Our Ontological Beingness as Who-ness A Dzogchen Phenomenological View
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
The All -Creative Source
In the 8th Century Cei the Tantric Dzogchen text The All- Creative Source came into being. The All- Creative Source was a Tibetan foundational text bringing forth the Dzogchen understanding about the nature of Being as Primordial Awareness and that our direct experience of the nature of Being was a natural path of self -liberation. Furthermore, this Being of Awareness is the Being of our own Who-ness. Being is Awareness, and Awareness is Who-ness. Being is Ontological, as is Awareness Ontological, as is Who-ness Ontological. Our Who-ness is Ontological and not simply Psychological.
This luminous foundational text The All-Creative Source was an invocation for us to experience our natural openness to the ever-unfolding experience of the infinity of Being which is the infinity of profound Who-ness. In a word all Being is personal. This Dzogchen understanding is profoundly different then the early Anatman understanding of Buddhism. In fact as the brilliant contemporary Dzogchen Master Namkai Norbu so often said, Dzogchen does not belong to anyone tradition. And neither does Dzogchen does belong to any one Culture.
Our Ontological Who-ness
Our own Being is Being itself and our knowingness of our Being is our own Who-ness. Our awareness is our Who-ness. We do not simply know with our mind alone, we know with our Being, with our innermost Who-ness, with our innermost Awareness. Who-ness is our own primordial awareness which is primordial Being itself. Most importantly we do not have this awareness, rather we are this awareness, we are the indwelling knowingness of this awareness. This indwelling knowingness is not the knowing of our mind. Our mind knows phenomena. Our indwelling knowingness of our awareness is the knowingness of our Being. Our Primordial Awareness is the indwelling knowingness of our Being knowing Being
Moreover, our primordial awareness is the self- manifestation of Our Ground of Being. Our own primordial awareness is the Indwelling of the Ground of Being as us. To experience our own primordial awareness is actually to experience our manifestation of and as Our Ground of Being.
Phenomena and Source are In Oneness
In both Contemporary Existential Phenomenology and in Dzogchen there is no ontological difference between Phenomena and the All- Creative Source of Phenomena. There is no ontological difference between phenomena and the Ground of Being. In the sublime text The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning, Longchenpa, the great literary master of Dzogchen emphasizes this focal understanding as the essence of the Dzogchen Tradition. This is also the focal understanding of the contemporary masters of existential phenomenology such Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau Ponty.
Our own direct non conceptual direct knowing of our innermost awareness reflects the Indwelling of the Ground of Being manifesting in us as our own inner most awareness. This an essential understanding of both Ancient Dzogchen and Contemporary Existential Phenomenology. This is not the understanding of early Buddhism and other transcendental forms of Buddhist philosophy.
There is a Dzogchen prayer that says “May I experience all phenomena as The Dharmakaya”. The Dharmakaya is Ground of Being. This means “May I experience all phenomena as The Ground of Being”. The Ground of Being and phenomena are of the same Being. The Ground of Being and our own awareness are in Oneness, are in Non-Duality. The Ground of Being is actually Our Ground of Being. Our Source is Our Ground of Being which is the Ground of Being. Being which is not a being self -manifest Being in infinite numbers of beings. Being is not an entity. Nonetheless, Being is actuality.
This early and foundational Tantric Tibetan Dzogchen text the All- Creative Source elaborates how the All- Creative Source is profoundly Personal and constantly reflect the Equality of Manifesting -Ness and the Manifested. There is this profound ontological Equality of Being self-manifesting beings as Being and Being as beings. Being self-manifesting infinite numbers of beings as Being is the ontological source of Equality consciousness and Equal vision. Heidegger called this infinite manifesting of Being manifesting beings Phusis.
Equality consciousness is not simply a human constructed value but is the actuality of primordial direct perception as primordial Gnosis, and as primordial Jnana, and wisdom Yeshe.
Equality Consciousness and Equal Vision of the Being of beings
The Dzogchen text The All-Creative Source is an 8th century declaration of Equality Consciousness and Equal Vision. This visionary experience is that all beings are of the same Being. This is not the analogy of Being teaching that preoccupied St. Thomas Aquinas in which some beings are more Being then other beings. This analogy of Being understanding reflects the Patriarchal preoccupation of Christian Theocentric Philosophy for centuries.
Later in time the medieval theologian Duns Scotus would describe this Equality of the Being of beings as Univocity. This equality of Being and beings is beautifully developed in Merleau Ponty’s great text the Visible and the Invisible.
This authoritative and foundational Dzogchen text the All Creating Source is neither Patriarchal nor Theocratic. This egalitarian text has always been a challenge even for Vajrayana Buddhist because of its deconstruction of Patriarchal and Transcendental Cultural preoccupation and Transcendental fixation. This great foundational Dzogchen text introduces an ontology of immanence into the transcendental context of Buddhism and Eastern philosophical dissociative thought.
