Posted by: Soh
(Above: Buddha expounding the Shurangama Mantra)

In these sutras, the Buddha warned against mistaken understandings of the I AM and non-dual experience/realisation prior to the Anatta insight (i.e. Thusness Stage 1~4). Shurangama Sutra in particular maps well with Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment

First Sutra (Shurangama Sutra)

(41) Ananda, you should know that the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty, and he must return consciousness to the source. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

He can cause the individual sense faculties of his body to unite and open. He also has a pervasive awareness of all the categories of beings in the ten directions. Since his awareness is pervasive, he can enter the perfect source. But if he regards what he is returning to as the cause of true permanence and interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of holding to that cause. Kapila the Sankhyan, with his theory of returning to the Truth of the Unmanifest, will become his companion. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the first state, in which he creates a place to which to return, based on the idea that there is something to attain. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of externalism.

(42) Further, Ananda, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

He may regard that to which he is returning as his own body and see all living beings in the twelve categories throughout space as flowing forth from his body. If he interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of maintaining that he has an ability which he does not really have. Maheshvara, who manifests his boundless body, will become his companion. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the second state, in which he creates a specific ability based on the idea that he has such an ability. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds for being born in the Heaven of Great Pride where the self is considered all-pervading and perfect.

(43) Further, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

If he regards what he is returning to as a refuge, he will suspect that his body and mind come forth from there, and that all things in the ten directions of space arise from there as well. He will explain that that place from which all things issue forth is the truly permanent body, which is not subject to production and destruction. While still within production and destruction, he prematurely reckons that he abides in permanence. Since he is deluded about non-production, he is also confused about production and destruction. He is sunk in confusion. If he interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of taking what is not permanent to be permanent. He will speculate that the God of Sovereignty (Ishvaradeva) is his companion. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the third state, in which he makes a false speculation based on the idea that there is a refuge. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of an distorted view of perfection.

(44) Further, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

Based on his idea that there is universal awareness, he formulates a theory that all the plants and trees in the ten directions are sentient, not different from human beings. He claims that plants and trees can become people, and that when people die they again become plants and trees in the ten directions. If he considers this idea of unrestricted, universal awareness to be supreme, he will fall into the error of maintaining that what is not aware has awareness. Vasishtha and Sainika, who maintained the idea of comprehensive awareness, will become his companions. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the fourth state, in which he creates an erroneous interpretation based on the idea that there is a universal awareness. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of a distorted view of awareness.

(45) Further, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

If he has attained versatility in the perfect fusion and interchangeable functioning of the sense faculties, he may speculate that all things arise from these perfect transformations. He then seeks the light of fire, delights in the purity of water, loves the wind's circuitous flow, and contemplates the accomplishments of the earth. He reveres and serves them all. He takes these mundane elements to be a fundamental cause and considers them to be everlasting. He will then fall into the error of taking what is not production to be production. Kashyapa and the Brahmans who seek to transcend birth and death by diligently serving fire and worshipping water will become his companions. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the fifth state, in which he confusedly pursues the elements, creating a false cause that leads to false aspirations based on speculations about his attachment to worship. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of a distorted view of transformation.

(46) Further, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

He may speculate that there is an emptiness within the perfect brightness, and based on that he denies the myriad transformations, taking their eternal cessation as his refuge. If he interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of taking what is not a refuge to be a refuge. Those abiding in Shunyata in the Heaven of [Neither Thought nor] Non-Thought will become his companions. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the sixth state, in which he realizes a state of voidness based on the idea of emptiness within the perfect brightness. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of annihilationism.

(47) Further, the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

In the state of perfect permanence, he may bolster his body, hoping to live for a long time in that subtle and perfect condition without dying. If he interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of being greedy for something unattainable. Asita and those who seek long life will become his companions. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the seventh state, in which he creates the false cause of bolstering and aspires to permanent worldly existence, based on his attachment to the life-source. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds for false thoughts of lengthening life.
Buddha warned (in Shurangama Sutra) against taking Consciousness as a permanent Spiritual Self:

(33) Further, in his practice of samadhi, such a good person's mind is firm, unmoving, and proper and can no longer be disturbed by demons. He can thoroughly investigate the origin of all categories of beings and contemplate the source of the subtle, fleeting, and constant fluctuation. But if he begins to speculate about self and others, he could fall into error with theories of partial impermanence and partial permanence based on four distorted views.

First, as this person contemplates the wonderfully bright mind pervading the ten directions, he concludes that this state of profound stillness is the ultimate spiritual self. Then he speculates, "My spiritual self, which is settled, bright, and unmoving, pervades the ten directions. All living beings are within my mind, and there they are born and die by themselves. Therefore, my mind is permanent, while those who undergo birth and death there are truly impermanent."


Because of these speculations of impermanence and permanence, he will fall into externalism and become confused about the Bodhi nature. This is the third externalist teaching, in which one postulates partial permanence.


Finally, if your pure, bright, clear, and unmoving state is permanent, then there should be no seeing, hearing, awareness or knowing in your body. If it is genuinely pure and true, it should not contain habits and falseness.

How does it happen, then, that having seen some unusual thing in the past, you eventually forget it over time, until neither memory nor forgetfulness of it remain; but then later, upon suddenly seeing that unusual thing again, you remember it clearly from before without one detail omitted? How can you reckon the permeation which goes on in thought after thought in this pure, clear, and unmoving consciousness?

Ananda, you should know that this state of clarity is not real. It is like rapidly flowing water that appears to be still on the surface. Because of its rapid speed, you cannot perceive the flow, but that does not mean it is not flowing. If this were not the source of thinking, then how could one be subject to false habits?

If you do not open and unite your six sense faculties so that they function interchangeably, this false thinking will never cease.

That's why your seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing are presently strung together by subtle habits, such that within the profound clarity, existence and non-existence are both illusory. This is the fifth kind of upside-down, minutely subtle thinking.
Second Sutra (Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence)

..."He directly knows water as water... the All as the All...

"He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, he does not conceive things about Unbinding, does not conceive things in Unbinding, does not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, does not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' does not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you."

That is what the Blessed One said. Displeased, the monks did not delight in the Blessed One's words.
Rob Burbea in Realizing the Nature of Mind:

One time the Buddha went to a group of monks and he basically told them not to see Awareness as The Source of all things. So this sense of there being a vast awareness and everything just appears out of that and disappears back into it, beautiful as that is, he told them that’s actually not a skillful way of viewing reality. And that is a very interesting sutta, because it’s one of the only suttas where at the end it doesn’t say the monks rejoiced in his words.

This group of monks didn’t want to hear that. They were quite happy with that level of insight, lovely as it was, and it said the monks did not rejoice in the Buddha’s words. (laughter) And similarly, one runs into this as a teacher, I have to say. This level is so attractive, it has so much of the flavor of something ultimate, that often times people are unbudgeable there.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

The Buddha taught that clinging to views is one of the four forms of clinging that tie the mind to the processes of suffering. He thus recommended that his followers relinquish their clinging, not only to views in their full-blown form as specific positions, but also in their rudimentary form as the categories & relationships that the mind reads into experience. This is a point he makes in the following discourse, which is apparently his response to a particular school of Brahmanical thought that was developing in his time — the Samkhya, or classification school.

This school had its beginnings in the thought of Uddalaka, a ninth-century B.C. philosopher who posited a "root": an abstract principle out of which all things emanated and which was immanent in all things. Philosophers who carried on this line of thinking offered a variety of theories, based on logic and meditative experience, about the nature of the ultimate root and about the hierarchy of the emanation. Many of their theories were recorded in the Upanishads and eventually developed into the classical Samkhya system around the time of the Buddha.

