up and I was kind of having the same kind of arm’s length thing and so finally there was a little process of acceptance and but also I recognized the need for discrimination because there are beings who are higher beings what might, what we call angels or light beings, whatever, like that, whose job is to, you know, keep things running and help growth and evolution and so on.
But there are also beings who, you might say, have kind of stepped off their path, and they’re not engaging with their journey, and so they’re kind of more, I don’t know, criminal element, that’s not quite the right word, but they’re kind of more manipulators and wanting to mess around and cause trouble. So, you know, and being able to distinguish between these kinds of beings became really important.
I’ve seen that sometimes people start to become aware of this and they, oh, it’s a subtle being, it must be perfect and good. And they get this kind of manipulation and stuff going on.
So it is useful to have some understanding about that arena, particularly the difference between the more surface types of beings and more subtle ones that are divine in nature. Because there’s sort of the…
when people are between lifetimes, you know, they’re in that kind of more surface area, and some of those people have a kind of a role as guides and supportive for us, but it’s more mixed. It’s like on, you know, in physical world, there’s kind of a mixture. Most people are fine, but there’s a few that are more problematic and so on, whereas the subtler beings are around.
A: Yes, I’ve found that that which I would describe as lower astral are those that would attempt to sort of distract or disrupt the process and that has very much been a part of the unfoldment here.
I’ve encountered those situations but being well equipped with the knowledge that that was a potentiality allowed for its immediate recognition. And I feel like it’s a very common understanding in all traditions that there is that sort of testing that takes place on the way up.
It’s not just a smooth ride with all rainbows and just blissful butterflies and everything the whole way.
To have some discernment is extremely helpful and I’m glad you mentioned that.
D: And one of the key ways, by the way, with discernment is the feeling value because the higher beings, the feeling value is much higher and whereas the more manipulative beings are just, there’s kind of, it’s a little more mixed and you know heavier and so on.
A: Yes, perhaps appealing to an aspect of ourself that isn’t you know isn’t quite resolved yet that has to do with some of
the lower chakras or something like that.
D: Yeah, are they appealing to our higher nature or to our base needs?
D: Yeah, yeah. Are they offering a Faustian deal?
A: Yes, all right, beautiful, very important.
Another, I’ll tell a quick story. After I read your book, I remembered you writing about that story with the Wind Devas.
So my wife and I moved into an apartment And when we moved in, we started to notice that in the bedroom there were fleas. So we were like, “Oh no.”
And I wasn’t too upset about it really, but we needed to do something about it. And so we started talking and she was planning to get some chemicals to get them out and everything.
And I said, “Well, just hold on a second. I’m going to just try something else.” And so I had a conversation with the aspect of intelligence that resides over the fleas.
And in two days they were gone. Yeah, they were gone.
D: yeah, a friend of mine had a similar thing with birds, this massive flock of birds had ended up in his backyard and stuck around for several days and they were crapping on everything and that. And so yes, he appealed to their deva with respect. And yeah, moved off to the forest.
A: And reverence, yes, that’s something that I should probably mention, that this is something that is very much within the Self and it is yourself. And you’re speaking to an aspect of yourself. So this is something that is totally subjectively verifiable. You can taste this as a reality for yourself.
And the intellect oftentimes dismisses these kinds of things and is very, very uncomfortable when these conversations come up. But it’s important to recognize that it is a very real possibility in the unfoldment of enlightenment.
D: Yeah, and it’s not that it’s something we should chase or that it’s spiritually important, but it’s important to recognize that it’s there, so that when it does unfold, then it’s natural. You recognize what it is, and you can kind of discriminate and so on.
And so at the finest value of God consciousness, we can become aware of the divine itself in an embodied kind of way.
And so they talk about the Ishta-Devata in the Vedic tradition, which basically means your personal form of God.
And sometimes those are carried in India through the family tradition and so on. But essentially it’s that, those qualities of the divine that we most relate with, that can be embodied. The embodiment of love, the embodiment of power, the embodiment of knowledge, however, you know, whatever those kind of fundamental, you know, natures we most relate to.
Of course, how that shows up for you is, vary widely. When I first had my experience of a divine being, I found it a little confusing because of course, again, I had this concept of the personal God, so I thought, “Is this guy supposed to be my personal God? I’m not responding that way.” I’m kind of like, “Oh, what’s this?” That came later. But it’s still, it’s like, it’s essentially kind of like God in the field, God within creation, within the expressed value.
