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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer


Self Liberation in Phenomenology and Dzogchen, Essays PHENOMENOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TODZOGCHEN By Rudolph Bauer, Phd Wed, Oct 23, 2013 Rudolph Bauer Ph.D., AuthorPhenomenology is the study of different kinds of giveness, the giveness ofexperience.There are various ways of being open to experiencing the world and thephenomena of the world. The phenomena and the objects of the world and the worlditself can be experienced and perceived more or less directly and more or less in thepresent. The phenomena, the objects of the world and within the world as the world, canbe experienced more or less in breadth and depth, and more or less in obviousness andmore or less in subtlety. The world can be experienced more or less in translucidity andmore or less in darkness, and more or less in openness and more or less inhiddenness, and more or less concealed and more or less unconcealed. There aremany ways of experiencing the world and objects of and in the world which are theappearances of the world.MULTIDIMENSIONALAnd most amazingly the phenomena of the world can be experienced in its manydifferent dimensions. Truly we live in a multidimensional world and we aremultidimensional beings in a mutlidimenisional world, a multidimensional cosmology.Multidimensional beings have multidimensional views and multidimensional experience.Experiencing through awareness and through the mind the various dimensions of ourexperience is the essence of phenomenology and the meditative awareness practice.Experiencing the phenomena of awareness both within ourselves as our own being andwithin the beings around us opens to us the multidimensionality of everything andeveryone. Experiencing through mind alone is very different than experiencing withinawareness. And since the mind can be integrated within this awareness suchexperience has its own difference than being located in either mind or awareness alone.

Our capacity to perceive the world in its various dimensions has been reflected upon forcenturies in meditative cultures. And this experience of various dimensions ofphenomena and the world of phenomena is confirmed by contemporary quantumphysics and science .We know this is a multidimensional world and universe. All of themodes of giveness, appearance and experience are related. There is relationshipintimately between and within them. The awakened modes of experience andappearance vary in light of their ability to give to us and our ability to enter into andpenetrate the phenomena of the world as directly and clearly as possible. Thephenomena can be given and experienced more or less directly and more or lesstranslucently. This means that our experience of the giveness of phenomena opens usto more or less of the various infinite dimensions of the phenomena and the infinitedimensions of the world. Phenomena itself is awakened as is so eloquently described inthe Guhyagarbha tantra. By world I mean the universe of experience everywhere andwithin everyone and everything, from the most subtle to the most gross. Our own levelof perception gives us and opens to us to the levels of the giveness of phenomena, andthe multileveledness of phenomena opens us to our own dimensional perception. Trulythis unfolding is a co- emergent process. Awakened awareness is co-emergent withinawakened phenomena. Awakened awareness is within an awakened world. This is theessential understanding of contemporary Dzogchen and contemporary phenomenology.There is the awakened giveness of phenomena of appearance which opens us to ourcapacity to experience the different dimensions of presence. From the presence of aspatio temporal object concrete in its manifestations to the very beingness of the beingof that object. From the presence of color and size and shape of an object, to the subtleenergy of the object being manifested as an object in the field of being as a being. Andso the different dimensions of the world that manifest to us in their giveness and theirappearance reflect different dimensions of reality and of existence. The giveness ofappearance reflects the different dimensions of the Beingness of Being in itsmanifestation and in its non manifestation. The giveness of the phenomenologicalconfigurations of the field reflect the field’s giveness as configurations, as an object andas an object configuration.