Although the present discourse says nothing about the background of the monks listening to it, the Commentary states that before their ordination they were brahmans, and that even after their ordination they continued to interpret the Buddha's teachings in light of their previous training, which may well have been proto-Samkhya. If this is so, then the Buddha's opening lines — "I will teach you the sequence of the root of all phenomena" — would have them prepared to hear his contribution to their line of thinking. And, in fact, the list of topics he covers reads like a Buddhist Samkhya. Paralleling the classical Samkhya, it contains 24 items, begins with the physical world (here, the four physical properties), and leads back through ever more refined & inclusive levels of being & experience, culminating with the ultimate Buddhist concept: Unbinding (nibbana). In the pattern of Samkhya thought, Unbinding would thus be the ultimate "root" or ground of being immanent in all things and out of which they all emanate.

However, instead of following this pattern of thinking, the Buddha attacks it at its very root: the notion of a principle in the abstract, the "in" (immanence) & "out of" (emanation) superimposed on experience. Only an uninstructed, run of the mill person, he says, would read experience in this way. In contrast, a person in training should look for a different kind of "root" — the root of suffering experienced in the present — and find it in the act of delight. Developing dispassion for that delight, the trainee can then comprehend the process of coming-into-being for what it is, drop all participation in it, and thus achieve true Awakening.

If the listeners present at this discourse were indeed interested in fitting Buddhist teachings into a Samkhyan mold, then it's small wonder that they were displeased — one of the few places where we read of a negative reaction to the Buddha's words. They had hoped to hear his contribution to their project, but instead they hear their whole pattern of thinking & theorizing attacked as ignorant & ill-informed. The Commentary tells us, though, they were later able to overcome their displeasure and eventually attain Awakening on listening to the discourse reported in AN 3.123.

Although at present we rarely think in the same terms as the Samkhya philosophers, there has long been — and still is — a common tendency to create a "Buddhist" metaphysics in which the experience of emptiness, the Unconditioned, the Dharma-body, Buddha-nature, rigpa, etc., is said to function as the ground of being from which the "All" — the entirety of our sensory & mental experience — is said to spring and to which we return when we meditate. Some people think that these theories are the inventions of scholars without any direct meditative experience, but actually they have most often originated among meditators, who label (or in the words of the discourse, "perceive") a particular meditative experience as the ultimate goal, identify with it in a subtle way (as when we are told that "we are the knowing"), and then view that level of experience as the ground of being out of which all other experience comes.

Any teaching that follows these lines would be subject to the same criticism that the Buddha directed against the monks who first heard this discourse.
p.s. With due respects to Thanissaro Bhikkhu who is a venerable from the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism, his comments on "the Dharma-body, Buddha-nature, rigpa" is not in accord with what is taught in the Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions, since in these traditions the Dharmakaya (dharma body)/Buddha Nature/Rigpa is explained as empty as well. It is however a common misunderstanding even among Buddhists.

Also see: Rigpa and Aggregates

As my friend who is an experienced Dzogchen practitioner, Vajrahridaya (who himself wrote a very good article on refuting Consciousness as 'Source' which I posted in ‘What makes Buddhism different’) said:

Ah, but this is not at all what Rigpa or Dharmakaya means. Rigpa is basically the consciousness of emptiness of dependent origination, so also originates dependently and is not some self supporting universal awareness. But since all aspects of the so called "universe" are inherently empty always, so Rigpa is always, only in as much as it is recognized.

p.s. Namdrol could clear this up, as he has access to untranslated Tibetan texts and could talk about what Rigpa means. He has said that it is not established as well. Rigpa is only inherent in the sense that all compounded things are inherently empty always. Just like the Buddhas first statement. "Mind and it's phenomena are luminous, uncompounded and free since beginningless time." Or something to that effect in maybe not that order. If someone has the quote?
And as Vajrahridaya pointed out:

One reason within it's philosophy descriptive of reality is...

We as Buddhists don't make real something eternal that stands on it's own, so we don't see the cosmos the same way as monism (one-ism) does. Which is why we don't consider a monist ideation of the liberated state as actually signifying "liberation." We see that a monist is still binding to a concept, a vast ego... an identity even if beyond concept or words, is still a limitation to the liberated experience of a Buddha. We see that even the liberated state is relative, though everlasting due to the everlasting realization of inter-dependent-co-emergence. We don't see any state of consciousness or realization as being one with a source of absolutely everything. We see the liberated consciousness as just the source of our own experience, even though we ourselves are also relative to everything else. The subtle difference is a difference to be considered, because it actually leads to an entirely different realization and thus cannot be equated with a monist (one-ist) view of the cosmos at all which we consider a bound view and not equal to the liberated view.

Also... there is the concept of the creative matrix in Buddhism and this matrix is without limit and is infinite. But it's not an eternal self standing infinite. It's an infinitude of mutually dependent finites... or "infinite finites" that persist eternally without beginning or end and without a source due to mutual, interpersonal causation you could say.

It's not that a Buddhist does not directly experience a unifying field of perception beyond being a perceiver that is perceiving... but, the Buddhist does not equate this even subconsciously, deep within the experiential platform of consciousness, with a source of all being. It's merely a non-substantial unity of interconnectivity, not a vast and infinite oneness that is the subject of all objects. That would not be considered liberation from the perspective of a Buddha. That would merely be a very subtle, but delusional identification with an experience that originates dependent upon seeing through phenomena, where the consciousness expands past perceived limitations. Even this consciousness that experiences this sense of connection with everything, beyond everything is also considered a phenomena and is empty of inherent, independent reality. Yet persists for as long as the realization persists, which for a Buddha is without beginning nor end.

This subtle difference is an important difference that makes Buddhism transcendent of monism, or "there is only" one-ism.

Because of this, it is a philosophy that see's through itself completely without remainder. Thus a Buddha is considered a "thus gone one" or a Tathagata.

Take care and have a wonderful night/day!!
Posted by: Soh

The Question: "You comment that Awareness or consciousness is simply observing the various though there are two things: one called Awareness or consciousness and the other called arisings. Why would you posit such a dualistic notion in an effort to share the wisdom of non-dual experience?"

Here is Rupert's answer, worth the time to completely digest.

This is said to one who believes him or herself to be a person, located in and as the body, looking out at a world of objects that are considered to have an existence that is separate from and independent of their being known.

The terms in which such a person expresses his or her question (that is, the belief in a separate entity, separate bodies, objects made of matter, a world that has independent existence etc.) are granted provisional credibility in order that we may proceed from what, at least appears to this person, seem to be the facts of the current experience.

In other words we start with the conventional formulation that ‘I,’ inside the body, am looking out at an objective and independent world of objects. This is a position of dualism, that is, ‘I,’ the body (the subject) am experiencing the world, objects and others (the object).

From here our attention is drawn to the fact that the body (sensations) and the mind (thoughts and images) are in fact experienced in exactly the same way as the world (perceptions). In other words, the body/mind is not the subject of experience and the world the object of experience, but rather the body/mind/world are all objects of experience.

We then ask what it is that experiences the body/mind/world. What is it that is referred to as ‘I?’ It is obviously not the body/mind, because at this stage the body/mind has been seen to be the experienced rather than the experiencer.

What then can we say about this perceiving ‘I?’ It cannot have any objective qualities because any such qualities would, by definition, be objects and therefore experienced. However, it is undeniably present and it is undeniable conscious or aware or knowing. For this reason ‘I’ is sometimes referred to as Consciousness, Awareness or Knowing Presence.

At this stage the Knowing Presence that I know myself to be (that is, that knows itself to be) is conceived of as being ‘nothing,’ ‘empty’ or ‘void’ because it has no objective qualities, and could be formulated by saying simply, ‘I am nothing.’ It is the position of the ‘witness.’