This foundational text the All- Creating Source is a text elaborating the embodiment of Being, the embodiment of Awareness, the embodiment of Luminous Presence and the embodiment of Luminous Ontological Who-ness. All are of the Same Oneness of Being.
Self-Liberation is the drama of the embodiment of the Field of Being as our own luminous awareness, as our own primordial luminous Ground of Being-ness as own Ontological Who-ness. Perhaps All life is not suffering as Gautama suggested. It is true a Being-less existence is suffering and is agony.
The Path of Who-ness as Our Ontological Experiencer
Our becoming aware of our own awareness is the drama of our becoming aware of our own Who-ness, as our becoming aware of own Indwelling Being of Direct Knowing and Our own indwelling Being of Direct Experiencing of Being. Our Being is the Indwelling of our Direct Knowingness as Who-ness. Our Being is the Indwelling of the Ground of Being as our own Being. This understanding is Longchengpa’s ontological understanding of the Indwelling of the Ground of Being (source) as the Being of our own Primordial Awareness. The indwelling of the Ground is an Indwelling of Primordial Who-ness. Primordial Being is Primordial Who-ness. Longchenpa elaborates this essential Dzogchen understanding in The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning. There is a excellent commentary on The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning by Lama Namdrol Rinpoche.
The Phenomenological Field of Being
Our Who-ness was and is our multidimensional human experience of our primordial awareness as our Phenomenological Field of Being. Who-ness was and is our experience of our ordinary life world of actuality known within Dzogchen as the Nirmanakaya. Who-ness was and is the Luminous Experience of our Archetypal Symbolic actuality known in Dzogchen as Sambogakaya. Our who-ness was and is our experience of our cosmological source of Being known in Dzogchen as the Dharmakaya or as the Ground of Being. Your Who-ness and my Who-ness are manifestations of the Ground of Being.
Our direct experience of the Ground of Being is our non- conceptual and pre-reflective direct experiential knowing of our innate Who-ness who is infinite in its horizons, vast and the multidimensional Beingness of our Being.
Our own awareness is the indwelling of the Ground of Being as our own Being and as our own innermost luminous awareness of Being. The Indwelling of the Ground of Being is Our awareness and is Our consciousness and is Our who-ness. This is all very Personal is it not?
As you may know the impersonal or non- personal dominates and pervades much of eastern philosophy. This non- personal, and or impersonal reflects the powerful influence of the transcendental anatman understanding and transcendental dissociative praxis.
Our consciousness is experientially conscious of our Being and our consciousness is experientially conscious of the Being of phenomena. Our consciousness is conscious of our consciousness as Beingness.
Our awareness, our consciousness is our profound ontological Who-ness. Our awareness is our ontological knowing of Being. Our awareness is our ontological knowing as our Who-ness and as our own innermost Being. Our primordial awareness is the knowingness of our Being knowing Being.
Our awareness as our who-ness is profoundly personal. Our Who-ness of our Beingness as our own Beingness is profoundly personal. The Beingness of our Being is profoundly personal. The Beingness of the Being of phenomena is profoundly personal. The Beingness of Reality is Personal. The Beingness of our actuality is intensely personal. Our experience of our ongoing continuity of Being which is our ongoing ontological sense of our self, as our who-ness, as our ground of Being is wonderfully personal. The Divinity of Appearance is profoundly personal and self-liberating,
This is not the anatman understanding that was foundational to early Buddhism. This is Dzogchen ontology. This is also our natural personal human experience phenomenologically and ontologically of our lived experience.
Personalization of Being: Ontic Experience and Ontological Experience
This primordial Who-ness of Being and the primordial Who-ness of our Being is our ontological source in Dzogchen and is archetypally personified as the Who-ness of Samatabhadra. Our existential and phenomenological experience of our Personalization of our own Being in the world and of our world is foundational for our phenomenological lived experience of our Personal Being in the world and for our personal self- liberation within our personal field of Being.
This personalization also reflects our psychological ontic experience of phenomena and our simultaneous ontological lived experience of Being and our Direct non conceptual pre-reflective knowing of Being.
Our Who-ness is not simply our psychological knowing of phenomena, rather our who-ness is our ontological knowingness. Our who-ness is our who-ness of Being knowing Being and our who-ness of Being knowing the who-ness of beings. Our who-ness is our direct knowingness of Being as Being.
Our who-ness is Da Sein. Da Sein is our Being’s openness to Being and our human openness to knowing Being. Da Sein is our Being’s openness to directly and non- conceptually knowing Being and experiencing Being. When our awareness knows Being, our awareness is knowing the Beingness of awareness as awareness and simultaneously our awareness directly knows the Being of others. Our awareness knows Being in and of itself, since our own Being is Being in and of itself.
