Ontological Personalism A Phenomenological Experience
Ontological Personalism A Phenomenological Experience
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P. The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy
Our Direct Knowing of Being
Our Direct Experiential Knowing of Being and our direct experiential knowing of our phenomenological field of Being is a natural path of personal self-liberation and personal self-understanding. The All Creating Source was an 8th century Cei foundational text of the existential Dzogchen Tradition. This ancient Dzogchen tradition amazingly presents the experiential understanding about the nature of Being reflecting our Primordial Personhood. This means that Personhood is ontological in essence and not simply a psychological phenomenon. Personhood is an ontological event and not simply a psychological event!
This is a similar philosophical experience and similar philosophical view of Being and Being’s self -manifestation of phenomena that is articulated and elaborated by Contemporary Existential Phenomenology as expressed by Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau -Ponty and other existential phenomenologists such as the existential philosopher theologian Paul Tillich and the existential psychologist Rollo May. Ronny Miron’s beautiful text on Hedwig Conrad Martius “The Phenomenological Gateway to Reality” opens for us an early study on the phenomenological ontology of personhood. These experiential existential phenomenological traditions focus on our “lived experience” as our source of mystical understanding of Human Beingness. Our lived experience is both ontological and psychological.
The ancient luminous text The All Creating Source is a dramatic invocation to experience our human openness (Da Sein) to our personal experiential knowing of our ever-unfolding experience of Being through and within our own person, within our own Personal Being. The infinity of Pure Being can be experienced within and through the phenomena of our own human Beingness, and within and through the events of our world of Being as an event of Being. Our world is an event of Being. Our life is an event of Being. Our death is an event of Being. Each day is an event of Being.
This ancient foundational Dzogchen text presents the profound understanding that All Being is Personal. The Being of human beings is profoundly personal. The multidimensional Reality of the Being of human beings is profoundly personal. There is the ordinary life world dimension of Being (nirmanakaya), there is the archetypal dimension of Being (sambhogakaya) and there is the Ground of Being as Source (dharmakaya).
The Being of human awareness is profoundly personal, and reflects the primordial experience of Timeless Awareness in Time. This Dzogchen phenomenological ontological view is not the impersonal transcendental dissociative approach to self-liberation that many eastern and western philosophical traditions have embraced for many centuries. Neither is this Dzogchen phenomenological ontological view the traditional anatman view of Buddhism. The anatman view is without personhood, without self, and without the actuality of phenomena. In the anatman view there is no reality of the Being of beings. There is only emptiness of Being and absence of Being and eternal Being-less-ness. The anatman view is a Beingless Tradition of human experience. This is a profoundly limiting and limited view of humanness and human existence.
Our Innermost Being is Personal Who-ness
Our own innermost personal Being is the indwelling of Being itself. Our own innermost personal Being is the indwelling of the Ground of Being itself as us. Our direct and non-conceptual knowing of Being reflects the power of our own innermost primordial awareness and our primordial awareness is the manifestation of the field of Being and this field of Being is vast in its horizons and is profoundly Personal. The infinity of Pure Being is Personal. Personal of course does not mean personality. This direct knowingness of Being and this personal knowingness as Being is called in Dzogchen Gnosis or Jnana or Yeshe (Wisdom).
This Being of our innate Knowing, this Being of our innate Awareness reflects our profound personal experience of the actuality of our non -conceptual Who-ness. This non conceptual Who-ness is our experience of being a Person. Person does not mean personality. Personality is a psychological event. Our profound non conceptual personal openness as our knowingness of Being is our Who-ness and our Who-ness is our direct experience of our ontological Personhood. Who-ness is not simply a psychological event. Our self is not simply psychological but our self, our person, our awareness is our Being’s knowingness that knows our Being and the Being of our world. Our Personal Who-ness is an ontological event, an event of Being.
We do not simply know with our mind alone, we do not know only conceptually and psychologically, but we know within and through our personal Being and we experience our personalization of Being as a vast sense of unbound ontological Who-ness. We experience the Who-ness of our Being as our direct luminous knowing of Beingness. This luminous knowingness is our primordial awareness as Pure Being. This luminous knowingness is personal and reflects the profound personalization of our human Beingness. Our direct knowing of Being is called Gnosis or Jnana or Yeshe (Wisdom). Our direct knowing and direct experiencing of Being is Wisdom. Our direct knower and direct experience of Being is our Who-ness. Our who-ness is an ontological event of the Ground of Being.