This position is still a position of dualism in that there is still a subject (Knowing Presence) and an object (the body/mind/world). Yet it is one step closer to a truer formulation of an understanding of the true nature of experience than was the previous formulation in which separate entities were considered to be existent and real.

If we explore this Knowing Presence that we know ourselves to be, we discover from direct experience that there is nothing in our experience to suggest that it is limited, located, personal, time or space-bound, caused by or dependent upon anything other than itself.

Now we look again at the relationship between Knowing Presence and the objects of the body/mind/world: How close is the world to our knowing of it? How close is the world to ‘experiencing?’

We find that there is no distance between them. They are, so to speak, ‘touching’ one another.

Now we can go deeper. What is our experience of the border between them, the interface where they meet or touch? If there was such an interface, it would be a place where Consciousness ended and the object began. We find no such place.

Therefore we can now reformulate our experience based upon our actual experience, not just theoretical thinking. We can say that objects do not just appear TO this Knowing Presence but WITHIN it.

At this stage Knowing Presence is conceived (based on experience) more like a vast space in which all the objects of the body/mind/world are known and experienced to appear and disappear.

However, it is still a position of dualism, a position in which this vast knowing space is the subject and the world is the object that appears within it.

So we again go deeply into the experience of the apparent objects of the body/mind/world and see if we can find in them a substance that is other than the Presence that knows them or the space in which they appear.

This is a very experiential exploration that involves an intimate exploration of sensations and perceptions and which is difficult to detail with the written word. It is an exploration in which we come to FEEL not just understand that the body/mind/world is made out of the substance that knows them.

However, in this formulation there is still a reference to a body/mind/world, albeit one known by and simultaneously made out of Knowing Presence. It is a position in which the body/mind/world doesn’t just appear WITHIN Presence but AS Presence.

But what is this body/mind/world that is appearing as Presence? We explore experience more deeply again and find that it is this very Presence itself that takes the shape of the body/mind/world.

Knowing Presence takes the shape of thinking and appears as the mind. It takes the shape of sensing and appears as the body. It takes the shape of perceiving and appears as the world, but never for a moment does it actually become anything other than itself.

At this stage we not only know but FEEL that Presence or Consciousness is all there is. It could be formulated as, ‘I, Consciousness, am everything.’ At the same time we recognise that this has in fact always been the case although it seemed not to be known previously.

So we have moved from a position in which we thought and felt that ‘I’ am something (a body/mind) to a position in which we recognised our true nature of Knowing and Being (Presence) and which we expressed as ‘I, Consciousness, am nothing.’ And we finally come to the feeling/understanding that I, Consciousness, am not just the witness, the knower or experiencer of all things, but am also simultaneously their substance. In other words, ‘I, Consciousness am everything.’

Even this is to say too much, for what is this ‘everything’ that is referred to? Language collapses here. Instead of saying ‘Consciousness is all,’ we should say just ‘Consciousness is.’ But then what is this Consciousness that is being framed....again it is to say too much.

To summarize we move from ‘I am something’ to ‘I am nothing,’ from ‘I am nothing’ to ‘I am everything’ and from ‘I am everything to ‘I,I,I....’

We fall silent here.

As we abide knowingly as this Knowing Presence we discover that it is not a void, an emptiness. Rather it is the fullness of Love. In other words, Love is the substance of all things.

The movement in understanding from ‘I am something’ to ‘I am nothing’ could be called the Path of Wisdom or Discrimination.

The movement in understanding from ‘I am nothing’ to ‘I am everything’ could be called the Path of Love.

The abidance in/as this Love is simply to abide as the Self that we are and that we know ourselves to be. Love is known to be the substance of every appearance and to be solely present throughout all the apparent stages of its revelation. It is the origin, the substance and the goal of our enquiry.

Ed: Amen, Rupert.

Posted by: Soh
(Also see: Dzogchen, Rigpa and Dependent Origination)

From Dharma Overground, Dharma Dan (Daniel M. Ingram):

Dear Mark,

Thanks for your descriptions and analysis. They are interesting and relevant.

I think of it this way, from a very high but still vipassana point of view, as you are framing this question in a vipassana context:

First, the breath is nice, but at that level of manifesting sensations, some other points of view are helpful:

Assume something really simple about sensations and awareness: they are exactly the same. In fact, make it more simple: there are sensations, and this includes all sensations that make up space, thought, image, body, anything you can imagine being mind, and all qualities that are experienced, meaning the sum total of the world.

In this very simple framework, rigpa is all sensations, but there can be this subtle attachment and lack of investigation when high terms are used that we want there to be this super-rigpa, this awareness that is other. You mention that you feel there is a larger awareness, an awareness that is not just there the limits of your senses. I would claim otherwise: that the whole sensate universe by definition can't arise without the quality of awareness by definition, and so some very subtle sensations are tricking you into thinking they are bigger than the rest of the sensate field and are actually the awareness that is aware of other sensations.

Awareness is simply manifestation. All sensations are simply present.

Thus, be wary of anything that wants to be a super-awareness, a rigpa that is larger than everything else, as it can't be, by definition. Investigate at the level of bare sensate experience just what arises and see that it can't possibly be different from awareness, as this is actually an extraneous concept and there are actually just sensations as the first and final basis of reality.

As you like the Tibetan stuff, and to quote Padmasambhava in the root text of the book The Light of Wisdom:

"The mind that observes is also devoid of an ego or self-entity.
It is neither seen as something different from the aggregates
Nor as identical with these five aggregates.
If the first were true, there would exist some other substance.

This is not the case, so were the second true,
That would contradict a permanent self, since the aggregates are impermanent.
Therefore, based on the five aggregates,
The self is a mere imputation based on the power of the ego-clinging.

As to that which imputes, the past thought has vanished and is nonexistent.
The future thought has not occurred, and the present thought does not withstand scrutiny."
I really found this little block of tight philosophy helpful. It is also very vipassana at its core, but it is no surprise the wisdom traditions converge.

Thus, if you want to crack the nut, notice that everything is 5 aggregates, including everything you think is super-awareness, and be less concerned with what every little type of consciousness is than with just perceiving them directly and noticing the gaps that section off this from that, such as rigpa from thought stream, or awareness from sensations, as these are golden chains.
Posted by: Soh
Note: a comparison of Actual Freedom with Thusness's experience and Buddhism, as well as a refutation of Richard's criticism of Buddhism can be found in my writings at

