Posted by: Soh
I wrote this based on what Thusness/PasserBy have said regarding his Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Experience on Spiritual Enlightenment - not to think of the 7 stages as strictly linear or having a hierarchy.

Some are able to understand the profound wisdom of emptiness from the start but have no direct experience of luminosity, then luminosity becomes a later phase. So does that mean the most pristine experience of "I AM" is now the last stage? On the other hand, some have experienced luminosity but does not understand how he got himself 'lost', as there is no insight to the karmic tendencies/propensities at all, therefore they cannot understand Dependent Origination adequately. But does that mean that the one that experiences emptiness is higher than the one experiencing luminosity?

Some people experience non-dual but do not go through the I AM, and then after non-dual the I AM becomes even more precious because it brings out the luminosity aspect more. Also, when in non-dual, one can still be full of thoughts, therefore the focus then is to experience the thoroughness of being no-thoughts, fully luminous and present... then it is not about non-dual, not about the no object-subject split, it is about the degree of luminosity for these non-dualist. But for some monks that is trapped in luminosity and rest in samadhi, then the focus should be on refining non-dual insight and experience. For non-dualists, depending on the level of understanding, one can move forward and backward, there is no hierarchy.

So just see the phases as different aspect of insights of our true nature, not necessarily as linear stages or a 'superiority' and 'inferiority' comparison. What one should understand is what is lacking in the form of realization. There is no hierarchy to it, only insights. Understanding this means that one will be able to see all stages as flat, no higher.
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