Something Cool Posted On Reddit
Something cool posted on reddit relating to advanced stages of meta-cognition and Tibetan Dream Yoga.
What follows is the March 9th entry in Ken Wilber's "One Taste", a journal of sorts written over the course of a year. I'm going to let the entry speak for itself, and we can continue the discussion from there. As a foreword, Ken's professional career has been largely academic.
Sunday, March 9
It’s taken almost a week for any sort of meditative awareness to return, deluding lucid dreaming. The entire time I was in New York I lost all access to pure witnessing, and I had no subject permanence during the dream and deep sleep state. That is, I was not conscious during the dreaming and deep sleep state—a consciousness, a kind of current, that has been with me off and on for the last three or four years.
This constant consciousness through all states—waking, dreaming, and sleeping—tends to occur after many years of meditating; in my case, about twenty-five years. The signs are very simple: you are conscious during the waking state, and then, as you fall asleep and start to dream you still remain conscious of the dreaming. This is similar to lucid dreaming, but with a slight difference: usually, in lucid dreaming, you start to manipulate the dream—you choose to dream of sex orgies or great food or flying over mountains or whatnot. But with constant witnessing consciousness, there is no desire to change anything that arises: you simply and innocently witness it. It’s a choice less awareness, a mirror-like awareness, which equally and impartially reflects whatever arises. So you remain conscious during the dream state, witnessing it, not changing it (although you can if you want; usually you don’t want).1 Then, as you pass into deep, dreamless sleep, you still remain conscious, but now you are aware of nothing but vast pure emptiness, with no content whatsoever. But “aware of” is not quite right, since there is no duality here. It’s more like, there is simply pure consciousness itself, without qualities or contents or subjects or objects, a vast pure emptiness that is not “nothing” but is still unqualifiable.
Then, as you come out of the deep sleep state, you see the mind and the dream state arise and take form. That is, out of causal emptiness there arises the subtle mind (dreams, images, symbols, concepts, visions, forms), and you witness this emergence. The dream state continues for a while, and then, as you begin to wake up, you can see the entire gross realm, the physical realm—your body, the bed, the room, the physical universe, nature—arise directly out of the subtle mind state.
In other words, you have just taken a tour of the Great Chain of Being—gross body to subtle mind to causal spirit—in both its ascending and descending movements (evolution and involution). As you fall asleep, you pass from gross body (waking) to subtle mind (dreaming) to causal emptiness (deep sleep)—that’s evolution or ascent—and then, as you awaken, you move down from causal to subtle to gross—that’s involution or descent. (The actual order of states can vary, but the entire cycle is generally present.) Everybody moves through this cycle every twenty-four hours. But with constant consciousness or unbroken witnessing, you remain aware during all these changes of state, even into deep dreamless sleep.
Since the ego exists mostly in the gross state, with a few remnants in the subtle, then once you identify with constant consciousness—or that which exists in all three states—you break the hold of the ego, since it barely exists in the subtle and does not exist at all in causal emptiness (or in the deep sleep state, which is one type of emptiness). You cease identifying with ego, and you identify with pure formless consciousness as such, which is colorless, space less, timeless, formless—pure clear emptiness. You identify with nothing in particular, and therefore you can embrace absolutely everything that arises. Gone to the ego, you are one with the All.
You still have complete access to the waking-state ego, but you are no longer only that. Rather, the very deepest part of you is one with the entire Kosmos in all its radiant glory. You simply are everything that is arising moment to moment. You do not see the sky, you are the sky. You do not touch the earth, you are the earth. You do not hear the rain, you are the rain. You and the universe are what the mystics call “One Taste.”
This is not poetry. This is a direct realization, as direct as a glass of cold water in the face. As a great Zen Master said upon his enlightenment: “When I heard the sound of the bell ringing, there was no bell and no I, just the ringing.” And in that nondual ringing is the entire Kosmos, where subject and object become One Taste and infinity happily surrenders its secrets. As researchers from Aldous Huxley to Huston Smith have reminded us, One Taste or “cosmic consciousness”—the sense of oneness with the Ground of all creation—is the deepest core of the nearly universal consensus of the world’s great wisdom traditions. One Taste is not a hallucination, fantasy, or product of a disturbed psyche, but the direct realization and testament of countless yogis, saints, and sages the world over.