(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
This Web Page is for anyone sufficiently motivated to explore into just what constitutes the Human Condition. It is about what one human being searched for in his own life and the discoveries he has made ... and what other peoples have done about ameliorating their present situation. All the articles on these pages should be sufficiently challenging to stimulate, inspire and initiate some preliminary investigation and discussion and, although the articles are specifically of interest to the spiritual aspirant who wishes to further their search into the area that lies beyond enlightenment (and any other form of an altered state of consciousness), the general tone of the text will be of immense appeal to any one interested in all matters pertaining to consciousness studies.
We are all fellow human beings who find ourselves here in the world as it was when we were born. We find war, murder, torture, rape, domestic violence and corruption to be endemic – we notice that it is intrinsic to the human condition – and we set out to discover why this is so. We find sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, depression and suicide to be a global incidence – we gather that it is also inherent to the human condition – and we want to know why. We all report to each other as to the nature of our discoveries for we are all well-meaning and seek to find a way out of this mess that we have landed in. Whether one believes in re-incarnation or not, we are all living this particular life for the very first time, and we wish to make sense of it. It is a challenge and the adventure of a life-time to enquire and to uncover, to seek and to find, to explore and to discover. All this being alive business is actually happening and we are totally involved in living it out ... whether we take the back seat or not, we are all still doing it.
I, for one, am not taking the back seat ... because it is indeed possible for any human being to be totally free from the human condition.
The term ‘Human Condition’ is a well-established philosophical term that refers to the situation that all human beings find themselves in when they emerge here as babies. The term refers to the contrary and perverse nature of all peoples of all races and all cultures. There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in everyone ... all humans have a ‘dark side’ to their nature and a ‘light side’. The battle betwixt ‘Good and Evil’ has raged down through the centuries and it requires constant vigilance lest evil gets the upper hand. Morals and ethics seek to control the wayward self that lurks deep within the human breast ... and some semblance of what is called ‘peace’ prevails for the main. Where morality and ethicality fails to curb the ‘savage beast’, law and order is maintained ... at the point of a gun. The ending of malice and sorrow involves getting one’s head out of the clouds – and beyond – and coming down-to-earth where the flesh and blood bodies called human beings actually live. Obviously, the solution to all the ills of humankind can only be found here in space and now in time as this body. Then the question is: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as this flesh and blood body?
Which means: How on earth can one live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst one nurses malice and sorrow in one’s bosom?
For a start, one needs to fully acknowledge the biological imperative (the instinctual passions) which are the root cause of all the ills of humankind. The genetically inherited passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) give rise to malice and sorrow. Malice and sorrow are intrinsically connected and, being based in the instinctual passions, are the primary cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and the such-like. Malice and sorrow underpin the antidotally generated pacifiers of love and compassion which, if sublimated and transcended, give rise to Love Agapé and Divine Compassion in an altered state of consciousness (ASC) such as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’. This ‘Tried and True’ solution to all the ills of humankind lies within the ‘Human Condition’ and, as it has had 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate its efficacy, can be discarded as being the ‘Tried and Failed’.
Gone now are the days of having to assiduously practice humility and pacifism in an ultimately futile attempt to become free by transcending the opposites ... the traditional and narrow path of denial and fantasy, negation and hallucination. A wide and wondrous path of blitheness and gaiety is now available for one who wishes to live in the freedom of the actual world ... because it is very clear, to the discerning intellect, that the ‘Enlightened Beings’ have squandered their heyday. With this modern era’s rapid and comprehensive publication and communications network, none of their gaffes and improprieties elude notice. Anyone who is at all astute will have perceived that they have fallen short of their own standards ... and have failed to deliver the goods so readily pledged to a credulous humanity. For thousands of years they have been promising Peace On Earth – which is nowhere to be found – and a specious immortality in some dubious after-life.
It will become obvious, as one reads on, that the whole thrust of humanity’s wisdom – polluted as it is by belief, faith, trust, hope and an uneasy certitude – has been going horribly wrong. Wars, murders, tortures, rapes, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression, suicide and corruption have been the odious result of such practices for far too long to persevere in giving credence to the fantasies and hallucinations that pass for sagacity in the real world. Fuelled by an emotional imagination, human beings down through the centuries have given voice to their passionate dreams and nightmares, with abominable consequences. All of humanity’s sublime feeling and profound thought has been a purview predicated upon doom and gloom regarding life here on this fair earth. The Summum Bonum of all the many and varied disciplines – be it philosophy or psychology, physics or metaphysics, cosmology or sociology, theology or spirituality – has been to sanction the protracted doctrinal assumption that a god, by whatever name, is in charge of the universe.
This god goes under a many and a varied disguise: The Truth, The Absolute, The Supreme, The Source, The Origin, The Greatest, The Sublime, The Essence, The Most High, The Highest Good, The Self, The Higher Self, The True Self, The Soul, The Over-Soul, The Divine Presence, The Tao, The Breath Of Life, The Greater Reality, The Ground Of Being, Cosmic Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Existence, Spirit, Presence, Being, Nirvana, Satori, Samadhi, Thatness, Suchness, Isness ... and so on and so on. As impressive as all these titles may be, yet one must ask: how come, after 3,000 to 5,000 years of a recorded history, of the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages hawking their ‘Divine Solution’ to all and sundry, there is still as much misery and mayhem as back then? When one sincerely questions the ‘Teachers’, the ‘Teachings’ and the ‘Source’ of the ‘Teachings’ one will indubitably unearth this salient point:
Despite all their rhetoric, peace-on-earth is not actually on their agenda.
I invite anyone to make a critical examination of all the words I advance so as to ascertain if they be intrinsically self-explanatory ... and if they are all seen to be inherently consistent with what is being spoken about, then the facts speak for themselves. Then one will have reason to remember a pure conscious experience (PCE), which all peoples I have spoken to at length have had, and thus verify by direct experience the facticity of what is written (which personal experiencing is the only proof worthy of the name). The PCE occurs globally ... across cultures and down through the ages irregardless of gender, race or age. However, it is usually interpreted according to cultural beliefs – created and reinforced by the persistence of identity – and devolves into an ASC. Then ‘I’ as ego – sublimated and transcended as ‘me’ as soul – manifest as a god or a goddess (‘The Truth’ by any name) and preach unliveable doctrines based upon their belief that they are ‘not the body’.
Doctrines like acceptance, pacifism and unconditional love, for example.
In my investigations into life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions and calentures (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. I found ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings (otherwise mistakenly known as the ‘original face’ and is what gives rise to the feeling of ‘oneness’ with all other sentient beings). It is a very, very ancient genetic memory ... but hoariness does not make it automatically wise, however, despite desperate belief to the contrary.
Being a ‘self’ is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilising the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Thus ‘I’ am the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes. ‘I’ am the product of the ‘success story’ of blind nature’s fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future.
In other words: ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’.
The instinctual passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to be aware of its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary core of ‘being’ (an animal ‘self’) into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. That this process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born – which is conditioning and programming and is part and parcel of the socialising process – is but the tip of the iceberg and not the main issue at all. All the different types of conditioning are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over countless aeons to seek to curb the instinctual passions. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition.
They have not ... they have gone deep only into the human conditioning. When they tip upon the instincts – which are both savage (fear and aggression) and tender (nurture and desire) – they grab for the tender (the ‘good’ side) and blow them up all out of proportion. If they succeed in this self-aggrandising hallucination they start talking twaddle dressed up as sagacity such as: ‘There is a good that knows no evil’ or ‘There is a love that knows no opposite’ or ‘There is a compassion that sorrow has never touched’ and so on. Which means that the ‘Enlightened Beings’ advise dissociation (wherein painful reality is transformed into a bad dream) as being the most effective means to deal with all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and the such-like. Just as a traumatised victim of an horrific and terrifying event makes the experience unreal in order to cope with the ordeal, the ‘Enlightened Beings’ have desperately done precisely this thing ... during what is sometimes called ‘the dark night of the soul’.
This is because it takes nerves of steel to don such an aqua-lung and plunge deep in the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. This is because past the human conditioning is the human condition itself ... that which caused the conditioning in the first place. To end this condition, the deletion of blind nature’s software package which gave rise to the rudimentary animal ‘self’ is required. This is the elimination of ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’.
The complete and utter extinction of ‘being’ is the end to all the ills of humankind.
Thus the single root cause of all the mayhem and misery that epitomises the human condition is the persistent feeling of being an identity inhabiting the body: an affective ‘entity’ as in a deep, abiding and profound feeling of being an occupant, a tenant, a squatter or a phantom hiding behind a façade, a mask, a persona; as a subjective emotional psychological ‘self’ and/or a passionate psychic ‘being’ (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) inhabiting the psyche; a deep feeling of being a ‘spirit’; a consciousness of the immanence of ‘presence’ (which exists immortally); an awareness of being an autological ‘being’ ... the realisation of ‘Being’ itself. In other words: everything you think, feel and instinctually know yourself to be ... is to be an alien in an alien world.
Becoming free of the human condition is a physiological occurrence, centred at the nape of the neck (the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain), wherein the ‘lizard-brain’ mutates out of its primeval state ... but if this mutation is not allowed its completion one becomes enlightened. To become spiritually free the ego-self (‘I’ as ego) must die/dissolve ... all genuinely enlightened beings point to a single edifying moment of awakening (with a variety of descriptions) wherein the personal self (or ‘being’) transmogrifies into the impersonal self or ‘being’ (or non-self) ... and which ‘being’ (often capitalised as ‘Being’) exists timelessly, spacelessly and formlessly. To become actually free the soul-self (‘me’ as soul) must also die/dissolve ... the total extirpation of ‘being’ (and thus ‘Being’) itself.
So far in human history one has had only two choices: being human or being divine. Given that there has only been one alternative to being worldly – being otherworldly – one had to become divine to escape from the Human Condition. Thus the ego had to dissolve. Yet the deeper identity – the soul, the spirit, the being – remained intact only to wreak its havoc once again ... now disguised as ‘The Self’. Once one sees that the ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘Tried and Failed’ one easily recognises today’s third alternative: actual freedom ... and it outstrips any Altered State Of Consciousness. A new way to live life on this verdant planet has been discovered which eliminates the need to humble oneself in a degrading surrender and servitude to some imagined deity. It is now possible to live freely in this newly emerging post-spiritual epoch, attaining full and mature use of one’s innate faculties ... and easily superseding all of the revered saints and sages. Actual freedom is a tried and tested way of being here in the world as it actually is ... stripped of the veneer of reality that is super-imposed by the psychological and psychic entity within the body. This entity is the feeling of identity that inhibits any freedom and sabotages every well-meant endeavour.
In actual freedom one finds that the need for the ‘Ultimate Reality’ has vanished along with the ego and soul ... the ‘self’ and the ‘Self’.
Obviously, the physical cause necessitates a physical solution (the extinction of the instinctual ‘being’ itself) and this altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice will not eventuate unless the temporary absence or abeyance of the physically inherited cause (a genetically inherited instinctual animal ‘self’) which created the problem of the human condition is intimately experienced, remembered and activated. This peak experience of one’s potentiality is known as a pure consciousness experience (PCE) and is essential to the process of freeing oneself from one’s fate and attaining to one’s destiny. The first and most important step is to remember a PCE (everybody that I have spoken to at length over the last nineteen years – everybody – has had at least one) and thus start thinking for oneself (although most people cannot initially remember a PCE and may need a lot of prompting to retrieve it from their memory). Then each next step becomes obvious of its own accord in one’s daily life as one goes about one’s normal business in the market place. The pure intent born out of the PCE actively works on eliminating the animal ‘self’ bestowed by blind nature each moment again.
One begins by incrementally purging oneself of the social identity that has been overlaid – from conception to the present day – over the innate self. With cheerful diligence and application born out of pure intent, one whittles away at the persistent social identity, abandoning the desire for unity, until one arrives at a virtual freedom. In virtual freedom one is ninety nine percent free and the other one percent causes very little trouble – if any – and with virtual freedom operating in every human being there could be a virtual global peace-on-earth. Howsoever that may be, the day of destiny ultimately dawns wherein one is catapulted into actual freedom ... one has escaped one’s fate and universal peace and tranquillity emerges. Being free from malice and sorrow, innocence and benignity are one’s constant condition. In the consummate perfection of the purity which endlessly wells in the utter stillness of the infinitude of this material universe, one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.
It is essential for success to grasp the fact that this is one’s only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. Yesterday’s happiness and harmlessness does not mean a thing if one is miserable and malicious now ... and a hoped-for happiness and harmlessness tomorrow is to but waste this moment of being alive in waiting. All one gets by waiting is more waiting. Thus any ‘change’ can only happen now. The jumping in point is always here ... it is at this moment in time and this place in space. Thus, if one misses it this time around, hey presto ... one has another chance immediately. Life is excellent at providing opportunities like this.
There is a wide and wondrous path to actual freedom: One asks oneself, each moment again, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?
This can give rise to apperception. Apperception is the outcome of the exclusive attention paid to being alive right here just now. Apperception is to be the senses as a bare awareness, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself. Which means that attentiveness and sensuousness will facilitate what the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about: a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to feel well, feel happy and feel perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre, bonhomie and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).
Now, delight is what is humanly possible, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all ... and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life ... the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is ... and one is the experiencing of what is happening.
But refrain from possessing it and making it your own ... or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared.
The day finally dawns when something irrevocable happens inside the skull. In an ecstatic moment of being present, ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul expire. ‘I’ the personality and ‘me’ the being ceases to exist, permanently. There is a sensation inside the top of the brain-stem that is experienced as a physical ‘turning over’ of some kind ... something that can never, ever, turn back. Something irrevocable happens and everything is different, somehow, although everything stays the same physically ... with the outstanding exception of a perfection and purity permeating all and everything.
Something has changed, although it is as if nothing has happened ... except that the entire world is a magical fairy-tale-like playground full of incredible joy and delight that is never-ending. ‘My’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence. I have always been here, I realise, it was that ‘I’ only imagined that ‘I’ existed. It was all an emotional play in a fertile imagination ... which was, however, fuelled by an actual hormonal substance triggered off from within the brain-stem because of the instinctual passions bestowed by blind nature. Thus the psyche – the entire affective faculty born of the instincts itself – is wiped out forever and one is finally what one actually is: this thinking and reflective flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs, delighting in this very sensual world of actual experience.
Thus the search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes comes to its timely end. With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and the sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clean and clear and pure awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, one is the sensations. The entire affective faculty vanishes ... blind nature’s software package of instinctual passions is deleted.
Then there is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and magic. One is living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away – it was just that ‘I’/‘me’ was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent. Now the universe is experiencing itself in all its magnificence as an apperceptive human being. Life is not a vale of tears; peace-on-earth is an actual freedom from the human condition; it is indeed possible to be actually free, here on earth, as this body, in this life-time.
To seek and to find; to explore and uncover; to investigate and discover ... these actions are the very stuff of life!
Posted by: Soh