Our Two Modes of Knowing
We have two ways of knowing. Our mind knows phenomena and our mind intuitively knows the essence of phenomena. Our Awareness directly knows Being. Our awareness is our personalized Being’s knowingness as awareness knowing Being. Our personalized Awareness is our Being’s knowingness knowing itself as Being. And our personalized awareness by directly becoming aware of our own self as awareness, we can directly know our own Who-ness of Being as Pure Being. Our awareness directly and innately experiences our profound Personalization of the Being of our being and the Being of other beings. In knowing our own Being we know Being itself. In directly experiencing the Being of the other, we can experience Being in and of itself. Our singular who-ness is the singular manifestation of the infinity of Pure Being, the Pure Ground of Being infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional.
Mind and Awareness
Our mind does not directly know Being. Our personalized awareness directly knows and non-conceptually experiences Being. Our primordial personalized awareness non conceptually knows the Being of beings. Our awareness knows the Being of our own being and our awareness does know and can directly experience the Being of other beings. Our own Being and the Being of others is Being itself. My being is Being itself and your being is Being itself. Our Being can knows Being non dualistically.
Our personalized awareness directly knows the Being of phenomena. Our mind knows our phenomenological experience of phenomena. Our awareness knows the Being of phenomena. We are ontic ontological beings. We can know phenomena ontically and we can know the Being of phenomena ontologically. We are the one knower with two modes of Knowing. Our who-ness is the knower of Being as Pure Being.
“I” Ness of My Mind
Our psychological mind experiences the felt sense of our phenomenological psychological self as an experiential sense of “I” ness. In this context of mind, our experience of mind becomes our sense of our psychological sense of self. We experience our mind as our self. We experience our thinking, feelings, sensation, memory, fantasy as experiences of psychological self. We experience our states of mind as our state of self. This is a limited and limiting view of our self.
Ontological Sense of Self as Who-ness
Simultaneously our innermost personalized ontological awareness knows Being and our personalized ontological awareness experiences our Being as our ontological self. To become aware of our own personalized awareness is to become aware of our own Being and our experience of our personalized Being as our ontological Who-ness, as our true self. Our who-ness is the Ground of Being manifesting as us, as our who-ness. Our ontological sense of Who-ness is our true self, our authentic self. Our personalized sense of Being is our sense of self. Our sense of self is an ontological experience of our Being.
Donald Winnicott the great English psychoanalyst when ask when does a child know and have self, responded this way. The child has self when the child has an ongoing sense of continuity of Being. Our sense of self is our sense of our innermost Being, our innermost ongoing continuity of inner most Being. Our sense of self is not simply a concept of self and idea of self as some would have you think.
In this context, our living within the field of personalized awareness is living within our field of Being. In living within our field of Being we experience our sense of self as our field of Being, and our sense of self as our ongoing continuity of Being.
In living within our personalized field of awareness as our field of Being, we can experience our own personalized awareness as Being in its multidimensionality. We can experience our profound personalization of our awareness as our field of Being and as our own personalization of our ontological Being as our ontological Who-ness, our ontological sense of self.
Our Being is personal and the personalization of our Being reflects the ontological actually of our person. We experience the ontological actuality of our self as the ontological actuality of our Who-ness. Our experience of our Who-ness is our experience of our Ground of Being as our own Being. Our own personal awareness as own knowingness is manifested by the Ground of Being as the Ground of Being. This is Longchenpa’s great understanding of our personalization of Being. Our who-ness and our personal sense of Being is not simply a psychological event. Our ontological Who-ness is an event of Being. To be a person is an ontological event that is continuous life after life and death after death. To be a person is an event of Pure Being becoming a being.