The Two Ways of Knowing: Knowing of Mind and Knowing of Awareness
Our psychological mind knows phenomena and our psychology of mind knows the essence of phenomena. This knowing of mind is an ontic experience and a psychological experience of mind. Our awareness directly and pre-reflectively and non-conceptually knows Being. Our Awareness knows the Being of phenomena. Our mind can know the essence and character of phenomena.
Within the union of our mind and our awareness we can both know the nature of a phenomena and the Being of the phenomena. This is a meaningful experience and a meaningful life.
Awareness is our direct non conceptual ontological knowing of Being. Awareness is our consciousness of our Being knowing directly the Being of beings. Awareness is non dualistic knowing. The knowing of our mind is dualistic knowing. We have two ways of Knowing. Our mind directly knows phenomena and our awareness directly knows Being. Our mind knows dualistically and our awareness knows non- dualistically. Our mind knows difference and our awareness knows indivisibleness. Within the natural union of our mind and awareness we as the one knower can know the essence of phenomena and the Being of phenomena simultaneously.
Ontic and Ontological Knowing
We have two ways of knowing, ontic and ontological. In Dzogchen this direct pre reflective ontological knowing and ontological experiencing is called Gnosis or Jnana or Semde or even Yeshe. Yeshe means wisdom knowing. Gnosis or Jnana or Semde or Yeshe is our direct non conceptual non dualistic knowing of Being.
This direct knowing of the Oneness of Being is the knowing of the indivisibleness of Being within beings as Being. Within non dualistic Being we experience dualistic beings. And within the dualistic experience of beings, we experience simultaneously non dualist Being. Within duality we experience non duality and within non duality we experience duality. This is the unfolding process of natural self- liberation.
Ontic Knowing of Our Mind
Our Ontic knowing of our mind and Our Ontic experience of our mind perceives the nature and essential qualities of Phenomena. Our ontic knowing of mind is dualistic. Ontic knowing is subject knowing object. Ontic knowing is knowing this and that, you and me, us and them. Ontic knowing is based upon difference within phenomena and between phenomena.
The Nature of Phenomena and The Nature of the Being of Phenomena
Our Ontological knowing and Ontological experience experiences the nature of Being and the Being of phenomena non dualistically. Our Ontic experience expresses and experiences the nature of our psychological sense of “I” ness and separateness. Our Ontological experience expresses and experiences the nature of our ontological sense of our profound Who-ness of our Being. Our sense of “I” ness reflects our psychological sense of self. Our profound experience of Who-ness reflects our experience of the indwelling of the Ground of Being as our own Who-ness as our own Gnosis and as our own Jnana or as Yeshe or as our true self.
The Ground of Being is our non- dualistic source of Being as the field of Being. The Profound Sense of our own Being ‘s direct knowing of Being is our direct experience of our Who-ness as our Gnosis and as our Jnana and as our direct perceptual awareness of Being as Being within all the beings.
Ontological Who-ness as Timeless Awareness
Our Ontological Who-ness unfolds within us and around us and through us. Ultimately our sense of Who-ness expands into our cosmologically lived experience of the vastness of Being as Who-ness, infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional. The experiential vastness of our Who-ness is the experience of our Who-ness of Being as Timeless Awareness in Time.
To experience Timeless awareness is to experience the vastness of our Who-ness in Timelessness and in time. To experience the Vastness, the cosmological Vastness of our own Who-ness in Timeless and in time is Self- Liberation. Self- liberation is not earned or merited, as so many forms of Patriarchal spirituality suggest and require. Our Who-ness is the Ground of Being. Historically Human culture tends to think and believe that the Patriarchal Symbol must be an actual person or an imagined anthropological form of God or Goddess. The Patriarchal Archetypal Symbol and the Patriarchal actuality reflects both Source and Judgement simultaneously. This Patriarch Archetypal symbolization does not reflect the nature of our Ground of Being. Patriarchal Archetypal symbolization does not reflect the Dharmakaya as The Ground of Being.
Our experience of our Ontological Who-ness is our experience of and as our Ground of Being. Our Ground of Being is experienced as Timeless awareness within time. Our experience of Timeless awareness is unearned and unmerited and is our natural experience of the Givenness of Pure Being as our own Being just as we are.
There is the ancient Dzogchen prayer” May we experience all phenomena as the Dharmakaya”. “May we experience all phenomena as the Ground of Being.”
Our Who-ness experiences the Who-ness of the other and the Who-ness of the Being of phenomena non dualistically. Our ontological who-ness experiences the ontological presence of the other and the ontological presence of the world non dualistically. Who-ness is profound oneness. Who-ness is the profound compassionate non dualistic personal experience of the essence of beings as Pure Being. To experience our ground of Being as Who-ness is to experience the Purity of our Own Being and the Purity of the Being of beings.