What The Words Are And What The Words Are Not

Apperceptiveness is a word describing a condition which happens of its own accord and attentiveness depicts an activity that one vitalises with remarkable verve and vivacity which activates the quality that the word sensuousness specifies. What exactly they are will become clearer as one goes along ... and it is important to note that this is not a matter of ‘a communion of what lies behind the concepts’. This is because ‘communion’ is of the affective faculty – and feeling-words are devised as the representative symbols of levels in the ‘inner world’ – and communion emotes those identities and realities with which expressive feelings deal. The word attentiveness articulates a cognitive probity and sensuousness is a word indicating a pre-emotional fidelity and the word apperceptiveness denotes a pre-identification integrity – they are not shackled to irrational intuition and logical imagination or prescient revelation – and describe this actual sensational environment ... the world of the senses. Sensuousness and apperceptiveness of themselves are the actuality ascertained with the attentiveness which gives rise to delineation ... thus the words that follow are simply a report of the experience of actuality.

So, it is important to understand that whilst everything written here is both descriptive and prescriptive – thus it is going to make rational sense – the quality and condition will always remain inaccessible to insight, illation and divination ... it is inconceivable, unimaginable and unbelievable. Needless to say, attentiveness and sensuousness can be experienced – rather easily – and along with apperceptiveness they can be adequately described, provided one keeps in mind that the words are not feeling-fingers ‘pointing at the moon’ ... they are never allusions to that ineffable ‘thing-in-itself’ of mystical tradition. In fact, attentiveness and sensuousness are subtle processes that one is using at this very moment whilst reading these words. Also, although the experience of the actual world authenticated apperceptively lies prior to the feelings and thus before the identification, this fact does not make one primitive ... quite the obverse.

