Transcript: The Faces of Reality talk by David Buckland at SAND18

Rick Archer: I just want to say real quick before David starts that he and I did an interview yesterday and we’ll be on BAGGAP.com probably in a couple of weeks or something like that.

So today’s just going to be a little taste, we went on for two hours and …

David: Okay, good morning and welcome.

The description of my talk in the brochure was on the expectation that I would have a little more time.

And so I’ve narrowed down the topic a little bit.

I’m going to be talking about the koshas or the stages of becoming in the process of consciousness becoming the world and all our experiences.

To start at the beginning I guess you could say is what is called Parabrahman or pure Divinity.

This is profoundly abstract, it’s known as the source of the source, the uncreated.

The best analogy to use would be pure consciousness.

We all have experiences of consciousness in the world.

We’re out there, we’re seeing each other here, and in the play and display of our experiences.

But that’s all consciousness with content.

Pure consciousness happens when we go into deep meditation and the mind stops for a moment.

We have that experience of just silence, just awareness without content.

That’s pure consciousness.

Pure divinity is kind of the exponential version of that, the source of the source, as I mentioned.

What might be called the afterglow of pure Divinity is known as Brahman. Brahman has three very subtle qualities. A quality of alertness, a quality of liveliness, and a quality of intelligence.

They’re not really qualities though, because qualities are usually like, “This is white.”

It’s much more subtle than that.

But that liveliness stirs the alertness, and that alertness becomes conscious.

It stirs it further, and it becomes aware, and it starts to move in itself.

But that liveliness doesn’t just agitate alertness, it has an intelligence to it.

So there’s a smooth flow, it takes a direction and so forth.

So consciousness flows within itself, curves back on itself and becomes self-aware.

And this is the foundation of all experiences.

And there’s these three aspects, you can see here, A, B, and C. A is the observer, the person who’s experiencing on the local level, the objects of observation out here in the world, and then the process of experience between them.

This is all very abstract, I know, but it’s the foundation of all of our experiences, all form and phenomena.

So I’ll just try and get a bit of an introduction to put this in a bit of context.

So last year here, I talked about the observer side more and the seven stages of enlightenment.

I’m not going to have time to talk about that today so you can see my talk on my website if you’re interested in that.

And today I’m going to be talking about the B side, the stages of becoming, or the object side.

you think of yourself experiencing it in the world out here, we’re going to talk about the stages of this side of it.

When someone is first self-realized, they wake up to the Self, or we could say the Self or the consciousness within wakes up to itself inside. It’s only in later stages that we become aware that the screen on which all of this is playing is also consciousness. So it’s consciousness here, looking out, it’s consciousness here, looking back through the world of phenomena. So we’re going to talk about that.

And the stages of that becoming…

There’s a model in the Vedic tradition called the Koshas, which means “sheathes”.

And so you have your physical body, there’s an energy body that suffuses it and kind of sticks out a little bit. People talk about auras and that kind of thing. And then there’s a mental body that surrounds that, a little bit bigger.

And then there’s another layer and another layer, so on and going out. But today we’re going to talk about it in the reverse, in the top down, same kind of idea but from the reverse perspective.

Now when you look at Kosha models online you’ll probably often find descriptions of five Koshas.

And this is because from the experience of Self-Realization or even Unity Consciousness at a later stage where the world and… the Self within and the Self without are united, the
Consciousness is of self, it is of consciousness being infinite and eternal.

So it’s not seen as a kosha at all.

But in a later stage, when you go beyond consciousness into Brahman, that I mentioned back at the beginning, then you realize that consciousness is also a kosha, because there was that process going on where alertness stirred, er, aliveness stirred alertness and became conscious and curved back on itself.

And so it has an origin.

It’s not an origin in time or space because it’s prior to those things, but there’s kind of a sense of origin, a sense of beginning in that. And so it turns out it too is a kosha.

Now I’m going to start off by talking about the stuff on the left, and the stuff on the right. I’ll come back to shortly.

So the next stage of becoming after that consciousness curving back on itself is what is known as the Chittamaya kosha stage.

So consciousness is curved back on itself and then it curves back in on itself again and then it curves back in on itself again.

I can’t do it with one hand very well. (laughs)

But, it loops in on itself into more and more contracted infinities until it starts to become more…

Solid is the wrong word, it’s premature for that, but more dense, more experienceable, it gains more qualities and stuff
as we go down this list.

So the next kosha that arises is known as the bliss body.

And that’s the first one that a lot of them talk about that is sometimes known as the causal or the celestial level.