Our Who-ness as the Being of awareness experiences non dualistically the who-ness of others in non- dualistic oneness. Primordial who-ness experiences primordial who-ness in other beings. The Being of our awareness experiences the Being of the other within the oneness of Who-ness, the oneness of the Ground of Being.
No wonder why Gautama felt so bad and felt such ontological despair as express in the exclamation that all life is suffering. There was only the imaginary appearance of phenomena and no personal Beingness of phenomena. There was no continuity of Beingness of moment after moment, or life after life. There was no Who-ness. There never was and never would be Who-ness no ontological selfness. No Being of self or self of Being. Even desire any desire was a further source of suffering and despair. Cessation was the only hope!
Sense of “I” Ness of Mind
Our sense of “I” ness of mind is an ontic experience of our mind and when there is no foundational basis of Being supporting and infusing our I ness of mind, then our sense of I ness is without the experiential foundational support and ontological Presence of Pure Being or the Ground of Being. Our I ness as our mind alone can be permeated by the felt sense of the emptiness of Being, the voidness of Being and emptiness of the absence of Being. Where there is no felt sense of Beingness, there is no sense of the actuality of existing-ness. Without the felt sense of Being, there is no true sense of actuality of Presence.
Many forms of eastern philosophy reflect this Beingless form of existing-ness and the Beingless actuality of existing-ness.
In this Beingless context, phenomena is experienced “as if” and phenomena is experienced as illusionary and as unreal lacking actualness. This experience is the experience of agony and reflects the terror of annihilation and of Being-lessness. This Beingless experience of human beings is often the profound existential depression beneath depressions! This absence of Being ‘s fullness is ontological Depression and ontological Despair. This absence of Being’s fullness is human agony. Patriachal Traditions relentlessly tend to support this empty view and this view of merit view which invokes dependency on the Patriarchal illusion and the Patriarchal reliance on the Bad Karma framing of human suffering.
Absence of Beingness
Early Buddhism perceived all of phenomena this way as emptiness of Being. All of phenomena was perceived in early Buddhism as Beingless and Baseless. All of phenomena had no basis within Being or as Being. Without the basis of Being phenomena lacks the sense of existing in actuality. The sense of I ness is an ontic sense and thus so the sense of self as ontic-ness without Beingness results in this empty state of self. In ontic I ness where there is the experiential absence of ontological base of Being our sense of self is Beingless and Who-less and Empty.
There is for so many people the absence of the profound sense of Who-ness as the Ground of Being. Early Buddhist experience was pervaded by the sense of Absence, Absence of Being and Absence of the Ground of Being and Absence of Who-ness.
In such a Beingless context, Gautama declared all life is Suffering! It is true then as now. The living within a Beingless context is Suffering. We should really Know whether a philosophy or a religious theology contributes to the Beingless experience of existence. As Hegel described in The Phenomenology of Spirit. Patriarchal domination as the One Who Knows does depend on people feeling Beingless and selfless and who-less in their life.
Indwelling Sense of Being
Without our experience of our indwelling sense of Being there is only absence and voidness and emptiness. When phenomena is not experienced as the Ground of Being, the phenomena is Beingless and groundless. Beingless Phenomena is empty of Being, empty of source and empty of who-ness. Phenomena becomes empty of meaning and meaningfulness.
When we become aware of our own awareness, we directly experience our ongoing continuous ontological sense of the Ground of Being as our own Being as our own innate Who-ness. This is the immediate shift into the unfolding sense of self- liberation which is so direct and so immediate and so naturally given.
The Experience of Being-lessness
Many spiritual traditions teach the Being-lessness of human existence just as we are. Many spiritual traditions impose the patriarchal and theocratic illusion of the patriarchal theocentric institution or the patriarchal theocentric person possessing absolute knowledge and absolute authority thus invoking various forms of the master slave relationship. Hegel phenomenologically describes this drama of the One Who Knows Absolutely. Jacques Lacan the French Symbolic Psychoanalyst elaborates this grandiose Patriarchal dynamic in his text Ecrits.
In our empty of Being context our sense of self is simply our sense of empty ontic mind. Thus, our sense of self is experienced as if our sense of self is beingless and lacks the depth and breadth of reality and actuality of Being. In the empty of Being context, our sense of self lacks the profound sense of ontological Who-ness infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional. To experience the Being- fullness of the Ground of Being as our own Being and as our own Who-ness is to experience the profound process of self-liberation in the Sea of Being.
Lived Experience of Ontological Knowing
Without our lived experiential ontological knowing of our Who-ness as our Beingness, phenomena can be felt as illusionary. Our phenomenological world may lack actuality and feels as an unreal experience. Such Who-less and Beingless experience lacks the profound sense of Beingness and Luminous Livingness within and as the Indwelling Ground of Being as us. Longchenpa elaborates this profound understanding in his text The Precious Treasury of Genuine Meaning. There is a magnificent commentary on Longchenpa’s text of the Precious Treasury by Lama Namdrol Rinpoche given at Orgyen Dorge Den, Alameda, California year 2011.