So it’s kind of the first way we might come to God, as a form, or experience God directly through a form.
That’s kind of the first step.
A: Having that relationship value that’s present there.
D: Yeah, and there’s some form. So there’s a two-ness there.
So there’s a relationship and and there’s able to be, you know, as I mentioned there’s that value of the awakening heart that can take place in that phase. So there’s, God may be a way for that to take place.
However, it might also, you know, you may find it easier to flow love to your guru or your teacher or whatever or to your marriage partner or your partner, whatever they call that, the… um… forget, anyways, there’s a term for that. [upaguru] It’s on my blog.
It’s basically where is it easiest for you to flow love to? So it’s not going to just be into some form of God or whatever,
wherever love wants to go.
A: Yes, beautiful. So I want to just circle back to something that you said about this not being something to chase after or to really have some sort of motivation towards necessarily and to recognize that this can take place without a full unfoldment of enlightenment and also to see that a full unfoldment of enlightenment can take place without the more personified value shining forth.
By the time that this was heard of here, pure Divinity was already shining forth in its brilliance and was very, very intense and strong, perhaps not well integrated yet, but it was.
D: One of the things that they talk about in the old texts is that you have to realize the Self before you can realize God.
And partly, part of that is because to know God, you have to know who you are on that level. But it’s also because knowing the Self, and knowing the container, then you have a platform on which you can know God, ’cause God is so much more than everything. So it’s, (laughs)
so and even there, knowing God often comes in stages. there a little bit about, you know, in God consciousness, it’s God within creation as a form, as a separate thing we relate to, and then go through further. I mean, you mentioned pure Divinity, for example.
This is, it’s kind of like, you can compare pure consciousness at the, you know, at the ground state of our experience with the surface of life, and in the same kind of way, it’s like, the surface appearance of God as a form, with certain qualities is the surface of that, and it has a lot more depth and go back into pure Divinity. Yes. Further along.
A: Further along. That’s right. So perhaps we’ll touch on some of that development then and see if we can find some clarity there.
I was I was having a conversation earlier with someone and something that came up was pointing to the fact that you know speaking about beyond consciousness or what you would refer to as Brahman, Brahman consciousness and then Parabrahman or pure Divinity and what I would refer to as a non-experiential source condition which I would either call the void or pure Divinity. So those are the two ways in which I contextualize that source condition where that is what is dominant.
No longer is the field of subjectivity dominant as our sense of what we are, but the source of the field of subjectivity is what is dominant as the sense of what we are.
And how we cannot shift into that unless there is an identification with the field of subjectivity.
D: Right. Yeah, so the way I frame it is the third stage is called Unity and essentially in Self-Realization we’ve been experiencing being consciousness observing the outside world and essentially they talk about sometimes, about the refinement of perception taking place until you come to the finest relative and you come to consciousness itself and then realize that consciousness is behind all experience. It’s kind of like the movie screen on which all experience is taking place. So it’s kind of here looking out but it’s also here looking back and the whole world is kind of looking back at you in a kind of a way and the dynamic of the subject and object and, but oftentimes in the current, in the West and so on people are not going through that refinement process quite that far so that but there is that tendency at some point for there to be a recognition that there’s of that kind of screen of consciousness so to speak or that, that we’re both the subject and the object and so there’s a recognition that I you know it’s like I am That and then all this is That kind of a thing, to an anglicized version of the Upanishads, but essentially that we wake up to the Self as the objects of
experience as well and the two become one.
So there’s a unification that takes place and then there’s a whole series of sub-stages essentially where that, the series of just by living life, we recognize that oh I’m that too and I’m that too and I’m that too and it kind of all becomes, it moves back and our memory and past and the future and distant parts of the galaxy beyond our ability to perceive and all these layers that they talk about in the text.
But essentially there’s a growing, the Brahma Sutra calls it the aggregate, there’s a growing wholeness that gets bigger and bigger and bigger just by experiencing life and going through that process and more and more gets integrated into that one wholeness.
And so the greater and greater Unity, so to speak.
And then that, if there has been a God-consciousness phase before that, that refinement process, that kind of gets reset, as we make a major change, because who we are shifts, and the Self then becomes all of it.
And so then once Unity is well established, then the refinement process, which had already been going on, now comes back in that new context. Now for some people it’s kind of like a seamless process. The refinement just kind of continues into the new stage and for some people there’s kind of a break and then it kind of restarts.