Ontological Sense of Self and the Anatman Understanding
This personalized ontological experience of self is profoundly different than Gautama’s early Buddhist Anatman teachings. This embodied ontological experience of embodied self is completely different than the transcendental traditions that perceive phenomena as an obscuration of source and consequently monastically focusing on the negation of phenomena and the illusion of phenomenological experience. In our Personalization of our innermost awareness, we experience self- liberation by being in the world and being of the world, and being bonded to those we love in Being forever and ever.
Dissociative detachment and being locked into the patriarchal relationship with the holy one that knows absolutely reflects the transcendental path of domination and personal submission as self-liberation. In Dzogchen the Guru is within everyone and not a singular patriarchal person who wishfully has absolute knowledge of omniscience and omnipotence. Patriarchal omnipotence and omniscience are the Patriarchal illusion that human beings so relentlessly crave.
As Hegel so brilliantly illuminates in his great text The Phenomenology of Spirit the Patriarchal Person is considered to be the person who has absolute knowledge and this illusion of absolute knowledge brings forth the Master- Slave Relationship continuously and relentlessly. The Patriarchal path of self- liberation becomes a path of domination and submission, liberation through obedience and submission to would be personal omnipotence and would be personal omniscience.
Two Different Senses of Self
We have two different senses of self. We have a psychological sense of self reflecting our experience of our own mind and the functions of our mind and we can have an ontological sense of self reflecting our personal sense of the Being of our being. The Being of our own Being is Being itself. This ontological sense of self is our ontological sense of Person, our ontological experience of our Who-ness as the Being of Being. The Who-ness of our own Being is the Who-ness of Being itself, just as we are. This is the understanding of Longchenpa as expressed in his vast text The Precious Treasury of The Genuine Meaning. We experience the Who-ness of Being as our own Who-ness. Being which is not a being, is nonetheless Who-ness. Who-ness is not an entity.
To become aware of our own innermost Being as Pure Being is to experience directly and non-conceptually our innermost sense of who-ness. Our innermost sense of Person is profoundly ontological, and is Pure Being. Our who-ness is Pure Being. Our Person is Pure Being. Our Person is our Pure Who-ness of Being.
Our innermost sense of the personalization of our Being is our ongoing innermost sense of ontological self and our innermost sense of our profound ontological who-ness of Being. Our sense of who-ness of Being can be vast and multidimensional. Our ontological sense of Who-ness can be infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional. Liberation takes place within our embodiment of our innermost personal Who-ness. This is not the ancient and empty anatman drama. This is the Dzogchen understanding of person as expressed by Longchenpa.
Ground of Being
Our ontological sense of our awareness is grounded in the Ground of Being as the Ground of Being. Our personal who-ness is our awareness. Our personal awareness is the self-manifested by and through the Ground of Being. Our personalized knowingness of awareness is multidimensional and is grounded in the Ground of Being as the Ground of Being. Our who-ness is the ground of Being manifesting as us. The Ground of Being is the Infinity of Who-ness.
Our experience of our phenomena of luminous awareness is grounded in the ground of Being as the ground of Being. This is Longchenpa’s great understanding that he expressed in his text The Precious Treasury of The Genuine Meaning. This experience of luminous ontological awareness is naturally given and not earned and not merited. Our luminous ontological awareness is the infinity of Who-ness manifesting as the singularity of a being.
All Phenomena as The Ground of Being
There is an ancient Dzogchen prayer. May I experience all phenomena as the Ground of Being. Our experience of our personal who-ness as primordial awareness can often be contained within our mind and obscured by our mind. Our personal who-ness as our primordial awareness is our self -manifestation of the Ground of Being. Our personal who-ness as primordial awareness is the Ground of Being infinite in its horizons and vast and multidimensional. Our primordial who-ness as our primordial awareness is our profound personalization of the Field of Being infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional.
Our profound personalization of our ontological Being as Who-ness as primordial awareness is vast and is unbound and self-manifest when our mind no longer contains and obscures our experience of awareness. Our ontological who-ness can be self- liberated from the containment of mind.
Our personalization of Being is ontologically our personalization of our Pure Being of Knowingness self -manifested by the Ground of Being as our Pure Being of awareness that is within us as us. Liberation is not the drama of transcendence but the drama of immanence, the drama of emanation, the drama of resonance and the drama of our personal embodiment of luminous Being as the Ground of Being. Liberation is the drama of actuality and not the drama of Life as Ontological Illusion.