Our lack of our experiencing our ontological ground of Being is the experience of Anatman existence. This is experience of ontological absence and the experience of Being- lessness and of the absence of the ground of Being that was so foundational in early Buddhism. This Anatman existence implies as Gautama declared that All life is Suffering. This is the profound who-lessness of Being-lessness. This is the profound existential and ontological absence of Being as the Ground of Being and reflects the experience of ontological emptiness of Being- fullness. Many human beings live within this state of absence and die within this state of Absence. This state of absence is the Anatman state of existence. This anatman view is the view of phenomena as Beingless and source-less. This anatman view is the view of Existence as Beingless.
Existential Recognition of Ontological Being-lessness
The Existential psychological study of human Being-lessness has been exquisitely elaborated by the many Existential Psychotherapy practitioners such as Donald Winnicott, Harry Guntrip, R.D Lang, Wilfred Bion, Michael Eigen, Henry Elkin, Robert Stolorow, Rollo May, Menard Boss among many others. Amazingly, Existential psychology has courageously brought ontological experience into human psychology. In experiential psychotherapy Erving Polster and Miriam Polster have focused on Being and Being-lessness in their elaborations of gestalt psychotherapy. Eugene Gendlin has elaborated an excellent form of existential experiential psychotherapy focusing on ontological experience and meaningfulness.
Being-lessness as Supported by Illusional Authoritarian Patriarchal Omnipotence
This ontological absence of Being’s fullness is root source of authoritarian omnipotence and patriarchal grandiosity that so often dominates many forms of religious institutions and political Institutions infused by grandiose psychopathic leadership not only in religious institutions but in the many forms of political leadership that compensates for our ontological absence of Being full experience in persons and in Beingless culture.
Many eastern philosophies and religions foster this Being-less framing of our human experience and life. This framing lacks true understanding of Presence of Being within our own being and the being of others. As Longchenpa dramatically suggests this beingless and source-less framing of phenomena is itself the primary and singular delusion. He gives this understanding in his commentary on the text All-Creating Source.
Our Who-ness of Being’s Fullness
Our own immediate innate awareness is our opening to our ontological experiential direct knowing of Being- fullness. Our own innermost awareness is the experience of our Who-ness of our Being -fullness of our own Being. This is our direct ontological knowing of our inner most awareness which directly knows our Being. This direct luminous experiential knowingness of Being is Jnana or Gnosis or Yeshe.
Our Being is Permeated by Who-ness.
Our own innermost awareness is Pure Being. Our Innermost awareness is the indwelling of Pure Being’s knowingness. Our innermost awareness as Beingness is our Being’s knowingness of Being. Our innermost awareness of Being’s knowingness is our own innermost sense of our Pure Who-ness. To experience Our Ontological Who-ness is to experience our self- liberation within Being as a being just as we are!
Indwelling of Ground of Being as Who-ness
Our own innermost awareness is the Indwelling of the Ground of Being as our own Being of knowingness and our own Being of Gnosis and our own Being of and as Who-ness. The Who-ness of the Ground of Being is our own Who-ness of our personal Being as our ontological sense of self. This experience is not simply a reflected experience but this experience of Being fullness is a natural phenomenon of direct knowing and direct experiencing of our own awareness of our inner most Being- fullness in ourself and in others.
The Being of Our Own Being
Our own experiential awareness as Who-ness knows directly the Being of own being. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of other beings, and the Who-ness of other Beings. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of the world and the profound Who-ness of the beings of the world. Our innermost awareness as Who-ness knows the Who-ness of Pure Being in and of itself and knows Pure Being as and through other beings.
Our own awareness as Who-ness knows the Who-ness of Being knowing Being. Our own Awareness as Who-ness is our Pure Being knowing Being. It is wonderful and possible to know and to experience the Being of Being now and forever. Pure Being is Timeless awareness manifesting in time. To experience Being is to experience the Bliss of Being as the Chakrasamvara Tantra so beautifully elaborates for us. As we know The Bliss of Being Overcomes Suffering.
The Who-ness of Phenomena
Our awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of phenomena and the Who-ness of Phenomena. Our mind as ‘I’ ness knows phenomena and our awareness as Who-ness knows the Being of phenomena. We are ontic ontological Beings. We are ontic ontological knowers of phenomena and knowers of the Being of phenomena. Is that not amazing!
Our Openness to Knowing Being
As Heidegger so artfully describes Human Beings have an Openness to Knowing Being. He calls this Openness Da Sein. Our profound Openness of our own Being to knowing Being itself is our profound sense of our own Being as the Who-ness of Pure Being. Our Who-ness of Being is our profound sense of true self to use Donald Winnicott’s Existential psychoanalytic language. Our embodied Who-ness of Being is indestructible and is ever youthful to use the language of Dzogchen.