For me, for example, there was this whole history of inner experiences that have been going on from long before I woke up and all that disappeared when I had the Unity shift. It was kind of odd that way, but it’s sort of like the whole thing just kind of vanished, but it kind of reset, and then as Unity was established, then all those previous things came back again in that new context, as aspects of the Self. Yeah, so that’s the, you know, so the third and the fourth stages, the Unity shift, and then Refined Unity.
Yeah, and the Upanishads, in the text, they’re kind of like Reader’s Digest versions of some of the other Vedas. They’re kind of extractions of shorter stories and things that are profound. They tend to be, some of it’s about Self-Realization, but it tends to be more about Unity.
A lot of that there’s a bit of muddiness in modern non-dual circles kind of mushing the two together. And some of the texts even refer to it all as one thing. Brahman and Unity and it’s all one thing, which is true from one experience, but from prior stages they’re still separate, there’s still there’s a process. But once you’re, you know, once you’re further along, than all your previous stuff is included. And so
it’s true for that stage, but it’s not actually true before that. So it’s kind of that.
And that’s one of the key things about these stages is, is the reality of each stage is distinct. Like in Self-Realization, and the way we’re talking about it here, where you’re the observer and there’s a separate world is dvaita, duality. There’s a two-ness and there’s a distinct separation going on.
In Unity you get the beginnings of oneness or non-duality. That’s when it actually begins to unfold. But true non-duality really doesn’t begin until Brahman. Because what happens in that process of Unity, you go through this greater and greater
inclusivity in Unity and it depends on the process. Some people just go flying through that and don’t go through too much, and then some people are a little bit less, like I’m kind of analytical so I’m kind of like what’s that, you know what happened now, what’s this about?
Yeah for me one of the things that made me really much more relaxed about what’s real or true kind of a thing because it kept shifting. The reality was kind of it wasn’t like the old thing was lost and a new thing came each time, but there was this progressive increasing of what was included and so it would shift the sense of reality a little bit again.
And the physiology, all the layers of physiology between consciousness and the surface all have to adjust to these changes. And the subtler levels are very pliable and flexible and they can adjust fairly easily, but as you get up into the structural levels and then into the more, you know, the lower chakras, as we put it, or the more physical, into the emotional and physical worlds kind of thing, there’s kind of the slowest to catch up. They take a while.
And not in terms of the unpacking we were talking about earlier, purification that takes place, but in terms of the physiology and everything catching up to that.
Some of it can be pretty big changes in our sense of ourself and our relationship with the world, how we see the world, each of these major stages, changes.
I mean, if you talk about God in many circles today, usually it’s a debate about whether you don’t believe in God, whether you do believe in God, or whether you’re kind of agnostic and you’re in the middle somewhere.
But those are just essentially mental debates, you know, belief.
But when you directly experience God, it’s a whole different thing. And then belief really is kind of irrelevant.
Somebody asks, you know, I remember this discussion, somebody asked me if I believed in God, it was sort of like, do I believe in strawberries?
A: That’s right, when I first started giving talks, I would always say, you know, I’d be in front of a group that was more religiously oriented, and I was, you know, things were well underway by that point, but I would say, you know, I don’t believe in God, and I was giving a spiritual talk within a limited context, and
And you know, you see some of these, I used to say, it’d be like, if you were in the swimming pool and someone asking you, do you believe in water?
D: Yeah, yeah, that’s a better analogy.
A: It’s a silly notion because of the-
D: It’s the direct experience. And really, in many ways, there is that aspect I mentioned before about our beliefs do have a tendency to influence how we experience them. If we expect, you know, Jesus to be a certain form or Krishna or something like that, that’s going to have an influence on how they show up to some degree, but that’s not the same thing as belief.
Well, if we refuse to believe, refuse to accept the idea that it could be a, you could experience God in form, then that can be impediment to the experience. But we’re talking experience here, not belief. That’s an important distinction.
A: I’ll point out that I’ve actually tasted refined perception within the context of all of the traditions that I’ve been exposed to, interestingly enough, prior to even hearing about refined perception as an actual part of the process. You know, when I was reading some of the Kabbalistic literature that I was reading, I was able to perceive the sephiro, the manifestation of these points of emergence. Just sitting down at the kitchen table, I saw them, and that was spontaneous, you know, I’d never, and then also with the Christian context,
was able to perceive on some level the value of angelic presences and so on and so forth in a Buddhist context and in more of a devotional Vedanta context as well. So yeah.
D: Right, yeah, there’s a diversity.