Ontological Character of Being
To become aware of our own awareness is to become aware of our Being. Our awareness is the ontological quality or ontological character of our Being. Our Awareness is our open knowing of our Being directly knowing Being. To become aware of our awareness is to become aware of Being. To become aware of our Being is to become aware of our who-ness and what we are. To become aware of our Being is to become aware of Being in and of itself. To become aware of our own Being is to become aware of our Pure Being, just as we are! To become aware of Being is to experience the spaciousness or the openness of Being to knowing Being and the beings of Being. To become aware of Being is to experience the luminosity of Being. To become aware of Being is to experience the energy and light of Being. To become aware of Being is to experience the power of the self-manifestation of Being which is compassion.
Our own innate innermost awareness is the Who-ness of our Being. Our Who-ness is our direct experiential non conceptual knowing our Beingness of the Being of our Person. Awareness is Being’s knowingness. Awareness is Being’s knowingness of Being. Our innermost awareness of and as our knowingness of Being is our innermost personalization of Being.
Personhood As Who-ness
Our innate Awareness is our Being’s personal knowingness as Who-ness. Our Who-ness is our experience of our innermost Being’s personal knowingness of Being. Our Being’s personal ontological openness is Who-ness. Da sein is our openness of our Being to knowing Being. In truth Da Sein is the openness of our personal Being to the Being of beings within all beings.
This direct non- conceptual Knowingness of Awareness is our personalized experience of our awareness as Person. Our Awareness as Who-ness reflects our personalization as an essential quality of our Pure Being. This is the open secret of Being and the open secret of our self-liberation through Being within Being as a being. All Being is profoundly personal. This profound Dzogchen understanding is so opposite of the ancient anatman transcendental teachings that has sadly preoccupied so much of eastern philosophy and psychology. Of course, western philosophy and psychology has its own form of transcendental Being and the corresponding methods of detachment and dissociation.
Personalization of Being
Our experience of our innermost primordial awareness as Pure Being is our liberating experience of the pervasive Pure Who-ness of Being and the Pure Who-ness of the Being of beings. We can directly experience and directly know our own Who-ness of Being as the very nature of Pure Being.
We can experience directly and non-conceptually the vast Pure Who-ness of Cosmological Being. Our direct experience and direct timeless knowingness of the infinity of Universal Being is profoundly and infinitely self-liberating just as we are continuously life after life and death after death. Our experience of Timeless Awareness in time brings forth the profound experience of the deathlessness of our Pure Being of awareness.
Ontological Knowing and Ontic Knowing
Our awareness is our Personhood. Our Awareness is our Who-ness. Our awareness is our Being’s Direct Personal Knowing of Being. Our Who-ness is not simply psychological as some would like to think. Our Who-ness is not mentalistic. Our Who-ness is ontological. Our Who-ness is indestructible! Our Who-ness is unborn and undying! Our Who-ness continues life after life and death after death!
Our ontological Who-ness is our ontological experience of Our ontological Beingness. Our Who-ness is our personal experience of our Being as our Personal Beingness. The Pure Being of Being manifest the Being of our own Being as Who-ness. The Pure Being of Being manifest the Pure Being of our own Being as profoundly Personal. The universe is profoundly Personal. The two trillion galaxies are the personal infinite manifestation of Pure Being.
Ontic Knowing and Ontological Knowing
The knowingness of our mind is psychological and is ontic knowing. Ontic knowing is phenomenological knowing, the knowing of phenomenological forms. The knowingness of our personal awareness is ontological knowing. Our knowingness as awareness is ontological and is personal. Our knowingness as awareness is formless. Our who-ness is formlessness. We are formlessness in forms. Formlessness does not mean we do not exist. We are formless awareness knowing within form and through form.
Who-ness reflects our Personalization of Being and the Being of beings. Our personalization of the Being of beings is the nature of Ontological Being. Our personalization of the Being of our being brings forth the timeless experience of Being as unborn and undying. Our ontological Personalization of our Being opens for us the experiential potential to live life after life and death after death. Our who-ness is formless knowingness. Our who-ness is unborn and undying.