Ontic Ontological Beings
Dzogchen call the knowing of our mind sems and the direct knowing of Being semde or yeshe. Often in Dzogchen this direct knowing of Being is also called Jnana or Gnosis. This distinction between our two ways of knowing is of essential and of foundational importance both in Dzogchen and in Continental Existential Phenomenology.
Husserl explored our phenomenological knowing of our mind knowing and intuiting the essence of phenomena and Heidegger explored our awareness’s phenomenological knowing of the Being of phenomena. For Heidegger Human Beings are phenomenological ontological Beings. Human Beings are ontic ontological beings. Heidegger call’s human beings openness to knowing Being…Dasein.
“I” ness and Who-ness
The knowing of our mind is our knowing of “I” ness. And the knowing of awareness is our knowingness of Who-ness. The knowing of ‘I’ ness is psychological knowing and our knowing of Who-ness is ontological knowing.
Human Beings are ontic ontological Beings, Human beings have the sense of I ness of as their mind and the sense of Who-ness as their Being.
The Integration of Mind Within Our Ontological Knowing of Awareness
When we integrate the knowing of our mind within the ontological knowing of our awareness, we can experience the two modes of knowing simultaneously. We can know the essence of phenomena and the Being of Phenomena simultaneously. This is wonderful experience and a liberating experience. The union of these two ways of knowing is the natural path of self-liberation. We can know duality of difference and the oneness of Being’s fullness simultaneously. Our union of the ontic knowing and ontological knowing is the path of natural self -liberation. Just as we are! We are ontic ontological beings. As the Dakini said to Dudjom Lingpa, “You and I are indivisible”.
We can integrate both our sense of I ness and our sense of who-ness. I ness is our thinking, feeling, sensations, memory, fantasy and intuition of phenomena, and our Who-ness is our direct non conceptual sense of our directly knowing the Beingness of persons and the Beingness of phenomena and the Beingness of the world and the Beingness of Pure Being as Pure Who-ness. Our own Being of who-ness knows the who-ness of other Beings and the who-ness of phenomena and the who-ness of the world.
Ontological Knowing of Being as Who-ness
In becoming aware of our own awareness, we enter into our primordial awareness field of direct knowing of the Being of beings. This direct knowing of Being is what Heidegger called Da sein. As we become aware of our own awareness, we become aware of Being, we become aware of the Beingness of our own Being. We become aware of the Who-ness of our own Being as a knowing Being. To become aware of our own awareness is to become aware of our Who-ness of Being as Being. As we enter into the field of awareness which is the field of Being we experience within us the vast infinity of our own Who-ness of Being and within our own Being we experience our own profound Who-ness of Being as Being itself. This is naturally freeing and empowering and self- liberating.
Amazingly as we experience the ontological dimension of our pervasive primordial awareness there arises spontaneously with us, the ontological experience of our Who-ness which is vast and multidimensional and infinite in its horizons. Our profound sense of the Who-ness of our Being is our profound experience of Timeless Awareness in time.
Life after Life and Death after Death
This Who-ness can be an experience of profound openness, trans-lucidity and vitality and a sense of unbound compassion of generativity. This Who-ness provides an ongoing sense of continuity of Being life after life and death after death! Unborn and Undying is the experience of Ontological Who-ness. In Dzogchen this is Vajra essence.
The Ground of Being as Our Own Who-ness
Our Who-ness is our experience of the Ground of Being as our own Ground of Being. Our Who-ness is our experience of our Ground of Being as the Ground of Being. We are the manifestation of Ground of Being. We are the Indwelling of Ground of Being within our own Being as the Being of awareness. Longchenpa would consider this understanding as the essence of Dzogchen!
Ongoing Continuity of Being
Dzogchen describes this experience of Who-ness as our experience of our Being as Knowingness! Our sense of self is now no longer our psychology of mind alone, but now reflects our sense of self profoundly shifting from our sense of I ness alone as mind, to our sense of Who-ness as ongoing continuity of Being which is vast and multidimensional. Our experience of Being is profoundly personal. Our experience of the Being of others and the Being of the world is profoundly personal. Reality is profoundly personal. Self- liberation is profoundly personal. Human compassion is profoundly personal and reflects the realm of personal Who-ness.
And so, if we become aware of our own awareness, there arises naturally our own innermost sense of Who-ness which is profoundly personal, and unbounded and brings forth naturally a multidimensional sense of the vastness of Being and our experience of Being as our Timelessness awareness of Being manifesting in time as us.
