Posted by: Soh
I was looking back at some posts by Thusness and found one that really summarizes the problems of many people (including me, once, and many others I see in forums)...


(31 October 2010)

Hi Geis,

I 'fear' commenting about other's forum because AEN will create havoc in that forum after

Jokes aside but I think it is still too early to say that insight of anatta has arisen. There seem to be a mixing up and a lack of clarity of the following experiences that resulted from contemplating on the topic of no-self:

1. Resting in non-conceptuality
2. Resting as an ultimate Subject or
3. Resting as mere flow of phenomenality

In case 1 practitioners see ‘The seen is neither subjective nor objective.... it just IS....’
In terms of experience, practitioners will feel Universe, Life. However this is not anatta but rather the result of stripping off (deconstructing) identity and personality.

When this mode of non-conceptual perception is taken to be ultimate, the terms “What is”, “Isness”, “Thusness” are often taken to mean simply resting in non-conceptuality and not adding to or subtracting anything from the ‘raw manifestation’. There is a side effect to such an experience. Although in non-conceptuality, non-dual is most vivid and clear, practitioners may wrongly conclude that ‘concepts’ are the problem because the presence of ‘concepts’ divides and prevent the non-dual experience. This seems logical and reasonable only to a mind that is deeply root in a subject/object dichotomy. Very quickly ‘non-conceptuality’ becomes an object of practice. The process of objectification is the result of the tendency in action perpetually repeating itself taking different forms like an endless loop. This can continue to the extent that a practitioner can even ‘fear’ to establish concepts without knowing it. They are immobilized by trying to prevent the formation of views and concepts. When we see ‘suffering just IS’, we must be very careful not to fall into the ‘disease’ of non-conceptuality.

In Case 2 it is usual that practitioners will continue to personify, reify and extrapolate a metaphysical essence in a very subtle way, almost unknowingly. This is because despite the non-dual realization, understanding is still orientated from a view that is based on subject-object dichotomy. As such it is hard to detect this tendency and practitioners continue their journey of building their understanding of ‘No-Self based on Self’.

For Case 3 practitioners, they are in a better position to appreciate the doctrine of anatta. When insight of Anatta arises, all experiences become implicitly non-dual. But the insight is not simply about seeing through separateness; it is about the thorough ending of reification so that there is an instant recognition that the ‘agent’ is extra, in actual experience it does not exist. It is an immediate realization that experiential reality has always been so and the existence of a center, a base, a ground, a source has always been assumed. This is different from 'deconstructing of identity and personality' which is related to non-conceptuality but 'actual' seeing of the non-existence of agent in transient phenomena.

Here practitioners will not only feel universe as in case 1 but there is also an immediate experience of our birth right freedom because the agent is gone. It is important to notice that practitioners here do not mistake freedom as ‘no right or wrong and remaining in a state of primordial purity’ ; they are not immobilized by non-conceptuality but is able to clearly see the ‘arising and passing’ of phenomena as liberating as there is no permanent agent there to ‘hinder’ the seeing. That is, practitioner not only realize ‘what experience is’ but also begin to understand the ‘nature’ of experience.

To mature case 3 realization, even direct experience of the absence of an agent will prove insufficient; there must also be a total new paradigm shift in terms of view; we must free ourselves from being bonded to the idea, the need, the urge and the tendency of analyzing, seeing and understanding our moment to moment of experiential reality from a source, an essence, a center, a location, an agent or a controller and rest entirely on anatta and Dependent Origination.

In my opinion, the blog that hosts the articles on “Who am I” and “Quietening the Inner Chatter” provide more in depth insights on non-duality, Anatta and Emptiness. The author demonstrates very deep clarity of ‘what experience is’ and the ‘nature (impermanent, empty and dependent originates according to supporting conditions)’ of experience.

Just my 2 cents. :-)
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