The actualism method called ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ that was first put into action in 1981 is a potent method specifically aimed at experiencing a condition of uninterrupted apperception ... which means that the peace-on-earth that is already always here – now – will become apparent.

What Attentiveness And Sensuousness
And Apperceptiveness Are

When one first becomes aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of the clean perception of sensum just before one recognises the percept (the mental product or result of perception) and also before one identifies with all the feeling memories associated with its qualia (the qualities pertaining to the properties of the form) and this ‘raw sense-datum’ stage of sensational perception is a direct experience of the actual. Clear perception is in that instant where one converges one’s eyes or ears or nose or tongue or skin on the thing. It is that moment just before one focuses one’s feeling-memory on the object. It is the split-second just as one affectively subjectifies it ... which is just prior to clamping down on it viscerally and segregating it from the rest of pure, conscious existence. Pure perception takes place sensitively just before one starts feeling the percept – and thus thinking about it affectively – which takes place just before one’s feeling-fed mind says: ‘It’s a man’ or: ‘It’s a woman’ or: ‘It’s a steak-burger’ or: ‘It’s a tofu-burger’ ... with all that is implied in this identification and the ramifications that stem from that. This fluid, soft-focused moment of bare awareness, which is not learned, has never been learned, and never will be learned, could be called an aesthetically sensual regardfulness or a consummate sensorial discernibleness or an exquisitely sensuous heedfulness ... in a word: apperceptiveness.

(Dictionary Definition: ‘apperceptive’ (a.) of or pertaining to apperception (the mind’s perception of itself). Thus: ‘apperceptiveness’ (n.): the condition or quality of being apperceptive; also: ‘apperceptively’ (adv.): the experience of being apperceptive and: ‘apperceptivity’: (n.): the capacity to be apperceptive).

In that brief scintillating instant of bare awareness, that twinkling sensorium-moment of consciousness being conscious of being consciousness, one apperceives a thing as a nothing-in-particular that is being naught but what-it-is coming from nowhen and going nowhere at all. Apperceptiveness is very much like what one sees with one’s peripheral vision as opposed to the intent focus of normal or central vision. One experiences a smoothly flowing moment of clear experiencing where one is interlocked with the rest of actuality, not separate from it. This moment of soft, ungathered sensuosity – apperceptiveness – contains a vast understanding, an utter cognisance, that is lost as soon as one adjusts one’s mind to accommodate the feeling-tone ... and subverts the crystal-clear objectivity into an ontological ‘being’ ... a connotative ‘thing-in-itself’. In the process of ordinary perception, the apperceptiveness step is so fleeting as to be usually unobservable. One has developed the habit of squandering one’s attention on all the remaining steps: feeling the percept, emotionally recognising the qualia, zealously adopting the perception and getting involved in a long string of representative feeling-notions about it. When the original moment of apperceptiveness is rapidly passed over it is the purpose of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ to accustom one to prolong that moment of apperceptiveness – a sensuous awareness bereft of feeling content – so that uninterrupted apperception can eventuate.

(Dictionary Definition: ‘sensuous’ (a.): Of, derived from, or affecting the senses aesthetically rather than sensually; readily affected by the senses, keenly responsive to the pleasures of sensation. Also, indicative of a sensuous temperament. Apparently first used by Mr. John Milton, to avoid certain associations of the existing word ‘sensual’. Thus: ‘sensuousness’ (n.): the quality of being sensuous; also: ‘sensuously’ (adv.): the experience of being sensuous; and: ‘sensuosity’ (n.): the capability of being sensuous).

To enable apperceptiveness to haply occur it is essential to allow a reflective attention – attentiveness – to one’s psychological and psychic world. It is impossible for one to intelligently observe what is going on within if one does not at the same time acknowledge the occurrence of one’s various feeling-tones with attentiveness. This is especially true with the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful). In order to observe one’s own fear, for instance, one must admit to the fact that one is afraid. Nor can one examine one’s own depression, for another example, without acknowledging it fully. The same is true for irritation and agitation and frustration and all those other uncomfortable emotional and passionate moods. One cannot examine something fully if one is busy denying its existence. Whatever feeling one may be having, a fascinated attention – attentiveness – freely divulges it ... it is looking with discernibleness. All affective feelings are – quite simply – an hereditary occurrence, an inborn factor to be acutely aware of. No pride, no shame, nothing personal at stake ... what is there, is naturally there. There is no clinging to the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) and no fleeing from the hostile and invidious, either (those that are hateful and fearful). A contemplative attention views all feelings as commensurate – nothing is suppressed and nothing is expressed – as attentiveness does not play favourites.

(Dictionary Definition: ‘attentive’: Steadily applying one’s mind or energies; intent, heedful, assiduously alert, aware, watchful. Thus: ‘attentiveness’ (n.): the quality of applying the mind, consideration, thought; also: ‘attentional’ (a.): of or pertaining to the mental faculty of attention, giving heed, noticing; and: ‘attentively’ (adv.); experiencing intently, heedfully, observantly).

Attentiveness gets not infatuated with the good feelings nor sidesteps the bad as attentiveness is a non-feeling awareness; a sensuous attention. Attentiveness is not sentimental susceptibility for it does not get involved with affection or empathy or get hung up on mercurial imaginations and capricious intuitions or ephemeral auguries. Attentiveness does not register feelings and compare the validity of experience according to it ‘feeling right’ or ‘feeling wrong’. Attentiveness is an aesthetic alertness that takes place with minimised reference to self. With attentiveness one sees the internal world with blameless references to concepts like ‘my’ or ‘mine’. Suppose there is a feeling of sadness. Ordinary consciousness would say, ‘I am sad’. Using attentiveness, one heedfully notices the feeling as a natural feeling – ‘There is human sadness’ – thus one does not tack on that possessive personal concept of ‘I’ or ‘me’ ... for one is already possessed. Attentiveness is the observance of the basic nature of each arising feeling; it is observing all the inner world – emotional, passionate and calentural – which is whatever is presently taking place in the affective faculty. Attentiveness is seeing how any feeling makes ‘me’ tick – and how ‘I’ react to it – with the perspicacity of seeing how it affects others as well. In attentiveness, there is an unbiased observing of the constant showing-up of the ‘reality’ within and is examining the feelings arising one after the other ... and such attentiveness is the ending of its grip. Please note that last point: in attentiveness, there is an observance of the ‘reality’ within, and such attention is the end of its embrace ... finish.

Here lies apperception.

The Where And When Of Attentiveness
And Sensuousness And Apperceptiveness

Apperceptiveness is current-time awareness in that it takes place now at this moment in time and here at this place in space. Apperceptiveness is the felicitous observance of what is happening right now, at this very moment. Apperceptiveness stays forever current, surging perpetually on the crest of the ongoing wave of this moment in eternal time. Apperceptiveness is goal-less awareness for one does not strain for results is no longer having to accomplish anything. When one is apperceptive, one experiences actuality at this moment in time in whatever form it takes; thus there is nothing to be achieved. In apperceptiveness there is only pure conscious experience of the awareness of change at this moment that never goes away. Apperceptiveness is observing the moving flow of experience and enjoying things as they are changing ... in full appreciation of being here and participating in this happenstance. Apperceptiveness is seeing the birth, growth, and maturation of all phenomena ... and it is seeing all phenomena age, decay and die. Apperceptiveness is its own attentiveness moment by moment, continuously ... one is the experiencing of the doing of this moment of being alive. Apperceptiveness stops one from adding anything to perception, or subtracting something from it: one does not enhance anything for one does not emphasise anything. One is free to observe exactly what is here – now – without distortion.