The Sea of Being as a Sea of Who-ness
Our ontological sense of our Being as Who-ness can infuse our experience of our Being in the world and infuse our experience of the Being of others. We live in the Sea of Being as a being. We live in the Sea of Being as luminous Who-ness. This is the direct experience of natural immediate self - liberation available to everyone just as we are.
Ontological Who-ness and Psychological ‘I’ ness
Our ontological sense of Who-ness is not the narrow sense of ‘I’ ness which is contextualized as a kind of witness consciousness or the narrow self -object viewing through the narrow focus of our mind and the various functions of our mind. This sense of I ness of our mind as witness consciousness is an objectified knowing of mind staring into phenomenological facticity of factual self and factual otherness. Many human beings only inhabit their mind of ‘I’ ness.
Emptiness and Absence
The Emptiness of Being-lessness Is experienced as emptiness of Self and emptiness of Who-ness. The mind of “I” ness alone is experientially empty of Beingness. This is unhappiness and the Bliss of Being is absent. As the Tantric’s declare “Bliss over comes suffering”.
The unhappy experience of our ontological empty state of Being-lessness reflects our absence of profound experiential ontological Who-ness, and the absence of a vital sense of aliveness. Many human beings live in I ness but lack the profound sense of the Who-ness of their Being. Without the presence of our Who-ness of our Being-fullness , it is difficult to experience the ongoing continuity the presence of Beingness. There is ontological suffering when we experience the emptiness of phenomenological Being-lessness and the emptiness of I ness alone without base and without source, without the infusion of luminous awakened awareness. This is suffering no matter what our circumstance.
Ontic and Ontological Knowingness
When there is the lack of ontological knowingness within us and around us there is the experience of the Being-lessness of phenomena and the Being-lessness of our own Being. The experience of the I ness of ontic knowing alone lacks the actuality of meaningful Being-fullness. We can experience phenomena without experiencing the meaningful Being-fulness of the phenomena. We can experience I ness without the meaningful Beingness of luminous Who-ness.
Sense of Presence as Luminous Who-ness
“I” ness as Mind alone is without the depth and the breath of primordial skylike awareness which is our human openness to Being and is our direct immediate non conceptual pre reflective knowing of Being as Being. This knowing of Being brings forth for us and within us, our innermost sense of Luminous Presence. This sense of Presence is our own experience of the radiance of Who-ness. Who-ness is our ongoing continuity of Being. To live in the Luminous Translucid Presence of Who-ness is to experience self- liberation in spite of and in light of whatever Context or Eventfulness in which we find ourselves. We can live in and within the resonance of Who-ness.
Our own Beingness is Our Who-ness
When we become aware of our awareness, we become aware of our own Beingness as our own Who-ness. When we become aware of our own Being, we experience awareness as Who-ness non conceptually and pre-reflectively. We experience our own sense of innermost primordial Who-ness as the Openness of Luminous Beingness in direct resonance to the Who-ness of others and the Who-ness of the world.
Who-ness As Beingness and Our Beingness as Who-ness
Who-ness is our experience of our Beingness of our luminous translucid Being. Our sense of self is our sense of our experience of our own Beingness of our Being and the radiance of our own Being and the spaciousness of our own Being and the vitality of our own Being. To be absent of Being is to be absent of ontological sense of self. To be absent of the ongoing continuity of Being is to be absent of the profound foundational sense of embodied Who-ness, embodied Presence, and embodied Awareness. Our embodied sense of personal presence is the experience of embodied radiance of Being as Whoness.
Of Course, Without Our Beingness All Life Is Suffering?
Gautama himself suffered this Anatman experience continuously, and so he would naturally and painfully exclaim that all life is suffering and any desire for happiness whatsoever is both hopeless and only increases suffering. This is the personal phenomenology of ontological despair of being human, of Being without Who-ness, of being without being in Beingness.
Of course, early Buddhism did not experience who-ness and did not experience ontological sense of Beingness as their own Beingness. Early Buddhist understanding embraced the anatman experience of non self and non- Beingness and non- Who-ness. Everything was illusion and lacked the actuality of Being. This is the emptiness of ontological despair. The only way out for Gautama was to transcend and detach and dissociate and go beyond and go beyond phenomena and beyond witness consciousness into the emptiness of no -where- ness and no-there-there-ness. In transcendental consciousness there is No One there.
This personal despair of human existing-ness is held by some religious traditions as the only reality. This is both sad and is existentially and ontologically untrue. This experience does not reflect the true sense of self which is our true sense of Being in the World which is our Profound Who-ness as the essence of the Ground of Being. “I” ness is a mind alone experience without our ontological base as innermost source. This state of I ness alone is most often plagued by annihilation anxiety and the experience of schizoid like states of containment and unending endless detachment.