Formlessness and Form As a being
Our personal who-ness of Being is formless. Who-ness is luminous formlessness. The pure Being of who-ness is luminous formlessness. Formlessness does not mean non-existence. The Pure Being of Being is formless and self-manifest as forms. Formless Being becomes embodied in form. Formless Being is not a thing and not an entity.
Early Buddhism thought that since Being was formless; Being did not exist. Early Buddhism thought since awareness is formless, awareness did not exist and had no existence. Because the experience of self is formless, early Buddhism thought self-did not exist. Because who-ness is formless, early Buddhism thought who-ness did not exist. Because personhood is formless, early Buddhism thought personhood did not exist. Early Buddhism was concrete operational in thought. Concrete operational thinking is dense and preoccupied with a concrete dense simplistic understanding of causality. Concrete operational thought is preoccupied and fixated on concreteness of Forms and the thingness of forms, and the edification of reality.
This Buddhist misunderstanding about form and formlessness, and being and non-being, and existence and non-existence is profoundly distorted and ontologically distorting of human experience of Being. This distorted understanding pervades various forms of eastern philosophy.
Being is formless and the formless of Being self-manifests as forms, infinite forms of beings.
Distinction Between Mind and Awareness in Dzogchen and Contemporary Existential Phenomenology
This foundational distinction between the knowing of our mind knowing phenomena and our knowing of awareness knowing Being is an essential distinction both in Dzogchen and in Continental Phenomenology. Our awareness is our direct non conceptual knowing of Being. Our mind knows phenomena and the essence of phenomena. As the one knower with two modes of knowing we can know with our mind the essence of phenomena and with our awareness we can know non-conceptually the Being of phenomena.
Our own Being’s knowingness as awareness is our own personalized innermost Who-ness. Who-ness is our own primordial awareness, which is primordial Being itself self- manifesting as us, self-manifesting as our Who-ness. Our own primordial awareness is our own Who-ness and our Who-ness is the self- manifestation of the Ground of Being. Our own Who-ness is the manifestation of the Ground of Being as our personal awareness. Our Who-ness is self-manifested by the Ground of Being as the Ground of Being. Our mind is ontic and phenomenological. Our awareness is ontological and reflects the nature of Being’s knowing Being.
Our awareness is ontological and profoundly personal. We do not have awareness we are awareness, we are who-ness, and we are personal Beingness. We are our personalization of Beingness. The Being of our Being is Personal. The Person of our Being is vast unbound Who-ness. Who-ness is the fullness of Beingness. Who-ness is the personal presence of Being-fullness.
Ontological understanding is different than ontic knowing. Awareness although actual is also formless. Who-ness is actual and formless. Being is actual and formless. Being becomes beings. A human being is both form and formlessness.
Ontological Knowingness, Ontological Who-ness, Ontological Awareness, Ontological Personhood is not a thing and is not an entity. Knowing-ness can be embodied within a form. Who-ness as Awareness can become embodied in a form. Direct Knowingness, Gnosis, Jnana, Who-ness, Personal-ness can become embodied in form, but is nonetheless formless. This formlessness is formless light. This formless-ness is luminous knowing-ness, luminous Beingness.
The Ground of Being as Who-ness and as Person
To experience our own inner most primordial awareness is to experience our manifestation of and as the Ground of Being. This is Longchenpa’s foundational Dzogchen teaching found in his wonderous text The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning.
For many Nyingma Scholars Longchenpa is considered the greatest of the Dzogchen Masters of the ancient Nyingma Tradition. Although he wrote in the 14th century his writing is contemporary both in style and in language. Longchenpa is never mentioned in the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Longchenpa is so realistic and so ontological in his luminous understanding. Longchenpa is free of patriarchal and monastic Institutionalization. Longchenpa lives within the Divinity and Actuality of Being’s Appearance.
The dramatic understanding of his 14th century text The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning is that there is no ontological difference between Phenomena and the Source of Phenomena. The transcendental traditions are based upon the profound ontological difference between Phenomena and the Source of Phenomena. This ontological difference between phenomena and the primordial Source is the foundational prejudicial understanding within dissociative transcendental philosophy and its dissociative praxis.