For me there’s this kind of gamut: angels, archangels and stuff, and Jesus, and well, more Christ than Jesus really. And then there’s various Eastern figures and one guy who showed up gave me a Persian name. It took me a while to figure that one out. I don’t have a Persian background.
A: So Zoroastrianism, I think, right?
D: Yeah, that was big there, for a long time. But yeah, it’s kind of a whole mixture.
Different cultures will emphasize different aspects or different forms but it’s universal. At those subtler levels it’s universal. We share it all and so it’s all there basically.
A: Yes, it’s amazing.
D: Yeah, and then coming back around to Unity again. So at a certain point there’s various ways that you can frame it but for example here, what happened was the Self became aware of itself in a kind of completion. So consciousness became aware of itself globally and at every point within itself, where each of those points is a potential experiencer. So you know, your point, I have a point, and everybody listening is a point, kind of a thing. And there was a recognition at that point that I’d always been looking in on myself, the Self, I mean the cosmic Self, had always been looking in on itself. And I turned and looked behind, basically.
It’s not quite the right way of putting it, but it’s sort of like that’s how it showed up here. And so then there was a, you know, in Unity the experience is that consciousness is infinite, eternal, boundless, everything, and even God, totality, you know, there’s no idea that there’s more, or something beyond that. It’s kind of like a goofy idea.
But then with the Brahman shift, you recognize that there’s something greater than that, and it actually has the source of consciousness in it. The fundamental qualities that give rise to consciousness in the first place so it can become self-aware and creative and all the other stuff that happens.
And there’s various ways that can happen. The Brahman shift, there isn’t a lot of names for it in traditions because it’s not as commonly talked about probably because it’s a little, you know, how do you talk about that unless you understand all the other stuff before it kind of thing. But yeah, it’s interesting, and there’s these subtle differences, because, I mean, for example, you talked about the void, but the void implies space, and emptiness. When consciousness has this kind of, when self-aware consciousness has this kind of spatial quality, and some people talk about emptiness, or they talk about fullness which is kind of fullness and emptiness ways of experiencing consciousness but Brahman is, is something else.
You were going to say?
A: I was gonna say, yes I’ve heard you mention that before about like language like the void and emptiness and I’m pretty clear about it when I describe it. The void in the way I present it is an actual contextual condition which includes the presentation of phenomenal real ity as part of the way that it’s being presented.
So there’s another contextual modality, which is what I call the levels of enlightenment that I refer to called source awareness, where there’s unmanifest source and manifest conscious awareness. So that would probably be closer to what I would say, perhaps the initial phases of Brahman would be.
But when I describe the void, talking about a total dominance of that quality-less nothingness or supreme nothingness in a way
that it devours all of creation.
And I refer to that as the void, not pointing to the fact that the totality of reality is recognized to be a void but pointing to the fact that phenomenal reality is recognized as void in that sense. Yes. Right. I’m appreciative of you being very specific like that because I am as well. Yeah. And I do understand that there can be discrepancies in the languaging.
D: And there’s subtle differences and it’s so easy to confuse because there’s things like like with waking up, there can be a,
Sometimes people experience a waking up into an emptiness, and sometimes there’s an experience of waking up into a fullness. They’re the same thing.
And yet, waking up to the void, or waking up to the space of consciousness, is not the same thing as waking up to the nothing beyond consciousness.
And it’s,… and there’s like, they’re completely different things, they sound kind of similar and the other things sound completely different and they’re actually the same thing. Different versions of experience. So yeah, it’s a tricky territory to talk about and Brahman, even within the text itself, it’s it’s rarely understood properly and because sometimes people will use Brahman for everything, which I mean it is on that one level. But Brahman is an
interesting one. They call it the Great Awakening. Brahman means great and It’s essentially you’re waking up from your enlightenment to that point. Because it’s completely, It’s a complete shift. sometimes people go through a Kind of a drier period.
Going through all this fullness, especially if there’s been a Refined Unity stage where there’s all this refinement of perception and seeing the dynamics of creation and all you know the play of the Divine and all this stuff going on and then you know, it’s like the whole thing is is thrown out. And yet, I remember the experience shortly after the shift where I’m standing on this deck and I know there’s nothing there. Like there’s no world, there’s nothing. It was never even created in the first place. Not that it’s an illusion, it’s never even there in the first place and yet there it was. And it was kind of like…
because there was because I’d had some perception of the world as an illusion before. It’s a little bit like a mirage kind of a thing, laid over you know consciousness or the subtle dynamics but in this case it was like it wasn’t there, was the knowing that it wasn’t even there and yet there was this kind of a shimmering, trying to describe it that, to differentiate…
But it had this quality that was, it became was kind of different. I haven’t thought about this for a while.