OBJECTIFIED OR SUBJECTIVITYThe phenomena of the appearance of the human can be experienced as an objectamong other objects. If the mind of the perceiver is objectifying and objectified itself byitself, then the otherness of an objectified human will be experienced. And thephenomena of the appearance of human subjectivity can be experienced and given toanother human being if the other human being is in their own dimension of subjectivitywithin their innermost awareness which has no shape or form but is known in thewonderful co-emergent process of becoming aware of awareness in oneself and in theother. Truly awareness meets awareness...inside meets inside. The unfolding ofintersubjectivity is mutually co emergent. Subjectivity is the primordial openness ofawareness in time and space in the continuum of mind and body. Intersubjective is theopenness passing through the openness of the other.APPEARANCE OF WORLD AS OPENNESSPhenomenology focuses on the appearance of the world and its various dimensions.Phenomenology is an experiential understanding of our experience of phenomena inand of the world. It allows us and presents to us the different dimensions of the world ofreality and the actuality of the world. So, depending on the phenomena experienced, thereality and actually of the world shifts in profound and bewildering ways. As wephenomenologically become aware of awareness, the nature of awareness isexperienced as openness, spaceousness. Experiencing this openness within one’sown self the openness within the world itself becomes more apparent.APPEARANCE AS AN UNHAPPY ILLUSIONBuddhist idealists as well as Hindu Vedic idealists declare that the world is an illusion ordelusion and is not real. What is real is the nothingness or spaciousness of thedharmakaya dimension or in the language of the Hindu, the dimension of shiva, thespaceous void. This understanding both comes from the experience of the masters of

meditation who use direct perception of meditative experience and also from thescholastic traditions in both Vedic and Buddhist religions. The Buddhist traditions usedmadhyamika reasoning as well as other forms of idealistic philosophy of logic. In asense this reasoning is used to point out the unreality of the immediate situation and theconclusion is that things do not exist and also do exist and that they neither exist orneither do they not exist - a rather deconstructional stew that would even bewilderDerrida about what is or is not in this idealistic enframing. It is as if the languagenegates itself in the very speaking...and so what is left is only an aphasic experience.By aphasic I mean nothing can be said, nothing can be affirmed, and nothing can bethought.This kind of deconstructionist thinking not only points out the impermanence ofcomposite reality but moreover makes the attribution about the illusion of all appearanceand the illusion of one’s self, and the illusion of experience and the illusion of theexperiencer. This illusionary way of thinking is challenged by phenomenology in thismatter of appearance and reality. Contemporary phenomenology has a great deal tooffer Dzogchen’s presentation and understanding in this multidimensional andcontemporary world.THE UNHAPPY BELIEF IN THE ILLUSIONARYNESS OF LIFEFor the most part, many people simply believe these delusionary statements andattributions and work and live within this illusionary belief system with its advantagesand disadvantages, including, at times the resulting problems of bonding and problemsof schizoid like detachment. The well-established psychology of bonding is overcome bythe nonattachment and nonbonding of detachment ethics. This kind of belief systemover time structures both a personal and cultural viewpoint that can forecloseexperience, invalidate experience and negate the very narrative schema of life’sexperience. For many Buddhist idealists experience itself does not count and is withoutvalidity. In fact the world does not count. The phenomenological experience is withoutsignification. As some Buddhist writers have said “phenomena never were and neverwill be”.

kind of Big Being, a Big entity...the Biggest of all the beings…a super Being. And forsome Being is understood as the totality of all the little beings or the Big Being isthought of as source of all the beings. For the concrete realist all the beings includingthe Big Being is an entity. Human beings are entities and God is itself the Biggest entity;an entity beyond the other entities but entity nonetheless. The big entity Deus is thecause of all the little entities. And all the entities including the Big entity and the littleentities only have knowledge through mediation of language and priesthoods of someform. For many, Knowledge is a function of belief and not direct experience. Forphenomenology knowledge is a function of direct experience.For phenomenology Being is not a being among other beings. Being is not a being. AndBeing is not an entity. In this way Being is no -thingness and nonetheless Being allowsbeings to be and Being manifests the Beingness of Being in all the beings. BEING itselfis empty or openness, radiant openness luminous openness. If one wants one couldeasily come to understand and come to think that Being is Deus. If one also wishes, onecould easily understand Being as the dharmakaya manifesting the Beingness of beingof sambogakaya and the beingness of the beings of nirmanakaya. And also if onewishes to come to understand that Being is shiva and the manifestation of Being of thevarious tattvas and realities as shakti.The masterful phenomenologist, Heidegger, takes awareness of the experience ofappearance as the source of knowningness. He states that the discursive mind alonein its discursive conceptualization can easily become solipsistic and forecloseknowningness of the Beingness of beings. Dzogchen Masters and Shavite Mastershave a similar understanding.MIND ALONE CANNOT GRASP THE BEINGNESS OF BEING AND CANNOT GRASPTHE NATURE OF AWARENESS AS MANIFESTING SUBJECTIVITY IN THECONTEXT OF MIND AND BODYPhenomenology challenges the view that there are no differences phenomenologicallybetween perception and hallucination. Phenomenology also challenges the view thatthegiveness of experience does not depend on whether this object exists objectively andreally or not. Phenomenology challenges the Buddhist views of the world as a