And this is when actual becoming starts to happen in a concrete kind of a way, concrete, well, abstract kind of a way, but it’s actual becoming. This is the level of fine vibration and so on.

And then the next layer is known as the body of the intellect, the buddhi. It’s also the level where we experience fine feelings, our intuition, that kind of thing.

And then we have the mental body, which is also where we process our sensory information on that level.

Then the energy body, where we experience breath and emotions and so on like that, the prana body.

And finally the annamaya kosha, which basically means food body, that’s our physical body.

Now on the right hand side you see a series of other pieces of information.

The first item on the side of the vertical bar is the chakras. There’s a correspondence between these seven levels and the seven chakras. Now it’s not Back and forth because the chakras themselves only function in some koshas.

The first, the chakras come in as a universal set on the bliss body, the number three there.

They come in as a universal set and then they gradually express forward and we get more individualized. The first three [koshas] are all universal and then it starts to become more localized as you move forward.

And so the chakras are first expressed as a universal set and then they kind of come in through the layers up to the prana kosha.

However, there is the seven chakras or seven because they’re representing those seven levels in the physiology.

But because they function in these four different levels, that’s why people describe them in various ways.

For example, Chakra is depicted as a geometry.

Chakra is depicted as a vortex or as a flower.

This is experiencing them on different levels.


(Remember what I brought here.)

So, also you have qualities.

The bliss body as I mentioned is a field of fine vibration. This is where you get the pranava, AUM, the first becoming, which then gradually differentiates into other sounds and then…

you see beside that is space, the element of space arises. So you have this…

consciousness curves back to itself until that space of awareness between awareness of itself becomes manifest and you have the subtle quality of space.

And in that space is fine vibration and becoming.

And then we step forward and there’s a geometry that arises
on the next level, on level four, where the aspect kind of creates subtle structure, what people call sacred geometry, sometimes.

you get these fine structures.

And the puzzle for me was why structure arose at that level.

But it turns out on a very subtle level, there’s these fine devatas, it’s called, the fine aspects of intelligence, laws of nature.

Devata means light being, so fine light beings, and they interact and create these relationships.

And they express sounds, vibrations.

In Sanskrit, for example, we have verses that are a sequence of sounds as words and lines, sutras and so on, and verses.

But the way they use it is simultaneous.

They’re speaking together and creating these harmonies to create complex vibrations.

And they’re relating to each other, and so it creates this geometry, the geometry of the relationship, which creates subtle structure.

And then, as you get onto the mental body, then it creates a field value, like a cloud of interrelationship, and then that gradually solidifies through the next couple of levels into physical world.

So you can see there’s the space, air, fire, water, earth,

as it gets more and more dense and the qualities associated.
and those have associations with the senses as well.

The eyes, for example, are attuned to the fire element,
and where the touch is attuned to the air element,
and sound, of course, hearing, of course, to the vibration, to sound, and so on.

Another interesting detail here, most people live in 5, 6 and 7 down at the bottom there.

They live in their mind, emotions, and physical body.

That’s what they experience as their reality.

And they’ll have fine feelings and intuitions, but it’s a little more subtle, a little less conscious.

But through the practice, spiritual practice, you develop awareness of the more subtle levels.

Sometimes people go straight into consciousness and develop that and then come back and fill in the gap.

But as this becomes matured and more complete, you then start living in one, two and three.

And you may notice that the first one, one of the characteristics is sat, which means the absolute or pure being.

There’s a number of names for this.

And then Chit and then ananda.

Satchitananda, which is the name for an established Self-Realization, the Buddhist equivalent is nirvana.

So it’s essentially the person shifts into living in the upper
koshas more. They’re still in the body and so on but they become more dominant, more real as they become established.

Okay, so we’re getting, …I gotta move along here, I’ve got 20 minutes.

Okay, so as I mentioned I talk about the seven stages of enlightenment last year.

I’ve got a book on the topic that’s available.

It’s not available in the bookstore upstairs this year.
I didn’t, they changed how they were doing it.
I didn’t realize it, so it didn’t show up there.

But it is available on Amazon and everywhere else.
eBook or print form.

That’s where I talk about the seven stages of enlightenment.

And that’s my website.

So yes, any questions?


Question: Can you come back to the first slide?

– This one?

– No, the earlier.

Question: So my question is, you are saying that consciousness curves back to itself.


So the question is where do you actually see itself?

It looks like it is here, but how does it all happen?

David: It curves back on itself and then it recognizes itself, it sees itself across.