A: I described it as a mist, like almost mist, like it was almost like a an infinitely peaceful mist was collapsing within its own nothingness.
D: Yeah. And then there’s the kind of flows of consciousness to that where… that’s the other thing, with Refined Unity you become aware of the way consciousness attention flows and and that flow creates in its wake, so to speak, and creates effects and well, destroys as well whereas this was kind of like flow but a profoundly more subtle version of that.
Yeah, so it’s been interesting to watch people or talk to people who have had that Brahman shift because that it shows up in a number of different ways.
D: Like here there was a really flat period. I was in grad school at a time and really, really busy. It was a compressed program, so it’s like classes six days a week and and all this and there wasn’t much time to just sit with it and, So it was kind of like just this really flat period for for a year or so. Until I had time to sit with it and process it more and more.
A friend of mine had this process where they kind of stepped through the door a little bit and pulled back, twice. And then finally they stepped through the door and let go and they brought the refinement with them. There wasn’t a sense of loss that there can sometimes be.
Of course, that’s temporary because as we you know soon, you know, once you, because it’s kind of like this two-stage process. First stages is that there can be the experience of this varies, but there can be the experience that is dominated by what’s been lost. What’s not there. Because what is there is nothing so what do you, how do you know by comparison? everything to nothing you know and so there can be a sense of Loss and then as what’s there because it requires a much subtler value of knowing. And it’s not consciousness that knows it, it’s Brahman that knows itself.
And so it’s becoming familiar with what Brahman is, or however you want to call that. And then there can be a refined process again. But now it’s not a refined process, a refined Brahman because there’s no thing and so it’s, it but there’s this kind of refinement of knowing. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe but there’s, but there’s a refined value that can kick in where those those values can become known and then pure Divinity shows up.
So Brahman is this big reality and then pure Divinity or Parabrahman, it’s beyond even Brahman.
Like Brahman is, like sets the stage so you can know pure Divinity because from consciousness there’s too much, there’s too much filter, too much stuff there to know, because it’s so profoundly refined and and it yeah I mean how do you describe it.
A: The way that I’ve been contextualizing that these days is
that in the void or what there’s a difference in the language there but let me make one more point about that because in source awareness there’s a recognition of the unmanifest source and the manifest self as the field of subjectivity or conscious awareness. But the unmanifest source is not dominant yet so I make a distinction between those two contextual conditions and I’ve seen this unfold. But in the void, what I refer to as the void, as a contextual condition of reality, there’s what appears to be the disappearance of the Self.
Yes. Yes. So that is the, that’s what I would refer to just so we’re very clear and the listener is clear that we’re kind of, we are talking about something very similar. Yes.
D: Oh yeah. I agree. I’m not hearing any disagreement here. It’s more like explaining language, because it’s kind of like, how do you…it’s like I mentioned earlier, it’s like it’s things that seem really similar but they’re actually very distinct, and so there’s a lot of misunderstanding about this.
And the reason why I mentioned earlier that Brahman is real non-duality is because even there’s, it turns out, it’s not recognized when you’re in the Self, in consciousness, but when you go beyond that, you recognize that even consciousness itself has these subtle dualities of existing versus not existing and conscious versus not conscious and and all that collapses in Brahman and so it’s just you know… totality is one way it’s been described as well. Yes. And it’s inclusive, and that’s the other thing. Whereas in the stages and this kind of varies by personal a bit too but in the stages before that there was you know you were awake and then you were this, then it was you know GC like this, and then Unity. Each of them kind of had their own realities that were somewhat exclusive. But one of the things about Brahman is that it’s, there’s this huge value of inclusiveness. And so it becomes inclusive of those prior stages.
And I mean, we joked about not remembering what it was like to be in Self-Realization earlier, because it’s so, you know, it, because it’s not been the reality for a while. But the, but at the same time it’s still included within Brahman. It’s a massively inclusive kind of a thing.
And yet it’s irony, you have to go to nothing to become more than everything. And the ironic thing from the perspective of Parabrahman or pure Divinity, I now even see the reality of Brahman as kind of like the afterglow of Divinity.