Apperceptiveness is sensuous awareness of only what is currently occurring and in precisely the way it is happening now – there is neither tolerance nor intolerance – with no acceptance or prejudice. Apperceptiveness is non-predictive observation in that it is this ability of the mind to regard experience without fault-finding feelings. With this ability, one sees things without assumption or opprobrium ... and one is surprised by everything being extraordinarily ordinary. In apperceptiveness everything is in equipoise and one’s interest in things is for them to be exactly as they are in their actual condition. One does not have to estimate or establish ... one totally acknowledges with delight. Apperceptiveness is a dispassionate discernibleness that does not take sides nor get hung up in what is apperceived ... it is a sensitive fascination. Apperceptiveness is the observation of everything occurring as for the first time. Apperceptiveness is possible because of attentiveness ... which is not analysis that is based on emotional and passionate recollection. Apperceptiveness is the immediate sensitive discernment of whatever is happening without the medium of feeling – it comes before the feeling-tones in the perceptual process – and thought may or may not be operating. If one is futilely attempting a reverie of yesterday’s sensorial delight, that is feeling-thought memorialising the moment gone by. When one then becomes aware that one is remembering yesterday’s experience, that is attentiveness.

The actualist who is allowing attentiveness is concerned with the habitual superimposition of the inner ‘reality’ onto the world of people, things and events. It is there in all peoples, but in actualism, one’s field of study is one’s own feelings, one’s own perceptions, one’s own thoughts and one’s own experience. In actualism, one is one’s own guinea-pig because attentiveness is participatory observation ... the actualist is both participant and experimenter at one and the same time. If one examines one’s emotions attentively one is feeling them at that very same moment – attentiveness is not just an intellectual awareness – for it is an existential experiencing. Attentiveness is objective – it is the wakeful experience of life – but it is not inconsiderate or uncaring ... it is an alert participation in the ongoing process of living. The ‘reality’ within has an enormous fund of information containing the reflection of the human condition and an examination of this material leads to an actual freedom. Attentiveness is extremely difficult to apply as a discipline – not because it is complex – but because it is too simple and open. This is because apperceptiveness is a non-feeling function and one can feel for its presence all day long and one will never come across it – one can never feel what it is – as it is a living experience.

Sensuousness is the wondrous awareness of the marvel of being here now at this moment in time and this place in space. Attentiveness is the fascination of the reflective contemplation that this moment is one’s only moment of being alive – and one is never alive at any other time than now. Wherever one is ... now ... one is always here ... now ... even if one starts walking over to ‘there’ ... now ... along the way to ‘there’ ... now ... one is always here ... now ... and when one arrives ‘there’ ... now ... it too is here ... now. Thus attentiveness is an attraction to the fact that one is always here – and it is already now – and as one is already here and it is always now then one has arrived before one starts. This delicious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté (which is the closest one can get to innocence) the nourishing of which is essential if the charm of it all is to occur. The potent combination of attentiveness – fascinated reflective contemplation – and sensuousness produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. One is intimately aware that this physical space of this universe is infinite and its time is eternal ... thus the infinitude of this very material universe has no beginning and no ending and therefore no middle. There are no edges to this universe, which means that there is no centre, either. We are all coming from nowhere and are not going anywhere for there is nowhere to come from nor anywhere to go too. We are nowhere in particular ... which means we are anywhere at all. In the infinitude of the universe one finds oneself to be already here, and as it is always now, one can not get away from this place in space and this moment in time. By being here as-this-body one finds that this moment in time has no duration as in now and then – because the immediate is the ultimate – and that this place in space has no distance as in here and there – for the relative is the absolute.

In other words: One is already here as it is always now.

The Who And How of Attentiveness And
Sensuousness And Apperceptiveness

The intent is you will become happy and harmless. The intent is you will be free of sorrow and malice. The intent is you will become blithesome and benign. The intent is you will be free of fear and aggression. The intent is you will become carefree and considerate. The intent is you will be free from nurture and desire. The intent is you will become gay and benevolent. The intent is you will be free of anguish and animosity. The intent is that, by being free of the Human Condition you will experience peace-on-earth, in this life-time, as this body ... as is evidenced in the PCE. An actualist’s intent is a pure intent and discovering how to blend this pure intent – via attentiveness – into one’s conscious life is the process that places one on the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom ... this path is a virtual freedom. Uncovering how to prolong the condition of virtual freedom – via attentiveness and sensuousness – is still another process. These are felicitous processes, however, and they are well worth the effort for attentiveness and sensuousness are central to virtual freedom and the key to the whole condition. Attentiveness and sensuousness are both the goal of actualism and the means to that end: one reaches apperceptiveness by being ever more sensuous and one activates sensuousness by being ever more attentive ... and one activates attentiveness by no longer ‘feeling good’.

Attentiveness reminds one to apply one’s sensuousness to the pertinent situation at the opportune time and to implement surely the appropriate amount of activity needed to do the job. When this vitality is judiciously applied, one stays constantly in a condition of virtual freedom. As long as this condition of virtual freedom is maintained, those feeling-states called ‘moods’ cannot arise for there is no anguish or animosity – virtually no malice or misery – when attentiveness is present. Nevertheless, one is still ‘human’ and to be ‘human’ is to err ... and most people are very ‘human’ and err repeatedly. Despite pure intent, the actualist lets their attentiveness slip now and then and one finds oneself stuck in some unfortunate – but normal – ‘human’ failure. It is attentiveness that notices that change ... and it is attentiveness that reminds one to apply the pure intent required to pull oneself out. Slipping into ‘normal’ happens over and over, but the frequency decreases with the assimilation of the fact that the absence of anguish and animosity in one’s moment-to-moment experience allows one’s daily life to be peaceful and harmonious way beyond normal ‘human’ expectations. Once attentiveness has exposed those affective defilements, sensuousness provides a more considerate and carefree condition ... one is happy and harmless for ninety-nine percent of the time. It is attentiveness which notices the change from ‘normal’ into happiness and harmlessness, and which reminds the actualist to maintain the pure intent needed to keep one blithe and benign ... and which allows apperception to freely happen.

Apperceptiveness makes possible salubrity and sagacity. Deeply buried in the psyche, there lies an intuitive mechanism which accepts what the heart perceives as beautiful and loving experiences and rejects those experiences which are perceived as ugly and hateful. This mechanism gives rise to those states of being which one is alert to avoid ... states like rapture, euphoria, ecstasy and bliss. One chooses to avoid narcissistic spiritual entanglements, not because they are diabolical in the normal sense of the word, but because they keep malice and sorrow subliminally alive; because they take the mind over and capture the attention completely; because they keep going round and round in atavistic circles of calenture; and because they seal one off from this living actuality. Grandiose spiritual involvements cannot arise when apperceptiveness is in action. Apperception is its own attentiveness to current time actuality, and therefore, directly antithetical to the dazzled state of mind which characterises mystification. It is only when one lets one’s attentiveness slip that the deep mechanisms of one’s heart takes over – grasping, clinging and arrogating – then megalomania emerges and obscures one’s awareness. If one is too busy with self-aggrandisement, one ignores that such a change is taking place as a vainglorious deification of one’s inadequate earthly state of ‘being’. While an unaware person will continue in this state indefinitely, a competent actualist will soon realise what is happening. It is attentiveness that notices any grandiose change; it is attentiveness that remembers the warnings received; and it is attentiveness that focuses one’s sensuousness so that the confusion fades away. And it is attentiveness that then intends to maintain sensuousness indefinitely so that the narcissism cannot arise again.

