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- interesting article on process of awakening
interesting article on process of awakening
A friend posted this on Facebook. I read it and was surprised to find it really, really seemed on target and relevant. Like reading it and going "Right. OH! Yes. What a great way to explain that. Yes. Aha! That makes sense. Bingo." the whole time.
-" i do not believe, pedagogically, that it is useful to have fixed levels defined by precise experiences that one must progress through in a certain order to "awaken". However, it can be helpful to understand that there are broad developments in the process that generally unfold in a similar way. "
-"The folk who moved along the continuum said they could not have imagined a higher level than they had experienced in the previous one. "
-" PNSE is often accompanied with the feeling that one is experiencing a "deeper" or "more true" reality. Folk feel they have been given a deep truth and are unwilling to have these beliefs questioned. As time passes, this often increases in strength, leading to dogmatism, particularly if they remain in their initial position on the continuum, which most do..... If/when their own PNSE deepens, folk are more open to accepting that there are other valid experiences of PNSE."
-"Most folk seldom moved from where they were. That is the balance point between their desire for awakening and their fear of deeper PNSE. .... It is also very helpful if you have a coach who has been there. IME, negotiating the "far end" fears is difficult DIY."
Chris Marti wrote: Can we talk about the finding that Jeffery is getting at? He's apparently finding the persistent non-symbolic consciousness (awakening, I suppose) is not very highly correlated with ethical development. Anyone surprised by that? It would seen to contradict the "fetters" models.
i was thinking today that some of these systems are more like filters than causal forces. so take a bunch of people and offer them either a course in awakening that says there are no moral practices, or the same kind of course, but you have to do lots of ethical practices. people who are anti-following-ethical rules will choose the class that doesn't require them and vice versa. now after two years, swap the teachers so that the 'no ethics required folks suddenly have to do metta, keep precepts, etc. most will probably drop out and switch to the class/teacher that doesn't teach that. so monastic training similarly filters for people who can work the system, either by behaving as taught or by keeping unsuitable behavior hidden enough to be ignored.
am i making sense?
The study Jeffery did (2008 & 2009?) was based on data he collected by asking a bunch of people to take several internet based questionnaires aimed at measuring their spiritual and ethical development, and then selecting a small sample (not random, btw) from that original large group to interview in detail. I'm not sure he documents how any of the subjects obtained their persistent non-dual awareness. I suspect there was a range of processes involved. I have version of the original unpublished book so I'll poke around in there to see if I can glean anything about ethical training.
By the way, I can't really say my experience is persistently non-dual although I can't compare it to the past because I don't remember all that well. Whatever goes on now is the new normal. That sense of things having no center waxes and wanes; when I'm on a task I'm just not noticing anything.
Here's a link to the study - you can poke around in there to discover what Jeffery considers "persistent non-dual experience" and see if that matches up to what you think it is:
More for Ona -- you can look at Table 12 in this document to see the early life and later (current) affiliations of the detailed study subjects.
For really practical plain english example, if I read St. Augustine's prayer for the gift of tears every night for a week, I am likely to cry. BUT (and this is the key part) - I would not have bothered to read that every night for a week were I not the sort of person who were attracted to that result. So the linearity isn't there. If my friend Bob forced himself to read the same thing every night the result would probably be him smashing me over the head with the text because it would grind on his nerves and he thinks crying is stupid and for sissies. "Results" are inter-dependent with the conditions involved around them, which are nearly infinite (probably infinite, really).
nadav wrote: I think Ona is saying that the systems or traditions attract people with propensities towards their particular practices *and outcomes*. If I'm a rationalistic male with an aversion to touchy feely hippie stuff, then I'm more likely to end up studying with Kenneth Folk than with Jack Kornfield and I probably won't report big openings of the heart and psychological insights. Yes?
Yes, that's what I meant.
We find practices—and therefore outcomes—that suit us.
An interesting thing for me is that at some point, say after technical 4th path but starting earlier, the field opens up through insights that challenge the belief system and greater perceptual acuity. Then more vectors become accessible; the rationalistic anti-hippie dude might now "get" the touchy feely stuff and have it as a potential direction for practice. Going into meditation, I'd probably smash Ona's head with St. Augustine's prayer too but now—even though it probably won't make me cry, and it's not the language I use—I can understand what it's getting at.