In the Existential Dzogchen Tradition of Longchenpa there is no ontological difference between phenomena and our primordial Ground of Being. Within the Dzogchen tradition there is no ontological difference between phenomena and Source. The pervasive union and indivisibleness between the source of phenomena and phenomena as appearance of source reflects the profound luminous understanding of the philosophical Immanence of Pure Being of beings.
Phenomena as the Self Manifestation of Ground of Being
This oneness of phenomena with and within the source of Being is the essential understanding of both ancient Dzogchen and Contemporary Existential Phenomenology. There is the ancient Dzogchen prayer that says, “May I experience all phenomena as the Dharmakaya”. The Dharmakaya is the Ground of Being. May I experience all phenomena as the Ground of Being. This ontological understanding of the oneness of phenomena with, and as the Ground of Being is beautifully and wonderfully articulated by the 14th century Dzogchen Master Longchenpa in his many profound and luminous texts.
There is ontological oneness and there is ontological sameness between the Ground of Being and our own innermost awareness, our innermost Who-ness. There is ontological oneness and ontological sameness between the All-Creative Primordial Source and all Phenomena. The Primordial source self-manifest as all phenomena. All phenomena are the self -manifestation of the field of Being. Don Scotus the great medieval western philosopher/theologian called this ontological oneness of the Being of beings Univocity. Univocity is the equality of all Being as beings. Self-Liberation is the experience of equality consciousness and equal vision of all beings.
Who-ness As Our Ontological Knowing of Being
Our Who-ness was and is our human experience of our primordial awareness as the Phenomenological Field of Being. Who-ness was and is the one who experiences our ordinary life world known within Dzogchen as the Nirmanakaya. Who-ness was and is our luminous experience of our Imaginal Archetypal Symbolic Reality Dimension known within Dzogchen as the Sambhogakaya Realm. And Who-ness was and is our primordial experience of our cosmological source of Being known in Dzogchen as Dharmakaya and expressed by Longchenpa as the Ground of Being.
Our direct experience of knowing the Ground of Being is our non-conceptual pre-reflective direct knowing of our innate Who-ness of Being. Our Ontological Who-ness is infinite in its horizons and reflects the multidimensional Beingness of Being. This Dzogchen understanding and language of the Ground of Being is the very same language and the same understanding of Contemporary Existential Phenomenology.
This phenomenological ontological understanding is expressed by Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty among many other contemporary existential phenomenologists. The theologian Paul Tillich in his existential phenomenological Theology continuously used the language of the Ground of Being as Primordial Source.
The Personalization of Being: Ontic Experience and Ontological Experience
This primordial Who-ness of Being is the ontological source and is archetypally personified as the Who-ness of Samatabhadra. Our existential and phenomenological experience of our Personalization of the Being of our world and the Beings of the world is foundational for our phenomenological lived experience of our Being in the world and the Being of the world. This personalization reflects our psychological ontic experience of phenomena and our simultaneous ontological lived experience of the ontological Being of Phenomena.
Our mind’s psychological knowing phenomena and the essence of phenomena is an ontic experience. Our awareness directly and pre-reflectively and non -conceptually knowing Being is our ontological knowingness and is an ontological experience of Personalization.
We have two ways of knowing, ontic and ontological. In Dzogchen this direct pre-reflective ontological knowing is called Gnosis or Jnana or Semde or Yeshe (Wisdom). Our ontological knowing is not earned but is naturally given within us as ordinary human beings. This ontological knowing is profoundly personal and natural. The knowing of Being is personal and natural. The knowing of phenomena and the Being of the phenomena is personal and natural. Both the knower and the known are personal in essence, Being as Personal.
The luminous light of Being is personal. The vital energy of Being is personal. The Spaciousness of Being is personal. The Presence of Being is Personal.
Our Ontic knowing and Our Ontic experience reflects the nature and the Ontic qualities of Phenomena. Our Ontological knowing and Ontological experience expresses the nature and qualities of the Being of Phenomena. Our ontic experience expresses the essence of the nature and qualities of phenomena. Our ontic experience expresses our psychological sense of “I” ness of our phenomenological mind and our Ontological experience expresses the nature of our Being as profound Who-ness. Who-ness is profoundly personal. Being is profoundly personal.