It happens multiple times and it goes back in itself again and again.

Question: Right, but in order to recognize itself it should be self somewhere.

So what do you mean by self?

Yes, because all the consciousness, all the…

David: Well, the sense of self is the subjective experience of it.

Question: Just one thing.

You know, I don’t know the question, but you know, you divide the stage of the experiencer, experience and experience, right?

We all know this from meditation.

But I noticed, you know, when we… I think it’s a great way to start, becoming aware of oneself, becoming aware of…

But ultimately, and that’s what I was missing a little bit, ultimately we just have, you know, experiencing, instead of like the experience, experience…

David: Yes, that’s what I talked about last year, the process.

So you wake up to A as the Self experiencing all this, then you wake up to being B also.

So you are not just the experiencer, but you are what is being experienced.

They become one thing, leaving just the process of experience.

And then that too unites, and then you go beyond consciousness into Brahman.

Question: Could you explain that last point? So when you transcend the seer, the seeing, the process of being, what is that like as being pure Brahman? Well what is Brahman? From an experiential standpoint, what is Brahman?

David: Well, Brahman is beyond this process of experience. So Brahman isn’t something you experience.

You know it by being it, or you know it by recognizing you are it.

So once consciousness knows itself fully, it’s kind of like it’s been looking in on itself all this time.

And then once it knows itself fully, it realizes it can look behind itself and look beyond itself.

Then it can see that dynamic of alertness, becoming… liveliness stirring alertness and becoming conscious and so on like that.

And then you recognize Brahman.

But Brahman can only be known by itself.

Question: So would you call that God?

David: No, pure Divinity is what I would refer to as God,
which is beyond… ParaBrahman.

Question: I’m gonna throw a little bit of a question
at this example.

There’s the spirit, the son, and the father,
and you go back to the father, the source.

Is the source the ParaBrahman or Brahman itself?

In other words, the transcendent reality is beyond Brahman, correct?

David: Right. Well, it’s beyond absolute as well. It’s because it’s the source of the source, but it’s beyond any kind of conception or any kind of… It’s beyond even… Because

Brahman is beyond any kind of experience or value of mind or any concepts or whatever.

It’s uncreated. Divine is even more so.

Question: So when you say that the world self is waking up, and awareness becomes on that chart, you’re talking about not just the individual self, but the world self.

David: Well, when enough individuals in the group consciousness wake up, then it raises the whole thing,

the whole group consciousness, and then a lot of people start experiencing as if awake, even if they’re not.

There’s a bit of, in my talk, with my conversation with Rick Archer, he mentioned in the beginning,

We go into the mechanics of that a little bit, and some of the dynamics that are going on.

Like right now, there’s also, I mentioned about the Devata value, there are qualities of intelligence that are in the physiology that are waking up now too.

And that’s, those are, some of those are universal. And so when those wake up, they wake up through everybody.

So it’s another part of the process of the whole thing rising up.

Question: So I was just trying to confirm my understanding, going beyond your consciousness.

When I played sports in college, I went to a team where you’re thinking about what you’re doing all the time.

And when you’re thinking about it, you’re not that good.

And if you do it enough, it happens without you thinking.

I can see that, and that was a very joyful and semi-religious experience.

But now there’s other ways to get there besides sports, meditation.

David: Right, right. And that’s kind of a local version.

And it’s like the idea of “as above, so below.”

So all of our experience is founded in the universal principles.

So the idea here was like a crash course in some of those layers,

Which unfortunately was a little abstract, I know, and in the time frame I had to…

I couldn’t give enough examples and so on like that.

Question: I think one other thing too, and that’s acceptance.

As it comes back around you have to embrace what you see.

And as it keeps coming back around you’re still open to embracing it.

And then at some point you go beyond it.

David: Yeah, it’s actually one of those interesting things.

I had an email, last week we were talking with someone who is experiencing being complete for the third time. (laughter)

So you get to this point where it seems complete and all that kind of stuff, and then you go to the next layer and it’s a whole other thing, a whole different kind of (indistinct) that can unfold.

As far as I can see, it’s not a process that ever finishes in the time frame you have.

But there’s certainly potential that’s much greater than what we generally recognize in our culture at the moment.

Question: And the key is what are you connected with once you go beyond that?

David: Well, it’s handy because there isn’t a lot of conversation about this yet and there are people going through these stages.

So being able to support that is quite important.

Yeah, but we do need to give her time to set up.

So I’m going to have to stop here.

Thank you.



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