A: Yes, that was the point I was getting to, is that the way I’ve been kind of contextualizing that is that in shifting into the void or Brahman as a total, all-encompassing, supreme, pristine nothingness as reality, it’s making room for the recognition that pure Divinity is actually reality.
So I look at it more as like it’s like a preparation and you know it’s been interesting kind of cognizing the dynamics of that and seeing you know different perspectives on how that would, how that would unfold and it’s interesting that you call it an afterglow because here recently I’ve had this recognition that I’ve been contextualizing it a little differently than you do as far as the unfoldment of creation in the Self, that Brahman or the void is an apparent withdrawal of pure Divinity within itself, which creates the presentation of supreme nothingness.
So it’s like pure Divinity starts a phase by first forgetting itself so that it can remember itself as many. And that has to take place through the shining forth of the Self and the progressive stratification of individuation within the Self ad infinitum. So it’s interesting that you call it an afterglow because I recently have cognized that as a potentiality or possibility for the way of…
D: That’s a really interesting way to contextualize it. Yeah, that’s really interesting.
A: You’ll probably appreciate this too. There’s a concept in Kabbalah called Simtsum. And it’s actually called “Creative Withdrawal.” And what they refer to as Ein Sof, which is the closest to pure Divinity that I can really find in most of the scriptures, is God as infinity beyond anything like nothingness or manifest levels.
Ein Sof withdraws itself or appears to withdraw itself to itself. And it creates this infinite space of its apparent absence. But because it’s a withdrawal of pure Divinity, it is recognized as realer than the Self when we arrive at it.
D: Right, right.
D: Wow. Beautiful. Yeah.
A: So, like, just turning the lights off real quick in a room, just, but that leaves that afterglow of darkness of the apparent absence and then that’s when all the dynamics start to unfold and so that’s that I look at the primary distinction you know you used to look at it Shiva Shakti or you know awareness and conscious presence and that and that is still a level but even Brahman Atman would be the primary distinction which allows for for the unfoldment of all of this.
D: Yeah, well it’s interesting too how stuff gets recontextualized because there was this thing of consciousness coming to know itself through this self-interacting, self-aware consciousness, creating a creation so that it could know itself.
And then it’s kind of like from the context of Brahman it became kind of like it’s consciousness trying to imitate in a kind of way, create a facsimile. It’s like a pale imitation of pure Divinity.
And we’re talking, I mean, when I talk about the word, I use the word creation, just for context, it’s kind of like, it’s like the mind of God in a kind of a sense.
And within that are multiple creations, each completely different than ours. And within ours is multiple universes. And we live within one universe and then we know from science, kind of get a sense of how vast our universe is.
So I mean, this is a really, really big place.
And yet, it turns out…
A: You’re not talking about the creation of this planet.
D: It’s like this whole giant process. But from that perspective, it’s like just a thought. A single thought. And it does happen to be a pretty complex one. I mean, some of the other creations are much simpler. And I found exploring a few of those interesting because they embody certain ideas easier or better because they were simpler. So you could understand the dynamics of of space and time and in that context without all the other stuff in there.
So we happen to have a complex one, but it still comes down to just being a thought. And it’s like–
A: I like that. I was thinking about that when that revealed itself about your contextualization of it as a brief musing.
So I could see that creative withdrawal as part of the brief musing, because that is the way in which, you know, this dream of Divinity is appearing to unfold by that very process.
And yet there’s this dynamic of the Divine knowing it all all at once. Like it has this brief thought, it’s all known, it’s done, right?
But there’s this profound degree of detail that’s possible. And so by creating all these points of, know, awareness within itself. There’s all these different perspectives. And there’s the ability to unfold all the detail and bring out all the all the little nuances and the detail that that are not in a just a quick thought that there’s this kind of, and it’s a bit like our own experience, we have some idea that, oh, I’d like to, you know, go on a holiday to Florida, you know, it’s just like an idea goes by and it’s done, right? But then there’s, you know, then there’s a whole process that can go where you, you know, plan and you book your tickets and you actually, or you drive down there or whatever context and then you have to have the experiences there and then come home. So there’s a, there’s kind of like those two levels of thought and then going in and actually having the experience and filling it out. And so there’s a sense, there’s that sense of the purpose of all this is for experience to unfold in.
And you have the idea of dharma in India, often translated to mean purpose, but the word means that which sustains. So
it’s essentially there’s a dynamic that sustains the world in this appearance so that we can have these experiences unfold our
lives and play our role in the whole to bring out this little detail or that little detail or however.