Attentiveness and sensuousness are the specific antitoxins for indulgences ... they are both the cure and the preventive measure. Fully developed sensuous attention is a condition of total non-grandiosity and utter absence of longing for anything in any ‘other-world’. If one can maintain this condition, no other method is needed to keep oneself free of obstructions and to achieve freedom from the human condition via apperceptiveness. Apperception is non-identity awareness that sees things clearly and cleanly and purely ... beyond the level of feelings and ‘being’ itself. The clear and clean and pure awareness of apperceptiveness is a total certainty and complete absence of doubt that manifests itself primarily as a constant and unwavering fascination which never flags and never turns away. The pure and unstained lustrous awareness of apperceptiveness is not only devoid of affective indulgences, it lays bare their very mechanism by having had them eliminated coincidental to the self-immolation of identity in toto. Apperceptiveness is the absence of the heart-felt corruption of the mind. The result is a brain which remains unstained and invulnerable, completely unaffected by the ‘ups and downs’ of life.

It is ambrosial, to say the least.

The Why And What of Attentiveness
And Sensuousness And Apperceptiveness

The activity of attentiveness reminds one of why one is doing this: in actualism, one puts one’s attention on being here ... now. When feelings cause one’s awareness to wander from actualism’s focus, it is attentiveness that reminds one that one’s mind is being manipulated ... and why one is doing this happening called being alive. It is attentiveness that brings one back to the object of actualism: apperception. Apperceptiveness is a very actual goal and those who seek to actualise the pure consciousness experience (PCE) may be activating attentiveness for a period of months or even years. The human habit of getting stuck in feelings dates back to the dawn of human history – thus the habit will hang on in the most tenacious manner – and the only way through it all is to be equally persistent and diligent in the activation of constant attentiveness. Awareness occurs without the delay of an internal feeling-dialogue ... repeated activation of attentiveness in actualism establishes this function as a cognitive habit which then carries on automatically for the rest of one’s ‘human’ life. A sincere actualist is attentive to feelings all the time, day in, day out, whether active or resting; whether in association or on one’s own; whether there is thinking as well as perceiving or not. When attentiveness is actual, one will notice when one becomes stuck in one’s feeling patterns; it is that very noticing which allows one to back out of the feeling process and free oneself from it. Sensuousness returns one’s attention to its proper focus: if one is actualising a virtual freedom at that moment, then one’s focus will be the actual object of actualism. If one is not in virtual freedom, one’s focus will be just a straight-forward application of matter-of-fact attention itself, just a simple noticing of whatever comes up without getting possessively involved: ‘Ah, this feeling ... what is it ... where is it ... where did it come from ... what is it made up of ... what is it connected to ...?’. Virtual freedom re-establishes itself easily by the attentiveness that it has not been current. As soon as one is aware that one has not been attentive then one is experiencing sensuousness in virtual freedom ... and thence: Apperceptiveness.

Apperceptiveness has its own distinct ambience in consciousness: it has a flavour – a magical, crystal-clear, scintillating flavour – whereas feelings are heady, magisterial and grandiloquent by comparison ... finicky and phantasmal and flighty and fantastical. Yet these are but descriptive words and one’s own action will show one the difference ... then one will probably come up with one’s own words and the words used here will become superfluous. Action is the thing as apperception is a living actuality that adds nothing to perception nor subtracts anything – it distorts not at all – and sees things as they actually are. One can apperceive prime characteristics that actual freedom factually shows. In psychiatric terms, for example, these are called:

1. ‘depersonalisation’ (selflessness ... the absence of an entity that is called ego and Soul or self and Self).

2. ‘alexithymia’ (the absence of the affective faculty ... no emotions, passions or calentures whatsoever).

3. ‘derealisation’ (the condition of having lost one’s grip on reality ... the ‘real world’ is nowhere to be found).

4. ‘anhedonia’ (the inability to affectively feel pleasure ... no hormonal secretions means hedonism is not possible).

The characteristics of actual freedom are not present in actualism as dogmas demanding hopeful belief with its blind faith and trusting surrender. The actualist knows that these facts are self-evident from the PCE and are available to anyone who cares to investigate in a sincere way. Attentiveness is the method of investigation and apperceptiveness has the capacity to reveal the factual character of actuality ... all the while freely accessible to any human being’s sensuous observation. With this degree of inspection, one sees the following factors: (a) it is ‘me’ in ‘my’ totality that is standing in the way of the already always existing perfection here on earth; (b) all feelings are inherently flawed and are narcissistic by nature; (c) every other-worldly truth is, in the end, unable to bring about peace-on-earth; (d) there are actually no entities that are unborn and undying, timeless and spaceless, birthless and deathless, formless and ceaseless, immortal and immutable.

The activity of attentiveness is not unlike a magnifying glass in that one can actually see directly those realities which are at best theoretical constructs to the unconscious feeling process. Attentiveness is at one and the same time both sensuous attention itself and the function of reminding one to pay sensuous attention if one has ceased to do so ... one notices one’s own lack of attentiveness; and that noticing itself is a result of attentiveness. Emotive thought pastes feelings over one’s experience, loads one down with ideals and dreams and schemes, immerses one in a churning vortex of hopes and worries, fears and fantasies. When sensuously attentive, one does not play that game. When one is aware exactly what arises in the heart, then one is attentive to the next thing. It is really very simple: attentiveness actually sees the illusory nature of everything that is felt. It sees the transitory and delusory nature of every ideal and dream and scheme and – seeing the inherently unsatisfactory nature of all feeling beings – it sees that there is no sense grabbing onto any of these passing feelings as peace and harmony cannot be found that way. Attentiveness sees the inherent selfishness of all ‘being’ in that it sees the way that human beings have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of tender feelings, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of savage feelings and then realised themselves as unitive and enduring entities swimming in the ‘Ocean Of Oneness’. Attentiveness actually sees these things ... it does not feel them out, it sees them for what they are. Attentiveness is a process, but it does not have to take place in steps for it can also be a direct seeing that occurs as a totality: when it is fully developed, attentiveness understands those factors detailed above intimately and without the intervening medium of irrational intuition and imaginative logic or prescient revelation. Attentiveness is sensuous attention and sensuousness enables the experiencing of things without distorting feelings ... whilst seeing the world of people, things and events as-it-is is apperception.

The condition of apperception sees things as they actually are ... in apperception lies only salubrity and sagacity. Apperception is the clear and direct experiencing of being here at this place in infinite space now at this moment in eternal time – sans identity and its feeling-fed realities – and it is a wordless appreciation of being able to be here now ... of being alive and awake on this verdant planet. One will not instantly attain freedom (an actual freedom from the human condition) as a result of one’s first moment of apperceptiveness. One comes upon this condition that is germane to actual freedom – consciousness being conscious of being consciousness – again and again until an inevitability sets in ... which precipitates an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum that will result in total self-immolation. The characteristics already detailed (‘depersonalisation’, ‘alexithymia’, ‘derealisation’, ‘anhedonia’) are the result of expressing actual freedom in the psychiatric models of the human condition – which reflects the ‘human’ struggle to understand this fundamentally simple process called consciousness – and are inherently arbitrary in that they do not exist as separate items. The extinction of identity in its totality with its ensuing loss of reality coupled with the inability to affectively feel pleasure along with the ending of the feeling faculty all takes place in the space of a few glorious moments. Peace-on-earth is the certain result because it is already here. Living in this on-going peace-on-earth one is always blithe and carefree, even if one is doing nothing. Doing something – and that includes thinking – is a bonus on top of this never-ending ambrosial perfection of the eternal infinity of this material universe ... which infinitude is already always here.

One is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being.



The Third Alternative

(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)

Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.

Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust 1997-2001