Being is not a thing. Personal Being being embodied in a form is not a thing. The form has thing quality. The personal who-ness of Beingness embodied has no thingness and is formless knowingness. The knowingness of awareness as pure Beingness is formless.
Ontic Sense of Self and Ontological Sense of Self
Our sense of “I” ness reflects our phenomenological psychological ontic sense of self. Our profound sense of Who-ness reflects our experiential Ontological Sense of our Being as Ontological knowingness and as Ontological sense of self and Ontological sense of Person. We have an ontic sense of self and an ontological sense of self. Our two senses of self -reflect both a personal ontic and personal ontological dimension of our Being.
Many of us only experience an ontic sense of self which is a psychological sense of self. This psychological sense of self is most often our sense of our mind experienced as our sense of self. I am the I ness of my mind! The “I” ness of my mind is myself. Paradoxically, this self as mind is a limited and limiting view of our self and our person.
Ontological Who-ness as Ground of Being
Our Ontological Who-ness unfolds within us and around us and ultimately expands into our cosmologically lived experience of the infinity of Ontological Being-fullness. Ontological Who-ness reflects the experiential vastness of the infinity of Timeless Awareness in Time. Who-ness is infinite in its horizons and vast and multidimensional.
Within our experience of Ontological Who-ness is our experience of and as the Ground of Being. The Ground of Being is profoundly personal. The Ground of Being is often experienced as Timeless Awareness within time. Who-ness is an unearned experience of the Givenness of Pure Being as our own Being just as we are. The Ground of Being is our innermost Timeless nature manifesting in time. Our innermost nature is the Timeless Ground of Being as our own Innate awareness as the Field of Being. We are the Field of Being. Our Who-ness is the field of Our Being. We are completely ontologically personal.
Our sense of “I” ness is an ontic experience. When there is no experiential basis of Being supporting and infusing “I” ness, the “I” ness is without the experiential foundational of ontological Presence of Pure Being. Psychological “I” ness is then permeated by the felt sense of the absence of Being, the voidness of Being and the absence of the actuality of existing-ness. Without our felt sense of Being, there is no true sense of actuality or true sense of Reality. And the “I” ness of mind is thing like and is not Personal Beingness. Our Personal Luminosity, Our Personal Spaciousness, Our Personal Knowingness as Pure Being is our Personal Who-ness of Direct Knowing of Being, and our Direct Knowing of the Being of Phenomena.
In our Being-less context, phenomena are experienced “as if” and phenomena is experienced as illusionary and as unreal lacking the actualness of reality. This experience of ontological lack reflects the terror of annihilation and the agony of Being- less -ness. This dreadful experience of Beingless-ness is often the Existential depression beneath psychological depressions! This dreadful empty presence of Ontological Beingless-ness often underlies psychological depressions and certain forms of suicidal preoccupation and ideation.
Absence of Beingness as Absence of Personhood
Early Buddhism as articulated by Gautama perceived all of phenomena as emptiness of Being. All of phenomena was perceived in early Buddhism as Beingless. All of phenomena had no basis within Being as Being. Without the ontological basis of Being, phenomena are not experienced as existing in actuality. The sense of “I” ness is an ontic sense and thus, the sense of “I” ness can be without Being-ness. This is an empty state of selflessness and who-lessness. When our psychological ontic “I” ness is supported by our ontological sense of self as Being, then there can be this profound ontological sense of ongoing sense of ontological Beingness of our Being as Who-ness. Ontic “I” ness without the experiential Base of ontological Beingness is phenomenologically empty.
In this absence of Being, the context of our sense of self is simply our sense of ontic mind. Thus, our sense of self is experienced as if, and our sense of self is Beingless and lacks the depth and breathe of reality and actuality. Our sense of self as “I”-ness lacks the profound foundational sense of ontological Who-ness infinite in its horizons and vast and multidimensional. Our sense of self as “I” ness lacks ontological Presence and ontological meaningfulness.