A: Yes, we’ve seen these days it the way that it kind of comes through here is the the unfoldment of the potential for love and the flow of love and varying degrees of the apparent absence of the expression of the love of pure Divinity and how all of that fits together in the infinite, intricate web of creation that doesn’t have a beginning or an ending.
And also could be seen as not actually taking place.
D: Yes, exactly. And it’s not, and it’s sort of that you get these philosophical debates about, oh, the world’s an illusion, or the world’s Lila, the divine play, or the world’s real, or whatever. And, you know, as philosophical arguments, but they’re actually all valid perspectives and that can come up at certain stages in the journey. That’s another whole topic but there are different perspectives on reality and it’s like the reality is inclusive so it’s they’re all true and in a certain context and for a certain purpose. So it kind of not that everything is true or anything is true but there is a…
A: Subjectively, it feels true in that sense. So that’s one of the, I’m glad you’re bringing this up ’cause it’s important for us to understand that the nature of subjectivity, by virtue of what conscious awareness is, what it takes itself to be or holds in mind, can appear to be real and valid and true.
That’s why we feel like we’re a person and we have our own life.
But I think that that principle applies to everything, even the various recognitions of itself as a field and the different qualitative channels that unfold there.
And there’s also the other value there where you step out of that and you experience yourself as not being this person and not even having a person in some context.
But again, enlightenment is a movement to inclusivity. And so at a certain point you recognize, oh yeah, there’s still a person there. I still need this to take care of this body mind and to address anything that comes up and I need to actually feed it and so on.
And so have that balance thing ’cause there can be some tendency I’ve seen in some people and including teachers to say there’s no person and then get into some kind of denial and then they kind of go do stupid things or say stupid things because there’s no person there. They don’t see a person in front of them either. And so they say something really obnoxious or a little too cutting.
And it’s like, well, you know, you still wanna be polite.
A: Well, it’s yourself, you know, that’s another thing. But that’s the, yeah, that’s an interesting point you’re making as well. That when I, ’cause sometimes I do point out those things, depending on, it’s all very contextual according to the listener, you know what I mean?
‘Cause at a certain degree of ripeness, it’s valid and other points it’s not, and different things like that.
So it arises spontaneously, there’s no planning or designing or anything.
You know, one thing I’ve noticed is that it always is contextualized with the word separate. So there is no separate person, but there is this persona, this personification, this value of expression which allows for us to be together in this experience.
D: Yeah, and there’s still those karmas unfolding. So even though somebody might be very, very awake, the momentum that brought them into this life and the past dynamics are still playing out through their lives.
And that gets resolved more and more through time. I found it really interesting to notice certain dynamics that were very present in my life for a long time, have wound down. And so they no longer come up.
And when that first started happening, it was a big surprise ’cause it’s just kind of, you’re just so used to certain kinds of people respond in a certain way to certain things. blah blah blah, just that’s the pattern in this life. And gradually those things have been winding down, but there’s certainly definitely still other ones in play.
A: Yes, yes, I totally resonate with that as well. I just want to go back to the no person thing really quick because I think it’s so important what you’re saying. The other day I was giving a talk and I said, you know, it’s kind of like if a duck were to hatch out of an egg. And all of its attention was focused on the fact that it wasn’t an egg. And so it was just totally enraptured with the fact that it realized that it wasn’t
the egg. And it went around and told all the other ducks that they’re not the egg. Or tried to talk to the eggs and tell them that they’re not that, they’re not the egg, right? It hasn’t realized that it’s a duck yet, and that it can fly and you know, that it has feathers and all that good stuff. So I thought that was pretty funny because I remember that phase, you know, and I probably would have told somebody, you’re not a person, you’re not a person.
A: But it was kind of a childhood, adolescence, you know, from a realization perspective.
D: Yeah, there was a funny period for me as I was approaching the Unity shift. For me, it happened in a couple of steps.
And one of the steps was a falling away of what I refer to as the core identity or the core thing that drove a sense of “David”. So even though the ego had been blown off the top with awakening, and the emotional drivers of that, ’cause the self-concepts, emotional drivers of that cleared to a large part, and then it got down to the core identity, kind of, I jokingly refer to those early on as the three amigos, am-egos.
It’s got kind of like three levels of functioning of the ego. And when that last one popped, the sense of David became meaningless and I stopped using personal pronouns for a couple of weeks in there. It just was meaningless to say “he” or whatever. And the friends, it was around the time that Prince had done his thing where he stopped, he was a symbol instead of a name or whatever. And so a couple of friends were jokingly calling me “the person formerly known as David.”