Dzogchen as Phenomenological Ontology
To both understand and continuously experience our personal presence of Who-ness is of essence within the Dzogchen and within the Existential Phenomenological Ontological Traditions. Dzogchen and Phenomenological Ontological understanding are intimately related and these two traditions interface with each other. Dzogchen is one of the earliest forms of Philosophical Embodied Phenomenological Ontology.
Ontological Who-ness within Sufism
This experience of personal and cosmological ontological Who-ness is also foundational within the mystical gnostic Sufi tradition of Islam as expressed by Suhrawardi of 12th century Syria and Ibn Arabi of Andalusia, 12th century Spain. The masterful phenomenologist Henry Corbin often describes the Personalism of Reality in the Sufi mystical tradition.
Purusha: The Cosmological Person
Much earlier in historical time within the ancient Upanishad tradition of Indian philosophical mysticism where there was a central focus on the Purusha which literally means the Cosmological or Ontological Person. The Cosmological Archetypal Person is the Archetypal Blue Person of Radiant Blue Light. This vast luminous Being of Pure Awareness is our Personal Source beyond our mind and beyond our body. Our mind and our body and our Innermost Awareness are the embodied modalities of this Person of Blue Light this Who-ness, this Purusha. This is rather amazing is it not!
This Purusha, this profound luminous awareness as Who-ness is not the objectified knowing of witness consciousness so often associated with the transcendental traditions. The Purusha is the Pure Consciousness that becomes embodied in Personhood as Personhood. The Purusha becomes Timeless awareness in time as Person, as Who-ness, as Ontological Personal Knowingness in time for ever and ever and ever. The Purusha is Timeless Awareness in time. The Purusha is unborn and undying. The Purusha is Primordial Who-ness manifesting in every person!
Abhinavagupta and Kashmir Shavism
Another source of understanding of the profound Who-ness of Being is the Kashmir Shavistic understanding of Abhinavagupta, the 9th century master of Kashmir Shaivism. Just as in Dzogchen the event unfolds that in becoming aware of our own awareness, we experience the field of Being as our own Who-ness as our own Ontological knowingness of our own Being as Being itself. Swami Muktananda was a contemporary Master of Kashmir Shavism, who taught the ontology of the Personal Beingness, the ontology of the Relational Beingness, the ontology of the Beingness as Who-ness just as we are. Swami Muktananda was also a master of transmission of this innermost experience of our Who-ness of Being. Muktananda would so often say God Dwells within You as You. He called this ontological who-ness the Self.
Multidimensional Who-ness: The Three Dimensions of Our Being
Our ordinary life world is the phenomenological face of Who-ness. Who-ness manifests within our ordinary sense of Being as a human being. We experience the direct nondual ontological intimacy within us and within human beings. We human beings are multidimensional persons of Being.
In Dzogchen this dimension of our ordinary life world is Nirmanakaya. In this dimension of our ordinary life world, we experience our Beingness as us and as our personal Who-ness of knowing Being within our self and within other person’s and within our world and within Cosmological Being.
This Who-ness is vast Spaciousness, and vast Openness and the vast Trans-lucidity of the Being of our being. We can also experience this openness and trans-lucidity in Others through the Who-ness of others. This Who-ness is Presence, luminous Presence.
Sambhogakaya is the Archetypal dimension of the reality of Being. The Symbolic Archetypal Realm is our phenomenological and our imaginal realm of knowing through archetypal phenomena into the realm of Primordial Archetypal Who-ness. Our experience of Ontological Who-ness within Symbolic Archetypal phenomena reflects our knowing from within our own primordial sense of Who-ness. This is the realm of mythic manifestations of the primordial energies and luminosities of the archetypal elements and qualia of Being.
Dharmakaya is the creative source of Actuality. Dharmakaya is also called the Ground of Being as Source! What Longchenpa calls our luminous Ground of Being is the Pure Who-ness of Primordial Being as Source. Primordial Being is not a being and unceasingly self- manifest the Being of infinite numbers of beings.
This Pure Luminous Who-ness is the Pure Potential Space of the Infinity of Ontological Creativity. Ceaseless and boundless creativity reflects the self- manifestation of the luminous Ground of Being bringing forth the infinite fields of beings of infinite worlds of infinite singular beings. Unbounded Who-ness is the infinity of Pure Potential Space forever and forever unceasingly manifesting Being as beings. Heidegger described this unfolding ceaseless creative manifestation as Phusis.
Such phenomenological understanding reflects our own state of Being. Our philosophical phenomenological understanding is ultimately dependent upon our own lived experience of our own state of Being. A person who has no experiential sense of profound Who-ness may find such thought about Who-ness foreclosed and meaningless.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.PP. The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies
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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-Dargyay. Suny Series 1992.
3.The All Creating King by Christopher Wilkinson. 2019. Independently Published
4. The Kunjed Gyalpo Series, Translated by James Valby .Jim Valby Publications. Shelburne Falls, Mass.
These are all great translations with different nuances.