hallucination or delusion. Phenomenology challenges the Buddhist invalidation ofhuman experience.Initially, Husserl himself thought that phenomenology was not able to speak about thereality of phenomena and appearance as reality. This was a very limiting view andlocated Husserl in the idealistic discourse wherein he was locked within thetranscendental hidden I; a hidden world and a hidden I. So solipsism seemed to be theinitial fate of phenomenology. The phenomenology whose inspiration was to the thingsthemselves was becoming locked in the box of the mind alone.HUSSERL’S EXPANDED VIEW: THE EPOCHEHappily, Husserl radically transformed phenomenology as he expanded the reductionand epoche to the suspension of mind, opened the phenomena of actuality to relationalactuality.Husserl’s epoche and reduction allowed him to suspend the mind and enter into theexperience and appearance of phenomena as they present themselves to us and withinus. Based upon this phenomenological experience of the giveness to the field ofawareness a reflection is possible. Reflection follows the prereflective experience ofknowningness of phenomena. Reflection follows the prereflective awareness of thephenomena. Reflection follows the nonconceptual intuition of the giveness ofphenomena. Phenomenology now focuses on giveness of experience and theknowningness of awareness. Gnosis has presidence. Direct perception haspresidence. The phenomenologist now focuses on and within the dimension ofappearance and giveness in order to reveal the inner structure of the experience of theworld as the manifestation of phenomena. The shining of phenomena!Phenomenology elaborates the radical experience of the phenomena of the world in thelight of their giveness and validity. From the givineness of experience a reflection andarticulation emerges.

SUBJECTIVITY AS AWARENESS, PRIMORDIAL AWARENESS IN MIND AND BODYThe primordial giveness of experience takes place within subjectivity as knowingness.There is this primordial giveness to the experience of knowingness as the actual as itpresents itself to us. Subjectivity itself is not an entity. Subjectivity is experienced withinthe entity of the mind and body, but subjectivity itself is no thing and has no form orshape…Subjectivity itself is primordial awareness manifesting in a particular time andplace, and manifesting in a particular mind and body within the unfolding in a particulartime and space. Subjectivity is the manifestation of primordial awareness in time andspace. Subjectivity is timeless awareness manifesting in time and a locality of time.This awareness of awareness which phenomenology undertakes allows awareness notto be focused on mind alone but in becoming aware of itself, the awareness ofsubjectivity openness up as to what it actually is. Subjecitivity is awareness whosenature is spaceousness, energy, light as in illuminating. To say that the self does notexist is bewildering and is confusing in the lack of experiential clarity. It is true the mindand body exist termporally and that as mind and as body the human being is an entity, acomposite. And that this entity exists for a certain limited time . It is also true that thehuman being is also subjectivity within mind and body appearing in time and space. It isalso true that this basic subjectivity that is not contained in mind alone is openness, vastspaceousness, luminousity and pervasive sense of oneness. This is the unborn andindestructible vajrakumara in dzogchen language. And moreover this subjectivity ismutldimenisonal as this subjectivity is awareness itself. This awareness ismultidimensional and manifesting in time and space as the nirmanakaya manifestationof awareness emanating as flesh, the world of the human, the world as desire. It is alsotrue that this very same awareness is the archetypical dimension that is luminouslyenergetic and is power that is ontologically prior to the dimension of flesh. It is also truethat this very same subjectivity is the manifestation of the primordial awareness itselfthat is unbound and infinite in its dimensions. Pure Subjectivity is the manfestation intime and space of the dharmakaya. Pure subjectivity is the manifestation of thedharmakaya in time and space. As Husserl would so often declare: ‘what is the wonderof all wonders pure consciousness and the door way is our own subjectivity!’

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