A: That’s right, that’s you know that’s like super annoying to everybody around you.
D: There’s still little aspects of that though here and there.
Like when I was writing the book, I wasn’t gonna include personal stuff in there, but they kind of pushed, you know friends, and said no you have to include that in there too as an example and to show you’re qualified to talk about this stuff. And so I was using the word “here” as a personal pronoun.
I still do it a bit, but my editor was like, “No, no, no, you can’t do that.”
So there’s like using the word “I” was like, that was sort of dumb, but then at a certain point, it’s like you’re out there in the normal world and, you know, if you don’t use normal pronouns, people don’t understand you.
A: Yeah, yeah, I found that it’s very much, you know, according to the context and what’s appropriate that it just arises and it’s very natural.
It’s not something that we have to force or think about or, you know, because thought kind of, you know, really settles down in a certain sense. So it arises as it’s needed.
And in certain contexts, I may refer to, I may speak as I, and I’m speaking from an identification with Divinity, but that’s very, you know, in the moment, in the teaching, in the flow of teaching.
And it’s only when that is appropriate and not at other times.
D: Yeah, you still have to communicate. There’s no point in using language if you’re not planning to communicate.
Yeah, it’s worth making a comment here too, in this context, because we’ve come through a period of time in… consciousness moves in these large rising and falling cycles. They call that the yugas in India. The Greeks and so on have talked about that in terms of the ages. And there’s these basically cycles of rising and falling consciousness.
And we’re rising out of a dark age. And in a dark age it became one of those things where the renunciate approach became quite dominant in spiritual cultures, both East and West. And a lot of that is still very present in teachings. And so there’s this emphasis on renunciation and withdrawal from the world. And if you’re going to be a monk, you know, ignoring the person is a perfectly normal thing to do. But most of us are householders, and so in the modern context we still have to function in the world and communicate with everybody and so on. So we have to talk like a normal person to some degree. And it’s the same with practices. We don’t adopt practices or philosophies that are unsuitable for your lifestyle. It can create divisions.
A: Yeah, there’ll be conflict. You know I’ve run up against plenty of that in the unfoldment here just from you know kind of some Buddhist karma and things like that and being in the midst of daily life and kind of running into these subtle positions about the way things were unfolding and as far as the body and everything like that and having to resolve a lot of that.
So it’s important to have that understanding.
D: Yes, I found for me and during the Unity stage there was a lot of really subtle, what I refer to as shoulds and musts that were there, just unconscious programs that would run and you know that, oh, you’re supposed to eat a certain way and you’re supposed to behave a certain way and all this kind of stuff and it all just fell away.
It’s been really interesting because then you just, when those things fall away, then you really are just driven by the more subtle movement, the flows of consciousness and so on.
And so, you know, like this beard, there wasn’t sort of a process of like, “Oh, I should grow a beard now and making a plan and timing it.” It just simply, I stopped shaving. There was no thought.
And then after a few days, it’s kind of like, “Oh, I’m not shaving anymore. Okay, that’s interesting. So what’s happening here?” And so apparently I’m shifting back to having a beard again.
So it’s kind of like that. falling away of all these expectations and rules. That’s even actually more so in the Brahman stage too. I’ve watched a number of people, they sort of had a certain practice that they did at a certain time of day and all this kind of thing and you know, now they do their program, meditation program in the middle of night. Just every night they go to bed, sleep for a few hours, get up, do their program and go back to bed again. That’s what they do. that’s what arose and that’s what they do. And you know, there’s all kinds of variations that the people become.
And it’s interesting too, if you look at many of the great sages from history, they were really unique personalities. They were very distinctive personalities. And it’s like that when the fetters of, you know, self-expectations fall away, we become more and more distinct, even though we’re more and more united and one, that that the laws of nature that are here that are playing out this life are freed and are able to express more fully.
A: Yeah, that’s right.
The love starts to reflect through the persona and through the expression with a great degree of brilliance and it’s an amazing process.
A: Beautiful. Thank you so much for speaking with me. I know we could continue to go on for a while. There’s a lot to talk about, you know, how this unfolds in relationship to family that we’re around, you know, ways to approach that and to be with that. So perhaps we can do another talk sometime and touch on some of those things. But for today, I feel like we’ve covered a lot.
D: Yes, we have.
More than I expected.
A: It’s been beautiful, so thank you so much.
D: You’re welcome.