Without the experiential ontological basis of our Being-full-ness as Who-ness, all phenomena are felt as illusionary, and all phenomena seems to be an unreal experience. Such Who-less and Beingless phenomena does lack the felt sense of Being-full-ness and Luminous Lived experience. This is the Anatman existence. The experiential lack and absence of self as the absence of the sense of ongoing continuity of Being is Being-less-ness. This Being-less-ness experience is the ongoing existential ontological state of human despair. Gautama would accurately describe such Being-less existence as all life is suffering.
The Experience of The Absence of Self as Ontological Despair
This is the Anatman selfless experience and beingless experience and who- less experience of early Buddhism and other transcendental forms of philosophy both western as well as eastern. Early Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology is such an example of empty “I” ness of mind alone. A Beingless transcendental mind in a Beingless world!
This anatman existence results in Gautama exclaiming All life is suffering. This is the profound human agony of our who-less-ness of Being-less-ness. This is existential ontological depression and ontological despair. Many philosophies and many religions foster this Beingless experience of our human experience and life. This empty experience of ontological absence is sad. This profound lack of knowing Being is Ma Rigpa. Ma Rigpa means our ignorance of our awareness being Being and knowing Being.
The Who-ness of Being-full-ness
Our own awareness is our ontological experiential knowing of Being-full-ness. Our own innermost awareness is our ontological experience of our Who-ness as our Being-full-ness. There is the direct ontological knowing of our inner most awareness which directly knows our Being as Being itself. Our own innermost awareness is Pure Being. Our innermost awareness is our Pure Being’s knowingness of Being. Our innermost awareness is our Being’s knowingness of Being within beings. Our innermost awareness as Being’s knowingness is our inner most sense of Being, our innermost sense of ontological self.
Our awareness as Who-ness knows directly the Being of our own Being. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of other beings. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of the World. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows Pure Being in and of itself. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness is our Being knowing Being. Our own awareness as Who-ness is our Pure Being knowing the Pure Being of beings.
Within the Dzogchen foundational text of the All-Creative Source, the translucid Being of our ordinary life world can be metabolized and assimilated within own personal field of primordial awareness which is the Rigpa of our own awareness. Rigpa is the direct knowing and the direct experiencing of Pure Being. Rigpa metabolizes our experience of phenomenological events and this metabolization brings forth the self-embodiment of the field of Light and Self Liberation.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Diplomate In Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.
The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies.
Bauer, R. The Timeless Interface of Dzogchen and Contemporary Existential Phenomenology. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field. Vol.20.2021
Bauer, R. Ancient Dzogchen and Contemporary Existential Phenomenology. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.20.2021
Bauer, R. An Existential Tantric Dzogchen Consultation: A Phenomenology. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.9.2020.
Bauer, R. The Absence of Self: An Existential Phenomenological View of The Anatman Experience. Journal of Philosophical Investigations,2019.
Bauer, R. The Direct Experience of Our Ontological Sense of Being As Self. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field. 2017.
Bauer, R. Experiencing the Archetypal Realm: A Phenomenology of Self Liberation. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.8.2017
Bauer, R. The Nature of Awareness As Tantra: A Phenomenology. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field. Vol.8.2017.
Bauer, R. Our Existential Character: A Phenomenological Dzogchen View. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.20,2020.
Bauer, R. The Phenomenological Method In Light of Our Mind Knowing Phenomenological Forms and Our Awareness Knowing Phenomenological Being. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.20.2021
Bauer, R. The Natural Hiddenness of The Luminous Experience of Being within Human Beings. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field.Vol.8.2017.
Bauer, R. Phenomenology of Respiration and The Sense of Whoness within Tantra as Personhood. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field Vol.8.2017.
Bauer, R. Welcome to Whoville. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field. Vol 6.2013.
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The All Creating Source or Kunjed Gyalpo.
There are a number of translations with different titles of this 8th century Text. The All Creating Source.
1. The Supreme Source, Translated by Namkai Norbu and Adriano Clemente. Snow Lion Press.1999.
2.The Sovereign All Creating Mind, The Motherly Buddha by E.K.Neumaier Dargay University Press. 1999.
3. The All Creating King by Christopher Wilkinson 2019. Independently Published.
4. The Kunjed Gyalpo Series, Translated by James Valby Publications. Shelburne Falls, Mass. 2020.These are all great translations with different nuances.